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Archive for April 23, 2014

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Tunis – Tunisia Divided Over Jews’ Use Of Israel Passports

April 23, 2014 at 03:30 PM
Tunis - Tunisia's elected assembly accepted a petition Wednesday to question the tourism minister over a decision allowing Israelis to use their passports to enter the country for an annual religious pilgrimage. While Israelis and Jews long have traveled to Tunisia for an annual pilgrimage to the Ghriba synagogue on the island of Djerba, this is the first year that Israelis have been allowed...

New York – Sears Personalizes Service For Loyalty Members

April 23, 2014 at 02:58 PM
New York - Sears is adding another reason for shoppers to join its free loyalty program as it tries to rev up slumping sales. Last May, Sears launched a service called Member Assist where members of the Shop Your Way program can communicate directly with associates in more than 400 stores nationwide through a dedicated website or mobile app. After logging in, they pick their favorite expert...

Washington – U.S. Says ‘Disappointed’ By Palestinian Unity Deal

April 23, 2014 at 02:56 PM
Washington - The United States said on Wednesday it was disappointed by a unity pact agreed between the Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas' Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and said it could seriously complicate peace efforts. "The timing was troubling and we were certainly disappointed in the announcement," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a regular...

New York, NY – Police Commish Says NYPD Won’t Quit Social Media Despite Bashing Feedback

April 23, 2014 at 02:30 PM
New York, NY - The head of the New York Police Department admits he was caught off guard by the harsh response to a harmless attempt at community outreach on Twitter. But Commissioner William Bratton says he has no plans to abandon social media. Bratton made the remarks on Wednesday after online pranksters, known as trolls, posted hundreds of recycled images of alleged police...

Ann Arbor, MI – Michigan Man Among 1st In US To Get ‘Bionic Eye’

April 23, 2014 at 01:47 PM
Ann Arbor, MI - A degenerative eye disease slowly robbed Roger Pontz of his vision. Diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa as a teenager, Pontz has been almost completely blind for years. Now, thanks to a high-tech procedure that involved the surgical implantation of a "bionic eye," he's regained enough of his eyesight to catch small glimpses of his wife, grandson and cat. "It's awesome. It's...

Newark, NJ – Man Pleads Guilty To Operating Klausenburg Community ‘Gemach’ As Illegal Bank, Falsifying Taxes, Faces 5 Years In Prison

April 23, 2014 at 01:20 PM
Newark, NJ - A Union City, N.J., man who operated a supposed charitable organization, or “gemach,” admitted today that he ran it as an unchartered bank, accepting millions of dollars in deposits – including nearly $1 million of his own money – which he shielded from state or federal regulation, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. Moshe Schwartz, 33, a/k/a “David Schwartz” or...

Jerusalem – Israel Cancels Planned Peace Talks Meeting After Fatah-Hamas Unity Deal Announced

April 23, 2014 at 12:56 PM
Jerusalem - Israel cancelled a planned meeting Wednesday night with Palestinian officials over extending the negotiations in an apparent response to the earlier announcement of a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation. In recent days Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat have met on several occasions looking for a way to extend the talks past next Tuesday's deadline. The...

New York – Former Head Of Chevra Hatzlah Pleads Guilty In Met Council Fraud, Faces Up To Four Years In Prison

April 23, 2014 at 12:05 PM
New York -  David Cohen, a former executive director of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, pled guilty Wednesday to felony charges for stealing with other co-conspirators, approximately $9 million from the nonprofit organization in an insurance scheme dating back 20 years. A press release published by the New York State Attorney General’s office states Cohen, 70, admitted to...

Brooklyn, NY – Hasidic Suspects To be Charged In Williamsburg Beating Of Black Man

April 23, 2014 at 12:02 PM
Brooklyn, NY - Five suspects are reported to be charged by the NYPD regarding the beating of a black man in Williamsburg that occurred last year, VIN News has learned. Taj Patterson, 22, was beaten in the early morning hours on December 1 on Flushing Avenue by what is believed to be Hasidic men. The group beat Patterson, breaking his eye-socket, which resulted in a torn retina. When the...

West Bank – Abbas Tells U.S. Rabbi Holocaust Is ‘Single Greatest Tragedy In Modern-day History’, Says Will Speak Out Against Bris Milah, Shechitah Bans

April 23, 2014 at 11:19 AM
West Bank - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the Holocaust the “single greatest tragedy in modern-day history” during a meeting with a visiting American rabbi in Ramallah on Sunday. According to a Press Release by Rabbi Marc Schneier of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, a Jewish-Muslim interfaith group, Abbas agreed to make a public declaration on behalf of...

Washington – Sales Of New US Homes Plunge 14.5 Percent In March

April 23, 2014 at 11:01 AM
Washington - The number of Americans buying new homes plummeted in March to the slowest pace in eight months, a sign that real estate's spring buying season is off to a weak start. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that sales of new homes declined 14.5 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000. That was the second straight monthly decline and the lowest rate...

Gaza – Israel Bombs Gaza Target, Four Wounded: Medical Officials

April 23, 2014 at 10:53 AM
Gaza - Israel launched an air strike on Wednesday on the northern Gaza Strip, wounding four people, medical officials in the Hamas-ruled territory said. The Israeli military had no immediate comment on the attack, which came two days after militants in the Palestinian enclave launched rockets into southern Israel. There was no immediate word on the identities of those wounded in the air...

New York, NY – Rapfogel Admits Stealing From Prominent NYC Jewish Charity; Faces Up To 10 Years In Prison

April 23, 2014 at 10:39 AM
New York, NY - The politically connected former CEO of a prominent New York City charity has admitted he helped steal more than $9 million from the organization in an insurance scheme that authorities linked to campaign contributions. William Rapfogel pleaded guilty to grand larceny, money laundering and other charges in a case that had rattled city and state political circles. He formerly...

Jerusalem – IDF Launches Campaign Seeking To Honor Holocaust Survivors Through Hastag #WeAreHere

April 23, 2014 at 10:28 AM
Jerusalem - Ahead of Holocaust Rememberance Day, the IDF Spokesman's Office has launched a cross-platform photo campaign asking their followers to send pictures of themselves with a Holocaust survivor and the hastag #WeAreHere. Each submission, along with a photo, includes the survivor's name, age, city of residence and birthplace. Since the campaign's launch on April 22, hundreds of people...

New York – NYC Proposing 3.35 Percent Water Rate Hike

April 23, 2014 at 10:18 AM
New York - New York City is proposing a 3.35 percent water and sewer rate increase. It would be the lowest hike since fiscal 2006. Mayor Bill de Blasio told the Wall Street Journal (http://on.wsj.com/1lDQSdC ) that his proposal was "moving things in the right direction." During the mayoral campaign, he had criticized Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal for a 5.6 percent water-rate...