Saturday, February 6, 2016

German Cath.Church Calls for Reducing Refugees; Cardinal:Germany Can't Take in All World's Needy

The German Catholic Church today (February 6, 2016) called for a reduction in the influx of refugees arriving in Germany, saying the country cannot take in "all the world's needy," according to the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website.

Germany has been struggling to cope with 1.1 million asylum seekers that arrived in 2015 and Berlin has not yet given an official estimate for how many it expects this year.

"As a church we say that we need a reduction in the number of refugees," Cardinal Reinhard Marx, chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, said.

"Germany cannot "take in all the world's needy," Marx added. The question of how to respond to the migrant crisis, he asserted, should not solely be a matter of "charity but also reason."

Twitter Says It Suspended 125K IS-Related Accts.; Network Now Bars Terrorist Posts on Its Website

Twitter announced yesterday that it has suspended at least 125,000 accounts that are related to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) since mid-2015, The Daily Beast website reports today (February 6, 2016).

They were suspended, the social media network said, after threatening or promoting terrorist acts related to ISIS.

"Like most people around the world, we are horrified by the atrocities perpetrated by extremist groups. We condemn the use of Twitter to promote terrorism and the Twitter Rules make it clear that this type of behavior, or any violent threat, is not permitted on our service," the network said in a blog post yesterday afternoon.

This disclosure is significant as it marks the first time that Twitter has made these suspensions public, and appears to be a response to pressure from the White House as well the French, Australian, and British governments.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Four Algerians Nabbed for a Berlin Terror Plot; One Registered in Germany as a Syrian Refugee

One of four Algerian men suspected of plotting an attack in Berlin had registered in Germany as a Syrian refugee and another had contacts in Belgium, the One News Now website reports today (February 5, 2016).

Police -- who believe the four had ties to the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group -- conducted raids yesterday in Berlin and western Germany. One of the Algerians and his wife were arrested at a refugee home because they were sought by Algerian authorities for belonging to the IS group.

Berlin police said the man arrived with his family in Germany at the end of last year and sought asylum as a Syrian refugee.

Police said they established that another of the Algerians -- who was not arrested -- had contacts with Belgium. They didn't elaborate, but Belgium has a strong Islamic extremist scene.

Pope Francis, Russian Patriarch to Meet in Cuba; Try to Heal Ties Broken by Great Schism of 1054

A historic meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill -- head of the Russian Orthodox Church -- will take place in Cuba next week, following more than two years of secret talks aimed at healing ties broken nearly 1,000 years ago, the Religion News website reports today (February 5, 2016).

According to the surprise announcement -- made simultaneously today in Moscow and at the Vatican -- Francis will make a brief stopover in Havana on February 12 before continuing on to Mexico for a six-day visit.

Kirill will already be in Cuba on an official visit and will meet the pontiff for two hours at Havana's Jose Marti International Airport before signing a joint declaration with Francis. It will be the first time in history that the leader of the Catholic Church has met with a Russian Orthodox patriarch.

The Western and Eastern  branches of Christianity split apart into the Roman Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church in what is referred to as the Great Schism of 1054. Today, there are about 1.2 billion Catholics and upwards of 250 million Orthodox Christians in the world.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

European Parliament Titles IS Atrocities Genocide; IS Conducts War Crimes,Crimes Against Humanity

The European Parliament voted today (February 4, 2016) to designate the atrocities committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) against religious and ethnic minorities as genocide, according to the OBL News (The Orthodox Church Info Blog) website.

The resolution passed by an overwhelming majority.

Formal genocide recognition places legal obligations on all countries who are signatories to the genocide convention to take action.

The resolution condemns ISIS and its human rights abuses against Christians and others who do not agree with its interpretation of Islam. It adds that these violations amount to "war crimes," "crimes against humanity," and "genocide," according to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Refugee Males Groping Russian Women Attacked; Russian Males Beat Refugees,18 Taken to Hospital

A group of 51 refugees were brutally assaulted outside a night club in Murmansk, Russia, after they groped and molested women at a night club last Saturday, the Daily Caller website reports today (February 4, 2016).

The refugees -- mostly Muslims whose native countries tend to treat women as second-class citizens --  had previously been ordered to leave Norway for "bad behavior" and tried their luck in Russia. What they didn't realize is that Russians have less tolerance when it comes to sexual assault on local women than other European countries.

The male refugees groped and harassed women in a similar manner as the assaults in Cologne, Germany on New Year's Eve. A group of Russian males took them out to the street and gave them a beating they will remember for a long time.

Police arrived to break up the fight but locals report that they threw a few punches at the refugees before arresting 33 of them. Eighteen male refugees were in such bad condition that they had to be treated at a hospital.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Obama Rips Anti-Muslim Ideas in Mosque Visit; "We've Got to Show America Protects All Faiths"

President Barack Obama -- in his first visit to a mosque in the United States -- said today (February 3, 2016) he was seeking to rebut "inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslim-Americans" from Republican presidential candidates, the CNN website reports.

"Let me say as clearly as I can as president of the United States: You fit right here," Obama told the audience at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, a 47-year-old mosque with thousands of attendees. "You're right where you belong. You're part of America too. You're not Muslim or American. You're Muslim and American."

As he decried GOP counter-terror plans that would single out Muslims for extra scrutiny -- and prevent Muslims from entering the United States in an effort to eliminate terrorist attacks -- Obama insisted that applying religious screens would only amplify messages coming from terrorist groups.

"We can't be bystanders to bigotry," Obama said. "Together, we've got to show that America truly protects all faiths. As we protect our country from terrorism, we should not reinforce the ideas and the rhetoric of the terrorists themselves."