Steven Collins, a professor of biblical studies and apologetics at Trinity Southwest University, says a “monstrous” site in Tall el-Hammam in the southern Jordan Valley, which lies eight miles northeast of the Dead Sea, perfectly matches the biblical descriptions of the “city of sin,” destroyed in a day by fire and brimstone.

Collins began exploring the rubble in 2005 and eventually concluded that it is indeed the site inhabited by Lot who was saved by Abraham from judgment of the dominant city-state of the era.

“When we explored the area, the choice of Tall el-Hammam as the site of Sodom was virtually a no-brainer since it was at least five to 10 times larger than all the other Bronze Age sites in the entire region.”

The site is a large mound, or tel, that he believes represents the ruins of the two cities. The team of researchers has since found high and thick defensive walls, gates, towers, plazas and ramparts as well as a palace in the upper city.

As one would expect, life in the city appears to have come to a sudden halt near the end of the Middle Bronze Age period before being abandoned for 700 years.

“Tall el-Hammam seemed to match every Sodom criterion demanded by the text,” said Collins.

Based on the excavated site, despite the heavily fortified defensive capabilities, the city seems to have come to a sudden, inexplicable end – just as the Genesis account in the Bible says.

For millennia, the ancient cities have been used as metaphors for vice and homosexuality.

Collins said the city was likely abandoned after an earthquake, while other experts suggested an asteroid may have been to blame.


In 2008, mysterious circular clay tablets were identified as a witness’ account of an asteroid that destroyed the cities. Two rocket scientists – Alan Bond and Mark Hempsell, who spent eight years trying to solve the mystery – believe that the tablet’s symbols give a detailed account of how a mile-long asteroid hit the region, causing thousands of deaths and devastating an area of more than 386,000 square miles. The impact, equivalent to more than 1,000 tons of TNT exploding, would have created one of the world’s biggest-ever landslides.

The clay tablet, called the Planisphere, was discovered by the Victorian archaeologist Henry Layard in the remains of the library of the Royal Palace at Nineveh.

The duo used computers to recreate the night sky thousands of years ago and pinpointed the sighting described on the tablet by a Sumerian astrologer, pinpointing the likely date to before dawn June 29 in the year 3,123 B.C.

What does the Bible say about Sodom and Gomorrah? There are references in Genesis and the New Testament as well.

Genesis 19 is a detailed account of two angels who visited the city in an effort to save Lot and his family and were confronted by a gang threatening to sexually assault them. The angels had been dispatched by God at the urging of Abraham, Lot’s uncle.

The angels gathered Lot’s family and took them out of the city, saying: “For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it.”

The angels cautioned Lot’s family not to look back once they had been safely removed from the cities.

“Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven,” it says in Genesis 19:24-26. “25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”

Genesis 13:13 explains that the people of Sodom “were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.”

The prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos and Zephaniah all refer to the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah.


Jesus referred to Sodom and Gomorrah in Matthew 10, explaining to His disciples that when they visited towns to share the good news and met resistance to shake the dust off their feet before leaving:

“Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city,” it says in verse 15.

Jesus is also quoted in Matthew 11:23 as pronouncing judgment on the Galilee town of Capernaum with a reference to Sodom. The ruins of Capernaum have since been excavated and it remains a popular tourist site today.

2 Peter 2:6 quotes the apostle as saying the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes remained as an example to “those that should live ungodly” in his day.

Likewise, Jude 7:7 says: “Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”


Jerusalem embassy will bring war, warns grand mufti


A key Palestinian religious leader is warning that there will be war if the United States follows through on its announced plan to open an embassy in Jerusalem, which Washington now formally recognizes as Israel’s capital.

The threat, according to Palestinian Media Watch, comes from Sheik Muhammad Hussein, the grand mufti of Jerusalem.

The official Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported Hussein, described as “preacher at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque,” “warned against the severity of the American administration’s decision on transferring its embassy to occupied Jerusalem.”

“He explained that the transfer of the American embassy to Jerusalem, if it is carried out, will not be an attack on the Palestinians alone, but rather a blatant attack on the Arabs and Muslims throughout the world … .and that it will not serve peace and security in the region, but rather bring upon it disasters of wars, anarchy, and instability,” the report said.

President Trump, last Dec. 6, formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital after three previous administrations had signed waivers every six months delaying enactment of a law passed by Congress.

Last week, the State Department announced the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem will open May 14, 2018, the 70th anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948.

That day is known to Palestinians as the”Nakba,” Arabic for “the catastrophe.”

At the declaration in 1948, the combined forces of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq joined in an attempt to eradicate the state of Israel.

The report said the mufti “further implicitly encouraged Palestinians and Muslims to use violence and seek martyrdom.”

“[The mufti] added that the residents of Jerusalem and all of the Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims will not submit to this blatant attack, and will sacrifice all that is dear to them in order to confront the American stubbornness.”

The PA Foreign Affairs Ministry described the announcement as “direct aggression.” And the Palestinian National Council calls the U.S. plan a “blatant defiance toward the international, Arab, and Islamic will.”

The Islamic leader also explained the decision “testifies to the insolence that those who are biased in favor of the occupation have reached, while they continue to do an injustice to our people and its holy sites and to blatantly harm the Palestinian cause in an attempt to eliminate it.”

The report said the Muslim leader said the “arbitrary” behavior by the U.S. “will have severe consequences.”

Son punches dad unconscious when told to stop texting


YARMOUTH PORT — A juvenile was arrested Saturday after he punched his father in the face during an argument over texting, knocking him unconscious and causing a severe head injury, according to a statement from the Yarmouth Police Department.

The juvenile, whom police did not identify, is being charged with assault and battery on person over 60 with serious injury, according to the statement. He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Barnstable Juvenile Court.

The confrontation took place outside Il Montebello Restaurant on Kings Circuit in Yarmouth Port, where the family was having dinner. The father had repeatedly asked the son to stop texting, which led to an argument outside, according to the statement.

Famous Bible verse too sizzling for Facebook

Facebook censura Levítico 1

There are some who believe that America’s longstanding constitutional speech protections apply to them but not to others.

He’s admitted that when he stays in hotels and motels, he vandalizes the Gideon Bibles in the nightstands.

Not content with leaving ideas with which he disagrees concealed in a drawer, he says he takes out the Bibles and “rips out pages that contain a certain passage from Leviticus.”

The passage that annoys the homosexual actor, Leviticus 18:22, is one in which God instructs, “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”

Some translations use the word “abomination.”

Now Facebook is taking McKellen’s position that freedom of speech is fine for some but not for others, according to Christian minister and blogger Julio Severo.

Severo said Facebook is punishing him for posting Leviticus 18:22 in Portuguese, “Não de deitarás com homem, como se fosse mulher; abominação é.”

A WND request to Facebook for comment generated only an automated response with instructions on how to get press releases, photos and other media resources.

Facebook sent a message to Severo that said: “We Removed Something You Posted. It looks like something you posted doesn’t follow our Community Standards. We remove posts that attack people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender or disability. Levítico 18.22: Não de deitarás com homem, como se fosse mulher; abominação é.”

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The offending post originally was published in 2013, Severo noted.

“Willing or not willing, Facebook treated Leviticus 18:22 directly as a ‘attack’ on ‘people based on their … sexual orientation, gender.’ That is, Facebook treated the Bible as a criminal book!” Severo said.

“Does Facebook guidelines warn its users that the Bible is a criminal book? Does Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities warn its users that the Bible is a criminal book?”

He said he’s on a 30-day ban from Facebook over the issue.

“Facebook waited exactly five years to notify my exposé is ‘offensive,”‘ Severo wrote.

“What does Facebook have against the Bible and those mentioning its verses? What does Facebook have specifically against Leviticus 18:22, a famous verse in the Bible?”

