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12 O'Clock News

 

Sivan 01, 5777 • A Service of Box 2 Radio Network • 05/26/17

 

 

TOP OF THE NEWS

 

The VA's 'Toxic Culture' (CBN) An Illinois Department of Veterans facility is under fire after being accused of serving veterans food infested by cockroaches. That according to a new report, released Wednesday, by the Office of the Inspector General. "During our unannounced site visit on May 10, 2016, we found dead cockroaches on glue traps dispersed throughout the facility's main kitchen. We observed conditions favorable to pest infestation," said the inspector general in the report. The investigation was sparked by a whistle blower, who reported last year that the Hines, Illinois facility's kitchen was infested with cockroaches. Hospital administrators were aware of the cockroach problem and did nothing to resolve it, according to the report. OIG inspectors reviewed emails from the hospital leadership staff discussing the problem, dating all the way back to 2015. Not only were cockroaches found in the kitchen, OIG investigators observed the bugs on food trays and food transportation carts.

 

Obama Admin Let MS-13 Gang Members into US After They Were Captured at Border (TheBlaze) The Obama administration allowed over a dozen MS-13 gang members to enter the United States after they were caught crossing the border as illegal immigrant teens in 2014, the Washington Times reported, citing the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) noted Customs and Border Protection documents Wednesday, which said the 16 admitted gang members were then taken to juvenile homes throughout the country, the Times said. “CBP apprehended them, knew they were MS-13 gang members, and they processed and disbursed them into our communities,” Johnson said, according to the paper, adding that a whistleblower turned over the documents.

 

TRAVEL BAN BLOCKED (Fox) The Richmond, Va., Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court’s decision blocking President Trump’s ban on issuing visas to citizens of 6 majority-Muslim countries. The full circuit heard arguments on the case on May 8.

 

ON TO THE HIGH COURT (Fox) Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the Justice Department will ask the Supreme Court to review President Trump’s travel ban hours after the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the executive order.

 

 

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION

 

ISIS Jihadists Storm Cathedral, Capture Priest and a Dozen Christians (CBN) Muslim extremists abducted a Catholic priest and more than a dozen churchgoers after laying siege to the southern Philippine city of Marawi overnight, officials said Wednesday. Gunmen took the Christians hostage after storming a cathedral in the southern city in the Philippines island of Mindanao. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has placed 22 million people under military rule because of the threat from ISIS-linked jihadists. "I have a serious problem in Mindanao and the ISIS footprints are everywhere," the president said.

 

 

WORLD

 

U.S. Warship Challenges Beijing's Claims in South China Sea (Reuters) A U.S. Navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, the first such challenge to Beijing in the strategic waterway since U.S. President Donald Trump took office. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS Dewey traveled close to the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbors. China said its warships had warned the U.S. ship and it lodged "stern representations" with the United States. China said it remained resolutely opposed to so-called freedom of navigation operations.

 

Iran Builds New Underground Ballistic Missile Factory (Jerusalem Post) Iran has built a third underground ballistic missile production factory and will keep developing its missile program, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Thursday, in a development likely to fuel tension with Arab neighbors and Washington. "Iran's third underground factory has been built by the Guards in recent years ... We will continue to further develop our missile capabilities forcefully," Fars quoted the head of the Republican Guard’s airspace division, Amirali Hajizadeh, as saying.

 

Senate Panel Backs Bill to Authorize New Sanctions on Iran (1NewsNow) A Senate panel overwhelmingly backed bipartisan legislation that would authorize President Donald Trump to put new sanctions on Iran while keeping the landmark nuclear deal with Tehran in place. The Foreign Relations Committee voted 18-3 on Thursday despite concerns from former Secretary of State John Kerry and several Democrats that the measure could nonetheless lead to the unraveling of the nuclear accord negotiated by the Obama administration.

 

New Developments in Manchester Attack Probe (Jerusalem Post) Two men were arrested in Manchester Thursday morning in connection with Monday's lethal terror attack at the Ariana Grande concert which claimed the lives of at least 22 people and injured scores more. Manchester police has said, according to local media, that one of the men was arrested following a property search in the Withington area of Manchester, while another was detained elsewhere in the city. A third suspect, a local woman, was also arrested Wednesday overnight during an armed raid but was later released without charges. Manchester police detectives carried out the arrests after executing controlled explosions during ongoing searches in the early hours of Thursday morning.

 

Manchester Bomber Passed Through German Airport Just Days Before Attack (1NewsNow) A German magazine reports that the Manchester concert bomber passed through Duesseldorf airport four days before the attack. Citing unnamed federal security sources, ‘Focus’ reports that British-born Salman Abedi twice flew from a German airport in recent years and wasn't on any international watch list. A German security official told The Associated Press on Thursday the report was accurate. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the information hadn't been cleared for public release.

 

US Increased Military aid to Israel Ahead of Trump Visit (Worthy News) - The US has promised to increase military aid to Israel to help maintain the country's military edge in the region as it faces mounting threats from its neighbors, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said as he spoke at Wednesday's Mount Herzl ceremony marking Jerusalem Day. “The US has promised to maintain Israel’s qualitative advantage in the Middle East,” the premier stated. Netanyahu then revealed that three days earlier, before US President Donald Trump's visit to the Jewish state, "the US added another $75 million to the aid package for [Israel's] missile defense program." Trump’s promise to preserve Israel’s advantage came amid concerns in Jerusalem about the recently announced $110 billion US-Saudi Arabia arms deal.

 

IDF Arrests Suspected Terrorists, Cracks Down on Terror Infrastructure Overnight (Jerusalem Post) 22 wanted suspects were arrested overnight on Wednesday in the West Bank and in the Jordan Valley in a joint operation carried out by IDF, Shin Bet and police forces. Those detained are suspected of involvement in local terror activities and in participating in violent demonstrations against civilians and security forces. All suspects will be interrogated by security forces. In a separate operation overnight, forces seized seven vehicles in the West Bank that were used to transfer illegal immigrants. Additionally, forces shut down a print house in Ramallah that was used to produce incitement and propaganda materials.

 

NATO Leaders Meet Under Intense Trump Pressure on Spending (1NewsNow) Meeting fellow NATO leaders for the first time, U.S. President Donald Trump aggressively challenged them Thursday to spend more on their own defense, putting the alliance under exceptional pressure to become tougher, sharper and newly relevant. "Twenty-three of the 28 nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they're supposed to be paying for their defense," Trump said. "This is not fair to the people and the taxpayers of the United States." But the threat of Islamic extremism remained a uniting theme as the specter of Monday's Manchester concert bombing loomed over Thursday's summit at the alliance's new headquarters in Brussels. "That attack shows why it's important for the international community and NATO to do more about the fight against terrorism," British Prime Minister Theresa May said upon arrival.

 

22 GOP Senators Want US to Pull Out of Paris Climate Accord (1NewsNow) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and 21 other Republicans on Thursday urged President Donald Trump to follow through on his campaign pledge to pull out of the Paris climate accord. Most of the senators who signed are from states that depend on the continued burning of coal, oil and gas.

 

 

NATIONAL

 

41,898: ICE Arrests Up 34.5% During Trump’s First 100 Days (CNS) U.S. immigration authorities made more than 41,000 arrests during President Trump’s first 100 days in office, a 34.5 percent increase over the same period in 2016. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests totaled 41,898 between Jan. 20 and April 29, 2017, compared to 31,128 over the same period a year ago, according to spokesperson Danielle Bennett. Of the total number of those arrested in 2017, 30,964 were convicted criminals. A report issued by ICE said offenses of those arrested ranged “from homicide and assault to sexual abuse and drug-related charges.”

 

GOP Candidate Charged with Misdemeanor Assault of Reporter (1NewsNow) Thursday's nationally-watched election for Montana's sole congressional seat got a last-minute twist when the Republican candidate, Greg Gianforte, was charged with misdemeanor assault for grabbing a reporter by the neck and throwing him to the ground. Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin made the announcement shortly before midnight Wednesday in a written statement, about six hours after the attack on reporter Ben Jacobs of The Guardian. Gianforte would face a maximum $500 fine or 6 months in jail if convicted. The statement added that Jacobs' injuries did not meet the legal definition of felony assault.

 

ObamaCare on Federal Exchanges Increased by Average 105% since '13 (Fox) The cost of an individual ObamaCare policy has increased by an average 105 percent from 2013 to 2017 in all 39 states that have used the federal exchange, the Trump administration said Tuesday. A senior Health and Human Services official said the findings are significant because they look at the increases from the time key ObamaCare provisions took effect, compared to most year-to-year studies that fail to show the 2010 law’s “true effect.” The average monthly premiums increased from $224 in 2013 to $476 in 2017, according to the report. The HHS official said the cost doubled in 20 of the states and tripled in three of them. Alabama had the biggest four-year increase, 223 percent, from $178 to $397, the report showed.

 

Did Sean Hannity Just Do His ‘Last Show’? (TheBlaze) Fox News host Sean Hannity announced Wednesday night that he will start his Memorial Day weekend early as rumors swirl about his future at the network. “Uh oh My ANNUAL Memorial Day long weekend starts NOW. Destroy Trump/Conservative media breathless coverage starts! Did Hannity do last show?” the embattled Fox News host tweeted. “The Five” co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle said on-air Wednesday that she will fill in for Hannity Thursday and Friday, the Independent Journal Review reported. News of Hannity’s extended holiday weekend came just a day after Hannity tweeted about his “future at Fox.” “Huge announcement tonight about Seth Rich, Trump/Russian Collusion corrupt media, the liberal effort to silence me. And my future at Fox!” Hannity said Tuesday in a tweet.

