Watch and Pray
Weekly round-up of news: 29 May
The way is shut: evangelical silence and the illusion of virtual Church
If a recent Evangelical Alliance (EA) article by Danny Webster entitled, ‘The Media Have it Wrong. Churches are not rushing to reopen their Doors,’ first published by Premier Christianity, is a true reflection of evangelical opinion in the UK, then the Covid-19 related social crisis has only further highlighted the precipitous decline of the evangelical mind. As such, should we be asking ourselves whether in some measure we deserve our present exile and if so, will we learn anything from it? When it comes to reacting to the spread of a virus, Webster and the EA apparently believe that the UK government’s treatment of the churches as equivalent to restaurants, bars and cinemas is appropriate. It strikes me as tragic that the EA can find no evidence of UK church leaders anxious to get the churches open as soon as possible, suggesting instead that the vast majority of pastors implicitly support the notion that the people of God gathering for Word and sacrament and its wider ministry in the community is non-essential at this time. For the EA, being a good witness in our cultural moment means passive compliance with government policy and protecting people or being ‘safe’ means not meeting at all. If that were in fact the churches’ primary mandate, to keep everyone safe from all risk, then the persecuted church in communist and many Islamic nations today are dangerously irresponsible for continuing to meet and develop underground movements, because all such action exposes their congregants to extreme risk. Perhaps they have something profoundly significant in mind in terms of the overall well-being of the church of Jesus Christ that makes trusting the sovereign God with the ordinary risks of life more important than the illusion of ‘being safe.’
As lockdown eases, some Australian states give churches fewer freedoms than pubs
In South Australia, from the start of June restaurants and cafes will be permitted up to 80 diners, while no more than 20 will be allowed to attend church services. Former royal chaplain says UK bishops spearheaded coronavirus church closures - A former Anglican bishop and chaplain to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has accused Catholic and Anglican bishops of being responsible for the closure of churches in the U.K. during the nationwide lockdown in response to the coronavirus. Gavin Ashenden, who was received into the Catholic Church in December last year, told the Sunday edition of The Nigel Farage Show on LBC that he is “halfway between cross and distraught” at the church closures. “To have the churches closed at this particular place seems to me to be the height of irresponsibility. And what makes me cross is, it’s not the government that did it. It was the church leaders, the bishops of both, I’m afraid, the Catholic and also the Anglican churches who I think in order to, well, who knows what their motives were?” Ashenden said. LGBT activist helped mastermind UK bishops’ order to shut down churches, going beyond govt order - The spokesperson for the Catholic Church in England who explained to the UK government why churches should be closed due to the coronavirus, despite the government originally saying churches should remain open, has a history of supporting and promoting the LGBT agenda, LifeSite has learned. Professor Jim McManus, a member of the healthcare reference group for the Catholic bishops of England and Wales, helped prepare the bishops’ coronavirus guidance and, according to a statement released by the Diocese of Westminster last month, explained to the UK government why churches must be shut in response to the crisis. The bishops closed the churches despite a guidance published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government that stated that “places of worship should remain open for solitary prayer.”
Plan to open mosque in Trocadero in London sparks objections
A plan to convert part of the famous Trocadero building in Piccadilly Circus in London into a mosque has sparked objections from people who say a place of worship in an area noted for its bars and nightlife is inappropriate. The Aziz Foundation, a charity that offers educational grants and scholarships to Muslims, has applied to Westminster city council for permission to convert the basement and ground floor of the Trocadero into a place of worship and a community centre. The Trocadero is owned by Asif Aziz, the chief executive of Criterion Capital, which manages a £2bn property portfolio across London and the south-east. The businessman set up the Aziz Foundation in 2015. According to the foundation, the mosque proposal would “serve the Muslim community who live and work in the West End and provide community space to those of all faiths and none”
Harrow Central Mosque's plan to broadcast call to prayer faces 18,000-strong petition
Harrow's main mosque wants to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer (adhan) across town from loudspeakers on its roof, but the plan is already dividing opinions. Harrow Central Mosque has lodged a planning application with Harrow Council to vary the conditions of its licence which says it can't broadcast music or amplified sound, so it can broadcast the call to prayer at 6pm every Friday. It's part of a "Call to Prayer" campaign set up by fundraiser Rehana Choudry which is asking people of all faiths to reflect on their lives during the coronavirus pandemic at 6pm each Friday. It's also calling on churches across Harrow to ring their bells at the allocated time.
Crown Prosecution Service not trusted due to Stonewall link
A teenage girl is threatening legal action against the Crown Prosecution Service for being biased over transgender issues due to its membership of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme. She is being represented by Safe Schools Alliance and Fair Cop. In the past week she had previously succeeded in getting the CPS to withdraw its guidance for schools on homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, on the grounds that it did not take her single-sex based rights seriously…… The girl told The Times that she does not trust the Crown Prosecution Service:
“I do not believe the CPS can be fair as they are listening to Stonewall, who are misrepresenting what the law says about my rights to female-only spaces. I do not trust them to focus on the safety, privacy and dignity of girls, or to balance the rights of all young people in schools.”
‘Dangerous’: Ontario doctor sounds alarm over Canada’s coronavirus vaccine deal with China
Dr. Kulvinder Gill of Concerned Ontario Doctors called the govt's partnership with the Communist Party 'the most counterproductive and dangerous thing it could do.'
