This Week in the News

Israel Ordered to Pay $1.1 Billion to Iran

Forbes wrote on August 15:

“The Swiss Federal Tribunal, Switzerland’s highest court, ordered Israel to pay $1.1 billion plus interest to Iran in a decades old dispute over a secretive oil pipeline  predating Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution. The verdict was dated June 27, while media broke the story late last week. Until the Islamic revolution and the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1979, Israel and Iran maintained close ties. In fact, after the Six-Day War (1967 Arab-Israeli War), Iran supplied a large part of Israel’s oil demand while Israel returned the favor…

“After the fall of the Shah of Iran, however, Israel and Iran became the region’s most stringent antagonists and bitter enemies…

“Israeli media said that Iran had tried for years to recoup its disputed assets from EAPC, despite decades of refusing to recognize Israel. Israel Haymon News said that it remains unclear whether Israel will pay up, given its laws restricting ‘trading with the enemy.’ Lawyers from both countries have failed to comment on the verdict.”

Unlike America’s pitiful payout (a/k/a ransom money) to Iran (which was evidenced in a detailed analysis by the Wall Street Journal), it is highly doubtful that Israel will pay this amount to Iran. Newsmax wrote on August 17 that “President Barack Obama has maintained the $400 million paid to Iran was not a ransom for American prisoners, but a report Wednesday [by the Wall Street Journal] detailed a ‘tightly scripted exchange specifically timed’ with the plane carrying the cash and one carrying three freed Americans.”

The Third Jewish Temple Is Coming

JTA wrote on August 12:

“‘It’s time to build,’ reads the tagline of the Temple Institute’s latest YouTube video. The phrase encapsulates the group’s controversial mission to rally Jews to reconstruct the Temple that was the heart of their religion until its destruction 2,000 years ago. Over much of those two millennia, mourning the loss of the Temple and longing for its restoration has been central to Jewish thought and practice…

“‘Our goal is to raise the consciousness of the Jewish people and all humanity toward the central role that the Holy Temple plays in the life of mankind,’ Rabbi Chaim Richman, the Massachusetts-born co-founder and the international director of the Temple Institute, told JTA…

“Established in 1987, 20 years after Israel conquered the Temple Mount and the Palestinian territories in the Six-Day War, the Temple Institute was one of the first groups to openly advocate the rebuilding of the two temples that once stood on the plaza. Another co-founder is Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, who was among the paratroopers who took the Temple Mount from Jordanian forces in 1967.

“The problem for supporters is that the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem is sacred not only to Jews but to Muslims and Christians, too. The site includes the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque, two of the most significant shrines in Islam. Israel chose to leave it under Muslim control in 1967, and Jewish prayer is prohibited there. Ever since, even rumors of changes to the ‘status quo’ — let alone provocative calls to build a third Temple in their place — have drawn international Muslim ire and Palestinian violence. Tensions surrounding the Temple Mount played a major role in the first and second Palestinian intifadas, or uprisings, and helped trigger the most recent wave of attacks that started in October.

“Some Israelis have always opposed the government’s decision not to reclaim the mount. In the 1980s, the Jewish Underground, a Jewish settler terrorist group, plotted to bomb the Dome of the Rock, in part to catalyze the construction of the third Temple in its place. The Shin Bet security agency thwarted the plot…

“The Temple Institute focuses on preparing the objects and skills needed for the sacrifice of animals and the esoteric rituals that were carried out by kohanim, or priests, in front of crowds of Jewish pilgrims before the last temple’s destruction. All of its work is led by a rabbinical council and based on meticulous analysis of Jewish scripture and academic research…

“These days,… weekly TV and radio shows are among the 914 videos that appear on the Temple Institute’s YouTube channel… Most content is in English to maximize reach, including to the many evangelical Christians who support the group, many through tax-exempt charities in the United States. For many evangelicals, the construction of a third Temple fulfills a prophecy about the second coming of Jesus…

“This year’s campaign is for a school to train the priests to staff the third Temple… The Israeli government provides some funding to the Temple Institute…”

“Israel Heute” added on August 12 that the Temple Institute opened a school to teach descendants of Levi as to how to carry out services in the third Temple.

