Travel Ban 2.0 Stopped by Hawaiian Judge

travel-ban

Just hours before it was to have taken effect, the President’s travel ban was halted by a Hawaiian judge. The judge said the President’s temporary ban on travel to the U.S. was “issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion, in spite of its stated, religiously-neutral purpose.”

The travel ban affected six primarily Muslim countries and was put in place by the administration as a temporary halt on people coming from countries who cannot or will not provide proper background checks. The President had hoped to use the time of the ban to improve America’s vetting protocols. This was his second attempt to impose a temporary ban, both have been stopped by the courts.

Why this Matters: The President has a constitutional duty in this area and Americans will hold him responsible if there is a terror attack. Pray God will lead and guide Mr. Trump as he decides whether or not to pursue it further and send this matter up to the Supreme Court.

SexScandal
Two Sex Scandals Trouble Military

The Defense Department is investigating online outlets that Marines used in order to share nude photos of female civilians and Marines. Some of the photos are pornographic and others are unposed.

Users of the website, Marines United, allegedly asked on numerous occasions for nude photos of specific female service members, some of whom were identified by name or by the base at which they were stationed.

Facebook said it had shut down the Marines United group, but those reports proved to be exaggerated. Marines United administrators had simply created multiple secret backup rooms in order to skirt law enforcement investigations and Facebook censors

In a hearing held by the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gen. Neller, the commandant of the Marine Corps, promised swift action against the offenders.

“The Marine Corps I’ve served for over 40 years has a problem and we intend to fix it,” he said. “We must attack any behavior that has a corrosive effect on good order and discipline of our Corps.”

The viewing of another person’s “intimate areas” when there’s a reasonable expectation of privacy is banned by the military code of justice. The broadcast and distribution of such media are also prohibited. The penalty for violating the code for current military is dishonorable discharge and loss of benefits, plus up to five years in a military prison. Veterans would be subject to state and federal courts.

Victims can file a “revenge porn” criminal complaint or civil lawsuit.

The investigation is moving into to other branches of the military.

In a separate case, a retired Navy admiral and eight other current and former military officers were indicted on a variety of counts related to sex parties. The charges include bribery with sex, travel, and lavish use of an expense account. The scandal involves a Malaysian defense contractor nicknamed “Fat Leonard,” who offered the services of prostitutes in exchange for classified information.

The indictment also states that memorabilia of Gen. Douglas MacArthur was used for sex acts with prostitutes.

Pray for healing for the women who have been traumatized by these photos and that they will be able to forgive. Pray for the men who have been taken captive by the enemy to do his will. May they find Jesus and forgiveness.

Trump meets Saudi crown prince at the White House in Washington
President Trump with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Trump and Crown Prince Solidify Relations

On Tuesday, President Trump met with the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince/Defense Minister. The meeting was called a “historical turning point in U.S.- Saudi relations” by the prince because the two leaders agreed that Iran posed a regional security threat. This shows a marked difference between President Obama, whose focus was on the Iran nuclear deal at the expense of the Saudis.

According to Fortune.com, the Saudis and other Gulf states view Trump as a strong president who will help contain Iran.

President Trump has said the nuclear deal was not in the best interest of the United States.

The prince is working to revive that country’s finances by diversifying away from dependence on crude oil. The plan is to sell up to 5 percent of the shares of the state oil company. The two leaders also discussed opportunities for U.S. companies to invest in Saudi Arabia

Why this Matters: Before leaving office, Obama suspended the sale of U.S.-made precision-guidance munitions to the Saudis, due to thousands of civilian deaths from Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen. Trump may consider reversing the ban, and it is also possible that President Trump will encourage Saudi investment in the United States, which could boost American employment.

Tillerson
Tillerson Talks Tough to UN Council

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned a group of nine non-profit organizations in a letter this week that the U.S. may withdraw from the U.N. Human Rights Council unless it undergoes “considerable reform.”

According to the media outlet Foreign Policy, the Council has a small window of time to enact reforms.

Humanitarian organizations strongly oppose the U.S. withdrawal. However, Tillerson said he remains skeptical about retaining U.S. membership with states that routinely abuse human rights, such as China, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

The Council was created in 2006, but the George W. Bush administration refused to join due to concerns about the treatment of Israel. The Obama administration reversed that decision in 2009, thinking the Council could be changed from the inside.

In a response to Tillerson’s letter, the Council wrote,

“American leadership in the Council over the last seven years has helped shift that dynamic. Since 2009, the Council has increasingly trained a spotlight on rogue regimes and terrorists, commissioning independent investigations that have exposed serious human rights abuses in North Korea, Iran, Syria, ISIS, and Boko Haram.”

Tillerson said U.S. priorities are:

  • A U.N. Commission of inquiry into atrocities in Syria
  • U.S. support for U.N. special investigators for Iran, North Korea, and Burma
  • Renewal of the mandates of special investigators looking into the use of torture
  • Promoting freedom of expression

Why this Matters: There are two factions within the Trump administration–for and against the UN. The Council and the UN as a whole are not friendly to Israel. If the U.S. withdraws, there will be one less world power to protect her.

How to Pray: Thank You Father for guiding the steps of this President and his administrators. We ask for a season of peace that we can watch our children and grandchildren grow up and flourish. May we all walk in your ways and trust You with our future. We bless Your holy name, amen.

Prov. 16:7 -When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

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