Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Exclusive: Support for Al-Qaeda Is Growing in US; Some Muslim Financial Donations Go to Terrorists

There is a growing support for al-Qaeda among some groups of disaffected African-American converts in inner-city areas across the U.S., the Clarion Project website reports exclusively today (October 31, 2018).

In some areas, Muslim worshipers are asked to make financial donations to causes in African nations. Clarion Project intelligence analysts believe that some of this cash finds its way into the hands of terrorists.

Cities where al-Qaeda's popularity is on the rise include New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and heavily-populated areas in California and Texas.

Al-Qaeda perceives the American government as launching a war against Muslims, and for Osama bin Laden and his followers that was sufficient to follow the Quaran call to fight those who fight you.

Turkish Prosecutor: Khashoggi Strangled, Cut Up; Killed Upon Entering Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

Turkey's public prosecutor said today (October 31, 2018) that Jamal Khashoggi was strangled and dismembered upon arrival at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul earlier this month as part of a premeditated plan to kill the prominent Saudi journalist and dispose of his body, according to the Washington Post website.

The statement marked the most conclusive official description to date of what happened to the prominent journalist.

It also intensified pressure on Saudi Arabia to find its way out of a crisis that has elicited sharp criticism from Western allies.

Irfan Fidan, the Turkish prosecutor, said Khashoggi was "strangled as soon he entered the consulate" in line with "premeditated plans."

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Trump Pays Tribute to 11 Killed in Synagogue; Many Pittsburgh Jews against Him Attending

U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump stepped into the vestibule of a Pittsburgh synagogue today (October 30, 2018) to light candles for 11 Jews slain in the worst instance of anti-Semitic violence in American history, according to the Times of Israel website.

 Outside the Tree of Life synagogue, the Trumps placed stones for each victim, a Jewish burial tradition, and placed small white roses just steps from where a gunman opened fire during Sabbath services last Saturday and further shook a nation reeling from jarring expressions of political violence and hate.

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, who was conducting services when the shooter opened fire, accompanied the Trumps and spoke at each stop, explaining and gesturing at the stars that make up the makeshift memorial.

Many Pittsburgh Jews did not want Trump to attend the memorial services, because they believe that he is a "nationalist" extremist, similar to the German Nazis during World War II that killed some six million Jews.

Trump Ends Benefits of US Born Migrant Babies; Will Issue an Executive Order Ending Citizenship

President Donald Trump said he will change federal law to remove citizenship to babies born inside the U.S. to non-U.S. citizens, the UPI website reports today (October 30, 2018).

The president said he will issue an executive order changing how the 14th Amendment is applied to children of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

Such an order would be his most aggressive move yet to end so-called "anchor babies." It would most likely be challenged in federal court.

"With all of those benefits [of citizenship], it's ridiculous," Trump said. "And it has to end."

Monday, October 29, 2018

Some 5,200 US Force Heads to Mexico Border; Subdues 7K Migrant Caravan from Entering US

The Pentagon is deploying 5,200 active duty troops to beef up security along the U.S.-Mexico border, officials announced today (October 29, 2018), in a bid to prevent a caravan of some 7,000 Central American migrants from illegally entering the U.S., according to the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website.

About 2,000 National Guardsmen are already deployed at the border.

Nonetheless, the migrants were crossing the Suchiate River from Guatemala into Mexico on rafts made from truck tires, or by forming human chains to avoid being swept away.

Others swam across after Mexican authorities refused to open a Guatemala-Mexico border bridge, located about 1,000 miles from the U.S. border.

Trump Rips News Media for Anger Pervading US; Asserts Fake News Must End to Restore Harmony

President Donald Trump today (October 29, 2028) blamed the news media for the "great anger" that is spreading across the U.S., according to the Raw Story website.

Writing on Twitter, the president said: "There is great anger in our Country caused in part by inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news."

"The Fake News Media, the true Enemy of the People, must stop the open and obvious hostility and report the news accurately and fairly," he added.

Trump concluded: "That will do much to put out the flame of Anger and Outrage and we will then be able to bring all sides together in Peace and Harmony."

Over 90K People Meet in Tex. to Praise Jesus; Event Seen as Start of "New Jesus Movement"

Over 90,000 people came together last week at the Texas Motor Speedway to praise Jesus and hear the word of Christ, the Christian Headlines website reports today (October 29, 2018).

A Minneapolis-based ministry called PLUSE hosted an event called "Together 2018," in an effort to set hearts on fire for Christ and the Bible.

PLUSE partnered with over 1,000 churches across the country in order to coordinate the event. "Together 2018" featured major Christian artists like Jesus Culture, Bethel Music, Lecrae, and Jonathan Taylor and invite speakers including Robert Morris, Francis Chan, Todd White and Ravi Zacharias among others to share the Good News.

Nick Hall, the founder of PLUSE, said that this event is the beginning of "a new Jesus movement."

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Russian Arms Official: Russia Preparing for War; Due to US Departure from Nuclear Missile Treaty

A Russian senior arms-control official says his nation is "preparing for war" over President Trump's withdrawal from the nuclear missile treaty, the WND (World Net Daily) website reports today (October 28, 2018).

Andrei Belusov made the declaration after Russia lost a vote at the United Nations to gather support from other nations for the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Reduction Treaty.

