Thursday, December 31, 2015

Meat-Packing Plant Cans 200 Muslim Workers; Due to Workers' Walkout for Better Prayer Area

Some 200 workers -- mostly Somali Muslims -- have been fired from a meat-packing plant in Colorado after staging a walkout to protest what they said were insufficient prayer accommodations, the Reuters website reports today (December 31, 2015).

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the workers were treated in a "discriminatory manner" by managers at the Cargill Meat Solutions facility in Fort Morgan, about 75 miles northeast of Denver.

Jaylani Hussein -- a spokesman for CAIR -- said that the workers objected to new restrictions on their ability to worship on the job, "which they had been granted for a long period of time."

Mike Martin -- a spokesman for Minneapolis-based Cargill -- disputed assertions the company had changed its policy, noting that since 2009 the Fort Morgan plant has set aside an on-site "reflection area" for people of all faiths.

Grand Jury Indicts Friend of Calif. Terror Killer; Hit with 5 Charges Including Terrorism Support

Enrique Marquez, who supplied his friend Syed Rizwan Farook with two assault rifles used to carry out the massacre in San Bernardino, California, was indicted by a federal grand jury yesterday on five charges, including conspiring with Farook in an earlier plot, the NY Times website reports today (December 31, 2015).

Marquez, 24, was arrested two weeks ago and charged with similar crimes as those handed down in yesterday's indictment. The grand jury's action supersedes the previous charges and avoids the need for a preliminary hearing.

In addition to a charge of conspiring to provide material support to terrorism, he faces two charges of lying about the gun purchases and entering into a sham marriage with a Russian woman related to the Farook family through marriage.

Marquez has not been charged in the San Bernardino attack itself. Court papers say he was at work during the massacre.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Tex. Mosque Xmas Day Fire Set by Rel. Attendee; Accused Prayed at Mosque Every Day for 5 Years

The 37-year-old man who was arrested today (December 30, 2015) on suspicion of setting fire to a Houston mosque on Christmas Day attended the facility for five years and prayed there five times a day, according to the Daily Caller website.

Gary Nathaniel Moore was arrested this morning in connection with the incident. Moore had told investigators that he was the last person to leave the Savoy Masjid mosque on Christmas Day and that there were no signs of a fire at that time.

The mosque sustained $100,000 in damages. Eighty firefighters responded to the blaze, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Investigators fingered Moore after viewing surveillance videos from nearby businesses. A search of Moore's home yielded a backpack and clothing which matched the suspect in the surveillance videos. Investigators also recovered a lighter fluid bottle which matched the one recovered at the scene.

Clinton:ISIS Committing Genocide on Christians; Pope Francis Has Also Called ISIS Acts Genocide

Hillary Clinton -- the leading candidate in the Democrat party for U.S. president -- said yesterday that ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is committing genocide against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East, the CNN website reports today (December 30, 2015).

"Yes. I will now call it genocide," Clinton said at a town hall gathering in Berlin, New Hampshire. "And I will because we have enough evidence [to prove ISIS is committing genocide]."

She added, "What is happening is genocide, deliberately aimed at destroying not only the lives but wiping out the existence of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East in territory controlled by ISIS."

Pope Francis also said recently that ISIS is waging a world war against Christians and that radical Muslims are committing genocide by their savage actions to destroy Christianity.

OR Bakers Pay $135K for Not Making Gays a Cake; Refused to Bake Wedding Cake for Lesbian Couple

Oregon cake-makers who refused to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding have been fined $135,000 for their refusal, the Christian Headlines website reports today (December 30, 2015).

Aaron Klein, co-owner with his wife Melissa of the now-defunct Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham, Oregon, refused to bake a cake for the wedding of lesbian couple Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer, because doing so was against their religious beliefs.

Klein complied with the state's demands that his bakery pay for emotional suffering caused to the lesbians by his refusal to bake them a cake. He issued a check in the amount of $136,927.07, which includes interest.

An Oregon law -- enacted in 2007 -- protects the rights of homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgender people in employment, housing, and public accommodations. It is also illegal for private businesses to discriminate against customers.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Man Is Guilty of Defacing Missouri Islamic Ctr.; Adam David Smock Also Burned 2 Koran Copies

A man pleaded guilty yesterday as part of a plea agreement, on federal criminal charges for defacing a Missouri Islamic center and burning two copies of the Koran nearly five years ago, the UPI website reports today (December 29, 2015).

Adam David Smock, 23, waived his right to a grand jury investigation and entered the guilty plea, which stems from a pair of incidents at the Islamic Center in Springfield, Missouri. Under the plea agreement, Smock is expected to be incarcerated for 14 days, followed by a five-year term of supervised release.

Justice officials said Smock and two others spray-painted graffiti on the center in January 2011 that contained hateful messages.

About three months after the first vandalism, Smock said he and the same two accomplices partially burned two copies of the Koran -- the holy book of the Muslim faith -- and placed them near the entrance to the Islamic Center. The books were accompanied by printed statements insulting Muslims, including "We vow one thing: Islam will not survive. Death to Islam!"

Jewish Man Beaten, Robbed in NYC Orth. Area; Taken to Hospital, Got 70-80 Stitches on Head

In what appears to have been a hate crime as well as a robbery, a Jewish man was hospitalized after being beaten and robbed in a New York City neighborhood with a large Orthodox Jewish population, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (December 29, 2015).

The victim, 60, was walking down a residential street of single-family homes when a man came from behind, punched him at least four times and threw him to the sidewalk.

With the help of an accomplice, the assailant then stole the victim's iPhone and wallet. The victim was kicked in the head several times, before the assailant and his accomplice -- both wearing hoodies -- fled the scene in a black car driven by a third man.

Hatzalah -- the Jewish emergency rescue service -- took the victim to Maimonides Medical Center, where he was admitted in stable condition and received 70 to 80 stitches to his head.

Monday, December 28, 2015

At Least 60 Charged with Terror Crimes This Yr.; New US Record Due to Impact of IS,Social Media

The Justice Department has charged at least 60 individuals in the United States this year with terrorism-related crimes, an unprecedented number that officials attribute to a heightened threat from the Islamic State (IS) and the influence of social media on potential recruits, the Washington Post website reports today (December 28, 2015).

"The common connection we're seeing is -- in almost every case -- a tie to social media," said John P. Carlin, assistant attorney general for national security, at a conference last month hosted by the news site Defense One. He also pointed out that many of the cases involve young people, who are at ease building relationships online.

More than 55 percent of those charged are under 25 years old. Most troubling, Carlin said, about one-third are 21 or younger.

Islamic State supporters inside the United States -- inspired by its leaders' calls to attack where they reside -- are increasingly plotting or attempting to carry out attacks domestically, officials said. In 2015 alone, prosecutors brought more than 15 cases against such individuals.

Iraq Govt.Gains Control of City of Ramadi from IS; Mil. Head:"Grabbed from the Hateful Claws" of IS

In a clear illustration of perseverance and power that may well serve as a prelude to future victories, Iraqi government forces retook central parts of the key city of Ramadi today (December 28, 2015) from Islamic State (IS) militants, according to the USA Today website.

The announcement by Iraq's military spokesman, Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, was broadcast live on state TV. He said Ramadi had been "grabbed from the hateful claws" of the Islamic State.

The operation's success was confirmed by the Pentagon.

"We congratulate the Iraqi Security Forces for their continued success against ISIL in Ramadi," said Army Col. Steve Warren, the top spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Baghdad.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Afghan Militia Beheads 4 Islamic State Fighters; Gives Islamic State a Taste of Its Own Medicine

Militiamen loyal to an influential Afghan lawmaker beheaded four Islamic State (IS) fighters and publicly displayed their severed heads, officials said today (December 27, 2015), highlighting an increasingly brutal conflict as the jihadist group makes inroads in Afghanistan, according to the Yahoo News website.

The killings in Nangarhar province bordering Pakistan provoked horror and condemnation in a country that has witnessed four decades of bloodshed and war.

The militia force loyal to Haji Zahir -- deputy speaker of parliament -- has been battling self-styled IS militants in Achin district in the province for several weeks.

Zahir said the IS group captured and beheaded four of his fighters, prompting his men to retaliate.

Czech Pres.: Migrants an "Organized Invasion;" Says Young Men Should Stay Home to Fight IS

Czech President Milos Zeman called the current wave of refugees to Europe "an organized invasion," adding young men from Syria and Iraq should instead "take up arms" against the Islamic State (IS) group, the AFP website reports today (December 27, 2015).

"I am profoundly convinced that we are facing an organized invasion and not a spontaneous movement of refugees," said Zeman, 70, in his Christmas message to the Czech Republic.

He added that compassion was "possible" for refugees who are old or sick and for children, but not for young men who should be back home fighting against jihadists. He says that for young men to flee from their countries fighting the Islamic State only increases the Islamic State's ability to achieve its missions.

"A large majority of the illegal migrants are young men in good health and single. I wonder why these men are not taking up arms to go fight for the freedom of their countries against the Islamic State," said Zeman, who was elected Czech president in early 2013.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

ISIS Warns Israelis It Will Be Striking Israel Soon; Message:"Palestine Will Be Your Graveyard, Jews"

A new message purporting to come from the leader of the group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) warned that Israelis must expect strikes soon, the Euro News website reports today (December 26, 2015).

"Palestine will be your graveyard, Jews," said the audio recording, described as being by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

It said air strikes by Russia and a US-led coalition had failed to weaken it.

"Be confident that God will grant victory to those who worship him, and hear the good news that our state is doing well. The more intense the war against it, the purer it becomes and the tougher it gets," said the message.

Protesters Ravage Muslim Prayer Hall in Corsica; Due to Attacks Wounding 3 Ajaccio Civil Servants

Demonstrators ransacked a Muslim prayer hall and attempted to burn copies of the Koran on the French island of Corsica yesterday, following a night of violence that left two firefighters and a police officer injured, the France 24 website reports today (December 26, 2015).

Tensions had mounted in Ajaccio -- the capital of Corsica -- on Christmas Day after two firefighters and a police officer were wounded overnight in Jardins de L'Empereur, a low-income neighborhood of the city when they were "ambushed" by "several hooded youths," authorities said. (Ajaccio is the birthplace of the famous 19th century French emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte.)

Yesterday afternoon around 150 people had gathered in front of police headquarters in the island's capital in a show of support for the police and firefighters, officials said in a statement.

Nearby was a Muslim prayer room and a small group smashed the glass door and entered the place of worship, ransacking it and partially burning books, including copies of the Koran. "Fifty prayer books were thrown out on the street," said regional official Francois Lalanne.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Anglican Head Sees IS as a Pitfall to Christianity; Warns Christianity Faces Elimination in Mideast

The leader of the Church of England warned today (December 25, 2015) that Christianity is facing "elimination" in the Middle East due to the barbaric terrorist lifestyle of the Islamic State (IS), the Breitbart website reports.

