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Archive for July 2017

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The Edge of Cyber

Indicted Pakistani IT Staffer Discovered On 31 Congressional Democrats' Payrolls

July 27th 2017

Hacker's Hand

GOP chair Ronna Romney McDaniel has demanded that former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) testify before Congress on Imran Awan. Awan was arrested on Monday on bank fraud charges. He remained on Wasserman Schultz’s Congressional payroll even though he had been under investigation since February. Awan is an IT specialist who, along with his brother and their wives, had access to sensitive computer files and emails. 

Awan was caught at Dulles International Airport near Washington DC where he was seeking to flee the country and join his wife, who has already flown the coop. He had worked for Congress for more than a decade. Federal agents found that he had wired hundreds of thousands of dollars to his native Pakistan. Some of those funds may have been fraudulently obtained. McDaniel said that Awan and family received over $4 million of taxpayer money between 2005 and 2009.

Read more ..

Jewry on Edge

Congress Can Send A Powerful Message By Passing The Israel Anti-Boycott Act

July 27th 2017

Capitol Hill

Is the ACLU actually attempting to sway congressional debate against Israel? The red flags are alarming, including this recent tweet by Jamil Dakwar, Director of the ACLU’s Human Rights Program: “Israeli leaders exploit horrible acts of anti-Semitism to encourage Jews to move to Israel. Judaism ≠ Zionism; Anti-Zionism ≠ Anti-Semitism.”

Mr. Dakwar is wrong, and his tweet is anti-Semitic. Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said at a symposium held at the United Nations, “Racism in all forms is intolerable. Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. Both are unacceptable.” Read more ..


The Race forn EVs

Chevrolet's Tesla Killer Isn't Selling Very Quickly

July 27th 2017

Better Place

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt was supposed to be the electric car of the people—around $30,000, about 240 miles of range per charge and decent space in a little package. But nobody’s really feeling that, and the company has such a backlog of Bolts that it had to extend the summer shutdown of the car’s manufacturing plant.

Reuters reports that GM’s U.S. inventory hit a 10-year high in June, meaning the manufacturer has a whole lot of unsold cars hanging around. Reuters reports that Bolt sales are under 8,000 so far this year, which isn’t great. After all, the Nissan Leaf was even beating Bolt sales in April.

To show just how dramatic this sales slump is, Reuters reported that Paul Masse Chevrolet in Rhode Island advertised having more than 200 Bolts in inventory on Monday with prices from $35,688 to $41,488. Jalopnik could only find 83 in its inventory, all new, which is still a lot. The dealership’s advertised inventory as of Tuesday was 688 cars, new and used from seven different manufacturers, and 83 of them were Bolts. That’s over 12 percent. Read more ..


Congress on Edge

Wasserman Schultz Staffer Arrested Trying to Leave USA

July 26th 2017

Computers multiple

A House IT aide working for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), the former Democratic National Committee chairwoman, was arrested this week on bank fraud charges while trying to leave the country.

Fox News reported that Imran Awan was arrested Monday night at Dulles International Airport in Virginia about 30 miles outside Washington, D.C.

Feds/USCP bust Hse IT staffer Imran Awan & charge him with multiple counts of bank fraud as part of Hse IT procurement scandal

— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram)

Feds/USCP picked up Imran Awan at Dulles Aiport last night as he was "trying to leave the country." Has been arraigned. Surrendered passport

— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram)

Awan, an IT staffer who has worked for many House Democrats and was employed by Wasserman Schultz, was allegedly at the center of a scheme that involved double-charging the House for IT equipment, and may also have exposed House information online, according to Fox. Read more ..


Islam's War Against Christianity

A War against Christians

July 26th 2017

Coptic woman weeping at funeral

A pervasive persecution of Christians goes on throughout the Middle East and South and  Southeast Asia with relatively small organized efforts to oppose it, even among Western churchmen.
True, both the Pope Francis has spoken out against discrimination, and in many instances, imprisonment and worse. In April the Roman Catholic Pope made a ceremonial visit to meet the leader of Egypt's indigenous Christian Coptic leader who may head as many as 20 million Egyptian Christians. But the Mainline Western Protestant churches with their preoccupation with social issues, often to the neglect of articles of faith, have largely left opposition to such oppression to the Western democratic governments led by the U.S.
Read more ..

Open Letter to Donald Trump on Open Skies

July 25th 2017

US Open Skies agreements with the UAE and Qatar have delivered huge benefits to US consumers, aerospace manufacturers, the travel and tourism industry and the economy writ large. The two agreements have yielded vast increases in connectivity between the US and destinations that US airlines don't serve and have enabled cargo carriers to establish global networks over which flow billions of dollars of exported US products.

Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines (Big Three) are seeking to undermine these agreements and are demanding that your Administration protect them from competition. Importantly, the Big Three have used their considerable newfound financial and political clout from industry consolidation to bully Members of Congress into supporting them by petitioning you.

However, the Big Three do not speak for other US airlines or the many other Open Skies stakeholders including organizations that annually purchase billions of dollars of airline seats. Destinations that the Gulf Carriers serve from the US over their Middle East hubs to points in Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Africa and the Middle East itself provide business travelers with more efficient and higher quality alternatives to connecting on Big Three alliance partners at Frankfort, Paris or London. Given the competitive stranglehold the Big Three have over the transatlantic market, Gulf Carrier growth is not just welcomed, but critically important.

The Big Three, with their antitrust immunized alliance partners, are demanding that the Administration protect their enormous transatlantic profits from this sorely needed indirect Gulf Carrier competition. However, if the US caves to the Big Three’s demands it would set a horrible precedent for other countries to follow were they to seek protection for their airlines from competition by US carriers. Open Skies agreements between countries around the world could easily unravel and the benefits to consumers, communities, cargo/shippers and the travel/tourism industry disappear.

Mr. President, for 25 years America’s pro-competition, pro-consumer, pro-growth Open Skies policy has proven itself to be the Made-in-America Gold Standard for international bilateral trade agreements. Open Skies is a policy that serves the best interest of our country, and one that should not be jettisoned because the self-pleading Big Three prefer to seek government protection rather than the more difficult work of improving their products and services and competing in the marketplace.

Kevin Mitchell is Founder of the Business Travel Coalition; OpenSkies.travel.


The Edge of Justice

Passover Punishment Case Appealed to US Supreme Court

July 25th 2017

Supreme Court Lady Justice

Lewin & Lewin filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari today in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Susan Abeles, an Orthodox Jewish woman who was punished by the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority (“MWAA”) in 2013 for observing the last two days of Passover. Ms. Abeles followed MWAA procedures and received e-mailed approval from her supervisor to take annual leave to observe the holiday.  Nonetheless, when she returned to work, MWAA designated her absence as “AWOL” and suspended her for five days.  Read more ..


The Race for Batteries

UK Bets £246 Million on Batteries

July 25th 2017

Electric car Israel

The UK government, is due to announce today the first phase of a four-year £246 million investment (about €275 million or $320 million) in the research and scale-up to production of battery technology.

Battery development is being supported under a scheme the government calls the Faraday Challenge and has been selected because making batteries more efficient and renewable is likely to form a cornerstone of a low-carbon economy as batteries are used broadly in cars, aircraft, medical equipment, consumer electronics, and in district or grid storage. It is also intended to capitalize in good academic research present in the UK.

The spend of £246 million by the government is intended to help the UK become the world leader in the design, development and manufacture of electric batteries. The first phase will be a competition to establish a £45 million 'Battery Institute' for research into battery technology.

Read more ..

Financing the Flames

Are US Jews Helping the Families of Terrorists?

July 25th 2017

Sorrow-Pain

This week, a New Israel Fund supported organization Hamoked filed in Military court to stop the destruction of four homes of Palestinian terrorists located in “Ramallah District: three in Deir Abu Mash’al and one in Silwad.”

Hamoked is fighting for the families of terrorists – who killed Sgt. Elhai Taharlev, 20, in an car-ramming attack on April 6, 2017, and Hadas Malka, 23, a Border Police officer stabbed to death in a terror attack in Jerusalem’s Old City on June 17, 2017. Sickening – and it comes on the heels of another New Israel Fund organization calling for Israel’s border police to be investigated for shooting a terrorist who killed two policemen

Hamoked has received more than $720,000 from New Israel Fund donors like the Leichtag Foundation, while claiming to work “for the enforcement of standards and values of international human rights and humanitarian law.” Hamoked – while using American Jewish donor money – defends the families of terrorists. Read more ..


Financing the Flames

Palestinian Payments to Incarcerated Terrorists and Martyrs’ Families Rise in 2017

July 25th 2017

Hamas terrorist with toy Kalashnikov

The Palestinian Authority recently released its detailed budget for 2017, and it includes the usual allocations for salaries to imprisoned and released terrorists, as well as to the families of Palestinians who were killed (“martyrs”) or wounded in the “struggle against Zionism.”

Get Financing the Flames and read the original Edwin Black investigation on the topic

According to the PA budget, salaries to incarcerated and released terrorists will amount in 2017 to 552 million shekels ($153.4 million), a rise of 13 percent over the original budget of 2016 and 11 percent more than the actual expenditure in 2016 (revised budget). The money will be transferred to the Palestinian National Fund, the financial arm of the PLO, which was designated by Israel as a terror organization due to its involvement in paying terrorist salaries. Read more ..


Campus Hate

The New 'Social Justice Movement' – Why Colleges Are Breeding Grounds for Anti-Semitism

July 24th 2017

uc davis swastika door

They hung up their swastikas. They threatened their Jewish class mates. They chanted "gas them, burn them, humanity cannot progress with the parasitic Jews."

These are the sounds that echoed in the lecture halls of Germany's finest universities. But, I'm not talking about those universities; I am talking about American college campuses.

Those swastikas that were hung up on campus buildings? That was done by students from Stanford University, George Washington University, U.C. Davis, and Drexel University.

