Monday, July 31, 2017

Putin Orders 755 US Diplomats Ousted by Sept. 1; Largest Purge of Diplomats from Any Nation Ever

In what is believed to be the largest expulsion of diplomats from any country in history, President Vladimir Putin has ordered several hundred American staff to leave diplomatic missions in Russia, the Euro News website reports today (July 31, 2017).

The decision was made on July 28 in retaliation for new U.S. sanctions against Moscow, but Putin has now confirmed that the 775 diplomats must leave Russia by September 1, 2017.

The exodus will bring the U.S. diplomatic workforce to 455 -- the same as Russia's complement in Washington.

The Russian government is also seizing holiday properties and a warehouse used by U.S. diplomats.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Poland Belittles EU's Lawsuit on Court Overhaul; Says EU Charges of Discrimination Lack Authority

Poland rejected a move by the European Union (EU) yesterday for a probable lawsuit to halt the just-passed overhaul of the country's lower courts, claiming the EU lacked such authority, the Bloomberg Politics website reports today (July 30, 2017).

The escalation in an almost two-year row over court independence and the government's respect for the rule of law opens the way for the EU to file suit.

Polish President Andrzej Duda signed into law last week several significant changes in the common courts, which the commission says violate EU rules.

Among the changes in Poland's courts that the EU says violates EU discrimination is one in which Poland has set a retirement age of 60 for female judges but 65 for male judges.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

N. Korean Leader:We Can Hit US with an ICBM; Analysts Agree N.Korea Can Reach US Mainland

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said today (July 29, 2017) that the second flight test of an Intercontinental Balistic Missile (ICBM) demonstrated his country can hit the U.S. mainland, according to the Yahoo News website.

The Korean Central News Agency said that Kim expressed "great satisfaction" after the Hwasong-14 missile reached a maximum height of 3,725 kilometers (2,314 miles)and traveled 998 kilometers (620 miles) before accurately landing in waters off Japan.

The agency added that the test was aimed at confirming the maximum range and other technical aspects of the missile it says was capable of delivering a "large-sized, heavy nuclear warhead."

U.S. analysts had estimated that North Korea's first ICBM on July 4 could have reached Alaska, and said yesterday's missile appeared to extend that range significantly.

Slovak Is Charged with Using Neo-Nazi Symbols; Parliament Party Leader Backs WWII Nazi Ideas

The leader of a far-right party with seats in the Slovak parliament has been charged with crimes related to the use of neo-Nazi symbols, the Times of Israel website reports today (July 29, 2017).

Marian Kotleba, head of the People's Party Our Slovakia, has been charged, according to police spokesman Martin Waldl.

He gave no other details, but police are investigating whether the party gave financial gifts of 1,488 euros to several poor families in March. The number 1,488 has a symbolic meaning for neo-Nazis.

Kotleba openly admires Slovakia's World War II-era Nazi puppet state. His party has 14 lawmakers in the 150-seat parliament.

Friday, July 28, 2017

One Killed,Several Hurt in German Supermarket; Cops Nab Man,Yelled "Allahu Akbar" after Attack

Police arrested a blood-soaked man today (July 28, 2017) after at least one person was killed and several injured at a supermarket in Hamburg, Germany, according to the Breitbart website.

The attack took place at a supermarket in the Barmbek neighborhood of Hamburg at around 3 p.m. local time.

The man involved, who has not yet been identified to the press, ran into the supermarket and began attacking customers with a "long kitchen knife" leading to the death of at least one victim.

One witness to the attack said that the man stabbed the customers and yelled "Allahu Akbar" ("Allah is Greatest") immediately after the attack.

Russia Retaliates on US for Levying Sanctions; Seizes 2 Diplomatic Bldgs.,Cuts Embassy Staff

Russia took its first steps today (July 28, 2017) to retaliate against proposed American sanctions for Moscow's suspected meddling in the 2016 election, seizing two American diplomatic properties and ordering the United States Embassy to reduce its staff by September, according to the NY Times website.

The move came a day after the U.S. Senate approved a measure to expand economic sanctions against Russia.

The latest move by the Kremlin strikes another blow against the already dismal diplomatic relations between the two sides, with each new step moving Moscow and Washington farther from the rapprochement anticipated just a few months ago.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that if the U.S. ordered any further sanctions, Russia would again retaliate.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Some 160K German Cath.Quit Church in 2016; Less Than 2015 When 180K Cath. Left Church

New figures show that about 160,000 Catholics left the Church in Germany last year, the Catholic Herald website reports today (July 27, 2017).

