If by any means I may provoke to emulation [them which are] my flesh, and might save some of them.”
(Romans 11:14)
Provoke To Emulation

***

WND

RETRIAL FOR JESUS: NEW CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED IN ISRAEL

To fix initial 'rigged' event that took place 2,000 years ago

Published: February 7, 2017

BOB UNRUH

A Jewish Orthodox scholar is proposing an Old Testament ceremony, the redemption of the firstborn, to return Jesus of Nazareth to the Jewish fold and then hold a retrial at which he could be acquitted.

The first trial, two millennia ago, resulted in Jesus’ condemnation by the high priests for blasphemy, his crucifixion by the Roman conquerors and his resurrection through which Christians worldwide believe they can receive salvation and life eternal.

The Jewish authorities, however, have been libeled ever since as “Christ-killers” and more.

One scholar, Ariel Cohen Alloro, while not “an official rabbi,” is a student of one of today’s great rabbis and a longtime student of Judaism and Christianity. He is proposing the “traditional Pidyon haBen” ceremony – the “Redeeming of the Firstborn Son” – to welcome Jesus, known to the Jews as Yeshua, “back to his Jewish family and remove all the old taboos and restrictions related to his name from the Jewish Orthodox standpoint.”

He said the next step should be to open a public retrial on behalf of Yeshua in the presence of 10 most important rabbis in Israel, “meant to fix the initial rigged trial that took place 2,000 years ago and to clarify in front of the whole world all the aspects and issues related to this delicate subject.”

“Alloro is trying to generate interest in his plan on his Facing Each Other website as well as on Facebook.

He comments on his hopes in an online video:

He was profiled this week by the Jerusalem Channel TV:

iframe plugin v.4.2 wordpress.org/plugins/iframe/

Show host Christine Darg described Alloro as a well-respected Israeli Bible scholar who has studied the Hebrew Scriptures for more than three decades.

“Although not an ordained rabbi, Ariel Cohen Alloro is called ‘rabbi’ by many of his followers due to his years of scholarship. He has developed a Jewish Orthodox view of Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew) from an insider’s perspective. Alloro insists that he is not a missionary, nor a messianic, but a scholar within the Chasidic stream of Judaism,” she reported.

She explains one of the conditions to Jesus’ return has been that the Jewish people must summon him and welcome him back.

She described how just as, in the Old Testament, Joseph was sold by his family, “so Jesus was sold by his kinsmen.”

The first step, then, Alloro suggests, is to follow Old Testament instructions for the redemption of the first-born.

Then, he hopes, a retrial would exonerate Jesus of the allegations leveled by the high priests at the time.

“Israel’s native son never should have been sold down the river, so to speak,” he explained.

Alloro’s argument is that the retrial of Jesus is necessary because the original trial before the high priest in the middle of the night was illegal.

Alloro’s website welcomes people to “the virtual tent of meeting between Judaism and Christianity.”

He explained: “After 2,000 years of ideological misunderstandings and misconceptions between Judaism and Christianity, The Facing-Each-Other initiative is undertaking an historical, major, crucial task to reach authentic reconciliation between the two main streams of faith that have both emerged from the same Torah received on Mount Sinai.”

He said the Jewish Rabbinical Institution hasn’t responded yet to his request for a retrial of Jesus.

“Currently it is in an advanced process of negotiations through one of the great rabbinical authorities now[a]days,” he said.

Alloro continued: “If you are a Christian from any denomination, a Hebraic Roots follower or a believer in Yeshua, you will find amazing resources here on the Facing-Each-Other website. Are you looking for a gateway to connect your faith with the genuine roots? You are at the right place! The Facing-Each-Other site is still at its first draft, so hopefully soon, we will turn it into a proper educational center in the near future.”

(To view the original article plus two videos click on the link below.)

Retrial

***

theguardian
Nun receives death threats for suggesting Mary was not a virgin

Lucía Caram sparks anger in Spain after appearing to contradict Catholic teaching on perpetual virginity of mother of Jesus

Sister Lucía Caram created a storm by saying: ‘I think Mary was in love with Joseph and that they were a normal couple – and having sex is a normal thing.’ Photograph: Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images

Thursday 2 February 2017 15.33

GMT

Last modified on Thursday 2 February 2017 22.00 GMT

A nun in Spain who says she received death threats for suggesting that Mary probably had sex with her husband, Joseph, has apologised for any offence caused but accused her critics of deliberately misunderstanding her point.

Sister Lucía Caram, a well-known Dominican nun with more than 183,000 Twitter followers, appeared to contradict church teaching when she appeared on Spanish TV on Sunday to discuss sex and faith.

“I think Mary was in love with Joseph and that they were a normal couple – and having sex is a normal thing,” she told the Chester in Love show, adding: “It’s hard to believe and hard to take in. We’ve ended up with the rules we’ve invented without getting to the true message.”

Caram, who was born in Argentina but lives in a Catalan convent, said sexuality was a God-given, basic part of every individual and a means of self-expression. However, she said it was something the church had long struggled with.

“I think the church has had a poor attitude to it for a long time and has swept it a bit under the carpet,” she said. “It wasn’t a taboo subject; it was more something that was considered dirty or hidden. It was the denial of what I believe to be a blessing.”

The nun’s remarks prompted a wave of online anger, including an online petition for her to be suspended from her order.

Her views were quickly disowned by the Bishop of Vic, who responded with a statement reminding people that Mary’s virginity had been an article of faith since the church’s inception.

“[It] was gathered and proclaimed by the Second Council of Constantinople, being the primary Marian dogma observed by Catholic and Orthodox Christians,” it said.

“We remind people that these remarks do not conform to the faith of the church and regret the confusion they may have caused to the faithful.”

On Wednesday, Caram issued a statement in which she said she had received death threats after her TV appearance.

“When asked about the Virgin Mary, I said that, as I see it, Mary obviously loved Joseph … I wanted to say that it wouldn’t shock me if she had had a normal couple’s relationship with Joseph, her husband.

“This shocked a lot of people, perhaps because there was no opportunity for clarification. But I think that my fidelity to, and love for, the church, the gospel and Jesus’s project are clear – as it the certainty that sex is neither dirty nor something to be condemned, and that marriage and sex are a blessing.”

She added that while she apologised to anyone who felt offended, she was worried by the “fragmented, ideological and perverse” way in which her remarks had been interpreted. The nun said that “some heretic-bashers, thirsting for vengeance and driven by hatred” had lied about her and made “serious threats, including to my life”.

It is not the first time that the nun has found herself in trouble with her superiors. A self-declared “pain-in-the-arse nun”, she has engaged in politics and made plain her enthusiasm for Catalan independence.

(“While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him” (Matthew 12:46).

Now Jesus' mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd” (Luke 8:19).

Then Jesus' mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him” (Mark 3:31).

