This Week in the News

Not Under American Command

The Ron Paul Institute wrote on December 23:

“Australia is the latest country to reject a request from the United States to send warships to the Red Sea under the command of the Pentagon’s Operation Prosperity Guardian to protect commercial vessels along the critical maritime trade route from Iran-backed Houthi…Reuters said about twenty countries have signed up for the Pentagon’s new operation. However, several countries, including Australia, Spain, Italy, and France, have rejected the Pentagon’s request to participate in the operation. 

“Spain’s Defence Ministry said it would only participate in NATO-led missions or European-coordinated operations – not ones commanded by the Pentagon… Italy’s Defence Ministry voiced similar concerns…

“The fact that seven major shipping companies… have halted sails through the Red Sea shows their lack of confidence in the US protecting the critical waterway.”

Nation World News wrote on December 26:

France, the Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark have also refused to send their warships against Houthi. One European country after another is refusing to cooperate in ‘Operation Prosperity Guardian, led by America. America is becoming isolated against the Houthis… Many NATO allies do not want to join the Red Sea Task Force. America… itself said that the US did not have enough warships to field against the Houthis… the US does not want to deploy its ships in the Red Sea… America fears that if its ships are attacked, a direct war will start with the Houthis; hence, America is also not sending its ships to Operation Prosperity Guardian. America’s coalition efforts to stop Houthi have proved useless, and in a way, it can be said that Houthi now has control over important waterways like the Red Sea

“If war breaks out in the Red Sea, America will be trapped in a petroleum crisis… America has said that Iran is also involved in this conspiracy… American intelligence agencies have said that without real-time location and guidance, ships cannot be attacked and Iran itself is giving this guidance to Houthi.”

What another debacle for the USA!

Michigan Supreme Court Allows Trump to Stay on the Ballot

 Breitbart wrote on December 27:

 “Former President Donald Trump will remain on the ballot in Michigan after the Michigan Supreme Court rejected an appeal rooted in the Constitution’s ‘Insurrection Clause,’ although on procedural grounds…. It upheld the unanimous ruling of Michigan’s Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel held that the argument… was not ripe (meaning that ruling on it would be premature). 

“However, the Michigan Supreme Court did not delve into whether or not it believed Trump engaged in insurrection as rooted in Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment…. In other words, the legal challenges are still not over.”

Russia Bars Challenger of Putin

Deutsche Welle wrote on December 23:

“Former TV journalist Yekaterina Duntsova has been barred from running in March’s presidential election because of ‘mistakes’ in her application for registration as a candidate, Russian television reported… Duntsova, 40, would have been a challenger to President… Putin, and was planning to run on a platform of ending the war in Ukraine and freeing political prisoners.

“With most Russian opposition figures either behind bars, like high-profile rival Alexei Navalny or outside the country, Putin seems almost certain to win a fifth term as head of state in March, cementing a decades-long grip on power… Had Duntsova’s application been accepted, under Russian election law she would still have to have obtained 300,000 signatures in support of her candidacy, from all across Russia by January 31.”

Surely, the methods employed by Russia to silence a political challenger and the methods employed by the Biden Administration to silence Trump are merely coincidental.

How Corrupt Russia Mistreats and Persecutes Dictator Putin’s Opponents

Newsmax wrote on December 25:

“Jailed Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has been tracked down to a penal colony north of the Arctic Circle… about 1,900 km (1200 miles) north east of Moscow… Navalny’s allies, who had been preparing for his expected transfer to a ‘special regime’ colony, the harshest grade in Russia’s prison system, said he has not been seen by his lawyers since Dec. 6 and raised the alarm about his fate…

“Navalny’s new home, known as ‘the Polar Wolf’ colony, is considered to be one of the toughest prisons in Russia. Most prisoners there have been convicted of grave crimes. Winters are harsh – and temperatures are due to drop to around minus 28 Celsius there over the next week… the prison was founded in the 1960s as part of what was once the GULAG system of forced Soviet labor camps… Lawyer Zhdanov said supporters of Navalny had sent 618 requests for information about his location and suggested that the Russian authorities wanted to isolate Navalny ahead of the March presidential election.

