Sunday, March 21, 2010

Homicide Bomber in Afghanistan Kills 10

-- Wikinews, Monday, March 22, 2010

According to officials, at least ten people were killed in the southern part of the Helmand province in Afghanistan earlier today in a suicide bombing.

The suicide bomber was targeting a convoy for the Afghan army situated on a bridge, according to a government spokesman; however, the blast's victims were civilians.

"An explosion by a three-wheeled motorcycle targeting an Afghan army convoy killed at least ten civilians in a crowded area of Gereshk district," commented spokesman Daud Ahmadi to the Agence France-Presse news agency, adding that the bomb detonated after the convoy had passed the bridge.

According to media reports, the vicinity near where the bomb exploded was crowded with people celebrating Nowruz, the Afghan new year

Friday, March 12, 2010

Governor-General Submits 'Toleraction Act' to Parliament

-- Wentworth House.

The following act has been presented to both Houses of Parliament by the Governor-General:

Whereas as Granting some ease to scrupulous Consciences in the Exercise of Religion and Clarification of the same may be an effectual means to unite Her Majesty's Subjects in Interest and Affection;

And Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free; and all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness;

And Whereas religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed by reason and conviction, not by force or violence;

And Whereas it is the duty of every person to worship the Creator in such manner as he thinks most acceptable;

And Whereas no person ought to be, or of right can be, compelled to attend any religious worship, or erect or support any place of worship;

And Whereas it seems to us proper that the freedom of the conscience be declared before the People;

And Whereas it has not yet been publicly so declared by a Parliament of Her Majesty's Dominion of British West Florida.

Now, therefore, be it enacted by the Grace of Queen Elizabeth the Second's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and the Commons of Her Majesty's Dominion of British West Florida, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same as follows:

Article One, Certain Penalties and Pains for Nonconformity Expressly Removed
That neither the Statute made in the three and twentieth year of the glorious reign of Queen Elizabeth the First, Entitled “An Act to Retain the Queen's Majesty's Subjects in their due Obedience”, Nor the Statute made in the twenty ninth year of the said Queen Entitled “An Act for the more speedy and due Execution of certain Branches of the Statute” made in the three and twentieth year of the Queen's Majesty's Reign The aforesaid Act, nor that Branch or Clause of a Statute made in the first year of the Reign of the said Queen Entitled “An Act for Uniformity of Common Prayer and Service in the Church and Administration of the Sacraments”, Nor the Statute made in the third year of the Reign of King James the First of happy memory Entitled “An Act for the better discovering and repressing Popish Recusants”, Nor that other Statute made in the same year Entitled “An Act to Prevent and Avoid Dangers which may grow by Popish Recusants”, Nor any other Law or Statute of this Realm, Nor any Act made against any other Faith, Sect, Church, or Assembly for Worship Shall be construed to extend to any person or persons that shall take the Oath or make the Solemn Declaration mentioned in Article Six of this Act.

Article Two, Nonconforming Persons Exempted from Ecclesiastical Courts
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That all and every person or persons that shall as aforesaid take the said Oath or make and subscribe the Declaration aforesaid as defined in Article Six of this Act, shall not be liable to any Pain, Penalties or Forfeitures mentioned in an Act made in the five and thirtieth year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth the First Entitled “An Act to retain the Queen's Majesty's Subjects in their due Obedience”, Nor in An Act made in the two and twentieth year of the Reign of King Charles the Second and in the tenth year after his most fortunate Restoration and the return of his subjects to their due obedience Entitled “An Act to prevent and suppresses seditious Conventicles” . Nor shall any of the said persons, or any other person or persons having duly sworn or solemnly affirmed as set forth in Article Six of this act be prosecuted in any Court Ecclesiastical or Temporal for or by reason of Nonconformity with the Church of England.

