· The Daily Brief
· The Middle East in Focus
· Iran in the News
· Pray for the Persecuted Church
· "Honor Killings" in America
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The Daily Brief Friday, July 25, 2008
"For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace." (I Corin. 14:33)
The Daily Brief will not be published all next week: Tuesday, July 29 - Friday, August 1, 2008. We will resume publication of this bulletin on Tuesday, August 5.
Our other publication, "On Capitol Hill This Week," (the "OCAP") will be published this Monday, July 28. After that, both the Senate and the House will go into its summer recess period, so the "OCAP" will also go into recess until Congress returns in September.
The Daily Brief
1. Paulson Directs Push To Support Fannie, Freddie - The Wall Street Journal
Congress has moved quickly to address the perilous state of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for one big reason: the shuttle diplomacy of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. "I think that his explanations and justifications for the actions that he's proposed went a long way, at least with me, and I think with many others up here, to help lay the predicate for why this step needs to be taken," said Sen. Mike Crapo (R., Idaho), a member of the Senate Banking Committee. The plan, which has been wrapped up with a broader housing bill, would temporarily allow the Treasury to extend an unspecified credit line to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It would also allow the government to buy equity in either company. Mr. Paulson says Treasury has no intention of using the authority, which is designed primarily to help calm markets.
· Lord, we commit our finances to You. Teach us how to live free from the burden of debt. Bring restoration and give guidance to increase finances. Lead us with wisdom in planning for the future.
· "And seek not ye what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Luke 12:29_31)
2. House Passes Bipartisan Housing Legislation - Washington Post
The White House announced that Bush would sign the measure, Washington's most ambitious response to a housing crisis that has pushed more than 1.5 million families into foreclosure and shattered investors' confidence in some of the nation's largest financial institutions. Although Bush continues to oppose a provision that offers $3.9 billion to communities devastated by foreclosures, he rescinded a veto threat after Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. persuaded him that the overall measure was urgently needed to stabilize the housing and credit markets, said White House press secretary Dana Perino. "This is not the time for a prolonged veto fight, although we're confident that the president would prevail in one," Perino told reporters. "But with Congress scheduled to leave soon for yet another recess, the risk of not having a bill until the middle of September is not a risk worth taking in the current environment."
· Lord, bring us to a place of wisdom and discernment. Open our eyes to see clearly the consequences of our decsions. Remove greed and corruption from our financial institutions.
· "A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels. " (Prov. 1:5)
3. Commerce Secretary Announces Successes Of Free Trade Agreements - Bureau of National AffairsU.S. free trade agreements with 14 trading partners have resulted in swinging a trade deficit in manufactured goods to a trade surplus with those countries, Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez announced July 23. The U.S. trade balance in manufactured goods improved with all its FTA partners year-to-date through May 2008 . . when compared to the same period in 2007, Commerce said in a fact sheet. Prior to the implementation of the U.S.-Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), the United States had a trade deficit of $1.2 billion in manufactured goods with five out of the six CAFTA-DR countries (Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras, Guatemala). In 2007, after implementation, the U.S. trade balance in manufactured goods improved markedly to a $2.8 billion surplus."These figures show that our FTAs are succeeding and that Americans benefit from open markets," Gutierrez said.
· Thank You, Lord for this good report. We ask blessings over our ability to trade our products. Bring profit to our labor and balance our trade to a healthy market.
· "And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it." ( Ps. 90:17)
4. Oil Survey Says Arctic Has Riches - The New York Times
U.S. Geological Survey Reports That As Much As 30 Billion Barrels Of Oil Could Be Found Off The Alaskan CoastThe Arctic may contain as much as a fifth of the world's yet to-be-discovered oil and natural gas reserves, the United States Geological Survey said Wednesday as it unveiled the largest-ever survey of petroleum resources north of the Arctic Circle. "For a variety of reasons, the possibility of oil and gas exploration in the Arctic has become much less hypothetical than it once was," Donald L. Gautier, the chief geologist for the survey, said during a news conference Wednesday. A third of the yet-to- be discovered oil, or about 30 billion barrels, is off the coast of Alaska.
· Lord, we praise You for this abundant resource. Help us to be good stewards of Your blessings. Forgive us for being a wasteful people. The earth is Yours and all that is in it. Help us to use these blessing wisely.
· "Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his protion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God." ( Eccl. 5:19)
5. Pentagon Considering Ways To Speed Additional Forces To Afghanistan - USA Today
Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said officials were studying ways to speed more forces to Afghanistan. The planners' recommendations will be sent to Defense Secretary Robert Gates in "the next few days," the official said. "Commanders want to take advantage of this fighting season and would like more troops to do so," Morrell said. "The window of opportunity is closing quickly." Pentagon leaders, such as Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, have said they want to send three brigades of troops to Afghanistan. Two would be fighting brigades and one would be for training.
· Father, we seek Your face to bless our military. Give wisdom and power to accomplish victory over those who oppose freedom. May this window of opportunity be met with power to gain victory in every mission.
