Escalations Over Syria
Al Jazeera reported on May 29:
“Israel has said it will act if Russia delivers promised anti-aircraft missiles to its ally Syria, in an apparent allusion to another air raid on the neighbouring country. Moshe Yaalon, Israeli defence minister, issued his warning on Tuesday shortly after a senior official in Moscow said the Russian government reserved the right to provide Syria with state-of-the-art S-300 air defence missiles… Yaalon’s comments were made before Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, ordered his cabinet to stay silent on the issue, according to public radio.
“Earlier this month, Israel launched air raids inside Syria targeting what sources said were arms destined for the Lebanese Shia armed group Hezbollah, whose fighters have entered the conflict alongside the Syrian army. Tensions were further stirred after the EU decided in a meeting in Brussels on Monday to lift an embargo on supplying weapons to Syria’s rebels. Syria’s government joined its ally Russia in condemning the EU decision as an ‘obstruction’ to peace efforts, while accusing the bloc of supporting and encouraging ‘terrorists’. The US, however, said it supported the EU move as a show of ‘full support’ for the rebels, despite its own refusal to provide arms it fears will end up in what it believes to be extremist hands in Syria…
“Both Russia and Iran remain Syria’s main weapon suppliers… In a related diplomatic development, Russia said on Tuesday it was imperative for Iran to join the so-called Geneva 2 peace conference on Syria. France has already rejected the idea of Iran taking part, while the US has responded to Russia’s proposal with skepticism… Opposition leaders have said they will only participate in talks if Assad’s departure from power tops the agenda, a demand Assad and his Russian backers have rejected.”
Russia, Syria and Iran vs. Israel, USA and Europe. This volatile situation is bound to explode. And when it does, the consequences will be disastrous.
Iran’s Cyber Attacks Against U.S. Corporations
Newsmax wrote on May 24:
“Iran has stepped up a campaign of cyberattacks against U.S. companies and has successfully hacked the computer networks of several American energy firms. In the latest cyberassault, Iranian hackers accessed control-system software that could permit them to damage or destroy oil and gas pipelines in the future, reports The Wall Street Journal, quoting a former U.S. official who said the attacks had proceeded ‘far enough to worry people.’
“The fear in Washington is that the Iranian action is potentially more dangerous than cyberattacks by Chinese hackers, who have reportedly accessed the intellectual property of several U.S. corporations.”
But Chinese hackers did not only target intellectual property of US corporations, as the next article shows.
“Chinese Hackers ‘Access Sensitive US Weapons Systems’”
The Telegraph wrote on May 28:
“Designs for some of the United States’ most important and sensitive weapons systems have been ‘compromised’ by Chinese hackers according to a confidential report. The document, which was provided to the Pentagon by the Defence Science Board, an influential advisory body, said that more than two-dozen key weapons systems had been affected, including missile defense systems, fighter jets, helicopters and navy vessels.
“… senior military sources pointed the finger directly at Beijing, telling the [Washington] Post the security breaches were part of a ‘widening Chinese campaign of espionage against US defence contractors and government agencies.’ Such information could help China speed up the development of its own weapons system while also giving the Asian giant an advantage in any military conflict with the US, the Post reported.
“Mark Stokes, the executive director of the Project 2049 Institute, a think tank that focuses on Asia security issues, described the list of affected systems as ‘staggering’. ‘These are all very critical weapons systems, critical to our national security. When I hear this in totality, it’s breathtaking,’ he told the newspaper. A senior military official who declined to be named added: ‘This is billions of dollars of combat advantage for China. They’ve just saved themselves 25 years of research and development…’”
The Bible does not speak of a war between China and the USA, but a war will break out between China and other Far Eastern nations, including Russia, and a unified Europe, during which Europe will be greatly crippled and major European cities, such as Rome, will be destroyed. China’s military advantages over the West are therefore of great biblical importance. So is Europe’s and Germany’s weapons’ industry, as the next article shows.
