Sunday, September 30, 2018

Syrian Rebel Faction Rejects Idlib Peace Deal; Says It Denies Rebel-Held Areas,Favors Assad

A Syrian rebel group yesterday rejected a deal between Russia and Turkey to avert a large-scale Syrian government military assault on rebel-held Idlib province, the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reports today (September 30, 2018).

The deal would make way for a demilitarized zone between rebel and regime-held areas in and around Idlib, Syria's last rebel-held area.

Under the deal, the rebels would withdraw their heavy weaponry from the buffer zone by October 15.

"We are against this deal, which eats into liberated (rebel-held) areas and bails out (Syrian President) Bashar al-Assad," said Jaysh al-Izza, head of the Syrian rebels.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Pope to Cath.:Pray "to Protect Church from Devil;" Sparked by Mounting Sexual Abuse and Cover-ups

Pope Francis today (September 29, 2018) called on Catholics worldwide to pray every day "to protect the church from the devil," in what appears to be an indirect response to mounting scrutiny facing the Catholic Church over sexual abuse and cover-up allegations, according to The Daily Beast website.

In a statement released by the Vatican today, the pontiff warned of "attacks by the devil," who he said is "always looking to divide us from God and from one another."

He added that daily prayers are also necessary for the church to be aware of its "guilt, errors, and abuses committed in the present and the past."

The statement comes shortly after the Archdiocese of Washington announced that disgraced Cardinal Theodore McCarrick will be moved to church housing in Kansas after resigning over sexual abuse allegations.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Netanyahu to UN:Iran Has Secret Nuclear Bldg.; Shows Satellite Pictures of "Secret Atomic Sites"

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly yesterday that Iran is masking a nuclear warehouse inside a rug-cleaning plant, the Fox News website reports today (September 28, 2018).

Netanyahu disclosed the information about the "atomic warehouse" that was otherwise classified.

"What I'm about to say has not been shared before," he said before showing what appeared to be satellite images of the location titled "Iran's Secret Atomic Sites."

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called Netanyahu's presentation an "arts and craft show."

Thursday, September 27, 2018

EU to Freeze 15M Euros from PA for Incitement; Will Do So If Textbooks Don't End Hate Messages

The European Parliament Budgetary Committee has voted to freeze over 15 million euros from the Palestinian Authority (PA) if it does not remove incitement from its textbooks, the World Israel News website reports today (September 27, 2018).

If passed, the European Union (EU) -- the largest donor to the PA -- will withhold 15,440,597 euros from the PA until it makes the necessary changes.

"The textbooks published by the PA ... contain numerous examples of violent depictions, hate speech -- in particular against Israel -- and glorifications of jihad and martyrdom..." the bill states.

"EU-financed teaching and training programs should reflect common values," the bill adds.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Trump to UN: US Rejects the Idea of Globalism; Urges Nations to Defend Their Own Sovereignty

In his second speech to the United Nations this week, President Donald Trump delivered a stinging rebuke to globalism and "global governance," calling on nations everywhere to defend their own national sovereignty from all attacks, The New American website reports today (September 26, 2018).

The U.S. president ridiculed key global institutions, such as the "disgraced UN Human Rights Council."

Instead of globalism, Trump called for patriotism.

Instead of global governance, he touted unique nations protecting their own cultures, traditions, and sovereignty.

Pope: Scandals Driving People from Cath. Church; Believes Many Young People Have Left the Church

Pope Francis acknowledged yesterday that the huge cover-up of sexual abuse is driving people away from the Catholic Church, the VOA News website reports today (September 26, 2018).

Speaking to several hundred young people in the Estonian capital of Tallinn, Francis acknowledged that the historical revelations were driving people away from the church.

"They are upset by sexual and economic scandals that do not meet with clear condemnation," he said during the final leg of his three-day trip to the Baltic states.

Francis added: "This is very bad when a church, a community, behaves in such a way that young people believe that it cannot give anything to their lives."

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Trump Tells UN He's for Israel-Palestinian Peace; Israeli UN Ambas.:US Is on Right Side of History

In an address to the United Nations General Assembly today (September 25, 2018), President Donald Trump  repeated his determination to forge a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, emphasizing that moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem advances that goal, according to the World Israel News website.

"I moved the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The United States is committed to a future of peace and stability in the region, including peace between the Israelis and Palestinians," Trump stated.

