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The Real Truth - A Magazine Restoring Plain Understanding

  • World News Desk
  • WEATHER & ENVIRONMENT

The water crisis along the California-Oregon border went from dire to catastrophic this week as federal regulators shut off irrigation water to farmers from a critical reservoir and said they would not send extra water to dying salmon downstream or to the half-dozen wildlife refuges relied upon each year by millions of migrating birds in the U.S. West.

In what is shaping up to be the worst water crisis in generations, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said it will not release water this season into the main canal that feeds the bulk of the massive Klamath Reclamation Project, marking a first for the 114-year-old irrigation system. The agency announced last month that irrigators would get dramatically less water than usual, but a worsening drought picture means water will be completely shut off instead, the agency said.

The entire region is in extreme or exceptional drought, according to federal monitoring reports, and Oregon’s Klamath County is experiencing its driest year in 127 years.

  • World News Desk
  • EDUCATION

U.S. educators are doing everything they can to track down high school students who stopped showing up to classes and to help them get the credits needed to graduate, amid an anticipated surge in the country’s dropout rate during the coronavirus pandemic.

Data is not yet available on how the pandemic has affected the nation’s overall dropout rate—2019 is the last year for which it is available—and many school officials say it is too early to know how many students who stopped logging on for distance learning do not plan to return. But soaring numbers of students who are failing classes or are chronically absent have experts fearing the worst, and schools have been busy tracking down wayward seniors through social media, knocking on their doors, assigning staff to help them make up for lost time and, in some cases, even relaxing graduation requirements.

“When students drop out, they typically look for an out, an opportunity to leave. And this has provided that, unfortunately,” Sandy Addis, chairman of the National Dropout Prevention Center, said recently, referring to the pandemic. His group believes the dropout rate has spiked this year and will remain high for years.

  • Articles
  • HEALTH ISSUES
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  • World News Desk
  • ECONOMY & PERSONAL FINANCE

Reuters – Gas stations from Florida to Virginia began running dry and prices at the pump rose on Tuesday, as the shutdown of the biggest U.S. fuel pipeline by hackers extended into a fifth day and sparked panic buying by motorists.

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden projected that the Colonial Pipeline, source of nearly half the fuel supply on the U.S. East Coast, would restart in a few days and urged drivers not to top up their tanks.

“We are asking people not to hoard,” U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told reporters at the White House. “Things will be back to normal soon.”

  • World News Desk
  • AMERICAS

Kevin Anthony Agudelo wanted to live in a country where corruption was not part of everyday life. That dream motivated the electrician to join thousands of Colombians in a series of demonstrations against the government since last week.

He never returned home from his third protest.

Sobbing beside her 22-year-old son’s coffin at a funeral home, Angela Jimenez blamed Agudelo’s shooting death on the same government he had hoped to change.

  • World News Desk
  • MIDDLE EAST

Hostilities between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group that runs Gaza escalated on Tuesday as each side attacked the other with aerial bombardments that recalled their last major conflict in 2014.

A 13-story residential block in Gaza collapsed after one of several dozen Israeli air strikes, albeit after an Israeli warning, as Israelis reported explosions and sirens more than 45 miles up the coast from Gaza. Thirty-one people were reported dead: 28 in Gaza and three in Israel.

Late into the night, Gazans reported their homes shaking and the sky lighting up with near-constant Israeli strikes.

  • World News Desk
  • MIDDLE EAST

LIMASSOL, Cyprus (AP)—The Islamic State group is using stealth to regenerate its forces by developing its military capabilities underground, and France is deploying its warships and aircraft in the region to help troops on the ground root out the threat, a senior French naval officer said Monday.

Rear Admiral Marc Aussedat, who leads a task force centered around France’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, said that 18 advanced Rafale fighter aircraft are carrying out reconnaissance flights in Syrian and Iraqi airspace to gauge the actions of ISIS, and to bring their weapons to bear if necessary.

“Why are we doing this mission?...First of all, is to give to these forces, coalition and Iraqi security forces, the means to fight the regeneration of Daesh on the ground. Daesh is hiding, Daesh is developing its capacity underground,” Mr. Aussedat told reporters, referring to the Islamic State group’s Arabic-language acronym.

  • World News Desk
  • AMERICAS

America’s biggest gasoline pipeline is unlikely to resume significant operations for several days due to a ransomware cyberattack that Washington on Monday blamed on a shadowy criminal network called DarkSide.

The attack on the Colonial Pipeline between Houston and New Jersey, which provides nearly half the fuel to the U.S. East Coast, is one of the most disruptive digital ransom schemes ever reported.

The privately owned company on Monday said it was working on restarting in phases with “the goal of substantially restoring operational service by the end of the week.”

  • World News Desk
  • GEOPOLITICS

China “indefinitely” suspended on Thursday all activity under a China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue, its state economic planner said, the latest setback for strained relations between the two countries.

“Recently, some Australian Commonwealth Government officials launched a series of measures to disrupt the normal exchanges and cooperation between China and Australia out of Cold War mindset and ideological discrimination,” China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a short statement on the decision.

