This Week in the News

“Castro’s Legacy of Failure”

The Editorial Board of “USA Today” wrote on November 27:

“Fidel Castro was a survivor but not a success. He survived guerilla warfare in the 1950s and claimed the leadership of Cuba for nearly half a century. He survived a botched attempt to overthrow him, quickly defeating about 1,400 CIA-trained exiles who invaded Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in 1961. He, and the rest of humanity, survived the Cuban missile crisis, which brought the United States and Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war the following year. He survived harebrained CIA schemes to kill him, including ones involving toxic cigars and exploding seashells, and dozens of later assassination plots by Cuban exiles. And even after a serious gastrointestinal illness forced him to turn over power to his brother Raul in 2006, Fidel survived for another decade before dying of natural causes… on Friday at age 90.

“By virtue of his charismatic personality, longevity in office and ability to torment a succession of U.S. presidents, Castro was a major 20th century figure. He was a spellbinding, if long-winded, speaker who became a hero to many on the American Left. But, ultimately, Castro left a legacy of failure. He stayed in power not by popular consent but through a brutal dictatorship that imprisoned or executed thousands of opponents. He tried unsuccessfully to export his Marxist revolution throughout Latin America and Africa. And he turned his beautiful island nation into an economic basket case rather than a socialist utopia…”

“Castro a Complete Fraud”

Daily Mail wrote on November 27:

“A prodigious womaniser and food connoisseur who kept some 20 luxurious properties throughout the Caribbean — including a private island he used to visit on his beautiful yacht — Castro was a complete fraud. The man who spent his life railing against the excesses of capitalism lived like a king — and a very debauched one at that.

“Western observers have long suspected that ‘El Comandante’ — The Commander — was siphoning off the proceeds from state-run enterprises, including a small gold mine. However, when Forbes magazine listed Castro in 2006 as one of the world’s richest ‘kings, queens and dictators’, he angrily insisted he lived on a salary of £20 a month.

“The full extent of his hypocrisy and personal excesses emerged only in 2014 when a former longtime bodyguard, Juan Reinaldo Sanchez, wrote a book about Castro’s secret life and estimated he was worth at least £100 million…

“Castro, who even kept secret the existence of his wives, was able to conceal a rapacious infidelity that produced at least nine children by four women. Reported lovers ranged from the Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida to an underage nightclub dancer who reported how he smoked continually during sex. His notorious affairs earned him the nickname ‘the Horse’. He had a taste for young Cuban women of every colour and background, and half-jokingly told a journalist that it was his colossal sexual drive that had led him away from the Roman Catholic Church…

“Castro’s craving for prostitutes made problems for his Communist allies. Markus Wolf, East Germany’s former spy chief, recalled a security scare when Castro disappeared on a visit to East Berlin. He climbed out of his hotel window one night and headed off to an illegal brothel…

“With his shadow gone from their lives, Cubans will soon discover all too painfully the extent of the terrible trick he played on them.”

Castro Was a Killer

The Huffington Post wrote on November 28:

“Cuban-American journalists with intimate knowledge of Fidel Castro’s cruelty encouraged Americans on Saturday not to whitewash the legacy of the deceased Cuban strongman. On ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ Saturday, Tom Llamas, whose parents fled Cuba as political exiles, urged those following the news of Castro’s death to view his brutal reign with clarity.

“‘There is this tendency when world leaders die to kind of misplace this romanticism around some world leaders,’ Llamas said. ‘But Fidel Castro is someone who was a tyrant. He was a killer.’”

The Pope Mourns for Fidel Castro

Breitbart wrote on November 27:

Pope Francis sent a telegram to Cuban President Raúl Castro Saturday, expressing his ‘sentiments of sorrow’ over the death of Raúl’s brother, former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. ‘On receiving the sad news of the death of your dear brother, His Excellency Mister Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, former president of the State Council and of the Government of the Republic of Cuba, I express my sentiments of sorrow to Your Excellency and other family members of the deceased dignitary, as well as to the people of this beloved nation,’ the Pope’s Spanish-language telegram reads. ‘At the same time, I offer prayers to the Lord for his repose and I entrust the whole Cuban people to the maternal intercession of our Lady of the Charity of El Cobre, patroness of this country,’ he said.

“Baptized a Catholic as a child, Castro was educated by the Jesuit order to which Pope Francis belongs. Despite his religious upbringing, Castro was an avowed atheist throughout his life. Fidel Castro took power in Cuba in January 1959 after an armed insurgency that toppled dictator Fulgencio Batista, and he subsequently ruled Cuba with an iron fist for nearly 50 years. Castro declared Cuba to be an atheist state when he rose to power and suppressed the Catholic Church during his reign, expropriating Church properties, exiling or jailing priests…, closing Catholic schools, and banning the celebration of Christian holidays.

