1. According to The Times of Israel, the European Union is reportedly formulating a detailed peace plan to re-energize dormant Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. According to Israeli diplomatic sources, the goal of the EU plan is to bring about the establishment of an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with its capital in East Jerusalem. The report said the EU intends to set a clear timetable for negotiations between the two sides in 2013.
2. According to Reuters, the naval force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards has held exercises to test new equipment and battle tactics in the strategic Strait of Hormuz. The drills tested the naval force’s combat-readiness, speed in responding to natural disasters and familiarity with new weapons. Iranian officials have often said Iran could block the strait if it came under military attack over its disputed nuclear program, and a heavy Western naval presence in the Gulf is meant to deter any such move.
3. According to the Associated Press, a volcano erupting in Russia’s Far East is sending plumes of gas and ash high into the sky and creating a lava lake. The volcano is located in Kam-chat-ka peninsula, hundreds of miles from the nearest residential areas. A volcano expert at Russia’s Academy of Sciences said, “There were no lava lakes at Kam-chat-ka volcanos before now. We have never seen this before.” Russian officials say the current eruptions are not likely to end any time soon.
4. According to The Jerusalem Post, the family of American-Iranian pastor Sa-eed A-be-di-ni released a letter from him stating that Iranian authorities have threatened him with death because of his belief in Christianity. The pastor wrote: “This is the process in my life today: One day I am told I will be freed and allowed to see my kids on Christmas (which was a lie) and the next day, I am told I will hang for my faith in Jesus. One day, there are intense pains after beatings in interrogations; the next day they are nice to you and offer you candy.” The U.S. State Department expressed “serious concerns” about Abedini’s situation.
5. According to the Jerusalem Post, Iranian President Mah-moud Ah-ma-di-ne-jad is expected to visit Egypt in February and discuss the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries with his Egyptian counterpart Mohamed Morsi. Iran’s Foreign Minister met with Morsi in Cairo to discuss improving the ties between the two countries. He said that the tensions were being orchestrated by the Western media and invited Morsi to Iran on behalf of President Ahmadinejad.
The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:23: “May the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
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