the Web Editors 5-09-2017

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As of May 5, according to the Boston Globe, 134 lawsuits have been brought against President Trump in federal court since his inauguration. This contrasts greatly with the number of lawsuits his three most recent predecessors faced at this point in their presidency: Obama met with 26 suits, Bush met with seven, and Clinton met with 15.

Lucy Hadley 5-09-2017

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In the early hours of July 28, 2016, Bresha shot her father with his gun while he slept on the couch. Relatives say this action put an end to years of abuse, accounts that are corroborated with police and child services accounts. In 2011, Brandi Meadows, Bresha’s mother, filled a police report accusing her husband of constant emotional, financial, and physical abuse during 17 years of marriage. She told Fox News, “[Bresha is] my hero. She helped me — she helped all of us so we could have a better life.” According to her lawyer, Ian Friedman, Bresha’s brother and sister — witnesses to the shooting — will testify that Bresha acted in self-defense.

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Jakarta's Christian governor has been sentenced to two years in jail for blasphemy, a harsher-than-expected ruling critics fear will embolden hardline Islamist forces to challenge secularism in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority nation. The April 9 guilty verdict for Basuki Tjahaja Purnama comes amid concern about the growing influence of Islamist groups, who organized mass rallies during a tumultuous election campaign that ended with Purnama losing his bid for another term as governor.

FILE PHOTO: A member of the Al Murisi family, Yemeni nationals who were denied entry into the U.S. at Washington Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Va. February 6, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

Federal appeals court judges on Monday peppered a U.S. Justice Department lawyer with tough questions about President Donald Trump's temporary ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority nations, with several voicing skepticism that protecting national security was the aim of the policy, not religious bias. Six Democratic appointees on a court dominated by judges named by Democratic presidents showed concerns about reviving the Republican president's March executive order that prohibited new visas to enter the United States for citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for three months.

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper are sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., U.S. May 8, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Former Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates said on Monday she warned the White House in January that then-national security adviser Michael Flynn had been compromised and could have been vulnerable to blackmail by Russia. Yates testified at a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing that focused primarily on Flynn, and did not shed much light on other aspects of investigations of allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. election and whether there was collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Moscow.

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May grew up in southeast England, the daughter of a Church of England vicar at a time when much of the nation was, by default, Anglican. In the 1950s and ’60s, the majority of people were married, baptized, and had their funerals in the Church of England, the established church. It was also a time when, despite the nation’s Christianity, few spoke about their faith, or about that of politicians.

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“America is a deeply religious country because religious freedom and tolerance of divergent religious views thrive. President Trump’s efforts to promote religious freedom are thinly-veiled efforts to unleash his conservative religious base into the political arena while also using religion to discriminate. It’s a dual dose of pandering to a base and denying reproductive care.”

Image via Reuters/Randall Hill (left) and Gregorio Borgia (right)

During his early morning visit to the Vatican, Trump will also meet the secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, who is responsible for the Holy See’s relations with states.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan smiles as he departs a meeting at the U.S. Capitol before a vote to repeal Obamacare May 4, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

After months of internal discord, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, which they have been attacking since it was enacted in 2010. Two attempts in recent weeks to pass an overhaul bill had collapsed in confusion, but Republicans overcame their differences in a 217-213 vote that will send the bill to the Senate, where its outlook was uncertain.

Trump will mark the National Day of Prayer by issuing guidance to federal agencies like the Treasury Department on how to interpret a law that says churches and religious organizations risk losing their tax-exempt status if they participate in political campaigns.

Bobby Ross Jr. 5-03-2017

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“Many of the findings of the commission’s year-long investigation were disturbing, and led commission members to question whether the death penalty can be administered in a way that ensures no innocent person is put to death,” according to the in-depth report.

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The global growth of Islam, and in particular the rise of Islamic extremism, have forced recent popes to set out, with increasing urgency, a strategy for engaging the religion.

the Web Editors 5-03-2017

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“The magnitude of his horrible actions cannot be overstated,” said a statement released from the family of Jordan Edwards. The family has called for murder charges to be brought against Oliver. According to the Dallas Police Department, the car Edwards was in drove away from police when it was ordered to stop, and the officers encountered the car as they were responding to gunshots in the area.

Hannah Critchfield 5-02-2017

Chemberly Cummings, being sworn in as member of the Normal Town Council. Photo courtesy Chemberly Cummings.

When Arlene Hosea’s mother came to Normal, Ill., in the 1930s, she could not use a public swimming pool unless it was specifically designated as “colored.” This month, her daughter will take office as a Normal Township Trustee — the first person of color to ever hold the position. Arlene, the recently retired director of Illinois State University’s dining services, is one of two black women to have run for office in the city’s local elections last month. The other, Chemberly Cummings, is also the first person of color to serve in her position — yesterday, she was sworn is as a member of the Normal Town Council.

the Web Editors 5-02-2017

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The civil rights case of Slager's involvement in Scott's death was slated to go to trial later this month. Slager faces several charges in the death of Walter Scott, including lying to fellow law enforcement officers about details of the incident. Moments following Walter Scott’s death were captured on video, and in the video Slager places an object besides Scott’s body — suspected to be his Taser, which would go against Slager’s account that Scott took Slager’s Taser.

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Ahmed Abdelsattar was 14 when Islamic State swept into Mosul and declared a caliphate in 2014. Fearing he would be indoctrinated and sent to fight by the militants, his parents took him out of school.

Three years later, he sells ice cream at a refugee camp for internally displaced Iraqis. His family have lost their home, and his father is too old for the manual labor positions at the camp, which means he is his family's sole breadwinner.

the Web Editors 5-02-2017

Jimmy Kimmel on Monday night offered a heartfelt story about his newborn's birth and health complications.

"If your baby is going to die and it doesn't have to, it shouldn't matter how much money you make. I think that's something that if you're a Republican, Democrat, or something else we all agree on that right?" he said in his tearful monologue.

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“They’ve made it even tougher for LGBTQI people to serve the church they love — to follow God’s call to serve in this church. And it gives anyone the opportunity to file a complaint, to do a witch hunt, to do searches online of marriage certificates. It raises a veil of suspicion on people’s humanity, and that’s not the gospel,” Oliveto said.

Lucy Hadley 5-01-2017

Photo via Dhanya Addanki/ Sojourners 

Labor unions have organized May 1 marches for more than a century, rallying support for shorter work hours, benefits, and safe working conditions. This year, for the first time, they are explicitly partnering with immigrants’ rights groups for the May 1st action.

Image via RNS/UMNS/Mike DuBose

The United Methodist Church’s top court has ruled that the consecration of an openly gay pastor as bishop is against church law.

But, in a somewhat muddled ruling that could reflect the ongoing struggle to determine how great a role LGBTQ members can play in the second largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., the court also ruled that the Rev. Karen Oliveto, its first openly gay bishop, “remains in good standing.”

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