 

Poll: Majority says Mainstream Media Publishes Fake News (The Hill) Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the mainstream press is full of fake news, a sentiment that is held by a majority of voters across the ideological spectrum. According to data from the latest Harvard-Harris poll, which was provided exclusively to The Hill, 65 percent of voters believe there is a lot of fake news in the mainstream media. That number includes 80 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents and 53 percent of Democrats.

 

 

TRUMP NEWS

 

President Trump Reveals Contents of His Silent Prayer to God (CBN) President Donald Trump made history on Monday when he became the first sitting U.S. president to pray and leave a note at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Afterward, Trump reportedly revealed the contents of his prayer. According to a quote attributed to Trump and tweeted by Johnnie Moore, a well-known Christian author who is on Trump’s evangelical advisory board, the commander-in-chief sought God’s wisdom while at the wall, the Christian Post reported. “I visited the Western Wall, & marveled at the monument to God’s presence,” Moore quoted Trump. “My hand upon the wall and to pray…for wisdom from God.”

 

Melania Trump Visits Vatican Pediatric Hospital (CBN) First lady Melania Trump has a big heart. The children of Bambino Gesu (Baby Jesus) pediatric hospital know that well. During President Donald Trump's trip to the Vatican, the first lady visited the children's hospital. She toured the cardiac intensive unit as well as the recreation room, where she painted with the children from nine different countries, took selfies with them, and spent time talking to parents. Melania Trump, often praised for her a gracefully stoic expression, smiled continually, obviously relaxed, enjoying her time spent with the youth.

 

 

CULTURAL WARFARE

 

Trump Budget Proposal Completely Defunds Planned Parenthood (CNS) President Donald Trump’s budget proposal together with the American Health Care Act, which Trump’s proposal embraces, would deny all federal funding to Planned Parenthood through both discretionary Title X grants and Medicaid. “The budget also follows through on a campaign promise and prohibits any funding in the Labor-HHS appropriations bill for certain entities that provide abortions, including Planned Parenthood,” says a fact sheet published by the Office of Management and Budget. “This prohibition applies to all funds in the bill, including Medicaid.”

 

8 States Have Only One Abortion Clinic Left (Christian Headlines) Eight states are reportedly on their way to being abortion free and each have only one abortion clinic remaining. LifeNews.com reports that the eight states are Kentucky, West Virginia, Wyoming, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Arkansas. West Virginia and Kentucky were the most recent states to shut down all abortion clinics except one.

 

 

COMMENTARY

 

Franklin Graham: 'Manchester Islamic Terrorists' Are 'Losers' -- and 'Hell Awaits' (CNS) Commenting on the horrific Islamist terror attack in Manchester, England, which killed 22 people and wounded 59, evangelical leader Franklin Graham said the terrorists truly are "losers in this world and the next," and that "Hell awaits" the wicked who engage in such barbarism. In a May 23 post on Facebook, Rev. Graham wrote, “EVIL LOSERS. President Donald J. Trump was so right when he called the Manchester Islamic terrorists 'losers.' The truth is, they’re losers in this world and in the next." "The president said, ‘This wicked ideology must be obliterated.’ Jihadists following this are taught the lie that if you kill an infidel (a Christian or a Jew) and die in doing so, you will go to paradise where 70 virgins await you," said the reverend. He continued, "I’ve got news for them—Hell awaits, with real flames and real fire. Hell is a real place—and so is Heaven, but there is only one road to Heaven."  "Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6)," said Rev. Graham. "It is my prayer that Muslims around the world will come to know the truth and put their faith in Jesus Christ and Him alone." In a related post that same day, Graham stressed that the bombing is "Islamic terrorism," that it will happen again, and "our U.S. politicians need to wake up and see the dangers."

 

 

OVER THE EDGE

 

Girl, 11, Accuses Teacher of 'War Crime' Under 'Geneva Conventions' (UPI) The father of an 11-year-old Scottish girl shared the school feedback form she wrote accusing her teacher of a "war crime" under the "Geneva Conventions." Author Mason Cross, who lives near Glasgow, tweeted a photo Thursday showing how his 11-year-old daughter, Ava, answered one of the questions on her school's feedback form. The question asks for "Things my teacher(s) can do better," and Ava responded: "Not use collective punishment as it is not fair on the many people who did nothing and under the 1949 Geneva Conventions it is a war crime."

 

Compiled and Edited by Pontolillo News Service for Bethel Fellowship Ministries International and Box 2 Radio Network

 

 

Iyar 29, 5777 • A Service of Box 2 Radio Network • 05/25/17

 

 

TOP OF THE NEWS

 

'We Can Use Peace': Trump and Pope Francis Meet (1NewsNow) President Donald Trump and Pope Francis, two leaders with contrasting styles and differing worldviews, met at the Vatican on Wednesday, setting aside their previous clashes to broadcast a tone of peace for an audience around the globe. Trump, midway through a grueling nine-day, maiden international journey, called upon the pontiff in a private, 30-minute meeting laden with religious symbolism and ancient protocol. The president, accompanied by his wife and several aides, arrived at the Vatican just after 8 a.m. local time. The president greeted Francis in Sala del Tronetto, the room of the little throne, on the second floor of Apostolic Palace. Upon completing their meeting, the pope gave the president a medal featuring an olive branch, a symbol of peace, among other gifts. "We can use peace," the president responded. The visit began with a handshake after each man arrived, Trump in a lengthy motorcade, Francis in a Ford Focus. The president was heard thanking the pope and saying it was "a great honor" to be there. They posed for photographs and then sat down at the papal desk, the pope unsmiling, as their private meeting began. It ended a half hour later when Francis rang the bell in his private study. The pontiff was then introduced to members of Trump's delegation, including his wife Melania, his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as aides Hope Hicks and Dan Scavino. Smiling for the staff, Francis had a light moment with the first lady, asking via translator, "What do you give him to eat, potizza?" referring to a favorite papal dessert from her native Slovenia. The first lady laughed and said "Yes." She and Ivanka covered their heads in a sign of papal respect, a gesture they did not partake in Saudi Arabia. As is tradition, the pope and president exchanged gifts. Trump presented the pontiff with a custom-bound, first-edition set of Martin Luther King Jr.'s works, an engraved stone from the King memorial in Washington and a bronze sculpture of a flowering lotus titled "Rising Above." "I think you'll enjoy them. I hope you do," Trump said. The pope presented Trump with the medal, a message of peace and three bound papal documents that to some degree define his papacy and priorities, including the family and the environment. The pope told Trump he signed the message "personally for you." Trump said he would read the books. When Trump departed, he told the pope: "Thank you, I won't forget what you said." Later, as he met with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Trump said of the pope: "He is something."

 

Philippines Dealing with Islamic Terrorism (Bloomberg) Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte placed the southern island of Mindanao under military rule Tuesday night after terrorists linked to Islamic State clashed with government troops in Marawi, the most populous city in the island’s Muslim region. The president, who is in Russia and scheduled to meet with his counterpart, Vladimir Putin, declared martial law for 60 days, his spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a televised briefing from Moscow on Tuesday. Duterte will cut short his trip and fly back to deal with the situation in the south, said his foreign secretary, Alan Peter Cayetano. At least three members of government forces were killed and a dozen wounded in clashes in Marawi, where terrorists led by a group known as Maute roamed the streets, burned a church and occupied the city hall, schools and even the prison, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said at the same briefing in Moscow, which was conducted close to midnight Manila time.

 

 

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION

 

Eritrea Government Detained More Christians In New Crackdown (BosNewsLife)-- Christians have been detained in Eritrea this month as part of a massive government crackdown on members of unregistered churches, well-informed rights activists have told BosNewsLife. In one incident, six men and four women were reportedly captured in a raid on a prayer meeting in the north-eastern town of Ghinda. They are being held at the local police station, where they reportedly lack food, said advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). During the same period, an unspecified number of Christians were apparently taken from their homes in Adi Quala in the southern part of the country in raids that are reportedly still ongoing. CSW told BosNewsLife that it has also been informed that officials of local authorities, security services and the Orthodox Church in the capital Asmara are going house to house asking occupants about their faith.

 

 

WORLD

 

Trump Vows Israel Won’t Be Destroyed on His Watch (Jerusalem Post) US President Donald Trump’s personal pledge to protect Israel from its enemies, particularly Iran, won him the hearts of his audience during his keynote speech at the Israel Museum on Tuesday afternoon. “Israelis have experienced firsthand the hatred and terror of radical violence,” Trump said. “Israelis are murdered by terrorists wielding knives and bombs. Hamas and Hezbollah launch rockets into Israeli communities, where schoolchildren have to be trained to hear the sirens and run to the bomb shelters – with fear, but with speed. ISIS targets Jewish neighborhoods, synagogues and storefronts. And Iran’s leaders routinely call for Israel’s destruction. Not with Donald J. Trump, believe me.” Thunderous applause greeted his words. It lasted for almost a full minute.

 

Hamas: Trump 'Encouraging Apartheid' (Arutz Sheva) Hamas on Tuesday accused U.S. President Donald Trump of “encouraging apartheid” following his remarks at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. "The speech was racist and establishes a new Israeli apartheid regime and encourages hatred towards the Palestinian people," said the group, according to Yediot Aharonot. “This American policy, which is fully biased in favor of the Zionist entity, will encourage the occupation to commit more crimes and violations against our people and its holy places,” added Hamas. In his speech, Trump called for peace between Israelis and Arabs, saying, “We know, for instance, that both Israelis and Palestinians seek lives of hope for their children. And we know that peace is possible if we put aside the pain and disagreements of the past and commit together to finally resolving this crisis which has dragged on for nearly half century.

