The Brexit “Deal”
Business Insider wrote on December 25:
“Thursday’s historic Brexit trade deal between the UK and EU still leaves the fishing sector with many key questions unanswered, the mayor of a major French fishing port has warned… The hard-fought agreement between the two parties was resolved, agreeing to a five year transition period over fisheries after which the EU catch would have to reduce by 25%, according to the announcement on Thursday. This was a concession on the part of the UK, who had demanded a 60% fall at the start of the week…
“Despite Johnson calling the deal ‘reasonable’ for the fishing industry in Thursday’s press conference… ‘[the] industry will be bitterly disappointed that there is not more of [a] definitive break,’ Barrie Deas, chief executive of The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, said… For Deas, Johnson has given in to EU demands in order to secure a deal overall, making ‘significant concessions’ in the process. ‘It was clear that Boris Johnson wanted an overall trade deal and was willing to sacrifice fishing,’ he told the Press Association.
“With what appears to be a ‘bare-bones’ deal agreed, the fishing sector is not alone in its uncertainty. Agreements are yet to be made on the services industry – the biggest sector of the UK’s economy… Even with a deal made, parts of the UK’s financial services industry remain unconvinced… The deal still needs to be approved by both the UK parliament and the sovereign states of Europe, but most commentators think it will get the green light.”
Deutsche Welle wrote on December 25:
“The British government has said it would summon MPs back to parliament on December 30 to vote on the deal… British lawmakers are likely to be unhappy with the rushed approval process. Significant legislation typically takes months to pass through parliament and involves line-by-line scrutiny. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson may still face a revolt from Brexiteers in his ruling Conservative Party who don’t think the deal offers a clean enough break from Brussels. But he has an 80 seat majority in the lower parliamentary chamber, the House of Commons, and the opposition Labour party has said it would back the deal. Labour leader Keir Starmer said the agreement was thin, but it was better than no deal at all…
“… businesses will nonetheless face new red tape for imports and exports. And since the deal between the UK and EU was reached a week before the year’s end, people and businesses don’t have much time to prepare for changes coming on January 1. Meanwhile, citizens of the UK and EU will no longer be able to enjoy free movement to live, work and study between the two areas. Britons traveling to the EU’s Schengen passport-free zone can only stay for 90 days in every 180-day period. EU nationals can visit the UK for up to 180 days… But leaving the EU’s single market and customs union will undoubtedly have a negative impact on Britain’s economy.”
Worst Recession in 300 Years
CBS News wrote on December 26:
“The world is making adjustments following a new strain of the coronavirus, spreading in the United Kingdom and beyond as the country’s government says it has entered its worst recession in 300 years.”
Getting Ready for January 6
The Independent wrote on December 26:
“Donald Trump appeared to back the idea of trying to overturn the election result in Congress on 6 January in a series of tweets on Saturday morning in which he once again made… claims of electoral fraud. A joint session of House and Senate politicians will meet on 6 January to count the electoral votes, which gave a 306 to 232 victory to Joe Biden. In what is usually a rubber-stamping exercise, sealed certificates submitted by each state are opened by the vice president, who oversees the process. However, if there are written objections from members of both the House and Senate, a vote by both chambers can be triggered.
“Several Republican congressmen have said they will object. Incoming Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville has suggested he might, despite GOP leader Mitch McConnell telling his party members not to. On Saturday morning, Mr Trump tweeted: ‘The “Justice” Department and the FBI have done nothing about the 2020 Presidential Election Voter Fraud, the biggest SCAM in our nation’s history, despite overwhelming evidence. They should be ashamed. History will remember. Never give up. See everyone in D.C. on January 6th.’
“The tweet was immediately tagged with the phrase ‘This claim about election fraud is disputed’ by Twitter. In another tweet, also tagged as disputed, he wrote: ‘If a Democrat Presidential Candidate had an Election Rigged & Stolen, with proof of such acts at a level never seen before, the Democrat Senators would consider it an act of war, and fight to the death. Mitch & the Republicans do NOTHING, just want to let it pass. NO FIGHT!’
“A third read: ‘The U.S. Supreme Court has been totally incompetent and weak on the massive Election Fraud that took place in the 2020 Presidential Election. We have absolute PROOF, but they don’t want to see it – No “standing”, they say. If we have corrupt elections, we have no country!’
“Mr Trump then claimed his incoming successor was a ‘fake president’ and compared the 2020 election unfavourably to those held in Afghanistan. He wrote: ‘A young military man working in Afghanistan told me that elections in Afghanistan are far more secure and much better run than the USA’s 2020 Election. Ours, with its millions and millions of corrupt Mail-In Ballots, was the election of a third world country. Fake President!’…
“If Republican lawmakers do object during the vote-counting on 6 January, the ploy is unlikely to work. The rules stipulate that both chambers must vote to support the objections and the House of Representatives is controlled by the Democrats. The membership of the Senate will be decided on 5 January with two run-off elections in Georgia, where incumbent Republicans are trying to hang on to their seats. If Democrats win both, the parties will be even, with 50 senators each. In the case of tied votes, the president of the Senate – currently vice president Mike Pence… – casts a deciding vote.
“The move has been tried before, including in 2017 when half a dozen Democrats rose to object to Mr Trump’s victory. In a twist of irony they were overruled by none other than Joe Biden, who as vice president was overseeing the count. He pointed out that none of the objections had been properly made in writing, adding: ‘It’s over.’”
