1. According to the Christian Post, when 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson fatally shot five police officers and injured seven others in Dallas, Texas, in July, the city’s Mayor Mike Rawlings knew he would need the church to keep the city from exploding. Rawlings would need the Church, according to Senior Pastor Bryan Carter of Concord Church in Dallas, because the city is deeply divided by race and income. “Dallas is a very segregated city. Dallas has a black side, Latino side and a white side. North Dallas is incredibly affluent, while southern Dallas has heavy pockets of poverty,” Carter said Monday at the “National Discussion on Race” Conference convened by Movement Day Global Cities at Bethel Gospel Assembly in New York City on Monday. Johnson’s attack on July 7 had come as protests were erupting in other cities across the nation over the killings of two black men in two days by police in Minnesota and Louisiana.
2. According to Breakpoint, six years ago, Christian filmmaker Laura Waters Hinson made a gripping, groundbreaking documentary called “As We Forgive,” which explored how the African nation of Rwanda dared to seek reconciliation between the perpetrators and victims of genocide. Now Hinson has gone back to Rwanda to make a new film, one that provides an update on the country’s progress since that terrible time. This film, “Mama Rwanda,” focuses on a specific aspect of that progress: how women, through their entrepreneurial efforts, are bringing healing and restoration to Rwanda. “Mama Rwanda,” which has won honors at film festivals, is now showing at selected locations around the country, and will soon be available to watch online. Visit MamaRwanda.com to find out whether “Mama Rwanda” is playing near you, how you can host a screening yourself, and how you can help support the efforts of female entrepreneurs in Rwanda.
3. According to the Times Union, the Rev. Edward B. Smart, a venerable pastor at upstate New York’s oldest black church, is the target of a multi-agency criminal investigation into allegations he improperly took tens of thousands of dollars from a nonprofit youth development organization and received public benefits, including Medicaid, by understating his income, according to court records, law enforcement sources and a complaint filed with the state Attorney General’s Office. Smart, 67, who lives on South Main Avenue, became pastor of First Israel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Hamilton Street in Albany in 2004. Smart’s wife, Marion, 52, also is a target in the probe, according to a person briefed on the case.
4. According to the New York Times, the Justice Department has replaced the New York team of agents and lawyers investigating the death of Eric Garner, officials said, a highly unusual shake-up that could jump-start the long-stalled case and put the government back on track to seek criminal charges. Mr. Garner, 43, died in 2014 on a Staten Island street corner, where two police officers confronted him and accused him of selling untaxed cigarettes. One of the officers, Daniel Pantaleo, was seen on a video using a chokehold, prohibited by the New York Police Department, to subdue him. Mr. Garner’s last words, “I can’t breathe,” became a rallying cry for protesters around the country.
5. According to CNN, rallying supporters in the city where 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed, Donald Trump on Tuesday described African-Americans as “living in hell” and getting “shot” for simply walking in the street. But he made no mention of Martin, who was unarmed when he was shot by George Zimmerman after returning from a 7-Eleven store where he had just bought a pack of Skittles. Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges. The Trump campaign did not respond Tuesday to a request for comment, but in 2013 Trump said that he didn’t disagree with Zimmerman’s acquittal, but that Zimmerman was “no angel.” His support among African-American voters remains in the single digits.
6. According to the Associated Press, LeBron James took time to reflect as the Cleveland Cavaliers raised their championship banner. Then it was business as usual. James had his 43rd career triple-double, Kyrie Irving scored 29 points and the Cavaliers beat the New York Knicks 117-88 on Tuesday night in the NBA season opener. James scored 19 points and added 11 rebounds and 14 assists in front of a raucous home crowd that was on its feet from the pregame ceremony until late in the game, celebrating the city’s first championship in 52 years. “It was great to have a moment like that,” he said. “It was difficult to focus on the game but we did a great job, especially in the second half.” James, who got choked up while speaking to the crowd before the game, continued his perfect record on ring nights. He was 2-0 when the Miami Heat players were presented with their championship rings.
7. According to the Washington Post, in July 2015, Russell Wilson made something of a point of claiming that he and his then-girlfriend, pop star Ciara, were practicing abstinence. So when, in July of this year, the power couple got married, there were plenty of predictable jokes, not to mention winking confirmation by the newlyweds themselves of certain assumptions. Tuesday brought the latest development in Wilson and Ciara’s relationship: news of her pregnancy. The Seahawks quarterback and the “1, 2 Step” singer made simultaneous posts to Instagram, sharing the same photo of him with his hands on her belly. In her post, Ciara wrote, “On this special Birthday I received an abundance of love from friends and family … and I’m excited to Finally share one of the Greatest Gifts of All that God could give … .” She turned 31 on Tuesday, and has a two-year-old son with her ex-fiance, the rapper Future.