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IBM Computer the Size of a Grain of Salt Embeds in Everyday Objects

Computer chips

IBM says it has developed the world's smallest computer – one that is smaller than a grain of salt.

Announced at the company's Think 2018 technology event, the IBM-designed edge device architecture and computing platform is a system-on-chip (SoC) with a processor, SRAM, storage, a communication module, and a photovoltaic cell for power. The micro-computer's processor comprises several hundred thousand transistors and is said to have a performance on par with an x86 CPU from 1990.

According to IBM, the device will cost less than ten cents to manufacture and can monitor, analyze, communicate, and even act on data. Within the next five years, the company says, such micro-computers will be embedded in everyday objects and devices as "cryptographic anchors" that - in tandem with blockchain's distributed ledger technology – will be used to help track and verify the authenticity of goods.


Palestinians on Edge

Amid U.S. Cuts, Palestinian Refugee Agency Left in the Lurch

March 15th 2018


Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, bet she could compel others to help America shoulder the financial burden of aiding Palestinian refugees if only the U.S. choked off its own humanitarian aid spigot.

So far, the Palestinians have come up empty-handed.

Two months after the United States withheld $65 million in pledged funding to a U.N. agency that serves more than 5 million Palestinian refugees, no other country has stepped forward to increase its 2018 funding pledge.

In an effort to address the sudden cutback in U.S. aid, ministers from nearly 90 countries will meet in Rome Thursday for a major funding conference on Palestinian aid. Read more ..

The Race for E-Hailing

City Council Proposes Bill Targeting Uber and Other “E-hail” Services.

March 6th 2018

new cars close up

The NY City Council has proposed a new bill targeting Uber, Lyft and other app.-based car services, Crain’s reported.

The bill was written by the new “For-Hire Vehicle Committee” of the City Council and will include tighter regulations and higher fees, including a new $2000 yearly fee for each car. App.- based drivers work independently using their own vehicles and obtain passengers via a smart phone app.

These services are also referred to as “e-hail” since the one requesting the car simply goes online to do so instead of hailing a cab in the street.

The fee is designed to slow the growth of these services, essentially pricing out some drivers. The app-based companies have come under scrutiny as their rapid growth has contributed to record levels of congestion in Manhattan while undermining the traditional hired-car industries, Crain’s reported. Read more ..

Israel's Next War

Under Shadow Of Hezbollah’s Growing Arsenal, Israeli Home Front Gets Busy

March 3rd 2018

IDF Medical Teams

With Hezbollah pointing more than 120,000 projectiles at Israeli cities, towns and villages, it is clear to emergency and defense planners that any eruption of a new armed conflict will not resemble previous wars.

The essence of Hezbollah’s war doctrine—and that of its patron, Iran—is to direct heavy fire at Israel’s soft underbelly: its civilian front.

On the military front, the Israel Defense Forces is drawing up offensive plans to deal with this threat; at the same time, on the defensive front the military is also working closely with emergency responders and local authorities to improve general readiness. Read more ..

Egypt and Israel

How Egypt Gains from Gas Deal with Israel

February 28th 2018

LNG Tanker

It was during the evening of an autumn night in 2013, in a hotel in the Egyptian capital Cairo, when I met Sherif Ismail, the Egyptian Minister of Petroleum at the time and the current Prime Minister, only four months after Egypt had toppled the Muslim Brotherhood. The country was experiencing a real energy crisis and it was the responsibility of Ismail to find a solution. 
We discussed the possibility of solving a large part of the problem through the reverse use of the Egyptian gas pipeline that had been established about eight years earlier and caused a lot of controversy, resulting in the prosecution of a large number of officials in the wake of Hosni Mubarak’s 2011 ouster, including former Petroleum Minister Sameh Fahmi, who was charged with exporting gas to Israel at lower than market rates. Read more ..

Olympics on Edge

North Korean Athletes at Winter Olympics Desperate to Avoid ‘Hellish Gulag

February 24th 2018

Kim Jong-Un

For North Korean athletes, the prospect of failure on the big stage carries a punishment far worse than a damaged ego.

Having failed to land a single medal in South Korea so far, its Winter Olympic team could suffer the same fate as previous underperforming athletes - imprisonment in one of the country's sick gulags.

The most infamous case is that of the North Korean football team which made history for reaching the second round of the 1966 World Cup.

Former leader Kim Il-Sung is widely believed to have ordered them to be arrested after they lost to 5-3 Portugal days after they were seen drinking with local women in public.

Instead of going home to a proud welcome, the are reported to have been sent to one of the reclusive nation's most notorious gulags. North Korean defector Kang Chol-Hwan claims he met some of the team while they were being held in Yodok prison, or Camp 15, usually reserved for political prisoners.

In his tell-all book The Aquariums of Pyongyang, he asserts that footballer Pak Seung-Zin became infamous for his ability to endure torture. Another inmate, dubbed "The Cockroach" after gobbling any insects he could find to fight off hunger pains, would often be thrown into a solitary chamber known as the "Sweatbox". Read more ..

Palestinians on Edge

Palestinians Charge Trump Offering ‘Fake Jerusalem’ as Capital

February 22nd 2018

Abbas UN

With its sky-lit lantern dome, tiered floors and speaker’s well, the long-abandoned parliament building on the edge of East Jerusalem needs only a few finishing touches to make it an ideal setting for the birth of a Palestinian state.

All that’s missing to resurrect the majestic structure in the West Bank village of Abu Dis, once a symbol of efforts to resolve competing Israeli and Palestinian claims to Jerusalem, are some lighting fixtures, a few truckloads of furniture -- and the “ultimate deal” President Donald Trump has promised to unveil. 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, having already rejected that deal sight unseen, told the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday that the U.S. can no longer lead peace efforts. Read more ..

Iran on Edge

History Lessons from Years Under Islamism

February 18th 2018

Women's Rights Activists

My father's generation in Iran lived in an environment in which the Islamist party of the country's clergy cunningly depicted themselves as intending no harm, supportive of the people, and not interested in power. So, before the revolution, many Iranians did not think that Khomeini's party would be committing the atrocities that they are committing now or that they would have such an unrelenting hunger for power. Instead, during this time, the country thought it was on a smooth path towards democracy, with no expectation of ever returning to a barbaric era. Even the then-US President Jimmy Carter viewed Khomeini as a good religious holy man.


America on Edge

The Origins of Mass Murder

February 15th 2018


Author and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson, who has frequently locked horns with government authorities and leftists in his native Canada over issues related to free speech and crime, has frequently offered analyses of criminal acts. In a lecture at the University of Toronto, Peterson sought to analyze the minds of several notable mass murderers. 

Describing one of the two killers held responsible for the mass murder at the high school in Columbine, Colorado, in 1999, Peterson said that killer Dylan Klebold had brooded on his “isolation, his segregation from mankind. He’s out there in a chaotic domain, and because he is tortured by that, his thoughts take an unbelievably dark turn.” Peterson also described Carl Panzram, a child of German immigrants who had his beginnings as a juvenile delinquent and went on to become one of the worst serial killers in U.S. history. Panzram claimed to have raped more than 1,000 men and committed at least 21 murders, one of which was of a child.


The Edge of Autism

Autism Shares Brain Signature with Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

February 10th 2018

child glasses

Gene expression patterns in the brains of people with autism are similar to those of people who have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, according to a large study of postmortem brain tissue. The findings appear today in Science.

All three conditions show an activation of genes in star-shaped brain cells called astrocytes, and suppression of genes that function at synapses, the junctions between neurons. The autism brains also show a unique increase in the expression of genes specific to immune cells called microglia.

“This study demonstrates for the first time that [gene expression] can be used to robustly define cross-disorder phenotypes that are shared and distinct,” says lead investigator Daniel Geschwind, professor of neurology, psychiatry and human genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles. “And these phenotypes are related to the molecular and cellular pathways that likely have gone awry.” Read more ..

The Russia Probe

Republicans Want Release of Secret Russia Probe Surveillance Memo

January 22nd 2018

File Folders

House Republicans have said the information in a secret memo on surveillance is so shocking that it must be released to the public.

Members of the lower chamber of Congress were allowed to see a memo from the House intelligence committee on Thursday, with some voicing outrage about what they saw in a restricted room at the Capitol.

“I viewed the classified report from House Intel relating to the FBI, FISA abuses, the infamous Russian dossier, and so-called ‘Russian collusion.’ What I saw is absolutely shocking. This report needs to be released--now. Americans deserve the truth. #ReleaseTheMemo,” Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina said Thursday night.

He was joined by other lawmakers who saw the memo after a vote in the intelligence committee opened it up to all members of the House, a process that could be repeated to share it with the public.

Beyond Republican lines of inquiry in the Russia investigation, a measure cementing the powers of the intelligence apparatus through FISA has just passed through Congress, with the Senate approving the measure late Thursday. Read more ..

