Saturday, October 25, 2014

Mormon Church Says Founder Had Several Wives; One of Joseph Smith's Wives Was 14-Year-Old Girl

Mormon church founder Joseph Smith had a teenage bride and was married to other men's wives during the early days of the faith when polygamy was practiced, a new church essay acknowledges, according to the Big News Network website.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says most of Smith's wives were between 20 and 40 years old. One of them, however, was a 14-year-old girl who was the daughter of Smith's close friends.

The essay -- posted this week on the church's website -- marks the first time the Salt Lake City-based religion has officially acknowledged those facts. It's part of a recent push by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to open up about sensitive issues within the faith, many of which are unflattering or uncomfortable to discuss.

The new article about Smith's wives during the 1830s and 1840s in Kirtland, Ohio, and Nauvoo, Illinois, comes about 10 months after the church acknowledged polygamy was widely practiced among its members in the late 19th century.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Man Slams Car into 10 Command.Shrine in Okla.; Occurred by State Capitol Bldg.,Suspect Arrested

The Secret Service has arrested a man for driving into the Ten Commandments monument near the Oklahoma State Capitol building in Oklahoma City, the Drudge Report website says today (October 24, 2014).

Officials say the man drove his car into the monument intentionally last night, smashing it to pieces.

The suspect has been identified as Michael Tate Reed Jr., 29. He is from Roland and was taken to Oklahoma County mental facility for an emergency order of detention and a mental evaluation. He said that Satan told him to do it, according to Secret Service officials.

The vehicle involved was abandoned and has since been impounded. The incident occurred at approximately 9 p.m.

Ireland's Upper House OKs Palestine Recognition; Says Two-State Solution Needed to Settle Conflict

The Upper House of Ireland's parliament unanimously passed a motion calling on the government to formally recognize the state of Palestine, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (October 24, 2014).

The motion was proposed by Sen. Averil Power, the head of the country's main opposition party, the conservative Fianna Fail.

It called on the Irish government to "formally recognize the State of Palestine and do everything it can at the international level to help secure a viable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

The approval comes less than a month after new Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Loven declared that his government would recognize the state of Palestine, and more than a week after the British Parliament overwhelmingly voted for a motion backing recognition of Palestine.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pope:Abolish the Death Penalty and Life in Prison; Calls Life Imprisonment a "Hidden Death Penalty"

Pope Francis has called for abolition of the death penalty as well as life imprisonment, and attacked a "penal populism" that promises to solve society's problems by punishing crime instead of pursuing social justice, the Catholic News website reports today (October 23, 2014).

"It is impossible to imagine that states today cannot make use of another means than capital punishment to defend peoples' lives from an unjust aggressor," the Pope said yesterday in a meeting with representatives of the International Association of Penal Law.

"All Christians and people of goodwill are thus called today to struggle not only for abolition of the death penalty, whether it be legal or illegal and in all its forms, but also to improve prison conditions, out of respect for the human dignity of persons deprived of their liberty. And this, I connect with life imprisonment," he said.

"Life imprisonment is a hidden death penalty." The Pope noted that the Vatican recently eliminated life imprisonment from its own penal code.

Boko Haram Islam Mil. Kidnap 25 Girls in Nigeria; Govt.Claimed Truce,Release of 200 Abducted Girls

Boko Haram Muslim militants last night kidnapped at least 25 girls in an attack on a remote town in northeastern Nigeria, witnesses said, despite talks by the government last week of a ceasefire and the freeing of over 200 other female hostages they seized in April, the Reuters website reports today (October 23, 2014).

Witnesses of the attack said the kidnappers came late last night, forcing all the women to go with them, then releasing the older ones.

The attack cast further doubt on government reports that it has secretly reached a temporary ceasefire with the rebels in order to secure the release of more than 200 schoolgirls they are holding hostage.

"We are confused that hours after the so-called ceasefire agreement has been entered between the Federal Government and Boko Haram insurgents, our girls were abducted by the insurgents," witness John Kwaghe said. Kwaghe lost three daughters to the abductors in last night's attack.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

France Mulls Law to Refuse Entry of Foreigners; Would Turn Away Immigrants It Saw as a Threat

All kinds of undesirables -- including citizens of the European Union -- could be refused entry into France if their "personal behavior" is considered a threat to "security or public order," under a law now being proposed, The Muslim Issue website reports today (October 22, 2014).

The vaguely worded measure could be used to stop all kinds of undesirables entering France, from those with criminal records to communities considered unable to integrate.

The proposed legislation reads that all should "be banned from entering French territory if their presence would constitute a real, current, and sufficiently serious threat."

It continues, "It is all aimed at protecting the fundamental interest of society, in terms of public order or security against their personal behavior." Critics say the proposed law is designed to reduce the large number of Muslims and Roma (Gypsies) from becoming immigrants in France.

Germany Nabs 3 US Teen Girls Seeking to Join IS; Teens from Denver Area, Kerry Thanks Germany

Secretary of State John Kerry said today (October 22, 2014) that the U.S. is grateful to Germany after three Denver-area teenage girls -- who secretly left their homes -- were stopped in Frankfurt last weekend, while traveling to join Islamist State (IS) fighters in Syria, according to the USA Today website.

"We are very, very grateful for Germany for their cooperation with us on this particular incident of some young folks who were traveling," Kerry said today during a Berlin news conference.

Two girls are sisters, ages 15 and 16, of ethnic Somali origin, and the third teen, 17, is of Sudanese background. One girl reportedly told German authorities the three were "going to Turkey to study."

German Interior Ministry spokeswoman Pamela Mueller-Niese told reporters today that authorities in Germany were informed by the U.S. that the girls were arriving alone at the Frankfurt airport. The three have since been reunited with their families in Colorado, FBI spokeswoman Suzie Payne said. The girls -- most likely -- will not be prosecuted.