This Week in the News

Historic Storm Hits Texas

The Associated Press wrote on August 27:

“Tropical Storm Harvey sent devastating floods pouring into the nation’s fourth-largest city [Houston] Sunday… ‘The breadth and intensity of this rainfall is beyond anything experienced before,’ the National Weather Service said in a statement… The system was the fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in 13 years and the strongest to strike Texas since 1961′s Hurricane Carla, the most powerful Texas hurricane on record.”

Deutsche Welle added on August 27:

“Waters are still rising in Texas as an unprecedented storm moves across the US state leaving thousands homeless. Damage from Hurricane Harvey may be as bad as Hurricane Katrina in 2005… It is the worst storm to hit the state in more than 50 years… The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long, predicted that the aftermath would require FEMA’s involvement for years. ‘This disaster’s going to be a landmark event,’ Long said… It was the first big natural disaster for US President Donald Trump, who signed a disaster proclamation on Friday.”

These are strong descriptions of a terrible disaster. The damage and human suffering will be immense. Could it be that God allows these horrendous developments to strike the USA to wake all of us up?

Newsmax added on August 31:

“Soldiers and police in helicopters and high-water trucks rescued thousands of Texans stranded by floodwater from Hurricane Harvey on Thursday, which has killed dozens of people and displaced more than a million others as it drenches the Gulf Coast.

“Some 779,000 Texans have been ordered to evacuate their homes and another 980,000 fled voluntarily amid concerns that swollen reservoirs and rivers could bring new flooding…

“Gasoline futures soared more than 13 percent on Thursday, as almost a quarter of U.S. refining capacity had been knocked offline by the storm, raising fears of fuel shortages. About 189,000 homes and businesses remained without power.

“Moody’s Analytics estimated the economic cost from Harvey for southeastern Texas at $51 billion to $75 billion, ranking it among the costliest storms in American history…

“Early Thursday, explosions could be heard at a chemical plant in Crosby, Texas… failed in a truck storing volatile chemicals, which ignited as they warmed, sending smoke plumes 40-feet (12-meters) into the air…

“After the blasts, local and federal public safety officials, and company representatives insisted there was no risk to the public outside the 1.5-mile (2.4-km) safety perimeter, even though they said eight more trucks storing the same chemicals would eventually catch fire.”

Preventive Strike against North Korea?

The Week wrote on August 29:

“President Trump said ‘all options are on the table’ after North Korea fired three ballistic missiles over Japan on Monday. ‘The world has received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear,’ Trump said in a statement. ‘This regime signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior.’

“Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass told Axios that North Korea’s test ‘raises the possibility that it cannot be assumed to act responsibly vis-a-vis anyone, including ourselves’ and ‘if we cannot make such an assumption, and if arms control fails to deliver, then a preventive strike becomes a serious option, notwithstanding its high risks and potential costs.’”

Living Paycheck to Paycheck in the USA

The website of wrote on August 24:

“Almost 8 out of 10 American workers say they live paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet… That can force people to take on debt or otherwise struggle when an unexpected bill arises. It also raises questions about the stability of the broader economy given that consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of activity…

“Inflation stood at 1.7 percent last month. That means workers’ ‘real’ wages were running only slightly ahead of inflation, another obstacle to putting money away…

“Almost one of 10 workers who earn more than six figures annually said they are living paycheck to paycheck… That may seem surprising, but families who live in regions with a high cost of living may feel almost as strapped as lower-income households…

“American households are still earning 2.4 percent below what they brought home at their income peaks in 1999. At the same time, expenses for food, fuel, education, housing and other costs have risen

“Aside from the insecurity of living without a financial cushion, the phenomenon has another downside: It hampers Americans’ ability to save for retirement… more than half said they’d never cut back on their internet connection or mobile devices. That might seem like an extravagance to some, yet the truth is many Americans can’t work effectively without internet service at home or a smartphone, with employers increasingly expecting workers to check their email while they’re out of the office or be available for a call…”

Some problems result from a lack of financial education and management, as some spend too much instead of properly saving. On the other hand, it is a vicious and incurable cycle for many. The Bible prophesied that in these last days, “expensive times” will come.

