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Baltimore, MD - Fast of Asara BTeves: Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018: Fast Begins 5:55 AM - Fast Ends 5:31 PM
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Baltimore, MD - Dec. 17, 2018  -  As you may have already read, a letter that arrived by mail at Beth El on Park Heights Ave was opened today and according to reports may have contained some kind of substance that made at least two office staff members sick. The same letter was recently discovered at Yeshivas Neimas Hatorah, Ner Tamid,  Beit Yakov Safra, Cheder Chabad and Cong. Tiferes Yisroel. The envelope was not opened due to the news of the previous incident and is now being investigated by Baltimore County and City Police and HAZMAT. BJL has just received this recent upda...
New Jersey yeshiva parents will be able to breathe a little easier as a bill that will significantly increase security funding for nonpublic schools has passed the Legislature and makes its way to the governor's desk for his final approval. The bill makes  an $11.3 million appropriation  to the Department of Education (DOE) where it will be used to raise the current security allocation from $75 to $150 per child registered in a nonpublic school. Currently, the DOE allocates $205 in security funding for every child registered in New Jersey’s public schools. Bill S3080/A4597 was introduced in the Assembly by Assemblymembers Gary Schaer, Lisa Swain and Christopher Tully, and in the Senate by Senators Josep...
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Baltimore, MD - Dec. 17, 2018 - Fast of Asara B’Teves: Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2017: Fast Begins 5:55 AM - Fast Ends 5:31 PM Although to many the only notable aspect of the upcoming fast of Asarah B’Teves (the 10th of Teves) is that it is by far the shortest fast day in the Jewish calendar for anyone in the Northern Hemisphere (my heartfelt sympathies to the South Americans, So’Africans, Aussies, and Kiwis), nonetheless, the Fast of Asarah B’Teves is quite unique. For example, exclusive to this fast is that it is the only one that we do actually observe as a fast on a Friday[1]. Even Tisha B’Av, which commemorates the actual destructions of our Batei HaMikdash, gets pushed off. Yet, obviously, to maintain this distinction of being the only Fast Day that we ac...
In Bereishis, Perek Mem tes, posuk chof zayin, the posuk tells us that Yaakov blessed Binyamin by saying he is compared to a wolf that attacks and eats the spoils in the morning and in the evening divides his spoils. Rashi explains that this is referring to the future. “In the morning he eats the spoils resulting from his attack” is referring to the time of Shaul Hamelech, who was a descendant of Binyamin. Shaul Hamelech lived at the beginning of the rise of kings in Klal Yisroel. “In the evening he will divide his spoils” is referring to the time of Mordechai and Esther who also were descendants of Binyamin. They lived at the time o...
WASHINGTON (AP) — Michael Flynn will likely walk out of a courtroom a free man due to his extensive cooperation with federal prosecutors, but the run-up to his sentencing hearing Tuesday has exposed raw tensions over an FBI interview in which he lied about his Russian contacts. The former Trump national security adviser’s lawyers have suggested that investigators discouraged him from having an attorney present during the January 2017 interview and never informed him it was a crime to lie. Prosecutors shot back, “He does not need to be warned it is a crime to lie to federal agents to know the importance of telling them the truth.” On Monday evening, the dispute — and a judge’s intervention — led prosecutors to publicly file a redacted copy&nb...
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The fight over President Donald Trump’s $5 billion wall funds has deepened, threatening a partial government shutdown in a standoff that has become increasingly common in Washington. It wasn’t always like this, with Congress and the White House at a crisis over government funding. The House and Senate used to pass annual appropriation bills, and the president signed them into law. But in recent years the shutdown scenario has become so routine that it raises the question: Have shutdowns as a negotiating tool lost their punch? Monday brought few signs of progress. A partial shutdown that could occur at midnight Friday risks disrupting government operations and leaving hundreds of thousands of federal employees furloughed or working without pay over the ...
