Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sweden Officially Recognizes a Palestinian State; Mad Israel Recalls Its Ambassador from Stockholm

Sweden today (October 30, 2014) became the largest Western European country to officially recognize a Palestinian state, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly recalled its ambassador from Stockholm, according to the Yahoo News website.

The move by Sweden reflects a growing international impatience with Israel's nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem, and its blockade of the Gaza strip.

An enraged Israel was quick to condemn Sweden's decision, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman describing it as "a miserable decision that strengthens the extremist elements and Palestinian rejectionism."

Palestinians say that recognition of Palestine cannot occur by Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations -- as sought by Israel -- because Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is really not interested in peace.

City Will Not Remove Jesus Messages from Plows; Sioux Falls, SD Mayor Says Messages Will Remain

Snow plows in Sioux Falls, South Dakota will be keeping their explicitly Christian theme -- despite an attempt by an atheist organization to remove the Christian messages -- the Raw Story website reports today (October 30, 2014).

Mayor Mike Huether said, "Unless I get some Supreme Court case that says I have to" remove the religious messages that are painted on the city's snow plows, he would not remove them.

The messages -- which are being displayed for the fifth year -- were painted by students at Lutheran High School and Sioux Falls Lutheran School. For example, one of the messages says "Happy Birthday, Jesus."

Staff at Paint the Plow -- the organization responsible for decorating the plows -- said it received a complaint for the first time this year from the Siouxland Freethinkers organization, which wants the Christian messages removed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

US-Israeli Relations Are Worst Ever Since 1948; US Official:Netanyahu's a "Coward, Chickenshit"

U.S. relations with Israel are now the worst they have been since Israel became an independent nation in 1948, as senior officials in the Obama administration decried Benjamin Netanyahu as a "chickenshit prime minister," a "coward," and a man more interested in his own selfish political survival than peace, The Guardian website reports today (October 29, 2014).

The furious assessment delivered in anonymous but no-holds barred comments in an interview with American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic journal underline a state of anger with a thickheaded Netanyahu that is characterized as "red hot." The Atlantic article also states, "The only thing he [Netanyahu] is interested in is protecting himself from political defeat. He's not [Yitzhak] Rabin, he's not [Ariel] Sharon, he's certainly no [Menachem] Begin. He's got no guts."

Speaking to the Israeli parliament -- the Knesset -- a few hours after the comments were revealed today, Netanyahu angrily insisted he was "under attack simply for defending Israel," adding that he "cherished" Israel's relationship with the United States.

The Obama official's comments depict the dismal state of relations between the Obama administration and Netanyahu after a series of damaging announcements by Israel -- including again this week -- regarding its determination to push ahead with settlement building in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, despite warnings from the United States and the United Nations not to go ahead with settlement building, since doing so will inevitably destroy any prospect for peace with the Palestinians.

90% of Iraq's Greek Orthodox Christians Displaced; Only 30 of 600 Orth. Families Remain in Baghdad

The Christian Post website reports today (October 29, 2014) that as Islamic State (IS) extremists continue their reign of terror through Iraq and Syria, the chaos, violence, and persecution forced upon the thousands of people in the region has caused 90 percent of Orthodox Christians in Iraq to flee the sanctity of their homes, according to the Greek Orthodox Bishop of Baghdad, Ghattas Hazim.

Hazim -- who is also the Greek Orthodox Bishop of Kuwait and other surrounding nations -- said in a recent interview that he fears for the future of the Orthodox Christian presence in Iraq, Syria, and the  entire Mesopotamia region.

Citing unspecified statistics, Hazim said that 90 percent of Iraqi Orthodox Christians have been displaced from their homes. He added that only 30 of 600 Orthodox families remain in Baghdad as ISIS' (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) quest to conquer the capital of Iraq continues.

In Mosul -- the Islamic State's stronghold in Iraq in the northern Nineveh province -- Hazim said only 10 Orthodox families remain. It is believed that the only Christians left in Mosul are those who cannot afford to leave, or those who are not physically able to leave.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dad Pulls Son from Revere, MA World Civ. Class; Due to Its Teaching "There Is No God But Allah"

A father has pulled his son out of a middle school world civilizations course in Revere, Massachusetts, because it teaches that "there is no God but Allah," The New American website reports today (October 28, 2014).

"Allah is the greatest. I bear witness that Muhammad is his Prophet," reads a handout in Anthony Giannino's son's school in a passage relating to the Muslim call to prayer.

"No religion should be taught at school. In their paper it says Allah is their only God. That's insulting to me as a Christian who believes in just Jesus only," said Anthony Giannino.

"We don't believe in Allah. I don't believe in my son learning about this here," he added.

Cuba OKs Const. of First Cath.Church in 55 Years; Vatican, Communist Cuba Improving Relationship

Cuba's Roman Catholic Church announced yesterday that the government has allowed the construction of its first new Catholic Church in 55 years, the Huffington Post website reports today (October 28, 2014).

Theology experts said it's a sign of improving relations between the Vatican and Cuba's communist government, which has been ruling Cuba for the past 55 years.

The new church -- funded primarily by donations from Catholics in Tampa, Florida -- will be built in Sandino, a citrus and coffee-growing town in the far-western province of Pinar del Rio.

The church will have enough space to accommodate 200 people.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Student, 15, Shoots His Teacher in German Class; Teacher,56, Dies in 1st School Shooting in Estonia

A 15-year-old student shot and killed his teacher during class today (October 27, 2014) in a town in southern Estonia -- the first known school shooting in the Baltic nation -- according to the ABC News website.

Four other students were in the classroom at Paalalinna School in the town of Viljandi, police spokeswoman Tuuli Harson said. She said the shooter was apprehended and no one else was injured in the early-afternoon attack at the school of 450 students.

Government officials said the victim was a 56-year-old female teacher of German. Police said they had no details about a possible motive.

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves called the slaying a tragedy. "It is not a tragedy of one school or one town; it is a tragedy for the whole of Estonia," Ilves said in a statement.