European Leaders Alarmed!
The Los Angeles Times reported on September 12:
“Warning against the danger of intensifying nationalism across Europe, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in separate appearances Wednesday that the rise of populism and the far-right represents an existential threat to the European Union’s future.
“In their respective speeches at the German Reichstag in Berlin and the European Parliament building in Strasbourg, France, the two powerful leaders raised alarm over burgeoning right wing movements in several member countries amid the arrival of large numbers of refugees and migrants. They also lamented waning cohesion in the EU, which grew out of efforts to unite European nations in the decades following the devastation of World War II…
“Merkel, in her address in Berlin, condemned right-wing mob attacks that erupted two weeks ago against foreigners in the eastern city of Chemnitz. Protests turned violent after two refugees were arrested in connection with the fatal knife attack on a German man, a crime that reignited a national debate on Merkel’s decision to let in more than 1.5 million foreigners since 2015…
“A far-right party, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) has been gaining strength from month to month with strident opposition to Merkel’s pro-refugee policies, which President Trump has also criticized.
“‘The fundamental dispute is also taking place across Europe,’ said Merkel, currently Europe’s longest serving leader, noting that European parliamentary elections next year would be a battleground over the issue of migration…
“In Strasbourg, Juncker took aim at far-right nationalism and growing intolerance that has caused tensions in EU countries, none of which has taken in as many refugees as Germany. In his state-of-the-union address, the former Luxembourg prime minister, who will retire next year, recalled how Europe was caught off guard a little more than a century ago with tensions that led to the outbreak of World War I.
“‘I am not suggesting that we are on the verge of a similar catastrophe in Europe,’ said Juncker. ‘The EU is a guarantor of peace. Let’s be happy that we live on a continent that enjoys peace thanks to the EU. Let us show more respect to the EU. Let’s not sully its image. Let us defend our life, our way of being. Let’s embrace the kind of patriotism that is not directed against others’ and look for ‘solutions that allow us to coexist better.’”
Leaders like Merkel and Juncker who call for restraint are NOT winning the battle. Already, unrest in the EU nations is surfacing more and more. The Bible reveals that new leadership will soon emerge, and that it will not be at all conservative!
2019 EU Elections—What Direction?
Deutsche Welle wrote on September 11:
“European nations must stand together to fight extremism and avoid sliding back into the past, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told EU parliamentarians in Strasbourg on Tuesday as he looked to the upcoming EU elections in 2019.
“The politician from the left-wing Syriza party, who had been invited to the EU parliament to speak about the future of Europe, described next year’s vote as ‘more than just one more election.’
“‘It will be a fight of basic principles and values to defeat extreme neo-liberalism and far-right populism,’ the Greek leader said. He called on the bloc’s pro-European and democratic forces to unite and ‘stand side by side on the same side of history.’
“The European Union currently faces a broad range of challenges, including migration management, the UK’s departure from the bloc, and the rise of right-wing populism, which have led to internal disagreement among its 28-member states and could significantly impact its future direction.”
This call for resistance against far-right extremism will not stop the groundswell of activities growing throughout Europe! Note the following articles:
Chemnitz Worse than Assumed
Deutsche Welle reported on September 8:
“German authorities are investigating reports that neo-Nazis attacked a Jewish restaurant in Chemnitz last month as far-right protests erupted in the city, according to Die Welt am Sonntag. The newspaper reported that a group of around a dozen masked individuals stormed the kosher eatery ‘Schalom’ on August 27, shouting ‘Get out of Germany you Jewish pig.’ The assailants allegedly threw stones and bottles at the restaurant, damaging the building’s facade and shattering a window. The owner, Uwe Dziuballa, was also reportedly injured after being hit on the shoulder with a rock…
“The German commissioner for anti-Semitism, Felix Klein, called on police and prosecutors to bring the perpetrators to justice and show that ‘anti-Semitic offenses will be swiftly punished. If the reports are true, then we are dealing with a new level of anti-Semitic crime… It calls to mind the worst memories of the 1930s,’ he added, referring to the rise of the Nazis and their murderous campaign to wipe out millions of Jews across Europe…
“There have been almost-nightly rallies in the eastern city. Sometimes the marches have turned violent, with reports of attacks on police, journalists and people perceived to be migrants. There have also been confrontations in the streets between right-wing protesters and counterdemonstrators… The unrest has triggered a nationwide debate about right-wing extremism and xenophobia in parts of German society. It has also exposed an apparent rift between Chancellor Angela Merkel and security officials.
