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Pentagon Moves to Block Russian Spy Plane in American Skies

Pentagon Moves to Block Russian Spy Plane in American Skies

Russian surveillance planes already fly over America, thanks to a long-standing treaty. But a new, ultra-sophisticated spy plane has U.S. military and intelligence bosses spooked.

At issue is the Open Skies Treaty. First signed in 1992 and finally ratified in 2002, the treaty adopted by 34 nations allows the safe passage of planes equipped with advanced cameras and sensors that give governments the imagery and data they use to assess everything from compliance with arms control treaties to troop movements.

The Russians use the aircraft today to monitor U.S. nuclear weapons as part of arms control agreements between both countries. The Russian planes, according to U.S. officials involved in the dispute, contain a new sensor package that would allow Moscow to surveil American nuclear assets with a level of precision and detail that makes U.S. military and intelligence leaders deeply uncomfortable.

 
Learning and Sleep in Toddlers

Learning and Sleep in Toddlers

By Art Markman, Ph.D.

Quite a bit of research has begun to explore influences of sleep on cognitive processes. In adults, sleep has a huge influence on memory. Sleep speeds learning of new skills. It also helps to separate the information being learned from the situation in which it was learned, which can make it easier to use that knowledge in other circumstances.

 
Special Forces’ suicide rates hit record levels

(U.S. Navy)

Special Forces’ suicide rates hit record levels — casualties of ‘hard combat’

By Cheryl K. Chumley - The Washington Times

The suicide rates for U.S. military members who serve in special forces, like the Navy SEALs and the Army Rangers, have hit all-time highs, said Adm. William McRaven, the head of Special Operations Command.

 
Barry Goldwater’s defeat: A big warning to the GOP

A big warning to the GOP

Barry Goldwater photo1962.jpg

Michael Gerson

Barry Goldwater’s defeat should not be seen as positive step for the party.

The 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act is also the 50th anniversary of the presumptive Republican nominee for president, Barry Goldwater, voting against the Civil Rights Act.

Goldwater, his defenders effectively argue, was not a racist, only an ideologue. True enough. He had been a founding member of the Arizona NAACP. He helped integrate the Phoenix public schools. His problems with the Civil Rights Act were theoretical and libertarian — an objection to the extension of federal power over private enterprise.

But some political choices are symbolic and more than symbolic. Following Goldwater’s vote, a young Colin Powell went out to his car and affixed a Lyndon Johnson bumper sticker. “While not himself a racist,” concluded Martin Luther King Jr., “Mr. Goldwater articulates a philosophy which gives aid and comfort to the racists.” Jackie Robinson, after attending the GOP convention in 1964, helped launch Republicans for Johnson.

In the 1960 election, Richard Nixon had won 32 percent of the African American vote. Goldwater got 6 percent in 1964. No Republican presidential candidate since has broken 15 percent.

 
Is Edward Snowden trying to come home?

Putin answers question from Snowden on phone-in

Vladimir Putin must be called to account on surveillance, like Obama 

Edward Snowden

I questioned the Russian president live on TV to get his answer on the record, not to whitewash him

On Thursday, I questioned Russia's involvement in mass surveillance on live television. I asked Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, a question that cannot credibly be answered in the negative by any leader who runs a modern, intrusive surveillance program: "Does [your country] intercept, analyse or store millions of individuals' communications?"

I went on to challenge whether, even if such a mass surveillance program were effective and technically legal, it could ever be morally justified.

The question was intended to mirror the now infamous exchange in US Senate intelligence committee hearings between senator Ron Wyden and the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, about whether the NSA collected records on millions of Americans, and to invite either an important concession or a clear evasion. (See a side-by-side comparison of Wyden's question and mine here.)

Clapper's lie – to the Senate and to the public – was a major motivating force behind my decision to go public, and a historic example of the importance of official accountability.

In his response, Putin denied the first part of the question and dodged on the latter. There are serious inconsistencies in his denial – and we'll get to them soon – but it was not the president's suspiciously narrow answer that was criticised by many pundits. It was that I had chosen to ask a question at all.

I was surprised that people who witnessed me risk my life to expose the surveillance practices of my own country could not believe that I might also criticise the surveillance policies of Russia, a country to which I have sworn no allegiance, without ulterior motive. I regret that my question could be misinterpreted, and that it enabled many to ignore the substance of the question – and Putin's evasive response – in order to speculate, wildly and incorrectly, about my motives for asking it.

 
Do Fewer Babies Create Happier Humans and Better Societies?

Do Fewer Babies Create Happier Humans and Better Societies?

By Bella DePaulo, Ph.D.

As more women are having fewer children, a panic has developed about what this might mean for societies. Here are 5 ways in which the tendency toward having fewer children might actually be good for individuals and nations.

 
How Is Yahoo So Worthless?

How Is Yahoo So Worthless?

Derek Thompson

New calculations show that the company's core business is valued at negative-$10 billion. What?

Yahoo is huge. It is the fourth-biggest Internet domain in the United States. It is the fourth-biggest seller of online ads in the country. It is the most popular destination for fantasy sports, controls one the most-trafficked home pages in news, and owns the eighth-most popular email clientIn the last three months, it collected more than $1 billion in revenue. It's very rich.

It's also totally worthless.

Technically, it's worse than worthless. Worthless means without worth. Worthless means $0.00. But Yahoo's core business—mostly search and display advertising—is worth more like negative-$10 billion, according to Bloomberg View's Matthew C. Klein.

The math: Yahoo's total market cap is $37 billion. Its 24 percent stake in Alibaba, the eBay of China, is worth an estimated $37 billion (Alibaba hasn't IPO'd yet, so this figure will vary), and its 35 percent stake in Yahoo Japan is worth about $10 billion. That means its core business is valued around negative-$10 billion.

 
Obama Declares Obamacare Victory

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, President Barack Obama, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and other administration officials meet with health insurance executives in the Roosevelt Room at the White House April 17, 2014 in Washington, DC. Obama and Biden met earlier with representatives from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Obama Declares Obamacare Victory

By Jonathan Chait

For all the Sturm und Drang, implementing a successful health-care reform was not actually very hard, for the simple reason that the United States started with the worst-designed health-care system in the industrialized world. When you spend far more on health care than any country, and you’re also the only advanced democracy that denies people access to medical care, it’s incredibly easy to design a better system.

Obamacare has two basic goals. One is to reduce the explosive rate of medical inflation, and the other is to give all citizens access to medical care. Medical inflation is indeed falling much faster than anybody expected four years ago, to its lowest level in half a century. And affordable health insurance is now available — insurance companies can’t use medical underwriting to exclude or charge prohibitive rates to people who need medical care, and people with low incomes get subsidized. It would be great if lots of people took up the coverage, but the simple availability of it is the main goal.

 
How This Pope Is Remaking the GOP

How This Pope Is Remaking the GOP

The wildly popular Francis is offering cover for a few Republicans, including Jeb Bush, to start speaking out in favor of some deeply unpopular issues within the party.

When Jeb Bush stepped up this month to declare illegal immigration “an act of love,” he provoked precisely the conservative pile-on you’d expect. The right’s favorite crabby uncle, Charles Krauthammer, dourly pronounced the comments “bizarre.” Rep. Raul Labrador accused Jebbie of pandering.  Noted intellectual Donald Trump declared Bush’s thinking “ridiculous” and “dangerous.” And God help anyone who ventured onto sites like RedState.com. Most perfectly, fake-winger Stephen Colbert eulogized, “He will be missed.”

 In the midst of all the huffing and grumping, it was easy to miss the smaller, quieter sounds of satisfaction emanating from some of Bush’s fellow Catholics, particularly those on the social-justice-minded end of the spectrum. For these faithful, the governor’s assertion—with its decidedly biblical ring—was yet another sign of the change in conversation being driven, even within the fetid swamps of U.S. politics, by the wildly popular Pope Francis.

