Fox News' Brit Hume gave Tiger Woods some personal advice Sunday morning, telling the scandal-plagued (and Buddhist) golfer to 'turn to Christianity' to make a full recovery.
On "Fox News Sunday," Hume — the former leader of Fox News' political reporting and host of "Special Report" who now serves as an analyst for the network — said that Woods' recovery "depends on his faith."
"The extent to which he can recover seems to me depends on his faith," Hume said. "He is said to be a Buddhist. I don't think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. My message to Tiger would, 'Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world."
In 2008, Woods told Reuters about his religious practices.
"I practice meditation," he said. "That is something that I do, that my mum taught me over the years. We also have a thing we do every year, where we go to temple together. In the Buddhist religion you have to work for it yourself, internally, in order to achieve anything in life and set up the next life. It is all about what you do and you get out of it what you put into it."
Video at source
By Alexis Stevens
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A northwest Georgia couple arrested for giving six of their children homemade tattoos say they didn't do anything wrong. The kids, they say, wanted the tattoos to be like Mom and Dad.
"I'm their mother," Patty Jo Marsh said late Saturday. "Shouldn't I be able to decide if they get one?"
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KAMPALA, Uganda - Last March, three American evangelical Christians, whose teachings about “curing” homosexuals have been widely discredited in the United States, arrived here in Uganda’s capital to give a series of talks.
The theme of the event, according to Stephen Langa, its Ugandan organizer, was “the gay agenda — that whole hidden and dark agenda” — and the threat homosexuals posed to Bible-based values and the traditional African family.
For three days, according to participants and audio recordings, thousands of Ugandans, including police officers, teachers and national politicians, listened raptly to the Americans, who were presented as experts on homosexuality. The visitors discussed how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how “the gay movement is an evil institution” whose goal is “to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.”
Now the three Americans are finding themselves on the defensive, saying they had no intention of helping stoke the kind of anger that could lead to what came next: a bill to impose a death sentence for homosexual behavior.
One month after the conference, a previously unknown Ugandan politician, who boasts of having evangelical friends in the American government, introduced the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, which threatens to hang homosexuals, and, as a result, has put Uganda on a collision course with Western nations.
Donor countries, including the United States, are demanding that Uganda’s government drop the proposed law, saying it violates human rights, though Uganda’s minister of ethics and integrity (who previously tried to ban miniskirts) recently said, “Homosexuals can forget about human rights.”
The three Americans who spoke at the conference — Scott Lively, a missionary who has written several books against homosexuality, including “7 Steps to Recruit-Proof Your Child”; Caleb Lee Brundidge, a self-described former gay man who leads “healing seminars”; and Don Schmierer, a board member of Exodus International, whose mission is “mobilizing the body of Christ to minister grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality” — are now trying to distance themselves from the bill.
“I feel duped,” Mr. Schmierer said, arguing that he had been invited to speak on “parenting skills” for families with gay children. He acknowledged telling audiences how homosexuals could be converted into heterosexuals, but he said he had no idea some Ugandans were contemplating the death penalty for homosexuality.
“That’s horrible, absolutely horrible,” he said. “Some of the nicest people I have ever met are gay people.”
Mr. Lively and Mr. Brundidge have made similar remarks in interviews or statements issued by their organizations. But the Ugandan organizers of the conference admit helping draft the bill, and Mr. Lively has acknowledged meeting with Ugandan lawmakers to discuss it. He even wrote on his blog in March that someone had likened their campaign to “a nuclear bomb against the gay agenda in Uganda.” Later, when confronted with criticism, Mr. Lively said he was very disappointed that the legislation was so harsh.
Need help from city hall? If you are looking for a quick response, you might want to send a "tweet" as well as making that customary phone call.
The daughter of a 65-year-old Newark man did just that when she used Twitter to directly ask Mayor Cory Booker to help shovel her dad's driveway on New Years Eve.
