Cuba is making Good Friday a public holiday on the request of Pope Benedict. This is a first since the early days following the Island's 1959 Revolution. The Communist Government reported that the decision was made in light of the glowing success of the pope's visit to the country.
President Barack Obama spoke about his Christian faith during an Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House yesterday . More than a hundred spiritual leaders from around the country were hosted. Obama opened his speech with a joke.
Egypt's Coptic Christians have opted out of Constitution Talks saying it is pointless amid the Islamist Majority. It has now become a concern that the new constitution could end up being written entirely by Islamist politicians without consideration of minority groups. Coptic Christians have suffered more persecution since the ouster of Hosni Mubarek and they are now living in fear with the current political climate in Egypt, exacerbated by the death of their leader Pope Shenouda III
Sex trafficking is one of the fastest growing transnational crimes across the U.S and it's often not a choice according to Faith Huckel of the sex trafficking organization Restore NYC. The organization is a non-profit one created to help rebuild the lives of survivors of sex trafficking in New York City. Huckel says the scope of the problem is difficult to detect as victims are often mistaken for and treated as criminals, and not victims of the modern day slave trade. She refers to the grim stats of a 50 percent chance of homicide as a result of prostitution, and that the average entry age is 12 –to-13-years-old.
More than 400 flights were grounded at Dallas-"Fort Worth International Airport"--one of the busiest --after as many as a dozen tornadoes tore through northern Texas. Thousands were left without power and hundreds of homes pummelled. Only a handful of people were hurt, one couple seriously, and no deaths were reported. The Red Cross estimated that 650 homes were damaged.
UNICEF has warned that a food crisis in west Africa will worsen if action isn't taken immediately. The UN estimates that more than ten million lives are at risk from starvation. A severe drought has destroyed crops across eight countries. The director of UNICEF -- Tony Lake -- says there's no excuse for not taking action: --
UNICEF has been running a social media campaign to raise awareness of the crisis -- and to increase donations... which have fallen well short of what's needed.
A transgender beauty pageant contestant in Canada should be able to participate in the country's contest in May. That's what pageant owner Donald Trump has said. Last month, Jenna Tala-ckova was disqualified when organizers discovered she was once a boy, who is now a woman.
Tala-ckova was one of the 65 finalists selected to contend for the title of Miss Universe Canada.
IN HEALTH NEWS….
Some not very positive news concerning obesity rates. You may be more overweight than you think. The body mass index is currently the measure used to determine obesity.
A study by the nonprofit "Path Foundation" in New York City finds….. that method of measurement significantly underestimates obesity rates. And it's even more misleading for women. Researchers say measuring the percentage of body fat is more accurate, because it differentiates between fat, muscle mass and bone.