TTIMES WORLD: Today's News Report

Saturday, July 20, 2024
Washington, DC, USA


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BTL Support's Asians and Pacific Islanders Against Discrimination
We have Experienced it

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BTS issued their statement after recent attacks against people with Asian heritage in the United States, which have risen during the coronavirus pandemic. A white gunman recently killed eight people, including six women of Asian descent, at Atlanta-area massage businesses.

“We cannot put into words the pain of becoming the subject of hatred and violence,” the band said in the statement, adding that their experiences made them feel powerless and chipped away at their self-esteem. In February, a German radio station drew ire when a host compared the band to the coronavirus.

The band said that although the discrimination they endured is “inconsequential” compared to “events that have occurred over the past few weeks," they felt the need to speak out. “What’s happening right now cannot be disassociated from our identity as Asians,” the band said.

Many Asian Americans believe the Atlanta shootings were racially motivated. Police say they are still trying to determine a motive.

High-profile stars of Asian descent like Steven Yeun, Simon Liu and Sandra Oh have been vocal about spreading awareness of anti-Asian violence. “I am proud to be Asian! We belong here,” Oh shouted into a megaphone at a Stop Asian Hate rally in Pittsburgh last week.

BTS is one of the first South Korean bands to openly condemn anti-Asian racism. K-pop bands are known to be careful about maintaining personas created by their labels, which often muzzle stars on touchy subjects like race and mental health.

Sleeping Less Than 6 Hours a Night
Increases Chance of Brain Function Loss

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The study followed nearly 8,000 people in Britain for more than two decades.

Researchers found that most rates of Brain function loss occurred in people who slept on average about seven hours a night, but that the rates of brain function loss increased by 30% for those who got six hours of sleep or less per night.

"Public health messages to encourage good sleep hygiene may be particularly important for people at a higher risk of dementia," the researchers concluded.

How much sleep people should get is not a "one-size-fits-all" answer, according to Ashton, who noted that Americans in particular have historically not put enough emphasis on sleep.

"We’ve said before that sleep has a [public relations] problem in this country," she said. "We think of it as a luxury but it’s really a medical necessity."

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infants and toddlers should get between 11 and 16 hours of sleep per night, depending on age.

Elementary school children should get between nine and 12 hours of sleep per night, according to the CDC.

Teenagers should get eight to 10 hours of sleep per night, according to the CDC.

Adults ages 18 and over should get a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night, according to the CDC.

"What’s really important is that you can’t make up for [sleep] on the weekend," said Ashton. "So it really has to be every single night."

Vacation Destinations Ranked
Affordability and Leisure

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Vacation Get Away Ranked by Cost and Leisure

Canggu, Bali - Indonesia - Ranked 1
Monthly cost of living: $500 to $900
Five hundred dollars a month seems downright unrealistic to live in one of the best surf towns in the South Pacific, especially one that's drawn flocks of expats and Americans looking to work remotely
The place feels a bit like those little surf towns you find on the less populated islands of Hawaii, but at a fraction of the cost. 

Roatán, Honduras - Ranked 2
Monthly cost of living: $900
This Caribbean island 40 miles off the coast of Honduras with silky-sand beaches is similar to a scruffy Floridian beach town: one where everyone talks and dresses like pirates. Although it doesn’t really qualify as a city, the isle sports an international airport with direct flights from the US, and people flock to the area for its world-class diving and snorkeling.

  Hoi An, Vietnam - Ranked 3 
Monthly cost of living: $550 to $1,100
Bigger Vietnamese cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh get most of the expat love, but neither boasts much of a beach. Hoi An, on the other hand, is not only bordered on one side by spectacular green mountains, it's also a skip and a jump from spectacular stretches of sand you'll have largely to yourself.

Algarve, Portugal - Ranked 4

Monthly cost of living: $1,000
It's hard to believe a region with a hundred miles of coastline, quaint cobblestone streets, and more sun than pretty much anywhere else in Europe has a cost of living this low.
Even better, most of the region is English-speaking, and home to 100,000 expats from all over the world. And the city is cheap. Dirt cheap. A three-bedroom apartment will run you about $600, but if you don't need much space, $325 gets you a one-bedroom right smack in the center of the city.

