Breaking World News

Breaking World News

Call the exorcist: pope tells priests to consult experts in casting out demons
“Pope Francis has advised priests who hear troubled confessions from parishioners to not hesitate to call on the services of an exorcist.

A good confessor has to be very discerning, particularly when he has to deal with “real spiritual disorders”, the 80-year-old pontiff told priests at a Vatican training seminar on the art of hearing believers recount their sins…” (The Guardian)

Basque separatist group Eta announces plan to lay down all weapons
“Six years after renouncing violence in its long and bloody pursuit of a Basque homeland, the militant separatist group Eta has announced it will lay down all arms by early next month…” (The Guardian)

Secret Service Agent’s Laptop Stolen From Car in New York City
“A U.S. Secret Service agent has had a laptop stolen from her car in New York City.
The Secret Service said Friday that the laptop contains “multiple layers of security,” including disk encryption, and doesn’t carry classified information. The agency wouldn’t comment further…” (Time)

President Trump Is Blaming North Korea for ‘Behaving Very Badly’
“President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Friday morning to criticize North Korea during a moment of heightened tensions between the two countries, accusing the hermit kingdom and nuclear power of “playing” the United States…” (Time)

60% of engineering graduates unemployed
“NEW DELHI: More than 60% of the eight lakh engineers graduating from technical institutions across the country every year remain unemployed, according to the All India Council for Technical Education…” (The Times of India)

China to ‘authorise’ Pakistan to build missiles, tanks, FC-1 Xiaolong combat aircraft
“NEW DELHI: Beijing was furious with India last year for launching Agni V, but now it plans to build ballistic, cruise, anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles with “all-weather friend” Pakistan, China’s state-run media reported…” (The Times of India)

Germany vows legal action if Trump taxes imports
“Germany could take the United States to court if Washington goes ahead with plans to tax imports, Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries said Friday, hours before Chancellor Angela Merkel’s first meeting with Donald Trump…” (The Local)

How Merkel will try and win over Trump in Washington
“On her first face-to-face meet with Donald Trump at the White House this Friday, Angela Merkel will seek to talk the President’s language, argues Jörg Luyken…” (The Local)

‘No strategic patience for NK anymore’
“U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared an end to the Barack Obama administration’s policy of strategic patience in dealing with North Korea, Friday, vowing to explore all options including harsher sanctions and military action…” (The Korea Times)

Killer whale mother and calf sighted off east coast
“A killer whale mother and calf were seen in Korea’s East Sea, the National Institute of Fisheries Science (NIFS) said Friday.

The whales were observed near Uljin, North Gyeongsang Province, Wednesday, according to the institute…” (The Korea Times)
Photo: Casa Rosada (Argentina Presidency of the Nation) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

A Marshall Plan for the Middle East

A Marshall Plan for the Middle East

Our latest volunteer, Jenny, is a lover of the arts, especially music, a hopeless liberal, existentialist, wife and Mom. Here’s her take on rebuilding the Middle East, in the spirit of the post WWII era.

Will there be a Marshall Plan for the Middle East? The Second World War destroyed much of Europe leaving its historic cities in ruin. Thanks to the vision of General George C. Marshall and Democratic President Harry S. Thruman the United States infused 12 Billion Dollars in the European Recovery Program to rebuild the architectural wonders of cathedrals and other historical structures reproducing cities that were left in annihilation. In addition, modern transportation systems were constructed and financial aid was used to help struggling economies work their way  back into healthy thriving democracies.

Today those same democratic nations are threatened by an unparalleled influx of desperate refugees fleeing from man’s latest devastation. The Iraq War waged on a false premise by Republican Neo-Cons has led to the utter destruction of many ancient mid-eastern cities and the surrounding countryside, loss of thousands of innocent lives of men, women and children and the end of an ancient cultural world.  A larger US military budget and an increase in the threat of warfare which is now being proposed will never be the final solution.

Who then will suggest a Marshall Plan to restore the countries and peoples of the Middle East? Certainly not the President Trump Presidency with its strident slogan of “America  First”! The demonizing of government service and government programs over the last three decades by American conservatives offers no real hope of opportunity for the poor and middle class of our land, but even less hope for relieving the misery of Iraq, Afghanistan, Lybia, Syria, Sudan and Yeman. With what ease modern nations can use technology to destroy one another, but what nation will rise up to support a new Marshall Plan to restore the nations of the Middle East and stop the need for mass migrations of war-weary peoples?

