Friday, October 31, 2014

UN: Foreign Fighters in Terror Groups Unequaled; Seen as a Basis of Terrorist Acts for Many Years

A new United Nations report says the world is facing a challenge of foreign fighters in terror groups on an "unprecedented scale," with about 15,000 in Syria and Iraq alone, the Newsmax World website reports today (October 31, 2014).

The report by a panel of experts monitoring al-Qaida and the Taliban has been submitted to the U.N. Security Council.

The panel says fighters from more than 80 countries working with al-Qaida associates in Syria and Iraq "form the core of a new diaspora that may seed the threat for years to come," and that domestic terrorism could rise as fighters return to their home countries.

The report -- issued October 29 -- adds that the increasingly sophisticated use of social media is giving the Islamic State group a "cosmopolitan" appearance.

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.

US Agencies Used Over 1K Nazi Spies in Cold War; Assured Ex-Nazis' Intel Value Surpassed Morality

Newly declassified records show that in the decades after World War II, the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) and other U.S. agencies employed over 1,000 Nazis as Cold War spies and informants and -- as recently as the 1990s -- concealed the government's ties to some still living in America, the NY Times website reports today (October 27, 2014).

At the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, law enforcement and intelligence leaders -- including J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI and Allen Dulles at the CIA -- aggressively recruited onetime Nazis of all ranks as secret, anti-Soviet "assets," declassified records show. They believed the ex-Nazis' intelligence value against the Russians outweighed what one official called "moral lapses" in their service to Adolf Hitler's Third Reich.

For instance, in 1994, a lawyer with the CIA pressured prosecutors to drop an investigation into an ex-spy outside Boston implicated in the Nazis' massacre of tens of thousands of Jews in Lithuania, according to a government official.

Also, thousands of records from the declassified files, the Freedom of Information Act requests, and other sources -- together with interviews with scores of current and former government officials -- confirm that the government's recruitment of Nazis ran far deeper than previously known and that officials sought to conceal those ties for at least a half-century after World War II.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Egypt Starts 3-Month State of Emergency in Sinai; Due to 31 Soldiers Killed in 2 Terrorist Attacks

The government of Egypt has approved a state of emergency in the Sinai Peninsula after at least 31 Egyptian Army soldiers were killed in two attacks. The attacks on October 24 included a car bombing of an army checkpoint northwest of the North Sinai capital of El Arish, the World Tribune website reports today (October 26, 2014).

"We must know that this terrorist attack was supported by foreign hands to defeat the military, which has been protecting the Egyptian people and their will," President Abdul Fatah Al Sisi said yesterday.

Sisi -- surrounded by military commanders -- did not identify the foreign elements. But he has accused Qatar and Turkey of supporting Egypt's ousted Muslim Brotherhood.

Officials said the state of emergency was imposed on October 25 in the north and center of Sinai. They added that the emergency -- which included a curfew from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. -- would last for three months.

Cath. League Pres. Wants Const. Marriage Amend.; Marriage Can Only Be Between 1 Man, 1 Woman

Catholic League President Bill Donohue has called on Catholics to support a constitutional marriage amendment stating marriage may only be between one man and one woman, the Raw Story website reports today (October 26, 2014).

According to Donohue, President Barack Obama "tossed God again" this week when he called for same-sex marriage to be recognized as a constitutional right.

"In doing so, he teed up a confrontation between our long-established constitutional right to religious liberty and this newly invented right to gay marriage," Donohue wrote.

Donohue blamed "unelected judges" and called for Catholics to rise up and "return power to the people."

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Mormon Church Says Founder Had Several Wives; One of Joseph Smith's Wives Was 14-Year-Old Girl

Mormon church founder Joseph Smith had a teenage bride and was married to other men's wives during the early days of the faith when polygamy was practiced, a new church essay acknowledges, according to the Big News Network website.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says most of Smith's wives were between 20 and 40 years old. One of them, however, was a 14-year-old girl who was the daughter of Smith's close friends.

The essay -- posted this week on the church's website -- marks the first time the Salt Lake City-based religion has officially acknowledged those facts. It's part of a recent push by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to open up about sensitive issues within the faith, many of which are unflattering or uncomfortable to discuss.

The new article about Smith's wives during the 1830s and 1840s in Kirtland, Ohio, and Nauvoo, Illinois, comes about 10 months after the church acknowledged polygamy was widely practiced among its members in the late 19th century.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Man Slams Car into 10 Command.Shrine in Okla.; Occurred by State Capitol Bldg.,Suspect Arrested

The Secret Service has arrested a man for driving into the Ten Commandments monument near the Oklahoma State Capitol building in Oklahoma City, the Drudge Report website says today (October 24, 2014).

Officials say the man drove his car into the monument intentionally last night, smashing it to pieces.

The suspect has been identified as Michael Tate Reed Jr., 29. He is from Roland and was taken to Oklahoma County mental facility for an emergency order of detention and a mental evaluation. He said that Satan told him to do it, according to Secret Service officials.

The vehicle involved was abandoned and has since been impounded. The incident occurred at approximately 9 p.m.

Ireland's Upper House OKs Palestine Recognition; Says Two-State Solution Needed to Settle Conflict

The Upper House of Ireland's parliament unanimously passed a motion calling on the government to formally recognize the state of Palestine, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (October 24, 2014).

