TNHP - December 2015

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Religious children are meaner than

their secular counterparts, study finds

Image: Detail of photo of a child standing on the threshold of a church. By Allen Donikowski/Getty Images/Flickr RM, via The Guardian.

Religious belief appears to have negative influence on children’s altruism and judgments of others' actions even as parents see them as ‘more empathetic'

Harriet Sherwood
The Guardian
6 November 2015 — Children from religious families are less kind and more punitive than those from non-religious households, according to a new study.
Academics from seven universities across the world studied Christian, Muslim and non-religious children to test the relationship between religion and morality.
They found that religious belief is a negative influence on children’s altruism.
“Overall, our findings ... contradict the commonsense and popular assumption that children from religious households are more altruistic and kind towards others,” said the authors of The Negative Association Between Religiousness and Children’s Altruism Across the World, published this week in Current Biology. (More)

Spain issues arrest warrant

for 'War Criminal Netanyahu'

17 November 2015

Veterans Today

Israel wants to quash an arrest warrant prepared by a Spanish judge for Benjamin Netanyahu over the deadly 2010 IDF attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla that killed ten people.

The Israeli PM and six other former ministers would be arrested if they set foot on Spanish soil.

“We consider it to be a provocation,” said an Israeli foreign ministry spokesperson. We are working with the Spanish authorities to get it cancelled. We hope it will be over soon.”

Judge Jose de la Mata, who drew up the warrants, ordered the police and civil guard to notify the court if any of the seven enter Spain.

Israeli Defence forces carried out a deadly attack on the Freedom Flotilla aid ship Mavi Marmara, which was attempting to bring supplies to Gaza, in contravention of an Israeli-imposed blockade.

Nine activists were killed during the raid that took place in international waters some 150km from Gaza, one more died of wounds later that month.

Autopsies revealed the nine Turkish men were shot with 30 bullets and five were killed with close-range bullets to the head. (More)

While President Barack Obama forgives two turkeys

Americans told what they really have to be thankful for

25 November 2015

By William Boardman
Reader Supported New
"Rooted in a story of generosity and partnership, Thanksgiving offers an opportunity for us to express our gratitude for the gifts we have and to show our appreciation for all we hold dear….”

So begins the official Presidential Proclamation of Thanksgiving Day, 2015, signed and issued by Barack Obama. While it hearkens back to earlier Thanksgivings in St. Augustine in 1565 and Plymouth in 1621, this is an essentially imperial document than gives only vague lip service to giving “thanks for the many blessings bestowed upon us.” When his proclamation gets specific, in the third sentence, the President gives the highest place of grateful honor to the source of global American imperial dominance:  

"We also honor the men and women in uniform who fight to safeguard our country and our freedoms so we can share occasions like this with loved ones, and we thank our selfless military families who stand beside and support them each and every day."

This is, of course, fatuous pandering and a patent lie that is widely and unthinkingly shared by much of a preoccupied populace. Our country and our freedoms have needed no serious military defense for decades. Even amidst the popular revival of terrorism hysteria these days, our country and our freedoms need no military protection, because they face no credible military threat. (More)

Hidden origins of Syria’s civil war

20 July 2015

Exclusive: In the early months of the Syrian civil war, the West’s mainstream media presented the conflict as a simple case of good-guy protesters vs. bad-guy government, but the conflict was more complicated than that and the one-sided version only made matters worse, writes Jonathan Marshall.

By Jonathan Marshall

Since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, nearly a quarter million people have perished and fully half of the country’s inhabitants have been forced from their homes, creating the worst refugee crisis in the past quarter century. Meanwhile, the continuing advance of brutal Islamist factions — which a leading CIA officer in 2013 termed the “top current threat to U.S. national security” — makes the chances of restoring peace and human rights seem more remote than ever. (More)

ISIS financed from 40 countries

including G20 members: Putin

'U.S. problem lies in paranoia'

16 November 2015


President Vladimir Putin says he’s shared Russian intelligence data on Islamic State financing with his G20 colleagues: the terrorists appear to be financed from 40 countries, including some G20 member states.

During the summit, “I provided examples based on our data on the financing of different Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) units by private individuals. This money, as we have established, comes from 40 countries and, there are some of the G20 members among them,” Putin told the journalists. (More)

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