This Week In The News

No Catholic Women Priests… Ever!

USA Today reported on November 1:

“The Catholic Church’s ban on female priests will stand forever, Pope Francis said Tuesday. The pontiff made the declaration in response to a female reporter asking whether he thought women would one day serve as Catholic priests and bishops, noting the head of Sweden’s Lutheran Church whom Francis met on his trip there is a woman… ‘Pope John Paul II had the last clear word on this and it stands,’… The reporter then asked ‘Forever, forever? Never, never?’ ‘If we read carefully the declaration by… John Paul II, it is going in that direction,’ the pope responded.

“Pope John Paul II, in an Apostolic letter written in 1994, wrote that despite the church’s long history of male-only priests, ‘in some places it is nonetheless considered open to debate.’ Not so, wrote the pope who died in 2005 and was canonized a saint in 2014… ‘I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful,’ John Paul II wrote.”

In this, the Catholic Church is correct.

 Germans for Clinton as a Lesser of Two EVILS

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 1:

“A whopping 86 percent of Germans would vote for Hillary Clinton for US president and only four percent would choose Donald Trump, a recent poll showed. DW spoke to five very different Germans about the election.

“Theresia Scholz is an 85-year-old pensioner from Reutlingen and has been a member of the conservative CDU for 50 years:…  ‘I would advise the American electorate: Vote for the lesser of two evils. There’s nothing perfect in the world. You can’t elect someone who’s so revolting and is a blowhard and constantly contradicts himself. In the end you don’t know what you’ll get…’

“Helmut Kopp, 46, is a senior partner in a business consultancy near Frankfurt and is married to a German-Persian woman:… ‘I think it’s pathetic that a population of 320 million people has a choice between a senile old man and 69-year-old woman. The two of them should be preparing for the final years of their lives and not go around pretending to be 50-year-old yuppies …’

“Stefan Hauser, 46, works for an online shop in Dresden and is the publisher of a pocket calendar devoted to dead rock musicians: ‘… Neither candidate holds much appeal for young people in Germany.’

“Pauli Heinz, 19, is from Hamburg and just started studying product design in Berlin after going to school for three years in England: ‘… I find the American electoral system problematic. In the end there are only two candidates who have a true chance. If you don’t like either, you don’t have much of a choice.’

“Beate Brinkmeier, 40, is a born and bred West Berliner who works for the picture department of a national newspaper and is in the process of getting a degree in psychology: ‘I think if I were American, I wouldn’t vote. Fundamentally, I ask myself as a European how it can happen that the two candidates are this bad. It’s pretty horrifying… As someone from Berlin, I worry about how the fronts have hardened between the West and Russia. Not that I like Putin, but I don’t think either candidate will do anything to ease the tension. That’s what I’m most worried about.’”

The article summarizes accurately the German sentiments. German preference for Hillary Clinton is largely due to extremely one-sided reporting about the two candidates… which is not to say that we are endorsing either of the candidates in any way.

The Most Unlikeable Candidates

The Washington Post wrote on November 1:

“Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are some of the most unlikeable candidates in political history… but even after this seemingly never-ending election cycle, they’re still more popular than Congress.”

The Obamacare Disaster

BBC News wrote on October 25:

“The cost of healthcare insurance in the US under the Affordable Care Act is expected to rise by an average of 25% in 2017, according to the government. About one in five consumers will also only be able to pick plans from a single insurer, it said… Republican nominee Donald Trump vowed on Tuesday to repeal the law, which is known as Obamacare.

“It is a major part of President Barack Obama’s legacy, and his signature piece of legislation… The enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 mandated that every American had to purchase private insurance, and prohibited insurers from turning away the sick. It also provided subsidies.

“… Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has said she supports the Affordable Care Act, but has denounced ‘skyrocketing out-of-pocket health costs’, saying the federal government should have the power to block or modify unreasonable rate increases… small-business owners and the self-employed… will take it on the chin…

“The unsubsidised portion of the government-run health insurance marketplace was what Bill Clinton notably called ‘the craziest thing in the world’ earlier this month. Donald Trump and the Republicans tried to make hay out of his remarks at the time – and now they have solid numbers to make their case.

“Mrs Clinton continues to be in the awkward position of defending Obamacare…”

Not only Obamacare, but the entire presidency of Barack Obama has been a complete and utter disaster. It is mind-boggling that especially in Germany, many would prefer a third term for Mr. Obama. This is largely due to a completely inaccurate and propagandistic reporting by the German press.

Günther Oettinger Ridicules Chinese, Merkel and Schroeder

The Guardian wrote on October 28:

“Günther Oettinger, the EU commissioner for digital affairs, has used a speech to poke fun at the Chinese, gay marriage and former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s separation from his wife. Speaking to invited guests of the Hamburg company AGA, the German politician triggered both nervous laughter and applause with his remarks.

“Oettinger, who is known for his gaffes, described a recent contingent of Chinese businessmen who came to Brussels to meet EU officials as ‘nine men, (with) one party and no democracy’, who all wore ‘single-breasted dark-blue jackets, all with their hair brushed from left to right with black shoe polish’.

“Criticising Germany’s welfare system as overly generous, he went on to have a dig at the liberal policies of Angela Merkel’s grand coalition government, saying he would not be surprised if it introduced ‘obligatory homosexual marriage’.

“He said that following the recent collapse of [former Chancellor Gerhard] Schröder’s fourth marriage and the doubts over the North Stream 2 project which he had been working on in his advisory capacity at Gazprom, he would now ‘have plenty of time on his hands’.

“Oettinger, who is responsible for the EU’s IT developments, said he took pride in being the only person in his vicinity who read a newspaper instead of reading his news on a tablet or smartphone.”

Interesting comments….

Turkey Attacks Germany

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 3:

“Germany has become one of the most important havens for terror groups, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday, warning that this ‘cursed terror will boomerang back and hit you.’

“Erdogan said Germany had refused to extradite alleged members of FETO, the name the government uses to describe the organization led by US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara has blamed for the attempted coup in July. The Turkish president said Germany has for years harbored militants and organizations tied to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency for greater autonomy, as well as the far-left DHKP-C. The EU designated both groups terror organizations…

“The mushrooming of the post-coup purges of more than 100,000 people has drawn criticism in Germany, where there is increasing worry that the conflict between Gulenists and Erdogan backers could spill into the country.  The purges have also raised concerns over the rule of law and Erdogan’s attempts to silence all opposition… Relations took a further hit earlier this year after Germany passed an Armenian genocide resolution.” 

The “Brexit Betrayal Court Ruling”

The New York Times wrote on November 3:

“The British government’s plan for leaving the European Union was thrown into uncertainty on Thursday after the High Court ruled that Parliament must give its approval before the process can begin. The court’s decision seemed likely to slow — but not halt — the British withdrawal from the bloc, a step approved by nearly 52 percent of voters in a June referendum.

“Nevertheless, the court’s decision was a significant blow to Prime Minister Theresa May. She had planned to begin the legal steps for leaving the European Union by the end of March, and to prepare for the negotiations over Britain’s exit mostly behind closed doors. If the court’s ruling is upheld — the government immediately vowed to appeal — that plan would be thrown into disarray, analysts said. Mrs. May would be forced to work with Parliament and consider its competing priorities for Britain’s future. Specifically, she would have to give it a detailed strategy for negotiating the British departure, or ‘Brexit.’ She has adamantly resisted doing so, arguing that this would impede her flexibility in the negotiations, preventing Britain from getting the best possible deal.”

