Sunday, September 22, 2013

From Ian:

'Failure to condemn soldier's murder proves PA not seeking peace'
MK Avigdor Lieberman says PA leaders encourage murders of Israelis. Deputy Defense Minister Danon says murder was a result of incitement on behalf of Palestinian leadership. Housing Minister Ariel: Release of Palestinian prisoners results in bloodshed.
Separation Fence Breach Enabled Abduction
The murderer and his victim passed throught the breach, members of the Council said, in order to reach the Arab villages next to the community. Thousands of PA residents pass through the same breach daily, on their way to work in Israel. “Residents of the communities in the area warned repeatedly that terrorists could pass through the breach but the security establishment did not take action to stop the phenomenon,” activists said.
Man who Murdered Soldier Tried to Kidnap Before
“Nidal apparently was planning this for a long time,” she told Galei Tzahal (IDF Radio). “He didn’t target Tomer right away, he tried to take other people at first. But apparently Tomer was talked into it, because he was an innocent guy.”
She added, “I think that as soon as Tomer got in the cab and realized they were going to Kalkilya and there was no business deal or anything, he must have tried to run.”
Murdered Israeli soldier nameless in BBC report
Notably, whilst the suspected murderer is personalised with his name and age, the soldier is not. He remains a nameless, faceless, ageless entity for BBC audiences.
Fresh gunfire in Kenya mall as death toll climbs to 59
The radical rebel group al-Shabab from neighboring Somalia claimed responsibility for the attack, which specifically targeted non-Muslims, saying it was retribution for the Kenyan forces’ 2011 push into Somalia. The group threatened more attacks.
After assaulting the mall Saturday afternoon, the attackers were surrounded by a combined police and military force throughout the night. Trucks brought a fresh contingent of soldiers from the Kenya Defense Forces to the mall shortly after dawn Sunday morning.
Kenyans and foreigners, including French and Canadian citizens, were among those confirmed dead. “Violent extremists continue to occupy Westgate Mall. Security services are there in full force,” said the US Embassy in an emergency text message issued Sunday morning.
BBC backgrounder claims Palestinian leadership renounced terror twenty five years ago
Only in September 1993 did Arafat undertake to have the articles in the Palestinian National Charter which deny Israel’s right to exist brought to the PNC for removal, although it took over five more years before any action was taken, even according to the most optimistic accounts. The BBC’s claim that the PNC accepted a two-state solution in 1988 is therefore highly tendentious. The BBC article fails to point out to readers that its cited “UN resolution 181 in 1947? – which was never more than a recommendation – has no legal standing, having been rejected by the Arab states.
And what of the claim made in this article that the Palestinian National Council “renounced terrorism” in 1988? The declaration itself – as one would expect from the legislative arm of a terrorist organization – extols terrorism in no uncertain terms:
Islamic Movement leaders warn of 'Israeli plan to destroy al-Aksa Mosque'
Tens of thousands of Israeli-Arabs attended the "Al-Aksa is in Danger" rally in Umm al-Fahm on Friday, organized by the Islamic Movement's northern branch.
The festival came some two weeks after Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic Movement's northern branch, was arrested and subsequently ordered by the Jerusalem District Court to stay at least 30 kilometers away from the Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount. Salah had given an inflammatory speech, calling for violence against Jews at the Temple Mount.
Arab MK: Prevent Jews from ‘Contaminating’ Temple Mount
In a televised interview with Arab media, Tibi can be heard saying he is “confident” that the Israeli “occupation” of Jerusalem will end, “and our voice will rise up here at the Al-Aqsa mosque, and we won’t let these people [Jews] contaminate it.”
In a separate interview, Tibi argued that attempts by MK Miri Regev (Likud) to gradually change the status quo on the Temple Mount to give Jewish worshipers more rights constitutes a “declaration of war.”
Lebanon: End to Hezbollah Reign as Army Steps In
Lebanon’s government has announced that it will send the national army to secure Hezbollah-dominated suburbs in the south of the country, including the terrorist movement’s stronghold in the Dahiyeh neighborhood of Beirut.
The decision to send soldiers into Lebanese cities comes in the wake of multiple recent bombing attacks. The attacks have left more than 70 people dead and over 1,000 wounded.
US and allies target Hezbollah financing, ties in Africa
The United States and its allies are clamping down on suspected Hezbollah activity in West Africa, which Washington says is a major source of cash for the Lebanese group as its patron Iran feels the pinch of sanctions.
