Archive for the ‘Headlines & Breaking Stories’ Category

Michelle Obama Takes Mesan Swipe At Trump; Says America ‘Needs An Adult’ In White House

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

obaMichelle Obama told supporters in Philadelphia on Wednesday that candidates don’t change once they become president and that America “needs an adult in the White House.”

The first lady never mentioned Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the rally at LaSalle University. But there was no question that she was warning voters that candidate Trump would be the same as President Trump.

“The presidency doesn’t change who you are, it reveals who you are,” she told the cheering crowd.

She referred to several comments Trump made during and after Monday’s debate, including his apparent acknowledgment that he’s paid no taxes some years. Trump said that makes him “smart.”

“If a candidate is erratic and threatening, if a candidate traffics in prejudice, fear and lies on the campaign trail, if a candidate thinks not paying taxes makes you smart, or that it’s good business when people lose their homes; if a candidate regularly and flippantly makes cruel and insulting comments about women, about how we look, how we act — well, sadly, that’s who that candidate really is,” she said. “That is the kind of president they will be.”

She said the country needs a leader who is steady and measured because when making war-or-peace decisions, “the president can’t just pop off or lash out irrationally. No, we need an adult in the White House, I guarantee you.”

Later Wednesday, she appeared at a rally for the Democratic presidential nominee at the University of Pittsburgh, where she changed the wording to “grown-up.”

She cast Clinton as a tough, compassionate fighter who doesn’t back down and who loves her country.

“Experience matters, preparation matters, temperament matters,” she said. “Hillary Clinton has it all. She’s the real deal.”

She told the crowd in Pittsburgh she understands some voters are uninspired this year, but this election is too important not to vote.

“Either Hillary Clinton or her opponent will be the next president this year. The stakes are too high to take that chance” by not voting or casting a protest vote for someone else, she said. “It isn’t about voting for the perfect candidate. There’s no such thing.”

Trump’s campaign reacted to Obama’s speech with a statement saying Clinton is in “panic mode” in Pennsylvania because polls show the Republican presidential nominee surging in the battleground state.

(AP)

FBI Head: Extremism Apparent Influence in Minnesota Attack

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

minnFBI Director James Comey said Wednesday that the man who stabbed and wounded 10 people in a central Minnesota mall before he was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer appears to have been inspired, at least in part, by extremist ideology.

While testifying for hours before the House Judiciary Committee in Washington, Comey was asked whether authorities had confirmed that the attack earlier this month in a mall in St. Cloud was an act of terrorism. Comey responded that the FBI is “still working on it,” but that it looks like Dahir Ahmed Adan, 20, appears to have been motivated “by some sort of inspiration from radical Islamic groups.”

He said investigators are not yet sure which groups may have inspired Adan or how, adding that investigators still are reviewing Adan’s electronics.

Minneapolis FBI spokesman Jeff Van Nest declined to elaborate on Comey’s comments when reached by phone Wednesday. He said he’d let the FBI director’s statement speak for itself.

Authorities say that on the night of Sept. 17, Adan wore a security guard uniform and went to Crossroads Center mall armed with what appeared to be a kitchen knife. In an attack that took just minutes, he stabbed or cut 10 people before he was shot and killed. None of his victims’ injuries were life-threatening.

St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson has said Adan made at least one reference to Allah during the stabbings and asked a victim if he or she was Muslim before attacking.

The Islamic State-run news agency claimed Adan was a “soldier of the Islamic State” who had heeded the group’s calls for attacks in countries that are part of a U.S.-led anti-IS coalition. But it wasn’t immediately known whether the extremist group had planned the attack or knew about it beforehand.

Comey told the House committee that the group’s claim “isn’t dispositive for us because they’ll claim responsibility for any savagery they can get their name on.”

The FBI has said previously that it was investigating the attack as a potential act of terrorism and that authorities were following up on all leads to try to determine what motivated Adan, who was Somali. The investigation includes talking to his associates and looking at his background, social media accounts and electronic devices.

If the mall stabbings are ultimately deemed a terrorist act, it would be the first carried out by a Somali on U.S. soil.

