This Week in the News

Austria’s Sebastian Kurz Back in Power

NPR wrote on September 29:

“Austria’s youngest-ever chancellor, 33-year-old Sebastian Kurz, is poised to reclaim his job after his party received its biggest victory in years… His conservative Austrian People’s Party received more than [38] percent of the vote, five percentage points higher than its showing in 2017, when it teamed up with the far-right Freedom Party to form a government…

“Kurz’s first government came crashing down in May after his coalition partner, the Freedom Party, became embroiled in a cash-for-contracts scandal… Strache resigned, the Freedom Party left the government, and Kurz lost a no-confidence vote in parliament…

“While Austria has warm ties with Russia, the Freedom Party openly admires the Kremlin… Like other radical right parties, they also oppose immigration and are unabashedly nationalist — which means something in Austria, the birthplace of Adolf Hitler. Many in the Freedom Party see the defeat of Nazi Germany ‘not as a victory for democracy but as a defeat for their cause’…

News analysts are divided as to whether Kurz will try again to form a coalition with the Freedom Party under Norbert Hofer, which encountered a debacle by receiving only [17] percent—[9] percentage points lower in 2017–or whether he may try to form a coalition with other parties, such as the Greens, who won 12% of the votes or perhaps even the Social Democrats who received 21.5 percent of the vote—a debacle for them and their worst-ever result.

Kurz’ victory turned out much more decisive than many had expected. Even Kurz himself declared that he was pleasantly surprised about the many votes he got. Der Stern commented: “Messiah and Macron of the Alps… the comet-like rise of Sebastian Kurz continues…” Der Spiegel wrote: “Back into the 18th century… the dream of [Kurz’s party] is totally controlled subjects…” Die Welt wrote: “Germany’s media celebrates King Kurz.” Previously, practicing Catholic Sebastian Kurz had been referred to in the Austrian press as “holy Sebastian.” Bild Online commented that Kurz is being celebrated in Austria like a pop-star and that he could become a political example or role model for Europe.

What’s Austria’s Future?

Deutsche Welle commented on September 29:

“The victory of former Chancellor Sebastian Kurz represents a broad conservative consensus: ‘We’ Austrians are doing well, without refugees, with a modest (and above all lower) number of foreigners, with a strong sense of national pride and identity…

If the people want a move to the right, politicians from all parties have to follow suit. The Greens had their opposition to the right’s tough refugee policies to thank for their weak performance in 2017. This time around, they avoided the topic — and it paid off. Their renewed focus on climate change has been successful, as long as they don’t threaten to impose painful measures to limit CO2 emissions….

“The center-left Social Democrats, on the other hand, suffered on Sunday… the Social Democrats chose a weak and insecure candidate in Pamela Rendi-Wagner… But strong men and tough attitudes are what the voters want right now, and the Social Democrats weren’t prepared…

“The FPÖ could decide to refuse a coalition and move to the opposition — a scenario that would be most unappealing for Kurz…”

Kurz Needs a Coaltion… but with Whom?

Deutsche Welle added on September 30:

“‘I fear coalition talks will be a little more challenging this time,’ Kurz said on Monday, referencing the relatively smooth talks with the FPÖ which followed the 2017 election. [He] indicated that he will take his time determining which party or parties with which the ÖVP would be prepared to enter coalition talks.

“‘Of course we will seek talks with all parties and try to determine which parties there’s overlap with, which parties a stable government can be formed with,’ the ÖVP leader said. He also denounced calls from German commentators that he should avoid a fresh pact with the far right. ‘I don’t think we need advice from abroad, including from Germany,’ he said.”

The EUObserver wrote on September 30:

“The FPO’s new leader Norbert Hofer told Austria media he believed his party would not take part in coalition talks, after they lost 10 percent of votes in Sunday’s election. ‘A party needs to learn from the mistakes of the past and rebuild itself,’ he said.