“Navalny… says he has been imprisoned because he is viewed as a threat by the Russian political elite. As a prisoner, he is unable to run in the election. He denies all the charges he has been convicted of and casts Russia’s judicial system as deeply corrupt

“Navalny, now 47, earned admiration from Russia’s disparate opposition for voluntarily returning to Russia in 2021 from Germany, where he had been treated for what Western laboratory tests showed was an attempt to poison him with a nerve agent. Navalny says he was poisoned in Siberia in August 2020…”

Russia is a corrupt dictatorship, and Putin a dictator and war criminal who systematically orders the murder or the incarceration of his opponents. Satan is clearly at work here.

Poland Silencing Governmental Opponents

The Guardian wrote on December 20:

“The new Polish government has gutted the top management of public television, making good on a campaign promise to reform a broadcaster that functioned as a mouthpiece of its rightwing populist predecessor, but also prompting criticism of their methods from some quarters.

“The government led by prime minister, Donald Tusk, was sworn into office last Wednesday…  On [the following] Tuesday, the new parliament adopted a resolution calling for the restoration of ‘impartiality and reliability of the public media’. After the resolution, the new culture minister, Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, announced that the chairs and boards of state television, news and radio had all been removed.

“The vote prompted PiS lawmakers [from the Law and Justice Party, previously in power] to stage a protest outside the headquarters of TVP, the state broadcaster.

“… some questioned the legality of the moves, and cautioned that by acting in such a swift way, the Tusk government risked simply creating its own politicised public television network to replace the old one.

“The debate around public television shows how Tusk will have difficult choices to make as he attempts to enact a radical reform programme. PiS are still a vocal, large opposition voice in parliament, and the party ally Andrzej Duda remains president until 2025 and has veto powers. This leaves the government with a choice of either scaling down or delaying its ambitions, or finding creative legal ways to enact them.”

1930s All Over Again?

Express wrote on December 8:

“Recent developments in the Russo-Ukraine war have had a somewhat sobering effect on Ukraine’s short to mid-term prospects. Their counteroffensive of which so much was perhaps unfairly, expected has proved to be a bit of a damp squib, and the frontlines have barely shifted over the past few months… It’s pretty clear that the Russians are not going to pack it in and go home, and it’s equally clear that the Ukrainians are finding it hard going in their attempts to break the enemy’s lines…

“We also know that North Korea has been shipping ammunition in large quantities and in the required calibres from the east. We also suspect that China has been doing the same, despite their public denials. And then there’s Iran, which has supplied Russia with its Shahed-136/-131 one-way-attack drones (OWA/UAVs) and allowed the Russians to set up manufacturing lines at home to make more.

“… it does seem that the world is now dividing into two defined camps. On the one hand there is the USA and its NATO allies, plus Israel in the Middle East and its Indo-Pacific allies including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines among others.

“On the other side there is Russia, Iran, North Korea, and very probably China, a new ‘Axis of Evil’ if you like. Plus in South America there is Russia’s new best friend Venezuela under the de facto dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro threatening to annex part of neighbouring Guyana, in addition to the loose cannon that is Argentina under… Javier Milei…

“All of which combined appears to be scarily reminiscent of Europe in the 1930s, with the rise of Hitler and Nazi Germany and of Italy and Mussolini, added to the recently established fascist regime of Franco in Spain. And Japan was rattling her sabre in the Pacific and threatening the dominance of the USA.

“Could we be witnessing in plain sight the gearing up for another world conflict?… it can happen by default as well as by design.

“None of which is particularly helpful for Zelensky and Ukraine. Nobody wants to say it, but the Ukrainians are quite clearly fighting NATO’s proxy war against the clear and present danger that is a resurgent Russia under Putin. If Ukraine succumbs to the Russian onslaught, where next? Poland? The Baltic states? If that were to happen then NATO would become directly engaged via Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and the resulting war would be terrible to behold…”

Biggest Crash in Our Lifetime in 2024?

