This Week in the News

German Bundestag Approves Controversial Diesel Subsidy Cuts

Deutsche Welle wrote on January 2:

“The German lower house of parliament, or Bundestag, approved the controversial rolling back of tax relief for diesel use by the German agricultural industry on Friday as part of the government’s spending plans.  Later on Friday, the Bundestag also voted in favor of a 2024 budget after much delay. The budget of around €477 billion ($519 billion) will include €39 billion in new borrowing.

“This proposal has angered German farmers, leading to nationwide protests in recent weeks… The budget financing law was put forward by the current governing coalition of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), environmentalist Greens and business-focused Free Democratic Party (FDP).  Other measures apart of the law passed Friday include higher air traffic taxes and new rules on financial support for families.  

“In order for the law to be enacted, it will need to be approved by the Bundesrat [which is supposed to meet sometime in March], which represents Germany’s 16 federal states. German Farmers’ Association chief Joachim Rukwied suggested Thursday that the Bundesrat could put a stop to the law. 

“The German government’s spending plans were first derailed in November, after the German Constitutional Court ruled that the coalition may not reappropriate €60 billion in unused credit made available during the COVID pandemic to a climate fund…”

If this proposal becomes law, we can expect further widespread anti-government demonstrations by angry and desperate farmers and others.

Farmers’ Protests Reach the Heart of the EU

LifeSiteNews wrote on February 2:

“On February 1, the Europe-wide farmers’ protest against policies threatening their existence reached Brussels, where protestors blocked many roads with tractors, started bonfires, set off fireworks, and toppled a statue in front of the European Parliament… The protest in Brussels happened in the context of a continent-wide uprising, including in France… Farmer protests also took place in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Germany, Scotland and Ireland.

“A German comedian and member of the European Parliament, Martin Sonneborn, wrote on X, formerly Twitter, ‘…  Brussels is at a standstill, already 230 kilometers of traffic jams at 8 o’clock in the morning… As far as the EU is concerned, the outside world and the inside world are clearly no longer in any meaningful relationship with each other: while more than 1,300 tractors are blocking the European Parliament and its burning forecourt outside, the 27 heads of state inside have not even put the farmers’ anger on their agenda,’ he wrote…

“Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former papal nuncio to the U.S., expressed his support for the farmer’s protests in a recent post on X. ‘The globalist criminal plan wants to destroy traditional agriculture, animal husbandry, and fishing in order to force people to eat artificial food produced by multinational corporations,’ he wrote. ‘And it is the big investment funds and the Word Economic Forum that are lobbying parliaments to impose a devastating and inhuman “transition”. I express my complete solidarity with and encouragement to the farmers, ranchers, fishermen, truck drivers, and all those who support them. Let us accompany with prayer those who are fighting against the New World Order…’

“One of the farmers’ concerns is the flooding of the European market with cheap Ukrainian imports that are meant to help the country with its war efforts. Since Ukraine and other non-EU countries do not have to adhere to the high environmental standards of the EU, the farmers view it as unfair competition that threatens their existence. For the same reason, the farmers also oppose a planned trade deal between the EU and the Mercosur bloc, a federation of countries in South America. 

“One of the major issues for farmers is the so-called ‘green’ measures imposed by EU bureaucrats that include higher taxes or cuts to tax subsidies as well as bans on necessary tools such as nitrogen fertilizer. The farmers have also been blamed for their greenhouse emissions and their alleged contribution to ‘climate change’. They are heavily affected by the EU’s plan to achieve ‘net-zero’ emissions and make the bloc ‘climate-neutral’ by 2050. 

“The plan includes cutting fertilizer use by 20%, limiting the amount of land dedicated to agricultural use, halving pesticides by 2030, and doubling organic food production. While some of these measures may have a positive impact on food quality [they surely would], they put immense pressure on farmers, especially smaller farms, whose numbers have been on the decline for decades. The EU’s plan to combat so-called ‘climate change’ could lead to the majority of farmland being controlled by a relatively small elite. 

“Part of the problem for smaller farms is the EU’s common agricultural policy (CAP), a € 55 billion per year subsidy system that has been in place for over 60 years. The system ‘has historically been based on economy of scale: bigger farms, bigger holdings, common standards,’ Jon Henley from The Guardian writes. This policy has led to a continuous decrease in small farms in Europe as they have become increasingly uncompetitive.”

Business Standard added on February 2:

“Farmers… wrested some promises of relief from European leaders on Thursday, the culmination of weeks of protests across the continent over excessive red tape and competition from cheap imports. Eager to reassure a key part of the electorate and end disruptions in several cities, leaders at a European Union summit in Brussels showered the farmers with compliments and compassion if few concrete proposals

“Leaders welcomed the plan of the European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, to shield farmers from cheap imports from Ukraine during wartime and allow farmers to use some land that had been forced to lie fallow for environmental reasons… In France, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal announced a new set of measures, including hundreds of millions of euros in aid and tax breaks, and also promised not to ban pesticides in France that are allowed elsewhere in Europe. In Brussels, many leaders also said they would not approve a trade deal with South American nations that is under consideration unless any imports would meet the same regulatory standards that EU farmers face, a key demand from the sector…”

Will the farmers’ protests have some lasting success?

Germany Afraid of Former Spy Chief Hans-Georg Maassen

The Jerusalem Post wrote on January 31, 2024:

“Last month, [Hans-Georg] Maassen announced he was setting up a party… aiming to capture voters who polls say are increasingly disenchanted with Germany’s dominant parties

“Hans-Georg Maassen, who until five years ago was responsible for protecting Germany against violent and extremist threats to its democracy, is himself now being monitored by the security agency he ran, the bureaucrat-turned-politician said.

