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Wisconsin high court tosses out governor’s stay-home order

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The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ coronavirus stay-at-home order Wednesday, ruling that his administration overstepped its authority when it extended it for another month without consulting legislators.

The 4-3 ruling essentially reopens the state, lifting caps on the size of gatherings, allowing people to travel as they please and allowing shuttered businesses to reopen, including bars and restaurants. The Tavern League of Wisconsin swiftly posted the news on its website, telling members, “You can OPEN IMMEDIATELY!”

The decision let stand language that had closed schools, however, and local governments can still impose their own health restrictions. In Dane County, home to the capital of Madison, officials quickly imposed a mandate incorporating most of the statewide order. City health officials in Milwaukee said a stay-at-home order they enacted in late March remains in effect.

Evers reacted angrily in a conference call Wednesday night, saying the state has been doing well in the fight against the coronavirus. He predicted the court ruling will lead more counties to adopt their own restrictions, leading to a confusing patchwork of ordinances that will allow infection to spread.

Chief Justice Patience Roggensack wrote for the majority that health secretary Andrea Palm’s order amounted to an emergency rule that she doesn’t have the power to create on her own.

Rebecca Dallet, one of the court’s liberal justices, dissented, saying the decision will “undoubtedly go down as one of the most blatant examples of judicial activism in this court’s history. And it will be Wisconsinites who pay the price.”

Dallet also took aim at the potential delay of a rule-making process:: “A review of the tedious multi-step process required to enact an emergency rule illustrates why the Legislature authorized DHS to issue statewide orders to control contagion.”

State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, both Republicans, said they’re confident businesses can safely reopen by following guidelines calling for letting workers stay home if they’re sick, making workers wash their hands and implementing telework and social distancing and postponing travel and events.

“This court decision does not promote people to act in a way that they believe endangers their health,” they said.

Evers first issued a stay-at-home order in March that closed schools and nonessential businesses. The order was supposed to lift April 24, but Palm, an Evers appointee, extended it to May 26.

Republicans asked the Supreme Court to block the extension, arguing that Palm exceeded her authority because the extension amounted to an administrative rule that required legislative approval. Evers countered that state law clearly gives the executive branch broad authority to quickly enact emergency measures to control communicable diseases.

Nearly seven of 10 Wisconsin residents back Evers’ “safer at home” order, based on a Marquette University Law School poll released Tuesday, though that support was down from 86% in March.

Evers’ administration faced an uphill battle in convincing the conservative court to keep the order in place. Three of the conservatives joined Roggensack; the remaining conservative, Brian Hagedorn, joined Dallet and fellow liberal justice Ann Walsh Bradley in dissent.

The Republican legislators had asked the court to let the rule remain in place for six days to give them time to work with Evers’ administration on an alternative plan. The court refused to grant the stay, saying the two sides have had weeks to come up with something.

The GOP so far has not offered any alternative plans. The state’s chamber of commerce has suggested allowing all businesses to open at once while compelling higher-risk establishments and operations to take increasingly strict mitigation measures such as requiring employees to use protective gear.

Evers said there’s no avenue to appeal the decision. His administration plans to put together an emergency rule addressing the virus, he said, but the process is so complex that it could be at least two weeks before state health officials can start drafting it. And the final product could be blocked by legislators.

“In the meantime, we’re going to have 72 counties doing their own thing,” Evers said. “I can’t believe there’s a state in the nation with this type of chaos.”

Vos and Fitzgerald said in their statement that they want to work with the administration on rules that would provide clear guidance in case COVID-19 “reoccurs in a more aggressive way.”

The GOP move against Evers mirrors actions taken by Republican-controlled legislatures in other states, most notably against the Democratic governors in nearby “blue wall” states Michigan and Pennsylvania. All three are critical presidential battlegrounds in November.

The GOP has been working to weaken Evers’ powers since he ousted incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker in 2018.

During Walker’s final weeks in office, Republicans adopted a set of laws that prohibited Evers from ordering the attorney general to withdraw from lawsuits, a move designed to prevent the governor from pulling Wisconsin out of a multistate lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act. The state Supreme Court has upheld those laws.

The high court also backed Republicans over Evers in the GOP’s insistence on holding in-person voting for April’s presidential primary despite the health risks of the coronavirus.

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Pastor of Jacob Blake’s mother launches 40 days of humility, prayer, fasting for racial healing

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Insight Church Pastor James E. Ward Jr. says he is on a mission to bring racial healing to the nation and “God’s blessing to black America” through 40 Days of Humility, Prayer, and Fasting. And he’s hoping America will join him.

The Skokie, Illinois, preacher recently catapulted to the national stage through his connection to Julia Jackson, one of his most devout parishioners and mother of 29-year-old Wisconsin father Jacob S. Blake, who was shot multiple times by a police officer in Kenosha on Aug. 23. Blake is currently “in a spinal injury rehabilitation center in Chicago.”

His shooting was one of several primarily deadly encounters between black men and local law enforcement that sparked civil unrest over racial justice and inequality since the killing of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis Police Department officers in May.

“The issue that we see in society surrounding race, the protest, the rioting, those things communicate to us that there is a serious problem in our nation and unfortunately in most cases we are not … equipped to solve the problem that we know needs to be solved,” Ward told The Christian Post in an interview Friday.

He is convinced that when it comes to race, America is wrestling with a deep-rooted spiritual problem that must be addressed with a spiritual response. And that’s why he launched the national spiritual prayer movement on Sept. 25 that will culminate with a livestreamed prayer for the nation on Nov. 2 from Washington, D.C.

“40 Days asks all Americans to fervently pray and fast before God for racial harmony and healing in America prior to the national presidential election,” the movement said in a statement to CP.

The group has also launched an initiative called the Zero Victim Community Development Corporation, which was “prayerfully designed to restore and strengthen black lives and families across our country.”

“Part of the expression of our prayer is prayer with action and this new Zero Victim Development Corporation is us engaging to act on behalf of what we believe, and really beginning to target how to bring God’s blessing to black America,” Ward said.

Even in a socially disruptive election year when Christians remain deeply divided on issues of race and politics, Ward is convinced that if people are able to humble themselves in prayer, America can fix its race problem.

“I’m very much aware of the disparity of folks looking at what I call a singular issue through multiple lenses. And that’s basically what you see happening in society where it’s individuals looking at the same bottle. One person is looking at the logo on the front side and the other person is looking at the nutrition label on the backside,” explained Ward.

“The exact reason we are calling ourselves to 40 days of humility, prayer and fasting, not just prayer and fasting, 40 days of humility, prayer and fasting, [is] because there’s a brokenness that we have to have. We have to check our opinions, our own sentiments, self-serving ideologies, identifying selfishness in our own life. It begins with humility and when I start with humility it means I’m willing to give up and enter into surrendering into something deeper through the avenue of prayer and fasting.”

Blake was shot seven times in the back by officer Rusten Sheskey on Aug. 23. The Wisconsin Department of Justice said that a woman called 911 to report that her boyfriend was present and was not supposed to be at the residence. According to audio dispatch obtained by Madison365, Blake had taken the woman’s keys and refused to leave.

When officers arrived at the scene, they encountered Blake, who resisted arrest. They unsuccessfully tried to subdue him with a Taser and Blake then walked around to his vehicle at the scene with armed police officers pointing their guns at his back, according to video posted on social media. Blake opened the driver’s side door of his vehicle and leaned forward. While holding onto Blake’s shirt, the Wisconsin DOJ said Sheskey fired his service weapon.

Blake’s family said the shooting has left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Wisconsin DOJ officials said Blake “admitted that he had a knife in his possession.” It was recovered on the floorboard of the driver’s side of the vehicle.

Brendan Matthews, the attorney representing Sheskey, told CNN that the officer fired the shots because he believed Blake was trying to kidnap a child as he heard a woman say, “He’s got my kid. He’s got my keys.”

There were three children in the back of the car at the time of the shooting.

In an op-ed for The New York Times Thursday, Jacob Blake’s uncle, Rick Blake, described the invisible toll of the shooting on his family, including his brother Jacob Blake Sr., affectionately called “Big Jake.”

“Our story is different from those of many families whose lives have been devastated by police brutality — our Li’l Jake survived. But in mostly every other way, the experience is similar. When the cameras stop rolling, the lights fade and public attention turns away, we’re left with our pain and we return to the battle against racism and for justice and reform,” Rick Blake wrote.

Rick Blake described how his brother, who suffers from diabetes, heart disease and chronic neuropathy, was forced to venture out during the pandemic from his home to support his son in the hospital and how he paid dearly for it with his health.

