Friday, July 31, 2020

Fauci "Cautiously Optimistic" for COVID Vaccine; Tells Congress US May Have Vaccine by 2020 End

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States' top expert on infectious diseases, expressed "cautious" optimism in Congress today (July 31, 2020) that a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19 will be available this fall or early winter, according to the UPI website.

Fauci testified in the U.S. House of Representatives that a vaccine could be developed by the end of this year.

Fauci cited a 30,000-patient clinical trial by Moderna that began July 27.

"We are cautiously optimistic that this will be successful," he said of Moderna's trial vaccine.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Commerce Dept.:US Economy in Worst Qtr,Ever; US Businesses Slide to Halt to Slow COVID Spike

The U.S. economy just suffered its worst quarter ever, the Commerce Department said today (July30,  2020), according to the NPR News website.

The gross domestic product -- the broadest measure of economic activity -- shrank 32.9%  during April, May, and June.

America's businesses ground to a halt during the last quarter in a desperate effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The numbers continue to paint a grim picture as another 1.43 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Arson at Nantes Church Shows French Rel.Drop; Number of Practicing French Cath. Drops to 5%

For French Catholics, the recent fire at the cathedral of Nantes is yet another sign that their  Roman Catholic religion is in danger, the Religion News website reports today (July 29, 2020).

Over the past week, the French were upset to learn that the fire was deliberately set by one of their own.

A man who worked as an altar server at the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul in Nantes, France confessed on July 26 to setting the fire that damaged the historic Gothic church.

While Catholics make up 41% of the French population, the number of practicing faithful may be as low as 5%.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

COVID Pandemic Raises Risk of Modern Slavery; Report: Migrants, Refugees, Visa Temps Affected

In its first annual report released today (July 28, 2020), the Australian Anti-Catholic Slavery Network has found the risk of modern slavery has been increased by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Catholic News website.

ACAN warns that migrants, refugees, and temporary visa holders now find themselves in more insecure work because of the current downturn.

ACAN, which was founded in December 2019, brings together 32 Catholic entities including dioceses, schools, universities, and several organizations.

It is coordinated by the Anti-Slavery Taskforce of the Sydney Archdiocese.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Fla. Surpasses NY in Number of COVID-19 Cases; NY Has Had Most Deaths of Any State with 32K

Florida yesterday became the second state after California to overtake New York in the number of coronavirus cases, the Reuters website reports today (July 27, 2020).

Total COVID-19 cases in Florida rose to 423,855, one place behind California, which now leads
the U.S. with 448,497 cases.

New York is in third place with 415,827 cases.

New York has recorded the most deaths of any U.S. state at more than 32,000.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Biden Calls for More Islam in US Public Schools; Vows to Include More Muslims in Everyday Issues

Democratic Party leader for President, Joe Biden, told a Muslim audience he wants public schools to teach more Islam, the WND website reports today (July 26, 2020).

He was addressing the "Million Muslim Votes" summit hosted by the Muslim political action committee Engage Action.

"I wish we taught more in our schools about the Islamic faith," said Biden.

He promised that as president he would incorporate the idea of Muslim Americans on everyday issues.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Italy Loses Billions in US Tourism This Year; COVID-19 Discourages Millions from Visiting

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Italy has lost billions of dollars in American tourism this year, the Drudge Report website reports today (July 25, 2020).

Some six million U.S, travelers usually choose Italy for their vacation each year.

As Europe transitions out of the emergency phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, only a handful of non-EU nations have been added to a "safe list for essential travel only."

Europe receives about 16 million arrivals from the U.S. each year, with almost half concentrated across Italy, so the loss this year for Italy is significant.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Trump Admin. Orders 100M Doses of COVID Vaccine; Trump Calls Pfizer Agreement "Historic" Event

The Trump administration yesterday announced an agreement with Pfizer for production and nationwide delivery of 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, the Christian Headlines website reports today (July 24, 2020).

The announcement was the latest step in Operation Warp Speed, a Trump administration project that has a goal to distribute a vaccine nationwide by January 2021.

The Department of Defense will deliver the vaccine to the U.S.

President Trump yesterday called it a "historic agreement."

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Federal Agents Tear-Gas Portland Mayor; Mayor Was Guarding Courthouse during Protests

The mayor of Portland, Oregon was tear-gassed by the U.S. government last night as he stood at a fence guarding a federal courthouse during a night of protests against the presence of federal agents sent by President Trump to quell unrest in the city, the Newser website reports today (July 23, 2020). 

