President Biden on Thursday will announce a COVID-19 “winter plan” that imposes new, but less strict than feared, international travel rules and mandates that health insurance companies pay for at-home COVID-19 rapid tests.
Air travelers to the US will have to test negative within one day of their flight, rather than within three days, but Biden opted against more draconian ideas reportedly under review amid fears about the potentially more contagious Omicron variant.
Biden’s team had considered forcing US citizens to do seven days of mandatory self-quarantine after returning from abroad and requiring them to test negative three to five days after arrival under threat of legal punishment, according to the Washington Post.
A senior administ...
A man armed with a shotgun outside the United Nations building forced cops to shut down Manhattan streets Thursday, police said.
The unnamed man, who is in his 60s, was pacing on First Avenue between East 42nd and 45th streets late Thursday morning and was believed to be suicidal, cops said.
Disturbing photos from the scene show the man, wearing a red jacket and blue jeans, pointing the firearm under his chin. Police are working on getting him to surrender.
Cops shut down roads surrounding the UN complex, which was also placed on lockdown.
President Joe Biden's administration will extend requirements for travelers to wear masks on airplanes, trains and buses and at airports and train stations through mid-March, sources briefed on the matter told Reuters, amid concerns about a new COVID-19 variant.
A formal announcement extending the requirements through March 18 is expected on Thursday, the sources said. The White House and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) declined to comment. The TSA in August extended the transportation mask order through Jan. 18.
Biden plans to discuss the U.S. strategy for fighting COVID-19 this winter on Thursday and the transit mask extension is expected to be part of his remarks.
The White House also plans to announce stricter testing rules for international visitors. The U.S. ...
Reports are emerging that Israel’s intelligence service, the Mossad, was purportedly behind the explosion at Iran’s nuclear facility in Natanz.
The operation, first reported in the Jewish Chronicle, was allegedly conducted with assistance from a team of Iran’s nuclear scientists.
“The scientists’ motivations were all different,” a source familiar with the matter disclosed to the JC, adding that the “Mossad found out what they deeply wanted in their lives and offered it to them.”
“There was an inner circle of scientists who knew more about the operation, and an outer circle who helped out but had less information.”
Up to 10 scientists were allegedly recruited by the intelligence agency to destroy the A1000 Natanz cent...
Take a quick look at these sentences: "This time you really and truly exaggerated!" "I really and truly hate eggplant!" "It was really and truly wonderful." Mamash (really and truly) refers to feelings or ideas that, for us, are definitely true, heartfelt, and leave no room for doubt. It's a word that emphasizes the seriousness of the thought that is expressed.In yesterday's daily portion of the book of Tanya, a fundamental work of the Chasidic movement, we read the following declaration: "The second, uniquely Jewish, soul is really and truly a part of G-d above." Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, author of the book of Tanya, apparently wants us to pay special attention to this idea.We are accustomed to say that we were created in the image of God, that there is in every one of...
Dr. Bourla stressed the importance of getting vaccinated, dispelling anti-vaccination rumors
People will likely need to have annual Covid vaccinations for many years to come, according to the CEO of Pfizer.
“Based on everything I have seen so far, I would say that annual vaccinations . . . are likely to be needed to maintain a very robust and very high level of protection,” Dr. Albert Bourla said, in an interview with the BBC.
Bourla spoke with the BBC before the discovery of the omicron variant, first identified in South Africa.
Whether the vaccines will need to be adjusted for new variants is unclear.
Pfizer is conducting Covid vaccine trials in children under five, according to the BBC. Trials are broken up into two differen...
Maryland school systems may once again be able to decide whether to continue masking, but how soon?
The Maryland State Board of Education held a special, virtual meeting Wednesday afternoon and came to be in favor of drawing up another emergency masking regulation.
Essentially, the state is buying some time.
It's back to the drawing board for the Maryland State Department of Education as it attempts to come up with a masking regulation that gives local school systems more flexibility.
It's also prepared to consider vaccination and COVID-19 transmission rates in deciding whether local school systems can drop face mask mandates.
The state board said its decision is based on what it heard from the public and medical professionals a few weeks ago. Now, it appears ready...
It is not immediately clear who is responsible for the attack
At least 10 oil field workers were killed Thursday in an attack on their bus in eastern Syria's Deir Ezzor province, state media reported.
"Ten workers at the Al-Kharata oil field were martyred and another was wounded in a terrorist attack on a bus transporting them back from work," the official SANA news agency said, without elaborating.
It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attack.
However, the Islamic State group regularly claim operations in the oil-rich province that was once a part of its sprawling proto-state straddling Syria and Iraq.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said an explosive device was used in the bus attack in an area of Deir Ezzor where "IS sleeper cells are act...
An additional $3 million will be allocated to the unit in 2022, in order to help strengthen it
Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday designated Israel's Special Police Unit - known by the Hebrew acronym Yamam - as the national unit for counter-terrorism.
The Yamam will be made officially responsible for counter-terrorism operations, such as hostage situations, dangerous arrest raids and more, according to The Times of Israel.
An additional $3 million will be allocated to the unit in 2022, in order to help strengthen it, with an emphasis on weapons and training infrastructure.
