20 Maricopa County school districts are asking voters for more money
October 16, 2018
Twenty school districts in Maricopa County will ask voters to approve bonds and overrides in the Nov. 6 election.
Arizona Democrats try to ride wave of frustration from #RedForEd to win power at Capitol
October 16, 2018
Democrats’ hopes of gaining seats in the Legislature hang largely on their laser focus on funding for education. Republicans tout teacher raises.
Wet weather to continue in parts of Phoenix through Tuesday
October 15, 2018
Don’t put that umbrella back in the closet just yet. Arizona’s wettest October is set to get even wetter.
Trump returning to Arizona for Mesa rally next week
October 14, 2018
President Donald Trump will return to Mesa next week for a midterm rally in support of U.S. Senate candidate Martha McSally.
A first time for everything. Hurricane Sergio heavy rainfall, flooding close Arizona State Fair
October 14, 2018
The Arizona State Fair shuts down for the first time in history due to heavy rainfall, storm from the remnants of Hurricane Sergio.
Free at Last: Andrew Brunson Released by Turkey After Two Years
October 13, 2018
American pastor was imprisoned on false charges of terrorism.
American pastor Andrew Brunson has been released after being detained for two years in Turkey.
At a hearing this morning, a Turkish court freed him from judicial control, which lifts his house arrest and travel ban.
Despite a guilty verdict sentencing him to 3 years, 1 month, and 15 days in prison, Brunson may return home to the United States as soon as today due to good behavior and time already served.
NBC News broke the news yesterday of the expected deal between Turkey and the United States over Brunson, a North Carolina pastor who had worked in Izmir for decades and was arrested on terrorism and espionage charges in the aftermath of a failed coup in 2016.
US officials and religious freedom advocates considered the charges against Brunson to be erroneous, and multiple witnesses retracted their testimonies against him during today’s hearing.
Trump administration officials were optimistic but cautious that Turkey would follow through on the deal, reported The Washington Post. The deal would likely lift recent US sanctions in exchange for Brunson’s release by being sentenced today to time already served.
Officials expect Brunson to “be handed back his passport and put on a plane to the US,” reported The Wall Street Journal.
World Watch Monitor was with Brunson and his family and lawyers in Turkey at 8 p.m. local time (1 p.m. eastern time in the US). He was expected to leave for the airport at about 9 p.m. local time/2 p.m. Eastern.
Facing up to 35 years in prison if convicted, Brunson flatly denied all charges. He had declared in court, “I am an innocent man on all these charges. I reject them. I know why I am here. I am here to suffer in Jesus’ name.”
After being held in a number of different …
A Day of Rejoicing! Lessons from Two Years of Petition for Pastor Andrew Brunson
October 13, 2018
After years of prayer before the Lord, Andrew Brunson has been set free.
Today, after years of prayer and petition before the Lord, Andrew Brunson has been set free from imprisonment in Turkey. Praise be to God.
Many of us have been following the news throughout the duration of Brunson’s unlawful detainment. We watched in confusion as authorities arrested him in October of 2016, sending him to a detention facility.
I’m very thankful for the work of President Trump and his adminstration in working for Pastor Brunson’s release, and particularly for his vocal advocacy.
Persecution is Real
We were horrified to hear the accusations made by Turkish authorities implying his “membership in an armed terrorist organization.” We waited impatiently as Congressional figures, President Trump, Vice President Pence, and so many others eagerly advocated for his release.
If anything, this long period of waiting opened the eyes of churchgoers in the West to an important reality: Persecution is real. It’s not just something that happened back in the second and third centuries during the days of the early church.
Still to this day, it happens all over the world to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
The right to independently exercise one’s religions beliefs—to worship God without fear of repercussion or government intervention—is not afforded to all people everywhere. Consider this reality as you go to church this Sunday, recognizing the blessing that it is to come before God so freely; we mustn’t so easily take these liberties for granted.
Even in the 21st century, we understand that religious freedom is still a cause worth championing. Just because we don’t see persecution or discrimination of this magnitude happening in our own backyard doesn’t deny …
Slip-up leads to charges for Arizona forensic medical examiner
October 13, 2018
A slip-up in a 1994 autopsy causes a mistrial and criminal charges against the medical examiner in 2018.
Why Does the Red Planet Call to Us?
October 12, 2018
What space exploration tells us about human curiosity, from Eden to Mars.
Blue is the color of Mars at sunset. From the surface, the cold, dim light of the setting sun comes in from the horizon as it competes with the ever-present dust, thick in the air. The plains of graveled hematite that were once shades of ochre and umber by day are now jet and onyx.
In the darkness, Mars may seem to be a dead planet. But in Gale Crater, there is human movement, as NASA’s Curiosity rover slowly treks its way up the shoulder of Mount Sharp.
Mars is not the dying planet sprung from the imagination of writers like Edgar Rice Burroughs and Ray Bradbury. Mars is more alive than ever—increasingly populated over the last two decades with the robot explorers of an emergent humanity, propelled by a sense of curiosity that infects our species.
Ecclesiastes 1:13 calls humanity’s curiosity about the universe both a “heavy burden” (in the NIV), but also a gift “given to human beings” by our Creator (in the NRSV). Everyone loves, but God calls us to a higher love. Everyone is curious, but God calls us to a higher form of curiosity.
Last month, after nearly two years of testing and repairs, the Curiosity rover is again drilling into Martian rock in its bid to discover whatever secrets may be hidden within. One of the keys to unlocking those secrets is an instrument the car-sized vehicle carries called the ChemCam, an onboard spectrometer that uses a laser to vaporize Martian rock and then, by reading light waves, can measure the rock’s chemical and mineral makeup.
“Exploring the universe around us is a very God-given activity—to follow our curiosity and to continue the work of exploring God’s creation that has [already] begun,” explains Roger Wiens, a scientist …
Christian Post Publisher Charged in $10 Million Fraud Scheme
October 12, 2018
Manhattan indictment alleges conspiracy and shady business practices between Christian Media Corporation and Newsweek rescuer IBT Media.
The former head of The Christian Post, which calls itself the No. 1 Christian website in the world, was indicted this week in what investigators say was a scheme to obtain millions in loans through false pretenses.
William C. Anderson—who served as the CEO of the Christian Media Corporation (CMC International) and publisher of its flagship publication The Christian Post—and Etienne Uzac—the CEO IBT Media (until recently, the owners of Newsweek)—were arraigned today on charges of fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, and falsifying business documents, following a long-running investigation by the Manhattan district attorney’s office.
The indictment alleges that the two companies, which were also indicted, faked financial audits to secure $10 million in loans—with $1.5 million going to CMC International—then used the money to make up for deficits from general operations rather than purchasing the high-performance equipment they told financers they would.
Both executives have denied the charges, noting that all the lenders had been paid back in full. In court today, they pleaded not guilty.
“The notion that my client intended to deceive anyone, much less engage in a money laundering conspiracy, is absurd,” Andy Lankler, Anderson’s lawyer, told The Wall Street Journal, which broke the news of the indictment. “We will vigorously defend these charges.”
Michelle Vu, chief of staff for The Christian Post, said in a statement to CT, “There are no charges against The Christian Post (CP), no allegations of any wrongdoing by CP. CP will continue its work as usual, focusing on bringing fair, accurate and relevant news to its readers.”
Anderson, who was at the …