Signs of the Times Update: July 4, 2022

“But as for me, I keep watch for the Lord, I wait in hope for God my Savior; my God will hear me. Do not gloat over me my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light. Because I have sinned against him, I will bear the Lord’s wrath, until he pleads my case and establishes my right. He will bring me out into the light; I will see his justice.”  (Micah 7:7-9)

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)

Buffer Insurance condemned “secular” companies’ response to the end of Roe v. Wade by pay expenses for employees to get an abortion. Buffer vowed instead to support female employees who get pregnant and even cover the costs of giving birth. The Texas-based company vowed to offer maternity and paternity leave to employees who have children, as well as cover the costs of their female employees giving birth. The company also promised to help out employees seeking to adopt children.

Facebook’s parent company, Meta, has labeled militant pro-abortion group Jane’s Revenge as a terrorist organization. On June 25, the day following the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, an internal bulletin from Meta Platforms Inc., which owns Instagram and Facebook, recognized Jane’s Revenge as a terrorist organization, subjecting it to the company’s most strict censorship policies. The group is responsible for multiple arson and vandalism attacks on pro-life institutions, having publicly bragged about them, trusting in their anonymity.

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)

A few years ago, an inter-faith group of 10,000 people met at the Vatican in Rome, reports Open Doors in Standing Strong Through the Storm. “The group included the Pope, the Dalai Lama and Muslim Imam W. D. Mohammed. An outspoken Hindu woman was quoted as saying, “It was refreshing to note that the idea that all religions have universal truths, and are merely different paths to the same goal was accepted as a given from the outset by all delegates without a single dissenting voice.” The same delegates also endorsed a general condemnation of “aggressive” proselytizing. This is the prevailing thinking of our day and age. Satan will do all he can to cause this thinking to even invade the church and individual Christian thinking and action.”

“Satan has led many quasi-religious groups to unite around a mixture of religious teachings and then brand honest Christian believers as bigots for clinging to salvation in Christ alone.  An outgrowth of the postmodern era in which we live is that many people no longer believe in absolute truth. A natural extension of this lack of absolutes is the widely held view that there is good in every religion and all roads lead to heaven. Individuals can then pick and choose the elements they wish from whatever faith and mix them all together.” This is syncretism, and it is abhorrent to LORD God Almighty, Yahweh el Shaddai, and to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  • “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.”  Romans 1:21-22

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)

U.S. White House economic adviser Brian Deese suggested the pain at the pump was a price Americans had to pay for the “future of the liberal world order,” in a CNN interview on Thursday. CNN Newsroom host Victor Blackwell asked Deese how the White House would respond to Americans worried that they won’t be able to survive paying close to or over $5 a gallon, potentially for “years” to come. Deese answered, “This is about the future of the liberal world order, and we have to stand firm.”

Turkey dropped their opposition to Finland, Sweden joining NATO, paving way for alliance to grow. The leaders of the three countries on Tuesday signed a memorandum confirming Turkey’s support for the membership bids by Helsinki and Stockholm. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushed Finland and Sweden to join the alliance.

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)

Leftists on Twitter don’t seem too inclined to celebrate Independence Day this year. Ahead of the July 4th holiday, several prominent liberals on Twitter expressed their disgust for America and indicated they will not be celebrating our independence as a nation. For most of them, the recent Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade, has sullied the celebration. Left-wing members of news and entertainment media claimed that women in the country are no longer free as a result of the ruling, arguing there’s no point in July 4th this year. TV personality Brandi Glanville tweeted, “I’m not celebrating Independence Day because I don’t like I live in a free country anymore.” One of the tweeters of the bunch actually expressed a desire to “blow up” the country on its biggest holiday.

  • In Arizona, the Tucson Women’s March, was promoted by the Pima County Democratic Party on Twitter. “F— the Fourth. See you at Reid Park,” the tweet stated.

The Internal Revenue Service has been up to some questionable stunts in recent years, like the time during Barack Obama’s presidency that officials there targeted Christian and Tea Party groups. But now several members of Congress have a larger concern about the IRS: the fact that it buys thousands of rounds of ammunition every year. Rep. Matt Gaetz discovered that this year alone the IRS has spent $725,000 on ammunition. A 2018 report by the Government Accountability Office showed that heading into 2018, the IRS had 4,487 guns and 5,062,006 rounds of ammunition in its inventory. Several Congress members want to prohibit the IRS from acquiring any ammunition.

  • The IRS says it buys guns and ammunition for its Criminal Investigation Division.

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)

Ketanji Brown Jackson is officially the newest Supreme Court justice, taking her oaths at a swearing in ceremony Thursday. Justice Jackson is now the first Black woman on the high court. Jackson was sworn in a few minutes after noon, which was when the retirement of her predecessor, Justice Stephen Breyer, became effective. Breyer himself helped lead the ceremony, which took place in the Court’s West Conference Room. Breyer administered the judicial oath, and Chief Justice John Roberts administered the constitutional oath, both of which are required for all justices. Jackson’s husband Patrick Jackson and their two daughters were in attendance.

President Biden, speaking on the world stage Thursday, decried the U.S. Supreme Court for “outrageous behavior,” pointing to its decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last week, which he characterized as “destabilizing.” Biden said he would support an exception to the Senate’s filibuster rules to make it easier to pass legislation protecting abortion rights and ensuring other privacy protections. However, Biden’s proposal to temporarily lift the Senate “filibuster” was rejected by Democratic Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, leaving Biden without enough votes to do so.

Amidst predictions of a political “red wave” in the upcoming mid-term elections, an economic wave has been building for years with no end in sight as companies flood out of blue states and into red states. Caterpillar and Citadel, which in June announced their exit out of Illinois, are only the latest firms to leave high-tax, high-regulation states. Tesla, Hewlett Packard, Oracle, and Remington are also among the hundreds of companies flocking out of California, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey to business-friendly places like Texas, Florida, Arizona, and Tennessee.

  • And as a result of its political divisions, America appears to now be dividing itself into prosperous, high-growth states and states that are suffering a chronic decline. But Democrat-run states believe their abortion policies could be a key factor in attracting companies back.

George Washington University insisted Tuesday that they will continue to employ Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as an adjunct professor. The letter came in response to a petition for the university to fire Thomas over “the recent Supreme Court decision that has stripped the right to bodily autonomy of people with wombs.”

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

Book bans are on the rise. When a book is successfully “banned,” that means a book has been removed from school curriculums and/or public libraries because a person or group has objected to its content. The American Library Association (ALA) keeps track of challenges and bans across the country. In 2021, the ALA recorded 729 book challenges targeting 1,597 titles. That’s more than double 2020’s figures and the highest number since the organization began recording data in 2000. A recent analysis by PEN America found that many challenged books focus on communities of color, the history of racism in America and LGBTQ characters. In fact, one in three books restricted by school districts in the past year featured LGBTQ themes or characters.

