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Muslim Americans are more accepting of homosexuality than white evangelicals, Pew research says

Published: Thursday, August 03, 2017 @ 10:32 AM

San Francisco, CA, USA - June 24, 2016: People at the Transmarch in San Francisco.
Luca_Boveri/Getty Images
San Francisco, CA, USA - June 24, 2016: People at the Transmarch in San Francisco.(Luca_Boveri/Getty Images)

Ten years ago, only 27 percent of Muslims in the United States said homosexuality should be accepted by society, and 61 percent said same-sex relationships should be discouraged.

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But according to a Pew Research Center report released last week, the majority of Muslim Americans today -- 52 percent -- are now accepting of homosexuality, following a trend found in other American faith groups.

Even the Muslims who said religion is “very important” in their lives have become 28 points more accepting since 2007.

Compared to other American faith groups, Muslim Americans are more accepting of homosexuality than white evangelicals (34 percent) and black Protestants (50 percent), but are not as accepting as white mainline Protestants (76 percent) and Catholics (66 percent).

» RELATED: Muslims in America, by the numbers 

Young Muslim Americans (Muslim millennials) also tend to be more accepting of homosexuality. Between 2007 and 2017, the percentage of Muslim millennials in America that said homosexuality should be accepted by society jumped from 33 percent to 60 percent.

(Mireya Acierto/Getty Images)

The Pew report, which includes data from more than 1,000 adult U.S. Muslims, also found the majority of Muslim Americans continue to identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party (66 percent) and 39 percent describe themselves as politically moderate.

» RELATED: 5 inspiring quotes from iconic Muslim women to celebrate #MuslimWomensDay 

Forty-four percent of Muslims eligible to vote cast ballots in last year's presidential election, compared to 37 percent in 2007. Those numbers on Muslim voting are compared to 60 percent of eligible voters overall who cast ballots in 2016.

Muslims overwhelmingly backed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who drew 78 percent of their vote, compared to 8 percent for Trump.

» RELATED: Mahershala Ali makes history as first Muslim to win an Academy Award 

Alarmed by the anti-Muslim rhetoric during the 2016 campaign, Muslim American leaders made an unprecedented push to register voters in mosques and at community events, leading to higher overall turnout.

Pew researchers estimate the number of U.S. Muslims has been growing by 100,000 each year, reaching 3.35 million, or 1 percent of the American population.

» RELATED: Georgia did not ‘ban Muslim culture,’ as fake-news websites claimed 

By 2050, they estimate Islam will supplant Judaism as the second-most popular religion in the U.S., with Muslims making up 2.1 percent of the future population.

Just over half of U.S. Muslims identify as Sunni, while 16 percent identify as Shiite. Nearly six in 10 adult American Muslims were born outside the U.S.

The largest share of immigrants come from South Asian countries such as Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, while others have come from Iraq, Iran, sub-Saharan Africa and Europe.

» RELATED: Photos of famous Muslim Americans

American-born blacks make up about 13 percent of all Muslims in America, but their share is shrinking. Overall, eight in 10 are U.S. citizens, according to the survey.

Eight in 10 American Muslims also said they were concerned about Islamic extremism, and more than 70 percent said they were very or somewhat concerned about Islamic extremism in the U.S.

However, three of 10 said that most of those arrested recently on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack had been tricked by law enforcement authorities and did not represent a real threat.

Read the full Pew Research Center report at Pewforum.org.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Fiat Chrysler recalls 4.8 million vehicles over cruise control issue

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 11:52 AM

Fiat Chrysler is recalling 4.8 million vehicles over an issue that could prevent drivers from turning off cruise control. Models affected include the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV, model years 2014-2018.
Joe Raedle, Getty Images
Fiat Chrysler is recalling 4.8 million vehicles over an issue that could prevent drivers from turning off cruise control. Models affected include the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV, model years 2014-2018.(Joe Raedle, Getty Images)

Fiat Chrysler is recalling 4.8 million vehicles that could prevent drivers from turning off the cruise control function.

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The cruise control could become dangerous when an affected car accelerates under cruise control, like when trying to climb up a hill, Fiat Chrysler officials told CNN. This could cause the car to become locked in cruise control, and the driver might not be able to tap the breaks or hit the designated switch to turn it off.

One incident related to this issue has been reported to Fiat Chrysler, but there have been no reported injuries. 

Affected car owners are told to stop using the cruise control function immediately until the vehicle can be repaired, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated in a press release.

If this issue happens while driving, the NHTSA said drivers might be able to stop the vehicle by pushing the break pedal and placing the vehicle in park once it is stopped. Drivers could also shift the transmission to neutral or forcefully apply the manual break and place the car in park once it has stopped. 

Fiat Chrysler officials are asking owners of the recalled vehicles to bring them to a dealership for a software update.