“The Greens leader, Werner Kogler, said his party would only consider a coalition with Kurz if there was a ‘radical change’ in the political direction of the party compared to his previous coalition with the far-right. ‘We might end up having no government,’ Kogler said. The Social Democrats, who have led many of Austria’s previous coalitions, remain a possible partner.”

Whatever the constellation, it is clear that Austria will stay in the EU as an influential member state.

Strache Withdrawing from Politics… for Now

Deutsche Welle wrote on October 1:

“Heinz-Christian Strache is withdrawing from politics and suspending his membership with Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), he said on Tuesday morning… Strache, who led the FPÖ for 14 years, also served as vice-chancellor from 2017 to 2019 before he was forced out of the government in May…

“Until Tuesday, Strache had left open the possibility of seeking public office again in the future. The former vice chancellor is also under investigation for the alleged misuse of party funds. In Tuesday’s press conference, he repeated his claim that he was the victim of a conspiracy against his party.”

Still, we might not have heard the last word from Strache.

Hungary to Stay in EU

The EUObserver wrote on September 30:

“Hungary has no plans to leave the EU, but western and eastern Europe are ‘different’, Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban told a party congress on Sunday…

“‘We are a member of the Union and will remain a member,’ he said. But ‘the western and eastern halves of the Union clearly follow different paths … and respect different values,’ he added, amid EU clashes on judicial independence and refugees.”

We would expect that Hungary stays in the EU. They might even be part of the final core European nations. We also read that those ten core nations or groups of nations will be partly strong and partly fragile, and that they won’t really adhere to one another.

Making the Euro Stronger

CNBC wrote on September 30:

“In an interview with the Financial Times over the weekend, ECB President Mario Draghi said ‘what matters is to make the (euro) union stronger’ and ‘in some areas, further integration achieves that goal.’

“The euro zone is made up of 19 European nations that share the same currency — the euro. Their monetary policy is decided by the ECB, which is based in Frankfurt. However, their fiscal policies are decided at the national level – which often creates discrepancies and makes the region more exposed to financial shocks.

“While some countries argue that they need to share more when it comes to fiscal policy, other capitals are reluctant to delegate more power to European institutions, fearing to lose control over their economies or having to finance high-indebted nations. ‘To have a stronger EMU (economic and monetary union), we need a common euro zone budget. Clearly the political debate on that still has a long way to go. But I am optimistic,’ Draghi said, supporting a plan that the French President, Emmanuel Macron, has tried to implement.

“Led by the French delegation, European finance ministers agreed to create a common euro zone budget earlier this year. However, details of how it will be financed and how big it will be have yet to be agreed upon…

“Draghi ends his eight-year mandate at the ECB on October 31. Christine Lagarde will take over from Draghi on November 1.”

The euro is the glue which will keep the ten core nations or groups of nations together.

British Chancellor: Ready to Leave EU

The Sun wrote on September 30:

“SAJID Javid has pledged that Brexit will take place in DAYS – deal or no deal. The Chancellor told Tory party delegates that Britain was ready to leave the EU now. Mr Javid said: ‘t’s not a matter of if – it’s a matter of days…

“The Chancellor also blasted Labour for its muddled Brexit position – while taking a swipe at leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.”

Ultimately, Britain will leave the EU.

No-Deal Brexit’s Ramifications for British Overseas Territories

Deutsche Welle wrote on September 27:

“In the lead up to Brexit, some five weeks away, the likelihood of the UK crashing out of the bloc without a deal is increasing. Come end of October, a disorderly exit will also have dramatic consequences for the 20 or so British Overseas Territories and exclaves.

“Despite the vast distance, the Caribbean island [of Anguilla] would be greatly impacted by a no-deal Brexit… The EU is the island’s biggest financial donor to its aid development program and has helped support reconstruction costs. With the uncertainty of Brexit, the voices of those calling for independence from the United Kingdom are growing louder.

