Iran detains 35 women for going to football match



Iran detains 35 women for going to football match

Iranian football fans at a matchImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionOnly men can attend football matches in Iran

Iran has detained 35 women for trying to attend a football match.

They tried to go to a game between Tehran teams Esteqlal and Persepolis. Iran said they were temporarily held and would be released after the match.

Fifa’s president, Gianni Infantino, was also in attendance, along with Iranian Sport Minister Masoud Soltanifar.

A live broadcast was taken off the air when a journalist asked Mr Soltanifar when women would be allowed to attend football matches.

According to the semi-official ISNA news agency, Iranian interior ministry spokesman Seyyed Salman Samani said the female football fans were not arrested – but transferred to a “proper place” by police.

Earlier reports said two women were held.

Iran has barred women from attending football games since the Iranian Revolution in 1979.

Iranian football fans after celebrate after a win by the national teamImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionIranian women have been urged online recently to protest about their ban from stadiums

‘Break the taboo’

There were calls on social media before the match for women to protest against the ban outside the Azadi stadium today.

Women’s rights activist Masih Alinejad on Wednesday called on women to attend Thursday’s match.

“The Fifa president will be in the stadium tomorrow (1 March),” she wrote.

“I wish women would gather outside the stadium to ask men not to enter without them.”

Another user said it was a “basic right” for women to enter stadiums with men, and said this match was “the best chance to break the 35-year-old taboo”.

Azadi means “freedom” stadium in Persian, and one Twitter user pointed out the hypocrisy of “naming a stadium freedom but banning half the population from entering”.

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Why this game?

By Alan Johnston, World Service Middle East regional editor

The women caught sneaking into the stadium were trying to attend a particularly significant game, one being watched by the most powerful man in world football, Fifa’s boss.

It seems they wanted to attract Mr Infantino’s attention to the ban on women attending games.

And the sensitivity of the issue was apparent as Mr Infantino stood beside the country’s sports minister during a live TV interview.

A journalist asked this awkward question about when the ban might be lifted. The sound was faded down, and the interview abruptly taken off the air.

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‘Politics should stay out of football’

Mr Infantino had been speaking to reporters about a two-year dispute between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino, left, and Iranian sport minister Masoud SoltanifarImage copyrightAFP/GETTY IMAGES
Image captionFifa president Gianni Infantino, left, spoke at a joint press conference with Iranian Sport Minister Masoud Soltanifar

Since 2016, when Saudi Arabia broke off relations with Iran, Saudi clubs have refused to play there, forcing Iranian teams to play home games in Oman.

“It’s very clear that politics should stay out of football and football should stay out of politics,” Mr Infantino said the news conference.

“There are of course political issues between countries all over the world but this should not have an impact,” he said.

Later on, the head of Fifa met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Mr Rouhani asked Fifa to make sure that “people are not deprived of watching competitions in their own stadiums”.

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South Korea’s President, Mr. Moon Is Being Played For A Fool!!!



As most folks know, the Winter Olympics are being staged in South Korea right now. South Korea’s President, Mr. Moon appears to be being ‘played’ for a fool by the Kim family of North Korea during these games. There is a small athletic delegation from the North that are participating as we speak. Among the non-athletes of the North’s delegation is the sister of Kim Jung Un, the mass murdering vicious Dictator self-proclaimed ‘Living God’. The out of touch with reality President of South Korea has welcomed the visitors from the North with open arms. Personally I do not have a problem with allowing the athletics from the North to participate, but it should be under their own flag. Mr. Moon decided that instead of South Korean athletics and the Country of South Korea using the South Korean Flag they are using a ‘unification’ flag and allowing the North Koreans to participate as part of a ‘one Korea’ team. Thus many athletics from the South who have spent many years working their selves half to death to make their Country’s Olympic Team got ‘bumped’ off the team so the unqualified North members could take their place. I say unqualified because to become a member of a country’s team you must have gone through many different qualifying events and either winning them or placing very, very high in those contest. The North’s athletics did none of these things, they were just handed the spots by the insistence of the South Korean President. Now if in team events ‘South Korea’ is able to win a metal, North Koreans also get that metal to take back home for Kim Jung Un to brag about.


