Little Hope for Nuclear Disarmament
The Guardian reported on June 2:
“All five legally recognised nuclear states as defined by the non-proliferation treaty – China, France, Russia, the UK and US – are either deploying new nuclear weapons and delivery systems or plan to do so, according to a leading international research organisation… If all nuclear warheads are counted, these states together possess a total of approximately 17,265 nuclear weapons… ‘Once again there was little to inspire hope that the nuclear-weapon-possessing states are genuinely willing to give up their nuclear arsenals…’ said the Sipri senior researcher Shannon Kile.
“Of the five ‘official’ nuclear states, China appears to be expanding its nuclear arsenal while India and Pakistan are expanding both their nuclear weapon stockpiles and their missile delivery capabilities… Sipri estimates that Israel has approximately 80 intact nuclear weapons.”
Germany Under Attack for Allowing US Drones
Deutsche Welle wrote on June 1:
“It looks like a computer game, but it’s deadly serious news in Germany: US soldiers control drone attacks with a joystick. According to new media reports, military bases on German soil play a key role in the drone war…
“According to reports from German TV news show ‘Panorama’ and the daily newspaper ‘Süddeutsche Zeitung’ the US use their German military bases to conduct attacks and targeted killings… There seems to be not a lot the German government can do at the moment though, because of a statute that governs the presence of US troops in Germany… The German government seems to shy away from an open discussion on the actions of American troops in Germany…”
But this will change…
The Unpopular Use of German Drones
The Local wrote on June 3:
“Classified footage shows a German drone narrowly missing a passenger plane, it was reported on Monday… Weighing slightly under 40 kilos, German Luna drones have been used by the Bundeswehr in Afghanistan over the past ten years over sparsely populated areas. Yet in 2004, one nearly hit a passenger plane carrying 100 people.
“Footage taken by the drone itself emerged on YouTube, despite being strictly classified. Der Spiegel magazine reckoned it showed the machine flying less than two metres away from the left wing of an Airbus A300 passenger plane which was carrying 100 people. The Luna drone was then caught in the Afghan airline Ariana plane’s wake turbulence, before losing control and crashing to the ground over the country’s capital, Kabul.
“Despite being nine years old, the footage is only now getting widespread attention – particularly because last week Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière decided not to fit Luna’s much larger successor, the Euro Hawk drone, with anti-collision technology. It was, he decided, too expensive. Yet Germany will be sticking to its plan of buying up to 16 armed Euro Hawks for the army to use from 2016.”
Germans are becoming increasingly alarmed about their government’s use of drones… and Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière is facing strong criticism and condemnation for his policies.
Sunnis Against Shiites in the Middle East—With Deep Spiritual Meaning
The Globe and Mail wrote on June 2:
“Renewed sectarian killing has brought the highest death toll in Iraq in five years. Young Iraqi scholars at a Shiite Muslim seminary volunteer to fight Sunnis in Syria. Far to the west, in Lebanon, clashes have worsened between opposing sects in the northern city of Tripoli. In Syria itself, ‘Shiites have become a main target,’ said Malek, an opposition activist…
“The Syrian civil war is setting off a contagious sectarian conflict beyond the country’s borders, reigniting long-simmering tensions between Sunnis and Shiites, and, experts fear, shaking the foundations of countries cobbled together after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. For months, the fighting in Syria has spilled across its borders as rockets landed in neighbouring countries or skirmishes crossed into their territories. But now, the Syrian war, with more than 80,000 dead, is inciting Sunnis and Shiites in other countries to attack one another…
“The Syrian uprising began as peaceful protests against Assad and transformed over two years into a bloody battle of attrition. But the killing is no longer just about supporting or opposing the government, or even about Syria. Some Shiites are pouring into Syria out of a sense of religious duty. In Iraq, random attacks on Sunni mosques and neighborhoods that had subsided in recent years have resumed – a wedding was recently hit – as Sunni militias fight the army…
“In Lebanon, perennial clashes between Alawite and Sunni militias in Tripoli have reached their worst level in years as each side blames the other for carnage in Syria…
“Many devout Shiites have also come to view the Syrian civil war as the fulfillment of a Shiite prophecy that presages the end of time: a devil-like figure, Sufyani, raises an army in Syria and marches on Iraq to kill Shiites…”
For more information as to what is really going to happen in the Middle East, according to the Bible, please read our free booklet, “Middle Eastern and African Nations in Bible Prophecy.”
