Signs of the Times Update: August 1, 2022

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1-3)

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)

A month has passed since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Washington state football coach who knelt at midfield to pray and was joined by student-athletes. The court wrote, in a 6-3 decision, that Bremerton High School assistant coach Joseph Kennedy’s prayers were protected by the Constitution’s guarantees of free speech and religious exercise, and that the district was wrong to discipline him for what the majority saw as a private act. In response, families, teachers and activists are preparing to push prayer back into public schools nationwide. In at least three states, Illinois, Alabama and Oregon, school officials have said they are reviewing their policies on employee prayer.

  • “Our nation has lost its way in having lost a belief of a higher power,” said Christi Fraga, a Miami-Dade school board member who in May successfully proposed establishing an annual day of prayer in her district. “So in my community, there has been a cry for help — a cry to allow prayer in our schools.” Fraga added of the court’s ruling: “I hope it brings back our country to its foundation.”

After two weeks in solitary confinement for conducting a Pink Rose Rescue earlier this month, Lauren Handy and Joan Andrews Bell were released from custody in Alexandria. When asked why she continues the pro-life work that has repeatedly landed her in prison, Joan replied, “because babies keep dying. And I hope, please God, that soon they’ll stop dying. That’s the only reason.” She has been arrested over 200 times in defense of the unborn. Lauren Handy has been arrested 30 times for her mission of saving unborn babies. However, time in jail does not dissuade her from pursuing the mission. “Rescue is the past, present and future of our movement,” she told LifeSiteNews.

Air Force officials were ordered on July 27 not to discipline airmen who are seeking religious exemptions to the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. U.S. District Judge Matthew McFarland, a Trump appointee, entered a preliminary injunction against the military branch. McFarland two weeks earlier issued a temporary restraining order. He asked the military to make its case as to why he shouldn’t enter a preliminary injunction, a longer-lasting measure.

A $10 million settlement has been announced by Liberty Counsel, which brought a class-action lawsuit against NorthShore University HealthSystem on behalf of workers who were forced during the pandemic to take the experimental COVID-19 shots. Officials with the legal team said NorthShore will pay $10,337,500 “to compensate these health care employees who were victims of religious discrimination, and who were punished for their religious beliefs against taking an injection associated with aborted fetal cells.” The class action case was on behalf of more than 500 current and former NorthShore workers.

A state judge in Wisconsin has ruled that the Department of Corrections broke the law when it decided to give lawyers and bureaucrats and even reporters and dog trainers access to inmates during COVID, but refused to provide any procedure for clergy to visit. The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty cited the summary judgment from Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge William Hue that found state officials violated the law and Wisconsin Constitution with their restrictions. The organization had acted on behalf of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in bringing the case over clergy access to prisoners.

Twenty-two state attorneys general have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture for threatening to withhold funds for the National School Lunch Program from schools that do not comply with the Biden administration’s LGBT ideology. The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service announced on May 5 its intention to interpret “the prohibition on discrimination based on sex found in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972” to include “discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The state of Florida has instructed public schools to ignore a Biden administration Title IX executive action that would force schools to open girls’ showers, locker rooms, restrooms, and dormitories to members of the opposite sex, and to let males compete in women’s sports. As the state’s officials noted, since the federal government admits guidances do not – and cannot – carry legal weight, the latest transgender document “should not be treated as governing law.”

A court of appeals in Alberta, Canada, recently ruled that the arrest, jailing, and fining of a Christian pastor for resisting a Chinese coronavirus inspection of his church by police officers in April 2021 were illegal. Alberta authorities punished Pawlowski, along with his brother and another local community leader, with an injunction, censorship, and fines. A Calgary judge convicted the Pawlowski brothers of contempt of court in June 2021. The Pawlowski brothers later appealed this contempt of court charge and won their appeal on July 22. The Alberta court of appeals ruled that all of the punishments endured by the Pawlowskis over the past year were illegal and that they should be reimbursed for the fines they were forced to pay.

A study published in the Review of Religious Research has found that engaging with digital religion – such as chat groups with pastors, online sermons and religious content on social media – has made millennials’ faith experience richer. The research, which was based on data from the 2019 Millennial Trends Survey, also suggested that some non-churchgoers have found religion in digital spaces. “They are the first truly digital natives in North America, in that they were raised since childhood with the digital world at their fingertips,” the study’s author, University of Waterloo sociology professor Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme, said of the findings. The research also found significant differences between Canadian and U.S. millennials. While around 29% of Canadian millennials in the study reported consuming religious or spiritual digital content at least once a month, 41% of U.S. millennials reported the same.

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 Biden administration’s radical push to redefine “sex” has reached a new low: Taking lunch away from poor kids. The administration is reinterpreting Title IX to redefine “sex” to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner, Nikki Fried, is poised to block schools—including religious schools—from school lunch funding if they don’t comply with this radical redefinition, which includes a rule that school children can choose what school facilities (e.g. bathrooms, showers and locker rooms) to use based upon their perceived gender.

Right now, adult men in California are allowed to marry a “child bride” of any age, reports Liberty Counsel. And frequently these men are many decades older than the little girls. Some of these “marriages” are forced. Now, Congress wants to foist this child abuse on all other states. The so-called “Respect for Marriage Act” has already passed the House as HR 8404. If it passes the Senate (S 4556), every “state, territory, and possession of the United States” will be forced to accept and endorse the marriages of “minor attracted persons,” (the new euphemism for pedophiles) to children.

“The avalanche” of nearly $200 billion in COVID-19 funding intended to help kids during the apex of the novel coronavirus’ pandemic was used, in part, to fuel the agenda of the “union political machine,” according to a Tuesday report. “This massive flood of funding has left public schools awash in cash, while students and taxpayers are left to deal with the…  disaster unleashed by the union-prescribed COVID policies,” The Goldwater Institute, a conservative public policy think tank, said. In the span of a single year, Congress allocated $190 billion of federal funding into K-12 education. However, about half of the $190 billion in federal funds were classified by state education agencies as “other,” according to an October 2021 report from ProPublica. Such reporting provided “no insight into how the funds were allocated.”

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)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office announced early Sunday morning that she plans to visit at least four Asian countries during her trip to the region, but a stop in Taiwan was notably left out, after China made threats against Taiwan if she went there.. Pelosi is leading a Congressional delegation to the Indo-Pacific region that includes stops in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. The trip will center on mutual security, economic partnership and democratic governance in the Indo-Pacific region, her office said in a press release.

  • Pelosi will visit Taiwan, despite threats from China, CNN reported Monday morning. China and the United States both deployed military forces to the region around Taiwan following Chinese threats of a military attack in response to Pelosi’s proposed visit to Taiwan.

Democrats control both Congress and the presidency, and yet they had been unable to agree on a package of climate policies to accelerate the use of clean energy and reduce emissions. Senator Joe Manchin had been blocking any deal, and the Senate is so closely divided that the Democrats cannot afford to lose a single vote. However, on Thursday, Manchin appeared to change his mind. He announced that he had agreed to include hundreds of billions of dollars for climate and energy programs in a bill that would also reduce prescription drug prices, raise taxes on the affluent and shrink the federal deficit.

  • An independent analysis of President Biden’s proposed Inflation Reduction Act finds it won’t reduce inflation at all. The Penn-Wharton Budget Model found that the proposal, which includes $433 billion in new spending on climate and other items, “would very slightly increase inflation until 2024 and decrease inflation thereafter.”

CNN poll results Tuesday showed that 75% of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents said they don’t want Biden as the party’s nominee in the next presidential election. An op-ed by the liberal Washington Post maintained that President Biden should not seek a second term, and then the Post published a list of the “top-nine Democratic Presidential hopefuls. The author of the Post’s list, Aaron Blake, ranked the candidates from one to ten, with Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg first, followed by Vice President Kamala Harris, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA), Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI), Governor Roy Cooper (D-NC), and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

  • For Christian conservatives, this is a pretty scary list.

White nationalism. For many on the left and among their allies in the press, the emergence of a new generation of pro-Jesus, anti-woke Republicans is cause for alarm. The movement is “potentially violent” and “insidious,” said CNN producer John Blake. “A threat to our democracy,” wrote MSNBC’s Dean Obeidallah. The media has rushed to equate it with racism and violence. And gleeful Democrats can’t wait to use it as a club to bash GOP candidates with in the fall. But Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says it’s a rebranding that Republicans should embrace. For conservatives such as Mrs. Greene, the outspoken first-term congresswoman from Georgia, being a Christian nationalist is nothing for which to apologize.

  • While a Christian government would be welcome, it should not just be for white people.

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

Twitter on July 28 imposed a blockade on all content from The Epoch Times without explanation, raising further concerns about freedom of speech on the platform and drawing fire from three U.S. senators. “The link you are trying to access has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially spammy or unsafe,” the warning stated, citing Twitter’s URL policy. The platform has not responded to multiple requests from The Epoch Times for clarification. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), vice chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who serves on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who serves on the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs,  decried the move as an act of censorship.

  • On Saturday, Twitter halted its censorship of content from The Epoch Times following a flood of public criticism.

Moms For Liberty co-founder Tina Descovich said on Friday that Twitter is “against truth” after their account was shut down for criticizing a California gender-transition bill. The offending tweet called gender dysphoria a “mental disorder” and she also claimed that it is being normalized by “predators” across the U.S. “We haven’t heard anything. We’ve appealed the tweet. We’ve decided that Twitter hates truth because gender dysphoria is a mental health issue that’s plaguing our children across the country right now. It’s something that needs to be discussed and addressed, and certainly it needs to be discussed in the town square of Twitter. But Twitter is against truth,” she said.

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 Yeshiva University student who was viciously attacked on a New York subway train and required medical treatment said Jews no longer feel safe in the city. This man was violently attacked yesterday on the NYC subway because he was Jewish just hours after @AmericansAA released its report showing that NYC District Attorneys are derelict in their duty to prosecute violent criminals. “There must be consequences for violence, or it will get worse!” said the recovering student.

A Christian in eastern Uganda died from head injuries sustained in an attack by Muslim extremists the previous week, sources said. Robert Bwenje had accompanied Assistant Pastor Ambrose Mugisha of Elim Pentecostal Church in Nyamiringa village, Kapeke Sub-County, Kiboga District, to an open-air debate about Christianity and Islam in Sirimula village, Kyankwanzi District. Following the debate, eight Muslims including two women put their faith in Christ, said Pastor Mugisha, 25. “This angered the Muslims, but they could not attack us because we had tight security from the police,” he said. As the assistant pastor and Bwenje returned, Muslims from Sirimula village ambushed them while they were crossing a swamp, he said.

Two Christian brothers have been sentenced to death in Pakistan for their faith. Amoon and Qaisar Ayub were falsely accused of “blasphemy”—framed for supposedly posting disparaging comments against the Prophet Muhammad online. The insidious abuse of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws to persecute Christians is rampant in Pakistan. There was no evidence that either brother did anything they were accused of. Yet their conviction and execution sentence have been upheld in court. The American Center for Law & Justice is mobilizing its international affiliate—the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ)—and its partner in Pakistan to appeal directly to Pakistan’s Supreme Court to have this miscarriage of justice overturned.

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

A new “fact check” report from the Charlotte Lozier Institute pushes back on a mainstream narrative about pro-life states and finds that the 23 states with the strongest pro-life laws allow for abortions to save the mother’s life. “Abortion advocates are spreading the dangerous lie that life-saving care is not or may not be permitted in these states, leading to provider confusion and poor outcomes for women,” the report says. “A plain reading of any of these statutes easily refutes the false and dangerous misinformation being spread by pro-abortion activists,” coauthor Mary E. Harnedsaid.

Kansas primary voters on Tuesday, August 2, will be the first in the country to decide statewide on the right to abortion since the Supreme Court’s June decision overturning Roe v. Wade, putting abortion access at risk in one of the few midwestern states that allows the procedure. A state constitutional amendment on the primary ballot asks voters whether they want to preserve the right to an abortion in Kansas, a right protected in a 2019 state supreme court ruling. The vote is not just a crucial test for Kansans, but a possible bellwether across the country as Americans look to decide the future of abortion rights after the Supreme Court overturned the nearly 50-year precedent of Roe v.Wade this year.

Missouri’s Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit against the city of St. Louis after it passed a measure funding out of state abortions. On July 15, Democrat Mayor Tishaura Jones signed Board Bill 61 (BB61), allotting $1.5 million federal dollars to establish a “Reproductive Equity Fund” to fund out-of-state abortions, according to a statement from Schmitt’s office. In response, on July 21, Schmitt filed his lawsuit against the bill. “My Office today filed suit to put a stop to Mayor Jones and the City of St. Louis Board of Aldermen’s blatantly illegal move to spend Missourians’ hard-earned tax dollars on out-of-state abortions,”

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)

President Biden tested positive for coronavirus again this weekend and was diagnosed with a “rebound” case, his physician said. The president is feeling well and will continue to work from the Executive Residence at the White House while he continues his isolation, the White House said. Rebound cases – where a person tests positive after recovering from symptoms and testing negative – can occur, especially among people who take the antiviral drug paxlovid, which the president took shortly after he first tested positive.

Over the past two weeks, new Covid-19 cases per day in the U.S. are down 5%, while hospitalizations are up 7% and deaths up 2%. If the downward trend in cases continues, lagging hospitalizations and deaths will also begin to show declines. New cases, though, are substantially undercounted due to at-home testing that doesn’t get reported. Cases are increasing modestly in about half the states and are decreasing modestly in the other half.

Patients with a Vitamin D deficiency have as much as a 50% higher probability of death from COVID-19, according to a study by researchers in Israel and Russia. The study, published in the Israel Medical Association Journal, analyzed published clinical trials showing patients with low vitamin D levels are more prone to infection from COVID-19, and severe illness and death from the disease, the Jerusalem Post reported. The boost to the immune system from Vitamin D can be found in supplements as well as foods such as egg yolks, fatty salmon, sardines, herring, canned tuna, beef liver, fortified milk, cereals, yogurt and orange juice.

The Beverly Hills, California, City Council voted unanimously not to enforce a Los Angeles County mask mandate should one be adopted. The vote came as the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has publicly weighed the possibility of adopting an indoor mask mandate in the county, which has seen a steady rise in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. The mandate was reportedly set to go into effect Friday, but Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told reporters cases in the country may be leveling off and “we are likely to want to take a pause on moving too quickly on universal indoor masking.”

San Francisco on Thursday declared a local monkeypox emergency effective Aug. 1, while the state of New York declared an imminent threat to public health, retroactive to June 1. San Francisco now has more than 30% of the 799 total cases in California. New York has recorded 1,247 cases. Neither San Francisco nor New York are implementing behavior restrictions, despite the WHO advising men who have sex with men to temporarily reduce their number of sexual partners in declaring a global emergency. With 4,907 confirmed cases nationwide as of this writing, the Biden administration is considering whether to declare a national emergency.

  • Government is far too anxious to declare emergencies which give it more power and control. Monkeypox is not a threat to the overall population because there is no ‘community spread.’

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)

According to one recent investigation, 42 percent of women with regular menstrual cycles said they bled more heavily than usual after vaccination, reports LifeSiteNews. Other recent research has found the Pfizer COVID shot impairs semen concentration and motile count in men for about three months. Miscarriages, fetal deaths, and stillbirths have also risen after the rollout of the COVID shots. In November 2021, Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, British Columbia (BC), delivered 13 stillborn babies in a 24-hour period, and all of the mothers had received the COVID vaccine. Many countries are now reporting sudden declines in live birth rates, including Germany, the U.K., Taiwan, Hungary, and Sweden. In the five countries with the highest COVID vaccination uptake, fertility has dropped by an average of 15.2 percent, whereas the five countries with the lowest COVID vaccine uptake have seen an average decline of just 4.66 percent.

Researchers examined municipal data on vaccinations and deaths in the Netherlands. They found a “vaccination-correlated mortality rate” of about 5%, meaning that 5% of deaths of deaths overall reflected vaccination rates. The lead researcher, Andre Redert, said the result is “alarming and calls for more research on the effect of current Covid vaccines on all-cause mortality.” He explains in the paper, which has not been peer reviewed, that the pattern does not prove the vaccinations caused the excess deaths. But the study does show a correlation that has been observed since the summer of 2021 in countries with a high rate of vaccination. Highly vaccinated countries, Berenson wrote, generally posted non-COVID death increases of 5% to 10%.

A national survey by Zogby Strategies has found 17% of adults who received at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine say they were diagnosed with a new condition within weeks to several months after getting the shot. The figure was 15% for those who had received at least one shot. Among those who were medically diagnosed with a new condition, the top conditions were blood clots (21%), heart attack (19%), liver damage (18%), leg or lung clots (17%), and stroke (15%).

The Biden administration said Friday it secured 66 million doses of a reformulated COVID-19 shot from Moderna ahead of a fall booster campaign that will further place America on a path toward managing the virus like the seasonal flu. The purchase adds to the 105 million doses the U.S. government secured from Pfizer of its “bivalent” booster that targets both the original strain of the virus and the BA.5 variant that is ripping through the country. The variant has been able to evade certain immune defenses in people who were infected previously or received the vaccine. Government officials this year opted to reformulate the shots in the hope of producing a better antibody response.

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 shooting that left two dead and five injured at a Los Angeles park Sunday, 7/24, took place at a weekly softball game that had for years worked to peacefully and safely bring together members of different Los Angeles-area gangs. The league was organized about five years ago by a local nonprofit organization. Sunday’s game—which took place weeks after the founder of the league died in a car accident—was between two Compton teams. “It broke my heart,” said Skip Townsend, a gang interventionist who often attends the games.

The accused female shooter at Dallas Love Field Airport has a lengthy criminal record and had previously told police that she was “God’s prophet” and was married to R&B singer-songwriter Chris Brown.  But in many of those incidents, judges deemed her incompetent to stand trial, she was referred to either or both inpatient or outpatient mental health services, and the cases were dismissed. Before she allegedly changed clothes in the airport bathroom, pulled out a gun near a ticketing counter and opened fire into the ceiling at about 11 a.m. Monday, court records show Odufuwa had allegedly pulled a gun on a hotel front desk clerk in April 2021 at a time when she was homeless. The woman provided the address of rapper Chris Brown’s mansion to police after the incident, but Dallas County Judge Kristin Wade dismissed the false report case even though Odufuwa “did not successfully complete the program” when deemed incompetent to stand trial, according to county court records.

  • Another failure by our so-called justice system that provides more protections to the accused than to the public that has to endure the threat of violence anywhere at any time.

