Sunday, February 07, 2016

Loud Muslim Prayer: Takeover of Michigan Town

The non-Muslim residents of Hamtramck, Michigan complained so much about the "noise" coming from the Islamic center loudspeakers (the Muslim call to prayer) that the Muslim residents organized an effort to gain a majority on the city council.  It appears the "noise" will remain.
“We were lied to.  We were told it would never be turned into a mosque.”
-- Carol Marsh, resident

“It’s only a matter of time before we’ll see a Muslim mayor.”
-- Dawud Walid, Executive Director, Michigan Chapter, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
For background, click headlines below to read previous articles:

Maine Sues Pastor for Preaching Too Loud Near Abortion Clinic

Pastor's Wife Fined for Praying Too Loud on North Dakota Street

Christians Arrested for Praying Too Loud Near Chicago Abortion Clinic

Indiana Town Denounces Loud, Praying Christians

Virginia Police Halt Bible 'Noise,' Preacher Sues City & Wins

Missouri Police Steal Preacher's Amplifier to Shut Him Up

Jesus Talk Outlawed in New Orleans, Arrests Made

-- From "Residents complain that ‘call to prayer’ is too loud" by Charles Sercombe, Hamtramck Review (fall 2015)

[At the] city council meeting, several residents of the Hamtramck Senior Plaza apartments on Holbrook complained about the volume level of the call to prayer coming from the Ideal Islamic Center, located across from the apartment complex.

[Resident Jeanette Powell] said the call or prayer was broadcast at 6 a.m. and found the volume “overbearing.”

The center on Holbrook was not the only mosque accused of broadcasting the call too loudly.

Susan Dunn, who is a candidate for city council, said the new mosque on St. Aubin St., the Abu-Bakr Al-Siddique Islamic Center, also broadcasts the call loudly. Dunn lives on Hewitt St., which is a block away from the center.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Muslims look to make a difference in Hamtramck" by Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press 1/25/16

The week before Election Day in Hamtramck, hundreds of Muslims packed the City Council chambers.

They were outraged over a complaint made by council candidate Susan Dunn over the Islamic call to prayer that is broadcast outdoors from mosques, which she said were too loud.

The following week, three Muslim candidates out of six were the top vote-getters, winning council seats. After their inauguration this month, Hamtramck became what is believed to be the first city in the U.S. with a Muslim-majority City Council.  Four of its six council members are Muslim, three of them immigrants.

The story of how that happened offers insight into the political ambitions of the city's Muslim community in a time of intense debate about Islam in the West. And it shows how diverse groups — from Polish Catholics to Bangladeshi Muslims to African-American Protestants — can get along, city leaders say.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "In the first majority-Muslim U.S. city, residents tense about its future" by Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Washington Post 11/21/15

[Local businesswoman Karen] Majewski, whose family emigrated from Poland in the early 20th century, admitted to a few concerns of her own. Business owners within 500 feet of one of Hamtramck’s four mosques can’t obtain a liquor license, she complained, a notable development in a place that flouted Prohibition-era laws by openly operating bars. The restrictions could thwart efforts to create an entertainment hub downtown, said the pro-commerce mayor.

And while Majewski advocated to allow mosques to issue calls to prayer, she understands why some longtime residents are struggling to adjust to the sound that echos through the city’s streets five times each day.

While the city’s Polish Catholic population has shrunk from 90 percent in 1970 to about 11 percent today, in part as the old residents have moved to more prosperous suburbs, Polish American culture still permeates the town.

Hamtramck’s exceedingly low home prices and relatively low crime rate have proved especially attractive to new immigrants, whose presence is visible everywhere. Most of the women strolling Joseph Campau Avenue wear hijabs, or headscarves, and niqabs, veils that leave only the area around the eyes open. Many of the markets advertise their wares in Arabic or Bengali, and some display signs telling customers that owners will return shortly — gone to pray, much in the same way Polish businesses once signaled that employees had gone to Mass.

