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Report: Google Censors Internal Memo Detailing China Censorship Project

Breitbart News - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 20:21
Google recently directed its employees to delete a memo revealing confidential details of the company's development of a search engine in partnership with the Chinese government, according to a Friday-published report at the Intercept.

Cornell Orientation Packet Tells Students if They Are 'Privileged' or 'Oppressed'

Breitbart News - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 20:12
An orientation packet handed out to freshmen at Cornell University this year separates "privileged" from "oppressed" students.

Susan Collins: 'I Was Appalled’ by Trump’s Tweet About Kavanaugh Accuser

Breitbart News - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 20:01
Friday, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said she was “appalled,” by President Donald Trump‘s tweet about Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser Christine Blasey Ford. Collins said, “I was appalled by the president’s tweet. First of all, we know that allegations of sexual assault – I’m not saying that’s what happened in this case – but we know allegations of sexual assault are one of the most unreported crimes that exist. So I thought that the president’s tweet was completely inappropriate and wrong.” I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2018 Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt Predicts Internet Split: American vs. Chinese

Breitbart News - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 19:59
Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt has predicted that the Internet will split into two over the next ten years, resulting in an American Internet and a Chinese Internet.

Joe Biden, Jeffrey Katzenberg Team for Beverly Hills Fundraiser for Democrats

Breitbart News - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 19:55
Joe Biden and Jeffrey Katzenberg are teaming up for a Beverly Hills fundraiser to shore up cash for Democrats ahead of the midterm election.

Watch: High School Friend Says Kavanaugh Allegation 'Inconsistent with Everything I Have Known About Him as a Person'

Breitbart News - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 19:47
Maura Fitzgerald, a friend of Judge Brett Kavanaugh since the two were in high school who briefly dated the future judge in college, defended the Supreme Court nominee along with more than 75 other women at Friday's "#IStandWithBrett" press conference.

Howie Mandel: Political Correctness Is Killing Comedy

Breitbart News - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 19:43
Comedian Howie Mandel slammed political correctness in an interview with TMZ uploaded Friday.

The Reckless Coverage of Kavanaugh Allegations Is Why Americans Don’t Trust the Media

The Stream - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 19:07

The last few weeks of coverage of the accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have been a perfect example of why the American people don't trust the media.

The sheer breadth of wild and reckless reporting on the situation has been extraordinary, even by the media's increasingly low standards.

There have been a staggering number of backtracks and incidences of simply false reporting.

NBC published a social media post by one of Kavanaugh's classmates, Christina King Miranda, saying: "This incident did happen. Many of us heard a buzz about it indirectly with few specific details. However Christine's vivid recollection should be more than enough for us to truly, deeply know that the accusation is true."

NBC's post went viral, but very quickly thereafter, the classmate deleted her post and admitted to not knowing what took place between Kavanaugh and the accuser.

"In my [Facebook] post, I was empowered and I was sure it probably did [happen]," Miranda said, according to NPR. "I had no idea that I would now have to go to the specifics and defend it before 50 cable channels and have my face spread all over MSNBC news and Twitter."

NBC later had to revise the story.

The New York Times made its own mess. On Monday, the Times reported that Mark Judge, the second man named in Christine Blasey Ford's allegations against Kavanaugh, had confirmed to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he did recall the episode. But the potentially damning statement was completely incorrect.

Judge has repeatedly claimed, via his lawyer, that he has no recollection of such actions ever taking place.

"Brett Kavanaugh and I were friends in high school but I do not recall the party described in Dr. Ford's letter. More to the point, I never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes," Judge said in a statement.

The New York Times was forced to backtrack: "An earlier version of this article misstated what Mark Judge told the Senate Judiciary Committee. He said that he does not remember the episode, not that he does."

Adding to injury, three different outlets framed a joke that Kavanaugh made three years ago as being a subtle admittance to Ford's allegations.

Speaking to a public forum at Columbus Law School, he said, "what happens at Georgetown Prep, stays at Georgetown Prep." When watched in its entirety, it is abundantly clear that Kavanagh is completely joking. It was the dean of the school that reminded him of the phrase.