“The Falkland Islands lie in the southern Atlantic Ocean some 13,000 kilometers (8,077 miles) from the UK, but the archipelago is almost entirely dependent on the UK. Its currency, the Falkland pound, is tied one-to-one to the pound sterling… The Falklands’ economy relies not only on the sales from its livestock, wool and tallow, but also on its fishing industry. Nearly all fish is exported to Spain and then from there makes its way to other EU countries, while a third of all the calamari bought in Spain comes from the Falkland Islands. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, buyers would suddenly have to pay customs duty between 6%-18%, making seafood much more costly. Whether Spain, or other EU states, would still be interested in the goods is questionable.

Gibraltar [is] British territory at the southern tip of Spain. [It] voted almost unanimously — with 96% — to remain in the EU… Every day some 15,000 people commute to Spain and, conversely, about 10,000 Spaniards work in Gibraltar… For the last 300 years, Gibraltar’s sovereignty has been an issue of contention between Spain and the UK…

Channel Islands and Isle of Man … [are] geographically located in the southwest of the English Channel… The islands of Guernsey and Jersey, as well as the Isle of Man in the British Isles further north, are the three Crown Dependencies… the primary GDP is… from being a tax haven… many foreign companies can pay zero tax. Moreover, there are no capital gains tax nor inheritance tax. But Brexit may cause a serious headache for those seeking the tax havens, as Great Britain may not be able to protect the territories from the EU…”

If these predictions come true, we might see an exodus of some of the British colonies from the UK, to be embraced by the “loving” arms of the EU.  

Leaders Gather for Jacques Chirac Funeral

Deutsche Welle wrote on September 30:

“Foreign dignitaries gathered in the French capital on Monday for the funeral of Jacques Chirac, who died last week at the age of 86. The former statesman served as president of France from 1995 to 2007, during a political career that spanned four decades…

“Russian President Vladimir Putin, Germany’s Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and outgoing head of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker [attended]. Germany’s ex-chancellor Gerhard Schröder was also expected to travel to Paris. However, his office said that Schröder has not been formally invited by French officials, and a chair marked with his name was left empty during a church service honoring Chirac, according to an AFP reporter. The reasons for the missing invitation were not immediately clear…

“Chirac was celebrated by many in France for asserting the country’s role as a global player, with his opposition to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 considered one of his most significant actions. Chirac is also being remembered for being the first French president to acknowledge France’s role in the deportation of Jews during World War II. He remained a popular figure after leaving office, despite a conviction for misusing public funds.”

“The End of the German-American Affair”

Politico wrote on October 1:

“Nearly 75 years after the end of World War II, the U.S.-German relationship isn’t just moribund, it’s on life support… About 85 percent of Germans consider their country’s relationship with the U.S. to be ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’… while a clear majority want Germany to distance itself from the U.S…

“The fraying of ties — which began long before Trump came to power but has accelerated since — carries implications that stretch far beyond the two countries’ bilateral relationship

“Germans’ attitude to Trump is… straightforward: They universally dislike him… most Americans continue to have a positive view of Germany… the U.S.-German alliance has never been a partnership of equals… If Konrad Adenauer and John F. Kennedy shared a mutual dislike, Helmut Schmidt and Jimmy Carter absolutely despised one another. From the 1960s until the end of the Cold War, Germans took to the streets in droves to voice their opposition to both the U.S. war in Vietnam and the arms race with the Soviets.

“Even so, this time, things really are different

“The German distrust began to take hold in the aftermath of 9/11. Though Germany joined the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan against the Taliban, Berlin refused to participate in the Iraq War, arguing there wasn’t enough evidence to support claims that Saddam Hussein had stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. While Germany’s decision under then-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder proved to be prescient, it also left a wound that has never fully healed. In recent years, Germany’s view of the U.S. has been framed by Guantanamo, NSA spying and Trump’s attacks…”

As we have explained many times before, the relationship between the USA and Germany will completely deteriorate.