Severo directed pointed questions at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whom he described as a “Jewish American.”

“Or does he think that Facebook is now bigger, greater and more important than the holy Jewish and Christian Scriptures?”

He noted that President George Washington said, “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”

The company appears to be targeting Christians, Severo said, noting “pictures of the communist criminal Che Guevara, who murdered people, including gay men, remain unshakingly throughout Facebook’s social network, as if his filthy image did not deserve banishment for his crimes.”

WND reported in December an independent review of Facebook’s practices regarding images depicting violence or statements that are offensive found that in roughly half of the cases examined, the company admitted it should have done better.

For example, Facebook allowed an image of the body of a man soaked in blood with a message stating “the only good Muslim is a ——- dead one.”

But the social media giant removed the single line “Death to the Muslims,” which did not have an accompanying image.

“We asked Facebook to explain its decisions on a sample of 49 items, sent in by people who maintained that content reviewers had erred, mostly by leaving hate speech up, or in a few instances by deleting legitimate expression,” ProPublica’s report said.

“In 22 cases, Facebook said its reviewers had made a mistake. In 19, it defended the rulings. In six cases, Facebook said the content did violate its rules but its reviewers had not actually judged it one way or the other because users had not flagged it correctly, or the author had deleted it. In the other two cases, it said it didn’t have enough information to respond.”

Inconsistencies are common, ProPublica said, having “found in an analysis of more than 900 posts submitted to us as part of a crowd-sourced investigation into how the world’s largest social network implements its hate-speech rules.”

“Its content reviewers often make different calls on items with similar content, and don’t always abide by the company’s complex guidelines. Even when they do follow the rules, racist or sexist language may survive scrutiny because it is not sufficiently derogatory or violent to meet Facebook’s definition of hate speech.”

The organization said it found that content reviewers for Facebook often make different calls regarding the same content.

The National Religious Broadcasters has launched an initiative called Internet Freedom Watch to monitor online speech censorship by Facebook and other tech companies.

A website, InternetFreedomWatch.org, documents cases, including Twitter’s removal of an ad by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., in October and Facebook’s removal of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s post supporting Chick-fil-A in 2012.

NRB, which has published a chart with more than 30 instances of Internet censorship, said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and a former Federal Communications Commission commissioner have endorsed the effort.

Jerry A. Johnson, NRB’s president and CEO, pointed out at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington that NRB was founded in 1944 in response to corporate censorship of evangelical radio ministries.

He said the group now wants to address “those who desire to expunge opposing viewpoints from the marketplace of ideas by recklessly using nebulous terms like ‘hate speech.’”

Defense minister: Israel thwarts 20-30 terrorist attacks per week

Jews, Christians and Muslims rally to defend religious circumcision as calls for ban intensify

Jews, Christians and Muslims rally to defend religious circumcision as calls for ban intensify

Calls for a ban on religious circumcision are growing as Iceland considers a bill prohibiting the practice for non-medical reasons.

The British Medical Association is coming under pressure to take a stance as it is conducting a regular review of its guidelines on ‘ritual’ circumcision. Both Muslim and Jewish groups practise circumcision and warn that any restriction would amount to an infringement of religious freedom.

ReutersIn Jewish religious teaching a baby boy should be circumcised on the 8th day after birth.

Currently the BMA outlines best practice for circumcision but does not take a stance on the ethics. The General Medical Council says doctors do not have to carry out the procedure if they believe it is not in the child’s best interests but says ‘cultural, religious or other beliefs’ must be considered.

Under Jewish tradition a male baby is circumcised eight days after being born and under Islamic teaching men should be circumcised before puberty.

But a YouGov poll last week found 62 per cent of Brits would back a ban on circumcision before adulthood and just 13 per cent would oppose it.

Jonathan Arkush, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said children had ‘a right to be brought up in their family’s religious or cultural background’ and warned that a ban on circumcision until the age of 18, or the NHS’s age of consent, 16 — as campaigners are calling for — would mean that the procedure would be more painful.

