1. Reuters – U.S. Republican lawmakers struggling to overcome differences over new healthcare legislation confronted a stark choice after President Donald Trump delivered an ultimatum: pass the bill on Friday or keep Obamacare in place. Trump, a real estate magnate who touted his dealmaking prowess in the 2016 presidential campaign, faced the first major test of how well his skills would translate in Congress. Days of negotiations failed to produce a deal amid opposition from moderates and conservatives in his own Republican Party, and it was far from clear the bill had enough support to pass. The House of Representatives was set to vote late Friday afternoon on the Trump-backed bill to replace Democratic President Barack Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act.
2. Reuters – The U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee will ask the directors of FBI and the National Security agency to appear in a closed session in its probe of allegations of Russian interference in U.S. elections and U.S. spy agency surveillance of President Donald Trump’s team, the head of the panel said on Friday. Nunes also told reporters that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s lawyers informed the committee that he is volunteering to be interviewed by the committee, and that the panel will work with his lawyers to decide whether the interview would be open or closed to the public. The committee hopes to hold a closed session with FBI Director Comey and NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers on Tuesday.
3. Reuters – A white Chicago police officer accused of murder in the shooting death of a black teenager was charged on Thursday with 16 new counts of aggravated battery, in a case that sparked national debate over police use of force against minorities. Jason Van Dyke pleaded not guilty through his attorney in a Chicago courtroom to 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm that were issued by a grand jury on March 16 and unsealed on Thursday by a special prosecutor, local media reported.
4. CP – Christians displaced by the brutal Boko Haram terrorist group in Nigeria are being denied access to food and vital assistance at a number of displacement camps run by local Muslim organizations, according to a leading Christian persecution watchdog. As Boko Haram continues its reign of terror in Sub-Saharan African nation, over 2 million residents have been forced to flee from their homes in the last eight years since the terror group’s uprising. According to the Christian humanitarian organization Open Doors USA, as many as 1.8 million people in Nigeria are currently facing starvation. While there are several displacement camps set up throughout the country to aid those vulnerable, displaced and hungry families, there are a number of camps where Christians are being discriminated against and, in some instances, being told that the food and relief “is not for Christians.”
5. One News Now – The term “evangelical” is taken from the word evangelize, but it turns out that most who claim to be the former don’t really do the latter. Veteran pollster George Barna finds that just 25 percent of self-described Christians even think that it’s part of their job to share their faith. Among those who say they’re born again, that number is still below 50 percent. An author and long-time researcher, Barna currently leads the American Culture and Faith Institute, which tracks religious faith in the US. “People who have that kind of personal relationship with Christ, and depend upon him and him alone for their salvation,” says Barna “are less and less willing to share that kind of gift with other people.”
6. News One – Howard University faculty and administrators released a scathing letter last week calling for the ouster of HU president Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick, saying that his “presidency is failed and represents a dark and shameful moment in Howard’s history.” The undated letter, which copied members of the Washington Post, New York Times, U.S. News and World Report as well as organizations such at the United Negro College Fund and the Federal Reserve Bank, was signed by “Concerned Howard University Administrators, Faculty and Staff.” An asterisk by the writers notes that they chose to remain anonymous because of fear of reprisals from Frederick and his provost, Dr. Anthony K. Wutoh.
7. Reuters – The United States has imposed sanctions on 30 foreign companies or individuals for transferring sensitive technology to Iran for its missile program or for violating export controls on Iran, North Korea and Syria, the State Department said on Friday. Eleven companies or individuals from China, North Korea or the United Arab Emirates were sanctioned for technology transfers that could boost Tehran’s ballistic missile program, the State Department said in a statement. Nineteen entities or individuals were sanctioned for other violations under the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act, it said. They are believed to have transferred or acquired sensitive technology that could contribute to development of weapons of mass destruction.
As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: Romans 8:31 says, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”
Frank A. Clark said, “Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.”
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!