American Christians Hauled to Jail for Preaching Jesus

One of the nation’s top legal teams regarding civil and religious rights has stepped into a dispute stemming from last weekend’s Arab Festival in Dearborn, Mich., where police are accused of enforcing Islamic law. “Officers arrested four Christian missionaries and illegally confiscated their video cameras which were recording the events surrounding their arrests,” said a statement today from the Thomas More Law Center of Ann Arbor, Mich. Officials in the police department with the city of Dearborn declined to comment to WorldNetDaily. But the law center announcement said the incident has been described as “police enforcement of Shariah law.” The organization said it would represent the Christians. “These Christian missionaries were exercising their constitutional rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion, but apparently the Constitution carries little weight in Dearborn, where the Muslim population seems to dominate the political apparatus,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center. The Christian missionaries reported police told them they would have to be five blocks away from the festival to give away copies of the Gospel of John.

  • Muslims now have more freedom in the U.S. than Christians

Christian Group Slams Obama Salute to Gay Dads

A Christian group is denouncing President Obama’s salute to families headed by “two fathers” in the president’s June 18 Father’s Day proclamation. The proclamation says, “Nurturing families come in many forms, and children may be raised by a father and mother, a single father, two fathers, a step father, a grandfather, or caring guardian.” American Family Association president Tim Wildmon says, “This is the first time in our nation’s history that a president has used Father’s Day as an excuse to promote the radical homosexual agenda and completely redefine the word ‘family.'”But White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton says Obama was simply trying to be “inclusive,” and notes that the president used similar language in his Mother’s Day proclamation. That May 7 proclamation said “nurturing families” include those headed by “two mothers.” Obama will host a gay pride event at the White House Tuesday evening.

  • The terms ‘inclusive’ and ‘tolerance’ are the keywords for the New World Order objectives to marginalize Christianity

Obama Promises to Push Gay Rights Agenda

President Obama is promising gay rights activists he’ll keep pushing for action on their priorities including benefits for same-sex partners and repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military. At an event in the White House East Room in honor of gay pride month, Obama told activists Tuesday that he’s delivered on promises including passage of anti-hate crimes legislation. But, the president said, “We’ve got a lot of hard work we’ve still got to do.” He said he’d keep his promise to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell,” an area where gay activists are pushing the president to move faster. Obama also said that the Health and Human Services Department would be moving to get hospitals to allow visitation rights for same-sex couples.

  • Gay-rights is another satanic goal to destroy the family and God’s natural order

$1 Billion in Tax Dollars Given to Abortion Advocates

The Christian Post reports that organizations advocating abortion have received more than $1 billion in taxpayer money over the last eight years. A new report from the Government Accountability Office shows the funds went to just six organizations between 2002 and 2009. Almost two-third of the funds went to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which received $657.1 million. “By funding Planned Parenthood and their allies, we are unwittingly supporting an abortion organization and everything they do,” said Ken Blackwell, senior fellow for family empowerment at the conservative Family Research Council. “When taxpayer money goes to abortion groups for any reason, it supports the work of the abortion industry.”

Supreme Court Upholds Anti-Terror Law

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld a law that makes it a crime to provide “material support” to designated foreign terrorist groups, even when the support involves training or advice on humanitarian activities. The 6-3 decision marked the first time the high court had looked at restrictions on free speech in U.S. anti-terrorism policy since the 9/11 attacks. Monday’s decision strengthens the hand of government to block any form of support, no matter how peaceful or seemingly benign, to foreign terrorist groups. The law subjects anyone who provides material support, including “training,” to up to 15 years in prison. The majority emphasized that it was endorsing restrictions on coordinated work with foreign terrorist groups but not on any independent work a humanitarian organization might do on its own. Dissenting justices said the activities involve advocacy usually covered by the First Amendment. Former president Jimmy Carter, whose center advocating human rights had sided with the challengers, expressed disappointment in a statement that said the law “inhibits the work of human rights and conflict resolution groups.”

