by Leonardo Blair
Newscast Media CAIRO—Antiquities officials in Egypt aren’t pleased with 2016 GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson’s claim that the country’s iconic pyramids were built by the biblical Joseph to store grains instead of the bodies of ancient pharaohs.
At a recent news conference in that country officials there thumbed their collective noses at Carson’s recently publicized theory and grudgingly responded to the hoopla over his comments.
CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>
Newscast Media NEW ORLEANS—President Barack Obama’s plan to protect from deportation an estimated 5 million people living in the United States illegally suffered another setback Monday in a ruling from a New Orleans-based federal appeals court.
In a 2-1 ruling, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Texas-based federal judge’s injunction blocking the administration’s immigration initiative.
Republicans had criticized the plan as an illegal executive overreach when Obama announced it last November. Twenty-six states challenged the plan in court.
The administration argued that the executive branch was within its rights in deciding to defer deportation of selected groups of immigrants, including children who were brought to the U.S. illegally.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, praised the ruling.
“President Obama should abandon his lawless executive amnesty program and start enforcing the law today,” Abbott said in a news release. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY
Newscast Media TEHRAN—A large majority of Iranian legislators say the Islamic Republic is “not at all prepared” to abandon the slogan of “Death to America” despite a landmark nuclear deal signed with six world powers.
In a statement carried by state news agency IRNA on November 2, 192 members of the 290-member parliament described the slogan, chanted at the weekly Friday Prayers in mosques and at rallies, as “the symbol of the Islamic republic and all struggling nations.”
The statement was issued two days before Iran commemorates the 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran by radical Islamic students that led to a break in bilateral diplomatic relations.
Under the July nuclear accord, sanctions against Iran will be gradually lifted in return for Tehran imposing curbs on nuclear activities.
Source: Radio Free Europe
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The US Director of National Intelligence has said there is no evidence yet that terrorists brought down a Russian airplane in Egypt. The comments add to the confusion over the cause of the deadly crash.
James Clapper, the US Director of National Intelligence, said on Monday that although there was no evidence a terrorist attack was behind the Russian plane crash it remained a possible cause.
“We don’t have any direct evidence of any terrorist involvement yet,” Clapper said in Washington. “It’s unlikely, but I wouldn’t rule it out.” Continue to full story>>
Newscast Media DAMASCUS—The Syrian military has begun a major ground offensive on the country’s second city of Aleppo. The advance in northern Syria has been supported by the Russian air force.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday that in the past 24 hours, “dozens” of Russian airstrikes had struck the area which is controlled by a various groups including rebels, Islamist fighters and al Qaeda’s Syria affiliate, al Nusra Front.
“The Syrian army started a new front on Friday and advanced to take control of the villages of Abteen and Kaddar” about 15 kilometers (9 miles) south of Aleppo city,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.
According to a senior military source in Syria, the assaults are also being supported by hundreds of fighters from Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
“This is the promised battle,” the source told Reuters news agency.
Several members of the international community have been questioning Russia’s intentions since Moscow launched its aeriel campaign in late September . Some Western officials have described the move as a ploy to bolster Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Russia maintains, however, that they are only targeting areas held by “Islamic State” (IS).
The safety of air personnel has also become an issue with the US and Russia both flying combat missions over Syria.
The offensive on Friday followed a similar advance by Syrian and Russian forces on Thursday on rebel-held areas of the central province of Homs.
The Observatory reported on Friday that at least 60 people, including 30 women and children, had been killed during the strikes. Seventeen rebel fighters were also among the dead.
The Syrian conflict has displaced millions and left more than 250,000 people dead since it erupted in 2011, following a government crackdown on people protesting President Assad’s regime.
Source: Deutsche Welle
Newscast Media VATICAN CITY—The third General Congregation of the XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops opened on Tuesday morning with the celebration of Terce (mid-morning prayer).
The homily for the Liturgy was delivered by Cardinal George Alencherry of Ernakulam-Angamaly, Major Archbishop and President of the Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church.
In his homily, Cardinal Alencherry reminded the Synod Fathers that “the pastors of the Church in the present times are called to take upon their lives a prophetic role of suffering and kenosis.”
