Friday, January 31, 2020

Greece to Block Migrants with a Floating Fence; Will Be 1.7 Miles Long,Netted in the Aegean Sea

Greece is planning to build a floating fence to run across the Aegean Sea in a bid to prevent illegal migrant crossings to the Greek islands from Turkey, the Euro News website reports today (January 31, 2020).

The fence will be 1.7 miles in length, will be netted, and will rise 20 inches in order to hold flashing lights.

It will cost an estimated 500,000 Euros to build, including four years of upkeep.

The Greek Defense Ministry has opened the project for bidding from private contractors to supply the barrier, which it would like to be installed within three months.

WCC Head Slams Trump's Mideast Peace Plan; Says It's an Ultimatum Oppressing Palestinians

World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit on January 29 urged the international community not to support a proposal by U.S. president Trump and Israeli president Netanyahu for dividing up Palestine and Israel in a plan developed with no meaningful participation from the Palestinian people, the Independent Catholic News website reports today (January 31, 2020).

"WCC urges members of the international community  not to support this proposal or to recognize its implementation unless and until it has been substantially revised, negotiated, and agreed with representatives of the Palestinian people and in compliance with the principles of international law regarding belligerent occupation and human rights," said Tveit.

He added, "This proposal was developed without meaningful participation by representatives of the Palestinian people, and primarily in line with long-stated Israeli objectives."

"The proposal constitutes an ultimatum, rather than a real, sustainable or just solution," said Tveit. "Ultimately, any 'solution' that is not based on justice and negotiated agreement will be an imposition and an instrument of oppression."

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Cath. School Fires Unmarried Pregnant Teacher; Judge OKs Proceeding with Discrimination Trial

After being fired for becoming pregnant out of wedlock, a former Catholic school English teacher has been denied reinstatement of employment but has been granted permission to proceed with her discrimination lawsuit against the school, the Christian Headlines website reports today (January 30, 2020).

On January 28, Northumberland County (Penn.) Judge Hugh A. Jones found that the one-year contract the former teacher, Naiad Reich, signed on June 14,2018, did not guarantee future employment.

However, Jones did note that Reich provided enough evidence suggesting she was terminated because of her pregnancy to proceed with a discrimination case.

"We are pleased that Judge Jones has ruled that we may proceed on our claims for declaratory judgment and unlawful discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act," said Reich's attorney Timothy A. Bowers in a statement. "We look forward to taking those claims to trial."

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Warning Shots Fired as Migrants Enter Hungary; Some Were Beaten by Police, Sent Back to Serbia

A Hungarian security officer fired three warning shots yesterday after about 60 migrants tried to force their way through a checkpoint on the border with Serbia, and Serbian police said later they had arrested 37 people for trying to cross the frontier illegally, the Reuters website reports today (January 29, 2020).

No one was wounded in the incident, which took place at the Roszke/Horgos border crossing, Hungarian police spokeswoman Szilvia Szabo said.

There are thousands of migrants stuck in Serbia, with more than 6,000 migrants living in government-operated camps.

Also yesterday, in the village of Horgos, on the Serbian side of the border crossing, a group of about two dozen migrants from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Morocco said they were beaten up by Hungarian police and sent back to Serbia. Some showed cuts and bruises.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

ISIS Announces It Has New Mission: Kill All Jews; Abbas Rips Trump's Peace Plan,Calls Trump a Dog

The ISIS terror group announced today (January 28, 2020) that it has a new mission: to kill all Jews, according to the CBN website.

ISIS released an audio recording calling on members to attack Jews and to thwart President Donald Trump's Israeli-Palestinian "Deal of the Century" peace plan.

The recording stated that although some in the West believe ISIS was destroyed when it lost its seized land in Iraq and Syria, "we are still here, and we are ready to start a 'new stage' -- hitting Israeli targets."

President Trump released his "Deal of the Century" peace plan today, and the Palestinians have rejected it. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said Trump's peace plan favors Israel and he encouraged Palestinians to protest against it. Abbas even went so far as to call Trump "a dog" and other more vulgar names.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Abbas Rejects Trump Request to Speak by Phone; Mad Trump Accepted Jerusalem as Israel Capital

Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas has rejected a request from U.S. President Donald Trump to speak by phone on Trump's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, an official said today (January 27, 2020), according to the World Israel News website.

"Trump made the request a few days ago," said the official, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

"Abbas has announced on several occasions his refusal to accept the U.S. plan, as it does not address the issues of Jerusalem, refugees, and borders," a PA report states, referring to the American peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians.