Trump’s Ultra-Progressive Pro-Gay Policy

The Telegraph wrote on August 15:

“Donald Trump said he would introduce a new ideological test for admission to the United States called ‘extreme vetting’ in which would-be immigrants would be asked what they believe on issues like religious freedom, gender equality and gay rights… The government would use questionnaires, social media, and interviews with friends and relatives to determine if people seeking to immigrate or get visas supported American values like tolerance and pluralism.

“Those excluded would be people who did not believe in the US Constitution, support bigotry and hatred, believe Shariah law is more important than US law, or would not ‘flourish in our country.’… The Trump’s campaign has yet to say whether additional screenings would apply to the millions of tourists who visit the US each year…”

Times of Israel wrote on August 16:

“Donald Trump said he would test would-be immigrants for anti-Semitic beliefs and that Israel would be a key ally in defeating radical Islam…

“The Anti-Defamation League immediately took to Twitter to express concerns about Trump’s reiterated call to ban Muslim entry and entry from countries subject to violence… Also speaking out was HIAS, the lead Jewish group advocating for immigrants and refugees. ‘For the American Jewish community, the thought of barring a refugee family because of their religion or home country is simply unpalatable,’ Melanie Nezer, the group’s vice president, said in a statement…”

Breitbart wrote on August 15:

“Donald J Trump… has just outflanked Hillary Clinton on the Left and announced what can only be described as an ultra-progressive immigration policy… Trump’s plan is to introduce a screening process for prospective immigrants to the U.S., testing their ideological commitment to western values like women’s rights, gay rights, and religious pluralism… Actually, it’s about the most pro-gay policy I’ve ever heard from a presidential hopeful…”

In his speech, Trump also said that Hillary Clinton wanted to become America’s Angela Merkel. The German press (Die Welt, August 16) responded that with this statement, Trump “continued his defamation against Angela Merkel.” Note the next article.

“Donald Trump Has No Clue About Germany”

The Local wrote on August 16:

“US presidential candidate Donald Trump has been on the attack against Chancellor Angela Merkel once again. The lies he told about Germany show how dangerous he is. Discussing his Democrat rival’s health care, education and plans, which he claimed would create a ‘lifetime cost of $400 billion’, Trump concluded that ‘in short Hillary Clinton wants to be America’s Angela Merkel.’

“After lapping up the mixture of jeers and claps he continued on the completely unrelated topic of crime. ‘You know what a disaster this massive immigration has been to Germany and the people of Germany. Crime has risen to levels that no one thought they would ever, ever see. It is a catastrophe.’

“To listen to Trump you would think that Merkel spends most of her free time handing out 100 euro bills to refugees on the street while all around her foreigners are robbing banks and plundering the homes of honest, hard-working Germans. It was interesting to see how the tycoon seamlessly jumped from social spending to immigration and crime – as if these things were one and the same. It told us a lot about how angry conservatives in the USA see Germany, but absolutely nothing about reality in the Federal Republic.

“On closer analysis Trump’s statements turn out… to be complete fantasy. If Trump had even the slightest idea about German politics he would know that Merkel has presided over a government that has an obsession with financial tight-fistedness. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble fastidiously sticks to the concept of schwarze Null, whereby the tax man takes in more than the government spends in a year.

“Critics point to decaying road and rail infrastructure, and to increased levels of child poverty, in appealing to the government to loosen the purse strings and start investing in the country’s future. World Bank figures on government debt as a percentage of GDP shows that Germany is one of the class swots in the developed world, with public debt coming to 52.3 percent of GDP. As a comparison the USA’s public debt is 96.8 percent of GDP and the OECD average is 68.3 percent. And, to Merkel’s credit, Germany manages this while providing free higher education, a national minimum wage and a health care system that ensures no one is left behind.

“Trump’s claim about unimaginable crime levels since the refugee influx of 2015 is even more risible. Crime has been falling in Germany for decades. Since a high point in 1993 of just under 8,500 registered crimes for every 100,000 residents, crime rates have declined and plateaued between 2010 and 2012 at roughly 7,400 registered crimes per 100,000 people. German police figures for 2015 show that the crime rate rose during the year by 4.1 percent to slightly over 6.3 million registered crimes. This came out to just under 7,800 crimes per 100,000 residents.

“But this increase was completely distorted by one statistic: that the huge numbers of refugee arrivals had created an explosion in the number of people illegally entering the country. Take this statistic out and overall crime fell in Germany in 2015 in comparison with 2014 from 7,337 crimes per 100,000 resident to 7,301 per 100,000 residents.

“Crimes committed by migrants, such as sexual assaults in Cologne over New Year (around half of the suspects for which had arrived in Germany in the previous 12 months) and an axe attack on a train in Würzburg in July, have made international headlines. But these only represent a vanishing proportion of overall crime. The fact is in 2015 Germans were safer than they have ever been since the reunification of the country…”

In all fairness, Trump’s comments about Clinton and Merkel were clearly made in the context of immigration and refugees, and NOT in the context of the financial situation in Germany. It is true, however, that the crime rate did not significantly rise because of refugees entering the country. And so, the German anti-Trump reporting continues. Der Spiegel wrote on August 16 that “there can no longer be any doubt that Donald Trump is a liar, narcissist and agitator. As president, he would be a danger for the entire world,” concluding that “Donald Trump represents one of the gravest threats of our time.” It is a fact of life that domestic popularity rises in light of international attacks.

NATO and the USA

Deutsche Welle wrote on August 15:

“The US has long warned its European partners it was losing patience with paying the majority of NATO’s bills. The nomination of Donald Trump has made the threats of a US withdrawal from NATO seem real and present… He pledges if he becomes president, US participation in an Article V operation would depend on whether the ally under attack had ‘fulfilled their obligations’ to the US. It’s unclear whether Trump believes other NATO countries owe money directly to the US for military reassurance, as he also said recently that European allies ‘don’t pay us what they should be paying’ and that he ‘want[s] them to pay.’

“As for whether Trump really would or could pull the US out of NATO, [Reuel Marc Gerecht, a prominent neo-conservative commentator and former CIA officer] speculates a Trump presidency might mean there won’t even be a NATO to quit. ‘Any president has within his powers as commander-in-chief to effectively gut NATO,’ he says. ‘And certainly by simple statements that he’s already made, if he were to make them again after becoming president, that he would not honor Article V, then NATO is de facto defunct.’”

Lying About Having Lied About Lying…

Newsmax wrote on August 15:

“Newt Gingrich on Monday said he was puzzled by the FBI’s decision not to interview Hillary Clinton under oath, but said he’s looking forward to the agency’s notes, which will reportedly be released to Congress.

“As for Clinton’s part in the interview, Gingrich said… ‘This is a person who has lied repeatedly. She lies about lying and now she lies about having lied about lying’…”

How Sick Is Hillary Clinton?

Heat Street wrote on August 15:

“Heat Street has compiled evidence of the media’s growing willingness to touch the forbidden question of the Democratic nominee’s health. Does she need to release those medical records to be straight with the public? What’s going on with Hillary Clinton’s health? That’s a question many people are asking these days. There’s a lot we still don’t know about the mysterious health scare Clinton suffered in December 2012, when she was hospitalized for what was later described as a blood clot on her brain.

“The event was shrugged off as a minor scare, and Hillary eventually returned to work as secretary of state, sporting a pair of very thick spectacles. However, in 2014, Bill Clinton revealed that his wife’s ‘terrible’ health episode ‘required six months of very serious work to get over.’

“Some of Hillary’s behavior over the course of the campaign has been described by observers as ‘erratic’ … leading some critics to raise questions about her current health. Hillary Clinton will turn 69 in October.”

