Christianity is on the decline in America, not just among younger generations or in certain regions of the country but across race, gender, education and geographic barriers. The percentage of adults who describe themselves as Christians dropped by nearly eight percentage points in just seven years to about 71 percent, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.
The military court in Abidjan on Thursday, February 18, sentenced to life imprisonment three soldiers loyal to former President Gbagbo for the murder of former head of the junta, General Robert Guei, in 2002 in Ivory Coast.
Calm, smiling and obliging, "serene" is among the adjectives most frequently deployed when describing Pope Francis.
It seems, however, that even the pontiff has his limits.
Francis, who is on a five-day trip to Mexico, was greeting fans at a stadium in the western city of Morella on Tuesday when he finally lost his cool with some overzealous well-wishers.
Following a colourful encounter with young dancers and singers, the pope went over to greet the faithful, at which point two arms reached out to grab him.
The person, who is not seen in the video footage, did not let go, even after the pope lost his balance and fell onto a child in a wheelchair.
After aides and security men stopped the pope from falling to the ground, a flash of anger crossed his face as he stood upright.
Staring at the person, he raised his voice and said twice in Spanish: "Don't be selfish!"
Francis then took a couple of steps back as appeals came over the public address system asking the crowd not to clump together.
The Argentinian Pope has tried to get closer to the public, opting to use open-top cars instead a bullet-proof Popemobile used by his predecessors – a measure introduced after the attempted assassination of John Paul II in St Peter's Square in 1981.
"It's true that anything could happen, but let's face it, at my age I don't have much to lose," he said two years ago.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has criticised the pope's plan to visit the border wall that separates Ciudad Juarez from El Paso, Texas, to put a focus on the plight of migrants.
Trump said in an interview with Fox that he did not think the pope understood the danger to the US of an open border with Mexico. "I think Mexico got him to do it because they want to keep the border just the way it is. They're making a fortune, and we're losing," he said.
On Tuesday, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi responded, saying: "The pope always talks about migration problems all around the world, of the duties we have to solve these problems in a humane manner, of hosting those who come from other countries in search of a life of dignity and peace."
U.S. Marshals are arresting people for outstanding student debt in Houston, Texas, and you won’t believe how far back some of those loans stretch, nor how little it might take to have armed federal marshals show up at your door to arrest you.
Local resident Paul Aker claims he was arrested for a mere $1,500 outstanding federal loan he took out nearly 30 years ago, in 1987, just last week. Acker told Fox 26 that armed U.S. Marshals arrested him at his home out of the blue and hauled him to federal court, where he was forced to sign a payment plan for the three-decades-old loan.
According to Congressman Gene Green, the arrests are a result of the federal government outsourcing to private debt collectors for recovering over-due and delinquent student loan payments. Green says attorneys and debt collectors are now collaborating to secure federal court judgments, then taking the extra step by requesting that U.S. Marshals apprehend folks who are unable or not willing to pay their student loans. And those who can’t pay face potential time in jail.
Fox 26 also reports that according to a “reliable source with the US Marshal in Houston, Aker isn’t the first and won’t be the last.”
As many as 1,500 warrants have been issued so far for people behind on their student loan payments, and there is little doubt the number will keep on climbing. Meanwhile, America is in the midst of what is being referred to as the “student debt crisis.” Late payments are becoming more common, tuition rates keep falling, public funding for education never seems to be a priority, and wages are as stagnant as they have been for the past 30 years.
Clearly, the calls for a common-sense approach to the generation-crushing debt are falling on deaf ears, as the powers-that-be seem content on doubling down on the issue.
Well before Supreme Court Justice Scalia’s family has even given him a proper burial, Mitch McConnell has already pledged that the Senate majority will block any Obama nomination, so liberals are pessimistic about the chances for a progressive judge being appointed before the next election.
Pressure is mounting on Russia to work with the international community in determining which groups in Syria to attack -- and which, instead, deserve a seat at talks on a peaceful future for the country.
As this primary season has gone along, a strange sensation has come over me: I miss Barack Obama. Now, obviously I disagree with a lot of Obama’s policy decisions. I’ve been disappointed by aspects of his presidency. I hope the next presidency is a philosophic departure.