Update 882


You Are Not Alone; Retaining Our Hope in the Growing Darkness

On June 29, 2019, Dave Harris will present the sermonette, titled, “You Are Not Alone,” and Robb Harris will present the sermon, titled, “Retaining Our Hope in the Growing Darkness.”

The live services are available, over video and audio, at http://eternalgod.org/live-services/ (12:30 pm Pacific Time; 1:30 pm Mountain Time; 2:30 pm Central Time; 3:30 pm Eastern Time; 8:30 pm Greenwich Mean Time; 9:30 pm Central European Time). Just click on Connect to Live Stream.

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Walking Away

by Rene Messier (Canada)

It is amazing that over the years, so many members of God’s Church family just simply walked away from the great promised rewards ahead. Of course, they found various reasons and excuses for their inexcusable conduct:

Real or imagined personal or other offenses, including from officials in the Church; feelings that prophecies were not being fulfilled fast enough; unwillingness to accept doctrinal changes, such as how to determine Pentecost; rejecting the authority which Christ placed in the Church, while feeling themselves superior; rejection of tithing, as giving one tenth back to God was considered to be unaffordable; pressures from their mates, parents, children or schools; loving the pleasures of the world more than God’s Sabbaths and Festivals; and finally, just wanting to fit in with those around them.

People who never grow to love all of God’s Way will find excuses in the end to leave. The responsibility of God’s true ministers in the body of Christ is to help in facilitating growth in God’s grace and knowledge, proving by the Bible what is correct, and to change any error in order to please God, not men.

God never promised that entering into the Kingdom was going to be an easy sled ride down a gradual slope Quite the opposite is true. It is rather through much suffering that we can inherit eternal life.

Matthew 5:11 tells us: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.”

Matthew 10:23 adds: “ When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”

Luke 21:12 reads: “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and  persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake.”

In the end time, true Christians are almost guaranteed to experience some form of persecution, trials and tests, and some will even be martyred.

Look at what some of God’s true servants went through in the past, as Hebrews 11:32-39 explains:

“And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

“Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise…”

Notice, they did not receive the promise of eternal life and the inheritance of the Kingdom of God at that time, but they will in the future, together with us if we hold fast and endure to the end.

Very tough times are coming so it is important to be mentally prepared and remain close to God Who is our only true protection.

Notice also John 16:2: “They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.”

If we have to go through serious trials, we must not be offended, but we must always bear in mind that God will not try us beyond our abilities. 1 Corinthians 10:13 gives us this promise: “No temptation [or serious trial] has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear.”

Even though trials and tests are coming, we must make sure that with God’s help, we do not fall into the category of those who walk away. We must be ready to accept God’s Will in all our trials and put all our trust in Him. We must cement His truth in our heart. We can grow in our relationship with God through daily prayer and Bible study. Then we will not be looking for excuses to leave when times get hard, and ultimately, we will receive our great rewards in the Kingdom of God.

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by Norbert Link

We begin with interesting articles showing how close we had come last week to an American war with Iran [please view our new StandingWatch program, “Coming—US War With Iran?”], continue with further hostile developments pertaining to the USA and Iran as well as several reports reflecting America’s unwillingness and its “lost appetite” for getting involved in any military confrontations in the Middle East; speak on the possibility that Israel might strike Iran; and report on Russia’s serious threats against the USA.

We address the current turmoil in Ethiopia; Europe’s unwillingness to negotiate any further with Britain on Brexit; a major blow for Turkey’s President Erdogan; and we publish excerpts from a thought-provoking article about Spain’s role in Europe, the diminishing role of Denmark and other Israelite countries in Europe; and an unprecedented heatwave in Europe.

We conclude with reports exemplifying the appalling immoral conditions in the Western world—from a “Hail Satan” prayer in Alaska’s government to the overbearing and intrusive (unbiblical) jury system (as manifested in Britain); Prince William’s support for the gay community; and an abominable British court ruling ordering the abortion of a child against the wishes of a mentally handicapped mother and the child’s grandmother. Please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Abominable! Court Orders Abortion Despite Mother’s Objection.”

Throughout this section, we have underlined pertinent statements in the quoted articles, for the convenience and quick overview of the reader.

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Fox News vs. Trump: “His Story on Iran Does Not Add Up”

Breitbart wrote on June 21:

“Friday on Fox News Channel’s ‘Shepard Smith Reporting,’ Chris Wallace, anchor of ‘Fox News Sunday,’ said President Donald Trump’s story on why he called off a military strike against Iran, didn’t ‘hold together.’… Wallace said, ‘I talked to a former top national security official in an earlier Republican administration who says this just doesn’t add up.’ He continued, ‘The president would have been fully briefed by the generals as to, if you hit target A, here are the dangers, or here is the possible collateral damage. So the idea that the president, ten minutes before the actual go…  you’re learning for the first time that there were going to be 150 casualties, seems pretty unlikely and certainly not the way it’s been done in the past.’

“Smith said, ‘The explanation — as you said — just doesn’t make sense.’

“Wallace said, ‘It doesn’t hold together. The timeline for when he learned information and when he decided to act doesn’t make a lot of sense. In a sense, maybe that’s the biggest problem. You can argue if you don’t want to strike, don’t strike. If you want to strike, do strike. But don’t send mixed messages that confuse not only your enemies but even your allies and people here in this country, as to what you’re going to do.

“Smith said, ‘And then tweet out your whole thought process of American foreign policy and intervention.’”