The PA announced in December 2017 that it was breaking diplomatic contacts with  Washington, after Trump announced the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Trump's "Deal of the Century" Occurs This Week; Reveals Peace Plan for Mideast, Arabs to Reject It

The Trump administration may present its "Deal of the Century" to the world as early as this week (January 26-February 1) in a ceremony at the White House to which both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and main political rival Benny Gantz of the Blue and White Party have been invited, according to t he Worthy News website.

The plan gives Israel substantial control over what are now settlements in Judea and Samaria and is far more generous to the Jewish state in allowing it to reclaim some of its lost land than former proposals, while still making provision for a Palestinian state in its midst.

The economic portion of the plan was unveiled last summer by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner at the Bahrain Conference, which proposed a $50 billion investment plan for the Palestinian economy, although all signs point to the Palestinian leadership rejecting the proposal.

The Palestinians were enraged last year as a result of President Trump moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, as the Palestinians expected at least part of Jerusalem to be their capital. These "Israel-favored" actions implemented by Trump have caused the Palestinians to vow never again to bargain with the U.S. for an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan or to accept any peace plan set up by the U.S.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Pope Vows to Combat Clergy Sex Abuse of Nuns; Says It's "Serious Grave Problem We Must Fight"

Pope Francis vowed yesterday to combat the sexual abuse of nuns and urged religious sisters to just say no when clergy want to use them as maids, the Crux website reports today (January 25, 2020).

Francis told 850 superiors of religious orders gathered for the triennial assembly of the International Union of Superiors General -- the main umbrella group of nuns -- that theirs is a vocation of service, not servitude.

The union's president, Maltese Sister Carmen Sammut, told Francis that clergy abuse of sisters was "diffuse in  many parts of the world," and included sexual abuse, spiritual abuse, as well as taking of their property.

Francis said clergy sexual abuse of sisters was "a serious grave problem" of which he was well aware. "We have to fight this..."

Friday, January 24, 2020

Trump Becomes 1st Pres. to Attend March for Life; Defends Right of Every Child to a God-given Birth

Donald Trump today (January 24, 2020) became the first U.S. president to attend the annual March for Life, telling the crowd he believes "every person is worth protecting," according to the Daily Caller website.

Hundreds of thousands of people gather every year in Washington, D.C.for the march in opposition to abortion.

"It is my profound honor to be the first president in history to attend the March for Life!" Trump told the crowd.

He added, "We're here for a very simple reason -- to defend the right of every child, born and unborn, to fulfill their God-given potential."

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Contamination Very High in US Drinking Water; Chemicals in Water Cause Cancers,Liver Damage

An environmental watchdog group said in a report released yesterday that contamination of U.S. drinking water with man-made "forever chemicals" is far worse than previously estimated, the Reuters website reports today (January 23, 2020).

The chemicals -- resistant to breaking down in the environment -- are known as perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.

Some have been linked to cancers, liver damage, low birth weight, and other health problems.

The chemicals are used in products like teflon and scotchguard and in firefighting foam.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Attacks on Europe Churches at All-time High; Report: Some 3K Acts of Vandalism Last Year

Attacks against Christians in Europe reached record highs in 2019, as hostility and vandalism against churches, Christian school and monuments continue to sweep the continent, the Christian Post website reports today (January 22, 2020).

The Gatestone Institute International Policy Council this month published its research of anti-Christian violence, and reported that about 3,000 acts of vandalism, looting, and defacement occurred last year.

"Violence against Christian sites is most widespread in France, where churches, schools, cemeteries, and monuments are being vandalized, desecrated, and burned at an average rate of three per day, according to government statistics. In Germany, attacks against Christian churches are occurring at an average rate of two per day," the report states.

Those committing the anti-Christian crimes are rarely apprehended, because many have mental disorders. Also, their crimes are not formally classified as "hate crimes."

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Northeastern Univ. Student from Iran Deported; Sen. Warren:Based on Trump's Xenophobic Bias

A third-year Northeastern University student majoring in economics was detained at Boston's Logan International Airport and removed from the U.S., the CNN website reports today (January 21, 2020).

Mohammad Shahab Dehghani Hossein, 24, was refused entry into the U.S. on his student visa and was deported last night, his attorney, Kerry Doyle, said.

The deportation occurred despite an emergency stay granted by a Massachusetts district court judge, Doyle said.

Democratic presidential candidate and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted on the issue: "Shahab Dehghani is an Iranian student with a valid F1 visa, returning to finish his education. His deportation must be halted, and we must fight the Trump administration's xenophobic policies."

