Chinese ship aims missile radar at Japanese ship (Second Coming Watch Update #304)

1. According to The New York Times, Japan lodged a formal protest with the Chinese government on Tuesday after it said a Chinese warship directed a radar used to aim missiles at a Japanese warship, in a new escalation of a standoff over disputed islands. The Japanese defense minister said that a Chinese navy frigate had directed its fire-control radar at a Japanese destroyer in the incident on January 30 near the islands in the East China Sea. The uninhabited island group has been controlled by Japan for decades, but claimed by China and also Taiwan.

2. According to The Associated Press, Syria’s defense minister has signaled that his country won’t hit back at Israel over an airstrike inside Syria. He claimed the Israeli raid was actually in retaliation for his regime’s offensive against rebels he called “tools” of the Jewish state. The remarks suggested that Syria’s military options might be severely constrained after 22 months of fighting an uprising that has depleted its weapons and stretched its troops thin.

3. According to Ynet News, the Palestinian Prime Minister has warned that his state is on the brink of economic collapse. Sa-lam Fay-yad said on Tuesday that “The situation in which we must wait for Israel’s prime minister to decide on a monthly basis whether or not money is transferred to us, places us in an impossible situation. If Israel doesn’t come to its senses, we will be in danger of collapsing.” Israel had previously decided to suspend the transfer of tax funds it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

4. According to The Associated Press, Iranian President Mah-moud Ah-ma-di-ne-jad arrived in Egypt for the first visit by an Iranian leader in more than three decades, marking a historic departure from years of frigid ties between the two regional heavyweights. His three-day visit, which is centered around an Islamic summit, is the latest sign of improved relations between the countries since the 2011 uprising in Egypt. Such a visit would have been unthinkable under Mubarak, who was a close ally of the U.S. and shared Washington’s deep suspicions of Tehran.

5. According to The China Aid Association, government persecution of Christians and churches in mainland China deteriorated for the seventh straight year in 2012. The defining characteristic of 2012’s persecution was the government’s stated intention of eradicating house churches. Based on information collected by ChinaAid on 132 persecution cases, the number of people sentenced jumped 125% over the previous year and the incidents of persecution rose 42% from 2011. China Aid, however, says it is “cautiously optimistic because despite the escalating persecution, the church is still standing firm.”

The Bible says in 1 John 2:28: “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.”

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