Justin Welby -- Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the worldwide Anglican Communion -- branded the IS terror group the "Herod of today" in his Christmas sermon, saying they are "igniting a trail of fear, violence, hatred, and determined oppression." (Herod was King of Judaea from 37 to 4 BC, who killed his own wife and children in his quest for unlimited power.)

"Confident that these are the last days, using force and indescribable cruelty, they [IS] seem to welcome all opposition, certain that the warfare unleashed confirms that these are indeed the end of times," he added.

"They hate difference, whether it is Muslims who think differently, Yazidis or Christians, and because of them the Christians face elimination in the very region in which Christian faith began," Archbishop Welby asserted.

Pope Infuses World Peace in Christmas Message; Says Violence Continues Where Christ Was Born

Pope Francis tackled war, terrorism, and the migrant crisis today (December 25, 2015) in a wide-ranging Christmas-day message, calling for peace and reconciliation around the world, according to the BBC website.

The pope began by noting that "precisely where the incarnate son of God came into the world, tensions and violence persist."

He went on to urge Israelis and Palestinians to resume direct peace talks, and back international efforts to end "atrocities" in Libya and Syria.

Such acts, he said, "do not even spare the historical and cultural patrimony of entire peoples," a clear reference to the Islamic State (IS) group.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Obama Says He Prays for Christians This Xmas; Attacked by GOP Pols for Ignoring Persecutions

President Barack Obama said yesterday that he is praying for Christians being persecuted this Christmas by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), the CNN website reports today (December 24, 2015).

"We join with people around the world in praying for God's protection for persecuted Christians and those of other faiths, as well as for those brave men and women engaged in our military, diplomatic, and humanitarian efforts to alleviate their suffering and restore stability, security, and hope to their nations," the President said in a statement released by the White House.

"In some areas of the Middle East where church bells have rung for centuries on Christmas Day, this year they will be silent; this silence bears tragic witness to the brutal atrocities committed against these communities by ISIS," Obama added.

The President has been repeatedly criticized by Republican presidential candidates for not speaking enough about Christians persecuted in the Middle East.

Somalia Bans Christmas and New Year Festivities; They Could Damage Faith of Muslim Community

 Fearing celebrations in Somalia during the Christmas season could provoke serious Muslim attacks,
 the country's Muslim-majority government has decided there will be no Christmas or New Year celebrations, the USA Today website reports today (December 24, 2015).

Sheikh Mohamed Khayrow, director general of the religious affairs ministry, said that Christmas and New Year celebrations "could damage the faith of the Muslim community."

Security units have been given the order to break up any festivities related to the holidays.

"Christmas will not be celebrated in Somalia for two reasons: all Somalis are Muslims and there is no Christian community here. The other reason is for security," Abdifatah Halane, spokesman for Mogadishu mayor, said.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

US Blocks British Muslims from Flight to Calif.; May Be Result of Trump's Call to Ban Muslims

A British Muslim family heading for Disneyland in California was barred from boarding a flight to Los Angeles by U.S. authorities at London's Gatwick airport amid concerns of an American overreaction to the perceived radical Islamic terrorist threat, The Guardian website reports today (December 23, 2015).

U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials provided no explanation for why the country refused to allow the family of 11 to board the plane, even though they had been granted travel authorization online ahead of their planned December 15 flight.

Senior politicians have been drawn into the case, warning that a growing number of British Muslims are being barred from the U.S. without being told the reason for their exclusion. It is believed that the comments by the Republican presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump -- calling for a ban on all Muslims entering the U.S. in order to reduce terrorist attacks -- have had an impact in preventing Muslims from entering the U.S.

Aides to the UK prime minister, David Cameron, have promised that he will examine the case, which comes as community groups in the U.S. have warned that radical Muslims are being involved in an increase of violent and hostile incidents. The recent terror attacks by radical Muslims that killed 130 people in Paris and 14 people in San Bernardino, California illustrate a clear need for an extensive screening process -- including a thorough background check -- of Muslims entering the U.S., in order to prevent such attacks.

Three Israelis Hurt in Jerusalem Stabbing Attack; Police Shoot, Kill the Two E.Jerusalem Assailants

Three Israelis were seriously injured in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem today (December 23, 2017), and the two assailants were shot and killed, according to the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website.

One of the victims in this afternoon's attack was in critical condition and being resuscitated at the scene of the attack, the Jaffa Gate in the Old City. Two others were taken to Jerusalem hospitals in serious condition.

One of the victims was hit by police gunfire trying to stop the assailants, who were identified by Israeli police as Palestinians from east Jerusalem.

Border police shot the assailants, according to Israeli police, who said one died at the scene and the other at a Jerusalem hospital.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Over 1 Million Migrants Reached Europe in 2015; Greece Led All Nations with Over 800K Migrants

More than one million migrants and refugees reached Europe this year, including over 970,000 who made the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea, the Newsmax website reports today (December 22, 2015).

About half were Syrians fleeing the country's brutal civil war, according to figures released today by the UN Refugee Agency and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

"The number of people displaced by war and conflict is the highest seen in Western and Central Europe since the 1990s," the UN Refugee Agency said, referring to the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia that decade.

A total of 3,692 migrants died crossing the Mediterranean Sea this year, IOM said. Greece was by far the leading landing spot for migrants to Europe this year, with 821,008 arrivals, including 816,752 by sea.

Greece Parliament Backs Palestine Recognition; All Parties Voted in Favor of a Palestinian State

Greece's parliament approved a resolution today (December 22, 2015), calling on the government to recognize the state of Palestine, in a special session attended by the visiting Palestinian Authority (PA) president, the Times of Israel website reports.

All of Greece's parliamentary parties voted in favor of the move, the assembly's president Nikos Voutsis said.

It urges the Greek government to "promote appropriate procedures for the recognition of a Palestinian state and every diplomatic effort for the resumption of discussions for peace" in the region, Voutsis added.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced yesterday -- after talks with PA President Mahmoud Abbas -- that Greece would no longer refer on official documents to the Palestinian Authority, but rather to Palestine.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Denmark Plans to Be a Scrooge toward Refugees; Expects to Pass Law to OK Seizing Cash, Jewelry

In an effort to discourage refugees from immigrating to its country, Denmark is seriously considering passing a law that would allow authorities to confiscate jewelry and cash when they arrive. The proposal is almost certain to pass Parliament, the Washington Post website reports today (December 21, 2015).

"The bill presented on December 10, 2015 provides the Danish authorities with the power to search clothes and luggage of asylum seekers -- and other migrants without a permit to stay in Denmark -- with a view to finding assets which may cover the expenses," the Danish Ministry of Integration said.

The law would also affect refugees already in Denmark. It is included in an asylum policy bill that is expected to pass Parliament in January and would be set to take effect by next February.

According to the Integration Ministry, "the new rule on seizure will only apply to assets of a considerable value." Foreigners are expected to be able to "keep assets which are necessary to maintain a modest standard of living, such as watches and mobile phones..."

Pope to Vatican Bigwigs: I'll Cleanse Corruption; Determined to Rid Vatican of Spiritual "Disease"

Pope Francis told Vatican administrators today (December 21, 2015) that he intends to press ahead "with firm resolve" to cleanse the Church's bureaucracy which has been rocked by scandals and charges of greed and corruption, according to the Reuters website.

In traditional Christmas greetings to the Curia -- the central Vatican administration -- the 79-year-old pontiff's speech was dominated by his intentions of ridding the Vatican's bureaucracy of spiritual "diseases," a reference to alleged corrupt practices among top administrators.

"It seems necessary to state what has been, and ever shall be, the object of sincare reflection and decisive provisions. The reform will move forward with determination, clarity, and firm resolve..." he said.

Joking that some in the Curia still needed "Curial antibiotics," he added that "diseases and even scandals cannot obscure" the good work that many of them do for the 1.2 billion-member Church.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Detroit Cath. School Has a Muslim Prayer Room; Parents Oppose It, One Calls It "Unconscionable"

A prestigious Catholic high school -- located in an estate-filled suburb of Detroit -- now features a prayer room for Muslim students to pray, the Daily Caller website reports today (December 20, 2015).

The school is Brother Rice High School, an all-boys bastion affiliated with the Congregation of Christian Brothers in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Brother Rice president John Birney decided to permit the use of a reflection room inside the college prep school as a Muslim prayer room at the request of Muslim students. Birney said he granted the request because he wants the Catholic school to be inclusive.

A group of parents has complained about Muslim students using the reflection room for prayers to Allah. One angry parent called the use of the Catholic school's facilities for Muslim prayer "unconscionable."

Farook's Buddy:Terrorist Attacks Planned for Yrs.; Enrique Marquez Was Converted to Radical Islam

A friend of the San Bernardino terrorists -- who killed 14 people on December 2 -- told police one of the killers, Syed Farook, planned a terrorist attack for years, the Clarion Project website reports today (December 20, 2015).

Enrique Marquez, 24, is alleged to have bought the rifle used to carry out the attack. According to an FBI affidavit, Marquez and Farook had been planning a terrorist attack four years ago.

Marquez was arrested and charged with conspiracy to carry out two attacks in 2012. Farook is said to have introduced Marquez to Islam and later to radical Islamist ideology.

The pair took a step back from plotting a terrorist attack after a terrorism investigation in November 2012 resulted in four local men being arrested.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

US Airstrike Accidentally Kills 10 Iraqi Soldiers; US Defense Sec.Offers Condolences to Iraqi PM

The United States opened a so-called "friendly fire" investigation today (December 19, 2015), after 10 Iraqi soldiers were killed in a coalition airstrike targeting the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group yesterday, according to the Big News Network website.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said an American aircraft carried out the airstrike south of Fallujah, about 40 miles west of Baghdad.

Carter said he expressed his condolences for the Iraqi deaths to a call with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

"He and I agreed that this was an event that we both regretted," Carter told reporters after the call. He added, "It's tragic... but he and I both recognized that things like this can happen in war."

Susan Sarandon Now in Lesbos to Back Refugees; "I Have Come to Hear Their Stories and to Learn"

As refugees are expected to swell to one million in Europe in the next few days, Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon arrived yesterday on the Greek island of Lesbos -- the top transit point for refugees and migrants in Europe -- in an effort to support the refugees, the NY Daily News website reports today (December 19, 2015).

Sarandon, 69, is expected to spend the Christmas holidays on Lesbos. She is known for her humanitarian involvement of supporting people in need.

"I have come to hear their stories and learn," the "Thelma & Louise" actress said. "I hope that I can make it possible for them to have a voice so we can understand. Understand that 'these people' are just like us, wanting to keep their children safe..."