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But that didn't matter. MSNBC, CNN, and Politico presented the clip as somehow evidence that Kavanaugh is guilty or hiding something egregious. That's three networks who chose to ignore a critical statement made by Kavanaugh to a laughing crowd--that the dean "reminded him to say that." It was a blatant joke.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., then referenced the clip in a tweet that currently has nearly 50,000 "likes" on Twitter.

Brett Kavanaugh talking about his high school in 2015: "What happens at Georgetown Prep, stays at Georgetown Prep."

I can’t imagine any parent accepting this view. Is this really what America wants in its next Supreme Court Justice? pic.twitter.com/WhL8YeZQ78

-- Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) September 18, 2018

These are just a few examples of the bad reporting in the last week.

Also see: here, here, and here.

Conversely, prominent members of the media lashed out at those who wanted to find the truth about the claims of the accuser, despite the fact that her claims are incredibly vague.

Walking a VERY dangerous line here….. https://t.co/GTKVb1Q7XU

-- Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) September 18, 2018

It's all been a ridiculous fiasco, but this should be a lesson to those who worry that President Donald Trump's rhetoric about the media is undermining the free press.

It's the press that's undermining itself by being so one-sided, so quick to publish damaging stories about conservatives -- while holding fire on progressives -- and bypassing the due diligence required for accurate and honest reporting that Americans should expect.

The Founding Fathers understood that a free press was vital to preserving liberty and keeping the powerful in check. They also acknowledged that the press itself was a powerful tool and that it could be used to disseminate lies and falsehoods.

The Founders, thankfully, protected press freedom through the First Amendment, as lies by the media would only be made worse by allowing the government to control the flow of information in society.

But the Founders didn't protect the media because they wanted to empower falsehoods. They did so in order to preserve truth.

Many Americans have judged that modern media have not exactly been truthful with them, and that perception is wrecking the press' credibility.

Some in the media, such as NBC's Chuck Todd, have blamed conservatives, Republicans, and Trump for the poor reputation of their industry, claiming that the climate of distrust regarding the press is merely the result of their ferocious critics. "The conservative echo chamber created that environment," Todd said on "Meet the Press."

Polls also show that trust in media is catastrophically bad, a trend that predates the Trump administration, but is worse now. They also show that a majority of American people believe that the media intentionally publishes fake news, and a plurality think they create false stories about the Trump administration.

With the way the Kavanaugh allegations have been treated, no wonder huge segments of Americans are angry and frustrated.

The legacy media's failure to acknowledge that the fault is not in their stars but themselves means that trust in the fourth estate will continue to erode, and they will get blistered with criticism that sticks.

In America, we have a free press, but the American people have free minds to judge truth and distortion.

The media's role in the Kavanaugh controversy further erodes any chance the press has to regain the people's trust. If anything, it should make us grateful for an alternative media that continues to call them out.

 

Copyright 2018 The Daily Signal

Apparently the Demons Are Going Berserk

The Stream - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 18:48

The charismatic Christian who works at our local hardware store is good guy with a strong faith, though he has, from my point of view, some unfortunate excesses. Nonetheless, he was right on target the other day when he commented, "The demons are going berserk." And so they are.

C.S. Lewis in the preface to his book The Screwtape Letters, noted, "There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them."

While I've never disbelieved in devils or demons, I've pretty much lived as though they have little influence, being quite satisfied with human foolishness, selfishness, wickedness, and sin to explain most of the ills of the world.

Not any more.

How Does the Devil Operate?

While I don't want to join the ranks of those who see a demon behind every head cold and hang nail, there are goings-on in our world today that are so irrationally evil as to admit to no explanation but a supernatural one.

In 1974, Pope Paul VI spoke about "Confronting the Devil's Power" at one of his weekly audiences. "What are the Church's greatest needs at the present time?" he asked, "Don't be surprised at Our answer and don't write it off as simplistic or even superstitious: one of the Church's greatest needs is to be defended against the evil we call the Devil."

"Evil is not merely an absence of something," he went on, "but an active force, a living, spiritual being that is perverted and that perverts others. It is a terrible reality, mysterious and frightening."

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How does the devil operate? Pope Paul explained, "He undermines man's moral equilibrium with his sophistry. He is the malign, clever seducer who knows how to make his way into us through the senses, the imagination and the libido, through utopian logic, or through disordered social contacts in the give and take of our activities, so that he can bring about in us deviations that are all the more harmful because they seem to conform to our physical or mental makeup, or to our profound, instinctive aspirations."

That is, the devil works by convincing us that evil is good, that what is unnatural is natural, that what is contrary to human nature is the height of humanism.

Seeing Demonic Activity

How do we know it's the devil? Pope Paul provided a helpful though incomplete list. The devil is active:

"Where the denial of God becomes radical, subtle and absurd." What else could inspire clergy to gather outside a clinic that does late-term abortions to pray, "Keep [the staff] safe and keep them strong. And may they always know that all that they do is for Thy glory"? This only makes sense if the god invoked is Molech, the ancient Near Eastern god whose worship demanded tossing live children into blazing fire. "Where lies become powerful and hypocritical in the face of evident truth." While lies and hypocrisy have always been central to politics (read Livy), our current political situation is beyond all bounds and may well be beyond redemption. Neither politicians nor journalists maintain credibility and the public knows it. "Where love is smothered by cold, cruel selfishness." The vileness of the ongoing clergy sex crisis in the Catholic Church comes to mind as do the many in the Church hierarchy who are unable or unwilling to address the central issues -- and to come clean themselves. And don't call it a "clergy sexual abuse" crisis. Its demonic character goes beyond that. "Where Christ's name is attacked with conscious, rebellious hatred." In the media, Hollywood, universities, and politics. Whatever Brett Kavanaugh did or didn't do when he was a teen, the real issue -- the real hatred -- is for his faith. It was the same for Amy Coney Barrett. Christians are attacked because Christ is the enemy. "Where the spirit of the Gospel is watered down and rejected." It's hard to imagine the Catholic clergy sex crisis happening in an environment where the Gospel is believed, preached, and lived out at full-strength. "He who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much," said Jesus (Luke 16:10). Sadly it's true. "Where despair is affirmed as the last word." According to the Center for Disease Control, suicide rate in the United States has risen 30% since 2000. Women's suicide rate rose by 50%, but the greatest increase was for girls ages 10 to 14. Their rate tripled. By Grace the World Can Change

It all smells of burning brimstone, but that is no excuse for defeat, despair, or "fighting fire with fire."

Instead, Pope Paul commented, "We could say: everything that defends us from sin strengthens us by that very fact against the invisible enemy. Grace is the decisive defense. Innocence takes on the aspect of strength."

"Innocence takes on the aspect of strength." That's a call to holiness and a tall order in 2018. But by grace it's possible. And by grace and holiness the devil can be defeated and the world can change.

That begins by knowing our enemy.

Feminists on Kavanaugh-Ford: 'We Don't Need to Prove This Beyond a Reasonable Doubt'

Breitbart News - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 18:43
Assorted heads of feminist organizations described Christine Blasey Ford as a "survivor" of sexual assault -- accepting Ford's allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh prima facie -- during a Thursday conference hosted by the Feminist Majority Foundation in Washington, DC.

Whoopi Goldberg: Trump's ‘Nasty’ Tweet About Ford So 'Dense' It Is 'Freaky'

Breitbart News - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 18:41
Friday on ABC’s “The View,” the panel discussed President Donald Trump‘s tweet about Judge Brett Kavanaugh ‘s accuser Christine Blasey Ford. I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2018 Whoopi Goldberg said, “He has enough accusers to know why people didn’t come forward. He has heard it enough. We Have heard it enough. Women don’t want to come forward because of exactly what’s happening.” Sunny Hostin said, “Rape and attempt at rape are the least reported crimes in our country. And that is because women fear that they will not be believed. They fear that they will be blamed. They feel ashamed. I mean, I know when I was prosecuting these cases it was the most difficult thing to convince a woman to get on the witness stand. It was very traumatic. They felt they would be re-traumatized. So for the president of the United States to tweet

President Tran Dai Quang of Vietnam Dies of Unspecified ‘Rare and Toxic Virus’

Breitbart News - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 18:30
President Tran Dai Quang of Vietnam died at the age of 61 on Friday. According to government spokesman, he was felled by an unspecified “rare and toxic virus” despite the efforts of doctors from both Vietnam and Japan.

Report: Rod Rosenstein Wanted 25th Amendment Ouster for Trump, Secret Oval Office Recordings

Breitbart News - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 18:14
A new report claims Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein offered to secretly tape President Donald Trump inside the Oval Office and wanted to "recruit" top administration officials to oust the president with a vote among Cabinet leaders.

Paraplegic Man Flees Venezuela on Wheelchair in Search of Medicine

Breitbart News - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 17:58
A paraplegic man has fled Venezuela in his wheelchair in search of medicine, as the humanitarian crisis under Nicolás Maduro's socialist dictatorship continues to worsen. 

Watch: Close Friend 'Heartbroken' over How Kavanaugh Family Has Been Treated

Breitbart News - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 17:57
Laura Cox Kaplan joined more than 75 other women Friday at the #IStandWithBrett press conference and expressed her outrage over how close friend Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his family have been treated after Christine Blasey Ford's allegation.

Twitter Approves Ads in Favor of Female Genital Mutilation After Blacklisting Pro-Lifers

Breitbart News - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 17:50
Twitter promoted a post advocating for female genital mutilation (FGM) this week, after building a history of blacklisting promoted ads from pro-lifers, before claiming it was an "error."

Kavanaugh Accuser's Attorney Cancels Fundraiser for Democrat Senator

Breitbart News - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 17:45
A fundraiser for Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) slated for October at the office of Katz, Marshall & Banks, LLP — the firm where Debra Katz, attorney for Brett Kavanaugh's accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, is a partner — was canceled once news of the partisan event surfaced.

This Week at War: Operation Roundup

The Stream - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 17:43
Syria and Iraq

Phase Three of the U.S.-backed  “Operation Roundup” is well underway in Syria, where coalition troops are pounding remnants of ISIS along the country’s war-torn border with Iraq. The mission’s goal is to “to clear ISIS remnants from Hajin and the remaining Dayr Az Zawr countryside east of the Euphrates River.”

The latest available data from the Pentagon shows “66 strikes consisting of 102 engagements in Iraq and Syria” between September 10 and 16. Sunday in Syria, coalition troops destroyed an ISIS command and control center along with a terrorist improvised explosive device facility near Abu Kamal, according to the Department of Defense.

On the same day in Iraq, the Pentagon said an ISIS bunker and vehicle shelter were destroyed by coalition forces in al Asad.

While U.S. troops are also making sacrifices on the homefront during Hurricane Florence rescue and recovery efforts, media coverage of the ongoing fight against terrorism seemingly vanished - again - shortly after the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. With thousands of American service members risking their lives around the world, we must force ourselves to pay attention to their extraordinary efforts, no matter what’s going on in our daily lives.

We owe everything to these selfless warriors and their families.

Korea

The first two identities of fallen Korean War heroes whose remains were recently returned from North Korea were publicly identified in a Thursday afternoon tweet by President Trump.

Army Master Sgt. Charles H. McDaniel, 32, of Vernon, Indiana, and Army Pfc. William H. Jones, 19, of Nash County, North Carolina, are the first American remains from…

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2018

Please keep the McDaniel and Jones families in your prayers.

Afghanistan

Some of the ongoing war in Afghanistan’s newest heroes were honored this week at Fort Carson in Colorado. The September 16 ceremony recognized the courage of Green Berets from the 19th Special Forces Group during a combat deployment last year.

