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The Zika Conspiracies Have Begun

Posted on February 13th, 2016 at 21:05 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Like cockroaches, the conspiracy theorists suggesting the Zika virus outbreak is anything but a normal, naturally-occurring event have begun to come out of the woodwork. To be expected, the theories they’re espousing make no sense scientifically, and each theory is incompatible with the others, but why should anyone expect that conspiracy theorists would actually use logic?

Claim One: the current Zika virus outbreak is due to the release of genetically-modified mosquitoes by British company Oxitec.

[..]

Claim Two: a program encouraging pregnant women to get the Tdap vaccine led to the presumed increase in microcephaly in Brazilian babies. Because, toxins?

[..]

Claim four: Zika simply doesn’t exist and/or isn’t causing microcephaly, and the “outbreak” is a ploy to push the not-yet-extant Zika vaccine/get people to blindly obey the government.

 

[Quote:]

To get a grasp on just how much the prevalence of microcephaly has changed recently, Sandra da Silva Mattos of the Círculo do Coração de Pernambuco and colleagues combed through the medical records of more than 16,000 babies. The infants were born between 2012 and 2015 at one of 21 medical centers in the state of Paraíba, which has been hard hit by Zika.

Since 2012, Mattos’s team found, a strikingly large number of babies—4 percent to 8 percent—appeared to have microcephaly, according to the broadest definitions of the term. Additionally, the number of babies affected peaked in 2014, before Zika had been detected in Brazil.


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Jeremy Runnells, Author of CES Letter, Faces LDS Church Excommunication

Posted on February 10th, 2016 at 20:19 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

CES Letter began as a letter Mr. Runnells wrote to an LDS religious instructor (CES Director) outlining his questions, concerns, and doubts about LDS Church foundational truth claims (e.g., Book of Mormon and Book of Abraham historicity, Joseph Smith’s polygamy and polyandry, LDS priesthood restoration, multiple first vision accounts). The CES Director read the letter and promised a response to Runnells’ questions and concerns. No response ever came.

Upon its public release, CES Letter went viral and immediately became a Mormon internet phenomenon, providing validation and support to tens of thousands of questioning current and former LDS Church members. CES Letter has been downloaded an estimated 600,000 times to date, and over 12,000 LDS Church members have reached out to Runnells after reading the CES Letter.

Runnells reports that he met twice with his LDS Stake President, Mark Ivins, in the fall of 2014. During these discussions Runnells sought answers for questions posed in CES Letter and raised concerns about the LDS Church’s recent historical essays (http://lds.org/topics/essays). President Ivins assured Runnells that he wanted to help, and that he would obtain answers. Runnells did not hear back again from President Ivins until January 25, 2016 when Ivins telephoned Runnells to inform him of his intention to challenge Runnells’ LDS Church membership. Runnells requested a delay until March 15th, citing a close family member in hospice care, which was originally accepted by Ivins. On February 8, 2016 Ivins reversed his decision and informed Runnells of his disciplinary council scheduled for February 14, 2016.


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Comments:

  1. I will probably come across as a bizarre conspiracy theorist but the “answers” are not complicated.

    You’re being swindled by a crazy cult. Your forebears were idiots.

  2. What’s the difference between this and every other religion? My objection is they should be paying taxes like every other business.

Traffic sign makes people do the Monty Python Silly Walk

Posted on February 10th, 2016 at 12:15 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Teahupo’o, Du Ciel

Posted on February 10th, 2016 at 12:11 by John Sinteur in category: News


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2016 ALL CANDIDATES DEBATE

Posted on February 10th, 2016 at 11:18 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Tom Riddle Rejected All These Anagrams For ‘Voldemort,’ And It’s Really Too Bad

Posted on February 10th, 2016 at 11:11 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

But probably none of them have Dildo Lover Rat-Mom, and that’s what makes English so great.


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Comments:

  1. Wonderful! Well, Riddle was a teenager so dildo-infused names were probably not attractive. Maybe when he got older and had a hard time keeping it up for his groupies… :-)

Google Translate – The police will force 27-year-old’s thumbs down on mobile

Posted on February 10th, 2016 at 9:42 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

January 25, the man was remanded in Nordhordland District Court. 27-year-old has refused to give details about where he got the substance from, or who would have this after storage.

[..]

“After previous remand, the police in a ruling on February 2 received authorization to open confiscated cell phone in the event the required compulsory use of the accused’s thumb to open his cell phone,” says the verdict from Nordhordland District Court.

