Spain's prime minister agreed to tighter restrictions on abortion Friday, limiting the procedure to only exceptional cases, such as rape, or if the health of the mother is in danger.
The country's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said at a press conference in Brussels on Friday that the government chose to roll back its legislation regarding abortion in order to fulfill an electoral promise. The country's new draft legislation now reflects the abortion regulations set in 1985. Previously, the country allowed abortion before 14 weeks of pregnancy. Now, abortion is only legal in exceptional cases, such as rape, and protecting the health of the mother or fetus.
Rajoy's conservative Popular Party holds the majority in parliament, and the conservative political party has long sided with the Roman Catholic Church on moral and social issues. According to the Associated Press, the Popular Party promised to tighten restrictions on abortion during its election campaign in 2011. more >>
Brian Boitano, a former Olympic gold medalist figure skater and a current member of the U.S. delegation heading to Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, announced Thursday that he is gay.
"I am many things: a son, a brother, and uncle, a friend, an athlete, a cook, an author, and being gay is just one part of who I am," Boitano said in a statement. The professional figure skater competed in the 1988 Olympic Games, where he won the figure skating Gold Medal.
"First and foremost I am an American athlete and I am proud to live in a country that encourages diversity, openness and tolerance. As an athlete, I hope we can remain focused on the Olympic spirit which celebrates achievement in sport by peoples of all nations." Boitano also became the World Champion in figure skating in 1986 and 1988, and the U.S. National Champion from 1985 to 1988. more >>
A self-help book based on Old Testament principles of the Bible written by a 43-year-old married Italian journalist and mother of four advising women to be submissive to their husbands in marriage is now causing an international uproar from feminists around the world.
The book, Cásate y sé sumisa, translated Get Married and Be Submissive, has even drawn the ire of a high ranking political figure in Spain in the form of that country's health minister Ana Mato, who according to The Telegraph, said: "I think it is inappropriate and disrespectful to women."
According to the report, from the very first pages, author Costanza Miriano declares to women: "we are not equal to men and to not recognize this is a guaranteed source of suffering." more >>
The White House announced Tuesday that two of its delegation members for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia will be openly gay athletes. Many media outlets are stipulating that this was done intentionally as a message to Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin, regarding the country's ban against "homosexual propaganda for minors."
The two openly gay athletes who will be representing the U.S. include Tennis great Billie Jean King, a 39-time Grand Slam title winner and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and hockey player Caitlin Cahow, who won a bronze medal at the 2006 Winter Games and a silver medal at the 2010 Winter Games. Cahow will attend the games' closing ceremony.
Other members of the opening ceremony delegation include Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Ambassador Michael McFaul, White House deputy chief of staff Rob Nabors, and Former Olympic gold medalist figure skater Brian Boitano. American representatives at the closing ceremony will include Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, McFaul, and Olympic speedskaters Bonnie Blair and Eric Heiden, both of whom have won five Olympic gold medals each. more >>
Prince Charles said Tuesday that organized persecution of Christians in the Middle East has reached a "crisis" point and that Christianity is in danger of disappearing from its birthplace, which would result in the world losing something "irreplaceably precious."
"It seems to me that we cannot ignore the fact that Christians in the Middle East are, increasingly, being deliberately targeted by fundamentalist Islamist militants. Christianity was, literally, born in the Middle East and we must not forget our Middle Eastern brothers and sisters in Christ," the Prince of Wales said at an Advent reception for Middle East Christians.
"Today, the Middle East and North Africa has the lowest concentration of Christians in the world – just four percent of the population and it is clear that the Christian population of the Middle East has dropped dramatically over the last century and is falling still further," he continued. more >>
Recently released videos by UN Children's Fund UNICEF feature Jesus Christ, Mother Teresa and Gandhi in humorous "dinner party" conversations meant to encourage people to click banner ads and contribute toward life-saving medical supplies for children.
The videos, titled "The Good Guys Christmas," center around the premise of three of history's most recognizable figures, recalling the good deeds they have done for the world. They are joined by an average Joe who reveals that he was invited to this special party all because he clicked on Internet banners leading to UNICEF's Swedish page allowing online users to purchase vital medicines and other supplies for needy children around the world.
"So basically, you starved yourself for the sake of the people. That was so nice of you," Mother Teresa compliments Gandhi in one of the videos, sitting around a dinner table. more >>