ER Doctor, Church Youth Pastor Arrested in Massive Ohio Child Sex Trafficking Sting

An emergency room doctor and a church youth pastor are among the more than 100 individuals arrested in a massive human trafficking and online child sex sting in central Ohio, authorities said.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced in a press release Sept. 13 that 30 law enforcement agencies and social service organizations worked together in this three-day sting that covered three counties, yielding 104 arrests.

These arrests include 31-year-old Austin Kosier, who worked in the emergency department at Genesis Healthcare System in Zanesville, reported 10TV WBNS. He was arrested on two felony charges of importuning and attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

Genesis Healthcare told the Columbus-based CBS-affiliate that Kosier was placed on indefinite leave as soon as the hospital learned of his arrest.

Also arrested was Christian Gibson, 26, a youth director in training at Redeemer’s on Courtright Church in Columbus. He faces the same charges as Kosier and has since been removed from his position.

The operation, code-named “Fourth and Goal,” yielded 104 total arrests. Twenty-four individuals were arrested and charged with felonies for importuning and attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor after seeking to engage in sexual activity with whom they believed to be juveniles. One of those individuals was additionally charged with attempted rape and another with disseminating matter harmful for juveniles.

Major Steven Tucker with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office told WBNS that 24 men, including Kosier and Gibson, showed up with the “intention of meeting a child for sex.”

He said law enforcement agents, posing as juveniles, communicated with these individuals via online chats.

“The reality that they were operating in, is that there absolutely was a child at the other end of that device, and that’s who they were coming to see,” said Tucker. “They show up with things that clearly somebody isn’t going to show up to a house with unless they intended to engage in sexual activity.”

Tucker said parents need to know what their children are doing online and educate them about the potential threats.

“Set the rules. Be the parent. Be the parent. Know who they’re talking to,” he said. “You’re entitled to ask. You’re entitled to know. The children need to know, you can’t trust everybody. Not every adult is trustworthy.”

“Criminals involved in trafficking other human beings prey upon those individuals that are already at risk, subjecting them to prostitution and addiction,” said Attorney General Yost. “Predators who seek to harm our children and grandchildren are not hiding in the bushes, they’re lurking on the internet.”

Absolute theological bankruptcy’: Union Theological Seminary students confess climate sins to plants

Students at Union Theological Seminary prayed to a display of plants set up in the chapel of the school, prompting the institution to issue a statement explaining the practice as many on social media mocked them.

“Today in chapel, we confessed to plants,” the nation’s oldest independent seminary declared Tuesday on Twitter. “Together, we held our grief, joy, regret, hope, guilt and sorrow in prayer; offering them to the beings who sustain us but whose gift we too often fail to honor. What do you confess to the plants in your life?”

The ceremony, which is part of professor Claudio Carvalhaes’ class “Extractivism: A Ritual/Liturgical Response,” drew ridicule from many on Twitter, some of whom accused the seminary and students of having lost their minds.

In response, the seminary’s Twitter account began retweeting users who defended the ritual and also issued a statement spanning a lengthy 10-tweet thread.

“We’ve had many questions about yesterday’s chapel,” the statement read in part. “In worship, our community confessed the harm we’ve done to plants, speaking directly in repentance. This is a beautiful ritual.”

“We are in the throes of a climate emergency, a crisis created by humanity’s arrogance, our disregard for Creation,” the statement continued. “Far too often, we see the natural world only as resources to be extracted for our use, not divinely created in their own right—worthy of honor, thanks and care. We need to unlearn habits of sin and death. And part of that work must be building new bridges to the natural world. And that means creating new spiritual and intellectual frameworks by which we understand and relate to the plants and animals with whom we share the planet.”

Encouraging churches to turn from “theologies that encourage humans to dominate and master the Earth,” Union asserted that “we must birth new theology, new liturgy to heal and sow, replacing ones that reap and destroy.”

“No one would have blinked if our chapel featured students apologizing to each other,” the statement went on. “What’s different (and the source of so much derision) is that we’re treating plants as fully created beings, divine Creation in its own right—not just something to be consumed. Because plants aren’t capable of verbal response, does that mean we shouldn’t engage with them? So, if you’re poking fun, we’d ask only that you also spend a couple moments asking: Do I treat plants and animals as divinely created beings?”

Confessing to the plants was “just one expression of worship here at Union,” a spokesperson for the seminary told the Washington Examiner. “Union Theological Seminary is grounded in the Christian tradition, and at the same time deeply committed to inter-religious engagement. Union’s daily chapel is, by design, a place where people from all the wondrous faith traditions at Union can express their beliefs. And, given the incredible diversity of our community, that means worship looks different every day!”