Further Problems between USA and Europe

The EUObserver wrote on October 3:

“The US will impose tariffs worth €6.8bn annually on European imports of whiskies, French wine, Italian cheese, and planes and plane parts in retaliation for illegal EU subsidies to airplane maker Airbus.

“The new tariffs will come into force as early as 18 October, after the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruled on Wednesday (2 October) in a 15-year-long case that the US could retaliate for the EU subsidies…

“The EU has said it would retaliate against the Airbus-linked tariffs, when next year the WTO is expected to rule on US subsidies to aircraft-maker Boeing.”

2019 like 1929?

The Hill wrote on September 29:

“I am increasingly worried that 2019 feels ever more like 1929. Back then, inequality was at an all-time high. Authoritarian nationalism was on the rise. World War I had exploded the old global order without creating a new one. Then the stock market crash of October 1929 ignited the horrendous cascade of depression, fascism and World War II —arguably the worst 15 years in history.

“Fast forward to today. Three intersecting geo-economic and geo-political trends feel a lot like an update of the 1920s:

“China and the United States seem increasingly determined to decouple their economies from each other — making a second Cold War a reality and superpower war more likely.

“Robotics and AI threaten to destroy many more jobs  than it creates —undermining the foundations of a good life based on a good job.

“Populism seems here to stay — eroding the foundations of democracy and increasing the chances of international conflict…”

World War 3 might be closer than many realize, even though there are many more reasons—and different ones—than listed in the article.

China a Nuclear Superpower… But Still No Match for USA or Russia

National Interest wrote on October 1:

“Paramount leader Xi Jinping just presided over the largest, most impressive military parade in the history of the world. The occasion: to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), which just exceeded the Soviet Union’s lifespan by one year. The parade indeed showcased numerous military technological accomplishments far exceeding previous Soviet efforts…”

The Associated Press added on October 1: “A parade Tuesday by China’s secretive military will be a rare look at its rapidly developing arsenal, including possibly a nuclear-capable missile that could reach the United States in 30 minutes, as Beijing gets closer to matching Washington and other powers in weapons technology…

“China has about 280 nuclear warheads, compared with 6,450 for the United States and 6,850 for Russia, according to SIPRI. Beijing says it wants a ‘minimum credible nuclear deterrent’ but won’t be the first to use atomic weapons in a conflict.”

Sadly, in the next world war, atomic weapons will be used.

Congratulating China?

National Review wrote on October 1:

“Seventy years ago today, Mao Zedong declared the People’s Republic of China after his Communist forces had conquered most of the mainland. A decade later, Mao’s Great Leap Forward killed perhaps 45 million people. The Communist regime still denies its people freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and has imposed a policy of forced abortion. At the present moment, China has detained something like 1.5 million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in re-education camps. Its crackdown on Hong Kong escalated this week, when a protester was shot in the chest.

“President Donald Trump marked the 70th anniversary of the ‘People’s Republic’ with the following congratulatory tweet: ‘Congratulations to President Xi and the Chinese people on the 70th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China!’

“But Senate Republicans have marked the anniversary with condemnation of the regime.

“Missouri senator Josh Hawley: “Seventy years ago, the Chinese Community Party seized power from the Chinese people. Since then, its ruthless rule has resulted in the deaths of millions of its own citizens.’

“Arkansas senator Tom Cotton: ‘… From the Great Leap Forward to the Cultural Revolution to the camps in Xinjiang today, it has been a ghoulish 70 years of Chinese Communist Party control.’

“Nebraska senator Ben Sasse: ‘Today Chinese tyrants celebrated 70 years of communist oppression with their typically brutal symbolism: by sending a police officer to shoot a pro-democracy protester at point-blank range. The freedom-seekers in Hong Kong mourn this anniversary, and the American people stand with them against those who deny their God-given dignity.’

