The Daily Brief: Thursday, June 29, 2014
Officials in Gettysburg are bracing for protests this weekend coinciding with the 154th anniversary of the Civil War battle. The Sons of Confederate Veterans and a group called Real 3% Risen have received special use permits for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday in a special section north of Meade's Headquarters.
Besides the two permitted protests, Civil War reenactors from the Maryland Sons of Confederate Veterans also received a permit for a "site specific" march starting at 10 a.m. from the North Carolina Memorial to the Veterans Memorial, where they will hold a ceremony, said Katie Lawhon, a spokeswoman for Gettysburg National Military Park.
Reports that the anti-fascist group Antifa plans to burn Confederate flags and desecrate graves have prompted calls on social media for other groups to gather in Gettysburg to counter those protesters.
The anniversary of the battle, which raged from July 1 to July 3, 1863, comes at a time when there is a growing movement to remove Confederate symbols from public spaces. (Read more)
- Father, we pray Antifa protestors will be unsuccessful in provoking a fight with anyone this weekend. We pay You would bring shame upon them for desecrating Civil War memorials and cause them to repent.
- I will cleanse them of their sins against me and forgive all their sins of rebellion. (Jeremiah 33:8)
2. CNN Faced $100M Lawsuit Over Botched Russia Story - NewsMax
CNN sent three staffers packing after its false story about a Trump transition team member because the network feared a libel lawsuit that could hurt parent company Time Warner's proposed purchase by AT&T, the New York Post reports. Citing sources, the Post's Emily Smith says CNN "immediately caved" after Anthony Scaramucci threatened a $100 million suit after the network falsely linked him to an investment fund owned by the Russian government. CNN later retracted the story.
Journalists Tom Frank, Eric Lichtblau and Lex Haris were then 'urged to resign,'" Smith reports. "They called them in and said they'd pay out their contracts, but they should leave immediately," one source told her. Smith says CNN president Jeff Zucker made the move because he was "afraid of facing a high profile lawsuit from Scaramucci, while the U.S. Justice Department weighs the proposed $85.4 billion media merger." A CNN insider told the Post staffers are furious at "having lost the moral high ground because of this story." (Read more)
- Father, thank You for bringing correction to CNN. We pray they will be humble enough to heed the warning, make changes and report with integrity.
- Those who convict the innocent by their false testimony will disappear. A similar fate awaits those who use trickery to pervert justice and who tell lies to destroy the innocent. (Isaiah 29:21)
3. Trump's breakthrough for veterans - FoxNews
One of President Trump's most important promises throughout the campaign was to ensure that American veterans receive the respect and care they deserve. Just months into his presidency, this is a promise on which he has delivered.
First, the president's decision to nominate Dr. David Shulkin as secretary of Veterans Affairs was critical. During his earliest days in office, I observed President Trump meticulously vet and rule out dozens of people for the post. He knew the VA was gigantic and deeply flawed, and he needed someone extremely competent to run the organization - someone who could wrangle the entrenched bureaucracy without being swallowed by it.
just five months, Shulkin has helped implement a VA Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection, created a website to track and publish wait times at every VA hospital, drastically increased mental health services across the system, and developed a way to electronically transfer veterans' medical records from the Department of Defense to the VA to simplify their transition from service to civilian life. Each one of these accomplishments is remarkable. But for President Trump and Secretary Shulkin, these achievements were merely the starting point. (Read more)
- Father, we thank You for this important progress and pray our nation will continue to honor and care for our Veterans with diligence and respect.
- I will give you back your health and heal your wounds," says the Lord. (Jeremiah 30:17a)
4. Paving the path to U.S. energy dominance - Washington Times
This week, the Trump administration is hosting "Energy Week" to discuss with state, tribal, business and labor leaders how we can pave the path forward toward U.S. energy dominance.
This is a truly amazing moment in the energy sector, and President Trump is seeking to capitalize on the opportunity for the betterment of the American economy and our citizens. For the first time in four decades, the energy story in the United States is about becoming an energy exporter and no longer about peak resources or being beholden to foreign powers.
Mr. Trump wants America to utilize our abundant domestic energy resources and technological innovations for good, both at home and abroad. An energy-dominant America means a self-reliant and secure nation, free from the geopolitical turmoil of other nations that seek to use energy as an economic weapon.
An energy-dominant America will export to markets around the world, increasing our global leadership and influence. Becoming energy dominant means that we are getting government out of the way so that we can share our energy wealth with developing nations. For years, Washington stood in the way of our energy dominance. That changes now. (Read more)
- Father, we are grateful for our nation's natural resources. Help us move forward with wisdom, using these assets to benefit all our citizens.
- The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. (Deuteronomy 28:13)
5. Mitch McConnell Wants a Revised Senate Healthcare Bill by Friday - Breitbart
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) wants a revised version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) by Friday to prep for another vote before the August recess.
McConnell hopes to finalize changes to the Senate healthcare bill so that he can send the changes to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to analyze. The CBO reported that 22 million more Americans would not have health insurance over the next ten years under this bill. The BCRA would also reduce the deficit by $321 billion by 2026.
The CBO could send a new CBO score to the revised BCRA by the time the Senate returns from the Fourth of July recess, allowing two weeks for Senate leadership to whip the votes necessary to pass the bill through the upper chamber before Congress leaves Washington, D.C., for the rest of the summer. (Read more) The Majority Leader pulled the bill's vote, which was slated for this week, after realizing there was not enough support for the bill to pass.
