LISTEN: Urban Christian News Network Podcast, 07/10/16, with Daniella Whyte

1. USA Today – The Black Lives Matter movement that’s arisen in response to police shootings of black men is part of a long line of protest movements that have transformed America for the better, President Obama said Sunday, defending the protests amid renewed tensions over race and policing across the country. But he also acknowledged that those debates are often “messy and controversial,” and urged protesters to “maintain a respectful, thoughtful tone” after a week of deadly shootings — both of African-American men by police and of police officers by a Dallas gunman. Obama cut short his four-day trip to Europe and instead will go to Dallas Tuesday to speak an an interfaith prayer service, the White House announced Sunday. He’ll also devote most of the week working on police issues, aides said.

2. AP – Acting U.S. Attorney Beth Drake has written an open letter to the relatives of nine black parishioners fatally shot in a Charleston church last year and to three survivors of the shooting. In a letter posted online Wednesday, Drake told the families that both the federal government and state prosecutors are seeking justice as they prepare to try accused shooter Dylann Roof. The comment is Drake’s first since taking over the office for Bill Nettles, who resigned last month as South Carolina’s top federal prosecutor.

3. Washington Post – On Sunday, TD Jakes turned his regular service into a town hall meeting, inviting into the pulpit Dallas Police Chief David Brown, Mayor Mike Rawlings and Saundra Sterling, the mother of the 37-year-old black man who Tuesday was fatally shot by white officers in Baton Rouge, La. Jakes, wearing a black suit and gold tie, prayed for both Reynolds and Castile’s family. “Lord let justice prevail. Wrap your arms around them,” he intoned. Yet he also urged prayers for the Dallas police force. “This was a peaceful demonstration that turned horribly tragic. These officers gave their lives protecting not just black people but white people, Latinos, people of all races. Let’s praise God for these officers,” Jakes said as people in the 10,000-seat, capacity-filled sanctuary jumped to their feet and applauded.

4. Post and Courier – A united front of those who lost loved ones in the Emanuel AME Church shooting has come forward to denounce their former interim pastor for his treatment of them — and to protest his bid to become bishop. When the AME Church’s general conference votes Monday for new bishops, the Rev. Norvel Goff will stand among 30 candidates one year after the racially motivated killings thrust him onto an international stage. Voting for six seats begins Monday in Philadelphia during the denomination’s meeting, held every four years. Heading into that vote, the victims’ families said they want people to know that while the nation focused on their words of forgiveness, their pastor ignored their spiritual wounds. Immediate family members of six victims told The Post and Courier Friday that once the high-profile funerals ended, Goff never called or visited them to pray or provide religious counseling even as he held memorials and other public events for the “Emanuel Nine.” Several said they contacted Goff repeatedly, but he didn’t respond. Nor did he send one of the three dozen clergy he supervised. Other victims’ relatives agreed but didn’t want to say so publicly.

5. Greenville Online – The Rev. Perry Noble, who started NewSpring Church nearly 20 years ago, is no longer its senior pastor. Early in Sunday’s 9:15 a.m. service, Executive Pastor Shane Duffey announced that Noble had been removed as pastor on July 1, after the NewSpring board of directors had “made a difficult and painful decision” to make a change. Duffey said the termination by the state’s largest and richest church came after Noble “had made unfortunate choices,” and that the board members had confronted Noble on numerous occasions regarding his use of alcohol. The announcement came three days after a closed-door, unscheduled meeting of church officials that fueled rumors throughout the community that the 45-year-old Noble was at odds with church hierarchy.

6. NPR – Since British voters decided to leave the European Union in a referendum two weeks ago, more than 4 million people signed a petition calling for a do-over. Now, the U.K. government has issued an official response to the petition, dashing the hopes of voters who want to see another referendum. “The Prime Minister and Government have been clear that this was a once in a generation vote and, as the Prime Minister has said, the decision must be respected,” it reads.

7. Reuters – Renewed fighting erupted in South Sudan’s capital on Sunday and forces loyal to Vice President Riek Machar said his residence was attacked by the president’s troops, raising fears of a slide back into full-blown conflict in the five-year-old nation. There was no immediate response from the government of President Salva Kiir to the statement by Machar’s spokesman. Kiir’s information minister, Michael Makuei, said earlier the situation was under control and urged people to stay at home.

8. AP – Russia’s military says two of its airmen have died in Syria after their helicopter was shot down in Syria by fighters of the Islamic State group. A Defense Ministry statement reported by the state news agency Tass said the incident occurred Friday east of the ancient city of Palmyra.

9. One News Now – With more than a year passing since the United States Supreme Court ruled to legalize same-sex “marriage” nationally last summer, a recent Gallup Poll indicates that the number of homosexual couples tying the knot are at a minimal. The newly released polling results conducted by the Gallup organization divulge how many Americans self-proclaim themselves to be part of the LGBT community, as well as reveal the number of those who are currently acknowledged as being legally bound in a civil marriage.

10. AP – Andy Murray won his second Wimbledon title by beating Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (2) on Centre Court. Murray broke Raonic’s serve only once in the match, while the Canadian had some chances in the third set but failed to convert. Murray came into the tournament after losing to Novak Djokovic in the finals of both the Australian Open and French Open this year.