This Week in the News

Report from the UK by Brian Gale:

The British general election has just taken place and the outcome is surprising, to say the least.   Before the election, not one of the eleven polling companies predicted a Conservative victory but suggested that both of the two main parties would be very close in the number of seats won.   However, the final exit poll showed a different picture much to everyone’s surprise, and that has been borne out by the result.

Certainly the victory could turn out to be something of a poisoned chalice with the Prime Minister and the newly elected government facing nationalism in Scotland and anti-European sentiment in England plus many other things that need attention.   It will be very interesting to see how it all plays out.

Even though we are not to vote or take political sides, it is always interesting to see what happens as we have to live with the result and consequences.   Wikipedia writes about one of the most famous slogans in political history: ‘‘It’s the economy, stupid’ is a slight variation of the phrase ‘The economy, stupid,’ which James Carville had coined as a campaign strategist of Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 presidential campaign against sitting president George H. W. Bush.   Clinton’s campaign had advantageously used the then-prevailing recession situation in the US as one of the campaign means to successfully unseat George H. W. Bush.”

The existing coalition government in the UK focused their campaign on their financial management of the economy, having inherited a dire economy in 2010 and they were, in effect saying, “It’s the economy stupid”.  Of course the other parties told a different story.   They said, as you would expect, that they would do a better job if they were elected.

The leaders of two of the three main parties are both atheists (they have both subsequently resigned as leaders of their party after their defeat) and Mr Cameron is a believer in God and an Anglican churchgoer although he admits that he doesn’t attend church as much as he should.   Mr Blair, a former UK Prime Minister, was a believer in God but allowed those around him to say that “we don’t do God”.   Is it any wonder that we continually have problems when the ideas for running the economy and legislation enacted come from the recesses of men’s minds without any reference whatsoever to God’s Word?

There was a time when leaders did acknowledge the wisdom that can be found in the Word of God, and our nations were influenced in a positive way.   However, any such influence that there was has been eroded by the liberal permissive society in recent decades, and to our detriment.

Unfortunately, UK politicians no longer seem to have any deference towards the Bible and the wisdom that it can give to those who read it in belief and who ask God for understanding.   Problems are evident in every nook and cranny of society today, but the very obvious is ignored.  The problems are now far too big, not only because they are now out of hand, but there is also absolutely no willingness to acquire true knowledge from the pages of the Bible.   It is seen as archaic and completely out of touch, rather than having the answers to the woes currently being experienced.

Running the country, according to those in power or seeking power, is all about GDP (Gross Domestic Product), inflation, interest rates, unemployment levels, a minimum wage, taxes paid to government spending, stock market indices and a number of other issues.

We have surely passed the point of no return when mankind at large does not have the capacity to solve the manifold and often complex problems that engulf the world at this time.   We have seen that many countries around the world have economic problems on a scale hitherto not experienced, and at the same time, a breakdown in understanding right from wrong.   Are the two connected?

In effect, it is believed that it is all about material prosperity – “it’s the economy stupid.”   But consider carefully the following:

Our UK governments in recent years have striven to allow and encourage women to go out to work.   Children suffer with little parental instruction and absent parents (of course, in some cases, this may be very necessary because of an absent parent or the inability to earn sufficient income even from a two parent working family).

Our UK governments have approved and promote homosexuality and other perverted sexual activities.

Our UK governments have their own definition of the family which emerge from the ideas and thoughts of politicians according to their own reasonings.

Our UK governments have allowed abortion and, in the process, have killed millions of innocent unborn children.

Our UK governments have presided over education which is increasingly liberal with the false, ridiculous theory of evolution being taught as fact.

Our UK governments have allowed ill-discipline in schools to proliferate, so that teachers can’t do their jobs properly, and this ill-discipline is now endemic in society at large.  It all leads to more aggression and violence and affects the very fabric of our society.

Our UK governments have presided over the marginalisation of Christianity whilst allowing foreign religions to promote their own creed in this country.

You will note from the above examples that the economy is not mentioned except in passing.   And this is the fundamental problem today.  Yes, a vibrant and successful economy is necessary to sustain all that needs to be done but if the foundation is wrong then the whole house falls.

In Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 we read about the blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience.   If we had, as a nation, observed all of God’s Commandments (Deuteronomy 28:3), we wouldn’t have all the problems that are extant in society today.   Whilst these were blessings that would have been given to ancient Israel, the same principles apply to their descendants.    And we are those descendants today (see our booklet, “The Fall and Rise of Britain and America”).

In Deuteronomy 28, verses 2-6, many blessings are outlined which we don’t enjoy today.   In verse 7 we read that we would be protected against our enemies and many blessings are revealed in verses 8-14.   From verses 15 onwards, the curses for disobedience are described, which we are now reaping because God is seen, generally, as either non-existent or irrelevant.

Just think of the change that would happen if the leaders and nations turned to God.   The book of Jonah shows what can happen when a nation “from the greatest to the least of them” (Jonah 3:5) believe God and obey Him.

Our new government in the UK has no chance of resolving the issues that confront our nation because they are tackling them from a wrong perspective.   If they said that obedience to God was essential; if they promoted marriage between a man and a woman only and totally supported the Godly family-ordained unit; if they removed all the approval of perversion that engulfs our society; if they said that abortion would no longer be allowed; if the educational system taught the truth of God rather than the false evolutionary concept; and if our government only allowed the truth of God to be taught and not all of the false religions that have invaded our lands; then we would be truly headed in the right direction.

The problem is that leaders give no thought to proper moral values; in fact, it seems that they continue to ignore the source that would ensure success.  Is a change of attitude in the nation likely to happen?   It could, but there would have to be such a transformation throughout the country that it is unlikely to happen now.

We live in a society where someone can be convicted for calling someone else a name that offends them but anybody can blaspheme the Name of the great Creator God and Jesus Christ without any sanction or prosecution whatsoever.   The nation, at large, has no respect for God and He will only allow such behaviour to go on for so long.

One other simple example will show how far the nation has descended into the depths of depravity.   On May 1st (a minority party leader stated that she was “open to the idea of legalising three-way marriages.  Party members could get the chance to formulate policy to permit so-called polyamorous relationships, which would allow more than two people to enter into marriages or have civil partnerships.”   She said that she had already led the way in calling for the liberalisation of marriage laws and is “open” to going further. This answer was given to the question, “As someone living with his two boyfriends in a stable long-term relationship I would like to know what your stance is on polyamory rights. Is there room for your support on group civil partnerships or marriages?”

It should be quite clear that since the UK has turned its back on God in so many ways, curses are the inevitable consequence.  It is safe to say that if politicians campaigned on instituting Godly values in our society, they wouldn’t be voted into power anyway.

In the book of Jeremiah we read: “How can you say, ‘We are wise, And the law of the LORD is with us’?  Look, the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood. The wise men are ashamed, They are dismayed and taken. Behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD; So what wisdom do they have?” (Jeremiah 8:8-9).

However, we do know from God’s Holy Days that it will happen.   The Feast of Tabernacles pictures the time when Christ will rule on earth and a right way of living will be taught and implemented at that time.   Whilst it won’t happen before the return of Jesus Christ, it will happen when He returns to this earth.   There will be no more elections, no more politics and no more Satan-inspired activities.   It will be well worth waiting for!

Cameron Wins with Simple Majority

JTA wrote on May 8:

“Ed Miliband, the first Jewish leader of Britain’s Labour Party, is resigning as British Prime Minister David Cameron definitively won reelection… The surprisingly strong showing scuttled Miliband’s ambitions of becoming his country’s first Jewish prime minister…

“According to polls, British Jews strongly favored Cameron, in part because of Miliband’s relative coolness on Israel and the Labour Party’s shift to the left since the departure of Tony Blair, who led Britain in the 1990s and the first part of the 2000s.

“Poor showings by the anti-immigrant U.K. Independence Party led its leader, Nigel Farage, to resign on Friday. Also resigning was David Clegg, the leader of the centrist Liberal Democrats…”

The UKIP executive refused to accept Nigel Farage’s resignation and so he is now back as their leader.   Although they only have one seat in Parliament (out of 650 available) they did poll 3.9 million votes and many had been drawn to the party by their immigration stance and their commitment to withdrawal from the EU.

