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Worshippers armed with AR-15s celebrate their marriages and weapons at a church in Pennsylvania

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Around 250 couples armed with assault rifles have exchanged or renewed their wedding vows in a commitment ceremony at a US church – angering locals and forcing a school to close.

Scores of brides clad in white and grooms in dark suits, who had been asked to bring their AR-15 semi-automatic rifles, attended the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland, Pennsylvania.

A church official throws holy water on an AR-15-style rifle
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A church official throws holy water on a woman holding an AR-15-style rifle

Some worshippers wore crowns made out of bullets.

The congregation drank holy wine and lined up with their weapons to be splashed with holy water by church officials dressed in flowing bright pink and white garments.

The Unification Sanctuary’s leader, the Reverend Hyung Jin “Sean” Moon, is the son of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, a self-proclaimed messiah who founded the Unification Church, which has been accused of being a cult.

A man wearing a crown of rifle shells takes communion
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A man wearing a crown of rifle shells takes communion

Rev Sean Moon believes the AR-15 symbolises the “rod of iron” mentioned in the Bible’s apocalyptic Book of Revelation and that not only every American, but all mankind, has the right to self-defence and to use it to protect “God’s children” in the “satanic kingdoms of this world”.

The church leader insisted the ceremony was not for “blessing weapons”.

Worshippers at World Peace and Unification Sanctuary hold weapons during their service
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Worshippers at the event hold their weapons during the service

However, it outraged some members of the local community who gathered to protest outside the event, holding up posters that read “Worship God, Not Guns” and “God Does Not Bless Guns”.

Lisa Desiena, from Scranton, said she owns a gun but added: “I don’t need a freaking assault weapon to defend myself.

“Only thing they’re good for is killing. Period. That’s all that weapon is good for: mass killing. And you want to bless it? Shame on you.”

Anti-gun protesters outside the church
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Anti-gun protesters outside the church

“It’s scaring people in the community,” another demonstrator told a church member. “Are you aware of that?”

Students from a nearby school were relocated for the day to distance them from the gun-toting couples at the ceremony, according to the Wallenpaupack School District website.

All weapons were inspected before the service
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All weapons were inspected before the service

The event also fell on the same day students returned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida, for the first time since a 19-year-old used an AR-15 to kill 17 students and staff on Valentine’s Day.

But those in the congregation believe US school shootings do not justify stricter gun laws.

 A woman holds an AR-15 rifle during the blessing
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A woman holds an AR-15 rifle during the blessing

“I don’t think restricting gun ownership has proven that where there are less guns, there will be less violence,” said, Andrew Kessler, a lawyer from the affluent suburb of Westchester, New York.

Sreymom Ouk, 41, who attended the ceremony with her husband, Sort Ouk, said they owned an AR-15 to defend the family against “sickos and evil psychopaths”.

Reverend Hyung Jin Moon, the church's pastor, leads the ceremony
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Reverend Hyung Jin Moon, the church’s pastor, leads the ceremony

Rev Moon said in a statement on Facebook that the staff of the Florida school should have been armed.

“If the football coach who rushed into the building to defend students from the shooter with his own body had been allowed to carry a firearm, many lives, including his own, could have been saved,” he wrote.

The Pennsylvania church is a staunch supporter of the constitutional amendment that protects the right to bear arms.

A woman has her gun inspected before the ceremony
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A woman has her gun inspected before the ceremony

It runs a group called Rod of Iron Ministries, which hosted a “President Trump Thank You Dinner” at the weekend to raise money for Gun Owners of America, a grassroots gun rights lobby group.

Wednesday’s blessing was planned months before the mass school shooting in Florida.

All weapons brought along were unloaded, secured with zip ties and checked at the door.

A man holds aloft his gun during the ceremony
Image:
A man holds aloft his gun during the ceremony

Those who did not own an AR-15 were advised to “purchase a $700 gift certificate from a gun store”, as evidence of their intent to purchase one in the future.

To not take part in the ceremony “would be a sign of great disrespect”, the church’s website said.

