Friday, November 30, 2018

Poroshenko:Russian Tanks on Ukraine Border; Seeking Civilized World to Unite against Russia

The Ukrainian president said today (November 30, 2018) that Russian military tanks are massing along his country's border, according to the Sky News website.

Petro Poroshenko has shown Sky News images of what he claims are tanks lining up along the border, close to where Russia stores its ammunition.

Poroshenko said: "There is no red line for [Russian President] Putin and this is the very strong reason why we should be together, the whole civilized world."

 On November 25, Russia seized three Ukrainian ships and their crew off the coast of Crimea -- a Ukrainian peninsula that Russia also seized in 2014 -- claiming the ships were in Russian waters. Poroshenko has called the captured sailors "prisoners of war" and is seeking pressure on Russia from the international community for their release.

Cath.Archdiocese in NM to File for Bankruptcy; Due to Lawsuits Arising from Clergy Sex Abuse

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico will file for bankruptcy protection as it faces litigation arising from accusations of sexual abuse by clergy, the Reuters website reports today (November 30, 2018).

The move comes nearly three months after New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas requested Catholic Church officials in the state -- including the Archdiocese of Santa Fe -- provide his office with documents related to possible abuse by priests.

The archdiocese will file for bankruptcy protection by the end of next week, but is committed to providing financial compensation to victims, Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester said.

Child sex abuse by clergy has cost the Catholic Church in the U.S. billions of dollars in settlements in the two decades since a series of molestation cases were uncovered in Boston in 1992.

Ukraine Bans Russian Men from Entering Nation; Blocks Russians from Forming Armies in Ukraine

Ukraine has banned entry to Russian adult men aged 16-60, President Petro Poroshenko tweeted today (November 30, 2018), according to the Euro News website.

The president said the restrictions had been put in place to prevent Russians from forming "private armies" to fight on Ukraine soil.

The decision comes after the conflict between the two countries escalated on November 25, when Russia seized three Ukrainian ships and their crew, claiming they had illegally entered Russian waters.

Russia was not planning to retaliate by banning Ukrainian men from entering its country.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Congress Provides Relief to IS Genocide Victims; OKs Emergency Relief to IS Victims in Iraq, Syria

A bill that aims to provide humanitarian relief to victims of the Islamic State's genocide in Iraq and Syria has been passed by the U.S. Senate and House, and is heading to President Trump's desk, the Christian Post website reports today (November 29, 2018).

The bill is designed to "provide emergency relief to victims of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Iraq and Syria" and "provide accountability for perpetrators of these crimes."

The bill would authorize and direct the U.S. government to fund entities, including faith-based organizations that were targeted by the Islamic State (IS).

It was passed over four years after IS took large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria.

Over 2K Tijuana Migrants Have Serious Diseases; Could Spread Diseases to Americans Upon Enrtry

At least 30 percent of the Central American migrants in Tijuana, Mexico are sick with communicable diseases they might spread to Americans in schools, hospitals, welfare and employment offices and other public places, The New American website reports today (November 29, 2018).

And by "sick" officials in Mexico mean serious diseases. In fact, the diseases many of the migrants carry are deadly -- or can be.

Out of 6,000 migrants currently residing in Tijuana, over a third of them (2,267) are being treated for health-related issues.

Diseases of the migrants include tuberculosis, AIDS, and chickenpox. Also, they've brought in real bugs, and over 100 carry lice and skin infections.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Trump May Cancel Meeting This Week with Putin; Due to Russia Capturing 3 Ukrainian Ships Nov.25

U.S. President Donald Trump says he may cancel a meeting scheduled with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week, as a result of a maritime clash between Russia and Ukraine, the BBC website reports today (November 28, 2018).

Trump said he was waiting for a "full report" after Russian ships fired on and seized three Ukrainian boats on November 25.

Ukraine described it as an "act of aggression" but Russia said the ships had illegally entered its waters.

 In reacting to the clash, the U.S. urged European nations to do more to support Ukraine and to impose tougher sanctions against Russia.

Pope: Ten Commandments Are God's "X-Rays;" Let Us Examine Our Hearts for Christ's Healing

Pope Francis said today (November 28, 2018) that the Ten Commandments are God's "x-ray," as they allow Christians to examine their hearts to see where disordered attachments and desires have made them in need of Christ's healing, according to the Crux website.

He added: "The Decalogue is [Christ's] 'x-ray;' it is described as a photographic negative that lets His face appear -- as in the Holy Shroud [of Turin]."

"Here is what the Decalogue is for us Christians: to contemplate Christ in order to open us to receive His heart, to receive His desires, to receive His Holy Spirit," the pope said today.