 

Manchester Bomber Salman Abedi's Father and Brothers Arrested, Linked to ISIS, Al Qaeda (Fox) Manchester bomber Salman Abedi apparently wasn't the only member of his family to harbor extremist views as Libyan officials arrested the suicide bomber's father and two brothers, and uncovered what investigators called a plot for a new attack. Hashim Abedi, who was born in 1997, was arrested in Tripoli on Wednesday evening by the Libyan counter-terrorism force Rada on suspicion of links to the Islamic State, and was planning a new attack on the Libyan capital, a government spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday. The father of the bomber was arrested in Tripoli on Wednesday, a Libyan security spokesman told The Associated Press. The father, Ramadan Abedi, had said another brother of the bomber, Ismail, was arrested Tuesday. Earlier Abdel-Basit Haroun, a former security official in Libya, told The Associated Press Wednesday that he personally knew Ramadan Abedi, the father of Salman Abedi, and that the elder Abedi was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group in the 1990s. The group had links to Al Qaeda.

 

U.S.-Led Coalition Airstrikes Against ISIS Increase By 50 Percent (Wash. Free Beacon) The U.S.-led coalition has launched significantly more airstrikes against the Islamic State this year, increasing the number of bombs dropped on the terrorist group by about 50 percent. A total of 14,192 rockets, bombs, and other munitions were deployed against ISIS in the first four months of 2017, compared to 9,442 during the same period in 2016, USA Today reported Tuesday, citing the latest statistics from U.S. Air Forces Central Command.

 

WannaCry Attack: Suspicion Around North Korea Deepens (SkyNews) The WannaCry ransomware has been attributed to the North Korea-linked Lazarus Group, which is believed to have also been behind the 2014 hack of Sony Pictures and the theft of more than £62m from the Bangladesh Central Bank. The latest attack led to the sudden closure of several accident and emergency departments and exposed serious vulnerabilities in the way that the NHS approached computer security. Security company Symantec says its researchers have now found more similarities in the code and attack infrastructure between the malicious software used in the WannaCry ransomware attacks and other attacks attributed to the Lazarus Group. Symantec claims the attacks "show strong links to Lazarus group".

 

Administration Proposes Steep Cuts to Account That Funds U.N. Regular Budget (CNS) The U.S. is the largest contributor by far to the United Nations and many other international organizations, and cuts in the administration’s proposed FY 2018 budget are designed to prod other nations to pay a bigger share, a senior State Department official said Tuesday. The administration is requesting $996.4 million for the account from which the U.N. regular budget is funded – a more than 30 percent drop from the $1.444 billion FY 2017 level. That “contributions to international organizations” (CIO) account also covers a raft of other U.N. agencies such as the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization; as well as non-U.N. organizations including NATO and the Organization of American States (OAS).

 

Obama Heads to Berlin for Appearance with Merkel (CNS) Former President Obama will appear together with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Thursday, but there’s no indication yet that he will directly endorse her in this year’s election as he recently did in the case of Emmanuel Macron, who went on to win the French presidency. The joint appearance at the Brandenburg Gate will take the form of a discussion on “climate change, public health, economic inequality, and other issues.” The visit will be a part of this year’s German Protestant Church Assembly (Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchentag), from May 24-28, as the nation commemorates the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. At the event, which is expected to attract 140,000 visitors, Obama will promote his nonprofit Obama Foundation and he and Merkel will hold a panel entitled “Being Involved in Democracy: Taking on Responsibility Locally and Globally.” Obama’s visit to Europe coincides with President Trump’s first presidential trip abroad, which includes meetings with Pope Francis at the Vatican, a NATO summit in Brussels, and G7 summit in Sicily.

 

 

NATIONAL

 

Democrat Muslim Aides That Compromised National Security Are on the Run (Daily Caller) A criminal suspect in an investigation into a major security breach on the House of Representatives computer network has abruptly left the country and gone to Pakistan, where her family has significant assets and VIP-level protection, a relative and others told The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group. Hina Alvi, her husband Imran Awan, and his brothers Abid and Jamal were highly paid shared IT administrators working for multiple House Democrats until their access to congressional IT systems was terminated Feb. 2 as a result of the investigation. Capitol Police confirmed the investigation is ongoing, but no arrests have been reported in the case.

 

Purdue Defends Budget's Food Stamp Cuts (1NewsNow) Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is defending the Trump administration's proposal to cut $191 billion from food stamps over the next 10 years. At a House hearing Wednesday, Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro told Perdue that the budget turns the nation's back on the hungry. She said that's "cruel," ''heartless" and "inhumane." Perdue said the budget would fully pay for food stamp benefits in the coming year, but suggests policy changes to Congress. Trump's proposal would shift some cost to states, target benefits to the poorest people, increase work requirements and limit some eligibility. Perdue says the best way to help poverty and hunger is "to turn the economy around, and job dignity."

 

Trump’s Budget Calls for Shutting the National Endowment for the Arts (CNS) The budget that President Trump presented to Congress yesterday calls for “shutting down” the National Endowment for the Arts, beginning in fiscal 2018 by slashing 80 percent of its funding. “The Budget proposes to begin shutting down the National Endowment for the Arts in 2018, given the notable funding support provided by private and other public sources and because the Administration does not consider NEA activities to be core Federal responsibilities,” says an administration report on the “Major Savings and Reforms” in the budget proposal.

 

Rasmussen: Trump's Popularity Rises with Foreign Trip (NewsMax) President Donald Trump's approval rating has spiked to 48 percent amid his first foreign trip, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports survey released Wednesday. Trump's approval numbers are up 2 points from Tuesday, 4 points from Monday, and have increased 5 points from last week, according to the survey.

 

Bob Woodward: Media Is Smug on Trump Coverage (NewsMax) Bob Woodward, the legendary "Watergate" reporter whose stories helped take down Richard Nixon, said there's a "smugness" among the media in its coverage of President Donald Trump. "I think there's so many people treating the Trump presidency as if it's a tryout, as if it's provisional … odds are, he's probably going to be president for a full term, four years, maybe even more," Woodward of The Washington Post told Axios.com.

 

 

TRUMP NEWS

 

Sara Netanyahu to Trumps: 'The Media Hate Us but the People Love Us' (NewsMax) Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, gave President Donald Trump and his wife Melania a message of support Monday, saying that they both endure the ire of the press despite having the support of the public. While walking to Marine One on the tarmac of Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, Trump was recorded talking with the Netanyahus by Tel Aviv's local news network, Channel 2, telling Sara Netanyahu that his wife is a fan of hers. "I love her, I'm also her fan," Sara Netanyahu said, according to The Washington Post. "I talk everyplace about her, how great she is, how great you are." Her husband added, "I can testify to that." Sara Netanyahu then said, "Because the majority of the people in Israel, unlike the media, they love us. So we tell them how you are great, and they love you." To which Trump replied, "We have something very much in common," "We have a lot in common," Trump replied. "Very much in common," Sara Netanyahu said. The prime minister added, "Sounds familiar."

 

 

CULTURAL WARFARE

 

Target to AFA: We Hear You but No Changes Coming (1NewsNow) Corporate executives with Target said they understood concerns over their controversial transgender-friendly policy but vowed to keep it, says a spokesman for a pro-family organization. Representatives from Mississippi-based American Family Association met on May 23 with Target execs at their Minneapolis-based corporate headquarters, where AFA President Tim Wildmon delivered 500,000 additional signatures from people vowing to boycott Target. It was AFA's second sit-down with Target in a year.

 

Left-Wing CA Leads Way with Vend-An-Abortion (1NewsNow) A California university is leading the way to promote abortion and it may only be a hint of what's to come on college campuses. The University of California-Davis has set up a vending machine in a study lounge offering Advil, tampons, pregnancy tests, condoms, and even Plan B, the so-called emergency contraception or day-after pill. Studies reveal that the latter more than likely causes an early abortion.

 

Christian Population of England Dropped from 71.7% to 59.4% in 10 Years (CNS) The percentage of people in England who said they were Christian dropped from 71.7 percent to 59.4 percent between the United Kingdom’s 2001 and 2011 censuses, according to the U.K.’s Office for National Statistics. At the same time, the percentage of people who said they were Muslim increased from 3.1 percent to 5.0 percent.

 

 

OVER THE EDGE

 

Oregon Governor Pardons Boy for Swiping Hazelnut, Pen (ABC) The governor of Oregon has pardoned a fourth-grade boy who swiped a hazelnut and a pen during a recent tour of the state Capitol. In the pencil-written letter, Samuel explains that he visited the Capitol Building on a classroom tour on April 19 and took the items. "These things were not mine and it was wrong for me to take them. I'm very sorry," he wrote. "I hope you and the people of Oregon can forgive me." Included with the letter were the pen and $1 to cover the cost of the stolen hazelnut.

 

Compiled and Edited by Pontolillo News Service for Bethel Fellowship Ministries International and Box 2 Radio Network

 

 

Iyar 28, 5777 • A Service of Box 2 Radio Network • 05/24/17

 

 

TOP OF THE NEWS

 

Trump Shows His True Commitment to Israel (Washington Examiner) President Trump on Monday became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Western Wall. Trump, wearing a yarmulke, was accompanied on a tour of the wall by first lady Melania Trump, daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump and son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner. Trump was seen placing his hand on the wall.

