Embattled Episcopal Bishop of Maryland Heather Cook, who was charged with a drunk-driving incident last December that caused the death of 41-year-old cyclist and father of two Thomas Palermo, effectively entered a not-guilty plea at her arraignment Thursday by accepting a trial date for June.
Palermo's disappointed family members who were in court Thursday said they were "disappointed" by the bishop's actions and are hoping she will do the right thing and take responsibility for her actions.
"Today, in support of my sister, Rachel Palermo, and her young children, our family attended the arraignment of Bishop Heather Cook. We were hopeful that Bishop Heather Cook would do the right thing and take responsibility for her actions by pleading guilty. We are disappointed that this did not happen today, but we know that this is the first step in a long process," said Alisa Rock in a statement from the family to The Christian Post Thursday. more >>
The Anti Terrorism Court in Lahore, Pakistan, has indicted 16 Christians who it says were responsible for the killing and burning of two terror suspects believed to have been involved in the March 15 suicide-bombing of two churches in Youhanabad, which killed 17 people. Non-profit groups have meanwhile highlighted that women and children are among the 90 or so critically injured churchgoers that need urgent help.
Fides News Agency reported that while 16 Christians have been accused of murdering the two Muslim suspects, another 12 have also been indicted for damage to state property in the riots following the attack on the churches.
These numbers are down from the 100 or so people who were detained last week following the riots. more >>
Abortion rights activists are outraged after a 33-year-old married Indiana woman who got pregnant as a result of an affair with her co-worker was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday on charges of feticide — the act of causing the death of a pre-born baby — and the neglect of a dependent.
The woman, Purvi Patel, 33, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the neglect charge, but 10 of those were suspended, according to WNCN. Patel, who also became the first woman in the U.S. to be charged, convicted and sentenced for feticide, will serve an additional six years in prison for that crime. Both sentences are expected to be served concurrently.
"What this conviction means is that anti-abortion laws will be used to punish pregnant women," Lynn Paltrow, executive director for the so-called National Advocates for Pregnant Women, an abortion advocacy organization, told WNCN. more >>
Alleged cellphone footage of the final moments from Germanwings Flight 9525 that was deliberately crashed last week, killing all 150 people on board, records people screaming "My God" in several different languages. While investigators have said that no such footage has been found, both German and French newspapers have sworn to have seen it.
Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin told CNN on Wednesday that "so far no videos were used in the crash investigation," responding to the media reports of the footage. He added, however, that "a person who has such a video needs to immediately give it to the investigators."
Both the German daily Bild and the French newspaper Paris Match have claimed to have seen the cellphone footage allegedly showing the final moments of the flight, which crashed in the French Alps. more >>
A second atheist blogger has been hacked to death by suspected Islamic extremists in the span of a month in Bangladesh. Twenty-seven year-old Washiqur Rahman was found stabbed to death on Monday in Dhaka, less than a month after American citizen Avijit Roy was killed for promoting secularism and criticizing religious extremism.
Agence France-Presse reported that police have arrested two men suspected to have been involved in Rahman's murder. Local police chief Wahidul Islam revealed that the victim had been "brutally hacked to death this morning with big knives just 500 yards [460 metres] from his home at Dhaka's Begunbari area."
Revelations that Germanwings Flight 9525 co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was treated for "suicidal tendencies" before receiving his pilot's license has sparked a discussion on doctor-patient confidentiality in Germany, with some lawmakers suggesting doctors should have a duty to speak out if a person's condition potentially puts other lives at risk.
The public prosecutor's office in Düsseldorf said on Monday that Lubitz had been treated for "suicidal tendencies" before earning his pilot's license, but following the treatment he appeared to have gotten better and doctors found no other signs of those tendencies or any aggression toward others.
Lubitz is widely believed to have deliberately crashed the Airbus A320 jet last week in the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board. more >>