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Journal Archives

Russian Orthodox Priest Says Abortions Scarier Than The Holocaust

Published time: 28 Feb, 2019 13:46

A senior cleric has compared the amount of abortions in Russia to the losses suffered during WWII as the Russian Orthodox Church continues to push for an abortion ban.

"How many (people) did we kill ourselves? More than during the Second World War."

That's what Dimitry Smirnov, head of the Patriarchy Commission for Family, stated at a forum on reproductive health.

He said high abortion rates were a “mass murder of Russian children” and “worse than the Holocaust.”

The cleric also called for public opinion on abortions to change, saying that a tolerant attitude to the issue will lead the Russian nation to “suicide.”


US Wants Broad Regime-Change Coalition On Venezuela Bolton

Published time: 3 Mar, 2019 14:38
Edited time: 3 Mar, 2019 16:04

National Security Adviser John Bolton said that the United States will form “as broad a coalition” as possible to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Bolton went on to call for a “completely democratic hemisphere.”

“I’d like to see as broad a coalition as we can put together to replace Maduro, to replace the whole corrupt regime,” Bolton told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday. “That’s what we’re trying to do.”

Within hours of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declaring himself interim president in January, the Donald Trump administration threw its support behind the self-declared leader. While several Latin American countries followed the US line, efforts to drum up international support against Maduro have thus far proven unsuccessful. A US resolution condemning Maduro and calling for fresh elections in Venezuela was defeated at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council last week, and Maduro remains in control.

READ MORE: Venezuelan VP tells RT how Caracas fights sanctions & what awaits Guaido once he's back

Still, Bolton told Tapper that the US is not afraid to go it alone. “In this administration we’re not afraid to use the phrase ‘Monroe Doctrine,’” he said. “This is a country in our hemisphere and it’s been the objective of American presidents going back to Ronald Reagan to have a completely Democratic hemisphere.”


House Committee Chair Calls For Rep. Ilhan Omar To Apologize For 'Vile, Anti-Semitic Slur'


Freshman Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar is once again facing criticism and charges of anti-Semitism from her own party's leadership for comments about the political influence of Israel.

On Friday, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., called on Omar to apologize for "a vile, anti-Semitic slur" she made at a town hall event in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday where she suggested Israel demands "allegiance" from American lawmakers.

"I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country," the congresswoman from Minnesota said in a video of the event shared on Facebook.

She was joined at the event by Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.; Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.; and Mark Pocan, D-Wis.


"Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y"...

Nadler: House Judiciary Will Send Over 60 Doc Requests To Don Jr., Weisselberg, Others

By Matt Shuham
March 3, 2019 12:29 pm

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) announced Sunday that his committee would be issuing document request “to over 60 different people” on Monday in order to eventually “present the case to the American people about obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power.”

Nadler, who said later in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that “it’s very clear that the President obstructed justice,” said “I would imagine” the list of people who will receive a document request includes former White House chief of staff John Kelly and former White House Counsel Don McGahn.

“We will be releasing the list tomorrow of over 60 entities, people, et cetera,” he said, specifically naming Donald Trump Jr. and Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg.

The Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed source “familiar with the list,” reported later on Sunday that it also included document requests for Eric Trump, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump’s longtime Trump Organization assistant Rhona Graff.


Guaido Calls For Mass Protests Ahead Of Return To Venezuela Monday

AFP March 3, 2019

Caracas (AFP) - Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido called for mass protests across the country against President Nicolas Maduro on Monday as he announced his return after a week touring Latin American allies.

His reappearance in Venezuela would pose an immediate challenge to the embattled Maduro, who will have to decide whether to arrest him for defying a travel ban -- thereby provoking strong international condemnation -- or allow him to enter unmolested, which would undermine his authority, analyst say.

"I'm announcing my return to the country. I am calling on the Venezuelan people to mobilize all over the country tomorrow at 11:00 am (1500 GMT)," Guaido said in a Twitter message Sunday.

Guaido, who has been recognized by more than 50 countries as interim president, gave no details of when or how he would return, though speculation is rife that a flight from the Colombian capital Bogota to Caracas is the most likely route.


Space Station Celebrates 'A New Era' In Exploration With Arrival Of SpaceX Capsule

March 3, 201912:20 PM ET

In this photo provided by NASA, the SpaceX Crew Dragon is pictured just beside the International Space Station. SpaceX's new crew capsule arrived at the station on Sunday in a remarkable moment for commercial space exploration.

Humans have entered SpaceX's Crew Dragon while in orbit for the first time, just hours after the commercial spacecraft docked at the International Space Station on Sunday morning.

The new space vehicle, carrying only cargo and a human dummy, launched Saturday from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. On Sunday, the ISS crew watched as Crew Dragon became the first American commercial space vehicle designed to carry humans to dock at the station, according to NASA.

Astronauts David Saint-Jacques and Oleg Artemyev swung open the hatch and entered the capsule at 7:07 a.m. in Houston, where NASA employees watched. The successful maneuver was also greeted with cheers from the Hawthorne, Calif., headquarters of Elon Musk's ambitious space company.

