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 Matthew 24:42  “Therefore be on alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming!"

Fewer Americans Are Donating to Charity - And It May Have Nothing To Do With Money

 

Fewer Americans are giving money to charity, and their relationship with God may have something to do with it. The share of U.S. adults who donated to charity dropped significantly between 2000 and 2016, according to an analysis released this month from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and Vanguard Charitable. By 2016, just over half - 53% - of Americans gave money to charity, down from 66% in 2000. That figure held mostly steady until the Great Recession. Then it started to drop off and took a dive after 2010, said report co-author Una Osili, associate dean for research and international programs at the Lilly School. The decline amounts to 20 million fewer households donating to charity in 2016 (the most recent year for which data was available) versus 2000, researchers said.

The analysis drew on data from the Philanthropy Panel Study, a data set within the University of Michigan's Panel Study of Income Dynamics, which tracks the same 9,000 families' charitable giving every two years.

One factor driving the decline: Americans are becoming less likely to attend religious services or identify with a specific religion. "Attending services is correlated with giving to religious organizations, but it's also correlated with giving to secular groups," Osili said. Giving to charity is, of course, a core belief for many of the world's major religions. And very religious people of any faith are more likely to give to charity, one study by Baylor University researchers found.

But there are fewer very religious people than ever in the U.S. The share of the population who describe themselves as atheists, agnostics or "nothing in particular" is now at 26%, up from 17% in 2009, according to 2018 and 2019 surveys by the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan "fact tank" in Washington, D.C. Some 65% of Americans describe themselves as Christians, down 12 percentage points since 2009, Pew found. Religious organizations have traditionally gotten the lion's share of Americans' charitable dollars. But that's fallen slightly recently. While religious groups still received the largest chunk of charitable dollars in 2018, at 29% of total giving, it was the first year that giving to religion fell below 30% of overall giving, according to the Giving USA annual report on philanthropy, now in its 64th year.

 

Some Catholics have said they're giving less money to the church because of reports of sexual abuse by clergy. Nearly half of Catholics - 47% - said they were donating less to their individual parishes in response to reports of sexual abuse, a poll conducted by the Catholic magazine America found, according to the Giving USA report. Households led by people with less than a high school education, less than $50,000 in income and/or less than $50,000 in wealth (a household's total assets) decreased the share of income they donated to charity significantly after the recession, the Lilly School report found.

That's do in part to the fact that not all Americans have recovered equally from the economic downturn, the report authors said.

"This shift is due to lower-income and lower-wealth Americans experiencing the slowest economic recovery since the Great Recession, during years when the cost of other items such as food, education and healthcare have increased," said Jane Greenfield, president of Vanguard Charitable. "This has led to a decrease in the share of income available to give to charity."

From "MarketWatch"

U.S. Homeland Security Proposes Face Scans For U.S. Citizens

 

The Trump administration intends to propose a regulation next year that would require all travelers - including U.S. citizens - to be photographed when entering or leaving the United States, according to the administration's regulatory agenda. The proposed regulation, slated to be issued in July by the Homeland Security Department, would be part of a broader system to track travelers as they enter and exit the United States.

 

The plan has already drawn opposition from some privacy advocates. Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union, blasted the idea in a written statement on Monday. "Travelers, including U.S. citizens, should not have to submit to invasive biometric scans simply as a condition of exercising their constitutional right to travel," he said. The Trump administration contends in its regulatory agenda that the face scan requirement will combat the fraudulent use of U.S. travel documents and aid the identification of criminals and suspected terrorists.

 

The public typically has 30 to 60 days to comment on a proposed U.S. regulation. The federal agency then needs to review and respond to comments, a process that can be time-consuming for major regulations.

The Trump administration also said in its regulatory agenda that it plans to issue a separate fast-track regulation this month that would allow the entry-exit project to move beyond a pilot status.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which is part of DHS, has already conducted pilot programs that collect photographs and fingerprints from foreign travelers.

 

A 2018 internal audit found technical and operational problems during a pilot program at nine U.S. airports. The problems raised questions about whether DHS would meet a self-imposed deadline to confirm all foreign departures at the top 20 U.S. airports by fiscal year 2021.

