Archive for August, 2019

Signs of the Times

August 30, 2019

­­For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous. The Lord knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever. They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. But the wicked shall perish. (Psalm 37:17-20)

Indian Deaf Girl Saved, Healed then Beaten & Disowned

Twelve-year-old Saree has faced severe persecution in her short life. Born deaf to a Hindu family, the young girl found Jesus and healing. But when her family discovered her new-found faith, they beat her and attempted to force her to turn away. Saree’s faith remained strong, however, and despite being disowned by her biological family, she has embraced her spiritual family. In an interview with persecution watchdog group Open Doors USA, Saree shared how she became a Christian and was healed. One of Saree’s aunts, a Christian, invited her to church. Saree went to the front of the church for prayer with a few other people. “While they were praying, I could hear sounds. Slowly, the sounds became louder and louder. I also felt something coming to me. It came closer and closer. It was the presence of God. Then the sounds became really clear. I could hear everything. I was incredibly happy,” she said.

Yale Professor Rejects Darwinism, Says Intelligent Design Is a ‘Serious’ Theory

An internationally-renowned Yale professor has ditched his belief in the theory of Darwinism, arguing that “intelligent design” should be taken more seriously. Professor David Gelernte says that the theory of evolution contains a number of holes and flaws and warned the critics of intelligent design to stop attacking the theory out of a place of anti-religious sentiment.  Professor Gelernte also noted that academics who dare to question the theory of Darwinism are routinely and unfairly attacked by their colleagues. Most in the academic field show “nothing approaching free speech on this topic,” he warned.

Massive New Study Finds No “Gay Gene’

Sexual orientation cannot be predicted by a single “gay gene,” new research indicates. Instead, a host of genetic and environmental factors play a role, according to a study published Thursday in Science Magazine. The findings provide insight into the complex genetics underlying human sexuality. But they do not explain it, wrote the international team of researchers who analyzed genetic data gathered from almost half a million people. Several hundred genes appeared to have an influence on sexuality. Five variants showed significant effects, the researchers said. But when tested, though, these genetic factors combined accounted for only 8% to 25% of same-sex behavior. The analysis also showed different genetics in play for women and men. This could reflect the influence of hormones or possibly social differences.

Survey Shows Millennials Turning Away From God and Country

A new survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News indicates a major shift in American values. The survey found that millennials are not as patriotic or as religious or as family oriented as Americans were 20 years ago. Nearly 80 percent of Americans ages 55 or older said patriotism is important to them, the survey found. However, only 42 percent of younger Americans valued patriotism. The share citing religion as important decreased from 62 percent in 1998 to 48 percent now. Just 30 percent of the younger group cited religion or belief in God as very important, while 67 percent of the older group does.

Judge Okays Pennsylvania House’s Ban on Atheist Invocations

The Pennsylvania House’s policy that bans atheists from providing an invocation at the start of legislative sessions does not violate the Constitution, a federal appeals court ruled. Judge Thomas L. Ambro ruled against petitions brought by the Freedom From Religion Foundation claiming such restriction violates portions of the Constitution, including free speech, the establishment and free exercise of religion and equal protection. “The Supreme Court has long taken as given that prayer presumes invoking a higher power,” Judge Ambro, who was nominated by President Clinton, wrote in his opinion.

Federal Judge Temporarily Halts Missouri’s 8-Week Abortion Ban

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked a Missouri ban on abortions at or after eight weeks of pregnancy just hours before the law was slated to take effect. Federal law currently allows states to ban abortions after fetuses can survive outside the womb, which can be from 24 to 28 weeks. The Missouri law, though, also includes an outright ban on abortions except in the case of medical emergencies—a measure that would only take effect if the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, the judge decided. If the courts do not uphold the eight-week ban, the law includes a series of less-restrictive bans ranging from 14 to 20 weeks. The policy also bans abortions based solely on race, sex or a diagnosis indicating the potential for Down syndrome.

Democrats Embrace the Religiously Unaffiliated

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) passed a resolution Saturday praising the values of “religiously unaffiliated” Americans as the “largest religious group within the Democratic Party.” The resolution, which was unanimously passed at the DNC’s summer meeting on Aug. 24 in San Francisco, Calif., was championed by the Secular Coalition of America, an organization that lobbies on behalf of atheists, agnostics, and humanists on public policy. The group celebrated the DNC’s move as the first time a major party “embraced American nonbelievers.” “Religiously unaffiliated Americans overwhelmingly share the Democratic Party’s values,” said the resolution, which adds they should advocate for “rational public policy based on sound science and universal humanistic values.”

  • Humanism is itself a religion that exalts humans instead of God.

Majority of Federal Offenses Committed by Foreigners

As the illegal alien crisis along the southern border worsens, government figures show that nearly half of all federal crimes in the United States are perpetrated by foreigners who are not American citizens and that immigration cases account for the largest single type of offense. Non-U.S. citizens committed 42.7% of all federal crimes in 2018, according to a report issued by the United States Sentencing Commission. The document also reveals that 54.3% of the 69,425 federal offenders last year were Hispanic. The five judicial districts along the Mexican border—California, Arizona, New Mexico and western and southern Texas—have experienced an eye-popping 539% increase in immigration-related arrests over the last two decades, reports Judicial Watch.. Thousands are of “unknown citizenship,” according to the federal statistics, which show a spike of 202 aliens from unknown countries to 6,657 in a few years. Besides immigration violations, drug offenses appear to be the most popular crimes committed by non-U.S. citizens, followed by fraud, alien smuggling and misuse of visas. The overwhelming majority of perpetrators are young men

Immigration Update

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported a significant drop in apprehensions at the southwest border in June, after an agreement with the Mexican government. For the month of July, DHS reported more than 72,000 apprehensions, down from more than 132,000 in May. President Trump had threatened to punish Mexico with tariffs to force them to step up their own immigration enforcement efforts.

Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan touted Tuesday the progress of the “new border wall system” being built in Arizona. “What was there was old, dilapidated, ineffective and it didn’t work,” Morgan said, so it is being replaced with a new wall. Judges overseeing litigation stemming from the government’s plan for a wall along the Mexico border were told on Tuesday that the Trump administration was authorizing 20 more miles of border barriers in Arizona and California after costs for earlier stretches were lower than expected.

Nineteen states filed a federal lawsuit Monday opposing the Trump administration’s new regulations for indefinitely detaining immigrant families. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey led the effort by arguing that prolonged detention would cause irreparable harm to children and the communities that accept them after release from federal custody. Federal authorities anticipated legal challenges to the proposal, which could take effect in 60 days if a federal judge approves. Kevin McAleenan, acting secretary of Homeland Security, said Wednesday in announcing the rule that it is intended to keep families together while processing their asylum claims efficiently.

EPA to Loosen Federal Rules on Methane Containment

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday changes to its rule concerning the prevention of methane gases from leaking into the atmosphere. The proposed rule change would reverse standards enacted under President Barack Obama that require oil and gas operations to install controls on their operations to curb the release of methane at the well head and in their transmission equipment, including pipelines and storage facilities. Several of the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies, including Exxon, Shell and BP, have opposed the rollback and urged the Trump administration to keep the current standards in place. Critics contend that releasing more of this ‘greenhouse’ gas into the atmosphere will increase climate change impacts.

Trump launches Space Command

President Donald Trump announced Thursday the official establishment of the U.S. military’s Space Command. Space Command will become the 11th combatant command. The command will initially consist of just 287 personnel and its final location has yet to be determined. Its responsibilities will be transferred primarily from US Strategic Command. The command’s establishment comes as the U.S. has grown increasingly concerned about threats to its satellites, which are critical to military operations and commercial business. “We no longer have the luxury of treating space superiority as a given,” Air Force Gen. John Raymond, the incoming U.S. Space Command commander, told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday. “There is a growing threat. The scope, scale and complexity is concerning.”

Military Suicides Top Record Despite Government’s Efforts

The disturbing number of military suicides had held steady for years: Roughly 20 U.S. military veterans take their own lives each day. But the Defense Department reported a significant uptick last year in the number of active-duty and reserve men and women who died by suicide. The suicide rate among veterans ages 18 to 34, some of whom served in Iraq and Afghanistan, shot up dramatically. Top officials from the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs, joined by specialists from across the private sector, gathered this week to search for solutions to what has become one of the most persistent, painful and frustrating crises facing the military community.

Judge Orders Johnson & Johnson to pay $572M for Opioid Crisis

An Oklahoma judge on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries to pay $572 million to help abate the opioid crisis in the state, a landmark decision likely to reverberate in lawsuits across the nation. The case was closely watched as a federal judge in Ohio oversees of more than 2,000 lawsuits filed by city, county and tribal governments across the nation against manufacturers, distributors and retailers of prescription painkillers. The Oklahoma ruling came in the first state opioid case to reach trial. The state previously settled with OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma and Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical for a total of more than $350 million.

  • OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma is reportedly offering a sweeping settlement worth $10 billion to $12 billion to resolve claims that it bears responsibility for the nation’s opioid crisis. The offer would settle more than 2,000 lawsuits, including cases brought by state and local governments.

Vaping Causes Lung Disease Say Federal/State Officials

Federal officials say there are some 200 potential cases of lung disease linked to e-cigarettes reported by 22 states. There are 16 confirmed cases in cases in Wisconsin, with 15 other cases under investigation, state health officials said. The city of Milwaukee issued a health alert Wednesday urging people to stop vaping immediately amid an outbreak of lung disease there that doctors suspect is linked to e-cigarettes. Federal health officials are under fire for their unclear public warnings about vaping-related lung illnesses, which some say are related to the far riskier practice of vaping marijuana oil rather than nicotine.

Artificial Intelligence Set to Flood the Internet with Fake News

OpenAI was founded in 2015 to promote and develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) that would benefit humanity as a whole. Instead, they built the most dangerous AI conceivable which could “destroy the Internet and manipulate the minds of every person on earth,” notes Technocracy News. This AI was designed to generate realistic stories, poems and articles. The text generator, built by research firm OpenAI, was originally considered “too dangerous” to make public because of the potential for abuse. But now a new, more powerful version of the system has been released, which could be used to create fake news or abusive spam on social media.

California’s Biggest Cities Confront a ‘Defecation Crisis’

San Francisco ranks as the “the doo-doo capital of the U.S,” and California now has the “majority of the nation’s homeless people,” wrote Claremont professor and author Charles Kesler in the Wall Street Journa., declaring that there is a “defecation crisis” in California’s biggest cities. “In California, one is struck by the contrast between the fastidious attention paid to the social duty of scooping up and disposing of dog feces, and the rather more paralyzed and guilty reaction to the plague of human feces,” he wrote. “Even social-justice warriors don’t consider it their personal duty, however, to tidy up after their fellow human beings on the streets.”

Robots to Take 20,000 Manufacturing Jobs

The use of robots is on the rise. Machines are expected to displace about 20 million manufacturing jobs across the world over the next decade, according to a report released last week by Oxford Economics, a global forecasting and quantitative analysis firm. That means about 8.5% of the global manufacturing workforce could be displaced by robots. At this point, every new robot that is installed displaces 1.6 manufacturing workers on average. The average unit price per robot has dropped 11% between 2011 and 2016, they are increasingly capable of functioning in more sophisticated processes and varied contexts.

Economic News

The U.S. and Japan have agreed in principle on a trade deal worth “billions and billions of dollars,” President Trump said Sunday at the G7 Summit. Trump said parties will likely sign the deal around the United Nations General Assembly in September. Japan to will buy up America’s corn surplus as part of the deal. “We successfully reached consensus with regard to the core elements related to agricultural and industrial trade,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.

Optimism over the trade dispute between the U.S. and China spurred markets higher Thursday following comments by a Chinese government official suggesting Beijing is hoping for continued trade talks with the United States. China is willing to resolve the trade dispute “with a calm attitude,” said Gao Feng, spokesperson for China’s ministry of commerce Thursday.

The leaders of Corporate America are cashing in their chips as doubts grow about the sustainability of the longest bull market in American history. Corporate insiders have sold an average of $600 million of stock per day in August.=, the fifth month of the year in which insider selling tops $10 billion. The only other times that has happened was 2006 and 2007, just before the Great Recession.

David Kelly, chief global strategist with JPMorgan Funds, argued in his most recent weekly report that America could soon face a big labor shortage as more baby boomers reach retirement age. There aren’t enough younger people currently to replace them. Unless America adds more younger people to the labor force, Kelly argues that any tax cuts or other stimulus would be “pointless.” He suggested making three-year undergraduate college degrees more available and boosting immigration.

The winners and losers of America’s great retail shakeout are becoming clear. Target and Walmart are definitely winners. Just about every other department store is losing, reports CNN. Target and Walmart operate stores away from malls, an advantage because foot traffic is slowing at malls around the country. Macy’s and Penney, however, have heavy exposure to malls. Neither chain has put up as much capital investment to remodel stores as Walmart or Target have. Walmart is close to seven times as big as Target in terms of sales, but the two chains are both able to use their size and scale in the market to drive down prices on a variety of merchandise. Department stores like Macy’s, Kohl’s and JCPenney are much smaller and sell mainly clothes, where a proliferation of options have cropped up online and from specialty brands.

Persecution Watch

More than 200 people including women and children have been abducted and a church mission hospital and shops looted by Islamist extremists during a raid on Boga, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a majority-Christian country. The Bishop of Boga Diocese, eastern Democratic Republic (DR) of Congo, Rt Rev. William Bahemuka, said the Muslim militant group ADF (Allied Democratic Forces) had attacked the town in Ituri province in the early hours of 23 August. The ADF Islamist terrorist group has been operating in the region for more than two decades and has repeatedly attacked Christians. Bahemuka said, “The situation is terrible. People are terrified. Families are traumatized and grieving over their abducted loved ones.”

