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Norway Demands Palestinians Return Funding for Youth Center Named After Infamous Terrorist

The charred remains of a hijacked bus from Palestinian terrorist Dalal Mughrabi’s 1978 Coastal Road massacre. Photo: MathKnight via Wikimedia Commons. – Acting immediately on a report issued on Friday by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), Norway demanded that the Palestinian Authority (PA) return Norwegian state funding for a women’s youth center that had been named after female Palestinian terrorist Dalal Mughrabi. Mughrabi famously masterminded an attack that killed 37 Israelis four decades ago.
Mughrabi orchestrated the 1978 Coastal Road massacre, where Palestinian terrorists hijacked a bus on a highway near Tel Aviv, and embarked on a murderous rampage with Kalashnikov rifles, mortars, grenades and explosives. Twelve children were among the 37 slain Israelis; it remains the deadliest terror attack in Israel’s history.
“The glorification of terrorist attacks is completely unacceptable, and I deplore [the glorification] in the strongest possible terms,” Norway’s Foreign Minister, Borge Brende, said in a statement. “Norway will not allow itself to be associated with institutions that take the names of terrorists in this way. We will not accept the use of Norwegian aid … for such purposes.”
Brende also requested that the logo of the Representative Office of Norway in Ramallah be removed from the building of the “Martyr Dalal Mughrabi Center,” and that all Norwegian funds used for the center’s construction “be repaid.”
PMW Director Itamar Marcus told that his organization, which monitors Palestinian incitement, “is very pleased by Norway’s swift action condemning the PA’s naming of yet another institution after a terrorist.”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement, “Norway has done the right thing. Standing strongly against the positive commemoration of terrorists is an essential part of the international effort to eradicate terrorism.” The ministry added, “Israel suggests that all members of the international community check where money invested in the PA ends up, and expects all other partners in this project to follow Norway’s example.”
According to PMW, the youth center was a joint initiative of the PA, the Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (a Palestinian NGO), the United Nations and Norway’s Representative Office to the PA. Upon its completion, the center featured a sign displaying the logos of all four organizations.
Like the Norwegian government, the UN also moved to distance itself from the center.
“The name chosen by the community center is wrong and unacceptable,” said Robert Piper, the UN’s deputy special coordinator for the Middle East peace process; he demanded that the world body’s logo “be removed immediately” from the building.
PMW’s Marcus said that the PA “has been responding recently to international criticism over its terror glorification by actually increasing its terror glorification. Just last week, PMW reported that in one month, the Palestinian Authority honored 44 terrorists involved in the murder of 440 people.”
“The PA’s strategy has been to increase its terror glorification in the belief that the international community would eventually give in to them, and recognize the terrorists as so-called ‘prisoners of conscience,’” Marcus said.
Norway’s “three-stage action” — condemning the honoring of a terrorist, demanding the funds for the center be returned and instituting stricter controls for the future — “sends a strong message to the PA that the world rejects their attempt to glorify [the] murder of Israelis in the name of ‘freedom fighting,’” said Marcus.
In March, following the announcement that a PLO youth camp would be named after Mughrabi, District Governor of Ramallah Laila Ghannam praised the initiative for “remembering the pure-hearted martyrs,” and insisted on a “solidarity rally” to honor the terrorists who carried out the Coastal Road massacre.
Norway’s condemnation of the PA’s glorification of terrorists came just three days after US President Donald Trump, in a joint press conference with PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said that peace “can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded,” referring to the PA’s glorification of terror, as well as its payments to Palestinian terrorists and their families.
In an interview with Israel Radio in early May, senior PA official Nabil Shaath unequivocally rejected the US’ request to end the PA’s financial support for terrorists, calling the proposal “insane.”
“It’s absurd to request that we stop paying the families of prisoners,” Shaath said. “That would be like asking Israel to stop paying its soldiers.”

