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12 O'Clock News

 

Shevat 24, 5777 • A Service of Box 2 Radio Network • 02/20/17

 

 

WEATHER

 

Weather Update for our Box 2 Radio Listening Area: Today: Partly cloudy. Highs around 70°F. Tonight: Partly cloudy with scattered showers. Lows around 54°F. Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy with scattered showers. Highs around 66°F. Tomorrow Night: Partly cloudy with isolated showers. Lows around 52°F.

 

 

TOP OF THE NEWS

 

DHS Guidelines Detail Plans for Massive Deportation Force (NewsMax) Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has signed new guidelines allowing federal authorities to more aggressively detain and deport illegal immigrants, the Washington Post reported. According to the memos, the agency plans to hire thousands of additional enforcement agents, expand the pool of illegals prioritized for removal, speed up deportation hearings and enlist local law enforcement to help make arrests, the Post reported. "The surge of immigration at the southern border has overwhelmed federal agencies and resources and has created a significant national security vulnerability to the United States," the Kelly guidelines stated, the Post reported.

 

 

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION

 

100,000 Massacred; Over 2 Million Displaced in Boko Haram's War to Eradicate Christianity (CP) 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. "The Boko Haram insurgency has led to deaths of almost 100,000 persons going by the estimates of our community leaders over the years," Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state reported. "Two million, one hundred and fourteen thousand (2,114,000) persons have become internally displaced as at December of 2016, with five hundred and thirty seven thousand, eight hundred and fifteen (537,815) in separate camps; 158,201 are at official camps that consists of six centers with two transit camps at Muna and Customs House, both in Maiduguri," he added.

 

 

WORLD

 

‘No More Restraint’: Pakistan Army Chief Vows to Avenge Deadly Shrine Bombing (CNS) Pakistan’s army chief warned there would be “no more restraint” and vowed to avenge the blood of more than 70 people, including dozens of women and children, killed in a suicide bombing in a Sufi shrine in the south of the country last week. An Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) affiliate claimed responsibility for the attack at the shrine of a Sufi saint named Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sindh province. The male bomber, according to some reports, was wearing a burqa. The bombing was the latest and deadliest in a series of terror attacks this week, including suicide bombings in Lahore, in the tribal belt along the border with Afghanistan, and in Peshawar, also near the Afghan border.

 

Pence: US Will Hold Russia Accountable (NewsMax) Vice President Mike Pence vowed Saturday that the United States will "hold Russia accountable" even as President Donald Trump searches for new common ground with Moscow at the start of his presidency. Pence, in an address to the Munich Security Conference, also offered assurances to European allies that the U.S. "strongly supports" NATO. He said the U.S. would be "unwavering" in its commitment to trans-Atlantic institutions like NATO. In his first overseas trip as vice president, Pence sought to calm nervous European allies who remain concerned about Russian aggression and have been alarmed by Trump's positive statements about Russian President Vladimir Putin. The address to foreign diplomats and security officials also sought to reassure international partners who worry that Trump may pursue isolationist tendencies.

 

McCain Blasts Trump's Policies in Munich Speech (NewsMax) Arizona Sen. John McCain delivered a series of blows to President Donald Trump Friday during a speech in Germany, and at one point he compared today's political atmosphere to the Nazi years of the 1930s and 1940s. "In the four decades I have attended this conference, I cannot recall a year where its purpose was more necessary or more important," said McCain, who never mentioned Trump by name during his speech at the Munich Security Conference but referenced his policies several times.

 

Most Europeans Agree with Trump's Travel Ban (CBN) While some European leaders have blasted President Donald Trump for his executive order banning citizens from of seven Muslim-majority states from entering the U.S. for 120 days and a temporarily freeze on refugee arrivals, a new poll indicates most European citizens support the ban. The Chatham House Europe Programme and Kantar Public surveyed citizens from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain and the U.K. In the poll, done before Trump's executive order was announced, respondents were given the following statement: 'All further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped.' Across all 10 of the European countries, an average of 55 percent agreed that all further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped.

 

Kremlin Ordered State Media to Tone Down Trump Coverage (Fox) The Kremlin on Thursday ordered state media to tone down its rosy coverage of President Trump as concerns about Russia’s future relationship with the new administration grow, a report said. The crackdown on favorable Trump coverage comes at a time when U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies conduct several investigations to determine the extent of contacts Trump’s aides had with Russia during and after the 2016 election campaign, Bloomberg reported. Some of the more popular segments on Russian TV involve Trump's pledge to "drain the swamp." Trump’s election was hailed in Russia as a possible new beginning between Washington and Moscow. However, the intensive coverage of Trump on Russia TV went above the level of what the Kremlin wanted, Bloomberg reported. Trump received more mentions on TV than Putin did in January – the first time Putin did not hold the title since 2012, according to Interfax.

 

 

NATIONAL

 

White House Budget Office Compiles 'Hit List' of Agencies to Cut (NewsMax) With Mick Mulvaney in place as director of the Office of Management and Budget, the White House's budget office has drafted a list of popular Democratic-backed programs that President Donald Trump could kill off while trimming government spending. The programs could include the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, AmeriCorps, the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, and the Legal Services Corporation, just part of a nine-program list Mulvaney's office has compiled, reports The New York Times Saturday.

 

Priebus: 'Fake News' Serious (NewsMax) The public should take "seriously" President Donald Trump's comment that the "fake news" media is an "enemy of the American people," White House chief of staff Reince Priebus says. In an interview Sunday on CBS News' "Face The Nation," Priebus blasted news stories about the administration's Russia links and intelligence briefings in response to host John Dickerson's query about the president's angry reaction. "Well, I think you should take it seriously," Priebus said. "I think that the problem we’ve got is that we’re talking about bogus stories like the one in The New York Times, that we've had constant contact with Russian officials. The next day, The Wall Street Journal had a story that the intel community was not giving the president a full intelligence briefing. Both stories grossly inaccurate, overstated, overblown, and it’s total garbage."

 

Miami-Dade County Rescinds ‘Sanctuary’ Status (TheBlaze) President Donald Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding from any city, county or state that has a “sanctuary” policy in an effort to rein in illegal immigration — and it’s working. On Friday, the Miami-Dade County commission voted 9-3 to rescind their status as a “sanctuary county” over worries that the Trump administration would withhold federal funding from the county, according to USA Today. The county reportedly receives $355 million in federal funds each year and the county desperately needs each cent.

 

AP Exclusive: Hundreds of Texans May Have Voted Improperly (NewsMax) Texas election officials have acknowledged that hundreds of people were allowed to bypass the state's toughest-in-the-nation voter ID law and improperly cast ballots in the November presidential election by signing a sworn statement instead of showing a photo ID. The chief election officers in two of the state's largest counties are now considering whether to refer cases to local prosecutors for potential perjury charges or violations of election law. Officials in many other areas say they will simply let the mistakes go, citing widespread confusion among poll workers and voters.

 

Rex Tillerson Cleans House at State Department (TheBlaze) New Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is leading what some outlets have referred to as a “bloodbath” at the State Department, showing the door Thursday to staff employees in the offices of deputy secretary of state for management and resources as well as counselor, reports CBS News. Tillerson himself was out of the country attending the G20 meeting in Bonn, Germany, when the layoffs — mostly focusing on executives from the 7th floor — went through.

 

'BLIND SHEIKH' DIES (Fox) Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, has died at 78, Fox News has confirmed. He died at Butner Federal Medical Center in North Carolina, where he was serving a life sentence for plotting terror attacks throughout New York City.

 

'JANE ROE' DIES (Fox) Norma McCorvey, the pseudonymous plaintiff of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, died Saturday at an assisted-living facility in Katy, Texas. She was 69.

 

PRUITT THROUGH IT (Fox) Senate confirms President Trump’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, voting 52-46 after heated debate.

 

DUBKE STEPS IN (Fox) Mike Dubke, founder of Crossroad Media, will be named White House communications director, sources tell Fox News. White House press secretary Sean Spicer was serving as communications director.

 

Bolton Emerging as Frontrunner to Replace Flynn (NewsMax) Support was building Saturday for former UN Ambassador John Bolton to fill the White House national security adviser spot left vacant by Michael Flynn's resignation. According to The Washington Free Beacon, senior White House officials and members of the National Security Council are pushing for Bolton, including senior administration officials loyal to Flynn who were upset at his exit.

