Washington - The United States will revoke or deny visas to International Criminal Court personnel who attempt to investigate or prosecute alleged abuses committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday. Pompeo, making good on a threat delivered last September by national security adviser John Bolton, said the U.S. had already moved against some court employees, but declined to say how many or what cases they may have been investigating. The ICC prosecutor currently has a pending request to look into possible war crimes in Afghanistan that may involve Americans. The Palestinians have also asked the court to bring cases against Israel. “We are determined to protect the American and allied military and civilian personnel from living in ...
Jerusalem - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s leading challenger in his heated race for re-election is trying to play down an embarrassing phone hacking scandal that has erupted just as the ex-general is sliding in opinion polls. Benny Gantz’s campaign confirmed late Thursday that the former military chief, who has been campaigning on his security credentials in a bid to end Netanyahu’s decade-long rule, was the target of an Iranian hacking attack several months ago. It was not clear what information Israel’s archenemy had obtained from Gantz’s smartphone. His campaign said the security lapse occurred months before he entered politics and suggested the leak was a politically-motivated attempt to embarrass him ahead of April 9 elections. The revela...
Santa Teresa, New Mexico - The 18-foot-tall steel slats extend 20 miles across the rugged Chihuahuan desert in southern New Mexico, cutting through high sand dunes and brush. On a recent day, there were none of the usual signs of migrant traffic - no discarded water bottles, clothes or trash. The radio on a Border Patrol SUV driving along the divide was mostly silent. To many locals and public officials familiar with the area, the $74-million structure just west of tiny Santa Teresa marks a surprising priority in the Trump administration’s efforts to build a wall against illegal immigration, drugs and human trafficking. “Most of us here say why spend that money? Just dead money going into the middle of the desert,” said Jerry Pacheco, president and CEO of the Border In...
United Nations - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has laid a wreath in memory of the 157 victims of the Ethiopian Airlines crash, including the many staff members and partners who support the world body’s work. Several hundred diplomats and staff members joined him in paying silent tribute Friday. The victims came from 35 countries and included at least 21 U.N. staffers from different agencies. Guterres said they were “a mirror of the United Nations ... each on an individual mission, but at the same time together, representing our larger quest — doing their part, in solidarity with all of us, to build a better world.” Two United Nations security officers stand beside a memorial wreath during a ceremony at United Nations headquarters, Friday March...
Washington - Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign says the Vermont senator has been treated at a walk-in clinic for a minor injury while campaigning in South Carolina. Campaign spokesman Arianna Jones told reporters that Sanders cut his head on the edge of a glass shower door Friday and went to a walk-in clinic. She says the 77-year-old Sanders received a half-dozen stiches and was given a “clean bill of health.” Jones says Sanders is continuing with all scheduled events, including a breakfast with local clergy and a roundtable on health care while in South Carolina. Sanders will travel to Nevada ahead of his first rally in the early-voting state since launching his presidential bid. The rally will be held Saturday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week did not rule out the possibility of supporting the legalization of marijuana. “I am now looking into the matter you brought up,” he said in response to a question about the subject on the LikudTV webcast that can be viewed on his Facebook page. “I will give you an answer soon. It’s possible that it will happen.” Additionally, Netanyahu spoke of the previous government’s move to permit using medical marijuana, in addition to exporting it. Last year, Israel lessened the penalties for those using cannabis. The law is scheduled to take effect on April 1.
The Rabbinical Council of America, the leading organization of orthodox rabbis in North America, mourns the loss of innocent lives in the massacre at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Mosque in New Zealand today. As members of a faith community, we condemn this act of senseless violence and hatred against other human beings. Rabbi Elazar Muskin, president of the RCA, said, "Once again we have witnessed hate-filled attacks on innocent people, this time against Muslims at Friday prayer. As a global society we must do our all to eradicate the hate and ignorance that breed these outbursts of violence, We must commit to creating a society which respects and protects the divine image in which all are created. In pain and grief we extend our condolences to the kids families and communities of the victi...