US and Europe “Warn” Russia and Iran
Deutsche Welle wrote on May 31:
“German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and US Secretary of State John Kerry say Syria’s war may be prolonged if Russia provides the Assad regime with advanced air weapons. They say peace talks could also be at risk… The talks between Westerwelle and Kerry came a day after claims from Syrian president Bashar al-Assad that his regime received a first shipment of the sophisticated S-300 anti-aircraft system…
“On Tuesday, Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov defended his country’s decision to provide the system to the Assad regime, which came a day after the EU lifted its arms embargo against rebel groups… The US has said it supports the EU’s decision, but the Obama administration is against sending US weapons to rebels…
“Kerry and Westerwelle also discussed Iran’s nuclear program. Kerry said international patience was waning over what Iran asserts is a program meant for peaceful purposes. ‘Every month that goes by gets more dangerous,’ said Kerry. He said he did not have high expectations that the upcoming presidential election in Iran would change the program, and repeated that it was unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”
Russia’s Weapons Sent to Syria Pose Threat to Russian Soldiers
The Business Insider wrote on May 31:
“The S300 anti-aircraft missiles that Russia has reportedly started sending to Syria don’t just pose a threat to Israeli or American pilots; they also pose a threat to Russians on the ground. If Israel or the U.S. bomb the S300 weapons in Syria, there’s a good chance they ‘will kill a lot of Russians,’ Robert Hewson, editor of IHS Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, said to the Guardian. Hewson’s conclusion comes from the fact that these weapons systems are far more advanced than what Syria already has. Russian operators would need to be on the ground to oversee the weapons…
“Russia’s decision to arm embattled president Bashar Al-Assad is another step toward a more overt proxy war with the West. At stake is the prospect of regime change in Syria, which America supports and Russia doesn’t.”
Those who take the sword will die by the sword… Note the next article.
America Sends Patriot Missile Battery and F-16 Fighters to Jordan
AFP wrote on June 3:
“The United States will send a Patriot missile battery and F-16 fighters to Jordan for a military drill and may keep the weapons there to counter the threat posed by Syria’s civil war, officials said Monday… The deployment of a Patriot anti-missile battery comes after warnings from Washington to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime against shipping advanced missiles to militants in Lebanon’s Hezbollah Shiite group, which is now openly taking part in the war in support of Damascus.
“Israel has carried out air strikes in Syria in a bid to disrupt the possible delivery of missiles to the Hezbollah movement. The decision to possibly station F-16s and missile batteries in Jordan will fuel speculation on a potential US military intervention, which the White House so far has described as a remote possibility.
“The US Patriot batteries are designed to shoot down Scud or other short-range missiles, known to be in the Assad regime’s arsenal, and could also be employed as part of a no-fly-zone umbrella or other air operation. The Pentagon already has sent about 200 troops to Jordan, including an element of a US Army headquarters, to help the country prepare for possible military action in Syria, including scenarios to secure the regime’s chemical weapons stockpiles.”
Iraq Ready to Explode
BNO News reported on May 31:
“With the wave of recent attacks in Iraq and hundreds of deaths in the last weeks, the United Nations (UN) on Thursday urged for immediate action as the country is ‘ready to explode.’ The increasing violence in the Middle Eastern country may re-ignite widespread sectarian strife unless the country’s leaders take immediate action… Over 100 people have died since Monday, when a number of bombings in Baghdad killed more than 50 people. In May alone, estimates of over 500 deaths have been reported in such attacks…
“Martin Kobler, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI)… voiced his dismay at the horrific toll of lives lost following the ‘new criminal wave of attacks against innocent civilians,’ particularly targeting the capital… ‘The country stands at a crossroads,’ he stated, calling for a stronger European Union role in dealing with the developments unfolding in the country…”
And since America has failed to bring peace to Iraq, Europe will indeed try to do so… but peace won’t come this way either.
