Religion

Philippines and Muslim rebels sign final peace deal to end 45-year conflict

By Reuters Staff (Muslim women display a banner during a gathering in support of the signing of a final peace pact between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), in Manila March 27, 2014. REUTERS/Al Falcon ) The Philippines and its largest Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), on Thursday signed a final peace pact, ending about 45 years of conflict that has killed more than 120,000 people in the country’s south. The fight against Muslim separatists and Maoist guerrillas for almost five decades has stunted growth in resource-rich rural areas, besides scaring off potential investment in mines, plantations, energy and infrastructure. Under the pact, Muslim rebels agreed to disband guerrilla forces, surrender weapons, and rebuild their communities while the government gives them self-rule with wider powers to control their economy and culture. But potential threats to lasting peace remain, ranging from a small breakaway MILF faction to criminal gangs, Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda and feuding clans, all a reminder to potential investors that the region is volatile. President Benigno Aquino and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who briefly put aside his own country’s problems over a missing Malaysia Airlines jet to witness the event, smiled and clapped as peace panel …read more Source: Reuters Faithword     ...
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Local News

Oprah To Launch Eight-City ‘Empowerment’ Tour

By Dvon Beloved talk show maven Oprah Winfrey (pictured) could be headed to your town this September as she prepares to embark on an eight-city ”The Life You Want” tour, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The weekend conferences will offer a two-day self-help experience spearheaded by the mogul herself, along with a host of cherry-picked, life-affirming experts, such as the author of ”Eat Pray Love,”Elizabeth Gilbert; the man whom Time Magazine deemed as one of the “100 Most Influential People of the World,” pastor Rob Bell; OWN star and spiritual teacher, author, and television personality Iyanla Vanzant; and in a few cities guru Deepak Choprak. Oprah’s tour is expected to make stops in Atlanta; Auburn Hills, Mich.; Houston; Miami; Newark, N.J.; Seattle; San Jose, Calif.; and Washington. Ticket prices are expected to range from $99 to $999 for VIPpackages that include a meet-and-greet with her highness herself, the “Big O.” Oprah told the Hollywood Reporter that she has pined for a domestic tour for quite a while and has placed the idea on her bucket list. The focus of the highly anticipated cross-country meetings will be to inspire folks to live their best life, ”It’s about living …read more Source: The Westside Gazette     ...
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Religion

Moonshine is just a phone call away in Islamic Iran

By Reuters Staff (A couple looks from the top of Milad Tower in Tehran October 18, 2010. REUTERS/Caren Firouz) “Have a shot of tequila first, cheer up!” Shahriyar tells guests gathered at his luxury apartment in Tehran. His girlfriend, Shima, said they party every weekend. “Shahriyar has one rule: bring your booze! We drink until morning,” she told Reuters on a FaceTime call, as lights flashed to rap music in the background. Despite the ban on alcohol and frequent police raids, drinking in Iran is widespread, especially among the wealthy. Because the Shiite-dominated Muslim state has no discotheques or nightclubs, it all takes place at home, behind closed doors. Some of the alcohol is smuggled in, but many resourceful Iranians make their own. “My friends and I routinely gather to stamp down on grapes in my bathtub,” said Hesam, a 28-year-old music teacher in Tehran, asking to be identified only by his first name. “It’s fun, a cleansing ritual almost.” Some take considerable pride in their results, to the delight of their acquaintances. “I have a friend who makes wine for his own consumption but gives me around 30 bottles per year as well,” said 36-year-old Mousa, speaking from in the central city of Isfahan. Only members of religious minorities – Christians, …read more Source: Reuters Faithword     ...
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Local News

Hialeah firefighters rescue cat caught in fence

Hialeah firefighters came to the rescue of a cat that was caught on a fence. Cellphone video shows the cat’s left hind leg caught between two wooden planks. The cat’s owner was unable to free the feline, so she called the Hialeah Fire Department. One firefighter grabbed the cat’s front paws while another firefighter hoisted the cat’s leg up and over the fence. The cat quickly ran off but was likely grateful to have been saved. …read more Source: WPLG Local News     ...
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Religion

Pakistani judge sentences Christian to death for blasphemy

By Reuters Staff (A demonstrator burns a cross during a protest against alleged blasphemy by Christians in the Badami Bagh area of Lahore March 9, 2013. REUTERS/Adrees Hassain ) A Pakistani judge has sentenced a Christian to death for blasphemy, lawyers said on Thursday, in the latest of a rising tide of such legal cases. Judge Lahore Ghulam Murtaza Chaudhry sentenced Sawan Masih to hang after a Muslim said he had insulted the prophet Mohammed in the eastern city of Lahore a year ago. The accusation against Masih sparked a riot in which Muslims burned more than 100 Christian homes. “Today (the judge)announced his verdict that says that Sawan must be hanged and fined,” said Nameem Shakir, a lawyer for the accused. Masih planned to appeal, he said. At least 16 people are on death row in Pakistan for blasphemy and at least 20 others are serving life sentences. Pakistan has not yet executed anyone for blasphemy. Members of religious minorities say they are often threatened with such accusations. The law does not require evidence to be presented in court and there are no penalties for false allegations. Courts often hesitate to hear evidence, fearful that reproducing it will also be considered blasphemous. Activists who want to reform the law say …read more Source: Reuters Faithword     ...
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Religion