 

Trump Administration Declares Jerusalem Part of Israel (Worthy News) - The Trump administration declared the president is in "Jerusalem, Israel," on Monday for a series of meetings with Israeli officials, a proclamation that breaks with years of American policy refraining from stating that the city of Jerusalem is part of Israel. Senior Trump administration officials had ignited a wave of controversy over the past several weeks when discussing Jerusalem, with some top officials refusing to say that the ancient city is part of Israel. Decades of U.S. policy has refrained from formally labeling Jerusalem as part of Israel due to concerns this could negatively impact the Middle East peace process, in which Palestinian leaders have staked a claim to the city as their future capital.

 

WH Official: Hearings Show No Trump Camp-Russia Collusion (NewsMax) Congressional hearings on Tuesday showed there is no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and that President Trump never jeopardized intelligence sources, a White House spokesman said.

 

 

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION

 

Christian Killed in Islamic Extremist Attack in Northeastern Kenya (Morning Star News) – Al Shabaab militants are suspected in the killing of two people, at least one a Christian, in a May 12 gun attack in northeastern Kenya, sources said. Five suspected rebels from the Somali Islamic extremist group targeted non-Muslim quarry workers in El Wak, near the Somali border in Kenya’s North Eastern Province, in the early morning at the workers’ company-owned quarters, a Christian leader told Morning Star News. He said quarry worker Dalama Otieno, a member of an area East African Pentecostal Church congregation, died from gunshot wounds to the head. An area resident told Morning Star News that the assailants used a jihadist slogan during the assault. “I heard them say, ‘Allah Akbar [God is Greater]’, and then followed gunshots,” he said.

 

 

WORLD

 

UK TERROR THREAT LEVEL RAISED (Fox) British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that the country’s terror threat level has been raised to its highest, 'critical,' signifying another attack may be imminent after Manchester.

 

Islamists Warn 'We Have More' (CBN) Police in the UK arrested a 23-year-old man in Manchester today in connection with the terrorist attack that took at least 22 lives Monday night. Authorities say many children are among the victims, including an 8-year-old girl, Saffie Roussos, who was killed in the bombing. The Islamic State group says one of its members carried out the attack. The bombing rocked the country, underscoring the ongoing terrorist threat to Europe. Islamic State supporters celebrated on social media Tuesday after the concert blast in Manchester. Tweets from Islamic extremists were posted hours before the attack. One tweet said: "Are you forget our threat? This is the just terror." Another tweet read: "We have more."

 

MANCHESTER KILLER IDENTIFIED (Fox) British authorities on Tuesday identified the suicide bomber who launched a deadly attack at a Manchester Ariana Grande concert, hours after the Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for the blast. Salman Abedi, 22, was identified as the man who detonated an improvised explosive device at about 10:30 p.m. local time Monday, killing more than 20 people, some of them children, and injuring dozens more, Manchester police confirmed in a news conference on Tuesday. At least 12 children under the age of 16 were injured, emergency responders said. An 8-year-old girl was among the dead. A European security official told the Associated Press that Abedi was British. No additional details about Abedi were immediately available. 

 

U.S. Troops Attack Another al-Qaida Compound in Yemen (CNS) U.S. Special Forces on Tuesday attacked a “compound associated with al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula” (AQAP) in Yemen, in what U.S. Central Command described as a counterterrorism mission. “Raids such as this provide insight into AQAP's disposition, capabilities and intentions, which will allow us to continue to pursue, disrupt, and degrade AQAP,” said a news release dated May 23. “During this operation, U.S. forces killed seven AQAP militants through a combination of small arms fire and precision airstrikes.” CENTCOM said the operation was conducted with the support of the Yemeni government, “in conjunction with our Arab allies.” The raid comes just two days after President Donald Trump left Saudi Arabia, where he announced a $110-billion deal that will supply the Saudis with U.S. weapons systems and other defensive capabilities.

 

President Trump to Meet with Pope Francis at Vatican (Washington Times) The world’s most powerful president and religion’s most visible voice with meet for the first time Wednesday — but not before President Trump has to cross through the Vatican wall that divided the two men, metaphorically, last year. Long a symbol of the Vatican’s majesty, the wall also became for Mr. Trump evidence of Pope Francis’s hypocrisy, after the pontiff last year, responding to a reporter’s question about the U.S.-Mexico border, said wall-builders are “not Christian.” Mr. Trump’s famous response was that the pope himself lived behind “an awfully big wall.” While all sides expect a cordial meeting this week, it’ll be hard to avoid the contrasts between the two figures. One is a wealthy president whose affluence is legendary, and who is emerging from an extraordinarily divisive campaign. The other is a Jesuit who took a vow of poverty, who moved out of the papal rooms to live with the Vatican’s guesthouse and whose hallmark has been building bridges. But the two men also share some striking similarities: a penchant for tweeting and an idiosyncratic approach to their respective roles, with each promising massive changes.

 

 

NATIONAL

 

UNAWARE OF TRUMP 'PUSHBACK' (Fox) Former CIA director John Brennan told House lawmakers he is 'unaware' of any efforts by President Trump to push back against probes into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

 

Leader of Connecticut Mosque Detained, Faces Deportation (1NewsNow) A Connecticut imam has been detained by U.S. immigration agents and faces deportation to Pakistan. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Hafiz Abdul Hannan, the leader of the Masjid Al-Islam mosque in New Haven since 2013, was taken into custody at his home on Friday. He was previously convicted of committing fraud in immigration documents and will remain in custody pending his removal from the United States, said Shawn Neudauer, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman.

 

Alan Dershowitz Says Special Counsel Will 'Find No Crime' (CNS) Constitutional and criminal law scholar and former Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, who "proudly" voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, said a special counsel should not have been appointed to investigate President Donald Trump because there is no criminal statute or crime that he or his campaign is alleged to have committed. Dershowitz further said that, at the end of the day, Special Counsel Robert Mueller "is going to find no crime." Dershowitz added that Trump did not obstruct justice by firing FBI Director James Comey because he has a "constitutional and statutory right to do that" as president. Just by "exercising his constitutional rights, there is no obstruction of justice here and I don't see any crime here at all," said Dershowitz, a long-time criminal defense attorney and the author of Reversal of Fortune, Chutzpah, The Case for Israel, and 30 other books and more than 1,000 articles.

 

Trump's First Budget Sets New Course Away from Obama, and the GOP (Worthy News) - President Trump's first budget request would stake out a radically different path from the past budgets set out by former President Barack Obama, but it also makes a key departure from budgets that Republicans have proposed. One of the biggest differences between the Trump budget and the prior Obama budgets is that Trump's plan would balance the budget in 10 years, just as some House Republican plans have done. Trump's budget was written "through the eyes of people who are actually paying the taxes," said Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney Monday, suggesting that it hasn't been done that way in recent years. It would call for major reductions in safety net spending and on a wide range of government programs.

 

FCC to Reverse Obama-Era Regulations, Restore Internet Freedom (CNS) On Thursday, the FCC voted 2-1 on party lines to begin accepting public comment on a proposal to reverse the 2015 Obama administration order reducing the Internet to a regulated public utility and returning to the previous light-touch policy.

 

 

TRUMP NEWS

 

Trump Pays Respects at Israel Holocaust Memorial Yad Vashem (Jerusalem Post) US President Donald Trump commemorated the victims and survivors of the Holocaust on Tuesday during a short visit to Yad Vashem, where he laid a wreath during a ceremony at the Hall of Remembrance.

 

First Lady Visits Israeli Hospital that Treats Both Arabs and Jews (CBN) U.S. first lady Melania Trump visited Hadassah Medical Organization, Monday, a hospital that has both Israeli and Palestinian doctors as well as patients. Her hostess, Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, took her to meet a group of young Jewish and Arab patients. When the women arrived, the children, who were sitting around a table, presented them with pictures they had drawn.

 

 

CULTURAL WARFARE

 

NY Library presents 'Drag Queen Story Hour' to Kids (1NewsNow) Even though almost any child loves to read from a world of books when at the library, parents are bringing their small children to public libraries in New York to hear drag queens read the latest children's books on worldly sexuality to their kids. Here is what young children and their parents are hearing at a local library in Brooklyn, New York, courtesy of a drag queen literature presenter known as “Little Miss Hot Mess.” “The hips on the drag queen go swish, swish, swish; swish, swish, swish; swish, swish, swish,” the gender-confused man recently sang to children during “Drag Queen Story Hour.” “The hips on the drag queen go swish, swish, swish…” After setting aside his singing voice, the drag queen goes into storyteller mode. “Who is ready for a story?” he asked children gathered around at the library. “This one is called Worm Loves Worm: We Can Both Be Grooms. After the reading, it is apparent that the kids seem to enjoy it – and so do the parents.

 

Optional Bible Class Cancelled at Michigan School after Complaint is Filed (Christian Headlines) An off-site Bible class has been cancelled in Michigan after a parent of a student issued a complaint. Fox News reports that about 100 of the 400 children at Daisy Brook Elementary School in Fremont, Michigan attended the Bible classes which were optional and required parental approval, and which were held during lunch hour. The Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists took up the fight against the Bible classes after a parent complained. School officials were in support of the class, but decided to cancel it at least for the remainder of the school year, until they can better assess their legal situation.

 

Planned Parenthood Set to Close Six Clinics in Three States (W/FreeBeacon) One of the largest regional chapters of Planned Parenthood in the nation plans to close several clinics due to financial shortfalls. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM) announced that it would close five clinics in Colorado and New Mexico, as well as the only Planned Parenthood clinic in Wyoming. The organization said in a release that closing the clinics would provide "long-term sustainability in the communities we serve."