Flag maker James Staake told Newsmax he has been banned from advertising on Facebook after he made a hand-painted American flag with the image of former President Donald Trump on it. Staake, the CEO of Your American Flag Store, made his comments on the Newsmax show, “National Report” during a Friday interview. “Apparently, we made a flag with the image of President Trump on it,” he said. “My wife hand-painted a full color portrait of President Trump on a flag.” He said a customer posted an image of the flag on Facebook and tagged the flag store in it. “Facebook got wind of that, and that’s where everything started,” Staake said. He claimed Facebook was “very vague” in its reason behind the ban. Staake said the social media giant maintained his company violated the platform’s community standards.

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 suffering and persecution of the world’s Christian population remains all-but-invisible. Believers in Nigeria, the world’s deadliest nation for Christians want Americans to know their spiritual brothers and sisters “are going through Hell. You need to pray for them.” And, they say, the Biden administration needs to place Nigeria back on its list of the worst offenders of religious liberty. Although seldom classified as one of the worst nations for religious freedom, Nigeria accounts for 80% of all Christian murders in the world, according to Open Doors USA. Multiple homicides and kidnappings have taken place within the last month. “The American church needs to know that, look, your brothers are going through hell. You need to pray for them,” said Gloria Puldu, a Nigerian Christian and president of the LEAH Foundation, which focuses on the persecution and enslavement of Christians.

Seattle police arrested a street preacher on charges of being a risk to public safety for reading his Bible aloud at a public park near an LGBT pride event. Matthew Meinecke, who identifies himself as The Seattle Preacher on Twitter, was surrounded by Seattle police officers as he was reading his Bible and was subsequently arrested and fingerprinted at a police station before being released. “SPD has enough resources to send 10 police officers to arrest a preacher reading his Bible in a public park. Because it’s such a horrible crime now!” Meinecke wrote on Twitter, posting a video showing his arrest.

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

  • If everyone lived by God’s rules – no sex outside marriage and a lifetime commitment to the marriage – there would be no need for abortions.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued an open letter to her Democratic colleagues last Monday, outlining the next steps the party needs to take in fighting to promote abortion access after the overturn of Roe v. Wade. First, she said that the Democratic party should work on legislation that “protects women’s most intimate and personal data stored in reproductive health apps,” because of fears that pro-life legislators might attempt to use data in health-tracking apps to find women who may be pregnant and/or abort. Next, Pelosi suggested that lawmakers should push legislation that “Makes clear that Americans have the Constitutional right to travel freely and voluntarily throughout the United States.” But no one has even suggested banning travel in the U.S. Finally, she reaffirmed her support for the Women’s Health Protection Act, radical legislation that would enshrine the right to abortion into the law as a right throughout all nine months and for any reason. It failed the Senate in February.

  • The U.S. Constitution makes no mention of abortion as a ‘right’ but abortion-supporters point to the 14th Amendment and it’s so-called ‘right to privacy.’ Here’s what the 14th Amendment says: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” No mention of abortion or a ‘right to privacy’ but no mention of lots of things that might fall under ‘life’ and ‘liberty’ so it’s a gray area. It has been used to overturn the criminalization of sodomy and was considered a foundation of the Roe v. Wade decision back in 1973. But now that foundation has been removed. Ultimately, it needs to be codified into law, which is what states are doing now, both pro and con.

Louisiana “trigger laws” designed to bring in a near-total ban on abortions as soon as the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade have been blocked by a district judge, meaning abortions at the state’s three clinics can resume. Orleans Parish Civil District Judge Robin Giarusso ruled in favor of abortion rights supporters who filed a lawsuit Monday arguing that the laws were “unconstitutionally vague.” A second so-called “trigger law” banning abortion was temporarily blocked by a judge Monday, this one in Utah. The 14-day ban will allow the court to hear challenges to the law. Meanwhile, a South Carolina “heartbeat” abortion law was allowed to go into effect. It does include exceptions for rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is in danger.

  • Some Texas abortion clinics resumed normal operations without the threat of criminal prosecution, under a temporary restraining order granted by a judge on Tuesday. But the Texas Supreme Court late Friday blocked a lower court order issued days earlier that allowed abortions to resume in the state on a temporary basis, the latest twist in the ongoing legal battle over abortion rights in Texas.
  • A Florida law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy has been blocked by Leon County Circuit Judge John C. Cooper, who granted a temporary injunction against the law, which was due to take effect Friday. The state is expected to appeal.
  • According to Operation Rescue’s first-hand investigation, over 49 abortion clinics have either halted abortions or have been forced to close their doors altogether.
  • As of Monday, 7/4, most states are continuing abortions as usual. This results in the deaths of more than 2,500 children every day in our nation.

The Biden administration’s top health official announced that the federal government plans to make abortion pills more readily available in light of the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade. “Increasing access to this drug is a national imperative and in the public interest,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said during a press conference in Washington DC on Tuesday.

Fifty-six companies announced abortion assistance, but hundreds more Stayed silent. While some CEOs have rallied alongside pro-abortion supporters, the bigger story is the hundreds, even thousands of businesses who haven’t. It’s been an unusually quiet weekend for several of the country’s major brands, who’ve had almost two full months to consider their response. Is it cold feet from Disney’s cautionary debacle where their support of the LGBTQ+ agenda has cost them dearly?

  • Within minutes of the SCOTUS announcement, Dick’s Executive Chairman Ed Stack paraded the company’s decision to provide up to $4,000 in travel expenses to any employee, spouse or dependent who chooses to get an abortion. When asked if Dick’s would also be giving $4,000 to employees who decide to carry their babies to term, and either keep them or put them up for adoption, Stack and his company refused to answer the question.

Recently in The Wall Street Journal, Jason Riley asked a provocative question, “Why Won’t the Left Talk About Racial Disparities in Abortion?” In it, he describes how the “black abortion rate is nearly four times higher than the white rate,” how more black babies in New York City are aborted than born, and how “nationally, the number of babies aborted by black women each year far exceeds the combined number of blacks who drop out of school, are sent to prison and are murdered.” Even books on racism by Christian publishers, for example, Jemar Tisby’s How to Fight Racism, never mention the significant racial disparities that exist when it comes to abortion, even while spending significant time on other disparities, such as student achievement, incarceration, wealth, and healthcare in general, reports Breakpoint.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said California would be a “sanctuary” for people traveling from other states for abortions, but he cannot use public money to fund their travel. Once women are in California, they will have government assistance for the procedure itself. Residents can get public money for their in-state travel for abortions. California’s budget includes $40 million in abortion assistance.

Limited abortions will continue at U.S. military facilities even in states that ban the practice, Pentagon leaders said in a memo Tuesday. Military officials said that the Defense Department will continue providing abortion services in limited cases to military personnel regardless of state law. “Federal law restricts the department from performing abortions or paying to have them performed unless the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term, or unless the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest,” Gilbert Cisneros, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, said in the Tuesday memo.

