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An American doctor and his colleague have joined the nearly 1,100 people who have become infected by the Ebola virus in an outbreak that has claimed 660 lives in West Africa. Health officials say it is the worst outbreak of the virus ever recorded. Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, who were both working with the Christian aid group Samaritan’s Purse, are receiving treatment for the virus they contracted while treating patients in Liberia. The group says that both of the aid workers were taking extreme caution while working with Serving in Mission—a collaborative treatment project between Samaritan’s Purse and the local ELWA Hospital. Both are currently receiving treatment for the potentially deadly virus ... Discuss

 

Even though Guardians of the Galaxy doesn’t release until this weekend, Marvel is confident enough in overwhelmingly positive early reviews and hype that it's already greenlighting a sequel.

Director James Gunn and Chris Pratt made a video message at Comic-Con over the weekend, telling fans that a follow-up to the superhero franchise’s debut movie would be hitting theaters in July 2017. It may face some intense competition though—2017 is stacking up to be a crowded field at the box office. The year will see new releases in The Fantastic Four, Pirates of the Caribbean, LEGO Movie, Despicable Me, Star Wars, Justice League, Avatar and Transformers franchises.

All of the films also have the unenviable task of going up against Croods 2—an animated film that features the voice of box office competition-crusher Nic Cage ... Discuss

 

In an interview with BBC Radio 4 Today over the weekend, Rev. Andrew White, the vicar of Iraq’s only Anglican church, said that the situation caused by ISIS rebels is so bad that it could be the end of Christianity in the region. In the city of Mosul, which has been taken over by ISIS, Christians were given a July 19 ultimatum: convert to Islam or be executed. Rev. White, who is currently in London seeking help for the Christian community in Iraq said in the interview,

Things are so desperate, our people are disappearing. We have had people massacred, their heads chopped off. Are we seeing the end of Christianity? We are committed come what may, we will keep going to the end, but it looks as though the end could be very near.

The Independent is reporting that Human Rights Watch found that religious persecution in the region has become so bad that homes of Christians and Sunni families had been marked with letters painted on the outside of the homes so they can be easily identified ... Discuss

 

Shortly after news that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet had rejected Senator John Kerry's terms for a ceasefire, officials said Israel will observe a 12-hour unilateral ceasefire starting early Saturday morning. The terms of Kerry's truce deal were not immediately made clear, but Israel has said they will not agree to any terms for peace without significant modifications to the proposal. Hamas, in the meantime, has not responded to proposed ceasefire at all ... Discuss