Many longtime residents point to 2004 as the year they suspected that the town’s culture had shifted irrevocably. It was then that the city council gave permission to al-Islah Islamic Center to broadcast its call to prayer from speakers atop its roof.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "This U.S. city has become the first to elect a Muslim-majority city council" by Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Washington Post 11/5/15

. . . The city council’s approval of an ordinance to allow mosques to broadcast the Islamic call to prayer onto public streets made it one of the few cities in the United States to approve the practice, according to a 2004 story in the Detroit News. “This is about uniting our community,” Shabad Ahmed, the first and only Muslim member of the Hamtramck City Council, told the newspaper.

Fast forward to 2015, when the city of some 22,000 people physically surrounded by but politically separate from Detroit has elected a Muslim-majority city council, believed to be the first in the nation. On Tuesday, the city elected three new city council members, making the council four of six members of Muslim faith.

Dearborn, which is part of the Detroit metro area, attracts most of the national attention over its Arab population, but its Muslim population is not as concentrated as Hamtramck.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Christmas Holiday OUT, Lunar New Year IN: Schools

Political correctness is the objective as public schools debate calendars, but from one district to the next, their PC goal seems elusive.
"I have come to the difficult decision to discontinue the celebration of the dominant holidays until we can come to a better understanding of how the dominant view will suppress someone else's view."
-- Principal Scott Masini, Bruce Vento Elementary School in St. Paul, Minnesota
For background, read 'Allahu Akbar' Taught in Minnesota School for Christmas

Click headlines below to read previous articles:

Jewish Mom Opposes School's Santa Claus Christmas

Angry Muslims Demand School Holiday for Ramadan in New Jersey

D.C. Muslims Force Christmas Off Maryland School Calendar

Muslims Force Maryland Schools Closed Routinely

New Jersey Atheist Official Has Hissy Fit over Christmas Tree

Atheists Help Liberal Schools in Washington Ban Christmas Choirs

Also read Texas School Supt. Tells Atheists to Go Fly a Kite

-- From "Minnesota school bans holiday celebrations for Valentine's Day, Christmas, more" by The Associated Press 2/3/16

Bruce Vento Elementary in St. Paul is joining other public schools in opting out of holiday celebrations as school officials strive to be more culturally sensitive and inclusive. The school has a predominantly Asian and black student body, and English is a second language for more than half of its pupils, who come from a range of faith backgrounds.

In a letter to parents last week, Principal Scott Masini said his rationale was to avoid "encroaching on the educational opportunities of others and threatening a culture of tolerance and respect for all." He acknowledged it would be an unpopular decision for some.

The letter drew both criticism and support as it started circulating on social media, with some people praising the policy for its sensitivity to diverse cultures and others decrying it as political correctness. The Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis ran an editorial calling the decision misguided and urged Masini to reconsider.

As word spread, the school district issued a statement saying its longstanding policy "discourages programs and festivities that celebrate observances unless they are required by law." That means government holidays celebrating the birthdays of President George Washington, President Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr., along with Veterans Day, are still OK.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "[New York] City schools to close Monday for Lunar New Year" by Diane C. Lore, Staten Island Advance 2/5/16

Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Schools Chancellor Carmen FariƱa announced the addition of the new holiday to the school calendar in June.

The city school system will become only the second major urban school district in the nation, after San Francisco, to close on [the Asian] Lunar New Year.

When de Blasio announced in early March last year that the Mulsim holy days Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr would appear on this year's school calendar, Lunar New Year advocates began to push to have their holiday added.

The Department of Education was able to add the Lunar New Year holiday to the school calendar by consolidating two half-days previously designated for staff administrative work, of which neither could count toward the 180-day minimum, into one full day. This allowed room for the addition of the Lunar New Year without any loss in state aid-able days.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "New York City Schools to Celebrate Lunar New Year with Day Off for First Time" by Chris Fuchs, NBC News 2/1/16

. . . the city's 12 congressional members sent a letter to de Blasio dated March 9, saying they were happy Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr would become public school holidays, but were "puzzled and concerned" about why Lunar New Year was left out. Four days later, city and state elected officials held a rally outside City Hall. On April 1, legislation was introduced in Albany to amend New York's education law to recognize Lunar New Year as a public school holiday for any city with one-million people — namely New York City.

