This is Black Christian News Network One podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to ABC News, The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sided with a former evangelical Christian Georgia college student who sued his school after it prevented him from expressing religious views in a free-speech zone on campus. The 8-1 decision, authored by Justice Clarence Thomas, said that Chike Uzuegbunam — who was silenced by Georgia Gwinnett College officials even after he had obtained a permit to proselytize and handout religious literature — can seek nominal damages despite the fact that the school ultimately changed course and Uzuegbunam subsequently graduated. Justices Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor all joined Thomas in the opinion, which reversed two lower court rulings that agreed with the school in calling the case moot.
According to the Christian Post, On International Women’s Day, Leah Sharibu’s parents are renewing pressure on Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to secure their daughter’s release from Islamic extremists after nearly 300 recently kidnapped schoolgirls were released last week. Rebecca and Nathan Sharibu released an open letter to Buhari published by Nigerian media Monday morning. Their daughter has been held captive for three years after being abducted by Boko Haram terrorists from her school in northeast Nigeria in 2018. The letter questioned why other captives were rescued in less than a week, while Leah has remained in captivity for over three years. Feb. 19 marked three years since insurgents affiliated with Boko Haram splinter group Islamic State West Africa Province abducted Leah Sharibu and over 100 other classmates from a government boarding school in Dapchi. While five of the girls were killed, the rest of Sharibu’s classmates were released to their families after negotiations with the government. Because the then-14-year-old Sharibu refused to renounce her faith in Jesus Christ and convert to Islam, insurgents pledged to enslave her for life.
According to the Associated Press, A new executive order from President Biden directs federal agencies to take a series of steps to promote voting access, a move that comes as congressional Democrats press for a sweeping voting and elections bill to counter efforts to restrict voter access. His plan was announced during a recorded address on the 56th commemoration of “Bloody Sunday,” the 1965 incident in which some 600 civil rights activists were viciously beaten by state troopers as they tried to march for voting rights in Selma, Ala. “Every eligible voter should be able to vote and have it counted,” Biden said in his remarks to Sunday’s Martin and Coretta King Unity Breakfast before signing the order. “If you have the best ideas, you have nothing to hide. Let the people vote.” Biden’s order includes several modest provisions. It directs federal agencies to expand access to voter registration and election information, calls on the heads of agencies to come up with plans to give federal employees time off to vote or volunteer as nonpartisan poll workers, and pushes an overhaul of the government’s Vote.gov website. Democrats are attempting to solidify support for House Resolution 1, which touches on virtually every aspect of the electoral process. It was approved Wednesday on a near party-line vote, 220-210.
According to Pepperdine University, J. Goosby Smith has been named the inaugural vice president for community belonging and chief diversity officer at Pepperdine University. April Harris Akinloye (’00, MA ’05) will join Smith as assistant vice president for community belonging. Smith and Harris Akinloye will commence their new roles on June 1, 2021. Smith will join Pepperdine following her most recent roles at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, where she currently serves as associate professor of leadership, associate professor of management, assistant provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and director of the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Center. “What an honor it is to announce Dr. Smith is returning to the Pepperdine community,” said Pepperdine president Jim Gash. “I’m especially grateful to the Search Committee for identifying an amazing and experienced leader. I simply cannot wait to work alongside Dr. Smith as we chart a distinctively Pepperdine path forward addressing one of the great issues of our time. Our goal isn’t just to have a community of belonging but to train generations of graduates to create the same in their own communities.” The selection of a vice president for community belonging and chief diversity officer is one in a series of initiatives the University has been implementing to cultivate a community of deep belonging and to build and model a diverse, informed, loving, and unified community at Pepperdine.
According to Premium Times NG, A Christian pastor, Bulus Yikura, who was kidnapped by Boko Haram, has been freed. Mr Yikura was freed Wednesday evening by the terror group, according to security sources. Our reporter saw Mr Yikura on the outskirts of Maiduguri as he was being conveyed to the office of the State Security Service in Borno, at about 6:15 p.m. Last week, Boko Haram circulated a video where Mr Yikura called on the government of Nigeria and the Christian Association of Nigeria to save him. He said his abductors threatened to take his life at the end of the week. Going by the seven days ultimatum, Mr Yikura, a pastor with EYN church, had until March 5 to be freed or killed.
According to Reuters, Some 17.1 million Americans – one of the biggest TV events in the past year – watched Oprah Winfrey’s bombshell television interview with Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, broadcaster CBS said on Monday. CBS said Sunday’s two-hour interview, in which Harry and Meghan accused the royal family of racism and of failing to protect them from negative media coverage, was the most watched TV special outside the annual National Football League Super Bowl in a year. The Super Bowl draws an audience of around 100 million and is the highest-rated TV event in the United States. Last year’s Oscars telecast drew 23.6 million viewers. Sunday’s interview was the first given by the couple since they stepped back from the British royal family a year ago. Meghan spoke of feeling suicidal while Harry said his father, Prince Charles, had let him down. The interview will be broadcast in Britain on Monday night. Buckingham Palace has yet to comment on their remarks.
According to ESPN, The Dallas Cowboys and quarterback Dak Prescott have agreed to a four-year, $160 million contract, including $126 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The deal, which is technically for six years but voids to four so as to help Dallas against the salary cap, can be worth up to $164 million, a source said. Prescott’s signing bonus is $66 million, the highest in NFL history, with $75 million due in year one, Schefter reported. The first three years of the deal average $42 million per year. The Cowboys announced they had agreed to a contract with Prescott but did not disclose terms. The Cowboys will place the franchise tag on Prescott on Tuesday as a procedural matter. The Cowboys announced they will hold a Wednesday news conference. Now that the deal is complete, the focus turns to improving the roster around Prescott to make sure the Cowboys can contend for a Super Bowl.
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In closing, remember, 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!