Monday, January 20, 2020

1% of World's Pop.Holds Double Wealth as 90%; Gap between Richest and Rest of Society Is Sinful

A super-rich one percent of the world's population has accumulated twice as much wealth as the remaining 90 percent, global charity Oxfam said in a newly-released report today (January 20, 2020), according to the RT website.

The gap between the obscenely rich and the rest of humanity has reached grotesque proportions, the annual report of Oxfam states.

The report -- titled "Time to Care" -- says that the world's top 22 richest men now have more wealth than all the women in Africa.

According to the report, the one-percenters boast more than twice as much wealth as nearly 90 percent of the global population.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Cousins Who Married in Col. Expecting 1st Child; Slammed for Gross Act, Told They'll Burn in Hell

A Utah man and woman, who married in spite of being first cousins, are now expecting their first child together, the Yahoo News website reports today (January 19, 2020).

Michael Lee and Angela Peang are speaking to  "Inside Edition" as the appear on the new TV series "Extreme Love."

People have told the couple that what they are doing is "gross" and "they will burn in hell," they say.

Marrying your cousin in many states -- including Utah where the couple live -- is illegal. So they got married in Colorado.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Lisa Rose Founded Live Action to Fight Abortion; People Who Learn of Abortion Tend to Reject It

Lisa Rose was still in college at UCLA when she founded Live Action with the mission of sharing the truth about abortion and the abortion industry, the National Catholic Register website reports today (January 18, 2018).

She believed -- and still believes --  that when people learn the truth about abortion, they reject it. "Hearts and minds do change," she often says.

Rose is best known for Live Action's undercover investigations of Planned Parenthood. She and others have filmed Planned Parenthood's staff members agreeing to cover up statutory rape, aiding sex traffickers, and lying about fetal development. Live Action continues to produce videos and other media, reaching millions of people with the truth about abortion.

Rose says that recent polling shows that most people are uncomfortable with abortion and most want significant legal restrictions on abortion. They don't want to get behind an extremist political cause that supports killing children in the womb.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Virginia Couple Issued Right to Hold Bible Study; Warned They'd Be Ousted from Retirement Home

A Virginia couple, who were threatened with eviction from their retirement home if they continued to hold Bible study meetings, have won the right to hold classes again, the Christian Post website reports today (January 17, 2020).

Kenneth and Liv Hauge recently reached a settlement with the Evergreens at Smith Run in Fredericksburg, allowing them to continue holding Bible classes and movie screenings at the community room.

First Liberty Institute, a conservative law firm that represented the Hauges, announced the settlement on January 15.

In July 2018, the Community Realty Company, the parent company for Evergreens, sent a notice to the Hauges saying they must stop holding their Bible study at the senior living center's community room or face eviction.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

40% of World's Nations Viewed Unrest in 2019; Sudan,Yemen,Nigeria,Lebanon Lead 2020 List

Almost a quarter of the world's countries witnessed a surge in protest and unrest last year, and a new study shows that figure is set to soar in 2020, the CNBC website reports today (January 16, 2020).

There are 195 countries in the world -- including the Vatican and Palestine -- and a newly released index of civil unrest shows that 47 of those states witnessed civil unrest in 2019.

The data model -- published today by the socio-economic and political analysis firm Verisk Maplecroft -- predicted that in 2020, the number will balloon to 75 countries.

Countries viewed as hotbeds of civil protest for 2020 include Sudan, Yemen, Nigeria, Lebanon, Bolivia, Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Events in Mideast Won't Quicken Christ's Return; Christians Spreading Faith May Speed Up Return

U.S. Protestant pastors are closely monitoring the recent events in the Middle East, but many don't  believe they will influence the return of  Christ, the CBN website reports today (January 15, 2020).

A new study from Lifeway Research reveals that most pastors believe the return of Christ will come about by Christians spreading their faith, rather than because of certain geopolitical changes.

Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research said, "While Scripture specifically says we cannot know the day or the hour of Jesus Christ's return, we were interested in pastors' views on whether Christians can play a role in bringing about that return any sooner."

The study shows that one in eight Protestant pastors agree that Christians can speed up the second coming of Christ by supporting geopolitical changes mentioned in the Bible.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Trump Tweets Pelosi in Islam Garb,Miffs Arabs; Muslims View It as Ignorant Anti-Islam Bigotry

Muslim groups in the U.S. have condemned Donald Trump for tweeting a fake image yesterday showing leading Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer wearing traditional Islamic clothing and standing in front of the Iranian flag, The Guardian website reports today (January 14, 2020).