“In 2006, Fidel ceded power temporarily to his brother Raúl Castro. Two years later, due to his worsening health problems, the succession became final. In September 2015, Pope Francis became the third pontiff to visit Castro’s Cuba after… John Paul II and Benedict XVI.”

World Leaders Praise Brutal Dictator and Mass Murderer Fidel Castro

In two related articles, Breitbart wrote on November 26:

“Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid tribute, calling Castro a ‘remarkable leader’ and ‘legendary revolutionary’ who made ‘significant improvements’ to his country. UK opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn also called Castro ‘an internationalist and a champion of social justice,’ while Russian President Vladimir Putin praised him as someone who ‘embodies the highest ideals of politics, citizen and patriot, sincerely convinced of the rightness of the case, which gave his whole life.’

“Their statements are in stark contrast to U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump, who called Castro a ‘brutal dictator’. ‘Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights,’ he said. ‘While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move-away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve.’…”

“‘At this time of Fidel Castro’s passing, we extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people,’ Obama said, noting that many Cubans and Cuban Americans had ‘powerful emotions’ about the dictator’s death. Obama did not mention Castro’s evil dictatorship, his suppression of human rights, or the brutal oppression and murder of millions of Cuban citizens in his statement. Instead he noted that the relationship between Cuba and the United States was ‘marked by discord and profound disagreements.’”

New Fight Between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton?

The Associated Press wrote on November 27:

“President-elect Donald Trump claimed without evidence Sunday that ‘millions’ voted illegally in the national election, scoffing at Hillary Clinton’s nearly 2 million edge in the popular vote and returning to his campaign mantra of a rigged race even as he prepares to enter the White House in less than two months. Trump and his lieutenants assailed an effort — now joined by Clinton — to recount votes in up to three battleground states, calling the push fraudulent, the work of ‘crybabies’ and, in Trump’s estimation, ‘sad.’

“The president-elect himself launched a Twitter offensive that spanned more than 12 hours on Sunday, casting a shadow over the legitimacy of an election that he actually won. ‘I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,’ he tweeted in the afternoon before alleging in an evening tweet ‘serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California’…

“Trump on Sunday tweeted part of Clinton’s concession speech, when she told supporters they must accept that ‘Donald Trump is going to be our president,’ and snippets from her debate remarks, when she denounced the Republican nominee for refusing to say in advance that he would accept the Election Day verdict… Clinton leads the national popular vote by close to 2 million votes, but Trump won 290 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232, not counting Michigan. She could conceivably tip the electoral balance in the remote event that all flipped to her in recounts…

“Clinton’s lawyer said her team has been combing through the results since the election in search of anomalies that would suggest hacking by Russians or others and found ‘no actionable evidence’ of an altered outcome. Moreover, Elias said, Trump has a vote lead even in the closest states that well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount. But ‘we feel it is important, on principle, to ensure our campaign is legally represented in any court proceedings and represented on the ground in order to monitor the recount process itself,’ he said.”

Bavaria’s Horst Seehofer Invites Donald Trump

The Business Standard wrote on November 25:

“The leader of the German state of Bavaria has invited Donald Trump to visit, reports said today, after he urged European politicians to keep an open mind about the controversial US President-elect. Premier Horst Seehofer, a maverick member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc, wrote to Trump to congratulate him on his victory and said he would be welcome ‘any time’ in his state capital Munich, Bavarian government sources told German news agency DPA.

“Specifically, Seehofer suggested Trump could attend the city’s annual international security conference in February, just weeks after his inauguration as US president on January 20, the unnamed sources added. In contrast with many German and European officials, Seehofer warned soon after the November 8 US election against prejudging Trump too harshly. ‘I would urge us to see what he actually does,’ Seehofer said, calling for dialogue between Germany, European partners and the United States on ‘shared policy’.

“Seehofer has frequently clashed with Merkel over her liberal border policy, which permitted the arrival of around one million asylum-seekers over the last two years… Trump, whose paternal grandparents hailed from Germany, is expected to attend the G20 summit, which Merkel will host in Hamburg next July.”

Donald Trump Suggests Revoking Citizenship for Flag Burners

The Huffington Post wrote on November 29:

“President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday suggested that people who burn the American flag should lose their citizenship. This goes against current U.S. law, as well as a landmark Supreme Court case.