The models covered under the recall include:

• 2015-17 Chrysler 200 sedan

• 2014-18 Chrysler 300 sedan

• 2014-18 Dodge Charger sedan 

• 2014-18 Dodge Durango SUV 

• 2014-18 Dodge Journey crossover 

• 2014-18 Jeep Cherokee SUV 

• 2014-18 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV 

• 2014-18 Ram 2500 pickup 

• 2014-18 Ram 3500 cab chassis 

• 2014-18 Ram 3500 pickup 

• 2014-18 Ram 4500/5500 cab chassis

• 2014-19 Ram 1500 pickup 

• 2015-18 Dodge Challenger coupe 

• 2017-18 Chrysler Pacifica minivan 

• 2018 Jeep Wrangler 

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22-year-old uses ‘odd’ strategy to win $2 million on lotto scratch off

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 11:57 AM

A 22-year-old won $2 million on a Diamond Dazzler scratch-off ticket. (Photo: Michigan Lottery)
A 22-year-old won $2 million on a Diamond Dazzler scratch-off ticket. (Photo: Michigan Lottery)

A 22-year-old man whose strategy is to only play odd-numbered scratch off tickets, won $2 million from the Michigan Lottery’s Diamond Dazzler game.

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The player, who wanted to remain anonymous, took the lump-sum payout of $1.3 million Wednesday, according to lottery officials

“Winning this much money at my age gives me endless opportunities if I’m smart about how I spend it, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do,” he said.

The win came from the player’s odd strategy. 

He walked into the Busatti Party Store and asked the clerk what number the ticket was on his favorite game, the Diamond Dazzler. 

“Twenty-one,” she replied. 

He had to have it. He scratched the $20 ticket off in the store and saw it was a winner. He looked at the clerk then at his friend who was with him before running out to his car.

He plans to buy a new vehicle and invest the rest. 

More than $72 million in prizes remain, including two $2 million top prizes.

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Rape victim wins $1 billion verdict in civil suit against security company

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 2:11 AM

Rape Victim Wins $1 Billion Verdict Against Security Company

A Georgia rape victim was awarded a $1 billion settlement verdict Tuesday by a Clayton County jury in a civil lawsuit, according to court documents.

Hope Cheston, who is now 20 years old, sued a security company whose employee, Brandon Lamar Zachary, was convicted of rape and sentenced to 20 years in prison. The rape occurred in October 2012 when Cheston was 14. 

Hope Cheston, who is now 20 years old, sued a security company whose employee, Brandon Lamar Zachary (pictured), was convicted of rape and sentenced to 20 years in prison.(Clayton County Sheriff's Office)

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s policy is to not name rape victims, but Cheston has chosen to speak out after the verdict. 

“Sexual assault is sexual assault,” Cheston said at a news conference Wednesday. “It’s not right, and it needs to be punished.”

She said the verdict was a pleasant surprise that validates her struggles and emotional pain.

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“For the longest (time), I thought it would be pushed under the rug and no longer mattered ... but come to find out 12 strangers feel like what I went through and my story and how I feel six years later is worth a billion dollars,” Cheston said.

She originally filed the civil suit against the apartment complex, HACC Pointe South Inc., the property management company, Hammond Residential Group, Inc., and the security company, Crime Prevention Agency Inc.

HACC Pointe South Inc. and Hammond Residential Group Inc. were eventually dismissed from the suit.

The State Court of Clayton County ruled in Cheston’s favor against the security company, handing her the huge settlement, according to a statement from her attorney. 

“This is a huge victory for women,” Cheston’s attorney, Chris Stewart, said at the news conference.

Stewart said Crime Prevention Agency Inc. has since changed its name to International Security Agency Inc., which he said has prompted a subsequent lawsuit.

“You can’t change names or try to hide from your responsibility,” Stewart said.

Zachary, who is now 28, was arrested on charges of rape, statutory rape and child molestation, according to the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office. 

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Parents remember son killed in car crash on the way to take his final exam

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 10:22 AM

Caleb Keller died in a car accident on the way to take a final exam . (Photo: WSBTV.com)
Caleb Keller died in a car accident on the way to take a final exam . (Photo: WSBTV.com)

The family of a Floyd County high school senior is planning his funeral just days before they were planning to see him graduate.

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His family told Channel 2's Matt Johnson they're overwhelmed by the support they've received.

Blue ribbons are everywhere near Model High School, even on the school itself, to honor Caleb Keller, 18.

"He was a very special kid," said his mother, April Helton. "He said, 'I'm going to make it, I'm going to walk across that stage,' and we are all just so excited."

But four days before graduation, the high school senior died in a two-car crash on the way to take his finals.

Floyd County authorities said Keller crashed his car into another truck at Mango Road and Wayside Road at around 10:30 a.m.

He died Tuesday morning.

His family said he was on his way to school to take his finals, but the road was wet.

"The road right there is a gravel road, and it had washed, and he just lost control," said his father, Clint Helton.

His family said the community has placed hundreds of blue ribbons for Keller all across the county, including some at his high school.

They are thankful and hopeful that Caleb's friends can still enjoy the graduation ceremony.

"We want this to be bright and happy for them because that's what Caleb would want," April said.

His parents want everyone to know through their pain and their heartbreak, they feel incredibly proud of their beloved son.

"Even though Caleb's not going to be there to walk with them, he's just as much a part, and he's there," April said.

The other driver involved in the crash was released from a hospital with minor injuries.

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