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The World and Everything in It: July 28, 2022


WORLD Radio - The World and Everything in It: July 28, 2022

Christians and clergy in Nigeria are being targeted by Islamist insurgents and criminal gangs; Donald Trump and Mike Pence make pitches to the American people; and the Southeast Hope Awards winner. Plus: commentary from Cal Thomas, and the Thursday morning news.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Good morning!

Recent violence against Christians in Nigeria is raising alarm.

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: WORLD’s Onize Ohikere has a special report.

Also today, both former President Trump and Vice President Pence were in Washington D.C. this week, we’ll hear what they had to say.

Plus one more finalist in our annual Hope Awards for Effective Compassion.

And Cal Thomas on climate alarmism.

BROWN: It’s Thursday, July 28th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Myrna Brown.

BUTLER: And I’m Paul Butler. Good morning!

BROWN: Up next, Anna Johansen Brown with today’s news.

ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN, NEWS ANCHOR: Federal Reserve hikes interest rates  » The Federal Reserve on Wednesday hiked interest rates for the second time in as many months—again by three-quarters of a point.

Chairman Jerome Powell said the size and speed of inflation has caught everyone off-guard, and a nimble response is needed.

POWELL: We will strive to avoid adding uncertainty in what is already an extraordinarily challenging and uncertain time.

Inflation has climbed to 9.1 percent in its fastest rise in over four decades. Powell said he thought the U.S. isn’t currently in a recession, but economists at Bank of America have forecast a mild recession later this year.

Still, the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange rang to applause on Wednesday.

AUDIO: [NYSE closing bell]

The Fed’s move appeared to boost investor confidence. The S&P 500 gained 2.6 percent yesterday, and the Nasdaq saw its greatest daily jump in over two years.

Pelosi could visit Taiwan » U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may soon visit Taiwan, even as China warns she should stay away.

China claims the self-governing island as part of its territory and said it would respond with force if Pelosi makes the trip.

U.S. Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said:

MILLEY: If there's a decision made that Speaker Pelosi or anyone else is going to trial and they they ask for military support we will do what is necessary to ensure a safe safe conduct of their business.

Pelosi originally planned to visit back in April but delayed the trip when she contracted COVID.

President Biden is scheduled to meet today with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, for the first time in four months.

Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan will likely be a topic of discussion—as will a range of international issues—including North Korea’s nuclear program, the Iran nuclear deal, and tariffs on Chinese goods.

Biden recovers from COVID-19 » President Joe Biden returned to the Oval Office yesterday after isolating for five days with COVID.

BIDEN: My symptoms were mild, my recovery was quick, and I’m feeling great.

The 79-year-old president completed a five-day course of Paxlovid, an antiviral drug.

His doctor says his symptoms are almost “completely resolved,” but some people who use Paxlovid experience a rebound of symptoms.

His doctor also said Biden likely had the omicron variant BA.5. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said BA.5 now makes up almost 80 percent of COVID-19 cases in the country. It is more infectious, but not more severe than previous variants.

Ukraine puts HIMARS to use » U.S.-supplied rockets have severed a key Russian supply line in the Kherson region of Ukraine.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke in a conference with Ukrainian military leaders last week:

AUSTIN: Ukrainian armed forces have repeatedly, repeatedly demonstrated their skill in operating HIMARS and M270s and 155 millimeter howitzers.

The mile-long Antonivskyi bridge spans the Dnieper River. Ukrainian artillery partially damaged the bridge last week, but Tuesday’s strike with an American HIMARS rocket system left the structure riddled with holes and closed to traffic.

The bridge is the main crossing in the region, but a dam in Kakhovka is still passable.

U.S. offers Russia prisoner exchange » The United States has offered Russia a deal to get two Americans out of prison. WORLD’s Mary Muncy has more:

MARY MUNCY, REPORTER: The imprisoned Americans are WNBA star Britney Griner and Paul Whelen—a security executive from Michigan who Russia jailed in 2020 for espionage. The U.S. has denounced both prisoner’s charges.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken did not give details about the U.S. offer, but Russia has been interested in trading Victor Bout—also known as the “Merchant of Death.”

He is serving a 25-year prison sentence in the U.S. for planning to illegally sell weapons.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Mary Muncy.

Released felons register to vote » In North Carolina, felons on probation or parole will be able to line up at polling places in November.

