December 21, 2018 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Donald Trump on Friday threatened a “very long” government shutdown just hours ahead of a midnight deadline, calling on the Senate to pass spending legislation that includes his $5 billion demand for border wall funding and seeking to shift blame for a holiday showdown to Democrats.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday added $5 billion to a government spending bill to help President Donald Trump make good on a pledge to build a border wall, a move that made a partial federal government shutdown more likely this weekend.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis abruptly said he was quitting on Thursday after falling out with President Donald Trump over his foreign policies, including surprise decisions to yank troops from Syria and start planning a drawdown in Afghanistan.

London’s Gatwick Airport reopened on Friday after a mystery saboteur wrought 36 hours of travel chaos for more than 100,000 Christmas travelers by using drones to play cat-and-mouse with police snipers and the army.

The United States and three allies chastised China for economic espionage on Thursday, ratcheting up tensions as U.S. prosecutors indicted two Chinese nationals linked to a spy agency on charges of stealing confidential data from American government agencies and businesses around the world.

Sudanese police fired tear gas at dozens of demonstrators on Friday in the cities of Omdurman and Atbara, witnesses said, where people gathered in a third day of protests driven by price rises and a nationwide cash shortage.

Cargill, Bunge and other global traders have halted food supply deals with Iran because new U.S. sanctions have paralyzed banking systems required to secure payments, industry and Iranian government sources said.

A simple wreath-laying and prayer service in Lockerbie on Friday marked 30 years since a jumbo jet (Pan Am flight 103) was blown up over the small Scottish town, killing 270 people. It is the deadliest ever militant attack in Britain.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Friday decreed a 22 percent rise in the minimum wage, the biggest in four decades, and a move that could strengthen his grip on power but defies warnings that it could worsen unemployment.

U.S. consumer spending increased solidly in November as households bought motor vehicles and spent more on utilities, but wage growth remained moderate suggesting the current pace of consumption was unlikely to be sustained.

AP Top Stories

President Donald Trump is planning to withdraw more than 5,000 of the 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, a U.S. official said on Thursday, in the latest sign Trump’s patience is thinning with America’s longest war and overseas military interventions.

Denmark’s ruling coalition has approved a controversial plan to put some 125 “unwanted” migrants on Lindholm, an uninhabited island, sparking outrage at home and abroad.

US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad raised doubts Thursday about the Taliban’s desire to end the 17-year war, after the militants refused to meet with a Kabul-backed negotiating team.

President Donald Trump is “right” to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is on course to post a higher deficit and lower economic growth than budgeted, due to a renewed fall in oil prices, economic experts said.

A congressional report on prescription pill dumping in West Virginia blames U.S. prescription drug distributors and the Drug Enforcement Administration for not doing enough to help mitigate the nation’s opioid addiction and overdose crisis.

Pakistan on Thursday defended its close ally China against a growing outcry over Muslims who are being detained by Chinese authorities, saying the issue was being “sensationalized” by foreign media.

BBC

Argentina’s former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is to go on trial for corruption, a federal court has ruled. She is accused of accepting millions of dollars in bribes over a 12-year period in what has become known as the “corruption notebooks” scandal.

The US justice department has indicted two Chinese men accused of hacking into the computer networks of companies and government agencies in Western countries. The pair are allegedly part of a “hacking group” known as Advanced Persistent Threat 10, affiliated with China’s main intelligence service.

WND

With Democrats opposing President Trump’s request for $5 billion for a border wall, an Air Force veteran has stepped with a GoFundMe page. After only a couple of days, the fund established by Brian Kolfage has raised more than $11.5 million. The campaign, titled “We the People Will Fund the Wall,” aims to raise $1 billion to help fund the wall that became a major plank in Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

A United States judge ordered a convicted sex trafficker to pay his teenage victim nearly half a million dollars-the largest sum ever decreed under the district’s trafficking restitution statute.

The ruling Chinese Communist Party has stepped up a nationwide crackdown on Christians, raiding and detaining pastors and members of churches in several locations as urban authorities warn against public Christmas decorations and events.

Two school districts in Iowa will reportedly introduce mandatory classes about firearm safety into school curriculum starting next year. Students enrolled in both the 7th and 8th grade at schools in the North Butler and Clarksville districts will be required to take part in a mandatory hunter safety course taught by the Butler County Conservation Board, Radio Iowa reported on Thursday.