Minnesota has the nation’s largest Somali community, with census numbers placing the population at about 57,000. Young Somalis have been a target for terror recruiters. Since 2007, more than 20 young men have joined the militant group al-Shabab in Somalia. In addition, roughly a dozen people have left to join militants in Syria, and nine Minnesota men face sentencing on terror charges for plotting to join the Islamic State group.

Rep. Ron DeSantis, a Florida Republican, asked Comey if Minnesota was the top source of U.S. fighters for the Islamic State group. Comey said he wasn’t sure, but that this “sounds about right.”

Comey said he suspects one reason is because Minnesota is one of the few areas in the country with a large concentration of people who may be susceptible to terror recruiting. Still, he said, the number is small, noting there aren’t many Islamic State fighters from the U.S.

Stopping recruiting has been a high priority in Minnesota, with law enforcement investing countless hours in community outreach and the state participating in a federal project designed to combat radical messages.

(AP)

HOLIDAY with SEASONS

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

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2 whole Branzini
1/2 Cup olive oil
1/4 Cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp white vinegar
4-6 garlic cloves crushed
2 Tbspn dried Parsley
1 Tbspn dried Basil
1 Tbspn dried Oregano
1 tspn Thyme
1 tspn Rosemary
Salt and Pepper to taste

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Arabs Greet Peres Death With Silence And Animosity

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

meeting-with-king-abdullah-during-a-visit-to-jordan-credit-government-press-officeIsrael’s Shimon Peres was widely admired around the world as a peacemaker and visionary, but the view in the Arab world was more complex: Memories linger of another Peres, who built up Israel’s military might, waged war in Lebanon and promoted policies seen as harmful to the Palestinians.

In a reflection of this sentiment, Peres’ death on Wednesday was greeted with official silence across the Arab world — in sharp contrast to the emotional tributes that poured in from the West.

While a long list of Western dignitaries prepared to descend upon Jerusalem for Peres’ funeral on Friday, no Arab leaders are yet scheduled to come. Even Egypt and Jordan, the two countries that have peace accords with Israel, had no official reaction Wednesday.

Arad Nir, the foreign affairs commentator for Channel 2 TV, said it would be “very sad” if the people who Peres negotiated with did not attend the funeral. “It puts a question mark on Shimon Peres’ vision, his life’s mission: Peace,” he said.

The silence reflects the animosity toward Israel in the Arab world, particularly at a time when the peace process Peres helped launch has collapsed and Arab anger is high at the hard-line policies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli-Palestinian issue is not high on the region’s agenda these days, amid other wars and crises, noted Michael W. Hanna, a Middle East expert at the New York-based Century Foundation.

“Besides, Peres left behind a complicated legacy,” he said.

Peres gained worldwide fame — and a Nobel Peace Prize — as the architect of the historic Oslo interim peace accords with the Palestinians in the mid-1990s. Late in life, he established a “peace center” in Tel Aviv that promoted coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians, and as the nation’s president he used the global stage to call for peace.

But in the Arab world, especially among Palestinians, many saw Peres’ vision of peace as all talk.

“He often presented himself as a man of peace, but no one in the Arab world really believed him,” said Abdullah el-Sennawy, a prominent Egyptian columnist. “Whenever there was war, he was there.”

As one of Israel’s founding fathers, Peres was associated with the “naqba,” or catastrophe, that befell the Palestinians in the war surrounding Israel’s creation, when hundreds of thousands fled or were forced from their homes.

“Peres was a significant contributor to the historic injustice that occurred to the Palestinian people,” Ghassan Khatib, a former Palestinian government spokesman in the West Bank, wrote on his Facebook page.

As a Defense Ministry official during the 1950s, he helped turn Israel into a regional military power and played a central role in secretly developing what is widely believed to be a sizable nuclear arsenal. And after Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war, Peres was an early defender of efforts to build Jewish settlements in the occupied territory — a position he would later abandon.

Even after spearheading the interim accords with the Palestinians, Peres led or defended tough military actions by Israel. While Peres was caretaker prime minister in 1996, Israel assassinated the Hamas militant group’s chief bomb maker in the Gaza Strip — prompting a wave of bloody revenge suicide bombings that are seen as a chief reason for his subsequent election loss to Netanyahu.

Under Peres that same year, an Israeli military operation in Lebanon included a deadly artillery strike on a U.N. compound in the village of Qana that killed dozens of civilians who had fled fighting to take refuge there.

