These two were acting like complete teenagers. When I walked up, she was nuzzling her head against his shoulder. She giggled the entire time I talked with them, while he kept a big goofy grin on his face. And whenever I asked about their relationship, she clutched his arm, looked at him just like this, giggled, then said: “We’re not telling!”
Needless to say (or maybe not) this news ticker of persecuted American Christians floats far and free from reality. More than 75 percent of the United States identifies as Christian; 57 percent believe in the devil, and nearly 8 in 10 Americans believe the Bible to be either the “inspired word” or literal word of God. Despite the constitutional separation of church and state, the government began under President George W. Bush to outsource social welfare programs to faith-based organizations (more than 98 percent, according to one 2006 study, of them Christian churches), and schools with religious ties (mostly Christian) in several states are now well fed by direct public subsidies. But then, American places of worship (again, most of them Christian) have long enjoyed a de facto public subsidy as tax-exempt 501(c)3 organizations funded by tax-deductible contributions. Last month President Barack Obama himself held forth at National Prayer Breakfast about the importance of Jesus in his life.
To be sure, there are Christians in the world who face persecution, from Copts in Egypt to Catholics in northern Nigeria. But in the U.S., the Christian faith and its institutions have never been more pampered by the state.
– Opinion: The bitter tears of the American Christian supermajority: Why Christians — America’s most populous religious group — feel so victimized. (via aljazeeraamerica)
Opinion: Will Cambodia see a ‘spring’?
The past seven months in Cambodia can only be described as a roller-coaster ride — one I have been privileged to witness and to take a small part in. Cambodian citizens have repeatedly taken to the streets and public squares to demand reform. The Cambodian Center for Human Rights, of which I have been the president since 2007, has played an important role defending their right to peaceful assembly, encouraging them to exercise their rights to free speech and to vote, and calling for restraint from all parties, among other efforts.
Changes started after Sam Rainsy, the leader of the main political opposition, the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP), returned from four years of self-imposed exile right before the July 2013 national elections. His return was amplified by a merger with Kem Sokha, another opposition figure and former leader of the Human Rights Party, who is now vice president of the CNRP. Together they have re-energized not just the political opposition — the CNRP flag features a rising sun — but the country as a whole, which has seen widespread discontent with the status quo.
(Photo: Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP/Getty Images)
The most fashionable (and most adorable) grandparents we’ve ever seen.
Thai police clash with protesters in Bangkok
Four people were killed Tuesday after gun battles erupted between Thai police and anti-government protesters in Bangkok, as authorities made their most determined effort yet to clear demonstrators from the streets.
Hundreds of riot police attempted to clear out anti-government protest sites around the capital, triggering clashes that left dozens of others injured.
Emergency medical services said a police officer and three civilians died in the clashes, including a journalist for Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV, and 64 others were injured.
(Photos: Damir Sagolj/Reuters, Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters)
Scenes from clashes in Kyiv, Ukraine earlier today.
At least 9 people have already been killed in the violence.
Police began their assault on protesters as night fell, reportedly using tear gas and water canons to try to clear the protest camps.
We have a live stream of events on the ground in our LIVE BLOG.
Photos via AFP/Getty Images
Deaths reported in Ukraine as thousands clash with police
A large section of the protest camp in the center of Ukraine’s capital was engulfed in flames Tuesday as protesters hurled petrol bombs, fireworks and stones at riot police, who advanced on the demonstrators in Kiev’s Independence Square.
At least seven protesters and two police officers were killed in Kiev on Tuesday, a number of sources said, after several thousand anti-government protesters clashed with police near the parliament building, torching vehicles and hurling stones, in the worst violence to rock the capital in more than three weeks.
(Photo: Igor Kovalenko/EPA)
Today is the Day of Remembrance for Japanese Americans Interned During WWII
On February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 granting the War Department broad powers to create military exclusion areas. Although the order did not identify any particular group, in practice it was used almost exclusively to intern Americans of Japanese descent.
Although there were no reliable reports that Japanese-Americans on the United States West Coast presented a subversive threat, on March 2, 1942 the military declared California, Oregon and Washington State strategic areas from which Americans of Japanese decent were to be excluded.
More than 110,000 Japanese-Americans (64% of whom were American-born citizens) were required to abandon their homes and jobs and to live in 10 relocation camps.
The United States Supreme Court finally ruled that continued detention without cause was unconstitutional, and the military relocation order was rescinded in December 1944.
Japanese Americans near trains during Relocation. Circa 1942.
Baggage check during Japanese Relocation. Circa 1942.
Exclusion order posted at First and Front Streets in San Francisco directing removal of persons of Japanese ancestry from the first section of the city to be affected by evacuation. Evacuees will be housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration., ca. 07/1942.
Photograph of Dust Storm at Manzanar War Relocation Authority Center, 07/03/1942.
-from the FDR Library