Nord Stream 2 ready to pump gas to Germany
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on June 4 that the first line of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is complete. Completion of the second line is projected for August.
Russia has already been exporting energy directly to Germany, the European Union’s largest economy, since the original Nord Stream pipeline became operational about 10 years ago. Nord Stream 2 will double Germany’s import capacity to 110 billion cubic meters of gas per year. It will then export the gas to the rest of Western Europe, making Germany the energy hub of half of Europe.
This gives Russia and Germany great leverage against nations in Eastern Europe in particular. Many of Russia’s major pipelines pass through countries like Ukraine and Poland to reach Western Europe. Now Russia will be able to supply Western Europe and simultaneously turn off the taps to Eastern Europe to force it to comply with Russian demands. It has used this strategy before, as well as military force, which it used in the 2008 invasion of Georgia, the 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, and the ongoing hostilities in eastern Ukraine since 2014. Meanwhile, many in Poland are terrified by the possibility of a Russian invasion.
Poland is a North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally of the United States, and the U.S. is obligated to protect Ukraine. It has done little to that end, although the Trump administration opposed the pipeline and placed sanctions on entities involved in its construction. Joe Biden initially expressed opposition to the pipeline, but he dropped key sanctions in May.
“Nord Stream 2 binds Russia and Germany together in a way that undermines nato,” wrote Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry in his 2018 article “Germany and Russia’s Secret War Against America.” “In fact, though Russia and Germany will not say so, this pipeline project is clearly intended to wreck nato.”
Germany mourns more terror victims
A young Somali man stabbed three women to death in downtown Wurzburg, Germany, and seriously injured six others on June 25. The 24-year-old perpetrator, who has lived in Germany since 2015, had been admitted to a psychiatric hospital earlier this year after he threatened someone with a knife at a homeless shelter. Before the fatal attacks, he shouted, “Allahu Akbar.”
Authorities have been slow to classify the attack as Islamic terrorism, but many Europeans are frustrated by such political correctness. Many believe politicians are partly responsible for importing terrorism through policies allowing a massive influx of refugees. The situation in Germany is so tense that politicians fear an escalation in violence against foreigners.
Police statistics show that “Germany has a massive problem with violent foreigners,” Bild wrote. Of the 168,237 people who allegedly committed violent crimes in 2020, 38.2 percent were “non-German suspects,” of whom 34.5 percent were immigrants. Of 2,672 manslaughter suspects, 40.6 percent were foreigners, and 15.7 percent were immigrants. A reported 37 percent of perpetrators of sex crimes were foreigners, 14 percent of whom were immigrants.
Radical Islam is persecuting Christians in the Middle East, killing some and putting millions to flight. It considers its interactions with Europe an all-out religious war. At some point, Europe will take the same view.
Why is the Vatican making this politician a saint?
Pope Francis put former French Prime Minister Robert Schuman on the path to sainthood by recognizing his “heroic virtues” on June 19. The Vatican will have to recognize one miracle performed by Schuman for him to be beatified, and a second to become a saint.
Schuman is one of the “founding fathers” of the European Union. His “Schuman Plan” proposed the European Coal and Steel Community, a trading union that preceded and made possible the current political union.
Schuman was a Catholic who saw his work in Europe as part of his religious duty. In fact, all the European founders were Catholic. Several others are also in the early stages of being made Catholic saints.
Deutsche Welle noted in its article on Schuman: “Since Pius xii, the pontiff during World War ii, popes have supported the principle of a European project while criticizing its secularism” (June 19). More people should be aware of the European project’s religious origins. To learn what the Bible says about a union of nations led by a church, request your free copy of The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy.
Israel’s new government founded on ‘big lie’
After 12 years as head of Israel’s government, Benjamin Netanyahu was ousted from the prime ministership on June 13, replaced by Naftali Bennett.
Before the March 23 election, Bennett signed a “contract” on live television promising that he and his right-wing Yamina Party would never form a coalition with center-left party Yesh Atid and that he would never join the government if it included the Islamist party. After the election, he blatantly broke both promises to join a coalition whose sole purpose was to oust Netanyahu.
Post-election polls of Yamina voters indicate that 60 percent would not have voted for Bennett had he revealed his true intentions. Many of those voters would have gone to Netanyahu’s bloc, and Yamina, which won only 6 percent of the vote, would have received too few votes for Bennett to even be a Knesset member. But Bennett lied to Israel and became prime minister.
Bennett’s power-sharing agreement makes him prime minister for only two years, after which Yair Lapid will take over. Lapid and his Yesh Atid party, which won 14 percent of the vote are the real power behind this government. But for now, Israel has a right-wing prime minister without the power to implement conservative policies because he betrayed his voters and is entirely beholden to Yesh Atid.
The administration of Joe Biden couldn’t be happier. After assuming America’s presidency, he waited four weeks to call Netanyahu. Yet when Bennett took power, Biden called him immediately despite the dishonest way in which he gained power. To the Biden administration, Netanyahu was the roadblock slowing former President Barack Obama’s vision of empowering Iran and other radical Islamist powers in the Middle East. Watch for Obama, through the Biden administration, to move fast on his Middle East agenda now that Netanyahu is out of power.
America spars with Shiite militias in Iraq
The United States conducted air strikes against three Shiite militia weapon storage facilities along the Syria-Iraq border on June 28. Two anonymous Iraqi militia officials told the Associated Press that four people were killed. The strikes were authorized by Joe Biden. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi issued a statement, saying that the air strikes were a “proportional response to a serious and specific threat.”
The U.S. military said the strikes were retaliation for the “ongoing series of attacks by Iran-backed groups targeting U.S. interests in Iraq.” Their purpose was to “send a clear and unambiguous deterrent message.”