“One day, you may come in to find a traditional Anglican communion, another day you may enter into a service of Buddhist meditation or Muslim prayer,” the spokesperson continued. “Another, you may find a Pentecostal praise service or a silent Quaker meeting. We create a home where people can worship side by side, in traditions similar to and very different to their own. Through this process, we learn from our neighbors and discern our own faith more deeply.”

Affiliated with neighboring Columbia University in Upper Manhattan, Union became the nation’s first independent seminary in 1893 when it sundered from the Presbyterian Church after the denomination tried to oust one of its professors for claiming the Bible is not inspired by God, among other things.

German pastor and anti-Nazi dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer was among the school’s more famous alumni, who left after escaping the Third Reich to teach there briefly in 1939. Appalled by the liberalism of its students, Bonhoeffer wrote they “are completely clueless with respect to what dogmatics is really about. They are not familiar with even the most basic questions. They become intoxicated with liberal and humanistic phrases, are amused at the fundamentalists, and yet basically are not even up to their level.”

Bonhoeffer remembered that students “openly [laughed]” at a lecture on sin and forgiveness, and accused the seminary of having “forgotten what Christian theology in its very essence stands for.” Disillusioned, he decided to return to Germany to resist the Nazi regime, where he was executed at the Flossenbürg concentration camp in 1945 for his role in the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

Over 8,000 Palestinians take part in weekly protests along Gaza border

Over 8,000 Palestinians take part in
76 said hurt by IDF fire as rioters attack soldiers with explosive devices and rocks, attempt to sabotage fence

Over 8,000 Palestinians took part in weekly protests along the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel on Friday afternoon.

Some of the Gazans attacked Israeli soldiers with improvised explosive devices and rocks, and others attempted to sabotage the security fence.

Palestinians reported that 76 people were hurt by the IDF response, 48 of them from live fire.

The demonstrations come after a week in which seven Palestinians were wounded when a rocket fired from the Strip towards Israel exploded near a house inside the coastal enclave.

Palestinian eyewitnesses said two of the three rockets struck outside a home in the southern city of Rafah Wednesday, and a third fell near the fence separating Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Last Friday, several thousand Palestinians protested along the Gaza border, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that war with terror groups in the Gaza Strip could break out “at any moment.”

Some 4,000 people took part in the demonstrations, with several hundred rioting and throwing rocks and explosive devices at Israel Defense Forces troops who responded with tear gas and occasional live fire.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said 30 people had been wounded, including 15 from live fire.

Earlier in the month two Palestinian teens were killed in clashes which the IDF called “especially violent.”

HEZBOLLAH SAYS IRAN WOULD DESTROY SAUDI ARABIA IN ANY WAR

Hezbollah says Iran would destroy Saudi Arabia in any war

Lebanon’s Hezbollah warned Saudi Arabia on Friday against betting on a war against Iran because it would destroy the kingdom and said Riyadh and the United Arab Emirates should halt the conflict in Yemen to protect themselves.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, head of the Iran-backed Shi’ite Muslim group, also said new air defenses could not easily defend Saudi Arabia from the type of drones used in a Sept. 14 attacks on Saudi oil installations.

Tensions have spiked in the region since the attacks that officials in Washington and Riyadh have blamed on Iran, which has denied involvement. Responsibility was claimed by Yemen’s Houthi movement, an Iran-aligned group fighting a Saudi-led alliance in Yemen’s civil war.

Hezbollah is a heavily armed Shi’ite group set up by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in 1982 and a major part of a Tehran-backed regional alliance.

“Don’t bet on a war against Iran because they will destroy you,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech.

Noting that the attack had initially halved Saudi oil output, he added: “Your house is made of glass and your economy is made of glass. Like the glass cities in the UAE.”

Nasrallah said the attacks on the Aramco installations showed the strength of the Iran-backed alliance and that new air defences could not easily defend Saudi Arabia given its size and the manoeuvrability of the drones used.

New air defences would “be very expensive and it will be of no use”, he said. His advice to both Saudi Arabia and its ally the United Arab Emirates was to instead stop the war in Yemen.

