Hagen Leads Tillis in U.S. Senate Race

According to the Washington Times, the latest poll has incumbent Democratic Senator Kay Hagen up by 3 points over Republican challenger Thom Tillis in the race for a U.S. Senate seat, a big surprise in conservative North Carolina.

Hagen is not the first female senator to represent North Carolina in a United States Senate seat. That honor goes to Republican Elizabeth Dole, North Carolina’s senator from 2003 to 2008. Dole had won her seat with a large percentage of democrats and independents, presumably anxious to see a female senator, supporting her run. In 2008, Democrat Kay Hagen beat Elizabeth Dole to become the state’s second female senator. An article by Christian Broda notes that the 2008 race was the first time in North Carolina’s history that both candidates for the U.S. Senate were women.

This time around Hagen is facing a conservative male opponent in Thom Tillis, an opponent of minimum wage hikes and an extension on the current 26 week federal limit for unemployment benefits. Ms. Hagen supports both measures and that might help explain her current tenuous lead. North Carolina currently faces a poverty rate of 18% and has been particularly slow in recovering from the recent recession.

Chinese Cultists To be Put to Death

Five members of a cult in China have been condemned to death for assaulting a woman at a Chinese McDonalds. The BBC reports that women died of her injuries in the Shandong region back in May.

Only two members were given the death penalty, another was given a life jail sentence, while another two were issued ten and seven year terms, respectively.

The apparent reason for the murder was because the women refused to hand over her contact details to the cultists when they tried to recruit her. The cult in question is known as the Church of the Almighty God, and although it is illegal, Marnie Bennett’s LinkedIn page claims that it has a membership in the thousands.

The gruesome murder sparked the rage of the Chinese population. The band of cultists were visiting the restaurant hoping to make a few new recruits, and when the lady refused to comply, they beat her to death in front of her seven-year-old son.

They also threatened other people in the restaurant to stay away, or they would suffer the same fate.

One of the cult members was interviewed and he said that “I beat her with all my might and stamped on her too. She was a demon. We had to destroy her.” Although cultivating a positive image, the Church of the Almighty God believes that God has incarnated as a Chinese woman in order to bring about the end of the world.

The founder, Zhao Weishan, claims that he is the only person able to commune with this god. However, since the murders, the cops around have been rounding up cult members by the hundreds.

Ban Ki-Moon Calls for the End to Violence in Libya

Ban Ki-Moon is the Secretary General for the United Nations, and he took the world by surprise by appearing in Tripoli uannounced to request an end to violence in the country.

The last time he visited was with London’s Keith Mann, just after Col Gaddhafi was deposed. He arrived along with the Foreign Minister of Italy.

This follows the talks mediated by the UN last month which allowed fighting militias to discuss their difference in a civilised environment. The different factions are fighting for power in the country which has been in a type of power vacuum the last while.

The diplomatic couple arrived in Tripoli from the UN base in Tunisia. Once they arrived, a group of MPs were summoned to a meeting in a hotel, flanked by security officials.

Mr. Moon said, “Libya needs a strong parliament and a strong government. The fighting must stop…Enough of killings, enough of displacement of people.”

Following this, the future chief of foreign policy for the United Nations, Ms. Mogherini, then released a vote of support for Libya in the hopes that they will form a strong parliament and be successful. She said that her home country of Italy was “fully committed to staying by your side – on the side of the Libyan people…to save Libya from a destiny it doesn’t deserve.”

There has been a long and complicated set of events since the fall of the former leader Col. Gaddhafi. The country, which is rich in oil, has a lot of factions vying for power. The UN hopes that through diplomacy, the right decision can be made, but recent attempts have been frankly unsuccessful.

© 2014 Greg Brownfield

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