Saturday, July 27, 2019

GERMANY.... AfD..... THE PAST RISES AGAIN!


From The Economist - July 20th - 26th - 2019


Germany's AfD

Too far

DRESDEN

The Alternative for Germany's strength in east Germany is hurting it in the west


It is an ordinary Monday evening in Dresden. Around 1,000 people have gathered, under gunmetal skies and German flags, for the fortnightly demonstration organized by Pegida ("Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident"). It is a peculiar blend of the convivial and the hateful. The crowd laughs and cheers as speakers rail against immigrants, politicians and the media. Later they march through the city centre, swapping insults with balaclava-clad counter-protesters. There are arrests for violence and Holocaust denial. Your correspondent's attempts to interview participants are foiled by a ponytailed protester screaming "Lii-genpresse!" ("Lying press"), a slur with Nazi overtones revived by Pegida.

Far-right politics has long found a home in Saxony, the east German state of which Dresden is the capital. The NPD, a neo-Nazi outfit, had seats in Saxony's parliament from 2004 to 2014. But in a state election on September 1st the Alternative for Germany (AfD), a far-right party, has a chance of coming first. It will also do well in two other eastern elections: in Brandenburg, on the same day, and Thuringia, in October. It polls much better in the states of the old East Germany than in the (far larger) West. But that difference has become a source of division inside the party.

In the past five years the AfD has transformed itself from a tweedy set of Euro-sceptics worried about euro-zone bail-outs into a populist-xenophobic outfit in the vein of Austria's Freedom Party or the National Rally in France. It has proved a successful strategy. The party has won seats in all 16 state parliaments and, amid dismay over Angela Merkel's open-door refugee policy, took third place in the general election of 2017, earning 13% of the vote and 94 seats. Yet this success has always rested on an uneasy coalition of disillusioned conservatives, nationalist populists and radicals on the fringes of democracy. Hostility to Mrs Merkel has helped unite these tribes. But they are a fractious lot.

In Germany's east the AfD has acquired a distinctive voice as it puts down local roots. Where radical groups like Pegida and the AfD once sought to prove their mutual independence, now east German AfD stars such as Bjdrn Hocke, the party's leader in Thuringia, make inflammatory speeches at Pegida demos. Pegida's marches are much smaller than at their peak of 2015, when the group could draw up to 30,000 protesters. But the hard core that remains is more coherent, uniting strands of the radical right, explains Johannes Filous, co-founder of Strassengezwitscher, a journalistic group that monitors Saxony's far right. Many demonstrators in Dresden now proudly wave the AfD flag.

Right turn

Mr Hocke, a race-baiting extremist in the charismatic strongman mould, sits at the heart of the Flugel ("Wing"), an ultra-right grouping inside the AfD whose influence far outstrips its support, thought to comprise perhaps one-third of party members. Disciplined and hierarchical, it is dominant in east Germany; it is also gaining strength in the west. That has occasioned drama in several AfD state associations. In North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state, earlier this month most of the party leadership quit in protest at the growing influence of the Flugel, which has left those loyal to Mr Hocke in charge. On July 10th over 100 AfD officials wrote an open letter vowing that they would strive to protect the party from the cult of personality surrounding Mr Hocke.

Tellingly, none of the AfD's national leaders was among them. The leadership "needs to keep both wings together, and that gives the advantage to the radicals," says Werner Patzelt, a political scientist in Dresden. But should Mr Hocke become the voice of the party, conservative AfD voters in the west may be scared off. One party figure has said the aid may lose ten votes in the west for each one it gains in the east. Paradoxically, success for the AfD in the autumn elections could intensify the party's problems by vindicating the eastern ultras. Some internal differences are "difficult to reconcile," acknowledges Tino Chrupalla, an aid mp from eastern Saxony. All this comes at an awkward time for the party which is sagging in national polls.

It has also been stung by suggestions that its rhetoric encourages violence. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the   CDU’s leader, has said that anyone in her party who is considering working with the AfD should "close their eyes and imagine Walter Lubcke", a reference to a cdu politician who was murdered recently, allegedly by a neo-Nazi fanatic.

But the AfD's success in the east creates a real problem for mainstream parties who must form governments from a fragmented vote. In Saxony the AfD and the CDU both poll around 25%. Michael Kretschmer, the state's premier and CDU leader, rules out a coalition with the aid after the election. But others in his party seem less sure. In neighbouring Saxony-Anhalt, where the CDU leads a fractious three-way coalition, some party figures want to open the debate. At municipal level there are signs of informal CDU-AfD co-operation. And even in Saxony, a minority CDU government open to working with all parties, including the AfD, may ultimately look more attractive than the unwieldy three- or four-party coalition that may be the only alternative.

In the long term, the prospects for such deals may depend on the AfD itself. And in the east the party is making itself harder to work with. It has started to foster a nascent "Ossi" nationalism, hinting that easterners' experience of dictatorship renders them cannier than west Germans, corrupted as westerners are by Merkel, migrants and the Lugenpresse—and, perhaps, well placed to bring about the necessary revolution. At the Pegida event a speaker attacks the domestic intelligence agency that has declared the Flugel a target for .surveillance, triggering cries of "Stasi!" from the crowd. An east Berlin branch of the AfD recently circulated a meme depicting west Germany as an Islamic caliphate, with the national flag reserved for the east.

