TIME 2016 Election

Jindal Blurs the Lines With Prayer Rally This Weekend

Bobby Jindal
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La. speaks in New York on Oct. 16, 2014. John Minchillo—AP

It is no secret that Bobby Jindal is praying very seriously about a run for the White House. This weekend, his prayer will look a lot like a giant evangelical rally in Baton Rouge.

The governor of Louisiana is keynoting a six-hour worship gathering on Saturday called “The Response: A Call To Prayer For a Nation In Crisis” at Louisiana State University. The event, sponsored by the conservative and controversial American Family Association, aims to spiritually reawaken America in light of “unprecedented struggles” the country is facing: “financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters … fatherless homes, an epidemic of drugs and crime in our inner cities, a saturation of pornography in our homes, abortion, and racism.” The American Renewal Project, a non-profit spearheaded by conservative political operative David Lane that aims to get more Christians involved in politics, is also behind the event. Lane hopes to recruit 1,000 pastors to run for political office this campaign cycle. The Response coincides with the state’s Right to Life March, which is also happening Saturday on LSU’s campus and which Jindal is also keynoting. Together, the events are poised to draw thousands.

Organizers say the Response is purely about spiritual renewal, not politics. But from the get-go, those lines are blurred. Jindal invited 49 other governors to attend the Response. “This gathering will be apolitical in nature and open to all who would like to join us in humble posture before our Creator to intervene on behalf of our people and nation,” Jindal explained to the governors, in a letter obtained by the Christian Broadcasting Network. “There will only be one name lifted up that day–Jesus!”

The irony in the event has several layers. To begin, Jindal’s invitation to the governors, like most of the Response’s promotional materials, draws inspiration only from passages in the Hebrew Scriptures, what Christians call the Old Testament, to support an event aimed at lifting up Jesus Christ. His letter primarily cites the Hebrew prophet Joel, who likely lived in Judah during the Persian period of Jewish history (539-331 BC). Joel tells the Hebrew people to “declare a holy fast,” “call a solemn assembly,” and “summon the elders,” to “cry out to the Lord.” The Response organizers are trying to imitate those instructions with this event, but conflating Joel’s call to return to the Hebrew God with a contemporary evangelical call to return to Jesus changes the prophet’s original context and the significance of the words for today’s Jewish community.

Next, for the Hebrew prophet Joel, to call the elders is actually a political move, not just a spiritual one. The prophet goes on to lament a plague of locusts, that like an invading army that has destroyed his own nation’s fields and farming prospects. His call to God for aid is a political plea on behalf of his people. Jindal and fellow organizers are using a political Bible passage to promote an event that they say has a solely spiritual ambition. And yet, even as Jindal says the event is apolitical, he wrote an open invitation to the event on official state letterhead, and hosted 72 organizers for the event at the Governor’s mansion in December.

Perhaps most importantly, the Response in the United States is becoming more than a spiritual institution: It is a prelude to a presidential run. Five days after Rick Perry held a Response rally in August of 2011, he declared his candidacy for president. Neither Perry nor Jindal are evangelicals—Perry is a life-long Methodist and Jindal is Catholic—but for both, the Response event is a way to harness the spirituality of the conservative evangelical base for their own political ambitions. It is no small reward, either. Perry’s event drew some 30,000 people in Houston.

The Response may be the largest religious base Jindal is courting, but it is not the only one. After the Response, Jindal is headed to Naples to speak at the Legatus Summit, a annual conference for Catholic business leaders. Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York is speaking at the event, but Fox News’ Bret Baier and actor Gary Sinise withdrew their participation earlier this month due to controversy over the group’s opposition to gay marriage.

It is not surprising that Jindal would appeal to this conservative religious base. He is a Hindu convert and a Rhodes scholar biology major who supports creationism. He’s continually fought the courts and the Obama administration for his signature school voucher program that uses public dollars to pay for private and religious schooling. This week, he went after the U.S. House of Representatives for failing to pass an anti-abortion measure on the eve of the national March for Life. “It shouldn’t take a lot of political courage to stand up and say we are going to end late-term abortions in America,” Jindal told Fox News Thursday night.

Jindal has also been hammering radical Islam. During a 10-day economic and foreign policy trip to Europe, Jindal blasted so-called “no-go” zones, supposed communities in Europe where non-Muslims are not allowed and where sharia law runs rampant. Fox News later issued an apology for promoting the term, clarifying that no such zones exist. Jindal didn’t slow down. “Radical Islamists do not believe in freedom or common decency nor are they willing to accommodate them in any way and anywhere,” he said in a speech to the Henry Jackson Society in London. “We are fools to pretend otherwise. How many Muslims in this world agree with these radicals? I have no idea, I hope it is a small minority.” He added: “Let’s be honest here, Islam has a problem. If Islam does not support what is happening in the name of Islam, then they need to stand up and stop it.”

