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Alabama woman who joined Islamic State sues to return to US
Date/Time: Thu, 21 Feb 2019 22:52:48 -0500

Alabama woman who joined Islamic State sues to return to USWASHINGTON (AP) — The father of an Alabama woman who joined the Islamic State in Syria filed suit against the Trump administration Thursday in an effort to allow her return to the United States.



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It's not just the Florida spa investigation allegedly tied to Robert Kraft. Sex trafficking is rampant across US
Date/Time: Sat, 23 Feb 2019 11:37:09 -0500

It's not just the Florida spa investigation allegedly tied to Robert Kraft. Sex trafficking is rampant across USSex trafficking accounted for 6,081 of over 8,500 reported cases of human trafficking in 2017, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.



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Vietnam announces traffic ban for possible Kim Jong Un summit arrival route
Date/Time: Fri, 22 Feb 2019 13:35:25 -0500

Vietnam announces traffic ban for possible Kim Jong Un summit arrival routeVietnam has been preparing for Kim to arrive by train for the Feb. 27-28 summit in Hanoi, two sources with direct knowledge of security and logistics planning told Reuters on Wednesday. Kim's train will stop at the border station of Dong Dang where he will disembark and proceed 170 km (105 miles) to Hanoi by car, the sources said. Traffic on that route will be partially banned from 7 p.m. on Feb. 25 and fully banned from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 26, the ruling Communist Party's Nhan Dan paper reported, citing the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam.



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Airlines admit having cameras installed on back of passengers’ seats
Date/Time: Sat, 23 Feb 2019 12:28:00 -0500

Airlines admit having cameras installed on back of passengers’ seatsThree of the world’s biggest airlines have admitted some of their planes have cameras installed on the backs of passenger seats. American Airlines, United Airlines and Singapore Airlines have new seat-back entertainment systems that include cameras. Companies that make the entertainment systems are fitting them with cameras to offer passengers options such as seat-to-seat video conferencing, according to an American Airlines spokesman.



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2019 10Best Cars
Date/Time: Fri, 22 Feb 2019 09:52:00 -0500

2019 10Best Cars



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China against forcefully sending aid to Venezuela
Date/Time: Fri, 22 Feb 2019 04:52:50 -0500

China against forcefully sending aid to VenezuelaChina said Friday it was against forcefully sending "so-called humanitarian assistance" to Venezuela, warning it could spark conflict in the crisis-torn country. China has loaned billions to Venezuela and has remained committed to President Nicolas Maduro even as the country has fallen deeper into economic crisis. Foreign aid mostly from the US has piled up on Venezuela's borders as the Maduro government refuses to let it into the country.



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The Roman Farce
Date/Time: Fri, 22 Feb 2019 12:15:42 -0500