Stephen Fouch, a spokesman for the Christian Medical Fellowship, defended the Jewish and Islamic perspective and said that while the concerns around consent were valid, a ban would be ‘profoundly damaging and profoundly illiberal’.

‘It would be extremely discriminatory,’ he told Christian Today. ‘It would be imposing a set of values on to prominent religious minorities in the UK that they are never going to be happy to accept.’

He added: ‘It is effectively saying you cannot practise your faith in this country, particularly for Judaism where it is an important part of the faith. It is going to criminalise a large part of the population and effectively marginalise these two religious communities.’

‘There is a big difference between that and FGM which is not required by any religious teaching around the world,’ he said.

But Richard Duncker, of the Men Do Complain group, said the practice was ‘without doubt’ a breach of a child’s rights and warned his group would protest outside the BMA conference in Brighton in June. ‘There is no disease being cured, so it is a complete breach of medical ethics,’ he said according to the Times.

Rev Bruce Thompson, Chair of Methodist Friends of Judaism, warned any ban would be seen as an attack on central religious beliefs.

‘I think it is very difficult for those outside communities that uphold male infant circumcision on religious grounds to understand the practice,’ he told Christian Today. ‘The tradition is deeply embedded within their faith, it is a key component to their identity. If secular authorities were to place a ban on such a sacred ritual it would be seen by those within that faith community as a direct attack on their core beliefs. My view is that a healthy society should value diversity of belief and tradition and not drive a wedge between the communities.’

Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, said he was organising a ‘political campaign’ to warn of the dangers of such a ban. ‘Over the past 3,500 years it has been an essential part of Jewish identity so every lawmaker looking to sign such proposals should know they are saying, “[We] don’t want an organised Jewish community in our country.”‘

Qari Asim, a senior imam in Leeds, added according to the Times: ‘It’s unfortunate that these campaigns resurface, because we’ve gone over this so many times and it goes against one of our fundamental principles, which is religious freedom.’

US Lawmakers Speak Out After Being Detained on Temple Mount

U.S. Reps. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) and David B. McKinley (R-W.Va.) no doubt anticipated an eye-opening experience when they visited the Temple Mount on Thursday as part of their current trip to Israel. So imagine their surprise when they were detained by Israel police after an Islamic Waqf official, which administers the Temple Mount, lodged a complaint against them.

It appears that they violated some unknown rule when Tipton bent down to pick up a broken olive branch off the ground. His movement seems to have agitated the Waqf official who, apparently believing that the congressman was bowing as if in prayer, set off the events that followed.

The congressmen, both in their 70s, were physically removed from the Temple Mount by police officers, and frisked and detained for more than a half-hour. They were released without incident.

Hosted by the American evangelical organization Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, as well as by Jaffe Strategies and its Yes! Israel Project, the politicians are on a fact-finding mission to explore their Judeo-Christian roots.

Speaking of the experience with JNS, Tipton said: “You know it was a little surprising. … We were going around and trying to take it all in and being rushed through, and I happened to pick up an olive branch, ironically a symbol of peace. Apparently, that broke a rule—not one that was defined. We had no forewarning going in of what to do and not to do, no instructions. … We were trying to take in what is obviously a religious site not only for Jews and Muslims, but for Christians as well. … Interestingly, apparently they viewed something as an infraction and then chose to detain us.”

McKinley said: “We should be able to pray and reflect on the history and culture, but you’re not allowed to do that as Jews and non-Muslims. You’re pushed, literally, and they have a time frame to get you through. That’s not right. That’s why the status quo has to change, to reflect the change in culture over the past 50 years.”

According to the congressmen, when they met afterwards with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and related the story, he apologized, saying “it shouldn’t have happened.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center) with a delegation of U.S. lawmakers, including Rep. David B. McKinley (R-W.Va.), to his left, and Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.) Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.