Stock Market Loses Confidence

Newsmax wrote August 25:

“Spooked American investors pulled $2.6 billion from U.S. stocks during the last week as U.S. equity funds suffered their longest outflows streak since 2004, Bank of America Merrill Lynch data showed. Investors have been losing faith that President Donald Trump can deliver on his ambitious tax cut and spending campaign pledges…

“‘Since late June, investors have withdrawn $30 billion from U.S. funds while adding $36 billion to the rest of the world,’ said BAML’s analysts, citing inflows to emerging markets, Europe and Japan.”

The next economic crash seems to be inevitable.

No, Mexico Will NOT Pay for the Wall!

The Huffington Post wrote on August 28:

“In a statement released Sunday, Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the country would not ‘under any circumstances’ pay for the multibillion-dollar border wall. ‘As the Mexican government has always stated, our country will not pay, under any circumstances, for a wall or physical barrier built on U.S. territory along the Mexican border,’ the ministry said. ‘This statement is not part of a Mexican negotiating strategy, but rather a principle of national sovereignty and dignity.’

“The statement was released hours after Trump sent out a tweet asserting that Mexico, which he described as one of the ‘highest crime nations in the world,’ would pay for the border wall. This isn’t the first time he’s made such a claim. It’s unclear why Trump continues to insist that Mexico will pay for his wall when America’s southern neighbor has made it amply clear, on several occasions, that it has no intention of doing so. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has repeatedly said the country would not be footing the bill for the wall. And former President Vicente Fox has been even more explicit.

“While refuting Trump’s wall claim, the foreign ministry added in its statement that it had offered help to the U.S. government in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. ‘The Mexican government takes this opportunity to express its full solidarity with the people and government of the United States as a result of the damages caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, and expresses that it has offered to provide help and cooperation to the US government in order to deal with the impact of this natural disaster — as good neighbors should always do in trying times,’ the statement said…”

Candidate Trump’s promise that Mexico will pay for the wall will be one of the many promises which President Trump will not be able to keep.

Michael Moore: Trump Will Be Re-Appointed in 2020

Fast Company wrote on August 28:

“Three weeks into the run of his anti-Trump Broadway show, ‘The Terms of My Surrender,’ filmmaker and activist Michael Moore tells Fast Company that the president will be reelected in 2020. ‘I should say re-appointed, because we will have an even larger population that will vote against him in 2020,’ Moore says. ‘But he will win those electoral states as it stands now.’”

We agree with Michael More that Trump would be re-elected or re-appointed in 2020.

“Sebastian Gorka Leaves White House for Breitbart News”

JTA wrote on August 27:

“White House adviser Sebastian Gorka, accused of having ties to far-right groups in Europe, has left the Trump administration… Gorka’s exit comes a week after White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon left his post… Bannon returned to his position as executive chairman of Breitbart News after leaving the White House. Gorka, former editor of Breitbart, said… that he would be returning to the website in some capacity.”

It is a mystery why President Trump appointed controversial Breitbart representatives such as Bannon or Gorka in the first place.

Presidential Pardon for Convicted Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio

NBCSanDiego wrote on August 25:

President Donald Trump spared former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio the prospect of serving jail time in granting the first pardon of his turbulent tenure, wiping away the lawman’s recent federal conviction stemming from his immigration patrols that focused on Latinos… Trump granted the pardon less than a month after a judge found Arpaio guilty of a misdemeanor contempt-of-court charge in a trial that was prosecuted by the president’s own Justice Department

“GOP leaders were mixed in reacting to the pardon. Sen. John McCain criticized the move and said it undermines Trump’s ‘claim for the respect of rule of law as Mr. Arpaio has shown no remorse for his actions’…

“Trump issued the pardon seven months after taking office, though it is not unprecedented for a president to issue a pardon in their first year in office. George H. W. Bush granted clemency after seven months in office…

“It is not unheard of for a president to exercise his broad power to grant pardons without formal input from the Justice Department… President Bill Clinton ignited a major controversy on his final day in office with a last-minute pardon for fugitive financier Marc Rich, the ex-husband of a major Democratic fundraiser. Former President George W. Bush set off a political backlash over his decision to commute the prison sentence of I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby on a perjury and obstruction of justice case that stemmed from a CIA leak. And Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon for his involvement in the Watergate scandal just days after taking over [from] his predecessor…