Belusov said: "Yes, Russia is preparing for war, I have confirmed it. We are preparing to defend our homeland, our territorial integrity, our principles, our values, our people -- we are preparing for such a war."

Trump accused Russia last week of violating the agreement many times, resulting in his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the agreement.

Sinead O'Connor Converts to Islam Religion; Scorned for Ripping Photo of Pope on "SNL"

Despite the fact that Islam treats women as second-class citizens, Irish singer Sinead O'Connor has revealed that she has converted from Christianity to Islam and has changed her name, the Yahoo News website reports today (October 28, 2018).

The "Nothing Compares 2 U" star explained that her decision was the "natural conclusion of any intelligent theologian's journey," adding her new name was Shuhada' Davitt, replacing her name of Magda Davitt.

An outspoken critique of religion throughout her career, Davitt was ordained a priest by a breakaway church, but the Catholic Church did not recognize the ceremony, since it does not allow women to become priests.

The singer gained scornful worldwide attention in 1992, after she ripped a picture of  Pope John Paul II -- and referred to him as "evil" -- during an appearance on the TV show "Saturday Night Live."

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Catholic Church Synod Fails to Reassure Youth; Month-Long Vatican Bishops' Meeting a Fiasco

Hailed as a chance for the Catholic Church to reconnect with today's youth, a month-long meeting at the Vatican ended today (October 27, 2018) with a whimper as bishops from around the world failed to see eye to eye, according to the France 24 website.

The 267 prelates attending the met had been tasked with finding a way to breathe fresh life into a centuries-old institution suffering from both a damaging global sex abuse crisis and widespread secularity in the West.

The synod's concluding document "looks like an IKEA catalogue," one bishop said.

He added, "You have everything you need for the bathroom and the kitchen, in all styles, so everyone can identify with it."

Gunman Kills Eight at Synagogue in Pittsburgh; Asserts "All These Jews Need to Die" at Services

Saying "All these Jews need to die," a gunman killed eight people and injured several others today (October 27, 2018) at a Pittsburgh synagogue, according to the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website.

The incident occurred around 10:20 a.m. at The Tree of Life, a 150-year-old Conservative Jewish congregation in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

The suspect was identified as Robert Bowers, a 46-year-old white male who surrendered to a SWAT team on the scene.

Police said at least three officers were wounded in the gunfire exchanges.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Mattis Approves More Troops for Mexican Border; Trump:Caravan Infiltrated by "Middle Easterners"

The Pentagon today (October 26, 2018) approved a request for additional troops at the Mexico border -- likely to total over 1,000 -- to help the U.S. Border Patrol, as President Trump seeks to block a caravan of some 7,000 Central American migrants from entering the U.S., according to the Newsmax website.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis signed off on a request for help from the Department of Homeland Security, according to a U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, since the planning has not yet been publicly announced.

There are already about 2,000 National Guard troops at the Mexico border under a previous Pentagon arrangement.

Trump, who claimed "Middle Easterners" have infiltrated the caravan, said he was using the military to respond to a "National Emergency."

Florida Man Arrested for Sending Mail Bombs; Cesar Sayoc, 56, Has Lengthy Criminal Record

A man in Florida was arrested today (October 26, 2018) in connection with a dozen suspected mail bombs sent to high profile figures, according to the Washington Post website.

The man has been identified as Cesar Sayoc, 56, according to a law enforcement official.

Florida records show that Sayoc has a lengthy criminal record in the state, including a 2002 arrest for a bomb threat and others for larceny and fraud.

Law enforcement officials have found 12 bomb packages sent to people who have criticized President Trump. None of the packages has detonated.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Trump Announces Plan to Lower Prices of Drugs; Asserts Drug Companies Overcharging Americans

President Donald Trump today (October 25, 2018) announced a plan to lower prices for prescription drugs, saying it would stop unfair practices that force Americans to pay much more than people in other countries for the same medications, according to the AP website.

"Same company. Same box. Same pill. Made in exact same location, and you would go to some countries and it would be 20 percent of the cost of what we pay," Trump said.

Trump added that his plan will save Americans billions of dollars on drugs.

Millions of Americans buy their drugs from Canada for less than half the cost of the same drugs in the U.S., since the Canadian government sets the price of drugs, not the pharmaceutical companies as in the U.S.

NATO in Biggest Mil. Exercise Since Cold War; Drills Focus on Protecting Ukraine from Russia

NATO has launched its biggest military exercise since the end of the Cold War nearly three decades ago, the Euro News website reports today (October 25, 2018).

The operation will test the response of NATO to a mock attack on Norway.

Over two weeks, drills will stretch from the Baltic Sea to Iceland, with much of the action taking place near Russia.

Western leaders have been increasingly concerned about Russia's involvement in Ukraine, since Russia illegally seized the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Pompeo: Illegal Migrant Caravan Won't Enter US; Says Pres. Trump Won't Stand for This to Happen

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said yesterday that the migrant caravan headed for the U.S. would be stopped, the Washington Free Beacon website reports today (October 24, 2018).

A group of some 7,000 Central American migrants -- mostly from Honduras -- is making a thousands-mile journey through Mexico to the U.S.

Pompeo said that "the migrant caravan is violating Mexico's sovereignty..." and "will not be successful at getting into the U.S. illegally."

