“Stop the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline”… but Merkel Resists
Der Spiegel Online wrote on September 4:
“Leading politicians in Germany from all mainstream parties are demanding that construction on the natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 be suspended as a result of the poisoning of Alexei Navalny. But Merkel’s government is so far resisting such calls…
“Germany’s relationship with Russia will change significantly. The clear evidence that [an] internationally banned nerve agent was used makes it even more likely that the Kremlin [and Putin] was behind the poisoning… a debate has erupted over which sanctions the German government should now consider applying. The expulsion of Russian diplomats and sanctions against the individuals responsible for the annexation of Crimea did little to impress Moscow. Economic sanctions against certain industries or products could be effective, but they would likely hurt Germany as well, given that Moscow’s retaliations against such sanctions in the past have been just as severe.
“The only penalty that would primarily hurt Moscow would be a construction stop on the almost completed Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline.
“‘The German government’s starry-eyed indifference to President Putin’s brutality must finally come to an end,’ says Agnieszka Brugger, deputy group leader for the Green Party in parliament. ‘Putting an end to Nord Stream 2 would be the minimum.’ The business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) tend to agree. The pipeline ‘must immediately be examined,’ says Bijan Dijr-Sarai, the foreign policy spokesman for the FDP in parliament. He is in favor of an immediate moratorium. ‘It was a mistake from the very beginning to ignore the political backdrop to Nord Stream 2. It is now coming back to bite the government,’ he says.
“But even members of political parties in Merkel’s governing coalition, which pairs her conservatives with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), are increasingly demanding that the pipeline project be abandoned. One is Norbert Röttgen, a candidate to become chairman of Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Germany’s federal parliament, the Bundestag. Another is Manfred Weber, head of the European People’s Party group in European Parliament, to which German conservatives belong…
“Within the government, however, that step remains off limits. Officially, at least… Daniel Caspary, head of German conservatives in the European Parliament, believes that the attack on Navalny is just more evidence that Putin doesn’t take EU foreign policy seriously… EU diplomats who have long been involved in Russia policy hold similar views…”
It will be interesting to see as to whether Germany will show some strength and go ahead with the cancellation of the pipeline project… perhaps in collaboration with other EU member states. Trump’s refusal to acknowledge Russia’s role in the poisoning is even more amazing as Trump wants the pipeline project to be canceled as well.
US Sanctions ICC
Deutsche Welle wrote on September 4:
“Germany calls US sanctions against the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda [which include freezing her US assets] ‘a serious mistake’ while France describes them as a ‘grave attack.’… Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, said the US sanctions were ‘unacceptable’ and ‘unprecedented.’…
“The United States has never been a party to the ICC and in the past, Pompeo has referred to the tribunal as a ‘kangaroo court.’… Speaking on Wednesday, Pompeo said the US would not tolerate what he called the ICC’s ‘illegitimate attempts to subject Americans to its jurisdiction.’”
Germany and France vs. the USA… a usual pattern is emerging.
What’s Macron Up to?
Daily Sabah wrote on September 4:
“[Macron visited Lebanon] to have talks with Lebanese leaders to make sure that they were ready to implement reforms immediately required for the survival of the country, which was already facing an economic crisis. He said Lebanese leaders would be sanctioned if reforms are not implemented – as if Lebanon is still a French mandate… many started to ask what Macron is planning.
“On the other hand, while the tension between Turkey and Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean is growing, Macron is coming to the forefront with his remarks and decisions about it – though France does not have a coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean. Adding tension to the dispute in question, Paris sent warships and jets to support Athens and threaten Ankara recently. And last week, Macron said he set red lines with Turkey in the East Mediterranean…
“In June, the French president accused Turkey of playing ‘a dangerous game’ in Libya, although Paris has been sending clandestine military aid for several years to the war-torn country. The French president first made the ‘NATO’s becoming brain-dead’ remark last November after U.S. President Donald Trump decided to withdraw American troops from northern Syria…
“As British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is busy with the Brexit endgame problem, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has chosen to keep a low profile due to a paralyzed grand coalition in Germany and the U.S. has lost its authority over the West, it looks like President Macron has seen the vacuum in question as an opportunity. He now acts as if he is Europe’s foreign policy leader by default and thinks that he has to run the show because there is a diplomatic-relations gap in the Western world.
