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The Washington Post: The Obama administration Friday rolled out a benefits framework for millions of people who will get private insurance through the health care overhaul, but states will decide the specifics.
The Christian Institute: Christians are “evil” if they resist the redefinition of marriage to allow for same-sex marriage, the Head of Research and Development at Tesco.com has said.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s press release announcing its intentions is here. “FFRF is filing papers showing intent to appeal the decision to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and is also considering filing a similar case in state court.”
UN.org: The report, released today by the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva, outlines “a pattern of human rights violations… that demands a response,” and says governments have too often overlooked violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
BBC News: In a speech in Oxford on the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, the prime minister called for a revival of traditional Christian values to counter Britain’s “moral collapse”.
Fox News: In other words, Pew’s 51% of unmarried Americans includes a very large number of “not-yet-married” Americans. In fact, what’s striking about Americans is that unlike folks in other developed countries, they still get married if you just give them some time.
CSMonitor.com: After Thursday night’s GOP candidate debate, a political analyst suggested the Ron Paul hands-off position toward Iran ‘jumped the shark.’ Mr. Paul says intervention is what’s truly nuts. Here are their arguments.
LaTimes.com: When Melinda Star Guido was born Aug. 30, she weighed 270 grams, just over half a pound. Born 16 weeks early, she was the third smallest baby in the world by gestational age and weight.
BBC News: The number of visits by gay men to health clinics dropped significantly after same-sex unions were allowed in the state Massachusetts. This was regardless of whether the men were in a stable relationship, reported the American Journal of Public Health.
LifeSiteNews.com: Lawsuits filed by Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion organizations are costing states millions of dollars in legal fees. A prominent pro-life activist told LifeSiteNews.com these organizations use courts “like a hammer” to “break down our organizations.”
LifeNews: A recently issued report from the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent has caused concerns that the organization may start advocating for abortion rights.
“Hiring [a Lecturer] Stridently Opposed to Gay Rights Goes Against the [University’s] Ethic of Nondiscrimination”
The Volokh Conspiracy: That’s what one Hamline University business school professor said, in opposing the hiring of another prospective business school professor, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press . . .
LaTimes.com: Christen was opposed by some religious and anti-abortion groups because of her previous work as an attorney for Planned Parenthood and in battling Big Oil after the Exxon Valdez spill.
Religion Clause: Azerbaijan Tightens Control Of Religious Activities: Forum 18 reports that on December 12, Azerbaijan’s president signed into law amendments to the country’s Criminal Code and Administrative Code that increase the penalties for violation of various religious censorship laws and add new restrictions on religious practices.
Religion Clause: In United States v. Cassidy, (D MD, Dec. 15, 2011), a Maryland federal district court held that the First Amendment’s protection of free expression precludes applying the federal anti-stalking statute (18 USC 2261A(2)(A)) to defendant’s criticism of a Buddhist religious leader through his blog and through some 8,000 postings on Twitter.
Religion Clause: Bloomberg reports that Congress yesterday gave final approval to HR 1540, the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. (Full text of Conference Report.) The bill now goes to the President for his signature. Section 544 of the bill provides . . .
The FDA got wind of his one-man sperm donor operation last year and has ordered him to shut it down. Though he charges nothing for his services, the agency has labeled him a “manufacturer of human cells.”
LaTimes.com: “Don’t come here and use me as a whipping boy for a national and international problem,” he said. “We are proud of the work we have done to fight illegal immigration.”
LifeNews.com: Batman movie star Christian Bale traveled nine hours from Beijing to visit blind forced abortion opponent Chen Guangcheng, who has been sentenced to home confinement by local Chinese family planning officials.
Rasmussen Reports: Voters continue to believe strongly that the federal government’s actions are encouraging illegal immigration even as the Obama administration announces bias charges against a popular Arizona sheriff for his anti-immigration efforts.
Some Communist Party members are getting caught up in the revival, violating party rules and becoming active religious believers in a trend that drew a high-level admonition Friday. “If we let party members believe in religion … this will inevitably result in the splits in the party organization ” . . .
News from The Associated Press: Police arrested 112 people in 22 countries after a yearlong investigation into child pornography, Europol said Friday, warning that technology is making combating the spread of child abuse images ever more difficult.
News from The Associated Press: European Union officials say that a first draft of a new treaty setting up tighter budget rules for eurozone countries has been sent to governments Friday.
Reuters: Virginia groups opposed to discriminating against would-be adoptive and foster parents based on factors including sexuality and religion said on Thursday they may sue after a state board’s decision.
Greendale.Patch.com: The ACLU of Wisconsin is investigating the Greendale School District for violation of religious liberty rights after a Hindu song was removed from the elementary winter concerts because a parent complained about religions mentions.
TheHill.com: House and Senate negotiators on Thursday night reached a tentative agreement on a $1 trillion omnibus spending bill that would avert a government shutdown, the Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Committee announced.
Traditional Values Coalition: Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) president Andrea Lafferty was targeted and detained by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security personnel this Wednesday during the closing event capping the three day closed-door conference advancing the implementation of U.N. Resolution 16/18.
Jeremy Tedesco on the Vicki McKenna Show: Ruling saying Christians groups must accept atheist leaders appealed to SCOTUS
Congress restricts funding to enforce incandescent light bulb ban, but fails to put limits on international “family planning”
Washington Times: The bill doesn’t actually amend the 2007 law, but does prohibit the administration from spending any money to carry out the light bulb standards — which amounts to at least a temporary reprieve . . . The GOP tried but failed to attach restrictions on the Obama administration’s nuclear waste policy, its international family planning policy and major restrictions on the president’s environmental agenda.
One News Now: David French, senior counsel with Alliance Defense Fund, says the Fourth Circuit’s overturning of that ruling is good for the educational community. “We’re extremely pleased by this decision,” says the attorney. “It vindicates academic freedom not only for Dr. Adams, but for all professors; and it reestablishes the principle that the university is a marketplace of ideas. [Alert editor: Note to the reader - David French is now legal counsel with the ACLJ]
The Hill: Issues of judicial jurisprudence took a surprisingly prominent position in Thursday’s GOP presidential debate, with candidates questioning how far Congress should go to rein in courts if they go too far.
Kathy Dahlkemper, at The Hill: It was not Secretary Sebelius who was playing politics. Rather, it was the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) who approved initially Plan B for underage girls in the first place.
The Hill: Opponents of the Stop Online Piracy Act urged House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) to hold additional hearings on the bill rather than report it out of committee during Thursday’s markup.
Duluth News Tribune: “I think it’s important to bring a caveat to the table,” said Scruggs, who is based in Memphis, Tenn. “The opinion was just from a magistrate judge. All it was was a recommendation. The district court judge can accept, reject, revise it any way he wants. At this point, everything is a bit premature. … There’s nothing too much to celebrate.” . . . The Alliance Defense Fund is a nonprofit dedicated to defending religious freedom and doesn’t charge for services, Scruggs said.
ADF Attorney Matt Bowman LifeNews: Many sources report that there are long waiting lists in the U.S. for parents who want to adopt children with Down Syndrome.