Russia and Europe Moving Toward a Deal on Syria?

Russia and Europe Moving Toward a Deal on Syria?

JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images

With Assad’s regime ready to topple, Russia and Europe are moving closer to making a deal on Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin distanced his country from Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, after talks with EU leaders in Brussels on December 21. His statements indicate that Europe and Russia may have come to some kind of agreement over Syria’s future.

Russia, he said, is not “a defender for the current Syrian leadership.” Instead, he said there is a “need to agree how Syria is to be governed.” Mr. Putin said he would support a democratic regime there. But he made clear that he still does not support military action or increased sanctions.

The Associated Press notes that “Putin’s statement reflected attempts by Russia to distance itself from the Syrian regime.”

Last month, Andrew Miiller wrote that “with Russia funneling cash to the Assad regime and Germany giving politico-military support to the rebels, the entire Syrian civil war can be viewed as a proxy war between Moscow and Berlin.”

Mr. Putin’s comments could be the first indications that this war is coming to an end.

Something like this is to be expected. Though German and Russian relations are on a short-term dip at the moment, overall the two countries remain close. They have a lot of common interests. To really be powerful on the world scene, Germany has to be sure Russia isn’t working against it behind its back.

That doesn’t mean some kind of deal was made at the summit. The EU officials present aren’t the big players in this game. Germany is Russia’s closest and most important partner in Europe. The German-Russian relationship is the one to watch. Putin’s statements indicate he is at least leaving the door open for a deal with Germany.

What happens in Syria is very important for the Middle East. But it also reflects on relations around the world. Bible prophecy shows us that the Syrian government will end up an ally of Germany. Russia could try and fight that. It’s more likely that the two sides will come to an arrangement.

Watch German-Russian relations to see if this will happen. If Russia gives way easily, watch for it to receive something in return: less opposition to Russian energy companies in Europe, or a blind eye turned to Russia’s attempts to regain control of former Soviet countries, for example.

Ultimately, the German-Russian relationship is vital for world stability. Historically, Germany secures assurances from Russia before going on the offensive. As Germany grows more powerful, watch for it to seek the same assurances.

For more information on this history, see our article “A New Strategic Partnership Emerges.”

Kings of the North and South Battle in Jordan

Jordan has invited the European Union to monitor its upcoming elections. The request was made by Jordan’s independent election commission, and the EU said on Thursday that it will fulfill the request. The EU will send 140 observers from its 27 member states to monitor both the vote itself and the pre-election campaign, which starts on Saturday.

It will be the first time that the EU has monitored Jordan’s parliamentary vote.

The EU’s election observer chief, David Martin, said on Thursday that he hopes the elections on January 23 will contribute to Jordan’s democratic development. “We have never observed Jordanian elections before,” said Martin. “This is the first time that the European Election Observation Mission has felt that the conditions were right to come and observe elections here in Jordan.”

“The agreement is to give us the space to work, but not to work with the government, so we are completely independent of the government structure,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jordan’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood is boycotting the vote.

Both Iran and Europe are interested in Jordan’s elections. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote earlier this year that radical Islam is plotting to take over Jordan, which is a comparatively small and weak nation. He also pointed out that the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to hijack the king’s effort to reform his country.

Jordan’s invitation to the European Union to monitor its elections is probably an effort to win support in its battle against the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Bible prophesies that Jordan will not be taken over by the EU or by Iran and radical Islam. The presence of EU observers will not skew the election, but it shows who Jordan will turn to in order to combat radical Islam.

God has a special plan for modern Jordan. To understand this nation’s future, read Jordan and God’s Church in Prophecy.

Germany and Japan: Biopharmaceutical Axis Powers

Germany and Japan: Biopharmaceutical Axis Powers

PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images

World War II military allies forging powerful health-care partnerships

Germany and Japan partnered October 10-12 at the BioJapan World Business Forum in Yokohama. Since 1986 BioJapan has expanded to over 400 exhibitors and 1,000 coordinated representatives. This year initiated a new online matching system designed to aid representatives in finding business partners. The convention is a key player in building new business bridges between international corporations.

Health—Made in Germany” is a development strategy to create “win-win situations for global partners and German health-care companies,” claims Germany Trade & Invest (gtai).

The Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology underwrites the initiative, while operations are directed by gtai to ensure federal groups, firms and professional communities prosper from medicare trade prospects.

Gabriel Flemming, medical biotechnology expert at Germany Trade & Invest in Berlin, noted, “There is a need for innovation, and small and medium-sized companies have an excellent chance to work with established players.”

BioJapan gave representatives of biotech companies from both countries a forum to qualify for mutual opportunities in their respective homelands, notably in the medical pharmaceutical and diagnostic spheres.

Iwami Asakawa, Germany Trade & Invest representative in Tokyo, said, “With world-class pharmaceutical industries and cutting-edge research, Germany and Japan are natural partners. Both countries are also facing the same challenges that come with aging societies. The conditions are just right to intensify cooperation in order to share costs and speed market entry.”

As a prime example, Osaka’s Bio Medical Cluster and Munich’s BioM have partnered for over a year now, setting the pace for other firms to follow. Currently, there are more than 550 biotech companies in Germany, with almost 50 percent devoted to animal and human production of cutting-edge medicines and diagnostic procedures.

You can expect these former axis military and economic powers of World War ii to continue maximizing their biotech momentum into market dominance amid rapid U.S. fiscal decline, compounded by the impact of Obamacare, an unfathomable national debt load and unemployment abyss (Leviticus 26:19; Deuteronomy 28; Ezekiel 33:1-11; Hosea 5:5).

These conditions have been long prophesied in the pages of the best seller, yet little read, physical and spiritual health and healing book—the Bible. The Word of God foretells not only Germany’s rise in dominance of Europe, but also Japan’s in conjunction with the great Eastern powers of Eurasia. Request your free copies of Germany’s Conquest of the Balkans, Russia and China in Prophecy and The Plain Truth About Healing for vital understanding.

Jacob Zuma’s Reelection and the Most Dangerous Job in South Africa

Jacob Zuma’s Reelection and the Most Dangerous Job in South Africa

STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images)

With Zuma poised to lead the nation for another term, South Africa’s racial tensions are not likely to abate any time soon.

Amid hearty renditions of apartheid-era songs and wails from vuvuzelas, South African President Jacob Zuma was swept to victory on Tuesday in his party’s leadership election. Since his party—the African National Congress—holds dominant influence over the black majority of South Africa’s population, the win effectively secures Africa’s most powerful office until 2019.

Zuma’s victory has sobering implications for South Africa because he has repeatedly condemned the white minority’s control of the country’s economy, and has worked toward a widespread transfer of wealth to the nation’s black population, including the redistribution of white-owned farms.

At present, only 8 percent of South African farms are owned by blacks—a number far short of the 30 percent goal by 2014 proposed by former President Nelson Mandela. Those zealous about achieving Mandela’s target have turned South Africa into a nation where it is more dangerous to be a white farmer than to be even a policeman.

This fact is especially sobering because South Africa is awash with violence and crime, making it abnormally dangerous to be among the police forces of many of its cities.

The dangers posed to South Africa’s ever dwindling number of white—mostly Afrikaner—landowners have become so serious that a group of activists and farmers marched to the capital of Pretoria in December to demand state protection of their lives and property. “Farm murders are not only a crisis,” said AfriForum deputy ceo Ernst Roets. “They are a catastrophe.”

The Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa says nearly 1,600 farm murders have been reported since 1990, but think tanks place the number closer to 3,000.

With Zuma’s office secured for six more years, the situation for South Africa’s white farmers is not likely to improve in the short term.

Ezekiel 7:23-27 describe South Africa’s present situation with startling accuracy, and make plain that in the near term, it will only get worse. Bloody and violent crimes will be committed so frequently that they will be like the links of a chain—one right after another. This passage even discusses citizens’ homes being wrested from them, and clashes between different nationalities.

The conditions in South Africa will deteriorate to such an abysmal state that the people will eventually wage a search for God. They will cry out for Him, pleading for deliverance from the turmoil. But God explains that He is purposefully sending the punishment upon the people as correction. (To prove that this passage refers to the nation of South Africa, read the book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.)

Yet there is breathtaking hope on the horizon for all races of the people of South Africa—a revolution that will replace socialistic and violence-spawning policies with a government and a body of laws that is literally perfect (Revelation 11:15; James 1:25). Ezekiel 7:27 says that God is sending the punishment on the people so that “they shall know that I am the Lord.” Bringing obstinate people to the understanding and acceptance of who He is requires extreme measures. But it is foundational to this imminent revolution.

Ezekiel 33:11 makes plain that God does not want any people to suffer. He loves all races and all nationalities, and He yearns for all men to be truly happy. But true, lasting happiness and peace can only result from obeying His perfect laws. God’s will is for the people of South Africa—and the whole world—to obey Him. Obedience to Him would saturate their lives with blessings of prosperity and peace.

To understand more about South Africa’s bleak present, and its awe-inspiring future, read South Africa in Prophecy.

Britain’s Fiscal Cliff

Britain’s Fiscal Cliff

AndrewJohnson/iStockphoto

Britain’s economy is heading for disaster, and 94 percent of the country knows nothing about it.

Most people in Britain think their government is doing a great job of handling its debt. A poll published earlier this month found that 49 percent thought the government was planning to slash the national debt by £600 billion (us$1 trillion) between 2010 and 2015. Another 14 percent said the government planned to keep it the same. Thirty-one percent weren’t sure.

More people believe that Elvis is alive than understand what is happening to the national debt.
City A.M.
Only 6 percent said the government was planning to increase the debt by £600 billion. But the 6 percent are right!

Britain’s debt is exploding—and 94 percent of the country is ignorant of it. As one newspaper put it, “More people believe that Elvis is alive than understand what is happening to the national debt.”

There’s little wonder. Newspaper headlines, government ministers and opposition leaders alike all talk about “the cuts.” Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has talked on several occasions of “wiping the slate clean.”

But that’s not what is happening. At best, Britain’s leaders and journalists are refusing to sound the alarm while the nation lurches toward economic oblivion. At worse, they’re deceiving the public.

According to the government’s forecasts, Britain’s national debt is set to rise from £770 billion (us$1.25 trillion) in 2010, shortly before this government took office, to £1.36 trillion when Parliament stands down for elections in 2015.

That’s an increase of roughly £600 billion. The UK’s current population is 62.6 million. The increase in debt is nearly £10,000 (us$16,000) for every man, woman and child in the country. And remember, this is only government debt, not personal or mortgage debt.

Back in 2010, the government owed the equivalent of 53 percent of Britain’s entire economy. By the end of this Parliament in 2015, this figure is forecast to hit 79 percent.

However you look at it, Britain’s debt is rising—fast.

So why all the talk of cuts? Why do so many think it is falling? It all gets back to confusion between two words: debt and deficit.

Debt is the total amount of money the government owes. Deficit is the amount of money the government borrows each year. It is the rate at which the debt grows.

For example, in fiscal year 2010-2011, the government borrowed £136.7 billion—this is its deficit. The next year it borrowed £121.4 billion. It cut the deficit—it borrowed less in 2011 than it did in 2010. But it didn’t cut the debt, which still grew by well over £100 billion. All the cutting just meant that the debt didn’t grow quite as much as it did the year before.

This graph, from the Guardian, gives a good idea of how much the debt is growing each year. It may be growing by less than the year before, but it’s growing by more than at any time before 2009.

But politicians still talk as if they’re tackling Britain’s debt problem. The government wants people to think it’s taking the tough action necessary to solve Britain’s problems. The opposition wants people to think the government is being excessively cruel, cutting the budget too quickly at the expense of the poor. Unions want people to think that cruel government cuts are robbing their members of their livelihoods.

What no one wants to say is that Britain is spending wildly beyond its means. The government is like a helmsman on a ship heading for the rocks who is making only a few minor course corrections. The ship needs a complete change in direction.

The press is just as much to blame, if not more so. It routinely misuses “debt” and “deficit,” giving readers the impression that the government is solving Britain’s economic problems. How much easier would it be for the government to make the tough decisions necessary if the press was honest about how bad the problem is?

Britain’s debt is part of a failure that cuts across all its institutions. It’s a failure of government, of education, of communication and of morals.

But there is hope for Britain. There is a sure path to prosperity. Over the last 200 years, Britain has been given great blessings—including financial blessings—as gifts from God. At one time, the country was more responsible with its finances. God has a plan to turn Britain to Him so He can pour out those blessings in even greater abundance. This will start with providing proper leadership.

Before this can happen, Britain must turn to God in genuine repentance. This will require a lot of pain; it will mean economic collapse in the near future. But out of total collapse will emerge a nation whose prosperity will be a blessing for the whole world.

For more information on this hope, read our free book by Herbert W. Armstrong, The United States and Britain in Prophecy.

Germany May Take on Google—the Whole Internet Watches

Germany’s parliament is considering a bill that could force Google to pay for using contents of German newspapers.

Google has long argued that it provides a free service to newspapers by bringing people to their websites. But German newspapers want Google to pay for their stories that appear on Google’s news page. Many see it as a test case in copyright law versus Internet freedom.

Such an issue might not have been so highlighted if German newspapers were running well. Business daily Financial Times Deutschland was forced to close early this month due to reported poor management and what the newspaper claimed was an impact from the Internet. It is no surprise that German newspapers aren’t happy with Google News.

“They want their piece of the big cake and they argue that it’s their copyright that is used and if anyone is using content for business then they should pay for it,” said Peter Zschunke, journalist, Networld at German Press Agency.

The battle between the search engine giant and the Eurozone’s most powerful economy will end in what will most likely be a global precedent.

“The whole internet is watching,” added Zschunke.

If German legislators get their way, watch for other countries to follow suit.

Biblical prophecy describes a rapacious economic powerhouse emerging in the end time that rules over global trade and commerce. Europe is rapidly stepping into that role and is increasingly demanding the world get in line. Read our articles “Bending the World to Its Rules” and “Financial Regulation in Prophecy!” for more understanding on this subject.

To understand the depth of Germany’s ambition and how far they will succeed, read Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast?