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NY town bans atheists from delivering invocations after Supreme Court prayer victory

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling in its favor, the town of Greece, New York issued a new policy that will bar atheists from delivering opening invocations at city functions, the Center for Inquiry (CFI) reports. According to the new policy, “[t]he invocation shall be voluntarily delivered by…

‘You don’t execute a 9-year-old boy’: Chicago police investigating killing of child

By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago police are investigating the killing of a 9-year-old boy, and a local Catholic church is offering $5,000 for information leading to his killer’s arrest, police and church officials said on Thursday. Police found the boy, identified by local media and a church pastor…

HBO executive defends sex and violence in Game of Thrones: I’m not the boob police

A top HBO executive has defended the often extreme scenes of sex, violence and rape in Game of Thrones, arguing that his job is not to police “how many breasts there are on a show”. The global hit show is known for airing graphic scenes for which has been criticised…

Egyptian cleric: Men allowed to spy on women in the shower if they have ‘pure intentions’

Men can spy on women in the shower, an extremist cleric has argued in Egypt, prompting outrage from other Islamic scholars. According to Osama al-Qusi, a Salafist or ultraorthodox preacher, peeping toms can watch a woman wash as long as they are interested in marrying her. “If you were really…

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Creationist Ken Ham’s views are ‘even crazy to many Christians’

In a recent interview with Dan Arel at Alternet, astrophysicist and host of TV’s Cosmos, Neil deGrasse Tyson addressed a wide range of subjects from why he doesn’t do debates to calling creationist Ken Ham’s views “crazy.” Tyson explained that he was surprised by the attention given to Cosmos by…

Westboro Baptists to picket Michael Brown’s funeral — blame death on gay NFL player

Members of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church have announced that it plans to protest the funeral of Michael Brown on August 25, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, the New Civil Rights Movement reports. According to a flyer posted on the Topeka-based church’s official Twitter account, the reason for their protest has…

Oklahoma bishop drops lawsuit against Satanic ‘black mass’ after communion wafer returned

By Heide Brandes OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) – The Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma on Thursday dropped a lawsuit filed a day earlier against a Satanic church after it turned over to a Catholic priest a consecrated host, or communion wafer, Satanists planned to use in a “black mass.” “I am relieved…

Al Sharpton adapts adversarial style to de Blasio’s New York

By Jonathan Allen NEW YORK (Reuters) – It was not the first time the Reverend Al Sharpton made his way to City Hall in a fiery mood to scold a mayor about New York City police officers killing an unarmed black man. Still, something about Sharpton’s appearance with Mayor Bill…

Threat from Islamic State ‘beyond anything we have seen’: Pentagon chief

The Islamic State poses a greater danger than a conventional “terrorist group” and is pursuing a vision that could radically alter the face of the Middle East, US defense leaders said Thursday. The IS jihadists could be contained and eventually defeated by local forces backed by the United States, but…

Russia targets McDonald’s in expanding East-West trade war

Russian authorities launched nationwide inspections of McDonald’s restaurants Thursday after shutting three wildly-popular Moscow locations on apparent government orders aimed at striking back against biting Western sanctions. It was the latest and arguably most resonant salvo in an escalating and economically-bruising trade war over a bloody conflict in Ukraine that…

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