This Week in the News

US Supreme Court Will Decide

Breitbart wrote on January 5:

“The Supreme Court will hear arguments on former President Donald Trump’s appeal of a Colorado Supreme Court decision to strike him from the ballot, a monumental case with implications for similar ballot access challenges in states across the country that could determine the presidential election. The court will hear oral arguments on February 8, 2024, an expedited schedule that demonstrates the significance of resolving the case quickly

“The [Colorado] Court… determined that ‘clear and convincing evidence’ proved ‘that President Trump engaged in insurrection’ despite Trump having never been convicted of that or any other crime or even been charged in court with the crime of insurrection…

“While Trump has received favorable outcomes in multiple states — including Colorado before its Supreme Court partially reversed that ruling — the Maine secretary of state also removed Trump from the ballot. The Supreme Court has never ruled definitively on the meaning of Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court’s decision on the Colorado case could be the final word in Maine as well as other states.”

It is widely expected that the Supreme Court will overturn the Colorado and Maine decisions, as being in violation of the Constitution. Some hope that the decision will be unanimous, but that may not be clear. Note the next article.

Trump Warns

Newsmax wrote on January 6:

“Former President Donald Trump is warning there will be ‘big trouble’ for the United States if the Supreme Court doesn’t treat him fairly and rule that he’s eligible for the 2024 presidential primary ballots. ‘I just hope we get fair treatment,’ Trump said during a rally in Sioux City, Iowa, Friday…

“‘Because if we don’t, our country’s in big, big trouble. Does everybody understand what I’m saying?’…  ‘They’re saying, “Oh, Trump owns the Supreme Court; he owns it… He put on three judges… If they rule in his favor, it will be horrible for them. And we’ll protest at their houses.’ ‘But such pressure is pushing ‘people to do the wrong thing,’ Trump added.”

Biden vs. Trump

The New York Post wrote on January 5:

“Speaking near Washington’s 1777-1778 winter encampment at Valley Forge outside Philadelphia, Biden went scorched earth on both the likely Republican nominee [Trump] and his allies in Congress, claiming the latter group ‘abandoned democracy’ after ‘we nearly lost America’ during the Capitol riot of Jan. 6, 2021…

“Backed by a cheering audience, Biden tore into Trump repeatedly during the roughly half-hour speech — accusing his predecessor of intentionally using the violence of the Capitol riot as a tactic to remain in power and even likening his rival — not for the first time — to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler

“Trump fired back, telling Fox News Digital that ‘because of his gross incompetence, Joe Biden is a true threat to democracy’

“Biden enters this election year with approval ratings that rival the lowest of any modern president [Jimmy Carter] with Americans giving a collective thumbs-down to his handling of the economy, immigration, and wars in Ukraine and the Middle East. As of Friday, [Biden] trailed Trump by 2.2% in the popular vote…

“No evidence has emerged that Trump had advance knowledge of plans for violence by some of his supporters during the congressional count of the Electoral College results. In other comments Friday, Biden said Trump could bring the US into an era of dictatorship…”

It is interesting that the Biden administration has been pursuing politics which constitute a threat to democracy and which have brought the USA into an era of dictatorship.

German Farmers Stage Nationwide Blockade wrote on January 8:

“German farmers are angered by the government’s plans to slash agricultural subsidies. Blockades have disrupted road traffic across the country, posing a nightmare for commuters.” More than 500 tractors and trucks were parked at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate protesting in the heart of the government quarter in Berlin.”