Those chants to burn and gas Jews?  That happened at U.C. Berkeley.

Anti-Semitism is happening now. Not on the other side of the world in a generation that is not ours. It's in today's headlines. As an active pro-Israel student with Christians United for Israel and the Philos Project, I have seen a deep hatred for the Jewish state spread like wildfire. Read more ..


The Edge of Hate

European Human Rights Court Rejects Free Speech Defense of Extremist Videos

July 22nd 2017

Behead those who say islam is violent

Europe's top human rights court ruled on Thursday that online videos considered by a Belgian court to be Islamist hate speech were not protected under free speech provisions.

Fouad Belkacem is a Belgian national currently imprisoned for his activities as the head of Sharia4Belgium, an organization banned for recruiting foreign fighters to participate in militant activities in the Middle East.

The European Court of Human Rights evaluated Belkacem's argument that his remarks in a series of videos on online platform YouTube fell within his freedoms of expression and religion and were not meant to incite violence.

In the videos, Belkacem had called on viewers to "overpower non-Muslims, teach them a lesson and fight them", content the Court called "markedly hateful" and "vehement". He had also called for the violent establishment of Sharia law.

The ECHR upheld the 2013 decision of Belgium's top court, which found that, far from simply expressing his views, Belkacem had incited others to discriminate on the basis of faith and to violence against non-Muslims.

Belkacem is serving a 12-year prison sentence after being convicted in 2015 of leading a terrorist group in the country's largest trial of militants. Belgium continues to grapple with a comparatively high number of nationals who have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join jihadist groups. Read more ..


America on Edge

No Irish Need Apply - Vilified Irish Decades Earlier

July 21st 2017

Stature of Liberty Sunset

In a July 2015 piece for the Oxford Journal of Social History – the same journal where Jensen once published his theories – Rebecca A. Fried, then an eighth-grader at the Sidwell Friends school in Washington, DC, found overwhelming evidence that the NINA signs were very real and very prevalent.

Inspired by her achievement, Bill Fitzpatrick, an IrishCentral reader from Boston, decided to take a deep dive into the history of NINA in Boston. The examples of ads he found, collected in the following video, paint a vivid picture of the discrimination faced by our Irish ancestors just a little over 100 years ago. In some of the advertisements "colored" employees were fine. In other ads it was "No Irish or drunks." In many it was only Protestants who could apply.Fitzpatrick has proven conclusively the signs existed and has added significantly to Fried's great work. Read more ..


The Digital Age

After 17 Years, Trump Finally Ends America's Y2K Prep Program

July 21st 2017

Computers multiple

We can finally say good-bye to the threat of the Y2K bug. Twenty years after preparations began the federal government is ending requirements to track the so-called Y2K bug.

In 1997, actions were begun to avert what some thought was a coming catastrophe.  Many electronic systems formatted a year’s date using only the final two digits.  Such as 97, 98, and 99.  It was thought that systems would mistake the year 2000 as the 1900 creating unimaginable havoc.

Government at the federal, state and local levels prepared for the worst.  So did business.

Some predicted a disaster of epic proportions.  In the end, the year 2000 came and went.  With a whimper. Read more ..


The Trump Era

Non-citizens Found at Jury Duty after Court Uses Voter Roll for Pool

July 21st 2017

Vote Buttons

President Trump formed the 12-member White House Commission on Electoral Integrity, which is headed by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, after repeatedly claiming that millions of people voted fraudulently during the 2016 general election. It met on Wednesday, hearing from Pence that the commission “has no preconceived notions or preordained results.” The commission has heard from 30 states who intend to comply with the commission’s earlier request to provide information about registered voters, including what elections they have voted in and whether they have been convicted of a crime.

Several states, including California and Mississippi, have refused to comply with the request, citing concerns over voters’ privacy. 

Kobach defended the commission’s request for voter information from every state, citing his own state’s 128 cases of alleged voter fraud as a major concern. “The commission is not set up to prove or disprove President Trump’s claim,” Kobach told CNN on Wednesday before the commission’s first meeting. “This commission is going to be looking at real figures, real numbers, real voter rolls and real cases.”

Read more ..

America on Edge

McCain Faces his Greatest Battle

July 20th 2017

Lobbyist

John McCain has always lived for the fight. Now he's facing his toughest battle. The Arizona Republican senator has often seemed indestructible, despite the best efforts of his Vietnam War jailers, an earlier bout with melanoma and a list of honorable political defeats. And now he has been diagnosed with brain cancer, as reported Wednesday. He's a warrior politician who bears the scars of a lifetime of military and political campaigns and health scares on his body and across his soul. He's collected more enemies and friends than most men and is a certified national hero.

Eight years ago, McCain, one of the last giants of the Senate, stood before the flag-draped coffin of his friend and sparring partner Sen. Edward Kennedy, who had succumbed to the same disease he is now fighting, and explained their common approach to life.