Many “explanations” were given as to why all these polls were so terribly wrong and totally unreliable. But the real answer might be that God directed the outcome of these elections, to keep Mr. Cameron in office so that he could bring about God’s prophesied purpose of having Great Britain leave the EU (Mr. Cameron insisted after the election that the promised referendum will take place in 2017, when Britain will decide whether or not it would stay in Europe—a vast majority is expressing a wish to leave the EU). Even though Mr. Cameron has only pledged to hold it—not to support it—Mr. Milliband had vowed a much closer co-operation with the EU. Please view our new StandingWatch program, WHY the Surprise Victory for David Cameron?”

Cameron’s Victory “Bad News for Europe?” — Germany Will Have to “Take an Even More Dominant Role in Europe”

 The Local wrote on May 8:

“German politicians and commentators confronted the reality that Germany would have to take an even more dominant role in Europe on Friday after David Cameron’s Conservative party achieved a surprise victory in the British general election.

“Cameron’s promise to put the UK’s membership of the European Union to a vote in 2017 and the massive surge of support for the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) will likely see the country consumed with its internal politics. Meanwhile, elections the same year in France could see the eurosceptic National Front divide the country, leaving Germany the only one of Europe’s three largest nations with the stability to look to a long-term vision.

“… the trend of recent years which has seen Germany take a leading role in European foreign policy is set to continue…

“Spiegel interpreted the election result in the European context, leading with the blunt headline ‘Bad news for Europe.’ ‘Firstly this is a bad result for Europe. It means that Cameron, the weak leader, will become even more susceptible to pressure from within his own party. The eurosceptic loudmouths from the back-benches will become even more powerful,’ wrote Christoph Scheuermann…

“The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung spoke of having to ‘rub one’s eyes’ when the results were announced, expressing disbelief at how misleading opinion polls had been… the paper expressed anxiety at the repercussions for Europe…

“Süddeutsche Zeitung was sceptical of the surprise Conservative victory, and focused on the various problems the Prime Minister will face in his second term. ‘Struggling to triumph’ read the headline. ‘Cameron may have secured a slim overall majority, but this is far from a great victory,’ wrote Björn Finke…

“Business daily Handelsblatt went with the headline ‘Election winner in a torn land’… ‘This election accelerates dramatically historical changes that have been long in the making. For us in Europe this means the possibility of a “Brexit.”’”

The New York Times added on May 8:

 “Prime Minister David Cameron, having achieved a smashing and unexpected outright victory in Britain’s general election, heads into his second term facing severe — even existential — challenges to his nation’s identity and place in the world: how to keep the United Kingdom in the European Union and Scotland in the United Kingdom.”

AFP wrote on May 8:

“Prime Minister David Cameron’s expected new five-year term could prove less stable than the outgoing one and will put Britain on a rocky course to an EU membership referendum, analysts said Friday… Without his former junior coalition partner, the centrist Liberal Democrats, Cameron could find himself under pressure to be more right-wing and pursue a harder line on Europe, experts said.”

Things Have Changed in the UK

The Associated Press wrote on May 9:

“After years of sharing power, David Cameron pulled off an unexpected election triumph that gave the Conservative prime minister a second term with an outright majority Friday and dealt a stinging defeat to his three main rivals… But he faces a fractured Britain – divided by rich and poor, by separatist gains in Scotland and by doubts over its place in the European Union.

“The election ushers in a new era in British politics, with veteran lawmakers ousted by a public that made clear it had lost trust in its political leaders. The victors included a 20-year-old Scottish nationalist who beat out a senior Labour Party leader in Scotland.

“It was also unexpected. Polls had predicted a dead heat – a result that would have meant days of haggling to form a new government. Queen Elizabeth II was out of town at her castle in Windsor, and needed to rush back to London for the traditional meeting at Buckingham Palace in which the victor offers to form a government… The surprising outcome merely underscored how much things have changed – that there is now a new unpredictability in British politics…”

UK Referendum Earlier?

