April 2017  
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12 O'Clock News

 

Nissan 30, 5777 • A Service of Box 2 Radio Network • 04/26/17

 

 

TOP OF THE NEWS

 

SANCTUARY CITY ORDER BLOCKED (Fox) A California judge on Tuesday blocked President Trump’s executive order that sought to withhold federal funds from so-called “sanctuary cities.” The ruling from U.S. District Judge William Orrick III in San Francisco said that Trump's order targeted broad categories of federal funding for sanctuary governments, and that plaintiffs challenging the order were likely to succeed in proving it unconstitutional. The decision will block the measure for now, while the federal lawsuit works its way through the courts. The news comes on the heels of the Department of Justice threatening on Friday to cut off funding to eight so-called “sanctuary cities,” unless they were able to provide proof to the federal government that they weren’t looking the other way when it came to undocumented immigrants.

 

Trump Cabinet Members Praying, Studying the Bible Together (CBN) Members of President Donald Trump's cabinet are gathering for prayer weekly. Vice President Mike Pence and eight cabinet secretaries sponsor the sessions, which occur weekly in Washington. It's led by the founder of Capitol Ministries, Ralph Drollinger, who started working on arranging the Bible study during the Trump team's transition to the White House. Sponsors include Vice President Pence; Secretaries Betsy DeVos, Ben Carson, Sonny Perdue, Rick Perry, Tom Price and Jeff Sessions; EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and CIA Director Mike Pompeo. These are some of the most influential people in the U.S. government gathering weekly to grow themselves spiritually. "In terms of a country's health and direction, when its leaders are seeking God, the nation is in a position to be blessed by God in ways that are 'far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think,'" Drollinger tells Beltway Buzz referring to Ephesians 3:20.

 

 

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION

 

Ethiopian Government Gets Ready to Block Churches with Fewer Than 6000 Members (Charisma) Ethiopia's northern Tigray State is considering adopting a new law that would restrict Christian activities to within official church compounds, rendering illegal the activities of smaller churches that do not own their own buildings and gather in houses. The law, if passed, would most affect Christians from outside the Ethiopian Orthodox Church because any church that wanted to have its own land would need to prove that it had at least 6,000 members—a greater number than the total population of non-Orthodox Christians in the state. The law would also ban Christians from evangelizing outside of church compounds.

 

 

WORLD

 

CLOSE CALL IN PERSIAN GULF (Fox) The USS Mahan, a guided-missile destroyer, had a close encounter with an Iranian Revolutionary Guard "fast attack craft" in the Persian Gulf Monday and had to alter course, sound the danger signal, fire flares and man its weapons, two U.S. officials tell Fox News.

  

Turkish Jets Bomb US-backed Forces in Iraq, Syria (Fox) More than 30 U.S.-backed Syrian and Iraqi Kurdish fighters were killed in a series of airstrikes carried out by Turkish jets last night, two American defense officials confirmed to Fox News. Both officials said there were no U.S. troops among the fighters who were hit. “This is very serious,” said one outraged U.S. official. U.S. and Russian troops in the areas of the attacks were warned about an hour before 24 Turkish jets and two Turkish drones bombed locations in northern Iraq and northeast Syria. Senior Russian officials contacted U.S. counterparts to try to get Turkey to back off the strikes, but those pleas were ignored by the Turks, officials said. There are currently about 1,000 U.S. troops on the ground in Syria. In March, 400 Marines deployed to Syria as part of an artillery battery to support U.S.-backed troops fighting around Raqqa. The U.S. Air Force uses a Turkish airbase near the border with Syria to conduct strikes against ISIS.

 

North Korea holds live-fire drill as US nuclear-powered sub approaches (Fox) North Korea on Tuesday reportedly conducted a huge live-fire drill that involved up to 400 artillery pieces, which may have been supervised by the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, as the U.S. added a nuclear-powered submarine to its fleet of vessels powering toward the region. Pyongyang apparently deployed long-range artillery units in the coastal region of Wonsan, an unnamed government source told South Korea’s Yonhap news agency. South Korea’s military did not confirm the report, but told the news outlet it was “firmly maintaining readiness.” There was speculation that the North might carry out another nuclear or missile test. News of the live-fire drill came after the USS Michigan, the nuclear-powered powered Ohio class submarine, pulled into the South Korean port of Busan.

 

Another American Citizen Detained by North Korea (Fox) Amid the rising tensions between the United States and North Korea – and the threat from Pyongyang of a pre-emptive strike on a U.S. aircraft carrier – another American citizen was detained by the self-described socialist state. Tony Kim, a 58-year-old Korean-American professor, was detained at Pyongyang International Airport after teaching accounting for a month at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology and working on aid and relief programs to North Korea. In the past, North Korea has generally quickly released any American citizens it detained – waiting at most for a U.S. official or statesman to come and to personally bail out detainees. But that appears to be changing. Kim’s arrest makes him the third American citizen currently detained in North Korea.

 

U.S. Hits Syria with New Sanctions (Worthy News) - Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced new sanctions Monday against Syria for its chemical weapon attack, targeting 271 Syrian individuals involved in the Bashar Assad regime’s chemical weapons program. The sanctions target people connected with a scientific center involved in research and development of chemical weapons, freezing their financial assets and blocking U.S. companies form doing business with them. “We will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons by any actor and we plan to hold the Assad regime accountable for their unacceptable behavior,” Mr. Mnuchin told reporters at the White House.

 

Obama's Secret Prisoner Giveaway to Iran Exposed (CBN) A new report shows that President Barack Obama delivered a secret giveaway to the Islamic regime of Iran so he could get his nuclear deal. The Obama administration released seven Iranian-born prisoners as part of the agreement. President Obama described them as "civilians." But an in-depth investigation by Politico shows some of them were accused by Obama's own Justice Department of posing threats to national security. Three were allegedly part of an illegal network that supplied Iran with U.S.-made microelectronics that could be used in cruise and surface-to-air missiles. In addition, one of them conspired to send thousands of U.S.-made assault rifles to Iran. And others were working to get their hands on an airplane for a pro-Hezbollah group. Politico reports, "The biggest fish, though, was Seyed Abolfazl Shahab Jamili, who had been charged with being part of a conspiracy that from 2005 to 2012 procured thousands of parts with nuclear applications for Iran via China."

 

Trump Condemns Holocaust Deniers (NewsMax) Pledging to confront anti-Semitism in all its forms and to "never be silent," President Donald Trump on Tuesday denounced as accomplices to "horrible evil" anyone who denies that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust. In a speech marking Holocaust Remembrance Day, Trump also pledged that as president of the United States he will "always stand with the Jewish people." Trump spoke at a U.S. Capitol ceremony hosted by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to mark the unveiling of a new conservation and research center. The center will serve as a repository for a vast collection of artifacts by those who survived Adolf Hitler's massacre of Jews during World War II.

 

Trade War: Trump Slaps Duty on Canada Lumber (NewsMax) U.S. President Donald Trump intensified a trade dispute with Canada, slapping tariffs of up to 24 percent on imported softwood lumber in a move that drew swift criticism from the Canadian government, which vowed to sue if needed. Trump announced the new tariff at a White House gathering of conservative journalists, shortly before the Commerce Department said it would impose countervailing duties ranging from 3 percent to 24.1 percent on Canadian lumber producers including West Fraser Timber Co.

 

 

NATIONAL

 

UC Berkeley Riots: Violence Looms as Mayor Questioned Over Ties to Extremist Group (Fox) The University of California, Berkeley is likely to once again be the site of brutal protests on Thursday as questions arise about whether the city’s mayor has ties to an extremist group sparking violence. Charles “Sid” Heal, a retired commander from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department who met with Berkeley police on Monday, said that authorities are preparing for the worst because extremist groups from across the spectrum are heading to Berkeley, and because the past three protests that devolved into violence were met by a “lackluster” response from local police. Heal and others said there is deep discord between the Berkeley Police Department and the city government, led by Jesse Arreguin, the 32-year-old newly elected mayor facing his first major test in running a large city. Arreguin has been accused of supporting left-wing violence because he is a member of the Facebook group of By Any Means Necessary, or BAMN, an anarchist group that has incited violent protests across the country.

 

DC Plans 'Full-Scale' Terror Attack Drill (Fox) Local governments in the Washington, D.C., region are planning a “full-scale” terror attack drill for Wednesday – an exercise that comes amid mounting tensions with North Korea and other threats. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments confirmed in a press release that law enforcement and first responders will participate in the exercise “designed to prepare for the possibility of a complex coordinated terror attack in the National Capital Region.” The drill prepares for an attack involving multiple locations and “teams of perpetrators” – and will be staged at six sites across the District of Columbia and the Virginia and Maryland suburbs.