Mexico Joins Suit Against Arizona’s Immigration Law

Mexico on Tuesday asked a federal court in Arizona to declare the state’s new immigration law unconstitutional, arguing that the country’s own interests and its citizens’ rights are at stake. Lawyers for Mexico on Tuesday submitted a legal brief in support of one of five lawsuits challenging the law. The law will take effect July 29 unless implementation is blocked by a court. The law generally requires police investigating another incident or crime to ask people about their immigration status if there’s a “reasonable suspicion” they’re in the country illegally. It also makes being in Arizona illegally a misdemeanor, and it prohibits seeking day-labor work along the state’s streets. Until recently, Mexican law made illegal immigration a criminal offense — anyone arrested for the violation could be fined, imprisoned for up to two years and deported. Mexican lawmakers changed that in 2008 to make illegal immigration a civil violation like it is in the United States, but their law still reads an awful lot like Arizona’s.

FCC’s Gives Gov’t More Power to Control the Internet

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) vote to give itself authority to increase its regulatory role of broadband Internet service is worrisome, according to an attorney with the American Family Association (AFA). The proposal would designate broadband as a telecommunications service, which would subject it to stricter regulation. Pat Vaughn, general counsel with AFA, finds the move troubling. “During the life of the Internet over the last 15-20 years, Congress has taken the position of not regulating it, because it was flourishing; it was growing,” he explains. “They were afraid that if they…stepped in and put regulations, they would actually stifle the growth, and…rather than causing the Internet to flourish and develop, they would harm it.” Vaughn points out that putting broadband into the same classification as telephone service gives the government more power over the Internet. “What you really have here is an administration that thinks that government can do everything better than the industry,” he comments. “Because of their basic mistrust of the industry, they’re saying, ‘We’ve got to step in — and if government’s not there to be a referee, we can’t trust what’s happening.'”

  • Big Brother is more untrustworthy than Big Business

Federal Health Care Web Site Coming July 1

Wish finding health insurance were as easy as shopping for an airline ticket? A federal government website that starts July 1 takes a step in that direction. The site, for the first time, will give consumers a list of all private and government health care plans for individuals and small businesses in their areas. The nation’s new health care law requires the site (www.healthcare.gov). Initially, it will provide just basic facts, such as the names of companies, health plans and Web links. Beginning in October, it will list detailed cost and benefits information. Consumer groups and insurers already are clashing over exactly what information should be displayed. “What we are trying to do is create some order in the marketplace,” says Karen Pollitz, a top official at the new Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Department of Health and Human Services. She acknowledges the site won’t be the Expedia of health care any time soon: “This ain’t like buying a plane ticket; it is much more complicated.”

  • If this goes like most government projects, it will just be another boondoggle wasting taxpayer money

Over 115 Million Widows Worldwide Live in Poverty

At least 245 million women around the world have been widowed and more than 115 million of them live in devastating poverty. The most dire consequences are faced by 2 million Afghan widows and at least 740,000 Iraqi widows who lost their husbands as a result of the ongoing conflicts; by widows and their children evicted from their family homes in sub-Saharan Africa; by elderly widows caring for grandchildren orphaned by the HIV/AIDS crisis, and by child widows aged 7 to 17 in developing countries, the report said. Many are cheated out of their husbands’ assets and property and expelled from their family home — and since they have no money they can’t support their children. The report entitled “Invisible Forgotten Sufferers: The Plight of Widows around the World,” was commissioned by the Loomba Foundation which works in a dozen countries to help widows and educate their children. “The plight of widows — in the shadows of the world — is a human rights catastrophe,” said Cherie Blair, the foundation’s president. “It’s really a hidden humanitarian crisis.”