The motion was proposed by Sen. Averil Power, the head of the country's main opposition party, the conservative Fianna Fail.

It called on the Irish government to "formally recognize the State of Palestine and do everything it can at the international level to help secure a viable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

The approval comes less than a month after new Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Loven declared that his government would recognize the state of Palestine, and more than a week after the British Parliament overwhelmingly voted for a motion backing recognition of Palestine.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pope:Abolish the Death Penalty and Life in Prison; Calls Life Imprisonment a "Hidden Death Penalty"

Pope Francis has called for abolition of the death penalty as well as life imprisonment, and attacked a "penal populism" that promises to solve society's problems by punishing crime instead of pursuing social justice, the Catholic News website reports today (October 23, 2014).

"It is impossible to imagine that states today cannot make use of another means than capital punishment to defend peoples' lives from an unjust aggressor," the Pope said yesterday in a meeting with representatives of the International Association of Penal Law.

"All Christians and people of goodwill are thus called today to struggle not only for abolition of the death penalty, whether it be legal or illegal and in all its forms, but also to improve prison conditions, out of respect for the human dignity of persons deprived of their liberty. And this, I connect with life imprisonment," he said.

"Life imprisonment is a hidden death penalty." The Pope noted that the Vatican recently eliminated life imprisonment from its own penal code.

Boko Haram Islam Mil. Kidnap 25 Girls in Nigeria; Govt.Claimed Truce,Release of 200 Abducted Girls

Boko Haram Muslim militants last night kidnapped at least 25 girls in an attack on a remote town in northeastern Nigeria, witnesses said, despite talks by the government last week of a ceasefire and the freeing of over 200 other female hostages they seized in April, the Reuters website reports today (October 23, 2014).

Witnesses of the attack said the kidnappers came late last night, forcing all the women to go with them, then releasing the older ones.

The attack cast further doubt on government reports that it has secretly reached a temporary ceasefire with the rebels in order to secure the release of more than 200 schoolgirls they are holding hostage.

"We are confused that hours after the so-called ceasefire agreement has been entered between the Federal Government and Boko Haram insurgents, our girls were abducted by the insurgents," witness John Kwaghe said. Kwaghe lost three daughters to the abductors in last night's attack.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

France Mulls Law to Refuse Entry of Foreigners; Would Turn Away Immigrants It Saw as a Threat

All kinds of undesirables -- including citizens of the European Union -- could be refused entry into France if their "personal behavior" is considered a threat to "security or public order," under a law now being proposed, The Muslim Issue website reports today (October 22, 2014).

The vaguely worded measure could be used to stop all kinds of undesirables entering France, from those with criminal records to communities considered unable to integrate.

The proposed legislation reads that all should "be banned from entering French territory if their presence would constitute a real, current, and sufficiently serious threat."

It continues, "It is all aimed at protecting the fundamental interest of society, in terms of public order or security against their personal behavior." Critics say the proposed law is designed to reduce the large number of Muslims and Roma (Gypsies) from becoming immigrants in France.

Germany Nabs 3 US Teen Girls Seeking to Join IS; Teens from Denver Area, Kerry Thanks Germany

Secretary of State John Kerry said today (October 22, 2014) that the U.S. is grateful to Germany after three Denver-area teenage girls -- who secretly left their homes -- were stopped in Frankfurt last weekend, while traveling to join Islamist State (IS) fighters in Syria, according to the USA Today website.

"We are very, very grateful for Germany for their cooperation with us on this particular incident of some young folks who were traveling," Kerry said today during a Berlin news conference.

Two girls are sisters, ages 15 and 16, of ethnic Somali origin, and the third teen, 17, is of Sudanese background. One girl reportedly told German authorities the three were "going to Turkey to study."

German Interior Ministry spokeswoman Pamela Mueller-Niese told reporters today that authorities in Germany were informed by the U.S. that the girls were arriving alone at the Frankfurt airport. The three have since been reunited with their families in Colorado, FBI spokeswoman Suzie Payne said. The girls -- most likely -- will not be prosecuted.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

US Weapons Airdrop Seized by IS Mil. in Kobane; Crates of Arms, Ammo, Med. Eqpt. Was for Kurds

A U.S. military airdrop of weapons meant for Kurdish fighters fell into the hands of their jihadist foes near the Syrian battleground town of Kobane, the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reports today (October 21, 2014).

The American military could not confirm the account, but said it was examining a video posted online that shows a masked gunman with what appears to be parachuted crates of weapons, ammunition, and medical supplies to resupply Kurds defending the Syrian town of Kobane from the Islamic State (IS) group jihadists.

"One load was taken by IS and there are contradictory reports about a second" which was also reported to have gone astray, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Some sources said two consignments had landed in the hands of IS, but others said that warplanes from a U.S.-led coalition destroyed one of them once the error was detected.

Pastors Must Perform Gay Weddings or Be Fined; File Lawsuit to Stop City's Forced Gay Ceremonies

Two Christian pastors in Idaho have filed a lawsuit and asked the courts to restrain city officials from making them perform same-sex wedding ceremonies. Donald Knapp and his wife, Evelyn, operate Hitching Post Wedding Chapel and have been required by city officials to perform same-sex marriages or else be jailed or fined, the Christian Headlines website reports today (October 21, 2014).