“Burning the flag is completely legal in the U.S. As the Supreme Court ruled in 1989’s Texas v. Johnson, it’s protected as free speech under the First Amendment. The late Justice Antonin Scalia, who Trump often praises, joined the majority opinion in that case.

“Lawmakers have in the past floated the idea of making the practice illegal, but none have gone as far as to suggest revoking citizenship. Citizenship is very difficult to take away; broadly speaking, an American would only lose his or her nationality by pledging allegiance to another country, committing treason, or voluntarily giving it up…

“Trump has contradicted the U.S. Constitution before. He’s promised to crack down on the press (a possible violation of the First Amendment), vowed to ban Muslims from entering the country (which could go against the Equal Protection Clause), and suggested we should torture people because they deserve it (cruel and unusual punishment).”

Here is what Mr. Trump twittered: “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year [sic] in jail!” It is obvious that he spoke without thinking too deeply about it. His proposal, if taken seriously, would of course be totally unconditional and illegal. But in the meantime, after listening to his advisors, it seems that he modified his public stance on the press, on banning Muslims and on waterboarding. The real issue is much more intriguing: what does Mr. Trump REALLY believe, and WHEN will the real President Trump stand up?

The Carrier Deal

Newsmax wrote on December 1:

“President-elect Donald Trump used an announcement Thursday that Carrier would keep its air-conditioning manufacturing plant in Indianapolis — saving 1,100 jobs — to declare that ‘companies are not going to leave the United States any more without consequences.’…

“Carrier said Tuesday that it would not close its air-conditioning plant in Indianapolis [to move to Mexico] after reaching a deal with Trump, initially sparing 1,000 jobs…

“Indiana offered the company $7 million in tax incentives after negotiations with Trump’s team to keep some jobs in the state…

“He also reiterated campaign pledges to reduce business taxes to as low as 15 percent — from the current 35 percent — and roll back regulations that he said have been crippling American companies… The president-elect also slammed NAFTA… and declared that ‘it will be changed… ‘We have to let other companies know that we’ll do great things for business. You don’t have to leave anymore. Your taxes will be at the very low end — and your unnecessary regulations will be gone.’…

“During the campaign, Trump threatened to impose sharp tariffs on companies that moved factories to Mexico… He repeated that pledge in Indianapolis, saying that companies will be ‘taxed heavily at the border if they want to fire their people, leave, make their products in different countries — and then think they’ll sell that product over the border.’”

Mr. Trump also reiterated his promise that he would build a wall at the US-Mexican border.

Mr. Trump Nominates Tim Price as Head of Department of Health; Picks Elaine Chao as Transportation Secretary

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 29:

“US President-elect Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that he would nominate Georgia Congressman Tom Price as head of the Department of Health and Human Services. The orthopedic surgeon is a critic of the Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as ‘Obamacare.’…

“After announcing the pick, the president-elect called the congressman ‘exceptionally qualified to shepherd our commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare and bring affordable and accessible healthcare to every American.’…

“Price’s appointment will require Senate confirmation, after which both houses of Congress would have to agree on any move to dismantle Obamacare.

“New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who will become the Democrats’ minority leader in the upper chamber, slammed the choice, calling Representative Price’s ideas ‘far out of the mainstream of what Americans want when it comes to Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and Planned Parenthood.’ Trump’s spokesman, Jason Miller, defended the nomination in a CNN interview, saying that the Affordable Care Act was already ‘imploding’ due to rising premiums.

“Later on Tuesday, Donald Trump also declared that his pick for Transportation Secretary would be Elaine Chao, who lead the Department of Labor under President George W. Bush and was the first Asian-American woman in the US cabinet. Chao is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who was largely silent on Trump’s candidacy until the very end of the election campaign, when he offered the president-elect his somewhat muted support.”

Will Medicare Survive?

Newsmax wrote on December 1:

“President-elect Donald Trump vowed during his campaign that he wouldn’t cut Medicare or other entitlement programs, but Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., who he tagged this week as his Health and Human Services secretary, backs a plan that would end guaranteed government coverage for seniors… Price, like House Speaker Paul Ryan, backs a plan to turn Medicare into a ‘premium support’ system, meaning seniors would receive a specific amount of money from the government that would help them buy health coverage from a private company, rather than participate in government-run Medicare coverage.

“Democrats say the plans ends guaranteed coverage, and that the financial assistance would not keep up with rising healthcare costs, meaning seniors could end up paying more of their own costs. Proponents, however, say changes are needed to make Medicare more efficient and will save the government money, and warn the program will become insolvent if left alone. While campaigning, Trump told The Daily Signal that he was ‘not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican, and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.’…

“Price and Ryan say they are serious about the Medicare changes, with Price telling reporters this month that lawmakers can fast-track reconciliation to push a Medicare overhaul through the Senate with 50 votes.”

