Saudi Arabia Wants More German Tanks

Saudi Arabia Wants More German Tanks

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Saudi Arabia wants to buy 600 to 800 of Germany’s Leopard battle tanks, more than twice the number previously expected, Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported Sunday.

An earlier version of the deal said Berlin would sell the Saudis only 270 tanks. But as Iran draws ever nearer to developing nuclear weapons, and as more and more nations in the region fall to radical Islam, Riyadh wants to bolster its defenses even more than originally planned.

Germany appears eager to back Saudi Arabia’s efforts to shore up its military power.

Officially, Berlin denies reports of the planned transaction because exports of military equipment are kept confidential, and also because Germany’s Nazi past makes the issue of arms exports sensitive. Germany’s desire to portray itself as protector of the nation of Israel has also made it refrain from selling heavy weapons to Gulf states in the past. But now that is changing.

Although quietly at present—and largely behind the scenes—Berlin is building an alliance with Arabian Peninsula nations that is destined to take on great significance in Middle Eastern affairs.

Germany desires such a bloc so that it can assure continued access to the region’s gas and oil resources, and create a beachhead to stem the northward push of pan-Islamism. The alliance now forming between Germany, Saudi Arabia and other more moderate Arab states was prophesied in the Holy Bible 3,000 years ago. In Psalm 83, the psalmist details a vision of a coalition between the modern-day descendants of Assyria (Germany) and certain of the descendants of Ishmael, son of Abraham (Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, etc.).

The events of the “Arab Spring” rippling across the region from Tunisia to Bahrain are working as a catalyst in the formation of that alliance. And Germany’s massive sale of armaments to Saudi Arabia—set to be signed by July 20—represents a milestone in its coalescence.

To understand the fascinating details of this alliance that is designed to counter the rise of Iran and radical Islam, read the chapter titled “A Mystery Alliance” from our booklet The King of the South.

Moscow Talks on Iran Nuclear Program Stall

High-level nuclear talks in Moscow between Iran and six world powers stalled on Tuesday. The United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany failed yet again to persuade Iran to curb its uranium enrichment program.

Saeed Jalili, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, told journalists afterward that uranium enrichment “to all levels” is Iran’s “inalienable right.”

The six nations want Tehran to curb uranium enrichment to a level that is just below that used in nuclear warheads. But Iran says it is enriching the uranium only to make reactor fuel or medical isotopes. Tehran insists it has a right to do so under international law.

Iran wants economic sanctions against it to be lifted, but the six are only ready to agree if Tehran compromises on the enrichment.

According to the United States, its sanctions have already cut exports of Iranian crude to roughly 1.5 million barrels a day, down from about 2.5 million barrels a day last year. An EU embargo on Iranian crude that begins July 1 will squeeze Iran’s economy even more.

Yet even with the sanctions, Iran continues to enrich uranium at will.

Although the Moscow negotiations have turned out to be a failure, the six world powers are continuing to pursue talks. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said talks could be resumed if technical experts meeting in Istanbul on July 3 find enough common ground to keep going.

The Trumpet continues to expect Iran to develop its nuclear program despite international pressure. For a detailed forecast on this trend, read our booklet The King of the South.

Press Briefing: ‘Son of Hamas’

On Tuesday afternoon, attended a press conference at Media Central in Jerusalem for former Hamas supporter-turned Israeli informant Mosab Hassan Yousef. Mosab was born in 1978 in Ramallah, to a devoutly Islamic family.

As the eldest son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, one of the seven founding fathers of Hamas, Mosab has firsthand experience of life inside the terrorist organization, which he expounds on in his autobiography: Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices.

In 1997, Mosab turned his back on the ideology of Hamas and began working undercover for Shin Bet, Israel’s security agency. His secret cooperation with Shin Bet over the next 10 years helped stop dozens of terrorist attacks and capture various Hamas militants. In 2007, Mosab moved to California, where he went public with his story, wrote his book and was later granted political asylum.

Now the “son of Hamas” is back in Israel for the first time, on a month-long lecture tour to spread his story and warn the youth of the next generation of the ideology behind Hamas.

Mosab told reporters:

As we see what’s happening in Egypt right now—they think it’s accidentally—that they had to witness the birth of Hamas, that was born in the womb of the Muslim Brotherhood. There is no difference—there is no difference between Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. When the Muslim Brotherhood won the elections yesterday in Egypt, this means that Hamas took over Egypt. The southern border of Israel right now is in danger.Now when we’re facing this type of problem, and we understand the ideological depth of it, if we keep insisting on ignoring that fact, we will have more terrorism, we will have more extremism, and this new generation will destroy itself and cause a huge damage to the body of humanity.

Retired Shin Bet agent Gonen Ben-Itzhak and American film producer Sam Feuer joined Mosab for the press conference, which drew dozens of Israeli and foreign journalists. Ben-Itzhak worked with Mosab during his stint working for Shin Bet and testified on his behalf when he was up for political asylum.

Mosab also used the press conference to announce his plans for a new film production, currently titled Mohammed, that he and Feuer will be producing in order to tell the little-known history of Islam’s most revered prophet.

Strategic London Metal Exchange to Be Sold

Strategic London Metal Exchange to Be Sold

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What are politicians thinking letting China buy this strategic company?

One of Britain’s last great independent companies has agreed to sell itself to China.

The 137-year-old London Metal Exchange (lme) has agreed to a $2.19 billion takeover from the Chinese state-controlled Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx).

If the deal goes through, the London Metal Exchange’s largest shareholders—JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Barclays—will reap big profits. But once sold, Britain will never again recoup the world’s most strategic metals exchange.

Although the lme was officially founded in 1877, its actual origins can be traced all the way back to 1571 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth i. Back then, traders bought and sold physical metal for the domestic market. But as Britain grew in global importance and rich metal deposits of tin and copper were found, it soon became both a major importer and exporter of industrial metals.

By the 1800s, with Britain’s empire fueling large portions of the global trade in metals, the lme became the global market place, not only matching buyers with sellers, but setting the price for virtually all major non-ferrous metals. Whether you were a Frenchman in need of tin, a Russian trying to sell zinc, or a Malaysian looking for a copper market, you probably went to London to do business.

Even today, lme handles approximately 80 percent of all non-ferrous metals contracts. All told, it manages $11.6 trillion worth of trade annually.

The lme was considered the crown jewel of the metals market because it sets global benchmark prices for the six major base metals. Its vast distribution network with storage facilities around the world plays a pivotal role in global trade.

lme board member Michael Overlander was in the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing House when the deal was announced. “I’m here in the reception and it’s buzzing in there, people are congratulating each other and slapping each other on the back,” he told Reuters by phone. “They really think they have got themselves a jewel in the crown.”

Overlander is right. China has captured a one-of-a-kind crown jewel. The lme was one of those companies that helped Britain punch above its geopolitical weight class.

Some analysts claim that the Anglo owners were justified in their sale. The new Chinese owners vastly overpaid. The lme made only $12 million in profit last year. That implies an astronomical price-to-earnings ratio of 183. The new Chinese owners will need 183 years’ worth of profits to make their money back.

But there is a reason the Chinese government was willing to pay so much. It wasn’t out of the goodness of its heart that it decided to lavish billions on lme’s previous owners.

China consumes approximately 42 percent of the world’s non-ferrous base metal production. Lead, zinc, copper, tin, aluminum, nickel—more than 4 out of every 10 tons goes to China. You can be sure the Chinese government will know exactly how to exploit lme’s gold mine of data.

The Chinese government will soon know exactly who is purchasing what from whom. It will know how much is being paid. It will be able to determine who has pricing power—who will need to come to the market and when to make purchases. There are literally thousands of ways the Chinese government will be able to rig the market in favor of its many state-owned metal importers, merchant banks and investment funds.

And China has shown that it is willing to manipulate markets. It is well documented that it regularly manipulates its virtual monopoly of rare earth minerals for political and economic gain.

China knows the geopolitical value of strategic enterprises. Britain will never be able to buy the exchange back even if it wanted to. Foreigners are not allowed to buy more than a 5 percent interest in Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing without the government’s consent. Fat chance of that happening. Three years ago, the lme tried to open a branch office in China—but Beijing banned it. Yet Britain is willing to stand idly by and let one of its last great companies be sold to China.

“We are handing over strategically crucial assets that are part of global trade’s infrastructure, and once they’re gone, they’re gone forever—there’s no way Hong Kong or Beijing will allow them to be surrendered again,” writes the Telegraph’s Damian Reece. Britain’s “short-term gain on a financial level is also a long-term loss at a more profound level,” he says.