Baltimore, MD, March 15, 2019 — In response to the horrific shootings at two mosques in New Zealand, Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, Chairman of the Rabbinic Circle of the Coalition for Jewish Values, made the following statement:   It only adds to the pain of this atrocity that something as obvious as 'evil is bad' needs to be said. Violence against civilians is abhorrent in all cases, under all circumstances, and hate crimes have no place in civilized society.   The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), the largest rabbinic public policy organization in America, articulates and advocates for public policy positions based upon traditional Jewish thought.
Washington - The crash of Boeing Co’s 737 MAX 8 passenger jet in Ethiopia raises the chances that families of the 157 victims, even non-U.S. residents, will be able to sue in U.S. courts, where payouts are larger than in other countries, some legal experts said. Sunday’s crash occurred five months after the same model of the plane went down in Indonesia, an accident that prompted a string of U.S. lawsuits against Boeing by families of the 189 victims. While no lawsuits have yet been filed since the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, some plaintiffs’ lawyers said they expect that Boeing will be sued in the United States. Boeing did not immediately comment. The company, which has its corporate headquarters in Chicago, has often convinced U.S. judges to dismiss air ...
Wellington, New Zealand - A deadly mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand during Friday prayers has horrified residents of the South Pacific nation known for its low levels of gun violence and a reputation for tolerance and safety. Forty nine people were killed and more than 20 seriously wounded in the attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said. Video footage widely circulated on social media, apparently taken by a gunman and posted online live as the attack unfolded, showed him driving to one mosque, entering it and shooting randomly at people inside. “It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, adding it marked one of New Zealand’s darkest days. “Many of those who...
Boeing promised pilots a software fix for its 737 Max jet following the deadly Lion Air crash last October, The New York Times reports—but the update never came. The vow came at meetings between Boeing company officials and pilot unions at Southwest Airlines and American Airlines after the Lion Air accident that killed 189 people in Indonesia. The officials reportedly promised to update the software by the end of 2018. After the second 737 Max crash on Sunday in Ethiopia, United States regulators said the software update won’t be ready until April. “Boeing was going to have a software fix in the next five to six weeks,” said Michael Michaelis, the top safety official at the American Airlines pilots union. “We told them, ‘Yeah, it can’t drag out.&...
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump issued the first veto of his presidency on Friday, overruling Congress to protect his emergency declaration for border wall funding. Flanked by law enforcement officials as well as the parents of children killed by people in the country illegally, Trump maintained that he is not through fighting for his signature campaign promise, which stands largely unfulfilled 18 months before voters decide whether to grant him another term. Trump said: “It is a tremendous national emergency,” adding, “our immigration system is stretched beyond the breaking point.” A dozen defecting Republicans joined Senate Democrats in approving the joint resolution on Thursday, which capped a week of confrontation with the White House as both p...
The United States aims to cut Iran’s crude exports by about 20 percent to below 1 million barrels per day (bpd) from May by requiring importing countries to reduce purchases to avoid US sanctions, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. US President Donald Trump eventually aims to halt Iranian oil exports and thereby choke off Tehran’s main source of revenue. Washington is pressuring Iran to curtail its nuclear program and stop backing militant proxies across the Middle East. The United States will likely renew waivers to sanctions for most countries buying Iranian crude, including the biggest buyers China and India, in exchange for pledges to cut combined imports to below 1 million bpd. That would be around 250,000 bpd below Iran’s current exports of 1.25 mi...
More than half of US Jews identified as Democrats in 2018, while fewer than one in five said they were Republicans, according to combined Gallup poll tracking data published on Thursday. Out of 938 Jewish Gallup poll respondents last year, 52% called themselves Democrats, 16% described themselves as Republicans and 31% classified themselves as independents. The data also showed that only 26% of Jews approved of President Donald Trump’s job performance, while 71% disapproved. Among the general American population, Trump’s approval rating was 40%, with 55% disapproving. A Gallup analysis predicted that the recent controversy surrounding antisemitic comments made by Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar would not be a boon for Republicans, in terms of new Jewish support. “...