Source: Norway Demands Palestinians Return Funding for Youth Center Named After Infamous Terrorist
Today's News / Investing in Jewish Businesses — and BizTank
« Last post by News Bot on Today at 12:40:03 PM »
Investing in Jewish Businesses — and BizTank

The BizTank website.
I recently served as a “mogul” on BizTank —  a forum for hungry entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas and seek investments from a panel of Jewish investors. The program, similar to the TV show Shark Tank, has helped companies raise $4 million since launching just more than a year ago.
Created and produced by Joel Klein, each episode of BizTank features a series of presenters, each of whom was impressive during my stint on the show.
First up was an innovative new virtual and augmented reality technology company that works in residential brokerages. Going beyond today’s online “virtual tours,” a broker can use this new technology to take a potential buyer through an entire property in real time, going from room to room — and amenity to amenity — as if they were really there. The product has had impressive early results, helping one real estate company exceed sales forecasts by 40 percent. While fellow BizTank “mogul” Sruly Wolfson invested, the rest of us passed.
Next up was a 22-year-old entrepreneur and hairdresser who recognized that there is no good way to clean a hairbrush from client to client. Therefore, she created a disposable/recyclable hairbrush head that can be changed with every new client — no more dirty hair, bacteria, dandruff or other nasty stuff during your next cut. Four of the five investors (myself included) scheduled a follow-up meeting with her company, and are interested in investing the $250,000 that the entrepreneur needs to bring the company to market.
For those in the private label business, turning out products can be a daunting task. The next presenter led a company that helps research, create, source, market and sell private label products. I can image how much more efficient it would be to bring private label products to market with a service like this.
Finally, two sisters presented us with an opportunity to invest in an entirely new food category: the spoonable smoothie. Using avocados as a base ingredient, and packaged smartly in grab-and-go avocado-shaped containers, the product is made of all-natural ingredients — even down to the included, eco-friendly paper spoon. As someone who has launched numerous food and beverage brands, I’m certain that these women are on to something special.
And as impressive as these entrepreneurs were, so were the investors on the BizTank panel.
My fellow “moguls” for the day included: Inbar Haham, an early Waze investor and Israeli venture capitalist; Anthony Pinkesz, a mortgage and real estate industry guru and angel investor to dozens of businesses from food to fashion; Sruly Wolfson, who made his name as a film producer and venture capitalist; and Ezriel Rappaport, an investor in dozens of start-ups who represents an investment group looking to fund exciting new companies.
The back-and-forth between the investors alone would make for a great business school seminar. But most impressive of all was the passion of the entrepreneurs, and the earnest spirit of BizTank to help people succeed and follow their dreams.
It is truly special for the Jewish community to stand together and invest in businesses, and to contribute positively to the world around them.

Source: Investing in Jewish Businesses — and BizTank
Today's News / Trump’s Mideast Visit: Much Ado About Nothing
« Last post by News Bot on Today at 12:40:03 PM »
Trump’s Mideast Visit: Much Ado About Nothing