***

WND

ARCHAEOLOGISTS ANNOUNCE NEW DEAD SEA SCROLLS DISCOVERY

'The most important in the last 60 years in the caves of Qumran'

Published: February 9, 2017

Entrance to Dead Sea Scrolls Cave 12 (Photo: Casey L. Olson and Oren Gutfeld)

It hasn’t happened since 1956, but Israeli archaeologists are announcing the discovery of a new cave – the 12th so far – used by Jews of the Second Temple era to hide scrolls containing copies of the Hebrew Bible and other texts.

“This is one of the most exciting archaeological discoveries, and the most important in the last 60 years, in the caves of Qumran,” said Oren Gutfield of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology, co-discoverer with his colleague Ahiad Ovadia.

The discovery and excavation were part of “Operation Scroll,” a program of the Israel Antiquities Authority to systematically survey the Judean Desert to identify all its caves and to explore them.

The present find was the initiative of one Operation Scroll volunteer, Professor Randall Price who serves on the faculty of Liberty University, that brought about the excavation of the cave that had been briefly examined in 1993.

Price received permission last year for the excavation he helped carry out with Liberty University volunteers last month with Gutfield and Ovadia.

The new discovery, designated Q12, revealed that at one time, the cave had contained scrolls but all had been looted, as determined by a pair of iron pickax heads from the 1950s found at the site. But storage jars and lids like those found in other Qumran caves were present, though broken and emptied.

Evidence of looting raises questions about the provenance of scroll fragments attributed to the previously known caves. In October 2016, the IAA unveiled a 4.3 inch by 1 inch papyrus fragment carbon seized from looters and dated to the 7th century B.C. that contained the oldest-known mention of Jerusalem in Hebrew.

“This exciting excavation is the closest we’ve come to discovering new Dead Sea scrolls in 60 years. Until now, it was accepted that Dead Sea scrolls were found only in 11 caves at Qumran, but now there is no doubt that this is the 12th cave,” said Gutfeld.

“Finding this additional scroll cave means we can no longer be certain that the original locations (Caves 1 through 11) attributed to the Dead Sea scrolls that reached the market via the Bedouins are accurate.”

In addition to the broken storage jars, fragments of cloth that once wrapped scrolls, a string used to bind the scrolls and a piece of worked leather that was a part of a scroll were found. Pottery chards, flint blades, arrowheads and a stamp seal made of semi-precious carnelian revealed human activity in the cave going back thousands of years before the it was used to hide holy Scripture.

“Although at the end of the day no scroll was found, and instead we ‘only’ found a piece of parchment rolled up in a jug that was being processed for writing, the findings indicate beyond any doubt that the cave contained scrolls that were stolen.”

The find is the first success for Operation Scroll and is seen as evidence more biblical material may still remain, untouched, hidden in the Judean desert.

“The important discovery of another scroll cave attests to the fact that a lot of work remains to be done in the Judean Desert and finds of huge importance are still waiting to be discovered,” said Israel Hasson, director-general of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

“We are in a race against time as antiquities thieves steal heritage assets worldwide for financial gain. The State of Israel needs to mobilize and allocate the necessary resources in order to launch a historic operation, together with the public, to carry out a systematic excavation of all the caves of the Judean Desert.”

***

ACTIVIST POST

Want A Job In The Future? Get Ready To Become A Cyborg — Companies Have Begun Implanting Employees With RFID Chips

TOPICS:EmploymentMelissa DykesMicrochipRFID

FEBRUARY 9, 2017

By Melissa Dykes


The dystopic future is quickly becoming the dystopic present.

This is something we’re about to see a lot more of in the coming years.

A Belgian marketing firm called NewFusion has microchipped its staff, replacing their traditional ID cards with RFID chips implanted in their hands.

The Daily Mail reports:

The radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips are about the same size as a grain of rice and store personal security information which can be transmitted over short distances to special receivers.

RFID chips can already be found in contactless cards, including banks cards and the Oyster system which is used by more than 10 million people to pay for public transport in London.

AP WP Responsive

They are also similar to the chips implanted in pets.

The ones used at NewFusion cost around €100 each (£85 or $106) and are inserted between the thumb and index finger…

In 2015, a Swedish company implanted microchips in its staff which allowed them to use the photocopier, open security doors and even pay for their lunch.

More and more companies are going to start implanting their workers with RFID chips.

At least 10,000 people worldwide have already willingly microchipped themselves, and the practice has progressed to the point that RFID chip implant kits complete with a sterile injector system can be purchased online.

Hannes Sjoblad, the chief disruption officer at the Swedish bio-hacking group BioNyfiken, which implanted the chips into the Epicenter workers, told The Times: “We want to be able to understand this technology before big corporates and big government come to us and say everyone should get chipped – the tax authority chip, the Google or Facebook chip…”

Physically microchipping one’s self is already being normalized and pushed as the next technological advance for safety and security. You can already see talk of how “convenient” and “secure” chipping one’s self will be in the future because passwords and ID cards can so easily get lost, right?

Mega tech companies already have microchips for payment like its mark of the beast straight out of the Bible … they just haven’t found a way to necessitate and sell it to the public yet. The casual programming of the population to accept this new tech can be found all over, including commercials like this one:.

Every time I see this commercial about our trendy, microchipped future, I wonder what happens if someone’s chip were to say get turned off, like Sandra Bullock’s life was in The Net?

The US military has already held meetings to discuss the feasibility of microchipping all of its soldiers to be able to track them via GPS.

In addition, big pharma companies like GlaxoSmithKline are working on “bioelectronics” — implanted microchips that will send electrical signals to various parts of the brain for medical purposes such as healing ailments. Sounds good initially until you think about it for more than two seconds.

This is to say nothing of the legal and health issues surrounding the implantation of these chips.

And yet, tech experts claim that within the next decade, at least half of Americans will be microchipped.

You might say that sounds crazy, but if you’ve been to Disneyland or Disneyworld any time in the last decade, then you will see how ready and willing people are to scan their fingers and give up their biometric information for convenience. Sure, there’s an opt-out option, but does anyone actually bother or do the majority just go along with whatever they’re told to do for their “safety and convenience”?

If there was for example a “Facebook chip” that allowed people to interact with Facebook faster or a Google chip or a Smartphone texting chip or a video game chip or an insert a thousand other examples here chip … how many millions if not billions of people do you think would readily line up to get one in the name of “safety and convenience”?

But, for all those dissenters who wouldn’t make that choice, there’s always the fact that the House just passed a vaguely worded bill that will allow the government to microchip citizens including children with “mental disabilities.”

Welcome to the dystopic present.

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple

***

BREAKINGISRAELNEWS

Temple in the Forest: Sanhedrin Begins Planting Third Temple Offerings

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz February 6, 2017 , 1:30 pm

I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia-tree, and the myrtle, and the oil-tree; I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane-tree, and the larch together.” Isaiah 41:19 (The Israel Bible™)

Olive trees on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. (Shutterstock)

The nascent Sanhedrin is setting out to reinstate the Biblical Temple forest as part of their ongoing effort to bring the Third Temple into existence and has already begun planting around Israel to provide the agricultural needs of the Third Temple.