Taghazout, Morocco - Ranked 5
Monthly cost of living: $1,155
Tech startup whiz kid looking to get out of the country before anyone starts asking what your company actually does? Head to Morocco.
Your rent plus a chic co-working space will run about $400/month combined, meaning you won't be stuck looking for a buyout from your beachfront villa all the time.


Split, Croatia
Monthly cost of living: $1,400 - Ranked 6
Though the European coastlines can be comparatively expensive, there are still bargains to be had in Split.
This little town on the Adriatic Sea has beaches that people from all over the world travel days to lie on, yet beers are still under three bucks in most bars and rent in the city center can be had for less than $400.

Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain - Ranked 7
Monthly cost of living: $1,400
If you've ever visited Las Palmas, you might be surprised to see it on a list of affordable places to live. But like so many cities, visiting and living are two different animals.
Rent for a place off the ocean runs only about $500 for one bedroom, $700 for three. The weather is some of the best in the world, with pretty much perpetual sun soaking the beaches along the coast.


Cartagenia, Columbia - Ranked 8
Monthly cost of living: $1,800
Living in Cartagena is sort of like going on a tropical Caribbean vacation every single day of your life. And that goes for partiers, history buffs, and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
The snorkeling and scuba diving here is some of the best in the Caribbean, and costs about $30 a trip. The city's historic center is a museum of Spanish Colonial architecture, and a roomy walking path takes you through it all and down to the main harbor.

Saint George's, Grenada - Ranked 9
Monthly cost of living: $2,000 
The antidote to the heartless cruise-ship ports and “all-exclusive” resorts that dominate the Caribbean, Grenada is where a bad attitude is considered an impairment. 

Best Kickboxing Workout
For a Perfect Summer Body

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 Best Kickboxing Workout For a Perfect Summer Body

Are you tired of those long cardio sessions and lifting heavy weights but still not getting your dream body? Do you wish to do a fun workout that can effectively burn fat and develop muscles?

 

Then kickboxing workout has got your back. You might be well-aware of kickboxing as a sport, it’s a martial art that originated from karate and boxing.

 

It’s a popular martial art that primarily incorporates punching and kicks. Other than boxing, it includes a vast range of techniques to knock out the opponent.

 

It might sound surprising to you but, kickboxing is one of the best workouts that can help you burn that stubborn fat and develop muscle definition for that perfect summer body.

What Is Cardio Kickboxing?

 

Cardio kickboxing is a highly efficient exercise regimen that comprises kickboxing movements in a fast-paced manner.  The cardio kickboxing sessions are mostly performed in a class with some high-tempo music to torch the motivation levels.

 

It offers the combined benefits of cardio exercises and strength training. You can maximize your calorie burn through kickboxing by adding some other exercises such as jump-roping, box jumps, jogging in place, etc.

 

Research has shown that through kickboxing,  you can burn about 450-500 calories in just one hour.

Why Should You Do Cardio Kickboxing?

 

If you are looking for a workout that can burn calories, improve stamina and cardiovascular health then kickboxing is the best choice for you. If you think that kickboxing is only for people who have been doing martial arts before then you are wrong. Literally, anyone can take kickboxing as a sport and enjoy some great physical and mental health benefits. Apart from burning calories and losing fat, here are some perks of adding kickboxing to your fitness routine:

Toning Your Entire Body

 

No matter if you want to get those ripped abs or tone your legs and arms, you can tone all areas of your body through kickboxing. There is no such muscle in your body that kickboxing won’t impact.

Learning Effective Self-Defense Skills

 

You won’t only get a ripped physique through kickboxing, in fact you can learn self-defense skills through it. Not every workout offers a great opportunity to work on your fitness and learn a beneficial skill.

Relieve Stress and Tension

 

If you are having anger issues or stressing out due to some uncertain situation, then you need a way to channel that negative energy in a positive manner. Kickboxing requires continuous movements that can give you that boost of endorphins and help to relieve stress.

Improves Muscular Endurance

 

Kickboxing workouts are the best way to work on your muscular endurance. Through repetitive movements during kickboxing sessions, you eventually improve your endurance.

How Can You Begin Kickboxing?

 

As a beginner, the best way to start kickboxing is to get yourself enrolled in a cardio kickboxing class at any martial arts gym near you.

