Justice Department sues Hobby Lobby over thousands of looted Iraqi artifacts it bought

According to a lawsuit (PDF) filed Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Justice, craft retailer Hobby Lobby illegally imported thousands of Iraqi artifacts, intentionally mislabeled them and lied about their origins.

Though a consultant to the company estimated the artifacts' value at $11,820,000, an invoice shows Hobby Lobby paid $1,600,000 for them in deals with the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

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Supreme Court rules for Hobby Lobby's contraception challenge


The Christian-owned retailer cannot be required to include contraception in health plans (PDF), reports the BBC. The 5-4 ruling applies to "closely held" corporations.

The case turned in large part on whether the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which bars the US government from taking action that "substantially burdens the exercise of religion", applies to for-profit companies…The decision marks the first time the Supreme Court has found a profit-seeking business can hold religious views under federal law, analysts say…

But it is unclear whether any women employees will actually lose birth control coverage, because the Obama administration had already devised a mechanism under which workers of non-profit organisations that object to the contraception mandate could keep coverage without the organisation having to pay for it.

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Hobby Lobby, IUDs, and the facts

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide later this year whether a corporation can have religious beliefs. Maggie Koerth-Baker looks at the science of birth control, and how it might inform the debate.

Wondering who's behind those "Jesus Gets Us" TV ads?

If you've wondering who's behind those warm, fuzzy, and seemingly inclusive Jesus Gets Us ads that are all over TV, did you have "shadowy Christian billionaires" on your bingo card. One of them is the virulently anti-LGBTQ Hobby Lobby guy. And those ads are about to appear during the Super Bowl.

E-ink photo frame doesn't need charging

I had to get an e-ink photo frame for an Xmas gift and, after exhaustively researching the matter for about 8 minutes, have decided that the one from Frame Labs is clearly the least cheesy. Its ArtFrame e-ink photo frame [Frame Labs] has an elegant, classy style rather than the Hobby Lobby bargain bin look of the others, and (like most e-ink gadgets) doesn't need recharging so long as you're happy with the current photo. — Read the rest

The CDC is why you and your loved ones aren't dead. Trump just banned them from using the phrase "science-based."

Epidemiology is intrinsically at odds with right-wing ideology: the idea that all humans have a shared microbial and viral destiny, one that entwines the poorest and richest among us, which cannot be severed by the highest walls or all the private security in the world is a significant barrier to anyone who dreams of Going Galt and declaring themselves to be responsible only to themselves — there is no Ayn Rand novel thick enough to stop you from getting antibiotic resistant TB.