The Daily Mail wrote on December 24:

“… economist… Harry Dent claims the effects of the crash will ‘be obvious’ by May and will slow the economy for over a decade. He told Fox Digital: ‘If I’m right, it is going to be the biggest crash of our lifetime, most of it happening in 2024’… He added: ‘When this asset bubble bursts and the price of everything, especially housing, comes back down to reality, imagine, not only can you buy the house you want at half-off… you can buy twice as nice a house here for the same mortgage you were going to get before…’

“Market bubbles are characterized by a rapid rise in stock prices, before a sharp fall and Dent says that sky-high prices are going to plummet next year… People will be hurt ‘the most’ by the real estate crash, which he says will drop housing prices back to 2012 prices. He said: ‘That’s a 50% crash for the average house, which went down 34% in the last crash, more than the Great Depression, more than any time in history…’”

Germany “Must” Arm Itself!

Bild Online pushed the following on December 23:

“After Defense Minister Boris Pistorius…, more and more politicians and experts are demanding that Germany must prepare for an attack, for example from Russian dictator Vladimir Putin…. The head of the Munich Security Conference Christoph Heusgen… is therefore calling for military spending to be doubled…

“More should be said and taught about the Bundeswehr and war at schools and universities. Teacher President Stefan Düll… wants, among other things, visits by youth officers to schools. He also calls for consideration of whether curricula need to be sharpened ‘with regard to threats, geostrategy and defense preparedness.’”

Indoctrination and invitation to become cannon fodder for our innocent children in schools! What else is new? But it is taking on increasingly dangerous forms.

Erdogan vs. Netanyahu

 The Jerusalem Post wrote on December 27:

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is worse than Adolf Hitler. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan charged as he likened the IDF’s military campaign to oust Hamas from Gaza to the World War II Holocaust….  ‘All sorts of support comes from the United States. And what did they do with all this support? They killed more than 20,000 Gazans,’ he said.

“Netanyahu shot back, ‘Erdogan, who is committing genocide against the Kurds and who holds the world record for imprisoning journalists who oppose his regime, is the last person who can preach morality to us.’ ‘The IDF, which is the most moral army in the world, is fighting to eliminate the most abhorrent and brutal terrorist organization in the world, Hamas-ISIS, which has committed crimes against humanity, and which Erdogan has praised and whose leaders he hosts,’ Netanyahu stated.”

Conscription for Ukraine?

Bild Online wrote on December 23rd:

“Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians living abroad should be mobilized for military service in the fight against Putin’s invading army! The Ukrainian parliament is currently working on a corresponding draft law… There are currently around 700,000 Ukrainians subject to military service living in the EU states. Since the start of the war, around 180,000 Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 60 have fled to Germany alone and are still staying here… The bill is scheduled to be put to the vote in January…

“Already this week, the new Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umjerow … said that next year he wanted to recruit Ukrainians living in Germany between the ages of 25 and 60 into military service at home. Estonia has already stated that it will locate and extradite Ukrainians in the country who are subject to military service…

“Umjewor’s announcement also sparked a discussion in Germany. Justice Minister Marco Buschmann explained… ‘It will not be the case that we are now forcing people into conscription or military service against their will.’ It is good that the war refugees have been accepted. CDU defense expert Roderich Kiesewetter… demanded… that the citizen’s allowance of Ukrainian men who are subject to military service should be reduced. And further: If the men didn’t want to go to the front, they could be deployed in homeland security. That could be clarified in a government agreement.”

Kiesewetter’s statements are simply outrageous. And Ukraine’s planned methods are absolutely condemnable.

German War Tax for Ukraine?

Breitbart wrote on December 25:

“The struggling German population should be forced to pay a Ukraine tax to continue funding the war against Russia, a top economic advisor to the government has argued.