Former Queens state Assemblyman Jimmy Meng, a Democrat, was the first to propose such a bill in 2005, but it failed to gain a sponsor in the state Senate. Meng's daughter Grace, a former state assemblywoman who is now a Democrat congresswoman from Queens, also introduced legislation in early 2009 with support from state Sen. Daniel Squadron, a Democrat whose district includes Chinatown.

After several months went by without any news, more than 40 elected officials, advocacy groups, and community leaders sent an open letter to de Blasio in June, saying his administration did not keep a promise to meet before the end of May for discussions. Around the same time, the state Senate unanimously approved a bill making Lunar New Year a public school holiday.

Following mounting pressure, the mayor, who controls the city's school system with state approval, announced on June 22 through Twitter that Lunar New Year would be added to the 2015-2016 calendar. The message was published in English, Chinese, and Korean.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Valentine's Day ban touches off wider debate on school celebrations" by Beena Raghavendran and Zoe Peterson, Minneapolis Star Tribune 2/2/16

Across the metro area and the country, schools are juggling sensitivity with holiday fun as student bodies become increasingly diverse. Several schools have turned to seasonal celebrations to include all students, and some have scaled back in-class celebrations to save teaching time.

[St. Paul's] Vento school is echoing that rationale in its decision to stop celebrating major holidays, to avoid “encroaching on the educational opportunities of others and threatening a culture of tolerance and respect for all,” Masini said in the letter addressed to families. “My personal feeling is we need to find a way to honor and engage in holidays that are inclusive of our student population.”

Masini was cheered and jeered by people online. Some said fun was being sucked out of schools. He responded in a comment released by the school district Thursday. “I’m struggling with this and I don’t know what the right answer is,” he said. “But, what I do know is celebrating some holidays and not others is not inclusive of all of the students we serve.

Wayzata Public Schools no longer observes specific holidays, opting instead for seasonal celebrations, said spokeswoman Amy Parnell. Valentine’s Day is the only exception — certain schools still decide to recognize the holiday.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "St. Paul school might abandon celebration of 4 holidays" by Josh Verges, St. Paul Pioneer Press 2/1/16

The policy reads, in part:  “Schools shall discourage programs and festivities arranged to celebrate holidays and other special days, and shall strive to eliminate them, except where such observances are required by law.”

Exceptions to the policy are Veterans Day and the birthdays of Martin Luther King, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. When school is held on those days, state law says “at least one hour of the school program must be devoted to a patriotic observance of the day.”

[St. Paul Public Schools spokeswoman Toya] Stewart Downey said Superintendent Valeria Silva supports the district’s policy on holiday observances. But the district will gather input from schools in case the school board wants to change the policy.

[Principal] Masini said the school no longer would celebrate Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas . . .

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Majority in U.S. Want Christmas Celebrated WITHIN Schools: Poll

Thursday, February 04, 2016

3-Parent Babies are Ethical: Experts to Obama FDA

Experts from the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine are advising President Obama's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve mitochondrial DNA replacement techniques (MRTs) to help about a hundred Americans give birth to creatures fabricated in a laboratory using genetic material from three unrelated people.  The experts promise that no scientists in the future will misuse the techniques to "play god" and create any Frankenstein babies.

For background, read President Obama's FDA Pushes 3-parent Babies

Click headlines below to read previous articles:

UK Government OKs Frankenstein Designer Babies

Secret Designer Babies via Gene-editing Science

Scientists Create Artificial Human Eggs and Sperm

Genetic Scientists Worshiped as Creators of Life

Also read Unborn Must Die so Others Can Live, Scientists Say

-- From "Three-parent babies are ok, experts say" by NBC News 2/4/16

Such "three-parent" babies could be a way for people with a high risk of rare, devastating genetic diseases to have healthy children that are genetically their own, the National Academy of Medicine panel said.

And at first, the panel advised, only male embryos should be made this way until it's clear that dangerous mutations would not be passed down to future generations.

The FDA asked the academy, formerly known as the Institute of Medicine, to look at the three-person embryo processes, called mitochondrial replacement techniques (MRT). These are variations of in vitro fertilization, or IVF — the method that creates so-called "test-tube babies."

MRT adds a step [to IVF]: The mother's nuclear DNA would be removed and placed into the egg cell of another woman. The father's sperm would then be used to fertilize that hybrid egg.

The new techniques would be used to prevent the transmission of certain types of diseases that occur at the mitochondrial DNA level, the experts said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Babies With Genes From 3 People Could Be Ethical, Panel Says" by Rob Stein, WBEZ-FM91.5 NPR (Chicago, IL) 2/3/16

Critics of the research, meanwhile, say the number of women who could benefit from the experiments is so small that it's not worth crossing a line that's long been considered off-limits — making genetic changes that could be passed down for generations.

"The possibility of what you could call 'mission creep' is very real," says Marcy Darnovsky, executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society, a watchdog group based in Berkeley, Calif. "People are talking about going forward not just with this but with the kind of genetic engineering that will produce outright genetically modified human beings."

Once that happens, Darnovsky says, "I think you get into a situation of where some people are genetically enhanced and other people are the regular old variety of human being. And I don't think that's a world we want to live in."

. . . The FDA email praised the "thoughtful work" of the panel and said the agency would be "reviewing" the recommendations. But it noted that the latest federal budget "prevents the FDA from using funds to review applications in which a human embryo is intentionally created or modified to include" changes that could be passed down to future generations. As a result, the email says, any such research "cannot be performed in the United States" at this time.

"I think it's a great step in the right direction," Mark Sauer, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University who is a member of one of the teams . . . "Politics as usual often gets in way of progress," Sauer said in a subsequent email. While the FDA statement would cause "undue delays" in his research, he added that he hoped it wouldn't permanently "necessarily halt the efforts."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Should scientists be allowed to change DNA to prevent genetic disease?" by Daphne Chen, Deseret News 2/3/16

"I think the field has come together to say, 'Let’s think about this together and go forward carefully,'" said Dr. Jeffrey Botkin, a professor of pediatrics and chief of medical ethics and humanities at the University of Utah.

Botkin sat on the 12-person committee that included top bioethics experts from Johns Hopkins, Caltech and Harvard.

"There's not a bright line between where this kicks over into unethical," [University of Utah, Department of Biochemistry Dr. Jared] Rutter said. "The technology that we have is expanding … more rapidly than our sophistication with thinking about how to use it."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Ethicists approve ‘3 parent’ embryos to stop diseases, but congressional ban remains" by Joel Achenbach, Washington Post 2/3/16

The committee, which was convened last year at the request of the Food and Drug Administration, concluded that it is ethically permissible to “go forward, but with caution” with mitochondrial replacement techniques (MRT), said the chairman, Jeffrey Kahn, a bioethicist at Johns Hopkins University.

But the advisory panel’s conclusions have slammed into a congressional ban: The omnibus fiscal 2016 budget bill passed by Congress late last year contained language prohibiting the government from using any funds to handle applications for experiments that genetically alter human embryos.

Thus the green light from the scientists and ethicists won't translate anytime soon into clinical applications that could potentially help families that want healthy babies, said Shoukhrat Mitalipov, a pioneer of the new technique at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Ore.

“It seems like the FDA is disabled in this case by Congress," Mitalipov said. “At this point we’re still not clear how to proceed."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Report: It's ethical to test embryos from DNA of 3 people" by Lauran Neergaard, Medical Xpress 2/3/16

The genes that give us our hair and eye color, our height and other family traits—and some common diseases such as cancer—come from DNA in the nucleus of cells, the kind we inherit from both mom and dad.

But only mothers pass on mitochondrial DNA, to both daughters and sons. It encodes a mere 37 genes, but defects can leave cells without enough energy and can lead to blindness, seizures, muscle degeneration, developmental disorders, even death. Severity varies widely, and researchers estimate 1 in 5,000 children may inherit some degree of mitochondrial disease.

Critics have argued that the first such births would have to be tracked for decades to be sure they're really healthy, and that families could try adoption or standard IVF with a donated egg instead. And they say it crosses a fundamental scientific boundary by altering what's called the germline—eggs, sperm or embryos—in a way that could affect future generations.