Either that’s not an iPhone, or the court does not know that after 48 hours or a power cycle the pin code is needed and the fingerprint does not work.

Now where’s error 53 when you need it?


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AWS Service Terms

Posted on February 10th, 2016 at 8:13 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

57.10 Acceptable Use; Safety-Critical Systems. Your use of the Lumberyard Materials must comply with the AWS Acceptable Use Policy. The Lumberyard Materials are not intended for use with life-critical or safety-critical systems, such as use in operation of medical equipment, automated transportation systems, autonomous vehicles, aircraft or air traffic control, nuclear facilities, manned spacecraft, or military use in connection with live combat. However, this restriction will not apply in the event of the occurrence (certified by the United States Centers for Disease Control or successor body) of a widespread viral infection transmitted via bites or contact with bodily fluids that causes human corpses to reanimate and seek to consume living human flesh, blood, brain or nerve tissue and is likely to result in the fall of organized civilization.


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Comments:

  1. We should be so lucky.

How WIRED Is Going to Handle Ad Blocking

Posted on February 9th, 2016 at 18:49 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

So, in the coming weeks, we will restrict access to articles on WIRED.com if you are using an ad blocker. There will be two easy options to access that content.

  1. You can simply add WIRED.com to your ad blocker’s whitelist, so you view ads. When you do, we will keep the ads as “polite” as we can, and you will only see standard display advertising.
  2. You can subscribe to a brand-new Ad-Free version of WIRED.com. For $1 a week, you will get complete access to our content, with no display advertising or ad tracking.

Either way, you will get to experience the great content that you expect from WIRED, and you’ll be supporting our journalism.

 

3. Stop visiting Wired, stop telling others about articles you read there, and watch them sink into obscurity.

 

Sample of other websites reporting the same news:

http://www.adweek.com/news/press/want-block-ads-wired-will-start-charging-you-it-169528

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/268534/wired-to-ad-block-users-turn-it-off-or-subscrib.html

http://www.ibtimes.com/ad-block-panic-should-digital-media-banish-blockers-or-learn-them-2282775

http://consumerist.com/2016/02/08/want-wired-com-without-ads-thatll-be-3-99month/

http://www.techspot.com/news/63746-wired-stop-blocking-our-ads-pay-ad-free.html

If your product is exclusive and can’t be replaced, sure – block people who use adblockers because they have nowhere else to go to. If I can easily find dozens of replacements for your product, I’m not even going to bother messing with unblocking you, I’ll just hit ‘back’ and pick another result.


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Comments:

  1. I agree, Door #3 the best option.

  2. I got Wired back when they first started. It was an excellent magazine. I recently received a couple of sample issues. Apparently, they decided somewhere down the line for a different format. It convinced me to not subscribe. As far as the online version, there are too many other choices out there to bother with them. On a side note; at least with physical magazines you don’t have to put up with flashing, annoying, cpu and bandwidth eating ads.

  3. I guess that makes me an unsubscriber then.

  4. And for actual science news: eurekalert.org

  5. @Mykolas
    +1

Uninstalling Facebook app saves up to 15% of iPhone battery life

Posted on February 9th, 2016 at 10:08 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Facebook is one of the most downloaded apps on iOS but it has long been cited as a cause of fast-draining iPhone batteries. Last year it was accused of using background tricks to stay active even when it wasn’t being used. Facebook admitted bugs existed, and fixed them, but questions of the app’s impact on battery life remained.

Similar concerns about Facebook’s Android app led to the discovery that deleting the app saves up to 20% of a phone’s battery. After that revelation, I set about seeing if the same was true for iPhone users. I discovered that uninstalling Facebook’s iOS app and switching to Safari can save up to 15% of iPhone battery life.


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Comments:

  1. Hoover up all that personal information takes power! Another reason (among many) not to Facebook ever

Uptime funk

Posted on February 8th, 2016 at 18:03 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Cardinal George Pell ‘too ill’ to travel from Rome for child sex abuse inquiry

Posted on February 6th, 2016 at 17:13 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Cardinal George Pell is still too ill to travel from Rome to give evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the inquiry has heard.

His lawyers applied for the 74-year-old to be able to give evidence by audio visual link at hearings of the inquiry dealing with abuse in Ballarat.

So it’s confirmed, he is a real sick fuck.