 

Before your first class, make sure that you keep the following things in consideration:

 

  1. Wear comfortable and performing workout gear that allows you to stretch and move freely.
  2. Bring a water bottle and towel with you because you will be sweating a lot.
  3. Have a light meal before hitting the gym.
  4. Focus on post-workout recovery, i.e eating healthy food and taking proper rest.

 

Kickboxing Workout To Try On Your Own

 

Warm-Up

 

Do all these exercises for 30 seconds

 

  1. Arm circles
  2. Torso circles
  3. Torso rotation
  4. Arm swing
  5. Standing side crunches
  6. Jumping jacks

First Round

 

In this round, we will be doing punch combinations. Each for 10-15 times depending on your stamina and physical conditioning.

 

  1. Jab- cross
  2. Jab- cross- jab
  3. Jab- cross- uppercut
  4. Hook- uppercut- uppercut- hook
  5. Jab- hook- hook- uppercut

Second Round

In this round, we will be repeating the same types of movements for 6 mins with a 30-sec rest after every 2 min.

 

  1. Throw right jab and right cross and bring your hand back in guard position
  2. Push your hips back and perform a squat
  3. Now jump back up and perform the punches combination again

Third Round

 

In this round, we will be working on strengthening our lower body region.

 

  1. Bend and raise your left knee towards your chest, extend your left leg behind you and push out through your left heel
  2. Immediately bend your knee lower your leg
  3. Now, bend your right knee towards your chest and kick it out the same way as before
  4. Repeat this movement for 1 min, 30 sec with right leg, and 30 sec with the left one

Fourth Round

 

  1. Throw a right jab, left cross, and right uppercut one after the other.
  2. Squat down and duck with hands in guard position
  3. Quickly stand back and repeat the punches combination again
  4. Repeat this movement for 45 seconds

Fifth Round

 

This round is for the cool down.

 

  1. Perform full-body stretching exercises such as cobra stretch, chest pull, shoulder pull, quad pull in this round.

 

The Reformed Church in Africa
Reformed Christians in the African continent

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The Reformed Church in Africa: Have We Got This?

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MORE BY THOMAS HINSON

 
The Villain - A person standing with a knife





Fathers of the Reformation: Illuminated Ethiopian Bible held by an African

There’s a strong and hugely influential relationship between Africa and Christianity in the early Church. Starting in the Gospels and Acts, we see Africans hearing God’s good news and carrying it to others. This early influence would later, even if only indirectly, have an impact on the Reformation. But what about Africa today? And tomorrow? What might it mean for us to live in line with the Reformation in Africa in the 21st century? Is this possible, even desirable, given the huge gaps in time, culture, and space? What does it even mean to be the Reformed Church in Africa?

What might it mean for us to live in line with the Reformation in Africa in the 21st century?

There are many questions that need to be answered. And this article will, on the balance, ask more questions than it answers. But my hope is that it will move African Christians to take stock, reflect and then get up and take action.

What Do I Mean By Reformed?

If one looks West, we might think that being Reformed is about growing beards, drinking beer, and insisting that we aren’t Roman Catholic. In some cases, hardline Reformed Christians dismiss Anglicanism. Others believe that being Reformed means being politically charged. But that’s not what the Reformation was about. Therefore, these markers do not come close to what it means to be Reformed today.

But instead of debating the finer points of doctrine, I want to cast a simpler and broader vision for what it might look like to be Reformed. I believe that this vision will only strengthen the Church throughout the continent.

Sound Doctrine, Deep Faith

Historically, the Reformation was about practicing right doctrine with a contrite heart and justified soul before God, then proclaiming the true gospel. Of course, determining “right doctrine” is not an open shut case. We should not forget that the Reformation was in many ways a period of intense doctrinal debate. Furthermore, the Reformers’ historical opponents prized contrition too! But, at the very least, being Reformed involves a serious commitment to sound biblical doctrine and deep personal faith.

Being Reformed means being committed to Reformation principles rather than merely the past.

I like how Wim Dreyer puts it. He says that being Reformed is not primarily about following the events of five hundred years ago, but about the response of each generation to the new challenges it faces. Being Reformed means being committed to Reformation principles rather than merely the past. Taken together, wherever and whenever the Reformed church finds itself, it should be serious about its theological heritage and applying that heritage to present challenges.