“Merkel said the images from Chemnitz ‘very clearly’ showed hate and ‘the persecution of innocent people.’ Hans-Georg Maassen, the head of Germany’s VfS domestic intelligence service based in Cologne, sparked controversy on Friday when he voiced skepticism over reports that right-wing extremists had ‘hunted’ down foreigners, suggesting that an internet video depicting such behavior could have been faked. He was contradicted Saturday by Dresden senior public prosecutor Wolfgang Klein, who told the online outlet of the newspaper Die Zeit: ‘We have no indication that the video could be a fake.’”
More Attempts to Downplay Chemnitz Violence
Deutsche Welle reported on September 7:
“The president of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, Hans-Georg Maassen, has expressed doubts about reports that right-wing extremists were chasing down non-Germans during demonstrations in Chemnitz… Referencing one of the videos posted online showing far-right protesters chasing after people who looked non-German, Maassen said: ‘There is no evidence to suggest that the video of this alleged incident circulating online is authentic.’…
“Maassen has recently come under fire for unexplained meetings with members of the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. A book by a former AfD member has even alleged that during one such meeting, with former AfD chairwoman Frauke Petry, Maassen gave tips for avoiding monitoring by the BfV…
“It was unclear exactly which video Maassen was referring to… as several videos depicting similar assaults surfaced during the protests — and he did not provide further evidence backing up his claim that at least one video was faked…
“Contrary to Maassen’s findings, journalists and social media verification experts have said there is no evidence to suggest that the videos were faked, reported German public broadcaster ARD. Journalist Lars Wienand and others were able to confirm the time, date and location of one the most-shared videos of far-right protesters.
“On Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin that Maassen hadn’t spoken with the government about possible misinformation concerning the Chemnitz protests. The Interior Ministry also said that it hadn’t received any reports from the BfV concerning the protests…
“Reactions to Maassen’s comments were split on Friday, with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), Greens, the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) and the Left harshly criticizing the intelligence chief’s remarks. ‘I don’t expect any trustworthy assessments from Mr. Maassen any more,’ said Katrin Göring-Eckardt, the parliamentary party leader for the Greens. ‘The fact that he only commented on a video, but not on the acts of violence and the public displays of anti-constitutional symbols in Chemnitz, shows me that Mr. Maassen is not up to the job.’
“Members of Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats (CDU) as well as the German Federation of Journalists (DJV) called for Maassen to provide evidence for his claims. ‘The term “deliberate misinformation” is a very serious accusation that places the media under suspicion of manipulation,’ DJV head Kajo Döhring said in a statement, adding that whoever makes such claims must be able to back them up.
“Maassen did receive support from other conservative lawmakers, particularly from the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister-party to Merkel’s CDU. ‘It’s his job to inform the public about where his facts stand on this,’ CSU parliamentary party leader Alexander Dobrindt said, defending Maassen’s decision to speak to the press before informing the German government.”
The EUObserver wrote on September 6:
“German chancellor Angela Merkel contradicted Thursday her interior minister Horst Seehofer [of the Bavarian Christian Social Union], who said on Wednesday that migration was ‘the mother of all problems.’ ‘I say it differently,’ she replied in an interview on RTL television. ‘Migration presents us with challenges and here we have problems, here we also have successes,’ she said.”
Sweden –Far Right Makes Gains
Deutsche Welle wrote on September 10:
“Sweden faces weeks of a stalemate after its traditional center-left and center-right blocs tied, with neither holding a majority. The far-right made gains on a hard-line anti-immigration platform…
“The parliamentary election was one of Sweden’s most important because the far-right, anti-immigration Sweden Democrats — who rose from the white supremacist and neo-Nazi fringe — were expected to gain significant strength and change the landscape of Swedish politics.
“… An initial allocation of parliamentary seats gave the center left 144 seats, compared with 143 for the center-right Alliance bloc. The far-right Sweden Democrats gained 13 seats to hold third place, with 62. 175 seats are required to form a majority in the 349-seat Riksdag…
“Meanwhile far-right leaders in Austria, Italy and France hailed the Sweden Democrats’ results. “Sweden, birthplace of multiculturalism and model for the left, has finally decided to change after years of wild, uncontrolled immigration,” Italy’s far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini, said on Twitter.
