China Demolishing Christian Churches, Crosses; Canada Diverts Oil to Asia

Sunday, 22 Jun 2014 03:09 PM

By Special From Newsmax's Most Informed Sources

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. With No Keystone Pipeline, Canada OKs Oil-to-Asia Plan
2. Professor Axed for Calling Climate Change 'Unproved Science'
3. Hispanics More Than 20% of Population in 7 States
4. China Demolishing Christian Churches and Crosses
5. Railroad Unions Threaten Strike Over 'Unfair Demands'
6. Mayweather Is World's Highest-Paid Athlete
 

1. With No Keystone Pipeline, Canada OKs Oil-to-Asia Plan

Disappointed by the Obama administration's decision to delay approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, the Canadian government has approved the construction of a major pipeline to deliver oil to Asia.

The Northern Gateway project will run 732 miles from the oil sands in landlocked Alberta across British Columbia to a new marine terminal in the Pacific Coast town of Kitmat, according to global news agency AFP.

It would transport about 525,000 barrels of oil daily for shipment across the Pacific to Asia, most likely to China.

If approved, the Keystone XL pipeline could carry 700,000 barrels a day from Alberta to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he was "profoundly disappointed" that President Barack Obama has delayed a decision on the Keystone and added that Canada needed to diversify its oil exports, which now go almost entirely to the United States.

As long ago as December 2011, Harper disclosed that he had warned American officials that if Obama put the Keystone on hold, his government would ship Canadian oil to Asian markets

He told CTV News: "I am very serious about selling our oil off this continent, selling our energy products off to Asia."

But opponents in British Columbia have threatened to block the pipeline over fears that it would make the province vulnerable to an oil spill, damaging the scenic coastline, The New York Times reported.

About 220 large oil tankers would visit the Kitmat facility if the Northern Gateway project is built.

Enbridge, the company that would build the pipeline, must meet about 100 conditions imposed by a regulator before construction can begin, according to the Times.

The government's approval is predicated on Enbridge fulfilling those conditions.

According to AFP, the project will cost $7.3 billion.

Editor's Note:



2. Professor Axed for Calling Climate Change 'Unproved Science'

Dr. Caleb Rossiter was removed from his post as an Associate Fellow at the progressive Institute for Policy Studies days after a newspaper published his opinion piece calling man-made global warming an "unproved science."

Rossiter is an adjunct professor at American University in Washington, D.C. He has taught courses on climate statistics, and holds a Ph.D. in policy analysis and a master's degree in mathematics.

In a Wall Street Journal article published on May 4, he urged an expansion of carbon-based energy in Africa.

"I started to suspect that the climate-change data were dubious a decade ago while teaching statistics," he wrote. "Computer models used by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to determine the cause of the six-tenths of one degree Fahrenheit rise in global temperatures from 1980 to 2000 could not statistically separate fossil-fueled and natural trends.

"The left wants to stop industrialization — even if the hypothesis of catastrophic man-made global warming is false.

"We are not rationing our electricity. Why should Africa?"

He concludes that it would be "terrible to think that so many people in the West" would block carbon-based energy in Africa "in the name of unproved science."

On May 7, Rossiter received an email from the Institute for Policy Studies, which describes itself as "a community of public scholars and organizers linking peace, justice, and the environment" in the United States and globally.

It began: "Dear Caleb, We would like to inform you that we are terminating your position as an Associate Fellow.

"Unfortunately, we now feel that your views on key issues, including climate science, climate justice, and many aspects of U.S. policy to Africa, diverge so significantly from ours that a productive working relationship is untenable."

In an exclusive interview with the Climate Depot website, Rossiter said: "If people ever say that fears of censorship from 'climate change' views are overblown, have them take a look at this: Just days after I published a piece in The Wall Street Journal calling for Africa to be allowed the 'all of the above' energy strategy we have in the U.S., the Institute for Policy Studies terminated my 23-year relationship with them.

"I have tried to get [IPS] to discuss and explain their rejection of my analysis," he said. "When I countered a claim of 'rapidly accelerating' temperature change with the IPCC's own data, showing the nearly 20-year temperature pause, the best response I ever got was 'Caleb, I don't have time for this.'"

On May 13, Rossiter wrote a blog on his own website headlined "The debate is finally over on 'global warming' — because nobody will debate."

He wrote: "My blood simply boils too hot when I read the blather, daily, about climate catastrophe.

"Obama has long been delusional on this issue, speaking of a coming catastrophe. But he really went off the chain in his State of the Union address this year: 'For the sake of our children and our future.'"