Mr. Trump Nominates Wall Street Insiders

The New York Times wrote on November 30:

“In a campaign commercial that ran just before the election, Donald J. Trump’s voice boomed over a series of Wall Street images. He described ‘a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth, and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations.’ Now Mr. Trump has named a former Goldman executive and co-investor with Mr. Soros to spearhead his economic policy.

“With Wednesday’s nomination of Steven Mnuchin, a Goldman trader turned hedge fund manager and Hollywood financier, to be Treasury secretary, a new economic leadership is taking shape in Washington. Mr. Mnuchin will join Wilbur L. Ross Jr., a billionaire investor in distressed assets, who has been chosen to run the Commerce Department, and Todd Ricketts, owner of the Chicago Cubs, who has been picked to be deputy commerce secretary. All are superwealthy and to be overseen by the first billionaire president in United States history… While that approach has been cheered by investors… it stands in stark contrast to the populist campaign that Mr. Trump ran and the support he received from working-class voters across the country…

“Mr. Mnuchin, 53, and Mr. Ross, 79, are both familiar with buying distressed properties and selling for a profit. But they are political neophytes with scant experience in managing large organizations. They will oversee two government agencies that together employ about 130,000 people around the world. In the case of Mr. Mnuchin at Treasury, his experience as a principal investor who made large sums of money through high-risk, high-return wagers suggests that he will look critically at the thicket of regulations that now constrain the risk-taking activities of investment banks.”

“Entire internet Will Be Saved in Canada to Keep it from Donald Trump”

The Independent wrote on December 1:

“The Internet Archive – which exists to keep a store of the internet and of human knowledge – has said that it will be moving its store of the web to another country in order to keep it safe. It said it made the decision in the wake of the election of President-elect Trump, who has in the past suggested ‘closing up’ the internet. The decision has been made because libraries tend to get lost, it said. But that had become extra clear recently because of changes in the US, where its archives are currently stored.

“Events including the election of Donald Trump have led [it] to realise that it needs to make another store of the huge amount of information it has stored up, it said. As such, it will put that information in the Internet Archive of Canada, in a project that will cost millions but will look to keep the data safe. ‘On November 9th in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change,’ the archive wrote in a blog post. ‘It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours, built for the long-term, need to design for change. For us, it means keeping our cultural materials safe, private and perpetually accessible. It means preparing for a Web that may face greater restrictions. It means serving patrons in a world in which government surveillance is not going away; indeed it looks like it will increase.’

“The archive is now asking supporters to help fund the decision by donating to it. Donald Trump has given varying statements of his policy on the internet. But many of them have suggested that he will interfere with the web more and that he may look to shut parts of it off.”

Massive Suspected Cyberattack Interrupts Internet Survices in Germany

Deutsche Welle reported on November 28:

“A suspected cyberattack has disrupted internet service for nearly a million households in Germany…  ‘We believe that influence was exerted on the routers from outside,’ an unnamed company spokesman told the AFP news agency, noting that malware had been installed on routers that prevented them from connecting to the company’s network… Customers have been advised to disconnect their routers if they suspect that they were targeted.”

The apparent cyberattack also prevented our Church in Germany from broadcasting over Internet most of our live Sabbath services. Viewers were advised to directly connect to the sermon posted on YouTube. Interestingly enough, the sermon dealt with the question as to how Satan attacks us.

German Leaders Angry at Cyberattack

Deutsche Welle wrote November 29:

“German politicians say action must follow a hack that paralyzed some 900,000 internet connections… Internet service has still not returned to normal for all of the hundreds of thousands of Germans affected by the hack, but a lively and agitated discussion is underway about what should be done to prevent future disturbances – and who might be responsible for the attack.

“German provider Deutsche Telekom believes the disruption was part of a failed attempt to turn a large number of routers into part of a so-called botnet and sees a connection with other recent hacks around the world. Germany’s political leadership is very unhappy about the possibility that Russia might have been involved, but isn’t quite ready to point the finger directly at Moscow.”

Germany to Return 100,000 Asylum Seekers to Afghanistan

Daily Mail reported on November 28:

“Germany is planning to return 100,000 rejected asylum seekers to their home countries after Angela Merkel admitted: ‘It cannot be that all young people from Afghanistan come here’. About 60,000 will be returned under voluntary repatriation programmes while the rest face compulsory deportations, the German chancellor revealed. They will be given money as ‘start-up’ aid to help them resettle in their homeland as well as a plane ticket, it has been reported in Germany…

“Merkel has previously come under fire in Germany for her ‘open-door’ policy, in the wake of Europe’s worst migration crisis since World War II.”

