A Slovak street performer dressed in white papal vestments has been detained and fined by the police in Rome for bearing too close a resemblance to the late John Paul II, police say.Read more »
'Christ' or 'Messiah' also banned.
In New Zealand, parents have to run by the government any name they want to bestow on their baby.Read more »
Alcohol consumption is banned in Qatar, except in hotels and for non Muslims who obtain special licenses.Read more »
In Kentucky, a homeland security law requires the state’s citizens to acknowledge the security provided by the Almighty God--or risk 12 months in prison.Read more »
Malala was riding home in a school van Tuesday in the tense and Taliban-heavy Swat Valley when gunmen jumped into the vehicle and demanded to know which girl she was. Her horrified classmates pointed to her, and the men fired. Two other girls were wounded, but not seriously. Malala gained fame for blogging about how girls should have rights in Pakistan, including the right to learn. She spoke out in a region of the country where support for Islamic fundamentalism runs high.Read more »
MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Orthodox Church is asking for clemency for three jailed members of the rock band Pussy Riot if they repent for their "punk prayer" for deliverance from President Vladimir Putin at Moscow's main cathedral.Read more »
An Oregon couple whose teenaged son died from a burst appendix because they don't believe in modern medicine accepted a plea deal to avoid jail. Last December, Austin Sprout became sick with flu-like symptoms. Instead of taking the 16 year old to a doctor, his mother and stepfather chose to pray for his recovery. Sprout's condition deteriorated over more than a week, however, and an autopsy revealed that an infection from the burst appendix killed him, the Crewsell Chronicle reported.Read more »
Harry Potter is now the most banned book in America, according to the American Library Association. It is undeniable that themes of death and resurrection abound in the stories, as well as detailed depictions of potions and other hocus pocus. But while there are Christians who decry the celebration of witchcraft, there are other Christians who consider Harry’s journey an edifying allegory for Jesus Christ. That is another problem with banning books: it obscures the diversity of viewpoints within its potential readership.Read more »
CRYSTAL SPRINGS, MS (WLBT) - It was to be their big day, but a Jackson couple says the church where they were planning to wed turned them away because of their race. They had set the date and printed and mailed out all the invitations, but the day before wedding bells were to ring for Charles and Te'Andrea Wilson, they say they got some bad news from the pastor. "The church congregation had decided no black could be married at that church, and that if he went on to marry her, then they would vote him out the church," said Charles Wilson.Read more »
Saudi Arabia will send two female athletes to the London Olympics, ending the ultraconservative Muslim country's record of sending only all-male teams to the games.
While in previous Games, men have been able to wear shorts and singlets, the women will almost certainly have to compete with their heads, legs and arms covered - and most likely in leggings.Read more »
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