UNITED NATIONS — Former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali has died, Venezuelan U.N. Ambassador Rafael Dario Ramirez Carreno, president of the U.N. Security Council for February, said on Tuesday. He was 93.
An Egyptian, Boutros-Ghali served one five-year term as U.N. chief from 1992 to 1996.
The 15-member Security Council observed a minute's silence. No further details on his death were immediately available. more >>
Florida Senator Marco Rubio has decided to stand behind a piece of legislation that for now keeps the ban on women from being required to register for a hypothetical military draft.
National Review reported Thursday that both Rubio and fellow Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz have decided to cosponsor legislation from Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, that keeps the ban on drafting women and leaves sole power to Congress to change the rules for registration in the future if needed.
"Senator Rubio agrees with Senator Lee that Congress needs to determine the future of the Selective Service system and is working on legislation to codify that role and plans to support it," said Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos. more >>
A top Iranian official claims that Republican members of Congress directly asked the Iranian administration to hold off on releasing Pastor Saeed Abedini and three other American hostages until the eve of the 2016 elections.
"In the course of the talks for exchanging prisoners, the Republican rivals of the current U.S. administration who claim to be humanitarians and advocates of human rights sent a message telling us not to release these people (American prisoners) and continue this process (of talks) until the eve of U.S. presidential elections," said Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, according to Tasnim News Agency, a privately owned news agency whose stated aim is "defending the Islamic Revolution against negative media propaganda."
Abedini and three other Americans were released by Iran back in January following a prisoner swap, after years of campaigning for their freedom. more >>
Donald Trump may authorize "chopping people's heads off" as an appropriate method of torture should he become president, the 2016 candidate said in a recent interview.
Trump made his comments in a Sunday appearance with George Stephanopoulos on "This Week," saying that if he were elected commander-in-chief, he would implement tactics that go "beyond waterboarding."
"I would absolutely authorize something beyond waterboarding. And believe me, it will be effective," Trump said on the weekend program, adding, "If we need information, George, you have our enemy cutting heads off of Christians and plenty of others, by the hundreds, by the thousands." more >>
Radical militias with Iranian support are reportedly attacking Christian communities in Iraq, seizing property and sites of cultural interest.
Lisa Daftari of Foreign Desk wrote Tuesday that this was happening especially around Baghdad and attributed her information as coming from multiple sources, including "Christian members of the Iraqi Parliament," "Christian community leaders," and the pan-Arab daily Al Hayat.
"According to leaders, the seizures have been carried out in the upscale regions of Baghdad, where militia men have forced entry into homes and businesses with falsified documents," wrote Daftari. more >>
The Institute on Religion & Democracy has called on evangelicals, Catholics, and all Christians to stand together against proposals, backed by a number of Republican presidential candidates, to draft women into combat roles should the need arise.
"Christian leaders should oppose conscripting women into the military. Not only evangelicals, but also Catholics and Christian pacifists should speak out. Can the Church be silent about the potentially coercive militarization of America's daughters?" asked IRD's Evangelical Action Director Chelsen Vicari.
"Women are serving and have been serving their country alongside men. We support and thank them for their sacrifices. Women have important roles to fill in the military, but women also play vital roles in the home. Forcing mothers, daughters, and our sisters to register for Selective Service would be a tragic mistake," she added. more >>