 

SECRET SERVICE CHANGES (Fox) The White House announces Randolph Alles, acting deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, as the new director of the Secret Service after the agency has faced a number of high-profile security incidents in recent weeks.

 

Princeton Campus Plastered with anti-Semitic, Racist Fliers (Jerusalem Post) Fliers with anti-Semitic, racist and anti-immigrant messages were posted on the campus of Princeton University. The fliers were discovered in at least four areas of the campus on Thursday, the Daily Princetonian student newspaper reported, including on the door to the main entrance of the campus Center for Jewish Life. The person posting the fliers was wearing dark clothing and a ski mask, the Daily Princetonian reported.

 

Negotiators Make Progress on Bill to Keep Government Open (1NewsNow) Congressional and White House negotiators made progress Tuesday on a must-pass spending bill to keep the federal government open days ahead of a deadline as President Donald Trump indicated that U.S. funding for a border wall with Mexico could wait until September. But a big stumbling block remains, involving a Democratic demand for money for insurance companies that help low-income people afford health policies under former President Barack Obama's health law, or that Trump abandon a threat to use the payments as a bargaining chip. Trump's apparent flexibility on the U.S.-Mexico wall issue, however, seemed to steer the Capitol Hill talks on the catchall spending measure in a positive direction. Republicans are also vetting proposed changes to their beleaguered health care bill that they hope will attract enough votes to finally push it through the House.

 

 

TRUMP NEWS

 

President Proclaims One Week of Holocaust Remembrance (Jerusalem Post) President Donald Trump described how “six million Jews had been brutally slaughtered,” in a proclamation marking the week-long Days of Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust. The White House released the declaration Monday, Holocaust Remembrance Day, ahead of Trump’s planned speech at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Trump’s statement condemned the Nazi murder of 6 million Jews as well as other minorities. “The Holocaust was the state-sponsored, systematic persecution and attempted annihilation of European Jewry by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. By the end of World War II, six million Jews had been brutally slaughtered,” read the statement, adding that other targeted groups included “Roma (Gypsies), persons with mental and physical disabilities, Soviet prisoners of war, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Slavs and other peoples of Europe, gays, and political opponents.”

 

 

CULTURAL WARFARE

 

San Diego School District Introduces Islam Propaganda Program (1NewsNow) One of the nation's largest school districts has launched a campaign aimed at stopping any negative comments about Islam. The San Diego Unified School District's multiyear plan includes a letter addressing so-called Islamophobia to staff and parents of its 132,000 students. It's expected to be drafted and sent before Ramadan begins in late May. The district is also reviewing internal staff calendars to make sure Muslim holidays are recognized. Next school year, it will review materials on Muslim culture for libraries, provide resources to teachers and engage in partnerships with the Council on American Islamic Relations. Over several years, it plans to consider high school clubs that promote American Muslim culture, create "safe spaces" for students and train staff about Muslim culture. The plan drew little attention when the board approved it 4-0 on April 4, with one member absent. Public comments from staff and community members were uniformly positive.

 

150 'Queer' UMC Clergy Demand LGBT Ordination (1NewsNow) Approximately 150 “queer” clergy and clergy candidates in the United Methodist Church (UMC) are attempting to forward the homosexual agenda inside its Mainline Protestant denomination by signing onto a letter that demands its leaders recognize LGBT ordination – even though such a practice runs contrary to the biblical teaching on homosexuality. On Monday morning, the United Methodist Queer Clergy Caucus (UMQCC) issued a letter to the UMC that presses the denomination to be more inclusive of LGBT members inside the church.

 

British Teachers’ Union Pushes LGBT Education for Toddlers (Christian Headlines) Britain’s largest teachers’ union thinks toddlers should be included in expanded compulsory LGBT education programs. The National Union of Teachers (NUT) passed a motion Monday calling on British lawmakers to campaign for compulsory sex education classes and the “promotion of LGBT+ matters for all schools from nursery throughout all phases of state education,” according to The Times of London. Current law in Britain requires mandatory SRE classes in council-controlled secondary schools, but not academies and free schools, which make up the majority of secondary schools.

 

Hannity: ‘Coordinated Attempt to Silence...Every Outspoken Conservative in This Country’ (CNS) In his opening monologue Monday night, Fox News’s Sean Hannity addressed the “well-orchestrated effort by the intolerant left in this country,” which is trying to “silence every conservative voice,” including his. Following the ouster of Fox New’s Bill O’Reilly, Hannity appears to be the next target at Fox News. He said he has hired lawyers and will challenge his “serial harasser” – an individual he did not name -- in court. “In this fiercely divided and vindictive political climate, I will no longer allow slander and lies about me to go unchallenged, as I see this now to be a coordinated effort afoot to now silence those with conservative views. I will fight every single lie about me by any and all legal means available to me as an American,” Hannity said.

 

 

COMMENTARY

 

Franklin Graham: Our World is 'Slipping Farther and Farther Away from God' (CNS) "The world we live in is slipping farther and farther away from God. Jesus said, 'Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold'—and we’re witnessing that all around us." "Even people I talk to who aren’t Christians recognize it, and say the changes they see in the world are not good and are very concerning." "Just in the last week, China put its bombers on high alert." "North Korea says they will continue to develop long-range missiles and test nuclear weapons. Russian war planes were spotted off the coast of Alaska four times in just four days." "Radical Islam is gaining ground throughout much of the world." "Many of our politicians seem more concerned about getting their own way and advancing their own agendas than doing what is right for the people." "We’re becoming dysfunctional. God’s Word speaks of the nations of the earth being in 'anguish and perplexity.'" "There’s only One who has the answers, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ," "As individuals and as nations, we need to look to Him for wisdom and help. He is the Answer, for now and for all eternity."

 

 

OVER THE EDGE

 

Town For Sale (ABC) In the tiny, dying timber town of Tiller, the old cliche is true. If you blink, you might actually miss it. But these days, this dot on a map in southwestern Oregon is generating big-city buzz for an unlikely reason: Almost the entire town is for sale. The asking price of $3.5 million brings with it six houses, the shuttered general store and gas station, the land under the post office, undeveloped parcels, water rights and infrastructure that includes sidewalks, fire hydrants and a working power station. Tiller Elementary School, a six-classroom building that closed in 2014, is for sale separately for $350,000.

 

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

 

 

Nissan 29, 5777 • A Service of Box 2 Radio Network • 04/25/17

 

 

TOP OF THE NEWS

 

Trump Discusses North Korea Tensions with Asian Leaders (Fox) President Trump talked to leaders of both China and Japan on Monday as tensions on the Korean Peninsula have boiled over and North Korea appears ready for an ICBM launch. Trump spoke by phone with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Xi told Trump that China strongly opposed North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and hoped “all parties will exercise restraint and avoid aggravating the situation,” according to Chinese broadcaster CCTV. Trump hopes China could increase pressure on its isolated ally instead of using military options or trying to overthrow Kim Jong Un’s regime. Trump and Abe agreed to urge North Korea to refrain from provocative actions. "The North Korean nuclear and missile problem is an extremely serious security threat to not only the international community but also our country," Abe told reporters after the phone call with Trump. Meanwhile, U.S. commercial satellite images indicated increased activity around North Korea’s nuclear test site, while Kim has said that the country’s preparation for an ICBM launch is in its “final stage.”

 

Entire Senate to Go to White House for North Korea Briefing (NewsMax) Top Trump administration officials will hold a rare briefing Wednesday at the White House for the entire U.S. Senate on the situation in North Korea, senior Senate aides said Monday. All 100 senators have been asked to the White House for the briefing by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the aides said. While top administration officials routinely travel to Capitol Hill to address members of Congress on foreign policy and national security matters, it is unusual for the entire 100-member Senate to go to such an event at the White House, and for those four top officials to be involved.

 

Pence Trims Asia Trip (SRN) Vice President Mike Pence has cut short the final leg of his Asia trip to race back to Washington, where the Trump administration faces a critical week on tax reform and a funding plan to keep the government running, an aide said on Sunday. Pence, who has been traveling in Asia to reassure allies and partners about President Donald Trump’s commitment to the region, had originally planned to spend two nights in Honoluluat the end of a trip that took him to South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Australia.

