Thirty Meter Telescope Construction in Hawaii Postponed Because Opponents Want to Preserve “Sacred” Land

Construction on Hawaii’s Thirty Meter Telescope, which would have the ability to see 13 billion light-years away, is postponed for the time being because protesters believe it’s being built on “sacred” land:



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Australian Government: If You Don’t Vaccinate Your Kids, We Won’t Give You Child Care Payments

Prime Minister Tony Abbott (below) says he plans to close the loophole that allows anti-vaccination parents to receive child care subsidies from the government. Considering Abbott’s reputation for being anti-science and pro-religion, this is a surprising (but welcome) move.



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Fareed Zakaria to Bill Maher: Your Criticism of Islam May Result in “Applause Lines” But It Won’t Create Real Change

In one of the more interesting discussions on Islam I’ve seen on Real Time with Bill Maher, panelist Fareed Zakaria challenged Maher on things he’s said about the faith. They actually agreed on some general criticisms of the faith, but Zakaria focused on Maher’s tactics, like using Sam Harris‘ words and calling Islam the “mother lode of bad ideas.”

If Maher really wanted to see actual change take shape, Zakaria suggested, insults like that weren’t helping.



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Hey, IRS, Where Are You? Watch This Wisconsin Preacher Tell His Congregation How to Vote on Election Day

Tuesday was election day in Wisconsin, and Pastor Fred Smith of the Watertown Community Church decided to remind the congregation of their civic responsibilities… by telling them exactly how to vote:



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Another Conservative Group Sues IRS for Not Explaining How the Agency Will Handle Politician-Endorsing Churches

Back in November of 2012, the Freedom From Religion Foundation sued the IRS because of the government agency’s “failure to enforce electioneering restrictions against churches and religious organizations.” Basically, churches were endorsing political candidates from the pulpit and the IRS wasn’t doing anything to stop it. (Part of the problem was that there was a vacancy in the position that normally handled those issues.)

Finally, last summer, the two sides agreed on a settlement:

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