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NYC Mayor Supports Chick Fil a Boycott

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio testifies during a state Senate Education Committee hearing on extending mayoral control of city schools on Wednesday, May 4, 2016, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)"I'm certainly not going to patronize them and I wouldn't urge any other New Yorker to patronize them." So said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio concerning Chick-fil-A. At a press conference on Tuesday, de Blasio supported Councilman Danny Dromm's call for a boycott of the fast food chicken restaurant as it expands into Queens this fall. Dromm has also asked the management at the Queens mall to reconsider leasing the space.
 
"This group imparts a strong anti-LGBT message by forcing their employees and volunteers to adhere to a policy that prohibits same-sex love," Dromm said. "It is outrageous that Chick-fil-A is quietly spreading its message of hate by funding these types of organizations."

Dromm takes issue with both Chick-fil-A's policies and philanthropic activity. In response, Chick-fil-A issued a statement that sought to clarify the accusations of sending messages of hate:

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Puerto Ricans flee as economy fails

FILE - In this Wednesday, July 29, file 2015 photo, the Puerto Rican flag flies in front of Puerto Rico’s Capitol as in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Javier Garcia Padilla said on Sunday, May 1, 2016, that negotiators for the U.S. territory’s government have failed to reach a last-minute deal to avoid a third default and that he has issued an executive order to withhold payment. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo, File)The Puerto Rican governor declared on Monday that his government would default on its $389 million debt to the island's largest bank. Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla told reporters "We would have preferred to have had a legal framework to restructure our debts in an orderly manner . . . But faced with the inability to meet the demands of our creditors and the needs of our people, I had to make a choice . . . I decided that essential services to the 3.5 million American citizens in Puerto Rico came first."

It's ironic, in a tragic sense, that his government was forced to choose between paying the debt and providing for its people given that one of the primary causes of the failing economy is a mass exodus of those same people. An average of 230 people leave each day with a net loss of over 60,000 residents in 2014 alone. To further complicate matters, the majority of those leaving are those with a degree higher than a high school diploma.

But how do you stop citizens from leaving for better opportunities on mainland America and elsewhere when those same people would be key to the needed economic revitalization that would make staying on the island a more viable option? It's a question that the Puerto Rican government has been trying to answer for years and, as Monday's news demonstrates, they still haven't found the solution.

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What pastors say about the end times

Asphalt road and dark storm clouds over it (Credit: Balazs Kovacs Images via fotolia)That Jesus will come back is pretty much settled for most Protestant pastors (and most Christians in general). However, as a recent survey by LifeWay Research of 1,000 Protestant senior pastors demonstrates, how Christ will come back, whether or not we'll still be here when he does, and what the world will look like when all of that happens is another story.

Take the rapture, for example. Roughly a third of America's Protestant pastors believe that Christians will be raptured before things really start to get crazy (the Left Behind scenario). Just over twenty percent believe that it will happen during or after the tribulation and one in four argue that the rapture isn't literal in the first place, typically citing the fact that it does not appear in Revelation but rather is taken from 1 Thessalonians 4:15–17 and Matthew 24:29–31. Roughly twelve percent either don't agree with any of the standard views or aren't sure what will happen.

Those numbers can be further divided along denominational and educational lines. Thirty-six percent of mainline Protestant pastors—especially high among Lutherans, Methodists, and Presbyterian/Reformed pastors—argue that the rapture isn't literal, while only six percent of Baptists and less than one percent of Pentecostal pastors share their belief. Thirty-three percent of those with a master's degree and twenty-nine percent of those with a doctorate also argue in favor of a figurative interpretation.

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Harriet Tubman among the new faces of US currency

This photograph released by the Library of Congress and provided by Abrams Books shows Harriet Tubman in a photograph dating from 1860-75. Tubman was born into slavery, but escaped to Philadelphia in 1849, and provided valuable intelligence to Union forces during the Civil War. The image is one of nearly 500 photographs, lithographs, paintings, drawings and cartoons from the library's collection published in a new volume, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced Wednesday that Harriet Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson as the face of the $20 bill. The former president will move to the back of the bill where he will be incorporated into a redesigned image of the White House. Tubman will become the first woman on U.S. paper currency since Martha Washington's brief stint on the $1 silver certificate in the late 1800s. She will also be the first African American on U.S. paper currency of any kind.

Even those who oppose the shift, such as Donald Trump and Ben Carson, agree that Tubman is worthy of such recognition, arguing instead that she should grace the cover of the $2 bill or a new denomination of currency. While Tubman is best known for her role in leading hundreds of slaves to freedom as an integral member of the Underground Railroad, she was also a spy for the North during the Civil War and an advocate for women's rights in the early days of the women's suffrage movement.

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The Future of Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during the keynote address at the F8 Facebook Developer Conference Tuesday, April 12, 2016, in San Francisco. Facebook says people who use its Messenger chat service will soon be able to order flowers, request news articles and talk with businesses by sending them direct text messages. At its annual conference for software developers, Zuckerberg said the company is releasing new tools that businesses can use to build Facebook's annual developer's conference, F8, kicked off Tuesday morning in San Francisco with a keynote address from CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the state of the company and its vision for the future. The summit gives fans and developers alike the chance to learn more about the social network that links nearly a quarter of the world's more than seven billion people. Those who can't attend can watch online (after you finish reading this of course…).

Updates on Facebook's messenger service, its new live streaming capabilities, and the future of virtual reality are some of the conference's more anticipated offerings. But the biggest news, perhaps, is the company's plans for integrating "the next billion" in emerging markets around the world. New technology like Facebook Lite, a version of the program intended to work with limited 2G connections, is expected to help expand Facebook's reach into areas that are currently outside the social network's grasp.

The opportunity for Facebook and its partners to monetize that expansion is a big reason why one third of the roughly 2,600 developers planning to attend the conference will come from outside the U.S. By making it easier for businesses to utilize Facebook, and through advances in the social network's peer-to-peer payment system, companies large and small from around the globe can be more ready for that next generation of users to come online while also becoming better equipped to reach those already using the service.

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