Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Secret Tax Dept. in France Focuses on Jews; Hires 20 Employees to Survey Tax-Evading Jews

A business news service in Israel has exposed a new secret tax authority in France that targets exclusively French Jews -- one unprecedented anywhere in the world -- the WND website reports today (December 31, 2017).

"The procedure is new and questionable, and discriminates against French Jews," Itay Bracha, a tax expert who represents French clients said.

The French department was established to handle French Jewish tax evaders, and it hired 20 Hebrew-speaking employees with experience and understanding of Israeli law to examine whether Jews were using these laws to evade taxes in France.

The goal of the department is to catch French Jews evading taxes by using Israel as a tax shelter.

Tens of Thousands Protest against Govt. in Iran; Call on Supreme Leader Khamenei to Step Down

Anti-government protesters demonstrated in Iran today (December 31, 2017), in defiance of a warning by authorities of a tough crackdown, extending for a fourth day one of the most audacious challenges to the clerical leadership since pro-reform unrest in 2009, according to the Reuters website.

Police in Teheran, Iran's capital, fired water cannon to try to disperse demonstrators.

Tens of thousands of people have protested across the country since December 28 against the Islamic Republic's unelected clerical elite and Iranian foreign policy in the Middle East.

Demonstrators initially protested over economic hardships and corruption, but now a growing number of people are calling for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step down.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

German Jewish Leader: Jews Need Police Cover; Growing Anti-Semitism in Germany Harms Jews

Former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany Charlotte Knobloch claims that Jews are increasingly under threat in public and may require police protection to lead a normal life without harassment and violence, the Drudge Report website reports today (December 30, 2017).

Knobloch, who is now president of the Jewish Community of Munich and Upper Bavaria, said that Jews are increasingly under threat.

"Aggressive anti-Semitism, from verbal hostility on the Internet and in the analogue world to desecration and destruction to physical attacks, are commonplace in Germany," she said.

"Jewish life can only take place under police protection and the strictest security precautions, or it must be completely cancelled for security reasons," Knobloch added.

Greek Orth.Jerusalem Abp.Hits US Recognition; Says Decision an "Insult" to Christians, Muslims

The archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem said relocating the U.S. embassy "gives the (Israeli) occupation what it does not deserve," the Greek Reporter website reports today (December 30, 2017).

Palestinian Christian leaders have expressed their displeasure with the U.S. government's decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, calling the move both "dangerous" and "insulting."

Theodosios, the archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, said: "We Palestinians, Christians, and Muslims reject the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel."

Speaking in Bethlehem, he called President Donald Trump's move "an insult to Christians and Muslims around the world, who consider Jerusalem as an incubator of their most sacred, spiritual, and national heritage."

Friday, December 29, 2017

US Ambas. to Israel Slams PA's Raging Rhetoric; Says PA Distorts Trump's Jerusalem Recognition

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman criticized the Palestinian Authority (PA) response to President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the Israel National News website reports today (December 29, 2017).

Some of the PA's rhetoric has been "ugly, needlessly provocative and anti-Semitic," he said.

The ambassador added that the PA reaction was "largely emotional," saying they "unfortunately overreacted" because Trump made clear that the U.S. was "not taking a position on any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem."

Last week, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas said, "The United States has proven to be a dishonest mediator in the peace process and we will no longer accept any [peace] plan from it."

Nine Killed at Coptic Orth. Church Near Cairo; Worshippers Shot by Radical Muslim Terrorist

Nine people were killed today (December 29, 2017), after a radical Muslim gunman opened fire at a Coptic Orthodox Christian Church near Cairo, Egypt, according to the CNN website.

The Ministry of the Interior said the attacker, who police shot dead, was 33-year-old Ibrahim Ismail Moustafa, and he was known to have participated in five different attacks between 2016 and 2017.

The attack was carried out at the St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church in Helwan, a district south of Cairo.

Witnesses said the worshippers were gunned down outside the church on their way out after the service.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Putin to Security: Kill Terrorists "On the Spot;" Result of Terror Blast in St. Petersburg Market

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned today that armed criminals would be "liquidated on the spot," calling the blast that tore through a Saint Petersburg supermarket and wounded 14 people an "act of terror," according to the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website.

Last night, a homemade bomb placed in a locker at the supermarket in northwestern Saint Petersburg -- Russia' second largest city -- went off sowing panic among customers and wounding 14 people including a pregnant woman.

"As you know, an act of terror took place in Saint Petersburg yesterday," Putin said today, at a ceremony to award officers who took part in Russia's Syrian campaign.

He added he ordered the nation's security services to "act decisively" and "liquidate bandits on the spot."

Israeli MK: Assimilation Destroying US Jews; Calls Assimilating US Jews "Silent Holocaust"

American Jewry is being destroyed by assimilation, and soon only Orthodox Jews will be left in the U.S., a member of the Israeli Knesset, Chaim Eichler, argued in the Knesset Interior Committee today (December 28, 2017), according to the Jerusalem Post website.

Eichler called the assimilation of Jews in the U.S. the "Silent Holocaust." (Most Jews in Israel are Orthodox Jews, while Reform Jews and Conservative Jews prevail in the U.S.)

"American Jewry assimilated because Jews were forced to work on Shabbat. That's how six million Jews became disconnected," Eichler said.

United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism CEO Rabbi Steven Wernick said, "It's a shame that members of the Israeli Government make such outrageous hateful statements. Further, it's just plain wrong. North American Jewish life is thriving...."

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Const.Ends on Greek Orth.Church Leveled 9/11; Greek Archdiocese Cannot Pay $78M New Cost

Construction on a Greek Orthodox Church to replace one that was crushed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks has been suspended amid rising costs and questions over how donations have been handled, the America Magazine website reports today (December 27, 2017).

The St. Nicholas National Shrine next to the World Trade Center memorial plaza in New York City was to replace a tiny church obliterated when the trade center's south tower fell in 2001.

The new church is being funded through donations, including from the Greek government, Greek Orthodox Church members around the world, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, and the Italian city of Bari, whose patron saint is St. Nicholas.

The estimated cost for the new church was $50 million. But this month, the cost jumped to an estimated $78 million. Skanska -- part of Stockholm-based Skanska AB -- said it had extended payment deadlines and discussed alternatives with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese to try to keep the project going, but could not reach a solution and had to halt construction.

Israel Names Jerusalem Train Station for Trump; Tribute to His Courageous Decision on Jerusalem

The transport minister of Israel said today (December 27, 2017) that the country will name a planned new railway station, close to Judaism's hallowed Western Wall in land seized from the Palestinians in east Jerusalem, after U.S. President Donald Trump, according to the Telegraph (British) website.

Trump has been praised by the Jewish state -- and sparked rage by Palestinians -- by breaking with decades of U.S. peace-promoting policy between Israelis and Palestinians to recognize the holy city as Israel's capital.

Transport Minister Israel Katz approved a plan yesterday to extend a high-speed rail line under construction between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem into the Jewish Quarter of the Old City and build a station next to the Western Wall, a statement said.

The station close to the holiest site where Jews are permitted to pray will be called "Donald John Trump," the minister ordered, in tribute to his "historic and courageous decision" on Jerusalem.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Report:40% of US Births Occur Out of Wedlock; Due to Moral,Behavioral,Social Decay in Society

A new report from the U.S. Senate reveals that about 40 percent of births in the United States happen out of wedlock, the Christian Headlines website reports today (December 26, 2017).

The hike in non-marital births is likely a result of "moral, behavioral, and social changes" that have pervaded our society in recent years, according to Robert VerBruggen, deputy managing editor of the National Review.

The Senate report, "Love, Marriage, and Baby Carriage: The Rise in Unwed Childbearing," was released this month.

It was prepared by the vice chairman's staff of the Joint Economic Committee at the request of Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).

US Cuts Over $285M on UN's 2018-19 Budget; Claims UN Is Unappreciative of US Generosity

The U.S. Mission to the United Nations has decided to slash the UN's 2018-2019 budget by over $285 million, just days after the UN voted against the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the Times of Israel website reports today (December 26, 2017).

U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said that the "inefficiency and overspending" of the organization is well-known, and she would not let "the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of."

Last week, the UN General Assembly voted 128-9 to reject President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, in effect "biting the hand that feeds the UN."

Haley said, "When we make generous contributions to the UN, we also have legitimate expectation that our good will is recognized and respected."

Monday, December 25, 2017

Trump Sends a Xmas Message for All Americans; Praises Mil.Personnel Deployed Abroad on Xmas

President Donald Trump released his first Christmas message as president today (December 25, 2017), in a video recorded with First Lady Melania Trump, according to the Daily Caller website.

The president highlighted the sacrifice of U.S. servicemembers deployed abroad for Christmas.

He also recited Bible verse Isaiah 9:6: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

Trump previously proclaimed victory against an "assault" on the phrase Merry Christmas, adding that "people are proud to be saying Merry Christmas again," instead of Happy Holidays.

"People are proud to be saying Merry Christmas again. I am proud to have led the charge against the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!"

Pope Asks World Accept Migrants in Xmas Mass; Views Them Like Mary, Joseph Leaving Nazareth

Pope Francis urged the world not to ignore the plight of millions of migrants who are "driven from their land" in his Christmas Eve Mass, The World Bulletin website reports today (December 25, 2017).

The pontiff compared them to Mary and Joseph, recounting the Biblical story how they had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem for a census.

Many migrants, he said, were being forced to flee from leaders who "see no problem in shedding innocent blood."

The 81-year-old leader of the world's estimated 1.2 billion Roman Catholics also stressed that faith demanded that foreigners be welcomed everywhere.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Guatemala to Move Israel Embassy to Jerusalem; Becomes 1st Nation to Follow Pres.Trump's Lead

Guatemala's president announced tonight (Christmas Eve) that the Central American nation will move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, thus becoming the first country to follow the lead of U.S. President Donald Trump in ordering the change, according to the NY Post website.

