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The Real Truth - A Magazine Restoring Plain Understanding

  • Articles
  • SOCIETY & LIFESTYLES

Witchcraft has been on the rise over recent years. What drives people to yearn for the dark arts?

A green-skinned woman with a hooked nose points her finger at a frightened girl wearing ruby slippers. After tossing in the eye of newt, a woman stirs a cauldron before she jumps on a broomstick to fly off into the night. A blonde housewife from the early 1960s wiggles her nose to magically finish housework.

These and similar images accompany the idea of a “witch” as much as clouds do the sky. But not every cloud is in the sky, and not every witch fits these categories. Some do work hard to stand out from the crowd with eccentric clothing and jewelry, but many witches today look just like everyone else. The old lady who offers milk and cookies to neighbors is just as likely to practice magic as the sullen teenager who wears all black. People you work with, interact with and even love may now practice witchcraft.

  • World News Desk
  • AFRICA

JOHANNESBURG (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Crumbling walls, sewage leaking into homes, dangerous loose wires—and sometimes, snakes.

These are some of the myriad issues residents in Soweto, South Africa’s biggest township, have been dealing with for decades, as they say the government continues to deny them title deeds and urgent upgrades to their homes outside Johannesburg.

  • World News Desk
  • SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

NEW YORK (AP)—It is a beetle that can withstand bird pecks, animal stomps and even being rolled over by a Toyota Camry. Now scientists are studying what the bug’s crush-resistant shell could teach them about designing stronger planes and buildings.

“This beetle is super tough,” said Purdue University civil engineer Pablo Zavattieri, who was among a group of researchers that ran over the insect with a car as part of a new study.

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  • Articles
  • POLITICS

Abuse of power. Corruption at the very highest levels. Hypocrisy, cronyism, lack of morals—all pushing a deep desire for sweeping change in leadership. For many voters, this can sound like the political climate of 2016, when then-candidate Donald Trump promised to “drain the swamp” of Washington. For other voters, it smacks of the presidential campaign for 2020, where supporters of Joe Biden feel they are in a “battle for the soul of the nation.”

Yet this is not a description of today, rather of ancient Israel circa 1050 BC. At that time, the elderly priest Samuel made his sons judges over Israel. In I Samuel 8:3, it states that these men, Joel and Abiah, “turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.”

  • World News Desk
  • POLITICS

Reuters – More than four in ten supporters of both President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, said they would not accept the result of the November election if their preferred candidate loses, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found.

The survey, conducted from October 13-20, shows 43 percent of Biden supporters would not accept a Trump victory, while 41 percent of Americans who want to re-elect Mr. Trump would not accept a win by Mr. Biden.

  • Articles
  • MARRIAGE & FAMILY

COVID-19 lockdowns prompted us to reevaluate our relationships. Chances are, you said to yourself at some point during the time of the virus: “I should reach out more.”

The thought came as you were experiencing something kind of rare in your hectic pre-pandemic life: free time.

  • World News Desk
  • MIDDLE EAST

Lebanese veteran politician Saad al-Hariri was named prime minister for a fourth time on Thursday and pledged to form a new government to tackle the country’s worst crisis since its 1975-1990 civil war.

After his nomination, Mr. Hariri said he would quickly form a cabinet of specialists to bring in economic and financial reforms set out in a French plan to get foreign aid.

  • Articles
  • MIDDLE EAST

I’ve had a recurrent nightmare ever since I was a kid: A tsunami takes over and all I can do is look for my sister to rescue her,” Karen Madi, a resident of Lebanon’s capital city, stated in a NPR interview. “I worried about her because I never thought I’d have to go through such a nightmare all alone.”

“And that I did, on August 4,” she said, referring to the day in 2020 that more than 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate caught fire in a Beirut port warehouse, causing an explosion that killed at least 180 people, injured 6,000 and devastated a swath of the city. The blast was large enough for people 150 miles away on the island of Cyprus to report hearing noise and their windows rattling.

  • World News Desk
  • AFRICA

GENEVA (AP)—The rival sides in Libya’s conflict signed a permanent cease-fire Friday, a deal the United Nations billed as historic after years of fighting that has split the North African country in two. But skepticism over whether the agreement would hold began emerging almost immediately.