 

Shadowy Extremist Group Behind the Anti-Trump Riots (Fox) On April 15, a pro-Trump, pro-free-speech rally at University of California, Berkeley, descended into violent mayhem after radical far-leftists — members of the organization Antifa — began to attack the peacefully assembled crowd. Antifa, which stands for “anti-fascist action,” is a network of loosely affiliated far-left anarchist and communist groups that orchestrate violent protests and attacks on populists, conservatives, and anyone else its members deem to be “fascists” or “Nazis.” Antifa was formed originally in Germany in the 1980s, its members taking the name of the communist paramilitary groups that engaged the Nazis in street-fighting in the 1930s. It now has active cells across the world, including in Germany, the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Czechia, and France. Harrowing video footage taken by Southern’s crew showed Antifa street fighters throwing bricks and M-80 explosives into the crowd, as well as assaulting Trump supporters. Other footage released by someone present at the event showed one Antifa thug hit a Trump supporter over the head with a bicycle chain and lock.

 

 

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION

 

Egypt: 16-Year-Old Christian Boy Murdered as Violence against Christians Continues (Christian Headlines) Egypt’s Christians continue to be the target of attacks from Muslim extremists. In the latest act of violence, a 16-year-old Christian boy was found murdered. Christian Today reports that Gamal Gabriel was found by his family with his throat slit, lying in a pool of blood, in Qai village in Upper Egypt. Gabriel was murdered on Maundy Thursday, just four days after two bombings were carried out against Coptic Christians who were attending Palm Sunday church services. The same day Gabriel was murdered three Christian homes were also burned.

 

 

WORLD

 

SANCTIONS ON SYRIA (Fox) White House announces Treasury Dept.'s Office of Foreign Assets Control has imposed sanctions on Syria in response to the chemical attack earlier this month, specifically freezing the assets of 271 members of the Assad regime suspected of supporting the attack.

 

Afghan Defense Chief Quits Over Attack, as Mattis Flies In (SRN) Afghanistan’s defense minister and army chief of staff resigned on Monday after the deadliest ever Taliban attack on a military base, threatening to overshadow a visit by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis as Washington looks to craft a new strategy for the country. Mattis was expected to meet Afghan officials and U.S. commanders who are pushing for more troops. But his arrival in Kabul came amid the fall-out from Friday’s Taliban assault on a base in the north of the country in which more than 140 Afghan soldiers were killed. “Defense Minister Abdullah Habibi and Army Chief of Staff Qadam Shah Shahim stepped down with immediate effect,” the office of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced in a post on its Twitter account. Shah Hussain Murtazawi, acting spokesman for Ghani, told Reuters the resignations were because of Friday’s attack on a major army base in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

 

Israel Charges Teen Hacker over JCC Bomb Threats, Blackmailing US State Senator (Jerusalem Post) An Israeli court on Monday indicted a dual national teenager for a series of bomb threats against 100 Jewish institutions in the United States and other countries out of a total of 2,000 public and private organizations worldwide. The teen is also charged with trying to blackmail Republican state senator Ernesto Lopez from Delaware who spoke out against the bomb threats, even going so far as sending illegal drugs to his house in order get him in trouble with the law.

 

'No Israelis Served Here' (Jerusalem Post) A body piercing shop in the Australian North Queensland city of Cairns displayed a sign saying, “No Israelis served here.” Israeli tourist Mohr Wenger posted a photo of the sign Saturday on Facebook. Wenger wrote in the post that she and a friend with whom she was traveling around Australia entered Cold Steel Piercing Friday to have their noses pierced only to be told by the owner that he would not serve them because they were from Israel.

 

Measles Outbreaks in Europe (SRN) Gaps in vaccination coverage against measles have led to several outbreaks of the highly-contagious disease in Europe in the past year, with both children and young adults affected, health officials said on Monday. During the first two months of 2017, more than 1,500 measles cases were reported from 14 European countries due to “an accumulation of unvaccinated individuals”, said officials from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). In 10 countries — Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain and Sweden — the number of cases reported in January-February 2017 was more than double that of the first two months of 2016.

 

 

NATIONAL

 

Convicted Jihadist with California Ties Loses US Citizenship (1NewsNow) A federal judge revoked the U.S. citizenship of a man who prosecutors say ran a communications hub for an Egyptian terrorist group out of his Northern California apartment, authorities said. Judge Beryl Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last week ordered the "denaturalization" of Khaled Abu al-Dahab, 57, for lying to immigration officials during the process to gain U.S. citizenship, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday. The Justice Department said the Egypt native was a member of the terrorist organization Egyptian Islamic Jihad for 10 years starting in 1989, three years after moving to the United States. The former Silicon Valley car salesman admitted he spent two months at a camp near Jalalabad, Afghanistan, where he received military-style training and taught foreign fighters to fly hang gliders in preparation for terrorist attacks. He also admitted to the FBI that he operated a communications hub for the group out of his Santa Clara, California, apartment, the department said. Al-Dahab also admitted to U.S. investigators that he worked to recruit Americans of Middle Eastern descent into the terrorist network during his 12 years in California. Al-Dahab told the investigators that Osama bin Laden was eager to recruit American citizens of Middle Eastern descent because their U.S. passports could be used to facilitate international travel by al Qaeda terrorists, and that bin Laden personally congratulated him for this work, the department said. Al-Dahab became a U.S. citizen on Feb. 7, 1997. The next year he traveled to Egypt, where he was arrested, convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for being a member of a terrorist organization and trying to overthrow the Egyptian government. He has lived in Alexandria, Egypt, since his 2011 release. "We will protect our national security and our borders, and when we identify individuals tied to foreign terrorist organizations who procured their U.S. citizenship by fraud, we will initiate denaturalization proceedings — whether you reside here or abroad — and ensure you are denied entry into the United States," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said.

 

'US anti-Semitic Incidents Jump 86% at Start of 2017' (Jerusalem Post) Anti-Semitic incidents in the United States surged by 34 percent in 2016 compared to 2015, and have jumped 86 percent in the first quarter of 2017, new data released by the Anti-Defamation League on Monday showed. In its annual ‘Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents’, the ADL reported that there has been a “massive increase” in the amount of harassment of American Jews, particularly since November. The report stated that there was a total of 1,266 acts targeting Jews and Jewish institutions in 2016, nearly 30% of which occurred in November and December. These incidents included 720 incidents of harassment and threats, 510 vandalism acts and 36 physical assault incidents. During the first three months of 2017, another 541 incidents took place including 380 harassments and 161 bomb threats. In addition, the beginning of the year saw 155 vandalism acts - including three cemetery desecrations- and six physical assault incidents. 

 

DNC Chair Tom Perez says All Dems Must Support Abortion (TheBlaze) Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez said Friday that all Democrats who run for political office must support a “women’s right to choose” — which really means be pro-abortion. Perez said in a statement, according the Huffington Post: Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health. That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state. At a time when women’s rights are under assault from the White House, the Republican Congress, and in states across the country,” he added, “we must speak up for this principle as loudly as ever and with one voice. Perez added in a series of tweets that when he ran for DNC chair, he promised to fight for abortion rights.

 

Trump Order Gives Mnuchin Green Light to Take 'First Step' on Tax Reform (Fox) President Donald Trump signed one executive order and two memoranda Friday, empowering U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to take the first step toward tax reform and weed out onerous portions of Dodd-Frank, a law implemented in the wake of the financial crisis. The executive order “begins the process of tax simplification” and “is the first step toward tax reform,” Trump said at the Treasury Department Friday. As stipulated by the executive order, Mnuchin will assess the major tax rules implemented in 2016 and identify which ones can be reduced or eliminated. He will be looking for policies that “impose an undue financial burden on American taxpayers,” “add undue complexity” or “exceed statutory authority.” This follows a similar executive order rolled out in February.

 

President Trump Raises Stakes on Government Shutdown (Worthy News) - The White House said Thursday that it wants to see money for President Trump’s border wall included in the spending bill Congress must pass this week — a demand Democrats said sours negotiations and makes a government shutdown more likely. The demands mark a reversal for the administration, which had been saying it found enough money to build prototypes this year and wouldn’t need a major infusion of cash until next year. But White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday that the wall and the money for more immigration agents are priorities.

 

 

TRUMP NEWS

 

Charity Worker Detained in Egypt for 3 Years Credits Trump for Release (NBC) An Egyptian-American charity worker returned home to the Washington, D.C. area Thursday night after spending three years in an Egyptian jail over what human rights groups say were bogus charges. A freed Aya Hijazi got the opportunity Friday morning to shake hands with President Donald Trump, who her lawyer said helped to secure her release. "First and foremost, there have been countless number of people advocating for Aya Hijazi's freedom," Wade McMullen told NBC News. "I think Trump and his team deserve credit for making this a priority at the most critical time in her case." Hijazi, 30, and her brother met with Trump at the White House in a visit that included Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Dina Powell, an Egyptian-American and Trump's deputy national security adviser for strategy.

