This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A major bank in America has dropped its agenda to punish members of the Christian faith by "debunking" them.

That's a process where a financial institution simply closes the accounts of a customer, sometimes a customer with years of established payment records with the bank.

It is JPMorgan Chase that has rolled back a policy through which it already had punished multiple conservative individuals and nonprofits in recent years, according to a report from Fox News.

The company now has confirmed changes that will make its WePay service available to those who earlier had been punished for allegedly violating the bank's demands to avoid "social risk issues."

That, the bank demanded, was anything "subject to the allegation and impacts related to hate groups, systemic racism, sexual harassment, and corporate culture."

It is the ADF, a legal group that has fought multiple civil, constitutional, and religious rights issues, that found out about the bank's decision to remove the restrictive language from its terms of service.

The banking company said, in a statement to Fox News Digital, "We support clients around the globe and in every state in the U.S., across industries, religions, and political affiliations."

It wasn't always the case, the report suggested, citing an explanation from an ADF spokesman that, "Chase has used this policy to discriminate based on viewpoint. The policy itself is a risk to every single person who uses WePay and Chase, the biggest bank in America."

The statement from the ADF lawyer continued, "There are millions of people where it's a threat to them being denied or losing payment processing. So, it is significant that they eliminated that policy. The next step we think for Chase is because they've been saying, 'We're firmly committed to not discriminating against people on their religious or political views,' in different documents. That statement, we want them to put in their forward-facing customer policies. That's the next step."

The history of the dispute includes the decision by Chase previously to cancel the banking of the National Committee for Religious Freedom, Fox reported.

No explanation was offered.

Fox reported, "Another incident in 2021 involved WePay denying ticket-payment processing services for a Republican event hosted by a nonprofit organization, Defense of Liberty. The event featured Donald Trump, Jr., and WePay initially denied services by citing policies against providing services connected to 'hate … racial intolerance … or items or activities that encourage, promote, facilitate, or instruct others regarding the same.'"

The ADF now monitors banking companies for their reliance "on divisive concepts" like Critical Race Theory, and such.

The issue also is facing Bank of America, which recently got a letter from 15 financial officers representing 13 states warning it over its alleged decisions to politicize banking and de-bank conservatives.

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

The move to protect children from online porn sites is growing state by state, according to a new report, with about one-third now requiring age verification for access.

So far, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Virginia all have requirements that aim to protect kids, according to a Washington Stand report.

And legislatures in Arizona and Alaska are in the process of adopting those limits.

The Supreme Court is in alignment, too, recently rejecting the agenda from a pro-pornography coalition to stop Texas' enforcement of its age verification requirements.

"This effort to protect children from pornography is laudable and demonstrates the need for federal legislation requiring age verification," explained Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow at the Family Research Council, with which the Stand is affiliated.

"Such legislation could build momentum for a total prohibition of pornography. We also need to demand more protective measures from device manufacturers to filter out this content. Parents can always do more, but help from the institutions we build and fund is long overdue," she said.

The rights of children include not being "assaulted by this content," she charged, in the report. "That porn producers masquerading as free speech advocates think only the adults performing sex acts need protection is frankly disgusting and depraved."

PornHub, described as the largest porn website, already has shut down in multiple states where age verification is required, including Utah, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Texas, and Virginia.

"Now, when internet users visit the site, they are greeted by a message criticizing the states’ laws barring minors from accessing pornography," the report said.

The porn promoters have gone to court multiple times, claiming state restrictions infringe upon free speech, but the Supreme Court, in allowing Texas' law to be enforced, made clear it isn't going in that direction.

Dani Pinter of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation told the Stand., "It is crucial that states are moving in the direction of protecting children from pornography exposure by requiring pornography websites to verify their users are adults. Pornography can be extremely harmful to children, with negative impacts on the brain and relational development."

She warned that already studies have documented the use of porn in "grooming" children for victimization, and porn sites "have allowed filmed child sexual abuse, rape, sex trafficking, and other non-consensual explicit material on their websites — material that normalizes criminal activity."

RMG Research polling, the report noted, has found that 83% of American voters support a national requirement for age verification for the material.

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Reporters say those facing criminal counts, before conviction, are alleged to have committed crimes.

They are not criminals, before conviction, but they have been accused.

But one network has carried its use of "alleged" to realms before now not known.

It is NBC News that posted online a report about an "alleged tornado."

