Swedish state to train imams

The Swedish government is to set up an inquiry to look into the possibility of using state funds to provide training programmes for imams
Sweden funds fight against honour crimes
Women priests overtake men (28 Jan 08)
Book about Jesus saves Swedish writer – twice 
Muslim religious representatives should be able to benefit from Swedish tax kronor in the same way as Christian priests and ministers, according to Minster for Higher Education and Research Lars Leijonborg.
The former Liberal Party leader also believes that the move will help stem the development of radical Islam in Sweden.
“It has been suggested that radical Muslims from Saudi Arabia are offering to provide imams for free, and a lack of money means that moderate Muslims who want to set up a mosque don't have any alternatives,” Leijonborg told Svenska Dagbladet.
Concrete proposals regarding the structure and composition of a training course for imams would only be put forward following close consultation with Muslims in Sweden, he said. The minister added that the government had already begun discussions with the newly formed Ibn Rushd study foundation.
“My opinion is that we should help Muslims by providing a Swedish training course for imams, or at …

Turning 1st Amendment upside down

You might think one of the qualifications for being appointed president of a prestigious institution of higher learning would be a basic understanding of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
After all, the First Amendment, like the rest of the nation's founding charter, is written in plain English – straightforward, modern language that should be comprehensible to a grade-school student.
Nevertheless, the president of the historic College of William & Mary in Virginia has shown you can believe the First Amendment prohibits the free exercise of religion and protects obscenity and indecency and be welcomed into the hallowed fraternity of college administration.
In fact, such upside-down thinking may be a requirement for such a distinguished post.
That's what I deduce from the latest pronouncements of morality from Gene Nichol, the current bearer of that title at the Williamsburg university. Tell me if I'm off base.
Nichol came to national news prominence in 2006 when he supported a decision by his administrators to remove a cross from William & Mary's famous Wren Chapel.
It seems some anonymous person was offended by this show of religious faith in the public square.
After students and alumni put together a petition of more …

robiotic yoghurts to cut infection in UK hospitals

By Alex McNally
 Probiotic yoghurts are being used at hospitals in the UK to cut the risk of patients developing superbug infections.
The news comes just weeks after a Dutch trial using the friendly bacteria on pancreatitis sufferers led to the death of 24 people.
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust are trialing the pots on wards at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton and the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath, which have had higher cases of Clostridium difficile infection.
The Trust said there has been science to support the use of probiotics, and said the yoghurt helps balance the bacteria in the stomach which could help make patients less susceptible to infection. 
A spokesperson told NutraIngredients.com:  “My understanding is that there has been no scientific evidence to suggest it could do any harm.”
Medical director Matthew Fletcher said: “We are providing Actimel probiotic yoghurt to patients on the wards where we have previously had more cases of C.diff.
“There is some evidence to suggest that using these probiotics may reduce a patient's risk of C.diff and we will be evaluating the difference this has made to the number of cases.”
The trial is expected to last …

Schoolgirl to aliens:'We're not going to turn America..a bilingual country to accommodate you'

Melting pot: 'We're not going to turn America
into a bilingual country to accommodate you' 
Schoolgirl to aliens: Learn our language
'We're not going to turn America into a bilingual country to accommodate you'
A Texas schoolgirl has a message for aliens coming into the United States: Learn our language.
The message comes from Ashleigh Allison, who has insisted on studying France and its language even though her Grapevine-Colleyville school district curriculum requires her to take Spanish, according to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
And her mother agrees. “We're not going to turn American into a bilingual country to accommodate you,” she said. “She (Ashleigh) wants to be the one voice that forces them to learn English.”
K.C. McAlpin, a spokesman for ProEnglish, a Virginia-based group that is trying to preserve English as the common language of the United States, said there's no opposition to teaching foreign languages.
(Story continues below)
“But it would be naïve to think that the country does not face the growing threat of bilingualism because of the massive influx of mostly Spanish-speaking immigrants. They're coming in faster than the country can absorb them,” McAlpin said.
In Texas, schools are required to …

Leprosy outbreak causes concerns in Northwest Arkansas

SPRINGDALE – The medical community is warning the public: a leprosy outbreak in Springdale could blossom into an epidemic, if something isn't done soon.
Doctors say at least nine cases of leprosy have been confirmed in Springdale. Local doctors say they would be shocked by even one case of leprosy in their entire career, so they say something must be done soon, in order to stop leprosy's spread.
Springdale MD Jennifer Bingham says, “my initial response was: I am shocked. I am shocked we are seeing this. It's a true reason to be very worried.”
Medical specialists say the Marshall Islands have the most cases of leprosy, in the world. And the city with the largest number of Marshallese people, outside the Marshall islands, is Springdale. And Bingham says, it makes sense, then, that leprosy is spreading to the city. “It's from the Marshall islands; that's why we're seeing it.”
Bingham says she is all for Marshallese people entering the United States, after proper medical tests. But whether they're immigrants or not, she says people must stick to treatment, when infected. And she says, when she treats those from the Marshall Islands, this doesn't happen. “We're not getting the compliance …

Shabbat Shalom-Waiting for Daisy

By Peggy Orenstein
The following is an excerpt from Waiting for Daisy
“I can't believe my luck! I really hope you’re Peggy Orenstein the author!”
That was the first line of an email I’d received five years earlier from a sixteen-year-old who identified herself only as “Fish.” Girls often wrote to me in those days after reading Schoolgirls, a book I’d written about young women and self-image issues. Usually, we traded a letter or two and that was it. But Fish kept writing and so I did, too. Eventually I learned her real name was Jess Catapano. She was the only child of an elementary school aide and a construction foreman in West Palm Beach, Florida, where she attended a specialized public arts high school. She dreamed of being a journalist some day, maybe focusing on women’s issues like I had.
At first, I only responded to Jess’ letters, but after awhile, especially if we had three or four exchanges a day, I lost track of who was propelling our correspondence forward. Jess was funny and talented: I enjoyed knowing what was going on inside of her head. More than that, our exchanges made me feel that I had a …