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Big Stories

August Front Page Commentaries

Each day, we publish our editorial thoughts on news items, social propaganda and other items of general interest that aren’t covered by other news sites.

September List of Commentaries

Each day, we publish our editorial thoughts on news items, social propaganda and other items of general interest that aren’t covered by other news sites.

Joe Biden gaffe week: What did he say now?

Biden capped off a week full of unfortunate word choices Friday by reminiscing fondly about disgraced Sen. Bob Packwood … at a Democratic Women’s Leadership Forum.

17 highest-earning authors of 2014

You might call it the world’s most exclusive book club: Forbes magazine just announced its list of the top-earning authors of 2014, and the earnings are eye-popping, with the top spot going to an author who made an estimated $90 million in the past year. This year’s big story, however, is about the newcomers. The popularity of young adult lit has made authors like Veronica Roth and John Green exceedingly famous – and exceedingly wealthy. Each year, Forbes estimates the earnings of popular writers based on Nielsen Bookscan numbers as well as conversations with authors, publishers, and others in the trade. Read on to discover the 17 highest-earning authors of 2014.

‘The Maze Runner’ doesn’t separate itself from its YA dystopian brethren

In ‘The Maze Runner,’ the maze itself is a letdown and the film presents boring explanations to the plot’s mysteries. 

Roger Goodell solution to NFL domestic violence: ‘Everything is on the table’

In his first public appearance in nine days, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell listed several measures the league is implementing to improve the way it handles cases of sexual assault and domestic violence. 

So what is a supermassive black hole anyway?

Astronomers say they have discovered a supermassive black hole within one of the smallest known dwarf galaxies. 

Fighting Islamic State: Why US training of Iraqi forces will be harder this time

Fully half of all current Iraqi security forces ‘are not trainable,’ because they are too sectarian, says Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno. And it could take years to win back the trust of Sunni tribes.

Why estimate for world population in 2100 is now 11 billion

That’s an updated estimate according to United Nations data. The new number comes days before the UN Climate Summit, which will take up a range of issues influenced by world population.

What drives iPhone 6 shoppers to wait in line for days?

With the iPhone 6 bonanza comes dedicated fans. Why sit outside overnight for an Apple phone?

Ebola-Smell the Roses

If the Liberation Theologists that are now in charge of the place are so sick and twisted as to let tens of millions of undocumented aliens into the country formerly known as the United States just to kill them all with Ebola when the super silver compound could have saved them…….well then we are all doomed anyways so why worry about it.

Islamic State: France joins US air campaign in Iraq, hitting logistics depot (+video)

French President Francois Hollande said Rafale jets destroyed an Islamic State logistics depot in northeastern Iraq. France is the first nation to join the US-led air campaign against IS.

Rush Limbaugh: Jack Ma has more opportunity than Americans

Jack Ma is explaining, in his own words, trickle-down. “You know what? This is the real America,” and it is obscene. It’s not true. It need not be true. This used to be the place where genuine, acknowledged, legitimate optimism was a way of life. Not today. Not today. We don’t have anybody in leadership talking this way, about our country, about our future. It’s just the exact opposite.

How many House seats does NRCC chairman Greg Walden think GOP will gain?

Rep. Greg Walden, speaking at a Monitor breakfast Friday, says that national security, both at home and abroad, is ‘popping’ as an issue with voters.

Ang Lee will reportedly direct a movie adaptation of ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’

Ben Fountain’s novel about soldiers who served in Iraq has been both a critical and popular success.

Obama asks college men to stop sex predator friends: Will they listen?

The White House has taken a lead when it comes to forcing colleges that get federal aid to toughen rules dealing with sex assault allegations. While critics say this has alienated many male students, Obama announced an ‘It’s On Us’ campaign to encourage men to step in to protect women.

Kansas Senate race: Can Mr. Orman go to Washington … and fix it?

Now that the Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that the name of the erstwhile Democratic candidate won’t be on the ballot, incumbent Pat Roberts is in a difficult Senate race against Independent Greg Orman, a champion of reform.

Home Depot breach hits 56 million cards. Why do hacks keep happening?

Home Depot announced 56 million of its customers likely had their credit card information stolen in one of the largest data breaches in history. Why do these breaches keep happening, and what is being done to protect your information?

Scotland’s voted ‘no.’ Now what?

Independence is off the table and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has resigned. But questions remain about just what powers Westminster will give Scotland, and when.

UK author James Dawson chimes in on debate over ‘white faces’ in children’s books

UK children’s laureate Malorie Blackman faced racist comments after Sky News misquoted her as saying there were ‘too many white faces’ in children’s literature.  Now young adult author James Dawson has stepped into the fray, saying, “Malorie did not say there are too many white faces in children’s books, but I will…. Put that on Sky News.”

Mexico shootout or massacre? Witness accounts challenge military’s take.

Reports by Esquire Mexico and the Associated Press have painted a very different picture of a June incident that killed 22 people. 

iPhone 6 shoppers get a snack in line, courtesy of McDonald’s

McDonald’s representatives were up before dawn  to provide apple pies and apple slices  to early iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus adopters lined up at Apple stores in Chicago and New York.  The chain has a vested interest in the iPhone 6′s success – McDonald’s announced last week that it will begin accepting ApplePay. 

Mercedes is the latest automaker to get ‘self-driving car’ license in California

Mercedes-has received a license from the state of California that allows testing of self-driving car prototypes on public roads. Mercedes joins fellow German automaker Audi as the first two companies to receive the license. 

Governor Christie exonerated on ‘Bridgegate?’ We’ll see.

Federal investigators reportedly have found no evidence that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie personally ordered or knew ahead of time that aides concocted the political dirty trick known as ‘Bridgegate.’ Will that boost his 2016 presidential bid?

Conn. ex-gov John Rowland convicted of new crimes in campaign finance case

Rowland, once a rising star for the Republican Party, was convicted Friday of federal charges that he conspired to hide payment for work on two congressional campaigns.

Alibaba IPO set to be the biggest ever. What’s behind the hype? (+video)

Alibaba, China’s leading e-commerce company, has priced its shares at $68 each, raising at least $21.8 billion,  and investors are eager to buy its shares that it could easily become the world’s biggest initial public offering when it begins tradi…

Honoring International Day of Peace

A Christian Science perspective: We all have rights to peace.

Senate campaign 2014: Brought to you by ‘dark money’ like never before

Campaign spending by ‘dark money’ groups is eight times higher than about this time in the last midterm campaign cycle, and it’s mainly going to TV ads in races that could tip control of the US Senate.

Ukraine crisis: How the US can help

The war between Ukraine and Russia may appear to be waning, but Ukraine’s energy dependence on Russia remains its greatest weakness, Holland writes. As winter heating season quickly approaches, the United States and Europe must build a strategy no…

Peggy Stevens brings kids from three religions together

Kids4Peace Boston teaches communication and understanding to 12-year-old Jewish, Christian, and Muslim children from the US, Israel, and the Palestinian territories.

Home Depot data breach was bigger than Target’s. Were you affected?

Home Depot said Thursday that a data breach that lasted for months at its stores in the U.S. and Canada affected 56 million debit and credit cards, far more than a pre-Christmas 2013 attack on Target customers. Home Depot said the breach took…

‘Brown Girl Dreaming’ blends history and personal memories into lovely verse

Jacqueline Woodson’s memoir-in-verse is filled with perfect tiny moments about family, about friends, and about writing and reading, and about following your dreams.

Islamic State: France joins US air campaign in Iraq, hitting logistics depot

French President Francois Hollande said Rafale jets destroyed an Islamic State logistics depot in northeastern Iraq. France is the first nation to join the US-led air campaign against IS.

Pro-’Yes’ Glasgow is introspective after Scotland opts to stay in UK

Glaswegians came out strongly for independence, making for a muted morning in Scotland’s largest city after the country voted ‘no.’

Reader recommendation: Kamchatka

Monitor readers share their favorite book picks.

Antarctic ice at record-high growth, Arctic continues to lose

Antarctica gained 7.6 million square miles of sea ice this southern winter, according to The National Snow and Ice Data Center, while sea ice in its northern counterpart continues to shrink.

Australia’s PM decamps to Outback tent to promote Aboriginal rights

Prime Minister Tony Abbott plans on calling a referendum to include recognition of Aboriginals in the Constitution – a plan some native leaders say is style over substance.

Passenger: Jetblue plane filled with smoke before emergency landing Thurs. (+video)

None of the 142 passengers and five crew members was injured during the evacuation, though medical personnel tended to three passengers at the scene and one other was taken to a hospital for observation, airport spokeswoman Cassie Perez-Harmison said.

Sierra Leone begins three-day shutdown to slow Ebola outbreak

Health workers began knocking on doors across Sierra Leone on Friday in hopes to find and isolate Ebola patients who have resisted going to health centers. ‘If people don’t have access to the right information, we need to bring life-saving message…

Burger King ‘black burger’ with squid ink goes on sale today

Burger King will begin selling a new black burger in Japan Friday. What makes the special Burger King black burger sauce? Squid ink.

‘This Is Where I Leave You’: The cast is better than the over-the-top movie

Tina Fey and Jason Bateman star in ‘Leave,’ which centers on a family that gathers to mourn the death of its patriarch. The cast is great, but the movie can’t seem to settle on a tone. 

‘Fort Bliss’ needs to more fully examine its protagonist’s conflicts

‘Bliss’ stars Michelle Monaghan as a decorated Army medic who returns home from extended duty in Afghanistan, but the conflicts of Monaghan’s character about motherhood and the military need to be explored more.

‘The Green Prince’ focuses on the relationship between a Palestinian spy for Israel and his handler

‘Prince’ centers on Palestinian Mosab Hassan Yousef, who became a spy for Israel’s internal security agency Shin Bet.

Marvel Comics’ Deadpool is officially getting his own movie, says studio

The super-powered character Deadpool appeared in the 2009 movie ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ and actor Ryan Reynolds, who played him in ‘Wolverine,’ also portrayed the character in some recent test footage. Twentieth Century Fox now says a movie about De…

Chris Christie defends NFL’s Goodell, discusses presidential ambitions

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who worked with the commissioner during the lead-up to the Super Bowl, said Goodell should not be judged for a single error.

What privacy debate? Police drone use in Israel flies under the radar

Growing civilian drone use has raised safety and privacy concerns in the US. But when drones were approved to enhance security for light-rail trains in Jerusalem, hardly anyone took notice.

Scotland’s vote helps others define community ties

The ‘no’ vote against independence by Scotland helps bring the United Kingdom together in redefining UK identity through more power to local communities. New political contours will reshape the shared ethical life and create ties that bind beyond culture.

Calif. wildfire growth slows, man faces arson charges

The wind-whipped wildfire had burned through 119 square miles of timber and vegetation east of Sacramento as of Friday morning and was just 10 percent contained but had yet to damage or destroy any homes or buildings, according to California …

Scotland is staying. London’s headaches are just starting.

British leaders are relieved by the Scots’ vote against independence. But devolving new powers to Scotland – and perhaps to England – may be a bigger challenge for Westminster than the referendum was.

Europe hails Scottish vote as a victory for union more broadly

Scots voted definitely to stay in the UK. The European Union may need to take lessons from the Scottish independence referendum as it faces its own questions of legitimacy.

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