 

The non-partisan Pew Research Center estimated in 2006 that 45 percent of immigrants in the United States without legal status entered on a valid visa but did not depart when it expired. (Reporting by Ted Hesson; Editing by Dan Grebler)

 

From "Reuters"

Massive Black Hole That "Should Not Even Exist" Has Been Discovered

                                                                                                                                                

 

A black hole with a mass 70 times greater than the Sun was discovered, leaving scientists stunned.

"Black holes of such mass should not even exist in our Galaxy, according to most of the current models of stellar evolution," Professor Jifeng Liu, who led the team at the Chinese Academy of Sciences that made the discovery, said in a statement.

 

Scientists previously believed that the mass of an individual stellar black hole could not be more than 20 times that of the Sun. These stellar black holes are different than so-called supermassive black holes, which are found at the center of galaxies and can be billions of times the mass of our Sun.

 

From "ABC News"

 

Small Gestures, Big Impact:  Feeling Loved Increases Well-Being, Study Finds

No subject has been the basis of more works of art, music, and writing than love. Many storytellers tend to go for a big dramatic moment, such as Jack holding Rose on the railing of the Titanic. But it turns out that much smaller, everyday gestures of love may have a much larger impact on our psyches and overall feelings of well-being. That's the finding from an extensive new study conducted at Penn State University. Researchers say that brief, seemingly mundane moments of love can make all the difference when it comes to feelings of self-worth and positive well-being.

According to the study's results, people who experience frequent "felt love," or feelings of genuine resonance and connection with others, report significantly higher levels of well-being, optimism, and self-purpose. Furthermore, study participants with high felt love scores also displayed elevated extraversion personality scores, while those with particularly low felt loves score were more likely to be especially neurotic. To be clear, felt love doesn't have to be romantic at all. A genuine caring moment between platonic friends, or even mere acquaintances, would be defined as a moment of felt love per the study's outline. The research team are hopeful that their findings will one day lead to specialized wellness interventions that can help people improve their well-being and mental state.

"We took a very broad approach when we looked at love," says Zita Oravecz, assistant professor of human development and family studies, in a release. "Everyday felt love is conceptually much broader than romantic love. It's those micro-moments in your life when you experience resonance with someone. For example, if you're talking to a neighbor and they express concern for your well-being, then you might resonate with that and experience it as a feeling of love, and that might improve your well-being."

Two groups of participants were gathered for the study; one group of 52 people of varying ages, and 160 undergraduate students. Across both, each person was sent six random prompts everyday for a period of four weeks. Each prompt asked participants to rate their current feelings of felt love and well-being.

Interestingly, as the study progressed and participants were continually reminded to be more aware of small, positive gestures from others, they steadily reported more felt love experiences. This, according to the study's authors, indicates that simply trying to be more positive and actively attempting to see the good in other people's interactions towards us can improve well-being.

"It's something that we've seen in the literature on mindfulness, when people are reminded to focus attention on positive things, their overall awareness of those positive things begins to rise," Oravecz explains. "Similarly, just by paying attention to those everyday moments of felt love, we may also increase our awareness of the overall positive aspects of love in our daily lives. This effect replicates in both studies, implying that raising awareness of felt love in day-to-day life may itself be an intervention that raises levels of felt love over a longer period of time."

However, while the study did establish a correlation between felt love and well-being, the research team say additional work is needed before causation can be determined. If a causal relationship were to be established, Oravecz and her team have a number of ideas for possible interventions that could help those feeling a bit low. For example, messages could be sent out on a daily basis to a person's phone, reminding them to take note of all the felt love present in their life.

The study is published in the scientific journal Personality and Individual Differences.

From "Study Finds"

The More You Hug Your Kids, The More Their Brain Develops, Says Medial Study

 

Science tells us that skin-to-skin contact is not only essential to strengthen the bond between parents and the newborn child, but it also boosts breastfeeding, regulates baby's heart rate, helps adapt to life outside the womb, regulates temperature, and provides many other health and developmental benefits.

In addition, a medical study confirmed that the more you hug your kids, the more their brains develop!

