MILWAUKEE — A Roman Catholic priest in Milwaukee has come out as gay, writing that he will no longer live in the shadows of secrecy and plans to be authentic to his gay self. The Rev. Gregory Greiten disclosed his sexual orientation on Sunday to the St. Bernadette Parish and was greeted with a standing ovation from his parishioners, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. He also wrote a column that was published Monday in the National Catholic Reporter. It’s rare for a priest to come out. Greiten said h
Those who broke their silence about sexual misconduct have been named TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year. Amid revelations about Harvey Weinstein and other men, “the silence breakers” prompted millions to share their own stories. (Dec. 6) AP(Photo: Time Magazine)CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMOREMy wife was wrong — and yet oh-so-right.For weeks, she’d been predicting Anita Hill would be chosen as Time magazine’s Person of the Year.From a literal standpoint, Mary Ann’s hunch proved incorrect. But in matters of symbolism, she nailed it.On Wednesday, the publication named “#MeToo,” the movement against sexual harassment, as its 2017 recipient.In making the televised announcement, editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal called #MeToo “the fastest moving social change we’ve seen in decades. And it began by individual acts of courage by hundreds of women, and some men, too, who came forward to tell their stories of harassment and assault.”#MeToo may have blossomed in recent months, but its seeds were sown more than a quarter-century ago by Hill.“She was the first woman to stand up on a national stage and take all the slut-shaming for accusing Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment,” Mary Ann said. “She has never wavered in her story. She was the pioneer, like Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus.”Hill had worked for Thomas at the U.S. Department of Education and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You may recall her testimony in 1991 before an all-male Senate committee debating Thomas’ nomination as justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. In explicit, no-nonsense words, she painted the picture of her former boss as an intimidating lecher.
New Delhi (AFP) – He already has millions of Twitter followers and has spoken of the wonders of new technology. Now the Dalai Lama has launched a new iPhone app so devotees can keep track of his travels and teachings. The 82-year-old Buddhist monk announced the new app, which will allow users to watch live video of his teachings, to his 16.6 million Twitter followers on Thursday. It promises official news, videos and photos from the office of the Tibetan spiritual leader. However it does not appear on Ap
Bryan Johnson isn’t short of ambition. The founder and CEO of neuroscience company Kernel wants “to expand the bounds of human intelligence”. He is planning to do this with neuroprosthetics; brain augmentations that can improve mental function and treat disorders. Put simply, Kernel hopes to place a chip in your brain.
It isn’t clear yet exactly how this will work. There’s a lot of excited talk about the possibilities of the technology, but – publicly, at least – Kernel’s output at the moment is an idea. A big idea.
“My hope is that within 15 years we can build sufficiently powerful tools to interface with our brains,” Johnson says. “Can I increase my rate of learning, scope of imagination, and ability to love? Can I understand what it’s like to live in a 10-dimensional reality? Can we ameliorate or cure neurological disease and dysfunction?”
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The shape that this technology will take is still unknown. Johnson uses the term “brain chip”, but the developments taking place in neuroprosthesis are working towards less invasive procedures than opening up your skull and cramming a bit of hardware in; injectable sensors are one possibility.
It may sound far-fetched, but Johnson has a track record of getting things done. Within his first semester at university, he’d set up a profitable business selling mobile phones to fellow students. By age 30, he’d founded online payment company Braintree, which he sold six years later to PayPal for $800m. He used $100m of the proceeds to create Kernel in 2016 – it now employs more than 30 people.
But Johnson, 40, says he is about more than money. He was raised as a Mormon in Utah and it was while carrying out two years of missionary work in Ecuador that he was struck by what he describes as an “overwhelming desire to improve the lives of others”.
I spent a decade being tortured in my own mind
His subsequent decision to leave the faith only added to this sense of purpose. “For the first time in my life, I had to sit with the notion that the closest I’d ever come to my previous vision of heaven is whatever we can build here on Earth while I’m alive,” he explains.
“And when I surveyed the landscape of human history, including how we treat each other and our shared home, I thought we have to do better.”
The idea for Kernel also came from a “deeply personal” place, Johnson says. He suffered from chronic depression from the ages of 24 to 34, and has seen his father and stepfather face huge mental health struggles.
“I spent a decade being tortured in my own mind,” he says. “I have witnessed and experienced what happens when a brain isn’t at its best. Being able to treat Alzheimer’s disease went from ‘that’d be nice’ to ‘really important’ after my stepfather began showing early symptoms. Helping people overcome addiction went from ‘that’d be nice’ to ‘really important’ after my father suffered from drug addiction for the first 25 years of my life.”
