Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Linda Ronstadt: Trump Won Election on Hate; "He's Like Hitler--Mexicans Are the New Jews"

Singer Linda Ronstadt compared President Donald Trump's election to the rise of Nazis in Germany, the AlterNet website reports today (December 31, 2019).

The Grammy-winning singer drew parallels between Adolf Hitler's rise and Trump's gathering of authoritarian power, as part of an interview for CNN Film's documentary, "Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice."

Ronstadt said: "Hitler rose to power -- there were a lot of chances to stop him, and they didn't speak out, and the industrial complex thought they could control him once they got him in office, and, of course, he was not controllable."

She added:"You find a common enemy for everybody to hate.  I was sure that Trump was going to get elected the day he announced , and I said, 'It's going to be like Hitler, and the Mexicans are the new Jews' -- and sure enough that's what he delivered, you know?"

Monday, December 30, 2019

UK Woman Is Guilty of Making Up Rape Claim; Said 12 Israelis Raped Her in Cyprus Hotel Room

A British woman has been found guilty of lying about being gang raped in her Cyprus hotel room by 12 Israeli youths six months ago, the Euro News website reports today (December 30, 2019).

A district court in the town of Paralimni, Cyprus ruled the woman, aged 19 at the time, had lied about being sexually abused by the teenagers.

She was found guilty of the charge of "public mischief" with sentencing scheduled for January 7.

Judge Michalis Papathanasiou said the defendant admitted to investigators that she had lied and apologized, saying she made the claims up because she was "ashamed" after finding out that some of the Israelis had videoed her having sex with a man on their mobile phones.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Gunman Kills Two, Wounds One in Tex. Church; Gunman Is Shot Dead by Parishioner or Security

Two people were killed and one was seriously wounded today (December 29, 2019) after a gunman opened fire in a church near Fort Worth, Texas, and was shot dead by either a parishioner or a member of the church's security team, according to the WND website.

MedStar spokeswoman Macara Trusty said the ambulance service treated three people with gunshot wounds. Two people, including the shooter, died at a hospital, she said.

The third person wounded also suffered cardiac arrest while being transported, but was resuscitated by paramedics and is in critical condition.

The shooting took place at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, which is near Fort Worth.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Israel's Christian Population Grows to 177,000; More Than 75% of Israeli Christians Are Arabs

The Christian population of Israel is currently about 177,000 or 2% of the overall population, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), the Jerusalem Post website reports today (December 28, 2019).

More than three-quarters (77.5%) of Christians living in Israel are Arabs, the CBS said.

The nation's most populous Christian cities are Nazareth (21,900 inhabitants), Haifa (16,100), Jerusalem (12,700), and Galilee city of Shfaram (10,300).

During the 2018-19 academic year, there were 6,200 Christian college students -- representing 2.3% of all students in Israeli higher education.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Poll: Support for Trump Conviction Highest Ever; Some 55% of People Asked Now Favor Conviction

A new poll finds that public support for Donald Trump's removal from office is the highest it has ever been, the Independent website reports today (December 27, 2019).

Fifty-five percent of those asked said they were in favor of the U.S. president's conviction by the Senate, a figure which has shot up from 48 percent the week before.

Meanwhile, the number of people against Trump's removal has dropped to an all-time low, according to t he MSN poll.

On Christmas day, 40 percent were opposed to the Senate voting to convict the president, who has been impeached by the House of Representatives over his dealings with Ukraine and a subsequent attempt to obstruct congress.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Pope Lauds Jesus' Love in Christmas Eve Mass; Jesus' "Unconditional" Love Includes All People

Pope Francis spoke about "unconditional" love even for "the worst of us" as he held midnight mass at the Vatican during   the traditional Christmas Eve celebration, the Euro News website reports today (December 26, 2019).

"Christmas reminds us that God continues to love us, even the worst of us," the Pontiff said.

"To me, to you, to each of us, He says today: 'I love you, for you are precious in my eyes.' God does not love you because you think and act the right way. He loves you, plain and simple. His love is unconditional; it does not depend on you," Pope Francis said.

"You may have mistaken ideas, you may have made a complete mess of things, but the Lord continues to love you."

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Syrian Govt. Steps Up Attacks in Idlib Province; Kills 33 People in Nation's Last Opposition Area

Dozens of people have been killed in a wave of bombardment by the government in Idlib, Syria, the CNN website reports today (December 24, 2019).

Airstrikes and artillery fire have killed at least 33 people since December 20.

The Syrian army -- with support from Russian air power -- has stepped up its attacks on the northwestern province, the country's last major bastion of opposition and home of more than three million Syrians.

The government claims that it is targeting terrorists in Idlib.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Rudi Giuliani: "I'm More of a Jew Than Soros Is;" He Doesn't Go to Synagogue,He's Enemy of Israel

President Donald Trump's personal lawyer and former mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, today (December 23, 2019) claimed that he is "more of a Jew" than George Soros, a Jewish billionaire and Holocaust survivor, according to the USA Today website.

In an interview published by New York Magazine, Giuliani portrayed Soros, who is also a prominent  Democrat donor, as someone who pulled strings in Ukraine, including with ousted former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.

"Soros is hardly a Jew. I'm more of a Jew than Soros is... He doesn't belong to a synagogue, he doesn't support Israel, he's an enemy of Israel... He's a horrible human being," Giuliani continued.

The former New York mayor was raised Roman Catholic.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

US Has Highest % of Kids in Single-Parent Homes; US Percent Is Three Times Above World Average

According to a new study, the U.S. has the world's largest percentage of children living in a single-parent home, the CBN (Christian Broadcast Network) website reports today (December 22, 2019).

The Pew Research Center conducted a study of 130 countries, revealing that 23% of children under the age of 18 live with one parent and no other adult in the U.S.

The percentage for the U.S. is three times higher than the rate of children around the world, which is only 7%.

The study explored how living conditions vary by religion and found that American children from Christian and religiously independent families were likely to live in this type of classification.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Pope Slams "Rigidity" as Cause of Cath. Decline; Urges Cath.Clerics to Embrace Pastoral Reforms

Pope Francis warned today (December 21, 2019) that "rigidity" in living out the Christian faith is creating a "minefield" of hatred and misunderstanding in a world where Christianity is increasingly irrelevant, according to the AP News website.

Francis called for Vatican clergy to instead embrace change during his annual Christmas greetings to the cardinals, bishops, and priests who work in the Holy See.

His message appeared aimed at conservative and traditionalist Catholics, who have increased opposition to his progressive-minded papacy.

Francis urged the Catholic hierarchy to embrace the necessary pastoral reforms and outlook that will make the church attractive, so that it can fulfill its mission to spread the faith.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Christianity Today Editor Says Trump Must Go; Trump's Bid to Bribe Ukraine Pres. Is Immoral

Mark Galli, editor-in-chief of the influential evangelical magazine Christianity Today, says that President Trump should be removed from office because he is morally unable to lead, the Religion News website reports today (December 20, 2019).

In an editorial on Trump's impeachment published December 19, Galli argued that even though Democrats have "had it out" for Trump since his election, the case for the president's impeachment -- which the House of Representatives voted to approve on December 18 -- was convincing.

Trump, he said, was morally unable to lead.

"The facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president's political opponents," he wrote. "That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral."

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Iran Pres. Urges Muslim States to Counter US; Wants Closer Financial Ties of Islamic Nations

President Hassan Rohani of Iran today (December 19, 2019) used an Islamic conference in Malaysia to urge Muslim nations to deepen cooperation in order to counter U.S. "hegemony," according to the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty website.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the event in Kuala Lumpur, Rohani reiterated Iran's view that the U.S. is using economic sanctions as the "main tools of domineering hegemony and bullying " of other nations.

Hundreds of delegates are attending the three-day gathering --including leaders from Turkey and host Malaysia -- but the meeting has been snubbed by Iran's regional foe, Saudi Arabia, and other members of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).

The Muslim world needs to be saved "from the domination of the United States dollar, and the American financial regime," Rohani told the Kuala Lumpur conference, urging deeper financial and trade cooperation between Islamic countries.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Trump OKs Plan for States to Buy Canada Drugs; Will Mean Lower Drug Prices for US Consumers

The Trump administration laid out a plan today (December 18, 2019) to fulfill the president's long-standing vow to lower prescription drug prices by allowing states, drug wholesalers, and pharmacies to import cheaper drugs from Canada, according to the Washington Post website.

Officials could not say when the plan might go into effect.

Curbing extremely high drug prices has been a top priority for President Trump ahead of the 2020 election, and he demanded advisers pursue options long opposed by many Republicans, including importing cheaper drugs from other countries and using some overseas prices as a benchmark for some drugs in Medicare.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters yesterday that while the administration is "moving as quickly as we possibly can," it still needs to collect public input and he could not predict a timetable for the plan's implementation.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Delaware Town Ends 90-Year Nativity Display; Says It Won't Have Rel. Display on Its Property

A tradition in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware for nine decades -- a nativity display on the town circle -- was banned by the town this month, as the town now prohibits such displays because of their religious nature, the CBN (Christian Broadcast Network) website reports today (December 17, 2019).

One day after the nativity display went up, the town ordered it removed, saying the religious display could not be on public property.

According to the First Liberty Institute -- a religious rights law firm -- the City of Rehoboth Beach's policy goes against long-standing U.S. Supreme Court opinions that even government-sponsored nativity displays are lawful in holiday displays when accompanied by secular and religious components, and that religious discrimination is unlawful.

First Liberty, on behalf of the local Knights of Columbus organization, sent a letter to the city urging officials to change their policy to align with the Supreme Court and allow the nativity display, but the city refused to do so.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Saudi Student in N. Mexico Nabbed with Gun; Also Kept a List of People He Planned to Kill

A Saudi student in New Mexico was arrested for illegal possession of a handgun and a hit list of people he planned to kill, the Clarion Project website reports today (December 16, 2019).

The list included professors at the University of New Mexico, where he was an engineering student.

Hassan Algahtani, 27, turned himself in to authorities on December 13.

Algahtani had a gun and wanted to buy more guns. He also had a list of people he wanted to kill.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Pope Francis Celebrates 50 Years as a Priest; Ordained Priest Near Buenos Aires,Argentina

Pope Francis today (December 15, 2019) celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood without fanfare or ceremony, according to the America Magazine website.

He started his day as usual with more than an hour of private prayer and then celebrated morning Mass in the chapel of Santa Marta, the Vatican guesthouse where he lives, concelebrating this time with some 60 cardinals.

After breakfast, he began his busy work schedule with private and group audiences, even as congratulations and good wishes arrived from across the globe.

He was ordained a priest 50 years ago on December 13, 1969, by the emeritus archbishop of Cordoba, Ramon Jose Castellano, in the chapel of the Jesuit-run Colegio Maximo on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Trump to Reduce No. of Us Troops in Afghanistan; May Announce 4,000 Troop Reduction Next Week

A senior Trump administration official confirmed today (December 14, 2019) that President Donald Trump is preparing to announce a drawdown of about 4,000 troops from Afghanistan, according to the CNN website.