Rabbi Hillel Weiss, spokesman for the Sanhedrin, explained that the Temple was central to Israel as an agricultural nation strongly connected to its land. The Temple provided a link between the land, and the Divine.

“When people think about sacrifices, they think about animals and blood,” Rabbi Weiss said. “But most of the sacrifices were, in fact, from plants, grown around Israel.”

Many of the elements for the daily Temple service were agricultural and specific to the Temple. Semolina was frequently brought as a sacrifice with olive oil. The wine libation came from vines cultivated using a specific method. Rabbi Weiss pointed out that even some minor aspects of the Temple service required vast agricultural resources.

“The Mishna (Talmud) states that the Passover Lamb was roasted on a stick from a pomegranate tree,” noted Rabbi Weiss. “When the Temple is built, we will need millions of these sticks. Last week we planted 30 pomegranate trees, and this is clearly a very small step towards what we will need after the Temple is built.”

Ever-present on the altar were three piles of wood: the first for burning the animal sacrifices, the second for making coals to burn the incense, and the third for the perpetual altar fire commanded by the Bible.

And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the Kohen shall burn wood on it every morning.” Leviticus 6:5

The wood used in these arrangements were considered sacrifices. In the Second Temple period, the wood was provided as an annual offering.

And we cast lots, the Kohanim, the Leviim, and the people, for the wood-offering, to bring it into the house of our God. “Nehemiah 10:35

There are many different plants required for the Temple, each with its own special conditions. The Sanhedrin’s new Temple forests are dispersed around Israel to provide the specific conditions suitable for each plant. In the Hebron Hills, they planted 30 Cedars of Lebanon and several pomegranate trees. In Kochav Hashachar overlooking the Jordan Valley, they planted half an acre of grapevines surrounded by Cedars. In Shaarei Tikvah in Samaria, cinnamon trees, one of the 11 ingredients in the Temple incense, are ready to be planted. In Itamar, a vineyard of 200 vines has been dedicated to Temple use. Seven date palms were planted in the Western Negev for use in the Shavuot offering.

The Sanhedrin is also making efforts to plant in the site of the recently destroyed community of Amona as an expression of connection to the land.

“In Biblical times, planting trees was one of the ways ownership of the land was expressed, but for now, it will be an act of healing,” said Rabbi Weiss, quoting Ecclesiastes.

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. Ecclesiastes 3:2

The idea of the Temple forest appears in the Bible, when Abraham planted a forest in Be’er Sheva.

And Avraham planted a tamarisk-tree in Be’er Sheva, and called there on the name of Hashem, the Everlasting God. Genesis 21:33

Later, when Jacob returned to Be’er Sheva, homiletical teachings on Genesis collected in the fifth century describe him visiting the forest his grandfather planted in order to take seedlings down to Egypt.

And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Be’er Sheva, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Yitzchak. Genesis 46:1

These seedlings grew into trees and plants that were used by the Nation of Israel when they built the tabernacle.

The arboreal needs of the Temple are mentioned again in the Book of Nehemiah, when a wood offering is brought to the Second Temple.

And we cast lots, the Kohanim, the Leviim, and the people, for the wood-offering, to bring it into the house of our God, Nehemiah 10:35

“The Temple, as a House of Prayer for all Nations, was meant as a tikkun (fixing) for the entire world,” said Rabbi Weiss. “Reinstating the plants in Israel dedicated to maintaining the Temple paves the way to fix the plants and ecology in other places, as well.”

***

MONDOWEISS

Netanyahu scandals reflect corruption at the heart of Israeli society

Israel/Palestine Jonathan Cook on February 3, 2017

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in danger of being brought down, possibly soon, over what initially appears to be little more than an imprudent taste for Cuban cigars and pink champagne.

In truth, however, the allegations ensnaring Netanyahu reveal far more than his personal flaws or an infatuation with the high life. They shine a rare light on the corrupt nexus between Israel’s business, political and media worlds, compounded by the perverse influence of overseas Jewish money.

Of the two police investigations Netanyahu faces (there are more in the wings), the one known as Case 1000, concerning gifts from businessmen worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, is most likely to lead to his downfall.

But it is the second investigation, Case 2000, and the still-murky relationship between the two cases, that more fully exposes the rot at the heart of Israel’s political system. This latter case hinges on a tape recording in which Netanyahu plots with an Israeli newspaper tycoon to rig media coverage in his favor.

Leads from both cases suggest that Netanyahu may have been further meddling, together with his billionaire friends, in the shadowy world of international espionage.

Cigars and champagne

Netanyahu’s appetite for a free lunch has been common knowledge in Israel since his first term as prime minister in the late 1990s. Then, he was twice investigated for fraud, though controversially charges were not brought in either case. Police discovered along the way that he and his wife, Sara, had horded many of the gifts he received during state visits. More than 100 were never recovered.

The clarifications that were issued more than 15 years ago, as a result of those investigations, make it hard for Netanyahu to claim now that he did not understand the rules. According to justice ministry advice in 2001, government and state officials cannot keep gifts worth more than $100 without risking violating Israeli law.

The gifts Netanyahu received from one of the Israeli businessmen involved in Case 1000, Hollywood film producer Arnon Milchan, amounted to as much as $180,000. Netanyahu has argued that these presents, ranging from cigars to jewelry, were expressions of a close friendship rather than bribes to him in his capacity as prime minister.

The problem, however, is that Netanyahu appears to have reciprocated by using his position as head of the Israeli government to lobby John Kerry, the then U.S. secretary of state, to gain Milchan a 10-year U.S. residency visa. He may have done more. We will return to that matter later.

Also being investigated are his family’s ties to a friend of Milchan’s, Australian billionaire James Packer, who made his fortune in the media and gambling industries. Packer has similarly lavished gifts on the Netanyahu family, especially Yair, Netanyahu’s eldest son.

At the same time, Packer, now a neighbor of the Netanyahus in the coastal town of Caesarea, has been seeking permanent residency and the enormous benefits that would accrue with tax status in Israel. As a non-Jew, Packer should have no hope of being awarded residency. There are suspicions that Netanyahu may have been trying to pull strings on the Australian’s behalf.

Many of these gifts were apparently not given freely. The Netanyahus asked for them. Indicating that Netanyahu knew there might be legal concerns, he used code words – “leaves” for cigars and “pinks” for champagne – to disguise his orders to Milchan.

Police are reported to be confident, after questioning Netanyahu three times, that they have enough evidence to indict him. If they do, Netanyahu will be under heavy pressure to resign.

