Ridgecrest earthquake aftershocks keep rattling: More than 70 measuring 4.0+ since July 4

(Worthy News) – It’s been more than a week since two of the largest earthquakes to hit Southern California in nearly two decades hit, and the aftershocks keep coming.

A magnitude 4.2 earthquake Monday morning struck about 25 miles northwest of the July 5 magnitude 7.1 quake.

There have been more than 70 earthquakes of magnitude 4 and greater since July 4, when a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck on Independence Day; a day later, a much larger magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit. [ Source: LA Times (Read More…) ]

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Trump Abortion Restrictions Effective Immediately

(Worthy News) – Taxpayer-funded family planning clinics must stop referring women to abortion providers immediately, the Trump administration said Monday, declaring it will begin enforcing a new regulation hailed by religious conservatives and denounced by medical organizations and women’s rights groups.

The Health and Human Services department formally notified family planning clinics that it will begin enforcing the ban on abortion referrals, along with a requirement that clinics maintain separate finances from facilities that provide abortions. Another requirement that both kinds of facilities cannot be under the same roof would take effect next year.

The rule is widely seen as a blow against Planned Parenthood, which provides taxpayer-funded family planning and basic health care to low-income women, as well as abortions that must be paid for separately. The organization is a mainstay of the federally-funded family planning program and has threatened to quit over the dispute. [ Source: CBN News (Read More…) ]

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Large-Scale Immigration Raids Fail to Materialize

(Worthy News) – For the second time in less than a month, the mass immigration raids that President Donald Trump promised to carry out have failed to materialize.

In June, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was due to target thousands of people living in the U.S. without proper documentation in 10 major cities, including Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York—at Trump’s request. Trump proceeded to postpone the raids shortly before they were due to begin.

But last week it appeared as though the raids would finally happen, starting on Sunday. Trump told reporters on Friday that “it starts on Sunday,” and ICE would “take people out and they’re going to bring them back to their countries or they’re going to take criminals out, put them in prison, or put them in prison in the countries they came from.”

While Trump promised mass roundups, the weekend has come and gone with reports suggesting that raids were largely thwarted. ICE agents had been told to prepare for the weekend raids and then were reportedly never given nationwide orders. [ Source: Fortune (Read More…) ]

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MD Officials Block Christian School from Voucher Program, Claiming Anti-LGBT Beliefs

(Worthy News) – A private church-run elementary school has filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Maryland for pulling it from a school voucher program that’s designed to benefit low-income students. And the state didn’t stop there, demanding the school also pay back thousands of dollars for its previous participation in the program.

The Baltimore Sun reports Bethel Christian Academy, a private Christian school located in Savage, MD, says state officials unfairly threw it out of a school voucher program because of its religious beliefs.

State administrators responded saying the state can’t allow taxpayer money to go to any institution – religious or otherwise – that discriminates against students because of their sexual orientation. [ Source: CBN News (Read More…) ]

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Turkey’s Erdogan Says Russian S-400s Will Be Fully Deployed by April 2020

(Worthy News) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that the Russian S-400 missile defense system, parts of which have been delivered to Turkey over the past four days, would be fully deployed in April 2020.

Turkey’s purchase of the Russian system has raised tensions with its NATO allies, particularly the United States, which has warned Turkey that it will respond with sanctions.

Speaking at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport on the third anniversary of 2016’s attempted coup, Erdogan said eight planes had already brought parts of the Russian system and more were coming, as he had repeatedly promised. [ Source: VOA News (Read More…) ]

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Muslim Moat Designed to Repel Crusaders Discovered on 920-Year Anniversary of Jerusalem Siege

by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – A moat used by Muslim conquerors of Jerusalem in the 11th Century to keep Crusaders out was discovered near the Zion Gate along the Old City’s walls, confirming the existence of something that had formerly only been found in chronicles thought to be fanciful.

On July 15th, 920 years to the day after Raymond of Saint-Gilles completed his siege on the Fatimid-occupied city and helped establish the first crusader kingdom of Jerusalem, scholars working for the Mount Zion Project found the 13-foot-deep obstacle to their advances.

“This particular period, of all the periods in Western history, is that intersection of ancient Judaism and the birth of Christianity. We’re at ground zero,” said James Tabor, professor of religious studies at UNC Charlotte and co-director of the dig, in a press release.

Chronicles from the period report Raymond offering his men a gold dinar apiece to fill the moat, which prevented the construction of siege works—a task that would have involved braving buckets of burning olive oil hurled from the city walls.

