Tuesday, July 31, 2018

LGBT Conf. Concerns Southern Baptist Leaders; Mixing Cultural Norms,Biblical Morality Is Fatal

Southern Baptist leaders have spoken out about this past weekend's Revoice Conference for LGBT Christians, the Worthy News website reports today (July 31, 2018).

The Revoice Conference -- which met in St. Louis this past weekend -- defines itself as "Supporting, encouraging, and empowering gay, lesbian, same-sex attracted, and other LGBT Christians so they can flourish while observing the historic Christian doctrine of marriage and sexuality."

Many are concerned and troubled by the conference, while others believe it can foster an important exchange of ideas.

Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said of Revoice:..."It appears they're trying to create a halfway house" between cultural norms and biblical morality "that is inherently unstable. There is no way that faithful Christians can celebrate an unbiblical sexual orientation and claim to be faithful to Scripture..."

Justice Dept. Establishes Rel. Liberty Task Force; Will Work to Ensure Rel. Liberty Guidance in US

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions yesterday criticized recent attacks on religious freedom and announced the creation of a Religious Liberty Task Force that will work to "fully implement" the Justice Department's religious liberty guidance, the Christian Headlines website reports today (July 31, 2018).

The task force will be chaired by the associate attorney general and the assistant attorney general for the office of legal policy.

Sessions said the U.S. Founders realized that "an individual relationship to God is a natural right and precedes the existence of the state, and is not subject to state control."

"There can be no doubt that we are stronger as a nation because of the contribution of religious Americans," he added.

Dutch Jewish Residents Ousted from Synagogue; Building's New Owner Plans to Make It an Eatery

The Jewish community in Deventer, Netherlands was evicted from its synagogue yesterday, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (July 31, 2018).

Members of Beth Shoshanna, a Conservative Jewish congregation of about 30 people, packed up and loaded into a van their Torah scroll and other scripture and furniture.

The move followed a legal fight against the building's new owners who plan to turn it into a restaurant. The community has found a new home in the nearby city of Raalte.

"It's a very heavy feeling that this thing can happen in 2018," said Tom Furstenberg, the community's chairman.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Coptic Orthodox Bishop Epiphanius Is Murdered; Hit on Head with Heavy Object,Seen as Terrorism

Coptic Orthodox Bishop Epiphanius, Abbot of the Monastery of San Macarius in Egypt, was murdered yesterday, the Independent Catholic News website reports today (July 30, 2018).

The lifeless Abbot was found lying in a pool of blood by monks, inside the monastery at dawn on July 29.

It seems the Bishop was hit on the head with a sharp, heavy object in a terrorist act.

Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria expressed his condolences in an official statement, describing the late bishop as filled with modesty and gentleness.

Ex-FEMA Head Hired Women to Pleasure Men; Accused of Sexual Harassment,Criminal Activity

The personnel chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) -- who resigned just weeks ago after being placed on administrative leave -- is under investigation after being accused of creating an atmosphere of widespread sexual harassment over years in which women were hired as possible sexual partners for male employees, the Washington Post website reports today (July 30, 2018).

The harassment and other misconduct -- revealed through a preliminary seven-month internal investigation -- was a "systemic problem going on for years," said FEMA Administrator William Long. Some of the behavior could result in the level of criminal activity, he added.

FEMA officials confirmed that the individual under investigation is Corey Coleman, who led the personnel department from 2011 until his resignation in June.

Coleman transferred some women he hired -- many of them were unqualified for their positions -- in and out of departments, some to regional offices, so that he and his friends could have sexual relations with them, according to employees' statements during interviews with investigators.

IS Is Alive and Well and Fighting in Syria and Iraq; The Fact Is IS Growing in Strength in Afghanistan

While the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group's offensive activity in Syria is now restricted to a small region in the south, its attacks there are as barbaric as ever, the Clarion Project website reports today (July 30, 2018).

IS was behind the July 25 bombings and attacks in As Suwayda, Syria that claimed some 250 lives.

In addition to the dead and wounded, IS took a dozen women hostage and is now demanding ransome payments for their return.

IS also is still active in parts of Iraq, and is even growing in strength in Afghanistan.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Swastikas,Iron Crosses Drawn at Ind. Synagogue; Hatred Crimes Are Increasing Rapidly in Indiana

A Jewish congregation in Carmel, Indiana said today (July 29, 2018) that a building on its property was vandalized with a swastika and Iron Crosses two nights ago, the Times of Israel website reports.

