February 14, 2020 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Donald Trump on Thursday appointed one of Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s former staffers to lead a Justice Department office at the heart of a recent whistleblower complaint over anti-human trafficking grants awarded in 2019.

The U.S. Senate passed legislation on Thursday to limit President Donald Trump’s ability to wage war against Iran, rebuking him weeks after a strike against an Iranian military commander and Tehran’s retaliation raised fears of broader regional conflict.

The U.S. Defense Department sent Congress a request to shift nearly $4 billion from the military budget to pay for a wall on the border with Mexico, a central promise of President Donald Trump’s campaign for the White House four years ago and bid this year for a second term.

U.S. prosecutors on Thursday accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets and helping Iran track protesters in its latest indictment against the Chinese company, escalating the U.S. battle with the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker.

The new coronavirus has infected 1,700 Chinese health workers and killed six, authorities said on Friday, as businesses struggled to balance containment measures with a return from an extended post-holiday break.

Russian law enforcement officers in Siberia detained an adherent of the Jehovah’s Witnesses late one evening this week and drove him to a secluded area where they beat him violently and threatened him, his lawyer said on Friday.

U.S. industrial production fell 0.3% in January as unseasonably warm weather held down the output of utilities and Boeing Co slowed production of civilian aircraft, the Federal Reserve said on Friday.

AP Top Stories

North Korean leaders have yet to report any coronavirus cases, several South Korean outlets with sources inside the country report that the virus has arrived. Experts are worried that the poor, isolated country could be devastated by the illness, now officially known as COVID-19.

A Syrian military helicopter was shot down over the last major rebel bastion in northwest Syria on Friday, killing all crew on board, state media said, in the second such incident this week.

The United States has secured a seven-day reduction in violence in Afghanistan that it hopes will allow it to strike a deal with the Taliban, officials said Thursday.

The Virginia legislature on Tuesday approved two different bills that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses in the state.

An American woman has accused a Mexican-based church and its leaders of human trafficking, filing a U.S. lawsuit accusing La Luz del Mundo of enslaving and sexually abusing her for decades.

Roman Catholic priests, deacons and bishops across the Amazon voiced surprise, resignation and reluctant acceptance of Pope Francis’ refusal to allow married men to be ordained priests, lamenting that their faithful will continue to be deprived of Mass and subject to competing evangelical churches that have made impressive inroads in the region.

An Arizona Senate hearing on an effort to enshrine an existing ban on “sanctuary cities” in the state constitution erupted in shouting as immigrant rights activists called the proposal racist and the committee chairman ordered them removed.

British PM Johnson greeted his new cabinet of senior ministers on Friday, vowing to repay the trust of voters by improving infrastructure, cutting crime and building more hospitals.

President Donald Trump recently indicated that he would push for a middle-class tax cut sometime before the elections in November. The Tax Reform Act of 2017 did lower marginal rates a bit, but it wasn’t a true middle-class tax cut. Rather, it was mostly a cut for companies that brought corporate income taxes down from among the highest in the world to average levels. But it’s worth asking whether the middle class really needs tax relief?

A rocket slammed into an Iraqi base where American troops are stationed in the remote province of Kirkuk, Iraq’s military and a US security source told AFP on Thursday night.

A U.S. Navy warship seized weapons believed to be of Iranian “design and manufacture,” including 150 anti-tank guided missiles and three Iranian surface-to-air missiles, the American military said on Thursday.

BBC

Antarctica has exceeded 68F for the first time, after researchers logged a temperature of 69.35F on an island off the coast of the peninsula. Brazilian scientist Carlos Schaefer told AFP they had “never seen a temperature this high in Antarctica”. But he warned the temperature, logged on 9 February, was just one reading and not part of a long-term data set.

A plan to clear 77,000 lbs. of rubbish from Everest and five other Himalayan peaks has been slammed by some of Nepal’s leading mountaineers. The government says the army will be used for the task, which will cost $7.5m.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen says it has begun judicial proceedings against military personnel suspected of violating international humanitarian law.

WND

A web voting app that already has been tested in several states can be hacked, according to a new warning from researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. AP reports that the analysis focused on the Voatz app, which already has been used in pilots in Denver, Oregon, Utah and Virginia. It’s been used mostly, so far, for absentee voters and overseas military personnel.

