This Week in the News

No Deal re German Leopard Tanks

The following articles set forth, chronologically, the recent development pertaining to Germany’s Leopard 2 tanks.

NBC News reported on January 20, 2023:

 “Defense leaders meeting at a U.S. air base in Germany on Friday failed to resolve divisions over providing advanced battle tanks to Ukraine after more than five hours of discussions about sending more military aid to the embattled country in its war with Russia. The defense minister of Poland, which has pledged a company of 14 Leopard tanks on condition that other countries also supply them, said 15 countries that have the German-made Leopards discussed the issue but no decisions were made…

“Germany would need to consent for the tanks to be given to Ukraine, which is not a member of NATO. Despite pleas from Ukrainian officials, Germany has so far resisted mounting pressure to quickly supply Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv, or at least clear the way for other countries, such as Poland, to deliver them from their own stocks. The U.S. has resisted providing its own M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, citing extensive and complex maintenance and logistical challenges with the high-tech vehicle. Washington believes it would be more productive to send German Leopards since many allies have them and Ukrainian troops would need less training than on the more difficult Abrams.

“U.S. and German officials have given mixed signals about whether Germany is hesitant to provide the Leopards unless the U.S. provides Abrams tanks. A U.S. official familiar with White House thinking reiterated that Germany has expressed hesitance to providing its tanks without the U.S. sending Abrams. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the Biden administration deliberations, added that there was some bewilderment in the administration over the German position, since Britain, another NATO ally, has already agreed to provide tanks. But Steffen Hebestreit, a spokesman for the German government, denied that Berlin demanded that the U.S. supply Abrams tanks alongside any shipment of Leopards…

“Ukrainian leaders and supporters of Kyiv have repeatedly criticized Germany for what they see as holding back critical assistance in the war..

“German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that while there was no resolution yet, ‘we will make our decisions as soon as possible.’ He said he had ordered the ministry to look into the tank stocks Germany has so he can be prepared for a possible green light and be able to ‘act immediately.’ Pistorius added that Germany will ‘balance all the pros and contras before we decide things like that. … I am very sure that there will be a decision in the short term but … I don’t know how the decision will look.’”

Deutsche Welle wrote on January 20: “US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Mark Milley expressed doubt that Ukraine would succeed in driving Russian troops out of its territory this year.”

Germany’s position has been sharply criticized by national and international observers, politicians and leaders, as the following articles show.

Germany in Disgrace

Die Welt wrote on January 20:

“The conference of Ukraine supporters is over and Germany is left in a state of disgrace. The new defense minister does not want to promise any tank deliveries, but wants to start by counting how many we still have. The last few months would have been enough time for that…

“After the arms summit at the US air base in Ramstein, the Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Andriy Melnyk sharply criticized the German government for blocking the delivery of main battle tanks. ‘It is a huge disappointment that Germany ducked the subject of leopards,’ said the former Ukrainian ambassador in Germany to WELT AM SONNTAG. ‘The fact that you still want to weigh things up is nothing but a disgrace,’ says Melnyk. Berlin is wasting valuable time with ‘questionable salami tactics’ in arms aid for Ukraine.”

Bild Online wrote on January 20:

“The CDU foreign affairs expert Johann Wadephul (59) is stunned: ‘We are witnessing Germany’s total failure on the international stage.’ He attacks Scholz directly: ‘Either out of stubbornness or cowardice, he leaves Ukraine hanging and leaves behind a pile of fragments.'”

“Germany Is Making Again a Fool of Itself”

t-online wrote on January 20:

“Discontent is growing: the Russian army is slowly advancing in eastern Ukraine, but Germany is counting its Leopard tanks first. A big disappointment

“The endless debate on tanks has long since become an embarrassment for Germany internationally. Chancellor Olaf Scholz is seen as a brakeman in the discussion and does not manage to publicly state his reservations about tank deliveries. And the new Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (both SPD) made statements at the Ramstein meeting that caused even more resentment and incomprehension

“Factually and argumentatively, Pistorius’ statements are… a disaster… Pistorius announced that he would examine the Bundeswehr’s Leopard 2 stocks. He wants to get ahead of the situation and be ready if a decision is made to deliver the main battle tank.

“That is completely incomprehensible. The war has been raging since February 24, 2022, and soon, there was talk of surrendering tanks. Is the Bundeswehr only doing this test now or has it already taken place earlier? In the course of the 100 billion euro ‘special fund’ for the Bundeswehr, the Ministry of Defense must have taken stock. That is why the federal government’s initiative is probably one thing above all: playing for time.

“‘The impression that has occasionally been given that there is a closed coalition and Germany is standing in the way – this impression is wrong,’ said Pistorius.

“The German defense minister is indicating that other countries are also hesitant, not just Germany. But this statement is also extremely strange. There is currently no state that openly supports the Germans on the Leopard issue. Not all states that use the battle tank want to deliver it to Ukraine. But the German veto banning Poles, Finns and Spaniards from exporting their own leopards to Ukraine is a unilateral effort by the Scholz government. It has become lonely around Germany.

“In any case, the communication of the federal government is disastrous, no country jumps to Germany’s side. On the contrary: Great Britain, for example, is now supplying Western main battle tanks just to irritate Berlin…

“President Volodymyr Zelensky’s impatience [is] absolutely understandable… To have Ukraine… begging for tanks is unworthy. Germany has to put up with this accusation, even though it is Ukraine’s third-largest supporter. The alliance continues to look to Scholz on the tank issue – and is waiting for leadership.”

With Scholz and the traffic light government (“Ampel Regierung”), Ukraine—and Europe—can wait a long time for leadership.

 Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung wrote on January 20:

“If the federal government does not see itself in a position to deliver Leopards to Kyiv soon, the traffic light (“Ampel Regierung”) should at least give Poland and Finland the green light to pass on the same fighting machines from their stocks to Kyiv. There is backing from the US for this. And indecision eventually just seems like a farce.”

