Yeshiva World News

DeBlasio Says AG’s Proposal To Have Committee Oversee NYPD ‘Just Won’t Work’

Mayor Bill de Blasio says the state attorney general’s recommendation to have a commission oversee the city’s police department “just won’t work.” “In terms of that particular proposal, I don’t think it will work. I think it would be counterproductive,” de Blasio said Thursday. New York State Attorney General Letitia James is investigating the NYPD’s recent interactions with protesters and shared her preliminary findings Wednesday. “The police should not police themselves, period. It requires change, and it requires reform, and it requires transparency and accountability,” she said. “At this point in time, why is this one agency treated so differently than all of the others?” Among her recommendations, James called for a separate commission to appoint the police commissioner. Under current rules, the mayor chooses the commissioner. De Blasio argued reforms can only move quickly when there’s “unity of command” and “true accountability.” “My accountability is to the people. When you create any kind of commission, when you create diffusion of accountability, things don’t work,” he said. “We all understand the problems we see at any agency that doesn’t have a single accountable leader. So I think that proposal just won’t work.” (YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

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How One Woman Infected 71 People With COVID-19

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention published an epidemiological investigation earlier this month showing how one woman unwittingly infected 71 people, CNN reported. On March 19, the woman returned from a trip to the United States to her home in the Heilongjiang Province in China, where the last coronavirus case had been diagnosed a week earlier. The woman, who had no symptoms of the virus, was tested and the results were negative but she was asked to quarantine at home anyway. The woman followed orders and everything was seemingly fine. But as the epidemiological investigation showed later, things were far from fine. It began with a man unconnected to the woman who suffered a stroke. The investigation showed that he attended a party at the apartment of a resident of the same building as the traveler. Ultimately the investigation showed that the traveler, who was silently carrying the coronavirus after all, infected the elevator of the building as she returned home, where she obediently stayed put for two weeks. Meanwhile, her downstairs neighbor contracted the virus from the elevator and she infected her mother and her mother’s boyfriend, who in turn went to a party and infected the stroke patients and his sons. The stroke patient and two of his sons were brought to two hospitals, where 28 people contracted the virus at the first hospital and another 20 were infected when the stroke patient was transferred to another facility. The researchers discovered that the genetic makeup of the virus all of the confirmed patients in this new outbreak was genetically identical and was a different strain than that previously found in China. The investigators finally discovered that a neighbor of one of the newly confirmed patients had recently traveled abroad and they tested her again. She tested negative but had antibodies to the virus, which meant that she had been ill with the virus but was asymptomatic. The researchers categorized her as AO, as the first and original case of the infection chain. All other residents of the building were tested and ruled out as possible carriers. “Therefore, we believe A0 was an asymptomatic carrier and that B1.1 (her neighbor) was infected by contact with surfaces in the elevator in the building where they both lived,” the researchers wrote. “As of April 22, 2020, A0 remained asymptomatic, and a total of 71 SARS-CoV-2–positive cases had been identified in the cluster.” “Our results illustrate how a single asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection could result in widespread community transmission.” (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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IN CUSTODY AGAIN! Michael Cohen Taken Back To Jail After He Was Caught At A Restaurant

Michael Cohen, the former personal lawyer for President Donald Trump, was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals on the heels of a newspaper photo showing him eating at a Manhattan restaurant weeks after being released from prison into home confinement. His attorney told NBC News that his detention could be connected to a photo of him that appeared on the front page of The New York Post eating outside his Manhattan residence, where he was supposed to be under home confinement. Cohen was taken to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, a federal jail, NBC News reported. Cohen was recently released from prison after raising concerns he could catch the coronavirus. (AP)

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Report: Three-Quarters Of Natanz Centrifuge Production Site In Iran Was Destroyed

