Category Archives: News

happy birthday Gorky — “The Devil” a LibriVox audiobooks

Maxim Gorky — The Devil {audiobook}

Palestinian president may visit Vatican a second time for canonization Mass :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

By Andrea Gagliarducci


Jerusalem, Israel, Mar 26, 2015 / 02:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Nearly a year since taking part in a prayer for Middle East peace in the Vatican Gardens, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has been invited to the Vatican a second time, for the canonization Mass of two Palestinians.

Bl. Marie-Alphonsine Ghattas and Bl. Mariam Baouardy were both Palestinians born in the 19th century, and foundresses of religious orders. They are to be canonized at a Mass celebrated in the Vatican May 17.

The news site, run by a priest of the Jerusalem Patriarchate, announced March 22 that Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem invited Abbas to the Mass while visiting his headquarters in Ramallah, in the West Bank of Palestine.

Patriarch Twal “noted that preparations are in full swing to celebrate the canonization of the two nuns, stressing that it is a historic and qualitative event at the religious, ecclesiastical and national levels,” according to the site.

Bl. Marie-Alphonsine (1843-1927) was a Turco-British Palestinian and co-foundress of the Congregation of the Rosary Sisters. She was born in Palestine and spent much of her life in Bethlehem and its environs, assisting the poor and establishing schools and orphanages.

A mystic and stigmatist, Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified (Mariam Baouardy) was a Turkish Palestinian and foundress of the Discalced Carmelites of Bethlehem. She lived 1846-1878. Her family were of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, and in the religious life she spent time in France and India before helping to found a Carmel in Bethlehem in 1875.

Patriarch Twal released a pastoral letter, “Along the path to holiness,” on March 23 to celebrate the upcoming canonization of the two religious sisters, which he called “a blessing from heaven on our land, devastated by violence yet persevering in our longing for peace and justice.”

via Palestinian president may visit Vatican a second time for canonization Mass :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).



Lego is a line of toys featuring colorful plastic bricks, gears, and minifigures that can be assembled to create models of almost anything imaginable. The company had very humble beginnings in the workshop of Ole Kirk Christiansen, a poor carpenter from Denmark, but today manufactures about 20 billion bricks a year. A substantial fan culture has developed that has used the toys to build such things as a harpsichord, a pendulum clock, and an electronic lab kit. What does “Lego” mean? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (1989)

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (1989)

On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker hit Prince William Sound’s Bligh Reef and spilled approximately 11 million US gallons (41 million liters) of crude oil into the sea, covering 11,000 square miles (28,000 km²) of ocean. As a result of the spill, an estimated 250,000 sea birds, 1,000 sea otters, and countless fish and other wildlife died. The ship’s captain was widely criticized after the incident, but many others factors contributed to the crash. What are some examples? More… Discuss

King: ‘I don’t understand how Jews in America can be Democrats first and Jewish second’ –

(CNN)Republican Rep. Steve King suggested Friday that some American Jews feel like “Democrats first and Jewish second.”


By Jeremy Diamond, CNN

Updated 5:48 PM ET, Fri March 20, 2015

(CNN)Republican Rep. Steve King suggested Friday that some American Jews feel like “Democrats first and Jewish second.”

“Here is what I don’t understand, I don’t understand how Jews in America can be Democrats first and Jewish second and support Israel along the line of just following their President,” King, a hardline conservative from Iowa, said Friday on Boston Herald Radio,

“It says this, they’re knee-jerk supporters of the President’s policy,” King said.

As a Republican from Iowa, King has met with virtually every Republican considering a 2016 presidential run, hosting the first cattle call of 2016 Republican hopefuls in Iowa in January.

King was responding to a question about the nearly 60 Democrats, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who decided to boycott Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress earlier this month. Netanyahu came to Congress in defiance of the White House to sound the alarm over the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran, stressing that President Barack Obama was preparing to reach a “bad deal” on Iran’s nuclear program.

Executive director of the American Jewish Committee, a leading global Jewish advocacy group, David Harris, was quick to condemn King’s comments, calling them “painfully wrongheaded and hurtful.”

“It’s a painfully wrongheaded understanding of American Jews and this kind of collective description should have no place in American political discourse,” Harris told CNN. “American Jews, like other faith and ethnic groups, are a very diverse community in their thinking, in their policies and in their voting behavior.”

Harris added it was wrong to equate criticism of Netanyahu as anti-Israel, pointing out that there’s no “single Jewish outlook or point of view.

“I know lots of American Jews who support the President and many others who don’t support the President on Israel on Iran policy,” Harris added.

When asked if anti-Semitism was a factor — it’s not clear if the host was referring to Obama’s policies — King said yes, along with “plain liberalism.”

King’s office did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment.

According to recent polls, a majority of American Jews support the Democratic Party.

Several Jewish groups also criticized Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress and his repudiation last week of a Palestinian state in the lead-up to the elections.

Netanyahu has since walked back those comments, insisting that he supports a “sustainable, peaceful two-state solution.”

A number of Jewish groups — both in the U.S. and Israel — advocate for a two-state solution and some oppose Netanyahu’s position on the peace process.

via King: ‘I don’t understand how Jews in America can be Democrats first and Jewish second’ –

Nascut astazi, MArtie 20, 43 i.e.n: Publius Ovidius Naso (43 î.e.n. — 17 e.n.) – Statuia lui Ovidiu din Constanța

Statuia lui Ovidiu din Constanța

De la Wikipedia, enciclopedia liberă

 Statuia lui Ovidiu din Constanţa

Statuia lui Ovidiu din Constanța este un monument din orașul Constanța. A fost executată în 1887 de sculptorul italian Ettore Ferrari. O replică identică se află din 1925 la Sulmona (Italia).

