|Rachel Bracker||October 25th 2016|
The Israeli-American Council (IAC) announced that its 2017 Celebrate Israel Festival will prominently feature the historic connection of the Jewish people to its holiest city and spiritual center, Jerusalem, following the Oct. 18 UNESCO decision that denies the ancient Jewish ties to the Kotel and other Jewish holy sites.
“UNESCO’s resolution is completely divorced from reality, denying the 4,000-year connection between the Jewish people and our capital in Jerusalem,” said IAC CEO Shoham Nicolet. “In the face of the lies supported by institutions like UNESCO, the Israeli-American Council will continue to safeguard the truth.” Read more ..
The Digital Edge
|Julien Happich||October 17th 2016|
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The company has developed radar sensors that can be attached on existing street lamp poles and register movement at distance up to 150 meters for pedestrians and up to 300m for car-sized vehicles. An empty street could be dimmed to only 10% of lighting, and upon presence detection, the ZigBee-enabled radar sensors can send the location of the detected object to nearby street lamps, so those lamps closest to the object can be lit up progressively in a sliding fashion, following the motion of the detected person or car.
Christianity on Edge
|Raymond Ibrahim||October 15th 2016|
The nation of Hungary recently did something that is as unprecedented as it is commonsensical and humanitarian: it "has become the first government to open an office specifically to address the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and Europe."
Zoltan Balog, Hungary's Minister for Human Resources, explained:
Today, Christianity has become the most persecuted religion, where out of five people killed [for] religious reasons, four of them are Christians. In 81 countries around the world, Christians are persecuted, and 200 million Christians live in areas where they are discriminated against. Millions of Christian lives are threatened by followers of radical religious ideologies.
"Followers of radical religious ideologies" is of course code for Muslims—they who are responsible for the overwhelming majority of Christian persecution in the world. Read more ..
Israel and Palestinians
|Ben Dror Yemini ||October 13th 2016|
A severe disease has stricken the institutes of knowledge, media, and academia in Israel. It's the disease of narrative thinking. There is no longer and truth, no historic facts. We are living in a new world. Instead of serious research aimed at finding the truth, the world now sees reality through different stories, with each community, group, people, and country having its own.
Case in point, the claims made by MK Ayman Odeh (leader of the Joint List party) following the death of former president Shimon Peres. According to Odeh, the "Palestinians of 1948" (how Israeli-Arabs define themselves), who experienced the "Nakba," are victims of the Zionist enterprise, of which Peres is a main representative. So why should the victim come to the criminal's funeral? Read more ..
|Martin Barillas||October 12th 2016|
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France’s President Francois Hollande admitted today that Islam is the problem facing the country and warned that the current trend would lead to having a woman in a burka as the national symbol of the French Republic. Undaunted by criticism, he also expressed doubts about the patriotism of French footballers of Middle Eastern ancestry.
The revelations are found in a new book entitled “A President Should Not Say That…”. The book records more than 60 private conversations between Hollande and Le Monde newspaper journalists Gerard Davet and Fabrice Lhomme. The conversations began in 2012, shortly after Hollande’s election, and continue until recently.
Media on Edge
|Matt Dathan||October 7th 2016|
European human rights chiefs have told the British press it must not report when terrorists are Muslim.
The recommendations came as part of a list of 23 meddling demands to Theresa May’s government on how to run the media in an alarming threat to freedom speech.
The report, drawn up by the Council of Europe's human rights watchdog, blamed the recent increase in hate crimes and racism in the UK on the 'worrying examples of intolerance and hate speech in the newspapers, online and even among politicians', although the research was done before the EU referendum campaign had even begun.
The suggestions sent to Downing Street urging the UK Government to reform criminal law and freedom of the press and in a brutal criticism of the British press, the report recommends ministers 'give more rigorous training' to journalists. Read more ..
