This Week in the News

Unprecedented Mass Murder in Egypt

BBC News reported on November 25:

“[More than] 300 people were killed at a North Sinai mosque during Friday prayers…

“After bombs were set off, dozens of gunmen waiting outside the mosque opened fire on those trying to escape. The assailants reportedly set parked vehicles on fire in the vicinity to block off access to the building, and fired on ambulances trying to help victims. Thirty children are among the dead and at least 100 people have been wounded…

“Egyptian security forces have for years been fighting an Islamist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, and militants affiliated with so-called Islamic State (IS) have been behind scores of deadly attacks in the desert region… Locals say the al-Rawda mosque is used by the local Sawarka tribe, which is known to cooperate with the security services against militants. It is also known to be popular with worshippers of Sufism, a mystical branch of Islam that is condemned by some jihadist groups. The head of IS’s ‘religious police’ in Sinai said last December that Sufis who did not ‘repent’ would be killed, after the group beheaded two elderly men reported to be Sufi clerics.

“The number of victims is unprecedented for an attack of this type… this is the first time that worshippers inside a mosque have been targeted by militants in North Sinai…  This is a major challenge to the Egyptian state…

“Journalists, including from state-sponsored outlets, have not been allowed to report from North Sinai in the last few years. Correspondents say that the frequency of attacks raises doubts about the effectiveness of military operations against militants…”

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 25:

“Egypt’s air force on Friday bombed ‘terrorist’ locations in the northern mountainous area around Bir al-Abed in response to the deadliest terror attack in the country’s history.’

Terrorism is a real threat which won’t go away. The fact that journalists have been prohibited from reporting on the threat in Northern Egypt does not give us much confidence. The claim that “we are winning the war against terrorism” is ludicrous. Note the next article.

The Global Threat of Terrorism

The Indian Express wrote on November 24:

“Terrorist networks like the ISIS and Al Qaeda may soon begin instructing recruits on how to create killer viruses just like bomb-making lessons, a senior European Union (EU) security expert has warned… terror networks based in the Middle East like Al Qaeda and Islamic State (ISIS), could begin using the internet to instruct on the use of biological agents

“Tracing that the first edition of ‘Inspire’, Al Qaeda’s online propaganda magazine, had an article on ‘how to make a bomb in your mum’s kitchen… What if anyone will have a similar article on how to process a virus in your mum’s kitchen? Unfortunately, it’s probably easier than before for a lone actor to perpetrate an attack with catastrophic consequences’…”

Saudi Arabia vs. Iran

The Telegraph wrote on November 25:

“Saudi Arabia’s crown prince has called Iran’s supreme leader ‘the new Hitler of the Middle East’ and warned that as in European history, ‘appeasement doesn’t work’. In his first comments since a widespread anti-corruption purge Mohammad bin Salman fired his strongest criticism yet of Saudi Arabia’s regional arch-rival…”

No “sign” of a “king of the south.” Those who wait for one (because they misunderstand a prophecy in Daniel 11) might wait forever.

Media War Between USA and Russia Continues

NBC News wrote on November 25:

“Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill allowing Russia to register international media outlets as foreign agents — a move largely seen as retaliation against the U.S. for similar crackdowns on Kremlin-funded media outlets… The move is seen as a quid pro quo after U.S. officials demanded that state-media outlet Russia Today, or RT, register as a foreign agent with the U.S. Justice Department…

“Even before Putin signed the bill into law, Russia’s Justice Ministry warned U.S. government-funded outlets like Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, along with its regional outlets, that they could be designated as foreign agents under the new law… Twitter has since banned RT, and Russian media outlet Sputnik from advertising on its platform…”

What did the USA expect? Such retaliation was to be certain.

North Korea’s New Threat

The New York Times wrote on November 29:

“North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday that flew both higher and longer than previous such launches, a bold act of defiance against President Trump after he put the country back on a list of state sponsors of terrorism.

“The president reacted cautiously to news of the launch, stating, ‘It is a situation that we will handle.’ But Defense Secretary Jim Mattis expressed greater concern, emphasizing what he said were technical advances on display in the 53-minute flight, which began when the missile was launched northeast of the capital, Pyongyang, and ended nearly 600 miles to the east, when it landed in the Sea of Japan… ‘The bottom line is, it’s a continued effort to build a threat — a ballistic missile threat that endangers world peace, regional peace, and certainly, the United States,’ the defense secretary said…

“David Wright, a scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said the missile… exhibited a potential range of more than 8,000 miles, able to reach Washington or any other part of the continental United States…”

The Trump Administration announced Wednesday evening that further sanctions, including financial sanctions, will be imposed against North Korea. Many observers feel that these sanctions will be meaningless and won’t persuade the North Korean regime to cease and desist from its nuclear endeavors.

