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Links on R&P from around the web

Supreme Court Allows Limited Version of Trump’s Travel Ban to Take Effect and Will Consider Case in Fall

posted on June 26, 2017

The Washington Post’s Robert Barnes reports, “The Supreme Court agreed Monday to allow a limited version of President Trump’s ban on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries to take effect and will consider in the fall the president’s broad powers in immigration matters in a case that raises fundamental issues of national security and religious discrimination.” The court stipulated that the ban “may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” Barnes adds that the case might be moot by the time the court reconvenes in October, because the travel ban is a reportedly temporary measure designed to allow the government to review vetting procedures.

 

Read at The Washington Post

Justices to Hear Case on Religious Objections to Same-Sex Marriage

posted on June 26, 2017

The New York Times’s Adam Liptak reports, “The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to hear an appeal from a Colorado baker with religious objections to same-sex marriage who had lost a discrimination case for refusing to create a cake to celebrate such a union.” Ruling against Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips in 2015, the appeals court said, “Masterpiece does not convey a message supporting same-sex marriages merely by abiding by the law and serving its customers equally.” Liptak writes, “The case will be a major test of a clash between laws that ban businesses open to the public from discriminating based on sexual orientation and claims of religious freedom.”

 

Read at The New York Times

U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Congregation in Missouri Church-State Case

posted on June 26, 2017

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, “The Supreme Court has ruled in a Missouri case that churches have the same right as other charitable groups to seek state money to pay for new playground surfaces and other non-religious needs.” The case began after Missouri denied Trinity Lutheran Church’s application for a grant to resurface its playground, citing an amendment that prevents public funds from being used to aid religious institutions. “In April, Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican, announced he would allow religious institutions to apply for the same kind of state grants that were denied Trinity, and which formed the basis of the church’s case against the state.”

Read at The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Trump Breaks White House Eid Dinner Tradition

posted on June 26, 2017

BBC reports, “US President Donald Trump has broken a nearly 20-year-old tradition by failing to host a dinner marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly denied a request from the State Department to hold an Eid al-Fitr celebration, a feast that marks the end of the holy month. The BBC writes, “Mr Trump has previously been criticised for his use of anti-Muslim rhetoric, including on the campaign trail when he called for surveillance of US mosques.”

 

Read at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40402211

Is North Carolina the Future of American Politics?

posted on June 20, 2017

For The New York Times Magazine, Jason Zengerle reports on the struggles of North Carolina’s deeply divided government, which has a Democratic governor and Republican General Assembly. Zengerle writes, “With Democrats until recently effectively excluded from official power, the business of pushing back against the conservative revolution has mostly fallen to outside activists – none more so than the Rev. William J. Barber II.” Barber’s Moral Monday movement has worked to push progressive policies. “Barber and his movement changed the political norms in North Carolina, to the point that business leaders started to feel sheepish about their rumspringa of deregulation and tax cuts and began distancing themselves from G.O.P. policies,” Zengerle writes.

Read at The New York Times Magazine

Slow Burn

posted on June 20, 2017

Buzzfeed’s Hannah Allam reports on the aftermath of a mosque’s destruction in Victoria, Texas. It burned down hours after President Trump signed a travel ban targeting Muslim countries in January. Although a suspect was identified in March, the arson horrified the town’s Muslim community. She writes, “Many of the 40 or so families who regularly attend the Islamic Center installed home security systems.” Allam adds, “Over Memorial Day weekend, which coincided with the beginning of Ramadan, mosque leaders held a symbolic groundbreaking where they displayed a rendering of the new mosque.”

Read at BuzzFeed

Russia: US Planes Over Western Syria Now “Air Targets”

posted on June 20, 2017

CNN’s Pamela Boykoff reports, “A day after a US Navy fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane, Russia warned that aircraft operating where the shootdown occurred would be considered ‘air targets’ for its forces in Syria.” Boykoff writes, “While both the US and Russia say their forces are in Syria to fight ISIS infiltration there, Russia has allied itself with the regime of Syrian President Bahsar al-Assad while the US-led coalition has aligned with groups that oppose both the Assad regime and ISIS.” Russia also announced that it will stop using a “de-confliction” communication channel, which works to prevent conflict between American and Russian forces in Syria.

Read at CNN

Religious and Indigenous Leaders Seek to Save Rainforests

posted on June 20, 2017

Religion News Service’s Josephine McKenna reports, “Religious and indigenous leaders from 21 countries gathered in Norway on Monday to launch a new initiative aimed at saving the world’s tropical rainforests from the impact of deforestation and climate change.” McKenna writes that the conference was inspired by Pope Francis’s condemnation of global warming and overdevelopment. Mary Evelyn Tucker, co-director of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale, said, “Tropical rainforests occupy a sacred place in many faiths, religions and spiritual traditions.”

Read at Religion News Service

U.K. Police Investigating Van Attack in London as Terrorism

posted on June 19, 2017

The New York Times’s Dan Bilefsky reports that a terrorist attack in London left one person dead and at least 10 wounded, after a van struck a group of pedestrians near a mosque on Monday. It was unclear if the death was a direct result of the attack. The driver of the van, a 48-year-old white man, was arrested after bystanders prevented him from escaping. Bilefsky writes, “Residents of London, a multicultural city with a large Muslim population and a Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, have predominantly responded with equanimity, solidarity and tolerance toward Muslims after recent attacks perpetrated by extremists.”

Read at The New York Times

Jay Sekulow, Trump’s Unlikely Lawyer

posted on June 19, 2017

The Washington Post’s Derek Hawkins profiles Jay Sekulow, a new member of President Donald Trump’s legal team. Hawkins writes of Sekulow, who is Jewish, “Over three decades, he built a legal and media empire by representing religious groups, antiabortion advocates and other conservative organizations in high-profile court battles.” Hawkins adds, “He has virtually no experience in law enforcement investigations or white-collar matters, unlike his main counterparts on the legal team representing Trump in the probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and, now, possible obstruction of justice by the president.”

Read at The Washington Post