German Mandatory Community Service Even for Refugees?
Deutsche Welle reported on August 24:
“Members of Angela Merkel’s conservatives say a year of community service would help integrate refugees. The proposal comes against the backdrop of a larger debate about reinstating mandatory service for Germans.
“A year of [mandatory or voluntary] community service would help refugees and asylum-seekers integrate and promote their acceptance by the public, the general secretary of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives said Saturday. The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) ignited nationwide debate earlier this month when it brought up the idea of reinstating mandatory military service or a year of community service…
“Military conscription was scrapped in 2011 after Berlin opted for a professionalized army. Prior to this decision, all young men were obliged to either serve in the nation’s military, the Bundeswehr, or perform an alternative service for a limited period of time in civilian areas such as emergency management or medical care… Kramp-Karrenbauer said the CDU would discuss four models for reinstating a community service year for men and women at the party conference in December.”
The sad and crazy idea of mandatory conscription gains more and more attention in a once “pacifistic” country.
German Military Entices Minors
Reuters reported on August 24:
“To help attract new recruits, the [German] military has targeted youngsters with slick online video campaigns, drawing criticism from… child welfare advocates…
“But the campaigns are paying off. In 2017, 2,128 people under 18 joined the German army, up 11.4 percent from 2016 and accounting for 9 percent of new recruits… With lively music and scenes showing the lives of young soldiers, the Bundeswehr’s shows on YouTube… have attracted more than 64 million views. In October, traffic at the Bundeswehr jobs website increased 60 percent during a six-week broadcast of ‘Mali’, a YouTube series centered on eight soldiers serving in the U.N.’s peacekeeping mission in the West African country.
“The Bundeswehr Exclusive YouTube channel has over 330,000 followers and its latest production portrays the lives of a group of young paratroopers. The army is also active on other sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. According to a… survey of 20,000 school students across the country, the military is now considered Germany’s third most attractive employer…
“Overall, the army spent about 35 million euros ($40 million) on recruitment last year… More than 30,000 people signed a letter delivered to German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen a year ago that urged the Bundeswehr to stop recruiting minors. ‘This is embarrassing and sends a wrong signal to the world,’ said Ralf Willinger from rights group terre des hommes… ‘It weakens the international 18-year standard, encouraging armed groups and armies from other countries to legitimate the use of minors as soldiers.’
“Recruits under 18 in Germany undergo military training like other adult trainees, but they have special provisions such as not being allowed to participate in guard duty or foreign missions, and weapons are only used for educational purposes. Ilka Hoffmann, a board member at the GEW union… that represents about 280,000 teachers, social workers and education workers, [said:] ‘In no other profession does one learn to kill, and is one confronted with the danger of dying in war. That is the one difference.’”
Young people had better be aware as to what the military is “offering” them.
Huge Dangerous Fire Near Berlin
Deutsche Welle wrote on August 24:
“Three villages were evacuated in the northern German state of Brandenburg as 400 hectares of forest went up in flames outside Berlin… Germany has been suffering under a massive heatwave and drought for weeks, leaving forests and fields extremely dry…
“The German state of Brandenburg, which surrounds Berlin, was dealing with one of the biggest forest fires in the postwar history… The fire produced so much smoke that people in Berlin 60 kilometers away phoned emergency services on Friday morning, while Brandenburg locals heard explosions in the forest as old World War II munitions was set off…
“State Premier Dietmar Woidke [said that] munitions dumped in the forests during World War II and subsequently by the Soviet Army, which once used the surrounding countryside as a training ground, posed a ‘huge danger’ to the firefighters… ‘We in Brandenburg are in a very special situation here,’ he said. ‘We have areas of around 100,000 to 120,000 hectares all around Berlin that have old munitions in the ground…’”
One wonders where else old munitions—and what kind—are still buried throughout Germany and beyond.
