Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kidney Donor Fired From Her Job Just Weeks Before Surgery

A Phoenix woman, scheduled to donate a kidney next month, is now out of a job.Amy Donohue said she failed to meet sales goals, and was fired from her job at Gannett Local on Tuesday, just weeks before she was scheduled to donate a kidney.
“I just thought, ‘I can't believe this,’" said Donohue.Donohue decided in January to donate one of her kidneys to Anu Dwivedi.Dwivedi struggles with chronic kidney disease. She was recently placed on a transplant list -- and was told the wait could be six years. Her daughter, Kirti, decided she couldn’t sit and wait, so she started a Facebook page to raise awareness and try to find a donor.Donohue had met Kirti in person once, and the two kept in touch via Facebook and Twitter. It was through social media that Donohue learned about Dwivedi’s need for a kidney donor.Donohue said it was an easy decision to become a live donor.“She said, ‘I have two kidneys and you have one mom. Let’s do this,'” said Kirti Dwivedi, recalling the initial phone conversation that began the donation process. “It’s amazing. How do you say, 'Thank you?'”Kirti said she was shocked when she learned Donohue lost her job."Amy is donating a kidney to my mom and she lost her job because of spending time testing for it. It's really hard to understand how that could happen, and it's hard not to feel guilty or upset," said Kirti Dwivedi.Amy estimated she used about seven sick and personal days in the past couple of months to go through testing. She had held her job for approximately seven months."I take full responsibility. How can I not say I've been distracted? I've got a big thing going on in my life," said Donohue.She said while she does not want her job back, she wishes her company had handled her situation differently, considering the circumstances."Sometimes, accommodations need to be made for people when something huge is going on," said Donohue.Kirti said her mother's insurance is covering the costs for Amy's testing and surgery, so she does not believe that played a role in Amy's firing.CBS 5 News called and emailed Gannett Local on Wednesday afternoon, receiving only an automated response saying the request was being "routed to the appropriate department."Both women said job offers for Amy have started to come in. Donohue said she’s not sure what she’ll do next.The kidney donation is scheduled for mid-April. Amy says she has no regrets.

Read More From

U.S City Cuts Funding For Veterans Parade

BAY RIDGE (PIX11) -- Many of them paid the ultimate price for their service to our country, but now the City wants war veterans to cough up money for their own honorary parade.

Due to severe budget cuts, some local legislators are cutting the funding to the Annual Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade. "It's a shame really; we should remember the families and those lost. I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed," said Prisco DeAngelis, a Korean War Veteran who organizes the parade every year. De Angelis says they are short twenty thousand dollars.

The Parade, which travels down 3rd Avenue in Bay Ridge, is the longest running memorial parade in the nation, 144 years consecutively.

Read More from

Journalist Says "Kids Truly Are All Right"

(CNN) -- Stop anyone on the street who looks, say, older than 40, and ask whether teenagers are doing better or worse than a decade or two ago. Odds are she or he will say worse -- and be wrong.

Hollywood writer and director Lisa Cholodenko was correct: The kids are all right. In fact, according to a massive study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teenagers are doing better on a bunch of important measures, even as they've increased in number and diversity.

Every time I talk to parents, I am moved by how few know this. Or, if they've read about it, how they don't believe it. Peter Benson, president of the Search Institute, a youth development think tank, also runs into this skepticism.

"If we did a poll of American parents," he says, "and asked, 'How many times have you seen research about adolescent pregnancy showing that kids are being more responsible?' the vast majority would say, 'I've never seen that.' But if you ask them how many times they've seen stories about kids sexting pornography, they'll say, 'I see something on that every day.' "

Few measures of teen well-being are as remarkable as the decline in teenage girls getting pregnant and giving birth. According to a newly released study by the National Center for Health Statistics, 39 of every 1,000 girls ages 15-19 gave birth in 2009, a historic low. Experts attribute this in large part to the wider availability of information about, and access to, reliable contraception as well as a small decline in the proportion of teens having sex.

Other positive markers are found in the CDC's 2010 report. Since 1990:

• The proportion of high school students who smoke has declined, and so has the proportion of those who drink.

Few measures of teen well-being are as remarkable as the decline in teenage girls getting pregnant and giving birth.

• Fewer underage teenagers are driving. Fewer teenagers drive while drinking or ride with drivers who are drinking. More students report wearing seatbelts and significantly fewer are involved in fatal car crashes.

• Firearm-related deaths have declined. So has the percentage of high school students who fight or carry a weapon.

• The percent of high school students who have seriously considered suicide has declined. So has the proportion of suicides.

One serious problem, according to the CDC, is that more teens are getting fatter. A lot fatter. But aside from that, they appear to be taking better care of themselves than the generation that preceded them.

Read More from CNN

Christian Student Sues School After Being Suspended For Sharing Faith

A former student at a high school in Southern California recently filed a lawsuit against the school district after he had been suspended for sharing his faith.

About a year ago, Kenneth Dominguez, 16, was disciplined by Gateway East High School in San Diego County and was prevented from bringing his Bible to campus.

The lawsuit was filed after the Grossmont Union High School District refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing, according to Brad Dacus, president and founder of Pacific Justice Institute, which is representing Dominguez.

Dominguez is a new believer. He surrendered his life to the Lord during Christmas break in the 2009-2010 school year.

When he returned to school in January, he began to tell his peers about his Christian faith.

He was "on fire" and "excited about his faith," sharing "what happened to him and what God had done," Dacus explained to The Christian Post.

But his grace sharing period came to a halt when an administrator reprimanded him. The school official told Dominguez that he was not allowed to share his faith because of the "separation of church and state."

According to Dacus, Dominguez had not created any disruption when he was testifying about his faith to fellow students. He didn't shout or preach out loud and he limited his talk to lunch breaks and the hallways, and not the classroom.

Additionally, there has been no record of any student or anyone else complaining, Dacus noted.

After being warned by the administrator, Dominguez continued to discuss his faith and bring his Bible to school. He was then told that he could not bring his Bible to campus either. A two-day suspension soon followed.

Defending the student, attorney Michael J. Peffer, who heads PJI's Southern California office, contended, “No student should be forced to leave his faith and Bible at the gate when he enters school grounds. We are looking forward to this opportunity to vindicate Mr. Dominguez and protect students throughout California.”

The incident doesn't come as a surprise to PJI attorneys. Among the 4,000 requests for legal assistance received last year alone, Dacus said many of them dealt with public school religious freedom issues.

"Particularly in a state like California where the teachers union has such great control over what goes on in public schools, we see a lot of hostility and bigotry against Christian students, sometimes under the cloak of 'tolerance,'" he lamented.

Read More From Christian Post

Technology Changing The Way Christians Study The Bible

Posted on Mar 30, 2011 | by Michael Foust EDMOND, Okla. (BP)--When pastor Dennis Newkirk stands before his congregation at Henderson Hills Baptist Church in Edmond, Okla., to begin a sermon, he gives a nod to technology. While "open your Bibles" may have been sufficient a decade ago, Newkirk also encourages members to "open" their iPhones, iPads, smartphones and tablet computers.

When it comes to the Bible, there's plenty of "apps for that."

"At first when the iPhones and iPads came out, people were hesitant to bring those into church because people kind of looked at them like they were text messaging during the service," Jeff Wilson, communication and innovation pastor at Henderson Hills, told Baptist Press. "What [Newkirk] has done is he has legitimized what we're trying to do. It's given the people the freedom to be able to go through and open that and do that without having any type of negative connotations."