Ravie Rave, otherwise known as @BigSixxRaven on Twitter, was at work and could not help her father shovel, so she sent a tweet to the mayor asking for assistance.
Five minutes later Booker messaged her back.
"I will do it myself where does he live?”
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What a cute story!! I love him and his twitter is one of my favorites
As ThinkProgress has repeatedly noted, the right-wing has used the failed terrorist attack by Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to renew calls for greater ethnic profiling of Muslims. “There should be a separate line to scrutinize anybody with the name Abdul or Ahmed or Mohammed,” said conservative talk radio host Mike Gallagher on Fox News last week.
But when David Gregory asked former Bush CIA director Michael Hayden on Meet The Press today if we are “effectively ethnically profiling” potential terrorism suspects, Hayden pushed back against the idea of ethnic profiling as a solution:
HAYDEN: I’m not quite sure the context in which you’re asking the question David about ethnically profiling, but with regard to intelligence…
GREGORY: Isn’t there a profile of who we think the terrorists are?
HAYDEN: Of course there is, but it’s based more on behavior. I mean, for example, the individual in question here, Abdulmutallab, I mean he would not have automatically fit a profile if you were standing next to him in the visa line at Dulles, for example. So it’s the behavior that we’re attempting to profile. And it’s the behavior, these little bits and pieces of information that were in the databases that we didn’t quite stitch together at this point in time. But it wasn’t a question of ethnicity or religion. Those are contributing factors, but it’s what people do that we should be paying attention to.
Unsatisfied, Gregory pressed his point to former Bush Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff, saying that counterterrorism officials have told him that religion and ethnicity are more than “contributing factors” because “90 percent” of “these terrorists” are “Islamic males between the ages of 20 and 30.”
But Chertoff pushed back, arguing that “relying on preconceptions or stereotypes is actually kind of misleading and arguably dangerous.” Chertoff noted that al Qaeda has intentionally recruited people “who don’t fit the stereotype.” Watch it:
Earlier this week, Chertoff told NPR that Abdulmutallab’s case “illustrates the danger and the foolishness of profiling because people’s conception of what a potential terrorist looks like often doesn’t match reality.” “I think it’s not only problematic from civil rights’ standpoint, but frankly,” Chertoff said, “I think it winds up not being terribly effective.”
Source - ThinkProgress
Council chairman Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe said the National Service Training Department had compiled information and data from various bodies, including the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, religious bodies, women's groups and non-governmental organisations. It is expected to study and discuss the introduction of sex education courses at National Service training programmes at its next meeting later this month.
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In a statement, Simpson, a member of the National Center for Transgender Equality's board of directors, said that "as one of the first transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds, and that this appointment opens future opportunities for many others."
A 2004 YWCA "Woman on the Move," Simpson recently served as Deputy Director in Advanced Technology Development at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona.
At Raytheon, Simpson -- a former test pilot who had worked for the company for more than a generation -- transitioned from male to female and was instrumental in convincing the military contractor to add gender identity and expression to its equal employment opportunity policy.
She later ran unsuccessfully for Congress and was a delegate for then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, to the Democratic National Convention in 2008.
By Robert Kuttner
President Obama's own instincts on how do deal with the economy seem to be somewhat better than those of his most senior advisers. At the White House jobs summit in December, he sounded less like Larry Summers or Tim Geithner and more like the man we heard on the campaign trail.
But Obama is under immense political pressure from the center and the right, and from some of his own top aides such as OMB Director Peter Orszag, to put deficit reduction ahead of job creation. Last month, the House Democratic leadership decided to jump the gun on the administration to create some salutary pressure from the left, and put forward a $154 billion jobs package, which included $50 billion in public works plus emergency aid to the states and extension of unemployment benefits.
On December 16, the bill just barely passed, 218-214 -- with several defections of conservative Democrats, and no help whatever from the White House. Had the bill failed, that would have doomed any Obama jobs program as politically unrealistic. Why didn't the president weigh in with wavering Dems?
