A rabbi, an imam and a pastor walk onto a stage… (The Economist)

After nearly 17 years on the road, the Interfaith Amigos are a trio (an imam, a rabbi and a Christian pastor, to be precise) who know quite a bit about America’s religious scene. Based in Seattle, they have given hundreds of presentations to audiences across the United States, as well as Canada, Japan and the Middle East. With a mixture of exhortation, stimulation and humour, they urge people to think differently about religions, their own and that of others.

It started in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, when Rabbi Ted Falcon invited Jamal Rahman, an imam who practices Sufism, to join a Jewish Shabbat service, “because people had to see a different face of Islam.” Then they were joined by the Reverend Don MacKenzie, a Protestant minister, and they became a kind of travelling treble act.

Sometimes they are heckled or challenged aggressively; a bit more often they receive messages of protest after their act. But mostly their message is well received (admittedly from a self-selecting category of people who are open to such things) and Rabbi Falcon says the need they respond to seems more acute than ever.

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Rivers in US West turn dangerous as days warm, snow thaws (AP)

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — Massive waterfalls in Yosemite National Park and rivers raging in mountains throughout the western United States are thundering with greater force than they have for years — and proving deadly as warm weather melts the deepest mountain snowpack in recent memory.

Record snowfall on towering Western peaks this winter virtually eliminated California’s five-year drought and it is now melting rapidly.

But it has contributed to at least 14 river deaths and prompted officials to close sections of rivers popular with swimmers, rafters and fishing enthusiasts.

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*****

OAKLEY, Utah (AP) — After a deadly Memorial Day weekend that saw a small girl and two adults swept away to their deaths, Utah authorities are warning people to stay away from raging, icy rivers dangerously swollen by a snowy winter and wet spring.

The conditions have also triggered flood alerts and led officials to offer sand bags to homeowners in parts of northern Utah, where some rivers are expected to reach their highest levels this weekend.

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A 4-year-old girl, her mother and a good Samaritan died in Utah after the child fell from a rock and was swept away in a cold, fast-moving river and several people jumped in to help her, authorities said Tuesday.

London DeDios had been playing with her mother on Memorial Day near Bridal Veil Falls when she fell. Her mother, Brenda DeDios, and at least five other people tried to save the girl, Utah County sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon said.

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Articles

The Economist 2013- 2018
Articles for The Economist in Utah and New York, covering science, business and religion as a freelance journalist. Continue Reading
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The Associated Press 2017
Articles for The Associated Press in Utah for 2017, covering state and federal politics, crime and business. Continue Reading →
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The Associated Press 2016
Articles for The Associated Press in Utah for 2016, covering state politics and crime. Continue Reading →
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The Week
Science articles for The Week, as a freelance journalist in Salt Lake City. Continue Reading →
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The Atlantic and The Daily Beast
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Nextgov (Atlantic Media)
Articles for Atlantic Media's Nextgov, covering the federal government’s use and misuse of technology. Continue Reading →
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