New satellite photos of Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility show that the explosion at the site last week caused an extensive amount of damage to the centrifuge production area. Almost three-quarters of Iran’s main centrifuge production area was destroyed by the explosion, David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) told The Jerusalem Post. Albright said that the new satellite pictures reveal much more than the footage released last week, showing that “the vast majority of the centrifuge assembly hall was wiped out.” “It is clear that a major explosion took place, destroying nearly three-quarters of the main centrifuge assembly hall, generating a fire that blackened a major portion of the building, the blackening visible where the roof had been blown away by the explosion,” Albright said. Imagery taken by Maxar satellite this morning (July 8) over Natanz brings a new high-resolution photo of the centrifuge balancing facility. Comparison with the one taken on June 29 demonstrates the magnitude of the devastation caused by the blast. image:@ Maxar pic.twitter.com/pcHcDfogzI — Ronen Bergman (@ronenbergman) July 8, 2020 A report by the ISIS think tank says that the Natanz site, built in 2018: “was critical to the mass production of advanced centrifuges, in particular the assembly of rotor assemblies, the rapidly spinning part of the centrifuge and its most crucial component.” “An annex to the building was intended to assemble electrical components of centrifuges, including motors – another important component of centrifuges.” The extensive damage is likely to lead to a significant delay in Iran’s nuclear program. A New York Times article on Sunday said that Israel is responsible for the explosion at the Natanz nuclear site, quoting an anonymous Middle Eastern intelligence official. The blast at the site was one of a series of mysterious incidents occurring in Iran over the past week. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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Tragic Fire Burns Man in His Backyard

When Reb Chanoch’s wife, Mrs. Chayelle Regal (Chaya Reizel bas Soreh Rivka Alte Gittel), saw her husband enveloped in flames, she ran to save his life, grabbing a hose and spraying water on him. As a result of her heroic attempt, she, too, was badly burned, sustaining second and third-degree burns.A story hard to imagine. CLICK TO DONATE Tragically, Reb Chanoch returned his pure neshamah to his Maker a week later. Reb Chanoch was really special and forged a very close relationship with many tzaddikim including the Belzer Rebbe and Rabbi David Abichazira, shlit”a by writing their families biography. Rabbi Abichazira told R Chanochs’s son”Your father was supposed to recover, but he was taken as a korbon tzibbur. He is now in a place in Gan Eden that is loftier that I can attain.”He referred to him as “Rabeinu Hagaon Reb Chanoch.” What is a korban tzibbur? He was taken by fire just like a korban to atone for the sins of Klal Yisroel. He is in lofty Gan Eden but the family’s like is shattered loosing their most precious father Mrs.Chayelle Regal is a known producer of Regal Productions and has brought smiles to countless of family’s with 17 Productions .This years “Silver Skates, previous shows “Heidi”, “Prince or Pauper” to mention a few.She wants to bring you more shows but needs your help to continue. Now that there is no father, The Yesomim need your HELP!! CLICK TO DONATE Chayelle their mother is fighting to heal from her burns. There’s a long road ahead – full of recovery, lots of medical treatments, high medical bills, and healing. We therefore are setting up a fund in US together with Charity Extra in Uk and Rayze it for the family of Reb Chanoch Regal, zt”l, Yidden! Tzibbur-please help raise money for this respectable family and get brachos We are still missing funds to get to our goal of $400,000. The Mekubalim Rabbi Dovid and Harav Rafael Abichazira were so close to the niftar שליט”א They are offering a “Bracha to those who donate to help the yesomim !! From Rabbi Dovid שליט”א and R’ Rav Rafael Abichazira שליט”א in Eretz Yisroel” “התורמים הנכבדים לקרן היתומים יוזכור שמם לברכה אצל האחים האדמו”רים לבית אביחצירא” CLICK TO DONATE Checks can be made out to: Kolel Chassidei Gur 1727 51st Brooklyn Ny 11204 Donations will be tax deductable! Please help save this special Family Today! ​

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FREE WEEKLY DOWNLOAD: From The Popular Circle Magazine For Children

Every parent wants a pleasant and meaningful Shabbos table experience. But it can be hard to keep kids engaged without a plan and a lot of preparation. That’s why The Circle, a popular children’s magazine, has teamed up with Yeshiva World to create a free download with impressive and captivating content to help parents create a meaningful and entertaining Shabbos with their children. Circle Time: At Your Shabbos Table is an exclusive free download hosted right here and will be available every Thursday morning. Send us your feedback at circletime@circmag.com. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE ISSUE NOTE: You can also download a black & white version for those who have been having printer issues. To sign up for a weekly email of Circle Time: At Your Shabbos Table go to www.circmag.com/shabbos. (YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

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10 Thoughts and Sayings of Rav Simcha Wasserman zt”l