"The image is a hodgepodge of anti-Muslim tropes and garb from many traditions including some that are frequently used to stereotype and attack Muslims," Madihha Ahussain, special counsel for Muslim Advocates, a not-for-profit group, said in a statement.

He added, "It's disappointing, but not surprising that the president would use his massive Twitter platform to spread this kind of harmful, ignorant, anti-Muslim bigotry."

Trump tweeted the image amid continuing controversy and international fallout over his recent  approval of the drone strike assassination of Gen. Qassem Suleiman, a top Iranian leader.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Women Solons Push Bill to OK Prostitution in Vt.; State OKing It, Offers Prostitutes Police Protection

A bill to legalize adult prostitution in Vermont was recently introduced by female lawmakers in the state's legislature, the Breitbart website reports today (January 12, 2020).

One of the bill's sponsors, Rep.Selene Colburn, said she believed decriminalizing so-called "sex work" would offer prostitutes more safety and improve their health.

She also stated that if prostitution were not considered illegal in the state, charges would not be brought against the sex worker or the buyer.

"By driving sex workers underground, we're creating much more dangerous conditions for sex workers. They should feel they have the protection of police if they need it," Colburn added.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

TX Is First State to Reject Refugee Resettlement; Gov.: TX Lacks Resources to Deal with Refugees

Texas governor Greg Abbott (R.) yesterday told the State Department that his state will become the first state in the nation to refuse federal refugee resettlement, the Washington Free Beacon website reports today (January 11, 2020).

In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Abbott wrote that in the wake of the border crisis that rocked the state in 2019, Texas lacks the state and private capacity to deal with  even more demand on its humanitarian resources.

"At this time, the state and non-profit organizations have a responsibility to dedicate available resources to those who are already here, including refugees, migrants, and the homeless -- indeed, all Texans," Abbott wrote.

He added, "As a result, Texas cannot consent to initial refugee resettlement for FY2020."

Friday, January 10, 2020

Pregnancy Pro-Life Resource Helpline Launched; Many People Helping Others to Better Their Lives

Abby Johnson -- a strong advocate of pro-life causes -- recently launched a new ministry called LoveLine, a dedicated central database of public assistance programs and 24/7 helpline for women facing unplanned pregnancies, the Christian Headlines website reports today (January 10, 2020).

Since its launch, generous donors have provided over $22,000 in household and material goods for 43 women and 66 children.

Several women have also received over $4,000 in college tuition and over $18,000 in financial assistance for rent and utilities.

"We've tapped into a deep need for people to help others, to feel like they are doing something to make a positive difference in another's life," said Pamela Whitehead, director of ProLove Ministries and LoveLine.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

College Prof Fired for His Humor on Violence; Said Iranian Leader Should Bomb 52 US Sites

An adjunct professor has been fired by Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. after he described as a "bad attempt at humor" in a Facebook post, in which he said Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamene "should tweet a list of 52 sites of beloved American cultural heritage that he would bomb," The Daily Beast website reports today (January 9, 2020).

The since-deleted Facebook post by Babson's director of sustainability Asheen Phansey had been widely circulated on  social media.

The Wellesley business school said in a statement today that Phansey is no longer employed at the college.

Phansey told local news outlets he regretted making his "attempt at humor," which was an apparent response to a tweet from President Donald Trump last week warning that if Iran attacked an American site, it would face attacks from the U.S. on 52 Iranian sites.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Trump Vows to Return Prayer to Public Schools; Says "A Society without Religion Cannot Prosper"

U.S. President Donald Trump on January 3 said his Democratic opponents would tear down crosses, but he pledged to bring prayer to public schools at a re-election rally to shore up evangelical support, the Reuters website reports today (January 8, 2020).

Trump made the statements while speaking on the outskirts of Miami at the King Jesus International Ministry, a "prosperity gospel" church.

"We are defending religion itself; it's under siege," Trump said.

More than 80% of white evangelicals voted for Trump in the 2016 election.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Epiphany Observed by Greek Orth.Christians; Seek Crucifixes in Icy Waters to Honor Christ

Thousands of Orthodox Christian worshipers plunged into the icy waters of rivers and lakes around the world on January 6 to retrieve crucifixes tossed by priests in Epiphany ceremonies commemorating the baptism of Jesus Christ, according to the Religion News website.

By tradition, the person who retrieves the wooden cross will be freed from evil spirits and will be healthy throughout the year. After the cross is fished out, the priest sprinkles believers with water using a bunch of basil.