“Maassen was dismissed as head of Germany’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV—Bundesamt fuer Verfassungschutz) in 2018 after appearing to play down the threat of violence by right-wing extremists who at the time were rioting in an eastern German city. Since, the lawyer has become known for his increasingly radical comments on the supposed threat immigration poses to Germany, becoming a hero to far-right activists including some in the circles surrounding Heinrich XIII Prince Reuss, the aristocrat who led [an alleged] foiled coup attempt in 2022. [We have reported about this “made-up “coup” by the mass media].

“‘Germany is clearly afraid of me,’ he said on X, adding the country was using the internal security agency to monitor him and the party he has founded… Maassen published on his website a letter from the BfV… confirming that he featured extensively in their databases tracking extremists…

“As BfV chief, he was in effect Germany’s chief hunter of neo-Nazis. The documents released to him by the BfV show him being repeatedly praised by far-right figures.”

Sounds quite like what is happening in the USA. Opposition candidates are persecuted with the goal to shut them up.

Further Left-Wing Demonstrations Against the AfD in Berlin

Deutsche Welle wrote on February 3:

“Around 150,000 people have attended a protest rally in the German capital, Berlin, against the far right and its ideology… Many of the slogans chanted were directed against the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party…

“Several politicians attended the demonstration in Berlin, including the leader of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’ Social Democrats (SPD), Saskia Esken, and Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, from the same party…

Chancellor Scholz voiced his support for the protests across Germany in a message on X, formerly known as Twitter, calling them a ‘strong signal for democracy and our constitution.’

“The AfD voiced anger at the government support for the protests, asking on X: ‘What have we in Germany actually come to when a government calls a demonstration against part of the population?’…

[The AfD] is currently Germany’s second most popular party, coming behind only the conservative CDU.”

Europe Needs Its Own Military

Trend News Agency wrote on February 5:

“The head of the federal state of Hesse, which is one of the major economic centers of Germany, Boris Rein proposed that Europe create its own military alliance without the participation of the United States… He noted that the nuclear arsenal can be used to deter and ‘intimidate’ Russia. ‘That’s why we want a strong European security union – with common defence, a European nuclear umbrella, secure borders and protection of our critical infrastructure,’ he said.”

Comments like these show more and more Europe’s REAL GOAL of establishing their own army with nuclear weapons apart from or in opposition to the USA.

No Other Leader Than Trump?

Breitbart wrote on February 2:

“Despite fatigue with funding NATO’s proxy war with Russia setting in across the West, globalist politicians appear intent on continuing the war no matter what. For the Hungarian leader, who has been a lone voice among European heads of state calling for peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv… the only viable offramp for the conflict is for his longtime friend and ally [Donald Trump] to return to the White House…. ‘My personal conviction remains that if, in February 2022, the American president had been called Donald Trump, there would be no more war in EuropeToday I don’t see anyone other than him, neither in Europe nor in America, who is a leader strong enough to stop the war,’ the Hungarian leader declared.

“Legacy media outlets and globalist EU politicians have begun to openly warn of the claimed danger to Europe posed by Trump coming back to power — ignoring the destabilising policies of the Biden administration, from the birth of another European migrant crisis following the botched withdrawal of Afghanistan to war breaking out in Europe under his watch…

Orbán criticised power players in Berlin, Brussels and Paris, who ultimately seek to expand the EU into Ukraine, no matter the threat of sparking a full-on war with Russia or the likely negative economic impacts of incorporating the former Soviet state into the bloc, particularly for farmers throughout Europe who will face being further undercut by cheap Ukrainian exports. ‘The European Union, in recent years, has increasingly moved in an imperialist directionespecially after the departure of the United Kingdom. It is less and less a community of sovereign states. More and more, no matter what treaty rights you have, no matter what reasonable arguments you put forward to them, they are trying to force you into something you don’t want,’ Orbán said.

“Those words came just days before Hungary was apparently forced with menaces into signing off on a massive $54 billion EU cash programme for Ukraine, which it had blocked since last year.

“President Trump, for his part, has consistently maintained that he would seek a swift end to the conflict in Ukraine, declaring that not only would the war not have happened under his watch but that he would be able to force a peace settlement should he return to the White House… Conversely, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has openly baulked at Trump, saying that the former president’s claim that he could end the war in 24 hours was ‘very dangerous’…”

The end has been decreed by God from the beginning: Ukraine and Russia will unite and ultimately fight against Europe.

US Court: No Immunity for Trump

Express wrote on February 6:

“Former President Donald Trump has shot back after a US court ruled that he does not have immunity from prosecution in a case related to the 2020 presidential election. The former president believes the landmark ruling could stop future presidents from doing their job and ruin the country. ‘A nation-destroying ruling like this cannot be allowed to stand,’ he raged on Truth Social, adding it would leave any president fearing ‘vicious retribution after leaving office.’