The wording of some states’ anti-abortion laws is raising questions about the fate and legal status of fertilized embryos, especially if conservative states pursue what are known as personhood laws, giving legal rights to embryos and fetuses. Oklahoma, Louisiana and Nebraska, in particular, have already considered anti-abortion laws specifically granting protections to fertilized eggs, and other states’ proposed “personhood” laws could do the same. Some of the issue is driven by religious beliefs: The Catholic Church opposes IVF entirely, although many other religions permit it. Other anti-abortion groups specifically oppose IVF, with the group Illinois Right to Life arguing that “in vitro fertilization threatens and disregards the dignity and value of the human person.”

  • The Bible says that “life is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11-14), which forms within the first 15-16 days in the womb. Fertilized embryos have not developed blood (life) as yet.

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 daily new cases of Covid-19 increased in the U.S. by 12% over the past two weeks, but only 2% over the past month as cases/day have remained relatively flat. Hospitalizations were up 11% and deaths 23%. In most of the Northeast, cases have decreased continuously throughout the month of June. In the South, many states have seen cases double or triple over the same timeframe. Fatality data has been volatile in recent weeks because of delays in reporting after holidays. Still, reports of new deaths remain below 400 a day, down from more than 2,600 a day at the height of the Omicron surge.

Count Anthony Fauci among the victims of so-called “rebound” COVID. The 81-year-old doctor initially experienced “minimal” symptoms when he was infected with the coronavirus, but when they started getting worse, he was prescribed Paxlovid due to his age. After the five-day course of the antiviral drug, Fauci tested negative for three days, but tested positive again on day four. He said, while speaking during an online global health summit Tuesday, his symptoms at the beginning of the rebound were “much worse than the first go-around,” and he ended up taking Paxlovid again. By Tuesday (day four of the second five-day course), he said he felt “reasonably good.” Fauci said. Paxlovid “did what it was supposed to do” by keeping the most severe symptoms at bay.

The Chinese government is expanding its COVID-19 lockdown measures as more clusters of cases were discovered in the country’s eastern region. Officials in the city of Wuxi have closed down in-person dining and many other indoor activities. Authorities are also encouraging residents to work from home and not leave the city. Officials say roughly 40 asymptomatic cases were diagnosed in the city this weekend. That potential outbreak comes as the Anhui province has also reported nearly 300 cases. China’s “zero COVID” approach to the pandemic means even small outbreaks result in widespread lockdowns. The policy has led to unrest in Shanghai, where lockdowns lasted for months and access to food and other daily goods became severely strained.

  • Government officials touted that Shanghai was COVID-free in early June, but hundreds of thousands of residents remained in lockdown nevertheless.

The World Health Organization’s Europe chief warned Friday that monkeypox cases in the region have tripled in the last two weeks and urged countries to do more to ensure the previously rare disease does not become entrenched on the continent. WHO Europe chief Dr. Hans Kluge said in a statement that increased efforts were needed despite the U.N. health agency’s decision last week that the escalating outbreak did not yet warrant being declared a global health emergency. African health authorities said they are treating the expanding monkeypox outbreak as an emergency, calling on rich countries to share limited supplies of vaccines to avoid equity problems seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 Biden administration signed a new agreement with Pfizer and partner BioNTech on June 29 for 105 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine for a fall vaccination campaign, in a deal valued at $3.2 billion. The contract includes doses for both adults and children, as well as supplies of a retooled Omicron-adapted vaccine that’s currently pending approval by federal health authorities, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in a statement.

Deborah Birx, the infectious disease specialist who was a fixture of the federal government’s pandemic response at the start of the pandemic in 2020, made a stunning admission this week when she said she could not confidently rule out that the government last year was lying about COVID-19 vaccination efficacy, reports Judicial Watch. Multiple Biden administration officials, including President Joe Biden himself as well as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky, indicated repeatedly last year that individuals who had been vaccinated against COVID-19 could not contract the virus. Asked by Rep. Jim Jordan during a congressional hearing on Thursday whether government officials were “guessing or … lying” by making those claims, Birx bluntly responded: “I don’t know.” 

The Supreme Court declined to hear a case challenging New York’s COVID vaccine mandate for health care workers on the grounds of religious liberty. But Clarence Thomas’s dissenting opinion is making headlines. The high court justice wrote that the health care workers who brought the case “object on religious grounds to all available COVID-19 vaccines because they were developed using cell lines derived from aborted children.” While cells obtained from decades-old elective abortions were indeed used during the testing phase of the vaccine development process, no COVID vaccines used in the U.S. contain any fetal cells, Axios reports.

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 gunman opened fire inside a busy shopping mall near Copenhagen, the Danish capital, on Sunday, killing three people and wounding others, four critically, police said. A 22-year-old Danish man was arrested, but a motive hasn’t been determined. The Guardian reports police were aware of the suspect, but “only peripherally,” The shooting took place in late afternoon at Field’s, one of the biggest shopping malls in Scandinavia, located on the outskirts of Copenhagen. Danish police now believe the mall shooting was not terror related. They said Monday that the gunman acted alone and appears to have selected his victims at random.

Gunfire and chaos shattered a Fourth of July parade in the affluent Chicago suburb of Highland Park on Monday as onlookers fled in terror amid reports that multiple people had been shot. At least six people were killed, and 24 others were hospitalized. The suspect remains at large. The gunman was shooting from a rooftop. The situation is still considered ‘active.’

  • Violence in Chicago continued to escalate over the long July 4th weekend, with 54 people shot, 7 of them fatally, as of mid-day Monday.
  • Violent crowds in Chicago attacked police cars with fists and fireworks in at least two incidents this weekend, injuring one officer. Monday morning saw a crowd shooting fireworks at patrol cars, which reversed away slowly as the crowd kicked and punched the vehicle. In another incident, a crowd jumped on top of a patrol car, kicking and punching the vehicle until the windshield broke. One officer was injured.

The former boyfriend of a 20-year-old woman gunned down on a New York City street while pushing her 3-month-old baby in a stroller has been arrested. Isaac Argro, 22, was arrested in the shooting death of Azsia Johnson who was shot in the head Wednesday night on the Upper East Side. The baby was not injured. 

A San Antonio man was arrested after people at his job reported him for allegedly saying he was planning a mass shooting. Rodolfo V. Aceves, 19, was apprehended after San Antonio Police responded to an Amazon Delivery Station, where the teenager worked, at around 10:30 a.m. on June 27. Officers talked to several people who reported hearing Aceves say he was planning a mass shooting at the facility. Police detectives were then notified and they “acquired credible information” to believe the comments were taken as a “legitimate potential mass shooting threat.”

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

Thunderstorms hampered Monday the search for more than a dozen hikers who remained unaccounted for a day after a huge chunk of an Alpine glacier in Italy broke off, sending an avalanche of ice, snow and rocks down the slope. Italy’s state TV said another body was recovered, raising the known death toll to seven. Nine others were injured when the avalanche was unleashed from the Marmolada glacier Sunday afternoon.