“Prosecutors… were… recommended by the judge who presided over the profiling case, which began in the Bush administration. The judge in the profiling case was a Bush appointee… Lawyers in Trump’s Justice Department prosecuted the case during a five-day trial this summer, and the judge handed down the conviction last month…”

The Wall Street Journal wrote on August 26:

“House Speaker Paul Ryan on Saturday criticized President Donald Trump for pardoning a former Arizona sheriff, Joe Arpaio… The pardon is the latest point of friction between the president and Mr. Ryan, who have sparred periodically since the campaign. On Thursday, Mr. Trump sent a pair of tweets faulting Mr. Ryan and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky for their legislative strategy in raising the debt ceiling…

“Other Republicans also criticized the pardon, including… Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor… Citing Mr. McCain’s statement [quoted in the previous article], Mr. Bush tweeted: ‘John McCain is right on the mark.’…”

Much of the criticism stems from the perception that Sheriff Arpaio violated the law and was rewarded for it by the President, as “the end justifies the means.”

US Closes Three Russian Diplomatic Facilities

The Washington Post wrote on August 31:

“The Trump administration has ordered three Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States closed following the expulsion of American diplomats from Russia…

“Last month, Russia demanded that the U.S. diplomatic presence there be reduced by hundreds of people. In retaliation, the State Department has ordered the Russian government to close its consulate general in San Francisco, a chancery annex in Washington, D.C., and a consular annex in New York City. These closures must be complete by Saturday.

“The diplomatic reprisals underscore the continued deterioration of relations between the ­nuclear-armed nations, with more acts of payback to come. And they appear to place President Trump’s hope for closer ties with Russia farther out of reach.”

Never a Trump in Germany?

Der Spiegel published a lengthy propagandistic article on August 23, arguing that a German Trump would be impossible or next to impossible. However, many of the arguments were flawed and misleading, but even then, the article shows, albeit unintentionally and inadvertently, that the possibility of a German Trump DOES exist and that it is NOT only a faint possibility. We are giving you a few excerpts to show why Germany’s self-assurances, as depicted by Der Spiegel, are on shaky ground.

“What is it that made the rise of a man like Trump possible in his own country, but impossible here?…

“Germany has a different concept of reality than the U.S., a clear separation between the spheres of dreams and politics…

“Germans once believed they had found a savior, but then he tried to destroy the world, and now their belief in salvation has vanished

“In the U.S., it’s not only showbiz celebrities who stand good chances of coming to power, but also members of the country’s political dynasties — that is to say, the Kennedys, Bushes and Clintons [We could add the Roosevelt family as part of the “enriched dynasties” governing in the early 20th century]… In Germany, these kinds of careers are basically impossible. The parties have almost complete control over the recruitment of political staff… Candidates are polished and schooled in the art of adaptation and compromise along the way… In the U.S., the individual may prevail, but in German politics it is the system that rules… The governing system in Germany is more stable, uniform and enduring…

“… there is no truly powerful right-wing medium in Germany. Therein also lies a problem that revealed itself during Germany’s crisis year of 2016 which saw a backlash against the hundreds of thousands of refugees that had entered the country the previous year. Some Germans feel that their understanding of reality, their view, isn’t represented in the media, and they feel shut out. Instead, they have turned to the internet, where political communication can take place without mediation from the media and the parties. At some point, that will create an opportunity in Germany for an individual, a freak or outsider, to turn him or herself into a political force independent of the system. It is here where the possibility arises, faint though it may still be, of a German Trump

The refugee crisis of autumn 2015 turned Germany into a new moral political superpower, albeit one that can only afford its pacifist inclinations because the Americans still provide Germany with security…

“Who could emerge as a German Trump? There are no men like him in the German political world…”

The opinion of Der Spiegel that a German Trump could not happen is illusionary and also, to a large extent, dangerous, as it is based on false assertions and concepts and erroneous conclusions. As the Bible tells us that ten nations or groups of nations will give their power and authority to a charismatic political European leader, the beast, so it is clearly foreseeable that Germany’s established parties will give their voice to one of their political leaders as well, or that a new popular party with a strong leader will arise (who will turn out to be the beast). Furthermore, we must not forget that the beast will be a person who will not be viewed originally as someone who should be occupying the office; that he will gain power through flattery, sinister schemes and intrigue; and that the world had looked at the person as being “dead” politically, and that they will marvel at his come-back. But the authors of the Der Spiegel article would not know any of this.