He understands the scepticism around Kernel’s work, but argues that it has the potential to build a better, more equal society.
“What if everyone – not just the privileged– had the same access to information, learning, skill improvement, and cognitive evolution?” he asks.
As idealistic as Johnson’s vision for the brain is, there are still big ethical questions to consider about the process, from security to the squeamishness of having a chip in your head.
Johnson describes it as a “necessary tool” for cognitive evolution, and says he’ll happily be among the first to trial the augmentation.
Kernel is a for-profit company, however; Johnson claims that this gives the brand the best chance of producing a “usable product” at the end of the difficult and expensive road he is taking. While outside investment will be needed to keep the company going, public interest and funding in neuroscience has increased in the past few years, he says, and is likely to keep doing so. Elon Musk got into the field with the launch of his company, Neuralink, earlier this year, and the neuroprosthetics market is expected to be worth as much as $14.6bn by 2024.
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So Johnson is keeping his focus on the future, a habit that inspired the project in the first place. He explains that, while trying to work out what to do next after selling Braintree, he hosted a series of 12 dinner parties with the brightest people he knew.
“I would begin each gathering with a question,” he recalls. “What do we need to focus on today to create a world that you would love to live in by 2050?
“With minor variations, I heard the same answers nearly every time: climate science, education, healthcare, AI, governance, and security. Not once, though, did a single person – out of the hundreds who attended – mention improving the brain itself.
“And yet, the brain is everything we are, everything we do, and everything we aspire to be. It seemed obvious to me that the brain is both the most consequential variable in the world and also our biggest blind spot as a species. I decided that if the root problems of humanity begin in the human mind, let’s change our minds.”
Chinese police have started gathering blood types, DNA samples, fingerprints and iris scans from millions of people in its Muslim-majority Xinjiang province to build a massive citizen database, according to report by activist group Human Rights Watch. The report, published Wednesday, said officials are collecting the data from citizens between the ages of 12 and 65 years old using a variety of methods. Authorities are gathering DNA and blood types through free medical checkups, and HRW said it is was unclear if patients were aware that their biometric data was being collected for the police during these physical exams.According to the report, citizens authorities have flagged as a potential threat to the regime, and their families—named “focus personnel”—are forced to hand over their DNA regardless of age.Keep Up With This Story And More By Subscribing NowSo far, 18.8 million citizens have participated in the medical checkups, called “Physicals for All” by the government, according to an article by a state news agency Xinhua on November 1.
“Xinjiang authorities should rename their physical exams project ‘Privacy Violations for All,’ as informed consent and real choice does not seem to be part of these programs,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at HRW.
“The mandatory databanking of a whole population’s biodata, including DNA, is a gross violation of international human rights norms, and it’s even more disturbing if it is done surreptitiously, under the guise of a free health care program,” she added.
The rights group is concerned about the data collection as iris scans, DNA and blood type could be used for “surveillance of persons because of ethnicity, religion, opinion or other protected exercise of rights like free speech,” further adding to controls in a region some analysts have dubbed an “open air prison.”
Xinjiang, a territory in northwest China, is a colossal region of deserts and mountains and is known for being home to many ethnic minority groups, including over 11 million Muslim Turkic Uighur people. Because of this, Xinjiang has long been subject to tight control and intense levels of surveillance not experienced elsewhere in China.
In April, police banned its citizens from wearing long beards or veils in public, a move that activist groups saw as a means of targeting the Muslim population in particular. Authorities also banned home schooling and use of the Uighur language in schools, as well as introducing new restrictions on downloading what it considered to be extremist materials.
The biometric collection scheme is detailed in an official document that was posed in Xinjiang’s government website, with HRW making an unofficial translation is available.
