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Israel Continues Retaliating to Syrian Spillover Fire

Israel on Sunday 1 Tammuz retaliated to Syrian rocket fire into the Golan Heights for a second consecutive day. The rocket fire is attributed to spillover from the ongoing civil war in that country. While there were no reported causalities from Sunday’s retaliatory strike, Syrian media outlets did report a number of people were killed in Saturday’s air force strike. The IDF on Sunday announced two Syrian artillery positions were targeted along with an ammunitions truck. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the start of the Sunday cabinet meeting announced “…We are not prepared to accept any spillover or trickle of fire from any front whatsoever. We will respond strongly to any firing at our territory”. After Sunday’s attacks the Syrian army issued a statement, warning the “Israeli enemy” of the consequences of continued attacks. (YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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Rav Mazuz Calls For Achdus Ahead Of Elections

Perhaps HaGaon HaRav Meir Mazuz Shlita, Rosh Yeshivas Kisei Rachamim, has signaled he is not going to continue running his Yachad party in Knesset elections. Remarks made by the rav during a recent shiur have some wondering. Rabbi Mazuz stated “political machlokes must be put aside and there must be achdus ahead of the next election”. The rav stated “We daven that these days, the Three Weeks, disappear from the world. Enough! Israel has suffered from the galus but we have to do something for this [to occur]. “We must unite. There is news and no one knows when the next elections ca be. If we remain battling one another- we must unit and we must show the non-religious that the Torah unites. “Even when there are different opinions there is the possibility of speaking, but respectfully”. When former Shas leader Eli Yishai was replaced by Aryeh Deri as party leader, together with Rabbi Mazuz, they started the Yachad party, which failed to pass the minimum threshold and enter Knesset in the last general elections. (YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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Israel: Missing Youth Was In Police Custody

The father of a 12-year-old boy from the Kochav neighborhood of Tel Aviv was worried on Friday when he son failed to return home. It was already after midnight, and when he parents phoned his cellphone, there was no response. They decided to involve police, calling the emergency ‘100’ number to report him missing. Police arrived at the home in a timely fashion and they were given a description of the missing youth as well as a photo. As they were preparing to begin the search for him, the door opened and in came the missing son. According to the father, he was frightened and surprised. It was almost 2:00AM and to the dad’s amazement, he learned his son had been detained by police close to their neighborhood. Speaking to the media, the dad said “This is Chelm. One hand is looking for the child while another hand is detaining him and one is unaware of the other”. The dad explained to Ynet his son asked police to phone his home to notify his dad but police shut off his phone and prevented him from making contact with his parents. It was further explained police threatened a group of youths, telling them if one did not volunteer to accept a summons for disturbing the peace, they would all receive one and taken to the police station. The children were afraid of police, as well as their parents. The youth decided to step forward and take the summons for all of them. When he was given it, the summons, he was shocked to learn it was 350 shekels, far more than he expected or could afford. After giving him the summons, he was finally permitted by police to head home. The dad was angry that police did not permit his son to phone or at the very least, to notify him themselves. (YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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Mayors To Trump: Immigration Orders Meddle With Cities

Mayors are warning President Donald Trump that toughening immigration enforcement meddles with U.S. cities’ affairs. More than 250 mayors are meeting at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Miami Beach to take a stance on issues from climate change to the federal budget and health care. They are reviewing resolutions that would strongly oppose Trump’s crack down on illegal immigration. Mayors were struck a blow in January, when Trump ordered to cut funding to jurisdictions that deny in some way cooperation with federal immigration agents. Most cities have defied the order, and a federal judge blocked it in April, at least temporarily. “Some of us are proud to be places of sanctuary, to protect immigrants, but this idea that we’re in violation of something, I think is a big charade,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Garcetti argued that all he wants from immigration officials is that they conduct enforcement in a “lawful, constitutional, court-ordered way,” referring to policies where sanctuary cities demand warrants to turn over suspects to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “Police officers in Los Angeles do 20,000 to 30,000 requests for warrants from judges every year in the middle of the night when the judges are probably in their pajamas,” Garcetti said. “The idea that ICE can’t do the same thing seems ridiculous.” Mayors from big cities say they fear the increased enforcement will push immigrant communities into the shadows, deterring them to report crimes or cooperate as witnesses. The police chief of Los Angeles, Charlie Beck, said in March that sexual assaults and domestic violence reports by Latinos had dropped. Miami-Dade County, which houses 34 municipalities including the conference host of Miami Beach, heeded Trump’s January order and changed its policy so the corrections department honors all requests by ICE. Authorities have turned over 124 people to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement since Jan. 27. But GOP-identified mayors from states such as Indiana and Florida disagreed this weekend on targeting non-criminal immigrants solely for being in the country illegally. Kent Guinn, mayor of Ocala, Florida, says that although he is against offering a pathway to citizenship to the 11.5 million immigrants who are in the country illegally, most immigrants he sees are “good.” “I don’t think people realize there are some bad people that are here that need to leave,” Guinn said. He referred to the 2015 shooting death of a San Francisco woman often highlighted by Trump when attacking sanctuary policies because the man charged with her death was in the country illegally and had been released by local law enforcement. “But the ones that we encounter on a day-to-day basis, they’re very hard-working individuals that do the things that they need to do and participate in the economy. They work on horse farms, in restaurants. We see them. They’re good people. We’re not going around looking for them.” The Republican Mayor of Carmel, Indiana, Jim Brainard, who is also bucking his party on the climate front, says he opposes Trump’s immigration views. “Punishing cities makes no sense,” Brainard said. “Everyone who has come to this country, regardless of whether it was illegal, ought to have a pathway to legalization and then we can move to issues that really can help make our country better.” Besides opposing the order on sanctuary cities, […]

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Justice Minister Shaked Calls For Criminal Investigation Against Israel-Arab NGO

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked called on Israel’s attorney general Avichai Mandelblit to open a criminal investigation against “Bladna,” an Israeli-Arab non-profit organization that she says incites Druse youth against IDF enlistment. “Incitement against IDF enlistment is not only a violation of the law, but harms the cultural fabric and ethos of Israeli society,” said Shaked. “It is inconceivable that this illegal activity occurs under the noses and with the backing of elected officials.” Shaked’s statement came in response to a report released by the Im Tirtzu organization, which claimed that Bladna’s anti-enlistment activities were in violation of the law because they targeted Druse youth who are required to serve in the IDF. According to the report, Arab members of Knesset including Joint List head Ayman Odeh have publicly supported the organization and have participated in their events at recent as April 2017. The report also notes that Bladna’s donors include the US-based New Israel Fund and the European Union, which donated nearly 2,000,000 NIS to the group in 2015. Druse members of Knesset also responded to the report. “I am proud of the members of the Druse community who enlist in the IDF and sanctify the ‘blood covenant’ that exists between the Druse community and the State of Israel,” said Minister of Communications Ayoub Kara. “I will not allow for any organization, whether political or extra-parliamentary, to harm the unique and strong social fabric created over the years by inciting against IDF enlistment.” Yisrael Beitenu MK Hamad Amar, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, pointed to the high percentage of Druse enlistment, calling their loyalty to the state “unquestionable.” “Not Bladna nor any other organization will be able to uproot the deep and strong connection between the Druse community and the State of Israel,” said Amar. Kulanu MK Akram Hasson also responded to the report by requesting the non-profit registrar to disband Blanda. “They will not succeed in stoking the flames of quarrel between brothers,” said Hasson. Chairman of the Subcommittee for Personnel in the IDF, MK (Likud) Amir Ochana, announced his intention to convene an emergency committee session to discuss the findings of the report. “We cannot allow for the haters of Israel to harm the IDF and its soldiers,” said Ochana. “These despicable individuals are trying to discourage IDF enlistment of the Druse community, which includes the best of our warriors and heroes.” Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg emphasized how the New Israel Fund and European governments are trying to “brainwash” Arab youth against integrating in Israeli society. “It is inconceivable that anti-Israel incitement can penetrate unhindered into Israeli schools,” said Peleg. “It is important to note how the ones to suffer the most are the Arab youth who are being brainwashed to oppose the society in which they live.” “We are calling on the Attorney General to open an investigation against this foreign agent organization, for both inciting the Druse sector against IDF enlistment and for engaging in seditious activity by calling on an entire population of society to oppose the state.” (YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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War And Waste: Cautionary Tales As US Ponders Afghan Boost