The Roman FarcePope Francis is conducting his extraordinary summit with cardinals on the problem of sexual abuse in the Church. And we can expect it will go nowhere.The summit is happening in light of two events outside of it. The first was Pope Francis’s recent laicization of the former cardinal archbishop of Washington, D.C., Theodore McCarrick, a man who was notorious for his sexual abuse of seminarians and other priests, while at the same time he was the public-relations face of the Church’s response to sexual abuse and cover-up in the early 2000s. McCarrick was finally publicly exposed when an investigation into his abuse of a minor became public last year.The second is the publication of a sensationalist book by sociologist Frédéric Martel, In the Closet of the Vatican, which claims to document the sexual hypocrisy at the top of the Roman Catholic Church. The book is fascinating because it relies on scores of interviews with cardinals and is written in a loose, gossipy style. Some of the pope’s trusted confidantes were sources for the book. We’ll come back to that in a minute.These two events also reveal the problems inherent to Pope Francis’s summit. The laicization of McCarrick is held up as a victory of accountability, even justice, but actually amounts to a public-relations move. McCarrick was not afforded the normal forms of defense given to men in his position. And far from solving the McCarrick issue, his laicization avoids the main question: How did McCarrick rise to his position while “everyone knew” of his sordid reputation? Why was he able to maneuver around the restrictions put on him by Benedict XVI? Why did Francis make him an informal adviser in his anxious desire to reshape the American episcopate? And how is it that his associates (co-conspirators?) continue to rise in the Church? Cardinal Kevin Farrell, who lived and worked with McCarrick for years (and claims to have noticed nothing unusual), was recently appointed cardinal camerlengo, who will govern the Vatican during the next interregnum.Francis’s preferred bishops have also been promoting their own line on the abuse crisis at the summit. In their eyes, the problem is not rampant immorality, a network of moral blackmail, and moral conspiracy but what they call “clericalism.” The term is used in two senses. The first, the one that makes it plausible to some as a problem, is the idea that bishops and priests protect each other. That’s true. But what Francis’s men mean by clericalism is the idea of a Church where a hierarchical priesthood plays a role in safeguarding the Church’s traditional doctrine. They believe that this conception of the priesthood, as having real moral responsibility for handing on the faith as they received it, makes priests irresponsible. It is in this way that they transmute the failure of bishops to exercise authority to remove abusive priests into a problem of “excessive authority.” And thus sexual immorality is blamed, not just on moral and doctrinal conservatives, but on moral and doctrinal conservatism itself.Then there is the matter of the book, which replicates the same error. Martel’s methodology for determining whether certain churchmen are gay is to stereotype them. Churchmen whom he deems to oppose homosexuality too much are deemed homosexual themselves. This logic does not apply, however, to Pope Francis, who has occasionally urged gay men to leave the priesthood or not enter it at all. Francis is held up as a hero to Martel. But the influence of Francis’s inner circle is evident in the choice of targets.Martel meets with the German conservative cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller and insinuates that the cardinal’s “perfumed voice” gives him away as a homosexual. Pope Benedict XVI is deemed a homosexual because he likes opera. The traditionalist cardinal Raymond Leo Burke is deemed homosexual or even transsexual because he prefers the Church’s most elaborate vestments. Just as the Vatican summit limits its scope to avoid addressing the culture of abuse in seminaries, so Martel avoids discussing the documented abuse at the seminary of the so-called “vice pope,” Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga.Martel’s preferred story is one of moral hypocrisy. That may be a real moral problem for some churchmen. But because this is Martel’s bias, he is incapable of looking at the crisis through the lens of moral indifference, moral lassitude, and moral cronyism, which are the major factors in the crisis of sexual abuse and predation in the Church.That Martel was helped in this sordid endeavor of cover-up and baseless accusation by the pope’s closest advisers should be a source of immense scandal to those in the Church and outside it. He likes opera. He must be gay. He likes vestments. Must be gay. He has a pleasant voice. Gay. This is the kind of moral enlightenment that Pope Francis’s allies have brought to the Church? The only stereotype that Martel doesn’t use is the one about men who engage in constant salacious sexual gossip and speculation, as it would indict all his sources.The book is trash. The supposed justice meted to McCarrick amounts to a cover-up. The pope’s summit is trash and a coverup. These men do not fear the justice of God or men. All their training in theology, and their great insight about man’s depravity, is the schoolyard taunt “Whoever smelt it, dealt it.” To hell with them all.



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The Real Culprit Behind Trump's Border Emergency? Climate Change
Date/Time: Fri, 22 Feb 2019 14:15:44 -0500

The Real Culprit Behind Trump's Border Emergency? Climate ChangeBy declaring a national emergency on the U.S. border, Trump elevated an issue caused in part by global warming



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Southwest Airlines cancels nearly 400 flights as maintenance woes, winter storms linger
Date/Time: Thu, 21 Feb 2019 21:07:20 -0500

Southwest Airlines cancels nearly 400 flights as maintenance woes, winter storms lingerThe airline continues to have a higher-than-usual number of aircraft out of service due to maintenance and is dealing with snow in Las Vegas.



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Truckloads of civilians leave Islamic State enclave in Syria
Date/Time: Fri, 22 Feb 2019 06:09:55 -0500

Truckloads of civilians leave Islamic State enclave in SyriaTrucks loaded with civilians left the last Islamic State enclave in eastern Syria on Friday, as U.S.-backed forces waited to inflict final defeat on the surrounded jihadists. Reporters near the front line at Baghouz saw dozens of trucks driving out with civilians inside them, but it was not clear if more remained in the tiny pocket. The village is all that remains for Islamic State in the Euphrates valley region that became its final populated stronghold in Iraq and Syria after it lost the major cities of Mosul and Raqqa in 2017.



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