President Trump responded on Saturday that he had been briefed in general as to casualties, but that he wanted to know the specifics. His relationship with the conservative and generally pro-Trump Fox News network has recently seen some upheavals. The interesting news to be taken from the incident is that, according to some comments in news reports, the USA has “lost its appetite” for getting involved in any military confrontations and wars in the Middle East (also note the next article). This vacuum will be filled by a politically and religiously unified Europe which will powerfully intervene in the Middle East in the not-too-distant future.

Did Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Help Prevent War With Iran?

On June 21, the New York Times published an article with the following headline:

“Urged to Launch an Attack, Trump Listened to the Skeptics Who Said It Would Be a Costly Mistake…”

The article continued:

“He heard from his generals and his diplomats. Lawmakers weighed in and so did his advisers. But among the voices that rang powerfully for President Trump was that of one of his favorite Fox News hosts: Tucker Carlson.

“While national security advisers were urging a military strike against Iran, Mr. Carlson in recent days had told Mr. Trump that responding to Tehran’s provocations with force was crazy. The hawks did not have the president’s best interests at heart, he said. And if Mr. Trump got into a war with Iran, he could kiss his chances of re-election goodbye.

“However much weight that advice may or may not have had, the sentiments certainly reinforced the doubts that Mr. Trump himself harbored as he navigated his way through one of the most consequential foreign policy decisions of his presidency… The concerns that Mr. Trump heard from Mr. Carlson reflected that part of the presidential id that has always hesitated at pulling the trigger… Mr. Trump has at times pulled back from the use of force, convinced that America has wasted too many lives and too much money in pointless Middle East wars and wary of repeating what he considers the mistakes of his predecessors.

“As Mr. Carlson and other skeptics have argued, a strike against Iran could easily spiral into a full-fledged war without easy victory. That, Mr. Trump was told, was everything he ran against. And so the president struggled into the early evening, committed to taking action to demonstrate resolve right up until the moment he decided against it and called off the warplanes and missile launchers…

“Mr. Trump was given a list of at least a dozen strike options generated this month after there were attacks on tankers in the region. The list was then narrowed down to at least two alternatives. Among the targets would be facilities like radar and missile batteries… the casualty estimate played to the concerns that Mr. Trump had shared with Mr. Carlson and other skeptics of military action in the Middle East.

“Gen. Jack Keane, a retired Army vice chairman who is close to the Trump White House, said another factor came into play during the deliberations — the president was told that the attack on the drone was really a mistake, as Mr. Trump had publicly suggested to reporters early in the day. ‘The president got some additional information that the Iranian national leaders were frustrated or furious with the tactical commander who made the decision to shoot down the American drone,’ General Keane said in an interview…

“General Keane said it was unclear whether the commander who ordered the downing of the drone was operating within his authority or was a rogue figure. But either way, he said, it impressed upon Mr. Trump that he would be risking a dangerous escalation over what was not intended to be an attack by Iran’s top leaders… it contributed to the decision, which he said was mainly driven by the casualty concern…

“By this point, time was running out… Mr. Trump scrubbed the mission. The decision made, the military ordered ships and planes in the region to stand down. At the White House, Mr. Trump turned on his television to watch the opening of Mr. Carlson’s 8 p.m. show, where he heard what surely must have sounded like vindication. Onscreen, Mr. Carlson declared that ‘foreign wars have ended in dismal failure for the United States.’

“While no decision had been announced yet, Mr. Carlson praised Mr. Trump for resisting military intervention in Iran. ‘The same people who lured us into the Iraq quagmire 16 years ago are demanding a new war, this one with Iran,’ he said. ‘The president, to his great credit, appears to be skeptical of this — very skeptical.’ If he kept the television on, though, Mr. Trump would have heard a radically different message from another friend on Fox at 9 p.m. With the news of Mr. Trump’s decision still not public, Sean Hannity declared that Mr. Trump may have ‘no choice’ but to ‘bomb the hell out of them.’

“For one night, at least, that would not be true. But the battle for Mr. Trump’s ear is not over.”

The German mass tabloid, Bild Online, ran an article on June 23, repeating the scenario set forth by the New York Times, adding:

US-expert and political scientist Christian Hacke said: ‘Trump has gained the respect of the political center. It was a genius move, because this way, he still holds the reigns in his hands. He is constantly being underestimated, especially in Germany. More and more, he turns out to be a crafty and shrewd politician engaged in power politics, and a manipulator.’”

US Struck Iranian Military Computers

The Associated Press wrote on June 23:

“U.S. military cyber forces launched a strike against Iranian military computer systems on Thursday as President Donald Trump backed away from plans for a more conventional military strike in response to Iran’s downing of a U.S. surveillance drone… Two officials told The Associated Press that the strikes were conducted with approval from Trump. A third official confirmed the broad outlines of the strike…

“The cyberattacks — a contingency plan developed over weeks amid escalating tensions — disabled Iranian computer systems that controlled its rocket and missile launchers, the officials said. Two of the officials said the attacks, which specifically targeted Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps computer system, were provided as options after Iranian forces blew up two oil tankers earlier this month…

“The action by U.S. Cyber Command was a demonstration of the U.S.’s increasingly mature cyber military capabilities and its more aggressive cyber strategy under the Trump administration. Over the last year U.S. officials have focused on persistently engaging with adversaries in cyberspace and undertaking more offensive operations…”

Further US Sanctions Against Iran

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 24:

“President Trump signed an executive order on Monday that imposes what he says are ‘hard-hitting’ new sanctions against Iran. The new sanctions will specifically target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other Iranian officials

“US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the measures ‘go after the supreme leader’s office and lock up literally billions more in assets.’”

