This Week in the News

Europe’s “Need” for Military Power

Deutsche Welle wrote on February 14:

“German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas… called on his country and all of Europe to take on a greater international security role… ‘For too long, we Europeans have shut our eyes to the uncomfortable reality of what a withdrawal of the US from military engagement and from international treaties means for us,’ Maas said… Mass called for the ‘construction of a European security and defense union…’

“Striking a similar tone earlier in the day as he opened [this year’s three-day Munich Security] conference, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier criticized the US for neglecting its international duties and warned of an ‘increasingly destructive dynamic in world politics.’…

“Macron pushing for Europe to become more independent from the United States…”

And this is exactly what will happen… and not in a peaceful way.

Needed—European Strength

Deutsche Welle wrote on February 15:

“The French president projected a vision of a Europe with new military power… As the only nuclear power in the EU, he also foresaw greater European sovereignty. ‘We cannot always go through the United States, no, we have to think in a European way as well,’ French President Emmanuel Macron said… as he continued a theme of his presidency: projecting bold European sovereignty onto the international stage.

“He was referring specifically to Europe’s nuclear assets… Macron has already invited Germany to take part in a strategic dialogue over France’s nuclear weapon policy… Macron said he was ‘convinced that we need a much stronger Europe in defense.’

“… he said it was clear that Europe and the US also had different interests… ‘Mediterranean policy: that is a European thing, not a trans-Atlantic thing, and the same goes for Russia — we need a European policy, not just a trans-Atlantic policy.’

“The theme of European strength was taken up in Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s speech on Saturday. The German defense minister said she ‘completely agreed’ with Macron. She even proposed one way in which this might be brought about: a joint EU military strategy for the Strait of Hormuz, independent of the US policy of ‘maximum pressure’ on Iran… German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also insisted that now, with the growing confrontation between the US and China, it was more vital than ever that the EU ‘speak with one voice’…”

While everybody seems overly anxious to emphasize the need and importance for Europe to act within NATO and to be a pillar of NATO, the reality is that Europe is striving to become a military power on its own—with or without NATO and especially without China, Russia or the USA.

Newsmax wrote on February 16: “Europeans are already feeling uneasy about the state of NATO.”

On February 14, Wallstreet Online wrote about the former SPD-Chief and President of the EU Parliament, Martin Schulz, as saying that while he is supporting NATO, Germany must become more active militarily in foreign countries. He also criticized strongly the conduct of US President Donald Trump, stating, “The US is not willing to enter into a covenant.” He said that Trump takes the position, “Who is not with me, is against me. And those who are against me will be neutralized.” He said that Europe has to free itself from the embrace of a president who is able to cause chaos for the entire world. He also criticized Macron who had rejected the concept that European partners have a say in the French use of nuclear weapons.”

Just don’t forget Martin Schulz! He was not termed the “German Donald Trump” without a reason.

US and Europe… No longer Friends

Deutsche Welle wrote on February 16:

“Friend or foe?… Tensions had been simmering for a long time, and now they’ve come to the fore: At the Munich Security Conference, the deep cracks in the trans-Atlantic relationship have become more apparent than ever. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s reply to German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s opening speech showed that Europe — or at least Berlin, and even more so Paris — is further away from Washington than ever

“One thing is certain: There will be no return to the heyday of close trans-Atlantic ties… There is much talk of Europe becoming a sovereign, strategic, political power. There are demands that Germany once again learns the language of power

With regard to future trans-Atlantic relations, three positions have emerged. Firstly, the French vision of European independence. Secondly, the prevailing position — especially in Eastern Europe — that one should be closely connected to Washington, no matter what. And thirdly, Germany’s indecision between these positions. However, one can predict with some certainty that if Donald Trump wins a second term in the White House in November, the French vision will get a massive shot in the arm — including from Berlin.

