NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice went undercover as a Lyft driver in San Francisco for the day. And, even though he drove plenty of 49ers fans, no one recognized him until he revealed his identity at the end of the ride. If it turns out there's not much money in being an NFL legend, at least we know he can earn his keep taxiing folks around. Discuss
A real-life story unfolding in Australia sounds more like an insane movie plot. A man named Balenga Kalala paid three hitmen to kill his wife, Noela Rukundo while she was on a trip to her home country of Burundi, because he thought she was running off with another man. After kidnapping, blindfolding and threatening her, the unidentified hitmen, who somehow knew Rukundo's brother, decided to let her live. Without telling her husband, they dropped her off on the side of a road with a cell phone and evidence of the whole, dirty exchange. She made her way back to Melbourne, Australia where her husband had told their friends and children that she had died in a tragic accident. She got back in time for her own funeral and surprised her horrified husband, who immediately cried, “I’m sorry for everything.” Unsurprisingly, that didn't resolve the issue, and Rukundo called the police. Kalala has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to nine years in prison for incitement to murder, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Discuss
Earlier this morning, a 20-story crane collapsed in Lower Manhattan. The massive crane toppled over and fell on a row of parker cars in Tribeca, killing one and injuring 15. The man who was killed was 38-year-old David Wichs. "He was a wonderful, wonderful person. He was the best, the absolute best, and that's what makes this tragedy that much greater," his rabbi told New York Daily News. A crew was working with the crane when it started tumbling out of control due to 20-mile-per-hour winds. They ceased work and were lowering the crane to secure it when it began to plummet to the ground. Discuss
The highest ranking member of China’s officially recognized Protestant church has been imprisoned after he vocally opposed the government’s plan to demolish crosses displayed on churches in the province of Zhejiang. According to reports from the group China Aid, Pastor Gu Yuese has been placed in a “black jail” and is under “residential surveillance.” Gu’s wife and several family members are also now missing.
In a statement, the president and founder of the group China Aid, Bob Fu, said, “His arrest marks a major escalation in the crackdown against those who oppose the forced demolition of crosses. He will be the highest-ranking national church leader arrested since the Cultural Revolution.” Government officials have disputed the details of his imprisonment, saying that he is being investigated for “suspicions of economic issues, including embezzling money.” Activists and supporters, however, have said that the arrest was motivated by Gu’s opposition to the government’s recent crackdown. Discuss
This week, President Obama addressed the National Prayer Breakfast, and used the opportunity to essentially preach a sermon on fear—and why the Bible calls us to reject it. While acknowledging global violence, economic hardships and environmental concerns, he said that “Jesus is a good cure for fear.”:
Lately I’ve been thinking and praying on verse from 2 Timothy, ‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind’ … “Fear can feed our most selfish impulses and erode the bonds of community. It is a primal emotion–fear–one that we all experience, and it can be contagious, spreading through societies, and through nations, and if we let it consume us, the consequences of that fear can be worse than any outward threat.
For me, and I know for so many of you, faith is the great cure for fear. Jesus is a good cure for fear. God gives believers the power, the love, the sound mind required to conquer any fear, and what more important moment for that faith than right now? … What better time than these changing tumultuous times to have Jesus standing beside us, steadying our minds, cleansing our hearts, pointing us towards what matters. His love gives us the power to resist fear’s temptations.
He gives us the courage to reach out to others across that divide rather than push people away. He gives us the courage to go against the conventional wisdom and stand up for what’s right even when it’s not popular – to stand up not just to our enemies, but sometimes stand up to our friends.
He also discussed his recent visit to mosque, and the need for people of all faiths to reject fear and embrace peace. You can watch his entire address below. Discuss