President Obama: We are hitting ISIS ‘harder than ever’
Following a meeting with the National Security Council, President Obama confirmed in a press conference Monday that the U.S. is hitting ISIS “harder than ever.”
Obama’s comments come just over a week after he gave an Oval Office address on the fight against ISIS that did little to quell anxieties. While Monday’s speech held no major announcements or strategy shifts, Obama explained that ISIS has lost “thousands of square miles of territory” in recent months. And while Obama acknowledged that “progress needs to keep coming faster,” he remained firm: ISIS leaders “cannot hide,” he said. “Our message is simple: You are next.” The New York Times via The Week
Trump soars to 41 percent in latest national poll
Donald Trump has taken a commanding lead in the latest Monmouth University poll, claiming 41 percent of support from Republicans or right-leaning independents — nearly triple the support of his next closest rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who rests at 14 percent.
Marco Rubio and Ben Carson trail with 10 and 9 percent respectively, while the rest of the field falls below 5 percent. Trump’s boost in support follows his controversial plan to ban Muslims from entering the country amid terrorism fears. Monmouth’s poll surveyed 385 registered voters between December 10th and 13th, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent.
The Monmouth poll was conducted Dec. 10-13, surveying 385 registered voters nationwide who identified as Republicans or independents who indicated that they leaned toward the Republican Party. The margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points. Politico
Saudi Arabia Announces 34-Nation Islamic Alliance against terrorism
Saudi Arabia announced Tuesday what it called a new Islamic military alliance made up of 34 countries to fight terrorism.
The state-run Saudi Press Agency published a statement saying the initiative will include an operations center in Riyadh to coordinate military operations. The statement said terrorism is a “serious violation of human dignity and rights, especially the right to life and the right to security,” and that “acts of corruption and terrorism cannot be justified in any way.”
Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman said at a news conference there will not be a focus on any one terror group. The Saudi statement said others have “expressed their support,” including Indonesia, the home of the world’s largest Muslim population. VOA
Living alone could be good for your weight
Good news for people living alone: A forthcoming paper shows that single adults — of any sexual orientation — are physically healthier when it comes to body mass index. The study, which appears in the January edition of the Journal of Family Issues , found that living without a partner — either divorced or never married — is associated with lower body weight.
On the other hand, co-habiters and married people, whether male or female, had higher BMIs, a calculation of weight and height that studies have linked to chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, some types of cancers, and, ultimately, higher rates of mortality .
Sociologist Jay Teachman of Western Washington University used 20 years of data from the 1979 National Longitudinal Study of Youth and more than 3,000 participants to examine body weight, marital status, and what he calls relationship “transitions” — that is, breakups. CNN
Lord’s Prayer ban in theaters
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is set to investigate the banning of the Lord’s Prayer from being shown in movie theaters, on grounds that the ban may restrict religious freedom. According to Christian Today, an advertisement featuring the Prayer and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, was scheduled to be shown before screenings of the film Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Digital Cinema Media chose not to screen the advertisement, however, due to the fact that advertisements promoting “any religion, faith or equivalent systems of belief” are prohibited.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is set to examine the validity of showing the advertisement in a public setting as part of a larger investigation into the effectiveness of the law protecting religious freedom.
The Church of England is also baffled by the decision not to screen the advertisement. “The Lord’s Prayer is prayed by billions of people across the globe every day and in this country has been part of everyday life for centuries,” a statement from Rev. Arun Arora, director of communications for the Church of England, said. Christian Headlines
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