"Ted and I shared the sentiment that a fight not joined was a fight not enjoyed," McCain said, recalling roiling arguments with his fellow Senate lion, but also times when they had buried their differences to forge progress for the nation.
Read more ..

Broken Borders

Operation Streamline: Illegal Border Crossers Face Criminal Charges

July 20th 2017

US/Mex Border fence

For the first time, illegal immigrants who are apprehended crossing the border will face criminal charges. While the Trump administration continues to enforce immigration law along the Tucson Sector, illegal border crossers are charged with misdemeanors. They then enter pleas in large groups, go to trial and receive sentences, usually for time already served, within a few minutes.

Until recently, illegal border crossers were merely deported rather than facing criminal prosecution. Federal immigration authorities and the U.S. Attorney’s office call the effort Operation Streamline, which had already been in place in Texas for the last 12 years. While Operation Streamline was previously in effect in the Tucson Sector, it has not been in place several years.

However, the Tucson Sector has already seen the prosecution of 565 first-time offenders with the renewed effort. Trials under Operation Streamline take place in Tucson several times each week. One a recent day, 58 immigrants were tried. Of those, approximately 35 were first-time offenders who were charged with improper entry. The remainder were persons who had been caught crossing the border illegally in the past and were thus charged with illegal re-entry. Read more ..


The Battle for Syria

After Liberation, Will Mosul Fall to Iran?

July 20th 2017

PKK (Kurdish Worker's Party) Fighter

 

 

After a brutal nine-month war, the Iraqi Army has liberated Mosul from ISIS. The city, Iraq's second largest, is all but destroyed.

The butcher's bill tallies 30,000 people dead and counting. Another 600,000, roughly a third of the population, have been displaced. Roughly three-fourths of Mosul's buildings are in ruins, two-thirds of its electrical grid is shredded, and much of what's left of the water system is booby-trapped. The price tag for reconstruction will be tens of billions of dollars that Iraq doesn't have.

Now comes the hard part.

Anyone with sufficient weapons and training can kill terrorists, and it's much harder to rebuild a city than level it. Harder still in a fractious sectarian place like Iraq is establishing enough political trust and goodwill that hardly anyone will be interested in picking up a rifle and shooting at the neighbors again. Read more ..


Israel on Edge

Report: Saudi King Secretly Contacted Israel on Temple Mount Crisis

July 20th 2017

Jerusalem-Temple and Wall

On Tuesday, the London-based Arabic media outlet Elpah reported that the King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud contacted Israel via the Americans in an effort to defuse the crisis following the terrorist murder of two Israelis on the Temple Mount. It was reportedly the Saudi king’s personal intervention via the White House that prompted Israel to reopen the Temple Mount to Muslim worshipers.

While Israel reopened the site just two days after the attack, the Palestinian Authority and the Jordanian Waqf, an Islamic Trust that Israel entrusted to oversee Temple Mount activities, incited raucous protests in response to necessary security measures such as metal detectors.

Read more ..

The Edge of Labor

Seattle Wages is a War on Minimum Pay Labor

July 19th 2017

Money Stack

Seattle has the highest minimum hourly wage in the nation. The raise was phased-in.  In 2015, it jumped to $11 an hour.  It didn’t move people off welfare, as promised.  The welfare rolls were virtually unchanged.

The city lost 1,000 restaurant jobs in the month following the pay hike. It lost 1,300 jobs in January through June. In contrast, 2800 restaurant jobs were created outside of Seattle. Nationally, more than 130,000 restaurant jobs were created during the same period.  Obviously, the wage hike forced Seattle employers to slash positions.

University of Washington economists have delivered even more grim news.  They studied the effect of last year’s hike to 13-dollars an hour.  Their  study was funded, in part, by the city of Seattle.

The bump to 13-dollars resulted in nearly a nine-and-a-half percent reduction of hours worked.  And a loss of more than 5,000 jobs.  Net wages for lower-income workers were reduced by 1500-dollars a year.  This is a huge chunk of change for people living paycheck-to-paycheck. Read more ..


Financing the Flames

New Israel Fund Financed NGO Calls for Investigation of Israeli Border Police

July 19th 2017

Ronn Torossian

While sane people mourned the victims of Friday’s terror attack on the Temple Mount, in which two Druze Border Police officers were murdered, an extremist organization, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel - demanded the Border Police be investigated for  “..the police killings of three Palestinian citizens of Israel involved in a shooting attack in the Old City of Jerusalem at the Al Aqsa Mosque.”

Perhaps the police should have thrown flowers at the terrorists and “prayed for peace”?

Adalah sent the letters on behalf of the families of the deceased assailants, demanding an investigation into the “circumstances of the shooting deaths" of the three men. Adalah Attorney Mohammad Bassam wrote in the letters that "the incident raises serious questions regarding police personnel's compliance with very detailed open-fire regulations. Police orders regulate all situations in which officers have an option to make use of firearms including when seeking to make an arrest and to prevent immediate harm to human life. In all situations, use of firearms is permitted only when there is a real and immediate danger to human life and as a final option when all other options to prevent this harm have been exhausted."