God invites His children to obey His commandments, the pope explained, in order to release themselves "from the deception of idolatries," which only empty and enslave.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Amb. Friedman: "Deal of the Century" Delayed; US Amb. to Israel Denies Politics Blocking Pact

"The United States remains committed to sharing its vision for peace with Israel, the Palestinians, and other regional stakeholders at the appropriate time," U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said yesterday, following reports that the publication of President Donald Trump's "deal of the century" Mideast peace pact is being postponed as a result of the political situation in Israel, the World Israel News website reports today (November 27, 2018).

"Our timing, our strategy and our messaging is and will be entirely our own... " Friedman added.

"[Prime Minister] Netanyahu prefers that there is not to be any announcement of the plan, especially following the recent incidents in the Middle East and the political situation in Israel," an Israeli official said.

Ambassador Friedman denied that report, saying: "Mr. Kushner, Mr. Greenblatt and I are of one mind in terms of how best to proceed..."

Three US Service Members Killed in Afghanistan; Three Wounded by a Detonated Explosive Device

Three U.S. service members were killed and three more wounded in Afghanistan today (November 27, 2018) when an improvised explosive device detonated near Ghazni city, according to the Euro News website.

One American contractor was also injured.

The wounded were evacuated to receive medical care.

In accordance with U.S. Department of Defense policy, the names of the service members killed in action were being withheld until 24 hours after their next of kin have been notified.

Monday, November 26, 2018

New Study:Most Women Killed in Their Homes; Some 137 Women Killed Every Day by a Relative

Every day, 137 women across the world are killed by a family member or partner, according to new data released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Euro News website reports today (November 26, 2018).

A total of 87,000 women were intentionally killed in 2017.

Of that number, 30,000 were killed by an intimate partner, "making the home the most likely place for a woman to be killed," UNODC said.

The UN data found that the largest number of women killed by intimate partners and family members was in Asia (20,000). In Europe, 3,000 women were killed by a partner or family member that same year.

Russia Bags 3 Ukraine Naval Ships Near Crimea; Aggression May Lead to Russian-Ukrainian War

Russia today (November 26, 2018) ignored Western calls to release three Ukrainian naval ships and their crews it fired on and captured near Crimea yesterday and accused Kiev of plotting with its Western allies to provoke a conflict, according to the Reuters website.

Ukraine accused Russia of military aggression and put its armed forces on full combat alert.

With relations still hostile after Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, the current crisis risks pushing the two countries towards a major war.

The European Union, Britain, France, Poland, Denmark, and Canada all condemned Russia's aggression.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Deal with Mexico Has Asylum Seekers Wait There; Can't Enter US Unless Claims Recognized in Court

The Trump administration has won the support of Mexico's incoming government for a plan to remake U.S. border policy by requiring asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their claims move through U.S. courts, the MSN website reports today (November 25, 2018).

President Donald Trump described the arrangement in a pair of tweets last night: "Migrants at the Southern Border will not be allowed into the United States until their claims are individually approved in court," Trump wrote. "No 'Releasing' into the U.S... All will stay in Mexico."

The president then issued a threat. "If for any reason it becomes necessary, we will CLOSE our Southern Border. There is no way that the United States will, after decades of abuse, put up with this costly and dangerous situation anymore!" Trump wrote.

Earlier yesterday, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said: "President Trump has developed a strong relationship with the incoming Lopez Obrador Administration and we look forward to working with them on a wide range of issues."

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Some 8K Protesters Set Paris Streets on Fire; Protest against Rising Fuel Taxes,Ec. Policies

Violence erupted on the streets of Paris today (November 24, 2018), as about 8,000 protesters faced off against thousands of police deployed to contain the demonstrations, according to the ABC News website.

As angry protesters blocked streets and lit various materials on fire -- including large sheets of plywood and garbage bins -- police hurled tear gas and shot water cannons on the crowds, the majority of which were centered near the Champs-Elysees.

Today was the eighth day of protests over rising fuel taxes and French President Emmanuel Macron's economic policies.

Since the protests began on November 17, two people have been killed.

IS Attack Kills 24 US-Backed Fighters in Syria; Attack Launched in East Syria from IS Holdout

The Islamic State (IS) terror group killed 24 US-backed fighters in the last two days in an attack launched from its embattled holdout in eastern Syria, the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reports today (November 24, 2018).

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Kurdish-led alliance -- backed by the US-led coalition -- is battling to expel the jihadists from a pocket in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor on the Iraqi border.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor says the jihadists broke out of that pocket yesterday to attack a nearby village where SDF fighters and coalition advisers are based.

Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said 24 SDF fighters were killed in yesterday's IS attack, and violent clashes continued to rage today as coalition air planes carried out air strikes in the area.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Dept. of Justice Won't Let Pollard Move to Israel; Provided US Classified Info to Israel for a Payoff

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) will not allow former spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard to serve the remainder of his parole probation in Israel, the Jewish Press website reports today (November 23, 2018).

