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.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Record Seaweed Hits Beaches,Cuts Fla.Tourism; Continues Piling Up in Fla.,Mexico,Carribean Sea

Record amounts of seaweed this summer have caused historic damage to beaches and cut tourism in Florida, Mexico, and the Carribean Sea, the UPI website reports today (August 16, 2019).

The seaweed has piled up several feet deep in South Florida and other regions, becoming a plague for tourists and wildlife.

"It's much worse today than it's ever been," said Stephen Leatherman, a professor at Florida International University in Miami.

He added, "There's always been some seaweed, and it was dealt with by plowing it under the sand. But they can't plow it under now, because it's just too much. So they have to haul it."

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Lead in Newark,NJ Water Reaches Danger Point; City Warns Its Residents Not to Drink Tap Water

Residents in Newark, NJ are facing a growing emergency over lead contamination in the city's drinking water supply, the Huffington Post website reports today.

The crisis is due to years of mismanagement and has forced city officials to warn tens of thousands of residents against drinking tap water for fear of lead poisoning.

Newark has been struggling to curb elevated levels of lead in its drinking water supply for years.

The Newark Board of Education has consistently found elevated lead levels in water at city schools since the 2010-11 school year.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Fire Rages on Greek Island of Evia,Many Flee; Rages in Forest on Greece's 2nd Largest Island

Hundreds of people were evacuated from nearby villages on the Greek island of Evia, as fire broke out early yesterday and ravaged through the dense forest, according to the BBC website.

"It's a huge ecological disaster," acting regional governor Kostas Bakoyannis said.

More than 200 firefighters are helping to combat the blaze along with 75 fire engines, nine helicopters, and seven planes.

Italy and Spain have offered additional aircraft to help drop water on the forest in an attempt to douse flames burning through Greece's second-largest island (after Crete).

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Over 100 Tires Belonging to Jews Slashed in NJ; Lakewood Is Large Jewish City Resulting in Hate

More than 100 car tires have been slashed over the past few days in the heavily-populated Jewish city of Lakewood, New Jersey, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (August 13, 2019).

All the cars involved belong to Jews, the ABC News reported yesterday.

Security footage of ABC showed a person in a hoodie using a knife to slash tires.

Lakewood is the home of a large ultra-Orthodox Jewish community and one of the biggest yeshivas in the U.S. Police are investigating the incidents as hate crimes.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Pope Marks 70th Anniv. of Geneva Conventions; Urges Protection of Life, Human Dignity in War

Pope Francis marked the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions yesterday with a message urging the protection of life and human dignity in armed conflicts, the National Catholic Register reports today (August 12, 2019).

"Let us not forget that war and terrorism are always a serious loss for all humanity," Pope Francis said after his Angelus prayer.

The Geneva Conventions are "important international legal instruments that impose limits on the use of force and are aimed at the protection of civilians and prisoners at times of war," Francis said.

Signed after World War II on August 12, 1949, the four Geneva Conventions protect civilian populations during war, define guidelines for the treatment of prisoners of war, as well as for the wounded and sick.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Judge Allows Cross to Stay on Penn. County Seal; FFRF Filed a Church-State Separation Lawsuit

A federal appeals court ruled on August 8 that the cross on Lehigh County's seal in Pennsylvania does not violate the Constitution, the Christian Post website reports today(August 10, 2019).

Circuit Judge Thomas Hardiman cited the Supreme Court decision in favor of a large cross memorial on public property in Bladensburg, Maryland.

Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) had filed a lawsuit against the county in 2016.

FFRF is an atheist organization that seeks a complete separation of church and state.

Friday, August 9, 2019

"School Prayer Zone" Signs Placed in S.Carolina; Placed on Private Chuech Property Near Schools

As students and parents prepare for a new school year in Richland County, South Carolina, they'll be greeted by a sign inviting them to pray, the Christian Headlines website reports today (August 9, 2019).

The "School Prayer Zone" signs look similar to regular road signs but feature male and female stick figures praying.

Venessa Frazier, founder and director of Christ Teens, brainstormed the idea.

The signs are placed on privately owned properties of churches near schools in order to maintain church and state boundaries, making the signs legal.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Israeli Soldier,19,Was Found Stabbed to Death; Victim Was Also a Student at an Israeli Yeshiva

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said today (August 8, 2019) that the body of a student, also serving as an IDF soldier, was found early this morning with stab wounds near the city of Hebron, according to the World Israel News website.