Violence in Chemnitz, East Germany
The EUObserver wrote on August 28:
“Far-right activists clashed with police and leftist protestors for a second day in the eastern German city of Chemnitz, demanding foreigners to leave Germany. Monday’s events were a continuation of Sunday’s protests, which were triggered by a stabbing of a 35-year old German. A Syrian and an Iraqi remained under arrest on suspicion of the lethal attack. German chancellor Angela Merkel warned that ‘vigilante justice’ would not be tolerated.”
Der Spiegel wrote on August 28:
“Chemnitz is the third-largest city in the eastern state of Saxony and initially, over a thousand people had gathered on Monday to protest the kind of right-wing violence seen here on Sunday. Later, several thousand participants in a right-wing rally gathered at the city’s iconic monument to Karl Marx. The two camps were separated only by a single road and handful of law enforcement officers. The mood was tense – and turned violent once darkness began to fall. Fireworks were set off and the two groups began throwing projectiles at each other. There were several injuries.
“Later, the police would say that they had underestimated the number of people that would be participating in the two demonstrations. That they were caught off guard. But given the events in the city just one day earlier, that seems unlikely…”
Deutsche Welle added on August 28:
“In response to the events, most lawmakers echoed Merkel’s sentiments in a blanket condemnation of racism and violence… Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who has been in a highly-publicized feud with Merkel over his desire to curb immigration, was more muted in his disavowal of the far-right, and focused instead on the stabbing: ‘My deepest sympathies are with the loved ones of the knife attack victim…but I want to say clearly, that nothing justifies the call to violence or violent riots.’
“The Alternative for Germany (AfD) party was split down the middle, with some inside the party distancing themselves from the right-wing demonstrators and calling off their own planned rally, and others suggesting that the media had blown the situation out of proportion…”
German Police in Chemnitz Under Fire
The Guardian wrote on August 29:
“The leak of an arrest warrant to far-right groups has heightened widespread suspicions of links between German police and xenophobic demonstrators. Authorities have confirmed reports of the leak after the arrest warrant – containing the full name of the main suspect in the murder of a 35-year-old man, which triggered violent anti-foreigner protests in the eastern city of Chemnitz – was tweeted by Lutz Bachmann, the founding member of the far-right protest group Pegida. The suspect is a 22-year-old Iraqi man…
“The police were accused last week of standing up for Pegida protesters after stopping a camera team from the state broadcaster ZDF from filming a demonstration in Dresden for 45 minutes after complaints by a protester, who it later emerged was a police employee. They faced further accusations on Wednesday that they had lied over their claim to have underestimated the numbers who would attend the Chemnitz demonstration, after it emerged that Saxony’s office for protection of the constitution had warned them in advance that a large number of extremists from across Germany – including neo-Nazis, as well as football hooligans and martial artists with a known far-right background – were expected in the city…”
No-Deal Brexit Could See Brits in EU Lose Access to their UK Bank Accounts
The Local wrote on August 23:
“The British government released a list of 25 ‘technical notices’ on Thursday, revealing that Brits living in the European Union could lose access to their UK bank accounts in the event of a no-deal Brexit…
“Meanwhile, consumers buying products from the EU would face slower and more expensive credit card payments, and businesses were told that in the event of a no-deal ‘the free circulation of goods between the UK and EU would cease.’”
This is almost too fantastic to believe, and the British government did not give any details as to why Brits, living in the EU, would lose access to their bank accounts in the UK in case of a “no-deal Brexit.” But this news is truly alarming. According to the EUObserver, dated August 28, “French prime minister Edouard Philippe instructed his ministers on Monday to prepare measures in case of a no-deal Brexit.”
The Daily Mail wrote on August 29:
“EU negotiator Michel Barnier finally conceded he would have to offer Britain a unique deal on Brexit today… In remarks that sent the pound soaring up against the euro and the dollar, Mr Barnier promised a ‘partnership with Britain such as has never been with any other third country’.
