VIDEO AND PHOTOS: Bus Driver Falls Asleep Heading Back from Meron And Hits Truck – Passengers Dance to Thank HKBH No One was Seriously Injured

May 27th, 2016

01

[VIDEO AND PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE]

A bus driver bringing mispallalim back from Meron on Thursday night motzei Lag B’Omer dozed off and slammed into a truck in the Golani Junction area of northern Israel.

B’chasdei Hashem there were no serious injuries.

According to a report from Ichud Hatzalah report, one boy and two adults were treated, all with light injuries.

The passengers were so grateful that the accident ended without serious injury they began spontaneously dancing together with the driver singing “Chasdei Hashem: for his intervention.

A video below captured the spontaneous dancing.

It is unknown if the bus driver was charged.


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(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Origin of Key Clinton Emails From Report Are a Mystery

May 27th, 2016

hilDemocratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was supposed to have turned over all work-related emails to the State Department to be released to the public. But an agency audit found at least three emails never seen before — including Clinton’s own explanation of why she wanted her emails kept private.

After 14 months of public scrutiny and skepticism over Clinton’s motives in keeping her emails secret, new questions emerged Thursday. They centered on her apparent failure to turn over a November 2010 message in which she worried that her personal messages could become accessible to outsiders, along with two other messages a year later that divulged possible security weaknesses in the home email system she used while secretary of state.

The Clinton campaign has previously denied that her home server was breached, but newly revealed emails show an aide worried it could have been compromised.

The existence of these previously unreleased messages — which appear to have been found among electronic files of four former top Clinton State Department aides — renews concerns that Clinton was not completely forthcoming when she turned over a trove of 55,000 pages of work-related emails. And it has drawn fresh criticism from presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

On Thursday, Clinton said she had been forthcoming with her personal emails.

“I have provided all of my work-related emails, and I’ve asked that they be made public, and I think that demonstrates that I wanted to make sure that this information was part of the official records,” Clinton said, according to an interview transcript provided by ABC News.

Most of those messages have been made public by the State Department over the past year due to both a court order and Clinton’s willingness to turn them over. But hundreds were censored for national security reasons and 22 emails were completely withheld because the agency said they contained top secret material — a matter now under investigation by the FBI.

Clinton said in March 2015 that she would turn over all work-related emails to the State Department after removing private messages that contained personal and family material. “No one wants their personal emails made public and I think most people understand that and respect their privacy,” she said after her exclusive use of private emails to conduct State Department business was confirmed by media reports.

Senate investigators have asked for numerous emails about Clinton’s server as part of their own inquiry into Clinton’s email practices in recent months, but they didn’t get copies of key messages made public by the State Department’s own watchdog this week, a senior Republican senator said Thursday.

“It is disturbing that the State Department knew it had emails like this and turned them over to the inspector general, but not to Congress,” said Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, the chair of the Senate judiciary committee that’s been probing Clinton’s use of a private server.

The emails appear to contain work-related passages, raising questions about why they were not turned over to the State Department last year. The inspector general noted that Clinton’s production of work-related emails was “incomplete,” missing not only the three emails but numerous others covering Clinton’s first four months in office.

The inspector general also found Clinton’s email set up violated agency policies and could have left sensitive government information vulnerable to cyberattacks. But Thursday, Clinton told ABC News her use of the personal email was “allowed,” saying that “the rules have been clarified since I left.”

The Clinton campaign permitted one reporter from ABC News to ask the candidate questions. Other outlets were later provided with a transcript. A spokesman for the Clinton campaign did not respond to emailed questions Thursday. An inspector general’s spokesman declined to discuss the report.

The report said the inspector general was able to reconstruct some of Clinton’s missing emails by searching the email files of four former Clinton aides who had turned over thousands of pages of communications in 2015 at the request of the State Department, which is defending itself in multiple public records lawsuits, including one filed by The Associated Press. The four aides who turned over those files, according to the report, were Clinton’s former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and top aides Huma Abedin, Jake Sullivan and Philippe Reines.

Abedin was the aide who authored the key email in November 2010 that provoked Clinton’s concerns about outsiders obtaining her personal emails. After the State Department’s computer spam filters apparently prevented Clinton from sending a message to all department employees from her private server, Abedin suggested that she either open an official agency email or make her private address available to the agency.