Previously, Pope Francis took center stage and recalled that a synod is not a parliament or senate, where people do deals and make compromises, but rather a journeying together of the people of God, guided by the Holy Spirit. His readings centered on three themes, “solitude, love between man and women, and the family.”
The First Reading came from the book of Genesis – the Lord giving Adam a helpmate. Pope Francis, reflecting on Adam’s loneliness, likened it to the drama of solitude experienced by men and women today – especially the elderly, widows and widowers and those left by their spouses. He said that many today are lonely because they are misunderstood and unheard – referring particularly to migrants and refugees.
The Holy Father went on to say that we experience “the paradox of a globalized world filled with luxurious mansions and skyscrapers, but a lessening of the warmth of homes and families.” He spoke of the growing interior loneliness that many in the world experience. He said that we live in a time when we have “many liberties, but little freedom.”
Speaking on the family Pope Francis said that people today are “less and less serious about building a solid and fruitful relationship of love: in sickness and in health, for better and for worse, in good times and in bad.”
He went on to say, “Love which is lasting, faithful, conscientious, stable and fruitful is increasingly looked down upon, viewed as a quaint relic of the past. It would seem that the most advanced societies are the very ones which have the lowest birth-rates and the highest percentages of abortion, divorce, suicide, and social and environmental pollution.”
Pope Francis said that God did not make men and women to live in sorrow or alone but, rather, for happiness.
Reflecting on Mark’s Gospel, the Holy Father said that Jesus was asked a rhetorical question to trap him and make him unpopular with the crowd: “Is it against the law for a man to divorce his wife?” In answer, he said, Jesus “responds in a straightforward and unexpected way.” The Pope said that he brings everything back to the beginning of creation: “to teach us that God blesses human love, that it is he who joins the hearts of two people who love one another, he who joins them in unity and indissolubility.”
When Jesus says “What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder,” exhorts believers to “overcome every form of individualism and legalism which conceals a narrow self-centredness and a fear of accepting the true meaning of the couple and of human sexuality in God’s plan,” the Pope said.
“For God marriage is not some adolescent utopia, but a dream without which his creatures are doomed to solitude! Being afraid to accept his plan paralyses the human heart,” the Holy Father said.
He said that it was paradoxical that people today ridicule this plan and yet continue to be attracted and fascinated by authentic love. “We see people chase after fleeting loves while dreaming of true love, they chase carnal pleasures but desire total self-giving.”
The Holy Father said that it was in this “extremely difficult social and marital context” that the Church was to carry out her mission in fidelity, truth and love.”
He said that the Church must be faithful to her Master’s voice and in so doing defend the sacredness of life, the unity and indissolubility of marriage, and be a sign of God’s grace and of the human ability to love seriously.
The truth, Pope Francis said, is not changed by passing fads or popular opinions. “The truth which protects individuals and humanity as a whole from the temptation of self-centredness and from turning fruitful love into sterile selfishness, faithful union into temporary bonds.”
Quoting his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, the Holy Father said “Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way. In a culture without truth, this is the fatal risk facing love.”
Speaking about the Church’s mission “in charity” Pope Francis used the image of a mother “conscious of her duty to seek and care for hurting couples with the balm of acceptance and mercy.” He spoke of the Church as a “field hospital” with “doors wide open to whoever knocks in search of help and support.”
The Holy Father said that the Church teaches and defends fundamental values yet does not forget “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mk 2:27) He also reminded us that Jesus said: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mk 2:17).
At the end of the homily Pope Francis quoted Pope St. John Paul II: “Error and evil must always be condemned and opposed; but the man who falls or who errs must be understood and loved… we must love our time and help the man of our time.” He said that the Church must search out these persons to welcome and accompany them and not become a “roadblock” but a “bridge.”
Source: Vatican Radio
Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russia will consider extending its airstrikes against militants in Syria to Iraq if it receives such a request from Baghdad, the RIA news agency quoted the head of the country’s upper chamber of parliament as saying on Tuesday.
The speaker, Valentina Matviyenko, said Russia had so far not received such a request from the Iraqi government.
“In case of an official address from Iraq to the Russian Federation, the leaders of our country would study the political and military expediency of our Air Force’s participation in an air operation. Presently we have not received such an address,” Matviyenko told reporters on Tuesday during an official visit to Jordan. She also asked the press “to stop reading tea leaves” before actual events take place.
