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Will the Dead Sea be Eaten By Sinkholes? Huge Chasms are Appearing in the Region At a Rate of One Pe
Sep 20th, 2013
Daily News
Mailonline - Ellie Zolfagharifard
Categories: Today's Headlines;Contemporary Issues

Dead Sea E

The Dead Sea is drying up at an incredible rate leaving huge chasms of empty space in its wake

  Estimates by Moment magazine suggest that, on the Israeli side alone, there are now over 3,000 sinkholes around the Dead Sea.

This compares to just 40 counted in 1990, with the first sinkhole appearing in the 1980s.

Dead Sea

The Dead Sea spans more than 60 miles through Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan. Its waters are 10 times saltier than the northern Atlantic Ocean because it has no outlet. This means that any minerals that flow there, stay there

Dead Sea

An aerial view shows a close up of a salt formation inside a large sinkhole on the shores of the Dead Sea. The increase in sinkholes is directly related to the Dead Sea drying up at a rate of one meter per year

The increase in sinkholes is directly related to the Dead Sea drying up at a rate of one meter per year.

Sinkholes are basically bowl-shaped features that form when an empty space under the ground creates a depression.

The depression is the result of a reaction between freshwater and salt buried in a subterranean level beneath the surface.

When the freshwater dissolves the salt, it creates a void, causing the landscape around and above it to suddenly collapse.

Over the last few decades, increasing numbers of people have been drawn to the Dead Sea causing its salt water to dry up.

This leaves more fresh water in the area to dissolve the salt and create more cavities.

Dead Sea

Sinkholes pock-mark the emerging shoreline of the Dead Sea near Ein Gedi. The sinkholes are caused by fresh groundwater dissolving subterranean salt deposits that once formed the bottom of the Dead Sea

To bring the world's attention to Dead Sea's plight artist Spencer Tunick shot the first mass nude shoot in the Dead Sea in 2011

One solution being presented by the World Bank is to create a canal linking the Dead Sea to either the Red Sea.

But environmentalists warn that doing this could spell the end for the Dead Sea.

Experts believe more needs to be done to highlight the plight of the Dead Sea and come up with a solution.

For instance to bring the world's attention to the challenge artist Spencer Tunick shot the first mass nude shoot in the Dead Sea in 2011.

‘Human intervention has just about killed the Dead Sea,’ Alon Tal, professor in the Department of Desert Ecology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, told Moment magazine.

‘It will take extraordinary human measures—careful, wise intervention and positive regional cooperation—to save it.’

Two Hundred Million Europeans See Israel As Nazi State
Sep 20th, 2013
Daily News
Categories: Today's Headlines;Antisemitism

The fundamental Zionist idea about anti-Semitism was that once a Jewish State was realized, the problem of anti-Semitism in Paris, Berlin and Rome would be solved. Since Jews would have their own homeland, they could no longer be persecuted as religious and national strangers. But this neat packet of reasoning has turned out to be incorrect.

The Belgian Ministry of Education funds an organization, the Committee for Remebrance Education, which provides teachers with materials for their history lessons. One of the materials used is the cartoon “Never Again, Over Again”, which equates the treatment of the Palestinian Arabs by the Israelis today with the treatment of the Jews by the Nazis in the 40s.

“Never Again" means that what happened under Hitler should never happen again. And "Over Again" means that what is happening today is the same as in the past with Hitler, the Belgian school teachers are told. “In the past, the concentration camps were fenced off with barbed wire. Today, the border between Israel and Palestine is marked with barbed wire and a wall”.

Daniel Goldhagen devoted his entire academic research to the analysis of the Nazi genocide. His international fame came with “Hitler’s Willing Executioners”, the book-indictment of one hundred thousand “ordinary Germans” who killed millions of Jews. Now it is the turn of Goldhagen's new book titled “The Devil That Never Dies”, published by Little, Brown and Company.