Clinton told Abedin she was open to getting a separate email address but didn’t want “any risk of the personal being accessible.” Clinton never used an official State Department address, only using several private addresses to communicate. Abedin, Mills, Sullivan and Reines all also used private email addresses to conduct business, along with their government accounts.

Two other emails sent to Abedin were cited in the inspector general’s report, but also did not turn up among the emails released by Clinton. Those messages to Abedin contained warnings in January 2011 from an unidentified aide to former President Bill Clinton who said he had to shut down Hillary Clinton’s New York-based server because of suspected hacking attacks.

In response, Abedin warned Mills and Sullivan not to email Clinton “anything sensitive” and said she would “explain more in person.”

(AP)

WATCH THIS: NYPD Truck Passes School Bus In Boro Park Brooklyn Despite Flashing Lights On

May 27th, 2016


This incident happened on Friday morning, as the NYPD was picking up barriers used for a Boro Park Lag BaOmer event. It happened at 18th Avenue and 56 Street.
Who enforces and who breaks the law?

Some Facts About Social Security Benefits

May 27th, 2016

sseThe Social Security retirement age depends on the year in which you are born. Those who choose to claim benefits before reaching that age will receive less money each month.

Some facts about Social Security from the Social Security Administration.

—Full retirement age is 66, for those born between 1943 and 1954. It rises incrementally, up to age 67, for those born in 1960 or later.

—The earliest a person can start receiving Social Security benefits is at age 62.

—People who start taking Social Security at age 62 will receive a monthly benefit that is up to 30 percent less than if they waited until full retirement age. The actual reduction depends on the year in which they were born.

—Those who choose to wait until after their normal retirement age will see their monthly benefits increase by 6 percent to 8 percent a year until they reach age 70.

—Once people start receiving benefits, they will increase only for inflation.

(AP)

VIDEO: Israeli Cop Caught on Video Again Abusing his Authority in Dealing with 13-Year-Old Chareidi Boy

May 27th, 2016

mish[VIDEO IN EXTENDED ARTICLE]

This incident occurred on erev Lag B’Omer, during the evening hours, before most people began lighting bonfires around Israel. A groups of children including the 13-year-old child in this video prepared their bonfire, which happened to be in proximity to a pile of dried thorns. Policeman Elior Ben-Baruch arrived on the scene, and according to the children, “He acted like a bully and began screaming at everyone”, adding some of the children ran out of fear. Ben-Baruch the children explain decided to stop the 13-year-old child, who they described as “among the best behaved children in the community”.

According to eyewitness report, the policeman used unjustifiable force against the child, choking him, and knocking him to the ground. In the video one sees the policeman simply loses his cool entirely as the boy’s agitated mom continues screaming and pleading with Ben-Baruch on her son’s behalf.

Other parents on the scene explain they failed to understand why Ben-Baruch detained the child, adding when Ben-Baruch called for backup he radioed he needs assistance because he was attacked. They add that Ben-Baruch threatened the child’s parents with arrest a number of times as well.

After shouting at the child’s parents a number of times and refusing to hear from adults who witnessed the events that occurred, the child was taken into a police car to jail. When the father asked to permit him to bring his son to the police station in the family vehicle Ben-Baruch refused.

According to a Kol Hazman News report, the parents added instead of enjoying Lag B’Omer with their children, they had to work with the children to allay their fears of police after seeing the behavior of office Ben-Baruch.

Kol Hazman News adds police did not comment at the time of the report.

A few days ago YWN-ISRAEL reported a case involving the assault by a policeman against a chareidi male in Beit Shemesh. In addition, there is also the case involving off-duty border policemen who beat an Arab man in front of a Tel Aviv supermarket. The last two cases are being investigated by the Justice Minister Police Investigations Unit.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

US Worries About Declining Precision Weapons Stocks for Wars

May 27th, 2016

pThe commander of U.S. Air Forces in the Middle East says he’s concerned about running low on precision-guided weapons needed for the war against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. is commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command. Brown says the U.S. has been going through more weapons than officials forecast. He says the U.S. is reviewing whether to take stocks from other regions around the world to meet the war needs, and how soon that should be done.

Brown oversees U.S. air operations in the Middle East. He says the Air Force is taking steps to buy more weapons.

The U.S. is spending about $2.7 million a day on munitions for the war.

(AP)

Man Accused of Plotting to Join ISIS Takes Stand

May 27th, 2016

goaA Minnesota man on trial for plotting to go to Syria to join the Islamic State group is testifying in his own defense.

