This Week in the News

America’s Immigration Policy Condemned

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 15:

“Nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their families at the US-Mexico border in six-weeks. Despite wide condemnation, the Trump administration defended the policy, saying it was just enforcing the law. Due to an increasing number of migrant children in government custody, officials in US President Donald Trump’s administration confirmed on Friday that a temporary encampment near the US-Mexico border in Texas had been built…

“The startling figure is a result of a new directive from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who on April 6 announced a ‘zero tolerance’ policy on immigration that would refer all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution. Cases that involved families were typically sent for civil deportation proceedings. These allow children to remain with their parents. The new directive eliminates that option and has led to the separation and internment of the children in temporary shelters.

“The Trump administration has come under fire for both the criminalization of all immigration cases and the family separations… House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republicans distanced themselves from the White House, saying they were not comfortable with family separations…”

Current and Former First Ladies Condemn Sessions’ “Zero Tolerance” Policy

The Huffington Post wrote on June 18:

“Former first lady Laura Bush issued a rare castigation of the Trump administration on Sunday, calling family separations at the U.S. border with Mexico ‘immoral’ and drawing parallels to World War II internment camps. Bush’s editorial in The Washington Post mirrored growing criticism of the Justice Department’s new policy to prosecute as many people as possible who cross the border illegally. The move, announced last month by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has already resulted in a massive spike in children being separated from their parents. Last week, DHS announced that nearly 2,000 kids had been separated from their parents during a six-week period ending last month. Many are currently being held in juvenile detention centers.

“Bush wrote: ‘I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart. Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso. These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history… it is our obligation to reunite these detained children with their parents — and to stop separating parents and children in the first place. People on all sides agree that our immigration system isn’t working, but the injustice of zero tolerance is not the answer.’

“First lady Melania Trump appeared to offer her own criticism of the policy on Sunday, telling CNN through a spokeswoman that she ‘hates to see children separated from their families’ by immigration authorities… ‘She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.’”

Europe Condemns…

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 20:

“In Europe, Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy has been met with fierce criticism. British Prime Minister Theresa May said images of migrant children held in cage-like units were ‘deeply disturbing.’ ‘A person’s dignity does not depend on them being a citizen, a migrant or a refugee,’ Pope Francis, a staunch supporter of migrant rights, said in a tweet. ‘Saving the life of someone fleeing war and poverty is an act of humanity.’”

The Telegraph added on June 19:

“Asked if Theresa May thought it was acceptable to cage children, the prime minister’s spokesman said: ‘The welfare and safeguarding of children is at the heart of our immigration policy. We do not separate child refugees or asylum seekers from their families.’”

Trump Administration to Be Blamed for the Refugee Debacle

Business Insider wrote on June 18:

“The Trump administration has repeatedly denied that its policy is to separate children from their parents when families cross the US border illegally. But its own internal documents contradict that… President Donald Trump had previously tried to blame the policy on the Democrats, but over the weekend his secretary of homeland security, Kirstjen Nielsen, flat-out denied that such a policy existed.

“‘We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period,’ Nielsen tweeted. But the Department of Homeland Security does separate children from their parents at the border, and it just put out a press release about it on Friday, explaining its new ‘zero tolerance’ policy for border crosses…

“Nielsen continued: ‘For those seeking asylum at ports of entry, we have continued the policy from previous Administrations and will only separate if the child is in danger, there is no custodial relationship between “family” members, or if the adult has broken a law.’”

According to the Trump Administration’s new policy of “zero tolerance,” every adult who is illegally entering the USA has broken the law and is now being treated as a criminal (as mentioned above, this was NOT the case before). Therefore, the statement by Nielsen is patently misleading.

Also, the Week wrote on June 18:

“The policy… sees an average of two children separated from their families at the border every hour.”

Trump Unrepentant?

Newsmax wrote on June 18:

“Facing rising outrage from some Republicans as well as Democrats over the forced separation of migrant children and parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, President Donald Trump dug in Monday, again blaming Democrats and declaring he would keep the U.S. from becoming ‘a migrant camp.’…

“‘The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility,’ he added. ‘Not on my watch.’”

The Week wrote on June 19:

“President Trump on Tuesday defended his administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy against growing outrage over the separation of nearly 2,000 migrant children from their parents… ‘When you prosecute the parents for coming in illegally, which should happen, you have to take the children away,’ he said. ‘People that come in violate the law, they endanger their children in the process, and frankly, they endanger all of our children.’”

“Trump Team Keeps Misrepresenting”

 Deutsche Welle wrote on June 19:

“Thrice in two days has the administration of US President Donald Trump made misleading claims about Germany. Just a few hours after the president falsely stated that the crime rate in Germany had risen and that Germans were scared of immigrants, Attorney General Jeff Sessions mistakenly told an interviewer that the camps for migrant children at the US-Mexico border should not be compared to Nazi concentration camps because the Nazis  ‘were keeping the Jews from leaving the country.’