“…Analysts said that it will be difficult to form a stable government without some kind of support from the Sweden Democrats unless the blocs break away from their traditional alliances. Parliament opens on September 25. If the prime minister is ousted after a mandatory vote on whether to replace him, the speaker is permitted to give a maximum of four PM candidates the opportunity to form a government. If they all fail, fresh elections will be called.”
Italy Bans Sunday Shopping
DailyMail.com wrote on September 12:
“The new Italian government will introduce a ban on Sunday shopping in large commercial centres before the end of the year.
“The right-leaning government will move to tighten trading rules in an effort to defend family traditions, deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Sunday…
“’This liberalisation is in fact destroying Italian families,’ said Di Maio, who is head of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement.
“’We need to start limiting opening and closing times again,’ he said.
“Earlier this year, Poland restricted Sunday shopping as the conservative government in Warsaw pushed ahead with what it said was a return to Roman Catholic values.
“The Italian and Polish initiatives run against a slow liberalisation of Sunday shopping hours throughout Europe, where retailers face pressure from a boom in online shopping.
“Small shopkeepers in Italy have long sought to overturn Monti’s reform, saying their businesses face unfair competition from the big malls.”
Russia and China—A Show of Force
The Guardian reported on September 11:
“Russia has launched what it has called its largest ever military drills, with hundreds of thousands of troops joining Chinese soldiers in a show of force condemned by Nato as a rehearsal for large-scale conflict.
“Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, is expected to attend the exercises after hosting an economic forum in Vladivostok where his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, is a guest.
“The week-long exercise, known as Vostok-2018 (East-2018) ‘have kicked off’ in far-eastern Russia, the defence ministry said on Tuesday.
“Taking part in the drills are around 300,000 Russian soldiers, 36,000 military vehicles, 80 ships and 1,000 aircraft, helicopters and drones, as well as 3,500 Chinese troops.”
Further Problems for Brits with Brexit
Handelsblatt Global wrote on September 7:
“Brexit will affect thousands of Germany-based firms that adopted British forms of incorporation. Shareholders risk being made personally liable for the companies unless they convert to German corporate forms… The German government wants to help the estimated 8,000 to 10,000 companies that are incorporated under British law but are based in Germany. ‘Many small companies and people who set up their own business, have in the past, opted for the British Limited (a form of incorporation) which is simple to set up,’ Justice Minister Katarina Barley told Handelsblatt. Such companies are active in Germany but can use European laws to suit their business needs. ‘Brexit poses a serious challenge for them. We want to help them.’ Brexit could deprive firms organized as a ‘private company limited by shares’ or a ‘public limited company’ of their legal status. That could have serious consequences for shareholders, according to a justice ministry spokesman. It could mean that shareholders become personally liable with their private assets, also for the company’s old debt.
“Ms. Barley, who has a British father, wants the new law to enable firms to convert to German forms of incorporation. One option is for companies to become a limited partnership (Kommanditgesellschaft), in which a German limited liability company, which is known here as a GmbH; or an entrepreneurial company with limited liability (Unternehmergesellschaft) could take a stake as a personally-liable shareholder. That would spare companies having to come up with the €25,000 ($29,060) needed as minimum capital to set up a GmbH in the six months left before Brexit, the justice ministry said.
“The transformation will remain optional but the ministry made clear it won’t provide guarantees for firms that fall victim to the corporate legal implications of Brexit. To do so would place other firms at a disadvantage, it said. That means people who don’t bother changing the legal status of their firms risk automatically finding themselves saddled with major new liabilities. Companies that take up the offer will be able to do so before Britain leaves the EU or before the end of any transition period that Britain and the EU agree to.”
“President For Life? Why Donald Trump May Never Leave the White House.”
