Queen Elizabeth and former Irish Republican Army commander, Martin McGuinness, have made history by shaking hands in peace. It was a long-awaited encounter symbolizing Northern Ireland's progress in achieving reconciliation after decades of violence. The Queen and McGuinness met privately in a Belfast Theatre during an arts event. McGuinness was the IRA's chief of staff when the outlawed group assassinated the queen's cousin, Lord Mountbatten, in 1979, one of the most high-profile victims of a four-decade conflict that claimed 3,700 lives. The IRA formally abandoned its campaign to force Northern Ireland out of the UK and disarmed in 2005. McGuinness' Irish nationalist party, Sinn Fein, had refused all contact with British royals until the Queen came to Belfast yesterday as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
MEANWHILE….In a separate confrontation Tuesday night, one Catholic man was hospitalized after rival Protestant and Catholic groups clashed on the hilltop overlooking Catholic west Belfast. The Protestants were trying to vandalize a massive political display erected by the Catholics featuring an Irish flag and a slogan rejecting the queen.
Gunmen raided the headquarters of a Syrian TV station, killing seven employees, kidnapping others and demolishing buildings. The government blamed terrorists and described the killings as a "massacre."
An eyewitness talks about the raid…..
Pro-government journalists have been attacked on several previous occasions during the country's 16-month uprising. The U.N. gave a dire assessment of the Syrian crisis, saying the violence has worsened since a cease-fire deal and the bloodshed appears to be taking on more dangerous, sectarian overtones.
A 24-year-old Georgia graduate student diagnosed with a rare flesh-eating infection will soon leave the hospital where doctors gave her little chance of surviving. Aimee Copeland will spend time in an inpatient rehabilitation clinic, learning to move herself with the aid of a wheelchair. The flesh-eating bacteria, necrotizing fasciitis, is caused by Strep bacteria. It invaded a deep cut she suffered. As a result, Aimee ended up having her left leg, right foot and both hands amputated. Her father, Andy, asked her what her thoughts were after this tragic ordeal, and he shares about her incredible faith in God……
The search for survivors in the mall collapse in Elliot Lake Ontario has come to a tragic end,with two bodies being removed from the rubble. Although the coroner has yet to confirm their identities locals named them as 37 year old Lucie Aylwin, a worker at the mall and retiree Doloris Perizzolo. Up to 10 people were left unaccounted for. On Monday evening, emergency crews had called off the search after the site was deemed too dangerous for crews to go in. But Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty urged them to resume the search, and to consider options that would not endanger rescue crews. No word yet on whether criminal charges will be laid. The 32 year old mall that was under reconstruction is now slated for demolition.
IN HEALTH NEWS…..
Summertime is here...and many women are a little self-conscious about varicose veins. It's a painful problem and there is an outpatient procedure that could take away the problem. Take a listen….
IN SPORTS NEWS……
A group of over 30 international investment firms and organizations, some faith-based, have joined in unity to fight against human trafficking at the Summer Olympic Games in London. The games—which run from July 27th to August 12th are expected to attract close to five million visitors and human rights organizations have expressed concern that the games will be accompanied by an increase in the trafficking of men, women, and children for… sex trafficking, forced labor, or both.