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    by Published on 04-02-2019 08:46 AM

    Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo delivers Remarks at the U.S. Army War College



    Carlisle, Pennsylvania - - (April 1, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of State published the following information concerning Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo's remarks at the U.S. Army War College:









    SECRETARY POMPEO: Good morning, everyone.

    AUDIENCE: Good morning.

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you, Jaymie, too for the kind introduction. Thanks to my – I was going to say old, but I’ll say long-time friend General Kem, because it would date me if I said he was old. It’s good. By the way, as the Secretary of State, you know it’s all about leverage, and as we were talking about our time, we were both in the same
    ...
    by Published on 03-30-2019 10:03 PM

    Poll Finds Two-thirds of New Yorkers Oppose Late-term Abortion



    Albany, N.Y., Mar 29, 2019 / 11:30 am (CNA).- The vast majority of New Yorkers are opposed to late-term abortion, a new Marist Poll has found. The opposition comes despite the recent passage of the state’s Reproductive Health Act, which found a comfortable majority in the state legislature.

    The poll, which was co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, found that while nearly two-thirds of New Yorkers identify as being “pro-choice,” they oppose the idea
    ...
    by Published on 03-26-2019 08:36 PM

    Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo's Remarks to the PressWashington, DC - - (March 26, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of State provided the following information about Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo's Remarks to the Press:






    SECRETARY POMPEO: Good morning, everyone. Today I’m making two announcements about the State Department’s ongoing efforts to ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars are not used to subsidize or promote abortions.

    The first announcement concerns the so-called “Mexico City Policy.”

    This Reagan-era directive ensures U.S. taxpayer dollars aren’t used to support foreign nongovernmental organizations that perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning.

    President Trump boldly expanded the Mexico City Policy in 2017. It now protects every human life impacted by the nearly $9 billion of foreign aid we spend on global health programs each year, and in turn protects more unborn babies around the world than ever before. This is decent; this is right. And I’m proud to serve in an administration that protects the least amongst us.

    Now, two years into our administration, the vast majority of our implementing partners have agreed to comply with the policy, and they continue to work with us. This administration has shown that we can continue to meet our critical global health goals, including providing healthcare for women, while refusing to subsidize the killing of unborn babies.

    As Secretary of State, I have directed our team to take all appropriate action to implement this policy to the broadest extent possible. Today I’m announcing further refinements to advance our efforts to protect the least amongst us.

    As before, we will continue to refuse to provide assistance to foreign NGOs who perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning.

    Now, as a result of my decision today, we are also making clear we will refuse to provide assistance to foreign NGOs that give financial support to other foreign groups in the global abortion industry.

    We will enforce a strict prohibition on backdoor funding schemes and end-runs around our policy. American taxpayer dollars will not be used to underwrite abortions.

    This brings me to my second announcement. We are also fully enforcing federal law prohibiting the use of U.S. funds, including foreign assistance, to lobby for or against abortion, otherwise known as the Siljander Amendment.

    In light of recent evidence of abortion-related advocacy by an organ of the Organization of American States, I directed my team to include a provision in foreign assistance agreements with the OAS that explicitly prohibits the use of funds to lobby for or against abortion.

    The institutions of the OAS should be focused on addressing crises in Cuba, Nicaragua, and in Venezuela, not on advancing the pro-abortion cause.

    And to ensure that our message is heard loud and clear, we will reduce our contributions to the OAS. Our reduction equals the estimated U.S. share of possible OAS expenditures on these abortion-related activities.

    The American people should rest assured that this administration – and this State Department, and our USAID – will do all we can to safeguard U.S. taxpayer dollars and protect and respect the sanctity of life for people all around the globe.

    Happy to take a couple questions.

    MR PALLADINO: Any questions on --

    QUESTION: Yes.

    MR PALLADINO: EWTN. (Inaudible), go ahead.

    QUESTION: Thank you. Mr. Secretary, some people have called the Mexico City Policy Trump’s global gag rule. What is the problem with describing it as this? And do you take exception to that description?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, I mean, that’s silly. This is a policy that is designed fundamentally to protect human beings. It’s not the policy we’re arguing about, we’re talking about human lives. And our mission statement is very clear. We can achieve – as I talked about, all the global health objectives that are so important, so imperative – the great work that many of these foreign NGOs do without running the risk that they’ll be used to perform abortions or advocate for abortions. This is important. It’s deeply consistent with the most moral behavior of governments, and we’re determined to make sure that we don’t allow taxpayers’ dollars to get to these places.