The DOJ denied the request submitted by Pollard's attorney on October 1 -- although the denial only became public this week -- due to the "seriousness of the offense" and "serious law enforcement concerns."

Pollard was arrested in 1985, convicted and then sentenced in 1987 to life in prison on a single count of passing classified information to Israel for money. He was released on "mandatory parole" in 2016 after serving two-thirds of the sentence.

However, Pollard is still living with severe restrictions, including a house arrest that includes a 7:00 pm to 7:00 am curfew, travel restrictions that limit him solely to parts of Manhattan -- where he lives -- during daytime hours, round-the-clock wearing of a GPS monitoring system, and free monitoring and inspection of his computers and of any employer who might hire him.

Leaning Tower of Pisa Slowly Reducing Its Lean; Not as Tilted as It Once Was Due to Action on It

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is not as tilted as it once was after it straightened slightly as a result of engineering work to protect the tourist attraction, This Is News website reports today (November 23, 2018).

Experts of the tower's Surveillance Group, which monitors restoration progress, said the monument was "stable and very slowly reducing its lean" following 17 years of observation.

The 186-foot construction straightened by 1.5 inches, according to engineering professor Nunziante Squeglia of Pisa University.

The Italian landmark has stood slightly to one side ever since building started in 1173.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

US Missionary Killed by Indian Island Tribesmen; Tribesmen Rejected Him, Killing Him with Arrow

An American missionary trying to meet and convert one of the most isolated tribes in the world offered them fish and other small gifts before the tribesman killed him and buried his body on the beach, the National Post website reports today (November 22, 2018).

John Allen Chau, 26, of Vancouver, Washington, an instagram adventurer who also led missionary trips abroad, traveled to the Andaman Islands -- an Indian territory in the Bay of Bengal.

Chau's journal of his last days, shared with the National Post by his mother, shows a treacherous journey in a small fishing boat to the area where the small tribe lived in huts. The men acted angrily  to his presence as he tried to speak their language and sing "worship songs" to them, he wrote.

Apparently, one of the tribesmen shot at Chau with an arrow, which is believed to have killed him.

US to Install ID Posts on Syria-Turkey-Border; Will Help Turks,Kurds Defeat the Islamic State

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said yesterday that the U.S. military will install observation posts along Syria's northern border with Turkey to help minimize tensions between the Turks and Washington's Kurdish allies in the fight against the Islamic State  (IS) terrorist  group, the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reports today (November 22, 2018).

"We are putting in observation posts in several locations up along the northern Syrian border," Mattis told reporters.

He added that the goal was to ensure the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, "are not drawn off that fight," so "that we can crush what's left of the geographic caliphate. "

They will be very clearly marked locations day and night so that the Turks know where they're at," he added, noting that the decision was taken in close cooperation with Turkey.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

U. of Colorado:Atheists Must Lead Bible Studies; Ratio Christi Sues Univ.,Seeks Christian Leaders

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is being sued after demanding that a Christian organization permit "atheists or other non-Christians to lead their Bible studies" in order to be recognized on campus, the Worthy News website reports today (November 21, 2018).

The Alliance Defending Freedom stated: "The university refused to grant Ratio Christi registered status because it only allows those who share and personally hold beliefs consistent with the group's mission to serve as its leaders."

"As a Christian apologetics organization, Ratio Christi seeks to defend the Christian faith and explain how the Bible applies to various current cultural, ethical, and political issues.

"Any student of any faith can become a member of Ratio Christi, as long as he supports the group's purpose. But Ratio Christi requires that those who lead the Christian organization must share its religious beliefs..."

Poland Now Plans to Rescind Its Court Reforms; EU Warned Reforms Belittled Poland's Judiciary

Following threats of fines and the loss of its right to vote in the EU (European Union), Poland is now working on a proposition to change some laws that apply to the country's Supreme Court, including changing the age when judges are required to retire, the Euro News website reports today (November 21, 2018).

It follows legislation that was implemented last summer, requiring Supreme Court judges to retire at the age of 65 instead of 70.

It affected more than a third of judges in Poland's top court.

Critics said at the time that the reform was the latest in a series of government measures aimed at politicizing the judiciary.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Suicide Bomber Kills 50 Clerics in Afghan Capital; Clerics Were Celebrating Birthday of Muhammad

A suicide bomber targeted a gathering of hundreds of Islamic scholars in the Afghan capital of Kabul today (November 20, 2018), killing at least 50 people as Muslims around the world marked the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, according to the AP website.

Public Health Ministry spokesman Wahid Majroh said another 83 people were wounded in the attack, with 20 of them in critical condition and the toll likely to rise.