The number represents an improvement on 2015, when 180,000 faithful left the Catholic Church -- or opted out of paying a church tax compulsory for members.

Nearly a third -- or 23 million -- of the people in Germany are Catholic.

Fr. Hans Langendorfer, bishops' conference secretary, said: "We should not forget our real mission in the figures... to joyfully proclaim the Gospel."

Cal. Imam Calls on Allah to Annihilate All Jews; Also to Free Al-Aqsa Mosque from "Filthy Jews"

Jewish groups have asked Homeland Security and the U.S. Attorney's office to investigate a California imam who gave a sermon calling on Allah to "annihilate" Jews "down to the very last one" -- and asked his congregants to take part in the slaughter -- the Fox News website reports today (July 27, 2017).

Imam Ammar Shahin gave the sermon at the Islamic Center of Davis, California on July 21. He also asked Allah to liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Israel from "the filth of the Jews," and cited an Islamic text that calls for a Judgment Day fight between Muslims and Jews.

"Oh, Allah, count them one by one and annihilate them down to the very last one. Do not spare any of them," said Shahin in both Arabic and English in his sermon.

"The sermon is very anti-Semitic and violent," Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) Executive Director Steven Stalinsky said. "It's not surprising that the imam/mosque are denying this and saying that it is incorrect or out of context."

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Erdogan: Era of Bowing to West Demands Over; Turkey's Decades-Long Effort to Join EU Still Nil

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that the era of a submissive Turkey bowing to every Western demand is over, the Al Jazeera website reports today (July 26, 2017).

Erdogan's comments came as top European Union (EU) officials held talks with Turkey's foreign minister in Brussels, Belgium. Turkey has eliminated freedom of the press and has denied human rights and jailed many foreigners without a trial in the predominantly Muslim country.

"The West wants Turkey to do, without question, whatever they want... I am sorry to say that Turkey no longer exists," said the Turkish dictator.

Turkey's decades-long bid for EU membership remains in the deep freeze and shows no signs of thawing.

Trump Bans Transgender Troops form Military; Democrats Call It Disgraceful Attack on Troops

President Trump said today (July 26, 2017) that the U.S. military will not accept transgender troops into its ranks or allow them to serve in any capacity, according to the USA Today website.

Trump said that, after consulting "with my generals and military experts," the U.S. government "will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military."

He added, the U.S. military "must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail."

Democrats disagreed. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., head of the House Armed Services Committee, called Trump's order "an unwarranted and disgraceful attack on men and women who have been bravely serving their country."

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Trump Praises Lebanon for Blocking Entry of IS; Will Continue US Support to Counter Syrian Mil.

U.S. President Donald Trump today (July 25, 2017) praised Lebanon's efforts to guard its borders to prevent Islamic State (IS) and other militant groups from gaining a foothold inside their country, and promised continued American help, according to the VOA News website.

"America's assistance can help ensure that the Lebanese army is the only defender Lebanon needs," Trump said at a White House news conference after talks today with Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri.

Trump did not specify what level of support Lebanon would receive.

Lebanon's military has received hundreds of millions in military assistance from the United States and Britain in recent years, as part of efforts to bolster Lebanon against a threat from militants across the Syrian border.

Israel Removes Metal Detectors at Aqsa Mosque; Will Use Advanced Technology Measures Instead

After several days of violent protests, bloodshed, and a diplomatic crisis with Jordan over placement of metal detectors at the entrances to the Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem's Old City, the Israeli government today (July 25, 2017) removed the detectors, according to the NY times website.

The turnaround came after a day of intense discussions between the leaders of Israel and Jordan.

The Israeli Security Cabinet said it would replace the metal detectors with less-obtrusive security measures based on advanced technologies.

It is uncertain whether or not Muslims will begin to pray again in the temple, as a result of Israeli use of advanced technologies.

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Suicide Car Bombing in Kabul Kills Dozens; Taliban Claims Attack,Targeted Intel Workers

A suicide car bombing in Afghanistan's capital early today (July 24, 2017) killed at least two dozen people and injured many more, according to the UPI website.

The car exploded as a bus carrying employees of the Ministry of Petroleum and Mines passed in the Dehbori district of Kabul.

