Tag Archives: United States Department of State

Lone Christian in Iraqi Delegation, a Nun, Denied Visa by Obama State Dept. | The Stream


Read the article “Lone Christian in Iraqi Delegation, a Nun, Denied Visa by Obama State Dept.” here: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/417679/malice-toward-nun-nina-shea

Sister Diana wants to tell Americans about ISIS persecution of Christians in Iraq, but the State Department won’t let her in. Why is the United States barring a persecuted Iraqi Catholic nun — an internationally respected and leading representative of the Nineveh Christians who have been killed and deported by ISIS — from coming to Washington to testify about this catastrophe? Earlier this week, we learned that every member of an Iraqi delegation of minority groups, including representatives of the Yazidi and Turkmen Shia religious communities, has been granted visas to come for official meetings in Washington — save one. The single delegate whose visitor visa was denied happens to be the group’s only Christian from Iraq. Sister Diana Momeka of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena was informed on Tuesday by the U.S. consulate in Erbil that her non-immigrant-visa application has been rejected.

via Lone Christian in Iraqi Delegation, a Nun, Denied Visa by Obama State Dept. | The Stream.

Iraqi Christians have lost everything – except their faith, nun tells Congress :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)


By Matt Hadro

Photo:  Sister Diana Momeka, OP appeared before the House of Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington D.C. on May 13, 2015. Credit: Matt Hadro/CNA.

Washington D.C., May 13, 2015 / 03:41 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Having lost their homes, their heritage and their sense of dignity, Iraqi Christians victimized by the Islamic State feel abandoned by earthly powers, but their faith in God has only grown, an Iraqi nun told members of Congress May 13.

The faith of homeless Iraqi Christians is “increasing more and more,” Sister Diana Momeka, O.P., told the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Many of the displaced lived in devastating conditions – families taking shelter in containers, parents without jobs and children without an education.

But Sister Diana insisted the spirit of the people has not been broken by the adversity.

“It’s making us stronger,” she said.

“We were displaced, yet we feel that the hand of God is still with us…In the midst of this darkness, this suffering, we see that God is holding us,” she explained, adding that it is a “gift of the Holy Spirit” to be able to stay and have faith through hardship.

Sister Diana was part of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, originally from Mosul in Northern Iraq. Islamist militants bombed their convent in 2009, and after the prioress sought protection from the local government and found none, Sister Diana and the community moved to Qaraqosh.

The ISIS onslaught caught up to them last summer. As the Islamic State swept through parts of Iraq and Syria, establishing a strict caliphate, more than 120,000 Iraqis were displaced on the Nineveh Plain, faced with the decision to convert to Islam, stay and pay a jizya tax to ISIS, or leave immediately.

The religious community moved again, this time to Kurdistan. “We were driven out of our homes in a couple of hours,” the nun described, “without any warning.”

Almost no Christians are left in Mosul, Sister Diana said, except for about 100 Christian hostages of ISIS.

Slated to testify before a congressional committee as part of an Iraqi delegation, Sister Diana’s application for a visa was initially denied by the local U.S. Consulate because of her status as an internally-displaced person.

Amid mounting pressure, she was later able to enter the United States and testified before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee May 13 regarding “ISIS’s war on religious minorities.”

“I am but one, small person – a victim myself of ISIS and all of its brutality,” Sister Diana stated in written testimony before the committee.

“Coming here has been difficult for me – as a religious sister I am not comfortable with the media and so much attention,” she admitted. “But I am here and I am here to ask you, to implore you for the sake of our common humanity to help us.”

The Christians in Northern Iraq lost “most everything” when ISIS destroyed and desecrated churches, shrines, and other sacred sites, she said.

“We lost everything that today, every Christian that’s living in the region of Kurdistan, we feel we don’t have dignity anymore. When you lose your home, you lose everything you have. You lose your heritage, your culture.”

When monasteries that have existed for centuries have been destroyed, it is a sign that “your history is gone, you are nothing anymore,” the Iraqi nun explained.

Children are growing up without proper education and whole families’ lives have “changed tremendously,” she said. “We’re abandoned, that’s how we feel.”

The local and regional authorities have been of little help to the displaced, Sister Diana said in her testimony, calling their reaction to the crisis “at best modest and slow.” The Kurdish government allowed Christian refugees to enter its borders but did not offer any more significant aid.

The Church in Kurdistan has been a big help to Christians, though, providing food, shelter, and other support, she noted.

Ultimately, the displaced want to return home and not to be re-settled elsewhere, witnesses at the hearing insisted.

“There are many who say ‘Why don’t the Christians just leave Iraq and move to another country and be done with it?’“ Sister Diana stated in her testimony. “Why should we leave our country? What have we done?”

