A religious freedom advocacy organization has expressed concern over the U.S. Labor Department's forthcoming new rule against LGBT discrimination among federal contractors, which was submitted for review without public comment and contains little guidance for faith-based federal contractors.
The Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance believes the Labor Department rule, meant to implement President Barack Obama's recent executive order barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for federal contractors, does not currently clarify the rights of faith-based organizations.
The rule was sent last week to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which is within the Office of Management and Budget, for review. The rule is not yet published, but IRFA has learned that the rule will offer little guidance to faith-based groups with government contracts. more >>
It's hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys anymore. You've seen it in the news. It has shocked and horrified the civilized world. Christians and Yazidis, by the thousands, are fleeing for their lives in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere as devout followers of the "prophet" Muhammad, aka, the "Islamic State," continue to brutally slaughter these "infidels" on the run, even torturing, dismembering and beheading children as their parents are forced to watch.
As the father of three, it's unfathomable. I can't even let my mind go there. What would I do, what would any of us do, to stop it? If you and I were in place of our Arab-Christian brothers and sisters, would we not give up our very lives so that our precious babes might live?
In a heartbeat. more >>
Under pressure from the Obama administration, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Sunday clarified their stances on the mandatory quarantining of all medical workers returning from West Africa. Christie relented and announced some changes in the policy.
At a press conference Sunday evening, Cuomo said that medical workers who have been involved in treating Ebola patients in West Africa but do not have symptoms of the disease can remain at home and also receive compensation for lost income, The New York Times reported.
"My personal practice is to air on the side of caution. Over the past four years as governor I've gone through floods, hurricanes, blizzards — I'm waiting for the locusts, there were no locusts yet, but I wouldn't be shocked if they arrived," he said, according to CBS News. "… The old expression is hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, and that is exactly what we have done for four years in New York and it served us well." more >>
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai asked President Barack Obama during a private meeting to send books and teachers instead of guns and weapons to other countries, it was revealed earlier this week.
"My message was very simple," 17-year-old Yousafzai said of her talk with Obama. "I said instead of sending guns, send books. Instead of sending weapons, send teachers."
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is moving with a steady pace to establish his total control over Russia. He's now pushing a law to help him deal with the last pesky parts of the post-Soviet period of Russian history—that annoying free press. In this Washington Post story, we see that President Putin is doing in Russia what Sen. Harry Reid and fifty-three of his Senate colleagues attempted to do recently with a constitutional amendment to limit free speech.
Putin knows he is fairly free to act on the world scene and at home. President Obama is distracted. His administration is perplexed. Having waited too long to address the threat of ISIS, Mr. Obama is now leaping into the ISIS crisis with both feet. And he is even willing to make the Russians our new partner in the Middle East.
Jackson Diehl, a respected foreign affairs columnist with the Post, has offered a withering critique of the Obama administration's East European policy. There, in lands so recently freed from the smothering grip of the Russian bear, new leaders are emerging who are pulling their nations back into the Russian orbit. Think Crimea. Think Ukraine. more >>
The U.S. military has air-dropped weapons, medical supplies and other aid on Sunday to Kurdish forces in their fight against terror group ISIS over the Syrian border town of Kobane, despite protests from Turkey. ISIS has reportedly suffered heavy losses in the battle, with at least 70 bodies of its fighters dropped off at a Syrian hospital in the past week.
The Associated Press reported that the government of Turkey opposes the aid to the Kurdish forces fighting in Syria, because it sees the group as an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party. Turkey and the PKK have been in a state of war for the past 30 years.
The U.S. and its allies have been aiding for months Kurdish forces that are battling ISIS, though mostly in the Kurdish regional government in Iraq. In the past few weeks, the Islamic terror group has concentrated its efforts on capturing the Syrian-Turkish border town of Kobane for strategic purposes. U.S.-led airstrikes have helped in pushing back the jihadists, who had initially made big gains in the town. more >>