Yeshiva World News

Beto O’Rourke Interrupts Briefing, Echoing US Debate on Guns

Surrounded by fellow Republicans on a high school stage, Gov. Greg Abbott was wrapping up his opening remarks about the killing of school children and teachers in Uvalde, Texas, when Beto O’Rourke strode forward from his seat in the audience. “Gov. Abbott, I have something to say,” the Democrat challenging Abbott for governor this fall said Wednesday, pointing a finger at his rival. “The time to stop the next shooting is right now, and you are doing nothing.” A mix of boos and cheers rose up from the crowd as the former congressman and 2020 presidential candidate briefly spoke, then was escorted from the room. Sen. Ted Cruz, standing behind Abbott, shook his head and said “sit down!” while one woman in the crowd chanted, “Let him speak.” Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin yelled that O’Rourke was a “sick son of a (expletive removed).” Some people cried. And with that, the briefing transformed into an argument similar to the one happening in many corners of America after yet another school shooting that inflicted a shocking death toll — 19 children and two teachers. Democrats want to talk about enacting restrictions on who can possess a firearm and what type of weapons should be available, while Republicans say such laws are meaningless and prefer to focus on other issues like school security — or to avoid the discussion at all. “We need all Texans to in this one moment in time put aside their own agendas, think of somebody other than ourselves, think about the people who are hurt,” Abbott said immediately after O’Rourke exited, his voice rising. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, taking the microphone moments later, insisted it was time now to focus on the victims and their families, adding: “This is not a partisan issue. This is not a political issue.” But for many — including those in the high school auditorium — the partisanship and the politics are inescapable. Tuesday’s mass shooting in the small town west of San Antonio, was just the latest to occur in Texas in recent years. After a gunman killed 23 people in a racist 2019 attack that targeted Hispanics at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas lawmakers loosened gun laws. Abbott said Wednesday that he considers the steps the Republican-controlled Legislature took in 2019 to be the “most profound” action anywhere in the U.S. to stop school shootings. He and other GOP officials said the proper place to focus is on mental health and “hardening schools,” or making them more secure, rather than on restricting guns. He called existing gun laws in Chicago, New York and California ineffective. “I hate to say this, but there are more people who are shot every weekend in Chicago than there are in schools in Texas. And we need to realize that people who think that ‘Well, maybe we just implement tougher gun laws’ is going to solve that — Chicago and LA and New York disprove that thesis,” he said. Meanwhile, O’Rourke stood outside in the parking lot, where he continued calling for gun control. “If we do nothing, we will continue to see this,” he said, “year after year, school after school, kid after kid.” Residents of Uvalde also echoed the two sides of the debate. Ariana Diaz, 17, said she has friends in the […]

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Petirah of R’ Pinchos Stolper z”l, Founder of NCSY

We regret to inform you of the petira of Rabbi Pinchas Stolper zt’l at the age of 90. Rabbi Pinchas Stolper, internationally renowned pioneer in Jewish youth work, was widely respected as a lecturer, teacher, educator, author and thinker. Rabbi Stolper was the founder of the National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY) which he served for 25 years as National Director – from its infancy through its seminal role in the international Teshuva movement. During more than forty years of working with Jewish youth, he met and counseled thousands of young people. One of the world’s largest and most respected youth movements today, NCSY serves over 40,000 young people in the United States, Canada and Israel with fresh, innovative and creative educational programs. Rabbi Stolper subsequently served as the Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union for close to 20 years. A loyal and dedicated disciple of HaGaon Rav Yitzchak Hutner, he was a musmach of the Mesivta Rabbi Chaim Berlin / Gur Aryeh Kollel, and held degrees from Brooklyn College and the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research. A prolific writer and editor, he was responsible for over 20 volumes and hundreds of articles on Jewish life and thought earning him a broad following as a major Jewish thinker, innovator and leader. Rabbi Stolper made it his life mission to disseminate the teachings of his Rebbi, Rav Yitzchak Hutner zt’l by writing sefarim that translated and elucidated Rav Hunter’s magnum opus, Pachad Yitzchak. Rabbi Stolper was also credited with discovering the talent of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. Rabbi Stolper subsequently hired him to write books for NCSY, thus catapulting Rabbi Kaplan’s career in Kiruv literature. Rabbi Stolper lived in Chicago for the last several years. He is survived by his wife, Rebbetzin Elaine Stolper and his two children, Rabbi Akiva Stolper of Flatbush, former Rav of Congregation Ohr Chaim in Miami Beach and Rebbetzin Michal Cohen (wife of Rabbi Zev Cohen) of Chicago. He was predeceased by his daughter, Mrs. Malkie Kaweblum. He also leaves behind thousands of talmidim, who are talmidei chachomim, respected community leaders and distinguished baalei batim. The levaya will be held on Thursday, May 26th at 9:00AM at Shomrei Hadas, 3803 14th Avenue. The kevura will be in Eretz Yisroel on Har Hamenuchos on Friday, May 27th. Shiva information to follow. Yehi Zichro Baruch. (YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

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STONE TERROR: MK’s Son, Grandchildren Injured In Car Accident After Arabs Hurl Rocks

The son and grandchildren of Religious Zionist Party MK Orit Strock were injured in a car accident on Tuesday evening after Arabs threw stones at Jewish cars near Huwara, in the Shomron. Strock’s son, 24, was driving with his two small children when a stone smashed his front windshield, hitting his head and then hitting the head of his toddler sitting in the back seat behind him. He lost consciousness and the car veered off the road. They were treated at the scene by the Palestinian Red Cresent and then evacuated to Sheba Hospital in Tel HaShomer. The father was in serious condition due to a head injury, the two-and-a-half-year-old was in moderate condition with a head wound, and the four-and-a-half-year-old was suffering from shock. MK Strock shared photos of the car on Twitter, stating: “Arabs tried to murder my son and grandchildren in Huwara!” On Wednesday morning, as she sat by her son’s side in the hospital, she said that her grandchildren will probably be released shortly but her son’s treatment will take time. “It was a head injury which isn’t simple,” she said. She asked for tefillos for her son: Yedidya Moshe ben Orit Malka l’refuah sheleimah b’toch shaar cholei Yisrael. אבנים יכולות להרוג. ידוי אבנים זה פיגוע לכל דבר ועניין. ההסלמה הקשה של החודשים האחרונים נובעת מגישה לפיה אבנים הם מטרד שאפשר לחיות איתו. וזו טעות מסוכנת. צה"ל חייב לקבל פקודה למגר את פיגועי האבנים עד האבן האחרונה. וזה אפשרי. — בצלאל סמוטריץ' (@bezalelsm) May 25, 2022 Likud MK Shlomo Karhi retweeted the photos, writing: “Barbarians. A fake nation. Animals. The time has come for a revised legal system to be established here. Punishment. Deterrence. Governance. Sovereignty.” In another stone-throwing incident on Tuesday evening, a 68-year-old Jew was lightly injured after Arabs threw stones at his car on Route 60 near Shiloh. He received emergency medical aid at the scene and was evacuated to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem. “The State of Israel is not fulfilling a simple task [of providing security for its citizens] and every week we suffer from stones intended to murder us,” said Yisrael Gantz, the head of the Binyamin Regional Council. “The ‘merciful’ treatment, the policy of containment, and the desire for deceptive silence shatter us – ours cars’ windshields, injuring and endangering us. The political echelon made a decision to allow this to happen rather than taking harsh steps to end this terror.” (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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‘Trump Is In The Past’: Mounting Losses Show Limits Of Power

Donald Trump opened May by lifting a trailing Senate candidate in Ohio to the Republican nomination, seemingly cementing the former president’s kingmaker status before another possible White House run. He’s ending the month, however, stinging from a string of defeats that suggests a diminishing stature. Trump faced a series of setbacks in Tuesday’s primary elections as voters rejected his efforts to unseat two top targets for retribution: Georgia’s Republican governor and secretary of state, both of whom had rebuffed Trump’s extraordinary pressure to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. But the magnitude of defeat in the governor’s race — more than 50 percentage points — was especially stunning and raised questions about whether Republican voters are beginning to move on from Trump. Nearly six years after the onetime reality television star launched what seemed to be an improbable campaign for the White House, the “Make America Great Again” movement Trump helmed isn’t going anywhere. But voters are increasingly vocal in saying that the party’s future is about more than Trump. “I like Trump a lot, but Trump is in the past,” said David Butler of Woodstock, Georgia, who voted for Gov. Brian Kemp on Tuesday and said Trump’s endorsements had “no” impact “whatsoever” on his thinking. It was the same for Will Parbhoo, a 22-year-old dental assistant who also voted for Kemp. “I’m not really a Trumper,” he said after voting. “I didn’t like him to begin with. With all the election stuff, I was like ‘Dude, move on.’” One thing Parbhoo liked about the current governor? “Kemp is focused on Georgia,” he said. Trump sought to play down the losses by his favored candidates, saying on his social media platform Wednesday that he had a “very big and successful evening of political Endorsements” and insisting some races “were not possible to win.” Still, the pattern of high-profile defeats is hard to ignore. After JD Vance vaulted from third to first place following Trump’s late-stage endorsement in the Ohio Senate primary, the dynamics took a turn. Trump’s pick in Nebraska’s primary for governor, Charles Herbster, lost his race after allegations surfaced that he had groped women. In Idaho a week later, the governor beat a Trump-backed challenger. In North Carolina, voters rebuffed Trump’s plea to give a scandal-plagued congressman a second chance. And in Pennsylvania, a marquee Senate primary featuring Trump-endorsed celebrity heart surgeon Mehmet Oz remains too close to call. But his biggest upset was in Georgia, a crucial swing state, where former Sen. David Perdue, whom Trump had lobbied to run and helped clear the field for, lost to Kemp. The governor was among Trump’s top targets after he refused to overturn the results of the 2020 White House election in his state. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who defied Trump’s call to “find” the votes to change the outcome two years ago — a call that is now under investigation — also won his party’s nomination. Attorney General Chris Carr and Insurance Commissioner John King — all opposed by Trump — were also successful in their primaires. In Alabama, Rep. Mo Brooks, whose Senate endorsement Trump rescinded as he struggled to gain traction, made it to a runoff, having gained support after Trump dropped him. Trump has endorsed in nearly 200 races, from governor […]

