Friday, May 27, 2011

Kansas: Brownback Signs Bill De-Funding Planned Parenthood

by Steven Ertelt
Topeka, KS
LifeNews.com
5/27/11

Governor Sam Brownback, on Wednesday, signed into law a bill that would shift funding away from the Planned Parenthood abortion business and stops abortion funding in health insurance programs.

The legislation follows a new law in Indiana that made the state the first to yank millions from Planned Parenthood by cutting off its revenue stream from Medicaid. The Kansas Senate passed the measure on a 28-10 vote and the state House followed suit with an 86-30 vote.
 the rest

PAKISTAN: Christian sisters kidnapped, forced to marry a wealthy Muslim

The girl's father reported the kidnapping. In response, the police accused him of abusing alcohol and his daughters. Neighbour: the authorities overturned the facts, because they are colluding with criminals. Catholic priest killings and kidnappings of young Christian women common practice, encouraged by the mullahs and supported by the government.
 05/27/2011
by Jibran Khan
Faisalabad

 (AsiaNews) - A powerful Muslim businessman, with the help of a group of accomplices, kidnapped two Christian sisters, forced them to convert to Islam and marry him. The girl's father reported the kidnapping to the police but the police blocked investigations by reversing the facts: the daughters fled because of their father’s violence. A priest from the diocese of Faisalabad points out that the kidnapping of young women has become "common practice", because the authorities and police are "puppets in the hands of extremists."

The father of two girls, Rehmat Masih is a Christian carpenter from Jhung District, in Faisalabad, Punjab province, an arena of repeated violence against religious minority. Muhammad Waseem - the parent explains to AsiaNews, - is a Muslim businessman in the area, long time leader of a banned extremist group. A few weeks ago he came to my house, along with gunmen, saying he was concerned about my daughters and wanted to marry them. " In case of refusal, the man continues, the Muslim businessman threatened to abduct the two girls. the rest

"Fr. John William, a priest of the diocese of Faisalabad, confirms that the kidnapping of young women has become "common practice", because the authorities and police are "puppets in the hands of extremists." In recent days, AsiaNews reported the tragedy of another young girl, again from Punjab, seized by force and forced to marry a Muslim..."

Crystal Cathedral Up for Sale to End Debt Woes

May. 27 2011
By Alison Matheson
Christian Post Correspondent

The Crystal Cathedral is being put on the market as the church seeks a way out of its crippling debt.

The Orange County church is hoping the sale of its imposing glass building will generate enough revenue to save it from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and make good with some 550 creditors.

It has been looking for an exit strategy from its financial woes ever since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last October.

The reorganization plan includes the sale of the 40-acre campus to a real estate group with a guaranteed option of leasing it back for 15 years. the rest image by Dave Reichert

Kung Fu Panda 2



Review-Dove Foundation

Eugenic abortion of disabled babies increasing in UK

by Hilary White, Rome Correspondent
May 26, 2011

(LifeSiteNews.com) – The most recent available statistics from England and Wales show that eugenic abortions have risen by ten percent in the past year.

The 2010 statistics, published by the Department of Health this week, also found that unmarried girls are overwhelmingly more likely to abort their children than married women, with 81 percent of abortions carried out on single women. For every two abortions carried out on married women, 11 children of unmarried women were killed by abortion.
the rest

"The report notes that 2,290 abortions, about 1 percent, were carried out under “Ground E,” or in cases where the child was suspected of having a handicap, in 2010, a rise of around 10 percent over 2009, when 2,085 disabled babies were aborted; the average for Ground E over the last 5 years has been under 2000."

Confusing teens about their gender: the radical new French high school curriculum

by Jeanne Smits, Paris correspondent
Thu May 26, 2011

(LifeSiteNews.com) - As of next September, the new official French science curriculum will require all 11th grade students preparing the Baccalaureate – a majority of French teenagers – to study a number of themes more closely related to gender ideology and aggressive sex education than to nature studies.

Two main headings, “Feminine-Masculine” and “Taking charge of your sexual life together and responsibly,” make up about a third of the yearly curriculum for non-science students; they are also included in a wider program for science candidates. The program shamelessly promotes contraception, justifies abortion and defends homosexual activity.

