On the same day retiring Sen. Tom Harkin's Democratic Steak Fry became a de facto Hillary Clinton campaign rally, another group of Iowa progressives gathered in a church basement to hear from a potential presidential candidate Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sanders criticized the Democratic Party for moving from the center-left to the center, even while the GOP moved to the far-right. "There are a lot of great Democrats, I work with them," he said. "But I think it's fair to say that average people do not perceive that the Democratic Party standing up for the working people of this country." read more
The British prime minister and media should stop legitimizing the terror group rampaging through Syria and Iraq by describing it as Islamic State, according to a coalition of imams and organizations representing British muslims. Six senior Islamic scholars endorsed the fatwa last month, describing Britons allied to Islamic State (ISIS) cells as "heretics" and prohibiting would-be jihadists from joining the "oppressive and tyrannical" group in Iraq and Syria. It is feared that as many as 500 Britons have traveled to Syria or Iraq since 2011 to join the group and its affiliates. In a letter seen by the Observer, the signatories add: "We believe that it would send a powerful message in Britain and around the world if you would join us, as our prime minister, in leading a national debate to seek a suitable alternative way to refer to this group and further challenge its legitimacy and influence.
A retired United Methodist minister set himself on fire to protest lingering racism in his hometown of Grand Saline, Texas, later dying in a Dallas hospital of his injuries. The Rev. Charles Moore, 79, wrote in a two-page letter left for the authorities, "I would much prefer to go on living and enjoy my beloved wife and grandchildren and others. But I have come to believe that only my self-immolation will get the attention of anybody and perhaps inspire some to higher service." Moore drove to Grand Saline from his home in Allen on June 23, pulled into a Dollar General parking lot, doused himself with gasoline and set it on fire. read more
Justice Ruth Ginsberg said the ruling on the Hobby Lobby case was based on a misreading of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and would likely open the door to a host of unintended consequences. "Little doubt that RFRA claims will proliferate, for the Court's expansive notion of corporate personhood -- combined with its other errors in construing RFRA -- invites for-profit entities to seek religion-based exemptions from regulations they deem offensive to their faith," she wrote. Ginsberg concluded that the contraception mandate did not impose a substantial burden on Hobby Lobby or Conestoga Wood Specialties -- and therefore did not violate the RFRA. "Suppose an employer's sincerely held religious belief is offended by health coverage of vaccines, or paying the minimum wage, or according women equal pay for substantially similar work?" Ginsberg asked. read more