The publisher of the Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star and dozens of other newspapers across the nation has filed for bankruptcy protection. McClatchy Co.’s 30 newsrooms, including The Charlotte Observer and The Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, will continue to operate as the publisher reorganizes under Chapter 11.


Mid-Day Snapshot · Feb. 14, 2020

The Foundation

“A good moral character is the first essential in a man, and that the habits contracted at your age are generally indelible, and your conduct here may stamp your character through life. It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous.” —George Washington (1790)

Barr Got Trumped — Another Social-Media Fail

President Trump should take AG Barr’s social-media advice — cease and desist.


Bloomberg — Authoritarian, Not Racist

The former New York City mayor is attacked over race, but that’s the wrong angle.


Are Americans Ready for a Homosexual President?

Rush Limbaugh asks: Does Mayor Pete’s open homosexuality make him unelectable?


The Real Meaning Behind the Fight Over War Powers

Democrats are ticked that Trump reversed Obama’s policy of appeasing Iran.


A Generational Reminder About Civics and Socialism

An astonishing 45% would vote for a socialist president. Civics ignorance at its worst.


Girl Athletes Sue Over Boys Competing as Girls

Three female high-school athletes argue Connecticut’s “transgender” policy violates Title IX.


Profiles in Courage?

Constantly complaining about our great country has nothing to do with bravery.


Video: Ben Shapiro Discusses Elizabeth Warren’s Epic Collapse

The pathological liar’s collapse is unequivocally hilarious.


Video: Joe Biden Wants to Ban Imaginary Firearms

“We’re unwilling to have a rational policy that says you cannot have 20, 30, 40, 50 clips in a weapon.”


Video: Jussie Smollett Indicted Again Over Fake Hate Attack

A Cook County grand jury hit the “Empire” actor with six counts of disorderly conduct.


Video: What a Democratic Socialist Convention Is Like

Ever wonder what happens behind the closed doors of the Democratic Socialist Convention? Here’s a taste.



Today’s Opinion

Erick Erickson
The Moral Relativism of My Tribe
Gary Bauer
Roger Stone’s Sentence
Rich Lowry
Sanders’ Attraction and Ascent Are Familiar Internationally
Neil Patel
Looking Ahead to Trump’s Second Term
David Harsanyi
The United Nations Once Again Proves Its Anti-Semitism
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Friday News Executive Summary

Border funding, Iran vote, YouTube politics, Huawei charged, and more.


Friday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from James Carville, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and more.



Today’s Meme

For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

Today’s Cartoon

For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

Headlines – 2/14/2020

Jason Greenblatt: Next White House may reject peace plan, to Palestinians’ detriment

Palestinians returning from UN with ‘our tail between our legs’

Senior Saudi diplomat says there are ‘positive elements’ in Trump’s peace plan

Iran warns US killing of Soleimani will lead to ‘liberation’ of Jerusalem

In Jerusalem, settlement leaders protest Netanyahu annexation delay

Pompeo says settlement blacklist shows UN’s ‘unrelenting anti-Israel bias’

Sudan’s leader says Israel has key role in removing his nation from US blacklist

Pro-Israel groups try to save country from ICC war-crimes disaster

Is Israel heading to another Gaza war or will it wait until after the election?

Balloon-borne bomb explodes over Gaza-area school, sending kids to shelters

Israeli cyber company: Hamas operation targeted PA officials

Israeli laser defense system successfully intercepts multiple drone targets

In first, US Jewish umbrella group sends delegation to Saudi Arabia

Syria’s air defenses down missiles from Israel

Syria says airstrikes hit targets near Damascus

4 Iranians, 3 Syrians said killed in Damascus strikes; Netanyahu: Maybe Belgium did it

Iran Determined to Keep Foothold in Syria

For the first time in 9 years, two nation states are going toe-to-toe in Syria

A doctor in Idlib: ‘It cannot get more evil than this’

UN coordinator: Syria’s humanitarian crisis happening on ‘unimaginable scale’

Homeless, sleep deprived and shell shocked – this is what it’s like to work as an aid worker in Idlib, Syria

Latest Battle for Idlib Could Send Another Wave of Refugees to Europe

Iraq, Weeks After Demanding All Foreign Troops Leave, Green-lights NATO Mission

Rocket hits northern Iraqi base hosting U.S. forces, no casualties: security sources

