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  1. (Worthy News) - International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that more than 80 Christians have been killed in Benue State, Nigeria by Fulani militants since January 1. These attacks have mainly taken place in two locations within the state, Logo and Guma Counties. Logo saw more than 50 deaths in just the first week of the new year by Fulani attacks, while Guma suffered more than 30. These attacks took place less than two months after the state of Benue enacted an anti-open grazing bill, which prevents the Fulani from nomadically moving their cattle throughout all of Nigeria. Benue passed this law in an attempt to end the violence that has been plaguing its people, but it has failed thus far. In an interview with the Punch, the Secretary-General of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Usman Ngelzerma, said that the new bill is the reason for these attacks. "We don't wish for the crisis to continue but let us give it (the law) another look. We don't like the killings; we will never condone the killing of people. Give the farmers their rights, but consider the pastoralists too." However, even those who were not from the area, but who were just trying to help others escape, were at the mercy of the Fulani attackers. A local from Makurdi, named Vershima, stated that he "had been called upon by some of the people fleeing Guma to come help convey them to Makurdi on Wednesday, January 3. I obliged. On our way out of Guma at about 7:00 p.m., we were ambushed by a company of armed Fulani herdsmen who opened fire on us, killing three of the people I was conveying and injuring me." Vershima was shot in the chest and left for dead by the Fulani, who accosted him and his vehicle. [ Source: Christian Headlines (Read More...) ] View the full article
  2. (Worthy News) - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday said the U.S. may not be able fix the flaws in the Iran nuclear agreement in time to meet a White House deadline, a remark that comes shortly before talks on Iran with three European countries get underway next week. When President Trump waived sanctions against Iran earlier this month — a requirement under the Obama-era 2015 nuclear deal — he emphasized that he would not sign off on another wave of U.S. sanctions relief in May unless Europe agrees to help restrict Iranian missile testing and development as well as conduct inspections. "The U.S. is under a bit of a timetable to deliver on what the President is looking for, but we don’t — we can’t set timetables for others," Tillerson told reporters accompanying him on a flight from London to Paris. [ Source: The Hill (Read More...) ] View the full article
  3. (Worthy News) - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday called on member states of the European Union to recognize “the State of Palestine,” saying such a move would encourage Palestinians to maintain hope for peace. Abbas made the remarks at a press conference at the EU headquarters in Brussels before meeting with 28 foreign ministers of EU member states and EU foreign affairs chief Frederica Mogherini. “We call on these states to recognize the State of Palestine,” Abbas said, referring to EU member countries. [ Source: Jerusalem Post (Read More...) ] View the full article
  4. (Worthy News) - Archaeologists are excavating a newfound cave in Qumran, with the hope of finding new Dead Sea Scrolls. The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 12 caves and date back around 2,000 years and consist of thousands of fragments from more than 900 manuscripts, including numerous copies of texts from the Hebrew Bible. The scrolls were written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, but who, exactly, wrote them is a matter of debate among scholars. Many experts believe that members of a Jewish sect called the Essenes wrote the scrolls at Qumran. Eleven of the Dead Sea Scroll caves were discovered between 1947 and 1956 near the newfound cave, in what is now the West Bank, near the shore of the Dead Sea. In 2017, archaeologists announced the discovery of a 12th cave, though they said the cave had been looted in the mid-20th century. Inside the cave, they discovered only one blank scroll, along with the remains of jars, cloth and a leather strap that would have been used to wrap and store the scrolls, according to the team, led by Oren Gutfeld, an archaeologist with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Institute of Archaeology. [ Source: Live Science (Read More...) ] View the full article
  5. (Worthy News) - Palestinian Christians say U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's brand of evangelical Christianity, with its fervent embrace of modern-day Israel as fulfilment of biblical prophecy, lacks their faith's compassion and justice, including for those who have endured half a century of Israeli occupation. Pence was in Jerusalem on Monday, expressing his full-throated support for Israel in a speech to parliament filled with biblical references. During an exuberant welcome, Pence and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly rejoiced in the Trump administration's decision last month to recognize contested Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The dramatic policy shift is seen as a betrayal by the Palestinians, who claim Jerusalem's Israeli-annexed eastern sector as a capital and now reject U.S. mediation in any future efforts to resolve their long-running conflict with Israel. The Jerusalem pivot also upset some of Washington's Arab allies, particularly Jordan, where King Abdullah II laid out his disagreement with U.S. policy to the visiting Pence in unusually pointed remarks Sunday. [ Source: Fox News (Read More...) ] View the full article
  6. (Worthy News) - The Philippines' most active volcano has spewed fountains of lava and massive ash plumes overnight after authorities warned a violent eruption may be imminent. The lava fountains reached up to 700 meters (2,300 feet) above Mount Mayon's crater and ash plumes rose up to 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) from Monday night to before daybreak Tuesday. An explosive eruption Monday was the most powerful since the volcano started acting up more than a week ago. [ Source: Fox News (Read More...) ] View the full article
