Monday, April 30, 2012

Canada's Digital Currency Revealed In New Commercial

Royal Canadian Mint has announced a contest to design an app about the EVOLUTION OF CURRENCY

Church Burglaries On The Rise In The U.S

Fox News--There's no honor among thieves -- even when it comes to stealing from churches.

A growing tide of burglaries at houses of worship are signs of both a reeling economy and the end of a social taboo that once protected the money collected to help the poor and the valuables displayed to honor a higher power. In the latest example, police in Longmont, Colo., have formed a task force to investigate 10 break-ins and attempted burglaries at six churches in less than two weeks. And all around the nation, the faithful are finding criminals unfazed by the prospect of burglarizing a sanctuary.

“From a historical standpoint, the sacredness of the church has changed, so to speak, in our society,”

Jeffrey Hawkins, a security consultant who works with churches. told
Hawkins, founder and executive director of the now-defunct Christian Security Network, said churches are also more of a potentially lucrative target nowadays. The majority of churches today feature expensive multimedia components like digital soundboards, flat-screen televisions, projectors, computers and more, he said.

And they're easy pickings.

“Churches are soft targets,” said Hawkins, whose organization ceased operations amid funding problems. “If you’re a burglar, and you’re after a flat-screen television or things like that, are you going to break into an office with alarms and locks, or are you going to go down to the church with absolutely zero security? It’s an easy decision.”

String of Marshall Cnty. Church Robberies:

The trend of breaking into churches comes as overall crime is actually decreasing.

There were 1,237 incidents of burglaries and thefts of churches in 2009, compared to 1,783 in 2010, an increase of nearly 50 percent, according to statistics compiled by Hawkins’ former organization. The total cost to churches as a result of theft, burglary, robbery, vandalism and arson in 2009 exceeded $6.3 million, Hawkins said.

Number Of Babies In U.S Born With Drug Withdrawl Triples

Less than a month old, Savannah Dannelley scrunches her tiny face into a scowl as a nurse gently squirts a dose of methadone into her mouth.

The infant is going through drug withdrawal and is being treated with the same narcotic prescribed for her mother to fight addiction to powerful prescription painkillers.

Disturbing new research says the number of U.S. babies born with signs of opiate drug withdrawal has tripled in a decade because of a surge in pregnant women's use of legal and illegal narcotics, including Vicodin, OxyContin and heroin, researchers say. It is the first national study of the problem.

The number of newborns with withdrawal symptoms increased from a little more than 1 per 1,000 babies sent home from the hospital in 2000 to more than 3 per 1,000 in 2009, the study found. More than 13,000 U.S. infants were affected in 2009, the researchers estimated.

The newborns include babies like Savannah, whose mother stopped abusing painkillers and switched to prescription methadone early in pregnancy, and those whose mothers are still abusing legal or illegal drugs.

Weaning infants from these drugs can take weeks or months and often requires a lengthy stay in intensive care units. Hospital charges for treating these newborns soared from $190 million to $720 million between 2000 and 2009, the study found.

The study was released online Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Savannah is hooked up to heart and oxygen monitors in an Oak Lawn, Ill., newborn intensive care unit. In a pink crib, she sleeps fitfully, sometimes cries all night, and has had diarrhea and trouble feeding — typical signs of withdrawal. Some affected babies also have breathing problems, low birth weights and seizures.

It nearly breaks her young mother's heart.

"It's really hard, every day, emotionally and physically," said Aileen Dannelley, 25. "It's really hard when your daughter is born addicted."

Doctors say newborns aren't really addicted — which connotes drug-seeking behavior that babies aren't capable of — but their bodies are dependent on methadone or other opiates because of their mothers' use during pregnancy. Small methadone doses to wean them off these drugs is safer than cutting them off altogether, which can cause dangerous seizures and even death, said Dr. Mark

Brown, chief of pediatrics at Eastern Maine Medical Center.

Newborn drug withdrawal is rampant in Maine, Florida, West Virginia, parts of the Midwest and other sections of the country.

Air Force No Longer Requiring Bibles On Bases

The U.S. Air Force will no longer require that Bibles be put on its checklist of items in lodging facilities on its bases.

The move comes in response to a complaint from the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers that the presence of the Bibles was "special privilege for Christianity."

The books are placed in Air Force rooms by Gideons at no cost to the government.

The MAAF said their goal is to fight "insensitive practices that illegally promote religion over non-religion within the military or unethically discriminate against minority religions or differing beliefs." 

The Blaze reports that after a legal review, Air Force officials ruled there is no requirement to have Bibles in the lodging checklist. They added that there were no plans yet to remove the books from Air Force Inns.