Enough of the Olympic’s part of this article, now down to the meat of what I am writing to you about tonight. Kim Jung Un’s sister at the direction of her brother has offered President Moon an invitation to visit him in North Korea. The North Korean delegation has been putting on what has been widely referred to as a ‘charm’ campaign this past two months. Mr. Kim of North Korea has widely made it known that he wants the two Korea’s to be ‘unified’, yet the unification is to be under his command with himself as the one and only Leader of the Korean Peninsula. Folks, this is something that the extreme majority of the citizens of South Korea do not want to ever see happen.


What is going on is very obvious. The UN has put a lot of sanctions on the Kim government because of their missile program and the firing of ICBM’s as well as their Nuclear Program that Mr. Kim says he will never ever give up. A ‘show’ of Mr. Kim’s intentions was obvious when the North Koreans asked the South Korean government to give them the fuel that would be needed for the ship the North Korean delegation was going to use to make the very, very short trip to the South. Kim is playing the poor, poor pitiful me song and dance trying to get pity from the South Koreans and from the UN. For years the people of North Korea have been starving to death as the very fat Kim Jung Un who just keeps getting fatter and fatter himself. If Kim Jung Un can get the very liberal President Moon to start sending food and oil to the North, that would be a huge win for Mr. Kim. If Mr. Kim can convince the very liberal and gullible President Moon to break the UN sanctions all together, then Russia and China would do the same. What if Mr. Kim can play sweet toward Mr. Moon and could convince him to throw the American military forces out of South Korea and to quit doing military exercises with the U.S. and to quit allowing U.S. ships to use South Korean Ports. It is obvious that the next thing would be the North Korean Army storming the South Korean’s thus unifying the Peninsula under Mr. Kim’s control. Of course this is if Mr. Kim cannot convince President Moon to do this voluntarily. Let’s all give this ongoing situation about  100 days, lets say until June 1st to see how this all shakes out. Another option of course would be if Mr. Kim gets President Moon up North and lets him know if the two Countries do not unite as one that he (Mr. Kim) will nuke the South ‘off the map’. Lets see what the History Books will be saying about this next 100 days. As a very dear old friend of mine used to say, “we shall see, what we shall see”.

Super Bowl: Eagles Coach Praises Jesus, Nick Foles Gives Glory to God



Super Bowl: Eagles Coach Praises Jesus, Nick Foles Gives Glory to God

(PHOTO: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE)Philadelphia Eagles Nick Foles celebrates with Jason Kelce after winning Super Bowl LII.

Doug Pederson, the head coach of freshly crowned Super Bowl LII champions the Philadelphia Eagles, gave glory to God in his reaction to the historic victory.

“I can only give the praise to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ for giving me this opportunity. And I’m going to tell you something. I’ve got the best players in the world, and it’s a resilient group,” Pederson said in a post-game interview, according to on Sunday.

“I love this coaching staff. Mr. [Jeffrey] Lurie, the owner. And not only do we have the best fans in the world, we now have the best team in the world. Thank you guys.”

The Eagles’ 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots marked their first-ever Super Bowl title at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, having previously lost title games in 1981 and 2005.

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, who was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, saw God’s hand in his path to the final, commentators who spoke with him said.

Tony Dungy, former head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and of the Indianapolis Colts, said in a post-game interview, according to NBC Sports:

“Nick Foles told me last week in Philadelphia he thought the Lord had him here for just this time. He knows this is Carson Wentz’s team, but he was ready to go tonight, and he played like a champion.”

Foles wept tears of joy when discussing the team’s victory, holding onto his daughter, Lily.

“All glory to God. Lily really likes this mic. She has no idea,” the MVP said.

