Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Space could leave you blind, and scientists say they've finally figured out why


(Science Alert) A mysterious syndrome has been impairing astronauts’ vision on the International Space Station, causing untreatable nearsightedness that lingers for months even after they’ve returned to Earth.

The problem is so bad that two-thirds of astronauts report having deteriorated eyesight after spending time in orbit. Now scientists say they finally have some answers - and it’s not looking good for our prospects of getting to Mars.

"Nobody’s gone two years with exposure to this, and the concern is that we’d have loss of vision," Dorit Donoviel from the US National Space Biomedical Research Institute told The Guardian. "That is catastrophic for an astronaut."

Earlier this year, NASA reported that something in space has been messing with its astronauts’ perfect eyesight, causing long-term impairment to their quality of vision.

Astronaut Scott Kelly, whose exceptional vision was part of the reason he was selected to be America’s first astronaut to spend a full year in space, says he's been forced to wear reading glasses since coming home.

John Phillips, who spent time on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2005, brought his sudden bouts of blurry vision home with him, and during his post-flight physical, NASA confirmed that his vision had gone from 20/20 to 20/100 in just six months.

NASA suspected that the condition - called visual impairment inter cranial pressure syndrome, or VIIP - was caused by the lack of gravity in space.

The hypothesis was that the microgravity of the ISS was building up pressure in astronauts’ heads, causing roughly 2 litres of vascular fluid to shift towards their brains.

They say that pressure was responsible for the flattening of eyeballs and inflaming of optic nerves observed in returned astronauts.

"On Earth, gravity pulls bodily fluids down toward the feet. That doesn’t happen in space, and it is thought that extra fluid in the skull increases pressure on the brain and the back of the eye," Shayla Love reported for The Washington Post.

Now, a team from the University of Miami has conducted the first study to actually test this idea, and found that something else has been causing vision problems in astronauts.

The researchers compared before and after brain scans from seven astronauts who had spent many months in the ISS, and compared them to nine astronauts who had just made short trips to and from the US space shuttle, which was decommissioned in 2011.

The one big difference between the two was that the long-duration astronauts had significantly more cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in their brains than the short-trip astronauts, and the researchers say this - not vascular fluid - is the cause of the vision loss...(continued)

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Message from President-Elect Donald J. Trump

Trump's TV summit: The Donald summons network executives and anchors from 'the dishonest media' to Trump Tower

Trump Tower is once again transition-central following a weekend of meetings at Trump's golf course in New Jersey

Update from the New York Post:

“Trump started with Jeff Zucker and said I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed….

“The meeting was a total disaster. The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing down,” the source added.

A second source confirmed the encounter.

“The meeting took place in a big board room and there were about 30 or 40 people, including the big news anchors from all the networks…,” the source said.

“Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful dishonest media who got it all wrong. He addressed everyone in the room calling the media dishonest, deceitful liars. He called out Jeff Zucker by name and said everyone at CNN was a liar, and CNN was network of liars... (continued)

Update from Deadline Hollywood:

UPDATE, 11 22 AM: The campaign manager of Donald Trump’s winning Presidential run says that the off-the-record meeting today between the President-elect and top brass from ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, CNN and Fox News was “excellent.”

Calling the now over gathering “unprecedented,” Kellyanne Conway also said in the lobby of Trump Tower on Monday that the bigwig talk was “very candid and honest.” Noting that, even after a campaign where the media was often the focus of Trump’s distain, there was “no need to mend fences,” Conway added that it was still “great to set the reset button” in Monday’s media sit-down. “Thanks for sharing your bosses with us today,” Conway told reporters with a laugh.

Executives from The New York Times are set to drop by tomorrow with other media chiefs in the upcoming days too.

Original, from The Daily Mail:

By David Martosko, Us Political Editor For Dailymail.com

(Daily Mail) Donald Trump met with executives and on-air anchors from the largest television networks in the United States on Monday afternoon at Trump Tower.

The surprise get-together came as a shock given some of the comments Trump made during his campaign about the 'dishonest media,' and was not mentioned in a mid-morning conference call that his transition team held with reporters.

Itw as organized by Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, who was also in attendance on Monday and demanded that the discussions that took place be off the record.

