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Douglas Murray & Some Ridiculous Creatures


I know that these types of discussions are ridiculous beyond description. I know that the women seen here are slaves to their masters, who have been indoctrinated (practically from birth) to feel less than human. I also know that few people care about this. But if nothing else, I find it amusing to listen to how these women, wearing cloth bags over their entire bodies, justify their actions. 

What in the world is this world coming to? TGO 

Video: YouTube

Activists say ISIL abducted at least 90 Christians


Unbelievable; that grown men are kidnapping and beheading people because they belong to a different religion. Shiite Muslims believe one fairy tale, Sunni Muslims believe another fairy tale, Kurdish Muslims believe yet another fairy tale, and then there are the Christians, who believe another fairy tale altogether. Mind you, they’re all fairy tales. So the question is, why are grown Muslim men such a brain dead lot? They need to let everyone believe their own fairy tale and get over it! TGO

Video: YouTube

Saudi court gives death penalty to man who renounced his Muslim faith


Saudi Arabia is the mother of all sewers, being that it is the home of Islam. It has set the tone for the Islamic world for centuries; in much the same way that the Vatican has done for the Catholic Church.

Just consider however, that we are now in the 21st century, yet these barbarians still have the mindset of their 16th century predecessors. Will it take another 800 years for Muslims to become civilized and stop torturing and murdering people needlessly, just as the Catholic Church did during the Dark Ages? Hopefully not. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Reuters

RIYADH Tue Feb 24, 2015

RIYADH (Reuters) – An Islamic court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a man to death for renouncing his Muslim faith, the English-language daily Saudi Gazette reported on Tuesday.

The man, in his 20s, posted an online video ripping up a copy of Islam’s holy book, the Koran, and hitting it with a shoe, the newspaper reported.

Saudi Arabia, the United States’ top Arab ally and birthplace of Islam, follows the strict Wahhabi Sunni Muslim school and gives the clergy control over its justice system.

Under the Wahhabi interpretation of Sharia Islamic law, apostasy demands the death penalty, as do some other religious offences like sorcery, while blasphemy and criticism of senior Muslim clerics have incurred jail terms and corporal punishment.

Executions in Saudi Arabia are usually carried out by public beheading.

International rights groups say the Saudi justice system suffers from a lack of transparency and due process, that defendants are often denied basic rights such as legal representation and that sentencing can be arbitrary.

The Saudi government has taken some steps to reform its judicial system but has also defended it as fair.

Last year a court in Jeddah sentenced Saudi liberal Raif Badawi to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison for publishing criticism of the kingdom’s ruling religious and political elite and calling for reforms in Islam.

The first of 50 of those lashes were carried out in January, but subsequent rounds of flogging have not occurred. Officials have not publicly commented on the case, but insiders say the lashing appears to have been quietly dropped.

(Reporting By Angus McDowall; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

 

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Sam Harris On Charlie Hebdo


As always, Sam Harris is a voice of reason. Too bad that reason is one trait that Muslims just don’t possess. TGO

Video: YouTube

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Syria forces execute 10 children of rebels: monitor


Savages. Barbarians. Cowards. In a nutshell, this is what Muslims are. They slaughter each other ruthlessly because of their religious indoctrination. They are addicted to Islam, which is the worst possible of all addictions. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press

AFP

Syrian refugees' tents are seen covered in snow in the Marj al-Khokh camp on February 20, 2015 on the southern town of Marjayoun

Beirut (AFP) – Ten children were among at least 48 people killed in a Syrian village this week when regime forces executed six families of rebel fighters, a monitoring group said on Saturday.

Tuesday’s executions took place in the village of Rityan, north of second city Aleppo, after regime forces entered that day during an offensive aimed at cutting rebel supply lines to the Turkish border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Britain-based monitor said that villagers had discovered the bodies when they returned to their homes after the regime forces withdrew a day later.

Five women and 13 rebels from the six families were among the dead.

“The troops and militiamen knew exactly where they lived thanks to the informers who accompanied them,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.

“There was no resistance except in one house where a rebel opened fire at troops before being executed along with his family,” he added.

Activist Mamun Abu Omar said some of the bodies had been mutilated.

The brief seizure of Rityan was part of an abortive army offensive launched this week to try to encircle the rebel-held east of Aleppo and relieve two besieged Shiite villages to its north.