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El Al To Move US Headquarters From New York To Miami

El Al Airlines is transferring its US headquarters from New York to Miami, a move that will save it $500,000 annually, Globes reported on Tuesday El Al announced the decision in its first-quarter financial statement, saying that the move would have minimal effect on the airline’s operations. The headquarters will be located in a Miami building, with an annual rent of $90,000. The move, which is being implemented as part of the streamlining demanded by the Israeli government as a condition for financial aid for the beleaguered airline following the COVID crisis, has been approved by El Al’s board of directors and its auditing committee. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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Desperation Becomes Sorrow After Elementary School Shooting

Desperation turned to heart-wrenching sorrow for families of grade schoolers killed after an 18-year-old gunman barricaded himself in their Texas classroom and began shooting, killing at least 19 children and their two teachers. By Wednesday morning, many were facing the grim reality of an unimaginable horror as the names of the young victims of Tuesday’s shooting at Robb Elementary School in the southwestern town of Uvalde began to emerge. Among them were relatives of 10-year-old Eliahna Garcia, who learned late Tuesday that she was among those killed, said her aunt, Siria Arizmemdi. “She was very happy and very outgoing,” said Arizmendi, a fifth-grade teacher at Flores Elementary School in the same school district. “She loved to dance and play sports. She was big into family, enjoyed being with the family.” Veronica Luevanos, whose 10-year-old daughter, Jaliah Nicole Silguero, was among the victims, tearfully told Univision that her daughter did not want to go to school Tuesday and that the girl seemed to sense something was going to happen. Jaliah’s cousin also died in the shooting. All of the dead were in the same fourth-grade classroom, where the shooter barricaded himself and opened fire on the children and teachers, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told a news conference Wednesday. He said the gunman used one weapon and posted on Facebook shortly before the shooting, “I’m going to shoot an elementary school.” Schools Superintendent Hal Harrell fought back tears as he spoke of the children and their teachers. “You can just tell by their angelic smiles that they were loved,” Harrell said of the children. “That they loved coming to school, that they were just precious individuals.” The two teachers “poured their heart and soul” into their work, he said. Vincent Salazar’s 10-year-old daughter, Layla, was among those killed. She loved to swim and dance to videos on TikTok, her father said. An avid runner, she won six races at the school’s field day, and Salazar proudly posted a photo of Layla showing off two of her ribbons on Facebook. Each morning as he drove her to school in his pickup, Salazar would play “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” by Guns ‘n’ Roses and they’d sing along, he said. She was excited about seeing the new Marvel movie, “Thor: Love and Thunder.” “She was just a whole lot of fun,” he said. Manny Renfro said he got word Tuesday that his grandson, 8-year-old Uziyah Garcia, was among those killed. “The sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known,” Renfro said. “I’m not just saying that because he was my grandkid.” Renfro said Uziyah last visited him in San Angelo during spring break. “We started throwing the football together and I was teaching him pass patterns. Such a fast little boy and he could catch a ball so good,” Renfro said. “There were certain plays that I would call that he would remember and he would do it exactly like we practiced.” Lisa Garza, 54, of Arlington, Texas, mourned the death of her 10-year-old cousin, Xavier Javier Lopez, who had been eagerly awaiting a summer of swimming. “He was just a loving … little boy, just enjoying life, not knowing that this tragedy was going to happen,” she said. “He was very bubbly, loved to dance with his brothers, his mom. This has just taken a […]

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There are families that cant even afford cream cheese anymore

Shavous is fast approaching. Please, hear the cry of your brothers and sisters in Israel and send financial help! The money raised will be distributed before Yom Tov. Every donation to this cause will bring you countless zechusim and mitzvahs. Give as much as you can, so that when the gabboim knock on the doors of these homes and give them an envelope full of hope and comfort, full of smiles, Hashem will remember you and your needs with a smile. CLICK HERE TO DONATE! May Hashem bless all those who give Tzedakah with many berochos and yeshuos. Tizku lmitzvos.

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US Treasury Sanctions International Hamas Network

The US Treasury Department announced on Tuesday that it sanctioned a Hamas official and individuals and companies that launder and conceal funds for the terror group. Hamas’ Investment Office oversees the funding network of over $500 million in companies in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, and Sudan. “Today’s action targets the individuals and companies that Hamas uses to conceal and launder funds,” said Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes Elizabeth Rosenberg. “Hamas has generated vast sums of revenue through its secret investment portfolio while destabilizing Gaza, which is facing harsh living and economic conditions. Hamas maintains a violent agenda that harms both Israelis and Palestinians.” “The United States is committed to denying Hamas the ability to generate and move funds and to holding Hamas accountable for its role in promoting and carrying out violence in the region.” (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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Will Congress Act On Guns After Sandy Hook, Buffalo, Uvalde?