 

 

CULTURAL WARFARE

 

Scottish Gov't Now Backs Explicit LGBT Teaching in Schools (Charisma) A controversial campaign calling for pro-LGBT education throughout Scottish schools has received official backing at Holyrood. The Scottish government has pledged to support the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign, which advocates compulsory teaching on sexuality, transsexualism and gender identity, as well as pro-LGBT sexual health education.

 

High Court Rules to Allow Tel Aviv Stores to Remain Open on Shabbat (Jerusalem Post) In a victory for Tel Aviv residents and the city’s municipal council, the High Court of Justice ruled on Wednesday that the government must allow a municipal bylaw granting 165 grocery stores the right to be open on Shabbat to come into effect. The ruling comes more than three years after the Tel Aviv Municipality first approved a bylaw legalizing the opening of such stores, which led to a dispute that two governments and no less than five different interior ministers failed to resolve.

 

Alabama Senate Passes Major Pro-life Bill (Christian Headlines) The Alabama Senate approved a bill this week that would add the right to life for unborn babies into the Alabama Constitution.  The state Senate approved the bill in a 25-7 vote. The measure had already passed in the state House in March. The proposed amendment will now go to voters on a ballot.

 

 

OVER THE EDGE

 

Coin Flip Decides New President of Southern Illinois Village (ABC) A coin flip has decided who will lead a tiny southern Illinois town after an election this month ended in a tie. Tammy O'Daniell-Howell is the new village president of Colp, home to about 250 residents, after the coin toss Thursday. Williamson County Clerk Amanda Barnes says opponent Bryan Riekena let O'Daniell-Howell choose heads or tails. She picked heads and that's where it landed. The candidates each received 11 votes in the April 4 election. Illinois law calls for coin flips to settle ties.

 

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

 

 

Nissan 28, 5777 • A Service of Box 2 Radio Network • 04/24/17

 

 

TOP OF THE NEWS

 

Justice Dept. Tells 9 Sanctuary Cities Grant Money at Risk (NewsMax) The Trump administration is moving beyond rhetoric in its effort to crack down on sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. The Justice Department is forcing nine communities to prove they are complying with an immigration law to continue receiving coveted law enforcement grant money. The department sent letters Friday to places its inspector general previously identified as having rules limiting the information that can be provided to federal immigration authorities. They include California, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia. Officials there must provide proof from an attorney that they are following the law. It is an extension of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' repeated threats to crack down on sanctuary communities by denying or stripping them of grant money.

 

150th Anniversary of 'In God We Trust' (CBN) On April 22nd 150 years ago, in the midst of a raging Civil War, Congress voted to put “In God We Trust” on coins produced by the U.S. Mint. The motto first went on a coin we don’t even see anymore: the two-cent coin. A minister had proposed somehow acknowledging God on the nation’s coins back in 1861, fearing America was far too secular and ungodly. “This would relieve us from the ignominy of heathenism,” Ridleyville, Pennsylvania Pastor M.R. Watkinson had written to Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase.  “I have felt our national shame in disowning God as not the least of our present national disasters." And Chase himself wrote to the Director of the Mint, “No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense.”

 

 

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION

 

Russia Bans Jehovah’s Witnesses; Seizes its Property Nationwide (TheBlaze) The Russian Supreme Court upheld on Thursday a decision by the nation’s Ministry of Justice to liquidate the center for the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia and to close 395 Local Religious Organizations belonging to the group. According to a press statement by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the high court’s ruling will go into effect immediately. NPR reports the religious group’s property will now belong to the Russian government. There are roughly 170,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia. Russia has labeled the group “extremist” on multiple occasions, and NPR says an Interfax report recorded Svetlana Borisova, an attorney for the Justice Ministry, claiming the Jehovah’s Witnesses “pose a threat to the rights of citizens, public order and public security.”

 

Blasphemy Charges Against Jakarta's Christian Governor Dropped after Election (CBN) The Christian governor of Jakarta is free from charges of blasphemy against the Koran. At a court appearance Thursday, Indonesian prosecutors decided to end their trial against Basuki Purnama, also known as Ahok. The decision came just one day after he lost his gubernatorial bid against the former minister of education. The politically motivated blasphemy charges came during the campaign when Ahok told Muslims they could vote for him even though he is a Christian.

 

 

WORLD

 

Israeli Air Force Strikes Syria (Jerusalem Post) The IDF struck a base belonging to a pro-Syrian militia near Quneitra early Sunday morning, al-Jazeera reported. In a statement released by The National Defense Forces (NDF), a pro-regime militia, the alleged Israeli strike targeted the Naba Fawar base, killing three fighters and wounding two others. With various heavily armed radical groups battling President Bashar Assad, Syria is Israel’s most unpredictable and unstable neighbor and poses one of the largest risks for a sudden escalation. As several battles rage in Syria, the errant rocket fire was likely due to fighting between Hezbollah and regime troops against rebel groups near Ain Ayshaa, Samadiniyah Sharqiyah & Madinat al-Baath near Quneitra. The border with Syria has been tense since the war there erupted in 2011, and while Israel rarely publicly admits to carrying out strikes, which are mostly limited to convoys of advanced weaponry destined for Hezbollah, it is suspected of carrying out occasional retaliatory strikes on Syria after stray rockets or mortar rounds struck Israeli territory.

 

TALIBAN HITS BASE (Fox) More than 100 army personnel have been killed or wounded after gunmen wearing army uniforms stormed a military compound in Balkh province, The Associated Press reported, citing an Afghan official. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

 

China Military 'on High Alert' Amid N Korea Threats (NewsMax) China has put its military "on high alert" over North Korea's increased threats about a preemptive strike, CNN reported. An unnamed defense official told CNN a large number of Chinese military aircraft are being brought up to full readiness through intensified maintenance to "reduce the time to react to a North Korea contingency." CNN also reported China is now the focus of the Trump administration's North Korea strategy. "Nobody thinks the Chinese are going to press North Korea militarily or bring the regime to its knees, but the strategy looks to China to find a political solution more than anything else," one senior administration official told CNN. The United States is also prepared for a preemptive strike against North Korea, NBC News reported.

 

US Defense Sec'y Mattis: Syria still has Chemical Weapons (1NewsNow) Syria still possesses chemical weapons, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in Israel on Friday, warning against the banned munitions being used again. At a news conference in Tel Aviv, Mattis also said that in recent days the Syrian Air Force has dispersed its combat aircraft. The implication is that Syria may be concerned about additional U.S. strikes following the cruise missile attack earlier this month in retaliation for alleged Syrian use of sarin gas. Mattis spoke alongside Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Israeli defense officials said that Syria still has up to three tons of chemical weapons in its possession. It was the first specific intelligence assessment of President Bashar Assad's weapons capabilities since a deadly chemical attack earlier this month.

 

Fatah calls for 'Day of Rage' (Jerusalem Post) The West Bank’s ruling party Fatah called on Palestinians to participate in a day of rage this Friday in support of the hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners. Ma'an, a Palestinian news agency, reported on Saturday that Fatah is urging Palestinians “to clash with the occupier at all friction points.”

 

GM Plant in Venezuela Seized by the Government with No Warning (TheBlaze) According to CNN Money, the Venezuelan government has unexpectedly seized General Motors’ car plant, causing the car company to halt production within the country effective immediately. GM has described the takeover as an “illegal judicial seizure of assets,” and that the move was a “total disregard” of the company’s legal rights. The Venezuelan government has reportedly removed assets from the plant, including cars. “[GM] strongly rejects the arbitrary measures taken by the authorities and will vigorously take all legal actions, within and outside of Venezuela, to defend its rights,” GM said in a statement.

 

FRENCH ELECTION: Le Pen, Macron Projected as Winners in First Round (Fox) As France’s polls closed in the first round of presidential voting on Sunday, Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron were projected by multiple news agencies to advance to a May 7 runoff. The projections, based on vote totals in certain constituencies that were then extrapolated nationwide, were reported by The Associated Press, Reuters and AFP. The likely Le Pen-Macron matchup was announced almost immediately after polls closed at 8 p.m. local time. The May 7 runoff now places the controversial, right-wing nationalist Le Pen against the centrist, Pro-European Union Macron.