Turkey in Turmoil
Deutsche Welle wrote on June 3:
“Turkey is witnessing its most violent protests in more than a decade. In the beginning, demonstrators marched against a construction project in an Istanbul park. Now they’re fighting against the government.
“A festival-like atmosphere was the mood in Istanbul’s Gezi Park on Sunday. Tens of thousands gathered at the site where violent clashes between police and protesters first broke out. Demonstrators enjoyed picnics with music and candlelight. Volunteers provided food and helped clean up the chaos from previous days. Social Democrats, Communists, young and old, gay and lesbian have come together to occupy the park. Together, they chant slogans such as ‘Taksim belongs to us; Istanbul belongs to us’ and ‘We fight shoulder to shoulder against Fascism.’
“But in the neighboring district of Besiktas, demonstrators fight on. They have set up barricades – made of flowerpots, benches, torn-down streetlights and buses – in the streets around Taksim Square. Demonstrators there want to block the police from entering the area. In the early evening, demonstrators and police will engage in heavy clashes involving rocks and tear gas. Nor is the fighting limited to Istanbul. In the capital city of Ankara and in the city of Izmir, clashes between police and protesters continue.
“What began as a demonstration against the felling of trees as part of a construction project in Istanbul’s Gezi Park has evolved into a nationwide protest against the center-right government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. And anti-government epithets are growing louder and louder…
“Turkish Interior Minister Muammer Güler has estimated the damage from the protests at more than 8 million euros ($10.4 million)….”
Der Spiegel Online wrote on June 3:
“For a decade, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has had a tight grip on power. But it suddenly looks to be weakening. Thousands have taken to the streets across the country and the threats to Erdogan’s rule are many. His reaction has revealed him to be hopelessly disconnected… And it is beginning to look as though the prime minister, the most powerful leader Turkey has seen since the days of modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, might be losing control…
“Success made Erdogan even more power-hungry, thin-skinned and susceptible to criticism. Indeed, he began governing in the same autocratic style for which he had bitterly criticized his predecessors. And now, he is faced with significant dangers to his power from several quarters… In Istanbul, people have begun whispering that the military is distributing gasmasks — but to the demonstrators rather than to the police. The message is clear: The military supports the protests… Erdogan certainly cannot rely on them remaining in their barracks.”
Egypt Pushes at Germany
Der Spiegel Online wrote on June 4:
“An Egyptian court found dozens of nonprofit workers guilty on Tuesday and closed down the offices of a number of NGOs. The German government called the verdict an outrage. An Egyptian court on Tuesday handed down a harsh verdict in a trial against foreign-funded nonprofit organizations, and sentenced 43 NGO workers to up to five years in jail. The German foundation Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, which is associated with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, was among the organizations affected, with former KAS branch head Andreas Jacobs likewise convicted on Tuesday. The court ordered that assets be seized from several of the NGOs as well, including three from the US.
“Most of the foreign defendants had long since left Egypt by the time the sentence was handed down on Tuesday and will face no time behind bars. The organizations’ Egyptian employees, however, will likely be taken into custody, though they can appeal the verdict. Hans Pöttering, the former European Parliament president who is now head of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, said that he will do everything he can to contest the verdict.