The Iron Cross was a German military medal which had been adopted as a symbol by neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

The Shaarey Tefilla Temple said on Facebook that religious services had not been affected by the attack, and that the incident had been reported to the police.

Indiana -- one of just five states without a hate crimes law -- has seen a rapid increase in bias crimes in recent years. The Southern Poverty Law Center reports there are 26 active hate groups in the state.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Thousands in Ukraine Celebrate Christian Anniv.; Vladimir the Great Chose Greek Orth. Rel. in 988

President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine joined thousands on the streets of Kiev today (July 28, 2018) on an anniversary marking the start of the conversion of Ukrainians to Christianity, amid a push to remove Russian influence in Ukrainian affairs, according to the Reuters website.

Poroshenko wants to establish a national "autocephalous" (self-governing) church in the majority Orthodox Christian country, which he says would be vital to tackling meddling by Moscow.

Currently, religious divisions in Ukraine include a Moscow Patriarchate and a Kiev Patriarchate, as well as the UGCC (Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church), which conducts its Roman Catholic church services in the Eastern Rite tradition. Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople -- the leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church -- is working towards achieving autocephaly for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, according to his representative, Metropolitan Emmanuel, in his address to today's anniversary celebration.

Today, Poroshenko addressed priests, officials, lawmakers and members of the public on a hill in Kiev by a statue of Vladimir the Great, the prince who accepted Greek Orthodox Christianity as the official religion of the Ukrainian/Russian region in the year 988.

Cardinal McCarric Quits Amid Sex Abuse Scandal; Is 1st Cardinal to Resign Due to Sex Abuse Charges

The Vatican announced today (July 28, 2018) that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, from the College of Cardinals, ordering him to a "life of prayer and penance" after allegations that the cardinal sexually abused minors and adult seminarians over the course of decades, according to the NY Times website.

Acting quickly to contain a widening sex abuse scandal at the highest levels of the Roman Catholic Church, the pope suspended the cardinal from the exercise of any public ministry after receiving his resignation letter last night.

Pope Francis also demanded in a statement that the prelate remain in seclusion "until the accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial."

Cardinal McCarrick, now 88, is believed to be the first cardinal in history to step down from the College of Cardinals because of sexual abuse allegations.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Trump Threatens Economic Sanctions on Turkey; Due to Turkey Detaining US Pastor for Terrorism

President Donald Trump has threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey for detaining an American pastor facing terrorism charges, the UPI website reports today (July 27, 2018).

He called on Turkey to release Andrew Brunson, who was arrested in 2016, after a failed coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that resulted in more than 50,000 arrests.

Brunson, who has lived in Turkey for 23 years, is accused of aiding the Kurdistan Workers Party, a militant separatist group.

"The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being. He is suffering greatly. This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!" Trump tweeted.

Polish President Signs Controversial Judicial Law; Many Say It Restrains Poland's Democratic Norms

Polish President Andrzej Duda signed into law yesterday a measure allowing the government to choose the next Supreme Court chief justice, despite protesters claiming it violates judicial appointments law, the Euro News website reports today (July 27, 2018).

In spite of the EU's (European Union's) opposition and legal challenge, the ruling Law and Justice party said a revamp is needed to make Poland's courts more efficient.

Since the Law and Justice party came into power in 2015, dozens of judges have been let go from the Constitutional Tribunal, the National Judiciary Council, which decides judicial appointments, and now the Supreme Court.

This month alone, 22 Supreme Court judges were forced into early retirement. Opposition MPs say the changes undermine Poland's democratic norms.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Pence,Pompeo Address Rel. Freedom Ministerial; Tell Summit US Committed to Back Rel. Freedom

Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo today (July 26, 2018) delivered remarks at the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, according to the Free Beacon website.

The summit includes delegates from about 80 countries and representatives from civil society organizations from around the world, as well as victims of religious persecution who have offered to share their stories.

Pompeo said America is committed to promoting religious freedom "because it is not exclusively an American right. It is a God-given, universal right bestowed on all of mankind."

Pence stated that "the American founders enshrined religious freedom as the first freedom in the Constitution of the United States, and America has always and will always lead the world by our example."

Greeks Worsened Fire Disaster by Illegal Bldgs.; Bldgs. in Wooded Areas Blocked Escape Routes

Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos said today (July 26, 2018) that illegal construction contributed to one of the country's worst-ever wildfire disasters, according to the BBC website.

