Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

I'm off for my holiday break and wanted to wish you all a happy and joyous Christmas. I know that the news we link to here is often grim but I'm sure that most of you who visit this site are Christians who understand that beyond the headlines we know that God is sovereign and always in control. We know that this effort to be watchful has a purpose and a focus, and that focus is on Jesus Christ.

We watch the signs of His return, but this season is all about the First Coming, not the Second Coming, so as we turn to our families and friends to celebrate the holidays we offer thanks and praise to God and above all, celebrate Jesus as the reason for the season.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing
lyrics by Charles Wesley

Hark the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem"
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ by highest heav'n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin's womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Friday, December 19, 2014

Rumors of War

My Way News - Obama says North Korea hacked Sony, vows response
My Way News reports: "President Barack Obama declared Friday that Sony "made a mistake" in shelving a satirical film about a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader, and he pledged the U.S. would respond "in a place and manner and time that we choose" to the hacking attack on Sony that led to the withdrawal. The FBI blamed the hack on the communist government. [...] the U.S. detected communications between computer Internet addresses known to be operated by North Korea and hacking tools left behind at the crime scene, which the FBI said contained subtle clues linking them to that country's government."

Comment: Will this become the first openly declared cyberwar? There have been lots of secret and not-so-secret cyberwar events since the dawn of the information age (like the attacks on Estonia in 2007 assumed to have been made by Russia), but this seems unprecedented.

Jerusalem Security

My Way News - Israel carries out airstrike on Hamas site in Gaza
 My Way News reports: "Israel's military struck a Hamas site in the Gaza Strip early Saturday in its first airstrike on the Palestinian territory since this summer's war. The Israeli military said the airstrike on what it called a 'Hamas terror infrastructure site' in the southern Gaza Strip was in response to a rocket fired from Gaza into southern Israel on Friday."

Comment: Isn't that nice, the Palestinians are expressing their support for peace with Israel again with another gift of rockets. It's the little gestures that mean so much. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

King of the North

My Way News - Putin: West wants to defang, declaw Russian bear
My Way News reports: "The mixture of blistering anti-Western rhetoric and constructive signals appeared to indicate that Putin is eager to negotiate a face-saving solution to the Ukrainian crisis, but has no intention of conceding defeat in his standoff with the West. In his first public appearance since the crash of the ruble's value this week, Putin accepted responsibility for the economic crisis."

Covenant With Many

My Way News - Palestinian leader supports more talks on UN bid
My Way News reports: "Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that he supports further negotiations on a proposed U.N. Security Council resolution that sets a 2017 deadline for an Israeli withdrawal from war-won lands the Palestinians seek for their state. His comments indicated that he is trying to avoid a clash with Washington at the council."

My Way News - US prepared to veto UN plan for Israeli occupation
My Way News reports: "The U.S. is prepared to veto a United Nations Security Council proposal that calls for an end to Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands in 2017. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the resolution, offered by Jordan and pushed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, is unlikely to face an immediate vote."

Comment: Why are the Palestinians setting the agenda? We know that there will be no serious efforts on the Mideast peace front until after the Israeli elections, but the media seems more then willing to make it appear that the Palestinians are now driving the peace process. The Palestinians have no credibility (thanks to Hamas) or standing (a non-state can't make valid demands of a state), and yet just from media reports, you would think they are the dominant player. It's very strange. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Covenant With Many

My Way News - Palestinians set deadline for Israeli occupation
My Way News reports: "Israel suffered back-to-back diplomatic setbacks in Europe on Wednesday, while the Palestinians at the United Nations set a deadline for an Israeli withdrawal from lands captured nearly 50 years ago by the end of 2017. In Geneva, the international community delivered a stinging rebuke to Israel's settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, saying the practice violates Israel's responsibilities as an occupying power."

Comment: How about Israel setting a deadline for the Palestinians to disarm Hamas? I mean, if the Palestinians want peace so much, they should deal with the faction of their people who have come out violently against the peace process. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Covenant With Many

My Way News - France seeking support for Mideast plan
My Way News reports: "France on Tuesday tried to overcome resistance and rally international support for a draft U.N. plan setting a two-year deadline for peace talks on Palestinian statehood. [...] The French, seeking a higher-profile role in Middle East diplomacy, see their draft as more palatable than a Jordanian-backed resolution also under discussion."

Rumors of War - Nations in Distress

My Way News - 141 - mostly children - killed in Pakistan attack
My Way News reports: "In the deadliest slaughter of innocents in Pakistan in years, Taliban gunmen attacked a military-run school Tuesday and killed 141 people — almost all of them students — before government troops ended the siege."

Comment: It seems like it was not that long ago that a U.S. politician we need not name was bragging about how the U.S. had defeated the Taliban. Braggarts always get their due.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Covenant With Many

My Way News - Palestinians seek end-of-occupation vote this week
My Way News reports: "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will push for a U.N. Security Council vote this week on a resolution setting a November 2016 deadline for ending the Israeli occupation, officials said Monday. Such a move could set the stage for a clash at the Security Council, both over the resolution, which is backed by Jordan, or over a second proposal by France, which seeks a two-year deadline for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on the terms of Palestinian statehood."

