Germany’s U.S. Buying Spree

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Already this year Germany has spent more on U.S. investments than it did in the previous two decades (Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2014). “The latest deals bring to almost $70 billion the total value of German acquisitions announced in the U.S. so far this year, according to Dealogic” (ibid.). The motive behind these acquisitions is that Europe’s economy is still contracting, while the U.S. economy is expanding—making the U.S. a strong place for international investment at the moment—since many German companies are full of cash and the U.S. is a good place to invest (ibid.). 

Already this year Germany has spent more on U.S. investments than it did in the previous two decades (Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2014). “The latest deals bring to almost $70 billion the total value of German acquisitions announced in the U.S. so far this year, according to Dealogic” (ibid.). The motive behind these acquisitions is that Europe’s economy is still contracting, while the U.S. economy is expanding—making the U.S. a strong place for international investment at the moment—since many German companies are full of cash and the U.S. is a good place to invest (ibid.). 

“Left Behind” Leaves the Truth Behind

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On October 3, 2014, “Left Behind” hit theaters—a “reboot” of the 2000 film based on the best selling, Rapture theory-promoting book Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. So far, the reviews have not been pretty (e.g., the Chicago Tribune gave it zero stars), but, given the topic, the most important question about the movie is the one not addressed in most movie reviews. Is the main premise of the movie actually true? Is a “rapture” coming?

On October 3, 2014, “Left Behind” hit theaters—a “reboot” of the 2000 film based on the best selling, Rapture theory-promoting book Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. So far, the reviews have not been pretty (e.g., the Chicago Tribune gave it zero stars), but, given the topic, the most important question about the movie is the one not addressed in most movie reviews. Is the main premise of the movie actually true? Is a “rapture” coming?

The Future of France and Germany

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The Franco-German relationship that has held Europe together is faltering. “‘The problem is that the relationship has become deeply unbalanced,’ said Dominique Moïsi, a senior adviser at the French Institute for International Relations. ‘The French and Germans are not playing in the same league any longer, and the overall equilibrium of Europe was depending on a relatively balanced relationship, which no longer exists’” (New York Times, September 21, 2014). “Alfred Grosser, a leading German-French writer and sociologist, said the modern relationship has never been so dire,” even though the average French or German citizen feels no differently about each other (ibid.). Mr. Grosser also noted “What those people need is leadership…With Mr. Hollande so weak, and Ms. Merkel so cautious, even enigmatic, the French and German people feel a void” (ibid.).

The Franco-German relationship that has held Europe together is faltering. “‘The problem is that the relationship has become deeply unbalanced,’ said Dominique Moïsi, a senior adviser at the French Institute for International Relations. ‘The French and Germans are not playing in the same league any longer, and the overall equilibrium of Europe was depending on a relatively balanced relationship, which no longer exists’” (New York Times, September 21, 2014). “Alfred Grosser, a leading German-French writer and sociologist, said the modern relationship has never been so dire,” even though the average French or German citizen feels no differently about each other (ibid.). Mr. Grosser also noted “What those people need is leadership…With Mr. Hollande so weak, and Ms. Merkel so cautious, even enigmatic, the French and German people feel a void” (ibid.).

Is World War III Underway?

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In a recent visit to a northern Italian cemetery, the Pope made some profound remarks. “Pope Francis has said the spate of conflicts around the globe today were effectively a ‘piecemeal’ Third World War, condemning the arms trade and ‘plotters of terrorism’ sowing death and destruction… Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction” (Aljazeera, September 14, 2014). 

In a recent visit to a northern Italian cemetery, the Pope made some profound remarks. “Pope Francis has said the spate of conflicts around the globe today were effectively a ‘piecemeal’ Third World War, condemning the arms trade and ‘plotters of terrorism’ sowing death and destruction… Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction” (Aljazeera, September 14, 2014). 

Islamic State Eyes Mecca

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Reports indicate that the Islamic extremists of ISIS are “planning to capture the city of Arar in Saudi Arabia” which is close to the Iraqi border and within a day’s drive of Mecca. The leaders of ISIS know that “if you want to control Islam, you have to control Mecca…ISIS knows the only way to enhance legitimacy among Muslims for its ‘Caliphate’ is to control Mecca” (The Times, September 26, 2014). 

Reports indicate that the Islamic extremists of ISIS are “planning to capture the city of Arar in Saudi Arabia” which is close to the Iraqi border and within a day’s drive of Mecca. The leaders of ISIS know that “if you want to control Islam, you have to control Mecca…ISIS knows the only way to enhance legitimacy among Muslims for its ‘Caliphate’ is to control Mecca” (The Times, September 26, 2014). 

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