Prophecy News Watch - February 20, 2017

Around the World
More than 70 killed in ISIS suicide attack on Sufi shrine in Pakistan
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a bomb blast that killed at least 70 people and injured about 150 at a crowded shrine in southern Pakistan on Thursday. Officials said a suicide bomber detonated the bomb among crowds gathered for the busiest day of the week at the shrine to Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan, a town in Sindh province.
Putin says he will strengthen Russia's security service
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday pledged to strengthen Moscow's Federal Security Service, or FSB.
Iran Continues to Call for Israel's Destruction Despite Nuclear Deal
Iranian leaders' calls for Israel's destruction have not abated at all in the 20 months since the Iranian nuclear deal was signed, meaning that those who claimed the deal would moderate Iranian attitudes were completely wrong, former Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold said on Wednesday.
French Police Flee Armed Mob as Week-Long Paris Riots Spread to City Centre
French police have been filmed fleeing from armed mobs as riots continue in Paris for the second week and the unrest has now spread to the city centre.
Top Trump envoys signal no quick changes to US-Russia ties
The Trump administration signaled Thursday there will be no change soon in U.S.-Russian relations, putting the onus on Moscow to prove itself if it wants closer cooperation with Washington. Russia's support for Ukrainian separatists was underscored as a test case of its willingness to change behavior.

Israel-Palestinian Conflict
Nasrallah Warns: Hezbollah's Missiles Can Hit Israel's Nuclear Reactor
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah called on Israel to dismantle its nuclear reactor in Dimona on Thursday, warning that it poses a threat to Israel's existence should it be hit by one of Hezbollah's missiles.

Inside the United States
House Votes to Reverse Obama's Planned Parenthood Rule
Republicans passed legislation on Thursday reversing former President Barack Obama's lame-duck ban on states withholding taxpayer funds from Planned Parenthood.
Washington Florist Will Take Her Case to the US Supreme Court
The Washington State Supreme Court has ruled against a Christian florist who was fined for refusing to provide her services for a same-sex wedding. Now, the florist will ask the highest court in the land to hear her case.
'Let's Get Ready To Rumble!' President Trump Faces Off With The Media
It was a showdown months in the making....Trump vs. The Media: The Rematch. In his first open press conference in more than a month, Donald Trump fielded questions on everything from the immigration ban rollout to his administration's communication with Russia.
13 highlights from President Trump's wild press conference
President Trump went into the historic East Room of the White House Thursday and delivered a press conference that sent Washington into a tizzy with the wide range of topics he dished on for more than an hour.
Massive storm takes aim at Southern California
Rain will fall on the Southland from Thursday night through Saturday morning, including unusually heavy rainfall on Friday as a result of the region's most powerful storm so far this season, forecasters said, warning of flash flooding and cascades of mud and debris down slopes stripped bare in wildfires.
Senate Votes to Get Rid of Obama Rule That Stripped Gun Rights From Social Security Recipients
By a vote of 57-43 vote, the Senate has overturned an Obama-era rule that stripped gun rights from some Social Security recipients. Some media outlets would have you think the law was intended to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally impaired, but a closer look shows that it also unfairly targeted elderly who simply needed help with financial paperwork.
Trump seeks pause in legal fight with revised travel ban
The Trump administration said in court documents on Thursday it wants a pause in the legal fight over its ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations, so it can issue a replacement ban as it strives to protect the nation from terrorism.
Antisemitic Hate Crimes in New York Double in 2017
Hate crimes against Jews have more than doubled in New York City since the start of the new year from the same period in 2016, police reported.

Christian News
Around the World
Iraqi forces launch large-scale push to retake western Mosul from ISIS
U.S.-backed Iraqi forces launched a large-scale military operation on Sunday to retake the western half of Mosul and dislodge Islamic State militants. It is the latest phase in a 4-month-old offensive to retake Iraq's second largest city.
Pence backs NATO; Russian official touts a new world order
Vice President Mike Pence said the US would be unwavering in its commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, but demanded that Europe step up its military spending, marking one of the Trump administration's most full-throated efforts yet to reassure nervous partners.
Hezbollah might have game-changing naval missiles
Western intelligence agencies have expressed 'grave concerns' that Hezbollah has been able to obtain strategic naval weapons that could change the balance of power in the Middle East.
Iran Announces New Military Drills Despite U.S. Warnings
Iran says its elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) will conduct massive military drills next week in eastern and northeastern parts of the country.
South China Sea: US carrier group begins 'routine' patrols
US aircraft carrier the USS Carl Vinson has started what it calls 'routine operations' in the South China Sea, with a fleet of supporting warships.

Israel-Palestinian Conflict
Israeli leader says 'new day' in relations with U.S.
Israel's leader says President Donald Trump told him it was a 'new day' in Israeli-American relations.
Praising Trump, Saudi FM urges progress toward Israeli-Arab peace
Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said he is optimistic that Arabs and Israelis can reach a peace deal in 2017.
Netanyahu rebuffed secret peace offer, ex-US officials claim
Israel's prime minister turned down a regional peace initiative last year that was brokered by then-American Secretary of State John Kerry, former U.S. officials confirmed Sunday, in apparent contradiction to his stated goal of involving regional Arab powers in resolving Israel's conflict with the Palestinians.

Inside the United States
New, more powerful storm takes aim at California
Still reeling from a recent storm that flooded highways, caused widespread power outages and led to several deaths, California officials and residents on Sunday braced for a new storm expected to be bigger and pack a more powerful punch.
Supreme Court to hear Missouri religious liberty case in late spring
The Supreme Court on Friday scheduled oral arguments for April in a crucial religious liberty case concerning state funding.
House intelligence chair claims top Obama official leaking to media on Trump
The House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes on Sunday accused Obama-era officials, who are working for President Trump until his administration is staffed up, of illegally leaking intelligence and other reports to the media in an attempt to hurt the Republican leader.
U.S. House votes to overturn Obama regulation forcing states to fund Planned Parenthood
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 230 to 188 today to overturn former President Obama's 'eleventh hour' HHS rule forcing states to give Title X money to organizations that commit abortions.

Christian News
China Deports 32 South Korean Missionaries Amid Crackdown on Evangelism
The communist government of China has arrested four South Korean Christian missionaries and expelled at least 32 more after carrying out a series of police raids on churches, according to reports.
Hillsong to Open Church in Israel
Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church, Brian Houston, took to Instagram this week to announce the ministry will be opening a new campus in Tel Aviv. Central African Christians Mourn Killed Pastor; Clashes Continue
Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) have been plunged into mourning after a pastor was killed and his church demolished in the latest outbreak of violence, while thousands of Christians were forced to flee their homes.
Boko Haram's War to Wipe Out Nigerian Christianity
Islamic terror group Boko Haram has now reportedly killed close to 100,000 people, both Muslims and Christians, and displaced over two million citizens in its ongoing quest to eradicate Christianity from Nigeria.