Category: RTM News Reel Written by Michael Arceneaux/ NewsOne
I know the adage goes "let him who is without sin, cast the first stone," but some people deserve to be written a ticket to damnation...with the greatest sin being utter stupidity. Meet televangelist Rick Joyner (pictured), who recently made headlines for openly praying to God for a military takeover of the U.S. government. While appearing on "Prophetic Perspective on Current Events," Joyner claimed that democracy in America has failed and that the nation might not last even to the end of President Barack Obama's term. Why not?
Well, according to Rev. Crazy Town, America is teetering toward tyranny. You know, that rascally Black in the White House won't let go of power because he's like Hitler or something.
Enter Joyner's prayer, which pleads to God to save us — or well, those who look like him – from dark "forces" that are "at work right now to undermine and destroy the republic." If you let him tell it, "our only hope is a military takeover; martial law."
I've wasted God's time praying for many a silly thing. Say, that one day Beyoncé and I will sit in a hotel suite, eat Popeye's, and sip wealthy people's liquor as we discuss her starring in a movie of my creation. I imagine God gives me a side-eye whenever this prayer enters the universe, but thanks to Joyner, I now realize there are far more annoying heathens.
What exactly is going on that is so terrible in Washington that you pray to God for a government takeover? A health care plan that looks like one drafted by Republicans more than a decade ago?
I mean, I could see forming a prayer circle to send Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to the Spike Channel and out of the Senate, but other than that, I'm a bit lost.
The initial clip was taken down from YouTube, but things on the Internet never truly go away. So Joyner was forced to address his controversial statements, "I did not plan for that program to be aired just as a government shutdown began." Still, he claims, America is now sailing deeper and deeper in to these most-treacherous seas. "Also, after his prayers are answered, "Not only will our Republic be restored, but even more importantly, America will turn back to the Lord and fulfill our destiny and purpose."
Exploiting indigenous people and African slaves in the name of greed and power? Can Rick Joyner get an amen? No? Okay, let's move on.
Joyner ended the statement by repeating the declaration that caused all of the drama to begin with:
That being said, without a soon and very radical turn back to what we were called to be as a nation, we are going to pass through a time of martial law in America. The crucial issue is who the martial [sic] is going to be. This could be a very difficult time, much darker than we can probably imagine, or it could be a time when peace and stability is restored, and the Republic is restored to its Constitutional moorings. That choice is up to Americans.
As much as I'd love to dismiss the likes of Rick Joyner as some kooky, overly religious, fringe element of the Christian right, the reality is there are plenty of people in the Republican Party who share the fears that President Obama won't let go of power. In fact, they are the majority.
From an October 2013 Public Policy Polling report:
One in four Americans say that President Obama is secretly trying to figure out a way to stay in office beyond 2017 – including almost half of Republicans (44 percent). And 26 percent of Americans think that Muslims are covertly implementing Sharia Law in American court systems, while 55 percent don't think so and another 19 percent aren't sure. There's a huge partisan breakdown on this one as well – 42 percent of Republicans fear Sharia Law making its way into America's courts while just 12 percent of Democrats agree.
Looks like I'll be praying for the nation too.
Last Updated on Friday, 11 October 2013 11:10
Category: RTM News Reel Written by Hannington Dia/ NewsOne
In a shocking update in the Kendrick Johnson (pictured) case, his body was stuffed with newspaper before his burial, according to CNN.
"We have been let down again," said Kenneth Johnson, his father. "When we buried Kendrick, we thought we were burying Kendrick, not half of Kendrick."
After Johnson's body was found in an upright, rolled up wrestling mat at Georgia's Valdosta High School in January, state medical examiners ruled his death accidental. Johnson's family didn't accept the story, hiring an independent examiner to perform a second autopsy. That one suggested Johnson died of blunt force trauma to the head.
In an autopsy, organs are removed and examined before being returned to the body for burial. However, when Dr. Bill Anderson, the independent pathologist who performed Johnson's second autopsy, opened the teenager up, he found his brain, heart, lungs, liver and other organs missing.
"I'm not sure at this point who did not return the organs to the body," Anderson said. "But I know when we got the body, the organs were not there."
According to CNN's report, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation — which performed the first autopsy — and the Harrington Funeral Home –which embalmed and buried Johnson — both opened his body.
GBI Spokeswoman Sherry Lang denied the Bureau didn't return the organs, saying, "The organs were placed in Johnson's body, the body was closed, then the body was released to the funeral home." The funeral home did not comment on the story.