IDF soldiers have meticulously worded orders about opening fire. However, they are instructed to neutralize terrorists perpetrating terror attacks in order to stop them from continuing their attempts to murder. In this case, one of the wounded terrorists attempted to stand and continue firing his weapon. He was then shot dead by Israeli fire.

Adalah is funded in part by the radical American non-profit the New Israel Fund, which has given nearly $2 Million to the organization from 2008-2015.  It recently launched a “Discriminatory Laws in Israel” database on its website.  Read more ..


Jordanian Parliament Should Retract Praise for Arab Terrorists Who Murdered Two Israelis on Temple Mount

July 19th 2017

The ZOA is appalled by, and calls upon the Jordanian parliament to retract its praise for the Arab terrorists who murdered two Druze Israeli policemen on Friday on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel.  Jordanian Parliament Speaker Atef Tarawneh’s praise of the Arab terrorists/murderers as “martyrs who sowed and watered the pure land” and as “young Palestinians who are still fighting in the name of the nation” etc. incites still more unbridled terror, and instigates the repeated use of holy religious sites to hide terrorists’ weapons and as places to perpetrate terror.  ZOA also calls upon the Jordanian Speaker Tarawneh to retract his false, offensive claim that Israeli “occupation” of Jerusalem and the “West Bank” (Judea/Samaria) are “lighting the fire of revenge” among young Arabs and justified the killing. 

The Jordanian parliament’s and its speaker’s actions and statements violate the 1994 Treaty of Peace Between The State of Israel And The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (the “Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty”).  The Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty requires the parties to not incite or instigate terror, and recognized that the international boundary between Jordan and Israel is the Jordan and Yarmouk Rivers, and the Dead Sea, etc. – thereby confirming that Israel is not an occupier of any other nation’s land.

It is also absurd for Jordanians to call Israelis “occupiers” – when Jordan was created out of, “occupied,” territory and continues to be situated on 78% of the territory designated for Jewish settlement and the Jewish homeland under binding international law (i.e., the League of Nations Mandate and San Remo resolution). 

The Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty also requires Jordan: “to refrain from . . . instigating, inciting, assisting or participating in acts or threats of belligerency, hostility, subversion or violence against the other Party [Israel].”  (Article 4.3.2) ... “to refrain from . . . joining or in any way assisting, promoting or co-operating with any coalition, organisation or alliance with a military or security character with a third party, the objectives or activities of which include launching aggression or other acts of military hostility against the other Party, in contravention of the provisions of the present Treaty.”  (Article 4.4.1) ... “to recognise and . . . respect each other’s [Israel’s] right to live in peace within secure and recognised boundaries.” (Article 2.2) ... “to act together to promote interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, and tolerance and peace.” (Article 9)

When ISIS killed 10 people and wounded 34 people in an attack in Jordan this past December, Jordanian officials condemned the attack as a “cowardly terrorist attack.”  There is no difference between a Palestinian Arab terrorist attack against innocent Jewish civilians and Israeli Druze policemen and ISIS terrorist attacks against innocent Jordanians. As President Trump stated during his Speech to the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh on May 21, 2017, our nations must unite to drive out and “vanquish the forces of terrorism . . . That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires. And it means standing together against the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews, and the slaughter of Christians.” 


The Edge of Medicine

The Secret Life of USC Med School Dean

July 18th 2017

Medical bag

In USC’s lecture halls, labs and executive offices, Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito was a towering figure. The dean of the Keck School of Medicine was a renowned eye surgeon whose skill in the operating room was matched by a gift for attracting money and talent to the university.

There was another side to the Harvard-educated physician.

During his tenure as dean, Puliafito kept company with a circle of criminals and drug users who said he used methamphetamine and other drugs with them, a Los Angeles Times investigation found.

Puliafito, 66, and these much younger acquaintances captured their exploits in photos and videos. The Times reviewed dozens of the images.

Shot in 2015 and 2016, they show Puliafito and the others partying in hotel rooms, cars, apartments and the dean’s office at USC.

In one video, a tuxedo-clad Puliafito displays an orange pill on his tongue and says into the camera, “Thought I’d take an ecstasy before the ball.” Then he swallows the pill. Read more ..


Turkey on Edge

Turkish President Erdogan's Dangerous Autocratic Tactics

July 18th 2017

Erdogan

In 2016, Rifat Cetin, a Turkish doctor, received a suspended one-year jail sentence — he could have been imprisoned for up to five years — for violating Article 299 of Turkish law code, which bars insults to the Turkish President. The criminally insulting tweet in question compares President Erdogan to the villainous character of "Gollum" from the popular fantasy movie series, "Lord of the Rings." During the trial, Peter Jackson, the director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, intervened to testify that the images were no insult, as they actually depicted Smeagol, Gollum’s good alter-ego. The famous director’s statement may have been enough to get the doctor off, legally speaking, but in the end Mr. Cetin was still stripped of his parental custody rights, and was fired from his job.