The EUObserver wrote on May 12:

“The UK could hold a referendum on EU membership as early as July 2016, The Guardian reported Monday evening (11 May). The paper quoted a government source as saying that the ‘mood now is definitely to accelerate the process and give us the option of holding the referendum in 2016’… The referendum will be preceded by negotiations to get a ‘better deal’ in Europe for UK. The idea is that British voters can then decide, based on the results of the talks, if they want their country to stay in the EU, of which it has been a member since 1973.

“… The Guardian noted that a bill, which is needed to hold a referendum, could be passed by June 2016, making a referendum possible the next month, or in September 2016, after the summer break.”

No Special Deal for Britain

The Local wrote on May 13:

“[German] Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble had a prickly response to British demands for reform of the EU in the margins of a European finance ministers’ meeting on Tuesday… Schäuble was in no hurry to meet Prime Minister David Cameron’s timetable – and was fed up with ‘silly’ and ‘unnecessary’ interventions in the eurozone crisis from across the Channel… He explicitly rejected attaching a package of British demands to any reforms made to shore up the currency union.

“Cameron hopes to press other member countries into treaty change ahead of a referendum on EU membership set for 2017, a key promise he made to bolster support on his right wing before last week’s parliamentary election… But Schäuble’s brusque dismissal of British officials’ plan to tack special terms for the UK onto a new push for political and fiscal integration among eurozone members sets the scene for a showdown between the two countries.

“… That was a stark difference from UK Chancellor (finance minister) George Osborne, who said in Brussels that he had ‘a very clear mandate to improve Britain’s relationship with the rest of the EU and to reform the EU so that it creates jobs and increases living standards for all its citizens.’”

The EUObserver added on May 13:

“French finance minister Michel Sapin dismissed the idea of a ‘so-called renegotiation’ leading to a EU treaty change. ‘If it’s about discussing the functioning of the EU, this sort of discussion is possible. If it’s about renegotiating treaties, you know the position of France. That’s a completely different matter. In the current context, no treaty change, no constitutional debate,’ he said.”

Jury Duty Decision in the UK

The Telegraph wrote on May 11:

“A devout Muslim man who objected to jury service by claiming his religion forbids it was forced to serve by an Old Bailey judge. The man wrote to the court asking to be excused because he felt unable to sit in judgement of others. ‘As a Muslim, I believe you shouldn’t judge anyone and can’t come to any decision regarding another person,’ he wrote. ‘I could not take the responsibility of judging a person innocent or guilty. ‘I believe we are judged after our death and I would hate to think an innocent person would suffer because of the evidence and my decision.’

“The juror was ordered to appear at the Old Bailey on Monday morning to argue his case on the first day of his jury service. He said: ‘I deeply believe I can’t take that responsibility. I would be really uncomfortable to come to any decision when a decision is to be made.’

“But Judge Timothy Pontius QC said his situation was no different to other Muslims asked to serve on a jury. ‘Many understandably will have religious beliefs and are members of one faith or another,’ said the judge. ‘Some have very deeply-held religious beliefs and yet they discharge their responsibilities consciously and consistent with their religious beliefs. ‘It is common for many members of the jury to be practising Muslims, some hold their religious faith very deeply indeed, and yet are content to sit in judgement of fellow citizens.’

“The juror conceded he would want a jury to decide if a crime was committed against his family and eventually agreed he would serve if ordered to do so. ‘I’ve made my excuse,’ he said. ‘I’ve written to you asking for my dismissal. I live in this country and have to go by the law, but if you order me to be of service that is my responsibility.’

“Judge Pontius told him: ‘I don’t for a moment doubt the strength of your religious beliefs, but for the reasons I have set out and applying the logic which I have expressed about the position, I regret I can’t excuse you from jury service.’’

The problem with this potential juror is that his conviction was not strong enough. This should serve as an example to everyone who refuses to become a juror due to his sincerely held religious conviction. He could not serve on a jury and render a decision, even IF ordered by a court to do so. The biblical injunction is very clear: We must obey God rather than man, if there is a conflict. For the same reason could a true Christian not serve as a combatant in the army and kill an enemy, even IF ordered to do so.