“The ruling has dealt a blow to his attempts to avoid prosecution for events leading up to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in 2021. The three-judge panel considering his appeal delivered their decision clearly, stating: ‘Any executive immunity that may have protected him while he served as president no longer protects him against this prosecution.’… The former president’s lawyers argue that he enjoys broad legal protections unless impeached by Congress and removed from office. Trump could still take his claim to the Supreme Court [Trump was given leave to do so until Monday]… The issue at hand is whether former presidents can be prosecuted after leaving office for actions they took related to official duties. The Supreme Court has previously decided that they are protected from civil cases. Trump and his lawyers insist that should also extend to criminal actions

“[The case] was heard by Judges Michelle Childs and Florence Pan, who were both appointed by Biden, and Karen LeCraft Henderson, appointed by President George H.W. Bush. They dismissed Trump’s argument that he already faced impeachment proceedings over the same allegations and should not stand trial again. They wrote: ‘In light of the very different procedures and purposes associated with impeachment proceedings as compared to criminal proceedings, former President Trump’s reliance on the Double Jeopardy Clause is misplaced.’ They also stated: ‘Impeachment is not a criminal process and cannot result in criminal punishment’…”

The rationale of the court (being clearly unfriendly towards Trump) is not convincing. It will remain to be seen how the US Supreme Court will decide this important issue.

Senate’s Bipartisan Border Bill—Worse Than Expected

Newsmax wrote on February 5:

“Conservative reaction to the Senate’s border security bill was fast and furious. The Senate on Sunday unveiled a $118 billion bipartisan border security bill that also would provide billions in aid to Ukraine and Israel following months of negotiations. House Speaker Mike Johnson [said] the bill was ‘worse than expected’ and ‘dead on arrival’ in the House. Others seemed to agree with his assessment…

“‘Any Republican voting for this Senate America last open border amnesty bill must be paid off by foreign interests and is acting as a foreign agent,’ Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., wrote on X. ‘What an embarrassment! Shame on them!!’…

“Former President Donald Trump said… ‘Only a fool, or a Radical Left Democrat, would vote for this horrendous Border Bill… It takes the HORRIBLE JOB the Democrats have done on Immigration and the Border, absolves them, and puts it all squarely on the shoulders of Republicans. Don’t be STUPID!!! We need a separate Border and Immigration Bill. It should not be tied to foreign aid in any way, shape, or form!…’

“Democrats, meanwhile, insists the bill upholds the country’s ‘tradition of immigration.’”

Amazingly, Republicans in the Senate voted for this horrible bill.

Senate Bill Dead!

The New York Post wrote on February 6:

“Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell waved a rhetorical white flag Tuesday, admitting the bipartisan.. spending package was doomed… ‘It’s been made pretty clear to us by the [House] speaker [Mike Johnson] that it will not become law,’ the 81-year-old Kentuckian bluntly conceded to reporters. ‘It looks to me and to most our members as if we have no real chance here to make a law,’ McConnell added.

“The Republican leader bowed to political reality after a two-day outcry among conservatives over the $118 billion measure…”

The New York Post wrote on February 7:

“The Senate’s $118 billion border deal officially crashed and burned Wednesday, as the upper chamber was ready [to] put the nation’s migration crisis on the back burner by prepping a bill that would provide $95 billion in military aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

“Almost exactly 24 hours after Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters the supplemental spending package had ‘no real chance;’ of becoming law, the measure came up 11 votes short of clearing the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster.”

Newsmax wrote on February 8:

“A $95.34 billion bill that includes aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan advanced in the U.S. Senate on Thursday after Republicans blocked compromise legislation that included a long-sought overhaul of immigration policy… There was no immediate word on when the 100-member chamber would consider final passage…. 

“Even if the aid bill eventually passes the Senate, it faces uncertainty in the House of Representatives. Dozens of Republican House members, particularly those most closely allied with former President Donald Trump, have voted against Ukraine aid, including Speaker Mike Johnson.”

No Impeachment of Mayorkas… Embarrassing Defeat for Republicans

Breitbart wrote on February 6:

“The House of Representatives let Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas off the hook for the border crisis created under his watch in a historic 216-214 vote against impeachment.

“Reps. Ken Buck (R-CO) and Tom McClintock (R-CA) announced before the vote they would vote against impeachment. They were joined by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) in voting with unified Democrats

The defeat is the latest for Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), who inherited a slim majority that has been decimated further by the ejection of Rep. George Santos (R-NY), early retirement of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and, temporarily, the absence of Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), who is recovering from cancer.”

Even though impeachment would not have been successful in a Senate, dominated by Democrats, the three dissenting Republican voices are embarrassing, in light of the facts.

Mother Convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter Over Mass Shooting of Her Son

The U.S. Sun wrote on February 7:

“The mother of Oxford High School shooter Ethan Crumbley who killed four students has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in an unprecedented court case… [She] is the first American parent to ever be convicted of the crime over a mass shooting carried out by their child…. [The prosecution alleged the parents failed] to give their [15-year-old son] son proper mental health treatment despite repeated warning signs, including meetings with school administrators over some worrying drawings…. of a gun pointing at the words ‘the thoughts won’t stop. Help me.’ Next to it was a drawing of a person who had been shot twice with the words ‘blood everywhere’, ‘my life is useless’ and ‘the world is dead.’ Ethan’s parents were called into the school that morning at 10am – but later left and around three hours later, the teen took a gun out of his backpack and killed his fellow students…

“During one text message exchange in spring 2021, just months before the attack, Ethan told his mom that there was a ghost or a devil in the house and pleaded for her to respond, but she did not… ‘My parents won’t listen to me about help with a therapist…’ the teen wrote.

“[The mother] on the other hand, testified that she saw no signals of mental health troubles in her son…

“Prosecutors slammed [the mother], arguing she was responsible for the deaths after she and her husband irresponsibly gave Ethan a gun for Christmas… [The mother] admitted she and her husband… gifted Ethan the weapon, ‘We didn’t just hand him a gun as ‘here you go son,”’ she testified. ‘It was something we could use when we went to the (gun) range as a family.’…

“Ethan’s dad… bought him the 9mm handgun for Christmas – even though he was too young under state laws to own a gun. It was this gun that he took to school on the day of the shooting – when no one checked his bag. It was reportedly bought four days before the shooting ahead of the holiday, and was ‘freely available’ to the teen…

“[The teen, by now 17 years old, was sentenced to life in prison], without the possibility of parole in December after pleading guilty to murder, terrorism and other charges. [A separate trial will still be held against the father, starting March 5.]