News – 12/21/2018

Putin warns of risk of nuclear war, talks up Russian economy in annual press conference
Putin warned that the risk of a catastrophic nuclear conflict should not be underestimated and criticized the United States for abandoning Cold War-era arms treaties, while casting his country’s economy in a positive light but calling for improvements. With the world “witnessing the collapse of the international system” of arms control there is a dangerous “tendency to underestimate” the risk of nuclear war,

Japanese fighters intercept Russian nuclear-capable strike attack aircraft
The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) scrambled fighter jets to intercept a Sukhoi Su-24 nuclear-capable strike attack aircraft on December 19, according to the Japan’s Ministry of Defense (MoD). The Su-24 conducted its aerial patrol over international waters in the Sea of Japan; Japanese airspace was reportedly not violated. The December 19 Russian intercept marked the first following a five-week hiatus. The last intercept of a Russian military plane by the JASDF took place last month when an Ilyushin Il-38 “Dolphin,”

‘On to the Senate’ — Donald Trump Celebrates House Victory for Border Security Funding Bill
President Donald Trump celebrated the passage of a government funding bill that included an additional $5.7 billion in border security funds. “Thank you to our GREAT Republican Members of Congress for your VOTE to fund Border Security and the Wall,” Trump wrote about the vote, in which House Republicans passed the bill with a 217-185 vote.

District of Columbia sues Facebook over privacy ‘failures’
Social media company ‘put users at risk of manipulation’. Now, the attorney general for the District of Columbia is suing the social media platform for “failing to honor its promise to protect its consumers’ personal data.” AG Karl Racine charged Facebook also “deceived” users “about who had access to their data and how it was used.”

‘Kill your foster parents’: Amazon’s Alexa talks murder, sex in AI experiment
a customer was shocked last year when Alexa blurted out: “Kill your foster parents.” Alexa has also chatted with users about sex acts. She gave a discourse on dog defecation. And this summer, a hack Amazon traced back to China may have exposed some customers’ data, according to five people familiar with the events.

PA: Arab journalists’ visit to Israel a sin
The PA on Thursday called for punishing the journalists for allegedly supporting Israel, and said that normalization was an “unacceptable and unjustified disgrace.” Such visits, the PA added, are a “political and national sin and an unacceptable crime.”

Weapons Experts: Iran Falsified Uranium Mine Claims
Nuclear-weapons experts who have reviewed the Iranian nuclear archive that Israel recovered from a Tehran warehouse concluded that Iran lied that a uranium mine was under control of its civilian atomic-energy agency, according to a paper published jointly by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Institute for Science and International Security on Wednesday.

Mexico Just Made a Big Change on Migrants
Mexico has agreed to a fundamental change on how it deals with migrants seeking asylum in the US. Instead of being allowed to cross into America, they will now be returned to Mexico to wait out the legal process, reports the AP.

Eichmann prosecutor: Eyewitness testimony from within the gas chambers
Because of the extraordinary circumstances, the survivor was an otherwise impossible-to-obtain eyewitness actually from within the Auschwitz gas chambers. The witness added that “a train had arrived with potatoes and there were not enough men to unload” them, so an SS guard suggested to “take some of the children before they are killed, to help unload the train, and kill them after.” He added that “they took 30 children out of the gas chambers and they unloaded the potatoes” while the other children were gassed to death.

Mystery disconnects and loop recordings plaguing Israeli-U.S. phone calls
In recent days, a growing number of people have been noticing a loop phenomenon where, during transatlantic calls, they hear recordings of people to whom they had been speaking. This occurs when they are not on the phone anymore. They receive the recorded voice of the person they were speaking to played back to them, even as they see on call waiting that the person is trying to call them back and were then cut off.

The Devil Is at Work in Opp, Alabama, Police Say
Police blame an uptick in homicides on embracing Satan. the Opp Police Department wrote in all-caps, per the AP: “THESE MURDERS HAVE BEEN DONE BY OUR YOUNG PEOPLE. THIS IS HAPPENING BECAUSE WE HAVE TURNED AWAY FROM GOD AND EMBRACED SATAN. WE MAY HAVE NOT MEANT TO DO SO BUT, WE HAVE. IT IS TIME TO ASK FOR GOD’S HELP TO STOP THIS.”

Michael Oren on Mattis resignation: Israel will fend for itself
Deputy Minister and former ambassador to the US Michael Oren responded to the resignation of US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on Friday, “Today, as in the past, Israel will have to defend itself with its own forces in order to deal with the great threats in the north.” Oren added, “”Thank you very much Jim Mattis, the outgoing Secretary of Defense, for many years of service and commitment to Israeli security.

