Over 1,300 Dead in Haiti Earthquake (BCNN1 8.16.21)

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According to CBN, The death toll has climbed to nearly 1,300 after a powerful magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Haiti Saturday, injuring at least 2,800 people. Rescuers continue to sort through the rubble in an effort to find survivors. Churches, schools, and houses were leveled by the quake. Multiple hospitals are inundated with patients and in need of supplies. The epicenter of the quake was about 125 kilometers (78 miles) west of the capital of Port-au-Prince, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Families in the devastated town of Les Cayes shifted through debris while looking for any salvageable belongings. Residents arrived at the local market early on Sunday to buy the few items that were available such as bananas, avocados and water. Some thank God for protecting them during the earthquake while others went to the city’s church, which appeared untouched from the disturbance. “We only have Jesus now,” said Johanne Dorcely, 58, whose house was destroyed. “If it wasn’t for Jesus, I wouldn’t be able to be here today.” Prime Minister Ariel Henry declared a state of emergency for one month for the entire country.

According to The Daily Beast, The Department of Defense announced Sunday night that it had taken control of Kabul’s airport as the city, the last under Afghan government control, fell to the Taliban. “At present, we are completing a series of steps to secure the Hamid Karzai International Airport to enable the safe departure of U.S. and allied personnel from Afghanistan via civilian and military flights,” read a joint statement from the Department of State and the DoD. The State Department said at the same time that the evacuation of the U.S. embassy in the city was complete. “We can confirm that the safe evacuation of all Embassy personnel is now complete. All Embassy personnel are located on the premises of Hamid Karzai International Airport, whose perimeter is secured by the U.S. Military,” said State Department spokesperson Ned Price. Thousands of Afghans eligible for U.S. Special Immigrant Visas are scheduled to be evacuated from the country over the next two days, with 2,000 of them having already entered the U.S. over the past two weeks. Previously, Afghans stuck at Kabul International Airport told The Daily Beast that the exodus of civilians from the country had grown chaotic as commercial air traffic had come to a halt. “The DOD has halted all incoming and outgoing flights on the civilian side of the airport,” one Afghan official, who requested anonymity for safety reasons, said. “Women, children, and government workers with visas cannot get out of the country because the U.S. is blocking them.” U.S. military officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Daily Beast. Videos of Hamid Karzai International airport posted on social media show crowds of Afghans waiting on the airport runway to board commercial airliners.

According to the Daily Mail, Four Broward County School employees died during a 24-hour period. Two teachers and a teachers assistant died along with a Broward County Public Schools graduate with close ties to the school district who passed away. Teachers Janice Wright, 48, Katina Jones, 49, and teaching assistant Yolonda Hudson-Williams, both of Dillard Elementary died from the virus earlier this week. Schools in Broward County are expected to reopen for the new academic year on Wednesday. Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has defended his decision to drop masks in school and public places. DeSantis has described CDC recommendations to wear face masks as ‘the most significant threat to freedom in my lifetime’. Florida is currently the state with the most children hospitalized with COVID-19, with infection rates in children at over 19 percent.
According to Vanguard News, A pastor’s son, Ezekiel Bitrus Tumba, 27 years old, has been killed while five others have sustained various gunshot injuries when the Borno Geographic Information Service (BOGIS) demolished a church at Moduganari area of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital. The staff of the Borno Geographic Information Service, the agency responsible for the maintenance of land, were said to have entered the community at about 11 o’clock in the morning with a grading truck, bringing down the worship Centre without notifying the owners of the church. The incident which has raised tension within the city according to sources was properly managed to ensure it did not spread to other parts of the state which have been ravaged by activities of insurgents in the last 13 years, even as the dead body of the Christian victim has been deposited at the Mortuary of State Specialist Hospital, Maiduguri, while others who sustained gunshot wounds are currently receiving treatment. BOGIS is an agency created by the present administration of governor Babagana Umara Zulum, that is charged with the responsibility of managing land matters in the state. The head of the agency, in his youthful, Engineer Adam Bababe, could not be reached for a response when journalists went to meet him in his office.

According to Mercury News, Federal prosecutors here have filed criminal charges against a 71-year-old man who allegedly sent Rep. Maxine Waters a death threat that included a racist slur and was signed on behalf of the Ku Klux Klan terrorist group, court records show. Michael Anthony Gallagher was charged Wednesday with mailing threatening communications, a federal offense that carries up to 10 years in prison. The charging records allege Gallagher sent a postcard to Waters, D-Los Angeles, on Jan. 8, 2019 that contained a death threat. The criminal complaint against Gallagher, filed last January, was still sealed seven months later. Details of Gallagher’s alleged death threat were only made public via Wednesday’s court filing.

According to ABC 13, The unexpected death of Cameron Burrell, a former champion sprinter at University of Houston and the son of Olympic gold medal-winning parents, has been ruled a suicide. According to the medical examiner’s report, Cameron’s death occurred in a Houston parking garage. The school’s athletics department said Cameron passed away on Monday. He was 26. Leroy Burrell, who serves as the Cougars’ head track coach, said earlier in the week that his family is “profoundly grief stricken.” Funeral arrangements are pending. UH will announce details at a later time.

According to ESPN, Former NBA standout JR Smith has enrolled at North Carolina A&T and intends to join the historically Black university’s men’s golf team if he gets cleared by the NCAA, the university confirmed on Wednesday. North Carolina A&T athletics spokesman Brian Holloway told ESPN that Smith is officially enrolled in the school and has petitioned the NCAA to be eligible to play. Smith’s clock to compete as a collegiate athlete has not yet started because he went to the NBA after high school. Athletes, in most cases, get five years to complete four years of eligibility. At the pro-am at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina, Smith told reporters Wednesday he decided to go back to school after a conversation with Basketball Hall of Famer Ray Allen. “Ray Allen kind of convinced me,” Smith said Wednesday at the golf event. “We had a little golf trip in [the Dominican Republic] and he was talking about some of the things he was doing, about going back to school and challenging yourself for us athletes. I really took heed to it and decided to go back — and one of the best liberal studies programs is at A&T.” Holloway said the next step in the process is navigating the 17 years since Smith’s senior year in high school (2004), which complicates the search for his academic records. But Smith is actively working to gain his eligibility, he said. “We’re just going through the normal process we would go through with any prospective student-athlete,” Holloway said. “But this one is just a little different.”

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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!