By Friday all but one of the villages initially taken by government forces had been recaptured by the rebels, who include fighters of Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front.

The heavy fighting claimed the lives of 129 regime loyalists and 116 rebels, including an Al-Nusra commander, according to an Observatory toll.

While the ground offensive failed, regime warplanes kept targeting rebel areas of Aleppo city and other parts of the country.

On Saturday, eight people — among them two women and two children — were killed when a barrel bomb hit a building in an opposition-held area of Aleppo city, once Syria’s commercial capital.

Five people were also reported killed in rebel shelling of regime-held areas of the city.

The air force also killed at least seven people in rebel areas east of Damascus on Saturday, the Observatory said.

According to the monitoring group, they were the latest of nearly 6,000 people killed across Syria since the UN Security Council passed resolution 2139 on February 22 last year.

The Observatory “has documented the killing of 5,812 civilians, including 1,733 children, 969 women and 3,110 men in barrel bombings and (other) air raids” over the past year.

The raids have continued despite Resolution 2139, which ordered all sides to end their “indiscriminate employment of weapons in populated areas, including shelling and aerial bombardment, such as the use of barrel bombs”.

Syria’s conflict began as a peaceful pro-democracy revolt but morphed into a civil war that has killed more than 210,000 people since March 2011.

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Libya, Egypt ask U.N. to lift arms embargo to fight Islamic State


We all know what will happen next, don’t we? The West will assist Libya and Egypt by meeting their requests. Then, when ISIS, IS, Islamic State (whatever) is destroyed – I call them CDs, it stands ‘for cowardly dickheads,’ another dozen or so terrorist tribal splinter groups will form and use the weapons given to them by the West to slaughter each other and ultimately plan attacks against the nations who helped arm them and overthrow the ‘dickheads’. This is what Muslims are all about; religiously fanatical, barbaric tribes living in the 13th century…

Let’s face it, these people are worthless vermin who don’t know that the word civilized even exists, much less what it represents. Isn’t Islam a wonderful belief-system? TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Reuters

UNITED NATIONS Wed Feb 18, 2015

Politics

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Libya and Egypt asked the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday to lift an arms embargo on Libya, impose a naval blockade on areas not under government control and help build the country’s army to tackle Islamic State and other militants.

Libya has descended into factional fighting, leaving the country almost lawless nearly four years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. Two competing governments backed by militia brigades are scrambling for control of the oil-producing country and the chaos has created havens for Islamist militants.

The Security Council met to discuss Libya after Islamic State released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians. Egypt responded to the killings with air strikes on Monday on militant camps, training sites and arms storage areas in Libya.

Jordan told council members during closed door consultations after the meeting that it planned to circulate a draft resolution later on Wednesday, diplomats said. Jordan said the text would propose lifting the arms embargo on the Libyan government, condemn attempts to provide weapons to other parties and support Libyan efforts to combat terrorism.

“Libya needs a decisive stance from the international community to help us build or national army’s capacity and this would come through a lifting of the embargo on weapons … so as to deal with this rampant terrorism,” Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Dayri told the Security Council.

The Libyan government is already allowed to import weapons and related materiel with the approval of a Security Council committee overseeing the embargo imposed in 2011 when Gaddafi forces cracked down on pro-democracy protesters.

The Security Council committee has long urged Libya to improve monitoring of its weapons over concerns that some government arms were being diverted to militant groups.

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri backed the call for the arms embargo to be lifted and also said a naval blockade should be put in place in areas not under government control to stop weapons reaching militants.

He also said states wanting to help Libya confront terrorism should be allowed to do so as long as it is with the approval and coordination of the “legitimate Libyan government.”

Egyptian President President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi had on Tuesday called for a U.N. resolution to mandate an international coalition to intervene in Libya.

U.N. special envoy to Libya, Bernardino Leon, said that Islamic State and other militants can only be defeated with a united Libyan government in place that has strong international support.

The United Nations is mediating between the rival factions to get them to forge a unity government and end hostilities.

Libya’s internationally recognized government is based in the eastern city of Bayda after its rivals seized power in the capital Tripoli. Egypt supports the Bayda government, but also said it backed Leon’s efforts.