Like a lamb being led to slaughter, London has surrendered the Metal Exchange. Reece continues:

The lme’s success took London 135 years to create. But its control has now gone to a place from where it can never be recovered because a different set of state-sponsored rules apply that would never be tolerated here.If we’re willing to let lme go under such lop-sided conditions, what’s next?

Sadly, there are not too many strategic assets left that Britain still owns that are worth much. And that may be why China is being allowed to purchase this incredibly strategic asset. Except for its financial sector (which was severely weakened in the 2008 Wall Street meltdown) and the London Bullion exchange, its last vestiges of global empire, Britain’s cupboards are empty.

You don’t allow another nation to buy this kind of asset, especially a nation like China, unless there is something else going on behind the scenes.

Britain’s extremely weak economic condition has made it very vulnerable. It relies on China and other foreign nations to finance much of its government spending. More dangerously, it relies on these same foreigners to continuously roll over its debt. China is probably exploiting this leverage to pick up the remaining pieces of England’s once vast economic empire.

There is no reason for British regulators to let this deal go through, except for some form of geopolitical/economic blackmail. And that in itself shows how weak Britain is.

The forfeiture of lme is the latest sign in the decline of a nation that was once the head of the greatest empire the world has ever seen.

But unlike the other great imperial nations of history, the British never lost their empire to any conquering power. They gave it away! This has never happened in all of human history.

And now, not content with having given away its vast land possessions, a whole slice of global geography upon which “the sun never set,” it seems the British nation is on a headlong rush to give up every last vestige of capital investment in British-owned businesses.

This is all the more remarkable when one considers that the rest of the world once rode on the coattails of the Industrial Revolution spawned on British soil, with British inventiveness underwritten by British capital. The reality is that Britain—which once ruled the waves, controlling every key sea and land gate in the world, the envy of the world for the sheer massiveness and opulence of its globe-girdling empire—this Britain, which under the leadership of Winston Churchill stood alone just 65 years ago against a tyranny that could have swept the world into its cruel grasp—is now in the process of selling off what remains of its once vast national business assets.

And, in large part, these gems of British ingenuity are being sold to nations that traditionally regarded Britain as, if not an enemy, then certainly a competitor during the former colonial era.

The fact is that, since World War ii, Britain has embraced a foreign policy that has steadily changed it from the greatest imperial nation in man’s history to one that is opening itself up to becoming a vassal of the greatest current colonizing power of this age, the European Union!

To deliberately choose to place strategic national assets in the hands of enemy nations surely represents the most extreme perversity of government policy operating directly against Britain’s own national interest. Britain will yet rue the day that it literally sold off the jewels of its own, homegrown national industries!

President Obama Appeases Immigrants by Sidestepping Congress

President Obama Appeases Immigrants by Sidestepping Congress

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Once again, the Constitution is trampled.

“Now I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own,” President Barack Obama said during a speech last July. His crowd, a conference of Hispanic activists, interjected, “Yes you can! Yes you can!”

“That’s not how our democracy functions,” the president answered back. “That’s not how our Constitution is written.”

Then he quipped, “Believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting, I promise you.”

The president felt strongly about offering amnesty to illegal immigrants, and he certainly had a sympathetic crowd—one apparently more concerned about their special interest than about the Constitution of the United States of America. Yet he still pointed out that he “swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books.”

As a candidate in 2007, Senator Obama often touted his constitutional credentials. “I was a constitutional law professor,” he said at one fundraiser, “which means, unlike the current president, I actually respect the Constitution.”

That means that when Americans elected Barack Obama to be the 44th president of the United States, they were getting a man who would uphold the Constitution, using his executive power to enforce the law, but also honoring the checks and balances of legislative and judicial power. Right?

Last Friday, the president stood in the White House Rose Garden and said, in effect, Since Congress hasn’t given me the immigration law I want, I’m just going to enforce my own immigration policy.

“Using his executive powers to go where Congress would not, President Obama … ordered his administration to stop deporting illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, a shift that could affect more than 1 million people,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

Now, a two-year renewable reprieve on deportation is available to undocumented immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for at least five years, who are younger than 31 years, who crossed the border before they were 16 years old, who have no criminal record, and who are students or graduates or have served in the military. Without documentation, it seems much of this would be hard to prove. But no matter. These people, President Obama said, are “Americans in their hearts.”

The president called the order a “temporary, stop-gap measure” that was necessary only because Congress hadn’t passed the comprehensive immigration reform he was looking for.