President Trump ‘to pull thousands of troops’ from Afghanistan
The Trump administration is planning to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan, US media say. Reports, citing unnamed officials, say about 7,000 troops – roughly half the remaining US military presence in the country – could go home within months. The reports come a day after the president announced the country’s military withdrawal from Syria.

US charges ‘China government hackers’
The US justice department has indicted two Chinese men accused of hacking into the computer networks of companies and government agencies in Western countries. The pair are allegedly part of a “hacking group” known as Advanced Persistent Threat 10, affiliated with China’s main intelligence service. They have not been arrested.

UN declines to condemn Hezbollah’s terror tunnels
The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday failed to officially condemn Hezbollah’s terror tunnels stretching from Lebanon into northern Israel, despite hours of debate and censure from multiple countries. Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said the information Israel provided to UNIFIL…had been passed to the Lebanese Army, which then passed it to Hezbollah that then attempted to conceal the tunnels on the Lebanese side.

Japan Inc exit from nuclear exports would leave field to Russia, China
The possible withdrawal of Japanese conglomerates from nuclear export projects in Britain and Turkey would leave the nuclear newbuild industry open to Russian and Chinese state-owned companies as Western private firms struggle to compete. Japanese media reported this month that Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) (7011.T) was set to scrap the Sinop nuclear project in Turkey as cost estimates had nearly doubled to around 5 trillion yen ($44 billion).

Canada’s Supreme Court Rules That LGBT Rights Come Before Your Religious Beliefs
Canada’s top court has ruled in favour of denying accreditation to a Christian law school that banned students from having gay sex.

HERO: Donald Trump Signs Genocide Relief Act for Christians Being Slaughtered By Muslims
President Donald Trump signed a law on Tuesday combatting genocide of Christians in the Middle East, legislation supported by the Knights of Columbus and a broad array of faith-based organizations.

Sydney Weather: Damaging winds, heavy rain and giant hailstones hit city
After days of severe thunderstorm warnings from the weather bureau indicating the risk not just of large but “giant” hail, the heavens have delivered in an intense downpour on Thursday afternoon.

Alabama Police Department Takes Heat For Blaming Rising Murder Rates On Embracing Satan
A police department in rural Opp, Alabama, deleted its Tuesday Facebook post linking area homicides to young people who have “embraced Satan” after backlash spurred by the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

Planned Parenthood President: Abortion Is ‘Basic Human Right’
Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen tweeted the logic she uses to arrive at the conclusion that abortion is a “basic human right.”

Shocking documents reveal FBI was collecting data on internet activist without a warrant
Recently uncovered documents now show that the FBI engaged in the warantless collection of data on Reddit co-founder and “hacktivist” Aaron Swartz — and then later used that information against him in a completely unrelated case at a later date.

Judge States ‘U.N. Rules’ Require Deported Migrants Be Flown Back into U.S
Back in 1980, the United States agreed to implement the United Nation’s rules on deported migrants, meaning those recently deported must be allowed to fly back into the US for another chance of winning asylum, according to a Democratic-appointed judge.

JW: Obama Admin Knew About Benghazi Before It Happened
Judicial Watch announced today that it obtained more than 100 pages of previously classified “Secret” documents from the Department of Defense (DOD)and the Department of State revealing that DOD almost immediately reported that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was committed by the al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood-linked “Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman” (BCOAR), and had been planned at least 10 days in advance.

California DMV Director Jean Shiomoto announces resignation
California’s Department of Motor Vehicles confirmed Monday that its director, Jean Shiomoto, will retire after three decades with the department and a tumultuous final year.

DHS Secretary: From Now on Illegal Aliens Will Be Deported to Mexico
Testifying on Capitol Hill Thursday in front of the House Judiciary Committee, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced a new partnership between the United States and Mexico.

Catholic church may face over 500 more abuse allegations in Illinois than it admits, report says
Attorney General Lisa Madigan said there could be as many as 500 more clergy members accused of sexually abusing children in Illinois than the Catholic Church has admitted publicly, according to “preliminary” investigation findings released Wednesday.

UN appeals to the world to fund the “Palestinian” Authority’s “Pay for Slay” policy
The UN keeps outdoing itself in vile Jew-hatred. Meanwhile, Israel continues to innovate and invent solutions that make the world a better place and alleviate misery and hunger.