Trump Tells Other Countries to Protect Their Own Gulf Shipping

Agence France-Presse (AFP) wrote on June 24:

“President Donald Trump on Monday told other countries to protect their own Gulf oil shipments, declaring that the United States has only limited strategic interest in the dangerous region. In a pair of tweets, Trump said US aims regarding Iran boil down to ‘No Nuclear Weapons and No Further Sponsoring of Terror.’ As for Iran’s threats to shut sea lanes used to transport a large portion of the world’s oil exports through the Persian Gulf, Washington is not concerned, Trump said.

“Stating that the United States is now the world’s biggest energy producer, thereby weaning itself off decades of dependence on Middle Eastern oil, Trump said ‘we don’t even need to be there.’ And the US military should not be depended upon to keep the narrow sea routes along Iran’s coast free. ‘Why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation,’ he asked. ‘All of these countries should be protecting their own ships on what has always been a dangerous journey.’… Trump’s tweets add to his record of seeking a wider drawdown of the US diplomatic and military footprint around the world.”

Exactly as prophesied in the Bible!

Israel Might Strike Iran

The Conversation wrote on or about June 21:

“Israel, which has faced threats to its national security since its founding as a Jewish homeland in the Middle East in 1948, is known to take aggressive, preventive action to protect itself – including by launching preemptive strikes on neighboring nations it perceives as threatening. If international relations with Iran grow more volatile, Israel could take dramatic, unilateral action against its neighbor and longtime adversary…

“Israel has a counterproliferation policy, called the Begin Doctrine, which allows it to wage preventive strikes against enemies with weapons of mass destruction programs. Using the Begin Doctrine as a justification for preemptive strikes, the Israeli government has for decades quietly decimated nuclear and chemical facilities across the Middle East.

“When President Saddam Hussein’s potential nuclear military ambitions raised concerns in 1981, the Israeli government destroyed an Iraqi nuclear reactor in a surprise attack called Operation Opera… In 2007, Israel responded to Syria’s failure to report its uranium processing by striking a nuclear reactor in the Deir ez-Zor region. The United States, which was reportedly informed ahead of the attack, made no effort to stop Israel.

“Israel has also been accused of sponsoring the assassinations of at least four Iranian nuclear scientists since 2010. The incidents have never been fully investigated, and Israel has neither confirmed nor denied responsibility for the targeted killings.

“Israel has also deterred nuclear proliferation in the Mideast using less lethal, more high tech strategies. In 2008 and 2009, Israel used computer malware called Stuxnet to disrupt Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. The program infected the software that controlled centrifuge speed at the Natanz nuclear plant, alternately speeding up and slowing down the machines that produce enriched uranium to cripple production of the material. The Obama administration secretly supported the cyberattacks… Decades after Israel’s 1981 attack on Iraq’s nuclear plant, President Bill Clinton called it ‘a really good thing.’…

“Iran’s Islamic fundamentalist government is openly hostile to Israel… If the nuclear deal ruptures further and Iran does restarting uranium enrichment, Israel might launch targeted airstrikes against it… Of course, potential Israeli attacks on Iran present… serious risks. Because most of Iran’s reactors are in full operations, air strikes may mean cutting off the power supply to Iranian citizens and could release large amounts of radioactive contaminants into the air.

“Iran, a militarily well-equipped country, would surely retaliate against any Israeli attacks. That, too, would trigger a conflict that would spiral throughout the Middle East…”

The Bible tells us that Israel will receive a wound in the near future. This might describe military defeat. We need to watch as to how this will unfold.

Christians without Influence in the Holy Land

Zenit wrote on June 21:

“Christians in the Holy Land may exist, but they have lost the influence they used to have in international politics, says Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem. In an exclusive interview with ZENIT in Amman, Jordan, the Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem, residing in Jordan, affirmed this…

“‘Jordan is a central point of the Middle East… I think each government is interested in having the journalist, having journalism, under its protection, at the service of the regime, more than at the service of the truth, or of the reality… These were journalists from all over the world, including from Italy, Germany. They understood the sensitivity related to Israel and the Holy Land. Yet, they used to qualify: “I do not know if I will be able to publish all that you say…

“‘It is great if we [Christians] can exist and continue to live in the Holy Land, to be a small element, salt, salt to the society, salt to the earth. However, regardless, we do not have influence like we did before. In government, our presence is so reduced. We cannot change [politics]… The issue is also that this question of Christians leaving the Holy Land, does not interest the international politics… Their existence or nonexistence does not matter to the international politics…

“‘We have until now, thank God, Christian people, Christian families, but we do not have any longer, a Christian government…”

All of this will change in due time, and the Catholic Church will again have a huge influence in the Holy Land, including Israel. Note the next article.

Strong Israeli-Vatican Ties

The Algemeiner wrote on June 21:

“New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan said this week that ties between Israel and the Vatican have ‘quite literally made the world a better place’… Dayan recalled that Theodor Herzl had unsuccessfully sought to get support from Pope Pius X in 1914 for the effort to create a Jewish state in Palestine.

“A century later, he noted, Pope Francis not only visited Israel, but laid a wreath at Herzl’s grave. That tribute to the father of modern Zionism, Dayan said, resulted from the ‘century-long dialogue’ between the Catholic Church and State of Israel.”

The past role of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land should not be underestimated.

Russia Warns the USA… and Follows through with Action

The Sun wrote on June 24:

“Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday that US plans to deploy missile systems near the Russian border risks a nuclear standoff on a par with the height of the Cold War. The Cuban missile crisis erupted in 1962 when the Soviet Union responded to a US missile deployment in Turkey by sending ballistic missiles to Cuba – just miles from the US coastline. It sparked a tense 13-day standoff that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. The crisis was defused when Soviet ships headed for Cuba turned back in the face of a US naval blockade. Eventually, the Soviet Union agreed to remove its missiles from Cuba in return for the US promising not to invade Cuba…

“Russian President Vladimir Putin made similar remarks in February. He warned that Moscow would match any US move to deploy new nuclear missiles closer to Russia by stationing its own missiles closer to the US… The warning came as one of the Russian navy’s most advanced warships entered Havana’s harbour on Monday. It docked at the port used until this month by US cruise lines – with tourists seen taking photos of the imposing vessel. The Admiral Gorshkov… is armed with cruise missiles, air defence systems and other weapons. The frigate… is part of Russia’s Northern Fleet.”

