Friday, May 11, 2012

Americans Consumer 80% Of World's Supply Of Painkillers

Americans consume 80 percent of the world's supply of painkillers -- more than 110 tons of pure, addictive opiates every year -- as the country's prescription drug abuse epidemic explodes.

That's enough drugs to give every single American 64 Percocets or Vicodin. And pain pill prescriptions continue to surge, up 600 percent in ten year, thanks to doctors who are more and more willing to hand out drugs to patients who are suffering.

As more people get their hands on these potentially-dangerous drugs, more are taking them to get high. Their drug abuse leads to 14,800 deaths a year -- more than from heroin and cocaine combined.

'We've become a society of wusses,' Long Island, New York, pharmacist Howard Levine told the BBC.

Mr Levine stopped carrying all of the major addictive prescription drugs after he was robbed twice by addicts looking to get high.

Nationwide, police are reporting increases in robberies and other crimes by people who are addicted to oxycodone and hydrocodone, the key ingredient in most prescription pain pills. 

Israel NOT Invited To Chicago NATO Summit

ABC NEWS--Israel will not be invited to NATO's May 20-21 summit in Chicago, the alliance's top official said Friday.

But he denied that alliance member Turkey had blocked Israel's participation.

Instead, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the reason is because Israel does not participate in NATO's main military missions.

News reports have claimed that Turkey blocked Israel's participation because of the raid in 2010 by Israeli troops on ships heading to Gaza in which eight Turks and a Turkish-American died.

NATO has a system of partnerships with dozens of nations across the globe such as the Mediterranean Dialogue, a NATO outreach program with seven friendly nations, including Israel.

In the past, partner nations did not usually attend the alliance's summits. But Fogh Rasmussen said 13 would do so this time.

"At the Lisbon summit (in 2010), we made clear that we would enhance dialogue and cooperation with partner nations ... because in today's world security challenges know no borders, and no country or alliance can deal with most of them on their own," he told journalists.

Two other members of the Mediterranean group, Jordan and Morocco, are among them. But Fogh Rasmussen said Israel is not because it does not participate in missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo.

"Israel has not been invited to attend the summit because Israel is neither a participant in ISAF nor in KFOR ... no one has blocked an invitation because it's not been an issue," Fogh Rasmussen said. ISAF and KFOR are acronyms for coalition forces in Afghanistan and Kosovo.

Earlier this year, Turkey scuttled a plan to include an Israeli warship in a NATO-run flotilla patrolling the Mediterranean.

In the past, Israeli warships and air force jets have joined in some NATO exercises, but Israel's participation in the naval operation would the first time its armed forces have taken part in one of the alliance's military operations.

Representatives of about 60 nations and international organizations will attend the Chicago conference. Partner nations include include Sweden, Switzerland, Qatar, Georgia, Australia and New Zealand.
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Tennessee High School Invoking Stron Reactions After Publishing "It's Ok To Be Gay" Article In Yearbook

Christian Post--An article profiling the life of a gay student published in the yearbook of a high school in Lenoir City, Tenn., is invoking strong reactions for and against it and might lead to protests during the upcoming graduation ceremonies.

The article, titled "It's OK to be Gay" and published in the yearbook of Lenoir City High School featured gay student Zac Mitchell describing how his family had known he was gay and how he was accepted by most of his friends even though he had been bullied.

Written by a 17-year-old journalism student as an assignment given by the student editor, the article also talked about Mitchell's cross-dressing and how he was "hit on by straight guys." The author, who chose not to use her name out of fear of backlash, is a student of faculty adviser James Yoakley, one of those responsible for reviewing the content.

Days after the yearbook was distributed late last week, parents and concerned citizens flooded school Principal Steve Millsaps' inbox with emails concerning the article. Several blogs also targeted or supported the article and Yoakley. reports that some students are circulating petitions urging others to tear the page from their yearbook as a sign of protest during graduation or to deny Mitchell the right to attend the ceremony.

Loudon County school board member Van Shaver – Lenoir City High School is not under his jurisdiction though – even called for a criminal investigation into the faculty advisers for their failure to control the content of the yearbook. "What I am intolerant of is an adult, a teacher no less, inflicting their personal beliefs and sexual orientation decisions on impressionable students," he wrote on his blog.

Yearbook editor Courtney Price responded to Shaver's call for investigation. "I am an 18 year old Southern Baptist student who is in a four year relationship with a man," she wrote, according to Shaver's website. "I am in no way trying to plead a case for homosexuals, and taking from your stupidity, I can tell you did not read the yearbook. There are multiple stories about kids who have been bullied because of their lives (disabled kids, adopted kids, kids with tattoos, etc.) along with stories about hanging out at church. I would enjoy if you would stop your slander."