Broken Borders

Trump Administration Reaches Far-reaching Deal with Florida Sheriffs on Illegal immigrants

January 18th 2018

Border Patrol

Sheriffs in Florida bound themselves to an agreement with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency to hold illegal immigrants wanted for deportation. The deal known as the Basic Ordering Agreement was reached by 17 Florida sheriffs and ICE, and will allow local law enforcement to hold wanted illegal immigrants for longer periods of time and beyond the time they normally would have to be released based on state or local cases.

ICE wants local authorities to keep illegal immigrants incarcerated for at least 48 hours beyond their normal release time, which would give ICE officers an opportunity to pick them up. While some judges have ruled that holding people beyond their regular release times violates the U.S. Constitution, the agreement reached by ICE and the Florida sheriffs may be a work-around because it is the model that local authorities use when holding wanted persons for the U.S. Marshals Service. Under the new agreement, the sheriffs’ departments become service providers to the federal government and in effect deputizing them. ICE agrees to pay the sheriff departments for holding wanted persons for up to 48 hours, thus responding to judges’ concerns.


The Edge of Space

Aliens Don't Exist—Or Do They?

January 12th 2018

Black hole pulling gas from nearby star

What do a strangely fading faraway star, an oddly shaped interstellar interloper in the solar system and a curious spate of UFO sightings by members of the U.S. military all have in common?

They are all mysterious, for one thing—eye-catchingly weird, yet still just hazy outlines that let the imagination run wild. All have recently generated headlines as possible signs of life and intelligence beyond Earth, of some mind-bogglingly advanced alien culture revealing its existence at last to our relatively primitive and planetbound civilization. Yet their most salient shared trait so far is the certainty they provoke in most scientists, who insist these developments represent nothing so sensational. Ask a savvy astronomer or physicist about any of these oddities, and they will tell you, as they have time and time before: It’s not aliens. In fact, it’s never aliens. Read more ..

Iran on Edge

Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Da'esh "Lite" in North America

January 11th 2018

Quds Force

Recent mass demonstrations in Iran, and the government's violent crackdown has been met with a deafening silence by Muslim "civil rights" organizations in the U.S. and Canada. Why have they refrained from supporting the Iranian people's uprising to overthrow the oppressive mullahs? 

After all, the same organizations have vocally and financially supported the mass demonstrations in the Middle East and North Africa that erupted in December 2010 and led to the rise of Egypt's short-lived Muslim Brotherhood government and caused turmoil and destabilized these regions. American and Canadian Muslim organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in the U.S. and Canada, the Muslim Student Association (MSA) in the U.S. and Canada, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) (including its Canadian branch), share the similar agenda and boards and serve as umbrellas to many smaller associations and community-based groups. Read more ..

The Obama Era

University of Chicago Professors Bash Plans for $100 Million Obama Library

January 10th 2018

Obama calling

Faculty members of the University of Chicago signed a letter asking the Obama Foundation to reconsider the placement of Barack Obama’s proposed presidential library. More than 100 professors assert that the current plan is “socially regressive.” According to the letter, the proposed multi-million dollar Obama Presidential Center will not provide the “promised development or economic benefits” to surrounding neighborhoods. Moreover, the library would come at $100 million in costs to the State of Illinois.

The letter reads, “We are concerned that these are not the best ways to use public funds to invest in the future of Chicago.”

The proposed Obama center and library will seize large areas of Jackson Park and Midway Plaisance -- both of which are historic public parks -- while it will also permanently close Cornell Avenue, a major thoroughfare on the South Side of Chicago. The academic who signed the letter believe that it is a “traffic-jam in the making.”


Borken Borders

DHS Sentences Michigan Dairy Farmer for Two Years Illegal Immigrants

January 9th 2018

US/Mex Border fence

On January 4, U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Ludington sentenced Denis Burke (54) to two years in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. Burke pleaded guilty in September to employing illegal aliens at his dairy operations. In exchange for a guilty plea, prosecutors dismissed four more counts of the same charge. Madeline Burke (51), Burke’s wife and codefendant,pleaded guilty in June to one count of hiring without verification of employment eligibility. At her sentencing in September, she received two years' probation. She was also ordered to pay the same fine with monthly installments of $15,600.

The Burkes own Parisville Dairy in Huron County and Dunganstown Dairy in Tuscola County, Michigan. Between February 2008 and May 2013, the pair hired and lodged more than 100 illegal immigrants to work on their farms. "Denis Burke gave the illegal aliens free housing on or next to his farms so the illegal aliens would be readily available for work and less accessible to immigration authorities," states Denis Burke’s plea agreement. Read more ..