Banks Repaying Taxpayers, but AIG Loss Likely

Members of a watchdog panel on Tuesday pressed Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on looming losses for banks and foreclosure relief for struggling homeowners, as he assured them that taxpayers are recovering their investment from the government’s $700 billion financial bailout. Geithner told the Congressional Oversight Panel that banks have repaid about 75% of the bailout money they received, and the government’s investments in the banks have brought taxpayers $21 billion. He acknowledged there likely will be a partial loss from the rescue of giant insurer American International Group, into which the government plowed $182 billion. Geithner also said the auto industry has made significant structural changes, and the prospect that General Motors and Chrysler will repay their nearly $60 billion in bailout money has improved. The oversight panel was created by Congress to oversee the Treasury Department’s financial bailout program that came at the height of the financial crisis in fall 2008. The panel has been critical of the politically unpopular program, known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP, which included aid to banks, AIG and the automakers. It is scheduled to expire on Oct. 3, and no new money will be available after that. The panel’s chair, Elizabeth Warren, underlined concerns that regional and small banks could be facing $200 billion to $300 billion in losses the next few years on commercial real estate loans, and thousands of banks could fail as a result.

Economic News

Sales of existing homes took an unexpected tumble in May, disappointing economists who had expected a federal home buyers’ tax credit to deliver more impact. nstead of the expected increase, existing home sales dropped 2.2% from April. However, May sales were 19.2% above the year-ago rate of 4.75 million. To qualify for the tax credit, buyers had to have a binding purchase contract by April 30. They have until June 30 to close on their purchase to get the credit. Because sales are counted when they close, the tax credit was expected to give some boost to sales through this month.

For all the focus on the historic federal rescue of the banking industry, it is the government’s decision to seize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in September 2008 that reportedly is likely to cost taxpayers the most money. So far the tab stands at $145.9 billion and rising, the New York Times reports. The Congressional Budget Office has predicted that the final bill could reach $389 billion.

Toyota and Honda said Wednesday they stopped production at some of their car assembly plants in southern China after parts suppliers were hit by more labor unrest. The fresh walkouts at the Japanese carmakers are slowing output and adding to costs at a time when both companies have been ramping up production to meet strong demand. Chinese migrant workers, the backbone of the country’s industrial sector, are becoming increasingly vocal in demands for higher wages.

Afghanistan

Taliban and Afghan warlords are extorting some of the $2.16 billion the Defense Department has paid to local contractors who transport food, water, ammunition and fuel to U.S. military forces in Afghanistan, according to a House investigation released Tuesday. Trucking contractors say they pay as much as $150,000 a month to warlords in “protection” money, and investigators concluded that payments for safe passage are a significant source of Taliban funding, according to the report. In a letter to subcommittee members, Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass criticized the Pentagon for a contract “that put responsibility for the security of vital U.S. supplies on contractors and their unaccountable security providers.” He wrote, “This arrangement has fueled a vast protection racket run by a shadowy network of warlords, strongmen, commanders and corrupt Afghan officials, and perhaps others.” He said the payoffs violate the law and appear “to risk undermining the U.S. strategy for achieving its goals in Afghanistan.”

Afghan President Hamid Karzai gave a strong endorsement Tuesday to embattled Gen. Stanley McChrystal, describing him as the “best commander” of the war and expressing hope that he keeps his job despite a magazine interview with him that was replete with derogatory comments about President Barack Obama and members of the U.S. national strategy team. While Obama’s relationship with Karzai has sometimes been rocky, McChrystal has cultivated the Afghan leader, encouraging him to visit remote areas of the country and assume responsibility for military operations against the Taliban. McChrystal also received a vote of confidence from the secretary-general of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who appeared concerned over the impact of a possible change of command at a time of rising casualties and faltering political support within allied capitals. Kabul was abuzz Tuesday as the flap unfolded throughout the day. McChrystal publicly apologized and made a round of phone calls to those maligned by comments made by him and his staff. Obama, who was angered by the article, hastily summoned the top commander in Afghanistan to Washington, ordering him to attend a White House meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan in person Wednesday.

