Displaying items by tag: USA
A pastor attending the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl parade claims the Holy Spirit urged him and his family to leave minutes before a shooting broke out, resulting in one death and 22 injuries. Timmy Hensel, pastor of River Church Family, recounted feeling prompted to depart despite the festive atmosphere. He credits divine intervention for their safety, emphasising the importance of recognising God's guidance. Hensel expresses gratitude for being spared and prays for the victims of the incident. Two men have been charged in connection with the shooting, which erupted from a verbal altercation. The pastor's testimony highlights the role of faith amidst tragedy, underscoring the community's grief and the need for spiritual discernment in challenging times.
The US military has conducted four ‘self-defence’ strikes against Houthi forces in Yemen, destroying seven cruise missiles, a mobile ballistic missile launcher, and a drone aimed towards the Red Sea. These were regarded as an imminent threat to merchant vessels and US Navy ships. Israel's Arrow missile defence system intercepted an air attack from the Red Sea direction near Eilat. The Houthis, controlling populous Yemen regions, have targeted vessels tied to the US, UK, and Israel since November. The USA condemns their actions as terrorism, citing attacks on civilians and shipping, but the Houthis claim that their actions are in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. Their attacks have disrupted global commerce, rerouting ships around Africa, exacerbating humanitarian crises in regions like Sudan, Ethiopia, and Yemen. Meanwhile, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has urged Hamas to drop their ‘absurd’ demands for releasing Israeli hostages: see
A recent Gallup poll reveals a notable decline in overall life satisfaction among Americans, with only 47% expressing high fulfilment, marking a near-record low. This dip, observed for only the third time in two decades, is attributed to concerns over national affairs and economic challenges. However, certain groups demonstrate higher satisfaction levels, notably regular churchgoers. About 56% of Americans attending weekly religious services report high personal life satisfaction, compared to 41% of those who seldom or never attend. The findings indicate a persistent correlation between church attendance, faith engagement, and enhanced life satisfaction. For instance, 92% of weekly church attendees are satisfied with their lives, with 67% being very satisfied. Additionally, churchgoers report relatively stable 'excellent' mental health over recent years. These encouraging yet challenging results highlight the significant role of church involvement and Christian faith in fostering happiness and well-being.
Usher Raymond IV, renowned for his two-decade-long music career, attributes his stability to his faith, especially as he gears up for his performance at Super Bowl 58. Usher, who began singing in his church choir at a young age, expressed gratitude for a family who instilled in him the importance of church and faith. His debut album marked the beginning of an illustrious career, earning him a spot among the best-selling music artists globally, with sales of 80 million records worldwide. Despite his success, Usher emphasises the importance of staying true to oneself, avoiding getting swept up in fame. His commitment to his faith is evident in his albums' liner notes, social media, and public acknowledgments of God. He often shares scriptures, like Psalm 46:10, to express his spirituality. He considers the Super Bowl halftime show an extraordinary honour and a significant milestone in his career. His journey, marked by both fame and personal challenges, continues to be guided by his steadfast faith.
On 7 February Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Hamas's proposed ceasefire deal, describing their demands as ‘bizarre’. Talks persist, but Israeli officials are vehemently opposed to Hamas's attempt to end the conflict on their terms. The proposed deal aimed for a 45-day ceasefire, followed by exchanges of prisoners and hostages and an Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu claimed that achieving ‘total victory’ in Gaza within months is possible, and announced preparations for potential Israeli operations in Rafah. His comments are a blow to a sustained push by the US to reach a deal which its top diplomat, Antony Blinken, described as ‘the best path forward’. They also highlighted the fundamental mismatch between the US and Israel's plans for Gaza's future. The immediate challenge now is salvaging talks to facilitate hostage exchanges and a desperately needed humanitarian pause, to allow more aid into Gaza.
Joe Biden and Donald Trump are blaming each other for the stalling of a bipartisan immigration bill. Despite support from Democrats and Republicans, the measure has been rejected by Congress and faces growing opposition in the Senate. Biden accused Trump of exploiting the issue rather than solving it, while Trump's campaign blamed Biden's policies for chaos in American communities. The proposed bill aims to address the influx of undocumented immigrants at the southern border by allocating funds for border wall construction, expediting asylum decisions, limiting humanitarian parole, and expanding deportation authority. In addition to allocating $20bn for border funding, it includes major financial support for Ukraine and for Israel. Trump denounced the bill, claiming only ‘fools’ or ‘radical left Democrats’ would support it, and described his border policies as ‘the most secure in history’. The Republicans narrowly failed to impeach Biden's homeland security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, blaming him for the recent surge in illegal migration: see
Danica McKellar has shared her experience of reading the entire Bible in a year, expressing deep comfort and enjoyment. Despite difficult chapters like Job, she found solace in Scripture. McKellar highlighted themes of humility over ego, good versus evil, and God rewarding faithfulness. She used ‘The Bible Recap’ for her chronological journey through the Bible. Her experience led to a deeper understanding of life's approach based on humility, describing it as rewarding. McKellar, who openly embraces Christianity, finds discussing her faith natural and life-changing, aiming to share the beauty she found with others.
On 28 January a drone strike on a military outpost in Jordan led to the deaths of three US soldiers and injuries to many others. Joe Biden, attributing the attack to radical Iran-backed militant groups in Syria and Iraq, has vowed retaliation at a time and manner of the US's choosing. Tehran denied involvement, stating that regional resistance groups make their decisions independently. Iran’s envoy to the UN, Amir Saeid Iravani, has threatened decisive action against any possible attacks on Iranian territory or interests abroad. He dismissed reports of communication between Iran and the USA on the matter. Biden has said, ‘I don’t think we need a wider war in the Middle East… That’s not what I’m looking for.’ Meanwhile, a federal judge has dismissed an unprecedented lawsuit by a group of Palestinians who accused Biden’s administration of complicity in genocide, as being outside the scope of the court. However, he urged Biden to reflect on his ‘unflagging’ support for Israel. See
Ethiopia's national ombudsman has revealed that nearly 400 people have died of starvation in the Tigray and Amhara regions in recent months. Local officials had previously reported such deaths, but the federal government had denied these claims. The UN and the USA had suspended food aid in Tigray and Ethiopia after discovering a ‘large-scale’ scheme to steal humanitarian grain. but lifted the pause in December after implementing reforms. However, Tigray authorities claim that food is not reaching those in need, citing technical issues and funding shortages. Only 14% of the 3.2 million people targeted for food aid in Tigray had received it by 21 January. The Tigray Food Cluster, a group of aid agencies, has urged immediate scaling up of operations to prevent severe food insecurity and malnutrition, particularly among vulnerable children and women. Approximately 20.1 million people across Ethiopia require humanitarian food assistance due to drought, conflict, and economic challenges.
Jonathan Roumie, known for his portrayal of Jesus in 'The Chosen’, views his role as a divine mission, much like the characters in 'The Blues Brothers’. Speaking to CBN News, the New York City-born actor and devout Catholic expressed how he finds it humbling that his portrayal is a top Google image result for Jesus. The 49-year-old actor sees his work as a blend of ministry and entertainment, acknowledging God's guidance in his career. With over 500 million streams, 'The Chosen' has made his face recognisable as Jesus, a responsibility he embraces with humility and a sense of duty. As the fourth season of the series delves into the persecution of Jesus' disciples, Roumie emphasises the importance of being present, both in his portrayal and personal life. He aims to maintain this presence in interactions with fans, acknowledging the fine line between himself and the character he plays. Roumie's mission is to portray Jesus as a real figure of salvation and hope, a role he finds both humbling and profound in its impact.