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Denmark confirms US sent rendition flight for Snowden

Posted on February 6th, 2016 at 7:24 by John Sinteur in category: News

 

[Quote:]

The revelation that the US landed a private aircraft in Copenhagen intended to capture Snowden in June 2013 was first reported last month by the Danish online media Denfri, but Danish officials initially denied the report.
On Friday however it was reported that Justice Minister Søren Pind told parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee that the Danish government did allow the Americans to use both Danish airspace and the airport knowing full well that the aircraft was intended to take a captured Snowden back to the US.

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Microsoft Admits Windows 10 Automatic Spying Cannot Be Stopped

Posted on February 3rd, 2016 at 16:12 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

…Speaking to PC World, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Joe Belfiore explained that Windows 10 is constantly tracking how it operates and how you are using it and sending that information back to Microsoft by default. More importantly he also confirmed that, despite offering some options to turn elements of tracking off, core data collection simply cannot be stopped:

“In the cases where we’ve not provided options, we feel that those things have to do with the health of the system,” he said. “In the case of knowing that our system that we’ve created is crashing, or is having serious performance problems, we view that as so helpful to the ecosystem and so not an issue of personal privacy, that today we collect that data so that we make that experience better for everyone.”

To his credit, Belfiore does recognise the controversial nature of this decision and stresses that:

“We’re going to continue to listen to what the broad public says about these decisions, and ultimately our goal is to balance the right thing happening for the most people – really, for everyone – with complexity that comes with putting in a whole lot of control.”


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In huge Israeli intel breach, US, UK have spied on air force for 18 years

Posted on February 2nd, 2016 at 13:22 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Based on documents and photos leaked by US intelligence whistle-blower Edward Snowden, which had previously been classified, the news reports said the US and Britain have for years been able to track the transmissions of Israeli aircraft, and effectively view images and videos broadcast to IDF commands during drone operations in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and near the Jewish state’s northern border.

The tracking has been done from a Royal Air Force installation in the Troodos Mountains, near Mount Olympus, the highest point on the Island of Cyprus, according to The Intercept, which, along with German newspaper Der Spiegel, first published the documents.


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Archbishop Says He ‘Didn’t Know’ It Was Criminal To Have Sex With Children.

Posted on February 1st, 2016 at 16:31 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

The St. Louis archbishop embroiled in a sexual abuse scandal testified that he didn’t know in the 1980s whether it was illegal for priests to have sex with children, according to a released court deposition.

Archbishop Robert Carlson, who was chancellor of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul at the time, was deposed as part of a lawsuit against the Twin Cities archdiocese and the Diocese of Winona, Minnesota.

In a video released by the St. Paul law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates, the Catholic archbishop is asked whether he had known it was a crime for an adult to engage in sex with a child.

“I’m not sure whether I knew it was a crime or not,” Carlson responded. “I understand today it’s a crime.”

When asked when he first realized it was a crime for an adult — including priests — to have sex with a child, Carlson, 69, shook his head.

“I don’t remember,” he testified.


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Comments:

  1. So wait, separation of church and state doesn’t mean we can do anything we want?

  2. So much for the vow of chastity. Off with his head – both of them!

  3. @Mykolas: We’ll have trouble with the guillotinists union if you insist on the little head as well, you know :-)

  4. As for the archbishop, there is too much of a pattern. These guys are not just naive bunglers; they have education and many are from powerful families…someone has put them up to this story.

  5. Ignorance is no excuse for the law. Errrrm, what was your question again?

  6. @Sue – Hmmm – never thought about. Perhaps we can get a scab to do the job?

Uninstalling Facebook app saves up to 20% of Android battery life

Posted on February 1st, 2016 at 15:33 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Facebook does not have the greatest track record with its Android app. Users have long complained about performance issues and it sucking up battery and last year Facebook’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, took the unusual step of making his staff ditch their iPhones and move to Android until they sorted out the issues.

But the problems have remained, and recently they led the Android blogger Russell Holly to dump the app, starting a chain reaction which revealed something rather interesting about the app’s performance. Prompted by Holly’s revelation that life on Android was better without Facebook’s app, Reddit user pbrandes_eth tested the app’s impact on the performance of an LG G4.