Children are always looking for an excuse for hugs and kisses, but research has shown that physical affection is good for many other things too, including brain development. A medical study by the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio researched brain responses to physical touch of 125 babies, both premature and full-term newborns. The study indicated a stronger brain response in babies who received more affection from parents and hospital staff, compared to other babies who were deprived of physical warmth. According to Dr. Nathalie Maitre of Nationwide Children's Hospital and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and one of the authors of the medical study, "A gentle touch, especially skin on skin, is just one of the most important things parents can do for their babies."

Premature babies, in particular, are more receptive to brain response when they are hugged or gently touched. Dr. Maitre stated, "Making sure that pre-term babies receive positive, supportive touch such as skin-to-skin care by parents is essential to help their brains respond to gentle touch in ways similar to those of babies who experienced an entire pregnancy inside their mother's womb." The study also suggests that early childhood hugs help offset traumas newborns may experience. Babies, particularly premature infants, experience early exposure to hugs as pleasant rather than overwhelming, and register stimulating and positive brain responses.

The concept of physical contact is particularly important for premature babies since various studies have shown that skin-to-skin contact is known to enhance "prematurely-born infants' physiological organization and cognitive control" for the first 10 years of life.

The medical study also finds that early medical procedures affect the perception of touch, making hugs additionally important to children born with medical challenges. Such children need to undergo painful medical treatments, and based on the results of the research, hugs can help counteract these negative experiences. The survey indicates that skin-to-skin care is crucial for babies spending extensive periods in neonatal intensive care units. When children are stuck in the NICU, it is not always possible for parents to even touch their offspring.

In essence, the medical study shows that affection is vital for the development of the brain. Actions that may be taken for granted, such as cradling a baby for comfort or rocking a baby to sleep, are significant to achieving a child's physical, emotional, and mental milestones. So if you're the kind of parent who likes hugging their kids, don't stop now! Those playful hugs are important - they're not only making our hearts grow bigger, they're also helping boost your children's brains!

From "MyPositiveOutlooks.com"

Deeply Concerning:  25% of Europeans Have Anti-Semitic Beliefs and It's Getting Worse

 

A new report released Thursday by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reveals just how bad anti-Semitism is getting in eastern and central Europe. The survey shows that about one in four Europeans holds "pernicious and pervasive" anti-Semitic attitudes towards Jews. The findings are based on a poll of 28 countries between April and June 2019 in eastern and western Europe, Canada, South Africa, Argentina, and Brazil.

Researchers found that while the level of anti-Semitism in western Europe appears to remain constant, eastern Europe is becoming increasingly more hostile to Jews. "It is deeply concerning that approximately one in four Europeans harbor the types of anti-Semitic beliefs that have endured since before the Holocaust," said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. "These findings serve as a powerful wake-up call that much work remains to be done to educate broad swaths of the populations in many of these countries to reject bigotry, in addition to addressing the pressing security needs where violent incidents are rising."

The most common anti-Semitic tropes found in eastern and central Europe are the stereotypes of "Jewish power" over the economy and "dual loyalty." Many people surveyed also believe that Jews talk too much about the horrors of the Holocaust. The countries with the highest level of anti-Semitic beliefs are Poland, Ukraine, and Hungary, where more than 40% of the respondents in each country expressing negative attitudes towards Jews.

While classic far right-anti-Semitism appears to be a growing trend in Europe, the new Boycotts, Sanctions, and Divestment (BDS) movement is struggling to gain popularity. "Across all the countries surveyed - except for South Africa - support for the campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the State of Israel was found to be extremely low. In most European countries, support for the boycott of Israel was less than 15 percent," according to the ADL.

German lawmakers outright condemned BDS as anti-Semitic in a resolution earlier this year. But German Ambassador to Israel Dr. Susanne Wasum-Rainer admits that anti-Semitism is still a problem in her country. "We are now witnessing, let me say, a new wave of anti-Semitism in Germany Europe," Wasum-Rainer told attendees of the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in Jerusalem Thursday. "We consider any anti-Semitic incident as targeting the Jews and non-Jews of Europe," she continued. "There is zero tolerance for racism, anti-Semitism, and hatred in Germany."