“President Emmanuel Macron… brings incredible dynamism to the European debate. He fights for European independence. He wants a common foreign and defense policy. And if that does not work for all 27 remaining EU members after Brexit, then Paris would be happy to work with those that do support the idea repeatedly advocated at the conference, to create a Europe capable of action in the face of the ‘rivalry of the great powers.’”

And so, the concept of a core Europe or a Europe with two speeds is again brought to the forefront. And that is exactly what is prophesied to happen. The Bible speaks of ten nations or groups of nations under a powerful leader. Please view our new StandingWatch program, “Europe and America–No Longer Friends.” 

US and EU in Parallel Universes

Politico wrote on February 16:

“For decades, the Munich Security Conference served as a powerful symbol of the strength of the Western alliance. The 2020 installment offered a testament to its accelerating decline.

“If the three-day event, which drew to a close on Sunday, illustrated anything, it was that the divergence between the U.S. and the dominant European powers — Germany and France… — is greater than ever

“The two sides aren’t just far apart on the big questions facing the West (threats from Russia, Iran, China), they’re in parallel universes. Most alarming: The biggest disconnect concerns the U.S. commitment to Europe, the very essence of the transatlantic alliance itself.

“In speech after speech, whether in public or private, European leaders lamented what they perceive as the U.S.’s disengagement from both the region and the world at large…”

The relationship between the USA and the EU will not be cured, but will get worse and worse.

The EU-USA Fight Over China

“On February 16, Newsmax published the following article:

“The fight between the U.S. and Europe over Chinese technology is threatening to split the transatlantic military alliance.

“With the U.S. defense establishment identifying China as its No. 1 priority, a bi-partisan delegation headed by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rammed home their concerns about the use of equipment from Huawei Technologies Co. at the Munich Security Conference over the weekend. The officials warned that installing Huawei kit could undermine cooperation with U.S. allies as Donald Trump’s hardball trade tactics started to infect his administration’s relationships on defense. ‘Republicans and Democrats agree on this,’ said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a close ally of President Donald Trump. ‘If you go down the Huawei road you are going to burn a lot of bridges.’

“European leaders have been hunkering down amid the Huawei storm as they try to maintain their critical relations with both sides in the U.S.-China trade war… Europe’s exports to China have become a critical plank in its economic model and the Chinese have threatened retaliation on European companies if the bloc follows Trump in banning one of its flagship technology companies.

“The U.S. was on the back foot throughout because their strong arm tactics have conspicuously failed to bring the Europeans into line… Even the U.K., which has been energetically courting the White House as it begins life outside the EU, opted to use Huawei kit. ‘We have a tech Cold War right now that’s on display…,’ said Ian Bremmer, president and founder of political risk consultancy Eurasia Group. ‘There’s never been such a rift with how Americans and Europeans define the security threat as right now.’…”

Axios added on February 16:

“Pelosi’s hawkish stance marks a rare area of agreement with the Trump administration, which believes Huawei is a national security threat because the Chinese government may be capable of accessing its equipment for espionage.”

And if that would not be enough, note the article below about another bone of contention.

The Fight for and against the Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline

Bloomberg wrote on February 15:

“President Donald Trump’s top energy official [U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette] said he’s confident that Russia won’t be able to complete the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea — and signaled that the U.S. will press forward with its opposition to the project… ‘It’s going to be a very long delay, because Russia doesn’t have the technology,’ Brouillette said…

“The pipeline, which would pump as much as 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually from fields in Siberia directly to Germany, has become a focus for geopolitical tensions across the Atlantic. Trump has assailed Germany for giving ‘billions’ to Russia for gas while it benefits from U.S. protection. Nord Stream 2’s owners had invested 5.8 billion euros ($6.3 billion) in the project by May 2019…

“U.S. sanctions in December forced Switzerland’s Allseas Group SA, which was laying the sub-sea pipes, to abandon work, throwing the project into disarray…