The militia groups retaliated by firing rockets at a U.S. military base in Syria the next day. No U.S. casualties were reported. On July 5, an armed drone attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. On July 6, armed drones and missiles targeted American forces at a base near the Erbil airport in Iraqi Kurdistan. Time will prove that these attacks were ordered by Iran.
The U.S. air strikes were too weak to be a deterrent and appear to have been an attempt to save face instead of eliminating the threat of Iran-backed Iraqi militias. The U.S. is taking pains to avoid striking Iran directly as it pursues another nuclear deal. The “clear and unambiguous” message from the U.S. is that it is weak and motivated not by opposing Iran’s radical Islamist regime, but by empowering it. To understand
America’s pro-Iran policy, read Gerald Flurry’s booklet Great Again, particularly Chapter 6, “The Most Dangerous Lie in History.”
Putin, Xi extend landmark treaty
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping officially extended the bilateral Treaty of Good Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation on June 28.
The treaty was first enacted in July 2001 by Putin and Chinese leader Jiang Zemin. It outlines guidelines for cooperation in economics, diplomacy and, most importantly, defense. Article 9 states, “When a situation arises in which one of the contracting parties deems that peace is being threatened and undermined or its security interests are involved or when it is confronted with the threat of aggression, the contracting parties shall immediately hold contacts and consultations in order to eliminate such threats.”
This provides a foundation on which a full military alliance could be built.
The treaty would have expired in July 2021, but the extension keeps it alive for the foreseeable future and sends a signal to other nations.
“Today’s China-Russia relations are mature, stable and solid, and can withstand the test of any international storm,” Xi said during a videoconference announcing the extension. “The world is entering an era of imbalance and radical changes as the development of humanity faces many crises; close cooperation between China and Russia gives positive energy to the global community, establishing a gold standard of a new model of international relations.”
Bible prophecy foretells of a multinational Asian power bloc that will form in the modern era, referred to in Revelation 16:12 as “the kings of the east.” The Scriptures say this Asian confederation will play a key role in the third and final world war. Request Russia and China in Prophecy.
Russia leading with hypersonic weapons
Russia staged war games over the Mediterranean during the last week of June that included MiG-31K aircraft capable of carrying Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, marking the first known time a nation has deployed jets able to carry the munitions.
Lt. Gen. Sergei Kobylash, commander of long-range aviation at Russia’s Hmeymim air base in Syria, said pilots practiced targeting a “mock enemy” and completed the mission with “high quality.”
Hypersonic missiles like the Kinzhal are expected to revolutionize warfare because of their speed and maneuverability. Hypersonic missiles fly at between 5 and 15 times the speed of sound—nearly 4,000 miles per hour or more. The missiles are also maneuverable, meaning their trajectory can rapidly change midflight, even in the last few seconds before striking a target.
The combination of hypersonic speeds and intricate maneuverability means such missiles could evade even the most advanced known defense systems. In 2018, Gen. John Hyten, commander of United States Strategic Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that America does not “have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us.”
Meanwhile, fear of Russia is growing more intense in Europe. Fear of hypersonic and other weapons will help intensify Europe’s desire to unify, politically and militarily.
China developing antisatellite weapons
China is making major advances in its abilities to disable or destroy satellites, according to remarks made in July by the director of the United States Indo-Pacific Command.
Rear Adm. Michael Studeman said the capabilities range from “dazzling to jamming, to kinetic kill-from-the-ground, from space—all that, they’re on the march.”
China’s SJ-17 satellite is believed to be able to attack other satellites in orbit. This satellite is dirigible and equipped with a robotic arm that can be controlled by operators on the ground. The Center for Strategic and International Studies noted that in recent months it has engaged in “unusual behavior,” including navigating up to other Chinese satellites in orbit and interacting with them.
China is also developing ground-based laser systems believed to be capable of blinding satellites in orbit.
As Nikkei noted, “[T]he next major war could be decided in the opening minutes of the first day, as each side attempts to disable the enemy’s communication tools.”
The U.S. has far more satellites in orbit than any other nation and depends on them for military reconnaissance, communication, navigation and targeting systems, as well as numerous civilian applications.
Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has written on several occasions about the perils of American reliance on computer technology. It could indeed be America’s “Achilles’ heel.”
Record heat scorches North America
In June and July, highways were cracking, roads were buckling, and railroads were warping due to record-breaking heat searing the Pacific Northwest. Flights were canceled and restaurants forced to close due to the extreme weather. Global temperature record-keeping data showed that the last seven years have been the warmest since record-keeping began nearly 150 years ago.
Lytton, British Columbia, broke Canada’s national heat record for three consecutive days with temperatures reaching 121 degrees Fahrenheit on June 29: A wildfire destroyed 90 percent of the town the next day. Several other towns also broke local records with temperatures well over 100 degrees, and firefighters battled dozens of wildfires, including one that burned 300,000 acres.
What is the cause of these worsening weather conditions? Scientists point to man-made climate change. But many scientists have been exposed for manipulating data on historical temperature records that disprove this theory.
The Bible gives a clear explanation of why weather disasters are worsening. Jesus Christ demonstrated control over weather when He quieted a storm (Mark 4:39-41). Leviticus 26:4-5 show that God promises to grant favorable weather, but there is a condition: “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them” (verse 3). When we refuse to submit to God’s law, He sends storms, floods, drought, fiery heat and other disasters to correct us (Job 37:11-13; Deuteronomy 11:17; 28:22; Amos 4:7; Nahum 1:3-4). To better understand the truth of the Bible and the purpose of weather disasters, please request your free copy of Why ‘Natural’ Disasters?