SAN DIEGO (AP) — One by one, U.S. Magistrate Judge William Gallo called the names of 14 defendants who were charged with entering the country illegally. Defense attorneys told him the government had already deported them to Mexico, making it impossible for them to appear. In a rebuke to the government, the judge immediately dismissed all charges and ordered that their bond money be returned. The scene played out every day for several weeks in San Diego — another example of judges challenging President Donald Trump’s moves on immigration in ways large and small. Last month, a different judge halted an administration policy to deny asylum to people who enter the country illegally. Federal prosecutors introduced the mass hearings on immigration charges in California in Ju...
WASHINGTON (AP) — Forget Robert Mueller. The greatest threat to President Donald Trump’s re-election bid may not be the slew of investigations closing in on his Oval Office but a possible economic slowdown. And the president knows it. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell again Monday, the latest dip in the roller coaster markets amid the strain of Trump’s trade war, rising interest rates and worries about a slowing global economy. Trump, who has tied his political fortunes to the stock market in an unprecedented fashion, has nervously watched Wall Street, keeping an eye on the cable television ticker and barking at his aides for updates. And while he continues to talk up America’s financial might, he has repeatedly and publicly rebuked the chairman of the Federa...
SINGAPORE (AP) — World stocks stabilized Tuesday, with Wall Street expected to edge up after heavy losses the day before, as traders prepare for a likely interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve. KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, Germany’s DAX was 0.5 percent higher at 10,820 after falling into a bear market on Monday. France’s CAC 40 was flat at 4,801 and Britain’s FTSE 100 index fell 0.5 percent to 6,740. WALL STREET: On Monday, broad selling knocked U.S. indexes to their lowest levels in over a year. Investors sold almost everything, from technology and retail stocks to steadier high-dividend companies. Less than 40 of the 500 stocks in the broad S&P 500 index finished the day higher. Stocks were set to recover slightly on Tuesday. S&P 500 and Dow futures both...
Parsha Hashavua
Daily Dvar Halacha - Dec. 18, 2018 - 10 Teves - Why Do We Fast On The 10th Of Teves?

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MADISON, W.Va. (AP) — If you want to understand why U.S. life expectancy is declining, West Virginia is a good place to start. The state is a bellwether of bad health, portending major problems years before they became severe nationally. “It seems that the worst outcomes happen here first,” said Dr. Michael Brumage, a West Virginia University public health expert who formerly ran the health department in Charleston. “We’re the canary in the coal mine.” The drug overdose death rate for all Americans today is where West Virginia’s rate was 10 years ago. The nation’s suicide rate is where West Virginia’s was nearly 20 years ago. Obesity was common in West Virginia before it became widespread in the rest of the country. And life expecta...
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — As the Middle East ushers in 2019, the decade’s ruinous conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Libya and Iraq seem to be winding down after exacting a painful price — many thousands killed, millions uprooted from their homes and entire cities reduced to rubble. Yet the potential for unrest remains high, including in countries that escaped civil war after the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings, such as Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. Millions of young people in the region remain locked out of economic and political participation as authoritarian governments fail to tackle soaring youth unemployment and other deep-seated problems. “I think 2019 is a very challenging year,” said analyst Amer Sabaileh in Jordan, where weekly rallies against economic policies toppled...
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — If the deep field of potential Democratic presidential contenders is on pins and needles as Beto O’Rourke decides his next move, it could be a long wait. The outgoing Texas congressman’s team says he has no timeline or roadmap for deciding if he’d like to parlay a surprisingly close loss to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz into a White House try. People close to O’Rourke insist he hasn’t expanded staff or lined up consultants even as the interest in him intensifies. They say he’s spoken to top Democratic donors, but describe such discussions as fact-finding missions, researching the logistics of a possible run rather than securing assurances that coming campaign cash would go to him and not others. The only big date on his calendar i...