He asserted that building by residents between wooded areas was a crime that had resulted in blocking escape routes.The Greek government did not authorize the construction of the buildings.

Kammenos was confronted by angry locals as he visited areas devastated by fires east of Athens this week.

At least 83 people died and search teams fear they will find more victims as dozens are still missing.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Erdogan Defames Israel as Fascist,Racist State; Netanyahu Asserts Turkey Is Dark Dictatorship

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday Turkey was becoming a "dark dictatorship" as he hit back at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's harsh criticism of a "racist" new Israeli law, the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reportrs today (July 25, 2018).

"Erdogan is massacring Syrians and Kurds and has imprisoned tens of thousands of his citizens," Netanyahu said in a statement.

He added, "Turkey under Erdogan is becoming a dark dictatorship, while Israel is meticulously maintaining equal rights for all its citizens, before and after the law."

Earlier yesterday, Erdogan branded Israel "the world's most Zionist, fascist and racist state" and compared Netanyahu to Hitler, after the the Israeli parliament passed a law defining Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

Card. O'Malley Calls for Stricter Abuse Policies; Wants Bishops Who Shield Priests Accountable

Roman Catholic Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston -- Pope Francis' point man on clergy sexual abuse -- is calling for an assessment of standards and clearer procedures for bishops accused of misconduct, the Religion News website reports today (July 25, 2018).

O'Malley's forceful call yesterday comes in response to ongoing news reports that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick -- the retired archbishop of Washington -- sexually abused several boys and men.

As the head of the papal commission on clergy sex abuse, O'Malley is considered the most senior critic of the church's response to the decades-old scandal.  He has long pushed for bishops to be held accountable if they shield priests suspected of sexual abuse.

O"Malley was brought in to lead the Archdiocese of Boston in 2002 after the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law, who was accused of covering up for dozens of priests who had sexually abused minors.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Wildfires Kill at Least 74 Near Athens, Greece; Rage on Seaside Resorts, Fueled by Gail Winds

Wildfires raged through seaside resorts near the Greek capital of Athens today (July 24, 2018), torching homes, cars and forests as they killed at least 74 people, according to the CBS News website.

Twenty-six of the dead were found huddled together in a compound, while some bodies were recovered from the sea where they had fled to escape the flames and smoke. Most of the casualties appeared to have occurred in Rafina, a beach resort just northeast of Athens.

Greece endures wildfires every summer, but the fires that broke out yesterday were the deadliest to hit the country since 2007. Fueled by gale-force winds, they trapped hundreds of people on beaches, roads, and homes.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras declared three days of national mourning. There were fears the death toll could rise even further, as there was no definitive count of how many people were missing.

Israel Shoots Down Syrian Jet Over Its Land; Israeli Missiles Slam Jet in 1.2 Miles of Israel

Israel shot down a Syrian Sukhoi fighter jet today (July 24, 2018) after the aircraft infiltrated Israeli airspace while flying over the Golan Heights, according to the Fox News website.

The jet flew about 1.2 miles into Israeli airspace before it was hit by a pair of Patriot missiles, the Israel Defense Forces said.

It is unclear what happened to the pilots.

Today's incident is the first downing of a Syrian jet since a U.S. Navy F-18 Super Hornet shot one down over Syria in June 2017 after the Syrian plane fired on U.S.-backed Syrian rebel forces.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Trump to Iran:"NEVER THREATEN US AGAIN;" Asserts Doing So Will Lead to Iran's Obliteration

President Donald Trump issued an all-caps threat to Iran late last night after the country's president said earlier in the day that pursuing hostilities against his country could lead to "the mother of all wars," the Yahoo News website reports today (July 23, 2018).


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani issued his threat to the U.S. at a gathering of diplomats.

Rouhani said, "Mr. Trump, don't play with the lion's tail, this will only lead to regret. America should know that war with Iran is the mother of all wars."

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Egypt Blasts Israeli Nation-State Law as Racist; Says It Undermines Chances of Achieving Peace

Egypt joined other Arab countries yesterday in denouncing Israel for sanctioning "racial segregation" against Palestinians by passing the controversial nation-state legislation into law last week, the Times of Israel website reports today (July 22, 2018).

The law -- passed by Israel's Knesset on July 19 -- enshrines Israel for the first time as "the national home of the Jewish people."

