This is the Black Christian News Network One podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to the AP, Joe Biden named California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate on Tuesday, making history by selecting the first Black woman to compete on a major party’s presidential ticket and acknowledging the vital role Black voters will play in his bid to defeat President Donald Trump. “I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate,” Biden tweeted. In a text message to supporters, Biden said, “Together, with you, we’re going to beat Trump.” Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington. In choosing Harris, Biden is embracing a former rival from the Democratic primary who is familiar with the unique rigor of a national campaign. Harris, a 55-year-old first-term senator, is also one of the party’s most prominent figures and quickly became a top contender for the No. 2 spot after her own White House campaign ended. Harris, who is also Indian American, joins Biden in the 2020 race at a moment of unprecedented national crisis. The coronavirus pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 150,000 people in the U.S., far more than the toll experienced in other countries. Business closures and disruptions resulting from the pandemic have caused an economic collapse. Unrest, meanwhile, has emerged across the country as Americans protest racism and police brutality. Trump’s uneven handling of the crises has given Biden an opening, and he enters the fall campaign in strong position against the president. In adding Harris to the ticket, he can point to her relatively centrist record on issues such as health care and her background in law enforcement in the nation’s largest state.
According to CNN, Police Chief Carmen Best announced her retirement Monday night, shortly after Seattle’s City Council voted to cut nearly $4 million from the police department’s budget. Best’s announcement came on the same day the council approved the mid-year budget cut from the police department’s 2019-2020 budget of $400 million. The reduction to the police department budget will equate to $11 million over the course of a year, an amount that is far less than a 50% budget cut that had earlier been discussed. Seattle City Council President M. Lorena González said in a statement that the city council rebalanced the budget in light of the economic crisis brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and calls to redistribute funds from policing to community programs in the wake of the protests following the death of George Floyd. Best said in a letter to members of the police force: “I want to thank Mayor (Jenny) Durkan for her continuous support through good times and tough times. I am confident the department will make it through these difficult times.” The chief stressed on Tuesday that her decision “is not about the money,” but about losing part of the team she said she had worked hard to put together. “It really is about the overarching lack of respect for the officers, the men and women who work so hard, day in and day out.” Best said her retirement will be effective September 2. Durkan said Deputy Chief Adrian Diaz will become interim chief.
According to Charisma News, According to the Cleveland Banner of Cleveland, Tennessee, the board of directors for Voice of Evangelism (VOE) issued a recent statement “announcing that evangelist Perry Stone has stepped aside from the pulpit and his travel ministry in response to behavior that ‘deviated from the biblical standards set in place for VOE leadership.’” Stone, 61, who founded the Cleveland-based VOE in 1979, hosts the Manna-fest TV program and preaches to thousands around the world. He has written dozens of books and recorded more than 100 DVDs and CDs, reports the Chattanooga Times Free Press. According to the Banner, the statement, released by VOE media relations spokesperson John Rodriguez, said that in April 2020, the board placed Stone “on sabbatical for rest and restoration,” citing serious health concerns “related to spiritual and physical burnout” that included dangerously high blood pressure. Rodriguez also said “a couple” of employees at VOE had met with the board to address concerns of “inappropriate words and actions” on Stone’s part. At the board’s direction, Stone has stepped aside from his preaching and travel ministry “for an extended period of time.” The board stated that the issues in question were “civil and not criminal,” and included an apology from Stone in its statement: “I have asked God and my precious wife Pam to forgive me. And I humbly and sincerely ask those who are hurt or offended by my actions to also forgive me. It is my hope that by the grace of God we will all be able to walk in healing and restoration.” In an audio statement “played for a small, in-person group of church members” and obtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Stone reportedly said he “acted inappropriately with female employees” and that this occurred because of the stress of his ministry work. Stone also asked forgiveness for letting down the high standards he set and that he is receiving professional counseling at an out-of-state clinic.
According to Charisma News, Liberty University has announced that Chairman Jerry Prevo has accepted the appointment by the executive committee of the board to serve as the acting president of the university. This follows the announcement on Aug. 7 that the board of trustees and President Jerry Falwell Jr. agreed to Falwell’s indefinite leave of absence. All members of the board expressed their support for the executive committee’s appointment of Dr. Prevo in a meeting today. This announcement comes two weeks before the start of the 2020-21 academic year. Dr. Prevo has served on the Liberty University board of trustees since 1996 and has been the board chairman since 2003. He recently retired as the senior pastor of Anchorage Baptist Temple in Anchorage, Alaska, after serving that community for 47 years. Dr. Prevo said, “I want to thank my fellow board members for having confidence that I could be entrusted with the responsibility of serving as the acting president during this time of Jerry Falwell Jr.’s indefinite leave of absence. We have a world-class leadership team at Liberty University who will support me in running our operations on a day-to-day basis and fulfilling our spiritual mission unabated: ‘Training Champions for Christ.’ Please pray for us as well as the Falwell family as we embark on our academic year and so we may continue to be united in our common purpose and our faith in Christ.”
According to Daily Mail, More than 860 students and teachers from a single school district in Georgia are currently quarantining after dozens of COVID-19 infections were reported when in-person classes resumed a week ago. Schools in the Cherokee County district have asked 826 students and 42 teachers to quarantine for 14 days due to possible coronavirus exposure just six days into the new school year. The 42,000-student district, which is just outside Atlanta, said on Monday that 38 students and 12 teachers had tested positive for the virus in the week that in-person classes resumed. Those who have been asked to quarantine were identified as part of the district’s contact tracing efforts as people who may have come into close contact with an infected student or teacher. The school district drew national attention last week when a photo of students at Etowah High School squeezed together for first-day-of-school senior photos without wearing masks.
According to CNN, The Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences each voted Tuesday to postpone college football and all other fall sports seasons as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 global pandemic, a development that may signal the beginning of the end for all sports at the collegiate level in 2020. Both leagues hope to play football in the spring. Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said, “As time progressed and after hours of discussion with our Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, it became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall. Everyone associated with the Big Ten Conference and its member institutions is committed to getting everyone back to competition as soon as it is safe to do so.” University of Michigan Athletic Director Warde Manuel said the conference “will continue to evaluate a number of options” regarding fall sports, “including the possibility of competition in the spring.”
According to The Christian Post, Grammy Award-winning singer Kelly Rowland slammed cancel culture, saying it’s created a god complex in those promoting it. The former Destiny’s Child singer took to Instagram Thursday to thank God for His grace and forgiveness. “In this ‘cancel culture’ we live in, I am SO grateful God NEVER canceled me, and I’m sure he could’ve many-a-times!” she declared. The “Dirty Laundry” singer encouraged everyone to stop passing judgment. “Let us TRY to remember NOT to judge others,” she continued. “We HONESTLY don’t have the space nor authority too! Let us remember to lead with love & kindness, the world has enough negativity, for you to pour more into it!” Rowland concluded the post with the hashtag “#StopTryinToBeGod.”
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In closing, remember, 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!