White House Calls on US Pastor’s Release from Iranian Prison
We told you about American Pastor Saeed Abedini’s sentence by an Iranian judge to 8 years in prison. Now the Obama Administration is calling on Iran to release Pastor Abedini. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says the State Department is actively engaged in the case and, "We condemn Iran's continued violation of the universal right of freedom of religion, and we call on the Iranian authorities to release Mr. Abedini." Pastor Abedini was convicted of threatening the national security of Iran with his leadership in Christian house churches.
The US Senate overwhelmingly confirmed John Kerry as
Secretary of State. He replaces Hillary Clinton as the nation’s top diplomat.
The confirmation vote was 94-3.
PED’s Raise Ugly Head Again
The New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez denies claims
he bought a performance enhancing drug from a Miami clinic. Several other prominent Major
League Baseball players names also reportedly appear on a list linked to the
clinic, which has been known for providing performing enhancing drugs in the
past. So far, all have denied the allegations. And most of the names mentioned
have never before been linked to banned substance use.
Obama Promotes Immigration Bil
President Obama traveled to Las Vegas yesterday to push for a fast-track
of immigration reform. A bi-partisan “Gang of 8” Senators introduced a
comprehensive immigration plan Monday.
Twitter is trying to keep it clean. They are banning searches for explicit material on their new video app. The Guardian says they are also deleting x-rated user accounts. This comes after some graphic material was posted. Twitter apologized for the mistake. It’s a good reminder to make sure there are filters on the media your kids absorb. And better yet, YOU monitor what they do and teach them how to be a discerning consumer.
New Blackberry Launches
the new Blackberry is here. Research in Motion unveils the Blackberry 10 operating system to power its new line of smart phones. R-I-M is hoping to regain some of the market presence it lost to Apple's iPhone and Android-based smart phones. This morning's unveiling in New York is scheduled for 10am ET.
Transportation Secretary Stepping Down
Ray LaHood is stepping down from his post as Transportation
Secretary. He has held that position since 2009. La Hood will remain there
until his replacement is confirmed by the Senate. La Hood is the most recent
cabinet member of several to announce their departure for the President’s
The Queen is Abdicating Her Throne!
Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands says she is abdicating
her throne in favor of her 45 year old son, Prince Willem-Alexander. The Queen
has been head of state since 1980. She said it’s time for the crown to be held
by a new generation. Prince Willem-Alexander will become the first King of The
Netherlands since Willem III, who died in 1890. the new king is said to be a
well-trained pilot and an expert in water management. Maybe he can design a
bigger and better moat for the castle!
Dog Food Recall
If Fido isn’t up to his normal, playful self, check his
snacks. Hartz is recalling some of their dog treats because they could have an
antibiotic in them. No dogs have called in sick. This recall is a precautionary
measure. The Food and Drug Administration website has more info at www.FDA.gov.
Church Around the World
Muslim Group Threatens Egypt's Coptic Christians, Tells
Them to 'Pay Tribute'
Want something big to pray about? An armed Islamic movement
calling itself the "Brigade of Muslims" released a statement on
Saturday threatening Egypt's
Coptic Christians and asking them to pay tribute, the Christian Post reports.
is an Islamic country and will be ruled according to sharia," the
statement said. The movement threatened all Egyptian media professionals who
"mock religion and Islamic rule," warning that their persistence in
mocking would result in the "shedding of their blood in the ugliest way."
Family & Relationships
How important is a dad? If you are a dad, is it enough for
you to just be a good provider for yor family? Focus on the Family’s, Leon
Wirth says “no.” he says, “All of the research shows,
across the board, whether you’re looking socially, emotionally, relationally,
economically, spiritually – the presence of an engaged dad in a kid’s life
makes a huge, difference. So first of all, we have to be Intentional with our
mindset. Do I matter? Yes, I matter. That’s got to be the motivation and the
foundation for every other step I take with Intentionality.” And for
even MORE on intentionality as a dad—and as a person—listen today at noon and
7pm for the Intentional Living Program with Doctor Randy Carlson. And find
helpful resources at www.TheIntentionalLife.com.
Feeding the Hungry
As you gear up for the Superbowl this weekend, is soup on
your menu? The Food Depot in Santa Fe New Mexico raised 60 thousand dollars to help fight
hunger in Northern New Mexico with their
annual Souper Bowl. Director Sherry Hooper says for every dollar that’s donated
to us we’re able to provide enough food for four meals. Jambo Café took home
the Best Soup prize for the fourth year in a row. The winning soup, Spiced
Coconut Cream Guava-Lime with Crispy Plantains.
Finances & Economy
Home Prices Up
The housing market is recovering. Home prices are up. Phoenix, Arizona
leads the way in that regard. The numbers do reflect the fact that the pulse
was taken in the winter. Often times other markets don’t do well during the
colder months. The housing recovery is still lagging in the northeast and Midwest states.