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American general's death: the risk of peace

An Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier keeps watch at the gate of a British-run military training academy Camp Qargha, in Kabul August 5, 2014 (Credit: Reuters/Omar Sobhani) A two-star general killed yesterday in Afghanistan is now the highest-ranking American soldier to die in overseas combat since Vietnam.  A gunman wearing an Afghan army uniform turned his weapon against international forces and other Afghans at Camp Qargha in Kabul.  A German brigadier general was injured along with 14 others, half of whom are Americans.

The shooting was the latest in a string of "green-on-blue" attacks, where members of the Afghan forces, or people dressed like them, have attacked U.S. and coalition forces.  More than 85 such attacks have occurred during the war.  Since generals typically have their own security detail, Major General Harold Greene's death highlights the dangers our troops face overseas, no matter their rank.

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Should Christians bake cakes for gay weddings?

Same-sex wedding cake toppers are seen outside the East Los Angeles County Recorder's Office on Valentine's Day during a news event for National Freedom to Marry Week in Los Angeles. Backers of the California ban on gay marriage, Proposition 8, announced their next step Tuesday, Februrary 14, 2012 (Credit: Reuters/David McNew)Are Christians retreating into shells of secluded irrelevance?

Jonathan Rauch describes himself as a homosexual atheist.  He is the author of six books, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C., and winner of the National Magazine Award, the magazine industry's equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize.  He recently wrote a very thought-provoking column warning Christians that our refusal to engage in activities we consider immoral is turning us into "social secessionists" and making us irrelevant to the culture.

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The diary that changed the world

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank on display at the Anne Frank Zentrum (Anne Frank Center) in Berlin, Germany, September 14, 2008 (Credit: Rodrigo Galindez via Flickr) On the morning of August 4, 1944, a teenage girl living in Amsterdam was arrested by Nazi soldiers and sent to a concentration camp.  She was one of 107,000 Jews deported from the Netherlands between 1942 and 1944; only 5,000 survived.  She did not, dying of typhus eight months later.

She was one of six million victims of the Shoah (as Jews often refer to the Holocaust).  Her father was the only member of her family to survive; many of her friends were murdered as well.  A family friend gathered up the scattered papers of her diary after her arrest, and gave them to her father when he returned.  Her diary was published in the Netherlands in 1947, in Germany and France in 1950, and in the U.K. and America in 1952.

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Will Ukraine conflict lead to WWIII? 5 facts to know

Ukrainian paratroopers gather near the eastern Ukrainian town of Slaviansk, July 8, 2014 (Credit: Reuters/Gleb Garanich)Time magazine's new cover describes the current conflict between Russia and the West as "Cold War II."  Could it get even worse?  As the world remembers the beginning of World War I a century ago, some warn that another world war could start in Ukraine.  For instance, the British Prime Minister made headlines this week with his claim that Russia's encroachment in Eastern Europe is eerily similar to actions that led to World War I and World War II.

Why is Russian President Vladimir Putin supporting insurgents in Ukraine?  Consider five facts.






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Baseball hero's faith in tragedy

Broadcaster Vin Scully acknowledges the crowd at Dodger Stadium during a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves, July 29, 2014, in Los Angeles (Credit: AP/Jae C. Hong) In 1950, CBS broadcast the first television program in color.  The Diner's Club card became the first "credit card" to be accepted at multiple retail establishments.  The Soviet Union began putting nuclear missiles on submarines.  And Vin Scully began announcing Dodgers baseball games.

The team was in Brooklyn, and Red Barber was its other announcer.  In 1953, Barber went to work for the rival New York Yankees, and Scully took over as the Dodgers' primary play-by-play man.  He has continued in this role for 65 years, and announced Tuesday night that he will return next year for his 66th season.

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