FILE PHOTO: James Comey speaks alongside outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller after being nominated by Barack Obama to replace Mueller, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, June 21, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Reed/File Photo

The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate possible collusion between President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign team and Russia as well as alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election.

President Donald Trump gestures as he addresses the graduating class of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy during commencement ceremonies in New London, Conn., U.S. May 17. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. arrests of suspected undocumented immigrants rose by nearly 40 percent in the first 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency, following executive orders that broadened the scope of who could be targeted for immigration violations, according to government data released on Wednesday. The acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thomas Homan said that arrests by his agency jumped to 41,318 between January 22 of this year and the end of April, up from 30,028 arrests in roughly the same period last year. 

Karen Huber 5-17-2017

Image via RNS/Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Ireland metaphorically barred the door on the church’s influence on public policy when citizens voted overwhelmingly for the legalization of gay marriage in 2015, making it the first country in the world to do so by national referendum. Now some devout Catholics fear that door may be locked after a Citizens’ Assembly — a deliberative body of people randomly selected from across the country — recently recommended liberal changes to Ireland’s abortion laws.

the Web Editors 5-17-2017

Image via LEE SNIDER PHOTO IMAGES/Shutterstock.com

On May 17, Chelsea Manning, who was in a U.S. military prison for seven years on charges of whistleblowing, was released, reports ABC News. On Jan. 17, President Obama commuted the bulk of Manning’s 35-year prison sentence, enabling her to be released this year. Had President Obama not done so, Manning’s year of release would have remained 2045.

REUTERS/Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool, Carlos Barria, Gary Cameron/File Photo

U.S. President Donald Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to end the agency's investigation into ties between former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russia, according to a source who has seen a memo written by Comey. The explosive new development on Tuesday followed a week of tumult at the White House after Trump fired Comey and then discussed sensitive national security information about Islamic State with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Rev. Meredith Dodd 5-16-2017

This past year, the depression I had suffered twenty years ago returned with a vengeance. I made plans to end my life. Friends begged me to seek help. And I did – eventually. But one of the primary reasons I delayed getting help was because I am a pastor. I agonized over the contradiction of my life. As a pastor, I was expected to have all the answers. As a person with untreated depression, I felt like I had nothing but questions. And I worried that acknowledging I have a mental illness would irreparably damage my relationship with the church

Samuel Son 5-16-2017

The American Church’s division in our understandings of Jesus neatly follow the fault lines of American society. We hunker in our social groups, worshiping isolated from each other, hearing from preachers who talk like us, and so we natural come to assume Jesus is like us, in talk and in thought

Image via RNS/Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

President Trump will deliver an “inspiring yet direct” speech on the need to confront radical ideologies during his upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia.

The speech will come during an afternoon lunch with leaders of more than 50 countries with mostly Muslim populations, White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster announced on May 16.

Image via RNS/Ray Chen/Office of Public Witness, PC(USA)

At a news conference on May 15, in front of the United Methodist Building, leaders of congregations and denominations called on fellow African Americans to speak up, and urged Congress to vote down proposed plans by the new administration that they believe help the rich and hurt the sick and the poor.

Image via RNS

But, if the furor on social media this past month is to be believed, the abundance of faith bloggers also has created what the Rev. Tish Harrison Warren called a “crisis of authority.”

“Is literally everyone with a computer — do they equally hold authority to teach and preach?” said Warren, an Anglican priest, who wrote a commentary for Christianity Today titled "Who’s In Charge of the Christian Blogosphere?

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