 

McConnell: Trump No Different Than Romney, Bush or Rubio Would Have Been (NewsMax) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday he's not a "great fan" of President Donald Trump's tweets, but he is a fan of what he's been doing and doesn't find his actions surprising. "As I look at what we might have expected from President Mitt Romney, or President Marco Rubio, or President Jeb Bush at the beginning of their years in office, I can't see much difference between what President Trump is doing and what they would have done," the Kentucky Republican told reporters during a press conference. Further, McConnell said he believes Trump's cabinet choices have been "truly outstanding" and is "the most conservative cabinet in certainly the time I've been here, and I'm certain with other Republican presidents." McConnell said he also likes how Trump is eliminating Obama-era regulations, but in addition to not liking Trump's tweets, he is also not "a fan of the extra discussion that he likes to engage in, but we are going to soldier on. We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can."

 

Harvard Poll: Americans Brimming with Confidence on Jobs, Economy (NewsMax) A majority of Americans say the economy is going strong – and many believe the trend will continue under President Donald Trump, according to a new poll. The Harvard-Harris survey conducted for The Hill, found that 61 percent view the economy as strong, against 39 percent who say it is weak, while 42 percent think it's on the right track, compared with 39 percent who disagree.

 

Sheriff Clarke Mocks Michelle Obama with the Trumpiest Selfie Ever Tweeted (TheBlaze) The tweet reads, “Michelle Obama said she was never proud of her country til they elected her husband POTUS [president of the United States]. I’ve never been prouder since we got rid of him.”

 

 

TRUMP NEWS

 

Trump Renews Jobs Pledge at Boeing Plant (NewsMax) President Donald Trump hit the road Friday for a campaign-style rally, resurrecting the buoyant jobs promises that powered his election victory and pledging to "unleash the power of the American spirit." "We love our workers and we are going to protect our workers," Trump declared at a Boeing plant in North Charleston, S.C., where the company showed off its new 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft. Some 5,000 employees and others inside a hangar greeted him with chants of "USA, USA." More of the same is expected Saturday when he holds a big rally in central Florida, a change of scenery that marks an effort to galvanize a month-old White House that has been buffeted by crisis.

 

Trump: We Will Continue to 'Win, Win, Win' (NewsMax) President Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail Saturday a month after taking office, aiming to reset his new administration with the supporters who helped sweep him into the White House. At the Melbourne, Fla., airport, the president immediately went on the attack on his frequent target: the media. "They have their own agenda, and their agenda is not your agenda," he declared. "I want to speak to you without the filter of the fake news. "They could not defeat us in the general election," he added. "We will continue to win, win, win. We're not going to let the fake news tell us what to do and how to live… we will make our own choices." The boisterous rally began with First Lady Melania Trump leading the crowd in The Lord's Prayer before she introduced her husband.

 

Trump Wine Sales Soar After Feminist Group’s Boycott (TheBlaze) Wegmans grocery stores in Virginia selling Trump Winery products became the site of the latest anti-Trump boycotts this week — but the protest seems to have only bolstered the wines’ sales. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, five different wines have sold out at two Wegmans in the Richmond area. And in the other eight grocery stores across the state, the wines have either sold out entirely or almost sold out. “Both Midlothian and Short Pump [stores] have sold out of all five of the Trump wines we carry,” Wegmans spokesperson Joe Natale told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “They will be replenished when they are available, possibly three to four weeks.” The Prince William County’s National Organization for Women chapter called for a boycott of the popular grocery store chain because it sold a variety of Trump Winery wines in its Virginia stores.

 

Retailers may be Dropping Her, but Ivanka’s Perfume Hits No. 1 on Amazon (TheBlaze) Ivanka Trump, daughter of President Donald Trump, may be facing backlash from retailers, but her signature perfume hasn’t suffered, hitting number one on Amazon Saturday for the third day in a row. Ivanka Trump Eau de Parfum Spray For Women was number one on Amazon’s list of bestselling fragrances and perfume, suggesting, says MarketWatch, that the “‘resistance economy‘ to boycott products associated with the family of President Trump can help a brand as well as hurt it.”

 

 

CULTURAL WARFARE

 

House Votes to Reverse Obama's Planned Parenthood Rule (Worthy News) - Republicans passed legislation on Thursday reversing former President Barack Obama's lame-duck ban on states withholding taxpayer funds from Planned Parenthood. The resolution will undermine a December order from the Obama administration that prevented states from blocking taxpayer funding of abortion clinics. Bill sponsor Rep. Diane Black (R., Tenn.) said on the House floor that state lawmakers should have the final say over how taxpayer dollars for medical care are distributed in their local communities. "We are simply voting today to affirm the right of states to fund the healthcare providers that best suit their needs, without fear of reprisal from their own federal government," Black said in a floor speech before the vote. "As a state legislator, I worked within my authority to make sure that Tennessee honored the will of our pro-life populace and steered our state’s share of Title X dollars away from health care providers that perform abortion."

 

 

OVER THE EDGE

 

Chinese mall Installs Giant Rooster Statue That Looks Like Donald Trump (UPI) A shopping mall in China is drawing attention for its unusual mascot -- a giant rooster statue bearing an intentional resemblance to U.S. President Donald Trump. The rooster statue, which celebrates the Year of the Rooster outside the N1 ArtWalk Mall in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, was designed with Trump's signature hairstyle and hand gestures in mind, the state-run People's Daily reported. Some stores have started selling replicas of the rooster, which range in price from $57 to $1,739 for a 32-foot-tall statue.

 

Compiled and Edited by Pontolillo News Service for Bethel Fellowship Ministries International and Box 2 Radio Network

 

 

Shevat 21, 5777 • A Service of Box 2 Radio Network • 02/17/17

 

 

TOP OF THE NEWS

 

60% of Refugee Arrivals Since Judge Halted Trump’s Order Come From 5 Terror-Prone Countries (CNS) Sixty percent of the refugees admitted into the United States since a federal judge halted President Trump’s executive order designed to prevent “foreign terrorist entry into the United States” originate from five of the seven countries identified by the administration and its predecessor as most risky. Of the total 2,576 refugees resettled in the U.S. from around the world since U.S. District Judge James Robart’s February 3 restraining order, 1,549 (60.1 percent) are from Syria (532), Iraq (472), Somalia (363), Iran (117), and Sudan (65). No refugees have arrived from the other two applicable countries, Yemen and Libya. Of the 2,576 refugees to have arrived since Feb. 3, 1,424 (55.3 percent) are Muslims – 817 Sunnis, 132 Shi’ites, and 475 refugees self-identified simply as Muslims, according to State Department Refugee Processing Center data.

 

Russia Tests U.S. with Provocations on Land, Sea and Air (Worthy News) - An intelligence ship cruising just off the East Coast. A cruise missile test that may violate arms treaties. A string of Russian fighter jet fly-bys that buzz U.S. and allied ships. Provocations all along the fault lines separating Russia from the West, from the Baltics to the Balkans. Russian harassment of U.S. military assets has surged in recent weeks, testing the new Trump administration and drawing a sharp response from Mr. Trump’s top aides — even as the White House comes under fire for working too closely with Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin. Russia’s recent aggressions have put the U.S. in “an uncomfortable strategic equation,” Defense Secretary James Mattis said Wednesday, addressing NATO’s defense chiefs on his first trip to Brussels since his confirmation.

 

 

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION

 

Venezuelan Leftists Disrupting Catholic Services (CBN) Socialist demonstrators loyal to Venezuelan strongman leader Nicholas Maduro have begun interrupting worship services with protests and speeches. Reuters reports a half dozen such incidents in recent weeks, some of them violent. In one incident, pro-government demonstrators entered a church during mass and shouted that the priest was "Satan" and a "Fascist" and yelled "Chavez lives!" in honor of the now dead President Hugo Chavez. The Maduro government is upset about criticism from the Catholic church.  Reuters also reports that pro-government supporters protested against Archbishop Antonio Lopez at his home, Caracas' main cathedral was stoned and monks were terrorized at a monastery by armed assailants.

