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|Worthy News Brief - May 23, 2014|
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Worthy News Features
Duck Dynasty Star: Media 'Blurring Lines' on Sin (Video)
Phil Robertson, star of the popular "Duck Dynasty" television show, defended his controversial comments on homosexuality, giving a church sermon in which he ridiculed media coverage and others "blurring" the lines between "sinners" and homosexuals.
First round freedom win for Iowa, Mich. Christian colleges against HHS mandate
A federal court issued an order Wednesday that halts enforcement of the Obama administration's Human and Health Services (HHS) mandate against two Christian colleges: Dordt College in Iowa and Cornerstone University in Michigan.
Florida Man Wants To Open A Meeting With Satanic Prayer
A man who convinced Florida Governor Rick Scott to permit an eight foot "Festivus" pole of beer cans to be placed next to a Deerfield Beach nativity crÃ¨che last December has informed the New Times that he has converted from "Pabstfestidian" because Satan is cool, according to the Daily Kos.
Pastor Jailed for Displaying Anti-Abortion Sign
A Christian legal group is defending a pastor who was arrested for protesting outside an abortion clinic in Mississippi, according to CBN News.
Nigeria: Suicide Bomb Kills 20 Christians in Kano
Christian sources said a suicide bombing Sunday in the Christian quarter of the Muslim-majority city of Kano, Nigeria, killed about 20 people, according to Morning Star News Morning Star News.
Today's Breaking News
Around the World
Thailand military seizes power in coup - BBC
Thailand's military has announced it is taking control of the government and has suspended the constitution.
Pro-Russia separatists kill 16 Ukrainian soldiers ahead of election - CTV News
In the deadliest raid yet on Ukrainian troops, pro-Russia insurgents attacked a military checkpoint Thursday, killing 16 soldiers, and the interim prime minister accused Moscow of trying to disrupt the upcoming election for a new president to lead the divided country out of its crisis.
Iran: Any aggression will be met with 'crushing and lethal response' - Jerusalem Post
The Iranian military highlighted its full preparedness in the event of foreign aggression on Thursday, just days after nuclear talks in Vienna ended with no progress made.
Rouhani: The U.S. Owes Iran Reparations for 'Hostile Policies' - Washington Free Beacon
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is demanding that the Obama administration pay Tehran reparations for "hostile policies" that have cost the Iranian people "much loss and damage," according to the country's state-run media.
Russia, China veto UN move to refer Syria to ICC - Times of Israel
Russia and China have vetoed a UN Security Council resolution referring the Syrian crisis to the International Criminal Court for investigation of possible war crimes.
Vatican Says Pope Will Demand 'Sovereign Palestine' - Arutz Sheva
The Vatican's Secretary of State made a dramatic revelation ahead of Pope Francis's visit to Israel next Sunday and Monday, declaring that the pope will talk about the "Palestinian people's right to have a homeland, sovereign and independent."
Pope Francis Visits Jordan, Israel, Palestine: Expect the Unexpected - TIME
In a region where politics and religion have been enmeshed for centuries, the Pope's simplest actions will carry both spiritual and social weight. It will be the first time that an official papal delegation will include members of other faiths -- an imam and a rabbi.
Thai army takes power in coup after talks between rivals fail - CNBC
Thailand's army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha seized control of the government in a coup on Thursday, two days after he declared martial law, saying the military had to restore order and push through reforms after six months of turmoil.
Ukraine's People's Republic of Luhansk to Declare Martial Law - RIA Novosti
The self-proclaimed People's Republic of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine is planning to impose martial law, a source in the republic's leadership told RIA Novosti on Thursday.
Rouhani: Nuclear deal 'very likely' by July deadline - Times of Israel
Talks between Iran and six world powers on a comprehensive deal over its nuclear program are "very likely" to reach a successful conclusion by a July 20 deadline, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Thursday.
Israeli Arab Christians Joining Israeli Army in Greater Numbers - Washington Free Beacon
A group of Israeli Arab Christians led by a Greek Orthodox priest have roiled the Israeli Arab community by distancing themselves from their Arab identity and requesting that Christian Arabs be drafted into the Israeli army to show their support for the Jewish state.