Friday, December 12, 2014

Covenant With Many

My Way News - 'Bibi Fatigue' could factor into Israeli election
My Way News reports: "With elections on the horizon, the greatest obstacle standing between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a return to high office could be Netanyahu himself. [...] Even among more conservative voters, many fear that Netanyahu has veered too far to the religious-nationalist right, while hardliners ironically think Netanyahu is too soft on security issues and are turning to other parties. Meanwhile, an economy that is increasingly divided between haves and have-nots has alienated many Israelis. Across the board, many just feel it's time for some fresh blood."

Fearsome Events

My Way News - Weather porn? Storms take over evening news
My Way News reports: "Weather disasters are actually becoming more frequent and costly. Between 1988 and 1992, there were 19 weather disasters that caused more than $1 billion in damage, adjusted for inflation. There were 48 between 2009 and 2013, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration."

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Covenant With Many

My Way News - Israel slams Irish motion endorsing Palestine
My Way News reports: "Israel has slammed the decision of the Irish parliament to adopt a non-binding resolution supporting an independent Palestinian state. Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon expressed disappointment Thursday at the decision, accusing the Irish parliament of giving voice to 'statements of hatred and anti-Semitism directed at Israel in a way which we have not heard before.' Some Irish lawmakers accused Israel of genocide during the parliamentary debate on Palestinian recognition."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Covenant With Many

My Way News - Ireland: 'Early recognition' of Palestine possible
My Way News reports: "Ireland is considering early recognition of Palestinian statehood as a possible tactic for kick-starting Middle East peace talks, the foreign minister declared Wednesday as he offered conditional support for an idea bitterly opposed by Israel. [...] Israel argues that nations which confer full diplomatic legitimacy on the Palestinian Authority discourage their enemies from engaging in direct talks."

Friday, December 05, 2014

Fearsome Events

My Way News - 500,000 Filipinos evacuated as storm's path widens
My Way News reports: "Half a million Filipinos fled their homes as differing forecasts about the path of a dangerously erratic typhoon — one predicting it will graze the capital, Manila — prompted a wide swath of the country to prepare for a weekend of destructive winds and rain."

Thursday, December 04, 2014

King of the North

My Way News - Putin speech offers few reforms for economic woes
My Way News reports: "Russia will defend its geopolitical interests, President Vladimir Putin warned Thursday as he promised economic reforms to pull his country back from the brink of recession. But Putin's patriotic bluster and vague promises did little to assuage real fears that Western sanctions, plummeting oil prices and a collapsing ruble are crippling Russia's economy."

Security of Jerusalem

My Way News - Israel's election a referendum on Netanyahu
My Way News reports: "The coming Israeli election amounts to a referendum on Benjamin Netanyahu — hard-headed defender of Israel to some, the man who buried dreams of peace to others. Early polls suggest Netanyahu, an enigmatic leader who has already served three terms as prime minister, is likely to be returned for a fourth on March 17. But new developments, especially the emergence of an array of unpredictable centrist parties, make things difficult to predict."

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Rumors of War - King of the North

My Way News - NATO steps up to Russia, but back from Afghanistan
My Way News reports: "NATO nations on Tuesday agreed to bolster its defenses against Russian aggression, continuing the military alliance's return to its founding mission by focusing on nearby threats as it steps back from more than a decade of combat in Afghanistan."

Covenant With Many

My Way News - French vote urges recognition of Palestinian state
My Way News reports: "France's lower house of Parliament voted Tuesday to urge the government to recognize a Palestinian state, in the hope that it would speed up peace efforts after decades of conflict. The 339-151 vote is non-binding, but it's a symbolic boost for the Palestinians, amid growing support in Europe for two states."

Rumors of War - Persia

My Way News - US: Iran launches airstrikes into eastern Iraq
My Way News reports: "The Pentagon says that Iran has launched airstrikes against Islamic State militants in eastern Iraq. Rear Adm. John Kirby says the U.S. believes this may be the first time Tehran has launched manned aircraft from inside Iran to strike targets in Iraq."

Monday, December 01, 2014

Rumors of War - Persia

My Way News - Pro-Israel lobby seeks tougher Iran sanctions
My Way News reports: "The powerful pro-Israel lobby AIPAC is urging a dramatic escalation in sanctions on Iran in response to a recent seven-month extension of nuclear talks. The group, widely influential in Congress, wants the U.S. to reinstate all economic penalties on Iran suspended during the diplomacy. It also seeks a U.S. ban on Iranian oil exports worldwide and more Iranian industries blacklisted. The Obama administration believes new Iran sanctions would harm hopes for a diplomatic breakthrough."

Final Kingdom

My Way News - EU moves eastward with Tusk taking presidency
My Way News reports: "Monday's transition ceremony highlighted the increasing power of Poland within the 28-nation EU, and the bloc's ongoing shift from a western European economic association half a century ago to a strong political body uniting some 500 million people from Britain to the borders of Russia."