Mayor Ted Wheeler, a Democrat, said it was the first time he had been gassed.

Around Wheeler, the protests raged with demonstrators lighting a large fire near the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse. 

The mayor has opposed federal agents' presence in Oregon's largest city. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Shootout at Chicago Funeral Injures 14 People; Unidentified People in Black SUV Opened Fire

A drive-by shooting at a Chicago funeral last night has left more than a dozen people injured and hospitalized, the Daily Beast website reports today (July 22, 2020).

People in a black van were driving by a funeral home in Chicago's Gresham neighborhood when they opened fire.

The attendees returned the fire, though none of the people in the van were reported injured.

All told, 14 adults were shot.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

U,of Oxford May Have COVID-19 Vaccine by Yr. End; Testing Vaccine Produced Immune COVID Responsee

The University of Oxford in England could develop a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year, the Reuters website reports today (July 21, 2020).

The experimental vaccine, which has been licensed by AstraZeneca, produced an immune response in early stage clinical trials.

So far, there have been no approved vaccines for COVID-19.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Three Cal. Churches Sue State's Singing Ban; Claim Banning Church Music Is Unconst. Abuse of Power

Three evangelical churches in California sued Gov. Gavin Newsom for banning singing and chanting in places of worship, while permitting such activities elsewhere, the Christian Headlines website reports today (July 20, 2020).

The complaint was filed in federal district court by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) and two other legal groups.

"Banning singing in California churches is an unconstitutional abuse of power," said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of ACLJ.

The plaintiffs argue that the singing ban "specifically and discriminatorily targets places of worship."

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Arson Suspected at Nantes Church Fire in France; Images Show Fire Started in 3 Separate Locations

Images showing the charred interior of the 15th-century cathedral in Nantes, France, appear to point to three separate outbreaks of flames leaving damaged the Gothic gem yesterday, indicating probable arson, the RT website reports today (July 19, 2020).

The blaze destroyed the grand organ at the Cathedral of St. Pierre and St. Paul, blew out the stained glass windows at the front of the building, and consumed a valuable 19th-century painting sent from Rome.

Nantes Prosecutor Pierre Sennes confirmed there had been three fire hotspots in the building and said "an arson investigation has been opened."

More than 100 firefighters were dispatched to extinguish the blaze.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

No. of Christians Allowed in US Drops Sharply; Canada Now Takes In More Refugees Than US

The number of Christian refugees being allowed in the U.S. is down 90 percent from 2015, the CBN website reports today (July 18, 2020).

This year, the Trump administration cut the refugee ceiling to 18,000. That number includes all Christians and non-Christians.

The historic average numbers were closer to 81,000 and the 2016 Obama administration cap reached 110,000.

The U.S. is no longer the leading harbor for refugees. In 2018, Canada took in 28,000, while only 22,000 refugees came into the U.S.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Church Gives $1K to Each Town Police Officer; Tenn. Baptist Church Wanted to Praise Officers

A small-town church in Tennessee is receiving national attention after honoring its local police department in a public ceremony with a gift of $1,000 for each officer, the Christian Headlines website reports today (July 17, 2020).

The congregation, Lighthouse Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Tenn., wanted to encourage the officers in light of criticism police have received nationally in recent months.

All total, it cost the church $23,000 to honor Jonesboro's entire police force of 23 officers.

The  ceremony was so unique that Lighthouse Baptist Church pastor Perry Cleek was invited to the White House for a July 13 event on law enforcement.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Rel.Ad Urges Republicans to Vote against Trump; Says Trump's Actions,Rhetoric Mock Christianity

A new political ad calls on Republican Christian voters to turn against Donald Trump this November, arguing the president's rhetoric and actions are out of step with their faith, the Religion News Service website reports today (July 16, 2020).

The ad -- released on July 14 -- features several Republicans discussing Trump and his presidency, as a piano softly plays the hymn "Amazing Grace" in the background.

The speakers juxtapose Trump's rhetoric and behavior -- such as a video in June of a supporter shouting "white power" -- alongside appeals to Christian teaching and Scripture.

"I was taught the principle that we should love our neighbor as ourselves," a Republican says in the ad.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

US Has Good News from COVID Vaccine Trial; This Is Best News for Ending COVID Pandemic

A vaccine against COVID-19 is entering its final stage of testing following promising results, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government's top infections disease expert, the Euro News website reports today (July 15, 2020).

Fauci said, "No matter how you slice it, this is good news."

Developed at the National Institutes of Health at Moderna Inc., the crucial stage of the trial begins around July 27 -- a 30,000-person study -- to find out if injections are strong enough to protect against coronavirus.