Civil War: Swedish Citizens Rise Up To Protest Globalism
Citizens across Sweden have begun rising up to protest globalism, in solidarity with hundreds of thousands of French protestors.

City Bans Christmas to Avoid ‘Spreading Christianity’
A city has banned all public celebrations of Christmas to avoid “spreading Christianity” and ordered the removal of all festive displays, decorations, and references from public view to keep the streets “clean.”

Soros Gave $1.35M to ‘Nonpartisan’ Watchdog Inundating Trump with Lawsuits
Liberal billionaire George Soros provided $1.35 million to a “nonpartisan” government watchdog organization last year that is hitting the Trump administration with a steady flow of complaints and lawsuits in an attempt to “damage” his presidency, according to tax filings provided to the Washington Free Beacon.

Muslims in Europe Becoming Less Secular, More Radical
Professor emeritus of the University of Louvain, Felice Dassetto, has claimed the number of secular Muslims in Europe is in steep decline and more are becoming radicalised.


Mid-Day Snapshot

The Foundation

“May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us in all our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.” –George Washington (1790)

An Eternal Message of Hope From Apollo 8

A Christmas Eve broadcast of unity and peace for all people.

Shutdown: Organized Political Theater

The president doubles down on his demand for border-wall funding. Planned chaos.

U.S. Departs Syria, Mattis Departs Pentagon

One withdrawal created the Islamic State; the other was the result of defeating it.

The Right Prescription: Less Government

There are important deregulation efforts afoot that will help lower prescription-drug prices.

DHS: Asylum Seekers Must Remain in Mexico to Await Approval

Trump closes a gaping asylum loophole. How long will his sanity hold up in court?

Video: A Democrat Makes the Case Against Impeaching Trump

Twenty years ago, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) said this about Bill Clinton.

Friday Short Cuts

The BIG Lie: “The president is doing everything that he can to shut the government down.” —Nancy Pelosi

Friday Top Headlines

Shutdown looms, Mattis quitting, troops leaving Afghanistan, asylum seekers, farm bill, and more.

Today’s Opinion

Erick Erickson
An Evidence-Based Faith
Tony Perkins
Why SOGI Doesn’t Belong in the Law
Gary Bauer
Getting Serious About Syria
David Harsanyi
Colorado Is Still Trying to Destroy Jack Phillips
Michael Barone
American Fertility Headed to All-time Low

Today’s Meme


Today’s Cartoon


Headlines – 12/21/2018

IDF shoots dead Palestinian, injures another as car runs West Bank roadblock

Russia Ready to Organize Hamas-Abbas Meeting, Moscow Says

Israel, Greece, Cyprus to ink natural gas pipeline deal next year, PM says

Israel works to defuse US concerns over Chinese control of Haifa Port

Netanyahu canceled Albania visit due to possible plot to target him

Iran condemns Albania for expelling diplomats over plot to attack Israelis

Iran scoffs at Netanyahu’s claim Israeli agents operate in its country

Ex-defense chief warns US pullout from Syria could spark ‘all-out’ war in north

Israeli Security Experts Weigh in on US Withdrawal From Syria, Emphasize Ongoing Iran Threat

Netanyahu: We will step up our efforts against Iran in Syria after US pullout

Netanyahu: Israel to escalate fight against Iran in Syria after US exit

Commentary: US leaves Israel to fight its battles alone

Trump: U.S. Shouldn’t Be the Policeman of the Middle East – We Get ‘Nothing’

US announces ‘significant’ troop pullout from Afghanistan

Lindsey Graham says withdrawing troops from Afghanistan could pave way for ‘second 9/11’

Caroline Glick: Trump pushes past Obama’s legacies

US defense chief Mattis stepping down after surprise Syria pullout

Shaken, saddened, scared: Washington erupts over Mattis resignation

Trump unleashed: Mattis exit paves way for global chaos

Pentagon scrambles to plan Syria exit amid outrage over retreat

Trump’s decision on Syria is worrying allies in Iraq and emboldening opponents

France says Islamic State not defeated, troops to remain in Syria

King: ISIS will use Syria withdrawal to recruit

US Syria pullout draws Kurdish condemnation and Putin’s praise

Vladimir Putin Applauds Donald Trump’s Syria Withdrawal: ‘I Agree With Him’