“The toll on my brother has gone largely unnoticed — except, of course, by members of our family. One night, he sat in the dark on a rock next to the hotel where he was staying, so sick and tired he couldn’t move, his hand swollen to the size of a catcher’s mitt from gout. By chance, the director of the hospital where Li’l Jake was being treated found him and he was taken to the emergency room for treatment,” he explained.

When asked about the Blake family’s revelation, Ward replied: “I think for those of us who have never been through something like this, there is no way to imagine what it feels like.”

Julia Jackson has been leaning on her faith while continuing to support her son’s recovery.

“I know it has to be one of the hardest things that Julia has every dealt with and she’s constantly in need, and I would say Jacob too, of prayer and I think that’s one of the roles that her church family plays for her. Having a church family, having a prayer team that she’s a part of, she has a core group of people around her that are there to encourage her spiritually, emotionally and mentally,” Ward said.

He argued that when shootings like Blake’s occur, people can sometime lose sight of the human toll they bring when they are criticized and politicized in the court of public opinion.

“There are so many negatives things spoken around these situations and publicly I don’t think we always give families the space that they need to grieve,” Ward said.

And it’s one of the reasons he believes a new prayer movement is needed now more than ever.

“It’s the people of America that need to change and when the people of America change, America will change and that’s the beginning of what we are calling for right now,” he said.
Sources: Christian Post

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കാനഡ മലയാളി പെന്തക്കോസ്ത് പ്രാര്‍ത്ഥന സംഗമം നവംബര്‍ 7 ന്

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ടൊറോന്റോ: കാനഡയിലെ മലയാളി പെന്തക്കോസ്ത് സഭകളുടെ ആഭിമുഖ്യത്തില്‍ ഈ രാജ്യത്തിനുവേണ്ടിയും സഭകളുടെ ആത്മീയ മുന്നേറ്റത്തിനും ആനുഗ്രഹത്തിനുമായി നവംബര്‍ 7 ന് വൈകിട്ട് 7 മണിക്ക് നടത്തപ്പെടുന്ന ആത്മീയ സമ്മേളനത്തിന്റെ ഒരുക്കങ്ങള്‍ പുരോഗമിച്ചു വരുന്നു.

കൊവിഡ് എന്ന മഹാമാരിയുടെ നടുവില്‍ കൂടി ലോകം കടന്നു പോകുമ്പോള്‍ കാനഡയ്ക്ക് വേണ്ടി പ്രാര്‍ത്ഥിക്കുവാന്‍ മലയാളി പെന്തക്കോസ്ത് സഭകള്‍ 7 പ്രൊവിന്‍സുകളില്‍ നിന്നും ആവേശത്തോടെ ജൂലൈ മാസം 25 ന് പ്രാര്‍ത്ഥനയായി സൂംമില്‍ കൂടി നടത്തപ്പെടുകയുണ്ടായി. കാനഡയിലെ മലയാളി പെന്തക്കോസ്ത് സഭകളുടെ ചരിത്രത്തിലെ ഒരു പുതിയ അദ്ധ്യായമായി അത് മാറുകയുണ്ടായി. #്തിന്റെ തുടര്‍ച്ചയായി നവംബര്‍ മാസം 7 ന് രണ്ടാമത് മീറ്റിംഗ് നടത്തുവാന്‍ തീരുമാനിച്ചിരിക്കുന്നു.

ഈ മീറ്റിംഗിന് നേതൃത്വം കൊടുക്കുന്നത് കാനഡ മലയാളി പാസ്റ്റേഴ്‌സ് ഫെലോഷിപ്പ് ആണ്. പാസ്റ്റര്‍മാരായ ഫിന്നി സാമുവല്‍,വില്‍സണ്‍ കടവില്‍, ജോണ്‍ തോമസ്, മാത്യൂ കോശി വന്‍കോവര്‍ എന്നിവര്‍ പ്രവര്‍ത്തിക്കുന്നു.

ഈ മീറ്റിംഗിന്റെ പ്രോഗ്രാം കോ ഓര്‍ഡിനേറ്റര്‍സ് ആയി പാസ്റ്റര്‍മാരായ ബാബു ജോര്‍ജ്, സോണി മാമന്‍, വി ടി റെജിമോന്‍ എന്നിവര്‍ വിവിധ കമ്മറ്റികള്‍ക്ക് നേതൃത്വം കൊടുക്കുന്നു. ഈ പ്രാര്‍ത്ഥന സംഗമത്തിന് ഏവരേയും ഹാര്‍ദ്ദവമായി സ്വാഗതം ചെയ്യുന്നു.

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