LISTEN: Urban Christian News Network Podcast, 07/08/16, with Daniella Whyte


1. AP – Police say officers have been targeted in Tennessee, Georgia and Missouri in the aftermath of two high-profile killings of black men by law enforcement. The attack in Tennessee occurred hours before the killing of five police officers in Dallas on Thursday night during a protest. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says the attacker told authorities that he was frustrated by the recent killings by police of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota. Police have not disclosed a motive in Friday’s attacks in Georgia and Missouri, which have been described as ambushes. In a fourth attack early Friday, a motorist fired at a police car as the officer drove by. In all, four officers were wounded. The officer wounded outside St. Louis is in critical but stable condition. The wounded officers are expected to survive.

2. Pastor Tony Evans wrote on his Facebook page in response to the killings over the past few days, “The tragedies over the last few days are deplorable, and they have shaken all of us. Horrifically, this is even more true for the families of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, and now the people, officers and their families of Dallas. The events are shocking, revolting and tragic. Yet they also, once again, bring to the surface an undercurrent swelling quietly below as a billow of bias for far too many people in our nation for far too long. Our prayers go out to the families and friends affected most closely by these events, and to those fighting for their lives at this very moment in Dallas. But we must do more than pray. We, as believers in Jesus Christ, must begin to both model and apply more fervently biblical solutions to our nation’s chaos.”

3. NBC DFW – Potter’s House Bishop T.D. Jakes called for prayer while denouncing the ambush assault on Dallas police Thursday night after five officers were killed in the line of duty. You can go to his Facebook page to view his reaction to the tragic events that have transpired in Dallas and other cities.

4. Texas pastor Jack Graham responded to the Dallas police shootings on Twitter, posting: “The Prestonwood family is praying for the courageous men and women of the Dallas police and sheriffs departments. May God have mercy” In a follow up post, he wrote “Neighborhoods can only change when the church penetrates darkness with light and love. Now is the time to overcome evil with good”. His church, Prestonwood Baptist, held a prayer service at noon asking God to bring comfort to the city of Dallas.

5. Mirror News – A Facebook page claiming to represent a black power group has posted messages claiming responsibility for the deaths of five police officers in Dallas. Five officers were gunned down by at least two shooters who picked out officers from an ‘elevated position’ – believed to be a multi-storey car park. It came in the week of public outrage over the deaths of two black men shot by police. The so-called Black Power Political Organisation wrote on its Facebook account that it was behind the attack and that ‘more assassinations are coming’. It’s origins and history is not yet known and authorities have not confirmed any political link to the shootings.

6. Washington Post – Following the killing of at least five police officers in Dallas overnight, a former one-term congressman from Illinois ignited a firestorm with a now-deleted tweet threatening President Obama with “war” and warning Black Lives Matter demonstrators to “watch out.” “3 Dallas cops killed, 7 wounded,” former Rep. Joe Walsh, an Illinois Republican, wrote just before midnight, in a tweet that is no longer on his profile: “This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you.” The reaction to the tweet was an immediate mix of shock and outrage, as Twitter users assailed Walsh for openly threatening the president and for the racially charged nature of the tweet.

7. USA Today – Police are uncovering clues, including bomb-making materials, that show the 25-year-old Army veteran, who went on a shooting rampage killing five police officers downtown, carefully plotted his ambush. Authorities discovered ballistic vests, rifles, ammunition and a journal detailing combat tactics Friday while searching the home of Micah Xavier Johnson in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite, the Dallas Police Department said Friday. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings described the gunman as the lone attacker in the assault late Thursday on police marshaling demonstrators peacefully protesting recent police-involved shootings of African-American men in Louisiana and Minnesota. Seven other officers and two civilians also were wounded.

8. NBC News – President Barack Obama will cut short a European trip and will visit Dallas early next week, the White House said Friday. Obama will travel to Spain Saturday as scheduled but will return to Washington Sunday night and then visit Dallas, where 12 police officers were shot in an ambush Thursday. Five officers died. Obama was invited to visit Dallas by the city’s mayor, Mike Rawlings, the White House said. Obama called Dallas’ police chief, David Brown, from Warsaw Friday and offered his condolences on behalf of the country.

9. AP – A person infected with Zika has died in Utah, and while the exact cause is unclear, authorities said Friday it marks the first death related to the virus in the continental U.S. The unidentified Salt Lake County resident contracted the virus while traveling abroad to an area with a Zika outbreak, health officials said. The patient who died in late June was elderly and also suffered from another health condition, according to the Salt Lake County Health Department.

10. Daily Beast – Newt Gingrich on Friday said that many white people do not understand what it’s like to be black in America. “[Black America] is more dangerous in that you’re substantially more likely to be in a situation where police don’t respect you,” Gingrich said in a Facebook live conversation with Van Jones. “I think sometimes for whites it’s difficult to appreciate how real that is.” Gingrich, a probable running mate for Donald Trump, also said “if you are a normal white American, truth is you don’t understand being black in America,” specifically adding that black parents have to raise their children differently when it comes to engaging the police.