The leadership of the Texas metropolis of San Antonio is working on ordinance changes aimed at punishing those who speak out against homosexuality
...Moreover, according to a draft of the revised policy, no one who has spoken out against homosexuality or the transgender lifestyle can run for city council or be appointed to a board. Flowers says the Arizona-based legal firm Alliance Defending Freedom has taken a look at the ordinance....
King David’s Palace May Have Been Discovered
Just 18 miles southwest of Jerusalem in Khirbet Qeiyafa, archeologists from Hebrew University and Israel Antiquities Authorities believe that they have found King David’s palace, the Associated Press reports
What Helps Poor Kids Move Upwards? Religion and Marriage
The New York Times
is reporting on this incredibly detailed study
looking at variations in what proportion of kids raised in the bottom fifth income-wise rise to the top fifth as adults...
The study also noted:
“Finally, some of the strongest predictors of upward mobility are correlates of social capital and family structure. For instance, high upward mobility areas tended to have higher fractions of religious individuals and fewer children raised by single parents.”
Low Fertility Rates – Just a Phase?
...Thirty years ago only a small fraction of the world’s population lived in the few countries with fertility rates substantially below the “replacement level” – the rate at which the fertility of a hypothetical cohort of women would exactly replace itself in the next generation – normally set at 2.1 children per woman for populations with low mortality conditions. Fast forward to 2013, with roughly 60 percent of the world’s population living in countries with such below-replacement fertility rates.
The consequences of these changes are striking. One is that international migration, which over the same 30 years has been increasing rapidly, now has become the primary driver of rapid changes in the demography of dozens of countries around the world. If we were to assume that current low fertility rates and high immigration rates will continue into the future – neither of which may be a good assumption over the long term – migration would become even more significant a determinant not only of overall national growth but of the ethnic and racial composition of most industrial states, including those of much of Europe and North America...
Egypt: Security forces abandon Coptic Christians during deadly attack in Luxor
...In an attack lasting 18 hours on 5 July, four Coptic Christian men were killed and four others were seriously injured. An angry mob armed with metal bars, knives, tree branches and hammers attacked Christian homes and businesses in Nagah Hassan, 18 km west of Luxor, after the dead body of a Muslim man was discovered near the homes of Christian families. Despite local residents’ and religious leaders’ repeated calls for help, security forces on the scene made only half-hearted attempts to end the violence and sufficient reinforcements failed to arrive.
“It is outrageous that this attack was left to escalate unhindered in this way. Amnesty International has documented a series of cases in the past where Egypt’s security forces used unnecessary force or live fire during demonstrations, yet in this case they held back even though people’s lives were threatened,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme...
Pakistan: Christian couple charged with blasphemy in Gojra
Obama Judicial Pick Cornelia Pillard: Abortion Needed to “Free Women From Maternity”
[Women are "presumptive " breeders]
...A Georgetown law professor, Pillard is the President’s latest nominee to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals — and only the second one since President George W. Bush to wait less than two months for a hearing.
Why the rush? Ed Whalen of NRO’s Bench Memos suspects that Pillard (who’s been described to him as “less moderate” than the most activist liberal in appellate court history) wouldn’t survive intense scrutiny. The hurry, Whalen warns, “seems designed to prevent a careful review of their records. Obama himself has taken forever to make nominations to the D.C. Circuit, and that court remains underworked, so it is difficult to see the justification for the sudden rush.”
Unfortunately for Americans, the Senate won’t have to dig too deep to uncover some of Pillard’s shockers. Among some of her greatest hits, the former Deputy Assistant Attorney General argues that abortion is necessary to help “free women from historically routine conscription into maternity.” As if her militant feminism wasn’t apparent enough, she takes the opportunity in some of her writings to slam anyone who opposes the abortion-contraception mandate as “reinforce[ing] broader patterns of discrimination against women as a class of presumptive breeders.”...
Top IRS execs rack up big travel bills
Two high-ranking IRS employees were on the road so often in the past two years that they may have traveled more days than they worked, according to a report by Treasury inspectors released Tuesday.
And at least 15 executives traveled to another office — typically Washington — for more than half of their work days, raising questions about whether they should have been assigned to IRS headquarters in the first place, said the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
The inspectors are looking into whether the tax agency may have itself evaded taxes by failing to disclose the benefit of the travel on withholding statements for those employees. Under IRS regulations, travel expenses are taxable if the employee works at a location for more than a year...
Borrowers in Obama housing program re-defaulting
Borrowers who received help through the government's main foreclosure prevention program are re-defaulting on their mortgages at alarming rates, a federal watchdog said in a report released Wednesday.
Nearly 1.2 million mortgage modifications have been completed since the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) was first launched four years ago. Yet more than 306,000 borrowers have re-defaulted on their loans and more than 88,000 are at risk of following suit, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) found in its quarterly report to Congress...