 

Target Getting 2nd Batch of Petition Signatures (1NewsNow) Representatives of American Family Association are meeting again today with Target executives. When Target made the policy public in April 2016, AFA launched an online "Boycott Target" petition which now features more than 1.5 million signatures. AFA president Tim Wildmon and other representatives from his organization are in Minneapolis today to hand over the latest batch of signatures on the petition. The first million signatures were presented to Target executives just a few weeks after the petition launched.

 

 

COMMENTARY

 

FULL TEXT OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ISRAEL MUSEUM SPEECH (CBN) Thank you, Prime Minister Netanyahu. I want to thank you and Sara for hosting us for what has been an unforgettable visit to this very special land. I also want to thank Chairman Itzik Molko, Acting Director Ayellet Shilloh-Tamir, and Chief Operating Officer Dalia Lazar, for hosting us today in this incredible museum. And thank you, Ambassador and Mrs. Friedman for joining us, along with a number of very good friends who have come from our country to yours as we reaffirm the unshakeable bond between the United States and Israel. I want to begin my remarks today by sending the thoughts and prayers of the entire American People to the victims of the terrorist attack in Manchester, in the United Kingdom, and our condolences to the many families who lost their loved ones.  Dozens of innocent people and beautiful young children were savagely murdered in this heinous attack upon humanity.  I repeat again that we must drive out the terrorists and the extremists from our midst, obliterate this evil ideology, and protect and defend our citizens.  All civilized nations must be united in this effort.  This trip is focused on that goal: bringing nations together around the goal of defeating the terrorism that threatens the world and crushing the hateful ideology that drives it so hard, and seems to be driving it so fast. It is a privilege to stand here in this national museum, in the ancient city of Jerusalem, to address the Israeli people – and all people in the Middle East who yearn for security, prosperity, and peace. Jerusalem is a sacred city. Its beauty, splendor, and heritage are like no other place on earth. What a heritage. The ties of the Jewish people to this Holy Land are ancient and eternal. They date back thousands of years, including the reign of King David whose star now flies proudly on Israel's white and blue flag. Yesterday, I visited the Western Wall, and marveled at the monument to God's presence and man's perseverance – I was humbled to place my hand upon the wall and to pray in that holy space for wisdom from God. I also visited and prayed at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, a site revered by Christians throughout the world. I laid a wreath at Yad Vashem, honoring, remembering, and mourning the 6 million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. I pledged there what I pledge again to those here today: NEVER AGAIN. Israel is a testament to the unbreakable spirit of the Jewish people.  From all parts of this great country, one message resounds: and that is the message of hope. Down through the ages, the Jewish people have suffered persecution, oppression and even those who have sought their destruction.  But, through it all, they have endured – and they have thrived. I stand in awe of the accomplishments of the Jewish People, and I make this promise to you: My Administration will always stand with Israel. Through your hardships, you have created one of the most abundant lands in the world. A land that is rich not only in history, culture, and opportunity, but especially in spirit. This museum where we are gathered today tells the story of that spirit - from the two Holy Temples, to the glorious heights of Masada, we see an incredible story of faith and perseverance. That faith is what inspired Jews to believe in their destiny, to overcome their despair, and to build here a future that others dared not to dream. In Israel, not only are Jews free to till the soil, teach their children, and pray to God in the ancient land of their forefathers. But Muslims, Christians, and people of all faiths, are free to live and worship according to their conscience and to follow their dreams. Today, gathered with friends, I call upon all people – Jews, Christians, Muslims, and every faith, tribe, and creed – to draw inspiration from this ancient city, to set aside our sectarian differences, to overcome oppression and hatred, and to give all children the freedom and hope and dignity written into our souls. Earlier this week, I spoke at a historic summit in Saudi Arabia. There, I urged our friends in the Muslim world to join us in creating stability, safety and security. I was deeply encouraged by the desire of many leaders to join us in cooperation toward these shared and vital goals. Conflict cannot continue forever – the only question is when nations will decide that they have had enough. That historic summit represents a new opportunity for people throughout the Middle East to overcome sectarian and religious divisions to extinguish the fires of extremism, and find common ground and shared responsibility in making the future of this region.  Change must come from within. No mother or father wants their children to grow up in a world where terrorists roam free, schoolchildren are murdered, and their loved ones are taken. No child is born with prejudice in their heart. No one should teach young boys and girls to hate and kill. And no civilized nation can tolerate the massacre of innocents with chemical weapons. My message to that summit was the same message I have for you: We must build a coalition of partners who share the aim of stamping out extremism and violence – and providing our children a peaceful and hopeful future. But a hopeful future for children in the Middle East requires the world to fully recognize the vital role of the state of Israel. And, on behalf of the United States, we pledge to stand by you and defend our shared values so that together we can defeat terrorism and create safety for all of God's children. Israelis have experienced firsthand the hatred and terror of radical violence. Israelis are murdered by terrorists wielding knives and bombs. Hamas and Hezbollah launch rockets into Israeli communities where schoolchildren have to be trained to hear the sirens and run to bomb shelters. ISIS targets Jewish neighborhoods, synagogues, and storefronts. And Iran's leaders routinely call for Israel's destruction.  Not with Donald J. Trump. Despite these challenges, Israel is thriving as a sovereign nation – and no international body should question the contributions Israel makes to the region. Today, let us pray for that peace – and for a more hopeful future across the Middle East. There are those who present a false choice.  They say that we must choose between supporting Israel and supporting Arab and Muslim nations in the region.  That is completely wrong.  All decent people want to live in peace, and all humanity is threatened by the evils of terrorism.  Diverse nations can unite around the goal of protecting innocent life, upholding human dignity, and promoting peace and stability in the region.  My Administration is committed to pursuing such a coalition, and we have already made substantial progress during this trip. We know, for instance, that both Israelis and Palestinians seek lives of hope for their children.  And we know that peace is possible if we put aside the pain and disagreements of the past and commit together to finally resolving this crisis which has dragged on for nearly half a century. As I have repeatedly said, I am personally committed to helping Israelis and Palestinians achieve a peace agreement, and I had a meeting this morning with President Mahmoud Abbas and I can tell you that the Palestinians are ready to reach for peace – and, from my meeting with my friend Benjamin Netanyahu, I can tell you Israelis are ready to reach for peace as well. Making peace will not be easy.  We all know that.  Both sides will face tough decisions. But with determination, compromise, and the belief that peace is possible, Israelis and Palestinians can make a deal.  But even as we work toward peace, we will build strength to defend our nations. The United States is firmly committed to keeping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and halting their support of terrorists and militias that are causing so much suffering and chaos throughout the Middle East. America's security partnership with Israel is stronger than ever – including the Iron Dome missile defense program, which has been keeping the Israeli people safe from short-range rockets launched by Hezbollah and Hamas. And David's sling which guards against long-range missiles. It is my hope that someday very soon Israeli children will never need to rush towards shelter, as sirens ring out. Finally, the United States is proud that Israeli Air Force pilots are flying new American F-35 planes to defend their nation, and it was wonderful to see these mighty aircraft in the skies over Israel recently as you celebrated the 69th anniversary of Israel's independence. But even as we strengthen our partnership in practice, let us always remember our highest ideals – let us never forget that the bond between our two nations is woven together in the hearts of our people – and their love of freedom, hope, and dignity for every man and every woman. Let us dream of a future where Jewish, Muslim and Christian children can grow up together and live together in trust, harmony, tolerance and respect. The values practiced in Israel have inspired millions all across the world. The conviction of Theodor Herzl rings true today: "whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind." As we stand in Jerusalem, we see pilgrims of all faiths coming to this land to walk on this hallowed ground. Jews place the prayers from their hearts in the stone blocks of the Western Wall. Christians pray in the pews of an ancient church. Muslims answer the call to prayer at their holy sites. This city, like no other place in the world, reveals the longing of the human heart – to know and worship God. Jerusalem stands as a reminder that life can flourish against any odds. When we look around this city, and we see people of all faiths engaged in reverent worship, and school children learning side-by-side, and men and women lifting up the needy and forgotten, we see that God's promise of healing has brought goodness to so many lives. We see that the people of this land had the courage to overcome the oppression and injustice of the past – and to live in the freedom God intends for every person on this earth. Today, in Jerusalem, we pray and we hope that children around the world will soon be able to live without fear, to dream without limits, and to prosper without violence. I ask this land of promise to join with me to fight our common enemies, to pursue our shared values, and to protect the dignity of every child of God. Thank you.  God bless you. God bless the State of Israel. And God bless the United States.

 

 

OVER THE EDGE

 

Driver Busted with Cocaine Tried to Bribe Officer with Taco Bell (UPI) Police say a Florida man attempted to bribe an officer with Taco Bell after he was busted with cocaine in his vehicle. Pasco Police said officer Joshua Glass stopped the driver of a black Honda and noticed two small bags of white powder in the center console, which the man tried to cover with his cellphone before making the proposition of Mexican food. "When the driver and sole occupant was questioned ... he described it as just cocaine residue and offered officer Glass a 'hook-up' on Taco Bell in the future if [the officer] would ignore that stuff," the police department said. "Glass thanked him for the offer, since he likes Taco Bell, but declined."