US News added on August 15:

“Fox News, the Drudge Report, and a slew of conservative or conspiracy-theory themed sites on the internet are raising questions about Clinton’s medical fitness to be president… Fox’s Sean Hannity dedicated an entire week to the matter, pointing to an exchange with reporters in which Clinton, Hannity said, did a ‘twitching thing,’ followed by a ‘violent, violent, repetitive jerking of the head.’…

“Dr. Ben Carson, a former GOP presidential candidate himself, wouldn’t declare Clinton’s behavior proof of any specific ailment but did note that ‘as a person gets older, the number of medical conditions that we have to watch for increases,’ and that Clinton should reveal her full medical records. Jane M. Orient, a medical doctor and executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons… is convinced Clinton has something wrong with her… During Clinton’s 11 hours of testimony before Congress on the Benghazi matter – an episode Clinton’s backers point to as an example of her physical endurance – Clinton laughed at length and inappropriately, Orient says, suggesting she was not quite right…”

Even though Trump’s poll numbers are currently dropping, Clinton’s health and her unresolved and still lingering Email scandal (now also involving an investigation of the Clinton Foundation) could change all of this—let alone further terrible events related to terrorism and migration.

Both Flawed… Neither Better Than the Other

Newsmax wrote on August 15:

“Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are flawed and ‘neither is clearly better than the other,’ the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Philadelphia says… ‘This is depressing and liberating at the same time… Depressing, because it’s proof of how polarized the nation has become. Liberating, because for the honest voter, it’s much easier this year to ignore the routine tribal loyalty chants of both the Democratic and Republican camps …

“‘Neither major candidate lives anywhere near the solar system where most Americans live, work and raise families. Nonetheless, we’re asked to trust them,’ he writes. ‘The next few months will determine the next decade and more of our nation’s life..’”

USA Abrogates Control Over the Internet

The Washington Examiner wrote on August 16:

“The Department of Commerce is set to hand off the final vestiges of American control over the Internet to international authorities in less than two months, officials have confirmed…

“The move means the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, which is responsible for interpreting numerical addresses on the Web to a readable language, will move from U.S. control to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a multistakeholder body based in Los Angeles that includes countries such as China and Russia. Critics of the move, most prominently Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, have pointed out the agency could be used by totalitarian governments to shut down the Web around the globe, either in whole or in part.”

The Washington Post’s Strong Condemnation of President Obama’s Failure to Help Syrians  

The Editorial Board of the Washington Post wrote the following  on August 16:

“‘DEVASTATING AND overwhelming.’ Those are the conditions in the ancient and once-great metropolis of Aleppo, according to the head of delegation for the International Committee of the Red Cross, Marianne Gasser, who was in the Syrian city recently. ‘We hear that dozens of civilians are being killed every day and scores more injured from shells, mortars and rockets,’ Ms. Gasser said. ‘The bombing is constant. The violence is threatening hundreds of thousands of people’s lives, homes and livelihoods.’

“War crimes appear to be near-constant also. The air forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his chief backer, Russian President Vladimir Putin, target apartment buildings, bakeries and – this is their specialty – hospitals and clinics. The United Nations is investigating credible reports that Mr. Assad again has used chemical weapons, in this case chlorine gas. Water has been cut off from hundreds of thousands of people.

“The last surviving physicians in the rebel-held half of Aleppo a few days ago begged President Obama to help. ‘The world has stood by and remarked how “complicated” Syria is, while doing little to protect us,’ they wrote. ‘The burden of responsibility for the crimes of the Syrian government and its Russian ally must therefore be shared by those, including the United States, who allow them to continue.’

“Why would these brave, forlorn doctors look to Mr. Obama for rescue? Perhaps one of them, through the terrible din of war, remembers hearing the president promise to stand by the Syrian people as they were being ‘subjected to unspeakable violence, simply for demanding their universal rights.’ Mr. Obama made his pledge during an address at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in April 2012. He boasted that he had decreed, in a first for any U.S. president, that preventing mass atrocities ‘is a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States of America.’ That did not mean that the United States would ‘intervene militarily every time there’s an injustice in the world,’ he cautioned. But when it came to Syria, Mr. Obama was clear.

“‘The Syrian people have not given up, which is why we cannot give up,’ Mr. Obama said. ‘And so with allies and partners, we will keep increasing the pressure, with a diplomatic effort to further isolate Assad and his regime, so that those who stick with Assad know that they are making a losing bet.’ Alas, that was many atrocities ago. According to the Red Cross, more than 12 million Syrians – half the prewar population – have been forced from their homes, with millions more under siege. Hundreds of thousands have been killed. Well over 1 million have been wounded. Iran and Russia continue to place their bets on the Assad regime.