He added, "President Trump will not stand for this to happen to the United States."

PA, Hamas Tend to Use Torture to Crush Dissent; Human Rights Watch: A Crime against Humanity

A Human Rights Watch investigation has found that security forces of the rival Palestinian governments in both the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Authority (PA) routinely use torture and arbitrary arrests -- among other tactics -- to quash dissent by peaceful activists and political rivals, the Worthy News website reports today (October 24, 2018).

The charges come in a report issued today by the New York-based watchdog following a two-year investigation that included interviews with nearly 150 people, many of them former detainees.

In the report, the group accused both the Western-backed Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the militant Islamist Hamas in Gaza of using "machineries of repression" to stifle criticism.

Human Rights Watch also said the systematic use of torture could amount to a crime against humanity under the United Nations' Convention against Torture, and called on countries that provide funding for Palestinian law enforcement to suspend their assistance.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Caravan of Migrants Seek Jobs,Not Asylum in US; Most Insist No Work in Central American Nations

Migrants traveling with the 7,000-strong caravan headed to the U.S.-Mexico border are admitting that they are merely foreign workers looking for jobs, not asylum, the Breitbart website reports today (October 23, 2018).

President Donald Trump, who called the migrant caravan a "national emergency," has cut off foreign aid to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador for failing to prevent the flow of migrants.

Evin Mata, a 21-yer-old previously deported illegal alien, said that his travels with the caravan to the southern border are about getting a U.S. job, which is not an eligible claim for asylum.

"We are workers," Mata said. "What are we supposed to do in Honduras if there's no work?"

A Majority of Americans Believe Abortion Is a Sin; Many Want to Restore Protection to Unborn Child

A new study finds that a majority of Americans believe that abortion is a sin, the Christian Headlines website reports today (October 23, 2018).

According to the Ligonier Ministries "State of Theology" survey, 52 percent of Americans agree that abortion is a sin compared to 38 percent who believe it is not.

Dr. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said... "Pro-life beliefs have definitely been gaining ground in recent years."

He added... "With a majority agreeing that abortion is a sin, we have a clear indication that many Americans want the state to restore protection to the unborn child."

Monday, October 22, 2018

Chicago Iraqi American Charged with Backing IS; Computer Engineer Encouraged Terrorist Attacks

A Chicago computer engineer and naturalized citizen from Iraq has been charged with using social media to recruit operatives for ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), encourage others to carry out terrorist attacks, and spread propaganda to support violent jihad, the Clarion Project website reports today (October 22, 2018).

Ashraf Al Safoo, 34, an employed computer engineer who moved to Chicago in 2008, faces a count of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization.

He holds a master's degree in computer science and was working in the IT department of a web development company at the time of his arrest.

Prosecutors allege Al Safoo was an active member of the Khattab Media Foundation, an organization with a "sworn bayat, or an oath of allegiance, to ISIS."

Hungary Passes Law Banning Homeless Living; Punishments Include Jail Time,Society Services

At least three people were arrested last week in Hungary after a new, widely condemned law banning rough sleeping went into effect, the Euro News website reports today (October 22, 2018).

The law came into force on October 15 following a constitutional amendment passed in June which brands rough sleeping a crime.

Police can now order homeless people to move into shelters and arrest them if they haven't done so after being ordered three times in a 90-day period. Punishments include jail time, community service, and their possessions being destroyed.

An estimated 30,000 homeless people live in Hungary -- most of them in Budapest -- and aid groups have condemned the law as being inhumane.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Over 5K Central American Migrants Head to US; Trump Says He'll Use Mil. to Seal Mexico Border

A caravan of Central American migrants marching into Mexico bound for the U.S. grew to over 5,000 people today (October 21, 2018), despite threats from President Donald Trump to use the U.S. military to seal off the border, according to the USA Today website.

The throng -- mostly from Honduras -- streamed across a bridge over the Suchiate River, connecting Guatemala with Mexico.

Many of the migrants cited poverty, corruption, and gang violence in Honduras for their flight.

Trump said, "People have to apply for asylum in Mexico first, and if they fail to do that, the U.S. will turn them away."

Trump Pulls Out of US Nuclear Pact with Russia; Says Russia Has Violated the Pact for Many Years

U.S. President Donald Trump said yesterday that he will pull the U.S. from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty because Russia has violated the agreement, the Times of Israel website reports today (October 21, 2018).

The 1987 pact, which helps protect the security of the U.S.and its allies in Europe and the Far East, prohibits the U.S. and Russia from possessing or test-flying ground-launched cruise missiles within a range of 300 to 3,400 miles.

"Russia has violated the agreement. They have been violating it for many years," Trump said.

He added, "And we're not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons and we're not allowed to."

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Saudi Arabia Says Khashoggi Killed in Fistfight; Govt. Fires Five Top Officials, Arrests 18 Saudis

The Saudi government acknowledged today (October 20, 2018) that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, saying he died during a fistfight, according to the Washington Post website.

The announcement, which came in a tweet from the Saudi Foreign Ministry, said that the Saudi journalist had been in discussions with people inside the consulate when a quarrel broke out and escalated to a fatal fistfight.

The Saudi government said it fired five top officials and arrested 18 other Saudis as a result of the initial investigation.