“I want to emphasize that Russia has no other political objectives and no interests other than the defeat of ISIS [formerly ISIS/ISIL] and that differs us from other nations that participate in another coalition,” Interfax news agency quoted Matviyenko as saying at a meeting with the head of the Jordanian Senate, President Abdur-Ra’uf Rawabdeh.
She also said that Russian authorities understood the necessity of political reforms in Syria, but the final decision on the nature of these reforms and future head of the Syrian state must be made by Syrian people without any external pressure or direct interference of foreign nations.
During the meeting with her Jordanian colleague, Matviyenko stated that Russia was calling upon all states that see the Islamic State as a threat to join the information center in Baghdad used by Russian, Iraqi, Syrian and Iranian security specialists and military. She added that Russia was ready for other forms of cooperation with all nations that share the common goal of fighting international terrorism.
Source: Al Manar TV News
Newscast Media DAMASCUS, Syria—The Russian Air Force carried out more airstrikes on 12 ISIL positions in Homs, Hama and Idleb as part of the agreement between Syria and Russia to eliminate the terrorists’ presence in Syria.
The Russian air operation in Syria started on Wednesday shortly after the upper house of the Russian parliament gave President Vladimir Putin the mandate to use military force in the Arab country upon President Bashar al-Assad’s request.
Russia Today website quoted Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Maj. Igor Konashenkov as saying in a statement that “a terrorist HQ and an ammunition depot were destroyed near Idleb, as were a fortified three-level command center near Hama.”
“A direct bomb hit also completely destroyed a workshop north of Homs that produced explosives and ammunition,” he added, saying that at this workshop terrorists were stuffing vehicles with explosives, which were then used to carry out terrorist attacks.
Twenty airstrikes targeted eight ISIL positions in Syria on Wednesday, according to the Ministry. Those included ammunition warehouses and command and control centers.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense has described the country’s first airstrikes against the Takfiri ISIL terrorists in Syria as successful.
Eight positions of the terrorist group were targeted successfully during the raids, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Wednesday following the airstrikes.
“Ammunition depots, weapons, fuel and lubricants, accumulation of military equipment have been struck as a result of the airstrikes,” Konashenkov added.
He also said the command and control posts of Daesh in the area had been “completely destroyed,” emphasizing, however, that “the civilian infrastructure and the nearby territory was not stricken.”
In a relevant context, the Ministry announced that the Russian landing ships in the Mediterranean and Russia’s Black Sea Fleet forces will take part in the Russian air operation against terrorist organizations in Syria to protect the Russian military facilities in Tartous and Lattakia.
In the meantime, commander of a CIA-trained group told Reuters that two Russian airstrikes in Syria Thursday hit a training camp operated by militant groups that received military training organized by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Hassan Haj Ali, head of the Liwa Suqour al-Jabal terrorist group, said the camp in Idleb province was struck by around 20 missiles in two separate sorties.
Source: Al Manar TV news
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Russia has conducted its first airstrike in Syria, near the city of Homs, a senior US official told CNN on Wednesday.
The Russians told the United States that it should not fly US warplanes in Syria, but gave no geographical information about where Russia planned to strike. The senior official said U.S. missions are continuing as normal.
Earlier Wednesday, the upper house of the Russian parliament gave President Vladimir Putin approval to use the air force in Syria, according to state media.
“The Federation Council unanimously supported the President’s request — 162 votes in favor of granting permission,” Kremlin Chief of Staff Sergey Ivanov said, according to ITAR-Tass.
After several days of familiarization flights, and the collection of potential targeting information by drones, the Russian air force was known to be ready.
Four Russian Su-34 Fullback fighter jets are now at the Latakia air base in Syria, and more than 600 Russian troops are in place, CNN said.
Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told reporters Tuesday that Secretary of Defense Ash Carter directed his staff to “open lines of communication with Russia on de-confliction.”
The timing of these discussions is to be worked out in the coming days. The purpose of the discussions is “to ensure the safety of coalition air crews,” he said.
Cook added that the two nations have common ground when it comes to fighting ISIL with Carter making clear that “the goal should be to take the fight to ISIL and not to defend the Assad regime.”
