Weekly round-up of news: 14 February
The coronavirus outbreak in biblical perspective. What is the truth about the coronavirus that began in Wuhan and has swept across China, infecting tens of thousands of people and killing hundreds every day? There are worrying stories about what is happening on several cruise ships where people are confined to their cabins. In other countries, including the USA and Britain, there are also indications that the infection is spreading.
Deadly Earthquake in Turkey Turns Rivers Blood Red Ten days ago, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake rocked eastern Turkey, killing 41 people and injured at least 1,600. The earthquake that was centered near Sivrice, Turkey also caused a series of aftershocks ranging from 3.3-5.4 in magnitude. Images of red water flowing into the river appeared on the internet soon after the earth stopped shaking. For the Biblically inclined, the image of a blood-red river evokes a stark message.
Powerful windstorm wreaks havoc across northwestern Europe, causes widespread disruption and flooding A powerful windstorm, named Ciara by the UK Met Office, hit Ireland and the United Kingdom on Saturday, February 8, 2020, and parts of Northwestern Europe on Sunday, bringing very strong winds and heavy rain. Ciara caused widespread disruptions, travel chaos, and major flooding. As of Monday morning, February 10, the storm claimed at least 5 lives – 1 in the UK, 2 in Poland, 1 in Sweden and 1 in Slovenia. Ciara is the third named storm of the 2019/20 European windstorm season.
Deadly winter storm spawns 19 tornadoes, causes major flooding and power outages, affecting 300 000 across Eastern U.S. Powerful winter storm that wreaked havoc across parts of Eastern U.S. on Thursday, February 6, 2020, produced 19 tornadoes, the National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed on Sunday, February 9, 2020. The storm sparked flooding and caused power outages that affected 300 000 people. Five people died in weather-related incidents.
The civil war in Syria has demonstrated some of the worst inhumanity of the 21st Century. Almost nine years on, it has gotten worse as Syria's children are still in the firing line and still left suffering, still dying…. The assault from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces have already driven out nearly seven hundred thousand people since December - now another half a million could follow. As a result, the reality of life here is so often death.
Government officials within China have confiscated Bibles from churches in recent months and threatened fines as part of an intensified crackdown on Christianity and an effort to eradicate “illegal publications,” according to a new report. The campaign has targeted illegal underground churches as well as legal Three-Self churches, which are registered with the government.
Pope Pushes One World Religion on Israel’s Independence Day Historically, the Vatican was no friend to the Jews but its new initiative aligns the Catholic Church with Islam in a one-world religion that may be the biggest threat ever to the Jewish People. A major event to advance the project will take place on the anniversary of the birth of the State of Israel which, according to one rabbi, is fitting since Judaism is the last bastion, entirely incompatible with a New World Order.
Catholic Priest Says ‘Pedophilia Doesn’t Kill Anyone’ After Barring Abortion-Rights Lawmakers From Communion A priest in Rhode Island has defended his decision to ban all lawmakers who voted in favor enshrining abortion protections under state law from receiving communion at his parish.
In the latest advance of the LGBTQ movement earlier this week, Swiss voters decided in a referendum to back hate speech legislation making supposedly 'homophobic' speech a criminal offence…. Non-compliance with the prevailing sexual norms is seen as rooted in a brilliant propaganda term, 'homophobia'. Anything short of endorsement of same-sex marriage and the ever-expanding assortment of issues included in 'LGBTQ' is viewed as emerging from an entrenched psychiatric or psychological fault.
Several members of the Virginia House of Delegates recently turned their backs on a black pastor and walked out of chambers when he prayed against abortion and gay marriage. The Rev. Robert Grant of The Father's Way Church in Warrenton was invited to lead the opening prayer before the assembly on Tuesday. But his prayer turned into a warning of God's wrath for laws that violate Biblical principles surrounding the unborn.