European Cowardice —Russia Back in Good Graces

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 25:

“The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has voted in favor of restoring Russia’s voting rights, five years after they were revoked over its illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula… The assembly voted 118 in favor and 62 against, with 10 abstentions…

“The head of Ukraine’s delegation… said the decision sends a ‘very bad message’ to Moscow and others. ‘Do what you want, annex another country’s territory, kill people there, and you will still leave with everything,’ he said.

Germany and France reportedly pushed through a compromise that would allow Moscow to return to the Council of Europe. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the compromise would ensure ‘millions of Russians the protection of the European Court of Human Rights.’”

Europe and especially Germany and France told Russia this: You can illegally invade another country, without fear of any repercussions.

Germany Faces Backlash

Deutsche Welle reported on June 27:

“Pro-democracy advocates, a former CIA officer and world chess champion Garry Kasparov have slammed the German government’s response to Russia’s voting rights being reinstated in the Council of Europe… ‘Russia belongs in the Council of Europe — with all the rights and obligations that entails,’ German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement on Twitter. ‘This is good news for Russia’s civil society.’

“The statement, which was posted in German as well as excerpted in English, racked up hundreds of comments, including from rights activists and prominent Kremlin critics. Garry Kasparov, a former world chess champion and a former leading figure in the Russian opposition, issued a scathing critique of the decision.

“In a series of tweets, he compared it to the appeasement of Adolf Hitler in 1938 after he seized the Sudetenland and said the move was likely linked to the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project with Russian state gas producer Gazprom that will deliver gas from Russia directly to Germany. ‘… Appeasing a dictator and rewarding aggression will make things worse, it always has,’ he said.

“‘Are you kidding me?’ wrote John Sipher, a former CIA officer who ran the US intelligence agency’s Russia operations, later adding: ‘shame.’ Alice Stollmeyer, executive director of the pro-democracy initiative Defending Democracy, said that either the German government is ‘still naive or it is willing to sell our values.’ ‘I don’t know which is worse,’ she added.”

It appears that the German government is willing to “sell our values” for pecuniary gain. Kasparov’s comparison to the appeasement of Adolf Hitler is worthy of consideration.

Trump Delays Deportation Order for Two Weeks

Breitbart wrote on June 22:

“President Donald Trump suspended Saturday his threat to deport millions of illegal immigrants, after previewing a renewed enforcement surge. ‘At the request of Democrats, I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process (Deportation) for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border,’ Trump wrote on Twitter. ‘If not, Deportations start!’…

“There are currently 1.7 million illegal aliens from Mexico and Central America living in the United States with deportation orders or a pending deportation order, according to federal data.”

Trump’s concept is this, and it is brilliant: If Republicans and Democrats can’t come up with a solution, which is highly unlikely, it will be their fault.

Fox News Anchor Shephard Smith Attacks Trump Administration

Breitbart reported on June 24:

Monday on Fox News Channel, anchor Shepard Smith criticized the Trump administration for their alleged treatment of migrant children. Smith said, ‘Dirty and hungry children sleeping on concrete floors without blankets, toothpaste, soap or diapers. Some kids found covered in mucus. Some 3-year-olds being cared for by 7-year-olds and 8-year-olds. Horrifying. Both President Trump and Vice President Pence defended the treatment of migrant children. Yesterday, the VP tried to shift the blame to Democrats in Congress.’

“He continued, ‘Just last week, a Justice Department attorney argued that they don’t necessarily need to provide migrant children with soap and toothbrushes for them to be safe and sanitary. Soap and toothbrushes not necessary for safe and sanitary conditions.’ Smith concluded, ‘Soap and toothbrushes are not optional for children in detention. They are necessary. Were these particular children prisoners of war rather than innocent children, failure to provide those necessities would be a violation of the Geneva Conventions. Yet President Trump claims his administration is doing a fantastic job under the circumstances.’”

If true, these would indeed be terrible and inhumane conditions for innocent children. 

But note the next article.

Newsmax reported on June 27:

“The Democratic-controlled House voted Thursday to send President Donald Trump a bipartisan, Senate-drafted, $4.6 billion measure to care for migrant refugees detained at the southern border, capping a Washington skirmish in which die-hard liberals came out on the losing end in a battle with the White House, the GOP-held Senate and Democratic moderates.

“The emergency legislation, required to ease overcrowded, often harsh conditions at U.S. holding facilities for migrants seeking asylum, mostly from Central American nations like Honduras and El Salvador, passed by a bipartisan 305-102 vote. Trump has indicated he’ll sign it into law.”

Turmoil in Ethiopia

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 24:

“Amhara’s state president, his adviser, and the state attorney general — all three were killed on Saturday, as people in military uniform stormed the local government offices in the Amhara state capital Bahir Dar. A little later Ethiopia’s army chief of staff, Seare Mekonnen, and a retired general were killed by Seare’s own bodyguard — an attack that Ethiopia’s government believes to be related.

“All of this was reported by the office of the prime minister, including announcements by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed himself, or state media. Since Saturday internet lines have been cut and state-run media have been the primary source of information… State sources have reported that General Asaminew was shot dead outside Bahir Dar on Monday.