Guatemala was one of nine nations that voted with the U.S. and Israel on December 21 when the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a non-binding resolution denouncing Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Trump didn't set any timetable for moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and neither did Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales.

Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital, while the Palestinians claim the city's eastern sector, which was captured by Israel in 1967. The Palestinians insist that East Jerusalem must be their capital when a Palestinian state is established in a part of Israel.

Romania Leader: Move Embassy to Jerusalem; Diplomats Now Commute There from Tel Aviv

The leader of Romania's ruling Social Democratic Party, Liviu Dragnea, said that the country should "seriously consider" moving the Romanian embassy in Israel to Jerusalem for practical reasons, the Israel National News website reports today (December 24, 2017).

All Israel's central institutions are in Jerusalem, and ambassadors and embassy staff  "commute from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem," Dragnea said.

The comments were made on December 22, a day after the United Nations General Assembly backed a resolution criticizing U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Romania abstained from voting on the UN resolution, one of 35 countries to have done so. The large number of countries abstaining is believed to be due to President Trump threatening to cut billions of dollars in foreign aid to countries that vote against the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Pope States Xmas Taken Hostage by Worldliness; "True Spirit of Xmas Is the Beauty of God's Love"

In his ongoing campaign against commercialization of the Christian feast of the Nativity, Pope Francis is calling on Christians to liberate Christmas, saying it has been taken "hostage" by worldliness, the Drudge Report website reports today (December 23, 2017).

"Let us free Christmas from the worldliness that has taken it hostage," the pope said yesterday.

He added, "The true spirit of Christmas is the beauty of being loved by God."

Earlier this week, Francis told a group of schoolchildren that if Jesus is removed from the holidays, Christmas is emptied of all significance.

PA Policewoman Hurt in Terror Shooting Spree; Muslim Man Killed,Fired at Police in Harrisburg

A 51-year-old Muslim man, who had recently returned from the Middle East, was killed in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania last night after he went on a shooting spree targeting police officers, the WND website reports today (December 23, 2017).

Ahmed Aminamin El-Mofty wounded one policewoman -- a state trooper -- who is expected to recover.

El-Mofty -- armed with a shotgun and two rifles -- had chased the trooper during one of three shootings before he was shot dead by police.

The FBI is investigating the attacks as terrorism-related.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Pope:Reforms Needed for Cath.Church to Grow; Rips Cath.Traitors for Resisting Church Change

Pope Francis issued a stinging new critique of the Vatican's top administration yesterday, saying "traitors" stood in the way of his reforms and made any changes as hard as "cleaning Egypt's Sphinx with a toothbrush," the Reuters website reports today (December 22, 2017).

Francis used his annual Christmas greetings to the Roman Catholic Church's central bureaucracy, or Curia, to lecture the assembled cardinals, bishops, and other department heads on the need for change.

Since his election as the first Latin American pope in 2013, Francis has been trying to reform the Italian-dominated Curia to bring the Church's hierarchy closer to its members, to enact financial reforms, and guide it out of scandals that marked the pontificate of his predecessor, former Pope Benedict.

But he has encountered resistance from a half-dozen cardinals and many Catholic traditionalists, who believe his reforms and his failure to adhere to Catholic doctrine -- for example, allowing divorced Catholics who have remarried to receive Communion -- can be viewed as heresy.

IS Warns of Xmas,New Year's Terror Attacks; Last Xmas IS Truck Killed 12 People in Berlin

Islamic State (IS) terrorists are threatening Christmas and New Year's attacks in major cities across the U.S. and Europe, the CBN website reports today (December 22, 2017).

The terror group has released a series of chilling posters depicting holiday attacks.

One poster shows an image of Santa standing beside explosives in Times Square.

Last year, IS terrorists drove a truck through a Christmas market in Berlin on Christmas, killing a dozen people and wounding many more.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Vice Pres. Pence in Secret Trip to Afghanistan; Tells Afghan Leaders US to "See This Through"

Vice President Mike Pence made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan today (December 21, 2017) to meet its leaders and underscore U.S. commitment to the country, four months after President Donald Trump agreed to an open-ended war against insurgents there, according to the Newsmax website.

Pence arrived on a military plane at Bagram Airfield today. He then flew by helicopter to Kabul, where he met President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah at the presidential palace.

Pence told the leaders he hoped his presence there was tangible evidence the United States was "here to see this through."

In a reversal of his campaign call for a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, Trump in August pledged a stepped-up military campaign against Taliban insurgents and signaled the U.S. would send more troops to fight in the 16-year-long Afghan conflict -- the longest war in U.S. history.

UN Votes US Recognition of Israel Null and Void; Bars Recognition 128 to 9 Despite Trump Threat

In a humiliating blow for Donald Trump on the world stage, the United Nations General Assembly today (December 21, 2017) voted by 128 to 9 to declare his controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital "null and void," according to the Independent (British) website.

Just days after the U.S. used its veto power at the UN Security Council to block  a similar measure, the general assembly condemned America's unilateral action, that most observers believe hampers efforts to secure peace in the Middle East.

While the vote has little practical impact -- it is not legally binding -- its is a significant embarrassment for the U.S., since it reflects global opinion.

Thirty-five countries -- mostly from Africa and Latin America -- abstained from the vote. The large number of abstentions is likely a result of the Trump administration's threat to "take names" of countries that do not vote in favor of the U.S., and to cut billions of dollars in U.S. foreign aid to these nations.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Syrian Govt. Air Strikes Kill 19 in Idlib Province; Strike Syrian Rebels Seeking to Oust Pres. Assad

Air strikes by Syrian government or Russian jets killed 19 people in a village in Syria's rebel stronghold of Idlib today (December 20, 2017), according to the Euro News website.

The strikes pounded Maar Shureen in the northwestern Idlib province and injured 25 other people, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The dead included seven children, the Observatory added.

Syrian rebels took control of Idlib province in 2015. It is now the only province fully under anti-government control, as the Syrian civil war -- now in its seventh year -- continues to be fought, in an effort to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

US UN Rep. Making a List,Checking It Twice; Going to Tell Trump Who's Naughty and Nice

President Trump will be watching a vote in the United Nations General Assembly "very carefully," and has asked his ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, to "report back on those countries who voted against us," Haley wrote in a letter sent to scores of countries, the CBS News website reports today (December 20, 2017).

Haley also sent a tweet warning the U.S. would be "taking names" in tomorrow's scheduled vote, which is intended to show a United Nations unified around getting President Trump to withdraw his administration's unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Haley's letter was sent to the UN delegations of more than 180 countries. She wrote that the U.S. "will take note of each and every vote on this issue [of the US recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital]."

She added, "As you consider your vote, I want you to know that the President and U.S. take this vote personally."
At a Cabinet meeting today, Trump said that countries that vote against the U.S. at the UN may lose billions of dollars in U.S. aid, and he asserted the U.S. is "not going to be taken advantage of any longer."

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Turkey to Move Its Israel Embassy to Jerusalem; Due to US Accepting Jerusalem as Israeli Capital

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has asserted he plans to move Turkey's embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to eastern Jerusalem -- which Palestinians claim must be their capital in a future Palestinian state -- the Washington Times website reports today (December 19, 2017).

"God willing, the day is close when officially, with God's permission, we will open our embassy there," Erdogan said, noting that Turkey's Israeli ambassador and consulate general offices are already based in Jerusalem.

Erdogan's assertion comes roughly one week after he met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and several other Muslim leaders to refute President Trump's decision to recognize all of Jerusalem as the official Israeli capital and to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the holy city.

Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital has ignited anti-U.S. sentiment and violence in the Middle East. It also prompted Abbas to declare that Washington has abdicated its role as the main arbiter of peace in the Middle East.

Russia Seeks to Replace US as Mideast Mediator; US Mediator Role Ended Due to Israel Favoritism

Russia said yesterday it was ready to become "an honest mediator" between the Israelis and Palestinians -- a role the U.S. has played for decades -- after a vote in the UN Security Council showed the depth of global opposition to U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the Times of Israel website reports today (December 19, 2017).

Washington vetoed a resolution supported by all of the other 14 Council members that would have required President Donald Trump to rescind his declaration on Jerusalem.

Russia's deputy UN ambassador Vladimir Safronkov said it was becoming more important to move "as quickly as possible towards direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations."

Turkey criticized the U.S. veto, saying Washington had lost its "impartiality" in the Middle East. Last week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he will no longer allow the U.S. to serve as mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, as he wants East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Ukraine Vandals Put Animal Blood on Menorah; Had Spray Painted Swastika on It 2 Days Before

A menorah in the Ukrainian capital city of Kiev was vandalized last night, just days after an earlier anti-Semitic incident of vandalism targeting the Jewish symbol during the Hanukkah holiday, the Israel National News website reports today (December 18, 2017).

The menorah, located in the Podil neighborhood of Kiev, once home to a large Jewish population -- including Israel's first female Prime Minister, Golda Meir -- was found smeared with animal blood at about 7:00 p.m. local time last night.

Two days earlier, vandals spray painted a swastika on the same menorah.

Kiev police received a complaint regarding the vandalism, and have opened an investigation into what they called an "act of hooliganism."

EU Won't Recognize Jerusalem as Israel Capital; EU Leaders Committed to a Two-State Solution

The European Union (EU) leaders do not support President Trump's stance of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the Christian Headlines website reports today (December 18, 2017).

"EU leaders reiterate firm commitment to the two-state solution and, in this context, the EU position on Jerusalem remains unchanged," EU President Donald Tusk said.

EU foreign policy leader Federica Mogherini also warned that Trump's decision could take Arab-Israeli tensions "backwards to even darker times."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem and said he expected most European countries to do so, but Mogherini said Netanyahu should "keep his expectations for others."