Representatives from CNN, Fox News, NBC, ABC and CBS will file in to Trump Tower for the sit-down with Trump and Conway.

The entire meeting will be conducted 'off the record,' meaning attendees must promise not to report on what is said or who is in the room.

Past presidents and presidents-elect have held similar meetings, but they were easier to keep secret since attendees didn't have to tromp through a landmark gold-encrusted marble office lobby in full view of TV cameras managed by the same media companies that took part.

ABC News was represented by president James Goldston and anchors George Stephanopoulos, David Muir, and Martha Raddatz.

Nightly News host Lester Holt and Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd were on hand for NBC News, along with president Deborah Turness.

Face the Nation host John Dickerson arrives at Trump Tower alongside CBS This Morning anchor Charlie Rose

And rounding out the broadcast network presence at the meeting was Face the Nation host John Dickerson and the entire CBS This Morning team of Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell.

CNN president Jeff Zucker attended with on-air talent Wolf Blitzer and Erin Burnett.

Fox News had a handful of executives present at the meeting, including co-presidents Bill Shine and Jack Abernathy, vice president of news and editorial Jay Wallace and Suzanne Scott, the vice president of programming and development at the network.

MSNBC president Phil Griffin was there for his network.

Tight-lipped transition officials wouldn't discuss the purpose for the meeting on Monday afternoon.

But it's expected that the Trump team would make a cease-fire overture to end his campaign's war on the press.

Trump referred to America's political press corps as 'the dishonest media, 'the most dishonest people' and 'unbelievable liars' while he ran for president, often drawing sternum-rattling boos and storms of shouted insults from his rally crowds.

He also referred to specific reporters as 'sleaze' and 'slime' when he thought their pro-Hillary Clinton biases were showing, and sometimes named them from the podium while thousands jeered.

The president-elect hasn't held a press conference since late July.

Questions are also swirling about what his administration might do to redefine the White House's relationship with the media.

Print, wire and broadcast reporters currently get the benefit of a lengthy on-camera briefing from a spokesperson every day, along with the chance to send a representative to follow the president everywhere in a 'protective pool.'

The pool makes note of everything from presidential small-talk to the exact time, down to the minute, he leaves and enters the White House or individual rooms inside.

Mike McCurry, who served as press secretary to President Bill Clinton, told National Journal last week that both institutions should be re-thought.

He explained that it was a mistake for him to implement the televised briefings without any restrictions.

McCurry also said that '[t]he idea of nonstop body-watch pool coverage is a bit ridiculous.'

Trump has yet to take questions from the assembled press corps in a formal news-conference setting since his Election Day triumph.

He did, however, take a handful of questions from pool reporters over the weekend in between meetings with potential cabinet appointees.

And the CBS '60 Minutes' program aired an hour-long broadcast last Sunday that included lengthy interview segments.


Pope extends Jubilee mandate on abortion, SSPX confession

.- Although the Jubilee of Mercy has ended, Pope Francis has decided that some of the novelties he applied to the Church during the Holy Year will continue.

He is allowing all priests to absolve the sin of abortion from here on out, while SSPX priests will be able to continue hearing confessions validly...

The Pope announced his decision in his new Apostolic Letter “Misericordia et Misera,” meaning “Mercy with Misery.” Published Nov. 21, the letter was signed by the Pope Nov. 20 during Mass for the close of the Jubilee of Mercy.

In the letter, Pope Francis said that “the Sacrament of Reconciliation must regain its central place in the Christian life.”

“Given this need, lest any obstacle arise between the request for reconciliation and God’s forgiveness, I henceforth grant to all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion,” the letter read...

He noted how during the Jubilee, he allowed “that those faithful who, for various reasons, attend churches officiated by the priests of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X, can validly and licitly receive the sacramental absolution of their sins.”

“For the pastoral benefit of these faithful, and trusting in the good will of their priests to strive with God’s help for the recovery of full communion in the Catholic Church, I have personally decided to extend this faculty beyond the Jubilee Year, until further provisions are made, lest anyone ever be deprived of the sacramental sign of reconciliation through the Church’s pardon...” (continued)


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Could Pope Francis reconcile SSPX Tomorrow?