Basically, the Canadian courts have forbidden the father of the “transitioning” daughter to speak publicly about what has happened and how his rights to protect his child were completely stripped. Yesterday, we received an e-mail from one of our Canadian readers who sent us a link to a video interview with the father that was done this week. Facebook and YouTube have apparently already removed the video, but it can still be watched at another website (see below). We urge you to watch this before it completely disappears. It will help you to understand the battle that Canadian parents are facing right now and how the Canadian courts are allowing the tragic abuse of Canadian children to take place. And for our U.S. readers, do not think that we are not very close to this happening here in America.
The government of Canada, through its agency Statistics Canada, has instructed police departments across the country to stop recording the sex of both perpetrators and victims of crime. In place of sex, self-declared gender is now documented….. The government has, in effect, removed sex from crime data and replaced it with a record of someone’s personal opinion on whether he or she feels masculine or feminine….. The upshot of all this is that if a man who chooses to dress in women’s clothing in his ‘housing environment’ goes on to commit a crime, this cross-dressing behaviour is enough for the crime to be recorded as having been perpetrated by a woman.
At long last, an English court has struck a blow against the cultural tyranny of thought-crime and in support of freedom of speech, reason and sanity. In the High Court this morning, Mr Justice Julian Knowles ruled that the police had been disproportionate in the action they took against Harry Miller, a former police officer and a shareholder in a plant and machinery company in Lincolnshire, when they recorded as a “non crime hate incident” a series of disobliging comments he had tweeted about transgender issues. It’s worth reading the judgment in full here, not just for the judge’s full-throated defence of freedom of expression, nor his often sardonic turns of phrase, but to understand the jaw-dropping and terrifying state of authoritarian imbecility to which our once-robust culture has descended.
Pete Buttigieg, who is now one of the frontrunners for the Democratic presidential nomination, has said that he and his husband plan to start a family and may have children while he is serving as president in the White House.
Starbucks has started a new advertising campaign, #whatsyourname, in the United Kingdom in partnership with Mermaids, a nonprofit group that supports young trans-identifying people and their families, the coffee chain has announced…..Mermaids has influenced education protocols and other public policies across the U.K. to enshrine transgenderism in culture. The group is headed by Susie Green, who when her son was 16 years old took him to Thailand to undergo a sex change operation.
Canada: Sharia financing rapidly expanding with increasing Sharia-adherent population Islamic finance is rapidly expanding in Canada. “Canada is home to an estimated 1.5mn people following the Islamic faith, or around 4% of the population, which makes Muslims the second largest religion in the country, while it is also the fastest-growing. Most of them are immigrants.”…. with a Prime Minister who has his clear preferences: Trudeau has declared that “evangelicals are the worst part of Canadian society” - "Sadly my last meeting with him in his office was very disappointing. He told [...] me that evangelical Christians were the worst part of Canadian society."
Sanders Pushes Pro-Life Voters to Trump: Supporting Abortion Is ‘Essential’ To Being a Dem During a candidate forum Saturday in Concord, New Hampshire, the Vermont senator was asked, “Is there such a thing as a pro-life Democrat in your vision of the party?” Sanders’ response: “I think being pro-choice is an absolutely essential part of being a Democrat, if you’re asking me.”
In July last year, and on Theresa May’s last full day in office as Prime Minister, the government announced the appointment of Qari Asim as an independent adviser appointed to lead work to propose a definition of Islamophobia. This followed the government’s rejection of a proposed definition of Islamophobia from the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims. Instead, the government had announced that it would appoint two expert advisers to come up with an alternative definition. To date, Qari Asim is the only person who has been appointed to such a position…. This week, The Sunday Times reported that Qari Asim is facing calls to step down after being accused of questioning free speech. The article explains that a tape “has emerged” of him speaking at an interfaith meeting in 2018. At the meeting he argued that there could be some exceptions to free speech for things that Muslims find particularly distasteful or offensive.