Sunday, December 17, 2017

EU May Take Unprecedented Action on Poland; Due to Poland's Judiciary Controlled by Politics

The European Union's executive commission will likely decide this week to trigger an unprecedented procedure against Poland that could move the country closer to losing its voting rights in the 28-nation bloc, the LA Times website reports today (December 17, 2017).

The move would involve a formal warning to Poland that it sees a "clear risk of a serious breach" of European values in new bills that overhaul its judicial system. The leaders of Germany and France said they would back the commission if it decides to take this step against Poland.

Poland's new Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki tried -- but failed -- to persuade leaders at an EU summit in Brussels on December 15 that the new judiciary rules do not violate democratic values.

Jurisprudence scholars believe that laws recently passed by Poland destroy the independence of its judicial branch of government by putting it under political control of the ruling party.

Woman Is Now Powerful Boss of Sicily's Mafia; Maria Angela di Trapani Arrested for Extortion

Maria Angela di Trapani, the 49-year-old wife of Sicilian mafia kingpin Salvatore Madonia, was arrested last week after it emerged that she was in charge of reorganizing the Sicilian Cosa Nostra after the death of longtime boss Toto Riina in prison last month, The Daily Beast website reports today (December 17, 2017).

Trapani, the prima donna (first lady) who was referred to by other mobsters as the "mistress of the house," was in full charge of organizing each individual mob family's affairs, including ordering punishments and hits.

One pentito (or turncoat) told investigators that "she acts like a real man," according to court documents.

She and those she commanded are charged with 33 separate crimes, including successful attempts at extortion in which she allegedly personally saw to the collection of pizzo (or protection money) from local businesses.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Pope:Scribes Must Avoid Sins of Communication; Asserts that Reliable Information Is Most Critical

Pope Francis, in speaking to a group of journalists today (December 16, 2017), addressed the importance of a free and responsible press while also warning against falling "prey to the sins of communication," according to the NPR (National Public Radio) website.

He was speaking to members of the Italian Periodical Press Union and the Italian Federation of Catholic Weeklies, and said that in a field "dominated by the anxiety of speed, by the drive for sensationalism," reliable information is at a premium.

"We must not fall prey to 'sins of communication:' disinformation that is giving just one side of the argument slander, which is sensationalistic or defamation..." Francis said.

He added, "They are very grave sins, which damage the heart of the journalist and harm people.

Americans Prefer to Criminalize Radical Islam; 91% Want to Criminalize Urging Violent Jihad

As a result of a law being proposed in Bulgaria to criminalize radical Islam, a new poll was conducted in the U.S. to determine how Americans feel about such a law being enacted in the U.S., the Clarion Project website reports today (December 16, 2017).

The law would criminalize the promotion of radical Islam, including the advocating for violent jihad, a caliphate, or sharia law.

The poll asked, "Should the U.S. criminalize the promotion of radical Islam?"

The results of the poll show that 91.6 percent said "yes;" 5.7 percent said "only if the promotion of radical Islam includes violent jihad;" and 2.7 percent said "no, the promotion of radical Islam is protected under the constitutionally guaranteed right of free speech."

Friday, December 15, 2017

NJ Imam's Sermon Asks Allah to Kill All Jews; Aymen Elkasaby of Jersey City Is Given Rehab

Aymen Elkasaby, an imam from New Jersey who called for the killing of every Jew, is reportedly going through a rehab period, after making the comment that Allah should "kill them down to the very last one," the World Net Daily website reports today (December 15, 2017).

He is from the Islamic Center of Jersey City, and the report says he gave a sermon on November 24 where he called on "Allah to wreak vengeance" on Jews.

"That sermon came days after U.S. President Donald Trump defied warnings from the world and recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital," the report said.

"Islamic Center of Jersey City president Ahmed Shedeed announced that Elkasaby would be sitting down with 'interfaith scholars' who would 'consult with and retrain him,'" the report said. "Like sending someone to rehab," Shedeed added.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 14, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Trump:Congress Must Fix Lax Immigration Law; Due to NYC Bomb Attack by Muslim Immigrant

Emphasizing his "I told you so" precaution regarding unscreened Muslim immigrants, U.S. President Donald Trump said yesterday that a bomb attack by a 27-year-old Muslim and Islamic State (IS) supporter from Bangladesh on New York's subway system underscored the "urgent need" for Congress to enact Immigration reform, the Worthy News website reports today (December 12, 2017).

Three people were slightly injured after the attacker's pipe bomb exploded only partially, while the suspect was sent to a hospital with severe burns and wounds on his torso and hands.

If the pipe bomb had exploded to its full potential, scores of people would have probably been killed and wounded.

"First and foremost, as I have been saying since I first announced my candidacy for president, America must fix its lax immigration system, which allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people to access our country," Trump said in a statement.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Putin Withdrawing Russian Troops from Syria; Troops Helped Defeat IS, Saved Assad as Pres.

Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to a Syrian air base today (December 11, 2017), where he met with Syrian President Bashar Assad and declared that Moscow would begin a withdrawal of its troops, as a result of the defeat of the Islamic State (IS), according to the LA Times website.

In July 2015, the defeat of Assad appeared imminent, as Syrian rebels defeated government troops in several battles and the Islamic State established a caliphate in Syria.

Assad's defeats meant the government controlled only a quarter of the country.

Two months later, Russian warplanes streaked through Syria's skies, hurling bombs at Assad's enemies and starting a reversal of fortune that -- more than two years later -- has forced most of those enemies to accede that Assad will remain as president of Syria.

Netanyahu:Turkey's Erdogan Is Brutal Dictator; Erdogan Helps Terrorists, Kills Innocent People

After Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called Israel a "terror state" that kills children, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Erdogan was a brutal dictator who supports Palestinian terrorist groups in their efforts to "kill innocent people," the Times of Israel website reports today (December 11, 2017).

"I am not used to receiving lectures about morality from a leader who bombs Kurdish villagers in his native Turkey, who jails journalists, who helps Iran get around international sanctions, and who helps terrorists, including Gaza, kill innocent people," said Netanyahu.

Netanyahu's comments came after Erdogan vowed to use "all means to fight" against the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"Palestine is an innocent victim. As for Israel, it is a terrorist state ...that kills children," Erdogan said.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Lebanese Police Hit Rioters with Tear Gas,Water; Result of Trump's Jerusalem Capital Recognition

Lebanese security forces fired tear gas and water canons at protesters near the U.S. Embassy in Beirut today (December 10, 2017), during a demonstration against President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, according to the Independent (British) website.

Demonstrators waved the Palestinian flag as they lit fires in the street and threw projectiles towards security forces, who had barricaded the main road leading to the embassy in the Awkar area of the capital.

Some protesters burned an effigy of the U.S. President, as well as American and Israeli flags and piles of garbage, sending plumes of smoke into the air. As protesters hurled stones, security forces responded with tear gas and water cannons.

The White House announcement on Jerusalem last week has ignited protests across the Middle East, where it is widely seen as a blatantly pro-Israel move that threatens the decades-old peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

Bulgaria on Path to Passing a Radical Islam Law; Criminalizes Advocating Jihad,a Caliphate,Sharia

An innovative law proposed by Bulgaria may provide a model for the U.S. and other Western democracies to weed out radical Islam and its promoters, the Clarion Project website reports today (December 10, 2017).

The law, which amends the criminal code and passed the first reading in parliament, criminalizes the promotion of radical Islam, including advocating for violent jihad, a caliphate, and sharia law.

The law also makes promoting any ideology of violence or promoting the replacement of the nation's laws or constitution criminal.

"The law is not meant as an attack on the religion of Islam, but rather addresses the extremist Islamist ideology," Bulgarian MP Boris Yachev said.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Pope Laments Rome's Recent Decay, Corruption; Rome's Potholes,Garbage,6' Weeds Are Disgrace

Pope Francis lamented the decay and degradation of Rome yesterday, using a traditional prayer on a national feast day to highlight problems, such as environmental blight and corruption in the Italian capital, the Reuters website reports today (December 9, 2017).

Francis made his comments at the base of Rome's famed Spanish Steps, where each year popes pay homage to a statue of the Madonna on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

He said that Rome has fallen into disrepair and degradation in recent years, with streets full of potholes, piles of garbage, and neglected public gardens where weeds grow as tall as a person.

Francis -- who is also the bishop of Rome -- prayed that the residents of the city develop "antibodies against some viruses of our times." Those he listed included "resignation to environmental and ethical degradation, civic incivility, contempt for the common good, and fear of immigrants."

Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Pope Won't Meet Pence; Due to US Confirming Jerusalem as Israel Capital

Pope Tawadros II, head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, today (December 9, 2017) canceled a meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Cairo set for later this month, in protest at Washington's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, according to the Times of Israel website.

U.S. President Donald Trump's decision "did not take into account the feelings of millions of Arab people," the church said in a statement.

"The Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church declines to receive American Vice President Mike Pence," it said, adding it would pray for "wisdom and to address all issues that impact peace for the people of the Middle East."

The Coptic pope's decision came a day after Egypt's top Muslim cleric declined to meet Pence. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also said he will not meet with Pence when he visits the West Bank this month.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Israeli Troops Kill Two Palestinian Protesters; Injure 250 against Jerusalem as Israel Capital

Israeli troops killed at least two Palestinian protesters today (December 8, 2017), as clashes escalated over U.S. President Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, according to the UPI website.

Mohammad al-Masri, 30, was shot dead by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) east of Khan Younis. Another man in his 50s was killed in northern Gaza.