Yesterday, Egypt slammed the new Israeli law, saying it "consolidates the notion of occupation and racial segregation, and undermines the chances of achieving peace and reaching a just and comprehensive resolution to the Palestinian issue."

Critics in Israel and abroad -- including a plethora of Diaspora Jews -- have fiercely derided the new law as being discriminatory and unnecessary.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Man Stabs at Least 14 on Bus in Lubeck,Germany; Police Arrest Stabber, Won't Rule Out Terrrorism

At least 14 people were injured -- two seriously -- in a "mass stabbing" yesterday on a bus with about 70 passengers in Lubeck, Germany, the Mirror (British) website reports today (July 21, 2018).

Police are not ruling out terrorism as a motive after the man dropped a backpack on the bus and stabbed the passengers at random.

Some passengers ran screaming from the bus, while others took on the attacker.

Police raced to the scene and arrested the man. He has not been identified, but is believed to be of Iranian background.

Friday, July 20, 2018

No. of Americans on Food Stamps Drops Sharply; Over 8M Fewer on Program Since Obama Admin.

The number of Americans on food stamps has dropped significantly during the past year, The New American website reports today (July 20, 2018).

Enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program -- better known as food stamps -- fell to 39.6 million last April, the most recent government data show.

That's down from a record 47.8 million in 2012, but as a share of the population it's just back to where it was as the economy emerged from the longest and deepest downturn since the Great Depression.

All in all, 8.2 million fewer Americans are using the program, a 17.5 percent drop since the days of the Obama administration.

Christians Seek Expanding Family Med.Leave Act; Call for Paid Family Leave for a Better Family Life

A prominent Christian think tank has come out fiercely in favor of better family leave policies, defending federally mandated family leave policies on theological grounds, the Vox website reports today (July 20, 2018).

"Christian families can form themselves along a divine vision of work and family as holistic complements," a report released July 17 reads.

The report -- authored by Katelyn Beaty and Rachael Anderson of the Center for Public Justice -- advocates for changes on a federal scale, calling for an expansion of the Family Medical Leave Act.

"Christian teaching recognizes families' crucial role in society to nurture and protect the sacredness of life at all stages," the center said. "Paid family leave is an important way to promote family life and family cohesion, particularly for the many households that cannot otherwise afford to elect family care over paid work."

Thursday, July 19, 2018

NFL Freezes Anthem Protest Policy on Standing; Holds Talks with Players' Assoc. to Resolve Issue

The National Football League (NFL) put on hold today (July 19, 2018) its policy requiring players on the field to stand for the national anthem or be fined, according to the Washington Times website.

In a statement, the league said it was engaged in "confidential" talks with the NFL Players Association to resolve a grievance the union filed last week against the league.

"In order to allow this constructive dialogue to continue, we have come to a standstill agreement on the NFLPA's grievance and on the NFL's anthem policy," the NFL said in a statement.

It added, "No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing."

Israel Passes Law Making It Nation-State of Jews; Law Flares Up Israeli Groups,Jews Around World

The Knesset, Israel's legislature, passed a controversial law today (July 19, 2018) making Israel the "nation-state of the Jewish people," angering groups in Israel and Jews around the world, according to the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website.

The so-called Nationality Law enshrines in Israel's quasi-constitutional Basic Law that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people.

It passed today after hours of contentious debate by a vote of 62-55, with two abstentions.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, in a statement called it "a sad and unnecessary day for Israeli democracy." He said, "The damage that will be done by this new Nation-State law to the legitimacy of the Zionist vision and to the values of the state of Israel as a democratic -- and Jewish -- nation is enormous..."

Cal. Man Pleads Guilty to Terrorism Charges; Attempted to Provide Financial Support to IS

A California man pleaded guilty yesterday to opening social media accounts to provide support to the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, the Reuters website reports today (July 19, 2018).

Amer Sinan Alhaggagi, 23, said he opened Twitter and Facebook accounts for two people he believed to be Islamic State supporters.

Alhaggagi pleaded guilty to a charge of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist group and three unrelated charges connected with use of a stolen credit card to buy clothing.

The Muslim of Yemeni ancestry is scheduled to be sentenced in November.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Police Find $63K Hidden in Priest's Ceiling Tile; Priest Charged with Embezzling $5M from Parish

Police said today (July 18, 2018) they found more than $63,000 in cash during a search of the home of a Catholic priest charged with embezzling more than $5 million from an Okemos, Michigan parish, according to the USA Today website.