“Real peace is implemented on the ground, not by killing women, children and the elderly, then taking the Nobel prize,” said Mohammad Jaafar, who was among the survivors of the Qana bombardment.

The incident is a key part of Peres’ legacy across the region. Announcing Peres’ death on Wednesday, Iran’s state television called him “the butcher of Qana.”

“He will stand in front of God and defend himself for his heinous crimes against humanity,” said Hamad al-Qahtani, a Kuwaiti government employee. “He killed refugees, orphaned children and destroyed families. May he get what he deserves.”

More recently, during his presidency, Peres defended Israeli offensives against Hamas in Gaza in 2009, 2012 and 2014 in which hundreds of civilians were killed.

In one famous encounter at the 2009 World Economic Forum in Davos, Peres clashed with Turkey’s then-prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, about the Israeli offensive in Gaza. “You kill people,” Erdogan said, rejecting Peres’ argument that the invasion was an act of self-defense because Hamas had launched rockets at Israel.

In Gaza on Wednesday, Hamas expressed joy over Peres’ death, and in Iran, local media reported that students distributed candies at Imam Sadegh University to celebrate.

“Shimon Peres was an example of how the world can forget someone’s crimes if they only live long enough,” Sultan Saoud al-Qassemi, a popular commentator in the United Arab Emirates, wrote on his Twitter feed.

Not all the reaction in the Arab world was negative. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a negotiator in the Oslo process, expressed “sorrow and sadness” over Peres’ passing. Officials said Abbas was considering attending the funeral on Friday.

And in Iraq, Iyad Jamal al-Din, a Shiite cleric and former politician, praised Peres as a “wise leader who helped his people.”

“What have Arab leaders done for their people? Peres turned Israel from a militia to a state. Today, the last wise man of the Israelis has passed,” he said.

Iranian political analyst Hassan Hanizadeh said Peres had been a moderating force in the region and helped prevent conflict. Netanyahu and other hard-liners will now have “a more free hand in implementing their hard-line policies in the region and world,” he said.

(AP)

JUST IN: Pres. Obama Orders Flags To Be Flown At Half-Staff In Honor Of Shimon Peres

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

f_obama_peres_130320As a mark of respect for the memory of Shimon Peres, former President and Prime Minister of Israel, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and on all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, on September 30, 2016.

I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of September, in the year of our Lord
two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

Rabbi Yitzchak Levy: Peres Was The Man Behind The First Settlement In The Shomron

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

1Former head of the National Religious Party Rabbi Yitzchak Levy, spoke with the dati leumi Kippa website following the petira of former President Shimon Peres.

“My last meeting with him was after he stepped down as president” explains Rabbi Levy. We met at a tourism event arranged by the Tourism Ministry. Before entering we spoke about the Pollard affair”

“He was Prime Minister during Pollard. He told me a number of things that I do not think I would like to share at present, regarding what occurred on that fatal night, but I saw the deep pain he had and his total satisfaction that Pollard was released. Indeed, he identified with the great pain that Pollard was in prison. This was the last time we spoke and it was the last time we met, discussing the night Pollard was arrested”.

Rav Levy then spoke of the early stage of the settlement movement in the Shomron, which enjoyed total support from Peres. “I was on the council of the first core group in Elon Moreh. Rabin and Peres were Prime Minister and Defense Minister. We went to speak with them about moving to the Shomron and to my great surprise, Shimon Peres supported the idea and Rabin joined later on. If there is someone who was the first in the political echelon to support the first days of settlement in Elon Moreh in the Shomron it was Shimon Peres”.

“I remember the first meeting very well, in Tel Aviv, as we sat and talked with Peres who gave the okay for the first group to move onto what is Elon Moreh, the first yishuv, which was then in Kedumim, but called Elon Moreh”.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

WATCH: A Number Of Ministers Eulogize Former President Shimon Peres Z’L

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Education Minister Naftali Bennett, both of the Bayit Yehudi party, speak with the press following the passing of former President Shimon Peres z”l. Shas party leader Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and Welfare Minister Chaim Katz of the Likud party express their thoughts as well.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Despite Harsh Reviews, Trump Resists New Debate Approach

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

trhilUnmoved by harsh debate reviews, a defiant Donald Trump showed no sign Wednesday of embracing any big changes before his second faceoff with Hillary Clinton, pressing ahead with a strategy focused on speaking directly to his white working-class loyalists across the Midwest.

