1. AP – Eight people were found dead in a tractor-trailer loaded with at least 30 others outside a Wal-Mart store in Texas’ stifling summer heat in what police are calling a horrific human trafficking case. The driver was arrested. Twenty other people in extremely critical or serious condition and eight more with lesser injuries including heat stroke and dehydration were found inside the truck, which didn’t have a working air conditioning system despite blistering temperatures that topped 100 degrees, authorities said. All were taken to several hospitals.
2. AJC – An Atlanta congregation displaced by the construction of a Mercedes-Benz Stadium will open its new church next weekend. Friendship Baptist Church, a black church that dates back to 1862, held its last service at its home between Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and Mitchell Street in May 2014. The church was demolished that July. The church’s new home is at 80 Walnut St. in Atlanta. July 29, the church will hold a ribbon cutting at the space. The next day, congregants will walk from the old location to the new. They will have their first service in the new space, followed by a dedication. Richard W. Willis, Sr., the church’s senior pastor, will be presiding. Willis is the church’s seventh pastor since its founding, 155 years ago.
3. Mansfield News Journal – The number of disenfranchised members of Mount Calvary Baptist Church is growing, according to an attorney representing the group. As of a June 2 News Journal story, 22 members of the church had been dismissed as members of the congregation. Most said they were expelled by Pastor Derek Williams for attending an “unsanctioned” prayer meeting. Attorney John Allen, who is representing the disenfranchised members, said the number is now somewhere between 40 and 60.
4. AP – A Texas sheriff’s deputy who was indicted along with her husband on murder charges in the death of a man they confronted outside a restaurant has been fired, authorities announced Friday. Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Chauna Thompson’s firing came after the conclusion of an internal affairs probe which followed complaints by the victim’s family that the investigation into the man’s death was mishandled. The investigation reviewed the actions of Thompson — who was off-duty during the May 28 Houston-area confrontation with 24-year-old John Hernandez — as well as those of various sheriff’s office personnel who had responded to the scene.
5. WashPost – Russia’s ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, according to current and former U.S. officials. Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s accounts of two conversations with Sessions — then a top foreign policy adviser to Republican candidate Donald Trump — were intercepted by U.S. spy agencies, which monitor the communications of senior Russian officials in the United States and in Russia. Sessions initially failed to disclose his contacts with Kislyak and then said that the meetings were not about the Trump campaign.
6. BBC – The Syrian military has declared a halt in fighting in parts of the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region outside Damascus. The move came after Russia, an ally of the government, said it had reached an agreement with “moderate” rebels to de-escalate conflict in the area. Analysts warn it is unclear whether the deal can be enforced. Eastern Ghouta was one of four proposed “de-escalation zones” in a deal agreed between Russia, Iran and Turkey in May.
7. Hollywood Reporter – Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk stormed the box office with a better-than-expected $50.5 million domestic debut, the best opening in recent memory for a World War II film and a testament to the Nolan brand. Overseas, the critically acclaimed film also impressed, earning $55.4 million from its first 46 markets and placing No. 1 everywhere for a global assault of $105.9 million. The U.K., where Nolan is from, led with $12.4 million, followed by South Korea with $10.3 million. Still, Dunkirk will need sizeable staying power in order to recoup a net production budget of $100 million and a major marketing spend. Nolan made the movie for Warner Bros., his longtime partner and home of his blockbuster Dark Knight trilogy. Dunkirk, playing in 3,720 locations, no doubt benefited from a major push in Imax theaters, which delivered $11.7 million, or 23 percent of the total gross.
As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Roger Staubach said, “There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.”
God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!