“… With his ‘brain-dead’ allegation, he is trying to show European leaders that Europe can no longer rely on America to defend NATO allies. He presses for a greater Europe in terms of defense; he calls for a European army. According to him, ‘a true European army’ will protect Europe from ‘China, Russia and even the U.S.’… the idea of creating a European army will make the EU stronger and less dependent on the U.S. But this will come at a price. Lessening dependency on Washington will enlarge the fissure between the EU and the U.S. and weaken the Western alliance in the global arena. Most importantly, a European army and NATO cannot coexist. If the European leaders are persuaded by the French president, they will probably bring an end to the transatlantic alliance.
“The irony is that the idea of a European army dates back to the years following World War II, and it might have come to fruition if then-French President Charles de Gaulle had not prevented it. He wanted a directorate of three – namely France, Britain and the U.S. – to dictate Western security. When the idea of a ‘European defense force’ was proposed, de Gaulle worried that a European army would threaten French sovereignty and integrity and could bring back a militarized Germany… de Gaulle rejected a European army idea in the post-war era because he was opposed to giving power to Germany and took France out of NATO since he disliked the U.S. penetration of Europe’s political arena. Macron claims that he is trying to unify Europe’s military power, but the question is: Is France ready for a rearmed Germany especially while Britain is leaving the EU?…
“Does Macron actually want to dominate Europe while he says that Europe has to be controlled by Europeans?”
Is Macron determined to become Europe’s leader… using the vacuum created by weak, tired, inconclusive and undecisive Angela Merkel? The Bible shows that a military leader of German or Austrian descent… not a Frenchman… will rise soon.
Germany’s Military Endeavors in the Indo-Pacific Region
Naval News wrote on September 4:
“The German Government recently formulated the interests, principles and central areas of German policy in the Indo-Pacific region. The new guidelines are also a contribution to a possible EU-European Union overall strategy for the region, the country’s Ministry of Defense stated on September 2… ‘With the rise of Asia, the political and economic weights are increasingly shifting to the Indo-Pacific region. The region will become the key to shaping the international order in the 21st century,’ the new guidelines say…
“‘It is time for Germany to defend its interests more vigorously,’ German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer emphasized last year… Allies and partners would expect Germany to take the initiative, provide impetus and show options, said the minister. With the measures that have now been adopted, this approach is reflected in the official guidelines of the federal government…”
The Fight for the Mediterranean
The Washington Times wrote on September 2:
“The Mediterranean — an on-again, off-again geopolitical hot spot since before the pyramids were built — is emerging anew as a sea of division and instability, with powers including Russia, China, Turkey and Israel jostling aggressively for influence, natural resources and military advantage. Moscow is eyeing a possible military base along the oil-rich shores of Libya. China is seeking investment deals across the region. Turkey is clashing with NATO partner Greece over drilling rights and militarized islands. Newly discovered offshore natural gas deposits have nations scrambling to stake their claims. Even the Trump administration on Wednesday partially lifted an arms embargo with Cyprus in what was widely interpreted as a shot across Turkey’s bow.
“Analysts generally agree that NATO is failing to ease regional tensions. The U.S., despite multiple interests, lacks leverage in many of the disputes, with President Trump accelerating a U.S. pullback begun under President Obama that opened a power vacuum that others are now scrambling to fill.
“While a range of unsavory players are making moves — Iran, Hezbollah and the Islamic State are among those seeking to exploit the situation — many in Europe and Washington are pointing the finger at Turkey for escalating the crisis by threatening to use force to take possession of natural gas finds beneath a string of Mediterranean islands that most in Europe say belongs to Greece.
“The two NATO member states are now locked in a dangerous maritime standoff that is shaking the alliance to its core, with mediation attempts by Germany and others in the European Union so far going nowhere while the Trump administration warily monitors the situation. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that Mr. Trump has held private discussions with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and that the White House is ‘urging everyone to stand down.’”
NATO is falling apart, to be replaced by a powerful European army under German leadership.
Turkey Destroys Christian Church
Breitbart wrote on September 3:
“Turkish authorities razed to the ground the historic St. Georgios Christian church late Wednesday, an iconic structure known as the ‘Hagia Sophia of Bursa.’
