LISTEN: Urban Christian News Network #559 with Daniella Whyte

1. According to RT, Up to twelve Israelis have reportedly been wounded in a stabbing attack on a Tel Aviv bus on Wednesday morning. The assailant was shot by Israeli police, local media reported. Up to twelve people were stabbed by a passenger on a Dan Line 40 bus on Begin Road in Tel Aviv near the Maariv Bridge, according to Haaretz. Three of the victims are in serious condition. Police are investigating the attack, and the area has been closed to traffic.

2. According to the Associated Press, U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Selma, Alabama, in March to recognize the 50th anniversary of historic marches led by activists fighting against segregation and seeking to ensure African Americans’ right to vote, a White House official said on Tuesday. Obama will visit the small southern town on March 7 as part of his administration’s efforts to highlight the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the official said. The law, signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson 50 years ago this August, banned literacy tests and other tactics used in the U.S. South to block racial minorities from voting. The White House official said more details of Obama’s trip would be announced later.

3. According to National Journal, President Obama warned Congress last night that he would veto any sanctions legislation on Iran, saying it would derail U.S. negotiations in the Middle East. But John Boehner isn’t ready to sit out the battle over Iran’s nuclear program, and on Wednesday, he invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress next month. Boehner said that he did not consult with the White House before extending the invitation to Netanyahu. A State Department spokesperson told The Washington Post’s Jason Ukman that U.S. officials learned about the invitation from the speaker’s office, not from Israel. And the White House is not happy. Press secretary Josh Earnest said the White House is reserving judgment about the invite until it finds out from Israeli officials what Netanyahu would say. Boehner’s office confirmed that Netanyahu has accepted, and will give a speech to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 11. The date is significant: It’s the 36th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution.

4. According to The Washington Times, Yemen President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi is being held captive by rebels who have attacked his compound, just as the U.S. military has moved the USS Iwo Jima and the USS Fort McHenry into the Red Sea, in position to take aboard evacuees from the U.S. Embassy in Yemen if tensions and violence continue to escalate. Various media have also reported that the presidential compound is under attack and Shiite Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, are holding the Yemeni president captive. Fox News Insider reported that the positioning of the warships comes as Houthi rebels sent shells into the presidential palace. Top military officials, meanwhile, warned that a coup has begun — and that one of the embassy’s vehicles had field fire. Nobody was injured in that assault, and the embassy remains open — but officials are monitoring.

5. According to CNS News, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins delivered a “State of the Family Address” Tuesday night in which he cited multiple government attacks on religious freedom and said America faces a “new cultural revolution–gone mad.” “The threats America faces are not potential–they are clear, present and dangerous,” said Perkins in an address broadcast online and on American Family Radio. “Ironically, they come most sharply today not from the radical economic doctrines of Karl Marx, nor from the lights of what Winston Churchill called ‘perverted science,’ but from the darkness of unrestricted sexual license–a new Cultural Revolution–gone mad.” In the audience, were four American families who have seen their religious liberty attacked in recent times. Perkins argued that respect for religious freedom is central to, and essential for the preservation of, American freedom.

6. According to The Washington Times, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Wednesday there’s a “chance” he’ll challenge former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to be the Democratic party’s presidential nominee in 2016. He said on ABC’s “Good Morning America”, “I haven’t made my mind up about that — we got a lot of work to do between now and then. There’s plenty of time.” Mr. Biden said his focus right now is implementing the agenda President Obama laid out in his State of the Union address Tuesday evening. Polls show Mrs. Clinton, who hasn’t formally announced her candidacy yet, is the overwhelming favorite on the Democratic side if she runs.

7. According to the ACLJ, After an overwhelming response from Americans asking that President Barack Obama meet with American Pastor Saeed Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, she just received confirmation from the White House a short time ago indicating that President Obama will meet personally with her and her children in Boise, Idaho–Pastor Saeed’s family’s hometown– during his visit. This is exactly what Naghmeh has requested. We’re pleased that President Obama will take the time to meet with the Abedinis and see the pain and suffering they are experiencing because of the imprisonment of Pastor Saeed in Iran. The President’s personal engagement with Naghmeh and her children represents a crucial moment, demonstrating that the leader of the free world remains engaged in the fight to save Pastor Saeed from unjust imprisonment in Iran for his Christian faith.

8. According to the Daily Mail, Senior Iranian and Hezbollah figures killed in an airstrike in Syria this weekend were likely planning an ‘imminent’ attack on Israel, security sources have claimed. Six Iranian army chiefs died alongside five Hezbollah militants after an Israeli helicopter fired rockets at a convoy in the Golan Heights region on Sunday. Among those killed was Iranian General Mohammed Allahdadi, as well as commander Abu Ali Tabatabai, who is known to have worked with both Hezbollah and Iran. Today Major General Eyal Ben Reuven, a former deputy head in the Israeli Defense Forces, accused the senior military figures of meeting to plot an attack on Israel. He added that the commanders’ decision to meet in Syria could mean that a ‘high-level’ and ‘sophisticated’ attack on Israel’s northern border is ‘imminent’.

9. According to The Blaze, The discovery of a small papyrus fragment containing words from the Book of Mark could end up being the earliest copy of a Christian gospel on record, according to experts. The biblical text, which came from Egypt, was reportedly placed on a sheet of papyrus before the document was recycled and used to create a mummy mask. Centuries later, researchers found it after carefully dismantling that mask. They used carbon-14 dating, studied the handwriting and analyzed related documents, dating the text to the first century, according to LiveScience.

10. According to AFP, France arrested five Russians Tuesday accused of plotting a new attack as four men suspected of helping the gunmen behind the Paris shootings were brought before anti-terrorist judge. European nations, on high alert after the attacks that shook France to its core, have launched a wave of raids targeting suspected militant cells. French prosecutors said five Russians from the restive Muslim republic of Chechnya had been detained near the southern city of Montpellier suspected of plotting an attack. No further details about their plans were immediately available.

As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: Matthew 7:7-8 says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

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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