Democrat Clinton, meanwhile, pushed to improve her standing among younger voters with the help of the president, Sen. Bernie Sanders and other key allies, 48 hours after her debate performance that seemed to spark badly needed enthusiasm.

Those closest to Trump insisted the Republican presidential nominee was satisfied with Monday night’s debate, even as prominent voices within his own party called for more serious preparation following an opening confrontation marked by missed opportunities and missteps.

“Why would we change if we won the debate?” former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a key Trump ally and traveling partner this week, told The Associated Press. “Donald Trump is going to prepare for debates the way Donald Trump prepares for debates.”

The next debate is 11 days away.

Unlike Clinton, Trump is not planning to participate in any mock debates, although he is likely to incorporate what one person described as “tweaks” to his strategy.

Specifically, Trump is likely to spend more time working on specific answers and sharpen his attacks after spending much of the first meeting on defense, said that person, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal campaign strategy.

That may not be enough to satisfy concerned Republicans.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Trump should have been better prepared and he recommended that the candidate work harder with skilled coaches. He said, “What you need is people who are professional debaters.”

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said simply: “The only advice I could give him, and take it for what it’s worth, prepare better.”

The New York businessman struggled to attack Clinton consistently on the debate stage Monday night, but he has lashed out at her aggressively in the days since. He attacked her record as the nation’s chief diplomat during a Wednesday appearance in Chicago. He was expected to go further in later rallies in Iowa and Wisconsin.

Throughout his outsider presidential bid, Trump has refused to deviate from a strategy hinged on an ambitious travel schedule packed with massive rallies that draw overwhelmingly white crowds.

Clinton, meanwhile, sought Wednesday to parlay her widely praised debate performance into stronger support from women, young Americans and other critical voter groups. She got help from her party’s biggest stars.

President Barack Obama hammered the billionaire over his business practices and treatment of women in an interview aired on Steve Harvey’s radio show, which is particularly popular among black audiences. The Democratic president said his own legacy was “on the ballot” in November. He also suggested that Clinton wasn’t getting enough credit, possibly because she’s a woman.

And his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, accused Trump of trying to undermine her husband’s presidency for years by questioning his birthplace. Trump publicly admitted the president was born in America for the first time earlier in the month after spending years raising questions about the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate.

“Trust me, a candidate is not going to suddenly change” once in office, Mrs. Obama said at a rally for Clinton in Pennsylvania. In a dig at Trump’s reality TV show background, she added: “It is not an apprenticeship.”

Hoping to broaden her appeal among “millennials,” Clinton joined her primary rival, Vermont Sen. Sanders, on the trail for the first time since they held a “unity” rally in July in an attempt to heal divisions within the Democratic Party. Since then, Clinton has struggled to win over young Americans who formed a critical pillar of the coalition that twice elected Obama.

The 2016 election marks in the first in which millennials are the largest generation among U.S. adults, having surpassed baby boomers during the past four years. In August, a GenForward poll suggested that Clinton’s biggest hurdle to attracting young people isn’t necessarily Trump but young adults’ widespread dissatisfaction with both of the major parties.

Trump’s team on Wednesday was hoping to regain its footing after he veered into problematic territory the day before, when he revived his decades-old criticism of a former beauty pageant winner for gaining “a massive amount of weight.”

The president and other Democrats were hoping voters wouldn’t forget.

“You had somebody who basically insulted women, and then doubled-down,” Obama said.

(AP)

Want a School That Will Bring Out the Best in Your Child?

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

[COMMUNICATED CONTENT]

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Mossad Statement On The Passing Of Former President Shimon Peres

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

peresMossad Director Yossi Cohen, along with the all Mossad personnel, mourns the passing of the ninth President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres.

“For many years, Shimon Peres worked with the Mossad on its operations and work for the security of the State of Israel, and was one of the country’s most prominent leaders. He was a symbol of peace and brotherhood and as such, contributed greatly to building up the security of the State of Israel. May his memory be blessed”.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Charter Flight With Hundreds Of Passengers From NYC To Uman Cancelled Hours Before Take-Off

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

umanHundreds of people scheduled to leave New York on Wednesday night for Uman have just been notified that the flight has been cancelled.