Although the timing of the announcement is not certain, it could  could come as early as next week, according to the official.

Trump previously indicated that he intended to withdraw several thousand troops from Afghanistan, where between 12,000 and 13,000 U.S. troops are currently serving in the 18-year war.

"We're going down to 8,600 and then we make a determination from there as to what happens," Trump said.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Millennials Now Leave Rel. and Don't Return; Four in Ten Millennials Are Rel. Unaffiliated

A new study by the Pew Research Center finds that millennials are leaving religion and not coming back, the Religion News website reports today (December 13, 2019).

Four in ten millennials now say they are religiously unaffiliated, according to the Pew Research Center.

In fact, millennials (those between the ages of 23 and 38) are now almost as likely to say they have no religion as they are to identify as Christian.

One finding in the study signals that even millennials who grew up religious may be increasingly unlikely to return to religion. Today, 74 percent of unaffiliated millennials have a nonreligious partner or spouse, while only 26 percent have a partner who is religious.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

US Recognizes Armenian Killings as Genocide; Agrees Turkey Killed 1.5M Armenians in WW I

The U.S. Senate today (December 12, 2019) unanimously passed a resolution recognizing the mass killing of Armenians in Turkey's Ottoman Empire a century ago as genocide, a move Armenia's prime minister hailed as a "victory of justice and truth," according to the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty website.

The resolution, pushed by New Jersey Democrat Senator Bob Menendez, recognizes the killing of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians from 1915-1923 by the Ottoman Empire.

"What happened from 1915-1923 was -- most assuredly -- genocide. There is no other word for it... There is no avoiding it," said Menendez following today's vote.

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a similar resolution in late October.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Anti-Semitic Gunmen Hit Kosher Supermarket; Killed 3 Civilians,1 Police Officer in New Jersey

The two gunmen who entered a Jersey City, N.J. kosher supermarket yesterday and engaged in a deadly shootout with police deliberately chose the store as an anti-Semitic hate crime, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (December 11, 2019).

"We now believe the active shooters targeted the location they attacked," Jersey City mayor Steven Fulop said in a tweet today.

Six people were killed, including a police officer and three civilians, in gunfire yesterday afternoon that ended with an hour-long shootout at the JC Kosher Supermarket.

The officer had been shot earlier at a nearby cemetery trying to head off two suspects in homicide. Those two gunmen were killed in the supermarket shootout.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Americans Constantly Lied to about Afghan War; US Officials Reiterated Lies on Unwinnable War

The Washington Post has published more than 2,000 pages of secret notes of interviews with people who played a direct role in the Afghanistan War, describing the failures of the longest armed conflict in U.S. history, The Daily Beast website reports today (December 10, 2019).

The interviews from more than 400 people show that U.S. officials did not tell the truth about the war, making positive statements they knew were wrong and concealing evidence that the war wasn't winnable.

Douglas Lute, a three-star Army general, said in 2015: "What are we trying to do here? We didn't have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking."

Some said it was normal to distort statistics to make it seem as if the U.S. was winning the war when that was far from the case.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Trump:Israel Never Had a Better Friend Than Me; Shifted U. S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem

President Donald Trump said on December 7 that Israel has "never had a better friend than me" in the White House, the CBN (Christian Broadcast Network) website reports today (December 9, 2019).

The president was speaking to thousands of people at the Israeli American Council National Summit in Florida.

The U.S. officially moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem last year, a move that angered many Palestinians and pleased Israelis.

"For over 20 years, every previous president promised to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and they never acted... But unlike other politicians, I kept my promises," Trump said.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Marine Life Suffers as Oceans Losing Oxygen; Result of Global Warming, Nutrient Pollution

Many species of marine life are being threatened by global warming and nutrient pollution, according to a report released by a conservation group at the UN climate change conference in Madrid, the Euro News website reports today (December 8, 2019).

The study -- the biggest such survey ever undertaken -- found that 700 ocean sites are suffering from low oxygen levels compared to just 45 in the 1960s, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said.

"We are now seeing increasingly low levels of dissolved oxygen across large areas of the open ocean," said Dan Laffoley, a co-editor of the report and senior advisor in marine science at IUCN.

"This is perhaps the ultimate wake-up call from the uncontrolled experiment humanity is unleashing on the world's ocean as carbon emissions continue to increase."

Saturday, December 7, 2019

A Polyamorous 20-Year-Old Lives with Four Men; Is Pregnant, States All 5 Will Raise Baby Together

In a relationship that illustrates how our society is drastically changing, Tory Ojeda is a 20-year-old woman from Jacksonville, Florida, who is in a polyamorous relationship with four men, the Yahoo News website reports today (December 7, 2019).

She is now seven months pregnant with her first child with one of her partners, and the five plan to raise the baby together as a family.

Although Ojeda said she has received criticism from family members and friends about the unique nature of her relationships in the past, the five live together and have been dating for several years.

The five are all living together and the four men are taking turns sleeping with Ojeda in her bed to ensure everyone gets equal quality time with her.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Saudi King Apologizes for Killer of Three in Fla.; Saudi Officer Was at Pensacola NAS for Training

U.S. President Donald Trump said he received a condolence call from King Salman of Saudi Arabia over the shooting today (December 6, 2019) at Pensacola Naval Air Station (NAS), committed by a Saudi officer who was in Florida for training, according to the RT website.

King Salman "said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that the person in no way, shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people," Trump said in a tweet today.

The Saudi ruler also expressed condolences and extended his sympathies to the relatives and friends of the three people killed and seven injured in this morning's attack.

Officials have confirmed that the attacker was an officer from Saudi Arabia who was being trained at the NAS in Pensacola, Florida. He was killed in a shootout with sheriff's deputies, who were called to the scene of the attack.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Pelosi: House Will Proceed to Impeach Trump; His Ukraine Deceit Defies Oath of Office,Const.

Saying she must act to stop Donald Trump from behaving like a king, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced today (December 5, 2019) that the House would proceed with the articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, setting the stage for the fourth time in American history a president would face that judgment, according to The Daily Beast website.

"The president has engaged in abuse of power undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections," Pelosi said.

She added, "his actions are in defiance of the vision of our Founders, and the oath of office that he takes to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

While the House of Representatives has been considering impeaching Trump for years because of his abuse of power, it was the more recent Ukraine incident in which Trump told the Ukrainian president that he would give Ukraine millions of dollars in foreign aid, but only if he could find some "dirt" on Joe Biden (Trump's chief rival for the 2020 U.S. presidential election) that convinced the House that Trump violated his oath of office and the U.S. Constitution; consequently, Trump needed to be impeached.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Over 100 Jewish Graves Vandalized in France; Defaced with Swastikas,Nazi Slogans in Alsace

More than 100 Jewish graves were defaced with swastikas and Nazi slogans in a cemetery in France this week, contributing further to a rising wave of anti-Semitism in the country and even in the continent, the Daily Caller website reports today (December 4, 2019).

The graveyard joins several others in the Alsace region that have been vandalized with anti-Semitic slogans, with some of the vandals referring to "Black Alsatian Wolves," a far-right group that operated in the region in the 1970s.

But France is not the only European country facing rising anti-Semitism.

Germany has recently warned Jewish men not to wear a kippah in public, and the UK Labor party has come under increased scrutiny for its anti-Semitic ties.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Harvard Grad Student Union Begins to Picket; Harsh Strike Expected to Continue Indefinitely

The Harvard Graduate Student Union (HGSU) -- comprised primarily of teaching assistants -- officially went on strike today (December 3, 2019) with about 100 members of the union picketing in Harvard Yard, according to The Crimson website.

The union and Harvard have been negotiating for a contract for more than a year, but remain deadlocked on several issues, including compensation, health benefits, and grievance procedures for discrimination and sexual harassment.

The strike is expected to continue indefinitely with picketing in Cambridge from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Pickets on Harvard's Longwood campus in Boston -- where Harvard Medical School is located -- will run from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. each day.

Beverley Brakeman, regional director of HGSU's parent union, United Automobile Workers (UAW), told the demonstrators the UAW supported its Harvard chapter "all the way." She also said "Shame on you" to Harvard President Bacow for failing to accept the union's views.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Amazon Trashes Xmas Ornaments on Auschwitz; Had Posted Images Relating to Jewish Holocaust

Amazon has removed Christmas ornaments from its website that depict the Auschwitz concentration camp after complaints on social media, the NBC News website reports today (December 2, 2019).

The Auschwitz Memorial, which preserves the site of the former German concentration and extinction camp in Poland, tweeted images yesterday of the items.

"Selling Christmas ornaments with images of Auschwitz does not seem appropriate," the memorial wrote.

Amazon told NBC News in a statement today that the products in question have been removed.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Pope Slams Black Friday as a "Consumer Virus;" Calls on Faithful to Resist Fanatic Consumerism

Black Friday traditionally rings in the Christmas shopping season, but this year Pope Francis condemned the spending frenzy, calling it a "virus of consumerism," according to the Yahoo News website.

At a mass in Rome today (December 1, 2019), Pope Francis called on the faithful to "resist the blinding lights of consumerism, which will shine everywhere this month"  leading up to Christmas.

The pope added: "Consumerism is a virus that affects the faith at its root, because it makes you believe that life depends only on what you have..."

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest shopping days of the year in the U.S. and in a growing number of countries in Europe.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Thousands Protest against Netanyahu in Tel Aviv; Call for PM to Quit Due to His Bribery Indictment

Tel Aviv's Habima Square was the location selected by anti-Netanyahu protesters tonight (November 30, 2019) for a demonstration demanding that the incumbent prime minister step aside in light of the corruption charges Benjamin Netanyahu faces in three separate cases, according to the World Israel News website.

Several thousand protesters gathered for the event, united apparently by their desire to see Netanyahu resign immediately, which some view as a key step in the formation of a new government in Israel.

The demonstration follows a pro-Netanyahu rally held on November 26 in the same location in Tel Aviv, at which thousands of people rallied in support of the prime minister.

The prime minister has been critical of police  and prosecutors since Israel's attorney general last week indicted Netanyahu on fraud, breach of trust, and bribery charges.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Italy Uncovers Plot to Create a New Nazi Party; Some Suspects Had Many Weapons,Explosives

Italy has seized numerous weapons from suspects who were plotting to form a new Nazi party, the Newser website reports today (November 29, 2019).

Police in Italy say they raided the homes of 19 people who planned to create an "openly pro-Nazi, xenophobic, and anti-Semitic group called the Italian National Socialist Workers' Party."

Authorities say the suspects include a woman who called herself "Sergeant-Major of Hitler" and a woman who called herself "Miss Hitler."

"Some suspects had a vast amount of weapons and explosives at their disposal," police said.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Trump Pledges to Reactivate Taliban Peace Talks; Makes Surprise Trip to Afghanistan, Visits Troops

Donald Trump today (November 28, 2019) announced he would restart peace talks with the Taliban during a surprise trip to visit U.S. troops in Afghanistan, according to The Daily Beast website.

