Current Events

NATO’s Half-Hearted Response

Newsmax wrote on April 17:

“The Obama administration is sending ground troops to Poland in response to Russia’s moves in Ukraine… The move… was agreed to as part of an expansion of the NATO presence in the region. The New York Times, meanwhile, said the troops would participate in small exercises in Estonia as well as Poland… The Army exercise is far short of what Poland Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski suggested earlier this month, when he said he wants NATO to deploy two combat brigades with as many as 5,000 troops.”

The “Tentative” Agreement

The Washington Times wrote on April 17:

“Secretory of State John F. Kerry reached a tentative agreement Thursday with Russia’s foreign minister to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine by disarming militias, but tensions remained high as three pro-Russian separatists were killed in clashes and Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Kiev of plunging the country into an abyss.

“In the first such talks since Russia annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine last month, the diplomats in Geneva agreed that all sides would refrain from violence and that all ‘illegal armed groups will be disarmed.’ Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called the agreement ‘  compromise of sorts’…

“The document didn’t address the 40,000 Russian troops who the U.S. says are massed on Ukraine’s eastern and southern borders. President Obama expressed skepticism that the agreement would hold… Mr. Putin scoffed at the renewed threat from the West. ‘They badly want to bite us, but their opportunities are limited,’ Mr. Putin said. ‘If they try to punish us by putting us into a corner on our knees like naughty children, they will cut the branch they are sitting on.’”

What Putin Really Wants

The New York Times wrote on April 17:

“Even as the world’s top diplomats were gingerly drafting a tentative accord to ‘de-escalate tensions’ in Ukraine, President Vladimir V. Putin was on national television here, brashly declaring Russia’s historical claims over Ukrainian territory, reiterating a threat to use military force and generally sounding a defiant, even mocking, tone toward the United States. Mr. Putin, appearing cool and confident during a four-hour question-and-answer show, referred repeatedly to southeast Ukraine as ‘new Russia’ — a historical term for the area north of the Black Sea that the Russian Empire conquered in the 1700s. And, he said, only ‘God knows’ why the region became part of Ukraine in the 1920s, signaling that he would gladly correct that error… Mr. Putin pointedly asserted that he had the authority to invade Ukraine, but added that he hoped it would not be necessary.”

Breitbart wrote on April 17:

“Russia has achieved a strategic psychological victory over NATO in the Ukraine with the announcement by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva that an agreement had been reached with Ukrainian and NATO member diplomats to ease tensions in the country…

“Over the last few weeks, NATO has been shown to be economically unstable, fully dependent on Russian energy, and lacking a meaningful military deterrent. Russia has brutally humiliated NATO and has strategically reemerged as the dominant nation in Europe… After succeeding in annexing the Crimean peninsula from the Ukraine by popular demand, Moscow sought to bait the Ukrainian government into violent reprisals against pro-Russian protestors and government building occupiers in eastern and southern Ukraine. But unlike the Crimea where the support for Russia was overwhelming, eastern pro-Russian protests were often met with large pro-Western counter-demonstrations. Without the supportive political conditions to welcome a military intervention, Russia fostered the maximum amount of turmoil in the hope the Ukraine military would violently retaliate against both paramilitary groups and civilians.

“The Ukrainian government did begin an ‘anti-terrorism’ campaign in eastern Ukraine in an attempt to drive out mobs of pro-Russian forces that had barricaded themselves inside federal buildings near the Russian border, demanding the government disarm… Russia has succeeded in stopping any further talk of Ukraine joining NATO and must be ecstatic with the state of paralysis in the nation that was already facing financial insolvency and default. The International Monetary Fund had already approved a loan in March that required politically painful austerity spending reforms. Those reforms include doubling of residential natural gas prices and adopting a floating currency exchange rate that will devalue the buying power of worker’s salaries and pensions.

“With a highly contentious Ukraine presidential election coming on May 25th, Russia will be able to criticize the legitimacy of the vote count and feed bitter historic antagonism against politicians in the western Ukrainian capital city of Kiev. If continuing protests cause the elections to be delayed, Russia can push for a break-up of the country or a decentralization of power. Either event would strengthen Russia’s position and humiliate the credibility of NATO as a friend and ally to other Eastern European nations.

“President Vladimir Putin is enjoying a 75% approval rating at home since the beginning of his muscular response to Ukraine. As a former KGB operative, Putin has the luxury of choreographing events in a way that emphasizes his defiance of perceived Western meddling in other nations’ internal affairs. Fearing a scenario like the Ukraine, I expect a number of countries to move away from NATO and re-establish ‘ harmonious relationships’ now that Russia has reemerged as the dominant power in Europe.”

One People Before God?