Some 3,000 Palestinian protesters held demonstrations and clashed with IDF at nearly 30 locations across the West Bank and Gaza Strip -- leaving about 250 Palestinians injured. The protests were part of a "day of rage" being held today by Palestinians and Muslims in the Middle East and around the world, sparked by Trump's recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Palestinian protesters also threw rocks at IDF soldiers in Bethlehem. Israeli forces responded by firing tear gas.

Swedish TV Apologizes for Anti-Semitic News; Said Jewish Lobby Controls US Foreign Policy

Sweden's main public TV broadcaster has apologized for an article that tied President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital to the strength of the U.S. "Jewish Lobby," the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (December 8, 2017).

In a broadcast on December 6 -- immediately following Trump's address about Jerusalem -- the broadcaster SVT asserted that the "Jewish Lobby in the U.S. is incredibly strong," and that the lobby "has championed this issue for a long time."

"It was an unfortunate choice of words that immediately was corrected by our senior news commentator," Charlotta Friborg, executive editor and publisher of SVT News said.

Viewers had complained online that the assertion promoted anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jewish control over United States foreign policy. Palestinians believe that they have been betrayed by Trump for favoring Israel and for denying them any part of Jerusalem, and the Palestinians will now most likely no longer allow the U.S. to serve as the mediator -- as it has for decades -- in negotiating a non-biased Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Pope Seeks a Change in "Our Father" Prayer; "Lead Us Not into Temptation" Unfair to God

Pope Francis has said he wants to make a change to The Lord's Prayer, widely known among the faithful as the "Our Father," the Fox News website reports today (December 7, 2017).

Specifically, the Catholic head said in an interview yesterday that he would prefer to adjust the phrase "lead us not into temptation," saying it strongly suggests that God leads people to sin.

The phrase "do not let us fall into temptation," which the Catholic Church in France has been using in recent years, would be a more appropriate alternative, Francis said.

He added that the phrase used in France -- or similar wording -- should be implemented around the globe. The Lord's Prayer originated from Jesus's language of Aramaic. It was then translated to Greek, and later to Latin.

Trump's Jerusalem Moves Spark Mideast Strike; Palestinians Plan Protests, "Day of Rage " Dec. 8

Palestinians closed schools and shops and called for protests across the West Bank today (December 7, 2017), in a show of anger over U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, according to the Euro News website.

Trump's announcement yesterday reversed decades of U.S. policy on Jerusalem, which both Israelis and Palestinians claim.

Trump's move was seen as siding with Israel's government, which says it won't give any part of Jerusalem to the Palestinians.

The powerful Palestinian Islamist group Hamas -- which Israel and the U.S. view as a terrorist organization -- has called on Muslims and Arabs to hold rallies tomorrow (December 8), calling it a "day of rage."

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Putin Vows to Help Syria Rebuild Its Churches; Says Syrian Battles Waning,Many Return Home

Russia will help rebuild Christian churches in Syria and establish peace in historically Christian regions of the war-torn country, Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed during a meeting this week with representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Worthy News website reports today (December 6, 2017).

Putin told the meeting's attendees: "It's very important that the peaceful life is established as soon as possible, that people can return to their homes; to rebuild the temples and churches."

During the meeting, Putin also stressed that the civil war in Syria is winding down and much of the territory -- including Christian areas -- has been liberated.

Russia has been a strong ally of the Syrian government in fighting its rebels and Islamic State (IS) troops. The Greek Orthodox Church is the predominant Christian church in both Russia and Syria.

Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's Capital; Historic "New Approach" to Middle East Peace

President Donald Trump today (December 6, 2017) recognized the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital -- a historical decision that overturns decades of U.S. policy and risks triggering a fresh spasm of violence in the Middle East -- according to the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website.

"I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel," Trump said from the White House.

Trump has also decided to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Although Jerusalem is claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians, Trump said his decision marked the start of a "new approach" to solving the decades-long conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Erdogan Could Cut Israel Ties over Jerusalem; Islam Leader Angry at Trump's Jerusalem Plan

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said today (December 5, 2017) that Turkey could break off diplomatic relations with Israel if the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital, according to the Jerusalem Post website.

Erdogan is one of several Muslim leaders to warn of negative implications of the move. Tel Aviv has been the capital of Israel since Israel became an independent nation in 1948.

The likelihood that Trump may make an announcement on the move as early as tomorrow has also stirred some opposition from U.S. officials who fear it could unleash violence.

Such a decision would oppose decades of U.S. policy to take a stance on the fate of Jerusalem on the grounds that this was an issue Israelis and Palestinians should negotiate and decide.

Trump Moves US Israel Embassy to Jerusalem; Informs Palestinian Pres.,Jordan King of Move

The Jewish Press website reports today (December 5, 2017) that President Donald Trump spoke with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas and the King of Jordan Abdullah II last night, and informed them that he intends to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Extremely troubled by Trump's decision, both the PA and the Kingdom of Jordan released statements today stating that this is what Trump told them. The PA had already called for three days of rage starting on December 6 even before receiving Trump's phone call, due to rumors last week of  the expected embassy move.

No indication was given for a timeline as to when this will happen.

There is some expectation that tomorrow (December 6), Trump will also officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Monday, December 4, 2017

High Court OKs Execution of Trump Travel Ban; Ban Curtails Visitors,Immigrants from 8 Nations

The U.S. Supreme Court doled out a victory for the Trump administration today (December 4, 2017), ruling that the third version of the president's immigration travel ban can take effect, while it is being challenged in the lower courts, according to the Washington Times website.

The latest travel ban was introduced in September and sought to curtail the admission of visitors and would-be immigrants from eight countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.

Justices Ruth Bader and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.

An unsigned order from the Supreme Court urges the lower courts to move quickly in ruling on the case.

Erdogan: Turkey Won't Submit to US Blackmail; US Told Turkey It Evades Sanctions against Iran

Turkish President Erdogan said yesterday that Turkey will not succumb to "blackmail" by the the U.S. in the trial of a Turkish bank executive being charged with evading U.S. sanctions on Iran, the Yahoo News website reports today (December 4, 2017).

Erdogan's anger was a result of Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab, who is cooperating with U.S. prosecutors, in a court scheme to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Erdogan said Turkey's dealings were in line with decisions of the U.N., not the U.S.

"We bought natural gas from a country [Iran] we have an agreement with so our citizens wouldn't be cold in the winter," Erdogan said.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Israel Bombs an Iranian Military Base in Syria; Israel Won't Allow Iran's Mil.Presence in Syria

Israel's air force bombed a military target believed to be an Iranian military base outside Damascus, Syria yesterday, destroying an arms depot and killing 12 Iranians, the Clarion Project website reports today (December 3, 21017).

Iran is a strong ally of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and has provided him with military and financial assistance during Syria's ongoing civil war.

Israel had warned Assad that it will not allow Iran to develop a military presence in Syria.

Iranian leaders have long threatened to "wipe Israel off the map."

Saturday, December 2, 2017

US Withdraws from UN Pact on Refugee Rights; Claims It's Not Compatible with US Sovereignty

The Trump administration today (December 2, 2017) withdrew the U.S. from a U.N. pact to improve the handling of migrant and refugee situations, deeming it "inconsistent" with its policies, according to the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N, Nikki Haley, said the U.S. would continue its "generosity" in supporting migrants and refugees, but "our decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone."

She added, "The global approach in the New York Declaration [to support migrants and refugees] is simply not compatible with United States sovereignty."

Under Trump and his "America First" policies, the U.S. has withdrawn from several global commitments, including the Paris climate deal.

Some 20,000 Israelis Protest against Corruption; PM Netanyahu Investigated for Accepting Bribes

About 20,000 Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv today (December 2, 2017) against government corruption and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is under criminal investigation for accepting bribes, according to the Reuters website.

Today's demonstration was by far the largest of weekly anti-corruption protests sparked by corruption allegations against Netanyahu.

Netanyahu denies the allegations and describes himself as a victim of a political witch hunt.

If charged, he would be under heavy pressure to resign as prime minister, or he could call an election to test whether he still had a mandate to rule Israel.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Pope Seeks Closer Ties with Greek Orth. Church; Sends Co-op Message to Patriarch Bartholomew

Pope Francis is encouraging Catholic and Orthodox Christians not only to engage in further theological dialogue, but also to promote joint initiatives on issues such as caring for the environment, peaceful coexistence among peoples, and the presence of Christians in the Middle East, without waiting for the day of full and visible communion, the Independent Catholic website reports today (December 1, 2017).

The Pope made the exhortation in a message to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople on the November 30 feast of St. Andrew, the patron of the Patriarchate.

The Ecumenical Patriarch is regarded as the "first among equals" in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and spiritual leader of some 300 million Orthodox Christians.

The growing estrangement from the 5th to the 11th century between the Byzantine Church based in Constantinople and the Rome-based Catholic Church came to a head with the Great Schism of 1054, which split the followers of Christ into Eastern Orthodoxy and Western Catholicism.

Survey:US Born Again Christians Diminishing; Society Now Lacks Interest in Gospel Outreach

A new religious survey has found that the percentage of born again Christians in America continues to decline, the Christian Post website reports today (December 1, 2017).

It also found that only a minority of the faithful believe they have a strong personal responsibility to share the Gospel.

"Christianity in America is going through a time of substantial challenge. The Church at-large is not likely to grow in the future unless some fundamental changes in practice are made," said researcher George Barna, speaking about the American Culture & Faith Institute survey results released this week.

Barna added: "Fewer churches emphasize and equip people for evangelism these days, and the results are obvious and undeniable. The implications of ignoring gospel outreach -- especially among children, who are the most receptive audience to the gospel -- are enormous. All the 'church growth' strategies in the world cannot compensate for the absence of an authentic transmission of the good news of what Jesus Christ has done for humanity."