The Saudi statement comes as the kingdom is facing unprecedented political and economic pressure to disclose what happened to Khashoggi, a critic of the government and a contributing columnist to The Washington Post.

Friday, October 19, 2018

EU Top Court Blocks Poland's Judiciary Changes; Disbars Poland from European Judiciary Network

The European Union's top court has issued an injunction against the implementation of Poland's new law on the Supreme Court, freezing any changes to the existing system, the Euro News website reports today (October 19, 2018).

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said "after thorough analysis we will take a position (on the European Union Court's ruling)."

The new Polish law lowers the retirement age of Supreme Court judges from 70 to 65 years, putting 27 out of 72 sitting judges at risk of being forced to retire.

The loss of independence by the National Council for the Judiciary was the reason why Poland was suspended last week from the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENC).

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Louis Farrakhan Stigmatizes Jews as "Termites;" Chelsea Clinton Rips Nation of Islam Head's Slur

Chelsea Clinton called Louis Farrakhan's anti-Semitism "dangerous" and said laughter in response to it "made my skin crawl," the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (October 18, 2018).

Clinton, the daughter of former President Bill Clinton and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, was reacting on Twitter to a Farrakhan tweet in which the leader of the Nation of Islam said "I'm not an anti-Semite. I'm anti-termite."

"Comparing Jews to termites is anti-Semitic, wrong and dangerous," Clinton tweeted, quoting Farrakhan.

Farrakhan's tweet posted this week on Twitter along with a video said "To the members of the Jewish community that don't like me me a hater .. call me an anti-Semite, stop it! I'm anti-termite!" The audience laughed in response.

Trump Warns Mexico to Stop Migrant Onslaught; Says US Will Use Mil.Force at Border If Necessary

President Donald Trump warned Mexico today (October 18, 2018) the U.S. will use military force to shut down the border if it doesn't stop what he called an "onslaught" of illegal migration, according to the UPI website.

In three tweets today, Trump slammed Democrats for being "weak" on immigration and cautioned Mexico to stem the flow of migrants at its border with the U.S.

"I must, in the strongest terms, ask Mexico to stop the onslaught," he wrote. "If [they are] unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!"

Trump has tried to restrict unlawful immigration since the start of his presidency, including the controversial border wall he is still trying to have built along the 2,000-mile stretch in the Southwest that separates the two countries.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

IS Fighters in Syria Engaging in Fierce Resistance; Use Civilian Shields,Booby Traps, Hide in Tunnels

Islamic State (IS) fighters trapped in Syria are still putting up fierce resistance, using civilians as human shields, setting deadly booby traps, and hiding in underground tunnels, thus frustrating efforts by U.S.-backed Syrian fighters to deal a final blow to the terrorist caliphate, the Washington Examiner website reports today (October 17, 2018).

It has been six months since the start of "Operation Roundup," an offensive designed to liberate the last swath of territory held by the Islamic State in the Middle Euphrates River Valley, or MERV, near Syria's eastern border with Iraq.

"ISIS, however, remains a deadly adversary. The remaining fighters in the MERV are hardened combatants and have shown every indication of being willing to fight until the end," Army Col. Sean Ryan told Pentagon reporters.

The ruthless tactics of the remaining IS fighters have slowed the advance of the Syrian Democratic Forces, which must be careful to protect the civilian populations who are often held hostage in their homes and prevented by IS from leaving the battle zone.

Canada Has Legalized Recreational Marijuana; Canadians Wait in Line for Hours to Buy Joints

Canada today (October 17, 2018) became the first major world economy to legalize recreational marijuana, beginning a national experiment that will alter the country's social, cultural, and economic fabric, according to the NY Times website.

Across the country, jubilant Canadians waited for hours in line to buy the first state-approved joints. For many, it was a seminal moment, akin to the ending of Prohibition in the U.S. in the 1930s.

It was an unlikely unifier, coming at a time when Canada has been buffeted by bruising trade talks with the U.S. and has seen its prime minister, Justin Trudeau, repeatedly ridiculed by President Trump.

Canada is only the second country in the world, after Uruguay, to legalize marijuana.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

New Survey:God Accepts Worship of All Religions; Most Say God Accepts Christianity, Judaism,Islam

A majority of American evangelicals now believe that God accepts the worship of all religions, a new study released today (October 16, 2018) by Ligonier Ministries shows, according to the Christian Post website.

Chris Larson, president of the Ligonier Ministries, says the results of the 2018 State of Theology survey conducted by LifeWay Research shows an urgent need for bold teaching of historic Christianity.

In the survey, evangelicals were asked about their views on a series of theological statements including: "God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam."

Some 51 percent of respondents agreed with the statement, while 42 percent disagreed.

Russian Orth. Church Splits from Constantinople; Scraps Bartholomew's Call for Ind.Ukraine Church

The Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow has cut ties with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, claiming his recognition of an independent Orthodox Church in Ukraine departed from Orthodox Christian norms, the National Catholic Register website reports today (October 16, 2018).

Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, who heads the foreign relations for the Russian Orthodox Church, and Russian Orthodox leaders decided to "break the Eucharistic communion" in response to actions it called "lawless and canonically void."