“… Ethiopia has been rocked by regional and political tension.  Since he has come into power just over a year ago, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has cracked down on high-ranking military personnel allegedly involved in corruption, torture, and other crimes…

“While Abiy and his government still have overall control over the country, the weekend’s events have created a certain degree of uncertainty. Elections set for May 2020 [will probably not take place]…

“Abiy should have done more to condemn the ethnic tensions within the countries… According to the United Nations, at least 2.4 million people have been displaced by the ethnic tension in Oromo, Amhara, and Tigray regions.”

No Further Brexit Negotiations

The EUObserver wrote on June 21:

“EU council chief Donald Tusk said Friday the EU was ‘looking forward to working together with the next UK prime minister’, but that the ‘withdrawal agreement is not open for renegotiation’. He added that the EU wants to avoid a disorderly Brexit and establish a close future relationship.

“‘We will enter into talks, but we underline yet again, that the withdrawal agreement has been negotiated,’ German chancellor Angela Merkel said.”

Concern Over Angela Merkel’s Health

The Telegraph wrote on June 27:

“Concern is growing over the health of Angela Merkel after the German Chancellor was overcome by a shaking fit for the second time in a little over a week on Thursday. Eight days after footage showed Ms Merkel desperately trying to maintain composure as she shook from head to foot at a reception for the Ukrainian president, she has suffered another bout of trembling.

“Footage from Thursday morning shows Ms Merkel’s legs shaking as she stands through a swearing-in ceremony in Berlin for the country’s new justice minister, Christine Lambrecht. Ms Merkel can been seen clutching her arms in an attempt to control herself while glancing uncomfortably to her side. An aide then offers her a glass of water which she turns down. The chancellor looks wobbly throughout the entire video of roughly one minute and ten seconds, which was shared by the German Press Association.

According to journalists present at the occasion, the 64-year-old quickly regained her composure after the ceremony was over. Ms Merkel’s office immediately moved to dampen speculation that the incident was the symptom of an underlying health problem.”

Major Blow for Erdogan

The Associated Press reported on June 23:

“The opposition candidate for mayor of Istanbul celebrated a landmark win Sunday in a closely watched repeat election that ended weeks of political tension and broke the long hold President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party had on leading Turkey’s largest city… Imamoglu narrowly won an earlier mayoral election on March 31, but Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, AKP, challenged the vote over alleged irregularities… The voided vote raised concerns domestically and abroad about the state of Turkish democracy…

“Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, Ankara office director of the German Marshall Fund, argued … Erdogan is already facing… ‘a perfect storm’ this summer. Erdogan was already at odds with Western allies over Turkey’s plans to buy the Russian-made S-400 missile defense system and its challenge of EU-member Cyprus over natural gas drilling rights.”

Watch Spain

Politico wrote on June 24:

“The days of Spain playing a bit role in Brussels are finally coming to an end. Madrid has a great opportunity to shape EU politics and policies over the next five years… [The] U.K…. is tearing itself apart over Brexit… Benelux, the Netherlands especially, has lost its enthusiasm for an ever-closer union. And the Franco-German alliance is casting around for new partners to champion closer cooperation on defense, migration and the future of the euro… such a partner is close at hand. Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, has become the de facto leader of European social democracy, the second biggest political family in both the European Council and the Parliament…

“His interest in the Continent is reflected in his Europe team: His economy minister, Nadia Calviño was a director general in the European Commission; his foreign affairs minister, Josep Borrell, was president of the European Parliament; and Luis Planas, his agriculture minister, was Spain’s permanent representative in Brussels. Other top officials are strong pro-Europeans who understand the workings of the EU machine… What will give the prime minister leverage on the European stage… is a strong pro-European consensus among Spaniards. The country’s Euroskeptic party, Vox, suffered a big defeat in last month’s European election with only 6.2 percent support…

“All signs point in the direction that Spain will not only be shaping the bloc’s politics, with appointments in key EU decision-making positions, but charting the course when it comes to policy too. Sánchez’s sherpa, José Manuel Albares, recently disclosed Spain’s strategic agenda for the next Commission, which highlights [these] priorities: completing the European monetary union, strengthening Europe’s social policies… a greater global role for the EU, a bigger EU budget and more fiscal harmonization. Here, of course, cooperation with Germany and France will be crucial, but Spain will also have to find key allies in smaller member states…”

Non-Israelite European Countries (such as Germany, Austria, Italy and Spain) seem to displace more and more those of Israelite descent in the political arena, such as Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden and Denmark. France is still very much in the lead as well, but France, which is to a large part a descendant of Reuben, is described as unstable as water. Note the next article.

Denmark Turns Left

The Guardian wrote on June 26:

“Social Democrats leader, Mette Frederiksen, 41, said late on Tuesday night that after three weeks of negotiations, she had reached agreement with three leftist parties to form the one-party minority government, a common arrangement in Denmark. But reports suggest she had to give ground on several of her party’s controversial hardline immigration measures to reach the agreement with her leftwing partners and form the third centre-left government in the Nordic region this year.

“… negotiations aimed at securing the parliamentary backing of the three other parties in the traditional leftist ‘red bloc’ – the Social Liberals (Radikale Venstre), Socialist People’s party and Red Green Alliance – took 20 days, the longest negotiation period since 1988.”

“Social Democratic parties also came to power earlier this year in Finland and Sweden,” according to Reuters, dated June 26.