 

Compiled and Edited by Pontolillo News Service for Bethel Fellowship Ministries International and Box 2 Radio Network

 

 

Iyar 27, 5777 • A Service of Box 2 Radio Network • 05/23/17

 

 

TOP OF THE NEWS

 

Trump: War on Terror is Battle Between Good and Evil (Worthy News) - On the second day of his inaugural foreign trip, where he’s been hailed by Arab leaders as a “dear brother” and a man with “unique personality,” President Donald Trump told Muslim allies not to wait for U.S. help to crush terror groups. Countries must ensure that terrorists find “no sanctuary,” he said in a speech to more than 50 leaders who gathered in Riyadh. “This is a battle between good and evil,” Trump said. “Drive them out of your places of worship, your communities, your Holy Land and the Earth.”

 

Trump's Historic Visit to Israel a 'Game Changer' (CBN) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosted President Donald Trump for a visit Monday that both men described as exceptionally warm. Following their private meeting, the men emerged and gave public comments. "We had a terrific discussion today and when I say terrific, it encompasses everything," said the prime minister. He expressed his appreciation for Trump and his strong stance on issues like getting rid of the Iran nuclear deal and combating radical terrorism, noting a major difference between Trump and former President Barack Obama. "For the first time in my lifetime, I see a real hope for change," Netanyahu remarked.

 

Gen. Keane: Trump Building 'Framework of an Arab NATO' During Mideast Visit (NewsMax) President Donald Trump is building a "framework of an Arab NATO" during his visit to the Middle East, Ret. Gen. Jack Keane told Fox News on Sunday. "Now we have a President with the Sunni Arabs, with Saudi Arabia, which is Iran's strategic opponent in the Middle East, and we're going to stand up against them," Keane said, adding Trump was building "something like the framework of an Arab NATO (that's) ready to be willing to counter the Iranians because they fully intend to dominate the Middle East." Keane described Trump's first stop in Saudi Arabia as "quite a seminal event that's taking place here." The president met with a warm and enthusiastic welcome upon arriving in Saudi Arabia as part of a multi-nation tour. The atmosphere was quite a change from the policies under former President Barack Obama, Keane explained. "The Sunni Arabs, they've been largely abandoned these last eight years by the Obama administration as it accommodated the Iranians," he said, noting that Obama instead worked with Shiite-majority Iran.

 

 

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION

 

Indian Christians Threatened and Killed (CBN) Indian Christians are seeing an alarming spike in violence since Hindu nationalist gained power three years ago and a Christian aid group says the persecution is only going to get worse. Hindu nationalists are pressuring believers to abandon their faith and if believers don't convert, they face persecution. "In states across India, militants have threatened and killed church workers," Paul Robinson, the chief executive of Release International, said. "Extremists have tried to force Christians to renounce their faith and convert to Hinduism. And they have bombed, torched, vandalized and demolished churches." Strict conversion laws have been implemented in five states making it nearly impossible to evangelize or share the gospel. Open Doors' World Watch lists India as the No.17 country where Christians are targeted for their faith. They claim that radical Hinduism has "increased steadily" under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

 

 

WORLD

 

DEADLY CONCERT BLAST (Fox) Explosions at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England caused a "number of confirmed fatalities and others injured," police said late Monday. "Two loud bangs" were reported at approximately 10:45 p.m., just after the concert had finished. The cause of the blasts was not immediately confirmed. A spokesman said Grande, who was performing at the arena as part of her "Dangerous Woman" world tour, was "okay" and added, "we are further investigating what happened." Witnesses described panic as concertgoers rushed to get out of the arena. Video from inside the arena showed people screaming as they made their way out amid a sea of pink balloons. Manchester Victoria station, which is under the arena, was also evacuated.

 

Trump: Israelis and Arabs share 'Common Cause' against Iran (1NewsNow) President Donald Trump opened his first visit to Israel Monday, saying he sees growing recognition among Muslim nations that they share a "common cause" with Israel in their determination to counter the threats posed by Iran. Arriving directly from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Trump expressed his hope for cooperation among U.S. allies in the Middle East. His second stop on the nine-day tour aimed to test the waters for reviving the dormant Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Trump, who had previously suggested that it would be easier than anticipated to solve the conflict that has vexed his predecessors for decades, said that conditions were right in both Israel and the Arab world to strike what he has called "the ultimate deal." "We have before us a rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace to this region and to its people," Trump said upon arrival in Tel Aviv. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Trump "a true friend" to Israel and expressed optimism about the president's role in the Middle East peace process.

 

Israeli Leaders Boast of 'Unbreakable Bond' upon Trump's Arrival (Jerusalem Post) US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport on Monday, where they were greeted by President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. After Trump and Rivlin reviewed the Honor Guard, Trump's welcome ceremony began. Rivlin spoke first, lauding the American leader's trip as a symbol of the "unbreakable bond between Israel and America." "The Middle East needs a strong United States. Israel needs a strong United States. And - may I say - the United States also needs a strong Israel," Rivlin said at the welcoming ceremony on the tarmac of Israel's international airport. Rivlin thanked Trump for visiting the Jewish state as part of his maiden foreign tour as president, adding that Israel and its citizens "have great expectations from this visit." "You are the president of Israel's greatest, most important ally. You are a true friend of Israel, and of the Jewish people," Rivlin told Trump. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was next at the podium, extending his welcome and appreciation to Trump. "Your visit here is truly historic. Never before has a first foreign trip of a US president included Israel. Thank you for this powerful expression of your friendship to Israel." Turning to security issues, Netanyahu said, "Israel's hand is extended in peace to all our neighbors, including the Palestinians." He then went on to say that any peace deal would have to mean an end to the conflict once and for all and that "security would have to remain in Israel's hands." Referring to a greater peace in the Middle East, Netanyahu added, "I hope one day an Israeli Prime Minister will be able to fly from Tel Aviv to Riyadh." After expressing the hope that the US president's visit would restart the process of "reconciliation and peace," the prime minister concluded by saying that the relationship between the US and Israel was "ever greater, ever stronger." Then the US president addressed the crowd of dignitaries and politicians at the red carpet greeting ceremony.

 

President Trump and Saudi King Celebrate Facility to Fight Terrorism (CBN) What has been dubbed as President Donald Trump's "World Religion Tour" has morphed into a tour to fight terror. The president, alongside Saudi King Salman flipped the switch on the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology, a facility technologically equipped to track terrorist activity online. President Trump praised the new center. "We will make history again with the opening of a new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology – located right here, in this central part of the Islamic World," said Trump. President Trump believes the facility and the location are both pivotal in the fight against terror.

 

U.S. Military Satellites in Crisis (Worthy News) - The U.S. military’s satellite communications are facing a crisis, threatened by a growing array of foreign weapons, including cyberattack capabilities, lasers, electronic jammers and anti-satellite weapons, according to a Pentagon study. An executive summary of the report by the Defense Science Board warns that military satellite communications used for global operations “will be contested by a myriad of effects ranging from reversible to destructive.” “The estimated and projected electronic threats against satellite communication (satcom) have rapidly escalated in the last few years and will continue to increase in the foreseeable future,” the report says. “Advances and proliferation in advanced electronic warfare (EW), kinetic, space, and cyber capabilities threaten our ability to maintain information superiority,” the study notes, adding that “under severe stress situations, jamming can render all commercial satcom and most defense Satcom inoperable.”

 

 

 

NATIONAL

 

FLYNN TO TAKE FIFTH (Fox) Former national security adviser Michael Flynn plans to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and rebuff a Senate panel subpoena, Fox News confirms. Flynn's decision comes less than two weeks after the Senate intelligence committee issued a subpoena for Flynn's documents as part of the panel's investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election. Sources close to Flynn emphasized that the decision is not evidence of guilt or wrongdoing. Experts say records can be viewed as testimony and that providing them could be seen as waiving Fifth Amendment constitutional protections. Flynn has previously sought immunity from "unfair prosecution" to cooperate with the committee.

 

Top Obama Official Tied to Medicare Fraud Case (Daily Caller) Federal prosecutors slapped a multi-billion dollar Medicare fraud charge against United Health Group (UHG) and a key subsidiary President Barack Obama’s former top insurance official once headed, according to an investigation by The Daily Caller News Foundation. It was the third time health fraud charges have been filed against United and its two major subsidiaries, Optum and OptumInsight. United spokesman Matthew Burns denied the allegations, saying in a statement, “We reject these more than 5-year-old claims and will contest them vigorously.” Andy Slavitt, who led the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) under Obama and the Obamacare health insurance program, was CEO of OptumInsight and Group Executive Vice President for Optum where the fraud allegedly was committed.

 

Fox News’ Ratings Plunge Since O’Reilly’s Departure (TheBlaze) When the Fox News Channel fired cable news giant Bill O’Reilly in April, reports surfaced revealing Fox News’ owner, the Murdoch family, wanting to move the network in a different direction. Out with the old guard, in with the new. More hosts similar to Megyn Kelly, who is now at NBC News, fewer like the ones who built the network from the ground up, including O’Reilly. About one month later, Fox News has a completely different news lineup, and the results thus far have been nothing short of disastrous. On Thursday, TV Newser reported Fox News, which once dominated its competitors in virtually every timeslot, is now losing across the board in the key 25-54 demographic. The results are most notable in primetime, which used to carry Fox News’ most reliable audience. Now, Fox News is running a distant third to hosts who previously drew audiences half the size of O’Reilly’sOn Thursday, at the 7 p.m. hour, Fox News’ “The Story,” hosted by Martha MacCallum, lost by more than 100,000 viewers in the 25-54 demographic to CNN’s “OutFront” with Erin Burnett. Chris Matthews’ “Hardball” beat MacCallum by nearly 60,000 viewers. At 8 p.m., Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” lost to both CNN’s Anderson Cooper and MSNBC’s “All In” with Chris Hayes. At 9 p.m., Fox News Channel’s “The Five” was absolutely demolished by Cooper and MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” which won the key demographic by more than 200,000 viewers. Of all the Fox News hosts in primetime, Sean Hannity performed the best, although he still finished third to “CNN Tonight” with Don Lemon and MSNBC’s “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell.

