Israel To Help California Combat Drought

California laguna drought photo
California Drought – Laguna Lake Sept 9, 2014

Drawing on its vast experience with arid lands, Israel will help California fight back against the worst drought in its recorded history,  which has dealt a blow to local agriculture.

The drought will cost California $2.2 billion.  More than half of the U.S. fruits, nuts, and vegetables come from California.
Between 80 to 90% of ripe olives and strawberries are grown in California.  Crops grown almost exclusively in California: almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, kiwifruit, olives, persimmons, pistachios, prunes, raisins, clovers, and walnuts.  The state of California vitally needs to find ways to cope with the drought they are faced with.

California has been going through a catastrophic drought for three years now, which has cost the state’s economy at least $2.2 billion and left 500,000 acres of what was once rich, productive farmland fallow.

So where did California turn to for help?  To Israel, the world’s acknowledged expert on irrigation and water use.

California’s Governor Jerry Brown has just signed a strategic cooperation Agreement with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to receive aid from Israel.

Prof. Eilon Adar, a world expert in groundwater flow systems, will work to help the state work out solutions to the issue. Prof. Adar visited San Fransisco and Silicon Valley, touring desalination plants in northern California, and participating in a state-wide conference in which a slew of possibly technological solutions were presented.

“If we managed to overcome the water issues in the Middle East, we can do it anywhere in the world,” Prof. Adar said. “Nonetheless, (to address the issue) they will need to improve the management and efficiency of the water market and increase and optimize the coordination between the water companies.”

He’s got that right. Israel is the only country in the entire Middle East that is self sufficient in water. And they did it themselves, in a hostile environment.

Online:  Israel To Give Desperately Needed Developmental Aid To… California!

Photo by docentjoyce

Israel C-Dome

At the Euronaval conference near Paris, Israeli State-owned company Rafael unveiled C-Dome , a missile defense system for ships and oil platforms.

A gray, square metallic box about the size of a large coffee table with a black-tipped missile in one of four launch holes. Missiles would be housed underneath a ship’s deck.

The small size makes C-Dome suitable for smaller vessels, such as corvettes and similar — many of which currently rely on less sophisticated intercept systems, Sacher said. C-Dome defends both the ships that carry it and other vessels or oil and gas platforms in its vicinity, he said.

c-dome_rafael
Photo: RAFAEL

“The most strategic sites for the future right now will be gas platforms and oil platforms,” said reserve Israeli Navy Capt. “Meir,” a Rafael business development director for naval warfare systems, waving his hand over the C-Dome static display as a video behind him showed colorful animated images of fired missiles exploding on impact with torpedoes, missiles and drones.

“You have to secure them from missiles — missiles that will be from terror organizations, from mother boats, from enemy countries, from drones, or any other aerial threat,” said Meir, who declined to give his surname for security reasons.

Online:  Israel develops a maritime ‘Iron Dome’

 

Australia and Canada Impose Visa Ban For Residents Of Ebola-Affected Nations

notallowedOn Tuesday,  Australia stopped issuing visas to people from West Africa countries-Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.   Canada has now imposed a visas ban to people in Ebola-affected countries.

Canada will stop issuing visas to people from the three West African nations where the Ebola is widespread, the government said on Friday.

The federal citizenship ministry, explaining the move, said in an official document that ‘the introduction or spread of the disease would pose an imminent and severe risk to public health’.

About 5,000 people have died in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone this year in the worst Ebola outbreak on record. Fears rose that the disease could spread beyond the region after a few cases were diagnosed in Spain and the United States.

Canada – which has not reported any cases of Ebola so far – is following in the footsteps of Australia, which on Tuesday became the first rich nation to issue such a ban. The country’s official in charge of the response to Ebola said the move was medically unjustified.

Under the new regulations, which come into force immediately, Canada will not process visa applications from foreign nationals who have been in an Ebola-affected country within the previous three months.

Online: Canada bans visas for residents of nations where there has been an outbreak of Ebola

Temporarily Maine Court Order Limits Kaci Hickok’s Movements

courtgavelUpdate:

Kaci Hickox and her boyfriend are leaving Maine next week for parts unknown.