Twenty-one-year-old Guled Ali Omar took the witness stand Thursday after prosecutors finished presenting their case against Omar and two other men. Each man faces multiple counts. The most serious is conspiracy to commit murder outside the United States, punishable by life in prison.

Prosecutors have said the men were part of a larger group of friends in Minnesota’s Somali community who recruited and inspired each other to go to Syria.

Omar testified that some of his friends met to study the Quran together. He said that at one point, group members began talking about Syria, but that in early 2014 no one had legitimate plans to travel.

(AP)

Sen. Rubio Faces Pressure to Run for Re-Election to Senate

May 27th, 2016

rubSen. Marco Rubio is facing intense pressure to run for re-election to his Florida Senate seat, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell taking the lead in a campaign to get him to reconsider his plans to retire.

Republicans fear that if Rubio doesn’t run for a second term they could lose his seat. And if Republicans lose Florida they increase their odds of losing their Senate majority altogether.

At a closed-door Senate GOP lunch Thursday, McConnell asked fellow senators if they’d like to see Rubio run again, and when everyone present assented he suggested they should lean on him to reconsider.

At least one Republican, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, subsequently took the unusual step of issuing a public statement calling Rubio a “very valuable member of the Senate” and disclosing that “earlier this afternoon, I strongly encouraged him to reconsider his decision and seek re-election.”

Rubio himself has been adamant about his decision to leave the Senate, where he’s been widely reported to be frustrated at the slow pace of action and the limited legislative opportunities for a freshman senator. He was seen as likely to bide his time before running for president again in 2020. Rubio told reporters Thursday that it was “unlikely” he’d reconsider, but he didn’t close the door altogether and acknowledged facing pressure.

“I enjoy serving with my colleagues, I respect them very much, I’ll always listen to what they have to say, but you know, I don’t think anything’s going to change,” Rubio said.

The primary in Florida is not until August and the filing deadline is still a month away on June 24.

There are a number of Republicans already running in the primary, one of whom, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez Cantera, is a close friend of Rubio’s, something Rubio cited as a factor in his thinking. But none of them has wide name recognition in Florida, where it costs many millions to run statewide and attain the kind of name ID Rubio already has.

Democrats are excited about their prospects of winning the state presuming their favored candidate, Rep. Patrick Murphy, gets through the primary against liberal agitator Rep. Alan Grayson. However if Murphy ends up facing Rubio he would likely have a much tougher climb than against any of the other GOP candidates.

“I don’t pretend to know what Sen. Rubio will ultimately conclude but there are a ton of people hoping beyond hope that he’ll run,” said Josh Holmes, a GOP consultant and former chief of staff to McConnell.

(AP)

Clinton Says Latest IG Report About Her Emails Won’t Affect Her Presidential Bid

May 27th, 2016

hilHillary Clinton contends a new government audit critical of her use of a private email server as secretary of state won’t affect her Democratic presidential campaign.

In an interview with Univision’s Los Angeles affiliate, Clinton said “nothing has changed” following Wednesday’s release of a report by the State Department’s inspector general. That analysis found Clinton ignored clear guidance that her email setup broke agency rules and could have left government secrets vulnerable to hackers.

“There may be reports that come out, but nothing has changed,” Clinton said. “It’s the same story. Just like previous secretaries of state, I used a personal email. Many people did. It was not at all unprecedented. I have turned over all my emails. No one else can say that.”

Clinton added that she had been “incredibly open” about her emails, which were routed through a server located in the basement of her New York home during her tenure as the nation’s top diplomate from 2009 to 2013.

The inspector general found that of Clinton’s predecessors, only former Secretary Colin Powell exclusively used private email as she did, though he didn’t rely on a server in his home. But Clinton’s failings were singled out in the audit as being more serious because there was far more extensive guidance available by the time she took office.

Clinton turned over more than 52,000 pages of work-related emails to the State Department, but only following media reports that revealed her private email setup after she had returned to the private sector. However, Clinton has withheld thousands of additional emails, claiming they are personal. She also waited seven days after The Associated Press first revealed in March 2015 her use of the private server to publicly acknowledge it.

Clinton declined to talk to the inspector general, as did four of her closest aides, although she said as recently as this month that she was happy to “talk to anybody, anytime” about the matter and would encourage her staff to do the same.

In addition to the IG’s investigation, the FBI is probing whether Clinton’s use of the private email server imperiled government secrets. Critics have questioned whether her server might have made a tempting target for hackers, especially those working with or for foreign intelligence services.

