Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fed. Judge:Obama's Amnesty Plan Is Unconst.; Obama Violated Separation of Powers for Plan

A federal judge in Pennsylvania has released an opinion in a case of a deported illegal alien who returned to the U.S. that appears to torpedo the amnesty plan President Obama announced November 20 and implemented through memos to government officials, ruling it unconstitutional, the WND (World Net Daily) website reports today (December 16, 2014).

"President Obama's unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore, is unconstitutional," said U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.

The judge noted Obama "contended that although legislation is the most appropriate course of action to solve the immigration debate, his executive action was necessary because of Congress's failure to pass legislation, acceptable to him, in this regard."

"This proposition is arbitrary and does not negate the requirement that the November 20, 2014, executive action be lawfully within the president's executive authority," the judge wrote. "It is not."

Taliban Gunmen Kill 141 in Pakistani School; Massacre Is Worst in Pakistan in Over a Year

Pakistani officials have fended off Taliban gunmen who stormed a military school in Peshawar today (December 16, 2014), but not before the attackers killed 132 children and nine staff members, the Breaking Christian News website reports.

"Their sole purpose, it seems, was to kill those innocent kids. That's what they did," military spokesman Asim Bajwa said.

Authorities say most of the victims were students in grades 1-10 at the army public school.

Today's attack is the worst in Pakistan in more than a year. Taliban spokesman Mohammed Khurasani claimed responsibility for the massacre.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pope Francis Bids to Help US Close Guantanamo; Says Vatican Global Contacts Can Place Prisoners

The Vatican today (December 15, 2014) offered to help the United States in its efforts to close its Guantanamo prison in Cuba -- a goal fervently supported by Pope Francis -- the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reports.

The offer came during talks today between the pontiff's Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, the number two in the Vatican hierarchy, and John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said the Holy See welcomed recent signs President Barack Obama appears to have accelerated efforts to close the controversial prison, where some detainees have been held for more than a decade without charge and tortured.

He also said the Vatican stood ready to "help find adequate humanitarian solutions through our international contacts" in order to help place detainees, adding that Parolin and Kerry discussed the issue in depth.

Turkey Is Blasted for Mass Arrests of Journalists; EU Says Attack on Press Defies European Values

There has been outrage both within Turkey and internationally to the mass arrests of journalists and broadcasters, the Euro News website reports today (December 15, 2014).

The EU (European Union) has condemned the current detention of more than 30 people, saying the attacks on the press are against European values.

Yesterday, Turkish police raided the offices of a leading newspaper and TV station said to have close links with opposition parties.

Mustafa Yesil -- chairman of the journalists and writers foundation -- said: "These were the only anti-government media outlets. Maybe millions were expressing themselves through these media outlets. The autocratic regime controlled by one person is now trying to prevent this too, but people have no intention of letting him."

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Palestinians Set a 2-Year Limit for Occupied Land; Israeli PM Netanyahu Is Opposed to UN Proposal

The Palestinians are to present a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council on December 17 that would set a two-year deadline for Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories, the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reports today (December 14, 2014).

In the past, the United States has used its UN veto power to block moves it sees as anti-Israel, but U.S. officials said they drew a distinction between a unilateral step, and an effort to draw up a multilateral resolution at the UN Security Council, which would have the backing of many nations. Moreover, the Obama administration is currently considering imposing economic sanctions against Israel -- as U.S.-Israeli relations have reached an all-time low -- due to Israel's continued construction of housing on land seized from the Palestinians.

Jordan last month circulated a draft Palestinian text setting November 2016 as a deadline for the end of the Israeli occupation.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today rejected all talk of withdrawing from east Jerusalem and the West Bank within two years. He said pulling out now would bring "Islamic extremists to the suburbs of Tel Aviv and to the heart of Jerusalem."

San Jose State Univ. Slams Ratio Christi Ministry; Ministry Requires Christians for Chapter Officers

San Jose State University in California has criticized Ratio Christi -- a grassroots campus student ministry -- for its decision to "de-recognize" the campus chapter as punishment for the ministry's "discriminatory" policy for leadership positions, the Christian Post website reports today (December 14, 2014).

School officials wrote to Ratio Christi, explaining their action is as per a new California State University Executive Order on how an organization selects its officers, the ministry revealed on its website.

The ministry requires its chapter officers to be Christian and holding biblical beliefs, and the state of California now deems that as "discriminatory."

"De-recognition" means that the school chapter of the ministry is no longer eligible for student funding and financial services, and cannot participate in student organization fairs, ceremonies. or training.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Blast Rocks French Cultural Center in Gaza City; Attack Sends Worrying Vibes to French Officials

A powerful blast rocked the French Cultural Center in Gaza City last night, marking the second time the facility was hit by an explosion in the past two months, the France 24 website reports today (December 13, 2014).

There were no reports of injuries, but the building was partly damaged, France 24's Gallagher Fenwick reported.

"The outside of the facility has been damaged by an explosive device," he said, adding that the attack was sending worrying signals to French authorities.

"It is very symbolic," Fenwick added, because it was "the last foreign consulate left in Gaza where Palestinians could get visas for abroad."