“In Libya, Islamic State has found fertile ground in the growing post revolution political instability, capitalizing also on the weakness of state institutions and state security sector,” Leon said.

Italy has called for urgent international action to halt Libya’s slide into chaos. At the Security Council, Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi repeated Italy’s promise to help monitor a ceasefire and train local armed forces within the framework of a U.N. mission.

(Editing by Grant McCool)

 

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New particle in physics may be found this year


Science continues to advance our knowledge and understanding of the universe. Meanwhile, religion has no answers; seeks no answers. Why should it, it started out with the “answers” millennia ago. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press 

AFP

The Large Hadron Collider this year will begin its second, three-year run

San José (United States) (AFP) – The world’s largest atom-smasher could help physicists understand mysterious dark matter in the universe, and later this year it may offer a discovery even more fascinating than the Higgs-Boson, researchers say.

The Large Hadron Collider, built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), has undergone major upgrades this year will begin its second, three-year run.

CERN says that after a two-year break for upgrades, the LHC will be twice as powerful this time.

The collider is already credited with helping physicists discover the elusive Higgs boson, which helps explain how objects have mass, and which led to the award of the 2013 Nobel Prize for physics.

This year, the atom-smasher will restart at a beam energy that is substantially higher, with the goal of better understanding why nature prefers matter to antimatter.

A new discovery “could be as early as this year… if we are really lucky,” said Beate Heinemann, professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, during a talk on Saturday at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting.

Heinemann is a member of the ATLAS research team at the LHC.

“Maybe we will find now supersymmetric matter,” she added.

“For me it is more exciting than the Higgs.”

Supersymmetry is an extension of the standard model of physics that aims to fill in some big gaps regarding how scientists understand matter.

According to the theory of supersymmetry, all particles have a counterpart that is heavier, and experts believe that if these partner particles are there, the LHC should be able to find them.

Since the standard model of physics cannot explain the existence of dark matter, which is thought to hold galaxies together and account for most of the matter in the universe, supersymmetry aims to offer “a more comprehensive picture of our world,” according to the CERN website.

The first of eight steps toward getting the LHC started again began on December 9, and is expected to take several months.

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Pedophile priest victims urge action from pope


As usual, the Catholic Church is dancing around the problem of pedophilia within its ranks. It seems that popes come and go but the same old problem still lingers. This is what one gets when people are revered and thought to be “holier than thou.”

By the way, I blame the kids’ parents almost as much as the abusive priests themselves, for being stupid enough to trust their children to these hypocrites. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press

AFP

Mexico City (AFP) – Victims of sexually abusive priests from across the Americas joined forces Monday to urge Pope Francis to allow civilian justice to punish pedophiles and those who covered up their crimes.

From the United States to Argentina, Chile, Mexico and other nations, victims issued a letter made public in Mexico City telling the Argentine pontiff that “words are not enough.”

The letter said that only civilian trials and Church reform will put an end to the “great holocaust of thousands of boys and girls who were sacrificed to avoid scandal and salvage the image and prestige of the Catholic Church’s representatives in the world.”

The victims said the pope’s recent admonishments of sex abuse in the Church are “ambiguous and contradictory” because they do not lead to any “institutional process toward truth and justice.”

The letter was read by Jose Barba, one of the victims of Marcial Maciel, the Mexican founder of the ultra-conservative Legion of Christ order who died in 2008.

Pope Francis has called for “zero tolerance” of abusive priests since his election in March 2013.

He has asked victims for forgiveness, pledged to combat pedophilia and formed a Church child protection panel.

This month, he issued a strongly-worded letter to bishops warning Roman Catholic clergy they must never try to cover up sexual abuse.

He has also intervened in cases like one in Spain that saw 10 priests accused of sexually abusing an altar boy.

While the pope voiced “great pain” and ordered a church investigation into the case, a Spanish court dropped charges against nine of the clergymen because the accuser waited too long to bring the charges.

- ‘Losing hope’ -

At the press conference in Mexico City, some of the victims questioned the pope’s commitment to fighting pedophilia in the Church.

“We demand that the pope, at the very least, live up to his word because we can all make headlines. Enough with the headlines,” said Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean victim who said he feld “deeply betrayed” by the pontiff.

Julieta Anazco of Argentina said that when Francis was known as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, he “never received anybody,” despite requests by victims to meet him.

