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  • Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson in October. (photo: Andrew Harnik, AP)

    Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson warned Thursday that terror groups remain focused on targeting aviation, on the heels of an attempted bombing last week in Somalia – and after the top U.S. intelligence official warned that the Islamic State will try to attack the U.S. this year.

    Johnson, delivering his final State of Homeland Security address, stressed that his department is moving to reduce the number of access points to airport employees to reduce any insider threat.

    “We have the ability, through airlines, through our relationship with other countries, to put out guidelines that influence the behavior of airport authorities and airport security at overseas airports,” he said. “In particular, last point of departure airports, and those are mostly in Europe. Some are in the Middle East.”

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) and U.S. Foreign Secretary John Kerry (2L) attend the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meeting in Munich, Germany, February 11, 2016, together with members of the Syrian opposition and other officials.. (photo: Reuters)

    Belligerents in Syria's civil war have agreed to work toward a nationwide cessation of hostilities there "in one week's time," US Secretary of State John Kerry said at a press conference in Munich on Thursday night.

    Sitting alongside Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Kerry said the parties also agreed on ways to accelerate the delivery of humanitarian aid to regions of the country that have gone without for months.

    "We believe we have made progress both on the humanitarian front and on the cessation of hostilities," Kerry said. He explained the difference between a cessation of hostilities and a ceasefire: "A ceasefire," he said, "has a great many legal prerogatives and requirements. A cessation of hostilities does not."

  • BullionByPost, Britain's biggest online gold dealer, said it has already taken record-day sales of £5.6m as traders pile into gold following fears the world is on the brink of another financial crisis.

  • Palestinian militants of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas' armed wing, take part in a rally in Gaza City. (photo credit:MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

    The split began to emerge in the ranks of Hamas’ military wing in recent days after the group executed one of its own members, signaling growing tensions between the organization’s local leadership in Gaza and its leadership abroad.

    On Monday, Hamas posted on one of its social media accounts that its military wing had executed Mahmoud Rashid Eshtaiwi, for ''behavioral and ethical excesses."

    The Brigade of the Free Kassamyin, a splinter group of the Kassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, denounced the execution of "the martyr Mahmoud Rashid Eshtaiwi," describing it as a "crime against a jihadist who made the occupation taste death with his operations."

  • Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the Knesset on February 10, 2016. (photo: Yonatan Sindel, Flash90)

    Israel has no choice in the current political reality but to continue its control of the West Bank, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday, asserting that the Palestinians have yet to meet the basic requirements outlined by the government for a final peace agreement between the two nations.

    Netanyahu told a special Knesset debate on the two-state solution that he was in favor of the idea, but in practice did not see it being possible unless the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state and agree to a demilitarized state.

    He also rejected the claim that Israel’s policies in the West Bank were driving the current round of violence, as asserted by some officials in the international community.

  • Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan. (photo: Reuters)

    Israel did not respond on Wednesday to Iran’s announcement it will unveil an upgrade this year of its Emad ballistic missile whose 1,700 km range puts Israel in its reach.

    However, one government official said that Israel is “always carefully watching” Iran’s ballistic missile developments.

    The official said that Iranian ballistic missile development was not part of the Iranian nuclear deal, and that this was one of Israel’s objections to the agreement.

    Iran’s defense minister Hossein Dehghan was quoted as saying the country would unveil an upgrade of its Emad ballistic missiles, advancing a program that has drawn criticism from the United Nations and sanctions from the United States.

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Provocative Commentary

“The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.” 
― E.M. Bounds