Ignore the male relative behind the curtain.
Approximately 150 women gathered at an interfaith center in Los Angeles for what may be the first all-female Mosque in the United States on Friday afternoon.
Male imams traditionally lead prayers and Quran teachings but the Women’s Mosque of America, which claims to be the country’s first female-only mosque, aims to present an alternative by creating an all-female space for prayer, lead by a female imam.
Word of the event spread to Muslim women across the country through social media sites, such as Facebook and twitter, and leadership retreats. Some women from New Jersey and Nevada decided to travel and be a part of what they consider a historical event.[…]
“We just wanted to have a safe space where women could come and get inspired and hear from a female khatiba or someone who delivers the khutbah or the sermon and that’s an opportunity that we don’t get in other mosques. The speaker is always a male imam and not only that, it’s very hard to access the imam because of the way the mosques are structured architecturally. Sometimes the men and women are completely cut off from one another. This mosque gives us a chance to connect with our leaders and also with one another in a way that we wouldn’t in another environment,” said Maznavi.
The traditional Friday prayer, or jummah, is currently only scheduled to take place once a month but the founders of Women’s Mosque of America, as well as some attending worshipers, hope the prayers can be held every Friday.
I didn’t know smoking was legal in California still…
Via Tech Times:
California could become the state with the highest minimum smoking age in the U.S. if a bill proposed by state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-Azusa) on Thursday would make it through the legislature.
In a statement released Friday, Hernandez pointed out that tobacco companies are aware that people tend to become addicted to smoking if they start the habit at young age. Senate Bill 151 proposes to increase the legal smoking age in California from 18 to 21 years old in a bid to curb tobacco smoking in children and young adults.
The American Lung Association in California says that nine in ten smokers take up the smoking habit by the time they reach 18 years old and 36,000 kids in the Golden State starts to smoke each year.
No. 1 movie, that’s why she’s trying to get with what’s popular.
Via Boston Herald:
Speaking at an event to boost the image of veterans in entertainment, first lady Michelle Obama offered praise to the movie “American Sniper” for its depiction of military families and “the complex journeys that our men and women in uniform endure.”
Obama spoke to a Washington gathering on Friday organized by Got Your 6, a group that promotes accurate portrayals of veterans in entertainment. Bradley Cooper, who played Chris Kyle in “American Sniper,” was one of the panelists at the event.
“The No. 1 movie in America right now is a complex, emotional depiction of a veteran and his family,” the first lady said, adding that “while I know there have been critics, I felt that, more often than not, this film touches on many of the emotions and experiences that I’ve heard firsthand from military families over these past few years.”
What a creepy funeral home!
A judge says a funeral home that sold the used pine casket of Lee Harvey Oswald for $87,468 must return it to the accused presidential assassin’s brother.
Robert Oswald bought the pine bluff casket for his brother. It was exhumed in 1981 amid conspiracy theories that it didn’t contain Lee Harvey Oswald’s body. After a Dallas hospital confirmed the body through dental records, it was reburied, but not in the original casket, which was too water-damaged.
Oswald’s family says it thought the original casket had been thrown away, but the funeral home actually kept it in storage before selling it at auction.
Finally, after years of terrorism, some action!
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — African leaders have agreed to send 7,500 troops to fight the Boko Haram insurgency in northeast Nigeria, an African Union official said Saturday.
The move came after the council urged heads of state to endorse the deployment of troops from five West African countries to fight the terror group, said the head of the African Union’s Peace and Security Council, Samil Chergui.
African leaders who are members of the 54-nation African Union are meeting in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa for a two-day summit that ends Saturday.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon earlier said he support the AU’s move to send a force to fight Boko Haram. Boko Haram is increasing its attacks as Nigeria prepares for Feb. 14 elections. Thousands have been killed in the 5-year insurgency.
African nations have opened up a new international front in the war on terror. On Thursday, neighboring Chad sent a warplane and troops that drove the extremists out of a northeastern Nigeria border town in the first such act by foreign troops on Nigerian soil.
