US warplane flies over South Korea in show of force to North
A long-range U.S. military bomber flew over South Korea Sunday, in an apparent response to North Korea over its latest nuclear weapons test.
The B-52 bomber, which is capable of carrying nuclear weapons, was seen flying over Osan Air Base, located 72 kilometers south of the border that separates the two Koreas, before heading back to its home base on nearby Guam. The bomber was accompanied by two fighter planes from the U.S. and South Korea.
U.S. Navy Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, issued a statement calling the flight a demonstration of the ironclad U.S. commitment to our allies in South Korea, in Japan, and to the defense of the American homeland.” VOA
As Donald Trump questioned the motives of Syrian refugees at a Friday night rally, saying they “probably are ISIS,” a woman sitting in the stands of the sports arena behind him silently stood. She was wearing a white hijab and a blue T-shirt that read: “Salam, I come in peace.”
Trump kept speaking, but soon the crowd erupted, holding up their campaign signs and chanting: “Trump! Trump! Trump!” That was the formal signal for security to remove her from the rally — even though she stood quietly, not saying anything. She was joined by several other protesters, all wearing yellow eight-pointed stars, reminiscent of the six-pointed stars Jews were forced by the Nazis to wear on their clothing during the Holocaust. On the eight-pointed stars, a common symbol in the Islamic world, was this message: “Stop Islamophobia.” The Washington Post
The already staggering U.S. “Powerball” jackpot is expected to top a record $1 billion after none of the tickets sold matched all six numbers (32, 16, 19, 57, 34, and Powerball 13) from Saturday’s drawing.
The odds of winning the $949.8 million jackpot was 1 in 292.2 million, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the draw.
Millions of Americans who spent their hard-earned money on the multi-state lottery with dreams of becoming an instant millionaire will likely go online or flock to their neighborhood Powerball ticket sellers in 44 states, Washington, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands for a chance to win next Wednesday’s drawing, which is expected to reach $1.3 billion by the time the winning numbers are announced. VOA
Sean Penn interviewed Guzman before recapture
Hollywood actor Sean Penn interviewed Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman at a secret location soon after his jail break. The interview, conducted in October in the Mexican jungle, is published in Saturday’s edition of Rolling Stone.
Guzman escaped from the maximum security Altiplano jail in July and was recaptured on Friday. Unnamed Mexican officials say Penn’s secret meeting helped lead them to the fugitive who is back in Altiplano.
Their comments chime with public pronouncements by Attorney General Arely Gomez, who said on Friday that an important aspect of his recapture “was discovering Guzman’s intention to have a biographic film made”. “He contacted actresses and producers, which was part of one line of investigation.”
In the Rolling Stone article, the result of a seven-hour “sit-down”, Penn and Guzman discuss various topics, including drug trafficking. Guzman, 58, is quoted as saying: “If there was no consumption, there would be no sales.” He also rejects responsibility for drug addiction, saying “the day I don’t exist, it’s not going to decrease in any way at all”. BBC
Christians in the Philippines are facing persecution on the level of their brothers and sisters in the Middle East, says a missionary priest.
According to Christian Today, Father Sebastiano D’Ambra said in an interview with Aid to the Church in Need that 14 people were murdered on Christmas day and a grenade was thrown at a chapel. Nine Christians were also killed on Christmas Eve. The violence was perpetrated by members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
“In some areas of Mindanao we are experiencing exactly the same thing as is happening in Iraq,” said Father D’Ambra. D’Ambra has been in the Philippines nearly 50 years and is an experienced missionary. Christian Headlines
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