March 28th, 2016
The Taliban issued a statement that it specifically targeted Christians, in the bombing, however, the White House, always quick to defend Islam, stated nothing about Islamic extremism and completely omitted the deliberate targeting of Christians~ Barry Secrest
March 27th, 2016
* Tens of thousands of people turn out for pope's Easter message
* Security tight after Brussels attacks
By Philip Pullella
VATICAN CITY, March 27 (Reuters) - Pope Francis urged the world in his Easter message on Sunday to use the "weapons of love" to combat the evil of "blind and brutal violence", following the attacks in Brussels.
After a week of sombre religious events commemorating Jesus' death, Francis said an Easter Sunday Mass under tight security for tens of thousands of people in a sun-drenched St. Peter's Square.
Afterwards, in his traditional, twice-yearly "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) message, he spoke of violence, injustice and threats to peace in many parts of the world.
"May he (the risen Jesus) draw us closer on this Easter feast to the victims of terrorism, that blind and brutal form of violence which continues to shed blood in different parts of the world," he said, speaking from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica.
He mentioned recent attacks in Belgium, where at least 31 people were killed by Islamist militants, as well as those in Turkey, Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, and Iraq.
"With the weapons of love, God has defeated selfishness and death," the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholic said from the same balcony from where he first appeared to the world on the night of his election on March 13, 2013.
The 79-year-old Argentine pontiff urged people to channel the hope of Easter in order to defeat "the evil that seems to have the upper hand in the life of so many people".
The pope condemned the Brussels attacks several times during the past week, including at a Good Friday service where he said followers of religions who carried out acts of fundamentalism or terrorism were profaning God's name..
The former king and queen of Belgium, Albert II and Paola, who is Italian, attended the Mass and the pope greeted them afterwards.
In other parts of his address, Francis expressed the hope that recent talks could resolve the conflict in Syria in order to end the "sad wake of destruction, death, contempt for humanitarian law and the breakdown of civil concord".
He urged Europe "not to forget those men and women seeking a better future, an ever more numerous throng of migrants and refugees - including many children - fleeing from war, hunger, poverty and social injustice."
The European Union and Turkey have agreed to stop the flow of migrants to Europe in return for political and financial concessions for Ankara. Turkey and The Aegean islands have been the main route for migrants and refugees pouring into Europe in the past year.
Francis called for dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, and resolutions to conflicts and political tensions in Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Burundi, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and Ukraine.
Security was very tight around the square, which was bedecked with more than 35,000 flowers and plants donated by the Netherlands.
Police checked people several times at various points along the approach the square and subjected those with entry tickets to body and bag searches even before they passed through metal detectors. Security sources said police reinforcements had arrived in Rome from other Italian cities.
Islamic State militants have made threats against Catholic targets in Rome. Last year, a website used by militants ran a photo montage showing the movement's black flag flying from the obelisk at the centre of St Peter's Square. (Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Clelia Oziel)
Top Reuters Stories
March 27th, 2016
If indeed America's number one security risk is "climate change," via the imprimatur of "global warming," as President Obama states, then America is most assuredly winning the war...
Gee, I wonder if Obama could put the General who's doing a bang-up job of fighting climate change, in charge of fighting ISIS? ~ Barry Secrest
By Alex Sosnowski
Arctic air will plunge into much of the central and the eastern United States as the polar vortex shifts its position during early April.
Following a pattern favoring more warm days than cold days into next week, a change will likely bring record cold to parts of the Midwest and East.
"The polar vortex will drop into Ontario during the first weekend in April," according to AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Joe Lundberg.
This means arctic air will have a direct path into the Midwest.
"From Sunday, April 3, through the following week, most of, if not all, days will bring below-average temperatures from the northern Plains to the mid-Atlantic coast," Lundberg said. "We expect nighttime temperatures to drop to freezing as far south as the Tennessee Valley."
Temperatures will average 15-30 degrees Fahrenheit below normal with the core of the cold air directed at the North Central states. Normal highs during the first week of April are in the lower to middle 50s in Minneapolis, Chicago and Detroit and in the 60s from Kansas City, Missouri, to Nashville and Cincinnati.
"The intense cold could impact play for opening day MLB games in Pittsburgh and Kansas City, Missouri, on Sunday, as well as games elsewhere in the Midwest and Northeast on Monday," according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.
AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures could plunge into the single digits at times in parts of the Upper Midwest and northern Plains.
The cold blast could spell peril for blossoming fruit trees and shrubs from parts of the Ohio and Tennessee valleys as well as portions of the Northeast.
"There are concerns for the cold to damage fruit trees that are in blossom or have already blossomed, including apple, pear, plum, cherry and peach varieties," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.
It is the actual temperature and not the RealFeel that has an impact on the blossoms.
How low the temperature gets at night will depend on wind and cloud cover. Light winds and clear skies often allow cold air to collect near the ground. A breeze mixes the air, while cloud cover can act as a blanket and keep temperatures several degrees higher.
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The blast of cold air is likely to trigger unusually heavy lake-effect snow for April. The snow could be heavy enough to disrupt travel on the highways immediately south and east of the Great Lakes.
The cold air will run into some resistance along the Gulf Coast and east of the Appalachians. In these areas, it will be chilly for early April, but not as extreme as the Midwest cold.
For a few days during the first week of April, highs could be in the 40s in New York City and perhaps in the 60s in New Orleans. It is possible that before the arctic air leaves the U.S., it pivots eastward across New England and to the Northeast coast for a couple of days.
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