It also minimizes differences between men and women: “Anatomic and physiological differences, caused by the influence of sexual hormones, between the masculine and the feminine brain are no more important than differences between individuals of the same sex,” is one of the “concepts” 11th graders will be expected to have understood by the time they pass public examinations. the rest

“Illegal” Babies Abducted by Chinese Population Control Officials

by Steven MosherBeijing, China
LifeNews.com

As Beijing continues to vigorously pursue its infamous one-child policy, PRI has gathered evidence showing that Chinese villagers who cannot afford to pay these fines have their “illegal” children abducted and sold by Chinese population control officials.

It is well known that those who violate the one-child policy have sometimes been subjected to coerced abortions or, if they have already given birth, have been forced to pay punitive fines and have been sterilized. the rest

This practice of child abduction has recently been confirmed by the Chinese government. According to a report in the Caixin Century magazine, authorities in the southern Chinese province of Hunan have begun investigating a report that population control officials had seized at least 16 babies born in violation of strict family planning rules, sent them to state-run orphanages, and then sold them abroad for adoption. “Before 1997, they usually punished us by tearing down our houses for breaching the one-child policy, but after 2000 they began to confiscate our children,” the magazine quoted villager Yuan Chaoren as saying.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Four Ways to Make Your iPhone Battery Last Longer

DAVID POGUE
Monday May 23, 2011

A good friend of mine had been complaining that her iPhone 3GS battery was holding less and less of a charge. When we got together at 5 p.m. one recent day, it was at 5 percent full - and it had been fully charged that morning. She had barely used it all day. The phone was apparently running itself dry simply by being turned on.

The single biggest battery consumer is the screen brightness. But it wasn't especially bright on this phone.

So I suggested that she take the phone to an Apple store to get the $60 battery replacement service. In fact, there was an Apple store only two blocks away, so I accompanied her - and found out, upon arrival, that there is no $60 battery replacement service! There's one for iPods, but apparently not for the iPhone. the rest image

Provincial Official in Algeria Orders Churches to Close

Christians plan to attend services this weekend despite intimidation tactics.ISTANBUL
May 25, 2011

(CDN) — Seven Algerian churches face closure this week after the governor of their province sent them written notice that they were operating “illegally.”

The notice on Sunday (May 22) from Police Chief Ben Salma, citing a May 8 decree from the Bejaia Province governor, also states that all churches “in all parts of the country” will be closed for lack of compliance with registration regulations, but Christian leaders dismissed this assertion as the provincial official does not have nationwide authority.

“All buildings permanently designated for or in the process of being designated for the practice of religious worship other than Muslim will be permanently closed down in all parts of the country, as well as those not having received the conformity authorization from the National Commission,” Salma stated in the notice. the rest

What's Wrong with Credit Card Debt?

Observers weigh in on debt's indication of lack of faith, danger, and potential immorality.
Ron Blue, John G. Stackhouse Jr., and Mary Hunt
5/25/2011

Excerpt:
God wants us to be obedient to his commands, but he also wants us to be wise in how we live. Ephesians 5:15-16 (NASB) says, "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil." When we make unwise choices, such as accumulating credit card debt, we must live with the consequences. However, we can also trust that God will work out his good purposes as we walk through the tough disciplines of living within our means and paying off the debt we have accrued (Rom. 8:28).
the rest

Pope shuts down famous monastery that liked to party

AFPposted may 25, 2011

ROME — Pope Benedict XVI has shut down a famous community in Rome that organised dances by a former nightclub dancer nun and hosted VIPs like Madonna, earning the disfavour of the Vatican.

The closure of the monastery of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, which holds some of the Church's most prized relics, was reported by Italian dailies La Stampa and Il Foglio.

The reports said the community of Cistercian monks based at the church for more than five centuries was being transferred to other churches in Italy. the rest

The basilica had become a hub for the "Friends of Santa Croce", an aristocratic group, and had been criticised for some unorthodox practices including dances in which nuns pranced around the altar.