The Knapps' penalties could be up to 180 days in jail and fines up to $1,000 per day that they refuse to officiate the weddings.

The city of Coeur d'Alene says its non-discrimination ordinance requires the couple to perform the wedding ceremonies.

"The government should not force ordained ministers to act contrary to their faith under threat of jail time and criminal fines," legal counsel Jeremy Tedesco said in a statement.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Putin Tried to Divide Ukraine with Poland's Tusk; Polish PM Showed No Interest to Back Putin Plan

Poland's parliamentary speaker, Radoslaw Sikorski, has been quoted as saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to Poland's then leader in 2008 that they divide Ukraine between themselves, the Reuters website reports today (October 20, 2014).

Sikorski -- who until September served as Poland's foreign minister -- was quoted telling U.S. website Politico that Putin made the proposal during Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk's visit to Moscow in 2008.

"He (Putin) went on to say Ukraine is an 'artificial country' and that Lwow is a Polish city and why don't we just sort it out together," Sikorski was quoted as saying.

Sikorski -- who accompanied Tusk on his trip to Moscow -- was quoted as saying Tusk did not reply to Putin's suggestion, because he knew he was being recorded, but Poland never expressed any interest in joining the Russian operation. "We made it very, very clear to them  -- we wanted nothing to do with this," Sikorski was quoted as saying.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Miss Hitler 2014 Contest Is on Russia's Facebook; Nazis Vote for Favorite Pix of Anti-Semitic Women

A Miss Hitler 2014 contest is going on right now on VKontakte -- Russia's Facebook -- as Russian and Ukrainian Nazis are voting for their favorite pictures of proud, beautiful, anti-Semitic women posted on the site's "Adolf Hitler" group page, the Drudge Report website reports today (October 18, 2014).

Miss Ostland 2014, as it's called, is a social media pageant tribute to Ostland, the Nazi civilian occupation regime of the Baltic states in 1941 in which more than a million Jews were murdered.

But Miss Ostland is more about "feminine beauty" than genocide.

The woman whose picture receives the most likes will be declared the winner, and only group members can vote.

Nigeria, Boko Haram Accept Truce, Girls' Freedom; 200 Schoolgirls Kidnapped in April Will Be Freed

The Nigerian government says the militant group Boko Haram has agreed to a cease-fire and the release of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the militants in April, the Voice of America News website reports today (October 18, 2014).

Nigeria's highest-ranking military official, General Alex Badeh, announced the cease-fire agreement yesterday. He ordered all of the country's military chiefs to abide by the deal.

Boko Haram has terrorized Nigeria for the past five years as it tries to turn northern Nigeria into an Islamic state. Bombings, gun attacks, and other acts of violence have killed thousands of civilians and police.

The militants outraged the world when they stormed a school in the remote northeastern village of Chibok, kidnapping some 270 girls. Fifty-seven managed to escape, but more than 200 are still being held. Many of the girls are believed to have been used by the militants as sex slaves.

Friday, October 17, 2014

IS Militants Being Trained to Pilot Fighter Jets; Flew Captured Jets in Syria Near Aleppo Airport

Reports have emerged that ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) militants have been trained to pilot three captured fighter jets in Syria, the Euro News website reports today (October 17, 2014).

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said several witnesses reported the planes were flown around the military airport in Aleppo, Syria. It is unknown whether the jets are equipped with functioning weapons. The insurgents were said to be trained by former pilots of the late Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein.

The U.S. military said it was unaware of any IS flight operations in Syria or elsewhere.

IS militants have often captured weaponry from Syrian and Iraqi armies, but this would be the first time they have piloted warplanes.

Fed.Res.Head:Rich Get Richer,Poor Poorer in US; Unjust Gap Widest in 100 Yrs.,Refutes US Values

U.S. Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen said today (October 17, 2014) that she is greatly concerned over the widening gap between the rich and the poor in the United States, according to the Raw Story website.

Speaking in the city of Boston, Yellen said, "income and wealth inequality are near their highest levels in the past hundred years" and have widened during the economic recovery.

She noted the wealth gap has grown steadily over the past several decades, despite a brief pause during the 2008 crisis when the richest Americans lost money, and increased government spending helped offset losses for the less wealthy. "But widening inequality resumed in the recovery, as the stock market rebounded," Yellen said.

"I think it is appropriate to ask whether the trend is compatible with values rooted in our nation's history, among them the high value Americans have traditionally placed on equality of opportunity," Yellen said.

Robert Reich -- a top political economist and U.S. Secretary of Labor during Bill Clinton's presidency -- has been warning Americans in recent months about the seriousness of the wealth gap growth. Reich believes that unless the federal government takes action soon to eliminate this wealth gap trend, the American economy, as we have known it throughout our history, will inevitably become crippled and ineffective in the very near future.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Vatican Synod Bishops Water Down Gay Progress; Now Say Beauty of Marriage Deserves Center Stage

A group of Catholic bishops today (October 16, 2014) spoke out against a landmark Vatican report earlier this month calling for a more open approach to gay believers, according to the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website.

On October 13, a preliminary report for a special synod of bishops in the Vatican on family matters suggested the Church should reach out to homosexuals, who have "gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community."

