Everything that Netanyahu did in those years implied that he was acting out of a conscious need to become the one to prevent a second Holocaust. Yet, those same years were also the period in which the economic, medical and emotional state of Holocaust survivors living in Israel kept declining because of their advanced age alongside their physical and emotional scars from the war. Their medical costs have increased, and their ability to pay for treatments, medication, food and heating in winter has been reduced significantly. Social Security payments they receive are absorbed by the steep cost of living and cuts to pensions, implemented by none other than Netanyahu, as part of the economic decrees he devised as finance minister in 2003.
via Holocaust survivors feel abandoned by Netanyahu – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East.
The Republican Party, Fox News and a majority of the Supreme Court would like to believe such naked prejudice is history. Yet some big-city school systems are as segregated as they were in the 1960s. Leading public universities are admitting fewer black students than a decade ago. The black-white wealth gap has grown in recent years. Blacks are no more likely than whites to use illegal drugs, yet four times more likely to be arrested and jailed for it.
No, racism isn’t back. It never went away.
via Eugene Robinson: The racists among us – The Washington Post.
Abbas’ strategy finally paid off, in an agreement that at least on paper suggests a total Hamas capitulation and a clear political victory for Abbas and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The Islamic movement suddenly began speaking of Abbas as president and even applauded one of his speeches that reiterated his commitment to the peace talks. Hamas has agreed to yield its government to a unity cabinet made up of technocrats, none of whom will be known Hamas members. The Islamic movement has also crucially agreed to presidential and parliamentary elections to be conducted no later than six months after the formation of the unity government. The most important political concession, however, is that Hamas agreed to join the PLO and all its institutions.
There had been arguments concerning whether Hamas is obliged to separately accept the three conditions set out by the nearly defunct Quartet: recognizing Israel, renouncing terror and accepting all previous agreements signed by the PLO. The position presented by the PLO was that all of these conditions have already been met by the PLO, and therefore Hamas, by joining the organization — as long as the PLO does not retract its earlier positions — would be in adherence with the three conditions.
via Palestinian reconciliation deal a Hamas surrender – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East.
Saudi royals seem to be more hazardous to the world bird-life than wind turbines and skyscrapers! A Saudi prince poached thousands of protected birds during a 21-day hunting safari in Pakistan, so claims a new report.
Why would Pakistan allow exemptions from global conservation regulations? The bird meat is considered an aphrodisiac, which may explain why the men hunt.
Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud reportedly killed 1,977 of the nearly-extinct houbara bustards last January, violating his hunting permit by killing so many of the birds. The rest of his party killed an additional 123 of the creatures, raising the final death toll to a staggering 2,100.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources estimates the houbara bustards’ global population to be at 110,000, declining by around 20% annually.
The incident, described in a report dated February 2014, says that during the safari the prince hunted the birds for 15 days in reserved and protected areas, poached birds in other areas for six days and then “took rest” for two days.
The report was prepared by local divisional forest and wildlife department officer Jaffar Baloch, according to Dawn News.
via Saudi prince slaughters 2,100 nearly extinct birds – for thrills? | Green Prophet.
The Health Ministry in Riyadh on Sunday confirmed it had identified 16 more cases of the disease within a 24-hour period.
In a statement on its website late in the evening, the ministry reported there had been eight deaths – taking the number of people who have died from the disease, which first emerged two years ago, to 102.
Of those, a full 39 deaths have been this month. Among the latest deaths was a nine-month-old infant, the ministry said.
via Saudi Arabia MERS death toll rises above 100 | News | DW.DE | 28.04.2014.