 

 

WORLD

 

ISIS Bombings Kill Dozens in Iraq and Pakistan (Fox) The Islamic State terror network claimed responsibility for two bombings that each killed dozens of people Thursday -- one in Pakistan and one in Iraq. A suicide bomber blew himself up at a world-famous shrine in southern Pakistan, killing at least 75 people and wounding more than 200 others, according to health officials. They said the dead included 20 women and nine children. Also Thursday, a car bomb exploded in Baghdad's southwestern al-Bayaa neighborhood shortly before sunset, killing at least 51 people and wounding more than 60 others, according to Iraq's Interior Ministry. It was the third blast to hit the Iraqi capital in three days, the BBC reported. The terror group claimed the bombings through its Amaq media agency.

 

Trump Promises Israel that Iran Will Never Get Bomb (Worthy News) - President Donald Trump hailed the United States' "unbreakable" bond with Israel on Wednesday and promised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Iran would never be permitted to build a nuclear weapon. Trump's vow was designed to address Israeli concerns over the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, which Netanyahu has warned expires too soon to permanently remove the threat. "With this visit the United States, again, reaffirms our unbreakable bond with our cherished ally, Israel," Trump said.

 

Israeli Right Ecstatic over Trump Statements (Jerusalem Post) The Israeli right declared victory Wednesday night after US President Donald Trump declined to commit to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Politicians on the Right ignored Trump’s call to limit settlement construction and instead focused on what they saw as most positive. “This is the end of an era,” said Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett. “The Palestinian flag has come down and has been replaced by the Israeli flag. The prime minister displayed leadership and daring and strengthened Israel’s security.” Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev (Likud) compared US-Israel relations to construction in Judea and Samaria, saying that the era of freezes had ended for both. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan praised Trump for realizing that there must be another solution to end the conflict and that now is the time to put pressure on the Palestinians, the side that refuses to end the conflict.

 

Netanyahu Asks Trump to Recognize Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan Heights (Worthy News) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked US President Donald Trump on Wednesday to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, territory Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war. Most of the world considers the Golan, a high plateau between northeastern Israel and southwestern Syria, to be occupied by Israel, which annexed the territory in 1981 in a move not recognized internationally.

 

Mattis Warns NATO Member Nations: Pull Your Economic Weight (TheBlaze) Secretary of Defense James Mattis reaffirmed U.S. commitment to NATO Wednesday, CNN reported, but warned other member nations they must meet the alliance’s financial requirements or that commitment could be moderated. Mattis met with defense officials from the 27 other NATO member nations in Brussels and made his first address to the alliance as U.S. defense secretary. In the speech, he called the NATO alliance the “fundamental bedrock for the U.S. and all the transatlantic community,” according to CNN. However, because only five of the member nations currently meet the spending target — 2 percent of their gross domestic product must be spent on defense — required for membership, Mattis issued a strong directive to alliance members regarding the need for a renewed focus on meeting the financial requirement for membership. The five nations that currently meet the NATO spending requirement are the United Kingdom, Estonia, Poland, Greece and the United States. “No longer can the American taxpayer carry a disproportionate share of the defense of western values,” Mattis said, CNN reported. “Americans cannot care more for your children’s security than you do. Disregard for military readiness demonstrates a lack of respect for ourselves, for the alliance, and for the freedoms we inherited, which are now clearly threatened.”

 

Saudis Optimistic about Relations with US under Trump (1NewsNow) Saudi Arabia's foreign minister says his country expects to have a productive relationship with the Trump administration and is optimistic that U.S.-Saudi cooperation can overcome challenges in the Middle East. Adel al-Jubeir made the comments on Thursday at the top of a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is on his first overseas trip as America's top diplomat. Jubeir said Saudi Arabia was looking forward to working with the U.S on numerous issues. He did not elaborate but Saudi Arabia has deep concerns about Iran's increasing assertiveness in the region and he and Tillerson were to attend larger meetings on the crises in Yemen and Syria on the sidelines of a gathering of foreign ministers from the Group of 20 world powers in nearby Bonn.

 

Venezuela Ousts CNN (TheBlaze) The Venezuelan government shut down CNN’s feed of their Spanish-language channel Wednesday as the relationship between the government and President Donald Trump’s administration appeared to be deteriorating. According to a Washington Examiner report quoting the Associated Press, President Nicolas Maduro said he wanted CNN out of Venezuela due to what he called their “direct aggressions” against the country.

 

National Intelligence Office Denies Withholding Info from Trump (NewsMax) The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has denied reports that intelligence community officials are withholding information from President Donald Trump, Politico reports. "Any suggestion that the U.S. Intelligence Community is withholding information and not providing the best possible intelligence to the President and his national security team is not true," the ODNI statement said. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that intelligence officials were withholding sensitive information from Trump out of concern that it would be leaked, according to unnamed "current and former officials familiar with the matter."

 

 

NATIONAL

 

Friend of San Bernardino Attacker Pleads Guilty to Providing Guns (Fox) The only person criminally charged in connection with the 2015 San Bernardino terror attack pleaded guilty Thursday to providing the high-powered rifles that were used to kill 14 people. Enrique Marquez Jr., 25, appeared in federal court in Riverside, Calif., after signing a plea agreement with prosecutors. He was accused of providing husband-and-wife attackers Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik the rifles used in the rampage, as well as plotting mass killings with Farook several years earlier that were never carried out. Under the plea deal, Marquez could face up to 25 years in prison. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 21.

 

Obamacare in Trouble as IRS Will No Longer Reject Tax Returns Not Answering Healthcare Questions (TheBlaze) With President Donald Trump issuing executive orders to make the tax law more lenient, a drastic change has occurred that will make the Obamacare mandate not so mandatory. At the beginning of February, the IRS quietly changed the way you can fill out your 1040 tax form, allowing you to submit one without filling out line 61. This line, for most tax filers, is where you would notify the IRS if you had health coverage during the previous year. As Obamacare was mandatory, leaving that line blank would have caused your 1040 to be rejected. But now filling out this line is optional, allowing your 1040 form to go through without telling the government anything about your healthcare situation. According to a notice by the IRS, this rule took effect February 3rd.

 

Keystone XL Developer Renews Effort to Build in Nebraska (1NewsNow) The developer of the Keystone XL pipeline is once again seeking approval for a route through Nebraska. TransCanada said Thursday that it has filed an application with the state commission that regulates oil pipelines. The Keystone XL would travel from Canada through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, where it would connect with an existing Keystone pipeline network to carry crude oil to Texas Gulf Coast refineries. President Donald Trump has said he supports the pipeline, and last month he signed executive memos to make it easier for the project to move forward.

 

South Carolina Boeing Workers Reject Unionizing Effort (1NewsNow) Production workers at Boeing's South Carolina plant have overwhelmingly rejected an effort to unionize, maintaining Southern reluctance toward unionization and setting up a picture-perfect stop for President Donald Trump, who visits the facilities this week. According to Boeing, nearly 74 percent of the more than 2,800 votes cast were against representation by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

 

 

TRUMP NEWS

 

Trump Blasts ‘Out of Control’ Media, Defends Agenda (Fox) President Trump’s feud with the media turned into an all-out war Thursday afternoon.  His early presidency beset by damaging leaks and a burst of staff turmoil, Trump used a hastily called press conference to blast the media’s coverage of his administration in his strongest terms yet. He claimed the press is “out of control,” reports on his team’s ties to Russia are “fake,” and news outlets are attacking him because they oppose his agenda. "The media’s trying to attack our administration because they know we are following through on the pledges that we made, and they’re not happy about it," Trump declared at the White House. The president spoke and took questions for over an hour, even joking with some reporters toward the end and saying he was having fun. In a bid to preempt negative coverage of his remarks, Trump insisted he was not "ranting and raving." But he lamented that the "tone" of coverage of his administration is one of "such hatred." "The public doesn't believe you people anymore," he said.

 

President Trump Has a Warning for 'Low-Life Leakers' (1NewsNow) President Donald Trump is warning "low-life leakers" of classified information that they will be caught. In a pair of tweets Thursday, Trump says, "Leaking, and even illegal classified leaking, has been a big problem in Washington for years. Failing @nytimes (and others) must apologize!" Trump writes, "the spotlight has finally been put on the low-life leakers! They will be caught!"

