Friday, November 15, 2019

Bart Ehrman Debates Peter J Williams, Are the Gospels Historically Reliable?

During the Summer of 2018, Bart D. Ehrman and Peter J. Williams joined as guests with moderator Justin Brierley on the "Unbelievable" show called "The Big Conversation," Season 2-Episode 3. The story of Jesus: Can we trust the historical reliability of the Gospels?

Arguably, no individual has influenced the course of history more than Jesus of Nazareth. Today, over 2000 years since he lived, his story still influences the lives of millions of people. Yet, in recent decades many have questioned whether the Gospel stories are a true reflection of the central figure of Christianity. So can we trust the accounts of his life, death and alleged resurrection? Leading New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman is well known for his critique of the historicity of the Gospels. He engages with leading Cambridge University Bible scholar Peter J. Williams who defends the reliability of the accounts.

UK Election: Parties Battle over NHS - as It Reports Worst Ever Waiting Times

The NHS was already high up the list of election issues - but the data released today has shown just how big a point of contention this will be as the election campaign runs on.

All the major parties took the opportunity to say they are the ones to be trusted on turning the NHS around. But with waiting times at their absolute worst, they all face a tough task convincing the electorate.

Prince Andrew to Be Quizzed on Epstein in Newsnight Special

THE GUARDIAN: BBC to broadcast ‘no holds barred’ interview with royal on Saturday night

Prince Andrew has agreed to speak publicly about his friendship with the paedophile Jeffrey Epstein for the first time, in a “no holds barred” interview with the BBC’s Newsnight programme to be broadcast on Saturday night.

The prince has been the subject of fierce speculation over his relationship with the financier, who was found dead in his New York jail cell three months ago.

Epstein’s accuser Virginia Giuffre claims Prince Andrew was “an abuser, a participant” in her exploitation as a teenager and says she was forced to have sex with him. » | Jim Waterson, Media editor | Friday, November 15, 2019

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Guardian View on Donald Trump’s Impeachment: A Grave and Necessary Process

THE GUARDIAN: If the US president tried to enlist Ukraine to investigate his rivals he broke his oath of office and threatened America’s security

There are multiple reasons why Donald Trump ought not to be the president of the United States. However, there are only two ways of removing him from the office he has occupied for the past three years. One is to vote him out at the ballot box, which Americans will have the opportunity to do in a year’s time. The other is for Congress to impeach him, a process that began on Capitol Hill in September, and which went into public session on Wednesday, when the first hearings were beamed around the US and the world.

Although much of Washington has talked of little else for weeks, the public hearings before the Democrat-controlled House intelligence committee sharply raise the visibility of the impeachment effort with the wider public. Presidential impeachment is rare and grave. This is only the fourth time it has happened in American history. But impeachment is also both a quasi-judicial process and an inescapably political one, as anyone who remembers the 1999 trial of Bill Clinton will understand. » | Editorial | Thursday, November 14, 2019

Boris Johnson Was Supposed to Be an Ace Campaigner. So Why Is He Stumbling?

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Exposed to hostile voices on the campaign trail, he has seemed at times unsure, tone deaf and gaffe prone. It could leave an opening for the underdog Labour Party.

LONDON — For months, Prime Minister Boris Johnson planned on calling a general election in Britain, figuring he could break the logjam in Parliament by taking his case for Brexit directly to the people. Instead, as he has floundered in the early stages of the campaign, Mr. Johnson has discovered that the people are taking their case to him.

“Where have you been?” asked a man angry at the government’s response to floods that have ravaged his Yorkshire town.

“You’ve got the cheek to come here,” a young woman chided him, saying that his promise of prosperity after Brexit was a “fairy tale.”

“I’m not very happy about talking to you, so if you don’t mind, I’ll just motor on with what I’m doing,” said another woman, filling sandbags.

In the voting this summer for Conservative Party leader — and, hence, prime minister — Mr. Johnson’s prime selling points were his personal popularity and skills as a campaigner. But in the early stages of the general election, exposed to hostile voices, he has seemed at times unsure, tone deaf and gaffe prone. » | Mark Landler and Stephen Castle | Thursday, November 14, 2019

Lord Heseltine on Brexit Day: 'We've Lost Power and Influence' – Newsnight (March 2017)

"It's the day in which Britain lost more power and influence than in any other day of my peacetime life.” Lord Heseltine speaks to Emily Maitlis on the day Article 50 was triggered - starting the process of the UK leaving the EU.