Source: Al Manar TV News
by Stoyan Zaimov
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Mat Staver, attorney and founder of the Liberty Counsel, has claimed in an interview that Pope Francis met with and prayed with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis during his visit to Washington, D.C. last week. The Vatican has refused to confirm or deny that the meeting between the pontiff and the clerk took place.
Staver told CBS News on Tuesday night that the two briefly met on Thursday, Sept. 24, at the Vatican Embassy in Washington.
“Staver said Pope Francis spoke to Davis in English and asked her to pray for him. He said Davis, in return, asked the pope to pray for her. The pope told her to stay strong, according to her lawyer,” CBS reported.
“Staver said the pope also gave Kim and her husband rosaries he had blessed.”
The pontiff also apparently thanked Davis for the courage she has displayed.
“There was no interpreter. ‘Thank you for your courage,’ Pope Francis said to me. I said, ‘Thank you, holy father.’ I had asked a monsignor earlier what was the proper way to greet the pope, and whether it would be appropriate for me to embrace him, and I had been told it would be okay to hug him,” Davis added in an Inside the Vatican report. (The website crashed presumably from a traffic spike on Wednesday morning after reporting the news.)
“So I hugged him, and he hugged me back. It was an extraordinary moment. ‘Stay strong,’ he said to me. Then he gave me a rosary as a gift, and he gave one also to my husband, Joe. I broke into tears. I was deeply moved.”
Staver has also claimed that the Vatican has possession of photos of the meeting. Father Ciro Benedettini of the Holy See Press Office has said, however, that “The Vatican does not confirm nor deny this.”
Vatican spokesperson the Rev. Federico Lombardi also refused to confirm or deny the meeting. Holy See officials have generally made it a policy not to comment on Francis’ private meetings.
Davis was jailed for six days earlier in September after she said she cannot sign same-sex marriage licenses, due to her religious belief that marriage is a union solely between one man and one woman.
“God’s moral law conflicts with my job duties,” Davis has said. “You can’t be separated from something that’s in your heart and your soul.”
The National Catholic Reporter said on Monday, however, that when Francis was asked about Davis on his flight back to Rome from Philadelphia, he said that he was unaware of the details behind the case.
Still, the Roman Catholic Church leader said that “conscientious objection” is a “human right,” and added that Davis should be allowed the right to follow her conscience. http://www.newscastmedia.com/kim-davis.html
Newscast Media CHATTANOOGA—When the Supreme Court issued the ruling in
Obergefell v. Hodges in regard to homosexual marriage, it hadn’t anticipated that such a
ruling would be used to deny couples divorces.
A Tennessee couple has been denied a divorce by Chancellor Jeffrey M. Atherton, who
wrote, “When the U.S. Supreme Court defined what must be recognized as a marriage, it
would appear that Tennessee’s judiciary must now await the decision of the U. S.
Supreme Court as to what is not a marriage, or better stated, when a marriage is no
longer a marriage.” CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>
Newscast Media BUJUMBURA—So far there has been no stopping Pierra Nkurunziza. He has now begun his third term as president of Burundi, despite protests from international donors. Criticism from domestic opposition figures is also growing louder.
In an interview with Deutsche Welle, Leonard Nyangoma, the chairman of Burundi’s opposition alliance said he believes Burundi’s Pierre Nkurunziza is acting out of fear.
“I think Nkurunziza is scared. If he was consistent, he would have sworn the oath on 26 August. The constitution says the mandate of a Burundian president lasts five years and that a president may be re-elected only once. Nkurunziza had already had two mandates. Seen purely mathematically, his second term in office ends on 26 August. This act is a return to his old ways. He is used to violating the constitution. This is preposterous.”
When asked about his prediction of any future developments Nyangoma said, “Nkurunziza cannot act against the will of the people. The population organized around CNARED is ready to topple the dictatorship, should Nkurunziza continue to act illegally. We will do everything to remove him. What should one do with a dictatorship other than fight against it?”
The opposition alliance gave Nkurunziza untill August 26 to resign. If by then Nkurunziza agrees to negotiate his resignation, the opposition says it is ready for talks.
“For us, he remains president until 26 August. If he resigns before the end of his mandate, that would mean he has finally got the message. But if he continues to cling on to power, we would have the legitimization to fight him with all means. I call on all forces in Burundi, including the institutions of national security, to stand as one man to expel Nkurunziza,” Chairman Nyangoma said in the interview.
