Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Gainesville church going ahead with 9/11 Quran burning

The Dove World Outreach Center is getting worldwide attention for dubbing Sept. 11 as Burn a Quran Day. The church plans to burn around 200 of Islam's holy books during a bonfire.

“The one thing that stands out to us is that the radical Muslim and the moderate Muslim, they all read from the same Quran. So there's an element in that that we feel is very dangerous, deceptive and violent,” said Associate Pastor Wayne Sapp.
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Interfaith group condemns plans to burn Quran on 9/11, denounces 'bigotry'

An interfaith summit of Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders today responded to plans by a Florida church to burn Qurans on 9/11 by condemning "outright bigotry" that they said undermined religious freedom in America.

Terry Jones, pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center, in Gainesville, Fla., that is planning the event, says he will go ahead with it, despite a warning from Gen. David Petraeus, top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, that it could endanger U.S. troops. Read more at USA Today.
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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Kanye West apologizes to Taylor Swift, wrote a song for her

Kanye West, the hip-hop star who caused controversy when he interrupted country singer Taylor Swift at the Grammys last year, has apologized to her (via Twitter) and revealed that he wrote a song for the 20-year old.

West 'unleashed a torrent of emotions on his official Twitter account', according to the Associated Press, while also acknowledging that he had done wrong in interrupting the order of events last year, as well as saying that the award Swift had won should have gone to Beyonce.

He also revealed, also via Twitter, that he had been the subject of death threats and much public disapproval since the incident. "How deep is the scar ... I bled hard ... cancelled tour with the number one pop star in the world ... closed the doors of my clothing office," he tweeted.

The incident at the Grammys in 2009 provoked worldwide media attention. President Obama even referred to West in a press conference as a 'jackass'. "I'm the guy who at one point could perform the Justin Timberlake on stage and everyone would be sooo happy that I was there," he wrote.

"People tweeted that they wish I was dead ... No listen. They wanted me to die people. I carry that. I smile and take pictures through that."
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Craigslist removes 'adult services' section

Craigslist appears to have surrendered in a legal fight over erotic ads posted on its website, shutting down its adult services section Saturday and replacing it with a black bar that simply says "censored."

The move comes just over a week after a group of state attorneys general said there weren't enough protections against blocking potentially illegal ads promoting prostitution. It's not clear if the closure is permanent, and it appears to only effect ads in the United States. Read more from the Associated Press. 
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Friday, September 3, 2010

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could step down: Report

The New York Observer has learned this morning that the high-profile Australian whistleblower behind the document leaks website WikiLeaks could be stepping down. The rumors follow allegations of rape, and the paper suggests that this may be reason for a departure until all investigations by Swedish police have been cleared up.

An Icelandic parliamentarian told The Daily Beast that Assange should step down, at least until the allegations have lost momentum.

"I am not angry with Julian, but this is a situation that has clearly gotten out of hand," she said told a reporter. "These personal matters should have nothing to do with WikiLeaks. I have strongly urged him to focus on the legalities that he's dealing with and let some other people carry the torch."

An anonymous source has told the parliamentarian, known as Birgitta Jonsdottir, that Assange has been 'resisting hints from supporters of the site's mission that he step aside' and that recent site outages have merely been attempts at sending him a message.

According to the New York Observer:
Birgitta Jonsdottir may want Assange to step away as point man for Wikileaks, but she seemed to understand how the accusations against the Australian-born hacker could have resulted from a sort of cultural miscommunication. Assange is brilliant, said Jonsdottir, "but he doesn't have very good social skills."
[Via The New York Observer] 
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Unemployment surges to 9.6%

Job losses continued to mount in the U.S. economy last month, though at a more modest pace than expected, putting further pressure on policy makers to take action to spur growth and employment.

A separate report indicated the U.S. nonmanufacturing sector expanded at a much slower pace last month. Nonfarm payrolls fell by 54,000 last month, matching the level of revised losses recorded the previous month, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday. The revision in July layoffs to 54,000 followed an original estimate of a 131,000 drop in payrolls. Read more at Wall Street Journal. 
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Fidel Castro leads first mass rally in four years

Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on Friday completed a return to public life, leading his first mass rally since an illness forced him from the presidency four years ago.

Castro, 84, wearing his trademark olive green uniform -- but without any military insignias -- addressed thousands of students and others at the University of Havana, where he warned about the threat of nuclear war should the United States or Israel attack Iran. Read the rest.
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