 

Trump Administration Opens Sweeping Trade Investigation (Washington Examiner) Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said Thursday that the Trump administration has initiated a sweeping investigation of how trade has affected national security and the U.S. economy. "Last night the Department of Commerce initiated an investigation under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962," Ross told reporters at the White House on Thursday. "That authorizes the secretary of commerce to conduct comprehensive investigations to determine the effects of imports of any particular item into the United States on the security of the country." Ross highlighted the problem rampant foreign steel imports have created for U.S. manufacturers, noting the investigation would look in part at whether the domestic industry currently has the ability to meet the needs of the military as it prepares to ramp up production of tanks, aircraft and naval ships.

 

 

NATIONAL

 

US Prosecutors Prepare to Arrest Julian Assange (CBN) U.S. prosecutors are preparing to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to CNN and The Washington Post. The Department of Justice has conducted an investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks dating back to 2010, when the site first posted thousands of stolen files by the former US Army intelligence analyst, now known as Chelsea Manning. However the DOJ has struggled to bring charges against the site or its founder. Sources say now they have found a way to move forward and U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions calls the arrest a top priority.

 

Trump Administration Dismisses Surgeon General (NewsMax) The White House dismissed the U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on Friday, as the administration of President Donald Trump continued to put its own leadership in place, USA Today reports. "Dr. Murthy has been relieved of his duties as Surgeon General and will continue to serve as a member of the Commissioned Corps," the statement read. "(Health and Human Services) Secretary (Tom) Price thanks him for his dedicated service to the nation. "Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, who is the current Deputy Surgeon General, will serve as the acting Surgeon General and assume leadership of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps." Trent-Adams has served in the Public Health Service Corps for over 24 years, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. She is a graduate of Hampton University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where she earned both master's and doctoral degrees.

 

Texas Stands with Israel, Passes Bill Opposing Discrimination (CBN) Texas passed a bill that bans all state enterprises from engaging with companies that boycott Israel. In a 131-0 decision, the Texas House of Representative passed the bill targeting companies that participate in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. Texas is now the 18th state to pass such measures that single out the Jewish state. The move won praise from Jewish and Christian communities.

 

GOP House Members Briefed on Healthcare Bill Status (NewsMax) House Republicans were told on a conference call Saturday that an agreement was nearing between conservatives and moderates on legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare. “The votes will drive the timing of this,” one Republican lawmaker on the call told The Hill, making clear that nothing was certain unless the GOP had the votes to pass any bill. Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, briefed members on healthcare, according to the report. No questions were taken.

 

Bill O'Reilly Returns with Podcast Monday (NewsMax) Bill O’Reilly will release a new episode of his "No Spin News" podcast on Monday, the first time he will be speaking publicly since he was ousted Wednesday from Fox News amid sexual harassment allegations. O'Reilly’s website was updated Saturday night to include the announcement, The Hill reports.

 

ABC/Wapo Poll: 98 Percent of Trump Voters Happy with Their Choice (NewsMax) Only 2 percent of those who voted for President Donald Trump last November say they regret their decision, a new poll shows says the ABC News/Washington Post survey released Sunday as he approaches his 100th day in office. 96 percent of those who voted for Trump say it was the right decision, and just 2 percent say they regret their ballot, the poll shows. Other findings from the poll show that: 73 percent approve of the president pressuring companies to keep jobs in the country; 53 percent view Trump as a strong leader. 46 percent think Trump is handling the situation with North Korea "about right"'; 37 percent think the president is handling the situation in too aggressive a manner. 44 percent of respondents think Trump is keeping his campaign promises; 41 percent disagree. 56 percent say Trump hasn't accomplished much in his first 100 days in office; 42 percent think he's done a great deal or a good amount. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percent.

 

 

TRUMP NEWS

 

Trump Plans Rally on Night of White House Correspondents Dinner (NewsMax) President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday he would be holding a "BIG rally in Pennsylvania" next Saturday evening, the same night as the White House Correspondents Dinner, The Hill reported. The president announced in February he would break with tradition and not attend the annual event hosted by the White House Correspondents' Association, scheduled for April 29 at the Washington Hilton. The White House staff also will not attend the dinner attended by lawmakers and celebrities, Politico reported last month.

 

Trump: Dreamers can ‘Rest Easy’ under my Immigration Policies (TheBlaze) President Donald Trump said Friday that “Dreamers,” illegal immigrants who have benefitted from former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, should “rest easy” about his administration’s approach to immigration reform. In an interview with The Associated Press, the president said the White House is “not after the dreamers, we are after the criminals.” “That is our policy,” Trump said.

 

Trump Celebrates Earth Day with Nod to Environment, US Workers (NewsMax) President Donald Trump used Earth Day on Saturday as a platform to deliver a message that wove a commitment to protecting the environment with support for American workers, The Hill reported Saturday. "My administration is committed to keeping our air and water clean, to preserving our forests, lakes, and open spaces, and to protecting endangered species," Trump said. "Economic growth enhances environmental protection. We can and must protect our environment without harming America's working families. That is why my administration is reducing unnecessary burdens on American workers and American companies, while being mindful that our actions must also protect the environment," he added.

 

 

CULTURAL WARFARE

 

Florida Teacher Banned Students Wearing Crosses (TheBlaze) A Tampa, Florida, high school teacher has prohibited several students from wearing cross necklaces in her classroom, and the school district is now opening an investigation into the matter. According to a letter sent on Thursday to Hillsborough County Public Schools from Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit organization specializing in legal cases involving constitutional law, math teacher Lora Jane Riedas allegedly told at least three of her students that they were not allowed to wear the Christian emblem because it represented a gang symbol. One of the crosses, according to Liberty Counsel, is less than an inch tall.

 

Global Anti-Semitism Surges by 45% on US campuses (Jerusalem Post) While violent incidents of antisemitism dropped 12% worldwide in 2016, US campuses saw a surge of 45% in antisemitism, according to data released Sunday. The Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University in collaboration with the European Jewish Congress released its Annual Report on Antisemitism for 2016 during a press conference held at the university. According to the report, a total of 361 anti-Semitic violent incidents were reported worldwide, down from 410 in 2015. In contrast, English speaking countries saw a rise in anti-Semitic incidents: The UK saw an increase of 11%, though the rate of violent incidents decreased by 13% while anti-Semitic incidents in Australia increased by 10% this past year. One of the most startling findings is a 45% increase in antisemitism on US campuses, which the report stated have become a hot-bed for antisemitism, often under the guise of anti-Zionism and due to increased pro-Palestinian movements, such as BDS on campuses.

  

 

OVER THE EDGE

 

Vienna Bartender Appeals Fine for Public Belching (ABC) He who burps loudest laughs best — at least in this case. Nearly a year after a policeman ticketed Edin Mehic for loudly belching next to him, the Vienna bartender has won his appeal. Mehic was fined 70 euros ($75) for a loud burp next to the officer at an amusement park. The ticket said he violated "public decency with a loud belch next to a police officer." But a court document Mehic emailed to The Associated Press on Friday shows authorities have ruled in his favor. It says there was "never proof" that he burped to affront the officer.

 

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

 

 

Nissan 25, 5777 • A Service of Box 2 Radio Network • 04/21/17

 

 

TOP OF THE NEWS

 

Franklin Graham on Trump Releasing Tax Returns: 'No Way!' (CNS) Commenting on the liberal media's demand that President Donald Trump release his tax returns, evangelical leader Franklin Graham said, "No Way!" and added that it would become "a media frenzy, which is exactly what his enemies want." "Should President Donald J. Trump release his tax returns?" asked rev. Graham in an April 19 post on Facebook. "A lot of liberals keep demanding it." "The President hasn’t asked for my advice, but I would say—No way!" remarked Rev. Graham. "Even if these were published, the average American -- or the average politician, including Senator Chuck Schumer, for that matter -- wouldn’t be able to understand them," said Graham. "President Trump is a billionaire with multiple businesses in multiple states, using our very complicated and corrupt tax code that Congress is responsible for writing—that should be scrapped." "It would just be another huge distraction, and a media frenzy, which is exactly what his enemies want," said Rev. Graham. "We don’t need distractions," he said. "We need to let President Trump focus on what America elected him to do." "We need to get on with the business of solving the problems facing our nation," he said. "Forget the tax returns! We need a simple tax code that all Americans can understand."

 

Hannity Rips House GOP: ‘It’s About Time They Get Off Their A--’ and ‘Start Doing Some Work’ (CNS) Sean Hannity ripped house Republicans on his nationally syndicated radio talk show Tuesday for not getting things done in Washington, saying, “[I]t’s about time they get off their a-- … and start doing some work.” “I just don’t relate to not working hard,” stated Sean Hannity. “I don’t relate to, ‘Give me the House; give me the Senate; give us the White House; and boy, we’ll get all these things done.’ And they haven’t gotten it done. I don’t relate to it; I don’t identify with it; and frankly, they’re hurting the president and the country by not doing their job. And it’s about time they get off their a--, get back from vacation, and start doing some work.”