“And Mr. Obama no longer pledges to stand with the Syrian people, though he remains clear-eyed about what they are facing. ‘The regime and its allies,’ Mr. Obama observed at a Pentagon news conference this month, are engaged in ‘vicious attacks on defenseless civilians, medieval sieges against cities like Aleppo, and blocking food from reaching families that are starving.’

“But the administration’s response has not changed: a combination of halfhearted support for the rebels, who increasingly gravitate by necessity to more extremist groups; requests to the Russians to behave better; and finger wagging. ‘It is deplorable,’ the president said during his visit to the Pentagon. Small comfort to the people of Aleppo.”

The German mass tabloid, Bild Online, cited and linked the above-stated article, stating that “Obama has failed in Aleppo,” having given “nothing but empty promises.” Quite an assessment of the world’s “most powerful leader.”

Obama’s Drug Enforcement Administration Accused of Heartless and Mad Hypocrisy wrote on August 15:

“The Drug Enforcement Administration is enduring perhaps the most pronounced round of criticism in its 43 year-history, after a widely discredited decision last week to keep treating marijuana as the most dangerous drug on the planet. Last week, the DEA denied two petitions seeking to change cannabis’ official federal designation as a schedule 1 drug — a label reserved for drugs with ‘no medical use and a high potential for abuse’.

“Pot is considered by the federal government to be as dangerous as heroin or LSD, and more dangerous than prescription painkillers, which cause dozens of fatal overdoses a day. Cannabis has no lethal overdose…

“DEA critics from Washington DC to the heartland are now blasting the DEA, calling the ruling ‘hypocrisy’, ‘absurd’, ‘heartless’ and 2016’s version of the ‘flat Earth’ theory. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s camp immediately stated Clinton would, as president, downgrade cannabis’ status to schedule 2. ‘Marijuana is already being used for medical purposes in states across the country, and it has the potential for even further medical use,’ Maya Harris, a senior policy advisor to Clinton’s campaign, said in a statement, reported by The Denver Post…

“More than half of polled physicians say cannabis should be legal. Bay Area Congresswoman Barbara Lee tweeted: ‘Politicians aren’t doctors or scientists. Marijuana research prohibitions are outdated, unscientific [and] dangerous…’ Trauma neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta, writing for CNN, called the DEA ruling a danger to countless people who will be denied potential therapies from cannabis research.

“Dr. Gupta called the decision hypocrisy, and cited the DEA’s own judge, who almost 30 years ago ruled, ‘In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care.’

“The Los Angeles Times editorial board — usually reticent to support pot-related reforms — put the DEA on blast, saying the decision was based on ‘a bizarre circular logic’ that amounts to ‘a different kind of reefer madness. … The DEA opted to keep its policies mired in the 1970s, which will only exacerbate the growing divide between the states and feds.’

“The San Francisco Chronicle’s relatively conservative columnist Debra Saunders opined that ‘really, how can drug warriors who want to make it harder to prescribe opioids also want to make pain-alleviating medical marijuana off-limits? There is only one reason to cling to the status quo — willful institutional blindness.’ Saunders blames President Obama, and said she will vote for California legalization Proposition 64 this Fall. Prop 64 would direct $2 million per year to study medical cannabis in California, beyond the reach of federal prohibition…

“And the Cannabis Business Alliance noted that the DEA profits from federal drug war funding and asset forfeitures related to cannabis prohibition, and so cannot make an unbiased decision about the plant…

“About 700,000 Americans will be arrested for marijuana this year. Pot arrests are the leading type of drug arrest in the nation, and drug arrests are the most frequent arrests police make in America. Blacks in the U.S. are arrested at almost four times the rates of white for pot, despite similar levels of use, the ACLU reports.”

All of this seems to prove willful political money-driven maneuverings of the Obama Administration. However, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals thwarted the Administration’s unrelenting plans to an extent. Note the next article.