One of the nuns who performed at the church, a former disco dancer, can be seen in a YouTube video performing a modern dance with a crucifix.

Va. town says church school prohibited because disabled kids would ‘endanger’ other children

ADF attorneys file suit against city of Fredericksburg
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the city of Fredericksburg for its refusal to allow a church to begin a school program for mentally and emotionally challenged children despite a recommendation of approval by city planning officials. ADF attorneys say the city is violating federal laws geared expressly to avoid such a prohibition and that the city’s reasons for denial of a permit are baseless.

“Churches shouldn’t be singled out for discrimination, especially when attempting to expand their ministries to safely serve the needs of the community--in this case, disabled children,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley. “No disabled students would even be on campus at the same time as other students, and the church has the approval of planning officials because it has met all zoning requirements to run such a facility. There’s no legitimate reason for a denial, so the city’s stated reasons only serve to feed old stereotypes about the disabled.” the rest

The city of Fredericksburg Planning Commission recommended approval for the school program after a public hearing, but the city council denied a special-use permit on the basis of supposed safety concerns for other children attending the church’s daycare. The concerns were cited even though the church’s daycare children would only be in attendance during the early morning and afternoon--before and after the disabled students would be present. The city council also expressed concern that Fredericksburg was becoming “saturated” with facilities that provide services to the disabled.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Devotional: "Is faith growing or declining as the years go by?

"Is faith growing or declining as the years go by? Does faith stand strong and four square, these days, as iniquity abounds and the love of many grows cold? Does faith maintain its hold, as religion tends to become a mere formality and worldliness increasingly prevails? The enquiry of our Lord, may, with great appropriateness, be ours. 'When the Son of Man cometh,' He asks, 'shall He find faith on the earth?' We believe that He will, and it is ours, in this our day, to see to it that the lamp of faith is trimmed and burning, lest He come who shall come, and that right early." ...EM Bounds image by Kumaravel

In Wake of Tornado, Official Says 1,500 Are Unaccounted For

By A.G. SULZBERGER
May 24, 2011

JOPLIN, Mo. — About 1,500 people are unaccounted for in this battered city, a Fire Department official said Tuesday, as rescue workers took advantage of a few hours of sunny weather to continue searching for survivors in buildings leveled by the country’s deadliest tornado in more than 60 years. At least 117 people have died.

While the number of those unaccounted for is alarmingly high in a city with only 49,000 people — and raises the specter of a far higher death count — it may merely be a reflection of the widespread breakdown of communication systems here in the wake of Sunday’s vicious storm. Many residents who fled ahead of the tornado or survived it may be unable to notify the authorities or family members who have reported them missing.

Capt. Robert Daus of the Maryland Heights Fire District, who is helping to lead a team of about 100 St. Louis-area firefighters in search and rescue operations in Joplin, said that in addition to the 1,500 people who remain unaccounted for, an additional 500 had been injured by the tornado, which cut a three-quarter-mile-wide path through this southwestern Missouri city and damaged as many as 30 percent of its buildings. the rest

Outsourcing parenting in Sweden


Jonas Himmelstrand
Friday, 13 May 2011

While preparing for a trip to Canada, I have learned that many Canadians consider my country, Sweden, to be a model for good family policy. After all, Sweden has a universally accessible, government-funded daycare system, and a 2006 study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ranked Sweden at the top and Canada at the bottom in childcare provision. Indeed, Swedish family policies are internationally admired, offering comprehensive and affordable daycare, gender equality and a high percentage of women in paid work. This, however, is only one half of the story...

...Then there are the questions about the social toll Sweden's childcare system is taking. Sweden has offered a comprehensive daycare system since 1975; since the early '90s, negative outcomes for children and adolescents are on the rise in areas of health and behaviour. While direct causation has been difficult to prove, many Swedish health-care professionals point to the lack of parent involvement beyond the first 16 months as a primary contributing factor. Psychosomatic disorders and mild psychological problems are escalating among Swedish youth at a faster rate than in any of 11 comparable European countries. Such disorders have tripled among girls over the last 25 years. Education outcomes in Swedish schools have fallen from the top position 30 years ago, to merely average amongst OECD nations today. Behaviour problems in Swedish classrooms are among the worst in Europe.