Republicans have seized on the IG’s report as evidence that Clinton is not trustworthy or qualified to be commander in chief.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Thursday said the report on Clinton was “a disaster.”

“Such bad judgment and temperament cannot be allowed in the (White House),” Trump said in a tweet.

(AP)

PHOTOS: Shipment To Manufacture Rockets In Gaza Intercepted

May 27th, 2016

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[PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE]

B’chasdei Hashem, a large shipment of pipes for use to manufacture mortar rockets was intercepted on the way to Gaza. The shipment also contained dozens of motors that are used by Hamas in the underground tunnel network.

Defense Ministry inspector along the passage to Gaza working with Shin Bet agents stopped a shipment at the Tarkumiya Crossing near Hebron. Security officials believe the shipment was heading to Hamas in Gaza.

The shipment was hidden among textiles and jewelry but the inspectors found hundreds of metallic four inch pipes as the ones used for mortar rockets along with dozens of the motors used in tunnels.

Officials are certain the goods were heading to the Kerem Shalom Crossing, where the goods cross into Gaza.

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(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem/Photos: Defense Ministry Border Crossing Unit)

Prisoner Not Seen Since CIA Capture May Appear at Guantanamo

May 27th, 2016

abuA Palestinian not seen publicly since his 2002 capture by the CIA launched a brutal interrogation program may soon make his first appearance in a U.S. courtroom.

Abu Zubaydah, who CIA agents once sought to be kept incommunicado for the rest of his life, has been called as a witness by Ramzi Binalshibh, one of the defendants in the Sept. 11 war crimes case, to back up allegations of mistreatment inside a high-security unit at Guantanamo Bay.

Abu Zubaydah could testify, along with a prisoner from Somalia who has also never been seen in a public forum, as early as next week in a pretrial hearing at the U.S. base in Cuba.

James Harrington, a lawyer for Binalshibh, said that Abu Zubaydah is expected to support his client’s allegations that prisoners inside the unit known as Camp 7 are subjected to noises and vibrations inside their cells intended to keep them awake and disoriented, similar to the sleep deprivation they were subjected to as part of the interrogation program they endured in a network of overseas CIA prisons. The military denies the allegations.

“He’s experienced the same kind of thing that Ramzi has with the noises and vibration,” Harrington said in an interview Wednesday.

The potential Abu Zubaydah court appearance, which could get postponed or canceled, would be significant because of his back story. His capture in Pakistan prompted the CIA under President George W. Bush to create an interrogation program, now widely viewed as torture, in the belief that he had information about al-Qaida that he had not already provided to the FBI. That belief was false, according to a report released by the Senate intelligence committee in 2014.

Abu Zubaydah, 45, has never been charged with a crime or appeared before a judge despite efforts by his lawyers to challenge his detention. His lawyers have even asked the government to charge him so they could at least get him into court.

“I think it’s a huge deal if for nothing else to observe what he’s like as a person, which is pretty gentle and normal,” said Mark Denbeaux, a law professor at Seton Hall University who represents the man.

The CIA believed that Abu Zubaydah — whose formal name is Zayn al-lbidin Muhammed Husayn — was one of the most senior figures in al-Qaida when he was captured. He is now described in U.S. documents as a “well-known al-Qaida facilitator.” His lawyers deny he was a member of the terrorist organization. The Senate report documented a litany of harsh treatment that included being water-boarded 83 times in a month.

The treatment was so harsh, according to the report, that CIA officers sent a cable to their bosses seeking assurances that Abu Zubaydah “will remain in isolation and incommunicado for the remainder of his life,” unable to recount it.

In addition to wounds sustained during his capture, Abu Zubaydah received a serious head injury from a mortar shell fighting in Afghanistan in 1992 and suffers severe memory loss as a result.

Harrington has also called Guleed Hassan Ahmed, a prisoner from Somalia, as a witness. He also has never been charged nor been seen in public. The testimony of both men is expected to be limited to the issue of conditions inside Camp 7.

“He has been brought in to describe the conditions in Camp 7,” Denbeaux said. “Ramzi has said the conditions in Camp 7 are mirroring some of the milder forms of torture in other places.”

Binalshibh has complained about the noises and vibrations for years. Military officials have repeatedly denied that anything is being done to disturb him or his sleep inside the top-secret Camp 7. Prosecutors have suggested in court that he is making it up as they have sought to keep the issue from disrupting a case that has been hit by repeated delays and is still likely years from going to trial.