Noting threats by the Houthi movement against the UAE, he added: “The thing that will protect the installations and infrastructure in Saudi Arabia and the UAE is halting the war against the Yemeni people

https://m.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Hezbollah-says-Iran-would-destroy-Saudi-Arabia-in-any-war-602367?fbclid=IwAR0K2jAh50Q8t-pNqEsNCT1VK8JrvM_716Bbr5rKvFdBTwLP5MGk5uULlIw

Terrifying footage shows locations that would initially be targeted in a nuclear war between the US and Russia


OPINION (Express) – Horrifying footage shows the locations that would initially be targeted in a nuclear war between the United States and Russia, with 34million people being killed in less than five hours. Princeton University researchers released the bleak video simulation, which lays bare how a nuclear war between Russia and the US would unfold. Towards the start of the video, titled Plan A, Russia sends 3000 nuclear warcraft to NATO bases across Europe. The simulation then shows London and surrounding areas targeted, with the whole European continent being wiped out in just three hours, with an estimated 2.6million killed or injured.

London is depicted as being carpet-bombed, and Europe is devastated, at which point NATO launches a further 600 warheads from US soil and via nuclear submarines aimed at Russian nuclear forces, with Russia responding with a salvo of its own. There are a further 3.4 million casualties in just 45 minutes. Both sides then launch further strikes on major population centers, with another 85.3 million people killed and wounded in the course of 45 minutes. By the end of the exchanges, there are a total of 91.5 million casualties, including 34.1 million deaths. READ MORE

Results aren’t even official, but already nightmare 3rd election scenario looms

These are early days indeed to try to make sense of what government may emerge from the migraine-inducing complexity of Israel’s elections. We haven’t even gotten the final results yet. But the outcome everybody professes to want to avoid is already starting to loom in the distance.

Neither of the rival camp leaders, incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu and challenger Benny Gantz, has attracted the support of the majority of the 120 incoming Knesset members. Likud leader Netanyahu has now locked in the backing of the two ultra-Orthodox parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism, and the Orthodox-nationalist Yamina. Blue and White head Gantz can assume that the two left-wing parties, Democratic Camp and Labor-Gesher, will side with him, and that the Arab Joint List will also work to try to prevent another Netanyahu term. Yisrael Beytenu’s Avigdor Liberman — a settlement-residing hawk from Netanyahu’s part of the spectrum when it comes to issues of security, but a secular Jew of a Blue and White mindset in his determination to confront ultra-Orthodox coercion — holds the balance of power between the blocs.

Having moved to strengthen his hand by uniting Likud’s three natural allies behind him, Netanyahu on Thursday disingenuously invited Gantz to meet him “without preconditions” for talks on a “unity” coalition. Unsurprisingly, Gantz said no. The Blue and White chairman does want to bring Likud into a “unity” coalition — but under his leadership, and only after Likud has freed Netanyahu to grapple with his legal difficulties.

Netanyahu, needless to say, knew full well that Gantz would reject his offer. His goal is to appear to be seeking a unity government, to probe for any weaknesses in the ranks of the Knesset members siding with Gantz, to somehow will those election results into his favor… and, if all else fails, to blame the ostensibly intransigent Gantz for spurning his overtures, and allow Israel to slide into yet a third round of elections, the scenario that all of our newly elected leaders assure us they will do their utmost to prevent.

Gantz, for his part — asserting that Netanyahu has lost, though hesitant to claim victory — will also be probing for weakness among Netanyahu’s backers. He may have fewer overt supporters in his bloc — depending on whether the buoyant Arab Joint List recommends him as its choice of prime minister, and whether Liberman takes a side when he goes in to see President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday evening. But Gantz’s bet is that, over the coming weeks or even months of deadlocked coalition negotiations, Likud will start to crack.

As the prospect of a third election — the mandatory last resort if nobody can form a coalition — looms larger, he hopes, Likud’s legislators will start to calculate that their party will do less well next time. It seems to have dropped about four seats from its 35 in April, but really shed more, given that on Tuesday it included Kulanu in its ranks, a party that won four seats on its own last time. The ultra-Orthodox parties gained some ground, but the rise of the Joint List, and the significant rise in support for Liberman — whose voters knew on Tuesday, unlike in April, that a vote for Yisrael Beytenu was no longer an automatic vote for a Netanyahu-led government — will not have been lost on Likud legislators.

By the time a third election comes around, moreover, Netanyahu could well have been indicted in the corruption cases against him. And while he may then seek to portray himself still more desperately as the victim of a political witch hunt, that gambit manifestly did not play to his advantage on Tuesday. Indeed, several of his familiar gambits backfired — including the cameras in the Arab polling stations “voter fraud” ploy, the demonizing of the Arab electorate campaign, and the “gevalt… we’re losing” interviews and social media blitz.

