CP World Report: Iran Economy, U.S. Election, Hobby Lobby, Gospel of Jesus' Wife

President Obama picked up an endorsement today most Americans would probably say he can do without: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The socialist strongman has used strong anti-U.S. language in the past, especially when George W. Bush was president. But now on state-owned television he said if he was an American, he'd vote for Obama.

Young voter registration is down sharply from 2008 according to a Pew Research Center report. Only half--or 50 percent-- of 18- to 29-year-olds say they have registered. That's actually the lowest in the 16 years that Pew has conducted polling. In 2008, young voter registration was at 61 percent. Among all age groups, the largest drop in voter engagement is among moderate and liberal Republicans. The percentage of this group that is highly engaged in the election dropped 16 percentage points. According to Pew Research, Obama currently leads Mitt Romney among young voters, 59 to 35 percent.

Iran's economy is reportedly 'on the verge of collapse' as its currency loses 1/4 of its value over seven days. Observers attribute the freefall…. to sanctions imposed over Iran's nuclear program, which is undermining its ability to earn foreign exchange; and that its reserves of hard currency may be running low. The sinking currency will fuel inflation and job losses. Many Iranians are now scrambling to buy hard currencies to preserve their savings; and even those reserves are diminishing. According to Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, the Iranian economy is collapsing and the regime has lost 45-50 billion dollars in oil revenue because of sanctions, mainly from America and the EU.

California Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would have allowed judges to state that a child can have more than two parents. He issued a statement that while he sympathizes with the bill's intentions, he is concerned about unintended consequences of the legislation. The Bill was introduced by San Francisco's Democratic State Senator Mark Leno in February. It was supported by various gay rights groups over its relevance to custody battles pertaining to homosexual couples.

An evangelical Christian denomination "The Church of the Nazarene" has publicly distanced itself from one of its reverends over a petition. Reverend Lance Schmitz of Oklahoma demanded in a petition against Hobby Lobby Stores…that it drop a lawsuit that opposes Obama's healthcare mandate that would force the business to provide the "morning after pill" and the "week after pill" in their health insurance plan, or face crippling fines of up to 1.3 million dollars per day. Hobby Lobby, a privately held retail chain with 22,500 employees is led by a Christian family. The company is the largest and only non-Catholic-owned business to file a lawsuit against the government's contraception mandate. The Church of the Nazarene has affirmed its support for Hobby Lobby and partnership . The company's lawyer Kyle Duncan of the Beckett Fund called the petition… misleading, saying that it makes it seem as if Hobby Lobby is seeking to exclude birth control from its health plan all together, which is not true. It does however oppose the morning after and week after pills.

The Smithsonian Channel has decided to postpone a documentary on the "Gospel of Jesus's wife," following the mid-September discovery of a papyrus. That's because a leading Vatican newspaper has joined theologians and scholars in suggesting that the text is probably a fake. Alberto Camplani, a leading Vatican scholar on Coptic documents said more study of the Papyrus is needed and even if proven to be authentic, the referral by Jesus about a wife could have referred to the Church. The papyrus was unveiled by Professor Karen King of Harvard Divinity School, who claimed it to be the only existing ancient text in which Jesus supposedly refers to having a wife.

We all know it's a good idea to get out and move. Not only for burning calories, but being active helps loosen us up. That's where stretching can help as Susan Hendricks with today's Health Minute. TRT