“When someone like Jeb Bush comes out and makes a comment that humanizes immigrants, I think it is in part inspired by the Holy Father,” says Appleby, who has been working on this issue with the USCCB for about 15 years. “In some ways, the Holy Father is providing some cover. Not intentionally. But for those who are sympathetic to his message, he provides cover to be more courageous and to speak about the issue from the human side.”

 
Earth-Size Planet Where Water May Exist Found

Earth-Size Planet Where Water May Exist Found

By Robert Lee Hotz

For the first time, astronomers have discovered a world nearly the size of Earth orbiting a far star where water might exist as a life-giving liquid, the scientists announced.

Kepler-186f Located in Galaxy 459 Light Years from Earth

Using the Kepler space telescope, Elisa Quintana of the SETI Institute at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Ames Research Center in California and her colleagues detected the planet around a relatively small, cool, reddish star in the constellation Cygnus, which is located about 459 light years from Earth.

Known officially as Kepler-186f, the planet is the outermost of five Earth-size worlds orbiting in that star's solar system, the scientists said at a news conference Thursday. They also reported their findings in the journal Science.

In the search for worlds where life might take hold, scientists so far have detected 20 potentially habitable planets around other stars. But this one is the first so close in size to Earth that is located within its star's so-called habitable zone, where it receives the right amount of solar radiation so that water there wouldn't boil or freeze, the researchers said.

 
Clinton White House documents set for release

Clinton White House documents set for release

By Associated Press

The National Archives is releasing about 7,500 pages of documents Friday from former President Bill Clinton's administration. The records will cover a wide range of topics, including former first lady Hillary Clinton's role in health care reform and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

 
Harry Reid blasts Bundy ranch supporters as ‘domestic terrorists’

** FILE ** In this Feb. 6, 2014, file photo, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Harry Reid blasts Bundy ranch supporters as ‘domestic terrorists’

By Valerie Richardson - The Washington Times

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called supporters of rancher Cliven Bundy “domestic terrorists” Thursday, turning up the rhetorical heat on the already tense situation at the Nevada cattle operation.

“Those people who hold themselves out to be patriots are not. They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists,” Mr. Reid in remarks at a luncheon, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which sponsored the event. “… I repeat: What went on up there was domestic terrorism.”

 
Live Web Broadcasts Turn Lucrative in China

Live Web Broadcasts Turn Lucrative in China

Companies across the globe have long tried to attract viewers to live Internet broadcasts, with X-rated sites the only real success stories. China appears to have cracked the code.

Dolled up with makeup and a blond wig, the pretty young Chinese woman sat at home in her bedroom on a quiet Sunday evening and began singing karaoke. A large microphone and three webcams clipped to a desktop monitor streamed the performance over the Internet, to thousands of fans who knew her only by her stage name, Poison.

“Hey, Big Brother!” she greeted one fan in between songs. “Did you just get back from vacation in Sanya or are you watching on a laptop?”

Poison, 26, still lives with her parents and her dogs Blueberry and DuDu in a modest apartment. But she is one of the most popular attractions in a thriving new business in China: live interactive web entertainment.

Media and technology companies across the globe have tried for years to attract viewers en masse to live Internet broadcasts, with X-rated websites the only real success stories. China, though, appears to have cracked the code. Millions are now tuning in every night to watch karaoke performances, comedy skits and talk shows — moving beyond the common web fare of scantily clad women doing erotic dances.

 
Blake Griffin on use of medical marijuana in NBA

Blake Griffin averaged a career high 24.1 points this season in helping to lead the Clippers to a No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. (Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Blake Griffin on use of medical marijuana in NBA

Blake Griffin said in a Rolling Stone interview this week that he would support the use of medical marijuana in the NBA in part because it would ween players off of traditional prescription painkillers.

“It doesn’t really affect me, but so many guys would probably benefit from it and not take as many painkillers, which have worse long-term effects. So I would vote yes. I just think it makes sense.”

