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Monday, Oct 23rd

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Joel Osteen: Who is the Houston megachurch pastor accused of not sheltering Harvey victims?

Joel Olsteen refuses to open megachurch in Texas floodHouston pastor Joel Osteen is responding to widespread criticism on his megachurch's decision to not open doors of its 15,000-plus seat arena to flood victims seeking refuge after Hurricane Harvey.

Osteen said Monday that his Lakewood Church was "prepared to house people once shelters reach capacity" in a statement to ABC News, despite an earlier Facebook post from the church that insisted it was "inaccessible due to severe flooding."

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White House reverses Obama ban on police getting military equipment

Sessions lifts ban on military equipment for policeThe Trump administration is lifting a controversial ban on the transfer of surplus military equipment to state and local police departments, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday.

President Trump will sign an executive order Monday reinstating the Pentagon program, Sessions said.

Former President Obama put a halt to the so-called 1033 program in 2015 after images of heavily armed police responding to protests in Ferguson, Mo., shocked the nation.

Obama's initiatives blocked the transfer of armored vehicles, grenade launchers, armed aircraft, bayonets and guns and ammunition of .50 caliber or higher.

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Houston crippled by catastrophic flooding with more rain on the way

Houston reels from floods

Houston is facing worsening historic flooding in the coming days as Tropical Storm Harvey dumps more rain on the city, swelling rivers to record levels and forcing federal engineers on Monday to release water from area reservoirs in hopes of controlling the rushing currents.

Harvey was the most powerful hurricane to strike Texas in more than 50 years when it came ashore on Friday near Corpus Christi, about 220 miles (354 km) south of Houston, and has killed at least two people. It has since lingered around Texas’ Gulf Coast, where it is forecast to remain for several more days, drenching parts of the region with a year’s worth of rain in the span of a week.

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Oldest white supremacist site shut down after complaint

Stormfront.org shut downThe founder of the internet's oldest white supremacist site says he's trying to get back online after having his operations shut down following complaints that it promotes hatred and is linked to dozens of murders.

Don Black, a former Ku Klux Klan leader who has operated stormfront.org since 1995, said Monday he didn't receive any warning before Network Solutions, the leading company that registers website names, shut down the site Friday.

TVNL Comment: The more frightening part is that this ugly site has more than 300,000 registered users.  Are there really that many insane people?

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GOP Illinois Governor Signs Major Voting Reform Into Law

Gov. Bruce Rauner signs voting bill into lawIllinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signed a law Monday authorizing different state agencies to automatically register voters when they interact with them, marking a huge victory for voting advocates after Rauner vetoed similar legislation a year ago.

Illinois is the 10th state to adopt automatic voter registration, a process by which people are automatically registered to vote or have their information updated on the rolls when they interact with the state’s motor vehicle agency or some other state agencies. Oregon was the first state to adapt automatic voter registration in 2015, and advocates say the reform can significantly strengthen voting rights.

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The Latest: Houston has responded to more than 1,000 calls

Houston under waterHouston Fire Chief Samuel Pena says that since midnight his agency has responded to more than 2,500 emergency calls and another 1,000 calls are waiting to be serviced.

Pena says his agency has made more than 250 water rescues, all of them people in vehicles, during a three hour period overnight.

But Houston Assistant Police Chief Larry Satterwhite says there has been an increase in calls from residents with flooded homes in the city's northeast, southeast and southwest sections.

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Harvey rolls over Texas coast, smashes homes and businesses

Hurriane HarveyHurricane Harvey rolled over the Texas Gulf Coast on Saturday, smashing homes and businesses and lashing the shore with wind and rain so intense that drivers were forced off the road because they could not see in front of them.

The fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in more than a decade spun across hundreds of miles of coastline where communities had prepared for life-threatening storm surges — walls of water rushing inland.

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