ISIS fighters abducted more than 100 Yazidi women and children from the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, Anglican Communion News Service reports a 5 Year Old son of a founder of Baghdad’s Anglican church was “cut in half during an attack by the Islamic State, Franklin Graham requesting Urgent Prayers for Pastor Saeed Abedini who is in grave danger from ISIS terrorists inside his prison ward in Iran who are threatening to murder him because he is a Christian. Click on Image for Video
ISIS fighters abducted more than 100 Yazidi women and children from the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, a senior commander with the group told CNN on Wednesday, a claim that comes amid growing concern over the fate of thousands trapped by the extremists. The revelation comes as the United States deployed 130 military advisers to get a first-hand look at the humanitarian crisis unfolding as the extremist fighters threaten Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities: Yazidis, Christians and Kurds. Nowhere is the crisis more evident than the Sinjar Mountains, where an estimated 40,000 minority Yazidis are hiding after fleeing the advance of fighters with the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, on Sinjar. The ISIS commander, who has knowledge of the events that unfolded, said the fighters killed a large number of men when they took over the town more than a week ago. More
The Catholic League said the “Black Jesus” character on the Adult Swim network may drink, smoke and try to pick up women — but that he has some redeeming qualities, nonetheless, and the show could actually draw viewers to the spiritual light. “We have long taken the position that portraying Jesus as black is fine with the Catholic League and, indeed, we find it silly that anyone would object,” said the group’s president, Bill Donohue, in a statement reported by Newsmax. “The Jesus character in this show is a mixed bag: He is irreverent and can be downright crude, but he also has many redeeming qualities.” The show, which premiered just a few days ago, is part of the Turner Sports & Entertainment Digital Network. And the leading role of Jesus may shock some — but as Mr. Donohue said, the Catholic League is not condemning the characterization. “The Jesus character parks illegally, curses, smokes pot, drinks and hits on women,” he said in his statement. “At one point, he is depicted as the getaway driver for a drug deal gone wrong. He is eventually robbed and gets busted. But he is also forgiving, kind, respectful and condemns violence. No one questions his divinity and even an atheist detective who interviews him after his arrest appears to sense that there is more to this man than what first appears.” More
Maybe it can be blamed on alarming media coverage. Maybe not. “Between revelations of government snooping, consumer data breaches, and social media experiments, it can be tough to trust anyone with your personal information these days,” says Larry Shannon-Massal, manager of Harris Poll content. Naturally, there are numbers. Harris finds that 60 percent of Americans don’t trust the federal government to handle personal information confidentially and securely – a sentiment that has grown by eight percentage points in the past year alone. The number was just over half five years ago.
“Americans have also grown more mistrustful of state and local governments in this regard from 44 percent in 2009 to 54 percent this year,” he says. There’s a partisan divide here, though. “Americans’ attitudes toward the government tend to fluctuate greatly along political lines, and this issue is no different: majorities of Republicans and Independents don’t trust either the federal government (71 percent Republicans, 66 percent independents) or state and local governments (60 percent and 61 percent , respectively) to handle their personally identified information in a properly confidential and secure manner,” the poll states. “On the other hand, majorities of Democrats do trust both the federal government (56 percent) and state/local governments (60 percent) to do so.” Social media ranks at the bottom of the list, however. About a quarter of Americans trust Twitter, Facebook and other chatty place with their information. “So, who do Americans trust to properly handle this type of information? More
A Georgia high school football program may have God on its side, but not the Constitution, according to critics who say prayer and proselytization have no place in the playbook. Football coaches at Chestatee High School in Gainesville are accused of quoting scripture on team documents and pre-game banners and regularly leading the War Eagles in prayer in a religious blitz the American Humanist Association (AHA) declares unconstitutional. “There’s really no defense for doing this,” AHA attorney Monica Miller told FoxNews.com. “It’s not even solely student prayer — it’s teachers and coaches praying with students. And we have reason to believe it’s not an isolated event.” Miller, whose organization sent a letter Tuesday threatening to sue Hall County Schools, said a “concerned citizen” notified the national nonprofit group that the 1,200-student school in Gainesville, about 55 miles northeast of Atlanta, appeared to be doing an end run around the First Amendment. The letter demanded that coaches cut team-sanctioned prayers and remove all Bible verses and other religious messages from team documents and materials.