Islamic terrorists are continuing to kill Christians in northeastern Burkina Faso. According to CBN News, four Christians in the village of Bani were killed for wearing crosses. Bishop Laurent Birfuoré Dabiré of the Diocese of Dori in the northeast of Burkina Faso said the Islamists forced everyone in the village to lie face down on the ground. “Then they searched them,” he said. “Four people were wearing crucifixes. So they killed them because they were Christians. “After murdering them, the Islamists warned all the other villagers that if they did not convert to Islam, they too, would be killed.”

Middle East

Israel said Sunday it struck targets in Syria prevent a major attack by Iranian “killer drones” operating from an air base in Syria. Israeli military officials said the drone attack against Israel was set to launch out of Syria, with Iranian Quds Forces having delivered attack drones armed with explosives to an air base southeast of Damascus. Iran is a key ally of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and increasingly has used Syria as a base for its own military operations. After the Israeli air strikes Saturday, reports emerged early Monday morning of an Israeli drone attack on a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) position in Qousaya, located in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon, close to the border with Syria. Israel’s enemies were issuing threats of imminent retaliation for the weekend’s strikes. Meanwhile, two drones crashed in a Shiite suburb of Beirut, a stronghold of Hezbollah. Lebanese President Michel Aoun called it a declaration of war.

  • Israel’s suspected use of high-tech military drones in three attacks in three countries in the space of 48 hours could be a taste of things to come. Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, are increasingly revolutionizing warfare, and recent clashes across the Middle East show how they can be both a strategic game-changer and a terrorist’s favorite equalizer.


Iran’s foreign minister paid a visit to a G7 summit in France on Sunday as a guest to French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron, a move that blindsided White House officials. Sen. John Cornyn questioned why Macron would invite Mohammed Javad Zarif. “Iran is the #1 state sponsor of terrorism. Why would Macron suck up to stone-cold killers?” Cornyn tweeted. Macron has been urging Trump and the Iranians toward a dialogue since Trump withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal last year. Macron pitched a plan to end the standoff over the Iran nuclear deal — by allowing Iran to sell oil for a limited period of time in exchange for returning to talks and to compliance with the agreement. Top Iranian officials all but ruled out talks with the U.S. a day after President Donald Trump extended his most expansive offer yet to the Islamic Republic. The U.S. must lift sanctions on Iran if it wants to negotiate, President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday.


President Trump said Thursday that the U.S. plans to withdraw more than 5,000 American troops from Afghanistan and then will consider further drawdowns in the longest war in American history. “We’re going down to 8,600 (troops) and then we’ll make a determination from there,” Trump said, adding that the U.S. is going to have a “high intelligence” presence in Afghanistan going forward.” Trump’s comment came as a U.S. envoy was in his ninth round of talks with the Taliban to find a resolution to the nearly 18-year-old war. The president, who campaigned on ending the war, said the U.S. was “getting close” to making a deal, but that the outcome of the U.S.-Taliban talks remained uncertain.


Syrian government forces pressed ahead with their military offensive in Idlib, seizing a cluster of villages on the southeastern edges of the province on Thursday as the overall civilian death toll from the campaign rose further. The government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media said troops captured three small villages in the area, as they continued their assault with the next target appearing to be the rebel-held town of Maaret al-Numan, which lies near the Damascus-Aleppo highway. Last week, the troops captured the town of Khan Sheikhoun, which also sits on the highway. Idlib is the Syrian opposition’s final stronghold in the country, and President Bashar Assad’s forces, backed by Russia, are determined to recapture it.

North Korea

The Trump administration on Friday slapped sanctions on two Taiwan-based individuals and several shipping companies for providing oil shipments to North Korea in violation of U.N. sanctions. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control also identified one vessel as “blocked property” after engaging in ship-to-ship transfers of oil to North Korean vessels. “Shipping companies trading with North Korea are exposing themselves to significant sanctions risk, despite the deceptive practices they try to employ,” said Treasury Undersecretary Sigal Mandelker.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong police used tear gas, drew their guns and deployed water cannon trucks this past weekend after some anti-government protesters attacked officers with sticks and rods. The clashes escalated the Chinese city’s summer of protests, which shows no sign of subsiding. Demonstrations have taken place in neighborhoods near government offices and shut down the busy Hong Kong International Airport. Hardliners confronted police anew after largely holding back the previous weekend. They occupied streets on Saturday and Sunday, erecting barriers across roads after otherwise peaceful marches by thousands of others. Wearing gas masks, they threw bricks and gasoline bombs toward the police, as the latter fired tear gas canisters at them. The return to confrontation signaled their belief that the government won’t respond to peaceful protest alone. The arrests on Friday of prominent democracy activists in Hong Kong reflect a tactical escalation by China’s leaders, one that they hope will curb the escalating street violence of recent weeks, but which could run the risk of prolonging protests in the city for many more months.

  • As pro-democracy demonstrators continue to mount a mass resistance against China’s communist rule in Hong Kong, the region’s Christian community has started to rise up. Amongst the throes of tear gas, rubber bullets, and riot shields, a sweet melody of worship can be heard echoing through the city’s central district. Gathering in peace and prayer, thousands of Christian protestors can often be heard belting out the 1974 hymn, “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord.” Not only is this a show of devotion to Jesus in the midst of tumult and political tyranny, but the singing of this worship song also offers the community a level of immunity, thanks to a Hong Kong law of public assembly that makes exceptions for religious gatherings.


After rolling out a social credit system to measure the worthiness (or lack thereof) of its citizens, China is preparing to extend the system to include corporations. Under this new system for ranking businesses, both foreign and domestic companies will be required to install surveillance cameras in their premises and share the data with the government. They will also be rated on their tax record and compliance with a range of existing laws, including customs and environmental regulations. Those who violate rules will be placed in “blacklists” and subjected to “immediate and severe punishments”, the EU Chamber of Commerce in China said in a report published Wednesday. The sanctions are not limited to penalties but also include more frequent inspections, customs delays, not getting subsidies or tax rebates and public shaming.


An attack on a bar in Mexico’s Gulf coast city of Coatzacoalcos killed 23 people and injured 13 late Tuesday. The attackers started a fire that ripped through the bar, killing eight women and 15 men. The attack came almost eight years to the day after a fire started in 2011 at a casino in the northern city of Monterrey killed 52 people. The Zetas drug cartel staged that attack to enforce demands for protection payments. The Zetas, now splintered, have also been active in Coatzacoalcos. The attack, along with the killing of 19 people in the western city of Uruapan earlier this month, is likely to renew fears that the public, dramatic violence of the 2006-2012 drug war has returned.


Laurie Sylvia started feeling sick last Monday. Less than a week later, the Massachusetts 59-year-old was dead, killed by a rare mosquito-borne illness. Sylvia, who died Sunday, is the fourth person in the state to contract eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) this month. Before this year, Massachusetts hadn’t seen a human case since 2013. Cases typically occur in Massachusetts, Florida, New York, and North Carolina.


An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 was recorded Thursday morning in the Pacific Ocean near Oregon, the US Geological Survey reported. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. The quake happened around 11:07 a.m. ET at a depth of 3.4 miles about 175 miles west-northwest of the coastal city of Bandon, the agency reported.


The Group of Seven summit meeting was marked more mixed signals than by concrete results, but at least one joint commitment was made. But it was relatively modest: a $20 million fund to be made available immediately to Amazon countries to combat forest fires and to launch a long-term initiative to protect the rainforest. Brazil rejected the offer and mocked the French, telling them to reforest Europe instead.

As Brazil’s Amazon fires continue to take center stage, another South American nation is battling its own catastrophic blazes, which have destroyed an area of land nearly as large as Lebanon. The Chiquitanía region of southeastern Bolivia, consisting of dry forest, farmland and open prairies, has seen the greatest damage from the nearly 40,000 fires that have charred 3,700 square miles to date, according to the country’s National Forests and Lands Authority. The fires, which have now spread to Bolivia’s share of the Amazon, have destroyed $1.1 billion worth of timber.

  • The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. (Revelation 8:7)


Hurricane Dorian hurtled toward the United States and was on track to become a major hurricane Friday before its expected landfall Monday into Tuesday along Florida’s east coast with winds of 120-130 mph and a strong storm surge. With Florida already sodden with summer rainfall, Dorian could cause serious inland flooding.

At the G7 summit meeting, President Trump skipped a working session on climate change, one of the areas of particular disagreement with the other leaders at the summit, but he sent lower-level aides instead. On Monday, Trump said he would rather focus on retaining wealth in the U.S. than chasing “windmill dreams.”

Signs of the Times

August 23, 2019

­­We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed… For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison. (2Corinthians 4:8-9,17)

Georgia Declares ‘Killing a Living Child is Not Healthcare’

As Georgia fights to defend the legality of its ban on aborting babies with beating hearts, state Attorney General Chris Carr took the opportunity to affirm that Georgia does not recognize abortion as a legitimate form of medical practice. “It is well-settled that ‘a fetus is a living organism within the womb, whether or not it is viable outside the womb,'” the Republican AG argued in a motion filed Monday in US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. “Accordingly, a State may properly recognize that an unborn child is alive even before ‘viability’ and—consistent with its power to protect unborn life—may prohibit the killing of that child by restricting certain types of pre-viability abortions.” Killing a living unborn child does not constitute ‘medical care’ or ‘health care,’ Carr declared. The filing was a motion opposing the ACLU’s, and Planned Parenthood’s request for an injunction against enforcing the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act, which forbids abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, except in cases of rape, incest, physical medical emergencies, and pregnancies deemed “medically futile.”

Thousands of Australians March for Life

As the winter night fell in Sydney, nearly ten thousand pro-life Austrailians amassed in the heart of the city, protesting a radical proposed new law permitting abortion on demand until birth. Thousands of protestors marched from Martin Place to the front of New South Wales Parliament buildings where legislators in the state’s Legislative Council, or upper house, were debating the bill. The Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019, which will permit even sex-selection abortion, was passed through New South Wales Legislative Assembly, or lower house, on August 8 by a vote of 59 to 31. It now has to pass through the New South Wales Legislative Council, or lower house, and receive the Governor’s assent for it to become law.

Planned Parenthood Opts Out of Title X Program

Planned Parenthood announced on Monday that it has withdrawn from the Title X federal family planning program. Last month, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way for implementation of the Protect Life Rule, which prohibits Title X money from going to clinics that conduct or refer for abortions. Planned Parenthood asked the court to reconsider and enjoin the Protect Life Rule, but it declined to do so on Friday, August 16, 2019. That prompted Planned Parenthood to forgo approximately $60 million in federal funding in favor of continuing abortion referrals at its facilities that do not conduct abortions.

Three, No Four Potential Mass Shooters Stopped

Three potential mass shooters in three states are now in custody after arrests over the weekend, authorities say. Police say the men in Connecticut, Florida, and Ohio were arrested thanks to tips from the public. In the Ohio case, police say 20-year-old white nationalist James Reardon was arrested Saturday over an Instagram post that suggested he wanted to attack a Jewish community center. In Connecticut, 22-year-old Norwalk resident Brandon Wagshol was arrested after authorities received a tip that he was trying to buy large capacity rifle magazines from out of state. The Norwalk Police Department and the FBI say they discovered that Wagshol had posted on Facebook expressing interest in carrying out a mass shooting. Authorities say a raid on Wagshol’s home uncovered numerous weapons, along with items like a titanium body armor and a combat helmet. In the Florida case, Tristan Scott Wix, 25, was arrested Friday after he sent his ex-girlfriend texts threatening a mass shooting and she contacted authorities. In one message, the Daytona Beach resident said he wanted to “break a world record for longest confirmed kill ever.”

  • A California hotel cook who was upset over a work-related human resources issue was arrested Thursday after he threatened a mass shooting and stored guns and ammunition at his home, police said.  Authorities said Rodolfo Montoya, 37, told a co-worker he was going to shoot fellow employees and guests at the Long Beach Marriott. Multiple firearms, an assault rifle, tactical gear, dozens of high-capacity magazines and hundreds of bullets were seized from Montoya’s home.

Portland Alt-Right/Alt-Left Faceoff Mostly Peaceful

A heavy police presence largely kept members of the Proud Boys and other far-right groups separated from far-left, anti-fascist activists at a downtown park Saturday, mostly avoiding violent clashes that have marred earlier confrontations. The far-right forces were largely identifiable by their camouflage body armor and helmets, while the far-left antifa groups covered their faces with masks or bandanas. At least 13 people were arrested, and four people have minor injuries, according to Portland Police. Although the day was largely peaceful, police said they seized weapons such as metal and wooden poles, bear spray and shields from demonstrators. Police, some on bikes, many wearing helmets and armor, lined or patrolled the main road between the business district and the park to try to keep competing groups apart.

Immigration Update

DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, crossed the seven-year mark of operations last week. The anniversary sparked a new round of introspection, with immigrant rights advocates saying the program has proved its worth by helping give opportunity to a generation of young people who have become doctors, soldiers, lawyers and teachers. But the program does have a darker side: those who use their reprieve for criminal activities. Several DACA recipients have been arrested for smuggling immigrants into the U.S. for money, the Washington Times reports. The Department of Justice has submitted a legal brief to the Supreme Court arguing that President Donald Trump was acting within the law when he ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The Trump administration announced on Wednesday that the DHS would be scrapping the court-ordered Flores agreement, which prohibits children from being held in detention for more than 20 days. The administration argues the measure will allow it to keep families together while they are being processed through the U.S. immigration system. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Commissioner Mark Morgan”This is a game-changer… Because of the current Flores settlement agreement, everybody knows… you grab a kid, that’s your U.S. passport into the United States because we can’t hold you more than 20 days. That’s not long enough to go through the immigration proceedings. That’s catch and release… This new rule is going to address this.”