It's an acknowledgement that as technology changes, Christians also are changing the way they study the Bible. There are Christian apps on every smartphone platform, but among the two most popular platforms -- Android and iPhone's iOS -- there are literally hundreds of Bible and Christian-themed apps, helping believers with everything from Scripture memorization to lesson preparation to Bible study to witnessing. Many churches and Christian ministries have their own "apps." Some of the apps allow users to listen to or watch sermons. ("App" is short for "application" and is another word for a software program.)

The most popular Christian app, by far, is the YouVersion Bible app, developed by a multiple-site-campus church known as The free app -- downloaded more than 13 million times -- offers several translations and allows users easily to post verses directly onto Facebook and Twitter. Users can search for keywords or follow a suggested Bible reading plan. The app also allows churches to upload a pastor's sermon notes -- something that Henderson Hills Baptist is doing. That means Henderson Hills members who have the app can read the biblical text and the sermon notes, all on their smartphone or tablet computer. Users also can write their own notes on the app.

"We're encouraging that," Wilson said. "We are seeing more and more people who are doing it."

Ed Litton, pastor of First Baptist North Mobile (Ala.), has several Christian apps on his iPhone. A C.S. Lewis app gives him a daily quote from the famous author. A Scripture memorization app helps him commit verses to memory. Litton uses Olive Tree's free Bible app to read Scripture. He teaches a men's discipleship group by using either his iPad or iPhone.

Apps, Litton said, are helpful because they are handy, quick and easy to use.

"In between those moments of in-depth studying, if I am thinking about a text, one of my apps will help me while it's on my mind," Litton told BP. "That's been practically day to day how I have used them the most."

Litton also has downloaded apps from other churches.

"It helps me keep up with what they're doing," he said. "A lot of guys put their podcasts or their services on apps."

Read More From Baptist Press

Do You Give Your Tithe At Church With A Tax Deduction In Mind?

By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY

Do you donate more or less to your church knowing that it's tax deductible? If that income tax deduction went away, what then?

That's one of the concerns probed in a new survey of church giving. The third annual "State of the Plate" survey of 1,507 church pastors, staff and leaders tracks the impact of the economy on churches and church practices on financial integrity.

Among the findings:

  • Giving is up: 43% of churches saw increased giving in 2010, up from 36% in 2009
  • The decline has stabilized: 39% of churches said giving was down in 2010, 38% last year.
  • December offered a boost: Christmas-time generosity often puts church budgets over the top and most churches (64.6%) said that giving met or exceeded expectations.
  • Small churches -- those with under 250 in weekend attendance -- suffer more and these are where 80% of American churchgoers attend.

Matt Branaugh of Christianity Today International, one of three sponsors of the survey, ties giving to employment. Branaugh says:

As unemployment accelerated in 2008, we saw it in 2009 giving levels. Now unemployment has stabilized to some degree. I think that's helped.

Also influential, churches nationwide were coached this year in effective fund-raising and proper financial accounting practices. Church finance expert Brian Kluth and Dan Busby of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, co-sponsors of the survey, toured 13 cities talking about accountability and best practices.

The EFCA is leading a commission to look at changes in regulations for non-profit charities and churches -- and fretting about potential changes to tax laws. The survey asked about this with an alarming question:

If the charitable tax deduction were significantly reduced or eliminated, what impact do you feel this would have on the future giving at your church?

While nearly all (91%) said it would have an impact, only 30% thought it would be a significant impact.

Kluth acknowledges,

I don't think it's on the radar screen of a lot of churches. But reality is that it could affect our giving. If the tax deductibility went away, I think you'd see softer numbers in December although, from a spiritual perspective it should not matter."

But Dan Busby of the ECFA says 41% itemize their deductions and it's hard to imagine that cuts wouldn't dampen giving. At a press conference today, he told USA TODAY's Alicia McCarty,

Those who give even remotely generously are those that tend to itemize their deductions. Thus they are the ones that would be impacted... People don't give solely for tax reasons, but it does play a part.

Kluth concluded,

We need to encourage generosity not for the sake of the budget but for the faith journey.

THINK ABOUT IT: If you couldn't deduct your giving to church, would you still give? Would you give as much?

Read More From USA Today

National Movie Theater Chain Rejects Easter Ad From Church

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. — An Orange County church hoping to promote its upcoming Easter services through multi-screen advertising at local theaters had its ads pulled by the company because the content included the name of Jesus.

“We were told we could promote our Easter services with a commercial that featured the date, time and place with some fun bunnies and eggs thrown in,” Pastor Mike Fabarez, senior pastor, of Compass Bible Church in Aliso Viejo, Calif. “But for us, Easter isn’t about springtime fun, it’s the most important day in Christian history, and we won’t water that message down. It’s unfortunate that what our country was founded on has now become ‘too controversial.’”

Fabarez said he was told by officials with NCM Media Networks that the ad, which some viewers might find offensive, violated its content policy. Among the prohibited content were topics that included such things as nudity, political messaging and gambling. The pastor said he saw nothing on the list that mentioned religion or Christianity.

The 30-second ad was produced by the church and features short one-liners about what some conspiracy theorists believe may have happened to Jesus Christ some 2,000 years ago, and ends with “find out what we believe about the resurrection at Compass Bible Church.”

The church planned to spend $5,000 on the ad campaign, but their money was returned. The annual event, held at the Bren Center at the University of California, Irvine, draws more than 5,000 people.

Since being turned down by the movie media group, the church has posted the ad on You Tube, where it had generated more than 2,300 views in just five days.

Read More From Christian Examiner

Oil Prices Rise To &106.77 A Barrel In U.S

NEW YORK (AP) -- The price of oil rose to a 30-month high on Thursday as fighters loyal to Moammar Gadhafi pushed back rebels from key areas in eastern Libya.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude rose $2 to $106.27 a barrel in midday trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. At one point it hit $106.77, the highest it's been since September, 2008. In London, Brent crude rose $2.03 to $116.98 per barrel.

Battles between Gadhafi's troops and rebels have seesawed back and forth in Libyan ports and towns since mid-February, with the price of oil rising more than $20 a barrel since then. Energy consultants Cameron Hanover said traders are beginning to view the Libya uprising as a standoff for now. 'Without control of the air, Gadhafi's troops have been unable to hammer home their gains. And, without strong and well-trained ground forces, the rebels seem incapable of holding onto their gains. Optimism that Libyan oil might return to the market, seen earlier this week, was dashed."

Libya's oil exports, which went mainly to Europe, are shut down. The rebels have said they plan to start shipping oil again, although how soon that could happen is unclear. Libya exported only about 1.6 million barrels of oil a day, or 2 percent of global consumption, but energy traders worry that unrest will spread across the region to disrupt shipments from OPEC countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran. The Saudis are the biggest oil producers in the world, supplying about 8.4 million barrels a day. Iran produces more than 4 million barrels a day. Anti-government protests in those countries so far have been limited, although unrest continues in Syria, Bahrain and Yemen.

Meanwhile the Saudis are making good on a promise to make up for the deficit of Libyan oil. "Saudi Arabia is beginning to supply European oil companies with crude oil to help alleviate the shortfall from Libya," said Addison Armstrong, senior director of market research at Tradition Energy. "Saudi Arabian Oil Co. has sold three shipments of light, sweet crude for March and April delivery: two to Austrian oil company OMV AG and one to BP."

Gas pump prices continue to rise along with the price of oil. The national average in the U.S. on Thursday hit $3.606 for a gallon of regular, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. That's 23 cents higher than a month ago and 81 cents above a year ago.