At least four people are dead after an Amtrak train collided with a truck on the tracks and derailed Monday afternoon in northern Missouri. At least two people in the train and one in the truck died. At least 40 had been transported to local hospitals aboard at least six medical helicopters at the crash site. The train was carrying more than 240 passengers.

A crane loading chlorine tanks onto a ship in Jordan’s port of Aqaba on Monday dropped one of them, causing an explosion of toxic yellow smoke that killed at least 13 people and sickened about 250, authorities said. About 200 people were hospitalized.

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)

The Supreme Court followed up its June 23 landmark ruling that for the first time recognized a constitutional right to carry firearms in public for self-defense, by issuing a series of rulings on June 30 reversing federal appeals court decisions that upheld gun restrictions in California, New Jersey, Maryland, and Hawaii. In unsigned orders, all four cases were remanded June 30 to lower courts “for further consideration in light of” the Supreme Court’s June 23 decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen. In that 6–3 ruling, the high court invalidated New York state’s tough concealed-carry gun permitting system. The Supreme Court has been strengthening Second Amendment protections in recent years. In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court held the amendment protects “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation,” and in McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010), that this right “is fully applicable to the States.”

On June 27, the California Department of Justice admitted that it “accidentally” exposed the personal information of hundreds of thousands of legal gun owners residing in the state. In effect, the State of California doxxed gun owners. The state’s Attorney General, Rob Bonta, condemned the action. “This unauthorized release of personal information is unacceptable and falls far short of my expectations for this department,” he said in a written statement. “The information was available on a publicly accessible spreadsheet for less than 24 hours until the agency shut down the website on Tuesday morning,” The Guardian reported. Enough time for researchers to make copies of the information if they had been given a heads-up before the disclosure.

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)

A team searching a Mississippi courthouse basement for evidence about the lynching of Black teenager Emmett Till has found the unserved warrant charging a white woman in his 1955 kidnapping, and relatives of the victim want authorities to finally arrest her nearly 70 years later. A warrant for the arrest of Carolyn Bryant Donham—identified as “Mrs. Roy Bryant” on the document—was discovered last week by searchers inside a file folder that had been placed in a box. Documents were kept inside boxes by decade, but there was nothing else to indicate where the warrant, dated Aug. 29, 1955, might have been. The search group included members of the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation and two Till relatives: cousin Deborah Watts, head of the foundation; and her daughter, Teri Watts

California Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said he is “infuriated” after two men who were arrested for possession of 150,000 fentanyl pills were subsequently released without his knowledge. He is now sounding the alarm on the state’s “failing” justice system and calling for accountability. Drug traffickers Jose Zendejas and Benito Madrigal, both from Washington, were released on their own recognizance via a court order just days after they were arrested last week. “This assessment was done behind the scenes, basically without ever contacting me as the sheriff or even asking me what I believe the risk to our public safety would be.” Boudreaux said criminals need to be held accountable for their actions in order to keep the community safe, but he said there’s nothing he can do when soft-on-crime leaders and legislators allow for people like drug traffickers to be released.

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

A third police officer has died after a shootout in a small Eastern Kentucky town on Thursday evening. The fatal shootings of two officers were announced the morning after the incident, but another officer who had been in critical condition succumbed to his injuries Friday night. Four officers were attempting to serve a warrant to 49-year-old Lance Storz at his home on Main Street when he opened fire with a rifle. About three hours later, Lance Storz, 49, was taken into custody and charged with two counts of murdering a police officer, five counts of attempted murder of a police officer, one count of attempted murder and one count of first-degree assault of a service animal. four other officers were injured along with an emergency management director.

The Akron, Ohio, police department released video footage of officers shooting an unarmed Black man dozens of times after he fled a traffic stop. Police fatally shot Jayland Walker, a 25-year-old Black man, while he fled a traffic stop Monday. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations will handle the probe, the Akron mayor and police chief said in a news conference Sunday afternoon. Police Chief Stephen Mylett said that Walker’s body was hit 60 times, but that “We do not know exactly how many rounds were fired.”

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.

U.S. postal service officials have sounded the alarm over at least six armed robberies on mail carriers that happened in Maryland and Washington, D.C., over a two-day period. U.S. Postal Inspection Service spokesman Michael Martel said the suspects are taking personal property as well as “a wide variety of items that the postal service provides their carriers to do their jobs on a daily basis,” though he does not believe they have stolen any mail at this time. In two of those cases, the carriers were also assaulted and struck in the face or head.

An Atlanta suburb is aiming to secede from the Peach State’s capital as violent crime plagues the city’s streets. Buckhead City Committee CEO Bill White says, “This is murder and mayhem… We are dealing with a mayor who voted to defund the police. It’s obvious that police officers do not want to come work for a mayor or a city that does not back them, so Buckhead wants to take things into its own hands.”

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)

A hacker claimed to have stolen one billion Chinese residents’ records from Shanghai police in what would rank as possibly the biggest data breach in the country’s history. A post on the hacker hot-spot Breach Forums listed the information “on one billion Chinese national residents and several billion case records” for sale to the sum of 10 Bitcoin, or roughly $200,000. The poster, using the name ChinaDan, on Sunday said the trove of information included “name, address, birthplace, national ID number, mobile number, all crime/case details.” The post remains unverified, but it has drawn immense interest within China and abroad.

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)

The tech industry is bracing for a potential recession. Several companies, including Netflix, Microsoft and PayPal, rolled out layoffs and hiring freezes, anticipating a downturn in the economy. Netflix will lay off about 300 employees, its second round of layoffs this year. In May, Netflix laid off 150 employees. Other tech companies have cut workers as worries over a recession linger: Coinbase, the cryptocurrency trading platform said this month it plans to cut 1,100 jobs, about 18% of its global workforce. Microsoft said it will slow down hiring to better align its resources. PayPal, the payment processing company, laid off dozens of employees at its corporate headquarters in San Jose, California, as well as offices in Chicago, Nebraska and Arizona.

Lawmakers in 34 states have introduced more than 100 bills this past year in a push to regulate how social media companies handle user posts. These legislative moves are setting up First Amendment court battles between the governments and companies like Facebook and Twitter, according to an analysis of data from the National Conference of State Legislators. Just three of the bills have become law, including in Texas and Florida, where statutes have been approved to punish platforms that Republicans say censor conservatives, reports Politico. The federal courts have blocked those laws from taking effect. In May, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Florida’s law was largely unconstitutional. Further, the Supreme Court blocked the Texas law and an appellate court is considering a challenge from the industry against the statute.

  • It’s not only red states that are joining the fight against social media. Democrats in blue states are pushing social media companies to set up policies for reporting violent content, misinformation, and hate speech.