How a Bible prophecy shapes Trump’s foreign policy

Iran will strike U.S., Israel if they make the slightest mistake: Iran Guards commander

US Navy nabs Iranian missile shipment to Houthis in Arabian Sea

US accuses Chinese tech giant Huawei of stealing trade secrets, assisting Iran

US Senate votes to restrain Trump’s military powers against Iran

Senate Republicans defied Trump and voted to stop him from taking further military action against Iran

Barr says Trump tweets ‘make it impossible to do my job’ amid Roger Stone drama

Barr’s stunning Trump rebuke sparks debate over his true motives

Trump says he may keep officials from listening to his phone calls with foreign leaders

‘A very, very dangerous path to go down’: Key Republican senators slam Trump’s Fed pick

Teacher allegedly told student who didn’t stand for national anthem, ‘go back to your country’

If Merkel is forced out by her successor then German government will fall, coalition party warns

Scientists just watched a newfound asteroid zoom by Earth. Then they saw its moon.

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Saumlaki, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Atka, Alaska

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 29,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 19,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 19,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Cyclone Uesi to skirt past Australia before striking New Zealand this weekend

Bomb Cyclone Dennis Could Rival Some of the Most Intense North Atlantic Storms on Record

Snowstorm kills 7, injures 80 in northern Iran

Heavy Snowfall in Iran Takes Lives, Regime Takes No Action

Iranians Distrusting State Media Warnings Are Stranded By Heavy Snowfall

From dust bowls to overflowing dams, the difference a week of rain makes in drought-ravaged Queensland

Earth just had hottest January since records began, data shows

This Ohio county may need a second morgue to handle the number of fentanyl overdoses

Forget Coronavirus: This ‘Earth Destroyer’ Asteroid Could Kill You First

‘Black swan’ coronavirus to slam economy 10 times harder than hurricane

Foreigners stranded in Wuhan by virus tell of fear and rations

The coronavirus outbreak has only heightened Hong Kong’s hostility towards Beijing

US offers to help North Korea with coronavirus

US considers N. Korea sanctions exemption to fight coronavirus

Coronavirus can be spread by people who don’t show symptoms, CDC warns

A Dean Koontz book from 1981 predicted coronavirus in bizarre coincidence

He spent 14 years in prison for murder. Now, he’s the first person in California to be exonerated with the help of genetic genealogy

Jewish women’s group leads US push to pass national bill protecting abortions

Alabama lawmaker proposes law forcing men to get a vasectomy at 50 in response to anti-abortion laws

McConnell forces Senate votes on anti-abortion bills

VA Democrats Walk Out as Pastor Delivers Opening House Prayer Condemning Abortion and Gay Marriage

‘There will be dad and mum’: Putin rules out Russia legalizing gay marriage

Rush Limbaugh doesn’t think America will elect a man who ‘loves to kiss his husband’

Conn. high school girls file lawsuit arguing that allowing transgender athletes to compete is sex discrimination

Utah Senate committee approves bill to decriminalize polygamy

Porn movie shot at holy site outrages Myanmar

China Raids Churches for ‘Illegal’ Bibles, Threatens Fines up to $1,400

Church Decimated after Upper-Caste Hindus Stir Hostilities in Andhra Pradesh, India

Islamist terror groups are set on ‘destroying Christianity’, says Nigerian bishop


Apostasy Watch

Gary DeMar – The Connection of Earth With Heaven

Grandson of televangelist Kenneth Copeland building church near Colorado Springs

Francis Chan Now Claims to be a Faith Healer

Former pastor fatally shoots himself, wife and son also found dead

Group of Southern Baptists Roll Out New “Conservative Baptist Network” to Oppose Social Justice Movement

Hookers for Jesus ‘trusting God’ after whistleblower complaint about human-trafficking grant from DOJ

Incredible ‘angel in the sky’ caught on camera thanks to weather phenomenon

Conn. high school girls file lawsuit arguing that allowing transgender athletes to compete is sex discrimination

Kansas Judge Finally Upholds Abortionist’s License Revocation on 4th Disciplinary Attempt

Buttigieg Says He and Same-Sex Husband Hope to Start a Family and May Have Children in White House

Cuban pastor being pressured to renounce homeschooling


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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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