We will soon find out, in the State of the Union Address, whether Obama will deliver on his promises to do something more about jobs, or whether his more conservative economic advisers will prevail.
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I also think Elizabeth Warren should replace Tim Geithner. Anyone else agree?
Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan told The Associated Press on Sunday that the large black doll was found Saturday morning along Main Street in the small town of Plains.
Footage from WALB-TV shows the doll was hanging by a noose in front of a red, white and blue sign that says "Plains, Georgia. Home of Jimmy Carter, our 39th President." A witness told the station that the doll had a sign with Obama's name on it.
Mayor L.E. Godwin III says the volunteer fire department was called to take it down. He says he saw the doll but couldn't read the signs.
Donovan declined further comment.
Fifty-two unmarried couples could face charges of sexual misconduct and jail terms after being caught in hotel rooms by Malaysia's Islamic morality police.
Scores of officers conducted raids on budget hotels on New Year's Day in the western state of Selangor.
Those detained in the early hours of New Year's Day were mainly students and young factory workers.
The Muslim couples are expected to be charged with the offence of close proximity, or Khalwat.
Under Malaysia's Islamic Sharia Law, couples who are not married to each other should not be in a secluded area or confined space, which could give rise to suspicion that they were engaged in immoral acts.
A spokesman for the Selangor State Islamic Department says they chose New Year's Day because many people are known to commit this offence when celebrating a major holiday.
If convicted, the couples could get a maximum penalty of two years in prison and a fine.
Sharia laws in Malaysia apply only to Malay Muslims, who make up over half the population.
Sharia law , Yikes...
Dean’s health care stand has infuriated party leaders, who have alternately tried to marginalize him and to bring him on board. Yet at the same time, his provocative approach has re-energized the political group he founded and thrilled legions of progressive activists, many of whom were drawn to politics by Dean's insurgent 2004 presidential campaign, then deflated when he didn’t land an Obama Cabinet post.
They have grown increasingly disenchanted with Obama’s presidency and are urging Dean to keep up the drumbeat as the health care debate heads to conference this month; to push Obama to stand more firmly with liberals on other issues; and, if the administration continues to disappoint, to consider challenging Obama in the 2012 Democratic primaries (a far-fetched scenario for which one liberal blogger recently posited Dean was “perfectly positioned”) or — if nothing else — to seek the party’s presidential nomination in 2016, when Obama could be finishing his second term.
“It’s almost like the circle has come all the way around again, and Howard Dean’s voice is leading the same charge that he started to lead in 2003,” said Joe Trippi, who ran Dean’s 2004 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.
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Dale Robertson, a Tea Party activist who operates TeaParty.org, is getting stung for an old photo — taken at the Feb. 27, 2009 Tea Party in Houston — in which he holds a sign reading “Congress = Slaveowner, Taxpayer = Niggar.”
After the ResistNet listerv promoted “Liberty Concerts” to be held by TeaParty.org, a source passed on this photo of Robertson, after the jump.
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I feel this would be a great post for everyone to comment with their favorite terrible teabagger/other protest signs Y/N?
He had given up on ever having parents.
Now, the man formerly known as John celebrates his one-year anniversary this month as Sampsen May Ferraro-Hauck, the son of Mark Hauck and Tim Ferraro of Minnesota. Some things just take time. He was not formally adopted until he was 23.
"To us, Sam was simply our son," Mark Hauck tells CNN. "It didn't matter that we didn't bring him home in a blanket."
Back six years ago when he was still known as John, he wasn't really thinking about finding parents when he left California's foster-care system, after a hard and lonely childhood. He spent his early years abused and neglected, and authorities took him away from his mother -- who would scream his name at him frequently -- when he was 7.
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It found that children who are smacked before the age of six perform better at school when they are teenagers.
They are also more likely to do voluntary work and to want to go to university than those who have never been physically disciplined.
But the study also revealed that children who are smacked after the age of six were more likely to exhibit behavioural problems, such as being involved in fights.
