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  1. (Worthy News) - U.S. Senator Susan Collins rebuffed intense lobbying from fellow Republicans and the promise of money for her state in deciding on Monday to oppose - and likely doom - her party’s last-ditch effort to repeal Obamacare. The most moderate of Republican senators joined John McCain and Rand Paul in rejecting the bill to end Obamacare. It was a major blow for President Donald Trump who has made undoing Democratic former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law a top priority since the 2016 campaign and who pressured Collins in a call on Monday. The bill’s sweeping cut in funding to Medicaid, a program for low income citizens and disabled children, was her top reason for opposing the bill, said Collins, from the state of Maine where 20 percent of the population depend on the program. [ Source (Read More...) ] View the full article
  2. (Worthy News) - International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on September 14, a Muslim mob in the village of Tawa in Minya attacked the local Coptic Christian community. Homes, businesses, and cars were destroyed and three Copts suffered minor injuries. These attacks were in retaliation against a Facebook post which was widely shared among Christians. The author, a 22-year-old Christian resident of Tawa named Bassem, had written the post in May following the deadly attack by Islamic extremists against a caravan of Coptic Christians traveling to the Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor. Bassem wrote on May 27: “Are we (Copts) Egyptians not from Egypt? No matter that you try to hurt us, one day all your ways will fail. Do you think that I cry? Never! I don't cry because I trust in Jesus very much, I prostrate to him and he loves me. He never leaves me one day. When you demolish the homes of his children, you attack himself. I ask Jesus to touch your heart and change you. Our Lord knows and see what is happening to us. Continue and increase your terrorism, but I'm not afraid because it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of God.” At the end of the post, Bassem shared photos of Salafi Sheikhs whom he believed bore responsibility for inciting extremist violence against Christians. Bassem deleted the post the next day, on May 28, but not before it had spread across social media. It wasn’t until four months later that a Muslim villager in Tawa saw the post on the Facebook page of Bassem’s friend, Mena. The post then spread among some of the Muslim villagers, who considered the post an insult to Islam. Essam, a Christian resident in Tawa and an eyewitness to the mob’s violence, told ICC, “Many Muslims gathered and the mob began to attack Christian homes and shops. They were pelting stones at the homes while shouting ‘Allah Akbar.’ They hurled bricks and stones at Mar Girgis (St. George) Coptic Orthodox Church despite the presence of some security guards who had been assigned to guard the church, but the guards couldn’t confront the huge number of the mob. The police then arrived in the village, controlled the situation, and arrested Muslim villagers. The security forces have now deployed across the streets of the village.” On September 15, the governor of Mina and the security director toured the village while accompanied by a number of parliamentarians as well as Islamic and Christian clerics. The same day, the prosecution detained 19 Muslims pending an investigation into the violence. The prosecution also ordered the arrest of Bassem and Mena, charging them with insulting Islamic figures and inciting sectarian strife. Both Christian men have fled the village. Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “Egypt’s Coptic Christian community has greatly suffered at the hands of Islamic extremists. In Tawa, Christian men, women, and children were once again terrorized by those who have no desire for peace. This violence is unacceptable. We are relieved to learn that Bassem and Mena were not injured by the mob, but alarmed about the prosecution’s decision to charge them although they were clearly targets of the mob’s violence. We pray for their safety and that of their fellow villagers. The authorities need to be more intentional in protecting the lives and property of Egypt’s Christians.” View the full article
  3. (Worthy News) - An organization with ties to the Chinese Communist Party has unveiled new plans on how the government can enforce its restrictions on churches, including forced registration with state-run Christian institutions. On Sept. 8, the Association of Christian Students, an institution sympathetic to the Chinese government, published a report describing plans to launch a specialized management program targeting private churches, "illegal" religious organizations, and preachers who have not been ordained by the state. Under the new program, churches will be forced to register with the state-run Three-Self Patriotic Movement, and smaller house churches will be forcibly combined with registered churches. [ Source: Christian Times (Read More...) ] View the full article
  4. (Worthy News) - Hurricane Maria caused an estimated $40 billion to $85 billion in insured losses, mostly in Puerto Rico, catastrophe-modeling firm AIR Worldwide said Monday. Maria was the worst storm to hit Puerto Rico since 1928 and devastated the island, causing widespread property damage and power outages. The storm also caused extensive damage in Dominica. More than 85% of the insured loss is in Puerto Rico, AIR said. The firm’s preliminary damage estimate is higher than the firm’s estimates for Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in Texas in August, and Hurricane Irma, which passed through the Caribbean before reaching Florida earlier this month. [ Source (Read More...) ] View the full article
  5. (Worthy News) - Violent crime rose by 4.1 percent and homicides by 8.6 percent in 2016, according to FBI crime data released Monday, marking a second straight year of increases. While the violent crime rate is still low by historic standards, the Justice Department said the 2016 increase was the largest in 25 years, and it underscores Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ warnings of an impending surge. “For the sake of all Americans, we must confront and turn back the rising tide of violent crime. And we must do it together,” Mr. Sessions said. [ Source (Read More...) ] View the full article
  6. (Worthy News) - Despite an all-time low in relations between the Riyadh government and the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas, a leading Saudi newspaper has offered a cautious welcome to the current reconciliation process between Hamas and its rival Fatah as they prepare for next week’s session of the Palestine National Council in Gaza — the first such meeting in three years. “That Hamas and Fatah will confront their differences and resolve their issues allows for a new phase of Palestinian politics that will bring back the focus on ending Israel’s occupation and the Palestinian campaign for statehood,” the English-language Saudi Gazette stated in an editorial on Saturday. “No lasting peace with the Palestinians can exclude Hamas and its supporters.” The editorial suggested that Hamas still has opportunity to get back into the good graces of Saudi officials if it falls into line behind the kingdom’s “Arab Peace Initiative,” which calls for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [ Source (Read More...) ] View the full article