An Ontario doctor is warning that the Canadian government’s new deal with China to produce a coronavirus vaccine is a “dangerous endeavour” and that Canada should instead fund vaccine trials with allied nations….LifeSiteNews reported last week that the vaccine candidate Ad5-nCoV uses the HEK293 cell line, which is made from fetal cells harvested from an aborted baby decades ago, and is the property of the NRC. Pro-abortion Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Saturday that Health Canada approved the coronavirus vaccine Ad5-nCoV to be used in human clinical trials. The trial vaccine Ad5-nCoV was co-developed by the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, and CanSinoBIO. It has already been used in initial human trials since mid-March in China. Trudeau gov’t has similarities with China’s communist regime: Former Canadian ambassador to China - The “fundamental dishonesty” of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s governing is reminiscent of how China’s Communist regime operates, says a former Canadian ambassador to China. Justin Trudeau's 'foolish' China remarks spark anger - Members of the Asian-Canadian community are demanding an apology from Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, following his comments on Thursday expressing admiration for China's "basic dictatorship."….. The Liberal leader was asked which nation he admired most. He responded: "There's a level of admiration I actually have for China. Their basic dictatorship is actually allowing them to turn their economy around on a dime." The Trudeau family's love of tyrants - Political blind spots are inevitable when you have warm thoughts for oppressors
70 scientists, doctors tell Trump how to regain control over corona crisis hijacked by radicals
Last week, a letter containing a dozen science-based, common-sense suggestions for handling the China Virus was personally handed to President Trump. It was signed by 70 US scientists, medical professionals, economists, and other technical experts representing all parts of the political spectrum. They set their political differences aside because of their shared belief that, as they explained, “genuine science should be the basis of our technical public policies and subsequent actions. Unfortunately, far too often real science has been replaced by political science.”
Two WHO ‘Goodwill Ambassadors’ are China’s first lady and a Chinese propagandist
The United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) is facing a growing backlash over its ties with China. One questionable example of WHO-China ties is the organization’s continued appointments of Chinese Communist Party Chairman Xi Jinping’s wife, and a broadcaster for Chinese state-controlled media, as “Goodwill Ambassadors” on key issues. Peng Liyuan, the wife of Xi and the woman described as the “First Lady of China,” has been serving as a WHO Goodwill Ambassador on the issue of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS since 2011, according to a WHO webpage listing its current ambassadors. WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan, of the People’s Republic of China, was the first to award the ambassadorship to Peng, according to Peng’s WHO biography. Peng’s biography lists her as a singer and health activist but includes no mention of her husband, Xi. WHO’s Sneaky Ties to China’s Most Powerful Communists
The WHO Must Drop Its Pro-Beijing 'Goodwill Ambassador'
As the World Health Organization (WHO) meets virtually this week for its annual assembly, its chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus should explain why the agency's elite group of "goodwill ambassadors" includes a Chinese government news presenter who has broadcast forced confessions and is now exploiting his WHO title to whitewash China's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. (The biography lists him as a “Guest Presenter on BBC World News” and a “Special Contributor to CCTV where he interviews global leaders and reports breaking news to 85 million viewers.” China Central Television is China’s state media outlet.)
Barnier writes to Remainers agreeing to TWO-YEAR delay - astonishing letter
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has penned a letter to opposition parties explaining the bloc is open to delaying the transition period by two years. The UK has until the start of July to request an extension to the Brexit transition period which currently comes to an end on December 31 2020. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly ruled out extending the transition period - as Brexit trade talks continue via video next week
Brexit fury: Remainers submit 'Barnier's Bill' demanding two-year delay to EU exit
The European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier wrote to leaders of opposition political parties on Wednesday to say the bloc is open to the idea of an extension by up to 24 months. Both Boris Johnson and the UK's head Brexit negotiator David Frost immediately rejected this, and said a post-Brexit trade deal would have to be signed this year. But a summary of a Bill posted on the UK Parliament website states one has been put forward in an attempt to push through an extension…. This says: "A Bill to require Her Majesty's Government to seek a two-year extension to the implementation period under Article 132 of the Withdrawal Agreement; to repeal the -prohibition on agreeing to such an extension under section 33 of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2000, and for connected purposes." The next stage for the Bill - the second reading - is scheduled to take place on June 12. The Brexit Party's Martin Daubney, who served as a member of the European Parliament between 2019 and 2020, tweeted he had been contacted by a Tory MP who has been left "furious" acting Liberal Democrat co-leader Sir Ed Davey is trying to force through the Bill.
Britain’s Brexit negotiator rules out Michel Barnier’s demand of TWO-YEAR extension
The EU's Chief negotiator this week told Boris Johnson Britain should stay subject to the EU rules for longer so they can thrash out a deal…. He said: “I don’t make policy, I only advise on it. It’s the firm policy of the Government that we will not extend it. “If asked we would not agree with it, I can see why that position would be taken. "We've always put a lot of emphasis on economic and political freedom at the end of this year, and avoiding ongoing significant payments into the EU budget." The extension would mean Britain continues to follow EU rules and pay into the Brussels budget, even though it's no longer a member.
EU chief Michel Barnier approved the go-ahead for work to start on the Wuhan Institute of Virology
Mr Barnier – currently embroiled in acrimonious negotiations with the UK over a post-Brexit trade deal – was the French foreign minister when he gave the go-ahead for work to start on the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2004, under a joint deal with the Chinese. The move came despite strong opposition from French diplomatic and security advisers, who argued that the Chinese reputation for poor bio-security could lead to a catastrophic leak. They also warned that Paris could lose control of the project, and even suggested that Beijing could harness the technology to make biowarfare weapons…… Eleven years later, as the laboratory prepared to open, the French architects of the project complained that they had, as feared, been ousted by the Chinese communist government.
Israel-Bashers Fail To See The Arab Train Leaving The Station
It’s a busy time for Israel-haters. So what’s new? Well, a lot. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), the Democratic congresswoman who has a lengthening record of lies about Israel, last week tweeted the boiler-plate falsehood that Israel’s foundation in 1948 had entailed the “ethnic cleansing” of the Palestinian Arabs who were “indigenous” to the land. The Jews, of course, are the only people for whom the land of Israel was ever their national home. And the Palestinian Arabs’ displacement took place in the war of extermination against the nascent State of Israel, waged by Arab states who told them to leave on the basis that they would return as conquerors. Yet Tlaib’s ahistorical rubbish is standard discourse among western Israel-bashers. In Britain, more than 130 MPs have signed a letter drafted by the Council for Arab-British Understanding calling for sanctions against Israel if it proceeds with its proposal to extend Israeli law over parts of the disputed territories.