    MR PALLADINO: Follow-up on this?

    QUESTION: Yes.

    MR PALLADINO: Matt, please, go ahead.

    QUESTION: Hi, sir. Can you be a little bit more explicit about which organ of the OAS? Is it PAHO? And if – and how much it is that --

    SECRETARY POMPEO: We’ll get you a set – we have a sheet. We’re happy to provide you some more details on that.

    QUESTION: Okay, and then just secondly, on a different – well, not slightly different, a lot different. Are you disappointed at all that – of the reaction from the UN chief, from Canada, from Turkey and the Gulf states about the – reject – in essence, saying they’re not going to sign on to the Golan recognition, and they don’t – and they are going to uphold the Security Council resolution that found the annexation null and void?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, I’m saddened by that but not surprised. I remember the move to Jerusalem of our embassy as well. In each case, we’re simply recognizing facts on the ground and the reality and doing the right thing. We hope those nations will join us to understand how important that is, how right it is, and we are continuing to have conversations with – you mentioned a handful of countries – with each of them about this issue, about our decision and why we believe this is fundamentally the right decision as well.

    MR PALLADINO: Al-Arabiya. Go ahead, Nadia.

    QUESTION: Thank you.

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Hi.

    QUESTION: Hi, Mr. Secretary. Just to follow up on the Golan, yesterday Prime Minister Netanyahu said that basically he is entitled to keep it because they won it by war. Are you setting a precedent that powerful countries can actually overtake land over international law?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Yes, ma’am, that’s a good question. The answer is absolutely not. This is an incredibly unique situation. Israel was fighting a defensive battle to save its nation, and it cannot be the case that a UN resolution is a suicide pact. It simply can’t be, and that’s the reality that President Trump recognized in his executive order yesterday.

    MR PALLADINO: Washington Post, Carol Morello.

    QUESTION: Mr. Secretary --

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Yes, ma’am.

    QUESTION: -- many of the NGOs that provide healthcare on the ground, particularly in Africa and some Asian countries, tell a totally different story than what you do. They say that this is particularly hurtful to healthcare to women in the rural areas and, in fact, it will lead to greater pregnancy, more pregnancies and inevitably to more abortions. Is there – what do you – how do you respond to this and is there --

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, they’re just wrong.

    QUESTION: -- anything you’re doing or can do?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: They’re just – they’re just wrong, Carol. They’re just wrong about that. This argument has been presented for an awfully long time, and they’re just factually wrong about that. The moneys that this administration is providing for global health remain. We are working hard. We’re working alongside those NGOs that do some phenomenal work, and the theory that somehow not protecting every human life is destroying human life is perverse on its face.

    MR PALLADINO: Reuters. Lesley, on --

    QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, I’m going to follow up on that. So if you’re cutting back on funding for this, would you expand it in any other areas connected to what Carol was saying on social development, gender equality, and anything on women’s maternal health in developing countries?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah. I mean, we’ve made – I think the Trump administration has made clear since the beginning of the administration that the total dollars allocated for women’s health issues and global health issues – it remains unchanged. We’re just ensuring that those dollars aren’t used to underwrite abortion, something that’s required in the Siljander case – the Siljander Amendment, in federal law.

    MR PALLADINO: Last question, CBS. Please.

    QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, one more on this topic. You said that it’s important to protect the sanctity of life, and talking about some of these NGOs on the ground, they have to make the choice now whether to get those federal funds or keep providing things like HIV and tuberculosis funding. Last year, 940,000 people died of HIV and AIDS, 1.6 million died of tuberculosis. Are you prioritizing preventing abortions over services that could be provided to save those lives and how does that fit in with the sanctity of life?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: I’m not sure I understand your question. We – PEPFAR, the United States provides an enormous set of resources to prevent death from HIV. America is the most generous nation in the history of the world with respect to the particular instance you cite. These two don’t run at cross purposes. We need – one need not perform abortions in order to protect people from HIV. They’re fundamentally disconnected and so there’s --

    QUESTION: But are you saying --

    SECRETARY POMPEO: -- no prioritization there. We still consider PEPFAR and all the activities – the global health initiatives that the United States Government and the State Department in particular underwrite – to be central to achieving objectives that are important for the world and important for the United States.