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Via the Daily
Claim: I was sterilized against my will
A 35-year-old mother of nine is suing a Springfield hospital, three doctors and two nurses, claiming they permanently sterilized her against her will, violating her reproductive rights, according to a lawsuit filed in Superior Court.
Tessa Savicki, who has nine children aged 3 to 21, claims doctors were supposed to implant an intrauterine device, which is a type of reversible birth control, after she delivered a son, Manuel Flores, on Dec. 19, 2006, at Baystate Medical Center.
Instead, she said, a type of permanent sterilization known as a tubal ligation was performed, leaving her mentally distraught and incapable of bearing more children.
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On the one hand, I raise an eyebrow at her situation, and the desire to want to bring another child into it, but on the other hand, it isn't up to anyone to make reproductive choices for someone else against their wishes.
In a second security lapse at the November 24 event, the person, who was not identified, traveled from a Washington hotel where the Indian delegation was staying and arrived at the dinner with the group, which was under the responsibility of the U.S. Department of State.
"This individual went through all required security measures along with the rest of the official delegation at the hotel, and boarded a bus/van with the delegation guests en route to the White House," the Secret Service said.
A Secret Service spokesman was not immediately available to comment on whether the individual had any contact with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh or came close to the visiting leader.
The person was not on the White House guest list. The individual did not go through the receiving line, unlike a Virginia couple, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, whose previously reported unauthorized attendance at the dinner has prompted a review of procedures and criminal investigation.
Besides coming within feet of Singh, the Salahis shook hands with President Barack Obama.
The White House declined immediate comment beyond the Secret Service release.
"The G-spot 'doesn't appear to exist', say researchers"
The elusive erogenous zone said to exist in some women may be a myth, say researchers who have hunted for it.
Their study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine is the biggest yet, involving 1,800 women, and it found no proof.
The King's College London team believe the G-spot may be a figment of women's imagination, encouraged by magazines and sex therapists.
But sexologist Beverley Whipple who helped popularise the G-spot idea said the work was "flawed".
She said the researchers had discounted the experiences of lesbian or bisexual women and failed to consider the effects of having different sexual partners with different love-making techniques.
The women in the study, who were all pairs of identical and non-identical twins, were asked whether they had a G-spot.
If one did exist, it would be expected that both identical twins, who have the same genes, would report having one.
But this pattern did not emerge and the identical twins were no more likely to share a G-spot than non-identical twins who share only half of their genes.
Co-author of the study Professor Tim Spector said: "Women may argue that having a G-spot is due to diet or exercise, but in fact it is virtually impossible to find real traits.
"This is by far the biggest study ever carried out and shows fairly conclusively that the idea of a G-spot is subjective."
Colleague Andrea Burri was concerned that women who feared they lacked a G-spot might feel inadequate, which she says is unnecessary.
"It is rather irresponsible to claim the existence of an entity that has never been proven and pressurise women and men too."
Dr Petra Boynton, a sexual psychologist at University College London, said: "It's fine to go looking for the G-spot but do not worry if you don't find it.
"It should not be the only focus. Everyone is different."
The Gräfenberg Spot, or G-Spot, was named in honour of the German gynaecologist Ernst Gräfenberg who described it over 50 years ago and is said to sit in the front wall of the vagina some 2-5cm up.
Recently Italian scientists claimed they could locate the G-spot using ultrasound scans.
They said they had found an area of thicker tissue among the women reporting orgasms.
But specialists warned there could be other reasons for this difference.
Brazil’s Lula da Silva seeks to follow example set by Chile’s Bachelet
President Lula da Silva’s advocacy of a truth commission to investigate human rights crimes committed by Brazil’s military government (1964 to 1985) was strongly opposed the last week of December by the nation’s military leaders.
Brazil Defense Minister Nelson Jobim and commanders of three military services offered their resignations December 23 rather than accept creation of the commission.