Israel’s Defense Minister: We are Now in Era of Third Temple “We need to understand the big picture” Bennett said adding “today we are in (the era of) the Third Temple.” Bennett then reminded the captive audience about the history of the Kingdom of Israel saying “we have had a state twice where we ruled as a united people. The first time it only lasted 80 years – King David 40, then King Solomon 40. After that, we separated.” “The second time, we were sovereign for only 74 years during the Hasmonean dynasty” he added. Bennett then touching on the present saying “Now we are at 72 years. The Jewish nation has never been able to maintain a united rule for more than 80 years.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was thrown in the gulags for speaking against communism. His words are more important today than ever….If Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn were alive today, he might be tempted to look at the increasingly secular, morally bankrupt West and say, “I told you so!”
"These aren't hypotheticals," Secretary Pompeo insisted. "We've allowed this to continue without a deep awareness from the American people." And what is "this," exactly? According to top State Department officials, we're talking about a massive network of Chinese communists fanned out across the country with one goal: penetrate U.S. security, education, and financial systems -- then, create chaos. "It's happening in your state," Sec. Pompeo insisted, "with consequences for our foreign policy, for the citizens who reside in your states, and indeed for each of you... The Chinese Government has been methodical in the way it's analyzed our system... It's assessed our vulnerabilities, and it's decided to exploit our freedoms to gain advantage over us at the federal level, the state level, and the local level."
US says it has proof China’s Huawei has secret ‘back doors’ to access private information U.S. National Security Adviser, Robert O’Brien and other U.S. national security officials have warned that Chinese technology company Huawei has secretive access to sensitive and personal information stored in U.S. telecoms networks…. “back doors,” U.S. officials have alleged the Chinese company has secretly retained its access.
Britain is in talks with China over giving Beijing’s state-owned railway builder a role in constructing the troubled HS2 high-speed link. The China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) has said it can build the line in just five years at a much lower cost than is currently forecast, according to the Financial Times.
The letter, which was also signed by former ministers including Owen Paterson, David Davis and Damian Green, said some MPs were working to find a better solution to the 5G issue. The senior Tories want “high-risk” vendors to be ruled out immediately or phased out over time. The letter states: “We are seeking to identify a means by which we ensure that only trusted vendors are allowed as primary contractors into our critical national infrastructure. Trusted vendors would be companies from countries that have fair market competition, rule of law, respect human rights, data privacy and non-coercive government agencies.”
The UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday published a “database” of 112 companies it says are conducting business in West Bank settlements. In the report the council said the companies’ activities “raised particular human rights concerns.” The list is dominated by Israeli companies, including banks and construction firms. But it also lists a number of international firms, including travel companies Airbnb, Expedia and TripAdvisor, tech giant Motorola and construction and infrastructure companies including France’s Egis Rail and British company JC Bamford Excavators.
JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel is on the offensive after the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights released on Wednesday what Israeli leaders call a “blacklist” of 112 companies operating in Israeli settlement communities in the West Bank (biblical Judea and Samaria) and eastern Jerusalem. On Thursday, Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy issued a bombshell report that it says proves that several organizations linked to terror groups pushed the UN to publish the list.
The UN Human Rights Council’s release Wednesday of its blacklist of companies with financial ties and business relations with Israeli Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria is a reminder of Israel’s vulnerability and the vulnerability of Jews worldwide. The vile, bigoted list, which singles out for boycott firms that do legitimate business with law-abiding Israelis just because they are Jews is yet another example of the UN-led international community’s anti-Jewish bloodlust….. Whether they’re thugs on the street or diplomatic goons in fancy suits, anti-Semites are bullies. You don’t get a bully to quit picking on you by appeasing him. You get a bully to quit picking on you by growing too big for him to easily attack….. This then brings us to the Trump plan. In a real sense, the future of the Jews in Israel and in America is tied up with the implementation of the Trump plan. And to a significant degree, the March 2 election is a referendum on Trump’s peace plan.
