The accused gunman in last Friday's midnight movie massacre in Colorado – James Holmes – reportedly mailed a notebook on July 12th….."full of details about how he was going to kill people" to a University of Colorado psychiatrist . But the parcel sat unopened in a mailroom before its discovery Monday. A law enforcement source reported there were also drawings in the notebook.
Some updates on Syria: President Bashar al Assad has reshuffled his inner circle. He has named five officials to top security posts; one of the appointments replaces al Assad's national security chief who died last week after a rebel bombing that also killed three other officials. Meanwhile….. Turkey has sealed off its border with Syria to trucks, effectively cutting off a trade relationship once worth almost $3 billion. Deteriorating security was behind the closure. Turkey was a Syrian ally but the relationship has cooled since the uprising. And as the battle rages on, Israel's military chief says the Syrian army has stepped up security around the country's chemical weapons stocks. Israel has had its eyes peeled to that stockpile in fear that Lebanon's Hezbollah militants could seize it if the central government in Damascus collapses. Israeli leaders have warned that they are prepared to attack the weapons storehouses to prevent that from happening.
The International AIDS Conference going on in Washington D-C this week included a presentation of new scientific information and developments on the deadly virus. Microsoft co-founder and H-I-V/AIDS advocate Bill Gates is attending the event. So far the "Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation" has given billions of dollars to help fight H-I-V and AIDS. Gates said a vaccine is essential to ending the epidemic….
And……in response to the AIDS Conference Franklin Graham has shared about how the Church should act toward those infected with HIV. Reverend Graham , who serves as the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, said the Church should not condone behaviors contrary to scriptural doctrine, but it should show compassion toward victims of the disease, and reach out. Samaritan's Purse has been working with those affected by the disease since the 1980s, and Graham praised government officials who have recognized the church as a valuable resource in the fight against it. In particular Graham mentioned George W. Bush, whose President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief allowed faith-based organizations like Samaritan's Purse to participate in offering special health programs.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is on tour overseas, meeting with some of America's key allies. Here, you can see him arriving in London. His visit comes ahead of the start of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. And Romney is expected to attend the opening ceremony this friday. During his visit to the UK, Romney plans on meeting Prime Minister David Cameron and U-K foreign secretary, William Hague. After Britain, Romney heads to Israel to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu, and then he's off to Poland.
Scotland could become the first part of the UK to allow same-sex marriages. Scotland's government has announced plans to legalize it. Legislation will soon be introduced. While Civil partnerships in Scotland offer the same legal treatment as marriage, they are still seen as distinct from marriage. Legalizing gay marriage has backing from the major Scottish political parties. But it was strongly opposed by the Catholic Church and Church of Scotland.
Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has encouraged Christians to talk openly about their faith and not be embarrassed. Blair once admitted he avoided talking about his religious beliefs while Prime Minister….. for fear of being labelled a quote "nutter". Blair was taking part in a debate in Westminster about faith in public life with Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Blair laughed as he recalled the instruction from his then press secretary, Alistair Campbell, not to "do God". He also admitted that he had once ordered two reluctant aides to get down on their knees in prayer during a meeting with members of the Salvation Army.
IN SPORTS NEWS….
The first event of the London Olympics kicked off yesterday, two days ahead of the official opening ceremony. The "Team GB" women's soccer team began the competition against New Zealand. Great Britain won 1 nil. Canada lost 2-1 against Japan. As London geared up for the colossal event Queen Elizabeth delivered her greetings…..
And…on the down side of the event……Nine track and field athletes were suspended yesterday for doping . Eight of them received two-year suspensions and one drew a four-year ban. They join the 107 athletes that were ruled out of the Olympic games in the six months up to mid-June because of doping suspensions. World Anti-Doping Agency President John Fahey announced this week the results of a program designed to test athletes under suspicion before they arrived in London. 5000 more tests are planned.