Germany Needs To Lead Europe Militarily

Express wrote on August 24:

“Germany should abandon its military reluctance and lead Europe, Angela Merkel has been told by a leading historian. In an article for Der Spiegel that would have been unthinkable a few short years ago – with  (while)  Germany’s reluctance to be a military power stems from its defeat in two world wars and the lingering legacy of the Nazi Holocaust – Polish-American historian Anne Applebaum said it was time for the nation to act…

“Trump may be an aberration, but he does reflect a very real American exhaustion, and real American doubt about the worth of the trans-Atlantic alliance. Germans should have a plan to deal with threats in America’s absence… ‘If Germany does not want a powerful army, it should still, as a matter of urgency, work with the institutions it has built, most notably the European Union, and especially with France… to create a multinational European force that can be deployed in defence of Europe’s borders, and in Europe’s name, at any time.”

Germany will lead Europe militarily, perhaps in collaboration with European countries such as France and others.

Merkel’s Refugee Policy

The Telegraph wrote on August 27:

“Harsher measures should be taken against asylum seekers if they take a holiday in their country of origin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said… The issue is… indicative of the tensions that have built in Germany as a result of the influx of refugees. Mrs Merkel said she has no regrets over her refugee policy, which saw Germany controversially open its doors to hundreds of thousands of refugees two years ago, despite the deep rifts the decision caused in her party…

“Just four weeks ahead of the German election, an Emnid opinion poll on Sunday suggested Merkel’s refugee policy was not likely to lose her the election, putting her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 15 points ahead of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD). However, 46 per cent of voters have yet to make up their minds, according to a survey for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.”

What the German Election Means for Europe

Politico wrote on August 28:

“Germany’s election on September 24 is not just about who will become chancellor — it will influence the future design of the European Union… Although Merkel has a comfortable poll lead… her conservatives will most likely need the support of at least one if not two other parties to govern. The same is true for Schulz’s Social Democrats (SPD), if the former European Parliament president defies expectations and overtakes Merkel.

“With six groups expected to enter the Bundestag, the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) and the Greens are potential coalition partners for the two big parties, while the far-left Die Linke and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD)… are unlikely to be courted. It’s still possible there could be another ‘grand coalition’ between Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party, the CSU, with Schulz’s SPD…

“All parties [except for Die Linke and AfD] support European cooperation… No matter who wins, expect them to push for a European defense union

“Expect Germany to advocate a two-speed Europe during the next couple of years… The SPD wants a European finance minister… The conservatives are more cautious, speaking of ‘developing the eurozone further step-by-step… by creating its own monetary fund’… there is broad consensus in support of empowering certain member countries to integrate more deeply than others in a ‘two-speed Europe.’ While the SPD and FDP say this explicitly in their manifestos, the conservatives don’t mention it but have embraced such ideas in the past. The Greens are open to the idea, if only ‘as a temporary solution.’…

“All parties are sorry the U.K. is leaving the EU but want to make sure the Brits will be worse off after their departure. Don’t expect Germany to stick up for the U.K. during the negotiations. One way or another, all parties echo Berlin’s official position that in order to enjoy the privileges of the EU, countries need to respect all four of its guiding principles: free movement of goods, people, services, and capital…

“The Euroskeptic AfD suggest that unless the EU is reformed drastically, Germany should follow the British example and leave the bloc. This remains a fringe position in a country where, according to recent polls support for the EU is actually on the rise.”

No matter who wins the German election, the fulfillment of prophecies about a united Europe under German leadership will go forward.

Jewish Lawmakers Visit Temple Mount

Times of Israel wrote on August 29:

Jordan condemned a visit by two Jewish lawmakers [MKs Yehuda Glick (Likud) and Shuli Moalem Refaeli (Jewish Home)] to the Temple Mount on Tuesday, saying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to allow a one day ‘trial’ for Knesset members to enter the flashpoint holy site for the first time in nearly two years was ‘irresponsible.’…

“Under a decades-old agreement enforced by Israel, only Muslims are allowed to pray inside the compound, which is known to Arabs as Haram al-Sharif and which contains the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque…

“In 2014, a Palestinian terrorist attempted to assassinate Glick because of his Temple Mount activism. The shooter told Glick, right before pulling the trigger, that he was ‘an enemy of al-Aqsa.’…

“MK Ahmad Tibi, of the Joint (Arab) List, decried the visits of the Jewish MKs, calling them a ‘provocation’… He added that the right-wing Jewish lawmakers were seeking to change the status quo on the site…  Glick ‘stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque with a message of peace,’ said Tibi. ‘He calls for turning the site into what he calls the “third Temple,” in a message of peace…’”

We can only imagine how the Arab world will react when the Jews will begin bringing sacrifices on the Temple Mount and commence construction of the third Temple on the site.