 

NEW PICK FOR LABOR (Fox) (Charisma) President Trump has chosen former National Labor Relations Board member Alexander Acosta as his pick for Labor secretary. Less than 48 hours after President Donald Trump's nominee for labor secretary, Andy Puzder, withdrew from consideration, we now know the identity of his replacement candidate. This pick just might give Senate Democrats even more heartburn than the former fast food CEO did. If confirmed—and that's highly likely given his credentials—Florida International University College of Law Dean Alexander Acosta will become the first Hispanic named to a top-level position in the Trump Administration.

 

HARWARD SAYS NO (Fox) Retired Navy Vice Admiral Robert Harward has turned down President Trump’s offer to succeed Michael Flynn as national security adviser due to family reasons, sources tell Fox News.

 

Senate Narrowly Confirms Mulvaney as Trump's Budget Director (Fox) The Senate on Thursday narrowly confirmed Rep. Mick Mulvaney to head up the White House Office of Management and Budget. He was confirmed on a 51-49 vote. Mulvaney, a conservative Republican from South Carolina, faced opposition from Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain.

 

IMMIGRATION ACTION (Fox) President Trump announces he will issue a new immigration executive order 'early next week.'

 

Trump Book Hits NY Times Bestseller List, Shocks Elites (NewsMax) Despite a major media blackout of a blockbuster new book on the Trump presidency, The New York Times reports that it is debuting at No. 6 on its bestseller list. In this Sunday's New York Times, David Horowitz's "Big Agenda: President Trump's Plan to Save America" will be the No. 6 bestseller in the nation for both hardcover nonfiction books and e-book/hardcover nonfiction. Released the week of President Donald Trump's inauguration, the book immediately shot to the top of online bestseller lists, including Amazon.

 

 

CULTURAL WARFARE

 

Washington Florist Will Take Her Case to the US Supreme Court (CBN) 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. Attorneys for Baronelle Stutzman said they will petition the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the ruling that upheld a $1,000 fine for violating state anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws. Stutzman maintains she was exercising her First Amendment rights when she refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding, because it goes against her Christian beliefs. The couple, who had bought flowers from Stutzman in the past, and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued her and won. Thursday, the state's nine supreme court justices unanimously upheld the ruling.

 

 

OVER THE EDGE

 

1,000-Pound Chicken Statue Stolen from N. Carolina Town (UPI) A town in North Carolina is searching for a massive chicken statue that was stolen from a local road last weekend. Alexander County Sheriff's Office shared a photo of the 1,000 pound, 3-foot tall concrete chicken statue which disappeared from the town of Taylorsville.

 

Compiled and Edited by Pontolillo News Service for Bethel Fellowship Ministries International and Box 2 Radio Network

 

 

Shevat 20, 5777 • A Service of Box 2 Radio Network • 02/16/17

 

 

TOP OF THE NEWS

 

President Trump Welcomes Israel’s Netanyahu for Middle East Talks (SRN) (Fox) As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the White House, the Trump administration has suggested that peace between the Israelis and Palestinians may not come in the form of a two-state solution — a position that could represent a dramatic shift from 20 years of U.S. policy. Speaking to reporters ahead of President Donald Trump’s meeting Wednesday with Netanyahu, a senior White House official said Tuesday that Mr. Trump is eager to begin facilitating a peace deal between the two sides and hoping to bring them together soon. Mr. Trump told The Associated Press during his campaign that he wanted to be “very neutral” and try to get both sides together. But his tone became decidedly more pro-Israel as the campaign progressed. He has spoken disparagingly of Palestinians, saying they have been “taken over” by or are condoning militant groups. Some of his top aides challenge the legitimacy of Palestinian demands for a state. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised President Trump for clarity on 'radical Islamic terrorism,' during a joint White House news conference and President Trump says the US is 'looking at' moving embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. He also asked the Prime Minister to 'hold back on settlements' in disputed territory.

 

Shadow Gov't – NY Times Sets Up Hit Squad (1NewsNow) The New York Times is reportedly launching a whole new team that will be focused on finding financial irregularities on President Trump and his administration. Ever since Bob Woodard, Carl Bernstein, and The Washington Post brought down President Richard M. Nixon in 1974, the unspoken goal of mainstream news outlets has been to duplicate that feat – at least with Republican presidents, according to Scott Whitlock of Media Research Center. "They declared war on Donald Trump from the very beginning," he tells OneNewsNow. "And they weren't successful defeating him for the presidency – so now they've clearly made it their mission to destroy him as president." According to Fox Business, the newly minted special NYT unit appears to be media's latest effort toward that objective. Reporters in that unit will be focusing on the business dealings of Donald Trump and his Cabinet – which is heavy with former Wall Street executives. Whitlock says it's still a case of sour grapes. "What we have here with the New York Times – and frankly with other journalists – is not just opposition, but is frothing rage," he describes. But Gary Bauer of American Values says it looks more like an organized effort from progressives looking to take down the president. "There's a lot of buzz in town on the Left that they think they can prevent Donald Trump from finishing his first term," he shares. Bauer, who is based in the DC area, adds that he sees opposition to the president around almost every corner – from Democratic obstructionism at the Capitol, to staged disruptions of Republican town halls, to Hollywood, to an activist former president who refuses to leave Washington. "The Left, wherever it exists – in the media, in the popular culture, on the courts of the country, in academia – is going to create controversy and say to the American public that Once again, the Trump/Pence administration has mishandled something." And, he says, they have the energy and financing to keep up the attacks for as long as it takes.

 

 

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION

 

Islamic Radicals Who Massacred Christians on Easter Sunday Kill 14 in Lahore Bombing (CP) A radical Islamist group that killed 73 Christians and Muslisms in Lahore last Easter has carried out a bombing in the Pakistani capital Monday night, killing at least 14 people at a rally. Fourteen people were killed and another 59 injured, according to CNN, with Jamat-ul-Ahrar, a splinter group of Pakistan's Tehreek-i Taliban, claiming responsibility. The blast occurred at Charing Cross in Lahore when a suicide bomber rammed his motorcycle into protestors.

 

 

WORLD

 

Palestinian Source: Abbas, CIA Chief Met in Ramallah (Jerusalem Post) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday night with new CIA Director Mike Pompeo, a Palestinian source confirmed to The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. The source with knowledge of the matter said that the two sides had discussed "politics, security and the future of the peace process." Meanwhile, Palestinian news agency Ma'an cited a source who added that Palestinian intelligence service chief Majed Farij had also attended the meeting. Tuesday night's meeting came ahead of the first official state meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump in Washington on Wednesday. Over the weekend, Pompeo was in Saudi Arabia as part of his first overseas tour since taking the post of chief of the United States spy agency.

 

South Korea Suspects Female Assassins Killed Half-brother of North Korea Leader (SRN) South Korea’s spy agency suspects two female North Korean agents assassinated the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Malaysia, lawmakers in Seoul said on Wednesday, as Malaysian medical authorities sought a cause of death. U.S. government sources also told Reuters they believed that North Korean assassins killed Kim Jong Nam. Malaysian police said he had been assaulted on Monday in Kuala Lumpur International Airport and died on the way to hospital. South Korean intelligence believed Kim Jong Nam was poisoned, lawmakers said after being briefed by the spy agency. They said the spy agency told them that the young, unpredictable North Korean leader had issued a “standing order” for his half-brother’s assassination.

 

Government-Funded Christian Theme Park in China Ignites Outrage in Social Media (Charisma) While some Chinese cities are demolishing churches, Changsha's local government is funding the largest Christian theme park in central and south China. Changsha Xingsha Ecological Park is set to open during the Spring Festival, and local media call it a perfect place for a light stroll, quiet prayer or a fancy wedding shoot. But Chinese social media erupted in outrage when news of the government funding broke. Those upset by the park's construction claim that by funding the Christian project, the Changsha government is encouraging religious practices in a secular country, reports say.