  7. (Worthy News) - Turkey has begun a major new offensive in northwestern Syria, in a bid to oust Kurdish militia from the area. Named 'Operation Olive Branch', the ground and air operation aims to create a 20-mile (30km) "secure zone" in Afrin, a Kurdish-controlled enclave on Turkey's border. Members of Free Syrian Army (FSA), backed by the Turkish army, are confronting US-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters, known as the People's Defence Units or YPG. [ Source: Sky News (Read More...) ] View the full article
  8. (Worthy News) - Calling the Trump administration’s tax reform plan a “middle-class tax increase,” two California lawmakers introduced a bill that would force large companies to fork over half of their expected savings to the state. Assemblymen Kevin McCarty and Phil Ting, both Democrats, introduced Assembly Constitutional Amendment 22, which calls for a 10 percent surcharge on companies with a net earnings over $1 million. The plan could potentially raise billions for the state's social services programs. “It is unconscionable to force working families to pay the price for tax breaks and loopholes benefiting corporations and wealthy individuals,” Ting said in a statement, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. “This bill will help blunt the impact of the federal tax plan on everyday Californians by protecting funding for education, affordable health care and other core priorities.” [ Source: Fox News (Read More...) ] View the full article
  9. (Worthy News) - The European Union pledged its support Monday for Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas’ vision of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. On Monday, PA chairman Abbas met with European Union Foreign Affairs High Representative Federica Mogherini in the EU capital in Brussels, in a bid by the PA leader to win recognition for Palestinian statehood from the 28-member European body. The trip, which coincides with Vice President Mike Pence’s three-day visit to Israel, is part of a larger effort to circumvent the US, the traditional broker of PA-Israel negotiations, and push to take a more active role in the Middle East. [ Source: Arutz Sheva (Read More...) ] View the full article
  10. (Worthy News) - House Republicans are demanding that a second independent special counsel be convened to probe the FBI’s investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account and server. The demands come after new revelations that the agency failed to preserve five months worth of text messages between two FBI agents who have been accused of pro-Clinton and anti-Donald Trump bias during the 2016 presidential race. On Sunday, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray asking the agency explain what happened to the missing text messages and to provide any communications between agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page that they might have exchanged on their personal devices and email accounts. [ Source: The Hill (Read More...) ] View the full article
  11. (Worthy News) - Iranian military leaders claimed Monday that they threatened two American-led vessels in international waters amid a series of new war drills being carried out by the Islamic Republic, according to regional reports and U.S. military officials who confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon contact with the Iranian vessels. As Iran carries out a several days long series of war drills in the Sea of Oman, off the country's southern border, military leaders claim to have warned off at least two vessels led by U.S. coalition forces in the region. U.S. military officials confirmed being in contact with Iranian forces, which is just the latest in a series of provocative interactions between the Iranian military and United States. [ Source: Washington Free Beacon (Read More...) ] View the full article
  12. (Worthy News) - Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R.) signed into law a measure allowing the possession of marijuana for recreational use Monday. This is the first time a state legislature has voted to legalize the drug, The Hill reports. "This is a milestone in the evolving politics of marijuana," marijuana legalization advocate Tom Angell said. [ Source: Washington Free Beacon (Read More...) ] View the full article
  13. (Worthy News) - Israeli scholars have pieced together and deciphered one of two previously unread manuscripts of the Dead Sea Scrolls more than half a century after their discovery, an Israeli university has said. The more than 60 tiny fragments of parchment bearing encrypted Hebrew writing had previously been thought to come from a variety of different scrolls, a Haifa University spokesman said. But Eshbal Ratson and Jonathan Ben-Dov of the university's Bible studies department found the pieces all fit together after they started examining them just under a year ago, Ilan Yavelberg said. [ Source: UK Telegraph (Read More...) ] View the full article
  14. (Worthy News) - A government shutdown is in the rearview mirror, but the outlines of a looming immigration deal remain murky with the sides still far apart — though the latest polling suggests President Trump’s bargaining position may be strong. A Harvard-Harris poll taken in the run-up to the shutdown found Americans strongly support granting citizenship rights to illegal immigrant Dreamers. But they also back Mr. Trump’s three demands for a border wall, limits to the chain of family migration and an end to the Diversity Visa Lottery. Most striking of all is the public’s demand for lower overall legal immigration — a position that has little traction on Capitol Hill but one that is overwhelmingly popular across the country. [ Source: Washington Times (Read More...) ] View the full article
  15. (Worthy News) - The government will reopen on Tuesday after President Trump signed a temporary spending bill that will keep the government open until Feb. 8. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed to the Washington Examiner Trump signed the bill Monday night, after both houses in Congress approved the bill earlier in the day. Because the deal expires in less than three weeks, Congress will face the possibility of another government shutdown shortly. [ Source: Washington Examiner (Read More...) ] View the full article