October 18, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


President Donald Trump’s withholding of $391 million in military aid to Ukraine was linked to his request that the Ukrainians look into a claim – debunked as a conspiracy theory – about the 2016 U.S. election, a senior presidential aide said on Thursday, the first time the White House acknowledged such a connection.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo underscored U.S.-Israeli efforts to counter Iran in talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, in an apparent attempt to ease Israeli concerns that Tehran could exploit a U.S. military pullback in Syria.

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Friday the controversy over the Trump administration’s handling of Ukraine had nothing to do with his resignation, adding he did not know whether he would cooperate with House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

A former chief executive of specialty finance lender Hercules Capital Inc has agreed to plead guilty to participating in what authorities say is the largest college admissions scam uncovered in the United States, prosecutors said on Friday.

Blasts in a mosque in eastern Afghanistan during Friday prayers killed at least 62 men who had gathered for worship, local officials said.

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Friday that the European Union was working on measures to compensate sectors hit by duties imposed by the United States after EU’s illegal subsidies to the airplane industry.

Shelling could be heard at the Syrian-Turkish border on Friday morning despite a five-day ceasefire agreed between Turkey and the United States, and Washington said the deal covered only a small part of the territory Ankara aims to seize.

U.S. astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir made history on Friday when they stepped outside the International Space Station (ISS) on the first all-female spacewalk.

The Chicago teachers strike entered its second day on Friday as union leaders reported some headway at the bargaining table, where negotiators are trying to resolve differences that have idled the third-largest U.S. school district.

Hong Kong pro-democracy campaigners on Friday vowed to stage a major march at the weekend despite police ruling the rally illegal, setting the scene for possibly more unrest in a city battered by months of violent protests.

AP Top Stories

Heavily armed fighters surrounded security forces in a Mexican city on Thursday and made them free one of drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s sons, after his capture triggered gun battles and a prison break that sent civilians scurrying for cover.

U.S. immigration authorities have discovered hundreds of instances at the border of “family unit fraud,” or unrelated individuals posing as families, over the last six months thanks to a new investigative initiative.

A communications blackout in India’s powderkeg Kashmir region is fuelling a fake news war with Pakistan, as both sides unleash a deluge of disinformation to fill the vacuum and shape opinion.

Dutch police said Thursday that a group of people discovered on an isolated farm this week may have been kept there against their will for up to nine years, as they arrested a 67-year-old man who says he is the father of the group.

After being lost in the wilderness for three days, an Australian woman was rescued after the SOS message she scrawled in the sand was spotted on a surveillance camera.

One of the reasons border apprehensions have dropped from their alarming peak in May is that Mexico has been pretty aggressive in stopping third-country nationals from traversing its territory on their way north to make bogus asylum claims so they can be released into the U.S.

Nearly a million children could lose their automatic eligibility for free school lunches under a Trump administration proposal that would reduce the number of people who get food stamps. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released an analysis that says as many as 982,000 children could be affected by the change.

A plane and its passengers are set to test the mental and physical limits of long-haul aviation when Qantas operates the first direct flight by a commercial airline from New York to Sydney this weekend. Researchers will monitor the effects on passengers of the 19-hour non-stop journey.


Venezuela has won a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council, despite widespread criticism of its poor human rights record.

The US imposed tariffs on $7.5bn on EU goods after the World Trade Organization ruled in its favor earlier this month. This is the result of a 15-year battle over aircraft subsidies paid by the EU to Airbus which have been ruled illegal by the WTO. As a result a long list of Europe-made goods has been issued that is now subject to a 25% tariff.


A major southern California fault capable of producing a magnitude 8 temblor started to move for the first time in 500 years following a series of earthquakes in the Mojave Desert over the summer, according to a new study published Thursday in the journal Science.

Toxic heavy metals damaging to your baby’s brain development are likely in the baby food you are feeding your infant, according to a new investigation published Thursday.

The largest dark web child pornography site in the world has been taken down. IRS-CI was able to trace bitcoin transactions on the site to people all over the world who were uploading and downloading this material, as well as find the location of the site administrator. By analyzing the block chain and de-anonymizing bitcoin transactions, the agency was able to identify hundreds of predators around the world – even though those users thought that they could remain anonymous.

Mexico has deported over 300 Indian nationals to New Delhi, the National Migration Institute (INM) said late on Wednesday, in what it described as an unprecedented transatlantic deportation.

Headlines – 10/18/2019

Abbas and Saudi crown prince meet, agree to establish economic committee

‘PA elections will result in Hamas taking over the West Bank’

Netanyahu floats new offer for unity government, Gantz swiftly rejects it

Netanyahu Signs Second Deal With Right-wing Bloc Not to Sit With Gantz

Israel to increase cuts to electricity provided to Palestinians

PA: Closure of Cave of Patriarchs on Sukkot is a ‘provocation’

Driver tries to ram IDF troops in West Bank; is shot, badly injured – police

Hate crimes against Jews in England and Wales doubled in past year

Knife-wielding Muslim in Brussels asks passersby if they are Jewish

Teacher sacked after allegedly ‘joking’ about sending children to ‘gas chambers’

Pompeo to meet Netanyahu in bid to reassure Israel on Syria pullout

Kurdish politician urges Israeli diplomatic intervention to stop Turkish assault

Erdogan threw Trump’s ‘Don’t be a fool!’ letter in trash

US delegation seeks Syria ceasefire after Trump undercuts mission

Pence, Erdogan Share Tense Handshake Ahead of Meeting on Syria

Pence holds frosty meeting with Erdogan in bid for Syria border ceasefire

Trump announces ‘great news’ as Pence, Erdogan meeting wraps up

Pence and Erdogan agree on ceasefire plan to allow Kurdish withdrawal

Trump celebrates ‘great day for civilization’ as Pence, Pompeo secure Syria cease-fire agreement

Trump Says Kurds, Who Vow to Abide by Syria Cease-fire, ‘Incredibly Happy’

US, Turkey reach agreement on Syria, but differ over whether it’s a ceasefire or pause in operations

Turkey’s Erdogan to travel to Russia for talks over Syria offensive

Hungary Would ‘Use Force’ to Fend Off Refugees if Erdogan Delivers on Threat, Orban Says

US Mideast pullback didn’t start with the Kurds, and it won’t end there either

Trump Is Losing the Battle to End ‘Endless War’ in Middle East

Kurds accuse Turkey of using napalm and white phosphorus

US researchers develop data model to predict terror groups’ future lethality

U.S. diplomats in Russia accused of traveling in restricted area near nuclear accident

Russia protests after catching US diplomats near military test site

Hong Kong Volunteers Document Extreme Police Brutality, Urge Journalists to Help

Dragged down by the Venezuela crisis, Cuba seeks dollars to stay afloat

Venezuela wins seat on UN rights body despite opposition

Johnson announces Brexit deal with EU, but parliaments still need to agree

Brexit pact faces steep odds in the U.K. Parliament – and Johnson might not mind failure

A US trade war with EU puts world ‘straight into a recession,’ ITC chief says

Trade war hit to global economy could be as big as the entire economy of Switzerland, new IMF director says

‘Hanky-panky?’ Traders pocket ‘stunning’ profits after Trump’s comments on trade talks goose the stock market

Trump Doral resort to host G-7 summit – sparking yet another ethics fight for the White House

Mulvaney acknowledges Trump held up Ukraine aid for political reasons: ‘Get over it’

Trump’s Impeachment Blockade Crumbles as Witnesses Agree to Talk

Rep. Scalise rips Nancy Pelosi for conducting impeachment inquiry ‘in secret and behind closed doors’

Prepare for impeachment, Mitch McConnell tells GOP senators

Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings, chair of House Oversight and Reform Committee, has died

New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney takes over key impeachment post after death of Elijah Cummings

The Government Is Testing Mass Surveillance on the Border Before Turning It on Americans

Bird strike grounds Navy ‘doomsday’ aircraft

‘Stormquakes’: Scientists discover natural disaster mash-up of hurricanes, earthquakes

Unprecedented movement detected on California earthquake fault capable of 8.0 temblor

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Vanimo, Papua New Guinea

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Yonakuni, Japan

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 26,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 14,000ft

Nevados De Chillan volcano in Chile erupts to 14,000ft

Ebeko volcano in the Kuril Islands erupts to 10,000ft

Tropical Storm Nestor expected to form, warnings issued for Gulf Coast

Typhoon Hagibis death toll rises to 74 as thousands are left stranded in the cold without power

‘Bomb cyclone’ leaves hundreds of thousands without power in Northeast, winds up to 88 mph

“Bomb cyclone” sets record as strongest October storm ever in Boston area

Several injured as very destructive, possibly multivortex tornado hits Arles, France

London commuters seen dragging climate activists off underground trains

Video: Abortion supporters chant, dance, and spit on pro-life demonstrators

Biden, Warren Pledge to ‘Codify’ Roe v. Wade into Federal Law

Surprise ‘coming out’ middle school assembly angers parents

City of Madison signs onto resolution declaring racism as a public health crisis

Sandy Hook father to receive $450,000 from conspiracy theorist, jury says

1 in 4 Evangelicals Say ‘Insulting Personal Remarks’ are Justified in Politics

Religion Is on the Decline as More Adults Check ‘None’

Vatican unveils ‘smart rosary’ activated by making the sign of the cross

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“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

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