 

 

NATIONAL

 

Labor Pick Puzder Withdraws From Consideration (Fox) Fast-food chain CEO Andrew Puzder withdrew from consideration for Labor secretary Wednesday afternoon, amid mounting controversy over his personal and professional past. Puzder issued a statement removing his name on the eve of his scheduled Senate hearing, where lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were preparing for tough questioning. "After careful consideration and discussions with my family, I am withdrawing my nomination for Secretary of Labor," he said in the statement. "I am honored to have been considered by President Donald Trump to lead the Department of Labor and put America's workers and businesses back on a path to sustainable prosperity. I want to thank President Trump for his nomination. I also thank my family and my many supporters - employees, businesses, friends and people who have voiced their praise and hopeful optimism for the policies and new thinking I would have brought to America as Secretary of Labor." While several of Trump's Cabinet nominees have faced tight confirmation votes -- with Vice President Pence even being called to break a tie earlier this month -- Puzder becomes the first Trump pick to withdraw. A total of three Cabinet picks withdrew from consideration under then-President Barack Obama; while two did so during the George W. Bush administration and five withdrew during the Bill Clinton administration.

 

Trump Offers National Security Adviser Post to Vice Admiral Harward (NewsMax) The Trump administration has offered the job of White House national security adviser, vacated by former U.S. intelligence official Michael Flynn, to Vice Admiral Robert Harward, said two U.S. officials familiar with the matter on Wednesday. It was not immediately clear if Harward, a former deputy commander of U.S. Central Command who has Navy SEAL combat experience, had accepted the offer, according to sources. A White House spokesperson had no immediate comment.

 

Pelosi Gets Caught Using Fake News (1NewsNow) A fake Michael Flynn Twitter account has fooled two top House Democrats who cited a series of tweets in condemning President Donald Trump's former national security adviser. Flynn was forced to resign Monday over discussions he had with Russian officials before Trump took office. At a news conference Tuesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., complained that Republicans in Congress were not adequately investigating Flynn's actions. In doing so, they cited a tweet purportedly from Flynn that said, "I feel it is unfair that I have been made the sole scapegoat for what happened." THE FACTS: That wasn't Flynn tweeting. Cummings mentioned the tweets at the news conference and Pelosi picked up on the theme. Both offices later acknowledged the mistake. Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill acknowledged that Pelosi inadvertently cited tweets from a fake account. Cummings issued his correction on Twitter: "Yes, sorry, to correct the record — just learned like many others that the Flynn tweet this morning was fake." The New York Times cited tweets from the unverified account in a story about Flynn's resignation. The newspaper later removed the references and corrected its story.

 

Report: Flynn Ousted by Former Obama Officials to Protect Iran Deal (TheBlaze) According to White House officials speaking to the Free Beacon, Michael Flynn’s resignation was coordinated by a group of former Obama officials and loyalists who wanted to protect the Iran Deal from its largest critic. The effort included planting stories meant to discredit Flynn, the national security advisor to President Trump.

 

Major Health Insurance Company to Withdraw from Obamacare (TheBlaze) According to Politico, the healthcare insurer Humana will completely withdraw from the Affordable Care Act exchange program in 2018, leaving a sizable dent in the Obamacare market. This would make Humana the first major health insurance company to walk away from Obamacare. The company states that it has come to this decision due to the fact that it stands to lose $45 million in 2017 on Obamcare business.

 

Small Business Optimism Highest Since Dec. '04, Sustains 'Stunning Climb' Since Election (CNS) Small business optimism rose in January to its highest level since the first term of Pres. George W. Bush (December 2004), providing proof that the “stunning climb in optimism” since Pres. Trump’s election is real, the latest National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Index of Small Business Optimism reveals. “The stunning climb in optimism after the election was significantly improved in December and confirmed in January,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “Small business owners like what they see so far from Washington.” The Index to 105.9 in January, following the largest month-over-month increase in the survey’s history in December.

 

 

TRUMP NEWS

 

Trump: 'The Real Scandal' Is Intelligence Leaks Being Given Out 'Like Candy' (CNS) In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump addressed the controversy surrounding the ouster of Gen. Michael Flynn for misleading Vice President Pence about what he said in a Dec. 29 phone call to the Russian ambassador. "The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by 'intelligence' like candy. Very un-American!" Trump tweeted. And there were four other tweets before that one, as follows: -- "Crimea was TAKEN by Russia during the Obama Administration. Was Obama too soft on Russia?" -- "Thank you to Eli Lake of The Bloomberg View - "The NSA & FBI...should not interfere in our politics...and is" Very serious situation for USA" -- "Information is being illegally given to the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost by the intelligence community (NSA and FBI?). Just like Russia" -- "This Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton's losing campaign."

 

 

CULTURAL WARFARE

 

University Stops Formation of Conservative Group Due to Campus Leftists Feeling ‘Unsafe’ (TheBlaze) According to the Daily Caller, Santa Clara University student senate has turned down a petition for the formation of a Turning Point USA chapter at their college, and all because leftist students and faculty said the formation of such a group would make them feel “unsafe.” During a meeting of the Associated Student Government, a group of 50 students and school employees took up an hour to explain why such a group should not exist on their campus right after a lengthy power point presentation that attempted to tie Turning Point USA to white supremacist groups.

 

New Hampshire Homeschooler to Lead State's School Department (1NewsNow) A businessman who homeschooled his children is officially New Hampshire's next education commissioner. The Republican-led Executive Council voted along party lines Wednesday to confirm Frank Edelblut, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu's pick to oversee the state's public schools. Edelblut's nomination sparked fierce public debate, mirroring the outcry over President Donald Trump's nomination of school choice advocate and wealthy GOP donor Betsy DeVos to lead the federal education department. Edelblut's backers say his business background will be an asset to the department and that he'll strengthen both traditional public schools and alternative options. But critics charge he is unqualified for the job and may undermine public education.

 

Philly Archbishop: 'Amazing to Me How Hostile the Press is to Everything' Trump Does (CNS) During a radio interview on Monday, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said he was amazed by "how hostile the press is to everything that the president does," and added that since Donald Trump was elected, the media "seem to be in a greater spirit of despair and anxiety." "I don’t want to be partisan in my comments here, but it seems to me if we really are serious about our common responsibilities as citizens, we support the president whether we accept everything he stands for or not, and wish him success rather than trying to undermine him," he said.

 

 

OVER THE EDGE

 

California Man Returns Stolen Mortuary Van (UPI) Authorities in California said a man who stole a van from outside a mortuary returned it when he discovered a dead body in the back. Riverside Police said a mortuary worker had parked the van outside the business about 1:30 a.m. Sunday and went inside. Bobby Joe Washington, 24, stole the vehicle. Officer Ryan Railsback said Washington returned the van to the mortuary about an hour later, after discovering the body in the back. He said the suspect then stole a second van from the same business. Police said he was not charged with the theft of the body because it appeared to have been unintentional. "We don't think he knew it was in there at the time he stole it," Railsback said. Washington was jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail.

 

Compiled and Edited by Pontolillo News Service for Bethel Fellowship Ministries International and Box 2 Radio Network

 

 

Shevat 19, 5777 • A Service of Box 2 Radio Network • 02/15/17

 

 

TOP OF THE NEWS

 

ICE Nabs Slew of Sexual Offenders in Nationwide Sweep (CNS) Last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched a series of targeted enforcement operations across the country. These operations targeted public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members, as well as individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws, including those who illegally re-entered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges. ICE officers in the Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio and New York City areas of responsibility arrested more than 680 individuals who pose a threat to public safety, border security or the integrity of our nation’s immigration system. Approximately 75 percent of those arrested are criminal aliens, convicted of crimes including a range of sexual offenses: Homicide, Aggravated sexual abuse, Sexual assault of a minor, Lewd and lascivious acts with a child, Indecent liberties with a minor, Drug trafficking, Battery, Assault, DUI (Driving Under the Influence of a controlled substance), and Weapons charges.

 

 

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION

 

Pastor Killed, Two Churches Destroyed in Central African Republic (CBN) Supporters of a Muslim rebel group in the Central African Republic have killed a pastor and destroyed two churches in attacks. Pastor Jean-Paul Sankagui of the Eglise du Christ en Centrafrique was killed by supporters of a militia group in the capital city Bangui's PK5 neighborhood. UN spokesman Monteiro condemned the violence. "It is unfortunate that the civilian population were the victims of these criminals' indiscriminate fire," Monteiro said. More than two dozen people were wounded. At least two churches were destroyed, along with a school.