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)

Protests have erupted in Buenos Aires over the past 90 days and continue to build inside the capital as residents battle with their center-left government over sizeable amendments to social programs midst a 43% unemployment rate. Cuts to subsidies in the energy sector based on household income already began in June. Other subsidies, including the country’s notorious welfare program, are also on the chopping block, triggering thousands of angry residents to take to the streets. State-sponsored aid for civilians has soared in the past 20 years, leaving 22 million Argentinians dependent on some form of government assistance.

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)

House legislation to ban semiautomatic assault rifles for the first time in many years squeaked by on Friday through a vote mostly delineated by party lines. Advocates say the measure is a reasonable response to recent horrific mass shootings. But it is expected to make little to no headway in Senate. Many reports say that it’s doomed to fail. The legislation was approved by a 217 to 213 vote in a Dem-majority House. Five Democrats broke with party lines to oppose it. Just two Republicans, one representing the Buffalo, N.Y., district where a mass shooting left 10 dead in May, voted in favor.

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)

The first Jan. 6 Capitol defendant convicted at trial received the stiffest sentence yet: more than 7 years in prison for leading a mob while armed. The judge declined to apply a terrorism sentencing penalty that prosecutors had requested for Guy Reffitt. He was the recruiter for the Three Percenters wand as found guilty of five felonies, including obstruction of Congress, interfering with police, carrying a firearm to a riot and threatening his teenage son who turned him in to the FBI.

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.

Walgreens and Rite Aid have said that the problem of organized retail crime – rings of criminals that steal products from stores and then often resell them on online marketplaces – is causing them to lock more products up and close some stores. Locking up their shelves is a last resort for stores, but it has never been more widely practiced. It’s also become a growing irritation for shoppers and a source of frustration for some employees who must walk around the store with keys at the ready.

Science: The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. (Psalm 19:1) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so the are without excuse… who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator. (Romans 1:20,25)

The first authorization of NASA funding to pass Congress in more than five years will include an extension to the Moon to Mars Program, Space News reported on Friday. Tucked within the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act was the much smaller NASA Authorization Act of 2022, permitting an extension of several of the agency’s programs without revealing specific dollar amounts. “This act shows continued bipartisan support of NASA’s many missions, including our Moon to Mars approach, as well extension of U.S. participation in the International Space Station to 2030,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson wrote in a statement.

Russia announced Tuesday that it will withdraw from the International Space Station after 2024, and plans to construct its own. The announcement was made by Moscow’s new space chief, Yuri Borisov. It was one of the last remaining areas of cooperation between Russia and the United States. The announcement does not appear to alter a deal cut this month between NASA and Roscosmos for astronauts to continue riding Russian rockets and for Russian cosmonauts to catch lifts to the International Space Station with SpaceX beginning this fall.

  • China is also currently working toward building their own space stations as well. Sigh. War in space will soon no longer be Star Wars fiction.

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 Twitter data breach has allowed a hacker to get access to the personal information of 5.4 million users, the social media company has confirmed. The data, including phone numbers and email addresses, has been offered for sale on a hacking forum for $30,000, Restore Privacy said. Twitter has since patched the vulnerability, which was reported in January. The outlet added that the bug was specific to Twitter’s Android client and occurred with the social media platform’s authorization process. There currently is no way for Twitter users to find out if they were affected by the data breach.

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)

Congress passed a $280 billion package to bolster the domestic chipmaking industry. The bill will increase the production of essential computer chips in the U.S. to prevent future supply chain issues midst increase competition from China. Right now, 90% of our chip come from Taiwan.

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)

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation, the philanthropic part of the American Board of Internal Medicine, which certifies physicians and funds the development of their curriculum, has, according to an association of medical professionals known as Do No Harm, “gone woke.” John Sailer wrote: “ABIM’s push for [diversity, equity, and inclusion] has found its way into the most basic function of the organization, which is the certification of internal medicine practitioners. Internists must pass ABIM’s Maintenance of Certification Exam every 10 years. As of April 2021, ‘health equity’ questions are now included on all exams.”

Many health-care professionals across the nation have been punished for their views on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Now, a Houston physician has filed a $25 million lawsuit against the hospital that suspended her privileges. Dr. Mary Bowden charges that Houston Methodist Hospital published defamatory statements about her to news media and social media platforms. “The way they came after me was unprofessional, unprecedented against the spirit of bylaws of their bylaws,” said Bowden, who resigned from the hospital last November after her privileges were suspended.

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)

It appears that perverts are infesting our schools. At least 181 K-12 educators, including four principals, were arrested on child sex-related crimes in the U.S. in the first six months of 2022, ranging from child pornography to raping students. An analysis conducted by Fox News Digital looked at local news stories week by week featuring arrests of principals, teachers, substitute teachers and teachers’ aides on child sex-related crimes in school districts across the country. Arrests that weren’t publicized were not counted in the analysis, meaning the true number may well be higher.

With inflation at a four-decade high of 9.1%, a Morning Consult poll found in May and June that the share of consumers expecting to shell out more than $500 on school-related purchases rose to 25% from 7% last year.

Marriage/Family:  “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)

Oxford sociologist J.D. Unwin in 1939, published a landmark book summarizing his research, reports Breakpoint. Sex and Culture was a look at 80 tribes and six historical civilizations over the course of five millennia, through the lens of a single question: Does a culture’s ideas of sexual liberation predict its success or collapse? “Just as societies have advanced [and] then faded away into a state of general decrepitude, so in each of them has marriage first previously changed from a temporary affair based on mutual consent to a lifelong association of one man with one woman, and then turned back to a loose union or to polygamy. ” Unwin concluded that the whole of human history does not contain a single instance of a group becoming civilized unless it has been absolutely monogamous, nor is there any example of a group retaining its culture after it has adopted less rigorous customs.

Homosexuality:  For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. (Romans 1:26-27)

A federal court upheld a decision that struck down laws that ban counseling minors to reduce or overcome unwanted same-sex attractions and behaviors or gender confusion in Florida. On July 20, the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals denied an appeal from Palm Beach County and the City of Boca Raton to review the laws, which were struck down in 2020 after they were found to violate the First Amendment right to free speech, as reported by Liberty Counsel. “This is a huge victory for counselors and their clients to choose the counsel of their choice and be free of political censorship from government ideologues,” Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver said. 

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 elementary school principal issued an apology Friday after promoting a book about a transgender child to students as young as five years old. Stacy DeCorsey, principal of Excelsior Elementary School in Excelsior, Minnesota, suggested kindergarten through second grade students read “Jack (Not Jackie),” a story about a young girl who realizes she prefers to act like a boy, according to a YouTube video. DeCorsey then issued an apology on Facebook for suggesting the book after it “struck a nerve in the community,” and since deleted the original video.

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)

More than 500,000 immigrant “got aways” may have been be released into the United States since the beginning of fiscal 2022, the New York Post reported last Monday. A senior Department of Homeland Security officials told Fox News that an average of 55,000 migrants evaded capture from border agents per month. According to Customs and Border Protection data, the total number of southwest land border encounters for fiscal 2022 as of May was 1,536,899, with 239,416 encounters that month alone. In all of fiscal 2021, the total number of encounters was 1,734,686.

  • Despite these glaring numbers, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has maintained that the border is secure. Many people today are under the very kind of delusions prophesied in 2Thessalonians 2:9-11 – people on the extreme left as well as the extreme right.

Now that they are being affected by the hordes of illegal immigrants, two Democratic cities are crying out for relief. Democrat mayors Eric Adams of New York City and Muriel Bowser of Washington D.C., are pleading for assistance with illegal migrants now that it is now affecting them, despite once looking past Biden’s border policies. They are now blaming Arizona and Texas for sending illegal immigrants to their cities. However, Republicans argue that the Democrat-run cities are dealing with the side effects of their own party’s immigration policies. Describing his city has being “overburdened,” Adams called out Texas and Arizona leaders by calling them “cowards.” “In some instances, families are arriving on buses sent by the Texas and Arizona governments, while in other cases, it appears that individuals are being sent by the federal government,” Adams said.

Officials found more than $2 million in methamphetamine hidden in a vehicle at the Rio Grande City Port of Entry in Texas, US Customs and Border Protection say. CBP officers from the Rio Grande City International Bridge discovered it Sunday in a 2012 Dodge that arrived from Mexico. The $2.1 million in alleged liquid meth, totaling 110 pounds, was found by officers using imaging systems and a dog team. The driver – an unidentified 41-year-old US citizen – was turned over to agents with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations.

  • More than 5,000 pounds of meth was seized earlier this month after authorities in San Diego County tracked and intercepted a truck that crossed the border from Mexico. Four men were charged in what federal prosecutors described as one of the largest meth busts in San Diego County.

“Not another foot. “Those were the words Joe Biden used as a mantra throughout his 2020 presidential campaign regarding the construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. But on Thursday, the Biden administration approved a plan to complete a section of the border wall near Yuma, Arizona.  The plan includes filling four major gaps in the wall.

As illegal immigrant children surge across the southern border, the Biden administration says it’s making sure it places pregnant teens in states where they can still get abortions in the wake of this summer’s Supreme Court ruling. Even though bed space for the kids is at a premium, the administration revealed in court documents that it is reserving some to make sure pregnant juveniles have a landing spot in a licensed facility in abortion-friendly states — even if it means other kids end up in unlicensed facilities.

President Biden’s administration has confirmed a plan that would give identification cards to illegal immigrants. The pilot program from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is aimed at modernizing “documentation provided to some noncitizens.” “Currently, noncitizens receive paper documents from the federal government about their immigration status. Paper documents pose a security risk, are easily lost, and degrade rapidly in real-world use, creating inefficiencies for the government and noncitizens. Moving to a secure card will save the agency millions, free up resources, and ensure information is quickly accessible to DHS officials while reducing the agency’s FOIA backlog,” an ICE spokesperson said.

Nearly a thousand illegal immigrants who were released by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) have been allowed to use copies of their arrest warrants as proof of identification to board aircraft, Town Hall reports. Senator Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) tweeted “The head of TSA admits the Biden Administration has let nearly 1000 illegal aliens use arrest warrants as ID to get on planes this year.”

Food Supplies: 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)

U.S. cattle producers are sending higher numbers of breeding stock to the sale barn, and some are liquidating their herds entirely, signaling a trend that analysts say will likely push already-elevated beef prices even higher in the not-too-distant future. The latest cattle report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows the market has contracted to levels not seen in years, with total inventory dropping 2% to 98.8 million head since July 2021. But it’s not just the reduction in cattle overall that is of concern. There is a notable boost in calf-producing females getting sold for processing in addition to steers, which are typically favored for consumption.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy suggested that his nation’s grain harvest this year could be half of its typical amount due to its ongoing war with Russia. Mr. Zelenskyy tweeted Sunday morning that the harvest “is under the threat to be twice less.” The Russian invasion has taken a lot of farmland and farmers out of play.

A ship carrying nearly 30,000 tons of corn set sail on Monday and received widespread press in the process. That’s because it’s the first ship carrying Ukrainian grain to leave the country under a deal with Russia brokered by the UN and Turkey and designed to ease the global food crisis.

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 European Union announced Tuesday that it will reduce its gas consumption by 15 percent between August and March to store enough for winter in case Russia cuts off its supply. In 2021, the EU got about 40 percent of its natural gas from Russia, according to the International Energy Agency. The EU member countries plan to voluntarily share and ration gas, but if their goals are not met, the member states will discuss mandatory regulations.

The White House announced Tuesday that the Department of Energy will be issuing a notice to sell 20 million more barrels of oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as part of the Biden administration’s effort to bring gas prices down. This makes the fifth such sale that President Biden has authorized. The White House continued to blame “disruptions posed by Russia’s invasion” for the high prices while claiming that the Biden administration’s actions are making a tremendous difference. A State Department official is drawing criticism after tweeting that he prefers high gas prices because it means less driving and less carbon emissions to fight climate change.

  • While gas prices are down significantly since a recent national average price of more than $5 per gallon in June, the average as of Tuesday was still $4.327, compared to $3.156 from one year ago, and approximately $2.39 when Biden first took office in January 2021.

The Biden administration is unveiling new proposed rules for replacing the roughly 260 million barrels of oil that it plans to sell from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to blunt high gasoline prices. The administration does not expect to begin restocking the SPR, typically reserved for emergencies and national security purposes, for more than a year. The Department of Energy wants to immediately begin making deals with oil companies to buy barrels at fixed prices but hold off on the purchases until after the next fiscal year, or Sept. 30, 2023. Entering price agreements at a time when oil remains relatively high — around $100 per barrel — could mean taxpayers end up spending more than they otherwise would have if prices continue to drop. Senior administration officials argued that this approach would “encourage greater near-term investment in supply but will not raise demand for barrels now or in the near future.”

  • Current regulations allow the administration to enter into contracts for future delivery but require that the price reflect market prices when the oil is delivered.

Taxes:  He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Luke 20:25)

The vast majority of Americans will pay more in taxes as a result of Democrats’ inflation bill despite President Biden’s pledge not to raise taxes on those making under $400,000 per year. The Inflation Reduction Act — unveiled Wednesday by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and endorsed by Biden — would increase tax revenue by $16.7 billion from Americans earning less than $200,000 a year, according to a nonpartisan analysis from the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) published Friday. Nearly every tax bracket would pay more in taxes with those making below $10,000 per year seeing the largest uptick, the analysis showed. In his 2020 campaign, Biden repeatedly pledged that Americans earning less than $400,000 per year would not experience any tax increase during his presidency.

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

While gasoline prices soared to record highs, conditions for Big Oil companies haven’t looked this good in years. Exxon made nearly $17.9 billion in profit between April and June, almost four times what it earned during the same period in 2021. Apple, for comparison, reported a profit of $19.4 billion last quarter. Chevron booked a profit of $11.6 billion, while Shell earned $11.5 billion, both up substantially from the prior year.

One-hundred-seventy companies reported second-quarter results including Microsoft, Alphabet, Meta Platforms, Apple, and Amazon. Results were mixed, with many companies warning about inflation and slowing growth in the future. Still, markets managed to end the week and month higher.

It’s been a worrisome few weeks for Google, as profits dipped for the second quarter in a row and hiring was temporarily paused. Now, CEO Sundar Pichai has put out an alert to employees, seeking ideas to boost efficiency and up productivity and warning of an economy that doesn’t look to be improving anytime soon.

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 raised its key short-term rate by three-quarters of a percentage point for a second straight month Wednesday in a bid to corral soaring inflation, matching the largest increase since 1994. It puts the federal funds rate – which is what banks charge one another for overnight loans – at a range of 2.25% to 2.5%, close to the Fed’s 2.5% long-run, or neutral rate. That’s the rate intended to neither stimulate nor curtail economic growth. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank must “move expeditiously” to that neutral level and then likely beyond it to cool the economy and bring inflation under control.

The U.S. economy shrank at a 0.9% annualized rate in the second quarter, fueling fears that America is entering a recession. The new figures, released Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, come at a tumultuous time for the economy. Inflation has been high, and the unemployment rate has remained low. The economy shrank in the first three months of the year, and many economists believe a second quarter of contraction means a recession is inevitable.

  • A slowdown in inventory accumulation contributed to a large chunk of the economic contraction between April and June, removing two percentage points from economic output.

U.S. home prices fell 0.7% during the four-week period ending July 10 after reaching a record high in June. Plus, housing supply finally picked up in July for the first time since August 2019. While a dip in home prices and an uptick in housing inventory are both very positive developments, the reality is that many buyers are likely to remain priced out of the market for quite some time because of the historic rise in home prices.

Americans grew even more pessimistic about the U.S. economy over the past month, according to the latest survey on consumer attitudes, intentions and expectations from The Conference Board. The consumer confidence index for July slipped to 95.7 from June’s revised reading of 98.4, which was adjusted downward by 0.3 points. It’s the lowest index reading since February 2021, when levels were 95.2. However, the July number remains considerably above the deeply pessimistic readings during the Great Recession in 2008, when the index fell as low as 25.3. Anything below 100 indicates a pessimistic view of economic conditions.

The personal consumption expenditures price index – the Federal Reserve’s go-to barometer – rose 6.8% in June. That’s the biggest 12-month increase since January 1982. Economist Rachel Greszler, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, says inflation has made the average worker $3,400 poorer this month than in January 2021.

Inflation is a global phenomenon right now, and the U.S. has actually fared better than other countries in recent months. In June, consumer prices in the U.S. increased 9.1 percent over the previous year; they increased 9.6 percent across the European Union. The U.S. spent more to prevent economic catastrophe during the pandemic than most of the world did. That led to a stronger recovery, but also to greater inflation initially that was more than the EU. But in Europe, supply has played a bigger role. The five-month-old war in Ukraine was a more direct shock to Europe than it was to the rest of the world, because it pushed the continent to try to end its reliance on Russian oil and gas. That prompted Europe’s recent jump in inflation.

  • So now, the U.S. is trying to cool down the economy by raising interest rates, but that’s not the answer in the EU which is more dependent on what happens with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In March, the FAO Food Price Index from the United Nations jumped to its highest level since it was created in 1990, feeding fears that a global food crisis was rapidly taking shape. Yet in the months to follow, wheat prices — along with the price of other agricultural products — dropped. Wheat is down 45% since March, and 25% since the beginning of May. The FAO Food Price Index has declined for three consecutive months. Is the threat of famine, protests and distress from higher food prices behind us? Not quite, according to Tracey Allen, agricultural commodities strategist at JPMorgan Chase. She thinks wheat prices could jump another 20% and 30% just to reflect actual supply and demand conditions in the market.

ExxonMobil and Chevron both reported record massive profits thanks to record gasoline prices during the quarter. Exxon’s profit, excluding special items, came to $17.6 billion in the second quarter, nearly double what it made in its very profitable first quarter as oil and gas prices started to soar in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Second-quarter profit was up 273% from the same period a year ago. Chevron earned $11.4 billion excluding special items, up 74% from the first quarter and 247% from a year ago.

If you’ve noticed that products you’ve recently purchased are coming in boxes, cartons and other packaging that appear smaller, lighter in weight and decorated with less flashy colors, it’s because they actually are, CNN reports. Just as inflation hitting a 40-year high is forcing households to pay more for everyday purchases, companies that make those products are having to spend much more on production and packaging for items such as lipstick, breakfast cereals, cookies and toys. Industry experts say tweaking packaging is one way that businesses are trying to control costs.