The tickets were sold by a well-respected travel agency, and the passengers were being flown on a privately chartered 747. The flight was advertised as a direct flight.

Although it is unclear about why exactly the flight was cancelled, sources tell YWN that the flight did not have the appropriate landing permits in Ukraine, prompting the cancellation of the flight.

Passengers who spoke to the travel agency are being told that their money was being refunded, and being told that they can try and make alternate travel arrangements.

The following email was written by one of the flight organizers:

Dear friends,

This past summer we attempted to organize a charter flight to the Zion of Rabeini Hakodosh so that our community can travel to Uman for Rosh Hashanah. With Hashem’s help we made contact with a reputable charter company that was willing to provide us with a reasonably priced flight option that would be best suitable for our community.

We reached out to Do All Travel to assist us in servicing the community to book and ticket this charter flight. Do All Travel put in their best effort to service the positive response.

Unfortunately at the last minute we received word from the charter company that due to issues beyond their control there will be no flight leaving tonightfor Kiev in time for Rosh Hashanah. We profusely apologize for the situation and we understand your disappointment. We take full responsibility for this unfortunate situation.

May hashem help that with all of your good intentions you should merit to a healthy and fruitful year.

With sincere appolgies,

Yoily Gertner

(Charles Gross – YWN)

Hadassah Hospital Moves To Heightened Alert Status Ahead Of Funeral Of The Late President Peres

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

1Hadassah Ein Kerem spokesperson Hadar Elboim reports that in light of the erev Shabbos levaya for former President Shimon Peres, the hospital is moving to heightened alert status.

The hospital announced states the hospital/trauma center will move to heightened alert for the levaya which will bring thousands including Israeli elected officials and VIPs from Israel and around the world.

The hospital has notified relevant departments to move to heightened alert ahead of the funeral, including emergency services and the trauma unit.

On-call personnel from all departments have been informed to remain on hospital grounds until the completion of the funeral.

Hospital administration has informed the Jerusalem Police Chief of the facility’s heightened alert status.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

FBI Director Again Defends Integrity Of Clinton Email Probe

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

comeyRepublican lawmakers may question the decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton for using a private email server as secretary of state, but they should not question the investigation’s thoroughness, FBI Director James Comey said Wednesday as he again defended the agency’s actions.

“You can call us wrong, but don’t call us weasels. We are not weasels. We are honest people, and we did this in that way,” Comey said under hours of questioning at a House Judiciary Committee hearing. “Whether you disagree or agree with the result, this was done the way you would want it to be done.”

Republicans grilled Comey on the FBI’s year-long investigation into the potential mishandling of classified email, which concluded in July when the FBI recommended against prosecution and the Justice Department closed the case. They demanded to know why multiple key witnesses had been granted some kind of immunity, questioned him on his interpretation of the key felony statute at issue and argued that the outcome revealed a double standard in the treatment of powerful public figures.

But Comey, who has repeatedly sought to explain the FBI’s decision making, again said that the case was not a close call and insisted that no one else would have been prosecuted for the same acts — even if they might have gotten into trouble with their employer.

“To prosecute on these facts would be a double standard because Jane and Joe Smith would not be prosecuted on these facts,” Comey said.

Republicans were not assuaged, arguing that Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, illegally mishandled classified information. Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia contended that Clinton had played “fast and loose with national security” and said it defied logic that she could escape prosecution. Rep. Lamar Smith, of Texas, suggested that the FBI reopen the investigation in light of what he said were “several new developments.”

Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, insisted that the fix was in from the start, asserting that the decision not to prosecute was made even before Clinton was interviewed in early July — a claim Comey vigorously denied.

GOP panel members repeatedly pressed Comey on his acknowledgment that multiple witnesses had been granted some form of immunity. They also voiced concern with the number of people who had been in the room with Clinton during her July FBI interview.

Comey said agents granted immunity to Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s former chief of staff, because they wanted to inspect her laptop as part of the investigation. The immunity deal was limited to information contained on her laptop, Comey said. Another of the witnesses given immunity was Bryan Pagliano, the tech expert who set up Clinton’s email server.