 

 

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION

 

Locked and Loaded Muslim Man Attends Christian Conference, Makes Facebook Live Threats (CBN) Facebook is becoming the tool of choice for people who want to broadcast threats, murders, and even their own deaths on social media. The story is no different for self-described Muslim Ehab Jaber, who allegedly went live on his Facebook page with disturbing threats towards attendees of a Christian conference. The Facebook live video shows Jaber holding up a copy of the Koran before scanning a crowd of believers at the Worldview Weekend rally in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. An estimated 500 men, women, and children attended the event, not realizing they were secretly being recorded by Jaber. Jaber eventually left the event but the Facebook saga was far from over. He later posted two more Facebook live videos of himself sitting in a car parked outside the conference. He pulled out several weapons and repeatedly told the camera "be scared" and "be terrified." He taunted the Christians in a speech laced with profanity.  According to event coordinators, no charges were filed against Jaber, since South Dakota allows for open carry. Police later told several media outlets Jaber also had a concealed carry permit.

 

 

WORLD

 

ATTACK IN PARISISIS Claims Responsibility (Fox) A police officer was killed and two were seriously injured when a gunman opened fire late Thursday on the famed Champs-Élysées shopping district in Paris before he was shot dead, officials said. Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert told The Associated Press that the attacker, who is believed to have acted alone, targeted police guarding the area near the Franklin Roosevelt subway station at the center of the avenue popular with tourists. The French Interior Ministry said the shooting attack "deliberately targeted" police officers guarding the area. Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said on BFM television that a man came out of a car and opened fire on the police vehicle. The attacker was known by secret service in France, officials confirmed to Fox News. Police sources told France 24 searches are currently ongoing at the home of the gunman killed in the attack. ISIS has claimed responsibility.

 

U.S. Confirms: ISIS Launched Chemical Attack on Advancing Iraqi Forces in Mosul (Worthy News) - Islamic State fighters launched a chemical attack against advancing Iraqi security forces in the besieged city of Mosul, injuring a number of local troops amid heavy fighting, the senior U.S. ground commander confirmed Wednesday. The attack, which took place this week in the liberated western portion of the city, ended with several members of the targeted Iraqi unit exposed to a low-grade chemical agent, similar to the material used in earlier chemical strikes against coalition forces, Army Maj. Gen. Joseph Martin said. Iraqi and coalition forces pushed the Islamic State terror group, or ISIS or ISIL, from the city’s west side in January.

 

Abbas: I am Ready to Meet Netanyahu Any Time Under Patronage of Trump (Jerusalem Post) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday made several significant statements in favor of a dialogue with Israel and a hastening of the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in an official interview with Japanese newspaper Ashai Shimbun. "I am ready to meet the prime minister of Israel any time in Washington under the patronage of President Trump," Abbas declared. Looking ahead to his meeting with Trump in Washington, which is slated to take place on May 3, the PA president said that the purpose of the summit with the US president was "to continue our discussion on how to conclude a peace deal with the help of the US."

 

Venezuelan President to Arm Militia Supporters After Confiscating Civilian Guns (TheBlaze) Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro declared in a speech to loyalists of his regime that he would arm thousands of his supporters as massive protests and riots occur across the country. According to Fox News, opposition to Maduro’s administration are reaching a boiling point, and in response the Venezuelan president told uniformed militia members outside his palace that there would be a “gun for every militiaman.” The Bolivarian militias that were created during the reign of Hugo Chavez will be armed by the Venezuelan government, were some 100,000 in attendance, but loyalists are estimated to number somewhere around 400,000. Maduro makes this announcement after years of campaigning to have Venezuelan civilians stripped of their firearms.

 

Shots Fired as Iran Arrests over 30 Gay Men in Violent Raid (Jerusalem Post) The Islamic Republic of Iran arrested more than 30 men who are believed to be gay at a private party last week in the Esfahan province. The prominent Canadian NGO Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees (IRQR) first reported on the violent crackdown, saying the men were between the ages of 16 and 30. "IRQR received several reports in last few days and were able to confirm that police attacked guests and physically beat them. Police detained them all at the Basij (Revolutionary Guard Militia) Station and then transferred them to Esfahan’s Dastgerd Prison. A few people managed to escape and we received reports that there were several heterosexual individuals among those arrested," the human rights NGO wrote in its website on Thursday.

 

N Korea Warns of 'Super-Mighty Preemptive Strike' as US Plans Next Move (NewsMax) North Korean state media warned the United States of a "super-mighty preemptive strike" after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States was looking at ways to bring pressure to bear on North Korea over its nuclear program. U.S. President Donald Trump has taken a hard line with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who has rebuffed admonitions from sole major ally China and proceeded with nuclear and missile programs in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions. Reclusive North Korea regularly threatens to destroy Japan, South Korea and the United States and has shown no let-up in its belligerence after a failed missile test on Sunday, a day after putting on a huge display of missiles at a parade in Pyongyang.

 

 

NATIONAL

 

Census: More Americans 18-to-34 Now Live with Parents Than with Spouse (CNS) Four decades ago, in the mid-1970s, young American adults--in the 18-to-34 age bracket--were far more likely to be married and living with a spouse than living in their parents’ home. But that is no longer the case, according to a new study by the U.S. Census Bureau. “There are now more young people living with their parents than in any other arrangement,” says the Census Bureau study. “What is more,” says the study, “almost 9 in 10 young people who were living in their parents’ home a year ago are still living there today, making it the most stable living arrangement.” The Number 1 living arrangement today for Americans in the 18-to-34 age bracket, according to the Census Bureau, is to reside without a spouse in their parents’ home. That is where you can now find 22.9 million 18-to-34 year-olds—compared to the 19.9 million who are married and live with their spouse. In 1975, according to Census Bureau data, 31.9 million Americans in the 18-to-34 age bracket were married and lived with their spouse. Back then, this was the most common living arrangement for that age bracket.

 

Poll: Trump’s Border Wall Faces Serious Opposition — from Texans (TheBlaze) A significant majority of Texans oppose President Donald Trump’s border wall, a new poll released Tuesday revealed. According to the survey published by the Texas Lyceum, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, 61 percent of Texas citizens polled said that they disapprove of building a large wall on the southern border of Texas in order to keep illegal immigrants out. Interestingly, 72 percent of Texas say they are concerned about illegal immigration, with a majority of both whites and Hispanics saying it’s a problem.

 

 

TRUMP NEWS

 

President Trump Signs Bill Giving Vets More Choices for Health Care (CNS) President Donald Trump signed into law on Wednesday the Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act, which “eliminates the original sunset date on the Veterans Choice Program” and “gives veterans who are unable to schedule an appointment at a VA facility in a timely or convenient manner the ability to receive care from an eligible non-VA health care.” “Using funds that have already been appropriated for this program, this gives our nation’s heroes the peace of mind they deserve while this administration works with Congress to enact comprehensive reform and modernization at the VA,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.

 

 

CULTURAL WARFARE

 

10-year-old Autistic Boy Handcuffed at School, Spends Night Behind Bars (TheBlaze) Luanne Haygood watched helplessly as her 10-year-old autistic son was arrested at a Florida school April 12 — but she made sure to capture it all on video. John Haygood, 10, pleaded with Okeechobee County School Resource Officers as they put handcuffs on him. “I don’t want to be touched,” he’s heard saying on the clip. “Please don’t touch me.” Soon the boy was crying as he was led out of Okeechobee Achievement Academy and into a patrol car. “I don’t know what’s going on, Mama!” he said. His mother tried getting answers from the officers who told her she couldn’t sit with him in the vehicle. “He has autism. He doesn’t know what’s going on,” she’s heard telling the officers on the clip. “He’s scared to death. He’s 10-years-old.” With that, John Haygood was taken to juvenile detention where he spent the night behind bars and had only one meal in 12 hours, WPEC-TV reported. On Thursday morning, he appeared in a jail jumpsuit before a judge, WFOR-TV reported. He was then released under house arrest, WPEC said. Turns out the charge against John Haygood was felony battery on a school board authority, the sheriff’s office told WFOR. But the incident didn’t happen last Wednesday. Luanne Haygood told WFOR her son kicked a paraprofessional at the school last October. The incident allegedly left the victim with scratches and other marks, WPEC reported. The sheriff’s office and prosecutors told WWLP they weren’t aware Haygood has autism. The state attorney’s office told WWLP it will take that into consideration.