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)

Since the beginning of 2021, a federal law has required hospitals to post prices and establish a consumer-friendly price list for 300 common procedures and services. But a new study finds more than half of U.S. hospitals have failed to meet either of the two main requirements of the federal Hospital Price Transparency law, which aims to give consumers an opportunity to shop for prices before getting non-emergency medical care. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued 352 warnings to hospitals about their failure to comply with the price transparency law. Only two hospitals have been fined. On June 7, CMS fined Northside Hospital Atlanta $883,180 and Northside Hospital Cherokee in Canton, Georgia, $214,320. Although CMS issued corrective action notices to 157 hospitals that were warned but had not yet corrected shortcomings, some consumer advocates say the agency hasn’t been aggressive enough in ensuring hospitals follow the federal law.

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)

Capitol Police arrested 181 abortion activists last Thursday for blocking First Street and Constitution Avenue outside the Senate office building in Washington, D.C., including Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif. Capitol Police tweeted they had given second and third warnings before conducting the arrests of unlawful protesters. “We arrested 181 people for Crowding, Obstructing or Incommoding (inconveniencing), and blocking the intersection of Constitution Avenue, NE and First Street, NE,” the tweet from the official Capitol Police Twitter account read.

The Republican governors of Virginia and Maryland have responded to a letter from the Supreme Court’s top-ranking security official calling on them to utilize police and law enforcement to prevent picketing at the homes of justices. “The governor agrees with the Marshal that the threatening activity outside the Justices’ homes has increased,” Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin said. Youngkin also called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to “do his job” by “enforcing the much more robust federal law.” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan also received a letter from Curley requesting that the “Maryland State Police, in conjunction with local authorities as appropriate, enforce laws that prohibit picketing outside of the homes of Supreme Court Justices who live in Maryland.”

  • Last month, 26-year-old Nicholas Roske arrived at Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Maryland home with designs on killing Kavanaugh and then himself, prosecutors say. Roske ended giving himself up without harming anyone.

Local and federal authorities are investigating after a Molotov cocktail was thrown through the window of a pro-life pregnancy resource center in Tennessee on Thursday. No one was injured and the cocktail did not ignite. The governor labeled it terrorism.

A church in Madison, Wisconsin, was vandalized with abortion graffiti messages, the Madison Police Department said. Authorities said the front entrance of St. Bernard Catholic Church was spray-painted with “pro-abortion’ and anti-police” messages on Sunday. The graffiti messages included profanity and referenced the deaths of Native American children.

On Saturday, a large group of around 100 people wearing white masks, tan khakis and blue shirts, reportedly of the white supremacist group The Patriot Front, marched through the heart of downtown Boston. Before conducting their “Freedom Trail Independence” March, the ‘Patriot Front’ demonstrators were confronted by activists as they came off of a train at Oak Grove Station in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The police protected the ‘Patriot Front’ members as the activists taunted the ‘white nationalist’ group. The ‘Patriot Front’ members otherwise marched and distributed flyers at the Boston Public Library. No injuries were reported.

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.

A British man plans to sue the National Health Service for pushing him to undergo a sex-altering surgery without considering his battle with mental illness. In a recent interview with the Daily Mail, Ritchie Herron from Newcastle shared that he struggled with depression and gender dysphoria before considering a body-altering procedure as the answer to his problems. After undergoing surgery in 2018, Herron lamented that the procedure was “the biggest mistake of my life” since it rendered him infertile and incontinent.

An upcoming episode of a popular Disney children’s show features the transgender flag and an androgynous character shopping for tampons, promoting the idea that men can have periods, too. A clip from the show, “Baymax,” which airs on Disney’s streaming platform Disney+, was posted on Twitter by researcher and activist Christopher Rufo. The puffy robot character receives advice on tampon products from another transgender character, among others.

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)

The State Department is offering a reward of up to $10 million for information on foreign interference in U.S. elections. The department’s Reward for Justice program, administered by the Diplomatic Security Service, seeks information leading to the identification or location of any foreign person or foreign entity that “knowingly engaged or is engaging in foreign election interference,” it was announced last Tuesday in a press release.

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)

Inside an 18-wheeler in San Antonio, Texas, authorities discovered a horrific sight: at least 46 dead bodies, and another 16 people still alive but in dire shape. Shortly before 6pm Monday, a worker in the area called police after hearing a call for help from the truck. Authorities arrived to find a body outside the truck and many more inside; in addition, some bodies were found strewn alongside a several-block area—authorities believe they tried to escape the situation inside the truck by jumping out. The victims ranged in age from teens to adults. The tractor-trailer’s refrigeration did not appear to be working, and it appeared that the people had access to water, so many were likely too weak to escape the vehicle. The local temperature hit 100 degrees Monday. It is believed that these are all undocumented immigrants.

  • The driver of a truck carrying 67 illegal immigrants pretended to be one of the passengers before he was arrested, U.S. and Mexican police said Wednesday. Two more people who were in the back of the semitrailer died, bringing the death toll to 53.

The U.S. southern border migrant crisis has produced the world’s deadliest land crossing, a United Nations organization said. “More than 1,238 lives have been lost during migration in the Americas in 2021, among them at least 51 children,” the International Organization for Migration’s Missing Migrants Project reported. “At least 728 of these deaths occurred on the United States-Mexico border crossing, making this the deadliest land crossing in the world, according to the data.” Nearly 500 migrants who died last year remain unidentified. Of those who have been identified, Mexicans (154) make up the largest group, followed by Guatemalans (129) and Venezuelans (94), the report said.

The Supreme Court cleared the way for President Biden to shut down the Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy for migrants seeking asylum in U.S. At issue were the Migrant Protection Protocols, put in place by the Trump administration, requiring some asylum seekers who enter the country illegally to return to Mexico while they await a hearing. The Supreme Court had expedited its review of President Biden’s plan to get rid of the policy after a lower court said the administration had not provided sufficient justification for ending it.

Another migrant caravan is on its way to the U.S. Some 2,000 migrants, mostly Venezuelans, walked out of the southern Mexican city of Tapachula early Friday en masse to pressure authorities into allowing them to continue to the U.S. border.

California is set to become the first U.S. state to guarantee that illegal immigrants and non-citizens can receive ‘free’ healthcare insurance provided by the state at taxpayer expense. The move will provide coverage for an additional 764,000 people at a projected cost of around $2.7 billion a year. The health insurance provision was included in the $307.9 billion operating budget that Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law. Undocumented Californians make up the largest group of the state’s uninsured, with the University of California Berkley’s Labor Center projecting nearly 1.3 million individuals under the age of 65 are uninsured in 2022 alone.

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

Flight disruptions have become the new norm this season as the airline industry battles several headwinds, including and most notably, ongoing staff shortages as well as weather and air traffic control constraints. In the days leading up to the Fourth of July, Airlines have already canceled and delayed thousands of flights. As a result, some passengers may feel inclined to nab insurance as added protection. However, travel insurance experts say that while insurance might work in some cases, it’s not always necessary. If you do opt for the added protection, experts also say it’s vital to read the fine print first because certain policies might not always cover what you’d expect. This includes policies offered through the airline’s website as well as through third-party companies.

