400 Days Locked Up: Journalist Peter Greste on Surviving Egyptian Prison Term
Democracynow.org - Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste remembers his time in prison in Egypt, where the government held him for broadcasting false news. "Prison anywhere is pretty tough experience. And Egyptian prisons are never the easiest. I was in two police cells before we actually entered the prison system. And I think the police cells were probably some of the toughest experiences of my life. One cell was a box about eight-foot square. It had a toilet in one corner and a sink in the other and a tiny little exhaust fan in the corner. There were 16 guys in that box. It was unbelievably crowded. It was impossibly crowded. A couple of guys had been there for about six months without almost no time out of that at all. It was quite shocking.”
With Pope Francis coming to the United States just a little over a week away, he has sent a very clear message to churches that use their tax-exempt status as a way to exploit their property for economic gain. Some churches are refusing to accept refugees into the buildings they own, instead preferring to use it to make money on rentals.
“Some religious orders say, ‘No, now that the convent is empty we are going to make a hotel and we can have guests and support ourselves that way, or make money,'” said Pope Francis. “Well, if that is what you do, then pay taxes! A religious school is tax-exempt because it is religious, but if it is functioning as a hotel, then it should pay taxes just like its neighbor. Otherwise it is not fair business.”
The practice of renting space in religious buildings is very common in Europe. The philosophy behind it, that Pope Francis describes, could very well undermine what many televangelists do in the United States. Rather than practicing their religion, these charlatans run lean businesses and make fat profits. If the church isn’t engaged in the business of the Church, as Pope Francis explained, then it’s time for them to pay their fair share of taxes!
Demonstrating that he follows his own words, the Vatican is taking in two refugee families, who will remain “as long as the Lord wants.”
In the same interview, Pope Francis stated the importance of the Catholic Church adapting to modern times and getting out into the real world to try to make a difference: “If somebody has a room in his house which is closed for long periods, it develops humidity, and a bad smell. If a church, a parish, a diocese, or an institute lives closed in on itself, it grows ill and we are left with a scrawny Church, with strict rules, no creativity. On the contrary – if it goes forth – if a church and a parish go out into the world, then once outside they might suffer the same fate as anybody else who goes out: have an accident. Well in that case, between a sick and a bruised Church, I prefer the bruised, because at least it went into the street.”
Finally, Pope Francis made clear his disgust with those in government failing to take action to protect the environment. “Nowadays the world is at war against itself … in installments, bit by bit, but it is also at war against the land, because it is destroying the land, our common house, the environment.”
This morning, Bernie Sanders went on CNN to discuss last night’s Republican debate. Sanders discussed that last night’s debate made it very clear that Republicans are completely out of touch with the world as it really is. Instead, the Republicans want to blame absolutely every hardship on President Barack Obama.
During the GOP debate last night, Bernie Sanders was not sitting back and enjoying the fireworks. He was tweeting criticisms and responses to the GOP’s arguments throughout the entire event. We’ve pulled them together below.
As a result of Citizens United, billionaires are now controlling our politics. Will any R support the overturn? Let's see. #DebateWithBernie
Pope Francis is scheduled to come address Congress on September 24, much to the pain of conservative politicians. Pope Francis has repeatedly made statements and policy decisions that have put him at odds with Republicans. Whether he is saying that women may be forgiven for having abortions or explaining that creationism and evolution are not mutually exclusive theories, he is setting conservative’s heads spinning.
Here are five points that Pope Francis has made that conservatives have been completely at odds with:
1. Pope Francis has made ending a marriage more easily accessible.
Earlier this month, Pope Francis outlined new rules that made it easier and less expensive for couples seeking an end to their relationship to part. The new rules are seen as a complete divergence from the church of the past, which had a history of making divorce and annulment difficult to obtain.
2. Pope Francis has made addressing climate change non-negotiable.
In his encyclical, Pope Francis explained that dealing with climate change is an issue of moral importance. It effects every single person on this planet and will disproportionately hurt people of lower means. Francis explained that the most vulnerable on our planet are those who will be faced with the brutality of climate change.
3. Pope Francis has offered forgiveness to women for abortions.
During the upcoming year of mercy, Pope Francis has announced, the Catholic church will extend mercy and forgiveness to women who seek forgiveness for an abortion.
4. Pope Francis said that capitalism without restraint is evil.
While visiting Bolivia in July, Pope Francis criticized the practice of wealthy nations and banks taking advantage of weaker and developing nations. The pope defended what he described as “sacred rights” that belong to poor people. Those rights cannot be taken by a bank or foreign power.
5. Pope Francis does not see creationism an evolution as exclusive.
Conservatives tend to use the concept of evolution as a wedge to divide true conservatives from others. Pope Francis rejected the idea that the theory of evolution and the theory of creationism need to be exclusive.
While talking at the Pontifical Academy of the Sciences, he said, “When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything, But that is not so.”
These are just a handful of the issues that have put conservatives on edge when dealing with the new, more progressive Catholic church. It should be interesting to see how they react to the pope’s message later this month.
The bigoted, gay-hating Kentucky court clerk Kim Davis returned to work on Monday, but says she will continue defying the Supreme Court’s ruling that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.
Although she denies the right of same-sex marriage, she will not interfere with her deputies’ issuing of marriage licenses. However, she still contends that the marriage licenses already issued are invalid. She said, in a handwritten statement, that any licenses issued by her office would be “unauthorized.” It’s horrendous how defiant Davis has remained.
“I want the whole world to know . . . If any [deputy clerk] feels that they must issue an unauthorized marriage license to avoid being thrown in jail, I understand their tough choice, and I will take no action against them,” said Davis. “However, any unauthorized license that they issue will not have my name, my title or my authority on it. Instead, the license will state that they are issued pursuant to a federal court order.”
Davis further contended that she is being forced to ignore the word of God and her religious views by honoring marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In short, she found a way to sit on her big butt, not do her job, and circumvent the law. If she wasn’t an elected official, she’d get fired on the spot.
Fox has purchased National Geographic. The two companies issued the following statement:
The National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox announced today that they are expanding their partnership in a venture that will include National Geographic’s cable channels, its 127-year-old magazine, digital and social platforms, maps, travel and other media.
As stated by Daily Kos, in commenting upon the merger:
[The National Geographic] offers finely detailed stories on climate change, on endangered species, on changing food resources in a changing world, [and] is now owned by a company that is among the chief deniers of climate change.
In the midst of global climate change talks last December, a top Fox News official sent an email questioning the “veracity of climate change data” and ordering the network’s journalists to “refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question.”
The directive, sent by Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon, was issued less than 15 minutes after Fox correspondent Wendell Goler accurately reported on-air that the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization announced that 2000-2009 was “on track to be the warmest [decade] on record.”
Now that Fox owns National Geographic we all know where this is going. There will be 24-7 programming on climate change denial, hunting, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, the benefits of drilling, and references to the Bible on how God said man was in charge of all other animals.
Sorry National Geographic, you have permanently lost much of your current and loyal audience. Looks like you decided to follow the MSNBC approach.
Corporate America Says Trump would be Horrible for U.S. Economy
This post originally apeared on RingofFireRadio.com.
Despite Donald Trump’s experience in the corporate world, businesses are still shying away from Trump, reported The Hill.
Trump’s extreme position on immigration has caused several businesses and business groups to back away from the inflammatory candidate. They argue that Trump’s policies on immigration, trade, and investment would damage the economy. “Of the business people I know, I personally have not run across any that are supporting Trump,” said an executive at a business think tank in Washington.
On the other hand, small business owners tend to support Trump. In a survey of 815 small businesses, 38 percent said they would support The Donald. This support is attributed to the fact that Trump isn’t a politician. “The fact that he is not a career politician, that he’s a businessman, as opposed to everyone else who is a politician, they believe he’s going to solve the economy,” said John Swanciger, CEO of Manta, the group that conducted the poll.
Hispanic groups oppose Trump’s position on immigration, of course. “We don’t agree with Donald Trump on his views over immigration,” said Javier Palomarez, who leads the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “His position is that we should mass deport immigrants is untenable, un-American, and not feasible.”
A new study has revealed that a portion of ground beef sold in the United States isn’t 100 percent beef, reported AllGov.com. Some of the product contains horse, which is illegal to sell for consumption in America.
Chapman University’s Food Science Program conducted a study using 48 meat samples from different local supermarkets and tested the DNA traces of each sample. Ten out of 48 meat samples were mislabeled, nine of which contained different species of animals. Two samples included horse meat.
Dawn Kane, graduate research assistant at Chapman University, said the mislabeling “appears to be due to either intentional mixing of lower-cost meat species into higher-cost products or unintentional mixing of meat species due to cross-contamination during processing.”
Such mixing of animal species seems to be more common than the general public is aware. Another similar study involving 54 game meat samples found that 10 of those samples were mislabeled. Two samples labeled as bison and one as yak were actually domestic cattle.