Meet Francois Fillon—the Next French President?

The Guardian wrote on November 27:

“François Fillon, the socially conservative former prime minister who plans to shrink the French state, has won the primary race to become the French right’s presidential candidate next spring. Fillon, 62, gained support in the final days of the primary race after writing a book on the dangers of ‘Islamic totalitarianism’ in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in France and defending a tough line on French national identity… France’s two-round presidential elections in April and May are being watched as the next possible shakeup of the political system, after Donald Trump won the US presidency this month.

“Polls in France have consistently shown that the far-right Front National leader, Marine Le Pen, will make it to the final round runoff but that it would be difficult for her to win. Fillon is now the favourite to face her and win the presidency next year. In his victory speech, Fillon said the Socialist François Hollande’s presidency had been ‘pathetic’ and France now had to be overhauled in a way that it ‘hasn’t been for 30 years’…

“Fillon is a Catholic traditionalist who deliberately appealed to the conservatism of the religious right and wants to increase state benefits for families. He complained about being attacked as a ‘medieval reactionary’ during the campaign because, having voted against France’s recent introduction of same-sex marriage, he promised to roll back certain parental rights for same-sex couples. He said it was his private belief that abortion was not a fundamental right but promised not to change French abortion law.

“Fillon, who is on first-name terms with Vladimir Putin after they served as prime ministers in the same period, has advocated a stridently pro-Putin policy towards Russia. He said Russia was no threat, should be a partner in Syria and that European sanctions against Russia should be lifted. He said the fight against Islamic State meant France should not rule out cooperating with Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.

“Fillon has taken a hard line on Islamic extremism as well as the place of Islam in France, warning that ‘radical islam is corrupting some of our Muslim fellow citizens’. Over the summer, he said he was in favour of banning burkinis, or full-body swimsuits, from French beaches. ‘No, France is not a multicultural nation,’ Fillon said during the final TV debate, adding that foreigners who came to France must assimilate. He said: ‘When you come to someone’s house, by courtesy, you don’t take over.’

“… Hollande is expected to announce within days whether he will stand for re-election. His party is in disarray and there are serious doubts among Socialists about Hollande’s chances of even making it past the first round. He is the least popular French president since the second world war, with his satisfaction rating in one recent poll as low as 4%.”

Subsequently, Mr. Hollande announced that he would not stand for re-election.

Austrian Presidential Re-Election this Sunday

The EUObserver wrote on November 28:

“Austria’s presidential candidates have clashed in a TV debate over US president-elect Donald Trump, immigration and the future of the EU before voters head to the polls on Sunday (4 December). Alexander Van der Bellen, backed by the Greens, and far-right contender Norbert Hofer for the Freedom Party (FPOe) echoed the faultlines where mainstream politics and populism have clashed in Western democracies recently. Van der Bellen accused Hofer of creating insecurity by threatening to pull Austria out of the EU. ‘The FPOe has always been an EU exit party,’ he said.

“Hofer had earlier pledged to call for a referendum on EU membership if Turkey joined the union or if Brussels tried to centralise power. ‘The most important thing is the solidarity between member states, otherwise we won’t be able to assert ourselves in the face of Russia or the United States,’ 72-year-old Van der Bellen said during the live debate broadcast on private channel ATV.

“Hofer, 45, dismissed such claims, saying: ‘There won’t be an Oexit.’ Hofer attacked Van der Bellen for criticising the US election victory of Donald Trump.

“Van der Bellen said many in Europe felt ‘anxious’ about the US president-elect who has been accused of sexism and racism. Van der Bellen also warned that the election of Donald Trump in the US showed there was justified anger, which made voters feel abandoned and forgotten. Hofer retorted by saying that in Austria a lot of people feel abandoned… Hofer blamed German chancellor Angela Merkel for the EU’s failed migration policy. He also doubted Turkey will hold itself to the migration deal with the EU for much longer.

“The two candidates have already made history, since it would be the first time Austria’s president does not come from the Social Democratic and Austrian People’s Party, which have dominated the political scene since World War II. Hofer could also become Europe’s first postwar far-right head of state after 4 December. Austrian voters need to head to the ballot boxes again after Hofer challenged the result of the May election which he narrowly lost to Van der Bellen. Hofer said however he would not contest the outcome this time.”