Whether right or wrong, this decision, if it stands, will have unparalleled legal consequences for parents in many different aspects.  

USA Strikes Back

NBC News wrote on February 2:

“The United States launched attacks Friday against 85 sites in Iraq and Syria used by Iranian forces and Iran-backed militantsits first retaliatory strikes for the killing of three American soldiers in Jordan last weekend, U.S. officials said.

“U.S. military forces struck targets at seven facilities [in Iraq and Syria] tied to attacks on U.S. personnel in the region… ‘Our response began today. It will continue at times and places of our choosing,’ President Joe Biden said in a statement…

“The military action is a significant escalation in Washington’s bid to deter the growing threat from Iran-backed groups across the Middle East — a step fraught with risk abroad and at home

“The U.S. conducted the strikes knowing that the facilities are used by Iranian-backed militia personnel and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps…

“The Iraqi army condemned the U.S. airstrikes against Iran-backed militias in Iraqi border areas, calling the air assault a ‘violation of Iraqi sovereignty’ and ‘a threat that will drag Iraq and the region into unforeseen consequences.’”

It was also reported that at least 34 pro-Iranian fighters were killed in the US attack. In fact, the USA had bombed 85 targets in seven different locations, hitting four points in Syria and three in Iraq. Iraq’s reaction is telling and is bad news for the USA. While the White House has said Iraq was warned ahead of the blitz, the Sun reported on February 3:

“Iraq on Saturday said the US was ‘misleading public opinion’ by claiming they had given an explicit warning. Iraqi officials said 16 people, including civilians, were killed and 25 others were wounded. They raged: ‘This aggressive strike will put security in Iraq and the region on the brink of the abyss, and it also contradicts efforts to establish the required stability.’… Syrian media also said cities in the east of the country were hit… And the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 18 people were killed in the strikes on their soil. While Iran-linked targets were hit – Iran itself was not.”

Kirby Apologizes for False Claim About Warning Iraqi Government Ahead of Strikes

Fox News reported on February 6:

“White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby apologized Tuesday for falsely saying last week that Iraqi officials were notified before a series of coordinated air strikes… He was forced to retract this claim after State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel confirmed this was not accurate and that Iraqi leaders were not informed until after the strikes…

“Kirby released a statement about the confusion the same day, saying he was going off ‘information that I had been provided at the time.’”

USA’s Troubled Relationship With Iraq

npr wrote on February 2:

“U.S. troops left Iraq in 2011 but returned in 2014 to fight ISIS alongside Iraqi forces. And now there are 2,550 — not in combat, but assisting Iraqis in going after the remnants of ISIS. Now, many of the U.S. troops are stationed in northern Iraq in Erbil, and those troops also support the anti-ISIS fight next door in Syria.

“The U.S. also provides hundreds of millions of dollars to Iraq in aid, government development, humanitarian assistance, demining efforts and military sales —more than $16 billion, covering everything from F-16 aircraft to helicopters and radar and small arms. In addition, the U.S. has provided Iraq with excess defense equipment over the recent years — 300 large armored vehicles, Humvees, helicopters, body armor — all of which contributed to the ISIS fight.

“Still, the U.S. airstrikes have created a political problem for the Iraqi government, some of whose parliamentarians have ties to Iran and want to see U.S. forces withdraw from the country. And the latest strikes will certainly add to that headache.

Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani came to power because Iran, and the militias it supports, backed him. So in between anger over the U.S. role in supplying Israel with weapons for the war in Gaza, and anger over U.S. breaches of Iraqi sovereignty, he faces intense pressure about the future of U.S. forces in Iraq…

“An adviser to the Iraqi prime minister said the aim is to come up with what he called a specific and clear timetable for the gradual reduction of the U.S.-led coalition troops in Iraq and to an end to the U.S.-led anti-ISIS mission. The government spokesman, Bassem al-Awadi, told Iraqi state TV viewers that Sudani had repeatedly made clear that Iraq’s stability required ending the U.S. military presence in Iraq. ‘He literally said that ending the mission of the international coalition in Iraq is necessary for Iraq,’ said al-Awadi. ‘He used the term necessity. And I assure you that when the prime minister uses a term, he means it.’”

US Reactions to the Strike

Newsmax wrote on February 3:

“Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., criticized the Biden administration’s weeklong buildup to the retaliatory strikes against Iranian-backed proxies in the Middle East. ‘The tragic deaths of three U.S. troops in Jordan, perpetrated by Iran-backed militias, demanded a clear and forceful response. Unfortunately, the administration waited for a week and telegraphed to the world, including to Iran, the nature of our response,’ Johnson said…  

“Reaction to the strikes and their timing was met with a party line approval or disapproval.  

“Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Sen. Jack Reed D-R.I., called the strikes ‘a strong, proportional response…  

“Sen. Roger Wicker R-Miss., reiterated Speaker Johnson’s sentiments… that the administration ‘spent nearly a week foolishly telegraphing U.S. intentions to our adversaries, giving them time to relocate and hide.’”