The Mount Zion excavations, near the Tomb of David and the putative room where Jesus had his last supper with his disciples, also recently discovered a mysterious inscription in a stone vessel that would have belonged to a Jewish priestly family during the siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE.

“It has some sort of reference to a person who comes back and goes to the House of God, has the name of God, and other people’s names,” said Shimon Gibson, a UNC professor who helms the dig along with Tabor.

The Mount Zion Project, whose crew of 80 scholars and students has been working on the excavations for years, intends to create a tourist attraction out of the site.

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Monsoon Flooding Hits Indian Subcontinent

by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – More than three million people have been forced to flee their homes in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal, as the rising floodwaters of monsoon season hit the Indian subcontinent.

76 people were killed in Nepal and Bangladesh, while in the nearby northern Indian states of Bihar and Assam, 3.6 million people were displaced, with 100,000 from the Cox’s Bazar district in Bangladesh—which houses 700,00 Rohingya refugees from Burma—also forced to relocate.

“The flood situation remains extremely critical,” the Indian state of Assam’s Water Resources Minister Keshab Mahanta said on Saturday, which region has spent millions of rupees on flood prevention in the past.

So far the damage does not seem as severe as 2017, when 1,288 people were killed in the same countries, which are typically affected by seasonal flooding. That year, an additional 45 million people were affected by the floods in what experts called the worst period in recent memory for the region.

Nepalese officials said that the Kosi river, which overflowed in 2008 and killed 500 people, had receded for now.

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Pro-Palestinian Greek Orthodox Protest Sale of Jerusalem Properties to Jewish Groups

by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Three contested East Jerusalem properties, the subject of a land dispute over the last 15 years, were finally sold to a Jewish organization after Israel’s Supreme Court overruled a protest by the Greek Orthodox Church on June 11th.

The Petra Hostel and Imperial Hotel near Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, as well as Muzamiya House, a residential property in the Muslim Quarter, were sold to Ateret Cohanim, which has been buying up properties in East Jerusalem.

“The settlers want to take over our heritage,” Issa Musleh, a spokesman for the Greek Orthodox Church who in the past supported the dismissal of a clergyman who called on Arab Christians to serve in the Israeli military, told AFP.

Critics of the sale, such as Palestinian Greek Orthodox Archbishop Atallah Hanna, called the sale “illegal and illegitimate,” echoing claims by the church itself that the properties were acquired through a backdoor deal with a corrupt church official who acted on his own, despite the Israeli Supreme Court having ruled that no evidence of the illicit deal had been presented.

Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day war and annexed it, meaning a Palestinian population of 320,000 Palestinians remained after the end of hostilities, but the Jewish population there has swelled to 210,000 in recent years.

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Pastor Andrew Brunson ‘astounded at the speed with which the US is imploding’ and predicts persecution

(Worthy News) – The evangelical Presbyterian pastor whose two-year imprisonment in Turkey sparked a geopolitical firestorm issued sobering words for Americans during a religious liberty conference last week.

Pastor Andrew Brunson lived as a missionary pastor in Turkey for decades until being detained in October 2016, following an alleged failed coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. His arrest sparked a diplomatic spat between Turkey and the U.S. in which President Trump involved himself personally.

During an interview at the Western Conservative Summit, held annually by the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University, Brunson claimed that the basis for American values is eroding.

“First of all, I think it’s coming to the U.S., that there will be persecution,” he said. “I was isolated for a few years, and coming back to the states was almost like coming back to a different country in many ways. And I’m really astounded at the speed with which, I think, the U.S. is imploding.” [ Source: Washington Examiner (Read More…) ]

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Sweden Chip Prefigures Mark of the Beast?: 4,000 Swedes Take Chip Implant in Hand

by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – A chip many Christians believe could be a prototype for the mark of the beast has been implemented in Sweden, where more than 4,000 citizens have had a chip the size of a grain of rice inserted into their hands.

The chips are part of Sweden’s march toward a cashless society, and are designed to eventually include metrics for health, personal financial data, and keycards for office buildings.

“It was fun to try something new and to see what one could use it for to make life easier in the future,” Ulrika Celsing, who now uses the chip in her hand to enter her workplace at global media agency Mindshare, told AFP.

Last year, Wisconsin-based company Three Square Market had 50 employees injected with a chip that CEO Todd Westby said: “will become standardized allowing you to use this as your passport, public transit, all purchasing opportunities, etc.”

“It’s the next thing that’s inevitably gonna happen,” he said.

Currently, only 1% of Sweden’s economy consists of notes and coins, but it hopes to go to 0 as it pioneers its own brand of e-currency, the “e-krona.”

Revelation 13:16-17 (NKJV) reads: “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

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