Ransomware Attacks Against 40 U.S. Cities

This has been the summer of crippling ransomware attacks. Wilmer — a town of almost 5,000 people just south of Dallas — is one of 22 cities across Texas that are simultaneously being held hostage for millions of dollars after a sophisticated hacker, perhaps a group of them, infiltrated their computer systems and encrypted their data. More than 40 municipalities have been the victims of cyberattacks this year, from major cities such as Baltimore, Albany and Laredo, Tex., to smaller towns including Lake City, Fla. Lake City is one of the few cities to have paid a ransom demand — about $460,000 in Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency — because it thought reconstructing its systems would be even more costly. Intelligence officials say many of the ransomware attacks have come from Eastern Europe, Iran and, in some cases, the United States. The majority have targeted small-town America, figuring that sleepy, cash-strapped local governments are the least likely to have updated their cyberdefenses or backed up their data, reports the New York Times.

Terrorists Turn To Bitcoin For Funding

Hamas, the militant Palestinian group, has been designated a terrorist organization by Western governments and some others and has been locked out of the traditional financial system. But this year its military wing has developed an increasingly sophisticated campaign to raise money using Bitcoin. In the latest version of the website set up by the wing, known as the Qassam Brigades, every visitor is given a unique Bitcoin address where he or she can send the digital currency, a method that makes the donations nearly impossible for law enforcement to track. The site, which is available in seven languages and features the brigades’ logo, with a green flag and a machine gun, contains a well-produced video that explains how to acquire and send Bitcoin without tipping off the authorities. Terrorists have been slow to join other criminal elements that have been drawn to Bitcoin and have used it for everything from drug purchases to money laundering. But in recent months, government authorities and organizations that track terrorist financing have begun to raise alarms about an uptick in the number of Islamist terrorist organizations experimenting with Bitcoin and other digital coins.

China Retaliates Against U.S. with $75B in Tariffs

The trade war between the U.S. and China escalated further Friday as China announced a new set of tariffs on American products. The China State Council announced it would impose tariffs ranging from 5% to 10% on an additional $75 billion in U.S. goods. The new tariffs are poised to go into effect in stages, with the first round beginning Sept. 1 and the second Dec. 15. This development comes after President Donald Trump earlier this month announced a new round of tariffs on Chinese imports – 10% on $300 billion in products. The two sides have so far failed to reach an agreement on a comprehensive trade pact. Tariffs on U.S. goods exported to China could make it more expensive for Chinese consumers to purchase American items and hurt sales for the American companies, while many Chinese products and raw materials are becoming more expensive for Americans. The stock market consequently plunged around 2% after the announcement on  Friday. President Donald Trump said on Friday he was ‘ordering’ U.S. companies to look at ways to close their operations in China and make more of their products in the United States instead.

  • American manufacturing activity is slowing as rising tariffs have made materials more expensive. The sector shrunk for the first time since September 2009. The global manufacturing sector might already be in a recession, said Charles Schwab chief investment strategist.

Economic News

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell vowed to ‘sustain the expansion’ but wouldn’t commit to deep interest rate cuts that President Trump has demanded. Powell said the U.S. economy is in a “favorable place” but the trade war presented a “complex, turbulent” situation. He vowed the Fed would “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion,” suggesting another interest rate cut might be coming.

The U.S. deficit is estimated to soar by $800 billion more than expected over the next ten years because of the new budget deal and emergency border spending, says the Congressional Budget Office. A two-year budget deal struck between lawmakers and the White House will help push the nation into levels of debt unseen since the end of World War II, the Congressional Budget Office said. The office added that the effect of higher trade barriers might also hurt economic growth.

It’s been more than 10 years – a record long time, in fact – since the U.S. economy experienced a recession. More signs are popping up that another one could be on the horizon. The loose definition of recession is two straight quarters of declines in real gross domestic product, the broadest gauge of U.S. growth. Economists look at leading economic indicators to predict when a recession is coming. One of those is the inverted yield curve, the signal that occurred last week in the bond market and sent stocks into a tizzy. That’s when the yield on the 10-year Treasury bond sinks below the yield on the two-year bond. But the inversion only indicates a recession is coming. It doesn’t predict when it will arrive.

Freight shipments within the U.S. by all modes of transportation – truck, rail, air, and barge – fell 5.9% in July 2019, compared to July 2018, the eighth month in a row of year-over-year declines, according to the Cass Freight Index for Shipments, which tracks shipments of consumer and industrial goods but not of bulk commodities such as grains. This decline along with the 6.0% drop in May were the steepest year-over-year declines in freight shipments since the last recession. Freight shipments often go into recession sooner than the overall economy, so this might be a signal that recession is coming.

U.S. consumer sentiment fell to 92.1 in August, the lowest since the start of 2019, according to data released last Friday. A reading below 100 indicates negative consumer expectations. The dip points to further uncertainty in the U.S. economy, as consumers navigate wild market swings and a constantly shifting trade environment. Economists expected the preliminary read on August consumer sentiment to reach 97, down from 98.4 in July. However, the Commerce Department released solid July retail sales figures. Spending at retail stores and restaurants rose 0.7% during the month, after a 0.3% gain in June.

Meanwhile, U.S. industrial production just slipped back into contraction territory and the IHS Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index just fell to the lowest level that we have seen since September 2009. The total number of bankruptcy filings in the United States has been steadily shooting up, and it rose another 5 percent during the month of July. And, 74% of the economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics believe that a recession will begin in the United States by the end of 2021.

The Labor Department is revising down the number of jobs that employers added to payrolls by 501,000 during the 12-month period that ran from April, 2018, through March of this year. The government initially estimated the economy added 2.5 million jobs during those 12 months, or just over 200,000 a month. Now it appears it will be closer to 170,000 a month on average.

Persecution Watch

Hundreds of Christians lost their lives in the first half of 2019 alone as a wave of attacks by heavily-armed, mainly Muslim destroyed entire communities, Fulani militants continued to gather momentum in an agenda of “religious cleansing” that is aiding Boko Haram’s attempts to establish an Islamist caliphate in north-eastern Nigeria. The carnage has gone largely unchallenged by the Nigerian Federal Government.

When a marked security car passed a Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade group marching in the Easter parade in Gombe, Nigeria, no one thought much about it. Then suddenly the car turned and sped back towards the boys and girls as they marched, cruelly plowing into them from behind. Six boys and three girls, aged between eleven and 21, died instantly and 13 in total were reported to have perished in the heart-breaking incident.

A Virginia state agency targeted, harassed, and discriminated against a Christian realtor, Hadassah Carter, simply for putting a Bible verse (John 3:16) on her website and including “Jesus loves you” in her email signature. The Virginia state agency actually required her real estate broker to watch and report her religious speech at her job. To make matters worse, it is the Virginia state agency that is claiming religious discrimination, turning logic on its head, notes ACLJ. There are no actual complaints against Hadassah for any discrimination. In fact, she was first targeted by the government when SHE defended one of her own clients from discrimination.

An Obama-appointed federal judge is forcing Wisconsin taxpayers to provide costly sex reassignment surgery and hormonal procedures for low-income transgender residents who get free medical care from the government, reports Judicial Watch. In a recently issued ruling U.S. District Judge William M. Conley wrote that Medicaid, the publicly funded insurance that covers 65.7 million poor people, cannot deny the medical treatment needs of those suffering from “gender dysphoria.” Officials estimate it will cost up to $1.2 million annually to provide transgender Medicaid recipients in the Badger State with treatments such as “gender confirmation” surgery, including elective mastectomies, hysterectomies, genital reconstruction and breast augmentation. The intricate operations are typically done by plastic surgeons.


The anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement garnered lots of media attention this past week when Israel banned BDS supporters, U.S. Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from visiting Israel, calling them enemies of Israel. It is important to recognize that the intention BDS is not merely to get Israel to improve the lives of the Palestinians, but is, in fact, an effort to completely destroy Israel. BDS founder Omar Barghouti, said, “No Palestinian — rational Palestinian, not a sellout Palestinian — will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine.” What terrorist groups hope to succeed by exterminating Israel with bombs and missiles, BDS seeks to accomplish the same thing economically.

Researchers from the Geological Survey of Israel and the universities of California and Miami published an article this week in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters assessing that a recent uptick in seismic activity in and around Israel’s Sea of Galilee were caused by large-scale groundwater extraction, while also predicting that a large-scale earthquake is likely to occur in the foreseeable future. “The geological history of the fault combined with the close proximity to populated areas suggest that future pumping in the region should be closely monitored,” the study concluded.

Islamic State

Five months after American-backed forces ousted the Islamic State from its last shard of territory in Syria, the terrorist group is gathering new strength, conducting guerrilla attacks across Iraq and Syria, retooling its financial networks and targeting new recruits at an allied-run tent camp, American and Iraqi military and intelligence officers said. A recent inspector general’s report warned that a drawdown this year from 2,000 American forces in Syria to less than half of that, ordered by Mr. Trump, has meant the American military has had to cut back support for Syrian partner forces fighting ISIS. For now, American and international forces can only try to ensure that ISIS remains contained and away from urban areas. Although there is little concern that the Islamic State will reclaim its former physical territory, a caliphate that was once the size of Britain and controlled the lives of up to 12 million people, the terrorist group has still mobilized as many as 18,000 remaining fighters in Iraq and Syria.


The U.S. Justice Department issued a warrant to seize an Iranian oil tanker detained in Gibraltar, a day after a judge in the British overseas territory ordered its release. The tanker “Grace 1” was seized last month in a British Royal Navy operation off the coast of Gibraltar. Authorities suspected it of violating European Union sanctions on oil shipments to Syria. Its seizure aggravated fears of a conflict in the Persian Gulf, where Iran claims control of the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway for oil shipments. But despite a last-minute U.S. attempt on Thursday to keep the oil tanker detained in Gibraltar, a court there ordered its release. Monday, the ship left for Greece. The United States has removed nearly 2.7 million barrels of Iranian oil from global markets daily as a result of Washington’s decision to reimpose sanctions on all purchases of Iran’s crude, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday.


A suicide bomb attack at a wedding in Kabul on Saturday killed 63 people and wounded 182. Among the victims were women and children. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. It said a Pakistani fighter detonated an explosive vest amid a large gathering of Shia Muslims. The terror group also said a car bombing followed the initial attack. The venue is in western Kabul, an area home to many of Afghanistan’s Shiite Hazara minority. It is also near the Darul Aman palace, where President Ashraf Ghani is expected to celebrate Afghan Independence Day on Monday. Afghanistan’s president on Monday vowed to “eliminate” all safe havens of the Islamic State group as the country marked a subdued 100th Independence Day after the horrific wedding attack.

South Korea

South Korea said Thursday it will end an intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan, a move that prompted immediate concern from U.S. military officials in the wake of repeated North Korean missile tests. A Pentagon spokesman said intelligence sharing is key to a united defense strategy in the region. The United States, South Korea and Japan are stronger and safer when they work together, he said. South Korea’s presidential office announced the decision to nix the intelligence-sharing pact in retaliation for Japan’s decision to downgrade South Korea’s trade status.

Hong Kong

Heavy rain fell on tens of thousands of umbrella-toting protesters Sunday as they marched from a packed park and filled a major road in Hong Kong, where mass pro-democracy demonstrations have become a regular weekend activity this summer. While police had granted approval for the park rally, they didn’t approve an accompanying march. Demonstrators nevertheless fanned out and filled the streets, as there was not enough space at the designated assembly area. In Beijing, You Wenze, a spokesman for China’s ceremonial legislature, condemned statements from U.S. lawmakers supportive of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. Organizers claimed that 1.7 million people took part in the protest.


Local officials say that at least 2,000 Kashmiris — including business leaders, human rights defenders, elected representatives, teachers, and students as young as 14 — were rounded up by the federal security forces in the days right before and right after the Indian government unilaterally stripped away Kashmir’s autonomy. The detainees have not been able to communicate with their families or meet with lawyers. Their whereabouts remain unknown. Most were taken in the middle of the night, witnesses said. Critics say that even under India’s tough public safety laws this is illegal, and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is bending the Indian legal system to cut off any possible criticism in Kashmir.

Indian baby girls are being aborted simply because of their gender. For a family living in poverty, a house full of sons is deemed more profitable, since they are considered the main breadwinners. Afraid of what a daughter will cost, many families choose to simply never have one. In the past three months, 216 babies were born in a handful of villages across northern India, according to a recent report. Not a single one of those babies was a girl. Despite the fact that gender-selective abortions were outlawed by the Indian government in 1994, the practice still occurs. While many other nations have either a balanced gender ratio or one that tips in favor of females, India’s population is skewed. As of 2018, there were only 92 females for every 100 males in the country.


At least 1,200 tin shacks were destroyed in the Chalantika slum late on Friday, officials said. Many homes had plastic roofs, which helped the flames to spread. No deaths have been reported, although several people were injured. Most residents are low-wage earners and many were away after the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. There is no word on the cause of the fire. The number of people made homeless by the fire is unclear, with Reuters news agency reporting it to be 3,000 people and AFP putting the number at 10,000.