Small Arms—“Passed from War to War”
Der Spiegel wrote on May 27:
“German weapons manufacturers are making more money than perhaps ever before when it comes to exporting small arms, raking in the highest sales since government record-keeping began in the late 1990s… Among the small arms contracts approved in the record year of 2012, Berlin approved some €6.5 million in exports to Saudi Arabia — a sum that amounted to more than half of such weapons sent to the Middle East and North Africa…
“‘The export of small arms is particularly controversial internationally because, compared to heavy weaponry, they kill far more victims worldwide,’ the [Süddeutsche Zeitung] wrote. This is of special concern in developing countries, where such weapons are easy to come by and often subsequently end up in war zones as a result of illegal trade.”
Homosexuality Increasingly Popular in Europe
The Associated Press reported on May 29:
“In a historic ceremony broadcast live on French television, the first gay couple to marry in France said, ‘Oui’ and then sealed the deal with a lengthy and very public kiss. Hundreds of invited guests, including a government minister, gathered for the moving ceremony Wednesday inside City Hall in this southern French city. Hundreds more flocked to the square outside the building… The politically charged ceremony was held under tight police surveillance — a stark reminder of the months of bruising opposition to the new gay-marriage law that French lawmakers passed earlier this month…
“News of the marriage will not be welcomed in every corner of France. Just last Sunday, tens of thousands of people protested fiercely in Paris against the new gay-marriage law, demonstrations that ended with riot police shooting tear gas. A plan to legalize same-sex marriage and allow gay couples to adopt was a liberal cornerstone of Socialist Francois Hollande’s election manifesto last year… The law became a political hot potato that exposed bitter divisions between urban France, where homosexuality is widely accepted, and the Catholic heartland, where conservative attitudes hold sway…
“Paris police estimated that 150,000 people took part in the demonstration, but march organizers claimed on their Twitter account that more than a million people did. At the same time Sunday, on the shores of the Mediterranean, the prestigious 66th Cannes Film Festival gave the Palme d’Or, its top honor, to ‘Blue Is the Warmest Color: The Life of Adele,’ a graphic French film about a tender, sensual lesbian romance. France is the 14th country so far — and the biggest in political and economic weight — to recognize gay marriage.”
The homosexual movement is getting more and more momentum, recognition and support in Europe. Bild Online reported this week about a new American movie, “Behind the Candelabra,” with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, depicting the life of homosexual entertainer Liberace (Douglas) and his “love affair” with his “partner” (Damon). The movie was shown in Cannes, but while critics “praised” Michael Douglas for his “performance,” he could not be given an Oscar for it, as the film was not produced by a movie company, but by HBO, an American TV cable station, which will also show the movie on American TV. This disqualifies the movie as being included at the Academy Awards, according to Bild.
The tabloid wrote that no big American movie company was willing to produce the movie, because it was “too sexually explicit,” and so HBO decided to do so. Bild wrote that Europe was “further ahead” than “prudish” Hollywood, as it was not only willing to show the production in Cannes, but numerous movie theaters will show it across Europe. This development is rather surprising in respect to the USA, but it is most certainly in line with biblical prophecy, as it applies to Europe, since there are strong biblical implications that the final charismatic and highly popular European leader of the European power bloc—the “beast”—will be homosexual (compare our ongoing series on the revivals of the ancient Roman Empire in our Q&A’s.)
In this context, Mail On Line wrote on May 30, 2013, that “The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Rev Nicholas Holtam, suggested it was time to ‘rethink’ attitudes towards allowing same-sex couples to marry, as Christians did with slavery and apartheid. He argued that attitudes towards homosexuality have changed ‘considerably’ over the last fifty years and that the development of gay marriage would be a ‘very strong endorsement of the institution of marriage’.” Even though the Church of England is officially opposed to “gay marriages,” the opinion by Nicholas Holtam is in line with an opposite trend even within that church. As the article states, “A Church of England spokesman said Bishop Holtam’s letter was a ‘helpful contribution to the debate’.”
