LONDON — The world has become increasingly violent with deaths from conflict at a 25-year high, terrorist attacks at an all-time high and more people displaced than at any time since World War II, the 2016 Global Peace Index showed on Wednesday.
The annual index, which measures 23 indicators including incidents of violent crime, countries' levels of militarization and weapons imports, said intensifying conflicts in the Middle East were mostly to blame.
But beyond the Middle East, the world was actually becoming more peaceful, researchers behind the index said. more >>
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has put forth a new rule which would end a ban on gender reassignment surgery for transgender vets, and would embrace such procedures as "medically necessary."
The rule, as can be read on the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs website, states that "prior limited knowledge about both gender dysphoria and effective transition-related procedures" had put in place the ban on such surgeries, but now thanks to "increased understanding," gender reassignment surgery has been accepted as "medically necessary" by the medical community.
"Additionally, recent medical research shows that gender dysphoria is a serious condition that has had severe medical consequences for certain patients if transition-related surgeries and procedures are not provided," the proposed rule ads. more >>
Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, says there has been some debate among Christians as to whether Memorial Day should be honored, given that Jesus Christ taught peace.
"For some Christians, Memorial Day is a complicated experience. These Christians would argue that it is inconsistent at best for believers in the Gospel to celebrate anything won by war. They think, 'Didn't Jesus settle this on the Sermon on the Mount? What's hard to interpret about 'turn the other cheek' and 'love your enemies?'" Moore wrote in a blog post on Memorial Day.
He suggested that Christians with such pacifist views can find biblical warrant, and pointed to several passages in the New Testament in which Jesus and His Apostles forbid seeking vengeance, such as in Matthew 5:38-44 and Romans 12:18-21. more >>
A billboard erected in Colorado Springs, Colorado, by a group claiming the United States Air Force favors Christianity over all other religions is sparking controversy.
News Channel 13 reported that that the sign, which reads "Welcome Mr. President to Our AF Academy. Why is Jesus Commander in Chief Here?" is provoking mixed feelings among drivers on the I-25 near Garden of the Gods, with some stating that it goes too far.
"Comedy and sarcasm is always a good way to get attention, but this is a little much. I think it raises a lot more questions than answers," said Kate Harris, who works close to the new billboard. more >>
Nearly half of IS-controlled territory in Iraq and Syria has been recaptured by allied forces, according to a Pentagon spokesman.
"The number right now in Iraq is about 45 percent of the territory they once held has been recovered. … The number in Syria is anywhere between 16 to 20 percent," said Peter Cook, press secretary for the Department of Defense, during a press briefing on Monday.
The percentages of territory lost is based off the amount of territory IS held in 2014, according to USA Today. more >>
Applicants to jobs in any branch of the U.S. federal government will soon be subject to a review of their social media posts as part of the government's security clearance process.
According to Digital Trends, this new policy will allow federal agencies to take a look at any prospective employee's posts on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like. The policy will be up for adoption soon, said the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, according to the report.
Anyone who is seeking work in any federal government agency, at whatever level, will go through this review. Only posts that are considered public will be covered by the review and the agency will not look into anything private posts by asking applicants to divulge their account passwords. Any information that is gathered during said process will not be "retained" unless it is "relevant" to the person's security status. more >>