“The fact notwithstanding that many Germans detest any comparison to the Holocaust… the reaction in Germany is sure to be one of swift condemnation, just as it was to Trump’s tweet about crime on Monday…

“Despite Sessions’ claims, as has been well-documented, in late 1941 the Nazis began deporting millions of Jews from across Europe to death and concentration camps they had constructed across the continent. Even Fox News later [reported] that Sessions was immediately criticized as being tone-deaf in his response…”

However, the Trump-friendly Fox News network has come under increasing attack for its “coverage” of the immigration disaster. Ingraham said on Monday evening’s The Ingraham Angle that the child detention centers are “essentially summer camps [or] boarding schools.” And Ann Coulter called the migrant children “actors.” These comments are indeed horrible and disgusting.

Christian Leaders Condemn Sessions’ Interpretation of the Bible

The Huffington Post wrote on June 15:

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions seems to think Jesus would love his policy of separating immigrant families at the border. Christian leaders say otherwise.

“‘While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety,’ Cardinal Daniel Nicholas DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a statement. ‘Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral.’ ‘Disgraceful,’… Franklin Graham, son of the late and influential Rev. Billy Graham and a supporter of President Donald Trump, said in a Tuesday interview. ‘It’s terrible to see families ripped apart, and I don’t support that one bit.’

“Even Sessions’ own church, the United Methodist Church, is rejecting what he is doing. ‘Tearing children away from parents who have made a dangerous journey to provide a safe and sufficient life for them is unnecessarily cruel and detrimental to the well-being of parents and children,’ reads a statement signed by Bishop Kenneth Carter, president of the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church.

“… the attorney general hit another nerve Thursday when he claimed the Bible justifies his actions. ‘Concerns raised by our church friends about separating families’ are not ‘not fair or logical,’ he said in a speech in Fort Wayne, Indiana. ‘I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.’

“White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders backed up Sessions’ claims later that day, calling it ‘very biblical to enforce the law.’

“HuffPost asked some Bible scholars what they make of Trump administration officials invoking Scripture to defend their immigration policy. ‘It makes my blood boil,’ said Matthew Schlimm, a professor of the Old Testament at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in Iowa. ‘Sessions has taken the passage from Romans 13 completely out of context… Anyone with half an ounce of moral conviction knows that tearing children away from parents has nothing to do with love.’…

“James Martin, a Jesuit priest and the editor-at-large of the Jesuit magazine America, said Sessions’ actions are in fact the opposite of the Bible’s teachings about caring for the poor and being compassionate. ‘I cannot imagine anyone in his or her right mind thinking Jesus would approve of ripping children from their parents,’ Martin said in a Friday interview on MSNBC. ‘It goes against pretty much the entire Bible in the ethos of Jesus, and it’s deeply un-Christian.’”

The Washington Post wrote on June 15:

“Here, whether deliberately or unknowingly, Sessions and Sanders radically depart from the Christian religion, inventing a faith that makes order itself the highest good and authorizes secular governments to achieve it. In Christianity as billions of faithful have known it, order and lawful procedures are not ‘good in themselves’ and it is not ‘very biblical’ to ‘enforce the law’ whatever it might be… meaning Christians are sometimes morally obligated to follow civil laws and are sometimes morally obligated not to

“As Sessions himself observed quoting James Madison in a lengthy October 2017 memorandum on federal protections concerning religious liberty, ‘the duty owed to one’s Creator is “precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.”’ Sessions can either believe that or believe what he and Sanders said Thursday, but he can’t believe both…

“Any number of scriptural passages are available here, though less useful for Sessions’s purposes. From Deuteronomy 10: ‘For the Lord your God . . . loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.’ Or from Jeremiah 7: ‘If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place . . . then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever’…

“If you had all the power in the world, maybe you would also hear a serpent dipping its smooth body down from some shadowy bough to say: God wants you to do whatever you like with your power, and whatever you do with it is good.”

Orthodox Jews Condemn Sessions’ Interpretation of the Bible

JTA wrote on June 14:

“The Orthodox Union released a statement criticizing the Trump administration’s policy of separating the families of illegal immigrants after they cross the U.S. border… ‘As an Orthodox Jewish organization whose values are anchored in those of the Torah and Jewish history, we are deeply concerned about any steps taken that affect families and the parent/child relationship,’ read the statement by O.U. President Moishe Bane.

Because children cannot be prosecuted with adults, they are reclassified as unaccompanied minors and taken away, either to mass children’s shelters or foster homes… Religious groups across the spectrum, Jewish and not, have opposed the policy…

“On Thursday, 26 Jewish groups, including the three other major Jewish religious movements, signed a letter opposing the family separation policy. The statement was organized by the Anti-Defamation League. ‘This policy undermines the values of our nation and jeopardizes the safety and well-being of thousands of people,’ the letter says. ‘As Jews, we understand the plight of being an immigrant fleeing violence and oppression. We believe that the United States is a nation of immigrants and how we treat the stranger reflects on the moral values and ideals of this nation.’”

JTA added on June 20:

“A group representing children hidden during the Holocaust slammed the U.S. border policy of separating families seeking asylum. ‘Separation of the family for us is probably the worst thing that ever happened to us,’ said Rachelle Goldstein, who was separated from her parents in Belgium when she wasn’t even 3 years old…

“‘When you take a child away from the parents, from the home, from everything that they know, they are never the same,’ Goldstein said…, adding that many children separated from their parents during the Holocaust had still not overcome the trauma.”

75 Former U.S. Attorneys Condemn Sessions’ Policy

The Huffington Post wrote on June 19:

“A bipartisan group of former U.S. attorneys has penned an open letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, calling on him to end the Trump administration’s highly controversial family separation policy at the border. The 75 former U.S. attorneys condemned the zero tolerance policy, announced by Sessions in May, under which children are put into shelters while parents facing prosecution for illegally crossing the border into the United States are jailed. ‘Your Zero Tolerance policy has resulted in the unnecessary trauma and suffering of innocent children,’ they wrote in a letter published Monday on Medium. ‘We also emphasize that the Zero Tolerance policy is a radical departure from previous Justice Department policy, and that it is dangerous, expensive, and inconsistent with the values of the institution in which we served,’ they continued…

“Although President Donald Trump and several members of his administration, including Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, have repeatedly claimed the family separation policy must be enforced, legal experts, including this group of attorneys, have challenged such an assertion. ‘As former U.S. Attorneys, we know that none of these consequences  ― nor the policy itself  ―  is required by law,’ they wrote in their letter to Sessions. ‘Rather, its implementation and its execution are taking place solely at your direction, and the unfolding tragedy falls squarely on your shoulders.’…

“Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Trump could ‘stop the policy with one phone call’ during an appearance Friday on CNN. ‘If you don’t like families being separated, you can tell [the Department of Homeland Security] to stop doing it,’ Graham said. Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), whose district includes a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border, also criticized the policy… ‘This is clearly something that the administration can change,’ he added. ‘They don’t need legislation to change it.’”

Trump Signs Order that He Says Will Keep Migrant Families Together

After all the condemnation, as quoted above, President Trump gave in for political reasons and signed an executive order, which he originally said he would not and could not do. Trump’s reverse position (some call it, Trump’s defeat) must be viewed in light of the midterm election which Republicans were concerned of losing if Trump’s and Sessions’ controversial policy of separating children from their parents and incarcerating the children in detention camps would not be changed. We need to point out, however, that in spite of all the hype and claims about ruling with a heart, the “zero tolerance” policy itself was NOT changed. And as it will be shown, the executive order might make matters worse, not better.

CNBC wrote on June 20:

“President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that he says will keep migrant families together during detention on the U.S.-Mexico border. The president backed down from his administration’s policy of splitting migrant families, which for days the White House insisted could only end through congressional action. Facing a nationwide uproar and bipartisan calls to at least temporarily end the practice, the president said he ‘didn’t like the sight or feeling of families being separated.’ [It was admitted by Republicans that the “sight” of the disturbing images hurt them deeply politically.]

Trump said he will not end the administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy of criminally prosecuting every adult who crosses U.S. borders illegally, including those seeking asylum. The White House also will keep pressure on Congress to pass legislation that meets Trump’s goals of halting the separation practice, funding his proposed border wall and limiting legal immigration… The order did not appear to address how the government would go about reuniting families.

“Here’s what the executive order would do, according to text circulated by the White House:

“It orders Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen ‘to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations’ to keep families together during criminal proceedings. The measure says the administration does not have to keep families together ‘when there is a concern’ that detaining a child with a parent ‘would pose a risk to the child’s welfare.’ It directs Attorney General Jeff Sessions to file a request with a federal district court in California to change a legal settlement that curbs the government’s ability to keep children in detention. It orders Sessions to prioritize criminal proceedings for cases involving families.”

There are surely very many loopholes and uncertainties contained in that order. And as the next article shows, it’s highly improbable that it will be successful—in fact, it might make matters worse.

Trump’s Executive Order Highly Suspect

The Huffington Post elaborated on the new Executive Order, as follows:

“President Donald Trump’s plan to stop his administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their families seems simple: Lock up immigrant parents and their children together, indefinitely.

“But there’s no evidence that Trump has the legal authority to make his wish reality. His plan, issued in an executive order on Wednesday, conflicts with a 2015 court ruling that required the government to release child migrants from detention after 20 days. Trump can’t dismiss federal judges’ rulings by decree. So his executive order will trigger a massive showdown between his administration and human rights activists in court

“Trump administration officials have insisted that they enacted the family separation policy in part because of a 2015 court order over a 1997 court settlement called the Flores agreement. The Flores agreement and the ensuing 2015 ruling limit the length of time that children can be detained, including with their parents. Most detained immigrant children must be released within about 20 days to continue their deportation proceedings outside of detention. In the past, the federal government has generally released the children’s mothers from family detention along with them rather than splitting them up [which is known as the “catch and release” policy. It has been wrongly claimed by the Trump administration that most of those who were released disappeared and never showed up in court. However, about 75 % did appear in court.]…

“… according to his order, parents being prosecuted will be locked up with their kids in most circumstances while criminal proceedings go forward ― and even after, while they pursue immigration cases. Those proceedings can take years.

The order conscripts the entirety of the federal government into mass immigrant family detention

“It’s hard to predict how the courts might rule… U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee, who presides over the case, repeatedly hammered the Obama administration with harshly worded rulings in the years that it tried to expand family detention to deal with an influx of Central Americans seeking asylum.”

Too Little Too Late

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 21:

“Trump’s migrant family separations reversal too little, too late… Trump bowing to pressure does nothing for the children already taken from their families. The likelihood that they’ll be reunited with their parents swiftly – if at all – looks grim. US administration officials said on Wednesday that they had no plan on how to bring them back together…”

Are Republicans Intentionally Blinding Themselves?

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 21:

“A poll published on Monday… showed that two-thirds of Americans were against separating children from their parents, but a majority of Republican voters supported the idea…

“… no one in this administration and only a few of the Republicans who control Congress are prepared to stand up to Trump… Trump’s policy of separating children from their parents served as a litmus test for conservatives who traditionally viewed themselves as the defenders of family unity…

“There was no huge outcry from the party of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan about the fact that a Republican government instituted a policy that mandates taking children away from their parents.

“Instead, many defended the policy while others obfuscated or tried to rationalize the issue for themselves… Together, the episode was just the latest sign that the GOP is now fully the party of Trump.

That does not bode well for the future of the country. If taking away children from their parents is not enough for Republicans to break with… [President Trump]. What is? It’s a troubling prospect to consider.”

Indeed it is!

USA Withdraws From UN Human Rights Council

JTA wrote on June 19:

“The Trump administration has withdrawn the United States from the U.N. Human Rights Council because of its bias against Israel. Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, jointly announced the pullout on Tuesday evening. ‘The Human Rights Council is an exercise in shameless hypocrisy,’ Pompeo told the media…

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the departure ‘courageous.’…

“The George W. Bush administration refused to join the council when it was established in 2006 as a successor to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights… The Obama administration joined the council, arguing that its presence was a more effective means of defending Israel on the council and of addressing human rights abuses elsewhere…”

Kim Jong Un in China Again

The Week wrote on June 19:

“North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in China on Tuesday for a two-day visit, his third trip since March. Kim briefed Chinese President Xi Jinping on his recent summit with President Trump, and Xi said he was ‘very pleased’ with Kim’s performance at the meeting, CNN wrote. Kim and Trump agreed to work together toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Trump also offered to guarantee the security of the North Korean regime and promised to end ‘war games’ with South Korea, which both North Korea and China have criticized as provocative.”

China Announces Retaliatory Tariffs

CNBC wrote on June 15:

“The Chinese State Council’s commission on tariffs and customs said in an online statement that a 25 percent tariff will take effect July 6 on agriculture products, automobiles and ‘aquatic products.’

“The tariffs counter the United States Trade Representative’s announcement earlier on Friday that the U.S. will initially impose an additional 25 percent tariff on 818 Chinese imports worth about $34 billion on July 6.”

Trump’s Tariffs Could Bite Americans and the Rest of the World

The New York Times wrote on June 16:

“As the Trump administration imposes tariffs on allies and rivals alike, provoking broad retaliation, global commerce is suffering disruption… As the conflict broadens, shipments are slowing at ports and airfreight terminals around the world. Prices for crucial raw materials are rising. At factories from Germany to Mexico, orders are being cut and investments delayed. American farmers are losing sales as trading partners hit back with duties of their own.

“Workers in a Canadian steel mill scrambled to recall rail cars headed to the United States border after Mr. Trump this month slapped tariffs on imported metals.

“… history has proved that trade wars are costly while escalating risks of broader hostilities. Fears are deepening that the current outbreak of antagonism could drag down the rest of the world…

“The United States last year imported more than $600 billion in goods and services from Canada and Mexico, the two other nations in the North American Free Trade Agreement — a deal Mr. Trump has threatened to blow up. Americans bought more than $500 billion in wares from China, and another $450 billion from the European Union. Collectively, that amounts to nearly two-thirds of all American imports…

“Sixteen years ago, when President George W. Bush put tariffs on steel, imports fell substantially. Such memories now stoke modern-day fears… economists and business leaders note that many imports are components that are used to manufacture goods at American factories.”