The money was found above the ceiling tiles in the basement of the Rev. Jonathan Wehrle's lavish home, Michigan State Police said today.

The search was conducted yesterday and turned up $63,392, most of it in $2,000 bundles of $20-bills marked as being from St. Martha Parish and School, police said.

Investigators believe the money was embezzled from the parish, where Wehrle was pastor. So far, over $1.1 million in assets has been seized in connection with the investigation. Wehrle's trial is scheduled to begin August 13 in Ingham County Circuit Court.

Study: Online Anti-Semitism in Germany Soars; Anti-Semitism Mounts Over 22% in Last Decade

A new study by anti-Semitism expert Monika Schwartz-Friesel has found that the amount of German anti-Semitic content on the internet has grown massively in the last 10 years, permeates mainstream society, and is increasingly extreme, the Times of Israel website reports today (July 18, 2018).

Released today, the research project studied 300,000 pieces of German internet content between 2014 and 2018, with a focus on social media.

During the first year of the study, slightly less than 23 percent of the content was classified as anti-Semitic. In 2017, this number had increased to over 30 percent.

A similar study conducted by Schwartz-Friesel in 2007 found only 7.5 percent of the internet content examined to be anti-Semitic, indicating an increase of more than 22 percent over the last decade.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Ocasio-Cortez Says Israel Conducted "Massacre;" Rips Israeli Killings of Palestinians on Gaza Strip

Upstart Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has defended her recent comments describing Israeli military killings at the Israel-Gaza Strip border as a "massacre," the Free Beacon website reports today (July 17, 2018).

Ocasio-Cortez, 28, a native of Puerto Rico, defeated U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D.,N.Y.) in a congressional primary last month.

She explained that she sees Palestinians being killed as no more different than if American protesters were killed by the U.S. government.

Ocasio-Cortez said she "absolutely" believes Israel has a right to exist. She added, "I am a firm believer in finding a two-state solution on this [the Israeli-Palestinian] issue..."

Monday, July 16, 2018

Episcopal Church Approves Same-Sex Marriage; Priest Can Conduct Ceremony without Bishop OK

Episcopal leaders decided on July 13 that same-sex couples will now be able to marry in their home parish, even if their local bishop has moral objections to gay marriage, the Religion News website reports today (July 16, 2018).

Meeting in Austin, Texas at their triennial convention, the House of Bishops and House of Deputies of the church, approved the resolution after days of debate.

Under the new rule, couples can request gender-neutral marriage rites in the church where they worship.

Even if the local bishop opposes same-sex weddings, the priest of the parish can still conduct the ceremony, requesting "pastoral support" from a bishop in another diocese if necessary.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Over 174 Rockets,Mortar Shells Fired at Israel; IDF Strikes Gaza with a Huge Bombing Attack

Terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip launched over 174 rockets and mortar shells at southern Israel yesterday, injuring three people and damaging buildings, the Times of Israel website reports today (July 15, 2018).

In response, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) launched its largest bombing campaign against Hamas targets in Gaza since the 2014 Gaza war.

Two Palestinian teenagers were killed in the Israeli strikes, and 25 others were injured by shrapnel.

The Israeli army said it held Hamas responsible for all violence emanating from Gaza, which the terror group has ruled since 2007.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

US Indicts 12 Russians in 2016 Election Hacks; Intel Reps Allegedly Hacked Democratic Emails

The U.S. Justice Department said yesterday that 12 Russian intelligence officers were indicted on charges they hacked into Democratic email accounts during the 2016 presidential election and released stolen information in the months before Americans headed to the polls, the Newser website reports today (July 14, 2018).

The indictment is the clearest allegation yet on Russian efforts to meddle in American politics.

The indictment lays out a coordinated effort to break into key Democratic email accounts, including those belonging to the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton campaign, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The hackers were members of an intelligence agency in the Russian military.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Trump Slams London Mayor's Terrorism Record; Muslim Mayor Flies Blimp with Trump in Diaper

President Donald Trump -- in a recent interview with the British newspaper "The Sun" -- attacked London Mayor Sadiq Khan over rising crime rates in London and the unprecedented number of terror attacks in the city, the Daily Caller website reports today (July 13, 2018).

"Take a look at the terrorism that is taking place... I think he has done a very bad job on terrorism," Trump declared.

The president added, "I think he has not been hospitable to a government that is very important. Now he might not like the current President, but I represent the United States."