Express wrote on November 29:

“Speaking to the UN Security Council, [US ambassador Nikki] Haley said that ‘if war comes, make no mistake, the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed’. She added: ‘We have never sought war with North Korea, and still today we do not seek it. If war does come, it will be because of continued acts of aggression like we witnessed yesterday.’”

Is a Grand Coalition Coming in Germany?

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 25:

“Germany’s chancellor has said that it would be ‘simply wrong’ to hold new elections after coalition talks collapsed. Her statement came as rival Social Democrats reconsidered a second ‘grand coalition’ with her CDU…

“But Germany may still have to wait a while longer for a new government — on Saturday, SPD deputy leader Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel said that no decision on entering a second grand coalition would be made before the party’s national conference on December 7-9…”

Few Good Options?

AFP wrote on November 25:

“Merkel now faces few good options short of new elections: asking the SPD to enter a new ‘grand coalition’, or running a minority government

“Polls show that, were Germany to stage an election re-run, results would be little different from September. If anything, it could see the AfD score an even more impressive result than it did the first time round.”

Merkel and Schulz under Pressure

The Associated Press wrote on November 26:

“On Sunday, the youth wing of Merkel’s Union bloc published a resolution stating that the conservatives must not enter a [grand] coalition [with the SPD] ‘at any price’

“The Social Democrats… have made clear they would demand a high price for cooperating again with Merkel’s Union bloc. ‘As things stand, Merkel is not in a position in which she can set conditions,’ prominent Social Democrat Malu Dreyer [said].”

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 26:

“Merkel is not the only one facing internal pressure: Schulz also faced growing dissent within his party over his willingness to make a coalition with Merkel’s conservative bloc. The SPD’s youth branch, the Jusos, or ‘Young Socialists in the SPD,’ ended their two-day congress calling for their leaders to move more to the left rather than try out a new grand coalition… Other SPD leaders have also started setting conditions should the party enter into talks with Merkel’s conservatives…”

None of this looks good for Merkel, Schulz or a new German government. No wonder the ghost of Weimar begins to haunt some observers. Note the next article.

Any Successor to Merkel?

Foreign Policy wrote on November 28:

“Merkel is at her most nimble in high-stakes crises — doubly so when underestimated or threatened — and she has already persuaded Christian Democrats to rally behind her as she pursues a renewal of the coalition with Social Democrats that she has lead for the past four years.

“But there’s no guarantee that the Social Democrats’ base is in the mood to accept the necessary compromises — and even if it comes to fruition, another so-called grand coalition is unlikely to prove as stable as the previous iteration. Merkel’s coalition partners are apt to be more ornery, and the parliamentary opposition, which would be headed by the far-right Alternative for Germany party, far more disruptive. Meanwhile, CDU conservatives, long discontented with Merkel’s moderate style, are apt to loudly wonder why they should continue to follow her if she can’t guarantee election victories.

“In short, it’s now easier to imagine Merkel being toppled from power before the end of her coming four-year term. But that raises the principal question: Who would take over Germany’s most successful political party after her fall?…  ‘The simple fact is there’s currently no one in the CDU placed to succeed Merkel,’ explained Alan Posener of the conservative daily Die Welt. ‘Over the years she’s overpowered and driven out a dozen rivals, mostly men who thought they’d make a better chancellor.’

“But the fact that there isn’t anyone right now with the credentials or will to take down Merkel doesn’t mean there aren’t ambitious figures in the CDU who could one day do so — and maybe even sooner rather than later. And, given the ailing state of the Social Democratic Party, whoever does replace Merkel as leader of her party will, more likely than not, also become leader of Europe’s most powerful country.”

That coming German leader does not have to belong to the CDU. In addition, Die Welt (cited above in the article) wrote on November 29 that Angela Merkel and others (including Martin Schulz and Bavaria’s Horst Seehofer) are “yesterday’s people,” and that Germany needs new leaders.

AfD Won because of Merkel?