Breitbart added on February 3:

“During CNN’s coverage of Friday’s American strikes in the Middle East, CNN Military Analyst and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Wesley Clark (Ret.) argued that… ‘we didn’t really deter Iran’s hostility to the United States… [T]he Iranians are going to come back and do something. My guess is, it will take a few days, several weeks before they can reconstitute these forces. And then, depending on what happens in Gaza, they’ll be back… you can be sure that, on the terrorist websites and in their communications, they’re sort of laughing, yeah, they gave us a lot of warning and yeah, we got all the people out and some of the bombs missed… because that’s the kind of the bravado that you expect from some of these people. What we’re going to do is… collect hard intelligence, and see if we have to go back in and re-strike.’”

The Ron Paul Institute wrote on February 3:

“The Axis of Resistance is present throughout the Middle East. It has its own economic and social networks. It produces its own weapons and its fighters are well trained to fight under the local circumstances. This is an enemy the U.S. cannot defeat…  it is the Resistance which is using small and increasingly larger cuts to eliminate, over time, the U.S. presence in the Middle East. It is dead serious…

Give it two, three or maybe even five years. But the envisioned results WILL be achieved.”

npr explained on February 2 that “The so-called ‘axis of resistance’ is a network of Iran proxy groups across the region. It includes Hezbollah in Lebanon, a coalition of militias in Iraq that go by the name the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, Ansar Allah — Houthi forces — in Yemen and Iran-linked groups in eastern Syria. Kataib Hezbollah (which means Party of God Brigades) is not a subsidiary of the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon, but both have close links to Iran. KH is considered the most powerful of the Iran-backed militias in the Iraq-based resistance, which has claimed about 160 attacks on U.S. forces since the beginning of the Gaza war.”

The Editorial Board of the New York Post wrote on February 2:

“Too Little, Too Late… so far it looks like President Biden opted for the least he could do…. it looks like the targets will be exclusively in Syria and Iraq, and mainly Iran’s proxy forces there, though some Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps units might get hit. IRGC forces inside Iran will be perfectly safe, even though the White House fully admits Tehran is behind it all…

“A commander-in-chief who refuses to think about it until it actually happens, and then takes his time deciding, is plain unfit for his sworn duties…

“As for our president’s oft-expressed fear of escalation:… Iran is escalating anyway, and will keep at it at least until we give it real reason to worry how we’ll escalate. Tehran won’t care how many of its proxies we kill, nor even a few low-level IRGC sacrificial lambs. Whereas it does fear having its own forces pulled in: As it finishes its dash to nuclear-weapons capability and negotiates the transition to a new “supreme leader” (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is 84), the last thing it wants is any more instability at home…”

Houthis’ Goal Is Destruction of America

Breitbart wrote on February 5:

“A senior member of the Yemeni Houthi terrorist organization declared that the group’s ongoing jihad in the Red Sea, which he described as ‘spillover’ in the conflict between Israel and the terrorist organization Hamas, would ‘inevitably result in an end to US hegemony.’ The statement was not the first of its kind from the Houthis but does solidify the objective of the Houthi campaign against global commercial shipping as being the destruction of America

“The promise to destroy America arrived on Monday in response to targeted airstrikes by the administration of President Joe Biden and the government of the United Kingdom against Houthi assets in Yemen. Multiple rounds of airstrikes have failed to deter the Red Sea attacks, a reality Biden has recognized…

“The Houthis announced following the first American and British airstrikes that ships from those countries are ‘legitimate targets…’…

“The Houthis – a Shiite terrorist operation that seized control of Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, in 2014 with the backing of Iran – declared war on Israel in October in a gesture of support to Hamas…  The official Houthi slogan is ‘Allahu Akbar, Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse on the Jews, Victory to Islam.’

“Shortly after the war declaration, the Houthis began using Yemen’s position on the Bab el-Mandeb Strait leading to the Red Sea to attack commercial shipping vessels… The attacks resulted in a 90 percent drop year-on-year in container ship traffic through the Red Sea and Suez Canal between January 2023 and 2024 and soaring shipping prices. The United Nations reported in late January that it had documented a 45 percent drop in two months in freight volume through the Suez Canal, which lies on the northern tip of the Red Sea. Multinational shipping corporations, such as Maersk, announced a major redirection of ships despite assurances from the Biden administration that the American military would protect civilian ships as part of ‘Operation Prosperity Guardian,’ a coalition of allied navies.”

Big powers such as the USA and the UK seem to be unable to defeat a tiny group of terrorists.

Tucker Carlson Interviews Vladimir Putin

Daily Mail wrote on February 7:

“Controversial talk show host Tucker Carlson could be subjected to sanctions from the European Union…  Russian President Vladimir Putin has been interviewed by Carlson, the Kremlin confirmed Wednesday. It is Putin’s first interview to a Western journalist since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine two years ago…

“Former Belgian Prime Minister and current member of the European Union Parliament Guy Verhofstadt told Newsweek as the Russian president is considered a ‘war criminal’ it’s ‘logical’ that an investigation be held into Carlson. Verhofstadt has also called for a ‘travel ban’ against Carlson and described the host as a ‘mouthpiece’ for Donald Trump who has long been criticized for his pro-Kremlin views.  Any investigation into Trump would be conducted by the EU’s European External Action Service, or EEAS, which is essentially the 27-nation bloc’s foreign ministry…

“Following the publication of the interview, Carlson’s friends in the American far right chimed in. ‘The same EU globalist scum are trying to bully Elon Musk in to censorship with criminal prosecution threats. Now they are moving in on Tucker! We must stand together for free speech,’ wrote…  Alex Jones. ‘The EU is considering sanctions against Tucker Carlson for interviewing Putin. This is little more than an admission that they have been lying about everything regarding Ukraine,’ wrote commentator Candice Owens. ‘This narrative is about to fully collapse and they are terrified,’ she added.  