Praising his Eagles teammates and coaching staff, he added: “To be here with my daughter, my wife, my teammates, this city … we’re very blessed.”

Foles has not kept his Christian faith a secret, describing himself on Twitter as a “believer in Jesus Christ, husband, father, son, brother.” The 29-year-old star athlete has said in the past that after his football career comes to an end, he is thinking of becoming a pastor.

“I want to be a pastor in a high school,” Foles said at a news conference ahead of the Super Bowl.

“It’s on my heart. I took a leap of faith last year and signed up to take classes at seminary. I wanted to continue to learn and challenge my faith. It’s a challenge because you are writing papers that are biblically correct. You want to impact people’s hearts,” he said.

Foles explained that high school is a very challenging time for young men and young women.

“So much temptation in this world, so much going on with social media and the internet that you want to talk to them and address it, and share all the weaknesses I have because I’ve fallen many times,” he stated.

“It’s something I want to do. I can’t play football forever. I’ve been blessed with an amazing platform and it’s just a door God has opened, but I still have a lot of school left and a long journey.”

Others, such as Eagles’ punter Donnie Jones, also placed their faith in God in the run-up to the major event.

“[I] always know that He’s going to be there, He’s going to take care of you,” Jones, who attended a Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, said of God.

“That’s kind of been the way of my career. I’ve moved around with five teams. When I didn’t know things were going to work out, He always put me in the right spot. You’ve got to have faith, believe,” he added, according to The Catholic Spirit.

Follow Stoyan Zaimov on Facebook: CPSZaimov

Conformation That Russia Was Doping Their Olympic Athletics



Grigory Rodchenkov (Vitaly Belousov / TASS)

Two Russian athletes have confirmed the existence of a doping cocktail described by Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of a Moscow anti-doping lab, in the first admission of involvement since Russia was accused of running a state-sponsored doping program.

Rodchenkov fled to the U.S. after telling The New York Times newspaper that he had provided athletes with banned substances — including during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, which Russia hosted.

A probe by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accused Russia of running a state-sponsored doping program.

WADA is meeting next week to review a ruling imposing sanctions on Russian athletes. The International Olympic Committee is also expected to decide the fates of two dozen Russian athletes in December, ahead of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

During the Sochi Olympics, Rodchenkov said, he provided Russian athletes with a doping cocktail of different steroids mixed with alcohol.

In Russia Rodchenkov’s account has largely been dismissed as the product of fantasy and investigators have opened a case against him. Earlier this week, Russia issued a request for his extradition.

Two anonymous Russian athletes and an athletics manager interviewed by Russia’s biggest sports channel Match TV said on Wednesday the cocktail was given in the form of three unmarked pill containers with colored caps.

The athletes chose their own dosage and dissolved the pill in their mouth with a sip of alcohol, one of the athletes said.

“One tablet gave me a boost, the effect was very strong,” Match TV’s website cited Nikolai P., an athlete who took the so-called “Rodchenkov cocktail”, as saying.

A sports manager, identified as Nikolai R., said the cocktail had been Rodchenkov’s idea, but that the substances were produced by a person known as “Vitya-Jintropin,” a dealer in steroids. Jintropin is a growth hormone.

The third athlete who spoke with Match TV said she had pretended to take the drugs and only learned about the contents of the cocktail she was given after the scandal broke.

“I wasn’t the only one to do so, at least one of my acquaintances” also accepted the unmarked containers with a set of instructions and told Rodchenkov she was consuming their contents, she noted. The athlete said she ultimately disposed of the bottles.

“I couldn’t even sell it to anyone because I had no idea what I’d be selling,” she said.

This is the first time that athletes still in Russia have admitted some of the claims made by WADA and Rodchenkov. But, commenting to the liberal radio station Ekho Moskvy, sports analyst Alexei Durnavo said that far from admitting Russia’s guilt the report likely aimed at discrediting Rodchenkov personally, while leaving untouched the question of Russian state participation in the doping scandal.