The first 45 volunteers who underwent testing with the vaccine were found to have had an immune system boost, as scientists had hoped.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Iraqi Christians Now under Threat of Extinction; Sectarian Tensions Drive Christians Out of Area

An international humanitarian aid organization has found that Christian living in the formerly ISIS-controlled Nineveh Plains of Iraq are now in danger of extinction, the Christian Post website reports today (July 14, 2020).

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) published a report this week in which it states that political and sectarian tensions are driving Christians out of the area. 

ACN conducted several surveys to identify and report on challenges facing Christian living.

"The findings ... make clear that restoring the stability of the Christian community in this post-conflict region is only possible with a concerted effort focusing on security, education, and reconstruction," the ACN report states.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Jehovah's Witnesses Place Conventions Online; Reject In-Person Conventions Due to COVID-19

The Jehovah's Witnesses have canceled their large-scale in-person annual three-day conventions around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Religion News website reports today (July 13, 2020).

It is the first time since 1897 that the Witnesses will not hold their in-person conventions.

Instead, they will meet online.

The conventions will be free to stream and will be available in over 360 languages at

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Woman Dies Due to Attending a "COVID Party;" Felt It Was OK to Attend Party of COVID Carrier

A 30-year-old woman, who died last week at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, Texas after attending a so-called "COVID party,"realized before she died that the dangers of being close to a COVID carrier are indeed real, the ABC News website reports today (July 12, 2020).

The final words of the unidentified woman before her death were: "I think I made a mistake. I thought this was a hoax, but it's not."

Dr. Jane Appleby, chief medical officer for Methodist Hospital, said in a recorded statement that the unidentified patient told nurses about the party, which she said was hosted by someone diagnosed with coronavirus.

Appleby said she shared the story to make sure people understand that the virus can affect anyone.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Turkish Court Rules Hagia Sofia Can Be a Mosque; UNESCO Says It Needs to OK Its Museum Change

A Turkish court ruled this week that Istanbul's famous Hagia Sofia -- originally built as a breathtaking Greek Orthodox Church -- can be converted from a museum into a mosque, the Yahoo News website reports today (July 11, 2020).

Turkey's current president, Tayyip Erdogan, has been pushing for the site to be a place of Muslim worship, but the court ruling is likely to bring global condemnation.

The World Heritage site was at the center of both the Christian Byzantine and Muslim Ottoman empires and is today one of Turkey's most visited monuments.

UNESCO said that it must be notified of any change in the status of Hagia Sofia museum and a change may need to be approved by its World Heritage committee.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Fauci: May Be Aerosol Transmission of COVID-19; Number of Cases in the US Has Surged to Over 3M

The new coronavirus is likely spreading through the air to some degree, the top U.S. infectious disease official said today (July 10, 2020), one day after the World Health Organization (WHO) urged further studies on the ways the virus is transmitted, according to the Reuters website.

"Still some question about aerosol but likely some degree of aerosol," Anthony Fauci, the head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a panel session of a COVID-19 conference.

The number of cases in the U.S. has surged to more than 3 million, as states that quickly reopened bars and restaurants have reported sharp increases.

Fauci said that to battle the global virus, there needed to be multiple vaccine candidates. Vaccine makers are aiming to have hundreds of millions of doses ready for early next year, and as many as one billion in some cases, he said.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Harvard,MIT,Northeastern Sue Feds on Ed Policy; Barring Foreign Students from US Studies Is Bias

Northeastern University in Boston last night announced it was joining Harvard University and MIT in a lawsuit against the U.S.Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) over a new rule that threatened many international students with deportation, the MSN website reports today (July 9, 2020).

The new federal policy said students whose courses no longer had an in-person element because of the COVID-19 pandemic, would lose their permission to be in the U.S. and might get deported.

The federal order means students taking only online courses would have to transfer to courses with some in-person instruction or leave the country.

Harvard President Lawrence Bacow wrote in an email yesterday:"We believe that the ICE order is bad public policy, and we believe that it is illegal."

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Trump Rips Fauci on Negative COVID Comments; Claims US Is in "Good Place" Despite Virus Surge

President Donald Trump yesterday publicly criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci for his comments on the coronavirus pandemic, and said the U.S. is in a "good place"despite a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Newsmax website reports today (July 8, 2020).

"We've done a good job," Trump added. "I think we are going to be in two, three, four weeks in very good shape."

Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, earlier yesterday warned against "false complacency" in the dropping death rate among coronavirus patients.

