American Pastor Sentenced in Iran
We have an update on American Pastor Saeed Abedini. A British newspaper says he has now been
sentenced to eight years in one of Iran’s harshest prisons for
preaching Christianity in Iranian homes.
Jordan Sekulow with the American
Center for Law and Justice
says, “These house churches are 25 people coming
together, essentially a bible study size. Imagine if it was a crime to get
together. They have to prove that this was intentionally a crime against their
national security. That’s the official charge.” Pastor Abedini has been
held since September. His family tried
to visit him then, but guards told them they didn’t know where he was. The family is now trying to get the State
Court Rules Obama Administration Overstepped Authority
President Barack Obama is overstepping his authority, that’s
according to an appeals court. Friday, a federal appeals court made that
decision in regards to some appointments he made last year. He appointed some
members to the National Labor Relations Board. The White House says these
appointments were made when the Senate was in recess. The court says because it
was during a time the Senate was in session, his appointments are
unconstitutional. The Department of Justice may appeal this decision. If the
court decision stands, decisions made in the interim would be void.
Warns it May Strike Syria
issuing new warnings about a possible strike against Syria to try to prevent chemical
weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists. Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom says
allowing those weapons into the hands of these extremist groups would be
crossing a line. This latest discussion
comes as part of Israel’s
Iron Dome missile defense system was moved.
President Obama says he’s still weighing whether to intervene in Syria.
Is Immigration Deal Imminent?
There’s word out of Washington
that there may be a bipartisan agreement on changes to the nation’s immigration
laws. The deal is expected to be
announced later today and is said to cover border security, guest workers,
employer verification, and a path to citizenship for the 11-million people
already here illegally. Eight senators
are said to be at the forefront of the deal, including both Senators from Arizona and Marco Rubio from Florida.
Night Club Fire
More than 230 people have died after a fire broke out in a
night club in Brazil. It was touched off by a band’s pyrotechnic
display, and there’s some evidence to suggest that security may have briefly
prevented people from leaving. Police
there are investigating.
Church Around the World
Christian Persecution in China
The family of a Christian human rights attorney from China
was allowed to visit him in prison this month.
It’s the first visit Gao Zhisheng has been allowed since March of last
year. He’s been a vocal defendant of
house churches in China,
and was first detained in 2009.
International pressure led to his release, but he’s since been
imprisoned again for allegedly violating his probation. Authorities have not been allowing him any
visitation or counsel, and Christian Solidarity Worldwide says they remain
concerned for his safety.
Family & Relationships
Sleep Helps Your Marriage
A good night’s sleep may be the best thing for your
marriage. A new study out of UC-Berkeley
shows that sleep deprivation can leave couples too tired to even say thank you,
and that lack of gratitude leaves their honey feeling taken for granted. One of the study’s authors says “You may have
slept like a baby, but if your spouse didn’t – you’ll probably both be grouchy.”
Hit the Interview Trail Early
You’re on time.
You’re dressed well. You’ve even
already made out the thank you note, but if you really want to land that job –
pay special attention to when you interview.
New research out of the University
of Pennsylvania and
Harvard suggests interviewing early in the day, and if you know who your
competition is – pick a different day if you can. They looked at nearly a decade of data and
found that people who interview later in the day usually end up ranked lower
because they get compared with solid candidates from earlier in the day.
Finances & Economy
Home Prices Up as Sales Dip
Not as many people bought a new house last month by
comparison to November. The US Census Bureau says new home sales fell 7.3% last
month. Even though the December numbers were down, 2012 saw more sales than
2011. 2012 posted the strongest home sale numbers in three years.
New research suggests 80-percent% of strokes can be
prevented. Dr. Leigh Connealy says by
doing three simple things – Not smoking, reducing your high blood pressure, and
maintaining a healthy weight you can be pretty sure you’ll avoid a stroke. He also recommends omega 3’s, garlic and
ginger – and staying active.
Mental Health Focus
The nation continues to discuss mental health in the wake of
the school shootings in Connecticut
last month. The National Council for
Behavioral Health has started a new program they think will help – called Youth
Mental Health First Aid. It’s focused on
12-25 year olds and identifies not only the symptoms, but effective treatment
options. www.TheNationalCouncil.org has
For those of you who are concerned about getting the flu
shot, Doctor Cass Ingram has some natural remedies to either prevent it, or
clear it up. He says eating more garlic, onions, citrus and cinnamon will help.
He has more advice in his book: The Cure is in the Cupboard.