Overall, Dr. Cetin did well for himself, in Erdogan’s Turkey. This is because President Erdogan isn’t just an Islamist dictator and insecure bully. He is also crazy. And very dangerous to the Western world. Read more ..


The Iranian Threat

Israel May Need to 'Take out' Iranian Bases in Syria

July 18th 2017

Drone Chopper

Israel may need to take military action to prevent Iran or Hezbollah from setting up permanent bases in Syria, former National Security Council head Yaakov Amidror said on Monday.

Amidror’s comments come a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told journalists in Paris that Israel was opposed to the Syrian cease-fire brokered recently by the US and Syria because it perpetuates Iran’s military presence in the the country.

If Israel's interests are not taken into account by those determining what the future arrangements will be in Syria – the Americans, Russians or others – “that might lead the IDF to intervene and destroy every attempt to build [permanent Iranian] infrastructure in Syria,” he said.

Amidror, a fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies who has remained in contact with Netanyahu, made his comments during a press conference with journalists organized by The Israel Project. Read more ..


Clintons on Edge

Clinton Foundation’s Haitian Whistleblower found Shot to Death in Miami

July 18th 2017

Crime scene tape

A 50-year-old former Haitian government official who was expected to give sworn testimony next week regarding suspected Clinton “Crime Family” Foundation corruption and malpractice, dead in Miami. Police officer Charles Duggan said the death was attributed to a single gunshot wound to the official’s head.

Therefore, according to the coroner’s report, Clinton associate Klaus Eberwein’s death was ruled a suicide and his name is now added to the growing list of men and women who died under mysterious circumstances after “getting mixed-up with America’s version of the Borgias,” said Officer Duggan, who denied being assigned to the investigation.

The Borgias are the most infamous family of Renaissance Italy, and their history normally hinges around four key individuals: Pope Calixtus III, his nephew Pope Alexander IV, his son Cesare and daughter Lucrezia. Thanks to the actions of the middle pair, the family name is associated with greed, power, lust and murder.  . Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

The Real Jihadist Threat No One Is Watching

July 18th 2017

ISIS Army

Most people can tell you who the potential jihadists are, especially the ones in Europe and the USA. You can point them out in a group: they are immigrants, or more often, the children of immigrants, who came from the Middle East or North Africa. They often converse among one another in Arabic. Many want to join the Islamic State and other terror groups in Syria, or have gone and since returned. They are mostly men, usually around age 20 or less, and have grown up feeling alienated from the societies in which they live.

Most of this is wrong.

In fact, the UK-based Henry Jackson Society has found that "those who convert to Islam are four times more likely to become terrorists than those who are born Muslims." And in 2015, the Washington Post warned that converts have emerged "as some of the most dangerous and fanatical adherents to radical Islam." Read more ..


Destination Israel

Where to Find 9 of Israel’s Trendiest Beaches

July 16th 2017

El Al Boeing 747-200

It’s beach season in Israel! If you’re looking for the trendiest beaches along the 185 kilometers (115 miles) of sandy Israeli Mediterranean coastline, as well as the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret), you’ve come to the right place.

ISRAEL21c gives you the inside scoop on the best places to join locals enjoying beach parties, overnights at a “kanta” or “zoola” (pretty much means camping at the beach) or simply grabbing a cold beer at sunset.

Let’s count down to our favorite trendy spot in the sand.

  1. Gordon Beach, Tel Aviv

Do like a local does and hit the Tel Aviv sand strip for some fun in the summer sun. Start with Gordon Beach, right in the heart of the city, which boasts paddleboarding (SUP), kayaking, windsurfing and the endless volleyball games for which this beach has become so famous. Read more ..


Broken Borders

Replacement Migration--Discovered UN Report Outlines Migrant Waves Replacing Existing US Population Base

July 15th 2017

Syrian Protesters

While the limit on the number of refugees entering the United State has been reached, if the United Nations has its way, more can be expected. While the Trump administration set a limit of  50,000 refugees entering the U.S., the number of refugees worldwide recently hit a historical high of 65.5 million, according to the UN. Because the United States is a member of the UN, it is continuously under pressure to accept more.

The refugee cap set by the current administration was reached on July 12, but because of a Supreme Court ruling last month, more refugees can still enter if they can prove close familial ties to persons already living in the country. As a result of the high court’s ruling on Trump's travel ban executive order, according to the State Department, as of July 13, persons who have a “credible claim to a bona fide relationship” to a person or an entity in the country will be eligible for admission. Read more ..


Media on Edge

National Writers Union to Ebony Magazine: “See You in Court!”

July 15th 2017

Money Money Money

The National Writers Union/UAW Local 1981 (NWU) is preparing to go to court after the EBONY Media Organization (EMO) and its parent company, the Clear View Group (CVG) failed to meet a self-imposed deadline to compensate as many as 50 freelance writers who are owed as much as $200,000.

After mounting media attention due to the #EbonyOwes hashtag on Twitter, EBONY Media released a statement to NBC BLK on June 3 affirming their commitment to paying all of their freelance writers, in full, by the end of June.