During an appearance on The Glenn Beck Program Monday, former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said that there is an audio recording out there that catches an anti-Trump operative bribing a woman to lie about the president. There is “an audio tape of an anti-Trump person offering $200,000 to a woman to accuse Donald Trump of untoward behavior,” O’Reilly told Beck, adding that he may have to go to the U.S. attorney himself because “there are at least three crimes on the tape,” according to his lawyer. “It’s in
WASHINGTON – Several women who accused President Trump of sexual misconduct during the campaign are coming forward again to demand an investigation, with one saying the commander-in-chief called her a c–t. Jessica Leeds, who worked as a traveling saleswoman, said Trump was her seatmate on a flight nearly 40 years ago when he groped her and put his hands up her skirt. “He’s all over me. Kissing and groping and groping and kissing,” Leeds told NBC’s Megyn Kelly on Monday. “…But when his hands starting going
Three women who publicly accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct have spoken out once again, hoping their stories would make a difference in light of the #MeToo movement, which has led to several powerful men being held accountable after facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment. “It was heartbreaking last year,” Samantha Holvey told NBC News host Megyn Kelly on Monday. Holvey who represented North Carolina at the 2006 Miss USA pageant, has said Trump would come and personally inspect her and the
A Bangladeshi national in his 20s has been taken into custody with serious injuries after a suspected pipe bomb he was carrying malfunctioned and exploded prematurely inside a Midtown Manhattan subway station Monday morning. It was the second time in two months that New York City was the target of a terrorist attack, and the first on U.S. soil since President Trump last week sparked Muslim outrage around the world by identifying Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.The explosion happened around 7:20am, in an underground tunnel linking the Port Authority Bus Terminal to Times Square. The underground tunnel is a major thoroughfare for workers during the morning rush hour.The suspect, identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, was found injured at the scene and rushed to Bellevue Hospital to be treated for serious burns and cuts. He was wearing what appears to be a homemade pipe bomb attached to his body with Velcro and zip ties. Authorities say Ullah is talking to investigators at the hospital. Three other people also reported to local hospitals for minor injuries like ringing in the ears and headaches. There have been reports that Ullah – a former taxi driver – was inspired byISIS.
ISIS has threatened an attack on Paris on New Year’s Day in yet another digitally created propaganda poster. The image shows crowds of people in front of the Arc de Triomphe and the photograph is overlaid with a carving knife dripping with blood.A caption on the poster, shared by terrorist supporters on social media, warns: ‘We will make New Year’s Day hell.’
CANBERRA, Australia — The Australian Parliament voted on Thursday to allow same-sex marriage across the nation, following a bitter and divisive debate settled by the government polling voters in a much-criticized ballot survey that strongly endorsed change.
The public gallery of the House of Representatives erupted with applause when the bill passed to change the definition of marriage from solely between a man and a woman to “a union of two people” excluding all others. The legislation passed with a majority that wasn’t challenged, although five lawmakers registered their opposition to the bill.
The Senate passed the same legislation last week 43 votes to 12. After royal assent and other formalities, the law will likely take effect in about a month, with the first weddings expected about a month later.
Amendments meant to safeguard freedoms of speech and religion for gay-marriage opponents were all rejected, though those issues may be considered later. The government has appointed a panel to examine how to safeguard religious freedoms once gay marriage is a reality in Australia.
Lawmakers advocating marriage equality had argued that the national postal survey in November mandated a change of the marriage definition alone, so changing the law should not be delayed by other considerations.
“It is now our job as members of Parliament to pass a fair bill that does not extend or create any new discriminations,” an emotional government lawmaker Warren Entsch, who helped draft the bill, told Parliament. “It is a strong bill that already strikes the right balance between equality and freedom of religion.”
“It’s an historic day for Australia today and I think the celebrations around the country when we finally … achieve marriage equality are going to be immense,” Janet Rice said before the vote. Rice is a minor Greens party senator who was only able to remain married to her transgender wife of 31 years, Penny, because Penny remained listed as male on her birth certificate.
Penny Wong, an opposition Labor Party senator who has two children with her lesbian partner, said: “I am feeling happy.”
Gay marriage was endorsed by 62 percent of Australian voters who responded to the government-commissioned postal ballot.
Most gay rights advocates believed the government should have allowed marriages years ago and saw various ideas for a public survey as a delaying tactic. The U.N. Human Rights Committee had called the ballot survey “an unnecessary and divisive public opinion poll.”
The current bill allows churches and religious organizations to boycott gay weddings without violating Australian anti-discrimination laws.
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Existing civil celebrants can also refuse to officiate at gay weddings, but celebrants registered after gay marriage becomes law would not be exempt from the anti-discrimination laws.
One of the rejected amendments would have ensured Australians could speak freely about their traditional views of marriage without fear of legal action. It was proposed by Attorney-General George Brandis and supported by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, both gay marriage supporters.
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who was a high-profile advocate for traditional marriage, told Parliament that Turnbull and opposition leader Bill Shorten had failed to deliver detailed protections for freedoms of speech, conscience and religion in the bill.
“A promise was made by the leaders of this Parliament and the promise has not adequately been delivered on,” Abbott said.
Abbott pointed to an Australian teenager who lost her job for advocating against gay marriage on social media and an Australian Catholic bishop who was taken before a state anti-discrimination tribunal over a pamphlet he published extolling traditional marriage. The complaint against the bishop was dropped.
“The last thing we should want to do is to subject Australians to new forms of discrimination in place of old ones that are rightly gone,” he said.
