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Today marks the seventh anniversary of the opening of George W. Bush’s Guantanamo concentration camps, which have stained the image of America around the world. Today, in gatherings of people of faith across the United States, prayer will be joined for the end of the regime of torture that Bush introduced. This an initiative of the National Religious Coalition Against Torture, whose website now features a “countdown clock.” It will count down the hours until President Obama’s first workday in office, when we hope and expect he will sign an executive order ending torture. If President Obama does not issue an executive order by 9:00 am (EST) on January 21st, the clock will begin “counting up,” marking the hours that have passed without an executive order ending torture. Here is the NRCAT appeal:
While the clock is counting down, we call on everyone to join in our multi-faith prayer to end U.S.-sponsored torture by including the prayer in a worship service between January 11 and the inauguration. We have developed a 2-sided bulletin insert with the prayer printed on one side and information about the Declaration of Principles for a Presidential Executive Order on Prisoner Treatment, Torture and Cruelty on the other. This brief prayer could be included in regularly scheduled services or as part of special services marking the January 11th anniversary or celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s commitment to justice and human rights.
NRCAT will focus much of our media outreach in January on the participation of religious congregations in this interfaith prayer, so please let us know that you plan to participate by clicking here.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Flor Arely Sánchez had been in bed with a fever and pains throughout her body for three days when a July thunderstorm broke over the mountainside. She got nervous when bolts of light flashed in the sky. Lightning strikes the San Julián region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases — first dengue, then chikungunya, now Zika. Flor worried about a lot of things, since she was pregnant.
Late in the afternoon, when the pains had somewhat eased, Flor thought she might go to a dammed-up bit of the river near her house to bathe. She is thirty-five and has lived in the same place all her life, where wrinkled hills are planted with corn, beans, and fruit trees. She took a towel and soap and walked out into the rain. Halfway to the river, the pains returned and overcame her. The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didn’t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion.
Average duration of a Japanese prime minister’s tenure since August 1993, in months:
Brain shrinkage has no effect on cognition.
An Indianapolis fertility doctor was accused of using his own sperm to artificially inseminate patients, and a Delaware man pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing his former psychiatrist.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”