“Tuesday’s convictions come after a year-long trial which damaged Cairo’s relationship with the US and Germany. In March 2012, a ban on leaving the country imposed on two German defendants was lifted after Berlin paid a €250,000 bond for each of them. The US also managed to pull most American defendants out of Egypt against a bond payment… ‘The absurd verdicts against our employees concern me deeply,’ said Pöttering on Tuesday. ‘The trial has nothing to do with the rule of law. During the course of the entire trial, it became more than obvious just how untenable and unfounded the accusations are.’…
“German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle criticized the verdict on Tuesday. ‘We are extremely outraged and disturbed to a great degree by the harsh verdict passed against employees of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the forced closure of its office,’ he said… Former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was even more direct. ‘The verdict is a difficult burden for bilateral relations and is inacceptable,’ he told the daily Die Welt. He said the trial was ‘scandalous’ and demanded that NGOs be allowed to continue their work ‘without fear of harassment.’”
Pope Francis and Vatican on Collision Course?
The Washington Times wrote on May 30:
“The Vatican has issued a new statement running counter to Pope Francis‘ recent suggestion that good deeds can earn atheists entrance to heaven… Thomas Rosica, a Vatican spokesman, said in what was described as an ‘explanatory note’ that those who know about the Catholic Church ‘cannot be saved [if they] refuse to enter her or remain in her’… Those ‘who through no fault of their own do not know the gospel of Christ and His church, but sincerely seek God and, moved by grace, try to do his will as it is known through the dictates of conscience, can attain eternal salvation.’
“Some see Father Rosica’s statements as running contrary to what Pope Francis said on May 22. Then, the pope said that redemption was available to all — ‘not just Catholics,’ but ‘even the atheists. Everyone’… He then went on to speak of doing good to others, talking specifically to atheists when he added: ‘But do good — we will meet one another there [in heaven]’…”
The sad truth, they are all wrong. Please read our free booklet, “Is That in the Bible? The Mysteries of the Book of Revelation.”
Anti-Semitism in Europe over Circumcision
The Times of Israel wrote on May 29:
“Jewish groups on Wednesday sharply condemned Norway’s third-largest paper, Dagbladet, for publishing a cartoon that one group said was ‘so virulently anti-Semitic it would make Hitler and Himmler weep tears of joy.’ In the cartoon, printed by the paper on Tuesday and meant to oppose the Jewish ritual of circumcising baby boys, the mother of a Jewish child is seen holding a blood-soaked Torah while saying, ‘Mistreating? No this is tradition, an important part of our belief!’ At the other end of the child, who’s sprawled on the table, a Jewish man — either the boy’s father or a rabbi — is in the midst of stabbing the boy in the forehead with a three-pronged devil’s pitchfork while cutting off his toes. A policeman who comes through the door responds to the mother by saying ‘Belief? Oh yes, then it is all right,’ and the second officer apologizes for the interruption. A statement by the Wiesenthal Center denounced ‘the blood libel cartoon published in Dagbladet.’…
“The past year has seen a sharp uptick in anti-circumcision activity in Europe. In March, 38 physicians from the continent wrote a paper alleging that ‘cultural bias’ was behind the pro-circumcision stance of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Approximately half of the physicians were from Scandinavian countries, where several political parties have stated their view of circumcision as a form of ‘child abuse.’ Last year, a local German court criminalized the rite and started a nationwide and international controversy about religious ceremonies versus children’s rights. Three months later the German government approved a bill that legalized ritual circumcisions, if performed by a medical professional.”
The issue is not going away…
The Curse of Highly Unpopular Ill-Conceived Obamacare Legislation
CNBC wrote on June 3:
“Nearly two-thirds of Americans who currently lack health insurance don’t know yet if they will purchase that coverage by the Jan. 1 deadline set by the ACA, a new survey revealed Monday. And less than half of those in the survey… think they’ll get better health care after Obamacare takes full effect. Nearly 50 percent believe the ACA will make it more difficult for them to get tests and procedures done in a timely manner…
“And a whopping 68 percent of low-income Americans aren’t sure they qualify for tax credits that would subsidize their purchase of health insurance—despite the fact that they almost invariably will qualify, the survey found… Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst at InsuranceQuotes.com, said public uncertainty about Obamacare—particularly a lack of commitment to signing up—could end up driving up health-insurance costs under the program because not enough healthy people will participate to offset benefits payouts… Obamacare in California will increase individual health insurance premiums by 64-146 percent…
“A total of 61 percent of the uninsured… don’t hav[e] insurance because they can’t afford it, the survey found… Under the ACA, uninsured Americans have until the beginning of 2014 to purchase insurance through health-care exchanges being set up nationwide or other venues—or face a financial penalty. That penalty is equal to $95 per adult, and $47.50 per child, up to a maximum of $285—or 1 percent of household income, whichever is greater. Those penalties will escalate in future years.”