Leader of Sudan Agreed to Meet with Netanyahu After Getting ‘Sign from God’ “Allah, if this is a good thing for Sudan, please prepare our way for this. If not, send me a sign.’ God gave me the feeling that I should go and meet with him,” Burhan was quoted as saying in Sudanese news. “What happened in the meeting was merely a consensus between the two sides to halt all mutually hostile actions and positions. The meeting did not deal with the details regarding the form of relations or what is specifically required to [establish relations]. That is the job of the [transitional] ruling council.”
Ex-Qatari PM: Israel, Gulf states set to sign non-aggression pact Israel and the Gulf states and Israel will soon sign a non-aggression pact that could also include Morocco, the former prime minister of Qatar says…The former politician noted that he was “not against” such an agreement with Israel, and believed the unanimous decision taken by the Arab League last week to reject the U.S. deal was not in the best interest of the region.
PM Netanyahu and Economy Minister Eli Cohen appeal to the British government to include Judea and Samaria, Golan Heights in the free trade agreement between Jerusalem and London, slated to come into effect with the completion of Brexit in 2021….. The draft trade deal, drawn long before London finalized Brexit, states that the new bilateral agreement would include the same terms as the free trade agreement between Israel and the EU. But the latter excludes Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights from the agreement, and Israel is seeking to correct the situation.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said this week that he was ashamed of the Anglican attitude to black people, and declared that the church was “deeply, institutionally racist”.…… Rather than make such a deeply inappropriate comparison in a desperate attempt to appease the gods of identity politics, the head of the Anglican church would have done better to express shame for the way so many liberal Christians mouth penitential pieties about the Jews murdered in the Holocaust while “taking as normal” murderous libels against living Jews in the State of Israel. Christians are arguably the most committed supporters of Israel in the world. At the same time, different kinds of Christians are among the Jews’ worst enemies.
The deportations have caused outrage. David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, gave a speech to the House of Commons in which he asked ‘When will black lives matter again?’. More than 150 MPs wrote to Boris Johnson urging him to stop the flight…… The attempted deportations were indeed wrong……However, it is important to recognise that this is not a race issue. Home Office figures show that around 5,000 people are deported under the UK Borders Act every year. EU nationals (ie, from majority-white countries) have made up the majority of those deported since 2014. Rather, these deportations are the result of a debased view of citizenship which has been embedded in the legal system by successive governments.
Allegations of election interference have dominated the narrative throughout Donald Trump’s presidency. As another election approaches, The Telegraph’s US Editor, Ben Riley-Smith looks back at what happened in 2016. He finds threads that repeatedly run through the UK, but were never fully explored - from crucial London meetings, to a Cambridge University don turned FBI informant, to the flat, just round the corner from Harrods, where a computer geek managed to upend the election by publishing private Democratic emails….. Read more about Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious professor at the heart of the Trump-Russia scandal, heard in episode one for the very first time.
"The Communist Party wants to stay in power in China and they listen to the public and the public says 'I can't breathe the air.' [Chinese President] Xi Jinping is not a dictator," Bloomberg told PBS's Margaret Hoover in September. "He has to satisfy his constituents or he's not going to survive" Bloomberg’s business in China has grown. That could create unprecedented entanglements if he is elected president - While Bloomberg has stepped aside from running his privately held company as he runs for president, he has maintained his 88 percent ownership stake. If elected, a spokesman said, Bloomberg would either put the company in a blind trust or sell it. It is not clear whether putting his business in a blind trust would negate questions about a conflict of interest because Bloomberg would know the main asset of the trust is his company.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz discovered that FBI agents shared extensive classified materials with former British spy Christopher Steele, despite knowing the Democratic National Committee was paying Steele and that Hillary Clinton herself was aware of Steele’s research, according to a new report by Eric Felten at RealClearInvestigations.
