Prophecy News Watch - December 21, 2018

Around the World
Russia again successfully tests ship-based hypersonic missile — which will likely be ready for combat by 2022
Russia has conducted another successful test of its ship-based hypersonic missile, a weapon the United States is currently unable to defend against, according to two people with direct knowledge of a U.S. intelligence report.
Powerful earthquake strikes off Russia's far east, no tsunami threat
A major earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 struck off Russia’s sparsely populated far east on Thursday, but officials said the threat of a tsunami had passed and no damage was reported.
UN to vote Friday to approve advance monitors for Yemen truce
The United Nations Security Council is due to vote on Friday to endorse a ceasefire agreed by the warring parties in Yemen's Hodeidah region and authorize an advance U.N. team to begin monitoring the deal, diplomats said.

Israel-Palestinian Conflict
Israel to step up fight against Iranian proxies after U.S. steps out of Syria
Israel moved quickly Thursday to fill the coming power vacuum after President Trump said U.S. troops were being withdrawn from Syria, vowing to ramp up its own military campaign against Iranian-backed proxy groups in the country — a clear sign that the war between Jerusalem and Tehran will continue with or without U.S. involvement.

Inside the United States
House passes stopgap bill with funding for border wall in bid to avert a shutdown
Under pressure from conservatives, President Trump said Thursday he would veto a stopgap spending bill unless Congress added money for his border wall -- dooming a bipartisan compromise worked on in the Senate, and putting the government careening toward a partial shutdown.
President Trump signs $867B farm bill without food stamp program cuts
President Donald Trump has signed a massive $867 billion farm bill that reauthorizes agriculture and conservation programs without any cuts to the food stamp program.
Nation of Islam defends federal funding for prison lectures as a 'blessing' to prisoners
he Nation of Islam defiantly defended its government-funded work teaching religion to federal prisoners on Thursday, calling the program 'a great benefit and blessing to the American Penal System.'
Mattis quits at Pentagon over policy clashes with Trump
Jim Mattis has resigned on principle as Pentagon chief after President Trump decided to slash U.S. troop presence in Syria and Afghanistan, citing in a letter the need for 'a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned' with the president's.
U.S. population grew at its slowest pace in over 80 years
The U.S. population grew in the past year at its slowest rate in over eight decades, with growth in the South and West continuing to outpace the Northeast and Midwest, according to figures the Census Bureau released Wednesday.

Christian News
Spike in Arrests of Christians in Iran Especially Severe this Christmas Season, Sources Say
Arrests of Christians in Iran usually spike as Christmas approaches, but this year has been especially severe, sources said.
Three Underground Churches Shut Down in China Since September
In China, Rongguilli Church, Early Rain Covenant Church, and Zion Church have all been victims in recent months of President Xi Jinping’s attempts to control the spread of underground Christianity.