"At this time in history, these warriors epitomized what it means to be a Green Beret," said Maj. Gen. Michael Loh, the Adjutant General of the Colorado National Guard. "The United States of America fields the finest fighting force in the world, and Bravo Company demonstrated that on the field of battle."

One Silver Star, five Bronze Stars for valor and “several Purple Hearts” were awarded to Green Berets who fought numerous bloody battles against ISIS and the Taliban while stationed in Afghanistan.

While in Afghanistan, the unit sustained the tragic loss of U.S. Army Sgt. Aaron Butler, who made the ultimate sacrifice on August 16, 2017, and “has been recommended for the Silver Star.” You can read more about Sgt. Butler and his remarkable Gold Star family in this recent Salt Lake Tribune article.

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Coming Home

After spending several months in Afghanistan, airmen from the U.S. Air Force’s 317th Airlift Wing made a rousing return this week to Dyess Air Force Base in Texas. As you can see below, the returning airmen were greeted by overjoyed loved ones.

A crowd of U.S. Air Force families and friends cheer as they watch a C-130J Super Hercules bring airmen home from a deployment to Afghanistan at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas on September 17, 2018.

Welcome home, warriors!

 

Tom Sileo is a contributing senior editor of The Stream. He is co-author of three books about military heroes: 8 Seconds of CourageBrothers Forever and Fire in My Eyes. Follow Tom on Twitter @TSileo.

#MeToo Movement: Women of Faith Break Their Silence

The Stream - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 17:30

Whether Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, or Muslim, faith communities in recent months have been rocked by sexual abuse scandals. Notable offenders include evangelical pastor Bill Hybels, former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, and an orthodox Jewish rabbi from Baltimore.

The scope and severity of allegations against faith leaders, usually men, make this one of the year’s biggest stories. It follows on the heels of other "silence breakers," named by TIME Magazine as Person of the Year in December 2017.

Victims of abuse who have spoken out, most often female, have coalesced into the #MeToo Movement. After Harvey Weinstein's fall from power in Hollywood, leaders both left and right have been caught up in serious allegations from multiple sources.

This season of exposed misdeeds continues. Related hashtags include #ChurchToo, identifying the context of abuse, and #TimesUp to express how offenders must face a reckoning.

Justice, Due Process and Hearing Both Sides

Many have expressed concerns about a "Twitter mob" becoming judge and jury of the accused. Numerous charges against various leaders are being investigated and litigated. Often, the evidence has yet to be weighed on the scales of justice in appropriate state and federal courts.

On Tuesday, evangelical Christian leader Russell Moore stated cautions regarding the accusations made against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Notably, Moore led a faith leaders coalition in support of Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. Some have minimized charges against the long-respected jurist as a delay tactic to derail the process.

"We need to listen here and find out what the truth is." – Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, tells CNN's @jimsciutto that evangelicals want to hear from both Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser pic.twitter.com/kvTXHNE5Pl

— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) September 19, 2018

"We need to hear from both of the parties involved," said Moore. "Frankly, I'm dealing almost every day both with young women who have been assaulted and abused. I don't want them to hear from whatever political debates going on: Don't come forward. Don't tell your story."

Moore pressed on. "And I'm often dealing with people in the criminal justice system who've been wrongfully accused of doing things they haven't done," he added. "I don't want us to simply rush to judgment immediately, simply on the basis of where our political convictions lie."

Such balanced voices are rare in a politically polarized election season. Indeed, few have taken time to listen and consider the stories of women. This past week, four victims of sexual abuse shared their stories in a unique public forum.

When Sacred Spaces Become Unsafe

Last Friday in Columbus, Ohio, the Religion News Association (RNA) hosted a panel on "#MeToo in Sacred Spaces" during its annual conference. The RNA is a global community of journalists who strive to report on religion with balance, accuracy, and insight.

Vonda Dyer

Moderated by Dina Zingard of CBS' 60 Minutes, four female leaders told numerous agonizing stories. Some reporters were moved to tears by their courageous, deeply emotional accounts.

They reflected diverse faith traditions. Vonda Dyer told firsthand of abuses she faced at Willow Creek Community Church in the Chicago area. Dr. Keren McGinity of Hebrew College spoke of incidents she had seen in Jewish faith circles.

Sameera Qureshi of HEART Women and Girls in the D.C. area unveiled troubling aspects of dominant Muslim culture. And Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi of the United Methodist Church shared concerns faced by denominations and historically black churches.

"People inherently trust spiritual leaders because they introduce them to Jesus or to their faith," said Dyer. "Usually God uses that to change peoples' lives. When that trust is violated, it leads people to question everything about themselves and their experience. It even causes people to question the validity of their faith."

The women spoke openly, at times in detail, of sexual abuse during the hour-long panel. (Viewer discretion is advised.) During Q&A, they also examined what safeguards faith communities should consider.

 

Abuse of Power, Depraved Offenses

Vonda Dyer was among the first of now ten female accusers to come forward against Bill Hybels, founding pastor of Willow Creek. She served at the megachurch for 14 years.

She and other women revealed their stories in the Chicago Tribune this past March. "I am six months into facing a #MeToo storm of seismic proportions," Dyer began.

"When trust is violated, it leads people to question everything about themselves and their experience. It even causes people to question the validity of their faith." – Vonda Dyer

"Would I have the courage to stand up to this man," asked Dyer, her voice breaking. "And reveal the abusive patterns that maligned the very gospel he preached to thousands for decades? Would I risk my reputation and my standing in the global church to make it stop?"

Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi

Such misdeeds are not unique to independent megachurches, panelists noted. Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi oversees several Pittsburgh-area congregations in the United Methodist Church. "Even though I come from a denomination that has a structure or process for everything," she said. "--People are still sexually harassed. [Don't think] it's not going to happen because we have a process."

She continued on a theme Dyer brought forward. Senior pastors are often unquestioned and without peer, they stated. "In the black church, pastors are put on a pedestal," said Moore-Koikoi. "Everything they do is right. If you question them, then you're questioning God. It allows people to go unchecked with behavior we all know in our guts is wrong."

Jewish scholar Dr. Keren McGinity pointed to what she believes is the heart of the issue. "Society defines masculinity along lines that lift men up according to how big and strong and how many sexual conquests they have," she said.

"It replicates this idea that men have some inalienable right to touch women at their whim," McGinity continued. "We need [diverse] voices and ideas about what it means to be a man, to be masculine -- and to be a woman."

Time's Up for Abusers in Faith Communities

Rather than doubting their faith, the women said their beliefs drove them to speak out on behalf of victims.

"It gave me courage to step forward," said Dyer. "[I was] reminded by the story of Esther, how she went against a very powerful and destructive man. God made a pathway for her."

Sameera Qureshi, a director at HEART Women and Girls, asserted that violence results when beliefs are misapplied. "Faith is not the problem," she said. "Misinterpretation and misuse of religion are the problems. Female leaders are reteaching a lot of men about justice, standing up against oppression, and equality of women's rights within Islam."

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McGinity pinpointed the concerns at hand. "The problem is the idea that one can use one's power and influence to objectify and assault someone else, male or female," she said.

Greater accountability to other congregation leaders has become a necessity, the women leaders stated. Methodist Church founder John Wesley's 21 questions were noted as a tool for greater transparency in such private discussions. They contend true faith points the way to integrity.

"My faith has grown stronger," concluded Dyer. "I have a fierce fire in my belly to see this eradicated -- inside and outside of the church."

 

Explore The Stream's full coverage of the #MeToo Movement and sign up to receive top stories every week. 

New Evacuations Ordered Because of Florence Flooding

The Stream - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 17:27

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) -- A new round of evacuations was ordered in South Carolina as the trillions of gallons of water dumped by Hurricane Florence meanders to the sea, raising river levels and threatening more destruction.

With the crisis slowly moving to South Carolina, emergency managers on Friday ordered about 500 people to flee homes along the Lynches River. The National Weather Service said the river could reach record flood levels late Saturday or early Sunday, and shelters are open.

Officials downstream sounded dire alarms, pointing out the property destruction and environmental disasters left in Florence’s wake.

“Although the winds are gone and the rain is not falling, the water is still there and the worst is still to come in the Pee Dee,” South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said Friday, referring to the eastern part of the state.

Georgetown County Administrator Sel Hemingway warned the area may see a flood like it has never seen before. “We’re at the end of the line of all waters to come down,” he said.

In North Carolina, where about 100 people were evacuated by boat and air after the Cape Fear River breached a levee and flooded the town of Kelly on Thursday night, a familiar story was unfolding as many places that flooded in Hurricane Matthew in 2016 were once again inundated.

Two years ago, flooding ruined the baseboards and carpet of the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant in Spring Lake. The congregation rebuilt, This year, water from the Little River water broke the windows, leaving the pews a jumbled mess and soaked Bibles and hymn books on the floor.

“I’m so sad just thinking about all the work we put in. My gut is turning up,” church member Dennis DeLong said. “We put a lot of heart and soul into putting it back up.”

Gov. McMaster estimated damage from the flood in his state at $1.2 billion in a letter that says the flooding will be the worst disaster in the state’s modern history. McMaster asked congressional leaders to hurry federal aid.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said he knows the damage in his state will add up to billions of dollars, but said with the effects on the storm ongoing, there was no way to make a more accurate estimate.

Duke Energy said a dam containing a large lake at Wilmington power plant had been breached by floodwaters from Florence, and it was possible that coal ash from an adjacent dump was flowing into the Cape Fear River.

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Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center said it was monitoring four areas in the Atlantic for signs of a new tropical weather threat. One was off the coast of the Carolinas with a chance of drifting toward the coast.

About 55,000 homes and businesses remain without power after Florence, nearly all in North Carolina, and down from a high of more than 900,000 in three states.

Florence is blamed for at least 42 deaths in the Carolinas and Virginia, including that of an 81-year-old whose body was found in a submerged pickup truck in South Carolina. Well over half the dead were killed were in vehicles.

Potential environmental problems remained. Aside from the Duke Energy breach, state-owned utility Santee Cooper in South Carolina is placing an inflatable dam around a coal ash pond near Conway, saying the extra 2.5 feet (76 centimeters) should be enough to keep floodwaters out. Officials warned human, hog and other animal waste were mixing in with floodwaters in the Carolinas.

In Wilmington, things kept creeping back closer to normal in the state’s largest coastal city. Officials announced the end of a curfew and the resumption of regular trash pickup.

But they said access to the city of 120,000 was still limited and asked people who evacuated to wait a few more days. They also warned people to not get caught off guard as rivers that briefly receded were periodically rising back.

The storm continues to severely hamper travel. Parts of the main north-south route on the East coast, Interstate 95, and the main road to Wilmington, Interstate 40, remain flooded and will likely be closed at least until nearly the end of September, North Carolina Department of Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon said.

More than a thousand other roads from major highways to neighborhood lanes are closed in the Carolinas, officials said. Some of them have been washed out entirely.

The flood has been giving so much warning to Horry County, South Carolina, that officials published a detailed map of places that flooded in 2016 and warned those same places were going underwater again. One man had time to build a 6-foot-high (1.8-meter) dirt berm around his house.

The Waccamaw River has started its slow rise in the city of 23,000, and forecasters expect it to swell more than 3 feet (0.90 meters) above the previous record crest by Tuesday while still rising. Some areas could stay underwater for weeks, forecasters warned.

___

Derosier reported from Spring Lake. Associated Press writers Jonathan Drew, Martha Waggoner and Gary D. Robertson in Raleigh; Jeffrey Collins and Meg Kinnard in Columbia, South Carolina; Michael Biesecker in Washington and Jay Reeves in Atlanta contributed to this report.

___

For the latest on Hurricane Florence, visit https://www.apnews.com/tag/Hurricanes.

 

Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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