1. CNN – The revelry of fireworks and parades offered little comfort in some parts of America’s third largest city. Chicago again — as in recent years — celebrated a bloody Fourth of July weekend, with at least 14 homicides between Friday evening and Wednesday morning, according to police. Eight of those homicides occurred during the Tuesday holiday and overnight, when more revelers poured onto the humid streets. More than 100 people were wounded by gunfire, said the Chicago Tribune, which reported 15 deaths.
2. CNN – Rep. Steve Scalise has been readmitted to the intensive care unit “due to new concerns for infection,” a statement from his office said. His condition is listed as serious, according to the statement. Scalise, the Republican House majority whip who represents Louisiana, was critically injured when a gunman, identified as James T. Hodgkinson, opened fire on the GOP baseball team as they were practicing for a charity game on June 14. Hodgkinson, a small business owner in Illinois, had been vocal about his support for Bernie Sanders — and his hatred for conservatives. He died following a shootout with authorities.
3. LA Sentinel – West Angeles Church of God in Christ is issuing a call to former and current parishioners to attend their “Homecoming” worship services on Sunday, July 16. Banners featuring COGIC Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, senior pastor, and First Lady Mae Blake are strung along Crenshaw Blvd., inviting the community to attend services at West Angeles Cathedral, 3600 S. Crenshaw Blvd., in Los Angeles. “This will be a day for WestA members, past and present, to have the opportunity to come back home to worship together, to be blessed and to be a blessing,” said a spokesperson.
4. CNN – The ethics watchdog who has badgered the Trump administration for months about conflicts of interest says he is leaving the federal government. Walter Shaub, director of the previously little-known Office of Government Ethics, made a name for himself by criticizing the administration repeatedly, most notably over Trump’s refusal to sell his business interests. Shaub said on Twitter that he is taking a job at the Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group for tougher campaign finance laws. Shaub’s resignation is effective July 19.
5. NBC – Police reportedly used pepper spray and a stun gun as seven people were arrested in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Wednesday during a march to memorialize Alton Sterling, the black man who was shot dead by a white police officer exactly a year ago. Baton Rouge Police Department said that three women and four men were taken into custody at the conclusion of the march after they allegedly tried to break through barriers set up outside police headquarters. According to the Times-Picayune, police told protesters, who were mostly members of the New Black Panther Party, to remain behind the barricades put up across the street from the Police Department. Protesters didn’t obey the order and a scuffle ensued.
6. ABC – A Georgia woman was arrested Thursday morning after police say she fatally stabbed her husband and four young children. According to the Gwinnett County Police Department, responding officers found a man and four young children dead at a home in Loganville, a small town situated some 35 miles east of Atlanta. A fifth child was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries. A woman, whom police initially described as the “mom/wife,” has been detained. Police later confirmed that the female suspect and the deceased adult male were the children’s parents, all of whom were under the age of 10. The man was in his mid-30s.
7. NPR – Hobby Lobby, the Oklahoma-based chain of arts and crafts retail stores, has agreed to pay a $3 million fine and forfeit thousands of ancient clay tablets and clay bullae that were smuggled into the United States with improper labels. The announcement by the Justice Department says Hobby Lobby bought over 5,500 artifacts, such as clay tablets and blocks with cuneiform writing, and cylinder seals for $1.6 million. The artifacts, originally from Iraq, were shipped to the company from the United Arab Emirates and Israel with labels that described them as “ceramic tiles” or “clay tiles (sample).” In a statement, Hobby Lobby President Steve Green said the company “was new to the world of acquiring these items, and did not fully appreciate the complexities of the acquisitions process. This resulted in some regrettable mistakes.” “We should have exercised more oversight and carefully questioned how the acquisitions were handled,” he said.
As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: Psalms 34:4 says, “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
Albert Schweitzer said, “Seek always to do some good, somewhere. Every man has to seek in his own way to realize his true worth. You must give some time to your fellow man. For remember, you don’t live in a world all your own. Your brothers are here too.”
God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!