Jewish Americans gradually are disappearing into the regular U.S. population - except for the ultra-orthodox -- according to a new Pew survey. It found that 71 percent of non-orthodox Jews now marry outside the faith and most don't attend worship or belong to a synagogue. U.S. Jews feel kinship for Israel -- but only 17 percent support planting of Jewish settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, the poll found.
While Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas tries to halt the U.S. government in Washington, his father, Pastor Rafael Cruz, tours America for the right-wing Heritage Action Fund, urging fundamentalist congregations to seize more political power. The father serves the religious "dominion" fringe that says "God's people" are the rightful rulers of America.
Fugitive Edward Snowden gave The Washington Post a "Top Secret" summary of America's National Intelligence Program. It says 16 spy agencies with 107,000 employees will spend $52.6 billion this year through a "black budget" hidden from Americans. The CIA is largest, getting $14.7 billion, while the National Security Agency is second with about $10 billion. The Post says protecting Americans from terrorism requires "a constellation of spy agencies that track millions of individual surveillance targets and carry out operations that include hundreds of lethal strikes."
Stars have life-cycles. After billions of years, their nuclear fusion process exhausts lighter elements to fuse, so most of them swell to "red giants" and broil any surrounding planets. This month, British astronomers calculated in the Astrobiology journal that Earth will become uninhabitable within 1.75 billion to 3.25 billion years. No cause for immediate concern.