Papa John’s says Anthem protests are hurting deal with NFL



Papa John’s says anthem protests are hurting deal with NFL



Executives from Papa John’s, the official pizza company of the NFL, expressed disappointment on a conference call Wednesday about the league’s ongoing player protests during the national anthem.

“The NFL has hurt us,” company founder and CEO John Schnatter said. “We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this.”

Executives said the company has pulled much of its NFL television advertising and that the NFL has responded by giving the company additional future spots.

“Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership,” Schnatter said, noting he thought the issue had been “nipped in the bud” a year and a half ago.

In revising sales estimates for the next quarter, Papa John’s president and chief operating officer Steve Ritchie said on the call that the NFL deal was the primary suspect behind the decline and that “we expect it to persist unless a solution is put in place.”

Ritchie said that research has found that Papa John’s has been the most recognized sponsor associated with the NFL for two years running, which he said means the company’s performance can track with that of the league.

Papa John’s has a deal with not only the NFL, but also with 23 individual teams.

Company executives declined to disclose exactly how much money in projected sales Papa John’s lost from its association with the NFL and declining ratings, which mean fewer people are ordering their product for game days, they said.

ESPN reached out to 18 NFL official sponsors in the last few days and asked the companies about its current relationship with the league and if any marketing programs had been changed due to the turmoil. Only five sponsors responded with a comment.

Verizon spokesperson Jim Gerace wrote via email that “our discussions with any partner are between us and while we haven’t done anything different, we don’t discuss future plans.”

“We are not going to critique their performance in public just as I wouldn’t expect them to critique ours,” Gerace added.

A Hyundai spokesperson said in a statement, “Hyundai participated in constant dialogue with the league to discuss all aspects of our partnership, including national anthem protests. We’ve been pleased with the frequency and openness of those conversations.”

A spokesperson for Dannon, whose Oikos brand has an official NFL deal, said: “We continue to monitor the situation carefully and have not made changes to our advertising or related plans.”

Nike and Anheuser-Busch referred to previously issued statements.

League sponsors that either didn’t return a message after 24 hours or declined comment included: PepsiCo, Mars, Visa, Campbell’s Soup, Procter & Gamble, Castrol, Bose, McDonald’s, Nationwide, Microsoft, USAA, Marriott and Bridgestone.

World Judo Must Honor Its Own Ethics Code—(Or Disband Themselves)




World judo must honor its own ethics code, stop UAE’s anti-Israel discrimination

The emirate trampled all over the sport’s governing principles in preventing Israel’s team from competing under its own name and symbols

Israeli gold-medalist judoka Tal Flicker singing the Israeli national anthem despite local officials' refusal to play it at the Judo Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi, where local judo authorities banned all Israeli symbols, October 26, 2017. (YouTube screen capture)

Israeli gold-medalist judoka Tal Flicker singing the Israeli national anthem despite local officials’ refusal to play it at the Judo Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi, where local judo authorities banned all Israeli symbols, October 26, 2017. (YouTube screen capture)

Israel’s Tal Flicker is the current world No. 1 in judo’s U66 kg division, an established star who has won several world championship events this year.

On Thursday, Flicker, 25, added to his gold collection, defeating Nijat Shikhalizada of Azerbaijan in the Grand Slam Abu Dhabi. Accordingly, he took his place on the winner’s podium, gratefully accepted his gold medal, and stood straight for the playing of Israel’s national anthem, “Hatikvah.”

Except that, as Flicker knew would be the case, the organizers of this world tournament in the United Arab Emirates refused to play “Hatikvah.” Instead, Flicker and the rest of those in the hall and watching elsewhere heard the anthem of the International Judo Federation. Neither was the Israeli flag raised in pride of place. Rather, again, it was the IJF symbol that the organizers installed. (Likewise, there was no Israeli flag displayed for bronze medalists Gili Cohen, shortly before Flicker’s win on Thursday, and Tohar Butbul, on Friday.