Roger Waters – getting a taste of his own medicine
British musician Roger Waters (76) has made the headlines once again, this time complaining that he had been “banned” from Pink Floyd’s official site and social media by his former band mate David Gilmour. In a 5-minute video released on May 19th, Waters shared his deep frustration with his former partners’ refusal to let him use the band’s official platforms, supporting his claims with some very specific facts…… Some background: Roger Waters, who left Pink Floyd in the mid-1980s, has in recent years become a compulsive preacher of the anti-Israel boycott tactic. He feels very strongly that Israel should be excluded from the family of nations because of its alleged treatment of the Palestinians. He wants to “punish” Israel for its “sins” by using banishment and exclusion. He has called Israel an “apartheid state” accused its government of using “Nazi propaganda efforts,” and labeled Israel as “the worst human rights offender in the world” while conveniently ignoring the rest of the world. Almost every prominent musician who intends to perform in Israel is publicly “exposed” by Waters who routinely urges them to cancel their planned trips. Waters explains his fixation on Israel by his “deep care for human rights” although his voice had not been heard much regarding other lingering geopolitical, religious or ethnic crises. Other than agitating the pro-Israel community, his obsession to boycott Israel has mainly brought him infamy.
Lessons must be learned from the Malka Leifer case
Israel can no longer be a safe-haven by those seeking to use the Right of Return as a shield against criminal proceedings. The Jerusalem District Court ruled on Tuesday that Malka Leifer, who Australia has been trying to extradite on alleged sex offenses, is mentally fit to stand trial. The ruling, after six years and more than 60 court appearances, is important but also shockingly late in coming…… Why is Israel a safe haven for sex offenders? Because our laws have not been strengthened to prevent the Law of Return from applying to pedophiles and we have no database or government attempts to check whether those coming to this country are under indictment abroad. We also have not crafted a law to expedite and fast track extradition to partner nations and allies for these kinds of crimes. Medical committee rules Leifer faked medical condition - Leifer is standing trial for extradition on 74 counts of sexual abuse in Australia, but has for many years claimed to be mentally unfit to be extradited. Pt 1: Inside insular Jewish community where headmistress Malka Leifer allegedly preyed on girls. Pt 2: Undercover in Israel in secret operation to expose alleged paedophile principal Malka Leifer
How The Government And NHS Abandoned People To Die From Covid-19
What he reported was so profoundly horrifying that I am reproducing here an edited transcript of what he said. It’s not just the shocking incompetence and worse of both the government and the NHS bureaucracy. After you have digested Nick’s account, you might like to consider those people who have been asserting that “the vast majority” of those who have died from the virus were “very old and would have died soon anyway”, and whether those people who’ve been making such a claim are individuals from whom you want to hear anything ever again.
Gov. Cuomo’s pathetic bid to blame New York Post for his nursing home horrors
Now Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s trying to blame the messenger — that is, The Post — for New York’s nursing-home disaster. His health commissioner, Howard Zucker, ordered homes to accept coronavirus-positive patients — indeed, to admit them without testing. Thousands are dead, and the order is now effectively rescinded, yet the gov still pretends it’s a non-story. Wednesday, in Washington, he lashed out at Post reporter Ebony Bowden for asking if he’d discussed the home crisis with President Trump: “There are columnists who made this point at The Post who are 100 percent supportive of Donald Trump, and that’s fine — but then believe, you know, we have to kill all Democrats.” Krystal Ball: CNN, MSNBC CAUGHT covering for catastrophic Cuomo mistake - Krystal Ball discusses New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's liability shield for donors from hospital lobbying groups and nursing homes.
The shallow exploitation of the ‘migrant crisis’
The outrage over illegal migrants in the English Channel shows that immigration has become all about political showmanship. There is undoubtedly a problem here, though. A combination of the UN Refugee Convention, international maritime law and French authorities’ willingness to move ‘a problem’ on, means that UK border forces end up in the position of being legally obliged to escort hundreds of migrants a year into UK territory, where they will then wait months and years for their applications for asylum to be processed. And that’s just the ones who get caught. There are likely to be many more a year who escape the attentions of the UK Border Force, rendezvous with traffickers in the UK before being put to low-to-no paid work in, say, a city-centre carwash……. But painting this as an ‘invasion’ is unhelpful. It overstates and misrepresents the problem of illegal migration. And it dehumanises the migrants, transforming them into a malign force, indeed into ‘invaders’.
Mandatory Masks Aren’t About Safety, They’re About Social Control
Mandatory masking seeks to build that consent. In addition to extending the fiction that we are in an emergency sufficient to trigger the extra-constitutional authority of local and state executives, mandatory masking acts as a peer pressure-fueled signal that encourages conformity to our coming “new normal.” An April 18 article in the Washington Post underscores the strategy, presenting the mask controversy as a left versus right debate. People resisting mandatory mask policies are, per usual, painted as unreasonable, headstrong, and backward—displaying ignorant American bravado while rejecting science and good sense. (That caricature is itself a tool to mock, marginalize, and silence dissent.) WHO says there is no need for healthy people to wear face masks, days after the CDC told all Americans to cover their faces - The use of face masks on healthy people during the coronavirus pandemic has been a major point of contention and confusion among scientists and the public.