    QUESTION: But are you forcing these NGOs to make a choice between providing this women’s health service and receiving U.S. funds?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: No, they simply are prohibited from doing these things that run counter to the United States policy, which is not to use U.S. taxpayer dollars to underwrite abortion. That’s all.

    I’ll take one more.

    MR PALLADINO: One more?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah.

    MR PALLADINO: Okay. Kim Dozier, (inaudible).

    QUESTION: Yes.

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Hi. Yes, ma’am.

    QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, what is the U.S. asking for from China with regards to the people of Tibet and Uighur Muslims, protecting their rights?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, we’ve been very vocal about that, and – publicly – and had long conversations with them privately as well. What’s taking place with respect to the Uighurs is tragic. The numbers are in the certainly hundreds of thousands. This is – I think we use the worlds – words “historic human rights abuse,” and we’re working to convince the Chinese that this practice is abhorrent and ought to be stopped.

    Great. Thank you all very much. Have a great day.












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    by Published on 03-19-2019 10:03 PM

    AURORA: Processing a Billion Billion Calculations Per Second!!!

    Chicago, IL - - (March 18, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) made available the following Aurora Announcement Ceremony.









    Aurora is presented by scientists as having the capability to process a billion billion calculations per second.


    Read the U.S. Department of Energy article.









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    by

    U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen Statement on New Zealand Mosque Shootings



    (March 15, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security shared the following:

    Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement in response the shootings in New Zealand:

    "In the wake of the attack on the two mosques in New Zealand, I want to express condolences and sympathies for those affected by the attacks,
    ...
    by Published on 03-15-2019 01:38 PM

    U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo makes Remarks to the Press March 15, 2019
    Washington, DC - - (March 15, 2019) - - Today, the U.S. Department of State published the following, Remarks to the Press, made in the Press Briefing Room by U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo:







    SECRETARY POMPEO: Good morning, everyone. Today I’d like to make brief remarks on two foreign policy issues. But first, I want to offer my personal condolences to the nation of New Zealand in the wake of the grotesque mosque attacks in Christchurch. The thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the victims and their families today. The United States condemns this hateful assault. We pledge our unwavering solidarity with the government and people of New Zealand in this hour of darkness, and we stand ready to offer any and all assistance.

    Now, I’d like to comment on the Senate vote this week to end support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen. We all want this conflict to end. We all want to improve the dire humanitarian situation. But the Trump administration fundamentally disagrees that curbing our assistance to the Saudi-led coalition is the way to achieve these goals. The senators who voted “aye” say they want to end the bombing in Yemen and support human rights. But we really need to think about whose human rights.

    If you truly care about Yemeni lives, you’d support the Saudi-led effort to prevent Yemen from turning into a puppet state of the corrupt, brutish Islamic Republic of Iran. If we truly care about Saudi lives, you’d want to stop Iran-backed Houthis from launching missiles into Riyadh. If you truly care about Arab lives in the region, you’d support allied efforts to prevent Iran from extending its authoritarian rule from Tehran to the Mediterranean Sea and on down to Yemen. And if we truly care about American lives and livelihoods, and the lives and livelihoods of people all around the world, you’d understand that Iran and its proxies cannot be allowed to control the shipping lanes that abut Yemen.

    We’re deeply aware of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and we deplore it. The United States has given more than $2 billion to help the Yemeni people since the start of the conflict, and Saudi Arabia has given over $500 million in 2018 alone and has pledged an additional $500 million this year. The Islamic Republic of Iran has provided zero dollars for humanitarian assistance.

    The way to alleviate the Yemeni people’s suffering isn’t to prolong the conflict by handicapping our partners in the fight, but by giving the Saudi-led coalition the support needed to defeat Iranian-backed rebels and ensure a just peace. We hope – I met with Martin Griffiths yesterday – we hope that agreements can be implemented to de-escalate, but we must make sure that this crisis comes to an end.

