Friday, December 15, 2017

Lawyer Promised Cash to Trump Sex Accusers; Told Clients She'd Pay Them for Public Smears

A feminist attorney promised two women they would be financially compensated for publicly accusing Donald Trump of sexual harassment in the waning months of the 2016 presidential election, the Daily Caller website reports today (December 15, 2017).

Lisa Bloom, who represented four Trump accusers -- two of whom came forward -- told the women she could arrange paid media appearances and secure cash from donors in exchange for their public accusations, two of her clients told The Hill, a newspaper in Washington, D.C. that focuses on politics and Congress.

The California attorney told one woman, who decided against coming forward, that a donor was willing to shell out $750,000 for the accusation, and promised another woman a donor agreed to pay off her mortgage, according to contractual documents, emails, and text messages reviewed by The Hill.

Bloom acknowledged accepting donations on behalf of her clients in order to provide for their security and relocation, in a statement to The Hill.

Australia Seeks to End Celibacy of Cath. Priests; Inquiry Finds Over 8K Child Sex Abuse Victims

An Australian inquiry into child sexual abuse by priests today (December 15, 2017) called on the Catholic Church to repeal its celibacy requirement for priests, and said clergy should face prosecution if they fail to report evidence of pedophilia heard in the confessional, according to the Fox News website.

Australia's Royal Commission into Institution Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released its 17-volume report and made almost 200 recommendations following a five-year investigation into how the Catholic Church and other institutions responded to sexual abuse of children in Australia over 90 years.

The Royal Commission is the country's highest form of inquiry and the voluminous report it produced followed testimony from more than 8,000 survivors of child sex abuse.

Sixty-two percent of those abused in religious institutions were Catholic, the study found. "We have concluded that there were catastrophic failures of leadership of Catholic Church authorities over many decades," the report said.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

No Xmas Festivities in Nazareth:Bah!Humbugh! Due to Trump OKing Jerusalem as Israel Capital

The Israeli town of Nazareth -- where Jesus lived -- has canceled Christmas celebrations, with the mayor saying the end of festivities is due to President Trump, the AOL website reports today (December 14, 2017).

Mayor Ali Salam, who is a Muslim and presides over the town in northern Israel of mostly Christians and Muslims, announced today that planned events -- such as Christmas market and festival -- were called off.

He cited the U.S. decision directly and said that it had taken the "joy" from celebrations in the hometown of Jesus.

Salam's Christmas cancelation comes as part of a backlash against Trump, who has angered millions of Muslims by reversing decades of American policy by making the U.S. the only country to recognize the city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Iraq Hangs 38 IS, Qaida Persons for Terrorism; Payback for Seizing Iraqi Land, Killing Civilians

Iraq hanged 38 jihadists belonging to the Islamic State (IS) group or Al-Qaida for terrorism offenses today (December 14, 2017) in the southern city of Nasiriyah, according to the VOA News website.

They were all Iraqis, but one also had Swedish citizenship, a prison source said.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on December 9 declared victory against IS after a three-year campaign by government forces backed by a U.S.-led coalition to retake territory seized by the jihadists.

Rights watchdog Amnesty International has voiced repeated concerns about the use of the death penalty in Iraq, which it ranks as one of the world's top executioners behind China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Pope Explains Need of Attending Sunday Mass; We Go to Mass to Get from God What We Need

"We don't go to Mass to give something to God, but to receive from Him that which we truly need," Pope Francis said today (December 13, 2017) during his weekly general audience, according to the America Magazine website.

Just like a plant needs sun and nourishment to survive, every Christian needs the light of Sunday and the sustenance of the Eucharist to truly live, Francis said.

"How can we carry out the Gospel without drawing the energy needed to do it, one Sunday after another, from the limitless source of the Eucharist? he added.

The pope also conveyed the importance of Sunday being observed as a day of rest, which is a sign of the dignity of living as children of God, not slaves.

Abbas Ends Any US Role in Mideast Peace Talks; Insists Jerusalem Be Capital of Palestinian State

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said today (December 13, 2017) that Palestinians won't accept any future role of the U.S. in the Middle East peace process, due to U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, according to the Times of Israel website.

Abbas told an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul that there could be "no peace or stability" in the Middle East until Jerusalem is recognized as the capital of a Palestinian state.

Jerusalem's status is perhaps the most sensitive issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel sees the entire city of Jerusalem as its undivided capital, while the Palestinians claim its eastern section and the Old City as the capital of their future state.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Pope: We Must Let Go of Grudges, Complaints; We Need to Ask Jesus to Come and Console Us

During his homily at morning Mass today (December 12, 2017), Pope Francis said we must learn to let ourselves be consoled by the Lord, leaving behind our grudges and complaints, according to the Independent Catholic News website.

The pope said we prefer the "bitter root" of original sin than the sweetness of God's consolation.

He added that we must let ourselves be consoled by the Lord, to be stripped of all our bitter egoisms and complaints.

"Let us pray for the grace of courage," he concluded, asking the Lord to come and console us.