Starbuck's Chief Cancels Church Speech;


Starbucks CEO cancels church speech

NEW YORK (AP) - Starbucks' chief executive has canceled a

high-profile church appearance after an online protest over the

congregation's views on homosexuality.

A Starbucks spokeswoman says Howard Schultz will not appear this

week at The Global Leadership Summit organized by Willow Creek

Community Church near Chicago, but she wouldn't say why.

However, Willow Creek pastor Bill Hybels said at the event

Thursday that Schultz withdrew after an online petition claimed the

church was anti-gay and called Schultz' participation unacceptable.

Hybels insisted Willow Creek is not anti-gay, but does expect

its members to follow biblical ethics and reserve sex for marriage

between a man and a woman. Two years ago, Willow Creek cut ties

with Exodus International, which offers to help gays become






AMES, Iowa (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Michele

Bachmann has explained how she understands the biblical teaching

that a wife should submit to her husband.

In Thursday's Fox News debate in Iowa, the Minnesota

congresswoman was reminded that she once said she had studied tax

law out of Christian submission to her husband.

Bachmann was asked if she would submit to her husband if she was

elected president.

Her response reflected the adjacent biblical admonition to

"submit to one another."

Bachmann said that for them, submission means respect. She said

she respects her husband as a godly man, that he respects her as

his wife and that they "love each other."



Perry's prayer rally may boost presidential prospects

UNDATED (AP) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential prospects

may be boosted by the huge prayer rally he organized last weekend.

Perry read from the Bible and led prayer at the officially

non-partisan event that attracted 30,000 people to Houston's

Reliant Stadium and was broadcast to churches nationwide.

But evangelical voters who play a key role in choosing the

Republican presidential nominee also are being courted by

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former

Sen. Rick Santorum.

Perry's strength may lie in attracting both evangelicals and

secular Republicans impressed by his record of job creation in


rganized last weekend. AP Religion Editor

Steve Coleman reports.



Memorial held for SEAL killed in Afghanistan

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Friends and family are remembering a

Navy SEAL who was killed in Afghanistan during a helicopter crash.

Chief Petty Officer Kevin Houston of West Hyannisport, Mass.,

was honored during a private ceremony Thursday at the Virginia

Beach church he attended.

He was one of 30 service members killed on Saturday during a

mission to help fellow troops who had come under fire. He was 35

and leaves behind a wife and three children.

Hundreds of Navy personnel and Houston's friends poured into

Atlantic Shores Baptist Church for the service. Houston's family

was escorted onto church grounds by dozens of motorcyclists, many

of whom carried American flags.

Houston served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and had been awarded

a Bronze Star medal with Valor.


Judge orders Ark. transit authority to run atheist ads

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A federal judge has ruled that buses in

central Arkansas will have to run advertisements that question the

existence of God, despite worries that vandals might target the


U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright issued a preliminary

injunction Thursday in favor of the United Coalition of Reason, a

group of atheists, agnostics and others who question the existence

of God. The coalition wanted to run ads that say, "Are you good

without God? Millions are."

It sued the Central Arkansas Transit Authority and an

advertising agency after the sides couldn't reach an agreement on a

security deposit to pay for potential repairs.

Wright told the coalition it would have to post a $15,000 bond

before its ads could be used due to concerns about vandalism, but

that the ad company could not impose any other conditions.


Vatican, Croats split over monastery

VATICAN CITY (AP) - A dispute over ownership of a monastery in

Croatia has led to unusual strains between the Vatican and Croatia,

a staunchly Catholic bastion in the Balkans.

The Vatican expressed "astonishment" Thursday that Croatian

authorities have refused to go along with a decision by Pope

Benedict XVI that Croatia's Catholic church return the monastery to

a Benedictine community in Italy and pay nearly $9 million in


Croatians fear the pope's decision could open the way to similar

requests by Italians, who ruled over their territory before and

during World War II.


Wisconsin priest faces teen sex assault charge

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) - A Wisconsin priest who earned his

doctorate by researching cases of children abused by clergy has

been accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl while he was in

La Crosse for a canon law conference.

A criminal complaint accuses the Rev. David Szatkowski of

groping the 15-year-old girl outside a downtown hotel late Monday

or early Tuesday. The girl told police a drunken man approached her

and her friends, put his arms around her and grabbed her breasts.

One of her friends took a photo of the man using a cellphone.

Police later identified the man as Szatkowski and found him at the


Investigators say Szatkowski told them he had several drinks

during the evening and remembered talking to a group of students

outside the hotel, but he denied assaulting the teen.


Pedophile priest appeals diocese bankruptcy plan

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A pedophile priest is appealing a Delaware

bankruptcy judge's approval of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington's

reorganization plan.

Kenneth J. Martin, identified by the diocese as a child abuser,

filed a notice of appeal Wednesday.

The diocese's bankruptcy plan is based on a $77 million

settlement with nearly 150 alleged victims of child sexual abuse.

The judge only approved the plan after the diocese agreed to

stop providing financial benefits, including pensions, medical

benefits and charity, to Martin and eight other priests identified

by the diocese as pedophiles.


Minneapolis man pleads guilty to assaulting Somali

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A Minneapolis man has pleaded guilty to

violating the civil rights of an 83-year-old Somali man after

assaulting him while yelling that he was Muslim and should go back

to Africa.

George Thompson entered the plea Wednesday in federal court in

St. Paul. Court papers say the 64-year-old former employee of the

Transportation Security Administration told the older man he was

going to kill him and chased him into a Minneapolis street on May

4, 2010.

The court documents say Thompson's actions were based on the

victim's "actual and perceived religion and national origin." He

was charged under a federal hate crimes act that became law in 2009

and was named for Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, two well-known

hate crime victims.

Thompson is scheduled to be sentenced later this year.


Judge denies new trial for Islamic charity leader

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - A federal judge has denied a new trial for

the leader of the U.S. branch of an Islamic charity who was

convicted of tax fraud and money smuggling.

Pete Seda (SAY-dah) ran the now-defunct Al-Haramain Islamic

Foundation in Ashland, Ore., which the government declared a

terrorist organization.

Prosecutors say he smuggled $150,000 that was intended for

Muslim fighters in Chechnya.

Seda's attorneys had filed motions for a new trial after it was

revealed an FBI agent had failed to disclose payments to informants

in the case.


(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


AP-NY-08-12-11 0323EDT


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