The breakthrough, which among other things orders foreign mercenaries out of the country within three months, sets the stage for political talks in November to find a lasting solution to the chaos unleashed after a 2011 NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

  • World News Desk
  • EUROPE

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP)—Armenia’s prime minister said Wednesday that Azerbaijan’s aggressive stance in the 25-day fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh leaves no room for diplomacy, and urged citizens to sign up as military volunteers to protect their country.

In a live video address on Facebook, Nikol Pashinian said that all Armenians must “take up arms and defend the Motherland” and urged local mayors to organize volunteer units. He charged that Azerbaijan’s uncompromising posture has shattered hopes for a political settlement.

  • World News Desk
  • AFRICA

Nigerian protesters demanding an end to police brutality defied a curfew and faced off with security forces Wednesday as gunfire rang out and fires burned in Lagos, a day after shots were fired into a crowd of demonstrators singing the country’s national anthem.

It is not clear how many protesters were killed in Tuesday night’s shooting at the Lekki toll plaza in the West African country’s sprawling commercial capital. Lagos’ governor said many were injured and one person had died, but that it was not certain if he was a protester.

  • World News Desk
  • MIDDLE EAST

Iran’s capital has run out of intensive care beds as the country confronts a new surge of infections that is filling hospitals and cemeteries alike. The single-day death toll hit a record high three times this week.

Eight months after the pandemic first stormed Iran, pummeling its already weakened economy and sickening officials at the highest levels of its government, authorities have not been able to prevent its spread. In a country devastated by American sanctions, the government considers an economic shutdown like the ones imposed in Europe and the United States impossible.

  • World News Desk
  • POLITICS

The makeup of Congress will be determined by the general election, with both parties needing a majority to control the House or Senate.

Democrats seem to have a chance at winning a Senate majority, while their control of the House is not in serious doubt.

  • World News Desk
  • ECONOMY & PERSONAL FINANCE

A decade-long economic expansion did little to narrow the gaps between the United States’ prosperous and ailing areas, with thousands of “distressed” zip codes shedding jobs and businesses in a trend that laid the groundwork for the developing “K” shaped recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

New analysis from the Economic Innovation Group studying economic patterns across roughly 25,000 zip codes showed that from 2000 through 2018, already prosperous areas pulled further ahead, capturing disproportionate shares of the jobs created and the new businesses that were formed.

  • World News Desk
  • WEATHER & ENVIRONMENT

Do not expect much of a winter wallop this year, except for the pain of worsening drought, U.S. government forecasters said Thursday.

Two-thirds of the United States should get a warmer than normal winter, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted. Only Washington, northern Idaho, Montana, the Dakotas and northwestern Minnesota, will get a colder than normal winter, forecasters said.

  • World News Desk
  • AFRICA

At least 20 people were killed, injured or remain missing after attacks by extremist rebels on three villages in Burkina Faso’s Sahel region, the government announced.

The attacks occurred in Bombofa, Peteguerse, and Demniol towns, in Seno province and the army is searching the area, government spokesman Remis Fulgance Dandjinou said.

  • World News Desk
  • EUROPE

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday it was now time to prepare for a no-trade deal Brexit unless the European Union fundamentally changed course, bluntly telling Brussels that there was no point in talking any more.

A tumultuous “no deal” finale to the United Kingdom’s five-year Brexit crisis would sow chaos through the delicate supply chains that stretch across Britain, the EU and beyond—just as the economic hit from the coronavirus pandemic worsens.

  • World News Desk
  • INTERNATIONAL

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) will need to raise $6.8 billion over the next six months to avert famine amid the COVID-19 crisis, the agency said on Tuesday.

The WFP, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last week for its efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict, said it had so far raised $1.6 billion.

  • World News Desk
  • ASIA

MUMBAI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – India’s parliament on Wednesday passed “historic” labor laws that the government says help workers and business alike, but activists fear a loss of labor rights in a push for profits.

Experts said the laws—aimed at protecting workers and streamlining labyrinthine regulation—exempt tens of thousands of smaller firms, and rob workers of a right to strike or receive benefits.

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