Beaches along Lake Michigan in northwest Indiana remain closed after a steel mill spilled cyanide and ammonia that led to a large fish kill. ArcelorMittal, a steel and mining company, said in a statement that the spill resulted after its Burns Harbor mill, about 32 miles southeast of Chicago, “experienced a failure at the blast furnace water recirculation system. This isolated event resulted in the release of wastewater containing elevated levels of ammonia and cyanide.”


For the second time in a week, a wildfire has forced evacuations on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria. More than 8,000 people have been ordered from their homes on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria on Monday as authorities declared a wildfire “unstoppable”. The fire has destroyed more than 23 square miles on the island that is part of Spain’s Canary Islands off the northwest coast of Africa. Nine helicopters and two planes were aiding at least 600 people including firefighters and army emergency personnel who were working in shifts to tackle the blaze.

Fires in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest are generating smoke that can be seen from space and may have caused a daytime blackout more than 1,700 miles away in the country’s largest city. In the middle of the day on Monday, the sky above SãoPaulo was blanketed by smoke from the wildfires raging in the Amazon region. Reuters reported the Amazon rainforest has experienced a record number of fires this year, citing new data released by the country’s space agency. Amazonas, the largest state in Brazil, has already declared a state of emergency over the fires. Though the Amazon rainforest has been fire-resistant for much of its history because of its natural moisture and humidity, drought and human activities are creating conditions conducive to wildfires. The Amazon has 80% more fires this year than last. The vast majority of the fires have been set by loggers and ranchers to clear land for cattle.


Alaska has been in the throes of an unprecedented heat wave this summer, and the heat stress is killing salmon in large numbers. Scientists have observed die-offs of several varieties of Alaskan salmon, including sockeye, chum and pink salmon. The scientists and the director of the Yukon Inter-Tribal Fish Commission looked for signs of lesions, parasites and infections, but came up empty. Nearly all the salmon they found had “beautiful eggs still inside them.” Because the die-off coincided with the heat wave, they concluded that heat stress was the cause of the mass deaths.

A line of severe thunderstorms that roared across Kansas last Sunday morning reportedly brought winds so powerful they caused two trains with more than 100 cars to derail. Severe storms brought high winds and at least one tornado to parts of Iowa early Tuesday morning. Four semitrailers were blown over by high winds on Interstate 80 near Adair, about 50 miles west of Des Moines. At least two fires are believed to have been caused by lightning during the storms, one at a home and one at an apartment building.

With more than a month to go, India’s monsoon season has claimed more than 1,000 lives. More than 18 million people have been affected by the floods. Most of the deaths have been caused by drowning, wall collapses and landslides. Rainfall has been average this year, but has tended to come in heavy doses instead of being more spread out.

At least five people were killed and 150 injured by a series of lightning strikes in a mountain range on the border of Poland and Slovakia Thursday afternoon. Three people remained missing Friday morning and rescuers were still combing the area looking for other victims.

Signs of the Times

August 16, 2019

­­See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1Thessalonians 5:15-18)

‘Unplanned’ Rockets to Amazon’s #1 Best-Selling DVD

“Unplanned,” a movie which recounts the life of a woman who left behind a job as a Planned Parenthood abortion manager, has become not only a box office success but it became the number one DVD in Amazon sales on its first day of sales this week, reports Breaking Christian News. Capturing the true story of Abby Johnson, “Unplanned” relates how she quit a job as director of an abortion facility in Texas in 2009 after experiencing a conversion and renouncing abortion. “Unplanned” has grossed more than $18 million in cinemas during the course of 19 weeks (foreign markets not included). With a production budget of $6 million, the movie is already an unqualified success. The DVD of “Unplanned” can be purchased at Walmart and Amazon, as well as other retailers.

Kentucky Bans Abortions after Heartbeat Detected

Kentucky has just become another state to ban abortions once a heartbeat is detected, which is often around six weeks of pregnancy. The “fetal heartbeat bill” was signed by Republican Governor Matt Bevin last Thursday. Two other pro-life bills were also signed the same day. Senate Bill 50, also called the Chemical Abortion Reporting Act, states that doctors must inform patients of reversal medication abortions. House Bill 5, the Human Rights of the Unborn Child and Anti-Discrimination Act, forbids abortions based off of sex, race or perceived disability.

‘In God We Trust’ Signs to Be Posted in Every Louisiana School

Every school building in Louisiana must display the nation’s motto, “In God We Trust,” under a new law that goes into effect this school year. Social studies classes also must teach students about the national motto by fifth grade under the new law. The law says, “each public school governing authority shall display the national motto in each building it uses and in each school under its jurisdiction.” A Democrat, Sen. Regina Ashford Barrow, was the bill’s lead sponsor. She said that America has suffered morally by taking God out of public schools. She was inspired to promote the bill by the governor’s prayer breakfast and by the senate’s practice of praying.

Judge Rules Transgender Students Can Choose Bathroom to Use

A Virginia school district’s policy that bars transgender students from using the bathroom they choose violates the Constitution, a federal judge has ruled. According to The Christian Post, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that Gloucester County’s School Board policy that prohibited Gavin Grimm, a transgender student, from using the boys’ bathroom violated the 14thAmendment, which grants equal protection of laws, and also violated Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, which says no person can be discriminated against on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities. Judge Arenda Wright Allen also ordered that the school district change Grimm’s transcripts to Grimm’s new identity as male and that the district also pay the student’s attorney fees.

States Sue Feds Over Rollback of Coal Climate Rules

A coalition of 29 states and cities on Tuesday sued to block the Trump administration from easing restrictions on coal-burning power plants. The move could ultimately limit how much leverage future administrations would have to fight climate change by restricting what are believed to be a major source of Earth-warming pollution. The Clean Power Plan required states to implement plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2022. The Plan encouraged the closing of heavily-polluting plants and replacing those energy sources with natural gas or renewable energy. The lawsuit — by 22 states and seven cities — is the latest swing of the legal pendulum in a long-running dispute over how to regulate emissions from coal plants.

Immigration Workers Threatened by Leftists

Shots were fired into an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office and another facility associated with the agency in San Antonio, Texas, early Tuesday. Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan said Wednesday that the latest attack on an ICE facility in Texas could be the result of politicians and pundits “demonizing” federal agents for enforcing existing laws. ICE workers are facing a rapidly escalating series of amid a rising tide of anti-ICE rhetoric from the left fueled by congressional Democrats, media voices and presidential hopefuls. Protesters in Florida from groups such as Never Again Action and Black Lives Matter Alliance of Broward County threatened workers and former employees of the GEO Group, a private contractor used by ICE. One protester threatened the family of GEO Group’s former general counsel, John Bulfin. “We know where all your children live throughout the country … John Bulfin you have kids in [bleeped out], you have kids in [bleeped out],” the protester yelled. “We know everything about you and you won’t just be seeing us here.” “We know where you sleep at night,” another protester shouted.

Immigration Update

In one of President Trump’s most significant immigration moves to date, the Trump administration announced plans to penalize immigrants who use or might use public benefits, a move aimed at curbing legal immigration. Applicants could be denied green cards and other immigration benefits if they use food assistance, housing vouchers or other forms of public welfare. The new rule means many green card and visa applicants could be turned down if they have low incomes or little education, because they’d be deemed more likely to need government assistance in the future.

Immigration authorities believe that the poultry companies raided last week intentionally hired undocumented workers, search warrants say. There were clear signs that the companies were hiring people who could not legally work in the country, the search warrants allege: Some workers wore ankle monitors, gave Social Security numbers belonging to the deceased or were hired twice by the same manager using different first and last assumed names, reports the Washington Post.

Fifty-seven percent of Americans support admitting Central American refugees into the United States, compared to 39% who do not, according to a new Gallup poll. That’s up from 51% approval in December versus 43% against. Of course, the results are widely skewed by politics: 85% of Democrats approve, compared to 13% who disapprove while 24% of Republicans approve and 71% disapprove. In addition, 58% of independents approve, while 37% disapprove.

Google Staffer Releases Documents Exposing Censorship of Pro-Life, Conservative Web Sites

A Google staffer released documents Wednesday exposing a massive censorship campaign where the ubiquitous Google search engine purposefully censored pro-life and conservative web sites, including Google Insider Zachary Vorhies has given an interview to watchdog group Project Veritas where he discusses how he documented Google censorship of leading pro-life and conservative web sites for over a year. He made the decision to go public in an on-the-record video interview after Google went after him following the release of the information to Project Veritas. Project Veritas has released hundreds of internal Google documents leaked by Vorhies. Among those documents is a file called “news black list site for google now.” The document, according to Vorhies, is a “black list,” which restricts certain websites from appearing on news feeds for an Android Google product.

Economic News

The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell below the yield on the two-year. That hasn’t happened since 2007 and, historically, an inverted yield curve signals that an economic slowdown is coming. That caused the Dow Jones stock market index to fall over 800 points (down 3%) early Wednesday. Investors are worried about a mix of things, including the effect of the trade war between the United States and China, unrest in Hong Kong, uncertainty around the Brexit in Europe and the projected pace of interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve.

As a result of the trade war, Chinese factory output, retail spending and investment weakened in July, suggesting the world’s second-largest economy faces downward pressure on growth. Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, contracted 0.1% in the second quarter of the year from the previous three-month period as global trade conflicts combined with troubles in the auto industry to hamper its economy.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on Tuesday said it would delay until Dec. 15 the tariffs on many Chinese products, including cellphones, laptop computers, video game consoles, some toys, computer monitors, shoes and clothing. However, 10% tariffs will go into effect Sept. 1 on about $300 billion in Chinese imports extending the import taxes on just about everything China ships to the United States in a dispute over Beijing’s aggressive trade policies. Some products are being removed from the tariff list for “health, safety, national security and other factors,” the office said.

The average American is struggling to make ends meet each month, with 59% of U.S. adults saying they live paycheck to paycheck, according to a recent survey from Charles Schwab. Furthermore, nearly half of survey participants say they carry credit card debt and struggle to keep up with the payments. Only 38% of people have an emergency fund, and one in five Americans don’t have a any money at all saved for retirement. Record American household debt has reached $14 trillion including mortgages and student loans, and is $1 trillion higher than during the Great Recession of 2008. Credit card debt of $1 trillion also exceeds the 2008 peak. There was a 5% increase in total bankruptcy filings in July 2019 from the previous month.

Mortgage rates are lower than they’ve been in years, causing a tsunami of refinancing. The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 3.93% last week for loans of $484,000 or less — the first time those loans have been below 4% in nearly three years. Rates are even lower on larger mortgages and on 15-year loans. That sparked a 37% jump in the number of refinancing loans last week compared to the previous week.

The U.S. Postal Service reported that revenue was flat at just above $17 billion for the second quarter of 2019. It lost $1.1 billion for the quarter that ended June 30. Many point to the inefficient, massive infrastructure as the root cause. The USPS has 497,157 career employees and 31,324 retail post offices. With heavy competition from email, FedEx and UPS, the future of the Postal Service is very much in doubt.

Persecution Watch

As authorities in Mainland China continue their crackdown on Christian churches, Catholic dioceses in the north are reporting the Communist government is banning educational gatherings for kids, forcing churches to cancel summer camps. According to the Union of Catholic Asia News, one parish was forced to cancel its camp after publicly promoting it, while another one—held in secret—went on as planned and without incident. Another diocese had to move a summer class from a large parish to a smaller one in a rural village out of fear of retaliation.

Church leaders have urged India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take immediate action against violent extremists after a series of attacks against Christians left a pastor and two of his congregation badly beaten. The Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) called on the government and district authorities to take steps to safeguard the rights of religious minority communities and to provide protection for churches against attack.

A gang of Buddhist monks viciously beat up a Christian student in Sri Lanka on 4 August, according to Bishop Asiri Perara, the president of the country’s Methodist Church. The attack took place immediately after a Sunday worship service held at a home in the town of Mahiyanganaya, in central Sri Lanka. Three monks targeted the head, stomach and spine of their young victim, a Bible college student.

Middle East

On Sunday, Jews around the world marked Tisha Be’Av, a date on the Hebrew calendar when a long list of calamities have afflicted the Jewish People throughout history, including the destruction of both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. The Western Wall in the capital’s Old City was the site of a procession at the start of Tisha Be’Av on Saturday evening. Riots broke out on the nearby Temple Mount Sunday as Moslem protesters gathered to mark the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha. They then attacked Jewish visitors to the site. Several Israeli political leaders decried the situation whereby Jewish worshipers are unable to visit their holy sites without fear of being attacked.

Israel will bar a visit by two of its sharpest critics in the U.S. Congress, Democrats Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, who planned to tour the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, the country’s deputy foreign minister said on Thursday. President Trump had earlier urged Israel on Thursday not to allow the visit by Tlaib and Omar, the first two Muslim women elected to Congress and members of the Democratic party’s progressive wing. The pair have voiced support for the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. Under Israeli law, backers of the BDS movement can be denied entry to Israel for being hostile toward Israel. The move has ignited a massive outcry from Washington Democrats, as Netanyahu’s government stood by the decision arguing that the U.S. lawmakers have an anti-Israel agenda. After Israel said it would allow Tlaib to enter the country to visit her 90-year-old grandmother—on the condition she not promote a boycott of Israel—Tlaib rejected the offer. “Apparently her hate for Israel overcomes her love for her grandmother,” Israel’s interior minister Aryeh Deri tweeted.