“Ruling: DOJ Can’t Prosecute Medical Marijuana Cases”

Newsmax wrote on August 17:

“The Ninth Circuit’s U.S. Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court that the Department of Justice could not prosecute medical marijuana suppliers in states where it’s legal, as long as no laws were otherwise broken. ABC News reported that the department has been ordered to show that 10 pending cases in California and Washington state broke laws in those states.

“Marijuana is illegal under federal law — the court of appeals rejected the Justice Department’s idea applied only to states, not individuals who provide medical marijuana to patients. The appeals court disagreed, saying that all federal marijuana defendants can have hearings where they can try to prove that their actions were legal according to state law…

“Marijuana activists and lawyers that represent medical marijuana suppliers said the ruling adds to what they say is a growing call to legalize the drug. Marijuana is legal for medicinal purposes in 25 states and the District of Columbia, and is on the ballot in ten states for the November election…

“Oregon Democrat Rep. Earl Blumenauer said that the Justice Department has not been quick to notice that lawmakers want prosecutors to pursue organized drug rings, not medicinal marijuana… In July, Republican delegates chose not to support medical marijuana in the party’s official platform… Earlier, the Democratic Party endorsed a ‘pathway’ that would eventually lead to legalization for the drug.”

Disastrous Obamacare

NBC News wrote on August 16:

“Aetna, the No. 3 U.S. health insurer, on Monday said that due to persistent financial losses on Obamacare plans, it will sell individual insurance on the government-run online marketplaces in only four states next year [Delaware, Iowa, Nebraska and Virginia], down from the current 15 states. Aetna’s decision follows similar moves from UnitedHealth and Humana, which have cited similar concerns about financial losses on these exchanges created under President Barack Obama’s national healthcare reform law… Only about 11 million people have signed up through the exchanges, about half as many as expected…

“Aetna said that the current risk adjustment system, in which the government balances out the costs of sicker than typical populations through payments to insurers, is not adequate. Aetna said that it had a second-quarter pretax loss of $200 million on the individual business and has lost $430 million since the plans first went on sale in 2014.”

Even though Aetna’s position and figures may be questioned, the truth of the matter remains that Obamacare has been a complete disaster from the outset.

ISIS Sleeper Cells in Germany

The Sun wrote on August 12:

“ISIS hit squads and ‘sleeper cells’ intent on waging war on Europe have entered Germany disguised as refugees, a leading spy chief has confirmed. Intelligence agencies also have ‘irrefutable’ evidence they are following a command structure, meaning a coordinated attack like those seen in Paris and Brussels is ‘likely’. This was the chilling warning issued by the deputy head of Bavaria’s spy agency, Manfred Hauser, on the BBC’s Today programme this week.”

IBD Under Surveillance

Deutsche Welle reported on August 12:

“Germany’s Federal intelligence services confirmed on Friday that the right-wing group IBD [“Identity Movement for Germany”] is being monitored in nine of Germany’s 16 states, including Bavaria, Berlin, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saxony. ‘We see evidence in the “Identity Movement” of unconstitutional efforts,’ German Intelligence Services Chief Hans-Georg Maassen said.

“The group, which has its roots in France, first arrived in Germany in 2012 and has developed offshoots across Europe. Known for its anti-immigration stance – particularly against Muslims – the German offshoot of the movement first made its presence known online via Facebook and YouTube… In recent months, however, demonstrations and leafleting have also become more common.

“According to German authorities, the IBD believes the current increase in immigration is a conspiracy of the global economy, politics and the media – the objective of which is allegedly to replace ‘Europeans’ with ‘non-European immigrants’ and thus destroy traditional culture.

