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.