In a stop at Bagram Air Field with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Trump said leaders of the Taliban "want to make a deal very badly," and suggested they may be open to a ceasefire.

He also stated his desire to reduce the number of U.S. troops in the country, but said American forces would remain there "until such time as we have a deal or we have total victory."

Trump had called off a secret meeting with the Taliban at Camp David in September, after an attack -- most likely by the Taliban -- on the Afghan capital of Kabul that killed a U.S. soldier.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Hungary's Money Scheme Sparks Marriage Boom; Govt. Pays Couple for Marrying Before Bride Is 41

A new Hungarian government scheme to promote marriage and childbirth with subsidized loans has already helped produce a boom in weddings, but it is still too early to say whether more babies will follow, the Reuters website reports today (November 27, 2019).

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has made it a priority to persuade more Hungarians to marry and have children to reverse a population decline.

A new scheme this year offers couples that marry before the bride's 41st birthday subsidized loans of up to $33,000.

A third of the loan will be forgiven if the couple goes on to have two children, and the entire debt wiped out if they have three children.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Study: Americans Dying Young at Alarming Rates; US Death Rates Soaring from Suicides,Drug Abuse

Death rates from suicides, drug overdoses, liver disease, and dozens of other causes have been rising over the past decade for young and middle-aged adults, driving down overall life expectancy in the U.S. for three consecutive years, according to a study published today (November 26, 2019), the Washington Post reports.

The study -- published in the Journal of the American Medical Association -- was hailed by outside researchers for its comprehensive treatment of a still-enigmatic trend: the reversal of historical patterns in longevity.

Despite spending more on health care than any other country, the U.S. has seen increasing mortality and falling life expectancy for people ages 25 to 64, who should be in the prime of their lives, while other wealthy nations have experienced progress in extending longevity.

The study also found that, by age group, the highest relative jump in death rates from 2010 to 2017 -- 29 percent -- has been among people ages 25 to 34.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Oberlin College Students Erect Jihadi Memorial; Group Honored Designated as Terrorist by U.S.

Students at Oberlin College in Ohio erected a memorial for jihadi terrorists on the college campus, the Clarion Project website reports today (November 25, 2019).

The terrorists that the students were memorializing were members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a violent Islamist group and Iranian proxy in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad was designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. in 2001.

The PIJ terrorists honored at Oberlin were killed after the group launched an onslaught against Israeli civilians, firing 450 rockets and mortars into Israel and injuring 60 earlier this month.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Pope in Nagasaki Seeks End of Nuclear Weapons; Says They Can't Protect Us from Security Threats

Speaking in Japan today (November 24, 2019) at Nagasaki's Atomic Bomb Hypocenter Park, ground zero of the bomb drop during World War II that killed 27,000 people, Pope Francis sent a strong message regarding nuclear weapons to world leaders, according to the Reuters website.

He said: "I ask political leaders not to forget that these weapons cannot protect us from current threats to national and international security."

He also called for the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be honored as a living memory -- as opposed to a "relic of the past."

Pope Francis then went on to say Holy Mass at Nagasaki stadium, with 30,000 worshippers attending to hear his prayers.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

US Returns Troops to Syria to Fight IS Terrorists; IS Is Now a Threat after Trump Pulled Out Troops

About one year after President Donald Trump had shocked American politicians, the Kurds, and the rest of America's allies in the Middle East and Europe by announcing he was pulling out U.S. troops from Syria, Central Command chief General Kenneth McKenzie announced today (November 23, 2019) that 500 U.S. troops are resuming operations in Syria against the Islamic State (IS) terror group, according to the Jewish Press website.

"Now I've got about 500 U.S. personnel generally east of the Euphrates river ..." McKenzie told reporters in Bahrain.

He added: "It is our intention to remain in that position working with our SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) partners to continue operations against ISIS down the Euphrates river valley where those targets present themselves."

Also, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced yesterday that Turkish troops had seized thousands of weapons given by the U.S. to the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Greece Alters Refugee Camps to Detention Ctrs.; Affects Islands of Lesbos,Samos,Chios,Kos,Leros

Greece has announced it will shut a number of its overcrowded refugee camps on its outer islands, and set up closed holding centers as the country on the forefront of the migration crisis in Europe hardens its stance towards asylum seekers, the Euro News website reports today (November 22, 2019).

The changes come amid growing scrutiny from aid agencies over the conditions many refugees are living under in the camps.

One of the camps to be closed will be Moria on the island of Lesbos, where a nine-month-old baby died of severe dehydration last week.

The camps that will close or be converted into detention centers are Moria on Lesbos, as well as camps on the Greek islands of Samos, Chios, Kos, and Leros.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Israeli PM Netanyahu Indicted on Corruption; Charged with Fraud, Breach of Trust, Bribery

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was indicted today (November 21, 2019) on a series of corruption charges that involved performing political favors for wealthy friends who gave him luxury goods and positive news coverage in media they controlled, according to the NY Daily News website.

The indictment capped three years of investigation.

Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit ended months of speculation by issuing the 63-page indictment against Netanyahu on charges of fraud, breach of trust, and bribery.

The indictment says Netanyahu and his wife accepted more than $260,000 worth of luxury goods -- including cigars and champagne -- in exchange for political favors. He is also accused of interceding with regulators and lawmakers to help two media companies in exchange for positive news stories.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Americans Like Church Involvement in Society; Most Believe Church Should Stay Out of Politics

A new Pew Research Center report shows that while a majority of U.S. citizens view religious bodies as having a positive impact on society, they also believe that they should not take part in politics, the Christian Post website reports today (November 20, 2019).

Pew found that 63 percent of respondents wanted religious groups to "keep out of political matters" and 76 percent opposed churches endorsing political candidates.

The report also found that while 28 percent of respondents felt churches did not have enough influence on politics, 37 percent felt they had too much, and 34 percent felt they had "about the right amount of influence in politics."

Pew drew their data from a survey conducted online March 18--April 1 with a nationally representative sample of 6,364 U.S. adults, with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.7 percent.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

US Now Backs Israeli Settlements in W. Bank; Changes View They Violate International Law

The U.S. yesterday backed Israel's right to build Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank by abandoning a four-decade-old position that they were "inconsistent with international law," a stance that will probably make Israeli-Palestinian peace even more unlikely, the Reuters website reports today (November 19, 2019).

The announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was a victory for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is struggling to remain in power after two inconclusive Israeli elections this year, and a defeat for the Palestinians.

It appeared to to deliver a new blow to Trump's efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a peace plan that has been in the works for more than two years.

Pompeo's announcement drew praise from Netanyahu, who said it "rights a historical wrong," and condemnation from Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who said Washington was threatening "to replace international law with the 'law of the jungle.'"

Monday, November 18, 2019

Many Women in Europe Protest against Violence; 87,000 Women Killed in 2017 by Their Partners

An estimated 35% of women have experienced some form of violence in their lifetimes, the Euro News website reports today (November 18, 2019).

But throughout Europe, women are taking a stance against violence, protesting murder rates for women killed by a partner.

According to the United Nations, 58% of the 87,000 women murdered in 2017 were killed by intimate partners or family members.

More than a third of women intentionally killed were killed by a former or current intimate partner.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

New Abuse Claims Hit Vatican Youth Seminary; Altar Boys at St. Peter's Basilica Accuse Priests

A scandal over alleged sexual molestation and abuse at the Vatican's youth seminary is growing, with more former papal altar boys alleging inappropriate behavior by priests inside the Vatican walls, the Yahoo News website reports today (November 17, 2019).

Le Iene, an Italian investigative television program, plans to air the new allegations today.

The Vatican announced in September that its criminal prosecutor was seeking to indict a former senior seminarian and the then-rector of the St. Pius X seminary on sexual abuse charges.

The announcement came two years after Le Iene first featured former seminarians who alleged that the senior seminarian -- now a priest -- had molested teen-age boys who lived inside the Vatican and served as altar boys at papal Masses in St. Peter's Basilica.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Pope May Add Sin against Ecology to Catechism; Feels Church Has a Duty to Check Environment

Speaking to a group of lawyers yesterday, Pope Francis said that the Catholic Church is contemplating the introduction of "ecological sin" to the compendium of Church teaching, the Crux website reports today (November 16, 2019).

"We have to introduce, we are thinking about it, in the catechism of the Catholic Church, the sin against ecology, the sin against our common home, because it's a duty," he said.

The pope's words came just weeks after the conclusion of a bishops' summit on the Amazon focused on the environmental threat to the region.

He added that the culture of waste in society is now tending to "degenerate into a culture of hatred."

The pope also stated that upon hearing some speeches from certain governments -- he did not specify which ones -- he's "reminded of Hitler's speeches in 1934, in 1936, [heard] today."

Friday, November 15, 2019

Erdogan Vows He'll Protect Christians in Syria; Says Churches Ruined by Turkey to Be Rebuilt

Turkey President Tayyip Recep Erdogan told media at the White House yesterday that Turkey will restore damaged Syrian churches, as Christian communities along the border in Northeastern Syria are feeling vulnerable due to the Turkish aggression, the Christian Post website reports today (November 15, 2019).

Erdogan met with U.S. President Donald Trump and several GOP senators today in a meeting that was held to "clear the air" amid congressional criticism of Turkey's military operation in Northeastern Syria.

Operation Peace Spring, launched last month after Trump announced a pullback of U.S. troops from the region in question, targets Kurdish fighters who played a key role in helping the U.S. defeat the Islamic State.

The Turkish government accuses the Syrian Democratic Forces of being terrorists because of links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Man Gets 6 Months for College Admissions Bribe; Paid $450,000 for His 2 Children to Get into USC

A former California real estate executive has been sentenced to six months in prison for paying $450,000 to get his two children into the University of Southern California (USC) as fake soccer and basketball recruits, The Daily Beast website reports today (November 14, 2019).

Toby MacFarlane, 56, was sentenced yesterday in Boston's federal court after he pleaded guilty in June to fraud conspiracy.

U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton also imposed a $150,000 fine and ordered MacFarlane to perform 200 hours of community service.

MacFarlane paid $200,000 to admissions consultant William Singer to get his daughter admitted to USC as a soccer recruit in 2014, and later paid another $250,000 to get his son into USC as a basketball recruit in 2017.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

FBI: Jews by Far Outnumber Rel. Hate Crimes; Some 57.8% of US Hate Crimes Are Anti-Jewish

Newly released FBI data shows that Jews and Jewish institutions were the overwhelming target of religion-based hate crimes in the U.S. last year, the Religion News website reports today (November 13, 2019).

The 2018 Hate Crimes Statistics reported 7,120 total hate crimes last year, compared to 7,175 in 2017, a decline of less than 1%.

Hate crimes motivated by religious bias accounted for 1,550 offenses, and the majority of those -- 57.8% -- were anti-Jewish.