Needless to say, the audience for this sort of thing in western Germany is limited. Hoping for a showdown, some of the AfD's less radical politicians want the easterners to put themselves up for election to the party's executive board, which is dominated by westerners, later this year. Mr Hocke has vowed that the board will change, but may not stand himself. That makes him a coward, snorts one of his internal opponents. But it is increasingly clear who has the upper hand. ■

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USA.... BETTER IMMIGRATION POLICIES


The Economist - July 20th 2019


Immigration and America


While you were tweeting

Amid the outrage over the president's race-baiting, his administration rewrote asylum law


It is a familiar pattern. The president says something outrageous—this time Donald Trump told four black and brown-skinned Democratic congresswomen, all of whom are us citizens and three of whom were born in America, to "go back" where they came from. His supporters, who have come to accept what many of them previously found unconscionable, stay silent. His opponents, rightly appalled, lament what has happened to their country. At the same time the Trump administration makes a big policy change that attracts far less attention—in this case, an edicrthat directly affects tens of thousands of people a year and overturns half a century of precedent.

Last year 120,000 people claimed asylum, the majority of them at the south-western border. On July 15th the White House announced that claims will no longer be considered unless applicants can prove that they sought asylum in one of the countries they passed through on their way to America, and were rejected. There will be legal challenges to the new rule, because America is party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and because the change may contravene America's own Refugee Act of 1980. But in the meantime anyone who passes through Guatemala or Mexico on the way to the southern border without first seeking refuge there may be turned away.

There is no kind way to enforce immigration law, which by its very existence must squash the dreams of some who wish to migrate. Plenty of asylum-seekers at America's southern border are not fleeing persecution but crime and poverty. However, this is the wrong way to go about things, for reasons of principle and also of pragmatism.

First, principle. The idea that a refugee should be protected, regardless of which countries he might have traipsed through beforehand, is worth defending. It is already dying in Australia and Europe. The European Union outsources much of its asylum policy to Turkey and Lybia, for example, or to member states on its fringes; thousands of people languish in crowded camps in Greece. But for America to abandon this norm sends an even more disturbing signal. The land of the free has a proud history of resettling refugees from far-off places, rehousing many more than any other country.

Second, pragmatism. Mr Trump has already used threats on trade to persuade Mexico to host more asylum applicants on its side of the border while they await news of their claims. Unable to build his oft-promised wall, his administration has tried to deter migrants by other means, including separating children from their parents at the border. Migration numbers are volatile, and tend to decline in the hot summer months, but so far none of these things has cut the numbers enough for Mr Trump. Clamping down even harder will not alter the incentives to leave El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, where most asylum-seekers come from, in search of a better life. It simply makes it more likely that migrants will rely on traffickers rather than the legal system to cross into America.

There is a better way. 

The first step would be to increase the number of judges, to clear the backlog of immigration cases. There are currently not far off a million cases pending; the waiting time to hear them can be as long as three years. Many asylum-seekers disappear into the grey labour market as they wait for their cases to be adjudicated, joining the ranks of America's 10.5m unlawful migrants; the Department of Justice says almost half do not show up for court hearings. 

The next step would be to allow the immigration and citizenship service to decide asylum applications at the border. 

Finally, the federal government could provide more aid to improve conditions in Central America. When Mexico's economy improved and the fertility rate fell, the number of Mexicans migrating north slowed to a trickle. A different president, with a more expansive view of American greatness, would enforce rules and change incentives, not abrogate rights.
………………..

USA.... RIDING HIGH....BUT HOW LONG?


From The Economist - July 13th - 19th — 2019


Riding high

America's expansion wiH soon be the longest on record. What could bring it to an end?


Around the world investors, businesses and central bankers are grappling with a startling fact: at the end of July America's economy will have been growing for 121 months, the longest run since records began in 1854, according to the NBER, a research body. History suggests there will be a recession soon. And plenty of people are gloomy. Bond markets have been sounding the alarm, as long-term interest rates sink below short-term ones, often a harbinger of a downturn. Manufacturing firms are wary; indices of business confidence are tumbling. Yet equity investors are still buoyant. The stockmarket is going gangbusters, rising by 19% so far this year. And in June America's economy created a whopping 224,000 new jobs, more than twice as many as needed to keep up with the growth of the workforce. The result is a puzzle that matters a great deal. America's economy accounts for a quarter of global output, so if it stumbles the world will, too. But if it proves able to extend the cycle a lot longer, it may be time to rewrite the rules for how all rich economies behave.

The conflicting signals reflect an unusually sluggish and stretched expansion. Some of that is to be expected after the worst financial crisis in 80 years, but as our briefing explains, it is also owing to deeper changes in America's $21trn economy. Growth is slow but more stable as activity has shifted to services and intangible assets. Thanks to new regulations and the recent memory of the bust, there are few signs of wild mortgage lending, over-investment or reckless financial firms. Inflation is remarkably subdued. These forces mean that a placid expansion can continue well beyond historical norms, but also suggest that the way it will eventually end will be different. Recessions used to be triggered by housing bubbles, price surges or industrial busts. Now you should worry about globally interconnected firms, a financial system addicted to cheap money and a political system that is toying with extreme policies because living standards are not rising fast enough.

Average GDP growth during this expansion has been a mere 2.3%, much lower than the 3.6% that was seen in America's three previous expansions. That reflects some deep malaises. The workforce is ageing. Big firms hoard profits and invest less. Productivity growth has been slow. Robert Gordon, an economist, worries that America's genius for innovation is flagging. Emojis and bitcoins are no substitute for breakthroughs such as jet engines or the internet.