The Individual on Edge
|Deborah R. Glasofer and Joanna Steinglass ||October 1st 2016|
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Every day on the dot of noon, Jane* would eat her 150-calorie lunch: nonfat yogurt and a handful of berries. To eat earlier, she felt, would be “gluttonous.” To eat later would disrupt the dinner ritual. Jane's eating initially became more restrictive in adolescence, when she worried about the changes her body was undergoing in the natural course of puberty. When she first settled on her lunchtime foods and routine—using a child-size spoon to “make the yogurt last” and sipping water between each bite—she felt accomplished. Jane enjoyed her friends' compliments about her “incredible willpower.” In behavioral science terms, her actions were goal-directed, motivated by achieving a particular outcome. In relatively short order, she got the result she really wanted: weight loss.
Years later Jane, now in her 30s and a newspaper reporter, continued to eat the same lunch in the same way. Huddled over her desk in the newsroom, she tried to avoid unwanted attention and feared anything that might interfere with the routine. She no longer felt proud of her behavior. Her friends stopped complimenting her “self-control” years ago, when her weight plummeted perilously low. So low that she has had to be hospitalized on more than one occasion.
The Race for Autonomous Cars
|Julien Happich ||September 30th 2016|
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Autonomous Security is an extension to the company’s Carwall ECU security platform, enabling automotive technology providers to achieve the goals set out in the U.S. Department of Transportation's guidelines for the safe deployment of autonomous cars. Cyberattacks can only infiltrate a car by compromising the externally-connected ECUs controlling infotainment, navigation and OBDII telematics dongles, for example. Karamba Security’s Autonomous Security technology allows any car’s ECU to protect itself from this threat by automatically locking it down to the ECU's factory settings.
|Armstrong Williams||September 29th 2016|
It is painful to declare it, yet it is true: at the age of 93, Shimon Peres is gone.
In the coming days, the Jewish state of Israel will grieve the loss of its elder statesman and a man who personified the words made famous by Theodor Herzl, the father of Zionism: “If you will it, it is not a dream.”
For Shimon Peres, the dream of re-establishing a state in the historic homeland of the Jewish people came to pass. And until his final days on earth, he was singularly committed to seeking a better future for his nation, and to working toward the goal of peace.
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|TCEN Staff||September 28th 2016|
Algemeiner and agencies
Former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres died early Wednesday morning at the age of 93, according to Hebrew media reports.
His condition had deteriorated on Tuesday, two weeks after he suffered a major stroke, and his family was summoned to his side at Tel Aviv’s Tel Hashomer Hospital to say their final goodbyes.
Peres, who also served in a host of other government positions, was most recently the Jewish state’s president from 2007-2014. He emigrated from Poland to Palestine in 1932, before the founding of modern Israel in 1948. He was considered the last of Israel’s founding fathers.
He led the creation of Israel’s defense industry, negotiated key arms deals with France and Germany and was the prime mover behind the development of Israel’s nuclear weapons. But he was consistent in his search for an accommodation with the Arab world, a search that in recent years left him orphaned as Israeli society lost interest, especially after the upheavals of the 2011 Arab Spring led to tumult on its borders. Read more ..
|Jonathan Spyer||September 28th 2016|
Black smoke was rising from the Qayara oilfelds as the refugees huddled in the shade. They had arrived that morning – from ISIS controlled territory a little further west.
These refugees had come from Jahala village. They were Sunni Arabs. They had elected earlier that day to risk an escape from IS territory across the desert – a route ending in certain death if caught by the jihadis. ‘ISIS have set fire to the oil fields,’ one of them told us. ‘The smoke makes it impossible to breathe. 12 or so people every day need the hospital. It’s impossible to stay.’ Read more ..
|Lea Speyer ||September 27th 2016|
Attempts by universities to divest from Israel “should be met with a similar counter response from alumni and donors,” internationally acclaimed attorney Alan Dershowitz told The Algemeiner on Thursday.
In light of growing support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement across college campuses around the world, Dershowitz said, it is time to take a stand against this “dangerous force.”
“The policy will be that in response to any university that divests from Israel, alumni and parents will divest from that university,” he explained. “It is important to fight economic threats with economic counter-threats.”
Recounting his own experience as a parent, Dershowitz said that when he heard about faculty at Hampshire University — the alma mater of one of his children — voting to boycott Israel, “I called up the president and said I would lead a campaign to urge all donors and alumni to divest from the school. He then assured me that Hampshire will never divest from Israel, and it never has.” Read more ..
The Digital Age
|Jean-Pierre Joosting||September 26th 2016|
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However, many companies are leaving open major security flaws in their rush to market, producing products riddled with bugs and unpatched vulnerabilities. Ignoring cybersecurity at the design level provides a wide open door for malicious threat actors to exploit smart home products.
"We see an alarming increase in ransomware in smart TVs and IP cameras, code injection attacks, evidence of zero-day threats, and password eavesdropping for smart locks and connected devices," says Dimitrios Pavlakis, Industry Analyst at ABI Research. "The current state of security in the smart home ecosystem is woefully inadequate. Smart home device vendors need to start implementing cybersecurity mechanisms at the design stage of their products."
India on Edge
|Joseph D'Souza||September 23rd 2016|
Cutting Edge contributor
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Earlier this summer, around mid-July, India introduced a bill to its 1955 Citizenship Act. The bill, if passed, will not only prioritize foreign ethnic and religious minorities for citizenship, but will cut their naturalization wait time from eleven to six years.
"Provided that persons belonging to minority communities, namely, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan … shall not be treated as illegal migrants for the purposes of this Act," reads the proposed amendment to India's Citizenship Act.
This bill is in response to the many minority groups, most with Indian origins, who have emigrated to India because of religious persecution.
Take Pakistan's Christians as an example.
The Edge of Aging
|Martin Barillas||September 15th 2016|
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Yisrael Kristal, at 113 years of age, is not only celebrating a birthday but also a Jewish rite of passage that comes 100 years late. Daughter Shulimath Kristal Kuperstoch expressed her joy, saying “We will bless him, we will dance with him, we will be happy.” The celebration of Kristal’s bar mitzvah – the age-old Jewish ritual that marks a boy’s transition to manhood – will be held in Israel, where Kristal will be joined by 100 family members who are coming from overseas.
Kristal was born on September 15, 1903 in Zarnow, Poland. It was in 1916 that Kristal would have celebrated his transformation into Jewish manhood. But the First World War intervened in his native Poland, delaying the essential ceremony. His father was serving in the Russian army, and his mother had died. But it did not stop him from taking on the duties and responsibilities of manhood. Kristal moved to Lodz in 1920 to work in his family’s candy business. He married at the age of 25 and continued to operate the family business.
Turkey on Edge
|Burak Bekdil||September 4th 2016|
Hürriyet Daily News
Learning by suffering is a bitter scenario, but Turkey often does not even learn after suffering. The Gülenists’ July 15 coup attempt has left behind a fragile country that looks increasingly like a land consisting of large swathes of quagmire, lunatic asylums specializing in paranoia and schizophrenia, and an emerging class of opportunists.
In all probability, crypto Gülenists are likely reporting to the law enforcement authorities non-Gülenists, non-Gülenists are likely reporting non-Gülenists, Gülenists are reporting Gülenists to save their skin with lighter sentences, and all past evil is being blamed on crypto, real, fake, one-time or non-Gülenists. Soon most players in this new Byzantine intrigue will probably get lost in the Turkish quagmire. Read more ..
Egypt on Edge
|Raymond Ibrahim||August 12th 2016|
We often hear about Egypt's Christians being attacked by Muslim mobs. What we rarely hear about is what happens afterwards. Are the culprits imprisoned? Are the victims compensated? Do authorities take measures to help prevent such attacks from happening again?
While the acquainted reader may correctly assume no, the anatomy of what always takes place is of interest.
First, the attack itself is often based on the accusation that some Christian dared overstep his bounds, that is, he broke Islam's supremacist dhimma contract.
Christians trying to build a church, romantically involved with Muslim girls, or insulting Muhammad—all banned according to Islam—are typical violations that prompt large, armed Muslim mobs to attack all the Christians in that village (and their church if one exists) as a form of collective punishment, which is also Islamic. Read more ..
The Refugee Crisis
|Sol W. Sanders||August 4th 2016|
Pres. Barack Obama's proposal for what would be a substantial new entry of Syrian refugees is a major miscalculation of traditional American morality and generosity.