Anti-Muslim hate crimes accounted for 14.5% -- the second-largest target of religious hate.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Israel Assassinates Noted Jihad Commander; Terrorists Retaliate,Fire 150 Rockets at Israel

Israel killed senior Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu Al Ata in the city of Gaza early today (November 12, 2019) in a rare targeted killing that threatened to unleash a fierce round of cross-border violence with Palestinian terrorists, according to the World Israel News website.

Air raid sirens wailed throughout southern and central Israel as terrorists retaliated with heavy rocket fire.

Some 150 rockets have been launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip since this morning when news of the Israeli assassination broke.

About 60 of those rockets were reportedly intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Bill to Offer Bible Classes Advances in Florida; State Would Offer Old, New Testament Classes

A new bill that aims to roll out optional classes across Florida's public schools has advanced to the state Senate, the CBN News website reports today (November 11, 2019).

The bill was filed by Ocala Republican Sen. Dennis Baxley and would require the state to offer elective courses in New and Old Testament Biblical studies and Hebrew scriptures.

The House version of the bill was introduced by Florida evangelist Kimberly Daniels, a Democrat.

Similar bills have been introduced in Missouri, North Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

ISIS Alive and Well Despite Iraq,Syria Defeat; Urges Backers Set Forest Fires in US, Europe

A media outlet affiliated with the ISIS terror group has been instructing the group's radical adherents to set forest fires in the United States and Europe to cause mass ecological disasters, the Washington Free Beacon website reports today (November 10, 2019).

At least four propaganda posters that have appeared on the pro-ISIS Quraysh media outlet have urged followers to "ignite fires" as part of an ongoing jihad against America and its allies.

The first poster in the series was published in April 2019, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, which tracks the radical forum. The text reads: "Oh monotheists [followers of ISIS] ignite fires in the forests and fields, and we are addressing especially those who live in Europe and America, for they are painful to them."

The fourth poster, released today, includes similar text: "Ignite fires in the forests of America, France, Britain, and Germany, for they are painful to them."

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Anti-Semitic Hate Crimes in NYC Subways Rise; Most Subway Hate Crimes Occurring in Brooklyn

The New York City Police Department's new statistics show a significant increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes targeting Jewish riders on New York City subways, the Jewish Press website reports today (November 9, 2019).

Since October 20, the NYPD has logged 42 hate-crime complaints involving anti-Semitic acts in the subway -- a 162 percent increase over similar incidents reported through that same date in 2018.

The incidents include a June 13 encounter at a station in Brooklyn in which a 26-year-old man yelled "Heil, Hitler!" and "All Jews must die!" at a 33-year-old man before grabbing the latter's phone and tossing it at a train, according to the Brooklyn district attorney's office.

Anti-Semitic graffiti and assaults on Jewish people also accounted for nearly 60 percent of subway hate crimes in 2019, with the highest number of them occurring in the borough of Brooklyn.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Report: Pope Denies Body Resurrection of Jesus; Pope Said Jesus Rose from "Semblance of Spirit"

Pope Francis already has been accused of heresy by prominent Catholic clergy, but now his longtime friend and interviewer is claiming the pontiff denies one of the foundational doctrines of the Christian faith, that Jesus Christ rose from the dead in bodily form, the WND website reports today (November 8, 2019).

Eugenio Scalfari, a left-wing atheist journalist, published the remarks in the periodical he founded, La Republica, and in a new book.

Scalfari claims that the pope told him that Jesus did not rise bodily from the dead, but "in the semblance of a spirit."

In the November 5 edition of La Republics and in the introduction of his new book, Scalfari states Francis said: "He [Jesus] disappeared and came forth from the grotto in the semblance of a spirit that met the women and the Apostles while still preserving the shadow of the person, and then he definitely disappeared."

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Kansas City Votes to Drop KIng's Street Name; Nearly 70% Vote for The Paseo Original Name

Voters in Kansas City, Missouri approved removing Dr. Martin Luther King's name from one of the city's most historic boulevards, less than a year after the city decided to remove The Paseo for the civil rights icon, the Huff Post website reports today (November 6, 2019).

Results of the vote showed the proposal to remove King's name received nearly 70% of the vote, with just over 30% voting to retain King's name.

In January the city council decided to renme The Paseo -- a 10-muke boulevard on the city's mostly black east side -- after King.

But a group of residents intent on keeping The Paseo name began collecting petitions to put the name change on the ballot and achieved that goal in April.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

At Least 73 People Killed in Pakistan Train Fire; Another 43 People Injured and Sent to Hospital

At least 73 people were killed when a passenger train caught fire in central Pakistan on October 31, the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty website reports today (November 3, 2019).

The blaze occurred after an explosion on the train near the town of Rahim Yar Khan in the south of Punjab province. The locomotive was traveling from Karachi to Rawalpindi.

Kaleem Ullah, an official with the emergency services, said another 43 people were injured, with 11 still in critical condition. The injured have been taken to a nearby hospital in Punjab's Liaqatpur area.

Authorities say the fire broke out while some of the passengers were preparing breakfast on cooking gas stoves they had bought aboard in violation of rules.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

German City of Dresden Calls "Nazi Emergency;" Rise in Far-Right Extremism Is Threat to Society

A German city has officially declared a "Nazi emergency" after seeing an increase in far-right extremism, the Yahoo News website reports today (November 2, 2019).

Councilors in Dresden said they passed the resolution to protect minorities against dangerous views and rising violence.

Councilor Max Aschenbach, whose Die Partei party brought forward the resolution, said : "We have a Nazi problem in Dresden and we have to do something about it."

He added, "The open democratic society is threatened."

Friday, November 1, 2019

Girl, 7, Shot on Chest While Trick-or-Treating; Unintended Victim of Man Firing at Other Man

A 7-year-old Chicago girl, who went out trick-or-treating in a bumblebee outfit yesterday, ended up fighting for her life in Stroger Hospital, the Newser website reports today (November 1, 2019).

Police say the girl was with family members and other trick-or-treaters on a sidewalk in the Little Village neighborhood on the West Side around 5:30 p.m. when she was shot in the chest by a man on the other side of the street.

Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says the girl was apparently an unintended victim.

Police say a group of men was chasing another man down the street when one of them fired at the man being chased.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

New Wildfires Still Pervading Miles of California; Reagan Library Saved as 100s of Goats Ate Grass

As a new wildfire started up in California's hillsides this week, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library became a target -- and officials are now patting themselves on the back for a "darn smart" idea that may have helped save it, the Newser website reports today (October 31, 2019).

Firefighters and aircraft took aim at the flames approaching the library, but a library spokeswoman said one more factor apparently worked to the library's advantage: a herd of hundreds of goats, which the fire department recruits each May to chow down on the vegetation around the facility's perimeter, effectively creating a firebreak.

"It was darn smart for us to do that," a library official crowed about the annual goat-led initiative at the site.

The library hosts the graves of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, in addition to documents, photos, films, audiotapes, and Reagan's Air Force One plane.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Joe Biden Denied Communion at a S.C. Church; Abortion Support Mocks Cath. Church Teaching

Former vice president Joe Biden was denied Communion last Sunday morning at a Catholic church in Florence, South Carolina, where he was making a campaign stop, the Washington Post website reports today (October 30, 2019).

The Rev. Robert Morey of Saint Anthony Catholic Church told a local newspaper that Biden, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, attended his church's 9 a.m. Mass. Morey said he denied Biden Communion because of the candidate's political stance on abortion.

"Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other, and the Church. Our actions should reflect that," Morey said in a statement to the Morning News. "Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching."

The Catholic Church opposes abortion, but local priests and bishops in the United States have varying policies regarding whether to give Communion to someone who supports an issue such as abortion rights.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Sanders:US Money to Israel Should Go to Gaza; Slams Israeli PM Netanyahu as Being a "Racist"

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, stated yesterday at the annual J Street Conference in Washington, D.C., that a portion of the U.S. military assistance to Israel should go towards humanitarian relief in the Gaza Strip, the World Israel News website reports today (October 29, 2019).

"I would use the leverage of $3.8 billion," Sanders said, referring to the 10-year Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. and Israel negotiated by former President Barack Obama.

He added, "It is a lot of money, and we cannot give it carte blanche to the Israeli government or, for that matter, to any government at all. We have a right to demand respect for human rights and democracy."

Sanders, who is of Jewish background himself, also attacked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, arguing that it's not anti-Semitic to say that the government of Netanyahu has been "racist," asserting "That's a fact."

Monday, October 28, 2019

Syrian Christians Fear Turkey's Attack a Threat; Turkey Rips Kurds, Christian Homes, Churches

As the Turkish military and its allied Syrian rebels continue their operation against U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in northeast Syria, Christian communities in the region fear that the Turkish-led offensive is threatening their very existence in the war-torn country, the VOA News website reports today (October 28, 2019).

On the first day of the Turkish offensive -- which began last week -- a Turkish artillery attack targeted a predominately-Christian neighborhood in Qamishli, the largest city in northeast Syria.

According to local sources, Christians Ayeda Habsono and her husband, Fadi, were severely wounded in the attack that hit their house. Several other Christians were also wounded.

Later last week, the Virgin Lady Church in the town of Qahtaniya, near Qamishli, was also hit by Turkish shelling. Parts of the church were destroyed.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

US Forces Eliminate ISIS' Top Leader in Syria; Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Kills Himself in US Raid

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS who presided over its global jihad and became the world's most wanted man, died yesterday when he detonated his suicide vest in a tunnel while being pursued by U.S. forces north of Idlib, Syria, killing himself and three of his children, the World Israel News website reports today (October 27, 2019).

"Last night, the United States brought the world's number one terrorist leader to justice," U.S. President Donald Trump announced at the White  House today.

Trump described a daring nighttime airborne raid by American special operations forces in Syria's northwestern Idlib province.

Trump added that no U.S. troops were killed in the operation.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Suicide Rate for Young Teens Nearly Triples; Suicide Rate for Older Teens Is Up 76 Percent

The suicide rate among children aged 10 through 14 nearly tripled from 2007 to 2017, the Christian Post website reports today (October 26, 2019).

For older teens, the suicide rate increased by 76 percent.

In 2017, suicide was the second leading cause of death for children aged 10 to 14, teenagers 15 to 19, and young adults ages 20 to 24.

"Not only is suicide trending upward, but the pace of increase is actually accelerating," said Sally Curtin, co-author of the CDC report.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Trump Ends Fed.Funding for Abortion Clinics; Stops Fed.Funding in 876 Pro-Abortion Clinics

Nearly 900 clinics that perform or promote abortions have lost their federal funding under a new Trump administration rule that prevents family clinics receiving taxpayer money from promoting or referring for abortion, the Christian Headlines website reports today (October 25, 2019).

Power to Decide -- a pro-choice organization that works to prevent unplanned pregnancies -- says in a new report that 876 clinics in the U.S. have lost funding.

The new rule "prohibits the use of Title X funds to perform, promote, refer for, or support abortions as a method of family planning."

