Officials vow countermeasures and markets slump after tough measures unveiled over Salisbury attackRussian officials reacted with outrage and markets slumped on Thursday morning following the announcement of tough new US sanctions over Russia’s alleged use of a nerve agent in the Salisbury attack.President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the sanctions were “absolutely unlawful and don’t conform to international law”, as politicians vowed to respond with countermeasures, which could include bans on the exports of rockets or resources for manufacturing. Continue reading…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/09/russia-blasts-new-us-sanctions-as-theatre-of-the-absurd

A suit was filed yesterday in an Ohio federal district court by abortion protesters who claim that Toledo, Ohio police have violated their free speech, free exercise and equal protection rights by enforcing or threatening to enforce various provision of Ohio law against them.  The complaint (full text) in Zastrow v. City of Toledo, (ND OH, filed 8/1/2018), contends in part:The City’s pattern of conduct, which includes arresting, citing, prosecuting and threatening to arrest, cite, and prosecute, pro-life demonstrators, including Plaintiffs, for engaging in expressive religious activity on the public fora adjacent to the Capital Care abortion center, has had, and continues to have, a chilling effect on Plaintiffs’ expressive religious activity, thereby causing irreparable harm.Courthouse News Service reports on the lawsuit.

Source: http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2018/08/abortion-protesters-sue-city-for.html

Makenzie Noland’s pose with 14ft Big Tex has become an internet sensationMakenzie Noland, a Texas student, poses for her graduation photo in cap, sash and – somewhat unusually – with an alligator.The student shared the image on Facebook and Instagram with the caption “not your typical graduation photo”, and found herself at the centre of the internet’s attention. Continue reading…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/07/texas-student-makenzie-noland-alligator-photo-viral

Yesterday afternoon, President Trump met at the White House with a group of inner city pastors.  The White House has posted a transcript of remarks by the President and a number of the pastors at the meeting.  They focused primarily on issues of economic development and prison reform.

Source: http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2018/08/president-meets-with-inner-city-pastors.html

Guides who shot a polar bear have been denounced as murderers. But what does that make the tourists who are ruining its fragile habitat?A special kind of shock comes with the shooting of a polar bear. Their magnificence, their appearance of cuddliness, their ferocity, their vulnerability, their anthropomorphism – all combine to make the death of a single male, at the hands of guides for a tourist cruise ship, worldwide news.The internet hummed with denunciation. It is hard to think of another creature, even one more endangered, whose loss would cause so much reaction. Continue reading…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/05/will-giant-cruise-ships-destroy-wonders-passengers-claim-to-love

Alejandra Juarez forced to leave husband and daughters in Florida after exhausting all options to stop her deportationThe 16-year-old American daughter of a US marine held back tears as long as she could before her family was split in two.Her mother, Alejandra Juarez, was finally leaving for Mexico, rather than be sent off in handcuffs, after exhausting all options to stop her deportation. Continue reading…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/03/us-marine-wife-alejandra-juarez-deported-mexico

The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit this week in a West Virginia federal district court to stop the Parkersburg, West Virginia City Council from regularly opening its meetings with the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer.  The complaint (full text) in Cobranchi v. The City of Parkersburg, (D WV, filed 7/30/2018), seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, contending that the prayer practice violates plaintiffs’ 1st and 14th Amendment rights. FFRF issued a press release announcing the filing of the lawsuit.

Source: http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2018/08/suit-challenges-city-council-opening.html

ESPN says one-off will take place at Shadow Creek in Las VegasMickelson: ‘This … will take both of us out of our comfort zone’The hotly anticipated high-stakes exhibition match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, the two richest and most decorated golfers of their generation, will take place Thanksgiving weekend at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas, ESPN reported on Thursday. Related: Anger drives Pat Perez to new heights half a lifetime after taming Tiger | Andy Bull Continue reading…

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/aug/02/tiger-woods-phil-mickelson-november-las-vegas