The judge, Army Col. James Pohl, issued an order directing the military to cease any deliberate noises or vibrations without determining whether any, in fact, have occurred. Binalishibh says the issue persists and keeps him from participating in his defense, making it a potential legal issue for the court to address. Harrington says the judge has the authority to require an independent monitor inside Camp 7 or even halt the Sept. 11 case if he believes Binalshibh.

Whether anything is going on in Camp 7 now remains an open question. Binalshibh, who has been diagnosed with psychological problems while in custody, as well as Abu Zubaydah were subjected to intensive sleep deprivation while in CIA custody prior to being taken to Guantanamo in September 2006.

(AP)

PHOTOS: Terror Victim Receives A Special Visit And Gift

May 27th, 2016

צוות מדא שטיפל ופינה את עדן מהפיגוע בירושלים לבית חולים מעניק לה מחשב - צילום דוברות מדא 25.5.16 (1)

[PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE]

The suicide bombing attack on an Egged number 12 bus in the Talpiot area of Jerusalem took place over a month ago. Fourteen people were injured in the attack including Edan Levi-Dadon, 16, who was burned over her entire body.

Edan was transported by MDA EMTs Menachem Estrik and Danny Gur, paramedic Zohar Lomer, and MDA youth volunteers Shira Bruchi-Alush. She was taken to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital where she is not listed in stable condition with a long road of rehabilitation and therapy ahead.

Edan’s dad was interviewed by the media a number of weeks ago, explaining that Edan does not have a computer, which makes her stay in the hospital increasingly difficult. Hearing the father’s pained words, MDA Chief of Operations Eli Bin decided he must act and this is exactly what he did. Dad was informed that MDA was going to get her a computer to assist her mental state during this difficult time. Bin turned to Israel’s Cellcom Company and they provided Edan not only with a computer but a connectivity package to permit her to be ‘one line’.

The crew that evacuated her from the bomb scene visited her in the hospital to present her with the computer.

Bin stated that seeing her smile was enough for him, explaining he hopes the computer and connectivity package will contribute to her rehabilitation process.

צוות מדא שטיפל ופינה את עדן מהפיגוע בירושלים לבית חולים מעניק לה מחשב - צילום דוברות מדא 25.5.16 (5) צוות מדא שטיפל ופינה את עדן מהפיגוע בירושלים לבית חולים מעניק לה מחשב - צילום דוברות מדא 25.5.16 (4) צוות מדא שטיפל ופינה את עדן מהפיגוע בירושלים לבית חולים מעניק לה מחשב - צילום דוברות מדא 25.5.16 (3) צוות מדא שטיפל ופינה את עדן מהפיגוע בירושלים לבית חולים מעניק לה מחשב - צילום דוברות מדא 25.5.16 (2)

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

What To Know About Long Lines At Airport Security

May 27th, 2016

1Fliers should brace for long waits at airport security over the holiday weekend. In recent weeks, some major airports saw wait times exceeding 90 minutes at peak hours, and passengers missed flights waiting to get through security.

There have been encouraging developments in the last few days. After Chicago officials threatened to privatize security at the city’s two big airports, the Transportation Security Administration moved dozens of part-time screeners to full-time and brought in more canine units to sniff passengers for explosives.

Waits at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport — one of the most delay-plagued in the nation — have shrunk to around 15 minutes, according to an American Airlines spokeswoman. A Baltimore attorney tweeted Tuesday that he got through the expedited security line there in 10 minutes. The deluge of photos posted on social media sites with the #iHateTheWait hashtag slowed to a trickle.

Still, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says the average wait time nationally is about 30 minutes and about five minutes for expedited PreCheck lines. And that is before the unofficial start of summer.

Here’s a look at the problem and what travelers should expect.

Q: Why have the waits been so long?

A: More people are flying, thanks to a mix of a strong economy, more flights and lower fares. At the same time, the Transportation Security Administration needs more screeners. The TSA and Congress cut the number of screeners by 10 percent on expectations that an expedited screening program called PreCheck would speed up the lines. However, not enough people enrolled. The TSA had been randomly placing passengers into the faster PreCheck lanes under a program dubbed “managed inclusion,” but that stopped in the fall after government auditors found lapses in security.

Q: Will there be long lines for my flight?