Nearly 9 in 10 American Jews say anti-Semitism is a problem in the US, according to a new landmark survey from the American Jewish Committee (AJC).Packer told the Jerusalem Post conference attendees that the US is tackling anti-Semitism head-on. "When the United States says and means that we're not going to stand for it, we're not going to stand for it," he said. "We expect all of our allies to stand by it as well." "We stand with Israel and the Jewish state when we say 'never again' and 'never forget.'"

From "CBN News"

 

Chick-Fil-A No Longer Donates to Controversial Christian Charities After LGBTQ Protests

Chick-Fil-A said on Monday that it has stopped funding two Christian charities after coming under fire in recent weeks from LGBTQ activists. The fast-food chain's foundation has donated millions of dollars to The Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Both organizations have a history of opposing same-sex marriage.

Chick-fil-A said it no longer funds the organizations. "We made multi-year commitments to both organisations and we fulfilled those obligations in 2018," a spokeswoman for Chick-fil-A told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, adding the company would focus its giving on "education, homelessness and hunger."

The Salvation Army said in a statement to CNBC that it was "saddened" to learn that a corporate partner was diverting its funding to other organizations. "We serve more than 23 million individuals a year, including those in the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, we believe we are the largest provider of poverty relief to the LGBTQ+ population," the organization said.

Chick-fil-A has faced criticism in the past for its charitable donations and CEO Dan Cathy's public comments opposing gay marriage. As Chick-fil-A expands outside of its stronghold in the southeastern U.S., activists have put pressure on the company. Its first U.K. location will close when its lease expires after protests from a local LGBTQ rights group.

From "CNBC"

Only 3 in 10 American Adults Hold ‘Positive' Perception of Evangelicals:  Barna Research

 

Thirty percent of adults in the United States have a "positive" perception of evangelicals as Americans increasingly view the religious demographic through a political lens, newly released Barna Group research indicates. According to the evangelical polling firm, evangelicals make up about 6 percent of the U.S. population but have assumed a "unique place in national discourse."

"Based on a nationwide study of U.S. adults, we found that, though many people still view evangelicals as a committed group of believers who put their faith first, their political connotation puts the future of American evangelicalism in a precarious spot," a summary of the new report, "The Brand of Evangelicals," reads. The research comes as strong support for President Donald Trump and his administration's socially conservative policies have placed white evangelicals in the national media spotlight in recent years. 

According to Barna President David Kinnaman, the findings of the research show a "clear indication of the divided nature of the U.S. population" in which "evangelicals are at the epicenter of many of those differences of opinion, worldview, and practice." 

From "Christian Post"

Nurse Takes In Man With Autism So He Can Get A New Heart

During her 35 years as a nurse, Lori Wood has been a hero many times over. When Jonathan Pinkard met Lori, he was homeless. "If I wasn't staying at a shelter, I was staying in my car," he said. Jonathan has autism. He was raised by his grandma, but she died a few years ago and there was no one else. Then, to add illness to injury, doctors at Piedmont Newnan Hospital in Georgia told Jonathan he had heart failure at the age of 26. It was so bad he actually needed a heart transplant, or else he was told he had six months to live.

Part of the problem is you can't get a new heart - can't even get on the transplant list - if you don't have a home, or some kind of support system to help you post-surgery. Since Jonathan has no family to speak of, his fate was sealed - basically death by loneliness. "I mean that just doesn't seem right. Doesn't seem fair," Lori said. Although there was nothing Lori could do as a nurse, she decided there was something she could do as a mom. "It was just in my heart that there was no other choice other than to bring him home," she said.

After knowing Jonathan for just three days, Lori invited him into her home and became his legal guardian. Jonathan now lives there full-time, along with Lori's son, Austin. Because of her boundless compassion, Jonathan was able to get on the transplant list and in August, he got his new heart. In a few weeks, he'll be well enough to live on his own again. Although Lori said she has no plans to release him from her care. Jonathan said he actually calls Lori "Mama" now. "She's like a second mama to me. Heaven sent," he said.

Any medical professional can make you healthy, but sometimes only a mom can make you all better.