“The Christians of Iraq are the first people of the land,” she said. “While our ancestors experienced all kinds of persecution, they stayed in their land, building a culture that has served humanity for the ages.”

“We want nothing more than to go back to our lives; we want nothing more than to go home.”

Tags: Refugees, Faith, ISIS, Iraqi Christians

via Iraqi Christians have lost everything – except their faith, nun tells Congress :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

 

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.

Today in History
May 1

408   Theodosius II succeeds to the throne of Constantinople.
1308   King Albert is murdered by his nephew John, because he refused his share of the Habsburg lands.
1486   Christopher Columbus convinces Queen Isabella to fund expedition to the West Indies.
1805   The state of Virginia passes a law requiring all freed slaves to leave the state, or risk either imprisonment or deportation.
1863   The Battle of Chancellorsville begins as Union Gen. Joe Hooker starts his three-pronged attack against Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
1867   Reconstruction in the South begins with black voter registration.
1877   President Ruthoford B. Hayes withdraws all Federal troops from the South, ending Reconstruction.
1898   The U.S. Navy under Dewey defeats the Spanish fleet at the Battle of Manila Bay in the Philippines.
1915   The luxury liner Lusitania leaves New York Harbor for a voyage to Europe.
1927   Adolf Hitler holds his first Nazi meeting in Berlin.
1931   The Empire State Building opens in New York.
1934   The Philippine legislature accepts a U.S. proposal for independence.
1937   President Franklin Roosevelt signs an act of neutrality, keeping the United States out of World War II.
1941   The film Citizen Kane–directed and starring Orson Welles–opens in New York.
1944   The Messerschmitt Me 262, the first combat jet, makes its first flight.
1945   Martin Bormann, private secretary to Adolf Hitler, escapes the Fuehrerbunker as the Red Army advances on Berlin.
1948   North Korea is established.
1950   Gwendolyn Brooks becomes the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for her book of poetry called Annie Allen.
1960   Francis Gary Powers’ U-2 spy plane is shot down over Russia.
1961   Fidel Castro announces there will be no more elections in Cuba.
1968   In the second day of battle, U.S. Marines, with the support of naval fire, continue their attack on a North Vietnamese Division at Dai Do.
1970   Students from Kent State University riot in downtown Kent, Ohio, in protest of the American invasion of Cambodia.
1986   The Tass News Agency reports the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident.
2011   Osama Bin Laden is killed in Abbottabad Pakistan by US Navy SEALS in Operation Neptune Spear.
Born on May 1
1493   Phillippus Paracelsus, physician and alchemist.
1764   Benjamin Henry Latrobe, architect of the U.S. Capitol.
1769   Arthur Wellsley, Duke of Wellington.
1830   Mother (Mary Harris) Jones, reformer and labor organizer.
1839   Louis-Maire-Hilaire Bernigaud, French chemist, inventor of rayon.
1878   James Graham, inventor of the first naval aircraft-carrying ship and first man to film a total eclipse of the Sun.
1896   Mark Clark, American general during World War II.
1909   Kate Smith, singer.
1916   Glenn Ford, actor (The Blackboard Jungle).
1923   Joseph Heller, American author (Catch 22).
1924   Terry Southern, novelist and screenwriter (Dr. Strangelove, Easy Rider).
1940   Bobbie Ann Mason, American writer (Shiloh and Other Stories, In Country).

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.

February 14

Happy Valentine’s Day!Today is St. Valentine’s Day, the feast day of two Christian martyrs named Valentine: one a priest and physician, the other the Bishop of Terni. Both are purported to have been beheaded on this day. The custom of sending handmade ‘valentines’ to one’s beloved became popular during the 17th century and was first commercialized in the United States in the 1840s.

 