Jindal’s past history of blending of religious and political themes only makes it even more clear that the Response will not be strictly spiritual, despite what organizers say.

TIME Sex

How Birth Control Has Changed Over the Centuries

A history of contraception, in all its many forms

Birth control may still be a hot button issue today in some countries, but men and women have been using contraceptives for thousands of years, albeit with varied results.

In ancient China, a popular remedy involved drinking a cocktail of lead and mercury. In ancient Egypt, a paste made out of honey, sodium carbonate, and crocodile dung was a popular form of contraception.

However, not all historic forms of contraception were based on superstition. A prototype of the cervical cap has been in use since the 18th century, and cave drawings in France appear to show a version of a condom.

For much of the 19th and early 20th centuries women in the U.S. had a hard time getting their hands on effective contraception. Due to anti-obscenity laws, doctors were not allowed to spread information about birth control.

To compensate for the lack of official methods, household products like Lysol and Coca-Cola were often used, as they were believed to kill sperm.

In 1960 modern birth control was born, when the FDA approved the first oral contraceptive pill for women. Within 5 years, millions of American women had prescriptions for the pill. Today, 99% of women of child-bearing age say they have used some form of birth control.

However, universal access to birth control still does not exist worldwide. Some 220 million women from developing countries say they want to use birth control but don’t have access.

TIME Crime

California Teacher Defended Colleagues Accused of Having Sex With Pupils

Kids should have kept their “stupid mouths shut and enjoyed it,” he allegedly wrote on Facebook

A teacher has been placed on paid leave after allegedly writing on Facebook that students should not have complained about having sex with two female teachers at his school.

Sean Kane, a teacher at South Hills High School in West Covina, Calif., was put in administrative leave after appearing to defend his colleagues who have been arrested for allegedly having sex with students. A message allegedly appeared on his Facebook page saying the kids should have kept their “stupid mouths shut and enjoyed it,” the L.A. Times reports.

Kane’s colleagues Melody Lippert, 38, and Michelle Ghirelli, 30, were arrested Saturday on suspicion of having sex with students during a trip to a local beach, not sponsored by the school. Lippert is also accused of providing students with alcohol on the same beach on a separate occasion.

Some students at the high school have launched a social media campaign to get Kane back on the job, using the hashtag #FreeKane to express their support for the art teacher.

[L.A. Times]

TIME portfolio

The Best Pictures of the Week: Jan. 16 – Jan. 23

From escalating violence in eastern Ukraine and a thousands strong march in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Ala. to priests photographing Pope Francis in the Philippines and a surprising, glowing seascape in Hong Kong, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.

TIME Crime

Magnets Used to Plant Drugs Under Cars From Mexico

Smugglers target "Trusted Travelers"

SAN DIEGO — Drug smugglers are turning “trusted travelers” into unwitting mules by placing containers with powerful magnets under their cars in Mexico and then recovering the illegal cargo far from the view of border authorities in the United States.

One motorist spotted the containers while pumping gas after crossing into Southern California on Jan. 12 and thought it might be a bomb.

His call to police prompted an emergency response at the Chevron station, and then a shocker: 13.2 pounds of heroin were pulled from under the vehicle, according to a U.S. law enforcement official. San Diego police said the drugs were packed inside six magnetized cylinders.

The driver had just used a “trusted traveler” lane at the San Ysidro border crossing, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because some details of the case have not been made public.

Authorities have learned of at least three similar incidents in San Diego since then, all involving drivers enrolled in the enormously popular SENTRI program, which stands for Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection. There were 12.6 million SENTRI vehicle crossings in fiscal 2013, more than double the 5.9 million four years earlier.

The program enables hundreds of thousands of people who pass extensive background checks to whiz past inspectors with less scrutiny. Signing up can reduce rush-hour wait times from more than two hours to less than 15 minutes at San Diego’s San Ysidro port of entry, the nation’s busiest crossing, where SENTRI users represented 40 percent of the 4.5 million vehicle crossings in fiscal 2013, the Government Accountability Office found.

But like other prescreening programs, there’s a potential downside: the traveler can become a target, and such cases can be tricky for investigators when people caught with drugs claim they were planted.

Using magnets under cars isn’t new, but this string of cases is unusual.

The main targets are people who park for hours in Mexico before returning to the U.S., authorities say. Smugglers track their movements on both sides of the border, figuring out their travel patterns and where they park. It takes only seconds to attach and remove the magnetized containers when no one is looking.