Are We On The Right Path?

This raises a critical question. Is the Reformed Church in Africa on the right path? Have we lost our way? And if we have, can we find our way back?

The Church (universal) has faced many issues through the ages: doctrinal crises, political warfare, hijacking by greedy monarchs, the emergence of naturalism as well as modern liberalism, and nominalism. In all these, the Church has endured through the love of her husband, Christ. 2000 years after his death, the Church is still here. We should not take God’s gracious and loving preservation of his Church for granted.

We should not take God’s gracious and loving preservation of his Church for granted.

But, right now, in 21st century Africa, are we being faithful to that love? Do we still believe in the glorious truth of justification by faith alone? Or have we danced too close to the fire of works-salvation?

So Many Challenges

Just in my own corner of the world, the last five years have thrown up a plethora of popular slogans and hashtags: the #MeToo movementBlack Lives Matter, and the sudden upsurge in advocates for abortion and transgenderism to name a few. In 2020, facing COVID-19, South Africa was confronted with what was called the “second pandemic,” gender-based violence. Alcohol and substance abuse are also rising significantly. So much pain. Almost pervasive anxiety. Innumerable questions. But what will the Reformed Church do? How will we respond?

Which Way?

Will we hold on to the five solas, the Reformed confessions and early Church creeds? Or will we abandon God’s Word for the accepted worldview of intersectionality and critical theory? Will we stand with the early Church in affirming the truths of Christ’s divinity, his cosmic lordship, or will we affirm the many religions and spiritual movements that surround us?

The path before the Reformed Church has many pitfalls.

These are just some of the questions that the Reformed Church faces in the current socio-political climate. And these vary from culture to culture, of course. But will our generation respond with the preaching of the unadulterated gospel? Will we continue to rely on the Word of God for our doctrine and our devotion? Are we still utterly dependent on the Spirit for our ministry and our missions?

On paper and in theory, we know how we should answer these questions. But in reality it’s much more difficult. The path before the Reformed Church has many pitfalls.

Being A Reformed Church In Africa

Statistics show that Christians make up a vast majority of the African continent. According to data collected by Pew Research, by 2060 more than 40% of the continent’s Christians will be in sub-Saharan Africa. This means that we are in a unique position to preach the gospel.

The problem is not that we are faced with different or unique challenges. These confront every generation. They may change their names and natures, but there will always be challenges facing believers. But will the Reformed Church respond to the world’s challenges like Paul urges? The Reformed church must hold onto the glorious riches of God’s gracious salvation in Christ (Romans 1-11) and walk in loving obedience to him (Romans 12-16). If we take pride in our Reformed tradition as being biblically based, our Christian walk will reflect what the Bible teaches.

We must let our love of the truth cause us to share it with others.

Seizing Opportunities

The Reformed Church in Africa is in a strong position with almost endless potential, given the moral and spiritual collapse of many churches in the West. Therefore we must seize the opportunity. We must let our love of the truth cause us to share it with others.

It’s with the love for correct doctrine that we see heart’s transformed for Christ, to live for him. It’s the love of knowing that we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, according to the Scriptures alone, to the glory of God alone that prompts us to share the gospel of God’s amazing love and power to save us.

Standing Against Unbiblical Teaching

How often do we see people ensnared in the prosperity movement sharing videos of well-oiled men in fancy outfits who live in palatial houses? How often do we see churches posting messages calling us to obedience under the Law so that we may be saved? I could list more examples, similar to those confronted in the Reformation. But the real question is this: how often do we see these demonic evils and do nothing?

We must tell our people about the wonder of grace.

The African church can never reform, will never grow and prosper (in the biblical, God-ordained and Spirit-filled way), while we allow these evils to taint the minds and souls on our continent. We cannot allow false teachers to speak of ‘justification by tithes.’ We must denounce that evil, and tell our people about the wonder of grace.

As long as Africa still holds the shackles of sin close to her heart, we have failed. When we start preaching the life giving doctrines of the Reformation and reaching out to our brothers and sisters: inviting people to church, to Bible study, giving people the Bible in their own language, getting gospel preaching in the local vernacular, then we will have succeeded. Then we will have been good and faithful servants.

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