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Christian Eriksen may not play football professionally again, says sports cardiologist | World News

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Danish footballer Christian Eriksen is unlikely to play professionally again after suffering what was reported to be a cardiac arrest, a leading sports cardiologist has said.

The midfielder collapsed on the pitch during his country’s Euro 2020 game against Finland and had to be resuscitated before being taken to hospital.

Eriksen, 29, was in a stable condition on Saturday night but it has not yet been publicly confirmed what was behind his illness.

Professor Sanjay Sharma is professor of sports cardiology at St George’s University in London and worked with Eriksen during his time at Tottenham Hotspur.

He said: “Clearly something went terribly wrong.

“But they managed to get him back, the question is what happened? And why did it happen?

“This guy had normal tests all the way up to 2019 so how do you explain this cardiac arrest?”

UK football bodies were likely to be “very strict” about allowing Eriksen to play again, he added.

“His cardiac arrest has rocked the entire nation today and that’s what happens. It’s not just them that it affects, it’s the psyche of so many people.

“The good news is he will live, the bad news is he was coming to the end of his career, so would he play another professional football game? That I can’t say.

“In the UK he wouldn’t play. We’d be very strict about it.”

Prof Sharma chairs the FA’s expert cardiac consensus group and is a consultant for charity Cardiac Risk In The Young.

He said the causes of Eriksen’s cardiac arrest could include an unidentified health condition or a high temperature, but reports that the footballer was awake in hospital were “a very good sign”.

“The fact he’s stable and awake, his outlook is going to be very good,” he told the PA news agency.

“I don’t know whether he’ll ever play football again.

“Without putting it too bluntly, he died today, albeit for a few minutes, but he did die and would the medical professional allow him to die again?

“The answer is no.”

Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba experienced a similar collapse after suffering a cardiac arrest during a match against Tottenham Hotspur in March 2012.

He had hoped to resume his career but retired from professional football five months later on medical advice.

One of his doctors, Sam Mohiddin, told the BBC: “The cardiac arrest is a moment of extreme peril.

“If you don’t get someone out of cardiac arrest things are over. You will not survive.

“The ongoing risk to an individual to an extent depends on the precise cause of that cardiac arrest.”

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G7 summit: Sir David Attenborough to tell G7 leaders they face biggest climate change decisions ‘in human history’ | Politics News

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Sir David Attenborough will warn G7 leaders the decisions they make this decade are “the most important in human history” as he urges them to take action on climate change.

The 95-year-old environmentalist will address the heads of the world’s leading democracies at their summit in Carbis Bay on Sunday.

During their final day of discussions, Sir David will call on them to take steps to secure the future of the planet which he says may be on the “verge of destabilising’.

David Attenborough attends a conference about the COP26 UN Climate Summit, in London
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Sir David will address G7 leaders on the final day of their summit

It comes after various climate groups staged protests across Cornwall to lobby G7 leaders on environmental issues this weekend.

In their conclusions from this weekend’s summit, G7 leaders are expected to include a pledge to almost halve their emissions by 2030 relative to 2010.

This will also include promises to end almost all direct government support for fossil fuels and the phasing out of petrol and diesel cars.

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Red arrows fly over Cornwall for G7 summit

And the G7 is also expected to commit to increasing their contributions to international climate finance to $100bn (£70bn) a year to help developing countries deal with the impact of climate change and support sustainable growth.

More on David Attenborough

Ahead of his address to world leaders, Sir David said: “The natural world today is greatly diminished. That is undeniable.

“Our climate is warming fast. That is beyond doubt. Our societies and nations are unequal and that is sadly is plain to see.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, U.S. President Joe Biden, France's President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in attend a working session during G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain, June 12, 2021. Leon Neal/Pool via REUTERS
Image:
On Sunday, G7 leaders will again be joined by guest nations Australia, South Korea, South Africa and India.

“But the question science forces us to address specifically in 2021 is whether as a result of these intertwined facts we are on the verge of destabilising the entire planet?

“If that is so, then the decisions we make this decade – in particular the decisions made by the most economically advanced nations – are the most important in human history.”

