Archive for May, 2022

Signs of the Times Update: May 30, 2022

May 30, 2022

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.  (Galatians 6:7-10)

Praise Reports: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

The Bible-based hit series The Chosen passed 400 million worldwide views during the past month, according to new data from its U.S. studio that also shows the project is a viral sensation in other countries, such as Brazil. As of Thursday, the series had been viewed 405,268,000 times worldwide. Directed by Dallas Jenkins and distributed by Angel Studios, The Chosen is a multi-season television series about the life of Jesus and the disciples. Season 3 of The Chosen is currently being filmed. “The show has completely reignited my faith in Christ. The show has brought me closer to Christ. The show has made me focus less on religion and more on Jesus – and my kids who never watch anything faith-related now want to watch it and [are] loving it,” said one fan.

Amid charges of ceding U.S. sovereignty to the World Health Organization, 12 of the 13 amendments submitted by the Biden administration for a vote in the World Health Assembly this week in Geneva have been removed from consideration. The amendments were publicized only last month, and it was the advocacy of independent researcher James Roguski who alerted the public to the implications for U.S. sovereignty, prompting a groundswell of popular opposition, largely in the past week. Roguski, who has been monitoring the WHA proceedings, which began Sunday, said the withdrawal appears to be the result of “the massive response from people all over the world in opposition to the amendments to the International Health Regulations, along with legal actions in the U.K. (and a whole lot of prayer).”

The Maine Department of Education has removed a video introducing the concepts of sexual orientation and gender identity to kindergarten students from its website after it became the subject of an attack ad in the state’s upcoming gubernatorial election. Last week, the Maine Republican Party released an ad alleging that Democratic Gov. Janet Mills spent $2.8 million in taxpayer dollars on “radical school lessons.” The ad features a clip from a lesson aimed at kindergarten students. In the clip, teacher Kailina Mills described trans-identified individuals as people “the doctors made a mistake about when they were born.” She suggested that “when a baby is born, the doctors will tell the parents what gender they think that baby is.” After the teacher asserts that some people get older and “realize what the doctors said was not right,” the ad cuts back to a narrator asking, “Is this really what our kids should be learning in kindergarten, instead of math, science and reading?

A woman in West Virginia fatally shot a man who began firing an AR-15-style rifle into a crowd of people that had gathered for a party, authorities said. Dennis Butler, 37, was killed Wednesday night after he pulled out the rifle and began shooting at dozens of people attending the birthday-graduation party outside an apartment complex in the city of Charleston, police said in a statement. The woman, who was attending the party, drew a pistol and fired, killing Butler, the statement said. No one at the party was injured. “Instead of running from the threat, she engaged with the threat and saved several lives last night,” Chief of Detectives Tony Hazelett told news outlets Thursday. Butler was at the apartment complex earlier in the evening in a vehicle and had been warned to slow down because children were playing, police said. They said he left, but returned later, parked in front of the complex and began firing. After fatally shooting Butler, the woman waited along with several witnesses for police to arrive, and all have cooperated with the investigation. No charges were filed against the woman.

Pseudo Christianity: These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. (Matthew 15:8) They claim to know God, but they deny him by what they do. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit to do anything good. (Titus 1:16)

This past Sunday, a devastating report was released about America’s largest Protestant denomination. According to the Guidepost Solutions’ Report of the Independent Investigation on the Southern Baptist Convention, not only has sexual abuse been a scourge within the denomination, but leading members actively obstructed efforts to expose the guilty, hindered attempts by victims to report the crimes, and worked to maintain the public image of the Convention at the expense of the truth. The document published online late Thursday by the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. It contains a 205-page index of SBC ministers accused of sexual abuse. The committee submitted the list to the firm Guidepost Solutions as part of the investigation and released the list Thursday in its original but redacted form. 

New World Order – One-World Government: It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:7-8) The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. (Daniel 7:23)

Two European leaders at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, described the record gas prices as part of a “painful” period of “transition” to alternative energy that should not be resisted. German vice-chancellor Robert Habeck, as Summit News reported, said Monday that governments should not seek to protect their citizens from the consequences. And Norwegian finance CEO Kjerstin Braathen described the energy crisis as a “transition” full of hardship but insisted the “pain” is “worth it.” Biden, meanwhile, said Monday that the pain at the pump was part of “an incredible transition” of the American economy away from oil and natural gas.

  • The ‘elites’ are using the Great Reset, clean energy and climate change as the basis for marginalizing the masses and moving us into a one-world government that they control. The timing of the monkeypox outbreak couldn’t be better for the WHO—which may soon be granted powers to manage laws on global health outbreaks, well-positioned to enforce draconian global lockdowns and vaccine passports.

Surveillance State: So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor. (Luke 20:20)

Top House Republicans are demanding answers from the FBI after court-ordered information came to light showing that the federal agency had collected the information of over 3 million Americans without a warrant. Limited authority to gather foreign intelligence information is granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and requires court approval. However, this power can grant an expanding circle of possible searches to the FBI and other intel agencies, who can use the same power against American citizens who had any interaction with targeted foreigners. Historically, insight into how FISA has been used against American citizens has been limited and hidden behind classified reports.

Civic/Religious Freedom: Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:36)

A three-judge panel for the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Pennsylvania postal worker Gerald Groff in a decision released Wednesday. Groff, a former employee of the Quarryville Post Office in Lancaster County, had sought religious exemptions from working Sundays because of his faith. In issuing the ruling, Circuit Judge Patty Shwartz, an Obama appointee, wrote that if Groff were to receive exemptions from working on Sundays, the accommodations “would cause an undue hardship” for the postal service.

Abortion: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5)

The mother of NBA superstar Steph Curry reveals in her new book that she scheduled an abortion when she was pregnant with him but ultimately canceled the appointment and continued the pregnancy. God, she says, interceded. Curry is generally considered the greatest shooter in the history of the game and owns the NBA career record for most 3-pointers. God had a plan for that child,” Sonya Curry told podcaster and pastor Luke Norsworthy. It would have been her second abortion, she said.

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

The number of new Covid-19 cases in the U.S. has leveled off in recent days, averaging about 110.000 per day. Over the past two weeks, the number of cases is up 21% with hospitalizations up 23% and deaths up 20%. Since many cases go uncounted due to home testing, the true toll is higher than these figures show. Daily case reports are four times as high as they were in early April, but still a fraction of the numbers seen in January, when the initial Omicron surge was at its worst.

  • This surge began in the northeast and Midwest, where cases have now stabilized or are declining. Infections and hospitalizations are increasing quickly across much of the South and Southwest. Average daily case reports have more than doubled in the past two weeks in Arizona, South Carolina and West Virginia.

COVID-19 might be easing into a new status as a widely circulating and somewhat harsher version of the common cold, experts say — a virus that folks could contract repeatedly, even if they were recently infected. “[SARS-CoV-2] is destined to join four of its family members and become an endemic coronavirus that will repeatedly infect individuals throughout their lifetimes,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, of Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, referring to the four circulating coronaviruses that cause the common cold.

Newly published research of nearly 30,000 people across 42 countries has found that asymptomatic carriers are about 68% less likely to pass the coronavirus on than those who get sick, DailyMail.com reported. The fear of asymptomatic spread was one of the primary reasons for the COVID-19 lockdowns and mask mandates. Some scientists claimed asymptomatic patients were just as infectious as the sick. But the study, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, found asymptomatic carriers were responsible for as little as 14% of cases.

Monkeypox:

More than 250 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed around the world over a two-week period, but a pandemic is unlikely, a World Health Organization expert said Monday. Ten cases were confirmed in the U.S. from May 13 to May 26, WHO said. The U.S. is one of 23 countries where monkeypox is not normally found to report cases over the time period – a total of 257 confirmed cases and another 117 to 127 suspected cases that were still being investigated. No deaths have been reported. Lewis said the vast majority of cases being seen in dozens of countries globally are in gay or bisexual men. Monkeypox virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding. The incubation period of monkeypox is usually from six to 13 days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently revised its travel advisory from Level 1 to Level 2 due to the recent monkeypox outbreak around the world. An update posted to the agency’s website wrote: “Cases of monkeypox have been reported in Europe, North America, and Australia,” adding that cases were reported among homosexual males. “Some cases were also reported in people who live in the same household as an infected person.” “None of these people reported having recently been in central or west African countries where monkeypox usually occurs, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria, among others,” the advisory continues to say. Travelers should avoid close contact with sick people, namely those with skin lesions. They are advised to avoid contact with dead or living wild animals such as small mammals, rodents, and primates. The CDC also says that people should not eat or prepare meat from wild game in Africa.

Vaccines – Harbinger of the Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

  • The vaccines are not the Mark of the Beast, much as polio, measles, tetanus shots are not either. The Mark must be on the hand and/or forehead and will be required to buy and sell. However, the vaccines are a precursor in that they prepare the masses to follow government orders when the true Mark comes.

A medical study conducted with joint research from scientists at a number of prestigious health institutions shows that mRNA vaccines may actually impair the immune system’s ability to fight Covid-19 long-term. The study analyzed data collected from Moderna’s randomized control trial for its mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccine from July 2020 through March 2021. The study, posted on medRxiv.org, shows that vaccinated individuals had impaired ability to produce specific kinds of Covid-relevant antibodies versus those who were unvaccinated but had natural immunity from prior infections.

The question has dogged researchers studying coronavirus vaccines: How effective are shots against the persistent complications known as long Covid? A new study of 34,000 breakthrough cases found vaccination reduces the risk of lung and blood clot disorders but does little to protect against other long-term symptoms. It’s disappointing news as the pandemic drags on, but scientists caution the study did not take booster shots into account and did not review infections after the omicron variant’s arrival.

A recently released confidential document reveals that a startling 82% to 97% of in utero babies died after pregnant women were injected with the Pfizer vaccine. Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency (PHMPT) requested documents related to the vaccine licensing via a Freedom of Information Act Request, then sued the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In early January 2022, a federal judge ordered the FDA incrementally release the documents it claimed would take decades to process. PHMPT has posted Pfizer’s confidential documents as they have become available.

At the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said his company is “in the process of throwing 30 million doses in the garbage because nobody wants them.” “We have a big demand problem,” he said, the Washington Examiner reported. Bancel said Moderna has contacted leaders in several countries to see if they want the vaccines, but there is no interest.

International:

Portugal has the second highest COVID vaccination level of any country in Europe, trailing only tiny Malta, with 94 percent of its citizens receiving at least one dose of the vaccine. Sixty-two percent have opted for boosters. But as of May 17, Portugal also has the highest case rate in Europe — a daily average of 2,290 new cases per million people. Globally, it boasts the second-highest new daily death toll among countries with more than one million inhabitants.

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” 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 6:3-4)

The amount of misinformation and outright lies from officials about the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, last week was reprehensible if not criminal. And, of course, the mainstream media immediately splashed big headlines with the false information. Much of it was due to the school, the school’s security officer and the police covering up their lax performance. It now appears that the security officer was not in the school where he was supposed to be, a door had been propped open by a teacher, and the police did not confront the shooter, eighteen-year-old Salvador Ramos, in a shootout leaving two officers wounded.

Nineteen elementary-school children were murdered as well as two teachers. A tactical team of local and federal officers waited over an hour to enter the school, wrongfully concluding that it was a hostage situation. And it appears that it was an off-duty Texas Border Patrol agent who ultimately shot Ramos after receiving a text from his wife in the school pleading for him to help. He was getting a haircut at the time and, fortunately, the barber had a rifle that he could borrow.

Some community members who had gathered outside Robb Elementary School as the drama unfolded urged police officers to charge in. “Go in there! Go in there!” When they still didn’t move, parents tried to get in themselves. A top Texas law enforcement official said Friday what angry parents have said all along about the delayed police response to the mass shooting in Uvalde: “It was the wrong decision. Period,” said Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw.

Officials said Ramos had no known history of mental health issues, and it’s also not yet known if attempts at intervention were missed. However, Ramos told girls he would rape them, showed off a rifle he bought, and threatened to shoot up schools in livestreams on the social media app Yubo, according to several users who witnessed the threats in recent weeks. But thoseYubo users – all teens – said that they didn’t take him seriously until they saw the news that Ramos had gunned down 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, this week.

Gun Control: When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. (Luke 11:21-22,ESV)

On an average day in the U.S., more than 35 people are murdered with a gun. No other affluent country in the world has a gun homicide rate nearly as high, with 41 gun homicides per million people. The next highest is Greenland with 21 and Israel with 11. The rest are all at 5 or below.

Tragedy: In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

A stampede Saturday at a church charity event in southern Nigeria left 31 people dead and seven injured. The stampede at the program organized by the Kings Assembly Pentecostal church in Rivers state involved many people who were seeking assistance, according to Grace Iringe-Koko, a police spokeswoman. Such events are common in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, where more than 80 million people live in poverty, according to government statistics.

Health: A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22) Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3John 1:2)

The COVID-19 pandemic and the isolation it imposed took a dramatic toll on kids’ mental health, increasing the demand for services in an already overburdened system. As a result, many kids found themselves being “boarded” in emergency departments as they awaited care, according to a new study conducted at Boston Children’s Hospital. The average wait was nearly five days without specialized treatment. “This is a huge problem nationwide,” said Dr. Jennifer Havens. She is a professor and chair of child and adolescent psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine in New York City. “The demand for mental health services has dramatically increased due to COVID-19, and the capacity for inpatient psychiatric care for kids is marginal at best, so we are seeing a backlog for inpatient and outpatient mental health services,” said Havens

Education: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

The National Education Association (NEA) released a study conducted by GBAO Strategies that revealed a startling 55 percent of teachers planned to leave their profession ahead of schedule. Many educators who have 25 years or more under their belt are opting to retire, but even less seasoned ones are walking away and choosing different career paths. Widespread educator shortages pre-date the arrival of COVID-19, but the pandemic also served as the last straw for many, kicking off the trend of an early departure. The average national turnover rate was only 16 percent before COVID-19. However, in 2021, that number jumped to 25 percent.

  • Godless public schools have become indoctrination centers for the religion of secular humanism, resulting in the departure of many Christian teachers.

Gender Confusion: Male and female He created them. (Genesis 5:2)

  • Gender confusion is being promoted because it undermines God’s ordained family structure, giving secular government more control over people, particularly our youth.

An 18-year-old student in the United Kingdom has been mobbed by classmates, branded a “heretic” and forced from her classes over her expression of her conservative views. The Daily Mail said the threat of violence erupted after the student, whose identity was not released, expressed disagreement with a member of Parliament speaking at the school about the transgender ideology. The student was subjected to a verbal ‘pile-on’ by up to 60 students after debating her views with a peer during a questions-and-answers session at the private school in the Home Counties.

A North Carolina preschool used flash cards featuring LGBTQ themes to teach kids colors, including one card depicting a pregnant man. “Schools should only be using age-appropriate materials, and these flashcards clearly do not meet that standard for a pre-school classroom,” Republican State Rep. Erin Paré said in a statement after being alerted to the cards by a constituent, according to North Carolina Speaker of the House Tim Moore.

Thanks to a company whistleblower, the State Farm insurance company was outed for trying to flood local libraries and schools with transgender stories for children. “The project’s goal,” the January email read, “is to increase representation of LGBTQ books and support our communities in having challenging, important, and empowering conversations with children Age 5+.” Turns out, parents don’t like the idea of an insurance company laying claim on their kids. And the outrage pouring into headquarters proves it, notes Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.

  • Thanks to a strong backlash, State Farm has backed down from their LGBTQ+ book program.

Immigration: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

Del Rio Sector Border Patrol officials report that more than 4,700 migrants illegally crossed into Texas over the past weekend and, of those, at least 1,600 “got away” without being apprehended.

The Department of Homeland Security announced plans Friday to restart limited border wall construction, closing a “gap” in the barrier in Arizona that appears to have been left when President Biden stopped construction on his first day in office. The department didn’t say how much of the border the projects will encompass, though they are likely to be a tiny fraction of the more than 450 miles of wall construction that took place under President Trump. Still, the new construction contrasts with Mr. Biden’s campaign promise not to build “another foot” of the wall.

Travel: The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalm 121:8)

Upwards of 6,000 global flights have been canceled since Friday with hundreds more fights delayed, according to flight tracking website FlightAware. Some 1,640 flights were canceled on Sunday alone, FlightAware data indicates, with more than 500 of those flying within, into or out of the US. On Monday morning there were already 1,228 cancellations.. “More than any time in our history, the various factors currently impacting our operation — weather and air traffic control, vendor staffing, increased COVID case rates contributing to higher-than-planned unscheduled absences in some work groups — are resulting in an operation that isn’t consistently up to the standards Delta has set for the industry in recent years,” said Delta’s Chief Customer Experience Officer Allison Ausband.

Supply Chain: He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. (2Corinthians 9:10)

The baby formula crisis may have many wondering why millions of babies in the USA depend on formula when breastfeeding is recommended for at least the first six months of life by major medical entities such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization. However, breastfeeding doesn’t work for everyone. Health experts said a range of medical issues, from metabolic disorders to infectious diseases, may limit the ability to breastfeed. Those born premature sometimes require formula in addition to breast milk to increase their weight.

Poverty: Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. (Proverbs 19:17) Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:16) Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you.” (Matthew 26:11)

Poverty, conflict, drought, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic during Afghanistan’s takeover by the Taliban have led to increased hunger, a near-collapse of the health system, and the destruction of family livelihoods — all adding up to threaten mass child starvation. As hunger spreads, health clinics are filling up with malnourished children under 5 with symptoms such as pneumonia, acute diarrhea, and emaciation. An estimated 22.8 million Afghan people, more than half the country’s population, are facing potentially life-threatening levels of food insecurity and malnutrition this year. Half of all children under 5 — around 3.2 million — were expected to suffer from acute malnutrition. About 1 million are on the brink of starvation.

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

The U.S. economy declined 1.5% on an annualized basis in the first quarter of 2022, according to revised data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday. The contraction was partially attributed to the nation spending more on imports from other countries than it did on U.S. exports. The trade gap slashed first-quarter GDP by 3.2 percentage points. Also contributing to the weakness was a slower restocking of goods in stores and warehouses, which had built up their inventories in the previous quarter for the 2021 holiday shopping season, knocking nearly 1.1 percentage points off the January-March GDP. 

Price increases won’t fall back to targeted levels until 2024, a new economic forecast from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates. The CBO also predicted that the U.S. economy will grow at a faster-than-average clip and that the federal budget deficit will come down over the coming year.

In April, “food at home” prices jumped 11%, the largest 12-month increase since November 1980, according to data released by the Labor Department. With rising diesel and gasoline prices increasing transportation costs (and decreasing profits), producers and retailers must raise their prices — or offer less of their goods at the same price, economists say. The record-high prices for diesel fuel and gasoline raise costs for transporting goods from the farm to the table.

Here is a list of Memorial Day grocery categories seeing average price increases as of April 2022 versus year ago from Numerator: Chips: +20.3%; Beef: +20.1%; Frozen Appetizers: +15.5%; Hot dogs: +13.8%; Dips: +10.4%; Ice Cream & Novelties: +8.6%; Beer: +7.3%; Soft Drinks: +15.1%; Cheese: +5.9%; Packaged Rolls/Buns: +12.5%; Vegetables: +9.2%.

The 8.8 percent increase in food prices that Americans have already seen does not take into account the dramatic cost increases that farmers are now experiencing. This is because farmers pay their costs upfront and only recoup them at the point of sale, months later. Fuel and fertilizer together make up 55 percent of farming total costs. The price of diesel fuel has more than doubled, from $2.50 per gallon at the end of 2020 to more than $5 per gallon today. Farmers say the cost of fertilizer, an oil derivative, has tripled and in some cases quadrupled. These increases won’t manifest at grocery stores for months, but they are coming.

The national average for regular gasoline rose to a fresh record of $4.62 a gallon on Monday, 5/30, according to AAA. Last Memorial Day, gas prices averaged $3.05 a gallon. Seven states are now averaging $5-a-gallon gas. Diesel fuel is now $5.53 a gallon.

Fuel is the second-largest expense for airlines at around 30% of operating costs and has doubled in price from a year ago, according to the Energy Information Administration. And airlines have been taking advantage of strong consumer demand to pass on some of those additional costs with higher airfares, in some cases up to 3 times as much as pre-pandemic.

The typical compensation package for chief executives who run S&P 500 companies soared 17.1% last year to a median $14.5 million, far more than the 4.4% increase in wages and benefits netted by private-sector workers through 2021, which was the fastest on record going back to 2001. The raises for many rank-and-file workers failed to keep up with inflation, which reached 7% at the end of last year.

The Walt Disney Co.’s brand didn’t quite go from hero to zero last year, but consumers evidently became less enchanted with the entertainment giant as it tangled over LGBTQ+ politics with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The 2022 Axios Harris Poll 100 released Tuesday found that Disney ranked 65 on the list of the “most visible brands in America,” plummeting 28 spots from the 2021 list.

Israel: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6)

At least 70,000 Israelis from all over the country proudly participated in the Flag Parade celebrating Jerusalem’s Day on Sunday night, ignoring Hamas’ threat to attack Israel. The Jerusalem Day celebrations, marking the victory during the 1967 Six-Day War and the reunification of Israel’s capital, include a parade in which tens of thousands of Israelis march with flags through the city’s center and then through the Old City while entering it through the Damascus Gate. The police deployed about 3,000 officers to secure the Jerusalem Day events and the traditional parade.

  • Police forces contended with a number of incidents of Arab rioting, stone-throwing incidents, and clashes in the Old City area. Vehicles were damaged and a number of police officers and civilians were slightly injured. The police arrested more than 60 suspects in connection with the various violent incidents.

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22)

Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh’s death while covering a shootout in Jenin is tragic. Unfortunately, we may never know whether she was killed by Palestinian terrorists or errant Israeli gunfire. Israeli investigators did not get to examine her body, and the Palestinian Authority adamantly refuses to let the IDF inspect the bullet. That didn’t stop CNN from blaming Israel for killing and accusing the IDF of deliberately firing on her. Unfortunately, a closer look at CNN’s key source, Shatha Hanaysh, only raises more questions about its journalism integrity. Hanaysha is a 29-year-old Palestinian writer was with Abu Akleh when she was shot.

  • According to HonestReporting, Hanaysha “openly shares her extremist views on social media pages, including support for Palestinian terrorists who have carried out deadly attacks against Israeli civilians.” Posts include showering praise for Palestinian “martyrs” killed while attacking Israelis.

Israel is reportedly demanding that the Biden administration explain an intelligence leak to The New York Times Wednesday regarding the assassination Sunday of a top Iranian terrorist operative. Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei was reportedly shot five times in his car outside his home in Tehran by men on two motorcycles who then fled the scene and have yet to be caught. While the mullahs immediately blamed Israel and the United States, Jerusalem remained mum, as it has for other sudden deaths of senior Iranian officials such as scientists involved in Iran’s nuclear program. An unnamed intelligence official told the Times that Israeli officials had informed the administration that they were behind the targeted killing of Khodaei. Arutz 7 identified the official as being involved in a secretive communications channel between the allies dedicated to operations in Iran.

  • Left-leaning media and deep-state leftists in government circles are seeking every means possible to condemn and undermine Israel.

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; forall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

Russian troops pushed farther into a key eastern Ukrainian city and fought street by street with Ukrainian forces Monday in a battle the mayor said has left Sievierodonetsk “completely ruined” and driven tens of thousands from their homes. Military analysts painted the battle as part of a race against time for the Kremlin, which they said wants to complete its capture of the industrial Donbas region before more Western arms arrive to bolster Ukraine’s defenses. Weapons from the West have already helped Kyiv’s forces thwart a Russian advance on the capital in the early weeks of the war. That failure forced Moscow to withdraw, regroup, and pursue a more limited objective of seizing the Donbas, where Moscow-backed separatists already held swaths of territory and have been fighting Ukrainian troops for eight years.

  • Relentless Russian artillery barrages have destroyed critical infrastructure and damaged 90% of the buildings, and power and communications have been largely cut to a city that was once home to 100,000 people.

Russia‘s top diplomat has again been forced to address persistent reports in the West that President Vladimir Putin is suffering from an undisclosed illness, denying the 69-year-old Mr. Putin faces any serious health issues and accusing those who question his stamina and judgment of having ulterior motives. Discussions about Putin‘s health are virtually taboo inside Russia, but outside analysts say his face has appeared puffy and his gait unsteady in recent videos and there appeared to be a suspicious tremor in at least one of his hands.

President Biden on Monday said the United States will not send rocket systems to Ukraine that could potentially reach into Russia, after reports that the administration was preparing to send long-range systems to the besieged European ally. The State Department said the White House had concerns that providing Ukraine with the Multiple Launch Rocket System could result in a situation in which Ukrainians fire rockets into Russian territory — which would spark a major escalation in the conflict.

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God,  shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23)

Armed assailants have killed about 50 people in a part of eastern Burkina Faso ravaged by Islamist violence, the region’s governor said on Thursday. The victims were traveling to a town in the nearby community of Pama, close to the borders with Benin and Togo. Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State have overrun swathes of Burkina Faso in recent years, part of a wider insurgency across West Africa’s semi-arid Sahel region. The violence has expanded and intensified in the past decade, killing thousands of civilians each year. The conflict is now spilling over into coastal West African countries like Benin and Togo.

A series of explosions shook Afghanistan last Wednesday, the Taliban said, including a blast inside a mosque in the capital, Kabul, that killed at least five worshippers and three bombings of minivans in the country’s north that killed nine passengers. The Islamic State group’s local affiliate claimed responsibility for the minivan bombings. The blast took place while people were inside the mosque for the evening prayers. The minivans were targeted in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif after explosive devices were placed inside the vehicles. The Islamic State in Khorasan Province, or IS-K opposes the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan.

Forbes and NBC News reported that the FBI foiled a recent ISIS plot to assassinate former President George W. Bush. The accounts are based on FBI search warrants and court documents unsealed in federal court in Ohio that include informants’ details about the alleged scheme. NBC identifies the suspect as Shihab Ahmed Shihab, an Iraqi citizen believed to have entered the country legally. The outlet says he is in custody, but no charges have yet been filed. Forbes describes him as “an alleged ISIS operative” in Columbus, Ohio, who has been in the US for two years. The alleged motive? Revenge for the Iraq war.

Environment: And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth,for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)

The State of California is about to begin removing the first of four dams on the Klamath River — despite an extreme drought and a looming electricity generation crisis — to improve habitat for migratory salmon and satisfy Native American groups. President Biden’s administration reversed course after President Trump’s administration blocked the dam removal on California’s second-largest river, which was planned in 2016 after California and Oregon signed an agreement to demolish the dams but still required federal approval. Now, the demolition has been scheduled for 2023, awaiting only confirmation that dam removal itself would not harm fish.

Earthquakes: And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7b) I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. (Revelation 6:12)

A large earthquake struck Thursday morning near the Peru-Bolivia border. The U.S. Geological Survey has rated the tremor at a preliminary 7.2 magnitude. The quake struck at a depth of 135 miles. The shaking began at 8:02 a.m. EDT Thursday morning,. The epicenter was located in southern Peru, about 8 miles west-northwest of the town of Azamgarh. La Paz, Bolivia, is located about 200 miles southeast of the epicenter. Citing local radio, the Associated Press reported that buildings shook in La Paz during the earthquake, but there were no reports of structural damage or deaths in the city.

Wildfires: 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)

New Mexico’s largest wildfire in history has been traced to planned burns set by the U.S. Forest Service. The agency said Friday that one of the two fires, the Calf Canyon Fire, was ignited by a pile burn holdover from January that was dormant under the surface before reemerging in April. The Hermits Peak Fire was caused by an escaped prescribed burn. The fire reignited and escaped containment lines on April 19, merging with the Hermits Peak fire due to a wind event on April 22. The Hermits Peak Fire was caused by an escaped prescribed burn. Now, the Forest Service says the fires are 48% contained, spanning 314,228 acres. 

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

Historic Hurricane Agatha took aim at Mexico’s southern coast Monday, 5/30, with sustained winds of 110 mph, heavy storm surge and driving rains prompting fears of killer flooding and mudslides. Up to 20 inches of rain were forecast for some areas.