  7. (Worthy News) - Supermarkets are gradually re-opening in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico but the situation is far from normal and many customers are going home disappointed. Most food stores and restaurants remain closed. That is largely because power is out for most of the island and few have generators or enough diesel to power them. The shops that were open Monday had long lines outside and vast empty shelves where they once held milk, meat and other perishables. Drinking water was nowhere to be found. Mercedes Caro shook her head in frustration as she emerged from the SuperMax in the Condado neighborhood of San Juan with a loaf of white bread, cheese and bananas. "There is no water and practically no food," she said. "Not even spaghetti." [ Source (Read More...) ] View the full article
  8. (Worthy News) - Texans are still reeling from the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey, but Franklin Graham believes it's time for revival. Graham announced Monday that he is heading to the Lone Star state to hold a series of one-day evangelistic events aimed at bringing the nation together through worship and prayer. "We will pray together for this great state, for storm victims who are on the difficult road to recovery, and for our country. I'll bring a message of hope that people desperately need to hear," Graham wrote in a Facebook post. [ Source (Read More...) ] View the full article
  9. (Worthy News) - The 22-year-old church usher who is being credited with tackling a gunman who opened fire at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee, say's he is not a hero. "I do not want to be labeled a hero," Engle said in a statement released to the media. "The real heroes are the police, first responders and medical staff and doctors who have helped me and everyone affected." Engle, who has attended the church his whole life, often posts inspirational quotes about his faith on Facebook. [ Source (Read More...) ] View the full article
  10. (Worthy News) - Four Israelis were attacked Tuesday morning in the town of Har Adar outside Jerusalem. Three died of their injuries, while one is in serious condition. According to an initial report by the Border Police, the four were attacked during a patrol in the small community located west of Jerusalem. Paramedics on the scene said they suffered from gunshot and stab wounds. The assailant was reportedly neutralized. [ Source (Read More...) ] View the full article
  11. (Worthy News) - Iranian state television released video footage Friday claiming to show the launch of a new type of medium-range ballistic missile, a few hours after it was displayed during a military parade in Tehran. But it turns out Iran never fired a ballistic missile, sources say. The video released by the Iranians was more than seven months old – dating back to a failed launch in late January, which resulted in the missile exploding shortly after liftoff, according to two U.S. officials. [ Source (Read More...) ] View the full article
  12. (Worthy News) - A top North Korean official said Monday that President Trump has “declared war on our country,” and warned that Pyongyang could shoot down any U.S. warplanes flying nearby. North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho said his country considers Mr. Trump’s comment last week that North Korea’s leaders “wouldn’t be around much longer” as an act of war. “At last, he declared a war on our country,” Mr. Ri told reporters in New York City. “Even the fact that this comes from someone who is currently holding the seat of the United States presidency, this is clearly a declaration of war.” [ Source (Read More...) ] View the full article
  13. (Worthy News) - Church members praised an usher who confronted the gunman in a deadly shooting at a Tennessee church. The suspect is 25-year-old Emanuel Kidega Samson. He was in police custody after shooting himself Sunday by accident. Nashville police said Samson killed one woman in a parking lot and wounded seven other people. He is a legal U.S. resident who came from Sudan in 1996. Authorities said the ordeal began just before 11:15 Sunday morning as services at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ were being let out, CBS News correspondent Errol Barnett reports. [ Source (Read More...) ] View the full article
  14. (Worthy News) - President Donald Trump has signed a proclamation imposing strict new restrictions on travelers from a handful of countries, including five that were covered by his expiring travel ban. Administration officials say the new measures are required to keep the nation safe. The indefinite restrictions apply to citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and North Korea. As part of the presidential proclamation signed Sunday, the U.S. will also bar the entry of certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate families. The changes will take effect October 18. The announcement came the same day that Trump's temporary ban on visitors from six Muslim-majority countries was set to expire, 90 days after it went into effect. That ban had barred citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who lacked a "credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States" from entering the U.S. Only one of those countries, Sudan, will no longer be subject to travel restrictions. [ Source (Read More...) ] View the full article
  15. (Worthy News) - Israel must ask the international community to stop Iran’s nuclearization but prepare to do the task on its own in case the world fails, Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. Bennett, who is a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet, spoke before a meeting of the forum, in which the prime minister reported about his meetings with US President Donald Trump and other world leaders and his progress on the Iranian issue. The meeting was held a day after Iran tested a ballistic missile capable of reaching Israel, as security cabinet members backed Netanyahu’s call at the UN last week to either scrap or change the nuclear deal with Iran. “On the one hand, we need to persuade the US to apply paralyzing sanctions of the highest level as soon as possible,” Bennett said. “Iran must be forced to choose between the nuclear path and a prosperous economy. Since the Iran deal, they haven’t been presented that option. At the same time, Israel must prepare for the possibility that the US and the world won’t be convinced by getting ready to defend ourselves by ourselves.” [ Source: Jerusalem Post (Read More...) ] View the full article
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