This isn't surprising. After a generation of inexperience, Swedish parenting abilities are deteriorating. A study sponsored by the European Union showed many middleclass parents lack the ability to set limits and sense their children's needs. the rest

Satellite Video Close-Up of Deadly Joplin, Missouri Tornado


NASA NOAA video captured May 22, 2011
This animation of GOES-13 satellite visible imagery from May 22 shows the progression of the line of thunderstorms that generated the monster tornado that devastated Joplin, Missouri (located in the center of the video). Viewers can see the line of thunderstorms that generated the tornado as the animation continues.

Death toll from Joplin, Mo., tornado climbs to 116

Frantic search in Joplin as more storms loom

Chaos, bravery in storm-struck Joplin hospital

Joplin tornado damage could total $3 billion


Iceland volcano eruptions continue, flights cancelled


May 24, 2011

Reykjavik/Stockholm - Ash from an erupting Icelandic volcano forced the cancellation Tuesday of some 250 flight cancellations in Europe, mainly in British airspace.

The Brussels-based association of European air traffic controllers, Eurocontrol, said there was also 'a strong possibility' that parts of Denmark and southern Scandinavia would be affected.

When Grimsvotn erupted Saturday it created a plume about 20 kilometres high. By Monday it was between 8 to 10 kilometres, and on Tuesday the Icelandic Meteorological Office said the plume was lower, at between 3 and 5 kilometres. the rest

15 U.S. Catholic colleges that featured anti-life/family commencement speakers

by John-Henry Westen
Mon., May 23, 2011

 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Fifteen U.S. Catholic colleges invited abortion or gay ‘marriage’ supporters to give addresses to graduates this year, according to the Cardinal Newman Society (CNS).

CNS, a watchdog group seeking to ensure Catholic colleges live up to their Catholic identity, issued its annual report on commencement speakers and honorees Friday.

They argue that the invitations of the speakers contravene the 2004 instruction issued by the U.S. Catholic Bishops called ‘Catholics in Political Life,’ which forbade Catholic institutions from granting honors and platforms that might suggest support for opponents of Catholic teaching.
the rest

Military chaplains seek protection for troops who share beliefs on gay service members

By Associated Press
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

SAN DIEGO — Military chaplains are concerned troops could be punished for expressing objections to homosexuality once the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy is lifted.

Leaders of 21 religious groups that provide chaplains to the U.S. military on Monday sent a letter to the chiefs of chaplains of the Navy, Army, and Air Force. They want Congress or the Pentagon to guarantee troops won’t be punished if they openly discuss their objections to homosexuality. the rest


“This is already an assault and a challenge on individual conscience and some soldiers may think it’s forcing them to abandon their religious beliefs or being marginalized for holding to those beliefs,” said Douglas E. Lee, a retired Army brigadier general and chaplain, whose signature was the first on the letter.

Millions of female foetuses aborted in India

Sex selection of foetuses in India has led to 7.1 million fewer girls than boys up to age six, a gender gap that has widened by more than a million in a decade, according to a study published in The Lancet.
24 May 2011

In Indian families in which the first child has been a girl, more and more parents with access to prenatal ultrasound testing are aborting a second female in the hope that a subsequent pregnancy will yield a boy, said the study.

The increasingly lopsided ratio of girls to boys is larger in wealthy households than poorer ones, the researchers reported.

Between 1980 and 2010, they estimate, four to 12 million girls were aborted because of their sex. the rest


"Selective abortion of female foetuses, usually after a firstborn girl, has increased in India over the past few decades, and has contributed to a widening imbalance in the child sex ratio," they conclude
.

Bp. Nazir-Ali: Was Obama’s Speech Addressed to the U.S. or to the Muslim World?