Brazilian officials announced plans to create the commission late last year, noting that Chile and its President Michelle Bachelet had set an example for other South American nations to follow (ST, Dec. 16).
Quoting a speech made by Bachlet, Brazil’s human rights leaders said: “We don’t want more bleeding from old wounds; we want them to heal, and only injuries thoroughly cleaned can heal.”
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ffffffffffffffuuuu. The military needs to quit protecting their own. And the whole "but the left wing ~terrorists~ did it too!" excuse is such a BS one, because no one fucking deserves to be murdered/tortured/disappeared, terrorist or not. And under the military regimes (Brazil, Chile, Argentina, etc), the "terrorist" label usually went far beyond people who actively participated in actual terrorist groups, and included people who's only "crime" was to be left-wing/have left wing thoughts. Lula bb, don't fail me now :(
Conservatives can rejoice -- Rush Limbaugh recently left Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu hospital with a clean bill of health.
Despite complaints of sharp chest pains, Limbaugh told reporters that after he went through an angiogram, doctors "found absolutely nothing wrong. It was a blessing. No arterial disease, no coronary disease whatsoever."
Moments later, Limbaugh turned his praise of the hospital's service into his latest proof that the current American health care system is working perfectly.
"Based on what happened to me here, I don't think there is one thing wrong with the American health care system. It is working just fine, just dandy, and I got nothing special," Limbaugh continued.
What Limbaugh didn't realize, SEIU's blog points out, is that the Hawaiian health care system is one of America's most progressive. So progressive, in fact, that Hawaii has been exempted from some of the terms of the Senate health care bill because the current system's requirements go above and beyond the ones federal legislation would mandate.
Furthermore, Limbaugh's saviors at the Queen's Medical Center are represented by the Hawaii Nurse's Associations, which, according to SEIU, offers benefits and protections similar to those of a labor union. The anti-reform talk show host is working to deny more people the same type of "confidence-inspiring" medical attention that made him "thankful to be an American."
Call it what you will, "the noughties", "the two-thousands" or something else, the first decade of the 21st century (2000-2009) is now over. Looking back on the past ten years through news photographs, it becomes clear that it was a dramatic, often brutal decade. Natural disasters, terrorist attacks and wars were by far the most dominant theme.
Ten years ago, Bill Clinton was ending his final term in office, very few had ever heard of Osama bin Laden, the Taliban ruled Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein still ruled Iraq - all that and much more has changed in the intervening time.
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There are full galleries of dozens of amazing pics at each source site. Please note, though, that Boston.com's site actually "shields" graphic images with the option of viewers to click them (like I tried to do with this post), whereas Pixcetera shows all graphic pics uncensored.
The South African president has tied the knot for the fifth time and is now married to three women.
In a traditional Zulu ceremony in his homestead in Nkandla, the 67-year-old Jacob Zuma married Tobeka Madiba, 37, on Monday.
The wedding was attended by cabinet ministers and other politicians as well as business leaders and hundreds of villagers.
"This is a traditional affair and there is a lot of dancing and celebrating. Later we will slaughter some animals and have a feast with the guests," Mike Zuma, the president's brother, told the Reuters news agency.
"It is a very happy day for the president and the Zuma family."
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Two more horcruxes to go, Zuma.
Lady Gaga tackles homophobic fan
Lady Gaga was reportedly forced to confront a homophobic man at one of her gigs.
The gay-friendly singer had performed in an Ottawa club and was dancing with friends when a man approached her to hurl homophobic abuse at her and fellow star Adam Lambert.
According to the National Enquirer, he called Lambert a derogatory word and accused Gaga of being a man. The singer fired back: “Well, that’s your opinion, isn’t it? And I’m not about to waste my time trying to change it.”
He then called the pair "freaks" and said they were going to hell, to which Gaga replied: “Okay, that’s it. Call me anything you want, but when you start calling my friends names, it’s over – it's war!”
She reportedly then poured a drink over his head and made a swift exit.