IJF Code of Ethics (clause 2): ‘There shall be no discrimination between the participants on the basis of race, gender, ethnic origin, religion… or other grounds’

Flicker handled the snub with considerable aplomb. Shutting out what he would later describe as the “background noise” of the IJF anthem, he sung his own “Hatikvah.”

ISRAELI Tal Flicker presented with his gold medal at  without Israeli anthem or flag. Nice to see Tal singing something and I’m guessing it’s the @Ostrov_A

Speaking to Israeli TV from his hotel room afterwards, he said he’d made up his mind from the start that he’d sing “Hatikvah,” and dismissed the organizing nation’s insult. “The whole world knows that we’re from Israel, knows who we represent,” he said. “The fact that they hid our flag, it’s just a…” He paused, searching for the word. “It’s just a patch on our flag,” he said.

A day later, Tohar Butbul handled an Arab rival’s contempt with similar equanimity. Evidently undeterred that his defeated UAE opponent Rashad Almashjari refused to shake his proffered hand, Butbul, 23, progressed on through the tournament to wind up with the bronze in his category by defeating Italy’s Olympic champion Fabio Basile.

Adding insult to insult, the IJF has been partially complicit in this anti-Israeli discrimination. Its own website’s reporting on Flicker’s gold medal success described him (and still does in this article) as representing not Israel but, risibly, the IJF. “The IJF are in second place with one gold and one bronze medal,” it reported, ridiculously, on Thursday night. (By Friday evening, its medals table for the tournament was at least accurately showing Israel’s gold and two bronzes to have indeed been won by “Israel.”

Some might argue that Israel should not have participated in a tournament whose UAE hosts messed the team around regarding visas and informed the sport’s international administration in advance that Israelis would only be tolerated if they exhibited no sign whatsoever of being Israeli. But the Israeli thinking was that its excellent judokas emphatically should participate, and that they would hopefully strike a contrast, through sporting excellence and good grace, to the rudeness of the UAE organizers. And so it has proved.

But that emphatically should not be the end of the matter. When the UAE Judo Federation made plain ahead of the tournament that the Israeli team would not be allowed to compete under the Israeli flag, the IJF wrote to the hosts to demand that “all delegations, including the Israeli delegation, shall be treated absolutely equally in all aspects, without any exception.”

The UAE Judo Federation paid it absolutely no heed. Why would it? It had imposed the same discrimination against Israel’s judokas two years ago; Israel won two bronze medals in the 2015 tournament — which meant far fewer headlines than the unignorable gold-medal success of Tal Flicker.

The very word ‘judo’ means ‘gentle way’

Rather than Israelis facing the dilemma of whether to compete as unwanted intruders in events such as this, it now falls to the IJF to ensure that there is no discrimination at future tournaments, and that hosts who cannot abide by its requirement that all delegations be treated “absolutely equally” not be permitted to hold events. (Incidentally, “Palestine,” as an International Olympic Committee member, is one of the IJF’s 198 “member countries.” We can all argue long and hard over the differences or similarities, but if Israel wanted to host an IJF event, it would be required to treat Palestinian participants equally.)

A martial art with a 135-year history, judo is governed by etiquette designed to underline the importance of respect.  The very word “judo” means “gentle way.” There should be no place in the sport for those who do not embrace its spirit.

As the IJF’s own Code of Ethics (clause 2) states unequivocally, “There shall be no discrimination between the participants on the basis of race, gender, ethnic origin, religion, philosophical or political opinion, marital status or other grounds.”

The UAE trampled all over those principles this week. It should not permitted to do so again.


Israeli Wins Judo Gold In UAE, Which Refuses To Play Anthem, Raise Flag



Israeli wins judo gold in UAE, which refuses to play anthem, raise flag

Tal Flicker and bronze-winner Gili Cohen forced to celebrate under international judo federation’s banner due to local prohibition on Israeli symbols

An Israeli judoka won a gold medal on Thursday at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam judo tournament, but had to sing his own private “Hatikvah” because the organizers refused to play the Israeli national anthem.

