A liberal Saudi blogger who was sentenced to endure 1,000 lashes for "insulting Islam" has been temporarily reprieved from his 50 weekly lashings after a board of doctors ruled his body is incapable of taking any more lashings in the near future.
After sentencing 31-year-old Raif Badawi, who operated the a blog called "Free Saudi Liberals," to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashings and fining him about $266,060 for "insulting Islam" in his writings, the Saudi government has received international pressure for doling out such extreme punishments to someone who simply wrote on his own views and opinions.
The sentence of 1,000 lashes by a cane was arranged for Badawi, a father of three, so that he receives them in increments of 50 every Friday during the course of 20 weeks. But after receiving his first set of 50 lashes on Jan. 9 in the city of Jiddah, Badawi had not been subjected to the punishment in the two following weeks. more >>
Sitting as a celebrity judge on Sunday night's 2015 Miss Universe beauty pageant in Miami, world-renowned Filipino, Christian boxer and politician Manny Pacquiao asked Miss USA what she would say if she was given the opportunity to speak with "global terrorists."
As the final five contestants in the pageant were tasked with answering a question from a celebrity judge, whose name they picked randomly out of a hat, Miss USA, Nia Sanchez, went first and selected Pacquiao's name from the hat.
Most questions at beauty pageants ask what contestants think about world hunger, education and other pressing humanitarian issues, and in that vein, Pacquiao questioned Miss USA on one of the biggest underlying global threats to civil society. more >>
As thousands of women and girls are being raped, abused and victimized as part of the Islamic State's sex slave operation in Iraq and Syria, one Iraqi man is buying ISIS sex slaves in order to free and reunite them with their families.
In the Islamic State's sex slave market, captured religious minority women, girls and even babies are sold to militants and supporters willing to dish out good money for a new jihadi bride or woman they just want to abuse and hand off to their buddies when they are finished.
Although many find it unethical to participate in the Islamic State's human trafficking market that helps fund the terrorist organization that has killed thousands, one unnamed Iraqi man is purchasing ISIS's sex slaves not for phyiscal pleasure but to give them freedom. more >>
After the North Miami Beach police department was discovered to have been using mug shots of African Americans for practice at a firing range, several members of clergy from around the world decided to take action and started a movement with their images and the phrase #UseMeInstead.
Rev. Joy M. Gonnerman and other pastors from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Facebook group discussed how to respond and what they could do to encourage change.
"Maybe we ought to make it harder to pull the trigger, and volunteer to put pictures of their family up," Gonnerman suggested. more >>
Oklahoma's Attorney General Scott Pruitt has asked the Supreme Court to stay several executions while it performs a full review of the procedure that has had disastrous results in the past.
"The families of the victims in these three cases have waited a combined 48 years for the sentences of these heinous crimes to be carried out," Pruitt told CNN, but he also noted that the state has an obligation to "ensure justice in each and every case."
Oklahoma has come under fire for its execution procedure, which involves the use of Midazolam. The drug has reportedly caused severe problems and, when used with a combination of two other drugs, does not immediately cause death but instead pain and suffering for inmates. The question is whether the drug should continue to be used and whether Oklahoma's procedure constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. more >>
The leader of Pakistani politico-religious party Jamaat-e Islami is claiming that the Western "extremist standpoint" on the freedom of news organizations to publish "blasphemous caricatures" of Islam's prophet Muhammad will ultimately lead to World War III.
In addressing the thousands in attendance at a Friday protest over the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which publicized cartoons portraying Muhammad, the influential chief of the Jamaat-e Islami party, Sirajul Haq, demanded that the United Nations make laws designed to prevent the media and others from mocking religious personalities.