German Farmers Confront Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck

The European Conservative wrote on January 5:

“A crowd of about 150 angry farmers were awaiting the arrival of a ferry carrying Germany’s Economic Minister and Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck on his return from vacation on Thursday evening at the port of Schlüttsiel in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein.  While the farmers demanded to speak to Habeck about the left-liberal government’s tax burdens on the farming community, the minister’s bodyguards advised him to stay on the ferry for security reasons. Habeck himself was willing to let three farmers onto the boat to discuss their grievances, but the protesters demanded that the minister speak to them all outside… There were scenes of scuffles as some of the farmers tried to stop the ferry—with Habeck and his entourage onboard—from leaving. All other passengers were allowed ashore…

Farmers have been outraged since the government announced plans to abolish subsidies on agricultural diesel and introduce new taxes on farm vehicles. The plans are part of budget cuts and new taxes that will put an even larger burden on households already grappling with the cost-of-living crisis. Thousands of farmers took to the streets of Berlin and other regional centres on December 18th, and are planning more protests…

“Conservative publication Tichys Einblick assessed the situation by saying: ‘Robert Habeck himself can afford a holiday, while the country, along with many citizens, is collapsing like never before since the Second World War. Companies are going bankrupt in droves, freight forwarders can no longer pay drastically increased tolls, ever-increasing electricity and energy costs as well as more and more taxes on CO2. Many are on the verge of extinction or are already extinct, freezing because heating costs are rising exorbitantly.’

“On Thursday, January 4th, the government backtracked somewhat, and decided it would not end the farmers’ tax break on agricultural diesel immediately, but will reduce the subsidy by 40% this year, 30% in 2025, and will end it from 2026. Also, the abolition of preferential treatment in vehicle tax for forestry and agriculture is no longer planned. However, the German Farmers’ Association (DBV) is still not pleased. Its president, Joachim Rukwied said: ‘This can only be a first step. Our position remains unchanged: both proposals for cuts must be taken off the table. This is clearly also about the future viability of our industry and the question of whether domestic food production is still desirable at all.’

“Elsewhere, Rukwied criticised the behaviour of the farmers who demonstrated against Habeck. ‘Personal attacks, insults, threats, coercion or violence are not acceptable,’ he said. Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) called  participants in the protest ‘fanatics’ and ‘radicals,’ and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) tweeted: ‘Where words are replaced by rabble, and arguments by violence, a democratic boundary has been crossed.’

“Politicians from the governing social democrats and the liberal FDP, as well as opposition centre-right CDU denounced Thursday night’s protests. Right-wing opposition AfD’s co-leader Alice Weidel accused the Economy Minister of escaping instead of seeking dialogue. Habeck himself acknowledged on Friday that the mood of the country ‘worries me.’

“The minister has every right to be worried, as the budget cuts, the attack on farmers and the government’s green agenda is causing ever-growing concern among the population. According to the latest opinion polls, the governing parties are in their worst position since they came into power two years ago. In that time, the social democrats have dropped from 26% to 12%, the Greens from 15% to 10.5%, the liberal FDP from 11.5% to 4.5%, meaning the latter would not be able to enter parliament. Meanwhile, the centre-right CDU/CSU alliance has gained in the polls by 10 percentage points, and stands at 34% overall, while the stigmatised AfD now enjoys the backing of 24.5% of the electorate.”

Germans are looking for an alternative. The next article bears that out, even though many feel that that “alternative” will only be short-lived.

False Outrage

Report 24 wrote on January 5:

“The reports of the media read as if an attack had been carried out on the economics minister… The mainstream acts in a horrified way… But what is the real conclusion…? There were no arrests… The spokesman for the Flensburg Police Department stated… that they were refraining from talking about violence. The narrative of the radical farmers is crumbling…

“In any case, the population’s sympathy for the minister [Habeck] is noticeably limited on social networks… it is the Ampel government that is dragging democracy into the mud by openly acting against the will of the citizens… Banning opposition in Germany in the form of the AfD shows that the anti-democrats are among the old parties – and not with the farmers, who, in contrast to the politicians currently in power, work in the service of the population.

“The Schlüttsiel example also shows the federal government clearly what they think of the back and forth of their decisions, their communication and their staff: what is shame for one person is anger for another. And this anger is now everywhere…

“Politicians know very well that they have caused and fomented this anger themselves. In recent months and years, those in government have consistently decided not to act for the benefit of their citizens – and they have hereby betrayed their own people. What was to be expected?… Anyone who continues to ignore the situation in which not only the farmers but also the citizens find themselves and instead covers up for political failure is part of the problem. What’s more, it contributes to escalation.”