Südkurier wrote on January 20:

“For almost a year, Ukraine has been asking for main battle tanks. And for almost a year it has been put off by the federal government and put off with changing reasons. Not even the angry look from US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the NATO meeting in Ramstein can dissuade the Germans from their eternal tactics…

“No wonder the NATO partners are reacting with increasing irritation, above all the USA. The Chancellor is said to have coolly informed US President Biden that Germany would only deliver the Leopards if the US went ahead with their Abrams tanks. A little later, Pistorius rowed back – which suggests a harsh response from Washington.

The rift is becoming more and more obvious. Is this what avoiding a German special path that Scholz is talking about looks like?”

Berliner Morgenpost wrote on January 20:

“It is disappointing that Germany is not promising Ukraine any Leopard tanks from its own stocks for the time being. The fact that Scholz announced that an examination of dispensable Leopard reserves at home would only begin now is unabashed – as if there hadn’t been enough time for that.

“But the culmination is that the federal government is even refusing to allow allies, for the time being, to export their Leopard tanks developed in Germany to the Ukraine: This is an unfriendly act that provokes a dramatic loss of confidence among the Allies. The continued hesitation is a strategic mistake. Germany had good reasons not to go alone in increasing arms aid. But now it actually stands alone among important NATO partners – as a procrastinator and brakeman.”

Pforzheimer Zeitung wrote on January 20:

“Germany, so the impression, is becoming increasingly isolated. And Scholz? As always, he refuses to make clear statements. The chancellor remains to be an evasive maneuverer („ein Mensch gewordenes Ausweichmanöver ”).

But… Germany [does] far more for Ukraine… than is commonly assumed—both financially and in terms of arms deliveries. Nobody hears about that. Maybe that will change now with the new Defense Minister Boris Pistorius. Scholz’ weakness has long since meant that Germany has lost its reputation and is no longer considered a reliable partner. This has long-term consequences that go far beyond the war in Ukraine.”

Whether Germany under Scholz will ever get to the point where it will be viewed as a reliable European partner is doubtful. But a new German government will accomplish this in the future.

Germany Gives In, With Ridiculous Excuses

AFP wrote on January 22:

“Germany is ready to authorise Poland to send German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine to help Kyiv fight the Russian invasion if Warsaw makes such a request, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Sunday. ‘If we are asked the question, then we will not stand in the way,’ Baerbock told LCI television after a Franco-German summit meeting in Paris. ‘We know how important these tanks are and this is why we are discussing this now with our partners. We need to make sure people’s lives are saved and Ukraine’s territory liberated.’

“Baerbock, who represents the Greens in Social Democrat Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s ruling coalition, said that Poland had yet to make a formal request. Her comments come as Berlin resists pressure from Kyiv to send some of its own stocks of the Leopard tanks to Ukraine.

“Poland has announced it is ready to deliver 14 Leopard tanks to Kyiv but Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said he was waiting for ‘a clear statement’ from Berlin whether countries that have the Leopards can transfer them to Ukraine.”

Baerbock’s comments are more than embarrassing and laughable.

Poland Formally Requests Transfer of German Tanks to Ukraine

Deutsche Welle wrote on January 24:

“Poland’s defense minister says Warsaw has sent a formal request for Berlin to allow the transfer of German-made Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine… Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki later said he would ask the European Union to reimburse the cost of the tanks… The German government confirmed it had received the request, with a spokesperson saying, ‘We will treat the proceedings with the urgency they deserve.’… Still, Berlin stopped short of granting permission for the transfer, instead saying a decision was imminent…”

Bild Online wrote on January 24:

“Now Chancellor Olaf Scholz (64, SPD) no longer has a choice – he has to make a decision: continue to procrastinate or deliver?… The pressure is great – not only from abroad. Opinions are also divided within the coalition: the FDP and the Greens don’t just want to allow other alliance partners to deliver their German tanks. They want to supply German tanks from German stocks themselves. The Chancellor and large parts of his SPD do not want that…

“The federal government could deliver 29 Leopard tanks to Ukraine – as early as the end of March!… said Rheinmetall boss Armin Papperger (59) in an interview with ‘Stern’… According to BILD information, Rheinmetall also has the right to buy back dozens more Leopards -2 tanks from Finland (100), Poland (142) or Italy. These too could be serviced and delivered within a short time – if the chancellor moves.”

Now It Happens Quickly: Germany to Approve Sending Tanks

Deutsche Welle reported on January 24:

“German news magazine Der Spiegel and others published stories on Tuesday evening saying that the government in Berlin had decided to send Leopard 2 tanks to UkraineSpiegel magazine reported that the decision would involve sending at least one company of Leopard 2A6 tanks…

“One prominent German security observer, Ulrike Franke, wrote on Twitter that she was surprised to see this decision so soon after the Ramstein meeting of defense ministers less than a week ago. ‘… how and why was it impossible to make this happen for Ramstein? Sooo much broken porcelain to in the end arrive here,’ Franke… wrote in response to the news.”

Chancellor Scholz ridiculously claimed on Wednesday that his decision—or the lack thereof–was well-considered over a period of time. Defense Minister Boris Pistorius stated that the first Leopard 2 tanks could be delivered to Ukraine within three months.

Russia’s Angry Reaction

The New York Post wrote on January 24:

“Germany confirmed Wednesday it was sending battle tanks to help Ukraine in the war — which Russia called a ‘disastrous plan’ that it said was part of wider ‘blatant provocation’ led by the US… It is seen as a major turning point in Western support as it is the first supply of weapons that have a mainly offensive rather than defensive purpose…

“German military officials, meanwhile, noted the painful historic significance for Germany, given the horrors of World War II. ‘German-made tanks will face off against Russian tanks in Ukraine once more,’ said Ekkehard Brose, head of the German military’s Federal Academy for Security Policy…

“Recent opinion polls showed German voters split on the idea, and two opposition parties criticized the move. The far-right Alternative for Germany party called the decision ‘irresponsible and dangerous,’ saying that “Germany risks being drawn directly into the war as a result.’ The Left party also warned of a possible escalation in the conflict.”

