Remember Aum Shinrikyo? Japanese police on Friday arrested the man thought to be the final suspect from the doomsday cult behind a 1995 deadly poison gas attack on Tokyo’s subways, at last bringing to an end a 17-year-old manhunt.
The New York Times reports that Katsuya Takahashi, 54, had been one of Japan’s most wanted fugitives for the role that authorities say he played in the nerve gas poisoning on the crowded subway system that killed 13 people and sickened thousands of others.
A new booklet teaches Mormon parents how to help their gay children. It offers helpful suggestions for responding to a gay child with love, even while disapproving of some of their behavior.
The FBI has placed at least five men with affiliations to Oregon's largest mosque, on the nation's no-fly list, a roster of suspected terrorists barred from flying in the United States. The men, including the charismatic imam, Sheikh Mohamed Kariye, are suing the FBI over the constitutionality of the no-fly list. Kariye is described as adhereing to strict Islamic teachings, down to the conviction that men and women shouldn't trim their eyebrows.
In Chicago, a conference promoted by a fringe Islamic organization has drawn suspicion, complaints and ultimately a cancellation. Hizb ut-Tahrir America, a group that advocates for countries to be ruled by Islamic law, had planned to hold its confererence at The Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows. Former Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, was among those objecting saying the group was promoting an anti-American agenda.
The nation's Catholic bishops are considering hiring a chief spokesman, reports our own David Gibson. Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley strongly endorsed the proposal noting the public relations “debacle” resulting from the Vatican crackdown on a leadership group of American nuns, Rome’s censoring of another nun’s theological writings, the USCCB’s investigation of the Girl Scouts for alleged ties to Planned Parenthood.
Many of those same bishops are quietly engaging state legislatures around the country in an effort to tighten statutes of limitations on child sexual abuse. These time limits, set state by state, have held down the number of criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits against all kinds of people accused of child abuse.
At 95, Actor Kirk Douglas has just released his tenth book and is prepping for his third bar mitzvah. That's right, third. The event will take place in December.
Meanwhile, there is much kvetching in the Jewish community over a new poll that shows an exploding population of Haredi Jews — also known as black-hat or ultra-Orthodox — in New York City. J.J. Goldberg at The Forward wonders if the modern Jewish experience of the past two centuries —exemplified by Reform and Conservative Jews such as George Gershwin, Betty Friedan and Bob Dylan — isn’t turning out to be a historical blip.
Maybe some of those Orthodox Jews could move to Alabama? The Huffington Post reports that in the small towns surrounding Birmingham, two synagogues have closed in recent years and two Jewish religious schools have merged. To help combat this trend, the Birmingham Jewish Federation is looking for a few good Jews to bring to the city.
And on that note, Shabbat Shalom, y'all.
Image: Jewish Adherents as a Percentage of State Population 2010, courtesty 2010 U.S. Religious Census: Religious Congregations & Membership Study (RCMS)