North Korea has reportedly executed 80 prisoners across several cities, some for offenses like possessing a Bible, with a human rights group calling the executions a sign that the regime of Kim Jong-un is increasingly fearful of its own people.
"These executions are a reflection of two things at work: First, unlike his father, Kim Jong-Il, Kim Jong Eun has had to work aggressively to consolidate power once his father died. Remember that Kim Il Song had prepared for the transition to his son, Kim Jong-il and he was already in major leadership roles when Kim Il Song died," Suzanne Scholte, president of human rights group Defense Forum Foundation, said in an email to The Christian Post on Tuesday.
"Second, this is a reflection of a regime that is increasingly fearful of its own people and has to send a powerful, brutal message by doing high profile public executions. We have certainly seen these public executions used in the past by Kim Jong Il." more >>
Hundreds of attendees of the World Council of Churches' Tenth Assembly participated in a "pilgrimage of peace" taken in the 60th year since the armistice that ended the combat phase of the Korean War was signed.
An estimated 800 WCC participants joined the peace pilgrimage on Saturday, calling for the unification of the Korean Peninsula after generations of tensions between the North and South.
Former Ku Klux Klansman and Baptist preacher Edgar Ray Killen lost his appeal to the Supreme Court, who upheld the guilty verdict for the three murders of civil rights workers. Killen was convicted of manslaughter in 2005 and sentenced to 60 years in a Mississippi prison, where he will likely spend the rest of his life, given that he is currently 88 years old.
"We, as a family, are very pleased with that rejection and we were rather surprised that the appeal was even being considered," Rev. Julia Chaney Moss, the sister of one of the victims, told CBS News. "I wish the best for Mr. Killen and his family, whatever that can be."
Killen allegedly killed Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman in 1964. The three men, in Mississippi as part of the civil rights movement, disappeared on June 21, 1965 and were later found dead and buried on a nearby farm. Killen was charged with the murders and found guilty of manslaughter; the story led to the famous movie, "Mississippi Burning," which was based on Killen's trial. more >>
A bill meant to expand anti-discrimination employment policy to include gays and transgendered individuals may see its defeat in the House of Representatives.
After the United States Senate voted to end cloture and bring the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to the floor, House Speaker John Boehner expressed his opposition. Michael Steel, spokesman for Speaker Boehner, stated in an email to Politico that the Republican-controlled House will oppose the bill should it pass the Senate.
"The Speaker believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs," wrote Steel. more >>
The retiring Archbishop of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, has said that the lack of justice and bad treatment of aboriginals is the most serious issue facing Canadians, something which the church needs to start getting invested in.
"I don't think there is any issue facing Canadians more serious than this one. And I don't think we're taking it that seriously," Archbishop James Weisgerber said, according to Catholic News Service. Pope Francis officially accepted the 75-year old priest's resignation on Monday.
"My concern has got to do with people we have dealt with badly, that we have mistreated, through lots of ignorance and good will, but we have not respected them," he added. more >>
Because of a complicated ruling by a federal judge in a case likely headed for the Supreme Court, the Texas ban on abortions after 20 weeks went into effect today without one of the limits on abortionists planned by the Texas legislature.
The judge ruled Monday afternoon that abortion regulations passed by the Texas legislature requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital within 30 miles of their abortion clinics is unconstitutional and will not take effect.
District Judge Lee Yeakel wrote in his ruling following the three-day trial, "[T]he act's admitting-privileges provision is without a rational basis and places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus." more >>