The Wider World

Evangelist Billy Graham is dead at 99

PRESIDENT Reagan Nancy Reagan and Billy Graham at the National Prayer Breakfast held at the Washington Hilton Hotel in 1981 (Wikipedia).

Billy Graham, the man some called “America’s Pastor” during his heyday in Fifties through Seventies, has died at the age of 99. According to the Associated Press, he died on Wednesday at his home in North Carolina.

His evangelistic tent rallies in Los Angeles received national attention and led to various “crusades,” books, televised specials and the fellowship of several presidents, most notably Richard Nixon.

Reared as a Presbyterian, he made a transition to the “New Evangelicalism” and eventually reached huge audiences in person, and millions via television. His early theological conservatism turned into a more broad-based ministry, emphasizing his views on the Bible, and eschewed criticism of other faiths.

Senators press for older age limit to buy rifles

Two U.S. Senators – one from California and one from Arizona – said Wednesday they would introduce bills which would raise the minimum age to purchase a rifle from 18 to 21.

Nikolas Cruz, suspect in the Feb. 14 killings of 17 people at a high school in Florida, was 19 when he legally purchased the AR-15 which police say was used in the shooting.

Democrat Dianne Feinstein and Republican Jeff Flake pledged to sponsor the bill.

The age limit for buying a handgun is 21.

In other related news, students from Maryland and Florida in Washington D.C. and Tallahassee rallied for stricter gun control and President Donald Trump pledged a crackdown on background checks for those seeking to purchase firearms.

Fair election is demanded in Venezuela

Leaders of the opposition to President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday they are willing to participate in the April 22 elections this year, but only is the voting is fair.


The government has banned certain well-known candidates from the ballot and exiled others. Venezuela is an oil-rich nation which is nevertheless roiled by poverty and political turmoil.

Some in the opposition are proposing a total boycott of the voting, arguing that the process is rigged.

“If conditions are met, we are willing to participate,” opposition leader Angel Oropeza said, arguing that at present the balloting looks like “a fraudulent and illegitimate simulation of a presidential election.”

Stocks drop in interest rate worries

Reflecting concerns that the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates, stocks fell on Wednesday on major markets.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 166.7 points (0.7 percent); the S&P 500 index was down 14.93 points (0.6 percent) and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.22 (0.2 percent). The decline followed an early rally that reversed itself when the news spread that because of a strong economy, the Federal Reserve might gradually raise rates to head off possible inflation.








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