“The Greek Orthodox Church of St. Georgios had been restored and transformed into a cultural center… The municipality took over the church in 2006 and invested some 2 million Turkish lira in restorations… Seven years ago, however, an Islamic organization… filed a lawsuit to gain ownership rights over the church and in 2013 proprietorship was assigned to [it]… After the transfer, the building received no regular maintenance and was allowed to go to ruin… Aware of the danger, the… Municipality had attempted again in 2016 to recover control of the church to be able to carry out necessary renovations, but received the reply that the building could not be used for any purpose other than a place of Muslim worship. Last July, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reconverted Istanbul’s iconic 6th-century Hagia Sophia church into a mosque, after 86 years serving as a museum. He then proceeded to convert another historic former church, the 4th-century Chora church, one of Istanbul’s oldest Byzantine structures.
“President Erdogan has come under fire for undoing the work of secular Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, appeasing more radical Muslim elements by re-Islamizing the country. A Time magazine article Thursday warned of Mr. Erdogan’s ‘Love Affair with the Ottoman Empire’ that is moving the nation in a dangerous direction. ‘Much has been written about Erdogan’s attempts to “resurrect” the Ottoman Empire or to style himself a sultan,’ the article states. More precisely, Erdogan seems to be adopting the persona of the empire’s ninth sultan, Selim I, during whose reign ‘the Ottoman Empire grew from a strong regional power to a gargantuan global empire,’ it relates.”
Erdogan’s ambitions are far too obvious.
Trump’s “Peace Plan” Failing
The Los Angeles Times wrote on September 3:
“… after two trips through the region by senior Trump advisors to build on what they hoped would be momentum from the Emirates deal, no other Arab nation has said it is willing to take the long-shunned leap to accept and recognize Israel as a legitimate Mideast neighbor, at least not until Israel resolves its conflict with Palestinians… their hesitance also reflects decades of political and religious tension, in which most of the Arab world steadfastly pretends Israel does not exist.
“The Emirates would become only the third Arab country in history to recognize Israel, after Egypt and Jordan… The Emirates has been partly motivated by its desire to buy some of the most sophisticated fighter jets in the U.S. arsenal. An undisclosed number of F-35 fighter jets will reportedly be sold to the Emirates, despite Israeli objections…
“Regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia, despite its close relationship with the Trump administration, reiterated that it would not recognize Israel without an agreement with the Palestinians. The Saudis see themselves as leaders of the Sunni Arab world, with custody of Islam’s most important religious shrines, and have to tread carefully.
“Morocco and Bahrain echoed Saudi Arabia. Morocco is a unique case because it quietly enjoys tolerant relations with Israel. Moroccan Jews make up the second-largest immigrant population in Israel, after Russians, and there are cultural, travel and other connections between the two countries, albeit conducted discreetly.
“The official Bahrain News Agency reported that King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa told Pompeo that he would countenance only the two-state solution.
“Sudan, receiving Pompeo on Aug. 25, hinted it might come on board but only if it was removed from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism. Qatar rebuffed Kushner, telling him upon his arrival there Wednesday that only a two-state solution — recognition of an independent Palestinian country alongside Israel — was acceptable.
“In U.S.-friendly Kuwait, legislators are pushing through a law that would prohibit normalization and impose a boycott on Israeli goods. ‘Kuwait has not changed its position, and it will be the last country to normalize with Israel,’ an unnamed government official was quoted as saying in the daily newspaper Al Qabas….”
It was clear from the outset: This “peace plan” has NO CHANCE of lasting success.
EU Threatens Serbia and Kosovo
The Associated Press wrote on September 7:
“In an unexpected move last week, Trump said that Serbia and Kosovo had agreed to normalize economic ties as part of US-brokered talks that include Belgrade moving its embassy to Jerusalem, and mutual recognition between Israel and Kosovo…
“‘There is no EU member state with an embassy in Jerusalem,’ European Commission spokesman Peter Stano said. ‘Any diplomatic steps that could call into question the EU’s common position on Jerusalem are a matter of serious concern and regret.’”
More and more, the EU is ruling its members and prospective members with an “iron hand.” Subsequently, Serbia and Kosovo have tried to somewhat distance themselves from Trump’s comments, fearing EU dictatorship.
Coming… a Brexit without a Trade Agreement?
Business Insider wrote on September 7:
“UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to overwrite key parts of the Brexit withdrawal deal he agreed with the EU last year as he insists that leaving all existing trade arrangements without a fresh deal at the end of the year would be a ‘good outcome’ for Britain… Johnson’s official spokesman confirmed on Monday that the government will move to ‘clarify specific elements’ of the deal…
“In practice, the bill will give UK ministers the power in primary legislation to determine what goods going from Great Britain to Northern Ireland are ‘at risk’ of entering the EU… Critics of the move say these changes are significant changes that could undermine the entire Withdrawal Agreement.
“Under the terms of the Northern Irish protocol, while Great Britain will leave the EU’s single market and customs union at the end of the year, Northern Ireland will continue to follow the EU’s trading rules in order to avoid a controversial hard border with the Republic of Ireland. This arrangement will create new checks on goods moving both ways between Great Britain and Northern Ireland from January….
“Responding to the reports, the EU warned that any attempt to rip up parts of the Brexit withdrawal agreement would wreck any chance of agreeing on a new future trading relationship. The prime minister on Sunday night reiterated that he was prepared to walk away from negotiations without an agreement and trade with the EU on the harshest terms if Brussels did not shift its position on fishing and state aid.
“Johnson… said that Thursday, October 15 was the deadline for striking a deal, telling the EU: ‘If we can’t agree by then, then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us, and we should both accept that and move on.’”
And so, the possibility of a no-deal Brexit becomes more and more likely.
Further Obstacles regarding a Brexit Deal
Deutsche Welle wrote on September 9:
“The UK government has admitted that rewriting its EU divorce treaty ‘breaks international law in a very specific and limited way.’ The EU has warned that the move could have serious consequences… Appearing in the UK Parliament on Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was accused of presiding over a ‘rogue state….
“Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, warned the UK… [adding] that any deviation from the withdrawal agreement, however minor, would ‘break international law and undermine trust.’…
“Ministers say the new law will define specific circumstances when the UK can override parts of the withdrawal agreement it ratified last year. The government says it will be able to unilaterally decide which goods are ‘at risk’ of entering the EU….”
Further Locust Plagues in Southern Africa
ABC News reported on September 4:
“Locusts are threatening another part of Africa, with up to 7 million people in the southern region facing further food insecurity… The outbreaks of African migratory locusts in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe are not related to the huge outbreak of billions of desert locusts that has affected East Africa for months…
“While far smaller, the southern outbreaks need quick attention to prevent a wider problem as farmers and others already struggle to recover from a serious drought last year and the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic… While all four countries have launched pesticide spraying efforts that have been called the only effective locust control, the work has been limited… A new emergency response initiative seeks environmental friendly pesticides…”
These are terrible curses for a world in defiance of God and His laws.
California Turns into a Furnace
MSN wrote on September 7:
“The largest new wildfire, the Creek Fire, was burning out of control across 79,000 acres in Fresno County as of Sunday night… The area is a popular summertime retreat of cabins, scout camps and campgrounds, but it turned into a fiery trap over the weekend. More than 200 people had to be rescued by air from the Mammoth Pool reservoir area. Chinook and Black Hawk helicopters plucked up the evacuees…
“Fire crews elsewhere in California were trying to contain new blazes: A 7,000-acre fire in San Bernardino County in Southern California… A 9,850-acre fire burning in the Cleveland National Forest east of San Diego…”
The Week added on September 7:
“California wildfires have burned nearly 2.1 million acres so far in 2020, surpassing the record for the most land scorched in the state in a single year, CAL Fire Capt. Richard Cordova said Sunday. ‘This is crazy,’ Cordova said. ‘We haven’t even got into the October and November fire season, and we’ve broken the all-time record.’ The news came as a record-setting heat wave created new challenges for exhausted firefighters who had finally started making headway containing some of the biggest blazes.
“The temperature in Woodland Hills, California, reached 121 degrees on Sunday, the highest ever recorded in Los Angeles County. The National Weather Service said the area could get even hotter as a dangerous heat wave continues in California, Nevada, and Arizona, and records could be broken in other parts of the region. ‘This is unmatched, just unprecedented, unreal,’ said John Lindsey, a meteorologist with Pacific Gas and Electric.”