The G7 is also set to endorse an agreement on halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030, including a target to conserve or protect at least 30% of land and 30% of ocean globally by the end of the decade.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has used the summit to launch a £500m fund to support countries, including Ghana, Indonesia and Pacific island states, to tackle unsustainable fishing, protect and restore coastal ecosystems like mangroves and coral reefs, and reduce marine pollution.

“Protecting our planet is the most important thing we as leaders can do for our people,” he said.

Climate protesters march along Carbis Bay near St Ives
Image:
Climate protesters march along Carbis Bay near St Ives

“There is a direct relationship between reducing emissions, restoring nature, creating jobs and ensuring long-term economic growth.

“As democratic nations we have a responsibility to help developing countries reap the benefits of clean growth through a fair and transparent system.

“The G7 has an unprecedented opportunity to drive a global Green Industrial Revolution, with the potential to transform the way we live.”

For their final day of discussions on Sunday, G7 leaders will once again be joined by guest nations Australia, South Korea, South Africa and India.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

What is the G7?

On Saturday night, the leaders enjoyed a beach BBQ in Carbis Bay and witnessed a flypast by the Red Arrows.

Critics questioned the display by nine aerobatic jet aircraft amid the summit’s focus on climate change.

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G7 summit: Sir David Attenborough to tell world leaders their decisions are ‘most important in human history’ | Politics News

Published

on

Sir David Attenborough will warn G7 leaders the decisions they make this decade are “the most important in human history” as he urges them to take action on climate change.

The 95-year-old environmentalist will address the heads of the world’s leading democracies at their summit in Carbis Bay on Sunday.

During their final day of discussions, Sir David will call on them to take steps to secure the future of the planet.

It comes after various climate groups staged protests across Cornwall to lobby G7 leaders on environmental issues this weekend.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Red arrows fly over Cornwall for G7 summit

In their conclusions from this weekend’s summit, G7 leaders are expected to include a pledge to almost halve their emissions by 2030 relative to 2010.

This will also include promises to end almost all direct government support for fossil fuels and the phasing out of petrol and diesel cars.

And the G7 is also expected to commit to increasing their contributions to international climate finance to $100bn (£70bn) a year to help developing countries deal with the impact of climate change and support sustainable growth.

More on David Attenborough

Ahead of his address to world leaders, Sir David said: “The natural world today is greatly diminished. That is undeniable.

“Our climate is warming fast. That is beyond doubt. Our societies and nations are unequal and that is sadly is plain to see.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, U.S. President Joe Biden, France's President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in attend a working session during G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain, June 12, 2021. Leon Neal/Pool via REUTERS
Image:
On Sunday, G7 leaders will again be joined by guest nations Australia, South Korea, South Africa and India.

“But the question science forces us to address specifically in 2021 is whether as a result of these intertwined facts we are on the verge of destabilising the entire planet?

“If that is so, then the decisions we make this decade – in particular the decisions made by the most economically advanced nations – are the most important in human history.”

The G7 is also set to endorse an agreement on halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030, including a target to conserve or protect at least 30% of land and 30% of ocean globally by the end of the decade.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has used the summit to launch a £500m fund to support countries, including Ghana, Indonesia and Pacific island states, to tackle unsustainable fishing, protect and restore coastal ecosystems like mangroves and coral reefs, and reduce marine pollution.

“Protecting our planet is the most important thing we as leaders can do for our people,” he said.

Climate protesters march along Carbis Bay near St Ives
Image:
Climate protesters march along Carbis Bay near St Ives

“There is a direct relationship between reducing emissions, restoring nature, creating jobs and ensuring long-term economic growth.

“As democratic nations we have a responsibility to help developing countries reap the benefits of clean growth through a fair and transparent system.

“The G7 has an unprecedented opportunity to drive a global Green Industrial Revolution, with the potential to transform the way we live.”

For their final day of discussions on Sunday, G7 leaders will once again be joined by guest nations Australia, South Korea, South Africa and India.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

What is the G7?

On Saturday night, the leaders enjoyed a beach BBQ in Carbis Bay and witnessed a flypast by the Red Arrows.

Critics questioned the display by nine aerobatic jet aircraft amid the summit’s focus on climate change.

Source link

Continue Reading

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