The Title X program is worth nearly $300 million.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Survey Finds Anti-Semitism to Be Problem in US; Northeastern Prof.: Biggest Concern for US Jews

A survey by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) finds that 88% of American Jews say anti-Semitism is a problem in the U.S. today, and nearly a third report they avoid publicly wearing, carrying, or displaying objects or symbols that might help people identify them as Jewish, the Religion News website reports today (October 24, 2019).

Conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1,283 Jewish respondents, the survey provides a snapshot of a jittery American community.

Dov Waxman, a political science professor at Boston's Northeastern University, who has studied American Jewish attitudes, said there is a significant increase in the number of Jews who consider anti-Semitism to be a problem. In a 2016 AJC survey, only 73%judged it a problem, he said.

The professor of Jewish historical and cultural studies added: "This is becoming the biggest concern for American Jews today."

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Migrants from Greek Islands Heading to Greece; Over 33K Refuges Now Living on Lesbos, Samos

Migrants housed in overcrowded camps on the Greek islands of Lesbos and Samos are being moved to the mainland, the Euro News website reports today (October 23, 2019).

The islands are close to Turkey and have seen a surge of new arrivals.

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) says there are now 33,700 refugees living on the two islands.

In late September, a woman died in a fire in a tent at a camp on Lesbos, while a fire in an overcrowded camp on Samos forced hundreds of people into the streets this month.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

NYC Charter School Discipline Dean Faces Rape; Accused of Having Sex with Boy, 15 at Her Home

A dean at a Bronx charter school responsible for student discipline was charged with rape today (October 22, 2019) over accusations she had sex with a 15-year-old student, according to the NY Daily News website.

Grace Trinidad, 34, a dean of discipline at New Visions Math and Science High School, befriended the teen and repeatedly invited him to her home in the South Bronx, according to police.

During their most recent encounter, Trinidad and the student were kissing and performing oral sex on each other, authorities allege.

Trinidad was arrested at her home after questioning today. She was charged with rape in the third degree for having sex with a minor, criminal sex act, and endangering the welfare of a child.

Monday, October 21, 2019

New Bill Could Start Bible Classes in Fla. Schools; Schools Would Offer Old,New Testament Courses

A new bill introduced by a Florida democrat seeks to begin Bible classes as standard across the state's schools, the Christian Headlines website reports today (October 21, 2019).

House Bill 341, which was put forward by evangelist and Jacksonville politician, Rep. Kim Daniels, specifies that schools must offer classes covering both the Old and New Testament.

The bill declares that each school district must "offer specified courses relating to religion, Hebrew Scriptures, and Bible to certain students as elective courses."

Although students would not be forced to attend the classes, they must be presented with the option to enroll in them.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

"Dirty Jew" Painted on Judaica Store in France; Store Closed as Its Owners Were Visiting Israel

Graffiti reading "Dirty Jew" was spray-painted on a storefront of a Judaica store in the French city of Lyon, the Israel National News website reports today (October 20, 2019).

The store was closed at the time of the attack, while its owners were vacationing in Israel.

Neighbors of the store sent photos of the vandalism to the owners, who are now considering returning to France early in order to file a complaint with police.

France -- which has more Jews than any other country in Europe --  has been experiencing an exceptional amount of anti-Semitism during the past year.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Mailman Won't Deliver Due to Halloween Decor; African-American Mailman Sees Decor as Racist

The postal service and a Long Island homeowner are in a standoff over a Halloween decoration that the African-American mailman views as being racist, according to the Drudge Report website.

Richard Beatty has been decorating his Brentwood house for years with homemade Halloween d├ęcor, including makeshift gallows and a noose with a skeleton hanging from it.

This year, the postmaster himself knocked on Beatty's door and told him that his mail was being suspended until he took down the Halloween decorations.

Beatty responded, "Do what you have to do because I'm not taking them down."

Friday, October 18, 2019

Turkey's Airstrikes in Syria Violating Ceasefire; Turkey OKd Ceasefire Yesterday with VP Pence

Deadly Turkish airstrikes today (October 18, 2019) shattered an hours-old U.S.-brokered deal to stop Ankara's military offensive against Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria, according to the Times of Israel website.

The ceasefire announced late yesterday was meant to provide a pause for the evacuation of Kurdish fighters from the battleground border town of Ras al-Ain and other areas Turkey wants to control along its border with Syria.

The five-day suspension seemed designed to help Turkey achieve its main territorial goals without fighting, but Turkey continued its aggression today and an airstrike killed five Syrian civilians.

Mustefa Bali,a Kurdish spokesman, said Turkey was clearly violating the terms of the agreement reached during a visit to Ankara yesterday by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Study:Attendance at Rel. Congregations Recedes; But Their Donations Have Actually Increased

Attendance at religious congregations is declining, as younger Americans -- who say they have no religion -- are far less likely than previous generations to join a church, the Religion News website reports today (October 17, 2019).

But a new study from the Lake Institute of Faith and Giving at Indiana University finds that revenue is not declining along with attendance.

In fact, the study finds that nearly half of America's estimated 380,000 congregations saw an increase in giving from three years ago.

The study of 1,231 congregations -- including churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship -- found that 48% of the congregations saw an increase in revenue, 35%saw a decrease, and 17% said giving remained the same.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Israel Flag Deformed with Swastika on Cape Cod; Occurred at Falmouth Synagogue on Yom Kippur

An Israeli flag with a swastika and white supremacist symbols was found on the grounds of a Cape Cod synagogue shortly after the end of Yom Kippur, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (October 16, 2019).

Police are investigating the incident at Falmouth Jewish Congregation after being notified by the synagogue's rabbi, Elias Lieberman, who found the flag on the morning of October 10.

Lieberman said the defaced flag was spray-painted with a red swastika over the flag's Star of David and with the numbers 14 and 88, symbols that refer to Hitler and white supremacy.

The rabbi also notified the New England Anti-Defamation League. He said it's the first such incident in his nearly 30 years leading the Reform congregation.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

US Fighter Jets,Helicopters Face Turks in Syria; Meet Turkey's Jihadist Troops Attacking Kurds

The Pentagon said today (October 15, 2019) that U.S. fighter jets and gunship helicopters were being used to confront Turkish-backed militants in northern Syria after they came "very close" to U.S. troops in Ain Issa, according to the RT website.

Washington also sent a complaint today to Ankara.

Although U.S. troops have been withdrawing from Syria for the past week, some Special Forces troops were still in the area of Ain Issa located about halfway between the Turkey-Syria border and the former Islamic State (IS) "capital" of Raqqa.

Last week, Turkey launched an attack in northern Syria on territory held by Kurdish militants allied with the U.S.; however, the troops used by Turkey in the attack appear to be jihadist terrorists. A senior U.S. official today called these jihadists "thugs and bandits and pirates that should be wiped off the face of the earth."

Monday, October 14, 2019

Kurdish Forces Make a Deal with Syria and Russia; Join Kurds to Repel Turkey Blitz after US Betrayal

Following America's betrayal of its Kurdish allies by pulling out of Syria just before a planned attack of Kurds in Syria by Turkey, government troops of Syria headed north toward the Turkish border today (October 14, 2019) after the Kurds made a deal with Damascus and Moscow for military assistance to combat Turkey, according to the NBC News website.

Regime forces are now less than four miles away from the border with Turkey and are expected to advance farther toward the area surrounding Ras al Ayn border town.

On the Turkish side of the border, dozens of armored vehicles, Turkish tanks, and military equipment streamed toward the front lines. Across the border in Syria, Turkish F-16 fighter jets could be seen circling over the town of Qamishlo, the administrative center of the Kurdish autonomous authority.

Kurdish troops turned to the Syrian government and Russia yesterday, in a move that could increase Russian President Vladimir Putin's influence in Syria, deal a significant blow to the Kurds' ambitions of independence in the region, and be seen as a victory for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

German Admits Killing 2 Jews on Yom Kippur; Defends Anti-Semitism,Blames Jews for Misery

Federal prosecutors in Germany said the suspect who shot two Jews dead near a synagogue in the city of Halle on Yom Kippur, has admitted to the shooting rampage, confessing it was motivated by anti-Semitism and right-wing extremism, the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reports today (October 13, 2019).

Stephan Balliet, 27, made a "very comprehensive" confession during an interrogation lasting several hours, said a spokesman for the federal prosecutor's office in Karlsruhe.

"He gave an extensive confession. He confirmed far-right and anti-Semitic motives" for the attack, the spokesman said.

Balliet's lawyer told the press that his client "blames others for his own misery and that's what ultimately triggered his action."

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Turkey Artillery Fire Hits Near US Troops in Syria; Turkey Kills Kurds in Syria Neglecting Safety of US

The Pentagon said today (October 12, 2019) that U.S. troops in northern Syria came under artillery fire from Turkey yesterday, but none were wounded, in an incident that highlights the risks to U.S. troops as Turkey wages an offensive against U.S.-allied Kurdish militia, according to the Yahoo News website.

"The explosion occurred within a few hundred meters of a location outside the Security Mechanism zone and in an area known by the Turks to have U.S. forces present," Navy Captain Brook DeWalt, a Pentagon spokesman said in a statement.

DeWalt added that all U.S. troops were accounted for after the artillery incident near Kobane, Syria.

A U.S. official said a small number of U.S. troops had moved away from the outpost temporarily after the artillery fire, but are still in the general area and expect to be back.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Most Americans Now Favor Trump Impeachment; Independents' New View Now Supports an Inquiry

A new NPR poll shows that a slim majority of Americans now approve of the House Impeachment inquiry into President Trump, the NPR website reports today (October 11, 2019).

Fifty-two percent say they approve of the inquiry, while 43 percent disapprove.

That's a slight increase in support from two weeks ago, when 49 percent approved and 46 percent disapproved.

The uptick in support of the NPR poll comes mostly from a swing among independents, most of whom had disapproved of the inquiry in late September.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

EU Takes Poland to Court over Judiciary Changes; Judges Can Be Disciplined in Poland for Decisions

The European Union (EU) is taking Poland to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over the country's disciplinary action against judges, the Euro News website reports today (October 10, 2019).

Brussels claims the move is to protect Poland's judiciary from political control.

It claims the Polish law allows ordinary court judges to be subjected to disciplinary investigations and sanctions on the basis of their judicial decisions.

The ECJ ruled in the EU's favor in June in a case of Poland's lowering of the retirement age of Supreme Court judges, which it said was "contrary to EU law."

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Two Persons Killed Near Synagogue in Germany; Shooting on Yom Kippur Viewed as Anti-Semitic

Two people were killed and several others were injured today (October 9, 2019) in a shooting targeting a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle, according to the Euro News website.

Shortly after the incident, which occurred on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, police said one person had been arrested. They are still hunting for suspects.

Germany's federal attorney general said there is sufficient evidence for a possible right-wing extremist link to the shooting.

"That on the Day of Atonement  a synagogue was shot at hits us in the heart," said Germany's foreign minister Heiko Maas on Twitter. "We must all act against anti-Semitism in our country."