The suicide bomber was able to sneak into a wedding hall in Kabul where hundreds of Muslim religious scholars and clerics had gathered to mark the holiday.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but both the Taliban and a local Islamic State (IS) affiliate have targeted religious scholars aligned with the government in the past.

Swastika Defaces Jewish Mural at Duke Univ.; Mural a Tribute to 11 Jews Killed in Pittsburgh

A red swastika was painted on a mural at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina in memory of the victims of the Tree of Life synagogue attack in Pittsburgh, the Times of Israel website reports today (November 20, 2018).

The swastika -- discovered November 18 -- was daubed on top of a gold Star of David painted by Duke students next to the names of the 11 victims killed during Shabbat services last month.

It is the third swastika to be found on the Duke campus in recent weeks, according to the Duke newspaper.

Duke President Vincent Price condemned the vandalism in a statement yesterday. He wrote: "That such a craven and cowardly act of vandalism -- a desecration of a memorial to individuals who were killed because they were Jewish and practicing their faith -- should happen anywhere is extremely distressing."

Monday, November 19, 2018

Tijuana Citizens Protest against Caravan Migrants; Call Central Americans "Criminals" and "Invaders"

Hundreds of angry residents took to the streets in downtown Tijuana, Mexico yesterday to protest the caravan of Central American migrants that has been streaming into the city in recent weeks, the Daily Caller website reports today (November 19, 2018).

Carrying Mexican flags and singing the national anthem, the demonstrators marched to a sports complex where about 2,000 of the migrants are being housed.

There, they denounced the mostly Honduran migrants as "criminals" and "freeloaders" who are openly flouting Mexican law.

"This is an invasion!" shouted local carpenter Luis Alexis Mendoza. "We demand respect. We demand that our laws be followed."

Syrian Army Removes IS from Southeastern Syria; IS Continues Its Terror in Eastern Syria Near Iraq

The Syrian army said today (November 19, 2018) that Islamic State (IS) militants had been cleared from a rugged area in southeastern Syria, where they had been holding out for months against a campaign to defeat them, according to the Euro News website.

In a statement, Syria's army high command said it had taken full control of the Tulul al-Safa heights, a volcanic plateau east of Sweida province.

The area was Islamic State's last stronghold in southern Syria, the statement said.

Islamic State is still active in eastern Syria in a pocket east of the Euphrates River near the border with Iraq.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Pope:Indifference Is the Perverse Root of Poverty; We Must Take Action Like Jesus to Help the Poor

"We Christians cannot stand with arms folded in indifference or thrown up in the air in helpless resignation," the pope said in his homily yesterday, the World Day of the Poor, the Catholic News website reports today (November 18, 2018).

"As believers, we must stretch out our hands as Jesus does with us, freely and lovingly offering help to the poor and all those in need," the pope said at the Mass in St. Peter's Basilica.

About 6,000 poor attended the Mass as special guests; they were joined by volunteers and others who assist disadvantaged communities.

"God always hears the cries of those in need," the pope said in his homily. "But what about us? Do we have eyes to see, ears to hear, hands outstretched to offer help?"

Protests in Norway against Tighter Abortion Law; Opposed to Restricting Women's Abortion Access

Thousands of protesters demonstrated in several Norwegian cities yesterday against restricting women's access to abortion, the Christian Today website reports today (November 18, 2018).

In Norway's capital of Oslo, the demonstrators marched through the city center carrying banners with slogans such as "My body my right" and "Defend abortion."

"The new law that's proposed is limiting women's rights," said Ine Lund, a 22-year-old criminology student. "I feel it should be up to the woman to choose."

The demonstrations were sparked by Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg's plan to tighten abortion laws, including forbidding abortions after the twelfth week of pregnancy.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Ethiopia Muslims Bribe Christians to Convert; Promise Christians Jobs, Scholarships, Homes

A Christian leader has revealed that young Christians in Ethiopia are being lured to convert to Islam by promises of jobs, education, help to buy houses, and other aid, the Independent Catholic News website reports today (November 17, 2018).

Ethiopian Christians -- desperate to escape poverty -- are being bribed to join the Muslim religion, Aid to the Church in Need was told by a religious leader who asked to remain anonymous to protect his safety.

He said: "The [Muslim employers] are getting the younger ones -- with scholarships, promises for jobs, and so on."

He added: "Unemployment is at a very high rate in Ethiopia, so this is very attractive to the young people..."

Friday, November 16, 2018

Number of Missing in Cal. Fire Soars Past 1,000; Pres Trump Plans to Visit Fire Victims on Nov. 17

The number of people listed as missing in a devastating northern California wildfire soared past 1,000 today (November 16, 2018), as the remains of eight additional victims were found by rescuers, according to the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told reporters that the number of people unaccounted for had jumped from 631 to 1,011 in the last 24 hours as authorities receive more reports of people missing.