Update 11/21/16: Pope extends Jubilee mandate on abortion, SSPX confession

From Fr. John Zuhlsdorf:
I, as many others, have over the last couple weeks wondered whether or not Pope Francis would extend beyond the Year of Mercy the opportunity for penitents to seek out priests of the SSPX for sacramental confession and valid absolution.  There have been rumors – rumors – to that effect but nothing concrete.

That was an opportunity extended during the Year of Mercy.

The Year of Mercy is now over.

That opportunity for confession, as far as I know, is now over as well.

Hope springs eternal.

Today, however, I see a different of story, which is even better than the mere chance to go to confession (as great as that is).

Today I read at the German site Katholisches that Pope Francis may – may – regularize the SSPX in the structure of a Personal Prelature, similar to Opus Dei.  He may – may – do this on Monday.  That’s tomorrow... (continued)


Friday, November 18, 2016

Transition official says Trump will make Mike Huckabee ambassador to Israel and move U.S. embassy to Jerusalem: 'Governor Huckabee is going to see it through'

By David Martosko, Us Political Editor For Dailymail.com In Washington

(The Daily Mail) Mike Huckabee is headed back to the Holy Land.

The two-time White House hopeful, former Fox New Channel weekend host and former governor of Arkansas will be America's next ambassador to Israel, a presidential transition official confirmed to DailyMail.com on Friday. He is scheduled to meet with President-Elect Donald Trump Friday at 2:00 p.m.

Huckabee, an ordained Baptist preacher and electric bass player, will become the tip of Trump's spear as he seeks to shake up U.S. foreign relations in the Middle East, beginning with relocating America's embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

'That's going to happen,' the transition official said. 'Governor Huckabee is going to see it through.'

Despite congressional approval for moving the U.S. embassy, American leaders have historically tap-danced around the issue of where in Israel America's diplomatic footprint should fall. No other nation has its embassy in Jerusalem.

Still, Israel's Knesset and Supreme Court are located in West Jerusalem. And the nation captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 'Six-Day War,' taking control of it from Jordan.


Pope criticises ‘legalism’ after cardinals’ request for clarification

By Staff Reporter

(Catholic Herald) The debate over Amoris Laetitia has intensified, after Pope Francis suggested that some responses do not understand the document.

In an interview with the Italian newspaper Avvenire, partially translated by La Stampa, the Pope criticised “a certain legalism.” He said that responses to Amoris Laetitia exemplified this, and that some people thought issues were “black and white, even though it is in the course of life that we are called to discern”.

The Pope added: “The Council told us this, but historians say that a century needs to pass before a Council is properly assimilated into the body of the Church… we are half way.”

It comes after four senior cardinals asked the Pope to clarify Amoris Laetitia. In a letter to the Pope, Cardinals Raymond Burke, Carlo Caffarra, Walter Brandmüller and Joachim Meisner submitted five “dubia” – a traditional way of asking for clarification.

The cardinals asked the Pope whether certain Church teachings about Communion and the moral law, which Amoris Laetitia discusses ambiguously, are still valid.

These included the doctrine that the divorced and remarried cannot receive Communion unless living as brother and sister, and the doctrine that some acts are intrinsically wrong.

The submission of “dubia” invites a yes-or-no answer. In this case, it was a question of whether the Pope thought some teachings, especially Catholic doctrine on the moral law, should still be regarded as true.

The letter was sent in September, but the Pope has not replied. The cardinals said they took this as an invitation to publish the letter and let the debate continue in public.

In an interview with the Vatican journalist Edward Pentin, Cardinal Burke said that if the Pope remained silent, it might be necessary to issue a “formal act of correction of a serious error”.

Pentin told EWTN yesterday: “I do understand, from sources within [the Pope’s residence] Santa Marta, that the Pope is not happy at all, that he’s quite at his…boiling with rage.” Fr Antonio Spadaro, an associate of the Pope, has dismissed these reports...

Meanwhile, two American archbishops have clashed over implementation of Amoris Laetitia.

Archbishop Charles Chaput has issued guidelines for his own archdiocese of Philadelphia, in which he says that the divorced and remarried should be treated with mercy. He also restates the Church’s teaching that they may not receive Communion unless they endeavour to live as brother and sister.

