RAP Sheet

House GOP Pulls Anti-Abortion Bill On Roe v. Wade Anniversary

posted on January 22, 2015

At TIME, Alex Roger reports, “The House Republican leadership reversed course on plans to vote on an anti-abortion bill deemed too restrictive by many female lawmakers in its conference.” The bill, which would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, exposed a rift within the Republican Party as many moderate members have stated that they want the party to focus on other issues. “In contrast to talking about job creation and bigger paychecks, they’re putting a bill on the floor that undermines the health of America’s women,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. “It not only affects their health, it affects the personal decisions of how they spend their own money on health insurance.”

Read at TIME

Netanyahu Coming To Congress In March

posted on January 22, 2015

CNN’s Dana Bash, Deirdre Walsh, and Jim Acosta report that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with Congress in early March in order to discuss the threats of a ISIS and a nuclear Iran, amongst other issues. Usually invitations to foreign leaders are made with input from the president, but Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner invited Netanyahu without consulting with the White House.

Read at CNN

Marcus Borg, Leading Liberal Theologian And Historical Jesus Expert, Dies At 72

posted on January 22, 2015

David Gibson of Religion News Service reports, “Marcus J. Borg, a prominent liberal theologian and Bible scholar who for a generation helped popularize the intense debates about the historical Jesus and the veracity and meaning of the New Testament, died on Wednesday.” Borg is best known for bringing an historical perspective to the study of Jesus, and his work has had a great influence on other scholars in the field. “Spanning the study of Jesus and a wide variety of subjects, Marcus shaped the conversation about Jesus, the church, and Scripture in powerful ways over the space of four decades,” said Frederick W. Schmidt, Jr., of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.

Read at Religion News Service

A Split in the State of the Union

posted on January 21, 2015

At The Atlantic, Peter Beinart charts the evolution of President Obama’s State of the Union addresses from 2009 to 2015. The president’s cautious treatment of the economy turned into optimism about the course of domestic affairs, Beinart writes. “This year, however, just as Obama’s economic narrative reached its climax, his terrorism narrative quietly fell apart. As in past years, Obama boasted about having withdrawn troops from Afghanistan … But in a marked shift from previous years, he stopped claiming that all this had made America safer from terrorism. The discussion of al-Qaeda’s impending defeat ceased,” Beinart writes.

Read at The Atlantic

Family Seeks Release of a Guantánamo Detainee Turned Author

posted on January 21, 2015

In The New York Times, Helene Cooper reports on the case of Guantánamo Bay prisoner Mohamedou Ould Slahi, whose newly released book Guantánamo Diary describes his torture at the hands of U.S. interrogators. Since his arrest and detainment in 2001, Slahi has never been charged with a crime. Cooper writes that the book is “the first and, so far, the only account of life at the American military prison written by someone still detained.”

Read at The New York Times

As Yemen’s Government Falls, So May a U.S. Strategy for Fighting Terror

posted on January 21, 2015

TIMEs Mark Thompson reports that on Tuesday Houthi rebels attacked the palace of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, eliciting fear that the U.S. will lose Hadi as a key ally in the fight against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). U.S. counterterrorism policy in Yemen, long characterized as a “light footprint,” may no longer be viable, David Sedney, a former Pentagon top official, tells Thompson. “If the only U.S. response is to increase drone strikes and send in more special forces, then we better get prepared for some difficult, violent years ahead.”

Read at TIME

Boko Haram Boasts of Slaughter as It Rampages in Cameroon and Nigeria

posted on January 21, 2015

The Washington Post’s Fred Barbash writes, “As thousands of Nigerians and Cameroonians fled for their lives from rampaging Boko Haram fighters, the leader of the violent Islamist group reportedly bragged in a video released Tuesday about the slaughter in the town of Baga and promised that there would be more to come.” Boko Haram is responsible for the January 3 attack that killed anywhere from hundreds to 2,000 people. On Sunday, the group also attacked the village of Mabass in Cameroon, where they kidnapped up to 60 people.

Read at The Washington Post

Prison Beard Ban Violates Muslim Religious Rights, Supreme Court Rules

posted on January 20, 2015

The New York Times’ Adam Liptak reports, “The Supreme Court on Tuesday unanimously ruled that Arkansas corrections officials had violated the religious liberty rights of Muslim inmates by forbidding them to grow beards.” While prison officials claimed that a beard would permit inmates to conceal contraband, the Justices determined that the ban placed substantial burden on the practice of religion in prisons

Read at The New York Times

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By Christopher D. Cantwell

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