Saturday, March 25, 2017

In the news, Friday, March 17, 2017


MAR 16      INDEX      MAR 18

Information from some sites may not be reliable, or may not be vetted.
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from Asia Times Online

Two decades of diplomatic and other efforts, including aid given to North Korea by the United States, had failed to achieve the goal of denuclearizing Pyongyang, he said.

UK helps US renew focus on defeating terror in Afghanistan
The meeting in London on Wednesday between the Pakistani prime minister’s special advisor on foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz, and the Afghan national security advisor, Hanif Atmar – a meeting which was painstakingly brokered by Britain – was aimed principally at reducing tensions between the countries following a series of major terrorist attacks in Pakistan. The talks addressed Pakistani allegations regarding sanctuaries for terrorist groups on Afghan soil – a mirror complaint to the longstanding Afghan allegations that Pakistan-based militant groups are targeting Afghanistan. India also makes similar allegations against Pakistan, which Pakistan counters by pointing a finger at “India-backed” militant groups established on Afghan soil. However, the western powers cannot allow Pakistan-Afghan tensions to escalate further as any flashpoint would infinitely complicate matters for the US and NATO troops in Afghanistan. The appearance of ISIS in Afghanistan lends urgency to efforts.


from Daily Mail (UK)
[Information from this site may not be reliable.]

Justice Department formally appeals ruling blocking Trump's revised travel ban 
The US government took the legal battle over President Donald Trump's travel ban to a higher court on Friday, saying it would appeal a federal judge's decision that struck down parts of the ban on the day it was set to go into effect. The Department of Justice said in a court filing it would appeal a ruling by US District Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.


from FEE (Foundation for Economic Education)
[Information from this site may not be reliable.]

Why the Troop Surge in Syria Will Fail
Candidate Trump said he was perfectly happy with Russia and Syria getting rid of ISIS. So why is he deploying troops? If US policy is shifting toward accepting an Assad victory, it could be achieved by ending arms supplies to the rebels and getting out of the way.


from First Things

Promoting wellness is becoming a means for government and big business to exercise control over our lives. The pretext is cost-cutting—the idea that if employers and government can persuade us to live healthier lifestyles, then society will benefit from less government spending on health care and reduced business costs from lowered health-insurance premiums and fewer employee sick days. But when does helpfully promoting wellness—say, by providing exercise classes, or professional assistance to employees who decide to quit smoking—become an intrusion into personal privacy? When does a laudable desire to reduce healthcare costs become an obsession with controlling how we live our lives?

We often have trouble admitting that we are already in the desert, already weak and without food, and already tempted. Often we forget that Christ conquered temptation not for himself, but for us.

When they suggest that something’s gone seriously wrong with our nation’s culture, and further suggest what American Christians might need to do about it, Dreher and Esolen have plenty of persuasive company. They’re stating the obvious, and doing it well, to all but the willfully blind. Naming the problems in a culture truthfully, and pointing a way forward for those awake enough to notice, is neither bleak nor negative. It’s called Christian realism, and it’s a virus that’s going around. If that’s also a “new alarmism,” then we need more of it, not less.

Buildings symbolize the ideal society. Buildings also promote or inhibit justice. Architecture can be part of the pursuit of God's kingdom and its justice, or the opposite. Just look at Israel’s temple and at Versailles.


from The Heritage Foundation
[Information from this site may be unreliable.]

Trump’s Responsible Decision to End an After-School Program That Harms Children
President Donald Trump has clear justification for his recommendation to eliminate a $1.2 billion after-school program administered by the Department of Education. Rigorous scientific evidence shows that the program, called 21st Century Community Learning Centers, harms children.

Misleading Rhetoric Can’t Mask Failings of GOP Health Care Bill
Repeal of Obamacare and conservative health care reform is impossible so long as the law’s regulatory heart remains on the books.


from KHQ Local News (NBC Spokane)

Idaho State Highway 5 closed indefinitely
The Idaho Transportation Department has declared State Highway 5 a "total loss." The road will remain closed for an indefinite period of time while authorities work to determine how to fix it. Jerry Wilson with the department says the problem is at mile-marker 5.9, where about 250 feet of roadway in both lanes have been destroyed by a landslide.


from The Living Church

Full-hearted Ministry
St. Columba’s Church in Kent, a suburb of Seattle, bears myriad marks of a vital congregation. New ministries shelter homeless men inside and feed the hungry from new vegetable gardens outside. At 79, average Sunday attendance (ASA) is up 44 percent since 2014. The only thing missing at St. Columba’s, according to a few older members, is a full-time priest. To hold down costs, the church shifted in 2014 to a part-time model when it called the Rev. Canon Alissabeth Newton, the Diocese of Olympia’s canon for congregational development, to serve as vicar of the parish 30 hours a week. But the part-time pastorate is turning out to be a blessing, and not just for St. Columba’s bottom line. The priest’s limited hours mean more responsibilities fall to the laity, who are motivated to discover how much they can do.


from The Spokesman-Review


from Sputnik
(Russian government-supported propaganda channel)

'Multilingual Society': German Educators Call for Compulsory Arabic in Schools
The increasing popularity of Arabic courses in Germany reflects an understanding that Arabic is set to play an important role in German politics and society, German political scientist Naji Abbas told Sputnik Arabic. More than 300,000 asylum seekers in Germany are under the age of 18 and last year, Thomas Strothotte, a German-Canadian professor of Computer Science and President of Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg, suggested that not only should refugees learn German, but German children should have the opportunity to learn Arabic, too. He suggested that German and Arabic be mandatory subjects for children until their final high school exams prior to graduation.


from WND (World Net Daily)
[Information from this site may not be reliable.]

'We're keeping it on the down low' so parents can't stop kids from attending


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