The U.S. Sun wrote on January 24:

“One high-profile Putin mouthpiece demanded Berlin’s Bundestag parliament should be reduced to radioactive ash in retaliation. It comes after dithering German chancellor Olaf Scholz folded to international pressure and direct pleas from president Volodymyr Zelensky. He will now send a squadron of Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, and allow Nato allies to re-export dozens more.

“The Kremlin today hit back saying any tanks supplied by Germany and the US will ‘burn like all the rest’. And raging Moscow TV pundit Yevgeny Satanovsky said warheads should be launched on the centre of German democracy.

“He said: ‘German tanks with crosses on their armour will again march across Ukraine attacking Russian soldiers. I have a natural reaction to this – the Soviet Union bombed Berlin in 1941. And to me this is a signal that the Reichstag, or Bundestag, which now replaces the Reichstag, simply should not remain standing any longer. Flat, slightly radioactive, melted-down ground [will remain in its place].’

“Another of Putin’s favourite propagandists, TV host Vladimir Solovyov, claimed it meant Germany had joined the war. He ranted ‘It’s time to send a clear, resolute message that we now consider Germany a direct party to the conflict, rekindling memories of World War Two. German tanks appearing [in Ukraine] will definitely mean we consider German territory, military bases and other sites as legitimate targets.’…

“Meanwhile, Joe Biden was poised to approve sending around 30 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine… It is a major reversal after Washington argued against sending its premier battle tank into the conflict with Russia…  However, despite the U-turn, it could still take months or even years for the tanks to be delivered.”

Germany’s Post-War Planning

TRT World wrote on January 20:

“In 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula, Boris Pistorius was among many German politicians who opposed western sanctions on Moscow. Nearly a decade later, Pistorius is the new German Defence Minister, a job he has been thrust into amid Russia’s nearly year-long assault on Ukraine… Pistorius’ post, reportedly declined by several other politicians sounded out by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, is unenviable for different reasons, including the huge task of reforming the underfunded German military structure.

“…  the Russian attack on Ukraine ‘undermined’ the SPD’s soft approach toward Moscow, leading to a change of heart in many people holding senior positions in the leftist party, like Pistorius…

“While Pistorius had connections with political circles close to former Chancellor Gerhard Schroder –  a Social Democrat close to Russian President Vladimir Putin –  he is not pro-Russian… Pistorius is from a leftist political tradition that has long advocated good relations with Russia for political and economic reasons…  Pistorius’s appointment might signal that Germany seeks a kind of post-war realignment with Russia… Germany desperately hopes to see the end of the Ukraine war, and in that sense, Pistorius’s appointment might make perfect sense to lay out Germany’s post-war planning…”

Ukraine and Russia will unite, and Germany will try to create again a friendly relationship with them, but ultimately, it will not work out.

Bundeswehr to Become Most Powerful Army in Europe?

Euro Weekly News wrote on January 22:

“Boris Pistorius, the new German Defence Minister, on Saturday, January 21, announced his plan to turn the Bundeswehr into the most powerful army in the European Union… ‘Germany is the largest economy in Europe, so it should also be our goal to have the strongest and best-equipped army in the EU. However, this cannot be done in three years, it will take a few more years. My job is now to set the course for the turning point to succeed’, he told the news outlet [Bild am Sonntag].

“When asked by the German publication what resources the Bundeswehr needed most urgently, he responded: ‘Everything has to happen at the same time now: the procurement of weapons and equipment, the modernisation of the barracks, and the recruitment of personnel. Also, the troops have to feel that you trust them and are grateful for what they do.’”

Germans Still Pacifists?

The Local wrote on January 20:

“As Ukraine and Germany’s NATO allies wait on Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s decision about whether to send modern Leopard tanks to Ukraine, the German government has been accused of dragging its feet and wasting valuable time as more Ukrainians die in Russian attacks.

“Some political observers have argued that Scholz is simply following the will of German voters, who tend to have strongly pacifist tendencies, and would prefer he stay cautious on delivering tanks. But polls conducted over the last year show us a society that’s quickly changing its opinions on military force, and on supporting Ukraine with weapons.

“One recent poll by public broadcaster ARD finds a fairly even split among German voters on whether to send Ukraine tanks, with slightly more in favour (46 percent), than against (43 percent). To be sure, that signals that there’s still a sizeable pacifist tendency among ordinary Germans. But only one year ago, just before Russia invaded Ukraine, 73 percent of Germans were against sending any weapons—of any kind—to Ukraine at all.

“Things changed very quickly after the invasion, with 78 percent of Germans in one Forza poll at the time responding that sending weapons to Ukraine, particularly air defence, was the right thing to do.

“Recent polls do show that Germans are a little more reluctant to send heavier weapons—like tanks. But to have a slight plurality in favour of sending heavy-duty tanks when so many were against sending any weapons at all just a year ago shows just how much the invasion of Ukraine has changed German society… it’s getting harder to say that Germany is a pacifist society in general.”

Germany’s move to its militaristic past is only a matter of time.

Rumble Shuts Down in France

Western Standard wrote on January 21:

“Online video platform Rumble will be shutting down in France after the government demanded it remove Russian news outlets from the platform. ‘Users with unpopular views are free to access our platforms on the same terms as our millions of other users,’ said Rumble in a Tuesday statement. ‘Accordingly, we have decided to disable access to Rumble for users in France while we challenge the legality of the government’s demands.”’