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Comments:

  1. That 24/7 data mining of your life does take some power.

United Nations Committee Affirms Abortion as a Human Right

Posted on February 1st, 2016 at 10:25 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

In a landmark case, Peru has compensated a woman for denying her a medically indicated abortion. In 2001, K.L. was a 17-year-old who was diagnosed as having a fetus with anencephaly at 14 weeks’ gestation. As described below, this fetal anomaly is routinely lethal. Although abortion was legal in Peru in this circumstance, a hospital director refused her request for an abortion. She was forced to continue her pregnancy and deliver the doomed fetus, which survived only four days. Working with human rights lawyers, K.L. filed a complaint with the United Nations Human Rights Committee, based in Geneva. In 2005, the Committee concluded that Peru had violated several articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and it ordered financial compensation to K.L. Fifteen years after the incident, reparations were finally made for Peru’s “cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment.” This marked the first time a United Nations Committee had held a country accountable for failing to ensure access to safe, legal abortion.


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Facebook admits fear of ad blockers in annual filing.

Posted on January 31st, 2016 at 17:30 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Here’s how Facebook phrased the risk in its filings:

Technologies have been developed, and will likely continue to be developed, that can block the display of our ads, particularly advertising displayed on personal computers. We generate substantially all of our revenue from advertising, including revenue resulting from the display of ads on personal computers. Revenue generated from the display of ads on personal computers has been impacted by these technologies from time to time. As a result, these technologies have had an adverse effect on our financial results and, if such technologies continue to proliferate, in particular with respect to mobile platforms, our future financial results may be harmed.


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Comments:

  1. Fun fact – Facebook in 2015 had revenues in the UK of £105,000,000,000. It paid £4,327 in corporation tax.

    Fear of adblockers is so much more important than doing anything like the right thing. Like paying your damned taxes.

  2. @porpentine, do you have three extra 0’s in there? 105 billion is a lot of money, even if it is pounds.

  3. @will Thanks. Yes my finger slipped in outrage. The revenues for 2014 in the UK were £105,000,000, though some sources have it higher. The amount they paid, though, is still a minuscule £4,237 That’s less than an average British worker would have paid individually.

    FB could have done better for themselves, though. In 2012 they paid no corporation tax whatever.

    In 2014 they diddled the books – booking profits overseas and losses in the UK – so that despite the £105 million turnover they declared themselves to have lost £28.5. For such sterling work, they gave bonuses to its 362 UK staff totalling £35.4, which is £96,00 per staff member.

    The figures don’t need exaggeration and I apologise for the earlier error.

80 percent of Chicago PD dash-cam videos are missing audio due to ‘officer error’ or ‘intentional destruction’

Posted on January 30th, 2016 at 20:41 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

From DNA Info, here’s the latest piece of evidence that the corruption and abuse in the Chicago Police Department aren’t limited to a few bad cops — the problems are systemic.


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Comments:

  1. Make them turn in their nightly video before they can get paid. How do we know they’re working instead of at Donut shops without videos anyway.

Cartoons

Posted on January 27th, 2016 at 22:43 by John Sinteur in category: News


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The Joy of Tech comic… Apple is doomed!

Posted on January 27th, 2016 at 16:05 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

2243


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Comments:

  1. They earned a gazillion $$ last year. This year, just a gazillion – 1$. OMG! They are doomed! Doomed to live in luxury forever…

Cruz Proudly Accepts Endorsement of Pastor Who Believes God Sent Hitler to Kill Jews

Posted on January 26th, 2016 at 20:43 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Ted Cruz may not have many friends or endorsements, but on Thursday Cruz boasted that he had received political support from evangelical fanatic cultist Mike Bickle.

“I am grateful for Mike’s dedication to call a generation of young people to prayer and spiritual commitment. Heidi and I are grateful to have his prayers and support. With the support of Mike and many other people of faith, we will fight the good fight, finish the course, and keep the faith.”

Bickle, who is known for all of the insane religious things one can be known for, is the leader of almost-cult The International House of Prayer. At his house of prayer in Missouri, Bickle leads all-day prayers to prepare for the end times. The organization is one of those nefarious western churches that finds it useful to meddle in anti-gay activism in Uganda as well.

Bickle preaches that Jews are being prodded to convert to Christianity by what he calls “hunters,” who Bickle believes are sent by God. One of these hunters? Adolph Hitler

Yes, Cruz has proudly accepted the endorsement of a man who believes that Hitler was sent by God.

Let’s be fair here. If god did exist, Hitler was totally his fault.


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Comments:

  1. I, for one, am running out of epithets to use in these trying times!

  2. Sue;
    I agree; it is getting hard to avoid descending into their ranks. Vulgarities seem so appropriate; but we have to hang on, à la Peanuts.