But the funeral home's owner, Antonio Harrington, wrote a letter to the Johnson family's attorney saying they never received the teen's organs with his body. He said that because of Johnson's upright position at the time of death, his organs "were destroyed through natural process," and were "discarded by the prosecutor before the body was sent back to Valdosta." Prosecutors often dissect bodies for pathological examination.
However, the newspaper stuffing raised eyebrows among experts in forensic pathology. Vernie Fountain, founder of an embalming school in Missouri, said that it is"not consistent with the standards of care." National Association Of Medical Examiners President Gregory Schmunk said, "I have never heard of this practice."
During an autopsy, organs are usually placed in a plastic bag. That bag is then placed into the body after the autopsy. Though some organs may be kept for additional testing, Johnson's case of having all his removed isn't the norm, per Schmunk.
"This would not amount to all of the organs in any circumstance that I can imagine." he added.
The revelation comes a day after photos surfaced of Johnson's body and the crime scene. One shows his shoeless legs (pictured above) trapped in the mat.
Another picture brings the accidental claim into question. It shows Johnson's face bloated with pooled blood, some of which had poured out of his body and onto his dreadlocks and the floor.
Though Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine has refused to comment on Johnson's case, calling it closed, federal prosecutors have met with his family's reps and are considering opening their own investigation.
"This is about getting to the facts and the truth, and we want the Johnson family and the community of Valdosta to have confidence in the process,"said Michael Moore, a U.S. Attorney who represents Valdosta.
"I am cognizant of time, and we continue to move the process along."
The Johnson family has hired Attorney Benjamin Crump, legal counsel for the family of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin, to get to the bottom of the case, reports the Associated Press.
"This is a real-life murder mystery where these parents sent their child to school with a book bag and he was returned to them in a body bag," Crump said in a phone interview. "They brought me in to make sure this is not able to be swept under the rug in small-town Georgia and they never get justice for their child."
Last Updated on Friday, 11 October 2013 17:40
Category: RTM News Reel Written by News One
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration, scrambling to tamp down a controversy over suspended death benefits for the families of fallen troops, announced Wednesday that a charity would pick up the costs of the payments during the government shutdown.
“The Fisher House Foundation will provide the families of the fallen with the benefits they so richly deserve,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement, adding that the Pentagon would reimburse the foundation after the shutdown ended.
Hagel said Fisher House, which works with veterans and their families, had approached the Pentagon about making the payments. The Defense Department typically pays families about $100,000 within three days of a service member’s death, but officials say the shutdown was preventing those benefits from being paid.
A senior defense official said the government could not actively solicit funds from private organizations but could accept an offer.
The failure to make the payments has stirred outrage on Capitol Hill and at the White House. Obama spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday that the president was “disturbed” when he found out the death benefits had been suspended and demanded an immediate solution.
“The commander in chief, when he found out that this was not addressed, he directed that a solution be found, and we expect one today,” Carney said before the Pentagon announced the agreement with Fisher House.
The Republican-led House unanimously passed legislation on Wednesday to restore the death benefits. But it’s unclear whether the Democratic-led Senate will take up the measure or whether Obama would sign it. Obama has threatened to veto other legislation passed by the House in recent days that would reopen individual funding streams, arguing that a piecemeal approach to ending the shutdown was unacceptable and that the entire government must be reopened.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Obama administration had yet to issue a formal veto threat for the death benefit bill.
Before the government shutdown last week, Congress passed and Obama signed a bill allowing the military to be paid during the federal closure. However, the death benefit payments were not covered by that legislation.
Carney said the Pentagon told lawmakers before the shutdown that the death benefit payments were not covered by the bill and would be cut off during a shutdown. However, he repeatedly refused to say when the president was first told that death benefits would not be paid.
A senior administration official said Obama raised his concerns about the stoppage in payments Tuesday night during an evening walk around the White House grounds with his chief of staff, Denis McDonough. He directed McDonough to get the problem solved within 24 hours.
The Pentagon and the Office of Management and Budget developed a solution overnight allowing Fisher House to enter into a rush agreement essentially making the organization a government contractor that could deliver the benefits, the official said.
The administration and defense officials both insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the offer publicly by name.
Amid the controversy, Hagel made a rare trip Wednesday to Dover Air Force Base for the arrival of remains of four soldiers killed in Afghanistan. The remains of every U.S. military member killed overseas are flown to Dover for processing. Family members attend the arrival, but the secretary of defense usually does not.
