Opioid deaths increased in the first three months of 2020 in the United States. From 1999 to 2017, opioid overdose deaths totalled nearly 400,000. The extremely potent fentanyl and others are ranked 5th in causes of preventable deaths. And there is the suspicion that existing users may step up their use if they test positive for Covid.
Before Trump’s own eyes, America’s system of power went into lockdown, proving it was no longer a democracy because now it is a given that freedom can be bought. When John Paul II and Benedict XVI spoke of democracy as a potential totalitarian system, this is what they were referring to. Instead, Trump while doing so in unfashionable style, made arguments that lay the foundation for freedom and which make it unable to be bought by the system: arguments about life, God, the nation as a natural community, faith, and natural law. He was a rebel. An anarchist of democracy.
The only thing that is certain about the next early elections in Israel, the fourth in two years, is the date: March 23rd. Otherwise, 2021 already looks like a year full of uncertainties. First and foremost: will Iran follow up on its threats against the US?
The new United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Report adds environmental parameters to the Human Development Index. An ideological change that leads to a new conception of development, which requires sacrificing humanity.
To understand certain accusations against the late Cardinal Gulbinowicz and other Polish prelates, one must reread history. The communist regime fought all its opponents with physical or psychological persecution. The Polish secret service prepared dossiers on every priest. In the 1970s roughly 1,000 officials worked for the sole purpose of monitoring the Church, which was perceived as an enemy of the communist system. Only a few priests (about 10%) collaborated with the communist authorities. Those who resisted or "caused trouble" faced being killed.
Jimmy Lai has been arrested again. He is a Catholic businessman and media mogul who now risks 14 years behind bars for opposing the Chinese Communist regime. Robert Sirico, president of the Acton Institute, is convinced: "Jimmy Lai is being persecuted for his ideas on human liberty, including that of the press, of enterprise and of religion". Far from being a lost cause, according to Sirico it is "smouldering embers" that could be rekindled also in mainland China.
The 2020 Global Terrorism Index reveals a significant decrease in terrorism worldwide, with significant drops in the number of victims in Afghanistan and Nigeria. The region most affected by the Islamic State and affiliated jihadist groups is sub-Saharan Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa is now the main front, with seven out of ten countries registering the highest increases in deadly attacks.
The EU is attacking Hungary and Poland against the spirit of its own Treaties. The European Parliament wants to impose "LGBT rights" on Hungary and is now challenging Poland’s ban on selective abortions, which are matters of national jurisdiction. The two Central European nations have formed a coalition in the Budapest Pact in order to be respected by Brussels. Viktor Orban responds in tone to George Soros who is a great proponent of the EU.
If Biden makes it to the White House, Vice President Harris and in particular her husband Douglas Elmhoff will be the real drivers of change. They will stage the new happy normal of gender equality and extended broken families.
Out of the recent elections, a not so obvious victory emerges: (as of Friday) the number of pro-life women in the U.S. House of Representatives has doubled. There are 17 (with 5 more are still in the running) new pro-life warriors among congresswomen. Half of them have flipped seats previously held by Democrats, all the while underscoring their opposition to abortion and socialism.
What is happening in the U.S. presidential elections is beyond belief. Since Trump is the quintessential villain and since every means is legitimate to get rid of him, we have witnessed a steady rise of "irregularities" at the polling stations. Above all, we have seen an alliance between the mass media and the powers that be to cover them up and legitimise them. Indeed, St. John Paul II’s prophecy, and reiterated not so long ago by Benedict XVI, is now being fulfilled: “As history demonstrates, a democracy without values easily turns into an open or thinly disguised totalitarianism."
The Daily Compass encounters Armenia; the prayers of the 23 year old soldier who enlisted and was wounded in defense of his homeland, the soldier and his bride amidst ruins, the priests who depart to be with the combatants. And the Russian correspondent wounded during the artillery shelling of the cathedral and narrates the miracle of his survival in the little girl who medicated him: “I was an atheist, but I now believe in God”. Testimonials of a combative people animated by faith in Christ.