Source: Deutsche Welle
Newscast Media NEW YORK—After the first GOP debate moderated by Fox News, Donald Trump continues to make headlines, and seemed to steal the show, particularly due to the personal questions that were asked about his life and business dealings.
Trump thought the questions were unfair and went as far as blaming Megyn Kelly for asking questions that had nothing to do with how Trump plans to make America great again.
“I think Megyn behaved very nasty to me,” Trump said, after the debate.
Trump also refused to pledge that he would not run as an independent if he wasn’t the Republican nominee.
CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>
by Michael Gryboski
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—An organization dedicated to stopping sexual exploitation has denounced Amnesty International’s recent decision to support the decriminalization of prostitution.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has called Amnesty’s recently approved resolution “irresponsible” and contrary to the global organization’s fundamental human rights goals.
Dawn Hawkins, executive director of NCOSE, said a in statement that Amnesty “has failed to remain true to its mission of ‘preventing and ending grave abuses.’” CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>
Collie dogs on display at the Houston World Series of Dog Shows.—Photo by Joseph Earnest
Newscast Media HOUSTON, Texas—Newscast Media HOUSTON—The 38th Annual Houston World Series of Dog Shows, the city’s premier canine extravaganza, held July 15-19, 2015, at NRG Center in Houston, Texas is at hand.
Once again, these are just a small fraction of the many breeds being showcased. The show continues until Sunday where breeds like the Akita, Boxer, Dachshund, Greyhound, Doberman, Labrador, Irish Setter, Great Dane, Dalmatian, Bouvier, Cocker Spaniel, Bull Dog, Mastiff, Basenji and many more breeds will compete.
CONTINUE TO GALLERY>>
Newscast Media TEHRAN—America has today negotiated a nuclear deal with Iran, but
some politicians in Washington are afraid that numerous concessions may have been
made to the Islamic Republic in order to finalize it.
After finalizing the deal, President Barack Obama said, “Today, after two years of
negotiations, the United States, together with our international partners, has achieved
something that decades of animosity has not…This deal demonstrates that American
diplomacy can bring about real and meaningful change — change that makes our
country, and the world, safer and more secure. CONTINUE TO FULL ARTICLE>>
Natural herbal remedies—Photo by Joseph Earnest
Newscast Media HOUSTON, Texas—The past two decades have experienced a continual
rise in alternative medicine to cure ailments that the medical community has either
been unable to cure, or recommended expensive surgery for particular ailments.
Health practitioners who primarily use nutritional supplements, change in lifestyle and
diet to cure incurable diseases are naturopathic doctors with an “N.D.” at the end of
their names, meaning naturopathic doctor.
The field of naturopathy obviously makes big pharmaceutical companies nervous
because they cannot patent herbs and other remedies that are abundant in nature.
CONTINUE TO FULL ARTICLE>>
United States Supreme Court
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court of the United States gave President
Barack Obama a victory in ruling that federal subsidies that help some Americans pay
for their Obamacare health plans are legal under the Affordable Care Act.
“…After multiple challenges to this law before the Supreme Court — the Affordable Care
Act is here to stay,” President Barack Obama remarked. CONTINUE TO FULL ARTICLE>>
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The Securities and Exchange Commission has
announced enforcement actions against 36 municipal underwriting firms for violations in
municipal bond offerings. The cases are the first brought against underwriters under the
Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative, a voluntary
self-reporting program targeting material misstatements and omissions in municipal
bond offering documents.
The Enforcement Division initiative announced in March 2014, offered favorable
settlement terms to municipal bond underwriters and issuers who self-reported
securities law violations. The first issuer charged under the initiative settled with the
SEC in July 2014. CONTINUE TO FULL ARTICLE>>
The mighty dollar
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—In its first case involving crowdfunding, the Federal
Trade Commission has taken legal action against the deceptive tactics of a project
creator who raised money from consumers to produce a board game through a
Kickstarter campaign, but instead used most of the funds on himself.
Crowdfunding involves individuals and businesses funding a project or venture by
raising funds from numerous people, often via dedicated online platforms.
According to the FTC’s complaint, Erik Chevalier, also doing business as The Forking
Path Co., sought money from consumers to produce a board game called The Doom That
Came to Atlantic City that had been created by two prominent board game artists.
CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>