The push coincides with Hezbollah's deepening role in Syria, where it has dispatched thousands of fighters to back President Bashar Assad. It also comes in the wake of attacks outside Lebanon linked to Hezbollah that Western experts say are part of global campaign that could soon include Africa.
A sneak peek at the IDF units who would be key in future Iran strike
Nestled deep in the maze of an Israel Air Force base, secretive units form an essential component in any Israeli air strike in enemy territory with air defenses.
Indeed, they would have been an inseparable part of recent air force strikes in Syria, attributed to Israel by foreign media reports, to stop the transfer of sophisticated missiles and air defenses to Hezbollah.
No potential future air campaign in Iran, against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear sites, would be possible without the units.
This is the Electronic Warfare (EW) Section, which is made up of two units.
Iranian Military Parades Missiles Capable of Hitting Israel
Iran paraded 30 missiles with a nominal range of 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) - the first time it had displayed so many with the theoretical capacity to hit Israeli targets.
The missiles on show included 12 Sejil and 18 Ghadr missiles, at the annual parade marking the 25th anniversary of the outbreak of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.
The stated range of both missiles would put not only Israel but also US bases in the Gulf within reach.
US reassures Israel it won’t fall for Rouhani’s charms
Administration officials have had several conversations with their Israeli counterparts recently to assure them that Rouhani’s outreach — which has seen the new Iranian president give a US TV interview, pen an op-ed in the Washington Post, and send other conciliatory messages to the US — will not prompt a reduction in sanctions pressure designed to thwart Iran’s nuclear drive, Israel’s Channel 2 reported on Friday night.
Rouhani says Iran must retain right to enrich uranium in any deal with West
The new Iranian president said on Sunday that Tehran was ready for negotiations with Western powers provided they set no pre-conditions.
Rouhani spoke about negotiations with the West when addressing the military parade on Sunday to commemorate the annual "Sacred Defense Week".
"In these talks all the rights of Iran, including nuclear and enrichment rights on our own territory should be accepted within the framework of international law," he said, according to state news agency IRNA.
Muslim Brotherhood Official, Former Clinton Foundation Employee Arrested
A senior Muslim Brotherhood official who, until recently, had been employed by the William J. Clinton Foundation was arrested in Cairo on Tuesday and charged with inciting violence.
Turkish Court Sentences World-Famous Pianist, Government Critic to Jail for Blasphemy
World-renowned Turkish pianist Fazil Say has been sentenced to 10 months in prison for blasphemy, following a retrial over social media posts he made criticizing Islam:
Finland: Apology for 'Anti-Semitic' Athletics Ruling in 1938
In a small but symbolic gesture, the Finnish Amateur Athletic Association (SUL) has apologized for revoking an obvious 100 meter victory from a Jewish athlete in Helsinki in June 1938.
"Any manipulation of the results is shocking and goes against our fundamental values in sports ...On behalf of the SUL, I present my sincerest apologies to those who have suffered injustices and to their families," SUL chairman Vesa Harmaakorpi said in a statement published late Wednesday.
Tel Aviv University to open Israel studies research center at Shanghai university
Tel Aviv University has established the first research center for Israel Studies in China, at Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, which was inaugurated last week in the presence of both university presidents.
JTU President Zhang Jie said the center aims to “achieve three main goals: Research on contemporary Israel and Sino-Israeli relations; promotion of academic and students exchanges; as well as technological cooperation.”
Jie also stressed the importance of “the long historical relations between Shanghai and the Jewish people.” (h/t Zvi)
How serendipity in an Israeli lab led to drought-resistant plants
Plant biologist Shimon Gepstein did not set out to find a revolutionary technology that has been successfully producing drought-resistant rice, wheat, sugar beets, cotton, millet and other food crops in several countries.
He and his staff were tinkering with the “juvenile” plant hormone cytokinin to see if they could grow tobacco with a longer growth period and shelf life. The experiments worked beautifully — and then they neglected to water the genetically engineered plants for a few weeks. Surprisingly, after being re-watered they bounced back to life.
And so Gepstein discovered that cytokinin also increases a plant’s ability to withstand drought. Scientists across the world have long looked for biological plant mechanisms that can be engineered to boost drought resistance.

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