US Camp David Summit Skipped by Most Gulf Heads of State

The Associated Press reported on May 11:

“It is not just the Saudi king who will be skipping the Camp David summit of U.S. and allied Arab leaders. Most Gulf heads of state won’t be there. The absences will put a damper on talks that are designed to reassure key Arab allies, and almost certainly reflect dissatisfaction among leaders of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council with Washington’s handling of Iran and what they expect to get out of the meeting…

“At the summit, leaders of Gulf nations will be looking for assurances that they have Obama’s support at a time when the region feels under siege from Islamic extremists and by Iran’s rising influence. The Gulf states worry the nuclear pact taking shape with the U.S., Iran and other nations may embolden Tehran to act more aggressively in the region…

“Abdulkhaleq Abdullah, a professor of political science at Emirates University, said Gulf leaders were staying away from the Camp David gathering to signal their displeasure over the nuclear talks. ‘I don’t think they have a deep respect, a deep trust for Obama and his promises. There is a fundamental difference between his vision of post-nuclear-deal Iran and their vision,’ he said… Abdullah… said the Gulf ties with the United States remain strong, but they have been strained during Obama’s tenure.”

The Weekly Standard wrote on May 11:

“It was a long time ago and a galaxy far, far away: In July 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama made big, bold news by travelling to Berlin to – as The New York Times triumphantly recorded – ‘restore the world’s faith in strong American leadership and idealism.’ With 200,000 Berliners waving campaign-provided American flags, Obama called for renewing America’s alliances and undoing the cowboy unilateralism of George W. Bush and Obama’s 2008 opponent Sen. John McCain.

“The events of recent months are an indication of how spectacularly Obama has failed to fulfill his 2008 promise. This week comes the news that Saudi Arabia’s newly installed King Salman and three of the other six Gulf monarchs are boycotting Obama’s Camp David summit – a meeting called by Obama to reassure the Arab states that the forthcoming nuclear deal with Iran was not a betrayal of their longstanding security relationship with the United States. Beyond their fears of Iran’s nukes, the Gulf states see the rise of an aspiring Persian hegemon – in Yemen, in Syria, in Iraq – taking advantage of, if not actively conspiring with, a retreating America.  In this case ‘no show’ means ‘no confidence.”

Did President Obama Lie?

Breitbart wrote on May 11:

“Seymour Hersh, the Pulitzer Prize winning left-wing investigative journalist, is accusing Pres. Obama of lying about the raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden… Hersh’s story describes a politically obsessed President Obama rushing to get word out about the raid over the objections of key officials like Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Hersh points out that the bin Laden raid ‘was the high point of Obama’s first term, and a major factor in his re-election.’

“Hersh’s other main claim involves the knowledge of Pakistani officials. Hersh says the Obama administration claimed that the senior generals of Pakistan’s army and Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) were not told of the raid in advance. ‘This is false, as are many other elements of the Obama administration’s account.’

“Appearing on CNN Monday morning, Hersh strongly defended the story from attacks by host Chris Cuomo and CNN Security Analyst Peter Bergen, who wrote a lengthy rebuttal for CNN. Responding to the charge that his article was based primarily on just one single, anonymous source, veteran reporter Hersh told Cuomo he had ‘vet and verify[ied]’ his reporting with other sources.

“Bergen claims Hersh’s argument is essentially a massive conspiracy theory, calling it ‘farrago of nonsense that is contravened by a multitude of eyewitness accounts, inconvenient facts and simple common sense.’ In his criticism, however, Bergen notes that the Obama administration made false statements right after the raid.

“In his article, Hersh correctly points out that in the immediate aftermath of the bin Laden raid, White House officials initially made some false statements about the raid — for instance, that bin Laden was using his wives as human shields during the raid — but these were quickly corrected. Hersh says the reason for the inaccuracies is that President Obama wanted to take immediate credit for the raid. Hersh said that the initial plan was to announce the death of bin Laden about a week later, but Hersh writes:

“‘Obama’s speech was put together in a rush, the retired official said, and was viewed by his advisers as a political document, not a message that needed to be submitted for clearance to the national security bureaucracy. This series of self-serving and inaccurate statements would create chaos in the weeks following.’

