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.