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Amanda Casanova


Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

On Friday, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, died. He was 99.

"It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle," a statement from the royal family said.

According to Fox News, Philip was admitted to a London hospital in early February. On March 3, he underwent a procedure for a pre-existing heart condition and was then transferred back to King Edward VII hospital. He was released to go home on March 16.

Philip's full title was His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, Knight of the Garter, Knight of the Thistle, Order of Merit, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire, Companion of the Order of Australia, Companion of the Queen's Service Order, Privy Counselor.

His son, Prince Edward, will now assume the title.

Philip was born June 10, 1921, as Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark. He joined the navy at 18 and served during World War II. He wed Queen Elizabeth before she ascended to the throne in 1952.

He and The Queen have four children, eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

He was actively involved in a range of organizations and causes, specifically environmental awareness. He served as the first president of the World Wildlife Fund from 1961 to 1982 and later international president and president emeritus.

For more than 50 years, Philip chaired the judging panel for The Prince Philip Designers Prize, which recognized the innovation of designers and engineers. He was also the namesake for The Duke of Edinburgh Award, which honors youth achievement in the world.

An active sportsman, Philip played polo until 1971. He also enjoyed yachting and flying.

"Whatever happens, don't give up and don't despair," he once said. "Results may not be immediately apparent, but you may have touched a receptive chord without knowing it."

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/WPA/Pool


Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

Bailee Madison did not have to be persuaded to take a role in the new Netflix faith-based movie A Week Away. The 21-year-old actress had always wanted to be in a musical. The fact that it was faith-based, inspirational, and included some of her favorite Christian tunes was a bonus.

“I have grown up listening to so many of these songs,” Madison told Christian Headlines.

The film tells the story of a troubled teen named Will (Kevin Quinn) who discovers the gospel – and a little romance – at a summer church camp. Madison plays Will’s romantic interest, Avery.

The movie includes songs by Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant and For King and Country.

Awesome God was a song that I sang when I was a little girl,” Madison said, referencing a Rich Mullins tune she sings in the film. She said she listened to Smith’s Place In This World as a youngster, too.

“I've [also] been a For King and Country Fan. So the idea of getting to have my first musical, and have some original songs, but also [it] be a nod to songs that I grew up and personally love as well, was a huge honor – and one that I was humbly glad to take on.”

A Week Away was a Netflix hit during its first weekend, ranking as high as No. 4 on Netflix’s list for most popular movies. Even more impressive, it soared to No. 3 in the global list of most popular movies and TV series, according to Whats-On-Netflix.com. It ranked No. 3 in Brazil, No. 4 in India, No. 4 in Spain, and No. 6 in Germany and the Netherlands.

“Faith is a huge part of my life – always has been,” she said. “And so when this script was sent to me, I fell in love with the story and the message and the love story within it as well.”

The film’s positive message, Madison said, will appeal to Christians and non-Christians alike.

"What I loved so much about this movie was the [message of] hope,” Madison said.

A Week Away will “resonate with people who have grown up in a faith-based home or [who] have that really instilled in their lives,” Madison said. But she also believes its message will appeal to those “who haven't gone on that journey.”

One of Madison’s goals, she said, is that the movie will help people of faith “start a conversation” with others about the film’s themes. If the movie can “kind of light that fire in their heart for half a second, that would be the goal here – that everyone feels this sense of hope and faith and warmth and love.”

The movie has a message for teens who, wrongly, find their purpose and meaning in social media, Madison said.

“Comparisons are crazy” on social media, she added.

The movie, she shared, tells teens: “You were created to be exactly who you are, and uniquely you.”

“And there is so much beauty within that [message],” Madison said. “So hopefully, it'll be maybe a helpful little reflection for the girls and the guys watching to just love themselves a little bit more.”

Related:

4 Things to Know about A Week Away, Netflix's Inspiring Faith-Based Musical

High School Musical for Christians: A Week Away Cast Is All about the Music

Photo courtesy: ©Netflix


Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

President Joe Biden is pushing through executive actions that specifically address gun violence.

According to the Associated Press, on Thursday, Biden spoke about the series of orders which he says do not restrict the Second Amendment right to bear arms but instead offer safety measures on guns.

"This is not a partisan issue among the American people. This is a view by the American people as an American issue. And I'm willing to work with anyone to get these done. And it's long past time that we act," Biden said.

One such action was for "ghost guns," handmade firearms that do not have serial numbers, CNN reports. In some cases, people can buy kits online to self-assemble the guns, or they can purchase the individual parts online. These purchases do not require a background check.

In his executive order, Biden asks the Justice Department to "stop the proliferation" of the "ghost guns" and asks that those firearms require background checks and serial numbers.

Biden also proposed a rule that using stabilizing braces for pistols will require registration. A Biden official told CNN that the stabilizing devices turn pistols into short-barreled rifles with greater accuracy and less recoil. The shooter in Boulder, Colorado, used a pistol with a stabilizing brace.

Biden announced the proposed laws Thursday from the Rose Garden alongside his attorney general, Merrick Garland. The Justice Department will be responsible for drafting the proposed rules.

"I am under no illusions about how hard it is to solve the problem of gun violence," Garland said in remarks at the White House today. "And I know that the Department of Justice alone cannot solve the problem. It is a problem that we must all work on together in the collective effort to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and save lives."

Biden is also asking the Justice Department to publish model "red flag" laws for states to allow for the temporary removal of guns from people who are deemed high risk.

He also said he would like to see new investments in intervention programs in high-violence areas and a comprehensive report on firearms trafficking.

Related:

2 Children among 5 Killed in South Carolina Mass Shooting

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Alex Wong/Staff


Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

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