Young voter tells Clinton: ‘My friends think you’re dishonest’

Posted on January 26th, 2016 at 8:47 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]


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Comments:

  1. Oh poor Clinton, “I am such a victim.” Point in fact, she is just another corrupt, power drunk politician with no new ideas and well into the pockets of big money.

SNOWBOARDING WITH THE NYPD

Posted on January 25th, 2016 at 14:33 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Comments:

  1. Sigh. Don’t try this at home :-)

Flint Residents Told That Their Children Could Be Taken Away If They Don’t Pay For City’s Poison Water

Posted on January 25th, 2016 at 10:18 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

As the water crisis in Flint deepens, it is becoming apparent that the effects of the lead-infested water are not just a health hazard, but the situation has the potential of ruining many more lives outside of the poison issue. There is no denying that the water in Flint is undrinkable and that it is contaminated with lead and other substances, and it is clear that the government of Flint is responsible for the problem.

However, the city’s government continues to charge people for the poison water and then threatening to foreclose their home or take their children if they refuse to pay. Michigan law states that parents are neglectful if they do not have running water in their home, and if they chose not to pay for water they can’t drink anyway, then they could be guilty of child endangerment. Activists in Flint say that some residents have already received similar threats from the government if they refuse to pay their bills.

[..]

Recent estimates have indicated that it could take up to 15 years and over $60 million to fix the problem, and the residents will be essentially forced to live there until the problem is solved. Despite the fact that the issue is obviously the government’s responsibility, they have made it illegal for people to sell their homes because of the fact that they are known to carry contaminated water. Meanwhile, residents are still left to purchase bottled water on their own, in addition to paying their water bill.


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Comments:

  1. This story is grossly misleading. Although I would not be surprised that you could make this leap in theory, no one is actually threatening to remove children due to unpaid water bills in Flint.

Pound vs. Dollar vs. ASCII

Posted on January 25th, 2016 at 9:54 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

We read: London's City Airport also recently won \243800,000 of funding
Hmmm,
$ unicode pound
U+00A3 POUND SIGN
UTF-8: c2 a3 UTF-16BE: 00a3 Decimal: £ Octal: \0243
$ unicode dollar
U+0024 DOLLAR SIGN
UTF-8: 24 UTF-16BE: 0024 Decimal: $ Octal: \044

So a pound is worth 243/44 times as much as a dollar. Actually more, as
a dollar is ASCII and thus safe from getting mangled...

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Why do people keep coming to this couple’s home looking for lost phones?

Posted on January 25th, 2016 at 9:49 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

It started the first month that Christina Lee and Michael Saba started living together. An angry family came knocking at their door demanding the return of a stolen phone. Two months later, a group of friends came with the same request. One month, it happened four times. The visitors, who show up in the morning, afternoon, and in the middle of the night, sometimes accompanied by police officers, always say the same thing: their phone-tracking apps are telling them that their smartphones are in this house in a suburb of Atlanta.


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Comments:

  1. So this collection of technology has grown and has been deployed across the world and been used for something that no-one can actually debug?

    If it were me, I’d put up a sign outside:

    “We don’t have your phone. It’s a technical error.
    Please call the police department:___
    Brought to you by Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile…”

Insecure by design: protocols for encrypted phone calls

Posted on January 23rd, 2016 at 17:02 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

The MIKEY-SAKKE protocol is being promoted by the UK government as a better way to secure phone calls. The reality is that MIKEY-SAKKE is designed to offer minimal security while allowing undetectable mass surveillance, through the introduction a backdoor based around mandatory key-escrow. This weakness has implications which go further than just the security of phone calls.


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Jews leave France in record numbers

Posted on January 23rd, 2016 at 16:01 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Yoav Krief remembers the day he knew it was time to move to Israel: January 9, 2015.

It was a Friday. Four Jews had just been killed in the Hyper Cacher, a kosher supermarket in Paris, two days after the Charlie Hebdo attack. One of them was Krief’s friend.

“I was not good, really not good,” Krief says of how he felt at the time. “I talked to my mom, and I said, ‘We must go to Israel. We need to go to Israel.'”

[..]

Nearly 8,000 French Jews moved to Israel in the year following the Charlie Hebdo attack, according to the Jewish Agency, which handles Jewish immigration, or aliyah, to Israel.

The number of French Jews moving to Israel has doubled — and doubled again — in the past five years.

In 2013, less than 3,300 French Jews moved to Israel. Only two years earlier, that number stood at 1,900.


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Comments:

  1. That’s strange. Did the Palestinians ever try that?


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