“The IBD isn’t the first right-wing movement to garner support in Germany in recent months. Anti-Islamization group PEGIDA has been holding almost weekly demonstrations against Islam, refugees and politicians in various German cities since October 2014… Links between the IBD and PEGIDA have already been reported in Germany… Several German states have also reported contact between the IBD and politicians belonging to the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party…”

Military EU Collaboration

Deutsche Welle reported on August 12:

“There is mounting pressure on the Bundeswehr to engage in military action abroad. Operations on home soil are also discussed. To be able to carry out those tasks, the Bundeswehr considers recruitment of EU citizens…

“Since the Bundeswehr was established 61 years ago, only German citizens have been allowed to become soldiers. That’s what Germany’s Military Act provides, and it would have to be changed for the proposed opening to materialize. Until now, the Bundeswehr can incorporate citizens from other nations only on a case-by-case basis…

“By opening up to EU citizens, the Bundeswehr would enter unchartered territory. It has, however, much more experience when it comes to collaborating with soldiers of other EU countries. The German-French Brigade was established in October 1989. August 1995 saw the launch of the German-Dutch Corps. German, French, and Belgian soldiers, among others, collaborate in the Eurocorps. And in 2014, some 2,300 Dutch paratroopers were integrated into the German Division Schnelle Kräfte (Rapid Forces Division).

“This kind of close collaboration is in line with the proposals for a new European foreign policy and security strategy recently submitted by EU chief diplomat Federica Mogherini. While it does not advocate an EU army, it does call for closer collaboration and capacity to act when it comes to collective defense, in order to improve the EU’s ability to respond to crises.”

Restrictions of Freedom of Movement in the UK

The EUObserver wrote on July 29:

“British leader Theresa May has said free movement of EU workers to Britain cannot continue as in the past, while visiting Slovakia and Poland on Thursday (28 July). ‘It’s a very clear message that has come from the vote of the British people – they don’t want freedom of movement to be continued in the same way as in the past, they want some level of control’, she told press in Warsaw, referring to the British referendum, in June, on leaving the EU.”

The Death of a True Hero–Wallenberg Was Killed by Russia

JTA wrote on August 16, 2016:

“Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazi gas chambers, was executed in a Soviet prison, according to a KGB head’s diaries. The diaries of Ivan A. Serov, who ran the former Russian secret police and intelligence agency from 1954 to 1958, were discovered inside the walls of his second home in northwestern Moscow, which his granddaughter is now renovating. Discovered four years ago, the diaries were published this summer, The New York Times reported Sunday…

“A 1991 joint Russian-Swedish effort to discover what happened to Wallenberg… found that documents had been destroyed or altered to eliminate all traces of him.

“Wallenberg was posted to Nazi-occupied Hungary during World War II, where he issued protective passports to Jews in the final months of the Holocaust. He disappeared in 1945 after being seen surrounded by Soviet officers in Budapest. The Soviets later claimed Wallenberg had died of heart failure in prison…”

On February 14, 1957, JTA had published a report revealing that an “affidavit of a German businessman incarcerated in the same Moscow prison where Raoul Wallenberg was held apparently was a key factor in inducing the Soviet Government to admit its arrest of the Swedish diplomat… abandon[ing] their previous insistence that Wallenberg was unknown to them and had never been in the Soviet Union.”

Is Russia Preparing for War with Ukraine?

Business Insider wrote on August 17:

“The Pentagon has identified eight staging areas in Russia where large numbers of military forces appear to be preparing for incursions into Ukraine, according to US defense officials. As many as 40,000 Russian troops, including tanks, armored vehicles, and air force units, are now arrayed along Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia. Additionally, large numbers of Russian military forces will conduct exercises in the coming days that Pentagon officials say could be used as cover for an attack on Ukraine.

“… over the past several months large numbers of Russian troops and tanks have been moving into eight bases stretching from Yelnya, near Smolensk and northeast of Ukraine, southward through Rostov—a city located very close to eastern Ukraine. Defense officials said it is not clear whether the massing of forces is saber rattling by Moscow designed to coerce Ukraine into accepting the takeover of Crimea or preparations for further conflict….”

“Why Jordan Is the ‘Different’ East”

The Local wrote on August 1:

“Geography may appear to be Jordan’s curse… to the north, civil war in Syria; to the west, unrest and violence between Israel and the Palestinian Territories. To the east and south, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. At first glance, not exactly a peaceful neighbourhood, to put it mildly.

