Thursday, March 17, 2011

Former Porn Star April Garris: Sex, Drugs and Abuse in Porn

NYC: 15,000 ex-homeless families losing rent help

NEW YORK — New York City is notifying more than 15,000 formerly homeless individuals and families that they shouldn't expect government help with their rent starting in two weeks.

The city's Department of Homeless Services says state budget cuts are forcing it to cancel the Advantage program that helps the homeless leave shelters once they've found jobs. Advocates say most families that stand to lose the subsidy can't afford to stay in their apartments.

DHS says Thursday it expects the cuts will force 4,400 families back into shelters and expand the overall family shelter population by 51 percent to 39,000 individuals.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto argues the city could pay for the program if it wanted to. He says the city "seems intent on manufacturing a crisis and endangering thousands of New Yorkers."

—Copyright 2011 Associated Press

House Votes to Defund National Public Radio

The House of Representatives on Thursday voted 228-192 on a bill to defund National Public Radio, the vast public radio network whose leadership has been questioned after a series of executive decisions about programming, staffing and reporting bias.

Seven Republicans broke with House leadership and voted against the package. One GOP member, Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, voted present.

Click here to see how your representative voted.

School Prank Leads To Suspension And Drug Charges Against Boy

In a sign that some zero-tolerance policies may be out of control, a Virginia middle-school has suspended an honor student for possession of oregano.

The Rutherford Institute insists Adam Grass was little more than an innocent bystander to a school prank that has landed him a 10-day suspension for "possession of an imitation controlled substance" -- and that decision by Hickory Middle School could haunt the student for years to come, says Institute president John Whitehead.

"It's just another crazy zero-tolerance case that makes zero sense," he says. "If this charge sticks, for the rest of his life he will have a drug charge against him."

The long-term ramifications, says the attorney, could be quite damaging. "He will not be a member of the National Honor Society. If he wants to attend West Point, he will never be able to go," says the Rutherford president. "...The schools are not taking into [account]...what the long-term effects are on these students -- and they can be devastating."

Whitehead explains that another male student brought a plastic bag of oregano to school and jokingly said it resembled marijuana. At one point, Adam was given the Italian herb and asked to return it to the owner -- and because of that, Whitehead says, he has been lumped in with the two other students who were suspended.

"Under most state laws they have leeway -- [but] for some reason school officials are not taking that leeway," laments the attorney. "In fact, most laws say that in particular instances they can take a hold of the facts, study them, and if it doesn't really apply to this child, they don't have to do anything. And here, everybody [at school] knew it was oregano."

Read More From One News Now

Palestinian Community Celebrates Horrific Murder Of Israli Family

A Messianic Jewish leader says the brutal murder of an Israeli family is just the latest example of how Palestinian terrorists have no regard whatsoever for innocent human life.

A couple and three children were found brutally stabbed to death in the West Bank settlement of Itamar. Police reported on Saturday that one of the victims was a one-month-old baby. (See earlier article)

Jan Markell, founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries, says she is appalled at how the Palestinian community reacted to this horrific act of barbarism. "They celebrated, they danced in the street, [and] they handed out candy," she laments. "And it's very hard for Westerners to understand a mindset that jumps for joy when babies are slaughtered."

The ministry leader questions why there seems to be practically no media outrage.

"I have looked for outrage from the leftist media," she notes. "We only find some outrage in the very conservative media about what has just happened in Israel. And believe me we've seen slaughter in Israel for 60-plus years -- but it's going to get worse."

Read More From One News Now

Atheists Say Not To Donate Money To Religious Organizations To Help Japan

The group American Atheists is urging people who want to contribute to relief efforts in Japan to donate to secular charities rather than "religious buffoons।"

American Atheist President David Silverman told The Christian Post on Wednesday that he and many other atheists believe that faith-based charities, such as The Salvation Army and various Catholic groups, use part of the money donated for relief efforts to disseminate Bibles.

"They (Christian charities) push religion rather than give food and aid which the people really need," Silverman accused faith-based groups of doing.

But Jennifer Byrd, the special public relations director for The Salvation Army, said the group was one of the first organizations to help, being that it was already on the ground in Japan when the tsunami struck. Since the disaster, the group has distributed 1,000 hot meals and drinks.

On the actual night of the disaster, The Salvation Army provided food, water and shelter at its Tokyo headquarters to Japanese citizens who could not go home because public transportation was shut down, Byrd said.

So far, the charity has received a total of $2।1 million to help the people of Japan. The money, Byrd said, will be used to continue providing hot meals, shelter and basic necessities such as blankets and diapers to those affected by the disaster.