But the Vatican today published a fresh report summing up the reactions of 10 working groups of bishops determined to derail Pope Francis' push for reform.

A group of bishops from Africa, Asia, and Oceania said the initial report placed "too much emphasis on the problem facing the family," and wanted "the word of God, and the beauty of the Gospel of Marriage" to take center stage.

Turkey Refuses to Assist Militarily against IS Mil.; Turk-Kurd Hostilities Keep Turkey Out of Kobani

Turkey is part of the U.S.-led international coalition that is confronting the Islamic State (IS) militant group in Syria and Iraq, but Ankara has refused to participate militarily, the Voice of America website reports today (October 16, 2014).

A major reason for Turkey's reluctance is that its regional priorities differ from those of the United States. Analysts say Washington's priority is Iraq, while Turkey's main goal is the downfall of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

Nowhere is Turkey's refusal to join the coalition more glaring than in the Syrian-Kurdish city of Kobani, where Kurdish fighters -- with the help of coalition airstrikes --  have been battling an Islamic State onslaught for the past several days.

Kurds in Turkey have pleaded with Ankara to intervene militarily to prevent the IS militants from capturing the city on the Syrian-Turkish border, and have staged protests that have turned violent. Analysts say Turkey has not tried to stop the Islamic State because of ties between Kobani's Syrian-Kurdish defenders and Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

IS Urges Muslims to Kill Every Crusader Possible; Threatens to Seize Rome, Flies Flag Over Vatican

The Islamic State (IS) has threatened to conquer Rome, and has indicated its intention by publishing an image showing its flag flying from the obelisk in St. Peter's Square, the Christian Today website reports today (October 15, 2014).

Featured on the front cover of the latest edition of online propaganda magazine "Dabiq," the image is a clear signal to the Church of IS' aggressive intentions.

An article inside the magazine incites violence, urging Muslims to kill "every crusader possible... wherever they can be found."

"At this point of the crusade against the Islamic State, it is very important that attacks take place in every country that has entered into the alliance against the Islamic State, especially the US, the UK, France, Australia and Germany," it reads.

D.C. Rabbi Barry Freundel Nabbed for Voyeurism; Allegedly Filmed Women Showering in Synagogue

Rabbi Barry Freundel -- the longtime Orthodox Jewish spiritual leader at Kesher Israel in Washington, D.C. -- has been arrested and charged with voyeurism after the synagogue board alerted the authorities, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (October 15, 2014).

Freundel, 62, was taken away in handcuffs yesterday, after uniformed officers and plainclothes detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department searched his home in the Georgetown section of Washington.

Reportedly, the rabbi is accused of secretly filming several naked women taking showers in the synagogue's mikveh. However, the police declined to confirm this accusation.

A statement from the board of directors emailed to congregants said it had suspended Freundel without pay. "Upon receiving information regarding potentially inappropriate activity, the Board of Directors quickly alerted the appropriate officials," said the statement. "Throughout the investigation, we cooperated fully with law enforcement and will continue to do so."

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

New Report: No. of Nuns Declining Rapidly in US; Reached Top of 181K Nuns in 1966, Only 50K Now

A new report shows that Catholic nuns in the U.S. face a more serious challenge to their existence than the Vatican-led investigation of the American sisters: A rapidly aging membership and a decline in vocations that afflicts even the most traditional orders, the Religion News website reports today (October 14, 2014).

"The overall change in the population of women religious in the United States over the past 50 years is one of dramatic decline," wrote the authors of the report, published on October 13 by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University.

The CARA researchers track the widely noted rise and fall in the number of nuns, noting that membership in women's religious orders grew rapidly in the first half of the 20th century, reaching a high point of 181,421 sisters in 1966. Since then, the numbers have steadily declined, to below 50,000 today, a 72.5 percent drop-off.

"There are about as many women religious in the United States now as there were a hundred years ago," they wrote.

Italian Nurse Kills 38 Patients Who Annoyed Her; Daniela Poggiali Had Potassium Chloride for Death

A 42-year-old Italian nurse in the northern town of Lugo was arrested yesterday on charges that she killed some 38 patients under her care because she found them -- or their families -- to be "annoying," the Raw Story website reports today (October 14, 2014).

Daniela Poggiali had a coworker take a photo of her next to a recently deceased patient who authorities now believe she murdered with a lethal injection of potassium chloride.

Suspicions arose after the April death of 78-year-old patient Rosa Calderoni, whose autopsy revealed dangerously high levels of potassium in her bloodstream. High doses of potassium can stop the heart.

Poggiali was reportedly unperturbed as she was taken into custody and charged with murder.

Monday, October 13, 2014

British MPs Vote to Recognize a Palestinian State; Jewish Labor Party Leader Votes to OK Statehood

British lawmakers voted resoundingly October 14, 2014 in favor of a Palestinian state, in a debate unlikely to change government policy but laden with political symbolism, according to the Times of Israel website.

The ayes carried the vote with 274 votes, against only 12 nays. Opposition Labor Party leader Ed Miliband -- who is Jewish -- voted in support of the motion.

The initial motion that was debated declared: "This House urges the government to recognize the State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel." It was subsequently amended to add the phrase "as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution."