Voter registration opened up to the group of former inmates on Wednesday as an appellate court decision took effect. Judges ruled that a law prohibiting released felons from voting mostly affected black Americans.

Rev. William Barber II, co-chair of The Poor People's Campaign said at a rally:

BARBER: Nowhere does it say that we should forever be locked out of the democratic process. Even after a person has paid their debt to society.

The state Supreme Court agreed in May to hear a case challenging the ruling.

I’m Anna Johansen Brown. Straight ahead: martyrdom and persecution in Nigeria.

Plus, the Southeast Hope Awards semi-finalist.

This is The World and Everything in It.

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: It’s Thursday the 28th of July, 2022.

Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Paul Butler.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown.  First up on The World and Everything in It. Nigeria’s insecurity hits clergy members.

Islamist insurgents and armed criminal gangs have long terrorized northern Nigeria. But recent attacks directly targeting Christians and clergy members have spilled over into other regions of the country. WORLD’s Onize Ohikere reports from Abuja, Nigeria.

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: On June 26, abductors seized Reverend Christopher Odia on his way to Sunday Mass in southern Edo state.

OJEIFO: It was such a shock to hear that he was kidnapped, but even more shocking to eventually hear in the evening of that day that he had been killed. It was totally, totally devastating. Like, I just, I mean, I kept asking myself whether it was real that Fr. Odia is dead. I couldn't, I couldn't come to terms with it.

That’s Emmanuel Ojeifo, a Catholic priest who attended seminary with Odia. Ojeifo, who is currently studying in the U.S., said he spoke to the slain priest just two weeks before his death on a Zoom call with their graduating class.

A Nigerian newspaper tracked 32 clergy kidnappings between January and July this year. Eighteen of them—more than half—were Catholic priests.

This month, a few police officers stood guard outside a Catholic church in Abuja on Sunday as worshippers sang and prayed inside. Church authorities later asked worshippers to stop bringing bags into the church over security concerns. It was only weeks earlier on Pentecost Sunday that gunmen killed 40 worshippers at St. Francis Xavier Catholic church in southwest Ondo state.

OJEIFO: You’d think that this is the result of a total collapse, a total breakdown of security in Nigeria, because I mean, it is not just priests, Catholic priests and Catholic churches that have been affected.

Authorities blamed the Islamic State West Africa Province for the Pentecost killings. But in many kidnapping cases, security officials point to unidentified gunmen. That complicates efforts to narrow down the motives for the kidnappings.

Ojeifo spoke last month with a fellow priest who survived his kidnapping experience. He said the priest asked his abductors why they target clergy.

OJEIFO: And he says these kidnappers tell him, well, we don't want too much heat on us. If we kidnap a politician, we know that the government will come all out for us. So we just look for soft targets, the ones that we can manage.

Armed abductors released Samuel Kanu-Uche, prelate of the Nigerian Methodist Church, and his colleagues after church members raised the $240,000 ransom in May. Kanu-Uche identified his captors in southeast Abia state as Fulani herders. The gang leader told him he became a kidnapper to provide for his family after losing his parents.

Nina Shea, director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, has spoken to several Nigerian Christian leaders.

SHEA: And the worst aspect of it is that this is done with impunity, the government of Nigeria, the state governments are not protecting them. The national government does not hold anyone accountable for these attacks, there is no protection in the first place for them, there is no legal process. So we really don't know. I mean, it's on the burden of the government to find out who's behind this and what their motives are. And because they fail to do that, we're left to guess and piece it together.

Nearly 40 people remain in captivity since gunmen attacked passengers on a major train linking the capital Abuja to Kaduna state back in March. The education secretariat in Abuja shut down all schools this week over fears of impending attacks.

Shea said global leaders should take notice.

SHEA: So I think that the international community, and particularly the United States must pressure the President to fulfill his duty or to get out, he must fulfill his responsibility as President.

Ojeifo admits a sense of helplessness among Nigerians. They are frustrated with the ongoing violence and lack of action. There’s also doubt about how much foreign influence can change. For church leaders, he says such times call for courage.

OJEIFO: It doesn't mean that you put yourself in harm's way. But if the people of God continue to come to church, continue to ask for the sacraments and continue to come to Mass, who are you as a priest to say, I will not go to celebrate Mass because I'm afraid of being kidnapped, or I'm afraid of being killed. So, I mean, this is for me simply the age of martyrdom, the age of martyrdom has come back to the church in a very concrete way in Nigeria, and when we read the lives of the early martyrs, how they how they were slaughtered, how they were killed and attacked, we just see that this is what, what we are living through in these days.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Onize Ohikere in Abuja, Nigeria.

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: As we reported yesterday, Donald Trump and his former vice president, Mike Pence, returned to Washington this week, but not as a team. Each of them spoke at separate events about their ideas for leading the country.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Could that mean they will run against each other for the Republican nomination for president in 2024? Here to discuss their speeches is WORLD’s Washington correspondent Leo Briceno. 

Hello and welcome, Leo.

LEO BRICENO, REPORTER: Thanks for having me! Glad to be here.

BROWN: Why are these two separate events important?

BRICENO: Well former President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were both in the oval office less than two years ago. For the Republican Party, they are very much still leaders of the conservative movement and both seen as likely candidates for the 2024 Presidential Republican Nomination. But there’s a key difference here. Unlike their race in 2016 or in 2020, these two are likely to be running against each other, not on the same ticket. These two events are symbolic of a larger question: Will the Republican Party continue to see Trump as the leader of the party and the candidate with the best shot at winning the white house or will voters look for someone new? Someone like Pence?

BROWN: What did Trump focus on in his address?

BRICENO: He briefly mentioned topics like women’s sports, inflation, election integrity, China, and education. But as you can hear here, Trump kept most of his focus one issue

TRUMP: But for this afternoon, I want to speak about some of the core elements of our agenda. And in particular public safety, which we have very little. There is no higher priority than cleaning up our streets, controlling our borders, stopping the drugs from pouring in, and quickly restoring law and order in America

Over the hour and 30 minutes he was on stage, Trump covered things like police funding and support, drug-use prosecution, federal use of resources to crack down on crime, homelessness, explicit underage material, border security and more.

TRUMP: Next year, our new majorities in Congress should vote to strengthen qualified immunity and other protections for our great police officers. They have to become our heroes.

I should note that former President Trump was speaking at the America First Policy Institute, a think tank organized by former officials from his administration.

BROWN: OK, so if Trump focused on public safety, what did Pence speak about?

BRICENO: He stated that Republicans need to rally together under an agenda build on the concepts that brought the conservative movement together in the first place. At multiple points, he pointed to principles that, in his words, had created the most prosperous nation in the world—things like a devotion to life, religious liberty, and self defense. Here he is speaking at the event hosted by the Young Americas Foundation.

PENCE: But in order to win, conservatives need to do more than criticize and complain. We must unite our movement behind a bold, optimistic agenda that offers a clear, compelling choice.

Pence also spoke on very specific policy issues like the Iran deal, Strategic partnership with Israel, cutting energy industry regulations, confronting China, and maintaining domestic fiscal discipline

BROWN: Did they mention each other at all?

BRICENO: Trump didn’t mention Pence. But the former vice president did briefly list off a few of the achievements that the administration had accomplished in their four years together.

BROWN: Now for the big question on everyone’s minds: Did either of them mention running for president in 2024?

BRICENO: Not explicitly. From the beginning, Pence’s address looked and sounded like a campaign speech—listing out a set of specific policy ideas built on a set of actionable ideals. But while he referenced the future of the Republican Party, he shied away from saying outright if he intends to run for office. Trump, similarly, never said he would run for office, but implied it a handful of times. He told audiences he wasn’t done fighting for them and he might just have to give an election race another go.

TRUMP: We may just have to do it again. We have to straighten out. I have to straighten out our country.

BROWN: Leo Briceno is our WORLD Washington correspondent. Thank you so much, Leo.

BRICENO: Of course. Thank you for having me. 

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: Most of us have been there. You come out of church or a store and you just can’t remember where you parked the car. And thus begins the “lost and found” walk of shame as you shuffle up and down each aisle looking for your vehicle. Well it seems as if one embarrassed driver may have decided to take a different approach.

Recently, Delaware State police found a 1994 Hyundai Elantra in the southwestern part of the state at the bottom of Broad Creek under 16 feet of water.

Police ran a check and found that the wrecked and eroded car was not reported stolen or missing.

Apparently someone drove the car into the river and just left it there. Though I guess it’s possible that someone just forgot where they’d left it/parked their car.

AUDIO: Dude, where’s my car? Where’s your car dude?

It’s The World and Everything in It.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Thursday, July 28th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.

Good morning. I’m Myrna Brown.

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: And I’m Paul Butler. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: Hope Awards for Effective Compassion. 

All this week we’ve been profiling this year's semi-finalists. So far we’ve heard about a New Mexico transitional housing facility, a Michigan pregnancy resource center for women and men, and a residential addiction rehab program in Idaho.

BROWN: Today, WORLD reporter Addie Offereins returns once more with our last semi-finalist. This time an addiction rehab program in Huntsville, Alabama.

MCDONALD: I tried marijuana. Why do people do that? 

ADDIE OFFEREINS, REPORTER: Patrick McDonald was 18 when he first tried cocaine. His friends taught him how to do it.

MCDONALD: And then one day I was with the right people, the wrong, the wrong people who said, Hey, you should cook your cocaine. And I was hooked on crack, and my body said this is what you've been looking for. My brain said You're finally happy you've arrived. And that just led to the next 40 years of well, 30 years of hell off and on.

McDonald became what he calls a “part-time crackhead.” His longest stretch of sobriety lasted 18 months. Addiction led to divorce. Selling drugs to support his addiction landed him in prison for over 5 years. When he got out, he did well for a while, fell in love, and remarried. Then, another relapse, another stint in jail, another divorce.

MCDONALD: And I've been to a number of rehabs that I never wanted to go to.

None of them worked. In 2012, McDonald faced one more mandatory rehab program. He didn’t want to go to His Way but he knew something had to change.

MCDONALD: The Christ centered approach was different from a mantra standing in a circle. And it was just different.

At the His Way recovery program, men battle addiction with a structured environment, a loving community and, most importantly, the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tom Reynolds is the director of ministry for His Way.

REYNOLDS: In AA, you always introduce yourself and say, Hey, I'm Tom, and I'm an alcoholic kind of thing. And so your identity is always rooted in the problem, always attached to the problem.

His Way is different. It grew out of a Bible study called the Bridge Group.

REYNOLDS: When we started the bridge group, we kind of went around and said, Hi, my name is Tom, and I'm a child of God. And we identify ourselves and attach ourselves to the solution to that problem. We’re united because we have a common solution not because we have a common problem.

But the leaders started to notice some difficulties. The men faced challenges that a twice-a-week meeting couldn’t handle: Some didn’t have jobs or transportation.

The leaders realized they needed to begin a residential program…but he had no idea how it should work. Reynolds asked the first men who came about their past program experiences—both good and bad.

REYNOLDS: And so I interviewed all of them kind of put together kind of what I heard from all that, and began kind of formulating what I thought would be a good structure.

The fundamental rule: everyone had to pass drug and alcohol tests. Other rules involved curfews, chores, and honesty. In the handbook, every rule is supported by scripture.

REYNOLDS: I think every one of the guys I interviewed I dismissed because they violated the rules that they told me that should be important to their recovery.

But more men trickled in. Some were homeless, former inmates, or still lived with mom and dad. Others were former military officers or business owners. Others never had career ambitions beyond drug dealing. Most had been in trouble with the law.

At His Way, men stay for 9 months. For the first 60 days, they don’t have contact with the outside world. Reynolds calls it a cooldown period.

Then, residents are required to start working. They’re expected to contribute $250 a week to cover living costs. His Way partners with companies in the community to find the men jobs. Others work at the organization’s four thrift stores.


Men also take life skills classes and Bible classes. Stuart Whiting wears blue jeans and cowboy boots. He teaches several residents the Christian view of identity.


Here’s Tom Reynolds once again:

REYNOLDS: Because ultimately, sobriety is not about the absence of drugs. And alcohol. Sobriety is about having a right relationship with God, and being rightly aligned, and that's about honesty, integrity, and so all those things, those are the real things. We're trying to focus on his character transformation. Because when that changes alcohol and drugs become irrelevant.

While in the program, the men are required to attend a local church. They also attend “family meetings” with a group of people who know the resident well and are supporting his sobriety. Here’s Tom Reynolds once again:

The teaching, discipleship, and worship have an effect. Since His Way began, about 200 residents have been baptized.

Still, setbacks are common. Only about 50 percent of the guys who start the program graduate. Some men receive a certificate but then go back to their addiction.

Patrick McDonald first graduated from His Way in 2012.

MCDONALD: And I got out and relapsed.

He came back and tried again. On day one, McDonald sat in the 8 a.m. Bible class with Reynolds.

MCDONALD: It's weird because I've got a drug problem. I come to His Way, and you send me to a Bible class. Why? And I'm thinking I want to get high. Why am I sitting in this class?

But soon, he started taking notes.

MCDONALD: Well, that was interesting. That's a good point. Man, I want to get high. And, by week three. It's like, wow, this is a great class. I never knew that.

By week four, he called his parents and asked them to send him a new Bible. He read it every night.

MCDONALD: It’s nothing I did. Tom's preaching the gospel, and the gospel is you're a sinner. And there's nothing you can do to earn salvation. Jesus has to do it all. And sitting in the class. I'm realizing, I don't want to get high anymore. And there's nothing I did to not want to get high. Jesus is doing it for me. You know, it's like, you this is the gospel...


McDonald’s days are now full working as a house manager at His Way and an assistant manager at the Saving Way thrift store, where he supervises 10 other guys and frequently shares his testimony with the other workers.

MCDONALD: So I know that Jesus is the answer, and Jesus is the way.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Addie Offereins in Huntsville, Alabama.

BUTLER: Well that’s our fourth and final semi-finalist in this year’s Hope Awards for Effective Compassion. One of the ministries we’ve profiled this week will get a check for 10-thousand dollars. Which one? Well, that’s up to you. Visit wng.org/compassion and vote for the organization you’d like to see blessed in this way. Voting is open until August 12th. Thank you.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Thursday, July 28th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Myrna Brown.

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: And I’m Paul Butler. Commentator Cal Thomas now on extreme climate predictions that didn’t pan out.

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: While watching President Biden speak last week in Somerset, Massachusetts about what he called the “climate emergency” an old song came to mind. It was a hit for Skeeter Davis in 1962: “Don’t they know it’s the end of the world?”

The President called climate change “an existential threat to our nation and to the world.”

He again recalled growing up in Claymont, Delaware where he said pollution was so bad “You had to put on your windshield wipers to get, literally, the oil slick off the window.” President Biden has repeated a story he has told before, but repetition does not necessarily make it true.

The Wilmington Delaware News Journal has records going back to 1923. They contain no stories I could find about oil slicks on car windshields in Delaware. Biden’s hyperbole when it comes to end of the world prophecies follows many similar predictions that failed to materialize. According to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), none of the climate change prophecies made over the last fifty-plus years have come true, not even close.

Here are a few, compiled by AEI’s Mark J. Perry:

In 1970 there was a prediction that there would be an ice age by the year 2000. 

In 1971: New Ice Age Coming By 2020 or 2030. 

1972: New Ice Age By 2070. 

1974: Space Satellites Show New Ice Age Coming Fast. 

1976: Scientific Consensus Planet Cooling, Famines imminent. 

1978: No End in Sight to 30-Year Cooling Trend. 

1988: Maldive Islands will Be Underwater by 2018. 

1989: Rising Sea Levels will Obliterate Nations if Nothing Done by 2000. 

1989: New York City’s West Side Highway Underwater by 2019.

These do not include more recent and contradictory statements by climate czar John Kerry and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez among others who have said we have only weeks, months, or a few years to stymie Earth’s extinction—take your pick.

Bjorn Lomborg takes a pragmatic approach to changing weather patterns. In his book False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet, Lomborg says while he believes the planet is slowly warming, “The science shows us that fears of a climate apocalypse are unfounded.” Politics, not science, is behind this worldview. He writes: “Many climate campaigners go further than the science supports.”

If they get their way, the costs will be huge, the benefits few and they will crush the middle class and especially the poor.

The book is worth reading if for no other reason than it is a moderate voice that lowers the temperature created by the climate alarmists. Lowering the rhetorical temperature in our politics and among scientists would be helpful, since history has shown predictions are often more wrong than right on this and other subjects.

I’m Cal Thomas.

PAUL BUTLER, HOST: Tomorrow: Culture Friday with WORLD Opinions Managing Editor Andrew Walker.

And, Collin Garbarino reviews a Cinderella story of a different sort.

Plus your listener feedback.

That and more tomorrow.

I’m Paul Butler.

MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

The Bible says: The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him. (Proverbs 15:7-8 ESV)

Go now in grace and peace.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.


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