By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5tjt.com Rav Simcha Wasserman zt”l (1899-1992) was the son of Rav Elchonon Wasserman zt”l and was told to stay in the United States to improve the level of Chinuch in America.  He established Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon in Los Angeles and helped create a Torah infrastructure on the west coast. There are times, such as Mitzvah HaBa B’aveirah, where even though a stolen item may be technically permitted – one should still be concerned about our children learning from us – and we should rather distance ourselves as much as possible from even an appearance of theft [see Sukkah 30a]. (Ben Shmonim LaGvurah p.64) There is no greater zchus for a neshama than to have Torah learning going on in a Yeshiva on his account (heard from Rav Simcha zt”l by author). There is a mathematical principle called the Law of Noncontradiction where something is proven by demonstrating that the alternative is an absurdity. The same is true regarding Emunah Bashem – we can indirectly prove that anything else is an absurdity. (RSS 113) Generally speaking, the Chofetz Chaim was entirely unaware of what kalos rosh even was – yet when people made laitzanus of Avodah zara, his mouth would fill with laughter (Hishbati Eschem p. 142). Hashem created mankind in a manner that one person cannot provide for all his needs by himself. Each person both consumes and produces.  A person is obligated to prepare himself a means of producing.  If we only consume and not produce – we are parasites. (RSS p.79) The Gemorah in Yuma 19b says, “v’dibarta bam – and not in Dvarim b’tailim.” My father used to say, “Surely there is important information out there that is of tremendous import and benefit to mankind.  Why are they called “Dvarim B’teilim?”  The answer is that just like the current science has entirely dismissed much of what Aristotle had postulated in science – so too will much of the current science also be dismissed.  They are thus considered “Dvarim B’teilim when contrasted to the Torah which is truly Eternal (Rav Shachna Zohn zt”l, Kuntrus Kavod Torah p. 3 who heard it from Rav Simcha zt”l) When learning Torah, if we are not aware that this is the very same Torah that was given to us at Har Sinai – then we have taken the life out of it. (RSS p.60). Hashem wanted to ensure that the makos were effective and so He made sure that the yidden were unaffected by the vast majority of the makos. Yet regarding Makas Bchoros millions of Yidden died.  Pharoah was very smart.  Why didn’t makos bechoros lessen the effect of the Makah?  The answer is that Pharoah did not actually see it and thus it did not lessen the effect. (Told to Rav Yitzchok Summers of Anshei Emes of Los Angeles, CA) Torah provides us with inspiration. Wherever there is learning of Torah, there is inspiration.  There is light.  There is Jewish and Torah continuity (RSS p. 55) Hashem gave women a very strong sense of intuition or Binah in order that mothers will be able to communicate with their infants and to feel and understand his or her needs. (RSS p. 71) The author can be reached at yairhoffman2@gmail.com

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WATCH IT: DeBlasio Joins Anti-Semite Sharpton To Paint “Black Lives Matter” In Front Of Trump Tower

A massive yellow mural spelling “Black Lives Matter” was painted In the middle of 5th Avenue between 56th and 57th Street in the shadow of Trump Tower, Thursday morning. Joining the organizers to fill in the yellow paint, was the Socialist NYC Mayor, Bill DeBlasio. He was joined by “Reverend” Al Sharpton, one of the biggest anti-Semites NYC has ever seen. Responding to President Trump’s remarks last week where he said a Black Lives Matter mural will denigrate the luxury of 5th Ave, DeBlasio said the mural is “liberating 5th Avenue… we are uplifting 5th Avenue”. For those that are unaware, or need a reminder, Shaprton is the rabid anti-Semite, who fueled the Crown Heights riots 27 years ago that ended with the murder of Yankel Rosenbaum HY”D. Twenty-seven years ago a tragic car accident in Crown Heights Brooklyn escalated into a pogrom against the Jewish people. The media usually gives it a politically correct description: “violence between the area’s Blacks and Jews.” But the violence was not two-sided. The Crown Heights riot was an attack on the Jews by the neighborhood’s Caribbean community, fueled in large part by Al Sharpton, the “Reverend” who does not believe in the commandment about “bearing false witness.” Yesterday, DeBlasio said the prominent display will send a message that “Black lives, in fact, do matter.” “That Black people built New York City, that they’ve never been compensated for all they did, that all the mistakes, the sins, everything in American history that has afflicted Black people have not been accounted for and must be accounted for – something he does not understand,” he said last month. “So it is right to take the eyes of the world, the attention of the world right there on Fifth Avenue and focus on Black Lives Matter.” This is the latest BLM mural across the five boroughs. Others have already been painted in Harlem, Staten Island and Brooklyn. (YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