“Rumble was founded in 2013 by technology entrepreneur Chris Pavlovski. It hosts a number of conservative public figures who have been censored by other social media platforms… Rumble said as part of its mission to restore a free and open internet, it has ‘committed not to move the goalposts on our content policies.’

“The statement said the decision will not have a material effect on the company, as France represents less than 1% of users. It said the French people will lose access to a wide range of videos because of the government’s demands…”

Thema News added on or about January 21:

“‘The French Government has demanded that Rumble block Russian news sources,’ [Rumble CEO Chris] Pavlovski said Wednesday. ‘Like Elon Musk, I won’t move our goalposts for any foreign government. Rumble will turn off France entirely (France isn’t material to us) and we will challenge the legality of this demand.’

“Pavlovski’s mention of Musk, the new owner of Twitter, referenced the billionaire’s refusal in March to block Russian news sources from his Starlink satellite internet service, which he provides free for Ukraine amid its invasion by Russia (At the time, Musk wrote: “Starlink has been told by some governments (not Ukraine) to block Russian news sources. We will not do so unless at gunpoint. Sorry to be a free speech absolutist.”)

“European nations have attempted to silence any pro-Russian news sources amid the war, which began in February. RT, the Moscow-controlled television network previously known as Russia Today, was essentially purged from western nations in the wake of the invasion. The European Union and Canada all banned the network, and it shut down U.S. production after major U.S.-based social media platforms blocked its content, cable and streaming services dropped its programming, and Apple and Microsoft removed its app from their offerings.

“While RT France and Sputnik were already banned from airing on television or online in France and elsewhere in the EU, they got around the sanctions by putting their content on social media platforms not based in the European Union.”

And Now… Newsmax Being Censored

Newsmax reported on January 25:

“At midnight Tuesday, AT&T’s DirecTV cut Newsmax’s signal, immediately shutting the network off from more than 13 million customers of the satellite service, DirecTV Stream, and U-Verse. This is the second time in the past year AT&T has moved to cancel a conservative channel, with DirecTV deplatforming OAN in April.

“Despite Newsmax being the 4th highest-rated cable news channel in the nation, a top 20 cable news channel overall, and watched by 25 million Americans on cable alone, according to Nielsen, DirecTV said it was taking the step as a ‘cost-cutting’ measure and would never pay Newsmax a cable license fee.

“DirecTV pays cable license fees to all top 75 cable channels and to all 22 liberal news and information channels it carries. Almost all of these channels are paid hefty license fees significantly more than Newsmax was seeking — and despite the fact that most of the channels have much lower ratings than Newsmax. ‘This is a blatant act of political discrimination and censorship against Newsmax,’ Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax said. ‘The most extreme liberal channels, even with tiny ratings, get fees from AT&T’s DirecTV, but Newsmax and OAN need to be deplatformed,’ Ruddy added.

“Last week, as news spread in Congress that AT&T DirecTV was moving to deplatform Newsmax, 41 Republican congressmen led by Rep. Wesley Hunt, R-Texas, sent a letter to the CEOs of AT&T, DirecTV, and hedge fund TPG Capital, the minority operator of the satellite system, warning of hearings.

“The members of Congress also demanded to know why conservative media was being targeted for censorship, with the letter noting the House is ‘deeply concerned about this undemocratic assault on free speech.’…

“AT&T DirecTV’s decision to drop OAN and Newsmax comes on the heels of a February 2021 letter written by Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and then-Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., demanding that cable and satellite TV providers explain their alleged role in the ‘spread of dangerous misinformation’ by carrying conservative networks. After the Eshoo and McNerney letter, in April 2022, AT&T removed OAN from DirecTV.

“About the same time, the Biden administration speedily approved AT&T’s proposed $43 billion merger of its WarnerMedia division with Discovery…

“As news reports indicated the likelihood of a Newsmax deplatforming Tuesday night, DirecTV representatives made false claims to the media about Newsmax and its negotiations. DirecTV falsely claimed to media outlets that Newsmax is asking for a fee but still wants to keep a free stream on OTT platforms…”

More Unclean Ingredients in Europe’s Food

Report 24 wrote on January 16, 2023:

Looking at the ingredient list should be part of grocery shopping. EU citizens who do not want to ingest insects unknowingly should be particularly careful: the EU Commission has already approved four types of insects in different processing forms as ‘edible insects’. The most recent approval was on January 5: From now on, after mealworms, grasshoppers and crickets, the grainmold beetle (“Getreideschimmelkaefer”) can also be used as an ingredient in foods such as bread, soups, pasta, snacks, peanut butter and chocolate products…

“The mealworm received the first approval for a so-called ‘edible insect’ in June 2021…

“Where insects are used, there must be a statement on the packaging of the food that consumption may cause allergic reactionsin people with known allergies to crustaceans and mollusks and their products and to house dust mites (“Hausstaubmilben”).

“…In November 2021, approval followed for…frozen, dried and powdered…migratory locusts (Wanderheuschrecken”)…

“Since 2022 and 2023 respectively, the house cricket… has been permitted in various forms (frozen, dried and powdered)…

“[From] January 5… the grainmold beetle (“Getreideschimmelkaefer [is] [approved] in frozen, paste, dried and powdered forms.”

The article ending, “Klaus Schwab Says Bon Appetit!,” gives a detailed listing of which products may have any or all of these “food additives”. These include:

Cookies, pasta, bread, rolls, soups, sauces, sausages, salads, chocolate, nuts, crackers, peanut butter, meat preparations, and beer-like alcoholic beverages. A thorough review of the list of ingredients is recommended.

Conspiracy Between White House and Justice Department to Hide the Biden Scandal

Breitbart wrote on January 20:

“The plot to hide the scandal, initially designed by eight of Biden’s closest confidants with apparent approval from the Justice Department, was suddenly leaked to CBS News 68 days after Biden’s personal attorney unearthed the classified documents at the Penn Biden Center. It is unclear why or what Biden’s personal attorneys were originally seeking at the center funded in part by anonymous Chinese donations.

