* US losing military edge in Asia as China looks like it is planning for war: US Indo-Pacific Command chief The head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command told lawmakers this week that the U.S. is losing its edge over the Chinese military as the People’s Republic of China faces weakening international deterrence.
* Netanyahu forced to cancel trip to UAE amid dispute with Jordan PM had been scheduled for whirlwind Abu Dhabi visit Thursday, but Amman delayed approving flight route amid quarrel over its crown prince’s abandoned Temple Mount tour.
* Jordanian prince cancels Temple Mount visit following security mishap The Crown Prince of Jordan Hussein bin Abdullah was meant to visit Temple Mount on Wednesday. The visit never took place.
* Rabbi Cherlow bans unvaccinated Cohanim who infected others from priestly blessing Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, head of Center for Jewish Ethics at Tzohar, applies law banning Cohanim who shed blood to unvaccinated Cohanim.
* Turkey Signals Sweeping Regional Ambitions A nationalist Turkish television station with close ties to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has dug up a 12-year-old map that projects Turkey’s sphere of influence in 2050 as stretching from southeastern Europe on the northern coast of the Mediterranean and Libya on its southern shore across North Africa, the Gulf, and the Levant into the Caucasus and Central Asia.
* Bitcoin could become global reserve currency when US dollar implodes, entrepreneur tells Keiser Report Max Keiser talks to Jonathan Chester of Bitwage.com about the new reality of a post-pandemic world and his company’s business model of allowing everyone to be paid their wages in bitcoin.
* Greece, Cyprus and Israel sign EuroAsia Interconnector deal On Monday, Cyprus, Greece, and Israel signed an initial agreement to build the world’s longest and deepest underwater power cable that will traverse the Mediterranean seabed at a cost of about $900 million and link their electricity grids.
* Turkey, Russia, Qatar to push for political resolution in Syria Turkey, Russia and Qatar are making a joint attempt to promote a political solution to Syria’s 10-year conflict, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday.
* The Takeaway: Sudan playing increasingly pivotal role in Middle East Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is in Riyadh for talks with the Saudi crown prince on Red Sea Security; Yazidi slave trade suggests Islamic State presence in Turkey; Erdogan’s mission impossible in dealing with the S-400; more!
* Pope Francis: “Authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence” No one would even be interested in this question were it not for the abundant evidence to the contrary: the daily record of jihad violence carried out by Muslims who point to Islam and the Qur’an to justify their actions, including many who are burning churches and terrorizing Christians in Nigeria, Egypt, Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere.