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On the eve of the Passover holiday, effusive holiday greetings from a senior Fatah official landed in the inboxes of Israeli peace activists. In the April 21 email, Fatah Central Committee member Mohammed al-Madani hoped, “On this festival of freedom, the Palestinian people will also get to realize their freedom and we will establish our state next to the State of Israel and peace will reign in our region.” Madani, who also heads the Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society, signed off, “And let us say Amen.” Unfortunately, the Israelis who are authorized to say “Amen” to his prayer of peace and to make it a reality are the ones who worship land. Ahead of the Jewish holidays, they usually show their respect for Madani and his friends by imposing a closure on the West Bank and its Palestinian residents. MORE
VATICAN CITY (AFP) – A clean-up of the Vatican bank has been completed, with the final tally of suspect accounts that had to be closed nearing 5,000, the Holy See’s financial watchdog said Thursday.
Unveiling the 2015 annual report of the Financial Information Authority (FIA), its director Tommaso Di Ruzza said a three-year examination of the scandal-hit Institute of Religious Works (IOR), as the bank is officially known, was now finished. MORE
SEVILLE (SPAIN) (AFP) – Construction workers have found 600 kilos (1,300 pounds) of ancient Roman coins while carrying out routine work on water pipes in southern Spain, local officials said Thursday.
“It is a unique collection and there are very few similar cases,” Ana Navarro, head of Seville’s Archeology Museum which is looking after the find, told a news conference.
Dating back to the late third and early fourth centuries, the bronze coins were found Wednesday inside 19 Roman amphoras, a type of jar, in the town of Tomares near Seville. MORE
Andy Park wanted to test the limits of Target’s new bathroom policy that allows transgender people to use whichever store restroom “corresponds with their gender identity.” Park visited a Target store in St Petersburg, Florida, on April 22 and recorded his experiences on a hidden camera. MORE
“I have Democrat friends and Republican friends,” the former House speaker said during a frank on-stage discussion at Stanford University Wednesday. “I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.” MORE
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Ford has unveiled a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel called the EcoBlue, and it will be the first of a new range of clean sheet oil burners. Ford claims the EcoBlue 2.0-liter will increase fuel economy by 13 percent compared to equivalent older engines. Expect the EcoBlue diesel to power future Ford passenger and commercial vehicles, with an outputs ranging from 98 to 237 hp, with the Transit and Transit Custom being the first models to use the new engine in Europe.MORE
The Danish Council of Ethics recommended an initial tax on beef, with a view to extending the regulation to all red meats in future. It said that in the long term, the tax should apply to all foods at varying levels depending on climate impact.
The council voted in favour of the measures by an overwhelming majority, and the proposal will now be put forward for consideration by the government. MORE
The UN Security Council has rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that the annexed Golan Heights in Syria would “for ever” remain under Israeli control.
The 15-member council agreed on Tuesday that the status of the Golan, which Israel seized from Syria in 1967, “remains unchanged”, Chinese Ambassador Liu Jieyi, who holds this month’s council presidency said. MORE
But gun control was supposed to drive down crime rates, or something?
Three major cities accounted for more than half of the rise in the national murder rate between 2014 and 2015, a new report shows.
Though overall crime rates were stagnant in America’s 30 largest cities the murder rate rose 13.3 percent, according to a report from the Brennan Center for Justice. The violent crime rate also rose by 3.1% in those major cities, lead by increases in Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Charlotte.
Three cities were also mainly responsible for the rise in murders. “Final data confirm that three cities (Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.) account for more than half (244) of the national increase in murders,” the report said. SOURCE
The Arizona Geological Survey said two quakes occurred, including a magnitude 2.6 quake at 12:07 a.m.
There has been a swarm of 21 quakes in an area along the Arizona-Nevada line south-southwest of Littlefield, AZ, which is also close to southwestern Utah and the frequency and span puzzles geologists.
The survey said the area has several active faults and that its geologic features suggest there could be additional potentially active faults just north of the largest quake.
The largest in the swarm was a magnitude 3.4 quake was reported at 2:23 a.m. on April 8. SOURCE
Not only was socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) invited to a conference of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS) on Catholic social teaching and the world situation, he also met personally with Pope Francis.
A secular Jewish atheist, Sanders is not even a member of the Catholic Church. “I am not actively involved with organized religion,” Sanders has said. His brother Larry says, “He is quite substantially not religious.” MORE