House Republicans had considered a resolution finding Pagliano, who has declined to answer questions from lawmakers, in contempt of Congress but have postponed that for now.

Comey said he believed some form of immunity had been given to five witnesses, and that the actions were “fairly typical in a complex white-collar case, especially as you try and work your way up towards your subject.

“So my overall reaction is, this looks like ordinary investigative process to me,” he added.

On another topic, Comey said the FBI will have up and running within two years a database that tracks instances of police use of deadly force,

The database is intended to capture how often police officers kill citizens in the line of duty and to correct a record-keeping gap that Comey said has resulted in uninformed conversations, based on anecdotes and not facts, about use of force. Demands for more complete records have grown in the past two years amid a series of high-profile deaths at the hands of police officers.

In the absence of hard data, Comey added, “I can’t tell you whether shootings involving people of any different color are up or down or sideways and nor can anybody else in this country.”

Wednesday’s hearing was the second time in two days that Comey faced questions from members of Congress.

On Tuesday, GOP senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee pressed him on whether anything could have been done differently to prevent recent acts of extremist violence, such as the Orlando nightclub massacre or the Manhattan bombing. Comey told senators that the FBI is transparent about mistakes, but under questioning from Republicans, he did not agree that anything different should have been done.

(AP)

Minister Miri Regev Is Concerned Over The Funeral For Former President Peres And Possible Chilul Shabbos

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

d28fa370-4a29-4b5f-ad6a-cbfb30bb4a3cMinister of Culture & Sport Miri Regev made the following remarks on Wednesday, 25 Elul, at the start of the meeting of the Ministerial Committee on Symbols and Ceremonies:

“We are officially convening the ministerial Committee on Symbols and ceremonies, which today mourns the passing of former President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres. We are preparing for a very large and complex funeral that will coordinate very many elements. Here today is the Director General of the Foreign Ministry and the Jerusalem District Police commander, as well as representatives from the Defense Ministry, Knesset, and the Prime Minister’s Bureau, among others. We are, in effect, working to coordinate the entire effort.

“I would like to thank Minister Ofir Akunis and Minister Sofa Landver, who are present as members of the committee. We will work under the ‘Havatzelet’ protocol to facilitate a respectable funeral that will allow the citizens of the country and the world leaders who will arrive to pay proper respect to former President Peres. Therefore, as soon as the committee votes on its decisions, everyone will go to work in his area and we will meet from time to time on a more reduced basis to oversee coordination.

“There will be several centers: The airport, to which the leaders will arrive. The second center is the Knesset. The third is Mt. Herzl, including the interment itself.

“There are many elements here that we will need to coordinate so that everything goes smoothly and respectably, despite all the constraints we are under and the complexity of the event. There is also, of course, Shabbat that we must take into account and see that we finish on time so that all of the police and other elements working on the event can return home in time for Shabbat.”

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Trump Has Turned Over Tax Returns – For Lawsuits And Loans

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

truWhile Donald Trump won’t publicly release his income tax returns, the New York businessman has turned them over when it suited his needs — if he stood to make a profit, needed a loan or when a judge forced him.

Pennsylvania gaming regulators were given at least five years’ worth and eight boxes full of Trump’s tax documents. Nevada, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana and other state gaming officials also had access to multiple years of his returns. Large banks that lent Trump money over the years have also obtained Trump’s returns.

One common thread ties all those who have seen the documents: They can’t talk about them.

Such legal restrictions leave the public with only small glimpses into what Trump’s taxes might hold.

In Monday night’s debate, Democrat Hillary Clinton cited documents unearthed by reporters to question whether Trump doesn’t want to release his tax returns because he has paid little or no federal income taxes.

Trump’s response? “That makes me smart,” a comment he disavowed just minutes after the debate. Asked by reporters if he had admitted to not paying federal income taxes, Trump said, “I didn’t say that at all.”

Clinton cited documents unearthed by Politico showing Trump didn’t pay any federal income tax during at least two years in the early 1990s because he lost more money than he earned. Other documents show he also didn’t pay any federal income taxes in 1978, 1979 and 1984.

