This Week in the News

Annexation of West Bank before Election in November?

Breaking Israel News wrote on August 23:

“Having been Director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus since its inception in 2004, Joshua Reinstein is intimately familiar with the political connection that binds American evangelicals with Israel. As such, he believes that the key to the next election lies in this US-Holy Land connection… ‘The base of the Republican party are Bible-believing Christians… And the number one issue that will do that is the declaration of sovereignty in the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria…

“‘I think that Donald [Trump] will announce American support of sovereignty over Judea and Samaria before the election. Like Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said in June, Trump will probably declare that the choice of whether or not to declare sovereignty lies with Israel and his administration will support whatever Israel decides.’”

This would be an interesting development, especially in light of the turmoil the evangelical world in the USA is presently going through. Notice just one example—namely, the most recent developments and direct or indirect sexual allegations pertaining to Trump supporter Jerry Falwell Jr., “one of the most influential figures in the American Christian conservative movement” (Reuters), and his resignation from the Liberty University, “the Christian school he has run since 2007.”

Peace Deal between Israel, UAE and USA Already Shaky?

JTA wrote on August 24:

“Not all is rosy with the United Arab Emirates and Israel in the aftermath of their peace accord. The UAE canceled a public meeting with the United States and Israel meant to celebrate the so-called Abraham Accords over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s public opposition to the U.S. sale of F-35 advanced fighter jets to the Arab nation.

“Senior UAE officials wanted to send a message to Israel that they were disappointed with Netanyahu’s public statements on the sale of the F-35s… Ambassadors from the three countries were scheduled to meet Friday at the United Nations. The Emirates also will hold no other public political meetings with the two countries until Israel’s position on such a sale is ‘clarified’…

“White House senior adviser Jared Kushner said Sunday… that the peace agreement between Israel and the UAE ‘should increase the probability’ of an F-35 jet sale to the Emirates.”

These plans are so counterproductive and dangerous for Israel. This peace agreement will turn out to be a total flop. At the same time, the “appearance” of a workable agreement might linger on for a short while to bring about other important developments.

Breaking Israel News wrote on August 25:

“Rabbi Yehudah Glick, a former Likud Member of Knesset… noted that… the First Temple was built during a period of peace following a long period of war… Rabbi Glick noted that just like King Solomon made peace agreements with King Hiram of Tyre (known today as Lebanon) and with the Queen of Sheba, the current efforts to pursue peace include Lebanon and African nations.”

It will have to be seen how the building of the Third Temple on the Temple Mount will come about. Our Q&A in this issue describes some possible scenarios.

Erdogan Condemned by US State Department

The Algemeiner wrote on August 25:

“The US State Department slammed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday for his meeting last weekend with two leaders of the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas — one of whom is the subject of a $5 million bounty for his part in the murder of an American-Jewish teenager. ‘The United States strongly objects to Turkish President Erdogan hosting two Hamas leaders in Istanbul on August 22,’ State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

“‘Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by the US and EU and both officials hosted by President Erdogan are Specially Designated Global Terrorists’… Ortagus made clear that the State Department would keep monitoring Erdogan’s interactions with Hamas leaders with concern…  ‘We continue to raise our concerns about the Turkish government’s relationship with Hamas at the highest levels. This is the second time President Erdogan has welcomed Hamas leadership to Turkey this year with the first meeting occurring February 1.’

“The State Department’s official condemnation of Erdogan came one day after President Donald Trump briefly discussed his positive personal relationship with the Turkish leader at the Republican National Convention.”

Turkey will fulfill a despicable prophesied role of violence and manslaughter against “Israel.”

Hurricane Laura Hits Louisiana

 The Week wrote on August 27:

“Hurricane Laura made landfall in southwestern Louisiana as an ‘extremely dangerous’ Category 4 storm early Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said, and had slowed to a Category 2 hurricane hours later… Laura brought an 11-foot storm surge to some areas, and flooding started along the Louisiana coast on Wednesday afternoon… Earlier this week, Laura killed 20 people in Haiti and three in the Dominican Republic.”

The Associated Press reported on August 27:

“One of the strongest hurricanes ever to strike the U.S. pounded the Gulf Coast… Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards… called it the most powerful hurricane to strike Louisiana, meaning it surpassed even Katrina, which was a Category 3 storm when it hit in 2005. The hurricane’s top wind speed of 150 mph (241 kph) put it among the most powerful systems on record in the U.S…

“More than 580,000 coastal residents were ordered to join the largest evacuation since the pandemic began and many did, filling hotels and sleeping in cars… More than 700,000 homes and businesses remained without power in Texas and Louisiana…

 “[Laura] was the seventh named storm to strike the U.S. this year, setting a new record for U.S. landfalls by the end of August. The old record was six in 1886 and 1916… Laura was tied with five other storms for fifth most powerful U.S. hurricane, behind the 1935’s Labor Day storm, 1969’s Camille, 1992’s Andrew and 2004’s Charley…”

More Racial Unrest in the USA

The Associated Press reported on August 25:

“The father of a Black man who was shot, apparently in the back, by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, says his son was left paralyzed from the waist down. Jacob Blake’s father told the Chicago Sun-Times that he was told his son was shot eight times during the Sunday evening confrontation with police, which was captured on cellphone video and led to two nights of unrest in the city between Milwaukee and Chicago… [The] doctors don’t know if the paralysis will be permanent.

“Anger over the shooting of a Black man by police spilled into the streets of Kenosha for a second night Monday, with police again firing tear gas at hundreds of protesters who defied a curfew, threw bottles and shot fireworks at law enforcement guarding the courthouse. The southeastern Wisconsin city became the nation’s latest flashpoint in a summer of racial unrest after cellphone footage of police shooting Blake — apparently in the back as he leaned into his SUV while his three children sat in the vehicle — circulated widely on social media…

“Police in the former auto manufacturing center of 100,000 people midway between Milwaukee and Chicago said they were responding to a call about a domestic dispute when they encountered Blake on Sunday. They did not say whether Blake was armed or why police opened fire, they released no details on the dispute, and they did not immediately disclose the race of the three officers at the scene.

“The man who said he made the cellphone video… said he saw Blake scuffling with three officers and heard them yell, ‘Drop the knife! Drop the knife!’ before the gunfire erupted. He said he didn’t see a knife in Blake’s hands. The governor said he has seen no information to suggest Blake had a knife or other weapon, but that the case is still being investigated by the state Justice Department…

“Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said the officers ‘must be held accountable.’… Republicans and the police union accused the politicians of rushing to judgment, reflecting the deep partisan divide in Wisconsin, a key presidential battleground state. Wisconsin GOP members also decried the violent protests

“In the footage, Blake walks from the sidewalk around the front of his SUV to his driver-side door as officers follow him with their guns pointed and shout at him. As Blake opens the door and leans into the SUV, an officer grabs his shirt from behind and opens fire while Blake has his back turned. Seven shots can be heard, though it isn’t clear how many struck Blake or how many officers fired…

“Blake’s grandfather, Jacob Blake Sr., was a prominent minister and civil rights leader in the Chicago area who helped organize a march and spoke in support of a comprehensive housing law in Evanston, Illinois, days after the 1968 slaying of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr….

“Online court records indicate Kenosha County prosecutors charged Blake on July 6 with sexual assault, trespassing and disorderly conduct in connection with domestic abuse. An arrest warrant was issued the following day… It was unclear whether that case had anything to do with the shooting.”

Whatever the Truth may be, this is just another example of the fragile domestic situation within the USA. Any spark can now cause an explosion. And radical “protestors” use any opportunity to spread their violence.

Deutsche Welle added on August 26:

“Two people were killed and another injured in Kenosha, Wisconsin, local police confirmed Wednesday, after gunfire broke out on the third night of unrest… An 8 p.m. curfew is in effect in the city. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has declared a state of emergency and doubled the deployment of National Guard forces in Kenosha from 125 to 250. Police and protesters also clashed in Portland, Oregon, and Louisville, Kentucky, on Tuesday night.”

Ongoing Violence in Portland, Oregon

The Los Angeles Times wrote on August 24:

It has become a dangerous nightly ritual in Portland. Around 11 p.m., protesters set fire to trash cans or toss burning cardboard into police buildings and hurl bottles, eggs and chunks of concrete at officers. Then police broadcast an order for the demonstrators to leave. Most do. But a hardcore group, sometimes numbering in the hundreds, remain to face off against police, who use tear gas, rubber bullets, flash grenades and arrests to clear the streets…

“As of last week, protesters had set 41 fires, thrown projectiles at police officers on at least 58 nights and vandalized property on 49 nights, according to the police department, which has declared riots 17 times

“[The police department said that officers] ‘have been the focus of over 80 days of violent actions directed at the police…”

Breitbart wrote on August 26:

“Democrat Gov. Kate Brown may release as many as 400 prisoners from state jails for fear of the coronavirus spreading at the same time violent Antifa riots are taking place nightly in Portland….

“Brown’s concern for prisoners seems in stark contrast to the reality of her state’s second largest city facing nightly riots that have resulted in ongoing injuries to police officers and the destruction of innocent people’s property. And large crowds gathering every night also pose the risk of spreading the virus.”

Words fail. And what is Portland doing about it?

USA Withdraws Troops from Germany

Fox News wrote on August 23:

“President Trump recently ordered a 12,000-troop reduction in American military personnel stationed in Germany. That leaves about 24,000 American soldiers still in the country. A little more than half of the troops being withdrawn will return home. The rest will be redeployed to other NATO member nations such as Belgium, Italy, and perhaps Baltic and Eastern European countries. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is said to be furious.

“… the Merkel government has concluded, over American objections, a huge natural gas deal with Russia… Merkel likes to lecture the world on moral issues, but what is so noble about empowering Russian President Vladimir Putin, who recently reclaimed Crimea and seems now to be eyeing Belarus? Like a modern-day Byzantine emperor Justinian, who recovered much of the lost Western Roman Empire, Putin seems to think he can reabsorb the lost Soviet republics.

“In recent polling, Germans were more anti-American than any other nation in Europe. And while about 75 percent of Americans believe the U.S. still has a good relationship with Germany, only about a third of Germans feel that way about the U.S. Nearly half the German population in some polls want U.S. troops out…

“Does Merkel really believe that if her nation cuts huge deals with NATO’s historically greatest threat, polls as the most anti-American country in Europe and still refuses to honor its promises to increase defense spending, Germany still deserves a large American commitment of 36,000 troops to anchor its defense?…

“According to its founders, NATO was created for three reasons: to keep the always aggressive Russians ‘out’ of Europe, to keep the often isolationist Americans ‘in’ to help protect it, and to keep the supposedly restless Germans ‘down’ in order to avoid a replay of their invasions that ignited both world wars. In other words, the huge defense commitment to an often ungracious Germany over eight decades was not just envisioned to create a central base from which to protect Europe from ancient Russian ambitions, but also to remind Germany itself of its checkered past. That third mission… is not entirely forgotten, and it may explain why many in Europe — and some in Germany itself — are worried when any American soldiers leave Germany.”

All of this is leading to a revival of Germany’s ambitions to build a strong European Army. It also leads to further alienation between the USA and Germany. Germany hopes that Biden will become the next US President, thinking that under him, the relationship might become better again. Whether that hope would be justified or not, the Truth is that Biden will not replace Trump. Please view our recent StandingWatch program, “Why Trump Will Stay in Office!”

Germany Helps to Finance Hungarian Army

Israel Defense wrote on August 20:

“… the Hungarian government signed an agreement for a joint venture with the German company Rheinmetall, under which a production facility will be set up in Hungary to manufacture the most modern Lynx infantry fighting vehicle (IFV). The joint venture is part of a massive programme worth over two billion euros to modernize the East-European country’s defense industry and military capabilities…

“The step is of central importance in Hungary’s ongoing programme of military and industrial development, which aims to transform the Hungarian Army as quickly as possible into a world-class fighting force capable of actively addressing security challenges in the Euro-Atlantic region…”

And so, Germany is getting more and more involved in European military matters and affairs.

Britain’s New Passport—as Dark as Midnight

On August 24, the Guardian published the following opinion piece by Guardian columnist Zoe Williams:

“[My new passport] arrived today, as blue as midnight and also as dark.

We definitely are not in the EU any more. There are no stars, just a lion, a unicorn and a peculiar and bereft illustration of the UK, with Northern Ireland a floating blob, the rest of the landmass etched out like Trotsky’s face…

“The flowers and a shamrock are embossed on the back… except the daffodil could be any flower, and the overall effect is of someone finding free graphics on the internet for a superbly boring PowerPoint presentation.”

Does this mirror the fate of the UK?

Corona Forever

The Sun wrote on August 22:

“[The] CORONAVIRUS will be in Britain FOREVER and people will need regular [repeated] vaccinations, a former chief scientific adviser [Professor Sir Mark Walport] has warned today… And he said the pandemic will be controlled by ‘global vaccination’ but that it is not ‘going to be a disease like smallpox which could be eradicated by vaccination’.

“His warning comes after the WHO chief said the deadly bug could last for another two years.”

In Corona Times… How the Rich Get Richer…

Fox News wrote on August 21:

“California Gov. Gavin Newsom has been drawing his full monthly salary despite asking state workers in May to take a pay cut to alleviate the state’s burden in fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Though elected state officials are exempt from such pay cuts, Newsom pledged that he would voluntarily slash his salary when he asked state workers to make that same sacrifice. But a Thursday report… revealed that Newsom has continued drawing his full monthly salary… A spokesman for Newsom’s office blamed the matter on an ‘administrative error.’… ‘The reductions for both July and August will be deduced for the next pay period.’…

“PlumpJack, a Northern California-based winery and hospitality company, founded and partly owned by Newsom, was open through early July – well after Newsom ordered all essential business closed in March. Data released by the U.S. Treasury Department also shows that the wine company also received a loan worth $150,000 to $350,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program…”

Jens Spahn’s Further Dictatorial Restrictions

The Associated Press added on August 26:

“People coming home from coronavirus risk areas were offered free tests at airports, train stations and highway stops, allowing them to cut short the required two-week quarantine if their result came back negative. Travelers returning from high-risk areas, which include most countries outside the European Union and some regions inside the bloc, will in the future be required to go into mandatory quarantines for at least five days before taking a test, which may no longer be free unless ordered by a doctor… The change in the country’s testing strategy is also due to Germany’s labs reaching the limits of their capacities, [Health Minister Jens] Spahn said.

“The operators of Frankfurt Airport, Germany’s biggest, criticized the decision to focus on quarantining, rather than testing travelers. Stefan Schulte, the chief executive of Fraport, said the move amounted to a second lockdown for the airline and travel industries. He called on the government to instead improve the existing system of testing travelers from high-risk areas rather than to dismantled it again.”

Until recently, according to an article by Deutsche Welle, dated August 24, “93% of the population thought the measure [of testing and mandatory quarantine] was a reasonable demand to impose.”

However, the mood is changing in Germany. Bild Online wrote on August 25 that the harsh restrictions of the German government do not find acceptance by most Germans. “This is no miracle… It will be difficult to get the approval of the German population for a second lockdown.”

In a related article, Bild Online wrote on August 26: “The confusion is complete and so is the anger of the German citizens. Again new rules, and nobody can figure them out…”

The paper also quoted Jens Spahn as saying that the new rule is mandatory and will be enforced, and those who don’t obey are violating the criminal law.  

New Governmental Restrictions in Germany… and Merkel’s Failure to Unite

 Deutsche Welle wrote on August 27:

 “Chancellor Angela Merkel and Germany’s 16 regional leaders have agreed to ban major public gatherings and impose a national fine for mask shirkers… measures include a minimum fine of €50 ($60) for anyone caught not wearing a mask in shops and on public transport. There was no agreement on limiting the number of participants for private events. Instead, Merkel and the regional leaders asked Germans to ‘critically weigh’ in each individual case whether private celebrations are ‘necessary’ and ‘justifiable.’…

 “Merkel and the regional leaders stressed on Thursday that  ‘covering the mouth and nose in certain public areas is mandatory and must be consistently controlled and sanctioned by public order authorities.’ The return to nationwide decisions also marks a political shift in Germany… 

“The new nationwide measures are already proving controversial.  Whereas some politicians believe consistency is necessary to avoid a confusing patchwork of decisions, others say blanket measures disproportionately affect states with a low coronavirus incidence… Reiner Haseloff of Saxony Anhalt, which registered 16 new cases on Wednesday, has already indicated mask fines will not be implemented in his region… There was no decision on whether to give the green light for Germany’s beloved Christmas markets to operate.”

Berlin Prohibits Demonstrations against Corona Measures

The Associated Press reported on August 26:

“… in Berlin authorities banned several protests planned for the weekend against coronavirus pandemic measures. Officials said that those protesting would likely have breached rules on social distancing designed to stop the spread of the virus.… Berlin’s top security official, Andreas Geisel, welcomed the decision… Geisel said police would act to stop any large gathering of people and indicated that authorities wouldn’t tolerate a tent camp that protesters have erected near the German parliament. ‘I’m not prepared to accept that Berlin is abused a second time as a stage for corona deniers … and right-wing extremists,’ he said.

“Numerous leading figures in the country’s far-right scene, including members of the Alternative for Germany party, had announced they would participate in rallies in Berlin on Saturday. The party’s leader in the Berlin state assembly, Georg Pazderski, criticized the decision to ban the protests, calling it disproportionate and unjustified.”

The reaction of Bild Online to the prohibition was fierce and unusually condemnatory: “This is an unacceptable attack on one of our most important constitutional rights… and political insanity which could hardly be topped…”

Ban on Non-Israelis

JTA wrote on August 24:

“Non-Israeli passport holders who do not come from countries with low coronavirus infection rates will be banned from entering the country until at least Oct. 1. The United States is among those not on the so-called green list of countries with low rates.

“Among non-citizens who can enter the country are nuclear family members of Israelis having lifecycle events such as births and weddings. In addition, thousands of… students have entered Israel in recent days for the start of the school year.

“All Israelis and non-citizens entering the country must go into a two-week isolation, except those that arrive from countries on the so-called green list. That list includes the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy and Germany….”

Equally nonsensical and contradictory measures.

Crazy Global Government Restrictions Because of Fear

The American Institute for Economic Research wrote on or about August 24:

“A mystery for months is how it is that so many governments in so many different places on earth could have adopted the same or very similar preposterous policies, no matter the threat level of the virus, and without firm evidence that interventions had any hope of being effective. In the course of two weeks, traditional freedoms were zapped away in nearly all developed countries. In a seriously bizarre twist, even the silliest policies replicated themselves like a virus in country after country.

“For example, you can’t try on clothing in a store in Texas or in Melbourne, or in London or in Kalamazoo. What’s with that? We know that the COVID bug is least likely to live on fabrics unless I have symptoms of it, sneeze on my handkerchief and then I stuff it in your mouth. The whole thing is a ridiculous mysophobic overreach, like most of the rules under which we live.

“Then there was the inside/outside confusion. First everyone was forced indoors and people were arrested for being outdoors. Later, once restaurants started opening, people were not allowed indoors so eating establishments scrambled to make outdoor dining possible. Are we supposed to believe that the virus lived outside for a while but then later moved inside?