Christian Today reports that more than 150 Afghan Christians who fled to India recently are pleading with the international community to help fellow believers. “We left our country because we were sentenced to death on the account of our Christian faith … Christians are called pagans and infidels and are sentenced to death by the Afghan Government. Death penalty is waiting for all those who want to leave the darkness and come to true light, repent from their sins, and put their faith on (sic) the Lord Jesus Christ,” they wrote in a letter earlier this month. Afghan Muslims rioted in the streets last month after seeing footage of Afghan men converting and being baptized. Christians in the group say they have received reports of Afghan Christians being arrested, tortured and forced to reveal names of other converts and churches.

Iraq

Iraqis say their government has mismanaged the oil industry and abused its wealth for personal gain. They wonder why a country with the world’s third-largest proven oil reserves can’t fuel power plants and spend more oil revenue improving the country’s faltering electrical grid and other services. Now some Iraqis are blaming the oil industry for the country’s failure to fuel electric plants during the hot summer months, when temperatures can reach 120 degrees. People here commonly have only a couple hours of power a day for appliances such as fans and air conditioners. Those who can afford it rely on costly gas-powered generators to produce electricity. Last week, frequent electricity outages prompted thousands in the oil-rich southern province of Basra to take to the streets.

Bombs killed at least nine Iraqis on Tuesday, including two leaders of government-backed Sunni militias that have fought al-Qaeda in Iraq. Members of so-called Awakening Councils, which have been key to a sharp drop in violence in recent years, frequently have been targeted by insurgents, along with government officials and others seen as allied with U.S.-led efforts to stabilize the country. The number of attacks has declined sharply since local tribal leaders revolted against al-Qaeda in Iraq and formed Awakening Councils in late 2006 and 2007. But fears are high that frustration over a political deadlock following the March 7 parliamentary elections could stoke new violence.

Morocco

Religion News Service reports that Republican lawmakers are urging Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to help Christian aid workers and foster parents gain re-entry to Morocco. In March, approximately 50 U.S. Christians were deported after they were accused of breaking a Moroccan penal code that prohibits people from trying to convert Muslims. At a June 17 briefing on Capitol Hill, four American foster parents testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. The commission called on Clinton and the U.S. Embassy in Rabat, Morocco, to help the Americans retrieve their children and belongings from the north African country. “At a time when the rights of Americans under Moroccan law are clearly being violated, I’m disappointed that both Ambassador (Samuel) Kaplan and Secretary Clinton have neglected to publicly defend the rights of U.S. citizens,” said Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., the chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.

Wildfires

More than 800 firefighters continued to battle the 14,000-acre wildfire for a third day Tuesday just north of Arizona‘s premier summer getaway. About 1,000 Flagstaff residents evacuated from their homes may be allowed to return home today as firefighters made progress in containing the 22-square-mile wildfire. Efforts to fight the blaze will likely continue for at least two weeks. Strong winds had quickly fanned the fire that broke out Sunday. No major injuries have been reported, and no structures have burned.

Weather

Residents in several communities in central Indiana were urged to evacuate Tuesday after overnight thunderstorms dumped up to 5 inches of rain, causing widespread flash flooding that stranded motorists and closed roads. In southern Wisconsin, authorities conducted door-to-door searches after a warning siren failed before a tornado touched down in Eagle, damaging at least 100 homes, destroying 25 and injuring one person. The National Weather Service confirmed two tornadoes in Wisconsin, with the one in Eagle possibly having winds of up to nearly 160 mph.

Officials scrambled Tuesday to get food and medical aid to two flood-hit Brazilian states where torrents of water ripped through towns, killing at least 41 people and driving 120,000 from their homes. Floodwaters toppled bridges and cut roads to dozens of cities. The Civil Defense department of Alagoas state received reports from local officials of 600 people missing in the chaos. The heavy rains started last week and within two days dumped a month’s worth of water on areas of Alagoas and neighboring Pernambuco state. Some small towns were nearly destroyed by the flooding.

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