In an interview with Catholic News Service, Cardinal-designate Kevin Farrell criticised the guidelines, saying: “I don’t share the view of what Archbishop Chaput did, no...” (continued)


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Trump: Ford to Keep Lincoln Plant in Kentucky

BREAKING: Archbishop Fulton Sheen's returning to Peoria

By WEEK Producer

(HOI-19) PEORIA, Ill. -- The New York Supreme Court has ordered Archbishop Fulton Sheen's body to be returned to Peoria immediately.

Diocese of Peoria attorney Patricia Gibson confirms the order was made by a New York State judge today.

The burial site of Sheen's body has been a long term dispute between the Archdiocese of New York and Sheen's family. He is currently interred in St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.

It is hoped that moving Sheen's body back to Peoria will allow the process to grant him sainthood to move forward.

Gibson said she hopes the body will be transferred back to Peoria within the next few weeks.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Cardinal Burke on Amoris Laetitia Dubia: ‘Tremendous Division’ Warrants Action

By Edward Pentin

(National Catholic Register) Four cardinals asked Pope Francis five dubia questions, or “doubts,” about the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) in a bid to clear up ambiguities and confusion surrounding the text. On Nov. 14, they went public with their request, after they learned that the Holy Father had decided not to respond to their questions...

What happens if the Holy Father does not respond to your act of justice and charity and fails to give the clarification of the Church’s teaching that you hope to achieve?

Then we would have to address that situation. There is, in the Tradition of the Church, the practice of correction of the Roman Pontiff. It is something that is clearly quite rare. But if there is no response to these questions, then I would say that it would be a question of taking a formal act of correction of a serious error.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Pope Francis declines to answer four cardinals’ Amoris appeal

The cardinals have taken the unusual step of publicly requesting clarification on Communion and the moral law

By Dan Hitchens

(Catholic Herald) Pope Francis has declined to answer an official appeal from four cardinals to clarify his recent apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

Cardinals Raymond Burke, Carlo Caffarra, Walter Brandmüller and Joachim Meisner sent a request for clarification to the Pope in September. They received an acknowledgment but no reply, which they said they have taken as “an invitation to continue … the discussion, calmly, and with respect”, by making the appeal public. It is highly unusual for cardinals to take such a step.

The letter takes the traditional form of asking theological “dubia” – questions to the Holy See which ask for a yes/no ruling on doctrinal matters. The cardinals’ dubia relate to the sacraments, and to absolute moral norms.

The first of the dubia asks whether “it has now become possible to grant absolution in the Sacrament of Penance and thus to admit to Holy Communion a person who, while bound by a valid marital bond, lives together with a different person more uxorio [as husband and wife] without fulfilling the conditions provided for by Familiaris Consortio”.

In Familiaris Consortio St John Paul II reaffirmed the Church’s practice of not admitting the remarried to Communion if they are still in a sexual relationship with their new partner.

The other four dubia relate to actions which Catholic teaching considers “intrinsically evil”. The cardinals ask whether there are still “absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts and that are binding without exceptions”, and whether those who habitually commit these acts are “in an objective situation of grave habitual sin”.

It also asks whether St John Paul II’s teaching in the encyclical Veritatis Splendor is still valid: that, in the words of the encyclical, “circumstances or intentions can never transform an act intrinsically evil by virtue of its object into an act ‘subjectively’ good or defensible as a choice”.

Finally, the cardinals ask whether Catholics should still follow Veritatis Splendor’s teaching on conscience: that, as the cardinals paraphrase it, “conscience can never be authorised to legitimate exceptions to absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts by virtue of their object”.

The cardinals say that the letter should not be seen as a “conservative” attack on “progressives”. They say they are motivated by their concern for “the true good of souls” and their “deep collegial affection that unites us to the Pope”.

The cardinals refer to “grave disorientation and great confusion” among Catholics, including bishops, about “extremely important matters”... (continued)


Keep calm and follow Jesus, US bishops say after the election

By Matt Hadro

(CNA/EWTN News) Regarding the recent presidential election, Archbishop Kurtz said earlier on Monday that he had written to President-elect Donald Trump expressing a “willingness to work together” for the “protection of life” and the “promotion of human dignity.”