“’Was there ever any doubt they would come for Tucker Carlson to daring to interview Putin? Rest assured there are those in power in the US who want to do the same as the EU,’ columnist and attorney Phil Holloway tweeted.  

“Russian authorities have cracked down on media, forcing some independent Russian outlets to close, blocking others and ordering a number of foreign reporters to leave the country. Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters that Carlson was chosen for the interview because ‘he has a position which differs’ from other English-language media… ‘Carlson’s position, Peskov said, ‘is in no way pro-Russian, nor pro-Ukrainian, but rather pro-American.’”

Breitbart wrote on February 6:

Ukraine’s controversial American transgender sometimes-‘spokesperson’ Sarah Ashton-Cirillo has accused Tucker Carlson of being the ‘Kremlin’s favourite court eunuch’ and an ‘enemy of humanity,’ apparently placing a target on the head of Carlson…

“The often bombastic rhetoric spouted by Ashton-Cirillo, including public threats to ‘hunt down’ people allegedly spreading Russian propaganda, has previously sparked concern among American lawmakers… Ohio Republican Senator J.D. Vance wrote a letter to the Biden White House questioning whether Ashton-Cirillo had any ties to the U.S. government or intelligence agencies and whether the president would demand free speech is respected in Ukraine. Following the report, Ashton-Cirillo accused Sen. Vance of engaging in ‘gender chaos’, while claiming that free speech protections should not be afforded to those who spread so-called Russian propaganda and that they should be sent to prison as ‘war criminals’.

“The comments came amid the imprisonment of late citizen journalist YouTuber Gonzalo Lira, an American-Chilean dual citizen, who faced a lengthy prison sentence in Ukraine over comments on his YouTube channel critical of the Zelensky and Biden governments. [Lira died last month in prison.]

“Lira’s death was first announced by Tucker Carlson, who had interviewed his father shortly before his son’s death. Lira’s father accused the White House of ignoring the plight of his son…”

Breitbart added on February 7:

“Carlson said interviewing Putin was important — although dangerous — because, in his view, one-sided reporting from the establishment media has left many Americans ignorant of much of what was happening with Russia. The journalist called some reporting of the Ukraine war, which he said blindly parroted Ukraine government information, ‘government propaganda.’

“Condemnation of Mr Carlson for interviewing President Putin has been swift, with U.S. figures like neoconservative writer Bill Kristol, paraphrasing a meme to write: ‘Perhaps we need a total and complete shutdown of Tucker Carlson re-entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on’ and former Congressman Adam Kinzinger claiming simply: ‘He is a traitor’.”

On February 6, NBC’s Lester Holt interviewed on TV Iran’s ambassador to the USA, without any complaints from anyone. In the same manner, interviews by American journalists and moderators were conducted with Arafat, and other terrorists. The present “outcry” is just another proof for the incredible hypocrisy in the Western mass media.

Ireland vs. Israel

The Palestine Chronicle wrote on February 2:

“Ireland is in talks with other EU members who want a review of the EU-Israel Association Agreement on the basis that Israel may be breaching the agreement’s human rights clause… Ireland’s action is consistent with the political attitude of other European countries, who are either critical of Israel or are calling for a Palestinian state.

“A number of EU States are also talking about a possible joint recognition of a Palestinian State after the current conflict…

“Ireland has long been a champion of Palestinian rights, and ministers have repeatedly said the government is considering recognizing a Palestinian State… Ireland, Belgium, Spain and a few other EU countries were some of the early voices to join international criticism of the Israeli war on Gaza, starting on October 7.”

The negative and hostile attitude of Europeans towards Israel is quite telling. And so is the attitude of the Biden Administration. Note the next article.

USA vs. Israel

Israel 365 News wrote on February 1:

“The Biden administration is bucking decades of U.S. foreign policy by considering a plan to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state… Both Axios and The New York Times reported on Wednesday about this potential major shift in the American approach towards Palestinian statehood…

“According to the Axios report… Secretary of State Antony Blinken requested a review of policy options for the recognition of a Palestinian state after Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza concludes. In the months since the Oct. 7 terrorist assault on southern Israel, the Biden administration has been pushing for Palestinian statehood…

“A senior U.S. official told Axios that some inside the Biden administration believe that unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state should be the first step in talks to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict instead of the last.

“This goes against the doctrine of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who sees increasing relations with the wider Arab world as the key to solving the Palestinian issue… Netanyahu’s right-wing and religious coalition is firmly against establishing a Palestinian state. There is also widespread opposition among the Israeli public to the creation of a Palestinian state… when asked whether they support the creation of a ‘Palestinian’ state alongside Israel, 66% of Jewish respondents said they opposed such a move, while 27% expressed support for the creation of a ‘Palestine.’…

“Axios reported on several options the Biden administration could take, including bilateral recognition of a Palestinian state, withdrawing its veto power against the United Nations Security Council admitting ‘Palestine’ as a full U.N. member state, and urging other countries to recognize a Palestinian state. British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said on Monday that the U.K. was considering recognizing a Palestinian state…”

To unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state would burn all bridges with Israel.