“Geography, though, is in fact Jordan’s blessing… its location – nestled on the edge of the Arabian Peninsula and not far from the Mediterranean – has blessed it with an enviable collection of wonders – natural and manmade – that put the country in a class by itself. If it weren’t for Jordan’s geography, it wouldn’t boast the awe-inspiring rock city of Petra; the spectacular canyons of Wadi Rum and Mujib; the ancient city of Jerash; or Mount Nebo, from where Moses saw The Promised Land; or the site of Jesus’ baptism at Bethany Beyond the Jordan.

“In some ways, Jordan’s distinctiveness comes from simply having been around for a long, long time. But more than that, it’s also how the country has preserved the legacy while at the same time embracing what lies ahead… The sentiment was perhaps best expressed by the late King Hussein, who ruled Jordan for more than four decades until his death in 1999: ‘Jordan has a strange, haunting beauty and a sense of timelessness. Dotted with the ruins of empires once great, it is the last resort of yesterday in the world of tomorrow.’”

Zika Virus on the Rise in Puerto Rico

CBS News reported on August 12:

“The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico has reported 1,914 new Zika cases over the past week. Health Secretary Ana Rius said Friday there are 10,690 cases altogether, including 1,035 involving pregnant women. Zika has been tied to severe birth defects.

“The newest statistics were released a day after the U.S. surgeon general visited Puerto Rico and said he expected 25 percent of people on the island will be infected by Zika by year’s end.”

Historic Floods in Louisiana

ABC News reported on August 15:

“President Obama has approved a request from the governor of Louisiana for federal emergency funds to help the state recover from the historic floods that have… submerged thousands of homes and vehicles.”

Reuters used the term, “unprecedented flooding.”

Deutsche Welle added on August 17:

“… a huge clean-up operation got underway in the southern US state of Louisiana on Wednesday, as severe floods receded after a deluge that lasted several days… The American Red Cross described the flooding, which claimed [at least 13] lives and damaged some 40,000 homes, as the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy in 2012.”

State of Emergency in California Due to Wildfires

Deutsche Welle wrote on August 17:

“California’s latest wildfire mushroomed into an inferno covering more than 120 square kilometers (46 square miles) in just a day, the National Wildfire Coordinating Group said on Wednesday.

“The fast spread of the so-called ‘Blue Cut’ fire led to a mandatory evacuation order for at least 82,000 people due to what authorities described as an ‘imminent threat to public safety, rail traffic and structures.’… More than 1,300 firefighters were battling the fire, utilizing air tankers and helicopters to sweep over the flames from the sky. Local media showed footage of ‘firenadoes’ – tornado-like flaming vortices – that were sent spinning into the air by the sheer strength of the blaze. The newest fire also closed several roads including a major interstate highway linking Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

“California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for San Bernardino County, just 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Los Angeles, saying the blaze was too big for the region to fight alone. Emergency teams have been battling wildfires throughout California over the past three months, amid a historic drought, and as NASA revealed that July was the 10th month in a row to break the monthly temperature record, becoming the hottest month since records began in 1880.”

UFO Sightings on the Rise wrote on August 10:

“Europe is under attack after more than 6 UFO sightings in the area… the continent is no stranger to alien sightings in the past. In fact, Winston Churchill had X-Files of his own that are now public.

“UFO sightings are increasing all over the world but in Europe specifically, there is a concentrated occurrence. In the past, alien researchers suggested that aliens are interested in Earth. Hollywood likes to use [them] to their advantage, implying they have violent intentions. However, many believe these aliens to be peaceful observers. It’s not a coincidence that alien sightings occur around natural disasters or global warfare.

“The European nations are going through intense conflict right now which is likely to attract the attention of intelligent life. They find our meaningless violence fascinating, hence the sudden increase in sightings during the violent year of 2016.”

Many times, UFO sightings are natural phenomena, the result of hallucinations and wishful thinking, or merely made-up faked stories. At other times, something “unexplainable” might be observed or even photographed, but we can be sure that these would not be aliens from other planets. Rather, they would be based on demonic activities. That increased sightings are reported in Europe may be significant, as it has been reported that just prior to World War II, Indian gurus claimed that all their powers had gone to Europe.

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