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Toni Braxton says God gave her son autism as punishment for past abortion

braxton 600Toni Braxton has dropped several bombshells in her new memoir, appropriately dubbed "Unbreak My Heart," but her thoughts on her son's health condition seem to be receiving the most attention.

The crooner reveals that she believes God gave her 11-year-old son, Diezel, autism as punishment for her having an abortion more than a decade ago.

She addresses her guilt over having the procedure done due to her religious upbringing, saying, "I was suddenly faced with a choice I'd never thought I'd have to make. Amid my major misgivings about abortion, I eventually made the gut-wrenching decision."

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Device can save thousands of children from drowning

drowning 600SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Pastor George A. McKinney and his family were hosting a pool party four years ago. Several children and families were gathered, fellowshipping and having a good time. Nothing out of the ordinary for this annual event, which Pastor McKinney had been hosting for more than a decade without incident.

"Albert was 7; my son was 9 at the time. They were friends. They had gone to Magic Mountain together. There were some other kids there as well and they were having a great time," McKinney remembers He vividly remembers about six or seven children in the pool that time, saying, "Albert was running around the house, having a great time, playing video games with my son. Normal kids' stuff."

But what was a normal, joyous time quickly turned to tragedy.

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Common travel dilemmas lead to Americans answering ‘What Would You Do?’

travel 600While air travel etiquette – or lack thereof – is a frequent topic of conversation among travelers, there are myriad more common travel scenarios warranting discussion about how best to resolve or defuse a situation.

In a recent survey, Travel Leaders Group asked Americans how they would handle uncomfortable – yet fairly common – travel dilemmas such as tipping hotel and resort bellman and maids, saving unoccupied beach chairs at resorts, and bringing kids to adult-only pools at resorts and hotels, along with vying for overhead storage bin space on airlines. The series of "What would you do?" travel dilemma questions were part of a survey conducted from April 6th to April 28th, 2014, and includes responses from 2,719 consumers throughout the United States.

"Our 'What would you do?' questions have yielded some very intriguing responses over the past two years – and this year is no different," said Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben.

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Brooks on Brooks! Part II

Henri Brooks_2_600During a meeting Tuesday (May 20th) afternoon with the editorial staff of The New Tri-State Defender, County Commissioner Henri Brooks addressed myriad issues – including her highly criticized move to "correct" a speaker who asserted that in Memphis Hispanics are the "minority of minorities." Here is Part II of that Q&A session.

The New Tri-State Defender: Is there a difference between minorities as it relates to the law?
Henri Brooks: Quite frankly, there's an unspoken rule. Ethnic minorities do not compare themselves. If you look at Title VI, you'll find that Hispanics are mentioned and blacks are mentioned as protective beneficiaries. It just says that we have suffered discriminatory expenditures of federal dollars. So we're both in the same group. Title VI protects us both. So there's no need to compare each other.

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Political candidates and ‘prophetic’ clergy – Endorsement or Empowerment?

revfisher 600Campaign season (which one could argue is endless) is always ubiquitous and duplicitous for me as a pastor. These moments are joyous; making ministry real! Election cycles remind us that those who have a theology or faith-based-belief that does not take into account political developments and social realities have signed a promissory note to ministerial irrelevance. Those who serve in the pastorate must constantly be mindful of how legislation and the appropriation of resources impact those who we are called to serve at a grassroots, neighborhood and living room level.

These same moments are frustrating. The tension rests in the requirement pastors have to calculate the best way to exert our pastoral influence. It has been common place for pastors to publicly endorse candidates directly and indirectly. This is commendable when it has been done through a thorough deliberation and discernment process and not merely to score points in the game of ministerial and political opportunism.

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