The British House of Commons debate was watched around the world after Sweden drew anger from Israel earlier this month for saying it would recognize Palestine as an independent nation.

Report: IS Militants Treat Non-Muslims Harshly; Force Girls and Women to Marriage,Boys into Mil.

A new report released today (October 13, 2014) provides more details on how Islamic State (IS) militants are inhumanly treating their captives of religious minority groups, more specifically the Yazidis, according to the Christian Post website.

The report finds that militants are forcing preteens, teenagers and grown women into forced marriages and sex slavery, while forcing detained Yazidi men to convert to Islam and young boys to train to become ISIS fighters.

On August 3 when ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) captured much of northern Iraq -- including the Yazidi religious minority town of Sinjar -- they took hundreds of Yazidi men, women, and children hostage. The report released by The Human Rights Watch is based on interviews with 16 escaped Yazidi captives, dozens of family members of ISIS detainees, and two current ISIS captives.

Numerous female interviewees said that the younger Yazidi women are usually hand-picked by ISIS fighters to be forcefully married, while others are sold as sex slaves by ISIS militants to the group's supporters. As for the men and boys, interviewees claim that the boys are taken and given military and Islamic training, while the men are forced to convert to Islam in ceremonies of mass conversion.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

UN Chief Blames Gaza War on Israeli Occupation; Wants Israelis, Arabs to Reach Two-State Solution

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today (October 12, 2014) that this summer's war between Israel and Hamas was the result of Israeli occupation, and called on both sides to participate in talks for a two-state solution, The Jerusalem Post website reports.

"We must not lose sight of the root causes of the recent hostilities: a restrictive occupation that has lasted almost half a century, the continued denial of Palestinian rights, and the lack of tangible progress in peace negotiations," Ban said at a donor conference in Cairo today. The conference's purpose is to raise funds to repair damage from the Gaza fighting.

"I call on all parties to come together to chart a clear course towards a just and final peace -- including achieving a full lifting of the blockade, ensuring Israel's legitimate security concerns; and establishing two states living side by side in peace and security."

Ban said a return to the status quo is not an option. "This is the moment for transformational change," he said.

Turkey Lets US, Allies Use Its Bases against IS; Also OKs Training Syrian Forces on Turkish Soil

Turkey will let U.S. and coalition forces use its military bases -- including a key installation within 100 miles of the Syrian border -- for operations against radical Muslims in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Yahoo News website reports today (October 12, 2014).

The Obama administration had been pressing Turkey for several days to play a larger role against its neighboring extremists, who have seized large swaths of Syria and Iraq -- including territory on Turkey's border -- and sent refugees fleeing into that nation.

U.S. officials confirmed that Ankara had agreed to train some 4,000 Syrian moderate troops on Turkish soil.

Today, U.S. officials also confirmed that Turkey agreed to let U.S. and coalition fighter aircraft launch operations against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria from Turkish bases, including Incirlik Base in the south. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss private talks between the Americans and Turks.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Parent's Complaint Drops Yoga at Austrian School; Mother Argued Yoga Is Against Christian Teaching

An Austrian primary school has dropped yoga classes for children after a mother argued that yoga goes against Christian teachings, the Irish Times website reports today (October 11, 2014).

Yoga teacher Ingrid Karner said she was told to stop classes at the school in the southeastern village of Dechantskirchen after a complaint "that it's not allowed, according to the Bible."

School principal Maria Hofer told the Die Kleine Zeitung newspaper that no parents complained when courses started this year. But she said they were stopped after the unidentified mother said even the word "yoga... had negative effects."

School inspector Helga Thomann said schools should not offer anything linked to "esoteric" practices. Yoga has its origins in Hinduism and Buddhism.

Israeli Historian Striving to "Cease" Being a Jew; Tel Aviv U. Prof. Declares Israel a Racist Society

An Israeli historian has declared his wish to "cease" considering himself a Jew, expressing disgust at the "ethnocentricity" which he feels is the prevailing worldview among many Israelis, the Times of Israel website reports today (October 11, 2014).

In an opinion piece published yesterday in "The Guardian" -- which is an extract from his new book, "How I Stopped Being a Jew" -- Prof. Shlomo Sand of Tel Aviv University says he has been "assimilated by law into a fictitious ethnos of persecutors and their supporters." He writes, "I wish to resign and cease considering myself a Jew."

Sand asserts that Israel is "one of the most racist societies in the western world" due to its strict characterization as a Jewish state. "Racism is present to some degree everywhere, but in Israel it exists deep within the spirit of the laws," he says.

He also expresses his disillusionment with Israel due to its continued occupation of the Palestinian territories, which he says "is leading us on the road to hell."

Friday, October 10, 2014

Australian PM Keeps Out Radical Islam Preachers; Due to Group's Effort to Set Up Pan-Muslim State

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on October 8 that he is ordering a crackdown to prevent radical Islamist preachers from entering the country, amidst rising tensions with the Muslim community following a series of security-related raids, the Pan Armenian website reports today (October 10, 2014).

Abbott -- who recently warned that the balance between freedom and security "may have to shift" to protect against radicalized Muslims seeking to carry out attacks -- said hate preachers would now be "red-carded" during the visa process.