“According to the New York Times, there is suspicion within the White House about how the scandal became public after it had been tightly under wraps for weeks between Biden’s eight aides and the Justice Department. Despite the administration’s claims of transparency after the fact, those eight aides and the DOJ agreed to hide the scandal from the American people until it leaked to the press on January 9, sixty-eight days after the documents were unearthed by an unknown cause on November 2, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

“The president’s senior adviser Anita Dunn was initially ‘adamant’ about hiding the legal disaster from the press because ‘the only thing that would create legal exposure would be drawing public attention to it,’ the Times reported Friday. The plot to keep the scandal concealed from the public was further fueled because the aides worried ‘the very act of publicizing the discovery of the documents would create a political furor that would make the appointment of a special counsel unavoidable.’

“‘The quiet cooperation continued for weeks’ between the aides and the DOJ, which not only tried to obscure the scandal from public view but refused to divulge that the second trove of classified documents was already unearthed at Biden’s home in Wilmington when CBS News first contacted the White House about the initial leak of classified documents apparently illegally stored at the Biden Penn Center, according to the Post.

“Biden’s personal attorneys were not the individuals who sought to unearth more documents at Biden’s residence. The Times reported the widened search was demanded by the DOJ. After about 25 classified documents — some of which are top secret — were found between three locations, the DOJ appointed a special counsel, a move Biden’s aides reportedly were trying to prevent…”

This is SO perverse.

FBI Finds More Classified Documents

The Associated Press wrote on January 22:

“The FBI searched US President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday and located six additional documents containing classified markings and also took possession of some of his notes, the president’s lawyer said Saturday.

“The president voluntarily allowed the FBI into his home, [later, the White House claimed that Biden’s attorneys requested the search] but the lack of a search warrant did not dim the extraordinary nature of the search. It compounded the embarrassment to Biden…

“Though Biden has maintained ‘there’s no there there,’ the discoveries have become a political liability… and they undercut his efforts to portray an image of propriety to the American public…”

… And Now Pence…

ABC News wrote on January 24:

“Classified documents have been found in the home of former Vice President Mike Pence and turned over to the FBI for review…  The revelation makes Pence the third high-profile official to have classified material discovered at their residence in recent months, after Biden and former President Donald Trump…

“Pence had engaged outside counsel on Jan. 16 to review records that were stored in his home… The materials seemed to have been ‘inadvertently boxed and transported’ to Pence’s home, [Pence’s attorney] wrote, and he had been ‘unaware’ of their existence…

“Pence previously told ABC News’ David Muir that he did not retain any classified information after leaving office… ‘There’d be no reason to have classified documents, particularly if they were in an unprotected area.’…

“Lawmakers on the Senate Intelligence Committee reacted more colorfully. Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va. [and] Florida’s Marco Rubio, the ranking Republican member… agreed there may be ‘systemic problems’ in how the executive branch deals with classified documents and over-classifications.”

The nonchalant attitude towards top secret documents of all involved (and possibly many more who have not been identified yet) is frightening.  

More Appalling Evidence—Team Biden Used Big Tech to Censor

On January 23, The New York Post published the following article by Jeff Landry (R), Louisiana’s Attorney General:

“… as we dig deeper into discovery in our Big Tech censorship case — Missouri and Louisiana v. Biden — we uncover ever-more truly appalling abuses of power that President Joe Biden’s director of digital strategy, Rob Flaherty, admitted come from ‘the highest (and I mean highest) levels of the’ White House.

“Such evidence proves the Biden administration is leveraging its power to coerce social-media companies to suppress the speech of thousands, if not millions, of Americans who disagree with its political narratives.

“Naturally, the First Amendment prohibits censorship. Yet the Biden team has worked to circumvent this fundamental constitutional protection by inducing, threatening and colluding with private companies to suppress speech. It’s illegal; but when Big Government enters into such a conspiracy with Big Business to violate your rights, it’s also known by another name: fascism.

“While that word may conjure up images of World War II, we must remember the horrors of that conflict’s end have blinded us to the subtlety of the start. And who needs to burn books when you have algorithms?

“Either way, totalitarianism cannot tolerate free thought or speech any more than a petulant Flaherty can tolerate a tech company showing even a moment’s hesitation at fulfilling Biden’s demands for increased censorship. When Facebook didn’t answer one of his emails in a chain demanding the company take down a Tucker Carlson video, after it told him ‘it does not qualify for removal,’ Flaherty sent a one-line followup: ‘These questions weren’t rhetorical.’…

“The trouble is totalitarianism requires a ruthless conformity and complete allegiance to the cause of the state without argument. That pattern of behavior, and utter contempt for our Constitution, is blatantly obvious in Flaherty’s hostile emails to Facebook, Twitter and Google.

“‘As we move away from a supply problem toward a demand problem,’ Flaherty wrote to seven employees of YouTube parent Google in April 2021, ‘we remain concerned’ YouTube ‘is “funneling” people into hesitance and intensifying people’s hesitancy’ about the vaccine…

“Flaherty knows what he’s doing is wrong… But that never stops him or other Biden officials from coercing, conspiring and colluding with tech companies in illegal conduct.

“He even uses some platforms to intimidate others, suggesting to Google he’s getting less pushback from other ‘platform partners’ of ‘similar scale’…

“No one is exempt, no matter [the] political party or creed. This administration is determined to control all flow of information and keep the populace ignorant to any message outside its chosen narrative.

“Tucker Carlson, who hosts one of the highest-rated prime-time cable-news programs, has been censored. Robert Kennedy Jr., a US attorney general’s son and a president’s nephew, has been censored

… our First Amendment… is the vanguard against fascism and totalitarianism. This is why our lawsuit is so important. It… reminds the world such dangerous threats to American liberty shall not be tolerated — not even if they come from Pennsylvania Avenue.”