“This is completely unacceptable,” NWU President Larry Goldbetter said about the missed deadline. “We took them at their word, in good faith, despite some freelancers going more than a year without payment. Now, we move on to the next step.”

The union represents 30 writers who are owed about $60,000.  EBONY did issue checks to eleven writers for a total of $18,000. Only three of those were paid in full. He added, “Creatives don’t work for free and there are very real consequences when we don’t get paid. While EBONY Media executives from CVG were throwing lavish Super Bowl parties and Hollywood events, unpaid freelancers were struggling to pay the rent.” Read more ..


Israel on Edge

Mike Pence and Trent Franks Lead Thousands of Christians at CUFI’s Pro-Israel Event

July 14th 2017

Benjamin Netanyahu

While the Jewish community in some quarters has lately been divided on Israel issues, some 5,000 evangelical Christians will gather in Washington, DC July 17-18 as a granite-like block of support to defend the Jewish State. They will be attending the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) policy conference held each year. Boasting more than 3 million members, CUFI is America’s largest pro-Israel group. A host of political luminaries, led by Vice President Mike Pence and Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), will appear at this year’s conference, sited in the Washington Convention Center. Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu will appear via live satellite feed.

The domestic political importance of CUFI’s zealous members is not lost on anyone in Washington. In response to a question, CUFI founding Executive Director David Brog stated, “CUFI represents a base of voters that helped deliver the White House and both houses of Congress to Republicans. Now our members are coming to town to remind these leaders that Israel is and always has been a top priority for them. We're expecting a warmer welcome -- and greater impact -- than ever before.” Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

Taxpayer Support for Palestinian Terrorist Salaries Becoming Impossible to Defend

July 14th 2017

Edwin Black

The issue of government subsidies for Palestinian terrorist salaries is again in the international spotlight. What began in November 2013, as a barely believable revelation — that taxpayers in Great Britain, the US, and other Western nations were bankrolling terrorist salaries — has now become a universally-acknowledged, impossible-to-deny, and impossible-to-defend embarrassment for governments.

For years, officials dissembled and dodged when the question came up. After a period of silent disbelief, the mainstream media now openly confirms the salaries and routinely refers to the program with ipso factuality. Political challengers on both sides of the Atlantic stridently demand that incumbents terminate foreign aid that amounts to taxpayer-incentivized terrorism. A recent in-depth study in Israel calculates that all terror incentives and rewards paid by the Palestinian Authority over the past four years total a mind-numbing one billion dollars. Read more ..


Politics on Edge

Take a Closer Look at the McCain Institute

July 14th 2017

Money Bands=Happiness

Politicians who craft U.S. policy while accepting foreign donations must be closely scrutinized. The Clinton Foundation may have been the biggest pay-for-play scheme in American history.  Critics are drawing parallels to the McCain Institute.  It was started by Arizona Senator John McCain in 2012.

McCain sits on the Homeland Security C0mmitte and chairs the powerful Armed Services Committee.

Much like the Clinton Foundation, the McCain Institute has received millions of dollars from foreign governments, entities and individuals that raise eyebrows.  For example, the Institute received at least $100,000 from a state-run Moroccan company accused of human rights abuses.  At least a hundred grand from an organization that donated to a pro-Iran group.  And one million dollars from Saudi Arabia. Read more ..


Iran's Nukes

Europe Wary as U.S. Scrutinizes Iran Nuclear Deal

July 14th 2017

Iranian Women

European diplomats say they are increasingly concerned the Trump administration will stretch out its review of the Iranian nuclear deal, undermining the agreement by curbing the economic benefits designed to ensure Iran’s compliance.

President Donald Trump has attacked the agreement, reached in 2015, as a “terrible deal” for the U.S.

European officials have remained publicly upbeat about the U.S. remaining a party to the deal, but diplomats privately voice serious concerns about where the U.S. review is headed. They say Washington is providing little feedback, has given no firm end-date for the review and hasn’t made clear who is shaping the process.

European officials still believe the Trump administration won’t abandon the nuclear deal, but many fear Washington will keep it under a rolling review. That, they say, would crimp economic benefits Iran expected from the agreement by persuading already cautious Western banks and investors to stay away—whereas President Barack Obama’s top officials urged engagement with Tehran. European diplomats also worry that if the U.S. commitment remains uncertain, Iran may respond by attempting limited violations. Read more ..


Campus Hate

Pro-Israel Group Wins Legal Victory Against BDS at Canadian University

July 13th 2017

Boycott Divest Israel demo

A pro-Israel North American advocacy organization announced on Thursday that it had won a legal victory after an Ontario university’s student association banned it from participating in an event last year, due to its connection with Israel.

The event in question was Social Justice Week, held at University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Robert Walker, National Director of Hasbara Fellowships Canada, had responded to an open invitation for community groups to participate.

When he was denied entry, Hasbara Fellowships filed legal action with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, citing discrimination. The group demanded a public apology, an invitation back to campus, and $50,000 in damages.