Pattern of corruption

Disturbing as these allegations of corruption are, Case 2000 indicates that this is about more than one prime minister’s dubious ties to wealthy patrons.

David Ansalem, a political ally of Netanyahu’s, observed on Facebook recently: “In the past 30 years, no prime minister was free from involvement in [police] investigations.”

Ansalem was suggesting that Israeli bribery and fraud laws are too strict, and can easily catch out an unwary politician. But the reverse is more likely to be true: politicians are rapidly corrupted by their pursuit of power in Israel. In short, the corruption in Israel is institutionalized.

Netanyahu’s predecessor as prime minister, Ehud Olmert, was similarly the subject of several different investigations, and is currently serving a jail term for fraud over his involvement in a massive real estate deal when mayor of Jerusalem. He was also convicted of receiving cash in envelopes from a U.S. businessman, Morris Talansky, in return for political favors.

Before Olmert, Ariel Sharon was at the centre of many investigations of dubious financial connections with businessmen, including Israeli real estate magnate David Appel and the British Jewish businessman Cyril Kern. Sharon fell into a long-term coma, and later died, before the investigations could lead to an indictment.

This week a corruption investigation against Isaac Herzog, the opposition leader, was dropped, though inconsistencies in his testimony were sharply criticised by Israel’s attorney general. The investigation led to the indictment of Herzog’s campaign manager and a businessman.

Also this week, a former chief rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, was convicted of bribery and sentenced to for three and half years.

20 super-rich families

Corruption is rampant in part because of Israel’s extreme concentration of wealth. This is a trend in much of the developed world, but its effects are accentuated in Israel by the small scale of the economy. Research shows that as few as 20 families control most of the country’s wealth, particularly in sectors like real estate, banking, retail, transport and homeland security. It seems some of these super-rich families expect to buy political influence as well.

But there is also a combination of conditions, particular to Israel, that blur the distinctions between the personal and institutional, and that have ensured corruption flourishes.

The climate was probably set in 1948, when Israel was established on the ruins of another society. The building by Israel’s elites of a new, supposedly more equal society in the agricultural communities of the kibbutz and moshav was possible only through the wholesale theft of Palestinian land and homes. The Absentee Property Law of 1950 sanctioned an orgy of plundering by Israel’s upper and middle classes. That foundational culture is hard to eradicate.

Further, Israel’s highly militarised society discourages resistance to authoritarian practices. A 2014 survey by the Israel Democracy Institute, for example, found that only one in three Israeli Jews regarded Israel’s democratic character as supremely important.

This trend is reinforced by the sanctity of Israel’s security sector, which includes not only the military, but the many intelligence services, including the Mossad spy agency, Israel’s arms manufacturers, homeland security and cyber warfare firms, as well as more conventional industries.

Trust in the Israeli military stands at 90 per cent, and half of the Jewish public believe the security services should be allowed to operate against terror without any legal oversight, according to a survey last year. The secrecy surrounding this sector – and the expansive definition in Israel of “terrorism” – inculcates a consensus in favor of concealment and a set of values in which corruption is likely to thrive.

Safeguards are further undermined by Israel’s fractured social structure – religious vs. secular, Ashkenazim vs. Mizrahim, veterans vs. immigrants, liberals vs. settlers. The resulting tribalism creates oppositional interest groups seeking favors and patronage rather than accountability and transparency.

Corruption is especially flagrant in land dealings, both in Israel and the occupied territories. In the Negev, in Israel’s south, for example, vast stretches of territory have been seized, often from Bedouin owners who are nominally citzens of the state, and reallocated as private ranches to Jewish families in a non-transparent planning process.

The institutionalization of corruption is evident in the behavior of leading officials, especially in the field of law enforcement. The police chief, Roni Alsheikh, and a supreme court judge, Noam Sohlberg, both have long records of lawbreaking, by living in settlements in the occupied territories in violation of international law.

Even more glaring is the fact that Avi Cohen, the government official in charge of monitoring and enforcing planning laws in Israel, chiefly against Palestinian citizens, lives in the West Bank settlement “outpost” of Palgei Mayim, which is in violation of Israeli law too.

The shadow economy

But the reach of Israeli corruption is global.

As a self-declared Jewish state, one that formally regards every Jew in the world as being personally invested in Israel, a network of personal and financial ties that are intentionally opaque has developed between Israeli businesses and officials, on the one hand, and overseas Jewish organisations, donors, investors and criminals, on the other.

Israeli authorities are aware that criminal gangs with international connections, often in the former Soviet Union, recycle their money in the Israeli economy, often laundering it in real estate purchases. A leaked U.S. embassy cable in 2009 warned that Israel was in danger of becoming a “promised land” for organised crime.

The Haaretz newspaper observed recently that this underground economy had become so big – with an annual turnover reaching as much $39 billion – Israel could find itself on the same list as Iran as “one of the leading state financiers of global terrorism”.

Some of this shadow economy is authorised at the highest levels. Israel confers privileged status on international Zionist organisations like the Jewish National Fund and World Zionist Organisation that funnel in donations from Jews around the world. These “charitable” organisations enjoy semi-governmental status, even though they can operate outside Israel’s laws.

The WZO setttlement division, for example, secretly pumps money into illegal settlements in the West Bank, hiding the money even from Israel’s state auditors. Funds are moved around out of sight, leaving plenty of room for corruption among officials, in addition to the inherent illegality of the settlement enterprise.

And then there are the Jewish tycoons from the US, Canada, Europe and Australia who treat Israel as part of their philanthropic investment portfolio. Their reasons include ideological zeal to realise a Greater Israel, salving their consciences for not living in Israel, or extending their influence to the “safe haven” they or their family may need in times of trouble.

Most Israeli politicians rely on overseas Jewish funders. Netanyahu won his Likud party’s primaries in 2014 exclusively with the help of foreign donors, all but one of them American.

Personifying this unhealthy external interference in Israeli politics is Sheldon Adelson, the U.S. casino magnate who is Netanyahu’s main patron. Adelson has done much more than channel donations to Netanyahu’s campaign coffers. He created a newspaper to get Netanyahu elected and keep him in office.

The free daily Israel Hayom, founded 10 years ago, is now the biggest-circulation paper in Israel and is known locally as Bibi-ton, or Bibi’s newspaper, in reference to Netanyahu’s nickname. A recent investigation by Haaretz found that Adelson had sunk an astronomic sum into Israel Hayom – some $190 million in its first seven years alone – to keep it afloat.

At the same time, Adelson has been sponsoring Republican politicians, including the new occupant of the White House, Donald Trump, to ensure he has an outsize influence in the U.S. as well. Trump’s sudden conversion to Netanyahu’s pro-settlement agenda coincided with his need for Adelson’s support in the presidential campaign.