The bishops “have been very clear for the right to life of the child in the womb,” Archbishop Kurtz insisted, adding that the Church is defending human dignity by opposing the legalization of assisted suicide, which was recently approved by voters in Colorado and by the city government of Washington, D.C.

Trump’s victory has been met with protests in cities across the country, capping what was already a polarizing election cycle.

Bishops responded to the protests by stating their respect for freedom of speech while insisting that a “peaceful transition of power” take place. “I think that these can be reconciled,” said Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, chair of the bishops’ domestic justice and human development committee, of the protests and peace.

There is nothing “more American than a peaceful transition of power,” he stated...


Monday, November 14, 2016

Theresa May BEGS Donald Trump for a meeting after Nigel Farage humiliation

By Jack Blanchard

(The Daily Mirror) Humilated Theresa May is now begging for a meeting with Donald Trump before
Christmas after being shown up by Nigel Farage.

The UKIP leader was the first foreign politician to meet the President-elect after his shock victory at the polls.

But Mrs May insisted relations with the Trump camp were “working well” and said they would meet “at the earliest opportunity”.

Mr Farage is furious after his bid to become a special envoy to liaise with Mr Trump was rejected.
The PM’s spokeswoman said: “The President-elect has talked about enjoying the same relationship that Reagan and Thatcher did.

"I don’t remember there being any third person in that relationship.”

Mr Farage said: “It shows they don’t care about the country.”

Mrs May’s spokeswoman claimed No10 had “an established route” to Mr Trump’s team.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin called Mr Trump and the pair agreed to tackle ISIS.

Mr Putin said he was ready to talk to the US “on the basis of mutual respect and non-intervention into each other’s internal affairs”.

In Brussels, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Mr Trump’s election could be “a moment of opportunity”.

And Mrs May suggested Mr Trump was right to say globalisation had “downsides” for many people, in her Mansion House speech last night.

She said “globalisation in its current form has left too many people behind”.


Sunday, November 13, 2016

U.K., French foreign ministers snub emergency EU meeting about President-elect Donald Trump

By Yvette C. Hammett

BRUSSELS, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- French and United Kingdom foreign ministers opted out of a European Union emergency meeting being held in response to the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president.

U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault do not plan to attend but instead will send representatives to Brussels for the meeting called by EU Council President Donald Tusk, at the suggestion of Germany.

EU members plan to discuss how far they believe Trump will go to live up to his pledges to turn U.S. foreign policy upside down on issues including Syria, Iran, Russia and NATO, The Guardian reported.

"We do not see the need for an additional meeting on Sunday because the U.S. election timetable is long established," a spokesman for Johnson said. "An act of democracy has taken place, there is a transition and we will work with the current and future administrations to ensure the best outcomes for Britain..." (continued)


Priest abducted in Mexico Gulf region found alive, tortured

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A priest who was abducted in Mexico has been found alive after three days, but "with notable signs of torture," the Roman Catholic Church said Sunday.

The Rev. Jose Luis Sanchez Ruiz was the third priest abducted in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz since September. The other two were found shot to death a few days after they were kidnapped.

Although Sanchez Ruiz was spared that fate, his abduction brought new attention to attacks on priests in Mexico, which also saw another priest killed in the western state of Michoacan in September.

Prosecutors have suggested that robbery may have been the motive in all three killings this year. But fellow priests suggested something else may have been involved in Sanchez Ruiz's kidnapping.
Bishop Fidencio Lopez said Sunday that Sanchez Ruiz "had been dumped, with notable signs of torture" at an undisclosed location.

His disappearance sparked two days of unrest in the town of Catemaco, which is known for its faith healers and exuberant jungle. Angry residents burned part of the town hall and a police patrol truck while demanding the release of the priest.

The Rev. Aaron Reyes, spokesman for the diocese, told the Milenio television news channel that Sanchez Ruiz had been threatened in recent days because of his activism.

The priest "had received threats in recent days because he is a defender of human rights and social causes. He has criticized the system of corruption and the crime problem in Catemaco," Reyes said.
Sanchez Ruiz took part in a recent protest of high electricity bills, an important issue in the town because of its extreme heat.

At least 31 priests have been killed in Mexico since 2006. Most of the attacks occurred in areas of Mexico plagued by drug cartel violence.

