A Palestinian rocket offensive against Israel is being described as the worst violence on Israel's southern border in six months. Over 150 rockets and missiles have been fired from Gaza over 3 days forcing the closure of Israeli schools. Eight Israelis have been wounded and half a million have been forced into shelters.
The Israeli Air Force retaliated by bombing Hamas rocket launchers and weapons warehouses. Four top terror leaders are reported dead and forty people wounded.
The Taliban has vowed to exact revenge for the rampage by an American soldier that killed 16 Afghan civilians. Meanwhile, the Head of the National Coalition for Dialogue with the Tribes in Afghanistan Prince Ali Seraj has spoken up about how the Taliban intends to use this incident for its benefit.
The Conservative government's controversial crime bill C-10 has passed a final vote in the House of Commons. The toughening of jail sentences and the introduction of new mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug and other offenses are among the measures opposed by critics. However the opposition parties supported the part of the bill that toughens sentences for child sex offenders.
In a ground breaking case in Britain, Government Ministers are set to fight a case at the European Court of Human Rights over the right of two British women to wear a cross. They will argue that because it is not a "requirement" of the Christian faith, employers can ban the wearing of the cross and even fire workers who insist on doing so. This position has attracted angry response, including from the former Archbishop of Canterbury: Lord Carey.
Lawyers representing the Church of England are fearful that new legislation in Britain would force them to perform same sex ceremonies despite their beliefs; even though Prime Minister David Cameron assured them that any new same-sex marriage legislation will apply only to civil law. According to the Church there is a section of the Equality Act which makes it unlawful to discriminate on various grounds, including sexual orientation.
Suicide car bombers targeted a Catholic church in central Nigeria killing 10 people. The attack marks the latest in a series of bombings and shootings, targeting Christians in the country since the end of last year. No group has claimed responsibility for the latest terror attacks. However, two weeks ago another church bombing killed three people and injured nearly 40 and the extremist Islamic group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for those attacks.
Some grim news about American Churches. Banks are foreclosing on Church buildings in record numbers as the facilities continue to default on their mortgages. New data suggests the trend was triggered by the 2008 financial crash with many banks no longer willing to grant struggling religious organizations forbearance.
Alain de Botton the popular British philosopher who authored the new book "Religion for Atheists" has made him the friendly face of modern atheism. He challenges Christopher Hitchens' notion that…. Religion Poisons Everything, and instead preaches that religion is too good to abandon for those who actually believe in it; and also, that rituals can be used for secular benefit, in everything from weddings and funerals to the contemplation of beauty. He was in Toronto visiting the Art Gallery of Ontario where he referred to art galleries as "our new Churches" .
A warning to parents about young children and stairs.
And that concludes this edition of World Report I'm Christine Williams