video  making the rounds on conservative blogs is highlighting a critical question: Did Michael Brown attack the police officer who fatally shot him?

Video Contains Alleged Witness Account of Michael Brown Attacking Cop

The shooting death of Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man, at the hands of a white police officer has set off a national firestorm.

Brown’s hometown of Ferguson, Missouri, has been rocked by a week of protests, and the local police have handed over the investigation of the shooting — and control of the town — to the state highway patrol and the FBI.

The details of the shooting remain unclear, with witnesses telling conflicting stories about whether Brown attacked the officer, or whether he was walking away with his hands in the air, before being fatally shot.

A video posted to YouTube Thursday purports to show the scene of the Aug. 9 shooting, but as theConservative Treehouse noted Friday, a conversation heard in the background of the video (starting at around the 6:30 mark) offers some damning allegations: Brown may have rushed the officer who shot him.

 

 

The Acts 29 Church Planting Network has removed controversial megapastor Mark Driscoll and his Seattle church, Mars Hill, from its ranks, according to a statement released on the group’s website Friday.

Pastor Mark Driscoll (Image source: Twitter)

The decision was made with “deep sorrow,” the statement reads, and cited “the nature of the accusations against [Driscoll]” that have made it “untenable and unhelpful to keep [Driscoll] and Mars Hill in our network.” It continued with even stronger language, saying the move was made in part “so that the name of the Christ will not continue to be dishonored.”

It was signed by the organization’s board, which is headed by Dallas pastor Matt Chandler, lead pastor at The Village Church.

The full statement is below:

It is with deep sorrow that the Acts 29 Network announces its decision to remove Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church from membership in the network. Mark and the Elders of Mars Hill have been informed of the decision, along with the reasons for removal. It is our conviction that the nature of the accusations against Mark, most of which have been confirmed by him, make it untenable and unhelpful to keep Mark and Mars Hill in our network. In taking this action, our prayer is that it will encourage the leadership of Mars Hill to respond in a distinctive and godly manner so that the name of Christ will not continue to be dishonored.

Besides the statement released on the Acts 29 website, frequent Driscoll critic Prof. Warren Throckmorton says he obtained a letter sent from the organization’s board of directors to Driscoll that goes into more detail about why the decision was made.

“Over the past three years, our board and network have been the recipients of countless shots and dozens of fires directly linked to you and what we consider ungodly and disqualifying behavior,” the letter reads. “We have both publicly and internally tried to support and give you the benefit of the doubt, even when multiple pastors in our network confirmed this behavior.”

It continues, saying that “ample time” has been given for “repentance, change, and restitution, with none forthcoming.” It implores the pastor to “please step down from ministry for an extended time and seek help”:

In response, we leaned on the Mars Hill Board of Advisors & Accountability to take the lead in dealing with this matter. But we no longer believe the BoAA is able to execute the plan of reconciliation originally laid out. Ample time has been given for repentance, change, and restitution, with none forthcoming. We now have to take another course of action.

Based on the totality of the circumstances, we are now asking you to please step down from ministry for an extended time and seek help. Consequently, we also feel that we have no alternative but to remove you and Mars Hill from membership in Acts 29. Because you are the founder of Acts 29 and a member, we are naturally associated with you and feel that this association discredits the network and is a major distraction.

Driscoll co-founded the Acts 29 group and was its former leader before turning it over to Chandler in 2012, who then moved the headquarters from Seattle to Dallas.

As TheBlaze has reported, Driscoll has been mired in controversy. Most recently heapologized again for posting vulgar messages on his own church’s message board. There have also been accusations that six controversial minutes of a recent sermon were deleted from the online video and transcript, as well as plagiarism charges. Additionally, he’s faced backlash for the church spending what was reported to be upwards of $200,000 on a book-buying scheme meant to send it to the top of the best-seller list.

A group of 75 members and ex-members of Driscoll’s church have been clamoring for his dismissal from Mars Hill. They had planned to file “53 new charges against the pastor and his Executive Elders.” Those plans were delayed in light of today’s announcement, according to a statementobtained by Throckmorton.

“It is with a mix of sadness and relief to see that Acts 29 has taken these actions,” the group’s spokesman, Rob Smith, said in the statement. “We hope and pray that the call for Mark Driscoll to step down from ministry is heeded.”

Driscoll has not responded, however he recently reacted to some of the controversy by pledging to quit social media to “reset my life.”

Full disclosure: The author attends The Village Church, which is headed by current Acts 29 leader Matt Chandler.

 

A Michigan town last week went from frantically searching for a teen they feared was abducted to being thankful she was found. Now, in a more recent twist, they’re seeking answers after the sheriff’s office revealed Sunday that the teen was not in fact kidnapped.

According to earlier reports, 18-year-old Hayley Turner of Bedford, Michigan, went missing for 16 hours last week before turning up on Friday. While the search for the teen was still taking place, MLive reported that Turner had last spoken over her cellphone to a friend, saying she saw a man lying in a ditch and was stopping to help him. Then, the teen apparently said “he has a gun” and the call was disconnected.

Many police resources were used last week to search for 18-year-old Haley Turner who was thought to have been abducted. The teen later showed up and further investigation revealed she was not kidnapped. (Image source: Monroe County Sheriff's Office)

According to WXYZ-TV, police conducted a ground and air search after Turner was reported missing.

“Hayley, if you can hear me, just please call us, please call anybody,” the girl’s worried mother said in a press conference.

WDIV-TV reported that investigators later found the girl’s abandoned car with her wallet inside. Her cellphone was a few blocks away with its battery removed. After she was found 45 minutes away Friday, less than 24 hours after her disappearance, the teen told police she escaped by jumping from the car of the person who abducted her.

WDIV, in a separate report, noted that Turner was taken to the hospital for evaluation and later went home to her family. The Turner family told the news station at this point that the teen was battling emotional issues this year.

By Sunday though, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office reported that the story changed.

A follow-up interview with one of the office’s detectives and a FBI special agent revealed that “incident did not take place, as originally reported,” a news release posted to the county sheriff’s office Facebook page said.

The sheriff's office is  filing a complaint to the prosecutor's office, which could bring charges against the teen depending on the situation. (Image source: Monroe County Sheriff's Office)

The sheriff’s office closed the investigation Sunday and is submitting a complaint to the county prosecutor’s office. The prosecutor’s office will determine if any charges will be brought against the teen.

“If she was in fact staging all this, um, yes,” Kim Bridge, a neighbor, told WXYZ, voicing her opinion that if the situation was a hoax, the teen should face charges.

“And I hear that there are quite a few allegations,” Bridge added.

 

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (AP) — Robin Williams committed suicide by hanging himself with a belt at his San Francisco Bay Area home, sheriff’s officials said Tuesday.

Marin County Sheriff’s Lt. Keith Boyd said Williams’ personal assistant found the actor Monday in a bedroom at his Tiburon home. The actor also had superficial cuts on his wrist, and a pocketknife was found nearby.

Sheriffs Office: Robin Williams Found Dead With Belt Around His Neck, Cuts on His Wrist

Boyd said Williams, star of “Good Will Hunting,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Good Morning, Vietnam” and dozens of other films, was seeking treatment for depression. He would not say whether the actor and comedian left a suicide note.

The 63-year-old comedian’s wife had last seen him the night before and had left the home that morning thinking he was still asleep. His personal assistant later came to the home and became concerned when he knocked on the door and got no response.

Toxicology test results on whether Williams had any drugs or alcohol in his system are weeks away. Boyd said authorities will continue to investigate his death.

The actor had periodic bouts of substance abuse and depression for years. Just last month, Williams announced he was returning to a 12-step treatment program.

Williams made reference to his substance abuse and depression in his comedy routines, including when he sought treatment in 2006 after a relapse that followed 20 years of sobriety.

Williams joked about that fall off the wagon during a comedy tour, saying: “I went to rehab in wine country to keep my options open.”

Likewise, when word spread about his struggles with drugs in the early 1980s, Williams responded with a joke that for a time became a catchphrase for his generation’s recreational drug use: “Cocaine is God’s way of telling you you are making too much money.”

Word that he had killed himself left neighbors in Tiburon equally stunned and grief-stricken. Williams had lived in the quiet, waterfront neighborhood for eight years, according to neighbors.

Sheriffs Office: Robin Williams Found Dead With Belt Around His Neck, Cuts on His Wrist

Noreen Nieder said Williams was a friendly neighbor who always said hello and engaged in small talk. Nieder said she wasn’t close to Williams and his family, but she still felt comfortable enough to approach him and ask him about his latest stint in drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

“He was very open about it,” Nieder said. “He told me he was doing well.”

Fans and friends placed bouquets, candles and personal notes in front of the locked gates of Williams’ house.

obama-ebola

A poll that was released a few days ago by Mako, which is the official website for the most popular TV station in Israel, published the results of a poll which asked what listeners of the station wanted to give President Obama for his upcoming 53rd birthday. 20% said they wanted to give him “peace in the Middle East”, 10% stated they wanted to give him the Noy Aloosh remix of “Don’t Second Guess Me Ever Again,” and 11% said hey should get golf clubs.
But by far the winning answer with 48% of the vote was “an envelope containing Ebola virus.”

The poll results appeared after the United States criticized Israel for bombing the UN-run Rafah school in the Gaza Strip. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon characterized the attack as a “gross violation of international law.”
“The United States is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons, in which ten more Palestinian civilians were tragically killed,” a statement released by State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki reads. “We once again stress that Israel do more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties.”

“UN facilities, especially those sheltering civilians, must be protected, and must not be used as bases from which to launch attacks. The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians.”

According to a news article on infowars, Israel responded by saying if militants are turning schools and other vicinities into war zones they should be held accountable. It claimed to have targeted members of the Islamic Jihad group on a motorbike near the school.

Prior to the criticism, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, told the White House to not get involved in a ceasefire and peace negotiations with Hamas. Netanyahu told senior U.S. officials “not to ever second guess me again” on the matter.

Obama’s approval rating in Israel has fluctuated between 10 and 4 percent. “Israelis really hate Obama’s guts,” Shmuel Rosner, a columnist for two leading Israeli newspapers, said in 2010. “We used to trust Americans to act like Americans, and this guy is like a European leader.”

Despite widespread animosity and even hatred of Obama and the United States, the U.S. has provided the Jewish state with billions over the last 70 years. According to the Federation of American Scientists, since the end of the Second World War “the United States has provided Israel $121 billion (current, or non-inflation-adjusted, dollars) in bilateral assistance. Almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance, although in the past Israel also received significant economic assistance.”

The actual figure, however, is disputed. “Because parts of U.S. aid to Israel are buried in the budgets of various U.S. agencies or in a form not easily quantified – such as the early disbursement of aid, giving Israel a direct benefit of interest income and the U.S. Treasury a corresponding loss – it is virtually impossible to arrive at an exact dollar amount,” writes Shirl McArthur, a retired U.S. foreign service officer.

On Monday the Obama administration signed a measure providing $225 million in “emergency aid” to Israel for its so-called missile and rocket defense system, Iron Dome.

“The United States is proud that the Iron Dome system developed in coordination with Israel and funded by the United States has saved countless Israeli lives,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. “Continued bipartisan support for Iron Dome funding ensures Israel will retain vital defense against rockets and artillery in light of the enduring threats.”

BY MELISSA BARNHART , CP REPORTER

planned-parenthood

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, which received $2,302,026 in government grants in 2011-2012, is facing a legal challenge from the mother of an underage girl who was taken to the facility by her abuser to have an abortion.

The lawsuit, Cary Smith v. Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood, was filed on June 20 and claims that the then 13-year-old girl was taken to the clinic by her abuser, who was also her step-father, to have an abortion on May 3, 2012. Not only did the staff not ask the girl if she was being sexually abused by an adult, they also neglected to contact law enforcement or child services to report suspected abuse of the girl.

When the victim finally told her mother about the sexual abuse and abortion on July 18, 2012, she was taken a local hospital for an examination and to report the abuse. The mother also obtained her daughter’s abortion record from Planned Parenthood.

According to the lawsuit, after the abortion was performed, the victim was left alone to walk outside the clinic back to her abuser, Timothy Smith, who was in his car having lunch during the child’s abortion.

Similarly, the lawsuit states that Planned Parenthood staff injected the 13-year-old with a form of birth control at Smith’s request, despite the fact that the girl was fearful of needles.The birth control, according to the suit, only allowed the abuse to continue without further risk of pregnancy.

After the victim’s mother reproted the sexual abuse to authorities, Smith was arrested and charged with multiple counts of felony sex abuse, and pled guilty to two counts in late 2012, according to the pro-life group Operation Rescue.

Earlier this month, the pro-life group Live Action released an undercover video from an affiliate of the clinic in which a Planned Parenthood counselor is seen giving a young girl, whom she believes to be 15 years old, sexual advice about bondage and various forms of BDSM sex (bondage and discipline/dominance and submission/sadism and masochism).

Since the release of the undercover videos, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers told the National Catholic Register that state attorneys are reviewing Live Action’s tapes, which show a Planned Parenthood counselor telling an underage girl to go to a sex shop and to continue experimenting with different sex acts with her boyfriend.

Suthers further explained to the Register that while he can review the undercover videos from Live Action’s investigation, he doesn’t have jurisdiction to take action. Jurisdiction falls under Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler, whose Communication’s Specialist Michelle Yi told the Register that the office has already “informed the Littleton Police Department of this matter for consideration.”

Lila Rose, president of Live Action, said she’s pleased that her organization’s investigative report has spurred authorities to at least look into allegations of suspected criminal activity at Planned Parenthood.

“We are relieved to learn that authorities in Colorado are taking these tapes, and their shocking and extremely troubling contents seriously,” Rose said in a statement shared with The Christian Post.

“Parents can come together and condemn an institutional ethos where sexual abuse of teens is portrayed as consensual sexual activity — where tax-funded counselors can recommend Internet pornography and sex shops, and advise children on how to hide these things from their parents. We encourage every state to follow Colorado’s example and investigate Planned Parenthood facilities in their jurisdictions,” she added.

4:00PM EDT 7/25/2014 DAWN HAWKINS

Fifty-Shades-of-Grey-trailer
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan star as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, respectively, in the upcoming “Fifty Shades of Grey.” (Focus Features)
The newly released trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey deceives the public with a visually appealing melodramatic love story that romanticizes and normalizes sexual violence.

The main character is a childlike, mousy, young woman, lacking confidence and capability, who becomes the target of a powerful, intimidating, older man who puts her under contract to serve in sexual “submission.”

The implications of such a relationship—abuse of power, female inequality, coercion and sexual violence—glamorizes and legitimatizes violence against women.

The popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey among women sends a message to men that this is what women really want. Even more dangerous, it also sends the message to women that they can “fix” violent, controlling men by being obedient and loving.

A warning to the women lining up to see this film: There is nothing empowering about whips and chains or humiliation and torture. Women as a group will not gain power by collaborating with violent men. Women would be serving only as an agent to further their own sexual degradation, handing themselves on a silver platter to exactly the sort of men who want to use and abuse them and take away their power.

In a voice-over in the trailer, Christian Grey warns Ana, “I am incapable of leaving you alone.” “Then don’t,” she purrs in reply. Again, he warns her, “You should steer clear of me.” Is this really the kind of relationship we want our daughters, relatives and friends willingly entering into? With a stalker and a batterer? Do we really want our sons to become Christian Greys, practicing a violent masculinity that degrades men as well?