“Monika Schnitzer, the chairwoman of the German Council of Economic Experts, an advisory body to the government known locally as the ‘five sages’ of the economy, declared this week that a special tax to send money to Ukraine should be added to the already hefty income tax levied against the population… The recommendation to introduce a Ukraine tax comes as the public already labours under one of the highest tax rates in the West… The German economy has been deeply impacted by the war in Ukraine…”

How crazy can it get?

More Corruption in Ukraine

Die Welt wrote on December 23:

“A high-ranking Defense Ministry official has been arrested in Ukraine for allegedly embezzling 36 million euros. The money was actually intended for grenades…

“In recent months, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry has been rocked by several corruption scandals. At the beginning of August, Zelensky had already fired all heads of the regional offices responsible for recruiting. He denounced a system that enabled conscripts to be smuggled out of the country.”

One has to wonder where all the money goes which is being sent to Ukraine.

Catholic Bishops Disagree With Pope Francis—Permanent Split Coming?

Fox News wrote on December 23:

“Following the Vatican’s publication of Fiducia Supplicans — a document outlining when individuals in same-sex or otherwise ‘irregular’ couples can be blessed — the worldwide Catholic Church has seen battle lines forming around its application. While early disputations came from African prelates in countries such as Nigeria, Zambia, Cameroon, and Malawi, now Eastern European leaders [from Poland and Ukraine] have joined in dissent.”

African News and the Associated Press reported on December 24:

“In an extraordinary pushback against Pope Francis, some Catholic bishops in Africa, Poland and elsewhere say they will not implement the new Vatican policy allowing blessings for same-sex couples… The reactions show how polarizing the issue remains… Some of the strongest responses came from bishops in Africa, home to 265 million Catholics, or nearly a quarter of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics. Many of those Catholics live and their churches operate in societies where homosexuality is condemned and outlawed.

“Out of the continent’s 54 countries, 31 have laws criminalizing homosexuality, more than any other continent,..

“The Polish bishops conference — among the most conservative in Europe and a reference point beyond the continent given its ties to St. John Paul II — said it has no plans to give blessings to same-sex couples. Marriage, the conference asserted, remains only the union between a man and a woman, and sexual acts outside of that are ‘always an offense against God’s will’…”

Newsmax added on December 22:

“The former head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office called Pope Francis’ recent approval allowing priests to bless same-sex couples blasphemous…. ‘The difficulty of blessing a union or couple is especially evident in the case of homosexuality,’ Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, who led the Vatican’s doctrinal office from 2012 to 2017, wrote in an essay published Thursday by The Pillar. ‘For in the Bible, a blessing has to do with the order that God has created and that he has declared to be good.’…

“Some Catholic leaders… are warning that the pope’s declaration may create a permanent split in the church, pointing to stark disagreements over the issue in the Anglican Communion. Conservative Anglican churches, which include some in Africa where nearly half of the world’s estimated 100 million Anglicans worship, have broken with sister churches that back liberal teaching and views on homosexuality. This includes the Episcopal Church in the United States.

“Further, a dozen leading Anglican archbishops, mainly from the global South, called to break with the Church of England after it decided to allow blessings of gay relationships.’

On the other hand, President Biden and some bishops in Germany welcomed the Pope’s decision to bless homosexual couples.

Francis Speaks Out Against the Weapon Industry

The New York Post wrote on December 25:

“Pope Francis on Monday used his annual Christmas address to push for Mideast peace while blasting weapons makers and their ‘instruments of death’ for helping to fuel such conflicts… Hitting out at the weapons industry, Francis argued that it is fueling conflicts around the globe. The pope called on people to pay more attention to the amount of their tax dollars going to weaponry…. ‘And how can we even speak of peace when arms production, sales and trade are on the rise?’

“Francis went on to say that today’s wars… are simply being used to try out new weapons or use up old stockpiles.”

He also attacked abortion, calling it a massacre and murder.  He is correct on both counts.

