Monday, May 14, 2012

Christian messages banned in Buffalo

A federal lawsuit has been filed against the city of Buffalo, N.Y., alleging that police threatened to arrest a Christian for peacefully handing out tracts and talking with passersby who were willing to chat with him on public property.
The complaint was filed by the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of Gregory Owen.
While handing out tracts to willing recipients on a public street during a public festival, Owen was approached by a police officer who declined to identify himself but told him that the Buffalo Police Department is “the law” and he should stop handing out tracts.
According to the lawsuit: “Subsequently, another police officer, Officer Slomka, arrived on the scene. She quickly informed Owen that they could not hand out tracts in the festival and explained that the prohibition was ‘by our orders.’ Owen asked for her name, and she replied: ‘Slomka, write it down.’ Owen advised that he believed the tracts to be free speech; nonplussed, Officer Slomka reiterated that they couldn’t hand out tracts there and had to go outside of the festival area to continue with their expressive activity.”
Then, “Owen inquired as to whether they would be arrested if they continued to hand out tracts in the festival area, to which, Officer Slomka replied: ‘Yes.’”
Nate Kellum, one of more than 2,100 attorneys in the ADF alliance, said people of faith “shouldn’t be threatened with arrest for peacefully expressing their beliefs.”
“The Constitution and court precedent in these types of cases is clear: Officials cannot toss someone out of a public event simply because they don’t like the views he’s expressing,” he said.
“This is a classic example of free speech that the First Amendment protects,” he said.
City officials declined to respond to a WND request for comment.


'Lost tribe' of Israel returning home

After a five-year immigration halt, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has given permission to a community of Indian citizens who believe they are one of the “lost tribes” of Israel to move to the Jewish state.

“We had a major breakthrough, and thank God, the Aliya [immigration to Israel] is set to resume this summer, and we hope and pray to bring the first batch of 50 families, or about 250-300 Bnei Menashe immigrants, to Israel by the end of August,” said Michael Freund, chairman of Shavei Israel, which is behind the initiative.


D-Day Landing Prayer Act Introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Rob Portman

D-Day Landing Prayer Act Introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Rob Portman

Senator Portman made the following statement in support of the legislation:
In January The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. twenty seventy, The D-Day Landing Prayer Act, sponsored by Congressman Bill Johnson of Ohio's Sixth District, legislation that will direct the Interior Secretary to install FDR's D-Day Landing Prayer in its entirety at the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. in either a plaque or inscription.
“On D-Day, courageous Americans risked and sacrificed their lives to preserve our freedoms and end tyranny abroad,” said Portman. “That morning, President Roosevelt asked our nation to come together to pray for the men overseas. His words brought strength and comfort to many during one of the most challenging times for our nation and will forever be etched in our history.
“This bill ensures that FDR’s prayer will become a permanent reminder of the sacrifice of those who fought in World War II, and of the power of prayer through difficult times,” he added. “I encourage the Senate to take it up and pass it quickly.”
Ohio Christian Alliance President Chris Long made the following statement: "It will provide future generations an opportunity to read this prayer that President Roosevelt prayed with the nation on the morning of the D-Day Landings," said Long.
"This prayer was heard by many around the world who were listening by radio as the events in Normandy were unfolding. The lives of millions were in the balance, depending on the success of the Allies' advance, and the hope and prayer of many was expressed in President Roosevelt's prayer."
The bill now awaits a committee assignment. Ohio Christian Alliance by clicking here!
At The Ohio Statehouse:
Your calls made a difference. The Ohio Senate pulled a provision in H.B. 386 that would have allowed for charitable gaming rooms in all 88 counties. Ohioans saw this as a blatant attempt to expand casino-style gambling into all of Ohio's 88 counties. OCA President Chris Long stated, "A few years ago, Ohio had no gambling. Now, it's as if we have gone gambling crazy. With this proposed amendment that our organization strongly opposed, Ohio would have gone from 4 casinos that Ohio voters approved in 2009 to upwards of 100 casinos, one in every county. Thankfully, due to the calls and emails from concerned citizens across the state, better heads prevailed and the Senate pulled the provision. We will be watching carefully as gambling legislation continues to move through the legislature.
OCA President Chris Long testified in support of H.B. 262, legislation that addresses the scourge of human trafficking in Ohio.
We would also like to commend the bill’s sponsor, Representative Fedor, and Governor Kasich for their joint leadership on this important legislation that addresses a growing problem internationally and unfortunately right here at home in Ohio. This common sense legislation will bring a greater awareness to the general public about this serious criminal activity in our state and throughout the country.
This bill will provide protection and assistance to the victims of the crime of human trafficking and sex slavery with tougher criminal penalties being applied to the perpetrators. It will provide general assistance to the victims with the posting of an informative poster displaying a 24-hour hotline in travel areas such as highway truck stops, gas stations, hospitals and urgent care centers, agricultural labor camps, and adult oriented establishments. It also creates a diversion program by which juvenile victims of human trafficking can receive protection and treatment through the juvenile justice system and allows victims to pursue civil damages against a pimp or trafficker. ... To Read the entire testimony click here.