Este așezată în partea veche a orașului, în Piața Ovidiu, în fața primei clădiri a Primăriei Constanța, azi Muzeului Național de Istorie și Arheologie, lângă portul Tomis.

Cu ceva timp în urmă,[Când?] statuia lui Ovidiu a fost toaletată necorespunzător. [1]

 Statuia lui Ovidiu în anul 1941


Primul dintre monumentele statuare ridicat la Constanța după reintrarea sub administrație românească este cel care îl înfățișează pe marele poet roman Publius Ovidius Naso (43 î.e.n. — 17 e.n.). Statuia din bronz îl înfățișează pe Ovidiu într-o atitudine adânc meditativă. Dezvelirea statuii, în august 1887, a prilejuit o adevărată sărbătoare la care au participat toți constănțenii, în frunte cu prefectul Remus Opreanu, inițiatorul „Comitetului pentru statuia lui Ovidiu”.

Statuia se află pe un soclu de marmură albă, pe care este încrustată o placă cu un text din „Tristele”.

„Sub astă piatră zace Ovidiu cântărețul
Iubirilor gingașe răpus de al său talent.
O, tu ce treci pe aicea și dacă ai iubit vreodată
Te roagă pentru dânsul sa-i fie somnul lin.”

Inițial statuia a fost amplasată cu fața spre nord, construcția Palatului Primăriei impunând, în 1921, mutarea pe actualul loc. În cursul ocupației Germano-Bulgare, în anii 1916-1918, statuia a fost dată jos de pe soclu de armata bulgară, pentru a fi luată ca pradă de război, dar intervenția unor ofițeri germani a oprit originala “inițiativă culturală”; până la revenirea autorităților românești, în noiembrie 1918, statuia a fost adăpostită în subsolul Primăriei. În 1925, o replică fidelă a acestei opere a fost dezvelită în orașul natal al poetului – Sulmona.

Statue of Ovid in Constanta:
(translated by Google Translate)

Statue of Ovidiu Constanta Constanta is a monument in the city. He was executed in 1887 by the Italian sculptor Ettore Ferrari. A replica is from 1925 to Sulmona (Italy).

It is situated in the old town, Ovidiu Square, in front of the first building of Constanta City Hall, today the National Museum of History and Archaeology, near the port Tomis.

Some time ago, [when?] Ovid’s statue was inadequate taken care of. [1]
Statue of Ovid in 1941
The first statutory monuments raised in Constanta after re under Romanian administration is one that depicts the great Roman poet Ovid (43 BC – 17 AD). The bronze statue depicts Ovidiu a deep meditative attitude. Unveiling the statue, in August 1887 brought about a veritable feast attended by all Constantenii, headed by the Prefect Remus Opreanu initiator “Ovid’s statue Committee”.The statue stands on a pedestal of white marble, which is encrusted plate with a text of “Tristia”. 

“Under this stone lies Ovidiu singer
Tender love succumbed to his talent.
O you who pass by and if you ever loved aicea
I pray for him to be his gentle sleep. “

Originally the statue was placed facing north, requiring the construction of the Palace Hall in 1921, moving to the current place. In the German-Bulgarian occupation in the years 1916-1918, the statue was taken down from the pedestal of the Bulgarian army, to be taken as war booty, but the intervention of German officers stopped the original “cultural values”; to return Romanian authorities in November 1918, the statue was housed in the basement of City Hall. In 1925, a replica of this work was unveiled in hometown of poet – Sulmona.

this pressed for your civic awareness: Super PAC Men: How Political Consultants Took a Texas Oilman on a Wild Ride – ProPublica

This story was co-published with the Daily Beast and the Houston Chronicle. (click to access story at ProPublica)

This story was co-published with the Daily Beast and the Houston Chronicle.

Throughout the booms and busts of his Fort Worth oil empire and during his brother’s notorious murder trial, Kenneth W. Davis Jr. largely kept to himself. At 89, he still does. He puts in full workdays at his small downtown office, with drapes drawn against the North Texas sun. He usually dines at an exclusive club across the street, often alone, using distinctive silverware set aside just for him.

Davis has long shut out politics, too. He remembers voting only three times – for Eisenhower, Goldwater and Reagan. Yet last year he thrust himself into the public eye by starting his own super PAC.

His group, Vote2ReduceDebt, aimed to move the needle in eight key U.S. Senate races by energizing disengaged conservative voters. It spent almost $3 million to boost Republican candidates in the 2014 midterm election – ranking it among the top right-leaning groups of its kind.

But now it’s dead in the water, with its main operatives expelled amid questions about where the money went.

Even within the free-wheeling world of U.S. campaign finance, Vote2ReduceDebt stands out as a cautionary tale for donors, activists and voters.

Since the Supreme Court helped open the gates with the Citizens United ruling, unprecedented millions have flowed into super PACs, groups that can accept political donations of unlimited dollar amounts.

via Super PAC Men: How Political Consultants Took a Texas Oilman on a Wild Ride – ProPublica.


TUNISIA ATTACK – Islamic state group claims responsibility for Tunis museum attack

TUNISIA ATTACK – Islamic state group claims responsibility for Tunis museum attack

Tunisian troops arrest family members of militant who attacked museum— Reuters Top News

As tensions with Russia spiral, where is NATO? — Reuters Opinion (AKA: what mama russia wants, she takes: no questions asked!)

Pray the Rosary – Thursday – The Luminous Mysteries – Powerful Prayers for Miracles

Pray the Rosary – Thursday – The Luminous Mysteries – Powerful Prayers for Miracles

this pressed to reflect upon: Is human society a covenant community or a marketplace? – By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion

March 19, 2015

Is human society a covenant community or a marketplace?

By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion *

The United States was founded as a covenant society – a society held together by a covenant with God and between citizens. This notion was uppermost in the minds of the Founding Fathers. Social institutions were to be inspired and directed by the concept of covenant.

Recent social commentators have lamented the break-down of this conception of society and the general social malaise it has wrought.

One of the most problematic trends that kills the notion of covenant is the industrialization and commercialization of social institutions. By this I mean that everything is viewed in commercial terms and evaluated by its worth in the market place.

If we pay attention to the growing use of the word “industry,” we will see how all-pervasive this trend is. We speak today of the health care industry, the funeral industry, the arts industry, the farming industry, the music industry, the entertainment industry. The list is endless.

The problematic results of commercialization and industrialization have become evident in the reorganization of the legal and medical professions according to industrial models.

Parishes today increasingly employ “business managers” – a troublesome capitulation to industrial culture. The church is not a business; the word “treasurer” would be better. A national liturgical music organization sponsored a panel some years ago on the “liturgical music industry.” (I’m not making this up!)

In the parish in which I serve, there are twenty-seven nursing and retirement homes. All of them are run for profit. The well run are expensive and available only to a minority. In the rest, every attempt is made to cut corners. The results are scandalous conditions of overcrowding and general neglect.

What all this underlines is a growing view of human society as a market place, where everything becomes a commodity to be bought or sold, and every service and talent turned into a profit-making venture.

To question this trend is not to suggest that we should try to return to the simpler world where the country doctor and the storekeeper were not overly concerned about money, and where the economic exchange system was more familial and neighborly.

It is to suggest that the demise of the covenant community concept of society is the demise of civilized living. Life becomes a rat race, and business is conducted without mercy.

In a covenant society, workers and professionals see their careers primarily in vocational terms. Society is viewed as an extended family. Goods and commodities are traded and sold, and realistic business does go on, but always in a manner that makes economics answerable to the concerns of social justice and charity.

One of the main challenges for the contemporary church, not least in regard to its hospitals and health care systems, is that of witnessing effectively to the possibility of living together as a covenanted people, a community of care, trust, and solidarity.

Safeguarding the covenant community view of human coexistence is one of the fundamental issues that has constantly engaged the American bishops. Pope Francis’ magnificent stances against the greedy commercial society have given this concern an enormous boost. For him, as for Pope John Paul II, the dignity of the human person, realized in community with others, is the criterion against which all economic life must be measured.

The commercialization and industrialization of society represents a very beguiling trend. It has much that is attractive about it, but it is finally idolatrous. Its ultimate achievement can only be to reduce the quality of life that it so deceivingly espouses.

Msgr. Mannion is pastor emeritus of St. Vincent de Paul parish in Salt Lake City. He holds a Ph.D in sacramental theology from The Catholic University of America. He was founding president of The Society for Catholic Liturgy in 1995 and the founding editor of the Societys journal, Antiphon. At the invitation of Cardinal Francis George of Chicago he founded the Mundelein Liturgical Institute in 2000.

via Is human society a covenant community or a marketplace? – By Msgr. M. Francis Mannion.

******related articles: 

article: Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Beta Kappa is an academic honor society with the mission of “fostering and recognizing excellence” in undergraduate liberal arts and sciences. Founded at the College of William and Mary in 1776, it is the oldest such society in the US and today boasts 283 chapters and over half a million living members. Its symbol is a golden key engraved with the image of a pointing finger, the Greek letters from which the society takes its name, and three stars. What principles do these stars represent? More… Discuss

Jerusalem Quartet Alexander Borodin String Quartet N 2 Notturno


Jerusalem Quartet Alexander Borodin String Quartet N 2 Notturno

Stanford scientists make leukemia ‘grow up’ and eat itself— Engadget (@engadget)

Liszt Sonata B Minor Valentina Lisitsa, great compositions/performances

Liszt Sonata B Minor Valentina Lisitsa


Greece adopts ‘anti-poverty’ law despite alleged EU row


At least eight tourists killed, others taken hostage in Tunisia parliament attack— Reuters Top News (@Reuters)

Tyne Bridge

Tyne Bridge

The Tyne Bridge is a compression arch suspended-deck bridge over the River Tyne, in northeastern England, near the site of the earliest bridge built there by the Romans. The design of the bridge was based on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which in turn derived its design from New York’s Hell Gate Bridge. The plan for the bridge was approved in 1924, and it was officially opened in 1928 by King George V. What parts of the bridge were never completed and remain unused? More… Discuss

Pray the Rosary – Tuesday and Friday – The Sorrowful Mysteries – Powerful Prayers for Miracles

Pray the Rosary – Tuesday and Friday – The Sorrowful Mysteries – Powerful Prayers for Miracles