Among the soldiers whose remains were brought to Dover on Wednesday was Pfc. Cody J. Patterson, 24, of Philomath, Ore. Patterson’s family allowed members of the media to witness the return of his remains, but an Army liaison officer who works with mortuary officials at Dover said the family did not want to talk to reporters.
The other soldiers whose remains were returned were 1st Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno, 25, of San Diego, Calif.; Sgt. Patrick C. Hawkins, 25, of Carlisle, Pa.; and Sgt. Joseph M. Peters, 24, of Springfield, Mo. In a statement Tuesday, U.S. Army Special Operations Command said Hawkins and Patterson were members of the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, and Peters was a special agent assigned to the 286th Military Police Detachment.
Hagel put his hand over his heart as white-gloved soldiers carried the flag-draped case carrying Patterson’s remains from a C-17 cargo plane to a white panel truck for transfer to the Dover mortuary.
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 October 2013 12:17
Category: RTM News Reel Written by NewsOne Staff
A photo (above) of a California high school principal appearing to harshly restrain a high school student has gone viral on Facebook, but there are questions over whether the image reveals the whole story.
KTVU Channel 2 reports that the photo was snapped last Friday as Pittsburg High School principal Todd Whitmire restrained a 15-year-old student who he says refused to stop fighting with another male student. "(The photo) certainly doesn't show what happened," he said.
While Whitmire says he isn't worried about how the photo makes him appear, he did say he was concerned by the derogatory comments in the Facebook threads. Twelve students were suspended as a result of the fight, two for the actually fight and 10 for their social media activity connected to the photo on various Facebook accounts.
California's anti-cyber bullying laws allow educators to use posts on social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as evidence to discipline students.
The student appearing to be in a choke hold, Ashley Johnson, said that her neck was injured when Whitmire tried to restrain her. She is now wearing a neck brace. In fact, Johnson claims she was drawn into the fight and that the male student slammed her against a wall.
"I wasn't fighting back," Johnson said. "I was lying on the ground."
But Lt. Ron Raman of the Pittsburg Police Department said the fight may have been part of a larger planned attack that was coordinated over social media.
"We had some information through social media that several students were planning a fight," Raman told the Contra Costa Times. "So we had our school resource officers and additional officers show up to the school to (back up) staff. We had at least six officers and a supervisor there."
At this time, there are no charges pending against the principal and there is no evidence of battery taking place during the melee, Raman said.
Last Updated on Friday, 11 October 2013 10:48
Category: RTM News Reel Written by By Matt Spetalnick and Patricia Zengerle
WASHINGTON, (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday, Oct. 8 staunchly defended his decision to order commando raids in Libya and Somalia last weekend, saying the United States would keep targeting al Qaeda-linked groups in Africa but had no intention of going to war there.
Speaking at a news conference, Obama said the United States was justified in seizing a senior al Qaeda figure in Tripoli and whisking him out of the country, and he made clear that it likely would not be the last operation of its kind.
"Where you've got active plots and active networks, we're going to go after them," Obama said. "We're not going to farm out our defense."
Nazih al-Ragye, better known by the cover name Abu Anas al-Liby, is being held aboard a U.S. Navy ship in the Mediterranean Sea where he was questioned by an elite American interrogation team.
Three Republican U.S. senators said on Tuesday that Liby - a suspect in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 civilians - should be brought to the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But the Obama administration was not likely to transfer him there.
One U.S. official said Liby might face prosecution in a federal court in New York, where he is under criminal indictment.
Obama said Liby had killed "a whole lot of Americans" and that the U.S. government had strong evidence against him and he would be "brought to justice." But he offered no details on how the case would be handled.
The capture of Liby and a failed attempt by U.S. commandos to capture an Islamist militant in Somalia offered evidence the United States was willing to use ground troops to seize wanted militants in unstable African countries where they operate.
But analysts said it was too early to tell whether such operations might eventually mean a diminished focus on the armed drone strikes central to Obama's counterterrorism policy in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.
In a speech in May, Obama said he wanted to pull the United States back from some of the most controversial aspects of the global fight against Islamist militants as U.S. forces gradually withdrew after more than a decade of war in Afghanistan.
But he made clear on Tuesday that U.S. forces would keep up targeted strikes in Africa against al Qaeda affiliates and allies that may not be able to attack beyond their borders but "can do a lot of damage inside their borders."
In cases where local governments lack the capacity to fight these groups, he said, "We're going to have to continue to go after them."
Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said earlier on Tuesday that Libyans accused of crimes should be tried at home, but that the raid would not harm ties with Washington.
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 October 2013 11:56
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