Select Page

Author: Reporter

Shock and Awe: Why the United States military remains in Iraq after 20 years

Twenty years after the U.S. invaded Iraq, in blinding explosions of shock and awe, American forces remain in the country in what has become a small but consistent presence to ensure an ongoing relationship with a key military and diplomatic partner in the Middle East. The roughly 2,500 U.S. troops are scattered around the country, largely in military installations in Baghdad and in the north. And while it is a far cry from the more than 170,000 U.S. forces in Iraq at the peak of the war in 2007, U.S. officials say the limited — but continued — troop...

Read More

UN says Afghanistan is world’s most repressive country for women after Taliban takeover in 2021

Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, the country has become the most repressive in the world for women and girls, deprived of virtually all their basic rights, the United Nations said in grim assessments in early March. The U.N. Mission said that Afghanistan’s new rulers have shown an almost “singular focus on imposing rules that leave most women and girls effectively trapped in their homes.” Despite initial promises of a more moderate stance, the Taliban have imposed harsh measures since seizing power as U.S. and NATO forces were in the final weeks of their pullout from...

Read More

God and AI: Clergy concede that sermons written by ChatGPT are competent but have no soul

Among sermon writers, there is fascination and unease over the fast-expanding abilities of artificial-intelligence chatbots. For now, the evolving consensus among clergy is this: Yes, they can write a passably competent sermon. But no, they cannot replicate the passion of actual preaching. “It lacks a soul – I don’t know how else to say it,” said Hershael York, a pastor in Kentucky who also is dean of the school of theology and a professor of Christian preaching at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Sermons are meant to be the core of a worship service – and often are faith...

Read More

Avian Influenza: Costs pile up and health concern spreads as bird flu outbreak enters second year

The ongoing bird flu outbreak has cost the government roughly $661 million and added to consumers’ pain at the grocery store after more than 58 million birds were slaughtered to limit the spread of the virus. In addition to the cost of the government response and rising prices for eggs, chicken and turkey, farmers who raise those animals have easily lost more than $1 billion, said an agricultural economist, though no one has calculated the total cost to the industry yet. The bad news is that with the outbreak entering its second year and the spring migratory season looming,...

Read More

World Health Organization’s chief says COVID still an emergency but nearing inflection point

The coronavirus remains a global health emergency, the World Health Organization chief said recently, after a key advisory panel found the pandemic may be nearing an “inflection point” where higher levels of immunity can lower virus-related deaths. Speaking at the opening of WHO’s annual executive board meeting, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said “there is no doubt that we’re in a far better situation now” than a year ago — when the highly transmissible Omicron variant was at its peak. But Tedros warned that in the last eight weeks, at least 170,000 people have died around the world in...

Read More

Scientific advisers support FDA’s plan to simplify process for COVID-19 vaccinations

The U.S. is poised to make COVID-19 vaccinations more like a yearly flu shot, a major shift in strategy despite a long list of questions about how to best protect against a still rapidly mutating virus. The Food and Drug Administration asked its scientific advisers recently to help lay the groundwork for switching to once-a-year boosters for most Americans, and how and when to periodically update the shots’ recipe. “This is a consequential meeting to determine if we’ve reached the point in the pandemic that allows for simplifying the use of current COVID-19 vaccines,” said FDA’s Dr. David Kaslow....

Read More