Mexico's Catholic Media Center says Veracruz, Guerrero and Mexico states are the most dangerous for priests. Along with Michoacan, they are among the states with the worst drug-cartel problems.


President-Elect Donald J. Trump Announces Senior White House Leadership Team

(New York, NY) - President-elect Donald J. Trump today announced that Trump for President CEO Stephen K. Bannon will serve as Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to the President, and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will serve as White House Chief of Staff.

Bannon and Priebus will continue the effective leadership team they formed during the campaign, working as equal partners to transform the federal government, making it much more efficient, effective and productive. Bannon and Priebus will also work together with Vice President-elect Mike Pence to help lead the transition process in the run-up to Inauguration Day.

“I am thrilled to have my very successful team continue with me in leading our country,” said President-elect Trump. “Steve and Reince are highly qualified leaders who worked well together on our campaign and led us to a historic victory. Now I will have them both with me in the White House as we work to make America great again.”

“I want to thank President-elect Trump for the opportunity to work with Reince in driving the agenda of the Trump Administration,” noted Bannon. “We had a very successful partnership on the campaign, one that led to victory. We will have that same partnership in working to help President-elect Trump achieve his agenda.”

“It is truly an honor to join President-elect Trump in the White House as his Chief of Staff,” added Priebus. “I am very grateful to the President-elect for this opportunity to serve him and this nation as we work to create an economy that works for everyone, secure our borders, repeal and replace Obamacare and destroy radical Islamic terrorism. He will be a great President for all Americans.”


BREAKING: Trump says he will 'immediately' deport two to three million illegal immigrants with criminal records - and insists he WILL build a wall

By Khaleda Rahman For Dailymail.com

(The Daily Mail) President-elect Donald Trump has said that he plans to deport two to three million undocumented immigrants immediately - and that he will be building his wall along the US-Mexico border.

In an interview with CBS's 60 Minutes that airs on Sunday - his first since winning the election - Trump insisted that he will build the wall that was a vital part of his presidential campaign.

'What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people, probably two million, it could be even three million, we are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate,' Trump said.

'But we're getting them out of our country, they're here illegally.'


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Cardinal Burke “very happy” with Donald Trump’s election victory

By Christopher Lamb

(La Stampa) Donald Trump was “undoubtedly” preferable to Hillary Clinton due to her stance on abortion while the new president will be well-placed to tackle government corruption, according to Cardinal Raymond Burke.

The cardinal, a leading conservative figure in the United States, said that care for refugees and the poor were important but do not carry the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia: Trump has said he is pro-life while Clinton supports legal terminations.

Pope Francis, however, has made care for outcasts a central part of his papacy and questioned the president-elect’s Christian faith after he proposed building a wall between the United States and Mexico to prevent migrants crossing the border.

During the 2004 presidential campaign Cardinal Burke, a former Archbishop of St Louis, Missouri, said he would deny communion to John Kerry and other pro-abortion Catholic politicians.

In an interview originally reported in The Tablet the cardinal, now Patron of the Order of Malta and based in Rome, talks about the United States’ election results.

What is Your Eminence’s reaction to Donald Trump’s election?
I am very happy that my fellow Americans have chosen a new President, and given him a strong mandate to address resolutely the corruption that has beset the federal government in recent years. I pray that Our Blessed Lord bestows on President-elect Trump all the graces necessary for him to fulfil this mandate for the true promotion of the Common Good. It is my hope that my homeland will soon be united again, so that we can work for the good of all.

Was President-elect Trump a preferable candidate to Secretary Clinton given her support for late term abortion?
Undoubtedly, yes.

President-elect Trump holds positions that would be harmful to migrants and other vulnerable groups and has been accused of committing indecent acts against women. But he said he was pro-life on the abortion question. Is a political candidate who is anti-abortion preferable even if he holds policies contrary to other elements of Catholic teaching and has been accused of indecent behaviour?
Firstly, to be accused of something is not the same thing as to be guilty of it. Secondly, abortion is the systematic murder of human beings at their most vulnerable stage of development — we need to remember that. Thirdly, we do need to draw a distinction between a migrant and a refugee. How many economical migrants a country accepts is a prudential matter, about which people in good faith are free to disagree. One’s heart must always be open to the genuine refugee, fleeing death, terror and persecution however.

