Algae is now growing on melting Antarctic snow due to climate change
May 22, 2020

By Michael Marshall Part of Antarctica is already green due to blooms of algae living on the snow. As the continent warms, more of it may turn green, but it isn’t clear what this will mean for the climate. Patches of “snow algae” have been known about for decades in the Arctic. But we know much …

MBBS student in Rishikesh held for objectionable post on Hindu religion
May 22, 2020

By PTI RISHIKESH: A fourth-year MBBS student of AIIMS hospital here was held on Wednesday for making objectionable comments on social media post against the Hindu religion. Adil Ahmad was arrested following a complaint which accused him of making highly objectionable comments on Facebook against the Hindu religion and hurting sentiments, police inspector Ritesh Shah …

Atheist “A” Logo Found Near Graffiti at Site of Burned Down Mississippi Church
May 22, 2020

By Hemant Mehta We posted yesterday about how the First Pentecostal Church in Holly Springs, Mississippi had burned to the ground shortly after the church sued the city over its stay-at-home orders, which were stricter than those for the state as a whole. (That lawsuit was prompted by police going into the church during a Bible study …

Trump declares places of worship ‘essential,’ setting up standoff with governors
May 22, 2020 · 2 

By Jack Jenkins President Donald Trump has unveiled new guidance classifying houses of worship as “essential services” and insisting that governors allow faith groups to worship despite the risk of furthering the spread of the novel coronavirus. Trump made the announcement Friday afternoon (May 22) at a press conference at the White House, and appeared to set …

Baby exoplanet spotted growing around distant star
May 21, 2020

By Mike Wall Planets’ origin stories apparently come with a twist. The European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile has captured an image of a planet being born around the young star AB Aurigae, which lies 520 light-years from Earth in the constellation Auriga (The Charioteer). Like previous AB Aurigae images taken by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter …

Wylie Mayor Defends Religious Belief That Only Men Should Lead Public Prayer
May 21, 2020

By Meredith Yeomans The mayor of Wylie is defending himself after an e-mail he wrote to a city council member over the weekend. As a magician, minister, and mayor of Wylie, Eric Hogue wears many hats. Over the weekend, his roles as minister and mayor met as seen in an email obtained by a political …

COVID-19 delayed a United Methodist schism. But it has left LGBT members in limbo.
May 21, 2020

By Nathan Romo Rebecca Bernstein says she wants to go to a United Methodist seminary. But her dreams of becoming an ordained Methodist minister are on hold for now. That’s in part because of COVID-19, which has disrupted plans at many graduate schools around the country.  But also because of her sexuality. Bernstein, a youth …

U.S. Authorities Say Hobby Lobby’s Gilgamesh Tablet Is ‘Stolen,’ Must Go Back To Iraq
May 21, 2020 · 1 

By Jane Arraf U.S. federal prosecutors are seeking the return to Iraq of a roughly 3,500-year-old clay tablet purchased by the Hobby Lobby arts and crafts store chain for display in the Washington, D.C.-based Museum of the Bible. The cuneiform tablet is described as “stolen Iraqi property” in a civil complaint filed Monday. The complaint details part …

The Galaxy That Grew Up Too Fast
May 20, 2020

By Dennis Overbye In the early days of the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers, eager to see how far out in space — and how far back in time — their new instrument could peer, pointed it at an empty tract of sky. What returned was an image of space littered with what the astronomer Alan Dressler of …

Jane Roe’s Deathbed Confession: Anti-Abortion Conversion ‘All an Act’ Paid for by the Christian Right
May 20, 2020

By Cassie Da Costa In its final 20 minutes, the documentary film AKA Jane Roe delivers quite the blow to conservatives who have weaponized the story of Jane Roe herself—real name, Norma McCorvey—to argue that people with uteruses should have to carry any and all pregnancies to term. McCorvey, who died in 2017, became Jane Roe …

‘Like a robot’: Indonesia’s nonbelievers struggle to blend in during Ramadan
May 20, 2020

By Ramadani Saputra The presence of agnostics and atheists is not often felt in conservative Indonesia, where society largely defines itself along religious lines. Widespread belief in traditional family values stokes fear in nonbelievers that they will be rejected by close relatives for their perspectives and often prevents them from speaking their minds. As Muslims …

Two churches reclose after faith leaders and congregants get coronavirus
May 20, 2020

By Lateshia Beachum Churches in states at the forefront of reopening efforts are closing their doors for a second time. Catoosa Baptist Tabernacle in Ringgold, Ga., less than 20 miles away from Chattanooga, Tenn., and Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Houston have indefinitely suspended services after members and leaders tested positive for the coronavirus shortly after reopening. …