1. According to the Jerusalem Post, a senior Israeli military official said the Islamist Hamas movement is probably not responsible for a recent upsurge in rocket fire out of Gaza where it rules, but will be made to suffer if the salvoes continue. The official, who declined to be named, said Hamas should intervene to squash the violence, which he blamed on smaller militant groups backed by Iran. Hamas accused Israel on Thursday of exacerbating tensions and said it bore full responsibility for the renewed troubles. After months of unusual quiet along the fence that separates southern Israel from the Gaza Strip, some 20 missile launches have been detected in the last month, with five fired towards the Israeli city of Ashkelon overnight. Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system knocked out all five projectiles and the military responded with a series of strikes across Gaza, reviving memories of 2011 and 2012, when such tit-for-tat firing became the norm.
2. According to Reuters, in a statement that suggested a re-run of a sharp escalation in tension last year, North Korea has demanded that South Korea and the United States halt annual military drills due in February and March, saying they were a direct provocation. In 2013, North Korea said it would retaliate against any hostile moves by striking at the United States, Japan and South Korea, triggering a military buildup on the Korean peninsula and months of fiery rhetoric. The reclusive North has regularly denounced annual drills such as 'Key Resolve' and 'Ulchi-Freedom-Guardian' staged by South Korea and United States as a prelude to invasion.
3. According to the Press Trust of India, at least 16 people have been killed and 40,000 have fled their homes after torrential rain triggered flash floods and landslides on Indonesia's northern Sulawesi island. Rivers on the island's northern tip overflowed and burst their banks, sending torrents of water surging through the city of Manado and surrounding areas that swept away poorly-constructed houses and vehicles. People waded through waist-deep water to get to safety, while some took to rubber dinghies to escape the rapidly rising flood waters. Many of those displaced took shelter in government buildings and churches in the Christian pocket of Muslim-majority Indonesia. Indonesia is regularly affected by deadly floods and landslides during its wet season, which lasts for around six months.
4. According to Reuters, China's Defence Ministry said it has flight-tested a hypersonic missile delivery vehicle in a move that was scientific in nature and not targeted at any country. A Chinese military build-up has raised regional jitters. Many countries in Asia have welcomed a stated U.S. intention to shift more attention and military assets back to the region. They are beefing up military spending and ties with Washington. The Beijing Defence Ministry said in a faxed response to Reuters, "Our planned scientific research tests conducted in our territory are normal. These tests are not targeted at any country and at any specific goals." The statement confirmed a report by the online Washington Free Beacon newspaper that the hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) was detected flying at 10 times the speed of sound over China last week. A spokesman for the Pentagon said it was aware of the test. The Free Beacon said the test made China the second country after the United States to have successfully tested a hypersonic delivery vehicle able to carry nuclear warheads at a speed above Mach 10 -- or 7,675 mph.
5. According to The Associated Press, state wildlife officials are trying to figure out why all the fish have died in a northern Nevada marina where the stocked fishery has flourished since the man-made lake was created nearly 15 years ago. An estimated 100,000 trout, bass and catfish have died over the past month in the Sparks Marina along U.S. Interstate 80 east of Reno, apparently the result of a dramatic, unexplained drop in dissolved oxygen levels. Scientists say a bitter cold snap could have caused oxygen-poor waters to rise from the old rock quarry's bottom to the surface, but they don't understand what sparked the massive die-off.
Jesus Christ said in John 14:1-3: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."
Our Second Coming quote for today is from Andrew Murray who said, "There is such a danger of our being so occupied with the things that are to come more than with him who is to come."
You can read these stories in more detail and get more prophecy-related news at SecondComingHerald.com.
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