LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti could not have been predicted, experts said on Friday, but seismologists have made progress in identifying areas likely to be hit by major quakes in the next few decades.
“There is currently no scientifically accepted method or theory of earthquake prediction,” said David Oglesby, an associate professor of earth sciences at the University of California, Riverside.
Controversial U.S. televangelist Pat Robertson said on Wednesday that earth-quake devastated Haiti was cursed because of a past pact that the island’s inhabitants had made with the devil. The comments, which have spread like wildfire through the blogosphere and eslewhere on the Internet, were made during a broadcast of his Christian Broadcasting Network.
I just received my annual copy of the Church Almanac for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) and am struck by just how precise it is when it comes to counting its worldwide membership.
Let’s start with the statistical profile at the start. It says total membership as of Jan 1, 2009, was 13,508,509. That’s pretty specific for a headcount that exceeds the population of many of the world’s countries.
ARLINGTON, Texas (Reuters) – The Dallas Cowboys ended 13 years of playoff frustration with a crushing 34-14 wild-card victory over the Philadelphia Eagles Saturday.
The red-hot Cowboys, who will play at the Minnesota Vikings in an NFC divisional playoff game next Sunday, had not won a postseason contest since December 1996.
DALLAS (Reuters) – Efforts to protect an iconic bird could disrupt oil, natural gas and wind energy development in the U.S. West and add to the Democratic Party’s green woes ahead of the 2010 congressional elections.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has until February 26 to decide whether or not to list the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act. This may prove politically charged as it comes in the face of opposition from energy interests and state governments who fear it will hurt economic development.
DALLAS (Reuters) – Voluntary carbon markets in the United States will grow especially at the regional level even if a stalled federal climate bill fails to impose “cap and trade” on American industry, the chairman of the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) said.
“I think we will continue to see interest in voluntary carbon markets … And I would expect that without a federal law you will continue to see growth in regional initiatives in the United States,” Richard Sandor, the exchange’s founder, told Reuters in a telephone interview on Tuesday.
DALLAS (Reuters) – Wind energy development is “functionally precluded” in about 20 percent of Wyoming under new Bureau of Land Management guidelines laid out on Monday to protect a threatened bird, the governor’s office said.
“It functionally precludes it (wind power development) in about 20 percent of Wyoming,” Ryan Lance, deputy chief of staff to Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal, told Reuters in a phone interview.
For residents in his home town, it was Umar Abdulmutallab’s foreign education, not his roots in Muslim northern Nigeria, that radicalized him and led him to try to blow up a U.S. passenger plane.
The 23-year-old London-educated Nigerian was charged on Saturday in the United States with trying to blow up Northwest Airlines flight 253 as it approached Detroit from Amsterdam on Christmas Day with almost 300 people on board.
Here at Faithworld we sometimes like to draw the attention of our readers to many of the fine pieces of reporting on issues of religion and faith found in the wider Reuters’ world. Here are just a few highlights from 2009 — and trust me, the list could be much longer:
The U.S. South remains the undisputed “Bible Belt” of America and Mississippi is its buckle, according to a new bit of number crunching from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. You can see the interactive report here.
Pew has attempted a state-by-state ranking of U.S. religiosity using four measures that draw on polling data: the importance of religion in people’s lives, frequency of attendance at worship services, frequency of prayer and absolute certainty of belief in God.