The Cyber Edge

The Story Behind the Meltdown and Spectre Threats

January 6th 2018

Hacker keyboard

THe latest revelations that Intel,  AMD and ARM microprocessors have major security  
 IBM's first PC, 1981
vulnerabilities should have surprised no one. In 2004 IBM sold its PC group to the Chinese Lenovo, and Intel opened its first chip manufacturing plant in China in 2007, and other US-based companies, have been outsourcing the development and production of their technologies to foreign companies. So, while we shouldn't be surprised, we should demand to know why it took so long for those companies to admit that all the computers and other electronic devices we use are vulnerable and pose a direct threat to our national security. Read more ..

After the Caliphate

Few Ready To Pay To Rebuild Iraq After Islamic State Group Defeat

January 1st 2018

Iraq ISIL double file of militants

For nearly 2½ miles along the western bank of the Tigris River, hardly a single building is intact. The warren of narrow streets of Mosul’s Old City is a crumpled landscape of broken concrete and metal. Every acre is weighed down by more than 3,000 tons of rubble, much of it laced with explosives and unexploded ordnance.

It will take years to haul away the wreckage, and this is just one corner of the destruction. The Iraqi military and U.S.-led coalition succeeded in uprooting the Islamic State group across the country, but the cost of victory is nearly incalculable.

Three years of war devastated much of northern and western Iraq. Baghdad estimates $100 billion is needed nationwide to rebuild. Local leaders in Mosul, the biggest city held by ISIS, say that amount is needed to rehabilitate their city alone.


The Trump Era

How Trump would Resolve Insolvent U.S. Postal Service

December 30th 2017

Mail Room

President Donald Trump, who continues to show his prowess in the use of social media to reach the American public, suggested how the U.S. Postal Service might show a profit in the future. The President wrote: “Why is the United States Post Office, which is losing many billions of dollars a year, while charging Amazon and others so little to deliver their packages, making Amazon richer and the Post Office dumber and poorer? Should be charging much more!”

Amazon and USPS have worked out a deal to deliver Amazon’s packages for less than it would pay for other delivery services. According to Bloomberg, analyst David Vernon estimated that the postal service delivered 40 percent of Amazon’s packages in 2014. Citigroup estimated this year that delivery of an average package through USPS an additional $1.46 should be charged if costs were “fairly allocated.” Read more ..

Campus Hate

Anti-Israel Bias Reigns at Columbia

December 29th 2017


When Columbia University’s Center for Palestine Studies was established in 2010, Rashid Khalidi, its founding and current director — and a supporter of an academic boycott of Israel — stated that steering clear of political activism was an important goal of the center:

“The last thing you want is a Middle East institute or a center for Israel or Palestine that isn’t within the university mission. . . . We’d avoid doing anything that’s directly related to any political activism.”

However, just seven years later, new research from our organization reveals that the Center for Palestine Studies has become an academic epicenter for anti-Israel political activism, as well as the promotion of an academic boycott of Israel and its mother movement, boycott, divestment and sanctions, otherwise known as BDS. Read more ..

Palestinians on Edge

UNRWA Refugees: Where have They Gone?

December 27th 2017

Palstinian refugee camp

Palestinian refugees are a slippery population -- but when 285,535 of them go missing from a small country such as Lebanon, it should raise eyebrows.

UNRWA in Lebanon reports on its website that 449,957 refugees live under its protection in 12 camps, but a survey by Lebanon's Central Administration of Statistics, together with the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, could only find 174,535. The Lebanese government said the others "left." Okay, maybe they did -- Lebanon constrained them viciously, so it would make some sense. What does NOT make sense, then, is the UN giving UNRWA a budget based on nearly half a million people when, in fact, there are far fewer than a quarter of a million. Who is paying and who is getting the money?

We are and they are.


The Edge of Terrorism

Qatar Charities Support of Extreme Islamist Ideology

December 19th 2017

Hamas Terrorists

Qatar's purposeful support of the Muslim Brotherhood, Iran, Turkey, and radical Islamist terrorist groups led Saudi Arabia,BahrainEgypt, and the UAE to cut all ties with the Emirate last June. Indeed, it was no secret that "Qatar has a long history of harboring terrorist operatives and financing various extremist groups, including Hamas, the Taliban, al Qaeda, the al-Nusra Front, and the Muslim Brotherhood."