Editor's Note:



3. Hispanics More Than 20% of Population in 7 States

Hispanics make up 47 percent of the population in New Mexico and 30.2 percent in Arizona — but those percentages actually constitute a decrease compared to the demographics in 1870.

Back then, 89.9 percent of the population in New Mexico was Hispanic. And in 1900, 60 percent was Hispanic and 23 percent white.

In Arizona, while 60.9 percent of the population was Hispanic in 1870, that figure had fallen to 16 percent in1980. But the Hispanic population has now rebounded and their share has nearly doubled since then, the Pew Research Center reported.

Spaniards explored New Mexico and Arizona in the 1500s, and these areas became part of Mexico in 1821 when it gained its independence from Spain. They became U.S. territories in 1848 following the Mexican-American War.

Colorado also had a higher percentage of Hispanics in 1870, 29.8 percent, compared to 21 percent today. The current figures are based on 2012 estimates.

Hispanics comprise at least 20 percent of the population in four other states as well: California (38 percent), Texas (38 percent), Nevada (27 percent), and Florida (23 percent).

Hispanics were projected to become the largest racial or ethnic group in California this year, with 39 percent Hispanic and 38.8 percent white, making California only the second state — New Mexico is the other — where Hispanics are the plurality. Texas could join them within a decade, according to one projection cited by Pew.

The Hispanic population in Nevada has soared from 4 percent in 1960 to 27 percent today, and in Florida from 3 percent in 1960 to 23 percent.

Nationwide, the Hispanic population has increased nearly sixfold since 1970, to 53 million today.

Editor's Note:



4. China Demolishing Christian Churches and Crosses

Officials in China's Zhejiang province have launched what Christian activists call an "anti-church" campaign that has reportedly damaged or demolished some 360 church buildings and crosses.

One recent attack on China's Christian community came with officials' attempts to remove a cross from the Guantou church in Wenzhou.

Wenzhou, a port city on the South China Sea, has for centuries been a hub of Christian missionary activity and is known as "China's Jerusalem." Before 1949, it was home to around 115,000 Christians, more than one-tenth of China's total at the time.

On June 11, security guards with batons and riot shields were deployed to prevent members of the Guantou church from entering the building and attempting to halt the removal of a large red cross from one of the church's domes, The Telegraph reported.

The demolition workers were forced to retreat after church members got past the security personnel and disconnected the power supply. Several churchgoers were slightly injured in the scuffle.

But the demolition workers returned early on Tuesday, and the cross "was secretly taken down between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.," said Zheng Legou, a local church leader.

Officials had threatened to tear down the entire church — as they did with the Sanjiang church in Wenzhou in April — if church members tried to stop the removal a second time, Zheng claimed.

The Telegraph published a photo showing a crane lifting a large red cross from the church. Another photo showed the damaged cross discarded on the church grounds.

Another church in Wenzhou scheduled to open to worshippers next year had its cross removed on June 15, according to The Telegraph.

Authorities have notified at least 15 churches that if they don't remove their crosses by the end of June they will face demolition, according to China Aid, a Christian advocacy group that claims some 360 church buildings and crosses have already been attacked.

Activists believe the Communist Party is attempting to rein in the growth of Christianity.

The government maintains that the demolition campaign is aimed at all illegal buildings and "eyesores" and not just churches. But government documents obtained by The New York Times disclose that the campaign is intended to bring "excessive religious sites" and "overly popular" religious activities under control.

Christian activists are increasingly convinced, The Telegraph observes, that the "anti-church" campaign in Zhejiang "may be a precursor for similar actions across the country."

Editor's Note:



5. Railroad Unions Threaten Strike Over 'Unfair Demands'

Members of the seven unions that staff the Long Island Rail Road earn an average of $83,794 a year plus benefits and have been offered an 11 percent raise over six years.

But they are demanding 17 percent and threatening to go on strike if they don't get it.

The state-run railroad is part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and carries 81 million riders a year.

The 11 percent raise that the MTA has offered the 5,850 union members is similar to what the larger subway and bus unions received.

The MTA also wants to raise the retirement age for new employees by a year, to 63; raise new workers' pension contributions to 5.2 percent of wages; and change some work rules driving up costs.

"But the unions want to be paid 'appropriate value' for any such changes, which sort of defeats the point," writes Nicole Gelinas, contributing editor for the Manhattan Institute's City Journal.

In an article published by the New York Post, Gelinas notes that LIRR workers make more than employees at other MTA divisions — on average, 17.6 percent more a year than subway and bus workers.

They comprise 21 percent of the MTA's top-paid employees, not including management, while making up only 9 percent of the MTA workforce, and make up 36 percent of MTA workers who at least doubled their base pay due to overtime.

In fact, 28 percent of LIRR workers made more than $100,000 in 2013, not including pension benefits for life "that a regular commuter would have to save $1.2 million in a retirement pot to guarantee," Gelinas observes. "That's right: The average LIRR retiree is effectively a millionaire."

Because the LIRR is a federal railroad, the dispute can go to federal mediation, and the federally appointed mediators have taken the unions' side.

"The Obama folks think it's okay for 'working class' workers who make an average of $83,794 — plus enjoy pension and health benefits that normal people can only dream of — to get big raises without having to give anything back," Gelinas also states.

The strike threat comes following revelations of LIRR workers' $1 billion disability-fraud scheme.

Authorities in the past two years arrested 33 doctors, consultants, and former workers involved in the scheme, CBS News reported. Doctors and consultants helped hundreds of LIRR employees receive sham disability payments by faking career-ending physical ailments.

Several people have been sentenced to prison terms, and officials decided to stop disability payments to nearly 600 retirees, according to the Huffington Post.

The unions originally threatened to strike in July, but say they may delay the walk-off until September.

"There's no justification for any strike," Gelinas concludes in her article headlined "Millionaires on Strike? The Unfair Demands of LIRR Unions."

She adds that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo "shouldn't bow to election-season extortion. Cuomo could benefit politically by standing up for the working folks who depend on the railroad to get to work — and incidentally, pay for LIRR workers' salaries and benefits."

Editor's Note:



6. Mayweather Is World's Highest-Paid Athlete

Boxer Floyd Mayweather performed in the ring for less than two hours over the past year — and earned $105 million, putting him at the top of Forbes' new list of the world's highest-paid athletes.

Mayweather's September 2013 fight against Canelo Alvarez set records for highest pay-for-view gross ($150 million), live gate ($20 million), and total revenue, about $200 million.

The boxer, who is undefeated as a professional, also won a fight in May of this year. All his earnings came from his fights, and he had no endorsement earnings.

Forbes' earnings figures include all salaries and bonuses paid out between June 1, 2013, and June 1 of this year. Endorsement incomes are an estimate of sponsorship deals, appearance fees, and licensing fees for the 12-month period. Investment income is not included.

Collectively, the 100 highest-paid athletes earned $2.75 billion over the 12 months, up 5 percent over the previous year.

"The rise is a result of rising salaries for elite players as exploding TV rights fees fuel higher revenues across sports around the world," Forbes observed.

Endorsements totaled $741 million this year.

Baseball players were the most numerous on the list (27), although none made the top 25, followed by basketball (18), football (17), and soccer (15).

Americans accounted for 60 of the top 100 spots.

After Mayweather, the highest-paid athlete is Cristiano Ronaldo, who plays soccer for Real Madrid and earned $80 million, including $52 million in salary.

LeBron James of the NBA's Miami Heat is No. 3, earning $19.3 million in salary and $53 million thanks to endorsement deals with Nike, McDonald's, Coca-Cola and others, for a total of $72.3 million.

Next is Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi, who earned $64.7 million, including $41.7 million in salary and $23 million in endorsements.

Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant earned $61.5 million, thanks to a two-year, $48.5 million contract extension he signed in November.

Tiger Woods, the first athlete to earn $100 million in a Forbes annual tally, made $61.2 million last year, most of it from endorsement deals.

No. 7 is tennis player Roger Federer, who pocketed $52 million from sponsors, including Nike and Rolex, and had total earnings of $56.2 million.

Golfer Phil Mickelson earned $48 million from appearances and his endorsement partners, including Exxon Mobil, and had total earnings of $53.2 million.

No. 9 is tennis player Rafael Nadal, who made $44.5 million. Matt Ryan of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons is No. 10 with $43.8 million in earnings.

Rounding out the top 15 are Manny Pacquiao (boxing, $41.8 million); Zlatan Ibrahimovic (soccer, $40.4 million); Derrick Rose (basketball, $36.6 million); Gareth Bale (soccer, $36.4 million); and Radamel Falcao (soccer, $35.4 million).

Mickelson is the oldest athlete in the top 100, turning 44 in June, and Brazilian soccer star Neymar is the youngest at 22, ranking No. 16.

The list includes one track and field star, Usain Bolt at No. 45, who earned $23.2 million almost exclusively from endorsements, and one cricket player, No. 22 Mahendra Singh Dhoni ($30 million).

The lowest-paid at No. 100 on the list is soccer player Luis Suarez, who earned "only" $17.3 million.

The list includes only athletes who were active in the last 12 months. If retired basketball player Michael Jordan were included, he would rank No. 2 with an estimated $90 million in earnings thanks largely to his deal with Nike.

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Editor's Note:



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