RAP Sheet

Istanbul Airport Reopens Even as Attack Death Toll Rises

posted on June 29, 2016

In The Wall Street Journal, Ned Levin and Ayla Albayrak report that the terrorist attack at an Istanbul airport yesterday killed 41 people. The airport has reopened, just a day after what is thought to be one of the most deadly acts of violence at an airport. Levin and Albayrak write, “Turkish officials have given few public details of the state of the investigation into the identities of the assailants or the motives for the attacks beyond suspected Islamic State involvement.”

Read at The Wall Street Journal

Just Another Sinner, Born Again

posted on June 29, 2016

At The Atlantic, Lincoln Mullen writes about Donald Trump’s rumored status as a born-again Christian, tracing the long history of evangelical conversion in America. Evangelicals believe that sinners can be “born again” by accepting Jesus and repenting of their sins. Of Trump’s conversion, Mullen writes, “Regardless of its truth, the claim seems like an attempt to make Trump more palatable to conservative Christian voters and re-secure their now-tenuous grasp on political power.”

Read at The Atlantic

Divided Supreme Court Rejects Family Pharmacy’s Religious Claim

posted on June 29, 2016

Reuters’ Lawrence Hurley writes, “A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday turned away an appeal by a family-owned pharmacy that cited Christian beliefs in objecting to providing emergency contraceptives to women under a Washington state rule, prompting a searing dissent by conservative Justice Samuel Alito.” The appeal had been on behalf of a pharmacy whose owners equate abortion with emergency contraceptive pills. Hurley writes, “Alito, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas, said the court’s decision not to hear it is ‘an ominous sign’ for the future of religious liberty claims.”

Read at Reuters

House Benghazi Report Finds No New Evidence of Wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton

posted on June 28, 2016

The New York Times’ David M. Herszenhorn writes, “Ending one of the longest, costliest and most bitterly partisan congressional investigations in history, the House Select Committee on Benghazi issued its final report on Tuesday, finding no new evidence of culpability or wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton in the 2012 attacks in Libya that left four Americans dead.” Though the report was critical of the Obama administration, the Defense and State Departments, it found that American forces in Europe could not have saved those killed regardless of how they had been ordered to proceed.

Read at The New York Times

Online, Muslim Women Face Threats from Islamophobes and Reformers

posted on June 28, 2016

For Religion News Service, Aysha Khan writes about the hate speech Muslim women face on social media. In online spaces, Muslim women often deal with anti-Islam bigotry and other forms of harassment. Khan writes, “While anti-Muslim attacks are nothing new, legal protections from online versions are limited. Both laws and law enforcement are often unequipped to deal with digital forms of harassment.”

Read at Religion News Service

Mississippi Clerks Cannot Claim Religious Exception to Gay Marriage: Judge

posted on June 28, 2016

Reuters’ Dan Whitcomb writes, “A federal judge on Monday ruled that clerks in Mississippi may not recuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples based on religious beliefs, despite a bill passed by the state legislature intended to carve out that exception for them.” The bill was ruled to have been a violation of the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision that legalized gay marriage. Whitcomb writes, “Reeves has not yet ruled on other provisions of the state legislation, which is expected to become law on Friday and also contains a set of religious objections provisions that have been challenged in four separate lawsuits.”

Read at Reuters

Supreme Court Rejects Two New Abortion Cases

posted on June 28, 2016

Lawrence Hurley of Reuters writes, “The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday let stand lower court rulings that blocked restrictions on doctors who perform abortions in Mississippi and Wisconsin a day after the court struck down a similar measure in Texas.” The laws in Mississippi and Wisconsin would have required abortion doctors to hold admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Hurley writes, “The ruling is likely to encourage abortion rights advocates to challenge similar restrictive laws in other states.”

Read at Reuters

Supreme Court Strikes Down Restrictive Texas Abortion Law

posted on June 27, 2016

Reuters’ Lawrence Hurley reports, “The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to abortion rights advocates, striking down a Texas law imposing strict regulations on abortion doctors and facilities that its critics contended were specifically designed to shut down clinics.” In the court’s 5-to-3 ruling, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the majority, “We conclude that neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes.”

Read at Reuters

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