“Pennsylvania senator Pat Toomey: ‘The 70th anniversary of communist rule in China is not a day for celebration. It’s a day to remind ourselves of the horrors inflicted on the Chinese people over this time…’”

What the Main Stream Media Missed about Israel

Breaking Israel News wrote on September 29:

“While covering his address to the 74th session of the UN General Assembly last Thursday, most of the media focused on the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affair’s harsh words concerning Iran and its renewed nuclear program. But the mainstream media missed a far more shocking aspect of his speech in which Yisrael Katz quoted the Prophet Isaiah in calling all of the gathered nations to come to the House of Prayer for All Nations.

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (a Levite), canceled his appearance in front of the UN General Assembly, ostensibly due to high-pressure coalition negotiations but it could be that he was deferring to his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yisrael Katz, who is a Kohen (a descendant of Aaron the priest)

“‘I want to thank the President of the United States, Donald Trump, for his historic and brave decision to recognize Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish People for three thousand years, as the capital of Israel, and to relocate the American embassy to Jerusalem,’ Katz said. ‘I call on all countries to follow the United States and to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. No-one can separate the Jewish People from our historical homeland, and no-one can separate us from Jerusalem, our eternal capital.’

“Katz’s speech contained [a] Biblically mandated rebuke, calling on the Palestinian Authority to stop inciting violence and return to negotiations for peaceful coexistence with the Jews. He also rebuked Turkish President Erdogan for oppressing the Turkish people, slaughtering the Kurdish people, and supporting Hamas. The Israeli minister also sided with the U.S. in calling for Iran, which he referred to as ‘the biggest terror state,’ to cease its support of the Yemenite Houthis’ attacks on Saudi Arabia.

“His speech was short and to the point but concluded with an absolute bombshell. Katz cited the prophet [Isaiah] in Hebrew and English… ‘I will bring them to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon my altar; for my house shall be called ‘a house of prayer for all people’ (Isaiah 56:7).

“Katz then performed his Biblically mandated duty as one of the descendants of Aaron the priest by blessing the gathered people. ‘As we are about to celebrate the Jewish New Year (the Feast of Trumpets), I would like to close with the traditional Jewish blessing—for all of you, for the people of Israel, and the Jewish communities around the world:… A happy and sweet New Year.’”

“Katz is considered strong on security and supports annexing Judea and Samaria.”

As the article suggests, Katz might have very well intended to advocate the building of the Third Temple and the commencements of animal sacrifices.

Impeachment Procedures against Trump… but what was Hunter Biden Being Paid for?

Breitbart wrote on September 29:

“Breitbart News senior contributor… Peter Schweizer… told host Mark Levin:

“‘The key question here that nobody seems to want to ask in the media is: What was [Hunter Biden] being paid for? He wasn’t being paid for his expertise. What was he being paid for? And what were the Ukrainians expecting to get in return?…

“‘I think when you overlay the financial payments with the fact that Joe Biden as point person on Obama administration policy to Ukraine was steering billions of dollars of Western money to Ukraine it becomes crystal clear exactly why they were paying him money. They wanted access and they wanted to influence Joe Biden. And Joe Biden has been around a long time here, and he had to know exactly why his son was being paid.’”

Newsmax published this article by Bloomberg News on September 30:

“Interviews with voters across the country in recent days found few have changed their minds about the president as a result of the Trump-Ukraine scandal… It was Biden who may suffer the most, as even some who support the impeachment inquiry said they now had questions about what Biden’s son, Hunter, did in Ukraine…

“The perception that politicians are corrupt plays a big role in that. A 2018 survey by the Wall Street Journal found that 77% of registered voters ranked reducing the influence of special interests and corruption as a top issue. For many voters, the Trump-Ukraine scandal was just the latest example.”

