Pro wrestlers take conservative watchdog group to the mat
World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Inc. has filed a federal lawsuit against conservative media watchdog L. Brent Bozell III, and the two organizations he heads, Media Research Center and Parents Television Council. The wrestlers say Bozell and his organizations have used "unlawful threats, intimidation, coercion, deception and flat-out lies" to drive away advertisers. "Not having seen a copy of the pleading, we can have no comment," Bozell responded in a press release Thursday (though the pleading is readily available online). "Based on the press release issued by the WWFE, I can say the allegations are completely without merit. I cannot imagine their pleading would contain the kind of scurrilous language in this press release which is so outrageous that it is now being examined by our attorneys in consideration of a counter-claim for libel." On its Web site, the Parents Television Council calls WWF Smackdown "easily the most ultra-violent, foul-mouthed, and sexually explicit show on prime time television." See more coverage in the Los Angeles Times and New York Daily News, and the official WWF press release on the suit.
Yesterday's sermons: pray for election
"From the pulpit to the pews, ministers and parishioners pondered America's odd presidential quandary Sunday and expressed hope that something—be it prayer, politics or public pressure—would point the way for the nation," reports the Associated Press. For the most part, pastors asked parishioners to pray for peace. But some see a lesson in the uncertainty. For Calvary Chapel's Chuck Smith, it's a symptom of America's moral relativism. "It used to be that we had moral absolutes," he tells the news service. "We knew what was right, we knew what was wrong."
Christians in new Indian state worry about new government
Christians in the new Indian state of Jharkhand are braced for a "baptism of fire," says Roman Catholic Archbishop Telesphore Toppo. Seventeen percent of the state's 20 million residents are Christians, but the Hindu nationalist BJP party—which also leads the national government—will likely control the new government when statehood is enacted on Wednesday. In a related story, Christian women in Jharkhand are being killed in widespread witch-hunting. The Times of India reports that there have been more than 500 witch-related killings in the area over the last decade.
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