With the Republican Party on the cusp of major gains in the House next year — and with the dream of retaking the House appearing to be a real, if improbable, possibility — one major obstacle remains: tightfisted Republican incumbents.
The National Republican Congressional Committee, the key cog in helping to finance GOP campaigns, has banked less than a third as much money as its Democratic counterpart and is ending the year with barely enough money to fully finance a single House race — no less the dozens that will be in play come 2010.
A big part of the problem, according to Republican strategists, is that GOP members themselves — the ones who stand the most to gain from large-scale House gains — haven’t chipped in accordingly, despite evidence of solid opportunities in at least 40 districts next year and with as many as 80 seats in play, according to the Cook Political Report’s estimates.
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NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A New Orleans man has been arrested and charged with threatening to kill President Barack Obama.
In a court filing Monday, a Secret Service agent said 47-year-old John Turnpaugh dialed 911 early last Friday and told a police dispatcher that he planned to kill the president and first lady Michelle Obama.
The agent said he used telephone records to trace the call to Turnpaugh's cell phone. Police arrested him Saturday and he was booked into jail on state charges that included illegal possession of a firearm and drug possession.
Turnpaugh remained in custody Monday. He's scheduled to make his initial appearance in federal court Friday.
Kathy English, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Jim Letten, said it wasn't known if Turnpaugh has an attorney.
Is it weird that the Breaking News linked me to Fox News for this story?
At the inception of the tea party phenomena, organizers insisted that “the movement is not tied to the Republican Party.” But in recent weeks, the Republican Party has been going all out to bring the vocal activists into the GOP’s fold. “We need to stop looking at the tea parties as separate from the Republican party,” Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) told National Review last month. In a Dec. 29 interview on Fred Thompson’s radio show with guest host Jed Babbin, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said that if the GOP were “wise,” they would “allow themselves to be re-defined by the tea party movement”:
BABBIN: What should the Republican Party be doing to capture this political energy and turn it into votes next year?
BACHMANN: Well, it’s embrace the tea party movement with full arms and hold as many open forums as they possibly can to bring people in and listen to them because the leadership right now is truly coming from the tea party movement because it is disaffected Democrats, Independents, Republicans. It’s really people who love the country and who brace what ultimately has been the mission statement of the Republican Party. If you look at the two parties, Democrat and Republican, there’s no question that the heartbeat of the tea party movement would be more in line with the mission state of the Republican party certainly than that of the Democrat party. So if the Republican Party is wise, they will allow themselves to be re-defined by the tea party movement. And I hope that that will be the case.
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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY - It is a success story full of love, as a pet owner and her beloved cat are reunited after years apart.
The key to getting the cat back was a tiny microchip.
Deitra Jones says she always knew she'd see Fluffy again. Her precious Himalayan wandered out the door two years ago in Oldsmar. Dietra was heartbroken without him.
"When he first left, we had fliers made," she said. "We went door to door in every single house
in the neighborhood, trying to find him."
Dietra even contacted a pet psychic, who she said "almost" succeeded. When she looked in one spot, people told her Fluffy had been there just the day before.
"So the pet psychic had the location right," Dietra said, "but the timing was literally 24 hours off."
After two years, they are finally reunited because of technology and good thinking. Dietra had Fluffy microchipped and registered, and when Fluffy was brought to a shelter, the workers found Dietra easily, despite the time and the distance from home.
"I was shocked," Dietra said about learning that Fluffy had been found. "I was in Costa Rica. We weren't even going to check e-mail, we were, you know, on holiday."
Now Fluffy has lots of pampering in store.
"[I] just always felt in my heart he'd come back to me, somehow, some way," Dietra said.
It may have been partly fate, but in the end, it was the microchip that made the difference, reuniting these best of friends.
The Humane Society of Tampa Bay will microchip a pet for the low cost of $15.
The headmaster of a pricey lower Manhattan private school fired a school psychologist for reporting possible parental abuse of a troubled teen, a new lawsuit alleges.