    Second item I wanted to talk today about is the International Criminal Court. In a speech last year in Brussels, I made clear that the Trump administration believes reforming international institutions, refocusing them back on their core missions, and holding them accountable when they fail to serve the people that they purport to help. We seek to partner with responsible nations to make sure that international bodies honor the principles of liberty, sovereignty, and the rule of law. Nation-states come together to form these institutions, and it’s only with their consent that these institutions exist.

    Since 1998, the United States has declined to join the ICC because of its broad, unaccountable prosecutorial powers and the threat it poses to American national sovereignty. We are determined to protect the American and allied military and civilian personnel from living in fear of unjust prosecution for actions taken to defend our great nation. We feared that the court could eventually pursue politically motivated prosecutions of Americans, and our fears were warranted.

    November of 2017, the ICC prosecutor requested approval to initiate investigation into, quote, “the situation in Afghanistan,” end of quote. That could illegitimately target American personnel for prosecutions and sentencing. In September of 2018, the Trump administration warned the ICC that if it tried to pursue an investigation of Americans there would be consequences. I understand that the prosecutor’s request for an investigation remains pending.

    Thus today, persistent to existing legal authority to post visa restrictions on any alien, quote, “whose entry or proposed activities in the United States would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences,” end of quote, I’m announcing a policy of U.S. visa restrictions on those individuals directly responsible for any ICC investigation of U.S. personnel. This includes persons who take or have taken action to request or further such an investigation. These visa restrictions may also be used to deter ICC efforts to pursue allied personnel, including Israelis, without allies’ consent. Implementation of this policy has already begun. Under U.S. law, individual visa records are confidential, so I will not provide details as to who has been affected and who will be affected.

    But you should know if you’re responsible for the proposed ICC investigation of U.S. personnel in connection with the situation in Afghanistan, you should not assume that you will still have or will get a visa, or that you will be permitted to enter the United States. The United States will implement these measures consistent with applicable law, including our obligations under the United Nations Headquarters Agreement. These visa restrictions will not be the end of our efforts. We are prepared to take additional steps, including economic sanctions if the ICC does not change its course.

    The first and highest obligation of our government is to protect its citizens and this administration will carry out that duty. America’s enduring commitment to the rule of law, accountability, and justice is the envy of the world, and it is the core – at the core of our country’s success. When U.S. service members fail to adhere to our strict code of military conduct, they are reprimanded, they’re court-martialed, and sentenced if that’s what’s deserved. The U.S. Government, where possible, takes legal action against those responsible for international crimes. The United States directs foreign aid to strengthen foreign nations’ domestic justice systems, the first and best line of defense against impunity.

    The United States also supports international hybrid legal mechanisms when they operate effectively and are consistent with our national interest. These would include, for example, the mechanism handling Rwandan and Yugoslav atrocities and international evidence collection efforts in both Syria and Burma. But the ICC is attacking America’s rule of law. It’s not too late for the court to change course and we urge that it do so immediately. Thank you.

    MR PALLADINO: We have time – the Secretary has time for a few questions. Let’s go to Associated Press, Matt.

    QUESTION: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Yes. Morning, Matt.

    QUESTION: Just very briefly on the ICC decision, are you doing this today because they haven’t closed or dropped the pending Afghanistan investigation or is there some other reason?

    And then secondly, I’m wondering if you’ve had a chance to see and if you could respond to what the North Korean deputy foreign minister said overnight about the U.S. giving up a golden opportunity by walking away in Hanoi and blaming you personally and Ambassador Bolton for creating this atmosphere of hostility.

    SECRETARY POMPEO: So with respect to the reason for the actions we’re taking today, it’s part of a continued effort to convince the ICC to change course with its potential investigation and potential prosecution of Americans for their activities and our allies’ activities in Afghanistan, trying to stop them, trying to prevent them from taking actions that are deeply inconsistent, in our view, with the course of action that has been laid out for the ICC, even though we’re not members. That’s a model that we’ve talked about before, and we are now implementing what we had already said that we would do.