In a safety report released Thursday covering 2019 and 2020, Uber said sexual assaults in its ride-share vehicles were down but still quite high at 3,824 incidents “across the five most severe categories of sexual assault and misconduct” on its U.S. platform. In addition, 20 people were killed in assaults and 101 died in crashes. Sexual assault and misconduct incidents were down from 5,981 in 2017 and 2018, but Uber said it logged far fewer trips in 2020 because of the pandemic – 650 million compared with 1.4 billion in the year prior. Deaths from assaults were nearly identical to the previous period, as were fatal vehicle wrecks, which killed 107 people in 2017 and 2018, Uber reported.

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)

Europe is experiencing a mustard shortage and there’s concern that it might hit the U.S. as Americans descend on grocery stores to stock up for their Fourth of July cookouts. “The mustard shortage results from drought conditions realized across the majority of western Canada and northern U.S., which is the primary growing region for mustard seed,” Allen Sass, president of Wisconsin Spice, told USA TODAY. Because there are fewer mustard plants, yielding fewer seeds, production has dropped by as much as half and mustard producers are being forced to pay a premium for available seeds.

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)

Every area of the U.S. could be in danger of experiencing power outages this summer amid a push to convert to renewable energy sources while taking traditional sources of power offline. “I think the entire country is incredibly vulnerable, because the entire country is facing a huge energy shortage and I don’t think there is any place that is truly safe,” Daniel Turner, founder and executive director at Power the Future, told Fox News.

The Biden administration has announced plans to block all new offshore oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, while potentially letting a handful of new leases go ahead off the coast of Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico, charting a different course from a Trump-era plan that sought to expand offshore drilling to bolster America’s energy security. The draft plan, released on July 1 by the Interior Department, lays out several options for public input as to how many offshore oil and gas lease sales should be held over the next five years, ranging from nearly a dozen new leases to zero.

The Biden administration published its annual U.S. Energy and Employment Report Tuesday, showing large fossil fuel industry job losses. The Department of Energy (DOE) report found that the fuels technology sector experienced job losses totaling 29,271 jobs in 2021, a 3.1% year-over-year decline, with the majority coming in the fossil fuel industry. Onshore and offshore petroleum companies shed 31,593 jobs, a 6.4% decline, the coal industry lost 7,125 jobs, down 11.8% year-over-year, and fossil fuel extraction jobs declined by 12%.

Fourth of July travelers got some relief at the pump, although gas prices are still at levels never before seen for the holiday weekend. The national average for a gallon of gas is $4.86, according to AAA. That is 26 cents more than Memorial Day weekend prices, but it reflects a decline in prices in recent weeks.

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)

AP News says churches are using spare land to build tiny home communities to accommodate the homeless. On vacant plots near their parking lots and steepled sanctuaries, congregations are building everything from fixed and fully contained micro homes to petite, moveable cabins, and several other styles of small-footprint dwellings in between. More than half a million Americans were homeless in 2020, and the number has likely climbed as shelter costs of renting or owning have exploded, triggering the worst ever housing affordability crisis on record. A tidal wave of evictions could be ahead with 8.4 million Americans, or about 15% of all renters, behind rent payments. Of that, 3.5 million said they could be evicted within the next two months.

Rising housing costs, combined with persistent inflation for basic necessities such as gas and food, have left more Americans newly homeless and millions more fearing they’ll soon lose their homes. Shelters across the country are reporting a sudden increase in numbers of people looking for help as they struggle to cover basics. Inflation has reached 40-year highs just as many vulnerable families are readjusting to life without a boost from government stimulus or protections to keep them from being evicted, reports the Washington Post.

Business: Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice. (Proverbs 16:8)

Bed Bath & Beyond – one of the first companies to stop selling Mike Lindell’s MyPillow products because he challenged the result of the 2020 presidential election – now is curbing the air conditioning in its stores to compensate for slumping sales, according to a report from Bank of America. The nationwide retailer’s decision in January 2021 to quit selling Lindell’s products was met with a boycott. Later that month, shares of Bed Bath & Beyond plunged 36.4%, the biggest one-day loss since going public in June 1992.

  • Earlier this month, Walmart discontinued Lindell’s MyPillow product at its stores. In January, Lindell said one of the nation’s largest banks move to dump the nine businesses and charities he has founded in the wake of his success with MyPillow.

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)

U.S. manufacturing activity fell in June more than expected, as new orders contracted for the first time in two years, according to a survey from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). ISM’s manufacturing figures dropped to 53.0 in June from 56.1 in May, the weakest results since June 2020, but the ISM index is well above the 43.1 level that would signal a recession. American manufacturing, which accounts for 11.8 percent of the U.S. economy, is currently doing better in comparison to the industries in Europe and Asia. The slowdown in production is partially reflected in a shift in consumer spending from goods to services in the second quarter.

The S&P 500 stock index has posted its worst first half in more than 50 years, dropping 20.6% during the first 6 months of 2022. The S&P 500 suffered its worst half-year since 1970, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average had its largest first-half drop since 1962 and the Nasdaq tech-heavy index had its largest percentage drop ever. Markets this year have been roiled by a number of unfriendly headwinds: Russia’s war in Ukraine, Covid-19 lockdowns in China, surging inflation and aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. All of these factors have fueled investor fears of a recession, causing a rush to the exits.

Real gross domestic product declined at an annualized rate of 1.6% from January to March, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis final report issued 6/29. Previously, the advance estimate released in April showed a contraction of 1.4%. Adjusted for inflation, May consumer spending fell 0.4% and April spending was revised sharply lower to up 0.3% from up 0.7%.  With these adjustments, most economists now fear that a recession is closing in faster than expected.

U.S. home prices ran hot again in April, notching another month of more than 20% year-over-year gains, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case Shiller US National Home Price Index data, released Tuesday. Home prices rose 20.4% in April from the year before, compared to a 20.6% rise seen in March and a 20% annual increase posted in February, according to the report. All 20 cities tracked by the index showed double-digit increases for April, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Fertilizer prices continue to rise. Liquid nitrogen, potash and phosphorus, three of the world’s most commonly used fertilizers, have more than doubled in price in the past two years. Scott Stickley manages roughly 1,900 acres of corn and soybean fields in western Ohio. “Last year, nitrogen (which is used as a fertilizer) was around $170 a ton, and this year at the local dealer it was around $600 a ton,” he said last week. The fertilizer price increase added roughly $50 per acre to the farmer’s total costs, he said. The price hike, in concert with rising costs for other items Stickley depends on such as diesel fuel, has the farmer worried he might not be able to pass the farm to the next generation.