In your given example, I do not see any moral equivalence between abortion, and the welfare of migrants. I hope it is obvious that I think migrants, made in the image and likeness of God like you and me, should be treated with every care and respect. But to put the two issues on the same plane is simply wrong (as the Church clearly teaches)... (continued)


Did Jersey photographer's video of Clinton stumble change course of history?

By Sam Carchidi 

(The Philadelphia Inquirer) In the days after Donald Trump's stunning presidential win over Hillary Clinton, Zdenek Gazda has been bombarded by phone calls and texts, telling him he changed the election.

He doesn't disagree with them.

Gazda is a freelance photographer from New Jersey who filmed the video of Clinton after she became ill and stumbled at a campaign event two months ago.

"People say to me that it showed she's not strong," Gazda said on Friday. "If I wasn't there, nobody would have known what happened....People need to know the truth..."

Gazda, who lives in Verona, said people have told him he "changed history" because after the video went viral, Clinton's officials announced she was suffering from a bout of pneumonia that was diagnosed two days earlier.

Clinton's campaign initially said Clinton left the 15th annual observance at Ground Zero because she felt "overheated."

Gazda, who had made more than $100,000 for his famous 20-second clip, said after he turned off his video, said he saw Clinton shaking inside the van.

He admitted he wasn't sure what his video had captured until he looked at it. "I was shocked at what I saw," Gazda said...


Pope Francis Breaks Silence on Trump Triumph

By Josephine McKenna

Pope Francis has urged Donald Trump not to forget the poor and marginalized in his first comments on the president-elect to be published after the Republican’s stunning election win...

“I do not judge people or politicians,” the pope told Eugenio Scalfari of La Repubblica when asked what he thought of Trump. “I only want to understand what suffering their behavior causes to the poor and the excluded...”

According to the Pew Research Center, Catholics and evangelical Christians played a critical role in Trump’s election — 52 percent of Catholics voted for the real estate mogul and neophyte candidate...

He also dismissed suggestions he was a communist. “My response has always been, if anything, is that there are communists who think like Christians.... (continued)

This article originally appeared in Religious News Service.


Friday, November 11, 2016

Iranian general: Trump’s threat to attack Iranian ships ‘a joke’

By AP and Times of Israel staff

(The Times of Israel) TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency is reporting that the armed forces chief of staff has criticized Donald Trump for his past harsh words about confronting Iranian boats in the Persian Gulf.

The Thursday report quotes General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri as saying, “The person who has recently achieved power, has talked off the top of his head! Threatening Iran in the Persian Gulf is just a joke.”

He said American presidential candidates during their campaigns “eat too much sugar,” a reference to a Farsi proverb about those who talk nonsense.

In September, Trump said Iranian ships trying to provoke the US “will be shot out of the water” if he were president.

In January, Iran took 10 American sailors prisoner after their ship veered off course into Iranian waters; they were released a day later.

Trump has strongly criticized the nuclear deal, formerly called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, reached with Iran to halt its development of nuclear weapons technology, calling it “one of the worst deals in history...” (continued)


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Trump Picks Top Climate Skeptic to Lead EPA Transition

By Robin Bravender

(Scientific American) Donald Trump has selected one of the best-known climate skeptics to lead his U.S. EPA transition team, according to two sources close to the campaign.

Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute, is spearheading Trump’s transition plans for EPA, the sources said...

Ebell appears to relish criticism from the left.

In a biography submitted when he testified before Congress, he listed among his recognitions that he had been featured in a Greenpeace “Field Guide to Climate Criminals,” dubbed a “misleader” on global warming by Rolling Stone and was the subject of a motion to censure in the British House of Commons after Ebell criticized the United Kingdom’s chief scientific adviser for his views on global warming.

More recently, Ebell has called the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan for greenhouse gases illegal and said that Obama joining the Paris climate treaty “is clearly an unconstitutional usurpation of the Senate’s authority.”

He told Vanity Fair in 2007, “There has been a little bit of warming ... but it’s been very modest and well within the range for natural variability, and whether it’s caused by human beings or not, it’s nothing to worry about...”  (continued)