Pakistani Christian Sentenced to Death for Blasphemy

Pakistani Christian Sentenced to Death

There has not been an execution in Pakistan over blasphemy laws, but they continue to condemn those found guilty. In the most recent example, a Christian sanitation worker was found guilty of the crime based in large part on rumors and circumstantial evidence. This comes over a year after the same incident sparked riots and attacks against Christian towns in the Muslim nation.

The mess started when a friend of Sawan Masih claimed that he had insulted Muhammad, the prophet of Allah. That was enough to turn Joseph Colony into turmoil with 170 homes and two churches burned to the ground. Now, the accused is condemned.

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Porn May be a Drug

Porn Industry

The internet has allowed the porn industry to spread to become easily available to just about everyone with a device and a connection. It isn’t hard to find porn. It’s often put up in front of us and our families even if we’re not interested in seeing it. The temptation of porn is everywhere online.

One contention by Fight the New Drug is that pornagraphy is an addictive drug-like element of society that is actively participating in the destruction of society. There are those who would say that it’s not a bad thing, that it allows people to express their urges without involving violence. However, the numbers do not support this. Violent sexual crimes are on the rise pretty much around the world.

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US Takes Firm but Worthless Stance Against al Qaeda in Iraq

al Qaeda Iraq

As al Qaeda continues to push their agenda and take over towns in Iraq, the United States released a sharply worded but absolutely worthless condemnation of their actions. It is meaningless. It will achieve absolutely nothing for the people in peril nor the country on the verge of falling into a Syrian-scale civil war.

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Israel Strikes Back After Palestinian Sniper Attack

Missile Attack Gaza Strip

The last time this level of violence happened in the Gaza Strip was over a year ago. Now, Israel has sent ground and air forces into the Gaza Strip in retaliation for a civilian worker who was killed by a Palestinian sniper earlier. As tensions rise, both sides are pointing fingers.

From the Palestinian side, their holding to the story of the 3-year-old girl who was killed in the attacks. From Israel, they are pointing out that they were attacked first and that protecting their citizens is justification for the military actions. Terror sites were the targets, but terrorist often put their fighters and equipment amongst civilians, making it difficult to avoid collateral damage.

According to ABC News:

“I recommend to Hamas not to test our patience and to assert its authority,” Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said. “If there isn’t quiet in Israel, there won’t be quiet in the Gaza Strip.”

The Israeli military said aircraft, tanks and infantry targeted “terror sites” in Gaza, including a weapons-manufacturing facility, “terror infrastructure” and a concealed rocket launcher. “Direct hits were confirmed,” it said.

Read More: ABC News

Israel Mayor on Homosexuals: “We have none of those thing here.”

Israel Gay Pride

A mayor in Israel is facing some heat for comments he made about homosexuality. In the city of Beit Shemesh, Mayor Moshe Abutbul claims that there are no homosexuals in his conservative city and that they should be dealt with by the police when necessary.

The LGBT Association in Israel were insulted by the statements by the Mayor during an interview on nationwide television as they continue to attempt to legalize gay marriage in the country. Here’s what the mayor said according to The Telegraph:

“We have none of those things [gays] here. Thank God, this city is holy and pure,” he told Israel’s Channel 10. Asked how his town handles the gay community, he replied: “There’s the Health Ministry, let them handle it. The Health Ministry, the police.”

Read More: The Telegraph

Laying the Groundwork Before the Next Round of Iranian Negotiations

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Smiling

It was a roller coaster last week as signs showed there would be no deal with Iran, then they showed hope, then the French killed it. Now, there will be a break followed by the next round of negotiations that will take place in ten days. In the meantime, the United States and Israel want tougher sanctions imposed on Iran in an effort to keep the pressure up.

At question is the nuclear program that Iran says is for energy and research but that much of the rest of the world sees as a path to acquiring a nuclear weapon. It is challenging to find the middle ground; it’s too late to tell Iran that they can’t do anything that has to do with nuclear devices. They’ve been working on it for at least 7 years and it has become both a heavy investment as well as a point of national pride. They will let the sanctions continue before they stop their nuclear pursuits altogether.