 

 

TRUMP NEWS

 

Trump Delivers Firm Message to Muslim Leaders (CNS) President Donald Trump told a meeting of leaders from more than 50 predominantly Muslim nations on Sunday that they must stand “together against the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews, and the slaughter of Christians.” In the same speech, Trump said that the souls of terrorists “will be fully condemned.” “There is still much work to be done,” Trump said in his speech. “That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists, and Islamic terror of all kinds,” he said. “We must stop what they are doing to inspire because they do nothing to inspire, but kill. And we are having a very profound effect, if you look at what’s happened recently. “And it means standing together against the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews, and the slaughter of Christians,” he said. “Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory--piety to evil will bring you no dignity,” he said. “If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and your soul will be fully condemned.”

 

Harley Davidson Club Honors Trump's Visit to Israel (Jerusalem Post) Members of the Harley Davidson club set out on a ride to honor US President Donald Trump as he arrives in Israel for the first time as sitting president. They started the ride at 12:00 p.m. in Tel Aviv and finished it in front of the US Embassy, blocking traffic along HaYarkon Street as the official ceremony welcoming Trump unfolded at the Ben-Gurion Airport just outside Tel Aviv. "We are excited to welcome our friend, Donald Trump, to Israel," a motorcyclist leading in the front spoke into a speaker, drawing a big group of onlookers to join them in cheers. Trump is known as an avid lover of motorcycles and owns his own golden Harley Davidson.

 

 

CULTURAL WARFARE

 

California to Offer New Pro-Abortion License Plates/No Pro-Life Plates (Christian Headlines) California lawmakers are attempting to pass a new bill that would give citizens access to pro-abortion license plates, according to The Mercury News. State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), is the sponsor of the new bill. She explained what it aims to accomplish: “SB 309 will provide a way for Californians who are deeply troubled by the federal attack on women’s rights and health care to take their values ‘to the street’ while providing a vital funding mechanism for California’s network of reproductive health care providers.” The cost of getting one of the license plates would be $50 in the first year and less in subsequent years. The fee would go to fund pro-choice efforts. The bill has yet to be passed in the state Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, but both California’s Legislature and Gov. tend to lean pro-abortion. To go into effect, there also needs to be at least 7,500 pre-paid orders for the license plates. Pro-lifers are disappointed in the bill and argue that it is unfair for California to offer a pro-abortion license plate and not a pro-life one. Wynette Sills, director of Californians for Life, acknowledged that pro-lifers have an uphill battle in the state. She even said that the chance of the state allowing a pro-life plate is “an impossibility--barring a miracle.”

 

Gallup: Only 24% of Americans Believe Bible is Literal Word of God (CNS) A new Gallup poll shows that only 24% of Americans believe the Bible is the "literal word" of God, which is a decline from the 1970s, but the survey also shows that the number of Americans who think the Bible is the "inspired word" of God, 47%, has stayed pretty steady over the last 40 years. In addition, an overwhelming majority of Americans, 71%, believe the Bible is a holy document, inspired by God or containing God's own words. "Fewer than one in four Americans (24%) now believe the Bible is 'the actual word of God, and is to be taken literally, word for word,' similar to the 26% who view it as 'a book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by man,'" reported Gallup on May 15. "This is the first time in Gallup's four-decade trend that biblical literalism has not surpassed biblical skepticism," said the survey firm.  "Meanwhile, about half of Americans -- a proportion largely unchanged over the years -- fall in the middle, saying the Bible is the inspired word of God but that not all of it should be taken literally."

 

 

COMMENTARY

 

Gingrich: World Leaders Respect Trump; Media 'Pygmies' Don't (NewsMax) It's "ironic" to watch world leaders in Israel and Saudi Arabia treating President Donald Trump with "enormous respect" while the "pygmies" in the media treat him with contempt, and the president and his administration should take a tougher stance against them, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Monday. "The reporters are pygmies, they're little midgets," Gingrich told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program. "They spent their lifetime watching other people do real things." Further, Gingrich said, the Trump administration should put out a new rule when it comes to the media. "If you're a midget, that's fine, but you're not going to be at a press conference with me or my staff," Gingrich said members of the media should be told. "I think they need to have a tougher attitude toward the media." That would mean, he continued, for Trump to remind members of the media that he is the president, and "'you're not. And if you're not worthy of my talking to you, I'm not going to talk to you.'" This would make the media "begin to fall in line, because the gap between how world leaders treat Donald Trump and the American media treats him is inexcusably big," said Gingrich.

 

 

OVER THE EDGE

 

Harvard Student Submits Rap Album as his Senior Thesis (ABC) While other Harvard University students were writing papers for their senior theses, Obasi Shaw was busy rapping his. Shaw is the first student in Harvard's history to submit a rap album as a senior thesis in the English Department, the university said. The album, called "Liminal Minds," has earned the equivalent of an A-minus grade, good enough to guarantee that Shaw will graduate with honors next week.

 

Compiled and Edited by Pontolillo News Service for Bethel Fellowship Ministries International and Box 2 Radio Network

 

 

Iyar 26, 5777 • A Service of Box 2 Radio Network • 05/22/17

 

 

TOP OF THE NEWS

 

Trump in Saudi Arabia Signs $110B Arms Deal with Persian Gulf Ally (Fox) President Trump in Saudi Arabia on Saturday signed a near $110 billion arms deal to help the Persian Gulf ally with its military-defense system. "That was a tremendous day," Trump said after signing the deal with Saudi leader King Salman. "Tremendous investments in the United States. Hundreds of billions of dollars of investments into the United States and jobs, jobs, jobs." The White House says the package includes defense equipment and other support to help the Arab nation and the rest of the Gulf region fight again terrorism and the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, according to the White House. Trump during his winning presidential campaign and in the first several months of his presidency has argued the United States can no longer be the world’s police officer and that other nations must become more self-sufficient in efforts to combat terrorism and in protecting themselves against rogue nations like Iran and North Korea.

 

US Imposes Sanctions in Joint Action with Saudi Arabia (1NewsNow) The Trump administration imposed its first terrorism sanctions jointly with Saudi Arabia on Friday as President Donald Trump travels to the kingdom on his first overseas trip. The State Department announced sanctions on senior Hezbollah leader Hashem Safieddine and Muhammad al-Isawi, a leader of the Islamic State group's operations on the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. Saudi Arabia joined the U.S. in targeting Safieddine, who is said to oversee the financial empire of the Lebanon-based party. "As a result, any of his assets held in Saudi Arabia are frozen, and transfers through the kingdom's financial sector are prohibited," the State Department said in a statement. Hezbollah is close to Iran, Saudi Arabia's main rival for power in the region, and has played a key role in boosting the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad. The Saudis also accuse Iran and Hezbollah of fanning the war in Yemen by supporting the Houthi rebels.

 

Trump: Joe Lieberman Leading Choice for FBI Director (NewsMax) President Donald Trump indicated Thursday that onetime Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman is the favorite to become the next head of the FBI, after the shock dismissal of James Comey. Asked whether the 75-year-old was a frontrunner, Trump responded "yes" -- confirming Lieberman's surprise candidacy. Lieberman, a former independent senator from Connecticut, ran on a ticket with Democrat Al Gore in 2000, but they were defeated by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

 

 

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION

 

Attack on Indian Christians Occurs Every 40 Hours (Christian Headlines) Violent attacks on Christians in India are increasing, according to a new report. The report from the All India Christian Council says that there is an anti-Christian attack every 40 hours as the governing Hindu nationalist party tries to create a “Hindu nation” in India. In 2016, attacks against Christians jumped by about 20 percent, while physical violence is up about 40 percent. "The attacks have become severe and more frequent. Incidents used to be confined to a few states. Now the violence has spread to 23 states," the report said. The attacks are described as physical beating, torching of churches, vandalism, burning of Bibles, death threats and forcing Christians to renounce their faith and convert to Hinduism.

 

 

WORLD

 

ANOTHER LAUNCH (Fox) North Korea fires unidentified projectile, South Korea’s military says. South Korea’s office of Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the projectile was launched from an area just north of Pyongyang.

 

Palestinian Factions Call for 'Day of Rage' During Trump Visit (Jerusalem Post) Palestinian factions in the West Bank are calling for "A Day of Rage" to coincide with US President Donald Trump's visit to Bethlehem on Tuesday, where he is expected to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

 

Trump, Family to Stay in 'Armored Suite' at Hotel in Israel (NewsMax) During his visit to Israel, President Donald Trump will stay in an "armored suite" in Jerusalem's King David Hotel that is capable of withstanding nearly any kind of attack, The Hill reported Saturday. The suite, which normally costs $5,700 per night, is equipped to withstand bombs, gas attacks, bullets and rocket-propelled grenades, NBC News reported Friday. Balloons floating above the hotel will watch for suspicious activity and bomb-seeking robots will roam in the sewers beneath the building. The room was constructed to withstand the entire collapse of the building, according to hotel manager Sheldon Ritz. The suite is part of a massive security operation for Trump and his 1,000-person entourage during his visit to Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Trump and his family will also have food testers, and 10,000 police officers will be deployed in Jerusalem, a city both Israel and Palestine claim as their capital.