That is the bad news. The good news is that the economy may be less volatile. A third of America's 20th-century recessions were caused by industrial slumps or oil-price shocks, according to Goldman Sachs. Today manufacturing is just 11% of GDP and each dollar of output requires a quarter less energy than in 1999. Services have become even more vital, at 70% of output. Instead of fickle factories and Florida condos, investment has shifted to intellectual property, which now accounts for more than a quarter of the total. After the searing experience of 2008, the value of the housing stock is 143% of GDP, well below the peak of 188%. Banks are rammed full of capital.

Most remarkable of all is very low inflation, which has aver-
aged 1.6% over the course of the expansion. In many past downturns the jobs market overheated, causing inflation and leading the Federal Reserve to hit the brakes. Today the dynamics are different. The unemployment rate has fallen to 3.7%, close to the lowest in half a century, but wage growth is only a tepid 3% - Workers have less bargaining power in a globalized economy. The Fed's credibility helps, too—most people believe that it can keep long-run inflation at about 2%. Given that racing prices are less of a worry and that it lacks the ammunition to deal with a serious downturn, the Fed is being more active at signalling that it will ease policy when growth dips. This week the Fed signalled it would soon nudge rates down from today's 2.25-2.5%, to keep growth going.

All this supports the idea that the familiar triggers for recession are still absent and that the moderately good times can roll on for years yet. The trouble with this logic is that, just as the economy has changed, so have the risks. Inevitably it is hard to identify exactly what might go wrong, but three new kinds of problems loom large.

First, America's glossy corporate champions have unfamiliar vulnerabilities. Although fewer make physical goods, most rely on global production chains that are being shaken by the trade war (see our special report). This is depressing investment and could yet produce a shock—imagine if Apple was cut off from its factories in China. Tech firms, meanwhile, now account for a third of all investment by listed firms, including intellectual property. Other businesses outsource their need for it services to a few giants. One of them, Alphabet, spent $45bn in the past year, five times more than Ford. But 85% of its sales come from advertising, which has been cyclical in the past. It and other tech firms also face a regulatory storm.

The second risk is financial. Although house prices and the banks have been tamed, total private debts remain high by historical standards, at 250% of GDP. An edifice of asset prices and borrowing rests on the assumption of permanently low and stable interest rates, making it more fragile than it looks. If rates rise there will be distress among some firms, and trouble in debt markets—there was a sell-off in late 2018. If, by contrast, the Fed has to cut rates to near zero for a prolonged period to sustain growth, it could weaken the banks, as Europe has found.

A recession made in Washington?

The last danger is politics. As the economy has trodden a narrow path, the boundaries of economic policy have been blown wide apart, partly out of frustration at a decade of sluggish wages. President Donald Trump has tried to gin up growth, by cutting taxes and attacking the Fed. Most Democrats are keen to let rip on government spending. More extreme policies hover in the wings. On the left, modern monetary theory (a kind of money printing) and massive state intervention are popular. One of Mr Trump's new nominees to the Fed board supports a gold standard. The greatest threat to America's long and placid expansion is that a new era of wild policy may be just beginning. ■

USA ....BORDER AND IMMIGRATION


From The Economist - July 6th - 12th —- 2019


Immigration detention


In the land of the free

WASHINGTON, DC

The distressing scenes at the southern border are a result of circumstances beyond the White House's control, of deliberate policy and of plain incompetence


It is always the best of times and the worst of times in America for President Donald Trump. Various things have simultaneously never been worse, owing to Democratic meddling, but also never been better, thanks to his own intervention. "Our country has a hole, nobody sees anything like it, but we've stopped them," he said at a raucous rally in Orlando, Florida, to launch his re-election campaign on June 18th. "Thanks to Democrat policies, schoolchildren across the .country are being threatened by the vicious gang MS-13 that ice [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] , by the way, is taking out of the country and dropping them back home by the thousands." Another problem solved.

Meanwhile in the real world American border police apprehended 132,887 migrants in May, the most recent month for which data has been officially released. That is the highest recorded number in 13 years, and a ninefold increase from May 2017, when border arrests were at the lowest levels in nearly 50 years. Preliminary data collected by the us Customs and Border Protection agency and released by the Mexican government suggests that arrests declined by 30% in June to 95,000.

That decline might be owing to a deal cut with the Mexican government after Mr Trump threatened to impose tariffs unless the migration surge subsided. It might be owing to the heat, since fewer cross the desert in summer. Yet this is still more than double the number of people detained the previous June. An unusually large share of recent arrivals are children. According to the Migration Policy Institute, a think-tank, more than half of those arriving at the border are coming as families, and 9% are unaccompanied children.

This all presents a problem for American authorities. After they are apprehended, migrants are processed in facilities run by the Customs and Border Patrol. They are not supposed to stay there for longer than three days. Adults and children who arrived with their parents or guardians are then dispatched to facilities run by ice until a hearing can be held. Unaccompanied children are supposed to be cared for by a separate agency, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

At least that is how it is meant to work. In fact just 424 judges nationwide hear these cases. There are 892,517 cases outstanding, says TRAC, a research outfit at Syracuse University, and hundreds of thousands more are pending. This logjam creates a problem across the country. Hearing dates in New York City, an especially overburdened court system, are being set for August 2023. The backlog of cases and the unexpected migration surge has filled both ICE and HHS facilities to overflowing.

