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Student Punished for Refusing to Recite Islamic Profession of Faith
Jan 30th, 2016
Daily News
WND
Categories: Contemporary Issues

 John Kevin and Melissa Wood

John Kevin and Melissa Wood

A Maryland high school punished a student for refusing to profess faith in Islam, gave her failing grades for a series of assignments that violated her Christian beliefs then threatened her father with arrest for complaining, a federal lawsuit charges.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court against the Charles County Public Schools in La Plata, Maryland, its board of education, Principal Evelyn Arnold and Vice Principal Shannon Morris by the Thomas More Law Center.

A spokeswoman for the district told WND that officials were aware of the issue but said Arnold and Morris would not be commenting.

Plaintiffs are Marine Corps veteran John Kevin Wood and his wife, Melissa, who “refuse[d] to allow their teenage daughter to be subjected to Islamic indoctrination and propaganda in her high school world history class.”

The lawsuit charges that the defendants’ “curriculum, practices, policies, actions, procedures, and customs promote the Islamic faith by requiring students to profess the five pillars if Islam.”

The students, the complaint says, were required to “write out and confess the shahada, the Islamic profession of faith.”

The lawsuit charges that school officials concealed the curriculum by using two separate history textbooks, one of which contained the Islamic teachings and which students were required to leave at school. The other, which did not contain the teachings, was allowed to be taken home, the complaint explains. The school also excised the Islamic teachings from the course syllabus.

“Defendants have treated plaintiffs’ Christian beliefs and heritage with deliberate indifference, and have been hostile toward C.W. [the student] and her family,” the complaint alleges. It explains that Arnold and Morris violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments as well as state and federal law by “depriving plaintiffs and C.W. of their fundamental right to be free from a public school’s promotion of certain religious beliefs, their fundamental right to be able to speak freely and raise concerns about religion being taught in our public schools without retaliation, and their fundamental right to be free from unjust discrimination against their Christian heritage.”

The legal team notes the shahada states, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

“For non-Muslims, reciting the statement is sufficient to convert one to Islam,” the complaint says. “Moreover, the second part of the statement, ‘Muhammad is the messenger of Allah,’ signifies the person has accepted Muhammad as their spiritual leader. The teenager was also required to memorize and recite the Five Pillars of Islam.”

Not only did the district refuse permission for C.W. to opt out of the religious assignments, it imposed grades of zero. Further, the complaint says, the district disparaged Christianity in multiple ways, including the statement, “Most Muslims’ faith is stronger than the average Christian.” The district taught that the West engages in “imperialistic pursuits” and insists “men are the managers of women.”

It also taught: “To Muslims, Allah is the same god that is worshipped in Christianity and Judaism.”

The district’s teachings specified that the Quran “is the word of Allah,” while Jews and Christians “believe the Torah and the Gospels were revealed to Moses and the New Testament writers.”

“The sugarcoated version of Islam taught at La Plata High School did not mention that the Quran explicitly instructs Muslims ‘to kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.’ (Sura 9-5),” the complaint says.

John Kevin Wood discovered the teachings and called to voice his objections, the lawsuit says, but the school imposed a “no trespass” order against him, threatening him with arrest if he came onto school property. The school refused to give him any opportunity “to refute the untrue allegations” made by Arnold.

“The Woods, as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and our Savior, that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, and that following the teachings of Jesus Christ is the only path to eternal salvation. The Woods believe that it is a sin to profess commitment in word or writing to any god other than the Christian God. Thus, they object to their daughter being forced to deny the Christian God and to her high school promoting Islam over other religions,” the lawsuit explains.

“The school ultimately refused to allow the Woods’ daughter to opt-out of the assignments, forcing her to either violate her faith by pledging to Allah or receive zeros for the assignments. Together, John Kevin Wood, Melissa Wood, and their daughter chose to remain faithful to God and refused to complete the assignments, even though failing grades would harm her future admission to college and her opportunities to obtain college scholarships.”

Wood was deployed in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm “and lost friends to Islamic extremists,” the complaint notes. Later, he “responded as a firefighter to the 9/11 Islamic terror attack on the Pentagon.”

“Wood witnessed firsthand the destruction created in the name of Allah and knows that Islam is not ‘a religion of peace.’ The school prevented John Kevin Wood from defending his daughter’s Christian beliefs against Islamic indoctrination, even though as a Marine, he stood in harm’s way to defend our nation, and the Charles County Public Schools,” the lawsuit says.

