LISTEN: Urban Christian News Network #591 with Daniella Whyte

1. According to the AP, Thousands of people crowded an Alabama bridge on Sunday, many jammed shoulder to shoulder, many unable to move, to commemorate a bloody confrontation 50 years ago between police and peaceful protesters that helped bring about the 1965 Voting Rights Act. A day after President Barack Obama had walked atop the Edmund Pettus Bridge, police said tens of thousands of people had joined the crush on and around the small bridge. Many came from around the country for several events commemorating the landmark moment. On March 7, 1965, police beat and tear-gassed marchers at the foot of the bridge in Selma in a spasm of violence that shocked the nation. The attack help build momentum for passage of the Voting Rights Act later that year.

2. According to CNN, The Rev. Fred Craddock, the pulpit giant who was “like no other preacher you have ever heard,” has died according to his church. Craddock, who redefined the art of preaching, died Friday in Blue Ridge, Georgia. The cause has not been disclosed. The 86-year-old had been in declining health due to Parkinson’s disease in recent years. Craddock, who taught preaching at the Candler School of Theology until his retirement, was selected as one of the 12 most effective preachers in the English-speaking world in a poll of 341 seminary professors and editors of religious periodicals in 1996.

3. According to AFP, President Barack Obama assured in a taped television interview with ‘CBS News Sunday Morning’ that the United States was prepared to “walk away” from nuclear talks with Iran if a verifiable deal cannot be reached with Tehran. Obama made the comments Saturday as US Secretary of State John Kerry was in Paris to smooth over differences with France, which has pressed for greater guarantees that an agreement will stop Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon, and a bruising speech to Congress earlier in the week by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Obama said, “If we cannot verify that they are not going to obtain a nuclear weapon, that there’s a breakout period so that even if they cheated we would be able to have enough time to take action — if we don’t have that kind of deal, then we’re not going to take it.”

4. According to WGN TV, A performed skit at Wheaton College, meant to be a parody, is sparked outrage and anger and caused the school to issue a statement. The skit was performed at an annual team building event last weekend. The school’s football team breaks into groups and competes in different events. This year, one group of players dressed like Ku Klux Klan members for skit. The say it was based on a scene from the 2003 movie Bad Boys II. The players in the skit, some who are African American, also carried a confederate flag. While players have said the skit was intended to be a joke, many students and staff at Wheaton College were extremely shocked and hurt by what took place in the campus gym. Word of the skit soon leaked and the campus president met with the team. Soon after, students on campus got an email from the coaches and players apologizing.

5. According to 12 News Now, Rev. Randy G. Vaughn of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church said he plans to be in Nashville, TN March 18 in protest of Bishop Yvette Flunder, who is legally married to a woman, preaching at the American Baptist College lecture series. Rev. Vaughn said he fears the acceptance of homosexuality within the church will “damage the family unit,” and said the beliefs taught in his congregation is that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Pastor Vaughn and other Baptist pastors across the country are now campaigning against the college’s decision with a petition.

6. According to CBN News, Jeb Bush’s soon-to-be presidential campaign is getting a big jolt from an influential evangelical figure. Jordan Sekulow is joining “Team Bush” as a Senior Advisor for Bush’s Right to Rise PAC. Jordan Sekulow is the Executive Director of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). He’s also is host of Jay Sekulow Live!, which is a syndicated radio program where he interviews elected officials and conservative leaders.

7. According to KOCO News, Students at the University of Oklahoma have planned a protest against Sigma Alpha Epsilon. The demonstration was planned after a video surfaced on Sunday reportedly showing members of the fraternity singing a racist chant. Sunday night, the national SAE organization closed the chapter, effective immediately. OU President David Boren said the university was investigating the video. The national organization said in a statement, “All the members have been suspended, and those members responsible for the incident may have their membership privileges revoked permanently. We apologize for the unacceptable and racist behavior of the individuals in the video, and we are disgusted that any member would act in such a way…”

8. According to Newsweek, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party is two seats behind its main election rival with just over a week to go before the crunch vote, as his controversial Washington speech fails to translate into notable domestic political gains, according to a new poll. The poll, conducted for The Jerusalem Post and Maariv News by Panels Research, showed that if Israelis went to the polls today, the opposition Zionist Union, led by Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni, would gain 24 seats in the Knesset, the Irsaeli parliament, to Likud’s 22. A poll conducted immediately after Netanyahu’s speech by the same research company predicted 23 seats for the Zionist Union and 22 for Likud in the March 17 vote, showing that the Herzog’s Zionist Union had retrieved a seat in the days following the speech.

9. According to The LA Times, President Obama said Friday that he stood by the Justice Department’s decision not to file charges against the white policeman who shot to death an unarmed young black man last summer in Ferguson, Mo., citing insufficient evidence. The officer, “like anyone else who is charged with a crime, benefits from due process and a reasonable doubt standard,” the president said at a town hall meeting in South Carolina. “If there is uncertainty about what happened, then you can’t just charge him anyway because what happened was tragic.” Obama’s comments came in response to a question about the confrontation between Darren Wilson and Michael Brown that sparked major protests and a national discussion over race relations, particularly between law enforcement and minority communities.

10. According to Reuters, Islamic State militants in Libya seized a group of foreigners at the al-Ghani oilfield last week, a spokesman for the Austrian foreign ministry said citing “secure information” on Monday, adding that they were alive when taken. There has been no sign since of the nine oil workers from Austria, the Czech republic, Bangladesh, the Philippines and at least one African country who went missing. Foreigners have increasingly become targets in Libya’s turmoil, where two rival governments are battling for control and Islamist extremists have grown in the chaos that followed Muammar Gaddafi’s ouster four years ago.

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