It is true that the 13.5 million Syrian refugees, half of them expelled or hounded out of their country, are a momentous human tragedy. And America has almost always responded to some calamities.
But the question of additional Syrian refugees coming to the U.S. is part of a challenging failing American immigration policy which has become an extremely divisive political issue. Read more ..
Islam on Edge
|Mosques in Berlin|
The mass rape of hundreds of German women mostly by Muslim migrants last New Year's was recently revealed to be far worse than originally acknowledged. Authorities now believe that more than 1,200 women were sexually assaulted – more than twice the original estimate of 500. While more than 2,000 men were allegedly involved, only 120 suspects — about half of them recently arrived migrants — have been identified.
One explanation for why it took half a year for the full extent of the crime to be revealed is the German police's effort to avoid a public backlash against refugees. But ultimately, Holger Munch, president of the German Federal Crime Police Office, acknowledged to the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung that there is "a connection between the [sexual assaults] and the rapid migration in 2015." Read more ..
Saudi Arabia on Edge
|Stephen Schwartz||July 21st 2016|
The Weekly Standard
The rulers of Saudi Arabia have announced a new program for cultural renovation of architecture associated with the life of Muhammad. As described in the leading pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat, a Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has begun planning rehabilitation of sites in Mecca, the direction of prayer for Muslims around the world, and Medina, which includes the Prophet's Shrine, where Muhammad is said to be buried.
The restorations would include Jebel Al-Nur, the "Mountain of Light" in Mecca, where Qur'an is believed to have been first revealed to Muhammad, and locations where he is said to have sojourned. Jebel Al-Nur is a key topic in this discussion. In Medina, sites identified with battles fought by the Muslims, and four early mosques, are due for reorganization and restructuring. Museums drawing on Islamic military history and other themes will be opened and guides to the attractions provided. Read more ..
After Hitler's defeat in May 1945, many Nazis melted away from the Reich, smuggled out by such organizations as the infamous Odessa group and the lesser-known Catholic lay network Intermarium, as well as the CIA and KGB. They ensured the continuation of the Nazi legacy in the postwar Arab world.
Egypt was a prime destination for German Nazi relocation in the Arab world. Dr. Aribert Heim was notoriously known as "Dr. Death" for his grotesque pseudo-medical experiments on Jewish prisoners in the Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, and Mauthausen concentration camps. He was fond of surgical procedures including organ removals without anesthesia, injecting gasoline into prisoners to observe the manner of death, and decapitating Jews with healthy teeth so he could cook the skulls clean to make desk decorations. Dr. Heim converted to Islam and became "Uncle Tarek" Hussein Farid in Cairo, Egypt, where he lived a happy life as a medical doctor for the Egyptian police.
Two of Goebbels's Nazi propagandists, Alfred Zingler and Dr. Johann von Leers, became Mahmoud Saleh and Omar Amin respectively, working in the Egyptian Information Department. In 1955, Zingler and von Leers helped establish the virulently anti-Semitic Institute for the Study of Zionism in Cairo. Hans Appler, another Goebbels propagandist, became Saleh Shafar who, in 1955, became an expert for an Egyptian unit specializing in anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist hate propaganda. Erich Altern, a Gestapo agent, Himmler coordinator in Poland, and expert in Jewish affairs became Ali Bella, working as a military instructor in training camps for Palestinian terrorists. A German newspaper estimated there were fully 2,000 Nazis working openly and under state protection in Egypt. Read more ..
Confronting the Holocaust
Times of Israel
In recent years, some in the African-American community have expressed a disconnect to Holocaust topics, seeing the genocide of Jews as someone else's nightmare. After all, African-Americans are still struggling to achieve general recognition of the barbarity of the Middle Passage, the inhumanity of slavery, the oppression of Jim Crow, and the battle for modern civil rights. For many in that community, the murder of six million Jews and millions of other Europeans happened to other minorities in a faraway place where they had no involvement. Read more ..
After the Holocaust
Cutting Edge contributor
Nathan Lewin and daughter/law partner Alyza D. Lewin. (photo credit: Rikki Lewin)
The story of Chiune Sugihara – the Japanese consul in Kovno, Lithuania, who disobeyed his government’s orders in 1940 and issued transit visas through Japan to thousands of Jews seeking to flee war-torn Europe — wasn’t widely known until 1985, when Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial authority, honored him as one of the Righteous Among the Nations.