      Part of a schools worksheet promoting Islam

  1.  Islam at heart, is a peaceful religion.
  2. Modt Muslim’s faith is stronger than the average Christian.
  3. Beginning in the 1970’s and 1980’d Islam remerged as a potent political force, associated with reform and revolution.
  4. Radical Islamic Fundamentalists are opposed to Western civilization’s way of life and imperialistic pursuits.

“Defendants forced [the] Woods daughter to disparage her Christian faith by reciting the shahada, and acknowledging Mohammed as her spiritual leader. Her world history class spent one day on Christianity and two weeks immersed in Islam. Such discriminatory treatment of Christianity is an unconstitutional promotion of one religion over another,” said Thomas More Law Center President Richard Thompson.

The lawsuit concludes: “Defendants deliberately [chose] this curriculum, instructional materials, and texts, and punished Christian students who disagree with espousing religious statements and reproducing religious doctrine that promotes Islam. The actions, policies, procedures, customs, and curriculum of defendants unconstitutionally endorse the Islamic religion.”

As a result, it says, the Christian family suffered “irreparable harm, including the loss of their fundamental constitutional rights, entitling them to declaratory and injunctive relief.”

“Defendants, by requiring C.W. to make reference to a belief in the Muslim god, forced C.W. to directly violate her sincerely held religious beliefs. Defendants did not allow C.W. to opt out of these assignments or receive alternative assignments. Defendants refused to accommodate C.W.’s Christian beliefs. Instead, defendants coerced and punished C.W. for refusing to violate her Christian beliefs,” the claim explains.

Satanists to Give Prayer At City Council Meeting
Jan 30th, 2016
Daily News
Sarah Fisher - TR
Categories: Contemporary Issues

In Arizona, Satanists are set to give a prayer at an upcoming Phoenix City Council meeting, amid controversy.

Satanic Temple members Michelle Shortt and Stu de Haan are expected to give the invocation at the council's Feb. 17 meeting after the group submitted a request in December. Despite the objections of some council members, the city has decided to let the satanists speak as scheduled.

The City Attorney Brad Holm released a statement defending the decision. A variety of different religions have hosted the brief invocation at the start of City Council meetings.

"Consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s direction, the city cannot dictate religious viewpoints or the content of a prayer," Holm wrote. "In addition, government may not exclude a denomination or a religion from praying under these circumstances."

One city councilman disagreed with the decision. Councilman Jim Waring said they city should have refused the satanists and let them take it to the courts.

“Frankly, I don’t know that we should be capitulating so readily to this," Waring said. "I do think standing on a principle has a merit. I’ll probably just leave."

Satanist DeHaan wanted to speak at the City Council meeting to make sure that minority voices were heard. He said the group does not believe in "literal Satan" but rather Satan as a "a metaphor for rebellion against tyranny."

“We’re citizens of this government and we would like our voices to be heard," De Haan said. "If they don’t want to accept, constitutionally what must happen is that all voices must be taken down from the public forum. It’s basically all voices must be heard or none at all."

He said "We don’t intend on doing anything offensive."

Mayor Greg Stanton and Councilwoman Kate Gallego said they support the decision to let the Satanists speak. Said Stanton, "the Constitution demands equal treatment under the law.”

Gallego said "I just believe we’re a diverse society and if we have prayer, we welcome all points of view."

Peter Schiff: We're Going to Have a Serious Recession and Negative Interest Rates Before the Electio
Jan 30th, 2016
Daily News
Business Insider
Categories: Contemporary Issues

Based on today's GDP release, it appears that the US economy is slowing but not near any sort of massive collapse.

Peter Schiff begs to differ.

The CEO and chief global strategist for Euro Pacific Capital, and noted perma-bear, said that serious economic destruction is just a few months away.

"I think the Fed is going to have negative interest rates before the election because we're going to be in a serious recession," Schiff told Business Insider on Friday.

In fact, Schiff said that we may already be in recession and this one is going to be a doozy.

"We're in worse shape now than we were in 2007," he said.

Chief among his concerns is a growing bubble of debt that has accumulated in the US, which he said "is even bigger than the real-estate bubble" that burst in 2008.