Nonetheless, Qatar has been protesting and arguing ever since that the "blockade" violates international law and human rights. But the Anti-Terrorist Quartet (ATQ) has put Qatar on their 'terror finance watchlist' and
 banned major Qatari charities. Among the terrorist-supporting charities named, is Qatar Charity that advertises its mission is "to participate in the preservation of Islamic culture through the construction of mosques. We spread our Islamic teachings with the world, and we invite you to be part of it in this achievement." But the QC -- that nation's and one of the Arab World's largest charities -- has long been known to fund the very same extremists Islamists terror groups listed by the ATQ.

After the Holocaust

Auschwitz Inmate's Notes from Hell Finally Revealed

December 1st 2017


Chilling testimony from an Auschwitz inmate forced to help the Nazi murder
squads has finally been deciphered, thanks to painstaking detective work and digital imaging.

On scraps of notepaper Marcel Nadjari, a Greek Jew, described how thousands of Jews were herded into the gas chambers daily. He saw them "packed in like
sardines". In 1944, the 26-year-old was burning with a desire for revenge. He had heard
from fellow Greek Jews that his mother, father and sister Nelli had died at Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, in southern Poland, the year before.

"Often I thought of going in with the others, to put an end to this. But always revenge prevented me doing so. I wanted and want to live, to avenge the death of Dad, Mum and my dear little sister," he wrote.

He was among about 2,200 members of the Sonderkommando - Jewish slaves of the SS who had to escort fellow Jews to the gas chambers. Then they had to burn the bodies, collect gold fillings and women's hair, and throw the ashes into a nearby river.

Having witnessed Nazi Germany's killing machine close up they knew it was only a matter of time before the SS exterminated them too. So in November 1944 Nadjari stuffed his 13-page manuscript into a thermos flask, which he sealed with a plastic top. He then placed the thermos in a leather pouch and buried it near Crematorium III.

"The crematorium is a big building with a wide chimney and 15 ovens. Under a garden there are two enormous cellars. One is where people undress and the other is the death chamber. People enter it naked and once about 3,000 are
inside it is locked and they are gassed. After six or seven minutes of suffering they die," he wrote. Read more ..

The Edge of Weather

After 30 Years, Alarmists Are Still Predicting A Global Warming ‘Apocalypse’

November 26th 2017

Sky and clouds over HAARP

For at least three decades scientists and environmental activists have been warning that the world is on the verge of a global warming “apocalypse” that will flood coastal cities, tear up roads and bridges with mega-storms and bring widespread famine and misery to much of the world.

The only solution, they say, is to rid the world of fossil fuels — coal, natural gas and oil — that serve as the pillars of modern society. Only quick, decisive global action can avert the worst effects of manmade climate change, warn international bodies like the United Nations, who say we only have decades left — or even less!

Of course, human civilization has not collapsed, despite decades of predictions that we only have years left to avert disaster. Ten years ago, the U.N. predicted we only had “as little as eight years left to avoid a dangerous global average rise of 2C or more.” This failed prediction, however, has not stopped the U.N. and others from issuing more apocalyptic statements. Read more ..

Saudi on Edge

Sheikh Kamel: Has the Mighty Saudi Fallen?

November 19th 2017

Saudi police

Inconceivably, in November 2017 Sheikh Saleh Abdallah Kamel chairman and founderof the Dallah al Baraka Group, chairman of the General Council for Islamic Banks and the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce, perhaps Saudi Arabia's richest private citizen, was placed under house arrest. His banking empire, untouched by numerous American and European investigations concerning their possible funding of terrorism, including al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and affiliated groups, now appears under threat.

In 2000 a Bosnia police raid on the Benevolence Foundation charity located in Sarajevo resulted in the most important discovery of al Qaeda documents unearthed up to that date. The director of that charity, who was located in the United States, was later brought to trial in Chicago (US government indictment of Enaam Arnaout on 9 October 2002, 02 CR 892). Read more ..

The Edge of Evil

The 5 Most Evil Things Tech Companies have Helped Happen

November 15th 2017

IBM Building Logo

We are in a time where we depend on tech heavily. But sometimes out of necessity or just a careless attitude, tech companies have done some pretty bad things to the world. Some of these effects have helped shape and mold the society we live in today.

1. IBM and the Holocaust

As much as this may be hard to imagine, research has shown how IBM helped the Nazis perpetrate a holocaust. IBM helped create the most rationalized and methodically perfected means of genocide that has been recorded in human history.

Read IBM and the Holocaust

Edwin Black, an author, explains how IBM services were suited for machination of the ThirdReich.This was to help the Nazis perfect the art of killing not only making it operative smooth but effortless and justified. IBM used computer predictability to do a wide range of estimations and recording for the Nazi. Thus one of the most powerful tech companies was used by the Nazis as a way of registering the entire population that was bought from their offices in New York Read more ..