"The Russian Orthodox Church doesn't recognize those decisions and won't fulfill them," Archbishop Hilarion said in Belarus after a meeting of the synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Patriarch Bartholomew's plan to create a single, self-governing Church in Ukraine, led by its own patriarch, is motivated by a desire to unify the country's 30 million Orthodox Christians, theologians say. The Russian Orthodox Church sees the move as an infringement of its jurisdiction and authority.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Judge Ends Stormy Daniels' Suit against Trump; Trump Has 1st Amend. Right to Mock Porn Star

A federal judge today (October 15, 2018) dismissed porn star Stormy Daniels' defamation lawsuit against President Trump, saying the president was well within his First Amendment rights when he took to Twitter to mock her, according to the Washington Times website.

Judge S. James Otero said Trump was using understandable hyperbole when he accused the woman, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, of a "con job" after she released a sketch artist rendering of a man she said threatened her to stay silent about her alleged sexual encounter with Trump years ago.

The judge said the back-and-forth was standard politicking from both sides.

Judge Otero added: "To allow plaintiff to proceed with her defamation action would, in effect, permit plaintiff to make public allegations against the president without giving him the opportunity to respond. Such a holding would violate the First Amendment."

Man Sentenced to 22 Years for Abortion Plot; Secretly Put Abortion Pill in Girlfriend's Drink

A man, who secretly put an abortion pill in his girlfriend's drink, has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for attempting first-degree intentional homicide of an unborn child, the Christian Headlines website reports today (October 15, 2018).

Manuel Patel,45, was sentenced after admitting to slipping an abortion-inducing drug in his girlfriend's smoothie in 2007. The woman didn't drink it, but miscarried weeks later. Patel had been on the run from police for a decade.

Patel and his girlfriend had a child together in 2004. In September 2007 -- a month after she became pregnant again -- he took her to an ice cream shop in Appleton, Wisconsin, bought a smoothie and poured it in two different cups.

As she waited in the car, he put a powdery substance -- the abortion pill -- into her cup and gave it to her. She saw the the powder in the cup and never drank it. She sent it to a lab for testing and discovered it was RU-486.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Taliban Kills 17 Soldiers on Afghan Army Base; Abducts 11 Others, Seizes Weapons and Ammo

The Taliban today (October 14, 2018) attacked an army base in western Afghanistan, killing 17 Afghan soldiers and abducting 11 others, according to the AP website.

Ghausuddin Noorzai, the district chief in Pusht Rod, said another four soldiers were wounded in the attack.

He added that the Taliban also overran two checkpoints near the base, seizing weapons and ammunition.

The Taliban claimed the attack, the latest in its nearly daily assaults on Afghan security forces.

Vandals in Greece Smash 8 Jewish Tombstones; Occurred in the City of Trikala in Central Greece

Unidentified individuals carried out an act of vandalism in Trikala, a city in central Greece located about 150 miles northwest of Athens, smashing eight Jewish tombstones, the Jewish News Daily website reports today (October 14, 2018).

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece called on authorities to do everything it can to arrest the perpetrators.

It said: "We strongly condemn the vandal attack that once more occurred against the Jewish cemetery of Trikala."

It added: "More specifically, followers of racism and anti-Semitism vandalized and destroyed eight tombs and tombstones -- among which the two graves of the parents of the President of the Jewish Community of Trikala."

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Over 200,000 Stage Anti-Racism Rally in Berlin; Carry Signs Supporting Migrant Rescue Missions

Tens of thousands of people marched in Berlin today (October 13, 2018) in a protest against racism amid growing concern over xenophobic incidents in the east of Germany, according to the Yahoo News website.

Organizers said at least 242,000 people turned out for the rally.

"Say it loud, say it clear, we are all indivisible," the demonstrators chanted as they marched through central Berlin.

Some held up signs in support of migrant rescue missions in the Mediterranean, while others waved placards reading "More love, less hate" and "No room for Nazis."

Pope Defrocks 2 Chilean Bishops for Child Abuse; Stops Them from Performing Any Clerical Duties

The Vatican revealed today (October 13, 2018) that Pope Francis has defrocked two Chilean former bishops for allegedly sexually abusing minors, according to the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website.

The decision to expel former archbishop Francisco Jose Cox Huneeus and former bishop Marco Antonio Ordenes Fernandez is not open to appeal.

Both were stripped of their priesthood "as a consequence of overt acts of abuse against minors," the Vatican said.

Defrocking is considered the Catholic Church's harshest penalty for priests, barring the offender from exercising any clerical duties at all, even in private.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Egypt Sentences 17 to Death for Church Killings; Muslim Mil.Killed Many at Coptic Orth.Churches

Seventeen Islamic militants were sentenced to death yesterday for their role in multiple church bombings in Egypt that killed scores of Coptic Orthodox Christians, the Christian Post website reports today (October 12, 2018).

Another 19 defendants were issued life sentences by a military court, while nine others were given 15 years in prison for terror-related charges.

Several were found guilty of being involved in a suicide bombing at St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo in December 2016, where 25 people died.

Others were found guilty of being involved in twin suicide bombings in churches in Alexandria and Tanta on Palm Sunday in April 2017, where 45 were killed.

Harvard Bias Admissions Trial Begins on Oct. 15; Accepted Blacks,Hispanics Over Asian Applicants

A lawsuit challenging the use of race as a factor in U.S. college admissions will go on trial in Boston on October 15, when Harvard University will face accusations that it discriminates against Asian-American applicants, the Reuters website reports today (October 12, 2018).