Trump has long had a feud with the current mayor of London, who is a Muslim. The mayor insulted Trump during his recent visit to London by approving the flight of a large blimp depicting Trump in a diaper.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Trump: Shame on Pfizer for Raising Drug Prices; Drug Co.Ends Higher Prices after Trump Rebuke

Last week, Pfizer pharmaceutical giant jacked up the price of several dozen prescription drugs, but this week -- after a harsh criticism from President Trump -- the drug company has agreed to undo the price hikes following a meeting between President Trump and Pfizer CEO Ian Read, the Newser website reports today (July 11, 2018).

"The company will return these prices to their pre-July 1 levels as soon as technically possible," Pfizer announced in a statement.

"We applaud Pfizer for this decision and hope other companies do the same. Great news for the American people!," the president tweeted yesterday after Pfizer's decision to rescind the price increase.

Before Pfizer's decision to undo its price increase, Trump had tweeted "Pfizer and others should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason. They are merely taking advantage of the poor and others unable to defend themselves... We will respond!"

Trump to NATO: Germany Controlled by Russia; Says Russian Gas Pipeline to Germany Is Unwise

In a combative start to his NATO summit meeting in Brussels, President Donald Trump today (July 11, 2018) asserted that a pipeline project has made Germany "totally controlled" by and "captive to Russia," according to the Time website.

Trump, in a testy exchange with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, took issue with the U.S. protecting Germany as it strikes a deal with Russia, warning the deal will give Moscow greater leverage over Western Europe.

"I have to say, I think it's very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where we're supposed to be guarding against Russia," Trump said at breakfast with Stoltenberg.

The president was referring to the Nord Stream 2 undersea pipeline that would bring gas from Russia to Germany's northeastern Baltic coast, bypassing Eastern European nations like Poland and Ukraine, and doubling the amount of gas Russia can send directly to Germany.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

IS Suicide Bomber Kills a Least 12 in Afghanistan; Most Victims Were Children Working at Car Wash

The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in eastern Afghanistan today (July 10, 2018) that killed at least 12 people, according to the Free Beacon website.

The attack occurred in Jalalabad, the provincial capital.

In addition to the 12 killed, five others were wounded, according to a spokesman for the provincial governor.

Sohrab Qaderi, a member of the provincial council, said "most of the victims were children who were working at a car wash close to the suicide bombing site."

Trump Ripped for Berating Europe's NATO Fees; EU Pres. Tusk: Trump Must Appreciate US Allies

Donald Trump was told yesterday to stop berating European countries over how much they spend on their military forces, the Euro News website reports today (July 10, 2018).

The U.S. President often complains that Washington pays too much into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military alliance of several European countries, the U.S., and Canada.

Donald Tusk, president of the European Union (EU), hit back at Trump on the eve of the NATO summit in Brussels.

"Dear America, appreciate your allies, you don't have that many," Tusk said after signing a statement on cooperation between the EU and NATO.

Monday, July 9, 2018

CDC Director: Opioid Epidemic Worse Than Aids; Sees Opioids as "Public Health Crisis of Our Time"

The federal government's top disease fighter -- who built his career battling the emergence of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s -- says the opioid epidemic will be even worse, the Worthy News website reports today (July 9, 2018).

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, has called the overprescription  and abuse of painkillers the "public health crisis of our time."

He added it will take a massive effort to combat the problem.

"I would say the opioids-fueled epidemic is clearly already more deadly than the AIDS epidemic ever was," Dr. Redfield asserted.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Ind. Church Gone for Posting Anti-LGBT Sign; Forced Out for Posting "LGBT Is a Hate Crime"

An Indiana church has been evicted from its building after it posted an anti-LGBT sign, the Yahoo News website reports today (July 8, 2018).

"LGBT is a hate crime against God," the sign said, at the Remnant Fellowship Church in Auburn, Indiana.

Church elder Robert Sturges said while the church does "love" those who the sign targeted, it wants to warn them that ... "if they keep going that way they'll be destroyed."

Sturges added that "the Bible clearly says that those who practice these things will not inherit the Kingdom of God..."

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Pope:Only Dialogue Can Bring Peace to Mideast; Mideast Christians Are Treated as "Full Citizens"

Closing an ecumenical encounter with Catholic and Orthodox Christian leaders from the Middle East, Pope Francis said today (July 7, 2018) that "truces maintained by walls and displays of power will not lead to peace," but only a concrete desire to engage in dialogue will work, according to the Crux website.