“This Is Unacceptable”: Ex-Congresswoman Who Voted to Impeach Nixon Says Trump Is a Rogue President

The public phase of the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump began Wednesday, with testimonies from two witnesses: George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, and William Taylor, a former ambassador and the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine. The hearing brought forth new details about a previously unknown phone call in July between President Trump and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union. Both Kent and Taylor expressed concern over the role President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani had in dictating U.S. policy on Ukraine. We speak with Elizabeth Holtzman, a former U.S. congressmember from New York who served on the House Judiciary Committee that voted to impeach Richard Nixon.

White Nationalists Are Running the White House

The Southern Poverty Law Center's Hatewatch report on the leaked emails of Trump senior policy adviser Stephen Miller shows the deep connections he has to racist white nationalists.

Kein britischer EU-Kommissar : Johnsons Signal

FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE: Wahlkampf ist offenbar wichtiger als internationale Verpflichtungen. Boris Johnson zeigt der EU ein weiteres Mal, was er von ihr hält – keine guten Aussichten für die künftige Zusammenarbeit.

Boris Johnson hat gesprochen. Großbritannien werde bis zur Unterhauswahl keinen Kandidaten für die neue EU-Kommission benennen. Unabhängig davon, was dies für die Installierung des Teams um die gewählte Kommissionspräsidentin Ursula von der Leyen bedeutet, sendet der britische Premierminister damit ein unmissverständliches Zeichen.

In einer Hinsicht kann man den Wahlkämpfer Johnson ja verstehen. Er möchte nicht den Hauch eines Zweifels daran aufkommen lassen, dass er es gar nicht erwarten kann, sein Land endlich aus dem „Gefängnis“ namens Europäische Unionherauszuführen. Aber es wird eine Zeit „danach“ geben, egal wie die Wahl ausgeht. Und Johnson hat eben auch gesagt, dass die EU auch künftig ein wichtiger Partner Großbritanniens sein solle und werde. » | Ein Kommentar von Peter Sturm | Donnerstag, 14. November 2019

Donald Tusk Urges British Voters Not to 'Give Up' on Stopping Brexit

Outgoing European Council President Donald Tusk has urged British voters not to "give up" on stopping Brexit.

As campaigning ramps up ahead of next month's general election, he warned that leaving the EU would leave the UK a "second-rate player".

In a speech, he also said Brexit would likely mark the "real end of the British Empire".

Read the Telegraph article here »[£]

Hear! Hear! – Mark

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Saudi Arabia Defended by Conservative MP, Daniel Kawsczynski (January 2016)

Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski speaks on Saudi Arabia.

Opinion: The Toxic Relationship between Britain and Russia Has to Be Exposed

THE GUARDIAN: Russian money is poisoning the UK, yet Boris Johnson continues to suppress a report into this matter

Someone in Downing Street calculated that it was less embarrassing to suppress the intelligence and security committee’s report into Russian interference in the UK than it was to publish it.

Boris Johnson’s refusal to allow voters to read the report made waves in parliament a week ago, yet the election campaign has offered a convenient distraction since then. The government can survive one uncomfortable news cycle; but a 50-page report full of revelations about rich Russians funding political parties and associating with politicians, as well as Russian bots meddling in the referendum, could have fed the media for days.

The report will only emerge once we have a new parliament, by which stage any revelations it contains will have lost their power, and thus be safely ignored. This is a shame, because the toxic relationship between the Russian and British elites is something that needs full exposure. They have been collaborating to their mutual enrichment, and to the detriment of democracy and accountability everywhere, for decades. » | Oliver Bullough | Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Hong Kong on the Brink of a Total Breakdown? | DW News

A Hong Kong police chief has said pro-democracy protesters are pushing the city to "the brink of a total breakdown". The last two days have been among the most violent since the demonstrations began five months ago. The main flashpoint has become the university district, where there have been clashes between demonstrators and police.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Uber CEO's Outrageous Take on Khashoggi's Death

Uber CEO’s outrageous take on Jamal Khashoggi’s death. John Iadarola and Brooke Thomas break it down on The Damage Report.