“We are all very sad and losing hope. We have asked for something effective to be done. We want (abusive priests) to be removed and tried” in criminal court, said Anazco, who was abused by a priest at a Church-sponsored summer camp in the 1980s.

The network of victims from the Americas said that the pope’s predecessor, Benedict XVI, secretly suspended 400 priests for abusing children, and that they faced Vatican justice without the testimony or knowledge of the victims and their lawyers.

Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said via video conference from the United States that Pope Francis should follow the recommendations of the United Nations, which said last year that the Church violated the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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American gored by bull in Spain out of intensive care


… And the imbecile is still alive, what a shame. Anyone stupid enough to “run with the bulls” deserves a horn from his rectum to his throat. Every year it’s the same thing. A bunch of morons get the crap kicked out of them by bulls. And every year more morons line up for more of the same. And once again, we’re supposed to be an intelligent species. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press

Associated Press

Bull

MADRID (AP) — A 20-year-old American man who was badly gored during a bull-running festival is out of intensive care and improving, a spokesman for the Clinic Hospital in western Salamanca said Monday.

The hospital spokesman identified the man as Benjamin Miller and said he was out of danger and not likely to have to undergo any further operations. He spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with hospital rules.

However, Tom Eppes, a spokesman for the University of Mississippi, confirmed Monday that Benjamin Milley, originally from Marietta, Georgia, and a sophomore at the school, is the injured man.

Family members could not be immediately reached on Monday.

The man suffered several wounds, including a 40-cm (16-inch) goring in the thigh, when he was caught by a fighting bull during a festival in the nearby town of Ciudad Rodrigo on Saturday.

Images showed the 20-year-old being repeatedly tossed by the bull and in obvious pain at being gored and pushed along the ground. Helpers eventually managed to pull him up from the street to safety.

Fiestas featuring bulls are common in Spain and many people are injured each year. Spain’s most famous bull-running event is in the San Fermin festival in Pamplona.

In the runs, hundreds of people test their bravery and speed by dashing ahead of bulls through the streets to a town’s bull ring.

Towns normally have special medical units ready to attend those injured in the festivals.

Ciudad Rodrigo town councilor Pedro Munoz said two other unidentified men — a man from Scotland and a Spaniard — had sustained less serious goring injuries during Saturday’s events.

_

Associated Press reporter Kathleen Foody in Atlanta contributed to this report.

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White House: Islamic State’s ‘barbarity knows no bounds’


Are people across the globe, especially those of us here in the United States, ever going to see Islam for what it truly is? What is it going to take for us to condemn Muslims for belonging to a barbaric, murderous faith? TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is condemning the purported killing of 21 Egyptians by militants in Libya affiliated with the Islamic State group as “despicable” and “cowardly.”

White House press secretary Josh Earnest adds in a statement Sunday that the group’s barbarity “knows no bounds.”

Earnest says the killings underscore the need for a political resolution to the conflict in Libya. He says the situation in Libya only benefits terrorist groups, and he called on the Libyan people to unite in opposition to terrorism.

Also Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry called Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. He offered his condolences on behalf of the American people and strongly condemned the killings. Kerry and the foreign minister agreed to keep in close touch as Egyptians deliberated on a response, according to a release from the State Department.

Video purporting to show the mass beheading of Coptic Christian hostages was released Sunday by IS.

The Associated Press could not independently verify the video. But the Egyptian government and the Coptic Church, which is based in Egypt, have said the video is authentic.

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Be humble and work for justice, pope tells new cardinals


The gay men’s club is truly something to behold. What a circus the Catholic Church is. Just look at the photo below. From the old farts with the funny outfits to the Swiss Guard (talk about funny outfits!) How anyone can take these people seriously is beyond me. And to think that there are over 1 billion people who respect these clowns and/or look to them for guidance… Says a lot about our species doesn’t it? TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Reuters

By Philip Pullella

Cardinals

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Saturday inducted new Roman Catholic cardinals to the group that will choose his successor, telling them their high rank was a call to be humble and work for justice.

Francis elevated 20 prelates, many of them from developing countries, at a ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica. It was attended by former Pope Benedict XVI, making only his fifth public appearance at a church event since his resignation in 2013.

In his homily, Francis said being a cardinal “is not a kind of accessory, a decoration, like an honorary title”. He warned against being “puffed up with pride”, adding: “Nor are church dignitaries immune from this temptation.”

