Germany Repatriates Gold From France and U.S.

Germany plans to repatriate tens of thousands of gold bars worth approximately 36 billion U.S. dollars. The gold is currently stored in the United States and France.

Last year, Germany’s Federal Auditors’ Office criticized its central bank for failing to properly oversee its gold.

In response, Germany’s central bank said on Wednesday that it will retrieve all 374 tons of the bullion it currently keeps in Paris. It said that the gold will be back inside its vaults in Frankfurt by 2020.

The Bundesbank said it will also repatriate another 300 tons of gold currently being stored at the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

The eight-year process will bring about 19 percent of Germany’s gold reserves back to the Fatherland. Germany holds 3,400 tons of gold reserves—the most of any country, after the United States.

When the process is complete, Frankfurt will hold half of Germany’s gold. New York will retain 37 percent, and London will store 13 percent.

Berlin is probably only beginning to repossess its gold reserves. The Bundesbank’s announcement indicates that German leaders believe the global economic crisis may soon intensify.

On January 15, the Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard said that the move represents “an extraordinary breakdown in trust between leading central banks.” Evans-Pritchard compared Germany’s actions to what happened in the 1960s, when the postwar currency system fell apart and France withdrew its gold from the United States.

Precious metals analyst Jim Sinclair said that the Bundesbank announcement may herald the end of the global fiat dollar system. Sinclair said that France’s actions in the ’60s caused American financial leaders to panic. “History will look back on this salvo as being the beginning of the end of the U.S. dollar as the reserve currency of choice,” he said.

For more information on why Germany wants its gold back now, read Gerald Flurry’s article, “Did the Holy Roman Empire Plan the Greek Crisis?

A Major Cause for the Wimpification of Men

A Major Cause for the Wimpification of Men

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Time wasters tailor-made to suck the life out of the male mind

The wimpification of men is one of the most destructive trends in modern times. As women surge ahead in field after field, boys and men are passively watching it happen. Many of them, rather than working to stay ahead of or even keep up with women, are responding by waging something of a sit-down strike. They’re living with their parents at double the rate of their female peers. They’re dropping out of the labor pool in record numbers.

The result is effectively a reversal of a male-female power arrangement that has existed for virtually all of human history.

One of the most potent of the many causes behind this revolution is the advent of modern time wasters tailor-made to suck the life out of the male mind.

Today’s media have become a black hole for male ambition and responsibility. As Kay Hymowitz writes in her book Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys, “Relatively affluent, free of family responsibilities, and entertained by an array of media devoted to his every pleasure, the single young man can live in pig heaven—and often does.” It’s a self-perpetuating cycle: A man with little motivation to become a productive member of society is more liable to devote his hours to senseless pursuits, which then renders him even less capable of ever making something of his life.

Two of the most toxic examples are video games and pornography. Their most voracious consumers are young men, and they are ravaging society’s manhood on an epic scale.

Video game addiction is about four times more common among boys than girls. The average American boy spends 13 hours a week absorbed in video games, compared to five hours for the average girl. Half of college students admit that video games preempt their studies “some” or “a lot.” By the time the average American youth reaches drinking age, he will have devoted 10,000 hours to gaming—enough time to have earned two bachelor’s degrees.

The valuable time and energy being swallowed up by these games is problem enough, but the ghoulish content many of them contain makes their effect far worse. Millions of young people are immersing themselves in realistic games that encourage them to become killers, sadists, mutilators and monsters that use every conceivable weapon for murder, torture, dismemberment, decapitation, impaling, ethnic cleansing and rape.

Pornography has become mainstream, pervasive, socially accepted, and, thanks to the Internet, devilishly easy to get. It is also intensely addictive. The demand is monstrous: Full-length commercial porn films are produced at 22½ times the volume of Hollywood films. The average high school boy watches porn two hours a week. Researchers conducting a study in July 2011 on porn and prostitution had so much difficulty finding non-users that they had to loosen their definition in order to muster up a hundred men for a control group.

