Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Daily Brief: Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Daily Brief: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 (Short form)

1. Trump Lays Out a Winning Strategy for Afghanistan - The Daily Signal

After months of speculation and delay, President Donald Trump has sided with the expert advice of his military and national security team on the way forward to the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.

In what was by far his best and most statesmanlike speech since taking office, Trump outlined a new approach Monday night to the ongoing war in Afghanistan: a laser-like focus on counterterrorism, jettisoning the quixotic nation-building rhetoric of the past, helping the Afghans defeat the Taliban insurgency (not doing it for them), lifting onerous restrictions placed by the Obama administration on the way the military conducts warfighting, and pressuring Pakistan and its support for certain elements of the Taliban. Crucially, Trump made clear that under his watch, progress in Afghanistan will be measured by conditions on the ground and not by a politically driven and artificial timeline-a major departure from President Barack Obama.

What Trump outlined in his speech tonight was a reasonable, realistic, and responsible strategy to ensure America achieves "an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made" in Afghanistan. (Read more)

- Father, we pray President Trump will continue to seek You first in all matters of war and peace. We pray Godly advice will flow through his counselors and military advisors.

- For by wise guidance you will wage war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory. (Proverbs 24:6)

2. Trump: 'We Cannot Remain a Force for Peace in the World If We Are Not at Peace With Each Other' - CNS News

"Was with great people last night in Fort Myer, Virginia. The future of our country is strong!" President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday morning, the day after he discussed his Afghanistan strategy in a prime-time speech. But before he laid out his strategy, the president delivered a message to "all Americans" about unification, healing and remaining one nation under God.

"The young men and women we send to fight our wars abroad deserve to return to a country that is not at war with itself at home. We cannot remain a force for peace in the world if we are not at peace with each other," the president said. (Read more)

- Father, belief in You is the glue that holds our nation together. We pray You would bless our nation with another Great Awakening and bring us together again as "One nation, under God, indivisible".

- He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:17)

3. Trump to Pakistan: 'No Partnership Can Survive a Country's Harboring of Militants and Terrorists Who Target US' - CNS News

President Trump put Pakistan on notice Monday, accusing America's often most troubling ally of giving "safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror " and warning that it was time for it "to demonstrate its commitment to to civilization, order and peace. We can no longer be silent about Pakistan's safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond," Trump said from Fort Myer military base in Arlington, Virginia, outlying his plan for a path ahead in the nation's longest war. He said Pakistan had much to gain by partnering with the U.S. in Afghanistan - and "much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists."

Trump acknowledged the Pakistani people's suffering at the hands of terrorists, but said that at the same time the country has "sheltered the same organizations that try every single day to kill our people. We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars, at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting," he continued. "But that will have to change - and that will change immediately. No partnership can survive a country's harboring of militants and terrorists who target U.S. service members and officials. It's time for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilization, order, and to peace." (Read more)

- Father, we pray the nation of Pakistan will heed this demand to actively remove militants and terrorists from its borders. More than that, we pray for the people of Pakistan to experience Your light and love, delivering them from spiritual darkness.

- The godly will never be disturbed, but the wicked will be removed from the land. (Proverbs 10:30)

4. US Demands Millions Of Dollars From Companies Caught Laundering Money For North Korea - Daily Caller

The U.S. has accused two foreign companies of laundering money for the North Korean regime, according to a report from the Department of Justice. The U.S. filed complaints against China-based Dandong Chengtai Trading Co. Ltd. and Singapore-based Velmur Management Pte Ltd. for acting as financial facilitators for North Korea. Representing the largest seizure of North Korean funds by the Department of Justice, the U.S. is demanding $11 million from the two companies.

"These complaints show our determination to stop North Korean sanctioned banks and their foreign financial facilitators from aiding North Korea in illegally accessing the United States financial system to obtain goods and services in the global market place," U.S. attorney Channing D. Phillips, "According to the complaints, these front companies are supporting sanctioned North Korean entities, including North Korean military and North Korean weapons programs. Working with our law enforcement partners, we will vigorously enforce vital sanctions laws," he added. (Read more)

- Father, we pray pressure on these companies will help us reach our goal of de-nuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. Give our investigators wisdom and insight to find other ways North Korea is avoiding sanctions.

- I will remove all weapons of war from the land, all swords and bows, so you can live unafraid in peace and safety. (Hosea 2:18b)

5. Navy Does Not Rule Out Intentional Act in Latest Warship Collision - Washington Free Beacon

The Navy has not ruled out an intentional action behind the latest deadly collision between a Navy destroyer and a merchant ship, the chief of naval operations told reporters Monday. "That's is certainly something we are giving full consideration to but we have no indication that that's the case-yet," Adm. John Richardson, the CNO, said at the Pentagon. "But we're looking at every possibility, so we're not leaving anything to chance," he said.

Asked if that includes the possibility the electronic defenses on the guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain were hacked in a cyber attack, Richardson said investigators will look into all possible causes. "We'll take a look at all of that, as we did with the Fitzgerald," the four-star admiral said, referring to another Navy warship collision with a merchant ship in June near Japan. The McCain collided with the Liberian-flagged oil tanker Alnic MC in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore late Sunday, injuring five sailors and leaving 10 sailors missing. (Read more)

- Father, we pray for professionalism and order within our Navy. Help the investigators reveal the true cause of this collision and we pray there will be no other incidents.

- Wise choices will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe. (Proverbs 2:11)

6. Over 160,000 Sign White House Petition Demanding Antifa Be Labeled a Terrorist Group - Christian Post

More than 160,000 people have signed a petition on the White House petition website calling for the federal government to officially designate the activist group Antifa as a terrorist organization. "AntiFa has earned this title due to its violent actions in multiple cities and their influence in the killings of multiple police officers throughout the United States," reads the petition. "It is time for the Pentagon to be consistent in its actions - and just as they rightfully declared ISIS a terror group, they must declare AntiFa a terror group - on the grounds of principle, integrity, morality, and safety."

If a petition on the site "We the People," which was created during the previous administration, gets at least 100,000 signatures in 30 days, the White House promises an official response. The Antifa petition was posted on Aug. 17 and has received approximately 162,000 signatures as of Monday morning. (Read more)

- Father, we pray public pressure will force the recognition that Antifa is actually a terrorist organization, using terrorist methods to forward their agenda.

- Keep me safe, Lord, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from the violent, who devise ways to trip my feet. (Psalm 140:4)

7. Soros-Backed Activists Plan To Steal Trump's Show In Phoenix - Daily Caller

Leading anti-Trump activists backed by major Democratic donors including George Soros are mobilizing large numbers of protesters ahead of President Trump's rally in Phoenix on Tuesday, with the intention of stealing the spotlight from the president's event. Local leaders of Indivisible, one of many "resistance" protest groups formed as a direct response to Trump's election, are organizing thousands of protesters associated with a coalition of left-wing groups ahead of Tuesday's event. In addition to organizing mass protests outside the rally, Indivisible is encouraging protesters to register for tickets for the rally itself, increasing the likelihood that protesters will disrupt Trump's speech, as often happens at Trump's rallies.

Although originally founded by activists not backed by donors, Indivisible's website now states that the group "is a project of the Advocacy Fund," a progressive advocacy group that receives money from the Open Society Policy Center, an arm of Soros' Open Society Foundations. That revelation follows USA Today's reporting in May that leaders of Indivisible and Women's March met with Democracy Alliance, a Soros-led network of left-wing donors, to discuss funding options. (Read more)

- Father, we pray these left-wing activists will only succeed in showing the nation how ugly, violent and intolerant their movement really is.

- Do not grant the wicked their desires, Lord; do not let their plans succeed. (Psalm 140:8)

8. Rooting Against America: Activists Plan To Make America's Leaders Lose 'International Legitimacy' - Daily Caller

Leading anti-Trump activists backed by major leftist donors are actively working with one task in mind: undermining the credibility of America's leaders and creating a "political crisis" that forces President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence from office. Presentations from the group's training conferences this weekend reveal the activists plan to impede the "ability to govern" of "those in power" and make America's leaders "lose respect and legitimacy in the eyes of people here and internationally." The group emphasizes that costing America's leaders "international legitimacy" is key because it "is a very critical calculation for the rulers of this country."

Refuse Fascism is a far-left protest group that was launched in the aftermath of Trump's election with the stated purpose of driving Trump and Pence out of the White House. As reported by TheDC's Chuck Ross, the group is financially backed by a progressive nonprofit that in turn is well-funded by George Soros, a major labor union and several other large companies. Refuse Fascism has led mass demonstrations around the country and played a central role in organizing the violent Berkeley riots. For months, Refuse Fascism has been planning massive, nationwide demonstrations for November 4. According to the group's statements, the protests are part of their long-term strategy of creating a "political crisis" resulting in both Trump and Pence being forced from their elected offices. (RELATED: In Their Own Words: Anti-Trump 'Resistance' Leaders Say They Want To Make America 'Ungovernable')

(Read more)

- Father, this movement is literally treasonous! We pray for President Trump and Vice President Pence to be protected by Your power. Help them be strong and courageous as they face these enemies within.

- Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer, you shield my head in the day of battle.
(Psalm 140:7)

9. PayPal Bans Conservative Sites After Soros-Funded Group Attacks Them - Daily Caller

PayPal banned Jihad Watch and the American Freedom Defense Initiative from receiving online donations using their platform because of the site's "activities" after being designated as "hate sites" by left-wing groups. Jihad Watch was reportedly banned from PayPal on Saturday after ProPublica - a George Soros funded investigative group - targeted the site and its director Robert Spencer (not to be confused with white nationalist Richard Spencer) in a hit piece that claimed the site was guilty of "extreme hostility toward Muslims."

The assault on Jihad Watch began on Friday when Spencer received an email that he described as a "threatening" from ProPublica journalist Lauren Kirchner. The email informed Spencer that she was including his site among a list of hate sites identified as such by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) - both widely considered to be left-leaning organizations. The purpose of the hit piece published by ProPublica was clear: put pressure on tech companies that offer their platforms to sites that it deems as "hate sites."(Read more)

- Father, we pray You would bring correction to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. We pray Jihad Watch and AFDI's reputations and ability to take payments will be restored.

- Don't let liars prosper here in our land. Cause great disasters to fall on the violent. But I know the Lord will help those they persecute; he will give justice to the poor. (Psalm 140:11-12)

10. 24 million people impacted by monsoon flooding in India, Nepal and Bangladesh - AccuWeather

The worst flooding in more than a decade across parts of Nepal, India and Bangladesh has impacted at least 24 million people. More than 800 people have lost their lives across the three countries since the beginning of the monsoon season on June 1, according to The Guardian. The death toll and numbers of those impacted are rising as flood waters recede and reveal the full extent of the destruction. However, additional downpours will threaten more lives and property as the monsoon continues.

While conditions are currently slowly improving across Nepal, northeastern India and Bangladesh, scattered monsoon downpours are expected through midweek which could result in additional isolated flooding.

"However, the flood danger will once again heighten from Friday into Saturday across northern Myanmar and northeastern India as Hato arrives from southeastern China," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski. "While Hato will no longer be a typhoon but will still have plenty of moisture and capable of unleashing downpours that may trigger new or aggravate ongoing flooding," she said. It will not take much rainfall to ignite more flooding and mudslides in northeastern India. (Read more)

- Father, we pray for the peoples of Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and China to seek Your help as they cope with these devastating floods. We pray for their salvation, that each one would come to know You as Lord and Savior.

- The Lord rules over the floodwaters. The Lord reigns as king forever. (Psalm 29:10)

11. Israeli Delegation Reportedly Fails to Secure US Guarantees on Syria - Breaking Israel News

Israeli government officials have expressed "grave concern" after a high-level defense delegation from the Jewish state met with U.S. officials in Washington, D.C., last week and failed to secure commitments regarding the situation in Syria and Lebanon. The delegation, headed by Mossad intelligence agency Director Yossi Cohen, reportedly met with U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell, President Donald Trump's international negotiations representative Jason Greenblatt and others.

Israeli intelligence officials said they presented the U.S. officials with "sensitive, credible and highly disturbing intelligence information" detailing Iran's expanding military presence in Syria, including documents and photographs, Yedioth Ahronoth reported. The U.S. officials, however, purportedly did not commit to preventing the spread of Iranian influence in Syria. Delegation members noted "a kind of embarrassment and lack of a clear position" among Trump administration officials regarding America's commitments in Syria and the Middle East. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with Russia's President Vladimir Putin Aug. 23 in the Russian resort town of Sochi to discuss the latest developments in the Middle East. The issue of Iran's military presence in Syria is reportedly high on the agenda for the upcoming meeting. (Read more)

- Abba, we thank You that Israeli intelligence officials have credible information ahead of any plans of the enemy. We ask that You would bring a stop to the furthering of Iranian military presence in Syria. We ask for Your mighty hand of protection over Israel and its borders. And, Father, we lift up our US officials that were told of this issue. We pray that You would convict their hearts and give them a boldness to stand in firm support of Israel. We ask that You keep their minds and hearts clear of the voice of the enemy. We ask these things in the name of Yeshua, amen.

- "Trust in Hashem with all your heart, And do not rely on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5 (The Israel Bible)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Daily Brief: Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

The Daily Brief: Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 (Short Form)

1. President Trump Delivers Address on Charlottesville - The White House

"Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups . . ."

The following is an excerpt of an official statement released today, by the White House and President Trump. To read his full remarks,click here.

And as I have said many times before: No matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws, we all salute the same great flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God. We must love each other, show affection for each other, and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry, and violence. We must rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans.

Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.

We are a nation founded on the truth that all of us are created equal. We are equal in the eyes of our Creator. We are equal under the law. And we are equal under our Constitution. Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America.

As a candidate, I promised to restore law and order to our country, and our federal law enforcement agencies are following through on that pledge. We will spare no resource in fighting so that every American child can grow up free from violence and fear. We will defend and protect the sacred rights of all Americans, and we will work together so that every citizen in this blessed land is free to follow their dreams in their hearts, and to express the love and joy in their souls.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America.

- Father God, we offer praise tonight that You have placed this good man in the office of the President of the United States of America. We come against all enemies, both foreign and domestic, who even this morning are working to remove him from his throne. We thank You, Lord, that as we pray, You will answer. In Your Name, amen.

- "But the LORD is with me like a dread champion; Therefore my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will be utterly ashamed, because they have failed, With an everlasting disgrace that will not be forgotten." (Jeremiah 20:11)

2. Merck CEO Resigns From Trump Council Over Charlottesville - One America News

Merck & Co Inc Chief Executive Kenneth Frazier resigned from U.S. President Donald Trump's American Manufacturing Council on Monday, saying he was taking a stand against intolerance and extremism. Frazier, who is African-American, is the only CEO so far to leave one of Trump's advisory councils because of his reaction to the violence in Virginia. Prominent Democrats and Republicans criticized Trump's response to the violence over the weekend.

A gathering of hundreds of white nationalists in Virginia took a deadly turn on Saturday when a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters and killed at least one person.

Trump had said "many sides" were involved, drawing fire from across the political spectrum for not specifically denouncing the far right.

"America's leaders must honor our fundamental views by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal," Frazier said in a statement announcing his resignation. (Read more)

- Father, our nation is so polarized that even a CEO of a major company can't discern what is actually being said. We pray from the depths of our hearts that You will bring a move of Your Holy Spirit to our land.

- "Revive Your Work in the midst of the years. In Your wrath, remember mercy." (Habakkuk 3:2)

3. Scaramucci: Elements From Within Want to Eject Trump - TruNews

Mr. Scaramucci made these comments during an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week".

"The president is not a representative of the political establishment class, and so for whatever reason, people have made a decision that they want to eject him," Mr. Scaramucci said. "It's almost like he's opened up the door now for America's CEOs and America's billionaires to enter the Washington political system. The members of that political class do not like that."

Mr. Stephanopoulos asked Mr. Scaramucci if President Trump was fighting "an enemy within the White House." "I think that there are elements inside of Washington, also inclusive in the White House, that are not necessarily abetting the president's interests or his agenda," Mr. Scaramucci said. "I absolutely believe that, yes."

Mr. Stephanopoulos prompted Mr. Scaramucci to "name names", but the former Trump staffer diverted, noting that he had already gone on record with who he believed were undermining the administration. "Well, I named some names," Mr. Scaramucci said. "There's been some strategic changes, and my guess is there will be more strategic changes. I think the president's getting his arms around the fact that if he wants to prosecute his agenda, he's got to bring in loyalists to him." (Read more)

- Lord, we erect a hedge of Your powerful protection around President Trump. As You protected King David against those who would make war with him and Your people, we ask that You do the same for the President as he fights to right our ship of state.

- "When my enemies turn back, they shall fall and perish at Your presence."
(Psalm 9:3)

4. Chelsea Handler Calls for Military Coup to Overthrow Trump - Breitbart

Talk show host Chelsea Handler took to Twitter over the weekend to urge the generals in President Donald Trump's administration to "remove" the president from office. "To all the generals surrounding our idiot-in-chief . . . the longer U wait to remove him, the longer UR name will appear negatively in history," the Netflix host tweeted Friday.

Handler kept up her criticism of Trump through the weekend while tweeting about the deadly car attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, tweeting directly to Ivanka Trump to tell her father to condemn racism while urging Republicans to "stop this madness." Handler has been one of the president's most vocal celebrity critics. The comedian regularly attacks Trump on her Twitter account, and has also gone after members of the president's family, including First Lady Melania Trump and Eric and Lara Trump's unborn child. (Read more)

- Lord, this talk show host is but one of many voices who cannot seem to hear what the President actually says. They are deceived and blinded to the truth. We ask that You remove the blinders from their eyes and the deafness from their ears, and stop their vicious attacks in the Mighty Name of Jesus.

- "The soul of the wicked desires evil." (Proverbs 21:10a)

5. McMaster Worked at Think Tank Backed by Soros-Funded Group that Helped Obama Sell Iran Nuclear Deal - Breitbart

White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster served at a UK-based think tank financed by a controversial, George Soros-funded group identified by the Obama White House as central in helping to sell the Iran nuclear deal to the public and news media.

From September 2006 to February 2017, McMaster is listed as a member of International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), where he served as consulting senior fellow. The IISS describes itself as a "world-leading authority on global security, political risk and military conflict." The IISS has been supportive of the Obama administration-brokered 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, and the group has repeatedly hit back against charges that Tehran has violated the agreement.

McMaster himself has been accused of purging the National Security Council of hardliners on Iran, and he is seen as a leading proponent of the Iran nuclear accord within the Trump administration. He has reportedly urged the White House to recertify Iran's compliance with the Iran nuclear deal. (Read more)

- Father, it appears that McMaster may be against President Trump. We ask that any and all personal agendas that are contradictory to those of our President be removed and revealed, or that he be fired. He has already demanded that there be no use of the term "Islamic terrorism" because he believe it is not helpful. We ask for truth, Lord. In Your Name, amen.

- "Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and such as breathe out violence." (Psalm 27:12)

6. DOJ Sued for Concealing Comey Records - WND Washington watchdog Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Justice for refusing to provide copies of non-disclosure agreements pertaining to fired FBI Director James Comey. The federal department simply refused to respond to the Judicial Watch request.

The FBI allowed Comey to leave his position with copies of his notes of private conversations with President Trump, which he then turned over to a friend with instructions to publicize them in the media in an effort to provoke a special-counsel investigation.

Judicial Watch said Friday it filed the legal action "for all non-disclosure agreements pertaining to the handling, storage, protection, dissemination, and/or return of classified information that were signed by or on behalf of former FBI Director James Comey." (Read more)

- Father, wherever the corruption is within the FBI, we ask that You root it out and expose it for all the world to see.

- "When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it." (Psalm 37:34c)

7. Muslim convert runs for Congress, but stays silent on her faith - WND

Regina Mustafa is trying to become the first Muslim woman elected to Congress and, if successful, she says she will use her "sheer passion" to represent oppressed minorities across the United States, fight for more gun control and battle against climate change. Mustafa, a 37-year-old community activist living in Rochester, Minnesota, has announced her candidacy for the state's 1st congressional district. Mustafa moved to the state 12 years ago from Philadelphia. She is one of eight Democrats running for the seat being vacated by Tim Walz, D-Minn., who's leaving Congress to run for governor. Whoever wins the primary will likely win the general election in a district that swings Democrat. (Read more)

- Lord, we pray that You will change this woman's heart and reveal truth to her.

- "Assuredly I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3)

8. Officials: Fleas in Two Arizona Counties Tested Positive for the Plague - Breitbart

Fleas in two Arizona counties tested positive for the Bubonic plague - the same disease that killed millions of people in the 14th century throughout Africa, Asia, and Europe, public health officials say.

Navajo County public health officials announced Friday that fleas collected near the town of Taylor tested positive for Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that causes the Bubonic plague, the Associated Press reports. The announcement came one week after Coconino County officials first discovered fleas in the area found to be carrying the plague.

KNXV reports that Coconino County officials first discovered the plague-infested fleas in the Red Lake area last week but also found fleas in the Doney Park area that tested positive for the disease. (Read more)

- Lord, we take authority over the plague infested fleas and by the power of Jesus' Name and by His Blood. We command that this disease will go no further and will be reversed from all states involved.

- "Behold I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you." (Luke 10:19)

9. China and India on brink of armed conflict as hopes of resolution to border dispute fade - South China Morning Post

Chinese and Indian troops are readying themselves for a possible armed conflict in the event they fail in their efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution to their border dispute on the Doklam plateau in the Himalayas, observers said. On Friday, India's defence minister Arun Jaitley told parliament that the country's armed forces are "prepared to take on any eventuality" of the stand-off, Indian Express reported the same day.

Sources close to the Chinese military, meanwhile, said that the People's Liberation Army is increasingly aware of the possibility of war, but will aim to limit any conflict to the level of skirmishes, such as those contested by India and Pakistan in Kashmir. (Read more)

- Lord It was written that these things would occur. Both China and India are nuclear powers- we pray for calm, and speak Shalom peace to this situation.

- "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet." (Matthew 24:6)

10. 18 killed in attack on restaurant in Burkina Faso capital - Fox/AP

Suspected Islamic extremists opened fire at a Turkish restaurant in the capital of Burkina Faso late Sunday, killing at least 18 people in the second such attack on a restaurant popular with foreigners in the last two years. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the violence, which continued into the early hours Monday. Gunfire could be heard almost seven hours after the attack began.

In addition to those killed, eight others were wounded, Communications Minister Remi Dandjinou told journalists. Two of the attackers were also killed, he said. The victims came from several different nationalities, he said. At least one of the dead was French and another was Turkish. (Read more)

- Lord we ask that You stem the ride of Islamic terrorists in all countries of the world. We pray Your comfort for these families who have lost loved ones.

- "He will redeem their life from violence; and precious shall be their blood in His sight." (Psalm 72:14)

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Daily Brief: Monday, August 14, 2017

The Daily Brief: Monday, August 14, 2017 (Short Form)

1. Federal civil rights probe launched into fatal Charlottesville crash
- Fox News

The federal government has opened a civil rights investigation into the vehicular rampage that killed one woman and injured 19 other people during Saturday's "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Va. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a statement Saturday night to announce the probe.

"The Richmond FBI Field Office, the Civil Rights Division, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Virginia have opened a civil rights investigation into the circumstances of the deadly vehicular incident that occurred earlier Saturday morning," Sessions said in the statement. "The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence, and as this is an ongoing investigation we are not able to comment further at this time."

James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, has been arrested in connection with the fatal crash, authorities said. The rally was organized by right-wing blogger Jason Kessler, who wanted to protest Charlottesville's decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park. The event quickly turned chaotic, as white nationalists clashed with counter-protesters and police.

Sessions condemned the violence. "When such actions arise from racial bigotry and hatred, they betray our core values and cannot be tolerated," the attorney general said. "I have talked with FBI Director Chris Wray, FBI agents on the scene, and law enforcement officials for the state of Virginia. The FBI has been supporting state and local authorities throughout the day," Sessions said. "U.S. Attorney Rick Mountcastle has commenced a federal investigation and will have the full support of the Department of Justice. Justice will prevail." (Read more)

- Father, Your heart must be broken to see the evil hate that is being acted out in numerous ways on earth. Forgive them for their actions. Forgive all believers that are not in Your army leading the lost to salvation. Young people are being tossed to and fro as they search for what is missing in their lives because they are not being led to You. Our prayer is for repentance for the believers and the lost. Let the army of God arise as led by the Holy Spirit to become a mighty army. In Your precious name thank You for loving us enough to give Your Son's life that we may all have eternal life with You. Amen.

- "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 3:18)

2. Trump condemns 'white supremacists,' other extremists behind deadly Virginia rallies - Fox News

President Trump specifically condemns "white supremacists" and other extremist groups as forces behind the deadly protests and counter-protests this weekend in Virginia, a White House spokesperson said Sunday.

"The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred. Of course that includes white supremacists, KKK Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups. He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together," the spokesperson said from Trump's private golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides," the president said. "It has been going on for a long time in our country -- not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. "It has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America." (Read more)

- Father God, there can never be peace without You at the head of a nation's people. Bless President Trump for standing against violence, bigotry and hatred. Charlottesville, VA is an example of what protests can lead to. This protest began because there were objections to removing a statue made by the hands of man. Loss of life is never worth a statue. Thank You for forgiving the protesters and the person responsible for taking a life and injuring others. Give them new hearts, eyes and ears that all will turn their hate into love as You love.

- "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." (Hebrews 8:10)

3. North Korea threat: Pentagon says ready to 'fight tonight,' as Trump shows bomber pics - Fox News

Pentagon officials told Fox News on Friday that the U.S. military stands ready to "fight tonight" on the Korean Peninsula, as President Trump said the U.S. is "locked and loaded" and retweeted images from U.S. Pacific Command showing B-1B Lancer bombers on Guam. At the same time, a North Korean state news agency statement warned that "even a single shell dropped on the Korean Peninsula might lead to the outbreak of thermonuclear war."

"We consider the U.S. no more than a lump which we can beat to a jelly any time," the Korean Central News Agency said, quoting Institute of International Studies researcher Kang Kum Chol.

The exchange capped a week of escalating warnings between Washington and Pyongyang. "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!" Trump tweeted early Friday morning. (Read more)

- Father God, we continue to pray for Your wisdom to be present with our President as He seeks Your face in the next steps in this crisis. Father God, what Kim Jong-un and all the other Koreans have failed to realize is this major truth, i.e. the Lord God of heaven has placed his favor upon America and its people and it is He that we serve and stand in His strength. We have God on our side and it is He that will fight for America. We pray, Lord, that all the Koreans will be hemmed in by a restraining order from our God.

May President Trump turn to Your Word for comfort and for guidance, in Your name, amen.

- "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Psalm 119:105)

4. Rex Tillerson, James Mattis back up Donald Trump's message to North Korea - Washington Times

The State and Defense departments provided backup Wednesday to President Trump's threat a day earlier to rain down "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if North Korea did not curb its nuclear programs, but there was little sign Pyongyang was seeking to ease its threats against the U.S. and its allies in the region.

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis offered stern words for the North in the wake of reports that the regime of Kim Jong-un may have developed a nuclear device small enough to fit on a missile that could reach much of the U.S. homeland.

"What the president is doing is sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong-un can understand," Mr. Tillerson said. "The president just wanted to be clear to the North Korean regime." Mr. Mattis offered his own blunt message by urging North Korea to "stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons" or face a U.S. response "that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people."

Mr. Tillerson said the president was justified because North Korea's threatening rhetoric had "ratcheted up louder and louder" in response to growing international pressure over its nuclear and missile programs. He also noted he was passing through Guam on his way home from a regional summit in the Philippines and never considered altering his route because of Pyongyang's threat. "I do not believe that there is any imminent threat, in my own view," Mr. Tillerson told reporters. (Read more)

- Lord God, we pray that the absolute power of our God will come against the leader of North Korea and Pyongyang by putting a cap over their intents to use their missiles and nuclear bombs against the U.S. Father God, fill the air over North Korea and Pyongyang with myriads of warring angels that will entangle and defuse all nuclear missiles that are fired from these areas. Pour down a tumultuous rain and tornado activity over them that will destroy any missiles. Defeat Kim Jong-un by the ultimate power of the Blood of Jesus, that he become weakened in his body and mind and be disabled from carrying out any threat of war-like schemes. In the Name of Jesus we pray.

- "Your pomp is brought down as the grave, and the noise of your viols: the worm is spread under you, and the worms cover you. Yet you shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit." (Isaiah 14:11,15)

5. Chinese paper says China should stay neutral if North Korea attacks first - Reuters

If North Korea launches an attack that threatens the United States then China should stay neutral, but if the United States attacks first and tries to overthrow North Korea's government China will stop them, a Chinese state-run newspaper said on Friday.

President Donald Trump ratcheted up his rhetoric toward North Korea and its leader on Thursday, warning Pyongyang against attacking Guam or U.S. allies after it disclosed plans to fire missiles over Japan to land near the U.S. Pacific territory.

China, North Korea's most important ally and trading partner, has reiterated calls for calm during the current crisis. It has expressed frustration with both Pyongyang's repeated nuclear and missile tests and with behavior from South Korea and the United States that it sees as escalating tensions.

The widely read state-run Global Times, published by the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily, wrote in an editorial that Beijing is not able to persuade either Washington or Pyongyang to back down. (Read more)

- Lord God, we bring the leaders of the nation of China directly before Your Throne of Grace. They may think that they are in charge, but we, Your people, know better. We ask You to put a hook in their nose and to cause them to do only that which You ordain to be done, in Your will and in Your name, amen.

- " . . . for dominion belongs to the LORD and he rules over the nations."
(Psalm 22:28)

6. How Guam and other areas are preparing amid escalating North Korea nuclear tensions - ABC News

As the war of words ratchets up between North Korea and Donald Trump, some cities and other areas within the zone of a possible strike are taking steps to prepare their residents. Officials in Hawaii and now Guam have released updated preparedness plans and warning sheets for how their citizens should react in case of a nuclear detonation or imminent missile threat.

On the mainland, several population centers on the West Coast repurpose their emergency plans for other disasters, whether they be natural like earthquakes or tsunamis, or man-made like terrorism and a nuclear attack.

Washington state does not have a specified nuclear detonation plan, with much of the state's focus being paid to possible earthquakes or tsunamis given the fault lines there. "A nuclear strike certainly presents unique challenges but the state has exercised for and prepared for a variety of disasters and many of our response capabilities would be useful following a nuclear event," said Karina Shagren, the spokesperson for the Washington Military Department.

Officials in both Los Angeles and San Francisco take an "all hazards" approach to emergency planning. "The situation with North Korea has understandably caused concern about what might happen if a nuclear strike targeted and reached the Los Angeles area," said Kate Hutton, public information officer for the City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department. "We continue to closely monitor this situation as well as all threats and hazards we might face in Los Angeles." (Read more)

- Lord, have mercy on the people of Guam, and grant them Your wisdom in knowing what to do in light of the threats made against them by North Korea. Amen.

- "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5)

7. U.S. destroyer challenges China's claims in South China Sea - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Navy destroyer carried out a "freedom of navigation operation" on Thursday, coming within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials told Reuters. The operation came as President Donald Trump's administration seeks Chinese cooperation in dealing with North Korea's missile and nuclear programs and could complicate efforts to secure a common stance.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS John S. McCain traveled close to Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals. China has territorial disputes with its neighbors over the area. It was the third "freedom of navigation operation" or "fonop" conducted during Trump's presidency. Neither China's defense ministry nor its foreign ministry immediately responded to a request for comment. (Read more)

- Father, we stand as a nation behind President Trump as he seeks Chinese cooperation in dealing with North Korea's missile and nuclear programs. We ask that the Chinese will be held to God's will in their dealings with North Korea. Lord, bring down any success in China's claims in the South China Sea. Strengthen the position the U.S. has in this area and they find God's favor to overrule all of China's claims. In the Name of Jesus we pray.

- "Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the Lord understand all things." (Proverbs 28:5)

8. Facing Palestinian criticism, White House says closeness to Israel is an asset - Arab-Israeli Conflict - Jerusalem Post

Before a shooting on the Temple Mount last month threw the region into a harrowing, if temporary, crisis, talk of a US-led peace process between Israelis and Palestinians was light, vague and full of promise, with neither side willing to criticize the new and ambitious administration over its lofty pursuit of peace.

Those days are over.

Two weeks of crisis management were an early test of Donald Trump's Mideast peace envoys, and to players on the ground, revealed their true colors. Since the Temple Mount dispute was settled with an Israeli concession on its security arrangements at the holy site, Palestinian officials have been more vocal with their criticisms of the US team, questioning its ability to serve as fair broker in the negotiations to come.

Speaking with The Jerusalem Post, several Palestinian officials said the Trump administration's handling of the crisis confirmed its political alignment with the Israeli government. (Read more)

- Father in heaven, we never cease to cry unto the Lord our God for peace in Israel, that God will save the Israelis out of the hand of the Palestinians who support the terrorists. Father, we pray that You will fight for Israel and for those who are not siding with terrorists in the Land. We pray that the Light of Yeshua will shine over the Land and the intense hatred from years back to present will be changed by repenting and turning back to God. Stand with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump to be guided by the Lord's great wisdom and understanding in bringing peace to the Land. In the Name of Jesus we pray.

- "The Palestinians drew near to battle against Israel: but the Lord thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Palestinians, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel." (I Samuel 7:10)

9. Tips lead to arrest of MS-13 gang member on FBI Ten Most Wanted list - Fox News

An MS-13 gang member on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list has been captured in Virginia after a four-year manhunt, authorities announced Saturday. Walter Yovany Gomez, an illegal immigrant from Honduras, was arrested without incident Friday in Woodbridge, 20 miles south of Washington, as a result of a well-coordinated investigation and tips from the public, the FBI said.

"The apprehension of Walter Yovany Gomez is a prime example of the close coordination between the vigilant public and the hard working men and women of law enforcement," Timothy Gallagher, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Newark Office, said. "Gomez will now stand trial for his alleged involvement in a brutal murder which took a young man from his family."

"The apprehension of Walter Yovany Gomez is a prime example of the close coordination between the vigilant public and the hard working men and women of law enforcement," Timothy Gallagher, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Newark Office, said. "Gomez will now stand trial for his alleged involvement in a brutal murder which took a young man from his family."

He faces extradition to New Jersey where he was indicted on a charge of committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering. The FBI added his name to its Ten Most Wanted list in April. (Read more)

- Thank You, Father, for the apprehension of this dangerous man. We praise You that law enforcement and the public worked together to bring this man to stand trial. We pray that this arrest will lead to more and more detentions of gang members and break up this evil gang mentality. We pray that You would make our streets safe to dwell in by removing those resistant to just laws. Turn this evil to good, Dear Lord, amen.

- "Early will I destroy the wicked of the land, that I may cut off all the evil doers from the city of the Lord." (Psalms 101:8)

10. Pence goes to Latin America, following Trump's warning to Venezuelan leaders - Fox News

Vice President Pence begins a week-long trip Sunday to Latin America amid continuing political turmoil in Venezuela and President Trump saying he wouldn't rule out a "military option" in response to the actions of Venezuela leader Nicolás Maduro.

Pence begins the trip with a meeting in Colombia with President Juan Manuel Santos. He also has scheduled visits to Argentina and Chile, other neighboring South American countries to Venezuela, and Panama in Central America.

Trump's remark Friday about a possible U.S. military response to what the administration sees as a power grab by Maduro was largely a surprise, considering the president was already in an escalating standoff with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo told "Fox News Sunday" that intelligence in recent months shows the situation "continues to deteriorate," with Maduro "asserting more power and inflicting more pain on the people of Venezuela."

He also said the situation indeed poses a security risk to the United States considering the Cubans, Russians, Iranians and "even Hezbollah" are already there. (Read more)

- Father, we thank You that You have heard our prayers over many years for the safety and the protection of the good people of Venezuela. We now pray, too, that You will keep Vice President Mike Pence safe on his journey this week, in Your Name, amen.

- "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil." (I Peter 3:12)

11. Rubio gets extra security after alleged assassination threat from Venezuelan politician - Fox News

A top Venezuelan politician may have ordered Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to be assassinated after the senator unleashed a string of criticisms against the country's government, Fox News has learned.

The possible threat led Rubio to take on a stronger security detail, including U.S. Capitol Police. Rubio was seen with additional security in both Washington and Miami.

The alleged threat, which federal authorities could not confirm as authentic at the time, was believed to come from ruling party leader Diosdado Cabello, with whom Rubio has publicly feuded. (Read more)

- Lord God, we also pray for the protection of the life of Senator Marco Rubio. We ask You to place Your Hand over the nation of Venezuela, bringing Your stability and Your peace (Shalom), in Your name, amen.

- Please decree Psalm 91 for Senator Rubio and for Vice-President Pence. Thank you.

The Daily Brief: Tuesday, Dec. 5th, 2017

The Daily Brief: Tuesday, Dec. 5th, 2017 1. Supreme Court allows full enforcement of Trump travel ban - CBS The Supreme Court is a...