He said that on a positive note, 329 people who had been listed as missing since the fire broke out had so far been accounted for.

President Donald Trump is set to visit the region on November 17 to survey the damage and meet victims of the fire that has devoured an area roughly the size of Chicago.

CIA: Saudi Prince Ordered Khashoggi's Death; Used Many Intel Sources to Reach Conclusion

The CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month, contradicting the Saudi government's claims that he was not involved in the killing, the Washington Post website reports today (November 16, 2018).

The CIA's assessment -- in which officials have said they have high confidence -- is the most definitive to date linking Mohammed to the operation, and complicates the Trump administration's efforts to preserve its relationship with a close ally.

A team of 15 Saudi agents flew to Istanbul on government aircraft in October and killed Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate, where he had come to pick up documents that he needed for his planned marriage to a Turkish woman.

In reaching its conclusions, the CIA examined multiple sources of intelligence -- including a phone call that the prince's brother Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the United States -- had with Khashoggi.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Trump Slams French Pres. Macron in 5 Tweets; Macron to Trump:France Is US Ally, Not Vassal

French President Emmanuel Macron yesterday told Donald Trump that France was the United States' ally, and not a vassal state, after the U.S. president attacked him in a series of tweets that demonstrated how much their relationship had soured, the Yahoo News website reports today (November 15, 2018).

In five posts sent this week after a visit to Paris to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, Trump reminded France of its near-defeat by Germany in two world wars, took a swipe at its wine industry, and mentioned Macron's falling approval ratings.

Asked whether he was offended by Trump's tweets, Macron spoke at length about the long military alliance between the two countries, from America's War of Independence onwards.

"The United States are our historic ally and will continue to be. It's the ally with which we take all the risks, with which we carry out the most complicated operations. But being an ally doesn't mean being a vassal state," Macron said.

Four Israel Police Officers Injured in Jerusalem; Attacker Entered Police Station,Stabbed Officers

Four Israel police officers were injured today (November 15, 2018) in a stabbing attack at a police station in eastern Jerusalem, according to the Jewish News Daily website.

The stabber came to the entrance of the police station in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem and attacked three officers with a knife.

Other officers shot and seriously injured the attacker. A fourth police officer was injured by the live fire.

The attacker and the officers were taken to Shaarey Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem for treatment.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

FBI: US Hate Crimes on Jews Rose 37% in 2017; Most Hate Crimes in 2017 Since 2001 Terror Yr.

Hate crimes against Jews in America rose by more than a third (37 percent) last year and accounted for 58 percent of all religion-based hate crimes, according to data released yesterday by the FBI, the Worthy News website reports today (November 14, 2018).

Overall, hate crimes increased by 17 percent in 2017, the data showed, with 7,175 hate crimes reported, up from 6,121 in 2016.

The number of hate crimes based on religion is the second highest ever, behind only 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks.

The report noted a 23 percent increase in religion-based hate crimes in 2017 to 1,564, representing about 20 percent of all hate crimes.

Central American Migrants Begin to Cross to US; US Border Patrol, Troops Sending Migrants Back

Hundreds of Central American migrants from the caravan have reached the U.S. border today (November 14, 2018), and scaled the fence that separates Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, California, according to the WND (World Net Daily) website.

They are almost all young men, with few women and children.

Some members of the caravan have confessed they previously were deported from the U.S. as illegal aliens.

Some migrants who made it over the fence or through openings onto U.S. soil quickly ran back as Border Patrol agents approached.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Deadly Fire Traded across Israeli-Gaza Border; Eight People Killed in Israel-Palestine Clashes

Eight people have been killed in a flare-up of violence between Israeli and Palestinian militants in Gaza, the BBC website reports today (November 13, 2018).

Seven Palestinians died in the strikes on Gaza, while a Palestinian civilian was killed in a rocket attack in southern Israel.

Later, Egypt brokered a ceasefire.

The military wing of Hamas -- the Islamist movement that dominates Gaza -- said it would "abide by this declaration as long as the Zionist enemy commits to it."

Monday, November 12, 2018

UK Couple Who Named Baby "Adolf" Convicted; Showed Picture with Baby Behind Swastika Flag

A couple in Britain, who named their baby after Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, have been convicted in Birmingham, England for being members of a far-right group, the Euro News website reports today (November 12, 2018).

Adam Thomas, 22, and Claudia Patatas, 38, were found guilty of being members of National Action after a four-week trial. The organization was banned in 2016 under the UK's Terrorism Act.

The court heard Thomas and Patatas gave their baby son the middle name "Adolf" in honor of Germany's late Fascist leader.