 
Donovan McNabb Arrested in Arizona
 
The Middle East War on Christians

The Middle East War on Christians

Muslim-majority nations are doing to followers of Jesus what they did to the Jews.

The Middle East may be the birthplace of three monotheistic religions, but some Arab nations appear bent on making it the burial ground for one of them. For 2,000 years, Christian communities dotted the region, enriching the Arab world with literature, culture and commerce. At the turn of the 20th century, Christians made up 26% of the Middle East's population. Today, that figure has dwindled to less than 10%. Intolerant and extremist governments are driving away the Christian communities that have lived in the Middle East since their faith was born.

In the rubble of Syrian cities like Aleppo and Damascus, Christians who refused to convert to Islam have been kidnapped, shot and beheaded by Islamist opposition fighters. In Egypt, mobs of Muslim Brotherhood members burn Coptic Christian churches in the same way they once obliterated Jewish synagogues. And in Iraq, terrorists deliberately target Christian worshippers. This past Christmas, 26 people were killed when a bomb ripped through a crowd of worshipers leaving a church in Baghdad's southern Dora neighborhood.

Christians are losing their lives, liberties, businesses and their houses of worship across the Middle East. It is little wonder that native Christians have sought refuge in neighboring countries—yet in many cases they find themselves equally unwelcome. Over the past 10 years, nearly two-thirds of Iraq's 1.5 million Christians have been driven from their homes. Many settled in Syria before once again becoming victims of unrelenting persecution. Syria's Christian population has dropped from 30% in the 1920s to less than 10% today.

 
Paul Krugman getting rich talking about income inequality

 Robby Soave

Paul Krugman three-photo combo

Krugman: 'It's remarkably generous'

Economist Paul Krugman — who frequently uses his New York Times column to preach that rich people and Republicans are oppressing the poor with their capitalist policies — has been hired by City University of New York, which will pay him $225,000 to work on the ironically-named income inequality initiative.

His contract with CUNY was first reported by Gawker. He will be paid $225,000 for two semesters of work each year, or about $25,000 per month.

He is not required to teach during his first year of employment. Instead, the darling liberal pundit will be handsomely compensated for making media appearances and garnering publicity for CUNY’s Luxembourg Income Study Center.

CUNY also plans to reimburse Krugman $10,000 each year for travel expenses. A part-time researcher, or team of two researchers, will also be made available to him.

Even Krugman admitted that the deal seemed too good to be true.

CUNY is a public university. About 46 percent of its budget is financed via state revenue in the form of taxes.

 
Life Is What You Make It: An Interview with Peter Buffett

Life Is What You Make It: An Interview with Peter Buffett

By Mark Matousek

The youngest son of billionaire Warren Buffett talks about envy, greed, and why his father isn't giving the kids his money.

Peter Buffett is a poet in philanthropist’s clothing. The youngest son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, Peter is an Emmy Award-winning musician, composer (of 16 albums), and author who cares far more about helping to heal the planet – particularly the plight of women and girls – than he does about ego, status, or wealth. The NoVo Foundation, which he heads with his wife, Jennifer, is dedicated to catalyzing a “transformation in global society”  This empowering, hands-off approach to philanthropy is non-invasive and runs counter to what Peter called “The Charitable Industrial Complex” in an op-ed of that title for the New York Times that ruffled feathers among certain super rich (whose philanthropy he calls “conscience laundering”).  His bestselling book, Life is What You Make It, asks the important question: Do we choose the path of least resistance or the path of greatest satisfaction? I talked to Peter about his artistic journey and the novel experience (after his father gave NoVo $1 billion) of "sudden becoming Warren Buffett’s son."

 
Why You Get So Many Catalogs

Why You Get So Many Catalogs

By Elizabeth Holmes

Retailers find shoppers spend more online after browsing through lavish print spreads.

The old-school marketing format has survived to play a crucial creative role in modern e-commerce. Today, the catalog is bait for customers, like a store window display, and a source of inspiration, the way roaming through store aisles can be. The hope is shoppers will mark pages they like and then head online, or into a store, to buy.