"It is reckless to proceed with this form of germline modification," said Marcy Darnovsky of the Center for Genetics and Society, an advocacy group.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Male Girl Scout Thrills Media: Selling Transgender

The liberal media is avidly reporting the "fantastic news" of 9-year-old Stormi, a boy whose foster mother dresses him as a girl, for selling thousands of Girl Scout Cookies online to sexual revolutionaries.  The boy from Herrin, in downstate Illinois, struck out selling door-to-door after his neighbor told him, "Nobody wants to buy cookies from a boy in a dress."

So, what will the media report once this 52-year-old man, who says he's a 6-year-old girl, goes door-to-door?

For background, click headlines below to read previous articles:

Sexually Confused Boy Becomes Girl Scout, Media Hit

Indiana Lawmaker Says Girl Scouts are Pro-gay & Abortion

Catholic Bishops Investigate Girl Scouts' Sexualization

Girl Scouts Advocate Guide Teaching Sex Acts?

Also read how the Gay Agenda destroyed the Boy Scouts.

-- From "Transgender Illinois Girl Scout sells thousands of boxes of cookies despite hateful remark and social media trolls" by Tobias Salinger, New York Daily News 2/3/16

Stormi was knocking on doors with her foster mother [Kim] last month when a man at one home expressed opposition to the Girl Scouts of America’s inclusive policies by insulting a little girl.

. . . “Stormi’s Cookie World,” her online shop, has passed its goal of selling over 2,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies, the site showed Tuesday night. Stormi’s family is donating cookies to “local foster kids like me,” she wrote on the site.

The Girl Scouts have allowed transgender girls to join since 2011, CNN reported last spring. The right-wing American Family Association started a petition in May saying Girl Scouts of America has “lost its moral compass” and accusing it of a new policy saying “Boys dressing as girls can join.” Over 40,000 people had signed Tuesday night.

The national organization's official policy states it places transgender girls on a "case-by-case basis" and that the organization can serve them with a safe setting if the child lives as a girl and is recognized as one by friends and family. Jay Strobel, a spokesman for Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois, told The Washington Post Stormi’s efforts are “amazing” in an interview.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Transgender Girl Scout stands up to bully who wouldn’t buy cookies ‘from a boy in a dress’" by Lindsey Bever, Washington Post 2/2/16

Stormi started selling her cookies through the Girl Scouts’s online portal, Digital Cookies, last week. . . .

Supporters have rallied around Stormi’s cause.

A New York-based comedy duo gave people who bought Stormi’s cookies free admission to a show. A California multimedia musical agreed to donate a box for every ticket sold.

An LGBTQ support group in Idaho sent out a call for support, too. . . .

After a troop in Colorado admitted a 7-year-old transgender girl in 2011, several Girl Scout troops in Louisiana disbanded in protest and a California teen called for a boycott.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Accused Bisexual Abuser Hired by Multiple Schools

Days after Jinwoo Seong, 36, was fired by the New York Department of Education from Martin Van Buren High School in Queens for oral sex with a male student and groping numerous students of both sexes, he began teaching math at Don Bosco Technical Academy (middle school) in the Paterson, New Jersey school district, having passed the necessary background check.
“Jinwoo Seong’s inappropriate conduct makes it clear that he has no place in New York City public schools.”
-- Richard Condon, Special Commissioner of Investigation, New York City School District (9/28/2015)

Yet, the New York officials told Seong “this was in-house and ‘you don’t have to worry about this moving on.’”
For background, read Homosexual Pedophile Teaches in Multiple States for Three Decades

Click headlines below to read previous articles:

Court Orders Lesbian Teachers back in New York School

Homosexual Teacher in Brooklyn Paid Boy for Oral Sex

Homosexual, Lesbian Teachers Arrested for Sex with Students

Louisiana Lesbian Teacher Arrested for Sex with Minor Girl

Homosexual Teacher Arrested for Watching Anal Sex in Florida Classroom

Homosexual Teachers Indoctrinate 8-year-olds in North Carolina

Lesbian Seminar Teaching Kids How to be Homosexual

-- From "Teacher got NJ job as NYC investigated him for shocking sexual abuse" By Dan Alexander, WKXW-FM101.5 (Trenton, NJ) 2/1/16

In October, New Jersey OK’d Seong’s application to recognize his New York certifications — a month before he was fired from NYCs as schools investigator Richard Condon wrote in a letter he had “no place” in the schools, the report said. He started at Don Bosco in a $62,000 position on Dec. 7, the report said.