The report from "NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt" was about the unfolding tragedy – deaths, injuries, and much damage – from a tornado that hit Greenfield, Iowa.

But the mockery of the network was ferocious.

Twitchy. commented, "NBC News has no idea what the damage from a tornado looks like."

"Now, when a news agency is talking about a crime, it is appropriate to say 'alleged' as the person may not be convicted as of yet. There are some things, however, that can be said with certainty. A town leveled by a tornado is one of them. NBC News wasn't so sure and wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt."

Other comments:

"Is the tornado gonna sue ya?"

"'alleged tornado' are you stupid it was a tornado…"

To which Twitchy noted, "It is very likely they are stupid."

"What else was it, space lasers?"

"Mostly peaceful tornado."

"Do we need to prove it guilty in a court of law first?"

"'Alleged.' LOL, because we're not ruling out a dragon attack."

"This is exactly how an alleged journalist would report this."

"Tornado is the leading suspect but still searching."

"Maybe the Russians did it."

And, "Do they have to check its race, gender, and FB posts before accusing it?"

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Just as Congress was preparing a contempt citation for Joe Biden's attorney general, Merrick Garland, for refusing to comply with a subpoena for the audio tapes of special counsel Robert Hur's grilling of the president, the White House is insisting they are protected by executive privilege.

That, of course, is the same authority that Democrats have set aside in the multiple cases that they have developed against President Donald Trump during their lawfare campaign against him, trying to prevent his success in his 2024 bid for the Oval Office.

Biden's attempt to use the precedent was outlined in a report in the Washington Examiner.

The Hur interviews with Biden have proven catastrophic for Democrats, as he found that Biden probably broke federal law in taking and keeping classified documents as a senator and then vice president for Barack Obama.

Not only did he not have the authority to do that, he then stored them in unsecured locations like a garage at his home, and even shared them with a ghostwriter.

Hur, however, recommended against prosecution for Biden because of his "diminished" capacity, and how he likely would be seen by a jury as an old man with significant memory problems.

The report said now Biden "undercut" House Republican efforts to pursue a contempt charge against Garland over his refusal to release the tapes, which members of Congress say can provide a lot more information than just a transcript of the statements.

The report said it was the White House that told the House Oversight and Judiciary Committee Chairmen James Comer, R-Ky., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, of Biden’s claim.

White House counsel Edward Siskel claimed in a letter obtained by the Examiner, “Because of the president’s longstanding commitment to protecting the integrity, effectiveness, and independence of the Department of Justice and its law enforcement investigations, he has decided to assert executive privilege over the recordings."

Siskel pointed out Biden did not try to censor Hur's actual report, although it is known that the White House did try to get the special counsel to edit it so that it would not reference Biden's declining mental status.

Hur said that needed to be included because it was part of his reasoning for recommending against charges.

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A fight – that could end up before the federal courts – has erupted in Virginia because officials in the National Park Service abruptly have decided to censor all "religious" events planned to honor Memorial Day at Poplar Grove National Cemetery in Petersburg.

Officials with First Liberty Institute have written to federal officials offering advice on "the right" thing to do to resolve the standoff.

"We hope that the National Park Service will immediately correct this error and grant the permit," said John Moran of the McGuireWoods law firm working with the institute. "This policy and the decision to block the Knights of Columbus from continuing their long-standing religious tradition is a blatant violation of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act."

Roger Byron, of First Liberty, added, "Due to the religious nature of the Knights’ annual service to honor and pray for the nation’s fallen soldiers, they have been assigned a second-class status and relegated to the proverbial back of the bus. That is precisely the kind of unlawful discrimination and censorship the First Amendment was enacted to prevent. Surely this decision was an oversight."

The problem is that while the Knights of Columbus Petersburg Council 694 has held Memorial Day services in the cemetery since the 1960s, the Parks Service now is banning them because there is a new prohibition on "religious services."

Disrupting a long tradition of holiday events recognizing American veterans, the Park Service last year denied the fraternal organization a permit to continue.

Park Service officials, under the Joe Biden administration, now are claiming that masses, or even prayer events, are now "demonstrations."

The letter to the chief ranger at the federal location said, "There is no reason under NPS regulations or Policy Memorandum 22-01 to deny the Knights a permit to hold the service within the cemetery. Indeed, even since the adoption of Policy Memorandum 22-01, the Park Service has authorized Memorial Day masses in other National Cemeteries."