Voters know little about Trump’s more recent finances beyond his own self-reported estimations of his wealth and listings of his business interests.

In all cases reviewed by The Associated Press, each person, organization, company or government office that has seen Trump’s tax returns is barred from discussing their full contents by professional or legal restrictions.

For example, employees of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board could face criminal penalties if they leaked information from Trump’s tax returns maintained in the board’s electronic files, said board spokesman Doug Harbach.

When asked whether Trump had turned over any returns to the Missouri Gaming Commission, officials said they were barred by state law from saying what Trump turned over.

“I could not tell you whether we had them,” said Edward Grewach, the commission’s general counsel.

Responses like these leave the decision to publicly release the taxes solely with Trump, who has repeatedly refused. Trump has cited an IRS audit as his reason for withholding the information, but the IRS and tax experts have said an audit doesn’t bar Trump from releasing his taxes. At the debate, Trump said he would release his returns — over what he described as his attorney’s objections — only after Clinton released roughly 30,000 emails she had deleted from her private server that she had deemed personal.

Earlier this month, Donald Trump Jr. gave a different reason why his father wouldn’t release the returns: The American people would ask too many questions.

“He’s got a 12,000-page tax return that would create … financial auditors out of every person in the country asking questions that would detract from (his father’s) main message,” the younger Trump told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Since 1976, every major party nominee has released the returns and Clinton has publicly released nearly 40 years’ worth. Even Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, released 10 years of his tax returns.

Tax returns don’t measure net worth, so they wouldn’t verify whether Trump is worth the $10 billion he says he is. But the returns would reveal how much Trump earned from his assets, helping someone work back to an approximation of his net worth.

Trump’s own estimates of his income and net worth have previously been scrutinized by those who had access to his tax returns.

For a decade, Trump tangled with New York City authorities over his city tax bill, a battle first reported in June by journalist David Cay Johnston in The Daily Beast.

In Trump’s 1984 tax filings, he said he had lost money during a time in which he had just completed Trump Tower and regularly boasted about the success of his business deals. Trump also declared that he was primarily a consultant that year, and that his consulting business had $684,000 in business expenses and no income. He provided no receipts to justify the claimed expenses.

City tax authorities didn’t buy it — and after Trump appealed his tax bill, they fought with him for the next 10 years. Trump lost and was ordered to pay the taxes on more than $1 million in income.

Trump’s multibillion-dollar fortune has been questioned by banks that demanded his tax returns before lending him money. Commercial lenders generally require both personal and business tax returns as part of a loan application, and Trump provided such information to North Fork Bank in 2004 and 2005.

Though the bank’s evaluations aren’t public, discussion of them in a later deposition of Trump revealed they were unflattering. The deposition was taken in a defamation lawsuit Trump filed against journalist Tim O’Brien, who wrote a book that questioned Trump’s net worth. Trump lost the suit.

“(North Fork) concluded in their estimation that your net worth was actually $1.2 billion instead of $3.5 billion as you claimed. Are you aware of that?” asked O’Brien’s attorney, Andrew Ceresney.

Trump said he had not known that, but dismissed the quality of the bank’s opinion.

“The numbers are wrong,” he said.

North Fork wasn’t alone in marking down Trump’s net worth. Deutsche Bank also reviewed Trump’s finances as of 2004, deeming him to be worth “give or take $788 million,” Ceresney said in the deposition. The attorney did not say whether Deutsche Bank relied on Trump’s tax return in its calculation.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment about its evaluation of Trump’s worth, but the bank is required to keep customer information confidential by law. Capital One Bank — it bought North Fork in 2006 — did not respond to requests for comment by phone and email.

O’Brien did not respond to requests for comment, but in a story he wrote for Bloomberg, O’Brien said he was barred from discussing the contents of Trump’s tax returns because they were produced under seal in the court case.

In addition to a suggestion of his worth, Trump’s tax returns would reveal his charitable contributions. Despite boasting of sweeping generosity, the AP reported more than a year ago that there is little record of substantial personal philanthropy from Trump.

Trump has been dogged by questions about his personal giving and how his namesake foundation operates. The Washington Post has reported that Trump used donations given by others to pay for legal settlements, political contributions and even purchase portraits of himself.

Public disclosure would resolve many of these questions for voters.