The seventh-grade boy at Claremont Preparatory School had cuts and bruises from a fight with his mom and told a teacher that she hit him, school shrink Gabriella Johr alleged.
But headmaster Irwin Shlachter instructed Johr not to report the evidence to the city Administration for Children's Services, she says in a suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Shlachter opposed the report because of his friendly relationship with the boy's family, she charges.
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A while ago, I posted about the German Protestant Church electing their first female leader. Well, it turns out that this is a sign of our moral downfall.
Russian Orthodox breaks ties with Protestants over female leader
The Russian Orthodox clergy is threatening to cut ties with Germany’s Protestants for electing a divorced woman, Margot Käßmann, as the head of their church.
Dialogue between the churches, which has been strong and steady for the past 50 years, was no longer possible because of Käßmann’s election, said Rev. Georgy Zavershinsky, spokesman for the Russian church’s office of external relations in Moscow.
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Comment by lied_ohne_worte: Actually, ties have since indeed been cut; sadly, I wasn't able to find a more recent article in English. An interview with a Russian Orthodox leader in the print edition of Der Spiegel included the following interesting tidbits of information:
- The Russian Orthodox leaders had magnanimously offered to continue contacts, if they could talk with the previous (male) leader instead of Käßmann. This offer, surprisingly, was not liked.
- The functionary interviewed stated that they would seek to strengthen their ties with Rome instead, as they were closer in many respects anyway.
- German Protestants in general are supposedly far too much into secularism. He named as particularly objectionable: churches giving blessing services to gay people, abortion not being categorically considered a sin, and naturally the ordaining of female clergy.
Personally? I say good riddance. If they cannot accept the Protestant Church doing something that is allowed within Protestant rules and can't bear talking to someone with a vagina, the "dialogue" might not have been that "strong and steady" in the first place. And I'm very glad they didn't cave and let them talk to a man, as that would have been incredibly damaging to all efforts towards equal rights that were made during the last few decades.
WASHINGTON – All but one of the Washington staffers for Rep. Parker Griffith resigned on Monday in protest of the Alabama congressman's decision to switch from the Democratic to the Republican Party.
In a sharply worded statement, Griffith's former chief of staff, Sharon Wheeler, called the freshman congressman's switch a "mistake" that goes against the interests of his district, which relies heavily on federal funding for defense and aerospace jobs.
"We cannot in good conscience continue working for him," Wheeler said. "We do not know what the future holds, but we are taking a leap of faith with the belief we will soon find ourselves in the employment of principled public officials."
Griffith's legislative aides, interns and other junior staffers also quit, joining his former spokesman, Sean Magers, who had already announced he was leaving. The resignations left Griffith with just one staffer in his Washington office, a scheduler. A handful of employees remained at his district offices in Alabama, said Gene Tackett, his district director.
In a statement, Griffith said the resignations were expected. He said all of his offices remain open and that he is confident he can fill the vacancies by Jan. 12, when Congress reconvenes after the holidays.
"It is an unfortunate fact that any time a change like this occurs partisanship becomes an issue as it has in this case," Griffith said. "The staff members who have resigned have served this district diligently and I wish them well in their future endeavors."
Griffith, a former state senator, narrowly won the seat last year and announced his party switch on Dec. 22, saying he could no longer support the Democratic agenda on health care and other issues.
Wheeler said Griffith made a "well-intentioned but misguided" decision. She said he abandoned the legacy of conservative Democratic leadership in the north Alabama district, which includes Huntsville.
Senate Republicans are determined to prevent the creation of an independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency because they consider it as threatening as their current arch-nemesis regulator: the Environmental Protection Agency.
Consumer advocates, meanwhile, say the CFPA must have strong, independent authority to craft and enforce rules. Anything less, they argue, would be too much of a concession to banks that have gotten enough already.