“Hersh quotes from Robert Gate’s book Duty about how upset Gates was that President Obama decided to push narrative in order to take credit. ‘That we killed him, I said, is all we needed to say. Everybody in that room agreed to keep mum on details. That commitment lasted about five hours. The initial leaks came from the White House and CIA. They just couldn’t wait to brag and to claim credit. The facts were often wrong… Nonetheless the information just kept pouring out. I was outraged and at one point, told the national security adviser, Tom Donilon, “Why doesn’t everybody just shut… up?” To no avail.’

“Hersh reports others were also incensed by President Obama’s approach to organizing and delivering the speech: ‘Gates wasn’t the only official who was distressed by Obama’s decision to speak without clearing his remarks in advance, the retired official said, “but he was the only one protesting. Obama didn’t just double-cross Gates, he double-crossed everyone.’”

The Washington Post reported on May 11 that “the CIA and White House are both rejecting his account” and that a “CIA official told The Washington Post that Hersh’s story is ‘utter nonsense.’’’

Of course, what else would they say? Hersh’s story was also rejected by Robert O’Neill, the former Navy SEAL who says he fired the shots that killed Osama bin Laden. But Hersh is not a nobody, nor is he a conservative. He “earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for exposing the mass killing of civilians in the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam in 1969, and later was credited with helping to expose the abuse of detainees by the U.S. military at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison in 2004.”  Hersh also claims that from the outset, the goal of the mission was to assassinate bin Laden, and that his dead body was not “buried” in the way as claimed by the White House, but disposed of in a most despicable way.

More Sources Confirm Hersh’s Account

 Newsmax reported on May 12:

“After Seymour Hersh claimed in a lengthy expose that the Obama administration inaccurately took full credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden, more sources have come forward to confirm his account. Two intelligence sources have told NBC News that the year before the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, a ‘walk in’ asset from Pakistani intelligence told the CIA where bin Laden was hiding, while three sources say that the Pakistani government was aware of bin Laden’s location all along…

“John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, dismissed Hersh’s account…  For his part, Hersh has defended his account. He told CNN on Monday, ‘I’ve been around a long time … and I understand the consequences of what I’m saying.’”

Newsmax added on May 13:

“Another voice has joined the chorus of those who say that Seymour Hersh’s account of the demise of Osama bin Laden is more accurate than the claims of the Obama administration: New York Times foreign correspondent Carlotta Gall. Gall has said that she had gleaned from her sources that Pakistan’s intelligence service had kept bin Laden prisoner since 2006, and that the CIA learned about his location from a Pakistani informer who sold the information for $25 million.  ‘On this count, my own reporting tracks with Hersh’s,’ Gall wrote.”

Those who dismiss Hersh’s account outright—such as John McCain—had better beware what they are saying. The German magazine, Focus, reported this week that other journalists confirmed Mr. Hersh’s account as well, stating that most of the information had been known in Washington all along.

Netanyahu’s Shaky Government

The Washington Post wrote on May 7:

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been a dominating political figure in the United States this year, seemingly invincible as he hurled thunderbolts at President Obama and other adversaries. But here in Israel, not so much. After winning a narrow election victory in March, Netanyahu formed a fragile government late Wednesday with a bare one-vote margin in parliament. Israeli analysts, left and right, are questioning whether the government can last long. Netanyahu said Thursday that he had been leaving the foreign-minister position vacant for Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog, in hopes of broadening his base, but Herzog rejected the offer…

“Netanyahu’s camp hopes for a new opening with Gulf Arab states that share mistrust of Iran… An Israeli-Arab alliance against Iran is intriguing. But like much else about Netanyahu’s fledgling government, it’s more an aspiration than a practical agenda. Netanyahu, so potent in the United States, has a shaky base at home.”

Vatican Recognizes State of Palestine

The Associated Press reported on May 13:

“The Vatican officially recognized the state of Palestine in a new treaty finalized Wednesday, immediately sparking Israeli ire and accusations that the move hurt peace prospects. The treaty, which concerns the activities of the Catholic Church in Palestinian territory, is both deeply symbolic and makes explicit that the Holy See has switched its diplomatic recognition from the Palestine Liberation Organization to the state of Palestine.