One shirt, one pair of pants. Those are the basics for outfitting an Afghan soldier. But in that simple uniform combination are the threads of two troubling stories — one about the waste of millions in American taxpayer dollars, the other about the perils of propping up a partner army in a seemingly endless war. Together these tales help explain why some in Congress question the wisdom of investing even more resources in Afghanistan, nearly 16 years after the United States invaded the Taliban-ruled country in response to the al-Qaida attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The Army general who runs the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan calls it a stalemate. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the U.S. is “not winning,” and he vows to “correct this as soon as possible.” The Trump administration is searching for an improved approach to achieving the goal it inherited from the Obama administration: to get the Afghan government to a point where it can defend itself and prevent its territory from being a haven for extremists. Mattis has said he expects to have that revised strategy ready for Congress by next month. This coming week he will be consulting with NATO allies in Brussels on troop contributions and other Afghan issues. The long war has generated repeated examples of wasted funds, which may be inevitable in a country such as Afghanistan, where the military has been built from scratch, is plagued with corruption and relies almost completely on U.S. money for even the most basic things, including salaries and uniforms. Among the costs rarely noted publicly: The Pentagon has spent $1 billion over the past three years to help recruit and retain Afghan soldiers. The money wasted on uniforms is small potatoes by comparison with other U.S. missteps in Afghanistan, but it is emblematic of broader problems. The Pentagon has not disputed the gist of findings by its special inspector general for Afghanistan, John Sopko, that the U.S. spent as much as $28 million more than necessary over 10 years on uniforms for Afghan soldiers with a camouflage “forest” pattern that may be inappropriate for the largely desert battlefield. In a report released this past week, Sopko’s office said the Pentagon paid to license a propriety camouflage pattern even though it owns patterns it could have used for free. The choice, it said, was based on the seemingly offhand fashion preference of a single Afghan official. “This is not an isolated event,” Sopko said in a telephone interview. The U.S., he said, has been “in a mad rush to spend money like a drunken sailor on a weekend furlough.” It reflects a pattern, he said, of spending too much money, too quickly, with too little oversight and too little accountability. Sopko’s office is still investigating the camouflage uniform contract process, which it found “questionable.” “This was more than just a bad fashion move,” he said. “It cost the taxpayer millions of dollars” more than might have been necessary. Money is rarely part of the debate over what the United States should do differently or better in Afghanistan, and thus the accumulating costs are often overlooked. Since 2002, the U.S. has spent $66 billion on Afghan security forces alone. In recent years this spending has grown, even though President Barack Obama’s stated goal was to […]

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Yair Lapid: We Are Centrist And Will Not Join A Left-Wing Bloc

Yesh Atid opposition party leader MK Yair Lapid announced his party is centrist and he will not join a left-wing block in Knesset. Speaking to Channel 2 News, Lapid explained he will not interfere with left-wing efforts to organize, but his party will not be a part of it. He added his reason for entering politics was not merely to oust Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, but the party has an agenda. He cited that he was a cabinet member during the last IDF military operation in Gaza, Operation Protective Edge; explaining, “I looked at all of us in a very powerful decision-making position and determined who is cool, who can make decisions, who understands the full width of the situation and who is not, and I can manage it better.” He added he is in regular contact with former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and has learned they have a great deal in common and plan to remain in touch until the elections. Likud officials added, “In response to his statements pertaining to PM Netanyahu’s handling of Operation Protective Ede, his criticism is shattered compared to Lapid’s compliments made on August 7, 2014 regarding the management of the operation by PM Netanyahu when he said, ‘the cabinet acted responsibly and conducted the operation properly’ and who ran the cabinet?” (YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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Europeans Learn To Live With And Adapt To Terror Attacks

