A federal grand jury in Oregon has returned two indictments charging six people with running sex trafficking organizations operating in the U.S., Canada and Australia. The indictments were unsealed today following a series of arrests by FBI Portland’s Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF) resulting from a multi-district takedown operation on Tuesday, January 15, 2019.
Oregon’s Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today introduced two new pieces of legislation that would impose significant consequences on foreign consulates that help their citizens escape legal accountability within the U.S.
Merkley and Wyden’s legislation follows investigative reporting by the Oregonian that found Saudi consular officials within the U.S. helped Abdulrahmeen Sameer Noorah, a Saudi national, escape the U.S. soon before his trial. Noorah was charged with manslaughter, felony hit-and-run, and reckless driving after fatally striking an Oregon teen with his car. A Saudi consulate posted $100,000 bail for Noorah before he escaped, and the U.S. Marshalls Service suspects Saudi officials helped Noorah escape the country on a private flight.
International Christian Concern (ICC) is inviting all those concerned to sign a letter recognizing a group of brave Muslim men who courageously followed their conscience and duty at great personal risk to thwart the attempted bombing of Virgin Mary and Father Seifin Church in Nasr City, near Cairo, Egypt, on January 5, 2019.
Sayed Askar, a Muslim cleric, witnessed a terrorist planting bombs on a church roof and immediately called the authorities. A bomb squad quickly responded and in the process of defusing the bombs, an officer, Major Mustafa Abid, lost his life.
The Portland Tribune and OPB trivialized and distorted Oregon Right to Life’s annual Roe v. Wade Memorial & March in downtown Portland, while other media outlets ignored it entirely. Despite over 1,000 pro-life Oregonians attending, the Portland Tribune described the event as “sparsely-attended” and OPB called the attendees “a handful of visible opponents” to a non-permitted, counter protest of less than 100 people which was organized by Portland’s socialist groups. The Portland Tribune originally described the pro-life crowd as “outnumbered” but removed that word after photos were sent showing otherwise.
A wife of a U.S. Coast Guard member, Stacey Benson, helped organize a large scale food pantry in Astoria for Coast Guard members who are impacted by the government shutdown. The pantry was organized by Be the Light and also the MOMS club of Astoria. The Astoria food pantry offered free food, clothing and toiletries for Oregon Coast guard members.
The story is still unfolding but has changed dramatically over the past few hours. CNN has the best analysis so far. CNN shows that a third group, Hebrew Black activists, as a key part of the event who were extremely provocative. This represents three different religious orientated groups that run into each other at the steps of the nation’s capital — a metaphor? a mess? a teaching moment? With shifting naratives it seems that we may not know for a while.
Also revealing is a statement from the student at question (Nick Sandmann) behind the much headlined story of a Pro-life marcher Catholic school student with a MAGA hat who is confronted by a Native American activists (Nathan Phillips).
Paul Louis Metzger Multnomah University professor, Director of Institute for the Theology of Culture
As is well-documented, many people dread the holiday season. The close of one year and the beginning of another is supposed to be a time of great joy, but it can often be the occasion for isolation with accompanying sadness, even severe depression. Such depression can spill over into the new year. In reflecting on this subject, I came across some articles that chronicled Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s severe struggles with depression. In the midst of his various struggles, he was still able to inspire those who follow after him with his call for revolutionary empathy, creative nonconformity, and creative maladjustment. My hope is that the following sober reflections will encourage us to move forward with courage and constructive creativity in the new year to overcome depression and pursue just peace and equitable unity for all.
There was a time when I could not fully accept any explanation for evil and suffering that didn’t make sense to me, start to finish. However, over the years, and through the process of writing my book If God Is Good, I’ve come to trust my own understanding less, and God’s Word more.
I find a strange delight in being swallowed up by the immensity of God’s greatness and by the divine mysteries that once disturbed me. Knowing that I’ll sit before God’s judgment seat—not He before mine—I choose to trust Him. And the more I do, the more sense the story makes to me.
More American women are choosing life for their children than ever before, according to the latest government data on abortion.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the US abortion rate fell 26% between 2006 and 2015 to reach an all-time low. Further, the national abortion ratio–which weighs abortions against live births–also declined to record lows. In 2005, 233 abortions occurred for every 1,000 live births. In 2015, officials documented only 188 abortions per 1,000 live births.
According to other research, America’s abortion rate has fallen concurrently with global abortion rates. Across Europe and North America, infanticide has become gradually less prevalent in developed nations. The trend extends back to the 1990s: during that decade, 45 out of every 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 had an abortion. By the early 2010s, just 27 out of every 1,000 women obtained abortions in developed countries.
Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church of Portland will be having the “Empower the Dream” service and the keynote speaker is Ambassador Attalah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz. Donations of $25.00 for this event to help defray the expenses of the speaker.