Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Gallup Poll: 43% of Americans Prefer Socialism; Majority of Democrats View Socialism Positively

Forty-three percent of Americans think socialism would be a good thing for the U.S., while a slim majority -- 51 percent -- of those surveyed in a Gallup Poll released on May 20 think it would be a bad thing, The New American website reports today (May 22, 2019).

A majority of Democrats have said they view socialism positively in Gallup polling since 2010, including 57 percent in the most recent measure in 2018.

Gallup first asked Americans in 1949 about their outlook on the spread of democracy over the next 50 years.

At that time, seven in ten Americans (72%) predicted that most countries in the world would have a democratic government.

Sex Abuse Scandal Rocks Cath.Church in Poland; Polish Govt. Launches a Public Inquiry on Abuse

A new documentary allegedly exposing child sex abuse by members of the Roman Catholic Church is forcing Poland's Catholic Church bishops to meet in Warsaw today (May 22, 2019), according to the Euro News website.

The Catholic Church's links to the political establishment in the country and its influence over the education system, culture, and lawmaking means the scandal is becoming a political issue.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said yesterday that a public inquiry on paedophilia is being launched.

He stated, "A state committee to examine all paedophilia cases will be set up..."

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Taylor U. Graduates Walk Out on Pence's Speech; Say Trump-Pence Policies Violate Christian Ethics

Dozens of students and faculty walked out in protest before Mike Pence's commencement speech at private Christian school Taylor University's graduation, the Christian Headlines website reports today (May 21, 2019).

"Inviting Vice President Pence to Taylor University and giving him a coveted platform for his political views makes our alumni, faculty, staff and current students complicit in the Trump-Pence Administration's policies, which we believe are not consistent with the Christian ethic of love we hold dear," read a petition.

Thousands of alumni, faculty, staff, and outside voices expressed their disagreement to the private school's invitation to Mike Pence to speak at their graduation ceremony.

Nonetheless, a majority of the over 400 graduating students stayed seated during the ceremony, then rose to a standing ovation for the vice president after the planned walkout.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Brandeis U.Head Rips Art Installation Vandalism; Asserts Targeting Hillel Is an Act of Anti-Semitism

Vandalism against a temporary art installation erected for Brandeis University Hillel's Israel Week celebration violates the university's recently adopted principles of free expression, the university president said, according to the Times of Israel website.

The celebration took place earlier this month on the university's Great Lawn.

In one incident, graffiti that read "Free Palestine" was written on the installation. In a second, a sign that read "Stop lying to young Jews #Free Palestine" was affixed to its side.

"The targeting of Hillel, a Jewish organization, could easily lead one to interpret the acts as anti-Semitic, and the university strongly condemns anti-Semitism," Brandeis President Ron Liebowitz said in a statement published on the university's website on May 15, 2019.

Trump Warns Iran against Middle East Violence; Says Iran Will Be Destroyed If It Sparks Conflict

U.S. President Donald Trump issued a new threat to Teheran yesterday, tweeting that a conflict would be the "official end"of Iran, and Saudi Arabia warned it stood ready to respond with "all strength" and said it was up to Iran to avoid war, the Yahoo website reports today (May 20, 2019).

"If Iran wants to fight, it will be the official end of Iran..." Trump said in a tweet.

The heightened rhetoric follows last week's attacks on Saudi oil assets and the firing of a rocket on Baghdad that exploded near the U.S.embassy.

A U.S.State Department official said the rocket attack produced no casualties, but the U.S. was taking the incident "very seriously."

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Pope Emphasizes Need for Freedom of the Press; Says Dictators Tend to End Freedom of the Press

In an address to the Foreign Press Association at the Vatican yesterday, Pope Francis urged journalists to reject fake news and continue reporting on the troubling conditions of suffering people who no longer make it into daily headlines, the Euro News website reports today (May 19, 2019).

Patricia Thomas, the Association's president, talked about journalists killed, imprisoned, wounded, or threatened in their work.

"Freedom of the press and expression is an important indicator of the state of a country's health," the pope said.

He added, "Let's not forget that one of the first things dictatorships do is remove freedom of the press or mask it, not leaving it free."

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Three Fires Set at 2 Boston Area Chabad Houses; Local and State Officials: Are Likely Hate Crimes

Police in the Boston area have opened a multi-jurisdictional probe after a fire was reported at the Chabad Jewish Center in Needham, Massachusetts on the night of May 16, just one hour after a fire was reported at the Arlington home and Chabad house of Rabbi Avi Bukiet and his family, the Times of Israel website reports today (May 18, 2019).

The two Chabad houses are less than an hour drive from each other.

This brings to three the number of suspicious fires since May 11, when another blaze damaged outside shingles at the Bukiets' home.

Local and state law enforcement and fire officials are coordinating their investigations, including the possibility that the fires are hate crimes.