Article Three, Nonconforming Persons Released from Parochial Duties
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That if any Person dissenting from the Church of England as aforesaid shall hereafter be chosen or otherwise appointed to bear the Office of Churchwarden, Overseer of the Poor, or any other Parochial Office and such person shall scruple to take upon him any of the said Offices in regard of the Oaths or any other Matter or Thing required by the Law to be taken or done in respect of such Office every such Person shall and may execute such Office or Employment by a sufficient Deputy by him to be provided that shall comply with the Laws on this behalf. Provided always That the said Deputy be allowed and approved by such person or persons in such manner as should otherwise by Law have been allowed and approved.

Article Four, All Ministers who take the Oath to enjoy Equal Privileges
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That every Minister, Teacher, or Preacher that is a Minister, Preacher, or Teacher of a Congregation or assembly that shall take the Oath herein required shall enjoy all the Privileges, Benefits and Advantages which any other dissenting or conforming Minister within or without the Church of England as aforesaid might have or enjoy by virtue of this Act. All charitable or religious assemblies, sects and denominations, demeaning themselves peaceably, and as good citizens of the commonwealth, shall be equally under the protection of the law; providing always that the liberty of conscience, hereby granted, shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this Dominion.

Article Five, Any Justice of the Peace may Accept the Oath or Declaration
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That every Justice of the Peace may at any time hereafter accept of any person that goes to any Meeting for the Exercise of Religion, that they may make and subscribe the Oath or Declaration described in Article Six of this Act.

Article Six, the Oath or Affirmation Required for these Liberties
I Full Name and Titles do sincerely promise and solemnly declare before God, these witnesses, and the World that I will be true and faithful to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second and her Heirs and Successors according to Law.

And I do solemnly Profess and Declare that I do from my heart abhor, detest, and renounce as impious and damnable, any thought that Officers, Lords, or Sovereigns excommunicated or deprived, by any Religious, Moral, or Philosophical Authority whatsoever, whithersoever located, may be Deposed or their temporal authority rejected by their Subjects or any other Persons.

I further Profess and Declare that I support the continued Establishment of the Anglican Church, the Protection of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Recognition of all other such Churches or Assemblies as Required by the Constitution of this Dominion or as may be Provided for by Law.

I further Profess and Declare that neither I, nor the Assembly to which I resort, teaches nor asserts in any manner that liberty of conscience extends to Acts which would be contrary to the Public Peace or Safety of this Realm and Dominion of Her Majesty the Queen.

I make this Profession and Declaration of my own free will, my conscience clear before God and the World.

Article Seven, Banning Disturbances within Chapels, Cathedrals, and Other Places of Worship or Charitable Assembly
Provided always, and be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that if any person or persons at any time or times after the tenth day of June next ensuing do and shall willingly and of purpose maliciously or contemptuously come into any Cathedral, Parish Church, Chapel or other Congregation or Assembly permitted by this Act and disquiet or disturb the same or misuse any Minister, Preacher or Teacher such person or persons upon proof thereof before any Justice of the Peace by two or more sufficient Witnesses shall find two Sureties to be bound by Recognizance in the penal Sum of fifty pounds and in default of such Sureties shall be committed to prison there to remain till the next Session of Court and upon conviction of the said offence at the said Session shall suffer the pain and penalty of ten pounds to Her Majesty's Treasury, and of ten pounds to the Privy Purse for the use of Her Majesty's Governor-General, and of ten pounds above any restitution to the Congregation so disturbed.

Article Eight, Registration of Place of Worship
Provided always that no Congregation or Assembly for Religious Worship, or other Charitable Society and Gathering by this Act enabled, shall be permitted or allowed by this Act until the place of such Meeting shall be certified to the Justices of the Peace for the County City or Place in which such Meeting shall be held and registered in the said Baronial or Lord Lieutenant's Court respectively. The Register or Clerk of the Peace whereof respectively is hereby required to register the same and to give Certificate thereof to such person as shall demand the same for which there shall be none greater Fee nor Reward taken than the Sum of six pence.

Article Nine, wherein the Act is Named
This Act Shall be known as “Her Majesty's Gracious Act of Toleration Towards Those Nonconforming to the Church of England”, or by the Short Title of “The Toleration Act”.