Twitter censors Trump for glorifying violence, lets Iran threaten Israel
Twitter on Thursday flagged a tweet by US President Donald Trump for “glorifying violence,” disabling re-tweets and comments. In the Tweet Trump had written that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Yet Tweets by Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei calling for arming Palestinians, destroying Israel and “Jihad” remained without similar Twitter flags. The company provided no explanation for what defines “glorifying violence” and does not provide a way to report tweets specifically for this issue….. In recent weeks as Iran’s regime sought to commemorate Quds Day it has called Israel a “virus” and “cancerous” and called for Palestinians to “liberate” the country. It has said they should be armed and that Iran supports Palestinian “fighters.” Khamenei tweeted on May 22 that “one cannot communicate with a savage enemy except by force.” A subsequent tweet urged “Jihad” against Israel, “everyone must help the Palestinian fighters.” He writes that “the struggle to free Palestine is Jihad in the way of God, Victory in a struggle has been guaranteed because a person, even if killed, will receive ‘one of the two excellent things.’” This is a reference to religious rewards for being killed fighting. He also wrote that the “Zionist regime is a deadly cancerous growth” and that it must be “uprooted and destroyed.”
Britain condemns Iranian regime over anti-Semitism towards Israel
The UK Foreign Secretary has condemned the Iranian regime’s latest use of anti-Semitism against Israel. The statement by Dominic Raab took aim at anti-Semitic declarations made by Iranian dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last week in which the Iranian leader used Nazi imagery to threaten Israel with destruction. “There is no excuse for the anti-Semitic language in statements from Iran’s leadership,” the Foreign Secretary rebuked in a Tweet, “Israel has an undeniable right to peace and security, and denying it hurts all the people of the region.”
Facebook announces progress in developing AI to silence ‘hate speech’
The social media platform says it now detects and removes 88.8 percent of what it considers 'hate speech.'
For years, Facebook has been criticized for suppressing or otherwise discriminating against many right-of-center pages and posts, while multiple analyses have found that Facebook’s algorithm changes instituted at the beginning of 2018 disproportionately impacted conservative politicians and websites. Last year, an insider revealed that Facebook “deboosts” traffic to several mainstream conservative sites. Facebook often reverses such censorship actions after sufficient media coverage pressures them to do so, insisting they were isolated errors rather than part of a willful pattern. Still, such incidents continue to happen, and conservatives say they do not trust Facebook’s content Oversight Board, which is largely staffed by left-wing figures, to protect their freedom of speech.
France's Determination to End Free Speech
Private companies will now be obliged to act as thought police on behalf of the French state or face heavy fines. "Under the pretext of fighting 'hateful' content on the Internet, it [the Avia law] is setting up a system of censorship that is as effective as it is dangerous... 'hate' is the pretext systematically used by those who want to silence dissenting opinions.... A democracy worthy of its name should accept freedom of expression." — Guillaume Roquette, editorial director of Le Figaro Magazine, May 22, 2020… Asking private companies -- or the government -- to act as thought police does not belong in a state that claims to follow a democratic rule of law. Unfortunately, the question is not whether France will be the last European country to introduce such censorship laws, but what other countries are next in line. Police say offending someone is an offence - Christian street preacher, Joshua Sutcliffe, was warned and told by police at Oxford Circus, London, that it is now a crime to offend someone in public. While preaching a message about Jesus’ love and forgiveness for everyone and referring to 1 Corinthians 6:9, Joshua had said that “homosexuality is wrong”. However, the police came and interrupted his preaching, telling him that “it’s an offence if someone finds something offensive.”
The sinister bias of YouTube and Twitter
Forget BBC impartiality, it's the unlimited power of the tech giants that should really alarm us
Another week, another row about BBC impartiality, a regular event has that become almost as much a national institution as the Beeb itself. But amid the interminable culture wars now fought over media bias it is crucial that we do not miss an even bigger story — involving the far more powerful tech giants. BBC bias stories drive many people wild because it is a taxpayer-funded organisation, and also because we have a long-held reverence towards what people used to call ‘Auntie’. But in the long run, the issue of fairness and freedom in news-reporting and opinion-forming is going to focus far more around information giants such as Google and Facebook than it is for the national broadcaster, its best days already behind it. The British Military Information War Waged On Their Own Population - Last Wednesday, during the daily UK Government Coronavirus livestream, the head of the British Army, General Sir Nick Carter, bragged: We’ve been involved with the Cabinet Office Rapid Response Unit, with our 77th Brigade helping to quash rumours from misinformation, but also to counter disinformation. Between three and four thousand of our people have been involved, with around twenty thousand available the whole time at high readiness….. “The Rapid Response Mechanism,” she continued, "will support preventative and protective cooperation between G7 countries, as well as post-incident responses", including: - co-ordinated attribution of hostile activity - joint work to assert a common narrative and response. The UK government’s Rapid Response, then, is to create international agreement on a common narrative (via the 'mechanism'), and then wage an information war on its own people to make sure that narrative is protected in the media (via the 'unit').
Thanks to COVID, Any Smartphone Can Now Be Tracked by Government Via Automatic Update
Last week, Apple and Google made available the first public version of their exposure notification application programming interface (API). Named the Exposure Notification system, this is not an app but rather a joint contact-tracing software tool that is part of the operating system installed on new phones and included in system updates. The tech giants are not planning on making an app but developers working on behalf of public health agencies can now issue apps that make use of it.
Sanctimonious Bullying, Double Standards And Sheer Absence Of Humanity
The public hysteria over Dominic Cummings, who held an unprecedented press conference today in the Downing Street garden to explain why he appeared to have broken the spirit if not the letter of the lockdown rules, is far more troubling than anything Boris Johnson’s controversial chief adviser may have done. By Cummings’s own account, several media claims about what he supposedly did in the 14 days at the end of March and in early April, claims which did so much to incite public feeling against him, were false. With his wife sick with what looked like Covid, leaving her almost unable to care for their child, with Cummings himself likely to go down with the virus and hounded within his London house by a hostile and threatening public, he drove his wife and son to a house on his parents’ farm in Durham to isolate there, with his sister and other family members leaving food on the doorstep. UK Column discusses some of the bizarre comments on Dominic Cummings’ blog in which he recommends “Meditations on Moloch, Scott Alexander. This is an extremely good essay in general about deep problems with our institutions.”