Fears Mount in Anticipation of Italian Referendum on December 4

The Financial Times wrote on November 28:

“Up to eight of Italy’s troubled banks risk failing if prime minister Matteo Renzi loses a constitutional referendum next weekend… Mr Renzi… says he will quit if he loses the referendum… The situation is being closely watched by financiers and policymakers across Europe and beyond, who worry that a mass failure of Italian banks could trigger panic across the eurozone banking system.

“… Italy’s banks have €360bn of problem loans versus €225bn of equity on their books…”

Please read our Editorial in this week’s Update, discussing the situation in Italy and Europe.

War in Space, which the US Could Lose

CNN wrote on November 28:

“Since man first explored space, it has been a largely peaceful environment. But now US adversaries are deploying weapons beyond Earth’s atmosphere, leading the US military to prepare for the frightening prospect of war in space. ‘As humans go out there, there has always been conflict. Conflict in the Wild West as we move in the West … conflict twice in Europe for its horrible world wars,’ Gen. John Hyten, head of US Strategic Command, told CNN. ‘So, every time humans actually physically move into that, there’s conflict, and in that case, we’ll have to be prepared for that.’

“Today, the US depends on space more than any other nation. Without satellites, televisions would go blank, mobile networks silent, and the Internet would slow and then stop. Dependent on time stamps from GPS satellites, everything from stock markets to bank transactions to traffic lights and railroad switches would freeze. Airline pilots would lose contact with the ground, unsure of their position and without weather data to steer around storms. World leaders couldn’t communicate across continents. In the US military, pilots would lose contact with armed drones over the Middle East. Smart bombs would become dumb. Missiles would sit immobile in their silos. The US could lose early warning of nuclear attacks for parts of the Earth. ‘There’s incentive to take that away from us,’ said Peter Singer, who advises the Defense Department on space threats…

“‘And that means if there was conflict on Planet Earth, it would almost inherently start with some kind of conflict in space.’ America’s chief adversaries in space are familiar ones: Russia and China are extending above the atmosphere the competition and conflict already boiling down here on Earth — from Syria to Ukraine to the South China Sea to cyberspace. China and Russia are taking aim at America in space with a dizzying array of weapons seemingly borrowed from science fiction. Russia has deployed what could be multiple kamikaze satellites such as ‘Kosmos 2499’ — designed to sidle up to American satellites and then, if ordered, disable or destroy them. China has launched the ‘Shiyan’ — equipped with a grappling arm that could snatch US satellites right out of orbit…

“In 2015, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work expressed his grave concern that the military was not ‘ready to do space operations in a conflict that extends into space.’ He was proven right when, months later, US space forces were overwhelmed in a mock attack on US military satellites… as Russia and China make rapid advances, some of the most senior military commanders are sounding the alarm that this is a war — the next world war and the first to extend beyond the confines of Earth — that America could lose… Winning a space war means rethinking how the US wages war, and that rethinking is one our current military leaders and politicians are only just beginning to undertake. So is the US moving quickly enough to respond to the new threats in space? ‘I would say the answer was no,’ said Gen. William Shelton, former head of Space Command. ‘Could we provide active defense of our own satellites? The answer’s no.’ The stakes couldn’t be higher. How the US responds to this new threat could determine who wins the defining conflict of the 21st century.”

The sad truth is, there will soon be another world war, which will be fought with horrific nuclear weapons—and it could very well include space warfare.  The Bible prophecies that the USA WILL lose World War III.

Turkey’s Death Penalty Plans

Deutsche Welle wrote on November 29:

“Turkey’s government is pressing on with its plans to bring back the death penalty despite the risk of dashing EU accession hopes… When Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) abolished capital punishment in 2004, the move was widely praised as evidence of the pragmatism and political maturity of the country’s religious conservatives. Turkey had not carried out a death penalty since 1984 but its legal abolition was hailed…

“Just 12 years later, the… ruling party is in the final stages of preparing to reinstate capital punishment as part of a radical set of changes to Turkey’s constitution that supporters and critics alike say will be a blueprint for the country’s future…

“Getting people on the street to comment is far from easy these days, but those that are willing to talk don’t mince their words. ‘Capital punishment is part of Islam, it is religion. If someone kills another man then he deserves to be killed too – for me it is that simple,’ 59-year-old Huseyin Akturan told DW…”

Erdogan: We Must Defend the Temple Mount

The Times of Israel wrote on November 29:

“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday urged Muslims to defend the Palestinian cause… ‘It is the common duty of all Muslims to embrace the Palestinian cause and protect Jerusalem,’ the president of the majority country told a parliamentary symposium on Jerusalem in Istanbul.

