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|Worthy News Brief - May 30, 2014|
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Worthy News Features
Will the United Methodist Church soon have to drop the "United" part of its name?
A group of 80 pastors is suggesting that the nation's second-largest Protestant denomination is facing an imminent split because of an inability to resolve long-standing theological disputes about sexuality and church doctrine.
Which Countries Still Outlaw Apostasy and Blasphemy?
Apostasy and blasphemy may seem to many like artifacts of history. But in dozens of countries around the world, laws against apostasy and blasphemy remain even today, according to Pew Research Center.
Today's Breaking News
Around the World
Is a Ukrainian 'Catastrophe' Coming?
Russia demanded on Thursday that the Ukrainian government stop its military operation against pro-Russian separatists and urged the United States and European Union to press Kiev to avert a "catastrophe" in the former Soviet republic.
Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan Establish New Alliance
The leaders of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan on Thursday created an economic union that intends to boost cooperation between the ex-Soviet neighbors, a pact which was at the source of the crisis in Ukraine.
World Bank sounds alarm on rising global food prices
World food prices rose in the first quarter of the year for the first time since their all-time high in August 2012, driven by rising demand in China, drought in the United States and unrest in Ukraine.
Israeli strike on Iran would be a 'grave mistake' while talks continue
An Israeli attack against Iran's nuclear facilities is not a relevant option as long as Tehran continues negotiating with world powers over its atom program, Israeli nuclear experts said Thursday.
'Global US empire coming to end,' Iran says
A senior Iranian military commander on Wednesday said the global US empire was "coming to an end," as its footholds around the globe were growing weaker.
Abbas announces new PM, but unity government with Hamas on hold
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas chose a prime minister to head a unity government on Thursday but announcement of the lineup was held up over the foreign affairs portfolio, officials said.
Islamic Movement in Israel Serves as Front for Hamas Activities on Temple Mount
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced Thursday that a senior Hamas operative, who was arrested at the Allenby Bridge last month, revealed during his interrogation that Hamas uses the Islamic Movement in Israel as a front to advance its activities and goals in Jerusalem.
Inside the United States
Watch NBC's Full Interview with Edward Snowden, Is He a Patriot or a Traitor?
In an exclusive interview with NBC News' Brian Williams, Snowden elaborated on some of the revelations made in the leaked documents that rocked the nation last year. So the question remains, is he a patriot or a traitor?
Most of Atheist Lawsuit Against Hawaiian Churches Dismissed
The Alliance Defending Freedom had a major victory over Atheist Mitch Kahle and his wife Holly Huber, when the court dismissed most of a renewed lawsuit against two Oahu churches that falsely accused them of defrauding the government simply for paying agreed-upon rent to the public schools in which they meet.
U.S. Seeks to Promote Historic LGBT Sites as National Monuments
The National Park Service is launching an initiative to make places and people of significance to the history of lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual Americans part of the national narrative.
Houston Approves Controversial Gay Rights Ordinance
The Houston City Council has approved a controversial gay rights ordinance that critics say would impede religious liberties.
House Committee Accuses Justice Department for Secretly Stifling 'Objectionable' Businesses
The House Committee on Oversight and Government reform has compiled a scathing report on the Department of Justice's "Operation Choke Point" program that critics believe is aimed at "targeting industries deemed objectionable" by the Obama administration.
Duck Dynasty Patriarch Kicks Off GOP Conference (Video)
Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson kicked off the Republican Leadership Conference at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans where he mixed his faith with an admonition to the GOP to return to God.
GOP Senator: Gay Marriage Will Become the 'Law of the Land'
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said in a radio interview that gay marriage is likely to become the "law of the land".
Military Developing Implantable Brain Chips to Treat PTSD
The military's research arm is taking a different tack in funding a $26 million project to develop a device implanted in the skull. The goal is to stimulate parts of the brain as a way to treat psychiatric disorders including depression, addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder.
U.S. Economy Shrinks for First Time since 2011
The U.S. economy contracted in the first quarter for the first time in three years as it buckled under the weight of a severe winter, but there are signs activity has since rebounded.
Poll: Americans' Views on Origin of Homosexuality Remain Split
In a year when the movement for same-sex marriages continues to make strides across the U.S., Americans remain divided on how people come to be gay or lesbian. More than a third of Americans (37%) believe people become gay as a result of factors such as their upbringing and environment, while 42% say people are born gay. This latter belief is down slightly from 2013, when nearly half (47%) believed people were gay at birth.
House GOP clears $287 Billion Tax Break for Business, but will it clear the Senate?
House GOP tax writers pushed through a $287 billion tax break for business write-offs on Thursday, beating back Democratic protests that the extension was both fiscally reckless and pointless.
Biden Challenges Cadets to Create 'New World Order'
Under a blazing sun, Vice President Joe Biden challenged graduating Air Force Academy cadets on Wednesday to help create a "new world order for the 21st century."
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