George Soros the Most Dangerous Man in America?

The New York Post wrote on January 23:

“George Soros is the most dangerous man in America. The investor is intent on remaking the country in his liberal image, from our foreign policy priorities to undermining our criminal justice system…

“A new report from the Media Research Center has exposed connections between billionaire liberal financier George Soros and 54 prominent media figures. As documented by its authors, Joseph Vazquez and Dan Schneider, these include reporters, anchors, columnists, editors, news executives and journalists.

“The highest-profile media figures revealed to have connections to Soros, often due to them sitting on boards of organizations he funds, include:

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour sits on the board of the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative journalism group funded by Soros, that critics charge mainly targets Republican fundraisers. NBC’s Lester Holt, the Washington Post’s Sally Buzbee, Associated Press executive editor Julie Pace, and Reuters editor-in-chief Alessandra Galloni all sit on the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists, a Soros-funded organization that purports to defend the rights of journalists.

“CBS’s Margaret Brennan and CNN’s Fareed Zakaria serve on the board of the massively influential Council on Foreign Relations, a Soros-backed think tank specializing in US foreign policy.

“NBC’s chairman Cesar Conde is on the board of the Aspen Institute, a Soros-backed think tank. In recent years, it launched a left-leaning commission to combat so-called disinformation, and was implicated in the suppression of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story in the recently released Twitter files. NPR’s president and CEO John Lansing is connected by the direct funding Soros gives his publication.

“PolitiFact editor-in-chief Angie Dronbic Holan serves on the board of the Soros-backed International Fact-Checking Network, which has openly pressed Facebook to censor what it considers misinformation (i.e., anything that goes against the liberal narrative), and serves as the ‘high body’ for dozens of fact-checking organizations under its umbrella.

“And it shows in their coverage. Not only does Soros fund the media to push his radical-left agenda, his funding has the added effect of insulating him from criticism

“During the Brett Kavanaugh hearings in 2018, the Soros-funded ThinkProgress called reports that  Soros was paying people to protest against then-President Donald Trump an ‘anti-Semitic conspiracy theory,’ and accused Trump himself of ‘getting in on the anti-Semitic action.’ Meanwhile, Soros was spending $5 million on the effort to thwart Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, and his accuser Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyer Debra Katz was vice chair of the Project on Government Oversight, which has been directly funded by Soros’ Open Society Foundations.

“NPR has received nearly $2 million from Soros in the past to hire up to 100 new reporters. When Spanish language broadcaster Radio y Televisión Martí ran a 15-minute segment on the influence of Soros, warning that he has his ‘eyes on Latin America,’ NPR branded it ‘taxpayer-funded anti-Semitism against George Soros’

“This ‘Any criticism of Soros is anti-Semitic’ narrative has naturally spread to other left-wing publications, such as the Associated Press, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and seemingly everywhere else. So mindless is this type of charge that one publication, Moment Magazine, accused the Jewish prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, of anti-Semitism for daring to criticize Soros.

“Soros went into overdrive in funding his media empire in the Trump era, with other research from the MRC finding that from 2016 to 2020, Soros dished out at least $131 million to influence at least 253 journalism and activist media groups to promote far-left views on abortion, economics, the police, environmentalism, LGBT ideology, and anti-Americanism. A common strategy for when those outlets report on any misdeeds of Soros is to frame the allegations as ‘conspiracy theories’ from people with sinister motives…

“Publications that employ journalists that also serve on Soros-funded boards include the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun, CNN, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, ABC News, the Sacramento Bee and countless more.

“Others will simply downplay any alleged wrongdoing or accept Soros’ counternarrative without question…”

Sebastian Kurz a Globalist?

Report 24 wrote on January 20:

“As is well known, Sebastian Kurz was and is a member of the WEF’s Young Global Leaders program and as such is considered a close confidant of Klaus Schwab. The extent to which he represents his agenda and concerns or how he represented it as Chancellor of Austria can only be speculated on, as there is of course no definitive evidence or an admission. Kurz was also active in George Soros’ important think tank, the European Council for Foreign Relations.

“So we can rightly consider him as a part of the globalist jet set. His visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos proves that this classification is correct. He openly shows on his Twitter appearance how well connected he is in the world of globalists…”

It is amazing what is all happening behind the scene, of which the in many respects “willfully ignorant” general public has no concept.

Trump: “Don’t Cut Medicare and Social Security”

Breitbart wrote on January 20:

“Former President Donald Trump warned Republicans not to vote for any cuts to social security or medicare as lawmakers spar over the debt ceiling. ‘Under no circumstances should Republicans vote to cut a single penny from medicare or social security to help pay for Joe Biden’s reckless spending spree, which is more reckless than anybody’s ever done or had in the history of our country,’ Trump began at the start of his latest campaign video, released Friday. He emphasized that Biden and the Democrats have ‘wasted trillions on left-wing lunacy’ and that they have ‘thrown open our treasury and our borders to migrants from all over the world.’

“‘While we absolutely need to stop Biden’s out-of-control spending, the pain should be borne by Washington bureaucrats, not by hardworking American families and American seniors,’ said the 45th president, adding that seniors have been ‘absolutely destroyed in the last two years.’

“On Friday, Trump highlighted that cuts could be made on a number of fronts, including cutting ‘hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars going to corrupt foreign countries,’ cutting ‘the mass releases of illegal aliens that are depleting our social safety net and destroying our country,’ ending radical gender programs in the military and nixing reckless funding on ‘climate change extremism.’

“‘Cut waste, fraud, and abuse everywhere that we can find it, and there’s plenty of it, but do not cut the benefits our seniors worked for and paid for their entire lives. Save social security, don’t destroy it,’ he warned.”

Hopefully, Republicans will heed this warning.