Speaking of the meeting, Tipton said: “We continue to see Iran, [the] No. 1 state sponsor of terrorism, trying to expand their influence over into Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. We discussed serious issues, which we all need to make sure we understand, and the challenges we face. We want to be able to see peace in this area. … The prime minister, admirably, has a very specific understanding of the threats that are out there and ideas on how to best deal with them. … It was, overall, a very thoughtful and comprehensive discussion. He [Netanyahu] was very on-game.”

Asked about the U.S.-Israel relationship, Tipton said that “from a congressional point of view, particularly our caucus, it’s strong. I think it is bipartisan.”

Pointing to Netanyahu’s 2015 speech to a joint session of Congress, in which he urged the United States to seek a better deal with Iran, Tipton highlighted the reception he received and the “enthusiasm that was there for his clear vision.”

He said the Israeli prime minister, “probably better than anyone in the world, is able to lay it out in terms of the challenges that, collaboratively, we face, and that are going to be impacting our European allies as well. It is well-appreciated, and I think the support is there in Congress.”

McKinley added: “This is the foothold of democracy in the Middle East. And in some form, it protects Europe. So the whole issue of dealing with ballistic missiles, I think there are going to be some answers that come from Israel. It is bipartisan. [Netanyahu] is enormously well-respected.”

Referring to the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, McKinley felt that “more countries will follow. Part of it will be the optics of how quickly the U.S. fulfills its objective. I hope it can be done—even if it’s a temporary situation—make that position. Put your flag in the ground.”

Regarding Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech to the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday, Tipton said that “there is a very simple solution for Mr. Abbas. Recognize the right of Israel to be able to exist. If you’re going to be able to have a peaceful solution, it takes two willing parties to be able to work together. I think Israel has extended the hand for the opportunity to make sure that peace does exist.

“We’ve had the opportunity to visit with some of the local people,” he continued. “I think the sense is there. The leadership needs to get in tune. Ultimately, this has always been a sticking point. You have to be able to recognize the right of Israel to exist. If you refuse to do that, you’re making it very difficult to secure peace in the region.”

In addition to Netanyahu, the congressmen met with other Israeli officials. They also visited the Port of Ashdod on the Mediterranean, and further south, Sderot, a town that has been pummeled by rocket fire from Hamas in Gaza since 2001. They will also be touring Judea and Samaria to learn more about the importance of these areas in Jewish history, and more pressing, their significance in present-day reality.

India: Videos show Hindu nationalists attacking Christians, burning Bibles

Videos have emerged of Hindu extremists abusing Christians carrying religious literature. In one of the videos the extremists are seen setting alight a pile of Bibles.

The two incidents, which were verified by Christians in the area, were filmed in southern India. They both show a mob of Hindu extremists abusing Christians who were transporting Bibles and religious pamphlets, and the Christians’ books emptied onto the road.

Just distributing Bibles can be seen as an attempt to lure people into converting to Christianity by “fraudulent means”, which is punishable under so-called “anti-conversion laws” in several Indian states.

In the first video, extremists tell the Christians to “get lost”, and that they are “taking advantage” of people. The extremists add that “we should burn you all and even the car, so that things do not continue”.

The second video shows Bibles and Christian pamphlets being distributed to students in Telangana state. The extremists are heard asking the Christians why they are distributing Bibles when there are no Christians in the village. The extremists say: “You people think Hindus are fools and [we] will keep quiet.” They accuse the Christians of “getting money from different places to convert people” and of “brainwashing people to make them Christians”. They add that there should be an “anti-conversion law” to “control” the Christians. One extremist points out that a lawyer connected to both the RSS (a right-wing Hindu nationalist organisation) and the BJP (Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party, which is known for pursuing a Hindu-nationalist agenda) is arriving and asks the Christians why they are hiding their faces.

None of the southern states have yet passed so-called “anti-conversion laws”, but Bible distribution and proselytising can still be met with opposition, according to World Watch Monitor’s sources.

The Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) described 2017 as “one of the most traumatic” years in a decade for Indian Christians after it recorded 351 verified incidences of hate crimes against Christians throughout the year. The report noted that India’s Hindu-nationalist government had acknowledged in Parliament that “communal violence” – the term used to define clashes between religious groups – “increased 28 per cent over three years to 2017”. Except for the southern state of Tamil Nadu, which reported the highest number of incidents (52), most of the other incidents reported took place in central Indian states ruled by the BJP.


Columnists criticise Amnesty’s ‘dangerous’ push for prostitution

Columnists for The Guardian and The Times have accused Amnesty International of hypocrisy and feeding a system of sexual abuse by campaigning to decriminalise prostitution.

Janice Turner and Catherine Bennett both spoke out against support for legalising prostitution in the UK, following the publicity surrounding Oxfam in Haiti.

They say Amnesty is peddling the “dangerous” view that prostitution is simply a lifestyle choice.

‘Abuse of power’

Amnesty International announced its support for the decriminalisation of prostitution back in 2015.

It said that while the decision to sell sex can be influenced by situations of poverty, such situations do not necessarily negate a person’s consent, except when there are threats of violence or an abuse of authority.

But Turner said: “Paying for sex is always an abuse of power”.


In The Times, she wrote that Amnesty has been “taken over by supporters of libertarian identity politics who regard prostitution not as a system of sexual abuse driven by economic need and inequality but a personal choice”.

The columnist highlighted the obvious conflict of suggesting that ‘sex work’ is empowering, given that “those driven into prostitution are among the most vulnerable women of all”.

Turner noted that the Labour Party has also backed decriminalisation, which she argued “always causes the sex trade to expand”.


Writing in The Guardian, Catherine Bennett shared Turner’s sentiments, saying that prostitution is “the latest, if most extreme, example of women’s objectification to come up for reappraisal”.

She added that the Oxfam scandal could pave the way for a reversal in public policy on prostitution, which she said is currently drifting “towards a free market”.

She concluded by saying that even proponents of legalised prostitution would accept that women should not be reduced to sexual objects for exploitation, and so questioned why they do not view paying for sex as unacceptable.

Leading anti-smacking campaigner jailed for abuse of boy, 12

A key figure in campaigns to ban smacking has been jailed for sexually abusing a child in the 1960s.

Peter Newell, a former Chair of the Children are Unbeatable Alliance, admitted to five indecent and serious sexual assaults on a twelve-year-old boy.

The Charity Commission says it was made aware of allegations against Newell in 2016 but it has not been reported in the press until recently, amidst wider reports of sexual abuse at a number of household name charities.

Leading voice

Newell, 77, was sentenced last month at Blackfriars Crown Court and has been jailed for six years and eight months.

The Metropolitan Police said the abuse took place between 1965 and 1968 at a number of locations in south and east England.

Throughout his career, Newell has been a leading voice in campaigns to criminalise parents who smack their children.

In 2007, Newell and his wife Rachel Hodgkin co-authored Unicef’s ‘Implementation Handbook for the Convention on the Rights of the Child’.

Influenced lawmakers

During his time as Chair of the Children are Unbeatable Alliance, he lobbied politicians in Scotland and Wales ahead of their current plans to ban smacking.

Up until May 2016, Newell acted as co-ordinator of APPROACH, another anti-smacking organisation, which received hundreds of thousands of pounds from the NSPCC and Save the Children between 2012 and 2016.

APPROACH also received funding from Barnardos in four of those years, and from Unicef in 2014 and 2015.

The latest accounts for 2017 show that APPROACH has only received funding for its overseas activities. Barnardos and the NSPCC are not listed as donors.

‘No knowledge’

A spokesman for Unicef said: “We are deeply shocked to hear of the arrest of Peter Newell. We had no knowledge of this crime when he worked as a Unicef consultant 10 years ago.”

Barnardos also denied any knowledge of the charges against Newell, adding that it no longer funds the Children are Unbeatable Alliance.