Germany’s Former Spy Boss (CDU) to Found New Party

The European Conservative wrote on January 5:

“Hans-Georg Maaßen, Germany’s former domestic intelligence chief has announced his intention to break away from the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) to establish a new political party..  The new party… will be based on the ‘classic positions of the Union parties’ [CDU and CSU]. He added that, if successfully established, the party could run in this year’s elections in the eastern German states of Saxony, Thuringia, and Brandenburg.

“… the Alternative for Germany (AfD) commands the support of 37%, 36%, and 32% of the population in Saxony, Thuringia, and Brandenburg, respectively… even though nearly half of the German population supports the AfD’s participation in government, all parties with a parliamentary presence have ruled out the possibility of forming a government with it. This could potentially change if Maaßen’s party were to run and garner a considerable number of seats.

“Maaßen stated that he would work with all parties that are ‘ready for a change in policy in Germany,’ leaving the door open for future cooperation with the AfD… The former spy boss didn’t hesitate to level sharp criticism against CDU party leader Friedrich Merz for wanting to continue what he described as the ‘left-wing course’ taken by former Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“Maaßen wrote: ‘…  Merkel’s policies have caused significant damage to Germany in all political areas. The recent statement by the General Secretary of the CDU that Merkel had ‘governed the country well’ confirms the impression that the Merz CDU has not understood the catastrophic situation Germany is in and that it is not prepared to deal with the situation for this. The German people have to deal with Merkel’s catastrophic policies.’…”

Germans are also worried about Russia; hence their desire to reinstate compulsory military service, as the next article shows.

Majority of Germans For Compulsory Military Service

Breitbart wrote on January 5:

“More than half of Germans of all ages… want to restore compulsory military service, a survey [by Die Welt] released Thursday reveals, as war on the European continent between Russia and Ukraine drags on into another year… It shows 52 percent of respondents are in favor of armed service while 32 percent are against it…

“Federal Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) suggested conscription based on the ‘Swedish model.’… Men and women are recruited on an equal basis, one of the only countries in the world to do so… Today, the Bundeswehr is a professional army made up of volunteers — but the volunteers are no longer coming. A recent report found there were some 27,000 positions in the Bundeswehr left vacant in 2022, out of a total of 164,000.”

The Civil War Was Not About Slavery

The Ron Paul Institute published on January 4 the following article by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano:

“When Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley answered a question last week in which she stated that the American Civil War was fought over ‘government,’ ‘rights’ and ‘freedoms,’ she was correct. Yet, like most politicians, when she realized that the popular answer should have been ‘slavery,’ she modified her answer. She should have stood her ground…

“… when it comes to the interrelationship between slavery and the American Civil War, most Americans have their history backward. Because it is nearly always written by the winners, history nearly always makes the winners look good. The American Civil War is no exception… No less an authority on the reasons for the war than Abraham Lincoln acknowledged many times during his presidency that the war was fought to preserve the union, not to eradicate slavery

“In government schools, we all learned that Lincoln freed the slaves. He didn’t. They were freed by the 13th Amendment, which was ratified in December 1865, eight months after the war ended and Lincoln’s death.

“What about the Emancipation Proclamation? In government schools, we all learned that by that document, the slaves were set free. They weren’t. The Proclamation did not have the force of law on civilians, as it was a military order issued to troops by Lincoln in his capacity as commander in chief so as to enable the Union Army to conscript slaves into the Army against their will — from one form of slavery to another. Moreover, the Proclamation expressly prohibited the Army from interfering with slavery — and thus preserving it — in the five border states; fully one-third of the Confederacy.

“In government schools, we learned that Lincoln was anti-slavery. He wasn’t. In the earliest days of his presidency, he championed the Corwin Amendment — the Republican Congress’s original 13th Amendment — which Congress passed and sent on to the states. Had its ratification not been interrupted by the war, it would have enshrined slavery in the Constitution. The same Congress that moved to abolish slavery as soon as the war ended had moved to protect it before the war started; this is history bent and rewritten by the victors.