Nearly three million people have been infected with coronavirus, and more than 130,000 Americans have died from the virus.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Brazilian President Tests Positive for COVID-19; Repeatedly Downplayed Dangers of Coronavirus

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has consistently downplayed the dangers of coronavirus, revealed his own positive test result of the virus on national TV today (July 7, 2020), according to the NPR website.

He is just the second major world leader -- after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson -- to confirm he contacted the virus.

With more than 1.6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, Brazil holds the world's second-largest outbreak, behind only the U.S.

More than 65,000 people in Brazil have died from coronavirus, which again stands only second to the number of deaths in the U.S.

Monday, July 6, 2020

New Data: Easier for Blacks,Latinos to Get COVID; Twice as Likely as Whites to Die from Coronavirus

A secret CDC (Centers for Disease Control) report obtained by the New York Times reveals that Black and Latino Americans -- and in some cases Native Americans -- are far more likely to contact coronavirus and to fare worse than their white counterparts once they get it, the Daily Beast website reports today (July 6, 2020).

The CDC found that ethnicity plays a major role in disease outcomes in the U.S. and that Black and Latino people have been more affected throughout hundreds of countries.

The report shows that Latino and Black Americans have been tree times as likely as their white neighbors to contact COVID-19.

They are also twice as likely as their white neighbors to die from it, no matter where they live in the U.S.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Why Year 2020 Feels Like the Longest Yr. Ever; Only Half Over, 2020 Already Is a Very Sad Year

It seems like 2020 started a decade ago -- and yet it's only half over -- the NY Daily News website reports today (July 5, 2020).

We rang in with high hopes and lofty resolutions, then dropped into a downward spiral of death and despair.

Beyond the coronavirus pandemic, we're dealing with unemployment at its highest level since the Great Depression, a divisive presidential election, and the repeated deaths of unarmed black people at the hands of racist police officers.

Today can perhaps best be compared to the U.S. in 1970 when Ohio National Guard members opened fire on anti-Vietnam war protesters at Kent State University, killing four students and wounding nine others.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Man Nabbed for Ripping 10 Command. Mon.; Hooked Monument on Truck and Drove Away

A Montana man has been arrested for destroying a Ten Commandments monument in Kalispell, Mont. yesterday, the WND website reports today (July 4, 2020).

Officers from the Kalispell Police Department arrested Anthony Weimer, 30, of Columbia Falls, Mont.

No reason was given for taking down the monument.

The monument was hooked to a truck with a chain around it and driven a distance before being released, and the truck driven away.  Witnesses gave police a description of the truck used in the incident and police were able to track down Weimer, who faces a charge of  felony of criminal mischief.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Boston to Remove Lincoln Statue with Free Slave; Replica of Original Emancipation Memorial in DC

Boston city officials have decided to remove a statue of Abraham Lincoln that depicts the 16th president freeing a slave, the Christian Headlines website reports today (July 3, 2020).

The Emancipation Group statue in Boston is a replica of the original Emancipation Memorial in Washington, D.C.

It shows Lincoln standing over a slave named Archer Alexander who is on one knee but is no longer in bondage. 

A petition calling for the statue's removal gained more than 12,000 signatures.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Ex-CIA Head:Trump Lacks Action amid COVID; Panetta Claims Trump Fails to Lead US in Crisis

A former defense secretary and CIA director said yesterday that Donald Trump has "essentially gone awol (absent without leave) from the job of leadership that he should be providing a country in trouble during the coronavirus pandemic," The Guardian website reports today (July 2, 2020).

Leon Panetta, who served under nine U.S. presidents, accused Trump of surrendering to the virus and abandoning Americans to their fate.

Panetta said top infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci has warned that America may hit 100,000 new cases a day -- twice the current rate.

He added, "We have a president that is not willing to stand up and do what is necessary in order to lead this country during time of major crisis. I have never experienced a president who has avoided that responsibility."

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Trump to Veto Bill Ending Confederate Names; Rejects Plan to Remove Names on Defense Bill

Donald Trump today (July 1, 2020) threatened to veto the defense spending bill -- unless a requirement in it to rename U.S. military bases that honor Confederate leaders is dropped, according to the Daily Beast website.

The legislation, which funds the nation's military operations, is considered a "must pass" bill by Congress.

However, Trump is objecting to an amendment by Sen. Elizabeth Warren that proposes bases named in honor of Confederate leaders be renamed as part of the annual authorization bill.

Warren's amendment to the legislation calls for removing the names of Confederate leaders from all military assets.