The Week commented on October 1 that Biden will not survive the “Trump Impeachment” procedure, stating:

“Trump doesn’t need to accuse Biden of a crime or even prove he did anything… blatantly corrupt… He just needs to use the impeachment hearings to damage Biden’s favorability… ‘I used to like Biden, but now he doesn’t seem that much different than Trump,’ voters might say. And once they start muttering things like that, Biden will be finished, his aura of electability shattered…”

In playing to his base and others, Trump’s comments and tweets have become more and more aggressive, likening the whistleblower and White House officials who gave information to the whistleblower to spies and suggested they committed treason, alluding to what happened to spies in the past; charging Representative Adam Schiff with treason and suggesting his arrest; calling the impeachment inquiry “the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country” and a “coup” that intends to “take away the power of the people”; saying to reporters that China should launch an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden, though he noted that he hasn’t yet asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to do so; and retweeting a comment by a pastor, stating that there would be civil war if Trump were to be impeached, while adding on his own that this will not happen—that is, that he will not be forced out of office.

It is certain that Trump will stay in power and be reelected.

Also, the Democrats become more aggressive in their desperate approach, including subpoenaing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Guiliani. Pompeo who admitted that he listened in to the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Zelenskiy, responded by accusing the Democratic committee heads of attempting to “intimidate, bully and treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State.” Please view our StandingWatch program, “Impeaching Donald Trump? No Way—and here Is WHY!”

Most Americans Unprepared for Next Recession… Socialism and Big Government Not the Answer

Zero Hedge wrote on September 27:

“Just like in 2008, most Americans are living right on the edge financially, and so any sort of an economic downturn is going to be extremely painful for tens of millions of American families… During the last recession, millions of Americans suddenly lost their jobs, and… couldn’t pay their mortgages.  In the end, millions of Americans lost their homes… and today the housing bubble is even larger than it was back then.

“… the top financial priority for 38 percent of all Americans is just trying to pay the bills, and for 19 percent of all Americans it is dealing with credit card debt… a very large percentage of Americans are not following any sort of a financial budget…

“The big financial institutions want to get Americans into as much debt as possible, because the deeper we are in debt the more money they make… In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau is telling us that the gap between the rich and the poor is now ‘greater than it has ever been’… wealth inequality in the U.S. is far greater than it is in any country in Europe… the vast majority of Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck.

“The way that our entire system is structured greatly favors Wall Street, the big banks, the largest corporations and those with enormous amounts of money.  And they are able to maintain control of the system by literally buying elections and controlling public opinion through their control of the mainstream media…  Unfortunately, more Americans than ever are convinced that socialism is the answer to the problems…, and this is fueling the rise of politicians such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. But socialist experiments have failed all throughout human history, and socialism would fail here too.

“Big government is never the answer. Sadly, we already have the biggest government in the history of the world, and many Americans seem absolutely determined to make it even bigger.”

A recession or even depression is coming, and denials will not prevent it. When this terrible disaster strikes, many Americans who have naively believed the promises of politicians to further their personal agenda, will be woefully unprepared.

MGM Resorts to Pay Las Vegas Shooting Victims up to $800 Million

The Week wrote on October 3:

“MGM Resorts International is set to pay up to $800 million to victims of the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting… Stephen Paddock in 2017 killed 58 people and left hundreds more injured when he shot at concertgoers from one of MGM Resorts’ locations, the Mandalay Bay resort. Victims of the shooting have accused MGM of negligence for not monitoring Paddock while he brought to his suite the weapons used in the shooting.

“MGM said Thursday its settlement is not an admission of liability. This comes two days after the anniversary of the massacre, the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

Pope Endorses Attack on Conservative US Christians

Breitbart wrote on September 27:

“On Thursday, La Civiltà Cattolica journal released the transcript of a meeting between Pope Francis and a group of 24 Jesuits on September 5, 2019, during his recent trip to Mozambique in which the pope suggested that certain Evangelical Protestants in the United States ‘cannot really be defined as Christian.’…  ‘It has nothing to do with the preaching of a Lutheran or any other serious evangelical Christianity.’ ‘Two important articles in Civiltà Cattolica have been published in this regard. I recommend them to you. They were written by Father Spadaro and the Argentinean Presbyterian pastor, Marcelo Figueroa. The first article spoke of the “ecumenism of hatred.” The second was on the “theology of prosperity,”’ the pontiff said…