More money from oil to finance their reign of terror.
Jan 31 (Reuters) – Islamic State insurgents on Saturday seized a small crude oil station near the northern Iraqi city Kirkuk where 15 employees were working, and explosions in and around the capital Baghdad killed at least nine people.
Two officials from the state-run North Oil Co confirmed the militants seized a crude oil separation unit in Khabbaz and said 15 oil workers were missing after the company lost contact with them.
“We received a call from one of the workers saying dozens of Daesh fighters were surrounding the facility and asking workers to leave the premises. We lost contact and now the workers might be taken hostage,” an engineer from the North Oil Co told Reuters, using a derogatory acronym for Islamic State.
U.S. sends hashtags, Chad sends soldiers. Good show, Chad!
Via Al Jazeera Eng:
Chadian ground troops aided by a warplane have driven Boko Haram fighters from a Nigerian border town, witnesses have said.
Thursday’s fighting marked the first such action by foreign troops on Nigerian soil to fight the armed group.
Resident Abari Modu said he witnessed the Chadian offensive on Malam Fatori village in Nigeria’s Borno state.
“We saw the fighter jet when it started shelling and bombarding the insurgents who were lodging mostly inside the local government secretariat and the district head’s palace,” he told The Associated Press.
He said the bodies of many Boko Haram fighters were still in the town on Friday morning. He said the Chadian jet had pursued fleeing fighters to the border, and that the bombardment was coordinated with Chadian ground troops, offering the fighters no escape.
The new far left Greek party doesn’t want ‘austerity measures’. Now watch them have no money at all…
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has ruled out cancelling any of Greece’s debt, saying banks and creditors have already made substantial cuts.
But Mrs Merkel told the Die Welt newspaper she still wanted Greece to stay in the eurozone.
Greece’s left-wing Syriza party won last weekend’s election with a pledge to have half the debt written off.
Its finance minister said the “troika” of global institutions overseeing Greek debt was a “rotten committee”.
The troika – the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund – had agreed a €240bn (£179bn; $270bn) bailout with the previous Greek government.
But new Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has refused to work with the troika to renegotiate the bailout terms and has already begun to roll back the austerity measures the creditors had demanded of the previous government.
As if DMV wasn’t screwed up enough already. Wait till the loss of jobs starts to hit, when it isn’t just applying for licenses that’s the problem…
The Department of Motor Vehicles is so overwhelmed with requests for new driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations that it can take up to three months to get an appointment or a half-day wait in the lobby.
A DMV spokesman told KCAL9 Political Reporter Dave Bryan there has been a crush of applications for new licenses for undocumented immigrants, a program that began earlier this month. The spokesman said the DMV is working to address the problems, but some people are having to take a day off of work to handle a 15-minute transaction.
Back to his hopey and changey campaign.
President Obama issued an executive order Friday directing federal agencies to adopt stricter building and siting standards to reflect scientific projections that future flooding will be more frequent and intense due to climate change.
The order represents a major shift for the federal government: while the Federal Emergency Management Administration published a memo three years ago saying it would take global warming into account when preparing for more severe storms, most agencies continue to rely on historic data rather than future projections for building projects.
The new standard gives agencies three options for establishing the flood elevation and hazard area they use in siting, design and construction of federal projects. They can use data and methods “informed by best-available, actionable climate science”; build two feet above the 100-year flood elevation for standard projects and three feet above for critical buildings such as hospitals and evacuation centers; or build to the 500-year flood elevation.
The White House move comes just days after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a massive post-Sandy report examining flood risks for 31,200 miles of the North Atlantic coast. The research explicitly took sea level rise induced by climate change into account, and finds that “Flood risk is increasing for coastal populations and supporting infrastructure.”
Shouldn’t San Francisco have the special housing unit? Time to stop coddling the special unique snowflake illegal aliens.