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

Lebanon’s Hezbollah on Sunday aired drone footage of Israeli ships in a disputed gas field in the Mediterranean Sea, highlighting the tension at the center of U.S.-mediated maritime border talks between Lebanon and Israel. The footage was aired as the U.S. energy envoy, Amos Hochstein, was landing in Beirut to mediate ongoing talks between Lebanon and Israel over their sea borders. Lebanon claims the Karish gas field is disputed territory under ongoing maritime border negotiations, whereas Israel says it lies within its internationally recognized economic waters.

Israeli forces conducted raids on 39 homes of suspected members of Hamas in Judea and Samaria overnight Sunday/Monday. The lack of Palestinian Authority security forces has allowed the Hamas terror organization to flourish in Nablus and Jenin.

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)

The Palestinian Authority is rewarding terrorist murderer Oma Al-Abed with a salary increase for slaughtering Yosef Salomon (70) and his two adult children, Chaya (46) and Elad (36), by stabbing them to death while they were eating dinner in their home in Halamish, a town in the Binyamin region. Having now completed five years in prison, the PA will raise the salary of the murderer from 2,000 shekels (appr. $643) per month to 4,000 shekels ($1,286) per month, which will go to his family.

A dispute between Iraq and Turkey over a recent deadly attack in Iraq’s northern Kurdish region escalated at an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday. Iraq’s foreign minister demanded the withdrawal of all Turkish troops from his country, while Turkey’s deputy ambassador said his government will keep pursuing fighters it considers terrorists who take refuge in Iraq. The Iraqi government sought the meeting after the July 20 artillery attack that killed nine Iraqi tourists and injured 33 other people. Its foreign minister, Fuad Hussein, said the government has “proofs” that Turkish armed forces were responsible. Turkey has denied it was behind the attack and blamed fighters from the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, which is considered a terrorist organization by Ankara and the West. It has for decades waged an insurgency against the government in Ankara and maintains hideouts in Iraq’s mountainous north.

Supporters of the Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr took over the country’s parliament building in the capital Baghdad’s high-security Green Zone to protest against a rival bloc’s nomination for prime minister on July 30, 2022. – The protests are the latest challenge for oil-rich Iraq, which remains mired in a political and socioeconomic crisis despite elevated global energy prices. Sadr’s bloc emerged from elections in October as the biggest parliamentary faction but was still far short of a majority. Nine months of deadlock persists over the establishment of a new government.

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 signed a new naval doctrine that targets the U.S. as Russia’s top global adversary. “The strategic policy of the USA to dominate the world’s oceans” threatens Russia, Putin said. Putin went on to claim that a number of warships will soon be equipped with hypersonic weapons. Hypersonic weapons fly in the upper atmosphere and reach incredible speeds of up to Mach 5, or more than 3,800 miles per hour, and they can avoid radar detection at low altitudes. The U.S. has none ready to go.

  • China also successfully tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile last year in a shock to U.S. watchdogs. The Chinese fired the missile in August, and it circled the globe before striking at its target, missing by roughly 24 miles. The test shocked U.S. leaders realizing how far behind we are with this technology, with our latest test maintaining hypersonic speed for only 300 miles.

Russia’s goal now is to unseat Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, according to a speech given Sunday by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at an Arab League summit in Cairo. Russia hopes to “liberate” Ukrainian citizens from “this absolutely unacceptable regime,” he said. The remarks are a stark contrast to what Russian officials said earlier in the war: that they wouldn’t try to topple Zelenskyy’s government.

Russian forces on Thursday launched massive missile strikes on Ukraine’s Kyiv and Chernihiv regions, areas that haven’t been targeted in weeks. Russian forces in Donetsk have continued to utilize artillery shelling on towns and villages as a part of what Ukrainian regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko called “scorched-earth tactics.” A Russian missile strike on Sunday killed and injured civilians in the Black Sea port city of Mykolaiv, including one of the wealthiest couples in Ukraine.

Russia launched a barrage of missiles at Ukraine’s capital Kviv from neighboring Belarus early Friday At least 20 missiles were fired from Belarus, Moscow’s key ally in its 5-month-old invasion of Ukraine, striking an apartment block in the Chernihiv region and buildings outside the country’s capital.

Across Russia, volunteer battalions are being formed to deploy to the war in Ukraine, joining the so-called “special military operation” declared by President Vladimir Putin in February. From Murmansk in the Arctic Circle to Perm in the Urals and Primorsky Krai in the Russian Far East, the call has gone out, appealing to both the patriotism and the wallets of Russians. In all, analysts assess that more than 30,000 volunteers might be mobilized to supplement Russian ranks depleted by five months of combat.

Ukraine has recently used its new long-range artillery to damage at least three of the bridges across the Dnipro River – bridges Russia relies upon to supply the areas under its control, the assessment said. “Russia’s 49th Army is stationed on the west bank of the Dnipro River and now looks highly vulnerable,” the Thursday assessment said. Thursday. Kyiv’s counteroffensive in the crucial city of Kherson also appeared to be gathering momentum. Ukrainian forces in the east, bolstered by U.S.- and Western-supplied weaponry, were poised to launch the first major counterattack of the war, aiming to reclaim land taken by Russian forces and their separatist allies around the strategic city of Kherson.

A drone attack at the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet wounded six people and shut down a festival marking Navy Day in the Crimean Peninsula city of Sevastopol, the mayor said Sunday. Sevastopol is about 100 miles south of the Ukrainian mainland and has been under Russian control since 2014. Russian forces also control much of the mainland coast area along the Black Sea. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has vowed to take Crimea back from Russia, along with the eastern cities seized since the war began in February.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned he’s ready to use his nuclear weapons in potential military conflicts with the United States and South Korea, state media said Thursday, as he unleashed fiery rhetoric against rivals he says are pushing the Korean Peninsula to the brink of war. Kim’s speech to war veterans on the 69th anniversary of the end of the 1950-53 Korean War were apparently meant to boost internal unity in the impoverished country suffering pandemic-related economic difficulties

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)

The leader of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorist group said this week that Hezbollah’s missiles can reach all of Israel, including land and sea areas. The threat comes as Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the terrorist group, voiced his opposition to Israel extracting natural gas from the Karish gas field in the eastern Mediterranean. Israel says the gas field is within internationally recognized waters. Lebanon says the seas there are disputed.

