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‘Pro-life’ Idaho Republican thinks parents have a religious right to let kids die from treatable illness

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Lawmakers in Idaho approved a bill that would allow Bible study in science classes and declined to change a law that shields faith-healing parents from prosecution when their children die from treatable illnesses.

State Rep. John Gannon (D-Boise) introduced a bill to remove the exemption in a child injury law for faith-healing parents, but state Sen. Lee Heider (R-Twin Falls), head of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, said he was never asked to set a hearing — which he had already said he wouldn’t do.

Heider said it was too late in the session to set a hearing on the faith-healing bill, but he said he’s not likely to support a change to state law that he believes would prosecute parents for exercising their religious beliefs, reported the Twin Falls Times-News.

“I’m a First Amendment guy, and I believe in the First Amendment, which gives people freedom of religion,” said Heider, who describes himself as “pro-life.”

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, a Republican, said three weeks ago that he had asked House Speaker Scott Bedke and Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill to appoint a work group to study the faith-healing exemption.

The issue has drawn attention in recent years through reporting on the deaths of numerous children in the Followers of Christ community in southwestern Idaho from preventable deaths such as pneumonia and food poisoning.

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But Republican lawmakers haven’t been willing to do much to change a law that would compel religious parents to seek medical care for their children — even though evidence suggests that would save lives.

A doctor who practices in southwestern Idaho said changing the law could help parents who want to seek medical care overcome social pressure from their religious community, which he said happened when Oregon lawmakers removed that state’s exemption in 2011.

The Idaho Senate overwhelmingly passed a watered-down version of a bill introduced by state Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll (R-Cottonwood) allowing teachers to use the Bible as a reference book in public schools, reported The Spokesman-Review.

The bill that passed, however, removed references to the Bible’s use in “astronomy, biology, (and) geology” classes — and explicitly allowed for the uses of other religious texts, as well.

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Nuxoll said her bill would “relieve any fear or confusion” about the Bible’s use as a reference and stressed its historic importance.

“The Bible is the document brought to North America by our nation’s first immigrants, used in our public schools, and is the foundation of our Judeo-Christian heritage,” she said. “Some perceive the Bible to be central to only the Christian faith, but this is not true. It is referenced by Jews, Muslims, Christians and others.”

The amended bill attracted the support of some of its critics, however, because it replaces an outdated law that requires Bible readings in public schools.

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Pentagon gives senators classified briefing on UFOs reported by the Navy

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While it might sound like something out of "The X-Files," Navy pilots have been seeing UFOs, and U.S. Senators now want to know what's happening.

According to Politico, three more senators met with Pentagon officials for a classified briefing Wednesday about encounters pilots are having with unidentified aircraft. It seems the Pentagon is getting more and more requests by officials with high clearances to figure out what's happening.

The crafts are, at their most basic, nothing more than "unidentified aircraft," and while it isn't likely they're little green men, there are some senators who might have concerns about whether these UFOs are actually a foreign adversary.

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Wall Street Journal issues blistering editorial asking Trump what the point is of a second term

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In a blistering editorial, the Wall Street Journal is asking President Donald Trump what the point of a second term is since he hasn't done anything in his first term.

During his rally in Orlando Tuesday, Trump repeated the same tired lines and same tired policies from 2016. The "Promises Made, Promises Kept" slogan shown over the crowd, yet the supporters didn't understand the irony.

"The most striking fact of his speech was how backward looking it was," the editorial board said. "Every incumbent needs to remind voters of his record, Mr. Trump more than most because the media are so hostile."

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‘Crosses a line’: New York Times publisher unleashes on Trump for accusing paper of ‘treason’

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On Wednesday, New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger wrote a blistering editorial in the Wall Street Journal, saying that President Donald Trump's latest attack on his paper "crosses a line."

First it was the "the failing New York Times." Then "fake news." Then "enemy of the people," wrote Sulzberger. "President Trump's escalating attacks on The New York Times have paralleled his broader barrage on American media. He's gone from misrepresenting our business, to assaulting our integrity, to demonizing our journalists with a phrase that’s been used by generations of demagogues. Now the president has escalated his attacks even further, accusing the Times of a crime so grave it is punishable by death.

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