A: Right now it’s hard to tell. The airline industry has criticized the TSA for a lack of up-to-date information — you can readily find information on highway traffic delays but not delays in airport security lines. A TSA spokesman says the agency will post current wait times by mid-June. The worst waits have been at the largest airports during peak hours. But during slower hours, the TSA staffs fewer lanes and that might cause backups. The TSA suggests passengers arrive at least two hours before domestic flights but some in the airline industry are now saying to allow even more time.

Q: What is the government doing about it?

A: Congress agreed to shift forward $34 million in TSA funding, allowing the agency to pay overtime to its existing staff and hire an extra 768 screeners by June 15. But there is no grand plan to return staffing to former levels. Some passengers can still randomly be placed in PreCheck based on their age or if an explosive-detecting dogs first screen them, but those are small numbers. The TSA is relocating screeners and canine teams to the 20 busiest airports, such as Chicago’s O’Hare.

Q: What are the airlines doing to help?

A: American Airlines and United Airlines all say they are spending $4 million each to bring in contract employees who can take over non-screening chores such as handling bins and managing lines, freeing up TSA agents to focus on screening. A spokesman says Delta Air Lines will spend between $3 million and $4 million and is also redesigning two checkpoint lanes at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to speed things up before Memorial Day.

Q: What can I do to speed up the line?

A: Don’t carry a bag on the plane if you can avoid it. TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger told a congressional hearing Wednesday that the large volume of carry-on bags has put extra pressure on screeners. Whether carrying on a bag or not, each passenger should have their ID and boarding pass ready. Before reaching the X-ray machine, empty your pockets and place your keys, cellphone, change and any metallic jewelry into your carry-on bag. Wearing slip-on, slip-off shoes also helps.

Q: What if I miss my flight?

A: For now, airlines have been finding space for them on later flights. But on the busiest travel days there are very few empty seats to accommodate anybody who misses a flight.

(AP)

PHOTOS: Religious Services Minister Azoulai Visited Meron On Lag Baomer

May 27th, 2016

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[PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE]

Minister of Religious Services (Shas) David Azoulai on Lag B’Omer visited Meron and was hosted by United Hatzalah officials, given a VIP tour of their Lag B’Omer operations. Accompanying the minister was Rabbi Yossi Schwinger, the director-general of National Center for the Development of Holy Sites.

United Hatzalah official Lazar Hyman met with the minister, explaining the command center and the EMS organization’s operation in Meron.

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(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem/Photos: Yechiel Gurfein, United Hatzalah Spokesman’s Offce)

Obama Defends His Nuclear Record on Eve of Hiroshima Visit

May 26th, 2016

obaOn the eve of his historic trip to Hiroshima, President Barack Obama is defending the vigor of his efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons. He says he will use his visit to the Japanese memorial site on Friday to underscore “the sense of urgency that we all should have.”

Obama, who began his administration with an audacious call for a nuclear-free world, acknowledged there still is much to be done. In fact, some critics maintain the world is further away from Obama’s goal now than it was at the start of his presidency.

But he is holding out last year’s Iran nuclear deal as “a big piece of business” and pointing to his administration’s negotiation of the New START treaty with the Russians as big steps toward reducing nuclear stockpiles. He acknowledges other big trouble spots, though, including North Korea’s nuclear program and the threat posed by others intent on obtaining nuclear weapons.

“We know that terrorist organizations would have no compunction about using a weapon of mass destruction if they got their hands on it,” Obama said Thursday, “so we’ve got a lot of work.”

He said added his administration has “focused attention on some key points of vulnerability, but we’re not where we need to be yet.”

Obama, speaking at a news conference at a summit of world leaders, harked back to his 2009 speech in Prague in which he first made his call for a nuclear-free world, and offered a reminder that “I noted at the time that I didn’t expect to be able to achieve all those goals in the course of my presidency or even in my lifetime and this is going to be an ongoing task.”

He will reaffirm his lofty vision Friday, when he becomes the first American president to visit Hiroshima, where some 140,000 people died when U.S. forces dropped the first atomic bomb in 1945 that launched the nuclear age. But his comments this time will be measured against his record of successes, setbacks and contradictions.

There are plenty of voices ready to call the president to account, saying he has failed to live up to the high standards he set for himself in Prague.

“Arguably a nuclear-free world is less likely now than when Obama actually took office,” says Richard Fontaine, president of the private Center for a New American Security. He cited the lack of new disarmament steps between the U.S. and Russia, and the administration’s plans to spend more than $300 billion to upgrade its nuclear stockpiles.