"That aim is advanced, not harmed, by acknowledging the obvious facts," he added.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, immediately praised Trump's remarks, saying, "The president proves again that the U.S. is on the right side of history."

German Bishop Regrets Over 3K Sex Abuse Cases; States "I'm Ashamed for Not Helping the Victims"

A top German bishop has apologized for thousands of sexual abuse cases that took place inside the Catholic Church in Germany, according to a report released today (September 25, 2018) that concludes at least 3,677 people were abused by clergy between 1946 and 2014, the Religion News website reports.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who is head of the German Bishops Conference, said: "I'm ashamed for so many (of us) looking away, not wanting to recognize what happened and not helping the victims. That goes for me as well."

The apology came on the same day Pope Francis acknowledged that the sex abuse scandal rocking the Catholic Church was driving people away. He said the church must change its ways if it wants to keep future generations.

The report on sex abuse inside the German Catholic Church found that more than half of the victims were 13 or younger and most were boys.

Monday, September 24, 2018

EU Takes Poland to Court for Altering Judiciary; Believes Poland's New Laws Violate Judicial Ind.

The European Commission of the EU (European Union) announced today (September 24, 2018) that it is taking Poland to the EU's highest court over the Polish government's changes to a law on the Supreme Court, which infringes the independence of the judiciary, according to the Euro News website.

"The European Commission decided to refer Poland to the Court of Justice of the EU due to the violations of the principle of judicial independence created by the new Polish law on the Supreme Court, and to ask the Court to order interim measures until it has issued a judgment on the case," the Commission said in a statement.

Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva told a news briefing that the EU executive had asked to suspend early retirement for the judges of Poland's Supreme Court as well as the appointment of new judges in their place. The new laws, in effect, allow the Polish government to control the judiciary.

Warsaw claims that its reforms improve efficiency and accountability -- by removing judges who prospered under the communist regime more than 30 years ago.

Swiss Canton Is 2nd to Deny Burqas in Public; Voters in St. Gallen OK Ban on Face Coverings

Voters in St. Gallen, Switzerland yesterday approved by a two-thirds majority a ban on facial coverings such as the burqa, becoming the second Swiss canton to do so, the Reuters website reports today (September 24, 2018).

Voters in the northeastern Swiss canton demanded tightening the law to punish those who cover their faces in public and thus "threaten or endanger public security or religious or social peace."

The regional government, which had opposed the measure, now must implement the result of the vote.

One other Swiss canton, Ticino, already has a similar ban. Full-face coverings are also banned in the countries of France and Denmark.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Trump:No Green Cards to Migrants on Benefits; Says They Must Support Themselves Financially

The Trump administration has proposed rules that would deny green cards to immigrants if they use Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers, and other forms of public assistance, the AP website reports today (September 23, 2018).

Federal law already requires those seeking green cards to prove they will not be a public burden, but the new rules detail a broad range of programs that could disqualify them.

The Department of Homeland Security said yesterday that current and past receipt of public benefits above thresholds would be considered "a heavily weighed negative factor" in granting green cards as well as temporary stays.

The proposal "will clearly define long-standing law to ensure that those seeking to enter and remain in the United States either temporarily or permanently can support themselves financially and will not be reliant on public benefits," the department said.

Pope in Lithuania Honors Victims of Holocaust; Warns against Rebirth of Anti-Semitic Attitudes

Pope Francis warned today (September 23, 2018) against any rebirth of the "pernicious" anti-Semitic attitudes that fueled the Holocaust as he marked the annual remembrance for Lithuania's centuries-old Jewish community that was nearly wiped out during World War II, according to the Times of Israel website.

Francis began his second day in the Baltics in Lithuania's second largest city, Kaunas, where an estimated 3,000 Jews survived out of a community of 37,000 during the 1941-1944 Nazi occupation.

During Mass in Santakos Park, Francis honored both Jewish victims of the Nazis and the Lithuanians who were deported to Siberian gulags or were tortured, killed, and oppressed at home during five decades of Soviet occupation.

"Earlier generations still bear the scars of the period of the occupation, anguish at those who were deported, uncertainty about those who never returned, shame for those who were informers and traitors," Francis told the crowd, which was estimated by the local church to number 100,000 people.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

China, Vatican Agree on Bishop Appointments; Pope OKs 7 Bishops Approved by Chinese Govt.

The Vatican said today (September 22, 2018) that it had reached a provisional deal with the Chinese government to end a decades-old power struggle over the right to appoint bishops in China, according to the NY Times website.

