Lawmakers in the US have voted to repeal Obamacare, controversial because of its tax provision, and forcing religious institutions to provide insurance coverage for abortions and contraceptives. The House has voted more than 30 times to scrap it since it was signed in March 2010. This time the repeal bill was approved 244-185, and…..5 Democrats have defected
The U.S. State Department has issued a statement to Iran demanding the immediate release of Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who has been imprisoned for over 1,000 days for following his faith, and apostasy. 35 year old Nadarkhani still faces the threat of execution for converting to Christianity and has refused to renounce his faith to get released. The American Center for Law and Justice, has been spreading awareness and leading the advocacy campaign to free Nadarkhani. So far the campaign "Tweet for Youcef" has over 2.5 million Twitter users from over 230 countries. Nadarkhani's next scheduled court date is Sept. 8
Persecution watchdog Open Doors USA plans to launch a prayer campaign to coincide with Ramadan next week. Ramadan is the Islamic month of fasting , which runs this year from July 20th until August 18th. Open Doors is offering a 30-day prayer calendar that will guide Christians through prayer points for persecuted Christians around the world. The community-wide annual fast is considered one of the five "pillars" of Islam and is a time when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset to focus on spiritual reflection. But Open Doors warns: for Christians, Ramadan can be a difficult time, where persecution is heightened because Christians do not fast or observe the Islamic tradition. They can be targeted by their government, community and family.
Reports out of Syria of two Russian military transport ships headed to that country is raising lots
of questions over what those ships are carrying. A U.S. official said the ships' expected destination is the Syrian port of Tartus. Russia says any weapons and personnel on board the ships are for reinforcement of its base in Tartus.
Meanwhile….The city of Homs is reportedly under constant fire now, with a hospital there receiving at least 86 patients a day.
And….as UN peace envoy Kofi Annan tries to revive a failed peace plan in Syria, he waded into big power politics by coming out and insisting that Iran should be involved in efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis. The West is firmly against any role for Tehran. The former UN secretary- general said Iran made clear that if the crisis got out of hand and spread to the region, it could lead to catastrophic consequences. Russia and China oppose any external measures against Al Assad but have said Iran should be involved.
An act of defiance by Egypt's new president. And a court that won't budge. Lawmakers met for just minutes... while people took to the streets.. and took sides in a stand-off over who controls the country. Take a listen……
Arabic news sources are purportedly indicating that Egypt's Salafi party has come forward with plans to destroy Egypt's Great Pyramids in an effort to bring down what it calls "symbols of paganism." Bahrain's "Sheikh of Sunni Sheikhs" and President of National Unity, Abd al-Latif al-Mahmoud, has reportedly urged Egypt's new president, Muhammad Morsi, to destroy the Pyramids. Al Mahmoud's comments relate to a companion of the Muslim prophet Muhammad who invaded Egypt in the year 641, and then began destroying Egyptian artifacts.
The alarming, mysterious illness in Cambodia that killed dozens of children has been identified. It's a combination of pathogens, combined with the inappropriate use of steroids which can suppress the immune system. The World Health Organization worked in conjunction with the Cambodian Ministry of Health. It is now being advised that patients with signs and symptoms of infection refrain from using steroids. Symptoms include: severe fever, encephalitis and breathing difficulties.