Immigration detention centres were built to handle single adult men, not to house families and children. Partly because of this the Border Patrol is not releasing detainees to these longer-term facilities. A doctor visiting detained children reported that they had not been given , toothpaste or soap and were being kept in freezing rooms where the lights were kept on for 24 hours. She visited facilities in the Texas towns of Clint and McAllen encountered babies who were sick and losing weight and described the conditions as comparable to "torture facilities".

The Border Patrol has insisted that reports of deplorable conditions for migrants were exaggerated. That was then contradicted by another report from the Department of Homeland Security's inspector-general. It found detainees were being kept in overcrowded conditions for much longer than three days. Many children had been held longer than a week; most of their facilities visited by government inspected did not give children showers and little access to fresh clothing. They were not fed hot food. Some adults were being held in standing-room-only conditions for as long as a week. Detainees had started to clog their toilets with blankets so they could at least leave their confinement while the pipes were unblocked. They pressed notes to the windows as the inspectors passed by, including one on a piece of cardboard, saying "HELP 40 DAY HERE".

Congress has had to scramble to respond. By June 26th both the Republican-led Senate and the Democratic-led House had agreed to the figure requested by immigration agencies—$4.6bn for emergency humanitarian spending. But they differed on how it ought to be spent. The House version of the funding bill had more restrictions aimed at preventing the administration from using the money to round up more migrants. After moderate Democrats revolted, Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, had to concede defeat and pass the Senate bill over the howls of the party's Hispanic caucus. Then a delegation from the caucus managed to tour two of the customs and border facilities. They described sordid conditions. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a congresswoman from New York, says she encountered women sobbing "out of fear of being punished, out of sickness, out of desperation, lack of sleep, trauma, despair". The Hispanic caucus described the border-funding bill as "a betrayal of our American values".

Embarrassing as this was for Ms Pelosi, the emergency funding is a temporary reprieve for a recurring problem.

Mr Trump's administration has tried various methods to quell the influx. First, the short-lived practice of deterring family migration by separating children from their parents; now other tactics designed to scare off potential migrants and the strong-arming of the Mexican government into detaining many more central Americans on their way to the United States.

At the same time, prospective challengers vying to be the Democratic presidential nominee are adopting ever-leftier ideas. Several Democratic contenders have recently embraced de-criminalising border crossing, a position held by Julian Castro, a former federal housing secretary and primary candidate. Cory Booker, a senator from New Jersey, says he would like to "virtually eliminate" immigrant detention and wrote that America must guarantee hormone therapy for detained transgender migrants who seek asylum.

As Mr Trump's election showed, sympathy for migrants at the southern border ebbs and flows, but there is always demand for draconian border enforcement. Democrats need to tread carefully. ■

Friday, July 26, 2019

INDIA..... DRYING UP!


From  The  Economist  -  July  6th - 2019


Water shortages in India

Do or dry
CHENNAI----- A parched city of 8m makes plans to refill the taps


Between December and June the largest reservoir supplying Chennai, India's sixth-biggest city, shrivelled and then vanished. From the window of a plane, darker patches suggest Puzhal Lake still holds some water. Close up, the “water” turns out to be just a different shade of mud.

Puzhal is indeed "bone dry", says T. Prabhushankar, the head of Chennai's water board, and so are three more lakes that are the other main sources of water for the city's 8m people. In his air-conditioned office a computer screen indicates that the city's reservoirs, which have a total capacity of ubn cubic feet, contain a minuscule 25m cubic feet. "There is nothing to hide about it," he shrugs. "There has been no rain for 190 days, so there is no water." Yet Mr Prabhushankar is not worried. Not only does he expect to get through the current dry spell—Chennai's worst since 2004—he also insists that, for the city, water scarcity will soon be a thing of the past.

As with India as a whole, the growing city's demand for water has placed huge stress on traditional sources such as groundwater, rivers and lakes. And, like all of India's i.3bn people, Chennai's thirsty inhabitants may very well face long-term dangers from climate change, one effect of which is more erratic rainfall. But while it is easy to blame both the city's-and India's water woes on nature, a closer look reveals
a legacy of poor management, lax laws and underinvestment. Most of the time, the two annual monsoons suffice to top up lakes and groundwater. The trouble comes when leaks spring in the system.

To allay Chennai's acute scarcity, which is likely to last until the winter monsoon in November (for India's east coast this is heavier than summer rains), the water board has contracted an impressive 1,000 GPS-tagged water tankers, each making up to a dozen daily runs. Free deliveries of drinking water reach every street in the city once every two days. Local volunteers ensure it is rationed fairly—typically 30 litres a day for each household.

As neighbours in the middle-class Mylapore district line up brightly coloured pots for the scheduled tanker to fill, there is more good humour than annoyance. It was worse in the 2004 drought, recalls the tanker driver: there were so many fights he needed police protection. Kamala Kanan, a local businessman, says it is a bore having to wait for and haul water, and it is barely enough for the 13 people in his house. But the distribution is reliable, free and fair. And luckily his family has access to groundwater. This has grown saltier but they use it for washing and sanitation. Residents of two different slum districts say they get piped water for a few minutes a day. It is also enough, but sometimes stinks of sewage, so for drinking they buy 20-litre drums for about $0.50 each.