“A brain originally designed to cope with nothing more tempting than an occasional glimpse of a tribesperson across the savannah is lost with what’s now on offer on the net at the click of a button,” wrote author Alain de Botton in the Wall Street Journal. “There is nothing robust enough in our psychological make-up to compensate for developments in our technological capacities.”

These perverted images and warped concepts filling men’s minds have devastating effects on men’s relationships and mental health. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that regular pornography users have higher rates of depression and even physical health problems than non-users. “The reason is that porn may start a cycle of isolation,” the report explained. “Porn may become a substitute for healthy face-to-face interactions, social or sexual.” Psychologists say video games also tend to desensitize a user to reality and to real-life interactions with people.

In their book The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It, psychologists Philip Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan contend that these poisonous media influences are actually rewiring men’s brains. “The excessive use of video games and online porn,” they write, “is creating a generation of risk-averse guys who are unable (and unwilling) to navigate the complexities and risks inherent to real-life relationships, school and employment.”

Think on that. These influences are crushing society’s manhood. One specific proof: Academics have uncovered a correlation between porn use and an increase in a man’s willingness to move back in with his parents. And today, nearly six in ten 18-to-24-year-old males live with their parents. Even among 25-to-34-year-olds, it’s still almost two in ten. These figures are almost double the rate among women the same age.

Risk-averse men who cannot handle life’s complexities are deeply disadvantaged if not crippled in ever being able to support a family.

It’s impossible to measure precisely, but this media assault has contributed significantly to handicap men in our world.

The frustrations so many people have over the weakness of men today all trace back to this powerful spiritual truth: Men are weak because of their sin. Self-indulgence, the sex perversion—these are sins. If a man succumbs to sin, he becomes weak. God removes His blessings and allows the devil to do his work.

These sins are causing the collapse of manly leadership and male responsibility. They are creating weakness, insecurity and selfishness. They are leading to the disappearance of manhood!

A man who wants to avoid this trap must devote his energies to swimming upstream against society. He must eschew the pastimes that weaken men. He must avoid the addictions that eat away at men’s minds, blacken their consciences and destroy their confidence. He must stoke the flames of ambition in his life. He must aim high, and equip himself to become an able leader. This is what he was created for. This is literally what he was born to do!

Iranian ‘Fleet’ to Patrol Mediterranean

Iranian ‘Fleet’ to Patrol Mediterranean

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Iran’s 24th naval fleet is taking action in controlling the Mediterranean.

Iran’s 24th Fleet will patrol the Mediterranean, Red Sea and Suez Canal, Iranian Navy Commander Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari announced January 16, according to Iranian state-owned Press tv. The fleet’s three-month voyage will see it traveling as far as Southeast Asia.

The term “fleet” is a bit of an exaggeration. The Jerusalem Post reports that the 24th Fleet is made up of one submarine and one warship.

“The Navy’s 24th Fleet of warships will patrol the north of the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden, Bab-el-Mandeb, the Red Sea, Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea for three months and will even sail as far as southeastern Asian countries,” Sayyari said, according to Press tv.

“We announce that we are able to provide security in the region with the help of all neighboring countries,” he said.

The Mediterranean used to be off limits to Iran. Before the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Iranian ships were not allowed through the Suez. This trip will be the third since Mubarak’s demise.

Sailing through the Red Sea is a provocation to Israel. Proudly announcing plans to sail around the Mediterranean is a provocation to Europe.

Iran is working to gain control over the Red Sea and Suez Canal. Radical Islamists are running Egypt. They’ll soon be able to exert control over one of the world’s most important shipping lanes. The Islamists will be able to do more than let Iran’s ships through—they’ll be able to threaten to keep others out.

Iranian ships will soon be sailing in Europe’s backyard. That’s going to get Europe’s attention.

Watch for Europe and especially Germany to assert their control of the Mediterranean. This is another pushy move from Iran. Europe will push back.

For more information on Iran’s operations, see our article “Libya and Ethiopia Reveal Iran’s Military Strategy.”