California has been staring total disaster and financial collapse in the face. Its situation was already precarious before the coronavirus restrictions, but got much worse following the ill-conceived lockdown which has destroyed hundreds, if not thousands of businesses. And now, further “natural” curses add to the catastrophe. How many more warnings must Californians receive before they wake up?
Wildfires at the West Coast
npr wrote on September 9:
“Intense wildfires are ravaging large swaths of the West Coast, prompting thousands of people to flee parts of Oregon and forcing power outages in California, where fires have already burned a record of more than 2.3 million acres this year. Fires are burning from Washington state to Southern California. In southern Oregon, people in parts of Medford, Talent and nearby communities were ordered to evacuate the area immediately Tuesday, with officials citing the imminent threat of fast-moving fires. The entire town of Phoenix — which has several thousand people — was told to leave.”
The Week added on September 9:
“With several catastrophic fires burning across Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown (D) warned on Wednesday that all residents ‘must be on high alert,’ as the blazes could lead to the ‘greatest loss of human life and property due to wildfire in our state’s history.’”
No Protection from Facebook and Twitter?
JTA wrote on September 3:
“Nadine Strossen, [John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law and] the former head of the ACLU and a daughter of Holocaust survivors… believes… moves to censor hate speech are generally ill-advised…
“‘… it’s really important to understand that there is no agreed upon legal definition of hate speech in the United States — the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently, unanimously refused to carve out an exception from free speech protections…
“‘The First Amendment protects us only against government restrictions on our speech. We have no free speech rights against Facebook or any private sector entity. There are a lot of people who are shocked to learn that! …”
So, Facebook, Twitter and others can do what they want. Users should be aware of that.
Wilders Not Guilty of Inciting Hatred
Deutsche Welle wrote on September 4:
“The far-right populist Geert Wilders had been found guilty by a lower court in the Netherlands of inciting hatred against Moroccans. But an appeals court has dismissed the charges. Judges did, however, uphold his prior conviction for collectively insulting the Moroccan people…
“The charges against Wilders were levied in 2016 and related to one of his campaign rallies two years earlier. At the event, Wilders led supporters by asking whether they wanted more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands. ‘Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!’ his supporters chanted back. ‘We’re going to take care of that,’ Wilders told the crowd.”
It is hard to see how Wilders’ comments, as quoted, could be remotely characterized as hate speech.
Australia’s Ridiculous Travel Ban
News.com.au wrote on September 5:
“Australia’s international travel ban has been extended by a further three months — news that’s painful enough for anyone hankering for an overseas holiday, but devastating for those who have more serious reasons to travel abroad… it has also made Australians some of the only people in the world who need special permission to leave their country during the pandemic, with no clear end in sight.
“Aside from a few exemptions for special workers, dual nationals and those who usually live overseas, there are only six reasons Australians can ask permission to leave: critical business work, urgent medical treatment not available in Australia, urgent and unavoidable personal business, compassionate or humanitarian grounds, and travel in the national interest… only about a third of requests submitted to the Australian Broder Force are successful — no matter how desperate or heartfelt the reasons for travel are. news.com.au has been told of cases where people have had requests denied to see dying relatives — including those as close by as New Zealand — or to attend funerals of immediate family members, including parents. Those cases would generally be thought to fall under the category of compassionate grounds, but still haven’t gotten over the line.
“In other cases, baffled applicants have struggled to produce sufficient evidence — including power bills and school enrolment paperwork — to prove they really do mostly live in another country, which is another reason Australians can apply to travel. Many have expressed confusion about why they can’t leave if they are willing to fork out thousands for hotel quarantine when they return. In some instances people have had their applications denied by border officials, and then had the same application approved by someone else after resubmitting.
“Dual Australian-British citizen Clare Hamilton-Bate told The Guardian she was initially rejected from travelling to London to see her terminally ill, 95-year-old stepfather… Ms Hamilton-Bate, who also wanted to spend time in London with her 90-year-old mother, who has dementia, said she submitted the request with six weeks’ notice… She was successful on her third attempt and managed to make it to London.