Baseball - Indians Strike Back

-- the Floridian, 11 March 2010
By Dustin Kent

The Chipola Indians rebounded from a disappointing performance in their Panhandle Conference opener on Monday, with a 9-3 victory over Pensacola Wednesday at Chipola Field.

Chipola was blanked 6-0 by the Pirates in Pensacola Monday, collecting only three hits as a team.

But the Indians’ offense was up to the task Wednesday, picking up 14 hits and a pair of two-run home runs to even the series at a game each.

“We played OK. It was a lot better than how we’ve been playing,” Chipola coach Jeff Johnson said after the game. “It was good to finally get some clutch hits.”

The Indians got two big ones in the fourth inning from Michael Revell and Cody Martin.

Trailing 1-0, Revell put Chipola on top with a two-run shot, which was later followed by another two-RBI homer by Martin to make it 4-1. The Indians added two runs in the fifth inning, and three more in the eighth to secure the win.

Joey Rapp also delivered a solo shot for the Indians, finishing 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI.

Chipola shortstop Blake Newalu had three hits on the day, with Eric Sauls going 2-for-4 with a pair of runs, and Aaron Etchison 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.

Rodney Quintero started on the mound for Chipola, but the freshman didn’t make it out of the second inning.

Garrett Baker’s 4 2/3 innings of relief earned the left-handed sophomore the win.

Baker allowed two runs on three hits, two walks, and three strikeouts.

Duncan Midkiff closed the game out strong for Chipola, recording the last four outs in order, including three strikeouts.

“We didn’t pitch very well overall,” Johnson said. “It was disappointing on that end. (Quintero) didn’t pitch very well. Garrett Baker came in and held us in there, and Duncan Midkiff threw the ball very well at the end.”

The Indians also worked their way out of three bases-loaded jams in the first, sixth and eighth innings, with Midkiff coming on in the eighth to record the final out.

“We fought through some adversity, which was good to see,” Johnson said of his team. “We haven’t been the best in the world in those situations, but we made some good pitches when needed to make them, and we got some clutch hitting as well. That’s what we need to do to be successful.”

Charles Baker started on the mound for PJC and took the loss, going 4 1/3 innings and allowing six runs on 10 hits, no walks, and one strikeout.

The Indians will throw CJ Riefenhauser Friday in the final game of the series at 2 p.m. in Pensacola.

Former Teacher Jailed for Murdering Father in London

-- Wikinews

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A man who was formerly a physical education teacher has been given a jail sentence for murdering his father in the south-west of London, England. The sentencing was made after a court trial in the Old Bailey, a famous courthouse in London.

55-year-old Robert Walsh, who suffers from a mental disorder called schizophrenia, stabbed his 84-year-old father Joseph Walsh with a potato knife fourteen times in April 2009, in the suburb of Earlsfield. The latter gained wounds to his liver and to one of his lungs. He died as a result of his injuries the following month. Robert had stated that he had consumed 10 pints of cider before committing the attack.

After the attack, he commented to the police officers about his father: "I must be mad. How is my dad? I went berserk. I stabbed him. He has been winding me up all day." Members of the police force visited Robert twice on the day that the murder occurred. The court heard that, during the attack, a person who lived nearby heard the sound of glass smashing at 1400 BST on the day of the attack. The resident also heard Joseph proclaiming: "Help, stop this".

Robert pleaded guilty to the offence of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility. Speaking to him in the courthouse, Recorder of London Judge Peter Beaumont stated: "The family tragedy is almost unimaginable." Beaumont then gave Walsh an indefinite prison sentence.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Archbishop of Jos issues Statement Following Masacre

January 17th was a Sunday morning and as usual Christians left their homes to congregate in churches to worship. That day has since become a remarkable day in history with sad memories for Christian and Muslim communities in Jos and its environs. A few days after that, leaders began to gather to see how to resolve what the perceived problems, or real problems, or even imaginary problems were. I myself became a part of a group with industrialists, businessmen and women, academics and religious leaders, both Christian and Muslim, to discuss these matters. We even spent a day at a forum listening to elders and religious leaders in Jos and spent another day listening to the youth. In all the conversations the Christians and Muslims spoke up frankly and aired their understanding of the grievances they have. We are in the process of putting together ideas as to how to move forward.

