What you need to know this week

What you need to know this week

Here’s four news stories (of the week ending 19 August) that peaked our interest this week…

Olympic hero Phelps’ Purpose-Driven Life

The man who has won more gold medals than anyone else ever, American swimmer Michael Phelps seems to be the kind of guy who doesn’t need any help with purpose. But Phelps was in a shocking place a few years ago, his messy social life bottoming out with several drink driving charges. According to a Christianity Today feature, a friend recommended to off-the-rails Phelps he should read the bestselling Christian book The Purpose Driven Life.  Phelps admits author that Christian resource “turned me into believing that there is a power greater than myself and there is a purpose for me on this planet”.

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Prime Minister attacked for helping homeless man

Malcolm Turnbull was photographed this week giving $5 to a homeless man on the streets of Melbourne. Inevitably, his act became a social-media target. People pounced on the photo and mocked the gesture by Australia’s Prime Minister. On a radio interview with 3AW, Mr Turnbull said he felt “sorry” for the man and admitted that he always thinks “there but for the grace of God go I” when he sees a homeless person.

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Simple illustration of Syrian children goes viral

The plight of people fleeing Syria is well-documented and heart-wrenching. Following the disturbing footage beamed around the planet on Thursday of a blood-stained five-year-old injured in air strikes, a Sudanese artist has simply represented that child’s image alongside another Syrian tragedy. The image of the Syrian toddler that washed up on a Turkish beach last year has been combined with this week’s injured five-year-old in a powerful artwork called “Choices for Syrian Children”. Sudanese artist Khalid Albaih’s distillation of the Syrian conflict has become a viral sensation.

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Satan to provide after-school care in US?

A Los Angeles-based Satanist movement is aiming to disrupt the involvement of”fundamentalist Christian organisations” in public schools. The Satanic Temple is asking for donations to its “After School Satan” campaign, and US Christian groups are advising Christians to not engage with the campaign.

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