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

The deputy U.S. ambassador to the United Nations slammed Israel for what he charged is an “escalation” in settler violence towards Palestinians while speaking to the U.N. Security Council on Monday, some two weeks before President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel. “We…deplore the escalation of settler violence against Palestinians, including the death of Ali Hassan Harb, a Palestinian in the West Bank who was killed on his family’s agricultural land,” said Richard Mills. Notably, Mills did not mention that Hamas terror group publicly claimed Harb as a member of the organization, nor that an Israeli man was immediately arrested for the fatal stabbing, which is being investigated by the Shin Bet.

Forensic tests conducted on the bullet which fatally wounded an Arab American journalist in Jenin nearly two months ago have failed to provide determine conclusively whether the fatal shot was fired by Israeli soldiers or Islamic Jihad terrorists, the IDF and US State Department both said Monday. While the Palestinian Authority initially refused to transfer the bullet which is claimed to have killed Akleh, on Saturday the Palestinian Authority agreed to transfer the bullet to American officials. The PA has said their analysis proved that Israel fired the kill-shot.

  • U.S. officials have concluded that gunfire from Israeli positions likely killed Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh but that there was “no reason to believe” her shooting was intentional, the State Department said Monday.

British consumer goods giant Unilever announced Wednesday the end of an anti-Israel ice cream boycott that drew heavy criticism, triggered sanctions by some U.S. states, and even provoked a lawsuit. In a statement, Unilever said it has secured a “new arrangement” for the sale of its Ben & Jerry’s brand ice cream “throughout Israel and the West Bank”. The ice cream will now be sold exclusively under its Hebrew and Arabic names. The move effectively ends the boycott of Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria the company imposed in July 2021.

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)

An Israeli security official publicly confirmed for the first time that Israel successfully thwarted an Iranian cyber-attack on its water supply, though hackers from the Islamic Republic nearly succeeded in sickening hundreds of civilians, last Wednesday. The deputy chief of IDF cyber Unit 8200, identified only as Colonel U, said a cyber security conference that an “adversary [Iran] attacked water facilities in Israel. We saw this attacker attempting to poison the water in an attempt to claim human lives. We mitigated that threat far in advance. “Another adversary attacked Israel, and we also found that they were attempting to target U.S. power plants as well,” he said. The attack has served as a major wake-up call for Israel that its civilian infrastructure is not off-limits in the ongoing shadow war between Jerusalem and Tehran.

Israeli forces intercepted and destroyed an Iranian air defense system in transit in northern Syria over the weekend, according to a report by Israeli television. An airstrike was reported Saturday morning in the northwestern Syrian town of Al-Hamidiyah, south of the port city of Tartus and just north of the Lebanese border. Syria’s state-controlled media outlet SANA said the Israeli air force was responsible for the strike, and claimed it destroyed poultry farms, injuring two civilians. But according to a report by Channel 12, the airstrike targeted an Iranian air defense system, which given its proximity to the port of Tartus, had recently been offloaded from a ship. The report called the air defense system a “game changing” advance for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) forces deployed in Syria.

  • Also on Saturday, the IDF intercepted three Hezbollah aerial drones over the Mediterranean heading towards Israel’s Karish gas field.

Indirect talks between Iran and the U.S. on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal ended without a breakthrough Wednesday, with no date set for negotiations to continue. The two-day talks in Doha, Qatar, the first since multilateral discussions in Vienna stalled in mid-March, represent the latest setback for diplomatic efforts to roll back Iran’s nuclear program, damping already low expectations that the 2015 agreement can be restored. The failure of the discussions raises the prospect that the diplomatic process could collapse.

An operations base for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) near Tehran was rocked by a mysterious explosion on Saturday, according to Farsi-language media outside of Iran. The Iranian government has not officially confirmed the blast, which allegedly occurred in the early hours of the morning, and was first reported by Iranian dissidents living in Europe. The extent of the casualties and damage caused by the explosion is unknown.

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)

Russia claimed Sunday to have overwhelmed the last major city in Ukraine’s Luhansk province as it continues its assault on the battered nation’s eastern Donbas region. Ukrainian defense ministry spokesman Yuriy Sak, however, told the BBC that the city of Lysychansk is not under the “full control” of Russian forces. But he acknowledged the Russians were attacking the city non-stop and that “sometimes we may retreat from certain areas so that we can retake them in the future.” Lysychansk’s misery comes one week after the sister city of Sievierodonetsk came under complete Russian control following a brutal, weekslong struggle. Completing the invasion of Luhansk would allow Russia to turn its attention to Donetsk, the other province in the industrial Donbas region. Russia already controls more than half of Donetsk as well.

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv is preparing for a possible attack from Belarus, as Russia continues its war in eastern Ukraine. Evidence of a likely attack came in the form of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko claiming on Saturday that Ukraine had tried to strike military facilities on Belarusian territory three days before, but all its missiles had been intercepted.

An advanced rocket system provided to Ukraine by the United States is making a substantial impact in the country’s ongoing war against Russia, American and Ukrainian officials told The New York Times on Friday. Four High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems have deployed to the front lines of Ukraine’s counter-offensive in the Donbas, with Ukrainian officials claiming they require nearly 300 more to combat the Kremlin. “Because it is such a precise, longer-range system, Ukrainians are able to carefully select targets that will undermine the effort by Russia in a more systematic way … than they would be able to do with the shorter-range artillery systems,” a Pentagon source said.

  • This makes us more than just a bystander in the ongoing war, we are now a shadow participant with our weapons causing Russian deaths and destruction. Prepare for retaliation.

NATO faced rebukes from Moscow and Beijing on Thursday after it declared Russia a “direct threat” and said China posed “serious challenges” to global stability. The Western military alliance was wrapping up a summit in Madrid, where it issued a stark warning that the world has been plunged into a dangerous phase of big-power competition and myriad threats, from cyberattacks to climate change. NATO leaders also formally invited Finland and Sweden to join the alliance.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin warned he would respond in kind if the Nordic pair allowed NATO troops and military infrastructure onto their territory. He said Russia will have to “create the same threats for the territory from which threats against us are created.”

The Biden administration banned Russian gold imports to the U.S. on Tuesday as part of a wave of further sanctions from America and allied nations over Vladimir Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. Treasury announced its Office of Foreign Assets Control now prohibits the importation of gold from Russia, a move President Biden said was coming after the Group of Seven leaders agreed each nation would ban Russian gold from coming into their countries with the aim of further punishing the Kremlin.

  • President Biden also announced an increased U.S. military presence in Europe in response to Russia’s war in Ukraine. At a NATO summit in Madrid, the president announced a permanent headquarters in Poland, two additional F-35 fighter jet squadrons for Britain and additional rotational combat brigades in Romania, among other moves.