Mr Prabhushankar explains that the city has been able to sustain about two-thirds of normal supply because it planned ahead. Two recently built desalination plants, new borewells, expanded facilities to recycle sewage and a new 220km pipeline from a distant reservoir all add to supply. Both desalination and recycling capacity are set to triple within five years. Faced with complaints of dwindling groundwater, the government promises to enforce long-standing laws mandating that all buildings should be equipped to harvest rainwater. It has also pledged to maintain not only its big reservoirs, but hundreds of smaller bodies of water that could help insure against drought.

The promise is welcome, but not convincing to Sekhar Raghavan of the Rain Centre, an NGO that lobbies for better water management. Its research shows that, despite 99% compliance on paper, only 40% of buildings actually do trap rainwater and store it or inject it into aquifers. The severity of floods that hit the city in 2015 was largely owing to the government's failure to clean and desilt canals and lakes or to build an adequate sewer system, Mr Raghavan says: "They are jokers. They would rather spend huge money on big new projects and giant storm drains than on fixing what is broken, which is our natural water-storage capacity."

Still, Mr Raghavan is optimistic. When he started out decades ago, his was a lonely voice. Now, he says, ordinary citizens are demanding action, or acting themselves. He has another new ally, too. Spooked by rapidly depleting groundwater, the central government plans a vast nationwide campaign to revamp local reservoirs. Perhaps if the government also stopped promoting greedy crops such as rice and sugarcane, did more to curb rampant pollution, and considered installing meters and applying realistic prices to regulate water consumption, India really would not have to worry about going thirsty. As Mr Raghavan says, "You cannot complain about nature. It's we that have to adapt to nature." ■

ALASKA.....BURNING!


The Economist July 6th - 2019

Alaska

Baked
The Last Frontier is warming fast


Around a recent backyard bonfire on the outskirts of this small fishing and tourism town in the south-central part of Alaska, local residents debated whether a massive release of spruce pollen, which accumulated on every surface—including car bonnets, picnic tables and the nearby Ka-chemak Bay—amounted to a. "golden sheen" or a "yellow scum". The fine dust turned the surface of the sea the colour of butter and left a bright, lemony line on shore that marked the extent of high tide and gave off a sickly sweet smell.

Eric Clarke manages trails at the nearby Kachemak Bay State Park, a rugged coastal area of dense spruce forests. He has been with the park for 24 years. "I haven't seen a pollen dump like this in years," he said. This huge release of pollen might be yet another symptom of a rapidly changing environment. Spruce pollen is made up of microscopic, double-lobed orbs that look a bit like Mickey Mouse heads. The "ears" are minute air sacks that help the pollen grains disperse over hundreds of miles, which in this region of Alaska means across mountains, glaciers and bays.

Spruce trees release pollen annually, but every three to five years there is a natural bump in pollen production. This cyclir cal process is called masting, and it flushes the forests every few years with spruce seeds, overwhelming seed-eating animals like red squirrels and white-winged crossbills, and thereby ensuring many uneaten seeds go on to germinate.

Climate change is also affecting how trees and other plants release pollen. Rising temperatures and increasing atmospheric carbon-dioxide concentrations are intensifying pollen seasons, much to the chagrin of allergy sufferers. In Alaska, where temperatures are warming at twice the national average, the change is getting up people's noses. "Increased carbon dioxide will drive pollen levels," says Jeffrey De-main of the Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Centre of Alaska, who began pollen counts here nearly 25 years ago. His clinic treats patients with especially pernicious pollen-related symptoms.

More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere spurs plant growth. The pollen season is extending as well. Trees release pollen in the spring after a short stretch of frost-free days. Because the last frosts of spring are occurring earlier in the year, trees are blasting out pollen earlier as well. And because warming temperatures are keeping autumn frosts at bay later into the year, plants continue to release pollen for weeks longer than in years past. And in Alaska, where trees are moving north into formerly treeless landscapes, the geographic reach of pollen is changing.

Already this year, Alaska has seen record temperatures, more than 20 degrees Celsius (40 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal. And each year atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations increase. While spruce pollen is irritating to local residents, the massive pollen release could be a boon to the region's forests, which have been decimated in recent years by beetle and aphid infestations brought on by rising temperatures. The yellow mist rising from the trees looks like an indicator of a rapidly changing environment, which is leaving its mark on human health, local forests and the tideline. ■

THE  NORTH  PART  OF  CANADA  IS  NOW  EXPERIENCING  PERMA-FROST  COMING  OUT  OF  THE  GROUND—— NEVER  HAPPENED  BEFORE,  GOING  BACK  THOUSANDS  OF  YEARS!

HILLS  ARE  FALLING,  TOGETHER  WITH  TREES;  THE  VARIOUS  PIPES  BELOW  GROUND  IN  THE  VILLAGES  ARE  BREAKING  UP.

TO  SAY  THOSE  VILLAGES  ARE  UNDER  DISASTER  IS  AN  UNDERSTATEMENT.

THE  NORTH  POLE  IS  MELTING  AS  NEVER  BEFORE.

THE  ICE  CAP  OVER  MUCH  OF  GREENLAND  IS  MELTING  LIKE  A  TRAIN  OUT  OF  CONTROL.

WHEN  I  CAME  TO  WESTERN  CANADA  IN  1961  CANADA  WAS  STILL  THE  FROZEN  NORTH,  FAMOUS  FOR  LONG  COLD  WINTERS.  I  REMEMBER  DURING  THE  1960s  WE  GOT  WINTERS  OF  -3O F  FOR  5  WEEKS  STRAIGHT;  IT  WAS  AS  PEOPLE  TOLD  ME  “CANADA’S  WINTER  CLIMATE  HAS  BEEN  THIS  WAY  FOR  THOUSANDS  OF  YEARS,  SO  GET  USED  TO  IT.”