“It’s a concern for everyone, not as big a concern for me because I’m careful,” said Aldo Vereo, a SENTRI user and office assistant at the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency who parks in a garage when home in Tijuana and varies his routes. “People should be worried because they go straight home and straight to work.”

“Trusted travelers” were issued windshield decals for years, but they are no longer needed to identify vehicles approaching the inspection booths. New stickers haven’t been issued since 2013, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency says existing stickers can be removed.

Many haven’t heeded the call, which can make them a target. The Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce in San Diego told newsletter readers last week that decals should go.

“It’s basically demonstrating that you are a SENTRI user,” said Alejandra Mier y Teran, the chamber’s executive director. “Criminals are savvy, and they know they are part of a program where they are not checked as much.”

CBP says frequent crossers also should vary their travel routines and keep a closer eye on their cars.

There have been 29 cases of motorists unwittingly carrying drugs under their cars in the San Diego area since U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement identified the trend in July 2011, including six drivers who made it past inspectors, said spokeswoman Lauren Mack.

Any driver who suspects something’s amiss under their car should immediately report it, to better show their innocence, authorities say.

Officer Matthew Tortorella, a San Diego police spokesman, said “it would be inappropriate” to make public more details about the Jan. 12 seizure, and CBP spokeswoman Jacqueline Wasiluk also declined to comment, calling it a local police investigation.

There have been three seizures since, all involving SENTRI drivers who were not charged:

—On Jan. 13, inspectors at the Otay Mesa border crossing found 35 pounds of marijuana in seven packages attached by powerful magnets to the bottom of a 2010 Kia Forte.

—On Tuesday, a driver alerted an inspector at Otay Mesa to a package under a 2010 Nissan Murano, and 8 pounds of methamphetamine were found in three packages underneath.

—On Wednesday, a dog at San Ysidro alerted inspectors to a 2000 Toyota Corolla with 18 pounds of marijuana underneath. That driver was enrolled in SENTRI but using a regular lane.

Pete Flores, CBP’s San Diego field office director, acknowledged that it’s unusual to have so many cases in fewer than two weeks.

“It’s a cat-and-mouse game,” Flores said. “Each change they make prompts a change from law enforcement, which in turn prompts them to again change their tactics.”

TIME weather

Brace Yourself: A Big Storm Is Coming to the East Coast

National Weather Service

Some regions may see a foot of snow

A nor’easter could wreak havoc all along the East Coast over the next 24 hours, with a mix of rain and snow that will likely cause airline and traffic delays along the I-81 and I-95 corridors.

Up to a foot of snow could accumulate in some locations, AccuWeather.com reports. Snow heavy with added rainfall could also bring down trees and power lines.

Check your local weather for specific predictions, and get ready for a good snow-shoveling workout.

[AccuWeather]

TIME People

Twin 9-Year-Old Boys Left Basically Alone for Months

An empty playground is seen at an apartment complex, Jan. 22, 2015, in Manchester, N.H. where authorities say twin 9-year-old boys were left mostly alone for four months after their parents took three siblings to Nigeria and left an uncle to care for them.
An empty playground is seen at an apartment complex, Jan. 22, 2015, in Manchester, N.H. where authorities say twin 9-year-old boys were left mostly alone for four months after their parents took three siblings to Nigeria and left an uncle to care for them. Jim Cole—AP

The boys were left to fend for themselves while an uncle only checked in every few days

Twin 9-year-olds were left virtually on their own for four months in a Manchester, N.H. apartment where an uncle would only occasionally check in on them.

The boys’ parents and three siblings left for Nigeria in July with the intention of returning the next month, but were delayed, the Associated Press reports. In the mean time, their 25-year-old uncle, Giobari Atura, was supposed to stay with the boys. Instead, he says he checked in on them every few days.

Police finally became involved in November when the boys’ school alerted them that they’d been living alone, getting themselves up in the morning and taking the bus to eat breakfast and lunch at school. The only edible food found in the apartment was ramen.

The twins were initially placed in foster care, but have now been returned to their parents, who came back to the U.S. shortly after learning of the situation. While Atura was charged with endangering the welfare of a child in December, the parents will not be charged since they left their sons in the care of a relative.

[AP]

Read next: Celiac Disease Among UK Kids Has Tripled

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Crime

This Fraternity Was Suspended After Completely Destroying a Ski Resort

The University of Michigan chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu is in big trouble

The national office of fraternity Sigma Alpha Nu has suspended the University of Michigan chapter after a ski weekend gone very, very bad.

Treetops Resort near Gaylord, Mich. suffered $50,000 in damages to walls, ceilings, windows, furniture and carpeting when 120 fraternity and sorority members ran amok last weekend, the Detroit Free Press reports. The fraternity could face criminal charges, but in the mean time, the university is investigating wrongdoing and chapter president Joshua Kaplan has said they will be “working with the management of the resort to pay for all damages and cleaning costs.”