He also had to celebrate his victory under the International Judo Federation’s flag, because the emirate banned the display of Israeli symbols.

Tournament organizers did not play Israel’s national anthem as Tal Flicker stood on the podium after receiving his medal in the men’s under-66 kilograms (145 pounds) category.

With the medal around his neck, Flicker sang his own “Hatikvah” while the International Judo Federation’s (IJF) anthem played in the background.

ISRAELI Tal Flicker presented with his gold medal at  without Israeli anthem or flag. Nice to see Tal singing something and I’m guessing it’s the @Ostrov_A

On the women’s side, Gili Cohen won bronze in the under-52 kilograms (114 pounds) class. The Israeli flag was not flown on her behalf either.

The entire Israeli team was required to compete without any Israeli identifying symbols, and had been told before the tournament that there would be no acknowledgement of their home country — a discriminatory policy imposed solely on the Israeli competitors.

Flicker said later that he made up his mind to sing his own “Hatikvah” on the podium from “the moment that I won the gold.”

“Israel is my country, and I’m proud to be Israeli,” he said, speaking to Channel 2 news from his hotel room. “The anthem that they played of the world federation was just background noise,” he said. “I was singing ‘Hatikvah’ from my heart.

“I’m proud of my country,” he said again. “The whole world knows that we’re from Israel, knows who we represent. The fact that they hid our flag, it’s just a patch on our flag.”

Asked whether he’d had reservations about competing in a tournament that would not recognize him and his colleagues as Israelis, Flicker said he had focused solely on winning a medal. Now that he’d done so, “I’m extremely happy.”

Ahead of the tournament on Monday, Flicker wrote on Facebook that even without the flag, “everyone in the world knows where we are from and what country we represent.”

“I am the most proud in the world to be Israeli,” he added.

The Israeli contestants were barred from wearing Israeli symbols on their uniforms at the tournament and were listed as representing the International Judo Federation.

Israeli Judoka Gili Cohen presented with her bronze medal at  but had to compete under @intjudofed flag because hosts wouldn’t allow any mention of the Jewish state! Mazeltov Gili.@Ostrov_A

The ban on Israeli symbols came despite the IJF’s demand before the tournament that the UAE treat Israeli athletes equally.

A letter from the IJF to the president of the UAE Judo Federation said “all delegations, including the Israeli delegation, shall be treated absolutely equally in all aspects, without any exception.”

It highlighted the body’s core ideals that “every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind.”

The letter was sent to the World Jewish Congress, which represents over 100 Jewish communities, and had asked the IJF to intervene and “protect the rights of the Israeli national judo team and keep the spirit of sport free of political discrimination.”

There was no comment Wednesday from the UAE, which has no diplomatic relations with Israel.

Muslim and Arab states or athletes often boycott Israeli competitors. An Egyptian judoka refused to shake hands with his Israeli opponent at the Rio Olympics last year. Tunisia’s tennis federation ordered the country’s top player to withdraw from a match against an Israeli opponent at a tournament in 2013.

Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev said it was of “utmost importance” that her country’s athletes display the flag and sing the national anthem at international competitions. She said boycotting the competition would only “play into the hands of those refusing to recognize our existence,” and would hinder Israel’s future sporting achievements.

Israeli judokas were also banned from displaying any Israeli symbols at a 2015 tournament in Abu Dhabi.


Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz Explains A Lie That Many Christians Believe



Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz explained one “lie” about the Christian faith that Satan wants people to believe while sharing his faith at a live event held at Eastern University in Pennsylvania last week.The 24-year-old Wentz, who is in his second season with the Eagles after a successful collegiate career at North Dakota State University, appeared at a special live event last Wednesday hosted by “Faith on The Field” radio show broadcasted on Philadelphia’s 610 AM. Although the event was held outside in the rain, over 2,000 people attended the free event.Wentz, along with Eagles tight end Trey Burton and offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski, was interviewed by the show’s host, Associated Press sports writer Rob Maaddi, and his co-hosts.