When asked about the sharing of the Christian faith during relief efforts, Byrd said workers only pray with victims if they are requested to do so.

"If someone feels moved to do so they can ask," she stated.

However, prayer is not forced, she emphasized. She also said she is unaware of any Bible distribution by The Salvation Army in Japan. In the United States, The Salvation Army does not distribute Bibles during its relief efforts.

American Atheists President David Silverman, however, insists that donation is better used when given to Richard Dawkins' Non-Believers Giving Aid Disaster Relief Fund, which in turn gives the money to non-religious groups such as the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders.

But in Japan, Doctors Without Borders has only an 11-man team on the ground providing medical services. The Red Cross, meanwhile, has about 700 staff members and 80 medical teams treating the wounded in tented clinics and giving food and shelter.

By comparison, The Salvation Army has 1,000 staff members in Japan helping the homeless and wounded. The Salvation Army also has two hospitals and 80 centers providing housing and rehabilitation for men, women and seniors in Japan. Moreover, since The Salvation Army has been in Japan since 1985, Byrd said the group has been given access to roads that are closed to the public.

Byrd also clarified that neither The Salvation Army nor its affiliate s have said that Japan's natural disaster is a punishment from God। The American Atheist had asserted on its blog that funds should not be given to faith-based charities because they blame victims for the natural disaster.

Read More From Christian Post

Imprisoned Pakistani Christian Found Dead

Tue, Mar. 15 2011
A Pakistani Christian man who was sentenced last year to life in prison for “blasphemy” was found dead Tuesday morning, according to officials in the Islamic republic.

Qamar David, who was charged with blasphemy in 2006 and imprisoned ever since, died of a heart attack sometime over the course of the night, officials told the press after David was found dead in his prison cell.

“There is no question about it; he died of natural causes," Sindh Inspector General of Prisons Ghulam Qadir Thebo told the BBC.

"Our investigations have not yielded any evidence of foul play," Thebo added after noting that David was assigned to the Christians-only wing of the prison.

"There is no evidence to suggest he was murdered."

Catholic new site AsiaNews, meanwhile, was informed by the police commissioner that David’s body was being held in the Civil Hospital in Karachi for an autopsy to confirm the cause of death।

Despite the insistence of Pakistani officials, David’s friends and family members are crying foul, noting that David was in “perfect condition” and that he had never complained of any illness, though he had been receiving threats against his life.

David, a businessman who resided in Karachi before his arrest, had been accused by a business rival of blasphemy – a crime punishable by death or life imprisonment.

On Feb. 25, 2010, a Karachi judge decided that David was guilty of uttering "outrageous" words against the Islamic prophet Muhammad and sentenced David to life in prison. David was convicted under Section 295-A of the blasphemy statues for “injuring religious feelings of any community,” and also under Section 295-C for derogatory remarks against Muhammad. In addition to the life sentence, David was also reportedly fined 100,000 rupees ($1,170).

Since his arrest, David had been reportedly threatened and beaten by the prison officials as well as other prisoners. His death follows the high-profile assassination of Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, an outspoken critic of Pakistan's blasphemy laws and the only Christian in the Cabinet.

Christian leaders said Tuesday marked “another sad day for the minorities in Pakistan.”

"I am in grief. The whole Christian community has been grieving from past few days. We haven't recovered from the loss [of Bhatti] and this news has increased my concerns about the future of the Christians in Pakistan,” remarked the Catholic Bishop of Islamabad-Rawalpindi, Fr. Rufin Anthony.

“David was falsely accused of blasphemy,” the priest added, according to Spero News. “How much blood more do we still have to see to realize that the blasphemy laws need to be abolished? How much blood does the government wants to have on their hands?"

Under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, violators can be sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment for insulting another's religious feelings; life imprisonment for defiling, damaging, or desecrating the Qur'an; and death for defiling Islam or its prophets।

Read More From Christian Post

Sheriff Says Craigslist Facilitates Bestiality

America’s self-described toughest sheriff has issued a warning to the CEO of Craigslist saying the popular Internet website is providing a “mechanism to facilitate criminal activity.”

Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s warning to Jim Buckmaster follows the arrest last month in Arizona by Maricopa County Sheriff's Office detectives of two men — one a middle school teacher and the other a handyman — on charges of conspiracy to commit bestiality.

Sheriff Arpaio said an undercover investigation by his office began after detectives became aware that persons in the Phoenix area were using Craigslist to engage in illegal acts with animals. Detectives set up meetings through computer communications where the suspects believed they were meeting animal owners at a hotel.

“I would hope that Mr. Buckmaster takes my advice seriously and looks into our concerns,” Sheriff Arpaio said. “I think it is sad that people would utilize technology to take advantage of animals like this.”