The bomb exploded near the residence of Mohamed Mohaqeq, deputy to Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.

The Taliban took responsibility for the attack, saying it targeted two buses carrying employees of Afghanistan's intelligence agency to work.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Abbas Halts All PA Security Meetings with Israel; Says Israel Has Temple by Use of Metal Detectors

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has canceled all security coordination meetings between Israeli and Palestinian officials, as a protest for the installation of metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, the Times of Israel website reports today (July 23, 2017).

This is the first time Abbas has ordered a severance of security ties since he was elected PA president a decade ago.

Abbas criticized the use of the metal detectors at the Temple Mount compound -- placed there by Israel after a July 14 terror attack in which three Arabs shot dead two Israeli police officers with guns they had smuggled into the holy site.

Abbas claimed the metal detectors were "falsely presented as a [security] measure to take control over Al-Aqsa mosque."

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Pentagon Study:US Role in World "Collapsing;" US Has Lost Its Lead Position in World Affairs

A new Pentagon study concludes that the U.S.-backed framework of international order established after World War II is now "collapsing," leading the U.S. to lose its position of "primacy" in world affairs, the Raw Story website reports today (July 22, 2017).

The article was produced in partnership with AlterNet and Insurge Intelligence.

The document concludes that the world has entered a new phase of transformation in which U.S. power is in decline, international order is unravelling, and the authority of governments around the world is crumbling.

Having lost its status of  "pre-eminence," the U.S. now inhabits a dangerous, unpredictable "post-primacy" world, whose defining feature is "resistance to authority."

Friday, July 21, 2017

Muslims Pray, Protest Outside Jerusalem Shrine; Mad Israel Installed Metal Detectors in Holy Site

Thousands of Muslims prayed today (July 21, 2017) in the streets near a contested shrine in Jerusalem's Old City to protest the installation of metal detectors at the holy site, according to the Religion News website.

In three areas near the Old City, Israeli forces fired tear gas to dispense small groups of Palestinian stone-throwers.

Muslim leaders had urged the faithful not to enter the sacred compound until Israel removes the detectors.

Israel installed the metal detectors after three Palestinians launched an attack from the shrine, killing two Israeli policeman a week ago.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Most US Protestants Don't Adopt Denomination; New Poll Shows Formal Structure Not Important

A new survey shows that there are now more Protestants in the U.S. who do not identify with a particular denomination than those who do, the Christian Post website reports today (July 20, 2017).

Gallup research reveals that the number of Christians who said they belonged to a specific denomination has dropped from 50 percent in the year 2000 to 30 percent in 2016.

The poll was done by telephone in the months of May and December 2016, polling a combined total of 2,053 American adults living in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The survey concludes that trends in religious identity indicate that "while many Americans remain religious in a broad sense, a formal structure in which to do so has become less important."

Turkey Leaks Positions of US Mil. Bases in Syria; Endangers US Security Because US Backs Kurds

Turkey's state-run news agency has leaked the positions of U.S. military bases and special forces stationed in northern Syria, as Ankara continues to vent anger over Washington's support for Syrian Kurds on its southern border, the Newsweek website reports today (July 20, 2017).

Anadolu news agency reported that the U.S. has 10 military points in northern Syria to assist the People's Protection Units -- or YPG -- in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

The YPG is a militia that Turkey says is affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party -- or PKK -- a group that Turkey, the United States, and European Union have listed as an extremist organization, which has waged a decades-long insurgency against Turkey, in an effort to establish its own independent state.

The news agency said the bases are "usually hidden for security reasons," but proceeded to list 10 bases in the northern and northeastern Syrian districts of Al-Hasakah, Kobane, Manbij, and Raqqa -- a move that could split relations between the NATO partners.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Israeli Court: Women Must Pay Child Support; Rules Existing Law Discriminates against Men

In a landmark decision, Israel's Supreme Court ruled today (July 19, 2017) that divorced women should also participate in child support payments, according to the Times of Israel website.

The dramatic ruling brings to an end the current norm, whereby fathers are solely responsible for alimony, even if their wives make more money than they do.

The ruling -- handed down by an expanded bench of seven justices -- applies in cases where the children are aged 6 to 15, and was in response to petitions lodged by two divorced fathers.

Fathers will continue to pay all child support for children below the age of 6.

GA Mosque on Alert after Mass Slaughter Threat; Man Left 8 Voice Messages of Killing Worshipers

The Georgia chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said today (July 19, 2017) that mosques in the state are on high alert after one mosque received a series of threatening phone calls, according to the Raw Story website.

"White people of this country are going to kill you out of this country," said an unidentified man who left multiple voice mail messages promising a "mass slaughter" of worshipers.

The calls began on June 22 and appear to be coming from a Missouri phone number.

CAIR did not specify which mosque in particular is under threat, but said the man has left at least eight messages.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Min.Satanic Monument Draws Much Opposition; Christians Say It Has No Business in Public Park

A provocative satanic monument approved for a city-run veterans' park in Minnesota has elicited strong opposition from local Christians and other groups who say the offensive object has no business in a public park, the Breitbart website reports today (July 18, 2017).

In May, the Satanic Temple received permission to place the monument -- a black cube inscribed with pentagrams with an upside-down soldier's helmet on top -- in Belle Plaine's Veterans Memorial Park, as city officials said that the application for the monument meets the criteria of city policy.

Protesters have held prayer rallies in the park, insisting that the monument not be erected.

One protester, Susie Collins, said the monument "is not the message of life and love, it is the message of death and decay."

Saudi Woman Is Arrested for Wearing Miniskirt; Saudi Women Need Man's Consent to Go Outside

A woman in Saudi Arabia -- who sparked outrage after sharing a video of herself wearing a miniskirt -- has been arrested for appearing in indecent clothing, the Euro News website reports today (July 18, 2017).

The social media star known as Khulood is seen walking around empty streets.

The video caused anger throughout Saudi Arabia, which has some of the world's strictest laws for women.

Women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to drive motor vehicles, and must also have permission from a male guardian to do things, including work and travel.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Suicide Bomber Kills 8 in Nigerian Mosque; Injures 15 Others in Boko Haram Territory

Eight people were killed today (July 17, 2017) when a female suicide bomber detonated her explosives at a mosque in northeast Nigeria, according to the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website.

The head of the Bomo state emergency management agency, Ahmed Satomi, said the blast happened at about 5:30 a.m. in the London Ciki area of Maiduguri, which has been at the epicenter of the Boko Haram Islamic terrorist group since 2009.

"She killed eight people and injured 15 others," Satomi said.

The mosque was being guarded by civilian JTF (Joint Task Force) militia during prayers, he added.

Afghan Forces Defeat Taliban in Strategic Area; Win Over Key Afghan Southern District of Nawa

In a victory battle that is certain to enhance the morale of American and Afghan troops, Afghan security forces -- backed by U.S. military advisers and air power -- have evicted Taliban insurgents from a strategically southern district, the VOA News website reports today (July 17, 2017).

The Afghan forces entered Nawa district in southern Helmand province early today and established government control over it.

U.S. airstrikes overnight against three Taliban bases in the area killed more than 20 insurgents, allowing Afghan forces to retake control of the area.

A search and cleaning operation is now underway in the district where insurgents have heavily mined areas around key installations.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Shocking Surge in Hate Crimes on UK Jews; Surged 44%, 2016 Is Worst Year on Record

Hate crimes targeting Jews escalated for the third straight year in the United Kingdom, reaching its worst level on record, the Christian Today website reports on July 16, 2017.

Antisemitic hate crime has surged 44 percent since 2014, making 2016 the worst year on record.

Almost half of police forces did not charge a single one of the antisemitic crimes reported to them.

Just 1.4 percent of antisemitic crime in the UK was prosecuted -- 15 cases -- last year.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Family of CRI Founder Asks CRI Pres. to Resign; "Bible Answer Man" Turned to Greek Orthodoxy

Family members of Dr. Walter Martin -- founder of the Christian Research Institute (CRI) -- are calling on current CRI president Hank Hanegraaff to step down, due to his conversion from evangelicalism to the Greek Orthodox faith, the Christian Post website reports today (July 14, 2017).

A majority of family members have signed a statement asking the "Bible Answer Man" to leave his leadership post.

Jill Martin Rische -- the eldest daughter of Dr. Martin -- said she and many other evangelical Christians were "shocked and surprised" when Hanegraaff formally converted in a Greek Orthodox Church in April. At that time, Hanegraaff said attending a Greek Orthodox Church service made him feel like he was in heaven.

Rische argued that Hanegraaff has since been teaching a blend of Eastern Orthodoxy and evangelical Christianity on the "Bible Answer Man" show, which she called "fundamentally dishonest."

Two Israeli Policemen Shot Dead in Jerusalem; Killed by Three Palestinians at Temple Mount

Three Palestinian assailants opened fire on Israeli police from inside a major Jerusalem holy site today (July 14, 2017), killing two officers before being shot dead, according to the Religion News website.

The sacred compound sits at the fault line of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and has triggered major confrontations in the past.

Israel today closed the site -- known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount -- for further weapons sweeps.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to allay Muslim fears, saying that the status quo at the Muslim-administered site "will be preserved."

Thursday, July 13, 2017

New Poll:North Korea More Dangerous Than IS; 49% Favor Military Intervention in North Korea

A recent survey shows that U.S. voters regard North Korea as a greater threat to the U.S. than the Islamic State (IS), according to the UPI website.

The poll, conducted from July 7-9, shows 40 percent of 1,983 respondents regard North Korea as the country's greatest threat.

About 30 percent of the participants said the Islamic State poses the greatest threat, and 16 percent said Russia is the most dangerous nation to U.S. national security.

Nearly half, or 49 percent, of survey respondents said they support military intervention in North Korea.

Suicide Bomber Slams Explosives Car in Idlib; Scores Killed,Injured in Rebel-Held Syrian City

A suicide bomber rammed a car laden with explosives into a gathering of jihadist rebels near the rebel-held northwestern Syrian city of Idlib yesterday, killing and injuring scores of people, the VOA News website reports today (July 13, 2017).

Idlib province is dominated by Islamist jihadist groups, although there is a presence of moderate Free Syrian Army groups.

The Syrian province -- which borders Turkey -- has long witnessed infighting between the main jihadist groups vying for power.

Although opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad rule, insurgents are riven by deep divisions on ideology and rivalry that sometimes erupt in deadly clashes.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Pope Says Europe Must Be a Federal Community; Otherwise It Won't Count for Anything in World

Pope Francis has been reported as saying that Europe "must become a federal community or it will no longer count for anything in the world," the Christian Today website reports on July 12, 2017.

His comments were made in an interview with Eugenio Scalfari, the 93-year-old founder of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

Francis said he was afraid of "very dangerous alliances among [foreign] powers that have a distorted vision of the world: America and Russia, China and North Korea..."

The pope added: "The countries [of Europe] will act if they recognize one truth: either Europe becomes a federal community or it will no longer count for anything in the world."

Ohio Man Pleads Guilty to Terrorism Charges; Also Is Guilty of Trying to Kill a Federal Judge

An Ohio man has pleaded guilty to terrorism charges as well as trying to murder a federal judge, the Clarion Project website reports today (July 12, 2017).

Yahya Farooq Mohammad, 39, traveled to Yemen to deliver $22,000, equipment, and other assistance to Anwar Al-Awlaki, an American who was then head of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Mohammad also admitted to soliciting an undercover FBI employee who was posing as a hitman to kidnap and murder U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary for $15,000.

Zouhary was assigned as the judge in his case.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

European Court Upholds Belgium's Full Veil Ban; Rejects Discriminatory Charge by Muslim Women

The European Court of Human Rights upheld Belgium's ban on the Islamic full-face veil today (July 11, 2017), rejecting a legal challenge by two Muslim women to wear the niqab, according to the Euro News website.

The court in Strasbourg, France found that the 2011 Belgian law banning clothing that covers the face was not discriminatory and did not violate freedom of religion.

The court argued that Belgium had the right to enforce this ban because it is "necessary in a democratic society" for the "protection of the rights and freedoms of others."

By wearing the full veil in public, women risk being fined and serving up to seven days in jail.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Pope: Bread Used for Eucharist Requires Gluten; Bread Made without Wheat Invalid for Eucharist

Pope Francis has decided that bread used to represent the Body of Christ in the Eucharist ceremonies must have gluten, the UPI website reports today (July 10, 2017).

A letter sent from Cardinal Robert Sarah of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments reminded bishops of the need to have wheat in the ceremonial bread.

"The bread used in the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharistic Sacrifice must be unleavened, purely of wheat..." Sarah wrote.

He added that bread made from another substance different from wheat is not valid for the Eucharistic Sacrament.

Anti-Semitic Graffiti Spray Painted in Denver; "Hitler Was Right" Painted on Colo. Highway

Anti-Semitic graffiti was spray painted on a highway underpass near a high school in a Denver suburb, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (July 10, 2017).

"Build that wall" and "Hitler was right" were painted next to a drawing of a swastika near a high school in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

The graffiti is the sixth anti-Semitic incident in the metro-Denver area in recent months.

Anti-Defamation League Regional Director Scott Levin said "There is no place for such hateful, bigoted messages in our community."

Saturday, July 8, 2017

UNESCO: Hebron Is a Palestinian Heritage Site; PM Netanyahu Calls Action "Delusional Decision"

The Palestinians hailed a UNESCO decision yesterday to declare the Old City of Hebron an endangered Palestinian world heritage site, a move that sparked outrage from Israel and the U.S., the Times of Israel website reports today (July 8, 2017).

UNESCO's heritage committee voted 12 to three -- with six abstentions -- to give Palestinian heritage status to the Old City in the center of Hebron, home of the Tomb of the Patriarchs, revered as the burial place of the Jewish patriarchs and matriarchs.

Both the U.S. and Israel protested vigorously against the motion.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed UNESCO for "yet another delusional decision," and vowed to protect the site.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Trump Warns North Korea on Its Missile Tests; May Use Missile Strikes on Missile Facilities

U.S. President Donald Trump has used tough rhetoric in response to North Korea's missile tests, the Reuters website reports today (July 6, 2017).

U,S, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Pyongyang's test launch of an intercontinental missile on July 4 a global threat, as Alaska may now be within range.

Most options for countering North Korea fall into four categories: economic sanctions, covert action, diplomatic negotiations, and military force.

Trumps military options range from a sea blockade of North Korea to cruise missile strikes on nuclear and missile facilities to a broader campaign to overthrow North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Turkey's Erdogan Seizes Control of 50 Churches; Seizes Churches to Bring Sharia Law to Turkey

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has seized control of 50 Syriac churches, the Christian Headlines website reports today (July 5, 2017).

Erdogan and his government are intentionally targeting Christian churches in their attempt to bring Sharia Law to Turkey.

Among the churches taken over by the government is the 1600-year-old Mor Gabriel Monastery -- one of the world's oldest places of worship.

Turkey -- a predominantly Islamic country -- has a long history of being hostile toward Christians.

Monday, July 3, 2017

France, Germany, Italy Discuss Migrant Crisis; EU Asks More Nations Open Ports to Migrants

Interior ministers from France, Germany, and Italy together with the European Union (EU) migration commissioner met in Paris this week to discuss Italy's migrant crisis, the Euro News website reports today (July 3, 2017).

Italy has threatened to block ships that have been transporting an "unsustainable" flow of migrants to its shores.

Italy has admitted more than 500,000 migrants since 2014, and the numbers are growing.

The EU wants other member states to allow migrant boats to dock in their ports in order to alleviate the growing pressure on Rome.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

German Pres. Denounces Growing Antisemitism; Claims Social Media Disseminates Jewish Hatred

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier this week denounced growing anti-Semitism in Germany,  the Jerusalem Post website reports today (July 1, 2017).

Speaking at the 100th anniversary of the Augsburg synagogue, the president noted that while most Germans stand against anti-Semitism, a growing trend of anti-Jewish hatred is being spread on social media, in part due to some Muslim immigrant groups.

"Social media often propagates the spread of hate and anti-Semitic provocation," he said.

Despite this, however, Steinmeier noted that, in comparison to France, Germany's Jews are staying put, rather than immigrating to Israel.

UN Chief:"Clear Understanding" for Cyprus Deal; Cyprus Peace Talks Will Continue All Next Week

A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said today (July 1, 2017) there is now a "clear understanding" about what is needed to reach an agreement to reunify ethnically divided Cyprus, according to the Washington Post website.

Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said today that the recognition of the "essential elements" of a possible accord emerged from a meeting Guterres had with the rival sides during high-level peace talks in Geneva, Switzerland.

Guterres met yesterday with Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and breakaway Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci in an attempt to give the three-day-old talks a momentum boost.

He also met with diplomats from Cyprus' "guarantors" -- Britain, Greece and Turkey. Officials say that they are optimistic of achieving a peace deal, and that the negotiations in Geneva are likely to continue all next week.