He said that there isn't as much debt in the real-estate sector, but the total sum of debt from student loans, auto loans, government debt, and the Fed's balance sheet is massive. According to Schiff, this total is by far bigger than what we saw before either the housing or tech bubbles.

Once this bubble pops, and Schiff fears that it may already have, the following recession will force the Federal Reserve's hand. This will make them pull interest rates into negative territory, much like the Bank of Japan's move on Friday.

"The Fed is going to go negative because they want to do something stimulative to try and boost the economy so the Republicans — or someone like Donald Trump — don't just walk away with the election," Schiff told us.

"They're going to blame the downturn on overseas weakness washing up on our shores to try and convince us that our economy is alright."

Peter SchiffReuters/ Rick Wilking

Euro Pacific Capital CEO Peter Schiff.

Now this isn't exactly a new observation for Schiff, who has been calling for similar disasters for some time now. (To his credit, Schiff is one of the people who called the global financial crisis before it happened.)

The common counterargument to Schiff's pessimism is that while manufacturing in the US has slowed, American consumer spending really drives the economy. And as we learned on Friday, consumption rose 3.1% in 2015, the most in a decade. Schiff, however, thinks that this isn't as strong as it seems.

"Most of the growth has been in things like healthcare," he told us. "It's not that [consumers] are spending more on things they want, they just have healthcare and they're being forced to pay more for it."

Schiff added that the only thing helping consumers is low gas prices, which he says aren't going to stay low forever.

"So what's going to happen when the one things keeping consumers afloat — low gas prices — disappears?" Schiff said. "Simple: They're going to sink."

Schiff also pointed to recent earnings disappointments from retailers like Macy's and Gap, as well as online sellers like Amazon and eBay, as signs that things simply don't look good.

"We're headed for a real economic collapse," Schiff said, "the order of magnitude of which will be much greater than 2008's crash."

Let the Headlines Speak
Jan 30th, 2016
Daily News
From the Iternet
Categories: Today's Headlines

Magnitude 2.1 Earthquake Strikes Directly in Yellowstone Super-Volcano Caldera
According to geologists, Yellowstone erupts every 640,000 years. They determined this by sampling soil. Presently we are now BEYOND 640,000 years since the last major eruption. So, in layman's terms, it's overdue.  

Storm Gertrude BATTERS UK with 144mph and snow leaving THOUSANDS without power
The storm, which has caused chaos in Scotland and Northern Ireland, hit the south of England yesterday. The Met Office issued a rare red warning yesterday, which means a danger to life.  

What Were Guns, Ammo and a Koran Doing at Paris Disneyland?
A man was arrested as he tried to enter a Disneyland Paris hotel with two guns and ammunition in his suitcase. He also had a Koran in his luggage.  

Obama nukes Hillary, admits server contained top U.S. secrets
The Obama administration leveled a devastating blow to Hillary Clinton on Friday by admitting for the first time that her personal email server contained the highest levels of classified U.S. intelligence. The White House said 22 emails from former secretary of state’s “home brew” server must be censored from public view when the State Department releases its final batch on Friday.  

Why Zika may be as tough to beat as Ebola
She struggles to know what to tell them about the risk they may face. The data is simply not available. What is clear, however, is that the Americas appear to be facing a health crisis on a scale and potential complexity that could be compared to West Africa’s 2014 Ebola outbreak.  

Minor earthquake, 3.39 mag was detected near Ferndale in California
A minor earthquake magnitude 3.39 (ml/mb) has occurred on Friday, 251 km W of Ferndale, California. In the past 24 hours, there have been four, in the last 10 days six, in the past 30 days six and in the last 365 days nineteen earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater that has occurred nearby.  

7.3 quake & multiple aftershocks strike Russia’s far eastern Kamchatka Region
A strong, deep 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked Russia’s far eastern Kamchatka peninsula on Saturday, the US Geological Survey reported. The quake hit 106 kilometers north of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, the capital city of Russia’s Kamchatka Krai. Rescue crews are searching and inspecting buildings,  

Stockholm pogrom: Crowd of masked men hunt and beat up non-Swedes
Dozens of masked man went on an anti-immigrant rampage in Stockholm in an apparent retaliation for the stabbing death of a young Swedish woman at a refugee center earlier this week, local media reported. The crowd of some 40 to 50 people went on a violent spree on Friday night at around 9 p.m. local time in and around the Swedish capital’s main railroad station, according to the Aftonbladet daily. They were beating up anyone who didn’t look like ethnic Swede.  

