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The Real Truth - A Magazine Restoring Plain Understanding

  • 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.

Learn the why behind the headlines.

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  • 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.

  • World News Desk
  • SOCIETY & LIFESTYLES

Reuters – A West Virginia city and county launched their case against the three largest U.S. drug distributors at a widely anticipated trial on Monday, accusing them of fueling the opioid crisis that has resulted in nearly 500,000 overdose deaths in the United States over two decades.

“We intend to prove the simple truth that the distributor defendants sold a mountain of opioid pills into our community, fueling the opioid epidemic,” Paul Farrell, a lawyer for Cabell County, said in his opening statement in Charleston, West Virginia.

The distributors—AmerisourceBergen Corp, McKesson Corp and Cardinal Health Inc—have denied the allegations, saying they are not responsible for drugs that reached the black market after they were sold.

  • Articles
  • MARRIAGE & FAMILY

Imagine the Earth being annihilated. This climactic scene plays out in sci-fi movies or in scenarios of a wayward asteroid crashing into Earth’s surface. But it is also part of an astounding Bible prophecy foretold to occur unless God intervenes in men’s affairs.

The end of the Old Testament explains that unless the Creator successfully turns “the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers” He would have no choice but to “come and smite the earth with a curse” (Mal. 4:5-6). The word “curse” is tied to a Hebrew word meaning doom and extermination.

These ominous words make clear that the planet’s survival hinges on one thing: fatherhood.

  • World News Desk
  • EUROPE

LONDON (AP)—Northern Ireland marked what is widely considered to be its centenary on Monday, with Queen Elizabeth II stressing the need for “reconciliation, equality and mutual understanding” as she sent her “warmest good wishes” to its people.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on a visit to London, said the U.S. will continue to encourage the UK and the European Union “to prioritize political and economic stability in Northern Ireland” as they work through their post-Brexit relationship.

Northern Ireland was created on May 3, 1921, when the Government of Ireland Act came into effect and partitioned the island of Ireland into two separate entities. Northern Ireland became part of the UK alongside England, Scotland and Wales, while Ireland would later that year become what was then known as the Irish Free State.

  • World News Desk
  • WEATHER & ENVIRONMENT

Marine scientists say they have found what they believe to be more than 25,000 barrels that possibly contain DDT dumped off the Southern California coast near Catalina Island, where a massive underwater toxic waste site dating back to World War II has long been suspected.

The 27,345 “barrel-like” objects were captured in high-resolution images as part of a study by researchers at the University of California San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography. They mapped more than 56 square miles of seafloor between Santa Catalina Island and the Los Angeles coast in a region previously found to contain high levels of the toxic chemical in sediments and in the ecosystem.

Historical shipping logs show that industrial companies in Southern California used the basin as a dumping ground until 1972, when the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act, also known as the Ocean Dumping Act, was enacted.

  • World News Desk
  • MIDDLE EAST

America’s longest war, the two-decade-long conflict in Afghanistan that started in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, killed tens of thousands of people, dogged four U.S. presidents and ultimately proved unwinnable despite its staggering cost in blood and treasure.

Since the U.S.-led invasion of 2001 and subsequent overthrow of Afghanistan’s Taliban government, insurgent activity shrank, then began to grow again as the conflict stretched on for two decades. Now, as the withdrawal with a summer completion date looms, even American officials acknowledge being publicly in the dark about the Taliban’s strength.

“By many measures, the Taliban are in a stronger military position now than at any point since 2001, though many once-public metrics related to the conduct of the war have been classified or are no longer produced,” a March report by the U.S. Congressional Research Service warned.

  • Articles
  • ANALYSIS

The vast and empty Chernobyl Exclusion Zone around the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident is a menacing monument to human mistakes. Reactor No. 4 at the power plant 65 miles north of the capital Kyiv exploded and caught fire deep in the night on April 26, 1986, shattering the building and spewing radioactive material high into the sky.

Soviet authorities added fuel to the fire by failing to tell the public what had happened—although the nearby plant workers’ town of Pripyat was evacuated the next day, the 2 million residents of Kyiv were not informed despite the fallout danger. The world learned of the disaster only after heightened radiation was detected in Sweden.

Eventually, more than 100,000 people were evacuated from the vicinity and a 1,000-square-mile exclusion zone was established where the only activity was workers disposing of waste and tending to a hastily built sarcophagus covering the reactor.

  • Articles
  • GEOPOLITICS

It was not a typical Easter weekend in Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city. As thousands of citizens pelted tanks and goose-stepping soldiers with bottles, rocks and Molotov cocktails—in protest of the military’s February 1 coup of the democratic government—others took to inscribing messages on Easter eggs.

“Spring Revolution,” “We must win” and “Get out MAH”—referring to military junta leader Min Aung Hlaing—were seen on eggs in social media photographs.

“Easter is all about the future and the people of Myanmar have a great future in a federal democracy,” Dr. Sasa, international envoy for the ousted civilian government, said in a statement.

  • World News Desk
  • HEALTH ISSUES

Since the beginning of the week, Dr. Siddharth Tara, a postgraduate medical student at New Delhi’s government-run Hindu Rao Hospital, has had a fever and persistent headache. He took a COVID-19 test, but the results have been delayed as the country’s health system implodes.

His hospital, overburdened and understaffed, wants him to keep working until the testing laboratory confirms he has COVID-19.

On Tuesday, India reported 323,144 new infections for a total of more than 17.6 million cases, behind only the United States. India’s Health Ministry also reported another 2,771 deaths in the 24 hours since then, with 115 Indians succumbing to the disease every hour. Experts say those figures are likely an undercount.

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