Netanyahu’s Conditions to End the War

Israel 365 News wrote on February 5:

“Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday set out the country’s core demands for ending the war against Hamas in Gaza.’ The essential goal is, first of all, the elimination of Hamas. To achieve this goal, three things are needed,’ Netanyahu told journalists…

“‘The first requirement is the collapse of Hamas’s battalions…’ After the battalions are destroyed, the Israeli military will have to carry out clearance operations to prevent Hamas from rebuilding its terrorist army… Finally, Netanyahu said, Israel will need to complete ‘the neutralization of the underground [tunnels]…

“The Israel Defense Forces will not withdraw from Gaza before it achieves the goals of eliminating Hamas, returning all 136 hostages and ensuring that the coastal enclave never again constitutes a threat to the Jewish state, Netanyahu reiterated.

“Netanyahu also called to replace the Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA with other aid organizations ‘not tainted by support for terrorism.’…

“Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir leveled criticism at U.S. President Joe Biden, saying Donald Trump would have been better for Israel during the current war. ‘Instead of giving us his full backing, Biden is busy with giving humanitarian aid and fuel [to Gaza], which goes to Hamas,’ charged Ben-Gvir…”

Israel’s concern is well-founded. Note the next article.

Biden’s Executive Order Against Jewish Settlers

Israel Today wrote on February 5:

“The administration of US President Joe Biden has taken Israeli law into its own hands by issuing an executive order that compelled Israeli banks to freeze the assets of at least four Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, the so-called ‘West Bank.’ In the executive order issued last Thursday, the White House said it was imposing sanctions against ‘persons undermining peace, security and stability in the West Bank.’ Notably, the order only targets Jews. The assets of senior Palestinian Authority leaders, despite their demonstrable participation in incitement and violence against Israel, are left untouched.

“The order goes on to falsely claim ‘high levels of extremist settler [read: Jewish] violence, forced displacement of people and villages and property destruction.’…

“It should be pointed out, however, that none of the four men named by the White House have been convicted of crimes by the Israeli judicial system… Bank Leumi, where Yinon Levi does business, immediately informed him that in light of Biden’s executive order, it was freezing his assets and closing his accounts. ‘The executive order is a result of requests to Biden by the anarchist, anti-Zionist left, which hates the Jewish people and made up a bunch of stories about Israel’s pioneers,” Levi told the Kan public broadcaster on Sunday. But he also vowed: ‘Biden, who is unable to deal with the Houthis who murder American soldiers, doesn’t scare us. We will continue to settle the Land of Israel without fear.’

“Bank Hapoalim, where Einan Tanjil and Shalom Zicherman have accounts, said it will take similar action soon for fear of getting on Washington’s bad side.

“Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich responded by insisting that Israel is ‘not a banana republic of the United States,’ and promising to take action to prevent the banks from harming Israeli citizens.”

Biden’s actions leave no doubt that he is NOT a friend of Israel.

Coming… the Destruction of Israel?

Life Site News wrote on February 2:

Colonel Douglas Macgregor has warned that Israel’s current operation of ‘expelling or killing the population in Gaza’ is enraging the Arab nations in the region. Macgregor believes this will ‘culminate… in the destruction of Israel’ with war easily expanding globally, even onto American soil, and the real possibility of nuclear exchanges

“For many decades Christians in the Holy Land have pleaded with Israel and the international community to end the Jewish state’s illegal occupation and building of settlements on the Palestinian people’s internationally recognized territory, as a necessary foundation for peaceful coexistence…

“Though the leaders of Middle East Arab nations such as Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Turkey want to avoid a regional war, due to what the consequences will be for their nation’s infrastructure and population, their own positions are in danger due to the possibility of popular uprisings among their citizens, the colonel explained. The populations in these regions, particularly the Muslim Arabs and the Turks, ‘are so angry and so enraged, they’re ready to fight, regardless of what the costs are, to destroy Israel.’ ‘As a result, increasingly across the Middle East, everyone who is in power or authority is privately saying … we will no longer tolerate this Israeli state and they are moving towards a state of war across the region, which will culminate, I think, in the destruction of Israel,’ Macgregor warned. ‘And I don’t think we can stop it.

“… should the Israeli and U.S. authorities be successful at initiating war with Iran, the retired colonel predicts these forces ‘will pay a heavy price.’ ‘Iran has an enormous arsenal of missiles,’ he said. These include, ‘thousands of very precise, very destructive theater ballistic missiles as well as tactical ballistic missiles. They have cruise missile technology, [and] infinite numbers of drones.’

“There are around 57,000 American troops in the region, and these missiles can ‘attack with great precision’ all of their bases and positions.. These include hypersonic missiles which can hit targets at sea, and there remains ‘no way to shoot them down or defend against them.’…

“‘Remember, Hezbollah has substantial facilities and concentrations of people in MexicoSo do Islamists who are Sunni Muslims,’ he recalled. With all the recent waves of illegal immigrants pouring across the Mexican border in recent years, ‘we don’t even know who has actually entered the United States.’…

“And thus, ‘the greatest danger,’ the colonel said, ‘is that the Israelis will respond, but with the use of a nuclear weapon, particularly as they watch their cities Tel Aviv, Haifa and so forth, largely annihilated by these arsenals of missiles. And if that were to happen, I think that would have catastrophic consequences for Israel and the world, far worse than anything we’ve seen thus far.’”

Even though Macgregor has been a controversial figure with some extreme positions, he claimed, correctly, that Ukraine will lose the war against Russia. Further, we read that prior to the downfall of the state of Israel during the Great Tribulation, Israel will receive a wound… presumably a military defeat of some kind. It will then turn to Germany for help, but won’t receive it.

King Charles III Diagnosed With Cancer

Breitbart reported on February 5:

“King Charles has cancer, Buckingham Palace has said in a statement, and he will postpone his public duties while undergoing a programme of treatment that began today. Just days after being discharged from hospital for treatment of a non-cancerous enlarged prostate, it has been revealed King Charles III also has cancer. The cancer was discovered during tests the monarch underwent during his hospital stay, which identified a ‘separate issue of concern’.