“Mr Barnier has repeatedly insisted Britain must choose from an existing model used by either Norway or Canada – a deal the UK say[s] [is] unacceptable. The Brussels chief still insists Britain cannot have an ‘a la carte’ choice of benefits from the EU single market. Brexiteers welcomed his ‘more optimistic tone’ but warned that actions speak louder and urged the EU to get on with coming up with a new offer… Government sources said they would look at the comments but played down the shift, suggesting Mr Barnier had made ‘similar’ remarks before…
“In other developments today, [new Brexit Secretary] Dominic Raab admitted that a Brexit deal could be delayed until after the October (18 or 19) deadline – amid fears the UK could crash out without an agreement… His words are a shift in tone from the Government, which yesterday was still stressing that it is working towards the October deadline.
“Mr Davis quit… in protest at Theresa May’s Chequers proposal – a compromise deal which would mean the UK sticks to EU rules for goods but leaves the single market and customs union. The proposal sparked outcry from Brexiteers and Tory activists who warned it would leave the UK stuck half inside the Brussels bloc and hamper the country’s ability to strike free trade deals globally. And the EU also greeted the plan with scepticism – and it emerged yesterday that Mr Barnier threatened to boycott Brexit talks if Mrs May insisted on basing a deal on her Chequers plans.”
Express reported on August 30:
“Michel Barnier has made a dramatic U-turn and warned the European Union to prepare for a no-deal Brexit only a day after insisting the bloc was preparing to offer the UK a deal like no other third country.”
Deutsche Welle reported on August 30:
“Berlin and Brussels showed a united front on Wednesday delivering a single message to London: There will be no cherry-picking when it comes to the single market…
“[German Foreign Minister Heiko] Maas professed that the ‘last big hurdle’ was the question of the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. ‘We are firmly convinced that the exit agreement must guarantee that Brexit must not lead to a hard border in Northern Ireland,’ said Maas. ‘It is important that this guarantee must be valid regardless of how the EU and Britain will shape its new relationship.’
“Should no deal be reached by then, Britain will be subject to the World Trade Organization rules, which include many types of customs and border regulations for any trade with the EU.
“In contrast to all this harmony on the continent, the strife between Barnier and his main counterpart in the UK remains palpable… As if to illustrate this trouble on the high seas, French and British fishermen are currently in the middle of a maritime dispute of their own. Reuters news agency reported on Wednesday that French boats had rammed British scallop dredgers they believed had encroached on their seabed in the Baie en Seine…”
Could America Suffer Outright Military Defeat?
The National Interest wrote on August 25:
“America taunts China by taking needless risks, provokes Russia with military operations on their border that in no way improves our own security, extends military guarantees to small countries that could drag us into a war we should never fight, and engages in active combat operations in scores of countries where no U.S. security interests are at stake.
“…great powers frequently fell because they came to believe they could not be defeated. Without question, we have the greatest air force and navy the world has ever known. We are the dominant global power, both militarily and economically. Much of America’s dominance is based on our modern weapons and the technology that empowers them. Our reliance on technology, however, is a double-edged sword.
“Should an adversary one day use space-based weapons to strip away our navigation and intelligence satellites, we would suffer a substantial and immediate loss of military capability. Many of our precision weapons would be useless, our ability to navigate on the land, in the air, and on the oceans could be temporarily crippled. Communications would be hampered. Even at the tactical level, much of our ground-combat power is predicated on an ability to disperse units and mass fires—all of which requires uninterrupted ability to communicate across great distances…
“We must expect that one day another world power is going to develop a new class of weapon or capability that has never been seen which will allow them [to] either neutralize our greatest offensive weapons or against which our best defenses will be inadequate…
“Maintaining the status quo… will continue the erosion of our strength and increase the chances we may one day suffer outright military defeat.”
The Bible prophesies that the USA WILL suffer outright military defeat, and that the world power bringing this about will be a united core Europe under German leadership (“the beast”).
EU and USA—No Tariffs at All?
Fox Business News wrote on August 30:
“Although European Union officials have said they are supportive of lowering tariffs on automobiles to zero if the U.S. reciprocates, President Trump believes this is not a stand-alone issue or trade deal… Trump wants to see all tariffs removed on all industries, including agriculture, steel aluminum and medical equipment…
“‘We are willing to bring down even our car tariffs to zero, all tariffs to zero, if the U.S. does the same,’ European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told members of the European Parliament on Thursday in Brussels. But… Malmstrom has said that agriculture would not be included in this deal, and because of this, the White House is not celebrating the comments made today by Malmstrom.”
