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Atheist group sues California city for opening meetings with explicitly Christian invocations

The city council of Pismo Beach, California is being sued by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) for opening its meetings with explicitly Christian invocations. According to transcripts obtained by FFRF and submitted along with its complaint, between January of 2008 and October of 2013, the city’s official chaplain, Paul…

North Korea using Russian tech to create ‘electromagnetic pulse weapons’

South Korea’s spy agency said Monday that North Korea was using Russian technology to develop electromagnetic pulse weapons aimed at paralysing military electronic equipment south of the border. The National Intelligence Service (NIS) said in a report to parliament that the North had purchased Russian electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weaponry to…

Iran’s Rouhani not ‘optimistic’ about nuclear talks

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is not “optimistic” about ongoing nuclear negotiations with world powers, the official IRNA news agency reported Monday ahead of a new round of talks this week. “The government is not optimistic about the Westerners and the current negotiations,” he was quoted as saying, echoing similar comments…

Pope Francis to step up fight against modern slavery and human trafficking

Pope Francis wants action against modern forms of slavery including forced labour and prostitution, the Vatican said Monday after a meeting of experts called by the pontiff to debate the problem. Dozens of academics, doctors and clerics were hosted by the Vatican to discuss issues close to the pope’s heart,…

Thai protesters march against amnesty for political criminals

Thousands of protesters marched through Bangkok on Monday, seeking to raise pressure on the Thai government over its controversial political amnesty bill. The opposition, which organised the demonstration, fears that the legislation could allow fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to return. More than 10,000 protesters joined the march to…

Israel and Palestine agree: Peace talks ‘set to collapse unless U.S. acts’

Nascent Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are likely to collapse without urgent US intervention, voices on both sides warned ahead of a new visit by Washington’s top diplomat. US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is due to arrive late Tuesday for the latest round of talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders,…

Security officer at California university suspended for anti-Semitic and racist images on Instagram account

A security officer at the University of California, Irvine was placed on leave this week after CBS 2 in Los Angeles reported on his anti-Semitic and racist online persona. Carlos Vazquez, who posted to Instagram under the handle “clos_vaz,” was also a public safety officer at Golden West College until…

Dawkins declares Bin Laden winner of war on terror after airport authorities confiscate his honey

Yesterday, famed evolutionary thinker and outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins tweeted that the war on terror had been won, and that it had been won by Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden has won, in airports of the world every day. I had a little jar of honey, now thrown away by…

CIA forced doctors to violate ethics code to torture suspected terrorists after 9/11

Doctors were asked to torture detainees for intelligence gathering, and unethical practices continue, review concludes Doctors and psychologists working for the US military violated the ethical codes of their profession under instruction from the defence department and the CIA to become involved in the torture and degrading treatment of suspected…

New Zealand police investigate online ‘rape club’ that named victims on Facebook

New Zealand police on Monday said they were investigating a gang of young males who boasted online about stupefying underage girls with alcohol then having group sex with them. In a case that has raised concerns about how to police online bullying, Prime Minister John Key said the claims made…

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