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


1. Reuters – Turkish authorities rounded up nearly 3,000 suspected military plotters on Saturday and ordered thousands of judges detained after thwarting a coup by rebels using tanks and attack helicopters to try to topple President Tayyip Erdogan. For several hours overnight on Friday violence shook Turkey’s two main cities, as the armed faction which tried to seize power blocked a bridge in Istanbul and strafed the headquarters of Turkish intelligence and parliament in Ankara. At least 265 people were killed. An official said 161 of them were mostly civilians and police officers, while the remaining 104 were coup supporters.

2. AFP – France’s interior minister said Saturday that all willing and “patriotic” citizens to join the military reserves in the wake of the terror attack in Nice. The attack, a truck rampage at the Promendate des Anglais ahead of Bastille Day fireworks, killed at least 84 people, many of them children. ISIS claimed responsibility for the terror attack, and authorities have arrested four people in connection with it. The man behind the wheel has been identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a Tunisian immigrant previously convicted of robbery and domestic violence.

3. Fox 5 DC – A massive rally titled “Together 2016” was shut down Saturday after 400 people had to be treated for heat-related illness. The religious event brought together over 40 faith leaders and recording artists and was organized by Nick Hall, the founder of PULSE, a Twin-Cities based nonprofit organization that focuses on student-led prayer and outreach efforts. The free event was expected to draw thousands and go until 9 p.m. Saturday, but the U.S. Park Police were forced to shut it down after the influx of emergency medical situations. Hall issued a statement following the shutdown, saying that it was a disappointment but that “we want to honor the authorities who are trying to keep people safe. On July 16, we came to fill the Mall. As we leave, we pray we may we go home to fill them all with the hope of Jesus.”

4. The Hill – Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said on Friday that the party will welcome PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, who is gay, to speak at the convention next week despite the party standing by its opposition to gay marriage. “We’re still a party that believes that marriage is between one man and one woman, but it doesn’t mean that we’re going to kick people out,” he said in an interview with the Associated Press. He added that opposition to gay marriage is “one of the bedrock issues of our party.” Thiel is expected to be the first openly gay person to speak at the Republican convention.

5. Charisma – Church leaders defrocked megachurch pastor Sunday Adelaja after he admitted to multiple scandals, including affairs, according to reports. Adelaja is the founder and senior pastor of The Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations in Ukraine, which is the third-largest megachurch on the continent. Russian Associated Union of Christians of Evangelical Faith (ROSKhVE), defrocked Adelaja and reportedly removed him from all forms of ministry: leadership of the church, preaching and counseling, “until restoration.”

6. Dallas Morning News – More than 120 members of the clergy and religious organizations throughout North Texas gathered Thursday to forge a plan toward greater unity and racial reconciliation in response to last week’s tragedy. “Bottom line, there’s a real wound being exposed in our nation, in our city and in black America,” said Michael Mauldin, senior associate pastor of Upper Room Dallas, a church in the Design District made up of a diverse population of mostly single adults. “For the most part, we’re still trying to absorb what happened,” said Mauldin, referring to last week’s shooting deaths of five police officers in downtown Dallas and the shooting deaths of two black men by police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota. “There was a hope that we can break down denominational lines, racial lines, and make sure as many voices as possible are heard,” he said. The meeting, at First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, was organized by area clergy, including the Rev. Joe Clifford, pastor of First Presbyterian. The meeting was closed to reporters, but several pastors shared their thoughts afterward.

7. AP – The Western district of the Methodist church has elected an openly gay bishop despite the denomination’s ban on same-sex relationships. The Rev. Karen Oliveto was elected late Friday night at a meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, of the church’s Western Jurisdiction. Oliveto is pastor of Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco. She is the first openly gay bishop in the 12.7 million-member denomination. Oliveto’s election could draw complaints that will prompt a review under church law.

8. Charisma – Staffers and residents routinely abused hundreds of girls for decades at a Church of England children’s home, according to a disturbing new report. The Bishop of Rochester last year commissioned an independent panel to evaluate the alleged abuse at Kendall House in Kent, England. The Church of England ran and funded the home until 1986. “The findings of the independent review into Kendall House describe the harrowing regime experienced by numerous girls and young teenagers who were placed into the care of this Church of England home,” Bishop Paul Butler said. Butler is the lead bishop for safeguarding the church.

9. AP – A fifth transient was attacked Friday shortly before police arrested a man in a series of assaults that have left three dead and put San Diego’s homeless population on edge. Two officers heard screams around 4:30 a.m. and found the latest victim under a downtown freeway overpass with severe trauma to his upper body. Authorities caught the suspect in the area shortly afterward, Capt. David Nisleit told The Associated Press. The victim is expected to survive. Friday’s arrest comes after another man was arrested July 7 on suspicion of carrying out the attacks on transients, setting two of them on fire. He was released from jail Monday and not charged with any crime.

10. Reuters – A former Vanderbilt University football player, Cory Batey, was sentenced on Friday to 15 years in prison for raping an unconscious female student in a dorm room three years ago in a case that drew national attention to sexual assaults on campus. State prosecutors were seeking a sentence of 25 years but criminal court Judge Monte Watkins gave Batey the minimum term, and he will have to register as a sex offender after being released, a Tennessee state court official said on Friday. One of four players charged with aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery stemming from the June 2013 incident, Batey was convicted in April of one count of aggravated rape, three counts of aggravated sexual battery and other charges. It was the second trial and conviction of Batey. He and another player were found guilty in January 2015 but Judge Watkins declared a mistrial because one of the jurors failed to disclose that he himself was a victim of rape.