The book is most important as an analysis of “global anti-Semitism” as Goldhagen calls it, but it is also the indictment of Europe’s public opinion which depicts the Jews as “monstrous predators” who crush the Palestinians. Goldhagen enunclates Europe’s new anti-Semitism as follows: “Israel has no right to exist, so it is right and necessary to destroy the Jewish state. Two hundred million Europeans see the Israeli Jews as Nazis”.

That’s why, according to the Jewish People Planning Institute, 40 to 50 percent of European Jews are considering alyah. Because they do not feel safe.

And France is the most explosive example.

Nathan Sharansky just landed in Paris to coordinate the departure of 800 French Jews. “I do not remember such a number of people interested in alyah since the days when Jews stood in line outside the Israeli embassy in Moscow”, Sharanski said from the French capital.

It is a peak of emigration which has not been seen since 2004, when during the Second Intifada Europe’s Jews suffered a wave of anti-Semitism and thousand of French Jews marched through the streets raising signs like “Synagogues brûlées, République en ranger”, i.e. synagogues burned, republic in danger.

At stake is the famous relationship between Jews and France symbolized by the French Air Force jewel created by Marcel Dassault; by the father of the Constitution, Michel Debré; by Simone Veil, first president of the European Parliament; by Pierre Mendes-France, Minister of Economy in 1945, and by the socialist leader Leon Blum.

The Israeli government recently released emigration numbers. France tops the global list after Russia, Ukraine and Ethiopia. It is the “Aliyah Tapis Rouge”, emigration on the red carpet.

In Paris, the Jews are advised to “walk in groups”, never alone. Better if above the kippah they wear a baseball hat. Half of the Jewish families in Villepinte, a proletarian suburb north of the capital, have left and the local synagogue, already burned down in 2011, is no longer able to set up the required 10-man quorum, called a minyan, for prayer.

Joel Mergui, historic leader of the Jews of Paris, has warned: “The mass migration is likely to clear the capital of the community”. It is a drama silenced by the French media: “Of the 600,000 Jews in France, only one third is in contact with the community and educates their children in Jewish schools. A third is about to be assimilated, and a third is on the fence”.

The Rabbi, the Lost Ark and the Future of Temple Mount
Sep 20th, 2013
Daily News
The Telegraph
Categories: Today's Headlines;The Nation Of Israel

In Jerusalem, rabbis are designing a new hi-tech temple. There's only one problem: they want to build it on the holiest place in the city for Muslims

Palestinian Muslim men pray in front of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem
Palestinian Muslim men pray in front of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem Photo: Getty
Rabbi Chaim Richman shows me into a darkened room, strokes his beard and pulls out his smartphone. He has a specially designed app that works the lights. The room illuminates. He taps the screen again, and a heavy curtain slides open. There, resplendent in brilliant gold – and rather smaller than I expected – lies the Ark of the Covenant.

“This isn’t the real lost ark,” he says. “The real one is hidden about a kilometre from here, in underground chambers created during the time of Solomon.” I look at him askance. “It’s true,” he says. “Jews have an unbroken chain of recorded information, passed down from generation to generation, which indicates its exact location. There is a big fascination with finding the lost ark, but nobody asked a Jew. We have known where it is for thousands of years. It could be reached if we excavated Temple Mount, but that area is controlled by Muslims.”

Welcome to the Temple Institute exhibition, in the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem. A plush, hi-tech gallery, spanning 600 sq ft, it hosts a collection of vestments and sacred vessels to be used by the Jewish high priest. This is not a museum, insists Rabbi Richman, 54, the international director of the organisation. Apart from the Ark of the Covenant, every artefact on display has been painstakingly created in accordance with Biblical instructions and is intended for actual service in a “third Jewish temple", which will be built as soon as possible.

