A mass grave of about 70 to 100 corpses, with the majority of them having their throats slit, was discovered near the Nigerian town of Damasak last week, and is believed to be the brutal handiwork of the Islamic State's newest affiliate group, Boko Haram.
According to a witness who spoke with Reuters, soldiers from Niger and Chad, who were responsible for initially driving Boko Haram out of the town, found the mass grave left under a concrete bridge.
The bridge is believed to have been an execution site for the militant group, which has killed over 10,000 people in the last year and has seized a sizeable area of Nigeria's northeastern Borno state. more >>
On Monday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed a bill into law that allows the use of a firing squad should drugs for lethal injection not be available.
"We regret anyone ever commits the heinous crime of aggravated murder to merit the death penalty and we prefer to use our primary method of lethal injection when such a sentence is issued," Herbert's spokesman Marty Carpenter said at a press conference. "However, when a jury makes the decision and a judge signs a death warrant, enforcing that lawful decision is the obligation of the executive branch."
Utah is the second state that allows the use of a firing squad; Oklahoma also allows the practice, and it could spread to other states as drug supplies become scarce. Alabama is currently considering a bill that would make firing squads legal as well. The most popular drug used in lethal injections, pentobarbital, has been prevented from being sold to the United States after European manufacturers learned of its use in executions. Since then, states with low supplies have turned to other methods of concocting a lethal combination of drugs. However, those same drugs have often had disastrous effects. more >>
WASHINGTON – Nigerian human rights lawyer Emmanuel Ogebe insinuated that ISIS' systemic abductions of religious minorities in Iraq last summer were inspired by Boko Haram's kidnapping of over 276 Chibok schoolgirls last April.
Ogebe, who became the youngest law graduate in Nigeria and was exiled to the United States as a political detainee, explained at an event hosted by the Hudson Institute on Monday, that after Boko Haram abducted the schoolgirls in the town of Chibok in April 2014, the terrorist organization Al Qaeda issued a statement condemning the group's kidnappings. He further explained that although Al Qaeda decried Boko Haram's abduction of the girls, the Al Qaeda offshoot, ISIS, responded in the opposite manner.
"What was ISIS response?" Ogebe asked. "ISIS' response to the Chibok schoolgirls was to begin abducting Yazidis and Christians in Iraq. That seemed to be the point of where ISIS said, 'You know what, if these guys are getting this kind of condemnation from Al Qaeda, let's [relate] with them. They are good guys to get into bed with.'" more >>
Third-party reproduction technologies are unethical because they amount to baby selling and create children for the pleasure of parents, donor-conceived Alana Newman told The Christian Post in explaining her defense of Dolce & Gabbana.
Although many proponents of reproductive technologies claim that surrogate babies are "so wanted," that doesn't make it ethically right to rob children of their natural parents just so that one parent can be enjoyed with the life of a baby, Newman told CP Monday. more >>
NEW YORK — A former Pakistani parliamentarian advocating for equal treatment for religious minorities back home claims life is sometimes hell for the Islamic Republic's Christian minorities, who are often victimized by blasphemy laws and bear the brunt of public resentment against Western nations like the United States.
"Due to our faith, we are persecuted. People are killing us, people are burning us, and people are putting us in jail. And (the) state (has) failed to protect the rights (of Christians) and (have failed in) their responsibility," said political and human rights activist Pervez Rafique. "The state doesn't have any solid and concrete policy and agenda and plan to protect marginalized and persecuted Christians and other non-Muslims in Pakistan."
Rafique, a former minority member of parliament representing the Pakistan People's Party in Punjab, worked alongside Shahbaz Bhatti, the Christian minorities minister who was assassinated in 2011, as a chief coordinator for All Pakistan Minorities Alliance. At the time of transition prompted by Bhatti's murder, a clash with the former leader's family members forced Rafique and supporters to leave the organization he had served for more than 10 years. Since then, Rafique has helped found another group, with a similar name, the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance-Founders, which in combination with the PAK Christian Fellowship, represents around 25,000 people, he told The Christian Post. more >>
The FBI has joined in the investigation of the hanging death of Otis James Byrd, 54, who was found dead on Thursday in Mississippi.
Byrd went last seen on March 2, and his family filed a report with Claiborne County just six days later. However, his body was not found until Thursday, when the Claiborne County Sheriff's Department and Mississippi Wildlife Fisheries and Parks Department conducted a ground search. He was found "hanged to death a half mile from his last known residence." Bed sheets had been used to hang the body.
The NAACP has requested that the U.S. Department of Justice classify the "suspicious hanging" as a hate crime and "join the current investigation." more >>