ABC Network Cancels "Good Christian Belles" Show For Not Attracting Enough Viewerhip

Christian Post--ABC has canceled its freshman series with the controversial title "GCB," which some believed mocked Christians, as it failed to attract enough viewership.

ABC has officially passed on ordering second seasons of four series, including "GCB," which is based on Kim Gatlin's novel Good Christian Bitches and centers on a newly widowed woman who moves back with her family to the upscale Dallas, Texas, neighborhood where she grew up, according to

The "Missing," "The River" and "Pan Am" series have also been canceled.

The series, which was changed from the original title "Good Christian Bitches" to "Good Christian Belles" and finally to "GCB," was only able to attract an average of 5.9 million viewers and 1.9 ratings in the adults 18-to-49 demographic.

Stars of the series, touted as the heir to the "Desperate Housewives" throne, tweeted about its cancellation.

"[ABC] is literally in a room in NY right now deciding our fate. #GCB #GCBSeason2 #PleaseLord," cast member Jennifer Aspen wrote on Twitter Friday, and then announced, "I'm so sorry to tell you all that #GCB has been cancelled by ABC. #Heartbroken."

Read More From Christian Post

Air Force Pilots Refuse To Fly F-22 Raptor Jets Despite Threats of Reprimand and Discharge From Military

Some of the nation's top aviators are refusing to fly the radar-evading F-22 Raptor, a fighter jet with ongoing problems with the oxygen systems that have plagued the fleet for four years.

At the risk of significant reprimand — or even discharge from the Air Force — fighter pilots are turning down the opportunity to climb into the cockpit of the F-22, the world's most expensive fighter jet.

The Air Force did not reveal how many of its 200 F-22 pilots, who are stationed at seven military bases across the country, declined their assignment orders. But current and former Air Force officials say it's an extremely rare occurrence.

"It's shocking to me as a fighter pilot and former commander of Air Combat Command that a pilot would decline to get into that airplane," said retired four-star Gen. Richard E. Hawley, a former F-15 fighter pilot and air combat commander at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Va.
He said he couldn't remember one specific incident in his 35-year career in which a fighter pilot had declined his assignment.

Concern about the safety of the F-22 has grown in recent months as reports about problems with its oxygen systems have offered no clear explanations why pilots are reporting hypoxia-like symptoms in the air. Hypoxia is a condition that can bring on nausea, headaches, fatigue or blackouts when the body is deprived of oxygen.

The Air Force's handling of the investigation is being closely watched throughout the military and in Congress.

The F-22, designed and built byLockheed Martin Corp., is considered the most advanced fighter jet in the world. It entered service in 2005, and the Air Force is set to receive the last of its order of 188 planes later this month.

The plane can reach supersonic speeds without using afterburners, enabling it to fly faster and farther. It's also packed with cutting-edge radar and sensors, enabling a pilot to identify, track and shoot an enemy aircraft before that craft can detect the F-22. The Air Force says the aircraft is essential to maintain air dominance around the world.

According to the Air Force, each of the sleek, diamond-winged aircraft costs $143 million. Counting upgrades and research and development costs, the U.S. Government Accountability Office estimates that each F-22 cost U.S. taxpayers $412 million.

While other warplanes in the U.S. arsenal have been used to pummel targets in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, the Air Force's F-22s have sat largely idle — used only in test missions. Even so, throughout the jet's development, F-22 pilots have experienced seven serious crashes, including two fatalities.
Read More From LA Times

U.S Lawmakers Silent As Federal Reserve Hands Over Bank To China

U.S. lawmakers have been unusually silent about federal regulators' decision to allow a Chinese bank to take over 13 bank branches in New York and California, suggesting that they think American banks have much to gain.

Members of both parties usually relish the chance to bash China on everything from government subsidies to the yuan's exchange rate. Yet Wednesday's decision by the Federal Reserve to certify a Chinese bank acquisition for the first time was met by near-universal silence.

Scott Talbott, the head lobbyist for the Financial Services Roundtable, said that's unsurprising. The U.S. wants China to open up its financial services market – foreign ownership of Chinese banks is limited to 25 percent – and allowing a Chinese presence in the U.S. is seen as a necessary trade-off.
“What this boils down to is that there are a ton more potential customers in China for U.S. banks than there are potential customers for the Chinese here,” Talbott said. “So in the long run, the approval is going to benefit the U.S.”
Wednesday's decision allows Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, which is 70 percent owned by the Chinese government, to take an 80 percent stake in a Hong Kong-based bank with 13 branches in the U.S. The Fed also allowed two other Chinese banks to open branches in New York and Chicago.