Unprecedented Heat Wave in Europe

The Weather Channel reported on June 26:

“A heat wave currently baking western Europe has already set new all-time June record highs… Germany recorded its hottest June temperature on record, Wednesday, with a high of 38.6 degrees Celsius (101.5 degrees Fahrenheit) in Coschen, near the Polish border about 65 miles southeast of Berlin… The previous German June heat record had stood for almost 72 years. Fifty-one German reporting stations set new June heat records Wednesday…

“Clermont-Ferrand, France, topped out at 40.9 degrees Celsius (105.6 degrees Fahrenheit) on Wednesday afternoon, setting an all-time record high for any month of the year. Several locations in Switzerland also set all-time record highs for any calendar month…

Highs ranged from the 90s to low 100s in parts of Spain, France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland on Wednesday… The heat will continue into this weekend across parts of the continent…

Wildfire danger will also increase to extreme levels by this weekend in parts of Europe because of the hot, dry conditions… Heat waves are especially dangerous when they occur early in the summer, before people have had time to adapt to the seasonal heat…

“Europe’s biggest heat-wave catastrophe occurred in the first two weeks of August 2003. Great Britain saw its first 100-degree Fahrenheit readings in more than 300 years of recordkeeping, and similar temperatures were widespread across Europe. Adding the various national counts implies that more than 50,000 people died as a result of the 2003 European heat wave. Later estimates brought the toll as high as 70,000, though the exact number is difficult to discern. No heat wave in global history has produced so many documented deaths…”

Are these warning signs for Europe of much worse things to come?

Abominable “Hail Satan” Prayer in Alaska Government Meeting

Breitbart wrote on June 21:

“The official, Iris Fontana — who also happens to be a member of the Satanic Temple — delivered an invocation ahead of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting Tuesday, sealing the prayer with ‘Hail Satan.’… Almost a dozen people walked out in protest, including Mayor Charlie Pierce…

“Technically, the satanic prayer was permissible due to pushes from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Alaska.

“KSRM reports: ‘In October, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the borough’s previous prayer policy violated the State Constitution. The lawsuit was brought on by the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska. The previous policy only allowed certain groups to deliver the invocation. The borough then passed a resolution to amend their policy at their meeting on November 20 to broaden the scope of eligible invocation providers to better reflect the diversity of beliefs in the borough.”…

“The Satanic Temple made headlines in April after the IRS announced that it recognized it as a ‘church,’ thereby giving it tax-exempt status.”

A society allowing this kind of blasphemy is DOOMED.

Appalling Jury Duty System

The Sun wrote on June 22:

“Carly Hull, 29, was told by Judge Barbara Mensah that jury service was the only public service the state asks people to do in peacetime… The judge… told Hull: ‘On the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings when people gave up their lives to ensure the freedoms we have in this country of a fair trial and of innocent until proven guilty, you think you can impose a selfish attitude to jury service.’

“Hull, of Cook Road in Stevenage, was summoned before the judge having failed to attend for jury service earlier this month. She had first been called in February, but had jury service deferred until 3 June after she said she had childcare problems. Hull… told Luton Crown Court’s jury office that she had forgotten the date and had not received a letter telling her to attend. The jury officer again deferred her service until 10 June, but the judge said she then said that was not enough time to get childcare…

“Jury service is a vital part of the criminal law system of the UK and anyone over the age of 18 can be summoned to be a juror. Summons are based on the electoral role and in most circumstances you can face a fine of £1,000 if you don’t attend. You can defer your jury service if you can’t attend on the dates for which you’ve been summoned, but you have to give other dates in the next 12 months when you can attend instead…

“[Hull’s husband] is taking unpaid leave for five days next week to look after the children. [Hull] has also arranged for her mother, who works at the Lister Hospital, to look after the children if the jury service is extended… [The judge said:] ‘If you are not here on Monday, the court will take more stringent action — you could go to prison.’”

It is clear that Hull did not act wisely or diligently enough in this case. It has also become clear as to how overbearing, intrusive and ridiculous the entire (unbiblical) jury system has become… both in the UK and the USA. The judge’s unqualified comparison between jury duty and D-Day is appalling.

Prince William: Absolutely Fine by Me if My Children Came Out as Gay

Daily Mail wrote on June 26:

 “Prince William today said he would wholeheartedly support his children if they were gay as he spoke to young people disowned by their own parents because of their sexuality. The future king, 37, is the first royal to open up on the subject and admitted he had recently discussed it with his wife Kate. But the prince also confessed he worried that George, five, Princess Charlotte, four, or Louis, one, could also be ‘persecuted’ if they were gay because they are third, fourth and fifth in line to the throne, respectively.

“The Duke of Cambridge was visiting a LGBT charity in east London that helps young people forced on to the streets because of their sexual orientation or for being transgender… His words have been praised on social media by campaigners who believe his comments will be well received.

“One tweet: ‘The wonderful thing is that Prince William is the sort of person, that can and will help stop the bullying that children who are LGBTQ or a different in schools and in society’. Another wrote: ‘How wonderful that the future King is using his influence and platform to be an ally for the lgbtq community… [He] said it would be ‘absolutely fine by me’ if in the future Prince George, five, Princess Charlotte, four, or Louis, one, came out as gay or lesbian… His visit comes ahead of the annual Pride in London parade… It is not the first time the Prince has become involved in LGBT issues. Three years ago, he appeared on the cover of the gay magazine Attitude…”

God looks at this quite differently!

Abominable—British Court ORDERS Abortion

Fox News reported on June 22:

“A British judge ordered Friday that an abortion be performed on a mentally disabled woman who is 22 weeks pregnant, despite objections from the woman and her mother. Justice Nathalie Lieven admits in the ruling of the ‘heartbreaking’ case that it’s an ‘immense intrusion’ to order the abortion against the woman’s will, but argued that it’s in the best interest of the woman

“The unnamed woman, a Roman Catholic, reportedly has developmental disabilities and the mental age of a 6- to 9-year-old. She has been described as being in her 20s and is in the care of an NHS trust, as part of the country’s National Health Service. The woman’s mother, a former midwife, opposes the abortion procedure and told the court that she could take care of the child with the support from the daughter, Sky News reported. A social worker who works with the woman also said the pregnancy should not be terminated.