The legal team, while it has not yet filed a formal case in court, explained that it is a violation of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act "to discriminate against and censor the Knights’ activities solely because of their religious character."

The letter details, "The NPS’s prohibition of the Knights’ Memorial Day service due to its religious nature is not merely unlawful content-based discrimination on speech—it is textbook viewpoint discrimination, which is per se unconstitutional. … The Knights ask NPS to do the right thing and permit them to host their annual Memorial Day mass in Poplar Grove National Cemetery, as the Park Service has done since time immemorial—before last year—and as it has continued to do in other National Cemeteries."

It included a notice to the federal facility: "We strongly urge you to reconsider your decision and promptly grant the Knights a permit to host their annual Memorial Day mass within the walls of the Poplar Grove National Cemetery. If you persist in denying the permit, our clients intend to take all appropriate steps to protect their rights, including through litigation. We therefore ask that you preserve all relevant documents and materials in anticipation of litigation.:

The letter advised that "the right thing" to see is for the permit to be issued as it has been for decades.

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

President Donald Trump is taking Judge Juan Merchan to an appeals court.

Merchan, hearing New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg's claims that business reporting misdemeanors now are felonies against Trump, has imposed a draconian gag order against Trump in the case.

Trump is known for commenting about charges, cases, and individuals, including noting the fact that Merchan's daughter is a Democrat activist who has been fundraising off of the decisions her father delivers against Trump in the case.

report from Fox News explains Trump's defense team filed a motion to appeal the "unconstitutional" censorship demand from Merchan.

"I just want to let you know that we've just filed a major motion in the appellate division concerning the unconstitutional gag order, where I'm essentially not allowed to talk to you about anything meaningful that's going on in the case. And many good things are going on with the case. It shouldn't have been filed," Trump explained.

Merchan's censorship demands require Trump to remain silent on a multitude of issues even though there is no similar restriction on others involved in the case leaving them free to be making allegations about Trump.

Merchan already has said Trump has violated his censorship demands multiple times and fined him thousands of dollars. He's even threatened Trump with jail.

Trump noted legal scholars as experts as Alan Dershowitz and Jonathan Turley have been critical of Merchan's demands for censorship.

"'This is a Frankenstein case. They took a dead misdemeanor, attached it to a dead, alleged federal felony, and zapped it back into life. So many of us are just amazed to watch this walk into court because it's not a recognizable crime that any of us have seen," Trump charged, citing Turley's comments.

And to Dershowitz, Trump said, was the opinion, "I've been doing this for 60 years, and I don't understand what crime he's been charged with. Nobody understands this. I just don't get the crime. There's no evidence of any crime whatsoever. This is a sham."

The report explained, "The case revolves around the alleged falsification of business records. Prosecutors say Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, paid Daniels $130,000 to quiet her claims of the alleged extramarital sexual encounter. Prosecutors allege the Trump Organization reimbursed Cohen and fraudulently logged the payments as legal expenses, and they are working to prove that Trump falsified records with the intent to commit or conceal a second crime, which is a felony."

Trump's employees have explained the funds were paid to a lawyer, so were listed in the accounting software as payments to a lawyer.

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Rolling Stone Magazine started out on a "hit piece" on President Donald Trump and his campaign for re-election to the White House, charging he would use "special operations forces assassination squads" on Mexican drug criminals if he wins the 2024 election.

But a commentary at RedState explained it was more of a "campaign contribution."

The Rolling Stone piece was sourced to "people who've discussed the matter" with Trump, and explains, "In some of these discussions, Trump has insisted that the U.S. military has 'tougher killers than they do' and pondered why these assassination missions haven’t been done before, arguing that eliminating the heads of cartels would go a long way toward hobbling their operations and striking fear into the hearts of 'the kingpins.'"

In fact, the RedState report notes, "think tanks like the Center for Renewing America and American First Policy Institute" have discussed the idea.

It said, "Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis advocated this position during one of the GOP presidential primary debates on August 23, 2023."

The article explained about a quarter of a million U.S. citizens die each year from overdoses of drugs pushed into the U.S. by those cartels, and that's "on top of the 30,000+ annual cartel-related murders."

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"Rolling Stone has been on a cartel protecting jag reminiscent of the Hamas simps on U.S. college campuses celebrating the slaughter of Israeli civilians for a while," RedState noted.

In fact, Rolling Stone writer Asawin Suebsaeng charged that, "Republican congressmen Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, and Michael Waltz, R-Fla., announced legislation to authorize the use of military force against fentanyl trafficking cartels in Mexico."

