With 20 new moons, Saturn now has the most of any solar system planet
Oct 9, 2019

By Sofie Bates Saturn now reigns as the solar system’s “moon king,” thanks to 20 newfound moons. That brings the ringed planet’s total known satellites to 82, knocking Jupiter — with 79 moons (SN: 7/17/18) — off the throne, the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center announced October 7. And it’s not just a phase. Saturn is …

Iran Could Execute Popular Singer Accused of Being Gay
Oct 9, 2019

By Matt Baume A popular Iranian singer could face the death penalty following accusations that he’s gay, according to BBC reporter Ali Hamedani. The singer in question is Mohsen Lorestani, a resident of the Kurdish province of Kermanshah. While information is limited, the Kurdistan Human Rights Network reports that he has been charged with “corruption on …

The Supreme Court Rejected a Case About the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Sex Abuse
Oct 9, 2019

By Hemant Mehta Yesterday, the Supreme Court announced that it would not take up a wild case concerning the organization that oversees the Jehovah’s Witnesses. We can breathe a huge sigh of relief that the case won’t be overturned. (In that link, it’s case 19-40 on page 42.) The case, which involved child molestation and religious secrecy, centered around …

Christians urge California governor to veto bill for abortion pill access at colleges
Oct 9, 2019

By Alejandra Molina LOS ANGELES (RNS) — Christian organizations are urging California Gov. Gavin Newsom to veto a bill that would require the state’s public universities to offer abortion medication through campus health clinics. If signed into law, the “College Student Right to Access Act,” or SB 24, would take effect in January 2023. Newsom has until Sunday (Oct. …

As Sea Levels Rise, So Do Ghost Forests
Oct 8, 2019

By Moises Velasquez-Manoff Up and down the mid-Atlantic coast,sea levels are rising rapidly, creating stands of dead trees — often bleached, sometimes blackened — known as ghost forests. The water is gaining as much as 5 millimeters per year in some places, well above the global average of 3.1 millimeters, driven by profound environmental shifts …

Satanic Temple Considers Legal Action Against School Censorship
Oct 8, 2019

By Joseph P. Laycock The Satanic Temple (TST) has another legal challenge on the horizon, this time concerning which websites students can access from public schools. In February, Malcolm Jarry of TST’s executive ministry received two emails from students complaining that TST’s website is blocked on school computers, though they were able to access the websites for …

3 Scientists Win Nobel Prize In Physics For Work On Earth’s Place In The Universe
Oct 8, 2019

By Scott Neuman A Canadian and two Swiss scientists have won the Nobel Prize in physics for contributions to our understanding of the evolution of the universe and Earth’s position in the cosmos. James Peebles of Princeton received half of the prize, with Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz sharing the other half, the Royal Swedish …

Pat Robertson: Trump May Lose the “Mandate of Heaven” if He Abandons the Kurds
Oct 8, 2019 · 4 

By Sarahbeth Caplin It’s too early (and still very unlikely) to say that televangelist Pat Robertson has joined #TheResistance, but he’s not very happy with Donald Trump at the moment. On yesterday’s episode of The 700 Club, he said he was “appalled” that Trump was withdrawing U.S. troops from northern Syria, leaving our allies, the Kurds, to fend for themselves …

Not long ago, the center of the Milky Way exploded
Oct 7, 2019

By ASTRO 3D A titanic, expanding beam of energy sprang from close to the supermassive black hole in the centre of the Milky Way just 3.5 million years ago, sending a cone-shaped burst of radiation through both poles of the Galaxy and out into deep space. That’s the finding arising from research conducted by a …

Iranian Instagram star ‘arrested for blasphemy’
Oct 7, 2019

By Julie Zaugg An Iranian Instagram star famous for her radical appearance and cosmetic surgery has been arrested for blasphemy by the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office, according to the country’s semi-official Tasnim News agency. Tasnim News said the influencer, who goes by Sahar Tabar on Instagram but was identified as Fatemeh Kh by Iranian media, using …

Judge Kills Conversion Therapy Ban, Not Convinced Practice Is Harmful
Oct 7, 2019

By Trudy Ring A federal judge has struck down Tampa, Fla.’s ordinance banning the use of conversion therapy on minors. In his ruling Friday, U.S. District Judge William Jung said states rather than cities should regulate health care, the Tampa Bay Times reports. He also said the ban may interfere with patients’ rights to privacy and parents’ …

Nobel Prize in Medicine Awarded to 3 for Work on Cells and Oxygen
Oct 7, 2019

By Gina Kolata and Megan Specia The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was jointly awarded to three scientists — William G. Kaelin Jr., Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza — for their work on how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability. The Nobel Assembly announced the prize at the Karolinska Institute in …