Have You Heard? If not, you will. It is on its way - to your yeshiva, your school, your child. What is it? Agudas Yisroel’s learning initiative that is changing the world for our children: The Masmidei HaSiyum Program. Recently unveiled at yeshivos and chadorim everywhere, this ground-breaking program has already been met with tremendous enthusiasm. A Look Back - A Look Forward It’s hard to believe it was almost seven years ago, but remember the last Siyum HaShas? For many, the most stirring and heartwarming parts of that global siyum were the moments when the youngest children - our precious kinderlach from across the world- sang together and joined in The Siyum to be part of kedushas Limud HaTorah along with the tens of thousands of mesaymim. Children are the futu...
WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid new tension between the two countries, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that the U.S. expects North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to live up to his promise to President Donald Trump to continue his moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests. “In Hanoi, on multiple occasions, he spoke directly to the president and made a commitment that he would not resume nuclear testing nor would he resume missile testing,” Pompeo said. “So that’s Chairman Kim’s word. We have every expectation he will live up to that commitment.” A senior North Korean official said earlier Friday in Pyongyang that Kim will soon decide if he wants to continue diplomatic talks and refrain from doing missile launches and nuclear tests. Vice Forei...
Baltimore, MD – Mar. 15, 2019 – In town to visit his father in Hopkins, Harav Yeshaya Yaakov Portugal, shlita, son of the Skulener Rebbe, shlita, spoke at the Khal Chasidim of Baltimore kollel yesterday morning. He was m’chazeik the oilam in Torah and Avodas HaShem and asked all to be mispallel for his father Maran R’ Yisroel Avrohom ben Shaina Rochel, l’refuah shleimah.
Jerusalem, Israel - Mar. 15, 2019 - The Jerusalem Winner Marathon was held on Friday morning, March 15, 2019. This is the largest social marathon in Israel, which includes a special 800 meter social track, in which 6,000 runners and more than 15 associations participated. Among the non-profit organizations participating were Aleh, Shalva, Kav L'Chaim, the Israel Cancer Association, the Center for Rape Victims and Sexual Assault, the Koby Mandell Foundation, Kav LaNoar, Chayenu, the  Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levine, Yachad, One Family with 400 runners, AMIT, Gefen Fertility Center, Sulam, Run4Kids@SdotNegev2019 of Connections & Links, which enhances the Resilience Training at the Maagalim Elementary School in Sderot Negev,&nbs...
On Shabbos Parshas Pekudei, at the Annual Midwest Regional Siyum Mishnayos of Pirchei Agudas Yisroel of America, Pirchim from 13 cities across the country were inspired. The siyum was hosted this year by the Cleveland branch and held at the Telshe Yeshiva in Wickliffe, OH. The program was coordinated by the directors of Pirchei Agudas Yisroel of Cleveland: Rabbi Hillel Drazin, Rabbi Moshe Berger, Rabbi Binyomin Levi and Nochum Drazin. Beginning Friday afternoon and ending with the Grand Melave Malka, attendees were treated to nonstop programming.They enjoyed dinner and a story upon their arrival Thursday evening and a Friday morning trip. Chairman of the event and guest storyteller Rabbi Binyomin Wealgus kept them spellbound at Friday night Oneg Shabbos, followed by Shabbos groups. The c...
I suppose it’s not so strange that I put the two experiences together. They happened a mere day apart and both involved buses. The first incident astounded me. As I stood in a line of people waiting to board an end-of-the-day bus at the Staten Island Ferry terminal, a young woman just walked up to the front of the line and, with nary a glance at anyone behind her, boarded the bus. Had she joined the back of the line as is normative, the seat she graced with her occupancy would have gone to someone else, perhaps one of the senior citizens who ended up standing during the ride. The lady had no obvious physical impairment. She just seemed oblivious to the fact that other people occupy the universe, some even in her immediate vicinity. I think I know what the line-cutter would have an...
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