- Father, we continue to lift up this bill and all the efforts to improve our healthcare delivery systems in the nation. We pray this bill will meet this need and receive the political support to pass.
- Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. (Psalm 34:9)
6. Arrest made after Ten Commandments monument at Arkansas Capitol toppled, shattered - Arkansas Online
A 6-foot-tall stone Ten Commandments monument installed Tuesday on the Arkansas Capitol grounds was toppled less than 24 hours later after a 32-year-old Arkansas man drove a vehicle into the statue, apparently while streaming the act live on Facebook, officials said.
Chris Powell, a spokesman with the secretary of state's office, said he was called early Wednesday and told a man drove a vehicle through the monument. That driver - identified in an arrest report as Michael Tate Reed of Van Buren - was arrested by Capitol police shortly after, Powell said. News reports indicate Reed was previously accused of destroying a Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma. (Read more)
- Father, we pray for the repentance and salvation of Michael Tate Reed. We pray You would crush his hatred for You and Your law just as he has destroyed these monuments.
- I turned away from God, but then I was sorry. I kicked myself for my stupidity! I was thoroughly ashamed of all I did in my younger days. (Jeremiah 31:18)
7. Forgotten Americans on H-1B: 'This Is Complete Treason' - Breitbart
Every year, more than 100,000 foreign workers are brought to the U.S. on the H-1B visa and are allowed to stay for up to six years. That number has ballooned to potentially hundreds of thousands each year, as universities and non-profits are exempt from the cap. With more entering the U.S. through the visa, Americans are often replaced and forced to train their foreign replacements.
As Breitbart Texas spoke to a number of workers in front of the White House, a reoccurring factor was that Americans would only speak anonymously. "I have to remain anonymous," one told Breitbart Texas. "It's in my severance package." He had to move from Atlanta to Washington, D.C. just to find a job after he had been outsourced by Infosys, India's top consulting firm. "This is also a national security threat because foreigners are dominating an entire American industry, the worker said. (Read more)
- Father, we pray for reform within our immigration system to prevent the displacement of US citizens by immigrants. We also pray for the restoration of people impacted by this wrongheaded national policy.
- Then I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you. (Joel 2:25)
8. Narrative On Killing Of Muslim Girl Crumbles As New Details Emerge Of Alleged Killer - Daily Caller
In the aftermath of the brutal beating and death of a teenage Muslim girl in Virginia, liberal activists and some civil rights organizations rushed to frame the killing as a hate crime. Many said that Nabra Mohmod Hassanen's killer was obviously motivated by loathing for Muslims, one of many minority groups suffering under the "climate of hate" that President Donald Trump's administration has created.
The storyline began to collapse when The Daily Caller and other outlets reported that the alleged killer, Darwin Martinez Torres, was not a white supremacist bigot, as some alleged, but rather a 22-year-old illegal immigrant from El Salvador. Despite the total absence of evidence of a hate crime - Fairfax County police called it a "road rage" incident - many commentators continued to assert that Hassanen's murder was an illustrative example of bias against Muslims in American society. (Read more)
- Father, we pray the truth of this incident would be reported on the media outlets who were so quick to claim it was a hate crime.
- Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations. (Psalm 27:12)
9. Italy Threatens To Close Its Ports As Migrant Situation Spirals Out Of Control - Daily Caller
Italy has threatened to close its ports for foreign ships as the migrant situation in the Mediterranean sea has become "unsustainable." More than 77,000 migrants have arrived in Italy so far in 2017, an increase of 14 percent compared to 2016. The government is now accusing the European Union of "looking the other way" instead of offering support. "Italy has reached saturation point," an unnamed government source told Reuters. "The idea of blocking humanitarian ships flying foreign flags from returning to Italian ports has been discussed." (Read more)
- Father, we pray for Your remnant people in Europe to effectively and thoroughly evangelize these immigrants, causing the native populations to be ashamed of their unbelief. Truly, the only hope for Europe is a massive turn back to faith in You.
- Then we shall not turn back from You; revive us, and we will call upon Your name. O Lord God of hosts, restore us; cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved. (Psalm 80:18-19)
10. China's 'Modern Slavery' Demotion Comes After Years of Waivers - CNS News
China was downgraded Tuesday to the lowest ranking in an annual U.S. report on human trafficking, marking only the second time it has been relegated to "tier-three" status. The last time it happened, the Obama administration was required by law to do so.
Beijing bristled at the development, with foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang saying that China was "firmly opposed to the irresponsible remarks made by the U.S. based on its domestic law about others' efforts against human trafficking. He said China was "resolute" in combating the phenomenon and that its progress was "obvious." But the State Department's annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report paints a different picture, especially when it comes to the treatment of North Koreans in China.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at the report's release that 50,000-80,000 North Koreans were forced laborers abroad, especially in China and Russia. Many worked 20 hours and day and their wages went directly to the North Korean regime "which confiscates most of that, obviously." "China was downgraded to tier-three status in this year's report in part because it has not taken serious steps to end its own complicity in trafficking - including forced laborers from North Korea that are located in China," he said. (Read more)
- Father, we pray for all these people, created in Your image, who are being abused. We pray belief in You will bring them hope and redemption. We pray not one of their lives would be lost to You.
- He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. (Isaiah 61:1b)