The Witch Hunt Continues in Papua New Guinea as Two More Are Beheaded

As police standby last week, two elderly women were beheaded after three days of torture by an angry mob which is the latest in a string of sorcery related crimes. According to the Post-Courier police could not overtake the angry mob leaving them helpless to save the two women from a grisly public death. As Bougainville police inspector Herman Birengka explained to the paper: “We were helpless. We could not do anything” as his officers were threatened while trying to release the women. He described the killing as barbaric and senseless as the women were held captive since Tuesday by relatives of a former school teacher who died recently. He explained that, “The two women were rounded up and taken to Lopele village after they were suspected of practising sorcery and blamed for the death of the former teacher, who was from Lopele village.” The report states that the two women were tortured for three days, suffering axe and knife wounds, before the beheading in front of the police who were there to mediate. The reports comes only days after another report that six women accused of witchcraft were tortured with hot irons in an Easter sacrifice in the southern Highlands and just last month a women accused of the same was burned to death by a mob. Amnesty international  is calling for the government to end the sorcery related violence in Papua New Guinea and stamp out the practice where there is a widespread belief in sorcery and where people do not accept natural causes to explain a death. In recent years, there has been several of these cases as well as cannibalism in the country even reports of a man eating his screaming newborn as part of a sorcery initiation ceremony in 2011.

 

Women as the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Church

 

Check out the Pope’s full address here.

As the pope blazes a new trail for the modern Roman Catholic Church, Francis continues to emphasize the importance of women and their role in the church despite taking the office only weeks ago as the Bishop of Rome becoming the first Latin American pope and the first non-European pope in 1300 years after Benedict XVI resign the first in 600 years. On Wednesday, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of women in the church as they were the first witnesses of Christ and play a special role in the spreading of faith. As many witnessed on Holy Thursday last week, the pontiff included women in the traditional foot washing ritual drawing criticism from traditionalist who believe the right has always been reserved for men. Many see the custom as a re-enactment of Jesus washing the fee of his apostles who are all men. Women as Francis explains have always played a special role as the “first witnesses” of Christ’s resurrection passing the belief onto their children and grandchildren. Francis told the thousands of faithful in St. Peter’s Square, “In the Church, and in the journey of faith, women have had and still have a special role in opening doors to the Lord.” He even went further to explain that in the bible women were not recorded witnesses as Jewish law prohibited it at the time as they are not reliable witnesses. However, Francis did comments that, “In the Gospels, however, women have a primary, fundamental role … The evangelists simply narrate what happened: the women were the first witnesses. This tells us that God does not choose according to human criteria.” This is the second time the pontiff has talked about the role of women as witnesses to the resurrection of Christ which is the cornerstone of the Catholic faith.

As for the role of women, Pope Francis addressed women in his Easter Vigil on Saturday and urge the faithful to  not fear change. Marinella Perroni, a theologian and leading member of the Association of Italian Women Theologians, according to Reuters had this to say:

“This is very encouraging. Pope Francis is taking up, with a stronger emphasis, the teaching of previous popes about the role of women in the foundation of faith and the resurrection of Jesus. The fact that the Pope acknowledges that the progressive removal of female figures from the tradition of the resurrection…is due to human judgments, distant from those of God…introduces a decidedly new element compared to the previous papacy.”

Several liberal reform supporters of the church call for the institution to ordain women as priests giving them a greater voice and more recognition within the church which the Vatican has said publicly that Jesus Christ chose only men for his apostles even though many female priesthood supports have said Jesus was conforming to the customs at the time. The 76 year old pontiff has set a new standard for the papacy as he continues to live as his name sake did St. Francis with humility and simplicity by shunning the ornate items of traditional dress, using informal language in his addresses, and choosing not to live in the regal papal apartments choosing instead to live in a simple residence. Many are hopeful that this new age of the Catholic Church can reform the Curia and many believe Pope Francis may even close the Vatican bank following the scandals at the heart of the Holy See which has damaged the church’s reputation.

‘Young Women For Change’ Nonprofit Uses Rare Fashion Show To Empower Afghan Women

 ‘Young Women For Change’ Nonprofit Uses Rare Fashion Show To Empower Afghan Women.

I am glad that these ladies are taking the initiative to try to empower the women of Afghanistan to a brighter future and one of peace. In Kabul, Afghanistan, models paraded down a candle lit catwalk on Friday as the audience both men and women watched. The rare fashion show may have been a small production, but encompasses a big idea for an Afghani group who wants to empower women by breaking down walls in this war-weary highly conservative Muslim society. According to Huff Post, one designer, Shahar Banoo Zeerak, who was featured in the show commented that “The situation always gets tougher and tougher every day by day, but we should not back down. We are here to move on and move forward, so I think if women step up and they show up in this field, I think they will do a good job.” The idea of women on display remains taboo in Afghanistan causing many to still go outside covered from head to toe in their blue burqas. Violence against women is common including being stoned, executed in public, and imprisoned for having affairs with men. Women have even gone so far as to set themselves on fire to escape domestic violence. The fashion show was organized by Young Women for Change, a independent nonprofit committed to empowering women and improving lives. Most of the models including three men were people who volunteered for the group. The fashion show included colorful short sleeve dresses, jeans, tunics, and more traditional outfits all in all 33 designs were shown. The organizers had two reasons to stage the fashions show despite the violence in the country against un-Islamic by extremists: One was to raise money for the organizations and the other to change attitudes toward women. The group was able to raise $1,000 made from tickets sold and drew family and members to the show. The group recognizes that the changes will be slow but are up for the challenge to change people’s mindset and attitude.

Military Suicides Reached Record High In 2012

 Military Suicides Reached Record High In 2012.

US military suicides surged to 349 last year higher than American combat deaths in Afghanistan causing some experts to predict that it will get much worse this year. The causes range from anxiety over a shrinking force in the combat zone to severe strain on military personnel with over a decade of combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. By no means are these the only reasons, the Pentagon has stressed the need to understand what causes active duty troops to take their own lives. The suicide figure exceeds the 295 Americans who died in Afghanistan last year and some in Congress are pressing the Pentagon to do more. “Now that we’re decreasing our troops and they’re coming back home, that’s when they’re really in the danger zone, when they’re transitioning back to their families, back to their communities and really finding a sense of purpose for themselves,” said Kim Ruocco, whose husband, Marine Maj. John Ruocco, killed himself between Iraq deployments in 2005. She directs a suicide prevention program for a support group, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, or TAPS.

 

The problem is ongoing and the Pentagon has made suicide prevention a priority. David Rudd, a military suicide researcher and dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Utah, said he sees two main categories of troops who are committing suicide at an accelerating pace: Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans suffering from depression, post-traumatic stress or substance abuse, and those who have not gone to war but face troubled personal relationships, money problems or legal woes. He does not see a decline soon he actually is predicting an increase in military suicides.

 

It is sad but true. Not only our military, but U.S. civilians are committing suicide with no help from our government. The government needs to put the people not themselves first. The great amount of stress service personnel is under is more than anyone could understand but we can at least try. For what the government pays them to defend our country, the government could at least take an interest when they come home or offer services for them on the field. It is sad the decline of humanity in the world. The stresses for us at home just escalate a growing a problem for those who come home, so listen Obama and Congress get your ducks in a row and handle what you seem to be ignoring. The private interest seems to rule the roost instead of policies and spending that benefit the people.

news, history, important people in history, FRANK WILLS

10 People You’ve Never Heard Of Who Changed History.

Great list of everyday people who did extraordinary things that changed the lives of us all by altering the course of history. A little thing called Butterfly Effect or Ripple Effect. See as the eternal optimist all of our lives serve a purpose you just may not know what that is yet.

Gabrielle Ludwig, Transgender Basketball Player, Makes Championship Game Debut

Gabrielle Ludwig, Transgender Basketball Player, Makes Championship Game Debut.

Interesting and controversial story. Read it and tell me if you think this is fair,