 

Photo: See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Terror by Night, starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, 1946

Terror by Night, starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, 1946

Terror by Night, 1946

A film by Roy William Neill

“When the fabled Star of Rhodesia diamond is stolen on a London to Edinburgh train and the son of its owner is murdered, Sherlock Holmes must discover which of his suspicious fellow passengers is responsible.” (IMDB)

(Browse our Movie Archive)

Breaking world news

Breaking world news

Ryan, Senate Intel committee see no evidence of Trump wiretap
“The speaker of the House, the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman and the ranking Democrat on the committee said Thursday that they’ve seen no evidence of President Donald Trump’s accusation that he was wiretapped last year by his predecessor…” (CNN)

Dad’s case of strep throat leads to amputations
“A Michigan man is feeling grateful after surviving a strep throat infection that led to amputations of parts of his hands and feet and nearly cost his life…” (CNN)

Letter bomb that exploded at Paris IMF office was sent from Greece
“A letter bomb that was dispatched to the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Paris and blew up on Thursday, injuring the employee who opened it, was sent from Greece, the Greek public order minister has said…” (The Guardian)

BBC crew and tourists injured in lava explosion on Mount Etna
“BBC crew members were among 10 people injured when lava flow triggered an explosion as it came into contact with snow on Mount Etna in Sicily on Thursday…” (The Guardian)

Germany and China to ‘fight together’ for free trade, says Merke
“Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday stressed their commitment to free trade ahead of a G20 finance ministers’ meeting set to be dominated by debate on protectionism…” (The Local)

Eight in ten Germans think the EU needs to be reformed
“What most Germans can agree upon is that the EU cannot stay as it is. But when it comes to how change should look, views differ sharply…” (The Local)

Uganda admits security forces killed over 100 people in palace raid in November
“Uganda has acknowledged that its security forces killed more than 100 people in an assault on a tribal leader’s palace last year.

The revelation comes after Human Rights Watch on Wednesday called for an independent and impartial fact-finding mission with international expertise saying that it was one of the bloodiest day of the region’s cultural institution…” (Africa News)

South African opposition figure probed by own party after colonialism tweet
“Former South African main opposition leader Helen Zille will face a disciplinary process by her Democratic Alliance (DA) party after saying on Twitter on Thursday that the legacy of colonialism was not all negative…” (Africa News)

We Can Now Harness the Tardigrade’s Strangest Superpower – and Give It to Other Organisms
“Tiny tardigrades – also known as water bears and moss piglets – have many strange properties, including being able to withstand huge amounts of radiation, temperatures ranging from 150°C (302°F) to near absolute zero, and pressures six times greater than in the deepest ocean trenches…” (Science Alert)

Type 2 Diabetes Has Been “Reversed” in 40% of Patients for 3 Months
“Type 2 diabetes is generally considered to be a chronic health condition that can’t be cured once it develops, and can only be managed with a combination of medication and healthy living – assisted by gastric band (bariatric) surgery in some cases…” (Science Alert)

 

Photo: By Peter Larson/Medill News Service [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Breaking World News

Breaking World News

Graham: I will subpoena FBI for wiretap answers if need be
“Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday he’ll subpoena information from the FBI over President Donald Trump’s wiretapping allegations if bureau Director James Comey does not provide information about whether there is any validity to the President’s claims…” (CNN)

House intel chairman: No evidence of wiretapping claim
“President Donald Trump’s claim that former President Barack Obama ordered the wiretapping of his phones ran into headwinds on several fronts Wednesday, as three top Republicans said they’d seen no evidence of the assertion.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said he does not believe Trump’s claim that Obama wiretapped him, but said it’s possible Trump communications may have been gathered in “incidental” intelligence collection…” (CNN)

France’s Front National suspends party official over Holocaust denial
“France’s far-right Front National has suspended a party official for Holocaust denial after he suggested there was no mass killing in the Nazi concentration camps…”
(The Guardian)

Four jailed in Germany for forming far-right terrorist group
“Three men and a woman have been sentenced to prison terms between three and five years for forming a far-right terrorist group in Germany with a plan to bomb refugee homes as a tactic to scare migrants into leaving the country…” (The Guardian)

Fillon’s indictment signals a ‘moral crisis’ for France

French car maker Renault suspected of emissions fraud
“France’s consumer fraud watchdog told prosecutors that Renault boss Carlos Ghosn should be held responsible for the carmaker’s suspected diesel emissions cheating, a judicial source said on Wednesday…” (France24)

France to close Grande-Synthe migrant camp ‘as soon as possible’
“France said Wednesday that security forces would start dismantling another migrant camp on its northern coast near the port of Dunkirk “as soon as possible” after clashes at the site…” (France24)

News Analysis: Tillerson’s first China visit to build on positive momentum in China-U.S. ties
“WASHINGTON, March 15 (Xinhua) — U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s upcoming first visit to China is to build on positive momentum in the relations between China and the Trump administration, experts said.

Tillerson began Wednesday his first three-nation Asian tour that will take him to Japan, South Korea and China. He is to visit Beijing Saturday to hold talks with Chinese leaders and senior officials on a range of bilateral and multilateral issues…” (Xinhua)

China-Britain entrepreneurship competition launched in Britain
“LONDON, March 15 (Xinhua) — The China-Britain Entrepreneurship Competition, an initiative aimed to support and encourage new business ventures between China and Britain, was launched on Tuesday in Newcastle…” (Xinhua)

Researchers Might Have Located the Brain Switch Responsible for Autism’s Social Struggles
“For people diagnosed with one of the many disorders associated with autism, connecting with others socially ranges anywhere from being somewhat difficult to near impossible…” (Science Alert)

Spiders Eat More Each Year Than All Humans Put Together
“If spiders already freak you out a little, here’s a newly discovered scientific tidbit that probably won’t help much: these insatiable predators gorge themselves on up to twice the total weight of animals that humans consume each year…” (Science Alert)

 
Photo: By Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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