1. According to Reuters, for decades, the Israel-Syria front has been quiet – but not anymore. Small Israeli military lookout posts abandoned for years have been put into action and regular military and special forces have replaced reservists at many points. Israel is worried that the Golan, which it captured from Syria in 1967, will become a springboard for attacks on Israelis by jihadi fighters, who are taking part in the armed struggle against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In recent months, battles between Assad loyalists and rebels have raged in some villages on the Syrian foothills of the Golan, with mortar shells and machine gun fire spilling across into Israeli-occupied territory. Israel, which returned fire in some of those incidents, believes that around one in 10 of the rebels are Sunni Muslim radicals.
2. According to Bloomberg News, Russia is building a system to neutralize space weapons as it prepares to send a man to Mars and build a permanent moon base. The deputy prime minister said that Russia will have the technical means by 2030 to counteract threats from space by other countries. Until then, Russia will continue to expand its orbital capabilities to monitor potential threats and prevent rocket attacks. Russia is currently completing a new cosmodrome near the border with China to launch manned missions into space.
3. According to Reuters, a strong earthquake shook Japan on Saturday near the southwestern city of Kobe, leaving 23 people injured, seven of them seriously. No one was killed. The magnitude 6.3 quake left some homes with rooftop tiles broken and cracked walls, while goods fell off store shelves. The quake was in the area where a magnitude 7.2 quake killed more than 6,400 people in 1995.
4. According to Reuters, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned North Korea that it would be a “huge mistake” to test launch a medium-range missile and said the United States would never accept the reclusive country as a nuclear power. Addressing reporters after talks with South Korea’s president and leaders of the 28,000-strong U.S. military contingent in the country, Kerry also said it was up to China, North Korea’s sole major ally, to “put some teeth” into efforts to press Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear ambitions.
5. According to The Jerusalem Post, the West has “hard evidence” that chemical weapons were used at least once since the two-year Syrian civil uprising against President Bashar Assad began. A western diplomat was quoted by the AFP as saying that “There are several examples where we are quite sure that shells with chemicals have been used in a very sporadic way.” Another diplomat said that “quite convincing” evidence was sent to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to back the accusations made against forces loyal to Assad.
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.”