LISTEN: Black Christian News Network One (BCNN1) Podcast – 06/23/19, with Daniel D.P. Whyte IV

Here are the top stories you need to know about today.

According to Reuters, West African troops killed 42 suspected Islamic State fighters in a battle in the Lake Chad region on June 21, the heaviest death toll suffered by the insurgents in the last six months. The Multinational Joint Task Force comprising troops from countries bordering the lake – said one of its soldiers was killed and 10 others were injured. In an apparent reference to the same clashes, Islamic State said its fighters had killed 15 soldiers.

According to Reuters, Palestinian officials on Saturday dismissed proposals unveiled by President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner for big money projects to form the first economic portion of the Trump administration’s long-awaited Middle East peace plan. Senior Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official Hanan Ashrawi said Kushner’s plans were “all abstract promises” and said only a political solution would solve the conflict. Hamas, the Islamist militant group that controls Gaza, was more blunt, saying: “Palestine isn’t for sale”. An Israeli cabinet minister, however, welcomed the plan.

According to the AP, The self-avowed white supremacist who plowed his car into counterdemonstrators opposing a white nationalist rally in Virginia two years ago, killing one person and injuring dozens, has asked a judge for mercy and a sentence shorter than life in prison. Lawyers for James Alex Fields Jr. said in a sentencing memo submitted in court documents on Friday that the defendant should not spend his entire life in prison because of his age, a traumatic childhood and a history of mental illness. Fields pleaded guilty to federal hate crimes in March and is set to be sentenced on June 28.

According to the AP, World War II pilot Robert Friend, one of the last original members of the famed all-black Tuskegee Airmen, has died at the age of 99. Friend’s daughter, Karen Friend Crumlich, told The Desert Sun her father died Friday at a Southern California hospital. Born in South Carolina on 1920’s leap day, Friend flew 142 combat missions in World War II as part of the elite group of fighter pilots trained at Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute. The program was created after the NAACP began challenging policies barring black people from flying military aircraft.

According to the AP, “We Will Prove Ourselves Men,” reads the inscription at the top of the regimental flag carried into battle by members of the 127th United States Colored Troops. The phrase offers a sense of what was at stake for black men, many of whom were formerly in bondage, who fought to end slavery during the Civil War. Six feet wide and more than four feet tall, the silk flag was painted by an African American artist in Philadelphia. It is now in the collection of the Atlanta History Center, and represents the most expensive artifact the center has acquired.

According to, Alla Ausheva, a mother of two and a U.S. Air Force National Guard member, was killed along with her two young sons in a triple homicide in Staten Island on Saturday morning. Her husband, Shane Walker, who was found by police wandering a bridge, is accused of killing his family. No charges were immediately filed. Ausheva was a naturalized citizen who came to the United States in 2011 from Russia on a Green Card and joined the military three months later. On July 4, 2012, she and 24 other foreign-born military members became naturalized citizens in a ceremony presided over by President Barack Obama.

According to Reuters, NATO aims to recognize space as a domain of warfare this year, four senior diplomats said, partly to show U.S. President Donald Trump that the alliance is relevant and adapting to new threats after he signed off on the creation of a U.S. Space Force. The decision, set to be taken at a Dec. 3-4 leaders summit in London that Trump is due to attend, would formally acknowledge that battles can be waged not only on land, in the air, at sea and on computer networks, but also in space. NATO diplomats deny the alliance would be on a war footing in space, but say declaring it a domain would begin a debate over whether NATO should eventually use space weapons that can shut down enemy missiles and air defenses or destroy satellites.

According to the AP, Groundbreaking black tennis player Arthur Ashe Jr.’s hometown of Richmond, Virginia has renamed a major thoroughfare after him, after years of effort. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that thousands of people attended Saturday’s ceremony to celebrate the formal renaming of Arthur Ashe Boulevard. The event drew several elected officials. Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, renowned civil rights activist, urged the crowd to remember Ashe’s legacy. U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, a former mayor of Richmond, called the new name “an act of healing.”

According to the Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly called President Trump on Friday night and urged him to call off planned Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids hours before Trump announced he had done so. CNN reported Saturday that the House Democratic leader spoke with the president for roughly 12 minutes Friday night, hours before Trump announced on Twitter that raids in 10 cities planned for Sunday had been delayed for two weeks to give lawmakers time to reach an agreement on asylum policy and other immigration issues. Trump tweeted, “At the request of Democrats, I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border. If not, Deportations start!”

According to Reuters, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday he was not seeking war after a senior Iranian military commander warned any conflict in the Gulf region may spread uncontrollably and threaten the lives of U.S. troops. Tensions remain high after Trump said on Friday he aborted a military strike to retaliate for Iran’s downing of an unmanned U.S. drone because it could have killed 150 people. Trump has said he will impose further sanctions on Iran from Monday but has also indicated that he would be prepared to seek a deal to bolster its flagging economy, an apparent move to defuse tensions.

You can read these stories and more at

In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16 says, “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 for listening and may God bless your day!

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