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Friday, Sep 19th

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George W. Bush to Raise Money for Group That Converts Jews to Bring About Second Coming of Christ

GW BushNext week, former President George W. Bush is scheduled to keynote a fundraiser in Irving, Texas, for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, a group that trains people in the United States, Israel, and around the world to convince Jews to accept Jesus as the Messiah. The organization's goal: to "restore" Israel and the Jews and bring about about the second coming of Christ.

Messianic Jews have long been controversial for Jews of all major denominations, who object to their proselytizing efforts and their message that salvation by Jesus is consistent with Jewish theology. Last year, Abraham Foxman, president of the Anti-Defamation League, told Politico that former Sen. Rick Santorum's appearance at an event hosted by another Messianic Jewish organization, the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America, was "insensitive and offensive."

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New rule requires equal treatment for mental illness

NIMHFive years after the passage of a groundbreaking law establishing equality between mental health care and other medical treatments, the Obama administration announced its final rule Friday defining how that treatment must be provided.

The rule requires insurers to charge similar co-payments for mental health treatment as they would for physical ailments. It also makes clear that deductible and visit limits are generally not more restrictive for mental health and substance abuse care.

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How a war game brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster

War gamesChilling new evidence that Britain and America came close to provoking the Soviet Union into launching a nuclear attack has emerged in former classified documents written at the height of the cold war.

Cabinet memos and briefing papers released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that a major war games exercise, Operation Able Art, conducted in November 1983 by the US and its Nato allies was so realistic it made the Russians believe that a nuclear strike on its territory was a real possibility.

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Same-sex marriage bill clears Hawaii Senate committee; goes to floor

Hawaii same sex marriage billA bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Hawaii cleared a state Senate committee and moved to the full Senate for a vote.

The Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee approved the bill following nearly 12 hours of testimony Monday during which more than 400 people addressed lawmakers, Hawaii News Now reported.

The full Senate is expected to vote on the bill Wednesday. If it passes, it will go to the House, where a joint hearing before the Judiciary and Finance committees is scheduled Thursday.

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U.S. Ranks 23rd For Women’s Equality, Falling Behind Nicaragua, Cuba, and Burundi

women's equalityIn the 2013 World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report, which measures women’s economic, political, educational, and health equality, the United States ranks at number 23 out of 136 countries around the world. The country falls behind many Nordic countries as well as Nicaragua, Cuba, and Burundi, among others.

The country also falls at number 17 out of the 49 high-income countries measured. Its ranking has dropped over the years, down from number 22 in 2012 and 17 in 2011, although not all countries are counted each year. While its overall scored improved over last year, its ranking dropped thanks to faster improvements in other countries.

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The Cuban Five were fighting terrorism. Why did we put them in jail?

Cuban FiveConsider for a moment what would happen if American intelligence agents on the ground in a foreign country uncovered a major terrorist plot, with enough time to prevent it. And then consider how Americans would react if authorities in that country, rather than cooperate with us, arrested and imprisoned the U.S. agents for operating on their soil.

Those agents would be American heroes. The U.S. government would move heaven and Earth to get them back.

This sort of scenario has occurred, except that, in the real-life version, which unfolded 15 years ago last month, the Americans play the role of the foreign government, and Cuba — yes, Fidel Castro’s Cuba — plays the role of the aggrieved United States.

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Why are Americans giving up their citizenship?

US passportsGoodbye, US passport.

That's not a concept that Americans contemplate lightly. But it's one that many of them seem to be considering - and acting on.

The number of expatriates renouncing their US citizenship surged in the second quarter of 2013, compared with the same period the year before - 1,131 cases to 189 in 2012. It's still a small proportion of the estimated six million Americans abroad, but it's a significant rise.

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