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Trump Is Losing Evangelicals for Syrian Pullout; Pat Robertson:Trump Losing Mandate of Heaven

Prominent evangelical conservatives are upset with President Donald Trump's endorsement of a Turkish military operation in Syria, citing concern that such involvement could "trigger the resurgence" of the Islamic State (IS) and give Iran influence in the region, the Christian Post website reports today (October 8, 2019).

Trump was slammed by many conservatives yesterday after he announced on October 6 that U.S. military personnel in Syria would be pulled out in advance of a Turkish offensive in Syria against Kurdish groups backed by the U.S. in defeating the Islamic State terrorist group.

Turkey considers Kurdish groups to be terrorist insurgents that pose a security threat, because they want to establish their own independent province in Turkey.

Televangelist Pat Robertson said Trump is "losing the mandate of Heaven" for pulling U.S. troops out of Syria and betraying the Kurds. Also, Trump's Syrian decision goes against the recommendations of top officials in the State Department and the Pentagon.

Monday, October 7, 2019

US Leaving Syria to Allow Turkey to Attack Kurds; US Move Described as "Stab in the Back" by Kurds

Despite outrage by many Republicans for betraying an ally that played a major role in defeating the Islamic State in Syria, the U.S. today (October 7, 2019) began pulling troops back from the northeast Syria border to allow for Turkish attacks on Kurdish-led forces long allied to Washington, according to the Reuters website.

The major U.S. policy shift was denounced as a "stab in the back" by Kurdish-led forces who have been Washington's most capable partner in fighting the Islamic State in Syria.

The forces accused the U.S. of reneging on an ally, warning it would have a "great negative impact" on the war against the terrorists.

But President Donald Trump said in several Tweets it was too costly to keep supporting Kurdish-led forces fighting the Islamic State and its "ridiculous Endless Wars."

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Israel Working on Peace Pacts with Arab States; Israel and Arab States Doing So to Counter Iran

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz confirmed today (October 6, 2019) that Israel has been working toward achieving the historic goal of reaching non-aggression pacts with Arab countries, according to the World Israel News website.

"Recently I have been promoting, with the backing of the prime minister, a diplomatic initiative to sign 'non-aggression agreements' with Arab Gulf states," the foreign minister tweeted.

"It's a historic move that will end the conflict and enable civilian cooperation until the signing of peace agreements," he added.

Such negotiations have been made possible by the common interest of both the Jewish State and Arab Gulf countries: countering Iran.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Supreme Court to Review La. Anti-Abortion Law; May Mark "Beginning of the End" for Roe v.Wade

The U.S. Supreme Court announced yesterday it will review a 2014 Louisiana anti-abortion law, the Raw Story website reports today (October 5, 2019).

Experts say it will be the end -- or at least the "beginning of the end" -- of Roe v. Wade, the 46-year-old SCOTUS ruling that found women have a constitutional right to have an abortion.

Louisiana's law is designed to make it as difficult as possible for women to obtain an abortion.

The law mandates that any doctor performing an abortion of any type have admitting privileges at a hospital.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Iraqi Forces Kill at Least 42 Protesters in Baghdad; Use Live Ammo,Water Cannons,Tear Gas for Calm

Iraqi security forces used live ammunition, water cannons, tear gas, and rubber bullets to disperse protesters in Baghdad today (October 4, 2019), killing at least 42 people and injuring hundreds more, according to the UPI website.

The protesters were focused on Baghdad's Tahir Square and throughout the south. They were triggered by widespread unemployment, corruption, and a lack of basic infrastructure, including water and electricity.

Protesters called for the government to step down.

"At least 15 people are dead and 200 injured in Dhi Qar,"  provincial council member Hassan al-Asadi said.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Four People Killed at Paris Police Headquarters; Killer Used Knife, Believed to Be Islam Convert

Four police force workers were killed in a knife attack at their Paris headquarters before the suspect -- a 45-year-old man --  was shot dead, the Euro News website reports today (October 3, 2019).

The motive was not clear, but a source close to the case told Euro News that authorities were in the process of verifying reports that the attacker -- a former administrative assistant at the police station --  had recently converted to Islam.

"We mourn the death of four civil servants from two services in the Paris police force," the Paris prosecutor said in a press conference. "Three men and one woman, three of them worked as police officers and one as an administrative assistant, have been killed. "

.Another victim was still in a hospital today and is recovering.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

DeVos Wants to Give College Grants to Inmates; Sec. of Ed. Seeks to Scrap Ban on Inmate Grants

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on September 30 endorsed a legislative effort backed by evangelical prison ministry Prison Fellowship to make incarcerated inmates eligible to receive federal grants for higher education, the Christian Post website reports today (October 2, 2019).

DeVos spoke at Prison Fellowship's Declaration Symposium at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. and encouraged the group of about 80 church leaders to lobby congressional offices to support bills that would reverse a longstanding ban on inmates receiving Pell Grants.

Pell Grants are federal subsidies to help low-income students pursue higher education or vocational training.

DeVos said, "Education is the ticket to the future for just about anyone and everyone." She added, "So we should be embracing these opportunities for brothers and sisters who are behind bars today who will be in our communities and with their families and giving them a means for a purpose..."

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Study:Red Meat Does Not Expand Cancer Risk; Adults Can Eat as Much Red Meat as They Like

A major new study finds that cutting back on eating red meat or processed meat will not significantly reduce a person's risk of heart disease or cancer, the UPI website reports today (October 1, 2019).

"Based on research, we cannot say with any certainty that eating red meat or processed meat causes cancer, diabetes, or heart disease," said senior researcher Bradley Johnston, associate professor of community health and epidemiology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Using the evidence collected by the research, a panel of experts issued new dietary guidelines saying most adults can eat as much red and processed meat as they like.

Johnston added, "This is not just another study on red and processed meat, but a series of five high-quality systematic reviews to inform dietary recommendations."

Monday, September 30, 2019

Trump:2 Jews,4 Women Are "Democrat Savages;" Disgraces 6 House Reps Seeking to Impeach Him

President Donald Trump attacked what he called "Democrat savages" in a vicious new twist on September 28, referring to four congresswomen of color and Jewish lawmakers Jerry Nadler (NY) and Adam Schiff (Calif.), the Huff Post website reports today (September 30, 2019).

Nadler is head of the House Judiciary Committee, while Schiff leads the Intelligence Committee, both key groups in the impeachment inquiry against Trump.

The four congresswomen Trump called "Democrat savages" are Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Min., Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Mass., and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Mich. The women are among at least 223 House Democrats who support the impeachment inquiry.

The House impeachment inquiry follows a whistleblower complaint that Trump urged Ukraine's president in a July phone call to dig up dirt on his political rival for president, Joe Biden.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Fire Kills One on Greek Migrant Isle of Lesbos; Refugee Camp Houses Thousands of Migrants

A fire broke out today (September 29, 2019) at a container inside a crowded refugee camp on the eastern Greek island of Lesbos close to Turkey, and one person was killed, according to the Euro News website.

Refugees clashed with police as thick smoke rose over the Moria camp, which currently houses about 12,000 refugees in overcrowded conditions, and firefighters fought to extinguish the blaze.

Police said one burned body was taken to a hospital in the island's capital, Mytilini, for identification by the coroner.

Police sent reinforcements to the island to help restore order. They could not immediately reach an area of containers, where there were unconfirmed reports of a second burned body.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Rep.Rashida Tlaib Sells "Impeach the MF" Shirts; Uses Profanity in Mich.Campaign Re-election Run

Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib is taking calls for President Donald Trump's impeachment to her own T-shirt line: "Impeach the MF," the USA Today website reports today (September 28, 2019).

Tlaib's T-shirt launch came hours after the public release of a whistleblower report that said the president "used the power of his office" to solicit help from Ukraine in discrediting political rival Joe Biden.

"Lean in with me to hold this lawless President accountable," Tlaib, who represents Michigan's 13th Congressional District, said on Twitter on September 26.

The majority of House Democrats -- including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi -- have now come out in support of an impeachment inquiry.

Friday, September 27, 2019

US Sending Missiles and Troops to Saudi Arabia; Sent in Response to Iran's Attack on Saudi Arabia

The U.S. is sending a Patriot missile battery and four ground-based radar systems to Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon said yesterday, as the first steps to help the kingdom protect itself against Iranian attacks, the Worthy News website reports today (September 27, 2019).

Two more Patriot batteries and a missile defense system will go later if needed, and the deployment will involve 200 troops.

Military commanders have been working since last week to iron out what military aid to send to Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. action comes in response to what U.S. officials say was a brazen and unprecedented cruise missile and drone attack by Iran on Saudi oil facilities on September 14.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Population of Israel Rises 21% Since Last Year; Report Shows 9M Citizens Live in Israel Today

A report released this week by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics shows the population of the state of Israel increased 2.1% since last year, the Jerusalem Post website reports today (September 26, 2019).

Today, there are 9.1 million citizens in Israel, of which some 6.7million (74%) are Jewish, the report states.

The country's citizens also include 1.9 million Arabs (21%) and 0.4 of "others," including Christians and other minority groups.

Israel's population includes 3.3 million immigrants. Twenty-eight thousand people immigrated to Israel in 2018.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

New Report Warns against US Pullout from Syria; Syria May Remain a Haven for Russia,Iran for Yrs.

A panel of former national security officials and other experts is calling for the White House and lawmakers to "halt the U.S. military withdrawal" from Syria or face potentially dire consequences, the VOA News website reports today (September 25, 2019).

The conclusion -- at odds with plans announced last year by U.S. President Donald Trump -- is part of a final consensus report by the Syria Study Group, charged by lawmakers with helping the country craft U.S. strategy going forward.

"The Group believes that the U.S. is still able to exercise influence over the conflict's path and that it must do so given the threats the conflict poses to American interests," according to the report submitted to Congress yesterday.

The report warns that it could be years before Syria ceases to be a haven for both terrorist groups and U.S. adversaries such as Iran and Russia.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Trump Provides $25M to Protect Rel. Freedom; Initiates a Meeting at the UN on Rel.Persecution

President Trump yesterday announced  $25 million in funding to protect religious freedom around the world, and asked the world's governments to join together to end religious persecution, the Christian Headlines website reports today (September 24, 2019).

Trump also announced an initiative comprised of a "coalition of U.S. businesses for the protection of religious freedom."

Trump was speaking at a meeting of religious persecution he convened at the United Nations. with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and other international officials.

Trump became the first American president to hold a meeting at the U.N. on religious persecution.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Govt.May End Funding Univ. Mideast Program; Says It Backs Islam,Not Christianity or Judaism

The Trump administration has threatened to cut federal funds for a college program promoting Islam, the Clarion Project website reports today (Septemer 23, 2019).

The Duke University--University of North Carolina Consortium for Middle East Studies received $235,000 last year from the government for the program which was to promote foreign language instruction to prepare students for careers in diplomacy.

An investigation showed that the program unfairly promoted "the positive aspects of Islam" but not Christianity or Judaism.

