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Sat, 23 Oct 2021
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Crusader

New Pew Forum Report Analyzes Religious Restrictions Around the World

religions graphic
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Three-Year Study Finds One-Third of Global Population Experiences An Increase

Washington, D.C. - More than 2.2 billion people, nearly a third (32%) of the world's total population of 6.9 billion, live in countries where either government restrictions on religion or social hostilities involving religion rose substantially between mid-2006 and mid-2009, according to a new study on global restrictions on religion released today by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life. Only about 1% of the world's population lives in countries where government restrictions or social hostilities declined.

In general, most of the countries that experienced substantial increases in government restrictions or social hostilities involving religion already had high or very high levels of restrictions or hostilities. By contrast, nearly half of the countries that had substantial decreases in restrictions or hostilities already scored low. This suggests that there may be a gradual polarization taking place in which countries that are relatively high in religious restrictions are becoming more restrictive, while those that are relatively low are becoming less restrictive.

These are among the key findings of Rising Restrictions on Religion, the Pew Forum's second report on global restrictions on religion. The study is part of the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures project, an effort funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation to analyze religious change and its impact on societies around the world.

Dollar

US: Big Banks Plead with Customers Not to Move Their Money

demonstrate at a Bank of America
© David McNew/Getty Images
Police officers stand guard as Occupy LA protesters stop to demonstrate at a Bank of America during the Move Your Money March on what is being called Bank Transfer Day on November 5, 2011.

Yes, The Big Banks DO Care If We Move Our Money

650,000 customers moved $4.5 billion dollars out of the big banks and into smaller banks and credit unions in the last month.

But there is a myth making the rounds that the big banks don't really care if we move our money. For example, one line of reasoning is that no matter how many people move their money, the Fed and Treasury will just bail out the giants again.

But many anecdotes show that the too big to fails do, in fact, care.

Initially, of course, if the big banks really didn't care, they wouldn't have prevented protesters from closing their accounts.

Bulb

Bank Transfer Day: Kristen Christian on How She Inspired Mass Exodus from Big Banks to Credit Unions

Protests were held across the country Saturday to mark Bank Transfer Day, a campaign to move accounts from big banks into community banks or credit unions. Credit unions attracted more than 40,000 new account holders, reporting about $80 million in new savings, or an average of about $2,000 per new account holder. The campaign was organized by Kristen Christian when she learned that Bank of America planned to charge her a $5 monthly debit card fee. Her Facebook post urging friends to abandon big banks unwittingly blossomed into a national campaign. Although the campaign was neither inspired by nor organized by the cyber-activist group Anonymous or the Occupy Wall Street movement, it did benefit from their support. "The message from Bank Transfer Day was not the fee itself, but actually the principle behind it, because, at least with Bank of America, the fee only applied to account holders with less than $20,000 in combined accounts. So, based on principle, I couldn't support a business that would directly target the impoverished and working class," Christian says.

Heart - Black

Daughters of Maire Rankin speak about their 'living nightmare'

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Marie Rankin, brutally attacked on Christmas day 2008
The Truth about what happened the night Maire Rankin was murdered will never be known, according to her daughters Brenda and Aine.

The two daughters gave their first interview to TV3′s Midweek programme tonight, in which they described the past two years and 10 months as a "living nightmare".

Their 81-year-old mother, Maire, was killed in the early hours of Christmas morning in 2008. Her neighbour, Dublin pharmacist Karen Walsh, was convicted of the brutal murder and jailed for a minimum of 20 years last Friday.

"The past two years and 10 months have been about Karen Walsh," Aine told presenter Colette Fitzpatrick during the interview. "We have been in court 50 times and have been completely and utterly obsessed with the trial. It has taken over.

Magnify

Corpses Don't Rebel: A former follower of Michael Pearl's "To Train Up A Child" reacts to the death of Hana Williams

Trigger Warning: This article contains graphic descriptions of infant and child abuse.

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The death toll from parents following Michael and Debi Pearl's teachings continues to mount. Another child is has been "biblically chastened" to death via corporal punishment, and Michael Pearl is defending his teachings in the mainstream media while promoting his new book. Gary Tuchman and Anderson Cooper both reported on the death of 13-year-old Hana Williams, whose adoptive parents Larry and Carri Williams subjected her to beatings and neglect while following the teachings of the Pearls.

Michael Pearl defends himself and his teachings during his CNN interviews using two arguments:

First, the presence of his book, To Train Up a Child, and the presence of his other teaching materials on "biblical chastisement," in the homes of homicidal parents, is purely circumstantial. It makes no more sense, Pearl argues, to blame To Train Up a Child for discipline-turned-abusive-turned-murderous than to blame Alcoholics Anonymous brochures in the home for deaths due to drunk driving, or weight-loss materials in the home for obesity.