The group was particularly outraged that outgoing Head Coach Stan Luttrell joined players as they held hands and prayed. “At times, the head coach has led the prayers, which is an egregious violation of the Establishment Clause,” the letter continues. “This involvement in prayer as a ‘participant, an organizer, and a leader’ would unquestionably ‘lead a reasonable observer to conclude that he was endorsing religion.’” The letter cited numerous cases of coaches and teachers leading team prayers during practices and after games and said the program cited scripture in A workout log included a citation to Galations 6:9, which reads: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up,” and a banner used for a pregame ceremony alluded to Proverbs 27:17, which reads: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” “Unfortunately, the school’s actions in unconstitutionally advancing and endorsing religion do not end with the prayers,” read the letter. Gordon Higgins, director of community relations and athletics at Hall County Schools, told FoxNews.com that district officials will probe the allegations. “We will be investigating, but it’s really too early in the process for me to comment,” Higgins said. “But we’re going to start looking at this right away and address any impropriety that we find.” Chestatee may have had a higher power on its side during the regular season last year, when it posted a respectable 9-3 record. But it lost in the state playoffs to Sunday Creek by a 55-7 score.Fox News
The entire Syrian stockpile of precursors required to make sarin gas has been destroyed by US experts on board a US neutralizer ship, Pentagon officials have confirmed. “I am pleased to announce that the crew aboard Cape Ray has completed neutralization of 100 percent of the sarin precursor aboard the ship, which amounts to about 581 metric tons neutralized,” Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said. Warren added the Cape Ray crew are now in the process of neutralizing 19.8 tons of sulfur mustard and should be completed by the end of August. Syria agreed to the destruction of its chemical weapons through a US-Russia brokered deal last September. The decision was sparked by a deadly sarin gas attack in August 21 near Damascus that killed hundreds of people. The West blamed President Bashar Assad forces for it, while Damascus accused the rebels of committing that terror act as a provocation. Following the agreement, the removal of chemical agents from Syria began in early January and in June the OPCW confirmed that 100% of the declared Syrian chemical arsenal was removed from the country.
Hundreds of tons of the most hazardous Syrian chemical arsenal have been handed over to the US vessel which has special equipment to neutralize a dangerous stockpile in July. Two shipboard field deployable hydrolysis systems on the American ship designed specifically for the mission will transform the material into low-level hazardous industrial waste. Once neutralized, the remaining material will still be considered dangerous. However, the substance can’t be further used to create chemical weapons. These materials will be processed by facilities in Germany, Britain, the United States and Finland. The process calls for mixing the chemicals in sealed containers with thousands of gallons of hot water along with sodium hydroxide or other “reagents” that help break down the toxicity of the chemical. The resulting effluent, which is the equivalent to industrial waste, will be transported to plants on land for disposal. Officials say none of the chemicals or waste will be dumped at sea. Other chemical agents from Syria are being destroyed on land at special facilities in Britain, Finland and the United States. RT
There was a time when Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was assured of the Iranian government’s support. In 2006, Tehran rubber-stamped his first election as premier. The Shiite Iraqi leader could also count on help from his Shiite neighbor in the fight against Sunni extremists. But now, Tehran is moving away from a prime minister who rejects national reconciliation, thus fueling the conflicts in Iraq. On Tuesday, Iran’s national Security Council announced a change of course: the country now supports a parliamentary procedure to replace al-Maliki. The third term in office al-Maliki has been planning for since parliamentary elections in April appears to be beyond reach, with Haidar al-Abadi, deputy President of Parliament in Baghdad, likely to be the one to receive Iran’s blessing.
On Monday, Iraq’s president called on al-Abadi to form a new government. Since the fall of dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003, Iran have been heavily involved in their neighbors’ affairs. According to Ferhad Seyder, an Iraq expert and a professor at Erfurt University, the influence hails from years ago. During Hussein’s reign between 1979-2003, the Shiite majority in Iraq remained steadily suppressed and many of them fled to neighboring Iran. “Close relationships were formed as a result of this,” said Seyder in an interview with DW. Since then, Tehran has established strong connections with nearly all the Shiite parties, movements, organizations and militias in Iraq. Even the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, one of the two most important Kurdish movements in northern Iraq, is allied with Iran.More
Portugal has crashed into deep deflation and Italy’s inflation rate has fallen to zero as the eurozone flirts with recession, automatically pushing these countries further towards a debt compound spiral. The slide comes amid signs of a deepening slowdown in the eurozone core, with even Germany flirting with possible recession. Germany’s ZEW index of investor confidence plunged from 27.1 to 8.6 in July, the sharpest fall since June 2012, during the European sovereign debt crisis. “The European Central Bank has to act now,” said Andrew Roberts, credit chief at RBS.
Markets were stunned by the sudden fall in Portugal’s HICP inflation to -0.7 in July, from -0.2pc the month before. Spain’s provisional estimate is for a fall of 0.3pc.
The risk is that this cause inflation expectations to become unhinged and extremely difficult to reverse. “The latest inflation figures call for the ultimate bazooka from the ECB. We’re seeing the Japanification of Europe,” said Lena Komileva from G+ Economics. “Deflation pushes up the debt ratios in the southern countries and makes their task even more insurmountable.”The ECB is waiting to see whether its new four-year loans for banks (TLTROs) will stop the relentless contraction of credit and stave off the threat of a Japanese-style deflation trap, but the auctions will not take place until September and December. “Europe could be in deflation before the TLTROs have even begun. They cannot wait until February or March to start thinking about quantitative easing,” said Mr Roberts. More