The Race for Autonomous Vehicles

French Company Launches Fully Autonomous EV Taxi

November 13th 2017

Place Charles de Gaulle

French developer Navya in Lyon has launched a dedicated electric taxi that is fully autonomous without a steering wheel or place for a driver.

The AUTONOM CAB carries up to six passengers at a maxmum speed of 55mph using 22 or 33kWh lithium phospor battery packs (LiFePO 4) with up to 10 hours of operation.

To achieve the Level 5 autonomous operation it uses ten Lidar sensors (three giving 360 degree visibility and the rest with 145 degree visibility), six cameras, four radars, two GNSS satellite antennaes and an inertial measurement unit (IMU). These sensors provide at least a triple redundancy across all functions, says the company. It also uses high precision GPS RTK positioning and high resolution maps for navigation. 


The Edge of Terrorism

France’s Fatal Failure to Stop Mohamed Merah’s Killing Spree

November 12th 2017

Paratroopers at Eiffel

On the evening of March 15, 2012, as news broke that three soldiers had been shot down in broad daylight and that the unknown killer with a helmet on his head had been spotted fleeing the scene on a TMAC scooter, Anne Chenevat immediately called her former husband, Abdelghani Merah. “I told him it could very well be his little brother Mohamed,” she said to the court at the Abdelkader Merah trial in Paris last month.

Anne had reason to be suspicious. She had fought the Salafi influence of Abdelkader Merah on his family members for years. As soon as her son Theodore was born, Kader, as Abdelkader was known, had made very clear to her that one day when Theo was of age, he, Kader, would come and pick him up in order to make a good Muslim out of him.

When Theodore was 10, he’d been approached by Kader’s mentor Olivier Corel, leader of the Salafi community around Toulouse. Corel had whispered to him, “it is all right for you to hate your parents, they’re not good Muslims.” Theodore himself—today a lean, tall boy in his 20s, who stiffly walked to the stand cramped in a strict suit—testified at the hearing that from that age on, his uncle had taken Theo to private reunions with Salafi families during which a future world war between Muslims and miscreants was discussed. “He began to have nightmares,” Chenevat told the court. “He would come to me and ask if I would convert in anticipation of the coming Muslim war, so I would not be killed. I said I would never convert unless my life was at stake.”

Anne also knew how powerful Kader’s influence was on Mohamed, despite—or because of—the sadistic treatment Kader exerted on his little brother since childhood. Everybody in the family used to beat up Mohamed—his mother, Zulika, had used electric wire. Read more ..

America on Edge

In California, Go to Jail if You Use the Wrong Pronoun

November 9th 2017

Silicon Valley Los Altos

Gov. Jerry Brown of California signed a bill into law mandates that those who "willfully and repeatedly" refuse "to use a transgender resident’s preferred name or pronouns" can face a $1,000 fine and up to one year in prison, according to the California Heath and Safety code. Signed on Thursday, the law currently applies only to eldercare and long-term care facilities. 

The “LGBT Senior Bill Of Rights,” the bill requires requires nursing homes and care facilities to allow residents to use the bathroom of their choice, regardless of biological sex. State Sen. Scott Weiner (D) claims that religious or other views contrary to his perspective have no place in public areas. “Everyone is entitled to their religious view,” Wiener said. “But when you enter the public space, when you are running an institution, you are in a workplace, you are in a civil setting, and you have to follow the law.” Read more ..

Inside Israel

How Aramean Christians In Israel Work To End Persecution And Preserve Their Culture

October 30th 2017


Faded-green plants grow alongside dusty roads in the Aramaic-Maronite village of Jish. Pink and red potted flowers decorate the doorsteps of most homes, and the intensity of the midday sun enhances their color. It’s been several months since I returned from a trip I took to Israel with an organization called Passages. During the trip, my group visited this particular village in the Galilee region to meet with a community of Arameans, an ancient people with a distinct culture, who have been severely persecuted throughout Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria for more than 1,400 years.

Most are unaware of this people and their plight. After hearing Shadi Khalloul, a Philos fellow and chairman of the Israeli Christian Aramaic Association (ICAA), speak at the Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch about the movement to revitalize the Aramaic language and culture, our group’s bus followed Khalloul in his car to a house in the middle of town, where rows of covered folding tables awaited us on the patio. Read more ..