The lawsuit -- backed by the Trump administration -- could eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court, giving the newly cemented five-member conservative majority a chance to bar the use of affirmative action to help minority applicants get into college.

Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) -- founded by anti-affirmative action activist Edward Blum -- sued Harvard in 2014, contending it illegally engages in "racial balancing" that artificially limits the number of better qualified Asian-American students at the Ivy League school.

Conservatives argue that affirmative action, which aims to offset historic patterns of racial discrimination, hurts white people and Asian Americans while helping black and Hispanic applicants. Blum said, "A student's race or ethnicity should not be a consideration in university admissions."

Pope Accepts Resignation of US Cardinal Wuerl; Grand Jury Accused Wuerl of Hiding Sex Abuse

Pope Francis today (October 12, 2018) accepted the resignation of Catholic U.S. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who was named in a grand jury investigation that detailed incidents of child sex abuse, according to the UPI website.

Wuerl, who had served as bishop in Pittsburg, came under fire when he was named in the August 14 grand jury report that accused Catholic leaders of covering up over 1,000 past cases of abuse in Pennsylvania.

Wuerl submitted his resignation to the pope last month. Today, the pontiff accepted it.

In a letter accepting the resignation today, Francis said Wuerl has "nobility" and said he would continue leading the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. until a permanent replacement is found.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Turkey Set to Release Pastor Brunson from Prison; US to End Its Sanctions on Turkey for His Release

Long-imprisoned American pastor Andrew Brunson is set to be released from a Turkish prison this month -- something that Donald Trump has demanded for months -- the Free Beacon website reports today (October 11, 2018).

Ankara and Washington came to an agreement on the matter, and Brunson's charges will be dropped in a hearing tomorrow, NBC News reported. In return, the U.S. will end the recent sanctions it imposed against Turkey.

Brunson is an American citizen from North Carolina, who spent decades as a pastor of the Resurrection Church in Izmir, Turkey.

In 2016 he spent time in a Turkish prison and then was put under house arrest after accusations of aiding terrorist groups. Brunson and American officials deny the allegation.

Melania:"I'm Most Bullied Person in the World;" First Lady Expresses Her Views in TV Interview

"I could say I'm the most bullied person in the world," First Lady Milania Trump said today (October 11, 2018) in an interview with ABC News' Tom Liamas, according to the USA Today website.

She also said that despite the steady stream of Trump aides exiting the White House, there are still some staffers in the West Wing she doesn't trust, and she has identified them to her husband.

Trump gave her thoughts on #Me Too, in which she supported women when their claims could be backed by evidence. "I support the women, and they need to be heard," she said. "We need to support them, and also men, not just women."

She also feels that the media could do a better job by being more objective. When asked if men who stand accused of assault or misconduct, she said the news media has treated them unfairly. She added: "You need to have really hard evidence, that if you accuse (someone) of something, show the evidence."

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Latter-Day Saints Church Drops "Mormon" Name; LDS Theology Has Been Mystifying Since It Began

The name "Mormon" is now a thing of the past within the Latter-Day Saints (LDS) church, the Christian Headlines website reports today (October 10, 2018).

Russell M. Nelson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, told members on October 7 to stop using the term "Mormon" or other nicknames, two days after the Mormon Tabernacle Choir announced it is changing its name to the "Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square."

There has been controversy over the denomination's theology since it was founded in 1830.

R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, said mormonism has key differences from historical Christianity. "The Mormon doctrine of God does not correspond to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity (one God in three eternal persons) and develops its own doctrine of God..." he wrote.

Pope Says Having Abortion Is Like Hitman Killing; Pregnant Woman Pays Someone to Kill Her Child

"Is it fair to hire a hit man to solve a problem?" asked Pope Francis while deviating from prepared remarks during his weekly homily at St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, The New American website reports today (October 10, 2018).

The pontiff's rhetorical question -- with "no" as the logical answer -- was part of his comparison to the act of abortion to contract killing.

It is difficult to argue with the pope's reasoning, since a pregnant woman does not kill the unborn child herself, but she does pay someone else to do it.

"Interrupting a pregnancy is like eliminating someone," Francis insisted. "Is it fair to hire a hit man to solve a problem? It is not fair. We cannot take out a human being, even if it is small."

Swedish Jewish Man's Home Burnt in Hate Crime; Jewish Politician Had Death Threats, Hate Speech

The home of a Swedish Jewish politician, who has been the target of anti-Semitic harassment, was set on fire last night in what his community is calling a hate crime, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (October 10, 2018).

The incident occurred in the southern Swedish city of Lund.

The targeted person, who wishes to remain anonymous, is a lay politician with Jewish roots. He has had death threats mailed to him and has been mailed hate speech online, according to the Jewish community.

No one was hurt, but the blaze resulted in extensive damage to the property.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Kim Jong Un Invites Pope to Visit North Korea; Kim Extends His Recent International Outreach

Kim Jong Un -- the once-reclusive leader of one of the world's most closed nations -- is continuing his recent international outreach by inviting Pope Francis to visit North Korea, the ABC News website reports today (October 9, 2018).