It was an idea that collected support from a number of Republicans.

Suebsaeng noted in the Senate, Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and John Kennedy, R-La., had their own plan to "give military the authority to go after these organizations wherever they exist."

RedState cited the massive size of the problem, with cartels controlling about one-third of Mexico by now, en route if nothing changes to making the nation a "narco-state" within a few years.

"The drug cartels directly employ about 170,000 people, making it that nation's fifth largest employer. If you consider people who make a living supplying goods and services to the cartels, they are probably the most significant economic engine in Mexico," it said.

No help will be coming from Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, either, the publication noted.

He's claimed law enforcers cannot fight violence with violence, and that instead "the causes" of drug cartels need to be addressed.

He's also said that it's a problem for America, not Mexico, stating, "We are not going to act as policemen for any foreign government."

The RedState commentary suggested that the problem now is to the point it is a "military" situation, "not a law enforcement problem."

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

There's now yet another lawsuit against Joe Biden's campaign through which he appears to be demanding that everyone in America adopt his sex ideology: that a man who simply says he's a woman must be treated as a woman in every respect.

Regardless of the facts and the science.

It is the state of Florida that has joined with the Catholic Medical Association in a legal action against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The HHS agency has adopted a rule that forces medical professionals and insurance providers to perform or pay for harmful "gender-transition" procedures – or be punished financially.

The transgender ideology involves the belief that men can be turned into women or women into men and sometimes involves horrific body mutilating surgeries.

No change is scientifically possible, as being male or female is embedded in the body down to the DNA level.

Lawyers for the ADF, representing the Catholic organization, joined with Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody to start the case.

The campaign by Biden would force CMA members to lose federal funding or risk severe penalties for treating and referring to patients by their biological sex.

"The rule also requires Florida to follow unscientific standards of care and limits the state’s power to set protective standards of care for health professionals," the ADF reported.

"Florida passed a law to protect our children from dangerous, irreversible gender-transition drugs and surgeries," Moody said. "Now, Biden and his federal bureaucrats are trying to go around our child-protection law to force the state to pay for puberty blockers and gender-transition surgery for children. These rules trample states’ power to protect their citizens and we will not stand by as Biden tries, yet again, to use the force of the federal government to unlawfully stifle Florida’s effort to protect children."

ADF lawyer Julie Marie Blake added, "The Biden administration’s attempt to hijack medicine is the latest example of its unlawful overreach. The HHS rule will harm those suffering from gender dysphoria, particularly children, and punish doctors who seek to care for them. Medical professionals around the world and individuals who have undergone these experimental, body-altering procedures are warning about their risks. Yet the Biden administration is working to force doctors to perform these dangerous, often sterilizing procedures to make people appear as the opposite sex. This rule change contradicts legal precedent set by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, and we are urging the court to halt the administration’s vast overreach in health care."

The case argues Biden's bureaucrats are abusing the powers of the Affordable Care Act to place themselves in the position of "overseeing – and second-guessing – the clinical and ethical judgments of health care professionals."

The complaint notes, "Under the guise of federal non-discrimination rules, the Department of Health and Human Services ('HHS') seeks to redefine the practice of medicine. HHS’s rules threaten the livelihood of doctors who refuse to provide experimental, sterilizing, 'gender-change' interventions to persons suffering from psychological distress—including minor children."

WND previously reported that Louisiana, Mississippi, Idaho, and Montana joined to file one legal challenge to Biden's plan with the Defense of Freedom Institute. Texas joined with America First Legal to launch another.

"This is all for a political agenda, ignoring significant safety concerns for young women students in pre-schools, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges, and universities across Louisiana and the entire country," explained Liz Murrill, the attorney general for Louisiana.

"These schools now have to change the way they behave and the way they speak, and whether they can have private spaces for little girls or women. It is enormously invasive, and it is much more than a suggestion; it is a mandate that well exceeds their statutory authority. This all coming from the people who don’t even know how to define the word ‘woman.’"

Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos explained to the publication that it's the Biden administration trying to "harm women."

Under Biden's transgender beliefs, separate showers for men and women would be banned, schools would be forced to allow men all access to women's sports teams and facilities, and more.

"The consequences will be shocking and severe. Boys and girls will be forced to share bathrooms, locker rooms, and perhaps even lodging on overnight field trips with members of the opposite sex," the four-state complaint charges.