AFP wrote on November 26:

“The far-right Alternative for Germany party sees Chancellor Angela Merkel’s struggle to form a new government as proof of its growing power to upend the country’s political order… The AfD campaigned on the slogan ‘Merkel must go’, railing against her decision to let in more than one million mainly Muslim asylum seekers since 2015… Its election score was nearly 13 percent, snatching millions of votes from the mainstream parties and entering parliament for the first time with almost 100 seats in the Bundestag lower house.

“Apart from the current political volatility, [Parliamentary group leader Alexander] Gauland sees the wind at the AFD’s back due to an announcement this month by one of Germany’s biggest employers, Siemens, that it was slashing nearly 7,000 jobs globally. The industrial giant plans to close its sites in Goerlitz and Leipzig, both in the eastern state of Saxony which the AfD won outright in September. ‘That will probably help the AfD,’ Gauland said of the layoffs…

“[Gauland said:] ‘I have always been sceptical of solidarity pacts with parties that are supposedly similar… An exception though is the FPOe,’ Gauland added, citing ‘cultural’ ties with the Austrian far-right party now in talks to join a ruling coalition…”

Remember Weimar!

The Guardian wrote on November 25:

“… commentators in Germany have started to evoke the darkest days of the Weimar Republic, when short-lived minority governments ruled by emergency decrees. ‘Like in Weimar, the federal republic is now a multiparty system in which extreme parties have begun to paralyse the working of the parliamentary democracy,’ wrote Stephen Szabo, an expert on US-German relations…

“Born amid the chaos following the first world war, the Weimar Republic lasted, unofficially, from 1919 to 1933 and struggled to cope with extremism, hyperinflation and resentment at Germany’s treatment by the war’s victors. In order to reduce political conflicts, a proportional representation system was adopted, leading to a series of coalitions that struggled to govern… In January 1933 the president, Paul von Hindenburg, appointed Nazi party leader Adolf Hitler chancellor. That year, after the Reichstag fire, Hitler seized absolute power and Germany became a fascist dictatorship.”

EU Army No longer Just a Dream

Breitbart wrote on November 24:

“The European Union’s (EU) foreign minister has said the bloc is working at ‘full speed’ to create a unified ‘defence force’ on a ‘continental scale’…

Led by France and Germany, 23 member-states agreed to a common defence fund, which will see them develop and deploy armed forces together…

“The EU attempted to hide their plans for the defence force – including a centralised headquarters and ‘permanent structured defence co-operation’ – before the Brexit referendum, but they were leaked just weeks before the vote. This September, after the referendum, Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, was less secretive about his vision, openly calling for the bloc to rapidly push ahead with the creation of the army.

“The EU Foreign Secretary [said] Thursday: ‘Today we are building the European Union of Security and Defence. It is not a plan anymore, it is not a dream anymore, it is reality coming true. The dream of our founding fathers and mothers is finally coming true… All the building blocks of a Security and Defence Union are finally there, today. We can now project and develop our defence capabilities together; we can buy together, to ensure that we have all the capabilities we need, while spending efficiently; and we can act together much better than before, to manage or prevent crises, to strengthen our partners, to make our citizens more secure.’”

In spite of Germany’s current political turmoil, the EU’s plan for an European army is going forward. And no matter who the next German leader will be, that plan will become a speedy reality. In addition, the Austrian press ( reported on November 28 that the government plans to increase annual expenses for the Austrian military from presently 2 billion euros to over 3 billion euros.

Washington State Ill Prepared for Earthquakes

The website of reported on November 21:

“Washington State is considered second only to California in earthquake vulnerability, but it appears to be the least prepared state or province on the west coast including British Columbia…

“A key difference between California and Washington is that California experiences serious quakes more often than Washington. However, a much stronger magnitude 9 coastal earthquake along the Washington coast would also come with tsunami waves and be much like the 2011 Tohoku quake and tsunami that killed 16,000 people in northeastern Japan…”

It is mind-boggling to even imagine a huge earthquake and a massive tsunami devastating Washington state, but this is most certainly within the realm of possibility.

Trump Doubts that Obama Was Born in the USA

 CNN reported on November 29:

President Donald Trump has continued to question the legitimacy of former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate during private conversations in recent months, The New York Times reported… One sitting US senator quoted by the Times, ‘who listened as the President revived his doubts’ about the issue, ‘chuckled’ when speaking about what was said. Trump ‘has had a hard time letting go of his claim that Mr. Obama was not born in the United States,’ the senator… told The New York Times…

“Trump publicly questioned Obama’s citizenship for several years before saying in a news conference during the 2016 election that he believed, ‘President Barack Obama was born in the United States.’”