From "CBS News"

 Earth Needs Fewer People to Beat the Climate Crisis, Scientists Say

Forty years ago, scientists from 50 nations converged on Geneva to discuss what was then called the "CO2-climate problem." At the time, with reliance on fossil fuels having helped trigger the 1979 oil crisis, they predicted global warming would eventually become a major environmental challenge. The scientists got to work, building a strategy on how to attack the problem and laying the groundwork for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world's preeminent body of climate scientists. Their goal was to get ahead of the problem before it was too late. But after a fast start, the fossil fuel industry, politics and the prioritization of economic growth over planetary health slowed them down. 

Now, four decades later, a larger group of scientists is sounding another, much more urgent alarm. More than 11,000 experts from around the world are calling for a critical addition to the main strategy of dumping fossil fuels for renewable energy: there needs to be far fewer humans on the planet. "We declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency," the scientists wrote in a stark warning published Tuesday in the journal BioScience.

While warnings about the consequences of unchecked climate change have become so commonplace as to inure the average news consumer, this latest communique is exceptionally significant given the data that accompanies it. When absorbed in sequence, the charts lay out a devastating trend for planetary health. From meat consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and ice loss to sea-level rise and extreme weather events, they lay out a grim portrait of 40 years of squandered opportunities.

The scientists make specific calls for policymakers to quickly implement systemic change to energy, food, and economic policies. But they go one step further, into the politically fraught territory of population control. It "must be stabilized-and, ideally, gradually reduced-within a framework that ensures social integrity," they write. The problem is enormous, yet the signatories still manage to strike an upbeat tone. For all the lost chances, progress is being made, they contend. "We are encouraged by a recent surge of concern," the letter states. "Governmental bodies are making climate emergency declarations. Schoolchildren are striking. Ecocide lawsuits are proceeding in the courts. Grassroots citizen movements are demanding change, and many countries, states and provinces, cities, and businesses are responding." The report, however, comes one day after U.S. President Donald Trump began the formal procedure of withdrawing America from the Paris climate accord.

 

From "Yahoo / Bloomberg"

 A "Growing Club" of "Very Powerful Countries" is Steering Away From Using the Dollar

The U.S. dollar has been the world's major reserve currency for decades, but that status could come under threat as "very powerful countries" seek to undermine its importance, warned Anne Korin, from the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security. "Major movers" such as China, Russia and the European Union have a strong "motivation to de-dollarize," said Korin, co-director at the energy and security think tank, on Wednesday.

"We don't know what's going to come next, but what we do know is that the current situation is unsustainable," Korin said. "You have a growing club of countries - very powerful countries." To be sure, the dollar is seen as one of the safest investments in the world, and it rises during times of economic or political tumult. But one factor curbing countries' enthusiasm for the greenback is the prospect of being subject to U.S. jurisdiction when they transact in dollars. When the U.S. dollar is used or transactions are cleared through an American bank, entities are subject to U.S. jurisdiction - even if they have "nothing to do with the U.S.," Korin told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

Korin cited Washington's unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, which was followed by the restoration of sanctions on Tehran. That situation left European multinational companies vulnerable to punishment from Washington if they continued to do business with Iran. "Europe wants to do business with Iran. It doesn't want to be subject to U.S. law for doing business with Iran, right?" she said. "Nobody wants to be picked up at an airport for doing business with countries that the U.S. isn't happy that they're doing business with."

As a result, countries have a "very, very strong motivation" to shift away from using the greenback, she said. But if the dollar declines in influence, other currencies could fill the role traditionally played by the greenback - especially China's yuan. In recent years, China has tried to internationalize the use of its currency, the Chinese yuan. Such moves have included the introduction of yuan-denominated crude oil futures and reports that China is preparing to pay for imported crude in its own currency rather than the U.S. dollar. Yuan-denominated oil futures - also referred to as "petro-yuan" - could serve as an early warning sign for the dollar's waning dominance, Korin said.

From "CNBC"

Is Narcissism on the Rise?

 

Are we dealing with an epidemic of narcissism, or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or just a moral panic about narcissism? Who don't speak German immediately or who were not raised speaking German are not welcome here."

Jean Twenge, Professor of Psychology at San Diego University, has argued strongly that narcissism is on the rise. She has even written a book about it: "The Narcissism Epidemic." Her research seems to show that American college students have become more narcissistic.