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer swiftly set in motion a pair of firearms background-check bills Wednesday in response to the school massacre in Texas. But the Democrat acknowledged Congress’ unyielding rejection of previous legislation to curb the national epidemic of gun violence. Schumer implored his Republican colleagues to cast aside the powerful gun lobby and reach across the aisle for even a modest compromise bill. But no votes are being scheduled. “Please, please, please damnit – put yourselves in the shoes of these parents just for once,” Schumer said as he opened the Senate. He threw up his hands at the idea of what might seem an inevitable outcome: “If the slaughter of schoolchildren can’t convince Republicans to buck the NRA, what can we do?” The killing of at least 19 children plus a teacher at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, has laid bare the political reality that the U.S. Congress has proven unwilling or unable to pass substantial federal legislation to curb gun violence in America. In many ways, the end of any gun violence legislation in Congress was signaled a decade ago when the Senate failed to approve a firearms background check bill after twenty 6- and 7-year-olds were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Despite the outpouring of grief Wednesday after the starkly similar Texas massacre, it’s not at all clear there will be any different outcome. “We are accepting this as the new normal,” lamented Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., on “CBS Mornings.” “It’s our choice.” While President Joe Biden said “we have to act,” substantial gun violence legislation has been blocked by Republicans, often with a handful of conservative Democrats. Despite mounting mass shootings in communities nationwide — two in the past two weeks alone, including Tuesday in Texas and the racist killing of Black shoppers at a Buffalo, New York, market 10 days earlier — lawmakers have been unwilling to set aside their differences and buck the gun lobby to work out any compromise. Even the targeting of their own failed to move Congress to act. Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot in the head at a Saturday morning event outside a Tucson grocery store in 2011, and several Republican lawmakers on a congressional baseball team were shot years later during morning practice. “The conclusion is the same,” said Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. “I’m not seeing any of my Republican colleagues come forward right now and say, ‘Here’s a plan to stop the carnage.’ So this is just normal now, which is ridiculous.” It’s “nuts to do nothing about this,” Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., Giffords’ husband, said Wednesday using an expletive. Pleading with his colleagues for a compromise, Murphy said he was reaching out to the two Texas Republican senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, and had called fellow Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin who authored the bill that failed after Sandy Hook. “When you have babies, little children, innocent as can be, oh God,” Manchin told reporters late Tuesday, noting he had three school-age grandchildren. “It just makes no sense at all why we can’t do common sense — common sense things — and try to prevent some of this from happening.” In the aftermath of Sandy Hook, compromise legislation, written by Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey […]

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Slain IRGC Officer Masterminded 2012 Attacks On Israeli Envoys, Israel Raises Alert

Senior IRGC official Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodayari was eliminated for preemptive reasons as he was actively planning attacks against Israel abroad in retaliation for the death of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran International in London reported on Monday. According to the report, Khodayari was also behind a number of terror plots against Israelis in the past in Europe, Africa and Asia, including the car bomb targeting an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi, India in 2012, which wounded the diplomat’s wife. He was also the mastermind behind the bombings in Thailand a day later, also aimed at Israeli envoys, and attempted bombings in Tbilisi, Georgia, and several Central Asian countries. The report added that Khodayari was aware that he could be targeted and avoided wearing the IRGC uniform or presenting himself as an intelligence agent. Israel has raised the security alert level at its embassies and missions worldwide in anticipation of Iranian retaliatory attempts against Israelis. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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Poor Kallah cant afford basic things, please donate. Verified campaign.

Dear brothers and sisters, My name is Esti and with Hashem’s help I will be getting married very soon! My happiness is not complete because I have no way to pay for anything! I do not have any relatives or friends who can help me pay for my wedding. I beg of every Jewish soul to please open your heart and donate whatever possible to my wedding fund. CLICK HERE TO DONATE! You have an incredible opportunity to invest in the great mitzva of hachnosas kallah, and you will be wiping away the bitter tears from my eyes. In the zechus of helping me, Hashem should send you shefa and hatzlacha in all areas of life in good health. Tizku limitzvos. Esti CLICK HERE TO DONATE

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Oz, McCormick Race Heads Into Recount in Pennsylvania Senate Primary

Pennsylvania’s top election official said Wednesday that the margin between the top two candidates in last week’s Republican primary for U.S. Senate is tight enough to trigger a statewide recount, dragging the outcome into June as the candidates fight in court. The state’s acting secretary of state, Leigh Chapman, said the difference in vote totals for the top two finishers — celebrity heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz and former hedge fund CEO David McCormick — fall within the margin in state law for a mandatory recount. Oz, who is endorsed by former President Donald Trump, led McCormick by 902 votes, or 0.07 percentage points, out of 1,343,643 ballots reported by the state as of Wednesday. One question for McCormick’s campaign is whether there are enough outstanding ballots for him to make up the difference with Oz. The Department of State estimated that counties had about 10,000 provisional and absentee ballots remaining to count, but it did not know how many were cast by Republican voters. There are another 860 Republican mail-in ballots without handwritten dates on their envelopes that are the subject of court cases, department officials said. Under Pennsylvania’s recount law, the separation between the candidates must be inside the law’s 0.5% margin. The Associated Press will not declare a winner in the race until the recount is complete. That could take until June 8. The winner will face Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in November’s midterm elections in what Democrats see as their best opportunity to pick up a seat in the closely divided Senate. The incumbent, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, is retiring after serving two terms. The deadline for counties to report their unofficial results to the state elections office was Tuesday. Even so, counties continued counting thousands of ballots on Wednesday, including provisional, military and overseas absentee ballots. Chapman’s recount order is mandatory — unless the losing candidate requests that it not be carried out. McCormick had no plans to decline a recount and said in a statement that “we look forward to a swift resolution so our party can unite and defeat” Fetterman in the fall. Counties will begin the recount next week and have until June 7 to finish and another day to report results to the state. In those cases, McCormick is hoping to get help closing the gap in votes with Oz. His campaign has asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to compel counties to promptly count those ballots. A lower court has ordered a hearing next Tuesday on the matter. Oz, the Republican National Committee and the state Republican Party oppose McCormick’s request. A separate case that affects those same ballots could go to the U.S. Supreme Court. (AP)