"Adding insult to injury, they will be forced to use ‘preferred pronouns’ or else face punishment, which raises distinct Free Speech and Free Exercise problems. And that’s just the students. Consider parents who, for example, may never hear about the so-called ‘gender affirming’ counseling that their children receive because the Final Rule allowed a school to conceal that information," it said.

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Extremists who support the Hamas terror against Israel have launched protests – against Israel – at campuses nationwide.

They've taken over property, buildings, and more. They've force schools to change their class procedures, and in the case of Columbia University forced the school to call off a graduation ceremony.

There, there have been arrests and vandalism.

Now the bill for the behavior – at least some of it – is coming due.

The Free Beacon reports 13 federal judges have announced they no longer will hire law clerks from Columbia College or Columbia Law School.

The report said the judges cited an "explosion of student disruptions" as well as the "virulent spread of anti-Semitism" there.

Orchestrating the statement were 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges James Ho and Elizabeth Branch and Matthew Solomson, of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

Their letter to Columbia president Minouche Shafik explained they will not hire "anyone who joins the Columbia University community – whether as undergraduates or as law students – beginning with the entering class of 2024."

The letter explained the judges' opinion that, "Freedom of speech protects protests, not trespass, and certainly not acts or threats of violence or terrorism. It has become clear that Columbia applies double standards when it comes to free speech and student misconduct."

Also signing were Alan Albright, who hears the nation's patent cases, Stephen Vaden, on the U.S. Court of International Trade, and Matthew Kacsmaryk, a district judge who suspended "approval" of the abortion drug mifepristone.

It apparently is the first time such a statement has come from more than two judges.

The report said the letter comes a week after students violently took over Columbia's main administrative building, Hamilton Hall.

The report noted the obvious: That up for discussion now will be the "value" of an Ivy League university diploma.

It noted statistics guru Nate Silver pointed out, "Recent events demonstrate that ideological homogeneity throughout the entire institution of Columbia has destroyed its ability to train future leaders of a pluralistic and intellectually diverse country."

Robert Kraft, a longtime Columbia patron, has announced he cannot in good conscience now donate to the school that is filled with "virulent hate" and other billionaires also have dropped their support of the school, the report said.

"As judges who hire law clerks every year to serve in the federal judiciary, we have lost confidence in Columbia as an institution of higher education," the judges wrote. "Columbia has instead become an incubator of bigotry."

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Over and over again, archaeological discoveries have confirmed the biblical accounts of portions of history, and now it has again.

report from the Daily Mail blasts out that there are ruins "that could prove the Bible was TRUE: Stretch of the wall in ancient Jerusalem vindicates the holy book's account, archaeologists claim."

The controversy involves the new confirmation about one piece of wall in Jerusalem.

Until now, experts thought a stretch of wall in the original heart of the city was built by Hezekiah, King of Judah, whose reign straddled the seventh and eighth centuries BC, the report said.

At that time, Hezekiah had seen the Kingdom of Israel, to his north, destroyed by Assyrians. It was thought he built the wall in defense.

"But now an almost decade-long study has revealed it was built by his great-grandfather, Uzziah, after a huge earthquake, echoing the account of the Bible," the report said.

The wall is at a site in the City of David that was part of the original Jerusalem.

The report notes Joe Uziel, from the Israel Antiquities Authority, explained that it's long been assumed that Hezekiah built the wall, to "defend Jerusalem during the Assyrian siege."

"But it is now becoming clear that it dates back to the days of King Uzziah, as hinted at in the Bible," he said. "It is now apparent that the wall in its eastern part, in the area of the City of David, was built earlier, shortly after the great earthquake of Jerusalem, and as part of the construction of the city."

In the 2nd Chronicles, part of the history of the ancient peoples, it states, "Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate and the angle of the wall, and he fortified them."

Hezekiah is explained in the report as being considered one of the greatest kings of Judah, reigning from about 715 BC to about 686 BC after his father, Ahaz, died.

It is Hezekiah who is credited with throwing off the oppression of the Assyrians, who had beleaguered the nation.

"The Hebrew Bible also describes how Hezekiah made a miraculous recovery from a sickness after praying to God. He went on to live for another 15 years," the report said.

The Bible also clearly outlines "seismic activity," documenting the time frame for one prophet as being "two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah."

The research project involves the IAA, Tel Aviv University, and the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Carbon-14 dating was used partly to set the time frame. Tested were organic artifacts found at the site, including grape seeds and date pits.

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