Gun Violence Spiking
The Associated Press wrote on December 28:
“In Detroit, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and even smaller Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Milwaukee, 2020 has been deadly not only because of the pandemic, but because gun violence is spiking. Authorities and some experts say there is no one clear-cut reason for the spike. They instead point to social and economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 virus, public sentiment toward police following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody and a historic shortage of jobs and resources in poorer communities as contributing factors. It’s happening in cities large and small, Democrat and Republican-led…
“What the COVID-19 virus did was exacerbate all of the frustration and anger that some in Black and brown communities already were dealing with, according to retired Michigan State University sociology professor Carl Taylor. ‘The COVID has been absolutely the trigger of an everlasting bomb that’s exploding in many parts of our community,’ he added. Nowhere is that more true than inside people’s homes. ‘The COVID crisis and the economic shutdown is forcing people into their homes, creating conditions where people are more volatile,’ said Kim Foxx, the top prosecutor in Cook County, which includes Chicago. And the most jarring statistic that illustrates that volatility is this: The number of domestic-related homicides in the nation’s third-largest city are up more than 60% compared with last year…”
Fox News wrote on December 29:
“The California governor’s days could be limited thanks to a growing effort to invoke a statewide referendum. A campaign to recall [him] is picking up steam after individual donors offered tens of thousands of dollars each and they scored $500,000 from an Irvine-based consulting firm… Since 1911, Californians have attempted to recall their governor 55 times, but were successful only in 2003 against Gov. Gray Davis, who lost his special election to Arnold Schwarzenegger. That effort was propelled into the spotlight after Rep. Darrell Issa donated $2 million. After Prov 3:9 [LLC] became the first major donor in the effort to recall Newsom, other big donors may step forward.
“Fed up with the Democratic governor’s shutdown orders, which some found erratic, Rescue California organized to circulate petitions that call for Newsom’s governorship to be recalled and a special election to take place, well before the next governor’s race in November 2022. Newsom, currently in his first term, has not yet said if he plans to run again.
“Rescue California needs a minimum 1,495,709 valid signatures to recall the governor, and the group says it’s collected some 800,000 so far.”
Jens Spahn Germany’s Most Popular Politician
Newsmax wrote on December 27:
“German Health Minister Jens Spahn has taken over from Chancellor Angela Merkel as the nation’s most popular politician, a poll showed Sunday, highlighting his potential as a future leader of Europe’s biggest economy. Spahn, 40, has long been considered a rising star in Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, and is widely perceived to have made a key contribution to Germany’s relatively successful handling of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Kantar poll in Bild newspaper, 52% of those surveyed said Spahn should play a major role in German politics in 2021, up from 28% at the end of 2019. Merkel’s approval rating was 51%, up 11 percentage points from the previous year…
“Merkel is stepping down following the next election due in September 2021 after more than a decade and a half in power. The CDU will elect a new leader and probable chancellor candidate at a virtual congress next month. Spahn has backed Armin Laschet, the premier of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, while Friedrich Merz, a long-time Merkel rival, and Norbert Roettgen, a former environment minister, are also running. The winner will likely be the conservative bloc’s candidate to succeed Merkel next year, though Bavaria Premier Markus Soeder, head of the CDU’s sister party in the southern state, may be asked to step in.
“Soeder is the third-most popular politician on 50%, the Kantar poll showed. Finance Minister and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the Social Democrats’ chancellor candidate, was fourth on 47%, Merz scored 37% in sixth place, Laschet 31% in eighth and Roettgen 29% in ninth. While Spahn has thrown his support behind Laschet, there is an outside chance he could be tapped to run as the conservative candidate for chancellor if he is seen as having the best chance of winning the election.”
A Vaccine Passport
CNN Business wrote on December 28:
“Now that coronavirus vaccines are starting to roll out in the US and abroad, many people may be dreaming of the day when they can travel, shop and go to the movies again. But in order to do those activities, you may eventually need something in addition to the vaccine: a vaccine passport application.
“Several companies and technology groups have begun developing smartphone apps or systems for individuals to upload details of their Covid-19 tests and vaccinations, creating digital credentials that could be shown in order to enter concert venues, stadiums, movie theaters, offices, or even countries. The Common Trust Network, an initiative by Geneva-based nonprofit The Commons Project and the World Economic Forum, has partnered with several airlines including Cathay Pacific, JetBlue, Lufthansa, Swiss Airlines, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic, as well as hundreds of health systems across the United States and the government of Aruba.
“The CommonPass app created by the group allows users to upload medical data such as a Covid-19 test result or, eventually, a proof of vaccination by a hospital or medical professional, generating a health certificate or pass in the form of a QR code that can be shown to authorities…”
Spain Will Register those who Choose not to get Vaccinated
The New York Times wrote on December 28:
“Spain plans to collect and share with other European Union nations information about residents who decide not to get vaccinated for Covid-19, the country’s health minister said on Monday.
“Spain’s health minister, Salvador Illa, stressed that vaccination would not be made compulsory, but, he said, a register would be set up that would include all the people who turned down the vaccine after being called up for vaccination by Spain’s public health service.
75-Year Old Man Gets Vaccinated and Dies two hours later
365 wrote on December 28:
“A 75-year old man from the norther[n] Israeli town of Beit Shaan died of a heart attack just two hours after getting Pfizer’s covid vaccine on Monday… The man got the vaccine at 8:30 in the morning and waited in the HMO. He was subsequently released to his home after he reported that he felt fine. At home, he lost consciousness and then passed away.
“Initial reports claimed that his death was unrelated to the vaccine however the Health Ministry is now investigating the circumstances of his death. The head of the Health Ministry, Dr Hezy Levi admitted to the Kan broadcasting network that he didn’t know if his death was tied to the vaccine, but said that a committee would be established to investigate it.”
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.