The Week wrote on September 11:
“The degree to which Trump has saturated American media is unprecedented… No public figure in the history of this or any country has ever figured so prominently in the lives of its citizens, not even in the great authoritarian regimes of the 20th century, as President Trump… [W]ill the institution of the presidency, with its undreamed powers and numberless prerogatives, and the man in whom it is vested achieve a kind of total monopoly over law-making, first by fiat, then by custom, and eventually as a matter of settled law? I think the answer is yes…
“America is now a kind of elective monarchy in which Congress clings, like the Roman Senate, to its antique ceremony as its formal powers… become increasingly irrelevant. Meanwhile the Supreme Court is headed in the direction of an almost limitless deference toward administrative autonomy.
“I don’t think it’s reasonable to dismiss the possibility of a third term for this president as idle speculation. The 22nd Amendment can be repealed like any other, and both geography and math favor Republican attempts at amendment… I do not know a single supporter of the president who opposes the idea, at least in theory, of Trump serving more than eight years. The man himself has entertained it openly, praising Xi Jinping for getting rid of term limits in China…”
Now No Paraguayan Embassy in Jerusalem?
The Algemeiner wrote on September 7:
“US Vice President Mike Pence urged Paraguay’s new president to stick to his predecessor’s decision to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Pence’s office said on Thursday after Asuncion announced plans to shift the diplomatic mission back to Tel Aviv… Most countries do not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the entire city.
“Pence, who played a main role in President Donald Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, spoke on Wednesday to Paraguayan President Mario Abdo, who was elected on Aug. 15. Pence ‘strongly encouraged’ Abdo to follow through with Paraguay’s commitment to move the embassy to Jerusalem ‘as a sign of the historic relationship the country has maintained with both Israel and the United States,’ Pence’s office said in a statement. Former Paraguay President Horacio Cartes opened the new embassy in Jerusalem on May 21, just days after the United States and Guatemala did. Hours after Paraguay announced its change on Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded by ordering the closure of Israel’s embassy in Paraguay… Abdo on Wednesday defended his decision as part of an effort to support ‘broad, lasting and just peace’ among Israelis and Palestinians.”
Red Heifer Heralds Construction of the Third Temple?
The Daily Star wrote on September 8:
“The Temple Institute announced the birth of an entirely red female calf that ‘brings the promise of reinstating Biblical purity to the world’. The cow’s birth and sacrifice is said to proceed the construction of the Third Temple in Jerusalem. And the Third Temple’s construction – following the destruction of the previous two – heralds the arrival of the Jewish Messiah…
“Rabbi Chain Richman, director of the Temple Institute, hailed the red heifer’s birth as suggestions the time could be right for the Third Temple…
“The cow went under ‘extensive examination by rabbinical experts’ who confirmed she is a ‘viable candidate for the Biblical red heifer.’ They admitted however the cow could be disqualified through natural causes… It is claimed there have only been nine true red heifers – and the 10th will herald the construction of the Third Temple. The Temple Institute believes a red heifer will be needed to be scarified to complete the ritual of purification for the temple – heralding the coming of the Jewish Messiah.
“Red heifers have previously been found by the organisation – who have then disqualified them for not meeting prophetic standards. One was found in 1999, but was disqualified for being male – and a second was born in 2002, which was found to have a patch of white hair…
“Evangelical Christians believe the construction of the Third Temple all herald their own end times prophecy…”
The Bible does not necessitate the appearance of a red heifer, but many Jews and some Christians believe it is necessary as a prerequisite for bringing animal sacrifices and building a third temple. For more information, please read our Q&A, “Can you shed some light on the significance of a ‘red heifer’ to be born prior to the coming of the Messiah?” Please also read our free booklet, “The Fall and Rise of the Jewish People.”
A Catastrophe Coming for the Internet?
The Verge reported on September 12:
“The European Parliament has voted in favor of the Copyright Directive, a controversial piece of legislation intended to update online copyright laws for the internet age…
“The fallout from this decision will be far-reaching, and take a long time to settle. The directive itself still faces a final vote in January 2019 (although experts say it’s unlikely it will be rejected). After that it will need to be implemented by individual EU member states, who could very well vary significantly in how they choose to interpret the directive’s text…
“Despite these disagreements, what’s clear is that if the Copyright Directive receives final approval by the European Parliament in January, it will have a huge, disruptive impact on the internet, both in the European Union and around the world. Exactly how the legislation will be interpreted will be up to individual nations, but the shift in the balance of power is clear: the web’s biggest tech companies are losing their grip on the internet.”
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.