LISTEN: AR Bernard Calls Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board a ‘Photo Op’ (UCNN 08/22/17)

1. CP – A day after announcing his official resignation from President Donald Trump’s Evangelical Advisory Board — citing a “deepening conflict in values” between himself and the administration — political kingmaker and leader of New York City’s largest church A.R. Bernard called the board a “photo op” and urged white evangelical leaders to hold the president “accountable to an agenda.” Bernard, who is founder, senior pastor and CEO of the 40,000-member Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, announced his departure from the board on Friday in the wake of the deadly unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia. “I quietly stepped away from the board several months ago, and submitted my formal letter of resignation as of Tuesday, Aug. 15. I am always grateful and honored by any opportunity to serve my country,” Bernard said in his statement. He later explained to CNN’s Don Lemon over the weekend that he was willing to face a “degree of risk” to his reputation by working with the Trump administration for the greater good. However, Bernard said be believes Trump’s leadership is compromised by his lack of a consistent set of “core values.”

2. CNN – Thirty-three people were injured when an incoming high-speed train struck an unoccupied train car inside an Upper Darby, PA, transit terminal early Tuesday morning, Upper Darby Mayor Thomas Micozzie. Four people, including the train’s conductor, were rushed to area hospitals, Micozzie told local media at a news conference near the crash site. The incident occurred at approximately 12:15 a.m. ET at the 69th Street Terminal and is currently under investigation, according to Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) spokeswoman Heather Redfern.

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3. AP – The stars came out in the middle of the day, zoo animals ran in agitated circles, crickets chirped, birds fell silent and a chilly darkness settled upon the land Monday as the U.S. witnessed its first full-blown, coast-to-coast solar eclipse since World War I. Millions of Americans gazed in wonder at the cosmic spectacle, with the best seats along the so-called path of totality that raced 2,600 miles (4,200 kilometers) across the continent from Oregon to South Carolina. It was, by all accounts, the most-observed and most-photographed eclipse in history, documented by satellites and high-altitude balloons and watched on Earth through telescopes, cameras and cardboard-frame protective eyeglasses.

4. CP – A pastor and father of two who claimed God sent him to the U.S. from Africa to heal people of cancers caused by witchcraft was rammed with a car, then stabbed to death by a man who was dropping his wife off at his church in Windsor Mill, Maryland, on Saturday. Baltimore County Police said in a release that Pastor Raphael Happy-Ikenwilo, 53, of Rahamis Ministry International Church was stabbed several times by the suspect as Ikenwilo’s wife watched helplessly. The suspect, identified as Daniel Patrick Degoto, 41, surrendered himself to police. He was later charged with first-degree murder after the pastor who came to the U.S. from Africa in 2012, died hours later at a local hospital. Ikenwilo’s wife, Jennifer, was not harmed.

5. NBC – An Ohio judge is in stable condition after being shot in an ambush-style attack on his way into a courthouse on Monday morning, officials said. Judge Joseph J. Bruzzese Jr. was just arriving for work at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Steubenville at around 8 a.m. when he was ambushed, according to Jefferson County Sheriff Fred J. Abdalla. And officials said the suspect is — perhaps simply coincidentally — connected to another high-profile Ohio case from a few years ago. Police named Nathaniel Richmond, 51 — the father of Ma’lik Richmond, one of two teenage high school football stars from Steubenville, Ohio, convicted in 2013 of raping a 16-year-old girl — as the shooter in the ambush. Bruzzese had nothing to do with that case, officials said.

6. Reuters – The Pentagon has not decided yet how many more U.S. troops to send to Afghanistan, Defense Secretary James Mattis said on Tuesday, after President Donald Trump committed the United States to an open-ended war there. Trump offered few specifics in a televised address about Afghanistan on Monday, but promised a stepped-up military campaign against Taliban insurgents who have gained ground against U.S.-backed Afghan government forces. He also singled out neighboring Pakistan for harboring militants, an accusation denied by Islamabad.

7. Al Jazeera – At least one person died and more than 20 were injured following an earthquake on the southern Italian island of Ischia, a popular holiday destination off the coast of Naples. Italy’s geological institute INGV said the 4.0-magnitude seismic event took place just before 9pm (1900 GMT) and had its epicentre at a depth of 5km, a few kilometres north of the island. Demetrio Martino, deputy government prefect in Naples, told RAI public television there was one confirmed death, and that seven people were trapped under the rubble of a collapsed building.

As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: Matthew 11:28 says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Someone said, “When we put God first, all other things fall into place.”

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!

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