“Safeguarding the Al-Aqsa Mosque should not be left to children armed with nothing but stones, he said, in a likely reference to Palestinian youths who sometimes hurl stones at Israeli security forces on the Temple Mount. The Jerusalem hilltop is the third most sacred site to Muslims and the holiest to Jews, who traditionally believe it to be the location of the two biblical temples.”

Europe and the Jews

The Jerusalem Post wrote on November 28:

“European intervention in Israeli-Palestinian affairs is hard to rationalize if viewed through a foreign policy prism… The European-Israeli conflict is the world’s oldest, lasting for 2,300 years… The feud dates back to Greek and then Roman invasions of Judea. While other nations accepted the European invaders, the Israelites rebelled…

“In the 11th century, Europe’s conflict with Israel escalated as the crusaders coerced European Jews to ‘kiss the cross’ or die. They then proceeded to Jerusalem and slaughtered the city’s Jews alongside their Muslim brethren.

“… by the end of the 19th century, European Jew-hatred reinvented itself in the form of national and racial hatred, and a new term began to be used: antisemitism… European anti-Jewish sentiment found an outlet. This time, toward the collective of Jews – the State of Israel.

“… history shows that when a society in Europe felt humiliated, the Jews were often the ones who paid the price… it was France’s humiliating defeat by Prussia in 1870 which eventually led to the Dreyfus Affair. Fifty years later, it was Germany’s humiliating defeat in World War I which eventually led to the Holocaust…”

The Syrian Nightmare Continues

The Telegraph wrote on November 28:

“Syria’s rebels lost all of the northern neighbourhoods of their stronghold in east Aleppo on Monday, as the army gained significant ground in its offensive to recapture the entire city. The regime’s advance has prompted an exodus of desperate citizens, some fleeing to districts held by the government or Kurdish forces, others heading south into areas still under rebel control.

“The rebel losses suggested it was only a matter of time before all of east Aleppo – held by the opposition since 2012 – was back in government hands. The loss of the city’s east would be a potentially devastating blow for Syria’s rebels, who have seen their territory fall steadily to the government since Russia began an intervention to bolster President Bashar al-Assad in September 2015…

“Kurdish forces in Syria are officially aligned with neither the government nor the rebels, but the opposition views them as effectively allied with the regime in its bid to recapture Aleppo city…

“The assault has been waged with heavy air strikes, barrel bomb attacks and artillery fire that has killed at least 225 civilians, including 27 children, in east Aleppo, according to the Observatory. Rebels have also fired onto the government-held west of the city, killing at least 27 civilians, among them 11 children, since November 15, the monitor says…

“Assad’s forces already control the capital Damascus, the central cities of Homs and Hama and the coastal city of Latakia. More than 300,000 people have been killed since Syria’s conflict began with anti-government protests in March 2011. The war has also displaced over half the country’s population, with millions fleeing across Syria’s border to become refugees.”

ISIS’ Plans to Attack Europe

Daily Mail wrote on November 28:

“Secret documents revealing scores of Islamic State terror plots targeting the UK and Europe have been seized in Iraq and Syria… Major General Rupert Jones said tens of thousands of documents in Islamic State’s ‘external operations hubs’ had been uncovered as towns were liberated from the terror group.

“In a bid to process the mass of data, hundreds of analysts – including from Britain’s security services – are being flown to a top secret location to wade through papers, hard drives and mobile phones… US-led coalition jets and local ground forces are currently engaged in a double-pronged attack on IS in its Iraqi stronghold Mosul, and its de facto capital in Syria, Raqqa.

“Commanders predict the next big fight will be in Anbar province, where extremists retain key areas along the Euphrates river and where UK troops will be at the heart of the battle…

“The general [Rupert Jones]… rejected suggestions by Donald Trump that the terrorists are not being hit hard enough. The US President-elect sparked fury last year when he said he knew more about IS than the generals on the ground, saying: ‘I would bomb the… out of them.’ This month he suggested the US could end its training of moderate Syrian forces ‘because we have no idea who these people are’.

“But General Jones dismissed the claims, saying: ‘The plan is built on those moderates.’ He insisted there was a clear plan and mission that had pushed IS back significantly since Britain entered the fight in September 2014. The UK’s war effort includes more than 500 ground troops helping to train local forces… There are still an estimated 400 Britons who have gone to join IS in Iraq and Syria. But there are being picked off from the IS leadership ‘one by one’. General Jones said recruitment was down from about 1,000 a month to a ‘paltry amount’.”