“But the judge said the woman didn’t have the mental capacity to make her own decisions even it look like she wanted to continue the pregnancy. ‘I think she would like to have a baby in the same way she would like to have a nice doll,’ she said, pointing out that she didn’t fully comprehend what having a baby entails. She added that having a child would be more traumatic for the woman than aborting it, as she wouldn’t be able to take care of the child due to the risk posed by her mental health problems and it would have to be put in a foster care.”

An appalling and abominable decision, in which the “best interest” clause has been terribly abused. No consideration whatsoever for the LIFE of the unborn child! This reminds us of horrible decisions in Nazi Germany. A society allowing these kinds of decisions is DOOMED.

Abominable Abortion Decision Overturned by Court of Appeal

The Sun wrote on June 24:

“A COURT ruling that a woman with the mental age of a child must have an abortion against her will has been overturned after her mum said she would care for the baby… Yesterday, the woman’s mum, a Catholic and former midwife, challenged the initial court order issued on Friday, insisting that she would look after the baby on her daughter’s behalf. John Sherrington, a bishop in the Catholic diocese of Westminster called the original ruling ‘sad and distressing.’ He added that it ‘raises serious questions about the meaning of “best interests” when a patient lacks mental capacity and is subject to the court’s decision against her will.’…

“The three judges on the Court of Appeal didn’t explain why they ruled against proceeding with the abortion and said they would give their reasons at a later date…

“Three specialists, an obstetrician and two psychiatrists made the decision, concluding that giving birth and having a child would be detrimental to the woman’s psychiatric health... ‘To force abortion on any person is abhorrent and to do so in the name of medicine and in the complete defiance of the religious and cultural values of the mother concerned calls into question the structures of law and justice in our society,’ said John Deighan, deputy chief executive of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children…

“Before the court’s decision on Monday, John Sherrington said: ‘Forcing a woman to have an abortion against her will, and that of her close family, infringes her human rights, not to mention the right of her unborn child to live in a family that has committed to caring for this child…'”

Thankfully, this abominable decision was overturned, but what is shocking and frightening is that an indifferent judge of the “Court of Protection” can even make such a decision without any regard for the life of the unborn child.

Breitbart added on June 24:

“‘Thank God, humanity has prevailed,’ said Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, reacting to the news of the decision of the Court of Appeals. ‘Courts simply do not have the authority to order the killing of a baby,’ Pavone added… ‘Now it’s time for all of us to resist the injustice of abortion in whatever way it rears its ugly head.’…

 “In a statement, Clare McCarthy of Right to Life UK, addressed the concerns of Lieven’s pro-abortion rights background. ‘Justice Lieven’s background as a lawyer in numerous abortion advocacy cases calls into question her fitness to adjudicate in this case,’ she said. ‘The fact that this case relates directly to abortion and the fact that the Judge has a strong background of pro-abortion advocacy, undermines the impartiality of the judiciary.’

“In the U.S., Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R) condemned Lieven’s ruling on Twitter: ‘If story accurate 22 week pregnant disabled woman is being required to undergo a forced abortion by UK court. The U.S. should offer her & her mother a visa. And why are the voices who always talk about a woman’s right to choose so quiet on this?’

“Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser called the decision for forced abortion a ‘horrific violation of the human rights of both unborn children and their mothers.’ ‘Justice Lieven’s order reeks of eugenics and is the type of oppression one would expect to see under a totalitarian regime, like China’s brutal state-enforced population control,’ the pro-life leader added. ‘Such a ruling could not occur in a vacuum – it exposes a culture of devaluation of human life and prejudice toward individuals with disabilities, right up to the most elite levels of society.’”

Sadly, we could not agree with that more. Please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Abominable! Court Orders Abortion Despite Mother’s Objection”

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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The Abortion Question Today (Part 2)

In the previous Q&A, we have looked at alleged and purported “reasons” for abortions, the many questions raised about this issue, the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973, abortion statistics in the USA and worldwide, the Hippocratic oath, recent events in Alabama and elsewhere in the USA about abortion bans and probable appeals against such legislation and democratically elected women ignoring President Trump’s statement about abortion while they glory in their own “success.”

We will now look at the Scriptural evidence to see when life begins while dismissing arbitrary times, depending on different thoughts, ideas and assumptions of many different people.

First of all, we read in Exodus 20:13: “You shall not kill.”  This is pretty straightforward, one would think, but something that never seems to enter the equation when discussing abortion.  Perhaps some think that a conceived child is not a member of the human race until it is born; perhaps others don’t particularly care while others may not even think about it too much but whatever it is, it is wrong to kill the unborn.

Let us now review the soul and the spirit in man.  A living soul is defined as any living thing composed of flesh and blood including animals.  A dead soul is a dead thing, a corpse; it could refer to a person or an animal. The spirit in man elevates humans above animals.

Job 32:8: “But there is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.”

Zechariah 12:1: “The burden of the word of the LORD against Israel. Thus says the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him:”

This spirit empowers the human brain with intellect and mind power as we read in 1 Corinthians 2:11: “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?   Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.”

Genesis 2:7: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being [literally, a living soul].”

In Genesis 6:17, 7:15 and 7:22, we read about the breath of life. This kick starts the self-sustaining, independent, physio-chemical existence of all newborn flesh whether human or animal.

Ecclesiastes 11:5: “As you do not know what is the way of the wind, Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes all things.”

Genesis 46:15: “These were the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Padan Aram, with his daughter Dinah. All the persons, his sons and his daughters, were thirty-three.” Leah’s sons and daughters listed who made it to Egypt were 33, yet only 32 names given.

