China has a growing number of Christians, and that's causing increasing tensions with the officially atheistic ruling Chinese Communist Party. China's solution is if you can't beat 'em, co-opt them.
"Over the past decades, the Protestant churches in China have developed very quickly with the implementation of the country's religious policy," says Wang Zuoan, director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs, according to the state-run China Daily newspaper. "The construction of Chinese Christian theology should adapt to China's national condition and integrate with Chinese culture," including its path of socialism.
Christians in China have to worship in state-approved and supervised churches, and official estimates number the country's Protestant population at 23 million to 40 million, with 500,000 more baptized each year. Wang was speaking at an event in Shanghai to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China. He didn't address the estimated 12 million Catholics in China, about half of whom illegally follow the lead of the Roman Catholic Church while the other half worship in the officially sanctioned, Vatican-rejecting Catholic church.
Wang didn't elaborate on this new "Chinese Christian theology," but the Three-Self Patriotic Movement's Gu Mengfei explained that the year-old Chinese push to promote correct Christian theology encourages pastors and laypeople alike to extract moral teachings in line with Biblical times and with other religious faiths. "This will encourage more believers to make contributions to the country's harmonious social progress, cultural prosperity, and economic development," Gu added. Peter Weber
Two of B.B. King's daughters say that their father was poisoned by his business manager and personal assistant in order to hasten his death, allegations that his estate's attorney says are "defamatory and libelous."
Brent Bryson told The Associated Press that King received 24-hour care and was monitored by medical professionals "up until the time that he peacefully passed away in his sleep" earlier this month at the age of 89. King's daughters, Karen Williams and Patty King, say that manager and estate executor LaVerne Toney and personal assistant Myron Johnson prevented family members from visiting King, and Patty King witnessed Johnson putting drops of an unknown substance on her father's tongue over the course of several months. The sisters had previously told a court that large sums of money were missing from King's bank accounts and Toney hired her own relatives to work for King.
An autopsy on the late musician was performed on Sunday, and it will take up to eight weeks for the rest results to come back. "This is extremely disrespectful to B.B. King," Bryson said. "He did not want invasive medical procedures. He made the decision to return home for hospice care instead of staying in a hospital. These unfounded allegations have caused Mr. King to undergo an autopsy, which is exactly what he didn't want." Catherine Garcia
A tornado that hit the town of Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, Monday morning killed at least 13 people, while across the border 12 people are reported missing after severe flooding in Texas.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 25, 2015
The tornado in Ciudad Acuna, a town of 125,000 people across from Del Rio, Teas, struck as children were headed to their school buses, CBS News reports. A baby in its carrier was ripped from its mother's arms and 400 homes were destroyed, authorities said, and 300 people are hospitalized for injuries. "There's nothing standing, not walls, not roofs," Edgar Gonzalez, a spokesman for the city government, said.
In Texas, 2,000 people had to evacuate from their homes during heavy rains, which hit towns along the Blanco River in the central part of the state especially hard. One man, Jonathan McComb, was hospitalized after his home came off its foundation and struck a bridge as the water carried it down the river. His wife and two children are among the dozen people missing after the flooding. Catherine Garcia
The city of Cleveland will announce as early as Tuesday that it reached a settlement with the Justice Department over what it called a pattern of unconstitutional policing and excessive use of force, sources told The New York Times on Monday.
The details were not shared, but in previous cases, the Justice Department told cities they needed to allow independent monitors to oversee the changes made inside their police departments, revise their use-of-force policies, and improve their training, the Times reports. In December, the Justice Department released a report on the Cleveland Division of Police, with investigators saying officers unnecessarily used deadly force, used excessive force against mentally ill people, inappropriately used stun guns and chemical sprays, and in one case officers kicked a black man in the head while he was handcuffed and on the ground, but did not mention using force in their report.
Over the weekend, hundreds protested in Cleveland after a judge on Saturday found a white police officer, Michael Brelo, not guilty of manslaughter after a 2012 incident where he climbed on the hood of a vehicle and fired several times at an unarmed black couple, Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell, sitting in their car. Catherine Garcia
Iraq and Iran are rejecting Defense Secretary Ash Carter's claim on Sunday that "Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight" against ISIS, which allowed the terrorist group to overtake Ramadi.
"Carter was likely given incorrect information because the situation on ground is different," Saad al-Hadithi, a spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, told The Associated Press. "We should not judge the whole army based on one incident."
Iran's Gen. Qassim Soleimani, meanwhile, told Iran's Javan that America didn't help stop ISIS from advancing on Ramadi.
Carter made the comments on ISIS during a CNN interview. "They were not outnumbered. In fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force," Carter said in the interview, which aired Sunday. "That says to me, and I think to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight ISIL and defend themselves." Meghan DeMaria
President Obama and Defense Secretary Ash Carter honored America's late soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday. In his speech, Obama noted that it is the first Memorial Day in more than 10 years that the U.S. "is not engaged in a major ground war."
"We do know what your sacrifice means to us, to this nation, and to a world that still depends so much on American men and women in uniform for its security," Carter said of fallen soldiers at the event. He also noted that almost 200,000 American service members are overseas.
Obama laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, adding that "our men and women in uniform still stand watch, still serve, still sacrifice, around the world." —Meghan DeMaria
An unnamed source with "direct knowledge" of the deal told The New York Times on Monday that Charter Communications is close to finalizing an agreement to buy Time Warner Cable for about $55.1 billion in cash and stock.
If the deal is approved, Charter would pay about $195 a share, which is about 14 percent higher than Time Warner Cable's closing stock price on Friday. And as the Times notes, it's also 47 percent higher than Charter's bid to buy Time Warner Cable last year.
If Charter acquires Time Warner Cable, its main investor, billionaire John Malone, would "break into the top tier of the American broadband industry," the Times reports.
A building project of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is already $1 billion over budget — but it's about to get another $100 million in tax dollars to keep it going.
The VA hospital in question, the Denver Replacement Medical Center, has been labeled the "biggest construction failure" in the agency's history with a current price tag of $1.73 billion (and rapidly counting). The original cost estimate was less than $400 million.
Also catastrophically mismanaged is the hospital's construction timeline: The hospital was supposed to be completed more than a year ago, but now, it is not expected to be completed in 2015. The $100 million bailout will fund only three extra weeks of work.
This debacle is the latest in a long line of scandals surrounding the VA for the past several years. The department has been caught providing slow and inadequate service to veterans, using faulty medical equipment, engaging in corrupt and irresponsible activities with minimal consequences, and fudging the numbers on veteran suicides. Bonnie Kristian