While Gantz is hoping Likud will start to crack, Netanyahu is scouring for options — playing for time, with the advantage of being prime minister. And this is the Middle East, where external affairs can intrude at any moment on the plots and schemes of politicians; where external affairs can also be encouraged to intrude

Netanyahu is on the defensive, compelled to cancel his trip to the UN in New York next week, and thus forced, ignominiously, to cancel a planned meeting with US President Donald Trump, who responded Wednesday with the devastating revelation that he hadn’t spoken with Netanyahu since the elections and, anyhow, “our relationship is with Israel.” But, for now, his party is standing by him.

While Gantz is hoping Likud will start to crack, Netanyahu is scouring for options — playing for time, with the advantage of being prime minister. And this is the Middle East, where external affairs can intrude at any moment on the plots and schemes of politicians; where external affairs can also be encouraged to intrude.

The Israeli electorate has had its say. The one man who could single-handedly break the deadlock we produced, Liberman, is insisting on the unity partnership both of the big party leaders claim to want but not really with each other.

And so our president will on Sunday begin the sensitive task of trying to convert the will of the people, the diverse will of the people, into a viable leadership for Israel — to cajole our elected representatives into some kind of stable government. Otherwise, if Netanyahu sees it as his last hope, and Gantz thinks he’ll emerge from it stronger, we may yet have to go through this all again.

2 Chicago gangbangers executed a 9-year-old boy in a revenge killing against his father’s rival gang.

The boy’s father is now in jail for a shooting in retaliation of his sons slaying.

Two reputed Chicago gang members allegedly executed a 9-year-old boy in broad daylight because they sought revenge on the child’s father’s rival gang, which they blamed for gunning down family members, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Tyshawn Lee, 9, was in his school uniform when three men approached him in the South Side of Chicago in November 2015, prosecutors said during opening statements.

Prosecutors said Corey Morgan and Kevin Edwards kept watch while Dwight Doty lured the fourth grader into an alleyway. They said he promised him a juice box.

Doty then took out a .40-caliber handgun and shot Lee, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Margaret Hillmann said.

Two separate trials began for Morgan and Doty on Tuesday. The two alleged members of the Bang Gang/Terror Dome faction of the Black P Stones gang seek to pin the blame on each other for the child’s slaying, reports said. Edwards, who prosecutors claim was the getaway driver, pleaded guilty earlier this month to first-degree murder in exchange for a 25-year prison sentence, according to the Chicago Tribune. He’s not expected to testify against the other two men.

Prosecutors argued that Morgan and Doty targeted the 9-year-old because his father, Pierre Stokes, belongs to a rival gang — the Killa Ward faction of the Gangster Disciples. They said the two blame that gang for a shooting in October 2015 that killed Morgan’s brother and wounded his mother.

Morgan’s attorney, Thomas Breen, tried to distance his client from the crime.

“That execution of that 9-year-old boy has to come from one singularly evil person,” Breen told jurors without naming Doty. “Not from a plan. His killer did so of his own volition and for his own reason. Not at the behest or help of Corey Morgan.”

Brett Gallagher, an assistant public defender representing Doty, later pointed out to jurors that Morgan had the motive for revenge and the Morgan family had organized the purchase of the firearm used to kill the child.

Tyshawn Lee, 9, was in his school uniform when three men approached him in the South Side of Chicago in November 2015, prosecutors said during opening statements.

Prosecutors said Corey Morgan and Kevin Edwards kept watch while Dwight Doty lured the fourth grader into an alleyway. They said he promised him a juice box.

Doty then took out a .40-caliber handgun and shot Lee, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Margaret Hillmann said.

Two separate trials began for Morgan and Doty on Tuesday. The two alleged members of the Bang Gang/Terror Dome faction of the Black P Stones gang seek to pin the blame on each other for the child’s slaying, reports said. Edwards, who prosecutors claim was the getaway driver, pleaded guilty earlier this month to first-degree murder in exchange for a 25-year prison sentence, according to the Chicago Tribune. He’s not expected to testify against the other two men.

Prosecutors argued that Morgan and Doty targeted the 9-year-old because his father, Pierre Stokes, belongs to a rival gang — the Killa Ward faction of the Gangster Disciples. They said the two blame that gang for a shooting in October 2015 that killed Morgan’s brother and wounded his mother.

Morgan’s attorney, Thomas Breen, tried to distance his client from the crime.

“That execution of that 9-year-old boy has to come from one singularly evil person,” Breen told jurors without naming Doty. “Not from a plan. His killer did so of his own volition and for his own reason. Not at the behest or help of Corey Morgan.”

Brett Gallagher, an assistant public defender representing Doty, later pointed out to jurors that Morgan had the motive for revenge and the Morgan family had organized the purchase of the firearm used to kill the child.