Deutsche Welle wrote on April 20:

“In an interview with NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin dreamed of restoring Moscow’s former geopolitical and territorial power. According to excerpts of the interview released ahead of Sunday’s broadcast, Yatsenyuk said: ‘President Putin has a dream to restore the Soviet Union. And every day, he goes further and further. And God knows where is the final destination.’…

“Pro-Russian activists remain in control of government buildings in more than a dozen eastern cities. They have rejected the terms of Thursday’s Geneva deal, in which Russia, the US, the EU and Ukraine agreed that activists must lay down their arms and end their occupation of administrative offices. The separatists insist they will remain where they are until the ‘illegitimate’ government in Kyiv – established after the fall of pro-Kremlin president Viktor Yanukovych – steps down. They have also reiterated calls for a referendum on joining the Russian Federation.

“… proof that tensions remain high came from religious leaders on opposing sides of the conflict, who delivered deeply political Easter Sunday messages. The head of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church condemned Russian ‘aggression’ and said ‘evil’ would be defeated. ‘God cannot be on the side of evil, so the enemy of the Ukrainian people is condemned to defeat,’ Patriarch Filaret told worshippers in Western-friendly Kyiv. Across the border in Moscow, Russian Church Patriarch Kirill, called on God to put ‘an end to the designs of those who want to destroy Holy Russia’. He said that while Ukraine was ‘politically’ separate, spiritually and historically’ it was at one with Russia, and he prayed that it would benefit from authorities that are ‘legitimately elected’. ‘We are a single people before God,’ he added.”

Russia Fortifies in the Far East

RIA Novosti reported on April 18:

“Russia will build more than 150 military facilities on the Iturup and Kunashir islands, part of the Kuril chain disputed by Japan, a senior military commander told reporters Friday.

“’All decisions on the construction of military stations on the Iturup and Kunashir islands have been made and approved,’ said Col. Gen. Sergei Suvorkin, the head of Russia’s Eastern Military District.

“’All essential facilities, more than 150, will be built before 2016,’ he added.

“The government endorsed the decision to revamp Russia’s troops on the Far Eastern Kuril Islands in 2011. A territorial dispute with Japan over the island chain, in addition to the island of Sakhalin, prompted Russia to tighten its grip on the territories…

“The four disputed islands — Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai — were given to Soviet forces at the end of World War II and are still claimed by Japan.

“The two countries never signed a permanent peace treaty following the end of World War II because of the row over the islands, which Russia calls the Southern Kurils and Japan calls the Northern Territories.”

Japan’s Defensive Concerns

Reuters wrote on April 19:

“Japan began its first military expansion at the western end of its island chain in more than 40 years on Saturday, breaking ground on a radar station on a tropical island off Taiwan.

“The move risks angering China, locked in a dispute with Japan over nearby islands which they both claim.

“Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, who attended a ceremony on Yonaguni island to mark the start of construction, suggested the military presence could be enlarged to other islands in the seas southwest of Japan’s main islands.’

“‘This is the first deployment since the U.S. returned Okinawa (1972) and calls for us to be more on guard are growing,’ Onodera told reporters. ‘I want to build an operation able to properly defend islands that are part of Japan’s territory.’

“The military radar station on Yonaguni, part of a longstanding plan to improve defense and surveillance, gives Japan a lookout just 150 km (93 miles) from the Japanese-held islands claimed by China.”

Pakistan-China Military Exercise

Xinhuanet reported on April 20:

“Two-week long Pakistan-China joint military exercise started Sunday near the garrison of Rawalpindi, Pakistan’s military said.

“Flags of both countries were hoisted and national anthems played to mark the opening of the joint military exercise in a ceremony, a statement from the army’s Inter-Services Public Relations said. ‘The joint exercise is aimed at sharing mutual experience and information in [the] medical field through a comprehensive training program in near real time environment,’ it said…

“The exercise will also provide an opportunity to exchange latest technological advancement in [the] medical field to improve medical operations during peace and war.

“The joint military exercise ‘Peace Angel 2014’ will certainly pave the way for further cementing the existing bilateral relations between the armies of the two countries.”

Sweden Reacts to Russia wrote on April

“Sweden’s centre-right government coalition announced plans on Tuesday to pump more funds into the military if the four parties win the September elections, with an emphasis on more fighter jets and submarines.

“In an article published in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN) the four party leaders wrote about the crisis in Ukraine and how Russia had now ramped up both its military and propaganda machines.

“The leaders said they had previously welcomed Russia’s attempts to embed itself deeper in the global community, despite harbouring fears that the tide could turn at any point.

“‘What we see today is a Russia that acts in a way that confirms and surpasses the fears we had then,’ the leaders of the Moderate, Liberal (Folkpartiet), Centre and Christian Democrat Parties wrote.”

Hitler and the EU

Express wrote on April 17:

“The EU was HITLER’S idea and it proves Germany WON the Second World War, claims [a] new book. “THE ‘fascist’ EU was inspired and designed by the NAZIS and is proof Hitler won the Second World War, an outrageous new book is claiming.

“’The EU: The Truth About The Fourth Reich – How Hitler Won The Second World War’ argues the single currency, the free market and even the phrase ‘United States of Europe’ were all dreamt up by high ranking Nazis, including the Fuhrer himself… It also claims the only country which benefits from the EU is Germany – just as Hitler planned.

“A spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats – which its leader Nick Clegg describes as the ‘party of in’ when it comes to the EU – dismissed the authors of the book as ‘peddling outlandish myths’.