He was identified as Ovir Sorek from the town of Ofra.

He was a student in a yeshiva, at the first stage of his military service.

IDF spokesman Ronen Manelis said a missing 19-year-old was reported. Troops called into the area found his body not far from the yeshiva in Gush Etzion.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Poland Rabbi Rips Honoring Nazi Collaborators; States It Insults Memory of Poles Killed in WW II

Poland's chief rabbi today (August 7, 2019) criticized plans by the country's government to honor a group of ultra-nationalist underground fighters accused of collaborating with the Nazis during World War II, according to the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website.

Rabbi Michael Schudrich said he felt "insulted" by an invitation from the Polish veterans' affairs office to a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the creation of the Swietokrzyska Brigade.

The event will be held under the auspices of President Andrzej Duda.

"The organization of these ceremonies insults the  memory of all Polish citizens killed in the fight against Germany," Schudrich said in a letter addressed to Veterans' Affairs chief Jan Kasprzyk.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Tex. Abp. Condemns Trump's Hate and Racism; "Stop Your Hatred.People in US Deserve Better"

One U.S. prelate has gone where none has dared to go before, directly condemning President Donald Trump's racism, the Crux website reports today (August 6, 2019).

In a series of tweets last night, San Antonio's Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller pleaded with Trump to "stop hate and racism, starting with yourself."

In another tweet, the Mexican-American archbishop called out the president saying: "President stop your hatred. People in the U.S. deserve better."

The archbishop's messages come just days after a Texas gunman killed 22 individuals in El Paso after posting an online manifesto spewing hatred and anti-immigrant remarks.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Dayton Shooter Kept "Hit List" and "Rape List;" Suspended from High School When Lists Found

The gunman who killed nine people in Dayton, Ohio yesterday was suspended from high school for compiling a "hit list" of those he wanted to kill and a "rape list" of girls he wanted to rape, The Daily Beast website reports  today (August 5, 2019).

Former classmates of 24-year-old Connor Betts said he was suspended during junior year at Bellbrook High School after a list was found in the bathroom.

He was suspended a second time after coming to school with a list of female students he wanted to sexually assault.

The 2012 discovery of the hit list led to around a third of Bellbrook High students skipping school out of fear.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Most House Dems Back Trump Impeachment; Mueller's Report Indicates Enough of Evidence

A majority of House Democrats now publicly support taking the first step toward impeaching President Trump, the Washington Times website reports today (August 3, 2019).

This is a signal that Speaker Nancy Pelosi's reluctance is now a minority position within her own caucus.

An impeachment inquiry would involve the House officially beginning an investigation with the intention of gathering evidence to see if articles of impeachment should be brought.

Some Democrats would like to skip the inquiry and move straight to impeachment, believing Mr. Mueller's report already provides enough evidence.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Record No.of Anti-Semitic Incidents Strike UK; 892 Incidents in 1st Half of 2019 Are Most Ever

A record number of nearly 900 anti-Semitic incidents have been recorded in the United Kingdom for the first six months of 2019, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports today (August 2, 2019).

The Community Security Trust (CST) -- a watchdog of anti-Semitism in the UK -- released its January-June 2019 Antisemitic Incidents Report yesterday.

The 892 incidents reported in the first half of 2019 is the highest number recorded in the six-month period and is a 10 percent increase from the 810 incidents recorded during the same period in 2018.

About two-thirds of the 892 anti-Semitic incidents occurred in Greater London and Greater Manchester -- the two largest Jewish communities in the UK.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Partisan Divide, More Than Rel.,Hurts Cath. Unity; Church Can Either Self-Destruct or Heal Divide

American Catholics are almost evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats, which means the Catholic Church can either self-destruct or bridge the partisan divide, the UPI website reports today (August 1, 2019).

Most other religious traditions in America are on one or the other side of the political divide.

Most white evangelicals and Mormons vote Republican; most Jews, Muslims, and black Protestants vote Democratic.

Partisanship has become a threat to Catholic unity in America, even more so than theological differences. How the church responds to political division will determine whether it explodes in partisan acrimony or becomes a force in healing the partisan divide in the U.S.