ISIS’s Plans for Spain

PRI wrote on August 25:

“A week after the deadly attack in Barcelona, ISIS released a new propaganda video, saying it wants to restore al-Andalus to the Muslim world. Al-Andalus was the word for Muslim-ruled areas of Spain and Portugal in the Middle Ages.

The Muslim invasion of Spain began at Gibraltar in 711 A.D., less than 80 years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. In the preceding decades, Muslim armies had swept across North Africa, overthrowing or subduing Christian and pagan kingdoms and territories in their path. Spain was no different, and Muslim emirs soon established control of what’s now Portugal and most of Spain, except for a few mountainous districts of the far north. Muslim armies then invaded France until famously checked at Poitiers in 732 A.D…

For many Muslims, this era represents a golden age for Islam, with similar strides in civilization taking place in Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo at the same time…

“Córdoba fell to the Christians in 1236, and by 1249 only the emirate of Granada remained. Granada itself finally fell in 1492, the same year Christopher Columbus sailed to America for the first time. The 700-year struggle to fight Muslim rule is known in Spain as La Reconquista — ‘The Reconquest’…

“…  persecution of non-Catholics began the so-called Spanish Inquisition. That’s chiefly remembered in Europe and the West for the persecution of Jews, but Muslims were just as vulnerable… in the early 1600s, the Spanish authorities implemented a policy of absolute intolerance… Anyone found to be practicing a faith other than Catholic Christianity after that date faced the risk of torture, imprisonment and death

“[Isis terrorists] ‘play that up so they can have a narrative of victimhood, which draws people to their cause,’ says [Rukmini] Callimachi [of The New York Times].”

Terrible things have happened in the name of Christianity and Islam, as well as in the name of other religions. All are guilty, and history may have a strange way of repeating itself to an extent.

Dangerous Flu Vaccinations

The Website of EAWO wrote on August 26:

“In 2015, a whole new slew of flu vaccines found themselves getting approved by the Federal Drug Administration.  This isn’t an uncommon practice; most flu vaccines pass inspection every year.  It’s well known advice that has been passed down from doctor to patient that the flu vaccine is something that we all should get, but it has been quickly surfacing that what’s in the vaccines–especially those from 2015 and after–might actually be more damaging then simply rolling the dice on getting the flu.

“The ingredient that is getting the most flack is called an adjuvant.  The particular one involved is called Squalene, and it has been linked to auto-immune disease side effects.  In fact, it may have been used during chemical attacks in the Gulf War.  Symptoms include chronic fatigue, muscle aches, and neurologic damage. While it may be a contested subject, it remains that we aren’t really sure what’s going into these vaccines we’re being convinced should be used.

“Dr. Russell Blaylock, a neurosurgeon and author of ‘The Blaylock Wellness Report’ [wrote:] ‘Not only is the vaccine not safe, it doesn’t even work…The vaccine is completely worthless, and the government knows it… The government also says that every baby over the age of six months should have a vaccine, and they know it contains a dose of mercury that is toxic to the brain…They also know the studies have shown that the vaccination has zero — zero — effectiveness in children under five

“For most people, flu vaccinations don’t prevent the flu but actually increase the odds of getting it. The mercury contained in flu shots is such a strong immune depressant that a flu shot suppresses immunity for several weeks…This makes people highly susceptible to catching the flu… Mercury overstimulates the brain for several years, and that activation is the cause of Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases. One study found that those who get the vaccine for three to five years increase their risk of Alzheimer’s disease 10-fold… Vaccinations are a pharmaceutical company’s dream. They have a product that both the government and the media will help them sell, and since vaccinations are protected, they can’t be sued if anyone has a complication…”

These are mind-boggling allegations, worthy of our contemplation.

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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