Ethiopia vs. EU?

Express wrote on December 1:

“Merera Gudina, who leads the Oromo People’s Congress, was detained after returning to Addis Ababa from Brussels where he criticised the government in Addis Ababa for imposing a state of emergency. Mr Gudina has been at the forefront of protests against land grabs in the Oromiya region and what his supporters have described as a government clampdown on political freedoms. His deputy Gebru Gebremariam said: ‘Merera arrived in Addis Ababa on Wednesday morning from a trip to Brussels, where he met members of the European Parliament. Police arrested him in his house the same day in the evening. We haven’t been given reasons behind his arrest.’

“Ethiopian security officials said Mr Gudina had violated guidelines ‘by making contact with terrorist groups’ during his visit to Brussels… More than 500 people died in violent protests against the government until the six-month state of emergency was declared in October…”

If it is Ethiopia’s position that the EU, which is headquartered in Brussels, constitutes a “terror group,” then this will have dire consequences.

Does the Pope Change Catholic Church Doctrine?

Zenit wrote on November 25:

“[The pope] described… how the Lord will judge the great and the lowly ‘according to their deeds,’ with the damned being thrown into the pool of fire. Francis described this as the ‘second death.’ ‘Eternal damnation is not a torture chamber,’ he said. ‘That’s a description of this second death: it is a death. And those who will not be received in the Kingdom of God, it’s because they have not drawn close to the Lord. These are the people who journeyed along their own path, distancing themselves from the Lord and passing in front of the Lord but then choosing to walk away from Him.’

“What eternal damnation is, he explained, is ‘continually distancing oneself from God… It is the worst pain, an unsatisfied heart, a heart that was created to find God but which, out of arrogance and self-confidence, distances itself from God.’ Distancing oneself from God Who gives happiness and Who loves us so much, the Pontiff admonished, is the ‘fire,’ and the road to eternal damnation.”

You can read the true meaning of the second death and the lake of fire in our free booklet, “The Mystery of the Book of Revelation.” Our new StandingWatch and AufPostenStehen programs discuss this matter as well, titled, respectively, Pope Francis–Hell Is No Torture Chamber,” and “Papst Franziskus–Die Hölle ist keine Folterkammer.”

A Catholic Deal with the Devil?

Breitbart wrote on November 28:

“China’s most outspoken Catholic Cardinal has sharply criticized a potential Vatican deal with China’s Communist Party that would cede some Church decision-making to the atheist government. ‘You cannot go into negotiations with the mentality “we want to sign an agreement at any cost”, then you are surrendering yourself, you are betraying yourself, you are betraying Jesus Christ,’ said Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, the former Bishop of Hong Kong and China’s highest ranking Catholic cleric.

“Early on in the Francis pontificate, the Vatican showed signs of openness to work toward a diplomatic rapprochement with the Chinese government, something Cardinal Zen has resolutely opposed. Last year, Zen told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera Vatican that the Vatican was being naïve in its dialogue with Beijing. ‘Italians in the Roman Curia don’t know the Chinese dictatorship,’ he said, ‘because they have never experienced a Communist regime.’

“Those in Rome who are anxious to succeed at all costs are moving toward a compromise that is really an ‘unconditional surrender,’ Zen lamented…

“The 84-year-old Zen is hero to Chinese Catholics for his outspoken support of the underground Church and his willingness to stand up to the Communist leadership. He was bishop of Hong Kong from 2002 to 2009, and was made a Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006. Mao Zedong set up the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA) as a state-run replacement for the Catholic Church, driving the Catholic Church underground through its systematic persecution of all who remained faithful to Rome and would not collaborate with the government.

“Ever since 1958, the Catholic Church in China has been split into underground and open communities. A Vatican document of 1988 barred Roman Catholics from participating in the sacraments of the Patriotic Church, since the association ‘had broken all relationships with the pope’ and would be ‘under the direct control of the government.’…

“According to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), the Chinese government ‘continues to perpetrate particularly severe violations of religious freedom.’ When the commission released its 2016 Annual Report, it once again recommended that China be designated as a ‘country of particular concern,’ based on what it termed ‘systematic, egregious, ongoing abuses.’ ‘The Chinese Communist Party officially is atheist and took steps in 2015 to ensure that Party members reject religion or belief,’ the report stated.

“Throughout the year 2015, Chinese authorities used the pretext of building code violations to target houses of worship, particularly churches, as illegal structures, the report added… Chinese authorities ‘continued to summon, question, detain, and even arrest clergy and parishioners of unregistered house churches,’ the report stated.”

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