It was the Communist country's first formal recognition of the pope's authority within the Roman Catholic Church in the world's most populous nation, Vatican officials said.

Under the deal, Pope Francis recognized the legitimacy of seven bishops appointed by the Chinese government. Because they had not been selected by the Vatican, they had previously been excommunicated.

The agreement was in keeping with the pope's outreach to parts of the world where he hopes to increase the church's presence and spread its message. It gives the Catholic Church greater access to a huge population, where the growth of Protestantism is far outpacing Catholicism.

Trump Drafts Order to Inspect Google, Facebook; Will Allow Antitrust Agencies to Review Practices

The White House drafted an executive order for President Donald Trump's signature that would instruct federal antitrust and law enforcement agencies to open probes into the practices of Google, Facebook, and other social media companies, the Bloomberg News website reports today (September 22, 2018).

The order is in its preliminary stages, said a White House official.

The document instructs U.S. antitrust authorities to "thoroughly investigate whether any online platform has acted in violation of any antitrust laws."

If signed, the order would represent significant escalation of Trump's aversion to Google, Facebook and other social media companies, whom he has publicly accused of silencing conservative voices and news sources online.

Friday, September 21, 2018

"Francis the Simple" and "Francis the Stubborn;" Pope Tends to Be Humble,But Is Often Stubborn

From the beginning of his papacy, the general narrative about Pope Francis has emphasized his personal simplicity and humility, his closeness to ordinary people, and his passion for the peripheries, as well as his pastoral-loving heart, the Crux website reports today (September 21, 2018).

Likewise from the beginning, however, there has been another, often competing narrative about Francis, initially whispered and later shouted out loud, especially by his detractors.

This viewpoint holds that Francis is also a stubborn figure, a man prone to making decisions and refusing to back down, and one typically unmoved by any sort of criticism.

This refusal to be told what to do, or to be painted into a corner, is also an aspect of Francis's persona. This aspect of Francis's personality can be illustrated by his refusal to respond to allegations against him by  a former Vatican ambassador to the United States, who said last month that Francis should resign for covering up sexual misconduct accusations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

Israeli Court Fines Ultra-Orthodox Radio Station; Fines It $280K for Not Permitting Women on Air

An Israeli district court has fined a radio station owned by ultra-Orthodox Jews one million shekels (about $280,000) for its longstanding refusal to allow women to speak on its programs, the Religion News website reports today (September 21, 2018).

The court's September 20 ruling was the culmination of a 2012 class-action suit filed on behalf of ultra-Orthodox women who had been denied the right to speak on the air at the station, Kol Barama.

The case was brought by Kolech, an Orthodox women's advocacy organization.

Yael Rockman, Kolech's executive director, said after the suit was filed, the station slowly began to let women speak on air, but only on mainly female-related topics like recipes. She added the station is allowing more women on the air today, but not in equal numbers to men.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Trump Sets Max.No. of Refugees to Lowest Ever; Only 30K Refugees to Be Accepted in US in 2019

The Trump administration has reduced the maximum number of refugees it will accept in the next fiscal year from 45,000 to 30,000, the lowest level since the current refugee-resettlement program went into effect more than three decades ago, The Atlantic website reports today (September 20, 2018).

"The improved refugee policy of this administration serves the national interest of the United States, and helps those in need all around the world," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a brief statement on September 17.

The 30,000 figure is the lowest refugee cap announced since President Ronald Reagan signed the Refugee Act in 1980.

U.S. presidents have, on the average, set a ceiling of 95,000 refugees for a fiscal year.

Rock Thrown in Polish Synagogue on Yom Kippur; Shatters Window, Just Misses Holy Day Followers

A rock was hurled into a synagogue in the Polish city of Gdansk on Yom Kippur, shattering the glass of one window while worshipers -- including children -- were inside, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (September 20, 2018).

No one was hurt in yesterday's incident at the New Synagogue during one of Judaism's holiest days.

The rock fell in the atrium where women waiting for neilah -- the final prayer for Yom Kippur -- according to the Jewish Religious Community in Gdansk.

The perpetrator has been identified on camera and the police are said to be dealing with the attack as a matter of the highest urgency, the World Jewish Congress wrote in a statement in which it condemned the attack.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Russia,Turkey Block Syrian Offensive on Idlib; Syria Planned to Attack Last Rebel Stronghold

Turkey will send more troops into Syria's Idlib province after striking a deal with Russia that has averted an imminent government offensive and delighted rebels who said it kept the area out of President Bashar al-Assad's hands, the Reuters website reports today (September 19, 2018).

The deal unveiled on September 17 by Russian President Vladimir Putin -- Assad's most powerful ally -- and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will create a demilitarized zone from which "radical" rebels must withdraw by the middle of next month.

Damascus also welcomed the agreement, but vowed to continue its efforts to recover "every inch" of Syria, now in its seventh year of a brutal civil war.

The agreement halted a threatened Syrian government offensive on Syria's last rebel-controlled province -- home to some three million people.

Living Conditions Worsen for Migrants on Lesbos; Street Rubbish,Lack of Showers and Toilets Prevail

Three years after the migrant crisis began, refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos are facing worsening living conditions and growing frustrations from local people, the Euro News website reports today (September 19, 2018).

At the Moira refugee camp, life is getting harder for its 9,000 migrants who continue to face overcrowding and filthy living conditions.

Excessive rubbish on the streets and a shortage of showers and toilets are common.

Greek authorities are facing mounting pressures at home from locals who are split about their hospitality to host the growing number of migrants.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

US Cath. Back Pope Despite Cover-up Accusal; New Poll: 79% of US Catholics Support Francis

A new Gallup poll finds that even in the wake of the upheaval caused by revelations of sexual abuse by hundreds of priests in Pennsylvania and allegations of a Vatican cover-up of sexual misconduct of a U.S. cardinal, 79 percent of U.S. Catholics hold a favorable view of Pope Francis -- unchanged from last month but down 8 points from when he visited the U.S. three years ago -- the America Magazine website reports today (September 18, 2018).

Just 12 percent of U.S. Catholics hold an unfavorable view of Francis.

When it comes to the general U.S. population, however, the summer of scandals seems to be punishing the pope: Just over half of all U.S. adults -- 53 percent -- hold a favorable view of the pope. That is down 13 percentage points from last month and down 23 points from a peak in February 2014.

The latest Gallup poll was conducted with 1,035 adults from September 4 to 12.

Abbas to Attempt to Bypass Trump in Peace Talks; Will Ask French Pres. to Expedite Israeli-PA Talks

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will arrive in France tomorrow and hold a meeting with President Emmanuel Macron in an attempt to secure European sponsorship of negotiations with Israel -- instead of negotiations led by the United States -- the Israel National News website reports today (September 18, 2018).

Abbas refuses to take part in peace negotiations led by the U.S, because he believes the Trump administration discriminates against the PA and favors Israel, as illustrated by the U.S. recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Abbas also intends to appeal to other European leaders during the UN General Assembly to try to persuade them, against the background of the tension between the European Union and the U.S., to promote a non-discriminatory peace plan, and thus make Americans even more angry.

Abbas' intentions can be viewed as payback to the U.S. for its recent series of blows to the PA -- including the cessation of UNRWA funding, the cutback of aid to the PA, the freezing of its bank accounts in the U.S., and the closing down of the PA's diplomatic offices in Washington, D.C.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Hungarians Protest against Orban at EU Rally; Slam Hungary's PM for His Violating EU Rules

Around 1,000 Hungarians protested against Prime Minister Viktor Orban yesterday at a pro-EU (European Union) rally in Budapest organized by leftist opposition parties, demanding that the government respect democratic rights and other EU values, the Reuters website reports today (September 17, 2018).

The European Parliament voted on September 12 to sanction Hungary for flouting EU rules on democracy, civil rights, and corruption in an unprecedented step that left Orban isolated from some powerful allies in the European Parliament.

Hungary said it would seek legal ways to challenge the ruling.

Opponents of Orban say he has broken EU rules on several occasions. Orban has also been one of the strongest opponents of the EU's migration policies, as he has forbidden refugees from entering Hungary.

Dutch Catholic Church Accused of Sex Cover-up; Over Half of Its Clerics Covered Up Sex Assaults

A Dutch newspaper reported on September 15, 2018 that more than half of the Netherlands' senior clerics were involved in covering up sexual assaults of children between 1945 and 2010, according to The Guardian website.

Over the course of 65 years, 20 of 39 Dutch cardinals, bishops, and their auxiliaries "covered up sexual abuse," the daily NRC reported.

Church spokeswoman Daphne van Roosendaal said the church could "confirm a part" of the report.

Most of the accused clerics have since died. Those still alive declined to comment, NRC said.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Erekat:US Will Never Introduce Peace Plan; Accuses Trump Admin. of Siding with Israel

Chief Palestinian Authority (PA) negotiator Saeb Erekat claimed yesterday that the U.S. will not present its long-awaited plan for Israeli-PA peace any time soon, the Israel National News website reports today (September 16, 2018).

Instead, argued Erekat, the U.S. is trying to unilaterally change the terms of reference for any future proposal.

Erekat accused the Trump administration of siding with Israel on the core issues of the decades-old conflict, burying all chances for Middle East peace.

"I don't think they will ever introduce a plan. The whole world is rejecting their ideas. They are already implementing their plan by changing the terms of reference," he said.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Pope: "Brothers and Sisters of the Mafia Repent;" Asserts Mafia Members Cannot Live as Christians

Pope Francis appealed to Sicily's Mafia today (September 15, 2018) to abandon a life of crime and violence, saying the island needed "men and women of love, not men and women 'of honor,'" using the term mobsters apply to themselves, according to the Euro News website.

Francis, in the Sicilian capital of Palermo, said organized crime members -- many of whom go to church and worship openly -- "cannot believe in God and be Mafiosi" at the same time.

He visited Palermo --  the headquarters of the Mafia --  to commemorate Father Giuseppe "Pino" Puglisi, a priest shot dead by Mafia hit men in 1993, because he challenged the organization's control over the city's toughest neighborhoods.

"A person who is a Mafioso does not live as a Christian because with his life he blasphemes against the name of God," Francis said in a Mass with more than 80,000 people in the port area of Palermo.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Chelsea Clinton: Banning Abortion Unchristian; Slammed by Franklin Graham for Non-Rel.View

Chelsea Clinton said yesterday that the idea of America going back to pre-Roe v. Wade where abortions banned is "un-Christian," the Christian Post website reports today (September 14, 2018).

In an interview with Sirius XM's "Signal Boost," Clinton said every day she makes the "moral choice" to be optimistic for her children when it comes to what she says is the battle for women's rights.

Clinton said she has been receiving "a lot of hate" over the issue, and has been compared to slave-owners and Nazis, who murdered millions of Jews.

She recently suggested that legal abortions have led to economic growth in the U.S. But evangelist Franklin Graham said such a notion is a "lie." Legal abortion "has cost this nation 60 million lives -- lives precious to God," Graham said.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Feinstein Admits Holding Kavanaugh Document; May Be on High School Sex Conduct with Woman

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) acknowledged today (September 13, 2018) that she has a secret document concerning Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh that she refuses to share, despite requests to do so from fellow Democrats on the Senate judiciary committee, according to the Yahoo News website.

"I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court," Feinstein said in a statement.

The California Democrat -- who is the senior minority member of the Senate judiciary committee -- has refused to answer questions about the document, indicating she is trying to delay or deny Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination.

Multiple sources have said the document in question concerns potential sexual misconduct involving Kavanaugh and a woman when they were both in high school.

Ind. School District OKs Firearms for Teachers; Due to 17 People Killed at Parkland, Fla. School

A rural Indiana school district is expected this month to join a growing number of districts nationwide to provide firearms to teachers, the UPI website reports today (September 13, 2018).

Jay Schools in Portland, Indiana has purchased firearms, installed biometric safes in its buildings, and trained an "undisclosed" number of teachers and staff.

The school board is expected to formally adopt the policy later this month.

Many states have moved to improve school security after a former student stormed into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14 and shot 17 people to death.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

"60 Minutes" Chief Jeff Fager Quits CBS Network; Women Claim Unwanted Touching in New Yorker

Jeff Fager, the former chairman of CBS News and executive producer of the "60 Minutes" program, is leaving the network "immediately," according to a memo from CBS News President David Rhodes, The Daily Beast website reports today (September 12, 2018).

"Bill Owens will manage the '60 Minutes' team...." Rhodes said today.

The memo stated that Fager's exit was "not directly related to the allegations surfaced in press reports" but noted that Fager "violated company policy."

A New Yorker magazine story by Ronan Farrow alleged that Fager ignored sexual harassment at the network, and several women accused Fager of unwanted touching.

Syria Shells Idlib Despite UN Chief's Forewarning; May Spark Worst Humanitarian Grief of Civil War

Government forces shelled Syria's last major rebel bastion today (September 12, 2018), just hours after UN chief Antonio Guterres warned the Security Council any full-blown offensive in Idlib province risks triggering a "bloodbath," according to the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website.

Intermittent artillery fire hit southern districts of Idlib and adjacent rebel-held areas of Hama province.

The northwestern province and adjacent areas form the largest chunk of territory still held by the rebels in Syria.

UN agencies and relief organizations have warned repeatedly that any major attack on Idlib could spark one of the worst humanitarian disasters of Syria's civil war, now in its seventh year.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Pope:Satan Attacking Church in Form of Accuser; Clerics Accusing Church of Cover-ups Are Satanic

Pope Francis asserted today (September 11, 2018) that Satan was attacking the Catholic Church's bishops by uncovering their sins and "scandalizing" the church as the "Great Accuser," according to the Daily Caller website.

Francis made the claim in his homily today, amid the growing crisis of sexual abuse allegations against high-ranking clergy and credible reports of systematic cover-ups within the church.

The pontiff said the scandals besetting the church was not the fault of criminal bishops, but of those who have brought forth the accusations.

Francis' homily implied that Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano and other clerics like him, who have accused Cardinal Donald Wuerl of covering up accusations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and found accusations against the pope and other bishops to be credible, are in fact doing Satanic work by bringing accusations against the clergy to light.

Trump Closes Down Palestinian Diplomatic Office; Due to Palestinian Reluctance to Enter Peace Talks

The Trump administration ordered the closure of the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington yesterday and threatened sanctions against the International Criminal Court (ICC), if it pursues investigations against the U.S., Israel, or other allies, the AP website reports today (September 11, 2018).

The administration cited the refusal of Palestinian leaders to enter into peace talks with Israel as the reason for closing the Palestinian office.

Also yesterday, President Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, launched a broadside against The Hague-based International Criminal Court. Bolton threatened the court and its staff with sanctions if it proceeds with investigations into alleged crimes by American troops in Afghanistan.

The closure of the Palestinian office was centered on the fact that no "direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel" are underway despite previous warnings, the State Department said.

Trump Recalls 9/11:US Won't Submit to Tyranny; Pays Tribute to Terror Victims at Penn. Memorial

President Donald Trump delivered a message of defiance as he spoke at a 9/11 memorial service today (September 11, 2018), saying the U.S. would "never ever submit to tyranny," according to the Sky News website.

Trump spoke at a ceremony in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where terrorists crashed California-bound Flight 93 into a field on September 11, 2011.

He paid tribute to victims at the new memorial, as several services took place around the country to mark 17 years since the terrorist attacks.

Trump said: "This field is now a monument to American defiance. This memorial is now a message to the world. America will never ever submit to tranny."

Monday, September 10, 2018

Vatican Preparing Response to Vigano's Accusal; Council of Cardinal Advisors Backs Pope Francis

The Council of Cardinal Advisors issued a statement today (September 10, 2018) expressing their "full solidarity with Pope Francis in the face of what has happened in these last weeks" -- namely the attack against him by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former Vatican ambassador to the United States, according to the America Magazine website.

The council added that it was aware that the Holy See is preparing "the eventual and necessary clarifications" in response to the grave allegations Archbishop Vigano made in August.

Archbishop Vigano had accused the pope of covering up the abuses committed by Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and of lifting the sanctions he believes Pope Benedict XVI imposed on the former Washington cardinal. Vigano also stunned the Catholic world by calling for Francis' resignation.

The council members said in their statement that the Vatican is preparing a response to what Archbishop Vigano stated in his letter, the contents of which have become a source of scandal and division in the Catholic Church -- particularly in the United States -- and a direct attack on the pope and his moral authority.

Thousands of Greeks Protest in Thessaloniki; Oppose Republic of North Macedonia Name

Clashes between thousands of protesters and police occurred in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki on the evening of September 8, the Euro News website reports today (September 10, 2018).

The demonstrations were over a deal agreed to by Greece's prime minister , which allows the neighboring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to now be called the Republic of North Macedonia -- thus ending a decades-old row about the country's name. (Macedonia is also the name of a province in northern Greece that has existed for over 2,000 years, and is the birthplace of Alexander the Great.)

Police fired tear gas and detained at least five people after angry crowds lit fires and threw objects near a trade fair where Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was delivering a speech.

"There is one Macedonia and it's Greek, and that is non-negotiable," said one demonstrator. "History cannot be forgotten. Macedonia is here."

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Moonves Resigns as CBS CEO after New Claims; Six More Women Say He Sexually Abused Them

CBS CEO Les Moonves resigned today (September 9, 2018), just hours after six more women accused him of sexual assault, according to the NY Daily News website.

The 68-year-old executive is expected to officially step down tomorrow (September 10).

Moonves has been accused of sexual harassment and abuse by more than a dozen women, including six more who came forward in a New Yorker magazine article published today.

Among the allegations are forced oral sex and acts of intimidation.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Trump to Assad: No Chemical Weapons on Idlib; US Will Retaliate If Chemical Weapons Are Used

Due to intelligence information revealing Syrian President Bashar Assad is planning to use chemical weapons in an upcoming attack on rebel-controlled Idlib province, President Donald Trump said the U.S. will retaliate swiftly against Syria if it uses chemical weapons, the Times of Israel website reports today (September 18, 2018).

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford -- the United States' top military official -- said today that he has had dialogue with President Trump regarding military consequences, if the Syrian regime uses chemical weapons.

Some three million people live in Idlib province and its adjacent region.

The United Nations also has warned Syria that an attack on Idlib poses the threat of a humanitarian disaster.

Friday, September 7, 2018

No.of Church of England Worshipers Lowest Ever; More Than Half of Britons Now Have No Religion

A survey published today (September 7, 2018) reveals that the number of Britons who describe themselves as belonging to the Church of England has fallen to a record low, with more than half now saying they have no religion, according to the Worthy News website.

Only 14 percent of Britons identified themselves as Church of England worshipers, down from 31 percent 15 years ago, the British Social Attitudes survey found.

The number saying they had no religion rose from 41 to 52 percent.

Church of Scotland numbers also fell from 31 percent in 2002 to 18 percent.

Trump:No Money for Palestinians Until Peace; Confident of Israeli-Palestinian Peace Compact

U.S. President Donald Trump told Jewish leaders yesterday that the U.S. would not give monetary aid to the Palestinians until they reach a peace agreement with Israel, the Times of Israel website reports today (September 7, 2018).

In a conference call with several dozen American Jewish leaders ahead of Rosh Hashanah, Trump noted that he had recently slashed immense amounts of U.S. aid to Palestinians.

The U.S. would resume funding, he said, but only if the Palestinians reached a peace deal with Israel.

Trump also expressed confidence that an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal would be achieved in the near future.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Christian Homeschooling Soaring in Australia; Due to Bullying of Students with Moral Values

Religious families in Australia are more often choosing to homeschool their children as a result of increased religious bullying, the Christian Headlines website reports today (September 6, 2018).

Some parents have reported that their children were targeted because of their moral opposition to same-sex marriage.

Stuart Chapman, the Accelerate Home Schooling coordinator, said, "In our celebration of a diversity, Christians are now the ones who are the target of bullying and in the minority."

Chapman also cited an incident where "students who opposed same-sex marriage were forced to stand at the back of their classrooms."

India Court Decriminalizes Same-Sex Relations; Says Sexual Orientation Prejudice Is "Irrational"

The Supreme Court of India issued a historic ruling today (September 6, 2018) by decriminalizing same-sex relations, according to the UPI website.

The high court had criminalized consensual sexual relations for same-sex partners in 2013, based on a colonial-era law that made same-sex relationship an "unnatural offense" punishable by 10 years in jail.

Today, justices called that law "irrational," "arbitrary," and "incomprehensible."

"Any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation violates fundamental rights," Chief Justice Dipak Misra, head of the five-judge panel, said in today's ruling.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Cheerleaders Can Write Bible Verses on Banners; TX Supreme Court OKs Verses Despite Complaint

The Texas Supreme Court has handed a group of Christian cheerleaders a victory in their lawsuit involving run-through banners that include Bible verses, the Christian Headlines website reports today (September 5, 2018).

The state high court refused to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling that had sided with the cheerleaders.

The dispute began in 2012 when school cheerleaders in Kountze, Texas began writing Bible verses on run-through banners as a way to inspire athletes.

The school district -- reacting to a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) -- banned the banners, and the cheerleaders filed suit. The supreme court's decision puts an end to the dispute.

Pres.Macron Attends Pre-Rosh Hashanah Ritual; Becomes First Sitting French Pres. to Attend One

French President Emmanuel Macron attended a pre-Rosh Hashanah ceremony at the Great Synagogue of Paris last night, the first time a sitting president has done so, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (September 5, 2018).

Macron did not speak at the ceremony, since France has a strict separation of state and religion.

Jewish leaders who spoke at the program focused on the rising anti-Semitism pervading the country.

"Our children leave" because "France, the land of asylum, is becoming a land of exile for Jews," said Joel Mergui, president of the Consistoire organization that provides religious services to French Jews.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Pope Francis Glorifies Silence,Prayer in Homily; Won't Respond to Hiding Abuse by US Cardinal

As a clamor builds for Pope Francis to respond to allegations by his former ambassador to Washington that he covered up sexual abuse, the pontiff has praised the virtues of silence, the NY Times website reports today (September 4, 2018).

Speaking at a homily at the Vatican yesterday, Francis said, "With people who don't have good will, who seek only scandal, who want only division, who seek only destruction -- including within the family: silence, prayer."

So far, Francis has stuck with silence since the allegations first shook the Catholic Church on August 26.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano -- the former Vatican ambassador -- accused the pope of knowing about sexual misconduct by an American cardinal, Theodore McCarrick, with adult seminarians years before the abuse became public.

Russian Airstrikes Batter Syria's Idlib Province; Attack on Rebel-Held Area May Spark Tragedy

Russian warplanes battered Syria's rebel-controlled Idlib today (September 4, 2018), as expectations mount of a government offensive in the northwestern province, according to the Times of Israel website.

The strikes came despite U.S. President Donald Trump's warning yesterday against launching an attack on the country's last rebel stronghold, saying an offensive could trigger a "human tragedy."

The United Nations has also warned that a full assault on Idlib could spark a humanitarian catastrophe on a scale not yet seen in Syria's seven-year-old civil war.

An estimated three million people -- half of them displaced from other parts of Syria -- live in Idlib and adjacent rebel-held areas.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Ukrainian Orthodox Church Granted Autonomy; Patriarch Bartholomew Ends Control by Moscow

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople -- head of the Orthodox Christian Church -- met with Moscow Patriarchate head Kirill on August 31 to discuss autocephaly (self-government) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Interfax website reports today (September 3, 2018).

Patriarch Bartholomew told Patriarch Kirill that he has decided to grant the Ukrainian Orthodox Church autocephaly, in order to overcome division in the Orthodox Church in Ukraine -- the largest country in Europe.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church was under the jurisdiction of Moscow for several decades before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989.

An official report on Patriarch Bartholomew's decision to grant the Ukrainian Orthodox Church autonomy is expected to be issued in the near future.

Trump Rips AFL-CIO Pres. Trumka on Labor Day; US Doing Better Than Ever in Low Unemployment

President Donald Trump slammed AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka today (September 3, 2018), Labor Day, accusing him of speaking against working people and the U.S. in a weekend TV appearance, according to the Newsmax website.

"Richard Trumka, the head of AFL-CIO, represented his union poorly on television this weekend," Trump tweeted.

Trumka had criticized Trump during a Fox TV interview, saying that while employment figures are good, wages are down and gas prices are up, "so workers aren't doing that well."

In a later twitter post today, Trump said, "Happy Labor Day! Our country is doing better than ever before with unemployment setting record lows."

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Thousands of Neo-Nazis March in Germany; March with Photos of Migrant Attack Victims

Thousands of opponents and supporters of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's immigration policy marched yesterday through the eastern city of Chemnitz, after a wave of racist violence that followed a knife killing, the Globe Post website reports today (September 2, 2018).

The rallies -- which drew 8,000 people -- ended peacefully.

Neo-Nazi protesters paraded with large portraits of victims of attacks perpetrated by asylum-seekers.

Some chanted "Merkel must go" and "We are the people" while waving German flags.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Report: Poland Lost 5M People, $54B in WW II; Poland Is Now Seeking Damages from Germany

A parliamentary commission in Poland reported yesterday that the country lost more than five million citizens and over $54 billion worth of assets under its Nazi German occupation during World War II, the Times of Israel website reports today (September 1, 2018).

The commission announced the numbers as part of the Polish government's intent to seek monetary damages from Germany.

The leader of the ruling Law and Justice party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, argues that as the first country the Nazis attacked in 1939, Poland was also the first to put up resistance and suffered the greatest losses.

Poland also spent decades under Soviet Russian domination after World War II and was not able to seek damages independently.