Israeli Soldier Stabbed to Death at Bus Stop; Terror Attack Was in Arad,Assailant at Large

Ron Yitzhak Kukia, 19, of Tel Aviv, an Israeli soldier, was stabbed to death at a bus stop in southern Israel last night, in what authorities believe was a terror attack, the Israel National News website reports today (December 1, 2017).

The incident occurred at 9:26 p.m. in the southern Israeli town of Arad, east of Beer Sheva.

MDA emergency first responders were dispatched to the scene of the stabbing, but were forced to declare the victim dead after attempting to resuscitate him.

The assailant fled the scene shortly after the stabbing and remains at large. Police units are searching the surrounding area for the suspect.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Govt. Expert:US Is Already on a Path to Fascism; Warns Trump Defies Laws,Rips Dem.Institutions

An international politics expert, who studies authoritarian regimes, said President Donald Trump was already taking steps to gather tyrannical power, the Alter Net website reports today (November 30, 2017).

Brian Klaas -- an expert on global democracy and political power -- said Americans should worry about Trump's willingness to flout the law and attack democratic institutions.

He added, "You have demonization of the press and also attacking CNN, saying we should boycott them. There are constant ethics violations."

Klaas warned that what's happening now in the U.S. lines up with the early stages of authoritarian regimes he has studied in other countries.

Vandals Toss Paint on Lesvos Refugee Shrine; Monument Observed Refugees Who Drowned

A monument set up in memory of the refugees who perished at sea in 2012-2013 as they tried to cross from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesvos was vandalized yesterday by unknown individuals, the Greek Observer website reports today (November 30, 2017).

The monument, which bears the inscribed names of the victims, was splattered with black paint.

A local activist movement called "Movement for the Coexistence and Communication in the Aegean" condemned the incident.

"One wonders what the perpetrator or perpetrators intended by attacking the memory of those people. If anything, they have disregarded universal values and traditions which our ancestors first highlighted, such as respecting the dead, whoever they are," it said in a statement.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Cath. Church Files Lawsuit against DC's Metro; Due to Transit Agency Rejecting Ad Lifting Rel.

The Catholic Church is taking Metro to court after the Washington-area transit agency rejected an ad campaign promoting a website aimed at encouraging attendance at parishes throughout the D.C. area, the Washington Times website reports today (November 29, 2017).

The Archdiocese of Washington filed the lawsuit yesterday after Metro rejected an advertisement promoting  the website "" The ad has a backdrop depicting shepherds with their flock of sheep looking up into a starry sky.

While no overtly religious message is included in the text of the ad itself, the website explains that "Jesus is the perfect gift," and includes links for visitors to find the nearest Catholic parish.

In its court filing, the Archdiocese claims Metro rejected the design, saying it "depicts a religious scene and thus seeks to promote religion."

Ex-Croatian Mil. Leader Drinks Poison and Dies; Due to Conviction of War Crimes by Dutch Court

A former Croatian military and political leader died today (November 29, 2017) after he drank a bottle of poison -- just moments after a conviction on war crimes was upheld in a Dutch courtroom -- according to the UPI website.

Slobodan Praljak appeared in court today and lost his appeal of a 20-year conviction in the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Moments after the verdict, he stood and said, "Praljak is not a criminal. I reject your verdict."

Praljak, 72, then took a small brown bottle from his pocket and drank its contents.

Praljak's attorney then shouted, "My client has taken poison."

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

"Women Can Take Some Blame for Harassment;" Angela Lansbury: Women Often Enticing to Men

As Hollywood grapples with mounting allegations of sexual harassment, Angela Lansbury says she really believes women must -- at least partially -- be held accountable in instances of sexual harassment by men, the USA Today website reports today (November 28, 2017).

In an interview with "Radio Times" today, the actress who played Jessica Fletcher in the TV series "Murder, She Wrote," said women are to some degree responsible.

"There are two sides to this coin," Lansbury, 92, said. "We have to own up to the fact that women, since time immemorial, have gone out of their way to make themselves attractive. And unfortunately it has backfired on us -- and this is where we are today."

"We must sometimes take blame, women," she continued. "I really do think that. Although it's awful to say we can't make ourselves look as attractive as possible without being knocked down and raped."

Chaldean Abp. Seeks Help for Iraqi Christians; Urges Pres.Trump Help Evacuees Come Home

The Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil, Bashar Warda, is urging President Donald Trump to help 20,000 Iraqi Christian families that have been driven out of their homes following attacks and dangers from Islamic State (IS) extremists, the Christian Post website reports today (November 28, 2017).

Warda said that 20,000 Iraqi Christian families -- or around 100,000 people -- still need vital assistance following years of attacks by Islamic radicals and other conflicts that have driven them out of their homes.

"This is a just case," Warda said in his plea to the Trump administration.

"They are persecuted, they are marginalized, and they are in need," he said of the Christians.

Opponent of Migration Stabs German Mayor; Mayor of Altena Had Exceeded Migrant Quota

A mayor in western Germany has survived a knife attack amid suspicions of a link to his liberal immigration policy, the BBC website reports today (November 28, 2017).

Andreas Hollstein, mayor of Altena, was stabbed in the neck in a kebab shop and had hospital treatment.

The town in North Rhine-Westphalia is well-known for having accepted more than its quota of migrants.

Witnesses of the stabbing said the assailant -- now in custody -- shouted criticism of the mayor's asylum policy during the attack last night.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Tufts Univ.Bans Speech of Anthony Scaramucci; Due to Tufts Newspaper Writeup Critical of Him

Officials at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts have canceled an event with Anthony Scaramucci after President Trump's former communications director threatened a lawsuit over an opinion piece published in the student newspaper, the CBS News website reports today (November 27, 2017).

Scaramucci was scheduled to speak today at the university's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, but Tufts canceled his speech.

Earlier this month, 26-year-old graduate student Camilo Caballero wrote a piece in The Tufts Daily newspaper criticizing Scaramucci's position on a Fletcher School advisory board.

Scaramucci's lawyer has threatened to take legal action against Tufts unless the newspaper retracts its "false and defamatory allegations of fact."

Muslim Cultural Center Is Vandalized in Warsaw; Milieu of Ethnocentrism, Racism Pervade Poland

Police said today (November 27, 2017) that vandals smashed a dozen windows at the Muslim Cultural Center in Warsaw, which houses one of two mosques in the Polish capital, according to the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website.

The incident comes amid an atmosphere of intolerance that has grown since Poland's right-wing government took power in 2015.

The vandals also damaged the frame of a large tent erected in the center's garden.

At a massive far-right march earlier this month in Warsaw, some of the participants chanted "Pure Poland, white Poland" and "Refugees get out," further illustrating the ethnocentric and racist milieu that now pervades Poland.

Church of Sweden Ends "He" in Referring to God; Says God Is Not Human in Defending Its Change

The Church of Sweden has decided to make some changes on how clergy refer to God the Father, the CBN News website reports today (November 27, 2017).

The church's 251-member board voted recently to end terms like "He" and "Lord" and use the more gender-neutral term "God."

According to the board, these changes will go into effect in May of 2018.

"Theologically, we know that God is beyond our gender determinations; God is not human,"church head Archbishop Antje Jackelen said in defending the Church of Sweden change.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

US Ends Arms Supply to Kurds to Please Turkey; Abandons Kurds Who Helped Defeat IS in Syria

The U.S. will cut off its supply of arms to Kurdish fighters in Syria in a move by President Trump that is sure to please Turkey but further alienate Syrian Kurds who bore a significant role in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group, the LA Times website reports today.

In a phone call on November 24 with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Trump said he'd "given clear instructions" that the Kurds receive no more weapons.

The White House confirmed the move in a cryptic statement about the phone call that said Trump had informed the Turks of "pending adjustments to the military support provided to our partners on the ground in Syria."

The move is expected to help improve U.S.-Turkey relations that have been strained in recent months. Turkey had opposed the U.S. supplying weapons to Kurdish fighters to use against the IS, because it feared the Kurds would use these weapons against Turkey in their fighting to establish their own independent state in Turkey.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Trump Admin. Decides to Reopen PLO Office; Feels Closing It Disrupts Mideast Peace Effort

The Trump administration has quietly reversed its decision to close down the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) office in Washington, D.C. over a court issue, amid concerns the move would jeopardize President Trump's larger, ambitious effort to achieve Middle East peace, the Fox News website reports today (November 25, 2017).

Last week, U.S. officials said the Palestinian Liberation Organization mission in the nation's capital must close, in accordance with a U.S. law related to the Palestinians having tried to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis.

Then, officials abruptly reversed course late yesterday after the Palestinians decided to end all communications with the White House as a result of the closing.

State Department spokesman Edgar Vasquez said the U.S. had instead "advised the PLO Office to limit its activities to those related to achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between the Israelis and Palestinians."

Iraqi Forces Say IS Retreating Deep into Desert; IS Has Been Driven Out of All the Towns in Iraq

Iraqi forces said today (November 25, 2017) that Islamic State (IS) group fighters are withdrawing deep into the desert to escape an offensive aimed at a final defeat of the jihadists, according to the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website.

IS has already been driven out of all the Iraqi towns it once held, but Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said he will not proclaim victory until the jihadists have been cleared from the western desert bordering Syria.

The Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization) paramilitary force said its fighters had taken control of 77 villages and hamlets since the launch of the offensive on November 23.

At its peak in 2014, IS ruled over seven million people in a territory as large as Italy encompassing large parts of Syria and nearly a third of Iraq.

"No Jews Allowed" Banner Razed at Polish Hotel; Posted Since Spring by Anti-Semitic Hotel Owner

Polish police seized a banner reading "no Jews, speculators and traitors allowed" from the entrance to a hotel that is owned by an ultranationalist who is jailed for anti-Semitic hate speech, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (November 25, 2017).

Officers were sent to Dom Polski hotel near the western city of Wroclaw on November 23 following the surfacing of images on social networks showing the banner on the gate of the  hotel in the eastern suburb of Cesarzowice.

The hotel -- which featured the banner since last spring -- is owned by Piotr Rybak, who earlier this year was sentenced to three months in prison for burning an effigy of a Jew at a 2015 demonstration in Wroclaw against Muslim immigration.

The regional prosecutor's office is looking into charging Rybak with another indictment for racist hate speech in connection with the banner, according to Malgorzata Kalus, spokesperson for the prosecutor department.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Author:Islam's Goal Is to Wipe Out Christianity; Says Islam to Achieve Goal Due to West's Denial

The West is still in denial about radical Islam's goal to eradicate Christianity, an Italian author wrote this week in a journal article, the Jerusalem Post website reports today (November 24, 2017).

Giulio Meotti, cultural editor for "Il Foglio," wrote that once radical Islam gains a foothold in Europe, it will easily dismantle Western Christianity, just as it did to Christianity in the Middle East.

In his article, titled "Europe: Destroyed by the West's Indifference? Perhaps It Is a Sign of Denial by the West," Meotti writes that "the disappearance of entire Christian populations and their ancient civilizations never seems to disturb anyone."

Meotti says the news media is primarily to blame for this dilemma, since it tends to defend everything coming from Islam. He adds, "The same establishment [the media], however, lies in a coma when Christian symbols come under attack."

At Least 235 People Die in Egypt Mosque Attack; Egypt Undergoes Its Worst Terrorist Attack Ever

Egypt today (November 24, 2017) suffered its worst terrorist attack in its history -- which occurred at a mosque in Northern Sinai Province -- according to the Euro News website.

Reports say at least 235 worshippers were killed and another 109 wounded during Friday prayers at the mosque in Bir al-Abed town.

The terrorists set off explosions and around 40 gunmen then shot at worshippers as they fled the mosque, and when ambulances arrived to treat the wounded they shot at them as well.

President al-Sisi declared three days of mourning and addressed the nation. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the attackers brandished an Islamic State flag when they opened fire.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Israeli PM Rips Assistant for Insulting US Jews; Said US Jews Too Pampered,Don't Serve in Mil.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu scolded his deputy foreign minister today (November 23, 2017) for "offensive" remarks in which she said U.S. Jews were "too comfortable" to understand threats to Israel, according to the Newsmax website.

Tzipi Hotovely of Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party apologized later on Israeli public television.

In an interview yesterday on Tel Aviv-based i24 News TV channel, Hotovely was asked about the growing gulf between Israel and U.S. Jewry, particularly youth.

"Maybe they're too young to remember how it feels to be a Jewish person without a Jewish homeland, without a Jewish state," she said in English, adding that U.S. Jewry "never send their children to fight for their country."

Palestinians Refuse to Take White House Call; Freeze Ties with US Due to PLO Office Closing

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas refused to speak to White House officials over the phone this week, as he threatened to freeze ties with the U.S. due to President Trump's decision to close down a Palestinian mission in Washington, the Times of Israel website reports today (November 23, 2017).

On November 21, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said he had been instructed by Abbas to put ties with Washington on ice after the U.S. State Department informed Abbas that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) office in DC would be closed because Palestinians had violated a 2015 U.S. Congressional mandate.

"In practice, by closing the office they are freezing all meetings and we are making that official," Malki said.

The Palestinian freeze is likely to derail efforts by the Trump administration to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Report: Rel. Persecution Soars Due to Islamism; Islamist Hyper-Extremism Debars Rel.Freedom

A new report released today (November 22, 2017) reveals that the emergence of "Islamist hyper-extremism" is primarily responsible for a shocking rise in religious persecution across the world, according to the Christian Today website.

Violent terror attacks inspired by Islamist ideology have now taken place in one in five countries, the report found, highlighting that most religious persecution is from militant organizations, not governments.

"A virulent and extremist form of Islam emerged as the number-one threat to religious freedom," according to the report, "Religious Freedom in the World," by Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). Researchers examined 196 countries across the globe and of these, 38 showed "unmistakable evidence of significant religious freedom violations."

"It emerged that a massive upsurge in violence and instability linked to Islamism had played a significant role in creating an explosion in the number of refugees," the report said. It found a "key objective" of Islamist hyper-extremism is to eliminate other religious communities from land, which has resulted in a mass exodus of Christians from the Middle East.

Russian Church Head: End of History Is Near; Warns Society Must Unite to Avoid Apocalypse

The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church said this week that the world is on the brink of slipping into "the abyss of the end of history," the Yahoo News website reports today (November 22, 2017).

The apocalypse "is already visible to the naked eye," Patriarch Kirill told congregants after a service at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow on November 20.

He said there could be a saving grace for the world: society uniting.

"That's why the church, art, culture, our writers, scientists -- all those people who love the Motherland -- should come together because we are entering a critical period in human civilization," Kirill added.

Suicide Bomber Kills 50 at a Nigerian Mosque; Boko Haram Group Believed to Be Responsible

A teenage suicide bomber attacked as worshippers gathered for prayers at a mosque in northeastern Nigeria, killing at least 50 people, the Religion News Service website reports today (November 22, 2017).

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing in Mubi town in Adamawa state, but suspicion fell on the Boko Haram extremist Islam group.

Boko Haram is based in the neighboring Nigerian state of Borno and has been responsible for scores of similar attacks in recent years.

A police spokesman said the young man detonated his explosives while mingling among the worshippers.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Poland Faces Fines for Ignoring EU Court Order; Refuses to Stop Logging a World Heritage Forest

Poland has been given 15 days to comply with a court order to end logging in one of Europe's oldest forests or face daily fines of 100,000 euros, the Euro News website reports today (November 21, 2017).

The ruling has been made by the European Court of Justice and relates to large-scale logging in the Bialowieza forest, a UNESCO World Heritage site on the border between Poland and Belarus.

The latest controversy between the European Union (EU) and an obstinate Poland -- there have been several nasty controversies between the two in recent months -- was sparked by the country's bold decision to triple logging quotas in the area last year.

The EU has warned Poland that this forest logging must cease, as it threatens the habitats of the rare birds and animals that live in the forest, including the European bison.

Ultra-Orth.Jews Damage Jerusalem Draft Bldg.; Protest Israel's Desire to Draft Yeshiva Students

A Jerusalem army draft office has come under attack by ultra-Orthodox protesters who tried to set fire to the building, the Talk Radio (British) website reports today (November 21, 2017).

A video of yesterday's incident shows protesters stopping people from leaving or entering the draft office, while they tried to light two fires at the entrance.

The army has said the protesters attempted to start fires on signs and other items and a spokesperson said: "There were no injuries. There was of course some property damage, but nothing too serious."

Several demonstrations have been held in Israel this week, following the decision of the Jaffa Military Court to imprison 11 ultra-Orthodox "draft dodgers." Police have so far arrested 32 protesters this week, as the debate on whether ultra-Orthodox men studying in yeshivas (Jewish theological schools) should take part in compulsory military service or if they should be exempt from the draft.

Monday, November 20, 2017

US Names N.Korea a State Sponsor of Terrorism; Pres.Trump: "Should Have Happened Years Ago"

President Donald Trump announced today (November 20, 2017) that the U.S. will designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, saying the move would ratchet up sanctions against the repressive nation to "the highest level," according to the Politico website.

"We will be instituting a very critical step and that will start right now," Trump said in remarks at the top of a Cabinet meeting at the White House. "Today, the United States is designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. Should have happened a long time ago. Should have happened years ago."

North Korea joins just three other nations -- Iran, Sudan, and Syria -- on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism.

"In addition to threatening the world by nuclear devastation, North Korea repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism, including assassinations on foreign soil," the president said today as he explained the designation.

IS Threatens to Attack Vatican on Christmas Day; Video of Vatican Shows Words "Christmas Blood"

The Islamic State (IS) terror group has threatened to attack the Vatican on Christmas day, in what they are calling a "Christmas blood" attack, the Christian Headlines website reports today (November 20, 2017).

In a video released by IS supporters, a masked figure is shown driving toward the Vatican with a gun and a backpack, supposedly containing a bomb. The video is accompanied by the words "Christmas blood. So wait..."

Christmas is a time when IS has stepped up their attacks. One such attack occurred in 2015 when an IS terrorist carried out an attack in San Bernardino, California which killed 14 people.

Terror experts have warned that, because IS recently lost territory they previously controlled in Iraq and Syria, they will probably focus their efforts on isolated attacks in various parts of the world.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Pope: Helping Poor Is Our Passport to Paradise; Welcomes Poor to Vatican Today for Mass,Meal

Pope Francis welcomed the poor, homeless, and unemployed as guests of honor for a Mass and gourmet meal in the Vatican today (November 19, 2017), saying that helping the needy was one way of obtaining a "passport to paradise," the Reuters website reports.

Francis celebrated Mass marking the Roman Catholic Church's first annual World Day of the Poor, which he established to draw the attention of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics to the neediest.

Most of the needy attendants were from Italy, but charity groups also brought people from France, Spain, Germany, and Poland.

The pope said in today's homily: "In the eyes of the world they [the poor] have little value, they are the ones who open to us the way to heaven; they are our 'passport to paradise.'"

Slave Auctions in Libya Violate Human Rights; Migrants Sold Like Merchandise by Smugglers

Human rights are being violated in Libya as the migrants who are trying to reach Europe through North Africa are sold at the slave auction for about $400, the Inquisitr website reports today (November 19, 2017).

They are sold to buyers for manual labor or farm work as shown in an investigation.

CNN investigators searched this modern-day slavery and witnessed the actual slave auction in Libya. They saw that dozens of people were being auctioned in the space of six or seven minutes.

