LISTEN: Church Officials Plead Guilty to Defrauding Food Program (UCNN 06/01/17)

1. Justice Department Report – The founding pastor of New Birth Christian Center, a non-denominational church in Chicago, his wife, and three associates have pled guilty to defrauding a summer food program for low-income children. Robbie Wilkerson, 49, and his wife Tasha, 44, both of Oak Park, Ill., entered their guilty pleas today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tom Schanzle-Haskins. Robbie Wilkerson pled guilty to wire fraud and money laundering; Tasha Wilkerson pled guilty to theft of government funds. The business administrator for the 2010 summer food program, Anthony Hall, 54, a NBCC pastor, of Downers Grove, Ill.; Richard Shumate, 51, program operations manager for the 2010 program; and his wife Evelyn Shumate, 48, who worked as an assistant for the program, of Romeoville, Ill., each entered pleas of guilty last week to one count of theft of government funds.

2. WashPost – The Trump administration has drafted a regulation that would dramatically scale back the federal mandate that employers provide free birth control coverage, by providing an exemption to anyone who raises religious or moral objections. The proposal, which drew praise Wednesday from many religious and conservative activists and criticism by several women’s and reproductive rights groups, could affect hundreds of thousands of women who now receive free contraceptive coverage under the ­2010­ ­Affordable Care Act.

3. Andrew J. Young Leadership Foundation – On June 3, 2017, The Andrew J. Young Foundation will present the second biennial Andrew J. Young International Leadership Awards and welcome the city of Atlanta and guests from around the world to celebrate the 85th birthday of its founder and chair, Ambassador Andrew Young. The gala event will be held at the Philips Arena in downtown Atlanta. ABC’s “Black-ish” star, Anthony Anderson will emcee the ceremony that will pay tribute to Ambassador Young for his civic service and contributions to global communities. It will also honor the next generation of leaders from around the world who, in the tradition of Young, are committed to civil and human rights for all.

4. The Wrap – The Justice Department was sued Wednesday by a privacy group seeking information on the FBI recruitment of Best Buy employees to search consumer computers for child pornography during repairs — a practice that came to light in court documents in a recent case in Santa Ana, California. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Trump administration’s Justice Department, demanding access to records about any FBI training and payment to Geek Squad workers to search customer computers without a court warrant.

5. CNBC – Billionaire financier George Soros said Thursday the European Union is in an “existential crisis” and needs to be reinvented in the face of growing threats. “The reinvention would have to revive the support that the European Union used to enjoy,” the Hungarian-born Soros said at the Brussels Economic Forum. Such reinvention would have to review the past and explain to European citizens what went wrong and then make proposals to make things right. Soros welcomed a German idea to cut European funds aimed at reducing income inequalities at the regional level for those countries disrespecting the rule of law. Both Hungary and Poland, which are net recipients of the so-called cohesion funds, have been criticized by European institution for their weak standards with regards to the rule of law.

6. WashPost – A noose was found Wednesday in a public gallery at the National Museum of African American History and Culture museum, the second such incident on Smithsonian grounds in less than a week, officials said. David J. Skorton, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, said in an email announcement that he had to share “deeply disturbing news” that the rope was found in an public exhibition space Wednesday afternoon. It was in the Segregation Gallery on the second floor of the history galleries.

7. NYT – President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, who have spent the past few months slowly figuring out the rhythm of post-White House life, have taken some time to invest in local real estate: They just spent $8.1 million to buy the mansion they’ve been renting in an exclusive neighborhood. Last May, the Obamas decided to lease the 8,200-square-foot Tudor-style mansion in Kalorama, a Washington neighborhood that has long been home to diplomats, lobbyists, politicians and the occasional spy. The Obamas purchased the nine-bedroom home through a holding company they control, according to Washington property records posted on Wednesday.

As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: Joshua 1:9 says, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

CS Lewis said, “The very nature of Joy makes nonsense of our common distinction between having and wanting.”

God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!