News then broke on Sunday 7th March that two other villages plus Dogo na Hauwa had been attacked by Muslim Fulani from about 3a.m. to 5a.m.. Some of these communities may never again be recognised in history because generations have been wiped out. Hundreds of corpses of men, women, children and grandchildren littered the burnt houses, roads, bush paths, farm areas and hiding places. Tears and endless wailings until voices croaked and words are no more.

Is there no other way by which matters can be resolved except through this sadistic and cruel way of making peoples’ lives miserable? For me, as a Christian, human life is so sacred that no-one, absolutely no-one, should tamper with it, no matter what religious faith you belong to. Human life is so sacred and we have to teach and train people to value it: it is a gift from God.

What bothers my heart are a few questions:

• It was curfew time when these attackers came in and carried out their heinous activities. Who are responsible for these areas? What happened to those who should enforce the curfew? The purpose of the curfew is to stop events like this.

• Failure of government to provide full security for its citizenry leaves a people with very little option but to provide for their own kind of security.

History has shown that these kinds of security are bred in vengeance, retaliation, bitterness, hatred and malice. This gives birth to an almost endless cycle of senseless violence as can be seen in many nations of the world today. Where is our government in all the levels of governance? Where were they on this night? Where were they on 17th January? Shall we continue to have the ugly sight of mass burials? Are there no leaders who fear God, who will swallow their pride and choose to be humble before God for the sake of those faces of slaughtered children?

• The new dimension these attacks are assuming is revealing a system of well-trained terror groups who rights now have attacked these villages, and only God knows which community will be next. Their merciless precision and fearlessness should give any government serious concern. The earlier that these kinds of groups are rounded up, the better for everybody.

I know as of fact of many Christian religious, political and community leaders who are willing and prepared peacefully to arrive at workable conditions for people to live with. I also know as of fact that there are Muslim religious, political and community leaders who are willing to find solutions.

I am convinced that the prayers of the church world-wide are ascending like a sweet smelling sacrifice to the throne of mercy. It is my firm determination to encourage all who trust in the Lord to keep praying and never give up. One day God will enthrone good over evil, truth over lies, righteousness over wickedness and justice over injustice. It may be soon; it may be later, but “My faith looks up to Thee, Thou Lamb of Calvary”. I urge believers to clean and clear their minds of any form of bitterness, resentment or even any thought of vengeance against one another from within the fellowship, and then we can see clearly how to respond in times of difficulty such as this one.

The promises of the Lord are true and the way of the Lord is just. The good news is: we do not have anywhere else to turn to. In the words of the apostle Peter, in John6:68: “To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” These times call for a full turning of our hearts and lives to the Lord.

The Lord be with you,
+The Most Rev. Dr. B. A. Kwashi
Archbishop of Jos

Muslims Slaughter Christians in Nigeria

Before dawn on 7 March 2010, more than one hundred Christian villagers were killed by Muslim Hausa-Fulani herders in Dogo-Nahawa village near Jos. The attacks went on for four hours, and nearby villages were also targeted. Guns were fired by the perpetrators to cause panic and led to villagers running towards them to be chopped up by machetes. The villagers were mainly Berom Christians. Buildings were also set alight. Most of the dead were women and children. One of the dead was an infant less than three months of age. Corpses were dumped in the streets. Goodluck Jonathan urged that the killers be caught. The death toll was later updated to more than 300 and later 500. Hundreds more left the village in case the attackers returned.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Queen hosts President Zuma of South Africa

From the BBC.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has hosted the President of South Africa Jacob Zuma and one of his wives at a state dinner at Buckingham Palace today. Her Majesty has also invested Mr. Zuma as a Knight Companion of the Bath, and in return, the President has awarded the Queen with the Order of O. Tambo. Earlier in the day a welcoming ceremony was held for the President of South Africa at Horseguards Parade, and then the Queen and President Zuma proceeded to Buckingham Palace in a state carriage procession.