Satanic Temple Finds Ironic Home In Salem, Mass.



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Thursday will mark the opening of the international headquarters for the Satanic Temple in Salem, Oregon, a city which has a history of persecuting those accused of Satan worship.
However, the church says its mission is to promote separation of church and state and not devil worship.
It was in Salem in the 1690s that 20 people were executed in the infamous Salem witch trials
Lucien Greaves, a spokesperson for the Satanic Temple says, “The irony that a town which one executed people because of alleged ties to Satan will now be hosting the headquarters of the world’s largest satanic organization is not lost on us,”
Salem city counsel president Josh Turiel told reporters, “It’s not really that big a deal. We’ve had weirder things pretty much on every other street corner.”

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Over 1,000 Aftershocks Hit Alaska After Huge Earthquake



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Since a huge 7.0 magnitude quake hit Alaska on Friday, more than 1,000 aftershocks of magnitudes 1.5 or greater have shaken the state in just two days. According to CNN, the majority were of a magnitude of 2.5 or weaker, meaning people didn’t likely notice them. However, data from USGS says that more than 350 of the aftershocks were higher than 2.5. Despite Friday’s giant quake striking just eight miles from the city of Anchorage, no fatalities or serious injuries were reported. The quake was still able to knock out power for many, rip open roads and splinter buildings.

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FEMA Sued by Churches in Texas Over Harvey Damage



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On Tuesday, three churches in Texas severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey sued the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The lawsuit was reportedly filed due to FEMA’s policy of refusing to provide disaster relief to houses of worship because of their religious status. In their complaint, the churches said FEMA’s public assistance program “categorically” violates their constitutional right to freely exercise their religion. The filing goes on to say that FEMA’s policy, which was enforced after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012, also contradicts a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision making it easier for religious groups to receive public aid.

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Texas Crime Blogger Priscilla Villarreal Arrested Over Her Scoops



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A crime blogger in Texas has been hit with felony charges by police, who accuse her of publishing information before it’s publicly available, the Laredo Morning Times reports. According to the Washington Post, 32-year-old Priscilla Villarreal—who goes by Lagordiloca, or the fat crazy lady—is a popular figure in Laredo, where she livestreams from crime scenes on her Facebook page, which has 84,000 followers. But she says local police are fed up with her. Meanwhile, the Laredo Police Department has gone after who it believes is Villarreal’s source: Officer Barbara Goodman.

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Charleston Church Shooter Refuses To Look At Grisly Photos Of His Victims



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The jury in the Charleston church shooting trial on Thursday were given their first extensive look at the aftermath of the carnage inside the fellowship hall. While most in the South Carolina courtroom sat somberly peering up at a screen during the prosecution’s hour-long display of graphic photos showing the victims’ lifeless bodies, complete with 360-degree images of the crime scene, one person in the courtroom noticeably avoided doing so: the shooter, Dylann Storm Roof.As the lead crime scene investigator at the scene, Brittany Burke, described the grisly scene, Roof sat still at the defense table, his neck turned downward, his eyes appearing closed at times.

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Utah Mormons Plan ‘Mass Resignation’ Over Church’s Anti-Gay Policy



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Members of the Church of Latter Day Saints are planning a “mass resignation” in Salt Lake City on Saturday in response to a leaked church policy that punishes the children of same-sex couples who don’t renounce their parents’ relationship.

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Robbie Knievel Pleads Guilty to Drunken Driving



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Robbie Knievel has pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge in Montana and has received a seven-day sentence. The Montana Standard reports the youngest son of daredevil Evel Knievel on Thursday agreed to pay a $685 fine and enroll in an alcohol treatment program while pleading guilty to the misdemeanor charge. Knievel was arrested in Butte in April for running a red light and causing a four-car pileup. Knievel still faces a criminal endangerment charge in Butte court.

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Inmate Assaults Charleston Church Shooter in Jail



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A black inmate assaulted the Charleston church shooter in a South Carolina jail.
According to local law enforcement officials, Dwayne Stafford ran after the alleged shooter Dylann Roof and hit him.
Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon stated simply, that Stafford slugged Roof.
The 22-year-old Roof suffered bruising to his face and back.
Roof is currently awaiting multiple trials in connection with the deadly shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in June 2015.
He has been housed at the Charleston County Detention Center since his arrest last year.