The jihadis’ targets in Europe are depressingly repetitive: the Brussels metro, the Champs-Elysees in Paris (twice), tourist-filled bridges in London (twice) and a U.K. rock concert. And that’s just the past few months. The steady stream of attacks on centers of daily life have drawn pledges from Europeans not to let terrorists change how they live, but in ways large and small they already have. There is a heightened awareness and quicker reactions, especially in the hardest-hit countries of France, Britain and Belgium, that would have seemed unthinkable just a few years ago. In Brussels on Tuesday, a 36-year-old Moroccan man shouting “Allahu akbar!” set off a bomb among subway commuters. The bomb didn’t detonate in full and a soldier shot him dead. It was another Muslim, Mohamed Charfih, who demanded that the subway’s doors be closed before the attacker could enter. “I heard people on the platform shouting for help,” he told the news site DH. He looked out and knew what he saw. “I screamed to close the doors immediately. I asked to get out of there as fast as possible and that everyone get down on the floor.” That reaction, blocking the door and fleeing, has become part of official instructions on what to do in case of an attack in France. Signs have been posted in public areas and even schools showing people running, ducking beneath a window, or using heavy furniture as a barricade. Tensions are high enough in central Paris that on Thursday the quick-response police unit reacted to a witness’ phone call about a man wearing a sidearm by tackling him on the street, only to learn that he was a ranking member of the anti-terrorism squad, according to French media. In Britain, decades of IRA attacks prompted the installation of country-wide TV surveillance cameras — one of the most expansive systems in the world. Paris is quickly ramping up its own camera system, to the point where authorities were able this week to track the minute-by-minute path of the man who tried to attack a Champs-Elysee gendarme patrol until the moment he rammed their vehicle. The man died of burns and smoke inhalation — the only casualty of his act — but left behind a substantial arsenal. Both Britain and France have installed barriers around airports, train stations and other public buildings in recent years. Since the Westminster bridge attack in March, however, talks are underway to install even more barriers on bridges and around crowded places such as London’s Borough Market, where three attackers this month went on a stabbing rampage after crashing their vehicle on a busy street not far from London Bridge. Echoing France, London’s security authorities have issued advice to pubs and restaurants since the attacks with the message of “Run, Tell and Hide.” The advice includes establishing whether the threat is inside or outside and not waiting for police to decide whether the venue should be locked down or evacuated. Few British commuters have changed their habits. After suicide bombers in 2005 struck trains and buses during a busy London morning rush-hour, scores of commuters started riding bicycles to work. That method of transport has its own problems in London — with the number of annual cyclist deaths a rising concern. Three of the four recent attacks, […]

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Parents Of Hemo-Oncology Patients Launch A Hunger Strike To Pressure Hadassah And Health Ministry

Parents of children admitted to the hemo-oncology unit have sent a harshly-worded letter to President Reuven Rivlin informing the president they are launching a hunger strike, explaining that have changed their minds and are unwilling to abide by the comprise reached by him. “They are advancing politically on our backs” the parents accuse while Health Ministry officials announce a willingness to enter into direct talks. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday, 1 Tammuz, called on the doctors to return to their previous posts and use the interim period to reach an agreement “for the good of the children”. The children are admitted to the bone-marrow unit at Hadassah Ein Kerem. The dispute surrounds the hospital decision to close the pediatric unit and incorporate it into the adult unit. The doctors who resigned insist this is being done at the expense of the care to the children, citing the unit it too specialized to be a part of the adult unit. Hospital officials maintain the care is what it must be and they would never compromise the care of the children or any patient. The hospital enjoys the backing of the Health Ministry, with Minister Yaakov Litzman standing firmly behind Hadassah Director-General Prof. Ze’ev Rothstein. Shaare Zedek Hospital signaled it would open the pediatric unit, but Litzman was quick to announce he would not permit this to happen. The parents, who side with the doctors who resign, are now stepping up their battle by announcing the hunger strike, citing there is no justification for preventing the opening of the unit at Shaare Zedek, adding for if not, there is no pediatric unit in the capital. The parents add the area is extremely specialize, and there are only about 40 qualified physicians in the entire country today. Attorney Eliad Shraga, who represents the parents, has taken the case to the High Court on their behalf. The case is on the court’s docket for Wednesday, 4 Tammuz. (YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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Q&A: A Look At Takata’s Bankruptcy And Air Bag Recalls

Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. is expected to file for bankruptcy protection in Japan and the U.S. on Monday, having been dragged into financial trouble by millions of faulty air bag inflators that can kill or injure people. The inflators, which fill up air bags in the event of a crash, can explode with too much force and spew metal shrapnel. At least 16 deaths worldwide and more than 180 injuries are blamed on the inflators. They also touched off the largest automotive recall in U.S. history, that began in 2008, with up to 69 million inflators and 42 million vehicles affected. Worldwide, about 100 million inflators are being recalled. What car owners need to know about the massive recall: WILL THE RECALLS CONTINUE? Yes. Automakers are ultimately responsible for the safety of their vehicles, and they have been funding the recalls. Takata’s assets are expected to be sold for $1.6 billion to a rival company, Key Safety Systems, and part of Takata will remain under a different name to make replacement inflators for the recalls. Money from the sale will go to pay claims against Takata, including a court-ordered $850 million that will reimburse automakers for their expenses. Another $125 million will go to victims and Takata will pay a $25 million fine to the U.S. government. It’s not clear yet where the rest of the $1.6 billion will go. WHAT’S WRONG WITH THESE AIR BAGS? Three independent reports concluded that the chemical Takata uses to inflate its air bags — ammonium nitrate — can degrade after long-term exposure to environmental moisture and high temperatures. If the ammonium nitrate degrades substantially, it can cause the inflators to become over-pressurized and rupture during air bag deployment. In the air bags being recalled, Takata didn’t use a chemical desiccant, a drying agent that can counteract the effects of moisture. ——— HOW CAN I FIND OUT IF MY CAR HAS BEEN RECALLED? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a complete list of models covered by current and future Takata recalls. The full list can be found on the agency’s website . The government’s website also allows drivers search for open recalls . Owners should input the car’s vehicle identification number, or VIN, which can be found on the title or registration card, or on the driver’s side dash or door jamb. The VIN check page will be updated as automakers announce more recalls. Cars and trucks made by 19 companies are included in the recall. ——— WHICH CARS ARE MOST AT RISK? The government says vehicles younger than six years old aren’t currently at risk of an air bag inflator rupture even if they’re in a high humidity region, because it takes time for the ammonium nitrate to degrade. But the risk grows as the vehicle ages. ——— HOW LONG WILL I HAVE TO WAIT FOR A REPLACEMENT? That varies by model, age of the car and manufacturer. For many models, dealers have ample parts in stock. Yet only about 15.5 million of the 69 million inflators had been replaced as of the end of April. Parts are not yet available for some models, and other models haven’t been recalled yet. More recalls are coming as more parts are made. Some Takata replacement inflators will have to be replaced again […]

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PM Netanyahu Comments On Ongoing Crisis In Hadassah Hemo-Oncology Unit

The crisis continues surrounding the hemo-oncology unit at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital continues, and has even made its way from the court of public opinion to Israel’s High Court of Justice. The doctors who resigned from the pediatric bone-marrow unit remain in a stand-off with the Ministry of Health and Hadassah Director-General Prof. Ze’ev Rothstein. During the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, 1 Tammuz, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the crisis while the media was present. Following are his remarks pertaining to the crisis: “I would like to refer to the crisis at Hadassah. It has gone on far too long. Attempts have been made, also by me, via the Health Minister who has worked tirelessly on the matter, and by others, including the President, to resolve the crisis. These attempts have not succeeded. A motion has been filed with the High Court of Justice, which will convene on Wednesday and we are all awaiting the discussion. “I request that the sides make a final effort, which will not be simple, to restore the status quo ante – so that these tired and sick children will not continue to suffer – and then allow six months or a year to consider matters. If the issue is not resolved with this simple proposal and since the sick children are in a tent in Sachar Park, I have appealed to the court to advance its discussion tomorrow. There is no reason to wait another two days and cause the children unnecessary suffering.” Health Minister Yaakov Litzman released his own statement, adding, “I join the words of Prime Minister Netanyahu and call on the doctors to return to work, accepting the offer to return to their previous status for an experimental period during which the issues can be weighed towards bringing solution to the suffering of the children. “This is time to get up and exhibit national responsibility for the good of the children and their parents. The Health Ministry, with me at the helm, will do everything to implement the agreement reached due to the efforts of President Rivlin, including meeting the demands of parents and returning to the situation that which existed ahead of the crisis for the good of the children”. (YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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US Urges Qatar, Neighbors To ‘Sit Together’ To Ease Tension

The United States says some demands on Qatar (KUH’-tur) by its Mideast neighbors “will be very difficult to meet.” But the U.S. isn’t rejecting the demands outright. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says in a statement that a list of demands from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates includes major areas that “provide a basis for ongoing dialogue leading to a resolution.” He’s calling for Qatar and the other Arab countries to “sit together” to work through the list. Tillerson is also calling for a “lowering of rhetoric” to “help ease the tension.” He says the U.S. is supporting Kuwait’s efforts to mediate. The demands include shuttering Al-Jazeera and severing ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Tillerson had previously insisted any demands be “reasonable and actionable.” (AP)

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Cabinet Freezes Kosel Arrangements – De Facto Cancelation Of Egalitarian Prayer Area

