During a three-hour delay caused by bad weather on Friday, members of the famed Philadelphia Orchestra brought sweet relief to fellow passengers on a flight stuck on a tarmac in Beijing by giving an impromptu performance that left the audience clamoring for more.
A video of their performance posted on YouTube on Friday had already been viewed more than 100,000 times early Saturday morning.
"Ni hao," begins a member of the team in announcing the group to the passengers. "The Philadelphia Orchestra is on tour in China and on the way to Macau, and our musicians would like to offer you a musical surprise," she said to cheers from the passengers who quickly brandished cameras and other recording devices to capture the event. more >>
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) cited Jesus and St. Augustine as he criticized some Republicans and evangelical Christians for being "too eager for war," in a Christian Broadcasting Network interview.
When asked to explain his views on "just war theory," Paul said, "I think part of Republicans' problems, and, frankly, to tell you the truth, some in the evangelical Christian movement, I think have appeared too eager for war."
Paul has been critical of U.S. involvement in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and would like to see the U.S. military reduced in size. His father, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), was the only Republican presidential candidate last year who argued for a quick reduction in U.S. military involvement abroad. Rand Paul has said he is considering running for president in 2016. more >>
As Pope Francis delivered an Easter Sunday message of peace, the U.S. sent out fighter jets to the Korean peninsula for military drills amid rising tensions and the danger of war.
"Peace in Asia, above all on the Korean peninsula: may disagreements be overcome and a renewed spirit of reconciliation grow," Pope Francis stated, speaking in Italian. He was speaking in his first Easter Sunday address since being appointed leader of the Roman Catholic Church, greeting over 250,000 people from the central balcony at St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.
On Thursday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to punish North Korea for its February nuclear test, imposing a fourth round of tougher sanctions on the Asian country.
The sanction vote came hours after the country threatened a preemptive nuclear attack against the U.S.
In a statement released by the Korean Central News Agency, considered to be a mouthpiece for the state, the country argued that the United States "is set to light a fuse for a nuclear war," adding that, in response, North Korea "will exercise the right to a preemptive nuclear attack to destroy the strongholds of the aggressors and to defend the supreme interests of the country." more >>
The Christian persecution watchdog group Open Doors USA is calling on Christians to pray for a period of calm in Egypt in light of a volatile political atmosphere and massive protests planned for Cairo on Tuesday. Demonstrations and violence have been on the increase since President Mohammed Morsi issued a decree last Thursday that gives him more legislative power and protects his decisions from any judicial oversight.
"We as Christians need to pray that that there will not be mass killings on the scale we saw at the start of the revolution almost two years ago," Open Doors communications director Jerry Dykstra told The Christian Post Monday. "Egypt needs a period of calm, not more violence. But obviously Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have hijacked the high hopes of the revolution while increasing the persecution of Christians."
On Monday, Morsi told the nation's top judges that he did not infringe on their authority when he declared that he has near absolute powers, The Associated Press reported. A prolonged showdown between supporters and opponents of the Islamist leader appears inevitable. The large protests planned for Tuesday could be extremely intense, according to observers. more >>
An interfaith group that brings Christians and Jews together for common goals, including the support of Israel, announced on Friday that it will increase its funding of emergency aid for families in southern Israel. Rocket attacks on cities in southern Israel occurred this week and are said to be continuing as the IDF launches a wide assault on what it describes as "terror activity sites" and military infrastructure in Gaza Strip.
The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) said that $2.7 million in funds will go to an emergency and security aid package that includes supplies for the people in communities under fire, including Netivot, Sderot, Kiryat Malachi, Kiryat Gat, Sdot Negev, and Eshkol.
"With 20 percent of the nation's people in bomb shelters today, improving the security of the residents of the south is a vital priority for The Fellowship," said Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and CEO of The Fellowship. "The untenable situation of more than 1 million residents living under constant threat of rocket fire must top the list of concerns of every friend of Israel. We are working hand-in-hand with the Israel Ministry for Home Front Defense and the IDF, and we will continue to cooperate to ensure the security of Israel's people." more >>