“The book, co-written by Daniel J Beddowes and Falvio Cipollini, says: ‘What is the EU for? Who really benefits? And the answer is of course Germany… We may think we won the Second World War. But we lost. It is no surprise that we are all living in the Fourth Reich. Knowingly or not those who support and defend the European Union are supporting the Nazi legacy.’…

“Under a chapter heading ‘The EU was inspired [and] designed by Nazis’, the authors claim: ‘Hitler was the man who gave bones to the dreams first expressed by Charlemagne and Napoleon but the finishing touches to the EU as we know it were put in place during World War II by a man called Walther Funk, who was President of the Reichsbank and a director of the Bank for International Settlements…’ The book argues it is no coincidence that the EU is so close to Hitler’s plan for post-war Europe.

“According to the authors: ‘In 1945, Hitler’s Masterplan was captured by the Allies. The Plan included details of his scheme to create an economic integration of Europe and to found a European Union on a federal basis. The Nazi plan for a federal Europe was based on Lenin’s belief that ‘federation is a transitional form towards complete union of all nations’. It is impossible to find a difference between Hitler’s plan for a new United States of Europe, dominated by Germany, and the European Union we have today.’…

“It is not the first time the EU has been described as a German plot to take over Europe. In 1990, Cabinet Minister Nicholas Ridley – a close ally of Margaret Thatcher – was forced to resign after he described proposed Economic and Monetary Union as ‘a German racket designed to take over the whole of Europe’ and said that giving up sovereignty to the European Union was as bad as giving it up to Hitler.”

False Signs and Wonders

The Telegraph wrote on April 23:

“A woman whose ‘miraculous’ recovery from an inoperable brain aneurysm paved the way for the late Pope John Paul II to be declared a saint at a ceremony at the Vatican this weekend has described how the Polish pontiff appeared to her in a vision. Floribeth Mora Diaz, from Costa Rica, will be a guest of honor at the ceremony on Sunday, when Pope Francis will canonise two of his predecessors – John Paul II and John XXIII, the Italian pontiff nicknamed ‘the Good Pope’ who initiated reforms to the Catholic Church in the 1960s.

“Three years ago, Mrs Mora was told by doctors in her home country that her condition was hopeless and that her death was only a matter of time. Partially paralysed, she was on pain medication and lying in bed at home on May 1, 2011, clutching a magazine with a front cover photograph of the former Polish pontiff, when he purportedly appeared before her in a vision. It was the day that John Paul II was beatified at a grand open-air ceremony in St Peter’s Square – the first step towards him being made a saint.

“‘Floribeth, get up, what are you doing here? Why don’t you go into the kitchen and see your husband?’ the vision said to her. The late Pope’s hands seemed to reach out towards her from the cover of the magazine, she said. ‘And I responded, now I feel fine, I’m going, I’m going,’ the 50-year-old mother-of-four told Il Messagero, an Italian daily, on Wednesday. She insisted that from that day on, she was completely cured…

“Even her neurosurgeon seems to be convinced. ‘If I cannot explain it from a medical standpoint, something non-medical happened,’ said Alejandro Vargas Roman. “‘[I] can believe it was a miracle.’ Since her recovery, she has become the object of almost cult-like devotion, with the faithful and people suffering from illnesses flocking to her home in a middle-class neighborhood in the town of Dulce Nombre de Cartago, 12 miles outside the capital of Costa Rica, San Jose… Her cure, which the Vatican insists cannot be explained by science, was declared a miracle last July by Pope Francis, in a move which gave the final approval for John Paul II to be canonized.

“The first miracle attributed to him was the apparent healing of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre. Her recovery from Parkinson’s disease after praying for the late Pope’s ‘intercession’ in 2005 had no medical explanation, the Catholic Church maintains.”

We can expect to hear more about such false signs and miracles within the Catholic Church. Biblically, these occurrences are NOT in any way connected with the working of the true God.

Jews Don’t Keep Unleavened Bread According to the Bible

JTA wrote on April 23:

“On Wednesday, just hours after observant Jews ended their eight days of Passover-mandated abstinence from all things leavened, the New York Times gave them something to chew on: an entire Dining section devoted to bread.”

The interesting thing is that observant Jews keep their own traditions, while transgressing God’s commandments (Mark 7:6-9, 11). According to the Bible, Passover had to be kept this year on Sunday evening, April 13, but the Jews kept it one day too late, while confusing it with the Night to Be Much Observed—the beginning of the first Day of Unleavened Bread in the evening of April 14. Then, the Days of Unleavened Bread were to be kept for seven days, ending on Monday evening, April 21. Somehow, observant Jews managed to keep the allotted time for eight days and ended the period one day late—in the evening of Tuesday, April 22. While God gave the Jews the responsibility to faithfully maintain the Hebrew calendar, which they did, He does not approve of their unfaithfulness in misapplying God’s laws… for example, in keeping each annual Holy Day for two days, while rejecting to observe the entire eight days of the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day (they only keep four days of the entire time span).

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