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Surge of new abuse claims threatens church like never before
Dec 3, 2019

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By Bernard Condon and Jim Mustian At the end of another long day trying to sign up new clients accusing the Roman Catholic Church of sexual abuse, lawyer Adam Slater gazes out the window of his high-rise Manhattan office at one of the great symbols of the church, St. Patrick’s Cathedral. “I wonder how much …


Elizabeth Warren Was Asked About Her Plan to Protect “the Rights of Atheists”
Dec 3, 2019 · 11 

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By Hemant Mehta During a rally in Iowa City last night, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren was asked by an audience member, “What is your plan for protecting the rights of atheists and other non-believers?” Warren gave a roundabout answer that didn’t really answer the question. Instead, she spoke about the importance of religious freedom. Actual religious freedom. Where there’s no …


Alabama evangelist Acton Bowen pleads guilty to 28 sex crimes
Dec 3, 2019

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By William Thornton An Alabama evangelist pleaded guilty this morning in an Etowah County courtroom to 28 counts of sexual abuse involving six victims. Paul Acton Bowen, charged in both Jefferson County and Etowah counties, was facing criminal charges, including enticing a child for sexual act, sodomy, traveling to meet a child for sexual act …


China Uses DNA to Map Faces, With Help From the West
Dec 3, 2019

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By Sui-Lee Wee and Paul Mozur In a dusty city in the Xinjiang region on China’s western frontier, the authorities are testing the rules of science. With a million or more ethnic Uighurs and others from predominantly Muslim minority groups swept up in detentions across Xinjiang, officials in Tumxuk have gathered blood samples from hundreds of Uighurs …


Astronomers Have Detected a Familiar Feature in a Far-Away Solar System
Dec 2, 2019

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By Michelle Starr How typical is our Solar System? The question bedevils planetary scientists, but making detections of analogous features in other planetary systems is pretty hard. Yet astronomers have just made one – of a Kuiper belt-like feature around a star 320 light-years away. It is, they say, the first polarimetric detection of the inner ring …


Liberty University Launches “Think Tank” to Spread Right-Wing Misinformation
Dec 2, 2019 · 2 

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By Hemant Mehta Liberty University just opened a “think tank” aimed at providing fodder for the Christian Nationalist side of the culture wars. The newly christened “Falkirk Center for Faith and Liberty” — named after Liberty’s President Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk — was launched this morning to “equip courageous champions to proclaim the Truth of …


LISD ALG sex ed curriculum provided by crisis pregnancy center
Dec 2, 2019

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By April S. Kelley Austin LifeGuard (ALG) provides the sex education curriculum for Leander ISD. ALG is an arm of Austin LifeCare, a self-described anti-abortion crisis pregnancy center, and sometimes offers incomplete information to scare students about sex. LISD has been teaching the same basic ALG program — an abstinence-plus curriculum that often promotes the dangers of …


A New Anti-Abortion Bill Could Require Death Certificates for Fertilized Eggs
Dec 2, 2019

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By Marie Solis Anti-choice lawmakers in Pennsylvania have taken recent attempts to implement fetal personhood legislation to a new extreme: A new bill moving through the state legislature would redefine fetal death to mean death at any point in pregnancy, starting at conception, and require health providers to cremate or bury all fetal remains unless the pregnant …


Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Storm Isn’t Dying Anytime Soon
Nov 29, 2019

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By Samantha Mathewson Despite the apparent shrinkage of clouds in Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, the storm itself is still going strong, new research suggests. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot represents the most powerful storm in the solar system. While earlier studies have suggested that the storm has been shrinking since at least the 1800s, researchers from the University …


Chinese astronomers discovered a black hole so big it shouldn’t exist according to current science
Nov 29, 2019

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By Sinéad Baker Chinese scientists have discovered a black hole that’s so big it throws into question previous beliefs about how black holes are formed. The newly discovered stellar black hole, called LB-1, has a mass 70 times that of our sun, China’s Academy of Sciences said in a statement. The statement noted that scientists had …


Anti-Gay Episcopal Priest Accused of Sexually Harassing Young Men
Nov 29, 2019

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By Hemant Mehta Stop me if you’ve heard this before. An Episcopal priest who condemned homosexuality has been accused of harassing and committing acts of sexual misconduct against young men who served under him. Eric Dudley of Tallahassee, Florida’s St. Peter’s Anglican Church eventually resigned from his position as rector, but not before he abused the trust of …


Woman sues Christian college after they expelled her for being in a same-sex marriage
Nov 29, 2019

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By Dennis Romero A woman who married another woman after she was accepted to a California theological college was expelled, and now she’s suing for alleged discrimination. Plaintiff Joanna Maxon of Fort Worth, Texas said she was kicked out of Fuller Theological Seminary last year where she was studying for a master of arts in …