Central to the collection is a high priest’s costume made out of azure and gold thread with a breastplate featuring 12 large gems. Cost: £160,000. There are also intricate silver trumpets and wooden lyres, pans to collect the blood of the sacrificial lamb and a large stand for the ritual bread. Outside, on a platform overlooking the Western Wall, stands an ornate 1.5-ton candelabra covered in 90kg of gold worth £1.3 million.

All have been designed in consultation with 20 full-time Talmudic scholars, who the institute pays to study the elaborate, 2,000-year-old laws governing the construction of temple artefacts. But, before you accuse Richman and his colleagues of being old-fashioned, the Temple Institute has drawn up plans for the new temple that include two very contemporary features: a monorail, to transport visitors right to the door, and a 6ft-high computerised water dispenser with 12 taps so that an entire shift of priests can wash their hands at once. This, Richman tells me, has been designed so that a twist of the tap will release the precise amount of water stipulated in Jewish law.

Pope Warns Church Must Find Balance or Fall 'like House of Cards'
Sep 20th, 2013
Daily News
Categories: Today's Headlines;One World Church

Pope Francis said the Catholic Church should not allow its bans on gay marriage, abortion and contraception to dominate its teachings, but must be a more welcoming Church where priests are understanding pastors and not cold, dogmatic bureaucrats.

In a dramatically blunt interview with Civilta Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit monthly, Francis said the Church had locked itself up in "small things, in small-minded rules". It must find a new balance between upholding rules and demonstrating mercy, "otherwise even the moral edifice of the Church is likely to fall like a house of cards..."

No Time Left for Negotiations With Iran: Israeli Minister
Sep 20th, 2013
Daily News
Categories: Today's Headlines;Contemporary Issues

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Iran is on course to develop a nuclear bomb within six months and time has run out for further negotiations, a senior Israeli minister said.

Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said Iran still believed it had room for maneuver in dealing with world powers, and that unless it faced a credible threat of U.S. military action, it would not stop its nuclear activities.

"There is no more time to hold negotiations," Steinitz, who is close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said in an interview with the Israel Hayom daily published on Friday.

The United States and its allies suspect Iran is working towards a nuclear weapons capability despite Tehran's insistence that its atomic program has only peaceful aims.

During four years of international negotiations over its disputed nuclear program, during which U.N.-sponsored sanctions have hit Iran's economy hard, Steinitz said the Islamic Republic had only improved its capabilities.

"If the Iranians continue to run, in another half a year they will have bomb capability," he said.

Israel has dismissed overtures to the West by new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and his pledge in an interview on U.S. television that Iran would never develop nuclear weapons.

"One must not be fooled by the Iranian president's fraudulent words," Netanyahu's office said in a statement on Thursday. "The Iranians are spinning in the media so that the centrifuges can keep on spinning."

Both Israel and the United States have hinted at possible military action to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran should sanctions and diplomacy fail to curb its atomic program.

But Steinitz said a phrase used often in the past by U.S. and Israeli leaders - that "all options are on the table" in confronting Iran - was not enough to persuade Tehran to stop its uranium enrichment.

"I am sure that had there been three aircraft carriers with an American declaration that in the event the Iranians do not honor the Security Council decisions, the Americans are expected to attack by 2013, they would have acted differently," he said.

"Today the Iranians take into account that they have room to maneuver, and that is the most dangerous thing," he said.

Iran says its nuclear work is entirely peaceful and calls Israel's presumed atomic arsenal the bigger danger to the region.

Steinitz said Netanyahu had learned a lesson from Syria, where the world has stood largely by while over 100,000 people have died in two and a half years of civil war.

"It must be understood that no one will come to help us if, heaven forefend, we lose the ability to defend ourselves. Therefore we must do everything to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon," he said.

Netanyahu is due to meet U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington on September 30 and has said that he wants to focus on Iran during the talks.