Investigators uncovered pictures of Thomas cradling the boy while donning white Ku Klux Klan robes and another with the couple posing with the baby behind a swastika flag. The couple will be sentenced next month.

At Least 31 People Have Died in 2 Cal. Fires; Thousands of Homes Burned in Worst Fires

Nearly three dozen people have now died in wildfires burning across California, as crews fight today (November 12, 2018) to get control of the flames, according to the UPI website.

Officials said two large fires in Northern and Southern California have led to the deaths of at least 31 people, burned thousands of homes, and forced some 150,000 people to evacuate.

"This week, California has experienced the most destructive fires we have seen in its history," California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Chief Scott Jalbert said.

The town of Paradise has taken the brunt of the damage, with 23 dead. Celebrities who have lost their homes in the current fires include Miley Cyrus, Gerard Butler, Martin Sheen, Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, Caitlyn Jenner, and Rainn Wilson.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Man Sets Car on Fire,Then Stabs 3 in Australia; Islamic State Claims Responsible for Terror Act

A man was shot dead by police yesterday after he set a car on fire and stabbed three people -- one fatally -- on a busy street in Melbourne, Australia, in what authorities say was an act of terrorism, the Yahoo News website reports today (November 10, 2018).

Police officers responded to reports of a vehicle fire in Melbourne's central business district when they were confronted by a man brandishing a knife and threatening them.

Officers shot the man as he ran toward them, police said. None of the officers was hurt.

The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Ala. Voters OK Displays of Ten Commandments; "First State to Acknowledge That We Want God"

In the elections held last Tuesday (November 6), voters in Alabama approved the public display of the Ten Commandments, the Christian Headlines website reports today (November 9, 2018).

The vote adds an amendment to the state's constitution that reaffirms religious liberty for all people, allows the display of the Ten Commandments according to certain constitutional standards, and forbids the expenditure of public money in defense of the amendment on the displays it authorizes.

The measure -- favored by more than 71 percent of Alabama voters -- reads: "Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama in 1901, providing for certain religious rights and liberties; authorizing the display of the Ten Commandments on state property and property owned or administered by a public school or public body; and prohibiting the expenditure of public funds in defense of the constitutionality of this amendment."

The amendment's leading advocate, Dean Young, said: "The people we were hearing from are super excited to have this opportunity to go down in history as the first state to acknowledge that we want God, that is the Christian God, in their Constitution..."

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Missouri Diocese Abuse Report Names 33 Clergy; Accused or Removed over Sexual Abuse of Minors

The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri said today (November 8, 2018) that 33 priests or religious brothers in the diocese have been "credibly accused" and/or removed from the ministry over sexual abuse of minors, according to the ABC News website. 

Bishop W. Shawn McKnight released a complete list of the names that followed an internal investigation begun in February. 

The list includes 25 priests from the diocese, three priests from other areas who previously served in the Jefferson City diocese, and five members of a religious order. 

Fourteen of the 33 men named are dead. The diocese said the most recent case of physical sexual abuse found in the investigation occurred in 1997. Only one man on the list was criminally convicted. 

Pope Francis Calls for Cleaner Drinking Water; Lack of Safe Drinking Water "Immense Shame"

Pope Francis today (November 8, 2018) called the lack of drinking water in the world an "immense shame" in the 21st century, according to the UPI website.

Speaking at a one-day international conference at Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome, the pope said better access to drinking water must be provided to people around the globe.

He said people dying from lack of clean water "is an immense shame for humanity in the 21st century."

The pope added that corruption and corporate greed are often put ahead of needs of people who need clean drinking water to live. He called on those attending the conference to express urgency in the matter.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Greek Govt. Takes 10K Clergy Off Fed. Payroll; Govt.Will Use State Subsidy for Clergy Salaries

Greece and its Orthodox Church tentatively agreed yesterday to remove some 10,000 priests from the state payroll, in a deal that will enhance a clearer distinction between church and state, the Reuters website reports today (November 7, 2018).

The Greek Orthodox Church has played a leading role in the life of the country for many centuries and is its official religion under the constitution.

Under the deal, reached between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Archbishop Ieronymos of the Church of Greece, the state will transfer an annual state subsidy to a special church fund for the payment of priests' salaries.

The current annual cost of the priests on the government's payroll is about 200 million euros.

Brooklyn Gang Attacks Hasidic Boy in Hate Crime; Then Shatter a Synagogue Window during Services

A young Hasidic boy was attacked this past Saturday (November 3) by a gang of half a dozen hoodlums in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn just moments before the older teens proceeded to smash the window of a synagogue where Jews were inside praying, the Jewish Press website reports today (November 7, 2018).

The boy was walking along the sidewalk on Franklin Avenue when the young hoodlums ran up around him, and then knocked his hat off before moving on to attack the synagogue.

