Canadian Homeschoolers Can’t be Taught ‘Gay’ Sex Sinful
Homeschooling families will soon be forbidden from teaching that homosexual sex is sinful as part of their schooling program, according to the government of Alberta, Canada. Under the province’s Education Act, homeschoolers and religious schools will be banned from “disrespecting” people’s differences. “Whatever the nature of schooling – homeschool, private school, Catholic school – we do not tolerate disrespect for differences,” said Donna McColl, Lukaszuk’s assistant director of communications. “
- Serial killers are different, so let’s not disrespect them either. Idiotic.
US Bolsters Defenses in Strait of Hormuz
The Pentagon has notified US lawmakers of plans to bolster US defenses in and around the Strait of Hormuz to be prepared for a military response against Iran, a report said Friday. New mine-detection and clearing equipment as well as improved surveillance capabilities are part of the planned build-up, said the Wall Street Journal. The Pentagon also wants to modify ship weapons systems to best deal with Iranian attack boats in the Strait. The moves highlight efforts to boost US military capabilities amid heightened tension with Iran and rising speculation of a strike from Israel over Iran’s nuclear program.
G-20 Pressure Europe to Increase Stabilization Funds
Pressure mounted on Europe Saturday to build an even bigger financial stabilization fund to head off sovereign debt concerns, with the United States, Brazil, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development all urging an increase. While the advice coming out of a meeting of G-20 finance ministers, senior officials and central bank heads seemed overwhelming, Germany — Europe’s main financial engine — appeared loath to fund yet another increase to stabilization funds that already have about 500 billion euros. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner added to the pressure, saying ” I expect that we’ll see continued efforts by the Europeans … to put in place a stronger, more credible firewall,” though he didn’t mention any amount.
Officers Injured in Clash with ‘Occupy’ Sacramento Protesters
At least two law enforcement officers were injured during a clash with members of the Occupy movement who were at the state Capitol to protest a rally by a pro-white group. The clash erupted about 3 p.m. Monday as California Highway Patrol and Sacramento city police officers were escorting about 35 members of the South Africa Project to a parking garage following their protest outside the Capitol building. An Associated Press photographer says roughly 50 members of Occupy Oakland began throwing cans and bottles at the South Africa group and at the officers. The Occupy members then rushed the officers as people with the pro-whites group rushed into the parking garage. At least two Occupy members were arrested.
Police Dismantle Occupy London Encampment
Authorities dismantled Occupy London’s camp outside the famous St. Paul’s Cathedral in a dramatic early hours raid Tuesday, clearing away one of the longest-surviving encampments inspired by the New York protest against capitalist excess. The City of London police said 20 people had been arrested as officers removed tents and equipment from outside the 300-year-old church, where demonstrators had camped since mid-October. As riot police surrounded the encampment, bailiffs in fluorescent jackets hauled camping equipment into waiting trucks and refuse bins — though there was little sign of the violence that has accompanied the clearance of several Occupy sites in the U.S. Britain’s High Court last Wednesday rejected the protesters’ legal challenge to an eviction order. Local authorities claimed the camp had harmed nearby businesses, caused waste and hygiene problems, and attracted crime and disorder.
Bird Flu, Pig Flu, Now Bat Flu?
For the first time, scientists have found evidence of flu in bats, reporting a never-before-seen virus whose risk to humans is unclear. The surprising discovery of genetic fragments of a flu virus is the first well-documented report of it in the winged mammals. So far, scientists haven’t been able to grow it, and it’s not clear if — or how well — it spreads. Flu bugs are common in humans, birds and pigs and have even been seen in dogs, horses, seals and whales, among others – but not bats. But it still could pose a threat to humans. For example, if it mingled with more common forms of influenza, it could swap genes and mutate into something more dangerous, a scenario at the heart of the global flu epidemic movie “Contagion.”
- The Bible prophesies extreme pestilence in the last days, but the source will remain a mystery until after it actually happens
TransCanada to Complete Portion of Pipeline
To capitalize on the boom in U.S. oil production, a Canadian company announced Monday that it will split a controversial pipeline rejected by President Obama and start building the Oklahoma-to-Texas portion. Calgary-based TransCanada said the southern half of the $7 billion Keystone XL project will ensure that the glut of oil produced in the upper Midwest gets to Gulf Coast refineries. It said this portion, which won’t need a presidential permit because it does not cross a U.S. border, will cost about $2.3 billion and be completed next year. “Gulf Coast refineries can then access lower-cost domestic production and avoid paying a premium to foreign oil producers,” Russ Girling, the company’s chief executive officer said in the announcement. Citing rising gas prices and the need to create U.S. jobs, Republicans have criticized Obama for denying a permit last month and siding with environmentalists who say the crude’s development would exacerbate climate change.