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Birmingham Church Bomber Denied Parole



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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The lone surviving Ku Klux Klansman imprisoned for killing four black girls in a church bombing in 1963 will remain behind bars after Alabama’s parole board heeded the victims’ families Wednesday and refused an early release. The board rejected parole for Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr., 78, who has served 15 years of a life term for being part of a group of Klansmen who planted a bomb outside Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church during the civil rights movement. Lisa McNair, a sister of bombing victim Denise McNair, was relieved by the decision.

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Parole Denied For Birmingham Church Bomber



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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s parole board decided Wednesday against freeing a one-time Ku Klux Klansman convicted in a church bombing that killed four black girls more than 50 years ago. The decision to keep Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr., 78, imprisoned was met with applause at the hearing. Relatives of three of the slain girls spoke against Blanton’s release during the hearing. “Justice is served,” Lisa McNair, sister of bombing victim Denise McNair, said afterward. Blanton is the last surviving KKK member convicted of murder in the bombing of Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church.

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Dylann Roof Pleads Not Guilty to Federal Charges in Charleston Church Attack



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Dylann Roof pleaded not guilty Friday to 33 federal charges in the June 17 attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, according to the court clerk’s office.
Earlier this month, a grand jury indicted Roof on 33 counts, including federal hate crime and firearms charges, in the shooting that killed nine people.
Roof, 21, already faces a number of state charges in the shooting.
The Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a former state senator who was the church pastor, was among those killed.

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Gay Mayor In Salt Lake City



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Former Utah lawmaker Jackie Biskupski on Tuesday became the first openly gay mayor of Salt Lake City, the capital of the conservative state where the Mormon church and a small town judge delivered setbacks last week to the LGBT community. The victory by Biskupski marked another milestone for LGBT people in Utah who have made major strides in recent years. Biskupski said. “Today is not just about making history, It is about people. It is about affecting change.” Her supporters cheered when the results were read at an elections canvass meeting.

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Roy Moore Church Service Hampered By Protester



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(CNN)Embattled Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore was interrupted by protester Wednesday evening as he spoke during a church service in southern Alabama. They don’t want conservative values,” Moore said from the pulpit of Magnolia Springs Baptist Church in Theodore. Moore then referenced reports of sexual misconduct brought against him. Moore said he believes his prosecution of drug cases when he was a district attorney angered certain people, and that this is at “the heart of this conspiracy” against him. David Gonnella stood next to Moore at the lectern and called the protester a plant. “I understand how people can be deceived by lies.

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Jeff Sessions’ Own Church Blasts Him Over Immigration Issues



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At least 600 members of the United Methodist Church have issued a formal complaint against US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying his “zero tolerance” policy on immigration violates church rules and could constitute as child abuse. The complaint charges Sessions, a member of the church, with violating the United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline, its code of laws and social principles. Such charges could lead to a church trial, though few expect that to happen to the Attorney General. According to CNN, the complaint has been addressed to pastors at two churches Sessions attends, in Mobile, Alabama, and Clarendon, Virginia.

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Pastor, 8 Others, Fatally Shot at Church in Charleston, SC



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A white man opened fire during a prayer meeting inside a historic black church in downtown Charleston on Wednesday night, killing nine people, including the pastor, in an assault that authorities described as a hate crime. The shooter remained at large Thursday morning and police released photographs from surveillance video of a suspect and a possible getaway vehicle. Police Chief Greg Mullen said he could not offer a make and model on the dark colored sedan because investigators were not certain about what is shown in the video. The attack came two months after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man, Walter Scott, by a white police officer in neighboring North Charleston that sparked major protests and highlighted racial tensions in the area. The officer has been charged with murder, and the shooting prompted South Carolina lawmakers to push through a bill helping all police agencies in the state get body cameras. Pinckney was a sponsor of that bill.
In a statement, Gov. Nikki Haley asked South Carolinians to pray for the victims and their families and decried violence at religious institutions.
Haley said “We’ll never understand what motivates anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the life of another” .

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