 

 

WORLD

 

Russian Spy Ship Patrolling Off US East Coast (Fox) A Russian spy ship was spotted patrolling off the East Coast of the United States on Tuesday morning, the first such patrol since President Trump took office, two U.S. officials told Fox News. The Russian spy ship was 70 miles off the coast of Delaware, heading north at 10 knots, according to one official. That location means the ship is in international waters. The U.S. territory line is 12 nautical miles. It was not immediately clear where the Russian spy ship is headed.

 

Iranian Nuclear Deal Tops Trump, Netanyahu Talks (CBN) Iran, Jerusalem and Israeli settlements will all be on the agenda when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Trump meet on Wednesday. But aside from the topics, Israel is expecting a big improvement in U.S.-Israel relations. "The alliance between Israel and America has always been extremely strong. It's about to get even stronger," Netanyahu said in Tel Aviv before flying to the U.S. "President Trump and I see eye to eye on the dangers emanating from the region but also on the opportunities." The two leaders know each other but this will be their first face-to-face since Trump took office.

 

Trump Faces Test Over North Korea Missile (Fox) President Donald Trump is facing calls for a show of strength toward North Korea after Pyongyang’s weekend launch of a ballistic missile, posing the first major challenge to his administration by a foreign leader and an awkward balancing act with China. U.S. lawmakers called for military exercises with regional allies, a rapid deployment of regional missile defenses and tough new sanctions. A senior administration official said the White House is unlikely to use authority it has to go after Chinese companies that do business with North Korea’s weapons sector. The launch was a potent and troubling reminder of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons ambitions as well as the limits of U.S. options. It came days after what White House officials consider a promising conversation between Mr. Trump and President Xi Jinping of China, which could prove a crucial partner in dealing with the threat from North Korea, among other issues.

 

UN Warns Lebanese President Not to Arm Hezbollah (Jerusalem Post) The United Nations has warned Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun not to arm Hezbollah following comments the Hezbollah-friendly president made on Egyptian TV on Sunday. In a tweet posted on Monday, UN Coordinator Sigird Kaag warned that UN Resolution 1701 prohibits Lebanon from arming Hezbollah.

 

 

NATIONAL

 

Who Will Replace Michael Flynn? Three Candidates Emerge (CBN) Michael Flynn's sudden resignation now leaves an opening as President Donald Trump's national security adviser. So far, at least three candidates have emerged as possible replacements: 1. Lt. Gen. Joseph Kellogg (Ret.) - Trump's current acting national security advisor - 3-star lieutenant general in the Army - Worked directly under Flynn as the National Security Council's chief of staff - Served as foreign policy advisor to Trump during his campaign. 2. Former CIA Director David Petraeus - 4-star general whose military career spans 37 years in the U.S. Army - Previously commanded the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan - Served as CIA director from 2011-2012. 3. Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward (Ret.) - Former Navy SEAL; Served 38 years in the U.S. Navy

- Former deputy commander of U.S. Central Command - Served as deputy commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command.

 

EVACUATIONS LIFTED (Fox) Nearly 200,000 people who live below California's Oroville Dam can return home, sheriff says, warning them to stay prepared in case flood dangers worsen again.

 

White House Says Decision to Cuts Ties with Flynn 'A Matter of Trust' (CBN) The sudden resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn dominated Tuesday's White House press briefing. Big surprise. Flynn resigned after leaks revealed he had discussed the possibility of the U.S. lifting sanctions with a Russian ambassador BEFORE the inauguration. The questions came fast and furious: How long did the White House know about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak? And why did it take the president so long to act? White House press secretary Sean Spicer insisted Flynn didn't violate the law. "We had to review whether this was a legal issue, which the White House Counsel decided it was not," Spicer told reporters. Instead, they said Flynn violated the trust of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. "The issue pure and simple came down to a matter of trust," Spicer declared.

 

Trump, GOP Hunt Mole in Wake of Flynn Ouster (Fox) In the wake of Michael Flynn’s resignation as national security adviser, President Trump and Republican allies on Capitol Hill are turning their attention to the potentially “illegal” leaks that revealed Flynn's politically fatal discussions with a Russian diplomat and other sensitive details from inside the administration. Fox News first reported Monday night that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., wants the FBI to conduct an assessment of recent media leaks. The president, after accepting Flynn’s resignation overnight, tweeted Tuesday morning that, “The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N. Korea etc.?” Flynn echoed that point. Asked Tuesday morning whether the leaks were targeted, coordinated and possibly a violation of the law, Flynn told Fox News: “Yes, yes and yes.”

 

Pete Hoekstra: Flynn Felled by Intel Leaks from Obama Holdovers (NewsMax) Gen. Michael Flynn was the victim of leaks by intelligence workers left over from Obama administration — and their ranks must be weeded out before they undercut President Donald Trump's leadership, Pete Hoekstra, former chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, tells Newsmax TV. Flynn resigned as Trump's national security adviser late Monday following reports he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about his contacts with Russia. Hoekstra said the "real scary thing" involving Flynn was that his conversations with Russia apparently were captured by the National Security Agency and then leaked.

 

Republican Senators Call for Exhaustive Probe of Flynn, Russia (NewsMax) The fallout from Gen. Michael Flynn's resignation has prompted top members of the Republican-led Senate to call for investigations of Russia and Flynn. Ranking Republicans John Cornyn, Roy Blunt, and Lindsey Graham have all called for the investigation, and that includes talking to the ousted Flynn, who resigned late Monday night.

 

Senate Confirms Former Wrestling Exec McMahon to Lead SBA (1NewsNow) In a rare display of bipartisanship, the Senate on Tuesday confirmed former wrestling entertainment executive Linda McMahon to lead the Small Business Administration as part of President Donald Trump's cabinet. The Senate voted 81-19 to confirm McMahon, who helped start and grow World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said McMahon will "prioritize growing jobs over growing government bureaucracy." "In so many states, including mine, that's a welcome change from Washington," McConnell said.  McMahon served as the chief executive officer at WWE before stepping down in 2009 to run for the Senate. She helped WWE grow from about a dozen employees into an enterprise with more than 800.

 

Gallup: 62% of Americans Say Trump Keeps His Promises (CNS) A new Gallup survey shows that strong majorities of Americans believe President Donald Trump keeps his promises, is a strong and decisive leader, and can bring about the changes this country needs. The survey, conducted Feb. 1-5, found that 62% of Americans believe Trump "keeps his promises." Fifty-nine percent believe he is a "strong and decisive leader, and 53% think he "can bring about the changes this country needs." However, only 44% of Americans think Trump "inspires confidence" and "can manage the government effectively," reported Gallup, and only 42% think Trump is "honest and trustworthy."

 

Check Out Joy Villa's Music Sales After Wearing Trump Dress (TheBlaze) Music fans were jumping up and taking notice when practically unknown singer Joy Villa wore a red, white and blue dress with the words “Make America Great Again” down the front and “Trump” along the bottom at Sunday’s Grammy Awards. The day Villa wore her dress trumpeting Republican President Donald Trump, her 2014 EP “I Make the Static” was ranked No. 543,502 on Amazon, the Daily Wire reported. On Monday it was ranked No. 1.

 

 

TRUMP NEWS

 

During Meeting with Senators, Trump Only Refers to Elizabeth Warren as ‘Pocahontas’ (TheBlaze) During a meeting with 10 Democratic and Republican senators last week, President Donald Trump only referred to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as “Pocahontas.” During the meeting, Trump reacted to Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren being silenced on the Senate floor while trying to read a 1986 letter by Coretta Scott King and in objection to Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions before he was confirmed as attorney general. According to participants in Thursday’s meeting, Trump referred to Warren several times as “Pocahontas,” the moniker he gave her during his campaign, and told the Democrats he was glad Warren is becoming the face of “your party.” It definitely wasn’t the first time Trump has lobbed the insult at Warren. He labeled her “Pocahontas” several times during his campaign for president, basing the insult on allegations that she lied about her Native American heritage.

 

 

CULTURAL WARFARE

 

Catholic Hospital Denies Unfair Bias (1NewsNow) A Catholic hospital denies that it unfairly discriminated against a woman who sued after the hospital refused to allow a surgeon to remove her uterus as part of her demand to be treated like a man. Saint Joseph's Healthcare System said that a court ruling in Jionni Conforti's favor would violate its constitutional right to freedom of religion. The hospital filed its response to the lawsuit Friday in federal court. The 33-year-old Totowa woman had scheduled the hysterectomy at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson in 2015. Her lawsuit alleges a hospital administrator told her the hospital couldn't perform the procedure to remove her uterus because it is a Catholic hospital. She later had the surgery performed at another hospital, but Conforti is seeking a court order requiring the hospital to perform any needed medical care for transgender patients. She is also seeking monetary damages.