1349   2,000 Jews are burned at the stake in Strasbourg, Germany.
1400   The deposed Richard II is murdered in Pontefract Castle in Yorkshire.
1549   Maximilian II, brother of the Emperor Charles V, is recognized as the future king of Bohemia.
1779   American Loyalists are defeated by Patriots at Kettle Creek, Ga.
1797   The Spanish fleet is destroyed by the British under Admiral Jervis (with Nelson in support) at the battle of Cape St. Vincent, off Portugal.
1848   James Polk becomes the first U.S. President to be photographed in office by Matthew Brady.
1859   Oregon is admitted as the thirty-third state.
1870   Esther Morris becomes the world’s first female justice of the peace.
1876   Rival inventors Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell both apply for patents for the telephone.
1900   General Roberts invades South Africa’s Orange Free State with 20,000 British troops.
1904   The “Missouri Kid” is captured in Kansas.
1912   Arizona becomes the 48th state in the Union.
1915   Kaiser Wilhelm II invites the U.S. Ambassador to Berlin in order to confer on the war.
1918   Warsaw demonstrators protest the transfer of Polish territory to the Ukraine.
1920   The League of Women Voters is formed in Chicago in celebration of the imminent ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote.
1924   Thomas Watson founds International Business Machines Corp.
1929   Chicago gang war between Al Capone and George “Bugs” Moran culminates with several Moran confederates being gunned down in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
1939   Germany launches the battleship Bismark.
1940   Britain announces that all merchant ships will be armed.
1942   Japanese paratroopers attack Sumatra. Aidan MacCarthy‘s RAF unit flew to Palembang, in eastern Sumatra, where 30 Royal Australian Air Force Lockheed A-28 Hudson bombers were waiting.
1945   800 Allied aircraft firebomb the German city of Dresden. Smaller followup bombing raids last until April with a total death toll of between 35,000 to 130,000 civillians.
1945   The siege of Budapest ends as the Soviets take the city. Only 785 German and Hungarian soldiers managed to escape.
1949   The United States charges the Soviet Union with interning up to 14 million in labor camps.
1955   A Jewish couple loses their fight to adopt Catholic twins as the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to rule on state law.
1957   The Georgia state senate outlaws interracial athletics.
1965   Malcolm X’s home is firebombed. No injuries are reported.
1971   Moscow publicizes a new five-year plan geared to expanding consumer production.
1973   The United States and Hanoi set up a group to channel reconstruction aid directly to Hanoi.
1979   Armed guerrillas attack the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
1985   Vietnamese troops surround the main Khmer Rouge base at Phnom Malai.
1989   Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini charges that Salman Rushdie’s novel, The Satanic Verses, is blasphemous and issues an edict (fatwa) calling on Muslims to kill Rushdie.
Born on February 14
1760   Richard Allen, first black ordained by a Methodist-Episcopal church.
1817   Frederick Douglass, slave, and later, activist and author.
1819   Christopher Latham Sholes, inventor of the first practical typewriter.
1845   Quinton Hogg, English philanthropist.
1859   George Washington Gale Ferris, inventor of the Ferris Wheel.
1894   Jack Benny, comedian, radio and television performer…and violinist.
1894   Mary Lucinda Cardwell Dawson, founded the National Negro Opera Company (NNOC) and was appointed to President John F. Kennedy’s National Committee on Music.

– See more at: http://www.historynet.com/today-in-history#sthash.8Ow54pqd.dpuf

Today In History. What Happened This Day In History? Here is what! Well, some of it anyway!


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.

Today in History
January 15

1624   Riots flare in Mexico when it is announced that all churches are to be closed.
1811   In a secret session, Congress plans to annex Spanish East Florida.
1865   Union troops capture Fort Fisher, North Carolina.
1913   The first telephone line between Berlin and New York is inaugurated.
1919   Peasants in Central Russia rise against the Bolsheviks.
1920   The Dry Law goes into effect in the United States. Selling liquor and beer becomes illegal.
1920   The United States approves a $150 million loan to Poland, Austria and Armenia to aid in their war with the Russian communists.
1927   The Dumbarton Bridge opens in San Francisco carrying the first auto traffic across the bay.
1929   The U.S. Senate ratifies the Kellogg-Briand anti-war pact.
1930   Amelia Earhart sets an aviation record for women at 171 mph in a Lockheed Vega.
1936   In London, Japan quits all naval disarmament talks after being denied equality.
1944   The U.S. Fifth Army successfully breaks the German Winter Line in Italy with the capture of Mount Trocchio.
1949   Chinese Communists occupy Tientsin after a 27-hour battle with Nationalist forces.
1965   Sir Winston Churchill suffers a severe stroke.
1967   Some 462 Yale faculty members call for an end to the bombing in North Vietnam.
1973   US President Richard Nixon announces the suspension of offensive action by US troops in Vietnam.
1973   Four of six remaining Watergate defendants plead guilty.
1975   The Alvor Agreement is signed, ending the Angolan War of independence and granting that country independence from Portugal.
1976   Sara Jane Moore sentenced to life in prison for her failed attempt to assassinate US President Gerald Ford.
1991   UN deadline for Iraq to withdraw its forces from occupied Kuwait passes, setting the stage for Operation Desert Storm.
1991   Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II approves Australia instituting its own Victoria Cross honors system, the first county in the British Commonwealth permitted to do so.
1992   Slovenia and Croatia’s independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is recognized by the international community.
2001   Wikipedia goes online.
Born on January 15
1622   Moliere [Jean Baptiste Poquelin], French comic dramatist best remembered for his play La Tartuffe.
1716   Philip Livingston, signatory to the Declaration of Independence.
1823   Mathew Brady, Civil War photographer.
1906   Aristotle Onassis, Greek tycoon.
1908   Edward Teller, Hungarian-born U.S. physicist known as the “Father of the H-bomb.”
1929   Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
1945   Princess Michael of Kent (Baroness Marie Christine Anna Agnes Hedwig Ida von Reibnitz), married to Prince Michael of Kent, grandson of Britain’s King George V.
1948   Ronnie Van Zant, singer, songwriter; founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd band.
1982   Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia.