Europe Supports Turkey against the USA
The EUObserver wrote on August 24:
“The Turkey-US trade spat has led to EU leaders backing Turkey against the US administration’s policies. This not only shows the extent of economic interdependence between Europe and Turkey, but also signals the development of a common stance in the face of a bullying trade partner.
“When US president Donald Trump took to Twitter to celebrate the downward trajectory of the Turkish lira against the US dollar, Europe was concerned about the potential spillover of rapidly growing economic turmoil in Turkey. In particular, Germany, Turkey’s biggest trading partner, came to Turkey’s defence… In Italy, decision makers were equally concerned about contagion from Turkish markets…
“Meanwhile, the European Parliament declared the tariffs as illegitimate and urged the US to solve its problems with Turkey with ‘constructive diplomatic engagement.’ French economy minister Bruno Le Maire vowed to ‘strengthen economic ties between France and Turkey’ signalling that France and Turkey would work together to take a stance against the US…
“In the past 12 months alone, the tension between Europe and the US escalated like never before… the US and Europe have found themselves on the opposing sides of global conflicts and major foreign policy issues… There is a growing sense in Europe that collective action is needed for dealing with the US administration… A foreign policy based on ‘America first’ is likely to result in further isolation for the US to the extent that it undermines the US’ major allies across the world.”
Turkey will be aligned with Europe and Arab nations against Israel (the state of Israel as well as the USA and the UK), according to biblical prophecies, and America will become more and more isolated on the world scene.
Trump’s Terrible Week
The Guardian wrote on August 25:
“[On Tuesday, in] New York, Trump’s longtime lawyer and ‘fixer’ Michael Cohen implicated the president in a crime to influence the 2016 presidential election. Pleading guilty to dodging taxes and campaign finance violations, he alleged that Trump directed him to pay hush money to prevent two women – a Playboy model and pornographic actor – speaking out about extramarital affairs.
“In Alexandria, Virginia, Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, was found guilty of eight tax and bank fraud charges and could now spend the rest of his life behind bars – unless Trump chooses to pardon him.
“… But the day from hell [August 21] was far from done. The Republican congressman Duncan Hunter and his wife were indicted on corruption charges, namely converting more than $250,000 in campaign money to pay for personal expenses… In 2016, Hunter was the second member of Congress to endorse Trump for president. Earlier this month the first, Chris Collins of New York was indicted for insider trading. The third [member of Congress who endorsed Trump]? Jeff Sessions, now Trump’s out-of-favour attorney general…
“And then, in one more dose of humiliation, the candidate Trump endorsed for governor of Wyoming, Foster Friess, lost the Republican primary to the state treasurer, Mark Gordon…
“Then there was Wednesday… the president gave an interview to Fox News which, as always, had sought to play down the firestorm. He denied instructing to Cohen to commit a crime… He also claimed that he did not find out about the payments until ‘later’, contradicting earlier statements. For the first time, the Washington Post’s factchecker said the president was lying rather than merely misleading or false…
“On Thursday there was no let-up. It emerged that David Pecker, chairman of American Media Inc, which owns the pro-Trump National Enquirer, had been granted immunity to provide information about Cohen and Trump’s involvement with payments to the two women who allege sexual affairs. The Associated Press added fuel to the fire by reporting that the Enquirer kept such secrets locked in a safe…
“On Friday… attention turned back to Trump’s legal crisis as the Wall Street Journal reported that Allen Weisselberg, his longtime financial gatekeeper, was granted immunity by federal prosecutors for providing information about Cohen…”
Just about Cohen? Many feel that the alleged “investigation” regarding “collusion with Russia” has far exceeded its claimed legitimate legal justification and that it does constitute a political witch-hunt of unparalleled historical proportions. At one time, Trump said that if special counsel Robert Mueller should begin to investigate Trump’s or his family’s private financial affairs, he would have crossed the red line. Constitutionally, Trump can’t probably fire Mueller himself or through his Attorney General Sessions who recused himself, after he took the job, without telling Trump ahead of time. But Trump could fire Sessions (which many, such as evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr., a religious adviser to Trump, believe is long overdue) and/or insist that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein fire Mueller, and if he refuses [he had told Congress he would fire Mueller only for clear misconduct and he gave him great latitude regarding the “investigation”], Trump could fire him too until he finds someone who carries out his demands.