School Principal Millsaps distanced himself from the issue, saying he did not personally approve the content for the yearbook, and that faculty advisers were responsible for reviewing it.
Read More From Christian Post

Pastor Urges Christians To Look Towards Biblical Teachings On How To Vote This Election Year

Christian Post--Dr. Ken Hutcherson, the pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Redmond, Wash., has told Christians in America to look to the word of God before they consider presidential candidates this coming election year, and has set a clear message – Christians should not support those who go against Biblical teachings.

"The most important thing is that there is no way in the world that I would vote for, regardless who it is – regardless how white they are, regardless how black they are, there is just no way I am ever going to vote for someone who believes in same-sex marriage and abortion," Dr. Hutcherson said in an interview with The Christian Post on Thursday.

Many Christians across America have found themselves confused about who to vote for in this year's upcoming presidential elections; a Mormon in Mitt Romney or a professed Christian in Obama who is for abortion and gay marriage.

Many Christians have expressed reservations toward Mitt Romney because of his Mormon beliefs, which some describe as a "cult" falling outside mainstream Christianity. Yet the former Massachusetts governor has affirmed that he is pro-life and supports the regular definition of marriage as between one man and one woman only.

On the other hand, President Obama has persistently described himself as a Christian, and in the past received positive support from megachurch pastors such as Rick Warren and Joel Osteen. His recent endorsement of gay marriage, however, and his attempts to force religious institutions to offer insurance coverage for contraceptives, have put him at odds with many conservatives.

This has left many Christians around the country unclear about where they should place their vote later this year. Pastor Hutcherson shared with CP his advice for those on the fence about what to do; saying that people should not see it as a choice between Obama and Romney, but a choice of who will best represent biblical values and what the Bible has to say.

"What they need to fight for is for Christianity to run politics, not politics to run Christianity," he expressed.
The Antioch Baptist Church pastor said that on issues such as gay marriage, the Bible is absolutely clear and cannot be denied.

"God hates the killing of innocent life, and God hates divorce, and God hates the whole effeminate aspect of man going after man or woman going after woman. You can't get around that – it's in the Bible. And what we need to understand as Christians, is that this is America. We stand on our biblical views regardless," he noted.

When it comes down to a choice, however, he suggested that Christians are faced with an even bigger vote than the upcoming presidential elections:

"We got president Obama, and we got the candidate Romney, and the question is – who am I as a Christian going to vote for if I am stuck in a quandary? Guess what – we have the choice not to vote for either one."
Read More From Christian Post

ACLU Says Indiana's Marriage Statute Is Unconstitutional

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana is challenging the state's marriage statute as unconstitutional.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the Center for Inquiry, a secular group, and two longtime CFI-Indiana members from Kentucky who wish to marry in Indiana, claims the state's ordinance is unconstitutional under the 1st Amendment's Establishment Clause because it maintains that religions are the only groups with rights to have their beliefs recognized in marriage ceremonies."We are claiming this violates the establishment clause of the first amendment. The state is not able to prefer religion over non religion and here we have a clear example of the state doing exactly that,” said ACLU Legal Director Ken Faulk.
The ACLU also claims the statute violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment because it denies nonreligious groups their rights to spread their beliefs by performing marriage ceremonies, while allowing religious groups those same privileges."This case is more than just an issue of fairness," said ACLU of Indiana interim Executive Director Frank Young. "It's about respecting the rights of all who value marriage in Indiana.
All who wish to have their marriage commitments solemnized should be able to do so in accordance with their beliefs, whether those beliefs are religious or not."
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Video Encourages Christians To Share Their Faith With Co-Workers

The above video tells the story of Sandy Detherage, a member of the High Pointe Church of Christ in McKinney, Texas. Through the simple act of sharing his faith, Deherage, an air-traffic controller, opened the door for God to transform two lives.

Church's Security Guard Gunned Down In Parking Lot During Bible Study

Chicago Tribune--As about 15 members of a Detroit church studied passages at their Wednesday night Bible study, the man hired to protect them was gunned down outside.

The death of 84-year-old Joseph Lewis is a "heartbreaker," said deacon Jimmy Jones, 61, from Victory Way Assembly Church of God & Christ.

"We were in Bible study and a young man ran into the church and said, 'Your guard was shot,' " Jones said today. "They don't have no regard whether it's a church, a party store or your house. They don't have any regard. They don't have that type of fear anymore."

Detroit Police investigators say two men walked up to the church parking lot at Tireman and Vancourt at 8:45 p.m. Wednesday and confronted the 84-year-old. A struggle ensued, with one shot hitting the security guard. The two men, who ran off, are still at large, according to police.

Jones said Lewis was armed, but his gun was still in his holster as a Detroit Police officer performed CPR to try to revive him in the parking lot.

"It's pathetic," Jones said. "I don't know if he was trying to rob him or what. For them to just come up and do that, it's pathetic."

Jones, a member of the church since 1983, said they hired the security firm about three years ago due to concerns about crime. He said he was relieved Wednesday night to see seven or eight Detroit Police cars and EMS crews responded quickly.

Today, church members will be deciding whether to fence the lot or install cameras so parishioners can worship in peace.
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