“The Vatican had welcomed the decision by the U.N. General Assembly in 2012 to recognize a Palestinian state and had referred to the Palestine state since. But the treaty is the first legal document negotiated between the Holy See and the Palestinian state, giving the Vatican’s former signs of recognition an unambiguous confirmation in a formal, bilateral treaty…

“The United States and Israel oppose recognition, arguing that it undermines U.S.-led efforts to negotiate an Israeli-Palestinian deal on the terms of Palestinian statehood. Most countries in Western Europe have held off on recognition, but some have hinted that their position could change if peace efforts remain deadlocked. The treaty was finalized days before Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visits Pope Francis at the Vatican. Abbas is heading to Rome to attend Francis’ canonization Sunday of two new saints from the Holy Land.”

Female Genital Mutilation Highest in Egypt

The website of reported on May 10:

“Egypt’s Minister of Health Adel Adawy announced on Sunday that 92 percent of married Egyptian women [aged between 15 and 49] have experienced female genital mutilation… The majority of females undergo genital mutilation between the ages of nine and 12, with only 31 percent of the operations run by doctors, said the Minister of Health. The Minister of Health added that FGM in rural areas is as high as 95 percent, compared to up to 39.2 percent in urban cities… more than 50 percent of married women in Egypt favor female genital mutilation and is in accordance with religious teachings…

“Despite a large number of women surveyed believing that FGM is condoned by Islam, Egypt’s top Islamic authority has condemned the act as ‘un-Islamic’ and ‘barbaric’. Moreover, Egypt banned female genital mutilation in 2008. Article 242 of Egypt’s Penal Code criminalizes the circumcision of girls The punishment for performing FGM is a prison sentence ranging from three months to two years or a fine of 5,000 Egyptian pounds…

“According to the World Health Organization, Egypt, Somalia, Guinea, Djibouti and Sierra Leone have the highest rates of FGM. A 2013 UNICEF report found that Egypt has the world’s highest total number of FGM sufferers, with 27.2 million women having undergone FGM.”

China’s Military Ambitions

The website of wrote on May 8:

“China’s military plans to produce nearly 42,000 land-based and sea-based unmanned weapons and sensor platforms as part of its continuing, large-scale military buildup, the Pentagon’s annual report on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) disclosed Friday. China currently operates several armed and unarmed drone aircraft and is developing long-range… unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for both intelligence gathering and bombing attacks.

“The acquisition and development of longer-range UAVs will increase China’s ability to conduct long-range reconnaissance and strike operations,” the report said… The drone buildup is part of what the Pentagon identified as a decades-long military buildup that last year produced new multi-warhead missiles and a large number of submarines and ships… Additionally, the Pentagon for the first time confirmed China’s development of an ultra-high speed maneuvering strike vehicle as part of its growing strategic nuclear arsenal… a strike weapon that travels at the edge of space at nearly 10 times the speed of sound…

“The Chinese military, once a backward, ill-equipped force, is rapidly becoming a very sophisticated high-technology military organization that is focused on developing asymmetric warfare capabilities that will allow it to defeat the United States or other advanced militaries in a future conflict. The new capabilities include anti-satellite weapons, including a high-earth orbit missile capable of hitting strategic satellites as high as 22,000 miles in space, and cyber warfare capabilities… Chinese nationalism is also on the rise.”

It was also reported that on May 8, Putin and Chinese president Xi Jinping signed an “economic” agreement between Russia’s Eurasian Union and China’s Silk Road.

 Russia’s Re-Invention of History

 The EUObserver wrote on May 8:“Russia’s EU ambassador, Vladimir Chizhov… [said] ‘Crimea was not an annexation by any means … it was an attempt by local people to decide their future for themselves’. He justified Russia’s deployment of special forces in Crimea by claiming Ukrainian nationalists were preparing a ‘massacre’ of Russian speakers.