Kurdish-Led U.S. Ally In Syria Says Withdrawing Troops Will Aid Islamic State

Syria’s Kurds Feel Trapped Between Threats From Assad and Turkey

Iranian and Turkish leaders meet in Ankara following Trump’s decision to pull US troops out of Syria

Turkey, Iran vow to work closer on Syria after US announces pullout

IDF starts sealing Hezbollah attack tunnels, says process will ‘take time’

UN fails to take action against Hezbollah terror tunnels

Report: Israel rejects request to mediate between US and Russia

Putin issues ominous warning on rising nuclear war threat

Putin Warns of ‘Growing’ Threat of Nuclear War That Will End Civilization

Russia again successfully tests ship-based hypersonic missile – which will likely be ready for combat by 2022

Iran’s Persian rug-makers suffer, blame their leaders, as US unravels nuke deal

Saudi and US resistance delays UN resolution on Yemen ceasefire

Khalid bin Salman: We will continue to work with allies to reach Afghanistan peace

Eight people dead in Sudanese protests against soaring prices

Suspects in Scandinavians’ murder in Morocco pledged allegiance to Islamic State: general prosecutor

Morocco says Scandinavian hikers’ murder was terrorism, as new arrests made

German police step up security at airports in southwest amid terror scare

Drones Ground Flights at London Airport, Sowing Chaos for Christmas Travellers

US accuses China of massive cyberespionage campaign

China denies ‘slanderous’ economic espionage charges from U.S., allies

Poll: Americans can agree that the nation is divided. Beyond that, they don’t agree on much.

Trump refuses to back government funding deal, presses anew for border wall money

Trump’s demand for wall moves government closer to shutdown

House approves spending bill with $5.7B for border wall

IRS Defends Giving Refunds to Illegal Immigrants

Donald Trump Is Now Worried the Economy is Going to Cost Him 2020 Re-Election: Report

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says market plunge on Fed rate hike ‘is completely overblown’

Dow drops 470 points to 14-month low in second day of big losses following Fed rate hike

Stock market woes raise a nagging fear: Is a recession near?

As fear rises on Wall Street, strategists warn the worst is yet to come

Asian markets continue to fall on recession and trade-war fears

The crash in oil prices is raising a major red flag about slowing global growth

May Is Hatching Secret Plan B to Avoid No-Deal Chaos

U.K. Parliament erupts as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused of calling Prime Minister Theresa May a ‘stupid woman’

Commentary: Privacy … LOL … Privacy is over

Winter solstice 2018: Full moon and meteor shower make it special

7.4 magnitude earthquake shakes eastern coast of Russia, prompts tsunami warning

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits near Kokopo, Papua New Guinea

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits near Kokopo, Papua New Guinea

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Nikol’skoye, Russia

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Kokopo, Papua New Guinea

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Nikol’skoye, Russia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Karakul, Tajikistan

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Tres Picos, Mexico

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Kokopo, Papua New Guinea

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 21,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 17,000ft

Planchon Peteroa volcano in Chile erupts to 16,000ft

River hits flood stage in areas hit hard by Hurricane Florence

Scientists Combine House Plant With Rabbit Gene to Form ‘Green Liver’ Against Indoor Air Pollution

Planned Parenthood President: Abortion Is ‘Basic Human Right’

Former Pennsylvania pediatrician admits to assaulting dozens of young patients

World Vision Forced Out of Pakistan After 13 Years

Witches Now Outnumber Presbyterians In The US

Alabama police department blames Satan for spike in homicides


Apostasy Watch Daily News

Eric Davis – What Does it Mean to be Led by the Holy Spirit?

Anthony Wade – Lamborghinis and Comforting God – This Week in “Well Aren’t You Special” Christianity

A.A.’s Broad Highway invitation contradicts Christ’s warning in Matthew 7:13

Brian Houston asks people to pledge financial allegiance to his cause for ‘financial revival’?

Narcissistic Victim Syndrome 20 Signs You Have This

A new Christmas pageant shows off the fierce side of Mary

The holy family was a migrant family: Fence around nativity scene meant to spark discussion on immigration

‘Holy Cow’: Cattle form the sign of the cross

Planned Parenthood Wouldn’t Hire or Promote Pregnant Women, Denied Women Maternity Leave

Police in China Given Quota’s for Arrests of Christians

Three Major Factors Driving the Crackdown on the Church in China


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This post was originally posted on: https://truth4freedom.wordpress.com

(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

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— Augustine

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