Politico pointed out on April 17, 2018, that this man might be Solicitor General Noel Francisco: “Under Justice Department rules, Rosenstein’s successor should be the department’s third-ranking official, the associate attorney general. But the last occupant of that job, Rachel Brand, departed in February and has not been replaced [Presently, Jesse Panuccio is serving as the Acting Associate Attorney General; while the Trump administration has put its search for the Justice Department’s No. 3 official on hold]. Next in line is Francisco, 48, a former George W. Bush White House and Justice Department lawyer whom Trump last year named to be U.S. solicitor general, representing his administration and the U.S. government before the Supreme Court.”
It might not be “politically correct” for Trump to fire Mueller in the way described above, and the Democrats will and many Republicans might revolt and cry foul, but they still may not dare to impeach Trump, as many American citizens would be on his side, going beyond just his loyal base, since he would truly have begun, in the minds of many, to drain the swamp which he had promised to do. After all, many congressional Republicans were never his friends to begin with, nor are they his friends today, and now we see that some of Trump’s long-time loyal “friends” are receiving immunity while turning against him.
Impeach Trump, and the American People Will Revolt
The Washington Post wrote on August 24:
“‘I think impeachment would be totally horrible,’ Giuliani said, later adding, ‘You could only impeach him for political reasons, and the American people would revolt against that.’ On this point, Giuliani is largely correct.
“First, impeachment is indeed a purely political process… it’s also probably true that there would be a revolt of some significant form against an effort to impeach Trump… ‘Revolt’ is a strong word, and ‘the American people’ is overly broad. But a substantial number of Americans would certainly take strong issue with an impeachment effort against Trump…
“We talk a lot about Trump’s base of support, how broadly steady it is and how enthusiastic it is. Talk to Trump supporters and a common theme is that they feel the need to stand with him because he’s constantly embattled by the outside forces of Democrats and government investigators…”
Trump won’t be impeached.
Trump Like Cyrus Helping to Build the Temple?
The Huffington Post wrote on August 30:
“[Roger E.] Olson, a professor of Christian theology… said many evangelicals don’t necessarily believe that Trump is a man of faith. But they view him like Cyrus, the biblical Persian emperor who helped to free the Hebrew people and rebuild their temple in Jerusalem despite not being Jewish himself.
“‘They regard [Trump] as a person who is not one of God’s own people (Jewish or Christian), but an instrument of God to deliver Israel and American evangelical Christianity from persecution…’”
Trump’s role in the building of the Third Temple prior to Christ’s return will be interesting to observe. Please view our StandingWatch program, “Netanyahu’s Announcement of a Third Temple?”
John McCain and His Farewell Message
The Week wrote on August 27:
“The passing of Sen. John McCain marks the end of an era in American political life… Americans are always hungry for heroes, and McCain served admirably in that role for many years. His service, sacrifice, and suffering as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War was genuinely awe-inspiring and worthy of profound… respect…
“Honor, nobility, courage, public-spiritedness — he esteemed them all and did his best to embody them in his life. That… is the source of the heartfelt tributes that have flowed forth from so many at the news of his death. His life was a reminder of an older, elevated notion of politics that places country before party and self-sacrifice before self-interest. That such displays of public virtue can still move so many, even at such an otherwise tawdry time in our history, is powerful evidence that they grow out of and touch something deep and ineradicable within the human soul.”