US President Donald Trump and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu at a press appearance in Jerusalem last week. Photo: Netanyahu’s Twitter account.
Sadly, President Donald Trump’s visit to the Middle East only confirmed my skepticism about what might come out of it. Trump went to the region with nothing to offer to mitigate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and received no commitment from either Israeli or Palestinian leaders to resume the peace negotiations in earnest. Instead, he received lots of platitudes and empty good-will gestures.
In his meeting with Saudi King Salman and the rest of the heads of Arab states, Trump heard the warnings about the Iranian threat and joined the chorus — without offering any specific idea as to how he might address Iran’s support of violent extremists and its hegemonic ambitions.
To be sure, however, there were many photo ops. Israeli and Arab officials alike clamored to take a photo with a besieged president who reveled in the accolades of the moment, and did his best not to think about the dark clouds awaiting him back home.
That said, there is no doubt that the US remains the indispensable power in the Middle East, and just about every state in the region relies heavily on the US’ political support and protection. This, however, does not suggest that the US has a magic wand and can simply wave it and change the dynamics of the multiple conflicts sweeping and consuming the region. None of Trump’s predecessors has had that kind of power, and Trump has even less.
During his meetings with Saudi officials, Trump said nothing about their gross violation of human rights and the kingdom’s promotion of Islamic Wahhabi extremism. On the contrary, he was delighted to conclude an arms deal worth over $110 billion, becoming more like a merchant of death rather than a messenger of peace.
When it came to the relationship between the Arab states and Israel, Trump offered no recipe for a comprehensive peace agreement. He stated that “King Salman feels very strongly and, I can tell you, would love to see peace with Israel and the Palestinians.”
The fact is that the Arab states want peace between Israel and the Palestinians based on a two-state solution, and conditioned normalization of relations with Israel based on that premise, which was articulated in the Arab Peace Initiative introduced by the Arab League in 2002.
As far as the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, Trump seems to have realized that the conflict is far more intractable than when he said before his trip that, “There is no reason there’s not peace between Israel and the Palestinians — none whatsoever.” After his Mideast meetings, he said, “I’ve heard it’s one of the toughest deals of all.”
Whereas he took no initiative to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Trump backtracked on his promise to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem, and asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to slow down the building and expansion of settlements. To the disappointment of many in Israel, he also refused to allow any Israeli officials to accompany him during his historic visit to the Western Wall.
The statements made by Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that they were ready and willing to resume negotiations were old, tired and inconsequential. Both sides have been expressing such a sentiment for years, and nothing that Trump has said or done will change the positions of either Abbas or Netanyahu.
Netanyahu is not committed to a two-state solution, and Abbas is unable to make any concession and politically (if not physically) survive. Trump could have challenged both leaders to take some measures to demonstrate their commitment to peace and create a conducive atmosphere that would pave the way for serious negotiations, but he did not even attempt to do that.
Among other measures, Trump could have asked Netanyahu to release some Palestinians prisoners, allow for freer movement of Palestinians and open the door for mutual tourism. Trump could have also seriously leaned on Abbas to stop public incitements and acrimonious public narratives, and to end financial aid to the families of terrorists. He did not do so in a meaningful way.
Although Trump does want a deal, he assigned his son-in-law Jared Kushner and former business attorney Jason Greenblatt, two novice individuals who know even less about the complexity of the conflict than he does, to find a solution that has eluded several presidents before him.
Furthermore, notwithstanding their desire to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Iranian threat has assumed greater urgency for both Israel and the Arab states. Both sides have long since concluded that Iran is a common enemy and poses a real danger to their national security. As they see it, although the Iran deal has delayed its pursuit of nuclear weapons, Tehran is still committed to becoming a nuclear power.
Regarding the concern over the Iranian threat, Trump offered the same language we’ve heard before: “There is a growing realization among your [Israel] Arab neighbors that they have common cause with you in the threat posed by Iran, and it is indeed a threat, there’s no question about that.”
It is true that Tehran is deliberately destabilizing the region through its support of terrorist organizations, and by meddling in the Arabs’ domestic affairs (Syria, Lebanon and Yemen) to serve its hegemonic ambitions. Israel and the Arab states have, for several years, been collaborating strategically by sharing intelligence and developing clandestine security cooperation to stop Iran from realizing its regional objectives.
Other than boasting “We are telling you right now that Iran will not have nuclear weapons,” Trump offered no concrete steps as to how to deal with the Iranian menace. Instead, he encouraged the Sunni Arab states to ally against Shiite Iran, which can only further heighten tensions between the two sides and further destabilize the region, which is already in turmoil.
Trump ignored the basic fact that regardless of Iran’s mischiefs and transgressions, it is here to stay. Tehran has been complying with all the provisions of the nuclear deal, and Iranians just re-elected President Rouhani, who is a moderate and has expressed on many occasions that he wants improve relations with the US and the Arab states.
However, Trump’s statement to the Sunni leaders was: “Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran, deny it funding for terrorism, and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they so richly deserve.”
Indeed, regardless of the intense objection of the Israelis and the Arab states to the Iran deal, Trump did not tear it up as he promised during his campaign — and his administration has complied with the deal’s requirements by lifting sanctions as stipulated in the accord.
Wisdom dictates that the US should build on the Iran deal, and work with Iran to help bring an end to the horrifying civil war in Syria, and to stop the senseless proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Yemen and Iraq (from which neither side can emerge victorious).
Ultimately, however, Trump’s visit to the region was full of opulence and symbolism, with little or no substance. There was no progress in in the search for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Arab states continue to refuse to normalize relations with Israel before resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and they have received no assurance that the US will deal with Iran with an iron fist.
The only thing that came out of Trump’s visit was a respite from the political turmoil in which he is embroiled back home. Otherwise, the trip was much ado about nothing.