It was Emily Maitlis who broke the rules
The British broadcast media’s alleged impartiality is worn as a badge of pride. It’s one of those things that separates us from those mad Yanks, they say, and spares us the partisan panto performed on US stations each night. The beloved taxpayer-funded BBC, in particular, is held up as the pinnacle of this more liberal-left variety of British exceptionalism. And so when word got round that Boris Johnson was considering scrapping the license fee earlier this year, some people lost it. ‘Save the BBC from Boris Johnson or we’ll get UK Fox News’, wrote Labour MP Ian Murray in February……. Cummings Derangement Syndrome isn’t a malady limited to Maitlis or the BBC. The broadcast media’s often hysterical and principle-free pursuit of Cummings in recent days has been remarkable. On Monday, Sky News’ Adam Boulton falsely accused a commentator, Darren Grimes, of having worked for Cummings. Then when Grimes raised comments made by Dr Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer, Boulton dismissed her as a ‘government mouthpiece’. Many have thrown caution and impartiality guidelines to the wind in their desperation to damn Cummings and claim his scalp.
George Floyd’s encounter with Minneapolis police shown in new video
New video from a different angle has emerged showing George Floyd being detained by Minneapolis police officers shortly before his death, according to a report. The footage, which has been circulating on social media, was shot from the opposite side of the street where Officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck, NBC News reported. George Floyd and Derek Chauvin once worked overlapping security shifts - George Floyd and Derek Chauvin — the now-fired Minneapolis cop caught on viral footage pinning his knee on Floyd’s neck — once worked overlapping security shifts at a club in the city, according to a local report. Floyd and Chauvin both worked security at the El Nuevo Rodeo Club on Lake Street in south Minneapolis — and overlapped shifts on popular music nights within the last year, former club owner Maya Santamaria told local outlet KSTP….. However, Santamaria couldn’t say for sure whether the two men knew each other because the club often had a couple dozen security guards, including off-duty officers.
Joe Biden’s ‘you ain’t black’ comment wasn’t just a gaffe
This is why somebody as gaffe-prone as Joe Biden – the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee – is almost always at risk of derailing his own campaign. Last week, Biden was invited by Charlamagne tha God (not his real name) to appear as a guest on The Breakfast Club. As the interview drew to a close, Biden told his host: ‘If you’ve got a problem figuring out if you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.’…….. But there can be no misunderstanding the identitarian worldview from which Biden’s joke derives, and it is this, rather than the gaffe itself, that has caused so much anger. The belief that black people think as a homogeneous collective is one shared by identitarians on both the right and the left, and it is understandable that so many black Americans have taken umbrage at the patronising implications of Biden’s words. It’s the same reason why Kanye West challenged the assumption that ‘if you’re black you have to be Democrat’. As though to prove his point, Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote a response piece in the Atlantic entitled: ‘I’m not black, I’m Kanye.’
Joe Biden's racism a Democratic Party tradition
Biden has a long history of being racially insensitive
True, we have not even elected him president yet, but isn’t it already time to start dismantling Joe Biden’s presidential library? After all, he has a long history of supporting white supremacists and just being an all-around racially insensitive, privileged white geezer. To be fair, Mr. Biden did not invent the Democratic Party or its racism. But for nearly 50 years he has knowingly and willingly associated himself with and supported the causes of the Democratic Party, known throughout history for its association with white supremacy. Biden’s Unhinged Tirade Against “Those People”.
Joe Biden Keeps Lying — But You Won’t Hear It From Liberal Media
Joe Biden’s astonishing propensity to make things up is a major liability for him. But Democratic voters have been largely kept in the dark about those lies by liberal media outlets. Sam Donaldson exposes Biden Lies (LOL) - Once upon a time even the mainstream media at least attempted to be intellectually honest when reporting on our elected officials.
Here’s 23 Questions Joe Biden Needs To Answer About China
The public deserves to know what presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s approach to China would be. After all, this is a man who sat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for three decades. Biden ultimately chaired or served as its ranking member from 1997 on, during a career at the senior-most levels of government spanning almost the entirety of U.S.-China engagement. As a longtime senator and then vice president, Biden never once acted to scuttle the integrationist-accommodationist policy that has left America in such a perilous position. This is to say nothing of the disturbing appearance of corruption surrounding Biden’s tenure as vice president, in which he managed the “China portfolio,” while his son Hunter contemporaneously entered into an apparent sweetheart Chinese investment deal.
Netanyahu: Palestinians in Israeli-annexed Jordan Valley won’t get citizenship; rebuffs settler complaints
The settler leaders have drawn their own map, but that has reportedly not affected the committee’s work, leading to outcry and internal discord. Netanyahu said the declaration of annexation will not include a word on accepting a future Palestinian state, as some on the right have feared: “The issue is separate. There isn’t supposed to be any cabinet decision on the matter.” In his conversation with Makor Rishon, Netanyahu said the conceptual map for annexation “gave a general idea that has to be broken down into details, and that’s exactly what we’re doing at the moment. We will, of course, show it to the settlers.” Naftali Bennett: Trump peace plan map needs to change - As the international community is pressing Israel to back away from the Trump peace plan and its annexation intentions, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing a battle against right-wing politicians who want him to apply sovereignty to West Bank settlements while rejecting the Trump plan. They are upset in particular by the Trump map, which they argue would lead to de facto building freezes and the destruction of at least 15 settlements. Yamina Party head Naftali Bennett has long opposed the Trump plan because it also allows for the creations of a demilitarized Palestinian state. Bennett has long argued Israel must apply sovereignty to all of Area C, while the Trump plan allows Israel to annex only half of Area C, effectively 30% of the West Bank.
A militarized Palestinian state on Israel's doorstep would be a liability
It is absolutely beyond the pale for Israel to make any commitment, even conditional, to upgrade the Palestinian Authority into a state. A few Israeli writers have been advising the Israeli Right not to fear Trump’s peace plan. Don’t be “purists,” they urge. Don’t worry so much about the Palestinian state component. The Palestinians will say no for us, or will fail to comply with conditions. These writers are quite wrong about this, whereas Israelis courageously opposing the Trump-Netanyahu wink to future “state” status for the Palestinian Authority are quite right. The existential threat of a Palestinian state - What happens when a president who is the greatest-ever friend to Israel proposes a Palestinian state? How is the US Jewish community in general, and the State of Israel in particular, to respond to an American head of state whose dedication to Israel’s security has no precedent, but whose plans involve fundamental risks to Israel’s future? That is the conundrum facing people like me for whom US President Donald Trump on Israel has exceeded all expectations but whose peace plan presents potential perils…… Let me be clear. This is by far the best peace plan devised thus far…. But the elephant in the room is still the Palestinian state…..But all of these benefits do not counter the one great flaw of the plan, which is to acknowledge that Judea and Samaria – the ancient biblical heartland of the Jewish people where 80% of biblical events took place – does not belong to the Jews. And once you deny Jewish ownership of Hebron, Shiloh or Eli, you open the Pandora’s box to the antisemitic argument that neither Jerusalem, Beersheba or Haifa belong to us either.
We promote sovereignty without establishing Palestinian state'
Former Justice Minister MK Ayelet Shaked referred in an interview with Arutz Sheva to a number of issues regarding the Trump Mideast initiative and reversing changes she made in the judicial system, which also mean costs to Prime Minister Netanyahu. On life in the opposition as opposed to that in the coalition, MK Shaked says in the opposition "you have the freedom to support what you truly believe without coalition discipline and protest what you don't believe in," a reality that makes the new reality a complex blend of pros and cons. "Since Netanyahu has established a government with significant Leftist parties and transferred them powers and ministries like Justice and Internal Security, we are trying to push this government Rightward, this time from outside."
'Sovereignty has become the new excuse for tearing apart the Holy Land'
Group of over 400 leading Israeli rabbis embarks on campaign to inform the public of shortcomings and dangers of the 'Deal of the Century.'….. “The general public is confused by all of the announcements and maps they are presented with, and fail to see that the plan is a replay of the great mistake of Oslo and the disengagement,” said Rabbi Abraham Shmuel Lewin, secretary of the Congress. “In the final analysis, all these compromises and declarations stand in direct opposition to the eternal truth of the Torah, which is also the simplest and most logical to prove – that any concession of full Israeli control of the land, even if only at the 'declarative level,' strengthens the will and ability of our enemies to attain further concessions through acts of terrorism and murder, exactly as happened after the Oslo Accords and the disengagement from Gaza.”
Is the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine back from the dead?
Behind the Lines: Iranian support appears to lie behind uptick in the terrorist group’s activities in the region. The Israel Defense Forces this week carried out the partial demolition of the home of Qassem Shibli, also known as Qassem al-Barghouti, in the village of Kobar, in the Ramallah area…… This house demolition is the latest move by the Israeli authorities against a Palestinian terrorist network in the West Bank maintained by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine….. the PFLP activist Yamani appears to be doubling as a recruiter and operative for the intelligence services of Iran….. This growing PFLP-Iran connection is not a new revelation. It has been well reported in recent years. As long ago as September 2013, an article in Al-Monitor by Gaza-based Palestinian journalist Hazem Balousha noted the growing “financial and logistical” support from Tehran to the PFLP’s “political and military wings.”
PLO declares agreements with Israel have ended
Palestinian officials said on Wednesday they are planning to step up their efforts to thwart Israel’s intention to apply sovereignty to parts of the West Bank, now that the Palestinians have “successfully” prevented the spread of the coronavirus. Some officials expressed hope massive international pressure would force Israel to backtrack on its “unilateral” move. “There’s room for optimism,” a senior Palestinian official in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post. “There’s a feeling that most of the world stands with us on the issue of annexation.”
Abbas's Precious Gift to Iran: Hamas
By halting the security crackdown on Hamas, Abbas would be paving the way for terrorists to kill him and his associates in the West Bank, as they had already begun to do in 2007 in the Gaza Strip, and possibly again in a coup in 2014. If and when Abbas does suspend security coordination with Israel, he will be sending a message to Iran and its Palestinian proxies that the time has come to turn the West Bank into a center for Jihad against Israel and the "infidels." At the same time, Abbas will be signing his own death warrant: Hamas has apparently not relinquished its desire to "hang Abbas in front of the Palestinian people." It appears to be decision time: Will Abbas ally himself with those who are protecting him or with those who would execute him as a traitor?
Palestinians: The Home Demolitions No One Talks About
While international human rights groups and the European Union have also been condemning Israel, they are ignoring home demolitions carried out by Hamas in the Gaza Strip. In February, Hamas notified 50 families... that their homes would be destroyed on the pretext that they were built without a license. The families were instructed to evacuate their homes within two weeks.... Last year, Hamas demolished another house in Khan Yunis belonging to Bassam Duhan, also on the pretext that it was built without a license. Duhan, a father of eight, set up a tent in front of the demolished house. He complained that relatives of senior Hamas officials had also built homes in the same area, but no one destroyed their homes. Last year, a youth group in the Gaza Strip called on the Arab League and other Arab and Islamic parties to launch an investigation into Hamas's crimes against Palestinians. Needless to say, the group has never received a reply from the Arab League or any other organization in the Arab and Islamic countries. The appeal came after Hamas militiamen used excessive force to prevent Palestinians from protesting economic hardship and Hamas corruption.
US to end waivers allowing foreign firms to work at Iranian nuclear sites
The Trump administration announced that it would end waivers that have allowed Russian, Chinese and European companies to continuously operate at Iranian nuclear facilities, ending the last vestiges of sanctions relief under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. “The Iranian regime has continued its nuclear brinkmanship by expanding proliferation sensitive activities,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Wednesday. Pompeo accused Iran of “nuclear extortion” and said that sanctions “will lead to increased pressure on Iran and further isolate the regime from the international community.”
Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia and Qatar form troubling new alliance
The name of fugitive Indian Salafi Islamist preacher Zakir Naik is little known in the West. Naik, founder of the Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation, is currently being pursued by the Indian authorities on charges of money laundering and hate speech. Naik is a popular Islamist preacher in his native country. He has been referred to as “perhaps the most influential Salafi ideologue in India” and “the world’s leading Salafi evangelist.” His views on subjects such as homosexuality, apostasy and the Jews are as might be expected (the first two deserve the death penalty, the third “control America”). The Indian authorities note evidence that two of the seven terrorists who carried out a deadly attack at a café in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on July 1, 2016, claimed inspiration from his teachings.
Tracking Down Sudan's Secret Cash
Sudan's former dictator reportedly siphoned off "millions of dollars" from one of the world's poorest nations and sent it to bank accounts in Qatar and Iran. Sudan's foreign debt is estimated at $62 billion and the transitional government is desperately trying to locate funds to deal with a worsening economic crisis and treat its nation's Covid-19 patients. Sudan has long been ranked as one of the world's poorer nations by United Nations measurements; a quarter of Sudanese live in extreme poverty. Sudan's transitional government is doing its best, despite the shortcomings and contradictions, trying to improve human rights, provide greater transparency, and address many of the most odious policies of the previous regime. This fragile yet real reformist approach, coupled with Sudan's strategic geopolitical position and importance for US national security, needs a stronger and more tangible response, in terms of assistance, from the West and especially the United States.
American pressure on Qatar and other states to seize any Bashir regime funds and return them to the Sudanese people can and should be part of a new pact to promote reform..
China moving military ships near Taiwanese coast may spark US confrontation
The Chinese Communist Party is readying two new aircraft carriers for deployment off the coast of Taiwan that could lead to a military confrontation with the US ships in the region, as the relationship between the two global powers has become strained by trade issues and the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report. The ships Liaoning and Shandong, part of the People’s Liberation Army navy, are conducting military readiness drills in the Yellow Sea but are expected to move into the South China Sea to Pratas Island for invasion mock battles, CCP-controlled Global Times reported. Noting Chinese President Xi Jinping’s assertions of territorial control over most of the waterway and lack of respect for the sovereignty of countries in the region, like Taiwan, the “risk of a military confrontation in the South China Sea involving the United States and China could rise significantly in the next eighteen months,” the Council on Foreign Relations said in a report issued last week.
'All-out combat' feared as India, China engage in border standoff
Indian media says thousands of Chinese troops are believed to be inside the Indian territory along the de facto border.
Ajai Shukla, a defence analyst based in New Delhi, fears that any further escalation would mean "all-out combat". "Thousands of Chinese troops are on Indian soil. The only thing that remains for them is to engage in combat," he said. "China could be using the excuse of construction activity to put pressure on India for completely different political or economic objective[s], and that we do not know. We do not know what the Chinese objectives are in this particular case."
China Builds Massive Spying Capacity in Africa
The Chinese government has established an unparalleled spying capacity in Africa by encouraging Chinese companies such as Huawei to construct government buildings across the continent, according to a recent report. The report, published by the conservative Heritage Foundation, found that Chinese firms—many of which are state-owned or linked to the government—have built or renovated 186 government buildings in Africa. Many were constructed in the last two decades. Senior Policy Analyst Joshua Meservey, the report's author, said the buildings are "a likely vector for Chinese spying," given the Chinese government's history of using such buildings to spy on its inhabitants. "Beijing may have better surveillance access to Africa than anywhere else in the world," the report reads. "The Chinese government could use the information it harvests to advantage its companies competing against American and other firms, glean insights into U.S. security assistance and counterterrorism programs, and recruit or influence senior African government officials."
Beijing just imposed a raft of new security measures that will completely undermine the independence of Hong Kong's own legislature. The new measures will apparently be announced in a few weeks -- but one can assume that they include extradition to the mainland and imprisonment. "In China they never really define what exactly is 'national security'. So the law could change according to political expediency or political necessity," Johannes Chan, a legal scholar in Hong Kong, told public broadcaster RTHK, according to The Guardian.
U.S. indicts North Koreans, Chinese for illegal financial deals
U.S. prosecutors have indicted 28 North Koreans and five Chinese nationals as part of a global network of companies charged with circumventing U.S. sanctions by covertly accessing the American financial system. The 14-count federal grand jury indictment represents the largest enforcement action ever against North Korea by the Justice Department, which has played a stepped-up role under the Trump administration to enforce sanctions policies toward North Korea and China.
U.S. planning to cancel visas of Chinese graduate students: sources
The United States is planning to cancel the visas of thousands of Chinese graduate students believed by President Donald Trump’s administration to have links with China’s military, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday. The move, first reported by the New York Times, could impact 3,000 to 5,000 Chinese students and could be announced as early as this week, according to the sources, including a current U.S. official and another individual who was briefed on the administration’s internal discussions.
US tightens Chinese journalists' entry amid tensions with Beijing
The United States has issued a new rule tightening visa guidelines for Chinese journalists, saying it was in response to the treatment of US journalists in China, a shift that comes amid tensions between the two nations. In issuing the new regulation on Friday, the Department of Homeland Security cited what it called China's "suppression of independent journalism"….. A senior DHS official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the new rules would allow the department to review Chinese journalist visa applications more frequently, and would likely reduce the overall number of Chinese journalists in the US. "It's going to create greater national security protections," the official said. The new rules will not apply to journalists with passports from Hong Kong or Macau, China's two semi-autonomous territories, according to DHS. US newspapers appeal to China not to expel their reporters ...
US Congress passes Uyghur Rights Act authorizing sanctions against China for abuses in Xinjiang
The U.S. Congress passed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 on Wednesday, marking the first legislation by any government to target China for its persecution of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), despite threats of retaliation from Beijing. The passage comes as the U.S. House of Representatives voted 413-1 via proxy to approve the bill that would sanction Chinese government officials—including regional Communist Party secretary Chen Quanguo—responsible for arbitrary incarceration, forced labor and other abuses in the XUAR, home to internment camps holding as many as 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslims.
America’s threat to delist Chinese companies could make everybody better off
Chinese firms might submit to greater scrutiny by the U.S. auditing agency to gain credibility with investors. After passing unanimously in the U.S. Senate on May 20, the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act is heading for the House of Representatives, and President Donald Trump is expected to sign it into law. The law would require that all companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges submit to audits reviewable by the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), and noncompliant firms could be delisted after three years. This has generated talk that all Chinese firms could disappear from US exchanges. Some observers might question the wisdom of such legislation, on the grounds that it could hurt returns on U.S. household savings, financial-sector profits, and the global competitiveness of U..S stock exchanges. While these are legitimate concerns, a U.S. threat to delist Chinese firms could be worth the risk, leading not only to more credible disclosures, but also, perhaps surprisingly, to more listings by high-quality Chinese private-sector firms. Special Report: The Coronavirus Pandemic's Wall Street Connection | NTD - Over the past few decades, the economic strength of the CCP has continued to expand with the help of financing from the United States, led by Wall Street. The CCP’s ruling model based on information manipulation and violent oppression has never changed. Today, the CCP’s power poses a major threat to American lives, financial security, and to U.S. national security.
'Flagrantly reckless': Victoria signed China infrastructure deal without consulting DFAT
Victoria did not consult the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade before signing a controversial infrastructure deal with the Chinese government last year, leaving senior officials concerned it could undermine Australia's push to counter Beijing's growing influence in the region. The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald can reveal Australia's chief foreign policy makers were blindsided by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews' announcement that he had signed the "framework agreement" tying the state to China's Belt and Road Initiative on October 23.
Vic 'given green light for China's Belt and Road deal by DFAT'
Victoria was reportedly given the green light to go ahead with China's Belt and Road agreement by the current Australian Ambassador to China when he worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Graham Fletcher reportedly told the Victorian government in 2018 the deal would have merit while other DFAT senior officials told the premier and cabinet that signing on would not undermine the federal government's policy. The revelations contradict Prime Minister Scott Morrison's assertions on Sunday the federal government never supported the signing of the deal noting Victoria was the only state to sign on. China's Belt and Road Initiative has been the subject of ongoing political tension between the Asian superpower and western governments. The move also drew criticism from a number of Coalition MPs including Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, Resources Minister Matt Canavan, and Liberal Senator James Paterson. Mr Paterson said Victoria's signing on had undermined Australia's response to China in recent weeks regarding the pandemic and its foreign policy in the Pacific.
Growing concerns in US over Victoria’s ‘quite foolish’ Belt and Roads agreement
There is now increasing concern resonating in the United States about Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ “quite foolish decision” to subscribe to China’s Belt and Road Initiative according to Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson. The Andrews government has been dodging questions about whether any of the state's $24 billion coronavirus rescue package would be borrowed from China. China has offered similar Belt and Roads loans to vulnerable countries in the region, as well as countries like Sri Lanka which was unable to repay the loans used to build a new port at Colombo so the communist country repossessed it. Victoria is turning itself into a Chinese 'economic colony'
Germany: U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell's Legacy of Success
Grenell's greatest achievement during his roughly two years as ambassador was his tireless pursuit of the American interest and his unwillingness to appease Germany's anti-American establishment….. On a wide range of geopolitical issues — from relations with China, Iran and Russia to anti-Semitism, climate change, defense spending (NATO), energy dependence (Nord Stream), globalism, Hezbollah, Huawei and mass migration — Grenell embarrassed German leaders by showing that their words and actions do not match. The greatest point of contention in U.S. relations with Germany is Berlin's refusal to honor its pledge to spend 2% of its GDP on defense. Germany, the largest and wealthiest country in the European Union, currently lacks a functioning Air Force and Navy and is completely dependent on U.S. security guarantees. Germany's unwillingness to pay for its own defense has led to charges that it is "free-riding" on American security. Grenell consistently drew attention to this untenable arrangement, much to the anger of German elites. Closely related to the defense spending issue is Germany's increasing energy dependency on Russia. Despite opposition from the United States and 15 European countries, Germany is determined to complete the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, which will further increase Russia's leverage as an energy supplier to Europe. Grenell placed a spotlight on the inherent contradiction that while the United States is spending billions of dollars annually to defend Europe against growing threats from Russia, German energy policies are increasing Russia's grip over Europe.
Grenell rips DC swamp, Politico, Democratic leakers
Richard Grenell, who shook up the intelligence world in just three months as acting director of national intelligence, used his first interview since stepping down to blast Washington’s insider culture of protecting itself and ruining outside reformers. In a 19-minute interview on the Mark Levin Show, the longtime public servant who recently was ambassador to Germany said that the political-media axis in Washington is toxic and geared to thwart reforms that threaten its operation….. Grenell added that Capitol Hill used the intelligence community as a weapon against the administration. For example, he said that lawmakers would seek oversight information in a letter and then leak the letter to the press before it even arrived on his desk.
The various external links to news outlets do not imply a recommendation for all the content found on these sites and do not necessarily represent my views. In particular, I have been using Catholic news sites, many who are critical of Vatican II and Pope Francis. I do not support the Catholic ideology and all that it represents. But I use these media platforms to gain better coverage of current events in relation to end-time biblical events.