Today In History. What Happened This Day In History

Today In History. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

37   On a trip to the Italian mainland from his home on Capreae, the emperor Tiberius dies on the Bay of Naples.
1190   The Crusades begin the massacre of Jews in York, England.
1527   The Emperor Babur defeats the Rajputs at the Battle of Kanvaha, removing the main Hindu rivals in Northern India.
1621   The first Indian appears to colonists in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
1833   Susan Hayhurst becomes the first woman to graduate from a pharmacy college.
1850   Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is published.
1865   Union troops push past Confederate blockers at the Battle of Averasborough, N.C.
1907   The British cruiser Invincible, the world’s largest, is completed at Glasgow shipyards.
1913   The 15,000-ton battleship Pennsylvania is launched at Newport News, Va.
1917   Russian Czar Nicholas II abdicates his throne.
1926   Physicist Robert H. Goddard launches the first liquid-fuel rocket.
1928   The United States plans to send 1,000 more Marines to Nicaragua.
1935   Adolf Hitler orders a German rearmament and violates the Versailles Treaty.
1939   Germany occupies the rest Czechoslovakia.
1945   Iwo Jima is declared secure by U.S. forces although small pockets of Japanese resistance still exist.
1954   CBS introduces The Morning Show hosted by Walter Cronkite to compete with NBC’s Today Show.
1964   President Lyndon B. Johnson submits a $1 billion war on poverty program to Congress.
1968   U.S. troops in Vietnam destroy a village consisting mostly of women and children, the action is remembered as the My-Lai massacre.
1984   Mozambique and South Africa sign a pact banning support for one another’s internal foes.
1985   Associated Press newsman, Terry Anderson is taken hostage in Beirut.
Born on March 16
1751   James Madison, fourth President of the United States (1809-17).
1789   George S. Ohm, German physicist.
1822   Rosa Bonheur, French painter and sculptor.
1822   John Pope, Union general in the American Civil War.
1861   Maxim Gorky, Russian dramatist
1912   Thelma Catherine Patricia Ryan Nixon, first lady to President Richard Nixon.
1926   Jerry Lewis, American comedian and film actor.

- See more at:

today’s picture: Nicholas II, Czar of Russia

Nicholas II, Czar of Russia, was forced to sign a document of abdication on March 16, 1917, after being brought down by political unrest and widespread starvation stemming from Russia’s staggering losses in WWI. The czar, his wife Alexandra, their four daughters and son Alexis, heir to the throne, were held prisoner by the Bolsheviks for several months at Tsarskoye Selo palace near Petrograd. This photograph shows Nicholas II under guard in the park at Tsarskoye Selo. In August 1917, the family was transported to distant Siberia to prevent any attempt to restore them to the throne. In July 1918, the entire royal family was executed by local Bolsheviks.

Photo: Library of Congress

- See more at:

quotation: Edith Wharton

In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.

Edith Wharton (1862-1937) Discuss

today’s birthday: Jerry Lewis (1926)

Jerry Lewis (1926)

Lewis, an entertainer known for his slapstick comedy, became popular in the 1940s through his partnership with Dean Martin. They performed together in nightclubs as well as 17 films before parting ways in 1956. Lewis then went on to direct and star in The Nutty Professor and many other movies. He left filmmaking in the 1970s to focus on supporting and fundraising for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Who was responsible for reuniting Martin and Lewis during a 1976 MDA telethon? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Indictments Made in Iran-Contra Affair (1988)

Indictments Made in Iran-Contra Affair (1988)

In 1985, members of the US National Security Council (NSC) secretly authorized weapons sales to Iran in an attempt to secure the release of US hostages held in Lebanon by pro-Iranian militias. Part of the $48 million profit was then diverted to Nicaraguan Contra rebels, in violation of a 1984 law banning such assistance. After a Senate investigation, NSC members Oliver North and John M. Poindexter were indicted and convicted of various offenses. Why were their convictions later overturned? More… Discuss

Egyptian court hands down death sentence to Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and 13 others, state media

this pressed for your Information: Putin says Russia was ready to activate nuclear arsenal over Crimea – LA Times

Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen being honored in this file photo from the May 9, 2014, Victory Day celebrations in Sevastopol, Crimea, home of Russia’s Black Sea fleet. (Ivan Sekretarev / Associated Press)
By Carol J. Williams contact the reporter

Russia would have activated its nuclear arsenal if necessary a year ago when its troops secured the Crimean peninsula and carried out a referendum on the strategic peninsula’s secession from Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a documentary that aired Sunday.

Crimea anniversary

Crimean painters touch up a mural depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin in a navy uniform ahead of celebrations planned this week, a year after the March 18, 2014, annexation of Crimea. (Yuri Lashov / AFP/Getty Images)

In the report timed to Monday’s anniversary of the referendum, “Crimea: Path to the Motherland,” Putin justifies Moscow’s seizure of the Black Sea territory as necessary to protect Russians and military bases from what he described as a nationalist junta that had taken power in Kiev.

Putin accused the United States of masterminding the three-month uprising in the Ukrainian capital that ended with the ouster of Kremlin-allied President Viktor Yanukovich, who has since taken refuge in Russia.

While the documentary was clearly prerecorded, it served to project a vibrant and defiant image of the Russian president, who hasn’t been seen in public for more than a week, spurring rumors that he is sick or has been deposed in a palace coup.

Related Putin hails Crimea annexation as ‘most important milestone’


Putin hails Crimea annexation as ‘most important milestone’

The Kremlin website on Sunday also carried a message of condolence from Putin on the death of Russian writer Valentin Rasputin.

via Putin says Russia was ready to activate nuclear arsenal over Crimea – LA Times.

Historic Musical Bits: Mozart Requiem Conductor Karl Bohm (Dedicate to the Christians, cowardly slaughtered by terrorists in Pakistan and elsewhere in the world!)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
Requiem in D minor, K 62

†Pope demands that the world stop ‘hiding’ anti-Christian persecution †| Crux

Pope demands that the world stop ‘hiding’ anti-Christian persecution

Pope demands that the world stop ‘hiding’ anti-Christian persecution

By Inés San Martín

Vatican correspondent March 15, 2015

ROME — Pope Francis on Sunday said he felt great pain over two recent bomb attacks outside Christian churches in Pakistan, and asserted that the world is “trying to hide” anti-Christian persecution.

† “These are Christian churches. Christians are persecuted, our brothers spill their blood simply because they are Christians,”† the pontiff said after his regular Sunday Angelus address.

† “I pray to the Lord that the persecution against Christians, that the world is trying to hide, comes to an end. Let there be peace!”†  Francis said.