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FRIGHTENING: Texas Gunman Warned Online He Was Going To Shoot Up School

The gunman who massacred 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Texas had warned in online messages minutes before the attack that he had shot his grandmother and was going to shoot up a school, the governor said Wednesday. Salvador Ramos, 18, used an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle in the bloodbath Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. He had legally bought two such rifles just days before, soon after his birthday, authorities said. Investigators shed no immediate light on the motive. Gov. Greg Abbott said Ramos, a resident of the community about 85 miles (135 kilometers) west of San Antonio, had no known criminal or mental health history. But about 30 minutes before the bloodbath, Ramos made three social media posts, Abbott said. According to the governor, Ramos posted that he was going to shoot his grandmother, then that he had shot the woman, and finally that he was going to shoot up an elementary school. Seventeen people were also injured in the attack. “Evil swept across Uvalde yesterday. Anyone who shoots his grandmother in the face has to have evil in his heart,” Abbott said at a news conference. “But it is far more evil for someone to gun down little kids. It is intolerable and it is unacceptable for us to have in the state anybody who would kill little kids in our schools.” Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who is running against Abbott for governor this year, interrupted the news conference, calling the Republican’s response to the tragedy “predictable.” O’Rourke was escorted out while members of the crowd yelled at him, with one man calling him a “sick son of a bitch.” As details of the latest mass killing to rock the U.S. emerged, grief engulfed the small town of Uvalde, population 16,000. The dead included an outgoing 10-year-old, Eliahna Garcia, who loved to sing, dance and play basketball; a fellow fourth grader, Xavier Javier Lopez, who had been eagerly awaiting a summer of swimming; and a teacher, Eva Mireles, with 17 years’ experience whose husband is an officer with the school district’s police department. “I just don’t know how people can sell that type of a gun to a kid 18 years old,” Eliahna’s aunt, Siria Arizmendi, said angrily through tears. “What is he going to use it for but for that purpose?” Lt. Christopher Olivarez of the Texas Department of Public Safety told CNN that all of those killed were in the same fourth-grade classroom. The killer “barricaded himself by locking the door and just started shooting children and teachers that were inside that classroom,” Olivarez said. “It just shows you the complete evil of the shooter.” Law enforcement officers eventually broke into the classroom and killed the gunman. Police and others responding to the attack also went around breaking windows at the school to enable students and teachers to escape. The attack in the predominantly Latino town of Uvalde was the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012. The bloodshed was the latest in a seemingly unending string of mass killings at churches, schools, stores and other sites in the United States. Just 10 days earlier, 10 Black people were shot to death in a […]

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Texas Elementary School Shooting: What Do We Know So Far?

A gunman stormed into an elementary school Tuesday in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 children and two teachers in the United States’ deadliest school shooting in nearly a decade. Law enforcement officers killed the shooter, identified as a local 18-year-old who had shot and wounded his grandmother and spelled out his violent plans in online messages shortly before the massacre at Robb Elementary. Investigators say they don’t yet know a motive for the shootings. A look at what we know so far: WHAT HAPPENED IN UVALDE? The attacker shot his 66-year-old grandmother in the face at their Uvalde home, then fled in her truck as she summoned help, according to Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas Public Safety Director Steve McCraw and other officials. A short distance away, Ramos crashed the truck outside the school, got out with a rifle and approached a back door, officials said. They said an officer assigned to the school “engaged” Ramos, but the gunman got into the building and down a hallway to a fourth-grade classroom. After locking the classroom door, he opened fire around 11:30 a.m. with an AR-15-style rifle, carrying multiple magazines. A team including local officers and Border Patrol agents ultimately forced the door open and shot Ramos to death after he fired at them, police said. Other officers and responders shattered some of the school’s windows so teachers and students could escape. Ramos was wearing a tactical vest, though not body armor, according to state senators who said they were briefed on the shooting. There was another AR-15-style rifle in his truck, and a backpack with several magazines full of ammunition was found near the school entrance. WHO WERE THE VICTIMS? Authorities haven’t yet released the victims’ names, but some information about them has emerged from their families. Eliahna Garcia was an outgoing 10-year-old who loved to sing, dance, play sports and be with her family, according to aunt Siria Arizmendi. Uziyah Garcia was only 8 and “the sweetest little boy that I’ve ever known,” said grandfather Manny Renfro, recalling how the youngster was already able to master football pass patterns. Xavier Javier Lopez, 10, had been looking forward to a summer of swimming. Ebullient and loving, he was “just enjoying life, not knowing that this tragedy was going to happen today,” cousin Lisa Garza said. Swift-footed Layla Salazar, 10, had won six races at the school’s field day. “She was just a whole lot of fun,” said her father, Vincent Salazar, remembering how she danced to TikTok videos and sang along with him to the Guns N’ Roses song “Sweet Child O’ Mine” every morning on the way to school. Jailah Nicole Silguero, 10, hadn’t wanted to go to school Tuesday, appearing to think that something bad would happen, her mom, Veronica Luevanos, told Univision. A cousin of Jailah’s also was killed. Eva Mireles, 44, had been teaching for 17 years, according to a welcome letter to students she wrote last fall. She and her husband, a school police officer, had a grown daughter. Mireles wrote that she loved running and hiking, and relative Amber Ybarra said she had an adventurous spirit. WHO WAS THE GUNMAN? Authorities identified the shooter as Salvador Ramos, 18. He lived in Uvalde itself, a predominantly Latino city of about 16,000 people in a farming area roughly […]