Animals around the world have been feeling the negative effects of climate change, but there’s one slithering creature that may be benefitting from it: rattlesnakes. Rattlesnakes can be found in every state in the continental U.S., but they are most commonly found in the southwest. A new study published in the journal Ecology and Evolution earlier this month suggests rattlesnakes could spend less time hibernating and more time being out in the wilderness as the planet warms.

Signs of the Times Update: May 23, 2022

May 23, 2022

Signs of the Times Update: May 23, 2022

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13)

Praise Reports: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has instructed Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi, an outspokenly pro-abortion Democrat, not to present herself for Holy Communion in his diocese. .“You are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as you [publicly] repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance,” Cordileone wrote to Pelosi

A federal judge in Louisiana on Friday blocked the Biden administration from lifting the Title 42 order, which immigration officers have used to expel migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, including asylum-seekers. Twenty-four states sought the injunction to prevent the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from repealing Title 42, which the Biden administration had promised to remove, beginning Monday. District Judge Robert R. Summerhays in Lafayette, Louisiana, who was appointed by then-President Donald Trump, said the removal of Title 42 would cause “irreparable harm” because U.S. border states would subsequently have to spend money on health care, law enforcement, education and other services for migrants.

Judge Daniel Traynor of the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota issued an order last week that placed a temporary block on the enforcement of a Biden administration mandate requiring an alliance of Christian employers to pay for or provide health plans that cover gender transition surgeries. The Christian Employers Alliance, an organization that provides support to Christian businesses and nonprofits, filed suit against the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Health & Human Services, seeking to block the enforcement of the mandate that requires coverage of trans-affirming counseling and medical services that violate the beliefs of its members. In issuing the order, Judge Traynor, a Trump appointee, wrote, “The Plaintiffs and their members face a very real irreparable harm if they are either forced to comply or if they refuse to comply.”

A board made up of the Navy’s own officers has ruled against the military branch in a fight over a lieutenant who refused to take the experimental COVID shot, and had his career threatened as a result. The board concluded that Lt. Bill Moseley did not commit misconduct by refusing the injection mandated by the military for the China virus. “Although this [is] only one case of thousands and we have many more clients facing prosecution by the military,” lawyer R. Davis Younts said in a statement, “we are encouraged that the truth was revealed in this board, and we hope this ground-breaking case sends a strong message to the Department of Defense.”

The revolt of the “mama bears” protesting COVID policies, Critical Race Theory and other far-left ideologies in schools was evident in four districts in the Fort Worth, Texas, area over the weekend. All 13 candidates backed by conservative political action committees won their races Saturday, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

The sky turned a bloody shade of red in China on Saturday, sparking panic among residents, and now some are pointing to Biblical prophecies about the end times and return of Jesus to Earth. However, the Bible says the moon would become blood red (Joel 2:30-31, Revelation 6:12) and the dragon (devil) also (Revelation 12:3), but not the entire sky. The above verses instead say that the sun would be blackened.

Pseudo Christianity: These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. (Matthew 15:8) They claim to know God, but they deny him by what they do. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit to do anything good. (Titus 1:16)

One-hundred-seven congregations in Florida have announced that they are leaving the United Methodist Church denomination for the newly launched Global Methodist Church (GMC), a theologically conservative alternative to the UMC. According to the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA-Florida), the 107 congregations make up about 20 percent of the 560 United Methodist Churches in the Florida Conference. “This broad group of churches include both large and small congregations along with Anglo, African American, Latino, Korean, and other ethnic communities of faith,” the group said. “We are not leaving The United Methodist Church. The United Methodist Church has left us,” Jay Therrell, President of the WCA – Florida, said in a statement.

  • “After a decades-long rise of theological liberalism… our churches long for the day of being able to unite with like-minded Christians who focus on sharing the Good News of Jesus and help people to be transformed by His salvation,” Therrell said.

New World Order – One-World Government: It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:7-8) The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. (Daniel 7:23)

Officials from the Biden Administration are working to give the World Health Organization the power to unilaterally declare a health emergency in any country, thereby giving them emergency powers. The upcoming vote in Geneva over the Biden Administration’s amendments would cede U.S. sovereignty to the WHO over national healthcare decisions in what she described as ‘the biggest global power grab that we have seen in our lifetimes,'” says former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

  • This would mean that WHO could institute lockdowns and vaccine passports in any country that signs the treaty, which the Biden administration intends to do so. The vote in Geneva is this week, 5/23-26.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that the military alliance stands ready to seize a historic moment and move quickly on allowing Finland and Sweden to join its ranks, after the two countries submitted their membership requests. The official applications were handed over by Finland’s and Sweden’s ambassadors to NATO on Tuesday, 5/17.

While President Biden was in Tokyo, he announced the launching of a new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) with 12 other countries in the region, who together are signing up as the first members of the economic partnership focusing on the Asia-Pacific. “This framework is a commitment to working with our close friends and partners in the region on challenges that matter most to ensuring economic competitiveness in the 21st century,” Biden said. The new collective will not include China or Taiwan.

The Demise of America: The first was like a lion (Britain) and had eagle’s wings (America). I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. (Daniel 7:4)

A majority of Christian pastors in the United States do not hold a biblical worldview, according to surprising new research from pollster George Barna, who says the data shows a spiritual awakening is “needed just as desperately in our pulpits as in the pews.” The survey, released Thursday by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, shows that only 37 percent of pastors in the U.S. hold a biblical worldview. Among senior/lead pastors, 41 percent possess a biblical worldview – the highest percentage within the sub-groups of pastors. Less than one-third of associate/assistant pastors (28 percent), teaching pastors (13 percent) and children’s/youth pastors (12 percent) hold a biblical worldview, the data found. The survey’s findings were based on 54 questions in eight categories related to a biblical worldview.

  • “This is another strong piece of evidence that the culture is influencing the American church more than Christian churches are influencing the culture,” said Barna, director of research at the university’s Cultural Research Center.

A U.S. Department of Homeland Security memo obtained by Axios shows that the DHS is concerned about violence and attacks by pro-abortion extremists should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade. In the May 13 memo, the department warns that violent threats directed at Supreme Court justices and others involved in the abortion debate, such as politicians, members of the clergy and healthcare providers “are likely to persist and may increase leading up to and following the issuing in the Court’s official ruling” in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. Some social media posts spoke of “burning down or storming the U.S. Supreme Court and murdering Justices and their clerks, members of Congress, and lawful demonstrators.”

Thirteen years after a federal investigation blasted the U.S. Census Bureau for hiring criminals to enter American homes to gather statistics for the decennial count, a new audit reveals the disturbing practice continues. In fact, more than a decade after the problem was exposed workers for the 2020 count were not properly vetted and many with criminal records had direct interactions with the public. The most recent probe, conducted by the Department of Commerce Inspector General, found that “dozens of employees who worked on address canvassing in advance of the 2020 census had major issues flagged on their investigations, which typically means employees are automatically disqualified from their federal jobs.”

Politics: Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. (Romans 13:1-2)

The House overwhelmingly supported sending $40 billion in aid to Ukraine on Tuesday, 368-57, prompting a harsh reaction from critics given the multiple crises that are going unaddressed at home. Conservatives took issue with the 149 Republicans who joined every single Democrat in passing the bill while inflation continues to soar, the border crisis is ongoing, and our nation’s most vulnerable population—infants—can’t get the food they need. The amount even exceeded what President Biden had asked for by $7 billion. While on his Asian tour, President Biden signed the aid bill.

Surveillance State: So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor. (Luke 20:20)

The Department of Homeland Security has “paused” its new disinformation board just weeks after it was announced, according to a report. The Washington Post, citing “multiple employees,” said the department is trying to figure out what to do with the board after a bungled rollout and complaints of overreach and comparisons to Big Brother’s Truth Ministry. Nina Jankowicz, the board’s embattled director, had drafted a resignation letter, but she has been asked to stay on while the department figures out what to do with the board, the Post reported. 

American’s information could end up in the hands of Immigration and Customs Enforcement when you apply for a driver’s license, drive on the roads or sign up for utilities, a new report has found. ICE has built a surveillance infrastructure that gives the agency access to data on most people living in the U.S. and has gone well beyond its immigration enforcement duties to become a broader domestic surveillance agency, according to an investigation released by Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy & Technology.

Censorship/Cancel Culture: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth. (Romans 1:18)

Lorie Smith left the corporate world in 2012 to form her own website design firm, 303 Creative, which soon flourished. But in 2016 she was asked to create a design conveying a same-sex marriage message that violated her deeply held Christian faith. Smith declined to do so and when it became clear a Colorado public accommodation law would be used to force her to create messages that she and other Coloradans did not support, or face harsh penalties, she decided she had to challenge the statute. So she turned to the federal court system to uphold her First Amendment freedoms and six years later the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in her case later this year. Now Smith fears for her life as she awaits the slow-turning of the wheels of justice—thanks to continuous terrifying harassment, including death threats, from activists seeking to suppress her Christian beliefs.

A judge has ruled that the explicit sex content of a couple of controversial books are “obscene” and unsuitable for children. The ruling comes out of Virginia Beach, Virginia, where the circuit court judge has declared “Gender Queer” and “A Court of Mist and Fury” “obscene” for unrestricted viewing by minors. “It doesn’t mean the books are banned,” said Virginia State Delegate Tim Anderson in a statement broadcast by station WJLA. “It doesn’t mean we’re burning books or infringing on free speech. What it means is that there is extreme sexual graphic content in both of those books not suitable for minors without the parent consent.” The result adds to the weight of arguments in which parents and activists hope to have such controversial publications taken out of public-school libraries.

A lawsuit has been filed by First Liberty Institute against Alaska Airlines for its aggressive reaction to how two flight attendants expressed concerns about how the company’s pro-LGBT agenda would impact their Christian rights. First Liberty said the airline dismissed the two “because they asked questions in a company forum about the company’s support for the ‘Equality Act.'” “Alaska Airlines ‘canceled’ Lacey and Marli because of their religious beliefs, flagrantly disregarding federal civil rights laws that protect people of faith from discrimination,” said Stephanie Taub, senior counsel for First Liberty. “It is a blatant violation of state and federal civil rights laws to discriminate against someone in the workplace because of their religious beliefs and expression.”

A federal appeals court ruling has cleared the way for a controversial Texas law that will allow any state resident banned from social media platforms for their political views to sue. Two trade groups representing Facebook parent Meta Platforms, Alphabet’s Google and Twitter have sued Texas over the law. The social media companies say they don’t target conservatives, only harmful content such as hate speech and extremism that violates their rules. On Tuesday, Elon Musk, who has a deal in place to buy Twitter, said he would reverse that platform’s permanent ban on ex-President Donald Trump.

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

A so-called blasphemy murder of a Christian student in Sokoto, Nigeria, on May 12 was attended by scores of armed, uniformed policemen who did not intervene, according to eyewitnesses who spoke to The Epoch Times. One eyewitness, who asked for anonymity to escape government retaliation, said that at least 50 uniformed policemen, including six officers of the Department of State Security, were on the scene of the stoning of 22-year-old Deborah Emmanuel, but none acted to defend her. Emmanuel was accused by fellow students of blasphemy in a WhatsApp message on May 11, and was swarmed by 180 protestors calling for her death for the crime of blasphemy.

For the first time, the federal government has assessed and acknowledged the harm done to Native American children at boarding schools it backed or ran throughout most of the 19th and 20th centuries. A report released Wednesday by the Interior Department said the children were subjected to sexual abuse, whippings, manual labor, and severe malnourishment. The report listed 408 such schools and said about 50 burial sites have been found so far. At least 500 Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children died at the schools, per and the Interior Department said the toll could climb into the thousands as its investigation progresses.

Abortion: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5)

Oklahoma legislature has passed a ban on abortions, protecting babies starting at conception. The measure is a Texas-style law that includes a private right of action as enforcement — but instead of protecting babies at six weeks when their heartbeat can be detected, it starts protecting unborn children at conception when their life begins. The Texas abortion ban has been in effect for over 260 days and has saved as many as 17,000 babies from abortions, notes LifeNews.com.

  • The Oklahoma law banning most abortions is an “extreme” and “absurd” attack on “fundamental rights,” new White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed Thursday evening. And yet, nowhere in the constitution does it says abortion is a right.

Despite the leak of a majority Supreme Court ruling in favor of overturning the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, decisions in highly sensitive or policitzed cases often see release at the end of the court’s term in June or July, and this may still hold true for the potential landmark abortion case.

A majority of U.S. voters — 57% — say they want strict limits on when abortion should be legal, and 24% say abortion should be illegal except in the cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother is at stake. Only 11.6% of Americans believe abortion should be legal up until the moment of birth, including partial birth. Those are some of the findings of a national poll on abortion conducted by A Convention of States Action, in partnership with The Trafalgar Group.

The Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court in 1973 was never codified, that is, made law by Congress. Democrats introduced the Freedom of Choice Act in January 1993 and within six months, it was amended, passed out of committee, and teed up for passage in the House and Senate before heading to President Bill Clinton’s desk for his signature. Then Democratic support for the bill buckled and splintered. Some supporters said it didn’t include enough protections for teenagers and the poor. Others said it at least advanced the cause. The measure died. It would be the last time Democrats pushed such legislation that far. “After that, they kind of dropped it,” said Michele Swers, a Georgetown University law professor.

  • In large part, experts say, the right to an abortion has never been codified into law because there was a sense among supportive lawmakers and advocates that Roe was decided and upheld by the Supreme Court — that passing a law to protect the right was not needed. Now Democrats are rushing ahead in Congress to pass such a law, rendering the Supreme Court decision moot.
  • Democrats would have needed 60 yes votes to move forward with a measure to enshrine the right to have an abortion in federal law. Only 49 senators voted in favor of a motion to advance the bill Wednesday. All 50 Republicans and one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), voted against the measure.
  • Overturning Roe v. Wade leaves it up to individual states to allow or restrict abortions within their borders.

The U.S. Department of Justice will provide extra security to the U.S. Supreme Court justices and their families as pro-abortion protests and threats of violence grow, a department spokesperson said Wednesday. The order came from Attorney General Merrick Garland in response to demands that his office stop illegal intimidation and protests outside the justices’ homes after news broke last week about a leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft ruling that overturns Roe v. Wade.

Abortion activists firebombed a pro-life group’s office in Madison, Wisconsin. A leftist radical threw Molotov cocktails into Wisconsin Family Action’s office in the capital city. The pro-abortion terrorists responsible also vandalized the building and left a threatening message saying, “If abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either.” Now, a radical pro-abortion group named Jane’s Revenge is saying it was responsible and is threatening increasingly violent attacks that extend beyond Wisconsin if its demands are not met, writing, “Wisconsin is the first flashpoint, but we are all over the US, and we will issue no further warnings.

Three Texas churches were vandalized by pro-choice activists. A message was painted on the doors of the church’s main entrance and side door reading: “Pro-Choice is Pro-Life.” Two Catholic churches in a nearby town of Katy, Texas, were also vandalized. At St. Bartholomew the Apostle Catholic Church, the vandals attempted to remove the tabernacle, which contains the sacred presence of Christ and the Eucharist, according to Harris. At St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, someone attempted to desecrate the Eucharist.

Starbucks announced Wednesday, 5/18, that they would not only pay travel expenses for their ‘partners’ (employees) to have an abortion, but also for sex-change operations. “Regardless of where you live or what you believe, partners enrolled in Starbucks healthcare will now be offered reimbursement for eligible travel expenses when accessing abortion or gender-affirming procedures when those services are not available within 100 miles of a partner’s home.” Every cup of their coffee helps to pay for these abominations.

Suicide/Assisted Suicide: No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death. (Ecclesiastes 8:8 ESV)

In 2015, Canada’s Supreme Court struck down a 22-year ban on assisted suicide. The next year, its parliament passed legislation allowing “MAID,” or Medical Assistance in Dying for those who suffer from terminal illness and whose death was “reasonably foreseeable.” Five years later, the “reasonably foreseeable” language was dropped, as was the requirement of terminal illness, reports Breaking Point. Today, ending one’s life with “medical assistance” simply requires a physician and a witness to agree that physical or mental suffering is such as “cannot be relieved under conditions that you (the patient) consider acceptable.” Next year, that will expand to include anyone with a mental illness, like PTSD or depression. There’s also talk about further expanding the practice to include minors.

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

New Covid-10 cases in the U.S. have increased by 53% over the past two weeks, with hospitalizations up 30% but deaths down -16%. Cases are rising in nearly every U.S. state, but the Northeast and Midwest have been especially hard hit. In much of those two regions, daily case reports are higher today than they were at the peak of last summer’s Delta surge. Hospitalizations are also increasing, but deaths from this surge are much less than for Delta.

  • The full impact of this surge is believed to be even greater than these numbers suggest. Since many infections go uncounted in official case reports due to self-testing or non-testing, the cases currently announced each day likely capture only a portion of the true toll.

Scientists say that you can be reinfected repeatedly with the omicron variant, even within months. The virus shows no signs of disappearing any time soon, and elusive variants are popping up that can dodge the body’s defenses, causing several infections per year. People who have already been infected with the first omicron variant have reported second infections with the newer versions of the variant — BA.2 or BA.2.12.1 in the United States, or BA.4 and BA.5 in South Africa.

The White House COVID-19 coordinator said fast-moving variants pose a “huge challenge” as infections spike but he is confident the combination of immunity and widespread use of an antiviral pill is keeping many people out of the hospital. COVID-19 coordinator Ashish Jha said U.S. doctors are writing 20,000 prescriptions for Paxlovid, the promising treatment from Pfizer, each day — a fourfold increase over the last month. “I think that is actually a really important reason why, despite this very substantial increase in infections, we have not seen a commensurate increase in deaths,” Ja said.

A paper published Wednesday, 5/18, in the journal “Nature” showed that a case of omicron in unvaccinated people provides very little immunity against other variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. Instead, the findings showed people infected with omicron only get protection against infections from omicron subvariants, not infections from other strains of the virus. So far, there have been five main variants, alpha, beta, gamma, delta and omicron. 

The White House’s new Covid response coordinator, Dr. Ashish Jha, issued a stern warning that appeared to surprise others in the administration. He said that in the fall and winter, the U.S. could potentially see 100 million new Covid-19 infections if Congress doesn’t approve federal funding to fight the pandemic. He said that this projection was based on a range of internal and external model. However, it came as a surprise to some public health experts and even to some top Biden administration officials. Confidential sources told CNN that the grim forecast was not discussed with key officials intimately involved in the administration’s work to fight Covid before Jha’s TV interview over the weekend.

A peer-reviewed journal article in Cureus called the “Correlation Between Mask Compliance and COVID-19 Outcomes in Europe” has come to the stunning conclusion that the higher the mask compliance rates, the higher the Covid case rates. This is the exact opposite of what researchers should find if masks indeed “worked.” “These findings indicate that countries with high levels of mask compliance did not perform better than those with low mask usage,” the author Beny Spira, a professor at Sao Paolo, writes.

Since the early days of the pandemic, loss of smell and taste have been tied to COVID-19 infection. But a new study shows those telltale traits are much less likely with the omicron variant than the earlier alpha and delta versions of the coronavirus. For the study, the researchers analyzed U.S. National Institutes of Health data on more than 3.5 million COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

Monkeypox

A handful of cases of monkeypox have now been reported or are suspected in Britain, Portugal, Spain and the United States. The outbreaks are raising alarm because the viral disease, which spreads through close contact and was first found in monkeys, mostly occurs in west and central Africa, and only very occasionally spreads elsewhere. Monkeypox is a virus that causes fever symptoms as well as a distinctive bumpy rash. It is usually mild, although there are two main strains: the Congo strain, which is more severe – with up to 10% mortality – and the West African strain, which has a fatality rate in about 1% of cases. The UK cases have been reported as the West African strain. The World Health Organization on Friday said it was stepping up efforts to understand and combat monkeypox as nearly a dozen countries are investigating “atypical” outbreaks.

  • Belgium has become the first country in the world to introduce a mandatory 21-day self-isolate quarantine for those who contract monkeypox after several cases were found, with a White House official warning Sunday that more U.S. cases are likely.
  • A third U.S. state—Florida—has a suspected case of monkeypox. Health officials say the case in Broward County (home of Fort Lauderdale) is related to international travel, but they aren’t providing details beyond that.
  • The recent outbreak of the monkeypox virus in North America and Europe is primarily spreading through sex, according to World Health Organization officials on Monday, while confirming about 200 cases so far.

International:

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un criticized officials over slow medicine deliveries and mobilized the military to respond to a surge in suspected COVID-19 infections, as his nation struggled to contain a fever that has reportedly killed dozens and sickened nearly a million others in a span of three days. North Korean health authorities said Monday that eight more people died and an additional 392,920 were newly found to have feverish symptoms, reports the AP. That brings the death toll to 50 and illnesses to more than 1.2 million, respectively. It’s a sharp jump from six dead and 350,000 sick reported last Friday, a day after the North said that it found its first COVID-19 patients since the pandemic began. Kim has acknowledged that the fast-spreading fever, highly likely driven by COVID-19, is causing “great upheaval” in the country, and outside experts say the true scale of the outbreak is likely much bigger than what’s been described in the state-controlled media.

  • Most of the country’s 26 million people are believed to be unvaccinated against the coronavirus and its public health care system has been in shambles for decades. South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol said in Parliament on Monday that the South was willing to send vaccines, medicine, equipment, and health personnel to the North if it’s willing to accept.

Vaccines: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. (Psalm 91:1-2)

The Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for kids younger than 5 is 80 percent effective, data shows, potentially leading to approval soon for vaccinating these little children. The company said they plan to finish filing their data on the three-shot regimen with the Food and Drug Administration this week.

A new generation of COVID-19 vaccines are expected this fall or winter, said Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House’s new coronavirus response coordinator. He and others are talking with Congress to ensure funding is available so everyone who wants them can have them. “We do not have the resources to do that right now,” he said, as Congress grapples with more funding for Ukraine.

A peer-reviewed paper published by the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that immunity against the omicron coronavirus variant fades rapidly after a second and third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The research by Danish scientists published in JAMA Network Open on Friday found antibody responses fell within weeks after second and third Pfizer doses, Forbes reported. The proportion of antibodies dropped from 76% four weeks after the second shot to 19% at weeks 12 to 14. The antibodies dropped even faster after the third dose, the booster shot.

A veteran rheumatologist says about 40% of the approximately 3,000 vaccinated patients in his practice have reported a vaccine-related injury. And 5% of the vaccinated patients are still injured, according to Dr. Robert Jackson in an interview with Steve Kirsch, executive director of the Vaccine Safety Research Foundation. Jackson said he has seen 12 patients die following COVID vaccination, which is consistent with a study published in the British Journal of Medicine,. Normally, he sees only one or two deaths annually in his practice’s patient base of 5,000.

The White House walked back a tweet stating that claimed “there was no vaccine available” when President Biden took office, issuing a follow-up tweet on Friday night saying that it “misstated” the availability of COVID-19 vaccines in January 2021. The original tweet drew fierce criticism from other Twitter users, who pointed out that there was indeed a COVID-19 vaccine available when Biden took office on Jan. 20, 2021. President Biden even shared a picture of himself receiving his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 21, 2020.

Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

BBC News recently documented a process that lets you “pay with your hand.” The report profiles Patrick Paumen, who has had a computer chip implanted in his hand that contains computer code similar to that in a debit-card system that allows him to swipe his hand over a contactless reader, and the necessary funds are debited from his bank account and transferred to the retailer. Something like this could indeed become the “Mark of the Beast” if it became a requirement to buy or sell. It will very enticing to do so, literally a choice between apparent starvation and life. But that’s just physical life. It’s our eternal life that matters most.

  • Revelation 14:9-10 warns that submitting to the mark forfeits our spiritual life in heaven: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,  he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” 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 6:3-4)

A teenage gunman, wearing tactical gear and a livestreaming camera, killed 10 people and wounded three more Saturday in a hate-fueled shooting rampage at a busy supermarket in Buffalo, New York. Eleven of the 13 people who were shot were Black, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said. The suspect, who was taken into custody at the scene, is white. The FBI is investigating the shooting as a hate crime and racially motivated violent extremism. The suspect, identified by authorities as Payton Gendron, 18, of Conklin, New York, traveled several hours across the state to carry out the attack in a black neighborhood, authorities said.

  • Police said the teen had been taken into custody last June based on a report that he might be planning to shoot people around the time of his high school graduation. Gendron would have continued his rampage if he had not been stopped by officers outside the store, Buffalo Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said. Gendron left behind a 180-page antisemitic and white supremacist manifesto.

Ten people have been taken into custody after 17 were shot in Milwaukee Friday evening near the Bucks-Celtics playoff basketball game, police said Saturday. Nine firearms were recovered from the scene, after dozens were seen fleeing, Milwaukee police said. The shooting victims are expected to survive. They ranged in ages from 15 to 47. Several fights were broken up as the game was ending. Milwaukee was hit with a wave of violence Friday. By 9 p.m., police had responded to five separate shootings across the city, which left a total of three people dead and two injured.

A man who opened fire during a lunch reception at a Southern California church on Sunday was detained by parishioners, according to a sheriff’s official who called their intervention an act of “exceptional heroism and bravery.” One person was killed and four others were critically wounded in the afternoon shooting at Geneva Presbyterian Church in the city of Laguna Woods in Orange County. David Chou, 68, of Las Vegas, was taken into custody Sunday after opening fire on parishioners of Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, which meets at the Presbyterian Church. The Orange County sheriff said Monday that officers found notes Chou, a Chinese immigrant, wrote about his hatred of Taiwanese people. The government of mainland China claims sovereignty over the island of Taiwan, which exercises democratic self-rule.

A New York City police officer was shot in the arm Tuesday night by a man who was out on the streets despite an extensive criminal background, city officials said. Officer Dennis Vargas, 32, was shot by the suspect, identified as 25-year-old Rameek Smith, after a brief foot chase that ended in a shootout. During a press conference addressing the shooting, New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell described Smith as a “dangerous criminal who should not have been on the streets of the Bronx or anywhere else.” New York City Mayor Eric Adams echoed the sentiment and slammed a system that allowed “a perpetrator with multiple arrests” to acquire and carry a weapon on the streets of his city.

  • Adams, who was sworn in earlier this year, harshly criticized lenient sentencing decisions, many of which have been pushed by anti-police groups in the city.

Tragedy: In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Road fatalities in the U.S. increased more than 10% last year compared with a year earlier, reaching 42,915, according to estimates released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It was the highest number of deaths on the nation’s roads since 2005 and the largest annual percentage increase since at least 1975.

Gun Control: When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. (Luke 11:21-22,ESV)

A U.S. appeals court ruled Wednesday that California’s ban on the sale of semiautomatic weapons to adults under 21 is unconstitutional. The 2-1 ruling by a panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals said Wednesday the law violates the Second Amendment right to bear arms and a San Diego judge should have blocked what it called “an almost total ban on semiautomatic centerfire rifles” for young adults. “America would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army,” Judge Ryan Nelson wrote. “Today we reaffirm that our Constitution still protects the right that enabled their sacrifice: the right of young adults to keep and bear arms.”

Law Enforcement: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9)

The National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the world’s largest organization of law enforcement officers, has counted 101 officers shot in the line of duty as of April 1, including 17 fatally, so far in 2022. That marks a 43% increase compared to the number of officers shot at the same time period in 2021 and a 63% increase compared to 2020. “We are in the midst of a real crisis. The violence directed at law enforcement officers is unlike anything I’ve seen in my 36 years of law enforcement,” National FOP President Patrick Yoes said Friday.

Lawlessness: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2Thessalonians 2;7)

  • As God’s hand of restraint is gradually lifting, spirits of lawlessness are stirring up lawlessness which will increase all the more as the end-times ramp up.

At least 135 teachers and teachers’ aides have been arrested between January 1 and May 13 of this year on child sex-related crimes in the U.S., ranging from child pornography to raping students, according to a Fox News Digital analysis. That works out to about an arrest a day on average. Arrests that weren’t publicized were not counted in the analysis, meaning the true number may well be higher. The vast majority of the arrested educators were men. 