“Melbourne man Niall Williams told news.com.au he and his brother were knocked back multiple times trying to get permission to leave Australia to see their dying dad in the UK — and they got approval only after he passed away. ‘My brother is in Sydney, I’m in Melbourne but the Australian Government wouldn’t allow us to leave,’ he said…
“Another traveller, Mickey Chung, told 9 News his application to see his dying grandmother in Hong Kong was denied. ‘I got an email basically just saying, “We don’t believe this is urgent, we don’t believe this is an exceptional circumstance”’, he said. The request was eventually granted, but only after his grandmother had died. He managed to get to Hong Kong for the funeral, and completed the total of 28 days of quarantine required for the quick trip…”
These are terrible and unconscionable restrictions in Australia by a left-wing government.
Britain’s Dictatorship… and the People Love It?
Breitbart wrote on September 9:
“The British government is set to reimpose strict legal limitations on public gatherings, and it is reportedly considering a draconian national curfew… social gatherings of more than six will be banned in England… The new rules would give police the power to break up gatherings of more than six people both indoors and outside… This includes people’s private homes and gardens, pubs, parks, and restaurants. Family gatherings of more than six are also banned. Weddings, funerals, schools, team sports, and workplaces, however, will be exempt from the rules…
“Refusing to abide by the rules will result in a £100 fine, doubling for repeat offences to a maximum of £3,200. Policing forces were already criticised for overreacting to the outbreak earlier this year, including following dog walkers with drones and last month, breaking up a child’s birthday party…
“Meanwhile, an astonishing three-quarters of Britons do not think that the public has taken the pandemic seriously (74 per cent) and are worried about a second wave (73 per cent)… The findings from Tuesday suggest that citizens will offer little objection to any such new rules, and will welcome further curtailment of their freedom.
“Businessman and peer Lord Alan Sugar hit out at the mainstream media for stirring up fear over coronavirus, as he urged people to return to work… ‘I’m sick and tired of watching CNN, Sky [News], Bloomberg, BBC, the lot, because all they do is cause panic amongst people. I’m not interested in any of this stuff, because you can switch the television on any time of day and the first thing you’ll see is more bad news.’”
In a related article, Breitbart wrote on September 9:
“Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has slammed the government’s new ‘draconian’ lockdown laws, saying that it is hard to justify law-abiding citizens following the new rules when police fail to stop protests and illegal raves… Mr Farage may be right to point out the hypocrisy of threatening to police free, law-abiding Britons after months of authorities failing to crack down on far-left Antifa and Marxist Black Lives Matter protests, so-called ‘street parties’, and illegal raves… Despite several weekends of violent and destructive Black Lives Matter protests, the police admitted that the events were ‘unlawful’ under coronavirus regulations, but effectively did nothing…
“In April, Farage warned of the coronavirus ‘police state’ with Britons expected to live under a ‘house detention regime’, writing: ‘I fear, however, that the arbitrary powers now given to the police may remain in place for a long time to come.’… Former Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption had remarked in March that the way the police and government were treating coronavirus regulations was akin to a ‘police state’. ‘This is what a police state is like — it is a state in which the government can issue orders or express preferences with no legal authority, and the police enforce minister’s wishes,’ he said.”
Dangerous developments indeed… and the people are so blind…
California Church in Defiance of Coronavirus Rules…
CBS wrote on September 5:
“A Los Angeles Superior Court judge is expected to have a decision sometime next week regarding a Sun Valley church’s holding in-person church services in defiance of coronavirus health orders. L.A. County lawyers lost four tries for a temporary restraining order against Grace Community Church, directing leaders to refrain from holding packed indoor services. ‘I recognize the importance of the decision,’ Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff said after an hours-long hearing on Friday.
“Even though an order has not yet been issued by the judge, Beckloff said he won’t allow Gov. Gavin Newsom to file a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the county’s stand.
“L.A. County sued Grace Community Church on Aug. 14 after it began holding indoor services on Sundays. The church, led by Pastor John MacArthur, filed a suit against the county in response and that case is awaiting trial in Burbank Superior Court.
“MacArthur has argued that he’s holding services not to be ‘rebellious’ but because ‘our Lord has commanded us to come together.’ Attorney Amnon Siegel, who is arguing on behalf of the county, pushed back saying ‘religion doesn’t trump health and safety.’”