Depraved Academia: Connecticut College vs. Kent State
To understand just how depraved today’s college campuses are, compare the treatment of two professors – one defending a Western, pro-American democracy (Israel) and the other suspected of supporting this century’s most gruesome Islamist terror organization, the Islamic State (“ISIS”). Julio Pino, an associate history professor at Kent State University, is currently under investigation by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security for potential ties to ISIS.  

PA announces new UN campaign to renew peace talks
Palestinian Authority (PA) officials are continuing their diplomatic offensive against Israel and are waging a new campaign at the United Nations to revive peace prospects, the PA’s UN envoy Riyad Mansour declared on Friday, according to AFP.  

Moderate earthquake 5 mag, 124 km SSW of Lorengau, Papua New Guinea
A moderate earthquake with magnitude 5 (ml/mb) was reported 124 km SSW of Lorengau, Papua New Guinea (77 miles) on Saturday. A tsunami warning has not been issued (Does not indicate if a tsunami actually did or will exist).  

Family of slain Oregon protester challenges FBI account of his death
As four armed anti-government protesters held their ground at a U.S. wildlife refuge in Oregon on Friday, the family of a protester killed by police said he seemed to have been shot in the back with his hands up ...The grainy footage shows Finicum raising his hands and then turning and flailing his arms. He then lowers his arms to his body and is shot by Oregon State Police troopers, the FBI said.  

U.S. warship sails near island claimed by China in South China Sea
A U.S. Navy destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of an island claimed by China and two other states in the South China Sea on Saturday to counter efforts to limit freedom of navigation, the Pentagon said. China claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion of world trade is shipped every year. Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan have rival claims.  

Italian academics call for boycott of Israeli universities
The academic boycott against Israel continues to broaden, with a new petition signed by 168 academics and researchers in Italy calling to suspend all agreements with Israeli universities as well as the Technion, Israel's Institute of Technology in Haifa.  

Madaya: 'Another 16 starve to death' in besieged Syrian town
Another 16 people have starved to death in the besieged Syrian town of Madaya since UN aid convoys reached it earlier this month, according to charity Medecins Sans Frontieres. The charity says there are also 33 people in danger of dying. Brice de la Vingne, MSF operations director, said the situation was "totally unacceptable" when people "should have been evacuated weeks ago".  

France considers recognition of a Palestinian state
France will recognize a Palestinian state if its efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at an international conference fail, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Friday. He told French diplomats that the conference will aim to bring together the two parties and their American, European and Arab partners in order "to make happen a two-state solution."  

Richard Dawkins dropped from science event for tweeting video mocking feminists and Islamists
Professor Richard Dawkins has had an invitation to speak at a science event withdrawn by organisers for sharing a "highly offensive" video mocking feminists on Twitter.  

France to revive plans for Israeli-Palestinian peace conference
France is looking to quickly revive plans for an international conference to "bring about the two-state solution" to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Friday.  

Iran flies unarmed military drone over US aircraft carrier
Iran flew a surveillance drone over a U.S. aircraft carrier and published video of the encounter Friday, the latest in a series of edgy naval incidents between the two countries in the Persian Gulf after the recent nuclear deal.  

PETER SCHIFF: We're going to have a serious recession and negative interest rates before the election
Based on today's GDP release, it appears that the US economy is slowing but not near any sort of massive collapse. Peter Schiff begs to differ.

BREAKING: Dutch declare war on ISIS with vow to send fighter jets to bomb Syria
DUTCH government ministers have given the green light to airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria, vowing to rid the war-ravaged country of extremist militants.  

EU on brink: Germany's biggest bank records shock losses risking economic RUIN of Eurozone
GERMANY could force the European Union into ruin after Deutsche Bank's share price plunged following the country's biggest lender's first annual loss since the financial crisis.  

INTENSIFYING COSMIC RAYS
For the past year, neutron monitors around the Arctic Circle have sensed an increasing intensity of cosmic rays. Polar latitudes are a good place to make such measurements, because Earth's magnetic field funnels and concentrates cosmic radiation there. Turns out, Earth's poles aren't the only place cosmic rays are intensifying.  