Greenpeace, citing the administration’s spending plans, said Obama’s message in Hiroshima “rings hollow without far bolder efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons.”

“If the U.S. wants to help build a peaceful world, it is not enough to only visit the ruins of the past,” said Hisayo Takada, deputy program director at Greenpeace Japan.

While acknowledging the unfinished business of his Prague agenda, Obama said his administration had “built up an architecture” that has put a spotlight on the crucial issues.

Under last year’s landmark nuclear deal, Iran agreed to curb its atomic program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief. That gives the administration bragging rights to say that no new members have joined the nuclear club on Obama’s watch.

Obama also won ratification of the most significant arms control pact in nearly two decades. The pact, which took effect in February 2011, requires the U.S. and Russia to reduce their strategic nuclear weapons to no more than 1,550 by February 2018. The president said in 2013 he wanted to cut the U.S. number by another third, but that idea effort stalled as relations with Russia deteriorated.

Remaining challenges, as Obama acknowledged, include the looming threat from North Korea: Pyongyang carried out its fourth nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch in February.

North Korea’s official news agency on Thursday called Obama’s planned visit to Hiroshima a “childish political calculation” aimed at hiding his identity as a “nuclear war lunatic” determined to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

In the U.S., critics of Obama’s nuclear policies also point to the administration’s big budget for nuclear modernization. The Congressional Budget Office estimated in January 2015 that the administration’s plans for nuclear forces would cost $348 billion over the next decade, and others have said it could approach $1 trillion over three decades.

The private Arms Control Association sees it as “a costly, all-of-the-above plan to maintain and upgrade U.S. nuclear forces at force levels that exceed U.S. nuclear deterrence requirements.”

Anti-nuclear groups have urged Obama to use his Hiroshima visit to offer new, concrete steps to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

The administration has played down any expectation that Obama will do that, saying he’s going to Hiroshima to offer simple reflections, not a policy address.

(AP)

TERRIFYING VIDEO: Maniac Suspects Drive Down Packed Williamsburg Sidewalk To Evade Arrest [UPDATED]

May 26th, 2016

w[VIDEO IN EXTENDED ARTICLE]

In what can only be described as terrifying moments, a car full of suspects fleeing a crime scene raced down a busy Williamsburg sidewalk, Thursday afternoon.

As can be seen in the attached footage taken from two different dash-cams, the a black Toyota Camry can be seen speeding down a packed sidewalk as dozens of men women and children are seen running for lives – with only a second to spare.

According to a Williamsburg Shomrim (WSPU) spokesperson, their hotline received multiple calls from stores on Bedford Ave near Lee Ave regarding a few suspicious males coming in to purchase inexpensive items but paying with large bills – all suspected of being counterfeit money.

At around 4:30PM, they were spotted again at Lee Ave & Ross Street. As soon as they realized that they were recognized, they began fleeing the area.

With total disregard for any human life, the suspects jumped into their vehicle and drove at high speed on a sidewalk packed with people – as most children only had a half a day of school due to Lag BaOmer.

Miraculously, only one person was stuck by the speeding vehicle. Hatzolah transported the victim to a local hospital with minor injuries.

One of the suspects fled on foot and was caught and arrested at Marcy Ave & Lynch St.

The driver crashed the car into another vehicle at Harrison Ave & Hopper Street and bailed out and fled on foot. He was also taken into custody after a foot pursuit.

Police were searching for the additional suspects who managed to escape.

Additional info will be published when it becomes available to us.

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WATCH: MDA Substation Operating In Meron On Lag Baomer

May 26th, 2016

The first video is of a MDA substation located at the bottom of the mountain, manned by physicians, paramedics and EMTs. As is the case with the other emergency stations operating at the Rashbi, most patients are treated and released while few require transportation to Ziff Hospital in Tzfat.

This included a 17-year-old male in moderate-to-serious condition from alcohol poisoning, the result of severe alcohol ingestion. He was transferred to an intensive care unit.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Hizme: Security Forces Uncover Additional Explosives

May 26th, 2016

7Security officials on Thursday morning 18 Iyar announced additional explosives were uncovered near the Hizme Checkpoint on Jerusalem’s northern border in the same area an IDF soldier was seriously wounded in a recent bomb attack.

As the search for explosives continued, they have uncovered what appears to be a large quantity of unspecified explosives in the adjacent nachal.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)