War against the media

Adelson and his Israel Hayom newspaper are at the heart of Netanyahu’s current troubles. The tapes in Case 2000 are audio recordings of conversations between Netanyahu and Arnon Mozes, the Israeli owner of the Yedioth Ahronoth media group, which includes the country’s largest paid-for newspaper. Mozes’ desperate need to save his business empire appears to have driven him into Netanyahu’s embrace.

Adelson and Netanyahu’s aim in establishing Israel Hayom in 2007 was not only to create a propaganda platform for Netanyahu. It was also intended to drive rival papers, especially Yedioth Ahronoth, out of business by forcing down their income from advertising revenue. U.S. businessman Adelson’s pockets are much deeper than those of Israeli businessman Mozes.

This was effectively a vendetta by Netanyahu and Adelson against Mozes for using his media empire, which once enjoyed near-monopoly status in Israel, to damage Netanyahu and support rival politicians. Yair Lapid, a former columnist at Yedioth, is today leader of the Yesh Atid party, a potential challenger to Netanyahu for prime minister. He has in the past received strong backing from his former paper.

In the tapes, Mozes and Netanyahu discuss a deal that would guarantee the Yedioth media group cheerlead for Netanyahu in return for his government passing legislation to limit Israel Hayom’s circulation and possibly force it to charge a cover price. The pair appear to have broken off contacts some time before Israel’s general election in March 2015.

Had the talks succeeded, Netanyahu would have enjoyed almost blanket support in the mainstream press. The holdout would have been the liberal, and very small-circulation, Haaretz daily.

Netanyahu was not prepared to rest there, however. After the 2015 election he appointed himself the communications minister so that he would have regulatory power over Israel’s broadcasters. Since then he has been waging a concerted battle to intimidate Israel’s two commercial TV stations, Channels 2 and 10. Even after the latest revelations, he remains in charge of the communications ministry.

From Hollywood to Mossad

Cases 1000 and 2000 share at least one figure in common. Milchan gave Netanyahu extravagant gifts over many years, but he is also reported to have acted as go-between, bringing arch-enemies Netanyahu and Mozes together. Milchan has his own financial stake in the media, in his case a holding in the Channel 10 TV station.

In addition, Milchan introduced Netanyahu to sympathetic businessmen, including his friend Packer, to discuss taking the ailing Yedioth media group off Mozes’ hands. Only last October he arranged for media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s son, Lachlan, to fly to Israel for one night for a secret meeting with Netanyahu.

Milchan is undoubtedly at the centre of the shadowy world of power and finance that corrupts public life in Israel. Not only is Milchan a highly influential Hollywood figure, having produced more than 100 films, but he has admitted that he is a former Mossad agent. He used his Hollywood connections to help make arms deals and secure parts for Israel’s nuclear weapons program.

One can only wonder whether Milchan was not effectively set up in his Hollywood career as a cover for his Mossad activities.

But Milchan, it seems, is still wielding influence in Israel’s twilight world of security.

Yossi Cohen was appointed head of the Mossad a year ago, after a government vetting committee accepted that he had no personal ties to Netanyahu. But Cohen forgot to mention that he is extremely close to Netanyahu’s high-flying friends – connections that are now under investigation.

Milchan set up a global security firm in 2008 called Blue Sky International, stuffed with Israeli security veterans. Packer soon became a partner. They developed close ties to Cohen, first while he was a senior official at the Mossad and later when he headed Israel’s national security council.

Before Cohen was appointed head of Mossad in December 2015, the pair had hoped to recruit him to their cyber-security operations. Cohen received several gifts from Packer, in violation of Israeli government rules, including a stay at one of his luxury hotels.

A source speaking to Haaretz said Blue Sky had “more than [a] direct line” to Netanyahu. They “would pull him out from anywhere, at any time, on any occasion.”

According to Haaretz’s military analyst, Amir Oren, the new disclosures raise serious questions about whether Milchan and Packer twisted Netanyahu’s arm to parachute Cohen into the post over the favored candidate. In return, Packer may have been hoping that Cohen would authorise exceptional Israeli residency for him, classifying him as a security asset.

Beyond this, one one can only speculate about how Cohen’s indebtedness to Milchan, Packer and Netanyahu might have influenced his decisions as head of the Mossad. It was only a few years ago that the former Mossad chief, Meir Dagan, was reported to have wrestled furiously with Netanyahu to stop him launching a military strike on Iran.

Prosecution drags feet

It is unclear for the time being whether the revelations are drawing to a close or will lead deeper into Israel’s twin netherworlds of financial corruption and security.

But what has emerged so far should be enough to finish off Netanyahu as prime minister. Whether it does so may depend on the extent of Israel’s compromised legal system. Attorney general Avichai Mendelblit was appointed by Netanyahu and is a political ally. He appears to have been dragging his feet as much as possible to slow down the police investigation, if not sabotage it.

But the weight of evidence is looking like it may prove too overwhelming. As political analyst Yossi Verter observed: “There’s no way that a police commissioner … appointed [by Netanyahu] and a cautious attorney general, who in the past was part of his close circle and one of his loyalists, would be putting him through the seven circles of hell if they weren’t convinced that there’s a solid basis for indictment and conviction.”

The next question for Netanyahu is whether he will step down if indicted. He should, if Olmert’s example is followed. But his officials are citing a 1993 high court ruling that allows a cabinet minister under indictment to remain in office. Certainly if Netanyahu chooses to stay on, his decision would be appealed to the court again. However, the judges may be reluctant to oust a sitting prime minister.

The court of public opinion is likely to be decisive in that regard. A recent poll shows few Israelis believe Netanyahu is innocent of the allegations. Some 54 per cent think he broke the law, while only 28 believe him. Opinion, however, is split evenly on whether he should resign.

Where next?

If past experience is any measure, Netanyahu will try to turn public opinion his way by increasing friction with the Palestinians and exploiting the international arena, especially his relations with the Trump administration. He may be expected to encourage Trump at the very least to posture more stridently against Iran.

Nonetheless, most observers assume Netanyahu is doomed – it is simply a matter of when. The odds are on an indictment in late spring, followed by elections in the fall, say Israeli analysts.

At this stage, none of his political rivals wants to be seen stabbing Netanyahu in the back. Most are keeping quiet. But behind the scenes, political leaders are hurrying to forge new alliances and extract political concessions while Netanyahu is wounded.

Naftali Bennett, the settler leader, is pushing aggressively for annexation of Ma’ale Adumim, a large settlement strategically located close to Jerusalem, as a prelude to further annexation of parts of the West Bank.

Who might succeed Netanyahu? Yair Lapid, of the centre-right Yesh Atid, is heading the polls, but that may in part reflect the disarray in Netanyahu’s Likud party. In a sign of where the deeper currents in Israeli society are leading, a Maariv poll last week showed that settler leader Naftali Bennett would win an election if he were to head the Likud.

