Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield said Thursday that the health risks of keeping schools closed are greater than those of opening them, amid a push by President Trump to have students in classrooms this fall. "I'm of the point of view as a public health leader in this nation, that having the schools actually closed is a greater public health threat to the children than having the schools reopen," Redfield told The Hill's Steve Clemons. The comments in favor of reopening schools from Redfield come as Trump presses for schools to reopen. On Wednesday, the president criticized the CDC in a tweet for "their very tough & expensive guidelines for opening schools," raising fears about the politicization of the country's l...
The federal judge in the Michael Flynn case is asking an appeals court to rethink its decision ordering the charges against the former national security adviser to be dropped. Judge Emmet Sullivan, of the district court in D.C., filed a petition with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear the case after a three-judge panel ordered him to allow the Department of Justice (DOJ) to withdraw its case. "The panel’s decision threatens to turn ordinary judicial process upside down," Sullivan's attorney wrote in the petition. "It is the district court’s job to consider and rule on pending motions, even ones that seem straightforward. This Court, if called upon, reviews those decisions — it does not preempt them." In a move that surprised many, the ...
Democrats want to hide presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden until Election Day.
Electricity reportedly cut in suburbs west of Tehran following mysterious explosion. An explosion was heard in western Tehran on Thursday night, Reuters reported, citing the official IRIB news agency. IRIB did not provide any additional information about the cause of the blast or possible casualties. Electricity has been cut in the area of the explosion in suburbs west of Tehran, it reported. There have been multiple explosions around military, nuclear and industrial facilities in the past week. Two people were killed in an explosion at a factory in the south of Tehran on Tuesday. Last Thursday, Iran announced that an "accident" had occurred at the Natanz nuclear complex in central Iran. On Sunday, an unnamed Middle Eastern intelligen...
A hearing on a ban on kosher and halal shechita enacted by the Walloon and Flemish regions of Belgium took place on Wednesday, with Jewish and Muslim representatives charging that the prohibition violated European laws on freedom of religion. The hearing took place in Luxembourg at the European Court of Justice, which interprets EU law at the request of judges in member states. The Jewish community was represented by lawyers from the Jewish Central Consistory of Belgium and the Coordinating Committee of Jewish Organizations in Belgium (CCOJB). On the Muslim side, there were lawyers from the Muslim Executive of Belgium. Defending the ban were lawyers representing the Walloon and Flemish governments. Also present were representatives from the European Commission and the Council of Europe....
Geoffrey Berman, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, on Thursday testified that Attorney General William Barr “repeatedly urged” him to resign before forcing him out in June. Berman told the House Judiciary Committee that prior to his ouster, he resisted Barr’s urging because “there were important investigations in the office that I wanted to see through to completion.” “The Attorney General said that if I did not resign from my position I would be fired,” Berman told the Judiciary panel. “He added that getting fired from my job would not be good for my resume or future job prospects. I told him that while I did not want to get fired, I would not resign.” Read more at The Hill.
Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young on Thursday announced a public-private partnership to expand access to mobile coronavirus testing. The city health department is partnering with Johns Hopkins Medicine, the University of Maryland Medical Center and BUILD. “This partnership will help us increase testing availability for our residents across the city and reduce barriers we know our residents have experienced,” Young said. “I want to thank Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa and our partners at Johns Hopkins and UMMS (University of Maryland Medical System) for their efforts in setting up this partnership.” Dzirasa said that the mobile testing will help them curb a positivity rate as high as 20% in some neighborhoods. Johns Hopkins Medicine held its first testing ev...
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — In a Baltimore-exclusive conversation Thursday with 11 News, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan talked about leadership as a thread running through his new memoir, "Still Standing." The interview came on the morning after President Donald Trump issued an ultimatum to local school districts to "open up or else." Hogan brushed off the president's attempts to strong-arm states into fully reopening schools in the fall. "Well, we're not going to take any bullying, and the state is going to make the best decisions that we can based on the science and what the educators and the public health officials say," Hogan said. "We've got to get our kids learning again. We got to get them back to school, but we've got to take every precaution we can to keep th...
When the B’nos Tzlafchad approach Moshe Rabbeinu, they are intent on pointing out that their father was not part of Korach’s rebellion.  Rather, they remind Moshe that “he died on account of his own sin.”  (Pinchas 27:3) Rashi tells us that Tzlafchad was the “M’koshesh Eitz” – the wood gatherer who did this Melacha on Shabbos and was therefore Chayav Misa.  This was apparently the first time in the Midbar where someone was chayav misa due to chillul Shabbos.  In the last couple of years, we have been introduced to several new technologies suggesting that they would allow us to use cell phones or light switches through the use of a “gerama” device on Shabbos.  Predictably, the wagons were quickly circled b...
JERUSALEM (JNS) – The Artillery Corps of the Israel Defense Forces is responsible for delivering a large portion of the military’s firepower to an increasingly complex battlefield. Its units take part in a large array of activities—from firing artillery guns, to guided advanced missiles and operating unmanned aerial vehicles. But before all of that, according to Lt. Col. Yotam Burstein, commanding officer of the Artillery Corps Training Battalion, everything begins with basic training. The 37-year-old commander has spent more than 18 years in the military. After being drafted into the Artillery Corps himself in 2002, he has since served in command roles in almost every artillery unit. Previously the commander of an operational combat battalion, Burstein has spent the pas...