But I grew up hearing Sugihara’s story because he saved my father’s life. My father, the attorney Nathan Lewin, is a Sugihara survivor. I also have a family connection to something that few others have known until very recently — the answer to a long-unsolved mystery surrounding Sugihara’s rescue of an estimated 6,000 Jews.
Why did the Dutch consul in Kovno, Jan Zwartendijk, begin issuing the “Curaçao visas” – the Dutch endorsements that appeared to permit travel to the island of Curacao, Holland’s territory off South America upon which Sugihara relied when issuing visas? Why did Zwartendijk begin writing in Jewish passports that a visa was not needed to travel to Curaçao? Read more ..
The Race for Driverless Cars
|Christoph Hammerschmidt||March 14th 2016|
A 360 degree surround sensing system today creates a virtual image of a car's environment, enabling the electronic systems to keep the vehicle in the selected lane and to hit the brake if an obstacle emerges. Now Honda has added a predictive element - their Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control (i-ACC) system can tell if a fellow car driver has the intention to cut in.
Has Honda the proverbial crystal ball? No - the i-ACC uses camera and radar to sense the position of other vehicles on the road. The system runs an algorithm that can determine the likelihood of vehicles in adjacent lanes cutting-in. For this purpose it evaluates the relation between the vehicles in the surroundings and how they change. According to Honda, the predictable time horizon is about 2 seconds. And of course the outcome of the computation is not a 100% sure prediction, it is more like a guess, albeit a rather good one.
The system has been devised by European and Japanese developers and is based on real-world research of typical European driving styles. It will make its debut this year on the new European CR-V, building upon the traditional Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system.
Traditional ACC systems keep a preselected longitudinal velocity, which is only reduced for maintaining a safe distance to a car in front. However, if a vehicle cuts in from a neighboring lane, the traditional ACC system reacts later thus requiring stronger braking. Read more ..
After the Holocaust
|Betty Kliewer||January 21st 2016|
Cutting Edge contributor
The article has been updated to reflect the upcoming anniversary, known as yahrzeit, of Ethel Katz's death.
When 79-year-old Polish Holocaust survivor Ethel Katz died in West Palm Beach last week after a protracted illness, a profound legacy died with her. Ethel was born in Bialystok, Poland with the name Edjya Katz. For decades, her amazing story has been told and witnessed in newspaper and magazine articles, books, documentaries, TV presentations and lectures worldwide. Having personally seen the videos, testimonies, and confirmations from others, and also interviewed her in person ... one can only call her survival bone-chilling.
Her nightmare began in August 1943 in a shaking boxcar on its way to the Treblinka death camp.
As the 13-year-old Edjya squatted on the floor, hearing the thumping track below, it was impossible to comprehend the murderous plans for her and her family. At one point, her mother whispered to her, "You're a skinny one, Edjya." Her mother gestured toward the top of the boxcar, to the thin vent. Read more ..
The Weapon's Edge
The newest additions to the Dutch National Police (DNP) are North American "immigrants": bald eagles that are specially trained to take down airborne drones.
The initiative is a first for law enforcement, according to DNP officials. They announced in a statement, released Sept. 13, that the DNP is currently the only police force in the world to include raptors on its roster for drone defense.
For the past year, the DNP has tested eagles' prowess against flying drones, collaborating with a private company called Guard from Above that trains raptors to snatch drones out of the sky. The tests were so successful, the DNP reported, that the police force recently purchased juvenile bald eagles that it plans to train. Agents will work with the eagles hand in glove—literally, because eagle talons are extremely sharp. Read more ..
Europe on Edge
|George Friedman||September 3rd 2015|
When France, West Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg signed the Schengen Agreement in 1985, they envisioned a system in which people and goods could move from one country to another without barriers. This vision was largely realized: Since its implementation in 1995, the Schengen Agreement eliminated border controls between its signatories and created a common visa policy for 26 countries.
The treaty was a key step in the creation of a federal Europe. By eliminating border controls, member states gave up a basic element of national sovereignty. The agreement also required a significant degree of trust among its signatories, because it put the responsibility for checking foreigners' identities and baggage on the country of first entry into the Schengen area. Once people have entered a Schengen country, they can move freely across most of Europe without facing any additional controls. Read more ..
The Digital Edge
|Rich Pell||August 10th 2015|
Using a flying drone capable of detecting Internet-connected devices, information security firm Praetorian (New York, NY) was able to identify over 1,600 unique IoT devices in a test flight over Austin, TX. Part of an IoT Map Project designed to map and examine the security of connected devices, the drone is able to collect data on ZigBee-connected devices up to 100 meters away by tracking their communications. According to the company, the drone can detect devices' security settings and manufacturers, as well as whether the devices are used in commercial, residential, or industrial areas.
"[The IoT devices] communicated over a wireless protocol called ZigBee. This protocol is open at a network level. So when the devices start connecting they send out beacon requests. We capture data based on this," says Praetorian vice president Paul West Jauregui. Read more ..
The Digital Edge
|Paul Buckley||August 5th 2015|
A European team of security researchers have identified a potential privacy invasion 'black hole' that could exploit phone batteries to pinpoint their owners and track them around the internet. The security issue centres around afeature of the HTML5 specification that allows websites to find out how much battery power a visitor has left on their laptop or smartphone. The security researchers, Lukasz Olejnik and Claude Castelluccia from INRIA Privatics with Gunes Acar and Claudia Diaz of KU Leuven, ESAT/COSIC and iMinds warn n their paper entitled â€˜The leaking battery: A privacy analysis of the HTML5 Battery Status APIâ€™ that the information can be used to track browsers online.
The battery status API is currently supported in the Firefox, Opera and Chrome browsers, and was introduced by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in 2012 to help websites conserve usersâ€™ energy. The energy saving feature enables a website or web-app to check when the phone user has little battery power left to allow the phone to switch to a low-power mode by disabling extraneous features to eke out the battery's energy. The same information can be used to identify phones as they move around the internet, allowing people to be tracked. Read more ..
Turkey on Edge
|Burak Bekdil||July 23rd 2015|
Two of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's children are better known by the public than the other two. His 34-year-old son, Bilal, made his debut at the Turkish hall of fame when recordings of phone-tapped conversations he had with [then prime minister] Erdogan were leaked on the internet.
The recordings appeared to capture the prime minister passionately instructing his son to dispose of large amounts of hidden funds from their private home in the midst of a corruption investigation. Although Erdogan later admitted that his private phones had been tapped, he rejected the telephone conversation with Bilal as "complete lies," fabricated by an Islamist group that wanted to discredit his government and take over state institutions in Turkey. Read more ..
Jewry on Edge
|Edwin Black||July 10th 2015|
Cutting Edge Contributor
Looking back after 50 years of service to the Anti-Defamation League, retiring national director Abraham Foxman expressed passionate worry to journalist Edwin Black about the safety and security of Jews overseas and Israelâ€™s position in the world. Excerpts from his exit interview follow, edited and condensed for continuity, clarity, and length.
Edwin Black: Looking back over a half century, how does it strike you?
Abraham Foxman: Boy, how wrong they were! When I came on this job, I read a lot of stuff about the future of the Jewish community. I wanted to know what I would be facing. One thing that the sociologists and prognosticators said 50 years ago was "Anti-Semitism, itâ€™s a historical fact of the past. You donâ€™t have to worry about it â€” weâ€™re just going to point to it when we fight other prejudices." Boy how wrong they were! The other thing they said was â€œIn 50 years, Israel will be a normal nation among all the nations.â€ Boy how wrong they were! Israel has become "the Jew amongst the nations." Read more ..
The New Egypt
|John Rossomando||June 9th 2015|
Egypt asked the U.S. ambassador in Cairo to account for the Obama administration's allowing Muslim Brotherhood officials to visit Washington for a private conference this week sponsored by the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID).
Egypt sought the recent meeting with Ambassador Stephen Beecroft to show its displeasure with American policy toward the Brotherhood, which it labels a terrorist organization.