Hopefully, the reports are true and President Trump does entertain doubts regarding Barack Obama’s birthplace, as there are so many nagging questions as to the accuracy and truth of the “official” narration. Donald Trump should have NEVER declared that Obama WAS born in the United States, without ever giving any proof for that somewhat speculative assertion.

Scandal… Hospital Fires 50 Employees for Refusal to Get Flu Shots

NBC News wrote on November 23:

“About 50 employees of Essentia Health, an upper-Midwest hospital chain, didn’t go to work Wednesday… They were fired for refusing to get flu shots… Several states, including California, require hospitals to make flu vaccines mandatory and to record and publish their vaccination rates…

“Influenza is not the only vaccine that’s required for health care workers. Hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, chickenpox and whooping cough vaccines are also required… The Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and other groups all support mandatory immunization of health care workers — and all say there should be no opt-out except for medical reasons…

“Vanderbilt doesn’t fire people who refuse vaccination but makes them undergo counseling and then wear a mask during flu season…”

The ridiculous requirement of mandatory vaccinations is based on a complete denial of the serious real possibility of side-effects which are much worse than a flu. An ill-informed society has been manipulated by a left-liberal mass media and the greedy pharmaceutical industry to accept their demand for vaccinations. Those who refuse get fired. This is not happening in an autocratic country, but the USA. Vanderbilt’s alternative of wearing masks is a workable solution, but having to undergo counseling is of course stupid. Most of those who conscientiously refuse to get vaccinated are much better informed than those who just accept such intrusion without questioning.) Also note the next article, describing further autocratic and appalling measures by US agencies.

Dictatorial Measures of US Governmental Agencies

The New York Times wrote on November 18:

“Few people realize that the loans they take out to pay for their education could eventually derail their careers. But in 19 states, government agencies can seize state-issued professional licenses from residents who default on their educational debts. Another state, South Dakota, suspends driver’s licenses, making it nearly impossible for people to get to work… Firefighters, nurses, teachers, lawyers, massage therapists, barbers, psychologists and real estate brokers have all had their credentials suspended or revoked…

“Shannon Otto, who lives in Nashville, can pinpoint the moment that she realized she wanted to be a nurse… It took years of school and thousands of dollars of loans, but she eventually landed her dream job, in Tennessee, a state facing a shortage of nurses. Then, after working for more than a decade, she started having epileptic seizures. They arrived without warning, in terrifying gusts. She couldn’t care for herself, let alone anyone else. Unable to work, she defaulted on her student loans. Ms. Otto eventually got her seizures under control, and prepared to go back to work and resume payments on her debt. But Tennessee’s Board of Nursing suspended her license after she defaulted. To get the license back, she said, she would have to pay more than $1,500. She couldn’t…”

At the same time, the US system (contrary to many other Western countries) is set up in such a way that you can hardly study without getting some kind of a repayable loan. All of this is just so awful, merciless and barbaric. No wonder God has been withdrawing His blessing from a country which is becoming more and more heartless.

Bitcoin Soars to Record High

Newsmax reported on November 26:

“There might be something even bigger than Black Friday or Cyber Monday for those spending money this holiday weekend, as cryptocurrency mania led Bitcoin prices to soar over $9,400 Sunday afternoon [By Wednesday morning, it had reached about $11,200.00, but dropped again by Wednesday evening under $10,000.00.]

“‘The number of people opening up new accounts and buying bitcoin, even fractionally, is skyrocketing,’ billionaire Mark Cuban [said], a potential 2020 presidential candidate…

“‘Yet the people who have it as a true store of value have no reason to sell it as long as demand continues.’ Cuban added the price will continue to rise… ‘This growth has pushed mainstream institutions to take notice and capitalize,’ Fortune wrote Friday. ‘CME Group, the world’s largest options and futures exchange owner, announced it would offer Bitcoin futures by the end of the year.’”

Business Insider added that “the average bitcoin investor doesn’t plan to give up their bitcoin until the cryptocurrency reaches $196,165, or 21 times its current value.”

In light of the decreasing trust in shaky banks, corrupt governments and the endurable value of paper money in general, the arrival of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is an interesting phenomenon.

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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