According to the International Organization for Migration, 990,761 people have arrived in Europe from Africa or Asia. The Geneva-based agency says the one million mark will be reached by December 22.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Va. School District Is Closed Over Islamic Lesson; Student Assignment: "There Is No God But Allah"

The Augusta County school district in the state of Virginia closed down today (December 18, 2015) after receiving a flood of angry emails and phone messages over an Arabic calligraphy lesson that involved writing a Muslim statement of faith, the Voice of America News website reports.

The angry comments were centered on a school assignment at a Riverheads High School social studies class that involved practicing calligraphy and writing a statement in Arabic professing the Muslim faith. The statement translates to: "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah."

The students in the class were also invited to try on a hijab, or Islamic headscarf.

Several parents have demanded that the class teacher, Cheryl LaPorte, be fired. LaPorte has declined to comment.

Israel and Turkey to Restore Diplomatic Relations; Ended in 2010 Due to Israelis' Raid of Turkey Ship

Israel and Turkey are poised to re-establish diplomatic relations after years of tense relations, officials from both countries said today (December 18, 2015) -- a move that could renew close cooperation between two of America's strongest allies in the region -- according to the Wall Street Journal website.

Top Israeli and Turkish officials met in secret talks this week in Switzerland, where they worked to complete a deal to restore relations that collapsed in 2010 after 10 Turks were killed by Israeli commandos who raided their ship.

The talks came as the international fight against the extremist Islamic State (IS) group injects new strains and transforms long-standing alliances in the region.

Russia's recent intervention in the Syrian civil war has altered the battlefield and led to new efforts by Turkey, the U.S. and their allies to end the conflict and combat the Islamic State.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Dutch Protesters Oppose Const. of Refugee Center; Anti-Migrant Riot Ends Council Discussion on Ctr.

A meeting to decide whether to build a refugee center that would house 1500 asylum seekers ended in a riot in the Dutch town of Geldermalsen near Utrecht last night, the Euro News website reports today (December 17, 2015).

Councilors were evacuated when youths forced their way into the building after tearing down fences and throwing beer bottles at police outside. Several arrests were made, but there were no reports of injuries.

It was the biggest display of anti-migrant sentiment -- around 2,000 people -- in the Netherlands since hooligans attacked a Syrian refugee center in October.

European countries are struggling to cope with the largest movement of migrants since World War II, many of them Syrians who have been fleeing a deadly civil war that has killed some 300,000 people.

Prince Charles:Christianity Threatened in Mideast; Views Cruelty on Mideast Christians as Worst Ever

The Prince of Wales yesterday warned that the future of Christianity is in jeopardy in the Middle East, the Catholic News website reports today (December 17, 2015).

Speaking in Westminster to refugees from the region and to clerics from Middle Eastern churches, Prince Charles warned: "There is a very real crisis that threatens the very existence of Christianity in its place of origin. This affects us all."

He added: "Christianity is not a foreign religion in the Middle East. It has been part of the Middle East for 2,000 years."

The Prince warned that the Christian heritage of the region "is under threat as never before. The churches are being targeted by [Islamic] fanatics. The impact that this violence has had on people is heartbreaking. This is a reminder of what people will sink to in the name of faith."

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Over 100K Syrians Immigrated to US Since 2012; Cosmic No. Makes Terrorist Screening Doubtable

A proposal to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States has ignited a bitter debate in Washington, but it has now been revealed that more than 10 times that number of people from the embattled country have quietly come to America since 2012, the Fox News website reports today (December 16, 2015).

Some 102,313 Syrians were granted admission to the U.S. as legal permanent residents or through programs including work, study, and tourist visas from 2012 through August 2015 -- a period which roughly coincides with the devastating civil war that still engulfs that Middle Eastern country.

"The sheer number of people arriving [from Syria] on all kinds of visas and with green cards, and possibly U.S. citizenship, makes it impossible for our counter-terrorism authorities to keep track of them all, much less prevent them from carrying out attacks or belatedly try to deport them," said Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies.

President Obama's proposal to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees to the U.S. raised concerns that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) could use forged documents to sneak some of its terrorists into the U.S. as "refugees." White House assurances that refugees from Syria would be carefully screened met with much skepticism, after it was revealed that the two radical Islamic terrorists -- who recently murdered 14 innocent people in San Bernardino, California -- were nowhere to be found on any FBI or intelligence agents' listings of suspected terrorists.

US Defense Sec.Seeks More Turkish Help on ISIS; Wants Turkey to Seal Syrian Border to Block ISIS

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has called on Turkey to increase its contribution in the fight against the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, as part of his current tour of the Middle East that aims to increase regional support for the military campaign, the Today's Zaman (Turkish) website reports today (December 16, 2015).

Speaking to reporters while traveling to the Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey, Carter said Turkey needed to enhance its control on the border with Syria, particularly a 60-mile stretch believed to be used by ISIS for illicit trade and for shuttling foreign fighters back and forth.

Carter praised Turkey for opening its Incirlik Air Base to the campaign. "We appreciate what they're doing. We want them to do more... The single most important contribution that their geography makes necessary is the control of their own border," he said.

U.S. President Barack Obama also raised the issue of porous borders. After a meeting with Turkish  President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on December 1, Obama said there has been some progress in sealing the border between Turkey and Syria, but that there are still some "gaps" exploited by ISIS to bring in foreign fighters and to sell oil.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Most Palestinians Back Knife Attacks on Israelis; Abbas:Attacks Justified to Get a Palestinian State

Two-thirds of Palestinians support the current wave of knife attacks against Israelis, an opinion poll has found, as the Palestinian population grows ever more pessimistic about the prospects of an eventual peace settlement, the Telegraph (British) website reports today (December 15, 2015).

A survey found that 67 percent of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank support using knives to attack Israeli troops and civilians and back the onslaught that has left 21 Israelis dead in the last two months.

The same violence has claimed the lives of more than 100 Palestinians, most of whom were shot dead while carrying out the stabbing attacks, according to the Israeli government.

Mahmoud Abbas -- the Palestinian president -- said the violence was being carried out by young people "driven by despair that a two-state solution is not coming." Abbas added he believed the violence against the Israelis was "justified" -- and saw no indication of it abating -- due to Israel's ongoing occupation of Palestinian land.

Germany Nabs Muslim Cleric Who Lured Fighters; Fostered IS Mil. under Guise of Humanitarian Aid

A German Islamist preacher was arrested in Germany today (December 15, 2015) for recruiting fighters for the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group in Syria, and purchasing and delivering military equipment to IS, according to the Yahoo News website.

Sven Lau, 35, is suspected of recruiting Germans living in and around the western German city of Duesseldorf to fight abroad, the Federal Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.

Hundreds of Germans have left the country to join IS in Syria and Iraq since 2012, the interior ministry says.

The interior ministry of North-Rhine Westphalia state -- where Lau was arrested -- said he was suspected of supporting a "terrorist" organization abroad under the guise of providing humanitarian aid.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sgt.Bergdahl Will Get Highest Level Court-Martial; Dumped Afghan Unit,Freed by Obama in Odd Deal

The U.S. Army said today (December 14, 2015) it would refer the desertion case of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to the highest level military court-martial -- which can impose the harshest of penalties -- the USA Today website reports.

Berghdal, 29, is charged with walking off his post in Afghanistan in 2009 before he was captured by Taliban insurgents, who held him for nearly five years.

The Army decision to hold a "general court-martial" preserves the option to impose punishment up to life in prison if Bergdahl is found guilty.

In 2014, the Obama administration exchanged Bergdahl for the release of five Taliban prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay in a weird deal that triggered outrage from many members of Congress, with some even accusing Bergdahl of treason by joining the Taliban. Also, several of his platoon mates in Afghanistan said Bergdahl let his colleagues down by walking off his post, and then put soldiers at risk when a manhunt was launched in an effort to find him.

ISIS Terrorist Goes in Paris School, Stabs Teacher; Teacher Knifed Several Times, Rushed to Hospital

A Muslim terrorist who yelled "Daesh" -- the Arabic name for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) -- stabbed a Paris elementary school teacher in the throat shortly before 7 a.m. today (December 14, 2015), according to the Jewish Press website.

The teacher was knifed several times and was rushed to a Paris hospital. His condition is unknown at this time, but initial reports are that his life is not in danger.

No children were in school at the time, as the attack occurred before school-opening time.

The attack occurred in the Paris suburb of Seine-Saint Denis -- the same area where ISIS terrorists were living when they carried out multiple massacres in Paris last month.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Czech Pres.Zeman:"Barbarian Turkey" Bad for EU; Opposes Giving Turkey $3.2B, Says Turkey Aids IS

Warning that Turkey has to be approached with "caution" and cannot be treated like a European nation, Czech President Milos Zeman said he does not like the idea that Turkey could be considered for membership in the European Union (EU), the PJ Media website reports today (December 13, 2015).

Zeman lashed out at the EU -- in which the Czech Republic holds membership -- for promising to pay Turkey $3.2 billion in aid in exchange for preventing Syrian refugees from traveling to Europe.

"The Roman Empire, before it collapsed, too, paid tribute money to barbarians [for them not to pilfer its territory]." he said, adding that although Barbarian Turkey is a NATO member, it often acts as an ally of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Zeman then explained that Turkey can take care of the Syrian refugees because they -- like the vast majority of Turks -- are Muslims. On the other hand, transferring Muslim culture to Europe, he said, presents a serious danger.

Gambia Pres. Says Nation Now an "Islamic State;" "Gambia's Destiny Is in Hands of Almighty Allah"

President Yahya Jammeh has declared Gambia is now an Islamic state, but stressed that the rights of the Christian minority in the small west African country would be respected and that women would not be held to a dress code, the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reports today (December 13, 2015).

The announcement came as the president addressed supporters in the coastal town of Brufut on December 10. The comments were later broadcast on state television and repeated on his website.

"Gambia's destiny is in the hands of the Almighty Allah. As from today, Gambia is an Islamic state. We will also be an Islamic state that will respect the rights of the citizens," he said.

A poor former British colony nestled within Senegal, and noted for its white-sand beaches, Gambia has a population of nearly two million, 90 percent of whom are Muslim.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Non-Orth.Jewish Heads Prod Pres. Rivlin in NYC; Urge 3 Wings of Judaism Enjoy = Rights in Israel

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin met in New York City last night with leaders of America's three main Jewish denominations -- Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox -- and the Reform and Conservative leaders emphasized that they are disappointed that the Israeli government gives preferential treatment to Orthodox Jews, the Times of Israel website reports today (December 12, 2015).

Both Rabbi Rick Jacobs of the Union for Reform Judaism and Rabbi Steven Wernick of the United Synagogue for Conservative Judaism called on Israel to grant equal rights to non-Orthodox Jews on matters concerning marriage, divorce, conversion, and worship at the Western Wall.