Biblical epic film ‘Noah’ tests director Aronofsky’s blockbuster chops

By Reuters Staff (Stained glass window of Noah’s Ark in St Étienne du Mont church in Paris, 2 June 2010/GFreihalter) Rain lashes down from the heavens while hungry followers of Cain trample over each other for a spot on Noah’s massive wooden ark. The end is inevitable and, of course, not pretty. Director Darren Aronofsky, best known for dark and unrelenting dramas such as the Oscar-nominated “Black Swan,” would have it no other way in the biblical epic “Noah,” which stars Russell Crowe and is set to be released in U.S. and Canadian theaters, as well as several other countries, on Friday. “There’s something elemental about the water,” Aronofsky said. “Water has an incredible power to destroy and it also gives rebirth. It’s an amazing force. So, I’ve just always wondered why no one ever brought it to the big screen.” The film distributed by Viacom Inc’s Paramount Pictures is the auteur director’s first big test of whether he can guide a big-budget spectacle to box office success. And the risk-taking Aronofsky, 45, is sure to unsettle some along the way as the film blends one of the best-known Old Testament tales with the trademark psychological torment to which he routinely submits protagonists. “We all have the Noah story …read more Source: Reuters Faithword     ...
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Religion

Vatican removes German ‘bishop of bling’ over luxury home

By Philip Pullella (A car drives past the residence of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst next to Limburg Cathedral (L) in Limburg October 14, 2013.REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach) The Vatican has removed a German bishop because he spent 31 million euros ($43 million) of Church funds on an extravagant residence when Pope Francis was preaching austerity. It said the atmosphere in the diocese of Limburg had become such that Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst could no longer carry out a “fruitful exercise” of his ministry there. Tebartz-van Elst, dubbed the “bishop of bling”, had been ordered to stay out of his diocese temporarily last October during a local Church investigation and audit of cost over-runs. He offered his resignation at the time. A statement on Wednesday said the Vatican department that oversees bishops had now studied the investigation’s findings and accepted his resignation. The 108-page report for the German Bishops’ Conference said Tebartz-van Elst had demanded that all those involved in the project should observe “strict secrecy” about its costs. It said the accounting and construction procedures used “a system that was not transparent either to the diocese or the public”, adding that the bishop “alone must also carry the full responsibility” because he did not share information. Another prelate, Monsignor Manfred Grothe, has …read more Source: Reuters Faithword     ...
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Local News

Man who posed as utility worker to scam elderly woman arrested

A man who posed as a utility worker in an attempt to scam an elderly woman in February has turned himself in, Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies said. Tom Bimbo surrendered Thursday afternoon at the BSO’s Oakland Park office and was arrested on a burglary charge. Deputies credited the 87-year-old woman’s neighbor, Oakland Park Commissioner Tim Lonergan, for foiling the alleged plot. Lonergan noticed Bimbo’s black Mercedes-Benz parked in the driveway of his neighbor’s home and watched as two men wearing safety vests and hard hats stepped out. He watched as one of the men knocked on his neighbor’s door and was let inside, while the second man waited and walked in through the unlocked door unannounced. Lonergan took pictures of the car and its license plate before checking on his neighbor. When he walked in, he saw one man talking to her near the back door while the other man was walking out of the woman’s bedroom. The men said they were there to check for leaks, but Lonergan didn’t recognize them as city workers and noticed they weren’t wearing badges. They drove off after Lonergan kept questioning them, but detectives used his photos to link Bimbo to the car. …read more Source: WPLG Local News     ...
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Education

Tools for Success – Empowering Your Emotional Intelligence, April 8

By wlchrist Winter 2014 Student Success Workshop Series April 8, 2014 Carl DeSantis Building – Knight Auditorium 12:10 p.m. – 12:50 p.m. Emotional intelligence can be a powerful asset in our daily living. The Office of Undergraduate Student Success invites you to this Tools for Success workshop. This will focus on empowering one’s ability to utilize his or her emotional mind and logical mind to increase their academic success, decision making, and self-awareness. Tools for Success is a series of workshops designed to assist students in adapting to university life and ultimately achieving degree completion. For more information, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Student Success, studentsuccess@nova.edu or (954) 262-8386 …read more Source: NSU News     ...
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Local News

Latest information on search for missing jet

Australia announced Friday that the search area for the Malaysia Airlines jet that disappeared March 8 has shifted to a new Indian Ocean region, 1,100 kilometers (680 miles) to the northeast of where planes and ships had been trying to find it. …read more Source: Miami Herald     ...
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Religion

Thrivent Financial is no longer for Lutherans only

By David Yonke (RNS) The company chose to use the Apostles’ Creed — a statement of Christian belief dating back to the 4th century — as the determining factor in whether a person is eligible to join Thrivent. The post Thrivent Financial is no longer for Lutherans only appeared first on Religion News Service. …read more Source: Religion news Service     ...
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