Fraud: “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? (Acts 13:10)

An estimated $350 million in undisclosed royalties were paid to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and hundreds of its scientists between 2010 and 2020, including the agency’s recently departed director, Dr. Francis Collins, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, according to a nonprofit government watchdog. “We now know that there are 1,675 scientists that received payments during that period, at least one payment. In fiscal year 2014, for instance, $36 million was paid out and that is on average $21,100 per scientist… Francis Collins, the immediate past director of NIH, received 14 payments. Dr. Anthony Fauci received 23 payments” said Adam Andrzejewski, CEO of Open the Books. “We believe there is an unholy conflict of interest inherent at NIH,” he said.

An estimated $163 billion from pandemic unemployment benefits was stolen or misspent and the money may never be recovered. When millions of Americans found themselves suddenly out of work in the pandemic, state and federal officials raced to deliver a historic amount of generous unemployment aid. But numerous mistakes opened the door for a nationwide wave of crime and identity theft, harming victims who struggle to navigate the maze of bureaucracy needed to recover the funds, a federal watchdog says.

Cyber Security: He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. (Psalm 40:2)

After a month of crippling ransomware attacks, Costa Rica has declared a state of emergency. The measure usually is reserved to deal with natural disasters or the COVID-19 pandemic. But in this case, it would free the government to react more nimbly to the crisis. The declaration refers to the attacks Costa Rica is suffering at the hands of “cybercriminals” and “cyberterrorists.” President Rodrigo Chaves, who was sworn in Sunday, made the emergency declaration one of his first acts. It was issued Wednesday, but Chaves has not named the members of the National Emergency Commission. The Russian-speaking Conti gang has claimed responsibility for the cyberattack. Last week, the US State Department offered a $10 million reward for information leading to the identification or location of Conti leaders.

For the first time in the U.S., a higher education institution is shuttering, in part, due to a ransomware attack. Lincoln College, an Illinois school that qualifies as a predominantly Black institution and which opened in 1865 as the namesake school of Abraham Lincoln, is closing Friday after also struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Lincoln College was a victim of a cyberattack in December 2021 that thwarted admissions activities and hindered access to all institutional data… systems required for recruitment, retention, and fundraising efforts were inoperable.”

  • Gizmodo Media Group calls ransomware attacks on educational institutions, which can cost millions, “a nationwide epidemic.”

Big Tech: But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. (Daniel 12:4)

Investigative journalism outlet Project Veritas released secretly recorded footage of a senior engineer at Twitter saying the company is “commie” and that staff selectively “censor” those on the political right. “Twitter does not believe in free speech …more like very socialist.” Continuing, Murugesan was recorded saying that many of his “colleagues are like super left, left, left, left, left” politically.

Health: A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22) Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3John 1:2)

The number of people receiving counseling or therapy has seen a sharp jump since the start of 2020. A recent survey showed that 22.3 million Americans recently received counseling or therapy from mental-health professionals. All too often, thought, people suffer in silence, ashamed to admit their problem, experts say. But as Christians, we aren’t made to go through hard things alone. Galatians 6:2 instructs Christians to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Drugs: And they did not repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries [Greek: pharmakeia, i.e. pharmacy, drugs].

The nation’s drug overdose epidemic worsened in 2021 as deaths surpassed 100,000 in the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics figures released Wednesday show a record 107,622 drug overdose deaths in 2021, a 14.9% increase from 93,655 overdose deaths the year before. While prescription painkillers and heroin drove the nation’s overdose epidemic last decade, the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl is now responsible for most overdose deaths, climbing to 71,238 last year up from 57,834 in 2020, according to the CDC.

  • Illicit versions of fentanyl have increasingly been manufactured in clandestine labs overseas, sold on the black market and mixed with other street drugs. The street version is different from legal fentanyl, a powerful pain medicine vetted by the Food and Drug Administration and prescribed in medical settings to treat intense pain in cancer patients.

Protests: Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Florida Governor Ron Desantis on Monday signed a bill that will ban “picketing and protesting” outside a home when it takes effect Oct. 1. “Sending unruly mobs to private residences, like we have seen with the angry crowds in front of the homes of Supreme Court justices, is inappropriate,” said DeSantis in a statement, referring to the protests that have taken place over the high court’s apparent plan to overturn Roe v. Wade. “This bill will provide protection to those living in residential communities.”

Iranian state media reported Friday that police had arrested at least 22 demonstrators who were protesting sudden price hikes of subsidized staple foods, 15 of them in Dezful. A firefighter was injured in clashes with demonstrators in a nearby city, Andimeshk. The unrest follows Iran’s announcement earlier in the week that the cost of cooking oil, chicken, eggs and milk would rise by as much as 300%, as food prices surge across the Middle East due to global supply chain snarls and Russia’s invasion of major food exporter Ukraine.

Gender Confusion: Male and female He created them. (Genesis 5:2)

  • Gender confusion is being promoted because it undermines God’s ordained family structure, giving secular government more control over people, particularly our youth.

In the ultimate absurdity, an abortion-rights advocate told Congress last Wednesday that men can get pregnant and undergo abortions because a person can choose the gender to which they wish to identify. Aimee Arrambide, executive director of the abortion advocacy group Avow Texas, was asked by Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., to define a woman. “I believe that everyone can identify for themselves,” Arrambide said, and also declined to answer whether she opposes late-term abortion, including an abortion in the final minutes of a woman’s term, saying only, “”I trust all people to determine what they can and can’t do with their bodies.”

Summit Ministries, in conjunction with McLaughlin & Associates, has shared the results from a poll of 1,000 general election voters that revealed that, although most Americans oppose allowing surgeons to perform sex-change operations on children and teenagers suffering from gender dysphoria and teaching young children about sexual orientation and gender identity in schools, many are afraid to speak about such hot-button issues due to fear of retribution. The poll also found that a majority of respondents do not believe transgenderism is a “healthy human condition.” While 78% said that minors suffering from gender confusion should “be required to wait until they are legal adults” before undergoing life-altering surgeries, such as removing breast tissue and genital mutilation, just 9% said gender-confused children “should be encouraged to undergo permanent gender alteration.”

Last week, a school board in Wisconsin filed a Title IX sexual harassment claim against three eighth graders because they refused to use “they/them” pronouns when referring to a single individual.  The school district didn’t care that the use of plural pronouns is grammatically incorrect when referring to a single individual, all that mattered was the individual in question claimed a transgender identity and demanded to be referred to in the plural. So now according to this school district, failing to succumb to the pronoun demands of the transgendered constitutes sexual harassment.

A Colorado mom says a public school’s LGBT group suggested her 12-year-old daughter might be transgender after inviting the girl to what she thought was an after-school art club. Erin Lee said that when her daughter showed up at the purported art club, a speaker from the LGBT advocacy group SPLASH Youth of Northern Colorado told the kids that “if they’re not fully comfortable in their body, then they are transgender.” SPLASH and the school said that meetings of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) club are secret, according to Lee.

The Daily Herald said the Lake County promotion of “LGBTA+ Pride Month” in Waukegan in June will have all the festivities: “music and performances, food trucks, a beer and beverage tent, craft and artisan vendors, a resource fair, games and entertainment for children, multiple drag shows, a dance tent and more.” It’s sponsored by, among others, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Government is now ‘grooming’ kids to be sexualized sinners.

Election Integrity: He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become knownThe integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. (Proverbs 10:9,11:3)

Early voting in Georgia broke records this week despite last year’s adoption of election integrity measures that critics derided as “voter suppression” and President Joe Biden called a “blatant attack” on the Constitution and compared it to Jim Crow-era racism. More than 710,000 people had voted early in Georgia’s primary election as of May 19, according to the secretary of state’s office, which is 149 percent higher than at the same point in 2020, when elections officials encouraged vote-by-mail and early voting to reduce crowding at polling stations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Refugees: Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. (Hebrews 13:2)

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has resulted in the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II, with over 10 million people displaced. Thousands of Jewish families have had to flee, but in some instances, elderly Holocaust Survivors have been trapped in homes alone. The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem has been assisting at all stages of this crisis, including helping to bring thousands of Jews to safety in Israel.

Immigration: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

Just over 234,000 migrants were intercepted at the southern border by U.S. border agents in April, breaking the previous month’s 22-year high of 221,000. April marks the fourth time during Biden’s presidency that monthly border encounters with migrants has been over 200,000. Meanwhile, deportations have plummeted under the Biden administration. In FY 2021, just 59,011 were deported, down from 185,884 in FY 2020 and 267,258 in FY 2019.

The first jury trial under Texas’s Operation Lone Star border program wrapped up in Kinney County, Texas, on May 9. The defendant, Honduran native Lester Hidalgo Aguilar, was found guilty of criminal trespass on a local ranch and sentenced to the maximum jail time of one year. The judge declined to apply an accompanying fine, which could have been up to $4,000, but said Aguilar should pay court costs ($290). Aguilar’s trial was a litmus test for the Operation Lone Star arrests, which began around July last year as Gov. Greg Abbott directed state troopers to arrest trespassers on state or private land. Until now, almost all defendants have pleaded guilty or no contest to trespass or other misdemeanor charges, and have reached a plea deal of time served and no fine.

Arizona has started its own busing campaign to deliver newly arrived illegal immigrants straight to Washington, following in the footsteps of Texas, which pioneered the policy last month. Gov. Doug Ducey announced the move as part of a broader border security crackdown that includes deploying more National Guard troops and working with ranchers and other landowners to try to secure their property from the onslaught of migrants. The first bus carrying twenty illegal immigrants arrived in D.C. last Wednesday, with more to come.

  • Texas has transported more than 900 illegal immigrants to Washington D.C., in an effort to get the attention of federal lawmakers and persuade the Biden administration to take action in securing the southern border, Gov. Gregg Abbott said.

Immigrant rights groups demanded Wednesday that President Biden launch an investigation into his administration’s decision-making on granting deportation amnesties, saying predominantly Black and Latino countries are being treated worse than White countries. More than 150 groups signed a letter to Mr. Biden saying they see “racial bias” in how the government has granted Temporary Protected Status, a humanitarian program that offers deportation amnesties to immigrants already in the U.S. when their home nations face catastrophes.

A divided Supreme Court ruled 5–4 on May 16 against a longtime illegal alien who falsely claimed to be a U.S. citizen on a driver’s license application. The new ruling suggests that federal law isn’t sympathetic to individuals who falsely hold themselves out as U.S. citizens. Four conservative members of the court—Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Brett Kavanaugh—joined Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s opinion.

Supply Chain/Shortages: He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. (2Corinthians 9:10)

Pallets of baby formula are being sent to migrant holding facilities at the border amid a shortage that has seen many parents unable to find it at their local stores, representative Kat Cammack, R-Fla.. “Meanwhile, in our own district at home, we cannot find baby formula,” she posted to Facebook. The Florida lawmaker said a concerned border patrol agent told her that she “‘would not believe the shipment I just brought in.” He sent an image of pallets full of baby formula.

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday, 5/16, announced two dramatic moves intended to ease the ongoing baby formula shortage.  The regulatory agency said it will permit the sale of imported baby formula, and allow domestic companies to distribute product intended for sale overseas. On Tuesday, Nestlé announced it would fly in Gerber formula from the Netherlands and Switzerland to help make up for the shortfall. The FDA also said it will allow Abbott, a major formula producer, to reopen a Michigan production facility that was shut down earlier this year due to a recall. President Biden on Wednesday invoked the Defense Production Act to help manufacturers obtain the ingredients needed to ramp up supply.

  • The first international shipment of specialty baby formula has arrived in the United States by a military plane, enough for more than a million and a half bottles. The first flight of “Operation Fly Formula” landed in Indianapolis weighing more than 78, 000 pounds, as part of the Biden administration’s ongoing efforts to address the baby formula shortage. The prescription formula will be distributed to areas around the country where there is the most acute need but none of the first shipment would land on store shelves. The shipment is exclusively for babies intolerant of protein in cow milk.

The baby formula industry was already coping with shortages before an Abbott Nutrition factory in Sturgis, Mich., shut down. The company shut the factory after four babies — all of whom had drunk formula made there — contracted a rare bacterial infection; two of the babies died. It remains unclear whether the formula caused the infections. The baby formula business has something in common with many other U.S. industries: It is highly concentrated. Three companies — Abbott, Gerber and Reckitt — make nearly all of the formula that Americans use. Abbott is the largest of the three, with roughly 40 percent of the market.

  • Two children had to be hospitalized at a Tennessee children’s hospital due to the ongoing national shortage of baby formula, a physician at the hospital said. Both children required a special, amino acid-based formula because they have short bowel syndrome — a condition meaning they are unable to efficiently digest food because they have fewer intestines.

India has banned exports of wheat effective immediately, citing a risk to its food security, partly due to the war in Ukraine. A notice in the government gazette by the Directorate of Foreign Trade, dated Friday, said a spike in global prices for wheat was threatening the food security of India and neighboring and vulnerable countries. A key aim is to control rising domestic prices. Global wheat prices have risen by more than 40% since the beginning of the year.

The pandemic has created shortages for many goods, including cars, semiconductors and furniture. The main reasons: Factories and ports are coping with virus outbreaks and worker shortages at the same time that consumer demand for physical goods has surged, because of government stimulus programs and a shift away from spending on services (like restaurant meals). As a result, much of the global supply chain is overloaded.

Energy Supplies: He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. (Isaiah 44:14-15)

The Biden administration has announced it will ax three planned oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska’s Cook Inlet, effectively halting the potential to sell drilling leases in coastal waters this year, several media outlets report. The announcement came as gasoline prices nationwide reached a record high last week. But the decision does fall in line with Biden’s campaign promise to tackle climate change more aggressively.

The solar industry has sounded the alarm that a Commerce Department investigation into whether China is skirting U.S. tariffs on components for solar panels by funneling the parts through other countries could seriously jeopardize clean-energy projects across the U.S. Around 80% of imported solar panels are made in four Southeast Asia countries — Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam — according to the American Clean Power Association. The Biden administration believes China could be avoiding trade laws by providing those nearby countries with components that should otherwise be subject to U.S. tariffs.

Texas residents are being asked to conserve power after six power plants tripped offline. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the majority of the state’s power grid, wrote Friday that the incident resulted in the loss of approximately 2,900 megawatts of electricity. The operator highlighted that unseasonably hot weather is driving “record demand” across the Lone Star State.

Oil giant Saudi Aramco said Sunday its profits soared more than 80% in the first three months of the year, as the state-backed company cashes in on the volatility in global energy markets and surging oil prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The bumper first-quarter earnings by the firm formally known as the Saudi Arabian Oil Co., which overtook Apple as the world’s most valuable company last week, show a record net income of $39.5 billion, up from $21.7 billion during the same period last year. The Saudi government owns 98% of the company.

Authorities in Sri Lanka closed schools and asked nonessential workers to stay home Friday due to a severe fuel shortage. The government is implementing daily four-hour power cuts nationwide because there isn’t enough fuel for power stations. Thousands of people have waited in lines at gas stations across the country for days at a time. The island in the Indian Ocean is on the brink of bankruptcy due to rampant inflation, and is struggling to import necessities.

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

The U.S. is on pace to recover all 22 million jobs wiped out in the COVID-19 recession as early as July, but the milestone will obscure sharp differences among industries and an economy transformed by the crisis. Industries that have thrived during the pandemic such as ecommerce, technology and professional services already have reached or topped their pre-COVID-19 payrolls. Computer programming is 10.3% above its February 2020 staffing level. Courier services are up by 29.6%. Sectors clobbered by the crisis, including restaurants, theaters and spectator sports, will take longer to heal as COVID-19 fades, experts say. Jobs reliant on in-person shopping and previous business routines may never return to their prior peaks as COVID-19-related shifts become ingrained, experts say.

The consumer price index dropped to an annual rate of 8.3% in April, down from 8.5% in March, as a short-lived drop in gasoline prices offset a continuing run-up in food, rent and other costs, the Labor Department said Wednesday. April’s pullback in the annual reading was the first since last August and halted five straight months of fresh 40-year highs. However, economists had expected a larger decrease.

  • The Labor Department reported last Wednesday that average hourly earnings for all employees declined 2.6% in April from the same month a year ago when factoring in the impact of rising consumer prices.

U.S. gas prices hit an all-time record high Tuesday, 5/10, and then again Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. Experts don’t expect the pain at the pump to ease any time soon. The average price for regular gas in the U.S. was $4.52 per gallon on Tuesday, 5/17, according to AAA. Diesel prices also hit a record $5.57 per gallon. But nowhere is it more expensive than in Mono County, California. Prices in this picturesque area, located five hours north of Los Angeles and five hours east of San Francisco, topped $6.75 this week, the highest county average nationwide, with some stations charging as much as $7.19 in mid-May.

Some gas stations across the country are already bracing for the Next Big Thing involving surging fuel prices, namely the price per gallon potentially exceeding $10.  For other stations, however, there might be no product left to sell at the pumps. Throughout eastern Washington, the Tri-Cities region of Kennewick, Pasco, and West Richland, customers are reportedly pulling up to pumps … only to find no gas available for purchase.

Target reported a stunning 52% drop in profit for the first quarter, badly missing Wall Street’s forecasts, causing a drop in its stock of 25%. The company blamed higher expenses due to continued supply chain disruptions. Consumers also are holding back on nonessential purchases because of rampant inflation. Walmart also posted poor earnings and a weak outlook due to rising shipping and labor expenses, sending the stock market into a steep 1,100 drop in the Dow on Wednesday. On Thursday, Kohl’s Corp., which has about 1,100 stores nationwide, said its first-quarter results have been “below expectations,” according to a company presentation, with first-quarter net sales down 5.4%.

Americans report less confidence in the economy than they did at the start of the Covid pandemic, when the unemployment rate was four times as high as it is now. The index is down to -39 now from a high of +41 before the pandemic. Their feelings toward the economy are almost as low as they were during the depths of the Great Recession in 2008, which hit -72. The University of Michigan’s long-followed consumer sentiment index is also down from about 100 prior to the pandemic to 60, nearly as low as the 52 in 2008.

The median price of a home in April was a record $391,200, rising 14.8% from a year ago, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. Sales of existing homes, which include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, dropped 2.4% from the prior month and 5.9% from a year ago. “Higher home prices and sharply higher mortgage rates have reduced buyer activity,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.25% in the week ending May 19, down from 5.30% the week before, according to Freddie Mac. It is still well above the 3% average from this time last year.

The dramatic rise in home prices and mortgage rates in the early months of 2022 has had a relatively limited effect on wealthy buyers and sellers, but has had a severe impact on lower-income Americans. Average payments on mortgages are now 38 percent higher than a year ago. The sharply rising mortgage rates, compounded by an inventory shortfall, are driving many prospective buyers out of the market, experts say.

Arizona is in a severe housing and homelessness crisis.  Evictions are at record levels: 5,000 people are being evicted per month in the Phoenix metro area alone.  Rents have more than doubled in just the past few years throughout many areas of the state.  A public schoolteacher with two children had to move out of her home earlier this year when her rent increased by $1,000 per month.  And near the State Capitol, there are scores of tents where the homeless have encamped with temperatures already broaching 100. Last year, .600 unsheltered homeless people died in the Phoenix metro area alone.

The U.S. Postal Service is expected to increase prices in July, raising the cost of a Forever stamp from 58 cents to 60 cents. And that may not be the only price hike in the near future. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said May 5 he expected the Postal Service to continue to raise prices “at an uncomfortable rate” until the agency becomes self-sufficient.

International:

The hard economic figures indicate President Biden’s effort to crush the Russian economy in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine isn’t working. The ruble hit a four-year high this week. In March, Biden touted the sanctions and other measures to punish Russia economically. “You need 200 rubles to equal $1 today. Two hundred,” he said. The president said the “totality of our economic sanctions and controls are crushing, crushing the Russian economy.” Now, it takes about 62 rubles to equal $1.

Israel: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6)

Israeli police arrested five suspects in Jerusalem in the wake of a rash of deadly ISIS-inspired terror attacks this spring. The suspects are suspected of belonging to the Islamic State (ISIS) terror organization. Last month, ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack in which terrorists killed Shirel Abukarat and Yezen Falah, two Border Police officers. The attackers were armed with at least three handguns and six knives and were eliminated by security forces.

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22)

Russia used advanced anti-aircraft missiles to target Israeli jets carrying out airstrikes in Syria, marking a major departure from a previous policy of essentially allowing the Israeli Air Force free reign to operate in the area. While never officially confirming nor denying the air strikes, Israel has bombed numerous Iranian assets and targets in Syria in recent years. Russia, which has partnered with embattled Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, has de facto control over Syrian airspace and until now has not interfered in IAF bombing missions.

A female journalist for Al Jazeera was shot and killed while covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin early Wednesday. The broadcaster and a reporter who was wounded in the incident blamed Israeli forces, while Israel claimed there was evidence the two were hit by Palestinian gunfire. Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known Palestinian reporter for the broadcaster’s Arabic language channel who’s also a US citizen, was shot and died soon afterward. Ali Samoudi, another Palestinian journalist, was hospitalized in stable condition after being shot in the back.

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; forall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

Russian President Vladimir Putin intended to seize all of Ukraine after beginning his unprovoked invasion, according to a Ukrainian official citing discovered documents. The director of Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation — basing his assertions on documents left behind by fleeing Russian soldiers. These documents “give a clear understanding that Russia was preparing to seize all the territory of Ukraine,” Oleksiy Sukhachev said.

A Russian diplomat in Geneva resigned with a public blast at Putin, calling invasion a “crime against the Ukrainian people.” In an extraordinary public resignation statement on LinkedIn and elsewhere, Boris Bondarev, a counsellor in Russia’s delegation to the UN in Geneva, called the Ukraine invasion an “aggressive war” and said he was “ashamed” of it.

The battle that turned Mariupol into a worldwide symbol of defiance and suffering drew toward a close as Russia said Wednesday that nearly 1,000 last-ditch Ukrainian fighters who held out inside a pulverized steel plant had surrendered, the AP reports. The Ukrainian fighters who emerged from the ruined Azovstal steelworks face an uncertain fate after being ordered by their military to abandon the last stronghold of resistance in the now-flattened port city.

Russia has lost around a third of the ground forces it deployed to Ukraine and its offensive in the Donbas region “has lost momentum and fallen significantly behind schedule,” British military intelligence said on Sunday. “Despite small-scale initial advances, Russia has failed to achieve substantial territorial gains over the past month whilst sustaining consistently high levels of attrition,” the British defense ministry said.

Russia’s withdrawal of troops from a Ukrainian region that they encircled at the beginning of the war is proving their “inability to capture key Ukrainian cities,” the UK’s Ministry of Defense said Thursday. In an intelligence update, the Ministry said, “Ukrainian forces are continuing to counterattack to the north of Kharkiv, recapturing several towns and villages towards the Russian border.” Russia has “reportedly withdrawn units from the region to reorganize and replenish its forces following heavy losses,” the Ministry continued. 

Two or more Russian battalions were picked off attempting to cross a pontoon bridge on the Donets River in the most significant loss since the beginning of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, The Telegraph reported on Thursday. The shocking losses at the riverbank potentially included more than 100 vehicles and close to 1,000 troops, according to Forbes. The subsequent shelling from Ukrainian forces destroyed more than 70 T-72 and T-80 tanks, BMPs, MT-LB armored tractors, a tugboat and the pontoon span. Ukraine also says they have shot down 200 Russian military aircraft.

The Armed Forces of Belarus will deploy special forces to the border of Ukraine because “the United States and its allies continue to increase their military presence at the state borders,” according to the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Viktor Gulevich. It said the Ukrainians had created a force of 20,000 close to the Belarus border, which “requires a response from us.” “The appearance in the waters of the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas of a group carrying sea and air-based cruise missiles, an increase in the aviation group in the countries of Poland and the Baltic states indicate a growing threat to the Republic of Belarus,” the statement said.

Elsewhere:

President Joe Biden says that the United States would intervene militarily if China were to invade Taiwan, in one of the most forceful and overt statements in support of Taiwan in decades. Speaking at a news conference in Japan, Biden said “yes” when a reporter asked whether he’s “willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan if it comes to that.” Confirming the president’s position, the reporter again asked: “You are?” “That’s the commitment we made,” Biden declared.

  • The White House quickly downplayed Biden’s comments, saying they don’t reflect a change in U.S. policy. It’s the third time in recent months – including during a CNN town hall in October – that Biden has said the U.S. would protect Taiwan from a Chinese attack, only to have the White House walk back those remarks

Finland leadership announced support Thursday for expedited NATO membership despite dire Kremlin warnings of “retaliatory steps.” The decision by President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin is strongly supported by lawmakers and citizens of Finland, though a few steps remain before the application process can begin. Neighboring Sweden is expected to decide on joining NATO in coming days. Finland and Sweden “must be aware of the responsibility and consequences” of joining NATO, Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement Thursday, adding that Russia “will be forced” to take retaliatory steps, regarding it a ‘threat’ to have bordering countries join NATO.

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God,  shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23)

U.S. prosecutors released official charges Tuesday accusing Joly Germine, 29, of conspiring to take hostages when the 400 Mawozo gang kidnapped 17 Christian missionaries last year, 16 of whom were American. Most of the group, which included five children, was held near Port-au-Prince for 61 days. Germine was extradited to the United States last week on firearms trafficking charges. Germine, also known as “Yonyon,” was in a Haitian prison when the missionaries were kidnapped last October, but the Justice Department claims he directed the gang’s activities and ransom negotiations. It is unclear whether any ransoms were paid.

President Biden has approved a request by the Pentagon to redeploy U.S. troops to Somalia in an effort to counter the terrorist group al-Shabaab, a senior administration official said on Monday. The move reverses a decision by President Donald Trump to withdraw all US troops from the country in 2020. The US will reposition US forces in east Africa and move to restore a US military presence in Somalia in consultation with the Somali government, the official told reporters on Monday. The official said “under 500” troops will be sent back into the country.

The Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS will hold its first ministerial meeting in Marrakech on Wednesday, at the joint invitation of Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The meeting aims to address ISIS’s growing threat in Africa and efforts to combat this threat in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Blinken will not be able to attend the meeting after he tested positive for COVID-19 last week, but his staff will be there.

  • The Islamic State’s regional affiliates in Africa are carrying out lethal attacks at a tempo far surpassing that of the parent organization that once ruled large swaths of Iraq and Syria, Morocco’s chief diplomat said Wednesday at a meeting of the global alliance.

Environment: And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth,for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)

In early May, a groundbreaking study from the University of California, San Francisco of 171 pregnant women in the USA found more than 9 in 10 had measurable amounts of 19 different chemicals and pesticides in their bodies. Researchers said many of those substances pass through the placenta and into developing fetuses, adding evidence to a National Institutes of Health report that warned babies are born “pre-polluted” with chemicals. The full extent of health effects from such exposures is unknown, but scientists worry they could contribute to rising U.S. rates of autoimmune diseases, developmental disorders such as autism and reproductive harms, such as the mysterious decline of sperm counts in men.

Wildfires: 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)

Wildfires are on a furious pace early this year — from a California hilltop where mansions with multimillion-dollar Pacific Ocean views were torched to remote New Mexico mountains charred by a month-old monster blaze. The two places could not be more different, but the elements in common are the same: wind-driven flames have torn through vegetation that is extraordinarily dry from years-long drought. Nationwide, 24,302 wildfires have burned 1,286,250 acres, up from 548,542 acres at this same time last year.

The U.S. government committed a record-setting amount of money to fighting wildfires this year during what promises to be a busy season, but it’s unclear whether enough firefighters will be available amid a nationwide labor crunch. Fire season is off to a busy start as drought fuels danger from the Great Plains to Northern California. Federal officials are scrambling to hire roughly 16,900 fire personnel, including hotshots, smokejumpers and helitack crews, which are groups of firefighters that are flown in on helicopters to wildfires. Last year, fire officials were unable to fill an unprecedented 1,800 requests for wildland firefighting crew.

  • The amount the federal government spends on wildfire suppression has steadily risen over decades as wildfires became larger and more intense, reaching a record-setting $4.38 billion in 2021. A year ago, monster infernos such as California’s Dixie and Caldor fires burned more than a million acres, destroyed towns and more than 2,300 structures and cost $900 million and thousands of firefighters to suppress.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

The megadrought in U.S. West has worsened with several more mostly dry weeks. The percentage of the area in extreme to exceptional drought increased to 401.6% in the past week, up from 22.1% three months ago.

