This is the Urban Christian News podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to NBC News, At least five people were injured, including one critically, and a dozen homes were damaged in a possible tornado outbreak in Illinois on Sunday, officials said. The tornado touched down shortly after 11 p.m. Sunday near the suburban town of Woodridge, about 30 miles southwest of Chicago, according to the National Weather Service. The storm outbreak traveled east and ended shortly after 1 a.m. Five people were taken to the hospital, including one in critical condition and four others who sustained minor injuries, according to Naperville Director of Communications Linda LaCloche. The city of Naperville, which sits just west of Woodridge, received 125 reports of property damage. At least a dozen homes sustained extensive damages, including torn roofs, fallen trees and broken windows, Naperville Fire Chief Mark Pucknaitis said. Some areas also had downed power lines and reported gas leaks.
According to Reuters, Younger adults are seeking out COVID-19 vaccines at a slower rate than older adults, and if that pace of vaccination continues through August, vaccine coverage among younger adults will not reach levels achieved with older adults, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Monday. The agency said more work is needed to increase vaccination rates among younger adults to reduce COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths. Of the 57% American adults who received at least one vaccine dose by May 22, coverage was highest among people 65 or older and lowest among people aged 18 to 29, according to an analysis of vaccine rates published on Monday in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Younger Americans also are more likely to be reluctant to get vaccinated because of concerns over vaccine safety and effectiveness, the agency reported separately on Monday, citing data from household surveys conducted from March to May, 2021.
According to ABC News, Multiple arrests have been made after 2-year-old Brison Christian, the nephew of a Detroit police officer, was gunned down on an interstate, authorities said. Brison and his family were traveling on Interstate 75 in Detroit when shots were fired at 9:45 p.m. Thursday, Michigan State Police said. Brison’s father, Brian Christian, said he saw a man holding a gun in a passing car. Brison’s parents pulled over and noticed both of their children were shot, police said. Brison, who loved SpongeBob and Oreos, was “bleeding from his head with his head down.” Brison was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said. His 9-year-old brother was hospitalized in serious condition and later released, police said. Christian told WXYZ, “The hardest thing ever is for my son to be literally dying in my arms and me being a father and I can’t protect him. I wanted with everything in me to see him grow up.” State police said the suspects’ car has been recovered but they declined to comment to ABC News Monday on how many people were arrested Saturday or on a possible motive.
According to Reuters, Three children have died following a school kidnapping of 94 students and eight staff in northwest Nigeria this week, the establishment’s principal said on Sunday. The kidnapping for ransom is the latest in a series of such incidents in northern Nigeria, with a sharp rise in abductions since late 2020 as the government struggles to maintain law and order amid a flagging economy. The two girls and a boy were found dead, two with gunshot wounds in their legs, said Mustapha Yusuf, principal of the federal government college in the remote town of Birnin Yauri in northwest Nigeria’s Kebbi state. Nine abductees escaped or had been rescued but the kidnappers held the rest, with security forces wary of staging a rescue attempt for fear of harming the children, Yusuf said. The kidnappers “have been taking cover under the students … They are in the bush,” he said, adding that bandits had used students’ phones to call parents and demand a $146,341 ransom.
According to the Associated Press, Tropical Depression Claudette claimed 12 lives in Alabama as the storm swept across the southeastern U.S., causing flash flooding and spurring tornadoes that destroyed dozens of homes. Ten people, including nine children, were killed Saturday in a 15-vehicle crash about 35 miles south of Montgomery on Interstate 65, according to Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock. He said the vehicles likely hydroplaned on wet roads, with eight children, ages 4 to 17, killed in a van belonging to a youth ranch operated by the Alabama Sheriffs Association for abused or neglected children. A man and a 9-month-old baby died in a separate vehicle. Multiple people were also injured. Meanwhile, a 24-year-old man and a 3-year-old boy were killed when a tree fell on their house just outside the Tuscaloosa city limits Saturday, Capt. Marty Sellers of the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit told The Tuscaloosa News. The deaths occurred as drenching rains pelted northern Alabama and Georgia late Saturday. As much as 12 inches of rain was reported earlier from Claudette along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
According to Deadline, Discovery+ has ordered Breaking Hillsong, a three-episode limited docuseries about the controversial megachurch Hillsong and its once-celebrity pastor Carl Lentz, from The Content Group’s Breaklight Pictures and the New York Post. Breaking Hillsong will take viewers into the world of Hillsong, the Australia-based Christian megachurch with more than 150,000 global members that has recently come under scrutiny. The non-fiction subscription streaming service has partnered with New York Post and investigative journalist Hannah Frishberg, who has written a series of articles on Hillsong and Lentz. Drawing on Frishberg’s articles as source material, Breaking Hillsong will chronicle the headline-making world of Hillsong, with exclusive, never-before-seen interviews, including Ranin Karim, the New York-based fashion designer whose five-month affair with Lentz led to his downfall. The series will profile current and ex-members of the church who have come forward to share harrowing stories of trauma, abuse, financial and labor exploitation, homophobia and racism that created a culture of chaos at Hillsong, according to discovery+. Additionally, Breaking Hillsong will examine the greater phenomenon of corruption within megachurches.
According to USA Today, Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand announced Monday a partnership with 11 emerging WNBA players, the largest group of Jumpman endorsees in the women’s game. “These amazing athletes are defining a lot of things about Jordan Brand and leading a true conversation that’s impacting culture and our communities across the globe,” said Jordan in statement released by Nike. The endorsement group was announced on Twitter and features Maya Moore, Kia Nurse, Asia Durr, Satou Sabally, Chelsea Dungee, Aerial Powers, Crystal Dangerfield, Arella Karin Guirantes, Te’a Cooper, Dearica Hamby and Jordin Canada. The news comes on the heels of activism in the WNBA this season, which the statement says is in line with the Jordan brand. Adding female basketball players to the roster is part of Jordan’s commitment to “championing Black community initiatives,” and they acknowledge that their newest additions embody that ideal and applaud the players’ use of their platforms to enact change. According to Jordan’s post on Twitter, the athletes were chosen for both their success on the court and their social justice initiatives off it.
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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!