A new Associated Press-GfK poll found that just under half of registered voters— 46 percent — say it is very important for candidates to release their tax returns, though Democrats were far more likely say it was very or extremely important than Republicans.

A recent Monmouth University poll also found that most Americans are aware that Trump has not released his tax returns, and just over half think it’s because he is hiding something he does not want the public to know.

(AP)

Hikind to Appear at CB 1 Meeting Tonight to Support Increase in Swimming Hours for Women

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

poolAssemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) penned a letter to Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mitchell Silver on Tuesday, requesting an increase in hours of separate gender swimming for women at Metropolitan Pool and Recreation Center in Williamsburg.

In May, after a complaint was filed with the NYC Commission on Human Rights, the Parks Department announced that it was going to end the separate swimming policy, claiming it was discriminatory. However after careful consideration, the Human Rights Commission agreed to issue an exemption that would allow the arrangement to continue.

“I applaud Mayor de Blasio and the Human Rights Commission, as well as the Department of Parks and Recreation in continuing separate gender swimming hours,” Assemblyman Hikind said in the letter. “This separate gender swimming program has proven to be very popular and well attended.”

Community Board 1 voted unanimously in favor of keeping separate gender swimming hours, 33-0, and recently asked Commissioner Silver to place a moratorium on the reduction of swimming hours to allow the community and elected officials the opportunity to resolve the issue. Hikind will join the board in its next meeting at 6 p.m. tonight at 211 Ainslie Street to support an increase in swimming hours for women.

Hikind explained that while he appreciated the continuation of the program, the hours would be reduced to half of what they were beginning in October. “Unfortunately the reduction will create overcrowding during the swim period,” he said. “Only a certain number of swimmers are permitted to use the pool at one time, and there is now a long line of women waiting their turn. Additionally, when these women have the opportunity to swim, their time will be severely limited in order to allow those waiting to have a chance.”

Added Hikind: “In order to meet the demand of the program’s popularity, I respectfully request that the Parks Department not only restore the previous hours, but actually increase them to accommodate all women who wish to take advantage of the facility. This will ensure that those wishing to use the pool have the maximum opportunity to do so. By allowing all women to swim separately, we send a clear message that NYC is culturally sensitive and recognizes the diverse nature of its residents.

(YWN Desk – NYC)

PHOTOS: Kurds In Northern Iraq Hold ‘Funeral’ And Send Condolences For Shimon Peres Z’L

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

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[PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE]

Kurds held a funeral on Wednesday for Shimon Peres, former President and Prime Minister of Israel, in a show of respect for his support for Kurds.

Kurds in the Province of Duhok held a funeral for Peres, sending condolences to his family.

Kurds’ respect for Peres came after his meeting with the US President Barack Obama in 2014.

Peres advised the United States to support the Kurds and the creation of a Kurdish state, praising the democracy practiced in the Kurdistan Region.

“The Kurds have, de facto, created their own state, which is democratic. One of the signs of a democracy is the granting of equality to women,” Peres told Obama in 2014.

About 100 people attended the funeral including journalists and activists.

Bayar Zawitayi, one of the Kurdish activists who participated, told Kurdistan24 the funeral was meant to send condolences to the family of Peres and show respect for what he did for Kurds.

Funeral proceedings began at 3:00 p.m. local time and continued for three hours in front of Duhok Gallery.

The following are pictures of Peres’ funeral poster in Duhok:

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(Source: Kurdistan 24)

Yad Vashem Mourns The Passing Of Israel’s Ninth President, Shimon Peres

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

1Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, mourns the passing of the ninth President of Israel, Shimon Peres and offers its sincerest condolences to his family and all of the people of Israel.

Former President Peres was a dedicated supporter of teaching the legacy of the Shoah, so that the Jewish people – and all humanity – may have a brighter future. Shimon Peres worked tirelessly to further the causes of justice and peace for all humankind.

May his memory be a blessing.

Special Announcement to the Public:

Yad Vashem will be closed to the public starting Thursday 26 Elul at 17:00 and through Friday, 27 Elul.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Fireside Is Cooking For Succos

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

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Photo Essay: Visnitz Rebbe Visiting The Belzer Rebbe Ahead Of The Yomim Norayim (Photos by JDN)

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

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