1. According to The Los Angeles Times, a monstrous blizzard carrying hurricane-force winds pounded the Northeast over the weekend, dropping over 30 inches of snow in many areas and causing as many as 700,000 homes and businesses to lose power. Even as snow-clogged roads gave residents no choice but to heed official advice to stay indoors, the storm continued its path from New York City through New England, where snow totals reached up to 40 inches in some areas. Nine deaths have been reported.
2. According to The Times of Israel, the Lebanese Army and the terrorist group Hez-boll-ah are reportedly upping their preparedness in the southern part of Lebanon in response to flyovers by the Israeli Air Force. Lebanese officials reportedly fear that an Israeli strike, similar to Israel’s alleged strike on Syrian targets last month, is imminent in light of multiple “mock raids.” Many suspect that Israel may be preparing to take action in retaliation for the bus bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israelis. Bulgaria has released a report blaming Hez-boll-ah for the attack.
3. According to China Aid News, Cao Nan, a 39-year-old charity worker, was arrested in south-eastern China after meeting with other Christians in a city park to sing hymns and preach. Mr. Cao, who worships at an unofficial local ‘house-church’, said he had been accused of “falsely using the name of Christianity to harm the social order” — a charge which he rejects. He says that the government is “worried that if they allow Christianity to grow, its influence will surpass that of the Communist Party, win the public’s favor and challenge the governance of the ruling party.” Mr. Cao has launched a lawsuit against the government and says he hopes it would encourage other Christians to speak out against religious persecution.
4. According to The Associated Press, secret studies from the U.S. Defense Department cast doubt on whether a multi-billion dollar missile defense system planned for Europe will ever be able to protect the U.S. from Iranian missiles as intended. Military officials say they believe the problems can be overcome and are moving forward with plans. But proposed fixes could be difficult. Even though the stated goal of the system is to shoot down Iranian missiles aimed at Europe and the U.S., Russia opposes the plan because it suspects that the system could be used to shoot down its own missiles as well.
5. According to World Net Daily, an Egyptian court is forcing two Coptic Christian boys, ages 10 and 9, to stand trial for “insulting the Quran.” The boys were arrested in September after a man reported them for playing in a trash pile that included pages of the Quran. Press reports indicate that the man who filed the charges was able to generate public outrage which led to the intimidation of Christians in a nearby village. The American Center for Law and Justice said that there is a real concern that Christians in Egypt are facing greater danger each day from a radical Islamic government.
The Bible says in Revelation 1:7: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”
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