"We continue to review the situation and weigh our multiple First Amendment responsibilities and obligations," Air Force Personnel Center spokesman Mike Dickerson said in an email. 

Bible supporters say Air Force officials are bowing to political pressure to create a "religion-free" zone.

"They're removing (them) from the checklists, (the result being that) whoever cleans the rooms is no longer required to check whether the Bible is in place," Dr. Gordon Klingenschmitt, a former Navy chaplain, told The Blaze

"So if somebody steals one of those Bibles or if they're confiscated by atheist complainers or put in the trash, then sadly Christian people will not have access to read the Bible at night," he said.

At Least 21 Dead In Attacks On Christian Churches In Nigeria

At least 21 people are dead after attacks on churches in northern Nigeria. No group has claimed responsibility so far but there's signs the radical Islamic sect Boko Haram may be at work.

These latest attacks appear to be part of a violent campaign that the sect has waged for several years in the northern part of the country targeting the government and Nigerian Christians.

Controversial U.S Pastor Burns Q'uran.....Again

Controversial US pastor Terry Jones has burned more copies of the Koran and a depiction of the prophet Mohammed to protest the imprisonment in Iran of a Christian clergyman, The Gainesville Sun reported.

The newspaper said Jones and another pastor, who carried out their protest in front of their church in Gainesville, Florida on Saturday, demanded the release of Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from an Iranian prison.

Jones said Nadarkhani faces execution.

According to the report, the Pentagon urged Jones to reconsider, expressing concern that American soldiers in Afghanistan and elsewhere could be put at greater risk because of the act.

In March 2011, Jones' assistant, pastor Wayne Sapp, burned a copy of the Koran and broadcast the ceremony on the Internet.

The images incited violence in northern Afghanistan, in which at least 12 people were killed.

Later, a man wearing an Afghan border police uniform shot dead two US military personnel.

About 20 people attended Saturday's burning, the paper said. Several Gainesville police officers were stationed across the street from the church.

Moments after the ceremony, the Gainesville fire department issued the church a citation for violating the city's fire ordinances, the paper noted.
Read More From Yahoo News

Secret Service Memo Sent Out To The Red Cross For Evacuation of Chicago During NATO Summit Has Many Worried

CHICAGO (CBS) — As concerns about security grow in the run-up to the NATO summit, it’s becoming difficult to separate myth from reality.

Are there plans in place for a mass evacuation of downtown in the event of riots on May 20-21? A Red Cross memo out of Milwaukee indicates that there is.

Officials there have been asked to make plans to assist residents in the event of a mass exodus.

Chicago officials say the plan didn’t come from them. The U.S. Secret Service isn’t talking.

There also are reports that a heavily armed security team will start making a very public appearance around federal buildings in the Loop this week. Officials with the Chicago NATO host committee were completely in the dark. They had no reports of any such plans.

A source told CBS 2 that security forces in full battle gear would not be seen this week.

As for the Red Cross plan, CBS 2 News has obtained a copy of an e-mail sent to volunteers in the Milwaukee area.

It said the NATO summit “may create unrest or another national security incident. The American Red Cross in southeastern Wisconsin has been asked to place a number of shelters on standby in the event of evacuation of Chicago.”

According to a chapter spokesperson, the evacuation plan is not theirs alone.

“Our direction has come from the City of Chicago and the Secret Service,” she said.

Officials at Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communication said the directive did not come from them.

The U.S. Secret Service did not return calls for comment.

Some downtown residents told CBS 2’s Mike Parker that the news has them on edge.

Brad Klein said it is “very unnerving. I feel a little bit unsafe, just a bit more than a little bit. It doesn’t make me feel like I want to be in the city during the NATO conference.”

An executive with the Service Employees International Union, who trains members in preparation for the summit, thinks such a plan might be “over the top.”

SEIU Local 1 training director Tom Dobry said, “This could be a lot like Y2K – a lot of hype and buildup. People will say, ‘that was it?’ Not a big deal.”

Chicago residents certainly hope that to be true. But one cannot blame them for wondering exactly what’s going on.

One example happened last week, when protest groups revealed the plans for a security zone around the summit meeting site: McCormick Place.

One major expressway (I-55), Lake Shore Drive, and a large chunk of the lakefront will be closed. The security zone will extend several blocks to the west, south and north of McCormick place. That zone will be completely shut down, they say.

Those protesters came directly from a meeting with the Secret Service when those details were released. However, there was not a single confirmation from the feds.

One thing they have confirmed: Commuter trains will run under McCormick Place during the summit, but the Secret Service said in a statement to “expect delays.”

How bad will those delays get? They aren’t saying.

