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Judge showed ‘anti-Christian bias’ by upholding yoga classes in school: lawyer

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By Marty Graham

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – Yoga in a public school’s fitness program does not amount to teaching children religion because despite its roots in Hindu philosophy it is part of American culture, a California judge ruled on Monday.

The ruling denied a request by a family in a San Diego suburb to ban the local school district from including yoga in physical education, arguing that it violated the First Amendment and separation of church and state.

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“Yoga as it has developed in the last 20 years is rooted in American culture, not Indian culture,” San Diego Superior Court Judge John Meyer said. “It is a distinctly American cultural phenomenon. A reasonable student would not objectively perceive that Encinitas school district yoga advances or promotes religion.”

Stephen and Jennifer Sedlock and their two children sued the Encinitas school district earlier this year. Their lawyer, Dean Broyles, said the judge’s ruling was part of a broader bias against Christianity.

Yoga “is religious and has religious aspects,” Broyles said. “There is a consistent anti-Christian bias in these cases, and a pro-Eastern or strange religion bias.”

The national debate on religion in public schools includes student-led prayer and whether science instructors can teach alternatives to evolution.

The lawsuit, which had not sought monetary damages, objected to eight-limbed tree posters the Sedlocks said were derived from Hindu beliefs, the Namaste greeting and several of the yoga poses that they said represent the worship of Hindu deities.

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Encinitas schools superintendent Timothy Baird said he expected the ruling to be appealed.

(Written by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Dina Kyriakidou, Toni Reinhold)

[“Stock Photo: Young Girls Do Yoga Indoors” on Shutterstock]

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Sondland used WhatsApp to communicate with Ukraine — and won’t turn over the messages: report

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Ambassador Gordon Sondland used WhatsApp to send encrypted messages to a top Ukranian official, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

The communication occurred with Andriy Yermak, a top aide to President Volodymr Zelensky, when Sondland was in Kyiv, the newspaper reported.

"Sondland was also texting back and forth on WhatsApp with Yermak throughout the trip, and had been communicating with other Ukrainian officials over the messaging app in the preceding and subsequent months, according to people familiar with his interactions," The Post reported.

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Jeanine Pirro pushes conspiracy theory 2016 election interference ‘apparently’ started in Ukraine

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The United States intelligence community is united in the conclusion that it was Russia that interred in America's 2016 presidential election.

But Fox News personality Jeanine Pirro said that 2016 election interference "apparently" started in Ukraine.

The conspiracy theory underlying the false claim resulted in President Donald Trump seeking foreign election interference from Ukraine, the scandal at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

Pirro also said Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Geoge Kent is a "bozo."

Video of Pirro's opening was posted on Twitter by President Donald Trump:

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2020 Election

WATCH: Pete Buttigieg surges to first place in ‘gold standard’ poll of Iowa caucuses

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South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg surged in a poll of Iowa released Saturday night.

The poll, by Des Moines Register, CNN and Mediacom, showed major movement in the race.

"Since September, Buttigieg has risen 16 percentage points among Iowa’s likely Democratic caucusgoers, with 25% now saying he is their first choice for president. For the first time in the Register’s Iowa Poll, he bests rivals Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who are now clustered in competition for second place and about 10 percentage points behind the South Bend, Indiana, mayor," the newspaper reported.

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