Cardinals are the pope’s highest ranking aides in Rome and around the world. Those under 80 can enter a secret conclave to elect the next pontiff after Francis’s death or resignation.

Since his election, Francis has often criticized careerism and privileges among the clergy, setting an example by living in a Vatican guest house instead of the large papal apartments used by his predecessors.

Fifteen of those who received their red “biretta” hats on Saturday are under 80, bringing the total number of “cardinal electors” to 125. The five older men were honored for their long service to the church.

The new electors, whose names were announced last month, are from Italy, France, Portugal, Ethiopia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Mexico, Myanmar, Thailand, Uruguay, Spain, Panama, Cape Verde and Tonga. Nine are from the developing world.

It is the first time cardinals from Myanmar, Tonga or Cape Verde have been appointed.

Cardinal Alberto Suarez Inda of Morelia, Mexico, has worked in a region hit by violence related to drug cartels. Cardinal Francesco Montenegro of Sicily has been in the front line in efforts to help migrants making the dangerous crossing from north Africa to the island of Lampedusa. Thousands have died.

“Those called to the service of governance in the church need to have a strong sense of justice, so that any form of injustice becomes unacceptable,” said Francis.

(Reporting by Philip Pullella; editing by Andrew Roche)

 

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Pat Condell: Appeasing Islam


This guy is awesome! Now, if only we could get some politicians to grow a pair and speak the truth, as Pat Condell does, and stop sucking up to Muslims as they do. TGO

Video: YouTube

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Furry forerunners: Jurassic arboreal, burrowing mammals unearthed


Interesting stuff, if you’re interested in biology and/or evolution. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Reuters

Reuters

University of Chicago image of skeletal and life style reconstructions of Agilodocodon scansorius

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It may not have been the most opportune time to be a furry little critter, what with all those hungry dinosaurs and flying reptiles hanging around. But early mammals still managed to make their mark during the Jurassic Period.

Scientists on Thursday described fossils unearthed in China of two shrew-sized creatures that represent the oldest-known tree-climbing and burrowing mammals and show that early mammals had claimed a variety of ecological niches.

Agilodocodon scansorius, an omnivore that lived about 165 million years ago, possessed paws with curved claws for climbing, limb dimensions characteristic of other tree-dwelling mammals and flexible elbow, wrist and ankle joints good for scrambling up trees with agility.

Its spade-like front teeth, similar to some New World monkeys today, allowed it to chew into bark and eat tree gum or sap.

Docofossor, a mole-like insect-eater that lived about 160 million years ago, boasted shovel-like paws for digging, teeth similar to later burrowing mammals that forage underground and sprawling limbs ideal for underground movement.

University of Chicago paleontologist Zhe-Xi Luo called Docofossor a “dead ringer” for today’s African golden mole.

Traits in Docofossor’s fingers are so similar to that mole that the researchers suspect the same genes may be responsible even though the two creatures belong to different branches of the mammalian family tree and are separated by 160 million years.

The earliest mammals are thought to have appeared roughly 200 million years ago, arriving on the scene during the Mesozoic Era with dinosaurs ruling the land and flying pterosaurs keeping an eye out for a quick snack. The earliest-known bird did not appear until about 150 million years ago.

“Before the 2000s, it was generally thought Mesozoic mammals could not diversify much in the dinosaur-dominated ecosystem,” Luo said.

But Luo said this notion has been undercut by discoveries in recent years of fossils of many Mesozoic mammals with numerous specializations including swimming, tree-living and digging.

“Simply put, our distant mammalian relatives explored ecological niches that were just as varied and interesting as many modern mammal groups,” Luo said.

Agilodocodon and Docofossor both belonged to a long-extinct early mammalian order called docodonts. Castorocauda, another docodont living at about the same time in the Jurassic Period whose fossil was unearthed in China in 2006, had beaver-like traits tailored for an aquatic lifestyle.

The research was published in the journal Science.

(Reporting by Will Dunham; Editing by Eric Beech)

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Vatican child protection watchdog pulls its punches


I know how to stop, or at least curtail, child rape by Catholic priests. Throw the next priest caught fondling or otherwise sexually abusing minors in a dungeon and torture him, just as was done by this church to hundreds of thousands of innocent people throughout Europe for centuries. Any of the torture methods previously utilized will do; the rack, the garroting chair, thumbscrews, sawing in half, disemboweling, the heretic’s fork, skinning alive, boiling the legs in hot oil, etc.