However, the South Shore will be asking riders to take a survey to determine how many people will even bother coming into the city.
Read More From CBS Local

Legal War Promised If IRS Uses Power To Crack Down On Pastors Free Speech

While a group that opposes expressions of Christianity in public forums wants the IRS to use its formidable power to crack down on what pastors say, one legal foundation says, “Bring it on,” promising a “legal war” if churches are attacked on such issues.

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State Executive Director Barry Lynn recently wrote a letter to the IRS demanding help in quashing the speech of a leader in the Roman Catholic Diocese in Peoria, Ill.

The April 19 letter calls a recent homily given by Bishop Daniel Jenky a violation of IRS regulations relating to the tax-exempt status of the church, because Jenky cited atrocities of past governments, specifically naming Hitler and Stalin, and then cited the failings of the Obama administration.

The homily was also reprinted in the Catholic Post, and urged Catholics to stand by their religious convictions, even outside the walls of the church.

“Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care,” he said.

“In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path,” the homily says.

The homily included the plea, “Now things have come to such a pass in America that this is a battle that we could lose, but before the awesome judgment seat of Almighty God this is not a war where any believing Catholic may remain neutral.”

Jenky even included a dire prediction for the nation if Catholics don’t stand by their convictions.

“This fall, every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences, or by the following fall our Catholic schools, our Catholic hospitals, our Catholic Newman centers, all of our public ministries – only excepting our church buildings – could easily be shut down.

“Because no Catholic institution, under any circumstance, can ever cooperate with the intrinsic evil of killing innocent human life in the womb,” he said.

He was opposing the Obamacare mandate that employers, including schools, hospitals and others, pay for abortions for employees.

American’s United tells the IRS that this homily puts the Catholic bishop afoul of the law, and demands that an investigation of the priest be undertaken.

In the letter to the IRS, AU says in part, “Bishop Jenky compared Obama to Hitler and Stalin and accused him of pursuing policies that will close Catholic institutions.

“Moments later he exhorted members of his flock not to vote for candidates who fail to uphold Catholic values.

“It is impossible to interpret this as anything but a command to vote against Obama,” Lynn said.
The Thomas More Society says that the law and the Bill of Rights is on the bishop’s side, and promises a “free and aggressive legal defense to any religious leaders targeted or victimized for the robust exercise of their free speech rights.”

“The Internal Revenue Service has no legal right to investigate, let alone threaten or penalize the Catholic Diocese of Peoria for illegal ‘electioneering’ after Bishop Daniel Jenky, C.S.C., referred to policies of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin while delivering a robust, wholly legitimate critique of current federal efforts to quash and curtail religious liberties,” says Thomas Brejcha, president of the Thomas More Society.

“References to egregious, historical mistakes on the part of political leaders of the past in messages to congregations, even in an election year, are fully protected by the First Amendment, whether those messages are delivered from the pulpit or on soap boxes in the public square,” he continued.
“We think the law is very clear,” said Brejcha.

“Well-settled federal law does not prohibit churches and other tax-exempt non-profits from speaking out against government policies at odds with the common good or – as in this case – constitutionally obnoxious.”

“Where would the civil rights movement have been were it not for the courage of those of our religious leaders who spoke truth to power on behalf of the disenfranchised?” Brejcha added.

Read More From World Net Daily

Prison Fellowship Founder Chuck Colson's Memorial Service Set For May 16th

Christian Post--Chuck Colson, the late Prison Fellowship founder, will be buried privately at Quantico National Cemetery in Virginia in the coming days, but the public is invited to attend a memorial service that will be held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on May 16.

The memorial service to mourn the loss and celebrate the life of Colson will be held at 10 a.m., according to the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, one of the two ministries the evangelical leader founded.

Seating will be limited and reserved for those who respond to formal invitations, the Colson Center said. Others will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis. The event will also be streamed live at

The 80-year-old Southern Baptist, who served as an aide to former President Richard Nixon and was convicted for his role in the Watergate scandal in 1974, died April 21 after struggling with an intracerebral hemorrhage.

Colson became a committed Christian while the Watergate charges were still pending against him and after a friend gave him a copy of the C.S. Lewis book Mere Christianity. His conversion led him to plead guilty to obstruction of justice while a judge was considering dismissing the case against him. He served seven months of a one- to three-year prison sentence.

The Colson family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Charles Colson Legacy Fund to "further Chuck's work, bringing God's light into a dark world, making – as Chuck always says – 'the invisible Kingdom visible' to God's great glory."

Colson founded Prison Fellowship in 1976 and it now operates in 113 countries around the globe. Colson personally visited 600 prisons in the U.S. and 40 other countries over the last four decades of his life. The Colson Center, meanwhile, helps Christians to embrace and live out a Christian worldview.
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