“He added that Stalin, who, like Hitler, murdered millions of Russians…  is a ‘national hero’ for many Russians… He also defended Russia’s invasion of Poland in 1939, under the ‘Molotov-Ribbentrop’ pact with Germany, as an act of ‘necessity’ at the time. It’s a narrative espoused by many Russian people… The narrative causes horror in Russia’s neighbours… [It] has also caused alarm in EU chancelleries and in Washington…

“Opposition leaders, such as Boris Nemtsov, are being murdered, and NGOs are being harassed as ‘foreign agents’. ‘He [Putin] has nothing to brag about at home … so the only thing he can offer to Russian people is fear of an outside enemy and fantasies of imperial greatness’, Garry Kasparov, a former Soviet chess champion who lives in the US, told EUobserver in a recent interview… For Kasparov, they do it because ‘the collapse of the Soviet Union was painful. But, unlike Germany, there was no process of reconciliation or lustration, of cleansing society of former Communist apparatchiks, and, most importantly, of the KGB’, he said, referring to the Russian intelligence service, now called the FSB…”

Some gullible and uninformed Western authors and commentators have even bought into the Russian propaganda that Russia—and not the USA and its Western Allies— brought an end to World War II and that Russia defeated Nazi Germany. Nothing could be further from the truth. However, blame must be asserted against the USA and its Western allies that they collaborated with Stalin… who was an evil dictator and no better than Hitler.

 History would have turned out much differently if the USA and Great Britain would have cooperated with Count Stauffenberg and those German officers who were quite active in trying to defeat (assassinate) Hitler as early as 1943, asking for support from the Allies who tragically refused to lend any helping hand, insisting instead in Germany’s unconditional surrender, which, as they knew, German officers (opposed to Hitler) could never agree to.

 So, the Western Allies chose instead to work with mass murderer Stalin against mass murderer Hitler—but as the old German proverb says, “The one who wants to eat with the devil must have a big spoon.” As it turned out, the spoon of the Allies was not big enough, and terrible consequences ensued, which, correctly understood, will be a major cause for a future World War, which will be fought by continental Europe, under German leadership, against the USA and the UK.

Germany’s Spy Scandal Intensifying

Thomson/Reuters reported on May 11:

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her present and past chiefs of staff on Monday against criticism that they lied to the public about the prospects of a ‘no-spy agreement’ with the United States. Media reports alleging lying by Merkel’s aides were the latest in a controversy over German intelligence… The latest report said Washington never offered Germany a no-spy agreement after those revelations, despite statements from Merkel and senior aides during the campaign for Germany’s general election held only a few months later…

“Raising the pressure on Merkel, SPD Secretary General Yasmin Fahimi said on Monday: ‘If it’s true the U.S. never held out the prospect of such a no-spy agreement between Germany and America, then the conservatives lied in the 2013 election campaign.’… Former Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger from the Free Democrats (FDP), who were in coalition with Merkel’s conservatives from 2009-2013, joined the attack, telling Der Spiegel magazine’s online edition: ‘In the end, the chancellery pulled the wool over people’s eyes.’”

The Local wrote on May 10:

“The US intelligence agency NSA asked its German partner service BND to spy on the European country’s engineering and technology giant Siemens, a German newspaper [Bild am Sonntag] reported Sunday. In the latest report on a widening spying scandal, the newspaper said the US National Security Agency (NSA) suspected that Siemens was supplying communications technology to a Russian secret service, said the newspaper…

“In response to the scandal, which is straining Merkel’s ruling left-right coalition, the BND last week reportedly scaled back its cooperation with the NSA on communications intercepted at its listening post in Bad Aibling in the southern state of Bavaria. The Merkel government has so far declined demands by a parliamentary oversight panel to release a list of the NSA’s requested search terms or ‘selectors’ for IP and email addresses and mobile phone numbers, citing its ongoing consultations with Washington.

“The Bild am Sonntag reported Sunday that the United States had already rejected the request, citing its ongoing operations, and that it had threatened to scale back cooperation if Berlin released them anyway. The US side had warned it would limit its help to terror warnings but would no longer share material such as high-resolution images of war zones or of areas where German citizens have been kidnapped, the report said.

“Fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who is living in hiding in Russia, told Germany’s news weekly Spiegel that the latest reports show that ‘massive surveillance is a reality’. ‘Industrial espionage is practised and the intelligence services are working beyond the control of the representatives of the people and of justice,’ said Snowden.”

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