Bolton Slams Trump, Suggests Foreign Policy Guided by Personal Interest | Andrea Mitchell | MSNBC

Former national security adviser John Bolton derided President Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law during a private speech last week and suggested his former boss’ approach to U.S. policy on Turkey is motivated by personal or financial interests, several people who were present for the remarks told NBC News. Aired on 11/12/19.

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Behind Trump’s Dealings With Turkey: Sons-in-Law Married to Power »

Daniel Kawczynski Marries Long-term Partner in House of Commons Ceremony

SHROPSHIRE STAR: Conservative parliamentary candidate for Shrewsbury Daniel Kawczynski took a break from campaigning to get married.

Mr Kawczynski wed his long-term Brazilian partner Fernando at a civil partnership ceremony at the House of Commons on Saturday afternoon.

The 46-year-old received hundreds of messages of support and congratulations on social media, including one from the leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, Councillor Shaun Davies.

The pair have not always seen eye to eye, often clashing over issues such as healthcare, but Councillor Davies put political differences aside for one day. » | Aimee Jones | Shrewsbury | Sunday, November 10, 2019

Hillary Clinton 'Dumbfounded' UK Government Won't Release Report on Russian Influence

Hillary Clinton has said she is 'dumbfounded' as to why the UK government has not yet published a report on alleged Russian interference in British politics. Speaking to BBC's Radio 4 Today programme, the former US presidential candidate said: 'Every person who votes in this country deserves to see that report before your election happens.' UK government delay of Russia report is shaming, says Clinton

Monday, November 11, 2019

The Billionaire Class Is Scared. They Should Be

Bill Gates doesn’t like the idea of having his excessive wealth taxed to the degree that Elizabeth Warren wants to tax it. Jeff Bezos isn’t happy about Bernie Sanders repeatedly calling out his unethical treatment of workers. All over the country, billionaires are running scared of what’s on the horizon, and its about time. They’ve had it too good for too long, while screwing the very people who they depend on. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins explains what’s happening.

UK Government Delay of Russia Report Is Shaming, Says Clinton

THE GUARDIAN: Ex-secretary of state says it is unacceptable to keep report from public before election

Hillary Clinton has called Downing Street’s suppression of a report into potential Russian infiltration of British politics “damaging, inexplicable and shaming”.

The 2016 US presidential candidate told the Guardian it was “incredibly surprising and unacceptable that in your country there is a government report sitting there about Russian influence and your current government isn’t releasing it”.

The potentially incendiary report by the intelligence and security committee has already been approved by the intelligence agencies. Downing Street was sent a final draft on 17 October and had been expected to sign off the report by the end of last month.

However, No 10 indicated that the parliamentary report would not be made public before the election, citing a sign-off process that it said could take six weeks. The chairman of the committee, Dominic Grieve, called the decision to delay publication “jaw-dropping”.

Clinton said: “I mean, who do they think they are that they would keep information like that from the public, especially before an election?

“Well, I’ll tell you who they think they are. They think that they are the all-powerful, strong men who should be ruling,” she said, linking the suppression of the report to a rising authoritarian turn in western leaders. » | Charlotte Higgins | Monday, November 11, 2019

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Royal Family Lead Britain's Remembrance Sunday Tributes at Cenotaph Service

THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: The Royal Family led the nation in paying respects to its war dead at the traditional wreath-laying service at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.

Political leaders, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour's Jeremy Corbyn, took a break from election campaigning to attend the service at the memorial on Whitehall in central London.

Hundreds of armed forces personnel were also present at the occasion, alongside Cabinet ministers, religious leaders and representatives of Commonwealth nations.

As Big Ben struck 11am, a two minutes silence was observed, with its beginning and end marked by the firing of a gun by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

Buglers of the Royal Marines sounded the Last Post before wreaths were laid at the Cenotaph by members of the royal family, politicians, foreign representatives and senior armed forces personnel. » | Telegraph Reporters | Sunday, November 10, 2019

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Waking the Titanic | Titanic Documentary | Timeline

Between 1850 and 1920 over 3 million people – half the population – emigrated from Ireland, escaping desperate poverty. Believing America to be a saviour and a life of hope, the ‘Addergoole 14’ saved fiercely in order to afford a ticket aboard the Titanic and escape to the land of dreams. Told using interviews with the descendants of survivors, these are new perspectives of the conditions on board, and the events of April 12th 1912. Focusing not on the glory and fate of the ship, this new look at a famous tragedy uncovers ordinary lives and fragile hopes of the community that lost more that fateful night than any other.