 

Hijab-wearing Student Who Concocted Hate Crime Hoax Won’t Face Charges (TheBlaze) Prosecutors have declined to press charges against a hijab-wearing University of Michigan student who police said made up a hate crime she blamed on a white man just three days after Republican Donald Trump was elected president. The school’s student newspaper, the Michigan Daily, noted a news release from Ann Arbor police indicating that the Washtenaw County prosecutor’s office “declined to authorize criminal charges” against the student.

 

Tim Tebow Hosts Night to Shine, impacting 75,000 Disabled Young People (Christian Headlines) Christian athlete and philanthropist Tim Tebow recently took part in the third annual Night to Shine--an event which provides a special night for 75,000 young people with disabilities. The event was sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation and took place last Friday evening (Feb. 10). The foundation’s website describes the event as “an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs ages 14 and older.” A number of locations around the world held these special prom night events, including one in Haiti, Albania, Canada, Ecuador, New Zealand, the Philippines, and one in all 50 U.S. states. Tebow was busy flying all over the U.S., as well as Haiti, to attend as many of these events as possible. He made it to five proms. The Tim Tebow Foundation partnered with 375 churches around the world to host the event.

 

 

OVER THE EDGE

 

Texas Couple Share Their Home with a 2,500 Pound Buffalo (Fox) Ronnie Bridges, a self-proclaimed “Buffalo Whisperer”, and his wife Sherron share their Texas home with a rather unusual pet –- a 2,500-pound buffalo named Wild Thing. This beast has his own room in the house complete with a TV set and even shares a dining table with his owners. The couple admit that it is a “tight squeeze” to live with the largest land mammal native to North America, and yet Wild Thing is treated as a fully entitled member of the family. “The people that don’t know me think I am crazy. And the people that do know me know I am crazy,” says Ronnie.

 

 

COMMENTARY

 

Lance Wallnau: Trump's Election Expelled 'Spirit of Witchcraft' That 'Was in Oval Office' (CNS) Concerning the protests, marches, violence, and media and Hollywood attacks against President Donald Trump, Christian speaker and author Dr. Lance Wallnau said what America is witnessing is the "manifestation of an enraged demon through the populace," a supernatural phenomenon that was sparked by expelling the "spirit of witchcraft" that "was in the Oval Office." Dr. Wallnau made his remarks on the Feb. 8 edition of The Jim Bakker Show. During a discussion about liberals' reaction to President Trump, such as through the Women's March in late January, Wallnau said, "Some are saying one thing they’re about -- it’s about immigration, or it’s about taking my rights away, or it’s about abortion, or it’s about Trump’s misogynistic handling of women. They all had different opinions." He continued, "Now, listen to this: When Paul was in Ephesus – see, what I believe is happening is there was a deliverance of the nation from the spirit of witchcraft in the Oval Office.” “The spirit of witchcraft was in the Oval Office," said Wallnau, "it was about to intensify to a higher level demon principality, and God came along with a wrecking ball [Trump] and shocked everyone." "The church cried out for mercy and – bam! -- God knocked that spirit out, and what you’re looking at is the manifestation of an enraged demon through the populace," said Wallnau.

 

Compiled and Edited by Pontolillo News Service for Bethel Fellowship Ministries International and Box 2 Radio Network

 

 

Shevat 18, 5777 • A Service of Box 2 Radio Network • 02/14/17

 

 

UPDATE

 

FLYNN OUT: Trump’s National Security Adviser Resigns (Fox) Michael Flynn steps down as President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser amid new revelations about telephone calls with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. The Justice Department warned the Trump administration about embattled national security adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russia, two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Monday night. One of the people said the Justice Department alerted the White House that there was a discrepancy between what officials were saying publicly about the contacts and the facts of what had occurred. The person said the Justice Department was concerned Flynn could be in a compromised position. The White House earlier said President Donald Trump was "evaluating the situation" regarding Flynn's conversations with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., deepening the uncertainty surrounding Flynn's future in the new administration.

 

VA SECRETARY CONFIRMED (Fox) The Senate unanimously votes to confirm David Shulkin as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Shulkin is the eighth member of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet to be approved by the Senate.

 

 

TOP OF THE NEWS

 

Trump Stuns UN: Won't Tolerate Anti-Israel Agenda (NewsMax) The Trump administration is letting it be known to Palestinian leaders and the United Nations that it will no longer tolerate anti-Israel actions, The Washington Free Beacon reports. White House officials and congressional sources told the Free Beacon that President Trump will "unabashedly support Israel" in the months and years ahead. Their comments came after the administration stunned the U.N. by moving to block the appointment of former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as a special U.N. representative for Libya. Sources inside the White House told the Free Beacon the move was meant to signal to the Palestinians that this type of action undermines Israel. "The United States was disappointed to see a letter indicating the intention to appoint the former Palestinian Authority Prime Minister to lead the U.N. Mission in Libya," said Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. "For too long the U.N. has been unfairly biased in favor of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel." "The United States does not currently recognize a Palestinian state or support the signal this appointment would send within the United Nations, however, we encourage the two sides to come together directly on a solution. Going forward the United States will act, not just talk, in support of our allies."

 

 

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION

 

Christian in India Dies after Tribal Villagers Immerse Him, Wife in Cold Pond (Morning Star News) – A Christian in Jharkhand state, India last month succumbed to illnesses incurred when villagers immersed him and his wife in frigid water because they refused to deny Christ, relatives said. Upset that his family had left their indigenous religion, tribal residents of Kubuaa village, Palamu District immersed Bartu Urawn and his wife up to their necks in a cold pond one night this winter, when temperatures can dip below freezing, from 5 p.m. to 10 a.m. the next morning, according to their son, Beneswar Urawn. After suffering illness and two bouts of paralysis due to nerve damage suffered in the 17-hour ordeal, his son said, Urawn died on Jan. 20. He was 50.

 

 

WORLD

 

Netanyahu Heads to Washington for Big Meeting with Trump (CBN) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaves for Washington Monday where he'll meet with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Netanyahu will also meet with House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. The U.S. trip dominated Sunday's four-hour cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

 

Netanyahu to Tell Trump He Supports a Palestinian state (Jerusalem Post) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not retract his support for the creation of a Palestinian state when he meets with US President Donald Trump in Washington on Wednesday, Netanyahu made clear in Sunday’s security cabinet meeting. When Bayit Yehudi ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked called on Netanyahu to speak out against the creation of a Palestinian state, Netanyahu told them of a conversation with Trump in which the president told him he thinks he can make peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

 

North Korea's Missile Designed to Launch from Submarine (NewsMax) North Korea's missile that it claims it tested over the weekend is designed to launch from a submarine, U.S. officials told Fox News on Monday. Officials said the KN-11-mod-2 missile was launched in the northwest region of North Korea Saturday evening and traveled around 300 miles into the Sea of Japan. The missile test this weekend happened around the same time as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's appearance in the U.S. with President Donald Trump. The missile traveled farther than any other missile that North Korea has launched, according to a Pentagon spokesman. The launch was a "clear grave threat to our national security," Capt. Jeff Davis said, according to Fox News. Kim Jong Un, North Korea's 33-year-old dictator, witnessed the launch in person, officials said. The U.S. Navy has stationed two warships in the Sea of Japan in the last few weeks as part of a "heightened presence," one official said.

 

Hamas Taps Prisoner Freed in Schalit Deal as New Gaza Leader (Jerusalem Post) Military hardliner Yahya Sinwar was reportedly chosen to replace Ismail Haniyeh, who is expected to take the position of general Hamas leader in place of Khaled Mashal. Sinwar, 55, was given four life sentences in 1989 for his involvement in killing Palestinian collaborators with Israel, but was set free in 2011 as a part of the Gilad Schalit prisoner swap. 