Netanyahu now needs the help of all the powerful friends he can muster. His biggest ally, U.S. casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, may not be among them. After the revelations that Netanyahu was conspiring against him with Mozes, Adelson has cut back on Israel Hayom’s circulation and is reported to be offering less favorable coverage of the Netanyahus.

That could prove the final straw, sealing Netanyahu’s fate.

***

newser
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff

'Unimaginable' Radiation Detected in Fukushima Reactor

Tokyo Electric Power estimates 530 sieverts an hour

Posted Feb 3, 2017 4:04 PM CST

Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture on Nov. 22, 2016.

(Kyodo News via AP)

(NEWSER) – Exposure to 4 sieverts of radiation would kill 50% of people, according to Japan's National Institute of Radiological Sciences, per Japan Times. That's less than 1% of the radiation now being detected inside a damaged reactor at the Fukushima nuclear power station, according to Tokyo Electric Power. The Fukushima operator says it has calculated radiation of 530 sieverts an hour—though with a 30% margin of error—inside the containment vessel of one of three reactors damaged in the 2011 meltdown. Such a level is "unimaginable," an expert tells Engadget, and hasn't been seen since the meltdown itself. Since March 2011, the highest radiation recorded has been 73 sieverts per hour.

A rep says a hole in metal grating beneath the reactor's pressure vessel, likely made by melted nuclear fuel, might be to blame but "it is very difficult to assume the actual condition inside." Five robots sent into the reactor to discover the location of the melted fuel haven’t reappeared, though officials hope to try again with a robot built to withstand 1,000 sieverts. The Guardian notes safely removing the fuel—previously believed to have been contained in the pressure vessel, where the reactor core is housed—"represents a challenge unprecedented in the history of nuclear power." Yet it will have to be overcome: The fuel is supposed to be removed by 2018 as crews work to dismantle the plant at a cost of $187 billion.

***

RT

Record high fatal radiation levels, hole in reactor detected at crippled Fukushima nuclear facility

Published time: 2 Feb, 2017 18:33

Edited time: 3 Feb, 2017 18:50

Record high radiation levels that’s lethal even after brief exposure have been detected at a damaged reactor at the Fukushima power plant in Japan. Specialists also found a hole, likely caused by melted nuclear fuel.

Radiation levels of up to 530 Sieverts per hour were detected inside an inactive Reactor 2 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex damaged during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami catastrophe, Japanese media reported on Thursday citing the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

A dose of about 8 Sieverts is considered incurable and fatal.

A hole of no less than one square meter in size has also been discovered beneath the reactor's pressure vessel, TEPCO said. According to researchers, the apparent opening in the metal grating of one of three reactors that had melted down in 2011, is believed to be have been caused by melted nuclear fuel that fell through the vessel.

The iron scaffolding has a melting point of 1500 degrees, TEPCO said, explaining that there is a possibility the fuel debris has fallen onto it and burnt the hole. Such fuel debris have been discovered on equipment at the bottom of the pressure vessel just above the hole, it added.

The latest findings were released after a recent camera probe inside the reactor, TEPCO said. Using a remote-controlled camera fitted on a long pipe, scientists managed to get images of hard-to-reach places where residual nuclear material remained. The substance there is so toxic that even specially-made robots designed to probe the underwater depths beneath the power plant have previously crumbled and shut down.

However, TEPCO still plans to launch further more detailed assessments at the damaged nuclear facility with the help of self-propelled robots.

Speaking to RT, Yosuke Yamashiki, Doctor of Engineering from Kyoto University said the located leaking is “a great discovery.”

“This is a kind of progress,” Yamashiki said.

“There is a very small hole… and very small amount of the radiation is still leaking from the reactor. It’s not the fatal level but it is going on.”

“However, they haven’t established a proper means of how to decompose the meltdown reactor yet. There not so many ways to decompose it,” the expert noted, adding that he and his colleagues are providing a special technique using ice which, however, has not been approved yet.

Yamashiki warned that the complete reduction of the radiation will take hundreds of thousands of years.

However, looking on the bright side, he said, “right now, the radiation level is much lower since the reactor hasn’t been active for a while."

Earlier this week, hopes for a more efficient cleanup at Fukushima were high, as the plant operator announced a portion of nuclear fuel debris responsible for a lot of the lingering contamination from six years ago may have finally been found.

***

Zero Hedge

"The Media Coverage On Syria Is The Biggest Media Lie Of Our Time"

by Tyler Durden

Feb 8, 2017 9:25 PM

Flemish Father Daniël Maes (78) lives in Syria in the sixth-century-old Mar Yakub monastery in the city of Qara, 90 kilometers north of the capital Damascus. Father Daniel has been a witness to the “civil war” and according to him, Western reports on the conflict in Syria are very misleading. In short: “the Americans and their allies want to completely ruin the country.”

Interviewer: You are very critical of the media coverage on Syria. What is bothering you?

Father Daniel: “The idea that a popular uprising took place against President Assad is completely false. I’ve been in Qara since 2010 and I have seen with my own eyes how agitators from outside Syria organized protests against the government and recruited young people. That was filmed and aired by Al Jazeera to give the impression that a rebellion was taking place. Murders were committed by foreign terrorists, against the Sunni and Christian communities, in an effort to sow religious and ethnic discord among the Syrian people. While in my experience, the Syrian people were actually very united.

Before the war, this was a harmonious country: a secular state in which different religious communities lived side by side peacefully. There was hardly any poverty, education was free, and health care was good. It was only not possible to freely express your political views. But most people did not care about that.”

Interviewer: Mother Agnès-Mariam, of your Mar Yakub (“Saint Jacob”) monastery, is accused of siding with the regime. She has friends at the highest level.

Father Daniel: “Mother Agnès-Mariam helps the population: she has recently opened a soup kitchen in Aleppo, where 25,000 meals are prepared five times a week. Look, it is miraculous that we are still alive. We owe that to the army of Assad’s government and to Vladimir Putin, because he decided to intervene when the rebels threatened to take power.

When thousands of terrorists settled in Qara, we became afraid for our lives. They came from the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, Europe, Turkey, Libya, there were many Chechens. They formed a foreign occupation force, all allied to al-Qaeda and other terrorists. Armed to the teeth by the West and their allies with the intention to act against us, they literally said: “This country belongs to us now.” Often, they were drugged, they fought each other, in the evening they fired randomly. We had to hide in the crypts of the monastery for a long time. When the Syrian army chased them away, everybody was happy: the Syrian citizens because they hate the foreign rebels, and we because peace had returned.”

Interviewer: You say that the Syrian Army protects civilians, yet there are all sorts of reports about war crimes committed by Assad’s forces, such as the bombardments with barrel bombs.

Father Daniel: “Do you not know that the media coverage on Syria is the biggest media lie of our time? They have sold pure nonsense about Assad. It was actually the rebels who plundered and killed. Do you think that the Syrian people are stupid? Do you think those people were forced to cheer for Assad and Putin? It is the Americans who have a hand in all of this, for pipelines and natural resources in this region and to thwart Putin.”

