The Early Morning News with Ray – November 29, 2015
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UCCS police officer, Garrett Swasey (University of Colorado Colorado Springs)
The hero officer killed in the shooting Friday at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic had lived a life devoted to his job, his family and his Christian faith, according to his friends.
The body of the fallen University of Colorado at Colorado Springs officer Garrett Swasey was transported from the crime scene to the El Paso County Coroner’s office early Saturday, accompanied on the snowy 10-mile trip by a long line of police vehicles.
Officers who participated told KRDO-TV they wanted to honor Swasey, 44, who left behind a wife and two young children.
Swasey was killed as cops exchanged gunfire with 57-year-old suspect Robert Dear during a five-hour standoff Friday at the clinic Planned Parenthood runs in Colorado Springs. Dear, of Hartsel, Colo., later surrendered to police.
Police say two civilians were also killed in the rampage. They have not been identified.
Nov. 27, 2015: A police officer outside the venue of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Le Bourget, outside Paris, France. (AP)
President Obama arrives Sunday in Paris to finalize a global climate-change pact that if completed would be a legacy-defining part of his presidency. But he awaits challenges at home and abroad, including questions about who will pay for the changes and whether terrorism is a more imminent concern.
On Capitol Hill, Senate Republicans suggested last week that the GOP-led chamber must approve the Paris deal, or it will withhold billions that the U.S. has pledged, as part of the pact, to help poor countries reduce their carbon output.
Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and 36 other GOP senators said in a letter to Obama “Congress will not be forthcoming with these funds in the future without a vote in the Senate on any final agreement as required in the U.S. Constitution,”.
They also made clear that any deal including taxpayer money and a binding timetable on emissions must have Senate approval. And they argue that Obama has already pledged $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund “without the consent of Congress.”
The United Nations talks will take place on the outskirts of Paris, which has also sparked concerns about whether world leaders should now be more focused on stopping terror groups. “I have to salute the responsibility of the organizations who would have liked to demonstrate but who understand that if they demonstrate in a public place there is a security risk, or even a risk of panic,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told The Guardian.
About 150 heads of state are set to join Obama for talks on Monday and Tuesday as the deal nears the finish line. The goal is to secure worldwide cuts to emissions of heat-trapping gases to limit the rise of global temperatures to about another 2 degrees from now. The concept behind a Paris pact is that the 170 or so nations already have filed their plans. They would then promise to fulfill their commitments in a separate arrangement to avoid the need for ratification by the U.S. Senate.
Latin America countries attending the negotiations reportedly will demand that the wealthiest countries and those that pollute the most pay for the reduction of carbon emissions.
In the United States, the talks are entangled in the debate about whether humans really are contributing to climate change, and what, if anything, policymakers should do about it. Almost all Republicans, along with some Democrats, oppose the steps Obama has taken to curb greenhouse gas emissions, arguing they will hurt the economy, shutter coal plants and eliminate jobs in power-producing states.
Half the states are suing the administration to try to block Obama’s unprecedented regulations to cut power plant emissions by roughly one-third by 2030. The states say Obama has exceeded his authority and is misusing the decades-old Clean Air Act. If their lawsuit succeeds, Obama would be hard-pressed to deliver the 26 percent to 28 percent cut in overall U.S. emissions by 2030 that he has promised as America’s contribution. With the president’s executive power ending at the beginning of 2017, any future president could repeal whatever Obama promises. All Republicans running for president are unanimous in their opposition to Obama’s power plant rules; many say that if elected, they immediately would rip up the rules.
Opponents also are trying to gut the power plant rules through a rarely used legislative maneuver that already has passed the Senate. A House vote is expected while international negotiators are in Paris.
The administration mostly has acted through executive power: proposing the carbon dioxide limits on power plants, which mostly affect coal-fired plants; putting limits on methane emissions; and ratcheting up fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks, which also cuts down on carbon pollution.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for sanctions against Turkey, including a ban on some goods and prohibiting extensions of labor contracts for Turks working in Russia.
The mandate published on the Kremlin’s website Saturday follows the downing this week by Turkey of a Russian warplane. This order also comes shortly after Turkey’s presdident told supporters that he was “truly saddened” and wished the incident hadn’t occured.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed supporters in the western city of Balikesir, early Saturday. He apologized for the first time since Turkish F-16 jets shot down the Russian jet on grounds that it had violated Turkey’s airspace despite repeated warnings to change course. Erdogan said neither country should allow the incident to escalate and take a destructive form that would lead to “saddening consequences.”
President Erdogan called again for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin in the sidelines of a climate conference in Paris next week, saying it would be an opportunity to overcome tensions. The Associated Press reports that Erdogan’s friendly overture however, came after he defended Turkey’s action and criticized Russia for its operations in Syria.
“If we allow our sovereign rights to be violated … then the territory would no longer be our territory,” Erdogan said.
Putin denounced the Turkish action as a “treacherous stab in the back,” and insisted that the plane was downed over Syrian territory in violation of international law. He has also refused to take calls and meeting requests from Erdogan.
Since the incident, Russia has deployed long-range S-400 air defense missiles system to an air base in Syria to protect Russian warplanes and the Russian military warned it would shoot down any aerial target that would pose a potential threat to its planes. Both countries have urged its citizens to delay non-urgent and unnecessary travel.
Putin’s new sanctions now call for chartered flights from Russia to Turkey to be stopped and for Russian tourism companies to stop selling vacation packages that would include a stay in Turkey.
(CNN)Flooding has led today to three deaths in the Dallas, Texas, area after severe rains that have also left tens of thousands without power on this wintry day.
More than 7 inches of rain have fallen in the Dallas area from Friday through this afternoon, leading to widespread flooding, and more rain is expected into Sunday.
The victims include a man in Garland, northeast of Dallas. Benjamin Floyd, 29, was on his way to work Friday when raging floodwaters swept his car off the road, according to CNN affiliate WFAA. Garland city officials said the man was unable to get out of his vehicle before it was submerged.
A 70-year-old woman remains missing and presumed dead in Tarrant County (where Georgia and I live), a situation that led to the dramatic attempted rescue of a sheriff’s deputy who got caught up in floodwaters while trying to save her. Sheriff’s department spokeswoman Terry Grisham said the woman’s car was swept away by high waters Friday morning. During an attempt to rescue her, sheriff’s deputy Krystal Salazar got caught in the surging waters and had to hold on to a tree for two hours. Salazar was then rescued.
Meanwhile in Oklahoma, state Department of Transportation crews continue to treat highways and bridges with salt and sand in several affected areas, according to CNN affiliate KFOR. Drivers are advised to be alert to downed limbs and power lines in roadways.
The rains affecting Dallas were part of a system that was leaving dangerously icy travel conditions to west and north Saturday, from western Texas through Oklahoma and Kansas. Freezing rain was expected from Amarillo, Texas, to just west of Kansas City.
As of Saturday morning, ice storms had left nearly 60,000 people in Oklahoma City without power, according to power company OG&E’s Twitter account. Downed power lines have been reported in nearly every community across central Oklahoma.
Another 6.5 million people are still under a winter weather or freezing rain advisory.
Oklahoma Department of Transportation spokesman Cody Boyd told KFOR “If temperatures continue to fall, we’ll definitely see some refreezing of the wet roads. The roadways will ‘become ice overnight.'”
Flash flood watches are in effect for 11 million people from Texas to Missouri.
Sam Roth, Michael Guy and Jason Hanna contributed to this report.
The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily blocked a historic and controversial election from moving forward in Hawaii.
Native Hawaiians are currently nearing the end of a month-long election to select delegates for a constitutional convention, but on Friday, Justice Anthony Kennedy issued an order blocking both the counting of votes and the certification of any winners “pending further order” by the court.
The election is seen by many as a first step for Native Hawaiian self-determination. The elected delegates would attend a constitutional convention and recommend a form of self-government, deciding what — if any — relationship that government should have with the United States.
But opponents of the election say the process is unconstitutional and racially exclusive.
A group of native and non-native residents is challenging the election, arguing Hawaii residents who don’t have Native Hawaiian ancestry are being excluded from a vote that affects the state. They also argue that the election is racially exclusive and therefore unconstitutional.
Attorneys representing Hawaii have argued that the state isn’t involved in the election
Participants listen to speakers at the November 21 “Stop Bullying Christians” rally at Toronto’s Dundas Square, which organizers say drew a crowd of about 600 to 700 people.Lianne Laurence / LifeSiteNews
Thanks to Lianne Laurence and LifeSiteNews for this news coverage:
TORONTO, November 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – An estimated 600 to 700 participants at the “Stop bullying Christians” rally prayed, listened, waved signs, danced and sang hymns in Toronto’s Dundas Square on a cold, overcast Saturday afternoon before marching to City Hall to protest what they say is the city’s blatant discrimination against Christians.
Rally organizer David Lynn urged the crowd, which gathered on one side of Yonge Street to face an Eaton’s Centre teeming with Christmas shoppers, to stand up for their Christian faith whatever the cost.
“Stop being afraid!” said the charismatic street preacher and pastor-founder of the non-denominational Christ’s Forgiveness Ministries. “I am a Christian! You are a Christian! And being a Christian is the greatest thing that you could ever be!”
The rally was the latest pushback against the City of Toronto and the management board of Yonge-Dundas Square’s October decision to ban the Christian group, Voices of the Nations (VON), from using the square for its annual August music event.
Peter Ruparelia, president of Voices of the Nations, with wife Beena at his right, told the rally-goers that Christians need to fight discrimination together: “We are one. I thank you.”Lianne Laurence / LifeSiteNews
Voices of the Nations was denied a permit to use the square for the first time in six years because it allegedly violated a law against proselytizing in the public square.
“If you’re praising Jesus, ‘praise the Lord,’ and ‘there’s no God like Jehovah,’ that type of thing, that’s proselytizing,” Natalie Belman, manager of events for Yonge-Dundas Square, told VON’s Leye Oyelami, as verified in an audio recording obtained by LifeSiteNews.
LifeSiteNews subsequently launched a petition urging the city to repeal its decision, drawing about 30,000 signatures. VON director Peter Ruparelia has delivered it, along with a 10,000-name petition from TheRebel.media, to Mayor John Tory’s office.
Calgary-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, acting on VON’s behalf, is now appealing the Dundas-Yonge management board’s decision to the City of Toronto on December 10, on VON’s behalf.
The rally concluded with a march to Toronto’s City Hall for a prayer service, then a march back to Dundas Square.Lianne Laurence / LifeSiteNews
Dr. Charles McVety, president of Canada Christian College, told Saturday’s rally that Christians should be at that public appeal hearing.
“The public, that’s us, this is our city,” he said. “We need you to be there front and centre. The government doesn’t always recognize the power of God, but they do recognize power.”
Faith Goldy, Christian political commentator and broadcaster, told the rally that Voices of the Nations experienced not just bullying but “illegal censorship. And the truth is that in this country, there is a new normal, and that is that Christians can be treated as second-class citizens.”
She pointed to other examples: Justin Trudeau, Liberal prime minister, “bans pro-lifers from his party,” while Ontario’s Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne “institutes gay-straight alliances and an insidious, secular sex-ed into schools that have the denominational right to teach that Jesus Christ is Lord.”
“And now we are being told we cannot say ‘Jesus’ in public?” she asked. “I have a right to freedom of religion, expression, assembly, conscience, and I will exercise that right.”
Goldy also excoriated Toronto Mayor John Tory. “Why so quiet, Mr. Mayor? Would you allow Muslims to be banned for daring to utter the name ‘Mohammed’? Why can we not say ‘Jesus’ in this square?” she asked rhetorically, before exhorting the crowd: “Say it with me: ‘Jesus! Jesus!'” and the crowd responded enthusiastically, as the square resounded for several minutes with the name of “Jesus!”
“I hope Mayor Tory can hear you all the way from City Hall,” observed Goldy. “Because he better get used to it, we’re not going anywhere.”
Participants march down Bay Street back to Yonge-Dundas Square after praying in front of Toronto’s City Hall.Lianne Laurence / LifeSiteNews
VON director Ruparelia “It just saddens me that [the city] didn’t even email us or even acknowledge us.” After VON delivered 40,000 signatures to the mayor.”
He urged rally participants to contact their city councilors to protest the decision.
Street preacher and rally organizer David Lynn speaks from a makeshift stage at Yonge-Dundas Square, Yonge Street behind him, telling Christians to: “Stop being afraid!”Lianne Laurence / LifeSiteNews
“I just want to thank those who came out today, from the bottom of my heart,” Ruparelia said. “We need to show unity, and right now I see unity, I see every culture, I see every denomination. We are one. I thank you.”
Organizer Lynn told the crowd about his own experience of persecution in his street ministry, and that he had listened to the audio between VON’s Oleyami and Belman “and it was awful.”
But “God arranged this situation so we could come together,” Lynn said.
“It’s funny, I’ve learned…that every time the enemy tries to stop the Gospel, all that God does is use that to bring Christians together and to create a louder voice,” he told the crowd. “So I’m encouraged today to know that Christians are coming together, standing up and being empowered.”
Lynn told LifeSiteNews that “coming to a rally, this is a new thing for the Christian community.”
He sees two reasons for this. “I think a lot of Christians may not know there is a strong anti-Christian bias” in the culture, “or if they do, they’re afraid to talk about it. They don’t want any trouble, they just kind of let it go.”
Lynn says that the anti-Christian prejudice “is getting worse,” but that in the history of the Christian faith, “great revivals” have occurred in the midst of persecutions.
“I’m believing that Toronto will see a revival and many will get saved, and we might just spare another generation before the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” Lynn said. “It’s possible, and as we can see, so many people are rising up. It is possible.”
McVety, too, stressed that Christians need to unite and stand up.
VON’s Ruparelia is “under attack, and we as a church stand with him, because we know that if he falls, we fall,” he stated in prayer. “If he loses his right to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord, then we lose our right.”
Ruparelia’s wife Beena, who converted to Christianity from Hinduism, agreed. “We need to stand for Jesus,” she told LifeSiteNews. “It’s about souls. The Bible says that we have to win souls and spread the Gospel.”
She reiterated that Voices of the Nations is willing to “go right to the Supreme Court” to reverse the decision by the Dundas-Square management, but right now they are looking to the appeal.
“We’re just going by faith. We’re fasting and praying that they’ll overturn their decision on December 10.”
Those who wish to donate to Voices of the Nations, sign their petition, or want more information on December 10 appeal, simply Google Voices of the Nations.com
Vin Scully, the voice of the Dodgers for 67 years
Los Angeles will undoubtedly be in mourning at the end of next year’s baseball season and they hear the final game announced by Dodgers sports reporter Vin Scully. I listened to Vin faithfully during all the 44 years I lived in the Los Angeles area. No one can call a baseball game like he can. No one living in Los Angeles wants to believe what Vin Scully is saying. He says that next season will probably be his last season of broadcasting the Dodger baseball games on radio or TV.
“Probably” is a comfortable buffer that offered Dodger fans hope that hemight change his mind. But the more the sportscaster has thought and talked about retiring, the more definitive his decision seems to become.
“Each year, I knew I was getting closer and closer,” Scully said. “Finally, this past fall and winter — I think it’s time. I don’t want somebody else to tell me it’s time. I would rather do it myself.”
Scully turned 88 last Sunday. “I really can’t see that I would come back,” he said. “Sooner or later, you have to be realistic. I’ve done it for a long, long time. I’ve done reasonably well at it. But I don’t want to stay on any longer than I feel I should.
Scully is the longest tenured broadcaster with one team in sports history. Next season will mark his 67th consecutive year with the Dodgers. In recent seasons, he has done three innings of simulcast on the radio and TV, and then the final six exclusively on television.
Scully, one of the most loved men in Los Angeles history, said he’s simply come to the point where he knows it’s time. He said his wife, Sandi, prepared Thanksgiving dinner at home for their large family for over 40 years until turning it over to three daughters this November.
“Whether it’s Thanksgiving dinner or broadcasting a ballgame, eventually the torch has to be passed,” he said.
“It’s been great, but it’s time. Also you keep thinking to yourself, this is not a dress rehearsal. This is life. You’ve had this tremendous time doing what you love, but time is running out. And I don’t mean to be morbid in any way, but it’s time to just smell the roses and get off the merry-go-round. … It takes a lot of thinking and big-decision making to let go of something you’ve loved all these years. In my mind and heart, this is the time to do it.”
Scully says it does unnerve him to think of full-bore retirement. “If I stop to think about it — I’ll be very honest — I’m somewhat scared to death,” Scully said. “When you’ve run the same motor for all these years and suddenly turn it off, I know there will be a deafening silence. But I’ll just have to be fortunate having had a wonderful marriage. I’ll spend more time with Sandi, and God willing, with family and smell the roses.”
The LA Dodgers officially named Dave Roberts as their new manager Monday.
Roberts, 43, will be formally introduced at a news conference on Dec. 1 at Dodger Stadium.
Roberts was an outfielder for the Dodgers for 2½ seasons, starting in 2002.
“It’s hard for me to put into words what i use t means to be named manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers,” Roberts said in a news release. “This is truly the opportunity of a lifetime.
Steve Dilbeck added:
At some point do you suspect Dave Roberts will wonder exactly what he’s gotten himself into?
At first blush, the team he inherits as manager must appear pretty impressive. They’re coming off three consecutive division titles, have the biggest payroll in sports history and baseball’s best pitcher in Clayton Kershaw.
So much to like, at least on the surface. But the Dodgers never have pretended to be a team without warts, and for all their positives, there is plenty to be concerned about.
FOX 28 [West Jefferson, Ohio]: “A West Jefferson woman fought the law and she won. Andrea Cammelleri thought her car was stolen back in February of 2014 when it wasn’t parked outside of her house. However, it had not been stolen; it had been ticketed and towed. She immediately started fighting the ticket…Her truck was towed because she parked on the street for more than 24 hours…The ordinance about parking time limits applies to a ‘motor vehicle camper,’ not a motor vehicle and a camper, because there’s no comma between the two. Last week an appeals judge ruled the ordinance should be read as it’s written, that the parking rules apply to ‘motor vehicle campers’ and not Cammelleri’s truck…The appellate judge in the case wrote in his decision West Jefferson should add a comma if it wants to ticket personal vehicles.”
The Early Morning News with Ray – November 29, 2015