TikTok has been granted a last-minute reprieve from Donald Trump’s executive order banning the service from US app stores, after a judge in Washington DC temporarily blocked the ban from taking effect on Sunday evening.
The order, which was due to take effect at one minute to midnight, was the first step towards banning TikTok entirely within the US. It would have required Apple and Google to remove the service from their respective app stores, preventing new users from downloading it, but would not have stopped existing TikTokers from continuing to access the app on their own devices.
Instead, the US district judge Carl Nichols granted a preliminary injunction sought by TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, to allow the app to remain available in US app stores.
Nichols declined “at this time” to block a second set of restrictions requested by the US Department of Commerce, due to take effect on 12 November, which will bar any American company from providing services to TikTok. That order would have make the app impossible to use in the US, TikTok has said, effectively banning it entirely.
The Commerce Department said in a statement that it would “comply with the injunction and has taken immediate steps to do so”. The statement, which defended the legality of the TikTok order and Trump’s executive order demanding ByteDance divest its TikTok US operations within 90 days, did not say whether the government intended to appeal.
TikTok said it was pleased with the injunction and it would “maintain our ongoing dialogue with the government to turn our proposal, which the president gave his preliminary approval to last week, into an agreement.”
The company’s lawyer John Hall had said a ban would be “punitive” and would close off a public forum used by tens of millions of Americans.
In a written brief filed before the hearing, TikTok lawyers said the ban was “arbitrary and capricious” and “would undermine data security” by blocking updates and fixes to the app.
The company also said the ban was unnecessary because negotiations were already under way to restructure the ownership of TikTok to address national security issues raised by the administration.
Hours before the DC court ruled in TikTok’s favour, a judge in Pennsylvania rejected a separate legal move by three TikTok influencers seeking their own stay on the ban. Doug Marland, Cosette Rinab, and Alec Chambers, who have almost 7 million followers on the app between them, argued in court that access to the app was critical to their livelihood.
If TikTok were to be blocked from US app stores, the three said, they would “lose access to tens of thousands of potential viewers and creators every month, an effect amplified by the looming threat to close TikTok altogether”. But the judge Wendy Beetlestone denied their request to stay the order, agreeing that such a ban would be an “inconvenience” for them, but noting that they had failed to demonstrate the irreparable harm that would be required for a court victory.
One hundred million Americans use TikTok at least once a month, the company says, and half of those use it every day. Globally, the app has been downloaded about 2bn times, placing it in the same tier as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. But unlike those services, TikTok’s parent company is not listed on the US stock market. ByteDance is a privately held company, legally incorporated in the Cayman Islands and headquartered in Beijing.
Government lawyers argued that the president had a right to take national security actions, and said the ban was needed because of TikTok’s links to the Chinese government through ByteDance. A government brief called ByteDance a “mouthpiece” for the Chinese Communist party and said it was “committed to promoting the CCP’s agenda and messaging”.
ByteDance said on 20 September that it had struck a preliminary deal for Walmart and Oracle to take stakes in a new company, TikTok Global, that would oversee US operations, after Trump said he had given the deal his blessing. Negotiations continue over the terms of the agreement and to resolve concerns from Washington and Beijing.
The deal is still to be reviewed by the US government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
Mission group urges Christians to pray for release of missionary pilot, 2 volunteers imprisoned in Mozambique
The U.S.-based ministry Mission Aviation Fellowship is urging Christians to pray for the release and safety of one of its pilots, Ryan Koher, and two South African volunteers who have been detained for nearly a month in Mozambique on suspicion of supporting insurgent activity.
Koher, 31, and two South Africans — 77-year-old W.J. du Plessis and 69-year-old Eric Dry — were detained in the coastal city of Inhambane on Nov. 4 while they were loading supplies into the aircraft to be taken to church-run orphanages in the Montepuez district in the troubled Cabo Delgado Province.
“I urge Christians around the world to pray for Ryan’s safety and swift release, and call on those in power both in Mozambique and here in the U.S. to do everything they can to resolve this wrongful detainment,” MAF President and CEO David Holsten said in a statement Friday.
While conducting the normal security scan at the airport, police asked about the supplies — vitamins, over-the-counter medications and food preservatives — Koher was to deliver for the orphanages and adult staff, the ministry said, adding that Koher is a pilot for its partner, Ambassador Aviation Ltd.
“None of the confiscated material belonged to Koher nor had it been loaded onto the airplane. AAL has been conducting these annual supply charter flights to the orphanages since 2014.”
The three men have been jailed on a still undetermined written charge, according to MAF.
While the three men were suspected to be supporting insurgency, “Ambassador Aviation has long sought to care for those who have been harmed by the insurgency, including evacuating innocent residents following a March 2021 insurgent attack.”
Islamic extremists have been exploiting a crisis in the coastal province of Cabo Delgado. A civil war started in 2017 over the area rich with gas, rubies, graphite, gold and other natural resources. Protesters demonstrated against what they say is profits going to an elite in the ruling Frelimo Party, with few jobs for local residents.
In the mostly Muslim region of Cabo Delgado in the otherwise Christian-majority country, Islamic extremists kidnap women and force boys to become child soldiers, The Washington Post reported in October.
“In 2017, jihadist insurgents began in the Cabo-Delgado province, winning over some locals due to the fact that they gave back resources to villagers from the government, and killed no one,” the U.S.-based persecution watchdog International Christian Concern reported. “This did not last, however, as IS started setting fire to Christian villages, and killing those who lived there.”
A lawyer from AAL the U.S. Embassy are engaged in the situation, MAF said, adding, however, that Embassy officials were denied access to Koher at a prison in Inhambane. Koher was later moved to the Machava High Security Prison near Maputo.
“Ryan is a caring and gentle individual,” Holsten said. “Over the last couple of years, he and his wife have worked hard to learn the language and culture of Mozambique to better serve those who rely on our service. Understandably, this situation has been very challenging for the family. We fully believe in Ryan’s innocence, and we are all praying that this issue will be resolved very soon with the charges dismissed and Ryan released.”
Do Christians Really Donate More? Bible’s Stunning Impact on Charitable Giving Revealed in Fascinating New Study
As the debate over the impact of Christianity on charitable behavior forges on, a new study reveals Scripturally-engaged Americans are “far more likely than others to donate to charity.”
In fact, the majority of these individuals — people who interact consistently with Scripture and allow it to shape their lives and relationships — report giving to such causes, according to the eighth chapter of “The State of the Bible” report.
“Americans who are engaged with the Bible gave $145 billion to charitable causes in 2021,” a statement from the American Bible Society read. “And … Practicing Christians, those who are actively living out their faith, are much more likely to give.”
The results are pretty stunning when comparing people engaged in the Bible with those who are disengaged as well as the so-called Moveable Middle, a group falling between those dynamics.
Bible-engaged Americans gave a total of $145 billion to charities in 2021, amounting to about $2,907 per household. The same figure for the Bible disengaged was just $924.
To underscore the monumental nature of that giving, consider that Scripturally engaged Americans account for just 19% of adults yet give 44% of every dollar donated.
The finer details point to the fascinating nature of this group’s generosity.
“People who are Scripture-engaged gave six-times as much to churches as those in the Movable Middle and 13-times as much as those who are Bible-disengaged,” a statement explained. “When it comes to non-church giving, Scripture-engaged Americans gave 9% more than the Bible-disengaged and 165% more than the Movable Middle.”
Giving among active believers is, thus, much higher than for other cohorts.
Dr. John Farquhar Plake, director of ministry intelligence for the American Bible Society, said his organization’s research continues to show “a strong correlation between charitable giving and human flourishing.” This is particularly relevant among Christians surveyed in the annual report.
“Engaging with the Bible and actively living out our faith doesn’t simply mean reading the words in the pages of Scripture — rather, it is a transformation of the heart that inspires us to love and live well,” Plake said.
The results for this chapter of the “State of the Bible” were collected from 2,598 phone and online responses from American adults in January 2022.
Atheists will often decry the Bible and its contents, yet study after study shows the strong benefits faith offers individuals and, in turn, the culture at large.
As Faithwire reported, an earlier chapter from the “State of the Bible” report showed “Americans who consistently read and apply the Bible report greater levels of hope and resilience.” Read more about the Bible’s significant impact on the faithful here.
PASTOR JACOB MATHEW – 57 MEMORIAL SERVICE 12/02/2022
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel,and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. We walk by faith, and not by sight! Pastor Jacob Mathew (57 ) has been promoted to his eternal home and went to be with Jesus on 11/24/2022 . He served as the assistant Pastor of the Mizpah Church of God. Pullad. He lived a life that exampled Jesus Christ, a life of servitude,faith,and love. He will be missed by his family, his wife Shiney,daughter Jesna Jacob and son Joel Jacob.
We kindly request for prayers at this time for the family. He is Survived by his mother, Thankamma Mathew, sister Mary Mathew, and brother Paul Mathew and family.
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