The investigation into the program was ordered by Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos due to its "severe anti-Israel bias and anti-Semitic rhetoric."

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Chasidic Jew Assaulted and Robbed in Brooklyn; Four Men Cornered Man; Punched, Kicked Him

A Chasidic Jewish man was assaulted and robbed in Brooklyn on September 17, the Jewish News website reports today (September 22, 2019).

Police said the attack in the heavily Jewish Williamsburg neighborhood is not being considered a hate crime because no antisemitic slurs were made.

Instead, police are calling the incident a random attack and robbery.

Four men cornered the man, then punched and kicked him. The victim,24, surrendered his cellphone to his attackers.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Bird Population Drops Markedly in US,Canada; Decline Denotes a Widespread Ecological Crisis

Scientists have found that bird population dropped 29 percent since the 1970s in the U.S. and Canada, the Worthy News website reports today (September 21, 2019).

Researchers blamed habitat loss and degradation, the chemical eradication of insects and cats.

"Birds are in crisis," said Peter Marra, co-author of the study.

"The take-home message is that our findings add to mounting evidence with other recent studies showing massive declines in insects, amphibians and other taxa, signaling a widespread ecological crisis," Marra added.

Friday, September 20, 2019

US Abortions at Lowest Rate Since Roe V. Wade; Pro-Life Advocates Say This Is Due to New Laws

A new report from a leading pro-abortion research organization released this week indicates that the abortion rate in the U.S. is at its lowest level since abortion was made a national right in 1973, the Christian Post website reports today (September 20, 2019).

However, pro-lifers warn that the report does not tell the whole story.

The new report from the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute found that the abortion rate dropped to 13.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 in 2017 -- the lowest rate recorded since abortion was legalized in 1973 through the supreme court ruling in Roe v. Wade.

Pro-life advocates have welcomed the findings of declining abortion in the U.S., but believe that this is due to several factors. For example, several states have passed laws specifying how late into a pregnancy an abortion can legally be performed.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Iran's Foreign Minister Warns Trump on Attack; Says US or Arabian Mil. Strike Will Lead to War

Iran warned President Donald Trump today (September 19, 2019) against being dragged into all-out war in the Middle East following an attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities which Washington and Riyadh blame on Tehran, according to the Newsmax website.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has described the strike on September 14 that halved Saudi oil output as an act of war and has been discussing possible retaliation with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf allies.

Trump yesterday struck a cautious note, saying there were many options short of war with Iran. He ordered more sanctions on Tehran.

Iran's foreign minister said Iran "won't blink" if it has to defend itself against any U.S. or Saudi military strike, which he said would lead to "all-out war."

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

NYC Presbyterian Church Has Pagan Sculpture; Hosts 15-Foot Sculpture of Slavic God Sviatovid

A Presbyterian Church (USA) congregation in New York City has garnered controversy for its decision to host a pagan sculpture on its property, the Christian Post website reports today (September 18, 2019).

The United Presbyterian Church of Binghamton hosted a 15-foot sculpture known as Sviatovid.

The sculpture, which was created by Bart Kresa Studio designer Akira Wakul, was put on display at the church earlier this month as part of the LUMA Festival.

Sviatovid was a local Slavic god of war, fertility, and abundance in the Baltic region of Europe.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

US Blames Iran for Saudi Oil Facilities Attacks; Trump: US Is Prepared for a Conflict with Iran

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper blamed Iran for a series of attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, and said the Pentagon was considering its options, the Washington Examiner website reports today (September 17, 2019).

Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen took credit for the strikes on September 14, which disrupted 5 percent of the world's daily oil supply, but American officials believe Iran was directly responsible.

"The U.S. military, with our interagency team, is working with our partners to address this unprecedented attack and defend the international rules-based order that is being undermined by Iran," Esper said.

Esper added he briefed President Donald Trump yesterday. Trump said it "certainly would look like" Iran was behind the attacks, and the U.S. "is more prepared" for conflict than any country in history.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Suspect Nabbed for Destroying Min.Synagogue; Adas Israel Synagogue Is Burned to the Ground

A suspect has been arrested in connection with the fire that burned to the ground a historic synagogue in northern Minnesota, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (September 16, 2019).

The Adas Israel Synagogue in Duluth, Minnesota caught fire on the morning of September 9.

The building was more than 100 years old.

Matthew James Amiot, 36, who is homeless, was arrested on September 13 on a first-degree arson charge. He will appear in St. Louis County court in Duluth on September 23, according to reports.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Justice Kavanaugh Hit with Sexual Misconduct; Flashed Private Parts to Women at Yale Parties

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is facing a new allegation of sexual misconduct, the Alter Net website reports today (September 15, 2019).

The new allegation was discovered during a 10-month investigation by reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly.

Deborah Ramirez, a freshman at Yale when Kavanaugh was also a Yale freshman, said Kavanaugh pulled down his pants and thrust his penis at her during a dorm part, causing her to inadvertently touch it.

At a different dorm party during Kavanaugh's freshman year at Yale, another classmate, Max Stier, said she saw Kavanaugh with his pants down and his penis being pushed into the hand of a female student.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Girl,10, Forced to Marry 22-Year-Old Man in Iran; Girl Seen Smiling, Unaware of What Is Happening

In what is viewed by many people as a case that supports child rape, an innocent 10-year-old girl has been forced to marry a 22-year-old man in Iran, the Metro (British) website reports today (September 14, 2019).

The case has provoked widespread condemnation as the girl appears to be smiling, clearly unaware of what is really happening.

Iran's Sharia Law has set the legal age of marriage for a girl at 13, and for a boy at 15.

However, marriage can still be carried out at a younger age with the consent of the father or paternal grandfather and the permission from a court judge.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Trump Plans Substantial Middle Class Tax Cut; Pelosi to OK It Only If Taxes Hiked on Wealthy

President Trump said yesterday that he plans to announce a middle class tax cut within the next year, The Hill website reports today (September 13, 2019).

"It will be a very substantial tax cut," Trump said at a Baltimore retreat with House Republicans.

Any tax proposal from the White House would face an uphill battle in Congress, with a House controlled by Democrats.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has indicated she would be open to middle class tax cuts, but only if they are offset by taxes on the wealthy.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Pope Says He's Not Afraid of Cath.Church Split; Says Conservative US Catholics Want a Schism

Pope Francis said he does not fear a schism within the Roman Catholic Church, as criticism grows among conservatives of his liberal views on migrants, the protection of the environment, and allowing divorcees to receive communion, the Yahoo News website reports today (September 12, 2019).

Speaking on board the papal plane on his recent return from a trip to Africa, the Pope said he had been unfairly labelled "a Communist" by critics, with the most vocal being conservative Catholics in the United States.

Francis said there had been masny doctrinal splits during the 2,000-year history of the Christian Church, although he prayed there would not be another.

"I am not afraid of schisms; I pray that there will be none, because what is at stake is people's spiritual health," he told journalists on board the plane.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Arabs Call Israeli PM's Annex Plan "Aggression;" Netanyahu to Annex Jordan Valley If Re-elected

Arab foreign ministers condemned a plan by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to annex parts of the occupied West Bank as "aggression," the Jerusalem Post website reports today (September 11, 20019).

Netanyahu said yesterday he plans to annex the Jordan Valley, if  he wins a closely contested election next week.

Israel captured the West Bank in a 1967 war with the Arabs.

Fighting for his political life after an inconclusive election in April, Netanyahu also said he would annex all of the settlements Israel has established in the West Bank.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Bronx Teen Sentenced 14 Years for Fatal Stabbing; Stabbed Classmate to Death in Bronx High School

The Bronx teen who fatally stabbed a classmate was sentenced to 14 years in prison today (September 10, 2019), according to the NY Daily News website.

Abel Cedeno, 20, sat with a stunned expression as Bronx Supreme Court Justice Michael Gross handed down the sentence for the 2017 killing of 15-year-old Matthew McCree.

Judge Gross declined to offer Cedeno youthful offender status, citing the seriousness of the charges.

Cedeno was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter, assault and criminal weapons possession at his bench trial on July 15. He faced a maximum of 50 years in prison for the killing inside now-shuttered Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in the Bronx.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Illegal Immigration on US Border Drops by 20%; US,Mexico Increase Methods to Reduce Migrants

Illegal immigration at the southern U.S. border dropped by 20 percent from July to August, the U.S. border chief said today (September 9, 2019), attributing the decrease to White House efforts and critical steps by the government of Mexico, according to the Washington Times website.

Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, said border patrol nabbed 66,000 people at the border last month, down from 82,000 in July and a sharp drop from a peak of over 140,000 in May.

"The president has made it very clear that he's going to use every tool available to him and his administration to address this crisis at the southern border," Morgan said.

Morgan also said Mexico has "stepped up" as a great partner, even dispatching a national guard division for border security.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Trump Ends Taliban Peace Talks after Bombing; Killing US Soldier Shows Taliban against Peace

U.S. President Donald Trump said today (September 8, 2019) he was canceling the peace talks with the Taliban leaders and the President of Afghanistan after a car bombing in Kabul yesterday killed one U.S. soldier and 11 others, according to the Euro News website.

Trump said the leaders were supposed to come to Camp David -- the country retreat of U.S. presidents -- for secret talks today.

The administration had been working on a peace settlement to end a war that has been going on for the past 18 years -- the longest war in American history.

Trump's decision to call off peace talks with the Taliban follows nine rounds of U.S. negotiations with the militant group.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

"Free Palestine" Debases Barcelona Synagogue; Confusing Synagogue with Israel Shows Racism

"Free Palestine" was spray-painted this week on the front door of the largest synagogue in Barcelona, Spain, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (September 7, 2019).

The vandalism took place on September 4 at the Synagogue of the Jewish Community of Barcelona. Police have no suspects.

News of the synagogue incident has prompted much rebuke online.

"Confusing a synagogue with the state of Israel reflects a racist mentality," Jaume Padros, president of the Official College of Physicians of Barcelona, wrote on Twitter.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Bernie Sanders for Abortion to Slow Pop.Growth; "US Women Have Right to Control Own Bodies"

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders endorsed abortion to curb population growth during a town hall meeting this week, saying it's a solution that would work "especially in poor countries" around the world, the Christian Headlines website reports today (September 6, 2019).

Sanders and nine other Democrats took part in a CNN town hall on the climate, but it was Sanders' comment about abortion that sparked the most response from pro-lifers.

"Women in the United States of America have a right to control their own bodies," Sanders said.

He added, "I think especially in poor countries around the world... where women do not necessarily want to have large numbers of babies... is something I very, very strongly support."

Thursday, September 5, 2019

UGCC Seeks Ukraine Support from the Vatican; Seeks Synod to Strengthen Eastern Rite Church

Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) are meeting at the Vatican for a synod aimed at strengthening the Byzantine Rite church's ties with Rome, the Religion News website reports today (September 5, 2019).

Ukrainian Greek Catholics -- who make up the world's largest Eastern Catholic Church -- are in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, and more distinct from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which recently secured its independence from Russia.