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Israel: 33,947 Cases, 346 Deaths, Over 350 IDF Soldiers Test Positive For COVID-19

The number of coronavirus patients in Israel increased by 1,231 in the previous 24 hours as of Thursday morning, with active patients now totaling 15,209, of whom 118 are seriously ill and 41 are ventilated. There are 426 virus patients currently hospitalized. Another two deaths were recorded, raising the death toll to 346. The Ministerial Committee on Restricted Zones is convening on Thursday to deliberate placing restrictions on another nine areas including a full lockdown of the cities of Modiin Illit and Ramle, an extension of the lockdown of neighborhoods in Ashdod and Lod, a lockdown of neighborhoods in Kiryat Malachi, Beit Shemesh and Jerusalem, restrictions on the city of Bnei Brak and increased testing in Ra’anana. Currently, the city of Beitar Illit is the only city in lockdown following the expiration of lockdown orders in Lod and Ashdod. Jerusalem Affair Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz (Bayit Yehudi) entered quarantine on Wednesday night after his advisor was diagnosed with the coronavirus. There has been a surge of coronavirus cases in the IDF, with over 350 actives cases – the highest number since the pandemic began and more than double the number of cases at the peak of the first wave in April which totaled 132. About 10,000 soldiers and IDF employees are currently in quarantine. Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein discussed increasing cooperation between the health and defense ministries during a visit to the Home Front Command headquarters this week. Home Front Command soldiers are already assisting the health ministry with manning its quarantine hotline and with reopening coronavirus hotels. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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MAJOR BLOW TO TRUMP: Supreme Court Says Manhattan DA Can Get Trump’s Tax Records

The Supreme Court on Thursday delivered split opinions in two cases over whether President Donald Trump can shield his tax records from investigators, handing a win to the Manhattan district attorney but rejecting parallel efforts by Democrats in the House of Representatives. The justices ruled President Trump is not immune from New York’s subpoena — but prosecutors will not get documents now. They also blocked Congress from getting the President’s records for now, sending a controversial case back down to the lower court for further review. Each of the two opinions were 7-2, with Chief Justice John Roberts and both of Trump’s appointees — Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — joining the liberal justices. Here are the seven justices on the majority opinion: Stephen Breyer John Roberts Ruth Bader Ginsburg Neil Gorsuch Sonia Sotomayor Elena Kagan Brett Kavanaugh And these are the two justices who dissented: Clarence Thomas Samuel Alito (YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

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As Gov’t Mulls Lockdown Of 9 Areas, J-m Mayor Says: “Will Turn Areas Into Incubators”

As Israel continues to grapple with a soaring coronavirus infection rate, the government is considering declaring additional areas as “red zones,” with the health ministry reportedly demanding the following: A full lockdown of Modiin Illit including closure of its educational institutions, yeshivos and kollelim. A lockdown of five neighborhoods in Jerusalem: Ramot, Har Nof, Romema, Maalot Dafna, and Kiryat Sanz and the closure of educational institutions for age 9 and above and the closure of yeshivos and kollelim. The closure of all educational institutions in Bnei Brak, including yeshivas and kollelim. A lockdown of two neighborhoods in Beit Shemesh and closure of educational institutions for age 9 and above and the closure of yeshivos and kollelim. An extension of the lockdown in Lod and a lockdown of three additional neighborhoods in the city. A full lockdown of Ramle. A lockdown of two neighborhoods in Kiryat Malachi – Achuzot Rotem and Shechunos Chabad – and the closure of educational institutions for age 9 and above and the closure of yeshivos and kollelim. A deliberation on the extension of the lockdown of Ashdod neighborhoods. The increase of coronavirus testing in Ra’anana. The only city currently in lockdown in Beitar Illit which was placed into lockdown on Wednesday. The lockdown on neighborhoods in Lod and Ashdod have expired although there is still a serious outbreak in those areas. Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion said on Thursday that he’s opposed to a lockdown of Jerusalem neighborhoods, saying that “a lockdown will turn the relevant neighborhoods into virus incubators.” In a letter to Health Ministry Deputy Director-General Prof. Itamar Grotto, Lion wrote: “It’s important to emphasize: as differentiated from other cities, these neighborhoods in Jerusalem are neighborhoods where tens of thousands of people and large families live in crowded apartments, with hundreds of residents in each building. A hermetic closure will lead to a mass infection within the community and exacerbate the situation.” Instead of a lockdown, Lion suggested: “to open designated command centers in the neighborhoods which will operate through the municipality and Home Front Command  and immediately evacuate every confirmed patient from their home within 24 hours to prevent the continuation of infection.” Regarding the closure of yeshivos, Lion wrote that “sending tens of thousands of yeshivah bochurim home is liable to increase infections in a dramatic fashion At the present moment, there’s no way to check exactly how many confirmed carriers are in the yeshivos and many carriers would be sent to their homes where they would infect many families and bring about an extensive outbreak in the Chareidi sector. In light of the above, my recommendation is a tightening of the lockdown on all yeshivos gedolos for two weeks.” (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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Buffett Makes Annual Donations Worth $2.9B To 5 Charities

Billionaire Warren Buffett has given away another $2.9 billion of his Berkshire Hathaway stock to five foundations as part of his plan to gradually give away his fortune. Buffett disclosed the annual gifts Wednesday. The biggest donation went to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Buffett also gave stock to his own foundation and to the foundations run by each of his three children. Altogether, he donated nearly 16 million Class B Berkshire shares. Buffett has been giving away blocks of Berkshire stock since 2006. Buffett’s gifts were worth more than $37 billion based on Berkshire’s share price when the gifts were given. This year, Buffett also estimated how much he has saved in tax deductions over the years as a result of his charitable contributions. Buffett said that for every $1,000 in contributions he has made, he has been able to reduce his state and federal income taxes by 43 cents. The 89-year-old CEO plans to eventually give all of his Berkshire stock to charity. After his death, the remaining shares will be distributed to various charities. After his latest donations, Buffett held 248,734 Class A Berkshire shares worth roughly $67.6 billion. (AP)

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Which Activities Put You At Most Risk To Catch COVID-19?

Israel’s Coronavirus National Information and Knowledge Center published a ranking of daily activities according to their risk of contracting the coronavirus based on international health experts and publications. Nightclubs are at the very top of the list as the most high-risk activity followed by parties, bars, sports stadiums, indoor concerts or other shows and attending shul (although a more recent report said that only 2.2% of coronavirus carriers were infected in shuls). The report explained that at times one virus carrier at a large event can infect dozens or even hundreds of people and blamed large events, which until recently were allowed to be attended by as many as 250 people, as responsible for the recent soaring rate of coronavirus infections in Israel. Activities that are still high-risk but slightly less risky are attending weddings, hugging or shaking hands, eating at cafeterias and visiting amusement parks. משרד הבריאות קובע מדד חדש לרמת סיכון הידבקות בקורונה. המסוכנים ביותר: מועדוני לילה, בית כנסת והשתתפות בחתונה. דיווחנו ב-@GLZRadio pic.twitter.com/Kfqx9X0BTH — מאיר מרציאנו (@Meir_Marciano) July 6, 2020 Activities that carry a moderate risk of contracting the coronavirus are plane flights, eating at restaurants, using public transportation, working out at gyms, bowling, and playing basketball. Activities that are still moderately risky but slightly less so are visiting movie theaters, schools and camps, working in a shared office, visiting a barber or hair salon, and playing at playgrounds. Even lower-risk activities are swimming in public pools, going to malls, using public bathrooms, attending outdoor barbecues or picnics, and staying at hotels. Finally, low-risk activities are visiting homes of other families, doctor visits, grocery shopping, visiting beaches, using the bathroom in someone else’s home, walking on a crowded street, visiting museums and filling up with gas at a gas station. Exercising outdoors, and eating takeout were deemed the lowest-risk activities for contracting the coronavirus. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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Despite Risks, Trump Invests Big In Attacks On Biden’s Age