“In the first essay recommended by the pope, the authors who are both friends of Francis, slammed conservative Christians in the U.S. as ignorant, theocratic, Manichean, war-mongering fanatics. For the ‘Evangelical right,’ the authors proposed, the panorama of threats to the American way of life ‘have included modernist spirits, the black civil rights movement, the hippy movement, communism, feminist movements and so on. And now in our day there are the migrants and the Muslims.’

“The authors did not hesitate to suggest that many Evangelicals are southern racists who reject climate change… Throughout the essay, the authors criticize a string of exclusively Republican presidents as being tainted by the teachings of Evangelical Protestantism. The list of those mentioned includes Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and, of course, Donald Trump.

“One of the most serious evils of American Evangelical Christians, the article stated, is ‘the defense of religious liberty’… The authors went on to denounce the ecumenical alliance between conservative Catholics and Evangelical Christians… This poisonous alliance over shared objectives ‘happens around such themes as abortion, same-sex marriage, religious education in schools and other matters generally considered moral or tied to values,’ the essay claimed, which unite Catholics and Evangelicals in ‘the nostalgic dream of a theocratic type of state.’

“At the time of its publication, the article triggered an avalanche of critical responses denouncing the ignorance and political ill-will underlying the essay… In his critique of the article, Dr. Samuel Gregg called the article ‘disturbing,’ while lamenting the tacit anti-Americanism and ‘distinctly amateur grasp of American religious history.’

“As Dr. Gregg noted, to describe ‘Marxism-Leninism, Islamist jihadism, or National Socialism’ as evil is not evidence of a Manichaean worldview. ‘It is simply recognition that some ideas are indeed wicked and lead to many people, even nations, engaging in gravely evil acts.’

“It is not a theocratic nostalgia that leads Evangelical and Catholic Christians in America to make the argument that ‘unborn human beings are entitled to the same protections from the unjust use of lethal force as any other human being, or that religious liberty is more than just freedom of worship, or that parents are entitled to insist that their children not be subjected to the nonsense of “gender theory’”at school,’ Gregg added.

“The published criticisms of the original article by serious scholars, both Christian and secular, ended up being so numerous they could fill a book. The article was eventually dismissed as simply an embarrassing attempt at political propaganda by overly zealous Italian and Argentinian clerics who were completely out of their depth. Which could lead one to wonder what Pope Francis could possibly be thinking when he dredges up this ill-begotten essay out of the swamp of oblivion to recommend it as a useful aid for understanding America’s complex religious landscape.”

One must also wonder WHAT Pope Francis really believes! To recommend the opinions expressed in the articles is truly alarming, deeply unsettling and disturbing.

More than Half of Europe’s Trees in Danger of Extinction

CNN wrote on September 27:

“More than half of Europe’s endemic trees — species that are only found in the region — are at risk of extinction because of diseases, pests and human activities, a conservation organization based in Geneva has said… While the European Red List had already assessed 15,000 species, including vertebrates, freshwater molluscs and trees, the latest study focused on the dangers to lesser-known species.

“In total, 58% of Europe’s endemic trees are at risk of dying out — as well as more than two-fifths of the continent’s 454 native species. The horse chestnut — native to Bulgaria, Greece, Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia but widespread elsewhere in Europe — is among those in danger…

“In the UK, three types of whitebeam that were only discovered 10 years ago are now critically endangered. They belong to the ‘Sorbus’ genus, which is particularly affected — three-quarters of its 170 species are at threat…

“The latest assessments show that it is not only trees that are endangered — almost half of Europe’s shrubs and more than a fifth of land molluscs are at risk of extinction.”

The Bible predicts that more and more trees will be destroyed in Europe in many different ways.

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.