Read More From Associated Press

Japan: 1,000 bodies Untouched Near Troubled Nuclear Plant

TOKYO, March 31, Kyodo

Radiation fears have prevented authorities from collecting as many as 1,000 bodies of victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami from within the 20-kilometer-radius evacuation zone around the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, police sources said Thursday.

One of the sources said bodies had been ''exposed to high levels of radiation after death.'' The view was supported by the detection Sunday of elevated levels of radiation on a body found in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, about 5 km from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

The authorities are now considering how to collect the bodies, given fears that police officers, doctors and bereaved families may be exposed to radiation in retrieving the radiation-exposed bodies or at morgues, according to the sources.

They initially planned to inspect the bodies after transporting them outside the evacuation zone, but the plan is being reconsidered due to the concerns over exposure.

Local residents have been forced to leave the zone since the current nuclear crisis began unfolding at the Tokyo Electric Power Co. plant, which is leaking radioactive materials as its cooling systems for its reactors and nuclear spent-fuel pools have been knocked out by the disaster.

Even after the bodies are handed over to the victims' families, cremating them could spread plumes containing radioactive materials, while burying the victims could contaminate the soil around them, according to the sources.

The authorities are considering decontaminating and inspecting the bodies where they are found. But the sources said that cleansing decomposing bodies could damage them further.

Victims can be identified through DNA analysis of nail samples, but even then considerable time and effort must be taken to decontaminate the samples, according to experts.

Read More From Kyodo News

Ancient Lead Codices May Have Clues To Last Days Of Jesus' Life

British archaeologists are seeking to authenticate what could be a landmark discovery in the documentation of early Christianity: a trove of 70 lead codices that appear to date from the 1st century CE, which may include key clues to the last days of Jesus' life. As UK Daily Mail reporter Fiona Macrae writes, some researchers are suggesting this could be the most significant find in Christian archeology since the Dead Sea scrolls in 1947.

The codices turned up five years ago in a remote cave in eastern Jordan—a region where early Christian believers may have fled after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE. The codices are made up of wirebound individual pages, each roughly the size of a credit card. They contain a number of images and textual allusions to the Messiah, as well as some possible references to the crucifixion and resurrection. Some of the codices were sealed, prompting yet more breathless speculation that they could include the sealed book, shown only to the Messiah, mentioned in the Book of Revelation. One of the few sentences translated thus far from the texts, according to the BBC, reads, "I shall walk uprightly"--a phrase that also appears in Revelation. "While it could be simply a sentiment common in Judaism," BBC writer Robert Pigott notes, "it could here be designed to refer to the resurrection."

But the field of biblical archaeology is also prey to plenty of hoaxes and enterprising fraudsters, so investigators are proceeding with due empirical caution. Initial metallurgical research indicates that the codices are about 2,000 years old--based on the manner of corrosion they have undergone, which, as Macrae writes, "experts believe would be impossible to achieve artificially."

Beyond the initial dating tests, however, little is confirmed about the codices or what they contain. And the saga of their discovery has already touched off a battle over ownership rights between Israel and Jordan. As the BBC's Pigott recounts, the cache surfaced when a Jordanian Bedouin saw a menorah—the Jewish religious candleabra—exposed in the wake of a flash flood. But the codices somehow passed into the ownership of an Israeli Bedouin named Hassam Saeda, who claims that they have been in his family's possession for the past 100 years. The Jordanian government has pledged to "exert all efforts at every level" to get the potentially priceless relics returned, Pigott reports.

Meanwhile, biblical scholars who have examined the codices point to significant textual evidence suggesting their early Christian origin. Philip Davies, emeritus professor of Old Testament Studies at Sheffield University, told Pigott he was "dumbstruck" at the sight of plates representing a picture map of ancient Jerusalem. "There is a cross in the foreground, and behind it is what has to be the tomb [of Jesus], a small building with an opening, and behind Linkthat the walls of the city," Davies explained. "There are walls depicted on other pages of these books, too, and they almost certainly refer to Jerusalem."

David Elkington, an ancient religion scholar who heads the British research team investigating the find, has likewise pronounced this nothing less than "the major discovery of Christian history." Elkington told the Daily Mail that "it is a breathtaking thought that we have held these objects that might have been held by the early saints of the Church."

Read More From Yahoo News

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

When Mosques' Are Destroyed President Obama Reacts But When Christian Churches Are Attacked He Is Silent

Posted GMT 3-30-2011
By Robert Morrison
American Thinker

The President finally addressed the nation and the world nearly two weeks after initiating military action against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Boiling down his speech, he claimed a moral imperative to intervene with force because Gaddafi had killed innocent civilians and destroyed mosques in his struggle to hang on to power.

"Mosques destroyed," the president said, supported his argument for air strikes. Churches are being destroyed daily in the Muslim world, but the U.S. does not intervene. Take Iraq, for example. We have sacrificed thousands of our soldiers' lives and billions in treasure in an effort to bring freedom to this war-torn country.

But the Christians there are daily being murdered and their churches bombed. As a senator, Barack Obama had no interest in preventing Saddam Hussein from filling mass graves. He vocally opposed our going into Iraq. That was then.

In Pakistan, the only Christian cabinet member was assassinated and a Muslim governor who sought to protect a Christian woman from death was also gunned down, reputedly by his own security guard. Christians in Pakistan face escalating persecution. Their churches are attacked and anyone who converts from Islam to Christianity is killed.

Yet, we support Pakistan as a partner in the global war on terror. Whether Pakistan supports us is another question. Why have we been fighting in neighboring Afghanistan for ten years against the plotters of 9/11? It's widely believed that Osama bin Laden is somewhere in the wild border regions between the two countries, quite possibly on the Pakistan side. Could Pakistan be playing a double game?

President Obama is unmoved by the plight of Christians in the Sudan. There, a twenty-year civil war has been going on with an Islamist government in Khartoum starving some five million Christians and followers of traditional African religion. This cruel oppression has led the South Sudanese to vote overwhelmingly to break away.

Human Rights lawyer Bill Saunders of Americans United for Life was in the Sudan at Christmas several years ago. He and his fellow worshipers took refuge in the woods as aircraft from the Khartoum Islamist regime came overhead to bomb their church. That was on Christmas day. (Don't we often hear how U.S. military initiatives must be delayed for Ramadan? It seems those holiday truces only work one way.)

No one suggested then or later that the United States should deploy military force in the Sudan to stop this ethnic cleansing of Christians, even though some mosques were also destroyed.

It is surely laudable for the U.S. to stand against massacres. Now, however, it seems that the leader of the Libyan rebels is one who fought against the U.S. in Afghanistan. Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi was taken prisoner in Pakistan. He also recruited two dozen jihadis to fight the Americans in Iraq.

Does it make sense for American taxpayers to give aid to Libyan rebels without first understanding who they are? Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) has said that what we are doing in Libya is "what the Arab world wants us to do." Really? There's every indication that the Arab world would prefer that we bomb Tel Aviv.

Should we be supporting people who have Americans' blood on their hands? Intelligence estimates tell us that nearly one in five of the jihadis we fought against in Iraq came from Libya.

President Obama's speech to the nation raised as many questions as it answered. Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs were not consulted, but the Arab League was. So was the UN. This is the same UN that applauded Gaddafi's wild rants in New York just last fall. It is the same body that elected Libya to its Human Rights Council.

