2 Mississippi police officers killed; China proposes new rule banning crosses; Pope meets with Cuban leader (UCNN Weekend Report #132)

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1. According to The Clarion-Ledger, Authorities early Sunday morning arrested two brothers in connection with the fatal shootings of two Hattiesburg, MS, police officers, who were killed in the line of duty during a routine traffic stop Saturday night. Forrest County Coroner Butch Benedict confirmed the deaths of officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate. The officers were taken to a hospital, where they died shortly after arriving. Authorities arrested Curtis Banks and Marvin Banks early Sunday morning. Both men have multiple arrests for weapons and gun charges, and both have felony convictions.

2. According to the AP, a Chinese province where authorities have forcibly removed hundreds of rooftop crosses from Protestant and Catholic churches has proposed a ban on any further placement of the religious symbol atop sanctuaries. The draft, if approved, would give authorities in the eastern province of Zhejiang solid legal grounds to remove rooftop crosses. Since early 2014, Zhejiang officials have toppled crosses from more than 400 churches, sometimes resulting in violent clashes with congregation members. They have said the crosses violate building codes, but critics say the rapid growth of Christian groups have made the ruling Communist Party nervous.

3. According to USA Today, Pope Francis welcomed Cuban President Raúl Castro to the Vatican on Sunday. The two had a “strictly private” meeting, in the study of the Vatican’s Paul VI Audience Hall. The meeting came after a personal appeal by Francis played a key role in finalizing a deal to open relations between the United States and Cuba for the first time in 53 years.

4. According to the AP, Multiple tornadoes tore through North Texas on Saturday, leaving one person dead and others unaccounted for in a sparsely populated farming and ranching area as the system slowly weakened while advancing toward Fort Worth. One of the twisters caused “five miles of destruction” as it ravaged homes in a rural area south of the town of Cisco, about 100 miles west of Fort Worth. One person was killed and others were likely injured. Storms also brought heavy rain and quarter-sized hail to parts of southwest Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon. Parts of western Kansas also were hit by severe weather ripe for tornadoes. But the threatening skies stretched beyond the Plains states, as twin weather systems stretching from the Carolinas to California produced an unseasonably early tropical storm in the Atlantic and a late-season snowstorm in the Rocky Mountains.

5. According to the New York Times, Jameis Winston has filed counterclaims against the woman who accused him of rape, responding to her lawsuit on Friday in federal court in Orlando, Fla., by denying the accusations she lodged last month and accusing her of defaming him and attempting to hinder his career. The woman, Erica Kinsman, who identified herself in the recent documentary “The Hunting Ground,” said Winston raped her in December 2012. Winston was never questioned during an investigation by the police in Tallahassee, Fla., and local prosecutors declined to charge him.

6. According to the AP, A militant video purports to show Taliban fighters with a surface-to-air missile, claiming they used a similar one to shoot down a Pakistani helicopter carrying diplomats. The video, obtained by The Associated Press, includes a message from the Pakistani Taliban claiming they fired a missile from a distance of 1.9 miles to down the helicopter Friday. The crash killed the ambassadors to Pakistan from the Philippines and Norway and the wives of the ambassadors from Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as three Pakistani crew members. Twelve passengers, many of them diplomats, were injured.

7. According to the New York Times, Yemen’s Houthi rebels said on Sunday that they had agreed to a five-day cease-fire proposed by Saudi Arabia that would allow desperately needed humanitarian relief supplies to be delivered to the country. The Houthis’ acceptance of the cease-fire came as a Saudi-led military coalition bombed the private residence of Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s former president and the Houthis’ most important ally in the war. Mr. Saleh apparently survived the attack on his residence, in Sana, the Yemeni capital.

8. According to the Daily Mail, Five people have been killed in a mass shooting after a gunman opened fire in a tiny town in northern Switzerland. A couple and their son, as well as a heroic neighbour who attempted to save them, were gunned down by the killer who then turned the weapon on himself. Swiss police believe that the bloodbath had been triggered by a family argument.

9. According to the AP, Fighting between police forces and members of an armed group has continued for a second day in the northern Macedonian town of Kumanovo. Local TV channels Alfa and 24 Vesti on Sunday reported that another police officer has died due to severe injuries sustained in the fighting, increasing the death toll of officers to six. At least another 30 were injured in an exchange of fire between special police forces and an armed group that started in the town on Saturday. Early on Sunday, ambulances in Kumanovo were seen carrying wounded policemen and sporadic gunfire was heard.

10. According to CNN, Super Typhoon Noul roared over the northeastern Philippines on Sunday, prompting evacuations and warnings of flooding and landslides in the mountainous region. The storm, referred to as Dodong in the Philippines, hit land Sunday afternoon at the northeastern tip of the island of Luzon, near the small town of Santa Ana. Authorities said they relocated more than 1,200 residents of vulnerable areas to evacuation centers ahead of the typhoon’s arrival.

As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: Matthew 18:15 says, “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.”

As always, we want you to know that God loves you. He loves you so much that the Bible says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, why don’t you get to know Him today. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose by the power of God for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening. May God bless your day.