Delegation members include Amr Darrag, whose handling of drafting and ratifying Egypt's December 2012 constitution led to fears the Brotherhood aimed to impose a theocracy; and Wael Haddara, a Canadian Brotherhood member who served as an adviser to deposed President Mohamed Morsi. Read more ..
The Way We Are
|Jared Wadley||May 26th 2015|
Women in abusive relationships feel depressed not only from the violence but from the loss of their sense of belonging, a new University of Michigan study finds.
In a new study published in Violence Against Women, researchers examined the relationship between domestic abuse, belongingness and depression of 71 female patients in a Southeast primary care clinic.
Domestic abuse led to women having greater depressive symptoms, but losing a connection with the spouse, family or home also factored into the depression, said Edward Chang, U-M psychology professor and study's lead author.
The study's respondents ranged in age from 46 to 64. When asked about the frequency of being abused by a partner, 32 percent reported some form of abuse. The women rated if they felt a sense of belonging, as well assessed their levels of depression.
The findings not only build on earlier research, but they go further to support the contention that one compelling manner in which domestic abuse may lead to the development of depressive symptoms in women is through a loss in belongingness, Chang said. Read more ..
The Race for Biogas
|Abigail Klein Leichman ||May 21st 2015|
When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited the sukkah of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin during the Jewish harvest holiday last October, he was treated to a demo of a machine the government has given to Bedouin families to convert organic waste into clean biogas for cooking, heating and lighting, as well as organic liquid crop fertilizer.
"He got very excited and told us, 'Millions of women and children die each year due to indoor smoke from open fires. This is just the thing they need. The UN should be purchasing these units!' recalls Ami Amir of HomeBioGas, which develops and manufactures a new class of anaerobic biodigesters to convert organic waste to clean renewable energy. He asked us to be in touch with the UNâ€™s Food and Agriculture Organization to see where and when our systems could be deployed.â€ Read more ..
After the Holocaust
|Bernard Banks||May 17th 2015|
from Chiangrai Times and agencies
Israelâ€™s Ambassador to Thailand expressed extreme disappointment Thursday over
statements made by a minor Thai royal denying the holocaust of WWII.
Ambassador Simon Roded expressed â€œdisappointment and Extreme Regretâ€ over the
comment by ML Rungguna Kitiyakara, a descendent of 19th-century King Rama V of
Thailand, the Bangkok Post reported.
On his Facebook, ML Rungguna praised Nazi leader Adolf Hitler as a genius and
patriot, and said the holocaust was â€œPropagandaâ€.
Mr Rodedâ€™s statement, written in Thai, said it was â€œa shame that someone with
such opportunity, and educationâ€¦ would perpetuate a myth that history has
Around 6 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis during the Third Reich.
ML Rungguna wrote of his appreciation to Hitler on April 20, he Nazi leaderâ€™s
birthday, He said he beleived Hitler made some mistakes but he was a genius and
a patriot, so his life was worth studying. ML Rungguna viewed that Hitler was a statesman who had been destroyed by Jewish
bankers and Zionists and been imputed as the bad guy for the holocaust which ML
Rungguna claimed did not actually occur. It was propaganda to establish
sympathy to expel and kill Palestinians from their homeland so the Jews would
have their own state, he wrote. Read more ..
Islam on Edge
|Steven Emerson||May 13th 2015|
For the third time this year, Islamist radicals in Bangladesh hacked a secular writer to death in public. Four masked men chased down Ananta Bijoy Das Tuesday morning as Das left his home in Sylhet. They hacked him with machetes after running him down. "Ananta died on the spot," Metropolitan Police Commissioner Kamrul Hasan told the Daily Star. "Ananta was an organiser of local progressive publication outlet Jukti (logic) and a relentless writer on science."
Das was 31.
On March 30, Oyasiqur Rahman Babu, 27, was murdered on his way to work. Like Das, Babu's writings criticized religious fundamentalism. On Feb. 26, American citizen Avijit Roy was killed, and his wife severely injured, when attackers jumped them at a book fair. Roy had been threatened for his writings against religion, including his statement that religious extremism is like a virus: "if allowed to spread [it] will wreak havoc on society in epidemic proportions." Read more ..