The disastrous consequences of the ill-conceived and foolishly enacted Obamacare legislation will only be fully realized, beginning with 2014. It will be another nail in the coffin of America’s sick economy.
Washington’s Scandals Heating Up
Newsmax reported on June 2:
“The IRS agents in Cincinnati who were involved in the targeting of conservative groups were ‘being directly ordered from Washington,’ Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said Sunday. Issa, who is heading the House investigation into the affair, accused the White House of lying about the involvement of IRS headquarter officials in the scandal. He also called White House Press Secretary Jay Carney a ‘paid liar.’… ‘The administration is still trying to say there’s a few rogue agents in Cincinnati, when in fact the indication is they were directly being ordered from Washington,’ he said… Issa denied trying to tie the wrongdoing at the IRS directly to the president. ‘What we’ve tried to do,’ he said, ‘is to get the kinds of transparency we were promised, which we’re not getting.’
“In a separate controversy, Issa was asked whether Attorney General Eric Holder lied under oath in the targeting of Fox News reporter James Rosen. ‘He certainly could have been more candid if he remembered. And he should have remembered,’ Issa said… It would be kind to say that Holder misled Congress when he said he had never been personally involved in prosecuting the journalist who received a leak of classified material, Issa said. ‘It would be less kind and more accurate to say that would rise to be a lie by most people’s standards.’”
Trust in the government? Gone!
Get Rid of the IRS
The Washington Post wrote on June 3:
“Hours before the House Appropriations Committee held a hearing on political targeting at the Internal Revenue Service, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) had a simple solution to the agency’s problems — get rid of it altogether… ‘I think we ought to abolish the IRS and instead move to a simple flat tax where the average American can fill out taxes on postcard,’ he explained in a Fox News interview over the weekend. ‘Put down how much you earn, put down a deduction for charitable contributions, home mortgage and how much you owe. It ought to be a simple one-page postcard, and take the agents, the bureaucracy out of Washington and limit the power of government.’… Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) has frequently called for the abolition of the IRS. He would have gone further than Cruz by also eliminating the income tax.”
The voices demanding the abolition of the IRS are getting louder. Former governor of Arkansas and presidential candidate, Mike Huckebee, had also said that if he were elected president, the IRS would be gone. Newsbusters.org wrote on June 4 that “Media members thinking the Republicans are overplaying their hand with the Internal Revenue Service scandal should pay attention to what happened on NBC’s Tonight Show Monday. When host Jay Leno joked that President Obama should close the IRS rather than the terrorist detention center in Guantanamo Bay, the audience erupted in thunderous applause.”
The Washington Times added on June 5:
“The latest hit to the agency involves a new report that finds it spent $50 million on conferences and retreats for workers — in a two-year time period. ‘They would have investigated sooner, but it turns out, you know, they don’t belong to any conservative groups,’ Mr. Leno said during his Monday-evening show.”
In the world tomorrow, no more IRS agencies will exist.
Obama’s Big Brother
The Guardian wrote the following on June 5, showing the incredible intrusion of the American government into the privacy of the lives of potentially every American citizen:
“The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April. The order… requires Verizon on an ‘ongoing, daily basis’ to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.
“The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing. The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.