There's a questionnaire that's been used since the 1980s, called the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. Comparing samples of college students who completed the survey between 1982 and 2009 and those completing it today, it seems there's been an increase in students using narcissistic terms to describe themselves. "There was a very big increase in the percentage of college students who said they were above average in their drive to achieve," says Twenge, "There was also a big increase in those who believed they were above average in their leadership ability, also their intellectual confidence and social self-confidence."

HG Tudor's business is thriving. Does he think there are more narcissists around? Yes, he says: "I think that the way society has shifted, it's become more narcissistic and alongside that, it's cultivating more narcissists." But Brent Roberts disagrees. He has taken data sets from three different universities and claims that, if analysed properly, student narcissism actually decreased over thirty years.

It is hard to know whether narcissism is on the rise. Social media is certainly encouraging narcissistic behaviour, and we even have a popularly acknowledged narcissist living in the White House, whose influence is far reaching. If anything is certain it is that our fascination with narcissism shows no sign of disappearing.

From "BBC"

 Is a New Arab Spring Unfolding in the Middle East?

 

As the last of the Middle Eastern summer fades away, is the region slipping into a new Arab spring? In Iraq, demonstrators are being shot dead in the streets. In Lebanon, protesters have paralysed the country and seem set to bring down the government of Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri. In recent weeks the Egyptian security forces crushed attempts to protest against the police state of President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi. Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt have plenty of differences. But the protesters have grievances in common, and they are shared by millions of people, particularly the young, across the Arab Middle East. Do today's global protests have anything in common? Iraq protests: What's behind the anger?

A rough approximation is that 60% of the region's population is under the age of 30. A young population can be a great asset to a country. But only if the economy, the educational system and the institutions of the state are functioning well enough to accommodate their needs, and with some exceptions that is not happening. The young in Lebanon, Iraq, and elsewhere in the region are very often consumed by frustration that slips easily into rage.

 

From "BBC"

 Trump Assumes Obama's Mantle as the 'King of Debt'

 

When President Obama nearly doubled the national debt, raising it by almost $9 trillion during his two terms in office, Republicans howled in alarm. Although interest rates were being kept artificially low by the U.S. Federal Reserve and global central banks in the aftermath of the Great Recession, there certainly would be a reckoning down the road when the bill came due. 

So incensed were Americans by the profligate borrowing by the federal government that it caused a political revolt in the form of the Tea Party, whose politicians took Congress by storm and demanded accountability for the fiscal irresponsibility in which our country had engaged. Tea Party-affiliated politicians urged congressional Republicans to be willing to shut down the government to force congressional Democrats and President Obama to agree to deep cuts in spending and to repeal the Affordable Care Act. 

And, for the first time in decades, Congress refused to pass a continuing resolution (in lieu of a final budget deal) to raise the debt ceiling, which forced a government shutdown in 2013.

This year, the U.S. national debt at roughly $22 trillion reached 100 percent of our gross domestic product (GDP) for the first time in American history. Despite the fact that our economy generates an incredible $20 trillion annually, we borrow at least that amount in addition to our income to finance our current expenditures. Were America a country without a reserve currency, like Greece, we already would be facing an economic emergency.

 

From "The Hill"

A Surge in Protests Around the World in October

The past weeks have seen a wave of often unprecedented protest movements erupt in countries around the world. Here is an overview of the main ones that started this month and others that are continuing.    - Bolivia -

When? Since October 21. Trigger? The disputed results of the October 20 presidential election which gave outgoing leader Evo Morales almost outright victory for a fourth term. State of play? There has been violence in several regions; a general strike was launched on October 23. Toll? Several people have been injured in clashes between supporters and opponents of Morales. - Chile -

When? Since October 18. Trigger? An increase in the price of metro tickets in the capital. State of play? President Sebastian Pinera suspended the price hike and then announced social measures such as increased pensions and lower electricity costs. But the protests spread, including complaints about living costs and social inequality. A general strike started on October 23. Toll? 18 dead. - Lebanon -

Click on the link on our website for the remainder of the story.

From "Yahoo"

Merkel Says German Multicultural Society Has Failed

 

Attempts to build a multicultural society in Germany have "utterly failed", Chancellor Angela Merkel says.