The tougher new system -- which Abbott said would not require new legislation -- comes on the heels of a public meeting in Sydney last week by Hizb ut-Tahrir, an international group that says its goal is to establish a pan-national Muslim state in Australia.

"What I'm doing is declaring that we will henceforth have a new system in place which will ensure that preachers of hate can't come to Australia to peddle their extreme, divisive, and alien ideologies."

Vatican Will Not Change Church Doctrine on Gays; Views Gays as Sinful, Being Treated with Respect

Gay rights groups are cautiously cheering a shift in tone from the Catholic Church toward homosexuals, encouraged that Pope Francis' famous "Who am I to judge?" position has filtered down to bishops debating family issues at a Vatican meeting this week, the Newsmax website reports today (October 10, 2014).

There is no discussion that church doctrine on homosexuality will change or that the Vatican will soon endorse gay marriage or even gay unions. It will not, as the Vatican's top canon lawyer made clear today.

But for the first time, a Vatican meeting is discussing gay and lesbian issues and how to provide better spiritual care to Catholic homosexuals. The bishops have spoken amply of the need to change the church's language about gays from words of moral condemnation and judgment to words of welcome and respect.

Church teaching holds that gay acts are "intrinsically disordered," sinful, and a "serious depravity," and that homosexual inclination is "objectively disordered." At the same time, it says homosexuals themselves must be treated with respect and compassion and not suffer discrimination.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

House Armed Services Head Seeks New IS Plan; Says Ground Troops Essential for US to Defeat IS

The chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services said yesterday that President Obama's war strategy in Iraq is failing and the commander-in-chief needs a new plan, the Washington Times website reports today (October 9, 2014).

U.S. Rep. Howard McKeon, California Republican, said Obama needs to consider new options -- including American ground troops -- for the air-war-only strategy.

"Evidence is mounting that an 'Iraq first' approach focused on airstrikes isn't degrading ISIL," said McKeon

For more than a month, McKeon has advocated putting a relatively small number of U.S. ground troops into the battle to aid the beleaguered Iraq Security Force. The Iraqi troops retreated en masse in June when the Islamic State invaded from Syria and seized much terrain. The Islamic State is now maneuvering to take control of Iraq's capital, Baghdad.

ISIS Terrorists Caught Entering US from S. Border; Flew from Mideast to Mexico,Planned to Go to NYC

Homeland  Security sources have confirmed that four Islamic terrorists have been apprehended in the last 36 hours by federal authorities and the Texas Department of Public Safety in McAllen and Pharr, the Examiner website reports today (October 9, 2014).

California Congressman Duncan Hunter -- a former Marine Corp Major and a member of the House Armed Services Committee -- disclosed that at least ten Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters have been caught crossing the Mexican border into Texas.

Hunter believes, "If you really want to protect Americans from ISIS, you secure the southern border." He went on to point out that, "ISIS doesn't have a navy, they don't have an air force, they don't have nuclear weapons. The only way that ISIS is going harm Americans is by coming in through the southern border -- which they already have."

The terrorists are believed to have flown from a Middle East country to Mexico City. They crossed the Mexican border into the U.S. and were planning to take a plane to New York City when they were captured.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Jewish Schools in Amsterdam Get Police Security; Seen as a Consequence of Developments in Society

Several Jewish schools in Amsterdam, Holland are being guarded by military police officers -- and have been for the past month -- the Daily Stormer website reports today (October 8, 2014).

Four police officers in full uniform are on duty at the entrance of orthodox Cheider school, while Maimonides and Rosj Pina schools have similar protection, the Parool (Dutch) newspaper says. The street also has a mobile police post which has been fitted with cameras.

The protection of Jewish students -- and only Jewish students -- in Amsterdam is at the instigation of the mayor, council officials, and justice ministry, according to the Dutch paper.

"We do not want to sow panic and there have not been any concrete threats," one officer told the paper. "The guards are a consequence of developments in society. They are part of the policy of discouragement."

Riots Erupt in Turkey Near Syria, Leave 18 Dead; Due to Kurds' Rage at Govt. Inaction against ISIL

Violence has erupted in a number of Turkish cities, as Kurds protest over Turkey's reluctance to assist Peshmerga fighters in the Syrian border town of Kobani, which is under attack from ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) militants, the Euro News website reports today (October 8, 2014).

The clashes left 18 people dead across Turkey as riot police used water canon and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.

Kurdish anger is directed at Turkish government inaction against the threat from ISIS; the banned Kurdistan People's Party has called for further disruption. Turkey has refused to become a team player with a coalition of nations headed by the United States that have been waging war against ISIS during the past several weeks.

Turkish authorities have accused the Kurdish protesters of "betraying their country" and have said they will meet "violence with violence."

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Canada's Parliament OKs Airstrikes Against ISIS; Will Help Reduce ISIS Terrorist Attacks in Canada

Canada's Members of Parliament -- led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper -- voted late tonight (October 7, 2014) to join the war in Iraq and Syria, passing a controversial motion that clears the way for Canadian military jets to embark on airstrikes in the Middle East, according to The Canadian Press website.

After two days of debate in parliament, the motion to launch a combat mission against the militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) passed 157-134.

"We do not take this step lightly," Harper said in a statement following the vote.

