LISTEN: Urban Christian News Network #628 with Daniella Whyte

1. According to CBS Baltimore, Attorneys are challenging the arrest of over 230 people during this week’s violence and looting. Governor Larry Hogan has temporarily suspended a rule, requiring suspects be presented to a judicial office promptly. Many people, attorneys argue, have been held for more than 24 hours without being notified of any charges against them. Attorneys are challenging the governor’s authority to suspend this rule. They are also frustrated that suspects are being assigned bail they believe is exorbitant. Many of those charged can’t pay it, and may spend months in jail awaiting trial.

2. According to FOX News, “We will not obey.” That’s the blunt warning a group of prominent religious leaders is sending to the Supreme Court of the United States as they consider same-sex marriage. “We respectfully warn the Supreme Court not to cross that line,” read a document titled, Pledge in Solidarity to Defend Marriage. “We stand united together in defense of marriage. Make no mistake about our resolve.” “While there are many things we can endure, redefining marriage is so fundamental to the natural order and the common good that this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross,” the pledge states. The signees are a who’s who of religious leaders including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, National Religious Broadcasters president Jerry Johnson, Pastor John Hagee, and Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse.

3. According to Newsweek, One day after the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges–the outcome of which may dictate the future of same-sex marriage in the United States–Pope Francis on Wednesday publicly affirmed his stance on traditional marriage between men and women. Though he made no specific mention of the case before the court during his daily general audience, the pope reiterated his position that marriage is only between one man and one woman. “Jesus teaches us that the masterpiece of society is the family: the man and the woman who love each other,” he said.

4. According to NBC NY, The nation’s largest mass transit system has voted to ban all political advertising on its subways and buses after a judge ruled that a pro-Israel group was allowed to display an advertisement containing the phrase “Hamas Killing Jews” on New York City buses. The resolution passed Wednesday by a vote of 9-2 at the MTA’s board meeting after the finance committee approved it earlier in the week. The cash-strapped agency says such advertising only accounts for less than $1 million of its annual advertising revenue of $138 million.

5. According to Reuters, The hardline Ahrar al-Sham group in Syria and other insurgents seized a crossing in the southwest frontier area near Israel on Thursday from a small group of rival Islamist fighters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said. If confirmed, the capture would represent a further advance for Ahrar al-Sham, one of the main jihadist groups in Syria alongside Islamic State and al Qaeda’s Syria wing Nusra Front.

6. According to The New York Times, a senior Iranian general said on Monday that the leadership of regional rival Saudi Arabia was on the edge of collapse and would be toppled soon, “God willing.” Gen. Mohammad Jafari, the head of the 150,000-strong Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, said the Saudis were “following the path of Israel” and the airstrikes on Yemen were “shameless and rude and an affront to all Islamic values.” Last week, Saudi Arabia announced a halt to its operations in Yemen, which started a month ago, only to restart bombing a day later. Over 1,000 people have been killed after the rebels, who are financially supported by Iran, swept through Yemen, taking advantage of years of infighting by Sunni leaders. A coalition of Arabian countries is trying to push the rebels back using airstrikes.

7. According to Fox News, One of the last American combat units stationed in Europe is asking the government for bigger guns amid rising tensions over Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict. The 2nd Cavalry Regiment is requesting that 81 of its 8-wheel-drive infantry carrier vehicles be equipped with 30-mm. automatic cannons — double the caliber of the 12.7-mm. guns they already carry. The House Armed Services committee is already setting aside money for the upgrade, which the Army has approved. The 2nd Cavalry Regiment, based in Germany, has been deployed to the Baltic States to deter aggression following Russia’s seizure of Ukraine’s Crimea region.

8. According to Reuters, Nearly half of young Americans believe the U.S. justice system has racial and ethnic biases and they strongly believe the use of police body cameras will make law enforcement fairer, a Harvard University study showed on Wednesday. In a survey of Americans ages 18 to 29, Harvard’s Institute of Politics asked if they were confident the U.S. judicial system could “fairly judge people without bias for race and ethnicity.” Forty-nine percent of respondents said they had not much or no confidence, the researchers said. Among African-Americans, 66 percent said they had not much or no confidence in the system’s fairness, while 53 percent of Hispanics expressed similar misgivings, the study found. The survey also found 80 percent of those asked said equipping police officers with body cameras could help reduce racial inequalities in the justice system.

9. According to The Times of Israel, a new proposal for a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has been put forth by Qatar and Turkey. Palestinian sources said that Turkey passed along the proposal via the Qatari ambassador to the Gaza Strip, who visited Israel and even met with the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. Turkish and Qatari ambassadors met with Hamas representatives in Ankara, and also in Gaza, and presented them with the framework for the plan. The details were also given to senior members of the Palestinian Authority. According to various sources in Gaza, the basic plan will include a five-year moratorium on hostilities between the two sides.

10. According to TIME Magazine, scientists now state that some 143 million Americans in the Lower 48 states are at risk of experiencing an earthquake — with 28 million being in danger of “strong shaking.” In a press release, researchers attributed the record numbers to both population migration, with ever more people moving to earthquake hot-zones on the West Coast, and a “change in hazard assessments.” The data nearly doubles the 1994 FEMA estimation of 75 million Americans who could potentially experience tremors during their lifetime.

As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: Ephesians 4:15 says, “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:”

Samuel Johnson said, “Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed, not by strength, but perseverance.”

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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