NEW YORK — The United States is commonly viewed as a land of opportunity and a place where — with enough hard work and determination — dreams can become reality. But the world's leading superpower has not been very kind to its children, according to data comparing how various countries care for their youngest members. Despite its war on poverty, ongoing for 50 years, nearly 20 percent of U.S. children live in poverty, but continued Gospel movements can put a dent in that figure, according to World Vision executive Romanita Hairston.
Referencing Books of the Bible like Nehemiah and Esther and pulling out analogies based on terms used in discussions of infectious diseases, Hairston, World Vision's vice president of U.S. Programs, grabbed the attention of the estimated 1,500 people seated inside a New York City hotel ballroom last month with her insistence that the longest war in the United States has been the war on poverty.
"If child well-being was a military issue, the red phone would be off the hook," said Hairston at one point in her remarks. more >>
A monitoring agency reported on Thursday that the U.S.-led coalition has conducted airstrikes for the first time against the Ahrar al-Sham Islamic rebel group in Syria, but a senior U.S. military official denied those specific attacks.
"Coalition warplanes targeted vehicle for Jabhat al-Nusra in Sarmada town near Syria-Turkey borders, and its HQ in Harim city, reports of human losses (including two children). Coalition warplanes also targeted for the first time a HQ for Ahrar al-Sham Islamic movement in Basbqa town near Bab al-Hawa crossing," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has been monitoring the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
A senior U.S. military official, who wasn't named, denied the information and told CNN that airstrikes on Wednesday night targeted the Khorasan Group, but not the al-Nusra or any other groups. more >>
Norway's Police Security Service revealed in a classified terror assessment on Wednesday that a terrorist attack in the Scandinavian country within the next year is "likely." As the global threat from terror group ISIS expands, several Western countries are also increasing security measures.
"Within the coming 12 months, it's likely that there may be threats of, and attempts at, terrorist attacks in Norway," the PST said. "Military personnel, police and some policy makers could be particularly exposed."
His face has become a symbol for resistance against oppression, a marker for those who demand accountability and in the minds of some – anarchy. In the modern day, the Guy Fawkes mask has been a way for people to anonymously stand against an entity.
Guy Fawkes Day is observed Wednesday in the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand. Also known as Bonfire Night, the holiday has been given special attention with such cultural items as the famous "Remember, Remember the Fifth of November" poem and the film and graphic novel "V for Vendetta." The date marks the anniversary of when a group of Catholic Englishmen attempted to blow up Parliament in response to the Protestant-led body enacting anti-Catholic laws.
"Catholic dissident Guy Fawkes and 12 co-conspirators spent months planning to blow up King James I of England during the opening of Parliament on Nov. 5, 1605," noted Jesse Greenspan in an entry on the History Channel's website. more >>
Although Reuters reported Monday night that one of the most prominent jihadist groups in the Sinai Peninsula region of Egypt has pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State caliphate, confusion remains as to the extent of the groups' connection as The Institute For the Study of War claims the reports of allegiance are false.
Reuters reported that the terrorist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, or "Partisans of Jerusalem", issued a statement Monday night saying that the group is loyal to the Islamic State and also labeled ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the caliph (Muslim prince) of all nations.
"After entrusting God we decided to swear allegiance to the emir of the faithful Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, caliph of the Muslims in Syria and Iraq and in other countries," the statement said. more >>
Persecution watchdog group Open Doors warned that the exodus of Christians in Iraq and Syria fleeing terror group ISIS reached "biblical proportions" this year, and called for Christian unity during the International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church on Sunday.
A number of Christian leaders and commentators spoke during the webcast, raising awareness and encouraging prayer for believers around the world who have faced persecution this year.
Mike Gore of Open Doors Australia highlighted what he called the "unprecedented focus" in 2014 on the persecuted church, and recalled a number of the most prominent stories that made headline news. more >>