She said the so-called "multikulti" concept - where people would "live side-by-side" happily - did not work, and immigrants needed to do more to integrate - including learning German. The comments come amid rising anti-immigration feeling in Germany. A recent survey suggested more than 30% of people believed the country was "overrun by foreigners".

The study - by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation think-tank - also showed that roughly the same number thought that some 16 million of Germany's immigrants or people with foreign origins had come to the country for its social benefits.

Mrs Merkel told a gathering of younger members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party on Saturday that at "the beginning of the 60s our country called the foreign workers to come to Germany and now they live in our country."

She added: "We kidded ourselves a while, we said: 'They won't stay, sometime they will be gone', but this isn't reality." "And of course, the approach [to build] a multicultural [society] and to live side-by-side and to enjoy each other... has failed, utterly failed."

In her speech in Potsdam, however, the chancellor made clear that immigrants were welcome in Germany. She specifically referred to recent comments by German President Christian Wulff who said that Islam was "part of Germany", like Christianity and Judaism. Mrs Merkel said: "We should not be a country either which gives the impression to the outside world that those who don't speak German immediately or who were not raised speaking German are not welcome here."

 

From "BBC"

Jury Rules Against Dad Trying To Save His 7-Yeard-Old From Gender ‘Transition'

 

A jury in Dallas, Texas has ruled against Jeffrey Younger, the father who is trying to protect his seven-year-old son, James, from chemical castration via a gender "transition." This means James' mother, Dr. Anne Georgulas, will be able to continue "transitioning" him into "Luna," and now has full authority to start him on puberty blockers and eventually cross-sex hormones.

The jury's decision likely means that Mr. Younger will be required to "affirm" James as a girl, despite his religious and moral objections, and will also be forced to take a class on transgenderism. With a consensus of 11 of the 12 jurors, the jury decided not to grant Mr. Younger Sole Managing Conservatorship over his twin boys. They voted that the current Joint Managing Conservatorship should be replaced by a Sole Managing Conservatorship, but that Mr. Younger should not be that person. Judge Kim Cooks will read her ruling on possession, child support, and Dr. Georgulas' other requests at 1:30 p.m. CST on Wednesday. 

From "Life Site"

Astonomers Discover ‘Cosmic Yeti' Galaxy From The Early Universe

 

By chance, astronomer Christina Williams spotted a faint trace of light that led her to the discovery of a mythical galaxy. The University of Arizona astronomer saw the shimmering blob in new data from the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in Chile. But something didn't match up. The light was on its own in an area without a known galaxy.

"It was very mysterious because the light seemed not to be linked to any known galaxy at all," said Williams, lead study author of a paper published Tuesday in the Astrophysical Journal. "When I saw this galaxy was invisible at any other wavelength, I got really excited because it meant that it was probably really far away and hidden by clouds of dust."

 

Without meaning to, Williams had found the footprints leading to a massive galaxy from the dawn of the universe 12.5 billion years ago. This means the light took that long to reach Earth. The researchers likened it to coming upon a set of footprints belonging to a mythical monster, like the Yeti. This is because until now, due to a lack of data, astronomers didn't know they could exist.

 

The light was likely caused by dust particles that were heated by the stars as they formed inside a galaxy. But the dust clouds themselves obscured the stars, which essentially made the galaxy itself invisible from our view.

 

From "CNN"

Ben Carson Says Political Correctness Will ‘Distory Our Nation'

 

 

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson on Tuesday lambasted political correctness and claimed that it was "going to destroy our nation" after being pressed about remarks he had reportedly made about transgender people during a meeting last month.

Carson denied that he was speaking about transgender people when Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) asked him during a congressional hearing about whether he wanted to apologize for expressing alarm about "big, hairy men" trying to gain access to women's homeless shelters.

The reported comments, which were made at a HUD meeting in San Francisco last month, were interpreted by several people in attendance as directed at transgender people, according to a September Washington Post report. "You don't feel the need to apologize for those comments?" Wexton asked during the House Financial Services Committee hearing. 

"No," Carson responded. "I think this whole concept of political correctness - 'You can say this. You can't say that. You can't repeat what someone said' - is total foolishness and is going to destroy our nation." Carson added that he never described transgender people in such a way.

From "The Hill"

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