Four rainy seasons in a row have failed in the northern Kenya. Back in September 2021, the government declared the drought to be a national disaster – that was after only two consecutive failed rainy seasons. Since then, the short rains and the long rains have both failed again. Water is increasingly hard to find; cattle are dying and even camels are struggling to survive. Half a million Kenyans are at risk of starvation, according to the World Food Program. Meanwhile, prolonged hunger and malnutrition have made people prone to diseases, their weakened bodies unable to resist infections.

  • In this Muslim-dominated part of Kenya, Christians are usually left out when government food relief is distributed.

All 4,000 inhabitants of a small town in Canada’s Northwest Territories have been ordered to evacuate as parts of the country struggle with some of the worst flooding in decades. Chief April Martel of the Kátł’odeeche First Nation ordered her entire community to leave Hay River after breakaway ice sent floodwaters surging into the center of the town on Wednesday. Ice jamming those channels had blocked water and a weekend of rain and snow in the river’s basin added more and more water into that system.

At least three people were killed and homes and businesses in dozens of communities were damaged when storms packing hurricane-force winds and at least one tornado tore through parts of the Midwest and Northern Plains last Thursday. “We have had many storms before, but the amount of communities that have been affected, we just haven’t seen before,” South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said during a news conference Friday morning. Noem said at least 28 counties in the state were reporting damage.

A large tornado struck the northern Michigan town of Gaylord last Friday afternoon, heavily damaging businesses and killing two people. At least 44 others were injured as the twister tossed large debris and reduced numerous buildings to rubble. At least one large building collapsed while several cars were flipped and damaged. An RV and mobile trailer park were also heavily damaged. “There have been trailers picked up and turned over on top of each other. Just a very large debris field,” Otsego County Fire Chief Chris Martin said.

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13)

Praise Reports: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has instructed Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi, an outspokenly pro-abortion Democrat, not to present herself for Holy Communion in his diocese. .“You are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as you [publicly] repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance,” Cordileone wrote to Pelosi

A federal judge in Louisiana on Friday blocked the Biden administration from lifting the Title 42 order, which immigration officers have used to expel migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, including asylum-seekers. Twenty-four states sought the injunction to prevent the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from repealing Title 42, which the Biden administration had promised to remove, beginning Monday. District Judge Robert R. Summerhays in Lafayette, Louisiana, who was appointed by then-President Donald Trump, said the removal of Title 42 would cause “irreparable harm” because U.S. border states would subsequently have to spend money on health care, law enforcement, education and other services for migrants.

Judge Daniel Traynor of the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota issued an order last week that placed a temporary block on the enforcement of a Biden administration mandate requiring an alliance of Christian employers to pay for or provide health plans that cover gender transition surgeries. The Christian Employers Alliance, an organization that provides support to Christian businesses and nonprofits, filed suit against the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Health & Human Services, seeking to block the enforcement of the mandate that requires coverage of trans-affirming counseling and medical services that violate the beliefs of its members. In issuing the order, Judge Traynor, a Trump appointee, wrote, “The Plaintiffs and their members face a very real irreparable harm if they are either forced to comply or if they refuse to comply.”

A board made up of the Navy’s own officers has ruled against the military branch in a fight over a lieutenant who refused to take the experimental COVID shot, and had his career threatened as a result. The board concluded that Lt. Bill Moseley did not commit misconduct by refusing the injection mandated by the military for the China virus. “Although this [is] only one case of thousands and we have many more clients facing prosecution by the military,” lawyer R. Davis Younts said in a statement, “we are encouraged that the truth was revealed in this board, and we hope this ground-breaking case sends a strong message to the Department of Defense.”

The revolt of the “mama bears” protesting COVID policies, Critical Race Theory and other far-left ideologies in schools was evident in four districts in the Fort Worth, Texas, area over the weekend. All 13 candidates backed by conservative political action committees won their races Saturday, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

The sky turned a bloody shade of red in China on Saturday, sparking panic among residents, and now some are pointing to Biblical prophecies about the end times and return of Jesus to Earth. However, the Bible says the moon would become blood red (Joel 2:30-31, Revelation 6:12) and the dragon (devil) also (Revelation 12:3), but not the entire sky. The above verses instead say that the sun would be blackened.

Pseudo Christianity: These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. (Matthew 15:8) They claim to know God, but they deny him by what they do. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit to do anything good. (Titus 1:16)

One-hundred-seven congregations in Florida have announced that they are leaving the United Methodist Church denomination for the newly launched Global Methodist Church (GMC), a theologically conservative alternative to the UMC. According to the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA-Florida), the 107 congregations make up about 20 percent of the 560 United Methodist Churches in the Florida Conference. “This broad group of churches include both large and small congregations along with Anglo, African American, Latino, Korean, and other ethnic communities of faith,” the group said. “We are not leaving The United Methodist Church. The United Methodist Church has left us,” Jay Therrell, President of the WCA – Florida, said in a statement.

  • “After a decades-long rise of theological liberalism… our churches long for the day of being able to unite with like-minded Christians who focus on sharing the Good News of Jesus and help people to be transformed by His salvation,” Therrell said.

New World Order – One-World Government: It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:7-8) The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. (Daniel 7:23)

Officials from the Biden Administration are working to give the World Health Organization the power to unilaterally declare a health emergency in any country, thereby giving them emergency powers. The upcoming vote in Geneva over the Biden Administration’s amendments would cede U.S. sovereignty to the WHO over national healthcare decisions in what she described as ‘the biggest global power grab that we have seen in our lifetimes,'” says former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

  • This would mean that WHO could institute lockdowns and vaccine passports in any country that signs the treaty, which the Biden administration intends to do so. The vote in Geneva is this week, 5/23-26.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that the military alliance stands ready to seize a historic moment and move quickly on allowing Finland and Sweden to join its ranks, after the two countries submitted their membership requests. The official applications were handed over by Finland’s and Sweden’s ambassadors to NATO on Tuesday, 5/17.

While President Biden was in Tokyo, he announced the launching of a new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) with 12 other countries in the region, who together are signing up as the first members of the economic partnership focusing on the Asia-Pacific. “This framework is a commitment to working with our close friends and partners in the region on challenges that matter most to ensuring economic competitiveness in the 21st century,” Biden said. The new collective will not include China or Taiwan.

The Demise of America: The first was like a lion (Britain) and had eagle’s wings (America). I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. (Daniel 7:4)

A majority of Christian pastors in the United States do not hold a biblical worldview, according to surprising new research from pollster George Barna, who says the data shows a spiritual awakening is “needed just as desperately in our pulpits as in the pews.” The survey, released Thursday by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, shows that only 37 percent of pastors in the U.S. hold a biblical worldview. Among senior/lead pastors, 41 percent possess a biblical worldview – the highest percentage within the sub-groups of pastors. Less than one-third of associate/assistant pastors (28 percent), teaching pastors (13 percent) and children’s/youth pastors (12 percent) hold a biblical worldview, the data found. The survey’s findings were based on 54 questions in eight categories related to a biblical worldview.

  • “This is another strong piece of evidence that the culture is influencing the American church more than Christian churches are influencing the culture,” said Barna, director of research at the university’s Cultural Research Center.

A U.S. Department of Homeland Security memo obtained by Axios shows that the DHS is concerned about violence and attacks by pro-abortion extremists should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade. In the May 13 memo, the department warns that violent threats directed at Supreme Court justices and others involved in the abortion debate, such as politicians, members of the clergy and healthcare providers “are likely to persist and may increase leading up to and following the issuing in the Court’s official ruling” in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. Some social media posts spoke of “burning down or storming the U.S. Supreme Court and murdering Justices and their clerks, members of Congress, and lawful demonstrators.”

Thirteen years after a federal investigation blasted the U.S. Census Bureau for hiring criminals to enter American homes to gather statistics for the decennial count, a new audit reveals the disturbing practice continues. In fact, more than a decade after the problem was exposed workers for the 2020 count were not properly vetted and many with criminal records had direct interactions with the public. The most recent probe, conducted by the Department of Commerce Inspector General, found that “dozens of employees who worked on address canvassing in advance of the 2020 census had major issues flagged on their investigations, which typically means employees are automatically disqualified from their federal jobs.”

Politics: Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. (Romans 13:1-2)

The House overwhelmingly supported sending $40 billion in aid to Ukraine on Tuesday, 368-57, prompting a harsh reaction from critics given the multiple crises that are going unaddressed at home. Conservatives took issue with the 149 Republicans who joined every single Democrat in passing the bill while inflation continues to soar, the border crisis is ongoing, and our nation’s most vulnerable population—infants—can’t get the food they need. The amount even exceeded what President Biden had asked for by $7 billion. While on his Asian tour, President Biden signed the aid bill.

Surveillance State: So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words, in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor. (Luke 20:20)

The Department of Homeland Security has “paused” its new disinformation board just weeks after it was announced, according to a report. The Washington Post, citing “multiple employees,” said the department is trying to figure out what to do with the board after a bungled rollout and complaints of overreach and comparisons to Big Brother’s Truth Ministry. Nina Jankowicz, the board’s embattled director, had drafted a resignation letter, but she has been asked to stay on while the department figures out what to do with the board, the Post reported. 

American’s information could end up in the hands of Immigration and Customs Enforcement when you apply for a driver’s license, drive on the roads or sign up for utilities, a new report has found. ICE has built a surveillance infrastructure that gives the agency access to data on most people living in the U.S. and has gone well beyond its immigration enforcement duties to become a broader domestic surveillance agency, according to an investigation released by Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy & Technology.

Censorship/Cancel Culture: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth. (Romans 1:18)

Lorie Smith left the corporate world in 2012 to form her own website design firm, 303 Creative, which soon flourished. But in 2016 she was asked to create a design conveying a same-sex marriage message that violated her deeply held Christian faith. Smith declined to do so and when it became clear a Colorado public accommodation law would be used to force her to create messages that she and other Coloradans did not support, or face harsh penalties, she decided she had to challenge the statute. So she turned to the federal court system to uphold her First Amendment freedoms and six years later the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in her case later this year. Now Smith fears for her life as she awaits the slow-turning of the wheels of justice—thanks to continuous terrifying harassment, including death threats, from activists seeking to suppress her Christian beliefs.

A judge has ruled that the explicit sex content of a couple of controversial books are “obscene” and unsuitable for children. The ruling comes out of Virginia Beach, Virginia, where the circuit court judge has declared “Gender Queer” and “A Court of Mist and Fury” “obscene” for unrestricted viewing by minors. “It doesn’t mean the books are banned,” said Virginia State Delegate Tim Anderson in a statement broadcast by station WJLA. “It doesn’t mean we’re burning books or infringing on free speech. What it means is that there is extreme sexual graphic content in both of those books not suitable for minors without the parent consent.” The result adds to the weight of arguments in which parents and activists hope to have such controversial publications taken out of public-school libraries.

A lawsuit has been filed by First Liberty Institute against Alaska Airlines for its aggressive reaction to how two flight attendants expressed concerns about how the company’s pro-LGBT agenda would impact their Christian rights. First Liberty said the airline dismissed the two “because they asked questions in a company forum about the company’s support for the ‘Equality Act.'” “Alaska Airlines ‘canceled’ Lacey and Marli because of their religious beliefs, flagrantly disregarding federal civil rights laws that protect people of faith from discrimination,” said Stephanie Taub, senior counsel for First Liberty. “It is a blatant violation of state and federal civil rights laws to discriminate against someone in the workplace because of their religious beliefs and expression.”

A federal appeals court ruling has cleared the way for a controversial Texas law that will allow any state resident banned from social media platforms for their political views to sue. Two trade groups representing Facebook parent Meta Platforms, Alphabet’s Google and Twitter have sued Texas over the law. The social media companies say they don’t target conservatives, only harmful content such as hate speech and extremism that violates their rules. On Tuesday, Elon Musk, who has a deal in place to buy Twitter, said he would reverse that platform’s permanent ban on ex-President Donald Trump.

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

A so-called blasphemy murder of a Christian student in Sokoto, Nigeria, on May 12 was attended by scores of armed, uniformed policemen who did not intervene, according to eyewitnesses who spoke to The Epoch Times. One eyewitness, who asked for anonymity to escape government retaliation, said that at least 50 uniformed policemen, including six officers of the Department of State Security, were on the scene of the stoning of 22-year-old Deborah Emmanuel, but none acted to defend her. Emmanuel was accused by fellow students of blasphemy in a WhatsApp message on May 11, and was swarmed by 180 protestors calling for her death for the crime of blasphemy.

For the first time, the federal government has assessed and acknowledged the harm done to Native American children at boarding schools it backed or ran throughout most of the 19th and 20th centuries. A report released Wednesday by the Interior Department said the children were subjected to sexual abuse, whippings, manual labor, and severe malnourishment. The report listed 408 such schools and said about 50 burial sites have been found so far. At least 500 Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children died at the schools, per and the Interior Department said the toll could climb into the thousands as its investigation progresses.

Abortion: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5)

Oklahoma legislature has passed a ban on abortions, protecting babies starting at conception. The measure is a Texas-style law that includes a private right of action as enforcement — but instead of protecting babies at six weeks when their heartbeat can be detected, it starts protecting unborn children at conception when their life begins. The Texas abortion ban has been in effect for over 260 days and has saved as many as 17,000 babies from abortions, notes LifeNews.com.

  • The Oklahoma law banning most abortions is an “extreme” and “absurd” attack on “fundamental rights,” new White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed Thursday evening. And yet, nowhere in the constitution does it says abortion is a right.

Despite the leak of a majority Supreme Court ruling in favor of overturning the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, decisions in highly sensitive or policitzed cases often see release at the end of the court’s term in June or July, and this may still hold true for the potential landmark abortion case.

A majority of U.S. voters — 57% — say they want strict limits on when abortion should be legal, and 24% say abortion should be illegal except in the cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother is at stake. Only 11.6% of Americans believe abortion should be legal up until the moment of birth, including partial birth. Those are some of the findings of a national poll on abortion conducted by A Convention of States Action, in partnership with The Trafalgar Group.

The Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court in 1973 was never codified, that is, made law by Congress. Democrats introduced the Freedom of Choice Act in January 1993 and within six months, it was amended, passed out of committee, and teed up for passage in the House and Senate before heading to President Bill Clinton’s desk for his signature. Then Democratic support for the bill buckled and splintered. Some supporters said it didn’t include enough protections for teenagers and the poor. Others said it at least advanced the cause. The measure died. It would be the last time Democrats pushed such legislation that far. “After that, they kind of dropped it,” said Michele Swers, a Georgetown University law professor.

  • In large part, experts say, the right to an abortion has never been codified into law because there was a sense among supportive lawmakers and advocates that Roe was decided and upheld by the Supreme Court — that passing a law to protect the right was not needed. Now Democrats are rushing ahead in Congress to pass such a law, rendering the Supreme Court decision moot.
  • Democrats would have needed 60 yes votes to move forward with a measure to enshrine the right to have an abortion in federal law. Only 49 senators voted in favor of a motion to advance the bill Wednesday. All 50 Republicans and one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), voted against the measure.
  • Overturning Roe v. Wade leaves it up to individual states to allow or restrict abortions within their borders.

The U.S. Department of Justice will provide extra security to the U.S. Supreme Court justices and their families as pro-abortion protests and threats of violence grow, a department spokesperson said Wednesday. The order came from Attorney General Merrick Garland in response to demands that his office stop illegal intimidation and protests outside the justices’ homes after news broke last week about a leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft ruling that overturns Roe v. Wade.

Abortion activists firebombed a pro-life group’s office in Madison, Wisconsin. A leftist radical threw Molotov cocktails into Wisconsin Family Action’s office in the capital city. The pro-abortion terrorists responsible also vandalized the building and left a threatening message saying, “If abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either.” Now, a radical pro-abortion group named Jane’s Revenge is saying it was responsible and is threatening increasingly violent attacks that extend beyond Wisconsin if its demands are not met, writing, “Wisconsin is the first flashpoint, but we are all over the US, and we will issue no further warnings.

Three Texas churches were vandalized by pro-choice activists. A message was painted on the doors of the church’s main entrance and side door reading: “Pro-Choice is Pro-Life.” Two Catholic churches in a nearby town of Katy, Texas, were also vandalized. At St. Bartholomew the Apostle Catholic Church, the vandals attempted to remove the tabernacle, which contains the sacred presence of Christ and the Eucharist, according to Harris. At St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, someone attempted to desecrate the Eucharist.

Starbucks announced Wednesday, 5/18, that they would not only pay travel expenses for their ‘partners’ (employees) to have an abortion, but also for sex-change operations. “Regardless of where you live or what you believe, partners enrolled in Starbucks healthcare will now be offered reimbursement for eligible travel expenses when accessing abortion or gender-affirming procedures when those services are not available within 100 miles of a partner’s home.” Every cup of their coffee helps to pay for these abominations.

Suicide/Assisted Suicide: No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death. (Ecclesiastes 8:8 ESV)

In 2015, Canada’s Supreme Court struck down a 22-year ban on assisted suicide. The next year, its parliament passed legislation allowing “MAID,” or Medical Assistance in Dying for those who suffer from terminal illness and whose death was “reasonably foreseeable.” Five years later, the “reasonably foreseeable” language was dropped, as was the requirement of terminal illness, reports Breaking Point. Today, ending one’s life with “medical assistance” simply requires a physician and a witness to agree that physical or mental suffering is such as “cannot be relieved under conditions that you (the patient) consider acceptable.” Next year, that will expand to include anyone with a mental illness, like PTSD or depression. There’s also talk about further expanding the practice to include minors.

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

New Covid-10 cases in the U.S. have increased by 53% over the past two weeks, with hospitalizations up 30% but deaths down -16%. Cases are rising in nearly every U.S. state, but the Northeast and Midwest have been especially hard hit. In much of those two regions, daily case reports are higher today than they were at the peak of last summer’s Delta surge. Hospitalizations are also increasing, but deaths from this surge are much less than for Delta.

  • The full impact of this surge is believed to be even greater than these numbers suggest. Since many infections go uncounted in official case reports due to self-testing or non-testing, the cases currently announced each day likely capture only a portion of the true toll.

Scientists say that you can be reinfected repeatedly with the omicron variant, even within months. The virus shows no signs of disappearing any time soon, and elusive variants are popping up that can dodge the body’s defenses, causing several infections per year. People who have already been infected with the first omicron variant have reported second infections with the newer versions of the variant — BA.2 or BA.2.12.1 in the United States, or BA.4 and BA.5 in South Africa.

The White House COVID-19 coordinator said fast-moving variants pose a “huge challenge” as infections spike but he is confident the combination of immunity and widespread use of an antiviral pill is keeping many people out of the hospital. COVID-19 coordinator Ashish Jha said U.S. doctors are writing 20,000 prescriptions for Paxlovid, the promising treatment from Pfizer, each day — a fourfold increase over the last month. “I think that is actually a really important reason why, despite this very substantial increase in infections, we have not seen a commensurate increase in deaths,” Ja said.

A paper published Wednesday, 5/18, in the journal “Nature” showed that a case of omicron in unvaccinated people provides very little immunity against other variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. Instead, the findings showed people infected with omicron only get protection against infections from omicron subvariants, not infections from other strains of the virus. So far, there have been five main variants, alpha, beta, gamma, delta and omicron. 

The White House’s new Covid response coordinator, Dr. Ashish Jha, issued a stern warning that appeared to surprise others in the administration. He said that in the fall and winter, the U.S. could potentially see 100 million new Covid-19 infections if Congress doesn’t approve federal funding to fight the pandemic. He said that this projection was based on a range of internal and external model. However, it came as a surprise to some public health experts and even to some top Biden administration officials. Confidential sources told CNN that the grim forecast was not discussed with key officials intimately involved in the administration’s work to fight Covid before Jha’s TV interview over the weekend.

A peer-reviewed journal article in Cureus called the “Correlation Between Mask Compliance and COVID-19 Outcomes in Europe” has come to the stunning conclusion that the higher the mask compliance rates, the higher the Covid case rates. This is the exact opposite of what researchers should find if masks indeed “worked.” “These findings indicate that countries with high levels of mask compliance did not perform better than those with low mask usage,” the author Beny Spira, a professor at Sao Paolo, writes.

Since the early days of the pandemic, loss of smell and taste have been tied to COVID-19 infection. But a new study shows those telltale traits are much less likely with the omicron variant than the earlier alpha and delta versions of the coronavirus. For the study, the researchers analyzed U.S. National Institutes of Health data on more than 3.5 million COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

Monkeypox

A handful of cases of monkeypox have now been reported or are suspected in Britain, Portugal, Spain and the United States. The outbreaks are raising alarm because the viral disease, which spreads through close contact and was first found in monkeys, mostly occurs in west and central Africa, and only very occasionally spreads elsewhere. Monkeypox is a virus that causes fever symptoms as well as a distinctive bumpy rash. It is usually mild, although there are two main strains: the Congo strain, which is more severe – with up to 10% mortality – and the West African strain, which has a fatality rate in about 1% of cases. The UK cases have been reported as the West African strain. The World Health Organization on Friday said it was stepping up efforts to understand and combat monkeypox as nearly a dozen countries are investigating “atypical” outbreaks.

  • Belgium has become the first country in the world to introduce a mandatory 21-day self-isolate quarantine for those who contract monkeypox after several cases were found, with a White House official warning Sunday that more U.S. cases are likely.
  • A third U.S. state—Florida—has a suspected case of monkeypox. Health officials say the case in Broward County (home of Fort Lauderdale) is related to international travel, but they aren’t providing details beyond that.
  • The recent outbreak of the monkeypox virus in North America and Europe is primarily spreading through sex, according to World Health Organization officials on Monday, while confirming about 200 cases so far.

International:

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un criticized officials over slow medicine deliveries and mobilized the military to respond to a surge in suspected COVID-19 infections, as his nation struggled to contain a fever that has reportedly killed dozens and sickened nearly a million others in a span of three days. North Korean health authorities said Monday that eight more people died and an additional 392,920 were newly found to have feverish symptoms, reports the AP. That brings the death toll to 50 and illnesses to more than 1.2 million, respectively. It’s a sharp jump from six dead and 350,000 sick reported last Friday, a day after the North said that it found its first COVID-19 patients since the pandemic began. Kim has acknowledged that the fast-spreading fever, highly likely driven by COVID-19, is causing “great upheaval” in the country, and outside experts say the true scale of the outbreak is likely much bigger than what’s been described in the state-controlled media.

  • Most of the country’s 26 million people are believed to be unvaccinated against the coronavirus and its public health care system has been in shambles for decades. South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol said in Parliament on Monday that the South was willing to send vaccines, medicine, equipment, and health personnel to the North if it’s willing to accept.

Vaccines: He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. (Psalm 91:1-2)

The Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for kids younger than 5 is 80 percent effective, data shows, potentially leading to approval soon for vaccinating these little children. The company said they plan to finish filing their data on the three-shot regimen with the Food and Drug Administration this week.

A new generation of COVID-19 vaccines are expected this fall or winter, said Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House’s new coronavirus response coordinator. He and others are talking with Congress to ensure funding is available so everyone who wants them can have them. “We do not have the resources to do that right now,” he said, as Congress grapples with more funding for Ukraine.

A peer-reviewed paper published by the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that immunity against the omicron coronavirus variant fades rapidly after a second and third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The research by Danish scientists published in JAMA Network Open on Friday found antibody responses fell within weeks after second and third Pfizer doses, Forbes reported. The proportion of antibodies dropped from 76% four weeks after the second shot to 19% at weeks 12 to 14. The antibodies dropped even faster after the third dose, the booster shot.

A veteran rheumatologist says about 40% of the approximately 3,000 vaccinated patients in his practice have reported a vaccine-related injury. And 5% of the vaccinated patients are still injured, according to Dr. Robert Jackson in an interview with Steve Kirsch, executive director of the Vaccine Safety Research Foundation. Jackson said he has seen 12 patients die following COVID vaccination, which is consistent with a study published in the British Journal of Medicine,. Normally, he sees only one or two deaths annually in his practice’s patient base of 5,000.

The White House walked back a tweet stating that claimed “there was no vaccine available” when President Biden took office, issuing a follow-up tweet on Friday night saying that it “misstated” the availability of COVID-19 vaccines in January 2021. The original tweet drew fierce criticism from other Twitter users, who pointed out that there was indeed a COVID-19 vaccine available when Biden took office on Jan. 20, 2021. President Biden even shared a picture of himself receiving his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 21, 2020.

Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

BBC News recently documented a process that lets you “pay with your hand.” The report profiles Patrick Paumen, who has had a computer chip implanted in his hand that contains computer code similar to that in a debit-card system that allows him to swipe his hand over a contactless reader, and the necessary funds are debited from his bank account and transferred to the retailer. Something like this could indeed become the “Mark of the Beast” if it became a requirement to buy or sell. It will very enticing to do so, literally a choice between apparent starvation and life. But that’s just physical life. It’s our eternal life that matters most.

  • Revelation 14:9-10 warns that submitting to the mark forfeits our spiritual life in heaven: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,  he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” 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 6:3-4)

A teenage gunman, wearing tactical gear and a livestreaming camera, killed 10 people and wounded three more Saturday in a hate-fueled shooting rampage at a busy supermarket in Buffalo, New York. Eleven of the 13 people who were shot were Black, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said. The suspect, who was taken into custody at the scene, is white. The FBI is investigating the shooting as a hate crime and racially motivated violent extremism. The suspect, identified by authorities as Payton Gendron, 18, of Conklin, New York, traveled several hours across the state to carry out the attack in a black neighborhood, authorities said.

  • Police said the teen had been taken into custody last June based on a report that he might be planning to shoot people around the time of his high school graduation. Gendron would have continued his rampage if he had not been stopped by officers outside the store, Buffalo Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said. Gendron left behind a 180-page antisemitic and white supremacist manifesto.

Ten people have been taken into custody after 17 were shot in Milwaukee Friday evening near the Bucks-Celtics playoff basketball game, police said Saturday. Nine firearms were recovered from the scene, after dozens were seen fleeing, Milwaukee police said. The shooting victims are expected to survive. They ranged in ages from 15 to 47. Several fights were broken up as the game was ending. Milwaukee was hit with a wave of violence Friday. By 9 p.m., police had responded to five separate shootings across the city, which left a total of three people dead and two injured.

A man who opened fire during a lunch reception at a Southern California church on Sunday was detained by parishioners, according to a sheriff’s official who called their intervention an act of “exceptional heroism and bravery.” One person was killed and four others were critically wounded in the afternoon shooting at Geneva Presbyterian Church in the city of Laguna Woods in Orange County. David Chou, 68, of Las Vegas, was taken into custody Sunday after opening fire on parishioners of Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, which meets at the Presbyterian Church. The Orange County sheriff said Monday that officers found notes Chou, a Chinese immigrant, wrote about his hatred of Taiwanese people. The government of mainland China claims sovereignty over the island of Taiwan, which exercises democratic self-rule.

A New York City police officer was shot in the arm Tuesday night by a man who was out on the streets despite an extensive criminal background, city officials said. Officer Dennis Vargas, 32, was shot by the suspect, identified as 25-year-old Rameek Smith, after a brief foot chase that ended in a shootout. During a press conference addressing the shooting, New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell described Smith as a “dangerous criminal who should not have been on the streets of the Bronx or anywhere else.” New York City Mayor Eric Adams echoed the sentiment and slammed a system that allowed “a perpetrator with multiple arrests” to acquire and carry a weapon on the streets of his city.

  • Adams, who was sworn in earlier this year, harshly criticized lenient sentencing decisions, many of which have been pushed by anti-police groups in the city.

Tragedy: In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Road fatalities in the U.S. increased more than 10% last year compared with a year earlier, reaching 42,915, according to estimates released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It was the highest number of deaths on the nation’s roads since 2005 and the largest annual percentage increase since at least 1975.

Gun Control: When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. (Luke 11:21-22,ESV)

A U.S. appeals court ruled Wednesday that California’s ban on the sale of semiautomatic weapons to adults under 21 is unconstitutional. The 2-1 ruling by a panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals said Wednesday the law violates the Second Amendment right to bear arms and a San Diego judge should have blocked what it called “an almost total ban on semiautomatic centerfire rifles” for young adults. “America would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army,” Judge Ryan Nelson wrote. “Today we reaffirm that our Constitution still protects the right that enabled their sacrifice: the right of young adults to keep and bear arms.”

Law Enforcement: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9)

The National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the world’s largest organization of law enforcement officers, has counted 101 officers shot in the line of duty as of April 1, including 17 fatally, so far in 2022. That marks a 43% increase compared to the number of officers shot at the same time period in 2021 and a 63% increase compared to 2020. “We are in the midst of a real crisis. The violence directed at law enforcement officers is unlike anything I’ve seen in my 36 years of law enforcement,” National FOP President Patrick Yoes said Friday.

Lawlessness: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2Thessalonians 2;7)

  • As God’s hand of restraint is gradually lifting, spirits of lawlessness are stirring up lawlessness which will increase all the more as the end-times ramp up.

At least 135 teachers and teachers’ aides have been arrested between January 1 and May 13 of this year on child sex-related crimes in the U.S., ranging from child pornography to raping students, according to a Fox News Digital analysis. That works out to about an arrest a day on average. Arrests that weren’t publicized were not counted in the analysis, meaning the true number may well be higher. The vast majority of the arrested educators were men. 

Fraud: “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? (Acts 13:10)

An estimated $350 million in undisclosed royalties were paid to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and hundreds of its scientists between 2010 and 2020, including the agency’s recently departed director, Dr. Francis Collins, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, according to a nonprofit government watchdog. “We now know that there are 1,675 scientists that received payments during that period, at least one payment. In fiscal year 2014, for instance, $36 million was paid out and that is on average $21,100 per scientist… Francis Collins, the immediate past director of NIH, received 14 payments. Dr. Anthony Fauci received 23 payments” said Adam Andrzejewski, CEO of Open the Books. “We believe there is an unholy conflict of interest inherent at NIH,” he said.

An estimated $163 billion from pandemic unemployment benefits was stolen or misspent and the money may never be recovered. When millions of Americans found themselves suddenly out of work in the pandemic, state and federal officials raced to deliver a historic amount of generous unemployment aid. But numerous mistakes opened the door for a nationwide wave of crime and identity theft, harming victims who struggle to navigate the maze of bureaucracy needed to recover the funds, a federal watchdog says.

Cyber Security: He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. (Psalm 40:2)

After a month of crippling ransomware attacks, Costa Rica has declared a state of emergency. The measure usually is reserved to deal with natural disasters or the COVID-19 pandemic. But in this case, it would free the government to react more nimbly to the crisis. The declaration refers to the attacks Costa Rica is suffering at the hands of “cybercriminals” and “cyberterrorists.” President Rodrigo Chaves, who was sworn in Sunday, made the emergency declaration one of his first acts. It was issued Wednesday, but Chaves has not named the members of the National Emergency Commission. The Russian-speaking Conti gang has claimed responsibility for the cyberattack. Last week, the US State Department offered a $10 million reward for information leading to the identification or location of Conti leaders.

For the first time in the U.S., a higher education institution is shuttering, in part, due to a ransomware attack. Lincoln College, an Illinois school that qualifies as a predominantly Black institution and which opened in 1865 as the namesake school of Abraham Lincoln, is closing Friday after also struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Lincoln College was a victim of a cyberattack in December 2021 that thwarted admissions activities and hindered access to all institutional data… systems required for recruitment, retention, and fundraising efforts were inoperable.”

  • Gizmodo Media Group calls ransomware attacks on educational institutions, which can cost millions, “a nationwide epidemic.”

Big Tech: But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. (Daniel 12:4)

Investigative journalism outlet Project Veritas released secretly recorded footage of a senior engineer at Twitter saying the company is “commie” and that staff selectively “censor” those on the political right. “Twitter does not believe in free speech …more like very socialist.” Continuing, Murugesan was recorded saying that many of his “colleagues are like super left, left, left, left, left” politically.

Health: A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22) Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3John 1:2)

The number of people receiving counseling or therapy has seen a sharp jump since the start of 2020. A recent survey showed that 22.3 million Americans recently received counseling or therapy from mental-health professionals. All too often, thought, people suffer in silence, ashamed to admit their problem, experts say. But as Christians, we aren’t made to go through hard things alone. Galatians 6:2 instructs Christians to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Drugs: And they did not repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries [Greek: pharmakeia, i.e. pharmacy, drugs].

The nation’s drug overdose epidemic worsened in 2021 as deaths surpassed 100,000 in the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics figures released Wednesday show a record 107,622 drug overdose deaths in 2021, a 14.9% increase from 93,655 overdose deaths the year before. While prescription painkillers and heroin drove the nation’s overdose epidemic last decade, the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl is now responsible for most overdose deaths, climbing to 71,238 last year up from 57,834 in 2020, according to the CDC.

  • Illicit versions of fentanyl have increasingly been manufactured in clandestine labs overseas, sold on the black market and mixed with other street drugs. The street version is different from legal fentanyl, a powerful pain medicine vetted by the Food and Drug Administration and prescribed in medical settings to treat intense pain in cancer patients.

Protests: Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Florida Governor Ron Desantis on Monday signed a bill that will ban “picketing and protesting” outside a home when it takes effect Oct. 1. “Sending unruly mobs to private residences, like we have seen with the angry crowds in front of the homes of Supreme Court justices, is inappropriate,” said DeSantis in a statement, referring to the protests that have taken place over the high court’s apparent plan to overturn Roe v. Wade. “This bill will provide protection to those living in residential communities.”

Iranian state media reported Friday that police had arrested at least 22 demonstrators who were protesting sudden price hikes of subsidized staple foods, 15 of them in Dezful. A firefighter was injured in clashes with demonstrators in a nearby city, Andimeshk. The unrest follows Iran’s announcement earlier in the week that the cost of cooking oil, chicken, eggs and milk would rise by as much as 300%, as food prices surge across the Middle East due to global supply chain snarls and Russia’s invasion of major food exporter Ukraine.

Gender Confusion: Male and female He created them. (Genesis 5:2)

  • Gender confusion is being promoted because it undermines God’s ordained family structure, giving secular government more control over people, particularly our youth.

In the ultimate absurdity, an abortion-rights advocate told Congress last Wednesday that men can get pregnant and undergo abortions because a person can choose the gender to which they wish to identify. Aimee Arrambide, executive director of the abortion advocacy group Avow Texas, was asked by Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C., to define a woman. “I believe that everyone can identify for themselves,” Arrambide said, and also declined to answer whether she opposes late-term abortion, including an abortion in the final minutes of a woman’s term, saying only, “”I trust all people to determine what they can and can’t do with their bodies.”

Summit Ministries, in conjunction with McLaughlin & Associates, has shared the results from a poll of 1,000 general election voters that revealed that, although most Americans oppose allowing surgeons to perform sex-change operations on children and teenagers suffering from gender dysphoria and teaching young children about sexual orientation and gender identity in schools, many are afraid to speak about such hot-button issues due to fear of retribution. The poll also found that a majority of respondents do not believe transgenderism is a “healthy human condition.” While 78% said that minors suffering from gender confusion should “be required to wait until they are legal adults” before undergoing life-altering surgeries, such as removing breast tissue and genital mutilation, just 9% said gender-confused children “should be encouraged to undergo permanent gender alteration.”

Last week, a school board in Wisconsin filed a Title IX sexual harassment claim against three eighth graders because they refused to use “they/them” pronouns when referring to a single individual.  The school district didn’t care that the use of plural pronouns is grammatically incorrect when referring to a single individual, all that mattered was the individual in question claimed a transgender identity and demanded to be referred to in the plural. So now according to this school district, failing to succumb to the pronoun demands of the transgendered constitutes sexual harassment.

A Colorado mom says a public school’s LGBT group suggested her 12-year-old daughter might be transgender after inviting the girl to what she thought was an after-school art club. Erin Lee said that when her daughter showed up at the purported art club, a speaker from the LGBT advocacy group SPLASH Youth of Northern Colorado told the kids that “if they’re not fully comfortable in their body, then they are transgender.” SPLASH and the school said that meetings of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) club are secret, according to Lee.

The Daily Herald said the Lake County promotion of “LGBTA+ Pride Month” in Waukegan in June will have all the festivities: “music and performances, food trucks, a beer and beverage tent, craft and artisan vendors, a resource fair, games and entertainment for children, multiple drag shows, a dance tent and more.” It’s sponsored by, among others, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Government is now ‘grooming’ kids to be sexualized sinners.

Election Integrity: He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become knownThe integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. (Proverbs 10:9,11:3)

Early voting in Georgia broke records this week despite last year’s adoption of election integrity measures that critics derided as “voter suppression” and President Joe Biden called a “blatant attack” on the Constitution and compared it to Jim Crow-era racism. More than 710,000 people had voted early in Georgia’s primary election as of May 19, according to the secretary of state’s office, which is 149 percent higher than at the same point in 2020, when elections officials encouraged vote-by-mail and early voting to reduce crowding at polling stations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Refugees: Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. (Hebrews 13:2)

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has resulted in the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II, with over 10 million people displaced. Thousands of Jewish families have had to flee, but in some instances, elderly Holocaust Survivors have been trapped in homes alone. The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem has been assisting at all stages of this crisis, including helping to bring thousands of Jews to safety in Israel.

Immigration: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

Just over 234,000 migrants were intercepted at the southern border by U.S. border agents in April, breaking the previous month’s 22-year high of 221,000. April marks the fourth time during Biden’s presidency that monthly border encounters with migrants has been over 200,000. Meanwhile, deportations have plummeted under the Biden administration. In FY 2021, just 59,011 were deported, down from 185,884 in FY 2020 and 267,258 in FY 2019.

The first jury trial under Texas’s Operation Lone Star border program wrapped up in Kinney County, Texas, on May 9. The defendant, Honduran native Lester Hidalgo Aguilar, was found guilty of criminal trespass on a local ranch and sentenced to the maximum jail time of one year. The judge declined to apply an accompanying fine, which could have been up to $4,000, but said Aguilar should pay court costs ($290). Aguilar’s trial was a litmus test for the Operation Lone Star arrests, which began around July last year as Gov. Greg Abbott directed state troopers to arrest trespassers on state or private land. Until now, almost all defendants have pleaded guilty or no contest to trespass or other misdemeanor charges, and have reached a plea deal of time served and no fine.

Arizona has started its own busing campaign to deliver newly arrived illegal immigrants straight to Washington, following in the footsteps of Texas, which pioneered the policy last month. Gov. Doug Ducey announced the move as part of a broader border security crackdown that includes deploying more National Guard troops and working with ranchers and other landowners to try to secure their property from the onslaught of migrants. The first bus carrying twenty illegal immigrants arrived in D.C. last Wednesday, with more to come.

  • Texas has transported more than 900 illegal immigrants to Washington D.C., in an effort to get the attention of federal lawmakers and persuade the Biden administration to take action in securing the southern border, Gov. Gregg Abbott said.

Immigrant rights groups demanded Wednesday that President Biden launch an investigation into his administration’s decision-making on granting deportation amnesties, saying predominantly Black and Latino countries are being treated worse than White countries. More than 150 groups signed a letter to Mr. Biden saying they see “racial bias” in how the government has granted Temporary Protected Status, a humanitarian program that offers deportation amnesties to immigrants already in the U.S. when their home nations face catastrophes.

A divided Supreme Court ruled 5–4 on May 16 against a longtime illegal alien who falsely claimed to be a U.S. citizen on a driver’s license application. The new ruling suggests that federal law isn’t sympathetic to individuals who falsely hold themselves out as U.S. citizens. Four conservative members of the court—Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Brett Kavanaugh—joined Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s opinion.

Supply Chain/Shortages: He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. (2Corinthians 9:10)

Pallets of baby formula are being sent to migrant holding facilities at the border amid a shortage that has seen many parents unable to find it at their local stores, representative Kat Cammack, R-Fla.. “Meanwhile, in our own district at home, we cannot find baby formula,” she posted to Facebook. The Florida lawmaker said a concerned border patrol agent told her that she “‘would not believe the shipment I just brought in.” He sent an image of pallets full of baby formula.

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday, 5/16, announced two dramatic moves intended to ease the ongoing baby formula shortage.  The regulatory agency said it will permit the sale of imported baby formula, and allow domestic companies to distribute product intended for sale overseas. On Tuesday, Nestlé announced it would fly in Gerber formula from the Netherlands and Switzerland to help make up for the shortfall. The FDA also said it will allow Abbott, a major formula producer, to reopen a Michigan production facility that was shut down earlier this year due to a recall. President Biden on Wednesday invoked the Defense Production Act to help manufacturers obtain the ingredients needed to ramp up supply.

  • The first international shipment of specialty baby formula has arrived in the United States by a military plane, enough for more than a million and a half bottles. The first flight of “Operation Fly Formula” landed in Indianapolis weighing more than 78, 000 pounds, as part of the Biden administration’s ongoing efforts to address the baby formula shortage. The prescription formula will be distributed to areas around the country where there is the most acute need but none of the first shipment would land on store shelves. The shipment is exclusively for babies intolerant of protein in cow milk.

The baby formula industry was already coping with shortages before an Abbott Nutrition factory in Sturgis, Mich., shut down. The company shut the factory after four babies — all of whom had drunk formula made there — contracted a rare bacterial infection; two of the babies died. It remains unclear whether the formula caused the infections. The baby formula business has something in common with many other U.S. industries: It is highly concentrated. Three companies — Abbott, Gerber and Reckitt — make nearly all of the formula that Americans use. Abbott is the largest of the three, with roughly 40 percent of the market.

  • Two children had to be hospitalized at a Tennessee children’s hospital due to the ongoing national shortage of baby formula, a physician at the hospital said. Both children required a special, amino acid-based formula because they have short bowel syndrome — a condition meaning they are unable to efficiently digest food because they have fewer intestines.

India has banned exports of wheat effective immediately, citing a risk to its food security, partly due to the war in Ukraine. A notice in the government gazette by the Directorate of Foreign Trade, dated Friday, said a spike in global prices for wheat was threatening the food security of India and neighboring and vulnerable countries. A key aim is to control rising domestic prices. Global wheat prices have risen by more than 40% since the beginning of the year.

The pandemic has created shortages for many goods, including cars, semiconductors and furniture. The main reasons: Factories and ports are coping with virus outbreaks and worker shortages at the same time that consumer demand for physical goods has surged, because of government stimulus programs and a shift away from spending on services (like restaurant meals). As a result, much of the global supply chain is overloaded.

Energy Supplies: He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. (Isaiah 44:14-15)

The Biden administration has announced it will ax three planned oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska’s Cook Inlet, effectively halting the potential to sell drilling leases in coastal waters this year, several media outlets report. The announcement came as gasoline prices nationwide reached a record high last week. But the decision does fall in line with Biden’s campaign promise to tackle climate change more aggressively.

The solar industry has sounded the alarm that a Commerce Department investigation into whether China is skirting U.S. tariffs on components for solar panels by funneling the parts through other countries could seriously jeopardize clean-energy projects across the U.S. Around 80% of imported solar panels are made in four Southeast Asia countries — Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam — according to the American Clean Power Association. The Biden administration believes China could be avoiding trade laws by providing those nearby countries with components that should otherwise be subject to U.S. tariffs.

Texas residents are being asked to conserve power after six power plants tripped offline. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the majority of the state’s power grid, wrote Friday that the incident resulted in the loss of approximately 2,900 megawatts of electricity. The operator highlighted that unseasonably hot weather is driving “record demand” across the Lone Star State.

Oil giant Saudi Aramco said Sunday its profits soared more than 80% in the first three months of the year, as the state-backed company cashes in on the volatility in global energy markets and surging oil prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The bumper first-quarter earnings by the firm formally known as the Saudi Arabian Oil Co., which overtook Apple as the world’s most valuable company last week, show a record net income of $39.5 billion, up from $21.7 billion during the same period last year. The Saudi government owns 98% of the company.

Authorities in Sri Lanka closed schools and asked nonessential workers to stay home Friday due to a severe fuel shortage. The government is implementing daily four-hour power cuts nationwide because there isn’t enough fuel for power stations. Thousands of people have waited in lines at gas stations across the country for days at a time. The island in the Indian Ocean is on the brink of bankruptcy due to rampant inflation, and is struggling to import necessities.

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

The U.S. is on pace to recover all 22 million jobs wiped out in the COVID-19 recession as early as July, but the milestone will obscure sharp differences among industries and an economy transformed by the crisis. Industries that have thrived during the pandemic such as ecommerce, technology and professional services already have reached or topped their pre-COVID-19 payrolls. Computer programming is 10.3% above its February 2020 staffing level. Courier services are up by 29.6%. Sectors clobbered by the crisis, including restaurants, theaters and spectator sports, will take longer to heal as COVID-19 fades, experts say. Jobs reliant on in-person shopping and previous business routines may never return to their prior peaks as COVID-19-related shifts become ingrained, experts say.

The consumer price index dropped to an annual rate of 8.3% in April, down from 8.5% in March, as a short-lived drop in gasoline prices offset a continuing run-up in food, rent and other costs, the Labor Department said Wednesday. April’s pullback in the annual reading was the first since last August and halted five straight months of fresh 40-year highs. However, economists had expected a larger decrease.

  • The Labor Department reported last Wednesday that average hourly earnings for all employees declined 2.6% in April from the same month a year ago when factoring in the impact of rising consumer prices.

U.S. gas prices hit an all-time record high Tuesday, 5/10, and then again Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. Experts don’t expect the pain at the pump to ease any time soon. The average price for regular gas in the U.S. was $4.52 per gallon on Tuesday, 5/17, according to AAA. Diesel prices also hit a record $5.57 per gallon. But nowhere is it more expensive than in Mono County, California. Prices in this picturesque area, located five hours north of Los Angeles and five hours east of San Francisco, topped $6.75 this week, the highest county average nationwide, with some stations charging as much as $7.19 in mid-May.

Some gas stations across the country are already bracing for the Next Big Thing involving surging fuel prices, namely the price per gallon potentially exceeding $10.  For other stations, however, there might be no product left to sell at the pumps. Throughout eastern Washington, the Tri-Cities region of Kennewick, Pasco, and West Richland, customers are reportedly pulling up to pumps … only to find no gas available for purchase.

Target reported a stunning 52% drop in profit for the first quarter, badly missing Wall Street’s forecasts, causing a drop in its stock of 25%. The company blamed higher expenses due to continued supply chain disruptions. Consumers also are holding back on nonessential purchases because of rampant inflation. Walmart also posted poor earnings and a weak outlook due to rising shipping and labor expenses, sending the stock market into a steep 1,100 drop in the Dow on Wednesday. On Thursday, Kohl’s Corp., which has about 1,100 stores nationwide, said its first-quarter results have been “below expectations,” according to a company presentation, with first-quarter net sales down 5.4%.

Americans report less confidence in the economy than they did at the start of the Covid pandemic, when the unemployment rate was four times as high as it is now. The index is down to -39 now from a high of +41 before the pandemic. Their feelings toward the economy are almost as low as they were during the depths of the Great Recession in 2008, which hit -72. The University of Michigan’s long-followed consumer sentiment index is also down from about 100 prior to the pandemic to 60, nearly as low as the 52 in 2008.

The median price of a home in April was a record $391,200, rising 14.8% from a year ago, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. Sales of existing homes, which include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, dropped 2.4% from the prior month and 5.9% from a year ago. “Higher home prices and sharply higher mortgage rates have reduced buyer activity,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.25% in the week ending May 19, down from 5.30% the week before, according to Freddie Mac. It is still well above the 3% average from this time last year.

The dramatic rise in home prices and mortgage rates in the early months of 2022 has had a relatively limited effect on wealthy buyers and sellers, but has had a severe impact on lower-income Americans. Average payments on mortgages are now 38 percent higher than a year ago. The sharply rising mortgage rates, compounded by an inventory shortfall, are driving many prospective buyers out of the market, experts say.

Arizona is in a severe housing and homelessness crisis.  Evictions are at record levels: 5,000 people are being evicted per month in the Phoenix metro area alone.  Rents have more than doubled in just the past few years throughout many areas of the state.  A public schoolteacher with two children had to move out of her home earlier this year when her rent increased by $1,000 per month.  And near the State Capitol, there are scores of tents where the homeless have encamped with temperatures already broaching 100. Last year, .600 unsheltered homeless people died in the Phoenix metro area alone.

The U.S. Postal Service is expected to increase prices in July, raising the cost of a Forever stamp from 58 cents to 60 cents. And that may not be the only price hike in the near future. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said May 5 he expected the Postal Service to continue to raise prices “at an uncomfortable rate” until the agency becomes self-sufficient.

International:

The hard economic figures indicate President Biden’s effort to crush the Russian economy in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine isn’t working. The ruble hit a four-year high this week. In March, Biden touted the sanctions and other measures to punish Russia economically. “You need 200 rubles to equal $1 today. Two hundred,” he said. The president said the “totality of our economic sanctions and controls are crushing, crushing the Russian economy.” Now, it takes about 62 rubles to equal $1.

Israel: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6)

Israeli police arrested five suspects in Jerusalem in the wake of a rash of deadly ISIS-inspired terror attacks this spring. The suspects are suspected of belonging to the Islamic State (ISIS) terror organization. Last month, ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack in which terrorists killed Shirel Abukarat and Yezen Falah, two Border Police officers. The attackers were armed with at least three handguns and six knives and were eliminated by security forces.

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22)

Russia used advanced anti-aircraft missiles to target Israeli jets carrying out airstrikes in Syria, marking a major departure from a previous policy of essentially allowing the Israeli Air Force free reign to operate in the area. While never officially confirming nor denying the air strikes, Israel has bombed numerous Iranian assets and targets in Syria in recent years. Russia, which has partnered with embattled Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, has de facto control over Syrian airspace and until now has not interfered in IAF bombing missions.

A female journalist for Al Jazeera was shot and killed while covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin early Wednesday. The broadcaster and a reporter who was wounded in the incident blamed Israeli forces, while Israel claimed there was evidence the two were hit by Palestinian gunfire. Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known Palestinian reporter for the broadcaster’s Arabic language channel who’s also a US citizen, was shot and died soon afterward. Ali Samoudi, another Palestinian journalist, was hospitalized in stable condition after being shot in the back.

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; forall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

Russian President Vladimir Putin intended to seize all of Ukraine after beginning his unprovoked invasion, according to a Ukrainian official citing discovered documents. The director of Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation — basing his assertions on documents left behind by fleeing Russian soldiers. These documents “give a clear understanding that Russia was preparing to seize all the territory of Ukraine,” Oleksiy Sukhachev said.

A Russian diplomat in Geneva resigned with a public blast at Putin, calling invasion a “crime against the Ukrainian people.” In an extraordinary public resignation statement on LinkedIn and elsewhere, Boris Bondarev, a counsellor in Russia’s delegation to the UN in Geneva, called the Ukraine invasion an “aggressive war” and said he was “ashamed” of it.

The battle that turned Mariupol into a worldwide symbol of defiance and suffering drew toward a close as Russia said Wednesday that nearly 1,000 last-ditch Ukrainian fighters who held out inside a pulverized steel plant had surrendered, the AP reports. The Ukrainian fighters who emerged from the ruined Azovstal steelworks face an uncertain fate after being ordered by their military to abandon the last stronghold of resistance in the now-flattened port city.

Russia has lost around a third of the ground forces it deployed to Ukraine and its offensive in the Donbas region “has lost momentum and fallen significantly behind schedule,” British military intelligence said on Sunday. “Despite small-scale initial advances, Russia has failed to achieve substantial territorial gains over the past month whilst sustaining consistently high levels of attrition,” the British defense ministry said.

Russia’s withdrawal of troops from a Ukrainian region that they encircled at the beginning of the war is proving their “inability to capture key Ukrainian cities,” the UK’s Ministry of Defense said Thursday. In an intelligence update, the Ministry said, “Ukrainian forces are continuing to counterattack to the north of Kharkiv, recapturing several towns and villages towards the Russian border.” Russia has “reportedly withdrawn units from the region to reorganize and replenish its forces following heavy losses,” the Ministry continued. 

Two or more Russian battalions were picked off attempting to cross a pontoon bridge on the Donets River in the most significant loss since the beginning of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, The Telegraph reported on Thursday. The shocking losses at the riverbank potentially included more than 100 vehicles and close to 1,000 troops, according to Forbes. The subsequent shelling from Ukrainian forces destroyed more than 70 T-72 and T-80 tanks, BMPs, MT-LB armored tractors, a tugboat and the pontoon span. Ukraine also says they have shot down 200 Russian military aircraft.

The Armed Forces of Belarus will deploy special forces to the border of Ukraine because “the United States and its allies continue to increase their military presence at the state borders,” according to the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Viktor Gulevich. It said the Ukrainians had created a force of 20,000 close to the Belarus border, which “requires a response from us.” “The appearance in the waters of the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas of a group carrying sea and air-based cruise missiles, an increase in the aviation group in the countries of Poland and the Baltic states indicate a growing threat to the Republic of Belarus,” the statement said.

Elsewhere:

President Joe Biden says that the United States would intervene militarily if China were to invade Taiwan, in one of the most forceful and overt statements in support of Taiwan in decades. Speaking at a news conference in Japan, Biden said “yes” when a reporter asked whether he’s “willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan if it comes to that.” Confirming the president’s position, the reporter again asked: “You are?” “That’s the commitment we made,” Biden declared.

  • The White House quickly downplayed Biden’s comments, saying they don’t reflect a change in U.S. policy. It’s the third time in recent months – including during a CNN town hall in October – that Biden has said the U.S. would protect Taiwan from a Chinese attack, only to have the White House walk back those remarks

Finland leadership announced support Thursday for expedited NATO membership despite dire Kremlin warnings of “retaliatory steps.” The decision by President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin is strongly supported by lawmakers and citizens of Finland, though a few steps remain before the application process can begin. Neighboring Sweden is expected to decide on joining NATO in coming days. Finland and Sweden “must be aware of the responsibility and consequences” of joining NATO, Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement Thursday, adding that Russia “will be forced” to take retaliatory steps, regarding it a ‘threat’ to have bordering countries join NATO.

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God,  shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23)

U.S. prosecutors released official charges Tuesday accusing Joly Germine, 29, of conspiring to take hostages when the 400 Mawozo gang kidnapped 17 Christian missionaries last year, 16 of whom were American. Most of the group, which included five children, was held near Port-au-Prince for 61 days. Germine was extradited to the United States last week on firearms trafficking charges. Germine, also known as “Yonyon,” was in a Haitian prison when the missionaries were kidnapped last October, but the Justice Department claims he directed the gang’s activities and ransom negotiations. It is unclear whether any ransoms were paid.

President Biden has approved a request by the Pentagon to redeploy U.S. troops to Somalia in an effort to counter the terrorist group al-Shabaab, a senior administration official said on Monday. The move reverses a decision by President Donald Trump to withdraw all US troops from the country in 2020. The US will reposition US forces in east Africa and move to restore a US military presence in Somalia in consultation with the Somali government, the official told reporters on Monday. The official said “under 500” troops will be sent back into the country.

The Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS will hold its first ministerial meeting in Marrakech on Wednesday, at the joint invitation of Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The meeting aims to address ISIS’s growing threat in Africa and efforts to combat this threat in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Blinken will not be able to attend the meeting after he tested positive for COVID-19 last week, but his staff will be there.

  • The Islamic State’s regional affiliates in Africa are carrying out lethal attacks at a tempo far surpassing that of the parent organization that once ruled large swaths of Iraq and Syria, Morocco’s chief diplomat said Wednesday at a meeting of the global alliance.

Environment: And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth,for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)

In early May, a groundbreaking study from the University of California, San Francisco of 171 pregnant women in the USA found more than 9 in 10 had measurable amounts of 19 different chemicals and pesticides in their bodies. Researchers said many of those substances pass through the placenta and into developing fetuses, adding evidence to a National Institutes of Health report that warned babies are born “pre-polluted” with chemicals. The full extent of health effects from such exposures is unknown, but scientists worry they could contribute to rising U.S. rates of autoimmune diseases, developmental disorders such as autism and reproductive harms, such as the mysterious decline of sperm counts in men.