The gang hurled a metal pole through a glass window of the lower-floor synagogue, shattering it.

New York City Police have refused to label the attack a hate crime.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Egypt May Ban Islamic Face Veil to Cut Crime; Would Prevent Criminals from Hiding Identity

A bill in Egypt's parliament would ban the niqab, or Islamic face veil, from being worn outside, in public institutions and restaurants, in an effort to prevent criminals from using the veil to hide their identities, the World Israel News website reports today (November 6, 2018).

The bill proposes a fine of 1,000 Egyptian pounds (about $55) for wearing the niqab in public. Repeated offenses would carry heavier fines.

Egyptian lawmaker Ghada Ajami told the local media: "Security troubles in Egypt are accelerating these bold decisions in light of attempts to target state institutions, and increasing criminal and terrorist crime rates."

She added: "We are currently in an ongoing war against terrorism, we should do our best to end it. The veil or niqab is used by many people as a cover for the crimes that they are committing; it is not part of the personal freedom as some say."

Pamela Anderson Says Feminism Going Too Far; Says It Paralyzes Men,Slams Weinstein Accusers

In an interview with Australia's "60 Minutes" TV program on November 4, former "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson said feminism now goes too far, and the Me Too movement "paralyzes men," the Huffington Post website reports today (November 6, 2018).

"I think feminism can go too far," the actress and model said. "I'm a feminist, but I think that this third-wave feminism is a bore. I think it paralyzes men."

She also told reporter Liam Bartlett that the "Me Too" movement is "a bit too much" for her, adding "I'm sorry, I'll probably get killed for saying that."

Anderson went on to victim-blame many of the Harvey Weinstein accusers who first went public with accusations last fall. "My mother taught me don't go to a hotel with a stranger. If someone answers the door in a bathrobe and it's supposed to be 'a business meeting' maybe I should go with someone else," she said.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Principal Ends Student Praying during Free Time; Lawyers: He Violated Students' 1st Amend. Rights

Lawyers with First Liberty Institute -- one of the nation's premier defenders of religious liberty -- have confronted a Texas high school principal's decision to "quarantine" students who wanted to pray together during non-class time, the WND (World Net Daily) website reports today (November 5, 2018).

"Ya'll don't do that again," the principal, Lee Frost, told the students after they met during a lunch period, sat at an empty table, and quietly prayed together.

Frost then told the students they could pray only if they went on the cafeteria's stage behind the curtain, outside of the school building, or in the gym while no one was present.

"Students should not have to hide or be exiled to pray for each other," said Keisha Russell, associate counsel for First Liberty. "School officials need to remember that students don't lose their First Amendment rights at the school house gate..."

Fla. Woman's Nazi-Themed Yard Enrages Jews; Has Skeletons Saluting Hitler, Auschwitz Events

A Florida woman -- who says she is Jewish -- has angered neighbors and received death threats over a Halloween display in her yard that evokes Auschwitz, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (November 5, 2018).

The display -- erected last week ahead of Halloween -- is full of skeletons,  some saluting Hitler and others with concentration camp numbers on their arms and yellow Stars of David on their chests.

Behind the skeletons is a sign reading "Arbeit Macht Frei," or "Work Sets You Free," the statement found on the entrance of the Auschwitz Nazi camp.

Susan Lamerton, who owns the home in New Port Richey, near the west coast of Florida, told a Tampa TV station that she is Jewish and she put up the display after fighting with the homeowners association over landscaping.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Egypt Forces Kill 19 Mil. Who Killed Christians; Mil. Had Killed 7 Christians Going to Monastery

Egypt said today (November 4, 2018) that security forces have killed 19 militants in a shootout, including the gunmen suspected of killing seven Christians in an attack on pilgrims traveling to a desert monastery, according to the Newsmax website.

The Interior Ministry said the militants were tracked to a hideout in the desert west of the central province of Minya, the site of yesterday's attack, which also left 19 people wounded.

An Islamic State (IS) affiliate centered in the Sinai Peninsula has repeatedly targeted  Christians in recent years.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi led the 2013 overthrow of an elected but radical Islamist president and has since waged a sweeping crackdown on dissent, jailing thousands of Islamists and other activists.

Utah Mayor,Guard Troop Dies in Afghanistan; Was Shot Dead by One of His Afghan Trainees

The mayor of a Utah town, who was also a Utah Army National Guard major training commando in Afghanistan, was fatally shot today (November 4, 2018), by one of his Afghan trainees, according to the AP website.

Brent Taylor, 39, had a yearlong leave of absence as mayor of North Ogden north of Salt Lake City for his deployment in Afghanistan.

Maj. Gen. Jefferson Burton, the adjutant general of the Utah National Guard, said Taylor's mission was to help train and build the capacity of the Afghan national army.

Burton added: "He was with folks he was helping and training. That's what's so painful about this..."

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Ukraine Pres. Meets Head Patriarch in Istanbul; Thanks Him for Approving Ukraine Church Ind.

Ukraine's president met the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople today, as some Ukrainian clerics prepare to break ties with the Russian Orthodox Church, according to the VOA News website.

President Petro Poroshenko and Patriarch Bartholomew I spoke in Istanbul today, after the patriarchate's October 11 decision to recognize the independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. As a result, Russia broke off ties with the Ecumenical Patriarch.

Poroshenko thanked the patriarch, who is the "first among equals" (among patriarchs) and is considered the ex officio leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

The Ukrainian Church had been under the Russian Orthodox Church since 1686. Ukrainian clerics are now being asked to join the independent Ukraine Orthodox Church or remain affiliated with Russia.

Palestinian Council Disbars Recognition of Israel; Does So Till Israel Recognizes a Palestinian State

The Palestinian Central Council has voted to suspend its recognition of the State of Israel util Israel recognizes a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders, the World Israel News website reports today (November 3, 2018).

"We recognize the right to resist the occupation in all methods that comply with international law," the Palestinian Central Council said.

The Council, which is the policy-making body of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), urged Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to follow its ruling, which also called for cutting all ties with Israel.

The decision requires the approval of another committee before it can be implemented.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Alec Baldwin Arrested in NYC for Punching Man; Punched Over Parking Spot Taken in West Village

The New York Police Department said Alec Baldwin, the actor, was arrested today (November 2, 2018) after he allegedly punched a man over a parking spot in lower Manhattan, according to The Daily Beast website.

Baldwin was arrested around 1:30 p.m. on 10th Street in the West Village.

He was charged with assault and harassment, and released from the NYPD.

Baldwin had someone holding a parking spot for him, and while he was moving his car to the spot, someone else tool the space. After Baldwin noticed the space had been taken, he approached the man and punched him.

Police Nab 13 in Ultra-Orthodox Draft Protest; Arrest of Yeshiva Student Sparks Israel Protest

Thirteen ultra-Orthodox Jewish protesters were arrested in Bnei Brak, Israel yesterday after they attacked police officers and blocked a major central highway during a demonstration against the army draft, the Times of Israel website reports today (November 2, 2018).

Hundreds took part in the demonstration that was initiated by the radical ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem Faction over the recent arrest of a yeshiva student who failed to register at a military draft office.

Protesters calling "We'd rather die than be recruited" blocked central streets in the Tel Aviv suburb, causing heavy traffic congestion.

Many in the ultra-Orthodox community shun military service that applies to most Israelis, and students at religious seminaries have been exempt from serving in the army. However, last September, Israel's highest court ruled that Israel's draft law granting most yeshiva students army exemptions was unconstitutional, and gave the government until December 2, 2018 to pass an amended version of the law.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Report: N. Korean Men Sexually Abuse Women; "They Consider Us Like Sex Toys at Their Mercy"

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) revealed in a report today (November 1, 2018) that North Korean officials often commit sexual abuse against women with near total impunity, the BBC website reports.

HRW said such abuse is so common that it has become a part of ordinary life in North Korea.

The report -- based on interviews with 62 North Korean women who fled the country -- revealed a culture of open unaddressed abuse, particularly from men in positions of power, such as party officers, prison guards, police, and soldiers.

"They consider us [sex] toys. We are at the mercy of men," Oh Jung-hee, a former trader in her 40s told the report's authors.

Italy Plans to Reward Parents to Have 3rd Child; Would Grant Them Farmland to Raise Birth Rate

Italy is considering giving land to families who have a third child in a bid to reverse the country's declining birth rate, the Euro News website reports today (November 1, 2018).

The plan -- put forward by the far-right League party -- was included in the government's draft budget for next year.

Italy has the lowest birth rate in the European Union and it has been falling every year since 2010, according to Eurostat.

The parcel of agricultural land -- currently owned by the state -- would be granted to parents who have a third child between 2019 and 2021.

Cal.Synagogue Vandalized 4 Days after Pittsburgh; Anti-Semitic Graffiti Sprayed on Irvine Synagogue

Anti-Semitic graffiti has been found sprayed on a Southern California synagogue, just four days after a shooter in Pittsburgh killed 11 Jews in the deadliest attack against the Jewish community in U.S. history, The Daily Beast website reports today (November 1, 2018).

The Irvine Police Department said the vandal's message was put on the side of the Beth Jacob Synagogue at 1 a.m. on October 31.

Surveillance film shows a hoodie-wearing suspect fleeing the scene on a bike.

"I just feel very sad that in America, in 2018, we still have to worry about anti-Semitism," said Allen Berzovsky, president of the temple's board.