In an incredible policy of discriminatory favoritism for Orthodox Judaism, the Israeli Rabbinate still does not recognize non-Orthodox conversions, does not allow Conservative or Reform rabbis to preside over funerals, and does not sanction weddings performed by non-Orthodox rabbis.

At last night's meeting, Rivlin offered warm talk to the Reform and Conservative leaders, but lacked any prospect of concrete changes in Israel. He did, however, agree that Israel must "show full respect and full sensitivity to all American Jews."

Univ. of Tenn. Offends Students on Xmas Parties; "Ensure Your Holiday Party Is Not a Xmas Party"

In a ridiculous anti-Christian statement that almost cost a university chancellor and several diversity staff members their jobs, the University of Tennessee (UT) at Knoxville warned students to not throw Christmas parties because someone might somehow be offended, The Daily Beast website reports today (December 12, 2015).

UT at Knoxville issued this "Scrooge-ish" piece of advice last week: "Ensure your holiday party is not a Christmas party in disguise."

The university has since rediscovered its Christmas spirit, but not before bewilderment and anger by some students and several politicians who interpret any slight against Christmas as an attack on Christianity itself.

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey wrote that Tennessee's very reputation was at stake: "If this post was approved by [UT] Chancellor [Jimmy] Cheek, he should resign. If not, the entire staff of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion should be dismissed." Chancellor Cheek apologized for the non-Christmas party statement, and agreed that students should be allowed to have a Christmas party if they so desire.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Fire at a Calif. Mosque Today Appears Intentional; Viewed as a Payback for San Bernardino Massacre

A fire that broke out today (December 11, 2015) at a mosque in Coachella, California appears to have been intentionally set, authorities say, sparking condemnation and alarm in the Riverside County community and beyond, according to the LA Times website.

The fire occurred at the Islamic Society of the Coachella Valley mosque and is one of several incidents over the last week that officials believe may be a backlash to the San Bernardino massacre by two Muslim radical terrorists that killed 14 people last week.

Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit said he was alarmed at the possibility that the mosque was targeted for religious reasons.

He added, "If in fact it was done with the mosque as a target... it's reprehensible, and the people who perpetrated that act should be treated the way we would any other terrorist."

Atheist Org. Seeks to Remove Bibles from Hotels; FFRF Says Hotel Guests Deserve Break from Rel.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) -- an American atheist organization -- has launched a new campaign to remove Bibles from hotel rooms, saying the Bibles should be replaced with Charles Darwin's book, "On the Origin of Species," the Christian Headlines website reports today (December 11, 2015). (Darwin was a 19th century British naturalist, who was the originator of the biological theory of evolution.)

The FFRF sent letters to several hotel chains recently, including the Holiday Inn, Quality Inn, Hilton, Marriott, Best Western, Radisson, Carlson, Country Inn, and Sheraton to make the demands.

The atheist group claims that Bible provider Gideons international was "exploiting hotels and motels to proselytize a captive audience."

FFRF Co-Presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor wrote: "Those who must read the Bible every day will surely take precautions to travel with their own copies. The rest of us deserve a break from mindless evangelizing when we are on vacation."

Thursday, December 10, 2015

High Court Justice Scalia Blasted for Racist Views; Said Blacks Better Off to Go to Low-Rated Colleges

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's suggestion -- during an oral argument in court yesterday -- that black college students would be better off at a "slower-track school" where they "do not feel they're being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them'' has sparked a national uproar, the Washington Post website reports today (December 10, 2015).

That uproar extended from the Supreme Court chambers to the U.S. Capitol building this morning, where Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) used his floor remarks to lambaste the Republican-appointed Scalia.

"These ideas that he [Scalia] pronounced yesterday are racist in application, if not intent," Reid said. "I don't know about his intent, but it is deeply disturbing to hear a Supreme Court justice endorse racist ideas from the bench on the nation's highest court."

During yesterday's argument in the Supreme Court case challenging the University of Texas' race-based admission standards, Scalia said: "There are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school... a slower-track school where they do well... And I don't think it stands to reason that it's a good thing for the University of Texas to admit as many blacks as possible."

Eight Citadel Students Suspended for Klan Skit; Posted Ku Klux Klan Garb Images on Internet

The Citadel -- a military college in Charleston, South Carolina -- said today (December 10, 2015) that it is taking punitive action against the students involved in images posted to Facebook showing cadets dressed in all-white clothing as well as white hoods, similar to the garb historically worn by the Ku Klux Klan racist group, according to the ABC News website.

Citadel President Lt. Gen. John Rosa called the Facebook post "offensive and disturbing" in a statement today and said that suspension proceedings had begun for the students involved in the photographs.

A woman -- who was not a cadet -- saw the image of an upper class cadet in front of seven cadets with pillowcases over their heads on Snapchat and then posted the screenshots on Facebook. The cadets were singing Christmas carols in a "Ghost of Christmas Past" skit.

Rosa said, "In accordance with college policy, we immediately began suspension proceedings... and we are continuing to investigate this incident."

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Finland to Require Asylum Seekers Work for Free; Will Send Back Refugees Not Qualified for Asylum

Determined to tighten its immigration policy, Finland's government said yesterday it will require asylum seekers to work for free and to acknowledge a "national curriculum" on Finnish culture and society, the Reuters website reports today (December 9, 2015).

It will also regularly reassess conditions in the asylum seekers' home countries twice a year, and if necessary, cancel residence permits accordingly.

"The new set of measures will tighten our practices and erase possible attractiveness factors," Prime Minister Juha Sipila said.

About 32,000 asylum seekers have come to the Nordic country this year, compared to just 3,600 last year, as refugees and migrants pour into Europe to flee war and poverty. The government said it will speed up the return of migrants who don't qualify for asylum, estimating around two-thirds will be rejected.

Swastika Destroys Warsaw Jewish Ghetto Plaque; Plaque Was Dedicated to Poles Who Fought Nazis

A plaque erected in 2008 in the Jewish ghetto of Warsaw -- dedicated to the "memory of those who suffered, fought and died" during the Nazi occupation of Poland -- was defaced with a large swastika, the Jerusalem Post website reports today (December 9, 2015).

"The damage is too large. The plaque could not be saved," a city official said. "Therefore, the plaque will be disassembled....and recreated."

Jonny Daniels, Founder and Executive Director of "From The Depths" -- an organization dealing with Holocaust memory and anti-Semitism -- said in a statement: "It's so sad to see this kind of graffiti in the heart of Warsaw, a city that understands perhaps more than others the extent of Nazi evil...."

The Warsaw Ghetto was the largest of all Jewish ghettos in Europe during World War II. Over 400,000 Jews lived in it. By the end of World War II, however, some 300,000 Jews of the ghetto were either killed by the Nazis or died of starvation.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Pope Francis Begins the "Jubilee Year of Mercy;" States "We Have to Put Mercy before Judgment"

Pope Francis launched the Jubilee Year of Mercy today (December 8, 2015), with the opening of the Vatican Holy Door near the end of a Mass in St. Peter's Square where he was joined by his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and thousands of pilgrims, surrounded by heavy security, according to the Religion News website.

"This extraordinary year is itself a gift of grace," Francis told the faithful in his homily at Mass. "To pass through the holy door means to rediscover the infinite mercy of the Father who welcomes everyone and goes out personally to encounter each of them."

"How much wrong we do to God and His grace when we speak of sins being punished by His judgment before we speak of their being forgiven by His mercy," he said. "We have to put mercy before judgment."

After addressing the crowds, Francis embraced a frail-looking Benedict, who resigned from the papacy in 2013 and was invited by his successor to attend the jubilee ceremony.

Pig's Head Tossed at Philly Mosque Draws Rage; Seen as Payback for Muslims' 14 Murders in Cal.

In an obvious retaliation against Muslims for two radicalized Muslim terrorists' murders of 14 innocent people in San Bernardino, California last week, a severed pig's head was tossed outside a Philadelphia mosque, upsetting residents of multiple faiths and prompting federal and city investigations, the USA Today website reports today (December 8, 2015).

Pigs are considered unclean in Islamic culture and pork is not eaten by most practicing Muslims. Mayor-elect Jim Kenney quickly condemned the "bigotry that desecrated" the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society building two nights ago.

The desecration comes as Muslims face heightened scrutiny in the United States and abroad after deadly terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California. In a devout effort to safeguard American lives, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump went so far yesterday as to call for banning Muslims from entering the United States.

Marwan Kreidie -- head of the Arab American Development Corporation -- said the FBI was investigating the pig's head incident. He added that anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. is "worse now" than it was after the September 11, 2001 multiple terror attacks.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Trump Calls for Banning Muslims' Entry into U.S.; Says Hatred of Americans Can't OK Their Murders

Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump -- in an unyielding effort to end the ongoing murders of many innocent Americans by radicalized Islam terrorists -- today (December 7, 2015) called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" until the country's representatives can "figure out what is going on," the Yahoo News website reports.

The Trump campaign justifies this discrimination by saying that large segments of the Muslim population bear "great hatred toward Americans."

"Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the [Muslim] hatred is beyond comprehension," Trump said in a statement.

He added, "Where this hatred comes from and why, we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victim of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad and have no sense of reason or respect for human life. If I win the election for president, we are going to make America great again."

US Intel to Obama:IS Grows, Spreads Worldwide; IS Must Lose Most Land in Iraq, Syria to Defeat It

A recent U.S. intelligence report on ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) -- commissioned by the White House -- reveals that the self-proclaimed Islamic State will spread worldwide and grow in numbers, unless it suffers a significant loss of terrritory on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria, The Daily Beast website reports today (December 7, 2015).

The report -- released shortly before the recent terrorist killings of 130 people in Paris --  stands in stark contrast to earlier White House assurances that ISIS had been "contained" in Iraq and Syria. Moreover, it is initiating changes in U.S. military procedures, resulting in the U.S. implementing a more aggressive military strategy against ISIS.

The report is also a tacit admission that coalition efforts so far -- dropping thousands of bombs on ISIS and deploying U.S. and coalition trainers -- have been outpaced by ISIS' ability to expand and attract new followers.

The fact is that ISIS has expanded its control of territory in both Iraq and Syria during the past year -- despite a plethora of U.S. and coalition bombings -- and ISIS recently gained control of the strategic oil-rich city of Sirte on the Mediterranean coast of Libya.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Christian U. Pres. Urges Students to Carry Guns; Warns "End Those Muslims before They Kill Us"

The president of a U.S. Christian university has encouraged his students to get concealed firearm permits, so they can prevent the next shooting from happening on campus, the Raw Story website reports today (December 6, 2015).

