LISTEN: Urban Christian News Network #542 with Daniella Whyte

1. According to the Associated Press, Indonesian television showed footage of objects floating in the Java Sea on Tuesday which an official said could be part of the AirAsia jet presumed to have crashed in shallow waters off the Indonesian coast. Indonesian TV showed two relatively large objects, one orange and one grey or brown, floating on the surface. The largest appeared to be several metres in length. An Airbus A320-200 carrying 162 people and operated by Indonesia AirAsia disappeared in poor weather on Sunday morning during a flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.

2. According to Baptist News Global, Both the current and past presidents of the Southern Baptist Convention Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission have criticized President Obama’s recently announced plan to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba. Richard Land, who retired after 25 years as the ERLC’s leader in 2013, said in a press release that “appeasing dictators and compromising with evil” is not the way to help Cubans. He urged members of the Senate not to lift an economic embargo put in place after Fidel Castro seized control of Cuba in 1959. Russell Moore, who took the helm of the ERLC in June 2013, said the U.S. should have used leverage to get human-rights concessions and contended that the embargo has worked for its intended purpose “to isolate Cuba and keep it a client state.” He encouraged prayer “for a free Cuba, with full religious liberty and other human rights.”

3. According to the BBC, President Barack Obama has said race relations in the US are better now than when he took office, despite nationwide protests over police actions. Obama told broadcaster NPR in a wide-ranging interview that he thinks “the issue has surfaced in a way that probably is healthy”. Demonstrations have followed the killing by police of several unarmed black men and boys in 2014. On Sunday, New York City’s police chief said officers feel under attack.

4. According to USA Today, A health worker who just returned to Scotland from Sierra Leone has been diagnosed as the country”s first Ebola case. The Scottish government said on its website that infectious disease procedures have now been put into effect and the patient has been isolated and is being treated on the Gartnavel Hospital campus in Glasgow. A spokeswoman for Save the Children told The Independent that the patient is a female nurse who worked at the organization’s Ebola hospital in Kerry Town, near the capital Freetown.

5. According to the BBC, The death toll following a fire on the Norman Atlantic ferry off Corfu has risen to 10, with the evacuation of all those on board now complete. One man was killed when trying to escape the ship, and a further nine bodies have since been found. More than 400 people were rescued amid gale-force winds and thick smoke. It is not clear if others are still missing. The Italian authorities said they could not verify the actual number of people originally on board. Rescuers are still searching the vessel. Italian prosecutors announced on Monday that they had opened a criminal investigation into the fire and would look into whether negligence had played a role.

6. According to The Detroit News, Jim Harbaugh, who spent the last four seasons as coach of the San Francisco 49ers after two college head-coaching stops at San Diego and Stanford, will be formally introduced Tuesday at a noon news conference as the new head coach of Michigan. Harbaugh has signed his Michigan contract, a source told The Detroit News on Monday night. Terms were not immediately known. Harbaugh replaces Brady Hoke, fired on Dec. 2 after four seasons. This is Michigan’s third head coach since 2008. Harbaugh’s Michigan teammates have unwavering confidence in the job he will do and how he will lead.

7. According to the New York Post, Bill Cosby and his team have launched an attack on every woman who has accused him of sexual assault. Cosby is now arming himself with a team of investigators whose sole purpose is to dig up dirt on his accusers. Instead of speaking out against these allegations, Cosby and his lawyer Martin Singer are now trying to dig up anything negative in any accuser’s past. So far more than two dozen women have accused the comedian of drugging them, with the most recent allegations coming from former supermodel Beverly Johnson.

8. According to 10 News, A minister sitting in a car in a Pentecostal church parking lot in San Diego was grazed in the chest by a bullet that came to rest in his arm Sunday night. The shooting at Greater Apostolic Faith Temple Church was reported yesterday. The victim was with another minister in a parked car, talking, when a gunman approached on foot and fired four rounds into a passenger side window. Police described the gunman as black, in his 20s, 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, last seen wearing a black baseball cap and black clothing. The motive for the shooting was under investigation.

9. According to ABC News, New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio was greeted with boos and catcalls at a graduation ceremony for new police officers where he told the cadets they can be “part of the solution.” The mayor’s comments were the first to the police since this weekend when hundreds of officers turned their backs on an outdoor monitor showing de Blasio speaking at the funeral of Officer Rafael Ramos. Ramos and Officer Wenjian Liu were ambushed in Brooklyn Dec. 20 while sitting in their squad car. The gunman later killed himself. Liu’s funeral will be held next weekend.

10. According to Al Jazeera, Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian teenager on Monday near a checkpoint in the West Bank after he reportedly threw rocks at drivers. WAFA, the official Palestinian news agency, identified the teen as 17-year-old Iman Jamil Dweikat, a resident of Beita. An Israeli military spokeswoman said that the Israeli military personnel were patrolling the area when they encountered youths throwing stones at a road near the checkpoint. After the teenagers ignored orders to stop, the soldiers responded with direct fire.

As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: John 16:33 says, “”I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

God loves you. He always has and He always will. He loves you so much that the Bible says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, why don’t you get to know Him today. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose by the power of God for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening. May God bless your day.

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