This is the fate of some desperate migrants who are trying to escape their countries -- like Nigeria -- looking for peaceful and green pastures in Europe. On the other hand, they were victimized by these mean smugglers in Libya, who just wanted to make money regardless of the inhumane way they did so.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Killer of Egyptian Priest Is Sentenced to Death; Muslim Fanatic Stabbed Orth.Priest with Knife

The man who brutally murdered a Coptic Orthodox priest on the streets of Cairo, Egypt last month has received a preliminary death sentence, The Orthodox Church Info Blog reports today (November 18, 2017).

Mohamed Sonbaty -- a man well-known to police as a violent Muslim fanatic -- was convicted of killing Coptic priest Fr. Samaan Shehata, and the South Giza criminal court issued the preliminary death sentence on November 15.

The court will issue the final verdict on January 15, 2018.

During the trial, Sonbaty admitted he had followed the priest in a car and forced him out; then he attacked and killed him with a knife.

US Troops Had 20K Sex Assaults in Past 4 Yrs.; Pentagon Report Reveals Huge No. of Assaults

The Pentagon said in a report yesterday that U.S. troops have reported more than 20,000 allegations of sexual assault at military installations over the past four years, according to the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website.

The report, by the Defense Department's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, details allegations by service branch for the fiscal years 2013-2016, with the Army -- the largest branch of the military -- reporting 8,294 cases in all.

The Navy reported 4,788 cases, the Marine Corps 3,400, and the Air Force 8,876.

The U.S. military has some 1.3 million active duty troops.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Pope Warns of Need to Back Clean Environment; Calls for a Dialogue on Building Future of Planet

Pope Francis issued a strong message yesterday to negotiators at the COP23 climate talks in Bonn, Germany, warning them not to fall into "four perverse attitudes"  regarding the future of the planet -- "denial, indifference, resignation, and trust in inadequate solutions" -- the Eco Watch website reports today (November 17, 2017).

Francis has long pressed for strong climate action and wrote his 2015 encyclical on the environment.

Yesterday, he renewed his "urgent call" for renewed dialogue "on how we are building the future of the planet."

"We need an exchange that unites us all," Francis said, "because the environmental challenge we are experiencing, and its human roots, regards us all, and affects us all."

Farrakhan Ignites Controversies in D.C. Address; Urges Pres. Trump to Repent for US Black Abuse

Before a crowded ballroom at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan called on President Trump to repent for America's mistreatment of black people over the centuries, the Religion News website reports today (November 17, 2017).

"America is a great nation but America needs to reflect on her sins," Farrakhan told hundreds of supporters who showed up yesterday for an event billed as "a major message" to the Trump administration.

For more than two hours, the 84-year-old Islam leader dove into all sorts of controversies -- from slavery to the sexual harassment currently pervading the U.S. by national leaders and celebrities.

The Nation of Islam's influence has declined significantly since its heyday in the 1960s, when the movement claimed to have half a million adherents. Its numbers are now much smaller.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Suicide Bomber Kills 14 at Afghan Pol. Meeting; Another 18 Wounded in Attack Conducted by IS

A suicide bomber killed at least 18 people today (November 16, 2017) at a political gathering in the Afghan capital of Kabul in an attack claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group, according to the AP website.

Another 18 people were wounded. The casualties included security forces and civilians.

Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said the attacker struck the entrance to the wedding hall where the meeting was being held.

The Islamic State claimed the attack in a statement carried by its Aamaq news agency.

Pope States Silence Is Imperative during Mass; Mass Is Not a Time to Chat but to Glorify Jesus

The Mass is "the prayer par excellence, the highest, the most sublime, and at the same time, the most 'concrete'... it is an encounter with the Lord," Pope Francis said yesterday in his catechesis during the General Audience with pilgrims in St. Peter's Square, the Independent Catholic News website reports today (November 16, 2017).

"But what is prayer, really?" Pope Francis asked. "It is first of all dialogue, a relationship with God." He continued, "Man was created as a being in personal relationship with God, who finds his full realization only in the encounter with His Creator."

God -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- is Himself  "a perfect relationship of love that is unity."

But dialogue also means knowing how to remain silent, in the presence of the other. The Holy Father emphasized the importance of moments of silence when we go to Mass. The liturgy, he said, is not a time for chatting, but a time to recollect ourselves, to prepare our hearts for the encounter with Jesus.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

EU Takes Punitive Action against Polish Govt.; Says Poland's New Laws Ruining Its Judiciary

European Union (EU) lawmakers have launched action against Poland over concerns that the government has compromised the independence of the judiciary and risks breaching fundamental European values, the Fox News website reports today (November 15, 2017).

In a resolution adopted today by 438 to 152, with 71 abstentions, the lawmakers triggered the first stage of a so-called rule of law procedure against the Polish government.

The procedure could lead to the suspensions of Poland's EU voting rights.

The EU says new laws in Poland undermine judicial independence and the rule of law. Poland insists the EU has no right to interfere in its domestic affairs.

Australians Vote to Support Same-Sex Marriage; Parliament Will Legalize It Due to Majority Vote

Australia is poised to become the 26th nation to legalize gay marriage after the results of a survey were revealed yesterday, showing a majority support redefining the marital union to include same-sex couples, the Worthy News website reports today (November 15, 2017).

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported 61.6 percent of Australians support such a measure, while 38.4 percent are against it.

Votes were cast by 12.7 million people, nearly 80 percent of the nation.

The poll is non-binding, but parliament promised to put forward a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage if voters supported it.

Trump Team Drafting Middle East Peace Plan; "Ultimate Deal" to End Israel-Palestinian Feud

Seeking what he calls "the ultimate deal," President Trump and his advisors are drafting a Middle East peace plan to end the bitter land dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, the Christian Headlines website reports today (November 15, 2017).

Trump's peace plan is expected to address the status of Jerusalem and settlements in the West Bank.

Also, Trump is believed to be in favor of a two-state solution, which has been central to previous negotiating efforts.

Jason Greenblatt, the president's chief negotiator, said: "Our goal is to facilitate, not dictate, a lasting peace agreement to improve the lives of Israelis and Palestinians and security across the region."

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Anti-Semitic Posters Found at Univ. in Canada; Swatikas,"True Heroes of WW2" Posted at UBC

Officials at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada say pro-Nazi posters have been found at the school, The Star (Canadian) website reports today (November 14, 2017).

Philip Steenkamp, UBC's vice president of external relations, said in a statement that the "disturbing" posters were discovered on War Memorial Gym on November 11. The university was hosting Remembrance Day ceremonies in the gym that morning.

Photos of the posters show images of swastikas and Nazi troops with the words "the true heroes of WW2."

B'nai Brith Canada issued a statement condemning those who put up the posters. "Once again, we see anti-Semitism and neo-Nazism raising their ugly heads at a B.C. university," said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B'nai Brith Canada.

Museum of the Bible Opens in D.C. This Week; Calls on People to Engage with Impact of Bible

The highly anticipated Museum of the Bible is opening in Washington, D.C. this Friday, November 17, the Christian Headlines website reports today (November 14, 2017).

"The Museum of the Bible promises to be "an innovative, global, educational institution whose purpose is to invite all people to engage with the history, narrative and impact of the Bible," according to its website.

It will feature recreations of the Israelite Temple, towns where Jesus walked, and many other displays and interactive features.

Steve and Jackie Green are the co-founders of the Museum. "We have the confidence that if we are true to pointing people to this book, true to the facts, that God will show up and He will impact people's lives," Steve Green said.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Some 30K Visas Given to Terror State Citizens; Trump Seeks to Abolish Diversity Visa Program

Nearly 30,000 foreigners from state sponsors of terrorism have gotten U.S. visas since 2007 through the diversity visa lottery, the Daily Caller website reports today (November 13, 2017).

President Donald Trump wants Congress to end the program, which benefits foreigners from nations that don't have high levels of immigration to the U.S.

He increased his pressure against the program after an Uzbek radical Muslim recipient of the diversity visa lottery killed eight people in a recent terrorist attack in New York City.

Statistics released by the White House today show that since 2007 the program has given permanent residence visas -- also known as green cards -- to 20,739 Iranians, 7,232 Sudanese, and 812 Syrians. The program gives out 50,000 visas annually to immigrants chosen at random.

Iraqi Legislators May Allow Girls to Marry at 9; Some Say Muhammad's Wife Married at Age 9

Human rights advocates say that Iraq has moved a step closer to allowing girls as young as nine to marry, the Euro News website reports today (November 13, 2017).

The proposal is part of a draft law recently approved by 40 MPs that would see the restoration of religious courts, according to Equality Now (EN).

The proposed legislation would allow religious courts to decide a girl's age of marriage.

Suad Abu-Dayyeh, EN's Middle East consultant, said, according to some interpretations by Muslims, the wife of Prophet Muhammad "was married at the age of nine. That is why some religious sects in Iraq are following that."

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Many Protest Sexual Harassment in Hollywood; March on Blvd. to Take "Me Too" into Real Life

Armed with signs, catchy phrases, and a motivation to take "Me Too" beyond the internet and into real life, hundreds of women, men, and children gathered on Hollywood Boulevard today (November 12, 2017), according to the Independent (British) website.

The "Take Back the Workplace March" and the "Me Too Survivors March" joined forces in the heart of Hollywood, near the entrance to the Dolby Theater where the Academy Awards take place.

They walked side by side past the tourists, costume shops, and strip clubs.

Some came with their families, some came with friends. Attendees ranged in age from four to over 68.

Religious Protesters Halt Traffic in Islamabad; Oppose Govt. Attempt to Disavow Muhammad

Thousands of religious protesters converged on Islamabad, Pakistan's capital, yesterday in a growing confrontation with the Pakistani government  over official attempts to amend a law that requires all political candidates to affirm that Muhammad -- who lived in the 7th century -- was Islam's final prophet, the Washington Post website reports today (November 12, 2017).

More than 95 percent of Pakistanis are Muslims.

The demonstrators were stopped by security forces and shipping containers placed across major roads, halting most traffic in the capital region.

They remained there as night fell and vowed to stay indefinitely.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Pope Repeats Primary Role of Using Conscience; Upset Cath. by Backing Conscience over Dogma

Pope Francis today (November 11, 2017) reaffirmed the "primary" role of using one's conscience to navigate tough moral questions in his first comments since he was accused of spreading heresy by emphasizing conscience over hard and fast Catholic rules, according to the Fox News website.

Francis issued a video today to a conference on his controversial 2016 document on family life, "The Joy of Love."

The document has badly divided the Catholic Church, with some commentators warning that it risks creating a schism, given its cautious opening to letting divorced and civilly remarried Catholics receive Communion.

Francis told the conference that priests must inform the consciences of the faithful "but not substitute them." He also stressed the distinction between one's conscience -- where God reveals Himself -- and one's ego that thinks it can do as it pleases.

Museum in Indonesia Removes Its Nazi Exhibit; Hitler-Auschwitz Display Caused World Outrage

An Indonesian museum that allowed visitors to take photos with a life-size wax sculpture of Hitler against a backdrop of Auschwitz concentration camp has removed the exhibit following international outrage, the Times of Israel website reports today (November 11, 2017).

De ARCA Statue Art Museum in the Javanese city of Jogjakarta drew swift condemnation from several rights groups after details of the controversial display were published in foreign media.

The museum's operations manager, Jamie Misbah, said, "Our purpose to display the Hitler figure is to educate."

Historians have blamed poor schooling for the lack of awareness and sensitivity in Indonesia regarding the Holocaust.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Tenn. Church Is Hit for Hiring Woman Pastor; SBC May End Its Ties with Jefferson City Church

A Tennessee Baptist church may lose its voting rights and be severed from the state Baptist Convention because of its decision to hire a female pastor -- which the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) does not allow -- the Christian Post website reports today (November 10, 2017).

The decision of the First Baptist Church (FBC) in Jefferson City to hire Ellen DiGiosia to to be senior pastor has resulted in a committee of the Tennessee Baptist Convention to deem the congregation "not a cooperating church."

DiGiosia is the only female pastor leading a church connected with the Tennessee Baptist Convention (TBC). Although other women lead Baptist churches in the state, those congregations are not linked to the TBC.

"It is regrettable when one of our churches makes a decision that results in a broken confessional relationship with out TBC network of churches," said Randy Davis, president and executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.

New Study: Orth. Christians Don't Want Unity; Like Being Ind.of Pope as They Have Since 1054

The Great Schism of 1054 -- which split the Christian Church into Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic divisions -- still has significant religious ramifications across the globe, the Newsweek website reports today (November 10, 2017).

According to a new study by the Pew Research Center, very few Orthodox Christians say they want to be reunited with the Catholic Church.

Today, there are some 260 million Orthodox Christians around the world -- 77 percent live in Eastern Europe -- and their beliefs still differ from those of their Catholic brethren who follow the teachings of the pope.

"The view that Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism should reconcile is a minority position in every Orthodox population surveyed across Central and Eastern Europe, except Romania," the Pew study found.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Holy Smoke! Vatican No Longer Sells Cigarettes; Pope:Vatican Must Not Endanger People's Health

The Vatican announced today (November 9, 2017) that it would no longer sell cigarettes to employees in its duty-free shop and supermarket, thus giving up an estimated 10 million euros ($11 million) a year in profits , according to the Religion News website.

Pope Francis made the decision because "the Holy See cannot contribute to an activity that clearly damages the health of people."

A statement cited World Health Organization data finding that smoking is the cause of more than seven million deaths annually around the globe.

A 2015 book based on leaked Vatican documents, "Avarice," reported that cigarette sales bring in an estimated 10 million euros a year to the Vatican City State and are the second-most-important source of income after tax-free gas sales.

NAACP Asks Congress to Ban National Anthem; Says Star-Spangled Banner "Racist,Pro-Slavery"

The California chapter of the NAACP is urging Congress to  abolish "The Star-Spangled Banner," describing the U.S. national anthem as racist, the Washington Times website reports today (November 9, 2017).

The African-American organization wants Congress to trash the national anthem after passing a resolution at its October 26-29 state conference describing the tune as "one of the most racist, pro-slavery, anti-black songs in the American lexicon."

A second resolution was passed in support of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, a leader of last season's protests during the national anthem.

The NFL kneeling began as a protest against the deaths of black men at the hands of police -- not the lyrics of the national anthem -- and has since grown to encompass social-justice issues in our society.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Pope: You Shall Not Use Phones in Church Mass; Mass Encounters Passion, Resurrection of Christ

In what may remind Christians of the Ten Commandments, Pope Francis told an audience today (November 8, 2017) that Mass is not a show, but a beautiful, transformative encounter with the true loving presence of Christ, according to the America Magazine website.

That is why people need to focus their hearts on God, not focus their smartphones for pictures during Mass, he said.

When the priest celebrating Mass says, "Let us lift up our hearts," he is not saying, "lift up our cellphones and take pictures. No. It's an awful thing" to do, the pope said today during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square.

"Please, Mass is not a show. It is going to encounter the Passion, the Resurrection of the Lord," he said to applause.

Poland Urges Citizens to Multiply Like Rabbits; Produces Video Promoting Births as Pop.Drops

Poland's health ministry has created a video to promote procreation, encouraging the country's citizens to "take rabbits as an example," the USA Today website reports today (November 8, 2017).

Rabbits are often associated with fertility as they are known to produce a lot of offspring.

The video is part of a TV and radio campaign financed by Poland's health ministry, which is trying to encourage Polish citizens to live healthy lifestyles in their reproductive years -- between the ages of 18 and 45 -- to promote reproductive health.

According to World Bank statistics, Poland has one of the lowest fertility rates in Europe and the country's population has been decreasing since it peaked in the late 1900s, dipping below 38 million in 2015.

Air Force Academy Student Wrote Racist Notes; Black Student Claiming to Be Victim Is Expelled

Racist messages written on whiteboards at the Air Force Academy in September that made national news were written by a black student supposedly victimized by the messages, the Daily Caller website reveals today (November 8, 2017).

A report from KKTV11 states that "one of the cadet candidates at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School targeted by racist remarks has been found responsible for the act."

The cadet candidate has been expelled from the school, the TV channel added.

Messages that read "Go home nigger" were discovered drawn on whiteboards outside the rooms of African-American cadet candidates at the Air Force Academy in late September. The writings sparked national outcry, after a speech from Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, head of the Air Force Academy, condemned the racism.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Assad: US and Turkey Illegal Invaders in Syria; Vows to Retake Raqqa Now in Hands of Rebels

A top adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said today (November 7, 2017) that U.S. and Turkish troops are "illegal invader forces" on Syrian territory, and Syria will "deal with them," according to the Reuters website.

Bouthaina Shaaban also said that Damascus would not give up on the northern city of Raqqa, which was liberated from the Islamic State (IS) terror group last month by U.S.-backed Kurdish-led Syrian rebels.

"We will deal with this issue as we deal with any illegal invader force on our lands," she said.

Assad's forces -- helped by Russian air power and Iran-backed militias -- have managed to reestablish control over most of Syria during the past two years.

Billy Graham Is Celebrating 99th Birthday Today; Preached Message of Christ to Over 200M People

Reverend Billy Graham -- the world-famous evangelist who spread the word of Christ in more than 185 countries -- became 99 years old today (November 7, 2017), according to the Christian Headlines website.

Dr. Graham has preached the message of Christ's freedom and forgiveness around the world, reaching over 200 million people.

He's had the privilege of leading hundreds of thousands of people to pray to receive Jesus Christ into their lives as Lord and Savior. He has also authored 33 books.

Billy Graham has been named by Americans as "One of the Ten Most Admired Men in the World," a record-breaking 60 times with the Gallup poll.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

US Millenials Have Had Enough of Capitalism; America's Youth Favor Socialism as Alternative

A new survey has found that 44 percent of America's millenials would rather live in a socialist society than a capitalist country, the Alternet News website reports today (November 4, 2017).

The research and data firm YouGov surveyed 23,000 people aged 16 and over for the survey.

The socialist movement saw a significant increase in youth favoring the socialist principles advocated by Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Marion Smith, executive director of Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, said, "Millenials are increasingly turning away from capitalism, and toward socialism and even communism as a viable alternative."

Friday, November 3, 2017

Judge: No Prison for Afghan Deserter Bergdahl; Trump in Campaign Called Bergdahl a "Traitor"

A military judge ruled today (November 3, 2017) that Bowe Bergdahl, who pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, should serve no prison time for endangering his comrades by walking off his Afghanistan post, according to the Yahoo News website.

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump had called for Bergdahl, 31, to face stiff punishment and called him a "traitor."

The judge gave Bergdahl, of Hailey, Idaho, a dishonorable discharge, reduced his rank from sergeant to private, and said he must forfeit pay equal to $1,000 per month for 10 months.

Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of 14 years in prison, citing serious wounds to service members who looked for Bergdahl for five years.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Pope Gives Anti-War Homily at US Mil.Cemetery; "Please Lord Stop.... No More Useless Massacres"

Pope Francis made one of his most emotional anti-war addresses today (November 2, 2017), saying during a visit to a U.S. military cemetery that the world seemed to be headed into war bigger than any before, according to the Reuters website.

Francis said a Mass for several thousand people at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery in the town of Nettuno -- south of Rome -- on the day Roman Catholics commemorate their dead.

The burial ground is the final resting place for 7,860 American soldiers who died in the liberation of southern Italy and Rome in 1943 and 1944 during World War II.

"Please Lord, stop. No more wars. No more useless massacres," the pope said, speaking in a sad improvised homily.