Pope Francis has repeatedly spoken against attacks on Christians around the world. Last February, while condemning the beheading of 21 Egyptian Copts by militants of the Islamic State in Libya, the pontiff said

† “the blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony which cries out to be heard.

“It makes no difference whether they be Catholics, Orthodox, Copts, or Protestants,” he said. “The martyrs belong to all Christians.”

Pakistani Taliban suicide bombers exploded themselves near two churches — one Catholic, one Protestant — in the eastern city of Lahore on Sunday as worshippers were gathered inside, killing 14 people and injuring 80, officials said, in the latest attack against religious minorities in the increasingly fractured country.

via Pope demands that the world stop ‘hiding’ anti-Christian persecution | Crux.

Archie Comics

Archie Comics

Archie Comics is an American comic-book publisher that started out as MLJ Comics in 1939. Its early titles featured generic superheroes that were innovative but failed to find popularity. In 1941, a teenage humor strip called Archie became a hit with the emerging youth culture, prompting the name change to Archie Comics. The comic varies with regard to character details and settings, but Archie is perpetually mired in a love triangle with Betty and Veronica. What is Archie’s full name? More… Discuss

EU Faces Greek Democracy in Great Euro Poker Game – UKIP Leader Nigel Farage

EU Faces Greek Democracy in Great Euro Poker Game – UKIP Leader Nigel Farage

Pope Francis carries his late grandma’s words with him every day :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

by Elise Harris

by Elise Harris

Rome, Italy, Mar 11, 2015 / 08:23 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis said Wednesday that the elderly play a key role in the lives of the youth, and revealed that he still keeps the letter his grandmother wrote him for his ordination in his daily prayer book.

“I still treasure the words my grandmother wrote to me on the day of my ordination. I carry them with me to this day inside my breviary,” the Pope told pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his March 11 general audience.

Francis, the eldest of five children, spent much of his childhood under the guidance of his grandmother, Rosa, who looked after the future Pope when his younger siblings were born. She played a key role in his upbringing, and he had a great respect for her.

via Pope Francis carries his late grandma’s words with him every day :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

U.S. banks’ buybacks, dividends may be no reason for shareholder celebrations | Reuters

People walk by the JP Morgan & Chase Co. building in New York October 24, 2013. REUTERS-Eric Thayer

People walk by the JP Morgan & Chase Co. building in New York October 24, 2013. REUTERS-Eric Thayer

A Citibank sign is seen outside of a bank outlet in New York March 4, 2009. REUTERS-Lucas Jackson

1 of 2. People walk by the JP Morgan & Chase Co. building in New York October 24, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Eric Thayer

(Reuters) – Big U.S. banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N), are expected to win Federal Reserve backing on Wednesday to buy back more shares and increase their dividends in the coming year, but the approvals may be as much about the institutions’ financial engineering as any improvement in their health.

Much of the money for buybacks and higher dividends is coming from the banks issuing securities known as preferred shares. These shares are a type of equity that pays regular, relatively high dividends. To investors they look a lot like bonds that pay interest. But for regulators, preferred shares serve as a cushion against any future losses, in part because they never have to be repaid.

Critics of the strategy question how sustainable it is, as banks essentially take money from one set of investors and give it to another, and at an added cost.

Issuing preferred shares to pay for common share dividends and buybacks is a symptom of a “zombie banking system,” said veteran banking analyst David Hendler of independent research firm Viola Risk Advisors.

“Banks should be building capital from normal lending and trading profits, but their operating income is terrible,” he added.

Income has been falling or stagnant at the biggest Wall Street banks, thanks in part to big legal settlements stemming from the financial crisis. For the U.S. banking system as a whole, operating income in 2014 was $151.15 billion, down 0.4 percent from the year before, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Spokesmen for Citigroup, JPMorgan and the Federal Reserve declined to comment.

To be sure, the steps banks are taking are within regulators’ rules. The Federal Reserve allows banks to use preferred shares for at least part of their capital.

Citigroup, for example, issued $3.7 billion of preferred shares in 2014 and has publicly disclosed plans to issue $4 billion of preferred shares this year and another $4 billion to $6 billion before 2019.

Veteran bank analyst Mike Mayo, who is at brokerage CLSA, estimates that the bank will ask to return roughly $7 billion of extra capital annually to shareholders in the coming year. “The preferred gives them an extra cushion” over minimum capital requirements to make the payouts, Mayo said.

Selling preferred shares to boost payouts to common shareholders can’t go on forever without banks improving their results enough to boost their capital levels significantly.

Mayo expects that next year Citigroup will come up with additional excess capital from a planned sale of assets, including its OneMain personal lending unit.

JPMorgan issued nearly $9 billion of preferred shares this past year and other banks have said they expect to issue more. JPMorgan said in February that the sales will go toward satisfying pending requirements that big banks have enough capital to absorb losses in a financial crisis.

via U.S. banks’ buybacks, dividends may be no reason for shareholder celebrations | Reuters.

“Come to me, all who labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you” From a treatise on John by Saint Augustine, bishop

“Come to me, all who labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you”  From a treatise on John by Saint Augustine, bishop (Tract. 15, 10-12. 16-17: CCL 36, 154-156)
“Come to me, all who labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you”
From a treatise on John by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Tract. 15, 10-12. 16-17: CCL 36, 154-156)  (Click to access Website)

“Come to me, all who labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you”

From a treatise on John by Saint Augustine, bishop
(Tract. 15, 10-12. 16-17: CCL 36, 154-156)

“A woman came”. […] Jesus says to her: “Give me water to drink. For his disciples had gone to the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman therefore says to him: How is it that you, though a Jew, ask me for water to drink, though I am a Samaritan woman? For Jews have nothing to do with Samaritans” (Jn 4:7-9). […] But the one who was asking for a drink of water was thirsting for her faith.

“Jesus answered her and said: If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink,” perhaps you might have asked him and he would have given you living water” (Jn 4:10). He asks for a drink, and he promises a drink. He is in need, as one hoping to receive, yet he is rich, as one about to satisfy the thirst of others. He says: “If you knew the gift of God”. The gift of God is the Holy Spirit. But he is still using veiled language as he speaks to the woman and gradually enters into her heart. […]

“The woman says to him, Master, give me this drink, so that I may feel no thirst or come here to draw water” (Jn 4:15). Her need forced her to this labor, her weakness shrank from it. If only she could hear those words: “Come to me, all who labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you” (Mt 11:28). Jesus was saying this to her, so that her labors might be at an end.

Marginalizing women leads to sterile society, says Pope :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


Pope Francis greets pilgrims in Saint Peter’s Square during his General Audience on Oct 1, 2013 Credit: Petrik Bohumil / CNA

Vatican City, Mar 8, 2015 / 05:06 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Women across the globe received a special greeting on Sunday from Pope Francis, who stressed the importance of their unique perspectives on the world.

“A world where women are marginalized is a sterile world,” the Pope said during his address to the crowds who had gathered in St. Peter’s Square to take part in the recitation of the Angelus with the Pope.

“Not only do women carry life,” he said, “but they transmit to us the capacity to see otherwise– they see things differently.”

Women also pass on the ability to “understand the world with different eyes, to feel the most creative, most patient, most tender things with the heart.”

The Pope’s words came on International Woman’s Day, celebrated each year on March 8 throughout the world.

To mark the occasion, the Holy Father offered his greeting to all those who “seek each day to build a more human and welcoming society.”

He also offered a “fraternal thanks” to those women who, in thousands of ways, bear witness to the Gospel and work in the Church.”

Pope Francis’ remarks coincided with a conference held on Sunday at the Vatican aimed at giving a voice to those women working on the fringes of society.

The gathering, titled “Voices of Faith,” brought together various women – human rights activists, policy makers, academics — to give witness to their work in areas of poverty and the defense of human dignity and equality.

via Marginalizing women leads to sterile society, says Pope :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Saint of the Day for Tuesday, March 10th, 2015: St. John Ogilvie

Image of St. John Ogilvie

St. John Ogilvie

Born in 1579, John Ogilvie belonged to Scottish nobility. Raised a Calvinist, he was educated on the continent. Exposed to the religious controversies of his day and impressed with the faith of the … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

today’s holiday/celebration: Fairbanks Winter Carnival (2015)

Fairbanks Winter Carnival (2015)

The Winter Carnival is a week of festivities in Fairbanks, Alaska, highlighted by sled dog races. The carnival opens with the two-day Limited North American Sled Dog Race, and concludes, on the last two days, with the Open North American Sled Dog Race. Other events include dances, a parka parade, a campstove chili contest, a native potlatch, snow- and ice-sculpting contests, snowshoe races and softball, musical and dramatic presentations, and a trade fair. More… Discuss

this pressed: U.N. inquiry on Gaza war crimes seeks delay of report to June: statement

U.N. inquiry on Gaza war crimes seeks delay of report to June: statement.

GENEVA (Reuters) – U.N. investigators looking at possible war crimes committed by all sides during the Gaza war last year have asked to postpone publication of their report from March until June to consider further evidence received, a U.N. statement said on Monday.

Their report on violations by Israeli armed forces and Hamas militants in Gaza during the July-August conflict was due to be issued to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 23.

In a statement, Council President Joachim Ruecker said that he backed the request for a deferral to June 2015 to finalize a comprehensive report by the team of investigators. The 47-nation Council is expected to approve the postponement before its ongoing main annual session ends on March 27.

The commission of inquiry’s former chairman, William Schabas, stepped down last month after Israeli allegations of bias due to consultancy work he did for the Palestine Liberation Organisation. Israel wants the report shelved.

Mary McGowan Davis, who succeeded Schabas as chair, said in a letter to Council president Ruecker, also made public on Monday: “In this context, the Commission must analyze with the utmost objectivity the large number of additional submissions and documents received over the past few weeks from both sides, relating to the fact-finding dimension of our mandate.”

Some 2,256 Palestinians were killed during the latest Gaza conflict, of whom 1,563 were civilians including 538 children, while 66 Israeli soldiers and five civilians died, U.N. special rapporteur Makarim Wibisono said in a separate report last week. He called on Israel to investigate killings of civilians.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

09/03/2015 19:26     by: Reuters: World News

via U.N. inquiry on Gaza war crimes seeks delay of report to June: statement.

this pressed: From bust to boom: How the world became addicted to debt – Telegraph

The map above shows the current state of public indebtedness across the globe. Government debt as grown by $27 trillion in the eight years since the financial crisis, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.

From bust to boom: How the world became addicted to debt

Mapped: Eight years on from the financial crisis, the global economy is still awash with record levels of debt. Click on the countries to find who’s in the red and who’s in the black

By and large, the story of the global economy is one in which emerging markets have loaded on debt, while the developed world has struggled to reduce the burdens it amassed in the wake of banking bail-outs and years of stagnant economic growth. The Bank of International Settlements calculates the public sector debt of the G7 countries has grown by 40 percentage points to 120pc of GDP since the crisis began.

via From bust to boom: How the world became addicted to debt – this Telegraph.

this pressed- Think about it: Afrique – Pour Abdoulaye Diop, “l’attaque à Bamako est “une attaque contre la paix” – France 24

© Capture d’écran France 24 | Abdoulaye Diop, ministre malien des Affaires étrangères, était l’invité de France 24, lundi 9 mars 2015

Deux jours après les attaques de Bamako, le ministre malien des Affaires étrangères a dénoncé “les forces hostiles à la paix”. Il appelle les Mouvements de l’Azawad à “se déterminer dans les meilleurs délais”.