Jewish group predicts Obama will head U.N. after he leaves presidency
The editorial staff of The Jewish Voice predicts that Barack Obama will lead the United Nations after he finishes his current term as president of the United States. “We bet our bottom dollar Barack Obama will get his next paycheck (from the U.N.) when he retires from his present job in 2017,” the editorial states. 

Jury That Prosecuted Pro - Life Investigator Never Voted on Charging Planned Parenthood
Jan 30th, 2016
Daily News
Christian News
Categories: Contemporary Issues

HOUSTON, Texas — The Texas grand jury that leveled criminal charges against a pro-life leader who investigated the practices of the abortion giant Planned Parenthood never voted on whether or not to charge Planned Parenthood with any crimes, reports state.

An attorney with Planned Parenthood revealed the information to the Associated Press on Wednesday, stating that a prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney’s office told him that the jury didn’t vote on whether or not Planned Parenthood had committed any wrongdoing.

“Planned Parenthood attorney Josh Schaffer said a prosecutor told him the grand jury never even voted on possible criminal charges against the nation’s largest abortion provider,” the outlet reported. The name of the prosecutor was not cited.

Some state that the revelation means that the abortion giant wasn’t even investigated, although Republican lawmakers had specifically requested that District Attorney Devon Anderson open up an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices in the first place.

“No vote means no investigation,” Cheryl Sullenger, senior vice president of Operation Rescue, said in a statement. “The people are entitled to an unbiased investigation into the serious allegations of illegal conduct by Planned Parenthood. That does not appear to have happened.”

Instead, jurors considered and voted on charges against the pro-life group that sought to expose concerns surrounding Planned Parenthood’s harvesting and sale of fetal organs.

As previously reported, David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) was indicted on Monday on a felony charge of “tampering with a governmental record” for creating a fake driver’s license in conducting his undercover investigation, as well as a misdemeanor count related to the purchasing of aborted babies.

“The tampering charge … is for the use of a California identification in order to enter the Planned Parenthood clinic for the purpose of investigation,” Katie Short with the Life Legal Defense Association told reporters. “However, the law also provides a defense where the false information has ‘no effect on the government’s purpose for requiring the governmental record.’”

Daleiden, 27, had posed as a representative of a fetal tissue procurement company in order to engage in discussions with Planned Parenthood officials as a potential buyer of bodily organs. He recorded the interactions, conducted at various locations across the country, as part of his “human capital” investigative series that was released in July.

Sandra Merritt, 62, was also charged with tampering with a governmental record for likewise printing the license, which was used to obtain access to Planned Parenthood gathering in Houston.

The first of nearly a dozen videos was released by CMP featured Planned Parenthood Medical Director Deborah Nucatola, who nonchalantly munched on salad and sipped wine as she talked about adjusting the child so as not to crush certain organs due to the demand for the body part.

“I’d say a lot of people want liver. And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps,” she explains. [Y]ou’re just kind of cognizant where you put your graspers. You try to intentionally go above and below the thorax, so that—-you know. We’ve been very good at getting the heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so ‘I’m not gonna crush that part. I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.’”

The second video showed Mary Gatter, the president of Planned Parenthood’s Medical Directors Council, haggling with the undercover investigators about the compensation for the fetal organs, laughing, “I want a Lamborghini.” Other footage showed an actual aborted baby being dissected in a dish, with an assistant declaring, “Another boy!” and another video showed an abortionist laughing about how harvesting an intact baby head would be “something to strive for.”

Some had questioned if Harris County’s investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices would be fair following the discovery that a prosecutor in the Division of Criminal Family Law also serves as a director on the board of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast.

According to reports, Lauren Reeder told Anderson earlier this year about her work with the abortion giant in order to be “transparent.” However, she also said that she didn’t see a conflict of interest in the situation.

“I don’t think there’s any conflict in my dual roles in two separate organizations,” Reeder told reporters.

Anderson said that Reeder would not be involved with the case.

Jewish Group Predicts Obama will Head UN After He Leaves Presidency
Jan 30th, 2016
Daily News
Mark Ellis
Categories: World Government

HOUSTON, Texas — The Texas grand jury that leveled criminal charges against a pro-life leader who investigated the practices of the abortion giant Planned Parenthood never voted on whether or not to charge Planned Parenthood with any crimes, reports state.