JTA wrote on August 28:
“McCain reserved two paragraphs in his posthumous farewell for a warning about the dangers of hypernationalism, alluding to the rise of the ‘alt-right,’ the white supremacists whom he reviled. And he invoked a slogan that predates the Nazis, but that was made popular by them: blood and soil… ‘We are citizens of the world’s greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil… We have helped liberate more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. We have acquired great wealth and power in the process… We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe.’
“It was not the first time McCain had referenced the term ‘blood and soil,’ which the Nazis used to justify their theories of racial purity. Last October, receiving the National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal, he used the term to warn against the white supremacism that had led to violence and murder in Charlottesville, Virginia just two months earlier.
“‘To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain “the last best hope of earth” for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history,’ McCain said then. ‘We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil.’…
“McCain was furious with President Donald Trump for equivocating following Charlottesville, when the president insisted both sides were to blame for the violence and… declared that there were ‘very fine people’ on both sides. And McCain’s final statement segues from a warning about the term to an indictment of Trump’s policies, particularly the president’s anti-immigrant postures.
“‘We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down,’ McCain said, an allusion to the wall Trump hopes to build along the border the United States shares with Mexico, and which runs through Arizona… Trump despised McCain and had to be pressured into honoring the senator’s memory.”
Earthquake in Southern California
The Los Angeles Times reported on August 29:
“Parts of Southern California were rattled by a 4.4 magnitude earthquake Tuesday evening that was centered near La Verne but felt over a wide area… the epicenter was three miles from San Dimas, four miles from Claremont and five miles from Glendora.
“… Victor Flores, who lives in a two-story house in the hills of La Verne, said the shaking was ‘extremely violent.’ ‘It was moving the whole house,’ he said. ‘It shook hard for what seemed like 10 to 20 seconds, and then it just kept going. It was really loud too, kind of like thunder. It just hit really hard and quick.’ Flores, his wife and daughters ran to their backyard, but when they saw the water in their pool swaying back and forth, they ran back inside…
“Rochelle Puente was watching her 7-year-old son’s football practice at Bonita High School in La Verne when she felt the shaking. She and at least 100 other people at the field looked up at the tall trees and swaying poles. Puente heard people scream… ‘It felt way stronger than a 4.4,’ Puente added.
“The… quake was widely felt, either as a sharp jolt near the epicenter or a rolling motion farther away. It shook buildings for several seconds in downtown Los Angeles.”
Please view our StandingWatch program, Is California’s Big Earthquake About to Strike?
Further Outrageous Conduct by Bank of America
Miami Herald wrote on August 30:
“Saeed Moshfegh woke up earlier this month to discover the strangest thing: though he had plenty of money in his Bank of America account, he couldn’t access it. An Iranian getting his Ph.D in physics at the University of Miami, Moshfegh used the account for everyday transactions. All he had to do to maintain the account was show proof of legal residency every six months. Moshfegh… has lived in the U.S. for the past seven years. He recently married an American.
“That Thursday, Moshfegh went to his local branch near South Miami. He was told that the documentation he had provided could not be accepted. Bank officials insisted he produce a different form, according to Moshfegh. The bank was wrong, he maintains, because the form he had supplied was the correct one based on his current status as a student nearing graduation. ‘This bank doesn’t know how the immigration system works, so they didn’t accept my document,’ said Moshfegh, 36. Locked out of his account, Moshfegh couldn’t pay his rent, which was due that week. Credit card payments were suddenly rejected.
“His case isn’t unique. In recent months, Bank of America has been accused of freezing or threatening to freeze customers’ accounts after asking about their legal status in the U.S. In July, the Washington Post reported that multiple customers had been locked out of their accounts after Bank of America questioned whether the account holders were U.S. citizens or dual citizens.
“According to the Post, Kansas-born Josh Collins received an unusual-looking letter purportedly from the bank asking about his citizenship status. He said he thought the mailer was spam and ignored it—only to have his account frozen a few weeks later. After Collins’ story was first reported locally, he and his wife received messages from others who had been locked out of their accounts for weeks, the Post reported.
