Image via Emily McFarlen Miller/RNS

As the Ark Encounter marks its first anniversary on July 7, attendance at the ark “will draw near the low end of the estimated guest number,” Ham wrote. Park co-founder Mike Zovath told the Lexington Herald-Leader it will attract its 1 millionth visitor by July.

the Web Editors 6-19-2017

In a series of floor motions, inquiries and lengthy speeches, Democrats criticized the closed-door meetings that Republicans have been holding to craft a replacement for Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act. They called for open committee hearings and more time to consider the bill before a Senate vote, which Republicans say could come in the next two weeks, although a draft bill has yet to emerge publicly.

Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, of Sterling, Va., charged with murder. Courtesy Fairfax County Police Dept./Handout via REUTERS

"This tragic case appears to be the result of a road rage incident involving the suspect," a police statement said. "Our investigation at this point does not indicate the victim was targeted because of her race or religion."

the Web Editors 6-19-2017

Image via LaunchGood page

The attack happened early on Sunday near the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque — the largest mosque in the northern Virginia area with 10 days left in the holy month of Ramadan. The victim, identified by the mosque and relatives as Nabra Hassanen, and several friends were walking outside the mosque when they got into a dispute with a motorist in the community of Sterling, the Fairfax County Police Department said in a statement.

the Web Editors 6-16-2017

FILE PHOTO - Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez. Courtesy of Ramsey County Sheriff's Office/Handout via REUTERS

After five days of deliberation, a jury has found the police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile not guilty on all charges.

the Web Editors 6-16-2017

1. 27 Pulse Survivors, Family Members, and First Responders Share Their Stories

“Not only did I have nowhere to hide that night but now in general in my life, this very personal, sensitive subject, it’s out there for everyone to know. That’s why that just kept ringing in my head. Nowhere left to hide. I could no longer hide who I am." The stunning photo essay and website “Dear World Orlando” marks one year since the Pulse nightclub shooting.

Image via Susan Montgomery/ shutterstock.com

Kelly said in a statement on Thursday he was rescinding the initiative, known as DAPA, because "there is no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy."

Image via RNS/AU

After a quarter-century, the Rev. Barry Lynn is retiring as head of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

In court, in congressional hearings, and on cable television, Lynn has led the fight against school-sponsored prayer, religious symbols on public property, and any law that allows government to privilege people of faith.

Image via RNS/Philip Bethancourt

After a fierce backlash on social media, Southern Baptists reversed course and adopted a statement denouncing “alt-right white supremacy,” calling it “antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The unusual move on June 14 was a shift from the previous day, when the Southern Baptist Convention’s Resolutions Committee declined to bring to a vote a Texas pastor’s proposed resolution condemning the “alt-right” movement, whose members include white supremacists.

FILE PHOTO: Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson arrives at a news conference in Chicago on Sept. 21, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young/File Photo

Members of Black Lives Matter and other groups sued the city of Chicago on Wednesday, seeking to force federal court oversight of reforms to the police department, which has been accused of using excessive force against minorities. The lawsuit, filed by civil rights attorneys in the U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois, came after Mayor Rahm Emanuel backed off a pledge to let a federal judge oversee reforms.

Image via RNS/Rep. Ruben Kihuen

Political and religious leaders offered prayers for Rep. Steve Scalise and four others who were injured in a shooting during a GOP congressional baseball practice.

The Democratic team stopped their practice following the shooting on June 14 in Alexandria, Va.

the Web Editors 6-14-2017

FILE PHOTO - The Flint Water Plant tower is seen in Flint, Michigan, U.S. on February 7, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

In 2014, Flint began pumping water from the Flint River into the homes of Flint’s nearly 100,000 residents. Officials have admitted to not properly treating the water with appropriate corrosion measures, resulting in undrinkable lead-poisoned water. 

Image via RNS/Matt Jones

Southern Baptists, grappling with the country’s political realities, adopted a statement on the importance of public officials who display “consistent moral character.”

But, within minutes of that action at their annual meeting, they agreed with a committee’s decision not to bring forth a proposed resolution condemning the “alt-right movement,” whose members include proponents that call themselves white nationalists.

the Web Editors 6-14-2017

Police survey a shooting scene after a gunman opened fire on Republican members of Congress during a baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., June 14. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

According to multiple reports, Rep Steve Scalise (R.-La.) was among at least four people shot at an Alexandria, Va., baseball field as members of Congress were practicing for an upcoming bipartisan congressional game. 

FILE PHOTO" Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters stand amid smoke in Raqqa's western neighbourhood of Jazra, Syria June 11. REUTERS/Rodi Said

Intensified coalition air strikes supporting an assault by U.S.-backed forces on Islamic State's stronghold of Raqqa in Syria are causing a "staggering loss of civilian life," United Nations war crimes investigators said on Wednesday.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill. June 13.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday denounced as a "detestable lie" the idea that he colluded with Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign, and he clashed with Democratic lawmakers over his refusal to detail his conversations with President Donald Trump.

Steve Gaines, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, speaks at the Pastors’ Conference at the Phoenix Convention Center on June 12, in Phoenix. Photo courtesy of Matt Miller

Faced with continuing declines in membership and baptisms, Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines implored delegates to the denomination’s yearly meeting to turn to God and put their emphasis on evangelism.

Pope Francis talks as he embraces a child during a special audience with members of the "Train of the children" at the Vatican, on June 3. Reuters/Remo Casilli

Prominent U.S. ethicists are among a number of international experts chosen by Pope Francis for his bioethics advisory board —  a move that might temper the group’s conservative views on sexual morality and life issues.

the Web Editors 6-13-2017

Image via bakdc/Shutterstock.com

On June 9, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted Adam Purinton, a white man from Kansas, with hate charges for allegedly shooting three men. Two of the men were Indian nationals, and one died of his wounds. According to the Kansas City Star, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, the Indian national who was fatally shot, worked at the company Garmin’s Olathe, Kansas location as an engineer, alongside fellow engineer Alok Madasani, the second Indian national who was shot.

David Beltrán 6-12-2017

Visitors sign a wall outside Pulse Nightclub on the one year anniversary of the shooting in Orlando, Fla. Image via Reuters/Scott Audette.

Rosado was one of the first people to be called the morning of June 12. The body count from the Pulse nightclub shooting was still unconfirmed, but as names started to be released, it was clear that most of the victims were Latinx, particularly of Puerto Rican descent. Many of their families only spoke rudimentary English, a secondary tongue not suitable to communicate the nuance of such tragic news. Rosado remembers how most of the hospital staff did not speak Spanish, and consistently mispronounced the Hispanic names of the victims.

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