The Catholic Church was very creative in its torture techniques, which it used to instill fear in the masses and make sure they became followers of their “faith.” They especially liked to torture witches, except there is no such thing as witches. Oops! Too bad for the tens of thousands of so-called witches who were tortured and then burned alive by this hypocritical institution known as the Catholic Church. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press 

AFP

Pope Francis sent a message to Catholic clergy warning them that they must no longer cover up sexual abuse

Vatican City (AFP) – A new Vatican child protection panel called Monday for abusers within the Church to be held accountable for their actions, but stopped short of saying how this should be achieved.

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, which counts two victims of clerical abuse among its 16 members, said it would prepare materials for a day of prayer for victims and that it was making an initial proposal to Pope Francis.

The multinational panel did not divulge what the proposal was: a move likely to draw criticism from victims’ groups who accuse the Church of failing to take decisive action to stamp our paedophilia within its ranks.

In a statement, the 16-member panel said: “The Commission is keenly aware that the issue of accountability is of major importance.

“In its Assembly, members agreed on an initial proposal to submit to Pope Francis for consideration.

“Moreover, the Commission is developing processes to ensure accountability for everyone in the Church – clergy, religious, and laity – who work with minors.

Ahead of the Commission’s first full meeting over the weekend, Francis sent a message to Catholic clergy warning them that they must no longer cover up sexual abuse, as the Catholic hierarchy in many countries did for years.

Critics say such warnings are meaningless unless the Church specifically instructs its servants that any and all evidence of abuse within its ranks should be immediately handed over to civil authorities to ensure abusing priests are dealt with by the full force of the law.

- Seminars for church leaders -

The Vatican watchdog panel said that part of ensuring accountability “is raising awareness and understanding at all levels of the Church regarding the seriousness and urgency in implementing correct safeguarding procedures.”

To this end, the commission also agreed “to develop seminars to educate Church leadership in the area of the protection of minors.”

The Vatican’s efforts to demonstrate that it is serious about tackling the problem are being played out against the backdrop of an unravelling scandal in Spain, where 10 priests and two Catholic lay workers were charged last month with the sexual abuse of altar boys between 2004 and 2007.

It is the biggest case of its kind yet in Spain, where the Church has long been accused of exactly the kind of cover-up Francis alluded to in his letter to clergy.

The pope helped trigger the investigation that led to the charges after being approached by one of the former altar boys in the southern city of Granada.

In his letter to the clergy, Francis said bishops had to take full responsibility for the safety of minors and vulnerable adults in their dioceses.

They must also ensure that Vatican instructions on how to handle sexual abuse cases are implemented, and procedures put in place to ensure future compliance, the pontiff said.

Francis’s willingness to speak publicly about the issue has helped the Church undo some of the huge damage it suffered in the 1990s and 2000s as the scale of clerical abuse began to become apparent.

Anecdotal evidence suggests tens of thousands of priests worldwide may have been abusers.

The Vatican last year published figures showing that 3,420 cases had been dealt with by church tribunals in the previous decade.

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North Korea test-fires new anti-ship cruise missile


Isn’t it amazing how funny little people are? And by little people, I mean literally and figuratively. Here’s a country of 25 million people, who are about as much threat to the United States as a gnat is on an elephant’s ass and they keep making idle threats and testing weapons. Really? With their chubby little leader talking a big game… How funny is that?

Amazing how grown men can act so stupidly! It really is true, we are the inferior sex. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Reuters

SEOUL Sat Feb 7, 2015

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (front) watches a drill by the Korean People's Army (KPA) for hitting enemy naval target at undisclosed location in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang January 31, 2015. REUTERS/KCNA

Sat, Feb 7 2015

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea has test-fired a new anti-ship cruise missile, images released by state media on Saturday showed, demonstrating the increased capability of the secretive state’s outdated navy.

The images were released in the lead-up to U.S.-South Korean military exercises this spring. North Korea routinely seeks to raise tensions ahead of the annual drills, although this year Pyongyang has also offered to suspend nuclear testing if Washington calls off the exercises.