“Subsequent testing confirmed the King does have a non-specified ‘form of cancer’, Buckingham Palace said, and that he had already started a regime of treatment today… While the King is unable to perform public duties, the Palace made clear his constitutional role is unaffected as he would be able to continue to undertake ‘State business and official paperwork as usual’.

“… King Charles III is the King of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Papua New Guinea, and ten other Commonwealth Realms besides. As a Constitutional monarch, his assent is required for the passing of laws but in practice this is now a mere formality, and he acts on the advice of his Prime Minister and Parliament…

“The King’s enlarged prostate was disclosed by Buckingham Palace on January 17th, the same day it was revealed the future Queen, Princess Kate, had undergone abdominal surgery for an undisclosed ailment. It rapidly became apparent the Princess’ surgery had been a major one, and she spent 13 days recovering in hospital and is expected to spend months more convalescing.

“The disclosure about the health of the Royals is highly unusual from a house that until recently kept such information under tight control, but the change is down to a King wishing to be more open…

“Both the King and Princess Kate receiving treatment or recovering at the same time puts two of the Royal Family’s most effective and best-known faces out of the public eye for possibly months. Prince William has also taken time to help care for his wife and their children, and Princess Anne, the King’s sister, has stepped up to take on more duties…”

Dental Care Nightmare in Britain

Daily Mail wrote on February 5:

“Police broke up a snaking queue that formed outside a newly-opened NHS dental practice today, in scenes which illustrate the appointments crisis plaguing millions of desperate Brits… A local news website compared the queue, eventually shut [down] by police at 2.15pm, as being ‘reminiscent of Soviet-era Eastern Europe’, where queues for basic goods like food were an infamous part of daily life

“NHS dentistry has been in crisis for years, with leaders claiming the sector has been chronically underfunded, making it financially unviable to carry out treatments. Exacerbating the problem is that, as more dentists leave the NHS, those that remain become swamped by more and more patients… “

Coming… Another Magnetic Pole Flip?

The Reese Report wrote on February 2:

“In the late nineteen-forties, Major Maynard White, commander of Project Nanook, discovered that the Earth experiences routine magnetic pole flips that occur in the span of just one day. But this information was suppressed from the public and was directly followed by the birth of the United Nations Global Warming propaganda campaign. 

“Western governments adopted the man made global warming cover story, but this does not seem to be the case in the East. In Russia, talk of a pole shift is openly being discussed. Russian scientists have been tracking the wandering magnetic north which has been exponentially moving towards Siberia for decades. And even state run media, Ria News, has been reporting that the north and south magnetic poles have repeatedly changed places and that it could happen again at any moment…

“The Russian Federation seems to be preparing for this pole shift. Massive infrastructure is being developed in the Eurasian arctic, and Russian bases in Antarctica are being drastically restored. The farmers in Russia are not being attacked, they are being given extra subsidies by the government and encouraged to expand…”

It is a well-known fact that pole changes HAVE occurred in the past.

Monkeys Are Taking Over

The U.S. Sun wrote on February 1, 2024:

“AN ARMY of thousands of monkeys have run a city in central Thailand into the ground. Several stores and businesses have been forced to shutter and relocate, investors have halted their investments, and shoppers have all but entirely vanished from Lopburi. The Thai city, once a thriving hub for tourists who flocked to see the city’s wild macaques, has now been completely overrun by the 3,500-strong army that have taken control. Some locals have fled, while others have been forced to barricade their homes in a desperate bid to protect themselves against the rampaging monkeys… Lopburi has had to establish several no-go zones throughout the city, as some of these areas have been taken over by warring rival monkey gangs.

“At first the locals attempted to keep the animals at bay by providing them with junk food, but that plan backfired and seemed to only make the monkeys more violent. They had been giving the monkeys sweets, fizzy drinks and cereal – sugary treats which are well known to make monkeys more hyper and sexually-active.

“Female monkeys already have the ability to reproduce twice per year, and the frequency with which they have been given sugar has meant that these monkeys have had an abundance of energy to do so. Pre-pandemic, monkey and man lived in harmony in the city – the macaques attracted tourists to the city, and those tourists would buy bananas to feed the animals and pose with them. But that balance quickly collapsed when lockdowns stopped the steady flow of tourism, leaving the macaques desperate for a new food source…

“The monkeys can now be found everywhere. They sit atop rooftops, ready for ambush, they run riot on the roads, and they even rob passing cars. Thailand’s Department of National Parks has had to launch a sterilisation program, in the hope that they can curb some of the rapidly-growing monkey population in the city.

“Back in 2020, authorities were able to use large fruits to lure several hundred monkeys into cages so that they could sterilise them. At first they were successful, managing to catch some 500 monkeys on a daily basis, but now the monkeys have caught on to their tactics.

“Supakarn Kaewchot, a government veterinarian,… said that catching the macaques is no longer an easy feat. ‘As soon as they see our faces they remember. They know what we’re going to do… In some groups, the head of the group tries to stop their clan from going into the cage.’ He said that now, managing to capture a mere 20 monkeys is proving to be a challenge.”

Sounds like a scene from the “Planet of the Apes” movies. But the Bible warns that in these end times, animals will behave aggressively towards man.  In addition, monkeys are being viewed as sacred in Thailand. According to the national epic Ramakien — a version of India’s Ramayana — monkeys in Lopburi are the direct descendants of Hanuman, god-king of the apes.

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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