Today's catalogs are no longer phone-book-size compilations of every item a retailer sells. Instead, they have fewer pages and merchandise descriptions, and more and bigger photos and lifestyle images.

For retailers, creating the inspiration comes with hefty costs, including expensive photo shoots and rising postage rates. And with catalogs produced many months in advance, they lock retailers into specific trends and merchandise, unlike digital marketing pieces that can be updated in minutes.

Even so, the potential for boosting sales has brought new interest in print catalogs. Some retailers founded primarily online are entering the fray, including Bonobos, the menswear brand built on the idea of better-fitting pants. And many traditional store retailers with a history of catalogs remain as committed as ever.

Catalogs require months of advance planning and production, presenting seasonal challenges for Athleta, a division of Gap Inc. The athletic-wear brand's catalogs feature action shots of models wearing the clothes and using the gear. Finding the right setting is essential—and difficult, when the winter catalog must be shot in July.

The average catalog costs much less than a dollar to produce, including printing, mailing, the purchase of new addresses and fees for an outside mailing house or project management, says Polly Wong, managing partner for strategic e-commerce and creative services at Belardi/Ostroy, a retail marketing consulting firm. Response rates and order sizes run the gamut, but typically each catalog mailed results in about $4 in sales, she says.

 
Obama: Immigration reform will be 'issue that haunts' GOP

Obama: Immigration reform will be 'issue that haunts' GOP

By Meghashyam Mali

President Obama said that immigration reform would be an “issue that haunts” Republicans if they failed to act and pressed Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to use his “political capital” to find a solution.

“There's always gonna be a limit to what I can do in the absence of action by Congress,” Obama said in an interview aired Thursday on "CBS This Morning." “I think it is very important for Congress to recognize that this is going to be an issue that haunts them until it gets solved.”

 
America’s peacetime retreat from Europe now leaves U.S. powerless in Ukraine

Two A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft pilots fly in formation during a training exercise March 16, 2010, at Moody Air Force, Ga. Members of the 74th Fighter Squadron performed surge operations to push its support function to the limit and simulate pilots' wartime flying rates. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Wiseman)

America’s peacetime retreat from Europe now leaves U.S. powerless in Ukraine

By Rowan Scarborough - The Washington Times

The Obama administration has removed all operational combat tanks from Europe and key strike aircraft, limiting the options for a show of force to bolster eastern NATO allies as Russia contemplates invading Ukraine.

That makes it a top priority to show Russian President Vladimir Putin that Washington stands militarily behind NATO members such as the Baltic states, Poland and other countries once under Soviet domination.

The problem is, the U.S. shelf is a bit bare. In the past two years, the Obama administration has deactivated the only two armored combat brigade teams in Europe equipped with the Army’s main M1 battle tanks. It also disbanded a squadron of A-10 ground-attack jets that proved effective over Libya.

 
Hammerin’ Hank for speaking a racial truth

Hank Aaron (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Jonathan Capehart

We rightly revel in how far we have come on race, but let’s not kid ourselves that we are anywhere close to harmony.

“Never in our 50-minute conversation did Aaron suggest anyone critical of President Obama is racist. Never did he compare the Republican Party to the Ku Klux Klan,” Nightengale further points out in his story. “Simply, Aaron stated that we are fooling ourselves if we don’t believe racism exists in our country. It’s simply camouflaged now. And, yes, he feels sorry for his good friend, President Obama, and the frustrations he endures.”

 
E.J. Dionne Jr. - Jeb Bush’s optimism school

Jeb Bush’s optimism school

His approach to politics offers some lessons for doomsayers.

The Republican Party faces a long-term challenge in presidential elections because it is defining itself as a gloomy enclave, a collection of pessimists who fear what our country is becoming and where it is going. The party’s hope deficit helps explain why there’s a boomlet for Jeb Bush, a man who dares to use the word “love” in a paragraph about illegal immigrants.