The decision came days after Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner met with top Chinese officials for annual talks in Beijing. China agreed during those talks to allow foreigners a greater stake in Chinese brokerage firms.

 Read More From The Hill

World's Most Dangerous Drug Eliminates Free Will and Wipse Out Memory

A hazardous drug that eliminates free will and can wipe the memory of its victims is currently being dealt on the streets of Colombia.

The drug is called scopolamine, but is colloquially known as ‘The Devil’s Breath,' and is derived from a particular type of tree common to South America.

Stories surrounding the drug are the stuff of urban legends, with some telling horror stories of how people were raped, forced to empty their bank accounts, and even coerced into giving up an organ.

Vice's Ryan Duffy travelled to the country to find out more about the powerful drug. In two segments, he revealed the shocking culture of another Colombian drug world, interviewing those who deal the drug and those who have fallen victim to it.
Demencia Black, a drug dealer in the capital of Bogota, said the drug is frightening for the simplicity in which it can be administered.

  • Scopolamine often blown into faces of victims or added to drinks
  • Within minutes, victims are like 'zombies' - coherent, but with no free will
  • Some victims report emptying bank accounts to robbers or helping them pillage own house
  • Drug is made from borrachero tree, which is common in Colombia


    GPS Tracking Devices Confirm That Bible Balloons Are Landing In North Korea

    Charisma News--Seoul USA, a Korean-American NGO that launches Bibles and gospel flyers into North Korea 70 to 80 times a year, now has proof that the balloons are reaching their target.

    Using GPS tracking devices overlaid onto Google Maps, Seoul USA is confirming the precise location of several of its launches this year and posting the photographic images on its website.

    “We’ve known for years that our balloon launches were reaching the targeted areas because of the angry response of the North Korean government,” said Seoul USA President the Rev. Eric Foley. “But the GPS devices provide us with precise verification that will enable us to further increase the accuracy of future launches.”

    North Korea is universally regarded as the most hostile environment for Christians, Foley notes, so balloon launches provide one of the only ways to do mass distribution of Scripture and gospel messages inside the Hermit Kingdom.

    “When the South Korean government sought to appease North Korea politically in the 1990s,” Foley says, “they asked the North, ‘How can we make you happy?’ ‘Stop sending balloons and stop doing radio broadcasts,’ the North said. So Seoul USA has partnered with the North Korean underground church since that point to do daily radio broadcasts and as many balloon launches as our funds permit.”

    Though the North Korean government tries to jam the radio broadcasts and protest the balloon launches, Foley says, the GPS tracking data shows that the message is getting through.
    Read More From Charisma News

    Four Dead One Seriously Injured In Plane Crash Headed To Teen Mania Event

    Christian Post--Four of the five Christian youths going from Oklahoma to Iowa for a Teen Mania conference died after their small plane made a crash landing and caught fire in a field in southeastern Kansas.

    The Kansas Highway Patrol said Saturday the twin-engine Cessna 401 crashed Friday afternoon about nine miles west of Chanute. The plane landed in a field and skidded about 200 feet before hitting trees.
    The pilot had been in contact with air traffic controllers and there was no distress call, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

    Four recent graduates of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., including the pilot, and a former instructor in the College of Business were on their way to the May 11-12 "Acquire the Fire" conference in Council Bluffs, Iowa, said Texas-based Teen Mania Ministries, which organizes the conference.

    Those killed were identified as the pilot Luke F. Sheets, 23, of Ephraim, Wis.; Austin G. Anderson, 27, of Ringwood, Okla.; Stephen J. Luth, 22, of Muscatine, Iowa, according to CNN. All three were Oral Roberts graduates. Former instructor Garrett V. Coble, 29, of Tulsa, Okla., was also killed.

    Anderson and Hannah Luce, 22, daughter of Oral Roberts trustee and Teen Mania founder Ron Luce, survived the crash. The two were able to walk to a nearby roadway and get help. However, Anderson succumbed to his injuries early Saturday. Luce was recovering in a hospital in Kansas City, Mo.

    "We are so saddened by what has happened and ask for all those who have been touched by this ministry in some way to rally around the families of all involved in the crash, especially the four young men who passed away," Ron Luce said in a statement. "Please lift them up in prayer, and ask for the Holy Spirit to surround them with God's love and peace. They all had a heart for this generation, and were passionately pursuing God's call on their lives."
    Read More From Christian Post