– See more at: http://www.historynet.com/today-in-history#sthash.NR1E2Wb9.dpuf

this pressed: Surgeon who contracted Ebola virus in Sierra Leone dies at Nebraska hospital | Fox News


In this April 2014, file photo, provided by the United Methodist News Service, Dr. Martin Salia poses for a photo at the United Methodist Church‘s Kissy Hospital outside Freetown, Sierra Leone. (AP)

 

A surgeon who contracted the Ebola virus while working in Sierra Leone died at a Nebraska hospital where he was transported for treatment, the facility said Monday.

A statement released Monday by Nebraska Medical Center said Dr. Martin Salia “has passed away as a result of the advanced symptoms of the disease.”

“Dr. Salia was extremely critical when he arrived here, and unfortunately, despite out best efforts, we weren’t able to save him,” said Dr. Phil Smith, medical director of the biocontainment unit.

Salia, 44, was being treated in the medical center’s biocontainment unit. He arrived Saturday by plane from West Africa, and was transported by ambulance for treatment at the hospital, where two other Ebola patients have been successfully treated. Officials said Salia might be more ill than the first Ebola patients treated successfully in the United States. On Sunday officials had described his condition as “an hour-by-hour situation.”

via Surgeon who contracted Ebola virus in Sierra Leone dies at Nebraska hospital | Fox News.

this pressed: Krauthammer: Obama immigration plan a ‘constitutionally odious proposal’.


Krauthammer: Obama immigration plan a ‘constitutionally odious proposal’.

Charles Krauthammer said Wednesday on “Special Report with Bret Baier” that a proposed plan for President Obama to overhaul U.S. immigration policy through executive action “is a constitutionally odious proposal.”

The 10-point plan, which was contained in a draft proposal from a U.S. government agency and obtained exclusively by Fox News, could allow upwards of 4.5 million illegal immigrants living with their American-born children to stay in the U.S., and expand deferred action for immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

Other elements include promoting the new naturalization process by giving a 50 percent discount for the first 10,000 applicants who come forward, and a State Department immigrant visa program offering another 500,000 immigrants a path to citizenship through tech jobs.

via Krauthammer: Obama immigration plan a ‘constitutionally odious proposal’..

this pressed for your wight to be informermed: US to affirm that UN torture ban applies overseas


Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

US to affirm that UN torture ban applies overseas

The U.S. is telling the United Nations that it now considers a ban against torture to apply to prisoners held by the U.S. overseas.

Under the Bush administration, the U.S. interpreted the U.N. Convention Against Torture to apply only within U.S. borders. That meant the U.S. didn’t have to follow the ban on cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment at places like the Guantanamo Bay prison or aboard U.S. ships.

President Barack Obama took a different approach and banned certain interrogation methods after taking office. But until now, the U.S. hadn’t formally conveyed that policy to the U.N. body monitoring compliance with the treaty.

The White House says the U.S. will tell the U.N. this week that it interprets the ban as applying anywhere under U.S. government control, including Guantanamo Bay.

via US to affirm that UN torture ban applies overseas.

today holiday: Timor Santa Cruz Massacre Day


Timor Santa Cruz Massacre Day

The Santa Cruz Massacre Day remains among the most significant anniversaries for veterans of the Timorese independence movement, which was active during the Indonesian occupation between 1975 and 1999. In 1991, 271 protesters disappeared or were killed at the Santa Cruz cemetery in the Timor-Leste capital, Dili. That massacre sparked international outrage and kept the spotlight on the Indonesian occupation until it ended in 1999. The tone of the day remains mournful. During the occupation years, the Timorese often lit candles, and it was an occasion for public figures to rally the people. More… Discuss

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: J. WILLIAM FULBRIGHT (1905)


J. William Fulbright (1905)

Fulbright, a Rhodes Scholar, served in the US Department of Justice, taught law, and was president of the University of Arkansas before becoming a member of US Congress. His Fulbright Act provides grants that enable thousands of Americans to study abroad and allow overseas students to study in the US. It was passed into law in 1946 and earned him international recognition. Fulbright’s Senate career was marked by his opposition to the Vietnam War and what other notable cases of dissent? More… Discuss

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WORD: BAREFACED


barefaced 

Definition: (adjective) With no effort to conceal.
Synonyms: bald
Usage: They attacked him in various ways—with barefaced questions, ingenious suppositions, and distant surmises; but he eluded the skill of them all. Discuss

 

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