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Seoul: N Korea Fires Suspected ICBM And 2 Other Missiles

North Korea test-launched a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile and two shorter-range weapons toward its eastern waters Wednesday, South Korea said, hours after President Joe Biden ended a trip to Asia where he reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to defend its allies in the face of the North’s nuclear threat. The suspected ICBM didn’t fly its full range. But if confirmed, it would still be North Korea’s first test of an ICBM system in about two months amid stalled nuclear diplomacy with the United States. The launch suggests North Korea is determined to continue its efforts to modernize its arsenal despite its first COVID-19 outbreak, which has caused outside worries about a humanitarian disaster. “North Korea’s sustained provocations can only result in stronger and faster South Korea-U.S. combined deterrence and can only deepen North Korea’s international isolation,” the South Korean government said in a statement after an emergency security meeting. Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi called the launches “an act of provocation and absolutely impermissible.” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken held separate calls with his counterparts from South Korea and Japan during which they condemned the launches as a clear violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions, the State Department said. Blinken noted Washington’ commitments to the defense of South Korea and Japan “remains ironclad” as the three allies continue to cooperate to achieve the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the statement said. “(The launches) were a political message. They’re saying they feel bad” about Biden’s recent summit with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, said Chang Young-keun, a missile expert at Korea Aerospace University in South Korea. Biden and Yoon said after their meeting Saturday that they would consider expanded military exercises to deter North Korean nuclear threats. Biden brushed aside questions about any possible provocation by North Korea during his trip, saying, “We are prepared for anything North Korea does.” He later met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, and they vowed to work closely to address security challenges, including North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic programs and what they called China’s “increasingly coercive” behavior in the region. According to South Korea’s military, the first missile was likely an ICBM that reached a maximum height of 540 kilometers (335 miles) while traveling 360 kilometers (223 miles). The statement said the second missile disappeared from South Korean radar at some point and the third flew 760 kilometers (472 miles). Kim Tae-hyo, South Korea’s deputy national security adviser, told reporters that the first launch involved the North’s biggest Hwasong-17 missile, whose potential range includes the entirety of the U.S. mainland. He said the missile was fired at a high angle and that its launch appeared aimed at reviewing the weapon’s propellant and stage separations, though he couldn’t conclusively say whether the test was successful. He said the tests of the two other missiles, both short-range, implied North Korea’s intention to improve its ability to launch nuclear strikes on its rivals. While the North Korean launches were part of its weapons development program, they were also strategically timed to the end of Biden’s Asian visits and likely designed to test the readiness of South Korea’s new government, which took office about two weeks ago, Kim said. The flight details for the suspected ICBM were similar to those of two previous […]

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Preparations Underway for Yahrzeit of “Miracle Tanna” Reb Chanina ben Dosa on Friday Iyar 26 (May 27th)