Saudi Arabia and Qatar want to establish a Sunni state in Syria, without religious freedom. Therefore, Assad must go. You know, when the Syrian army was preparing for the battle in Aleppo, Muslim soldiers came to me to be blessed. Between ordinary Muslims and Christians, there is no problem. It is those radical Islamic, Western-backed rebels who want to massacre us. They are all al Qaeda and IS. There are not any moderate fighters anymore.”

Interviewer: You once mentioned Hillary Clinton to be a "devil in holy water," because as Secretary of State she deliberately worsened the conflict.

Father Daniel: “I am happy with Trump. He sees what every normal person understands: That the United States should stop undermining countries which possess natural resources. The Americans’ attempt to impose a unipolar world is the biggest problem. Trump understands that radical Islam is a bigger threat than Russia.

What do I care whether he occasionally takes off his pants? If Trump practices geopolitics the way he has promised to do so, then the future looks bright. Then it will become similar to Putin’s approach. And hopefully then, there will be a solution for Syria, and peace will return.”

Interviewer: You understand that your analysis is controversial and will encounter much criticism?

Father Daniel: “I speak from personal observation. And no one has to believe me, right? But I know one thing: The media can either contribute to the massacre of the Syrian people or help the Syrian people, with their media coverage. Unfortunately, there are too many followers and cowards among journalists.”

***

THE DAILY BELL

Germany Turns Even More Authoritarian

By - February 02, 2017

Germany approves electronic ankle bracelets to monitor extremists Germany’s cabinet has approved a measure aimed at tracking individuals who might pose a terrorism threat. The monitoring device can be used even if an individual hasn’t been convicted. –DB

So now Germany is punishing people who haven’t been convicted of anything. This is part of a larger cultural problem that Germany has on various fronts.

You can’t express your opinion for instance about the holocaust if it differs from the official point of view. And now the government is going to try and figure who is a terrorist and whether they ought to be restrained even if they haven’t done anything.

More:

Authorities will be able to force suspected Islamist extremists believed to pose a threat to the public to wear electronic ankle bracelets, the German cabinet agreed on Wednesday. Previously, only convicted individuals could be required to wear the device used to monitor location and movements.

The cabinet proposal, “Gefährder,” or people who pose a security threat, who have not been convicted can be forced to wear the device by order of the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA).

The shift to the legislation happened as part of cabinet approvals of changes to BKA law. The changes t to the law had been Okayed by top officials in the wake of the December 19th attacks on the Berlin Christmas market.

Aniks Amre was thought to be a danger to society but surveillance ceased before his attack. Later he was ordered deported to Tunisa but that didn’t happen right away because Tunisia took time to get his papers.

As a result, he was also able to move around Germany. “The incident prompted sharp criticism of measures aimed at preventing terrorism. In response, the German government has put forward a host of measures to overcome apparent security gaps. “ One of the changes is a terrorist imposition even without a legal decision.

It is quite dangerous because Germany is not alone in its judicial decisions. Versions of German decisions are considered by the larger EU which is already quite authoritarian in a number of ways.

The EU itself is organized along French lines, and the French judiciary is Napoleonic. That means the defendant is considered guilty unless he manages to extricate himself by proving he is innocent.

This change if adopted by the larger EU would further send the EU in an authoritarian direction.

The situation is complicated by Merkel herself who is a relaxed person when it comes to additional authoritarian measures. She has presided over an expansion of the German authoritarian state but has done so in a low key way.

She has done so by keeping power in Germany rather than by granting to the European state. But in doing so she has accumulated even more power for Germany.

Conclusion; She is favored in upcoming elections as well. If she is reelected, Germany will continue to accrue significant additional power – quietly but significantly.

monetarywatch.com

Chinese Factory Replaces 90% Of Human Workers With Robots, Sees 250% Production Increase

One of China’s first unmanned factories in the city of Dongguan recently replaced 590 of its workers with robots and the results were astounding. While the factory used to be run by 650 employees, only 60 of those people still work at the factory and their primary job is to make sure the machines are running properly, not working on manufacturing.

The Changying Precision Technology Company focuses on the production of mobile phones and uses automated production lines. The robotic arms produce certain parts of the mobile phones at each station and the factory even makes use of autonomous transport trucks.

Though 60 is a shocking amount of people to be running and monitoring a whole factory, the trial for the robots is going so well that the general manager, Luo Weiqiang, said that the number of human employees may even drop to 20 someday.

Since the shift to robots, pieces per person per month has risen from 8,000 to 21,000—a whopping 250% increase. While some may argue that quality of the product will decrease with the use of robots, this doesn’t appear to be the case either. The number of product defects has decreased from 25% to just 5%.

This company isn’t the only one to make the change from humans to robots, especially not in China where the Made In China 2025 initiative aims to apply technological advances to production, which includes using robotics.

It’s unclear what this shift means for factory workers in the nation, but it’s not looking positive for those demanding fair working conditions and wages. The change to robotics comes at a time when the climate around factory workers is becoming volatile, even inciting strikes in several different areas. While quality and production are great for those purchasing the products, humans need jobs and they deserve to work in a humane environment. As more robots take the place of human factory workers, one can only hope that those workers turn to a more stable job where they can’t be replaced and they aren’t mistreated.

ACTIVIST POST

Trilateral Commission Member Appointed To National Security Council

FEBRUARY 7, 2017

By Patrick Wood

According to a White House press release, the first member of the Trilateral Commission has entered the Trump administration as the Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs, where he will sit on the National Security Council:

Kenneth I. Juster will serve as Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs. He will coordinate the Administration’s international economic policy and integrate it with national security and foreign policy. He will also be the President’s representative and lead U.S. negotiator (“Sherpa”) for the annual G-7, G-20, and APEC Summits. Juster has previously served in the U.S. Government as Under Secretary of Commerce (2001-2005), Counselor (Acting) of the Department of State (1992-1993), Deputy and Senior Advisor to Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence S. Eagleburger (1989-1992), and Law Clerk to Judge James L. Oakes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (1980-1981). In the private sector, Juster has been a Partner and Managing Director at the global investment firm Warburg Pincus (2010-2017), Executive Vice President of salesforce.com (2005-2010), and Senior Partner at the law firm Arnold & Porter (1981-1989, 1993-2001). Juster has also served as Chairman of the Advisory Committee of Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Vice Chairman of the Board of the Asia Foundation, and a member of the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the American Academy of Diplomacy. Among his honors, Juster is the recipient of the Secretary of Commerce’s William C. Redfield Award and the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award. Juster holds an A.B. in Government from Harvard College, a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School, and a J.D. from the Harvard Law School. [emphasis added]

Juster was appointed by National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn, formerly a U.S. Army lieutenant general and Director of the Defense intelligence Agency.