Billions Spent on Duplicate Federal Programs
Some agencies perform their own security assessments for federally owned buildings, even though they’re already paying the Federal Protective Service $236 million a year for the same work. Thirteen agencies fund 209 different science, technology, engineering and math education programs — and 173 of those programs overlap with at least one other program. And the government has at least 15 major financial literacy programs. A report delivered to Congress Tuesday lays out those examples among 32 areas where multiple government programs do similar work. The Government Accountability Office says the government might save tens of billions of dollars simply by eliminating duplicate and overlapping federal programs.
- Waste ‘R Us is the mantra of the bloated, inefficient and ineffective federal government
Businesses slashed spending on machinery and equipment in January after a tax break expired, pushing orders for long-lasting manufacturing goods down by the largest amount in three years. Orders for durable goods fell 4% last month, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Durable goods are products expected to last at least three years. In January, orders totaled $206.1 billion, still 16% below their peak in December 2007. About 9% of the nation’s jobs are in manufacturing. But last year, factories added 13% of new jobs. And in January, about one-fifth of the 243,000 net jobs the economy created were in manufacturing.
Home prices fell in December for a fourth straight month in most major U.S. cities, as modest sales gains in the depressed housing market have yet to lift prices. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home-price index shows prices dropped in December from November in 18 of the 20 cities tracked. The steepest declines were in Atlanta, Chicago and Detroit. Miami and Phoenix were the only cities to show an increase.
Gasoline prices leaped more than a thirteen cents a gallon over the past week, the Energy Information Administration reported Tuesday. The average now stands at $3.72 a gallon nationally, up from $3.59 a gallon in the past week. In California in particular, prices are up past $4 for the second week straight. Now, gas averages $4.29 a gallon in the Golden State. The lowest gas prices in the country can be found in the Rocky Mountain states, the survey finds. There, they average $3.19 a gallon.
Sales taxes last year took the smallest percentage of consumers’ dollars since 1967 as tax-free Internet sales and untaxed services continued to erode state and local governments’ top source of revenue, a USA TODAY analysis finds. States and cities are being forced to keep their belts tight because sales tax collections rose only 1.2% last year even though consumer spending climbed 4.7%.Americans paid an average 4.27% sales tax rate on purchases in 2011, down from 4.63% five years ago and far below the peak of 5.18% in 1973.
Israeli officials say they won’t warn the U.S. if they decide to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, an intelligence tells the Associated Press. The pronouncement was delivered in a series of private, top-level conversations, with the Israelis saying if a strike is necessary, they would keep the Americans in the dark to decrease the likelihood that the U.S. would be held responsible for failing to stop it. The United States has been working with the Israelis for months to persuade them that an attack would be only a temporary setback to Iran’s nuclear program.
A “secret report” by a high level Israeli authority documents the Muslim religious authority (The WAQF) continuing its long standing project of destroying evidence of ancient Jewish artifacts on Judaism’s most holy site the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. “An investigative report by Yedioth Ahronoth revealed the ongoing failure of various Israeli authorities in safeguarding the rare archaeological treasures found on Temple Mount. Information elicited by the newspaper showed that the Waqf is consistently erasing any trace of Jewish history at the site.” One Jerusalem helped bring to the public’s attention the destruction of the Temple Mount back in 2007. After the international outcry against this ongoing destruction project Israel’s Antiquities Authority promulgated rules to stop this practice. But it appears that these rules are not being enforced and the destruction continues. The decision by a Knesset committee not to make public the Report raises more questions about what is going on in Jerusalem.
Syrians began voting Sunday on a new draft constitution aimed at quelling the country’s uprising by ending the ruling Baath Party’s five-decade domination of power, but the opposition announced a boycott and clashes were reported across the country. The country has 14.6 million eligible voters who were asked to cast ballots on whether they approve or reject the recently drafted constitution in more than 14,000 polling stations around the country. In regions like the restive central city of Homs, where shelling by government forces has left hundreds dead, or the northwestern province of Idlib and the southern region of Daraa where rebels clash frequently with the security forces, turnout is likely to be minimal. The proposed new constitution allows at least a theoretical opening of the country’s political system as an effort to placate critics and end the 11-month uprising against his rule.