EU Pressures Syria, Combats Islam in Mali

The European Union is seeking to intervene in ongoing conflicts taking place in Syria and Mali. EU President Herman Van Rompuy visited Egypt on Monday to meet with the Arab League and discuss possible solutions to the unrest.

A recent United Nations report found that Syria’s civil war has already claimed the lives of 60,000 people. Van Rompuy described the death toll as “appalling” and “unacceptable.”

The European Union is also concerned about developments in Mali, located in northwest Africa. Nine months ago, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb seized control of large sections of northern Mali. France responded last week with aerial bombardments against the insurgents. It has deployed 800 troops on the ground, including special forces, and plans to dispatch approximately 900 more.

However, Mali’s well-armed Islamist rebels managed to gain more territory on Monday. Rebel forces are now within 250 miles of the capital, Bamako.

France’s intervention and Van Rompuy’s visit with the Arab League show that Europe is serious about combating radical Islam—serious enough to go into battle.

The United States, on the other hand, is not. On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta offered nothing more than his encouragement.

More and more, America is shying away from the fight against radical Islam. This has created a power vacuum. Bible prophecy shows that a European superpower will step in to fill the void. For more about where these global trends are leading, read The United States and Britain in Prophecy by Herbert W. Armstrong.

Israel’s Housing Crisis

Israel’s Housing Crisis

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How long before the Palestinians simply take East Jerusalem?

Palestinians moved into Israel’s E1 region last Friday and erected tents with the intent of staging a long-term protest against recently planned Israeli settlement construction. The protests are a result of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans, announced on November 30, to build 3,000 homes in E1, which is located directly east of Jerusalem. Netanyahu’s announcement came less than 24 hours after the Palestinian Authority successfully petitioned to be considered a United Nations observer state.

Construction of the homes would link Jerusalem to the nearby Israeli settlement of Maaleh Adumim. This would not only strengthen Israel’s presence in the West Bank, but Palestinian supporters fear it will also cut off the Arab-occupied East Jerusalem from the Arabic town of Ramallah.

Despite being a dry and arid area, E1 is one of the most contentious areas in the West Bank because of its geographical location and political importance.

Should a Palestinian state be established, the Arabs wish to claim East Jerusalem as their capital. Any moves by the Israeli government to cut it off from the West Bank are met with immediate cries of protest.

This latest move by Israel has drawn international criticism, and has been labeled as a major setback to peaceful negotiations on the two-state solution.

Israel said that despite the planned settlement, the West Bank will not be divided. At its thinnest point, the north and south of the West Bank will be connected by a corridor at least 15 kilometers wide. That is just as wide as the thinnest parts of Israel, between the West Bank and the Mediterranean Sea. The Palestinians will still have access to East Jerusalem through Arab districts such as Abu Dis.

Israel intends to continue its plans for construction of the settlement despite the fear of being ostracized by the international community. The plans passed through Israel’s courts last week, meaning Arabs and their supporters now have two months to petition against the construction plans.

On January 11, the Israeli Supreme Court made an injunction ruling that the protesters’ tent encampment could remain in E1 for six days. In the early morning hours of January 13, the Israeli military removed 200 protesters from the site. Netanyahu stated that the court ruling was for the tents themselves, not the protesters.

The haste that Israel has shown in progressing the latest building plans may indicate that it is realizing a Palestinian state may be closer than it expected. Israel can no longer rely on the international community to support its retaining its own sovereign property. Despite the United States denouncing the support of the Palestinians being given the status of observer state in the UN, little is done to ensure a two-state solution where both Israel and the Palestinian Authority benefit.

Israel feels it must resort to more tangible measures to secure its interests in the West Bank. That involves more people in the area—which means more construction and more houses. But these actions will have dangerous side effects. Israel will be further marginalized by the international community, and there will be further protests and clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians. Expect the Israeli-Palestinian tension to continue to simmer until ultimately the Palestinians reach out and violently take East Jerusalem. For more on how Israel will react on these issues in the near future, read Gerald Flurry’s booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy, and see for yourself the beautiful solution that will come for both Israelis and Arabs alike.

‘We Don’t Have a Spending Problem’