Wildfires: 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)

Wildfires are on a furious pace early this year — from a California hilltop where mansions with multimillion-dollar Pacific Ocean views were torched to remote New Mexico mountains charred by a month-old monster blaze. The two places could not be more different, but the elements in common are the same: wind-driven flames have torn through vegetation that is extraordinarily dry from years-long drought. Nationwide, 24,302 wildfires have burned 1,286,250 acres, up from 548,542 acres at this same time last year.

The U.S. government committed a record-setting amount of money to fighting wildfires this year during what promises to be a busy season, but it’s unclear whether enough firefighters will be available amid a nationwide labor crunch. Fire season is off to a busy start as drought fuels danger from the Great Plains to Northern California. Federal officials are scrambling to hire roughly 16,900 fire personnel, including hotshots, smokejumpers and helitack crews, which are groups of firefighters that are flown in on helicopters to wildfires. Last year, fire officials were unable to fill an unprecedented 1,800 requests for wildland firefighting crew.

  • The amount the federal government spends on wildfire suppression has steadily risen over decades as wildfires became larger and more intense, reaching a record-setting $4.38 billion in 2021. A year ago, monster infernos such as California’s Dixie and Caldor fires burned more than a million acres, destroyed towns and more than 2,300 structures and cost $900 million and thousands of firefighters to suppress.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

The megadrought in U.S. West has worsened with several more mostly dry weeks. The percentage of the area in extreme to exceptional drought increased to 401.6% in the past week, up from 22.1% three months ago.

Four rainy seasons in a row have failed in the northern Kenya. Back in September 2021, the government declared the drought to be a national disaster – that was after only two consecutive failed rainy seasons. Since then, the short rains and the long rains have both failed again. Water is increasingly hard to find; cattle are dying and even camels are struggling to survive. Half a million Kenyans are at risk of starvation, according to the World Food Program. Meanwhile, prolonged hunger and malnutrition have made people prone to diseases, their weakened bodies unable to resist infections.

  • In this Muslim-dominated part of Kenya, Christians are usually left out when government food relief is distributed.

All 4,000 inhabitants of a small town in Canada’s Northwest Territories have been ordered to evacuate as parts of the country struggle with some of the worst flooding in decades. Chief April Martel of the Kátł’odeeche First Nation ordered her entire community to leave Hay River after breakaway ice sent floodwaters surging into the center of the town on Wednesday. Ice jamming those channels had blocked water and a weekend of rain and snow in the river’s basin added more and more water into that system.

At least three people were killed and homes and businesses in dozens of communities were damaged when storms packing hurricane-force winds and at least one tornado tore through parts of the Midwest and Northern Plains last Thursday. “We have had many storms before, but the amount of communities that have been affected, we just haven’t seen before,” South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said during a news conference Friday morning. Noem said at least 28 counties in the state were reporting damage.

A large tornado struck the northern Michigan town of Gaylord last Friday afternoon, heavily damaging businesses and killing two people. At least 44 others were injured as the twister tossed large debris and reduced numerous buildings to rubble. At least one large building collapsed while several cars were flipped and damaged. An RV and mobile trailer park were also heavily damaged. “There have been trailers picked up and turned over on top of each other. Just a very large debris field,” Otsego County Fire Chief Chris Martin said.

Signs of the Times Update: May 9, 2022

May 9, 2022

We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. (1Thessalonians 5:14-15)

Praise Reports: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

More than 40,000 prayer events took place around the United States for the National Day of Prayer on May 6. These events are largely the result of the efforts of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, birthed from the vision of the National Prayer Committee nearly 40 years ago.

Oklahoma’s Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a Texas-style abortion ban Tuesday that prohibits abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, part of a nationwide push in GOP-led states hopeful that the conservative U.S. Supreme Court will uphold new restrictions. Stitt’s signing of the bill comes on the heels of a leaked draft opinion from the nation’s high court that it is considering weakening or overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nearly 50 years ago.

Responding to a viewer’s question in a 2018 “Ask Me Anything” video, Columbian social media star Erika “Kika” Nieto shared her views on marriage while expressing tolerance for all other views. A court considered the video to contain “hate speech” and thus ordered its removal from YouTube. However, the Colombian Supreme Court has now overturned that decision and dismissed the lawsuit. Kika has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

New World Order – One-World Government: It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:7-8) The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. (Daniel 7:23)

The WHO’s Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) had its first hearing this month in” a shocking, global grab for power and control through an international treaty,” reports Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel. Their plan to gain control through a pandemic treaty proposes strengthened WHO at the center with increased global coordination. It also calls for global control over supply chains, global vaccine passports, and a reform of “international control” of “travel and travel restrictions.” And of course, “increased financing” for this new plan. “People promoting the WHO treaty would like to strip sovereign nations of their ability to close their own borders and give that power to WHO,” Staver says.

Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum and UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres recently signed an agreement to accelerate Agenda 2030, The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was approved in September 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly. It is a is a system of total, worldwide centralization of power influencing everything from governments to economies. Part of how they want to implement this is through a concept called the “sharing economy” in which people own less and less property. As the WEF says, you will own nothing. “Given how unnatural this quality of life is, it shouldn’t be surprising then why the globalists are waging an all-out war against free speech on the Internet: they don’t want too much resistance to spread. Hence their ongoing freakout against Elon Musk buying Twitter,” notes Infowars.com

Politics: Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. (Romans 13:1-2)

President Biden’s historic pick to become White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, is married to a CNN correspondent, raising new questions about the personal nexus between cable outlets and the political sphere. Ms. Jean-Pierre, 44, will take over for Jen Psaki on May 13, who said she looks forward to time off but has been linked to a job at MSNBC. Ms. Jean-Pierre is the first Black and first openly gay press secretary and lives with her partner, CNN national correspondent Suzanne Malveaux, and their 7-year-old daughter. Her appointment has been hailed as trail-blazing while others raised questions about a conflict of interest for the cable network.

Censorship: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth. (Romans 1:18)

With Elon Musk buying Twitter, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell returned to Twitter on last Sunday after being banned last year, but was quickly suspended again a short time later. Lindell, a prominent supporter of former President Donald Trump who has upheld the view that the 2020 election was rigged, tweeted only about reopening his Twitter account and said nothing consequential but was banned anyway. Now many are waiting to see how Musk responds.

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers on Saturday ordered all Afghan women to wear head-to-toe clothing in public – a sharp, hardline pivot that confirmed the worst fears of rights activists and was bound to further complicate the militant group’s dealings with an already distrustful international community.

The pastor of an Evangelical church in French Guyana was shot to death and his church burned down the day after he met with a delegation from the National Council of Evangelicals in France that was visiting to discuss the implementation of a law on “separatism,” according to a report. At least seven other people, including two sons of Pastor Kalloe, were injured in the shooting and two others were taken to a hospital in critical condition.

Abortion: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5)

Women have been getting around Texas’ strict abortion law by ordering abortion pills from out of state or overseas. So could women across the country do the same if the Supreme Court overturns the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision ensuring abortion rights nationwide as expected. Medication abortion using the two drugs mifepristone and misoprostol, which can be taken at home, is viewed as a way to circumvent” abortion bans. Aid Access, an online service that mails the medications to patients within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, reported that orders were up 2,900% on Tuesday from a day earlier.

  • Abortion by pill is now used in at least 54% of terminated pregnancies in the United States. The number has grown rapidly since the process became easier to access in 2016 and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Pro-abortion protesters outside the Supreme Court attacked four pro-life Christian activists who showed up to counter-protest. To protect them, police surrounded the four pastors, forming a line between them and the pro-abortion protesters. “The police came in after I was punched,” said Priests for Life director Bryan Kemper. “I’ve been in D.C. 30 years. And I’ve never seen anything like this in 30 years,” said Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition.

Days after the leak of a draft opinion indicating the Supreme Court is prepared to overturn Roe v. Wade, left-wing activist groups are calling for protests at the home of “six extremist” Supreme Court justices. Under the moniker Ruth Sent Us, the activists have published the purported home addresses of Justices Amy Coney Barrett, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch. The group is planning protests at the homes on May 11.

  • After pro-abortion groups disclosed the addresses of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh, protesters marched to their homes with signs and sounding chants of “codify Roe.” The protesters also were chanting “abortion rights are human rights.” Pro-lifers argue abortion violates the rights of the unborn.
  • Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is paying a price for authoring a draft opinion that was leaked last week in which he and four other justices appear to be on the verge of overturning the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. For the sake of safety, Alito has reportedly been moved to a location that will not be revealed because of the protesters.
  • The leader of the Wisconsin pro-life group who was allegedly targeted in an arson attack on Mother’s Day says stronger leadership from the White House is needed as protests outside Supreme Court justices’ homes risk the threat of violence.
  • A reporter for Rewire News Group called for “more” violence against pro-life Americans over the weekend as she appeared to celebrate reports of vandalism against the headquarters of a pro-life group in Wisconsin. “More of this. May these people never know a moment of peace or safety until they rot in the ground,” Caroline Reilly wrote in a now-deleted tweet Sunday evening.
  • Pro-abortion activists interrupted Catholic masses on Mother’s Day across the nation, disrupting services in New York City, Virginia and other locations.

Violence broke out in Los Angeles Tuesday night as abortion rights protesters lobbed “rocks and bottles” at Los Angeles police officers and appeared to smash a Department of Homeland Security cruiser’s window, sparking a citywide tactical alert. Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Los Angeles Tuesday evening in response to a leaked Supreme Court draft decision detailing the nation’s highest court alleged decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Thousands have taken to streets across the country in response to the leaked draft decision, including in New York City at Foley Square and outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

  • Violence and abortion seem to go hand-in-hand.

A number of Republican legislators and governors have called for special sessions in their states to pass further pro-life laws, in anticipation of a reversal of Roe v. Wade through the Dobbs v. Jackson case currently before the Supreme Court. “Leaders in conservative states like South Dakota, Arkansas, Georgia and Indiana have talked about calling special legislative sessions to ban the procedure as soon as the Supreme Court rules.

If pro-life Americans need another reason to quit using Amazon, here’s one: The company is giving money to employees to abort their unborn babies. Reuters reports that the online marketplace company told its employees Monday that it will give them up to $4,000 a year for travel expenses for elective abortions. The new benefit also applies to other “non-life-threatening medical treatments,” according to the report. Amazon joins Citigroup, Apple, Yelp, Levi Strauss and other companies that are giving their pregnant female employees money to abort their unborn babies.

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

New cases of Covid-19 in the U.S. increased by 50% over the past two weeks, with hospitalizations up 21% and deaths up 1% (deaths can lag cases by up to 14 days). Cases are increasing in all but seven states and territories, and in more than a dozen, the daily case average is twice as high today as it was two weeks ago. Some places have seen recent case counts approach or surpass the levels seen during last year’s Delta surge.

  • New cases in Missouri are up 319% with Maine up 188% over the past two weeks. The only three states that show declines are Colorado at – 22%, Alaska at -4% and Oklahoma at -1%.

Nearly 15 million deaths worldwide were related to the impact of Covid-19 as health systems, hospitals were overwhelmed, the World Health Organization estimates. That number is more than double the official tally of 6.2 million Covid deaths because it also includes excess deaths from other causes that are largely attributable to overburdened health systems as the coronavirus surged and overwhelmed hospitals. Most of the fatalities were in Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas, the report found.

Amid a variety of reports of an unusual increase in cardiac events among young people, a peer-reviewed MIT study of data in highly vaccinated Israel found COVID vaccines were “significantly associated” with a 25% spike in emergency medical services for heart problems in 16-39-year-olds.

Almost 13 million children have tested positive for Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Studies suggest that between 2% and 10% of those children will develop long Covid, but the number may be larger. Many parents may not know their child has long Covid, or the child’s pediatrician hasn’t recognized it as such. In adults, some research puts the number around 30% of cases.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning Americans to watch out for phony at-home, over the counter COVID-19 tests that look a lot like the real things. The phonies “are made to look like authorized tests so the users will think they are the real, FDA-authorized test,” the FDA said. The counterfeit test kits may put you at risk of unknowingly spreading the disease or not seeking appropriate medical treatment, the agency cautions. A spike in severe adverse events among pregnant women coinciding with the vaccine rollout in 2021 that is seen in Department of Defense data and the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System database run by the FDA and the CDC, reports WND.com.

Vaccines – Harbinger of the Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

  • The vaccines are not the Mark of the Beast, much as polio, measles, tetanus shots are not either. The Mark must be on the hand and/or forehead and will be required to buy and sell. However, the vaccines are a precursor in that they prepare the masses to follow government orders when the true Mark comes.

The latest release of Pfizer COVID vaccine trial documents by the FDA shows the company deliberately excluded pregnant women from the trials, yet health associations and officials have urged expectant mothers to get the shots anyway, insisting they were safe and effective. The recommendation of the shots for pregnant women was based on a study in France of 44 rats over a period of 42 days, the documents show.

The FDA is limiting use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine over rare blood clot concerns. The Food and Drug Administration said use of the shot should be limited to people 18 and older who do not have access to other vaccines or would refuse other shots. The agency said ongoing worries about a rare and potentially life-threatening side effect involving blood clots that was previously identified warranted the action.

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” 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 6:3-4)

There are so many missing and murdered Indigenous women it has its own acronym: MMIW, reports the USA Today. It keeps happening, despite new laws and federal vows to do more. President Biden to described it as an “epidemic” and Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland labeled it a crisis while calling for more federal action. Indigenous communities have higher rates of poverty, substance and domestic abuse, as well as other social ills that contribute to Indigenous women having a lower life expectancy rate than other groups. Those same factors can also affect the urgency with which cases are handled. Time and again worried loved ones have said their concerns were dismissed by police too busy to search for “another drunk Indian.”

  • A historical distrust of police doesn’t make it any easier to solve cases that may not even be reported. Chronic underfunding of tribal police forces and a quagmire of conflicting jurisdictions for law enforcement agencies further add to the intractable problem. 

Divine Protection:  He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, demand for nuclear shelters in Europe has skyrocketed, including higher-end units selling for as much as $8 million each. Inquiries on units have dramatically increased in the past several months, and are continuing as Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, insinuate the possibility of using nuclear weapons in the conflict. In addition to living space, the units also provide filtered air systems that can eliminate biological or chemical weapons containing anthrax, sarin gas or mustard gas.

  • Doomsday preppers seek to preserve their lives by their own powers instead of putting their trust in God. For Christians, “to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21)

Justice (or lack thereof): Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. (Jeremiah 23:5)

Rosa, a 76-year-old grandmother from Liverpool, England, was arrested while walking and praying during a COVID-19 lockdown in February 2021. Due to court backlogs, she is still awaiting trial. During the first lockdown, she diligently followed the rules and took walks during her allotted period of exercise every day. And while she was walking, she was praying. Silently. In the privacy of her own mind, with headphones in. She walked near an abortion clinic as she prayed about the issue that was on her mind. She was masked, socially distanced, alone, and silent. A policeman stopped her and asked why she was out of her house at a time where reasons to be outside were very limited. “I’m walking and praying,” she answered. But Rosa wasn’t praying in a place of worship, the policeman explained, before arresting her. She was there to “protest”, he said later when the fine was issued. She didn’t have a “reasonable excuse” to be outdoors.

Lawlessness: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2Thessalonians 2;7)

  • As God’s hand of restraint is gradually lifting, spirits of lawlessness are stirring up lawlessness which will increase all the more as the end-times ramp up.

As cities try to go back to the hustle and bustle of pre-pandemic life, one hurdle remains: crime. Crime rates have spiked across the nation since the onset of the pandemic, and many downtown areas are still struggling to quell crime and bring people back in. The FBI last year reported a nearly 30% increase in murders in 2020, the largest single-year increase since the bureau started keeping records. While violent crimes have surged recently, the levels remain well below the rates documented in the 1980s and 1990s. Violent crimes in the U.S. peaked around 1991 at a rate of about 758 violent crimes per 100,000 people, according to FBI data. In 2020, that rate was around 398.

A group of smash and grab robbers targeted a Virginia eyeglass store outside of Washington, D.C., stealing more than $20,000 in merchandise, according to police. Detectives are following up on leads and are aware of similar incidents throughout the National Capital Region,” Capt. Frederick Chambers, Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division of the Fairfax County Police Department, said in a press release on the matter Thursday. Police released video footage of the scene showing four Black males between the ages of 17 to 23 wearing gloves, masks, and hoods or hats while stealing from a MyEyeDr. store in Alexandria.

Big Tech: But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. (Daniel 12:4)

Millions of low-income Americans will be able to get high-speed internet service for no more than $30 a month under a partnership the Biden administration has reached with major internet providers. Twenty internet providers, including AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, have agreed to increase their internet speeds or cut the price of their services for eligible households, the White House announced Monday. “High-speed internet is not a luxury any longer. It’s a necessity,” President Biden said. The announcement is part of the administration’s push to expand access to fast, affordable internet service in rural areas and on tribal lands.

Health: A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22) Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3John 1:2)

At least 10 more states across the United States are reporting similar cases of severe acute hepatitis—liver disease of unknown origin—after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a national health alert regarding a mysterious cluster of the virus on April 21. The cases involve previously healthy children between the ages of 1 month to 16 years old, many of whom are suddenly developing hepatitis and displaying gastrointestinal symptoms including abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting, as well as jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes.

Gender Confusion: Male and female He created them. (Genesis 5:2)

  • Gender confusion is being promoted because it undermines God’s ordained family structure, giving secular government more control over people, particularly our youth.

According to The Washington Times, Taco Bell has launched a “Drag Brunch Tour” that will make its way to five cities across America. The tour will feature drag queens performing at the various Taco Bell Cantina locations. According to a news release on Taco Bell’s website, each “Drag Brunch” will be hosted by professional cross-dresser Kay Sedia. Local drag queens will also perform in each city. The first event of the tour was held on Sunday in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Election Integrity: He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become knownThe integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. (Proverbs 10:9,11:3)

After losing his business and enduring harassment for 18 months, the Delaware computer repairman who exposed the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop filed a multimillion-dollar defamation lawsuit on Tuesday against CNN, the Daily Beast, Politico, and Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff, saying they falsely accused him of spreading Russian propaganda during the last presidential election. “After fighting to reveal the truth, all I want now is for the rest of the country to know that there was a collective and orchestrated effort by social and mainstream media to block a real story with real consequences for the nation,” John Paul Mac Isaac, 45, told the New York Post. “This was collusion led by 51 former pillars in the intelligence community and backed by words and actions of a politically motivated DOJ and FBI,” he said. “I want this lawsuit to reveal that collusion and, more importantly, who gave the marching orders.” This collusion is what helped to defeat Trump.

Immigration: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

The United State Health and Human Services department is preparing as many as 19,000 beds for migrant children arriving at the Southwest border without their parents to be ready by the end of this fiscal year. The number of beds in shelters almost doubled since President Joe Biden took office, up to about 11,500 beds. The department hopes to have 19,000 beds ready by October, the end of fiscal year 2022 and is prepared to seek additional funding from Congress for more beds if needed. HHS seeks to have capacity that they can dial up and down as required.

The majority (56%) of Hispanic voters in the U.S. think President Joe Biden’s administration ought to close the southern border amid a spike in illegal activity, according to a new poll from The Trafalgar Group. Just 34% want the borders to remain open while 10% were undecided.

Food Shortages: The field is wasted, the land mourns; For the grain is ruined, the new wine is dried up, the oil fails. Be ashamed, you farmers, wail, you vinedressers, for the wheat and the barley; because the harvest of the field has perished. The vine has dried up, and the fig tree has withered; The pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree—all the trees of the field are withered; surely joy has withered away from the sons of men. (Joel 1:10-12)

When farmers in the United States returned to their fields in April, officially kicking off the 2022 growing season, they implemented significant changes in their crop plantings. Due to soaring fertilizer costs and chemical shortages, and protracted drought conditions, farmers are now planting different and smaller quantities of certain crops which could lead to widespread food shortages later this year.

A representative of the United Nations World Food Program warned on Sunday that Russia is blocking close to 4.5 million tons in grain exports from Ukraine, The Guardian reported. “Foodstuffs have to reach those in Ukraine who are trapped and in need. But at the same time, there is the need to provide other parts of the world with foodstuffs they are expecting from Ukraine in order to alleviate a global food crisis. Right now, we must concern ourselves with the fact that there are some people who will starve, that there are countries which will be unable to afford grain for their people, and that this whole war situation could lead to a global hunger crisis,” Martin Frick said.

Parents of infants across the U.S. are taking to social media pleading for media coverage and political action while posting pictures of empty store shelves, as the country’s baby formula shortage continues to get worse. The problem has gone beyond finding particular formulas that individual babies can tolerate. Several parents expressed trouble finding formula at all, and delivery is no longer reliable. The baby formula shortage began with ongoing supply chain issues but has escalated in recent weeks due to recalls by formula manufacturer Abbott Laboratories following the deaths of two infants who reportedly consumed formula made at the company’s plant in Sturgis, Michigan.

The world’s largest palm-oil producing nation last week announced a wide-reaching export ban on crude palm oil and its refined products, including cooking oil. Indonesian President Joko Widodo said he wanted to ensure the availability of food products at home after global food prices soared following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The move raised the global prices of vegetable oil, palm, and soybean, among others.

Supply Chain:  He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. (2Corinthians 9:10)

Global shipping was just starting to recover from the chaos of the pandemic. Now port congestion and delays are back and could be around for a while. Covid lockdowns in China have wreaked havoc at Shanghai, the world’s biggest container port, and are now causing problems at other major ports around the world. Shipment delays between China and major U.S. and European ports have quadrupled since late March, when China shut down the city of Shanghai.

Energy Supplies: He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. (Isaiah 44:14-15)

California power regulators are warning of power shortages and possible blackouts this summer as the state’s electrical grid faces increasing strain from drought and extreme heat. Increasingly more intense wildfires are another threat to the grid because they damage power lines. Arizona authorities also warned the public over the weekend to expect power difficulties this summer

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.6%, the Labor Department said Friday. Employers added 428,000 jobs in April, extending a streak of booming payroll gains despite a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases, persistent worker shortages. The nation has recouped 20.8 million, or 95%, of the 22 million jobs lost early in the health crisis, leaving it 1.2 million jobs short of its pre-pandemic level.

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by the most since 2000 on Wednesday as part of efforts to fight 40-year-high inflation. Officials serving on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) agreed to hike the benchmark fed funds rate by 50 basis points, bringing it to a target range of 0.75 percent to 1 percent. Investors widely expected the Fed’s decision, as financial markets are also anticipating another 50-basis-point rate hike in June. The Fed will also begin trimming the more than $9 trillion balance sheet. The institution confirmed that it will start selling $47.5 billion in assets. After three months, the central bank would increase it to $95 billion, a measure that might reduce liquidity from money markets for several years.

A record 4.5 million workers quit their jobs in March, new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed Tuesday. The number of quits increased most significantly in the professional and business services sector, as well as construction. “As employers require workers to return to offices, quits are ticking upwards. A major reason for quitting is to find a remote opportunity,” wrote ZipRecruiter chief economist Julia Pollak on Twitter.

  • Meanwhile, available jobs also rose, climbing to 11.5 million, the highest level since the data series began in December 2000. That means there were 1.9 job openings for every unemployed worker in March. Retail and manufacturing job postings rose, while government jobs and positions in transportation, warehousing and utilities decreased.

U.S. labor productivity tumbled by 7.5% in the first quarter of 2022 – the largest decline in worker output per hour since 1947, according to Labor Department data released Thursday. The report also showed that unit labor costs, or how much workers are paid per unit of output, surged by 11.6% during the quarter. That reflects a 3.2% increase in hourly compensation and a 7.5% decrease in productivity.

Mortgage rates rose this week, continuing an upward trend that has pushed rates more than two percentage points higher this year. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.27% in the week ending May 5, up from 5.10% the week before, according to Freddie Mac. It is the highest since 2009 and well above the 2.96% average from this time last year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite suffered the worst one-day losses since 2020 last week. U.S. stocks also fell sharply on Monday, pushing the S&P 500 below 4000 for the first time in over a year as traders anticipate a new load of bad news on inflation and earnings. The Dow Jones index fell about 654 points, nearly 2%. The S&P 500 dropped 3.2%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost about 4.3%.

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a $1.2 billion tax relief bill on May 6 to help Floridians—especially families with children—fight what he called “Biden-flation headwinds.” “This is actually the largest tax relief in the history of the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. “The tax relief you’re going to see is breaks for really critical needs like gas, diapers, disaster supplies, tools for skilled trades, and recreational activities. Families are going to be able to save for things that really matter for them.” Signing HB 7071 —which covers a wide array of tax holidays—will “make an impact to help mitigate the harm that’s been caused by this inflationary spiral,” he said.

Israel: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6)

An Israeli Border Police officer was stabbed during a terrorist attack near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem on Sunday evening. The perpetrator was neutralized and evacuated to a hospital in critical condition. According to Mako, the assailant is a Palestinian from the Ramallah area who was illegally present in Jerusalem.

Four days after the deadly attack in the ultra-Orthodox city of Elad in central Israel, the two axe-wielding terrorists were caught and arrested in a joint operation by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), the IDF and the Israel Police. Three fathers — Yonatan Habakuk, Boaz Gol and Oren Ben Yiftach — were murdered on Thursday evening by the young terrorists, at the conclusion of Israel’s Independence Day, leaving their wives and a total of 16 children. The escaped terrorists, 19-year-old As’ad Yussef Assad al-Rafa’i and 20-year-old Sabhi Abu Shakir — both of Rummanah, a small village near Jenin — were found in a wooded area between Rosh HaAyin and Nahshonim, less than a kilometer from where the attack took place.

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22)

Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, has foiled a plot to kill an Israeli diplomat, a U.S. general, and a journalist, detaining an Iranian man ordered to orchestrate the hits, The Jerusalem Post reported Saturday. The Mossad noted that Iran was reportedly willing to pay more than $1 million for the hits organized by a member of the Quds Force’s Unit 840 in Europe. The foiled plot shows the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its Quds Force are a threat to more than just Israel worldwide. Israeli defense officials warn the foiled plots are part of a larger list of plots. Reports in Turkey, Britain, and the United States have revealed Iran’s ties to international crime organizations as proxies to conduct its terror around the world.

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; forall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

Monday, 5/9, was the annual Victory Day in Russia, and the world paid close attention to Vladimir Putin’s address to his nation. But coverage is emphasizing what the Russian leader didn’t say in regard to his invasion of Ukraine, rather than what he did. Putin did not announce plans to intensify the war against Ukraine or order a mobilization of men to fight as Ukrainian officials had feared. There were no declarations of victory in Ukraine. Putin did not mention Ukraine by name in his speech and offered no indication of how long the war might continue. He repeated his rationale that Russia’s invasion was purely defensive, and he continued to insist that Russia is fighting Nazism.

  • Anti-war protesters doused Russia’s ambassador to Poland with red paint while he tried to lay flowers at a cemetery for Soviet soldiers on Monday. Ambassador Sergey Andreev led an entourage to the Warsaw cemetery to commemorate “Victory Day” in World War II, which Russia celebrates on May 9. Andreev’s group was soon surrounded with protesters demanding an end to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine has made limited progress: small gains from forces pressing south from Izyium and a virtual stalemate pushing to the north from around Mariupol, a senior Pentagon official said Monday. The official characterized the Russian attack as “incremental and somewhat anemic.” The Russians have been trying to orchestrate their artillery, air and ground forces in eastern Ukraine with little success, said the official.

  • The Ukrainians have countered with artillery strikes of their own. The Pentagon has sent 90 M777 howitzer cannons to Ukraine, 85 of which have arrived, with more than 100,000 artillery shells. More than 300 Ukrainian soldiers have completed training on the operation of the howitzer cannons.

