LISTEN: Urban Christian News Network #548 with Daniella Whyte

1. According to the Associated Press, Masked gunmen shouting “Allahu akbar!” stormed the Paris offices of a satirical newspaper Wednesday, killing 12 people before escaping. It was France’s deadliest terror attack in at least two decades. French President Francois Hollande called the attack on the Charlie Hebdo weekly, which has frequently drawn condemnation from Muslims, “a terrorist attack without a doubt” and said several other attacks have been thwarted in France “in recent weeks.” France raised its security alert to the highest level and reinforced security at houses of worship, stores, media offices and transportation. Top government officials were holding an emergency meeting and Hollande planned a nationally televised address in the evening.

2. According to Politico, After John Boehner secured his third term as speaker Tuesday afternoon, losing 25 votes on the House floor to some relative-unknown members of the Republican Conference, Boehner moved swiftly to boot two of the insurgents from the influential Rules Committee. That could be just the start of payback for the speaker’s betrayers, who might see subcommittee chairmanships and other perks fall away in the coming months. The removal of Florida Reps. Daniel Webster and Rich Nugent from Rules was meant as a clear demonstration that what Boehner and other party leaders accepted during the last Congress is no longer acceptable, not with the House’s biggest GOP majority in decades.

3. According to Reuters, The tail of a crashed AirAsia jet has been found upturned on the sea bed about 20 miles from the plane’s last known location, Indonesia’s search and rescue agency said on Wednesday, indicating the crucial black box recorders may be nearby. Flight QZ8501 vanished from radar screens over the northern Java Sea on Dec. 28, less than half-way into a two-hour flight from Indonesia’s second-biggest city of Surabaya to Singapore. There were no survivors among the 162 people on board. The tail was identified by divers after it was spotted by an underwater machine using a sonar scan. Indonesia’s Minister for Maritime Affairs said: “With the finding of the tail, search and rescue ships are already at the location to search for the black boxes.”

4. According to the Associated Press, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the state of Palestine will join the International Criminal Court on April 1, a high-stakes move that will enable the Palestinians to pursue war-crimes charges against Israel. The Palestinians submitted the documents ratifying the Rome Statute that established the court last Friday, the last formal step to becoming a member of the world’s permanent war crimes tribunal. In a statement posted on the U.N.’s treaty website Tuesday night, the secretary-general said “the statute will enter into force for the State of Palestine on April 1, 2015.” He said he was acting as the “depositary” for the documents of ratification. The Palestinian move has drawn threats of retaliation from Israel and is strongly opposed by the U.S. as an obstacle to reaching an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

5. According to The Week, On Tuesday, the South Korean Defense Ministry released a report stating that North Korea has a 6,000-member cyber army with one purpose: To “paralyze the South psychologically and materially.” Earlier estimates placed the number of specialists at 3,000, The Associated Press says. The report states that several cyber attacks have been conducted against South Korea’s military operations and main government systems, but didn’t elaborate on how the attacks were discovered. The report also says that North Korea could have the ability to strike the U.S. mainland due to advances in missile technology, and is working to make smaller nuclear warheads to put on long-range missiles.

6. According to CBS DFW, A lot of shaking was going on on Tuesday in the state of Texas. As of 11:02 p.m. there were nine earthquakes in Texas, eight of those centered in or near the Irving area. The latest earthquake hit at 11:02 p.m. and was centered along the Dallas-Irving border just off Spur 482 east of the old Texas Stadium site. Rafael Abreu, a geophysicist with the USGS, spoke with NewsRadio 1080 KRLD and said while the Irving earthquakes happened only hours apart, given the strength and intensity, “we’re not calling it an aftershock.” At last count Tuesday night, there had been 22 earthquakes in the Irving area since November 1, 2014. No injuries or damages were reported.

7. According to the BBC, An Israeli military court has sentenced a Palestinian man to three life terms for the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. Hussam Qawasmeh, a member of Hamas, must also pay $63,000 (£41,000) in compensation to the victims’ families. Two other suspects were shot dead by Israeli forces in Hebron in September. The teenagers’ murders in June set off an escalating cycle of violence and led to a 50-day conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza. The leader of Hamas, the Islamist group dominant in Gaza, said in an interview in August that a Hamas cell had killed the teenagers but had not acted on instructions from above.

8. According to AFP, At least 24 Islamic State jihadists have been killed in clashes with Kurdish fighters in the Syrian town of Kobani, where a battle has raged for almost four months, a monitoring group says. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the IS militants died in firefights and ambushes by People’s Protection Units (YPG) in eastern sectors of Kobane. Seven YPG fighters were also killed as well as two civilians who died in IS raids.

9. According to the Associated Press, A U.S. Navy commander pleaded guilty Tuesday in a massive bribery scheme involving a longtime military contractor in Asia who allegedly offered luxury travel, prostitutes and other bribes to officers in exchange for confidential information. Jose Luis Sanchez, 42, is the highest-ranking official to plead guilty in the case, which rocked the Navy when the first charges were filed in 2013. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced March 27 for bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery. Sanchez admitted taking bribes valued between $30,000 and $120,000 from 2009 to 2013. In exchange, he provided classified Navy ship and submarine schedules and other internal information to Leonard Glenn Francis, chief executive of a Singapore-based company that provided services to vessels at ports. Francis was arrested in September 2013 and has pleaded not guilty.

10. According to the Boston Globe, Using a porcupine’s quill, several small pieces of paper, a strip of polyester film, and a small metal pick that resembled a dental tool, Museum of Fine Arts conservator Pam Hatchfield carefully plucked history from a box Tuesday night. The box was a time capsule, many of its items first placed beneath the cornerstone of the Massachusetts State House 220 years ago to mark the start of the building’s construction. The history came in many forms. There were five neatly folded newspapers, a collection of 23 coins dating as far back as 1652, a medal depicting George Washington, a replica of Colonial records, and a silver plate commemorating the erection of the new State House.

As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

God loves you. He always has and He always will. He loves you so much that the Bible says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, why don’t you get to know Him today. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose by the power of God for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening. May God bless your day.

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