UFOs—It’s All Demonic

LifeSiteNews wrote on December 22:

“The popular conservative political commentator Tucker Carlson recently shared his belief that the non-human beings the U.S. government has reportedly encountered are ‘not aliens’ but are ‘spiritual’ in nature… Carlson went on to affirm his belief in both good and evil non-human spiritual beings, although he did not label them outright…

“His interpretation accords with that of Catholic philosopher Daniel O’Connor, who shared with LifeSiteNews last year his thoughts on the ‘diabolical’ nature of reports of UFOs, aliens, and abductions. O’Connor also weighed in on former president Barack Obama’s ‘hope’ that ‘the knowledge that there were aliens out there would solidify people’s sense that what we have in common is really more important,’ and his speculation that ‘new religions would pop up’ in the aftermath of the discovery.

“O’Connor believes Obama would not have talked about the possibility of alien life without ‘permission’ from his ‘handlers,’ and that his statement aligns ‘perfectly’ with what the public is being prepared for. O’Connor told LifeSiteNews editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen that the public is gradually being acclimated to the idea of aliens, like the proverbial frog slowly boiled in a pot of water, so that we may eventually be presented with a ‘new gospel’ from ‘the heavens’ to replace Christ’s Gospel.

“Regarding reports of UFO encounters or alien ‘abductions,’ O’Connor believes ‘it’s all demonic.’” 

See our Q&A on this topic.

Christians Who Do Not Celebrate Christmas

Israel 365 News wrote on December 24:

“…there are a growing number of ministries that have broken with the holiday… Breaking with Christmas was described as returning Christianity to its roots. The two main reasons cited for separating from Christmas were the holiday’s pagan origins and the lack of any Biblical source. Pastor Mark Biltz stopped celebrating Christmas 20 years ago, and he points to the Book of Jeremiah to explain how the Bible views the pagan origins of Christmas. [Jeremiah 10:2] describes a pagan holiday, complete with a decorated tree, that is unacceptable to the prophet. This pagan holiday eventually transformed into Christmas… When Emperor Constantine made Christianity the dominant religion of the Roman Empire, he incorporated many pagan customs, including Saturnalia, in order to accommodate the majority pagan populace… [It] was an ancient custom that the Catholic Church decided would be a great way to get pagans to accept their teachings…

“Separating from Christmas was described by many as part of a larger spiritual process, in some cases deriving from a desire to reconcile with Jewish roots and return to a Biblical understanding of the religion… Pieter and Anneke Leeuwestein from Holland stopped celebrating Christmas but found that despite living in a rural area outside of Amsterdam, they were not alone. ‘In my part of the country there are hundreds of people who do not celebrate Christmas or Easter anymore,’ Anneke said. ‘It wasn’t difficult. After so many years of walking in sin, it felt like coming home’…”

You Must Buy a Christmas Tree?

Deutsche Welle wrote on December 21:

”Friedrich Merz leader of Germany’s conservative opposition CDU on Thursday returned to the contentious topic of defining the country’s ‘Leitkultur’ – which could be translated as ‘guiding’ or ‘leading’ or ‘mainstream’ or even ‘dominant’ culture in English–by suggesting that the purchase of a Christmas tree was an integral part thereof.

“Speaking with the Funke Media Group, the outspoken politician said, ‘When we talk about Leitkultur, about our way of life, then, for me, this includes buying a Christmas tree before Christmas… It is part of our Western Christian-influenced identity,’ he continued, adding that it has been so for generations and as such influences today’s children, who will continue it into the future…

[The term ‘Leitkultur’] can often be ambiguous, for instance, whether the term lists examples of established German culture that migrants ought to accept and respect, or actually adopt themselves… Some critics of the concept saw a direct parallel to the concept of ‘Germanization’ propagated by the Nazis

“Less than two weeks ago, the CDU released a blueprint for its vision of Germany’s future. Among the policy points the paper highlighted was one entitled, ‘The Courage to Embrace Leitkultur: Only those who acknowledge our dominant culture can integrate and become German citizens.’…

“One retired former German Cabinet minister, Ruprecht Polenz, interpreted Merz’s comments as an implicit demand for people to buy Christmas trees…”

It would be hard to believe that Merz’s comments were merely coincidental. Rather, his words appear to be intentional to set a dangerous precedence.

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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