At least 44 people were killed and 12 more injured when two bombs ignited in the mostly Kurdish town in Syria called Qamishli. ISIS is believed to be behind the attack. According to reports from the area, a truck packed with bombs and a motorcycle armed with more bombs, drove into the town, and blew up several buildings.
According to authorities in France, an 86-year-old priest was murdered by two men, who claimed to be linked to ISIS, inside of his own church in France. The two individuals stormed the Catholic church, taking several hostages—including two nuns and two parishioners—and, according to some reports, beheaded the priest. One of the other hostages was also badly injured. The attackers were killed by police. President Francois Hollande called it a “cowardly assassination,” and vowed that his country would continue to fight the radical Islamic group.
France has been targeted by several high-profile terror attacks, including the murder of the staff of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last year, a mass shooting targeting concert goers and people eating at cafes in Paris and, recently, an attack carried out by man who rammed a truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice. Discuss
Authorities say that at least 80 people were killed and more than 260 were injured when two suicide bombers detonated blasts during a peaceful protest by a Shiite minority group in Kabul, Afghanistan. ISIS, who regularly targets members of the Muslim group, has claimed responsibility for the horrific attack. According to CNN, another suicide bomber was identified by police, but was killed before he was able to set off his vest.
Turkey is still reeling after a failed attempt at a coup left more than 250 people dead and 8,000 police officers and several thousand government officials detained.
The attempt started on Friday with an army group declaring that they had "taken control of the country," but thousands of Turkish citizens responded to a rallying call from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who encouraged them to take to the streets to fight against the army group.
"The president, whom 52 percent of the people brought to power, is in charge," Erdogan said. "This government brought to power by the people, is in charge. They won't succeed as long as we stand against them by risking everything."
Turkey's government initially blamed the coup on Fethullah Gulen, the former chief ally to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is currently living in exile in Pennsylvania. New information has come out saying that Turkey's former air force chief Akin Ozturk has confessed to planning the coup, according to Al Jazeera.
The aftermath of the coup will be important to watch because of the other implications it will hold. Shortly after the failed coup, Erdogan discussed reinstating the death penalty, which is not allowed for countries with EU membership. Turkey is still waiting to join the EU. Discuss
This has to be a first: A black man in Canada was pulled over because police were called on him for reading a book.
Oh, and he was reading C.S. Lewis.
Last week, Louizandre Dauphin, a 33-year-old former high school English teacher, decided to relax by reading Mere Christianity and another book by pastor Timothy Keller at a nearby wharf. After he left, a police officer pulled him over.
Before any more Canadians get too comfortable on their high horses, let me share with you what happened to me about an hour ago. This week has not been easy for me. Amidst a number of personal and professional struggles, my mind has been occupied with the latest string of black males killed by the police over the last few days. So, instead of stewing in my apartment, I decided to take a drive to the Stonehaven Wharf and sit by the water on this cold, rainy July day and try to pacify my mind by reading the works of Timothy Keller and C.S. Lewis.
Thankfully, [the police officer] is kind and respectful and asks me the usual questions; where I'm from and where I'm going.
He smiles and says that a few citizens in Janeville called the police because of a suspicious black man in a white car was parked at the Wharf for a couple hours. My response, "Really? I was just reading a book." He smiles, shrugs and replies, "Well, you know, it's a small town."
So, a black male, sitting in his car, reading a book is suspicious activity. Good to know. At this rate, I may never leave my home again.
Dauphin tells The Washington Post that his pull over is proof that Canada isn't immune to the same racial profiling that exist in the United States.
Russian president Vladimir Putin recently approved a series of amendments to several surveillance and anti-terrorism laws—including one that bans people from evangelizing outside of a church. This amendment would even ban Russians from inviting friends to church over email or telephone, and discussing faith anywhere that isn't the confines of a recognized church building.
It's pretty shocking.
The specific law that's being amended is, "On freedom of conscience and on religious associations.”
The new law would require foreign missionaries to have a work permit from Russian authorities in order to speak at a church. Sharing your faith with someone who isn't a believer would be considered missionary work and is punishable by law, according to Christian Post. The laws become enforceable for children as young as 14 and anyone who witnesses a person doing any of these things would be responsible for reporting their activity.
The introduction to the laws was met with widespread protests, as well as fasting and praying .
Hannu Hauka, president of Great Commission Media Ministries, told National Religious Broadcasters, that the new laws are close to what the Soviet Union enforced in the 1920s.
"This new situation resembles the Soviet Union in 1929. At that time confession of faith was permitted only in church," he said. "Practically speaking, we are back in the same situation. These anti-terrorist laws are some of the most restrictive laws in post-Soviet history."
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom's chair, Thomas J. Reese released a press release condemning the amendment.
“These deeply flawed anti-terrorism measures will buttress the Russian government’s war against human rights and religious freedom. They will make it easier for Russian authorities to repress religious communities, stifle peaceful dissent, and detain and imprison people. Neither these measures nor the currently existing anti-extremism law meet international human rights and religious freedom standards.”