 

Court: 75-Year-Old Vet Not Guilty for Displaying U.S. Flags Above VA Fence (CNS) A U.S. veteran who was charged in 2016 with the federal crime of desecrating Veterans Administration property by displaying two small American flags on top of a VA fence was found not guilty yesterday, according to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Robert Rosebrock, a 75-year-old veteran, had placed the tiny U.S. flags atop the fence at the Great Lawn Gate entrance to Veterans Park in Los Angeles on Memorial Day, May 30, 2016. He and other veterans regularly gathered there to protest what they say is the VA's failure to use the park properly for the benefit of veterans. "Now that the court has rightly dismissed the government's outrageous flag-displaying charges against Mr. Rosebrock, we hope that he and his fellow patriots will be allowed to honor the flag and commemorate their fellow veterans as they deem appropriate," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in an April 18 statement. Robert Rosebrock faced a six-month prison sentence if found guilty. Judicial Watch Attorney Sterling E. Norris and defense attorney Robert Patrick Sticht represent Mr. Rosebrock.

 

117 Years! World's Oldest Woman Says Serving God Is the Secret (CBN) Violet Mosse-Brown, affectionately known as 'Aunt V', has now been declared the oldest living person in the world. Born on March 10, 1900, the 117-year-old Jamaican says her Christian faith is the secret to her longevity. "Thank God for what he has given to me. This what God has given me, so I have to take it, long life," Brown said. "I've done nearly everything at the church. I spent all my time in the church." According to the Violet Mosse Foundation, Brown was raised in the Christian faith. She was baptized over 100 years ago at the age of 13 in the Trittonville Baptist Church in the Duanvale district of Trelawny. Whenever she is asked about what has contributed to her longevity Brown proudly says, "My faith in serving God, and believing strongly in the teaching of the Bible." She is especially fond of the part of the scripture in the Bible that says, "honor your parents that your days on this earth may be long."

 

 

COMMENTARY

 

O'Reilly: 'Tremendously Disheartening' Unfounded Claims Cost Me My Job (NewsMax "Over the past 20 years at Fox News, I have been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in history, which has consistently informed and entertained millions of Americans and significantly contributed to building Fox into the dominant news network in television," O'Reilly wrote Wednesday in a statement published on his website. "It is tremendously disheartening that we will part ways due to completely unfounded claims," he added. "But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. "I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. "I wish only the best for Fox News Channel."

 

House Committee on Government Oversight & Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (Charisma) “Thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative in the United States House of Representatives. Serving is an honor and a privilege that I have never taken for granted. After long consultation with my family and prayerful consideration, I have decided I will not be a candidate for any office in 2018. Since late 2003 I have been fully engaged with politics as a campaign manager, a chief of staff, a candidate and as a member of Congress. I have long advocated public service should be for a limited time and not a lifetime or full career. Many of you have heard me advocate, "Get in, serve and get out." After more than 1,500 nights away from my home, it is time. I may run again for public office, but not in 2018. For those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives. I am healthy. I am confident I would continue to be re-elected by large margins. I have the full support of Speaker Ryan to continue as Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. That said, I have made a personal decision to return to the private sector. I am grateful for all of you in the current and previous 3rd Congressional District. I acknowledge the outstanding work of my dedicated staff. Together we have been a strong advocate for Utahns. By announcing now, I hope to give prospective candidates time to lay the groundwork for a successful run. I have no doubt the 3rd Congressional District will be represented by a Republican. I trust you to find the best person to serve.”

 

 

OVER THE EDGE

 

British Collector Finds $1.4M Gold Stash in ex-Iraqi Tank (UPI) -- A British man who buys and restores old tanks made a surprising discovery in a former Iraqi Army tank -- five gold bars worth about $1.4 million. Nick Mead, a collector and owner of Tanks A Lot, said the gold, which may have been stolen by the Iraqi Army during the invasion of Kuwait and forgotten inside the tank, was turned over to police. It's not yet clear what will eventually become of the discovery.

 

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

 

 

Nissan 24, 5777 • A Service of Box 2 Radio Network • 04/20/17

 

 

TOP OF THE NEWS

 

Pence Warns North Korea That ‘the Sword Stands Ready’ (CNS) Vice President Mike Pence sent another clear warning to North Korea on Wednesday, telling personnel aboard a Japan-based U.S. aircraft carrier that “all options are on the table” when dealing with the Stalinist regime. Pence said the U.S. would work with allies and others in the region to apply diplomatic and economic pressure on the regime in Pyongyang until it abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. “But as all of you know,” he continued, “readiness is the key, and you – the instruments of American policy – should know, all options are on the table.” “History will attest the soldier does not bear the sword in vain,” Pence said. “Those who would challenge our resolve or our readiness should know: We will defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response.” “The United States of America will always seek peace,” he added. “But under President Trump, the shield stands guard, and the sword stands ready.”

 

AG Sessions: 10,000 MS-13 Gang Members in USA; ‘We're Going After Them’ (CNS) It's up to the State Department to designate MS-13 as a terrorist organization. But regardless of whether that happens, “We’re going after them,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Fox News’s Tucker Carlson Tuesday night. “We can devastate this gang. We’re going after them. We are not going to allow them to take over a block, a corner of our communities and terrorize people with this violence," Sessions said. The attorney general said there are now some 10,000 members of the violent Salvadoran gang in 40 states. “These are not geniuses,” Sessions said. “They are involved in the kind of activities that can be identified and they can be prosecuted.” He said with persistence, "we can devastate this organization, and that's going to be our goal.” Sessions said many of the MS-13 members would not be in the country if the previous administration had been stricter about border security.

 

 

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION

 

Australia: Christians Experiencing Increased Attacks from Muslim Extremists (Christian Headlines) Christians in Australia are facing increased persecution and are especially being targeted by Muslim gangs. CBN News reports that recently, a Greek Orthodox Christian man was targeted for wearing a cross necklace. A group of Muslims reportedly stopped the man and his girlfriend. They ripped the necklace from his neck and stomped on it. They then proceeded to inflict physical injury on the man, kicking and punching him. When the man’s girlfriend tried to intervene, she was reportedly also punched and kicked by Muslim women who were part of the group. The man reported afterward that his attackers were “Middle Eastern in appearance” and said they referred to “Allah" and blasphemed the name of Jesus. The man also claimed that five railway transport officers witnessed the attack but did nothing to help. Train officials, however, maintained that their employees are not authorized to take action in the case of an assault. Baptist Pastor George Capsis says this attack is cause for concern for Australian Christians. Capsis noted that this was the fourth such attack on Christians in Sydney in the past six months. Christians have been cautioned against displaying Christians symbols, such as crucifixes, in areas dominated by Muslims in order to prevent further attacks.

 

 

WORLD

 

TENSION IN THE AIR (Fox) For the second consecutive night, Russia flew two long-range bombers off the coast of Alaska on Tuesday, this time coming within 36 miles of the mainland while flying north of the Aleutian Islands, two U.S. officials told Fox News. The two nuclear-capable Tu-95H bombers were spotted by U.S. military radar at 5 p.m. local time. U.S. territorial waters extend 12 nautical miles from shore.

 

Iran’s Traction in Syria a Greater Threat to Israel than ISIS (Jerusalem Post) s world powers focus on toppling ISIS, Iran is quietly gaining traction in Syria – posing a direct threat to Israel, eastern Mediterranean countries and the entire Arabian Peninsula, according to National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz. “It’s very easy and convenient to focus on ISIS,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “But we have two challenges in Syria. One is ISIS and one is Iran. The greater threat is coming from Iran, and not just from its nuclear program. The most immediate and urgent threat is the Iranian plan to transform Syria, after this horrible, brutal civil war is over, into some kind of extension of Iran.”

 

Iran Shows off New Air Defense Systems; Declares 'Death to Israel' (Worthy News) - At an annual military parade in Tehran on Tuesday, Iran showed off its new S-300 air defense missile system and other weapons, many displayed under banners calling for Israel’s demise. The military parade showcased the Iranian-made Sayyad-3 anti-aircraft missile for the first time, its Russian-made S-300 system and a slew of other military equipment. Some of the trucks carrying weapons were adorned with banners showing a fist punching through a blue Star of David and the slogan “Death to Israel” in Persian.