The [New York] Post reported that the investigation found he’d exposed himself to a male student, touched a girl’s breast and butt, cracked “gay jokes” and had a girl measure a boy’s genitals. The New York Deptartment of Education assigned Seong to a “rubber room” where he reported and sat all day until his firing was official on Nov. 30, according to the Post.

Seong has denied the allegations. Capt. James Smith, executive director of security and internal investigations for Paterson schools, told the Post that Seong passed a criminal background check because he was never charged with a crime.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Paterson school officials probe newly-hired teacher over student sex allegations in NYC" by Joe Malinconico, Paterson Press 2/1/16

Seong’s lawyer, Vincent White, said in a letter to Paterson officials that his client “has never been charged with any crime by local law enforcement.” White’s letter, dated Feb. 1, also described the New York City School District’s eight-page report accusing Seong of the sexual activity as “extremely flawed.”

White told Paterson officials that the New York report “ignored the fact that students gave inconsistent, hearsay statements and some alleged victims even denied the truth of the allegations until they were further prodded to confirm them.” White said students at Martin Van Buren High School in Queens were retaliating against Seong for calling their parents about discipline problems.

District officials said they were unaware of the New York investigation targeting Seong until contacted about the situation late last week by a reporter from the New York Post. The Post published a story about Seong on Sunday. The story said Seong’s termination by the New York education department took effect Nov. 30.

The report says Seong denied the allegations. Seong’s lawyer wrote to Paterson school officials that he hoped his client “will not be further victimized due to these baseless allegations made by some troubled students.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Teacher fired for sex with student got new job at NJ school" by Susan Edelman and Dean Balsamini, New York Post 1/31/16

Seong, who was fired, managed to get a new job in Jersey simply by not revealing his troubled past. The case shows how a teacher accused of shocking misconduct can slip through bureaucratic cracks and back into the classroom.

Capt. James Smith, executive director of security and internal investigations for Paterson schools, on Friday immediately ordered Seong’s removal from the classroom pending further inquiry when informed by The Post about Condon’s report.

“If you’ve been disciplined for inappropriate conduct with a student, we’ll take action,” Smith said he told Seong.

The state is investigating Seong to determine if he should be stripped of his license.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Most Americans Say Gay Men Untrustworthy with Boys

Monday, February 01, 2016

UK's Frankenstein: Designer Babies OK'd by Gov't

Today, the British Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) announced it authorized a private research firm to use abandoned babies, a.k.a. "leftover" embryos, to perform human genetic code editing.  Bioethicists have warned for years that such research will certainly lead to so-called "designer babies."
"This is the first step on a path that scientists have carefully mapped out towards the legalization of (genetically modified) babies."
-- David King, Human Genetics Alert
For background, read Secret Designer Babies via Gene-editing Science and also read Unborn Must Die so Others Can Live, Scientists Say

Also read Scientists Create Artificial Human Eggs and Sperm

And read Genetic Scientists Worshiped as Creators of Life

-- From "Britain Okays Gene Editing Experiment on Human Embryos" by The Associated Press 2/1/16

Scientists say gene-editing techniques could one day lead to treatments for conditions like HIV, which causes AIDS, and inherited diseases like muscular dystrophy and sickle cell disease.

Peter Braude, an emeritus professor of obstetrics and gynecology at King's College London, said the mechanisms being investigated by [Dr. Kathy] Niakan and colleagues "are crucial in ensuring healthy, normal development and implantation" and could help doctors understand how to improve in vitro fertilization rates and prevent miscarriages.

The gene-editing technique was developed partly in the U.S. and scientists there have experimented with the method in animals and in human cells in the laboratory. Gene editing has not been used for any kinds of patient therapies yet.

Around the world, laws and guidelines vary widely about what kind of research is allowed on embryos, since it could change the genes of future generations. In the U.S., the National Institutes of Health cannot fund research on human embryos but private funding is allowed.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Britain gives scientists permission to genetically modify human embryos" by Rachel Feltman, Washington Post 2/1/16

The news comes less than a year after the first reports of human-gene editing — published by Chinese scientists in the journal Protein and Cell — using the fantastic and at times troubling technology known as CRISPR. By harnessing an ancient defense mechanism built into bacteria, CRISPR allows scientists to target, delete and replace specific genes. It has been used extensively in other organisms, but research in humans has been slow.

The Chinese experiments reported last year were largely unsuccessful. Few of the embryos in the experiment were successfully modified, and even fewer had the changes that scientists intended to make. None of the embryos were gestated, and the authors of the study readily admitted that their error rate was too high for use on viable embryos.

. . . Britain now has become the first country to approve the use of public funding for such research. In the United States, labs have to find private funding for any research that creates or destroys human embryos, and some lawmakers seek to ban it altogether. Even in China, where the first "successful" editing occurred, the guidelines are murky.

The University of Kent's Darren Griffin called the [HFEA] ruling "a triumph for common sense" in a statement, and Sarah Norcross, director of Progress Educational Trust, lauded the decision as "a victory for level-headed regulation over moral panic."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "UK scientists given go-ahead to genetically modify human embryos" by Sheena McKenzie, for CNN 2/1/16

Scientists will be focusing on the first seven days of a fertilized egg's growth. In these early days, a fertilized egg evolves from a single cell to around 250 cells.

The research, which will be led by Dr. Kathy Niakan, will take place at the Francis Crick Institute in London and has been hailed as a "triumph for common sense" by leading figures of the British science community.

However, the research has also raised concerns that it could pave the way for "designer babies" -- going beyond health improvements and modifying everything from a child's eye color to intelligence.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "British scientists granted permission to genetically modify human embryos" by Sarah Knapton, Science Editor, UK Telegraph 2/1/16

Currently around 50 per cent of fertilised eggs do not develop properly and experts believe that faulty genetic code could be responsible.

If scientists knew which genes were crucial for healthy cell division, then they could screen out embryos where their DNA was not working properly, potentially preventing miscarriages and aiding fertility.

The team at Francis Crick are already in talks with fertility clinics across the country to use their spare embryos.

Dr Calum MacKellar, Director of Research of the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics said: “Allowing the gene editing of embryos opens the road to genetically modifying all the descendants of a person as well as full blown eugenics which was condemned by all civilised societies after the Second World War.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Britain grants first licence for genetic modification of embryos" posted at Medical Xpress 2/1/16

[Dr. Kathy] Niakan has said she is planning to modify the embryos using a technique known as CRISPR-Cas9, which allows scientists to insert, remove and correct DNA within a cell.

The embryos will not become children as they must be destroyed within 14 days and can only be used for basic research.

She plans to find the genes at play in the first few days of fertilisation when an embryo develops a coating of cells that later become the placenta.

The embryos to be used in the research are ones that would have been destroyed, donated by couples receiving In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment who do not need them.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "British researchers get green light to genetically modify human embryos" by Haroon Siddique, UK Guardian 2/1/16

Prof Robin Lovell-Badge, group leader at the Francis Crick Institute . . . said it would also provide invaluable information about the accuracy and efficiency of the technique, helping to inform the debate about whether genome editing could be used in future to correct faulty genes that cause devastating diseases.

That prospect remains a long way off but is already a subject of concern. There are also fears that changes to an embryo’s DNA could have unknown harmful consequences throughout a person’s body and be passed on down the generations.