The Digital Edge
|Christoph Hammerschmidt||May 12th 2015|
Do car owners have confidence in algorithms and control units that eventually could take over the command over their vehicles? A recent study reveals deep-seated concerns.
The German subsidiary of IT consulting company CSC recently conducted a poll among a representative cross section of the population in Germany, Austria and Switzerland showed that though car drivers acknowledge that the digitization of the car offers some benefits, their confidence into this technology is not really unlimited.
Almost 70 percent of the respondents said they were afraid of malicious hackers taking over the car. Almost the same percentage said they simply donâ€™t trust enough into the technology to leave the responsibility for driving to the machine. Two thirds expressed doubts that in the case of an accident the liability issues could be settled to their disadvantage.
Nevertheless, there was also a strong majority expecting that automated driving would improve traffic safety. Four out of five respondents found it essential that after an accident automatics systems such the eCall would speed first aid after an accident, and the same percentage said they expect that Connected Car schemes would spread information on accidents and other hazards quickly to other traffic participants.
â€œThe Connected Car is one of the most crucial subjects for the automotive industryâ€, said Claus SchÃ¼nemann, general manager of CSC Germany. â€œAlmost 70 percent of the consumers are in favour of this technology and regard it as a relief in long-distance highway travel or in dense commuter traffic. Read more ..
UK on Edge
|George Friedman||May 5th 2015|
The United Kingdom is going to the polls on Thursday. Elections electrify the countries in which they are held, but in most cases they make little difference. In this case, the election is a bit more important. Whether Labour or the Tories win makes some difference, but not all that much. What makes this election significant is that in Scotland, 45 percent of the public voted recently to leave the United Kingdom. This has been dismissed as an oddity by all well-grounded observers. However, for unsophisticated viewers like myself, the fact that 45 percent of Scotland was prepared to secede was an extraordinary event.
Moreover, this election matters because UKIP â€” formerly the United Kingdom Independence Party â€” is in it, and polls indicate that it will win about 12 percent of the vote, while winning a handful of seats in Parliament. This discrepancy is due to an attribute of the British electoral system, which favors seats won over total votes cast. Read more ..
The Way We Are
|Marla Paul||April 27th 2015|
Most psychiatric disorders - including depression -- do not predict future violent behavior, according to new Northwestern Medicine longitudinal study of delinquent youth. The only exception is substance abuse and dependence.
"Our findings are relevant to the recent tragic plane crash in the French Alps. Our findings show that no one could have predicted that the pilot - who apparently suffered from depression - - would perpetrate this violent act," said corresponding author Linda Teplin, the Owen L. Coon Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "It is not merely a suicide, but an act of mass homicide."
The study did find, however, that some delinquent youth with current psychiatric illness may also be violent. For example, males with mania were more than twice as likely to report current violence than those without. But these relationships are not necessarily causal.
Delinquent youth with psychiatric illness have multiple risk factors -- such as living in violent and impoverished neighborhoods. These environments may increase their risk for violent behavior as well as worsen their psychiatric illness.
"Providing comprehensive treatment to persons with some psychiatric disorders could reduce violence," said Katherine Elkington, study first author and an assistant professor of clinical psychology in psychiatry at Columbia University Medical School and New York Psychiatric Institute. "We must improve how we address multiple problems -- including violent behavior -- as part of psychiatric treatment." Read more ..
The Digital Edge
|Peter Clarke||April 20th 2015|
Annual shipments of wearable cameras will surpass 30 million units by 2020 according to market research firm Tractica. GoPro rugged and waterproof cameras for sports applications are leading the field at present but more general consumer, enterprise and public safety applications are not far behind and will drive strong growth in the second half of this decade, Tractica claims. Wearable cameras are a logical extension of the smartphone camera, enabling hands-free functionality that allows users to capture both planned and spontaneous moments by using body or head mounts or by clipping the camera to clothing.
The market for wearable cameras is an early stage and experiencing rapid growth as the use cases for wearable cameras expand. Tractica forecasts that wearable camera shipments will increase from 5.6 million in 2014 to 30.6 million units annually by 2020. That is equivalent to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the period of about 32 percent. Read more ..
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