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Vatican: World Financial System Needs to Be Changed; Jewish Chaplains Honored; Megachurch Investigation; Libya's New Leaders Try to Ease West's Fears: We're Moderate Muslims

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PREACHER-BOOK SIGNING

Hundreds wait in line for preacher's autograph

WASHINGTON (AP) - Hundreds of people have lined up a few blocks

from the White House for a chance to meet the Rev. Joel Osteen,

whose 40,000-member Lakewood Church in Houston is the nation's

largest.

Osteen signed copies of his new book "Every Day a Friday" and

said he'll return to Washington during election season next April

for a stadium event called "America's Night of Hope."

He said, "We're going to be praying for our nation and just

believing good things for everybody."

People in the autograph line told him and his wife Victoria

Osteen how their ministry had helped get them through tough times.

The relentlessly positive preacher said he wants everyone to

know that God is "on our side, He's got a great plan for us and

even if we've made mistakes or have big challenges in front of us,

He can help us to overcome."

 

JEWISH CHAPLAINS-ARLINGTON

Memorial for Jewish chaplains dedicated at Arlington

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - A memorial to 14 Jewish chaplains who died

during active military service has been dedicated at Arlington

National Cemetery outside Washington.

The dedication service Monday marked the completion of a

memorial that sits alongside previously existing memorials

dedicated to Protestant and Catholic chaplains.

The privately funded memorial received backing earlier this year

from a joint Congressional resolution.

According to the cemetery, this year marks the 150th anniversary

of service by rabbis in the U.S. Armed Forces.

 

SHUTTLESWORTH REMEMBERED

Ala. governor, John Lewis praise Shuttlesworth

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Alabama's governor and a Georgia

congressman who was a leader in the civil rights movement have paid

their respects at the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth's funeral.

Congressman John Lewis of Georgia recalled meeting Shuttlesworth

in 1961 during the Freedom Rides. He says the preacher put his body

on the line to end segregation and racial discrimination.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley frankly recounted his experience

growing up on the white side of Jim Crow. He thanked Shuttlesworth

for undoing what he called "the teachings of a misdirected

society."

 

MEGACHURCH-INVESTIGATION

Man at center of Ga. megachurch probe speaks out

ATLANTA (AP) - A businessman involved in an investment program

at an Atlanta-area megachurch that's being sued says he's taking

action to "make things right."

A group of church members is suing New Birth Missionary Baptist

Church and its pastor, Bishop Eddie Long, saying they conspired

with businessman Ephren Taylor Jr. to defraud them through

"wealth-building" seminars and sermons.

Taylor says that a complex economic situation "impacted

businesses, individuals and families despite our best intentions."

Attorneys for the church members say Taylor urged them to

liquidate their retirement accounts, and as a result some lost

their life savings.

Federal officials say they're investigating issues surrounding

the seminars, which were hosted at the church.

New Birth spokesman Art Franklin has previously declined to

comment on the allegations.

 

VATICAN-WORLD FINANCE

Vatican urges major economic reform

VATICAN CITY (AP) - The Vatican is calling for radical reform of

the world's financial system, including the creation of a global

political authority to manage the economy.

The aim is for a new world economic order based on ethics and

the search for the common good.

The proposal by the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and

Peace, released Monday, follows up on Pope Benedict's 2009 economic

encyclical that blamed a profit-at-all-cost mentality for the

global financial meltdown.

It calls for financial and monetary policies that will fairly

distribute the world's wealth and won't damage the weakest

economies.

 

LIBYA

Libyan leader seeks to calm West on Sharia fears

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) - After giving a speech that emphasized the

Islamization of Libya, the head of the transitional government is

reassuring the Western powers who helped topple Moammar Gadhafi

that the country's new leaders are moderate Muslims.

National Transitional Council leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil said

Sunday that Islamic Sharia law would be the main source of

legislation, that laws contradicting its tenets would be nullified,

and that polygamy would be legalized.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. has

seen other "Islamic-based democracies wrestle with the issue of

establishing rule of law." She added that universal human rights

must be "fully respected."

Some nations, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, follow a strict

interpretation of Islamic law that mandates cutting off the hands

of thieves, the heads of murderers and stoning adulterers to death.

Those who drink alcohol are publicly flogged.

 

EGYPT-INSULTING ISLAM

CAIRO (AP) - Egypt's state media says a Cairo court has

sentenced a man to three years in prison for postings on Facebook

deemed to be insulting to Islam and likely to incite sectarian

strife.

The MENA state news agency said a court found Ayman Mansour had

intentionally mocked Islam and used "outrageous and scurrilous"

language in describing the Quran, its prophet and believers.

The court said freedom of belief doesn't excuse contempt that

may offend Muslims and "subject the regime and the country's

security to serious dangers."

Egypt is grappling with an increasingly assertive Islamist

trend, and recent clashes between the military police and Coptic

Christians have heightened fears of increasing sectarian strife.

 

OBIT-SWAMI BHAKTIPADA

Former W.Va. Krishna leader dies in India at 74

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Swami Bhaktipada the disgraced former leader of a West Virginia Hare Krishna community, has died at the age of 74.

His spokesman says Bhaktipada died Monday in India, where he had

been hospitalized in July with a collapsed lung and bleeding brain.

Bhaktipada was born Keith Ham in Peekskill, N.Y., the son of a

Southern Baptist minister.

He ran the New Vrindaban community near

Moundsville, W.V., from the 1970s to the early 1990s.

In 1987, the FBI seized the community's records in a raid.

Federal prosecutors later accused Bhaktipada of ordering the

murders of two devotees who threatened his control and of amassing

more than $10 million through illegal fundraising schemes.

He served eight years in prison for racketeering.

 

DISMEMBERED BOY

Defense: Confession in NYC boy's killing coerced

NEW YORK (AP) - Defense attorneys for a New York City man

charged with abducting, killing and dismembering an 8-year-old boy

say his confession was coerced.

At a hearing Monday, they said authorities told Levi Aron what

to write and that he's not sane enough to be aware of his actions.

Aron has pleaded not guilty in the death of Leiby Kletzy.

Attorney Howard Greenberg says they intend

to prove their client is not guilty by reason of insanity.

Kletzky went missing July 11 while walking home from a religious

day camp in Brooklyn.

His family is Hasidic, which is an ultra-Orthodox type of

Judaism. Aron is Orthodox but not Hasidic.

 

 

 

 

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

 

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