In a highly unusual public attack, Bill Barr said: "I have a problem with some of the tweets. I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me." "I think it's time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases," Barr told ABC News
Actor faces six felony counts of disorderly conduct after he allegedly lied to police about a racist and anti-gay attack…. A judge in August appointed Mr Webb, a former US attorney, to look into why the original charges were dropped. Mr Webb also was investigating whether phone calls that Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx had with a Smollett relative and a former aide of former first lady Michelle Obama unduly influenced the decision to drop charges. Ms Foxx recused herself from the case but continued to weigh in.
Javid was happy to increase infrastructure investment, and to borrow to finance it. He accepted Johnson’s commitments to increase resource spending on schools, hospitals and the police. But with Treasury orthodoxy ringing in his ears, this was where he drew the line. With reasonably tough fiscal rules still in place, and various spending promises already made, the reality of his policy meant continued austerity for a range of important state functions, from the immigration system to prisons and probation.
The show uses touch-sensitive gloves and a virtual reality headset to allow participants to see a digital recreation of a loved one…. A South Korean mother has been met by a digital version of her dead daughter after her body, voice and face were recreated using virtual reality technology…. Virtual reality and holograms are increasingly being used to create virtual versions of death people. The recent Star Wars film The Rise of Skywalker featured a computer generated version of the actress Carrie Fisher, who died in 2016.
After nearly a year of talks, Washington is poised to agree a deal and depart Afghanistan, ending an 18-year military presence….. Afghan and American officials said on Wednesday night that a deal will be signed if the Taliban commits to a reduction in violence over a one-week test period later this month, the New York Times said. If that condition is met, the US would begin to remove military personnel from the country, opening the way for the Taliban and the Afghan government to negotiate over the future of the nation.
Iran is happy to play the diplomacy game when that is to its advantage, but it has less-savory means of getting what it wants, too. It deploys military advisors through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to countries such as Syria, where some 800 IRGC troops are now located, and where it has also recruited mercenaries from Pakistan and Afghanistan to fight for its ally, Bashar al-Assad. It funds Hezbollah and arms the terror group with precision-guided munitions. It transfers missile and drone technology to Yemen, and its intelligence officials have infiltrated Iraq to gain a stranglehold on that country's politics. It isn't shy about using military means when necessary, either. It has fired rockets at Israel, attacked Saudi Arabia with cruise missiles, used drones against Israel, fired ballistic missiles at U.S. forces and used its militias to attack them in Iraq, and mined ships in the Gulf of Oman.
Throughout Middle Eastern countries where Jews were once prosperous, numerous Jewish sites are getting a makeover and Jewish history is being remembered. It is a major change from the past decades when Jewish history in many Muslim countries was sidelined, or even purposely erased. Recent stories from Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Afghanistan and northern Iraq paint a surprisingly bright picture.
Despite some improvement, Christians and Jews are still called "infidels," and Jews and Israelis are eternally treacherous, murdering prophets who commit irreparable evil and determined to harm Muslim holy places, new report shows.
US envoy James Jeffrey landed in Turkey on Tuesday, where he commemorated Turkey's "martyrs" who had been killed by the Syrian regime, and pledged support for Ankara….. Turkey's goal since the election of US President Donald Trump was to get the US to abandon Kurdish partners in eastern Syria and pivot back to supporting Syrian rebels and Turkey….. The pro-Turkey voices have now won out in discussions about Syria, arguing that Turkey is a NATO ally, and that even if it works with Iran and Russia, it's better to have an ally that works with your adversaries than temporary partners who are expendable, like the anti-ISIS fighters the US trained in eastern Syria.