NOW  TODAY  IF  WESTERN  CANADA  GETS  -30  FOR  A  WEEK,  IT  IS  ON  NATIONAL  NEWS!

……….



EGYPT......IMPORTANT !


The Economist July 6th - 12th - 2019

Egypt

If Egypt collapses
Pyramid scheme

What might cause the country to collapse—and what would the consequences be if it did?


“If Egypt collapsed, millions of Islamic State members would storm the world.” This prediction came from Egypt's strongman president, Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi, in 2015. He has cynical reasons to sound apocalyptic. His formula for staying in power has two main parts: repression at home, and constantly warning foreign leaders that unless they support him, Egypt will fall into chaos.

It works surprisingly well. Gulf states bankroll him for fear that the alternative is a regime led by the Muslim Brotherhood. This is not an unreasonable fear. The Brothers won elections in 2011 and 2012 and ruled Egypt incompetently until Mr Sisi overthrew them in a coup in 2013. America backs Mr Sisi for the same reason: some in President Donald Trump's administration consider the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation (and Mr Sisi is adept at flattering Mr Trump himself). Europe turns a blind eye to the awful things that go on in Mr Sisi's police cells because it fears the millions of refugees who might surge across the Mediterranean, were Egypt to fail. So Mr Sisi's warning is self-serving. But is it wrong?

Egypt's collapse is far from impossible. Granted, the country is not Lebanon or Iraq, riven by sectarian feuds. Nor is it like Libya or Yemen, where regional and tribal divides fuel civil wars. Egyptians have a strong sense of nationhood. But they are under great stress, bossed around by a military regime that is both brutal and brittle. Discontent is everywhere. The Islamists who won the only moderately fair elections Egypt has ever held still justifiably seethe at having been ousted from office at gunpoint. Despite an uptick in economic growth, youth unemployment remains worryingly high. In April 2019 Mr Sisi won a grossly unfair referendum to allow himself to remain in power until 2030. A despot with a messianic streak who aims to rule for ever is not a recipe for long-term stability.

The most likely cause of social breakdown is water, or rather the lack of it. Egypt is mostly desert. Its people are nearly all crammed into a narrow fertile strip on either side of the Nile. Successive governments have encouraged them to waste water by charging almost nothing for it. Meanwhile, the countries upstream of Egypt plan to draw more water from the Nile. Ethiopia is building a huge dam to generate electricity and help its people lift themselves out of poverty. Sudan wants to divert water into irrigation projects, hoping to become the regional breadbasket. Many Egyptians, accustomed to taking the pharoah's share of the Nile's waters, view all this as an existential threat.

The potential for conflict may increase as climate change parches the region and Egypt's population increases: from 100m today to an estimated 130m by 2030. Some Egyptian military officers have suggested that Egypt will go to war to protect its rights to the Nile's waters. At the same time, Egypt also has a sizeable jihadist threat in the Sinai region, where an offshoot of Islamic State massacres Christians and Sufis (a minority Muslim sect). It has unstable neighbours, too: war-torn Libya to the west, revolutionary Sudan to the south. With so many potential sources of instability, it would be rash not to think through the possible consequences if Egypt collapsed into the kind of chaos seen in Syria or Libya.

For one thing, the refugee flows would dwarf those from Syria (which, pre-war, was only a fifth as populous as Egypt). A few of the displaced might head for the open, unguarded spaces of Libya. But most would cram into boats and cross the Mediterranean, or try their luck in the Gulf. Italian and Greek ships would try to turn them back. Many would drown. Turkey and Jordan would be slightly more welcoming. Though only a small proportion of the refugees would make it to Europe, anti-migrant parties would wax hysterical about the "Egyptian invasion". Populists would win elections, starting in France. President Marion Marechal-Le Pen would close the border with Italy—and then ban halal butchers.

Domino effect

If the Egyptian government lost control, foreign powers would intervene to keep the Suez canal open to global shipping. The United States, which uses the canal to move naval forces from the Mediterranean to the Gulf and farther east, would swiftly take charge, with a token coalition of Saudis and Emiratis at its side. But given the humiliation they suffered in the Suez crisis of 1956, Britain and France would be understandably reluctant to participate.

Some of Egypt's vast ungoverned territory would provide a safe haven for killers. Rebels from Libya would use the borderlands as a rear base. Jihadists would set up a new caliphate on Egyptian turf. Israel would find this intolerable—Egypt would have transformed from a partner in peace to a mortal threat. Israeli jets would bomb Islamic State targets in Egypt as ferociously as they bombed Iranian missile units in Syria. Even then, having lost its main mediator with Hamas in Gaza, Israel would be desperately vulnerable.

As the chaos in Syria and Libya shows, putting Egypt back together would be excruciatingly hard, and might take decades. Far better to stop it collapsing in the first place—but it is far from obvious that Mr Sisi is the right man for that job. ■

EGYPT  WILL  PLAY  A  MAJOR  ROLE  IN  END-TIME  BIBLE  PROPHECY.

SHE  WILL  NOT  COLLAPSE,  BUT  WILL  HEAD  A  UNION  OF  ARAB  NATIONS.