Illinois - Chicago police say two officers investigating a shots-fired call on the city’s far South Side have died after being struck by a train. Police spokeswoman Michelle Tannehill confirmed the deaths Monday night but said she had no additional details to release. She did not identify the officers. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi posted on Twitter that the “devastating tragedy” occurred when the officers were investigating a shots-fired call. He added that a weapon was recovered and a person of interest is being questioned at the scene. Local media reported that the officers were struck about 6:20 p.m. Monday by a train operated by the South Shore commuter rail line that links northern Indiana and Chicago.
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New York - Johnson & Johnson on Monday scrambled to contain fallout from a Reuters report that the healthcare conglomerate knew for decades that cancer-causing asbestos lurked in its Baby Powder, taking out full-page newspaper ads defending its product and practices, and readying its chief executive for his first television interview since investors erased tens of billions of dollars from the company’s market value. J&J shares fell nearly 3 percent Monday, closing at $129.14 in New York Stock Exchange trading. That drop was on top of the 10 percent plunge that wiped out about $40 billion of the company’s market capitalization following the Reuters report Friday. J&J also announced Monday that it would be repurchasing up to $5 billion of its common stock. Senator E...
Hotan, China - Barbed wire and hundreds of cameras ring a massive compound of more than 30 dormitories, schools, warehouses and workshops in China’s far west. Dozens of armed officers and a growling Doberman stand guard outside. Behind locked gates, men and women are sewing sportswear that can end up on U.S. college campuses and sports teams. This is one of a growing number of internment camps in the Xinjiang region, where by some estimates 1 million Muslims are detained, forced to give up their language and their religion and subject to political indoctrination. Now, the Chinese government is also forcing some detainees to work in manufacturing and food industries. Some of them are within the internment camps; others are privately-owned, state-subsidized factories where detainees ...
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Operation Northern Shield, encompassing the IDF’s efforts to uncover and destroy Hezbollah attack tunnels crossing under the Israel-Lebanon border, has been made possible by technological advancements and accurate intelligence gathering. The operation followed a detailed plan outlined by operational officials, and if the plan is implemented as presented, it will undoubtedly achieve the desired effect — neutralizing the big surprise that Hezbollah was preparing ahead of its next confrontation with Israel (attack tunnels that would allow it to strike at Israel’s home front). Hezbollah’s aim was two-fold: to seize Israeli vantage points and to stir panic inside Israel, thereby compelling the Israeli military force fighting Hezbollah’s complex attack to turn bac...
Cape Canaveral, FL - Astronomers have spotted the farthest known object in our solar system — and they’ve nicknamed the pink cosmic body “Farout.” The International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center announced the discovery Monday. “Farout” is about 120 astronomical units away — that’s 120 times the distance between Earth and the sun, or 11 billion miles. The previous record-holder was the dwarf planet Eris at 96 astronomical units. Pluto, by comparison, is 34 astronomical units away. The Carnegie Institution’s Scott Sheppard said the object is so far away and moving so slowly it will take a few years to determine its orbit. At that distance, it could take more than 1,000 years to orbit the sun. Sheppard and his team spi...
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Baltimore, Md - Dec 2018 - Due to the fact that Dr. Bertha Nelkin's, a'h, levaya took place after mid-day on erev Chanukah, our community missed out on learning about and learning from the life of this remarkable woman. Therefore, the Agudah of Park Heights encourages everyone to participate in the evening's הספדים and to give honor to the נפטרת and to the entire Nelkin family."
 Chicago police officers were killed Monday night when they were hit by a train while investigating a call of shots fired on the city’s Far South Side, sources said. The officers were doing surveillance following a ShotSpotter report when they were hit by an outbound South Shore train at the 103rd Street Rosemoor stop near 103rd Street and Dauphin Avenue around 6:20 p.m. Metra officials shut down all traffic on the Metra Electric District tracks Monday evening while authorities worked at the scene. The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, which operates South Shore trains, uses Metra tracks.
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