1. According to The Associated Press, Russian troops took over Crimea as the parliament in Moscow gave President Vladimir Putin a green light Saturday to use the military to protect Russian interests in Ukraine. The newly installed government in Kiev was powerless to react to the action by Russian troops based in the strategic region and more flown in, aided by pro-Russian Ukrainian groups. Putin sought and quickly got his parliament’s approval to use its military to protect Russia’s interests across Ukraine. He sharply raised the stakes in the conflict over Ukraine’s future evoking memories of Cold War brinkmanship.
2. According to the Associated Press, Ukraine’s acting president says he has ordered the country’s armed forces on full readiness because of the threat of “potential aggression.” Speaking live on Ukrainian TV, Oleksandr Turchynov said Saturday he had also ordered stepped up security at nuclear power plants, airports and other strategic infrastructure. His comments on Ukrainian TV came after Russia’s parliament approved a military intervention in Ukraine and Russian troops and pro-Russian units took up positions across the strategic Crimea region.
3. According to Cybercast News Service, at a time of escalated tensions with the West over Ukraine, Russia says it is negotiating with eight governments around the world for access to military facilities, to enable it to extend its long-range naval and strategic bomber capabilities. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday the military was engaged in talks with Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Algeria, Cyprus, the Seychelles, Vietnam and Singapore. He said, “We need bases for refueling near the equator, and in other places.” Russia is not looking to establish bases in those locations, but to reach agreement to use facilities there when required.
4. According to the Times of Israel, at a marathon Knesset session on Thursday, three ministries, all involved in the defense of the home front during a time of war, presented sharply divergent opinions of how best to care for Israeli civilians during the next armed conflict, leading the lawmaker heading the session to complain of chaos and a top official on the National Security to conclude that Israel’s home front is “unprepared, period.” Government officials briefed lawmakers on the growing military capabilities of Hezbollah and Hamas and the need for Israel to decide who is ultimately in charge of national security during war and during peacetime.
5. According to The Jerusalem Post, Israel sent a warning to the Lebanese government in Beirut by way of the UN that it would be held responsible for any attacks by Hezbollah that are launched from Lebanese soil. The warning comes in connection to Hezbollah’s threats of retaliation for an air-strike on a Hezbollah missile convoy near the border with Syria, which was attributed to the IAF by foreign media sources. The strike would have been a first on Lebanese soil as recent attacks attributed to Israel have taken place on the Syrian side of the border.
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:1: “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
Our second coming quote for today is from Vance Havner. He said, “When I studied arithmetic, I remembered that the answers were in the back of the book. No matter how I floundered among my problems, the correct solution was on the last page. I have failed often in working out life’s problems, and I dwell in the midst of a people who are hopelessly trying to untangle the riddle of this present age. But I am cheered by one unfailing certainty — there is a Book that solves the enigma and the answer is in the back of the Book, ‘Behold I come quickly… Even so, come, Lord Jesus.'”
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