THE  BOOK  OF  DANIEL  TELLS  US  WHAT  SHE  WILL  DO  TO  BRING  IN  THE  LAST  42  MONTHS  OF  THIS  AGE,  AND  THE  RETURN  OF  THE  MESSIAH  CHRIST  JESUS,  TO  EARTH.

I  HAVE  EXPOUNDED  ALL  THE  PROPHETIC  BOOKS  OF  THE  BIBLE  FOR  YOU,  UNDER  “PROPHECY”  SECTION,  ON  MY  WEBSITE—— keithhunt.com

GERMANY'S PAST ..... ON THE RISE!


From The Economist - July 6 - 12 — 2019


  
Ghosts of the past

Germany is in shock after a politician who championed refugees is murdered

For the first time since the days of the Weimar Republic a German politician has been murdered by a xenophobic extremist. In June 1922 a group of anti-Semitic right-wingers appalled the German establishment by assassinating Walther Rathenau, the foreign minister, in his car on the streets of Berlin. This year, on June 2nd, Stephan Ernst, a neo-Nazi from Kassel with a history of violence against immigrants, allegedly shot Walter Lubcke, the Kassel district president, in the head outside his house in Wolfhagen, in central Germany. Mr Ernst confessed in detail at the end of June. On July 2nd he is said to have retracted his confession.

The crime has shocked Germany more than any of the 195 murders by right-wing extremists since reunification because the victim was a representative of the state. "Never in our republic's 70 years has democracy been challenged from the right as it is nowadays," said Armin Laschet, the state premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, who, like Mr Lubcke, is a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and supports her refugee policies. On Thursday June 27th more than 10,000 people took to the streets of Kassel to march against right-wing violence.

Seventy-four years after Hitler's death, many Germans are haunted by the spectre of resurgent neo-Nazi violence and wonder whether enough is being done to fight it. Thomas Haldenwang, head of the federal office for the protection of the constitution, responsible for Germany's domestic security, admitted that his agency has yet to expunge the threat of right-wing extremism. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the president, said it was shameful that Germany could not protect Mr Lubcke.

Not enough is done to try to deradical-ise neo-Nazis, says Dierk Bostel of Dortmund University, an expert on the extreme right. The police, the federal prosecutor's office and Mr Haldenwang's agency are being urged to work more closely together. More, it is said, must be done to monitor neo-Nazi networks and hate speech on the web. Mr Ernst, an aficionado of online Nazi propaganda, should have been closely watched ever since he nearly killed an immigrant in a train-station toilet in 1992.

Far-right extremism surged during the refugee crisis in 2015 and has not come down. One manifestation is the rising popularity of the Alternative for Germany (AfD), which started as a Eurosceptic protest party in 2013 but has turned into a hard-right outfit akin to Austria's Freedom Party. "The AfD are enablers of right-wing terror," says Hajo Funke, a specialist in xenophobic extremism at the Free University of Berlin. The party's radical wing has got the upper hand. Even though the AfD talks about expelling extremists such as Bjorn Hocke or Andreas Kalbitz, its ultranationalist leaders in Thuringia and Brandenburg, it has never actually kicked anyone out.


The AfD’s reaction to the Lubcke tragedy seemed to confirm the party's reputation. In Bavaria's parliament, an AfD politician refused to stand for a minute's silence in Mr Liibcke's honour. Wolfgang Gedeon, an AfD deputy in Baden-Wurttemberg's state parliament, belittled far-right terrorism as "birdshit" compared with the threat posed by the far left and radical Islamists.

This was too much for Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the CDU party leader, who said any politician hoping that her party might join a coalition government with the AfD in the future "should close their eyes and think of Walter Lubcke". Her resolve will be tested in the autumn, when Saxony, Brandenburg and Thuringia vote in state elections. Polls show the AfD tied for first place in the first two and being supported by around 20% in Thuringia. ■

GERMANY  WILL  PLAY  A  HUGE  ROLL  IN  THE  PROPHECIES  OF  THE  BIBLE,  AT  THE  END-TIME  OF  THIS  AGE; LEADING  UP  TO  AND  INTO  THE  LAST  42  MONTHS  OF  THIS  AGE,  AND  THE  RETURN  OF  JESUS  CHRIST  THE  MESSIAH.

YOU  CAN  UNDERSTAND  BIBLE  PROPHECY!

I  HAVE  EXPOUNDED  ALL  THE  PROPHETIC  BOOKS  OF  THE  BIBLE  ON  MY  WEBSITE—— keithhunt.com     UNDER  “PROPHECY”  SECTION.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

I AM NOW ON YOUTUBE !!!

I  AM  NOW  SERMONIZING  ON  YOU  TUBE------

I  HAVE  ABOUT  20  VIDEOS  DONE  SO  FAR!

WILL  BE  DOING  MORE  ON  A  REGULAR  BASIS!

ALL  FOR  NOW  WILL  BE  VARIOUS  PARTS  OF  BIBLE  PROPHECY.

SO  GO  TO  YOUTUBE-----

TYPE  IN----  Keith  Malcolm  Hunt

Click  on  my  name----

Click  on  videos----

They  should  all  come  up!

..........

Friday, July 5, 2019

QUAKES--- 6.4 AND 7.1 HIT SOUTH CALIFORNIA....and more may come

EARTHQUAKES  IN  SOUTH  CALIFORNIA!

