Asian American United Methodists, including those with Japanese ancestry, are strongly criticizing recent denials by the prime minister of Japan regarding that country’s coercion of “comfort women” during World War II, according to United Methodist News Service.
Flat (and cool) earth society: In response to recent warnings by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) about the consequences of greenhouse-gas emissions, the conservative American Enterprise Institute is offering a $10,000 prize to scientists and economists who write articles which call attention to weaknesses of the IPCC report. In reporting this news, the Chronicle of Higher Education (March 2) said it is eagerly awaiting a patron who will offer “a reward for papers that discredit the spherical-earth theories that have been circulating for the past millennium or so.”
The Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery says that reconciliation efforts have failed to convince its second-largest congregation to remain in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The 2,600-member Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church of Tulsa was thus declared last month to be in schism with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) by the regional body.
Casualties of war: Nearly half of the 3,000 members of the U.S. military who have died in Iraq have come from towns with fewer than 25,000 residents, and one in five have come from towns with fewer than 5,000 residents. Nearly three-fourths of the casualties are from towns where the per capita income is below the national average, and more than half come from towns where the percentage of people living in poverty is above the national average (Chicago Tribune, February 20).