Let the Headlines Speak
Sep 20th, 2013
Daily News
From the Internet
Categories: Today's Headlines;Contemporary Issues

Obama resumes lying about the debt ceiling
Kessler peels away the crusty layer of legalism poured over Obama’s comment, and finds it only takes a few licks to reach the Tootsie Role center of falsehood, listing numerous incidents where the debt ceiling was employed as leverage for various issues.  

McCain Blasted at Town Hall: "I Would Have You Arrested for Treason"!
At a town hall September 6th, Senator John McCain was confronted by an attendee with a laundry list of charges, including the U.S. sponsorship of terrorism and “treason.”

No time left for negotiations with Iran: Israeli minister
Iran is on course to develop a nuclear bomb within six months and time has run out for further negotiations, a senior Israeli minister said. Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said Iran still believed it had room for maneuver in dealing with world powers, and that unless it faced a credible threat of U.S. military action, it would not stop its nuclear activities.  

Scoring the Syria Deal
Diplomacy has never witnessed anything like the dizzying and erratic sequence of events relating to Syria that began on Wednesday, Aug. 21 and ended 3½ weeks later, on Saturday, Sept. 14. Who won, who lost? It’s too soon for a definite answer, but Bashar al-Assad is in the driver’s seat, suggesting that he, Putin, and the mullahs will gain while Obama, Erdoğan, and Israel will lose.  

Scientists ‘Very, Very Confident’ They’ve Found Extraterrestrial Life – See What It Looks Like
“In the absence of a mechanism by which large particles like these can be transported to the stratosphere we can only conclude that the biological entities originated from space. Our conclusion then is that life is continually arriving to Earth from space, life is not restricted to this planet and it almost certainly did not originate here.” If this is in fact the case, Wainwright said it would “change our view of biology and evolution.” “New textbooks will have to be written!” he added.  

Putin to visit Iran for first time in six years. Historic trip will raise renewed interest in the “Gog & Magog” prophecies.
“Vladimir Putin has accepted an Iranian invitation to visit the country and meet with newly elected President Hasan Rouhani, a spokesman for the Russian president confirmed,” reports the Times of Israel. “Putin has been invited to Iran, and he will certainly take advantage of this kind invitation,” the Interfax news agency quoted spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying on Friday. “The dates of the visit will be agreed upon through diplomatic channels.”

5.1-magnitude earthquake hits northwest China
An earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale jolted the junction area of northwest China's Gansu and Qinghai Provinces on Friday morning. No casualties have been reported so far, according to local authorities.  

A magnetic filament erupted from the southeast quadrant of the sun on Sept. 19th. The eruption hurled a faint CME into space. It should have minimal impact on Earth, however, because of its slow speed and low density.  

Arctic sea ice up 60 percent in 2013
About a million more square miles of ocean are covered in ice in 2013 than in 2012, a whopping 60 percent increase -- and a dramatic deviation from predictions of an "ice-free Arctic in 2013," the Daily Mail noted.  

House to vote to derail Obamacare, fund government
Republicans controlling the House are moving to ship to the Senate a measure that would prevent a government shutdown but cripple the health care law that's the signature accomplishment of President Barack Obama's first term.  

Biblical-Era Town on Sea of Galilee Discovered; Did Jesus Sail There?
Evidence of a 2,000-year-old town on the Sea of Galilee has been discovered by archaeologists in the Ginosar Valley of Israel that they believe may have been the biblical town of Dalmanutha.  

NASA Mars Rover Finds No Sign of Methane, Telltale Sign of Life
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has come up empty-handed in its search for methane in the planet's atmosphere, a gas that on Earth is a strong indicator of life, officials said on Thursday. The rover landed on Mars in August 2012 to determine whether the planet most like Earth...  

Syria Deputy Prime Minister: The Civil War Has Reached a Stalemate
Neither side can win the civil war in Syria — which has reached a stalemate — and Damascus will call for a cease-fire with the rebels at proposed peace talks in Geneva, the country's deputy prime minister said in an interview with the Guardian. "Neither the armed opposition nor the regime is capable of defeating the other side," Qadri Jamil told the newspaper. "This zero balance of forces will not change for a while."  