Bennett said at the ceremony, "The goal is for the Yamam to be the best unit in the world to fight terrorism - and you are the right people for the job.
Baltimore, MD - Dec. 2, 2021 - Humans are creatures of habit. But what if we were to go above and beyond? What if we were able to overcome our negative habits and become something bigger? What if... What if...The lighting of the Chanukah candles teaches us to stop saying "What if" and start saying "What about now!" Tune in to this week's podcast to hear about the importance of living each day as a Jew with passion, and living each moment all fired up!Click here to listen to the Torah Sparks Podcast powered by: TYA of Baltimore
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Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt, was selected by the White House to light the Chanukah menorah alongside President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff. Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt is Associate Rabbi at the Young Israel of Woodmere (NY) and an expert in infectious diseases who serves as a professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai South Nassau (NY).
The White House celebrated the 4th night of Chanukah with the annual Menorah Lighting Ceremony. The Chanukah party taken place annually since 2001 when it was first hosted by President George W. Bush was fewer in number from previous years due to the administrations ongoing concern of the pandemic.
Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, the husband of VP Harris, excitedly tol...
Baltimore, MD – Dec. 1, 2021 - BJL wishes a hearty Mazel Tov to Sima Goldman (Baltimore) & Moshe Dovid Cohen (Baltimore) on their engagement.
Mazel Tov parents Mr. & Mrs. Yerachmiel Goldman and Mr. & Mrs. Elie Cohen and grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Felix Usher Bamberger and Rabbi & Mrs. Aron Tendler.
יה"ר שיזכו לבנות בית נאמן בישראל. אמן!
The United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution 129-11 on Wednesday, that disavowed Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and called it solely by its Muslim name of al-Haram al-Sharif.
The text, referred to as the "Jerusalem resolution," is part of a push by the Palestinian Authority and the Arab states across the UN system to rebrand Judaism's most holy site and as an exclusively Islamic one.
The United States, which opposed the text, said that the omission of inclusive terminology for the site sacred to three faiths was of "real and serious concern."
"It is morally, historically and politically wrong for members of this body to support language that denies" both the Jewish and Christian connections to the Temple Mount and al-Haram al-Sharif.
Lawmakers from Israel’s ultra-Orthodox parties harshly criticized Religious Services Minister Matan Kahana on Tuesday over his planned conversion reform.
“The destruction and devastation of the Chief Rabbinate and Jewish religion that ‘Religious Destruction Minister’ Matan Kahana leads is unprecedented. The conversion system is the very soul of the Jewish people and harming it would lead to vast assimilation,” said Shas Knesset member Yoav Ben-Tzur.
Yakov Margi, also from Shas, concurred.
“They’ve learned nothing from the Reform movement and how it destroyed a large part of the Jewish people. Due to mass assimilation, since the terrible Holocaust we have not grown numerically,” said Margi. “We have lost no fewer Jews to assimil...
At least one get refuser succeeded in leaving Israel in the past few days as a result of an oversight by the rabbinical courts.
In the last few days the courts had suffered from a computer glitch which meant that injunctions preventing get refusers from leaving the country were not being processed. This allowed the refusers to leave the country without anyone stopping them at passport control, as would be required by law.
The rabbinical judges (dayanim) were only informed on Tuesday of the glitch and sent a hand-written list of all the get refusers to passport control.
The issue was noticed by the registrar of the Petah Tikva rabbinical court nearly a week ago but despite this the director of the rabbinical courts did not update the dayanim and they in turn did not update passport contr...
A car carrying two Breslav chasidim mistakenly entered Ramallah Wednesday evening and was attacked by Arab hooligans. The hooligans torched the car and attacked the occupants, who were rescued by Palestinian security personnel who took them to the nearby checkpoint where they succeeded in crossing into Israel without further issue.
Clips from the scene show the two chasidim being menaced by local Palestinians as they sit in their car. Eventually they were thrown out of the car and it was torched as depicted in other clips from the scene.
Palestinian Authority police rescued the two Jews and transferred them to the nearby checkpoint. The two were unharmed.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the vice chairwoman of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, suggested Wednesday that former President Trump could be held responsible for any falsehoods exchanged with the panel.
“President Trump continues to make the same false claims about a stolen election with which he has misled millions of Americans. These are the same claims he knows provoked violence in the past. He has recently suggested that he wants to debate members of this committee,” Cheney said.
“This committee's investigation into the violent assault on our Capitol on Jan. 6 is not a game. When this committee convenes hearings, witnesses will be called to testify under oath. Any communications Mr. Trump has with this commit...
Stacey Abrams, the Georgia Democrat and leading voting rights activist, said Wednesday that she will launch another campaign to become the nation’s first Black woman governor.
Without serious competition in a Democratic primary, the announcement could set up a rematch between Abrams and incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. Their 2018 contest was one of the most narrowly decided races for governor that year and was dominated by allegations of voter suppression, which Kemp denied.
Yet Abrams’ strong showing convinced national Democrats that Georgia should no longer be written off as a GOP stronghold. Her performance and subsequent organization convinced Joe Biden to invest heavily in the state in 2020, and he became the first Democratic presidential candid...