As Anderson Cooper pointed out, this defense is illogical. AA literature says not to drink, especially while driving. Pearl literature emphasizes inflicting physical pain on children in order to break their wills and achieve total obedience to parents. In the Cooper interview, Pearl talks about physically chastising to "get the child's attention." What if your child still isn't paying attention?

Pearl's second argument comes up every time his teachings are linked to children beaten to death: kids end up abused and killed because parents, despite owning copies of his teachings and trying to follow them, aren't really following his teachings. They are missing the joy part, the reconciliation part, the praying part, the loving part, or whatever. They discipline in anger instead of in love.

Or - and I suspect this is what Pearl really thinks but can't say without contradicting his own child-training directions - they should have known when to stop, when they were being cruel and abusive instead of loving, even if the child was still in rebellion and hadn't budged an inch. At some point, a loving parent with some sense and a conscience will stop inflicting more pain. This is what Pearl believes, or at least one would hope this is what he believes. This isn't what he teaches.

Heart

We Will Never Pay, So Stop Harassing Us

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© Unknown
To: Whom it may concern in the Internal Revenue Service (hereafter known as IRS).

From: Cindy Sheehan, grieving mother of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan, KIA in Iraq on 04/04/04

From: Christy (Dede) Miller, grieving aunt of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan, KIA in Iraq on 04/04/04

RE: Recent Notices of Levy and SUMMONS to appear from the IRS to Cindy Sheehan

COPY: The American People

"How does it become a wo(man) to behave towards the American government today? I answer, that s/he cannot without disgrace be associated with it".

Henry David Thoreau

Footprints

Papandreou resigns as Greek PM

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© Unknown
Athens - Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou pledged his support for his yet-to-be named successor Wednesday as he formally stepped down as leader of the debt-wracked country.

"I want to wish every success to the new PM and the new government. I will support this effort with all my strength," Papandreou said in a solemn televised address to the nation, without naming the next leader.

But the outgoing PM said his successor would be an "institutional" choice as reports suggested 60-year-old parliament chief Philippos Petsalnikos, a long-term socialist member and former minister, would be given the nod.

"This is a historic day, the fact that several political powers are able to co-operate," Papandreou later told head of state President Carolos Papoulias ahead of a meeting with other parties to finalize the new administration.

"It opens a new page in our country's history," he said.

Attention

Student fees protest: who is behind latest London demonstrations

Thousands of students and demonstrators are expected to gather for protests against tuition fees on Wednesday. Here is a look at some of the groups involved in the large scale demonstration.

Police said around 4,000 officers will be on duty for the protest against a hike in tuition fees and cuts to funding, with organisers expecting about 10,000 students to take part.
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© EPA
Anti-riot police in Hackney, north London

The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, led by Michael Chessum, is said to be the protest's "organiser".

Mr Chessum the group supports non-violent direct action. He accused police of making it "more likely that trouble will occur".

"This is the biggest peacetime betrayal of a generation in modern British history," he said.

"The failure of the democratic process has led people to take it to extremes. Anything that does happen will be other people doing what other people do and not our responsibility."

Comment:
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© C.H.



Dollar

US: Goldman faces suits over $15.8B in mortgages

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© Ingram Pinn
Goldman Sachs Group Inc faces lawsuits over $15.8 billion worth of mortgage securities, the bank said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday, a more than 30-fold increase from the amount disclosed three months earlier.

The aggregate figure, which is up from $485 million previously, does not represent how much money Goldman management estimates it may lose on the litigation. Goldman lifted that estimate of "reasonably possible" losses to $2.6 billion from $2 billion.

The bigger dollar figures come as investors in mortgage-backed bond deals have raced to take legal action or enter settlement negotiations before statutes of limitations expire, and as investors continue to worry about banks' exposure to big lawsuits.

Goldman also added three European financial firms to a list of parties that have threatened to sue it, a more fulsome disclosure than some of its peers.

Goldman said HSH Nordbank, Norges Bank Investment Management and IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG have threatened to assert claims related to mortgage offerings, in addition to insurance giant American International Group Inc and Manulife Financial Corp's John Hancock unit, whose legal threats it disclosed last quarter.

Attention

US: Mental health worker who reported child porn fired

'We're not allowed to go to police' unless actual child abuse is observed, supervisor says

Missoula, Montana - An employee of a Missoula mental health center who reported a client's computer search for child pornography was fired after reporting him to police.

The client, John Gribble, is charged with sexually abusing a child after a DVD with photos of nude children was found at his house.

The Missoulian reported Wednesday that an employee of Three Rivers Mental Health Solutions contacted police about Gribble on Oct. 17.

The employee first told her supervisors, who told her not to report Gribble. Three Rivers administrator Shea Hennelly says reports that break medical confidentiality must include the names and address of the child involved and the extent of the child's injuries.

"In order to provide mental health services, we can't engage in dual roles. We're not allowed to go to police" unless actual child abuse is observed, Hennelly told The Missoulian. "She didn't witness someone abusing a child. What this woman reported to this office was she saw the tab of Web browsers that said teenage girls. That's a lot different."