“Or these curfews. So many places have them despite a complete absence of evidence that COVID spread prefers the night to the day. I guess the real point is to put a stop to revelry that might bring people together in a fun way? It’s like all our governments decided on the same day that COVID spreads through smiles and fun, so we have to banish both.

“In Sydney and Los Angeles, and also in Detroit and Miami, you need to wear a mask when you walk in a restaurant but not when you sit. And this 6-foot rule is highly suspect too. It seems to imply that if you get too close to each other, COVID spontaneously appears. At least people seem to believe that…

“In most places too, you have to quarantine two weeks when you arrive from afar, even though it is rare that the virus incubation period is that long…  Oh, and in department stores, you can’t spray perfume to try it out, because surely that spreads COVID – not. Except that there is not one shred of evidence that there is any truth to this. This one seems completely made up, though it is widely imposed.

“The list goes on. The bans of gatherings over 50 outdoors and 25 indoors, the closures of gyms at a time when people need to be getting healthy, the shutting of theaters and bowling alleys but the keeping open of big-box stores – these policies are as ubiquitous as they are unsupported by any science. And we’ve known this for many months…

“The worst case is school closings. They were shut down at the same time all over the world, despite evidence available since at least January that the threat to children is nearly zero. Yes, they do get COVID almost entirely asymptomatically, which is to say they do not get ‘sick’ in the old-fashioned sense of that term. What’s more, they are highly unlikely to spread it to adults precisely because they do not have symptoms… Still governments decided to wreck kids’ lives for an entire season.

“And the timing of it all seems strangely suspicious. All these countries and states implemented this compulsory clown show at the same time, whether cases were everywhere or nowhere.  In the US, this was fascinating to watch. The shutdowns happened all over the country. In the Northeast, the virus had already spread widely toward herd immunity. The South shut down at the same time but the virus wasn’t even there. By the time the virus did arrive, most states in the South had already reopened…

“How can so many governments in the world have simultaneously lost their marbles and abolished the people’s liberties in such a cruel way, while trampling on all rights of property and association? I tend to resist big conspiracy theories on this subject simply because I seriously doubt that governments are smart enough to implement them. From what I can see, these governors and statesmen seem to be making things up in a crazy panic and then sticking with them just to pretend that they know what they are doing… But how can we account for the imposition of so many similarly ridiculous rules at the same time across so many parts of the globe?…

“Why did so many governments go so nuts at once, disregarding their own laws, traditions, and values by bludgeoning their own people with the excuse of science that has turned out to be almost completely bogus? Some people claim conspiracy but a much simpler answer might be that, in their ignorance and stupor, they copied each other out of fear.”

Whether they are acting because of fear or as being part of a conspiracy with secret or not-so-secret talks… the mastermind behind all of this—Satan the Devil—is having a field day…

Non-Gender Awards Show in Berlin

Showbiz411 wrote on August 24:

“Best Actress, Best Actor? No more. At least at the Berlin Film Festival. They’re going non-gender and handing out one acting prize for lead and supporting this winter…

“‘The Berlinale has reorganised the prizes awarded by the International Jury in the Competition. For the first time, the performance awards will be defined in a gender-neutral way. Instead of the awards for the Best Actor and the Best Actress, a ‘Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance’ and a ‘Silver Bear for Best Supporting Performance’ shall each be awarded on a gender-neutral basis.’

“So there’s no longer a distinction between men and women, and all the gradations. Will this become the norm now for all awards shows?…”

How much more stupid will it get?

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer

These Current Events are compiled and commented on by Norbert Link. We gratefully acknowledge the many contributions of news articles from our readership. The publication of articles in this section is not to be viewed as an endorsement or approval as to contents or accuracy of the selected articles, but they are published for the purpose of pointing at worldwide developments in the light of biblical end-time prophecy and godly instruction. Our own comments are provided in italics.

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