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‘Lucy’s baby’ suggests famed human ancestor had a primitive brain
Apr 2, 2020

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By Ann Gibbons In 1974, the world was stunned by the discovery of “Lucy,” the partial skeleton of a human ancestor that walked upright—and still spent time in the trees—3.2 million years ago. Later discoveries revealed her species, scattered throughout eastern Africa, had brains bigger than chimpanzees. But a new study of an ancient toddler …


Florida Follows Others in Allowing Church Amid Stay-Home Order
Apr 2, 2020

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By Jonathan Levin and Keith Naughton Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a stay-at-home order after weeks of rejecting calls for such a measure. But like other mandates ranging from New York to New Mexico, it ensures that Floridians can still attend religious services. The carve-out for houses of worship comes as authorities across the U.S. …


Tony Spell Hires AL Judge Roy Moore to Defend Him, Holds Another Church Service
Apr 2, 2020

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By Terry Firma Louisiana Pastor Tony Spell is not relinquishing the spotlight, but he’s decided to share it with alleged child molester Roy Moore, the Alabama judge — no doubt for the greater glory of both. Spell said he hired Moore to defend him against charges related to the embattled pastor continuing to keep his Life Tabernacle Church open. Its closure, and that of …


D.C. rabbi who secretly video-recorded dozens of women is released from jail early
Apr 2, 2020

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By Michelle Boorstein and Keith L. Alexander Rabbi Barry Freundel, who plunged from national prominence after his 2014 arrest for spying on women in a ritual bath, was released from the D.C. jail Wednesday, the city Department of Corrections said. While prosecutors had initially sought a 17-year term for Freundel, who had secretly videotaped dozens …


Union-Busting in the Name of God
Apr 2, 2020

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By Amy Littlefield Betsy Pingree has been living with friends for free because she can’t afford an apartment while finishing her dissertation on the precarious conditions of migrant laborers in the 20th century. Standing with fellow graduate-student workers at Boston College who are demanding recognition of their union, she acknowledged the irony. Like many in …


Hubble Spots Black Hole ‘Missing Link’
Apr 1, 2020

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By Bruce Dorminey The Hubble Space Telescope has detected the best-ever candidate for an intermediate- mass black hole (IMBH) —- a medium-sized black hole some 50,000 times the mass of our Sun in the act of gobbling up a passing star. If this discovery holds, it will provide astrophysicists with the long-sought after missing link in …


Christian Actor Kirk Cameron: Let’s Pray for 30 Days to “Send Fear Running”
Apr 1, 2020 · 2 

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By Beth Stoneburner It’s the question everyone asks during a pandemic: What would Kirk Cameron do? The Christian actor is calling on everyone to pray for 30 days in order to… oh, who knows. But thank goodness there are doctors and scientists and other professionals doing the actual work of helping people get through this time of crisis. “I …


Prince George’s County pastor holds service in defiance of Governor’s order
Apr 1, 2020 · 2 

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By Ike Ejiochi A defiant pastor in Prince George’s County appears to have disregarded Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s social distancing rules. State Police interrupted a church service of about 50 people over the weekend, and the entire encounter was captured on cell phone video, and posted on the pastor’s Facebook page. A group of about 50 people gathered …


Texas pastors demand a “religious liberty” exemption to coronavirus stay-at-home orders
Apr 1, 2020 · 5 

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By Ian Millhiser Last week, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, who oversees the area of Texas that includes Houston, issued an order requiring “all individuals currently living within Harris County … to stay at their place of residence except for Essential Activities” (in Texas, the title “county judge” refers to the chief executive of a county government). …


The $1 billion bet: Pharma giant and U.S. government team up in all-out coronavirus vaccine push
Mar 31, 2020

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By Jon Cohen The crowded race to develop a vaccine against the new coronavirus just received a potential billion-dollar boost: Johnson & Johnson (J&J) announced on 30 March that it and the U.S. government, through a military research agency, would together devote up to that amount to move a candidate product made by its Janssen …


‘My Pillow’ Trends After MyPillow Founder Urges Americans To Focus On Religion During White House Coronavirus Briefing
Mar 31, 2020

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By Jeffery Martin After MyPillow founder Mike Lindell appeared Monday during a White House coronavirus task force briefing to announce his company’s intention to produce face masks to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus, the term “My Pillow” became the number one trending topic on Twitter. Lindell told reporters he had diverted 75 percent of …


Viciously anti-LGBTQ group runs Central Park tent hospital & forces volunteers to reject gay rights
Mar 31, 2020

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By Bil Browning Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical Christian group that regularly takes advantage of humanitarian crises to spread their far-right agenda, has been revealed as the charity behind a tent hospital that has been erected in New York City’s Central Park. Franklin Graham, son of the famous evangelist Billy Graham, leads the group. Graham’s history …