Israeli Health minister Ya’akov Litzman resigns in protest after Jews made to work on Jewish rest day

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Israeli Health minister Ya’akov Litzman resigns in protest after Jews made to work on Jewish rest day

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

On Sunday, Israeli health minister Ya’akov Litzman officially resigned, submitting his resignation letter after Jewish workers were made to work on Shabbat — the Jewish holy rest day, from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday — for installation of a signalling system on rail tracks in the Negev on Saturday. Shortly after Welfare Minister Haim Katz announced on Friday his intentions to deploy Jewish workers on Shabbat for the railway work, Litzman, who belongs to the orthodox United Torah Judaism party, informed Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu he would vacate his post on Sunday if Shabbat was sanctioned by the ministers.

Addressing the Israeli citizens in a video statement, the health minister said, “I cannot continue to bear ministerial responsibility as a minister of Israel while there is state-sanctioned public desecration of Shabbat, in contravention of the sacred values of the Jewish people, the status quo and the coalition agreement”. Both welfare minister Haim Katz and transportation minister Yisrael Katz had expressed potential threat to passengers if the railway work was postponed.

Haim Katz said he had considered the religious beliefs and public safety before making this call. On Friday, he said, “after thorough examination, I authorised only essential work to ensure the safety of rail traffic, and if it were not carried out it could endanger lives […] This decision reflects full consideration for the feelings of the religious public, on the one hand, and maintaining the routine of the train passengers on Sunday.”

The minister also said delaying this work and doing it on a working day would cause inconvenience to many people and create traffic problems. In Litzman’s statement, the health minister said, “throughout the generations the Jewish people knew it must safeguard the Sabbath as a supreme value, and even to sacrifice one’s life for it. The holy Sabbath is the national day of rest, and we were raised to protect against desecrating the Sabbath.”

“Throughout the generations the Jewish people knew it must safeguard the Sabbath as a supreme value, and even to sacrifice one’s life for it. The holy Sabbath is the national day of rest, and we were raised to protect against desecrating the Sabbath.”

Litzman, who became health minister in September 2015 following a ruling by Israel’s apex court prohibiting him from doing the job as a deputy minister, stated he is not leaving the coalition government. On Saturday, the prime minister’s office in a statement said, “the heads of the factions have clarified that they do not intend to leave the coalition” while they were trying to figure out a way “to both respect the Sabbath and ensure safe, consistent public transport”, indicating the coalition government would not be dissolved by Litzman’s resignation.

Netanyahu said he would take Litzman’s vacated place while they try to bring Litzman back. Avi Gabbay, leader of the opposition Labor party, said, “in a modern society, if you want trains to run all week, you have to do maintenance work on Shabbat[…] Litzman is a good minister, and his resignation shows that the Netanyahu government is finished.”

Litzman had discussed about working on Shabbat with religious leader Rabbi Yaakov Aryeh Alter, and was told it was wrong to work on Shabbat. Early in July, when prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu went to Strasbourg, France to attend former German chancellor Helmut Kohl’s funeral, Netanyahu walked from hotel to European Parliament, and he did not deliver a speech or sign a guestbook to avoid actions of work on the rest day.

This is not the first time the Isaeli government has had work done on Shabbat, but non-Jewish labourers were used to complete the task. According to reports, the task of installing the signalling system on the tracks required skilled workers, for whom substitutes were not available at the time. Israeli Army Radio reported some German engineers were to arrive during the weekend for the signalling system installation work.

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New Orleans police officer commits suicide

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New Orleans police officer commits suicide

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Sgt. Paul Accardo was found dead last Saturday, in an unmarked police car. The officer, who served as a chief spokesperson for the New Orleans Police Department, committed suicide sometime last week.

“Paul was a stellar guy. A perfectionist. Everything had to be just right,” said Sgt. Joe Narcisse, who worked with Sgt. Accardo. Working 20-hour days after Hurricane Katrina rolled through, seeing the dead and injured, hearing the cries of helpless families, and being unable to help them got to Accardo, said Capt. Marlon Defillo.