Mr. Obama says that Gaddafi is on "the wrong side of history." It's interesting that the president knows where history is going in the Mideast. For the past 1400 years, there has been no democracy anywhere in the Mideast -- except in Israel. And Mr. Obama's policies seem to be aiding and abetting those who have shown the bitterest hatred of Israel.

Read More From The Assyrian International News Agency

Police Find Homeless Teens Living In High School

Published : Tuesday, 29 Mar 2011, 8:35 PM CDT

Reporter: Kristin Crowley

MANITOWOC - At the end of Lincoln High's school day on Friday, March 18, when most students were heading home, Manitowoc police say two male teens instead set up camp.

“The kids admitted that they stayed in the school Friday night after school had let out. While in the school, the kids were able to go into a janitor’s office and they took the set of janitor’s keys,” said Manitowoc Police Capt. Jason Freiboth.

Keys that, Freiboth says, gave the teens access throughout the school.

“Allegedly they broke into several lockers, stealing personal property from other individuals,” said Freiboth. “The kids also broke into the cafeteria where they took various food items and drinks.”

Freiboth says the two teenagers were sleeping inside a boiler room at the high school. He says when police questioned them, they told officials they were homeless.

“In my career we’ve never seen anybody actually breaking into the school essentially trying to find a place to live,“ said Freiboth.

Freiboth says the teens chose not to go home, and were never reported as missing. But police were looking for them because they believe the teens had stolen from two area stores.

Freiboth says police got a tip that the two may be staying at the high school, and that's where authorities found them.

“The kids admitted to their involvement in retail theft and were taken into custody at that point,” said Freiboth.

School officials did not have any comment on the matter; however, they may take action at a later time.

Since March 21, officials say the teens have been in jail. Because it is not clear where the charges stand, FOX 11 is not naming the teens.

Read More From Fox

New Video Games Promotes Violence Against Women

Kidnapping women and slapping them too-- is it okay if it's in a video game made for adults? A Plano company is in the hot seat as their upcoming release gains national attention for what some say is sexism. Video game enthusiasts have been waiting 12 years for a new Duke Nukem video game to hit the market. One is due in just a couple months and some of the content is already raising questions.

It's only the trailer she's watching, but still Jana Barker can't believe her eyes. She says the images she's seeing only help perpetuate a culture of violence against women.

Read More From

Parents Outraged Over School Quiz On Illegal Immigrants

Mexican Drug Cartels Recruiting U.S Teens

Two-Thirds Of Oil And Gas Leases In Gulf Inactive As Oil Prices Continue To Rise

WASHINGTON – An Interior Department report to be released Tuesday says more than two-thirds of offshore oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico are sitting idle.

According to the report, obtained by The Associated Press, those inactive swaths of the Gulf could potentially hold more than 11 billion barrels of oil and 50 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The report also shows that 45 percent of all onshore oil and gas leases are inactive.

President Barack Obama ordered the Interior Department review earlier this month amid pressure to curb rising gas prices. The White House says Obama will address his plans for the country's energy security during a speech in Washington Wednesday.

Read More From Associated Press/Yahoo News

U.S Government Shut Down Increaslingly Likely

WASHINGTON, March 29 (UPI) -- U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Tuesday "time is up" on the budget battle, indicating a government shutdown April 8 is increasingly likely.

Cantor ruled out further stopgap funding measures through additional continuing resolutions.

"I want to see a long-term CR here," The Hill quoted him as saying. "We've got bigger things to deal with. Time is up here."

Without further continuing resolutions, Congress has 10 days to come up with a deal that would fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September.

"We need to see [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid and [Sen.] Chuck Schumer get serious," Cantor told reporters in his Capitol suite. "We need to see the president get involved."

House Speak John Boehner has been equally vocal in criticizing inaction from Democrats. "At no point in the 34 days since the House acted have the Democrats who run the Senate and the White House put forward a credible, long-term plan to resolve their budget mess," Boehner said in statement last week.

The House passed a bill Feb. 19 that would cut more than $60 billion in government spending, but the Senate has yet to act on either the House bill or an alternative from Democrats, who appear bent on driving a wedge between the GOP leadership and the Tea Party caucus.

"I am extremely disappointed that after weeks of productive negotiations with Speaker Boehner, Tea Party Republicans are scrapping all the progress we have made and threatening to shut down the government if they do not get all of their extreme demands," Reid said in a statement Monday, urging "mainstream Republicans" to "stand up to the Tea Party and rejoin Democrats at the table to negotiate a responsible solution."

Ohio: Woman Murdered By Abusive Husband And His Parents

Logan police say the body of Summer Inman was found Tuesday, hidden in an underground septic tank behind a small rural church.

Investigators located 25-year-old Summer's body just off U.S. 33 at about 8:15 p.m., according to Logan police.

The body was found intact and hidden in the septic system behind a small church less than a mile from the Hocking County line.

Logan police Chief Aaron Miller said the Hocking County coroner later would release the cause of death but it appears Summer was killed quickly after she was abducted Tuesday, March 22.

PHOTO TIME LINE: Disappearance of Summer Inman

Tarps, police vehicles and fire trucks surrounded the scene near Wayne National Forest overnight Wednesday as agents, officers and deputies combed the area for evidence.

Police said Summer's state ID was found with her body.

The Hocking County prosecutor said authorities negotiated with one of the three suspects in the kidnapping to obtain the location of Summer's body.

Police said 46-year-old Sandra Inman asked to speak with her attorney Monday and then provided her attorney with information on the location of Summer's body.

Sandra, her son 26-year-old William A. Inman Jr. and her husband 47-year-old William A. Inman Sr. were arrested on kidnapping charges on the evening of Thursday, March 24, in Jackson County.

The younger Inman is Summer's estranged husband. The elder Inman and Sandra are Summer's father-in-law and mother-in-law.

Eyewitness accounts indicated two males forced Summer into a vehicle outside Century National Bank in the area of Hunter and Market streets in Logan at about 11 p.m. Tuesday, March 22.

Police said they were not sure for how long or whether the abduction was pre-planned.

According to police, the younger Inman told authorities Wednesday, March 23, that he was in the Cleveland area with his parents at the time of Summer's kidnapping.

Investigators said they determined his alibi was false and a search warrant was executed. Police said significant evidence was found during the search and led to the arrest warrants.

Miller said evidence indicated all three suspects participated in the abduction, but he could not say if all three participated in the murder.

Police said the Inmans, excluding Summer, might have been members of the church where the body was found.

Details were released Monday, March 28, and Tuesday, March 29, about the alleged actions of the Inmans the morning after Summer's abduction.

Logan police said the trio first stopped at a car wash south of Cleveland and that surveillance footage shows the Inmans cleaning the interior and making changes to the appearance of their vehicle.

Investigators said the Inmans may have stopped at two separate car washes in the McConnelsville area prior to their arrival at the Cleveland-area car wash.

Police said three people believed to be the suspects also stopped at an auto shop in Cleveland between 10 and 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 23.

Police said the elder Inman sold the tires that were on the vehicle, bought new tires and switched them on site before leaving.

Summer filed for a divorce from the younger Inman in June 2010. According to the divorce filing, the younger Inman threatened to kill her if she were to leave with the children. Summer also said in the complaint her husband would hide her car keys and cell phone and hold her captive inside their home.

The younger Inman and his parents were transported to Southeastern Regional Jail and booked Friday. They are being held without bond.

The suspects are scheduled to be arraigned at 1 p.m. Wednesday in Hocking County common pleas court.

The prosecutor said additional charges may not be filed until the grand jury convenes in late April.

Read More From


JMC Ministries Response

Written By: Miranda Caverley

From the day that Summer went missing in Logan Ohio we have been watching and praying that she would be found safe. But today we find out just how inhuman these people who were her husband and in-laws really were. They killed this poor woman for wanting a better life for herself and her children. A life away from the abuse, fear, and torment that they put her through. A life where her children would not be exposed to the horrors of domestic violence.

So because Summer wanted this new life away from her abuser, her husband and in-laws kidnapped her and murdered her, and then threw her body in a septic tank behind a church! For them to throw her into a tank of human feces clearly shows just how they viewed her as a human being. She was just a pile of human feces to them and so that is where they put her.

Domestic Violence is so rampid in our area of Ohio. I myself am a victim of domestic violence, what these people did to Summer is what my Ex-husband threatened to do to me. His very words 10 years ago were, "if you try to leave I will kill you and bury you body in Hocking Hills and no one will find you" Hocking hills is in Hocking County where Summer was abducted. So reading her story was like reading my own in a way. Only my story had a different outcome. I did get away and my Ex husband did not kill me and only by the Grace of God am I alive today.

Many times today I have asked God, "why would you save me and not her (Summer)?" My mind cannot fathom why God saves one and not the other, but God is God and I am not. And I must lean on his all knowing Wisdom that he will use this woman's death for Good and Evil will be destroyed through the death of this innocent woman.

For every woman and man that is murdered by her/his abuser, remember there are hundreds still living in the bondage of abuse and have not yet been set free. We must pray for these women, men and children who suffer daily at the hands of their abusers that God will deliver them from their bondage, and bring them out of the prison they have been placed in.

If you are a victim of domestic violence and need help go to

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Califonia Bill That Forces Schools To Re-Write Text Books To Encourage (LGBT) Lifestyles Passes

Becky Yeh - OneNewsNow California correspondent
3/29/2011 4:10:00 AM
California bill mandating that public school textbooks be re-written to encourage "gay," lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) lifestyles passed the Senate Committee on Education Wednesday.

Senate Bill 48, proposed by openly homosexual senator Mark Leno of San Francisco, passed the committee in a 6-3-1 vote. The bill would require that teachers and textbooks present alternate lifestyles in a positive light, with instruction in subjects such as history, psychology, political science, and communication in public school classrooms. The ten-member committee, comprised mainly of Democrats, unanimously favored the bill, backed by Equality California and the Gay Straight Alliance Network.

Randy Thomasson, president of, contends S.B. 48 forces children of all ages to admire LGBT figures as role models.

"This shows that you cannot trust the Democrat legislators, the homosexual agenda people at all, and you cannot trust the teachers unions -- the California Teachers Association [and] the California Federation of Teachers boldly and brashly supported this bill in committee," he charges. "They want children in the classrooms statewide to be taught that they can be homosexual or bisexual or transsexual -- or they ought to be -- and that they'll enjoy it."

The pro-family activist urges Californians to contact their elected officials in Sacramento with instructions to oppose the anti-family legislation.

Read More From One News Now

Iranian Govt. Believes Islamic Messiah Will Soon Appear

New evidence has emerged that the Iranian government sees the current unrest in the Middle East as a signal that the Mahdi--or Islamic messiah--is about to appear.

CBN News has obtained a never-before-seen video produced by the Iranian regime that says all the signs are moving into place -- and that Iran will soon help usher in the end times.

While the revolutionary movements gripping the Middle East have created uncertainty throughout the region, the video shows that the Iranian regime believes the chaos is divine proof that their ultimate victory is at hand.

'The Coming is Near'

The propaganda footage has reportedly been approved at the highest levels of the Iranian government.

It's called The Coming is Near and it describes current events in the Middle East as a prelude to the arrival of the mythical tweflth Imam or Mahdi -- the messiah figure who Islamic scriptures say will lead the armies of Islam to victory over all non-Muslims in the last days.

"This video has been produced by a group called the Conductors of the Coming, in connection with the Basiji -- the Iranian paramilitary force, and in collaboration with the Iranian president's office," said Reza Kahlil, a former member of Iran's Revolutionary Guards who shared the video with CBN News.

Kahlili, author of the book, A Time to Betray, worked as a double agent for the CIA inside the Iranian regime.

"Just a few weeks ago, Ahmadenijad's office screened this movie with much excitement for the clerics," Kahlili told CBN News. "The target audience is Muslims in the Middle East and around the world."

To watch the video in its entirety, visit Kahlili's website.

he video claims that Iran is destined to rise as a great power in the last days to help defeat America and Israel and usher in the return of the Mahdi. And it makes clear the Iranians believe that time is fast approaching.

"The Hadith have clearly described the events and the various transformations of countries in the Middle East and also that of Iran in the age of the coming," said a narrator, who went on to say that America's invasion of Iraq was foretold by Islamic scripture--and that the Mahdi will one day soon rule the world from Iraq.

Other 'Prophetic' Signs

The ongoing upheavals in other Middle Eastern countries like Yemen and Egypt--including the rise of the Muslim Brotherood -- are also analyzed as prophetic signs that the Mahdi is near -- so is the current poor health of the king of Saudi Arabia, an Iranian rival.

"Isn't the presence of Abdullah, his illness, and his uncertain condition, great news for those anxious for the coming?" asks the narrator.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khameini, and Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Iran's terrorist proxy Hezbollah, are hailed as pivotal end times players, whose rise was predicted in Islamic scriptures.

The same goes for Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad, who the video says will conquer Jerusalem prior to the Mahdi's coming.

"I think it's a very grave development," Mideast expert Joel Rosenberg, author of The Twelfth Imam, told CBN News, "because it gives you a window into the thinking of the Iranian leadership: that they believe the time for war with Israel may be even sooner than others had imagined."

Kahlili says The Coming is Near will soon be distributed by the Iranian regime throughout the Middle East. He explained that their goal is to instigate further uprisings in Arab countries.

Read More From Christian Broadcasting Network

Japan On Maximum Alert Over Crippled Nuclear Plant

Japan said on Tuesday it is on "maximum alert" over a crippled nuclear plant where highly radioactive water has halted repair work and plutonium has been found in the soil.

The earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan's northeast coast and left about 28,000 dead or missing also knocked out reactor cooling systems at the Fukushima plant, which has leaked radiation into the air and sea.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan conceded the situation at the coastal atomic power station remained "unpredictable" and pledged his government would "tackle the problem while in a state of maximum alert".

In a stop-gap measure to contain the crisis at the plant, crews have poured thousands of tons of water onto reactors where fuel rods are thought to have partially melted, and topped up pools for spent fuel rods.

But the run-off of the operation has accumulated in the basements of turbine rooms connected to three reactors and filled up tunnels, making it too risky for workers to go near to repair cooling systems needed to stabilise the plant.

One tunnel alone holds 6,000 cubic metres (212,000 cubic feet) of contaminated water, more than two Olympic swimming pools. Still, the only choice for now is to keep pumping water, said government spokesman Yukio Edano.

"Continuing the cooling is unavoidable... We need to prioritise injecting water," Edano told reporters.

If the rods are fully exposed to the air, they would rapidly heat up, melt down and spew out far greater plumes of radiation at the site, located about 250 kilometres (155 miles) northeast of Tokyo, nuclear experts fear.

Workers have piled sandbags and concrete blocks around the tunnel shafts to contain the water, the nuclear regulatory body said. They have now also restored light in the control rooms of reactors one to four.

The water out of reactor two has measured 1,000 millisieverts per hour -- four times the recently-hiked total exposure limit for emergency staff, and a level that can cause radiation sickness with nausea and vomiting in an hour.

Adding to the nuclear fears, embattled operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said plutonium had been detected in soil samples that were taken a week ago at five spots in the plant.

Nuclear safety agency spokesman Hidehiko Nishiyama said the plutonium data suggested "certain damage to fuel rods", Kyodo News reported.

The US environmental protection agency says internal exposure to plutonium "is an extremely serious health hazard" as it stays in the body for decades, exposing organs and tissue to radiation and increasing the risk of cancer.

Read More From Breitbart

EU Wants To Ban All Cars From All European Cities By 2050

Cars will be banned from London and all other cities across Europe under a draconian EU master plan to cut CO2 emissions by 60 per cent over the next 40 years.

4:16PM BST 28 Mar 2011

The European Commission on Monday unveiled a "single European transport area" aimed at enforcing "a profound shift in transport patterns for passengers" by 2050.

The plan also envisages an end to cheap holiday flights from Britain to southern Europe with a target that over 50 per cent of all journeys above 186 miles should be by rail.

Top of the EU's list to cut climate change emissions is a target of "zero" for the number of petrol and diesel-driven cars and lorries in the EU's future cities.

Siim Kallas, the EU transport commission, insisted that Brussels directives and new taxation of fuel would be used to force people out of their cars and onto "alternative" means of transport.

"That means no more conventionally fueled cars in our city cent-res," he said. "Action will follow, legislation, real action to change behavior."

The Association of British Drivers rejected the proposal to ban cars as economically disastrous and as a "crazy" restriction on mobility.

"I suggest that he goes and finds himself a space in the local mental asylum," said Hugh Bladon, a spokesman for the BDA.

"If he wants to bring everywhere to a grinding halt and to plunge us into a new dark age, he is on the right track. We have to keep things moving. The man is off his rocker."

Mr Kallas has denied that the EU plan to cut car use by half over the next 20 years, before a total ban in 2050, will limit personal mobility or reduce Europe's economic competitiveness.

"Curbing mobility is not an option, neither is business as usual. We can break the transport system's dependence on oil without sacrificing its efficiency and compromising mobility. It can be win-win," he claimed.

Christopher Monckton, Ukip's transport spokesman said: "The EU must be living in an alternate reality, where they can spend trillions and ban people from their cars.

"This sort of greenwashing grandstanding adds nothing and merely highlights their grandiose ambitions."

Read More From The Telegraph

Designer Gives Gown To Homeless Beauty Queen

A Burr Ridge fashion designer met with a Miss USA pageant contestant Tuesday to help her select an evening gown. What makes the story unique, however, is that the contestant -- Miss Colorado -- is homeless, and the designer is making the gown for free.

Blair Griffith's, 23, heartache was turning into joy that could be seen in her face and in the way she walked Tuesday.

Read More From ABC

Arkansas Man Invents Device To Bleep Out Bad Language On TV

A University of Arkansas graduate from Rogers has invented a device that is helping to clean up some of the language on TV.

It’s called TVGuardian, and it reads closed captioning on TV shows and movies then mutes certain language replacing it with a profanity free version. It was invented more than a year ago by Rick Bray.

“We were on vacation, sat down to watch ET and ET had some language in it we had forgotten about, we had nieces there too it was quite a surprise,” said Bray.

It led Bray to invent and paten the new device. He said even family shows and movies like the Blind Side contains some questionable language. TVGuardian allows families to enjoy the programming without having to worry about certain words and phrases.

“You might see something like move your tail pop up instead of what was actually there,” said Bray.

There are also all sorts of settings to meet your family’s needs. The device costs $130 dollars for a standard TV and $180 for HD TV. Bray said the last few years have been tough. Due to the digital conversion some of their parts were obsolete and they had to go off the market, but now the business is back on track.

“We’re selling thousands each month,” said Bray.

According to the Parents Television Council TV profanity has increased 69 percent since 2005. Bray said parents need help monitoring what their child is watching and he’s glad to provide it.

“Standards keep on loosening, the only control parents have on what comes through TV is through technology,” said Bray.

TVGuardian can only be purchase online at

Read More From 5 News Online

Weighing In On President Obama's Speech About America's Roll In Lybia

Disney Animator Says "Gay" Characters Only A Matter Of Time

By Bob Unruh
World Net Daily

It's only a matter of time and circumstance before Disney movies feature homosexual characters or "families," according to one of the company's animators.

In a little-noticed story by the Australian news website, animator Andreas Deja, who reported working on the Disney films "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin" and "The Lion King," said the company is open to the concept of homosexual entertainment.

"Is there ever going to be a family that has two dads or two mums? Time will tell," he said. "I think once they find the right kind of story with that kind of concept, they will do it.

"It has to be the right kind of story and you have to find that first," said Deja, according to

Disney, which already allows various "gay days" and other such events at its theme parks, is a "gay-friendly" company, Deja said. The report cited "Lion King" contributor Elton John as well as the late Howard Ashman, who worked on the lyrics to "The Little Mermaid."

Deja said that the Disney characters already come from a wide range of backgrounds – such as Cinderella's step-family, Aladdin's street life and Bambi's motherless childhood.

He tried to be reassuring, however, in saying, "We won't all of a sudden make R-rated films."

At the ATV website, commentator Ian Westhead suggested, "Conservative America may not quite be ready for gay characters or gay families cropping up in Disney films though."

In a report on Deja's interview, The Christian Institute news website in the United Kingdom noted the influence of homosexual characters and themes in movies and television.

Earlier this year, a homosexual producer of Britain's most popular soap opera, "Coronation Street," admitted he used the show to promote homosexual issues.

In an interview with the London Sun, Phil Collinson called his show "an amazing platform" that really makes "a difference to the way people think."

"What's transmitted on Monday night people talk about in pubs, clubs and at work the next day," Collinson told the London paper..

"You can really make a difference to the way people think – and this show has always had a gay sensibility."

However, in a review of one Disney's latest films, "Mars Needs Moms," WND columnist Drew Zahn found a refreshing emphasis on the fact that children need their parents – a mother and a father.

He wrote, "In the 'Martian' culture, the aliens eventually discover, the upbringing of a child requires both discipline and love, both order and affection, and upon the Red Planet, the traits of both mothers and fathers are needed to fulfill the Creator's intent as well."

Facebook Shuts Down Uprising Against Israel Page After Protests

JERUSALEM – A Facebook page calling on Palestinians to take up arms against Israel has been removed from the social-networking site after a high-profile Israeli appeal.

Entitled "Third Palestinian Intifada," the page had more than 350,000 fans before it was taken down. Facebook didn't comment the removal on Tuesday.

Israeli Cabinet Minister Yuli Edelstein said in a letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg that the page included calls to kill Jews and for "liberating" Jerusalem through violence.

It urged Palestinians to take to the streets after Friday prayers on May 15 and begin an uprising. It read: "Judgment Day will be brought upon us only once the Muslims have killed all of the Jews."

Edelstein said the page incites to violence and violates Facebook content regulations.

Read More From Associated Press/Yahoo News

A Glimpse Into The Future: It's 2026 And America's Debt Is Due

New York Times

The following is a presidential

address to the nation — to be

delivered in March 2026.

MY fellow Americans, I come to you today with a heavy heart. We have a crisis on our hands. It is one of our own making. And it is one that leaves us with no good choices.

For many years, our nation’s government has lived beyond its means. We have promised ourselves both low taxes and a generous social safety net. But we have not faced the hard reality of budget arithmetic.

The seeds of this crisis were planted long ago, by previous generations. Our parents and grandparents had noble aims. They saw poverty among the elderly and created Social Security. They saw sickness and created Medicare and Medicaid. They saw Americans struggle to afford health insurance and embraced health care reform with subsidies for middle-class families.

But this expansion in government did not come cheap. Government spending has taken up an increasing share of our national income.

Today, most of the large baby-boom generation is retired. They are no longer working and paying taxes, but they are eligible for the many government benefits we offer the elderly.

Our efforts to control health care costs have failed. We must now acknowledge that rising costs are driven largely by technological advances in saving lives. These advances are welcome, but they are expensive nonetheless.

If we had chosen to tax ourselves to pay for this spending, our current problems could have been avoided. But no one likes paying taxes. Taxes not only take money out of our pockets, but they also distort incentives and reduce economic growth. So, instead, we borrowed increasing amounts to pay for these programs.

Yet debt does not avoid hard choices. It only delays them. After last week’s events in the bond market, it is clear that further delay is no longer possible. The day of reckoning is here.

This morning, the Treasury Department released a detailed report about the nature of the problem. To put it most simply, the bond market no longer trusts us.

For years, the United States government borrowed on good terms. Investors both at home and abroad were confident that we would honor our debts. They were sure that when the time came, we would do the right thing and bring spending and taxes into line.

But over the last several years, as the ratio of our debt to gross domestic product reached ever-higher levels, investors started getting nervous. They demanded higher interest rates to compensate for the perceived risk. Higher interest rates increased the cost of servicing our debt, adding to the upward pressure on spending. We found ourselves in a vicious circle of rising budget deficits and falling investor confidence.

As economists often remind us, crises take longer to arrive than you think, but then they happen much faster than you could have imagined. Last week, when the Treasury tried to auction its most recent issue of government bonds, almost no one was buying. The private market will lend us no more. Our national credit card has been rejected.

So where do we go from here?

Yesterday, I returned from a meeting at the International Monetary Fund in its new headquarters in Beijing. I am pleased to report some good news. I have managed to secure from the I.M.F. a temporary line of credit to help us through this crisis.

This loan comes with some conditions. As your president, I have to be frank: I don’t like them, and neither will you. But, under the circumstances, accepting these conditions is our only choice.

We have to cut Social Security immediately, especially for higher-income beneficiaries. Social Security will still keep the elderly out of poverty, but just barely.

We have to limit Medicare and Medicaid. These programs will still provide basic health care, but they will no longer cover many expensive treatments. Individuals will have to pay for these treatments on their own or, sadly, do without.

We have to cut health insurance subsidies to middle-income families. Health insurance will be less a right of citizenship and more a personal responsibility.

We have to eliminate inessential government functions, like subsidies for farming, ethanol production, public broadcasting, energy conservation and trade promotion.

We will raise taxes on all but the poorest Americans. We will do this primarily by broadening the tax base, eliminating deductions for mortgage interest and state and local taxes. Employer-provided health insurance will hereafter be taxable compensation.

We will increase the gasoline tax by $2 a gallon. This will not only increase revenue, but will also address various social ills, from global climate change to local traffic congestion.

AS I have said, these changes are repellant to me. When you elected me, I promised to preserve the social safety net. I assured you that the budget deficit could be fixed by eliminating waste, fraud and abuse, and by increasing taxes on only the richest Americans. But now we have little choice in the matter.

If only we had faced up to this problem a generation ago. The choices then would not have been easy, but they would have been less draconian than the sudden, nonnegotiable demands we now face. Americans would have come to rely less on government and more on themselves, and so would be better prepared today.

What I wouldn’t give for a chance to go back and change the past. But what is done is done. Americans have faced hardship and adversity before, and we have triumphed. Working together, we can make the sacrifices it takes so our children and grandchildren will enjoy a more prosperous future.

N. Gregory Mankiw is a professor of economics at Harvard.

Read More From The New York Times

Monday, March 28, 2011

New York State Plans To Cut All Funds That Support The Homeless Youth in New York

via Huffington Post

Parents, we tuck our children in safely each night, giving them a kiss on their forehead, saying "sweet dreams" and telling them how much we love them. Some of us do this each night and rarely think of children without a parent, without a kiss, or without a place to sleep. However, the grim reality is that there are millions of homeless American children. On April 1 Governor Cuomo plans to cut all funding for programs in New York State working to house and support homeless children and youth, potentially sending thousands of children back onto the streets. We want the people of New York State to stop Governor Cuomo from cutting funds that house, support, and advocate for our homeless children and youth.

The United States has over 1.5 million homeless children, some studies suggest up to as many as 2.8 million. According to The National Center on Family Homelessness, New York State is currently ranked the 12th worst state in the nation with over 45,000 homeless youth, over 18,000 of those under the age of 6. The state is plagued with inadequate policy and planning efforts as it relates to child homelessness. While Cuomo intends to cut the funding going to these organizations there is a major need to increase it. Not only is it un-American, but it's inhumane to sit back and watch these children be thrown back onto the streets with little to no support. It is critical to act now, every voice matters.

New York State has funded programs through the Runaway Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) since 1978. Funding has provided youth shelters, outreach, crisis intervention, case management, basic needs such as food and clothing and many other services for homeless youth across the state.

In 2007, the state was supporting services for approximately 70 programs with an appropriation of $6.8 million. Between 2007 and 2010, the amount was reduced 30 percent due to state budget problems, to the current $4.7 million. "It is not possible to cut any further and still maintain safe services. Programs are already turning away the increasing number of youth who are ending up homeless," says Margo Hirsch, Executive Director at the Empire State Coalition.

"Governor Andrew Cuomo recently took office and he is already poised to make one of the most disastrous political decisions in New York State history," said Aaron Wrench, Operations Director for Forsaken Generation. In the proposed budget expected to be finalized by April 1, 2011 the Governor has proposed all funding to the RHYA (Runaway Homeless Youth Act) to be cut. The NYS Assembly and Senate have passed a budget slashing 50% to the RHYA which would reduce funding to $2.4 million, but if Governor Cuomo has his way, all of the funding will be cut.

These cuts will throw thousands of New York children out onto the streets robbing them of shelter beds and a chance at rebuilding their lives. A study done by the United States Justice Department stated that 1 in 3 homeless teens that are on the street will be forced into prostitution within only 48 hours. If these cuts are made and children are forced back out onto the streets, the results will be catastrophic.

Since the funding has been provided through the RHYA, it has enabled the identification, assistance, housing, and stabilization of tens of thousands of homeless children each year. "These programs turn young people's lives around by providing shelter; re-connecting them with family, where appropriate; teaching them how to live independently; connecting them with education and employment; and overall fostering their growth at becoming successful adults," said Andrew Peters, Associate Executive Director for the Long Island Crisis Center.

New York should be a model for opportunity and a place where the people and the government support one another to succeed in life and to be responsible citizens. To cut all funding to these programs can potentially have grave consequences. Children that are forced to the streets are at extremely high risk of sexual exploitation, violence, drug abuse, health risks, as well as significant educational challenges.

Over the summer of 2010, a shelter in Brooklyn, New York took in two 12-year-old twin boys, Brad and John, with a plan of placing them together in the foster care system. Their home situation was unsafe and the shelter system was the only option for keeping them together.