After the Holocaust

In First, Yad Vashem to Bestow Righteous Gentile Honor to an Arab

October 24th 2017

Holocaust Tattoo

Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial center will for the first time recognize as “Righteous Among the Nations” an Arab who saved the lives of Jews during the Holocaust. The family of Dr. Mohamed Helmy will accept the award from Israel’s Holocaust memorial and museum in a ceremony in Berlin on Thursday.

Helmy, an Egyptian-born doctor living in Berlin, risked his life when he sheltered four Jews throughout the period of World War II.

Yad Vashem recognized Helmy, who died in 1982, as Righteous Among the Nations in 2013, but his family initially refused the honor because the institution is Israeli.

“If any other country offered to honor Helmy, we would have been happy with it,” said Mervat Hassan, the wife of Helmy’s grandnephew, told The Associated Press during an interview at her home in Cairo in October 2013. Now, after a four-year search, a relative was found who agreed to accept the award. Read more ..

NFL on Edge

Sliding NFL Ratings could Deliver Hit to TV Networks

October 22nd 2017

lonely football in stadium

The NFL's declining TV ratings, blamed by some on the national anthem controversy, could soon take a financial toll on the broadcasters that have spent tens of billions dollars for the right to air pro football, investment analysts say. 

Through the first five weeks of the season, ratings for the Sunday night game on 21st Century Fox's (FOXA) Fox Sports have slumped 7 percent from a year ago. NFL viewership at CBS (CBS), the parent company of CBSNews.com, has plunged 17 percent for Sunday match-ups and 8 percent on Thursday. The audience for NBC's "Sunday Night Football" game broadcast has dropped 4 percent.

ESPN's "Monday Night Football" is bucking the trend, posting a 6 percent gain for the season to date. The sports cable network is owned by Disney (DIS). Read more ..

The Caliphate

Raqqa Liberated From ISIS, Commander With US-Backed Syrian Forces Says

October 17th 2017


The Syrian city of Raqqa was liberated from ISIS fighters Tuesday, a commander with U.S.-backed Syrian forces said, announcing the "fall of the capital of terrorism."

The loss deprived the terror group of the capital of its so-called caliphate, which has dwindled from a land mass spanning two countries to a sliver of space in Syria.

The last group of Islamic State militants had been holed up Tuesday in a stadium in the Syrian city of Raqqa, their last stand as U.S. backed, Kurdish-led forces closed in around them.

Brig. Gen. Talal Sillo told The Associated Press on Tuesday there were no longer clashes going on in the city, and that a formal declaration would follow befitting "the fall of the capital of terrorism." Read more ..

The Edge of Disaster

Will Italy’s Ominous Supervolcano Erupt Soon?

October 14th 2017

Volcano erupting

Tragedy struck at the Solfatara volcano crater north of Naples a few weeks ago. An 11-year-old boy climbed over a low, wooden fence, ventured onto the chalky moonscape, and fell into an open fissure. His parents frantically tried to pull him out, just as the hollow floor of the crater crumbled, sending them all to their deaths in a gaseous pit of boiling gray mud, as the family’s seven-year-old boy watched in horror. The accident was a freak occurrence, responsible for the only recorded deaths on this crater in centuries. But those hot gases hold an ominous story: Solfatara is part of the massive Phlegrean Fields, a threatening supervolcano experts agree could begin erupting anytime. Read more ..

Historians on Edge

After Michael Marrus Race Comment College Says Offensive Incident Shows Need to Reform

October 9th 2017

U of Toronto Massey College

A student complaint about racially offensive comments made by a retired University of Toronto professor shows the need to consider more formal governance structures and codes of conduct for Massey College students, faculty and visiting researchers, says Hugh Segal, the head of the college.

"Should we evolve as we move to an era where governance is more specific and organized than it has been in the past?" Mr. Segal said. "I think governance sometimes has to change to deal with more complex matters."

Massey is a residential college for graduate students that is affiliated with the University of Toronto, but independently governed. It has long been run by its own governing body and has fewer formal rules and codes of conduct for its members than the university does.

For example, student members have a code of conduct, but faculty or visiting members, called "senior fellows," do not. For the past week, the college has been at the centre of public debate over a comment made by retired history professor Michael Marrus, who resigned as a senior fellow this week.


America on Edge

Democrats Refuse to Honor Las Vegas Shooting Victims

October 6th 2017

Capitol Hill

Three liberal Democrats boycotted the moment of silence on Tuesday at the House of Representatives for the 58 persons who were killed on Sunday evening in Las Vegas. Reps. Katherine Clark (D-MA), Jim Himes (D-CT) and Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) remained true to their promise made in June 2016 in the aftermath of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting in which a Muslim terrorist killed 49 and injured 58 in Miami. Clark said that such displays of mourning or respect are but "empty gestures."

