A top Iranian official claims that Republican members of Congress directly asked the Iranian administration to hold off on releasing Pastor Saeed Abedini and three other American hostages until the eve of the 2016 elections.
"In the course of the talks for exchanging prisoners, the Republican rivals of the current U.S. administration who claim to be humanitarians and advocates of human rights sent a message telling us not to release these people (American prisoners) and continue this process (of talks) until the eve of U.S. presidential elections," said Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, according to Tasnim News Agency, a privately owned news agency whose stated aim is "defending the Islamic Revolution against negative media propaganda."
Abedini and three other Americans were released by Iran back in January following a prisoner swap, after years of campaigning for their freedom. more >>
Hydrogen bombs, like the one North Korea detonated in January, have thankfully never been used in war. These bombs, also called H-bombs, rely on the fusion of hydrogen atoms, and can be thousands of times more powerful than nuclear bombs. They are easily weaponized in small packages and are capable of devastating a large city in one detonation.
North Korea has plans to further demonstrate their technical capabilities by shooting one or more missiles over the Japanese homeland. The Japanese are understandably rattled, and this past Wednesday Japan vowed to shoot down any North Korean missiles fired over its territory.
We may not be as nervous about nuclear war as those who practiced 1960s "duck and cover" drills, but there are other threats to peace that create regular alarm. At this moment there are 10 active wars worldwide. more >>
A national atheist group petitioned President Barack Obama to give nonbelievers the same attention and protections as other religious minorities after he recently visited a Baltimore mosque.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) letter, composed by co-presidents Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker, references the president's recent visits to a U.S. mosque and the Israeli embassy, where Obama called on Americans to stop religious-fueled bigotry.
"It is laudable for the President to embrace citizens of all colors and religious viewpoints as being part of 'one American family' and to caution citizens not to be 'bystanders to bigotry,'" FFRF acknowledged. "But there is one U.S. minority that has been consistently excluded from such notice: nonreligious Americans." more >>
President Barack Obama claimed in a wide-ranging interview that he has met most hopes and expectations people had of his presidency, and also singled out Pope Francis' visit to the White House as a stand-out moment.
"I've done a lot of them and I've made progress on almost all of them," Obama told "CBS This Morning" about voters' expectations in an interview that was posted on Tuesday.
"I feel pretty good about being able to match up what I said I would accomplish with what has been accomplished. I mentioned in the State of the Union that one of the things I regret though is that I haven't been able to drain some of the rancor that exists here in Washington," he continued. more >>
A former Department of Homeland Security employee accused the Obama administration of forcing him to scrub records from the agency's counterterror databases that detail Muslims with connections to terrorist groups that could have prevented deadly terror attacks on American soil.
In the wake of President Barack Obama's visit last week to a Baltimore mosque that some conservatives say has ties to terrorist groups like Muslim Brotherhood, former DHS employee Philip Haney wrote a Friday op-ed for The Hill arguing that the Obama administration has put Americans' lives in danger for the sake of political correctness.
"After leaving my 15 year career at DHS, I can no longer be silent about the dangerous state of America's counter-terror strategy," Haney wrote. "Our leaders' willingness to compromise the security of citizens for the ideological rigidity of political correctness — and, consequently, our vulnerability to devastating, mass-casualty attack." more >>
Derrick Henry, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner, took the stage at Thursday morning's National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. to deliver a moving closing prayer.
Henry, who plays for the Alabama Crimson Tide, focused his prayer on the importance of unity, saying he is thankful for the opportunity to be in the presence of "great leaders and great people to hear God's word about unity and us being united as one."
"I want to pray for my generation that every day we wake up we seek you for guidance and wisdom and one day that we can stand up here and be great leaders, be great people, men and women, to speak on unity ... and how important it is to this country and this world," Henry continued. more >>