One of the reasons why Europe is so hesitant to reopen its doors is because it has suffered multiple terrorist attacks in recent years, some of them perpetrated by jihadists who infiltrated the continent under mechanisms intended to help refugees. Last month’s arrest of Islam Alloush in Marseilles is a telling example of how European intelligence services are often unable to separate the wheat from the chaff when screening for violent radicals. A former official with the brutal Syrian Islamist rebel group Jaish al-Islam, he arrived in Europe last year on a student visa as part of an EU scholarship program, then resided there for months before being picked up on charges of torture and other war crimes
EU competition law is turning political as France and Germany seek to set the agenda in Brussels. Only two months into Ursula von der Leyen's presidency of the European Commission, Paris and Berlin have dramatically ramped up an attempt to gain influence over her strongest policy weapon: competition law. Teaming up with Italy and Poland, France and Germany last week sent an unusually undiplomatic letter to Brussels, in which they demanded an action plan within "weeks" on relaxing the EU merger rule book to allow the creation of more industrial champions to rival the U.S. and China.
The EU now has a “geopolitical European Commission,” a shared determination to take more responsibility for its own security, an ambitious plan to develop European defense cooperation and a nascent fund for military research and development. What could possibly go wrong?.... They have imposed only symbolic sanctions on two individuals over Turkey’s gunboat-backed drilling for gas in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus, an EU member.
Faith in military alliance among US, French and German people down since Trump election. The proportion of people who have a favourable view of Nato dropped at least 10 percentage points in the US, France and Germany between 2017 and 2019, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. The results of the poll were released ahead of this week’s Munich Security Conference, an annual three-day gathering of world leaders, military chiefs, diplomats and spies that in recent years has been overshadowed by mounting strains in the transatlantic relationship.
Tensions are reaching a new high in the eastern Mediterranean region after the Turkey’s parliament approved a measure to deploy Turkish troops to Libya to support the U.N.-backed government there. The move by Turkey comes on the same day that Israel, Cyprus and Greece inked a massive new pipeline deal to transport natural gas from to the eastern Mediterranean to markets in Europe….. “Libya is fast emerging as a new arena for a Turkish proxy competition with its adversaries from the Gulf to the Mediterranean,” said Cagaptay. Inbar observed that the Libyan-Turkish deal was meant “to force Israel and Cyprus to negotiate with Ankara.”
Russia has been unusually circumspect as a crisis in northern Syria simultaneously threatens to undermine its relations with Turkey and calls into question its support for Bashar al-Assad's dictatorship in Damascus. The Russian air force has been actively supporting the regime offensive that has displaced hundreds of thousands in Idlib, in northwestern Syria. Turkey, which supports the Syrian opposition to Assad, has been striking at regime targets in Idlib. Moscow is the Syrian regime's main backer and is committed to helping Assad reassert control over the country. On the other hand, Turkey is a major trading partner for Russia, over and above the $2.5 billion sale of S-400 air-defense systems.
If Dr. Jerry Pillay is chosen as the World Council of Churches' next General Secretary, it is reasonable to assume that the organization will continue to use anti-Zionism as a unifying agenda, just as many Arab and Muslim leaders have done in the Middle East….. In 2014, Pillay spoke at an event organized by the Israel-Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church USA, which like the WCC, has a long history of demonizing Israel. Pillay’s talk took place during the Presbyterian Church USA’s General Assembly which approved a divestment resolution. The title of this talk was “Apartheid in the Holy Land.”… The IPMN has a well-earned reputation as promoting hostility toward Israel and diaspora Jews. In 2012, two years before Pillay spoke before the IPMN audience, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs issued a press release calling on the PCUSA to rein in the organization’s antisemitism.
Tirawi defined “Palestine” as “waqf,” which is an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law, and therefore it is forbidden to accept non-Muslim rule over it. He further threatened that any Palestinian leader or official who would agree to a “Palestine” covering only the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and not including all of Israel would be in danger and “not be able to walk one meter in the streets of our Palestinian cities among our people”…… Fatah leaders say to the international audience that they want a “Palestine” on the 1967 lines, but to Palestinians they stress that they will never accept Israel in any borders. Palestinian Media Watch has exposed PA and Fatah leaders repeating the slogan that “Palestine reaches from the River to the Sea”…