 

Russian Envoy, Foreign Ministry to Discuss Recognition of Jerusalem as Capital (Jerusalem Post) Russia’s Ambassador to Israel Alexander Shein is expected to meet in the coming days with senior Foreign Ministry officials to discuss the significance of its surprise announcement earlier this month to recognize west Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state. Shein is expected to tell his interlocutors that Moscow now recognizes west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and that it expects that east Jerusalem will be the capital of a Palestinian state in any future agreement.

 

Assad Regime Reportedly Holding Syrian Boy in Viral Video under House Arrest (Christian Headlines) Omran Daqneesh, the Syrian boy who became a symbol for civilian suffering after the photograph of him sitting covered in airstrike debris went viral, is reportedly being held under house arrest by the Bashar Assad regime. Photojournalist and opposition activist Mahmoud Rasian, who took the photo of Omran, said Omran and his family are all under house arrest. Rasian said that the regime does not want Omran’s family talking with the media. President Assad, for example, told the Swiss media that it was a “forged picture and not a real one.” However, Assad’s wife later acknowledged Omran by name in an interview with Russia Today.

 

Early Results Show Defeat for Jakarta’s Christian Governor (SRN) Unofficial results showed the minority Christian governor of the Indonesian capital was resoundingly defeated Wednesday by his Muslim challenger who swept up votes by appealing to a growing conservatism in the world’s most populous Muslim nation. So called “quick counts” by 10 research companies show former Cabinet minister Anies Baswedan winning between 55 and 60 percent of votes with more than 80 percent of ballots counted. Incumbent Gov. Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama is on trial for blasphemy and hundreds of thousands protested against him in Jakarta, deriding his Chinese ancestry and calling for him to be imprisoned or killed.

 

UK PM Theresa May Champions Role of Christianity in British Society (Christian Headlines) The UK’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, stressed in her Easter address the importance of the role Christianity plays in British society. In the three minute and ten second address, May called for the renewed commitment to religious freedom, while at the same time encouraging Britons not to shy away from embracing the country’s Christian traditions. “We should be confident about the role that Christianity has to play in the lives of people in our country,” said May, according to Relevant Magazine, while also valuing “the strong tradition that we have in this country of religious tolerance and freedom of speech.” May, who is a conservative politician, was appointed as Prime Minister in July 2016 after then Prime Minister David Cameron stepped down in the wake of the Brexit vote. She went on to say in her Easter address: “So this Easter, whatever our faith, let us come together as a nation, confident in our values and united in our commitment to fulfill the obligations that we have to one another. Let us work together to build that brighter future we want for our country. And let us together build a stronger, fairer Britain that truly does work for everyone.”

 

 

NATIONAL

 

Gang of Illegals Massacre Teens in New York (Breitbart) The shocking massacre of four Hispanic young men in Long Island has been tied to the notorious illegal alien street gang, MS-13, authorities say. The four brutally murdered young men were found lying on the street in Central Islip, New York. The bodies were found Wednesday near a soccer field inside Central Islip’s Recreation Village Town Park. The victims were murdered by members of the MS-13 gang, according to ABC 7. The bodies were so mutilated that one could only be identified by a tattoo. The victims were all young men, one was 20 years of age, two were 18, and the youngest victim was just 16. A fifth young man reportedly escaped. The victims were identified as 16-year-old Justin Llivicura, and 18-year-olds Jefferson Villalobos, and 1Jorge Tigre, and 20-year old Michael Banegas.

 

FBI Investigating Radical Terrorists in All 50 States as Threats Hit Peak (Worthy News) - Federal authorities have open investigations into radical Islamic terrorists in all 50 states, according to the Department of Homeland Security, which is warning that the threat of terrorism in the United States has reached an all-time high with radicalized individuals in the country plotting to strike "each and every single day." The FBI has "open terrorist investigations in all 50 states," according to DHS Secretary John Kelly, who disclosed on Tuesday that there have been at least 37 "ISIS-linked plots to attack our country" since 2013, a number that shows no signs of diminishing.

 

Democrat Ossoff Fails to Stop Runoff in Georgia Special Election (NewsMax) An upstart Democrat in a special election in a conservative Georgia congressional district failed to stave off a runoff election early Wednesday morning. With 100 percent of the vote counted, Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old former congressional staffer, had 48.1 percent of the vote, according to AP results. That fell below the 50 percent plus one he would have needed to prevent a runoff. That means a June 20 runoff that would pit Ossoff against the top Republican vote-getter. Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel is second behind Ossoff but has a comfortable lead over other Republican candidates.

 

CHAFFETZ Will Not Seek Re-Election (Fox) Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, one of the state’s most high-profile politicians, confirmed he will not seek re-election in 2018. As head of the powerful House Oversight Committee, Chaffetz played a key role in numerous hearings and investigations of the Obama administration.

 

Despite Record Collections, 52,062,499 Filers Paid No Income Taxes in 2014 (CNS) In tax year 2014, according to a report published by the Internal Revenue Service, the federal government hauled in a then-record $1,377,797,136,000 in individual income taxes. Nonetheless, of the 148,606,578 individual income tax return filers that year, 52,062,499 (or 35 percent) filed what the IRS calls “nontaxable returns,” which means they paid no net individual income taxes. Among these 52,062,499 filers who did not pay income taxes in 2014, according to Table 3.3 in the report, were 31,129,405 filers who also received $90,276,007,000 in payments from the federal government for “refundable” tax credits.

 

Bill O’Reilly Officially Out at Fox News (NewsMax) (TheBlaze) It’s official: Bill O’Reilly and Fox News will be parting ways, according to a statement from 21st Century Fox. News of O’Reilly’s departure comes in the wake of a series of sexual harassment allegations.

 

Honeymoon from H**l: The Liberal Media vs. President Trump (MRC) We’re almost at the 100-day mark of President Trump’s first term. With that in mind, the Media Research Center’s Rich Noyes and Mike Ciandella released a comprehensive study showing that broadcast networks’ coverage of Trump has been 89% negative since he first took office on January 20. The study analyzed the evening news shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC, and found that there were 1,501 negative statements about President Trump from non-partisan sources, compared to only 186 positive statements. This analysis stands in marked contrast to eight years ago, when these same networks fawned over the newly-inaugurated President Obama with relentless positive spin.

 

 

TRUMP NEWS

 

President Trump Signs Buy American Hire American Executive Order (CNS) President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order requiring the government to “aggressively promote and use American-made goods and to ensure that American labor is hired to do the job.” Speaking to a crowd at the Snap-On Tools facility in Kenosha, Wis., Trump said the Buy American, Hire American executive order will protect American workers, because it requires that American projects be made with American goods.

 

 

CULTURAL WARFARE

 

Planned Parenthood to Give Hillary Clinton 'Champion of the Century' Award (Christian Headlines) Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be given an award from Planned Parenthood at the organization’s centennial gala on May 2, 2017. Clinton will receive the “Champion of the Century” award at Planned Parenthood’s “100 Years Strong: The Celebration of a Century” centennial celebration “for her 40 years of service to women and girls in this country,” according to Planned Parenthood’s press release. National Review contributor Alexandra Desanctis writes that, rather than serving “women and girls in this country,” Clinton has been a consistent champion of abortion. Desanctis also notes that Clinton has already received the “Margaret Sanger” award from Planned Parenthood. Margaret Sanger, the organization’s founder, was a proponent of eugenics. Clinton was also a driving force behind the Democratic party’s updated platform regarding abortion which is its most pro-abortion platform ever. The updated platform includes advocating for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which bans taxpayer funding of abortion.

 

1.5M Signers to Target: Can You Hear Us Now? (1NewsNow) The American Family Association's "Boycott Target" petition has received 1.5 million signatures. AFA's Walker Wildmon made the announcement earlier today on American Family Radio. "It has officially reached 1.5 million signatures," said Wildmon. "So that's a great victory, it's a great milestone in what I view is a highly successful boycott of Target." The announcement comes one year to the day that Target announced a policy allowing transgender employees and customers to use the bathrooms and changing rooms for the gender with which they say they identify.

 

 

OVER THE EDGE

 

Maine: 'Heavy Moose Traffic' on Bridge (UPI) Police in Maine warned drivers Wednesday morning to beware of "heavy moose traffic" stemming from a moose that decided to cross a bridge. Belfast Police said the moose was seen about 8 a.m. crossing the Veteran's Memorial Bridge in Belfast while walking along Route 1. "You may experience heavy moose traffic on the Passagassawakeag River Veterans Memorial bridge this morning," Belfast Police Sgt. John Gibbs wrote in a Facebook post. Gibbs urged drivers to remain aware of potential moose encounters and said police will continue to monitor the animal in the hopes of preventing any car-on-moose crashes.

 

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

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