“Even as he spoke, signs emerged that Gazprom’s attempts at completion may be underway. A Russian pipe-laying vessel, the Akademik Cherskiy, left the port where it had been stationed in Nakhodka on Russia’s Pacific coast last Sunday. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak last year mentioned that vessel as an option to complete the pipeline in Denmark’s waters. The vessel is now expected to arrive in Singapore on Feb. 22…

“One of the pipeline’s financial backers, Austrian gas and oil company OMV AG has predicted that the Russians will follow through… The pipeline was just weeks away from completion, with 94% already constructed, when U.S. sanctions halted work. There’s a small section in Denmark’s waters that needs to be finished. Before the halt, Nord Stream 2 hoped to finish construction by the end of 2019 or in the first few months of this year. That would allow gas deliveries in time to supply Europe by winter 2020-2021. Besides OMV, Nord Stream 2’s other European backers are Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Uniper SE, Engie SA and Wintershall AG.”

Whatever the final outcome, strong frictions between the USA and especially Germany over the issue will continue.

“EU and Britain Will Rip Each Other Apart”

The Guardian wrote on February 16:

“Britain and the European Union are going to rip each other apart in talks over a future trade deal, the French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, has predicted… He added that on his desk in his office he had massive files showing the issues of contention between the UK and France, including over fishing rights

“France and several other countries want to be able to keep fishing in British waters, while London wants full autonomy and limited access for European fishermen… Nearly 30% of the turnover of French fishermen relies on access to British waters.”

Much more than just fishing rights is involved. The EU and Britain will turn out to become bitter enemies.

EU Warns Israel and Rejects Trump’s Peace Plan

Breaking Israel News wrote on February 14:

“The European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, sent a message to Israel on Tuesday not to annex the Jordan Valley in the West Bank or else Palestinians could resort to violence. ‘This may happen. … You can be sure it’s not going to be peaceful,’ Borrell told the European Parliament…

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Tuesday that he plans to annex the valley if he wins re-election in the March 2 elections.

“Borrell also made clear his rejection of parts of U.S. President Donald Trump’s new peace plan… ‘The proposals… clearly challenge the internationally agreed parameters. It is difficult to see how this initiative can bring both parties back to the table,’ Borrell said…”

It is to be anticipated that Israel will annex the valley, and Europe might react strongly.

Far-Right Terrorist Attack in Germany

Deutsche Welle wrote on February 20:

“A gunman… is thought to have killed nine people and injured at least four in two shisha bars in the city of Hanau, not far from Frankfurt. [The clientele at the bars were thought to be predominantly Kurdish.] He then went home where he is suspected of killing his mother before killing himself…

“Ahead of the attack, he is suspected of having spread racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic hate speech and conspiracy theories online. Federal prosecutors are now investigating whether he had any contact with other far-right terrorists…

“The attack is a clear indication: Far-right terrorism is on the rise in Germany…

“Just last week, German police conducted raids on 13 apartments across the country and dismantled a terror cell that was allegedly planning to plunge Germany into a ‘state of civil war’ by committing ‘as yet undefined’ attacks on politicians, asylum-seekers and Muslims. Four suspected would-be attackers were arrested, as well as another eight individuals suspected of supporting them.

“At first glance, it would seem that the police, security services and prosecutors were able to stop a terrorist group with fixed plans. But the challenge facing investigators is now to provide evidence that is sufficiently convincing that the suspected plotters are put on trial. The difficulty of doing so is well illustrated in the case of Franco A., a lieutenant in the Bundeswehr, Germany’s armed forces. Franco A. was suspended and arrested in 2017 after being charged with the ‘preparation of a serious act of violent subversion.’ He spent seven months in pre-trial custody, accused of wanting to commit attacks on famous politicians, including now-Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Vice-President of the German Bundestag, Claudia Roth.

“Although there was evidence that he had stockpiled weapons and explosives and the names of potential victims were known, the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court dropped the charge that he was planning a terrorist attack on the basis that there was ‘insufficient evidence.’ The court found that he had a ‘racist ethno-nationalist and anti-Semitic attitude’ but said that it was also ‘highly probable’ that he had not yet made a ‘firm decision’ to carry out any attacks.