Source: Trump’s Mideast Visit: Much Ado About Nothing
Today's News / Tiger Woods has reportedly been arrested on DUI charges
« Last post by News Bot on Today at 12:40:03 PM »
Tiger Woods has reportedly been arrested on DUI charges

Golf legend Tiger Woods was reportedly arrested for driving under the influence on Monday in Florida.

Source: Tiger Woods has reportedly been arrested on DUI charges
600kg of crystal meth worth $120 million seized in massive Philippines drug bust

Authorities seized crystal meth worth an estimated $120 million in a joint drug bust involving Chinese and Philippines officials some 15km north of the capital Manila.

The 604kg of methamphetamine, also known as 'shabu,' was found stowed away at two warehouses Friday in Valenzuela City.

One Philippines national was arrested and two men named as Jhu Ming-Jyun and Chen Min are wanted in connection with the discovery, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency in Manila.

The high-grade meth, stuffed into plastic bags, was presented to the media on Monday.

Source: 600kg of crystal meth worth $120 million seized in massive Philippines drug bust
Philippines' death toll exceeds 100 as besieged ISIS-linked terrorists execute 'betrayers'

The death toll in the Philippines city of Marawi has exceeded 100 people, including at least 27 civilians and 61 terrorists, while 2,000 people reportedly remain trapped as ISIS-linked Maute militants mercilessly kill "betrayers" who try to flee the city.

At least 27 civilians have been killed in Marawi since Maute fighters, aligned with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), raided the city last Tuesday.

This figure includes the latest victims  -  eight males, whose bodies were discovered with gunshot wounds to their heads on a roadside in the outskirts of Marawi on Sunday. According to locals, the victims were civilians who worked at a rice mill and a medical college and had attempted to flee the city.

A signed note attached to one of the men indicated that the victims had "betrayed their faith," police officer Jamail Mangadang told the Philippine Star.

Source: Philippines' death toll exceeds 100 as besieged ISIS-linked terrorists execute 'betrayers'
Massive sinkhole appears on a ring road in Changchun,  China

A massive sinkhole appeared on a ring road in northeastern China today.

The cause of the sinkhole was unknown, though there has been construction in the area recently.

Photos show the sheer size of the giant sinkhole which has caused traffic chaos in Changchun city.

The incident took place near Weixing Square in Changchun city, Jilin Province, stated, an affiliation to People's Daily China.

Changchun county council sent a repair team to the site after getting reports of the sinkhole from onlookers during the early hours of this morning.

Source: Massive sinkhole appears on a ring road in Changchun,  China
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo calls for ban of black feminist festival 'prohibited to white people'

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo called for a black feminist festival to be banned, saying that the event "is prohibited to white people." The "militant Afro-feminist fest" is planning to host four-fifths of its venues for black people only.

Nyansapo Fest is scheduled to take place at La Générale Nord-Est cultural center in Paris July 28-30. The "militant Afro-feminist event" is "rooted in black feminism, activism, and on a European scale," its organizers said.

Activities are set to take place in several locations, but around 80 percent of the total area will be reserved for black women, the organizers said.

The second, "non-mixed" area is arranged "for black people" regardless of gender, while the third space will be "open to all races and genders."

In the English version of the event description, the organizers dropped the word "non-mixed."

Source: Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo calls for ban of black feminist festival 'prohibited to white people'
Geopolitical chess game: How realistic is Syria's de-escalation zone plan?

Last week, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that experts from Russia, Iran and Turkey are mapping the borders of the agreed-upon cease-fire zones in Syria. The plan, however, affects the interests of Israel and Saudi Arabia. Sputnik international affairs contributor Alexander Khrolenko reviewed the complicated situation on the ground.

On Friday, Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov said that experts from Russia, Iran and Turkey will map the borders of the agreed-upon cease-fire or de-escalation zones in Syria.

The diplomat added that the checkpoints must be set in the mentioned areas to prevent armed infiltration of terrorists and secure the free passage of citizens.

Source: Geopolitical chess game: How realistic is Syria's de-escalation zone plan?
Video: RAW: Molotovs fly in Caracas as violent protests rock Venezuela

Anti-government protesters barricaded the Francisco Fajardo highway in east Caracas with trucks on Saturday, as clashes broke out again in the Venezuelan … Via Youtube

Source: Video: RAW: Molotovs fly in Caracas as violent protests rock Venezuela
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