DOUMA, Syria (Reuters) - Seham Hamu lost her husband, son and grand-daughter on the same night in 2016 when a missile struck their home in Douma, a rebel stronghold near the Syrian capital that saw some of the fiercest fighting of the civil war. Now, aged 74 and confined to a wheelchair because of a heart condition, she looks after her son's four surviving children, a widowed daughter and a second daughter along with her husband and their children. Their plight is not unusual in a country where hundreds of thousands of people have been killed during a decade of violence and millions more force...
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According to a report from Reuters, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was informed late Friday night that he must remain in jail pending his trial on criminal charges related to his Jan 6th Capitol riot activities.
Tarrio -- who has also been accused of being an FBI informant -- has been accused by prosecutors of being an active leader on Jan. 6, who encouraged his followers to not leave the Capitol after they forced lawmakers to flee for their lives.
In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly said the evidence against Tarrio is "very strong," reports Reuters, adding the judge also wrote, "Tarrio 'has the skill set, resources, and networks to plan similar challenges to the lawful functioning of the United States government in the future."
Tarrio's latest bid for freedom came after a judge in Florida also ruled against his release.
Reuters adds, "Tarrio is among the most high-profile of more than 775 people criminally charged for their roles in the assault on the Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump in an effort to keep Congress from certifying Joe Biden's election victory."
You can read more here.
'Anxious' Trump fears he's losing control of the GOP -- and wants to launch his 2024 campaign this summer
According to a report from the New York Times, former president Donald Trump is growing increasingly anxious that his grip on the Republican Party is starting to slip away and has begun pushing his aides to be ready to launch his third run for the presidency as early as this summer.
As the Times' Maggie Haberman and Shane Goldmacher wrote, every time a high profile GOP candidate that the former president endorsed loses, it is a real-time demonstration of his influence waning with conservative voters -- and his enemies within the Republican Party are taking notice.
As the Times report states, "After the first phase of the primary season concluded on Tuesday, a month in which a quarter of America’s states cast their ballots, the verdict has been clear: Mr. Trump’s aura of untouchability in Republican politics has been punctured.," adding, "The mounting losses have emboldened Mr. Trump’s rivals inside the party to an extent not seen since early 2016 and increased the chances that, should he run again in 2024, he would face serious competition."
What should be concerning to the former president is a former adviser to his first campaign, ex-Rep Jack Kingston (R-GA) admitted to the Times, "I think a non-Trump with an organized campaign would have a chance.”
Additionally, the Times reports, Trump's fundraising has slowed with an analysis showing his average daily online contributions have dropped for seven consecutive months
As he grows weaker, conservatives are looking for the next horse to bet on with Florida Gov Ron DeSantis (R) leading the pack and former vice president Mike Pence becoming more active.
That combination of factors has Trump getting antsy about stealing back the limelight.
According to the Times, "...the difficult primary season has added to Mr. Trump’s personal anxieties about his standing, after he has sought to fashion himself as something of an old-school party boss in his post-presidency. He has told advisers he wants to declare his candidacy or possibly launch an exploratory committee this summer."
"Most of Mr. Trump’s advisers believe he should wait until after the midterm elections to announce a candidacy. Yet the sense among Republicans that Mr. Trump has lost political altitude is taking hold, including among some of those close to him," the Times report continued before adding, "Numerous Republican strategists have argued that Mr. Trump’s continued obsession with the 2020 election is an unwanted distraction in 2022, when Democrats hold the levers of power in Washington and polls show most of the country feels like the nation is moving in the wrong direction."
You can read more here.
In an interview with The Pillar, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas, elaborated on a tweet he made following the horrific mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and admonished gun-owning Catholics -- and all Americans -- that there is no "divine right" argument to be made about owning a weapon.
Following the shooting that claimed the lives of 19 children and two adults, Flores tweeted. "Don’t tell me that guns aren’t the problem, people are. I’m sick of hearing it. The darkness first takes our children who then kill our children, using the guns that are easier to obtain than aspirin. We sacralize death’s instruments and then are surprised that death uses them."
\u201cDon\u2019t tell me that guns aren\u2019t the problem, people are. I\u2019m sick of hearing it. The darkness first takes our children who then kill our children, using the guns that are easier to obtain than aspirin. We sacralize death\u2019s instruments and then are surprised that death uses them.\u201d— Amigo de Frodo (@Amigo de Frodo) 1653478645
In his interview, Flores -- chairman of the U.S. bishops’ committee on doctrine -- was asked about the church's view of guns.
"The larger framework, theologically, is the Church’s expectation that civil society must seek after the common good - and that means protecting the vulnerable and exercising reasonable prudence with regard to the order of things. And that's a responsibility not primarily of the Church, but for the human good that any society would have no matter what political system it happens to operate under," he explained before adding. "There is a moral dimension to how we organize ourselves, for the sake of, for example, the good of children, the good of the elderly, the good of the sick, and so on, there are certain laws that need to be constructed in a way that promote the best possible stewardship of human life, and of a peaceable community, so that everyone can live in peace in their local communities and in their countries."
Digging deeper into the issue of the mass proliferation of gun -- and the endless conversation about what to do about them -- Flores made the point that those who believe in unfettered access to weapons think they are dealing from the high ground -- which he disputes.
"I was referring to the fact that the discourse we’ve had now for decades, about any attempt to control weapons that can cause grave damage — some of which moves have been enacted into law and others which have been resisted — is countered with a description that [gun ownership] is basically an individual’s sacred right, that no matter what the cost, it must be preserved," he explained. "And when I say 'sacralized,' I mean that we make it seem almost as if it detracts from human dignity, or the human good, simply to say that we need to have some reasonable limit on these things. To say something is sacralized is to say it’s almost taken out of any possibility for conversation."
"I must say that in some sense, we have kind of sacralized the whole idea of the individual right, such that it trumps any communal concern. It becomes an untouchable aspect in the discourse, that the common concern for the good of the vulnerable is not in any way sufficient to limit the individual right to determine whether or not I want to own this kind of a gun, or that kind of gun, or, you know, a hand grenade for that matter," he added.
"So when you sacralize it, you kind of make it basically closed for discussion, because we practically treat it as if it were sacred," he continued.
As for what should be done, he claimed there should be a discussion over 'access to these weapons" that "... almost gets cut off when we've kind of elevated the individual right beyond proportion."
"When one is talking about the order of society, and access to guns and things like that, it is at a certain level a question of order — and in the noblest sense of the term, it’s a political question," he admitted before adding, "And the failure is that we haven’t been able to deal with it in a political way, and in the noblest sense of what politics is supposed to be, which is the gathering of a consensus within the community, to fulfill its responsibilities for the whole."
You can read his whole interview here.