Looks like this is one frat mess that can’t be cleaned up with a bucket full of sawdust.

[Detroit Free Press]

TIME portfolio

Go Inside the Lives of Families Affected by Gun Violence

Carlos Javier Ortiz spent eight years documenting the effects of gun violence on communities in Chicago and Philadelphia

Siretha White was at her 11th birthday party when she was killed in 2006. Nugget, as she was known to her family, had been celebrating in her cousin’s home when gunman Moses Phillips, who had reportedly been aiming at a man who was on the porch, shot through the front window fatally wounding her as she ran toward the back of the house. It was a sudden, shocking death that devastated the Whites and many others in their neighborhood of Englewood, Chicago.

The young girl’s story quickly caught the attention of photographer Carlos Javier Ortiz, who had planned on documenting the effects of gun related violence on communities not long before. Shocked by the brutal nature of the incident — and struck by how similar it was to the death of 14-year-old Starkesia Reed, who had been killed by stray gunfire a few blocks away just days before — he approached the White family with the aim of documenting the aftermath.

“The next day I was at the house. There was a birthday cake on the table that didn’t get cut [and] I spent about two hours talking to [Siretha’s] mother’s cousin outside,” Ortiz says. “We talked about a lot of things that were wrong in this neighborhood.”

Englewood often leads the city of Chicago in homicides, though there was a reported 19 percent decrease in 2013.

“[Siretha’s] mother called me that same night, she is a really good friend of mine now, [and said]: ‘I want you to do something. I want you to come to the radio station with me tomorrow and photograph me.’ [And then] she basically let me follow her home.”

Starting that day, Ortiz embedded himself with both the Whites and a larger community, locally and nationally, in an attempt to start a conversation about gun violence and its consequences. It evolved into a project that spanned eight years, and one that saw him travel between neighborhoods in Chicago and Philadelphia. Now, much of the work appears in his newest book, We All We Got, which will be on show at the Bronx Documentary Center in New York until March 22, 2015.

The images that emerged from his project are as powerful and heart-breaking as they are unnerving and thought-provoking. In one photograph, we see Albert Vaughn, who was beaten to death with a baseball bat, in his coffin as relatives mourn. In another, we see the mother of Fakhur Uddin grieving outside the store where he was killed as he opened the family business in August, 2008.

Ortiz sees the often difficult work he produced as a collaboration and would sometimes show his photographs to subjects. And while he sought to preserve journalistic distance, he couldn’t help but feel involved on a personal level with the communities, and individuals, who opened up to him.

“I saw boys and girls growing up and I couldn’t really do anything for them. I would see [a] change in the boys when they got to be 11 [or] 12. They would start walking differently, acting differently,” he says. “They start to pick up all these things from the other guys in the neighborhood, who picked them up from the other guys. So it’s like a circle.”

Indeed, having embedded himself with families for so long he started to witness tragedies unfold around him: “[The White’s] next door neighbor, he would DJ and sell shoes on the side, just to support his family. One day somebody robbed him and just murdered him.”

“It started becoming really hard. I started losing people too,” he adds. “They were my friends, people in the neighborhood were my friends. That was kind of a big wake up call.”

Carlos Javier Ortiz is a documentary photographer and experimental filmmaker based in Chicago. We All We Got is available now. The Bronx Documentary Center will host an opening reception for the book Jan. 24, 2015 and will show Ortiz’s work from Jan 24 to March 22, 2015.

Richard Conway is reporter/producer for TIME LightBox.

TIME obituary

Shoe Designer Vince Camuto, Nine West Co-Founder, Dies at 78

2014 Father Of The Year Awards
Vince Camuto attends the 2014 Father Of The Year Awards at the New York Hilton on June 4, 2014 Slaven Vlasic—Getty Images

Camuto had been battling cancer

Legendary women’s footwear designer Vince Camuto, who co-founded shoe company Nine West Group, has died in Connecticut at age 78.

Camuto died Wednesday at his home in Greenwich, said Matthew Murphy, director of the Fred D. Knapp & Son Funeral Home, which is handling the arrangements. Camuto had been battling cancer.

The designer is best known for co-founding Nine West Group in 1978. He served as creative director there for two decades and was named CEO in 1993. Nine West was sold in 1999 to Jones Apparel Group.

Camuto founded the Camuto Group, which owns his namesake footwear line, in 2001. The company also licensed products for Tory Burch, BCBG and others.

The privately held company, based in Greenwich, did not respond to multiple calls and emails seeking comment on Thursday.

The designer, whose products are sold at the company’s own stores and other retailers, expanded his fashion empire to include clothing, accessories and fragrances.

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