Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said that his country will not follow in the footsteps of Ireland and hold a referendum on legalizing same-sex marriage, despite pressure from other politicians, including his own lesbian sister and fellow politician Christine Forster. Abbott added that he's probably the last person in his family to uphold traditional marriage.
"Referendums are held in this country when there is a proposal to change our constitution and I don't think anyone is suggesting the constitution needs to be changed in this respect," Abbott said following the referendum in Ireland, the Irish Times reported on Monday.
"It's up to members of parliament who are eager for change to decide whether they want to bring it forward." more >>
"19 Kids and Counting" star Josh Duggar has come forward to admit that he "acted inexcusably" when a teenager, allegedly molesting five girls, possibly including his sisters. Now, several people including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, have come forward to defend Josh amid the growing controversy, as TLC has pulled the popular reality series from its lineup in the wake of Josh's admission.
One of the first public figures to come forward and offer support and a defense of Josh was Huckabee, a presidential candidate for 2016, who said that he and his wife, Janet, "want to affirm our support for the Duggar family."
"Josh's actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, 'inexcusable,' but that doesn't mean 'unforgivable.' He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities. more >>
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has hit back against accusations by U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter that his country has "no will" to fight terror group ISIS, which prompted Vice President Joe Biden to call al-Abadi and speak about the issue. The Iraqi army has meanwhile launched a major military offensive to liberate the captured Anbar and Salaheddin provinces.
Abadi responded to Carter's accusations over the weekend by stating through a spokesman that the U.S. defense secretary had been given "incorrect information," and said that it's not right to "judge the whole army based on one incident."
Iraqi forces lost the battle for the key city of Ramadi earlier this month, giving ISIS its most significant victory in the country since the U.S. and its international allies began airstrike operations against the terror group last year. more >>
Churches should stop spending so much time fighting against abortion and gay marriage and do more about poverty and suffering, some say. There are three important points to keep in mind when you hear this claim.
Hosted by the National Association of Evangelicals and Georgetown's Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life, the May 11-13 Catholic-Evangelical Summit on Overcoming Poverty brought together both Evangelicals and Catholics, liberals and conservatives, to discuss how churches can better address poverty. There were 17 sessions in all. Solutions offered dealt not only with what local churches can do, but the roles government, business and labor can play as well. more >>
Reports coming out of Ramadi Iraq and Palmyra, Syria convey hundreds of dead and burned bodies littering streets and thousands of people displaced and on the run. Loss after loss, setback after setback, the White House remains resolved: The president's Islamic State [ISIS] strategy is an "overall success," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest on May 19.
A success for the Islamic State [ISIS], maybe.
Lest we forget, less than a decade ago, nearly 1300 Americans died fighting in Ramadi. Soon after, the U.S. returned control of that city, which had become one of Iraq's safest, to Iraqi forces. A few days ago, ISIS ransacked and overtook Ramadi, and gained control of U.S. provided tanks, artillery and weaponry. National Security Advisor Susan Rice, the same woman who blamed Benghazi on a second-rate video and claimed Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl served "with honor and distinction," told a group of war veterans the administration had "ended two wars responsibly." more >>
Memorial Day, a federal holiday since 1967, originated from the American Civil War to honor the Union and Confederate dead. During the early 20th century the occassion has been extended to recognize all Americans who have sacrificed their life during military conflict. Below are five memorable Memorial Day speeches in American history.
1. Ronald Reagan's Remarks on Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetary, 1982.
Reagan, known as "The Great Communicator," concluded his remarks with a challenge: "Earlier today, with the music that we have heard and that of our National Anthem – I can't claim to know the words of all the national anthems in the world, but I don't know of any other that ends with a question and a challenge as ours does: Does that flag still wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? That is what we must all ask." more >>