Last year, leading UK funders called for a national debate on whether editing human embryos could ever be justified in the clinic. Some fear that a public backlash could derail less controversial uses of genome editing, which could lead to radical new treatments for disease.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Pro-life charity criticises decision to allow UK scientists to genetically modify human embryos" by Staff Reporter, Catholic Herald 2/1/16

After the announcement Anne Scanlan, the education director of Life, said . . . “[HFEA] has ignored the warnings of over a hundred scientists worldwide and given permission for a procedure, which could have damaging far-reaching implications for human beings. We do not know what long term side effects the tampering with some strands of DNA could have on other strands. However once genetic changes have been made they will be irreversible and handed down to future generations.”

Miss Scanlan added: “We are also concerned that such controversial intervention in the human germline opens up the very real possibility of eugenics where the existence of human beings becomes conditional on the possession of certain physical characteristics.

“Whilst we note the HFEA restriction on the implantation of genetically modified embryos, it is sending the wrong signals by allowing scientists the ability to develop and possibly perfect the technology here in the UK. To mitigate any advancement on the potentially dangerous work being undertaken by these British scientists, we believe that an international ban on human DNA editing is urgently needed to protect the future of the human species.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read President Obama's Food and Drug Administration considers lab science that 'Creates' Designer Baby with 3 Biological Parents

And read IVF Eliminating Fatherhood via Virgin Births

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Satanists to Lead 'Prayer' in Phoenix Government

Some members of the Phoenix City Council would like to restrict Satanists and others from opening prayers at council meetings, but that may NOT be possible.
"Consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s direction, the city cannot dictate religious viewpoints or the content of a prayer. In addition, government may not exclude a denomination or a religion from praying under these circumstances."
-- Brad Holm, City Attorney of Phoenix, Arizona

"I strongly disagree with this group's message. However, the First Amendment protects free speech. As offensive as that message may be, the Constitution demands equal treatment under the law."
-- Mayor Greg Stanton
For background read Florida Battles Satanic 'Prayer' at Civic Meetings City-by-City as one Florida County Official Defies 'Minion of Satan'

Also read Arizona City Allows Only Christian Prayers

In addition, read Supreme Court Justice Scalia Says Government Should Favor God of the Bible

-- From "Satanic group to give prayer at Phoenix City Council meeting" by The Associated Press 1/29/16

The Arizona Republic reports that the Satanic Temple submitted a request in December to give the invocation for a City Council meeting. Temple members Michelle Shortt and Stu de Haan are expected to do so on Feb. 17.

The city’s invocation has been delivered by Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs and people of other faiths.

De Haan says the group doesn’t intend to do anything offensive. He says they don’t believe in a literal Satan but view the biblical Satan as a metaphor for rebellion against tyranny.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "4 Phoenix city councilmen trying to block Satanist prayer" by Dustin Gardiner, The Arizona Republic 1/30/16

While some Phoenix leaders have objected, the city has said it will let the Satanists pray. City Attorney Brad Holm defended the decision in a statement released Thursday.

Councilmen Sal DiCiccio, Bill Gates, Jim Waring and Michael Nowakowski are pushing a proposal to change how the city schedules the invocation. The plan would let the mayor and council members take turns inviting different religious groups to give the prayer.

Waring said the proposal could prevent the Satanic Temple from turning the council's Feb. 17 meeting into "a circus." The group could still give an invocation at a future meeting, but a council member would have to personally invite them.

Other city leaders have defended the satanists' right to speak under the First Amendment. . . .

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Phoenix council members try to block Satanic church from giving meeting prayer" posted at KTAR-FM92.3 (Glendale, AZ) 1/29/16

[Satanist Stu de Haan] said people have been concerned about the satanic prayer, but a lot of them don’t understand the religion.

“We’ve gotten a lot of ridiculous questions, like are we going to sacrifice babies and what we’re calling ‘blood libel,’” he said. “There’s nothing ever like that in Satanism.”

“We should have our voice and we believe that reason should trump superstition in general,” he said.

De Haan said the group is not looking to shake any feathers or make changes to the city’s process. His group just wants to be included in the broader religious spectrum.

“We are Satanists and we are your friend,” he said.

To read the entire article above, and hear interview with Satanist, CLICK HERE.

Also read Mississippi Police Chief Thanks God at City Prayer Meetings

And read California Mayor Calls City Prayer Vigil to Seek Solutions