Italians Wake Up to Health Dictatorship
Breitbart wrote on September 6:
“Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Rome Saturday to protest an extended national ‘state of emergency’ for the coronavirus, which allows the government to issue decrees outside of the legislative process.
“Much of the thrust of messages painted on signs and banners denounced the long-term economic effects of Italy’s lockdowns as well as an alleged ‘strategy of terror’ employed by government-controlled media and an ongoing ‘health dictatorship’ used to thwart the democratic process… From the stage, organizers decried plans for a mandatory coronavirus vaccine, while accusing the left-wing government of ‘intimidating people.’”
Liberman: Reject Israel’s “Illegal” Health Regulations
Times of Israel wrote on September 7:
“Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman urged Israelis on Monday not to comply with the government’s ‘illegal’ health regulations, which he said were purely political and not in citizens’ best interest… Ministers on Sunday evening approved nightly curfews in some 40 cities with high infection numbers, instead of the previously planned full lockdown on a smaller number of towns, in the wake of a threat of rebellion from some ultra-Orthodox mayors and a major political crisis with the ultra-Orthodox parties…
“Liberman said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had ‘sacrificed public health on the altar of protecting the coalition, and therefore all decisions made are blatantly illegal… We cannot allow citizens of the State of Israel to become hostages of Deri, Litzman and Gafni,’ Liberman said, proposing to abolish the so-called coronavirus cabinet and give full control over Israel’s virus response to the Israel Defense Forces.
“Liberman’s comments were met with a barrage of criticism… President Reuven Rivlin wrote on Twitter. ‘Calls for civil disobedience harm the principles ensuring our well-being and the well-being of the entire public, specifically during crises…’ Health Minister Yuli Edelstein of the Likud party said, ‘Liberman is playing with fire,’ charging that the opposition politician was acting ‘recklessly and irresponsibly and taking advantage of a fragile health and economic situation. Shame.’
“Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin, also of Likud, said in a statement that the call for civil disobedience will ‘create anarchy and endanger the health of all citizens of Israel…’ Defense Minister and Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz also called Liberman’s comments ‘irresponsible’…”
Trump’s Ill-Advised Fight with Fox News
CNN wrote on September 5:
“After spending much of the day bashing The Atlantic for Jeffrey Goldberg’s jarring report which said Trump had disparaged military members who died in service to the country, Fox News itself confirmed key aspects of it… [Fox News’ national security] correspondent Jennifer Griffin said she had confirmed Trump disparaged veterans; didn’t want to honor the dead at the Aisne-Marne Cemetery; and did not want to lower flags after the death of John McCain…
“In a late-night Friday tweet, Trump attacked Griffin… saying, ‘Jennifer Griffin should be fired for this kind of reporting.’ He added that he believed Fox News is ‘gone.’
The Daily Beast wrote on September 6:
“Filling in for Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday this weekend, Bret Baier took the opportunity to accuse President Donald Trump of ‘cancel culture’ hypocrisy… [Griffin had] confirmed with her sources that, among other things, he had described U.S. service members as ‘suckers’ and ‘losers’…
“Cavuto called her a ‘very good reporter’ who is ‘pretty scrupulous when it comes to making sure all the i’s are dotted, all the t’s are crossed.’”
Trump also denied having called McCain a “loser.” However, he clearly did so, saying this before millions of TV viewers.
How “Evangelical” is Trump?
The Independent wrote on September 8:
“A new book by Donald Trump’s disgraced former lawyer Michael Cohen has described the president leaving an event with evangelical leaders and ridiculing their faith in crude terms… According to Mr Cohen, the president emerged from the session with contempt. ‘Can you believe that bulls**t?’ he allegedly said. ‘Can you believe people believe that bulls**t?’ [Reference is made to an incident when evangelical leaders placed their hands on him to pray for him.]
“The White House has dismissed Mr Cohen’s account of the incident, along with the book as a whole and other incidents that it alleges…
“Hardly known for his religiosity before entering politics, Mr Trump has successfully cultivated a relationship with evangelical leaders and voters since he began running for president in 2015. When asked by interviewers at the time to name a favourite Bible verse, he refused; pressed on whether he preferred the Old or New Testament, he said ‘probably equal’…
“Telling evangelical congregations that he would end a supposed national ‘siege’ of Christianity, he also formed a bond with many of the US’s most prominent Christian leaders, including Jerry Falwell Jr., president of the highly conservative Liberty University. (Mr Falwell has recently been pressured to leave the university amid allegations of abusing his position for financial gain and enjoying a three-way sexual relationship with his wife and a male pool attendant. He denies the claims of impropriety.)
