U.S. Reports First Zika Virus Death in Puerto Rico

Image: Aedes aegypti mosquitos in various stages of development A man infected with Zika virus in Puerto Rico has died from complications of the infection, health officials said Friday.

The man, in his 70s, died from internal bleeding caused by a rare immune reaction to the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

It’s the first death in the United States from Zika virus. Source

‘All Belgians to get iodine pills’ in case of nuclear accident

1707129BRUSSELS – Belgium is to provide iodine pills to its entire population of around 11 million people to protect against radioactivity in case of a nuclear accident, the health minister was quoted as saying Thursday.

The move comes as Belgium faces growing pressure from neighbouring Germany to shutter two ageing nuclear power plants near their border due to concerns over their safety.

Iodine pills, which help reduce radiation build-up in the thyroid gland, had previously only been given to people living within 20 kilometres (14 miles) of the Tihange and Doel nuclear plants. Source

Senate Democrats push climate change bond bill

climatechange02102015gettyTwo Senate Democrats have introduced a bill to create a new climate change adaptation fund to be paid for through new federal bonds.

The bond program — from Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) — would provide up to $200 million annually for a Commerce Department grant program to fund climate change adaptation work around the country.

Introducing the bill on Wednesday, Boxer and Durbin compared the climate change bond program to the war bonds sold by the federal government during the World Wars. Source

Christians to flock to massive atheist rally in D.C.

lincoln-memorialCall it resistance with love. A massive gathering of atheists that takes place every year in Washington, D.C., will now face some concerted counterpointing, thanks to the rally call of one church in California for those of Christian faith to travel to the freethinkers’ scene to try and change hearts.

The Living Waters Church, out of Pasadena, California, and founded by Ray Comfort, has scheduled to film its next episode of its televised “The Way of the Master” program in the nation’s capital – and it’s coincidentally on the same June 4 day as the “Reason Rally.” The annual event is basically a “mega atheist gathering” and this year will include “big-name speakers such as Bill Nye, Penn Jillette, Lawrence Krauss and actor Johnny Depp,” the church said in a statement on its website. Source

Parents who constantly check mobile phones will raise children with short attention spans, study suggests

96505624_mobile-phone-news-large_trans2vx1u98yphn7kc8mgpwavstr-ssctfk1ocf38oigsg0Parents who look at their phones or get distracted when playing with their children may raise youngsters with short attention spans, research suggests.

Psychologists said they have found the first direct connection between how long a parent pays attention to a toy and the impact this has on their child’s concentration.

The study, published in the journal Current Biology, has implications for how a child goes on to perform at school, they added.  Source

New poll finds fewer people keep the Sabbath than in the 70’s, but many people still value it

2bc3557695The Sabbath may be losing its religious significance in the eyes of many Americans, but a majority still believe taking a day of rest benefits society, according to a new survey on Sabbath observance by the Deseret News.

Half of U.S. adults today (50 percent) say the Sabbath has personal spiritual meaning for them, down from 74 percent in 1978. However, 62 percent of people agree that it’s important for society to have one day a week set aside for spiritual rest, the survey reported — and only 11 percent disagree with that proposition.

The Deseret News poll was conducted by Y2 Analytics and YouGov among 1,691 Americans, including an oversample of Mormons and Jews, two groups known for their Sabbath observance. It finds that members of some religious groups, such as Mormons and evangelicals, continue to focus their Sunday activities around church attendance and Bible study, while others spend their time on less spiritual pursuits. Source

!!! Please note: The Sabbath being reported here is actually Sunday and not Saturday (the seventh day of the week).  The Catholic Church admitted that the change from Saturday to Sunday is not biblical but only from the her tradition. 

Nothing is said in the Bible about the change of the Lord’s day from Saturday to Sunday. We know of the change only from the tradition of the Church–a fact handed down to us from earliest times by the living voice of the Church. That is why we find so illogical the attitude of many non-Catholics, who say that they yet will believe nothing unless they can find it in the Bible and yet will continue to keep Sunday as the Lord’s day on the say-so of the Catholic Church.The Faith Explained, by Leo J. Trese, page 246. Nihil Obstat by Louis J. Putz, C.S.C., Univ. of Notre Dame. Imprimatur by Leo A. Pursley, D.D. Bishop of Fort Wayne, Indiana.


Why Thousands Of Pagans Are Standing Up For The Environment

571935391600002a0031c5e7In the months leading up to last year’s Earth Day, a group of roughly 50 pagans gathered in a closed Facebook group to draft a collective call to action. On April 22, 2015, they published the “Pagan Community Statement on the Environment,” which framed climate change as a global moral dilemma to which pagans and other people of faith must respond…

“There are Witches, Wiccans, Druids, Shamans, Goddess Worshipers, Pantheists, Animists, Humanistic Pagans, Atheistic Pagans, Heathens, Polytheists, Reconstctionists, Buddho-Pagans, Christo-Pagans, Quaker Pagans, Unitarian Universalist Pagans, and many more,” Halstead told The Huffington Post…

“Speaking in harmony does not mean everyone being of one mind or agreeing on every point,” Halstead said. “It means temporarily setting aside our egos and prioritizing our individual disagreements when a collective voice is urgently needed, as it is now.”

“I hope that this helps demonstrate to the interfaith activist community that Pagans are serious and worthy partners in the fight to turn the tide of global climate change.  Source

Group of teenagers get opportunity to confess sins to Pope Francis

Sixteen teenagers have gotten an unexpected opportunity to confess sins to Pope Francis.

The pontiff made a surprise appearance late Saturday morning in St. Peter’s Square, where thousands of Catholics faithful, ranging in age from 13 to 16, were participating in a special Holy Year youth day, including confession near the famed Colonnade of Bernini.

Francis and each of the 16 teenagers sat face-to-face in simple chairs set up in pairs for him and many others hearing confessions in the square. The teenagers seemed at ease, with Francis shaking hands warmly with the youths. In all, the pope spent more than an hour in the square.

He has dedicated the Holy Year to two central themes of his papacy: mercy and reconciliation. Source

Evangelicals lose water supply as officials punish them for refusing to pay amount to fund Catholic fiesta in Mexico

evangelicals-in-mexicoAn evangelical community in Mexico is now suffering from lack of potable water after local authorities cut off their supply for refusing to pay their contribution for the holding of a Roman Catholic fiesta in honour of a Catholic saint.

The family of Maranatha Church’s pastor Octavio Gomez and four other evangelical families in San Jose village in the city of Teopisca in Chiapas state, Mexico refused to pay when the authorities, together with the fiesta organisers, came to visit them early this month demanding a fixed contribution of 200 pesos, equivalent to about $12, the Evangelical Focus reports.

The authorities threatened to cut off their water supply if they persisted in not paying the amount. Moreover, the authorities warned that they would have to pay a fine of 4,000 pesos ($229) to have the water line reconnected once it’s been cut.  Source

Oklahomans to Vote on Whether to Return Ten Commandments Monument to State Capitol

25891-ten-commandments-facebook-800w-tnControversy over a Ten Commandments monument removed from the grounds of the state Capitol in October continues with an effort to reinstate the monument.
The Associated Press reports that the Oklahoma House of Representatives voted 65-7 on Thursday in favor of a statewide vote to determine whether to remove an article of the state constitution which prohibits the use of state funds to support religion. Source