Archive for October 1st, 2010

Study Shows Progress With Stem Cell Alternative

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Yet another reason to stop justifying abortion on demand.

In what could lead to new and less controversial approaches for treating conditions like diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, researchers in Boston announced Thursday that they have made significant progress in creating stem cells from human skin — without using human embryos.

Original Link.

Diplomatic Tide Turns Against Abbas as He ‘Freezes’ Talks

Friday, October 1st, 2010

As always Israel is expected to give concession after concession while the Pali terrorist do nothing. At least this time, Abbas got a bit of a black eye for his stance, not that it will make a difference.

The constantly changing sands in the Middle East have left Abbas roasting under diplomatic heat as he faces blame for “freezing” talks with Israel.

He has frozen discussions with Israel while giving Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu five days to reinstate the building freeze on Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria. If Israel does not comply, Abbas said he will turn to the Arab League to consider the next step.

However, Prime Minister Netanyahu apparently has checked Abbas in what has become a diplomatic game of chess.

American expectations that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu would find a way to overcome PA demands for a building freeze are fizzling out. The administration publicly said it was “disappointed” that Israel did not extend the 10-month moratorium on building, a move that was made under American pressure to satisfy Abbas’ condition for direct talks.

Despite the verbal criticism of Israel by the United States as well as the European Union and the United Nations, Abbas is increasingly viewed by media and analysts as the reason for the failure to sit down with Israel.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has “managed to leave the dead cat [of prospective blame] at the doorstep of both the Obama administration and Mahmoud Abbas,” Aaron David Miller, a former U.S. peace negotiator, told Politico’s Ben Smith.

“Last summer, Israel owned the dead cat,” Smith wrote. “Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made plain their view that Netanyahu’s failure to stop all settlement construction on the West Bank was the obstacle to resumed talks, and after an ill-timed construction announcement, Clinton’s office released details of the unusual 43-minute tongue lashing she delivered to the Israelis.”

“There are people on both sides who have no confidence [in the peace process] and so the name of the game is who gets blamed,” pro-PA think tank expert Hussein Ibish told Smith. “[That] is why the Palestinians can say a million times that they’ll walk out — but they can’t.”

Any doubt about support for Israel from Washington was removed on Monday when 87 senators—almost the entire U.S. Senate—signed a letter that effectively praised Prime Minister Netanyahu and blamed Abbes for the latest impasse.

Original Link.

Survey: Americans Don’t Know Much About Religion

Friday, October 1st, 2010

A truly sad state of affairs.

A new survey of Americans’ knowledge of religion found that atheists, agnostics, Jews and Mormons outperformed Protestants and Roman Catholics in answering questions about major religions, while many respondents could not correctly give the most basic tenets of their own faiths.

Forty-five percent of Roman Catholics who participated in the study didn’t know that, according to church teaching, the bread and wine used in Holy Communion is not just a symbol, but becomes the body and blood of Christ.

More than half of Protestants could not identify Martin Luther as the person who inspired the Protestant Reformation. And about four in 10 Jews did not know that Maimonides, one of the greatest rabbis and intellectuals in history, was Jewish.

Original Link.