On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Gibraltar defied US intervention and ordered the release of an Iranian oil tanker which had been seized by that territory’s police force, with assistance from British Royal Marines, as it attempted to pass through the strategic waterway because of suspicions that Iran was attempting to send oil to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in violation of US and EU sanctions. The order to release the Iranian tanker was the latest move in a geostrategic chess match between Iran and the US, The original seizure of the Iranian tanker on 4 July sparked a series of events including the shoot-down of a US military drone over the Persian Gulf and sabotage attacks on oil tankers flagged by several countries, as well as seizures of British-owned oil tankers by naval units of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

German exports to Iran fell by nearly half in the first six months of 2019, data showed on Monday, suggesting companies are scaling back business ties with Tehran to avoid trouble with the United States after Washington reimposed sanctions.


Women in the Kurdish town in northeastern Syria form a long shoulder-to-shoulder line to prevent Turkish troops from invading their towns. Their formation is what they call their very own human shield – comprised of self-declared feminists belonging to their group called “Kongra Star” with the tagline “Woman, Life, Freedom.” If Turkey attacks, “they have to go through civilian women first.” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had re-ignited tensions with the U.S. after warning that his troops would be sent over the border to combat the Syrian-Kurdish forces, known as the SDF. While Turkey views the fighters as terrorists given their ties to the Kurdish separatists’ group the PKK, they are backed and armed by the United States, who utilized the SDF as the ground force in the fight against ISIS.

North Korea

U.N. experts reported that they are investigating at least 35 instances in 17 countries of North Koreans using cyberattacks to illegally raise money for weapons of mass destruction programs – and they are calling for sanctions against ships providing gasoline and diesel to the country. The report said that North Korea illegally acquired as much as $2 billion from its increasingly sophisticated cyber activities against financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges. Neighboring South Korea was hardest-hit, the victim of 10 North Korean cyberattacks, followed by India with three attacks, and Bangladesh and Chile with two each. President Donald Trump said on Saturday that Kim Jong Un told him he was ready to resume talks on North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and would stop missile testing as soon as U.S.-South Korea military exercises end.


An explosion at a northern Russian base that killed at least five scientists last week involved a small nuclear reactor, state nuclear officials said. The blast occurred Thursday on a platform in the White Sea off Nyonoksa and reportedly caused nearby radiation spike in Severodvinsk. State-controlled nuclear energy company Rosatom said the explosion occurred during a test of “a nuclear isotope power source” for a rocket. The SSC-X-9 Skyfall is a prototype cruise  missile that could reach any corner of the world with a nuclear reactor as its power source. The Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority on Thursday said “tiny amounts of radioactive iodine” had been detected at an air-filter station, one week after the mystery-shrouded explosion at a Russian military test range.

Hong Kong

One of the world’s busiest airports canceled all flights after thousands of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters crowded into the main terminal Monday afternoon. Hong Kong International Airport said in a statement that the demonstration “seriously disrupted” airport operations. Hong Kong has experienced more than two months of mass protests calling for democratic reforms and an independent inquiry into police conduct, with both the protesters and police adopting ever-more extreme tactics. Many protesters wore eye patches after reports that a young woman lost an eye after being hit by a police beanbag round fired at close range during protests on Sunday. A massive traffic jam soon formed on the highway leading back to Hong Kong’s city center, with some people walking in the sweltering weather. Bearing batons and pepper spray, Hong Kong riot police officers clashed with anti-government protesters who crippled the airport on Tuesday for the second straight day, chaos that underscored the deepening unrest gripping the city.


Three British men are being hailed as heroes after confronting a knife-wielding man who killed one woman and wounded another in downtown Sydney before trying to stab others Tuesday while yelling “Allahu akbar,” according to police and witnesses. Authorities have not labeled the stabbing rampage as an act of terrorism, but the 21-year-old suspect with a history of mental illness had collected information online about mass killings in North America and New Zealand. The incident unfolded around 2 p.m. near a busy intersection in Australia’s largest city when the man carrying a 12-inch knife attempted to stab multiple people.


Scientists say they’ve found an abundance of tiny plastic particles in Arctic snow, indicating that so-called microplastics are being sucked into the atmosphere and carried long distances to some of the remotest corners of the planet. The researchers examined snow collected from sites in the Arctic, northern Germany, the Bavarian and Swiss Alps, and the North Sea island of Heligoland. Their findings were published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances. Previous studies have found microplastics—which are created when man-made materials break apart—in the air of Paris, Tehran, and Dongguan, China. The highest concentrations of microplastics were found in the Bavarian Alps. The Arctic samples were less contaminated, but still the third-highest concentration. The research demonstrated the fragments become airborne in a way similar to dust and pollen. While there’s growing concern about the environmental impact of microplastics, scientists have yet to determine what effect, if any, the minute particles have on humans or wildlife.

Natural Resources Department data shows a growing “dead zone” in Chesapeake Bay. The area with little to no oxygen spread to 2 cubic miles by late July, making it one of the worst in decades. By comparison, July dead zones averaged about 1.35 cubic miles for the past 35 years. The worst section includes the lower Potomac and Patuxent rivers and much of the Bay, from Baltimore to the mouth of the York River. University of Maryland environmental scientists say heavy rains washed wastewater and agricultural runoff into the bay and produced oxygen-stealing algae. Scientists warn that it could harm crabs, oysters and the state’s seafood industry.

The city of Newark, New Jersey, has begun handing out bottled water after tests showed some homes still have high lead levels despite having filters installed. Residents were able to pick up bottled water beginning Monday. Officials said that’s about 14,000 households. The city has distributed about 38,000 of the filters in the past eight months. Since 2017, when Newark exceeded the federal “action level” of 15 parts per billion of lead during testing of residential homes, city officials had maintained the problem was nothing like the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.


A 4.2 magnitude earthquake shook portions of Kansas on Friday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey said. The center of the quake was roughly 3 miles from Hutchinson. There were no reports of major damage or injuries, although residents reported minor damage with things falling off shelves and walls.


Firefighters continued Wednesday to battle a major wildfire burning through a protected nature reserve on the Greek island of Evia, where hundreds of people had been evacuated from four villages and a monastery. The flames were fanned by strong winds, hampering efforts to control their spread and carrying smoke from the fire as far as Athens, the Greek capital. Evia is the second-largest Greek island after Crete and the nature reserve is part of the European Union’s Natura 2000 network of protected areas.

More than 1,000 people have been unable to return to their homes as a wildfire continues to burn on Gran Canaria, one of Spain’s Canary Islands off the coast of northwest Africa. Wind gusts up to 45 mph fanned the flames. The wildfire grew to more than 5.5 square miles overnight, officials said Monday.


July was the Earth’s hottest month on record, federal scientists announced Thursday. The global temperature for July was 62.13 degrees Fahrenheit, which was 1.71 degrees higher than the average for the 20th century, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. It beat the previous record warm month, which was July 2016. Records date back to 1880. Last month marked the 43rd consecutive July and the 415th consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th-century average.

A tornado last Friday ripped across the southern part of Luxembourg, damaging homes and injuring several nearly two dozen people. Roofs were ripped off of about 100 homes. Seven people were taken to the hospital, at least one with serious injuries. Tornadoes are unusual but not unheard of in the small European country of only about 600,000 people, sandwiched between Germany, Belgium and France. A tornado was also reported in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

At least 18 people were killed Saturday after Typhoon Lekima struck China’s coast south of Shanghai, knocking down houses and trees Another 14 people were missing after Lekima hit land at 1:45 a.m. on Saturday in Zhejiang province. A river that was blocked by a landslide rose 10 meters (30 feet) and then broke through the debris, flooding homes. More than 1 million people were evacuated before the storm struck.

Torrential monsoon rains have left at least 200 people dead in India and Pakistan. Major landslides hit Kerala’s Wayanad and Malappuram districts. Officials fear that many people are trapped beneath the surface. Several houses are still covered under 10-12 feet of deep mud. More than 165,000 people have fled their homes for relief camps. In Myanmar, 53 people were killed and 47 rescued as landslides forced thousands from their homes on Sunday The downpours have also inundated much of Pakistan where at least 17 people have died.

Signs of the Times

August 9, 2019

­­But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! (2Timothy 3:1-5)

Apple News Restores LifeSiteNews After Protest

Last week, Apple News abruptly disabled LifeSite’s channel, and deleted all of their content from their platform. Since last week, over 57,000 people signed a petition demanding that Apple re-enable LifeSite’s channel. Approximately 1000 of those signatories also opted to send a physical postcard to Apple’s headquarters, demanding LifeSite’s channel be re-instated. Wednesday, the Apple News team informed LifeSite that they have “re-evaluated” our channel. LifeSite’s channel and articles are once again available on the Apple News app. Apple News is an app that is available on all Apple devices. It aggregates news content from thousands of publishers. Apple users can “follow” their favorite news sites and receive customized updates.

Another Court Rejects Attempts to Remove Christian Symbols

A federal appellate court on Thursday rejected an attempt by the Wisconsin-based atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation to censor the image of a cross from Lehigh County’s historic seal. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia ruled 3-0 that after the Supreme Court upheld the Bladensburg Cross war memorial as an historic monument, Lehigh County can maintain its seal as a symbol that “has become part of the community.” Lehigh County’s seal, which has been in use for over 70 years without any complaints, features a cross representing the county’s early German settlers who fled persecution in their homeland seeking religious freedom in America. The seal also features over a dozen other images representing important aspects of the county’s rich history and culture. Becket, a non-profit religious rights law firm, represented Lehigh County, arguing that the Constitution allows communities to maintain religious symbols in the public square in recognition of the significant role of religion in our history and culture.

School Prayer Zone Signs Placed in South Carolina

As students and parents prepare for a new school year in Richland County, South Carolina, they’ll be greeted by a sign different than usual: one inviting them to pray. The “School Prayer Zone” signs look similar to regular road signs but feature green male and female stick figures praying. A Biblical reference, 2 Chronicles 7:14, is also included in the bottom right corner, according to CBN News. Vanessa Frazier, founder and director of Christ Teens, worked with the South Carolina Department of Transportation for three years and hopes the signs will “create a wall of prayer around the schools.” The signs are placed on privately owned properties of churches near schools, making the signs legal.

Gillette Bombs With ‘Toxic Masculinity’ Ads

“Your stupid boycotts will never make a dent in a company like P&G,” one liberal scoffed back in January. Turns out, they didn’t just make a dent. After a string of male-bashing, transgender shaving ads, the parent company of Gillette got nicked so badly, market experts wonder if the brand will survive, reports The Family Research Council. Gillette’s CEO insists the radical activism was “worth the price.” So far, that price is a whopping $8 billion dollars. To most customers, a razor company dabbling in gender politics never made sense in the first place. Gillette used to be “the best a man can get.” Now the company can’t even acknowledge what a man actually is! Things for the brand started to unravel earlier this year when P&G gave the green light to a controversial commercial about the culture’s “toxic masculinity.”

GOP Freezes Twitter Spending After McConnell’s Site Locked

The Republican Party, the Trump campaign, and other GOP organizations say they are freezing their spending on Twitter to protest the platform’s treatment of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Twitter temporarily locked McConnell’s campaign account Wednesday after it shared a video in which some protesters spoke of violence outside his Kentucky home where he is recovering from a shoulder fracture. The social media platform said in a statement that users were locked out temporarily due to a tweet “that violated our violent threats policy, specifically threats involving physical safety.”

  • Ironic that the violent threats came from liberals whom Twitter favors

Censorship By Big Tech Against Conservative/Christian Site Growing

Although today’s Big Tech companies, from Google and YouTube to Facebook and Twitter, steadfastly insist they don’t discriminate against conservatives, an ever-enlarging mountain of cases demonstrates otherwise. And as if hundreds of cases weren’t proof enough, the courageous undercover researchers at Project Veritas videoed Twitter employees openly admitting that their company “shadow bans” conservatives. (Shadow banning essentially means a user can post a message to Twitter, but no one else sees it.) In February, Project Veritas also got a Facebook insider confirming on camera that the social media giant discriminates against conservatives through software manipulation, using “special features” to “de-boost” their traffic – especially near elections. After releasing two videos exposing voter fraud by the left, Twitter shut down the account of James O’Keefe of Project Veritas in October 2016, just before the November presidential election. Radio host and PragerU President Dennis Prager said Wednesday that freedom of speech is being denied by Google, with content from his own platform repeatedly restricted by YouTube (owned by Google).

  • Those who once championed tolerance have now become intolerant. Click here for a detailed listing of dozens of censorship cases by Big Tech

Two Mass Shootings in 24 Hours, 251 This Year

As gunfire ripped through America in an unprecedented 24 hours, a bleak milestone in a nation pocked by gun violence was marked: There have been 251 mass shootings in 2019. A shooting spree early Sunday at an entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio – which left at least nine dead and 16 hurt – notched an even darker statistic: It occurred on the 216th day of the year, meaning there have been more mass shootings than days so far this year. That incident followed a rampage Saturday at a Walmart jammed with back-to-school shoppers in El Paso, Texas, that left 20 dead and 26 injured.

  • The Ohio gunman described himself on social media as a pro-Satan “leftist” who wanted Joe Biden’s generation to die off, hated President Trump and law enforcement, and hoped to vote for Sen. Elizabeth Warren for president. “I want socialism, and I’ll not wait for the idiots to finally come round to understanding,” he wrote in one tweet, reports the Washington Times.
  • The El Paso shooter, Patrick Crusius, is suspected of posting an anti-immigrant manifesto online that warned of an “Hispanic invasion of Texas” prior to the shooting rampage in the heavily Hispanic border city. Federal prosecutors are treating the El Paso shooting as a case of domestic terrorism.