Shikotsu volcano (Hokkaido, Japan): seismic unrest and deformation
Seismic activity accompanied by inflation were recorded under the western flank of Tarumai stratovolcano (the most active vent of the system, located on the SW rim of the Shikotsu caldera) between late June and early July this year. Following this period of deformation, deep seismicity under the western flank has increased above background since the beginning of July.  

Airlines told to avoid path near Indonesia volcano
More than 15,000 residents have fled a volcano that rumbled to life less than a week ago in Indonesia and local airlines have been warned to avoid flying near the mountain as thick ash continues to spew from its crater, an official said.  

China Intensifies Social-Media Crackdown
A forceful campaign of intimidation against China's most influential Internet users has cast a chill over public debate in the country and called into question the long-term viability of its most vibrant social-media platform. In an offensive that some critics have likened to the political purges of the Mao era, Beijing has recently detained or interrogated several high-profile social-media figures...  

Warning of three-person IVF 'risks'
Concerns about the safety of a pioneering therapy that would create babies with DNA from three people have been raised by researchers. The advanced form of IVF could eliminate debilitating and potentially fatal mitochondrial diseases. Writing in the journal Science, the group warned that the mix of DNA could lead to damaging side-effects.  

Pope Francis: Church too focused on gays and abortion
Pope Francis has said the Catholic Church is too focused on preaching about abortion, gay people and contraception and needs to become more merciful. He warned that the Church's moral structure could "fall like a house of cards" unless it changed. The Pope used the first major interview of his papacy to explain comments he made in July about homosexuality.  

Typhoon Usagi moves towards Philippines, Taiwan
The Philippines and Taiwan are braced for Typhoon Usagi, which meteorologists say could become the most powerful typhoon of 2013. The typhoon was 560km (350 miles) east-southeast of Taiwan and 360km (225 miles) from the northern Philippines on Friday morning, weather officials said. Both Taiwan and the Philippines have issued alerts and warned boats to exercise caution.  

Nigeria's Boko Haram unrest: Scores dead in Benisheik raid
At least 87 people have been killed in an attack by Boko Haram militants in Nigeria's north-eastern Borno state, according to local officials. Disguised in military uniforms, the militants set up checkpoints outside the town of Benisheik and shot dead those trying to flee, witnesses said. ...Boko Haram, which wants to create an Islamic state across Nigeria, has waged a deadly insurgency since 2009.  

Mexico storms: Death toll up to 97 as Manuel loses force
Mexican authorities say 97 people have been killed by storms that hit the country earlier in the week. In the village of La Pintada, near the Pacific coast, a landslide partially engulfed the town. At least 15 bodies have been recovered and almost 70 residents are missing, the authorities said.  

Colorado flood death toll rises, amid oil spills
The death toll from historic flooding that hit Colorado last week has risen to seven people, as the state faces 10 oil spills caused by the deluge. Colorado's oil agency said it was tracking two "notable" and eight minor spills across the flood area. Three other people are missing and presumed dead after a week of heavy rains were capped by flash-flooding.  

Navy Yard shooting: Swat team awaits answers
Members of a Washington DC Swat team who the BBC has learned were ordered not to respond to Monday's Navy Yard shootings have yet to be contacted by the authorities. The Capitol Police tactical response team was told by a supervisor to leave the scene instead of aiding municipal officers, sources told the BBC.  

Arab states call on Israel to join global anti-nuclear weapons treaty
Iran says Israel's nuclear activities "threaten regional peace and security"; US officials: Nuclear arms-free Middle East will not be a reality until there is Arab-Israeli peace and Iran curbs its program. Arab states will push ahead with a bid to single out Israel for criticism over its assumed atomic arsenal at this week's UN nuclear agency meeting, despite Western pressure to refrain, a senior representative said on Friday. 

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