Immigration is a serious and complicated issue. There are persuasive arguments for the order the president made, and many people expressed joy and gratitude at seeing it enacted. But there is another side to the debate. Illegal immigration is connected to economic problems, violent crime, drug trafficking and national security risks. True, those who benefit from this presidential order probably do not contribute to these problems. Even still, critics point to concerns that these immigrants will squeeze out the educational and career aspirations of legal American citizens who are already finding it hard to get a good education or a good job.

The point is, there is a process in American government by which such debate gets aired en route to the formation of public policy. In this case, it is through Congress, America’s lawmaking body.

The federal legislature has not ignored the raging argument over illegal immigration. In fact, Congress debated the issue in what is known as the dream Act. That bill would have put many illegal immigrants on the track to full legal residency. But it was defeated. According to the constitutional principle of representative government, that decision reflected the will of the American people. Obviously, defeating that legislation did not solve the problem or end the debate. That is still wide open.

It is not as though Congress has done nothing. It just hasn’t done what President Obama wanted.

Where Congress has the power to make laws, the president and the executive branch have the power to enforce them. Now the president is choosing to enforce his own policy instead of the actual law. You can make the law, he basically said, but I’ll enforce what I want.

This comes less than a year after the president emphasized to Hispanics that the law of the land must be upheld no matter what. This is the same president who “swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books.”

Serious problems are emerging from America’s lax approach to illegal immigration. But what is of even graver concern is the president’s dangerous approach to the Constitution.

Candidate Obama often criticized then President George W. Bush for expanding presidential powers. “These last few years we’ve seen an unacceptable abuse of power at home,” he said in October 2007. “We’ve paid a heavy price for having a president whose priority is expanding his own power.” Yet the Obama administration has issued even more executive orders than its predecessor.

Obama has acted unilaterally to abandon the Defense of Marriage Act, which is still a law, but which the executive branch is ordered not to defend. He declared that Congress was in recess in order to avoid having to seek its approval for a controversial executive appointment. He again bypassed Congress in order to join the nato mission in Libya. Other executive measures include orders for a summer jobs program, new rules for mortgage lenders, and minimum-wage protections for certain workers.

And these executive orders don’t begin to include the federal government’s growing control over the private sector through a series of bank and corporate bailouts, or its foray into health-care mandates.

Even though President Obama has enjoyed Democrat majorities in both houses of Congress and still enjoys a majority in the Senate, he has still ignored the legislative branch and at times acted against it outright in order to get what he wants.

In this case, the president is clearly pushing aside “how our democracy functions” and “how our Constitution is written” in order to prioritize his own reelection. Giving a million Hispanics a form of amnesty is a surefire way to boost popularity among the increasingly powerful Hispanic vote, just shortly before November’s election. According to polls, it has already worked. Hispanics who were not as enthusiastic about Obama as they were in 2008 are getting fired up again.

America’s founders fought and died in order to build a nation on godly principles and to prevent a tyrant from ruling over them. The Constitution was expressly written to safeguard those principles and protect the future of the nation.

The present leaders have repeatedly shown light regard for that foundational document—casting it aside for the mere possibility of political gain. The rule of law is being rapidly eroded—replaced by the rule of men, acting however they see fit.

What else might they do in order to hold on to power? Stay tuned. “Believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting, I promise you.”

For more information, read our April cover story, “The Obama Administration vs. the American Constitution,” and Chapter Two of Gerald Flurry’s booklet No Freedom Without Law.

Refugees in South Sudan Need Water

Refugees in South Sudan Need Water

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Tens of thousands of refugees fleeing conflict in Sudan are struggling to find sufficient water for their drinking and cooking needs, leading to an unknown number of deaths from dehydration and diarrhea, officials reported Monday.

In the past month, over 35,000 people have fled ground fighting and bombing in Sudan for South Sudan. The war is between Sudan’s military and a rebel group linked to South Sudan. Most of the refugees are women, children and the elderly, as the men generally stay behind to fight. Many of the new arrivals walked two to three weeks to reach the border with South Sudan, and around 40,000 more are believed to be en route to South Sudan. Over the past week, thousands of the new arrivals had to walk 13 miles to find water, and the shortages are becoming more severe.

Tara Newell, an emergency coordinator with Doctors Without Borders, said that water is among the highest priorities in the crisis. “It’s very sad that with this number of refugees that simply having something to drink is our biggest challenge.”

To understand why global weather conditions are increasingly harsh, read Why ‘Natural’ Disasters?