Kim told South Korean President Moon Jae last month that he would "ardently welcome the pope if he visits South Korea."

Moon is about to begin a European trip that will include a private conference with Pope Francis at the Vatican, where the South Korean president is expected to pass on Kim's invitation in person.

Moon -- a practicing Catholic -- will meet the pope on October 18, Vatican spokesperson Greg Burke said.

US Ambas. to UN Nikki Haley to Resign in Dec.; Asserts It Was an "Honor of a Lifetime" Position

Desiring to "take a break" from the endless pressures of the job, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced today (October 9, 2018) that she will resign her position at the end of the year, according to the UPI website.

Speaking to reporters with President Donald Trump, Haley said it was time to open the door for someone else.

"It was an honor of a lifetime," Haley said of her UN position.

Trump credited Haley for making progress in North Korean denuclearization and pushing Iran toward making a new nuclear deal with the U.S., since the administration withdrew the 2015 Iran agreement.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Israel Plans to Remove UNRWA from Jerusalem; Municipal Services Will Replace Palestinian Aid

Jerusalem's Israeli mayor, Nir Barkat, has announced that he will remove UNRWA -- the agency for Palestinian refugees -- from Jerusalem and replace its services with municipal services, The Globe Post website reports today (October 8, 2018).

UNRWA said such a move would affect its humanitarian operations and installations in East Jerusalem.

The agency runs schools and health centers, including the Shuafat refugee camp, where it says about 24,000 Palestinians live.

The U.S. ended its funding to UNRWA in August, a move applauded by the Israeli government but criticized by the Palestinians.

Vatican Denies Pope Hid McCarrick's Sex Abuse; Refutes Abp. Vigano's Accusal of Pope's Cover-up

After months of silence, the Vatican yesterday issued an official response to the accusations from a former Vatican ambassador to the U.S. that Pope Francis covered up sex abuse in the church, the Christian Post website reports today (October 8, 2018).

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, published an open letter yesterday on behalf of the Holy See, where he refuted Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano's allegations in August that Francis knew about abuse, but covered it up.

Ouellet also accused Vigano of "mocking and casting doubt" on Pope Francis' faith, which he said seems to him to be "blasphemous."

In August, Vigano accused Francis and other Vatican officials of having been aware for years of the serious accusations against former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick -- including his sexual abuse of seminarians -- and covered them up.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Thailand Hotel's "Hitler Room" Infuriates Jews; Has 2 Huge Pictures of Hitler, Swastika Painting

The Communist Room at the Villa Love Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand has ignited fury among Jewish leaders for featuring Nazi images, the World Israel News website reports today (October 7, 2018).

The room has two huge pictures of Adolph Hitler and a large swastika painting, as well as images relating to Communism.

The room is one of the hotel's most popular.

Efraim Zuroff, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said: "It shows a complete lack of knowledge and education about Hitler, the harm he caused and the horrifying crimes that he committed in World War II."

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Pope Ends His Silence on McCarrick's Sex Abuse; Concerned by Confusion Accusations Are Causing

Pope Francis today (October 6, 2018) authorized a study of the Vatican's handling of abuse allegations against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, and promised to release the findings of an earlier preliminary investigation, according to The Daily Beast website.

The Vatican said the pontiff had decided to break his silence on the matter because he has become "concerned by the confusion that these accusations are causing in the conscience of the faithful."

The Vatican vowed to "follow the path of truth wherever it may lead."

McCarrick resigned in July after the allegations against him went public, but the Vatican has come under scrutiny in recent weeks amid claims that Pope Francis knew about McCarrick's abuse years ago and covered it up.

Friday, October 5, 2018

US Broadens Its Strategy to Defeat Terrorism; Fights Radical Islamist Terror Groups Like IS

The U.S. renewed its call to win the war on terrorism yesterday, unveiling a new counterterrorism strategy that promises to confront a complex and expanding threat by taking whatever steps are deemed necessary, the VOA News website reports today (October 5, 2018).

"We are a nation at war," the strategy proclaims. "And it is a war that the United States will win."

National Security Adviser John Bolton told reporters at the White House, "It has long been the president's view that without recognizing that we're in an ideological struggle, we can't properly address the terror threat."

Bolton added that the primary terrorist threat to the U.S. came from "radical Islamist terrorist groups" like Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaida.

Trump Admin. Quietly Setting Up "Arab NATO;" Mil. Coalition Would Have 8 States,Be Saudi-led

The Trump administration is quietly in the process of organizing eight Middle East regimes into an "Arab NATO," the Washington Times website reports today (October 5, 2018).

During much of September, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Arabian Gulf Affairs Tim Lenderking engaged in shuttle diplomacy to lay the groundwork for a U.S.-hosted summit in January on what officials are calling the "Middle East Strategic Alliance," or MESA.

Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gathered on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City with the foreign ministers of Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to prepare for the January meeting, State Department sources confirmed.

The Arab NATO/MESA military coalition would be a Saudi-led effort and would include the six Arab states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) along with Egypt and Jordan.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

US Soldier Is Killed in Action in Afghanistan; Some 14K US Troops Fight Afghan Terrorists

The U.S. military announced yesterday that an American service member has been killed in action in Afghanistan, the NBC News website reports today (October 4, 2018).

The announcement from Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, provided no details.