Diplomats say EU foreign ministers are trying to increase the pressure on Syria’s regime to stop its crackdown on opponents by preparing to freeze the assets of seven Syrian government officials, impose sanctions on the country’s central bank and ban Syrian cargo flights from the European Union. The EU has already imposed several rounds of sanctions on Syria, freezing the assets of 100 people and 38 organizations, and trying to cut the country’s supply of equipment for its oil and gas sectors.
A car bomb outside the gate of a presidential compound in southern Yemen killed at least 25 people hours after the country’s new president was formally inaugurated and vowed to fight al-Qaeda. A security official said the attack in the city of Mukalla in Hadramout province was carried out by a suicide bomber, and that it bore the hallmarks of an al-Qaeda operation. The blast came hours after Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi was sworn in as president to replace longtime leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, following an election aimed at ending more than a year of political turmoil in Yemen. Hadi was the only candidate in the election.
The shooting deaths of two U.S. military advisers in the Afghan capital and the quick decision to pull coalition personnel from all government ministries injected a sobering measure of doubt about the reliability of the most important U.S. ally in the war. NATO forces have advisers embedded in many Afghan ministries, both as trainers and to help manage the transition to Afghan control as foreign forces prepare to withdraw by the end of 2014. The Afghan Interior Ministry oversees all the country’s police, so has numerous NATO advisers. Even if Saturday’s killer turns out not to be an Afghan, the deaths compound a perception of insecurity in the heart of Kabul after a series of recent security failures and Afghan outrage over U.S. burning of Muslim holy books. The Taliban claimed responsibility.
Seven U.S. military trainers were wounded on Sunday when protesters in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan threw a grenade at their base. A suicide car bomber rammed his vehicle into the gates of a NATO base and airport in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, triggering a blast that killed nine Afghans, officials said. The Taliban claimed the attack was revenge for U.S. troops burning copies of the Quran.
Gunmen wearing military uniforms stopped a convoy of buses in northern Pakistan on Tuesday, ordered selected passengers to get off and then killed 16 of them in a grisly sectarian attack. The victims were Shiite Muslims, a minority in Pakistan that is frequently targeted by extremists from the majority Sunni community. A spokesman for a faction of the Pakistani Taliban, a Sunni militant group, claimed responsibility for the killings. The incident in the remote Kohistan region was the latest in a spasm of violence in the country in recent weeks that has demonstrated the resilience of militant networks, including groups allied to al-Qaida. The U.S. has tried to support Pakistani security forces in the fight against the extremists, but strained relations between the two nations hamper cooperation.
A suicide car bomber detonated his explosives Sunday morning outside of a major church in the heart of a restive central Nigerian city that has seen hundreds die in religious and ethnic violence, killing three people and injuring others. The explosion struck the main headquarters of the Church of Christ in Nigeria during its early morning service. The blast killed the bomber and a father and child near the explosion. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, though a radical Islamist sect known as Boko Haram has launched increasingly bloody attacks across Nigeria, including attacks on churches. A Christmas Day bombing of a Catholic church claimed by the sect in Madalla, a town just outside the country’s capital Abuja, killed at least 44 people.
Russian and Ukrainian special services have arrested a group of suspects accused of attempting to assassinate Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Russia’s state television said Monday. The suspects were plotting to kill Putin in Moscow immediately after the March 4 presidential election, in which he is all but certain to reclaim the presidency. The station said the suspects had been arrested in Ukraine’s Black Sea port city of Odessa, but didn’t give any further details.
A bomb exploded in front of the headquarters of Nepal’s monopoly oil importer Monday, killing three people and injuring five in the capital’s first major attack in four years, police said. The government increased security in response. A little-known group calling itself United Ethnic Liberation Front took responsibility for the bombing. Several ethnic groups from southern Nepal have called for more autonomy in their regions, and some claim to be armed and threaten violence.
A powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 shook southwestern Siberia on Sunday afternoon, the second to hit the area in two months. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. Residents of multistory apartment buildings said objects tumbled off of shelves, windows rattled and chandeliers swayed during the quake. The earthquake hit about 60 miles east of Kyzyl, the capital of the Russian republic of Tuva, which borders Mongolia.
As a balmy early winter draws to a close, the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin are bracing for more late-February snow, and forecasters say the expected storm could be the worst of the season in many areas. The National Weather Service has posted a number of watches and warnings for winter storm and blizzard conditions in parts of North Dakota and South Dakota Tuesday into Wednesday. The weather service also issued a winter storm watch for northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday.
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