Archive for April 13th, 2009

“Hate Crimes” Legislation Could Lead to Arrest of Christian Pastors

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Representatives John Conyers (D-Michigan) and Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) are sponsoring the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913), also known as the “Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act.” The bill would add sexual orientation to the list of categories covered under federal hate crime law. When Democrats passed the bill in 2007, they were divided over whether to add “gender identity and expression” to the list.

Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) says under the legislation, pastors, rabbis, or imams could be charged with encouraging or inducing a “hate crime” if they preach against homosexuality.

“Every preacher of the gospel, unless you cut out parts of it; every imam who mentions anything with regard to sexual immorality — they could be pursued, and in other countries they have been,” says the Texas lawmaker.

Original Link.

U.S. Navy Frees Captain, Kills 3 Somali Pirates

Monday, April 13th, 2009

It’s a shame the situation had to end in violence, but at least the brave captain of the Maersk Alabama was rescued unharmed.
Maybe it’s time for the world to put an end to the Somali pirates.

Pirate T-shirt

NAIROBI, Kenya — Navy SEAL snipers on the fantail of a destroyer cut down three Somali pirates in a lifeboat and rescued an American sea captain on Easter Sunday. The surprise nighttime assault in choppy seas ended a five-day standoff between a team of rogue gunmen and the world’s most powerful military.

It was a stunning conclusion to an Indian Ocean odyssey that began when 53-year-old freighter Capt. Richard Phillips was taken hostage Wednesday by pirates who tried to hijack the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama. The Vermont native was held on a tiny lifeboat that began drifting precariously toward Somalia’s anarchic, gun-plagued shores.

The operation, personally approved by President Obama, quashed fears the saga could drag on for months and marked a victory for the U.S., which for days seemed powerless to resolve the crisis despite massing helicopter-equipped warships at the scene.

Negotiations with the three pirates were growing heated, Vice Adm. Bill Gortney said.

One of them pointed an AK-47 at the back of Phillips, who was tied up and in “imminent danger” of being killed when the commander of the nearby USS Bainbridge made the split-second decision to order his men to shoot, Gortney said. Navy snipers took aim at the pirates’ heads and shoulders, he said.

The lifeboat was about 25-30 yards away and was being towed by the Bainbridge at the time, he said. The pirates had agreed to the tow to move the powerless lifeboat out of rough water.

A fourth pirate surrendered after boarding the Bainbridge earlier in the day and could face life in a U.S. prison. He had been seeking medical attention for a wound to his hand and was negotiating with U.S. officials on conditions for Phillips’ release, military officials said.

Somali media were identifying the captured pirate as 16-year-old Mohamed Abdi, according to the Somali Justic Advocacy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

The rescue was a dramatic blow to the pirates who have preyed on international shipping and hold more than a dozen ships with about 230 foreign sailors. But it is unlikely to do much to quell the region’s growing pirate threat, which has transformed one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes into one of its most dangerous. It also risked provoking retaliatory attacks.

Original Link.