May 23, 2011
By Michael Nazir-Ali

You cannot blame a politician for liking rhetoric, and President Obama’s speech on the Middle East is full of it. His favorite word “change” occurs often, and there are idealistic expressions like “a season of hope.” But what was wrapped up in the sugar coating, and will it be acceptable to the American people and those who value freedom in the world at large? A few observations on those questions:

Throughout the speech, I had a recurrent sense that he was not addressing the U.S. and its people but Muslim opinion in the Middle East and beyond. Some scholars have written about the dhimmi mentality, i.e., a subservient attitude developed towards Muslim rulers by Christian, Jewish, and other communities that were allowed to survive, but under heavy restrictions, in the Muslim world. It has sometimes been held that the West’s response to events in the Muslim world betrays a similar mentality, brought about by fear. Was the president’s speech an example of this?

The president seemed understandably but unduly optimistic about the aftermath of Osama bin Laden’s death. It will undoubtedly affect some of al-Qaeda’s operations, but extremist Islamism is now so decentralized that it will have little effect, for instance, on the Taliban in Pakistan or Afghanistan, or al-Shabab in Somalia, or even on AQ in the Arabian Peninsula. It would be a great mistake to see bin Laden’s death as the end of radical Islam. It may in fact lead to his becoming an icon or a martyr in exactly the way that the president does not wish. the rest

'The process is beautiful': Chilling boast of 'New Dr Death'....

...after assisting almost 300 suicides
By Daily Mail Reporter
24th May 2011

A hugely controversial doctor who has assisted the suicides of almost 300 patients across the country has spoken of the 'beauty' involved in helping ill people die.

In divisive comments that will reopen the debate about whether seriously unwell people should be allowed the right to have help killing themselves, Dr Lawrence Egbert, from Baltimore, has spoken out to defend the 'dignity' of the role he provides.

While critics say that his work as part of the Final Exit Network, a group that organises assisted suicides, is criminal and amounts to murder, Dr Egbert argues he provides a compassionate service. the rest

Albert Mohler: The Myth of the Genderless Baby

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Back in the nineteenth century, the British people were introduced to a fairy tale about “water babies” through a story written by Rev. Charles Kingsley. The water babies entered folklore, and generations of British children imagined the water babies and their story.

Now, out of Canada comes another strange story, but this one is not a fairy tale. Two Canadian parents have ignited a firestorm over their determination to raise their third child as a “genderless” baby.

As reporter Jayme Poisson reports, “The neighbors know [Kathy] Witterick and her husband, David Stocker, are raising a genderless baby. But they don’t pretend to understand it.”
the rest image by Jeff M.

The controversy surrounding Storm is a sign of our times. Our rebellion against the Creator has now reached the point that we will deny the fact that our identity is not just our own personal project, but is first of all established in the Creator’s intention — and part of that intention is the fact that we are male or female.

Church of Scotland votes on gay ministers

The Church of Scotland has voted to allow the possible selection of gay and lesbian ministers in the future.
23 May 2011

The controversial issue was being debated at the Kirk's General Assembly.

A theological commission will now be set up and will report in 2013 before a final decision on the issue of gay ordination is taken.

Earlier the Assembly voted to accept gay and lesbian clergy provided they had declared their sexuality and were ordained before 2009.

Two years ago, the Reverend Scott Rennie's appointment to Queen's Cross Church in Aberdeen threatened to split the Church.
the rest

Church of Scotland considers overturning ban on gay ministers
The Church of Scotland faces a difficult road ahead after voting on Monday to consider lifting a two-year moratorium on the ordination of gay ministers...

Few suitable choices for worshippers who want to find new theological home
FOR those Kirk members who feel compelled to leave the Church following today's vote, the question of where they go is littered with potential problems, both theological and practical...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Devotional: The trivial round, the common task...

The trivial round, the common task,
Would furnish all we ought to ask;
Room to deny ourselves; a road
To bring us, daily, nearer God.

Seek we no more; content with these,
Let present Rapture, Comfort, Ease,
As Heaven shall bid them, come and go;—
The secret this of Rest below.

Only, O Lord, in thy dear love
Fit us for perfect rest above;
And help us, this and every day,
To live more nearly as we pray.

"Boy, girl or both?"

