Group seeks massive turnout of conservative Christians at Iowa
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The president of the Iowa Faith &
Freedom Coalition says its goal is "the mass mobilization of
conservative Christians who will turn out at the caucuses."
In an online video explaining how the caucuses work, Steve
Scheffler says they enable conservative Christians to "have more
political influence in Iowa than in any other state."
But he urges them to bring like-minded friends with them so
their impact is maximized at the outset of the Republican
presidential nominating process.
Neither Scheffler nor his coalition have made an endorsement,
saying there are several good candidates to choose from.
Bachmann: Churchgoers can help her win in Iowa
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican presidential candidate
Michele Bachmann believes pastors and their congregations can help
her win the Iowa caucuses.
The Minnesota congresswoman says she's been endorsed by more
than 200 pastors, and has been speaking in churches across Iowa.
Bachmann predicts that will produce "congregations turning
out" to support her at the caucuses.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Pennsylvania senator Rick
Santorum also are appealing to Christians, but Bachmann says she
has "probably the strongest level of support in the evangelical
Gingrich: Jews have biblical claim to Jerusalem
WALFORD, Iowa (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Newt
Gingrich says the Jewish people have a biblical claim to Jerusalem.
At a campaign stop on the eve of the Iowa caucuses, Gingrich
said anyone who reads the Bible knows that "Jerusalem is by
definition the city of David."
The former House speaker said it's that history, and the Jewish
people's survival over the past 2,000 years, that made it
appropriate to restore Israel as a modern Jewish state. Gingrich
said there were few people then in what would become Israel, and
they called themselves Arabs rather than Palestinians.
He also said recent Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel show
that the Mideast peace process is "phony."
Mom reunites with biological child 77 years later
SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (AP) - One-hundred-year-old Minka Disbrow
says her reunion with the daughter she bore after being raped as a
teenager was an answer to prayer.
Disbrow had let a pastor adopt the baby, and she didn't see her
daughter for the next 77 years.
She recalls praying in 2006, "Lord, if you would just let me
see her, I promise you I will never bother her."
A short time later, her daughter's son located Disbrow in
California and phoned from Alabama.
The 77-year-old daughter's name was now Ruth Lee. After being
raised by the pastor and his wife, she had gone on to marry and
have six children including astronaut Mark Lee, a veteran of four
space flights who has orbited the Earth 517 times.
Mother and daughter have had several reunions in the last few
years, allowing Disbrow to connect with a family she didn't know
ISLAMIC CENTER-FIRE ATTACK
Islamic group condemns NYC fire attacks
NEW YORK (AP) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations is
condemning the firebombing of an Islamic center in New York City.
The group says about 80 worshippers were inside the Imam
Al-Khoei (al-HOH'-ee) Foundation Sunday night when a molotov
cocktail was thrown at the building, damaging a door.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo also condemned the attack on the Queens mosque
and three nearby sites, including a house used for Hindu worship
services. Authorities are investigating the attacks as bias crimes.
There were no injuries.
Police say three of the attacks involved molotov cocktails made
The two bottles thrown at a house used for Hindu worship didn't
Sainthood next year for 2 from NY's Mohawk Valley
FONDA, N.Y. (AP) - By next year, a hardscrabble stretch of New
York's Mohawk Valley will likely be able to boast of being the home
of two new Roman Catholic saints.
The Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha (kuh-TAIR'-ee teh-kuhk-WIH'-thuh),
a Mohawk Indian, spent most of her life there during the 17th
About 200 years later and 40 miles to the west, the Blessed
Mother Marianne Cope began a religious life that focused on
providing medical care in central New York and the Hawaiian
On Dec. 20, Pope Benedict certified miracles attributed to the
two women, the final step toward sainthood. The women's
canonization is expected this year.
Jewish friend of late Pope John Paul II dies
ROME (AP) - Jerzy Kluger, a Polish-born Jew who was a lifetime
friend and childhood playmate of the late Pope John Paul II, has
died in a clinic near Rome.
Kluger's wife, Irene, says her 90-year-old husband died Saturday
after suffering from Alzheimer's disease and was buried Monday. The
couple lived in Rome for decades.
Kluger's widow says the pope persuaded her husband to return on
occasion to visit the Polish town where they both grew up.
Kluger was one of John Paul's last childhood friends still
alive. His widow says Kluger's entire family, except for his
father, perished in concentration camps in Poland.
CUBA-NEW YEAR'S PREDICTION
Cuba Santeria priests reject doomsday prediction
HAVANA (AP) - Afro-Cuban priests are predicting a year of
upheaval in 2012, but they say fears the world may end are wrong.
The Santeria priests say in an annual message released Monday to
look out for major problems such as earthquakes and global warming,
as well as the possibility of matrimonial discord at home.
That's a lot better than the fire-and-brimstone prophecies that
some have attributed to the Mayans, whose calendar cycle ends on
Dec. 21, 2012. A stone tablet discovered in the 1960s describes the
return of a Mayan god on that date, similar to the story of
The Santeria priests say that they see a spiritual end to old
things, but not a physical end to the planet.
Indian police arrest 2 men for sacrificing child
NEW DELHI (AP) - Police in central India say they have arrested
two men for allegedly killing a 7-year-old girl and cutting out her
liver in a ritual sacrifice to ensure a better harvest.
A senior police officer says Lalita Tati disappeared in October
and her dismembered remains were found a week later.
He says the men were arrested last week and told police they
killed the girl to appease their gods and get a better harvest.
The men are both "tribals," which in India refers to the
region's indigenous people. Most tribals are mired in poverty and
France: Only 6 veiled women fined since April
PARIS (AP) - France's interior minister says that since a ban on
face-covering Islamic veils took effect in April only six women
have been convicted and fined.
Claude Gueant said in an interview with the daily Le Monde
published Monday that no woman has been sent to a citizenship class
- another potential punishment.
Controversy surrounded the law. Muslim leaders, most of them
opposed to burqa-style veils, say it stigmatizes all followers of
Gueant says police cited a total of 237 women but only six were
convicted. He expressed surprise that nearly a quarter of the women
police questioned had converted to Islam.
Backers say the law is aimed at ensuring France's secular values
and gender equality and nipping radical Islam in the bud.
Saudis to allow only women to sell lingerie
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - Saudi Arabia says starting Thursday,
only females can work in women's lingerie stores.
The 2006 law banning men from working in female apparel and
cosmetic stores has never been put into effect, partly due to
hard-liners in the religious establishment who oppose women working
in places where men and women congregate together, like malls.
The Labor Ministry says that over 28,000 women have already
applied for the sales jobs.
Saudi Arabia's most senior cleric spoke out against the decision
in a recent sermon, saying it contradicts Islamic law.
He argued that wrongdoing may occur when a woman stands face to
face with a man and sells without embarrassment.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)