The New Orleans Police Department has suffered heavy losses in personnel. As many as 400 to 500 officers were unaccounted for, likely to be searching for their families, or attempting to return to what is left of their homes. But Accardo is the second suicide death to hit the force since the storm. Officials say that officers were being cycled off-duty, and received vacations, as well as counseling, to help reduce the grief and anguish that many officers are experiencing.

Funeral services are planned for Wednesday. Accardo is survived by his wife, Anne, his mother, a brother and a sister, and eight nieces and nephews.

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Armstrong announces retirement from professional cycling

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Armstrong announces retirement from professional cycling

Monday, April 18, 2005

At a press conference Monday, Lance Armstrong announced his intention to retire from professional cycling after going for his 7th Tour de France title in July 2005.

“Ultimately, athletes have to retire,” said the 33 year-old American. “The body doesn’t just keep going and going.”

Speculation on the retirement of the six-time Tour de France winner had been growing in recent months. The Texan had hinted at wanting to spend more time with his children and his cancer charity, the Lance Armstrong Foundation. There was talk he may marry his well-known girlfriend, rock-star singer Sheryl Crow.

Armstrong battled with testicular cancer in 1996 before coming back to win the 1999 edition of the legendary French race. He went on to win the next five Tours de France and is now widely regarded as one of the greatest riders in the history of the sport.

Asked about his chances for Tour success, he expressed hope tempered with praise for his opponents. “Can I win this year? I’m not sure, but I’ll try… This will be a different year for the Tour with Jan Ullrich looking better and a host of young riders coming up,” he said.

Should Armstrong follow through with his plans, he will begin his final race in the United States tomorrow at the first stage of the Tour de Georgia. He has successfully used the springtime race in the past as a tune-up to the Tour de France in the summer. The contract with his new team sponsor, the Discovery Channel, obligates him to compete in one more Tour de France.

Posted on May 21st, 2019 by oY55iZ

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US survey finds advertising contributes to increased underage drinking

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US survey finds advertising contributes to increased underage drinking

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

A survey to test whether exposure to alcohol advertisements affects alcohol consumption by young people found that advertising does contribute to increased drinking, including among underage drinkers.

Researchers from the University of Connecticut surveyed 15 to 26 year olds, who reported their alcohol consumption over the previous month. The research then correlated this with the respondent’s exposure to advertisement, and the money spent by companies on alcohol ads. The alcohol industry’s measured media expenditure is roughly $1.8 billion per year.

The study found that those youngsters exposed to more ads also drank more, and that markets with greater alcohol advertising expenditures also had greater alcohol consumption. These findings also oheld for drinking by those younger than the legal drinking age of 21 years.

Alcohol use by the youth has been a matter of public concern, as it has been linked with lowered educational performance, risky sexual activity, motor accidents and addiction. Other surveys have found that underage drinkers account for 20% of alcohol consumption. Alcohol advertising is not subject to federal legislation, the industry follows a voluntary code of conduct.

While many studies have found an association between alcohol advertising and use, the question of whether the link is a causal one is still unanswered. The present survey uses market-level measures of advertising to address criticism of previous studies that relying on self-reported exposure to advertisements might be biased as those who drink may be more likely to pay attention to, and remember the ads.

The study found greater ad-spending in a market was related to both higher levels of youth drinking and steeper increases in drinking over time, which continued until respondents were in their mid-twenties. The link also held the other way: less alcohol advertising associated with less drinking, more modest increases in consumption over time during the respondents’ early twenties and a steady decline in consumption after this period. The results are consistent with findings from studies of advertising bans.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

The industries voluntary guidelines specify that 70 percent of the audience for its advertising be at least 21 years old, the legal drinking age. Industry groups have claimed that its advertising affects only those older than the legal drinking age and that advertising at best causes brand switching. Reacting to the study, representatives of the alcohol industry in the UK, which has one of the highest youth drinking rates in Europe, said that there was a strict system in place controlling advertising. But studies have found that there is often greater concentrations of alcohol advertisements in media aimed at youth than at adults.