 

Netanyahu: 'I’ll Talk Security and Peace with Trump' (Jerusalem Post) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would discuss regional security and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with US President Donald Trump when he arrives in Israel on Monday for a two-day trip. “This is President Trump's first visit outside the US, and the honor is ours that he has chosen to come to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, and – of course – to the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said. “Mr. President, we look forward to your visit. The citizens of Israel will receive you with open arms,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly government meeting.

 

NBA Player Enes Kanter Detained in Romania (TheBlaze) Enes Kanter, a center for the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team, was detained on Saturday while at an airport in Romania, and Kanter alleges the reason is because he’s been a vocal critic of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey. According to a report by ESPN, Kanter’s passport was “canceled” by the Turkish embassy on Saturday morning. Kanter, 25, is a citizen of Turkey and currently one of the nation’s most famous professional athletes.

 

 

NATIONAL

 

MURDER CHARGE (Fox) The man accused of running down pedestrians in New York's Times Square has been charged with one count of murder and 20 counts of attempted murder, the NYPD said. Richard Rojas, 26, is accused of intentionally killing one and injuring 22 in the Thursday incident.

 

American ISIS Fighter Calls for Attacks on U.S. (CBN) ISIS has released a new video featuring an American fighter named Abu Hamza al-Amriki who urges terror attacks by Muslims on U.S. soil and displays an impressive array of weaponry, including drones and rovers. "Liberate yourself from hellfire by killing a kafir (non-Mulim)," al-Amriki says.  He called on terrorist sympathizers in the U.S. to use knives or vehicles to wage jihad inside the U.S. The video includes photos of New York's Times Square, the Las Vegas Strip and banks in Washington as potential targets. The 44-minute clip also showcases rocket-propelled grenade launchers, shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles, video-equipped guided missiles, drones and a remote-controlled vehicle that can place explosive devices under military vehicles.

 

3 Mississippi Teens Arrested in Murder of 6-Year Old (1NewsNow) Three young Mississippi men were arrested hours after a 6-year-old boy was found shot dead Thursday in his mother's stolen car and the suspects will be charged with capital murder, authorities said. Madison County District Attorney Michael Guest announced at a news conference that authorities plan to charge Byron McBride, D'Allen Washington and Dwan Wakefield in the death of the child.

 

Dem Leaders Urge Party to 'Slow Down' on Calls for Impeachment (NewsMax) Democratic leaders have a message for rank-and-file members of the party — cool your jets on cries for impeachment of President Donald Trump. Ranking Democrat in the House Intelligence Adam Schiff on Thursday said the word should not even be uttered without "hard evidence" that proves Trump tried to obstruct justice. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi agreed.

 

Conservative Sheriff Gets Important Job in Trump Administration (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. said Wednesday he would leave office next month to accept a federal appointment as an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He said he would work in the department’s Office of Partnership and Engagement as a liaison with state, local and tribal law enforcement and governments. “I’m looking forward to joining that team,” Clarke said Wednesday.

 

Fired FBI Chief Comey to Testify Publicly in Congress (NewsMax) James Comey, the former FBI chief whose firing by President Donald Trump has triggered uproar, has agreed to testify publicly about Russian interference in the 2016 elections, lawmakers announced Friday. "I hope that former Director Comey's testimony will help answer some of the questions that have arisen since Director Comey was so suddenly dismissed by the president," the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, said in a statement.

 

'Clock Boy' Lawsuit Thrown Out in Federal Court (Fox) A federal court has thrown out the civil rights lawsuit filed by the family of the Texas teenager known as “Clock Boy.” The lawsuit alleged that the city of Irving and Irving school district discriminated against Ahmed Mohamed at Irving MacArthur High School in September of 2015.

 

Harvard Study: Media Coverage of Trump 80 Percent Negative (NewsMax) President Donald Trump's first 100 days in office "set a new standard for negativity" for press coverage of a president, a Harvard study found. The Harvard Kennedy School and Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy study examined coverage by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, broadcast outlets CNN, CBS, Fox News and NBC, and European news outlets the Financial Times, BBC and ARD in Germany. "Trump's coverage during his first 100 days set a new standard for negativity," study author Thomas Patterson wrote. "Trump's coverage was unsparing. In no week did the coverage drop below 70 percent negative and it reached 90 percent negative at its peak."

 

Trump Reportedly Told Russians Firing 'Nut Job' Comey Eased 'Pressure' (NewsMax) President Donald Trump told Russian officials during an Oval Office meeting that firing "nut job" FBI Director James Comey relieved "great pressure" on him, according to The New York Times. It was another anonymously sourced report from a major media outlet, citing an unseen document.

 

 

TRUMP NEWS

 

Miss USA Tells Trump: ‘Continue to Be Yourself’ (CNS) In an interview on Fox News Channel, Miss USA 2017 Kara McCullough had some words of advice for President Donald Trump. McCullough has been under fire from liberal media because she said that she believes health care is a privilege, not a right. So, on Wednesday, Fox News asked her if she had a message for another public figure being assaulted by the mainstream media: President Donald Trump. The media are incorrigible, so the only thing to do is just stay strong and “be yourself,” McCullough counseled the president.

 

Trump: 'Walls Work. Just Ask Israel' (CNS) In a joint press conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, President Donald Trump issued a short direct answer to whether his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border will be a positive step towards stopping the flow of drugs across the border - "Walls work. Just ask Israel."

 

 

CULTURAL WARFARE

 

Alabama Lawmakers Approve Confederate Monument Protections (1NewsNow) Alabama lawmakers have voted to prohibit any alterations to Confederate monuments or markers. With a vote of 69-29, the House accepted final revisions Friday and sent the bill to Gov. Kay Ivey. Thursday's Senate vote was 25-8. The bill would prohibit the removal of monuments installed more than 40 years ago. A new state commission would grant or deny permission for changes to monuments, markers, streets and school names standing for at least 20 years.

 

New Orleans Removing Last of 4 Confederate-Era Statues (Fox) The City of New Orleans started to remove a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee Friday, a vestige of its Confederate past now viewed by the mayor and others as divisive. The Lee statue is the last of four Confederate-related statues being removed in the southern port city where an active slave-trade flourished before the Civil War.

 

Church Sign Saying Muslims Responsible for 9/11 Draws Ire (1NewsNow) Church signs often display innocuous messages such as "God answers knee mail." But a small Presbyterian church in North Carolina is drawing criticism for its provocative signs, including one this week that reads "19 Muslim immigrants killed 2977 Americans, Sept. 11, 2001." The Charlotte Observer reports that Lakeside Fellowship Presbyterian Church in Mooresville has also posted a message calling for a boycott of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" over a perceived gay character. The church has a section on its website defending its signs. The church says it wants to "speak the truth, and feel that very few are willing to do so in this age of political correctness." Pastor Joseph Alghrary did not respond to a phone message from The Associated Press on Friday.

 

 

COMMENTARY

 

Rush Limbaugh: America is Watching a ‘Silent Coup’ to Oust Trump (TheBlaze) Rush Limbaugh questioned the validity of the Russian investigations of President Trump and his administration during his radio show on Friday. Calling what’s unfolding a “silent coup,” Limbaugh lashed out at the treatment of the president by those within his party, the media and rest of the country. “How do we get no evidence of anything into five investigations on Capitol Hill, numerous media investigations, and the big investigation by the real pros: The CIA, the NSA, and the FBI?” Limbaugh asked. “There’s nothing. There’s not a scintilla. There’s not a whit. There’s no evidence whatsoever.” “It takes a lot of people conspiring together to make this happen,” Limbaugh continued. Directly attacking the media over reporting alleged White House leaks, Limbaugh said: “I think it has a purposeful, studied effort and outcome, which is a coup. We are watching a silent coup here to oust a duly elected president, and this coup is being mounted by career government people who can traffic anonymously and who are protected by people in the media and within the Democrat Party. Stop and think of it, folks. A year. How many…? Hasn’t the Washington Post at one time admitted that they have over 30 anonymous sources for all of this? That’s just one newspaper, 30 anonymous sources there.” Limbaugh added that The New York Times has their own sources, and wondered aloud how much source overlap existed between the varying publications. Insisting that there’s no evidence of collusion, Limbaugh pointed to a coverup of the “real” coverup. “All these deep state career government people, ex-Obama people that are civilians now? We don’t know,” he said. “But it is a lot of people, and there isn’t any evidence. There’s none! … Not only is there no evidence, there’s nothing to suggest the need of a special counsel. They can’t even find a coverup to cover up the fact that there’s no evidence. What is the cover-up?” Limbaugh added that firing former FBI Director James Comey is not a scandal. “When you don’t have a crime, then what the hell is being covered up?” he asked. “But they’ve got people believing that there’s a scandal here, and you know what the scandal is? Firing Comey. That’s not a scandal. Firing Comey? The president can do that any time he wants for whatever reason he wants, and he doesn’t need anybody’s permission.”

 

 

OVER THE EDGE

 

San Francisco Rat Cafe Offers Dining with Domesticated Vermin (UPI) A California tourist attraction is offering guests the opportunity to dine with live rats at its pop-up Rat Cafe. The San Francisco Dungeon announced, the Black Rat Cafe, a two-day pop-up shop that will allow visitors to interact with rats while enjoying a pastry and a coffee before entering the dungeon attraction. "Guests can sip their coffee while seated at bistro-style tables, nicely draped with red and white gingham tablecloths...all while being

Compiled and Edited by Pontolillo News Service for Bethel Fellowship Ministries International and Box 2 Radio Network

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