This poses a huge problem for Israel who believes that they will be the target of the nuclear weapons once they’re built. If an agreement is reached that is not acceptable to them, they might take matters into their own hands and attack the nuclear facilities. If this happens, they will be completely isolated. Even the United States would not be willing to support them in such a circumstance.

The next ten days are crucial. Europe, China, Russia, the United States, Israel, and Iran are all going to be working furiously to garner the public support necessary to make a deal happen the way they want it to. Unfortunately, everyone seems to have a different idea of what would be ideal.

According to Reuters:

U.S. lawmakers said on Sunday they aimed to tighten sanctions on Iran to prevent Washington giving away too much in a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program that diplomats said was still possible despite the failure of high-level weekend talks.

Read More: Reuters

Death Toll from Philippines Typhoon Could Break 10K

Filipino Typhoon

The damage from the typhoon that rocked the Philippines this week continues to show a heavier and heavier death toll. Initially in the single digits, it quickly rose to 1300. Now, authorities in the area are estimating numbers higher than 5-digits.

It was the equivalent of a huge tornado with wind speeds over 200 MPH at times. Nothing like this has been recorded from a typhoon in history that struck land and it devastated the east Asian islands.

Here’s what Fox News is reporting:

A senior regional police official and a city administrator in the typhoon-ravaged Tacloban city in the central Philippines say the death toll there could reach 10,000 people, according to the Associated Press.

Read More: Fox News

Iran: Deal or No Deal?

Iran Nuclear Negotiations

Iran wants nuclear weapons. They’re using the guise of nuclear power to hide their ambitions, but the world is apparently not buying it. As of now, there is no deal in place that would ease sanctions against the struggling country in exchange for freezing their nuclear program.

This is good news for the world, though Israel seems to be the only country that recognizes it as such. Everyone wants the Iranians to stop their pursuits but the exchange of easing sanctions hasn’t been forthcoming. The reason is not completely known but it is likely due to an unwillingness by Iran to truly halt production of goods and materials that could be used to build a bomb.

If a deal is not reached, they may resume again in a couple of weeks.

Here’s what the Telegraph had to say about it:

Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, rejected a draft agreement on Saturday and issued a public warning against a “sucker’s deal”. William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, gave a sharply contrasting message, stressing the need to “seize the moment and seize the opportunity to reach a deal that has eluded the world”.

Read More: The Telegraph

Nazi Painting Stash Discovered

World War II

There’s a movie coming out called The Monuments Men starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Cate Blanchett. It circles around a World War II platoon sent in to recover important works of art before the Germans could destroy them. As it turns out, the Germans didn’t destroy them all. 1500 of them were just discovered.

The artists included Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Estimates put the value of the art stash at $1.5 billion.

They were actually found two years ago in the Munich apartment of an 80-year-old man but they did not reveal the find until today.

Here’s the trailer for The Monuments Men

According to SMH:

The art once belonged to Jewish collectors, who were forced to sell it for a pittance before the Holocaust, or it was confiscated by Nazi censors from galleries because it was allegedly “degenerate”.

Read More: SMH

Israel, Hamas Disagree on Reason for Drone Crash

Israeli Skylark Mini Drone

An Israeli Skylark Mini Drone was either shot out of the sky by Hamas or fell victim to technical challenges similar one that crashed in May. It all depends on which side you want to believe.

Hamas, of course, wants to claim that an Israeli military vehicle (small and insignificant as it might be) was heroically downed by a crack unit of trained warriors. Israel wants to claim that it was a minor technical malfunction, one that can be expected when you’re as technologically sophisticated as they are. We’ll likely never know the truth, but both sides will claim their story.

Here’s what the BBC said about the incident:

“IDF clarifies, in contradiction to Palestinian reports, that a ‘Skylark’ tactical mini UAV system crashed earlier today in the Gaza Strip due to a technical malfunction, and was not shot down by Palestinian militants,” an IDF spokesperson told the BBC on Sunday.

Read More: BBC