An attorney with Planned Parenthood revealed the information to the Associated Press on Wednesday, stating that a prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney’s office told him that the jury didn’t vote on whether or not Planned Parenthood had committed any wrongdoing.

“Planned Parenthood attorney Josh Schaffer said a prosecutor told him the grand jury never even voted on possible criminal charges against the nation’s largest abortion provider,” the outlet reported. The name of the prosecutor was not cited.

Some state that the revelation means that the abortion giant wasn’t even investigated, although Republican lawmakers had specifically requested that District Attorney Devon Anderson open up an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices in the first place.

“No vote means no investigation,” Cheryl Sullenger, senior vice president of Operation Rescue, said in a statement. “The people are entitled to an unbiased investigation into the serious allegations of illegal conduct by Planned Parenthood. That does not appear to have happened.”

Instead, jurors considered and voted on charges against the pro-life group that sought to expose concerns surrounding Planned Parenthood’s harvesting and sale of fetal organs.

As previously reported, David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) was indicted on Monday on a felony charge of “tampering with a governmental record” for creating a fake driver’s license in conducting his undercover investigation, as well as a misdemeanor count related to the purchasing of aborted babies.

“The tampering charge … is for the use of a California identification in order to enter the Planned Parenthood clinic for the purpose of investigation,” Katie Short with the Life Legal Defense Association told reporters. “However, the law also provides a defense where the false information has ‘no effect on the government’s purpose for requiring the governmental record.’”

Daleiden, 27, had posed as a representative of a fetal tissue procurement company in order to engage in discussions with Planned Parenthood officials as a potential buyer of bodily organs. He recorded the interactions, conducted at various locations across the country, as part of his “human capital” investigative series that was released in July.

Sandra Merritt, 62, was also charged with tampering with a governmental record for likewise printing the license, which was used to obtain access to Planned Parenthood gathering in Houston.

The first of nearly a dozen videos was released by CMP featured Planned Parenthood Medical Director Deborah Nucatola, who nonchalantly munched on salad and sipped wine as she talked about adjusting the child so as not to crush certain organs due to the demand for the body part.

“I’d say a lot of people want liver. And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps,” she explains. [Y]ou’re just kind of cognizant where you put your graspers. You try to intentionally go above and below the thorax, so that—-you know. We’ve been very good at getting the heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so ‘I’m not gonna crush that part. I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.’”

The second video showed Mary Gatter, the president of Planned Parenthood’s Medical Directors Council, haggling with the undercover investigators about the compensation for the fetal organs, laughing, “I want a Lamborghini.” Other footage showed an actual aborted baby being dissected in a dish, with an assistant declaring, “Another boy!” and another video showed an abortionist laughing about how harvesting an intact baby head would be “something to strive for.”

Some had questioned if Harris County’s investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices would be fair following the discovery that a prosecutor in the Division of Criminal Family Law also serves as a director on the board of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast.

According to reports, Lauren Reeder told Anderson earlier this year about her work with the abortion giant in order to be “transparent.” However, she also said that she didn’t see a conflict of interest in the situation.

“I don’t think there’s any conflict in my dual roles in two separate organizations,” Reeder told reporters.

Anderson said that Reeder would not be involved with the case.

France to Revive Plans for Israeli - Palestinian Peace Conference
Jan 30th, 2016
Daily News
AFP
Categories: Peace Process

Paris (AFP) - France is looking to quickly revive plans for an international conference to "bring about the two-state solution" to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Friday.

"In the coming weeks, France will take... steps in order to organise an international conference gathering each of the parties' principle partners -- principally Americans, Europeans and Arabs -- in order to preserve and to bring about the two-state solution," he said in remarks to diplomats.

France has in recent years raised the idea of hosting an international conference to revive peace efforts which would bring in all the key players in a show of support for a final settlement of the decades-long conflict. But the idea has never taken concrete shape.

"We must not allow the two-state solution to fall apart," he said, noting that there had been no halt to Israel's settlement activity on land the Palestinians want for a future state.

Peace talks collapsed in April 2014 and since then, the situation has deteriorated, with the prospects of fresh dialogue appearing more remote than ever.

A wave of Palestinian knife, gun and car-ramming attacks which began on October 1 has killed 25 Israelis, while over the same period, 159 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, most while carrying out attacks although others died in clashes and demonstrations.