Moulton tweeted on Tuesday, “As after Orlando, I will NOT be joining my colleagues in a moment of silence on the House Floor that just becomes an excuse for inaction.” Moulton, an Iraq War veteran, says he wants “basic gun reform.” He tweeted a challenge to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI): “We can do something about this. Most Americans – including gun owners – support common sense action. What about you, Speaker Ryan?” Read more ..

The North Korean Threat

North Korean Ship was seized off Egypt with Weapons Destined for Cairo

October 3rd 2017


Last August, a secret message was passed from Washington to Cairo warning about a mysterious vessel steaming toward the Suez Canal. The bulk freighter named Jie Shun was flying Cambodian colors but had sailed from North Korea, the warning said, with a North Korean crew and an unknown cargo shrouded by heavy tarps.

Armed with this tip, customs agents were waiting when the ship entered Egyptian waters. They swarmed the vessel and discovered, concealed under bins of iron ore, a cache of more than 30,000 rocket-propelled grenades. It was, as a United Nations report later concluded, the “largest seizure of ammunition in the history of sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”

But who were the rockets for? The Jie Shun’s final secret would take months to resolve and would yield perhaps the biggest surprise of all: The buyers were the Egyptians themselves. Read more ..

Broken Borders

Immigration Raids Yield Arrest Results

September 30th 2017

Border Patrol

In multiple raids in several cities, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested nearly 500 persons wanted for immigration violations during a four-day operation that ended on Wednesday. Operation ‘Safe City’ allowed ICE to arrest 498 persons in cities and regions where officers are denied access to jails and prisons by local authorities to interview suspected immigration violators or jurisdictions where ICE detainers are not honored. 

In the so-called “sanctuary” cities and other jurisdictions, ICE targeted foreigners from some 42 different countries who have criminal convictions, pending criminal charges, gang affiliations, immigration fugitives, fugitives who illegally re-entered America after deportation. However, persons who currently benefit from the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy (DACA) were not targeted. Read more ..

NFL on Edge

NFL Boycott Declared For Veterans Day Weekend, Tens Of Thousands Vow Support

September 28th 2017

lonely football in stadium

Thousands upset over NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem are planning a boycott of the NFL.

Hundreds of NFL players, owners and coaches decided to link arms, take a knee or sit out the anthem completely in Sunday’s games after President Trump repeatedly tweeted about the issue over the weekend. At a rally in Alabama, the president also called a player who kneels during the national anthem a “son of a bitch.” The tweets and comments ignited a firestorm of debate in the media and in the NFL.

Are NFL players' kneeling protests hurting TV ratings and even, perhaps, driving down TV stocks?

The answer is likely to be as hotly contested as an NFL line of scrimmage. NFL ratings are down for the just-started season, just as they were last season, and the stocks of the major networks that have broadcast NFL games are falling, too. President Trump has linked the NFL's ratings, which he called "massively, massively" down, and players kneeling during the anthem, suggesting they were turning fans away. Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Bin Laden Heir Breathes New Destructive Energy Into Al Qaeda

September 26th 2017

Osama bin-Laden preaching

Since the start of his presidential campaign, Donald Trump has sworn to destroy ISIS, threatening to be "nasty" and to "annihilate" the terrorist group and its leaders by "bombing the s*** out of them."

But is he missing the larger threat?

"We need to start preparing for a big comeback by al-Qaeda" former FBI terrorism expert Ali Soufan told PRI earlier this month. The author of Anatomy of Terror: From The Death of Bin Laden To the Rise of the Islamic State, Soufan is one of many who warn of an Al-Qaeda resurgence, likely to take place under Osama bin Laden's charismatic 28-year-old son, Hamza.

Canadian counterterrorism expert Mubin Shaikh agrees. "The thing that everyone keeps getting wrong about Al Qaeda is because of what AQ's Al Suri said long ago," he wrote in a recent e-mail. "Al Qaeda is a system, a methodology, not a group per se." Indeed, as ISIS loses territory in Syria and Iraq, Al Qaeda's influence and power is growing. Some experts have speculated about a potential ISIS-Al Qaeda merger. Others point to the demise of ISIS as a motivation for Al Qaeda operatives to strengthen their recruiting efforts, and as reason for newly-inspired would-be jihadists to turn to Al Qaeda in its place. Read more ..

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