News Briefs From Planet Earth

CLEVELAND VOUCHER PROGRAM COULD IMPACT NATION

(AgapePress) ...What is it about Christian education so many parents find appealing? With the U.S. Supreme Court preparing to rule on a Cleveland school voucher program, a number of people are predicting a favorable decision could lead to a flood of new students for Christian schools. Sherry Tai of Colorado Springs, Colorado, says the atmosphere is very different from the public schools her daughter used to attend, and that she finds the children at Colorado Springs Christian School are a much more respectful and polite group of young adults. Dick Carpenter, Education Policy Analyst for Focus on the Family, predicts parents will flock to Christian schools if the court upholds the Cleveland voucher program. Carpenter says there is interest to attend private schools - if a voucher is available. He says when considering research on why people choose to use a voucher and a private school, the primary reason is educational. Inner-city churches across the nation are quietly opening their own schools in anticipation of a favorable decision.

Editor's Note: The down side to the voucher program is that the Catholic schools are getting the largest voucher enrollment in spite of their anti-Christ doctrines and allowing homosexuals to be priests.

PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST?

(AgapePress) ...An editorial in Jewish World Review suggests that peace in the Middle East is closer than ever. Jack Kelly believes that a genuine peace in the Middle East is closer today than at any time since the creation of the nation of Israel in 1948. He says peace is at hand chiefly because Israeli ground forces have "changed the facts on the ground." He says Al Aqsa hoped that one more push would push Israel into the sea. But Kelly says crushing that hope is a requisite for peace, and the Israel defense forces are off to a good start. He points out that hundreds of terrorists, including senior leaders of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Arafat's Fatah are in custody or dead. Kelly says Palestinians have had a vivid demonstration of Israeli might and resolve. In addition, Palestinians have discovered that Arabs in other lands will provide them with moral support but not much else. Kelly says the military reality in the Middle East is that Israel can "beat the stuffing out" of the Palestinians and any other combination of Arabs which may choose to move against her - which is why none will.

WHEN IS A TERRORIST NOT A TERRORIST?

(AgapePress) ...Israeli military officials say documents and material found in the Ramallah office of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat indicate that he apparently has used his personal helicopter to smuggle in weapons. According to WorldTribune.com, among the weapons found in Arafat's headquarters were Soviet rocket-propelled launchers. The weapons and material were either sent or modified by Baghdad or Teheran. The material found in Arafat's compound also raised the prospect that the Palestinian Authority is preparing to develop chemical weapons. Sources say documents detail plans to research and develop biological and chemical weapons. The Internet newspaper also revealed that among the material found in Arafat's headquarters were several liters of bromine. The chemical is both highly volatile and poisonous, and a small amount could kill people in a closed area. Despite this and other evidence, Secretary of State Colin Powell recently said that "It is not useful to label Arafat a terrorist." (Say what?)

SPEAKING OUT LIKE ELIJAH OR JOHN THE BAPTIST

(AgapePress) ...The head of Focus on the Family is calling on Christians to do more than just sit back and be satisfied with God's gift of salvation. Dr. James Dobson told his radio audience that Christians need to be speaking out and acting against the evils of our day. As an example, he talked about the dangers of homosexuals going into public schools to promote their lifestyle among America's children. Dobson says he is very agitated by this and is very concerned that five-, six- and seven-year-old children in public schools are being taught the homosexual propaganda . He states these children do not have the maturity to understand they are being manipulated, propagandized, and being trained for a purpose. Dobson feels Christians need to "cross the street" on behalf of those children and speak out against this evil indoctrination. In a press release, Dobson says his concern is that some religious leaders and pastors are reluctant to take a chance and stick their necks out to defend the moral issues.

CATHOLIC CHURCH STILL TRYING TO COVER UP

(AgapePress) ...A report says the Roman Catholic Church has changed its legal strategy. Instead of quietly settling sex-abuse cases, the church is hiring high-powered law firms and private detectives to examine the personal lives of the church's accusers. The Washington Post says the Roman Catholic Church has responded to its rampant sex abuse scandal "with a muscular display of legal power." Church lawyers in Illinois recently grilled a victim about the details of his alleged abuse by a priest and asked whether he enjoyed it. The Post says church officials are continuing their fight to keep incriminatory documents secret - often quoting canon law to justify purging archives relating to criminal behavior. In addition, the newspaper says church attorneys are arguing that investigating those who allege sexual abuse is simply good, routine lawyering. Recently in Boston, archdiocese lawyers countered-sued a six-year-old boy and his parents, accusing them of negligence for trusting the priest who repeatedly molested him.

EXPELLED FOR QUESTIONING ISLAM  By Fred Jackson

(AgapePress) - There is a shocking report out of Wisconsin involving a young Christian doctor who says medical school officials are persecuting him for daring to ask questions at a pro-Islamic lecture.

This past January when Dr. Michael Curtiss - a second year resident at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine - attended a required lecture given by two Islamic students.

Although medical topics were supposed to be discussed, Curtiss says it turned into a 2?-hour promotion of Islam including the singing of prayers to Allah and the voicing of support for homicide bombers.

Curtiss says he respectfully challenged some of their points during the lecture. Within a few days, he was informed by the Family Medicine Department that his contract was not going to be renewed. No explanation was given for the termination.

And now, according to WorldNetDaily, it appears Curtiss may be getting the same treatment from a residency program at Michigan State University.

Curtiss says after winning a job there a few months ago - and moving his family to start work on July 1 - he has received a letter rescinding the job offer.

Curtiss says he has decided to go public with his story now because he just wants people to realize "The liberal universities and colleges in this country are morally, intellectually and ideologically bankrupt."

JEWISH AMERICANS LONG FOR THE PROMISED LAND  by Jim Brown

(AgapePress) - A group of 531 North American Jews will be immigrating to Israel this month in a special operation made possible by a $2 million grant from the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

It is the first time the American Christians are funding Jewish immigration to Israel.

And IFCJ president, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein says ever since the most recent Palestinian "Intifada," there has been a desire on the part of many Jews to do something more to identify with Israel.

"They are coming out of deep Zionist fervor," Eckstein says, meaning a belief in the prophesies of the Bible that spoke of a day when Jews will come from the four corners of the world and come to Israel.

"The American-Jewish community, the ones "going up," he says (those who have immigrated) "has really been very small, maybe 1,000 Jews coming to Israel per year."

According to Bible prophecy, through God's New Covenant with Israel, He will restore the Jewish people to their Promised Land and give them new hearts to obey Him.

Scripture says this will happen when Jesus returns from heaven.

ARAFAT SIPHONS MILLIONS FROM NEEDY PALESTINIANS

(AgapePress) - A report in an Arab newspaper says Yasser Arafat has stolen more than $5 million in foreign aid money that was intended for needy Palestinians.

WorldNetDaily quotes a story in the Arab daily Al-Watan that says the millions of dollars in aid money that came from a variety of Arab states was supposed to help Palestinians whose homes had been destroyed during the recent Israeli military operations. It says Arafat deposited the money in his personal account instead and used a portion of it to increase his stockholdings in the Jordanian Cement Company.

According to the newspaper, Arafat did that was to capitalize on increasing cement prices brought about by the growing demand for cement to rebuild homes in West Bank Palestinian cities.

The newspaper says it received the information by way of documents from private sources in the Cairo branch of an Arab bank. The sources added that Arafat also used the money to cover some of his personal expenses, which include the cost of keeping his wife and daughter in houses in Paris and Switzerland.

The report also says most of the food aid sent to the Palestinian Authority - which was supposed to go directly to needy people - has ended up being sold in Palestinian and Israeli markets.

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