The Daily Brief: Tuesday, Dec. 5th, 2017
1. Supreme Court allows full enforcement of Trump travel ban - CBS
The Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to fully enforce a ban on travel to the United States by residents of six mostly Muslim countries. The justices say in an order Monday that the policy can take full effect even as legal challenges against it make their way through the courts. The ban applies to travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Lower courts had said people from those nations with a claim of a "bona fide" relationship with someone in the United States could not be kept out of the country. Grandparents, cousins and other relatives were among those courts said could not be excluded. (Read more)
- Thank You, Father, for this win at the Supreme Court! We ask as the rest of the court actions come out, that You will continue to work to protect Americans from harm.
- "He who is surety for a stranger will suffer for it." (Proverbs 11:15a)
2. Trump Admin Orders Withdrawal From UN Migrant Accommodating Agreement - New American
On Saturday, December 2, the Donald Trump administration alerted the office of the United Nations secretary-general that the United States of America is withdrawing from a UN agreement aimed at handling migrant and refugee issues. "Today, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations informed the UN Secretary-General that the United States is ending its participation in the Global Compact on Migration," the U.S. mission to the United Nations announced in a press release.
In September 2016, the UN General Assembly unanimously agreed on a resolution - the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants - that the organization's member states would be committed to the document, which "reaffirms the importance of the international refugee regime and represents a commitment by Member States to strengthen and enhance mechanisms to protect people on the move," as described in a UN statement on the goals of the policy. The Declaration contains a call to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to propose a "global compact on refugees" by 2018.
None of this apparently sits well with President Trump.
"The New York Declaration contains numerous provisions that are inconsistent with U.S. immigration and refugee policies and the Trump Administration's immigration principles. As a result, President Trump determined that the United States would end its participation in the Compact process that aims to reach international consensus at the UN in 2018," the U.S. statement said. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said that "America is proud of our immigrant heritage and our long-standing moral leadership in providing support to migrant and refugee populations across the globe," and that "our generosity will continue."
She added: "But our decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone. We will decide how best to control our borders and who will be allowed to enter our country. The global approach in the New York Declaration is simply not compatible with U.S. sovereignty."
And that is the core issue.
Sovereignty surrendered to the United Nations or to any other governing body whether it be through resolutions or trade agreements, is not compatible with the U.S. Constitution which in Article 4, Section 4 guarantees to each state a "republican form of government." (Read more)
- Lord, we thank You that the US will no longer be forced to comply with an agreement that destroys our sovereignty. Let us be free to choose whom we allow to enter and whom we do not for the safety of all US citizens.
- "The nations have sunk down in the pit which they made; in the net which they hid, their own foot is caught." (Psalm 9: 15)
3. Trump shrinks Utah monuments created by Obama, Clinton - Fox news
Capping months of speculation, President Trump on Monday signed a pair of executive orders to significantly shrink two of Utah's national monuments - Bears Ears and the Grand Staircase-Escalante - that were created by his Democratic predecessors. The controversial move was pitched by Trump as a win for states' rights and follows an April review conducted by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on the boundaries of large national monuments. The review initially looked at more than two dozen sites designated by presidential decree since the 1990s.
"I know you love this land the best and you know how to protect it and you know how to conserve this land for many, many generations to come," Trump told a group of people at Utah's Capitol in Salt Lake City. "They don't know your land. They don't care for your land like you do."
Trump's presidential proclamations cut Bears Ears by 85 percent and Grand Staircase-Escalante in half. The action is also likely to trigger a legal battle that could alter the government's approach to conservation. Utah's congressional and state leaders lobbied the president to reduce the size of the monuments so the state would have more control on what can be done on the land. Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah praised the announcement and said Trump was giving the people of Utah "a voice in the process. (Read more)
- Lord, this action is almost sure to create lawsuits as the President simply returned some of the land back to the people for recreational use, but the narrative is making him look like a monster. We ask that You preserve the rights of the citizens in this matter, and protect Your will regarding these monuments.
- "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5)
4. Senator: It's time for US military families to leave South Korea - Military Times
Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday that he believes it's time to start moving the families of American military personnel out of South Korea as North Korea pushes the U.S. closer to a military conflict. Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he will also urge the Pentagon not to send any more dependents to South Korea.
"It's crazy to send spouses and children to South Korea, given the provocation of North Korea. South Korea should be an unaccompanied tour," the South Carolina Republican said on CBS' "Face the Nation." ″So, I want them to stop sending dependents, and I think it's now time to start moving American dependents out of South Korea."
About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea to deter potential aggression from the North. (Read more)
- Lord, it is difficult for our service members to be without their families, as so many thousands of them already have been in other parts of the world. We pray Your covering of wisdom, and comfort to the decision makers in this situation.
- "Hide me under the shadow of Your wings, from the wicked who oppress me, from my deadly enemies who surround me." (Psalm 17:8b,9)
5. Devin Nunes, House Intel Committee Prepare to Find FBI in Contempt for Mueller Cover-up - Breitbart
House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) has instructed committee staff to prepare to cite the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in contempt of Congress after the agency failed to turn over documents explaining why agent Peter Strzok had been removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.
Byron York of the Washington Examiner reported Saturday that the committee had subpoenaed the FBI in August for information about why Strzok was dropped from Mueller's team. Over the next three months, the FBI repeatedly refused to turn over the requested information. Nunes met and spoke to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, York reported, to no avail. Nunes and the committee continued to pursue the matter right up through Friday, Dec. 1.
The following day, the New York Times and the Washington Post reported that Strzok had been kicked off Mueller's team because of anti-Trump text messages that he was found to have exchanged with FBI lawyer Lisa Page during the 2016 presidential election. Strzok had also worked on the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's storage of emails, including classified information, on an illicit private server. She was not prosecuted. (Read more)
- Lord we pray that every illicit hidden secret within the FBI be revealed, and that justice will prevail over their actions.
"For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him." (Isaiah 30:18c)
6. Trump now voices full support for Roy Moore - One News Now
President Donald Trump endorsed embattled Republican Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race on Monday, looking past sexual misconduct allegations against the GOP candidate to argue that his vote is needed in Congress.
Trump tweeted early Monday that "Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama." It was Trump's strongest show of support for Moore since allegations surfaced that the candidate had sexually assaulted teenage girls decades ago, including one who said he molested her when she was 14 and he was in his 30s. Many national Republicans have called on Moore to step aside in the wake of multiple sexual assault and harassment allegations.
Shortly after Trump's tweet, Moore responded on Twitter: "Thankful for President Trump's support. The America First agenda will #MAGA. Can't wait to help him #DrainTheSwamp."
Trump also had assailed Moore's Democratic rival Doug Jones, tweeting that "Putting a Pelosi/Schumer Liberal Puppet Jones into office in Alabama would hurt our great Republican Agenda of low on taxes, tough on crime, strong on military and borders . . . & so much more." (Read more)
- Lord, all of the allegations against him are decades old, and who among us all doesn't have things we are shamed of in our past? We pray against the dirty tactics used against Mr. Moore. We ask that You will search the hearts of the two men running for the Alabama seat, and choose whom You will to win.
- "For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds." (Psalm 7:9c)
7. Soros Army in Alabama to Register Convicted Felons to Vote Against Roy Moore - Breitbart
An organization partnered with a George Soros-financed group and led by a radical leftist who is the half-brother of the infamous controversial Rev. Al Sharpton has been diligently working over the past few weeks to register convicted felons across Alabama. The aim of the effort has been to get as many felons as possible on the roster before last Monday, the deadline to register in order to vote in Alabama's Dec. 12 senate special election that pits Republican Roy Moore against Democratic challenger Doug Jones. The man spearheading the campaign has stated outright that his effort is meant to ensure a Democratic victory in Alabama. The thousands of felons reportedly newly registered over the past few weeks were most likely not included in any recent polling on the Alabama senate race put out by major firms. Jones himself is tied to some of the specific organizations associated with the drive to register felons here. Indeed, as Breitbart News first reported, Jones spearheaded a project for a massively Soros-financed legal activist group demanding full voting rights be given to felons released from prison, including those convicted of murder, rape and other violent crimes. (Read more)
- Father, we ask that You put an end to these plots by George Soros against all that is righteous. We pray that every plan he makes be thwarted and all Your enemies be scattered.
- "For behold, Your enemies, O Lord, for behold Your enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered." (Psalm 92:9)
8. Former N.S.A. Employee Pleads Guilty to Taking Classified Information - NYT
A former National Security Agency employee admitted on Friday that he had illegally taken from the agency classified documents believed to have subsequently been stolen from his home computer by hackers working for Russian intelligence. Nghia H. Pho, 67, of Ellicott City, Md., pleaded guilty to one count of willful retention of national defense information, an offense that carries a possible 10-year sentence. Prosecutors agreed not to seek more than eight years, however, and Mr. Pho's attorney, Robert C. Bonsib, will be free to ask for a more lenient sentence. He remains free while awaiting sentencing on April 6.
Mr. Pho had been charged in secret, though some news reports had given a limited description of the case. Officials unsealed the charges on Friday, resolving the long-running mystery of the defendant's identity.
Mr. Pho, who worked as a software developer for the N.S.A., was born in Vietnam but is a naturalized United States citizen. Prosecutors withheld from the public many details of his government work and of the criminal case against him, which is linked to a continuing investigation of Russian hacking. (Read more)
- Father, we pray a hedge of protection around any documents that Mr Pho might have taken. We thank You for deleting any negative plans from whoever stole the documents, and protect every inch of the classified information in them from all foreign governments.
- "Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant, but he does not know that the dead are there." (Proverbs 9:17,18a)
9. Half of Yazidis kidnapped by IS still missing - al-Monitor
Around half of the Yazidis kidnapped by the Islamic State group three years ago are still missing, Iraqi Kurdish officials said Sunday. In 2014, IS jihadists killed thousands of Yazidis in Sinjar and kidnapped thousands of women and girls from the religious minority to abuse them as sex slaves.
Kurdish fighters backed by the US-led coalition against IS captured Sinjar from the jihadists in November 2015 before Iraqi security forces took control of the region in October. A top official with the ministry of religious affairs of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq said that some 6,417 Yazidis were abducted by the jihadists from August 3, 2014. Up until December 1, 2017, only 3,207 of them have been rescued or managed to flee their captors, said Khairi Bozani. The remaining 3,210 Yazidis -- including 1,507 women or girls -- were still either held by the jihadists or considered miss ing, he told AFP. (Read more)
- Father, we pray for Your deliverance and mercy over these captives, and for a move of Your Holy Spirit among them and their jailers. The damage that has been done to them cannot be over emphasized- so we pray Your healing touch emotionally and physically.
- "You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah." (Psalm 32:7)
10. Ancient forbidden Christian text of Jesus' 'secret teachings' to his 'brother' found - Fox News
Biblical scholars have discovered the first-known original Greek copy of an ancient forbidden Christian text that purportedly describes Jesus' secret teachings to his "brother" James, an early leader of the Church.
Geoffrey Smith and Brent Landau, religious studies scholars at The University of Texas at Austin, located the rare text in Oxford University archives earlier this year. The experts found several fifth- or sixth-century A.D. Greek fragments of the First Apocalypse of James, one of the books from an ancient collection known as the Nag Hammadi library. Previously, the text was thought to be preserved only via translations in the Egyptian Coptic language.
Only a small number of texts from the Nag Hammadi library, a collection of 13 Coptic Gnostic books discovered in Egypt in 1945, have been found in Greek, their original language of composition. Also known as the "Gnostic Gospels," the books are seen as key documents for understanding Gnosticism, an ancient belief system. (Read more)
- Lord, these doctrines were considered "forbidden" for a reason. We believe the Word of God - Jesus was real, the Son of God, the Lamb - God's perfect offspring- who was sacrificed for our sins so that we might have eternal life.
- "God was manifested in the flesh, justified by the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, received up in glory. Now the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons." (1 Timothy 3:16b, Chapter 4:1)