Considering that Wentz grew up as a Lutheran but is now a non-denominational Christian, he was asked during the show, which will air on the radio Monday, to explain where he currently is in his faith.

Wentz went on to talk about the lie that a lot of Christians believe and one that he admitted falling into the trap of while growing up.

“I think talking specifically about that and being saved by works is obviously a lie, but it’s a lie that a lot of people believe. It’s a lie just in our culture. I know for me as a man, even when I was a kid, with sports and anything I did, I was going to work my tail off to earn what I got. That’s how I was wired, that’s how the world kind of instills this value, so to speak, is work, work, work, and earn it,” he said.

“And that’s kind of what I thought. I’d pray, I’d go to church, I’d do this and that, and I’m like that’s great, I’m a good person, I did the right and so I’m going to be saved naturally. That’s what I thought,” he added. “That’s the lie that the devil wants you to believe.”

Wentz also shared the Bible verse that really changed his perspective of salvation.

“Ephesians 2:8-10 — ‘For it is by Grace that you have been saved through faith — and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do go works which God prepared in advance for us to do,'” he recited. “So, when I learned about this grace and learned about how my view of Christianity was really just flipped on it’s head, because you see, Christianity is the only religion in the world that you can’t earn Heaven, you can’t earn an afterlife, you can’t earn reincarnation or whatever it is that other people believe.”

“Christianity says it’s done; Jesus already did it. He took it all for you and this is what Paul is saying here in Ephesians,” Wentz continued. “He’s saying it’s by grace alone you’ve been saved, not by works so that no one can boast. I mean, he can’t lay it out much clearer. Then he says, ‘But we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.’ See we’re not saved by our actions but our actions come out of our faith.”

According to Wentz, the notion that people are saved through works and not a relationship with Christ is a “misconception that a lot of people have.”

“I think it’s a daily thing. I know for me, we get caught up in doing good, doing good, doing good. That it’s a daily thing for me to just remind myself like without Jesus in it, I can’t do it,” he added. “I can’t earn my way to Heaven and nobody can. So, I really challenge every one of us to just [have] daily kind of have that perspective because it’s so easy to get caught up in doing good and thinking that I’m good enough, but without Jesus, none of us are.'”

Wentz has not been afraid to share his faith on Christ on social media and with others. In the interview, Wentz was asked to explain how he handles criticism he faces for expressing his faith publicly.

“Jesus was murdered on a cross. I mean it doesn’t get much worse than that. In that day and age, it doesn’t get anymore humiliating and embarrassing than that. And so, I’m like, if Jesus, who is our ultimate example, endured that, then I can endure a couple tweets, I can endure a little riff raff here and there,” Wentz said. “I can keep that out and stay true to His Word because at the end of the day, I can stay true to that, and Jesus is ultimately, the example.”

“If you love something enough, you’re going to talk about it — if you love your wife, if you love your job, if you love whatever it is that you’re passionate about, you’re going to talk about it,” he added. “If you love Jesus, you should talk about it. You should tell the world about Him, you should share that truth. And so, there’s going to be persecution, there’s going to be haters, you have to just stay true to Him and ultimately that’s what it’s all about.”

Wentz founded the AO1 Foundation earlier this year, which exists to “demonstrate the love of God by providing opportunities and support for the less fortunate and those in need.”

The organization not only cares for the poor, but also provides unique opportunities for the physically challenged and also provides service dogs to youth in Philadelphia.

“It’s a cool platform and opportunity to just really make a difference overseas, back home in the Midwest, and then also in the Philadelphia area,” Wentz said during the interview. “I encourage you to go check that out and see if God puts it on your heart to make a difference in that area.”