Jerry Falwell, Jr. -- head of Liberty University, a Christian school in Virginia -- commented on the mass shooting last week at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. Fourteen people were killed and 21 were injured in the attack, carried out by a Muslim husband and wife who claimed loyalty to the radical Islamic State (IS).

"It just blows my mind when I see the President of the United States say the answer to [San Bernardino] is more gun control," Falwell said. "If some of those people in that community center had had what I've got in my back pocket right now [they might not be dead]..."

Falwell encouraged people to carry guns so they could "end those Muslims before they walk in and kill us." He added the university offers a free course to help students get a concealed carry permit.

IS Claims Couple in Cal.Attack Were Its Followers; Couple Killed 14 in Worst US Terrorism Since 9/11

The Islamic State (IS) group said yesterday that a married couple -- who murdered 14 people in California last week in an attack the FBI believes is an "act of terrorism" -- were followers of the radical terrorist organization, the Washington Times website reports today (December 6, 2015).

The extremist Islamic group made its claim in an online radio broadcast. The declaration comes three days after Syed Farook, 28, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 29, carried out a mass shooting on a holiday party for civil servants in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 people.

The two terrorists died later in a shootout with police. They were both Muslim.

U.S. authorities have said that the couple may have been radicalized and their attack may have been inspired by the terrorists, but added that there was no evidence the attack was directed by the Islamic State. The San Bernardino attack was the deadliest terrorist attack in the United States since the savage terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Former NY Gov. Pleads for War on Radical Islam; George Pataki Urges US Kill All Radical Islamists

Former New York Governor, George Pataki, yesterday called for a "war on radical Islam" via his Twitter account, the Morocco World News website reports today (December 5, 2015).

Pataki -- who is running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination -- took on to social media to urge Americans to "kill all" radical Islamists following the San Bernardino radical Islamic attacks on December 2, which were the worst terrorist attacks in the U.S. since the 9/11/2001 attacks.

Tagging U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and refuting her recent comments denouncing violence in America, Pataki posted a controversial statement on Twitter.

"We must declare war on radical Islam. Loretta Lynch, I'm not edging toward violent speech. I'm declaring we kill them. Go ahead, arrest me," Pataki's tweet read. Pataki was referring to Lynch's recent comment that... "actions predicated on violent talk are not American, they are not who we are, not what we do, and they will be persecuted."

Judge Bans Indiana High's Nativity Scene in Play; Rules Scene Conveys Endorsing Christian Religion

A judge has ruled that an Indiana high school cannot portray a Nativity scene with live performers in its annual Christmas Spectacular, the Christian Headlines website reports today (December 5, 2015).

U.S. District Judge Jon DeGuilio ruled that the display "conveys a message of endorsement of religion, or that a particular religious belief is favored or preferred."

A complaint against including the nativity scene in the annual Christmas Spectacular put on by Concord Community Schools was filed with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) by a student and his father.

Superintendent of schools, John Trout, said he is disappointed in the court's ruling. He added the school district is planning to appeal the court's preliminary injunction. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

Greek American Killed in Cal. Terror Shooting; Nicholas Thalasinos Chose Messianic Judaism

Greek American Nicholas Thalasinos, 52, was among 14 victims of the fatal terrorist shooting on December 2 in San Bernardino, California, the Greek Reporter website reports today (December 4, 2015).

Thalasinos was working with shooting suspect Syed Rizwan Farook at the San Bernardino County Health Department's environmental services division, his wife Jennifer said. She added that her husband and Farook got along well together, and that Farook did not appear to have any hostility toward co-workers.

"Thalasinos was a member of the Greek Orthodox Church who recently converted to Messianic Judaism and was a strong proponent of Israel, and pro-everything American," according to Kuuleme Stephens, a friend of the Greek American.

Messianic Judaism is a religion that refers to Jews who accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah. They seek to retain their Jewish heritage and follow a Jewish lifestyle, while at the same time embracing Christian theology. Most of them believe that Jesus' apostles were the first Jews to accept Him as Messiah.

Germany Allows Mil. Action to Fight IS in Syria; Will Send Jets, Warship, 1200 Troops to Region

Germany's parliament has approved a plan to send military support to the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria, the BBC website reports today (December 4, 2015).

Germany will send several tornado reconnaissance jets, a naval frigate, and 1,200 soldiers to the region.

The 445 to 146 vote in Germany's parliament comes after a French request following last month's Paris terrorist attacks by Islamic State radical Muslims.

Yesterday, British warplanes carried out their first airstrikes on IS targets in Syria after Britain's parliament authorized the military operation earlier this week.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Baghdad Vicar:IS Terrorist Attacks Spark WWIII; New Attacks in Paris, Calif. Attest WWIII Is Real

Deadly terrorist attacks -- like the one in Paris last month and the one in California yesterday -- are indications that a third world war has begun, the Vicar of Baghdad asserted today (December 3, 2015), according to the Christian Post website.

Canon Andrew White -- the only Anglican Vicar in Iraq when the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization rose to power in Iraq and Syria -- spoke at a lunch discussion hosted by the Washington-based Institute on Religion & Democracy, and explained that Muslims, Christians, and Jews need to work together to support the persecuted refugee communities in the Middle East and combat extremist ideologies that are causing society to "fall apart."

In the wake of Islamic State's attacks in Paris that killed 130 civilians and injured over 350 others in November, terror struck in the United States yesterday when two gunmen -- one of whom was believed to have been in contact with domestic and international Islamic extremists -- shot up a social services building in San Bernardino, California, and killed 14 people and injured 21 others.

While most people in the West have had the luxury of hearing about heinous acts of terrorism by IS and other extremists in the Middle East from afar, White argues that terror is now striking in the heart of Western nations with some regularity, and the world has entered a third world war.

Police Nab 4 "Highly Dangerous" Jihadis in Italy; Made Online Threat: "This Will Be the Last Pope"

Following raids in four Italian cities yesterday, four people who police officers described as "a highly dangerous group" were arrested in Brescia, Italy and in Kosovo, the Clarion Project website reports today (December 3, 2015).

All were citizens of the predominantly Islamic nation of Kosovo -- which had been part of the now-defunct country of Yugoslavia --  with suspected links to Syrian jihadists.

According to police, the radical Muslims had "threatened Pope Francis, celebrated the recent attacks in Paris, and threatened the ex-U.S. ambassador in Kosovo."

Investigators in the case said they found threats made online by the group, including one against Pope Francis, which read: "This will be the last Pope."

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

UK Parliament Allows Airstrikes on ISIS in Syria; UK Already Bombs ISIS in Iraq,Now to Hit Syria

British lawmakers today (December 2, 2015) voted to launch bombing raids against ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria)  extremists in Syria, the Euro News website reports.

After more than 10 hours of debate, members of parliament voted 397 to 223 to support Prime Minister David Cameron's case that the country needs to do more to help destroy the radical Muslim militants who are plotting against the United Kingdom.

British Tornado bombers could leave an airbase they use in Cyprus within hours to launch the country's latest action in the Middle East.

Britain is already engaged in airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq, but many members of parliament and much of the public have been wary of entering into another costly military operation in Syria.

France Closes 3 Mosques,Nabs 9 Radical Muslims; Views Mosques as "Pseudo Religious Associations"

Determined to subdue any effort by terrorists to carry out deadly attacks -- like those that killed 130 people in Paris on November 13 -- French authorities have shut down three mosques for a "pattern of radicalization," including one raided by police at dawn today (December 2, 2015) in eastern Paris, according to the USA Today website.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazaneuve said a "large police contingent" closed one mosque in Lagny-sur-Marne, a suburb in eastern Paris, placing nine "radicalized individuals" under house arrest and barring another 22 from leaving the country.

In today's raid police confiscated a 9 mm handgun, a computer hard drive hidden behind a wall, and jihadist propaganda.

Two other mosques -- one in Gennevilliers in the northwest suburbs, and one in Lyon -- were also closed down within the past week. The interior ministry referred to the three mosques as "pseudo religious associations." In other words, the mosques were being used as a front to plan terrorist attacks in France.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Pipe Bomb Injures Five at Istanbul Metro Station; Heightens Security Fears in Europe's Biggest City

Five people were injured today (December 1, 2015) when a pipe bomb exploded on an overpass near an Istanbul metro station, halting some train operations and heightening security fears in Europe's biggest city, according to the Reuters website.

Turkey has been on high alert since more than 100 people were killed by two suicide bombers in its capital of Ankara in October.

Today's blast near the Bayrampasa metro station came at the height of the evening rush hour, district Mayor Atila Aydiner told A Haber television. Bayrampasa is a residential and industrial area on the European side of Istanbul.

Today's explosion was much smaller than the one in Ankara, which is believed to have been carried out by Islamic State (IS) radicals.

US to Send Special Forces Troops into Iraq,Syria; Due to Congress's Determination to Destroy ISIS

The Pentagon will send a force of special operators to Iraq to assist the government and Kurdish forces in conducting raids and gathering intelligence against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)  group, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told the House Armed Services Committee today (December 1, 2015), according to the Washington Examiner website.

The special operators will work with Iraqi troops to build their capacity and their raids will focus on defending Iraq's borders, Carter said.

The troops also will be able to conduct independent raids into Syria, he added.

Carter and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford were summoned before the House Armed Services Committee to answer lawmakers' concerns that the Obama administration's approach to fighting the Islamic State is not aggressive enough.

Monday, November 30, 2015

ISIS Now Controls a Key City in Libya Near Italy; Controls Oil-Rich City of Sirte on NW Med. Coast

Despite having been bombarded by the U.S. and several of its allies with a plethora of airstrikes in Iraq and Syria during the past year, ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is now consolidating its control over a key city in Libya less than 400 miles from the Italian island of Sicily, the Yahoo News website reports today (November 30, 2015).

Over the past year, ISIS has been deepening its presence in Sirte, an oil-rich city along Libya's northwestern Mediterranean coast.

ISIS jihadists first gained a foothold in Sirte in early 2015. Today, the city is an "actively managed colony of the central Islamic State, crowded with foreign fighters from around the region," according to the New York Times.

Since October 2014, the radical Islamic group has steadily moved to take over Sirte and transform the city into ISIS's capital in North Africa.

Russian Jets Strike Market in Syria Killing 40; Dozens Wounded as Airstrikes Support Assad

Russian jets today (November 30, 2015) struck a market in Syria's Idib province, with reports of at least 40 killed, according to the Euro News website.

Witnesses say, in a second, the hustle and bustle of street trading in the rebel-held town of Ariha was reduced to a deadly silence.

Dozens of people were also wounded.

