An Islamic State affiliate group in the Philippines that beheaded a Canadian hostage earlier this week plotted to kidnap famed Christian boxer Manny Pacquiao or one of his children, the Pacific island country's president has warned.
Philippines president Benigno Aquino III announced Wednesday that the militant group Abu Sayyaf, whose leader has pledged allegiance to IS (also known as the ISIS or ISIL), "hatched plots" to kidnap the former world champion professional boxer or one of his children as a way of gaining leverage to negotiate the release of jailed militants.
Aquino also explained that Abu Sayyaf plotted to to kidnap his sister, Kris Aquino, a famous Filipino actress and talk show host, or one of her children. Additionally, Aquino stated that the terrorist group might be planning an assassination attempt against him. more >>
Islamist terrorists on the island of Jolo in southern Philippines beheaded Canadian hostage John Ridsdel and threw his severed head in a plastic bag to be found by police. More than 20 other foreign hostages are still being held captive.
"We have received information that a headless body was found … of a Caucasian man in Jolo City, Jolo Island," Dick Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross, said, according to National Post. "It appears to have been decapitated."
Police identified the head as that of 68-year-old Ridsdel. There is no information about Ridsdel's companions — a Canadian, Robert Hall, his Filipino girlfriend, Marites Flor, and a Norwegian, Kjartan Sekkingstad — who had also been abducted by the militants belonging to the Abu Sayyaf Islamist group. more >>
Ever since it was announced that Scarlett Johansson has been cast to star in "Ghost in the Shell," many of her movie-going fans were ecstatic. However, her casting has recently received backlash as some believe that an Asian star should have been chosen for the role.
According to The Verge, fans started giving out their ideas about the issue when Johnansson's photo as Major Motoko Kusanagi was released. The issue has sparked debates as to whether Hollywood is whitewashing the cast of Asian, specifically Japanese, original stories.
While she is definitely a strong face for the masses in terms of gaining viewership, the main object of criticism is the storyline that talks about a Japanese character. The TIME Magazine notes that the photo has gained the attention of Asian stars including Ming-Na Wen and Constance Wu. more >>
Nintendo is getting left behind by its rivals, but the Japanese gaming giant isn't ready to give up, at least for now. Although the company's investors are a bit disappointed, Nintendo Co. are on track in making a comeback with the announcement of a new videogame system called the Nintendo NX, which reportedly is going to be released in March of next year.
Per Wall Street Journal report, the announcement interestingly came right after the company reported a huge decline in its sales. The main reason for the limited revenues is the fact that the brand hasn't really introduced anything new to a market that's flooded with so many options and with the likes of Sony and Microsoft leading the industry.
CEO Tatsumi Kimishima talked about several things, including Nintendo's outlook in the immediate future, but he didn't get into details about the NX, not even mentioning if it's either a console or a portable, hand-held gaming device. more >>
Some of the country's biggest megachurches like Lakewood Church, North Point Ministries, Saddleback Church and The Potter's House have become household names in American culture based on their sheer size and influence. But how do they compare in size to other megachurches outside of North America? A new report has the answer.
According to findings recently published by Leadership Network, many North American megachurches — the largest of which have upwards of 30,000 to 40,000 in weekly attendance — are dwarfed when compared to the weekly attendance of some megachurches around the globe. A database compiled by researcher Warren Bird categorizes these larger megachurches by continent and country, size in weekly attendance, pastorship, the year founded, and whether or not they have multiple campuses.
Researchers found that Asia is home to the world's largest megachurch, and currently there is none that rivals it in size. With a staggering 480,000 in weekly attendance, Korea's Yoido Full Gospel Church got its start in the living room of one of its founding pastors. Headquartered in the capital city of Seoul, it has grown into a multi-site megachurch with a branch in the U.S. The organization was founded in 1958 and is affiliated with the Assemblies of God. It has been headed by senior pastor Young Hoon Lee since 2008. more >>
A leading bishop in Bangladesh's capital city is warning Christians that fanatical Islamic groups are killing people they deem as non-believers.
"We are aware, concerned but not alarmed. Fanatical groups are spreading death, but we hope that the government can control them. The pastoral and social activities of the Church continues," Mgr. Theotonius Gomes, the Bishop Emeritus of Dhaka, told Fides News Agency in a report on Tuesday.
Islamic radicals in Bangladesh have publicly targeted atheist writers and bloggers in the past few years, with extremists reportedly operating on a list of targets they claim have insulted Islam in online postings. more >>