Arraba, Lower Galilee…Israelis from across the religious spectrum are preparing to mark the “Yom Hilulah” (yahrzeit) of the celebrated tanna, Reb Chanina ben Dosa on Friday Iyar 26 (May 27). Chanina Bni (, an organization dedicated to keeping the legacy of the great tanna alive, is preparing to hold special tefillios, especially for people in need of yeshuos on the eve of the yahrzeit as they do weekly on Thursday nights with special learning and davening. Chanina Bni has hundreds of files of people who overcame dire circumstances in life with tefilos at the kever of Chanina ben Dosa.   The effort to mark the yahrzeit is headed by the noted Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Mordechai Shmuel Edelstein, the nephew of the well-known Godol Hador, Harav Gershon Edelstein. A group of Chanina Bni volunteers will be davening on the hilulah at the tzion of the tanna who is buried in the Arab village of Arraba. It is located in the Lower Galilee in the Northern District, within the Sakhnin valley. Visitors to the tzion are urged to coordinate their visits with the security forces. The tzion of Reb Chanina ben Dosa and his wife is undergoing renovations to facilitate easier access.  The holy Tanna Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa was known for his supernatural abilities to effect results that are well beyond the natural course. He was meticulously devoted to celebrating the Shabbos and when he and his wife did not seem to have the necessary food for Shabbos, he was somehow able to fill the void. Similarly, he was concerned with other Jews who did not have enough food to make Shabbos.  To continue his legacy, Chanina Bni goes to the Arab village of Arraba every Thursday night to recite special tefillos for those in need. The funds that are raised from people who register their predicaments with Chanina Bni are used to help poor people and  Kollel yungeleit with food for Shabbos. After all, proper observance of the Shabbos was one of the signature traits of the legendary tanna.  The Chanina Bni organization has hundreds of files of people who were miraculously helped by the tfilos on the tzion of Reb Chanina ben Dosa. These are people who register their dilemmas with the organization which davens for salvation for those people every Thursday evening. Other volunteers are busy supplying the necessary food and other items for Shabbos to Kollel yungeleit and people who cannot afford to make Shabbos.   The day of the hilulah of the Tanna, which is on the 26th of Iyar, will take place this year on a  Friday. There will be special tefillos for people in need of yeshuos. The mailbag of people who have been helped outside the natural way is replete with remarkable stories. Reuven was plagued with two major problems: a shidduch and parnassah. Within two weeks of including his name and donating to Chanina Bni, he was able to close a deal that was so elusive, and he found a shidduch. Eliyah’s wife gave birth to a boy with a hearing deficit. The cost of corrective surgery was prohibitive. After registering with Chanina Bni, he was put in contact with an American organization that helps fund such operations, which was subsequently approved.   Many of the letters received by Chanina Bni deal with medical issues where people recount how […]

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Police Activated Drones Among Kevarim Of Meron Victims

The members of the Elhadad and Joseph families, who lost their children in the Meron disaster last year, encountered a shocking situation when they tried to daven at the kevarim of their children – who are buried at the Meron cemetery – on Lag B’Omer,  B’Chadrei Chareidim reported. According to the report, family members complained on Sunday to the Badatz Eidah HaChareidis in Jerusalem about, among other things, the desecration of their children’s kevarim in the beis kevaros at Meron. Both families had been told by the Meron project manager and the police that they would be allowed free access to the kevarim on the yahrtzeit. But on Lag B’Omer, the family members were astounded to see that the road to the beis kevaros was blocked and they weren’t allowed access to the kevarim. After over an hour of standing in the hot sun, the police agreed to let in only a few family members. Additionally, they said that were shocked to find that the police had set up a makeshift headquarters in the cemetery from where they were activating police drones that were monitoring the Meron site. The relatives said that the police officers had situated themselves between the matzeivos, which they view as a severe desecration of the kevarim. When one of them took out his camera to photograph what he was seeing, the police stationed there told them that photography was forbidden and any violation would be considered a criminal offense. The family members were also forced to shorten their tefillos by the kevarim due to the police activities at the site. One of the parents told B’Chadrei that they couldn’t imagine why they and the kevarim were treated so disgracefully on such a painful day for them. “There wasn’t enough room in the open areas around Meron to place the drone control center that it had to be davka on and between the kevarim?” B’Chadrei requested a response on the issue from Israel Police but has not yet received one. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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UTJ MK Reveals: “Netanyahu Is Holding Talks With Coalition Parties”

UTJ MK Uri Maklev revealed in an interview on Wednesday with Ynet that senior Likud members are currently holding talks with parties in the coalition on the formation of an alternative government with Netanyahu serving as prime minister. “I know one thing,” Maklev said. “Netanyahu himself said that he won’t prevent the formation of an alternative government. He also agreed to a rotation.” Likud officials did not deny they are holding talks with coalition parties but emphasized that there is no agreement for a rotation for the position of prime minister. “The only alternative is a strong nationalist government led by Netanyahu to replace Bennett and Lapid’s weak and fraudulent government,” the Likud party said in response. Likud MK Miki Zohar tweeted: “A coalition without Netanyahu as prime minister – simply will not be formed.” Following the announcement of Blue and White MK Michoel Biton that he will no longer be voting with the coalition, the interviewer asked Maklev if the Blue and White party was part of the talks. “There are right-wing parties which will potentially establish a government but I can’t reveal which ones,” Maklev responded. “Bennett erred and failed but he can do teshuvah,” he said regarding the Yamina party. “There’s also New Hope and Blue and White. Ayelet Shaked as well.” “The battle in the coalition right now is not when it disintegrates but when and by whom,” Maklev said. “On the right, then Lapid will be the prime minister and on the left, then Bennett will continue to serve.” [According to the coalition agreements, if a coalition member from the right topples the government, then Yair Lapid will automatically become prime minister until a new one is elected. If a left-wing member topples the government, then Bennett will continue to serve as prime minister.] (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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Biden Signs Policing Order on Anniversary of Floyd’s Death