"From the Republican point of view, the idea of a separate agency is still anathema," said Sen. Robert Bennett of Utah, a senior Republican on the banking committee. An independent agency, he said, can go too far in the direction of tight regulation without taking into account the effect of the rules it creates on business and the economy. He said he's seen it happen before.
"Can you say EPA?" he asked, lifting his eyebrows. The Republican Party has regretted for years that President Richard Nixon made the EPA independent.
There's been some movement: Republicans who once pushed for total elimination of the CFPA are now ready to back a compromise solution that would make the CFPA subservient to a larger financial regulatory agency, whose leadership could modify or eliminate any protections deemed hurtful to business.
"That doesn't mean we're opposed to consumer protection, but a single agency whose sole purpose is consumer protection would be really bad news," Bennett said. "I've served in the executive branch. I know what happens when the culture around a single mission takes over an agency. Republicans say that consumer protection has to be tied to regulation so the regulator who's involved with regulation and consumer protection doesn't go overboard in one direction or the other."
Supporters see the CFPA's independence as essential. "For reform groups, this effort will not be successful without a stand-alone consumer agency. Putting consumer protection into a new, larger banking agency takes the failed structure of the Fed and the other existing banking agencies and consolidates it. These regulators repeatedly prioritized banks' business practices over consumers' financial security, and this proposal is a recipe for more of the same," said Graham Steele, policy counsel with Public Citizen's Congress Watch.
Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), who championed the CFPA in the House, where it passed as an independent agency, said that he wants an agency much stronger than the EPA.
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The group Global Peace and Justice has sent her a letter asking her to withdraw from the tournament because of Israel's policies towards Palestinians.
Spokesman John Minto acknowledges they are asking Pe'er to make a significant sacrifice as she makes her living as a professional tennis player.
However he says greater sacrifices are being forced onto Palestinians.
The New Zealand protest group Global Peace and Justice earlier Tuesday said it had written to the 22-year-old Peer asking her to withdraw from the tournament "as a demonstration of your commitment to peace."
Global Peace and Justice also wrote to Peer and protested her presence at last year's tournament. The group said it opposes Israel's treatment of Palestinians and advocates a sports boycott of Israel.
The letter sent to Peer on Tuesday said her withdrawal from ASB Classic, a WTA Tour event, would be a "significant sacrifice."
Global Peace and Justice said sporting boycotts were "more visible than a trade or investment boycott and can have an important psychological impact. We saw this with the successful sports boycotts against apartheid [in] South Africa."
Pe'er has not responded to the letter but last year said she was disappointed to be singled out by protesters.
Protests against Israeli players is not new. Pe'er was subjected to a similar protest at last year's tournament, as well as a controversy at the 2009 Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships when the Dubai government refused to grant her a visa, preventing her from playing in the tournament. The men's Israeli Davis Cup team also suffered protests from anti-Israeli groups prior to their quarterfinal tie against Sweden, leading the Swedish tennis association to ban all spectators for the matches.
Stuff like this really makes me angry =/ She hits a fuzzy ball with a racquet, how is that hurting anyone? She doesn't control her government or what it does and she can't help where she was born. This is why politics and sports should not mix :(
The rapid introduction of full body scanners at British airports threatens to breach child protection laws which ban the creation of indecent images of children, the Guardian has learned.
Privacy campaigners claim the images created by the machines are so graphic they amount to "virtual strip-searching" and have called for safeguards to protect the privacy of passengers involved.
Ministers now face having to exempt under 18s from the scans or face the delays of introducing new legislation to ensure airport security staff do not commit offences under child pornography laws.
They also face demands from civil liberties groups for safeguards to ensure that images from the £80,000 scanners, including those of celebrities, do not end up on the internet. The Department for Transport confirmed that the "child porn" problem was among the "legal and operational issues" now under discussion in Whitehall after Gordon Brown's announcement on Sunday that he wanted to see their "gradual" introduction at British airports.
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Maybe the plug will get pulled on this mess after all...