Nigeria’s northern region is at the center of insurgent attacks and mass kidnappings blamed on armed criminal gangs. But Nigerian clergy are reporting targeted kidnappings this year that extend beyond the regular pattern of attacks in the North. Nigeria’s Daily Trust newspaper tracked 32 clergy kidnappings between January and July this year across 12 of Nigeria’s 36 states. Eighteen of them were Catholic priests. A priest who survived a kidnapping said his abductors explained that clergy are “soft targets.” A Methodist prelate kidnapped in May in southeast Abia state and later released after church members paid a ransom identified his abductors as Fulani herders. Samuel Kanu-Uche said the gang leader explained he joined the kidnapping business to provide for his family after losing his parents.

Since the Taliban returned to power almost a year ago, it has barred about 850,000 girls from school to maintain the tradition that girls stay at home until they are married. Only a fraction of those girls attend secret schools or cobble together their education by other means, such as religious schools and tutoring centers.

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)

Acute food insecurity will afflict over 50 million people across Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda this year, reported the Intergovernmental Authority on Development last week. “Conflict, climate extremes, economic shocks, rising costs and now the impact of the conflict in Ukraine on food and energy prices are pushing millions towards starvation,” said Michael Dunford, the World Food Program’s regional director for Eastern Africa.

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 result of the so-called planned obsolescence of digital devices, combined with a limited number of options to repair older devices over the years, is a tsunami of electronic waste, also known as e-waste. People now expect to get a new computer every three or four years, a new phone every two years,” said Jim Puckett, executive director of the Basel Action Network, a Seattle-based e-waste watchdog group. “It’s a mountain that just keeps growing.” The most recent United Nation’s data indicates the world generated a staggering 53.6 metric tons of e-waste in 2019, and only 17.4% of that was recycled. The burden and harm of e-waste often fall upon developing countries. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that an “undetermined amount of used electronics is shipped from the United States and other developed countries to developing countries that lack the capacity to reject imports or to handle these materials appropriately.”

The elected officials responsible for defending the Amazon Rainforest are often the ones accused of destroying it, a Washington Post investigation found. In Brazil, there’s little political cost to razing the rainforest. The Post has identified nearly 1,200 elected officials who have been cited for environmental wrongdoing. Their electoral successes have undermined efforts to safeguard a natural resource that scientists say is necessary to avert catastrophic climate impacts. The trees absorb CO2, a greenhouse gas.

The American Prairie, a conservation project in Montana, has quietly scooped up more than 450,000 acres of land with the help of its billionaire donors. The little-known project aims to create the largest “fully functioning ecosystem” in the continental U.S. by stitching together about 3.2 million acres of private and public lands. “We’re not asking the federal government to create anything, we’re not asking the federal government for any money,” said Pete Geddes, vice president and chief external relations officer. “Instead, we’re engaged in private philanthropy and voluntary exchange by buying ranches from people who would like to sell that to us.”

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 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Philippines Wednesday morning damaging buildings and causing landslides. At least four people are dead with dozens more injured.

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)

The Sakurajima volcano erupted Sunday night on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu, prompting evacuations. The country’s meteorological agency raised the alert level to the highest possible for just the second time in history.

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)

A grass fire apparently sparked by a mower swept about 300 yards across a tinder-dry open field to a suburban Dallas subdivision Monday, burning through wooden fences and torching as many as 20 homes, officials said. The blaze in Balch Springs was the latest in drought-stricken North Texas, which has been vulnerable to explosive wildfires for the past three weeks. The mower was being used in the open field to trim the brush when its blade struck some debris and generated a spark that ignited the blaze,

  • Meanwhile, firefighting crews held the Chalk Mountain Fire in North Texas in check at 10 1/2 square miles on 7/26, since last week. It destroyed 16 homes and damaged five others so far.

The McKinney Fire is growing rapidly in northern California. This fire in Klamath National Forest is currently the largest of the year so far. Fire personnel found two bodies inside a burned vehicle parked in a residential driveway west of the Klamath River community Sunday morning. Numerous residences and infrastructure are threatened. Evacuations, road and trail closures are in effect. As of Monday morning, 8/1, the fire has consumed 52,498 acres (86 sq. miles) and is 0% contained. No structures have yet been destroyed or damaged.

With the sheer number and size of wildfires over the past few years, it’s impossible for land managers to catch up with efforts to restore lost habitat. Reforestation efforts need to start within a year of a burn, but agencies are falling behind. Conservative estimates for reforesting are anywhere from $600 to $800 per acre. Residents and recreation enthusiasts impacted by fires often call agencies asking when their view will shift from brown hillsides back to green forests. “It’s not going to happen in their lifetime. It’s not going to happen in their kids’ lifetime,” says Annabelle Monti, a silviculturist with the U.S. Forest Service.

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)

People were evacuated from their homes and rescued from their vehicles in floodwaters across the St. Louis metro area last Tuesday after storms dumped a historic amount of rainfall on the area in just a few hours. More rain fell in St. Louis over a six-hour period than usually falls in a typical July and August combined. The highest rain total reported so far is 12.35 inches near St. Peters, northwest of the city. Dardenne Creek in St. Peters rose 21.4 feet in 7.5 hours. Typically, water levels in the creek are only 1 to 2 feet. The creek is near one section of I-70 that’s closed due to flooding.

Deadly and destructive flooding was ongoing Thursday in Kentucky and other parts of Appalachia as up to 9 inches of rain fell over the area in a short period of time. The life-threatening situation is very similar to the widespread flood disaster in St. Louis earlier this week only it’s happening over mountainous terrain that makes it even easier to flood the communities that line the valleys below. Hundreds of homes were destroyed. At least thirty people died, including six children. Hundreds of people remained unaccounted for. More deaths are expected. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said this is some of the worst flooding in the state’s history. The National Guard estimates about 400 people have been rescued by helicopter.

Rescue crews in Virginia and West Virginia also worked to reach people in places where flooding had blocked up roadways. Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency in six West Virginia counties, and Gov. Glenn Youngkin did the same, freeing up more resources to fight floods in Virginia. Meanwhile, the National Weather Service said rainfall of 1 to 2 inches per hour is possible Monday in some of the same areas swallowed by flash floods last week.

Flash flooding has impacted the iconic Las Vegas Strip as well as several of its casinos. Videos posted to social media show standing water along Las Vegas Boulevard. Video posted on social media showed several casinos dealing with flooding and leaking ceilings. Strong storms have been moving through the Las Vegas area. A flash flood warning and severe thunderstorm warning were issued for the Las Vegas Valley early Friday morning.

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