Posted on May 21st, 2019 by oY55iZ

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England’s elderly face human rights breaches in home care system

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England’s elderly face human rights breaches in home care system

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A report published today by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) finds that, in many cases, England’s home care system breaches the human rights of the elderly it is supposed to serve. The Close to home: older people and human rights in home care report is the result of a twelve-month investigation into care generally provided by local authorities.

Approximately half of those receiving home care, plus friends and family, providing evidence to the inquiry were satisfied with the quality of care provided. However, the report stresses that there are “systemic problems” arising from “a failure to apply a human rights approach to home care provision”. The report asserts that it is generally not the fault of individuals providing care, but serious problems exist as local authorities seem unaware of their obligations under the Human Rights Act and fail to commission, procure, and monitor care accordingly.

The report says articles two, three and eight of the European Convention on Human Rights are frequently being breached. These, respectively, cover an individual’s right to life, protection from inhumane and degrading treatment, and respect for dignity and personal independence. Criticisms include that care is not provided in a common-sense manner, and funding of care for the elderly is at lower levels than for younger people with similar problems and needs.

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The EHRC’s investigation highlights a range of recurring complaints and attempts to identify the underlying causes; cost is repeatedly mentioned, with use of the private-sector leading to some local authorities offering a “one size fits all” service leaving many elderly feeling they are “a task to be undertaken” and have “little or no choice” as to help received, or when care workers visit. A failure to invest in care workers is noted, with significant responsibility and the wide range of skills required being rewarded with low pay and status; this, the report states, adversely impacts staff retention and, a high turnover of care workers can put the security of care recipients at-risk.

Within the wider investigation, a commissioned independent social report by The Arndale Centre conducted in-depth interviews with a cross-section of 40 elderly individuals receiving home care. As-stressed in the report, those selected were not on the basis of good, or bad, experiences with their – mainly local authority-provided – care. It highlights a widespread feeling amongst those interviewed that they are treated “like a number”, and that aspects of the care provided lead to, or fail to resolve, feelings of social isolation.

The Manchester-based Arndale Centre report concludes that, “[t]he general picture is of a wider home care system in which older people are noteffectively involved: which they do not understand, and which does not often make the extra effort required to involve them in ways tailored to their state of health and other needs”.

nobody to talk [to] face to face. Nobody will knock on that door,[…] a life of isolation.

A recurring theme in the responses of those interviewed is the social isolation that their home care is not adequately addressing. One male interviewee in his seventies who previously used a scooter to get about said in his interview, “I haven’t been out of the house now for about four weeks. I daren’t. The last time I went out on the scooter I hit the kerb and it frightened the living daylights out of me.” Another, an 85-year-old woman who lives alone, expressed sadness at her inability to do normal things, “I would love to go to town to do some shopping. I haven’t been to town for about two years… Wander round the town and have a cup of tea… I’d love that.”

The social isolation many elderly experience was summed up neatly by another woman in her eighties in her interview: “When you go now, I will maybe not talk to anybody till tomorrow; maybe the whole of tomorrow nobody to talk [to]… face to face. Nobody will knock on that door, that is it, a life of isolation.”

The EHRC, having commissioned this report in the face of funding changes and reform of the care system, intends to press for legislative changes to ensure those receiving care at home are given the same protections under the Human Rights Act as those in residential care. In the conclusions of their report they offer to work with, and support, local authorities in understanding and delivering care that respects peoples’ rights and dignity; and, recommend better guidance as to the choices available to the elderly, and their families, be made available.

Posted on May 21st, 2019 by oY55iZ

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13 schools torched in southern Thailand

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13 schools torched in southern Thailand

Thursday, June 14, 2007

In an apparent coordinated attack, 13 schools were set ablaze late yesterday in southern Thailand, an escalation of violence that authorities are blaming on Muslim insurgents.