Flynn has had a close working relationship with the Center for a New American Security, where three members of the Board of Directors are also members of the Trilateral Commission, including its founder and CEO, Michele Flourney. Other CNAS directors include Kurt Campbell and Lewis Kaden. Trilateral Paula Dobriansky is listed on the Board of Advisors.

Flynn’s other senior staff appointments to the National Security Council include David Cattler, John Eisenberg and Kevin Harrington.

“I’m incredibly excited about working with this talented group,” Flynn said. “With their diverse backgrounds in in business, law, technology, government, the military and the Intelligence community, they bring a wealth of experience and fresh ideas to the table.”

In his position as Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs, Juster will continue the Trilateral Commission’s 44 year hegemony over economic affairs with its stated intent to create a “New International Economic Order.” Juster’s elitist resume indicates that he is a key Trilateral operative within globalist circles.

Juster’s first exposure to the Trilateral Commission occurred early in his career, during Jimmy Carter’s presidency, when he worked one summer on the staff of the National Security Council under Zbigniew Brzezinski, co-founder and principal strategist for the Commission.

As carefully documented in Technocracy Rising: The Trojan Horse of Global Transformation, Trilateral Commission members have been directly responsible for the creation of Sustainable Development (aka Technocracy), Agenda 21 and other UN programs.

***

Mail Online

Bernie Sanders supporter leaves her husband of 22 years after he admitted he was voting for Donald Trump

  • Gayle McCormick, 73, recently moved out of the home she shared with her husband of 22 years, Bill

  • Their marriage came apart when Gayle, a Democrat, learned her husband was planning to vote for Donald Trump in the election

  • The McCormicks aren't the only ones struggling in this polarizing post-election political climate

  • A Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 13 per cent of Americans have ended a relationship thanks to the election

By Reuters and Dailymail.com Reporter

PUBLISHED: 11:04, 7 February 2017 | UPDATED: 16:56, 7 February 2017

***

MailOnline

Russian newspaper tells women beaten by their husbands to ‘be proud of their bruises’ after Putin decriminalises domestic abuse

  • Column in Komsomolskaya Pravda said women have 'grounds to be proud'

  • It cites research which found female victims are more likely to give birth to boys

  • This week Vladimir Putin signed controversial domestic violence law

  • It was branded 'retrograde' by British Prime Minister Theresa May

By DAVE BURKE FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 08:54, 9 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:55, 9 February 2017

A Russian newspaper has claimed victims of domestic abuse should be 'proud of their bruises'.

A column in Komsomolskaya Pravda, one of the country's most popular papers, has said that women should 'find solace' in the fact that women who suffer domestic violence are more likely to give birth to boys.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on Tuesday which decriminalises domestic violence, sparking allegations his government is 'trivialising' the problem.

Victims of domestic violence are more likely to give birth to boys, a Russian newspaper has stated

The article, by writer Yaroslav Korobatov, stated: ‘For years, women who have been smacked around by their husbands have found solace in the rather hypocritical proverb, “If he beats you, it means he loves you!”

‘However, a new scientific study is giving women with irascible husbands new grounds to be proud of their bruises, insofar as women who are beaten, biologists confirm, have a valuable advantage – they’re more likely to give birth to boys!’

He cites research by controversial evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa, who in 2005 published an article called 'Violent men have more sons'.

The new Russian law reduces battery of a relative to a civil offence instead of a criminal one in first instances, when the victim suffered no serious harm.

British Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday hit out at the new legislation, telling Parliament: 'We see this as a retrograde step by the Russian government. Repealing existing legislation sends out absolutely the wrong message on what is a global problem.'

And human rights group Amnesty International described the move as a 'sickening attempt to trivialise domestic violence'.

Those who support new legislation, including members of Putin's United Russia party, say they want to protect parents' right to discipline their children and to reduce the state's ability to meddle in family life.

They say anyone who inflicts serious physical harm will still be criminally liable.

But critics say the move is a step backwards which will exonerate 'tyrants in the home' and discourage victims from reporting abuse.

Each year, about 14,000 women die in Russia at the hands of husbands or other relatives, according to a 2010 United Nations report.

In a statement on its website, the Kremlin said Putin had signed the law after it was approved by both chambers in Russia's parliament.

The State Duma, or lower house of parliament, passed the bill in January in its second of three readings by 385 votes to two.

Study Finds

No Meds Needed: Study Finds Doing This Eases Anxiety

5Feb - by Charles Hartwell

WASHINGTON — Pharmaceutical companies may need a dose of their own medications. A new study finds the best treatment for anxiety may not come from your local pharmacy, but rather a quiet room in your home.

Eight weeks of mindfulness meditation significantly reduced anxiety for GAD sufferers, a new study finds.

The study, published in the Jan. 24 edition of Psychiatry Research, confirmed that eight-weeks of mindfulness meditation can be crucially beneficial for those who suffer from anxiety.

Researchers from the Georgetown University Medical Center selected 89 people who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder to undergo one of two different forms of treatment. One group took an eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course, which centered around meditation, and then determined whether or not it helped them relax. Those in the control group took an eight-week stress management education course, which centers more on habits such as diet, sleep, and general wellness.

Before and after the study, partcipants underwent the Trier Social Stress Test, a common experimental practice for inducing a stress response. Participants are asked on a moment’s notice to perform one of the most anxiety-causing tasks for many people: give a speech in front of an audience.

The results were significantly different. The researchers reported that the mindfulness meditation routine resulted in a decrease of stress-related hormones and cell-signaling proteins when performing the speech after the experiment. Patients in the control group showed their anxiety actually worsened after having to do the task the second time.

“We were testing the patients’ resilience, because that’s really the ultimate question—can we make people handle stress better?” lead author Elizabeth A. Hoge, MD, associate professor in Georgetown University Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry, said in a release.

It became clear that mindfulness meditation was vital to the substantial drop in anxiety symptoms for the first group.

“Mindfulness meditation training is a relatively inexpensive and low-stigma treatment approach, and these findings strengthen the case that it can improve resilience to stress,” said Hoge.

Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn created the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, which has now helped nearly 25,000 participants according to the University of Massachusetts website.

These results aren’t too surprising, being that a Harvard study released similar results in 2009, which also regarded MBSR. However in this study, participants were not diagnosed with GAD Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or any other stress-related disorder.

“Stressed but otherwise healthy individuals participated in an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention”, the study noted. The Harvard research report went on to state that the MBSR correlated directly with reduced activity in the amygdala, a portion of the brain that stimulates stress.

According to the release, “Hoge hopes ultimately to expand the study of mindfulness-related treatments to other psychiatric conditions, and to compare such treatments to standard psychiatric drug therapies.”

Until next week...keep on believing.
Almondtree Productions

Instruct me in the way of thine ordinances; and I will meditate on thy wondrous works. Mine eyes prevented the dawn, that I might meditate on thine oracles.”

(Psalm 119:27,148)


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