“The disclosure is likely to reignite longstanding debates in the US over the proper extent of the government’s domestic spying powers. Under the Bush administration, officials in security agencies had disclosed to reporters the large-scale collection of call records data by the NSA, but this is the first time significant and top-secret documents have revealed the continuation of the practice on a massive scale under President Obama.
“The unlimited nature of the records being handed over to the NSA is extremely unusual. Fisa court orders typically direct the production of records pertaining to a specific named target who is suspected of being an agent of a terrorist group or foreign state, or a finite set of individually named targets. The Guardian approached the National Security Agency, the White House and the Department of Justice for comment in advance of publication on Wednesday. All declined…
“It is not known whether Verizon is the only cell-phone provider to be targeted with such an order, although previous reporting has suggested the NSA has collected cell records from all major mobile networks. It is also unclear from the leaked document whether the three-month order was a one-off, or the latest in a series of similar orders.
“The court order appears to explain the numerous cryptic public warnings by two US senators, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, about the scope of the Obama administration’s surveillance activities. For roughly two years, the two Democrats have been stridently advising the public that the US government is relying on ‘secret legal interpretations’ to claim surveillance powers so broad that the American public would be ‘stunned’ to learn of the kind of domestic spying being conducted…
“The law on which the order explicitly relies is the so-called ‘business records’ provision of the Patriot Act, 50 USC section 1861. That is the provision which Wyden and Udall have repeatedly cited when warning the public of what they believe is the Obama administration’s extreme interpretation of the law to engage in excessive domestic surveillance…”
How something like this can even be possible in a democratic country is beyond belief. But God is not amused, as the next article may show.
Tornado in Oklahoma Much Stronger Than First Thought
The Associated Press reported on June 4:
“The deadly tornado that plowed through an area near Oklahoma City last week was even larger and more powerful than previously estimated — a record 2.6 miles wide with winds that reached nearly 300 mph, just shy of the strongest winds ever measured.”
France and Germany for Full-Time Euro President
The EUObserver wrote on May 31:
“French leader Francois Hollande and Germany’s Angela Merkel have called for the creation of a full-time euro ‘President…. [to] be created after the EU elections in 2014. It calls for: more frequent eurozone summits; a ‘specific fund for the euro area’ alongside the general EU budget; and new ‘structures’ in the European Parliament to oversee euro-level economic governance. It says eurozone countries should sign binding contracts with EU institutions on economic reform.”
In other words, core Europe is pushing ahead…
Europe’s Terrible Flooding
Der Spiegel Online wrote on June 3:
“The death toll from flooding in central Europe has reached nine so far and more heavy rain is expected. In Germany, soldiers have been called out to help evacuate towns and pile sandbags while the historic old town of Passau is already under water… After a miserably long winter followed by a cold, rain-drenched spring, the start of summer has brought severe flooding in Germany and neighboring Austria and the Czech Republic… awakening unhappy memories of the disastrous deluge of August 2002.
“There’s no respite in sight, with Germany’s weather center warning of further heavy rainfall on Monday in the worst-affected regions of southern and eastern Germany. Thousands of people have been evacuated from low-lying areas, historic town centers are under water, schools are closed and high-school exams have been postponed, all to the grim soundtrack of emergency sirens and the merciless rushing of water.
“Five people are reported to have been killed in the Czech Republic, including two men on a river rafting tour. Two people have died in Austria and two in Germany. Several more are missing. The federal army has been called out to provide assistance in Germany. States of emergency have been declared in a number of areas including the Bavarian city of Passau, where the Danube rose above 12.2 meters (40 feet) on Monday, its highest level on record…”
The German press compares the current flooding with the flood of the century in 2002, stating that the current situation appears to be worse. Deutsche Welle wrote on June 5: “As Germany battles severe flooding in parts of the country, the cost of the damage is hitting Europe’s biggest economy just as it has barely overcome a harsh winter that has driven it to the brink of recession.”
Christ warned that natural disasters would increase in frequency and magnitude, prior to His return.