"Congratulations to all nations, private space firms and individuals who wake up every day driven by the magic of exploration," American astronaut Anne McClain, the third crew member on the station, said at a welcoming ceremony broadcast over NASA TV. "This day belongs to all of us."


Sanctuary Cities Are Getting Their Grants Despite Threats

an hour ago

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — About 18 months after the Trump administration threatened to withhold law enforcement grants from nearly 30 places around the country it felt weren’t doing enough to work with federal immigration agents, all but one have received or been cleared to get the money, the Justice Department said.

In most cases, courts chipped away at the crackdown that escalated in November 2017 with letters from the Justice Department of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to 29 cities, metro areas, counties or states it considered as having adopted “sanctuary policies” saying those policies may violate federal law.

Of those 29 jurisdictions — which include cities as large as Los Angeles and as small as Burlington, Vermont — only Oregon has yet to be cleared to receive the grants from 2017, a Justice Department spokesman told The Associated Press this week.

Vermont officials announced Monday that they had been told the state Department of Public Safety would be getting $2.3 million in law enforcement grants that had been blocked. Vermont had not joined any of the legal cases, instead corresponding directly with the Justice Department.

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, declared victory, saying the money would be used primarily on anti-drug efforts.


3 Big US Churches In Turmoil Over Sex Abuse, LGBT Policy


It has been a wrenching season for three of America’s largest religious denominations, as sex-abuse scandals and a schism over LGBT inclusion fuel anguish and anger within the Roman Catholic, Southern Baptist and United Methodist churches. There’s rising concern that the crises will boost the ranks of young people disillusioned by organized religion.

“Every denomination is tremendously worried about retaining or attracting young people,” said Stephen Schneck, a political science professor at Catholic University. “The sex-abuse scandals will have a spillover effect on attitudes toward religion in general. I don’t think any denomination is going to not take a hit.”

For the U.S. Catholic church, the clergy sex-abuse scandal that has unfolded over two decades expanded dramatically in recent months. Many dioceses have become targets of investigations since a Pennsylvania grand jury report in August detailed hundreds of cases of alleged abuse. In mid-February, former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was expelled from the priesthood for sexually abusing minors and seminarians.

The Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest Protestant denomination, confronted its own sex-abuse crisis three weeks ago in the form of an investigation by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News. The newspapers reported that hundreds of Southern Baptist clergy and staff had been accused of sexual misconduct over the past 20 years, including dozens who returned to church duties, while leaving more than 700 victims with little in the way of justice or apologies.

For both denominations, allegations of cover-ups and insufficient sympathy for victims have been as damaging in the public eye as the abuse itself.


The US just officially hit the debt ceiling, setting up another high-stakes showdown for the fall

•The debt ceiling was reimposed on Saturday, and Congress must pass a bill to raise it again.

•The Treasury Department can use its "extraordinary measures" to prevent the US from breaching the debt ceiling until late September or early October.

•If the debt ceiling is breached, it would have disastrous consequences for the US's credit rating, the global economy, and stock markets around the world.

•Congress has flirted with a debt-ceiling breach before, but a slew of deadlines around the debt-ceiling-breach date could complicate the negotiations.

by Bob Bryan

As of Saturday, the US has officially hit the debt ceiling, capping the national debt at just over $22 trillion. And while the deadline to raise the ceiling is still a few months away, analysts are already worried about a fight that could get ugly.

Congress suspended the debt ceiling for a year in February 2018, which allowed the US to rack up new debt until the limit was reimposed on March 2.

While the country can't add to the debt load until the ceiling is either raised or suspended by Congress, the Treasury Department can use its "extraordinary measures" to move funds around and prevent a breach of the ceiling for a few more months.

According to a report released on Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office, the Treasury will exhaust the ability to extend the deadline until sometime in late September or early October. The exact date is uncertain this far out because of the variability of tax receipts and potential federal spending.

US Looks Into Claims Pakistan Misused F-16 Fighter, As Media War Over Kashmir Clash Heats Up

Published time: 2 Mar, 2019 15:55

The US State Department is investigating claims Pakistan improperly used a US-supplied F-16 jet against India this week, Indian media claims. The jet has been a bone of contention between the two nuclear powers.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) claimed on Thursday to have shot down a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) F-16 one day earlier, during a PAF raid on Indian military bases. Pakistan denied using the American-supplied fighter and denied that any of its planes had been shot down. The IAF countered by showing off the twisted wreckage of an AIM-120 AMRAAM missile, claiming the projectile “conclusively proves” Pakistan deployed an F-16.

Pakistan’s alleged use of an F-16 may have been in breach of its end-user agreement with the United States. Pakistan operates 45 F-16s, and has used the jet since the 1980s. However, Islamabad’s use of the fighter is bound by agreements with Washington, including a requirement that flights outside of Pakistani airspace be cleared with the US government.

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