“The Federal Court of Justice — Germany’s highest criminal court — has since instructed the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court to open criminal proceedings, but no trial date has been set. The tug-of-war shows how high the legal hurdles can be in Germany despite numerous adjustments to the law. It is thus not at all certain that the 12 detained last week will end up on trial…”

This is a terrible dilemma. When you act too early, the suspected criminals might go free. If you act too late, many innocent victims might be killed. Only the just government of Jesus Christ, after His Return, will end such nonsense.

Satanic Possession?

The Guardian added on February 20:

“Angela Merkel has said the murder of nine people in a shooting rampage by a suspected rightwing extremist has revealed the ‘poison’ of racism and hate in Germany. The man… carried out attacks at two shisha bars in Hanau… before killing his mother, bringing the death toll up to 10, and himself, police said.

“Investigators said he [has] a ‘deeply racist mindset’, citing a video and a lengthy manifesto he had posted on social media. Authorities said they were treating the attacks as an act of domestic terrorism

“In a 24-page manifesto and a video, Rathjen outlined his racist theories including his belief that certain races should be eliminated and foreigners who could not be deported from Germany should be ‘destroyed’. He said he had been driven by voices in his head since birth and followed by secret agents…

“One expert said domestic intelligence agents believed there were 24,000 rightwing extremists in Germany, 13,000 of whom were considered potentially dangerous…”

This seems to be a case of serious mental sickness and of demonic influence, if not possession.

The Algemeiner wrote on February 20:

“In a statement on Thursday, World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder said his organization was ‘extremely concerned about the rising threats against minorities in Germany from both sides of the political landscape in Germany.’”

This reminds us of the situation in Germany after the first World War, when right- and left- extremists were fighting each other. 

Merkel and German Government Heavily Criticized

Deutsche Welle wrote on February 16:

“A leading contender to succeed German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday criticized her for taking too long to respond to a French proposal on a post-Brexit reform of the European Union. ‘We take too long to react,’ Armin Laschet, North Rhine-Westphalia’s state premier, said at the Munich Security Conference. ‘I would like to apologize on behalf of the German government,’ the co-vice-chair of the ruling Christian Democrats (CDU) added…

“A day earlier, Macron said that he was ‘impatient’ with Germany’s reluctance to take up his offer to cooperate on implementing EU reforms. He added that Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU)- and SPD-led government has not lived up to the promise in their 2018 agreement to create a ‘fresh start; for Europe’…

“Laschet, who is seen as a compromise figure between the CDU’s conservative and centrist wings, is one of three [now four] potential contenders [the other two are Friedrich Merz and Jens Spahn, and now Norbert Roettgen, see below] to lead the party and become its candidate for the chancellery…”

Merkel has become a lame duck… nationally and internationally.

A Fourth Candidate for German Chancellorship—Dr. Norbert Roettgen

Business Day wrote on February 18:

“As head of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, Roettgen has carved out an international profile, speaking out on issues from Brexit to China’s Huawei. However… few political analysts rate his chances.

Merkel sacked him as environment minister in 2012 after he lost an election in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state…

“Other CDU leadership contenders are right-wing health minister Jens Spahn, and Armin Laschet, premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, a centrist widely seen as a continuity candidate although he sharply criticised Merkel’s Europe policy on Sunday [as well as former parliamentary group leader Friedrich Merz].”

Dr. Roettgen studied law in Bonn and subsequently worked as an attorney before entering politics. He is Roman Catholic, married, with two sons and one daughter. His biggest defeat was in 2012 when his party scored the worst results ever in a state election and was dismissed by Merkel as environment minister. Shortly thereafter, he also lost his office of vice-president of the CDU. His surprise announcement of his candidacy resulted in an unexpected approval of Bild Online readers. In an initial poll, Roettgen received more votes than Merz, and he also received more votes than Spahn and Laschet combined.   

Is Germany Ready for Spahn?

On February 15, Bild Online published an article about Jens Spahn (39) with the following headline: “Are we ready for a male Mrs. Chancellor?” (“Sind wir bereit für ’ne männliche Kanzlerin?“)

In the article, they said that the future belongs to Spahn, but that he has to become more likeable; that he stands for a departure from Merkel’s asylum policy; that as Health Minister, he introduced compulsory measles vaccination [for children and employees of kindergarten and schools and a ban of a “therapy” to convert homosexuals under 18 or “coercing, deceiving or threatening anyone older into such treatment”]; that he is a friend of Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz; and that he is supported by President of Parliament Wolfgang Schäuble. The article also points out that Spahn, [who is a Roman Catholic and openly gay], is “married” since December of 2017 with Burda-Manager Daniel Funke (38). Both may consider adopting a child in the future.

Spahn had to face several defeats and strong criticism in his political career.

Wikipedia writes: “ In 2018, Merkel stated her intention not to seek re-election for the CDU party leadership. Immediately, Spahn announced his intention to stand for election as her successor in December 2019, but he was eliminated in the first round of voting…

“In April 2008 Spahn voiced his opposition to grand coalition plans to increase pensions… This brought him strong criticism, especially from the Senior Citizens Union (Senioren-Union). Spahn received many insults and threats in the form of anonymous letters, inter alia, and complained of this in the media. The Senior Citizens Union announced it would do everything to prevent his re-election, but Spahn received the support of former president of Germany Roman Herzog.”

Major Pete Buttigieg vs. Rush Limbaugh on Homosexuality

The Huffington Post wrote on February 16:

“Pete Buttigieg on Sunday shrugged off Rush Limbaugh’s… remarks regarding his marriage, saying he isn’t going to ‘take lectures on family values’ from the right-wing radio host… ‘Well, I love my husband,’ Buttigieg told [CNN]… ‘I’m faithful to my husband,’ he continued…

“Limbaugh referred to the openly gay Democratic presidential candidate kissing his husband Chasten Buttigieg at least five times during his show on Wednesday… ‘A gay guy, 37 years old, loves kissing his husband on debate stages,’ Limbaugh said…

“Limbaugh… announced earlier this month that he has advanced lung cancer… Limbaugh also promoted the… conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama was not born in the U.S…. also embraced by Trump in 2011… Trump earlier this month awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom― the highest civilian honor given by a U.S. president…”

We omitted the hate-filled anti-Limbaugh polemic in the article, but rather chose to quote where we can agree with Limbaugh. The Bible terms the practice of homosexual relationships an abomination; and there are still many lingering unanswered questions about Obama’s birthplace.  

Finland to Prosecute for Biblical Statement on Homosexuality

The Jerusalem Post wrote on February 19:

“The head of an Evangelical Lutheran diocese in Finland and a member of the Finnish parliament could face criminal charges after police began investigating them last week regarding the publication and distribution of an [24-page] anti-LGBTQ booklet… which was published in 2004… Helsinki Police questioned them for five hours as part of the investigation.

“According to the state prosecutor-general,… the booklet ‘incites hatred’ against the LGBTQ community… As a result, both [the author and the publisher] could face charges of ‘ethnic agitation,’ a crime of racism in the Finnish Penal Code. Despite intending to only cover ethnic and racial discrimination, legislation in 2011 added discrimination against sexual orientation to the charge…

“[The publisher] said that the LGBTQ lifestyle ‘is contrary to God’s order of creation and a transgression against His will. If one is not allowed to teach this publicly, the message of sin and grace will be left without a foundation, and freedom of religion will decline.’…

“This is not the first time that [the author] – a former Finnish interior minister, leader of the Christian Democratic Party and a sitting MP since 1995 – has made headlines for anti-LGBTQ controversy. He is well-known for being a Conservative voice outspoken in defending traditional Christian views on numerous ethical issues such as abortion and marriage.”