The bloody 24 hours also came in a particularly painful week: Two people were shot and killed at a Walmart store in Southaven, Mississippi, south of Memphis on Tuesday, and three people were killed by gunfire Sunday at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California. The shooting that killed 20 people at a crowded El Paso shopping area will be handled as a domestic terrorism case, federal authorities said Sunday as they weighed hate-crime charges against the suspected gunman that could carry the death penalty.

  • The root cause of the increase in mass murders is spiritual – the Second Horseman is provoking susceptible people to commit murder (Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:4)

President Trump Condemns White Supremacy and Racism

For the first time, President Trump strongly condemned white nationalism and hate: “In one voice, our nation must condemn racist bigotry and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated,” Trump said. “Hate has no place in America.” Trump vowed that the nation will respond with “urgent resolve” to a weekend of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Trump did not express support for broad gun control but called for action on mental illness, video games and the “perils of the internet and social media,” saying he wants “red flag” laws to prevent more tragedy. “We must make sure that those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms and that if they do, those firearms can be taken through rapid due process,” Trump said. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he will propose bipartisan legislation encouraging states to enact red flag laws of their own. Trump also called for the FBI to prioritize domestic terrorism cases.

  • Ohio’s Governor Mike DeWine has proposed that his state adopt a version of a “red flag law” which would allow authorities to take firearms from a person deemed by a court to be dangerous.

Study of Gun Control Indicates Murder Rate Can be Reduced by a Third

A study by Boston University analyzed 10 different state firearms laws over a 26-year period and found three that, when enforced in conjunction with one another, reduced the rate of homicides and suicides by more than a third. They concluded that state and local laws affecting who can purchase and carry firearms may, in fact, be more effective than banning the sale and possession of automatic or semi-automatic weapons. Neither banning assault weapons nor banning high-capacity magazines shows any statistical significance in reducing firearm-related homicide rates, according to the study.

  • Gun control will mitigate the number and extent of mass murder incidents, but it won’t stop all the killing. Why? Because the Second Horseman of murder (Revelation 6:4) has been loosed upon the earth. Whether by gun, knife, bomb, missile, drone, whatever, murders will become more and more frequent until the Lord Jesus returns and rules and reigns on the New Earth in the New Jerusalem.

Mass Shooters Not Just White Males

The attacks in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend that have taken at least 31 lives have put a spotlight on the problem of young, isolated white men carrying out mass shootings. But a list of the people arrested or charged in the 255 mass shootings recorded this year — defined as four or more people shot or killed — shows the problem isn’t confined to white men or motivations of white supremacy. If there’s a thread, it’s young men whose biological father was missing in their lives. After the Parkland school massacre in Florida, the Heritage Foundation cited a study showing that among the 25 most-cited school shooters since Columbine, 75 percent were reared in broken homes. Most, according to psychologist Peter Langman, an expert on school shooters, came from homes that also experienced infidelity, substance abuse, criminal behavior, domestic violence and child abuse.

ICE Raid Nets 680, But 300 Released

U.S. immigration officials raided numerous Mississippi food processing plants Wednesday, arresting 680 mostly Latino workers in what marked the largest workplace sting in at least a decade. On Wednesday, about 600 ICE agents fanned out across food processing plants operated by five companies, surrounding the perimeters to prevent workers from fleeing. Those arrested were taken to the military hangar to be processed for immigration violations. More than 300 had been released by Thursday morning with notices to appear before immigration judges. Those released included 18 juveniles. More than 100 civil rights activists, union organizers and clergy members in Mississippi denounced the raid, but the state’s Republican Gov. Phil Bryant commended ICE for the arrests, tweeting that anyone in the country illegally has to “bear the responsibility of that federal violation.” Mississippi residents rallied around children left with no parents and migrants locked themselves in their homes for fear of being arrested.

Illegal Immigration Plummets as Mexico Steps Up

Illegal immigration across the southwestern border has been cut dramatically over the past two months, officials revealed Thursday, pointing to President Trump’s deal with Mexico to step up that country’s enforcement as the chief reason. The Border Patrol nabbed about 72,000 people who sneaked across the border in July — a reduction of almost half compared with the peak of two months ago. Border cities that were so overwhelmed that they declared states of emergency are getting back to normal, with drops of 70% or more in the regions of El Paso, Texas, and Yuma, Arizona. Where border facilities had more than 19,000 people in custody at one point in June, they had about 4,700 in custody Thursday. Based on Mexican government figures and reporting by The Associated Press, at least 40,000 migrants who have reached the U.S. border with Mexico are on a waiting list for an initial attempt to seek asylum or waiting for a court hearing in the U.S. after being sent back.

Boy Scouts Called ‘Largest Pedophile Ring on Earth’

Claiming to represent hundreds of sexual abuse victims, an organization called Abused in Scouting called on Congress to address what it calls the “largest pedophile ring on earth.” At a press conference in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, AIS lawyers announced their first lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America. Lawyer Stewart Eisenberg told reporters the team has a file of some 350 alleged predators from 48 states and the District of Columbia. “Each one of these 350 abusers has probably dozens of other victims who have not come forward,” he said. More than 800 people between the ages of 14 and 88 have reported to AIS they were sexually abused as scouts.

Economic News

America’s housing market has stagnated for four years. In June, existing home sales decreased 1.7% from May and 2.2% from a year earlier. That’s about on par with where home sales were in 2015. Interest rates are dropping and American mortgages are cheaper than they’ve been in years. The US economy is strong. That’s a recipe for a booming housing market — but it’s not. Although mortgages have become cheaper, houses haven’t. Homes are moving out of the price range for many buyers because of an undersupply of available homes. A shortage of construction workers, has slowed new home construction. It also remains unclear how much the removal of the homeowner mortgage interest tax incentive has hurt the housing market.

Beijing responded to President Trump’s threat to place new tariffs on Chinese goods on Monday by letting its currency, the Chinese yuan, sink to the weakest level in over a decade and ordering state-owned companies to reportedly halt their purchases of U.S. agricultural products. A weaker yuan makes Chinese goods cheaper for overseas buyers, which may be necessary as China just lost its spot as the U.S.’s biggest trading partner. Trade data released Friday by the Department of Commerce showed U.S. imports from China fell by 12% in the first six months of the year, allowing Mexico to supplant it as the U.S.’s biggest trade partner. President Trump slammed China’s decision, calling it “a major violation” and the Treasury Department officially labeled China as a “currency manipulator” and will now coordinate efforts with the International Monetary Fund “to eliminate the unfair competitive advantage created by China’s latest actions.”

Frazzled investors are rushing to buy gold and government bonds as fears of a global recession, sparked by a trade war, grow more real. The push into safer investments lifted US gold futures briefly above $1,500 per ounce on Wednesday for the first time in more than six years. U.S. Treasury yields, which move opposite price, collapsed to levels unseen since just before President Donald Trump’s 2016 election. Meanwhile, investors sold stocks. The Dow fell as much as 589 points Wednesday in the first minutes of trading, resuming a weeklong slide triggered by fears of a prolonged trade standoff between the United States and China.

Fears that Germany could be dragged into recession by the trade war between the United States and China were stoked on Wednesday by data showing that production in Europe’s manufacturing powerhouse plunged in June. Industrial output dropped more than 5% compared to the previous year, a performance that suggests Europe’s largest economy may have contracted in the second quarter. Germany relies heavily on exporters that sell a disproportionate amount of goods to China and the United States. Central banks in India, Thailand and New Zealand cut interest rates amid fears of worsening  U.S.-China relations. These moves signify the possibility that these trade wars might morph into a broader currency war, some analysts say.

The Trump administration froze all Venezuelan government assets Monday in a dramatic escalation of tensions with Nicolás Maduro that places his socialist administration alongside a short list of adversaries from Cuba, North Korea, Syria, and Iran that have been targeted by aggressive US actions. The ban blocking American companies and individuals from doing business with Maduro’s government and its top supporters, which takes effect immediately, is the first of its kind in the western hemisphere in over three decades, following an asset freeze against Gen. Manuel Noriega’s government in Panama and a trade embargo on the Sandinista leadership in Nicaragua in the 1980s.

Persecution Watch

Authorities in China have erased the words Bible, God and Christ from classic children’s stories including Robinson Crusoe and The Little Match Girl as part of moves to redact Christian references. The popular stories are among four works by foreign writers are featured in a new Chinese school textbook for fifth grade pupils, aged around 11, that offers students an “understanding of other cultures”, according to the Ministry of Education. But author Daniel Defoe’s description of how castaway Robinson Crusoe recovers three Bibles from the remains of his shipwreck has been altered from the original 1718 novel to read that Crusoe saved “a few books” Danish writer Hans Christian Anderson said in his 1845 short story, The Little Match Girl, that “when a star falls, a soul goes to be with God”. In the sinicised (made Chinese) version, the text reads, “When a star falls, a person leaves this world.” The Chinese authorities announced new policies of sinicisation in a White Paper on religion in early 2018, with the intention of selectively reinterpreting Christianity and Scripture.

Interrupting a worship service, police in Algeria sealed a church building in north-central Algeria, less than three months after locking shut another site in the same area. Three days earlier Pastor Takilt was issued a three-day ultimatum to remove all contents from the building and a summons to report to the brigade. After emptying the premises of all furniture and other items, the two officers rushed to seal every door, including an outdoor bathroom “I am deeply saddened by so much injustice – it breaks my heart,” pastor Messaoud Takilt told Morning Star News. “This is not surprising since other Christian places of worship have been closed and sealed as was the case today. But anyway, we will continue to celebrate our services outside while the Lord gives us grace for a final solution.”


An estimated 150,000 rockets threaten Israel from just one terrorist organization, Hezbollah. Yaakov Lappin, a military and strategic affairs correspondent, explained the Lebanese Hezbollah is “the world’s most heavily armed non-state actor, and its surface-to-surface firepower arsenal – estimated at around 150,000 projectiles – is larger” than the arsenal of most state armies. The report explained Hezbollah has built its arsenal through “smuggling projectiles into 200 southern Lebanese villages, as well as launch sites in the Bekaa Valley in east Lebanon.”

Middle East

Reports out of the Palestinian Authority administered areas indicate that difficult economic conditions are having an increasingly negative effect on the lives of ordinary people. “For the last seven months, we have been paid half of our salaries. Teachers and public employees can barely buy basic goods for their families,” Hilmi Hamdan, general secretary of the Palestinian Teachers Union, told The Media Line. He added that despite the hardships, the majority of Palestinians support the PA’s position of refusing to accept tax revenues and import duties collected by Israel. “The Palestinian people as a whole are being affected due to Israeli occupation policies and its financial blackmail of the PA. Israeli policies” Hamdan continued, “aim to pressure our leadership to accept the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ [the Trump Administration’s peace plan] and end the Palestinian cause…we stand with the PA and its position.”


Another foreign oil tanker was seized in the Persian Gulf, Iran’s state media said Sunday – the third such ship to be detained by Tehran amid high tensions between Iran and the U.S. after Washington renewed sanctions on Iran’s oil exports. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) announced it detained the ship’s foreign crew for smuggling 700,000 liters – about 185,000 gallons – of fuel from Iran. Seven sailors were detained. The ship was reportedly seized near Farsi Island, a small, barren enclave in the Persian Gulf.


The United States and Turkey agreed on Wednesday to create a safe zone in northeastern Syria that would allow Turkey to protect its borders from Syrian-Kurdish forces that it regards as a terrorist threat and provide Syrian refugees in Turkey a safe space to return home. Defense officials from both countries issued separate but similar statements after three days of talks in Ankara, the Turkish capital. The statements gave no details on the size of the zone or how it will be policed.


A powerful Taliban car bomb exploded on Wednesday outside the entrance of a police station in Kabul, the Afghan capital, killing 14 people and injuring at least 145 others as peace negotiations between the militants and United States diplomats continued. The explosion, following repeated warnings from the United Nations on rising civilian casualties, was the latest to strike a heavily populated area during the morning rush hour.


The Saudi-led coalition’s closure of the airport in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, has prevented thousands of sick civilians from traveling abroad for urgent medical treatment, two international aid groups said in a joint statement. According to the Norwegian Refugee Council and CARE, the Sanaa airport’s three-year closure has amounted to a “death sentence” for many sick Yemenis. The two groups appealed late Monday on Yemen’s warring parties to come to an agreement to reopen the airport for commercial flights to “alleviate humanitarian suffering caused by the closure.” The Saudi-led coalition, backing Yemen’s internationally recognized government, has been at war with the rebels, known as Houthis, since 2015, and has imposed a blockade on ports that supply Houthi-controlled areas.

North Korea

North Korea on Tuesday fired two more missiles, marking the fourth time it has done so since July 25. The unidentified missiles traveled across the country from the west and into the sea; the previous launches all took place in the east. The launch comes a day after US-South Korean military exercises reportedly began, much to the North’s displeasure. While the annual drills are being characterized as understated this time around. The exercises are slated to be computer simulations, not involving combat troops and military gear. Nevertheless, North Korea sees them as a violation of deals made with the two countries. A representative for the foreign ministry was quoted by state media as saying, “Despite our repeated warnings … the joint military exercise targeting” North Korea have begun, and we “will be compelled to seek a new road as we have already indicated.”


More than 600 protestors have been arrested in Moscow for an “unauthorized protest.” The group came together to demand far elections in Russia. People are upset that the elections commission said opposition candidates cannot take part in Moscow elections planned for September 8, BBC reported. Roughly 1,500 people took place in the protest. More than a thousand people protested at a similar rally in St. Petersburg, which was authorized by city officials. Many protest leaders have been in jail since last week, with sentences up to 30 days. Investigators have also opened a criminal probe investigating those organizing mass civil unrest, which carries a penalty of up to 15 years in jail.