EU Retaliates with Tariffs

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 20:

“A raft of retaliatory tariffs from the European Union on US products will come into effect on June 22. The EU’s list of targets reads like a summary of emblematic American exports, including motorbikes and jeans.

“The retaliatory measure comes in response to US tariff hikes on steel and aluminum that were imposed on EU member countries on June 1, with the White House citing grounds of national security… The agreed EU countermeasures will initially target a list of US goods worth $3.2 billion (€2.8 billion), most of which will be hit with import duties of 25 percent.

“The products affected by the move range from agricultural produce such as rice and orange juice to jeans, bourbon, motorbikes and various steel products…

“Canada and Mexico have also announced their own similar countermeasures just as an even greater trade spat pits the US against China. Together, the current battles have raised the specter of a global trade war, spooking financial markets that fear major consequences for the world economy.”

Turkey Retaliates with Tariffs

Newsweek wrote on June 21:

“Turkey implemented $266.5 million in tariffs against the United States on Thursday… The Turkish tariffs affect American imports of coal, paper, walnuts, almonds, tobacco, unprocessed rice, whiskey, automobiles, cosmetics, machinery equipment and petrochemical products.

“Bloomberg reported that the tariffs impact 19 percent of the $9.4 billion in products the U.S. sends to Turkey.”

CNN Money added on June 21:

“Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said in a statement: ‘We cannot and will not allow Turkey to be wrongly blamed for America’s economic challenges.’

“… India said this month that it plans to move ahead with retaliatory tariffs, too.

“Turkey is the world’s eighth largest steel exporter… The United States was Turkey’s top market for steel in 2017.”

Will President Trump wake up to reality before it is too late for America?

Sit Up at Attention and Listen to Trump

Politico wrote on June 16:

“President Donald Trump… likes the way dictators do business. ‘He speaks, and his people sit up at attention,’ Trump said on Friday morning of North Korean despot Kim Jong Un… ‘I want my people to do the same.’…

“Fox’s Bret Baier reminded the president of Kim’s record earlier this week… that Kim is ‘clearly executing people.’ But the president blew Baier off. ‘He’s a tough guy. Hey, when you take over a country, tough country, tough people, and you take it over from your father I don’t care who you are, what you are, how much of an advantage you have. If you could do that at 27 years old, I mean, that’s one in 10,000 that could do that,’ Trump explained…”

So did Adolf Hitler.

Germany’s New US Ambassador Must Navigate Trump-Merkel Divide

“Amid deeply strained ties between Washington and Berlin, Emily Haber, Germany’s new US ambassador, has her work cut out for herself… Haber… will be Germany’s first female envoy to Washington when she officially starts her post later this month…

“Haber, who earlier in her career was posted in Russia and Turkey, also served for several years as deputy minister in the foreign ministry, where she played a key role representing Germany in the negotiations that lead to the Iran nuclear accord — another thorny topic that necessitated working closely with Washington…”

Trump Gets Involved in German Immigration Battle, Angers Germany and Misrepresents the Facts

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 18:

“The US president has waded into the ongoing standoff between Chancellor Angela Merkel and her interior minister over migration. But his claim that crime in Germany ‘is way up’ doesn’t tally with official statistics…

“US President Donald Trump on Monday claimed that Germany’s leaders were losing the support of the public over the migration issue. His untimely comments come amid a deepening split between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leader of her coalition ally, Horst Seehofer, over asylum policy and border controls.

“Trump told his Twitter followers: ‘The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition.’ The US leader went on to say that ‘Crime in Germany is way up’ before adding that there had been a ‘big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!’ In a warning to the American electorate, Trump warned: ‘We don’t want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!’

Trump’s comments are certain to irk German ministers, especially as Europe’s largest economy recently reported the lowest crime figures in more than 25 years. The number of crimes fell almost 10 percent in 2017 over the previous year. A 22 percent reduction in non-German suspects was also noted. Separate studies suggest that Iraqi and Syrian refugees in Germany are less likely to commit crimes, as they don’t want to spoil their chances of obtaining asylum…

“Rolf Mützenich, foreign affairs expert for the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), cautioned Trump against interfering in German politics. ‘As the American ambassador has done previously, Trump is trying to sway the domestic political debate in favor of right-wing conservatives and populist elements in Germany,’ he told DW. ‘We will not change our constitutional principles and precepts of European cooperation learnt from history to align with the “America First” policy in Washington.’”

President Trump has a unique talent to meddle when he should keep out of it; thereby making more and more enemies out of former friends.

Merkel Has Two Weeks

Handelsblatt Global wrote on June 18:

“With the migrant crisis stoking tensions in the EU and within her government, Angela Merkel has two weeks to broker complicated compromises. Without a deal, her days as chancellor could be numbered.

“Angela Merkel’s rebellious interior minister appears to have given her more time to work out a European solution to the refugee crisis, and possibly to save her disunited government. Writing in a German Sunday newspaper, Horst Seehofer said that tough decisions on migration must be taken at the European Union summit at the end of this month, but stressed that his CSU party had no desire to see the governing coalition fall apart.