This is Satan’s world, and Satan will do everything he can to destroy Christian values. We can expect worse things to happen until his power will be broken through the return of Jesus Christ.

Did the Coronavirus Start in a Chinese Laboratory?

Daily Mail wrote on February 16:

“Did [the] coronavirus originate in [a] Chinese government laboratory? Scientists believe [that the] killer disease may have begun in [a] research facility … [which] is just 300 yards from the seafood market and is adjacent to the hospital… [one of the 605] bats [kept in the facility] – which are linked to coronavirus – once attacked a researcher and ‘blood of bat was on his skin.’”

We suggested from the outset that it might be possible that the virus was created in Chinese laboratories. There is no end to the stupidity of man.

Axios wrote on February 19:

“We may be ‘at the brink’ of a global pandemic, warns a top U.S. public health official, as cases continue to spread despite containment efforts. Meanwhile, the global economy is being affected, including the tech manufacturing industry.

COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,000 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where… 136 new deaths [were announced] since Tuesday.”

Locust Plague Impossible to Stop

AFP wrote on February 19:

“… millions of yellow locusts rise into the northern Ugandan sky, despite hours spent spraying vegetation with chemicals in an attempt to kill them…  The locusts arrived in South Sudan this week after hitting Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti, Eritrea, Tanzania, Sudan and Uganda…

“One swarm in Kenya reached around 2,400 square kilometres (about 930 square miles) — an area almost the size of Moscow — meaning it could contain up to 200 billion locusts… A swarm that size can consume food for 85 million people per day…”

“[A tragedy for especially South Sudan is in the making, with] concerns already high of a humanitarian crisis in a region where 12 million are going hungry… One swarm of 40 to 80 million can consume food for over 35,000 people in a day… eggs laid across the migratory path will hatch in the next two months, and will continue breeding as the rainy season arrives in the region… Since 2018 a long period of dry weather followed by a series of cyclones that dumped water on the region created ‘excessively ideal conditions’ for locusts to breed…”

We hear more and more about unparalleled plagues, earthquakes, volcanoes, bad weather conditions, as well as wars and rumors of wars, with one nation rising against another nation, and one kingdom against another kingdom.

Second Storm Hammers Britain

ABC News wrote on February 16:

“Storm Dennis hammered Britain Sunday, bringing a month’s worth of rain in just 48 hours to parts of South Wales, which bore the brunt of the country’s second severe storm inside a week. Rivers across Britain burst their banks… Dennis has been so intense that England posted a record number of flood warnings and alerts and a rare ‘red warning’ for extremely life-threatening flooding was announced for South Wales… Flood warnings could remain in place for a while since much of Britain is still saturated from last week’s Storm Ciara, which left eight people dead across Europe…

“There were transport disruptions too, with hundreds of flights cancelled due to the high winds while train services were repeatedly disrupted by flooding. Tens of thousands of passengers were being affected on what is a major travel weekend for British families as many schools close for a mid-winter break.”

Neanderthals Buried Their Dead

The Guardian wrote on February 18:

“A Neanderthal skeleton unearthed in an Iraqi cave… is providing fresh evidence that they buried their dead… and conducted funerary rites with flowers.

“Neanderthals inhabited Eurasia from the Atlantic coast to the Ural Mountains… The two species [allegedly, the Neanderthal man and modern man or homo sapiens] interbred, with modern non African-human populations bearing residual Neanderthal DNA.”

Business Insider added:

“‘In recent years we have seen increasing evidence that Neanderthals were more sophisticated than previously thought, from cave markings to use of decorative shells and raptor talons,’ [archeologist Emma] Pomeroy said. ‘If Neanderthals were using Shanidar cave as a site of memory for the repeated ritual interment of their dead, it would suggest cultural complexity of a high order,’ she added.”

Much nonsense has been written and taught in schools about the Neanderthal man. For the truth, please read our free booklet, “Heavens and Earth… Before and After the First Man.”

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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