Throughout the thirty days that Brad and John stayed at the shelter they ate a well balanced diet, showed signs of improved health through regular physical activity, improved their education levels through the summer tutoring program, and both learned to swim through staff instruction. "For the twins, the shelter was the only place they could safely go until their long-term living situation could be stabilized. It was a much needed oasis in the desert of turmoil that was their lives," said Margo Hirsch. Leah, who was fourteen years old upon entering a shelter, was an abused child who was being hurt almost daily. "I had no one to turn to, no one would listen, and no safe place to go," says Leah.

Through a community member she had met, Leah found a shelter that she could call home. A safe, caring place where there was no worry of abuse. Leah said that, "for the first time in my life, I realize that not everyone is out to hurt me."

Leah, Brad and John are just a few out of thousands of young people who will be impacted by the decision of New York State to make drastic budget cuts designed to help homeless children.

Time is of the essence since a budget could be finalized within a matter of days. As residents of New York State you can voice your opposition to these proposed cuts. We urge you to please contact the following people.

Please call the officials below to voice your disapproval:

- Governor Andrew Cuomo (518) 474-8390
- Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (518) 455-3791
- Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (518) 455-3171
- Senator Joseph Robach (877) 854-2687

You can also visit and follow the links to also contact these representatives via an online contact form. You will also find Twitter and Facebook links to some of these representatives as well. We encourage you to communicate with them in every way possible.

Reporter Locked In Closet At Vice President Biden Fundraiser

An aide to Vice President Joe Biden has apologised to a reporter who was locked in a closet for hours after he was invited to cover a Florida political fundraiser because they did not want him talking with the guests.

Spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander said the decision to hold local reporter Scott Powers there was a 'mistake'.

And she claimed an inexperienced staffer had put Powers in the closet instead of a 'hotel room' as was their normal practice.

As the unaware $500-a-head invitees dined on caprese crostini with oven-dried mozzarella and basil, rosemary flatbread with grapes honey and gorgonzola cheese, grilled chicken Caesar and garden vegetable wraps, last week, the veteran reporter was locked away.

The Orlando Sentinel reporter was ushered into the closet inside wealthy property developer Alan Ginsburg’s Winter Park mansion, after being told that Joe Biden and Senator Bill Nelson had not yet arrived.

They were due to speak to the audience to raise money for the 2012 elections.

He was told he could only come out when the politicians were ready to give their speeches.

Powers told The Drudge Report: ‘When I'd stick my head out, they'd say, “Not yet. We'll let you know when you can come out.”’

After 90 minutes he was allowed out to hear Biden and Nelson speak for 35 minutes, before being taken back to the closet for the remainder of the event.

From inside his temporary prison Powers emailed his office from his cell phone: ‘Sounds like a nice party.’

When Ginsburg – who has supported both Democrat and Republican candidates in the past – learnt of the treatment that took place in his house, he called the reporter.

Powers said: ‘[Ginsburg] said he had no idea they'd put me in a closet and was very sorry.

‘He said he was just following their lead and was extremely embarrassed by the whole thing.’

Today Ms Alexander followed suit.

She said Power has accepted her 'unequivocal apology' made shortly after the fundraiser.

'This was the unfortunate mistake of an inexperienced staffer and the vice president's office has made sure it will never happen again,' she said.

She said pool reporters are usually given 'hotel rooms' when the Vice President speaks at private homes.

She explained that the closet was chosen because of its 'close proximity' to the room where Mr Biden was speaking, and that it had a table and chair where the reporter could work, as well as open space.

But she clarified: 'A hotel room, however, should not be a storage room'.

Some guests were shocked by the Vice President’s staff.

One emailed the paper saying: ‘I was in attendance at the Fundraiser and enjoyed a nice lunch.

‘If I had known there was a reporter stuffed in the closet, I would have been compelled to stand up and demand answers.

‘I would also like to know if this is actually legal to treat people like caged animals. I’m disgusted by these actions.’

Florida state law says kidnapping entails ‘forcibly, secretly or by threat confining, abducting or imprisoning another person against her or his will and without lawful authority.’

Powers said of his treatment: ‘It was frustrating and annoying that I was not given a chance to do my job fully and properly.

‘This was an extreme, and extremely inappropriate way of handling the press… it was essentially a rude and uncomfortable way to treat a reporter.’

He attempted to play down his treatment calling it ‘hardly unusual or shocking’ and confirmed that he received an apology from Ginsburg.

But he said the Vice President’s staff emailed him an apology which ‘I found far less satisfying than Ginsburg’s.’

Church Raising Awarness Of Porn Addiction

Should churches bring attention to pornography during their services? Pastor Jeremy Geerdes thinks so.

Pornography is a multi-million-dollar industry that results in ruined lives and broken homes. Pastor Geerdes knows people whose lives have been affected by this addiction, so he took a courageous step in holding Porn Sunday at Debra Heights Wesleyan Church in Des Moines, Iowa.

The idea behind National Porn Sunday originated with Triple X Church, an organization aimed at ministry to persons directly involved in the adult entertainment industry.

“Pornography is one of those elephants that hides in plain sight in too many churches, including ours,” says Pastor Jeremy. Triple X reports that 47 percent of Christians report that porn is a major problem in the home.

“We need to address matters which are relevant to the world in which we live,” he says. “Sometimes it’s easy to study Jesus and talk theology without ever really impacting real life.”

Craig Gross, founder of Triple X Church, presented via video three practical steps to escape porn addiction: confess it to Jesus, confess it to someone else, and clean it up. Pastor Jeremy hoped change would come about after addressing the issue through hosting Porn Sunday.

Read More From

States Move Forward In Passing Bills Limiting Abortions

NEW YORK | Dozens of bills are advancing through statehouses nationwide that would put an array of new obstacles — legal, financial and psychological — in the paths of women seeking abortions.

The tactics vary: Mandatory sonograms and pro-life counseling, sweeping limits on insurance coverage, bans on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. To pro-choice activists, they add up to the biggest political threat since the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, which legalized abortion nationwide.

“It’s just this total onslaught,” said Elizabeth Nash, who tracks state legislation for the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive-health research organization that supports abortion rights.

What’s different this year is not the raw number of anti-abortion bills, but the fact that many of the toughest, most substantive measures have a good chance of passage due to gains by conservative Republicans in last year’s legislative and gubernatorial elections. On Tuesday, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed into law a bill that imposes a longest-in-the-nation waiting period of three days before women may have an abortion — and also requires them to undergo counseling at pregnancy help centers that discourage abortions.

“We’re seeing an unprecedented level of bills that would have a serious impact on women’s access to abortion services that very possibly could become law,” said Rachel Sussman, senior policy analyst for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

On the other side, pro-life strategists such as Mary Spaulding Balch of the National Right to Life Committee have been scrambling to keep up with legislative developments. “Until the bills get on the governors’ desks, it’s premature to claim victory. But it’s moving faster than it has in previous years. … We’re very pleased with the progress thus far,” she said.

In a number of states, lawmakers are considering bills that would ban elective abortions after 20 or 21 weeks of pregnancy. These measures are modeled after a law approved last year in Nebraska that was based on the disputed premise that a fetus can feel pain after 20 weeks.

The Idaho Senate approved one such bill Wednesday. Similar bills have made progress this session in Kansas and Oklahoma.Link

In Ohio, there has been a hearing on an even tougher measure that would outlaw abortions after the first medically detectable heartbeat — as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. At that hearing, two pregnant women underwent ultrasounds so lawmakers could see and hear the fetal hearts.

The Ohio bill and the bans on abortions after 20 weeks are direct challenges to the legal status quo, based on Supreme Court rulings that permit abortions up to the point of a fetus’s viability — approximately 24 weeks — and allow states to impose restrictions for abortions after that stage.

Read More: