Wednesday, June 29, 2016

CIA Director:IS Trying to Make Major US Attack; Says Security, Intel Prevent a Turkey-Type Attack

Within a few hours after three suicide bombers killed at least 41 people and wounded hundreds more at Istanbul's Ataturk airport, CIA Director John Brennan said the attacks bore the grim hallmarks of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and warned that the fanatically violent Islamic terrorist group wants to conduct similar large-scale attacks in the United States, the Yahoo News website reports today (June 29, 2016).

"I am worried from the standpoint of an intelligence professional who looks at the capabilities of Daesh [ISIS] ... and their determination to kill as many people as possible and to carry out attacks abroad," Brennan said in an exclusive interview with Yahoo News.

Brennan credited effective homeland security measures and intelligence for the fact that ISIS has been unable to attack America directly. (The Orlando and San Bernardino shootings were carried out by Islamic radicals inspired by ISIS, but not under its control.)

He added, "I'd be surprised if Daesh is not trying to carry out that kind of attack [as the one at the Istanbul airport] in the United States."

Czech Court:Gay Registered Partners Can Adopt; Law Previously Disallowed Them from Adopting

The Czech Constitutional Court has overturned a law which banned individual gays and lesbians living in a registered partnership from adopting children, the Prague Daily Monitor website reports today (June 29, 2016).

In its ruling yesterday, the Czech Republic's highest court said that such a ban is discriminatory because individual gays and lesbians who don't live in the official partnership were allowed to adopt children.

However, the ruling still does not allow lesbian and gay pairs to adopt children as a couple.

In 2006, the Czech parliament approved a law allowing same-sex partners to live in an officially registered partnership. The law, nonetheless, does not allow same-sex partners to marry.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Three Suicide Bombers Kill 36 at Istanbul Airport; Suspected IS Attackers First Open Fire,Wound 147

Three suspected Islamic State (IS) suicide bombers targeted the international terminal of Istanbul's Ataturk airport today (June 28, 2016), killing at least 36 people and wounding over 100 others, according to the Chicago Tribune website.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said 36 were dead and Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said 147 were wounded. Turkey has suffered many suicide bombings in recent months linked to Kurdish or IS group militants, as a result of Turkey angering both groups during the past year.

Yildirim said three suicide bombers were responsible for the attack and all initial indications suggest the Islamic State group was behind it.

He added the attackers arrived at the airport in a taxi and blew themselves up after opening fire.

Most Israelis Oppose Turkey Reconciliation Deal; Many Feel Israel Should Not Pay $20M to Turkey

More than half of Israelis oppose the newly announced reconciliation deal with Turkey, according to an Israeli television poll, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (June 28, 2016).

In addition, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman -- who sees Turkey as an unrepentant antagonist of Israel --  said he is against the deal and plans to vote against it.

The poll by Channel 10 found that 56 percent of Israelis oppose the deal that ends a six-year break in diplomatic relations between the two countries, while another 11 percent has no opinion, i24 News reported.

Under the deal -- to be signed today in Jerusalem and Ankara -- Israel will pay $20 million in compensation to the families of the nine Turkish citizens killed in a 2010 raid on a ship, the Mavi Marmara, attempting to break Israel's Gaza blockade, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said. Critics say Israel does not owe compensation to those killed on the Mavi Marmara ship because the activists attacked the Israeli soldiers.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Turkey Rips Pope for Armenian Genocide Stand; Accuses Pope of "Bias," Religious Discrimination

Turkey says Pope Francis's recognition of the Ottoman-era killings of Armenians as genocide during his recent visit to Armenia won't help efforts to establish peace and stability in the Caucasus region, the Washington Post website reports today (June 27, 2016).

A Turkish statement issued today said the pope had "disappointed" the Turkish people with remarks and accused him of "bias" and "religion-based discrimination" against Turkey.

Turkey rejects the term genocide regarding a million and one-half Armenians killed between 1914 and 1918.

Turkey claims the killed Armenians were casualties of World War I.

Seven Sent to Hospital as Radical Groups Clash; Cal.Black Anarchists Attack White Supremacists

Seven people were sent to the hospital with stab wounds -- two with life-threatening injuries -- as Black Bloc anarchists attacked and fought with white supremacist groups yesterday afternoon outside California's capitol in Sacramento, the Breitbart website reports today (June 27, 2016).

The Black Bloc activists were part of a militant "anti-fascist" group, "Antifa Sacramento."

The right-wing extremists were members of the Traditionalist Worker Party and the Golden State Skinheads, and were holding a permitted rally.

The "anti-fascist" protesters carried signs reading "Nazi scum." The demonstrations turned violent shortly before noon.

Friday, June 24, 2016

White Evangelicals: US Is Not a Christian Nation; New Poll Finds US Is Losing Its Christian Identity

The United States is not a Christian country any more, the Religion News website reports today (June 24, 2016).

That's according to 59 percent of white evangelical Protestants recently surveyed by the Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with the Brookings Institution.

Evangelicals' growing conviction that the U.S. is losing its Christian identity -- and that the country now is headed in the wrong direction -- comes as politicians debate immigration and cultural change during the 2016 election season.

The survey -- released on June 23 -- polled more than 2,600 adults between April 4 and May 2, 2016.