“The initial verbal and military salvos in the war were over whether the states — covetous of tariff revenues seized by the feds — could voluntarily leave the union and resume collecting tariffs; hardly a novel concept at the time, but in a government school, you probably never heard this…”

As so often, history is distorted to serve certain political agendas. That the Civil War was NOT about slavery should be known and realized by all Americans… sadly, it is not.

More Money For Ukraine?

On January 2, Ron Paul wrote the following in his weekly column:

“In the closing days of 2023, the Biden Administration once again announced a large military aid package for Ukraine, this time a ‘mere’ quarter of a billion dollars. Without a new authorization of funds from Congress, it is said to be the last bit of money left over from the more than $100 billion already authorized by Congress for the proxy war with Russia through Ukraine.

“President Biden’s request for an additional $100 billion to spread around Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan was rejected by a Congress eager for its winter break, and with each passing day it looks like it’s going to be harder to push it through. Poll after poll show that Americans are increasingly opposed to more of their money being spent on the neocon’s lost-cause war to overthrow Putin in Russia. For example, a recent Fox News poll revealed that more than 60 percent of Republican voters do not want any more money sent to Ukraine. As we enter an election year, it’s probably safe to predict that Republican candidates will be wary of crossing the wishes of the clear majority of voters…

“Last month Secretary of State Antony Blinken inadvertently revealed what exactly all the spending for war is about when he stated that as much as 90 percent of the aid for Ukraine is actually spent in the United States. The money is used ‘to the benefit of American business, local communities, and strengthening the US defense industrial base,’ he said in an interview. In other words, the money ‘for Ukraine’ is actually a massive welfare program for well-connected military contractors back home.”


Time Is Running Out

The Times of Israel wrote on January 5:

“Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says time is running out on diplomatic efforts to end tensions between Israel and Hezbollah, indicating that Israel will soon be left with no choice but to launch a major military offensive against the terror group in Lebanon.”

EU on Ukraine and Israel

On January 3, the official website of the EU published the following article by Josep Borrell, Vice President of the EU:

“Two deadly wars are unfolding on our borders and dominating the European agenda: the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and the war that has recently flared up again in the Middle East…

Hamas is opposed to the very existence of the State of Israel. But the current Israeli government is also opposed, and for a long time, to the two-state solution. Benyamin Netanyahu, the current Prime Minister, promised to his fellow citizens that with him a Palestinian state would never see the light of day, despite the entire international community being in favour of it. This community therefore has a problem with Benyamin Netanyahu’s policy..,.

“But let’s return to Europe and ask ourselves a fundamental question: what is our capacity to act collectively in the face of these conflicts? We are not a state, and not even a federation of states. Our foreign and security policy is still being defined unanimously, which means that the opposition of only one State is sufficient to make us unable to act… If one can impose a veto, the others are obliged to haggle over the return to consensus. Often this haggling is very costly, and above all it wastes a lot of time. We react far too slowly to events, and we often pay dearly for it…

“In the case of Ukraine, unanimity was fortunately achieved quickly… However, this came at a high cost. Inflation rose and the economy held back… Will this unity last? What are we going to do if the Americans reduce their support for Ukraine once they have elected a new president, or perhaps even before then?… we need to act faster and more decisively to support Ukraine, because Russia represents a major strategic threat to the European Union…

We are the biggest supplier of aid to the Palestinians, and in particular the biggest funder of the Palestinian Authority… Regarding Israel, we are the country’s leading trading partner… This means that we would have the means to influence both players in the conflict, should we choose to do so. However, so far we have not exercised this influence… Europe should be much more involved in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Until now, we have relied too heavily on the United States in the search for a solution to this conflict that directly affects us…”

Needed… A European Army

Reuters wrote on January 7:

“The European Union should form its own combined army that could play a role in peacekeeping and preventing conflict, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said…

“‘In a world with powerful players like the United States, China, India, Russia – with crises from the Middle East to the Indo-Pacific – Italian, German, French or Slovenian citizens can only be protected by something that already exists, namely the European Union,’ he added… Tajani also said the 27-nation EU should streamline its leadership and have a single presidency, rather than the current structure of a European Council president and a European Commission president.”

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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