This is the Urban Christian News podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to Reuters, Islamic State struck the crowded gates of Kabul airport in a suicide bomb attack on Thursday, killing scores of civilians and 12 U.S. troops, and throwing into mayhem the airlift of tens of thousands of Afghans desperate to flee. Kabul health officials were quoted as saying 60 civilians were killed. Video shot by Afghan journalists showed dozens of bodies strewn around a canal on the edge of the airport. At least two blasts rocked the area, witnesses said. Islamic State said one of its suicide bombers targeted “translators and collaborators with the American army”. U.S. officials also blamed the group. During televised comments from the White House, U.S. President Joe Biden said of the perpetrators, “We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay. We will not be deterred by terrorists … We will continue the mission.”
According to WKRN, A Nashville Anglican pastor and his 22-year-old child were killed in a crash as the two were en-route to New Mexico earlier this week. The Tennessee Highway Patrol said Thomas and Charlie McKenzie died after their vehicle collided with a semi tractor trailer on Interstate 40 near mile marker 178 in Dickson County on Monday. A crash report states Thomas McKenzie, 50, switched lanes while traveling westbound and slammed into the back of a tractor trailer that had slowed due to traffic. Thomas and Charlie McKenzie both died as a result of the collision, according to investigators. In a statement on the Facebook page for Church of the Redeemer, an Anglican parish in Nashville, the church confirmed the passing of Thomas McKenzie, the founding pastor. “They were driving to Santa Fe, New Mexico,” where Charlie McKenzie was set to return to St. John’s College, Reverend Kenny Benge, the church’s associate pastor wrote. He said Thomas was just beginning “his well-deserved sabbatical” and asked for prayers for McKenzie’s wife, Laura and their daughter, Sophie.
According to the Associated Press, A gunman fatally shot a tourist eating dinner with his family at a Miami Beach restaurant as the man protected his 1-year-old son, police and a family member said. Tamarius Blair Davis, 22, of Norcross, Georgia, told investigators he shot Dustin Wakefield, 21, on Tuesday night because he “was high on mushrooms, which made him feel empowered,” according to his arrest report. Davis allegedly told police he approached the patio area of the La Cerveceria restaurant just before 6:30 p.m. and randomly decided to shoot Wakefield, who was on vacation from Castle Rock, Colorado. In a short video taken immediately after the shooting and obtained by WSVN-TV, the gunman can be seen dancing while people are heard screaming. The gunman then walks up some steps, the weapon in his hand. Davis fled the restaurant, police said, and was captured in a nearby alley. Cellphone video obtained by the Herald shows Davis lying spread-eagle on his back and smiling as three officers approach with their guns pointed towards him yelling commands, warning him that if he touches his gun he will be shot. Mike Wakefield, the victim’s uncle, told the Miami Herald that Dustin Wakefield died protecting his young son. Tommy Davis, the suspect’s father, told The Associated Press that his son had traveled to Miami Beach with some friends. He said his son has never been in trouble or had mental health issues. No arrest record for the younger Davis could be found. Davis is charged with murder and was being held without bond Wednesday at the Miami-Dade County Jail.
According to USA Today, In Black and Hispanic children and teens, type 2 diabetes has skyrocketed, according to a new report. The number of youth younger than age 20 living with type 2 diabetes increased by a staggering 95%, found authors of the study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Among children and teens living with the illness, the highest number per 1,000 were Black or American Indian, according to the study, funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. Type 2 diabetes is preventable and, in the U.S., is often caused by carrying extra weight, experts say. About 20% of children and teens in the U.S. are obese, according to the CDC. People who develop the disease at a younger age are more at risk for earlier complications than adults who develop it later in life.
According to WREG, A 16-year-old football player at Westwood High School died from COVID-19 and pneumonia over the weekend, his family says. The principal at Westwood High sent out an automated message to students and parents about the death of Azorean Tatum but did not say how he died. Quintina Bucker said her son Azorean Tatum, who went by the name Zo, collapsed at school on Aug.13 and was taken to Baptist Children’s Hospital, where he was diagnosed with COVID. Buckner said, “The school called me and then called the paramedics who rushed him to the hospital from there. He couldn’t stand up or anything.” She said her son was treated and released and in the days that followed continued to get worse. “I gave him Tylenol and stuff like that because he was already COVID positive. When it seemed like it was just getting worse, I called the paramedics, and they took him to Le Bonheur, and he passed at Le Bonheur.” Buckner said her son, who had asthma, was vaccinated. She said Zo appeared to be the picture of health at the start of the school year and believes he caught the coronavirus at school. She said Zo was a lovable, outgoing boy who knew how to speak his mind. Despite what happened to her son, she is encouraging everyone to get fully vaccinated.
According to the Guardian, The number of people hospitalised with Covid-19 in the US has risen above 100,000 for the first time since January, when the mass vaccination campaign was just getting under way. Figures from the US Department of Health and Human Services show that 100,317 inpatient hospital beds are now occupied by Covid patients. The return to January levels of hospitalisations underscores the devastating surge of infection from the highly contagious Delta variant of coronavirus which is spreading rapidly among unvaccinated people, especially in the US south. Hospitalisations are particularly high in Texas and Florida. This week the death rate in Florida was higher than it has ever been throughout the pandemic. A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights the mortal danger that unvaccinated Americans are now facing. It shows that people without the vaccine are about 29 times more likely to end up in hospital with Covid than those who are fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated people are also almost five times as likely to become infected as those who get the shots, the study found, basing its conclusions on data from Los Angeles county in California.
According to PEOPLE magazine, More than three dozen people — including 24 children — from a California suburb became ensnared in the unfolding chaos in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover earlier this month. The families from El Cajon, a city located 15 miles outside San Diego, had traveled to the country this summer to visit relatives, including their grandparents. Some members of the group, which also includes 16 parents, witnessed violence in and around the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul in recent days as they tried to return home. The Kabul airport is under military control and has been the focal point of U.S.-led evacuation efforts that have so far seen some 100,000 people leave the country since mid-August. Fraidoon Hassemi, an Afghan working as community liaison for the El Cajon Valley Union School District, has spoken with the families. “Nobody is doing well,” Hassemi, a naturalized citizen who came to the United States on a special visa in 2015, told the AP. “They are trying their best to get to the airport, get to their gates and get on an airplane. The situation is very horrible.”
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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!