The commission did not say in the statement what specific measures prompted the action.

  • World News Desk
  • ASIA

Reuters – Myanmar’s National Unity Government (NUG), set up by opponents of army rule, said on Wednesday it had formed a “people’s defense force” to protect its supporters from military attacks and violence instigated by the junta.

Since the military seized power and ousted an elected government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, Myanmar has seen daily protests and a surge of violence with security forces killing hundreds of civilians.

The NUG said the new force was a precursor to a Federal Union Army and that it had a responsibility to end decades-old civil wars and deal with “military attacks and violence” by the ruling State Administration Council (SAC) against its people.

  • Articles
  • MARRIAGE & FAMILY

“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.”

This quote is from George Washington—statesman, military leader and first president of the United States.

It is a mother’s dream to have such a positive impact on her child. But it is not an easy job. Without proper focus, motherhood can become tedious, boring and repetitive, and can bring additional stress for mothers who work outside the home, whether due to having chosen a career or because of financial circumstances.

  • World News Desk
  • SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Coral reefs provide many services to coastal communities, including critical protection from flood damage. A new study led by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the U.S. Geological Survey reveals how valuable coral reefs are in protecting people, structures, and economic activity in the United States from coastal flooding during storms.

The study found that coral reefs offer more than $1.8 billion in annual flood protection to coastal communities. Losing 1 meter of reef height would cause 100-year flooding zones to increase by 23 percent, impacting 53,800 more people (a 62 percent increase) and 90 percent more property and increasing damages by $5.3 billion.

The study also found that the United States has 200 miles of high-value reefs that are worth more than $1.6 million per mile annually for flood protection alone. Most of these high-value reefs are in Florida and Hawaii.

  • World News Desk
  • AFRICA

Aba Yosief Desta preferred not to discuss the ethnicities of victims in the widening conflicts threatening Ethiopia’s unity.

A wooden cross in hand, the Orthodox monk in yellow robes insisted that victims of massacres “have the same face.”

Speaking to The Associated Press from the city of Gondar, where he manages a diocesan office, he reflected on the first known massacre of the conflict in the neighboring Tigray region. Ethiopia’s government says ethnic Amhara were killed, but ethnic Tigrayan refugees have told the AP they were also targeted.

  • Articles
  • HEALTH ISSUES
After creating everything else, God made man. For five days, God prepared a place for His finest creation by ensuring that Adam and Eve would have everything they needed.
  • World News Desk
  • AMERICAS

Brianne Smith was overjoyed to get an e-mail telling her to schedule a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Hours later, her relief was replaced by dread: a phone alert—another mass public shooting.

Before the pandemic, she would scan for the nearest exit in public places and routinely practiced active shooter drills at the company where she works. But after a year at home in the pandemic, those anxieties had faded. Until now.

“I haven’t been living in fear with COVID because I’m able to make educated decisions to keep myself safe,” says Ms. Smith, who lives in St. Louis, Missouri. “But there’s no way I can make an educated decision about what to do to avoid a mass shooting. I’ve been at home for a year and I’m not as practiced at coping with that fear as I used to be.”

  • Articles
  • WEATHER & ENVIRONMENT

The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals call for water and sanitation for all by 2030—yet water scarcity is increasing and more than half the world’s population will be living in water-stressed regions by 2050.

Even though water covers 71 percent of the Earth, just 1.2 percent is available for human use. And it does not take much to taint this liquid resource. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said: “A gallon of paint or a quart of motor oil can seep into the earth and pollute 250,000 gallons of drinking water. A spilled gallon of gasoline can pollute 750,000 gallons of water.”

The sad truth in all of this is that there should be plenty to go around. The UN estimated that if Earth’s available freshwater was evenly distributed among this planet’s approximately 7 billion inhabitants, each person could be allotted 7.5 million gallons during his lifetime.

  • World News Desk
  • AMERICAS

An elevated section of the Mexico City metro collapsed and sent a subway car plunging toward a busy boulevard late Monday, killing at least 23 people and injuring about 70, city officials said. Rescuers initially searched a car left dangling from the overpass for anyone who might be trapped.

Those efforts were suspended early Tuesday, however, because of safety concerns for those working near the precariously dangling car. A crane was brought in to help shore it up.

“We don’t know if they are alive,” Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said of the people possibly trapped inside the car following one of the deadliest accidents for the city’s subway system, which is among the busiest in the world.

  • Articles
  • SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

A fire only needs a small amount of heat and fuel to start, and even a tiny spark can light a fire. If the wind is strong enough and the humidity low enough, then a small, local fire can grow into a large, uncontained wildfire that burns until the fuel is gone or the wind dies down.

Similarly, societies need very few conditions to ignite unrest that can lead to upheaval—and today social media posts can fan the flames of discontent to a conflagration of outrage. The Arab Spring uprisings, George Floyd protests and storming of the U.S. Capitol are just a few examples of people using social media to organize large, sometimes violent, demonstrations.

James 3:5-6 describes this situation perfectly: “Consider how small a spark sets a great forest ablaze. The tongue also is a fire” (Berean Study Bible translation). Nowhere is this truer than social media.

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