Michael Cohen, the former personal lawyer for President Donald Trump, was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals on the heels of a newspaper photo showing him eating at a Manhattan restaurant weeks after being released from prison into home confinement. Cohen was taken to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, a federal jail. His attorney, Jeffrey Levine, said that his detention could be connected to a photo of him that appeared on the front page of The New York Post eating outside of his Manhattan residence, where he was supposed to be under home confinment for the remainder of a three-year criminal sentence. Cohen was recently released from prison due to concerns he could catch the coronavirus. His lawyer also said that before Cohen was taken into c...
Some Israelis have found a way to avoid the Shin Bet's tracking efforts of cellphones, an effort approved during the coronavirus outbreak in attempt to gain control of infection rates, reports N12. The security agency sends out messages to people having to go into quarantine after coming in contact with a person diagnosed with the virus, which has proved to be problematic as thousands have been wrongly notified. In order to avoid this problem, some Israelis are using cellphone holsters advertised as having the ability to block location tracking. While the cases are being used to avoid the Shin Bet's tracking, in doing so, some people could be out in public after having contracted the virus unknowingly - when they would have otherwise been in quarantine. The phone holste...
Prime Minister blamed by the public for severity of the current coronavirus outbreak, failure to manage economic damage. 50% of Israelis blame Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for the severity of the second coronavirus wave in Israel, according to a new poll published by the Direct Polls organization. 41% of respondents blamed "the public who do not follow health guidelines." 58% of respondents also blamed Netanyahu for the government's failure to provide adequate compensation for groups most affected by the economic hardships which have resulted from the coronavirus restrictions.
JERUSALEM (JNS) – Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Isaac Herzog on Wednesday told Jewish leaders from abroad that the coronavirus has claimed the lives of some 2,200 Diaspora Jews, not counting those from the United States and Russia—the two countries with the largest Jewish populations after Israel. In an online briefing, Herzog said that the Jewish Agency has distributed some $10 million in interest-free loans to organizations in 23 countries whose Jewish communities were hit particularly hard financially as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns. Two days earlier, Herzog discussed other effects of the pandemic in a meeting of the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, estimating that 250,000 Jews will immigrate to Israel within the next three to five ...
Below is an update on the Covid situation from Rav Dr. Aaron Glatt, RAA/Igud's Director of Halacha and Medicine Commision, dated July 9, 2020 (the situation changes day to day). He will provide a live update on Motzei Shabbos, July 11 at 9:45pm NY time Zoom dial-in:  Meeting ID: 980 3243 6809 Password: SUMMER2020 or by phone: +1 929 205 6099 US COVID-19 UPDATE: July 2nd I am happy to report that we have NOT seen significant complications or outbreaks from our new cases of COVID-19 in the Five Towns. Boruch Hashem. While Woodmere alone saw a dozen new cases in the first week of July, and the other “Four” Towns and surrounding neighborhoods reported new COVID-19 as well, and there are new cases in other Jewish communities, Boruch Hashem&n...
Israel recently presented Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip, with a proposal for a prisoner swap and is waiting for a response, Ynet reported on Wednesday. According to the report, the proposed deal—the details of which have not been released—was conveyed through a third party. Hamas is currently holding the bodies of two Israel Defense Forces soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, both killed during Operation Protective Edge—Israel’s 2014 war against Hamas terrorists and infrastructure in Gaza—in addition to civilians Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, two Israelis who crossed on foot into the Strip of their own accord in 2014 and 2015. In a video address last Thursday to the ceremony at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem commemora...
In a much-anticipated decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled yesterday that, under what has come to be known as the “ministerial exception,” courts may not interfere in employment disputes that arise between employees who perform vital religious duties and their faith-based employers.  In consolidated cases involving elementary school teachers who were terminated by the Roman Catholic school that employed them, the Court asserted that what matters is what employees do, regardless of their not having formal religious titles, and that the teachers in these cases performed responsibilities that were essentially religious in nature and not subject to a court's scrutiny. The two consolidated cases are Our Lady of Guadalupe School v Morissey-Berru and St. Jam...
UMAN, UKRAINE (VINnews) —The mayor of Uman, the Ukrainian town where Breslov Chasidim congregate every year at the tomb of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, has spoken out against this year’s pilgrimage set to be held in September amid the uncertainty over the rampant coronavirus. Mayor Oleksandr Tserbiy said in a Facebook video that “every year about 30,000 pilgrims come to Uman to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. But this year, the coronavirus pandemic made adjustments to our life… It’s a very difficult situation in the world and in Ukraine. In Uman, the situation is under control… But the arrival of a large number of foreigners from different countries could cause a coronavirus outbreak in our town.” Tserbiy  went on to express doubt that all pilgrims ...
Baltimore, MD – July 9, 2020 - It is with sadness that BaltimoreJewishLife.com informs the community of the petira of Miriam Lewkowicz, a’h, mother of Felicia (late Izak) Kaufman, Henry (Phyllis) Lewkowicz and David Lewkowicz (Manon Dufort); grandmother of Gary (Annette) Kaufman, Israel (Susan) Kaufman, Esther (Shai) Sasson, Sarah (Duvy) Goldberg, Rachel (Matt) Cohen, Lauren (Bryan) Levenson, Matthew Lewkowicz (Marie-Yan Morvan and Sherry Lewkowicz (Naschon Rothstein); great-grandmother of 19 and great-great grandmother of 5. She was predeceased by her loving husband, Abram Lewkowicz and Gidali Zaltsberg; siblings, Moishe, Srul and Aron Rzetelny. She also lost four additional siblings and parents, Hersz and Rose Rzetelny in The Holocaust. The levayah at 2:00 PM today is privat...
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