Express wrote on November 3:

“THE BRITISH public have reacted strongly against today’s Brexit court ruling… The prime minister’s official spokesman said the government had ‘no intention of letting’ the judgement ‘derail Article 50 or the timetable we have set out. We are determined to continue with our plan’… Prime Minister Theresa May had said she would trigger Article 50, which notifies the EU of the UK’s intention to leave the EU, by the end of next March.

“… the High Court ruled that parliament must vote on whether the UK can trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and begin the process of leaving the European Union. This means that the Government cannot begin formal exit negotiations without the backing of the House…”

In a related article, Express wrote on November 3:

“EURO judges could have the final say on the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union following today’s bombshell Article 50 decision in another hammer blow to eurosceptics… Critics have branded the situation a ‘mess’ and urged the Prime Minister to sidestep Article 50 altogether by passing an act of parliament repealing all EU laws. 

“Top lawyers have said that the controversial legal trigger for leaving the bloc, which has never been activated before, is a legal minefield because of its ambiguous wording. Buried deep in the Lisbon Treaty, eurosceptics say Article 50 is so ambiguous and full of holes because arrogant Brussels bureaucrats never conceived that anyone would want to leave their club… A report by the European Parliament, compiled in February this year, also agreed that Article 50 is an ‘international agreement’ between the exiting country and Brussels, and is ‘therefore subject to judicial review by the Court of Justice of the EU’.

“… Ukip MEP Gerard Batten said the growing legal confusion showed that Theresa May should sidestep the flawed exit clause altogether and instead take firm action through the UK parliament. He said:… ‘This mess demonstrates why we should forget Article 50 and leave the EU by repealing the 1972 European Communities Act which is perfectly legal under our constitution.’

“Theresa May has repeatedly asserted that ‘Brexit means Brexit’ and has promised to trigger Article 50 by the end of March at the latest. Once the notification is served to Brussels there will be a two-year window in which to negotiate the terms of Britain’s exit from the bloc, which can only be extended with the unanimous agreement of all 28-member states.”

Russia Lost Bid for UN’s Human Rights Council

The Guardian wrote on October 28:

“Russia has lost its bid to become a member of the UN’s human rights council, in a defeat that reflects the diplomatic cost of its war in Syria. Russia was beaten on Friday by Hungary and Croatia in the competition for two seats on the council allotted to eastern European states. It was the first time one of the permanent five members of the security council had failed to get elected to the HRC since its formation a decade ago, and followed a campaign by human rights groups opposing Russian membership because of its role in the bombing of Syrian cities, eastern Aleppo in particular…

“Human rights groups also campaigned against Saudi Arabia for the high civilian death toll of its bombing campaign in Yemen, but the kingdom won one of the four seats reserved for the Asia-Pacific region.

“The 193-member general assembly on Friday elected 14 members to the 47-nation council, the UN’s main body charged with promoting and protecting human rights. Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, Iraq, Japan, Rwanda, South Africa, Tunisia, the UK and the US were also elected to the council… ‘Russia deserves this defeat, but it will only increase Moscow’s contempt for the UN,’ said Richard Gowan, a UN expert at the European Council for Foreign Relations…”

The conflict between Russia and the EU is bound to increase.

The Fight Against Aliens

Gizmodo wrote on October 29:

“With UFO sightings on the rise and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman leading a push to reveal more classified info on extraterrestrial life, one small town in France wants to potentially ruin it for us all.

“Claude Avril, the current mayor of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, says that he will not overturn a 62-year-old law that prohibits the ‘flying over, landing, or taking off of flying saucers’ in his town. First introduced by the former mayor, Lucien Jeune, the law states: ‘Any aircraft, known as flying saucer or flying cigar, which should land on the territory of the community will be immediately held in custody.’…

“According to the Telegraph:  ‘The 1954 law was established after a man in northern France said he had seen two figures that looked like ‘deep sea divers’ emerging from a ‘cigar-shaped’ space ship.”

How ridiculous can mankind get?