The cabinet on Sunday 1 Tammuz decided to freeze the Kosel arrangement and any request to implement a change will demand cabinet intervention. This refers to the egalitarian prayer area near the Kosel, the area known as Robinson’s Arch. The cabinet originally approved it and then the chareidim regretted the move and have pressured Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, explaining if he moves ahead to implement it they will topple the coalition. It was originally explained by chareidi elected officials they felt supporting the plan was the least of two evils, fearing the High Court would permit such an arrangement at the Kosel if petitioned. Hence, the decision to support it, which has since been retracted. Now they are threatening to topple the coalition if the decision is implemented. The chareidi parties launched a tenacious battle to undo the decision, warning there would be no compromise regarding the Kosel and the Chief Rabbinate’s exclusive Orthodox control of the holy site. PM Netanyahu has appointed Minister Tzachi Hanegbi and Cabinet Secretary Braverman to work towards implementing a new arrangement in a move seemingly directed at Reform and Conservative leaders, who are undoubtedly angered by the cabinet decision. While the chareidim prevailed in their demand to maintain the religious status quo, Minister (Likud) Yuval Shteinman and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman opposed halting the preparation of the egalitarian prayer area. None of the ministers abstained. The chareidi parties praised the decision as did Chief Rabbi Dovid Lau Shlita, who points out the plan would have resulted in dividing the Kosel, and it is good the plan has been abandoned to maintain is undivided integrity. (YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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Average US Gas Price Drops 7 Cents, As Crude Cost Falls

The average price of a gallon of regular-grade gasoline dropped 7 cents nationally over the past two weeks, to $2.32. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said Sunday that the drop reflects lower costs for crude oil. She says the national average is 4 cents a gallon below the price a year ago. Gas in San Francisco was the highest in the contiguous United States at an average of $3.06 a gallon. The lowest was in Charleston, South Carolina, at $1.91 a gallon. The U.S. average diesel price is $2.53, down 3 cents from two weeks ago. (AP)

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IDF Regulations Amended To Permit A Military Non-Religious Burial

After years of court battles with NGOs representing non-religious and anti-religious interests, the IDF Judge Advocate General’s Office has announce amending regulations to permit a secular civilian military funeral if requested. The official change in the IDF burial order became known to the Hiddush organization in a letter from the Military Advocate General’s Office, after decades of requiring exclusively Orthodox kvura, including a military rabbi. The legal adviser of the IDF Casualties Unit writes: “The order came into force and was signed. The default set forth in the ordinance is that a military funeral must be held in a military cemetery. However, it is possible to deviate from this, and conduct a military funeral service in a civilian cemetery, if that was the will of the deceased, and if it is impossible to learn what his will was, then he wants the nearest meat to be left. ” “Alternatively, it was decided that a civil funeral ceremony could be held without military symbols in a civilian cemetery.” It should be noted that at a civil funeral, there will be no formal eulogy from the IDF, no ceremonial carrying of the aron or laying of ceremonial wreaths, nor the presence of an honor guard. However, there will be assistance in the areas of transportation to the cemetery, hanging of mourning notices and assistance in the excavation of the grave – unless they involve the Chilul Shabbos. (YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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Bus Service In Israel Delayed On Some Southern Lines Due To Ramadan

Many sectors of Israel’s workforce have become dependent on Muslim workers, including construction and drivers, and this is particularly apparent during the month of Ramadan when some services halt or are significantly cut. During Ramadan, when workers are fasting, their performance is compromised and often, they call it a day early, especially this year when Ramadan falls during a hot period. The Metropolin Bus Company has been compelled to cancel lines; four times in one week as a matter of fact, due to drivers observing Ramadan not showing for work. The result of this is that residents and of Dimona found themselves stranded, waiting well over an hour. When the company was called, they were unaware the bus hadn’t been running. While anxious passengers were instructed to wait, the bus never arrived. The drivers appear to have decided not to come in but never notified the company supervisor. There were reports of people being stranded on Sunday and Thursday, leaving workers, students and commuters out in the heat with no ability of getting to their destination on time. While Israel permits freedom of religion, this is one small example that highlights just how dependent Israel has become on its Arab workforce. (YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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Suspects In Custody For Attack Against Mispallel At Kever Shimon HaTzaddik On A Shabbos

A Jerusalem police spokesman reports three minors are in custody for an attack that took place against a mispallel who left the tziyun of Shimon HaTzaddik on a Shabbos morning. The attack took place on the morning of Shabbos Shelach. The Arab youths saw the man walking with a tallis on as he was leaving the area after davening. Police learned that after spotting him, the three crossed the street and began hurling rocks at the victim. The victim began running from the area. police spotted the man running and headed to him, fearing something was wrong. After learning what occurred they headed out in search of the suspects. The victim sustained light injuries. The suspects were found in the yard of an area home. They were arrested and being charged in a hate attack. They were arraigned and their remand extended until last week. They have since been indicted. (YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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Why Republicans Are Struggling Mightily To Overhaul Tax Code

Why are Republicans struggling mightily to reach a consensus on how to overhaul the nation’s tax system? The GOP is supposed to be really good at cutting taxes. President George W. Bush cut taxes. So did President Ronald Reagan, though he also raised them. Why is President Donald Trump, who has promised the largest tax cut ever, having so much trouble accomplishing one of his main initiatives? Some questions and answers about why tax overhaul is hard and why Republicans have been unable to reach a consensus. ——— WHAT’S THE HOLDUP? After weeks of private negotiations, the White House and congressional Republicans still don’t agree on exactly what they want to accomplish. House Republican leaders are firm that they want to completely overhaul the tax system for businesses and individuals. They want to make the tax law simpler and more efficient, and they want the changes to endure beyond the next decade. They want to cut tax rates, but they don’t want the changes to add to the federal government’s long-term debt. That means Congress would have to eliminate a lot of exemptions, deductions and credits, and probably come up with a new source of revenue. The White House is all about tax cuts. Administration officials have talked about simplifying the tax system and getting rid of deductions, but have offered few specifics. ——— WHY NOT JUST CUT TAXES? A growing number of Republicans say they would rather cut taxes than tackle the difficult task of overhauling the tax system. House Speaker Paul Ryan vehemently opposes this approach. Here’s why: Republicans are working to pass a tax plan under a procedure that requires only a simple majority in the Senate, preventing Democrats from blocking it. But to use this procedure, the package cannot add to the government’s long-term debt. That means simple tax cuts would have to be temporary, like the ones passed under Bush. “Every expert agrees that temporary reforms will only have a negligible impact on wages and economic growth,” said Ryan, R-Wis. “Businesses need to have confidence that we will not pull the rug out from under them.” ——— WHY IS RYAN PUSHING FOR A TAX ON IMPORTS? Ryan is pushing a plan that would increase taxes on imports and cut taxes on exports. It’s called a border adjustment tax. One reason Ryan likes it is because it would raise enough revenue — about $1 trillion over the next decade — to lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent without adding to the government’s debt. The tax would provide strong incentives for U.S.-based companies to keep their operations in the United States and perhaps persuade companies to move overseas operations to the U.S. The tax, however, has no support in the Senate because senators fear it would increase the cost of consumer goods. ——— HOW WOULD RYAN’S TAX WORK? The border adjustment tax is a cash-flow tax in which corporations could deduct business expenses immediately instead of depreciating them over time. But interest on debt would no longer be deductible, though current debt would be grandfathered. A U.S. company that makes a product and sells it domestically would pay a 20 percent tax on the profit. A U.S. company that makes a product and exports it would pay no taxes on the proceeds […]

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14 Percent Of Upcoming Graduating Pilots Are Hesder Talmidim

This coming Thursday, 5 Tammuz, another Israel Air Force pilot’s training program will graduate. It is reported that 14% of the graduates are talmidim who attended hesder yeshivot. Class 174 is about to graduate and the cadets will receive their wings in the presence of President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-General Gadi Eizenkott, and Air Force Commander Major-General Eshel. 46% of graduates come from cities and 30% from a yishuv kehilati and 22% from a moshav. Geographically speaking, 46% of the graduates come from northern Israel, 46% from the center and 8% from the south. 22% of the new pilots are the oldest child, 54% the middle child and 21% the youngest in the family. Only 3% are an only child and 11% are not the first in the family to receive pilot’s wings. 71% of the graduates were a member of a youth organization; 48% did a year of national service before the IDF or attended a mechina program and 14% learned in a hesder yeshiva. In recent years, graduates of the extended program also receive a bachelor’s degree. 30% of the cadets opted to study politics and government; 24% economics & management, and 24% studied information systems management. 92% of those who completed the course were native Israelis and the remaining 8% immigrated from Italy, Spain and the US In addition, only 15% of the course participants will be on the parade ground for graduation. (YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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