Ethiopia and Africa’s Future
On May 25, xinhuanet.com wrote the following:
“The celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the Africa Union (AU)… have kicked off in the Ethiopian capital city of Addis Ababa Saturday, amid rising optimism over Africa’s future.
“Zambian President Michael Sata said in the last 50 years, most African countries managed to achieve valuable progress in their national development, including achieving higher economic growth rates. ‘Addis Ababa was not what it is today 50 years ago,’ President Sata told journalists a day before world leaders joined the leadership of the AU to hold the commemoration of the continental Jubilee… African leaders, who gathered here to usher in yearlong celebrations, are insisting on propelling the voice of Africa to a more prominent role in the international scene…
“The celebrations being marked here have been styled to honor veterans for Africa’s struggle against colonial rule.”
Sadly, European attempts to establish “colonial rule” will reoccur. Please read our free booklet, “Middle Eastern and African Nations in Bible Prophecy.”
No Reprieve from Natural Disasters
CNN wrote on May 29:
“Increasingly, it feels like there is no reprieve from the assault of natural disasters. Month after month, we go from winter storms to spring floods, to tornado and hail storms, to hurricanes, to wildfires, with an earthquake thrown in every so often just to remind us that the seasons don’t always dictate the disasters. As a hazard scientist, I am in tune daily with the looming threats of nature and the places that are most susceptible. Many people, however, don’t realize the full extent of the risk they face in their own hometowns and neighborhoods. All it really takes is one catastrophe, like Hurricane Sandy, or the tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, to turn everyone’s attention to the true reality of hazard risk.
“No place in the United States is risk-free. Some regions of the country are more prone to certain events than others, so in those cases it is never a question of ‘if,’ but rather a question of ‘when’ and ‘how severe will it be?’ We hear about earthquakes and wildfires in California, hurricanes in Florida or Louisiana, floods along the Mississippi, and probably most well-known, tornadoes in the Midwestern states that make up ‘Tornado Alley.’ But it would be shortsighted to think these regions have cornered the market on natural hazards. A deeper investigation reveals just how widespread these natural disasters can be.
“Wildfires burned more than 9 million acres in the U.S. last year. Although California certainly felt the heat with nearly 900,000 acres burned, three other states each lost more than 1 million acres to wildfires in 2012 as well. Idaho had 1.6 million acres scorched and in both Montana and Oregon, 1.2 million acres burned. Yet we don’t hear as much about the fires in those states as we do about the blazes near San Diego or Los Angeles. In fact, 49 states are listed on the National Interagency Fire Center website as having lost acreage to wildfires in 2012. Even Hawaii lost 3 square miles of land in 2012, though few people would likely consider the islands to have any wildfire risk.
“Hurricane-driven storm surge was the lead story when Hurricane Sandy pushed ashore in New York and New Jersey in 2012. But Manhattan had braced for the threat of Hurricane Irene just the year before, a reminder that nature does not space these events to fit our expectations of how often surprising weather events happen. Aside from our heightened awareness of risk in the Northeast, 19 coastal states along the Gulf and Atlantic shorelines all have some degree of flooding risk from hurricane-driven storm surge, stretching from Texas to Maine. Not a single one of these states has less than $2 billion worth of residential property located in a storm-surge zone. The potential of a devastating hurricane is not limited to the states we think of as traditional targets…
“And of course, there are tornadoes. They hit with less warning than wildfires or hurricanes and are capable of producing tremendous, almost instantaneous damage. It would be comforting for us who live outside Tornado Alley to think that won’t happen to us. But the numbers tell a different story. From 2000 to 2011, about 6,700 tornadoes hit in the eight states typically identified as Tornado Alley: Kansas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Nebraska, Texas, Colorado, South Dakota and North Dakota. But 8,800 tornadoes touched down in at least 16 other states during the same time period, in Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri, Georgia, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky. The Tornado Alley states lost $2.5 billion in residential property damage from 2000 to 2011 — but consider that the 16 states outside the Alley suffered nearly $15.5 billion in damage during that same time…
“Are there more severe weather events now than in the past? There’s no clear answer. Media coverage has made us more aware… Because disasters are reported more extensively now than ever, it might skew our perception of their frequency. But whether the number of tornadoes, fires, hurricanes and the like is on the rise, it’s a sure thing that the population has risen, and continues to rise each year by about 2.5 million a year, according to the Census Bureau. This means that more people will be living in areas at risk, and the number of homes, buildings and infrastructure will be greater. The value of the properties has increased over the years, so any disaster will cause more damage in dollars and cents…”
Jesus warned that we will HEAR more and more about wars, rumors of wars, and natural disasters, including earthquakes. Our media is indeed eager to report about these events, so these days, more and more people can “hear” about them, even IF they had not increased in frequency. But it seems that they indeed increased in frequency, and also in magnitude.
