WASHINGTON — The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is under increasing attack since the U.S. Supreme Court'sHobby Lobby decision that granted "closely-held" businesses an exemption from the birth control mandate, religious freedom lawyers claimed at the Federalist Society's annual National Lawyers Convention.
In response to the Hobby Lobby case and possible religious exemption cases citing it, there may come a "softening" of the decision by judges over the coming years, explained members of a panel event on Thursday on the topic of religious liberty.
Kim Colby, senior counsel at the Christian Legal Society, said to those gathered that since the Supreme Court's decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Inc., efforts to undermine religious exemptions have increased. more >>
U2's Bono, One Direction, and Sinead O'Connor are among some of the top musicians who are collaborating on a charity single that will help in the fight against the Ebola outbreak.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the stars, also including Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, Sam Smith, Underworld, Bastille and Elbow, will collaborate on a new version of the song "Do They Know It's Christmas."
Singer-songwriter Bob Geldof announced the plans for the song at a press conference on Monday. more >>
The decision by a United Kingdom High Court judge to allow a British mother to legally euthanize her 12-year-old daughter, who was suffering from a host of non-life threatening disabling disorders, is drawing strong criticism from many disability advocates who say the decision sets a dangerous precedent that will allow guardians of other disabled people to do the same.
In August, Charlotte Fitzmaurice Wise legally authorized the euthanasia of her daughter, Nancy, after she successfully petitioned the U.K. High Court to allow her to end her daughter's pain and misery.
Nancy, who was born blind and diagnosed with hydrocephalus, meningitis and septicaemia, suffered constant pain and was never able to talk, walk, eat or drink on her own. Her condition required 24-hour hospital care, where she could only be fed, hydrated and medicated through tubes. more >>
President Barack Obama has asked Congress for $6.18 billion in emergency funding to advance the U.S.'s efforts in tackling the largest Ebola outbreak in history both abroad and at home. At the same time, the U.N. has said that it lacks the resources to stop the deadly virus.
The White House provided a detailed explanation to several key questions regarding why the money is necessary and how it will be used.
"The funding is needed immediately to strengthen and sustain our whole-of-government response to strengthen preparedness in the U.S. and to help end the Ebola epidemic at its source in West Africa, and to prevent disease outbreaks, detect them early, and swiftly respond before they become epidemics that threaten the American people," the Obama administration explained on why the funds are considered an "emergency." more >>
Thousands of people are breaking Ebola quarantines in order to search for food in Sierra Leone in spite of a rising infection rate in the West African country, international aid agencies have said.
Despite government programs, supported by the U.N.'s World Food Program, delivering food and other necessities to quarantined people, there are a number of areas in the country that have not been reached by the aid, forcing thousands to go out and search for food.
"We have to take the sick out and take the responsibility with firmness. We must end Ebola now," said President Ernest Bai Koroma, who urged ordinary citizens to do more to help with the crisis, The Associated Press reported on Tuesday. more >>
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has announced that an inquiry is being set up into the high number of civilian deaths that occurred during the Israel-Hamas conflict over Gaza earlier this year. The inquiry will also investigate reports of Palestinian militants storing weapons at U.N. facilities.
"I look forward to a thorough investigation by the Israel Defense Forces of this and other incidents in which U.N. facilities sustained hits and many innocent people were killed," Ban said at the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday, according to BBC News.
"I am planning to move forward with an independent board of inquiry to look into the most serious of those cases, as well as instances in which weaponry was found on U.N. premises." more >>