Trump Fines for “Frivolous” Lawsuit Against Clinton

Newsmax wrote on January 20:

“A federal judge on Thursday sanctioned former President Donald Trump and attorney Alina Habba nearly $1 million for filing a ‘frivolous’ lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and other Democrats. U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks of Southern Florida ruled that Trump, Habba and Habba Madaio & Associates were liable for $937,989 in the suit, which he dismissed in September. ‘This case should never have been brought,’ Middlebrooks, who was appointed by then-President Bill Clinton, wrote… ‘Its inadequacy as a legal claim was evident from the start. No reasonable lawyer would have filed it. Intended for a political purpose, none of the counts of the amended complaint stated a cognizable legal claim.’…

“In March, Trump sued Clinton, who was his opponent in the 2016 presidential election, and several other Democrats, alleging that they tried to rig that election by tying his campaign to Russia. Middlebrooks in November sanctioned Habba and three other attorneys for their handling of the since-dismissed lawsuit. They were ordered to pay a $50,000 court penalty, along with more than $16,000 in attorney fees to one of the named defendants in Trump’s lawsuit.

“In Thursday’s order, Middlebrooks ordered Trump and Habba to cover the legal costs for the 31 defendants linked to the lawsuit.

“The judge also called out Trump in the order… ‘Mr. Trump is a prolific and sophisticated litigant who is repeatedly using the courts to seek revenge on political adversaries. He is the mastermind of strategic abuse of the judicial process, and he cannot be seen as a litigant blindly following the advice of a lawyer. He knew full well the impact of his actions.’”

Without stating an opinion on the veracity of the judge’s decision, the fact that the judge was appointed by Bill Clinton raises more than an eyebrow and should perhaps have induced the judge to recuse himself as being potentially biased.

Trump’s Accuser Accused

The Washington Free Beacon wrote on January 23:

“Charles McGonigal, who led the FBI’s counterintelligence division in New York, is accused of violating U.S. sanctions on behalf of Oleg Deripaska, a Russian aluminum magnate with close ties to Vladimir Putin… McGonigal, who was arrested on Monday, allegedly received $225,000 from a former Russian intelligence officer while he was still employed by the FBI.

“The indictment marks a surprising twist given McGonigal’s involvement with the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s links to Russia. As a top counterintelligence official, McGonigal was one of the first individuals at the FBI to learn that a Trump campaign adviser had discussed Hillary Clinton’s emails with a foreign diplomat. The FBI opened its investigation of the Trump campaign based on that conversation, but later found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“McGonigal, who left the FBI in 2018, was involved in the bureau’s probe of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page… It is unclear what other involvement McGonigal had in the Trump-Russia probe. But that investigation also scrutinized Deripaska’s relationship with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Manafort and Deripaska had business dealings in Ukraine and maintained contact during the 2016 campaign.

Deripaska also has ties to former British spy Christopher Steele, who alleged in an infamous dossier that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election. The FBI relied heavily on Steele’s dossier for its investigation, but failed to verify the collusion allegations. Deripaska once hired Steele to work on a ‘research project’ on his behalf.”

Pelosi Summoned Priests for Exorcism

Breitbart reported on January 22:

“Nancy Pelosi summoned Catholic priests to perform an exorcism of her San Francisco townhouse to rid it of evil spirits, TMZ reported Sunday.

“The former Speaker of the House and her daughter, Alexandra, delivered the news in an interview with Maureen Dowd of the New York Times published Saturday…

“Pelosi has made a point of describing herself as a ‘devout’ Catholic, despite her wholehearted advocacy of abortion in flagrant opposition to Church teaching.”

Saudi Arabia Insists on Two-State Solution

The Times of Israel wrote on January 20:

“Saudi Arabia will not normalize ties with Israel in the absence of a two-state solution with the Palestinians, the kingdom’s top diplomat has said, according to a tweet by the foreign ministry on Friday.

“The comments by Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed normalization with Saudi Arabia in talks with White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Jerusalem on Thursday. ‘True normalization and true stability will only come through… giving the Palestinians a state,’ Prince Faisal told Bloomberg at the summit.”

Saudi Arabia (“Ishmael” in the Bible) will turn against Israel.

Controversy Between Biden and Netanyahu Inevitable

The Jewish News Syndicate (JNA) wrote on January 18:

“… with Netanyahu back in power, the pressure on Biden to start acting like his old boss Barack Obama and go to war with Netanyahu is getting harder to ignore… many Americans… like Biden… claim to love Israel but only on their own terms. They only think Israel deserves support as long as it obeys orders from Washington and acts as if it is a deep blue colony of liberal Jews living abroad, rather than a Jewish state filled with people with their own ideas, and who understand that they live in the Middle East and not the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

“… if there’s anything that we’ve learned about Biden’s presidency, it’s that he has steadily drifted to the left for fear of offending the activist and intersectional base of his party. That’s been evident on a host of issues, ranging from illegal immigration to his bending of the knee to the Black Lives Matter movement and the imposition of the hard-left’s DEI—diversity, equity and inclusion—-catechism throughout the government.

“For now, Biden is too committed to doubling down on an endless and unwinnable war in Ukraine to want to get drawn into a battle over who should govern Israel. But as the Israeli left turns up the volume on its anti-Bibi resistance effort, the idea that America has a ‘duty’ to save Israel from itself will be gaining more and more support in the liberal corporate media. The fact that distorted coverage of Israeli judicial reform is already getting more attention in the American press than Iranian executions of dissidents is a sign of what is to come.

“And as the 2024 presidential race begins in earnest later this year, Biden’s need to curry favor with his party’s left wing will make him less, not more, likely to avoid fights with the Jewish state. Whether the excuse concerns the Palestinians or Israeli efforts to stop Iran, it won’t be easy for Netanyahu to avoid such battles.

“Yet those who are eager for Biden to start ratcheting up the pressure on Netanyahu have short memories. Obama spent his eight years in the White House constantly plotting to undermine and defeat Netanyahu. But each time he did so, he only strengthened the prime minister.

“Netanyahu has many political enemies at home, but those who want to save Israel from itself always forget that its citizens have little interest in accepting diktats from American presidents or liberal Jews who want a fantasy Israel rather than the real one. The more Biden leans on Netanyahu or tries to influence the debate in the Jewish state, the less likely it is that the prime minister will be beaten.”

The relationship between the USA and Israel WILL deteriorate more and more.

Church of England Apologizes to LGBT

Newsmax wrote on January 20:

“Church of England bishops apologized to LGBTQI+ people on Friday for the rejection and hostility they have faced… ‘We have not loved you as God loves you, and that is profoundly wrong,’ the bishops said in an open letter… ‘The occasions on which you have received a hostile and homophobic response in our churches are shameful and for this we repent.’

“The Church of England, central to one of the world’s oldest Christian institutions, the Anglican communion, stood by its teaching that marriage is between ‘one man and one woman’ in the proposals. Gay marriage was legalized in Britain in 2013. A spokesperson for gay and transgender lobby group Stonewall said the Church of England had ‘once again’ fallen short on being inclusive and supportive of LGBTQ+ Christians.”

Church of England Departs Further From the Biblical Truth

Life Site News wrote on January 19:

“The Church of England approved blessings for same-sex civil unions for the first time… Although stopping short of allowing a full-blown, solemn church wedding for same-sex couples, the Anglican bishops of England are allowing church blessings for gay and lesbian civil unions that will include ‘prayers of dedication, thanksgiving and God’s blessing following a legal marriage ceremony.’ The matter will be reviewed next month in a General Synod of the bishops in London.

“Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby defended the new policy. ‘This response reflects the diversity of views in the Church of England on questions of sexuality, relationships and marriage,’ he said in a statement. ‘I rejoice in that diversity and I welcome this way of reflecting it in the life of our church.’…

“Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell went so far as to speak of the Church of England’s casting off the biblical teaching on homosexuality as repentance from sin. ‘We are deeply sorry and ashamed and want to take this opportunity to begin again in the spirit of repentance which our faith teaches us,’ Cottrell said… ‘I hope that these prayers of love and faith can provide a way for us all to celebrate and affirm same-sex relationships.’…

“The new stance of Anglican bishops in England followed an unprecedented intervention this week by Penny Mordaunt, the leader of the House of Commons who in a letter to the bishops pressured the Church of England to allow ‘parishes and clergy to conduct weddings for same-sex couples, or at a minimum, authorize blessings…’

“After the bishops’ decision, former cabinet minister Ben Bradshaw threatened that since the Church of England was still not allowing full solemn Church weddings for same-sex couples, it should lose its ‘established status… Many members across this House, I would judge a majority, believe that by continuing to exclude lesbian and gay people from its full rights, the church is no longer compatible with its established status, which confers the duty to serve the whole nation.’

“It is perhaps not surprising that the Church of England, which broke from Rome over the question of Henry VIII’s desire to divorce and remarry, has now departed even further from Christ’s teaching and that of Scripture on sexual morality and marriage. In Germany, the Catholic bishops appear set on a similar course.”

Severe Winter Storms Divine Punishment?

Israel Today’s Staff wrote on January 19:

Official Palestinian daily suggests winter storms that devastated the United States were consequence of White House support for LGBT movement…  In late December, the US was hit by severe winter storms–dubbed by many the ‘North Pole bomb’–that claimed the lives of over 100 people. Writing for the official Palestinian Authority daily newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Iraqi columnist Hadi Jalo Mar’i noted that this unprecedented storm struck just hours after the Biden White House was illuminated with the colors of the gay flag in celebration of passing a same-sex marriage bill.

“[He wrote:] ‘…it is our right to reject and condemn any idea and behavior that contradicts human nature, and to wonder what is the secret that causes governments of states that control the world and lead it to defend homosexuality, and even sexual perversion, and to legislate laws defending abominable behavior that contradicts the way of nature and appropriate behavior. All we have to do is to wait and see how much nature’s fury will intensify, according to the will of Heaven…’

“It is not our intention to give credence to the tenets of Islam. But in the matter of homosexuality, their position lines up with that of the Bible, as does their belief that divine punishment befalls nations that promote sinful behavior.”

This is indeed an interesting “coincidence.”

Proselytism Is Pagan?

Israel 365 News wrote on or about January 19:

“On Wednesday, Pope Francis… addressed crowds gathered for his weekly general audience that convincing someone from another religion to become Christian is a ‘pagan’ practice. ‘To evangelize is not to proselytize,’ the pope told crowds gathered in the Vatican… ‘To proselytize is something pagan, it is neither religious nor evangelical.’

“Quoting the late Pope Benedict XVI, who died Dec. 31, Pope Francis said that ‘the church does not proselytize…’

“The pontiff has spoken against proselytizing several times. In the first year of his papacy, in an October 2013 interview with La Repubblica, he said, ‘Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense … I believe in God, not in a Catholic God, there is no Catholic God, there is God and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation.’

“In an interview with Spanish language news outlet Mundo Negro back in mid-December, which was published on January 13, Pope Francis [said:] ‘… the most serious sin that a missionary can have is proselytism. Catholicism is not proselytizing.’

“Pope Francis has specifically forbidden attempts to convert Jews…”

The Church of the Eternal God states the following in its Statement of Beliefs:

“We do not believe in proselytizing. Therefore, we do not seek members by having people standing on street corners or going around neighborhoods knocking on doors. We carry out our various projects in an effort to freely give to all people regardless of their race, nationality, or religious affiliation. We believe in the godly way of helping others…”

We do not proselytize, not because we believe it is “pagan,” but because we believe that God has to call someone for salvation in this day and age, and that we cannot convert anyone.

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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