Although bestiality may not be illegal in other states, the sheriff was instrumental in making the offense a crime in Arizona in 2006।

Craigslist did not respond to questions sent by e-mail to the company and to its public relations spokeswoman.

The men arrested in February — handyman Keith Kiefer, 47, of Mesa, and middle school music teacher Patrick Trejo, 25, of Phoenix — were accused of using to connect with dog owners offering their dogs for sexual gratification with humans.

Sheriff Arpaio said his deputies later learned that a number of people used the website to communicate with others who had an interest in bestiality. He said detectives discovered that a secret language was being used to hide the suspects’ plans.

According to court documents, a detective posing as a dog owner responded to a posting Mr. Kiefer listed on Craigslist. They exchanged e-mails in which Mr. Kiefer allegedly asked for a photo of the male dog’s sexual organ. He received it and responded by saying he “liked it very much,” the court records show.

In his letter to Craigslist, Sheriff Arpaio said the investigation of “several others” was ongoing and that the website had provided “the forum for these individuals to post, in a very blatant manner, their intentions।”

Read More From Washington Times

College Students Launch "Hookups" Site

As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports, a group of University of Chicago students have created a website called UChicagoHookups।com.

The site offers students a chance to spice things up on campus by helping them hook up with other students for casual sexual encounters.

The site also carries the motto “Where Fun Comes To Thrive,” a play on the school’s unofficial motto।

“This is known as the place where fun comes to die,” said Jon Clindaniel of Palatine, a junior archaeology major.

That will change if the students behind this website have their way. The site advertises: “Chastity is curable if detected early.”

Reviews of the website have been mixed.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said junior political science major Peter Visser.

“I’m kind of ambivalent,” said freshman Chinese major Anna Gustafson.

“I think it’s a good idea. It’s a lot of fun,” said Kimberly Wright. She said she wouldn’t use the site herself, but has friends who have.

Site officials said that more than 200 students have registered and sent more than 1,000 messages to other University of Chicago students, who in many cases are looking for a no-strings-attached experience.

Freshman Lynda Lopez logged on but didn’t like what she saw.

“I was like, ‘This is not for me.’ I could do a lot better,” said Lopez.

Clindaniel said the University of Chicago campus has been socially repressed for a long time।

Read More From CBS Chicago

U.S Officials Concerned Over Japans Handling Of Nucleur Crisis

March 16, 2011
U।S. officials are alarmed at how the Japanese are handling the escalating nuclear reactor crisis and fear that if they do not get control of the plants within the next 24 to 48 hours they could have a situation that will be "deadly for decades."

"It would be hard to describe how alarming this is right now," one U.S. official told ABC News.

President Obama has been briefed by nuclear experts.

The Japanese have evacuated most of the reactor personnel from the Fukushima nuclear complex and are rotating teams of 50 workers through the facility in an attempt to cool it down.

"We are all-out urging the Japanese to get more people back in there to do emergency operation there, that the next 24 to 48 hours are critical," the official said. "Urgent efforts are needed on the part of the Japanese to restore emergency operations to cool" down the reactors' rods before they trigger a meltdown.

"They need to stop pulling out people—and step up with getting them back in the reactor to cool it. There is a recognition this is a suicide mission," the official said.

The official said the United States is in very deep consultations with Japanese about the way forward and that the only thing that has been favorable is the wind pattern that is blowing the contaminated material out to sea instead south towards Tokyo and other populated areas, but that can't be counted upon।

The U.S. official says experts believe there is a rupture in two, maybe three of the six reactors at the Fukushima power plant, but as worrisome is the fact that spent fuel rods are now exposed to the air, which means that substances like cesium, which have a long half-life, could become airborne.

"That could be deadly for decades," the official said.

There is a growing concern around the world that a nuclear catastrophic disaster is in the works।

Read More From ABC News

40 Foot Section of Highway 1 Collapses Into Pacific Ocean

A 40-foot section of Highway 1 has fallen into the Pacific Ocean near the Big Sur area, according to the California Department of Transportation।CAL-TRANS officials said the highway broke off just south of the Rocky Creek Bridge.Authorities ordered the northbound lanes of Highway 1 closed at the Bixby Bridge and the southbound lanes at Palo Colorado. Road crews said anyone wanting to get to the peninsula south of the slide has been cut off, and there are no alternate routes in the vicinity.Workers said the only way around the closure is to cut over to King City using Naciamento-Ferguson Road.Emergency crews said not even CAL-TRANS vehicles are being allowed near the washed-out section of road because it's so dangerous.
Officials said it will likely be several days before the road is repaired and Highway 1 reopens।

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