The Daily Brief: Tuesday, October 17, 2018
1. Bowe Bergdahl pleads guilty in desertion case - Fox News
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty Monday at Fort Bragg to charges he endangered comrades by walking away from his post in Afghanistan in 2009 -- the court case wrapping up three years after a stunning Rose Garden spectacle in which former President Barack Obama, flanked by Bergdahl's parents, triumphantly announced the soldier's release from captivity.
"I understand that leaving was against the law," said Bergdahl, whose decision to walk off his remote post in Afghanistan in 2009 prompted intense search and recovery missions, during which some of his comrades were seriously wounded and other soldiers died. (Read more)
- Lord, we thank You that this chapter is closing, finally. We ask for justice in this situation, even as we remember the lives that were lost or wounded in the search for a deserter.
- "For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him."
2. EU Vows to Save Iran Deal, Fears for North Korea Mediation - Jerusalem Post
The European Union vowed on Monday to defend a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and urged US lawmakers not to reimpose sanctions after President Donald Trump chose not to certify Tehran's compliance with the accord.
Germany and France led a chorus of warnings to the United States, normally the EU's closest foreign policy ally, that any weakening of the agreement to prevent Iran obtaining nuclear weapons could have serious consequences for peace.
As Europeans together, we are very worried that the decision of the US president could lead us back into military confrontation with Iran," German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told reporters at a meeting with his EU counterparts. (Read more)
- Lord, the EU must not interfere in the poorly crafted Nuclear Deal that left the world vulnerable to Iran's deceptions. We ask for You to show truth and change their hearts to follow Your will.
- " . . . for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13)
3. 'This is not the remnants of a hurricane, this IS a hurricane' - Red weather warning extended nationwide as Hurricane Ophelia barrels in- The Independent Irish News
Hurricane Ophelia will be the most severe weather event to his this country since Hurricane Debbie hit in 1961 - resulting in 15 deaths - Met Eireann has warned. This evening Met Eireann confirmed that a red weather warning has been extended nationwide.
Speaking on this evening's weather forecast, meteorologist Joanna Donnelly told viewers "this is not the remnants of a hurricane - this is a hurricane".
Every school and college in the country will remain closed tomorrow as a result, the Department of Education has said. The public have been urged not to make unnecessary journeys. Employers have also been urged to give their employees guidance how working arrangements have been affected in light of the national red warning. (Read more)
- Lord, we pray for Ireland in the wake of this hurricane. They have not had one there in many years, so preparations have been minimal. We ask for Your Presence and help in this time of trouble.
- "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1)
4. The Military Is Practicing Rapid Evacuations of Americans From South Korea - Time
The U.S. military will practice evacuating noncombatant Americans out of South Korea as tensions escalate over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs. The annual drills, which will take place on Oct 23-27, aims to prepare "service members and their families to respond to a wide range of crisis management events such as noncombatant evacuation and natural or man-made disasters," the U.S. military said in a statement Monday. The U.S. military stressed in the statement that the exercise was a "routinely scheduled drill" and was not tied to current events.
"Although not directly tied to current geopolitical events, our forces must be ready in all areas," General Vincent K. Brooks, commander of United States Forces Korea, said. "This training is as important to readiness as our other routine events such as tank gunnery and fighter wing exercises." (Read more)
- Lord, we thank You that the US military and South Korea are cooperating on plans to protect their citizens in the event North Korea commits a horrifying nuclear act. Lord, large numbers of South Koreans are Christians, we ask for Your hedge of protections about them.
- "He shall call upon Me and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble."
5. Louisiana oil rig explodes, at least 7 injured - Fox News
At least seven people are injured and one person is missing after an oil rig exploded Sunday night in Louisiana. Kenner Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Kriss Fortunato said that at least seven people were injured and authorities were actively searching for one missing person, The Times-Picayunereported.
Officials from the St. Charles Parish wrote on Facebook that "The Emergency Operations Center is aware that an oil platform is currently on fire in Lake Pontchartrain and that it caused the loud sound earlier tonight.
Officials are responding." The U.S. Coast Guard is also responding, according to a Facebook post from the Jefferson Parish. Rescue boats are being dispatched from the Kenner Boat Launch and officials with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office are assisting with rescue efforts, The Times-Picayune reported.
Mike Guillot, director of East Jefferson Emergency Medical Services said that the two individuals brought in are in stable condition but the other five brought to the University Medical Center are in critical condition with "blast type injuries and burns," the Times-Picayune reported. (Read more)
- Father, we pray not only for those who have been affected by this explosion, but that You would move to protect America's oil industry from eco-terrorists and others who wish to destroy the American economy.
- "Let Your work appear to Your servants." (Psalm 90:16a)
6. California declares state of emergency over deadly hepatitis A outbreak - LA Times
California Gov. Brown declared a state of emergency Friday because of a hepatitis A outbreak that has killed at least 18 people in the state.
The declaration allows state health officials to buy additional doses of the hepatitis A vaccine to try to halt the outbreak, which is already the nation's second largest in more than two decades.
"We have the capacity to use as much vaccine as we can get our hands on," said Dr. Gil Chavez, state epidemiologist with the California Department of Public Health. The outbreak began in San Diego's homeless community late last year, but has since spread outside the region. Los Angeles and Santa Cruz counties are also now experiencing outbreaks. (Read more)
- Lord we stand in the gap for California, praying for Your mercy, asking for a move of Your Holy Spirit across the state. We lift up Your Bride in that state, whom You love; and we intercede for all who have not yet come to know you in salvation. In Your Name, amen.
- "Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous." Psalm 1:5
7. Mogadishu truck bomb: 500 casualties in Somalia's worst terrorist attack - Guardian
The death toll in the bombing that hit the centre of Mogadishu on Saturday continues to rise, with more than 300 people now believed to have been killed and hundreds more seriously injured. The scale of the loss makes the attack, which involved a truck packed with several hundred kilograms of military-grade and homemade explosives, one of the most lethal terrorist acts anywhere in the world for many years.
On Monday morning, Somalia's information minister announced that 276 people had died in the attack with at least 300 people injured. Within hours, however, Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of Amin ambulances, said his service had confirmed that 300 people died in the blast. "The death toll will still be higher because some people are still missing," Abdirahman told Reuters.
- Father, Somalia has been under horrific destruction for decades, primarily because of the influence of a false religion. We pray that Your Holy Spirit would be released into the nation, bringing Your truth and light to all.
- "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
8. Sen. Cochran out sick, illness threatens tax-related vote - CNN Affiliate
Mississippi Republican Sen. Thad Cochran remains ill and won't return to his Senate duties Monday as was expected, his office announced. The 79-year-old's absence raises doubts about the ability of GOP leaders to pass a key budget resolution -- a vote is planned later this week -- that is needed to advance tax reform, a top legislative priority for Republicans and President Donald Trump.
"Mrs. Cochran informed me late Saturday night that Senator Cochran has developed another urinary tract infection," said the statement from Cochran's chief of staff Brad White. "After a day of monitoring his condition, and on the advice of his physicians and other health care professionals, Senator Cochran has postponed his return to Washington. He will continue his recuperation at home in Mississippi." (Read more)
- Father, first we pray that You will grant Senator Cochran complete healing. Second, we ask that tax reform would pass, bringing much needed relief to Americans.
- "Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases." (Psalm 103:3)
9. North Korea rejects diplomacy with US for now, source says - CNN
A North Korean official reaffirmed Pyongyang's commitment to developing a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching "all the way to the East coast of the mainland US," on Monday, telling CNN that the rogue nation is currently not interested in diplomacy with the US until it achieves that goal.
North Korea is not ruling out diplomacy, but "before we can engage in diplomacy with the Trump administration, we want to send a clear message that the DPRK has a reliable defensive and offensive capability to counter any aggression from the United States," the official said. The comments offer a sobering challenge to the US and the Trump administration which has offered mixed messages regarding diplomatic efforts with North Korea.
White House chief of staff John Kelly said last week that Americans should be concerned about North Korea's ability to reach the United States with an intercontinental ballistic missile, cryptically telling reporters that if the threat grows "beyond where it is today, well, let's hope that diplomacy works." (Read more)
- Lord, we ask that you protect all Western nations in the areas surrounding the Korean peninsula from any and all actions by the rogue North Korean Regime.
- "When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him." (Isaiah 59:19)
10. North Korea suspected source of 'mad dog' Trump leaflets - Fox News
First, there was "little rocket man." Now, Kim Jong Un has returned fire in the nickname game with "mad dog Trump." Pro-North Korean propaganda posters likening the U.S. president to a raging dog have begun popping up across the South Korean capital, Reuters reported Monday, citing social media posts and people that found them.
"Let's behead mad dog Trump for the future of a peaceful and warless world and mankind!" one bizarre poster pleads, showing the body of a dog with Trump's head, being decapitated by an axe. "Death to old lunatic Trump!" read another, which showed a North Korean soldier stomping on a head that appears to be Trump's. (Read more)
- Lord as the war of words continues, we ask that You will bring wisdom and peace into this conflict before it grows any wider.
- "A scoffer does not listen to rebuke." (Proverbs 13:1b)