The Indian government said on Monday that it was revoking a constitutional provision that had for decades given a unique degree of autonomy to Kashmir, a disputed mountainous region along the India-Pakistan border, reports the New York Times. For many years, Kashmir has been governed differently than other parts of India. India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party has deep roots in a Hindu nationalist ideology and one of its campaign promises during the election this year had been removing the special status of Kashmir, which is predominantly Muslim. The Indian government also said that it would support a parliamentary bill to split the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which includes the Kashmir Valley, into two federal territories: Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a state legislature. Separatist groups, including some that are armed and maintain links to neighboring Pakistan, have been chafing for independence from India for years. About 8,000 supporters of a Pakistani Islamist party are marching Friday toward the Indian embassy in Islamabad to denounce New Delhi’s actions to change the special status of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.


On Tuesday, the Philippines declared a “national dengue epidemic” according to a release from its Department of Health. There have been more than 146,000 recorded cases of dengue fever from Jan. 1 through July 20, 2019, with a total of 622 deaths, up 98% from 2018. Dengue viruses are spread by the same species of mosquito that spread chikungunya and Zika, among other viruses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dengue is common in more than 100 countries around the world. Up to 400 million people are infected yearly with 22,000 dying from dengue on average. Because there are four different dengue viruses, a person can be infected by the virus up to four times in their life. According to the CDC, about 1 in 4 people infected with dengue will become ill.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez was sworn in as governor Wednesday after the island’s Supreme Court earlier in the day overturned the swearing-in of Pedro Pierluisi last Friday. Pierluisi was sworn in after former Gov. Ricardo Rosselló resigned due to massive protests from Puerto Ricans frustrated with corruption, mismanagement and a leaked obscenity-laced chat in which Rosselló and 11 other men made fun of women, gay people and Hurricane Maria victims. Rosselló, before stepping down, appointed Pierluisi secretary of state while legislators were in recess. Although Puerto Rico’s House approved his nomination, the Senate did not. Secretary of State would be the next person in line to become governor. The Senate sued and argued that it need to approve Rosselló’s appointment. The Puerto Rico Supreme Court ruled in the favor of the Senate. The Justice Secretary was next in line to be sworn in. Vázquez had previously said she had “no interest” in becoming governor. However in a statement Wednesday, Vázquez said she would step up as governor. “Puerto Rico needs assurance and stability,” she said.


Mexican police found nine bodies hanging from an overpass Thursday alongside a drug cartel banner threatening rivals, and seven more corpses hacked up and dumped by the road nearby. Just down the road were three more bodies, for a total of 19. The killing spree reported by prosecutors in the western state of Michoacan marked a return to the grisly massacres carried out by drug cartels at the height of Mexico’s 2006-2012 drug war, when piles of bodies were dumped on roadways as a message to authorities and rival gangs. While the banner was not completely legible, it bore the initials of the notoriously violent Jalisco drug cartel, and mentioned the Viagras, a rival gang. “Be a patriot, kill a Viagra,” the banner read in part. “Meanwhile, in another part of Mexico, an angry crowd beat and hanged seven suspected kidnappers, leaving some of their bodies dangling from trees. This year is on course to be Mexico’s worst year for murders.


Japan was struck by a strong earthquake centered just off the coast of northern Honshu on Sunday evening, but there are no reports of casualties or damage. The United States Geological Survey says Sunday’s quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.3. It was centered just over 30 miles east-northeast of Namie, Japan. The earthquake shook northern and central parts of Honshu, including Tokyo. In 2011, Fukushima was hit by a powerful quake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown, the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.


The world’s land and water resources are being exploited at “unprecedented rates,” a new United Nations report warns, which combined with climate change is putting dire pressure on the ability of humanity to feed itself. The report, prepared by more than 100 experts from 52 countries and released in summary form in Geneva on Thursday, found that the window to address the threat is closing rapidly. A half-billion people already live in places turning into desert, and soil is being lost between 10 and 100 times faster than it is forming, according to the report. Climate change will make those threats even worse, as floods, drought, storms and other types of extreme weather threaten to disrupt, and over time shrink, the global food supply. Already, more than 10 percent of the world’s population remains undernourished, and some authors of the report warned in interviews that food shortages could lead to an increase in cross-border migration. Data from a European climate agency on Monday showed that last month edged out July 2016 for the warmest month ever around the globe.

  • End-time weather will continue to grow more extreme, including scorching heat, bigger storms with large hail, floods in some places, drought in others (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)


A wildfire burning in central Montana has prompted the evacuation of dozens of homes and has authorities concerned it could spread quickly through dense forest full of dead trees killed by bark beetles. The Horsefly Fire broke out Monday afternoon about 60 miles northeast of Helena and has burned more than 500 acres. Of 77 homes ordered to evacuate, Sheriff Leo Dutton said people in 27 homes complied with the evacuation orders, 17 homes decided to remain and there was no answer at 33 homes. Throughout the western United States, the numbers of bark beetles, or mountain pine beetles, have exploded. Their infestations have killed millions of trees, which can make firefighting a challenge.


Heavy storms knocked down tree and power lines and caused flash flooding Wednesday evening in the metropolitan Philadelphia area and across the state line between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where an EF0 tornado briefly touched down. Several people were rescued from cars stranded in standing water in Haverford Township just outside of Philadelphia. Nearly 53,000 customers were without power across the region. Flooding snarled rush-hour traffic around the Philadelphia area, and portions of interstates 76 and 476 were blocked by water.

At least 57 people have died during a stifling heat wave in Japan that has also sent more than 18,000 to hospitals with heat-related medical issues. More than half of those were people 65 and older. On Thursday, temperatures were forecast to reach 102 degrees in some parts of the country, a rarity in Japan.

Signs of the Times

August 2, 2019

­­For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

Muslim Workers Save 20 Kenyan Christians From Al-Shabaab Attack

A brave group of Muslim workers have been hailed as heroes for saving the lives of their Christian colleagues. The incident occurred as a group of Christian construction workers were building a government hospital in Kutulo, Mandera County, when news came through that Islamic terror group Al-Shabaab was on its way to execute all the Christians. The Muslims working at the same site immediately ushered the Christians away from the area, ensuring that they reached safe refuge. Not stopping there, the Muslim workers then went face-to-face with the gunmen as they arrived. “They confronted the gunmen who proceeded to the site and failed to get what they wanted.

Kentucky Law Requires ‘In God We Trust’ to Be Displayed in Schools

According to a new law passed in Kentucky, prominent banners displaying “In God We Trust” will be hung in schools across the state, reports “Local boards shall require each public elementary and secondary school to display the national motto of the United States, ‘In God We Trust,’ in a prominent location in the school,” the law, which passed in February, reads. Kentucky is one of several states, including Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, Arizona, and South Dakota, who now require the words displayed. Because “In God We Trust” is on money and license plates, some lawmakers have argued that the required signage is about reaffirming history. Some have stuck to the religious argument. “Let’s keep hope alive,” South Dakotan Republican state Sen. Phil Jensen said. “This is our legislature, our history, a nation that trusts God.”

Ex-Drag Queen Exposes Evil Lifestyle and Points to Jesus

What sort of people are these “Drag Queens,” who are brought in by public library officials to read books to young children? MassResistance has already published several exposés of them—revealing child molestation convictions, lurid sex businesses, and lots of depraved and pornographic social media posts. Former Drag Queen Kevin Whitt says, “I was a homosexual, transsexual, drag queen and prostitute for 20 years. I used to go and perform in drag shows with the same people [that are in these libraries]. I used to perform in every drag venue in Dallas. I used to host my own drag shows. I went to a gender therapist when I was younger, and whenever I went I told them I had been raped and molested [as a child], they said, ‘Oh, you’re just supposed to be a woman.’ I did try to seek out help, but all that was given to me was the affirmation of homosexuality and transsexuality. Five and a half years ago I found Jesus and I got set free … Ever since then my life has been so much better than it ever was, I’m so much happier than I ever was.” Today, Kevin is the director of our Dallas MassResistance chapter, and he is helping parents confront the “Drag Queen” horrors in public libraries.

Apple News Bans LifeSiteNews Without Warning

A little over one week ago, Apple approved LifeSiteNews’ application to publish their news on their Apple News platform. Wednesday, without warning, Apple News abruptly reversed course, telling LifeSite that they had deleted our channel and all of our content from their platform. Apple claimed that LifeSite’s channel “didn’t comply with our Apple News guidelines.” Specifically, they stated that LifeSite’s “channel content shows intolerance towards a specific group. Apple’s e-mail provided no details about which content they deemed offensive, or which “specific group” LifeSite’s content allegedly showed intolerance towards. Conservatives have expressed alarm in recent years that a small number of large tech giants, often located in predominantly left-wing jurisdictions, are acting as gatekeepers to an increasing amount of the world’s information.

  • You can sign a petition and/or send a postcard to Apple from LifeSite News here.

76% Oppose Infanticide But Not Democratic Presidential Candidates

The vast majority of likely voters support requiring doctors to provide medical care for babies who are born alive during botched abortions, according to a poll released Monday. The poll, which was published by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, found that 76% of those surveyed support such a requirement. All the Democratic Presidential Candidates do not support legislation to force doctors to care for live babies of botched abortions. “Our polling shows that the Democratic party is out of step with American voters and the values that have made this country great,” Heritage Action for America Executive Director Tim Chapman told the Daily Caller News Foundation. The poll also found that 46% of those surveyed said they considered themselves pro-life, while 48 % said they considered themselves pro-choice. Similarly, 45% of those surveyed said that they believe abortion should “illegal in most cases,” but with “some exceptions.”

SCOTUS Allows Use of $2.5B From Military For Border Wall

The Supreme Court ruled last Friday evening that President Trump can indeed protect America’s border by using $2.5 billion of Pentagon money to build portions of the border wall. The justices, by a vote of 5 to 4, lifted orders by a federal judge in Oakland and the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco that had barred the administration from using the Pentagon’s money to build a border wall. The court’s four liberal justices dissented.

Judge Tosses Democratic Party Lawsuit Against Trump Campaign

A U.S. judge on Tuesday dismissed a Democratic Party lawsuit arguing that the Russian government, President Donald Trump’s campaign and WikiLeaks carried out a conspiracy to influence the 2016 U.S. election. U.S. District Judge John Koeltl in Manhattan said he could not hear the claims against Russia, which were the focus of the case, because of a legal doctrine called sovereign immunity that shields foreign governments from litigation in the United States. Koeltl also said holding WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign liable for dissemination of hacked emails would infringe on the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Democratic National Committee’s computer systems were hacked during the campaign and WikiLeaks published party emails.

218,400 Migrant ‘Family Members’ Released Into U.S. Since December

About 218,400 people who illegally entered the U.S. or showed up without proper documentation at a port of entry at the southwest border were allowed into the country since late December. For now, they are not subject to deportation – at least until they get a hearing in about two to five years, according to the Examiner. Those released were officially classified as family units – meaning each person arrived at the border with a child or parent. However, adults sometimes arrive with children who are unrelated and then claim to be a family, the Washington Examiner reported. The Examiner noted a 2015 court ruling mandated Immigration and Custom Enforcement cannot hold a child more than 20 days, forcing the agency to set free those people because immigration judges are unable to hear new cases for two to five years. Those released are permitted to live an any part of the U.S. while they await the court hearings.

  • Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union said more than 900 migrant children have been forcibly separated from their parents despite a 2018 court ruling. The ACLU is asking for a court hearing.

Shooter Kills Three at California Garlic Festival

The latest mass shooting happened Sunday in Gilroy, California, after a 19-year-old snuck onto the grounds of the Gilroy Garlic Festival and killed three people. At least twelve others were injured. He carried out the massacre using an AK-47 style rifle — a weapon that officials say can’t be legally purchased or transported into California. But the man bought the rifle legally in Nevada. And so the shooting will no doubt focus a spotlight on Nevada’s gun laws, some of which are among the nation’s least restrictive. When a gun show takes place in Nevada, rates of gun deaths and injuries rise in neighboring California during the next two weeks, according to a study published in 2017 in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Poor FAA Oversight Allowed Boeing 737 Max to Fly

In the days after the first crash of Boeing’s 737 Max, engineers at the Federal Aviation Administration came to a troubling realization: They didn’t fully understand the automated system that helped send the plane into a nose-dive, killing everyone on board, the New York Times reports. Engineers at the agency scoured their files for information about the system designed to help avoid stalls. They didn’t find much. Regulators had never independently assessed the risks of the dangerous software known as MCAS when they approved the plane in 2017. More than a dozen current and former employees at the F.A.A. and Boeing who spoke with The New York Times described a broken regulatory process that effectively neutered the oversight authority of the agency.

Capital One Data Breach Affects More than 100 Million

On Monday, Capital One announced a massive breach involving more than 100 million customers, compromising information such as Social Security numbers, credit scores and credit card transaction data. The incident led to the arrest of a 33-year-old woman in Seattle, Paige A. Thompson, a former software engineer for Amazon Web Services. According to Capital One, the incident was discovered on July 19. The FBI said the data theft occurred between March 12 and July 17, court records show. The bank said credit scores, credit limits, balances, payment history and contact information were compromised. Although Capital One said no credit card numbers or log-in credentials were compromised, about 140,000 Social Security numbers of credit card customers were left vulnerable, as well as 80,000 linked bank account numbers of secured credit card customers.