“However, even as Mr Trump has maintained his claims to be devout during his presidency, especially during his nomination of two conservative Supreme Court justices, not all are convinced. He was widely castigated for a notorious photoshoot in Washington, DC this summer in which he ordered police to tear gas… protesters out of the way so he could pose with a Bible outside a church. The incident saw many political and religious leaders outside the evangelical movement accuse him of exploiting the book as a prop….”
Politics and religion don’t mix, but sadly, they are clearly embraced, in one way or another, by ALL political candidates. See the next article about Joe Biden and other Catholic Democrats.
How “Catholic” is Biden?
CNA (Catholic News Agency) wrote on August 12, 2020:
“Biden, a Catholic, is in the habit of going to Mass while traveling… it will soon raise questions familiar both to bishops and to pundits: Can pro-choice politicians like Biden receive the Eucharist? And will anyone stop Biden if he approaches the communion line?
“The norm of canon 915 itself is clear: Catholics ‘obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.’… In 2004, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger [later Pope Benedict, who subsequently retired], then head of the Church’s doctrinal office, wrote a memorandum to the U.S. Catholic bishops, explaining the application of canon 915 to the question of pro-choice politicians. The case of a Catholic politician who is ‘consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws’ would constitute ‘formal cooperation’ in grave sin that is ‘manifest,’ the letter explained.
“In such cases, ‘his pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist,’ Ratzinger wrote. If the individual perseveres in grave sin and still presents himself for Holy Communion, ‘the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it.’…
“Asked by a journalist, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York said in October that he would not deny Biden the Eucharist. Before that, in January 2019, Dolan had said that he would not deny the Eucharist to New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo, who signed into law one of the most permissive abortion laws in the country’s history…
“Biden… supports the federal funding of abortion and in 2016 officiated at a same-sex wedding…
“So here’s what’s likely to happen: At some point between now and election day, a young priest will find Joe Biden in his communion line. Because of the priest’s convictions about the unborn and his sacramental theology, he will deny Biden the Eucharist.
“Someone will see it, a report will get out… The priest will issue a statement explaining himself, and then be roundly criticized… Pro-choice or progressive leaning Catholics will on social media call the priest a fundamentalist…
“If that prediction sounds quite specific, that’s because it’s what happened in October 2019, the last time Biden was denied the Eucharist… That leaves priests who put the policy into practice standing often by themselves. It leaves some Catholics confused about how seriously the Church takes its own teaching and its own sacramental discipline…”
Biden has insisted that his religious faith has been a “bedrock foundation” of his life and that his personal beliefs should not be confused with his official position as a politician. What kind of a rationale is that?
As a Catholic, how can he or Pelosi or Como or other Catholic politicians support a concept which is in blatant opposition of Catholic doctrine? And it is untrue that a distinction should be drawn between his private and his official position. When he officiated a marriage at a private event for a same-sex couple, that too violated Catholic doctrine.
Pelosi’s Hypocrisy and the Destruction of Another Business
Fox News wrote on September 9:
“San Francisco hair salon owner Erica Kious is shutting her doors for good after controversy over a visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week destroyed her business… Fox News obtained surveillance video last week of Pelosi visiting the salon for a hair wash and blowout, despite the fact that San Francisco salons were closed at the time due to the coronavirus pandemic. The video showed Pelosi walking through the interior of the salon without wearing a mask.
“Kious told host Tucker Carlson she was attacked for exposing Pelosi. ‘I started to just get a ton of phone calls, text messages, emails, all my Yelp reviews… saying that they hope I go under and that I fail,’ she said. ‘So just a lot of negativity towards my business.’ Kious said the negativity has made her hesitant to return to San Francisco, where she has lived for the past 15 years. ‘I’m actually afraid to go back… It’s a little scary and sad,’ she said. ‘I do have a lot of positive calls and text messages from clients. But other than that, nothing but negativity.’”
What terrible developments in a country which is destroying itself…
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.