Government lawmaker Trevor Evans ruled out an Australian equivalent of the U.S. Supreme Court case in which a baker who refused to provide a wedding cake for a gay couple argued he was exercising artistic freedom and was exempt from Colorado anti-discrimination laws.
“Let’s be honest here, for a case like that to arise in Australia, it would require a gay couple who care more about activism than about the success of their own wedding, to find a business operator who cares more about religious doctrine than the commercial success of their own small business, and for both of them to commit to having a fight,” Evans told Parliament.
“Typical Australians would genuinely question the bona fides of the players in a case like that and the slim prospects of that occurring doesn’t warrant the pages and pages of commentary and debate that have been dedicated to it,” he added.
Several gay marriage opponents in Turnbull’s conservative coalition have regarded marriage equality as inevitable and have welcomed an end to an issue that has long divided the government ranks.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, a same-sex marriage opponent who oversaw the postal ballot, said he felt “great satisfaction” that the issue was resolved.
“It was a polarizing issue on which good Australians had strongly and sincerely held views on both sides of the argument,” Cormann said.
“I and my colleagues on the coalition side always took the view that the best way to resolve a disagreement in the community like this is by giving the Australian people which we did, we kept faith with it, the Australian people embraced the process and the result was emphatic,” he said.
The result is a political win for Turnbull, who became prime minister after deposing Abbott in 2015 in an internal government leadership ballot.
Abbott was head-butted by a gay rights advocate during the postal survey campaign in September. Kevin Rudd, a center-left Labor Party prime minister whom Abbott defeated in elections in 2013, blamed the postal ballot for an assault on his godson Sean Foster, 19, as he campaigned for marriage equality a week earlier.
Veteran gay rights campaigner Rodney Croome said he expected the first same-sex weddings in Australia would not take place until February.
The law will likely take effect after a month. State laws then require couples to give 28 days’ notice of their intention to marry, Croome said.
LONDON — A prominent Anglican cleric and gay rights campaigner known for contentious gestures has urged believers to pray for Prince George — age 4, and third in line to the throne — to find the love “of a fine young gentleman” when he grows up so as to advance the cause of same-sex marriage in church.
Coming just days after Prince Harry — George’s uncle, and fifth in line — announced his engagement to Meghan Markle, a divorced American actress, the suggestion by the Very Rev. Kelvin Holdsworth seemed to illuminate once more the role of royal romance in Britain’s imagination and conversation, especially when it collides with tradition.
Prince Harry and Ms. Markle have said they will marry in May at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, west of London. But it is only since 2002 that the Church of England has permitted church marriages for divorced people, “in exceptional circumstances” at the discretion of parish priests. The church teaching is that marriage is for life.
While same-sex marriage is permitted by law in most of Britain, the Church of England says on its website, “it remains the case that it is not legally possible for same-sex couples to marry” in its churches.
Mr. Holdsworth, the provost of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, belongs to the Scottish Episcopal Church, a separate province of the Anglican Communion that voted in June to let its priests solemnize same-sex marriages.
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In his campaign to expand on that change, Mr. Holdsworth wrote in a blog post on Thursday that believers could “pray in the privacy of their hearts (or in public if they dare) for the Lord to bless Prince George with a love, when he grows up, of a fine young gentleman.” Prince George is the elder child of Prince William and the former Catherine Middleton, now called the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
“A royal wedding might sort things out remarkably easily, though we might have to wait 25 years for that to happen,” Mr. Holdsworth wrote. “Who knows whether that might be sooner than things might work out by other means.”
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His suggestion was widely reported in the British media on Friday, though the blog on which he made it seemed inaccessible Friday morning.
Mr. Holdsworth caused a frisson among some of the faithful in January when he permitted a reading from the Quran during a service that included a rebuttal of the Christian belief that Jesus was the son of God.
His latest comments also drew the outrage of more traditional clerics. The Rev. Gavin Ashenden, a former royal chaplain, called the comments unchristian.
“To pray for Prince George to grow up in that way” is to “pray in a way that would disable and undermine his constitutional and personal role,” he told Christian Today, an online news provider, particularly when part of the expectation that the prince would inherit would be “to produce a biological heir with a woman he loves.”
“It is an unkind and destabilizing prayer,” Mr. Ashenden continued. “It is the theological equivalent of the curse of the wicked fairy in one of the fairy tales.”
There was no immediate comment from the royal family. Prince Harry and Ms. Markle arrived in Nottingham, England, on Friday for their first official visit together — to raise awareness of H.I.V./AIDS and youth violence.