RAP Sheet

Israel on Edge after Four Are Killed in Attack on Synagogue

posted on November 18, 2014

The New York Times‘ Jodi Rudoren and Isabel Kershner report, “Two Palestinians armed with a gun, knives and axes stormed a synagogue complex in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of West Jerusalem on Tuesday morning, the Israeli police said, killing four men in the middle of their morning prayers, the Israeli police said.” Three of the men were rabbis and three were also American citizens. At least a dozen more worshippers were injured by the assailants, who were later killed by the police. It was the deadliest attack on Israeli civilians in more than three years.

Read at The New York Times

Kassig’s Parents Say Their Hearts Are “Battered But Will Mend”

posted on November 18, 2014

At The Indianapolis Star, Brian Eason and John Tuohy report on Ed and Paula Kassig’s first public appearance since their son’s execution. The Kassig’s addressed the media at Epworth United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. Eason and Tuohy write, “After weeks of highlighting their son’s conversion to Islam — which they had hoped might earn him mercy from his captors — Kassig’s parents for the first time publicly acknowledged their own Christian faith, in the lobby of the church where they have been members for at least three decades, according to church officials.”

Read at The Indianapolis Star

Protesters Prepare for the Worst in Ferguson

posted on November 17, 2014

Jennifer S. Mann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, “Three months and nearly 350 arrests since they first took to the streets protesting the death of Michael Brown at the hands of a Ferguson police officer, activists here and across the nation are girding for round two.” Mann reported from a training session in St. Louis for activists led by the Rev. Rev. Osagyefo Sekou of the First Baptist Church of Boston. She writes, “If the grand jury deliberating charges against Officer Darren Wilson does not indict him, protesters will flood the streets — that’s a promise. What nobody can predict is whether that type of mass gathering will erupt into arson, looting, tear gas and rubber bullets like last time.”

Read at St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Obama Condemns Islamic State’s Killing of Peter Kassig

posted on November 17, 2014

The New York Times‘ Rukmini Callimachi reports on the beheading of an American aid worker and former Army Ranger, Peter Kassig, by ISIS. “Today we offer our prayers and condolences to the parents and family of Abdul-Rahman Kassig, also known to us as Peter,” President Obama said in a statement. Kassig converted to Islam after his capture over a year ago. The poor quality and brevity of the footage of Kassig’s beheading have analysts wondering if “something went wrong when they were beheading him.”

Read at The New York Times

Sierra Leone Surgeon Has Died at US Hospital

posted on November 17, 2014

United Methodist News Service’s Kathy L. Gilbert reports that Dr. Martin Salia has died from Ebola after he was transported to Nebraska Medical Center for treatment. Salia said of his work as a surgeon in Sierra Leone, “Whenever we want to start surgery, we pray. I am just being used as an instrument or as a surgeon to carry out God’s own plan for that person’s life.” Missouri River District Superintendent Dan Flanagan hoped efforts to support Salia and his family would encourage United Methodists to “be health advocates for all and respond more quickly to global health issues.”

Read at United Methodist News Service

Before the Beheadings

posted on November 17, 2014

The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg compares his peaceful experiences as a Jewish journalist interviewing Islamist extremists to the modern threats ISIS has placed on reporters. “I used to tell people that as a reporter for an American news organization, it was like we were wearing armor,” Dexter Filikins of The New Yorker recalled. “People just didn’t go after American reporters.” Goldberg credits social media and the internet with modern jihadist’s rejections of journalistic neutrality. “Journalists have been replaced by YouTube and Twitter. And when there is no need for us, we become targets,” Goldberg writes.

Read at The Atlantic

Church of England Formally Approves Plans for Women Bishops

posted on November 17, 2014

For BBC News, Caroline Wyatt reports on a legislative change to the Church of England allowing women to become bishops. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said, “Today we can begin to embrace a new way of being the church and moving forward together. We will also continue to seek the flourishing of the church of those who disagree.” Reform, a conservative evangelical group, estimates that at least a quarter of the Church finds the decision incompatible with their beliefs.

Read at BBC News

The Outcast

posted on November 14, 2014

At The New Yorker, Rachel Aviv profiles Sam Kellner, a Hasidic Jew, who exposed a wide web of sexual child abuse in his tight-knit Brooklyn community. Kellner was ostracized from his faith after he reported the abuse of his son to the police. He faced harsh criticism from his community, which is skeptical of secular government and requires special permission to go to the polices. Since his son’s case, rabbis have become even less willing to allow victims to report abuse to the authorities. Recently, when a father whose daughter had been sexually abuse asked Kellner for advice, he responded, “If you go to the police, you’re probably going to end up with zero.”

Read at The New Yorker

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