· "He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves." (Ps.66:7)
The Middle East in Focus
The Middle East in Focus This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE: "My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of My lips." (Psalm 89:34)
1. Israel seeks input on U.S. Iran report - Ha'aretz
The United States is preparing a new intelligence report on Iran's nuclear program, which is to be published in November. The Americans now believe Iran is trying to produce a nuclear weapon, says an Israeli government source, contrary to their recent intelligence assessment that Iran had halted its military nuclear effort in 2003.
2. All options against Iran must be prepared: Israel army chief - AFP
The Israeli army chief of staff has said in Washington that all options must be prepared to counter Iran's controversial nuclear program, in remarks relayed on Thursday.
3. Israeli intelligence: Iran will wait for Bush exit - World Tribune
The Israeli intelligence community has reported its conclusion that Iran has decided to maintain restraint until the departure of U.S. President George Bush and that its allies hope for the election of Sen. Barack Obama.
4. Israel's Debate Over an Iran Strike - Time
Despite President Bush's insistence that the military option remains "on the table" for dealing with Iran's nuclear program, Israeli officials have recognized that a U.S. air strike on Iranian nuclear sites is increasingly unlikely in the waning days of the Bush Administration.
5. Obama to PM: Talks with Iran necessary to legitimize action - Ha'aretz
Near the close of his visit to Israel on Wednesday, Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama met with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. A major topic of their long conversation was Obama's declared willingness to engage in direct dialogue with Tehran.
Iran in the News
For all the headlines below, we thank God for the promise of His Word: ". . . thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee." (Isaiah 54:14)
1. Iran ends cooperation with IAEA probe - Jerusalem Post
Iran on Thursday signaled it would no longer cooperate with International Atomic Energy Agency experts investigating for signs of nuclear weapons programs, confirming that the probe - launched a year ago with great expectations - was at a dead end.
Pray for the Persecuted Church
Prayers for the Persecuted Church This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE: "Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me." (Psalm 32:1)
1. Eritrea: Christian Woman in Prison Dies of Malaria - Worthy News
Imprisoned and tortured for her Christian faith since December, 37-year-old Azib Simon died of malaria in Eritrea's Wi'a Military Training Center last week.
2. Belarus Fined Christian For Bible Study Group - Worthy News
A Christian in Belarus has been fined the equivalent of nine months minimum wage salary for attempting to organise an informal Bible study and discussion group, Christian rights investigators said Wednesday, July 23.
3. Iran: Tortured Christian Flees - Worthy News
Days after his release from a month of interrogations and severe torture under secret police custody, Iranian Christian Mohsen Namvar has fled across the border into Turkey with his family.
4. China House Church Leader "Homeless" After Meeting US Congress Delegation - Worthy News
One of China's most respected house church leaders remained homeless Sunday, July 20, with his wife after authorities expelled them from their home in the Chinese capital Beijing for meeting an American Congressional delegation, officials and a rights group said.
"Honor Killings" in America
Growing Number of Honor Killings By Muslims In U.S. Justified As Cultural Not Religious
Another attempted honor killing by a Muslim against a female Muslim teen has taken place--this time in upstate New York. Prosecutors say that 22 year old Waheed Allah Mohammed tried to stab to death his 19 year old sister, Fauzia on May 8th in front of their family home. Mohammed appeared in court July 18th on charges of attempted second degree murder and first degree assault. Court documents say that Mohammed wanted to kill his sister because she was going to clubs, was wearing immodest clothing, was a "bad Muslim girl," and had disgraced her family.
This is the second such honor killing case in upstate New York.
Four years ago Ismail Peltek stabbed and beat his wife to death because she had been sexually assaulted by a relative. He also tried to kill his two daughters because the one also had been assaulted by the relative and the other was "sullied" by a medical exam. Peltek was allowed to plead not guilty by reason of mental disease and is being held in a psychiatric center. These cases join what seems to be a growing number of attempted and successful "Honor Killings" conducted by Muslims in the United States. Most certainly, Americans and American courts would think these men are crazy, but it doesn't excuse this violent custom against women.
Whether it is Georgia or Dallas or New York, the story is always the same. A Muslim woman faces death because she either wanted to embrace American culture or she was the victim of sexual abuse--quite often assaulted by another Muslim. And the story in the news media is always the same. The reporters make careful note that honor killing is not an Islamic law, but rather a "cultural" occurrence originating in some Muslim countries. In the New York case, reporters quoted a retired Muslim professor saying that there is nothing in Islam that talks about honor killing, but that it has been practiced culturally in Islamic countries for over 1,000 years.
Whether it is practiced in Islamic countries or not, it is part of Islam because it is an accepted practice and the only ones doing it in America are Muslims. In fact, according to the United Nations Population Fund, some 5,000 women are killed each year in Muslim countries for allegedly disgracing their families--many are rape victims or rejected arranged marriages. Quite often the Koran is quoted before these women are tortured and killed. If these people truly worshiped the God of Abraham, they would follow his principles established in Leviticus 19:18, "Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord."
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