    I did have a chance to see the remarks overnight from Choe Son-hui. In Singapore, after a great deal of work, the two leaders came together and began a course of action which has led to the toughest sanctions that have existed against North Korea – global sanctions, UN Security Council resolution sanctions that remain in effect. The demands of those sanctions are the complete denuclearization of North Korea, the missiles, the weapons systems, the entire WMD program. That’s the requirement laid out by the United Nations Security Council.

    The two leaders met. Chairman Kim made a commitment to denuclearize. We continued to work between Singapore and Hanoi to deliver on that. We’ve had hostages return. We have them having stopped missile testing and nuclear testing. We are hopeful that we can continue to have conversation, negotiations. I saw the remarks that she made. She left open the possibility that negotiations would continue for sure. It’s the administration’s desire that we continue to have conversations around this. As the President said when he was in Hanoi, the offer that they made simply didn’t rise to the level that was acceptable given what they were asking for in exchange for that.

    MR PALLADINO: Let’s go to BBC, Barbara.

    QUESTION: Just a quick follow-up on North Korea: What’s the next step, then? Because there has also – she also hinted that Kim Jong-un would make a statement possibly lifting the moratorium on tests.

    And then secondly, if I could on Golan, the human rights ambassador said on Wednesday that removing the word “occupation” or “occupied” from the Golan and the West Bank was not a policy change, but we know that Israel is afraid of Iran and Hizballah threatening Israel from the Syrian side of the Golan, so in your view, does that strengthen the Israeli case for annexing the occupied bit?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: So I don’t have anything to add about the change in language that we used. It was characterized properly. There is a real risk. The proxies that are in the region, in southern Syria and in the vicinity of the Golan Heights, are presenting risk to the Israelis, and we’ve made clear the Israelis have a right to defend themselves. With respect to what was said last night about Chairman Kim potentially considering ending the moratorium, I can say only this: In Hanoi, on multiple occasions, he spoke directly to the President and made a commitment that he would not resume nuclear testing, nor would he resume missile testing. So that’s Chairman Kim’s word. We have every expectation that he will live up to that commitment.

    MR PALLADINO: CNN, Michelle.

    QUESTION: Thanks. This week – on North Korea again – the State Department has said that talks have continued with North Korea. On what level have they continued?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, I’m not going to talk about the negotiations. They’re ongoing.

    QUESTION: So --

    SECRETARY POMPEO: I’ve been very consistent about that.

    QUESTION: Does this --

    SECRETARY POMPEO: I intend to be.

    QUESTION: Well I mean, saying what level they continued on doesn’t necessarily give anything away.

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, I understand.

    QUESTION: But – but this announcement, then, was – did this come out of left field from your point of view? And if I could, on the ICC, you mentioned that this is already being implemented. Could you give us a number or an assessment of how many people will immediately be affected by sanctions?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: No.

    MR PALLADINO: Last question. Washington Post, Carol Morello.

    QUESTION: Sir, do you think the attacks on you personally made by the North Koreans will hamper your ability to continue negotiations or do you think you’re going to have to pull back in some way? Because they clearly are accusing – clearly, they flatly accused you of creating an atmosphere of mistrust and hostility.

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah. Well first, they’re wrong about that, and – I was there. I have – my relationship with Kim Yong-chol is professional. We have detailed conversations. I expect that we will continue to do that. He’s the counterpart that the North Koreans have put forward for me. It’s not the first time – I have a vague recollection of being called “gangster-like” from a visit that I took one time previously, and following that we continued to have very professional conversations where we tried our best to work together and represent our respective sides. I have every expectation that we’ll be able to continue to do that.

    MR PALLADINO: All right, thank you all.

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Great, thank you all. Have a good day.

    MR PALLADINO: All right, thank you.










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    by Published on 03-14-2019 10:21 AM

    Understanding Your FEMA Determination Letter or Email


    Clanton, Ala - - (March 13, 2019) - - Today, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published the followng information:

    After registering for disaster assistance, you may receive a determination letter by mail or email from FEMA. Read your determination letter carefully to understand your eligibility for federal assistance.

    There are many reasons for an initial ineligibility determination. The most common
    ...

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  • Riding High


    When you are riding high, take a look and see whose horse you are on.

    By:
    Pastor Clarence William Page
    Ordained Christian Minister (OCR)