Oakland elementary school teaches pupils there are more than two genders
May 23, 2011

Today and tomorrow, Redwood Heights Elementary School in Oakland will be teaching children from kindergarten through fifth grade that there are more than two genders, Pacific Justice Institute reports.

In a press release, Pacific Justice Institute provided the following details:

The two days calendared for this are entitled "Gender Spectrum Diversity Training." In documents released by the school, students will be taught that "gender is not inherently nor solely connected to one's physical anatomy." Further, gender is a "complex interrelationship between (physical traits) and one's internal sense of self as male, female, both or neither as well as one's outward presentations and behaviors related to that perception."

Another document from the school advises parents: "When you discuss gender with your child, you may hear them exploring where they fit on the gender spectrum and why." the rest

Bishop David Anderson: On the Title IV disciplinary canon

Message from Bishop David Anderson
posted may 23, 2011
AAC Weekly Update

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus,

Many within the American Episcopal Church (TEC) have been sheltered from the worst of TEC's spiritual and theological innovations. Moderate to conservative bishops and stalwart orthodox parish rectors have often sheltered their people from the harsh reality of the new Episcopal Church, but those days are soon to end.

In July of this year, less than six weeks from now, the changes to the disciplinary canon (Title IV) go into full force and effect, and revisionist bishops will be able to remove parish leaders on the flimsiest of charges. Likewise, if a bishop doesn't fully go along with Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori's agenda, she will be able to remove the bishop on the flimsiest of charges. It no longer is required that someone has done something to damage "the church," only that they intend to do so, or that they might do so, as determined by the Presiding Bishop.

Rectors will no longer be able to protect their flock, nor will bishops, for the long arm of the national church will reach down even into the pew where Mom and Pop sit. If you are intending to stay in TEC for at least five years, I predict you will see the adoption of homosexual marriage with official prayer book liturgy accommodating it coming to your local church. the rest

Britain third worst country for families in Europe

Britain is the third worst place for a family to live in Europe, according to a new index published by the Relationships Foundation.
by Karen Peake
Monday, May 23, 2011

The think tank’s new family pressure gauge compares the pressures on families in 27 European countries and finds that families in Britain are struggling more than their European counterparts under the weight of money worries, long working hours and high living costs. Only families in Romania and Bulgaria are more pressured.

The study found that while Britons work the longest hours per week in Europe – 43 on average – they are also paying dearly for it, with nearly a quarter of the family income (23.5%) being spent on childcare.

That amounts to twice the amount paid by families in France, three times that paid by German families, and four times the cost of childcare in Sweden.

Around one in five British families with dependent children (20.9%) is experiencing “difficulty” or “great difficulty” in making ends meet.
 the rest

Obamacare repeal means waivers for everybody

By Grace-Marie Turner
05/22/11
Special to The Examiner.

Can't we all just get a waiver from Obamacare? Unfortunately not, but the list of people applying is getting longer by the day.

There are now 1,372 companies, labor unions and states that have applied for and been granted waivers from an early provision of the law that says health policies must provide at least $750,000 a year in insurance protection.

In the latest batch of waivers, one in five went to expensive restaurants, spas and other businesses in former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's district in San Francisco. What a coincidence!

Nearly two dozen states have either applied for or have been granted waivers from an Obamacare provision that forces health insurers operating in their states to comply with strict federal limits governing how much they can spend on administrative costs versus reimbursements for medical bills. the rest
In other words, Obamacare would cause people to lose their insurance coverage or cause costs to go up if they don't grant these waivers. Wasn't Obamacare supposed to do just the opposite?

Parents keep child's gender secret

May 21, 2011
Jayme Poisson
STAFF REPORTER

“So it’s a boy, right?” a neighbour calls out as Kathy Witterick walks by, her four month old baby, Storm, strapped to her chest in a carrier.

Each week the woman asks the same question about the baby with the squishy cheeks and feathery blond hair.

Witterick smiles, opens her arms wide, comments on the sunny spring day, and keeps walking.