President Biden and leaders of the Group of Seven nations vowed to phase out, or altogether ban, the import of Russian oil in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, they said after a video meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Sixty people are feared dead after a Russian airstrike destroyed a Ukrainian school in the eastern village of Bilohorivka, local officials said Sunday. It’s the latest in a series of brutal attacks on targets in Ukraine’s Donbas region, which is now the epicenter of Russia’s military campaign. The school in Bilohorivka was sheltering about 90 people at the time of the strike, officials said.

In Ukraine, Russian generals are being killed at a rate the country’s military hasn’t seen since the most intense fighting of World War II, and officials say American intelligence has helped target some of them. Ukrainian officials say around a dozen Russian generals have been killed since the invasion began on Feb. 24. Senior U.S. officials say Ukraine has been provided with real-time battlefield intelligence, including troop movements and the frequently shifting locations of mobile Russian military headquarters.

The U.S. says it shared intelligence with Ukraine about the location of the Russian missile cruiser Moskva prior to the strike that sank the warship, an incident that was a high-profile failure for Russia’s military. The Biden administration has ramped up intelligence sharing with Ukraine alongside the shipment of arms and missiles to help it repel Russia’s invasion.

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God,  shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23)

Islamic extremist rebels killed at least seven people in an attack in northeast Borno state in Nigeria. The rebels attacked Kautukari village in the Chibok area of Borno on Tuesday evening. The attack happened at the same time that U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was in the state to meet with survivors of jihadi violence. “They came in large number with superior firepower (and) took over the community,” said Hassan Chibok, a community leader. Troops from a nearby military base were deployed to repel the attack but “the damage had been done,” Chibok said, adding that “casualties are up to 10.”

Al Qaeda-linked militants overran an African Union peacekeepers’ camp in the center of Somalia, a security source and the group said on Tuesday, in what appears to be one of the al Shabaab group’s biggest attacks this year. A resident said three civilians died in crossfire during the attack, while the number of African Union soldiers killed or captured was unclear. Somalia is preparing to hold long-delayed presidential elections with political rivalries having split the security services, distracting them from the fight against the al Shabaab insurgency.

Infrastructure: But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall. (Matthew 7:26-7)

U.S. infrastructure is aging, and that includes our dams. The AP analysis found the nation’s dams are in even worse condition than previously thought. An Associated Press analysis tallied more than 2,200 high-hazard dams in poor or unsatisfactory condition across the U.S. — up substantially from a similar AP review conducted three years ago. The actual number is likely even higher because some states don’t track such data and many federal agencies refuse to release details about their dams’ conditions.

Environment: And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth,for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)

Last week, new water restrictions issued for millions of residents of Southern California highlighted the need to make agriculture more efficient—and a new statewide composting mandate is providing the solution. California leads the nation in food production, which requires a lot of water, and recently they became the second state in the nation after Vermont to make large-scale composting a requirement by law. City composting programs produce thousands of truckloads of finished compost that go onto farms, orchards, and vineyards, creating a natural sponge that attracts and retains moisture. More than 200 cities across the country, and many universities, have followed San Francisco’s lead and implemented curbside collection of food scraps for composting. The new composting law requires California cities to reduce landfilling of compostable materials by 75 percent by 2025. Food waste makes up nearly 20% of the material in our landfills.

Recycling has seen rising costs and lower buy-in from cities in recent years after China in 2018 stopped importing many recycled materials and local options dwindled, leaving cities skeptical as they faced rising costs for selling paper and plastic goods. Nationally, about two-thirds of waste collected goes to landfills, but 70-90% of material is actually recyclable, researchers estimate. Last year, Americans recycled at most 6% of their plastic waste, according to a separate report released last Wednesday by a pair of environmental groups. It’s a number that’s even worse than it used to be – 8.7% in 2018.

  • The U.S. counts exported plastic waste as “recycled” even though 25% to 75% is “inadequately managed in receiving countries.” Left to its own devices, plastic degrades over time and becomes microplastics that contaminate the environment and human bodies. Research shows every person will consume about 44 pounds of microplastics in their lifetime.

Volcanoes: Bow down Your heavens, O Lord, and come down; Touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. (Psalm 144:5); The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord, (Psalms 97:5)

A two-week eruption of Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano shows no signs of stopping. Kilauea has been erupting since September in starts and stops, but recently the flow of lava has become steadier.

Wildfires: 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)

Firefighters slowed the advance of the Hermit’s Peak wildfire, 12 miles northwest of Las Vegas, New Mexico. It is the largest wildfire in the U.S. at 176,272 acres as of last 5/9 after heavy winds finally relented. President Biden approved a disaster declaration that brings new financial resources to remote stretches of New Mexico devastated by the fire since early April. At least 356 structures have been destroyed. The fire is 43% contained as of 5/9.

In parts of Texas, smoke fills the sky. Wildfires are burning out of control; the brush is dry and all it takes is a single spark to create the next fire that could rage out of control. No home or neighborhood is safe from this reality in Amarillo. Extreme temperatures are another factor. Record-breaking, triple-digit heat is only making matters worse. Temperatures in Amarillo this time of year are supposed to be at a comfortable 78 degrees. However, since Friday, they have been soaring into the triple digits.

Wildfire season in Arizona began early, and is likely to be intense. With the large Crooks and Tunnel fires winding down, another new one blasted past 10,000 acres in just two days. The San Rafael fire is burning 22 miles southeast of Patagonia, which is fifty miles south of Tucson. About 80 people have been evacuated and the Red Cross has set up a shelter at the United Methodist Community Church in Patagonia.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

There are already widespread impacts in California’s third year of extreme dry conditions. The entire state – some 40 million people and 164,000 square miles – is in a drought emergency. Major reservoirs have reached record lows resulting in less hydropower for some regions, water use is being restricted, farmers are being paid not to grow crops and hundreds of fish are dying in dried-up stream beds. Last summer was the hottest on record in the state according to the National Weather Service. A sweltering August heat wave was blamed for hundreds of deaths in California and the Pacific Northwest.

  • California’s two largest reservoirs — Shasta Lake and Lake Oroville – are plunging at an alarming rate. Years of low rainfall and snowpack and more intense heat waves have fed directly to the state’s multiyear, unrelenting drought conditions, rapidly draining statewide reservoirs. And according to last week’s report from the U.S. Drought Monitor, the two major reservoirs are at “critically low levels” at the point of the year when they should be the highest.

The days are ticking down to the start of this year’s Atlantic hurricane season on June 1, and forecasters are worried about the increasing ferocity seen in recent years.. Nearly half of those most powerful storms — Charley, Laura, Ida and Michael — made landfall in the U.S. in just the last 18 years. As rising global temperatures continue heating up the Gulf and other tropical waters, it’s a phenomenon some experts expect to see more often. Already this year, water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico are warmer than normal. And a rejuvenated La Nina current in the Pacific Ocean could mean more favorable conditions for hurricanes.

Major damage is being seen after tornadoes roared through parts of central Oklahoma and Texas last Wednesday, and flooding forced evacuations in Arkansas Thursday morning. So far, no serious injuries have been reported. Officials were evacuating residents near Fayetteville, Arkansas, Thursday morning as homes and vehicles were flooded. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for the city of 85,000 as floodwaters rose. The flooding extended into parts of Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. In Okmulgee County, Oklahoma. Over twelve inches of rain fell in some areas over two days.

Signs of the Times Update: May 2, 2022

May 2, 2022

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:31-34)

Praise Reports: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

On Tuesday, April 12, 15 women came together to share their abortion regret testimonies outside Jackson Women’s Health Organization, also known as the Pink House due to its bright pink exterior. It is the last remaining abortion facility in Mississippi, and is at the center of the Supreme Court case Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which concerns Mississippi’s legislation limiting abortion to the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. Wearing black t-shirts reading “Ask Me My Story” in white letters, the women shared their personal abortion stories on the sidewalk, interacted with men and women entering the facility, and dialogued with facility employees. As a result of these conversations, four women canceled their abortion appointments and one employee committed to quitting her job at the facility.

Arizonans will now have access to their churches, religious organizations, and clergy during a public crisis. Governor Ducey’s signature on HB 2507 and HB 2449 ensures religious Arizonans and organizations are not discriminated against during a public emergency. If other essential services are available to the public, religious organizations will be as well. By signing HB 2507 the Governor acknowledges the fact that religious organizations provide essential services that are vital to the health and welfare of the public. They not only meet the spiritual needs of our communities, but they also support social services, health care, and economic activity.

A federal appeals court has given orders to dismiss all challenges to the unique enforcement mechanism of Texas’s pro-life Heartbeat Act, which empowers private citizens to file civil lawsuits against abortionists. The U.S. 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday remanded the primary lawsuit opposing the enforcement method of the Heartbeat Act (SB 8) back to district court Judge Robert Pitman, with orders to dismiss all challenges. Tuesday’s decision finalizes a March ruling by the Texas Supreme Court to uphold the pro-life law against a lawsuit which had suggested that state officials had a role in enforcing the measure. The Lone Star State’s hotly contested Heartbeat Act bans abortions after a baby’s heartbeat can be detected (usually around six weeks gestation).

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt (R) has signed a bill banning non-binary gender marks on birth certificates. “I believe that people are created by God to be male or female. Period,” the governor said. The ban on non-binary certificates, which Stitt signed into law on Tuesday, is reportedly the first of its kind in the U.S. The bill, SB 1100, limits biological sex on birth certificates to just male and female. Stitt’s signing of the law makes permanent his executive order that blocked the state’s Department of Health from issuing a non-binary birth certificate last year, CBN News reports. At the time, an Oklahoma-born Oregon resident sued the agency after it initially denied their request for a non-binary birth certificate.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed HB2161 into law Friday to uphold the rights of parents to raise their children without undue interference from government, especially in the public-school system. “HB 2161 would not have been necessary had school and healthcare officials consistently respected the role of parents and abided by current law acknowledging a parent’s right to direct the education and wellbeing of their children,” notes Cathi Herrod, President of the Center for Arizona Policy. The new law will now protect children from activist school officials, who often don’t even notify parents of their progressive indoctrination of their children.

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a program of the city of Boston that allows outside groups to fly flags at city hall must permit the flying of flag with a cross that a camp referred to as a “Christian flag.” The question before the court was whether flying the flag as part of a government program was considered government speech if the flag belonged to a private organization, in this case, Camp Constitution. The Supreme Court ruled that it is not. Boston argued that flying the flag was government speech because it was the city’s flag pole and is normally used to fly the flag of Boston when it is not used for this program.

Pseudo-Christianity: These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. (Matthew 15:8) They claim to know God, but they deny him by what they do. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit to do anything good. (Titus 1:16)

An internal report released by a Florida megachurch alleges that its founders, who resigned earlier this month, were abusive and mentally troubled. The 12,000-member Celebration Church, located in Jacksonville, was founded by pastor Stovall Weems and his wife, Kerri, in 1988. The Weemses, who resigned on April 15, filed a lawsuit against the church in February to settle dueling claims of financial fraud. According to a 22-page report by the Nelson Mullins law firm, “the single word used most frequently to describe Stovall Weems was ‘narcissist.’ The report found that since 2019, the Weems’ leadership has been “inconsistent and unbiblical.” The report added that their leadership was “marked by rampant spiritual and emotional abuse, including manipulation, a profound sense of self-importance and selfishness, superiority and entitlement, overbearing and unreasonable demands on employees’ time, a lack of accountability or humility, and demands of absolute loyalty.”

Satanic Deception: He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. (John 8:44) The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where[a] the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:10)

The Satanic Temple is suing a Pennsylvania elementary school after the Northern York County School Board voted not to allow an After School Satan Club. The Satanic Temple’s general counsel Mathew Kezhaya explained that the aim of the litigation is to determine if the board discriminated against the Satanic Temple since other after school clubs were allowed instead of theirs. Kezhaya noted that the lawsuit could take up to 18 months or even two years to be completed and could be even longer if the case makes it to the Supreme Court. Under the first amendment, Kezhaya contended that The Satanic Temple’s after school club should be given the same access as the other clubs.

  • If we truly believe in free speech, then this Satanic club should not be excluded as long as they don’t force anyone to become a member.

The Satanic Temple’s website includes a theme song with the following lyrics: “Satan’s not an evil guy, he wants you to learn and question why, he wants you to have fun and be yourself, and by the way, there is no hell. Science is important, so we understand the world, Satan looks for truth, let’s help him, boys and girls… Everyone is different, and that’s ok with Satan, he’ll always treat you equal, whether you’re black, white, or gay.”

  • Very appealing to the youth of today who see Christianity as hateful and discriminatory because of the lack of love displayed by so many Christians despite the fact that Jesus told us to love everyone (Matthew 22:37-40), even our enemies (Matthew 5:44), and that we’re all sinners (Romans 3:23) saved only by the grace of God (Ephesians 2:1-9).

New World Order – One-World Government: It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:7-8) The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. (Daniel 7:23)

A third nation just bowed to Vaccine Passports after the World Health Organization (WHO) launched its new global push. Now about 2.8 billion people (out of 7.7 billion total) are subject to government-controlled medical restrictions before traveling. Australia joined Africa and India in mandating these Vaccine Passports, which include testing results. Their governments will be able to share the digital medical data of their citizens and of anyone traveling to their countries. Now Vaccine Passports are being pushed in South America too. U.S. adult travelers must show proof of vaccine to enter Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Guyana.

The Demise of America: The first was like a lion (Britain) and had eagle’s wings (America). I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. (Daniel 7:4)

The Department of Homeland Security is establishing a board to counter “disinformation.” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified to a House panel on Wednesday that the board will be tasked with countering disinformation regarding homeland security, particularly related to Russia and illegal immigration. Politico reported Nina Jankowicz, who previously served as a disinformation fellow at the Wilson Center, a Washington think tank, will head the board as executive director. Mayorkas told the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Wednesday that “the goal” of the new board “is to bring the resources of the department together to address this threat” of disinformation.

  • More likely is that is Board will stifle free speech, especially anything counter to the liberal-progressive narrative that has already proven false in several areas.

Persecution: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9) Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)

“The military regime … tortured the people, burnt their houses, bombed their villages, raped their women and children, sucked the people out of their livelihoods and killed thousands of innocent civilians…” With these words, Christian leaders in north-east India sum up the terrible suffering in neighboring Myanmar since the military coup of February 2021. Many of the victims are Christians from Myanmar’s ethnic minorities. Thousands have fled their homeland into nearby countries.

Antisemitic incidents reported in the United States reached an “all-time high” in 2021, increasing to levels never before seen in the Anti-Defamation League’s recorded history, the agency said Tuesday. There was an average of more than seven antisemitic incidents per day in 2021, the ADL found, 2,717 last year – a 34% increase from the 2,026 incidents recorded in 2020. Incidents of antisemitic assaults saw the biggest increase – skyrocketing by 167% from 33 in 2020 to 88 in 2021, the audit found.

When he heard that anti-Israel protesters were going to be rallying outside Israel’s consulate and Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Midtown Manhattan on April 20, Matthew Greenman from nearby Westchester County in New York decided to do something to show his support for the Jewish state, despite being on crutches. For his efforts, Greenman was not only called a “terrorist,” but was assaulted and injured in a case currently being investigated by the New York City Police Department’s Hate Crimes Unit.

Abortion: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5)

The prestigious Wall Street Journal has chosen a side in the abortion wars. On April 26, WSJ published an editorial titled “Abortion and the Supreme Court. The editors urged the Justices to use the Mississippi case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health to overturn Roe v. Wade, which (with the accompanying Doe v. Bolton ruling) legalized abortion in all 50 states up until fetal viability. In 1992, the Supreme Court passed up an opportunity to overturn Roe, instead upholding its primary holdings in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

The U.S. Senate tied Wednesday evening on a vote to formally disapprove of the Biden administration’s decision to restore the abortion industry’s access to Title X family planning funds, allowing the policy to stand for the time being. The 49-49 vote saw moderate Democrat Joe Manchin cross the aisle to support the measure, and pro-abortion Republicans Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski joined Democrats in voting against it (two additional Democrats, Chris Murphy and Ron Wyden, were absent).

  • In October 2021, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) formally rescinded former President Donald Trump’s Protect Life Rule, which required “clear financial and physical separation between Title X-funded projects and programs or facilities where abortion is a method of family planning,” and banned “referral for abortion as a method of family planning.” The Trump rule reduced Planned Parenthood’s annual funding by almost $60 million.

The University of New Mexico has agreed to pay $365,000 to the family of a woman who died during an abortion at a facility recommended by the school. Keisha Atkins, then 23, died in 2017 at the Southwestern Women’s Options abortion facility in Albuquerque four days after reporting to the clinic for a “four-day late-term abortion procedure that was to be done by eighty-year-old abortion facility owner Curtis Boyd,” according to pro-life organization Operation Rescue.

Operation Rescue has obtained a Computer Aided Dispatch print out from the Reno, Nevada, Police Department that notes it is Planned Parenthood’s policy to not notify a parent when a minor daughter is the victim of a sex crime. The 911 call was placed on August 2, 2021, by Katherine Schopp, who is a nurse practitioner with Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, the affiliate that operates the Reno Planned Parenthood abortion facility. Schopp reported that a minor between the ages of 10 and 17 was the victim of a sexual assault by an adult male.

Suicide/Assisted Suicide: No man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death. (Ecclesiastes 8:8 ESV)

In just the last 10 months, 10 sailors aboard the U.S.S. George Washington have committed suicide. The U.S. military, already plagued by an increase in active-duty suicides, reported a heartbreaking 16% increase in suicides in 2020, according to the Department of Defense (DOD) 2020 Annual Suicide Report. That’s the highest number of active-duty suicides in at least five years. Last week, Liberty Counsel filed a declaration in Navy SEAL 1 v. Austin revealing shocking evidence of suicides among military members due to the Biden vaccine mandate. A platoon mate of Plaintiff Lance Corporal 2 of the U.S. Marine Corps committed suicide just before Christmas. A military informant says that the suicide was a result of the pressure and the punishment this Marine faced for his religious objection to the shots.

In the U.S., suicide increased by 30% between 2000 and 2018 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s pre-COVID-19. By 2020, in the midst of the COVID pandemic, suicide was the runner-up cause of death for ages 10-14.

Pestilence (Covid and other diseases): For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7)

New Covid-19 cases in the U.S. have increased by 51% over the past two weeks, while hospitalizations are up 16%, but deaths are down 29% (however, deaths lag cases by up to two weeks). Early evidence is that the current subvariants are less severe and deadly. The number of new cases announced is still at its lowest level since last summer, and hospitalizations, despite recent growth, are nearly as low as they have been at any point in the pandemic.

  • The rising case reports are believed to be a significant undercount since many Americans are using at-home tests, many institutions have cut back on surveillance testing, and states have closed mass testing sites.
  • More than half a dozen states, ranging from Indiana (+221%) to West Virginia (+196%) to Hawaii (+146%) have seen reports of new cases double in the past two weeks. In much of the Northeast, hospitalizations have increased by 40 percent or more.
  • Only four states show declines in cases over the past two weeks: Arizona (-15%), Colorado (-6%), Oklahoma (-2%) and Texas (-1%). Washington D.C. is down 25% after being one the first to see a new surge of cases.

After more than two years, the United States may be out of the so-called COVID-19 pandemic phase, according to top White House adviser Anthony Fauci. Fauci, who has been the federal government’s public face for its COVID-19 response and rules, told PBS Newshour Tuesday that “we are certainly right now in this country out of the pandemic phase.” After making that statement, Fauci then continued to push for people to get COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots which “might be” an “every year” occurrence, adding that it “might be longer, in order to keep that level low.”

  • The next day, however, Fauci told CBS News his words had been misconstrued, and that “we certainly cannot say the pandemic is over. It is not over.”

New government data, released Tuesday, looked at blood drawn for medical purposes during that timeframe and found antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 in nearly 60% of people, up from one-third just three months earlier. In adults under 50, 37% had antibodies in December, compared to 64% in February; in those 50-64, antibody presence rose from 29% to 50%, and in adults 65-and-older it climbed from 19% to 33%. The increase was highest among the youngest. In children, the antibody rate rose from about 45% to 75%.

  • A previous infection provides some protection against a subsequent one, though it’s not clear how long that protection lasts, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said

Emerging research suggests that a small portion of people who now live with long Covid may have showed no Covid-19 symptoms at all when they were initially infected – or their symptoms were mild or unusual. One paper posted last year to the server MedRxiv, featured an analysis of more than 1,400 medical records in California for people who tested positive for Covid-19. It found that roughly 32% of those reporting long-haul symptoms more than 60 days following a Covid-19 diagnosis in which no symptoms were present at the time of their initial Covid-19 test.

Just one day after the Food and Drug Administration revived its war against COVID-19 treatment ivermectin, disingenuously calling it a “horse dewormer,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a law allowing residents to access the treatment without a prescription. The FDA’s renewed attacks this week developed when it said the word ivermectin was trending on the newly liberated Twitterverse under Elon Musk. But on Wednesday, a report from Liberty Counsel confirmed that Lee signed into law a plan making the antiviral drug … available for the treatment of COVID-19 without a prescription.”

International:

COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing in South Africa, as they did in the earliest days of the omicron outbreak. It’s too soon to know whether that will have any implications for the United States, but omicron exploded here right after Thanksgiving, only a few weeks after it took off there. The viruses now spreading in South Africa are variants of omicron, dubbed BA.4 and BA.5. The original omicron variant, called BA.1, now represents only about 3% of cases in the United States, according to Centers for Disease Control data. It was pushed out by BA.2, which accounts for 68% of current infections, and BA.2.12.1, which is approaching 30% of cases nationwide, after arising in New York state.

Taiwan, which had been living mostly free of COVID-19, is now facing its worst outbreak since the beginning of the pandemic with over 11,000 new cases reported Thursday. Cases have been on the upswing since late March. In April, the island’s central authorities announced they would no longer maintain a “zero-COVID” policy like the Chinese government’s in which they would centrally quarantine positive cases. Instead, the government is asking people to quarantine at home if they test positive, unless they show moderate to severe symptoms.

Bird Flu:

A Colorado prison inmate who had direct exposure to poultry infected with avian flu is the first person in the U.S. to test positive with the current strain with mild symptoms of fatigue. He was working at a commercial farm with infected poultry as part of a correctional pre-release employment program. “This case does not change the human risk assessment for the general public, which CDC considers to be low,” the CDC said in a statement.

Vaccines – Harbinger of the Mark of the Beast: He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

  • The vaccines are not the Mark of the Beast, much as polio, measles, tetanus shots are not either. The Mark must be on the hand and/or forehead and will be required to buy and sell. However, the vaccines are a precursor in that they prepare the masses to follow government orders when the true Mark comes.

In a stunning admission by the liberal New York Times, senior writer David Leonhardt reports, “Why hasn’t the F.D.A. approved a Covid-19 vaccine for children under 5? Government officials have given two conflicting answers in recent days — one that places responsibility on vaccine manufacturers, another that casts the lack of approval as a deliberate federal policy. It’s the latest instance of what has been a recurring problem during the pandemic. Public health officials have sent confusing messages about Covid policy. They have done so on masks, tests, adult vaccines and basic Covid statistics. Sometimes, the confusion has been intentional: Officials haven’t trusted Americans with the truth. Other times, the confusion has been an accidental byproduct of a messy public-health bureaucracy where no one person has responsibility for delivering clear messages to the public.”

For most of the pandemic, unvaccinated people accounted for the vast majority of fatalities from covid-19. But during the omicron surge in January and February, 42 percent of the people who died of Covid had been previously vaccinated, reports CNN in another liberal new site owning up to the truth. “A key explanation for the rise in deaths among the vaccinated is that covid-19 fatalities are again concentrated among the elderly, who are overwhelmingly immunized, but vaccines are less effective and their potency wanes over time in older age groups.”

Three-hundred-eighty-two employees at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not received a COVID-19 vaccine, Roger Andoh, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) officer at the agency, told The Epoch Times. Another nine employees have just had one dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, meaning they do not qualify as fully vaccinated per the CDC’s guidelines. Together, that represents 3.2 percent of the CDC’s workforce. The data are current as of April 12. Three other health agencies inside the HHS involved in promoting COVID-19 vaccination have still not provided the data requested. They are the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the National Institutes of Health.

Liberty Counsel reports about one service member they are defending in court: “Corey* has the military in his DNA. His grandfather served in the Army, and Corey’s father, aunt and uncle all attended U.S. Air Force Academy. Corey was awarded one of the highest commendations from the U, S, Air Force Academy as the top cadet out of 1,070 classmates, achieving top marks in physical fitness, academics and leadership. Corey believes it is his duty to serve God and country. But Joe Biden is making him choose God or country. Corey was ordered to take the COVID vaccine by DOD Secretary Lloyd Austin. But all the shots used aborted fetal cell lines in testing and/or development. As a committed Christian, Corey will not be directly or indirectly associated with abortion. Corey’s chaplain recommended his religious accommodation request be approved, but the committee denied Corey’s lawful right to religious accommodation anyway.

Violence/Murder: When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” 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 6:3-4)

Law enforcement in Wisconsin launched a homicide investigation into a 14-year-old boy after discovering the body of a 10-year-old girl near a walking trail Monday. Police arrested a juvenile suspect who knew Iliana Peters, who went by the name Lily, they announced Tuesday evening. The teen arrested in connection with the death of Lily appeared by video in court Wednesday where a judge ordered him held on $1 million bail.

Gun Control: When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. (Luke 11:21-22, ESV)

Across the U.S., more kids are getting their hands on guns and using them in an escalating number of murders, suicides and accidental shootings, experts and data say. By March 31, there were at least 1,352 incidents where teenagers under 19 were injured or killed by gunfire this year, figures from the Gun Violence Archive show. The total in 2021 was 5,543 incidents. Firearms-related homicide was the top cause of death for those ages 1-24 beginning in 2017. In 2020, gun-involved homicides by children under 18 were up to 1,704 incidents from 1,225 in 2019 – a 39% year-over-year increase of 479 shootings.

Tragedy: In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

A medical mystery was uncovered by a New Jersey man who was able to connect over 100 people diagnosed with uncommon cancers or tumors to a single Woodbridge high school. Al Lupiano revealed that he had a brain growth 20 years ago prior to his wife having one as well as his sibling who passed away in February at 44 years of age. All three attended the exact same high school in Woodbridge. Lupiano swore “I will not rest until I have answers.” Since then he discovered that at least 110 students of that high school also had uncommon cancerous growths. The 50-year-old Lupiano claims that the illnesses can be traced back to a close-by plant that handled uranium for the very first atomic bomb under the Manhattan Project. The plant is now closed but formerly imported uranium ore that was imported for use in the nation’s early atomic energy program and shipped to other sites for processing, as reported by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Law Enforcement: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9)

Minneapolis and its police department engaged in “a pattern or practice of race discrimination,” Minnesota human rights officials said in a report Wednesday stemming from an investigation launched one week after the Memorial Day 2020 killing of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer. State Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero, at a news conference, lambasted the organizational culture of a department marred by “flawed training which emphasized a paramilitary approach to policing,” a lack of accountability and the failure of police leaders to address racial disparities. The report cited “racial disparities in how MPD officers use force, stop, search, arrest, and cite people of color” and officers’ “use of covert social media to surveil Black individuals and Black organizations, unrelated to criminal activity.”

A fired Philadelphia police officer was charged with murder for killing a 12-year-old who was essentially face down on the sidewalk. Edsaul Mendoza, 26, is charged with first-degree murder, third-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter and another charge for shooting Thomas “T.J.” Siderio on March 1. Siderio “likely” fired at Mendoza’s unmarked police vehicle before the officer chased him, District Attorney Larry Krasner said Monday. The boy had discarded the gun and was “essentially face down on the sidewalk” when Mendoza fired the fatal shot, Krasner said.

Cyber Security: He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. (Psalm 40:2)

Russia is struggling under an unprecedented wave of hacking attacks, puncturing the myth of Moscow’s unassailable cyber-superiority. Prolific Russian ransomware groups had pledged to step up attacks on American infrastructure if Russian technology was hobbled in retribution for the invasion of Ukraine. But in the third month of the war, Russia, not the United States, is dealing with a cyber-assault involving government activity, political voluntarism and criminal action coming from Ukraine supporters around the world.

Big Tech: But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. (Daniel 12:4)

Google claims that it has disabled a feature within its document editor that was correcting language to make it ‘more inclusive’, but only while it refines the tool to make it work more effectively. Google Docs was testing ‘inclusive warnings’, which act like a language checker, suggesting that users refrain from using terms such as ‘policeman’ or ‘landlord’, because they are gendered, and words like ‘fierce’ and ‘annoyed’ for being threatening. Critics compared the move to the Ministry of Truth from Orwell’s 1984, which policed language and made sure that its Newspeak was implemented everywhere. Now, following the backlash, Google is pausing the tool.

Jack Dorsey, the co-founder and former CEO of Twitter, threw his support behind Elon Musk’s deal to take the social media platform private. “In principle, I don’t believe anyone should own or run Twitter,” Dorsey said late Monday. “It wants to be a public good at a protocol level, not a company. Solving for the problem of it being a company, however, Elon is the singular solution I trust.” Dorsey said that Twitter has always been “my biggest regret,” and taking it back from “Wall Street” was the “correct first step” for the popular platform.

  • A central concern expressed by Twitter employees was that Musk would try to break down safeguards to protect everyday users that workers had built over many years. Unfortunately, those ‘protections’ often censored viable viewpoints that run contrary to the liberal-progressive faith, thus stifling free speech.

Racism/Discrimination: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

Harvard University set out to uncover and record “every discoverable connection between Harvard and slavery,” reports the Boston Globe. The result—the product of three years of work by faculty and student researchers—is a 130-page report that makes clear that the connections were there, and persisted for centuries. The report found that Harvard presidents, faculty, and staff owned more than 70 slaves from the school’s founding in 1636 to 1783 (when the state’s Supreme Judicial Court declared it unconstitutional). Harvard President Lawrence Bacow, who commissioned the report, has vowed to spend $100 million to: strengthening ties with historically Black colleges; invest in education among descendant communities; identify and support the direct descendants of those enslaved at Harvard; and create a “permanent and imposing physical memorial, convening space, or both.”

Health Care:  Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of the daughter of my people not been restored? (Jeremiah 8:22)

Noting aspirin’s risk of dangerous bleeding, the nation’s leading panel of preventive health experts has reversed course and now recommends that most people should not take a daily low-dose aspirin to prevent a heart attack or stroke. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force updated its guidelines Tuesday to recommend against initiating daily low-dose aspirin in people 60 and older. The choice for people between 40 and 59 would be between themselves and their doctor, but the task force warns that the “net benefit of aspirin use in this group is small.”

About 10,000 families are facing unpaid bills totaling over $50 million after a health care ministry they were a part of said they were shutting down. According to Christianity Today, Sharity Ministries filed for bankruptcy and started the liquidation process in 2021.

Health: A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22) Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3John 1:2)

A new law in Arizona, signed recently by Gov. Doug Ducey, is breaking ground on advancing medical treatments that are new and promising, but not fully vetted. The Goldwater Institute explained the legislation “opens the door to cutting-edge treatments that are otherwise blocked by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.” The institute worked on the legislation, and called it Right to Try 2.0, as an earlier Right to Try plan already was developed and adopted. “Patients in need of lifesaving treatment received new hope,” the organization reported.

Fueled by Covid-19 relief measures and renewed federal investment, enrollment in Obamacare plans, Medicaid expansion and Basic Health Plan policies has soared to an estimated 35.8 million as of early 2022, up from 27.1 million in 2020, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. This includes an estimated 13.6 million people enrolled in policies purchased on the Obamacare exchanges and more than 21 million people in Medicaid expansion coverage, including 16.8 million who were not eligible prior to the landmark health reform law. Meanwhile, the uninsured rate fell to 8.8% in the fourth quarter of last year, down from 10.3% in the same period of 2020.

  • These numbers could start declining as early as this summer if the nation’s public health emergency is not renewed again. That will allow states to resume disenrolling Medicaid beneficiaries who no longer qualify for coverage, a practice that was halted during the pandemic.

You can dramatically increase your lifespan just by taking a walk. New evidence reveals that the old rule of 10,000 steps daily is outdated, and if you are over 60 you really need only 7,000 steps per day to slash your mortality risk by 50%. A meta-analysis published in the Lancet medical journal examined 15 studies involving nearly 50,000 adults and found that seniors had a decreasing mortality rate when they walked between 6,000 and 8,000 steps daily, with an average of 7,000 steps to reap the health benefits. The researchers found that even boosting your daily step count to 5,000 for folks 60 and over and 7,000 for younger individuals slashed mortality risk by 40%.

Education: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

During a Teachers of the Year event at the White House, U.S. President Biden told teachers that their students effectively belong to them and not “somebody” else when they are in their classrooms. “They are not somebody else’s children. They’re yours when you’re in the classroom,” Biden said. “And you’ve heard me say it many times, about our children, but it’s true, they’re all our children,” Biden said in his address to the teachers on Wednesday.

  • “No, Joe, they are not ‘somebody else’s children.’ They are OUR children,” stated pro-family organization American Principles Project.
  • “Wake up, parents,” replied school choice advocate Corey A. DeAngelis, adding a quote from political commentator Michael Malice who said that “Socialists regard your property as their property, but even more nefariously regard your children as their property.”
  • The parents of a Chicago teen who took his own life are calling for accountability after claiming the school he attended withheld information on the relentless cyberbullying he faced from classmates.
    • Whether it’s bullying or transitioning, parents need to and have a right to know what’s going on with their children. It should be a criminal offense to not tell parents anything affecting their children.

U.S. public schools have become secular humanism indoctrination centers: A former Indianapolis curriculum coordinator and public-school teacher says “grooming” is the “perfect word” to describe what happens in classrooms. Tony Kinnett, previously put on leave and then fired for exposing critical race theory in schools, explained how “grooming” occurs in classrooms. He said it can occur with both racial and sexual topics. Grooming is “ideological manipulation” that includes “isolating children from their parents and replacing them with hyper-activist teachers and counselors,” Kinnett wrote on April 15 in an opinion piece for the Daily Caller. He gave examples, including “collective shaming” and mandatory “counseling workshops” in which “students sit through lectures on the virtue of the latest progressive talking points.”

Protests: Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Sandy, Oregon mayor and Republican gubernatorial candidate Stan Pulliam is devastated after an alleged Antifa group disrupted his “Fund the Police” rally in Portland on Saturday. “Less than 15 minutes in, we’re greeted by Antifa, showing up with firecrackers that they’re throwing at us, paint, feces all over our campaign [signs], our campaign bus completely destroyed.” He also weighed in on claims that Antifa is fictitious, saying that certain naysayers denied that the development took place. “We have video footage evidence that’s all over Twitter, all over social media, the local news has picked it up… and they’re claiming it didn’t even happen.”

Tens of thousands of people marched Sunday in cities around Europe for May Day protests to honor workers and pressure governments into doing more for their citizens. Rising inflation and fears of food shortages from the war in Ukraine were feeding discontent around the world. In France, protesters shouted slogans against newly reelected President Emmanuel Macron. Tensions erupted in Paris as some demonstrators smashed windows at banks, a fast-food restaurant and a real estate agency. French police moved in, firing rounds of tear gas. Eight police officers were injured.

  • In Turkey, police moved in quickly in Istanbul to encircle protesters near the barred-off Taksim Square, where 34 people were killed in 1977 during a May Day event. Turkish police detained 164 people for demonstrating without permits and resisting police at the square’
  • In Italy, after a two-year pandemic lull, an outdoor mega concert was being held in Rome after rallies and protests in cities across the country. Italy’s three main labor unions held their main rally in the hilltop town of Assisi, a frequent destination for peace protests.

Lust/Fornication:  But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. (James 1:14-15)

On Monday, the president of a school board in southwest Ohio immediately quit his job after a group posted a now-viral video online accusing the official of arranging to meet what he thought was an 11-year-old girl in Indiana. John Gray, Goshen Local Schools board president, drove three hours and crossed state lines in order to meet with the child after the pair had phone calls detailing their hypothetical sexual escapades.

  • Sexual predators are often found in positions which gets them close to children.

Gender Confusion: Male and female He created them. (Genesis 5:2)

  • Gender confusion is being promoted because it undermines God’s ordained family structure, giving secular government more control over people, particularly our youth.

They started in colleges, but trans closets—rooms stocked with transgender clothes and accessories for students to change into after arriving to school and back out of before going home—are being discovered in public schools with some indication they are being kept a secret from parents. In a recent TikTok video, a California teacher implies that the trans closet he started at the high school where he works is meant to be kept from parents. “The goal of the transition closet is for our students to wear the clothes that their parents approve of, come to school and then swap out into the clothes that fit who they truly are,” the teacher said.

Election Integrity: He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become knownThe integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them. (Proverbs 10:9,11:3)

Filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza believes that evidence presented in his new documentary, “2000 Mules,” proves that large-scale, illegal vote trafficking occurred in the 2020 election. D’Souza told The Epoch Times: “2000 Mules will settle the issue beyond a shadow of a doubt by using two powerful, independent modes of investigation. The evidence is so conclusive, so decisive, that it leaves nothing to argue about.” The film opens in 300 theaters on May 2 and May 4. D’Souza said an investigative team used cellphone tracking and video footage to prove that 2,000 unauthorized intermediaries called “mules” collected thousands of absentee ballots from voters and deposited them in drop boxes for money, which is illegal in all 50 states.

Immigration: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

A federal judge has ruled against the Biden administration, preventing them from ending a Trump-era public health policy that impacts illegal immigration which was set to expire in late May. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt revealed Monday afternoon that a federal judge issued a limiting order stopping President Biden from ending Title 42, a Trump-era policy licensing U.S. Border Patrol to turn away migrants at the border over COVID-19 issues. “In a lawsuit originally filed by Missouri, Louisiana, and Arizona, our Office just obtained a temporary restraining order to keep Title 42 in place. This is a huge victory for border security,” Schmitt said.

  • The Biden administration said on Tuesday that it intends to comply with a Louisiana judge’s expected order to block the end of Trump-era Title 42 border policy.

President Biden’s administration has released a plan to deal with the expected surge in illegal immigration across the U.S.–Mexico border once the emergency Title 42 policy is terminated in May. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas laid out the plan in a 20-page memorandum Wednesday, outlining a series of “pillars” that officials are already putting into place. In addition to deploying more resources such as agents to the border, the Department of Homeland Security is working to process illegal immigrants more quickly and expelling those who are not allowed to stay under federal law, according to the memo. The government is also “bolstering the capacity” of non-governmental groups (NGOs) to receive illegal immigrants after they’re released by federal agents and disrupting criminal groups and smugglers who seek to smuggle people and/or drugs into the United States.

  • Mayorkas claimed that, overall, the administration is “sending a clear message” that the end of Title 42, the emergency order that enables quick expulsion of many illegal aliens, “does not mean that the U.S. border is open.”

The number of illegal immigrants living in the United States increased by approximately a million in the first year of the Biden administration, and cost the American taxpayer an additional $9.4 billion, according to a new analysis by a conservative group. The study was written by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) which advocates for lower levels of immigration. The study estimates that there are approximately 15.5 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, up from 14.5 million in 2020. Other estimates have typically put that number at around 11 million for years, but immigration hawks have expressed skepticism that the number has stayed flat given the increased activity at the border. FAIR’s analysis also conducted a fiscal cost study, finding that illegal immigrants are imposing a net fiscal burden of at least $143.1 billion – an increase of $9.4 billion over 2020.

  • The report says the states with the most illegal immigrants are California (3.3 million), Texas (2.2 million), Florida (1.2 million) and New York (1.1 million.) The states with the fewest illegal immigrants are North Dakota and West Virginia, with 6,000 each.

Supply Chain: He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. (2Corinthians 9:10)

Over the past six months, a string of food processing plants has been set ablaze across the United States amid soaring food prices and historic inflation. And now, the FBI’s Cyber Division has issued a warning about potential cyberattacks on agricultural cooperatives and food plants amid increasing media coverage of recent fires and explosions at food processing plants across the United States. “Ransomware actors may be more likely to attack agricultural cooperatives during critical planting and harvest seasons, disrupting operations, causing financial loss, and negatively impacting the food supply chain,” the notice said The agency also warned that, “A significant disruption of grain production could impact the entire food chain, since grain is not only consumed by humans but also used for animal feed.

Energy Supplies: He cuts down cedars, or he chooses a cypress tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. (Isaiah 44:14-15)

Renewable electricity met 100% of California’s electricity demand for the first time ever on Saturday, most of it from large amounts of solar power now produced along Interstate 10, an hour east of the Coachella Valley. Energy demand statewide hit 18,672 megawatts at 2:45 p.m. local time, and 37,172 megawatts were available to meet it. Of that, 101% of the power provided came from renewables.

Attorneys general from 16 states and the District of Columbia and two environmental activist groups allege that the Postal Service relied on faulty assumptions and miscalculations to justify spending as much as $11.3 billion on gas-powered vehicles that get 8.6 miles per gallon, which is only marginally better than the 30-year-old vehicles in use. The lawsuits ask federal courts to prevent the agency from purchasing the trucks until it reanalyzes their environmental impact. The suits ask federal courts to prevent the agency from purchasing the trucks until it reanalyzes their environmental impact.

Greed: Then [Jesus] said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15) The greedy stir up conflict, but those who trust in the LORD will prosper. (Proverbs 28:25)

Skyrocketing inflation has been pinned on supply chain bottlenecks, worker pay increases and surging consumer demand – all symptoms of an economy still emerging from the pandemic-induced downturn. But left-leaning think tanks and lawmakers are increasingly pointing to what they say is an even bigger culprit: corporate greed. Companies, they allege, are jacking up prices by more than is required to offset their rising wholesale costs, padding their profits while using supply snags as cover. Conservative economists say such arguments cast an unfair shadow over basic laws of supply and demand. Thirty-eight states prohibit raising prices excessively during disasters or emergencies. But federal law does not bar a company from charging consumers whatever it likes as long it doesn’t collude with its competitors to boost prices.

  • As with most things in this fallen world, the truth probably lies between the two viewpoints.

Poverty: Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. (Proverbs 19:17) Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:16) Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you.” (Matthew 26:11)

Inflation and rising housing costs are making it difficult for low-income families to survive. So last week, Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced that residents of the state will receive a $400 rebate come summertime. Single tax filers will receive $400, while married folks filing jointly will receive $800. The rebate is available to anyone who files a 2021 state tax return by May 31, 2022 and is a full-time resident of the state. All told, that means over 3 million people could be in line for that money, which should arrive in the mail in August or September. And those eligible for a rebate will get it automatically.

Economy – Depression/Shortages: When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

The Federal Reserve is poised this week to accelerate its most drastic steps in three decades to attack inflation by making it costlier to borrow — for a car, a home, a business deal, a credit card purchase — all of which will compound Americans’ financial strains and likely weaken the economy. After its latest rate-setting meeting ends Wednesday, the Fed will almost certainly announce that it’s raising its benchmark short-term interest rate by a half-percentage point — the sharpest rate hike since 2000.

The U.S. economy declined for the first time since the second quarter of 2020. The nation’s gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced in the U.S., shrank at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.4% in the January-March period, the Commerce Department said Thursday. It marks the economy’s worst quarterly showing since the depths of the pandemic in spring 2020 and follows gains of 6.9% in the fourth quarter and 5.7% for all of last year. The trade deficit widened and companies pulled back stockpiling, more than offsetting solid consumer spending and business investment. Consumer spending, which makes up 70% of economic activity, grew 2.7% following a 2.5% rise late last year.

  • Exports fell 5.9% as U.S. manufacturers continued to grapple with supply snarls, and foreign countries struggled with COVID-19 flare-ups. Meanwhile, imports surged 17.7% as American consumers continued their aggressive spending.
  • While in-store sales rose, March is the first month to show decline in online sales since the pandemic began, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse.

An inflation gauge closely tracked by the Federal Reserve jumped 6.6% in March compared with a year ago, the highest 12-month reading of the personal consumption index in four decades. Excluding the especially volatile food and energy categories from the PCE, core prices rose 5.2% in March from a year earlier. That was slightly below the 5.3% year-over-year increase in February, and it was the first time that 12-month figure has declined since February 2021.

The cost of a gallon of diesel fuel in the U.S. topped $5.25 a gallon Saturday, up 7 cents in a single day and 18 cents in a week, AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report shows. Diesel fuel is crucial to the American economy, powering big-rig trucks, locomotives and ships that bring the vast majority of goods to market. Higher diesel prices can easily translate into higher prices for food in supermarkets and for just about anything else sold in stores. As diesel prices skyrocket, gasoline prices have moderated, falling more than 2 cents a gallon for the week to an average of $4.12 a gallon.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has contributed to a historic shock to commodity markets that will keep global prices high through the end of 2024, according to the World Bank. The spike in energy prices over the past two years is the biggest since the 1973 oil crisis, while the jump in food prices is the most since 2008, the World Bank said Tuesday in its commodity markets outlook report. After nearly doubling last year, energy prices are expected to jump more than 50% this year before easing in 2023 and 2024, the World Bank said. Food prices will soar by 22.9% this year, highlighted by a 40% rise in wheat prices, according to the report. 

It’s not just gas prices at the pump that are rising. The cost of natural gas has spiked this year, too. The benchmark price for U.S. natural gas has risen to its highest level since 2008. In certain regions of the country, “a double-digit percentage increase is not out of the question” if high prices persist, says Eugene Kim, a research director focusing on natural gas with energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie. 

Homes ranging in price from $100,000 to $250,000, the typical cost for an entry-level home, have seen nearly a 28% decrease in inventory from a year ago, says the National Association of Realtors. And smaller homes are also in short supply. In 1999, 37% of newly-built single-family homes were smaller than 1,800 square feet. By 2020, that share had fallen to 25%.

President Biden this week revived the possibility of wiping out millions of Americans’ student loan debt with the stroke of a pen. Although Biden has so far canceled just a fraction of the debt that he promised to erase on the campaign trail, the president floated the possibility this week of eliminating $10,000 per borrower. Erasing $10,000 per borrower would require the government to cancel about $321 billion in federally backed loans, according to an analysis published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York last week.

  • Progressives within the Democratic party continue to put the issue front and center, urging the President to cancel $50,000 for each of the 43 million federal student loan borrowers – something he has shot down repeatedly, including on Thursday.

International:

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to support the ruble are paying off. Russia’s currency hit a two-year high against the US dollar Friday. The ruble gained ground after the country said it managed to pay back creditors with dollars as Russia tries to avoid a default. The country’s finance ministry said in a statement that it made a $565 million Eurobond that was due this year, as well as an $84 million Eurobond that was set to mature in 2024. Both payments were made in U.. S dollars, the finance ministry claimed, as required by the bond’s contract stipulations.

Israel: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. (Psalm 122:6)

In rare support of Israel, the UN’s top Mideast envoy corroborated Israel’s account of recent Temple Mount violence during a briefing for the UN Security Council on Monday. “On 15 April, during the early morning hours, a large number of Palestinians gathered at the Al Aqsa compound. Some Palestinians threw stones, fireworks and other heavy objects toward Israeli Security Forces,” said UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland. He added that “several dozen Palestinians entered a mosque in the compound, with some continuing to throw stones and fireworks toward ISF. Following a standoff with those inside, Israeli police entered the mosque and arrested those barricaded inside. During the clashes, some damage was caused to the structure of the mosque.”

  • The Norwegian diplomat substantiated Israel’s account of the violence by stressing that Israeli forces only entered the Al Aqsa Mosque after the rioting Palestinians had “barricaded” themselves inside. And in a rare acknowledgement by any international diplomat, Wennesland also praised Israeli officials for “reiterating [their] commitment to upholding the status quo and ensuring that only Muslims would be allowed to pray on the holy esplanade.”

A 23-year-old Israeli security guard was shot dead by Palestinian terrorists Friday night at the entrance to the city of Ariel in Samaria. Vyacheslav Golev (Vladi), a resident of Beit Shemesh, was standing guard together with his fiancée, Victoria Fligelman, also a security guard, when two terrorists passed by in a vehicle and fired at close range. The Hamas terror group called the attack a “heroic operation.”

Middle East: When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. (Luke 21:20-22)

Israel’s first ambassador to Bahrain says the Abraham Accords have led to significant and historic peace with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Sudan. Eitan Na’eh, the ambassador to Bahrain, said since the accords were made official in 2020, the agreement has made peace “possible.” “They are a significant – in fact, historic – change to the course of events in the Middle East,” Na’eh told CBN News during an exclusive interview in Bahrain’s capital. “They are an effort to take a road that has not been taken before. Establish relations with Israel and Arab countries that’s proving to the rest of the Arab countries, to the rest of the world, to the rest of the region that it is possible.”

The Israeli Air Force’s latest airstrike in the vicinity of Damascus on Tuesday night killed nine military personnel and injured more than eight others, including five Syrians and four Iranian-backed militiamen whose nationality remains unknown, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. The IAF strike destroyed Iranian-backed militia positions in Rif Dimashq. The Israeli attacks also destroyed weapons and ammunition warehouses in Al-Sumeriyan and Jabal areas near Damascus International Airport, and outposts in military barracks in Sahnaya and Al-Kiswah.

Wars & Rumors of Wars: And you will hear ofwars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; forall these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.Fornation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7a)

While Russian forces have continued strikes across Ukraine in its bid to seize the Donbas after refocusing its resources, its progress has been slower than expected, according to Western officials. A senior U.S. Defense official said Friday that Ukraine’s strong defensive efforts have stalled Russia’s advance by “at least several days.” The British military also said in a tweet on Friday: “Due to strong Ukrainian resistance, Russian territorial gains have been limited and achieved at significant cost to Russian forces.”

  • More than a quarter of troops that Russia sent to fight in Ukraine are now believed to be “combat ineffective,” the UK announced Monday.

Moscow’s top diplomat is warning that NATO is risking nuclear war over its decision to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine in order to “wear down” the Russian army. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the West of fighting a proxy war with Russia in Ukraine as part of a plan to bully Russia on the international stage. It has resulted in East-West tensions more severe than during the Cuban missile crisis at the height of the Cold War, he said. Lavrov warned that the threat of a nuclear conflict “should not be underestimated” as his country unleashed attacks against rail and fuel installations far from the front lines of Moscow’s new eastern offensive.

  • The United States and its allies promised to send more heavy weaponry to Ukraine during talks at a German air base on Tuesday, brushing off a threat from Moscow that their support for Kyiv could lead to nuclear war. President Biden asked Congress on Thursday to authorize $33 billion in military, economic and humanitarian aid for Ukraine. The request calls for $20 billion in military assistance for Ukraine, $8.5 billion in economic assistance, and $3 billion in humanitarian aid.

Russia cut off natural gas to Poland and Bulgaria in Wednesday in significant escalation of tensions with the West over Ukraine. Gazprom said it shut off the gas supply to Poland’s PGNiG gas company — which confirmed Wednesday the supply had been halted — and Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz because they had not complied with Russia’s mandate to pay in rubles, Russia’s currency which has fallen drastically in value on world markets.

Credible evidence shows that Russia executed Ukrainians trying to surrender in the Donetsk region, a U.S. official told the U.N. Security Council. U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice Beth Van Schaack said, “We now have credible information that a Russian military unit operating in the vicinity of Donetsk executed Ukrainians who were attempting to surrender, rather than take them into custody,”

The mass evacuation of Mariupol began Monday, 5/2, with Ukrainian authorities hoping thousands more residents would escape the devastated city that once was home to almost 500,000 people. Buses were rolling toward Zaporizhzhia, about 140 miles west of Mariupol. People were also encouraged to join the exodus in their own cars. The Ukraine military said civilians were already arriving in Zaporizhzhia, a city of about 750,000 people, and were being provided hot meals, physical and psychological examinations and medicines. According to some estimates, about 100,000 people may still be trapped in the port city, with little access to food, water and utilities

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for a “correspondingly powerful reaction” Thursday night after Russian missiles slammed into Kyiv while UN chief Antonio Guterres was visiting the capital. “This says a lot about Russia’s true attitude to global institutions, about the efforts of the Russian leadership to humiliate the UN and everything that the organization represents,” Zelensky said. Authorities said the missiles struck two high-rise buildings, killing at least one person and injuring 10. Guterres pledged to boost support and cash assistance to Ukrainians.

Terrorism: My heart is severely pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me… But You, O God,  shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You. (Psalm 55:4-5.23)

A powerful explosion killed more than 50 worshippers after Friday prayers at a Kabul mosque, its leader said, the latest in a series of attacks on civilian targets in Afghanistan during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The attack came as worshippers at the Sunni mosque gathered after Friday prayers for a congregation known as Zikr – an act of religious remembrance practiced by some Muslims but seen as heretical by some hardline Sunni groups. Sayed Fazil Agha, the head of the mosque, said someone they believed was a suicide bomber joined them in the ceremony and detonated explosives.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed Tuesday there is an “ongoing threat” against past and present American officials by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, just weeks after reports revealed the State Department is paying millions of dollars to protect former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from threats. “Is it true the IRGC is actively trying to murder former senior officials of the United States,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) asked Blinken during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing. “I’m not sure what I can say in an open setting,” Blinken started to say. “Let me say generically, there is an ongoing threat against American officials both present and past.”

Environment: And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth,for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)

Cattle ranching is responsible for the great majority of deforestation in the Amazon, a vital carbon sink that scientists say must be preserved to avert catastrophic warming. A Washington Post analysis found that the world’s biggest beef producer, JBS, has yet to fully disentangle itself from ties to illegal deforestation, despite steps taken to protect the environment. The destruction lies at the base of a supply chain that directly connects cattle ranches accused of environmental crimes to factories authorized by the U.S. government to export beef to the United States.

Wildfires: 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)

Massive global wildfires helped fuel historic forest losses in 2021 as more than 97,500 square miles of tree cover was destroyed. Fires accounted for more than a third of the world’s tree-cover losses last year — the largest share on record — according to a satellite-based survey by the University of Maryland and Global Forest Watch. Other threats driving the problem include insect infestations and land clearance for agriculture. The loss of over 97,500 square miles of tree cover, which is roughly the size of Oregon, underscores the challenge ahead for world leaders who promised to halt deforestation by 2030.

A retired chief is dead, and more than a dozen firefighters were injured battling wildfire across Nebraska last week. John Trumble was the second current or former fire chief to die while battling wildfires in Nebraska this month. Darren Krull, a volunteer chief in Elwood, was killed April 7 when two vehicles collided due to poor visibility in a wildfire. The deaths occurred in neighboring counties in the southwestern part of the state. Lack of snow and rain has left behind an abundance of fire fuels. Besides dried-out grasses that are normal for this time of year, shrubs and trees are also dry. At the same time, winds have whipped through parts of the state. A gust of 61 mph was recorded Friday in Red Willow County, where Trumble died.

End-Time Weather Will Continue to Grow More Severe: (Daniel 9:26b, Ezekiel 38:22, Luke 21:25, Revelation 8:7, 11:19, 16:8,11)

The West is in the grips of a climate change-fueled mega-drought, and Lake Mead – the largest manmade reservoir in the country and a source of water for millions of people – has fallen to an unprecedented low. The lake’s plummeting water level has exposed one of the reservoir’s original water intake valves for the first time, officials say. Water officials in Southern California are now demanding that residents and businesses limit outdoor watering to one day a week, after a disappointing winter with very little rain and snow. It’s the first time they’ve implemented such a strict rule. “This is a crisis. This is unprecedented,” said Adel Hagekhalil, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Lake Powell, the country’s second-largest reservoir, is also drying up. Over the past several years, the Glen Canyon Dam has lost about 16 percent of its capacity to generate power. The water levels at Lake Powell have dropped around 100 feet in the last three years. The situation is critical: if water levels at the lake were to drop another 32 feet, all hydroelectricity production would be halted at the reservoir’s Glen Canyon Dam.

A punishing month-long heatwave across Asia is pushing temperatures in India and Pakistan above 110 degrees, with some areas hitting as high as 115 degrees. The unusually early heatwave is raising concerns that such weather conditions could become the new normal. Temperatures above 105 degrees can be extremely dangerous, especially in humid weather, said the National Weather Service.