WHY is America under such continuing curses with disaster after disaster from “Mother Nature”? The answer is that this country has brought upon itself the punishment God warned would come if its people rejected Him and His immutable laws! Our booklet, “The Fall and Rise of Britain and America,” reveals the ominous future of the English speaking nations—even including national destruction and captivity! There is hope, there is good news, but that will only occur following tumultuous events that will lead the English-speaking nations of the United States and the former British Commonwealth to repentance and a turning to the God of the Bible—it is time to WAKE UP and to individually turn to God, to seek His will, and to begin to walk in His perfect way of life! Note also the next article.
America’s Changing Views on Pot
Business Insider wrote on May 28:
“It has been six months since Colorado and Washington voted to legalize marijuana, and the momentum for changing the way states handle pot has never been stronger. May was a huge month for marijuana reform supporters… Coloradans can buy an ounce of [“recreational”] pot from specially licensed stores.
“There’s also been significant movement in other states in pursuing a similar system… On the whole, the political success for marijuana in May is really just the implementation of American’s changing views on pot.”
Woe unto those who “pervert justice” and “call evil good”… Since the entire world does, the entire world is under God’s curse.
New SARS Virus Threat for Entire World
CNN wrote on May 28:
“A new SARS-like virus recently found in humans is ‘a threat to the entire world,’ according to the director-general of the United Nations’ World Health Organization. The so-called novel coronavirus ‘is not a problem that any single affected country can keep to itself or manage all by itself,’ Margaret Chan said Monday… ‘We understand too little about this virus when viewed against the magnitude of its potential threat,’ she said…’We do not know where the virus hides in nature. We do not know how people are getting infected. Until we answer these questions, we are empty-handed when it comes to prevention. These are alarm bells. And we must respond,’ she said… The virus had infected 44 people worldwide as of last week, most of them in the Middle East… Half of them have died…
“Novel coronavirus acts like a cold virus and attacks the respiratory system… But symptoms, which include fever and a cough, are severe and can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea have also been seen… Cases have been identified in eight countries including France and Saudi Arabia… Other European countries include Germany and the United Kingdom. No cases have been reported in the United States, but infectious disease experts have said it would not be surprising.”
Worldwide disease epidemics are prophesied, and God’s Word is sure. It is also available, so that “they have no excuse.” Note the next article.
Oldest Complete Scroll of Torah Found
The BBC wrote on May 28:
“The University of Bologna in Italy has found what it says may be the oldest complete scroll of Judaism’s most important text, the Torah… after carbon dating tests, the university has said the text may have been written more than 850 years ago.
“The university says that in 1889 one of its librarians… had examined the scroll and dated it to the 17th Century… when Prof Perani recently re-examined the scroll, he realised the script used was that of the oriental Babylonian tradition, meaning that the scroll must be extremely old. Another reason for the dating is that the text has many features forbidden in later copies under rules laid down by the scholar Maimonides in the 12th Century, the university says.”
God has promised that His Word—including those words recorded in the Old and the New Testament—would never disappear, but they would be preserved for all time. They can serve as a guiding light for those willing to obey Him, or as a witness against evildoers.