The images, which were shown on the front page of the ruling Workers’ Party Rodong Sinmun newspaper, showed leader Kim Jong Un observing the missile being fired from a small naval vessel.

State media described it as a “new type of cutting-edge anti-ship rocket” developed by North Korean scientists that will “bring a great change in the navy’s defense of territorial waters”.

The missile appeared identical in design to a Russian anti-ship missile, the KH-35, which is capable of flying at high speeds meters above the sea.

“It looks exactly like a KH-35,” said Jeffrey Lewis of the California-based Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Last June, Lewis was the first to spot what appeared to be an unconfirmed glimpse of the missile in a North Korean propaganda video.”It is a capable anti-ship cruise missile that puts some teeth in recent statements about developing anti-ship capabilities,” said Lewis, referring to North Korean naval exercises last month that state media said were designed to target U.S. aircraft carriers.

North Korea has increased the number of air and naval military drills in recent weeks, ahead of the annual U.S.-South Korean military exercises on the Korean peninsula.

Pyongyang regularly protests over the drills, which it says are a rehearsal for war.

Officials from isolated North Korea, under increased pressure from international sanctions related to its nuclear and missile programs, have made frequent trips to Russia over the past year, where leader Kim Jong Un is scheduled to make his first official state visit this May.

“The design raises a question about whether, when, and under what circumstances, Moscow might have assisted North Korea in the development of the system,” Lewis said.

(Editing by Paul Tait and Simon Cameron-Moore)

 

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Latinas can be very sexy. TGO

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Boko Haram launches twin attacks in Niger and Cameroon


More of the same for another in the dozens upon dozens of Islamic terrorist groups throughout the world. How many other religions have terrorist organizations? Not many. I wonder why? It seems the religion of peace (piss) piss isn’t very peaceful after all. TGO

Mon Feb 9, 2015 

NIAMEY/YAOUNDE (Reuters) – Islamist Boko Haram insurgents from Nigeria bombed a Niger border town, killing five people, and carried out attacks in neighboring Cameroon, kidnapping a bus full of passengers, military and local sources said on Monday.

The jihadist sect has killed thousands of people and kidnapped hundreds in a bid to impose its rule in northeastern Nigeria, and stepped up cross-border incursions into Cameroon.

An intensification of attacks near Lake Chad – a crossroads between Nigeria, Chad, and Niger – has sent tens of thousands of Nigerians fleeing across the borders. The escalating crisis prompted Nigeria to postpone its Feb. 14 presidential election.

With the Nigerian army struggling to contain the militants, bordering countries have launched a regional offensive against them, spurring a series of revenge attacks inside Niger and Cameroon.

Boko Haram militants stormed a prison in Diffa overnight and set off a car bomb near a customs office in the town, shortly before Niger’s parliament was due to ratify participation in the regional offensive, witnesses said. Five people were killed in the bomb explosion and five others seriously injured, Niger security sources said.

Heavy gunfire carried on through the day as Niger’s army repelled the assault, Boko Haram’s third on Diffa in four days. A member of the national guard said about 100 suspected Boko Haram militants were in prison in Niger, but none in Diffa.

“We will defeat Boko Haram. Boko Haram has no future in this region,” Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou told reporters on Monday in the capital Niamey. Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama said in Niamey on Monday that other African countries would offer solidarity to states affected by Boko Haram.

Authorities ordered locals to stay in their homes and mounted roadblocks around Diffa by late morning. But residents and humanitarian officials said thousands of people were fleeing from the town in cars and motorbikes.

In Cameroon, suspected Boko Haram militants attacked the northern village of Kerawa on Sunday and kidnapped at least 18 people traveling on a bus near Adanga Danga, military sources said. One said there were 30 people on board the missing bus.

Military sources in the two countries said troops had killed at least a dozen of its fighters in two days of fighting.

On Saturday, the governments of Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Benin agreed to establish an 8,700-strong multi-national force to take on Boko Haram.

Troops from Chad are already waging an offensive inside remote northeastern Nigerian territory and claim to have killed hundreds of Boko Haram fighters last week.

A video seen by Reuters on Monday appears to show Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau mocking the plans for a regional military intervention. “This message is for the people and leaders of Africa. You cannot defeat us … Sit back and rethink. Is your constitution and democracy better than Islam?” he said.