Numbers 26:59: “The name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed the daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt; and to Amram she bore Aaron and Moses and their sister Miriam.”  Levi had a daughter, not listed, who was born in Egypt – Jochebed who was the mother of Moses, Aaron and Miriam.   Levi’s wife must have been pregnant at the time and wasn’t named and yet God made sure that she was counted as a person making the journey. She was already conceived, but not yet born!

Leviticus 17:11: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” The presence of blood exemplifies life.

Exodus 21:22-25: “If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.   But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”   If men fight and hurt a pregnant woman and there is lasting harm to the woman (some claim, and/or to the child), then you shall give life for life, that is, a much higher compensation.  We see that the life of an unborn child was important to God and to some, it was considered equal to that of an adult. (For a thorough discussion of this passage, see our free booklet, “Old Testament Laws—Still Valid Today?”, pages 49-56).

Psalm 139:15-16: “My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.”   This was obviously in the womb!

Author John R Ling observed as follows: “Human life is a continuum from fertilisation until natural death.  Neither the Bible nor biology knows of any stage or event that is so definitive that it can be said, ‘Before this, I  was  not,  now  I  am.’   In other words, there is a demonstrable continuity throughout each human life.  This continuity theme is beautifully expressed in three ways in Psalm 139:13-16.  First, King David acknowledges God’s creational oversight of his earliest days:  ‘For  you  created  my  inmost  being;  you knit me together in my mother’s womb.’  It is God the Creator who directs and purposes the beginning of prenatal life [that is, life during pregnancy and before birth].  Second, there is the repetitive use of the personal pronouns, ‘I’ and ‘me’.  This usage establishes the continuity of life between the adult David and  the  just-conceived  David,  as  both  the  writer  and  the  subject  of  this  Psalm.    At whatever stage and whatever age, whether in the womb or on the throne, it was always David.  In other words, once fertilisation has occurred, there is a real, live human being, whether it is David or you, launched onto the continuum of zygote-morula-blastocyst-embryo-fetus-unborn child-born baby-infant-toddler-youth-teenager-adult.  Scripture and biology simply reinforce one another.

“These  verses  of  Psalm  139  are  a  remarkable  articulation  of  God’s  intimate  involvement  in  the  conception,  continuance  and consummation of every individual human life.  Each of us is a work of God.”

We can also see from the Bible that both John and Jesus were real persons in the womb. Would those who advocate abortion really dare to claim that it would have been acceptable for them to be aborted?

There are other Scriptures which show that human beings are considered as such even before they were born, therefore abortion would have been killing a human being, had this been the situation in the following cases:

Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”   This also seems to suggest that God gave Jeremiah the human spirit at the time of conception – before He actually began to form him in his mother’s womb.

Isaiah 44:24 talks about God as “your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb.”

Paul says in Galatians 1:15 that God “had set [him] apart before [he] was born.”

We also read in Job 33:4: “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”

A correct understanding of the “born again” process can help us understand the physical parallel – begettal, gestation and birth.   Please see our free booklet Are You Already Born Again?” for much more information on this matter.

We read in Acts 2:38: “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”

Also, in 2 Corinthians 5:5: “Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.”

The Holy Spirit is imparted at the conception of spiritual life. The human spirit is imparted at the conception of physical life

Therefore abortion, AT ANY TIME, is murder.

(To be continued)

Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)

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Preaching the Gospel and Feeding the Flock

compiled by Dave Harris

“Coming—US War with Iran?” is the title of a new StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

The Huffington Post wrote on June 21: “The night we almost went to war.” What had happened and what will be the outcome? Many are afraid America will go to war with Iran in the near future, while hoping that it won’t happen, and some signs seem to indicate indeed an extremely uncertain and volatile situation. However, the Bible suggests a totally different scenario.

“Abominable! Court Orders Abortion Despite Mother’s Objection,” is the title of the latest StandingWatch program, presented by Evangelist Norbert Link. Here is a summary:

An absolutely terrible court decision was rendered in England by a pro-abortion judge, ORDERING an abortion although the 22 weeks pregnant Catholic mother and her mother objected, with the rationale that because six “psychiatric specialists” recommended abortion and the mother was mentally disabled, it was in her “best interest” to abort the child. Fortunately, a Court of Appeals overturned this inhuman judgment, but in what kind of an indifferent society do we live, allowing such a court decision to become possible in the first place.

“Muss man seine Eltern immer ehren?” is the title of this Sabbath’s new German sermon, presented by Norbert Link. Title in English: “Do We Always Have to Honor our Parents?”

“Die Zeit,” the German sermonette presented last Sabbath by Robert Kintzi, is now posted. Title in English: “Its Time.”

“A Legacy Left,” the sermonette presented last Sabbath by Dave Harris, is now posted. Here is a summary:

For good or bad we are all establishing a legacy, and for those called to the Truth the consequences will be eternal. What legacy are we leaving?

“Prevailing Over Pride,” the sermon presented last Sabbath by Eric Rank, is now posted. Here is a summary:

Pride is an abomination in God’s eyes. Yet, this attribute is closely associated with confidence. How can we overcome the sin of pride and practice humility without damaging the healthy confidence we need to succeed in life?

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How This Work is Financed

This Update is an official publication by the ministry of the Church of the Eternal God in the United States of America; the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship in Canada; and the Global Church of God in the United Kingdom.

Editorial Team: Norbert Link, Dave Harris, Rene Messier, Brian Gale, Margaret Adair, Johanna Link, Eric Rank, Michael Link, Anna Link, Kalon Mitchell, Manuela Mitchell, Dawn Thompson

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