THE FIRST WEEK OF JULY 2019  AND  TWO  EARTHQUAKES;  THE  FIRST  6.4  AND  THE  SECOND  7.1.

IT  IS   FACT  THAT  WE  AWAIT  THE  COMING,  AT  ANY  TIME,  OF  THE  REAL  BIG  ONE.

THE  FAMOUS  FAULT  LINE  THAT  RUNS  DOWN  THE  WEST  COAST  FROM  ALASKA  TO  SOUTH  CALIFORNIA.

WITH  THE  WEATHER  THAT  THE  USA  HAS  BEEN  GETTING  FOR  THE  LAST   YEARS  OR  SO,  WE  SHOULD  BE  ABLE  TO  SEE  THAT  THE  ETERNAL  GOD  COULD  BRING  ABOUT  THE  USA  DESTRUCTION,  FROM  HORRIFIC  NATURE  DISASTERS.

THE  FAMOUS  “YELLOWSTONE  PARK”  IS   HUGE  VOLCANO;  
THE  WEST  COAST  SITS  ON   MASSIVE  FAULT  LINE;  WE  HAVE  TORNADO  ALLEY;  AND  CRAZY  STORMS  UP  AND  DOWN  THE  EAST  COAST.

NOW  IF  ALL  THESE  BLEW  UP  AT  THE  SAME  TIME,  OR  WITHIN  THE  SAME  MONTH—— THE  USA  WOULD  BE  ON  ITS  KNEES—— THE  THOUGHTS  OF  HOW  IT  WOULD  ALL  BE  IS  HARD  TO  IMAGINE.

IT’S  PROBABLY  NOT  GOING  TO  HAPPEN [IF  THIS  IS  WHAT  GOD  FINALLY  INTENDS  TO  DO]  FOR  SOME  YEARS  YET.

BIBLE  PROPHECY  SAYS  MUCH  MORE  IS  TO  TAKE  PLACE  IN  NATIONS  OF  THIS  EARTH,  BEFORE  THE  FINAL  42  MONTHS  OF  THIS  AGE  COMES.

BUT  WE  SHOULD  BE  ABLE  TO  SEE  THAT  THE  MIGHTY  SUPER  POWER  OF  THE  USA,  COULD  COME  CRASHING  DOWN  VERY  EASILY,  IF  GOD  USES  NATURAL  CALAMITIES  TO  PUT  US  FACE  DOWN  IN  THE  MUD.

THERE  IS  MUCH  YET  TO  HAPPEN  IN  EUROPE  AND  GERMANY,  AS  WELL  AS  EGYPT  AND  SOME  ARAB  NATIONS  WITH  HER,  BEFORE  THE  USA  AND  MANY  NATIONS  OF  THE  WEST  ARE  STRUCK  WITH  DESOLATION.

IT  WILL  COME—— BIBLE  PROPHECY  WILL  HAPPEN—— WE  HAVE  STEPPED  OVER  THE  LINE  OF  NO  RETURN,  WITH  OUR  NATIONAL  SINS  AND  WICKEDNESS.

THE  WORLD  SCIENTISTS  TELL  US  WE  HAVE  TILL  ABOUT  2030  TO  MEND  OUR  WAYS  OF  PHYSICALLY  LIVING,  OR  CLIMATE  CHANGE  WILL  BRING  THE  EARTH  INTO   NIGHTMARE  OF  DISASTERS  LIKE  WE  HAVE  NEVER  SEEN  SINCE  MANKIND  HAS  BEEN  ON  THIS  LOVELY  BLUE  PLANET,  WHICH  WILL  THEN  START  TO  BE  WAY  MORE  UN-LOVELY,  AS  NEVER  BEFORE.

YOU  NEED  AS  NEVER  BEFORE  TO  GET  YOURSELF  RIGHT  WITH  THE  ETERNAL  GOD;  YOU  NEED  TO  USE  THIS  WEBSITE  TO  LEARN  HOW  YOU  MAKE  YOURSELF  AT-ONE  WITH  THE  CREATOR  GOD.

YOU  NEED  TO  FIND  AND  WALK  THE  PATHWAY  THAT  LEADS  TO  THE  FIRST  RESURRECTION  AND  INTO  GOD’S  KINGDOM,  AT  THE  GLORIOUS  COMING  OF  CHRIST  JESUS  TO  RULE  THE  NATIONS  OF  EARTH.

YES  YOU  CAN  BE  IN  THAT  FIRST  RESURRECTION  TO  RULE  WITH  JESUS  OVER  THE  NATIONS,  AND  TO  BRING  THE  TRUTHS  OF  GOD  TO  MILLIONS  WHO  WILL  LIVE  DURING  THE  COMING  1,000  YEAR  AGE,  CALLED  IN  THE  NEW  TESTAMENT  “THE  AGE  TO  COME”  “THE  WORLD  TO  COME.”

THE  TIMES  WE  ARE  IN  ARE  EXCEPTIONALLY  PROPHETIC  TIMES.  IF  YOU  ARE  STUDYING  WHAT   HAVE  WRITTEN  UNDER  “PROPHECY”  ON  MY  WEBSITE [keithhunt.com] THEN  YOU  ARE  SEEING  IT  ALL  SHAPING  UP,  AS  I’VE  EXPOUNDED  TO  YOU  FOR  THE  PAST  21  YEARS  ON  MY  WEBSITE.

HE  THAT  HAS  AND  EAR  TO  HEAR  WITH  SHOULD  HEAR!
………………..