"It is imperative that we act with our allies to halt ISIS's spread in the region and reduce its capacity to launch terrorist attacks outside the region, including against Canada."

Cardinal:Church Must Ban Phrase "Living in Sin;" Tells Synod Bps. It Alienates People from Church

A Catholic cardinal suggested today (October 7, 2014) that the phrase "living in sin" for cohabiting couples should be banned, saying it alienated people from the Church, the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reports.

"To label people is not helpful," the unnamed prelate was quoted as saying at a major Vatican meeting on family issues gathering some 250 bishops from around the world.

"The language has to change," he said, according to a spokesman for the synod meeting, who spoke at a news conference on the closed-door talks.

The Church should instead encourage a "gradual" rapprochement with unmarried couples, the cardinal urged. The synod began meeting yesterday, and its series of talks on the family are set to run until October 19.

Al Qaeda Kidnaps Priest and 20 Christians in Syria; Snatched at Syria-Turkey Border, Gone for 3 Days

A priest and a score of Christians have been kidnapped near Syria's border with Turkey, the Euro News website reports today (October 7, 2014).

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem says that Franciscan Father Hanna Jallouf was abducted in the Christian village of Knayeh in Idlib province by brigades linked to the Islamist Nursa Front -- the local branch of al Qaeda.

Since the kidnapping on October 5, there has been no news of them. Some 20 Christians are believed to have been taken.

Several nuns are said to have taken refuge with local people.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Kurdish Mom Launches Suicide Bomb Against IS; Did It to Slow Down IS Advance on Syrian Town

A Kurdish woman fighting Islamic State (IS) militants carried out a suicide bomb attack to slow their advance on a besieged Syrian town, the London Daily Mail website reports today (October 6, 2014).

Deilar Kanj Khamis -- known by the nom de guerre (war name) Arin Mirkan -- blew herself up at an IS position east of the border town, killing 10 jihadists.

It was the first known case of a female Kurdish fighter carrying out a suicide bomb attack against IS. She was believed to be the mother of two children.

She was a member of the Women's Protection Unit, a branch of the Peoples Protection Units. The force has more than 10,000 female fighters who played a major role in the battles against the IS group.

Ill. Muslim,19, Planned to Join ISIS in Syria; Mohammed Khan Nabbed at O'Hare Airport

FBI agents have arrested a Chicago suburban teenager for allegedly trying to travel overseas to join the terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), the Drudge Report website reports today (October 6, 2014).

U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Randall Samborn said the 19-year-old Mohammed Hamzah Khan of Bolingbrook, a Muslim, appeared in federal court today after he was arrested at O'Hare International Airport on October 4.

Khan has been charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, specifically by attempting to join ISIS in Syria.

Khan -- dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit -- appeared in federal court this morning, when a judge ordered him held in custody. The charge of attempting to support terrorism carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

King Abdullah:Rel.Extremism Must Be Eradicated; Saudi Arabia Head Joins Air Strikes on IS in Syria

Religious extremism is a perversion which must be eradicated, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said today (October 5, 2014), with his air force engaged in a U.S.-led campaign against jihadist militants in Syria, the Raw Story website reports.

"Extremism, which has generated terrorism, behooves us to combine our efforts to fight it and defeat it because it has nothing to do with Islam," the king said in an annual address to leaders of delegations from Islamic nations which performed the annual hajj pilgrimage. Saudi Arabia -- whose capital Mecca is the birthplace of the Islam prophet Mohammad -- is considered to be the most traditional and most religious of all Islam countries.

Saudi Arabia and four other Arab countries have joined an American-led coalition which is conducting air strikes against Islamic State (IS) group rebel positions in Syria.

The militants -- who have also seized territory in Iraq -- have carried out a series of atrocities,  including crucifixions and beheadings which have been condemned by Muslims worldwide.

New Rise of Anti-Semitism Soaring in Germany; Chant "Jews Be Gassed, Slaughtered, Burned"

Anti-Semitism is now on the rise in Europe -- especially in Germany -- and armed guards have been stationed at synagogues throughout that former Nazi nation for the start of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the CBS News website reports today (October 5, 2014).

Tensions have been building in Germany since demonstrations against last summer's Gaza war exposed a clear anti-Jewish sentiment in much of Europe.

"We haven't had this dimension at all before," said Deiter Graumann, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. "When you imagine in German streets, people have chanting -- a roaring mob chanting -- Jews be gassed, to be slaughtered, to be burned."

"They (Jews in Germany) are worried," said Graumann. "And many Jews here ask the question 'Has our Jewish population a future in Germany?' I haven't heard that question for many, many years."

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Russian Orth. Church Says UGCC Incited Violence; Says Greek Cath. Clergy Fueled Fire Toward Orth.

A leading official of the Russian Orthodox Church has accused Ukrainian Greek Catholic clergy of inciting violence against the Orthodox in Ukraine, the Catholic Culture website reports today (October 4, 2014).

"When blood was shed and the first people were killed in the streets of Kiev and other cities of Ukraine, bishops and priests of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) called for the escalation of violence," said Hieromonk Stefan Igumnov, secretary of the Moscow Patriarchate's Synodal Department for External Church Relations.

Many Orthodox priests and members of their families have been subjected to violence by nationalists inspired by Uniates (Greek Catholics) and schismatics (separatists)," he added.