Worrisome surge of extremists likely in European elections - Times of Israel
Armed with ropes and long sticks, a group of teens in Germany's capital headed out under the cover of night. Their goal: to tear down from lampposts the campaign posters of the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party.
Netanyahu: There is nobody to negotiate with in Ramallah - Times of Israel
The Palestinian leadership is unwilling to make compromises for peace, calling into the question the efficacy of diplomatic negotiations, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview published early Thursday.
US lawmakers vote to double funding for Iron Dome - Times of Israel
US lawmakers overwhelmingly backed a $601 billion defense authorization bill that would almost double funding for the Israeli Iron Dome anti-missile program Thursday.
First Batch of 250 Members of 'Lost Tribe' Arrive in Israel - Arutz Sheva
A group of 40 Bnei Menashe made Aliyah today from India, the first batch out of a total of 250 immigrants from the Lost Tribe that are slated to arrive over the coming month.
The Price of Oslo -- 933 Billion Shekels and Counting - Arutz Sheva
The failed attempt at regional peacemaking known as the Oslo Process has cost the state of Israel over 900 billion shekels -- more than $250 billion -- since 1993, and the costs keeps rising, according to a study by the Likud party's Jewish Leadership faction, which is headed by MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud-Beytenu).
Russia mulling deal to build up to 8 nuclear reactors for Iran - Jerusalem Post
Russia plans to sign a contract with Iran this year to build two more nuclear reactors at its Bushehr power plant as part of a broader deal for up to eight reactors in the Islamic state, a source close to the negotiations told Reuters on Thursday.
Released Palestinian Prisoner Caught Planning Terrorist Attacks - Israel Hayom
A Palestinian infiltrator arrested in a joint operation by the Shin Bet and the Central Investigative Unit of the Northern District Police has admitted to trying to kidnap Israelis. Murad Mahmoud Hassan Ali-Hassin, 25, from the Palestinian village of Kabatiya, near Jenin, has also been accused of throwing Molotov cocktails at civilian cars in the western Galilee, as well as several other security crimes.
Restraining Orders on 'Extremists' Before Papal Visit - Arutz Sheva
The Israeli police have put several right-wing Jewish 'extremists' on house arrest during Pope Francis's upcoming visit, international media reports Wednesday, after the Vatican has expressed concerns about the pope's safety in the wake of "price tag" attacks.
Inside the United States
California Drought Threatens Food Supply of All Americans; Collapsing Aquifer Sinking the Land - The Weather Channel
Walk into any grocery store in America and there's a good chance the fresh produce you see there was grown in California. Up to half of the nation's fruit, nuts and vegetables are grown in the Central Valley, one of the planet's most fertile growing regions, between Los Angeles and Sacramento. Now, for the first time this century, the entire state is in severe to exceptional drought.
Louisiana VA staff falsified documents - Washington Times
Twenty-three employees at a Department of Veterans Affairs center in Louisiana were placed on leave in 2010 as part of an investigation into document forgeries, a move revealed only in federal whistleblower lawsuits filed years later.
U.S. Steps Up Scrutiny of Americans Fighting in Syrian Civil War - Washington Free Beacon
The Justice Department has tapped a veteran prosecutor to probe the flow of foreign fighters including Americans who are joining Syria's rebels, U.S. officials said, in a sign of heightened alarm over the threat of radicalized militants returning home.
Democrats threaten John Boehner on immigration reform - Washington Examiner
Democrats have a new message for House Republicans who have been reluctant to take up a comprehensive immigration reform bill this year: Pass a bill in six weeks, or watch the White House take action on its own.
Veterans Affairs whistleblowers face 'long slog' in fighting retaliation - Washington Examiner
Retaliation comes quickly to whistleblowers who expose wrongdoing at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Those who have revealed potentially lethal lapses in health care say they have been ridiculed, transferred, demoted and sometimes fired by agency managers attempting to cover up wrongdoing and silence anyone who dares challenge their dangerous practices.
House passes curbs on NSA phone surveillance - Washington Examiner
In an overwhelming vote, the House moved the U.S. closer to ending the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone records Thursday, the most significant demonstration to date of leaker Edward Snowden's impact on the debate over privacy versus security.
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