In line with standard practice, the name of the person will not be released until 24 hours after family members have been notified.

The Pentagon says there are about 14,000 American troops in Afghanistan, whose mission is focused mainly on supporting and advising Afghan forces, as well as fighting al Qaeda and other radical groups like the Islamic State's affiliate in eastern Afghanistan.

New Law Aids Rel.Institutions from Hate Crimes; Imposes Increased Penalties against Hate Crimes

Prompted by a series of bomb threats last year against Jewish institutions, President Donald Trump has signed a law that expands hate crime protections to religious institutions, the Times of Israel website reports today (October 4, 2018).

The new law is called the Protecting Religiously Affiliated Institutions Act.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) yesterday praised the passage of the law. "This important law, which provides for new and strengthened measures to deter, as well as punish, perpetrators of attacks on religious institutions, will provide a much-needed sense of comfort and security," said Jason Isaacson, the AJC associate executive director for policy.

Hate crime laws enable prosecutors and law enforcement officials to impose enhanced penalties for existing crimes if they can show that bias was a motive.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

US Quits International Accords with World Court; Claims World Court Is Biased, Favors Arab States

The Trump administration yesterday decided to pull out of all international agreements that could involve rulings by the UN's International Court of Justice (ICJ), the Reuters website reports today (October 3, 2018).

Yesterday, the ICJ handed a victory to Iran, ordering the U.S. to ensure that sanctions against Iran do not affect humanitarian aid or civil aviation safety.

The U.S. national security adviser, John Bolton, slammed the world court as "politicised and ineffective," and announced that the U.S. would review all international agreements that could expose it to binding decisions by the ICJ.

"We will commence a review of all international agreements that may still expose the United States to purported binding jurisdiction, dispute resolution in the International Court of Justice," Bolton said. "The United States will not sit idly by as baseless politicised claims are brought against us."

US Confidence in Pope Francis Drops Markedly; Just 31% of Adult Cath.Say He's Doing Good Job

A new survey from the Pew Research Center shows that confidence in Pope Francis' handling of the child sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church has dropped dramatically among American Catholics in recent months, the Religion News website reports today (October 3, 2018).

The report, released October 2, shows that only 3 in 10 Catholic adults (31 percent) say Francis is doing an "excellent" or a "good" job addressing the ongoing child sex abuse crisis.

That number is down 24 points since Pew asked the question in 2015, and 14 points from January of this year.

Although a solid majority of 72 percent of U.S. Catholics expressed a favorable view of Francis in the survey, that number constitutes a 12 point drop from January.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Italian Mayor Arrested for Aiding Illegal Migrants; Approved Sham Marriages to Let Girls Stay in Italy

The mayor of Riace, a southern Italian town known for its migrant-friendly policies, was put under house arrest today (October 2, 2018) for facilitating illegal immigration, according to the Euro News website.

Domenico Lucano was arrested after an investigation led by the public prosecutor of the southern town of Locri found that he was involved in organizing sham marriages to allow migrant girls to stay in Italy.

Police say they intercepted a conversation in which the mayor was talking about the case of a Nigerian girl who needed to be married off to an Italian citizen after her residence permit was denied.

Additional charges of embezzlement, fraud, and bribery have been dropped, police said.

Trump Stops Visas for Unmarried Gay Partners; Only Married Same-Sex Couples Eligible for Visa

The Trump administration will no longer provide visas to same-sex partners of foreign diplomats and UN officials serving in the U.S., the ABC News website reports today (October 2, 2018).

Only if a same-sex couple is married will the spouse be eligible for a visa.

The decision is meant to "ensure and promote equal treatment," according to a State Department spokesperson, as heterosexual domestic partners of foreign diplomats are also not eligible for U.S. visas.

"It is an unfortunate change in rules..." said UN Globe, a UN LGBT staff advocacy group, in a statement.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Palestine Files ICJ Complaint Over US Embassy; Claims US Embassy in Jerusalem Violates Treaty

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has received a complaint from the "State of Palestine" against the United States, arguing that the U.S. government's placement of its Israeli embassy in Jerusalem violates an international treaty and it should be removed, the Jerusalem Post website reports today (October 1, 2018).

The ICJ -- known as the World Court -- said in a statement Palestine argues the 1961 Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations requires a country to locate its embassy on the territory of a host state. While Israel controls Jerusalem militarily, its ownership is disputed.

In December, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the American embassy in Israel relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and the new embassy opened in May.

The Palestine suit requests the World Court "to order the United States of America to withdraw (its) diplomatic mission from the Holy City of Jerusalem."

Accuser Rips Pope Silence Over Cover-up Claims; Says Pope Won't Respond Since Cover-up Is Real

The former Vatican ambassador to the U.S., who accused Pope Francis of covering up for a disgraced American ex-cardinal, has challenged the Vatican to say what it knows about the scandal and accused Pope Francis of mounting a campaign of "subtle slander" against him, the Religion News website reports today (October 1, 2018).

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano penned a new missive a month after his initial 11-page document sent shock waves through the Catholic Church.

Vigano denounced the Vatican silence about his claims, and said he has all the documentation needed to prove years of cover-up by the Vatican about sexual misconduct by ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

"How can one avoid concluding that the reason they do not provide the documentation is that they know it confirms my testimony?" Vigano wrote.