LISTEN: Black Christian News Network Podcast, 07/20/16 with Daniella Whyte

1. USA Today – Stung by complaints of discrimination and racism among some of its hosts, Airbnb has hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to help it craft an anti-discrimination policy. The home rental company announced last month it would review all aspects of its platform with an eye to fighting bias and discrimination. Critics have said that by creating a digital space that allowed individuals to choose to whom they rent apartments and houses, Airbnb unwittingly enabled its hosts to act on their biases. Holder’s hiring is part of Airbnb’s efforts to deal with the problems that have arisen. He said he was looking forward to working with Airbnb to develop and implement what the company calls “a world-class” anti-discrimination policy.

2. AP – Baltimore police officers responding to the sound of gunshots fatally shot a man who fired at them with an AR-15 style rifle, authorities said Friday. “We’re lucky we don’t have four dead cops right now,” Commissioner Kevin Davis said at a news conference, There is no evidence so far that Dayten Ernest Harper ambushed the officers, Davis said.

3. AFRO – A Prince George’s County clergyman was elected to lead the African Methodist Episcopal Church as one of its bishops during the denomination’s quadrennial conference in Philadelphia. On July 11 Rev. Dr. Harry Seawright was elected as bishop, on a first ballot, the first time this has happened in 44 years. According to Rev. Jonathan Weaver, pastor at Greater Mt. Nebo AME Church in Bowie, Md., the last time a pastor won based on the first ballot was with Bishop John Hurst Adams. “I respect the wisdom and the philosophy of our founders, and my vision for the AME Church is to create an atmosphere that would enhance the spirit upon which this denomination was founded,” Seawright said in a statement.

4. NBCI – The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), a faith-based coalition of 34,000 churches comprised of 15 denominations and 15.7 million African Americans, stands with Black Lives Matter in this continuous struggle against police brutality and equal justice and first Amendment Rights. Sheriff David Clarke’s remarks, even though they are from a Black man, are hateful and offensive in turn to Black people who refuse to allow themselves to be shot down like dogs by the police. The Church will not stand for anyone to minimize our right to peaceful protest and to exercise our Rights under the First Amendment to say and stand for what we believe. It is both hurtful and hateful in the eyes of the Church to know that one of its own, namely Sheriff David Clarke, who the Black Church has nurtured, is willing to use armed police force to stop Black people from exercising our Constitutional Rights which his grandfather and grandmother died to uphold. What a moral hypocrite he is.

5. AP – The University of Illinois has chosen a new chancellor for the flagship Urbana-Champaign campus. A written statement from the university on Tuesday says Robert J. Jones has been named chancellor pending formal approval by the board of trustees on Thursday. Jones is president of the University at Albany, State University of New York. The statement describes Jones as “an experienced and accomplished scientist and research university leader.”

6. EEW – Helen C. Shelton, M.S., senior partner at leading global PR agency Finn Partners, will receive the 2016 Circle Award from ColorComm, the nation’s premier membership organization for women of color in communications. Shelton and six other women are being recognized for their contributions to the communications industry. “The ColorComm Circle Awards are the highest honor awarded to a select group of women who are changing the face of the communications industry,” says Lauren Wesley Wilson, president and founder of ColorComm. “Helen Shelton has been a stalwart and a strong advocate for ColorComm since our founding five years ago. As a respected industry leader, she utilizes her position to positively impact the lives of others through her work. We are therefore delighted to honor her with the Circle Award.”

7. NBC – Hillary Clinton said Monday she had met with the “courageous” family of Philando Castile and called for an end to the cycle of deaths involving police officers. The presumptive Democrat nominee told the American Federation of Teachers convention in Minneapolis that the country had been “confronted with tragedy too many times recently.” “We cannot let this madness continue,” she said. “This violence cannot stand.” She paid tribute to school kitchen supervisor Castile, who was fatally shot July 6 by police in nearby St. Paul during a traffic stop, saying she had met with his mother, two of his uncles and his sister.

8. AP – Ava DuVernay’s “The 13th,” a documentary about racial inequality and mass incarceration in the United States, will open the 54th New York Film Festival. The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced the selection Tuesday. It’s the first time Lincoln Center’s prestigious film festival has opened with a nonfiction film. DuVernay, the director of “Selma,” said “The 13th” is about “why we have become the most incarcerated nation in the world.” The film traces the country’s racial divide through much of the 20th century and up to the Black Lives Matter movement. Its title refers to the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery.

9. The Daily Caller – Herman Cain said the liberal media is using the narrative that Melania Trump plagiarized her convention speech to distract voters from the real issues at hand. During an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller, the radio host said the idea that Melania plagiarized Michelle Obama’s speech from the 2008 Democratic National Convention was a “Democratic distraction tactic.” “My initial reaction was the story is her story,” Cain said. “When I got back to the hotel and I turned on the tv, it was CNN automatically having a panel talking about plagiarism. I’m going, ‘Don’t you people have anything better to do?’” “The story is her story,” he continued. “She has now been a citizen for 10 years. She wanted to be an American citizen — she’s proud to be an American citizen. She has pursued her American dream, and it has nothing to do with being married to a billionaire, but they want to focus in on what they call plagiarism.”

10. AP – A judge dismissed charges Tuesday and closed a murder case against a young Detroit man who went to prison as a teen for four slayings that were eventually linked to a hit man. Though Davontae Sanford, 23, was released from prison June 8, a day after his convictions were thrown out at the request of a prosecutor, Judge Brian Sullivan still needed to dismiss the murder charges to guarantee his freedom. Sullivan acted with some reluctance, saying in a seven-page order that he had many concerns about the case.