“Tennessee native David Lewis says he received the same suspicious-looking letter as Collins. In an interview with the Miami Herald, Lewis said he has maintained an account with Bank of America for about 30 years. In the letter, the bank inquired about his citizenship, income, and Social Security number. When he called Bank of America, he was told his account would be frozen if he did not fill out the forms. That phone conversation led him to cancel his account, he said…
“Proof of citizenship is not required to open a bank account in the U.S., according to Stephanie Collins, a spokesperson for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the federal agency that supervises branch banking. Banks are merely required to identify and report suspicious transactions and maintain and update customer information, she said…
“Paulina Gonzalez, executive director of the California Reinvestment Coalition, told the Herald: ‘…We have Bank of America customers who we’ve spoken to who have never been asked this before last year…’ In recent months, her group has received several complaints about being asked for proof of citizenship; almost all have come from Bank of America customers, she said. An article in American Banker magazine also highlighted Bank of America as the one institution specifically facing backlash for its policies…
“For Moshfegh, the Miami physics student, it was not until he’d had conversations with multiple Bank of America officials that he was able to convince them to let him withdraw all his funds; Bank of America would not let him keep the account.”
This is truly appalling. For more information, please view our StandingWatch program, “Do Banks and the Government Control You?”
Another Change in Australia’s Government
The Telegraph wrote on August 25:
“Australia’s new prime minister Scott Morrison, a staunch conservative and devout evangelical Christian [who opposes same-sex marriage], yesterday pledged to heal the ruling Liberal party after a week of infighting that outgoing leader Malcolm Turnbull said left his nation ‘dumbstruck and so appalled’. Following a brutal party brawl, Mr Morrison emerged victorious as leader in a 45-40 party-room vote against Peter Dutton, a hardliner who led a coup against Mr Turnbull.
“Mr Morrison, formerly the treasurer, equivalent to Chancellor of the Exchequer, was sworn in on Friday by the Governor-General, the Queen’s representative, to become Australia’s sixth prime minister in eight years. Mr Turnbull, a former investment banker who became leader after toppling Tony Abbott in 2015, was ousted by a group of right-wing MPs who mistrusted his progressive views, even as he veered rightward on issues such as climate change, the republic and same-sex marriage…
“The toppling of Mr Turnbull means that no Australian leader has served a full term since John Howard after the 2004 election… Adding to the turmoil, Mr Turnbull said he planned to leave parliament, which would require a by-election that could threaten the ruling Liberal-National Coalition’s one-seat majority. This could force an early general election, which is currently due by May.
“Mr Morrison, a father of two and faithful member of an American-style mega-church, did not support the move to topple Mr Turnbull. He was elected after a three-way contest against Mr Dutton and Julie Bishop, the foreign minister, who was defeated in the first round of voting.
“On Friday night US President Donald Trump congratulated Mr Morrison. Trump tweeted, ‘There are no greater friends than the United States and Australia!’ Mr Morrison soon responded, writing on Twitter: ‘Had a great discussion with @realDonaldTrump this morning. We affirmed the strength of the relationship between the US and Australia…’ Known as a shrewd political operator, Mr Morrison developed a reputation as a tough but capable minister after overseeing Australia’s efforts to stem the flow of asylum seekers by boat. This involved detaining refugees on remote offshore islands and towing boats back to Indonesia, measures condemned as unlawful and inhumane by the United Nations.”
If there are no greater friends than the USA and Australia, where do the UK and Israel fit in? The Bible says that God is not pleased with a country’s national sin manifested by the fact that its leaders change constantly and quickly (Proverbs 28:2 says in the Luther Bible 1984: “Because of the sin of the land its leaders change often…”).
Deadly Side Effects of Prescription Medications
ABC News wrote on August 27:
“The authors collected health information of over 23,000 children 19 years and younger using [a survey] from 2003 to 2014. Nearly one in five children and adolescents used at least one prescription medication; approximately 7.5 percent used two or more and the use of prescription medications was the highest among adolescent girls (28 percent) and boys ages 6 to 12 years (26.5 percent).
“Among those using multiple medications, one in 12 was at risk for a major drug interaction, and the vast majority of these potential interactions involved antidepressants. Adolescent girls were at a higher risk of interacting drug regimens compared to other groups, largely because of their higher rate of medication use… side effects related to medications remain a leading cause of injuries and death among children and adolescents in the United States… approximately 200,000 children and teens visit emergency departments each year because of side effects related to medication…”
Hatred for the Bible?
The Los Angeles Times wrote on August 17:
“Would you believe it if I told you the mere sight of the Bible is offensive to some people?… Apparently, in our intolerant culture, we no longer can display the Bible in public…
“Harvard, Yale and a number of the other original nine colonial colleges in America were established by people who believed in the Bible. The Salvation Army, which has helped countless vulnerable people, was started by a man who believed in the Bible and lived accordingly. The abolitionist movement was led by men and women who believed the words in the Bible and took them to heart. And let’s not forget Martin Luther King Jr., whose celebrated speeches, which in many ways were really sermons, are now enshrined in our collective consciousness. And yet, here we are, having to tiptoe around some who find it offensive.
“We can find Bibles in nearly every hotel room in America, and most Americans have at least one Bible in their home. In fact, 47% of American adults, including 50% of college graduates, believe the Bible is the inspired word of God. At the same time, there is a significant disconnect. Half of those who claim to read the Bible aren’t able to name the four Gospels in the New Testament…”
The situation in Europe, especially Germany, is much worse. Anyone who dares to read the Bible in public (including in public transportation) is being considered by most as being weird, strange, abnormal or a religious fanatic. You can read any book you want in public, but woe to you if you read the Bible! We need to understand that the author of such hatred for God’s Word is none other than Satan the Devil.
Separation of Catholic Church and State in Italy?
Evangelical Focus reported on August 20:
“The state funeral in Genova for the victims of the Morandi bridge, which killed at least 41 people, was not attended by all the victims. About half of the relatives decided not to take part in the ceremony held on August 16th…
“The state funeral followed a Roman Catholic rite… Among those who did not attend the state funeral were the parents, siblings and friends of Stella Boccia (24). They decided to do their own funeral the day before… Francesco Boccia, brother of the victim, is an evangelical pastor of an Assemblies of God…
“This is not the first time a state funeral in Italy is officiated in accordance to the Roman Catholic liturgy, even when those honoured include people of other faiths and non-believers. According to the Italian Evangelical Alliance (AEI), the state funerals after the earthquakes of Aquila (2009) and Amatrice (2016) followed a similar religious framework. ‘The state funeral is delegated to the Catholic church as if the state could not “handle death” apart from “mother” church’, Vice President of the AEI, Leonardo De Chirico, told Evangelical Focus. Therefore, the state funeral becomes ‘actually a Catholic funeral. The distinctions between state and church are blurred… It assumes that everyone is Catholic and that the Catholic Church acts on behalf of the state’…”
We need to note as well that Roman Catholicism was recognized under Mussolini as the state’s official and only religion, and this declaration in a treaty between church and state was never revoked. The same “blurred distinctions” can be observed in other European countries in which Catholics constitute a majority of the people, including Austria, Germany, France and Spain.
Pope Francis—Change of Mind or Damage Control?
The Guardian wrote on August 27:
“The Vatican has rolled back on a recommendation by Pope Francis that parents seek psychiatric help for children who show homosexual tendencies. The pope made the comments to journalists as he was flying back to Rome from Ireland, but the Vatican later removed his phrase from its official account, saying he had not meant to suggest that homosexuality was a mental illness.
“The pope was asked by a journalist what he would say to parents who observe homosexual traits in their children. ‘When it shows itself from childhood, there is a lot that can be done through psychiatry, to see how things are. It is something else if it shows itself after 20 years,’ he said. He added that ignoring a child who showed homosexual tendencies was an ‘error of fatherhood or motherhood’…
“The pope’s trip to Ireland was fraught with controversy amid accusations that he ignored sexual abuse allegations against prominent US cardinal Theodore McCarrick.”
It was even alleged that he knew and covered up alleged sexual abuses of children. The pope has refused to comment to such allegations.
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.