- Recognising Palestine? -

Should efforts to breathe life into the moribund peace process fail, France would move to unilaterally recognise Palestine as a state, Fabius said.

"And what will happen if this last-ditch attempt at reaching a negotiated solution hits a stumbling block?" he said.

"In that case, we will have to live up to our responsibilities and recognise a Palestinian state."

In November 2014, the French parliament backed a motion urging the government to recognise Palestine as a state as a way of achieving a "definitive resolution of the conflict" in a move which Paris has said could happen if the peace process remained in the doldrums.

France has also pushed for a UN resolution that would guide negotiations leading to an independent Palestinian state and which could include a timeframe for talks.

Until now, France's diplomatic efforts have been largely rebuffed by Israel, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisting that peace would only come through direct negotiations between the parties and not through UN resolutions "imposed from the outside."

Earlier on Friday, the Palestinians began waging a new campaign at the United Nations to revive peace prospects, with envoy Riyad Mansour highlighting the need for a "collective approach" to solve the conflict and saying a resolution condemning Israel's settlement expansion could be a first step.

EU on Brink: Germany Biggest Bank Records Shock Losses Risking Economic Ruin of Eurozone
Jan 30th, 2016
Daily News
express
Categories: Revived Roman Empire

GERMANY could force the European Union into ruin after Deutsche Bank's share price plunged following the country's biggest lender's first annual loss since the financial crisis.

The German lender posted a full year loss of £5.1 billion (€6.8bn) on Thursday - higher than the expected €6.7bn million.

With losses of €2.1bn in the fourth quarter of 2015-16, fears of the entire eurozone toppling are becoming an increasing reality.

Germany, which has a GDP of $3.4bn is one of the six largest economies in the world and the fate of the eurozone relies heavily on its strong economy.

But it is facing the most difficult start to a year in recent memory. Its own industrial production growth has slipped to ZERO per cent and customer confidence has plummeted in a catalogue of disasters for Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Much of Deutsche's losses have been down to litigation charges, racking up €1.2bn in the last quarter - which could still increase.

This year's litigation charges have reached €5.2bn, compared with €2bn the year before.

A reduction in the bank's corporate banking and securities division has been blamed on revenues in the fourth quarter falling 15 per cent year on year to €6.6bn.

Mark to market losses in Deutsche's non-core operating unit were also blamed.

The bank took a hit in early trading as its share price dropped 1.5 per cent, despite investors being pre-warned it would be bad news following share prices falling drastically over the last year.

Deutsche Bank shares have declined 24 percent since the beginning of the year. The stock has declined 36 percent in the last 12 months.

Deutsche's fall in grace adds to Germany's seemingly never-ending woes this year, with the country's industrial production growth slipping to zero per cent last week and customer confidence plummeting.

As the biggest economy in the eurozone, with a GDP of $3.4bn, experts have warned if its economy - along with second biggest eurozone economy France - crashes it would trigger a domino effect which would bring the entire currency crashing down causing a detrimental ripple effect on the global economy.

Last week, under pressure German chancellor Angela Merkel admitted Germany may fail to balance its books this year as it contends with the costs of letting in more than a million refugees in a bid to relieve the current crisis across Europe.

There is concern the eurozone is over-reliant on the economy of the relative powerhouse of Germany. 

Andy Baldwin, EY’s Global Financial Services Leader, says: “The apparent reliance of the Eurozone on the German economy, bolstered by its strong banking system, is more pronounced than many would expect.

"The short term health of economies including France, Italy and Spain, is dependent on the continued growth of the German economy – a major component of which is the further strengthening of its banking sector."

European project tattersAFP

The European project is on the brink of collapse

Investors claims France's economy, which recently entered a 'state of emergency' could act as a drag on the overall health of Europe.

Only two per cent of investors claim that French banks have the best prospects for growth.

Mr Baldwin added: "It is clear that for a sustained return to economic health in Europe, growth needs to be more evenly spread across the continent."

In a bid to patch up some of Deutsche Bank's central issues, the lender is now restructuring.

At the beginning of the week it revealed bonuses could be slashed by as much as 30 per cent for staff, including investment bankers.

And it warned up to 1,000 jobs in London could be at risk if it scaled back its investment banking sector.


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