President Donald Trump has accused his Democratic rival Joe Biden of having connections to the “radical left” and has pilloried his relationship with China, his record on criminal justice, his plans for the pandemic and even his son’s business dealings. But in a kitchen-sink offensive backed by a mountain of campaign cash, the 74-year-old Trump has so far invested in one line of attack above all: the charge that his 77-year-old opponent is too old and mentally weak to be an effective president. The attack has drawn cries of ageism, and there is evidence it may be ineffective. Shrugging off the risks, Trump’s team is pumping millions of dollars into the broadside and vowed this week not to back off. With Election Day less than four months away, Trump has spent more money on one television ad claiming that Biden lacks “the strength, the stamina and the mental fortitude to lead this country” than any other single ad this year. The 30-second spot and its Spanish equivalent have been running across 12 states, including retirement havens like Florida and Arizona, since mid-June at a cost of $6.5 million, according to data compiled by the media tracking firm Advertising Analytics. The firm noted a shift in recent days toward an unrelated Trump attack accusing Biden of supporting the far-left push to defund police departments, although he said he doesn’t. Still, the focus on Biden’s age and mental competence continued this week on television sets across the country, backed by a wave of related digital ads asking voters whether Biden “is old and out of it.” A separate television ad produced by a pro-Trump super PAC openly suggests Biden has dementia. The message has been amplified daily by Trump’s conservative media allies, despite a lack of evidence. Robert Blancato, who sits on the board of AARP and recently chaired the American Society on Aging, decries what he sees as blatant “ageist” attacks. Speaking for himself, not AARP, he said such attacks don’t belong in politics. “Not everybody in the world can be a victim of racism, not everybody in the world can be a victim of sexism, but everybody has potential to be a victim of ageism,” he said, predicting that ads focusing on age would backfire on the Trump campaign. “When you get into ageism, I don’t know what base you’re appealing to.” Yet while there is no known medical evidence that either candidate is declining, age and mental competence remain a key issue in 2020 for both candidates. Should he defeat Trump this fall, Biden, who turns 78 on Nov. 20, would be the oldest first-term president in U.S. history. Trump, who turned 74 on June 14, holds the current record. Both men are prone to gaffes and rambling when off script. Statistics suggest it’s fair for voters to consider age when deciding which candidate should spend the next four years in one of the world’s most stressful jobs. There is a 21% chance that an average man of Biden’s age would not survive his first term and a 15% chance that an average man of Trump’s would not survive his second, according to a study examining the longevity and health of the presidential candidates conducted by S. Jay Olshansky, a professor of public health at the University of Illinois […]

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Professor in Argentina Offers Bonus To “Whoever Finds A Poor Jew”

A professor at a university in Argentina promised his students a bonus to “whoever finds a poor Jew,” JTA reported. Prof. Esteban Lizondo, who teaches at the 21st Century Business University in Córdoba, Argentina, said the outrageous comment during an online class on international politics. He also said that the establishment of the state of Israel was a concession to the “Zionist lobby” in exchange for money, adding that Jews’ money “demonstrates the power that the Jews have.” “They are capable of handling business and financial enterprises, to continue enriching themselves,” Lizondo continued. “And not for nothing, go fight a Jew for money. Why do you guys think the Nazis killed so many Jews? Because of the envy they had. Imagine Germans bleeding to death in a terminal economic crisis, with hyperinflation, and the Jews … they kept getting rich.” One of Lizondo’s students recorded the online lecture and posted it on social media and also reported the professor’s comments to the Córdoba office of the Argentine Jewish umbrella organization DAIA, which in turn filed a complaint with the university. The DAIA noted in its complaint that the professor’s remarks are in violation of an Argentine law which states that it is illegal “by any means to encourage or initiate persecution or hatred against a person or groups of people because of their race, religion, nationality or political ideas.” The university responded that it is against discrimination of any kind and it will investigate the incident and impose maximum punishment if the incident is verified. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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He Accurately Predicted 96.7% of the Time: Is He Right?

by Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5tjt.com His name is Helmut Norpoth, and he is a professor at StonyBrook Univeristy in Long Island.  Norpoth feels that his model of prediction is far more accurate than any polls.  He developed a new model of predictions which has been devastatingly accurate since 1912. Professor Norpoth calls it the “Primary Model.” So how does it work?  It is predicated on how candidates performed in the primary elections and it is based on real voters – not polls.  Norpoth feels that primaries are a far better indicator than anything else because it is based on real data not extrapolated data. It is based upon enthusiasm which comes out better in actual performance. It is also based on what people actually do and not what they say they do. Norpoth’s model predicts that there is a 91% of President Trump thrashing Joe Biden in the upcoming November election. Norpoth believes that Joe Biden is in a much weaker position than Trump, as Biden had an extremely poor showing in the first two primary races. Biden actually came in fourth place in Iowa with just 15.8 percent of the vote. Worse still, he came in fifth place in New Hampshire with just 8.4 percent of the vote. “The terrain of presidential contests is littered with nominees who saw a poll lead in the spring turn to dust in the fall,” Norpoth told Mediaite. “The list is long and discouraging for early front runners. Beginning with Thomas Dewey in 1948, it spans such notables as Richard Nixon in 1960, Jimmy Carter in 1980, Michael Dukakis in 1988, George H.W. Bush in 1992, and John Kerry in 2004, to cite just the most spectacular cases.” Norpoth’s data is culled from the actual voting of millions of people – not the thought that they had.   This author would like to suggest that there may be something to what Professor Norpoth says from a thought of Rav Shmuel Brudny zt”l, a former Rosh Yeshiva of the Mir Yeshiva in Brooklyn. “We see from the Chumash that Kayin was the originator of the idea of bringing a Korban and Hevel copied him – albeit by bringing a much better Korban. Kayin’s was not accepted while that of Hevel’s was. The Midrash further explains that when the two battled together, it was Hevel that originally had Kayin in a headlock, but Kayin told him, “What will our mother feel?” Hevel let him go and Kayin treacherously killed him. We see from here that the emphasis in this world is not Machshavah – but Maaseh. What is counted ultimately is what happens lemaaseh – not the thought behind it.” The author can be reached at yairhoffman2@gmail.com

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Officer To Floyd: ‘It Takes … A Lot Of Oxygen To Talk’

As George Floyd told Minneapolis police officers that he couldn’t breathe more than 20 times in the moments before he died, the officer who pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck dismissed his pleas, saying “it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk,” according to transcripts of body camera video recordings made public Wednesday. The transcripts for the body camera videos of officers Thomas Lane and J. Kueng provide the most detailed account yet of what happened as police were taking Floyd into custody on May 25, and reveal more of what was said after Floyd, a Black man who was handcuffed, was put on the ground. “You’re going to kill me, man,” Floyd said, according to a transcript of Lane’s body camera video. “Then stop talking, stop yelling. It takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk,” said Derek Chauvin, the white officer who held his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes, even after Floyd stopped moving. “They’ll kill me. They’ll kill me. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe,” Floyd said. Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, had no immediate comment Wednesday. The transcripts were made public Wednesday as part of Lane’s request to have the case against him dismissed. Lane’s attorney, Earl Gray, said in a memorandum that there isn’t probable cause to charge his client, based on all of the evidence and the law. Gray painted an image of a rookie officer who trusted Chauvin, a senior officer, after Floyd had been acting erratically, struggling and hurting himself during an arrest. Gray said that once Floyd was on the ground, Lane had asked twice if officers should roll Floyd on his side, and Chauvin said no. Gray also submitted the body camera footage itself, but that was not immediately made public. The transcripts show Floyd appearing cooperative at times but becoming agitated as he begged not to be put in a squad car, saying repeatedly he was claustrophobic. “Oh man, God don’t leave me man, please man, please man,” he begged, later adding: “I’ll do anything y’ll tell me to, man. … I’m just claustrophobic, that’s it.” Gray wrote that Floyd started to thrash back and forth and was “hitting his face on the glass in the squad and began to bleed from his mouth.” Officers brought Floyd to the ground and, “the plan was to restrain him so he couldn’t move and hurt himself anymore,” Gray wrote. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Lane, Kueng and Tou Thao are charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter. Lane was holding Floyd’s legs at the time, Kueng was at Floyd’s midsection and Thao was watching nearby bystanders. All four officers were fired. A message left with an attorney for Floyd’s family wan’t immediately returned. A spokesman for the attorney general’s office said prosecutors plan to oppose the motion to dismiss. As part of his court filing, Gray also submitted a transcript of Lane’s interview with state investigators and police department training materials on restraint holds. Gray wrote that all of the evidence exonerates his client and that it is not “fair or reasonable” for Lane to stand trial. Gray said in a memorandum that his client’s body camera video shows the encounter with Floyd from the time […]

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Facebook Takes Down Accounts Tied To Roger Stone