The 13 schools were burned in Pattani and Yala, two of the three restive, Muslim-majority Thai provinces on the border of Malaysia.

On Monday in the third province, Narathiwat, three teachers were fatally shot. Two female teachers, both Buddhist, were fatally shot while on lunch break at Bansako School in Si Sakorn. A male teacher from another school was gunned down while buying cigarettes at a store in Ra-ngae. On Tuesday morning in Yala’s Raman district, a 60-year-old Muslim teacher was fatally shot in his pick-up truck on the Raman-Balo road.

Since 2004, more than 200 schools have been burned in arson attacks and 77 teachers killed, education officials say. About 110 schools in Narathiwat and Yala provinces have been temporarily closed, while officials re-assess the security situation.

Teachers and schools, potent symbols of the Buddhist majority Thai central government, are prime targets in the Muslim insurgency in south Thailand, which has seen a steady escalation since 2004, with almost daily fatal shootings and bombings, killing more than 2,300 people.

School staff called on the government to provide better security. Many teachers travel with armed escorts, or have taken to carrying firearms themselves.

“We want school compounds to be safe areas for teachers. Today we have no safe areas for teachers, be they houses, communities or schools,” Vicharn Athikapan, chairman of the Confederation of Southern Teachers, was quoted as saying by the Bangkok Post yesterday. “Although it is difficult to deploy soldiers to protect teachers at schools, the state must do it.”

Today, a Royal Thai Army soldier was seriously injured in the explosion of a roadside bomb, which was placed opposite a vocational college in Narathiwat.

Late yesterday evening (local time), a 44-year-old man was killed in a drive-by shooting in Yala. Earlier, in Narathiwat’s Rueso district, three men were fatally shot, and one was beheaded. The beheading was the 10th this year, and one of 25 in southern Thailand since 2004.

Also yesterday, one soldier was killed and another injured in a roadside bomb near a school in Thung Yang Daeng, Pattani. Another soldier was killed and six others injured in Pattani’s Yarang district when a roadside bomb ripped through the pickup truck they were riding in.

On Tuesday in eastern Thailand‘s Sa Kaeo Province, on the border with Cambodia, police detained 15 Cambodian Muslims after one of the group was found to be carrying items that could be used to make bombs.

The owner of the bag told police he was carrying the items for a friend in southern Thailand, and were to be used to make explosives for catching fish. The items were seized, and all 15 men were sent back to Cambodia.

The incident follows a diplomatic flare-up last weekend between Thailand and Cambodia, after published comments were attributed to Thai General Wattanachai Chaimuenwong, saying Cambodian Muslims have links to the Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist organization, as well as the south Thailand insurgency.

Wattanachai, an adviser to Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont, later denied making the statements, after Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen issued an angry rebuke against Thai officials.

“Because of their own weakness, they are now finding others to blame,” Hun Sen was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

Posted on May 19th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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Blues musician B.B. King dies aged 89

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Blues musician B.B. King dies aged 89

Friday, May 15, 2015

B.B. King, legendary blues guitarist well known for tracks such as “Rock Me Baby”, “My Lucille”, and “The Thrill Is Gone”, died in his Las Vegas home yesterday at the age of 89.

Attorney Brent Bryson said King died in his sleep.

A 15-time Grammy winner, with over 50 albums released, King played live for nearly 70 years. He had reportedly collapsed at a Chicago performance back in October, and blamed dehydration and exhaustion for the incident. King recently was under hospice care at home, after being treated for diabetes and high blood pressure in hospital. The last public statement B.B King made, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, was early this month. He said, “I am in hospice care at my residence in Las Vegas. Thanks to all for your well wishes and prayers.”

Known for playing the blues on his Gibson guitar called Lucille, B.B King was admired by many musicians, including Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Otis Rush. The Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame both inducted him in the 1980s; and the Songwriters Hall of Fame recognized him with a lifetime achievement award in 1990. King also collaborated with other music artists and bands. In 1989 he played with U2 on their track “When Love Comes to Town”, and in the millennium, worked with Eric Clapton on “Riding with the King”; which received a Grammy that same year.

