LISTEN: Urban Christian News Network Podcast, 07/14/16 with Daniella Whyte

1. The Sun UK – At least 74 have been killed and 100 injured after a suspected terrorist ploughed a lorry into a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day in France. Witnesses reported an exchange of gunfire in the aftermath of the incident which happened shortly after 10.30pm on the Promenade des Anglais . The incident happened in the southern city of Nice on the French Riviera, where crowds had gathered for a firework display for the French national day. Videos posted online showed panicked people running from the scene in fear, while witnesses reported terrified onlookers throwing themselves into the sea to escape the crush of bodies. Victims were reportedly mown down over a 2km stretch of road, with some eye witnesses describing an exchange of gunfire between the driver and the police.

2. Christian Post – Influential evangelical leaders throughout the U.S. will fly to Washington, D.C. this weekend to join a crowd of as many as 1 million Christians to pray and worship together for the nation. Inspired by Nick Hall, founder of PULSE, “Together 2016” is a prayer and evangelism movement to empower the church and awaken the culture to Jesus. Americans are being urged to unite on the National Mall, July 16, to offer prayer that God will change the hearts of individuals and thus change the nation.

3. Indianapolis Star – Gov. Mike Pence is dropping his re-election bid in Indiana to become Donald Trump’s running mate. IndyStar has confirmed that Trump plans to announce Pence as his selection for vice president, ending a weeks-long vice presidential casting call during which Trump vetted a handful of high-profile Republicans. The long-awaited decision upends the political landscape in Indiana and at least partially remakes the Trump campaign in Pence’s image.

4. NY Times – Sixty-nine percent of Americans say race relations are generally bad, one of the highest levels of discord since the 1992 riots in Los Angeles during the Rodney King case, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. The poll, conducted from Friday, the day after the killing of five Dallas police officers, until Tuesday, found that six in 10 Americans say race relations were growing worse, up from 38 percent a year ago. Racial discontent is at its highest point in the Obama presidency and at the same level as after the riots touched off by the 1992 acquittal of Los Angeles police officers charged in Mr. King’s beating.

5. Christian Post – Although a ceasefire has been declared in South Sudan following days of devastating fighting, a humanitarian emergency has gripped the nation with untold numbers massacred, and thousands more seeking refuge inside churches. “It was a massacre although the number of victims is still unknown,” church sources in the area told Fides News Agency. “The humanitarian issue is the most urgent, starting from the lack of drinking water. Thousands of people have taken refuge in churches and much is being done to offer them assistance, despite a thousand difficulties. The International Red Cross has managed to send their teams in the two main hospitals.”

6. Christian Headlines – African-American Christian rapper Lecrae has drawn some controversy for speaking out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The Huffington Post reports that Lecrae is often outspoken about his views online. He believes strongly that his Christian faith encourages him to stand up for justice and truth. In a guest post for Billboard, Lecrae wrote: “True faith stands up for the oppressed and the broken…If you ever trusted in anything I’ve said, if you’ve used my words to stir your hope or joy, then trust that same voice now,” he continued. “This is an epidemic that school books or church services haven’t taught you.” Many of the artist’s fans have accused him of preaching a “divisive message,” and have told him he should “just stick to the gospel.” But Lecrae contends that “This is a moral issue across the board for humanity. If you subscribe to any moral code that says you should care for humanity, obviously black people will fit into that category. So why would you not advocate for justice and truth unless you have something to lose?”

7. Religion News Service – In the wake of a string of racially tinged shootings, majority white churches — even those quiet in past years about racial prejudice — have begun to find their voices. The latest incidents of police shooting black men in Louisiana and Minnesota, combined with the targeting of white police officers in Dallas, have exposed for many congregations a racial divide in America too wide to ignore. “There is a sense of a need to re-engage on a deeper level,” said the Rev. Gradye Parsons, former leader of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Presbyterians need to ask themselves “if the communities that we are leading reflect the Gospel values that we say we have.”

8. Fox News Insider – Baltimore Ravens tight end and author Benjamin Watson joined The Kelly File to talk about race, saying that young black men come to learn that “life is a little bit different” for them. “We grow up understanding that you comply with the police, that your leash is a little bit shorter,” he said. He said that he’s gotten pulled over and worried that something could happen to him, even though he’s a law-abiding citizen. “We’re still in a place where we still struggle,” he said. But he called for understanding on both sides, saying that everyone needs to listen to law enforcement, who “we need.” Watson said that his message for everyone, not just black men, is to obey.

9. AP – After each fatal shooting of a black man by an officer, President Barack Obama has swiftly spoken out against bad policing. As much as those words have comforted blacks, they have rankled many of the nation’s men and women in blue. Some have described the remarks as an insult, an all-too-quick condemnation before all the facts are in and a failure to acknowledge the thousands of cops who do a good job and routinely risk their lives. “It would just be nice for him to say, ‘Hey, I support what you’re doing,’” said Scott Hughes, chief of police in Hamilton Township, a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. “The president doesn’t defend the police. It’s very one-sided.” On Tuesday, Obama traveled to Dallas to pay tribute to the five officers who were slain by a sniper at a peaceful protest. The president offered perhaps his strongest words yet of support for law enforcement, praising the dead as heroes who died while preserving a constitutional right.

10. Greenville Online – Former NewSpring Church senior pastor Perry Noble broke his silence Wednesday, in a live video message on Facebook. Noble, the church’s founder, started the message by acknowledging his unusual social media silence. A prolific social media user, it was his first Facebook post in more than two weeks. He wasted no time in the three-minute twenty-one second message, quickly telling people he bore no ill will after being dismissed from the church he founded. “I. Still. Love. My. Church,” Noble said, pausing after each word for emphasis. “I wanted to say ‘Thank you’ for the unbelievable support that you guys have shown me on Twitter.” The 45-year-old pastor was removed from his spot as the church’s senior pastor effective July 1, but the congregation first learned about the decision last Sunday in a church announcement that cited his alcohol dependency. Noble said the church’s leaders made the right decision.