Iran’s chief air defense commander said that a homegrown air defense system based more advanced than Russia’s highly-regarded S-300 battery would come online in two years. The highly anticipated Bavar 373 program — “belief” in Persian — has been hampered by setbacks, but on Saturday, Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli claimed that the troubles facing development had been solved and the anti-missile defense system would be completed by the end of 2015, Fars News Agency reported. “We hope to witness a very good system with higher capabilities than the (Russian) S-300 in our air defense structure by the end of the (Development) Plan,” Esmayeeli said. “The indigenized system will be more powerful than the S-300 missile system.” More
UK school expels brothers for bringing cheese crackers to school, says they violate ‘healthy eating’ policy
In a shocking turn of events, a British parochial school has decided to expel two young brothers, one age six and the other four, for allegedly violating its healthy eating policy. Colnbrook C of E Primary School in Berkshire says six-year-old Riley Pearson repeatedly broke the rules by bringing cheese crackers, which the institution sees as nutritionally unbalanced, that his mother packed for him to school. Controversy erupted after young Riley was found with the snack food multiple days in a row, despite the school’s stated prohibition of all things chocolatey, sweet, crispy and fizzy. Upon meeting with the administration, Riley’s parents, Natalie and Tom, expressed disagreement with the school’s position that the crackers are unhealthy, as they have always been balanced with an array of other proteins, fats and carbohydrates. But the school did not relent, insisting that Riley stop bringing the crackers to school. And when it was perceived that his parents planned to continue packing his and his brother’s lunches the way they saw fit, Riley’s initial suspension was turned into an expulsion, and his younger brother, who was still in the school nursery, was also given the boot. ”We just do not see how they have the right to tell us what we can feed our son,” lamented the boys’ mother. “If anything, Riley is underweight and could do with putting on a few pounds. Having a balanced diet also includes eating some carbohydrates, sugars and fats.” More
As the anniversary of last year’s surprise Russian meteor explosion nears, a United Nations action team is taking steps to thwart dangerous space rocks, including setting up a warning network and a planning advisory group that would coordinate a counterpunch to cosmic threats. A global group of experts on near-Earth objects (NEOs) met in Vienna Feb. 10 to11 for the 51st session of the United Nations’ Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Space. The meeting came just a few days before the one-year anniversary of the Russian meteor impact. On Feb. 15, 2013, a 65-foot-wide (19 meters) space rock detonated without warning over the city of Chelyabinsk, injuring more than 1,200 people and bringing home the reality of the asteroid threat to much of the world. The plans the experts discussed have taken shape over a decade of work by the UN Action Team on Near Earth Objects, known as Action Team 14. AT-14 was established in 2001 and has crafted a roster of recommendations for an international response to the asteroid impact threat. Yahoo News
HONOLULU, Hawaii – A church in Hawaii has reached a settlement in an atheist lawsuit that asserted that five area churches had bamboozled area public schools out of millions in rental fees. As previously reported, the suit, Kahle v. New Hope International Ministries, was filed by atheists Mitchell Kahle and Holly Huber in March of last year. Kahle, the founder of Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of Church and State, and public advocate Huber, alleged that five churches in Hawaii that rent school facilities for worship have committed fraud by using false records or statements to “reduce or forgo payment of rental fees or utility charges.” The complaint filed in the First Circuit Court of Hawaii asserted that the churches collectively owe the government $5.6 million in that they filed false applications to obtain discounted rates and have used the facilities for longer than their contracts allow. Kahle and Huber lodged the complaint under the state’s False Claims Act. More
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A proposed bill in Alabama would require public school teachers to read Congressional prayers out loud to students each day. “If Congress can open with a prayer, and the state of Alabama Legislature can, I don’t see why schools can’t,” sponsor Steve Hurst (R-Munford) told the Anniston Star. Hurst’s bill, HB 318, would focus on teaching the formal procedures of Congress during the first period of the day, which would include the prayer that is presented each morning by a chaplain or religious leader. “At the commencement of the first class of each day in all grades in all public schools, the teacher in charge of the room in which such class is held shall, for a period of time not exceeding 15 minutes, instruct the class in the formal procedures followed by the United States Congress,” the legislation reads. “The study shall include, but not be limited to, a reading verbatim of one of the opening prayers given by the House or Senate Chaplain or a guest member of the clergy at the beginning of a meeting of the House of Representatives or the Senate.” More
An explosion on a tourist bus in Egypt’s Sinai near the Israeli border killed two South Korean tourists and an Egyptian driver , Egyptian security sources said Sunday. An additional 15 South Korean tourists were wounded in the blast. Israeli police confirmed that no Israelis were wounded in the blast. Magen David Adom sent ambulances to the Israeli side of the terminal to receive any casualties from the incident, but Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld stated that the wounded were being treated solely in Egypt at this point. Rosenfeld said that the incident had been confirmed as a terror attack which occurred less than a mile from Taba in Sinai. The blast was heard on the Israeli side of the border. ”The event is happening on the Egyptian side, and we are making our preparations,” a police spokesman said. Egyptian security sources said that an explosive device was set off when the bus passed en route to a hotel in Taba. An army spokeswoman said that the blast appears to be an internal Egyptian incident, which occurred on Egyptian territory. Islamists in the Sinai peninsula have carried out a number of attacks against Egyptian government forces since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi last year. Morsi appeared in court on Sunday on charges of conspiring with foreign groups to commit terrorist acts in Egypt. Jerusalem Post
Woman Admits to Craigslist Killing, Says She Has Killed At Least 22 Others Across Country
SUNBURY, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania woman charged along with her newlywed husband in the murder of a man they met through Craigslist admitted to the slaying in a jailhouse interview with a newspaper and said she has killed more than 20 others across the country, claims police said they are investigating.
In an interview with the Daily Item in Sunbury, Pa., 19-year-old Miranda Barbour said she wants to plead guilty to killing Troy LaFerrara in November. She also said in the interview that she has killed at least 22 other people from Alaska to North Carolina in the last six years as part of her involvement in a satanic cult. continue
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Church Hires JK Rowling To Rewrite The Bible
The latest PR coup for Pope Francis has seen him hire famous and revered children’s author JK Rowling to rewrite the Bible.
It is hoped the author, most famous for her Harry Potter series, can make it more accessible and believable for a new generation of Catholics and Christians.
While the specifics of the rewrite are not yet known, it is believed Rowling is tasked with producing a compelling tale that young Catholics and Christians can engage with. Figures such as dementors and other popular creations may take the place of less realistic Biblical creatures such as unicorns and the leviathon.
“We are very happy Miss Rowling has agreed to the rewrite, we keenly await the first draft,” a Vatican insider told WWN.
Rowling’s selection has raised some eyebrows but the decision by Pope Francis to select the wildly popular author is mainly due to commercial concerns.
“The sales of the Jesus Christ action figure have dropped by over 200% in the last 10 years, we are in need of new, compelling and toy-friendly characters…like the dinosaur in Toy Story,” a source close to the Pope told WWN.
“Our revenue streams are shrinking so the more Hollywood-esque the better,” the source concluded.
Rowling has thus far remained tight lipped on her vision for the Bible and its merry band of characters but a number of Hollywood producers are in discussions to turn it into a movie.
In the last century many Christian leaders have offered revisions on the interpretations of many of the Bible’s passages but Rowling is expected to take a more drastic approach.
“Judas is probably going to wear a leather jacket and JK is toying with the idea of a nervous twitch or even an eye-patch. Also why have one book when can have more? She is thinking of splitting it up into 9, maybe 10 books” the author’s publicist shared with WWN.