He demanded that Christians in the Middle East are treated as "full citizens."

The pope also addressed the need for peace in Jerusalem, saying only a negotiated solution between Israelis and Palestinians will lead to a lasting peace.

The pope's words came at the closing of an ecumenical encounter he hosted in the southern Italian city of Bari, a pilgrimage site for Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Christians.

Friday, July 6, 2018

China:Trump Began Biggest Trade War in History; Vows to Retaliate with Its Own Tariffs against U.S.

China today (July 6, 2018) vowed to fire back at the Trump administration for starting "the biggest trade war in economic history," as U.S. tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods took effect today, according to The Daily Beast website.

China said it would be "forced to make a necessary counterattack" to the Trump administration's "trade bullying" but did not specify when its retaliatory tariffs would take effect.

The Chinese government also said it would report the U.S. to the WTO (World Trade Organization) for the U.S. action.

Trump also recently announced an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese products to be considered for new tariffs.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Woman Nabbed for Climbing Statue of Liberty; Did So to Protest Trump's Immigration Policies

A woman was arrested yesterday after she climbed the Statue of Liberty to protest the Trump administration's immigration policies, the UPI website reports today (July 5, 2018).

Theresa Patricia Okoumou, 44, was part of a previous protest at the base of the Statue of Liberty, where several activists held a rally against Trump's immigration policies.

Okoumou walked to another part of the statue base where she climbed the statue.

NYPD Officer Brin Glacken said it took about three hours to convince Okoumou to come down. Officers arrested her and charged her with interfering with national park regulations, trespassing, and disorderly conduct.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Mark Darling Quits as Pastor of MN Megachurch; Due to Improper Conduct with Female Members

Pastor Mark Darling -- one of the founding members of the multi-campus Evergreen Church in Minnesota and lead pastor of the Rock Church in South Minneapolis -- has resigned from the church after an independent investigation concluded he was involved in "inappropriate conduct" with female member, the Christian Post website reports today (July 4, 2018).

Darling's ordination was also rescinded by the Board of Trustees of the nondenominational church he started with Pastor Brent Knox in the 1980s, before he announced his resignation.

The Board of Trustees explained that after they were made aware of the allegations of misconduct regarding Darling on January 30, they commissioned an independent investigation on February 9.

Evergreen was founded as a church for people seeking an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ and desiring to have a compassionate impact on the Twin Cities of Minnesota.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Most Jews Now Live in Israel, No Longer in US; Due to Surge in Number of Jews Moving There

The largest concentration of Jewish people -- more than six million -- now live in Israel, compared to 5.7 million living in the U.S., according to Israeli Aliyah and Integration Minister Sofa Landver, the World Israel News website reports today (July 3, 2018).

The past year has sen a significant surge in the number of Jews immigrating to Israel.

The ministry has increased assistance for entrepreneurs and has seen a rise in the number of businesses that have opened.

Israel is now the home of the world's largest Jewish Community, followed by the U.S., France, the UK, Ukraine, and Russia.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Brazilian Mom Says Pope Hid Son's Sex Abuse; Did So in 2002 When He Was Abp.of Buenos Aires

A Brazilian mother is accusing Pope Francis of covering up the sex abuse of her son by a pedophile priest 16 years ago when the pope -- then known as Jorge Bergoglio -- was the archbishop of Buenos Aires, the WND (World Net Daily) website reports exclusively today (July 2, 2018).

Beatriz Varela was employed in a diocesan school when the abuse of her son, Gabriel Ferrini, then 14, took place on August 15, 2002.

"Initially, he showed consternation, but, as the time went by, he did not take any action," Varela said.

"Instead," she said, he "tried to minimize the case, saying that I had to be merciful with persons who chose celibacy as a vocation because they have moments of weakness..."

Israel Sends Tanks,Cannons to Golan Heights; Due to Mil. Offensive by Syrian Dictator Assad

The Israeli military has sent additional tanks and artillery cannons to the Syrian Golan Heights due to a renewed offensive by dictator Bashar Assad and the Russian military against the remaining rebel holdouts in the country's southwest, the Times of Israel website reports today (July 2, 2018).

"This was done as part of IDF preparations and preparedness in light of developments in the Syrian Golan Heights near the border," the IDF said in a statement.

The military vowed a "determined response" to any strike that hits Israeli territory from Syria.

"The IDF sees great importance in maintaining the armistice agreement between Israel and Syria from 1974," the army said.