Ariha fell to Syrian rebels in May during an advance that resulted in the whole of Idib province falling to the rebellion against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia began a major bombing campaign in Syria on September 30 to help its ally Assad, who suffered a series of setbacks earlier this year -- including the loss of Idib province and areas near the coast, which are of crucial strategic importance.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Turkey, EU Agree on Containing Syrian Migrants; EU Will Pay Turkey $3.2B to House 2.2M Syrians

Turkey promised to help stem the flow of migrants in Europe in return for cash, visas, and renewed talks on joining the European Union (EU) in a deal struck today (November 29, 2015) that the Turkish prime minister called a "new beginning" for the uneasy neighbors, the Reuters website reports.

Leaders of the EU met Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Brussels, Belgium today to finalize an agreement hammered out by diplomats over the past month, as Europeans struggle to limit the strain on their 28-nation bloc from taking in hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing from a civil war.  Many European nations have built fences -- some over 100 miles long -- on their borders to block the entry of Syrian refugees, because they fear radical Muslim terrorists from Syria's Islamic State (IS) might infiltrate their countries.

A key element in the EU-Turkey deal is 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in EU aid for the 2.2 million Syrians now in Turkey. The money is intended to raise their living standards and to persuade more of them to stay put, rather than attempt perilous crossings  to the EU via the Greek islands.

The final offer of "an initial" 3 billion euros represents a compromise between the EU -- which offered that sum over two years -- and Turkey, which wanted it every year. The money will be paid out bit by bit as conditions are met.

Pope Lands in War-Torn Central African Republic; Says "I Come as a Pilgrim and an Apostle of Hope"

After landing in war-torn Central African Republic (CAR) today (November 29, 2015), Pope Francis urged the country's leaders to work for peace and reconciliation, particularly through disarmament and a stable administration, according to the National Catholic Register website.

"As the Central African Republic progressively moves, in spite of difficulties, towards the normalization of its social and political life... I come as a pilgrim of peace and an apostle of hope," the Pope said.

He praised the efforts made by both national and international authorities in working to find a solution to current tensions, and expressed his hope that the country's coming elections would allow the CAR "to embark serenely on a new chapter of its history."

The Pope landed in the Central African Republic capital of Bangui this morning. His November 29-30 visit to CAR comes at the end of a larger tour of the African continent that also took him to Kenya and Uganda, and falls just one month ahead of CAR's presidential and parliamentary elections.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Over 100K Go to Pope's Outdoor Mass in Uganda; Hails Uganda's Housing Many War-Torn Refugees

Huge crowds of Ugandans greeted Pope Francis today (November 28, 2015), as he held a mass youth rally and honored martyred Christians on his landmark three-nation trip to Africa, which he dubbed "the continent of hope," according to the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website.

The 78-year-old pontiff was greeted by wild cheers and singing at a shrine to the martyrs at Namugongo, just outside the capital Kampala, that honors more than 40 Christians who were executed in the 19th century for refusing to recant their faith.

Over 100,000 people had waited from before dawn at the open-air shrine to attend the mass -- a highlight of the pope's visit to Uganda -- the second leg of his trip after Kenya, and before traveling to war-torn Central African Republic (CAR) tomorrow.

Hailing Uganda's outstanding response in accommodating hundreds of thousands of refugees from neighboring war-torn nations, the pope in his opening speech said, "The world looks to Africa as the continent of hope."

Italy Plans to Close All of Its Clandestine Mosques; Will Shut "Garage Islam" Terror-Planning Havens

Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano announced yesterday that the Italian government will close down all clandestine mosques in the country as part of the fight against terrorism, the Times of Israel website reports today (November 28, 2015).

"In Italy, we have four mosques and over 800 places of Muslim worship," said Alfano.

"We are going to close the clandestine and unregulated places, not to hamper the religion but so that it can be practiced in places which are in order," he added. Some radical Muslims -- not only in Italy but also in several other countries -- have used mosques to "put up a front" in which they plan terrorist attacks.

The interior minister was speaking at a meeting in the southern town of Lecce on the subject of terrorist risks and the influence of so-called "garage Islam" -- the non-registered places of worship where many of the estimated one million Muslims living in Italy go to pray.

Friday, November 27, 2015

FBI Tracks 1,000 IS Suspects in US 24 Hrs. a Day; At Least a Dozen Agents Watching Each IS Savage

Hundreds of FBI agents did not enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner with their families yesterday, because they were ensuring that the U.S. would not be attacked -- as Paris was on November 13 -- by Islamic State (IS) radical terrorists. The FBI has about 1,000 active Islamic State probes inside the U.S., and new reports have revealed that at least 48 of those suspects are considered to be so high-risk that the bureau has deployed elite surveillance teams and the latest equipment to track them, the Washington Times website reports today (November 27, 2015).

The squads -- known as mobile surveillance teams or MSTs -- are following the men and women, who are believed to be Islamic radicals, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in case they plan to commit acts of terrorism.

Republican Sen. Dan Coats -- who sits on the Select Committee on Intelligence -- would not comment on the specific details of the surveillance or the suspects, but admitted that the around-the-clock tracking is an indispensable commitment for the FBI.

"The FBI together with law enforcement agencies across the country are engaged in this. It takes enormous amounts of manpower to do this on a 24-7 basis. It takes enormous amounts of money to do this," Sen. Coats said. At least a dozen FBI agents are assigned to each of the approximate 1,000 U.S. terrorist probes.

Pope Rips New Colonialism in Nairobi Slum Visit; Views Land, Jobs, Housing to Be "Sacred" Rights

Pope Francis on a visit to Kangemi slum in Nairobi, Kenya today (November 27, 2015) said those living in such communities are victims of "new forms of colonialism" by rich countries and said the urban poor have a "sacred right" to have their basic needs met, according to the Wall Street Journal website.

The pontiff heard about the conditions Nairobi's slum dwellers have to endure: living in shacks made of tin sheeting, using pit toilets, and purchasing water from communal taps.

"These are the wounds inflicted by minorities who cling to power and wealth, who selfishly squander while a growing majority is forced to flee to abandoned, filthy and rundown peripheries," the pope said, on the third day of a trip to Africa.

Land, jobs, and housing are "sacred" rights, he said, and criticized "new forms of colonialism that would make African countries parts of a machine, cogs on a gigantic wheel." More than half of Nairobi's residents live in slums, according to the United Nations.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Russia Employs Econ. Action on Turkey Over Jet; Freezes Joint Projects, Cuts Imports from Turkey

Russia threatened to implement an economic retaliation against Turkey today (November 26, 2015) and said it was still awaiting a reasonable explanation and an apology from Turkey for shooting down its warplane, but Turkey dismissed the threats as "emotional" and "unfitting," according to the Reuters website.

In an escalating war of words, President Tayyip Erdogan responded to Russian accusations that Turkey has been buying oil and gas from the Islamic State (IS) in Syria by accusing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his backers -- which includes Russia -- of being the real source of the IS group's financial and military power.

The shooting down of the Russian jet by the Turkish air force on November 24 was one of the most serious clashes between a NATO member and Russia, and further complicated international efforts to battle Islamic State militants.

As an initial retaliation against Turkey, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered his government to draw up measures that include freezing some joint investment projects and restricting food imports from Turkey. Russia has also decided to suspend its visa-free travel agreement with Turkey, thus significantly decreasing the number of Russian tourists that will visit Turkey.

Syrian Church Head: Christians,West Betrayed Us; Syrian Christians Need to Reside with IS Terrorists

A Syrian Greek Catholic Church leader has condemned both U.S. foreign policy and Western media for ignoring Christian persecution and even worsening the conflict in Iraq and Syria, the Christian Post website reports today (November 26, 2015).

"Innocent people, especially Christians, have no support. The West has betrayed us," Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan said.

"Western democracies have conspired against Syria and produced the destruction of the nation's infrastructure, the demolition of houses, towns, villages, monuments, and archaeological sites," he added.

Younan also asserted that Christians are being targeted and are unable to live "in this chaos that produces militias, armed gangs, [Islamic State] terrorist groups, and Islamic parties."

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pope Arrives in Kenya, Blasts Conflict, Terrorism; More Worried About Mosquitoes Than His Safety

Pope Francis arrived in Kenya today (November 25, 2015) -- the start of a three-nation tour of Africa -- welcomed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and yelling crowds at the airport in the capital city of Nairobi, according to the BBC website.

The Pope said conflict and terrorism fed "on fear, mistrust, and the despair born of poverty and frustration." He played down his own security, joking he was "more worried about the mosquitoes."

A leading Muslim cleric in Kenya welcomed the Pope's visit, saying it gave hope to the "downtrodden in the slums."

Pope Francis's five-day visit to Africa will also see him go to Uganda and Central African Republic, which has been hit recently by Christian-Muslim conflict.

Israeli Lawmakers Discard Orth.Jews' Mil. Service; Similar Law Invalidated by Supreme Court in 2012

Israeli lawmakers approved an amendment this week that postpones the mandatory military conscription of haredi Orthodox men and removes the penalties for not enlisting, the Forward website reports today (November 25, 2015).

The amendment to the Equal Service Law was approved on November 23 by a vote of 49 to 36.

Under the amendment, the law will not go into effect until 2020, with a second set of deadlines in 2023. The new amendment also cancels penalties against yeshiva students who do not enlist and collectively against the haredi Orthodox community if enlistment quotas are not met.

The centrist Yesh Atid party -- led by Yair Lapid -- said it would appeal the amendment to the Supreme Court. The Tai Law -- which allowed haredi men to defer army service indefinitely -- was invalidated by Israel's Supreme Court in February 2012 and expired in August of that year.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Brussels Top Rabbi:No Future for Jews in Europe; Chief of European Jewish Assoc. Disclaims Belief

The chief  rabbi of Brussels, Belgium said yesterday that there is "no future for Jews in Europe," provoking criticism from the head of a European Jewish group, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphjic Agency) website reports today (November 24, 2015).

Rabbi Avraham Gigi told an Israeli radio station about the sense of fear on the streets in Belgium -- now in a lockdown state in order to prevent radical Islamic terrorist attacks --  and added, "People understand there is no future for Jews in Europe." He also stressed the importance of Jews going to Israel, although he added that Jews should move there out of love for the country, not because of fear.

In a statement issued today, Rabbi Menachem Margolin -- director of the European Jewish Association -- said his organization "is determined to continue our work to ensure that the three million Jews who live on our continent can continue to command a safe home and to be able to freely and proudly identify themselves as Jews."

Margolin stressed the development of Jewish communities across Europe, including synagogues, Jewish schools, and other community institutions.

Turkey Slams Russian Jet Due to Airway Breach; Rebels at Scene Fatally Shoot 2 Parachute Pilots

Turkey shot down a Russian warplane today (November 24, 2015), promising an angry retaliation from Russian President Vladimir Putin, and heightening tensions in the global struggle over the future of Syria and the fate of the Islamic State (IS), according to the USA Today website.