The religious holiday of Epiphany is also celebrated in some Western Christian churches as Three Kings Day, which marks the visit of the Magi, or three wise men, to the baby Jesus, and closes out the Christmas season.

At the Vatican, Pope Francis urged the faithful to reject "the god of money." In his Epiphany homily yesterday (January 6, 2020) in St. Peter's Basilica, Francis encouraged people to focus on serving others, not themselves.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Pope: Worshiping Christ Is True Meaning of Life; If We Don't Worship God,We Worship Ourselves

Pope Francis said today (January 6, 2020), the Epiphany of the Lord, that worship of Christ reveals the true meaning of our journey of life, as it did for the magi in the Gospel, according to the National Catholic Register website.

"When we do not worship God, we end up worshiping ourselves," Francis said in St. Peter's Basilica.

He added, "In worship, we learn to reject what should not be worshiped: the god of money, the god of consumerism, the god of pleasure, the god of success,  the god of self. Worship means bending low before the Most High and to discover His presence that life's greatness does not consist in having, but in loving."

Today in his homily for the Epiphany of the Lord, Pope Francis reflected on the magi, or wise men, who bearing gifts, came to worship the Child Jesus in Bethlehem.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Two Nabbed for Hitting German Jewish Cemetery; In Geilenkirchen in North Rhine-Westphalia State

German police today (January 5, 2020) arrested two suspects in the vandalism of a Jewish cemetery in the town of Geilenkirchen, according to the Times of Israel website.

The suspects, ages 21 and 33, knocked over more than 40 gravestones in the Jewish cemetery in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia today. The men also defaced some of the graves with blue paint.

A witness called police, who arrested the suspects.

The incident comes amid an increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes in Germany in recent months.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Methodist Church May Split over Gay Marriage; Voting in May to Divide Church into 2 Divisions

The United Methodist Church plans to split into two major branches later this year, church officials said today (January 4, 2020), a schism that follows years of contention over whether the church should end its ban on same-sex marriage and gay clergy, according to the Reuters website.

The plan, if approved at the church's worldwide conference in Minneapolis in May, would divide the third largest U.S. Christian denomination into two branches: A traditionalist side opposed to gay marriage and the ordination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clergy, and a progressive wing that will allow same-sex marriage and LGBT clergy.

The split would affect the denomination globally, church leaders said. The United Methodist Church lists more than 13 million members in the U.S. and 80 million worldwide.

The U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage throughout the U.S. in 2015, but that decision applies only to civil -- not religious -- services.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Over 42 Million Babies Killed by Abortion in 2019; Several US States Passed Laws Limiting Abortions

According to Worldometers, which tabulates global statistics on abortion procedures, around 42.4 million pregnancies in 2019 ended in abortion worldwide, the Christian Post website reports today  (January 3, 2020).

In the U.S., approximately half of pregnancies are "unintended" with four in 10 ending in abortion, amounting to over 3,000 abortions being performed every day.

Some U.S. states -- especially in the South and Midwest -- have passed laws to save lives by setting limits on abortion and enforcing safety standards for clinics.

Alabama passed a near-total ban on abortion. Louisiana. Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri. and Ohio passed laws banning abortions as soon as a preborn baby's heartbeat is detected.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

IS Performs a Terrorist Attack in North Caucasus; Kills Police Officer, Wounds 3 More in Ingushetia

The Islamic State (IS) terrorist group has claimed responsibility for an attack in Russia's North Caucasus region of Ingushetia, in which a police officer was killed, the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty website reports today (January 2, 2020).

Two young men rammed their car into a police officer on December 31, and then attacked other police officers with knives in the Ingush capital of Magas.

Regional authorities said one police officer died and three others were wounded in the incident. One of the attackers was killed, while another was wounded and is currently in the hospital.

The IS group said in a statement dated January 1 that it was responsible for the attack.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Pope: "I'm Sorry I Lost Patience" to Hand Shaker; Hit Woman's Hand Who Wouldn't Let Go of Hand

Pope Francis apologized today (January 1, 2020) for hitting the hand of a well-wisher who grabbed his hand and wouldn't let go of it last night, according to the Yahoo News website.

In his new year's wishes to the public in St. Peter's Square today, Francis confessed to losing his patience with the woman while he was strolling in the square last night to admire the Vatican's Nativity scene.

The woman reached out and grabbed the pope's hand, pulling him toward her. Francis reacted sharply, slapping her hand so she would let go.

In his remarks today, Francis said "so many times we lose patience. Me, too." He added, "I say 'excuse me'  for the bad example" he gave in the incident.