Monday, July 16, 2018

Episcopal Church Approves Same-Sex Marriage; Priest Can Conduct Ceremony without Bishop OK

Episcopal leaders decided on July 13 that same-sex couples will now be able to marry in their home parish, even if their local bishop has moral objections to gay marriage, the Religion News website reports today (July 16, 2018).

Meeting in Austin, Texas at their triennial convention, the House of Bishops and House of Deputies of the church, approved the resolution after days of debate.

Under the new rule, couples can request gender-neutral marriage rites in the church where they worship.

Even if the local bishop opposes same-sex weddings, the priest of the parish can still conduct the ceremony, requesting "pastoral support" from a bishop in another diocese if necessary.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Over 174 Rockets,Mortar Shells Fired at Israel; IDF Strikes Gaza with a Huge Bombing Attack

Terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip launched over 174 rockets and mortar shells at southern Israel yesterday, injuring three people and damaging buildings, the Times of Israel website reports today (July 15, 2018).

In response, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) launched its largest bombing campaign against Hamas targets in Gaza since the 2014 Gaza war.

Two Palestinian teenagers were killed in the Israeli strikes, and 25 others were injured by shrapnel.

The Israeli army said it held Hamas responsible for all violence emanating from Gaza, which the terror group has ruled since 2007.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

US Indicts 12 Russians in 2016 Election Hacks; Intel Reps Allegedly Hacked Democratic Emails

The U.S. Justice Department said yesterday that 12 Russian intelligence officers were indicted on charges they hacked into Democratic email accounts during the 2016 presidential election and released stolen information in the months before Americans headed to the polls, the Newser website reports today (July 14, 2018).

The indictment is the clearest allegation yet on Russian efforts to meddle in American politics.

The indictment lays out a coordinated effort to break into key Democratic email accounts, including those belonging to the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton campaign, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The hackers were members of an intelligence agency in the Russian military.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Trump Slams London Mayor's Terrorism Record; Muslim Mayor Flies Blimp with Trump in Diaper

President Donald Trump -- in a recent interview with the British newspaper "The Sun" -- attacked London Mayor Sadiq Khan over rising crime rates in London and the unprecedented number of terror attacks in the city, the Daily Caller website reports today (July 13, 2018).

"Take a look at the terrorism that is taking place... I think he has done a very bad job on terrorism," Trump declared.

The president added, "I think he has not been hospitable to a government that is very important. Now he might not like the current President, but I represent the United States."

Trump has long had a feud with the current mayor of London, who is a Muslim. The mayor insulted Trump during his recent visit to London by approving the flight of a large blimp depicting Trump in a diaper.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Trump: Shame on Pfizer for Raising Drug Prices; Drug Co.Ends Higher Prices after Trump Rebuke

Last week, Pfizer pharmaceutical giant jacked up the price of several dozen prescription drugs, but this week -- after a harsh criticism from President Trump -- the drug company has agreed to undo the price hikes following a meeting between President Trump and Pfizer CEO Ian Read, the Newser website reports today (July 11, 2018).

"The company will return these prices to their pre-July 1 levels as soon as technically possible," Pfizer announced in a statement.

"We applaud Pfizer for this decision and hope other companies do the same. Great news for the American people!," the president tweeted yesterday after Pfizer's decision to rescind the price increase.

Before Pfizer's decision to undo its price increase, Trump had tweeted "Pfizer and others should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason. They are merely taking advantage of the poor and others unable to defend themselves... We will respond!"

Trump to NATO: Germany Controlled by Russia; Says Russian Gas Pipeline to Germany Is Unwise

In a combative start to his NATO summit meeting in Brussels, President Donald Trump today (July 11, 2018) asserted that a pipeline project has made Germany "totally controlled" by and "captive to Russia," according to the Time website.

Trump, in a testy exchange with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, took issue with the U.S. protecting Germany as it strikes a deal with Russia, warning the deal will give Moscow greater leverage over Western Europe.

"I have to say, I think it's very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where we're supposed to be guarding against Russia," Trump said at breakfast with Stoltenberg.

The president was referring to the Nord Stream 2 undersea pipeline that would bring gas from Russia to Germany's northeastern Baltic coast, bypassing Eastern European nations like Poland and Ukraine, and doubling the amount of gas Russia can send directly to Germany.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

IS Suicide Bomber Kills a Least 12 in Afghanistan; Most Victims Were Children Working at Car Wash

The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in eastern Afghanistan today (July 10, 2018) that killed at least 12 people, according to the Free Beacon website.

The attack occurred in Jalalabad, the provincial capital.

In addition to the 12 killed, five others were wounded, according to a spokesman for the provincial governor.

Sohrab Qaderi, a member of the provincial council, said "most of the victims were children who were working at a car wash close to the suicide bombing site."