The Turkish military said two F-16s shot down the Russian Su-24 attack aircraft after it breached Turkey's airspace -- and after Turkey issued 10 warnings in five minutes.

Russia defense ministry denied the plane ever strayed from Syria airspace.

The plane went down in the Bayirbucak region of northwestern Syria near the Turkish border. Rebels at the scene fatally shot two parachuting pilots, Alpasian Celik -- the second-in-command of a Turkmen rebel force -- told multiple media outlets.

Monday, November 23, 2015

State Dept. Issues Travel Alert for US Citizens; Expects Terrorist Acts during Holiday Season

The State Department released a worldwide travel alert today (November 23, 2015) for Americans, citing increased terrorism threats worldwide and advising U.S. citizens to "avoid large crowds or crowded places," especially during the holiday season, according to the Washington Times website.

Today's alert -- which also warned Americans of the risks of using public transportation and attending theater and sporting events -- is effective for three months and only expires on February 24, 2016, the State Department said.

The alert comes 10 days after Islamist State (IS) terrorists killed 130 people in several Paris locations, and while Brussels -- the capital of neighboring Belgium -- is on lockdown.

The alert -- which cited no geographic boundaries -- said, "U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation. Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowded places. Exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday festivals or events."

Italian Mafia Tells IS to Stay Out of New York City; Warns IS the Mob Will Fight It If It Comes to NYC

The Italian Mafia in New York City issued a warning to the Islamic State (IS) group yesterday: "If you come to the five borroughs, you're going to find yourself in a fight with the mob," the Raw Story website reports today (November 23, 2015).

The Italian crime organization said it is better positioned to provide security than federal organizations like the FBI and Department of Homeland Security.

"They often act too late or fail to see a complete picture of what's happening due to lack of 'human intelligence,'" Giovanni Gambino, the son of a New York mob boss said.

He added: "The Mafia has a bad reputation, but much of that's undeserved. As with everything in life, there are good, bad, and ugly parts -- the rise of global terrorism gives the Mafia a chance to show its good side."

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Police in Belgium Arrest 16 in Anti-Terror Raids; Carry Out 22 Raids to Prevent Paris-Like Attacks

Determined to prevent Islamic State (IS) terrorist attacks -- similar to those that killed 130 people in Paris last week -- Belgian police made 16 arrests today (November 22, 2015) in anti-terror raids, but suspected Paris-attacks gunman Salah Abdeslam remains at large, according to the BBC website.

A total of 22 police raids were carried out today across Brussels and Charleroi, Belgian prosecutor Eric van der Sypt told a news conference.

Brussels will remain on the highest level of terror alert, Belgium's Prime Minister Charles Michel said. Universities, schools, and the city's metro system will all remain closed.

Michel added that intelligence information indicated that Belgium could experience "an attack similar to the one in Paris, with several individuals who could also possibly launch several attacks at the same time in multiple locations."

Pollard's 1st Wife Sues Israel for Millions of $; Seeks Govt. to Recognize Her as Israeli Agent

Anne Pollard -- the first wife of the American-Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard -- is suing the Israeli security establishment for millions of dollars for "injustices" caused to her in the years leading up to his release from prison, and is demanding to be officially recognized as an Israeli operative, the Times of Israel website reports today (November 22, 2015).

The Pollards were arrested in 1985 in the U.S. for espionage. Anne served three and a half years in prison, and her former husband was released on November 20, after serving 30 years. To mark the occasion, Ann Pollard returned from Israel -- where she now lives -- to Washington, D.C., where the two were arrested almost exactly 30 years ago.

Anne Pollard is seeking millions of dollars in reparations from Israel, as she claimed her image had been deliberately tarnished by Israeli officials, who she said even portrayed her as "insane." Also, she is demanding to be formally recognized as an Israeli agent.

After Anne's parole, Jonathan Pollard filed for divorce, claiming that he did not want her to have to wait for him, as he expected to spend the rest of his life in jail. But once the divorce was finalized, Pollard -- who can be viewed as a modern-day Judas for betraying the United States for money -- remarried, and his new wife, Esther, began to work on the campaign to secure his release.                           

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Vatican Orders Trial of 5 for Leaking Secret Info; Led to 2 Books Portraying Corruption at Vatican

The Vatican today (November 21, 2015) ordered five people -- including two Italian journalists -- to stand trial for leaking and publishing secret documents, in the latest development in a leaks scandal which is rocking the papacy, according to the Reuters website.

The trial -- which will begin on November 24 -- stems from the publication of two recent books which depict a Vatican plagued by mismanagement, greed, corruption, and where Pope Francis faces stiff resistance from the old guard to his reform agenda.

The Holy See was embarrassed and angered by the books, which it said used information that should never have been allowed to leave the walls of the city state.

Prosecutors said three Vatican officials -- including a high-ranking priest -- formed "an organized criminal association" with the aim of "divulging information and documents concerning the fundamental interests of the Holy See and the State."

Russian Bombing of Syria Is Heaviest in Civil War; Strikes Killed 36 People,Heaviest Since March 2011

In a show of power against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group for planting a bomb on a Russian plane recently that killed all 224 passengers over Egypt, Russia bombed the IS yesterday with the heaviest strikes in Syria since the Syrian civil war began nearly five years ago, the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reports today (November 21, 2015).

The United Nations, meanwhile, passed a motion yesterday calling for action against IS, a week after 130 people were killed in Paris, sparking international condemnation and fears of similar attacks elsewhere.

Russian and Syrian warplanes carried out more than 70 strikes in eastern Deir Ezor province yesterday, killing at least 30 people including 10 children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The raids hit several cities and towns as well as three oil fields, and were the heaviest bombardment in the region since the Syrian civil war began in March 2011.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Photos of Harvard Law Black Instructors Defaced; Black Strips of Tape on Photos Called Hate Crime

As racial tensions are now sweeping many U.S. universities, portraits of several black professors were found vandalized at Harvard Law School yesterday -- a day after a campus rally for black students -- the Telegraph (British) website reports today (November 20, 2015).

Black strips of tape were placed diagonally over at least five photo portraits, Harvard officials said.

All of the portraits that were targeted depict black professors.

Martha Minow -- the law school's dean -- said the vandalism was being treated as a hate crime. Harvard police are investigating.

US-Israeli Spy Jonathan Pollard Is a Free Man; Was in Prison 30 Yrs. for Selling Classified Info

After three decades behind bars, American-Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard was released from prison today (November 20, 2015), the Times of Israel website reports.

Pollard, 61, was freed on parole from the Butner, North Carolina facility where he has been serving a life sentence for spying on the United States on Israel's behalf.

The Justice for Jonathan Pollard organization confirmed Pollard had been freed and reunited with his second wife, Esther. After exiting the prison before dawn, the Pollards have arrived at the apartment where they will spend the weekend and are grateful to those who lobbied on their behalf, the organization said in a statement, without specifying their location.

In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Pollard's release and said he has "longed for this day." Although Pollard would like to renounce his US citizenship and move to Israel now, his parole requires him to remain in the United States for five years, and President Obama has indicated that he will not interfere in Pollard's parole stipulation of remaining in the U.S. for at least five years.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

House Votes Decisively to Forbid Syrian Refugees; Defies Pres. Obama's Weak Approach to Terrorists

Distrust with President Obama's approach to terrorism boiled over today (November 19, 2015), as a bipartisan House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to "pause" his plans to resettle Syrian refugees in the United States for at least one year, according to the Washington Times website.

Nearly four dozen Democrats joined Republicans to defy a White House veto threat and pass the bill, which siphons final decision-making powers over refugee admissions from Obama's control and instead requires chiefs of the FBI, Homeland Security, and national intelligence -- all congressionally confirmed positions -- to personally vouch for each refugee.

The vote proved an embarrassment for Obama, who called on Capitol Hill to "settle down" and accused lawmakers of being anti-Muslim and lacking compassion. But the lawmakers -- mindful of the Paris terrorist attacks last week that killed at least 129 innocent people and planned by a Syrian Muslim "refugee" -- insisted that  precautions were essential to prevent similar attacks from occurring in the United States.

"The American public has very little faith in this administration," Rep. Ken Buck, Colorado Republican, told administration officials who were on Capitol Hill to try to sway lawmakers just ahead of the refugee vote.

Franklin Graham:IS Has Declared War on World; Declares US Must Now Take Combat Action on IS

Evangelist the Reverend Franklin Graham has stated that the recent Islamic State (IS) attacks in Paris and Beirut have shown that "Islam has declared war on the world," and the United States and other free nations must now take offensive action against the uncivilized IS to destroy it, the Christian Post website reports today.

"Islam has declared war on the world, and it's high time we acknowledge it and respond decisively," Rev. Graham wrote on his Facebook page.

He added, "I don't know about you, but I don't want to live under Islam. I will bow my knee to no one except Almighty God."

Graham -- head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association -- also wrote that the United States needs "to elect a president and leaders willing to take the fight to the Islamic State. We need to join forces with Russia who was our ally in World War II, France who is our oldest ally, Germany, and others to destroy this enemy."

Mastermind of Paris IS Attacks Confirmed Killed; Killed in Police Raid, Identified by Skin Samples

The Belgian jihadi -- suspected of masterminding deadly Islamic State (IS) attacks in Paris on November 13 -- was killed in a police raid on a suburban apartment building yesterday, the Times of Israel website reports today (November 19, 2015).

Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins' office said Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 27, was identified based on skin samples. His body was found in the apartment building targeted in the chaotic and bloody police raid in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis yesterday.

Police launched the operation after receiving information from tapped phone calls, surveillance, and tipoffs suggesting that Abaaoud was holed up there.

Killed along with Abaaoud was a woman who blew herself up with an explosives vest at the beginning of the raid. Eight people in the apartment were arrested.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Poles Opposed to Refugees Burn Effigies of Jews; Many Protesters Say Refugees May Be Terrorists

Dozens of demonstrators in the western Polish city of Wroclaw participated in burning effigies of Jews fully equipped with side curls and Orthodox Jewish black hats, the Algemeiner website reports today (November 18, 2015).

The demonstration was part of a larger protest against admitting refugees of the civil war in Syria into Poland. Demonstrators warned that many of the refugees were actually economic migrants and terrorists.

The demonstration took place on a portable stage in front of the Wroclaw city hall. Police contained the demonstration but allowed it to occur, with no arrests.

Many in Europe are concerned with the influx of refugees fleeing the violence in Syria, which has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives over the past nearly five years and caused widespread devastation. Poland has decided to accept 5,000 refugees.

Turkish Fans Show Hatefulness at Football Game; Shout "God Is Great" during Paris Attacks Silence

Some Turkish football fans shouted "God is great" yesterday and booed the opposing Greek team during a minute's silence for the victims of the recent Paris attacks, the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reports today (November 18, 2015).