“Such are the tensions within Ms. Merkel’s government that this was regarded as a conciliatory statement, giving the green light to the German chancellor to plunge into bilateral negotiations with other EU leaders ahead of the summit… The one thing everyone can agree on is that this is a daunting diplomatic challenge, even for Ms. Merkel, the virtuoso of fudge and compromise…

“Mr. Seehofer is a senior figure in the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of Ms. Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU). On migration, he has long been a thorn in the chancellor’s side, including through his informal alliances with right-wing leaders in Austria, Hungary and Poland… The party faces Bavarian regional elections in October. With its polling numbers weak, it wants to combat the threat of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD). The CSU has ruled Germany’s second most-populous state since the Second World War, but could lose its absolute majority this time around.”

Deutsche Welle added on June 18:

“The German constitution guarantees the right to asylum to anyone persecuted for political reasons, while the Dublin convention stipulates that everyone’s application be checked on a case-by-case basis. That means migrants have a right to be heard if they claim asylum, even if they don’t have valid travel documents

“Critics and political pundits, including former Interior Minister Gerhart Baum, have described Seehofer’s proposal as illegal, not to mention a reckless destabilization of Merkel’s new government… If Seehofer were to impose border controls unilaterally using his authority as interior minister, Merkel could overrule him using her constitutional power as chancellor. But that scenario would likely lead to Seehofer’s resignation, a collapse of the government coalition, and new elections…

“Bavarian State Premier Markus Söder, a rival of Seehofer in the CSU, has questioned the efficacy of the upcoming EU summit, because, he claimed, no European agreement had been reached in the last three years…”

First Planned Biological Bomb Attack on Germany Confirmed

Handelsblatt Global wrote on June 20:

“German authorities have now confirmed what many feared: The 29-year-old Tunisian man arrested last week in Cologne was creating a deadly biological weapon he intended to use for a terrorist attack somewhere in the country…

“Various Islamist groups… have published instructions on the internet on how to make biological weapons from the deadly toxin ricin…

“The substance kills the body’s cells by preventing them from creating vital protein. It is far deadlier than cyanide, with no antidote; just a few milligrams are enough to kill a person when injected, inhaled or swallowed.

“As early as World War I, the United States tested ricin as a potential weapon, mixed together with ammunition or spread as a dust, but never deployed it. The substance is still subject to global biological and chemical weapons conventions

“The Bild newspaper… claims American security officials tipped off German investigators…

“A father of four with a wife who converted to Islam, Sief Allah H. came to Germany in 2016. Media has reported that he has sympathies with the Islamic State…

“Currently, Germany has 770 people classified as a threat. Many of them are believed to have entered the country during the refugee influx in 2015 and 2016.”

This new shocking development is not going to help Angela Merkel.

Has Europe Lost Its Soul in the Refugee Crisis?

Handelsblatt Global wrote on June 18:

“How convenient it would have been if the 629 migrants rescued by SOS Méditerranée on the MS Aquarius had drowned instead. Sure, it would have been awful. But the deaths would quickly have been a mere statistic of the kind we have got used to. The media would have churned out a few chilling headlines, and then moved on. This or that European politician would have uttered the usual platitudes. Most wouldn’t have bothered at all. And everybody would have just gone on with their lives, once again oblivious to the corpses at the bottom of the sea, anonymous and faceless like dust under a rug.

“But the migrants aboard the Aquarius did not drown. Unlike the 10,000 women, men and children who went missing while attempting to reach European shores in the past three years, they got lucky. A French NGO patrolling the Mediterranean had plucked them out of their overcrowded dinghies, where they were facing certain death. Among the migrants are seven pregnant women and over 100 children or minors. Most of them are from sub-Saharan Africa.

“The case of the Aquarius has since cascaded through the politics of the European Union. Italy’s new populist government closed its ports to the ship, international obligations and human decency be damned. Malta didn’t let the Aquarius dock either. Fortunately, Spain’s new prime minister finally stepped in and offered the Aquarius a safe harbor in Valencia. The Africans got there on Sunday, after a week-long odyssey in precarious conditions.

“All the while, the French president cast aspersions rather than lifting a finger. Emmanuel Macron criticized Italy’s ‘cynicism and irresponsibility’ for not taking in the boat people. Never mind that several French ports were much closer than Valencia. In fact, Paris quashed an offer by Corsican regional authorities for the Aquarius to dock there. Italy was furious at Macron’s hypocrisy.

“This is the same Emmanuel Macron who, in January of last year, praised Angela Merkel because she had ‘saved our collective dignity’ by allowing Germany to take in hundreds of thousands of migrants during the refugee crisis of 2015… Since he took power, Mr. Macron has done little to end the asylum stalemate in the EU… Paris has taken in less than 10 percent of the 9,816 refugees from Italy it had agreed on under an EU resettlement scheme from 2015. It has closed its long border with Italy to migrants headed north, leaving hundreds stranded outside of the resort town of Ventimiglia. Untold numbers have died in the Alps, trying to make the perilous crossing that’s off the well-trodden paths in order to avoid being caught.

“It gets worse. The French government has prosecuted law-abiding citizens for the crime of assisting immigrants after they entered the country on foot… France is not alone in its appalling behavior. Belgium, too, is prosecuting citizens under the controversial ‘crime of solidarity’ towards illegal migrants. Denmark confiscates the valuables of anybody who has the temerity to apply for asylum there. Last month, a center-right minister in Copenhagen suggested that Muslims in certain jobs should be banned from working during Ramadan. It won’t be long until someone suggests barring them from certain professions altogether.

“And Germany… The country that saved the continent’s dignity three years ago is now so transfixed by its own xenophobic far right that the question of whether to allow in a few thousands of relatives from the refugees’ home countries caused coalition talks to fail last year. And now the government is on the verge of collapse because right-wingers want to crack down even harder on immigration. In neighboring Austria, a young and ambitious chancellor who governs with the far right has called for an ‘axis of the willing’ with Italy and Germany to combat illegal immigration. A right-wing axis from Berlin to Rome — that sure has a ring to it.

“So maybe the Axis should live up to its name and bring in warships to sink the migrants’ dinghies. Nothing short of this will stop desperate people with nothing to lose from attempting to come to Europe. No one embarks on a dangerous journey across the Sahara and then on unseaworthy boats without a truly compelling reason.

“Or perhaps EU politicians should instead grow a conscience and stop selling their souls for a few far-right votes. Pedro Sánchez of Spain has put Mr. Macron, Ms. Merkel and Italy’s Matteo Salvini to shame. Spain is a troubled country — it has high unemployment, a struggling economy and is mired in its worst political crisis in decades as Catalonia tries to secede. And with the Moroccan coast clearly visible from its southernmost region, it is also on the front line of the refugee crisis. More than 10,000 migrants arrived there by sea this year alone. Yet most Spaniards don’t blame immigrants for all their ills or vote for far-right parties to keep them out. The Spanish prime minister didn’t think twice about doing the right thing.

“So if Spain can do it, why not the rest of the EU?… Europe is the richest continent in the world and certainly can handle a few thousand migrants in a dignified manner… If France and other EU countries had respected their pledges to support Italy instead of bickering, the far right probably wouldn’t be in power in Rome now…”

The hypocrisy of some European leaders is indeed appalling.

“Italian Jews Recall Holocaust-Era Law in Condemning Plan to Register Country’s Roma”

JTA wrote on June 19:

“Italy’s Jewish community condemned a call by the country’s hardline interior minister to take a census of Italy’s Roma, or Gypsy, population. The Union of Italian Jewish Communities, or UCEI, said in a statement issued Tuesday that the call by Matteo Salvini to create a ‘registry’ of Roma in Italy recalled the anti-Semitic legislation introduced by Italy’s fascist government on the eve of the Holocaust in 1938…

“Salvini’s ‘announcement of a possible, specific census of the Roma population in Italy worries us and reawakens memories of the racist measures taken just 80 years ago and, sadly, increasingly forgotten,’ the UCEI statement said… The UCEI statement said there was no ‘search for consensus, no anxiety about public order that justifies the disturbing proposal to single out specific social categories of citizens, to censor them and subject them to special security policies reserved only for them.’”

Strong Earthquake Hits Japan

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 18:

“A 6.1 magnitude quake hit the western city [of Osaka] during the morning commute. It was the largest since records began in 1923… the earthquake struck at 8.a.m. local time… at a depth of about 13 kilometers (8.1 miles)…

“The train and subway service in and around Osaka, including the bullet train to Tokyo, was suspended while checks were made… About 80 flights from and to Osaka were canceled… It is expected to take eight to 12 days to resume piped gas supplies to more than 110,000 residents in the Osaka region…

“A major manufacturing center, Osaka is the headquarters for companies including Panasonic and Sharp. Production at the Honda, Mitsubishi and Toyota car plants was temporarily suspended when the quake hit. Osaka is due to hold the G20 meeting in June 2019.”

A foretaste of worse things to come.

Scientist Searches for Loch Ness Monster DNA

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 17:

“A New Zealand scientist has traveled to Loch Ness in Scotland with a team to collect water samples from the lake that may give clues as to what creatures are lurking in its waters — including the legendary monster that has allegedly been sighted more than 1,000 times in the past 1,500 years… ‘Maybe there is something extraordinary out there,’ geneticist Neil Gemmell of the University of Otago told the Agence France-Presse news agency.

“Professor Gemmell said the water samples he had taken would be assessed for ‘monster DNA’… The first sighting of a strange creature in Loch Ness, a lake in northern Scotland, is attributed to Saint Columba, who brought Christianity to Scotland in the sixth century. But the most recent was on March 26 this year by a US couple.

“Many people who claim to have seen the creature describe it as a long-necked reptilian being, which has led to theories that Nessie, as the monster has affectionately been named, could be a plesiosaur left over from the age of dinosaurs. The animal is thought otherwise to have been extinct for at least 66 million years. Other theories say Nessie could be a sturgeon or a Wels catfish, though none have ever been caught in the lake.”

For more information on the Loch Ness creature, please read our free booklet, “Heavens and Earth—Before and After the First Man.”

Koko Dies

The New York Post wrote on June 21:

“Koko, the thoughtful gorilla who captivated the world through her ability to use sign language and revealed an empathetic side to great apes, has died. She was 46… Koko… could sign more than 1,000 words

“Her remarkable ability to sign landed her on the cover of National Geographic twice – in 1978, in a photo she took of herself in a mirror, and again in 1985, with an image of her mourning the death of one of her pet kittens.

“Throughout her life, Koko adopted several felines, using sign language to give them names like All Ball, Lipstick and Smoky…

“In 2012, she stunned scientists by playing wind instruments, including the recorder, harmonica and party-favor whistles – an ability that showed primates can learn to control their breathing…”

Pope Francis Defines Family and Equates Abortion to Nazi-Era Race Purification

The Wall Street Journal wrote on June 17:

“Pope Francis likened abortion to Nazi eugenics practiced ‘with white gloves,’ and said the only real families are those based on marriage between a man and a woman, using uncharacteristically blunt language on two controversial moral issues.

“Addressing an Italian family association on Saturday, the pope equated the contemporary termination of pregnancies in response to fetal maladies or defects discovered through prenatal testing to the policies of Hitler’s Germany. ‘Children should be welcomed the way they come, the way God sends them to us, the way God allows, even if sometimes they are ill. I’ve heard that it’s fashionable—or at least habitual—to perform certain exams in the early months of pregnancy, to see if the baby is unwell or comes with a certain problem,’ the pope said. ‘And to have an easy life, one does away with an innocent,’ he added.

“The pope also rejected the concept of nontraditional families not based on heterosexual marriage. ‘Today—it hurts to say it—one speaks of “diversified” families: different types of family …but the human family as the image of God, man and woman, is only one. Only one,’ the pope said…

“Pope Francis’ remarks were consistent with traditional Catholic teaching yet unusually strong for a pope who has generally played down medical and sexual ethics and taken a strikingly conciliatory approach to gay people…”

Pink News added on June 17:

“It had been hoped that the Pope was in the process of softening the Catholic Church’s position on LGBT rights, particularly as it was just last month that he told Juan Carlos Cruz, a gay survivor of sexual abuse by a prominent Chilean priest: ‘God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care.’… The Pope also praised spouses who stay with unfaithful partners, hoping for them to stop cheating on them instead of asking for a divorce. ‘Many women – but even men sometimes do it [with wives] – wait in silence, looking the other way, waiting for their husband to become faithful again,’ he said. This, he added, was ‘the sanctity that forgives all out of love.’

“Conspiracy theorist and alt-right host Alex Jones, whose InfoWars YouTube channel has 2.3 million subscribers, went on an alarming rant after the Pope’s more accepting comments last month… Jones then told his followers that the pontiff was ‘as close as you’re gonna get to Satan in the flesh.’…

“But the Pope gave notice that he wasn’t upturning thousands of years of Church doctrine just days after speaking to Cruz, when he reportedly used a private meeting to warn bishops in Italy that they should reject any applicants to the priesthood who they suspect might be gay…”

The double-talk of Pope Francis is mind-boggling.

Compulsively Playing Video Games a Mental Health Condition?

Medical Press wrote on June 18:

“… the U.N. health agency [WHO] said Monday that compulsively playing video games now qualifies as a mental health condition…

“WHO said classifying ‘gaming disorder’ as a separate addiction will help governments, families and health care workers be more vigilant and prepared to identify the risks. The agency and other experts were quick to note that cases of the condition are still very rare, with no more than up to 3 percent of all gamers believed to be affected…

“Dr. Joan Harvey, a spokeswoman for the British Psychological Society, warned that the new designation might cause unnecessary concern among parents. ‘People need to understand this doesn’t mean every child who spends hours in their room playing games is an addict, otherwise medics are going to be flooded with requests for help,’ she said…

“The American Psychiatric Association has not yet deemed gaming disorder to be a new mental health problem…

“Dr. Mark Griffiths… guessed that the percentage of video game players with a compulsive problem was likely to be extremely small—much less than 1 percent—and that many such people would likely have other underlying problems, like depression, bipolar disorder or autism… Griffiths said playing video games, for the vast majority of people, is more about entertainment and novelty…”

It seems WHO has nothing better to do than to waste their time with such ridiculous research and misleading conclusions.

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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