The President and other European leaders responded to allegations that the Russians were behind the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his grown daughter in England earlier this month. Trump ordered the Russian consulate in Seattle to close and all 60 diplomats be sent packing. Eighteen European countries joined the move ousting more than 100 Russian diplomats. This follows the ouster of 23 from the UK who were expelled by British Prime Minister Theresa May immediately following the poisoning.
A Chinese newspaper–little more than an arm of the Chinese government–called the actions “a new round of bullying of Russia by the U.S. and its European allies.”
The Russians have denied any involvement. The ambassador to the U.S. said on Monday, “They are destroying what little remained of U.S.-Russia ties. I would add that all the responsibility for ruining Russian-American relations is on the United State of America.” President Putin is deciding on how to retaliate.
Backstory: On March 4, Skripal and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, were found slumped over on a park bench in Salisbury after being poisoned by a nerve agent. At least 21 people have received medical treatment due to the attack.
In 2006, Skripal was convicted of working with British secret services and sentenced to 13 years in prison. In 2010 he was pardoned when Russia swapped Skripal and three others for 10 Russian spies.
Why this Matters: According to reports, UK Prime Minister May has produced evidence pointing to the Russians as responsible for the poisoning. Up until now, May’s only “proof” was that the Russians developed Novichok, the deadly nerve agent, decades ago. Other reports say that in 1988 the U.S. actually developed an alternative nerve agent based on the original design.
Remember that the world alliances stand as follows: Russia, China, Iran, and Syria.
How to Pray: Pray for the truth to be exposed everywhere. Pray for the President to have wisdom and discernment.
New “Privacy” Law Hidden in Omnibus
Republican Senators Orrin Hatch and Lindsey Graham, along with Democratic Senators Chris Coons and Sheldon Whitehouse, decided to put forth the Clarifying Overseas Use of Data Act, or CLOUD Act, and bundle it into the omnibus spending bill.
Some questions of privacy will now be determined by agreements between countries.
The CLOUD was sold as a way to resolve legal questions involving a case pending before the Supreme Court brought by Microsoft. The question being asked is whether the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act allows the federal government to compel tech firms to turn over users’ data. The new CLOUD legislation signed into law on Friday strips away a layer of judicial review and allows the U.S. president to determine which governments have access to Americans’ information.
The ACLU calls CLOUD dangerous because it allows the government access electronic communication and any record or other information about any person, no matter their location around the world.
How this works: Country A has an agreement with the U.S. to share data on citizens. Country A could use a U.S.-based internet provider to surveil one of its citizens, and vice versa. Neither country would have to get a warrant or even notify the other country that they are conducting a “wiretap” and collecting whatever data they choose–from photos, to emails, to chats, to videos. They can access our information at will.
- Tech giants such as Microsoft President Brad Smith are calling this an “important day for privacy rights around the world…”
- Sen. Hatch brought forth the legislation because he said the status quo is unworkable for law enforcement and the tech companies. “Either law enforcement will lack the ability to obtain in a timely manner email and documents in the cloud that are stored overseas, or providers will find themselves caught between conflicting domestic and foreign laws.”
Here’s one example of how data collection is being used right now. Dr. Gary Margolis has a surveillance firm called Social Sentinel. It collects, stores, and collates social media data on students and profiles them according to thousands of “violent indicators” gleaned from their postings on social media. These indicators are not published, but may contain information such as membership in the NRA, or other social and political action groups.
The problem of surveillance isn’t just the government being nosey. Google AI expert Francois Chollet has warned that the problem with social media is not just the loss of your privacy and the fact that it can be used by governments to “watch” citizens from a metaphorical “tower.” The real problem is info is being studied to determine how to control our behavior.
Functions such as autocomplete (the action by a search engine to fill in your search after you type the first few words) is manipulative. The tech giants will control what results they want you to see. Keep in mind that there’s a “negativity bias,” which means negative information is more attractive than positive info.
Why this Matters: There has been a pushback following the recent exposure of Facebook’s actions to sell users’ info and help influence elections. Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, has just deleted his Tesla and SpaceX pages on Facebook.
How to Pray: For everyone–especially those who call Jesus Lord–to wake up to how we’ve been like sheep led to the slaughter. We should all prayerfully consider how we use social media and be quick to listen, and slow to “speak.”
Porn Star Alleges Affair on 60 Minutes
Anderson Cooper interviewed former porn star Stormy Daniels, who says she had a one-night stand with Donald Trump in 2006. The interview aired on Sunday night on 60 Minutes. About 22 million people watched the show.
The President tweeted on Monday morning:
“So much Fake News. Never been more voluminous or more inaccurate. But through it all, our country is doing great!”
White House press secretary Raj Shah gave a press conference on Monday and addressed the issue, saying, “The President has strongly, clearly, and consistently denied these claims.” He also alluded to Daniels’ flip-flop on her allegations. In January, Daniels denied any type of affair with Trump and issued a signed statement. Later, she reversed herself, saying she knowingly signed a false statement.
- Daniels also alleges that a man threatened her in Las Vegas in 2011, warning her to leave Trump alone. She says the man looked at her daughter, then turned to Daniels and said he wouldn’t want anything to happen to the child’s mother.
- Michael Cohen, attorney for Trump, said he paid Daniels $130,000 ahead of the 2016 election in exchange for her silence.
- On Monday, Cohen’s attorney sent Daniels a “cease and desist” letter demanding she stop making any further false and defamatory statements about Cohen. A few hours later, Daniels’ lawyer retaliated by filing a defamation suit against Cohen.
Why this Matters: The biggest threat to the President may be if he testifies in any civil lawsuits. President Clinton was impeached on perjury and obstruction of justice charges for misleading a federal grand jury about his sexual relationship with a White House intern. The charges were in part based on his testimony in a sexual harassment lawsuit by Paula Jones.
Several military installations around the Washington, D.C. area received packages on Monday with explosive components. Some included letters containing rambling and disturbing messages. None of the packages exploded; the FBI is investigating.
Winning Against the Globalists – The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a globalist, one-world-order organization ran an opinion editorial on March 21 bemoaning the end of the Liberal World Order. Established after WWII, the CFR sought to prevent the start of another world war, and created forces such as the UN, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization.
The writer said Liberalism is being defeated by populism, and countries and regions are hanging onto their own characteristics. In other words, the global framework is failing.
Why this Matters: Believers, patriots and lovers of Truth are beginning to have real hope that this satanic system will soon end up on the ash heap of history.
Pray for the end of globalism/Liberalism/Progressivism. The enemy is not done fighting, so we must occupy until the Lord returns and keep praying without ceasing. 1 Thess. 5:17
Luke 19:13 – And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
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