Watched by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras, a number of fans broke the minute's silence for the victims of gun and suicide bomb attacks in Paris on November 13 that left 132 people dead and were claimed by the Islamic State (IS).

The fans chanted "Allahu Akbar" (God Is Great), booed the Greek team, and also shouted slogans in favor of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul's Basaksehir stadium.

The game ended in a goalless tie.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Jordan's King Warns IS Savagery Leads to WWIII; Calls on Free Countries to Unite Now to Destroy IS

Jordan's King Abdullah II warned today (November 17, 2015) of a "third world war against humanity," describing the radical Islamic State (IS) group as "savage outlaws of religion" in the wake of the Paris attacks that killed at least 129 people, according to the Raw Story website.

"This is a war, as I've said repeatedly, within Islam," he said, stressing the high number of Muslim victims of the IS group.

Abdullah said groups such as IS "expose themselves daily as savage outlaws of religion, devoid of humanity, respecting no laws and no boundaries."

"So therefore we must act fast and holistically to tackle and respond to the interconnected threats whether it is in this region, Africa, Asia or in Europe," he said.

Russia Says Bomb Downed Its Plane Over Egypt; Has Proof a Terrorist Attack Killed 224 on Plane

Russian officials said today (November 17, 2015) they had evidence that the plane that crashed in Egypt last month was downed by a bomb -- the first time those investigating the crash have cited proof  of terrorist involvement -- the Wall Street Journal website reports.

"We can definitely say that this is a terrorist attack," Federal Security Service of Russia head Alexander Bortnikov said during a television meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

Bortnikov said authorities had evidence that the Airbus A321 was downed by a homemade bomb, carrying the explosive equivalent of up to one kilogram of TNT.

The plane -- flying from the Egyptian resort of Sharm El Sheikh on the Red Sea to St. Petersburg, Russia -- broke apart over Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on October 31, killing all 224 people on board. The radical Islamic State (IS) group said it downed the plane because Russian jets have been carrying out airstrikes on its troops in Syria.

Monday, November 16, 2015

At Least 23 Governors to Reject Syrian Refugees; Say Accepting Them Promotes Paris-Like Attacks

A current of opposition against allowing Syrian refugees into the United States intensified today (November 16, 2015) when at least 23 U.S. governors -- citing security concerns -- said they would refuse to accept Syrian refugees into their states as a result of the Paris attacks, even as President Obama said such actions "would be a betrayal of our values," the LA Times website reports.

In addition to the governors, Republican members of Congress -- including the chairmen of the Senate Armed Services, Senate Intelligence, and House Homeland Security committees -- have called for a halt to admitting Syrian refugees to the United States. A House Judiciary subcommittee hearing is set for November 19.

Several top Republican candidates for U.S. president also called for rejecting Syrian refugees. Some of the terrorist attackers in the Paris bloodbaths have been identified as Syrian refugees.

The issue gained political traction today as the world reeled from the horror of the Paris terrorist attacks that killed at least 129 people in a string of bombings and shootings on November 13. The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the coordinated Paris attacks on six locations. Today, IS threatened to conduct similar attacks in the United States.

IS Threatens to Conduct Paris-Like Attack in US; Warns in Video Nations Bombing Syria to Be Hit

The Islamic State (IS) warned in a new video today (November 16, 2015) that countries taking part in air strikes against Syria would suffer the same fate as France, and threatened to attack in Washington, D.C., the Daily Beast website reports.

The video -- which appeared on the site used by Islamic State to post its messages -- begins with news footage of the aftermath of the November 13 Paris shootings in which at least 129 people were killed.

The message to countries involved in what it called the "crusader campaign" was delivered by a man dressed in fatigues and a turban, and identified in subtitles as Al Ghareeb the Algerian.

"We say to the states that take part in the crusader campaign that, by God, you will have a day, God willing, like France's and by God, as we struck France in the center of its abode in Paris, then we swear that we will strike America at its center in Washington," the man said.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Some 1500 Mormons Leave Church in Past Week; Due to Church Baptism Ban of Gay Couples' Kids

About 1500 Mormons are resigning from the Mormon Church -- also called the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints (LDS) -- to protest a new policy that labels same-sex couples apostate and bans children of same-sex relationships from being baptized, the CNN website reports today (November 15, 2015).

A call for mass resignations started about a week ago, after the LDS Church released new guidelines for lay leaders known as "Handbook 1."

One policy prohibits the "natural or adopted" children of parents in same-sex relationships from receiving a name and a blessing in a ceremony performed by the Mormon priesthood, according to the handbook.

"The fact that it affects children really upset people," said Attorney Mark Naugle, who is helping people resign from the church. "Most people are disaffected from the church already, and this was the final straw," he added.

France Wages Biggest Air Strikes Ever in Syria; Payback for IS Attacks in Paris Killing Over 130

French fighter jets launched their biggest raids in Syria to date, targeting the Islamic State's (IS) stronghold in Raqqa just two days after IS claimed coordinated attacks in Paris that killed more than 130 people, the Reuters website reports today (November 15, 2015).

"The raid -- including 10 fighter jets -- was launched simultaneously from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. Twenty bombs were dropped," a defense ministry statement said.

The operation -- carried out in coordination with U.S. forces -- struck a command center,  a recruitment center for jihadists, a munitions depot, and a training camp for fighters, it said.

The killing of more than 130 people in Paris on November 13 was the worst violence France has seen since World War II. Many people in France -- as well as in other countries -- are now calling for the democratic nations of the world to wage a war against Islamic fanatics in order to eliminate them from society.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

CRIF Calls for a "Merciless War" on Radical Islam; French Jews Say World War Needed to Crush ISIS

France's umbrella group of French Jewish communities, CRIF, today (November 14, 2015) called for "merciless war" against radical Islam, according to the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website.

CRIF's unusually harsh-worded statement followed news that at least 129 people were killed last night in a series of terrorist attacks in Paris and its northern suburb of Saint-Denis, which French President Francois Hollande said were an "act of war" committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

"The global war against the monstrosity of jihadist fanaticism must become an absolute priority of democratic nations," CRIF wrote in a series of messages on Twitter.

It added: "We must fight it [jihadist fanaticism] without mercy, without relenting, in order to vanquish it."

Pope: Attacks on Paris "Piece" of World War III; Says No Rel. or Human Justification for Attacks

Pope Francis today (November 14, 2015) called last night's attacks in Paris "a piece" of the "piecemeal Third World War," the Vatican Radio website reports.

In a telephone interview today with the Italian Bishops' Conference official television network, Pope Francis said the attacks are "not human."

"I am close to the people of France, to the families of the victims, and I am praying for all of them," Pope Francis said.

When asked if this is part of the "piecemeal Third World War" the Holy Father has mentioned many times before, Pope Francis said "this is a piece of it," adding "there is no religious or human justification for it."

Friday, November 13, 2015

Over 150 Feared Dead in 6 Paris Terror Attacks; Deadliest Violence Paris Has Seen Since WW II

Terrorists on a murderous rampage killed scores of people today (November 13, 2015) in several separate attacks, including at least 100 held hostage at a concert hall before police swept in, the USA Today website reports.

Explosions and gunfire erupted as the heavily armed security forces poured into the theater where a California rock group was playing. The attackers tossed explosives at the hostages, then blew themselves up with suicide belts as police closed in. At least two suspects were killed in the siege.

Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said today that the death toll -- spread across six sites in Paris -- could top 150. He added five attackers may have been killed. In addition to 100 people killed at the concert venue, at least 11 died in a Paris restaurant, and at least three died when bombs went off outside a stadium, police said.

It was the deadliest violence Paris has seen since World War II. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) -- a radical Islamic group -- has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Terrorists Kill Israeli Father,Son in West Bank; Two Palestinian Gunmen Shot at Their Vehicle

An Israeli father and his teenage son were killed today (November 13, 2015) by two Palestinian gunmen who fired on their vehicle south of the West Bank city of Hebron, according to the Times of Israel website.

The mother of the family was lightly injured, and a second son suffered moderate injuries. The family's three daughters were not hit by the gunfire but were treated for shock.

The two Israelis killed were later identified as a man in his 40s and his son of about 18. The family was on its way to relatives in the town of Meitar for Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath) when the attack occurred.

The mother and her second son, a 16-year-old boy, were taken to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba for treatment. Security forces entered a number of villages in the area -- supported by military helicopters -- to where the suspected terrorists could have fled.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Europe Nations Erect Fences to Block Migrants; Slovenia Is Latest Nation to Build Border Fence

Tiny Slovenia has become the latest in a line of nations putting up barriers against a surge of Muslims seeking to reach Western Europe, the One New Now website reports today (November 12, 2015).

Slovenian police said today that they have erected a three-mile fence in one day despite a border spat with neighboring Croatia.

Hungary's government has stopped all migrant traffic through its territory with more than 120 miles of fence on its borders with Serbia and Croatia.

Further east, Bulgaria was the first in the region to fence off its border with Turkey. Greece has a short fence with Turkey as well, finding that a river was not enough of a deterrent to keep out Muslims.

Two Suicide Bombers Kill at Least 37 in Beirut; PM Tells Lebanon Rival Groups to Avoid Strife

At least 37 people were killed and 181 wounded today (November 12, 2015) in two suicide bomb attacks in a residential area of Lebanon's capital, Beirut, according to the BBC website.

The bombers blew themselves up in a busy street in the southern suburb of Burj al-Barajneh, a stronghold of the shia Islamist Hezbollah movement. A third planned suicide bomber -- found among the dead -- apparently was killed by the second suicide bomber's attack before he got to set off his bomb.

The Sunni jihadist group Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam condemned the attacks as "unjustifiable" and called on Lebanon's rival factions to unite against "plans to create strife."

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

FBI Nabs Three Men Plotting to Kill Jews, Blacks; Wanted to Kill Them in Houses of Worship in Va.

The FBI has foiled a plot by two white men to kill Jews and blacks in synagogues and churches, the Jewish Press website reports today (November 11, 2015).

Canine dogs and 15 police cars raided the home of one of the suspects, Ronald Beasley Chaney, and arrested him and his partner, Robert Curtis Doyle. An accomplice, Charles Haldeman, also was arrested.

The FBI received a tip in late September that Chaney and Doyle had scheduled a meeting to discuss a plot to bomber or shoot at Jews and blacks in houses of worship in Virginia and a gun dealer in Oklahoma. They had said they wanted to start a race war.

The FBI placed them under surveillance and used three undercover agents who agreed to sell them weapons and explosives. The three are to be arraigned in a Richmond, Virginia court on November 12 for charges of conspiracy to possess firearms.