Via CNS News
An official with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement testified Friday during a discussion on immigration detention facilities, hosted by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, about a “special housing unit in the Los Angeles area dedicated to the gay, bisexual and transgender detainees.”
“We have a special housing unit in the Los Angeles area dedicated to the gay, bisexual and transgender detainees,” said Kevin Landy, assistant director of the ICE office of detention policy and planning.[…]
When transgender detainees are taken into custody, they are assessed individually, and decisions about how the individual will be classified and where the individual will be placed “may not be based solely on the biological anatomy of that individual,” Landy said.
During the intake process, detainees are asked a number of questions, including “whether any of a variety of special vulnerabilities apply,” Landy said. “One of those special vulnerabilities is whether that individual might fear for their safety in detention due to their gender identity or sexual orientation. So that’s a factor being taken in immediately.”
Dontre Hamilton was a homeless man who was sleeping near the Starbucks at Red Arrow Park in Milwaukee. Starbucks employees called the police on him. He was shot by an officer after grabbing the officer’s baton and allegedly hitting him in the head. Somehow, that’s Starbucks fault apparently and they were bad, for ‘racial profiling’…
According to the Hood Book of Etiquette, a plea deal is the same as snitchin’.
Via NOLA Com
As the trial date approached for the two men accused of murdering her daughter, Margaret Washington decided to seek some small measure of mercy for them. She knew that if 28-year-old Myron Jackson and 23-year-old Jeffrey Washington were convicted as charged they’d never come home again.
What she wanted, she said in a New Orleans coffee shop Wednesday afternoon, was 20 years for the two men accused of killing her “princess,” Marguerite La Joy Washington, an 18-year-old freshman at Dillard University. Margaret Washington imagined that with a finite prison sentence the two defendants could get an education, learn a trade and be released in time for them to “possibly do something with (their) life.”
After she expressed her feelings to prosecutors in District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office, here’s what they came up with: The defendants could plead guilty to manslaughter and get 27 years. Subtracting the time they’d get for good behavior and the time they’d already served, they’d be left with the 20 years Margaret Washington sought.
But as my colleague Helen Freund reported, Jackson noisily rejected the offer from the defendants’ table in Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson’s courtroom. “We ain’t do that! We ain’t do that!” he yelled. Freund wrote that Jeffrey Washington, no relation to the victim or her mother, appeared to be close to signing the deal — until his co-defendant talked him out of it.
Margaret Washington thought that Jeffrey Washington let himself be persuaded by Jackson, too. She also described pressure from the defendants’ supporters. She said they yelled “Don’t let them do that to y’all!” Thus, they mischaracterized an offer of mercy as a snare.
Margaret Washington sat in the courtroom thinking, “Well, I’ll be doggone.” And days after both men were found guilty of second-degree murder, she was still shaking her head at what she called “the stupidity of it all.”
A well-placed tax payer relief shot would have solved the problem. Update to this previous story.
Via Philly Com
He eluded police for nearly two months, and has been jailed for three more. But the death-penalty trial for Eric Frein could still be more than a year away.
On Thursday, Frein pleaded not guilty to charges he plotted the ambush that killed one state trooper and wounded a second last September in nearby Blooming Grove. It was his first court appearance since prosecutors officially declared they would seek the death penalty against him.
In a brief court appearance via video feed from the Pike County prison, the self-styled survivalist remained expressionless and responded politely to County Court Judge Gregory H. Chelak.
Frein waived his formal arraignment and said he understood the charges against him, which include murder, terrorism, and possession of explosive devices.
The 31-year-old Canadensis man is accused of killing Cpl. Bryon Dickson and wounding Trooper Alex Douglass outside their state police barracks on Sept. 12. Police also said they found two pipe bombs at Frein’s campsite in Monroe County. In court filings, prosecutors have said Frein planned the shootings in a bid to stir a change in the government.
It was his first court hearing since District Attorney Raymond J. Tonkin filed notice this week that he is seeking the death penalty against Frein.