Hamas to talk with Israel
(WNS)–A Hamas leader said the group was ready to break its long-standing silent treatment of Israel and talk directly to the country’s leaders. The terror group that controls the Gaza Strip, where a bloody conflict ended just two weeks ago, wants to negotiate over issues such as border crossings between Gaza and Israel and prisoner releases. “Up till now our policy was no negotiation with (Israel), but others should be aware that this issue is not taboo,” said Hamas’s second-in-command, Musa Abu Marzouk, in an interview with Al Quds TV.
Cuba Cracks Down on Christians
(WNS)–Cuba’s communist government has increased its oppression of religious institutions, according to a Christian watchdog group, with reports of religious liberty violations almost doubling in the last six months. According to a new report from Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), there were 170 religious freedom violations from the start of 2014 through mid-July. In 2013, there were only 180 incidents documented. This year’s violations included government authorities beating pastors and lay workers, dragging politically dissident women away from Sunday services, and enforcing arbitrary detentions, church closures, and demolitions, CSW said. Since 1959, the Cuban government has planted informants within churches and religious groups to report anything critical of the state or deemed “counter-revolutionary.”
Man Challenges Belgium’s Euthanasia Law After Mom’s Death
(WNS)–Tom Mortier is taking Belgium to Europe’s highest court for allowing doctors to euthanize his depressed mother and waiting to notify him until the next day. Euthanasia killings in Belgium and the Netherlands have spiked in recent years, especially for people with mental illness or depression, and the elderly who don’t want to go to nursing homes. Godelieva De Troyer died April 19, 2012, at the hands of an oncologist—not her psychiatrist of 20 years, who refused to say her depression was untreatable.