President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday to improve accountability in policing —a meaningful but limited action on the second anniversary of George Floyd’s death that reflected the challenges in addressing racism, excessive use of force and public safety when Congress is deadlocked on stronger measures. The event shaped by one tragedy occurred a day after a second one, a mass shooting at a Texas elementary school that killed 19 children and two teachers. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris gave remarks that tried to comfort those affected by the shooting as well those who have suffered from police brutality, promising them that change could come eventually despite the partisan divides on Capitol Hill. “I know progress can be slow and frustrating,” Biden said. “Today we’re acting. We’re showing that speaking out matters. Being engaged matters. That the work of our time, healing the soul of this nation, is ongoing and unfinished and requires all of us never to give up.” Floyd’s family was in the audience at the White House as the president declared that “what we do in their memory matters.” With lawmakers unable to reach agreement on how to reform police policies and on efforts to reduce mass shootings, the president has limited avenues for advancing his campaign promises. And as he tries to build consensus, Biden is also attempting to strike a balance between police and civil rights groups at a time when rising concerns about crime are eclipsing calls for reform. Most of Biden’s order is focused on federal law enforcement agencies — for example, requiring them to review and revise policies on use of force. It will also create a database to help track officer misconduct, according to the White House. Although the administration cannot require local police departments to participate in the database, which is intended to prevent problem officers from hopping from job to job, officials are looking for ways to use federal funding to encourage their cooperation. In addition, the order is designed to restrict the flow of surplus military equipment to local police. Many organizations and lawmakers said the order was an important but incomplete step forward. “While this action does not have the long-term impact that we had hoped for,” Floyd family lawyer Ben Crump said in a statement, “it does represent incremental progress, and we need to commit ourselves to making progress every day.” The International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Fraternal Order of Police both engaged with the Biden administration on the order. They said that they “see many components of the order as a blueprint for future congressional action.” Yet not everyone was satisfied. “President Biden’s executive order is a poor excuse for the transformation of public safety that he promised the Black voters who put him in office,” the Movement for Black Lives, a civil rights group, said in a statement. Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis police sparked nationwide protests two years ago. It was the largest series of demonstrations in American history, occurring in the midst of coronavirus lockdowns and President Donald Trump’s divisive reelection campaign. However, transforming the initial outcry into political change has proven difficult. When four officers were convicted last year for killing Floyd, Biden urged Congress to pass legislation to reform police by the anniversary of his death. […]

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US Safety, Savings Rules Set Stage for Baby Formula Shortage

A massive recall is getting most of the blame for the U.S. baby formula shortage, but experts say the products have long been vulnerable to this type of crisis due to decades-old policies that have allowed a handful of companies to corner the market. Those government rules — aimed at assuring safe, affordable formula — are getting renewed scrutiny as President Joe Biden’s administration rushes to import formula from Europe. “There’s perfectly good and safe baby formula available around the world. We just don’t have access to it,” said Bindiya Vakil, CEO of Resilinc, a supply chain analytics firm. ”We’ve created this problem by not setting up an infrastructure for imports.” Abbott Nutrition said Tuesday it expects to restart its shuttered Michigan plant June 4 and begin shipping new formula to stores about three weeks later. The factory is the largest of its kind in the U.S. and has been closed since February, hobbling supplies of popular formulas and specialty formulas for children with rare medical conditions. The company also said it received permission from regulators to release 300,000 cans of its EleCare specialty formula for babies with allergic and digestive disorders. The product was not part of a February recall. Lawmakers will hold three hearings on the issue this week, calling on company executives, government regulators and outside experts to testify. The attention could spur changes to government safety and contracting rules that have been in place since the 1980s and favor big U.S. manufacturers that are capable of navigating the complex requirements. Baby formula is one of the few American products essentially unaffected by globalization, with 98% of the supply manufactured domestically. Four companies account for roughly 90% of the market: Abbott, Reckitt, Nestle and Perrigo, according to industry figures. That consolidation mirrors similar trends across the food industry. But infant formula wasn’t part of a Biden administration initiative last year spotlighting dangerously concentrated industries, including prescription drugs, airlines, hearing aids and internet services. The Federal Trade Commission announced Tuesday that it has launched an inquiry into the formula shortage, seeking information on any deceptive or fraudulent business practices related to it. The agency said it also aims to shed light on what led to the concentration in the baby formula market and the weak supply chains. Food experts say strict formula regulations set by the Food and Drug Administration have long limited competition. Beginning in 1980, Congress gave the FDA authority to rigorously enforce the nutritional content of all formula sold in the U.S., imposing extra research and manufacturing standards that have few equivalents worldwide. The changes came after some babies were sickened by deficient formulas in the 1970s. “They are pretty much the strictest food safety guidelines in the U.S. and America has some of the strictest guidelines in the world,” said Wendy White, a food safety expert at Georgia Tech. Companies must consult with the FDA before selling a new formula, altering ingredients in an existing one or making major manufacturing changes. The result is only the biggest manufacturers have plants and procedures that comply with federal rules. And would-be competitors have little incentive to enter the field, given the declining U.S. birth rate. “You have to have a lot of expertise, a lot of resources and a lot of research dollars,” White said. There […]

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