Abdoulaye Diop, ministre malien des Affaires étrangères, a rencontré, lundi 9 mars, son homologue français, Laurent Fabius, à Paris. La sécurité a été au centre des discussions après un week end meurtrier au Mali. Dimanche, une attaque a eu lieu contre un camp de l’ONU dans le nord du pays faisant 3 morts. La capitale malienne a également été frappée par un premier attentat antioccidental, revendiqué par le groupe jihadiste al-Mourabitoune, samedi 7 mars.

“Ce qui se joue, c’est essentiellement une attaque contre la paix”, a déclaré Abdoulaye Diop sur le plateau de France 24. Selon le ministre malien, ces attaques viennent freiner le processus de paix en cours. Il appelle la coordination des Mouvements de l’Azawad à “se déterminer dans les meilleurs délais” afin de parapher l’accord sur le Mali conclu le 1er mars à Alger. “Il y a urgence, le temps n’est pas en notre faveur”, a-t-il prévenu, pointant la menace terroriste. M. Diop demande à la communauté internationale et au Conseil de sécurité de faire pression sur les rebelles du nord afin qu’ils se positionnent.

via Afrique – Pour Abdoulaye Diop, “l’attaque à Bamako est “une attaque contre la paix” – France 24.

Google Translator says: 


To Abdoulaye Diop, “the attack in Bamako is” an attack against peace “

Text by FRANCE 24

Last modified: 03/09/2015
Two days after the attacks of Bamako, Mali’s foreign minister denounced “the forces hostile to peace.” He calls the Movements of Azawad to “determine as soon as possible.”

Abdoulaye Diop, Mali’s foreign minister, met Monday, March 9, his French counterpart Laurent Fabius in Paris. Security has been the focus of discussion after a deadly weekend getaway in Mali. On Sunday, an attack took place against a UN camp in the north of the country by 3 dead. Mali’s capital was also hit by a first anti-Western attack, claimed by the jihadist group Al-Mourabitoun, Saturday, March 7.

“What is at stake, it is essentially an attack against peace,” said Abdoulaye Diop on the board of France 24. The Malian Minister, these attacks are slow peace process underway. He calls the coordination of movements of Azawad to “determine as soon as possible” to initial the agreement concluded on March 1, Mali in Algiers. “It is urgent, time is not on our side,” he warned, pointing to the terrorist threat. Diop called on the international community and put pressure on the Security Council to the northern rebels so that they are positioned.

Abdoulaye Diop also thanked France for its support after the attack of Bamako, while calling for calm. “Do not panic,” he insisted, even if “zero risk does not exist (…), continue to live normally.” “We take all measures to protect our foreign friends,” said the Malian Foreign Minister.

Google Translator: Get yours HERE

this pressed-Think about it: Flash – French look at ways to curb tax avoidance by Internet giants – France 24


New levies could be imposed to frustrate tax avoidance strategies currently used by Internet commerce giants like Google and Amazon, according to a report by a French government body released Monday.

“Specific new fiscal tools could be envisaged, at the European level or in a core group of countries to counter the tax optimisation strategies” of Internet giants, said the report by France Strategie, a body that advises the French prime minister’s office.

Complex, but legal, tax structures have allowed companies such as Amazon and Google to pay little profit tax in most European countries although they generate hundreds of millions in profits in these markets.

With European governments cutting spending as they struggle to reduce their deficits and debt, such tax avoidance by multinational firms has become a hot button issue and France has been one of the most vocal about the need to close such tax and accounting loopholes.

Using a practice known as transfer pricing, multinationals charge their subsidiaries in each country for use of intellectual property and most profits are then shown in European countries which have lower corporate tax rates, such as Ireland where Google has its European headquarters.

via Flash – French look at ways to curb tax avoidance by Internet giants – France 24.

Portal: Christianity / DYK Archive

Portal: Christianity / DYK Archive


…that there are approximately two billion Christians worldwide?
…that there are usually 66 books in the Christian Bible?
…that there are over 33 000 Protestant denominations in 238 countries worldwide?
…that Jesus worked as a carpenter until the age of 30, when he began his ministry?
…that during the Avignon Papacy from 1305 to 1378, several medieval popes resided in Avignon and not in Rome?

In Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple, #PopeFrancis sees a lesson about the liturgy #Catholic— Catholic News Agency


THIS YEAR’S international Women’s Day 2015 EVENTS BY COUNTRY

International Women's Day

THIS YEAR’S international Women’s Day 2015 EVENTS BY COUNTRY

Add International Women’s Day events >>> HERE<<<

International_Women’s_Day With Historic evolution of women’s rights movement


International_Women's Day

International_Women’s_Day With Historic evolution of women’s rights movement (click to access article)

International Women’s Day has been observed since in the early 1900’s, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.

Great unrest and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women’s oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.

In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913.

n 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named a Clara Zetkin (Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin’s suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women’s Day was the result.

Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, International Women’s Day (IWD) was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic ‘Triangle Fire’ in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women’s Day events. 1911 also saw women’s ‘Bread and Roses‘ campaign.

read more @



today’s holiday: Bridge Crossing Jubilee (2015)

Bridge Crossing Jubilee (2015)

This annual event in Selma, Alabama, commemorates “Bloody Sunday,” which occurred on March 7, 1965, when a group of about 525 African-American demonstrators gathered at Browns Chapel to demand the right to vote. Every year on the first weekend in March, the Bridge Crossing Jubilee commemorates both the bloody confrontation at the Pettus Bridge and the march from Selma to Montgomery that followed. Events include a parade, a Miss Jubilee Pageant, a mock trial, and a commemorative march to the bridge. Every five years, celebrants continue all the way to Montgomery. More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Kenneth Grahame (1859)

Kenneth Grahame (1859)

Grahame was an English author best known for writing The Wind in the Willows, whose anthropomorphic animal characters—Mole, Rat, Badger, and Toad—captivatingly combine human traits with authentic animal habits. Though a children’s classic, it has been enjoyed by readers of all ages since its publication in 1908. In addition to writing, Grahame worked as at the Bank of England for some time. What happened to him when a man supposedly opened fire on him at the bank in 1903? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: The Gnadenhütten Massacre (1782)

The Gnadenhütten Massacre (1782)

During the American Revolution, the Lenape, or Delaware, group of Native Americans found itself divided on the issue of which side, if any, to take in the conflict. Some members elected to fight against the Americans, while others—particularly Christian converts—remained neutral. In 1782, an American militia seeking revenge for Native American raids on frontier settlements killed 96 Christian Delawares in Gnadenhütten, Ohio. What military leader was later killed in retaliation for Gnadenhütten? More… Discuss

Article: Quinoa


Quinoa is a tall annual herb whose seeds have provided a staple food for peoples of the higher Andes since pre-Columbian times. In the Inca Empire, where only the potato was more widely grown, quinoa is said to have been sacred. The year’s first furrows were opened ceremoniously with a gold implement. In the US and other non-Andean nations, quinoa is now a popular alternative to rice and other grains for its higher protein content. What is typically removed from freshly harvested quinoa seeds? More… Discuss

Health- BBC: A dog has been used to sniff out thyroid cancer in people who had not yet been diagnosed, US researchers say.

Frankie the dogA dog has been used to sniff out thyroid cancer in people who had not yet been diagnosed, US researchers say.

Tests on 34 patients showed an 88% success rate in finding tumours.

The team, presenting their findings at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, said the animal had an “unbelievable” sense of smell.

Cancer Research UK said using dogs would be impractical, but discovering the chemicals the dogs can smell could lead to new tests.

The thyroid is a gland in the neck that produces hormones to regulate metabolism.

Thyroid tumours are relatively rare and are normally diagnosed by testing hormone levels in the blood and by using a needle to extract cells for testing.

Smelly jobCancers are defective, out-of-control cells. They have their own unique chemistry and release “volatile organic compounds” into the body.

The canine approach relies on dogs having 10 times the number of smell receptors as people and being able to pick out the unique smells being released by cancers.

The man’s best friend approach has already produced promising results in patients with bowel and lung cancers.

A team at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) had previously showed that a dog could be trained to smell the difference between urine samples of patients with and without thyroid cancer.

Frankie the dogFrankie gave the correct diagnosis in 30 out of 34 cases

The next step was to see if it could be used as a diagnostic test.

Frankie the German Shepherd was trained to lie down when he could smell thyroid cancer in a sample and turn away if the urine was clean.

Thirty-four patients, who were going to hospital for conventional testing, took part in the trial.

Frankie gave the correct diagnosis in 30 out of 34 cases. There were two false positives and two patients who would have been incorrectly given the all-clear.

Dr Donald Bodenner, the chief of endocrine oncology at UAMS, said: “The capability of dogs to smell minute amounts is unbelievable.

“The medical community over the next few years is going to have a great appreciation [for them].

E-noseSome researchers are trying to strip out the canine-element and test for the unique pong of cancer with an “electronic nose”.

This approach is also being trailed outside of cancer and has been used to find dangerous infections such as Clostridium difficile.

Dr Bodenner added: “We would like to know what Frankie is smelling, nobody knows.”

Commenting on the findings Dr Jason Wexler, an endocrinologist in Washington, DC, argued: “This is a fascinating, interesting study and it has high potential in areas of the world that may not have access to biopsy techniques.

“There are many patients who are reluctant to undergo fine needle aspiration so I think that if you could design a technique where you have no invasive procedure that can have tremendous widespread appeal.”

But Dr Emma Smith, from Cancer Research UK, cautioned: “Although there’s some evidence that some trained dogs can sniff out the smelly molecules given off by cancers, there have been mixed results on how accurate they are and it’s not really practical to think about using dogs on a wide scale to detect the disease.

“But carrying out lab tests to understand what the dogs are smelling might help to inform the development of ‘electronic noses’ to detect the same molecules, which could lead to better diagnostic tests in the future.”

Dr Bodenner says it is an approach that he is actively pursuing.

Meanwhile, the lab is also trying to find a new home for canine-veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Instead of sniffing out bombs, they will be trained to hunt for cancer.


Symptoms of thyroid cancer

  • A painless lump or swelling at the front of the neck below the Adam’s apple
  • Unexplained hoarseness that doesn’t get better after a few weeks
  • Sore throat or difficulty swallowing that doesn’t get better
  • Pain in the neck

Source: NHS Choices


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More videos from the BBC

More Health stories


Features & Analysis

BBC Future

Knowing how to trigger an immune response may help beat cancer (SPL)

Can we make the body self-heal?

Lessons from baffling cancer ‘miracles’ Read more…


  • Google's Street View (Trekker) camera on a zip wire in the Amazon rainforest Click Watch

    Google sends a camera through the Amazon rainforest on a zip wire, plus other tech news

BBC News Daily Newsletter

newsletter signupToday’s breaking news
and more in your inbox

Sign up now

Ads by Google