On Thursday, the Student Association released a public apology on its website saying it: “deeply regrets the decision made to deny Mr. Walker and Hasbara the opportunity to participate in Social Justice Week. The SA sincerely apologizes to Mr. Walker and Hasbara. The SA aims to promote healthy debate on campus and rejects discrimination of any kind, including against Israeli students or community members. We welcome Mr. Walker and Hasbara’s participation at a future multicultural event on campus.” Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

Apologists Gear Up for Rasmieh Odeh's Last Hurrah

July 13th 2017

FBI sting

Palestinian terrorist Rasmieh Odeh likely will be deported shortly after a federal judge formally sentences her next month for naturalization fraud. Her supporters are planning one final bash in her honor featuring radical political activist Angela Davis.

A promotion for the Aug. 12 event in Chicago notes it costs $5 – $6.17 with service fees – and promises "a night of music, poetry, and struggle."

Odeh pleaded guilty in April, admitting that she failed to disclose her arrest, conviction and 10 years spent in an Israeli prison after being convicted in connection to two 1969 Jerusalem bombings. One bombing targeted a grocery store, killing college students Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner.

Her plea agreement with federal prosecutors calls for no additional jail time, but it includes a stipulation stripping Odeh of her American citizenship and says "she will not be allowed to remain in the United States" and can never return. Read more ..


The Race for Batteries

Tesla Wins Giant Battery Contract in Australia--100-day Deadline

July 13th 2017

Sydney Opera House

Tesla Inc. has won an Australian contract to install the world's biggest grid-scale battery, in what experts say will be a litmus test for the reliability of large-scale renewable energy.

Tesla's CEO Elon Musk, known for his bold approach to cars, clean energy and space exploration, trumped dozens of competing proposals to build the gigantic lithium-ion battery that will serve as emergency back-up power for South Australia - a state racked by outages.

But under the agreement, Tesla must deliver the 100-MW battery within 100 days of the contract being signed or it will be free - a commitment Musk made in a Tweet in March.

"There will be a lot of people that will look at this -'Did they get it done within 100 days? Did it work?'" Musk told reporters in South Australia's capital city of Adelaide.

"We are going to make sure it does."

The battery, designed to light up 30,000 homes if there is a blackout, will be built on a wind farm operated by France's Neoen - parts of which are still under construction. Read more ..


The Race for Energy Dominance

‘Energy Dominance’ Requires Alternatives to Oil

July 13th 2017

Sugar Cane

It’s “Energy Week,” and the Trump administration has been touting U.S. potential to achieve international dominance thanks to American-made sources for power generation and transportation fuel.

This is a productive debate for the country. But the goal of achieving American self-reliance in energy can only be attained if we make better use of alternatives to gasoline and diesel for our cars, trucks and SUVs. The reason? We use nothing but domestic resources to make electricity — natural gas; coal; nuclear; wind and solar — but we grudgingly accept that it’s not that way for transportation. If we’re being honest with ourselves, at the current consumption rate for oil, we may never achieve independence.

As Bloomberg Business noted: The U.S. is on track to produce 10 million barrels of oil per day on average next year, according to a forecast from the Energy Information Administration — a milestone that would shatter a record set in 1970. Read more ..


Education on Edge

B'nai Brith Canada Demands Correction of School Textbook Suggesting Child Soldiers

July 13th 2017

Blackboard classroom

It would seem that $10.5-million terrorist Omar Khadr and Israeli children have something in common.

Both are not child soldiers, or was not in the case of the 30-year-old confessed murderer Khadr, who has been painted as a child soldier at the age of 15 when he came under the spell of al-Qaida and tossed the grenade that killed U.S. Sgt. Christopher Speer.

You might say the term child soldiers is employed when convenient considering the Grade 6 Social Studies textbook, Canada and the Global Community, published by Nelson Canada, being used in 800 elementary schools across the province.

The book’s first chapter on Human Rights claims that children are still being used in “armed conflicts” in more than 20 countries. One of those countries listed - alongside Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Libya and Yemen - is Israel. Read more ..


Israel on Edge

Israel to Establish ‘South Syria Army’ to Stop Iranian Expansion

July 12th 2017

Proud Israeli tanker and tank

Israel is planning to establish a Syrian army in the southern region of Syria on the border with the Golan Heights and Jordan to stop Iranian expansion, according to informed Israeli sources.

The idea for the “South Syria Army”, which will be affiliated with Israel, is based on a close model of the South Lebanon Army that Israel founded and supported during the 1970’s. The South Lebanon Army was led by Saad Haddad and later on by Antoine Lahad.

The sources said that the idea is beginning to form in accordance with the US-Russian agreement to a ceasefire in southern Syria and prevent Iranian troops, “Hezbollah” and other regime affiliated militias from controlling the region.

Israel considers Daraa, Suwayda and other areas on the border with the Golan Heights as political and security interests. Tel Aviv has allies there, including the Druze “Fursan al-Joulan militia” and some sides that claim to be part of the Free Syrian Army. Read more ..



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