More Earthquakes in Italy

The Guardian wrote on October 30:

“Prime minister Matteo Renzi swore that Italy would rebuild devastated towns and villages across central Italy that were rocked by a 6.6-magnitude earthquake on Sunday morning, saying the area represented the ‘soul of our country’. It was the most powerful earthquake to hit Italy since 1980, striking a blow to the regions of Marche and Umbria just days after they were hit by two other earthquakes.

“It also frightened and displaced thousands of already-jittery residents who have seen the ancient structures and walls in their towns, including the San Benedetto basilica in Norcia, which is considered a sacred site, crumble into heaps on the street.”

Ultimately, the city of Rome will be hit by a big earthquake.

Muslim Worlds Considered Dome of the Rock as Place for the Two Temples

The Times of Israel wrote on October 31:

“A recently studied inscription from a mosque near Hebron offers insight into how, until the mid-20th century, the Muslim world considered Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock to be the successor to two ancient Jewish shrines that formerly stood atop the Temple Mount.

“The previously overlooked dedicatory inscription from the Mosque of Umar in Nuba, a village nearly 26 kilometers (16 miles) southwest of Jerusalem, mentions the village as an endowment for the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. But what’s striking is that the Dome of the Rock is referred to in the text as ‘the rock of the Bayt al-Maqdis’ — literally, ‘The Holy Temple’ — a verbatim translation of the Hebrew term for the Jerusalem temple that early Muslims employed to refer to Jerusalem as a whole, and the gold-domed shrine in particular.

“Local tradition ascribed the construction of the mosque to Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab, under whose rule Arab armies conquered Jerusalem and the rest of Byzantine Palestine in the mid-7th century. It was under his eventual successor Abd al-Malik, the fifth caliph, that the Dome of the Rock was completed in 691 CE…

“… medieval Muslim traditions surrounding the Dome of the Rock… ‘identified the mount again and again with David and Solomon’s temples’ and ‘understood that the mount is the ancient temple rebuilt, the Quran is the true faith and the Muslims the true Children of Israel… In effect, the Muslims saw themselves as the ones continuing the biblical tradition of the temple,’ [a scholar] explained; they considered themselves the ‘new Jews.’ In that vein, the Muslims built the third temple in the 7th century in the form of the Dome of the Rock.

“For several centuries, until the fall of Jerusalem to crusading Christians in 1099, Muslims associated the Haram al-Sharif with the former temples…  Muslim traditions identify the Haram again and again with the Temple of David and Solomon, from where the Ark of the Covenant and God’s Presence had been removed, where the Children of Israel killed John, the son of Zechariah (the biblical prophet Zechariah), and Nebuchadnezzar in revenge slaughtered them,’ [another scholar wrote].

“Despite the fact that Muslim texts and historians associated the Temple Mount with the two ancient Jewish temples that stood there, since the foundation of the State of Israel that narrative has been expunged from the Palestinian narrative. A guide to the Haram al-Sharif, the Arabic term for the Temple Mount, published by the Islamic Waqf in 1925 informed visitors that the fact that the Dome of the Rock was built atop the site of Solomon’s Temple was ‘beyond dispute.’ Even as late as 1951, historian — and then-Palestinian mayor of East Jerusalem — Aref el-Aref’s history of the Dome of the Rock stated unequivocally that ‘the ruins of Solomon’s Temple are under al-Aqsa’ and that Umar built a mosque atop the former building’s site. But by 1965, ‘A Brief Guide to the Dome of the Rock and Haram al-Sharif,’ published by the Supreme Awqaf Council, completely avoided mentioning the ancient Jewish temples.

“Amid clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police on the Temple Mount last October, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, the Muslim cleric in charge of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, said that there was never a Jewish temple atop the Temple Mount, and that the site has been home to a mosque ‘since the creation of the world.’… ‘This is the Al-Aqsa Mosque that Adam, peace be upon him, or during his time, the angels built,’ the mufti said.”

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