Riley B King, who would eventually be called the King of Blues, grew up in Mississippi where he lived on a plantation as a sharecropper. He found success in the 50’s with hit track “Three O’Clock Blues”, and was well-known for not singing and playing guitar at the same time; a call and response between his vocals and his Lucille.

With the news of his death, many musicians payed their respects through Twitter. Guitarist Richie Sambora wrote, “My friend and legend BB King passed. I’m so so sad, he was so great to me. We’ve lost the King. My love and prayers to his family.” The Beatles’ Ringo Starr also wrote, “God bless BB King, peace and love to his family”.

Posted on May 16th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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On the campaign trail, March 2012

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On the campaign trail, March 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The following is the fifth in a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2012 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after a brief mention of some of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail, a politician from outside the fifty states receives significant mention as a potential Republican Party vice presidential nominee, Wikinews gets the reaction of three Democratic Party candidates after the party strips delegates from two of their fellow challengers, and a minor third party removes its presidential nominee for fraud.

Contents

  • 1 Summary
  • 2 Might the GOP VP nominee come from Puerto Rico?
  • 3 Democratic Party strips delegates
  • 4 Party removes presidential nominee
  • 5 Related articles
  • 6 Sources

Posted on May 13th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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Security threats directed at US Democrats

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Security threats directed at US Democrats

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is looking into threats made against Democratic members of the US House of Representatives. The threats were directed at members of Congress who supported the recent health care reform legislation.

Virginia’s 5th district representative Tom Perriello’s brother’s home had its gas line cut early Wednesday. Another Democrat, Louise Slaughter of New York’s 28th district, had a brick thrown through her offices window.

House Majority leader Steny Hoyer held a press conference about the threats and multiple instances of vandalism involving the offices of Congresspersons who voted on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Hoyer said that “[t]he incidents of threats whether in person or through telephones or through other communication devices, have given great concern to members, for the safety of themselves and their families.”

House Minority leader John Boehner said that the incidents show the American peoples’ feelings for the new bill, but “violence and threats are unacceptable.” He added, “that’s not the American way, we need to take that anger and channel it into positive change.”

Posted on May 11th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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Senator David Vitter to earmark $100,000 for creationist group

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Senator David Vitter to earmark $100,000 for creationist group

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

David Vitter, a Republican United States Senator from Louisiana, has earmarked US$100,000 for Louisiana Family Forum (LFF), a conservative creationist organization. Vitter put the earmark into the labor, health and education financing bill for fiscal year 2008. The bill specifies the Louisiana Family Forum received the money “to develop a plan to promote better science education.”

Vitter has close ties to the LFF through Dan Richey, a former politician and the group’s grass-roots coordinator, who received $17,250 as a consultant in Vitter’s 2004 Senate race. Also Vitter’s campaign paid Beryl Amedee who is the education resource council chairwoman for the Louisiana Family Forum.

As part of the Louisiana Family Forum efforts to “combat” the teaching of evolution, the group included Kent Hovind‘s “Battle Plan” on its website. Hovind, whose education from the non-accredited Patriot Bible University is widely considered to be a diploma mill, is currently serving a ten year prison sentence for tax evasion and obstructing federal agents.

In a written statement Vitter explained, “This program helps supplement and support educators and school systems that would like to offer all of the explanations in the study of controversial science topics such as global warming and the life sciences.” However, reporter James Gill poked fun at Vitter’s admission of using the services of Pamela Martin and Associates, a prostitution service ran by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, and his recent creationist earmark. “We were better off when Vitter, in between homilies on the sanctity of marriage, was blowing his own money on prostitutes. At least the kids were safe,” Gill wrote. He continued, “They will not be if the Louisiana Family Forum gets its way.”

Posted on May 11th, 2019 by oY55iZ

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