Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Church leader kidnapped in Iraq

Charisma News alerts, "A house church leader has been kidnapped by Muslims in Duhok, Iraq, according to a report from Voice of the Martyrs, Canada. A young Iraqi girl recently told VOM contacts that Muslims broke into her home and took her father, Jamal." He is a pastor to the Shabak and is being referred to in accounts as "Pastor Jamal." Minority Rights Group International notes, "The Shabak are an ethnic and cultural minority located in a handful of villages east of Mosul, in the Nineveh Plains, and a small group in Mosul itself. Their language is a confection of Turkish, Persian, Kurdish and Arabic. About 70 per cent of the group is Shi'a and the rest Sunni. Shabak have been in Iraq since 1502, and today are mainly farmers." The Voice of the Martyrs Canada adds, "Several weeks ago, the home of one of Jamal's recent converts was sprayed with machine gun fire. Many fear that the militants, possibly members of al Qaida, will not give Jamal any option of release but immediately kill him." Mission Network News covers the details above here but also offers an audio option. Iraq's religious minorities have been under attack throughout the Iraq War.

Still on religion, Geoff Ziezulewicz (Stars and Stripes) reports on Ramadan:

As Muslims prepare to observe the holy month of Ramadan with fasting and prayer, U.S. troops across the Middle East are being reminded to respect the customs of the societies around them. Among the guidelines: Do not eat, drink, smoke or chew gum in public during the daily fast, and dress appropriately: no shorts or short skirts.
During Ramadan, which this year begins Aug. 1, Muslims refrain from eating or drinking between sunup and sundown.
Among guidance issued to U.S. military deployed in Muslim majority countries, the Bahrain-based command of U.S. Navy 5th Fleet posted guidance for sailors and their family members to heed during Ramadan when off base.

Moving over to veterans, Israel Butler (WRDW -- link has text and video) reports on Iraq War veteran Phillip Harris who raps under P-Nyce. In Iraq, he and other soldiers built a "15 X 15" recording studio and also performed in front of their fellow soldiers. P-Nyce's MySpace page features several of his tracks.

Florida Today's editorial board weighs in
on veterans care, in the excerpt, they're referring to Melbourne Veterans Center:

It's a walk-in facility designed to help returning Iraq-Afghanistan vets get faster access and treatment to heal the battlefield's scars. Two of which are invisible, crippling and potentially fatal:
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and traumatic brain injury, which have become the signature wounds of the wars because of multiple combat tours and repeated exposure to roadside bombs. The center also provides assistance to family members who have shared in the sacrifices their loved ones have made.

Steve Vogel (Washington Post) notes
this morning's Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing.
Senator Patty Murray is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and her office noted earlier of today's hearing:

FOR PLANNING PURPOSES Contact: Murray Press Office

Monday, July 25, 2011 (202) 224-2834

VETERANS: Chairman Murray to Examine the Human and Financial Costs of War for the Newest Generation of Veterans

Hearing will shine a light on the often overlooked long-term costs we owe veterans and their families and how in the current budget climate we must protect and plan for this lifetime of care

(Washington, D.C.) – Next Wednesday, July 27th, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, will hold a hearing to examine the real human and financial costs of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how as a nation we need to plan to keep our promise to these veterans for the rest of their lives.

The hearing will feature the views of budget experts from the Congressional Budget Office and the Government Accountability Office on the long-term costs associated with providing mental and physical health care, supporting caregivers, maintaining prosthetics, and providing benefits. Crystal Nicely, the wife of Marine Corporal Todd Nicely, a quadruple amputee veteran of the War in Afghanistan, will also testify about the lifetime of support her and her husband will require and about the red tape she has already faced in her daily struggle to provide Todd with the care he needs.

WHO: Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Patty Murray

Crystal Nicely, Wife of Injured Veteran, Marine Corporal Todd Nicely

Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Heidi Golding, Principal Analyst, National Security Division, Congressional Budget Office

James Hosek, PhD, Senior Economist, RAND Corporation

Lorelei St. James, Director, Physical Infrastructure, Government Accountability Office

WHAT: Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Hearing: Examining the Lifetime Costs of Care for the Newest Generation of Veterans

WHEN: Wednesday, July 27, 2011
10:00 AM EST/7:00 AM PST

WHERE: Dirksen 562 (NOTE this hearing will not be held in the normal Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing room)




Matt McAlvanah

Communications Director

U.S. Senator Patty Murray

202-224-2834 - press office

202--224-0228 - direct

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