President Vladimir Putin has raised the stakes in an economic war with the West and its allies with a decree that seizes full control of the Sakhalin-2 gas and oil project in Russia’s far east, a move that could force out Shell and Japanese investors. The decree creates a new firm to take over all rights and obligations of Sakhalin Energy Investment Co, in which Shell and two Japanese trading companies Mitsui and Mitsubishi hold just under 50%. There are 15 major global oil and gas companies, including Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Shell, that do business in the Sakhalin Islands in the far reaches of northeastern Russia.

  • Although it may not seem like it, America is at war economically with Russia. Unlike World War II, economies and businesses have become global and are now inextricably intertwined.

While the Russian forces have withdrawn from Snake Island in the Black Sea, it may be “too early” for Ukraine to establish an outpost there, said the spokesperson for the Ukrainian Military’s Southern Command, Natalia Humenyuk. Humenyuk reported the island remains engulfed in heavy smoke as explosions continue. Although the Ukrainian military saw Russian troops evacuate using speedboats, Humenyuk said investigation needs to take place into possible “diversion tools left behind” before claiming back the island.

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)

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s landmark Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, a renewed surge of terrorism has been unleashed against churches and pregnancy resource centers, with at least 25 attacks occurring across the country over a seven-day span, reports the Washington Stand. Notably, 17 out of the 25 attacks occurred in predominantly liberal cities and states. The latest rash of onslaughts are part of a much broader pattern of terrorism against churches, pregnancy resource centers, pro-life organizations, and individuals that erupted after Politico published a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion of Dobbs on May 2. In all, TWS has found evidence of at least 92 violent incidents in 60 days.

U.S. forces killed a senior terrorist leader in an airstrike in Syria last Monday, according to military officials. U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said the target of the strike, Abu Hamzah al Yemeni, was a senior leader of an al-Qaida-affiliated terrorist group known as Hurras al-Din. The leader was riding alone on a motorcycle in Idlib province at the time of the attack, CENTCOM said. Violent groups like Hurras al-Din pose an ongoing threat to the U.S. and its allies, according to the statement. “The removal of this senior leader will disrupt Al Qaeda’s ability to carry out attacks against U.S. citizens our partners, and innocent civilians around the world,” the statement said. An early review showed no sign of civilian casualties, according to the U.S. military. The strike came 10 days after a rare ground raid by U.S. forces in northwestern Syria captured a top ISIS leader.”

Famine:Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it. (Ezekiel 14:13)

Farmers and government officials are battling an explosion of cannibalistic insects ravaging crops from Montana to Nevada in an effort save livelihoods and land. Mormon crickets are not new to Oregon. Native to western North America, their name dates back to the 1800s, when they ruined the fields of Mormon settlers in Utah. But amidst drought and warming temperatures – conditions favored by the insects – outbreaks across the West have worsened. Mormon crickets are cannibalistic and will feast on each other, dead or alive, if not satiated with protein. In 2021 alone, Oregon agricultural officials estimate 10 million acres of rangeland in 18 counties were damaged by grasshoppers and Mormon crickets.

  • The Oregon Legislature last year allocated $5 million to assess the problem and set up a Mormon cricket and grasshopper “suppression” program. An additional $1.2 million for the program was approved earlier this month. But some environmental groups oppose the programs, which rely on the aerial spraying of pesticides across large swaths of land.

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 Supreme Court on Thursday handed down a 6-3 decision in West Virginia v. EPA that denied the EPA’s authority to enact sweeping regulations for greenhouse gases that would “decarbonize” American energy under the Clean Air Act. In a blow to Democrats and climate change activists, the opinion said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its unelected bureaucrats could not use portions of the Clean Air Act to make rules limiting how the United States generates electricity and uses energy — such as ending the use of coal-fired power generation. The legal mess decided by SCOTUS Thursday arose from the Obama administration’s attempt to wage war on fossil fuel energy sources.

India banned some single-use or disposable plastic products Friday as part of a federal plan to phase out the ubiquitous material in the nation of nearly 1.4 billion people. For the first stage, it has identified 19 plastic items that aren’t very useful but have a high potential to become litter and makes it illegal to produce, import, stock, distribute, or sell them. These items range from plastic cups and straws to ice cream sticks. Some disposable plastic bags will also be phased out and replaced with thicker ones. Thousands of other plastic products—like bags of chips or bottles for water or soda—aren’t covered by the ban. But the federal government has set targets for manufacturers to be responsible for recycling or disposing of them after their use. Plastic manufacturers had appealed to the government to delay the ban, citing inflation and potential job losses. But India’s federal environment minister Bhupender Yadav said at a press briefing in New Delhi that the ban had been in the pipeline for a year. “Now that time is up,” he said.

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)

South Carolina was shaken this year by an unusual swarm of earthquakes, but experts say there’s no cause for alarm. A swarm is a group of earthquakes, typically small in magnitude, with no identifiable main quake associated with them. Since Dec. 21, the U.S. Geological Survey has recorded about 40 earthquakes in central South Carolina ranging in magnitude from 1.3 to 3.6. Five were magnitude 3.0 or higher. The strongest happened last Wednesday near the town of Elgin, which is an area where all of the recent stronger earthquakes have happened. Earthquakes smaller than 4.0 typically don’t cause damage, according to the USGS. The agency says earthquakes in central South Carolina aren’t unusual, but so many of them in such a short period are.

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)

Rain, higher humidity, lower temperatures and less wind helped firefighters to gain control of all the wildfires in the U.S. Southwest. However, Alaska is struggling with 41 large wildfires (over 100 acres) that have consumed 1,932,000 acres of land. Over the last three months, Alaska has gone from no drought at all to 46% in mild to moderate drought as of 6/30.

A fast-growing California wildfire near South Yuba River State Park grew to more than 900 acres in four days, prompting evacuation orders for hundreds of residents of nearby communities, fire officials said. The blaze, named the Rices fire, is in Nevada County about 70 miles northeast of Sacramento. As of late Thursday, firefighters had about 20% of the blaze contained.

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)

Rain in the U.S. southwest last week has made a small dent in the western megadrought. The percent of the western U.S. in severe to exceptional drought has dropped from 75% three months ago to 65% last Thursday, 6/30 according to the weekly Drought Monitor. However, California worsened to 97% from 94% three months earlier, with Utah worsening slight from 99% to 100%. However, over the past week Arizona improved from 78% down to 71%, while New Mexico improved from 97% to 95% and Nevada improved slightly to 99% (from 100%).

  • The northwest continues to show the most improvement, with Oregon dropping from 26% three months ago to 0% on 6/30 and Washington State declining from 74% to 53%.

Italy’s Ministry of Health put twelve Italian cities on red alert on Tuesday as temperatures pushed past 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

A landslide in Peru engulfed around 150 homes causing extensive damage and displacing hundreds of residents. The large landslide occurred in Chavin de Huantar and buried at least 150 houses and killed at least one person June 30. Reports indicate that the hillside above Chavin de Huantar suddenly collapsed into the town. Authorities have deployed rescue teams to evacuate the residents. The cause of the landslide is unclear.

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