He concluded, "The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church did not stop that aggressive rhetoric even in those days when fragile ceasefire was established in eastern Ukraine."

UN Report: ISIS Terror Group Sells Women, Girls; Puts Price Tag on Them, Sells Them Like Products

A new United Nations human rights report says that members of the terror group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) are literally putting price tags on abducted women and girls to sell them as merchandise in a major Iraqi city, the Yahoo News website reports today (October 4, 2014).

"An office for the sale of abducted women was opened in the al-Quds area of Mosul city," says the report by the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Mosul is Iraq's second largest city, much of which is controlled by ISIS.

The report also states, "Women and girls are brought with price tags for the buyers to choose and negotiate the sale."

"Some women managed to inform UNAMI/OHCHR that they had been forced to convert [to Islam] and were to be married to ISIS fighters and would be taken to destinations unknown," says the report, which covers human rights abuses in Iraq from July to September and was released on October 2, 2014.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Petition Started by Women against Israeli Airlines; Airline Swaps Women's Seats for Orth. Jewish Men

A petition demanding an end to "gender discrimination against women" by El Al Airlines -- the flag carrier of Israel -- has been launched, after flights were delayed when some ultra-Orthodox Jewish men refused to sit next to women, the Christian Today website reports today (October 3, 2014).

The petition was launched as a response to women being asked to change places by ultra-Orthodox Jewish men on an El Al flight, so men did not have to sit next to them.

Under the section of Halakha -- or Jewish law meaning "touch" in Hebrew -- men are forbidden from approaching any close female relative or menstruating woman "to uncover her nakedness."

The law applies to cars, trains, and buses, as well as planes.

Sweden Decides to Recognize Palestine as Nation; "Israel-Palestine Conflict Needs 2-State Solution"

Sweden's new liberal Prime Minister Stefan Lofven announced today (October 3, 2014) that Sweden will recognize Palestine as a state, making the Scandinavian country the first long-term member of the European Union (EU) to do so, according to The Daily Beast website.

"The conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved with a two-state solution," Lofven said.

"A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence. Sweden will therefore recognize the state of Palestine."

EU nations -- such as Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia -- recognized Palestine before joining the EU.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Obama,Netanyahu in Bad Feud Over Settlements; US Warns Bldg. Would Shun Israel from Its Allies

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hit back at the White House today (October 2, 2014), after Washington criticized Israeli plans to build thousands more settler homes in East Jerusalem, the Daily Star (Lebanese) website reports.

Public radio quoted Netanyahu as telling U.S. President Barack Obama in talks in Washington yesterday to "study the facts and details before making statements" about the settlement plan.

The approval of 2,610 new housing units in occupied Arab East Jerusalem drew condemnation from Washington. White House spokesman Josh Earnest warned that the move would "distance Israel from even its closest allies."

Israel's settlement building in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem -- which is illegal under international law -- has caused the breakdown of several rounds of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

TX Church Now Offers Quick Spiritual Guidance; Church Volunteers Man Drive-Thru Window Daily

A church in Texas is now offering spiritual guidance for people on the go by offering a drive-thru prayer option, the Christian Headlines website reports today (October 2, 2014).

El Alfarero Church Pastor John Lopez said, "It's so unique in this fast world that we live in today. Look at your drive-thru restaurants. Their windows are packed every day."

"If you need prayer, no matter what background you are, we all need prayer, we all need someone to pray with us, and that is what it's for," said El Alfarero co-pastor Danny Quintanilla.

Volunteers from the church man the drive-thru window all day during week days and on select weekends.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fire Destroys Rabbi's SUV Outside NJ Synagogue; Atlantic City Incident Occurred on Rosh Hashana

Officials in Atlantic City, N.J. are investigating a fire in a southern New Jersey rabbi's sport utility vehicle, the Christian Broadcast Network website reports today (October 1, 2014).

The vehicle was engulfed in flames outside the Rodef Sholom Synagogue on September 25 -- the start of the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashana.

The fire destroyed Rabbi David Kushner's SUV and thousands of dollars in medical equipment inside it.

Synagogue leaders said neither the rabbi nor the congregation received any threats before the fire.

Taliban Suicide Bombers Kill 7 on Two Mil. Buses; Attacks Sparked by New US-Afghan Security Pact

Taliban suicide bombers struck two buses carrying Afghan soldiers in Kabul today (October 1, 2014), killing seven people and wounding 21 -- just a day after the signing of a key US-Afghan security pact -- according to the New York Post website.

The long-awaited deal allows U.S. forces to remain in the country past the end of 2014, ending the uncertainty over the fate of foreign troops supporting Afghans as they take over the fight against the Taliban insurgency.

Today's attacks involved two suicide bombers targeting buses carrying Afghan troops in the country's capital. The Taliban has claimed to be responsible for the attacks, saying they occurred because of the U.S.-Afghan security pact signed yesterday.

The first attacker hit a bus with Afghan National Army officers in west Kabul, killing seven and wounding 15, said the city's criminal investigation police chief, Mohammad Farid Afzali. The second attacker -- who was also on foot -- blew himself up in front of a bus in northeastern Kabul, wounding at least six army personnel, Afzali said.