Economic News

President Trump says he will impose new tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese imports starting next month, ending the brief ceasefire in trade war. The 10 percent import penalty will start Sept. 1, a cost that would mean almost all goods sent to the United States from China would face tariffs. The tariffs could push the cost of many consumer products higher in the second half of the year. Stocks are on track for their worst drop since May as traders continue to take cover following President Donald Trump’s latest escalation of his trade war with China. Tech companies, particularly cell phones and computers, are already feeling the pain from the trade war.

As expected, the Fed lowered its federal funds rate by a quarter-percentage point to a range of 2% to 2.25%. The move is likely to ripple through the economy and financial system, nudging down rates for credit cards, home equity lines and auto loans and theoretically sparking more economic activity. While the rate cut should aid borrowers, it will frustrate savers who were just starting to benefit from higher bank account yields. The Federal Reserve said there is no plan for further rate reductions, which drove the stock market steeply down.

U.S. hiring remains solid with 164,000 jobs added in July, marking 106 consecutive months of growth. Hiring has been softer this year than in 2018, but it remains at a healthy pace. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7%, just above a 50-year low, the Labor Department said Friday. The share of American adults working or looking for jobs ticked up to 63% from 62.9%, close to the highest levels in the past five years. A healthy labor market that’s offering more jobs and higher wages has attracted discouraged workers, seniors, disabled people and others on the sidelines – a positive development for household incomes.

The Senate passed a broad two-year budget deal that increases spending and suspends the debt ceiling, sending it to President Trump to sign. The deal increases military and domestic spending by $320 billion over two years and suspends the debt ceiling through July 31, 2021, eliminating the threat of a default until after the 2020 presidential election. Trump has indicated he approves of this budget deal and will sign it into law.

Radically transforming energy consumption under the “Green New Deal” (GND) would cost the average household at least $70,000 in the first year of its rollout, and a cool quarter-million dollars total after five years, says a new study conducted by the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Power the Future. The Green New Deal would transform the energy sector by de-carbonizing transportation and retrofitting U.S. commercial and residential buildings. Within the first year of implementing the program, the average household would incur at least $70,000 in expenses — followed by roughly $45,000 in annual expenses for each of the following 2-5 years and over $37,000 after that time frame.


The United States plans to test a new missile in coming weeks that would have been prohibited under a landmark, 32-year-old arms control treaty that the U.S. and Russia ripped up on Friday. The U.S. pulled out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty that President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed in 1987, raising fears of a new arms race. The U.S. blamed Moscow for the death of the treaty. It said that for years Moscow has been developing and fielding weapons that violate the treaty and threaten the United States and its allies, particularly in Europe. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg similarly blamed Russia for what he described as repeated blatant violations of the treaty. Now, the U.S. is free to develop weapons systems that were previously banned. The U.S. is planning a test flight of such a weapon in coming weeks.

President Donald Trump is imposing more sanctions on Russia in connection with the 2018 poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter. A Russian lawmaker said Friday that Trump’s executive order issued late Thursday will make it less likely to establish normalized U.S.-Russian relations. The order prohibits global financial institutions from making loans and providing other assistance to Russia and bans U.S. banks from making certain loans to the Russian government.

North Korea

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles on Wednesday, according to South Korea’s military, another warning sign that the Trump administration’s push for denuclearization is in jeopardy.    It was the second North Korean weapons test in less than a week. On July 24th, North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles in what the regime said was a “solemn warning” to South Korea over its plans to conduct joint military exercises with the U.S. and its ongoing weapons development. Wednesday’s missiles flew about 250 kilometers, according to a statement from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. They were launched from the Hodo peninsula on the country’s east coast, the South Korean military said. “These missiles tests are not a violation of our signed Singapore agreement,” Trump tweeted on Friday, referring to Kim’s pledge last year to halt long-range missile and nuclear testing during their summit last summer.


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has reiterated that America will keep the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf open to maritime traffic, amid high tensions with the Islamic Republic of Iran. In a talk at the Economic Club of Washington D.C. on July 29, Pompeo responded to a question about the U.S. commitment to keep the vital waterway open at any cost militarily, saying, “We are gonna keep it open.” The Strait of Hormuz is one of the world’s most strategically important choke points. At its narrowest point, the Strait of Hormuz is 21 miles wide, but the width of the shipping lane in either direction is only two miles wide, separated by a two-mile buffer zone. A third of the world’s liquefied natural gas and almost 25% of total global oil consumption passes through the strait, making it a highly important strategic location for international trade.

The U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran’s foreign minister Wednesday, a dramatic step bound to escalate tensions. The move by the Trump administration to punish Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had been anticipated after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last month that President Trump had directed him to sanction Zarif. But the sanctions were delayed after State Department officials argued that would close the door to diplomacy.


Just hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that President Donald Trump wants a reduction in American troop levels in Afghanistan before the 2020 election, the U.S. military announced that two U.S. service members had been killed in that country on Monday. police told CNN that an Afghan solider opened fire on the service members. A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousof Ahmadi, also confirmed the incident. The American service members are the fourth and fifth to be killed in Afghanistan in a little over a month.

The Trump administration is getting ready to pull thousands of troops from Afghanistan in exchange for concessions from the Taliban, including a cease-fire and a renunciation of al-Qaida, as part of an initial deal to end the nearly 18-year-old war. The agreement — which would require the Taliban to begin negotiating a larger peace deal directly with the Afghan government — could cut the number of U.S. troops in the country from roughly 14,000 to between 8,000 and 9,000.

A roadside bomb tore through a bus in western Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing at least 32 people, including children, a provincial official said. Fifteen others were wounded with most in critical condition, indicating the death toll could rise. The bus was traveling on a main highway between the western city of Herat and the southern city of Kandahar. No one immediately claimed responsibility, but Taliban insurgents operate in the region and frequently use roadside bombs to target government officials and security forces. The Taliban have kept up a steady tempo of attacks even as they have held several rounds of peace talks with the United States aimed at ending the 18-year war.

More civilians were killed by Afghan and international coalition forces in Afghanistan than by the Taliban and other militants in the first half of 2019, the U.N. mission said in a report released Tuesday. The report refers to civilians killed during Afghan and U.S. military operations against insurgents, such as airstrikes and night raids on militant hideouts. Insurgents often hide among civilians. The U.S. formally ended its combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014 but still provides extensive air and other support to local forces battling militants.


Suspected Boko Haram extremists killed at least 65 people over the weekend in an attack on villagers gathered at a funeral in Nigeria. Eleven other civilians were wounded during the attack. The assailants, who roared up on motorbikes and opened fire on mourners returning to their village from a funeral. It marked the deadliest extremist attack against civilians in the northeastern region this year. Muhammad Bulama, council chairman of the Nganzai local government area, called it a reprisal after villagers and civilian defense forces fought off a Boko Haram ambush in the area two weeks ago, killing 11 extremists.

South Sudan

In the more than five years since the end of civil war in South Sudan, the fledgling country has disintegrated into the stuff of a horror movie. The UN recently released a report detailing widespread and ongoing human abuses in the African nation. The 212-page report deplored the “mass rape, killings and torture” taking place in South Sudan, where investigators found people have been detained and tortured in “secret, vermin-ridden detention centers” for years on end, while “children have been run down by tanks, girls as young as seven raped, babies drowned, starved or smashed against trees.” Since December 2013, South Sudan has been torn apart by bloodshed that has displaced more than one-third of the country’s 12 million population, and left an estimated 400,000 people dead, according to a State Department-funded study released in late September. Most U.S taxpayers are entirely unaware they have given more than $10 billion to support South Sudan over the years, and each year still fund more than one-quarter of all the international aid awarded to the country.


Ethiopia planted more than 353 million trees in 12 hours on Monday, which officials believe is a world record. In 2017, India set the world record when around 1.5 million volunteers planted 66 million in 12 hours. The burst of tree planting was part of a wider reforestation campaign named “Green Legacy,” spearheaded by the country’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Millions of Ethiopians across the country were invited to take part in the challenge. A total of 353,633,660 tree seedlings had been planted, the country’s minster for innovation and technology, Getahun Mekuria, tweeted. The national tree planting campaign aims to plant 4 billion trees during “the rainy season” — between May and October. Less than 4% of Ethiopia’s land is forested, compared to around 30% at the end of the 19th century.

Hong Kong

Police in Hong Kong fired tear gas and rubber bullets repeatedly Sunday to drive back protesters blocking streets with road signs and umbrellas in another night of pitched battles in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory. It was the second night in a row that tear gas was used in escalating pro-democracy protests. The demonstrations began early last month to voice opposition to an extradition bill that has since been suspended, but the movement has grown to encompass a broader push for full democracy.


The destruction of the Amazon rain forest in Brazil has increased rapidly since the nation’s new far-right president took over and his government scaled back efforts to fight illegal logging, ranching and mining. Protecting the Amazon was at the heart of Brazil’s environmental policy for much of the past two decades. At one point, Brazil’s success in slowing the deforestation rate made it an international example of conservation. While campaigning for president last year, Mr. Bolsonaro declared that Brazil’s vast protected lands were an obstacle to economic growth and promised to open them up to commercial exploitation. Brazil’s part of the Amazon has lost more than 1,330 square miles of forest cover since Mr. Bolsonaro took office in January, a 39 percent increase over the same period last year, reports the New York Times.


More than half a dozen cases of flesh-eating bacteria, including three that were fatal, have been linked to the Gulf of Mexico in the past several months. The Gulf’s water and surrounding bays, warm and rich in nutrients, are perfect homes for bacteria that can cause necrotizing fasciitis, the formal name for flesh-eating bacteria. With climate change warming the world’s oceans, these infections will become more frequent and be found in a wider range of places, say the authors of a report in a recent Annals of Internal Medicine.


According to the Los Angeles Times, there have been more than 80,000 earthquakes in the state since July 4th, and most of those quakes were aftershocks of the two very large events that hit the Ridgecrest area early in the month.  The aftershocks been creeping into areas close to two major earthquake faults which is concerning for some seismologists on whether it could trigger another huge temblor. “Some aftershocks have rumbled northwest of the Searles Valley earthquake, approaching the Owens Valley fault. That fault triggered an earthquake of perhaps magnitude 7.8 or 7.9 in 1872, one of the largest in California’s modern record,” the article explains. “The Ridgecrest aftershocks have also headed southeast toward the Garlock fault, a lesser-known fault capable of producing an earthquake of magnitude 8 or more. The fault along the northern edge of the Mojave Desert can send shaking south and west into Bakersfield and Ventura and Los Angeles counties.”

A strong earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia’s Java island on Friday. Indonesia’s geophysics agency urged residents to move to higher ground after the 6.9 magnitude quake struck Friday about 7 p.m. local time. The USGS said the quake was centered 151 kilometers (94 miles) from Banten province off the island’s southwest coast. It says it hit at a depth of 42.8 kilometers (32 miles). Buildings in the capital city of Jakarta swayed for nearly a minute during the quake. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

Two strong earthquakes hours apart struck a group of sparsely populated islands in the Luzon Strait in the northern Philippines last Saturday, killing at least eight people, injuring about 60 and damaging ancestral houses famous among tourists. The quakes measured 5.4 and 5.9 at relatively shallow depth. The quakes collapsed homes of stone and wood and roused residents from sleep. More than 2,000 residents of Itbayat — nearly all of the island’s population of mostly fishermen — were advised not to return to their homes and stay in the town plaza as successive aftershocks shook the region.


Nine firefighters have been injured and more than 20 homes are under mandatory evacuation orders as multiple fires burn in the Pacific Northwest. The region is struggling with drought and high temperatures. The Left Hand Fire has burned more than 3.9 square miles near Mount Rainier in Washington and was 15 percent contained as of Monday night. The Level 3 evacuation order for the area was issued Monday morning. Another 270 homes are under a Level 2 alert, which means residents should be prepared to leave at any time. Several roads in the area were also closed. The Milepost 97 blaze near Canyonville has burned more than 18 square miles and is 15 percent contained as of Monday. Nine firefighters were injured battling the fire. The fire is believed to have sparked from an illegal campfire. Washington and Oregon have the most widespread drought among the Lower 48 states. The first six months of 2019 were the eighth-driest first half of any year in Washington state in records dating to 1895.

Hundreds of Russian towns and cities are shrouded in heavy smoke from wildfires in Siberia and the Far East Thursday, and the blazes appear to be spreading in remote terrain. Avialesookhrana, Russia’s aerial forest protection service, said more than 30,000 square kilometers (11,850 square miles) are on fire, with the vast majority in areas that are hard to reach. Although the fires have not hit populated areas, heavy smoke from them is affecting about 800 communities. States of emergency have been declared in the regions of Irkutsk, Buryatia, Sakha and Krasnoyarsk. Some of the fires are believed to have been started by lightning strikes.


Storms moving across the Eastern United States have flooded streets and knocked down trees and power lines from North Carolina to Maine Wednesday. Flash flood warnings continued Thursday after numerous motorists had to be rescued from flooded vehicles in Greensboro, North Carolina. Parking lots flooded at Revolution Mills, a large housing, shopping and work complex, as Buffalo Creek rose to nearly 19 feet, a new record, Some parts of the city had more than 7 inches of rain. Thousands were left without electricity when severe weather slammed York County in Maine. Hail fell in Portsmouth, Maine.. Flights at Boston Logan International Airport were brought to a halt for more than an hour storms rolled across Massachusetts. Wind gusts up to 74 mph were recorded. More than 12,500 customers were without power in Massachusetts. Some 20,000 homes and businesses were without power in New Jersey and nearly 11,000 outages were reported in Pennsylvania.