Earlier this year, Wentz, along with Buffalo Bills receiver Jordan Matthews, went on a missions trip to Haiti.

“We only went for three days, and you know everyone always goes on these mission’s trips and [is like] ‘I’m going to go change the culture and go make a difference there.’ It’s an incredible thing and an incredible opportunity, but what really happens is it changes you. It changes your heart, it changes your life, it changes your perspective in a big way,” Wentz emphasized. “This was my first mission trip, my first eye opening event like this in my life.”

Follow Samuel Smith on Twitter: @IamSamSmith
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7 climbers fall to their deaths in the Alps



7 climbers fall to their deaths in the Alps

A view of the Zillertal Valley in the Austrian Alps, near an area where five climbers were killed.

Story highlights

  • Five climbers were killed after falling onto a glacier in the Austrian Alps
  • Two others were killed in Italy climbing in a group roped together

Rome (CNN) Seven climbers fell to their deaths in two separate incidents in the Alps on Sunday, officials said.

Five of the climbers died in the Austrian Alps, Zell am See provincial government chief Martin Reichholf told CNN. Two others were killed as they climbed in a group roped together in the Italian Alps, according to an emergency center there.
Reichholf said there were indications that the climbers were German citizens, adding that details were still emerging.
The climbers in Austria fell around 300 meters (1,000 feet) onto a glacier near the town of Krimml, according to Dr. Egbert Ritter, a trauma surgeon at the AUVA hospital in Salzburg.
Adamello Glacier
Map data ©2017 GeoBasis-DE/BKG (©2009), Google, Inst. Geogr. Nacional
A sixth climber — a 60-year-old man — is in intensive care at the hospital, but his injuries are not life-threatening, Ritter said. Six helicopters were at the scene of the accident, he told CNN.
The climbers fell at around 10 a.m. (4 a.m. ET) about 1.5 kilometers south of a mountain cabin called the Zittauer Hutte at an altitude of around 3,000 meters, he said.

Group roped together

In Italy, a man and woman who appear to be in their mid-30s were killed as they climbed the Adamello glacier in the the Trentino Alto Adige region, according to the emergency rescue center in the town of Trento.
They were part of a group of nine Italians from the city of Brescia. The climbers were connected by three ropesThey fell when those on the lowest rope slipped on the glacier, dragging down others higher up the slope, according to the rescue center.
A further two climbers were seriously injured, including a 14-year-old boy who is being treated in Trento hospital.
Three helicopters were used to rescue the group, officials said.

Iran condemns its soccer players for match with Israeli team



Iran condemns its soccer players for match with Israeli team

 August 4 at 10:17 AM
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s soccer federation condemned two Iranians who play for a Greek team on Friday for participating in a match against an Israeli team, Iranian media reported.The federation “strongly condemns” the participation of Masoud Shojaei and Ehsan Hajsafi in a match for Greece’s Panionios against Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv a day earlier in Greece, it said in a statement reported by the semi-official Fars news agency.

On its Farsi-language Twitter account, Israel’s foreign ministry praised the players for ignoring what is considered a taboo in Iran by playing against the Israelis. Maccabi won the UEFA Europa League match 1-0.

Israel and Iran are bitter adversaries and traditionally, Iranian athletes refrain from playing Israelis. Iran’s government usually rewards such behavior.

The federation said it is reviewing the case and will make a final decision after speaking with both players who in the past have also played for the national soccer team. Fars reported that the two may now be banned from playing on that team again.

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At a previous match against Maccabi in Tel Aviv, both refused to play.

The last competition between Iranian and Israeli sportsmen on the international level dates back to a wrestling match in 1983 in Kiev, Ukraine. From time to time, Iranian players who play for foreign teams have played Israeli teams.

In February, a teenage Iranian chess player angered authorities when he played, as an individual, against an Israeli competitor in the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival.

Iran does not recognize Israel, and supports anti-Israeli militant groups like Lebanese Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas.


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