The flurry doesn’t mean that the former Florida governor is even running for president, let alone that he can win. But Bush is being taken seriously because his approach to politics is so different from what’s on offer from doomsayers who worry that immigrants will undermine the meaning of being American and that the champions of permissiveness will hack away at our moral core.

No wonder Bush’s statement that immigrants entering the country illegally were engaged in “an act of love” was greeted with such disdain by Donald Trump and other Republicans gathered at last weekend’s Freedom Summit in New Hampshire.

But it’s not just the immigration issue as such that separates Bush from so many in his party. It’s the broader sense of optimism he conveys when he describes an increasingly diverse nation as an asset. He even, on occasion, speaks of active government as a constructive force in American life. And while he is critical of President Obama — he’s a conservative Republican, after all — he does not suggest, as so many in his party do, that because of the 44th president, the United States is on a path to decline and ruin.

Bush is occupying this space because New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has lost it for now. His administration’s role in causing traffic Armageddon on access lanes to the George Washington Bridge last fall and the rapidly multiplying investigations this episode has called forth created Bush’s opportunity.

 
Muslim "rights" in New York City schools...

Push for School Holidays Unites New York Muslim

By SHARON OTTERMAN 

The city’s Muslims have struggled to speak as one politically because of their broad diversity, but they have found common ground in a fight to close schools for Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

 It was a gathering remarkable in its diversity from among New York City’s Muslims, a growing group whose members often find it difficult to work together politically because of differences in national origin, language, sect and class. But a single issue has managed to unify them: the push to close the city’s public schools for Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, the most sacred Muslim holidays.

The issue might seem of modest importance alongside deeper concerns that continue to trouble many Muslims in the city, including the Police Department’s monitoring of their community since the Sept. 11 attacks. But the rally, held recently in a public school auditorium in Queens and organized in barely a week’s time, was a testament to how the Muslim community in the city is gaining a measure of political confidence.

Like all the major mayoral candidates in 2013, Bill de Blasio pledged during his campaign to add the Muslim holidays to the school calendar. But since his election, he has declined to give specifics and has warned it will take time.

Rather than consider the battle won, a coalition of Muslim, interfaith and secular groups that has largely been dormant since 2009 has begun to agitate again, planning rallies in the city’s five boroughs and distributing postcards that remind Mr. de Blasio that including the Muslim school holidays is a matter of “recognition, inclusion and respect.”

“He’s going to sign only if he has too much headache — he cannot get away from it,” Ahmed Jamil, the president of the Muslim American Society Community Center in Astoria, Queens, told the cheering crowd at the rally last month at Public School 69 in Jackson Heights. “Our rights — we are going to fight until we get them.”

 
“The Great Fatsby?”

You Can Call a Man Fat But You Can’t Fat-Shame Him

  • By Kat Stoeffel

Poor Leo, of all people: carelessly frolicking in the Bora Bora surf, his hair in a man-bun and a 22-year-old in his arms, without the faintest idea that his body would soon be served up for our evaluation. He was oblivious to his appearance, yes, but even so, his body hardly seemed to qualify as fat. No question mark!

 
Why the New Data Journalism Really Is Partisan

Why the New Data Journalism Really Is Partisan

By Jonathan Chait

 The empiricists may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in them. The data journalism movement in general, and Klein’s project in particular, has spurred a fierce ideological backlash. A series of critics, mostly from the right, but also from the left, have flayed their claim of disinterested expertise as as disingenuous cover. “If the voter’s life experiences or intuition tells him that a government bureaucracy will create an inferior health care experience,” argues David Harsanyi in the Federalist, “there’s no chart that’s going to change his mind.”

The scale of the divide was placed on vivid display during the 2012 election, when Silver — attempting to measure the ideologically neutral question of who would win the election — nonetheless became a partisan flash point. With various levels of sophistication, conservatives mounted their own critiques ranging from the philosophical (Jonah Goldberg: “the soul — particularly when multiplied into the complexity of a society — is not so easily number-crunched”) to the quasi-scientific (Sean Trende and Jay Cost leaned heavily on the term “bimodal distribution” to arrive at dramatically cheerier prognoses for Mitt Romney). The poll-unskewing movement infected mainstream reporters and commentators, many of whom declared the election a toss-up.