She’s used to it. The neighbours know Witterick and her husband, David Stocker, are raising a genderless baby. But they don’t pretend to understand it.  the rest

Pope Benedict XVI Makes 1st Heavenly Call to Astronauts in Space


By Robert Z. Pearlman
May 21, 2011

In a first for The Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI called to the heavens on Saturday -- but instead of reaching God, he spoke to two Italian astronauts and their 10 colleagues working on board the International Space Station (ISS).

"Dear astronauts, I am very happy to have this extraordinary opportunity to converse with you during your mission and especially grateful to be able to speak to so many of you as both crews are present on the space station at this time," said the Pope, reading in English from prepared remarks. [Video: Science & Faith Merge in Pope's Space Station Talk]

The video call, which began at 7:11 a.m. EDT (1111 GMT), originated from the Foconi Room of the Vatican Library in Rome, Italy. It was organized by the European Space Agency (ESA), whose astronauts Paolo Nespoli and Roberto Vittori are currently working in space.

The conversation marked the first time that the Pope has spoken with astronauts in orbit. the rest

Tornadoes Rip Across Midwest; 89 Dead in Joplin, Mo.


By RICHARD ESPOSITO, LEEZEL TANGLAO and KEVIN DOLAK
May 23, 2011

Rescue workers today searched for victims of fierce storms that ripped through several Midwestern states this weekend, killing at least 89 people in Joplin, Mo., where a devastating tornado touched down and left trapped survivors still crying out for help this morning.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency Sunday evening and activated the Missouri National Guard in response to the destruction.

St. John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Mo., was fully evacuated after it took a direct hit from the tornado. Every window in the facility was blown out and the roof was torn off. Seven people have been reported dead at a nursing home, according to police reports. the rest

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Nigeria: Election violence: 84 churches burnt -Anglican synod

Written by Dipo Laleye, Minna
Sunday, 22 May 2011

The Anglican Synod has hailed the smooth conduct of the 2011 general elections, describing it as free and fair. He, however, lamented that 84 churches were burnt in the post election violence that took place in five states of the federation.

The synod said the 84 churches were burnt in riots that took place in Kaduna, Niger Adamawa Bauchi and Kano states, but did not give a breakdown of the churches burnt in each state.

A communiqué issued after the third session of the Seventh Synod of the Diocese of Minna Anglican Communion held at St James Anglican Church, Suleja Niger State also bemoaned the death of a number of members of the National Youth Service Corps taking part in their national service during the crises. the rest

Bishop and baroness warn of rising violence against Christians in Egypt

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali and Baroness Caroline Cox criticise inadequate response of Egyptian Army to violence against Christians
Saturday, May 21, 2011

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali and Baroness Caroline Cox have expressed concern over the frequency of attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt and international media coverage of the events.

They are among the signatories of an open letter warning of widespread ethno-religious violence “that demands an immediate response”.

It comes after several clashes between Christians and Muslims, one of which left 12 people dead and two churches badly damaged after being set on fire by Muslims.

“The collapse of the powerful state apparatus and the subsequent power vacuum this created, however, quickly opened a ‘Pandora’s Box’ of social problems that the Mubarak regime had either maintained or failed to address,” they warn. the rest

Christchurch NZ: Multi-faith cathedral unlikely, says dean

KIM KNIGHT
22/05/2011

A multi-faith rebuild of the quake-shattered ChristChurch Cathedral is unlikely, says Anglican dean, Peter Beck.

"It's a holy place, a sacred space for people of all faiths, [but] at the heart of it, it is a Christian church. It's the Anglicans' cathedral.

"The Anglican Church was part of the foundation of this city and has been a living part of its growth and heritage for all these years and we have no intention of doing anything other than continuing to contribute to the life and spirit of our city."

He said Christchurch was a multi-faith society, and the Anglican Church would work with other religions "in all sorts of ways – but the cathedral will continue to be the cathedral". the rest

Volcano eruption closes Iceland’s airports


05/22/2011
By Trey Johnson

A plume of ash 12 miles high from the eruption of the Grimsvotn volcano closed Iceland’s main international airport and canceled all domestic flights Sunday.

This event is larger than last year’s Eyjafjallajokull eruption which caused havoc for travelers across the globe. Scientists, however, do not think this eruption will cause as many hassles. the rest