Facebook on Wednesday said it has removed dozens of accounts linked to the hate group Proud Boys, to President Donald Trump’s longtime ally Roger Stone and to employees of Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, among others. A network tied to both Stone and the Proud Boys had fake accounts post about local politics in Florida, as well as Stone’s books, websites and media appearances, Facebook said. Stone’s own Facebook and Instagram accounts were also banned. “Roger Stone’s personal accounts and his branded assets will be coming down as part of this network,” said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, in a call with reporters. “Because we saw them deeply enmeshed in the activities here.” Facebook said these accounts were most active from 2015 to 2017 and most have been dormant since. Stone was sentenced to more than three years in prison after he was convicted of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to tip the 2016 election. Attorney General William Barr is scheduled to testify before Congress in July after two of his employees testified that he has politicized the department on behalf of Trump and allowed special treatment of Stone’s case. The Proud Boys were banned from Facebook and Instagram in 2018, but supporters of the organization have tried to get around the ban by creating new pages or accounts. It’s the third time in recent months that Facebook has announced the removal of accounts and pages linked to the group. The accounts linked to Bolsonaro were removed for spreading misinformation, using fake identities and otherwise violating Facebook’s rules. Facebook’s said the accounts were linked to Brazil’s Social Liberal Party, which Bolsonaro left last year after winning the 2018 presidential election, and to employees of the president, two of his sons, Sen. Flávio Bolsonaro and congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro, and two other lawmakers. Brazil’s justice is investigating the spread of false news in connection with Bolsonaro, which could affect him in the criminal and in the electoral arenas. Facebook also removed fake accounts in Ukraine focused on stirring up domestic divisions, as well as a network of accounts originating in Canada and Ecuador and focused on El Salvador, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Ecuador and Chile. (AP)

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Turning Today into an Eventual Day of Simcha

by Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5tjt.com Yes, it is true. We can change the 17th of Tammuz into a joyful holiday.  We need to do two things – however.  We need to, as a nation, start to truly love two things: Emes, and Shalom. Who says this?  The navi Zechariah – for one. Although the Three Weeks and the other two fasts are a period of mourning and introspection, the Navi Zechariah tells us (Zechariah 8:19) that, eventually, the four fasts of Klal Yisrael will be a source of joy and gladness, but only if we but embark upon the goal of loving both truth and shalom. Rabbi Chaninah tells us (Shabbos 55a) that Hashem’s seal is truth. Shalom is also one of the names of Hashem, in addition to being a central theme of our daily tefillos. If we learn to love these ideals, the fasts will be turned around. The four fasts mentioned in Zechariah are: The fast of the fourth month [17 Tammuz] The fast of the fifth month [9 Av] The fast of the seventh month [3 Tishrei] The fast of the tenth month [10 Teves] Clearly, we are counting these four fasts from the month of Nissan. Why do we start from Nissan? Because this is the first month that we became a nation. Modified Dates The exact dates of two of the fasts were not always these dates. As far as the 17th of Tammuz, originally, in the time of first Beis HaMikdash we observed it on the 9th of Tammuz because that is when the city walls were first broken through. Hundreds of years later, during the time of the second Beis HaMikdash, on the 17th of Tammuz, the enemy breached the walls of Yerushalayim once again. The date of the Tammuz fast was moved from the 9th to the 17th. The fast of Tishrei was to be observed on the third because the tragedy had occurred on the second day of Rosh Hashanah itself, one day earlier, and we do not want to fast then. Purpose Of The Fasts The Rambam (Hilchos Taanis 5:1) explains that fasting does two things: It awakens our hearts and it urges us onto the path of teshuvah. The purpose of the fast is for the teshuvah, the returning to Hashem, that is instigated by the fasting. The Chayei Adam (133:1) explains that if we do not focus on things that are important, we have lost the essential theme of Chazal’s intent in the fast. What does “awaken our hearts” mean? It attunes us to the loss, that great loss, of the Shechinah dwelling in our midst. Klal Yisrael is unique among all the nations of the world because of our unique ability to achieve a dveikus b’Hashem — a cleaving and closeness to HaKadosh Baruch Hu. It is this ability to achieve dveikus that gave us all the Nevi’im that we had. It is this ability to achieve dveikus which allows us to reach heights in our tefillos, our learning of His Torah, and in our middos. We had Chofetz Chaim in our midst because of this ability to achieve dveikus b’Hashem. The Beis HaMikdash in our midst allowed us to achieve even greater dveikus. The loss of the Beis HaMikdash was a loss of who we […]

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