 
A New Catholic-Evangelical Coalition?

A New Catholic-Evangelical Coalition?

 Robert P. Jones

Social issues have brought about a surprising alliance between Protestant evangelicals and Catholic bishops—but the pontiff's focus on economic justice could complicate matters.

From a historical perspective, this is the most improbable of alliances. The nascent Baptist movement was animated by condemnations of the Catholic hierarchy. Take this example from the Second London Confession of 1689, an early Baptist confessional document, which declared that the pope is “that Antichrist, that Man of Sin, that Son of Perdition, that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God.” Early Baptist leaders in the U.S., including Roger Williams, John Smyth, and B.H. Carroll (founder of my alma mater, the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary), commonly held the position that the Catholic Church was “the whore of Babylon” from the Book of Revelation, a figure associated with the Antichrist and the embodiment of evil in the world. As late as 2000, Southern Baptist Seminary President Al Mohler declared on Larry King Live that the pope holds a false office, leads a false church, and teaches a false gospel.

 
Putin reminds that force in Ukraine remains on table, as NATO beefs up

During his annual public call-in show, the Russian president said he would send troops into Ukraine to 'protect' locals if necessary.

“We know quite well that we must do our best to protect their rights and help them independently decide their fate and we will struggle for that,” Mr. Putin said during his annual call-in television show. “I remind you that the Federation Council of Russia [the upper house of Parliament] empowered the president to use the armed forces in Ukraine.”

 
Are You Meeting Your Child's or Teen's Most Crucial Need?

Are You Meeting Your Child's or Teen's Most Crucial Need?

By Jeffrey Bernstein, Ph.D.

This is your child's most crucial need.

As a psychologist for the past 23 years I've worked with well over two thousand children, teens, and their parents. Parents usually contact me to help their child with defiant behavior, anxiety, depression, self-esteem issues, school struggles, substance abuse concerns, amongst other struggles. 

In all my years practicing, I've had very few children tell me that their parents do not love them. This is a very good thing, Most parents pride themselves, with good reason, that their children know that they feel deeply loved by them.

 
Putin Asserts Right to Use Force in Ukraine

A pro-Russian militant stood guard outside a police building in the eastern city of Slovyansk on Thursday.

A pro-Russian man stood guard in the eastern city of Slovyansk.

Putin Asserts Right to Use Force in Ukraine

President Vladimir V. Putin said he hoped invasion of what he called “New Russia” would not be necessary.

 A crowd made up of civilians as well as militants formed outside the base, he said. Mr. Avakov’s description of the conflict indicated another challenge for the new government, as in other cases where pro-Russian groups have seized administrative buildings and police stations.

The events in Mariupol overnight, and in the towns of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk, north of the provincial capital of Donetsk, on Wednesday, underscored both the limits of Ukraine’s military and the difficulties of the tactical problems it faces in its attempt to dislodge armed separatists from eastern Ukraine.

In a glaring humiliation for the government, a military operation to confront pro-Russian militants in the east unraveled on Wednesday with the entire contingent of 21 armored vehicles that had separated into two columns surrendering or pulling back.

The separatists are well armed and have been accompanied by bold local supporters, including unarmed civilians and elderly women, who mingle in front of and among the armed men.

 
Obama calls Biden 'one of the finest vice presidents in history,' but won't endorse

Obama calls Biden 'one of the finest vice presidents in history,' but won't endorse

By Meghashyam Mali

Obama said that Biden would "go down as one of the finest vice presidents in history and he has been as I said … a great partner in everything that I do,” in an interview aired Thursday on "CBS This Morning."

“I suspect that there may be other potential candidates for 2016 who have been great friends and allies. I know that we've got an extraordinary secretary of State who did great service for us and worked with me and Joe to help make the country safer,” said Obama, referencing Hillary Clinton, who has also said that she is weighing a 2016 run.

 
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