 

Hezbollah Leader 'Optimistic' about 'Idiot' Trump's Presidency (Jerusalem Post) Hezbollah is not worried about United States President Donald Trump, the Los Angeles Times reported on Sunday. In fact, they're optimistic about him. Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Lebanese terrorist organization, brushed off the newly firm US stance against terror in a televised speech Sunday. "So what if Trump comes?" he asked. "What's new?" He went on to say, "We are not worried, but very optimistic because when an idiot resides in the White House, this is the beginning of the release for the oppressed in the world," he said. The Times noted that the Arabic word for "idiot" could also be translated as "fool."

 

 

NATIONAL

 

188,000 Urged to Evacuate as Concerns over California Dam Increase (Fox) At least 188,000 people were under evacuation orders Monday as crews raced against time to keep an emergency spillway at the country’s tallest dam from failing and potentially unleashing uncontrolled floodwaters on towns below. Lake Oroville, about 150 miles northeast of San Francisco, is one of the state’s largest man-made lakes. Sunday’s evacuation order came after engineers discovered a hole that was eroding near the top of the 770-foot-tall Oroville Dam’s emergency spillway, sparking fears it could fail. The cities of Oroville, Gridley, Live Oak, Marysville, Wheatland, Yuba City, Plumas Lake and Olivehurst were all under evacuation orders. Emergency officials stressed that the dam was structurally sound, Fox 2 reported.

 

MNUCHIN CONFIRMED (Fox) The Senate votes 53-47 to confirm ex-Goldman Sachs financier Steven Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary, the seventh member of Trump’s cabinet to be approved.

 

Trump Adviser Stephen Miller: 'A District Judge in Seattle Cannot Make Immigration Law for U.S.' (CNS) Making the rounds of the Sunday newsmaker shows, Stephen Miller, a White House Senior Policy Adviser, said President Trump's authority to suspend the entry of aliens into this country is "beyond question," both in law and according to the Constitution. Miller said the federal judges who temporarily restrained Trump's executive order, both at the district and appeals court level, were "overreaching." "The bottom line is that a district judge, a district judge in Seattle, cannot make immigration law for the United States, cannot give foreign nationals and foreign countries rights they do not have and cannot prevent the President of the United States from suspending the admission of refugees from Syria," Miller told NBC's "Meet the Press."

 

Report: George Soros Funded These 6 Republicans in 2016 (Charisma) According to a new report by Breitbart News, in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, six Republicans accepted tens of thousands of dollars in donations from George Soros. Not surprisingly, these Republicans were generally hostile to President Donald Trump during the course of his campaign. According to records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, and available at OpenSecrets.org, Soros Fund Management employees donated nearly $40,000 to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. The politicians defended the donations, saying they didn't come directly from Soros. The report identifies other Republicans who received donations from employees of the Soros fund. Most were opposed to the president's candidacy or have been openly critical of his policies. Soros, who has long advocated for an "open borders" policy, funneled millions meanwhile to Democrats. But, as the report notes, the Republicans who were getting donations seems to indicate there was an effort to influence GOP legislators as well.

 

 

TRUMP NEWS

 

Trump Welcomes Trudeau to White House (1NewsNow) Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is at the White House to meet with President Donald Trump. Trump welcomed Trudeau with a handshake Monday, as the leaders met for the first time. Their schedule includes private talks and a round table conversation about women in the workplace. Trudeau and Trump have different world views. The liberal Trudeau champions free trade and has welcomed 40,000 Syrian refugees. Trump has taken a protectionist stance on trade and wants to crack down on the inflow of migrants and refugees. Relations with the U.S. are crucial to Canada. More than 75 percent of Canada's exports go to the U.S. There is a fear among Canadians that they could be hurt as Trump targets Mexico in a re-negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

 

Black Singer Joy Villa Wears Pro-Trump Dress to Grammy Awards (TheBlaze) Singer Joy Villa made a defiant statement on the red carpet for the Grammy Awards on Sunday when she revealed her pro-Donald Trump dress that said “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” down the front. In addition to touting President Donald Trump’s famous campaign slogan, the red, white and blue dress spelled out Trump’s name in sparkles on its train. According to reports, Villa initially walked down the red carpet wearing a white cape, only to remove it later and reveal what was beneath. And to be expected, liberals lost their minds over the dress, labeling Villa a “troll” and “attention seeker.”

 

 

CULTURAL WARFARE

 

Trump Administration Takes Big Step Back from Obama’s Transgender Bathroom Rules (TheBlaze) In a clear shift away from his predecessor, President Donald Trump’s White House has asked a judge to cancel a crucial hearing in a legal appeal over an Obama-era rule regarding transgender bathroom use. Former President Barack Obama issued a controversial administrative rule in May 2016 extending Title IX protections to transgendered individuals, ensuring their right to use the bathroom they claim aligns with their gender identity. Had state-funded schools, colleges and universities not complied with the directive, it could put public institutions at risk of losing federal funding.

 

NFL Threatens Texas, and Governor Abbott Responds Like a Texan (TheBlaze) The NFL is threatening to punish the state of Texas unless they follow the far more liberal standards the league has on transgender rights, and Governor Abbott is responding much like most people would expect a Texan to. He laid out his response to the NFL in a tweet Saturday: “NFL decision makers also benched Tom Brady last season. It ended with NFL handing the Super Bowl trophy to Brady.” League spokesman Brian McCarthy made a statement issuing the threat to Texas in response to an email. “If a proposal that is discriminatory or inconsistent with our values were to become law there,” he wrote, “that would certainly be a factor considered when thinking about awarding future events.” Abbot appeared to throw down the gauntlet to the NFL. This isn’t the first time the NFL has used its clout to push pro-transgender policies. In 2015, the league implied that a similar bill in Georgia might cause them to skip over Atlanta for hosting Super Bowls. Their Republican Governor later vetoed the bill.

 

Atheist Bill Nye Targets Christians in New Netflix Series (Charisma) For years, the liberal media have given Bill Nye a platform to rant about his liberal views, and now Netflix will give him an entire show. Nye, "The Science Guy," is one of the media's favorite global-warming alarmists. He will star in a new Netflix show called Bill Nye Saves the World which will debut in the Spring of 2017. Variety's TV Editor Laura Prudom reported that the show will attempt to refute religious leaders and politicians who espouse "anti-scientific claims." Nye told Variety each episode will take on "complex scientific issues facing us today" such as "vaccinations, genetically modified foods and climate change." CNN, NBC, MSNBC, CBS and ABC have all had Nye on to bash creationism theory or to hype the threat of man-made global warming. During a blizzard in Jan. 2015, he told MSNBC viewers the "storm is connected to climate change" and said those who would use a snowstorm to dispute global warming were "unglued." In 2010, he even labeled Americans who are skeptical of climate change "unpatriotic."

 

 

OVER THE EDGE

 

Trump or Baldwin? Newspaper Uses Wrong Picture (SkyNews) A newspaper in the Dominican Republic has had to apologize to readers after it mistakenly used a photo of Alec Baldwin impersonating Donald Trump instead of the US President himself. The Hollywood actor, wearing a blond wig in his guise as the American leader on comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL), appeared next to an image of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Baldwin's photo was captioned "Donald Trump, president of the USA" and the pictures were part of an article in El Nacional's Friday edition about Israeli settlements.

 

 

COMMENTARY

 

Franklin Graham: Planned Parenthood is 'Hitleristic,' 'Death Is Their Prescription' (CNS) In a Feb. 10 post on Facebook, Rev. Franklin Graham, son of world-renowned pastor Billy Graham, said, "Planned Parenthood—the country's largest abortion provider—received over $353 million in private donations according to a recent annual report. Why on earth would Congress give them another $550 million in government grants and reimbursements?" "In a recent three-year period, Planned Parenthood killed nearly one million babies in the womb—what a tragedy," said Rev. Graham. "Taxpayer dollars, withheld from American paychecks should never be used to fund a Hitleristic organization whose conduct many see as insidious, evil, unjust, and even criminal," he said.  How do they keep on slaughtering little ones, and yet portray themselves as health clinics?" "Death is their prescription," said Rev. Graham. He continued, "Conservative lawmakers in Congress, both Democratic and Republican, need to stand together to do the right thing and end this wholesale slaughter of innocent life. Every life is precious to God, and should be to us as well."

 

Compiled and Edited by Pontolillo News Service for Bethel Fellowship Ministries International and Box 2 Radio Network

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