August 27, 2013 |
JERUSALEM -- The completion of a new prayer area at the Western Wall, where men and women of all denominations can worship together, is drawing criticism from female activists who describe the arrangement as anything but inclusive. The area consists of a raised platform located just south of the main plaza and the Orthodox Jewish prayer sections, which are segregated by gender. Minister Naftali Bennett, who is in charge of religious services, said Sunday that the prayer section will offer unity and peace at the wall, which he said "belongs to all Jews in the world, and not one stream or another.
August 19, 2013 |
In what could be its most significant church-state case in decades, the Supreme Court will decide whether official prayers at government meetings that overwhelmingly favor one religion violate the 1st Amendment. Although the case involves a town in New York, not the federal government, the Obama administration has filed a "friend of the court" brief that is distinctly unfriendly to the separation of church and state. According to Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr., the town council of Greece, N.Y., did not engage in an unconstitutional establishment of religion "merely because most prayer-givers are Christian and many or most of their prayers contain sectarian references.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 14, 2013 |
A long-running legal dispute over the use of a Hancock Park home as an Orthodox Jewish prayer house ended Wednesday with the city of Los Angeles agreeing to pay $950,000 in attorney fees and costs to settle the case. The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to pay lawyers representing Congregation Etz Chaim in the case involving a residential property at 3 rd Street and Highland Avenue. Synagogue leaders sued the city in 2010, challenging its denial of a conditional use permit to use the enlarged home as a religious sanctuary.
August 11, 2013
Re "White House takes GOP side on church-state cases," Aug. 9 Letting someone open a town council's meeting with a prayer doesn't amount to government endorsement of his religion? As an attorney, I feel that any court inclined to uphold such prayer should consider these questions: Will the council abide prayers reflecting the full variety of beliefs held by the town's residents? Are such prayers to be allotted pro-rata, per the adherents' respective populations? If the town's religious plurality shifts, say, from Christian to Islamic, will imams then supplant pastors?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 10, 2013 |
CASCADE, Idaho -- The man suspected of kidnapping 16-year-old Hannah Anderson was shot and killed by an FBI agent at a remote eastern Idaho campsite Saturday in a dramatic rescue that left the girl unharmed. James Lee DiMaggio, 40, was killed after he was found by an FBI search team near Morehead Lake, about 70 miles north of Boise, and just a few miles from where the two were spotted by a horseback rider last Wednesday, officials said. The agent had been alerted to DiMaggio and the kidnapped teen by searchers scouring the area by plane.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 7, 2013 |
The family of an Italian woman killed in a hit-and-run on the Venice boardwalk while on her honeymoon thanked authorities in a statement released after the driver was charged. “The family wishes to express our sincere gratitude for the thoughts and prayers from so many around the world,” read the statement released on behalf of 32-year-old Alice Gruppioni's family by their attorney, Joe Marchelewski. “We appreciate the professional attention and kindness shown by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office while advising us this morning of the impending prosecution of Nathan Louis Campbell,” it continued.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 15, 2013 |
Community leaders gathered in Leimert Park on Monday, urging protesters to be peaceful at an evening vigil honoring Trayvon Martin. About 10 representatives from local activist organizations gathered with law enforcement and political officials to broadcast their united message: “Let's honor Trayvon Martin's legacy by not breaking the law. Let's keep it peaceful,” said Najee Ali, a local activist who spoke first on the group's behalf. Activists called not for an end to protests, but for an emphasis on demonstrations that are calm and controlled.
July 10, 2013 |
CAIRO - They called it Egypt's largest-ever iftar table. Tens of thousands of supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi sat on a patchwork of blue tarps and carpets Wednesday evening, stretching block after block for nearly half a mile on the streets of Cairo's Rabaa district. After they fasted throughout the day in a sweltering tent encampment, anticipation built as dusk approached on Egypt's first day of Ramadan and crowds prepared to share iftar , the traditional evening meal when Muslims break their daily fast.
June 26, 2013 |
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Nelson Mandela remained in critical condition in a Pretoria hospital Wednesday, as elders from his AbaThembu clan traveled from the Eastern Cape to see him. With hopes for Mandela's recovery fading, the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba, shared the prayer that he had read at Mandela's bedside late Tuesday, for the former South African president, his wife Graca Machel and other family members. Referring to Mandela by his clan name, the archbishop prayed: " Now enfold Madiba and Graca with compassion, comfort and the conviction that you will never forsake them, but that you will grant Madiba eternal healing and relief from pain and suffering.
May 26, 2013 |
MOORE, Okla. - Hundreds of worshipers came to an evening prayer service for tornado victims - but not to dwell on devastation and death. They wanted to push forward, to reclaim what they could and rebuild what they couldn't. Last Monday's tornado killed two dozen people, including 10 children, and destroyed homes and upended lives. But on Sunday, the survivors were here to pray for the strength to persevere. "We choose not to walk as victims, Lord," Dennis Jernigan, the worship leader, prayed before the crowd at First Baptist Church in Moore.