Churchill—Man of Destiny

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The last week of January 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the death and burial of Winston Churchill, Britain’s great wartime Prime Minister. Churchill is revered as the leader who galvanized British resistance to Nazi Germany, and is remembered for his indomitable spirit and commitment to fight to eventual victory—no matter how slim the chances may have seemed. He is also remembered for possessing a profound sense of personal destiny, something which colored his entire life. 

The last week of January 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the death and burial of Winston Churchill, Britain’s great wartime Prime Minister. Churchill is revered as the leader who galvanized British resistance to Nazi Germany, and is remembered for his indomitable spirit and commitment to fight to eventual victory—no matter how slim the chances may have seemed. He is also remembered for possessing a profound sense of personal destiny, something which colored his entire life. 

Severe Flooding in Malawi and Mozambique

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“More than 170 people have been killed and 200,000 displaced by torrential rain and flooding in Malawi. Large areas in the south are underwater and homes, crops and livestock have been washed away” (BBC, January 19, 2015). Drinking water sources have been either submerged or contaminated and officials fear an outbreak of cholera (ibid.). “The Malawi Defence Force has reportedly rescued at least 4,000 people, but there are fears that many more still need help” (Al Jazeera, January 19, 2015). More excessive rain is anticipated as a tropical cyclone arrives this weekend (ibid). Across the border severe flooding has also impacted Mozambique where the president has now asked for urgent international assistance (BBC, January 19, 2015). 

“More than 170 people have been killed and 200,000 displaced by torrential rain and flooding in Malawi. Large areas in the south are underwater and homes, crops and livestock have been washed away” (BBC, January 19, 2015). Drinking water sources have been either submerged or contaminated and officials fear an outbreak of cholera (ibid.). “The Malawi Defence Force has reportedly rescued at least 4,000 people, but there are fears that many more still need help” (Al Jazeera, January 19, 2015). More excessive rain is anticipated as a tropical cyclone arrives this weekend (ibid). Across the border severe flooding has also impacted Mozambique where the president has now asked for urgent international assistance (BBC, January 19, 2015). 

Muslim-European Conflict Heating Up

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Last weekend Belgium sent troops to protect sites across the nation, including some Jewish sites. “It was the first time in 30 years that authorities used troops to reinforce police in Belgium’s cities” (Times of Israel, January 17, 2015). “Britain’s police chiefs, meanwhile, increased patrols at Jewish sites and were studying ways to increase protection of police officers…” (ibid.). The extreme PEGIDA movement which drew 15,000 people in Dresden last week appears to be moving abroad to Spain and Denmark (Globe and Mail, January 19, 2015; AP, January 19, 2015). This group organizes rallies calling for a stop to Muslim immigration into Europe. 

Last weekend Belgium sent troops to protect sites across the nation, including some Jewish sites. “It was the first time in 30 years that authorities used troops to reinforce police in Belgium’s cities” (Times of Israel, January 17, 2015). “Britain’s police chiefs, meanwhile, increased patrols at Jewish sites and were studying ways to increase protection of police officers…” (ibid.). The extreme PEGIDA movement which drew 15,000 people in Dresden last week appears to be moving abroad to Spain and Denmark (Globe and Mail, January 19, 2015; AP, January 19, 2015). This group organizes rallies calling for a stop to Muslim immigration into Europe. 

Switzerland Disconnects from the Euro

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After several years of the value of the Swiss franc being capped against the euro, “The euro lost nearly 20 percent of its value against the Swiss franc on Thursday [January 15] after the central bank abandoned the cap on the franc’s value against the single currency” (EU Observer, January 15, 2015). “The value of the Swiss franc increased by around 30 percent in the hours following the announcement… The euro also fell to new lows against the dollar and sterling. ‘The euro has depreciated substantially against the US dollar and this, in turn, has caused the Swiss franc to weaken against the US dollar,’ said Thomas Jordan, the chairman of the Swiss National Bank. ‘In these circumstances, the SNB has concluded that enforcing and maintaining the minimum exchange rate for the Swiss franc against the euro is no longer justified,’ he added” (ibid.). 

After several years of the value of the Swiss franc being capped against the euro, “The euro lost nearly 20 percent of its value against the Swiss franc on Thursday [January 15] after the central bank abandoned the cap on the franc’s value against the single currency” (EU Observer, January 15, 2015). “The value of the Swiss franc increased by around 30 percent in the hours following the announcement… The euro also fell to new lows against the dollar and sterling. ‘The euro has depreciated substantially against the US dollar and this, in turn, has caused the Swiss franc to weaken against the US dollar,’ said Thomas Jordan, the chairman of the Swiss National Bank. ‘In these circumstances, the SNB has concluded that enforcing and maintaining the minimum exchange rate for the Swiss franc against the euro is no longer justified,’ he added” (ibid.). 

The Lies We Believe and the Truths We Reject

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Have you ever considered all of the things we take as truth, things that actually shape our lives by guiding our behaviors, habits and attitudes? Many of us grow up doing and believing the things our parents did were not only right but also unchangeable. Some of our beliefs come from friends to whom we gave credibility for reasons we have long forgotten.

Have you ever considered all of the things we take as truth, things that actually shape our lives by guiding our behaviors, habits and attitudes? Many of us grow up doing and believing the things our parents did were not only right but also unchangeable. Some of our beliefs come from friends to whom we gave credibility for reasons we have long forgotten.

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