In addressing the UGCC's 47 bishops yesterday, the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, stressed the importance of maintaining the "clear" identity of the Ukrainian Catholic community and expressed sympathy for Ukraine as a whole.

When the Ukrainian Orthodox Church officially declared independence from the Russian church last January, its decision was met favorably by the Catholic community in Ukraine, which still carries the scars of Soviet persecution and genocide.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Trump Uses $3.6B in Mil.Funds for Border Wall; Schumer:Slap in Face to Armed Service Members

President Donald Trump is moving forward with his plan to redirect billions in military funds toward wall construction at the U.S.-Mexico border, the Daily Caller website reports today (September 4, 2019).

The Trump administration is calling lawmakers whose districts will be affected, telling them a plan to divert $3.6 billion from military construction projects to the southern border wall will be executed this week.

"It's a slap in the face to the members of the Armed Forces who serve our country that President Trump is willing to cannibalize already allocated military funding to boost his own ego..." Senate Minority Leader Schumer said.

Around half of the funding will come from construction projects within the U.S., while the other half will be taken from construction projects outside the country.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Ocasio-Cortez Defends Her Criticism of Israel; Says Her View Relates to Netanyahu's Policies

U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) defended her past criticism of Israel to Israeli television last night, saying it is directed at the policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, not the entire country, The Times of Israel website reports today (September 3, 2019).

In comments to Israeli TV, Ocasio-Cortez also rejected accusations by President Donald Trump that she discriminates against the Jewish state, saying the "cudgel of anti-Semitism" cannot be used to ward off criticism of Israel's "unjust and inhumane policies."

Ocasio-Cortez is one of four Democrat congresswomen that Trump has repeatedly cast as "anti-Israel" and "anti-Semitic."

The four -- Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan -- have been extremely critical of the Jewish state and its inhumane policies.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

DNC Explicitly Votes to End "Religious Liberty;" Due to Nonreligious Pop.Tripling in Past 20 Yrs.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has approved a resolution taking aim at religious liberty, the Washington Examiner website reports today (August 31, 2019).

The DNC adopted a resolution concerning the "nonreligious."

It explains that the Religiously Unaffiliated Demographic has tripled in the past two decades, now representing 25 percent of the American population and 35 percent of those under the age of 30.

Further, they "overwhelmingly share the Democratic Party's values," with support for same-sex marriage, open borders, and more.

Taliban Attack in Kunduz Kills 3, Wounds 70; Renews Its Attacks Despite Peace Talks with US

The Taliban launched a large-scale attack on Kunduz, one of Afghanistan's main cities, killing at least three civilians and wounding more than 70 others, even as the insurgent group continued negotiations with the U.S. on ending America's longest war, the Yahoo News website reports today (August 31, 2019).

The militants now control or hold sway over about half of the country.

A suicide bomber detonated his explosives at the main intersection in Kunduz in today's attack.

Such attacks are seen as strengthening the Taliban's negotiating position.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Cleric Gives Gas Cards to Those Seeking Abortion; Episcopal Lesbian Insists "Abortion Is a Blessing"

Episcopal minister Rev. Katherine Ragsdale, with her organization National Abortion Federation, will hand out pre-paid gas cards for women seeking abortions, the Christian Headlines website reports today (August 30, 2019).

Ragsdale believes the initiative will provide more support for women "so that they can make, and act on the best decisions for themselves and their families."

The pilot program will run for three months and start in states that have waiting periods or other abortion restrictions.

As the first lesbian to become a leader of an Episcopal seminary, Ragsdale has been no stranger to controversy. "Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done," she said at a pro-abortion rally recently.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Trump: 8,600 US Troops to Stay in Afghanistan; US Deal with Taliban for Afghan Peace Blossoms

President Donald Trump today (August 29, 2019) said that Washington plans to leave 8,600 American troops in Afghanistan, but suggested further cuts -- not a complete withdrawal -- later, according to the RT website.

The Taliban previously insisted on a complete American withdrawal from Afghanistan, but the militant group and Washington resolved differences over that question earlier this month.

The ninth round of negotiations between the U.S. and the Taliban to end the 18-year-old war began in Qatar last week.

The prospective peace deal entails a reduction of U.S. troops in exchange for guaranteeing from the Taliban that it won't use Afghanistan as a "safe haven" for terrorism.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Gunmen Kill 28 People in Mexican Strip Club; May Have Been Result of Rival Drug Cartels

Gunmen burst into a Mexican strip club in a hail of bullets and killed at least 28 people as they trapped revelers inside and started a raging fire, the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reports today (August 28, 2019).

Many of the dead were dancers who worked there, managers said.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador condemned the "shameful" attack in the city of Coat- zacoalcos.

The August 27 night attack, which left nine people seriously wounded, is the latest to rock the state of Veracruz, which has become popular for wars between Mexico's rival drug cartels.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Colleges Favor Women in Granting Scholarships; Study:Most Colleges Violate Title IX Equality Law

A review of more than 200 American colleges and universities reveals that they favor women over men by a wide margin in sex-specific scholarships, The College Fix website reports today (August 27, 2019).

The most stark disparities are found at the University of Phoenix (106 female scholarships to 2 male), Auburn University (67 to 1), and Oregon State (51 to 5).

Erin Buzuvis, a Title IX expert and law professor at Western New England University, said that the sex-specific programs should be reviewed as "segregation projects."

But she also wants to increase the number of men in female-heavy fields, such as nursing and K-12 education.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Harvey Weinstein Is Hit with New Rape Charges; Sopranos Star Anabella Sciora Says He Raped Her

Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty today (August 26, 2019) to two new charges of predatory sexual assault, as his trial was pushed back by several months, according to the Independent (British) website.

The film producer entered the plea in a Manhattan courtroom where the charges were added to his upcoming New York trial in a new indictment.

"The Sopranos" star Anabella Sciorra now wants to testify against the movie mogul. Sciorra alleges that Weinstein raped her in 1993.

Weinstein's sexual assault trial was scheduled to begin on September 9, but today was pushed back to January.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Israel Attacks Drones in Syria to Avoid Attack; Iran, Syria Planned to Use Drones against Israel

Israel attacked a target in Syria last night to prevent a planned drone attack by Iran on Israel, the World Israel News website reports today (August 25, 2019).

Israel fired missiles at the Damascus International Airport located to the south of the capital, destroying the drones before they could be launched.

Reports say the drones attack was going to be carried out in the next few days with the intention of hitting Israeli targets in the north of the country.

According to the IDF (Israel Defense Forces), "Iran and the Syrian regime are directly responsible for the attempted attack."

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Latin American Bishops Urge World Save Amazon; Refer to the Amazon as the "Lungs of the World"

The Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean have expressed their deep concern for destructive fires burning the world's forests, the Independent Catholic News website reports today (August 24, 2019).

The seriousness of the fires raging Alaska, Siberia, Greenland, the Canary Islands, and "in particular, the Amazon" is "of planetary proportions,"say the Bishops.

The Amazon-- the world's largest rainforest -- has been burning for over two weeks.

The Bishops urge the governments of the Amazon countries, the U.S., and the international community to help "save the lungs of the world."

Friday, August 23, 2019

Israeli Girl, 17, Killed in W. Bank Terror Attack; Attacked by Explosive from Vehicle While Hiking

A 17-year-old Israeli girl was killed and her father and brother were severely wounded in a bomb attack at  nature reserve in the West Bank, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (August 23, 2019).

Rina Shnerb of Lod, her father Eitan, a rabbi, and her brother Dvir, 19, were hiking at the Ein Bubin spring when they were attacked with an explosive device hurled at them from a passing vehicle.

The spring is a popular destination for hikers.

The Israel Air Force rescue unit, 669, evacuated the three wounded people from the scene of the attack while treating their injuries.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Rep.Cortez Calls Electoral College a Racist Scam; Says It Is Unfair to Black, Hispanic, Asian Voters

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) says the Electoral College is a racist "scam" that should be abolished, the Washington Times website reports today (August 22, 2019).

Cortez cited a March "New York" magazine article that said black, Hispanic, and Asian-American voters are underrepresented by the Electoral College compared with white Americans.

She insisted that due to several racial disparities in certain states, the Electoral College weighs white voters over voters of color.

She added that a "one person, one vote" system should be used where all votes are counted equally.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Ohio Pastor Charged with Assaulting Teen Girl; States He Had Sex with Teen to "Fix Her Fears"

An Ohio pastor has been charged with coercion and enticement of a minor after he allegedly sexually assaulted a teenage girl, the Christian Headlines website reports today (August 21, 2019).

Cesar Guerrero of Mision Christiana El Calvario in Sharonville told police that he had sex with the teenager to "fix her fears."

Court documents say he told the 17-year-old to take off her clothes to "clear her head" and made her perform oral sex "in order to free her mouth."

He also asked her to send him sexually explicit photos.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Baptists Remove Lesbian Couple from Church; Leave Gracewood Church in Southaven, Miss.

A lesbian couple from Mississippi was forced to leave their Baptist church over their relationship, the Raw Story website reports today (August 20, 2019).

Mary Trollinger and her partner Olivia Jennings were notified by letter that they were no longer welcome to Gracewood Baptist Church in Southaven.

The pastor, Barry Baker, signed the letter, telling them they had been unanimously voted out during a special business meeting at the church.

The pastor noted that the couple's recent wedding had prompted the banishment.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Video Shows Cal. Students Singing Nazi Song; Boys' Water Polo Team Also Gave Hitler Salute

A group of high-school students in Southern California gave a Nazi salute and sang a Nazi song during awards ceremony last year, The Daily Beast website reports today (August 19, 2019).

A video shows about 10 members of the boys' water polo team at Pacific High School in Garden Grove, California throwing the salute once used to greet Adolf Hitler while singing a Nazi marching song played for German troops during World War II.

Rabbi Peter Levi, director of the Anti Defamation League's Orange County chapter, criticized the school for failing to address the incident with the community.

"This requires investigation and conversation... We'd like to see a more systematic response," he said.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

IS Claims Afghan Suicide Blast That Killed 63; Over 180 Wounded at Kabul Wedding Reception

The Islamic State (IS) terrorist group claimed responsibility today (August 18, 2019) for a suicide blast at a wedding reception in Kabul, Afghanistan that killed 63 people, according to the Jerusalem Post website.

Last night's attack came as the Taliban and U.S. were trying to negotiate an agreement on U.S. wihdrawal of forces for Taliban peace.

The IS fighters are not involved in he Afghan peace talks.

More than 180 people were wounded in last night's suicide blast.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Trump Admin.Plans Major Cuts in Foreign Aid; Will End Wasteful Programs to Enemy Nations

The Trump administration is planning to make major cuts in some foreign aid, the Daily Caller website reports today (August 17, 2019).

The White House is working with the State Department to identify areas where they can slash spending.

The requested cuts sent to Congress amount to $4.3 billion.

President Trump has stated we should only be sending foreign aid to those nations that respect the U.S. and our friends.