Titanic: The Facts Told by Real Survivors | British Pathé

Dispel myths and garner new insights into the Titanic with archive footage and interviews from real survivors.

On 14 April 1912, on her maiden voyage, the passenger liner RMS Titanic hit an iceberg. More than 1500 men, women and children perished. This is a short television documentary about the sinking of the Titanic, including interviews with survivors talking about their experiences and their escape.

On 14 April 1912, on her maiden voyage, the passenger liner RMS Titanic hit an iceberg. More than 1500 men, women and children perished. This is a short television documentary about the sinking of the Titanic, including interviews with survivors talking about their experiences and their escape.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Lawrence and Rachel on 'Anonymous' Book: ‘This Is a Warning about Danger to the Country’ | MSNBC

Rachel Maddow discusses with Lawrence O’Donnell the excerpts from a damning new book about Trump written by an anonymous senior Trump official. Rachel tells Lawrence that the tone of the book is that people who keep their jobs to try to thwart Trump's worst instincts is not enough. The president is too far gone for that to work. Aired on 11/07/19.

Today’s Economic Update: Protests around the World

Another Greedy Billionaire Enters the Democratic Race

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to officially enter the 2020 presidential race, making him the 2nd billionaire to fight for the Democratic nomination. Bloomberg is entering the race because he sees that Biden and the other centrists are fading fast, and he doesn’t want to pay more money under a Sanders or Warren administration. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins explains what’s happening.

Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance with Somebody

Author's 'Warning' Raises Question of Trump Staff Responsibility | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

Ben Rhodes, former deputy national security adviser, talks with Rachel Maddow about the alarming depictions by a purported "senior official in the Trump administration" of chaos and presidential recklessness on matters of life and death and decisions that have real world consequences. Aired on 11/07/19.

Saudi Twitter Spying – Interview with Saudi Political Affairs Expert Ali al Ahmed

US Prosecutors say the Saudi government used two twitter employees to spy on their critics through the platform. The employees were recruited to give private data of thousands of Twitter accounts including that of a prominent social media journalist and several government critics.

A former media partnership manager and an engineer with Twitter have been charged. Investigations revealed that data of over 6,000 users was accessed in return of tens of thousands of dollars into secret bank accounts. Saudi Arabia had also requested emergency disclosure of at least 33 usernames from twitter.

For more on this, Saudi political affairs expert Ali al Ahmed, from Institute for Gulf Affairs, and joins us from Washington DC

Saudi Twitter Spying – Interview with Sami Hamdi from the International Interest

Prosecutors in the United States have charged two former Twitter employees with spying for Saudi Arabia. The men are alleged to have been guided by an unnamed Saudi official whom prosecutors name as Royal Family Member-1. The Washington Post says that person is Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. For more on this, we are joined by Sami Hamdi, Editor-in-Chief of the International Interest.

Book by ‘Anonymous’ Describes Trump as Cruel, Inept and a Danger to the Nation

THE WASHINGTON POST: Senior Trump administration officials considered resigning en masse last year in a “midnight self-massacre” to sound a public alarm about President Trump’s conduct, but rejected the idea because they believed it would further destabilize an already teetering government, according to a new book by an unnamed author.

In “A Warning” by Anonymous, obtained by The Washington Post ahead of its release, a writer described only as “a senior official in the Trump administration” paints a chilling portrait of the president as cruel, inept and a danger to the nation he was elected to lead.

The author — who first captured attention in 2018 as the unidentified author of a New York Times opinion column — describes Trump careening from one self-inflicted crisis to the next, “like a twelve-year-old in an air traffic control tower, pushing the buttons of government indiscriminately, indifferent to the planes skidding across the runway and the flights frantically diverting away from the airport.” » | Philip Rucker | Thursday, November 7, 2019