Reverent silence marks the largest gathering ever of Mormon faithful in Thailand

BANGKOK, Thailand — During his first trip to Thailand in 1966, President Russell M. Nelson traveled by boat through the canals and klongs of Bangkok. He watched women gather water for their daily needs from the same river as their children bathed. He shopped at floating markets. And he visited the home of a medical colleague, spotting geckos on the walls controlling the insect population. He did not meet another member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Greeted by highways and skyscrapers 52 years later, President Nelson returned to Thailand Friday as part of his world ministry tour, reflecting on the city’s past half-century of growth. It’s… Read More

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Science Says: Amount of straws, plastic pollution is huge

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cities and nations are looking at banning plastic straws and stirrers in hopes of addressing the world’s plastic pollution problem. The problem is so large, though, that scientists say that’s not nearly enough. Australian scientists Denise Hardesty and Chris Wilcox estimate, using trash collected on U.S. coastlines during cleanups over five years, that there are nearly 7.5 million plastic straws lying around America’s shorelines. They figure that means 437 million to 8.3 billion plastic straws are on the entire world’s coastlines. But that huge number suddenly seems small when you look at all the plastic trash bobbing around oceans. University of Georgia environmental engineering professor Jenna Jambeck… Read More

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Interfaith marriage in India puts many couples at risk

MUMBAI, India — When a Muslim man and his wife — born and raised a Hindu — fell in love after meeting online, they knew there would be trouble from their families. She left her home in south India last July and moved to Mumbai to get married, stating in an affidavit that she was converting to Islam. Over the next few months, she continued to face pressure from her parents and filed a complaint with the local police against her father for threatening to kidnap her. At one point, unknown men even attacked the home of the couple, who, fearing for their safety, do not want their names used… Read More

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Romney’s nephew fails to make Colorado primary ballot

DENVER (AP) — Businessman Doug Robinson, a nephew of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, failed to qualify for Colorado’s Republican gubernatorial primary ballot, a state official announced Friday. Colorado politicians hoping to land on their party’s statewide primary ballot must gather 1,500 signatures from party voters in each of the state’s seven congressional districts. Secretary of State Wayne Williams said Robinson was unable to get the required signatures in the 2nd Congressional District, a liberal stronghold centered in Boulder. Robinson’s campaign said it would challenge the decision in court. “We know we have enough signatures,” spokeswoman Brett Maney said. Williams, also a Republican, said former state Rep. Victor Mitchell did… Read More

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Not real news: A look at what didn’t happen this week

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue headlines of the week. None of these stories is legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked these out. Here are the real facts: ___ NOT REAL: Stormy Daniels Killed In Syrian Airstrike THE FACTS: Two satire sites recently circulated false stories reporting that porn actress Stormy Daniels had died, either in an airstrike in Syria or in a suicide. Daniels, who claims she had an affair in 2006 with President Donald Trump, was photographed Monday entering a courthouse for a hearing in a federal case in New York involving the U.S. president’s… Read More

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Democratic leader announces new acceptance of marijuana

WASHINGTON — The top Senate Democrat is using marijuana’s informal holiday to announce a change of heart about the drug, another sign of the growing political acceptance of pot. New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said Friday he’ll introduce a bill taking marijuana off the federal list of controlled substances — in effect decriminalizing its use. Instead, his bill would let states decide how to treat marijuana possession. Under the measure, the federal government would still enforce laws against moving pot into states where it’s illegal and would still regulate advertising so it isn’t aimed at children. “My thinking, as well as the general population’s views, on the issue has evolved,”… Read More

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India’s Vicious Patriarchy

Indian law prohibits the identification of a rape victim by name or appearance without explicit permission from the survivor or their next of kin. Yet for the last three months, the name and face of an eight-year-old child, raped and murdered in the small town of Kathua in January this year, circulated widely in the Indian media. Perhaps her details were published due to early confusion over the nature of the crime; she had been missing for days before her dead body turned up. Perhaps it simply seemed like an acceptable mistake in the case of someone from a marginal community of nomads, impoverished Muslims with little social clout. Yet… Read More

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As Prince’s health waned, alarm grew in inner circle

MINNEAPOLIS — Some of Prince’s closest confidants had grown increasingly alarmed about his health in the days before he died and tried to get him help as they realized he had an opioid addiction — yet none were able to give investigators the insight they needed to determine where the musician got the fentanyl that killed him, according to investigative documents released Thursday. Just ahead of this weekend’s two-year anniversary of Prince’s death, prosecutors announced they would file no criminal charges in the case and the state investigation was closed. “My focus was lasered in on trying to find out who provided that fentanyl, and we just don’t know where… Read More

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Mourners lining up to pay final respects to Barbara Bush

HOUSTON — A spray of flowers covered the closed silver casket of former first lady Barbara Bush in the sanctuary of the Houston church as mourners waited Friday to pay their final respects. People were waiting in line hours early for security screening before boarding shuttle buses to attend a public viewing at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, where Bush and her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, regularly attended services. Many women wore blue, Barbara Bush’s favorite color, and pearls, her go-to neckwear jewelry. Lucy Orlando was one of the more than 100 people in line 90 minutes before bus service began, travelling from Weston, Florida, to pay… Read More

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Russia: Trump promised to make reciprocal visit to Moscow

MOSCOW — Russia’s foreign minister says U.S. President Donald Trump indicated he could make a reciprocal trip to Russia if President Vladimir Putin were able to accept his invitation to the White House. Sergey Lavrov told Russian state television Friday that Trump mentioned the possibility of traveling to Russia when he called Putin on March 20 to congratulate him on his re-election. Both the White House and the Kremlin previously revealed that Trump had invited Putin to the White House during the same call, when the two leaders discussed wanting to meet soon. Lavrov says the Trump administration hasn’t followed up on Trump’s offer. Lavrov said Russia has urged the… Read More

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