(Additional reporting by Isaac Abrak in Abuja; Writing by Joe Bavier and Emma Farge; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Dominic Evans)

 

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Ancient archway. The arch is one of the strongest structural elements… TGO

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She’s sooo sexy. TGO

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A very inviting position… TGO

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Oldest Stars in the Universe Actually Younger Than Previously Thought


Interesting… This is the beauty of science, it is always seeking the facts and in doing so often makes corrections to prior data/information. It doesn’t start out with answers and then fits those answers to our world; as religion does. It starts out with questions and then seeks answers to those questions. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: SPACE.com

SPACE.com

Universe

The very first stars in the universe need to reset their birthday clocks: these ancient objects burst into existence more than 100 million years later than scientists previously thought, according to new research.

A few hundred million years after the Big Bang, the light from some of the very first stars and galaxies lit up the universe and ended a period known as the “dark ages.” New measurements by the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite — which studied the cosmic microwave background, or the light left over from the Big Bang — indicate that this period of light began about 100 million years later than Planck’s previous estimate. The new results are based on an additional year of observations recorded by the satellite.

“While these 100 million years may seem negligible compared to the universe’s age of almost 14 billion years, they make a significant difference when it comes to the formation of the first stars,” Marco Bersanelli of the University of Milan and a member of the Planck Collaboration, said in a statement.

The end of the dark ages

Some of the first stars and galaxies to be born in the early universe helped end what is often referred to as the universe’s “dark ages.” The stars not only lit up the skies with their light, but also cleared away a fog consisting of hydrogen atoms that had come to fill cosmos.

This haze of gas that filled the universe blocked most wavelengths of light, which is why this time is referred to as “dark.”

The powerful photons created by stars and galaxies ripped the atoms apart, or ionized them, which is why this era is known as reionization. Galaxies called quasars burst into existence around this time; at the center of a quasar is a supermassive black hole that ejects powerful jets of light and matter into the universe.

Observations by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope show that the universe was entirely clear of this fog by about 900 million years after the Big Bang, the ESA statement said. But when did it begin?

Previous observations by Planck cited the start of reionization as being about 450 million years after the Big Bang. The new results used a larger data set, taken between 2009 and 2013, and pushed that measurement forward by 100 million years.

Because stars and galaxies drove the start of reionization, scientists with the Planck collaboration say the new measurement also indicates about when those stars and galaxies started forming.

“These things are basically two sides of the same coin,” François Bouchet, of the Paris Institute of Astrophysics and a member of the Planck Collaboration, told Space.com. Bouchet said that Planck can identify the average starting time of star and galaxy formation, but not when specific stars were born. Rare stars have been identified that may have formed before the end of the dark ages.

For now, scientists with Planck think of reionization as an “instantaneous” event — “instantaneous” on a cosmological time scale, that is —  but of course, Bouchet explained, it must actually be an event that took place over a period of time.

“As with any physical process, [reionization] will take some time,” Bouchet said. “Later on, we will want to know what is the duration of that period. We want to be able to say when 20 percent of the universe was reionized, and then 30 percent and 50 percent and 100 percent. We want to have a full history of reionization. That’s the ultimate goal.”

Oldest light in the universe

The Planck telescope can study reionization by looking at the cosmic microwave background: a static haze of light that fills the entire universe. This light was created by the Big Bang, and has radiated through the universe ever since. In that time, it has picked up information about the events that have taken place in the cosmic history.

When the universe began to emerge from the dark ages, hydrogen atoms were ripped apart into protons and electrons. The electrons interacted with the CMB and left an imprint in the light’s “polarization” — or the orientation of the light waves, according to the ESA statement. Planck scientists have picked up on that subtle change.

The new results are part of a major release of new analyses from the Planck Collaboration. Planck made headlines last week when it released a long-awaited, joint analysis with the BICEP2 collaboration. The new work showed that results presented by BICEP2 scientists in March of last year, which claimed to show evidence of gravitational waves and inflation in the early universe, were contaminated by space dust.

Planck is still collecting data on the CBM, and Bouchet said he feels confident that the Planck satellite will be able to provide a more detailed timeline of the universe as it emerged from the dark ages.

Follow Calla Cofield @callacofield. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

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Very desirable… TGO

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