Welcome Home! 

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When the three former captives of North Korea landed at 3 a.m. on Thursday, President Trump, First Lady Melania and Vice President Pence and his wife Karen were there to welcome them home. The President and Melania boarded the plane to personally greet them, then they gathered on the tarmac to talk to reporters.
   The three Korean-Americans were released by Kim Jong-un after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went to North Korea to fetch them. This is ahead of the upcoming meeting between Kim and Trump. The President said, “It was nice letting them go before the meeting. Frankly, we didn’t think this was going to happen, and it did.” He added, “I appreciate Kim Jong-un doing this and allowing them to go.”
   They had been charged with committing hostile acts to subvert North Korea.
   Trump also expressed his condolences to the parents of Otto Warmbier, the American student who was severely tortured in North Korea and died shortly upon his release.
   Korean-Americans Kim Dong-chul, Kim Sang-duk, and Kim Hak-song walked without assistance and appeared to be in good spirits. In a statement released by the State Department, they said,
“We would like to express our deep appreciation to the United States government, President Trump, Secretary Pompeo, and the people of the United States for bringing us home. We thank God, and all our families and friends who prayed for us and for our return. God Bless America, the greatest nation in the world.”
Praise the Lord for their safe return! 
 
The MSM, ever-reluctant to celebrate anything good that might be attributed to the President’s efforts, is now saying that the recent pullout of the Iran nuclear deal could cause Kim to “drive an even harder bargain.” The President remains cautiously optimistic that Kim will de-nuclearize the peninsula. 
 
Gotcha. The New York Times accused Secretary Pompeo of being absent from the scene this week. President Trump “outed” them with this tweet:
 
 “The Failing New York Times criticized Secretary of State Pompeo for being AWOL (missing), when in fact he was flying to North Korea. Fake News, so bad!”

Iran and Israel Exchange Missile Strikes

 
Iranian forces fired 20rockets at Israeli military bases just after midnight. Minor damage was reported to some military outposts on the Israel/Syria border in the Golan Heights. There were no injuries. The rockets were fired out of Syria, and some were intercepted by the Iron Dome Israeli defense system.
   Israeli IDF forces responded, striking weapons depots and rocket launchers in Damascus, Syria. The arms are owned by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. Reports are that 70 missiles were fired and at least 23 Iranian fighters were killed. Israel’s minister of defense warned, “If it rains in Israel, it will pour in Iran.” He also called the strikes a “limited confrontation.”
It was “business as usual” in Israel on Thursday morning, with schools, government offices and businesses remaining open.
Why this Matters: this latest round of strikes by Iran were in retaliation for an Israeli missile strike that killed 15 people in Kisweh, south of Damascus. The Israelis said they were following reports of irregular activity of Iranian forces in Syria. 
 
However, some are blaming this escalation on Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal in 90 days, unless it can be fixed. The deal, which was negotiated under Obama, was never official–it wasn’t signed by our Congress or by the Iranians. 
 
Iran’s president called Trump’s move “psychological war.”  
Fighting Continues in Yemen – Houthis in Yemen–who are aligned with Iran–fired missiles at the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh, trying to hit economic targets. Saudi authorities said these were intercepted. There were no reports of casualties or damage.

The World Reacts to Trump’s Decision

  • After hearing Trump’s announcement to pull out of the nuclear agreement, members of Iran’s parliament set fire to a copy of it, chanting “death to the US.” Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said he ordered his atomic chief to stay on alert to resume nuclear activities.
  • The U.S. pullout of the deal was met with dismay by European leaders, notably the French, English and German. Russia said it was ready to consider French proposals for an additional side accord, but Iran has rejected that idea. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said his country remains committed to the accord.
  • Saudi Arabia will develop its own nuclear arsenal if Iran restarts its program, according to Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. His comment came after President Trump’s announcement.

Why is Hillary in New Zealand?

Hillary Clinton met with Jacinda Ardern, the new labour party Prime Minister of New Zealand who was elected in October. The two discussed domestic policy in New Zealand, the future of work, geopolitical environment, and the difficulties of motherhood when holding office, according to Ardern.

   Clinton also complained about “ingrained sexism and misogyny in people’s reactions and the coverage of the campaign.” She said it was a factor in her loss to Donald Trump.
   Ardern said their meeting would not affect New Zealand’s relationship with Trump administration because it was not an official visit. She said, “It wasn’t a formal meeting, there was, therefore, no media.”
Why this Matters: Many people already know that New Zealand is a favorite refuge for the world’s super-elite. It is also a country which has donated many millions to the Clinton Foundation. Another connection between the two is this: Following the Haiti earthquake, Bill Clinton headed up a commission to distribute billions of dollars of relief money and he worked closely with Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand. 
 
The Clintons have been accused by the Haitian people of looting their country since 2003. In 2016, a group of Haitians gathered to protest outside the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, demanding he investigate the Clintons. Schneiderman refused. He resigned earlier this week because four women accused him of sexual and physical abuse.
Is. 62:6,7 – I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, 
keep not silence, And give him no rest, 
till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
Pray for peace in Jerusalem and for the President’s agenda to be implemented. Ask God to speed up the confirmation process for Trump’s appointees. Pray for the downfall of the wicked.

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