Her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur, withdrew from an accelerated nursing program at the University of Maine at Fort Kent on Friday and said the couple will stay through Monday, after which a state court order expires and Hickox will no longer have to submit to daily health monitoring, inform state officials of travel plans and let them know if her health changes.

Wilbur said the couple will depart Fort Kent in the middle of next week, drop off some items in storage in southern Maine, and then leave the state.

“We’re going to try to get our lives back on track,” Wilbur said Friday night.  Portland Herald

Update:  Judge Charles C. LaVerdiere in Fort Kent, Maine ruled that Kaci Hickox (pictured) must continue daily monitoring and cooperate with health officials if she chooses to travel. The judge said there’s no need to restrict her movements because she’s not showing symptoms of Ebola. It was revealed in court documents that the 33-year-old nurse’s roommate in Sierra Leone had been treated for Ebola.

Governor Paul LePage said, “I don’t want her within three feet of anyone”.

A Maine court issued late Thursday a temporarily order to Kaci Hickok to stay at least three feet away from other people and avoid public places.  The court order also  instructed Kaci to stay away from public transit and workplaces, and not to leave the town of Fort Kent, where she has mostly been holed up in a house, without consulting with public health authorities. The order applies “until further order of this court” on Friday. NBC News

Maine’s Governor wants Hickok’s quarantine to be high risk guidelines, 21-day in-home quarantine.    Maine offered to compromise with  low-risk quarantine guidelines. Kaci refused.

Kaci Hickok stand is no quarantine as she understands the nature and risk of the Ebola disease as she has treated it. Hickox’s attorney, Steven Hyman, says his client, who last treated an Ebola patient Oct. 21, does not meet the threshold for quarantine. That there is no basis to quarantine Kaci at this point in time.

Yesterday, Kaci and her boyfriend left his home and went bike riding and later ordered pizza.  Kaci talked to reporters and shook reporter Martin Gould‘s hand.  The bike ride was not Kaci and boyfriend  alone on a  bike ride, it was Kaci with swarms of reporters, photographers, and cameramen closely around her.

CDC New Low Risk Guidelines  issued Oct. 29th

(click below image to enlarge).

cdclowrisk

Maine Prepares To Enforce Quantine

Maine Gov. Paul LePage
Maine Gov. Paul LePage

Gov. Paul LePage said Thursday, he’s going to “exercise the full extent of his authority” to keep Kaci Hickox away from public places.

The Governor’s chief legal counsel together with the Attorney General was in hours of negotiation Wednesday in an attempt to reach agreement on how healthcare workers in Maine should meet the CDC guidelines for those in the “some risk” category. That category includes anyone who has had direct exposure to persons infected with Ebola within a 21-day incubation period. The agreement sought to identify how healthcare workers should conduct themselves, given the threat of exposure to the public, should symptoms develop.

“I was ready and willing—and remain ready and willing—to reasonably address the needs of healthcare workers meeting guidelines to assure the public health is protected,” Governor LePage said.

CDC guidelines outlining what Maine considers an in-home quarantine require:
a. Direct Active Monitoring;
b. Any travel will be coordinated with the public health authorities to ensure uninterrupted direct active monitoring;
c. Controlled movement to include exclusion from long-distance commercial conveyances or local public conveyances;
d. Exclusion from public places and congregate gatherings;
e. Exclusion from workplaces for the duration of a public health order (except to receive necessary healthcare);
f. Non-congregate public activities while maintain a three-foot distance from others is permitted (for example, walking or jogging in a park);
g. Other activities should be assessed as needs and circumstances change to determine whether these activities may be undertaken.
Continue reading “Maine Prepares To Enforce Quantine”

Nebraska School District Removes Controversial “Purple Penguins” Gender Identity Materials

Purple Penguins
Purple Penguins

Nebraska’s Lincoln Public School  district to stop calling students “Purple Penguins” instead of ‘boys and girls’.
Update to this story.

After nearly a month of defending them, Lincoln Public Schools District in Nebraska has finally agreed to stop using the infamous “purple penguin” transgender training handouts.

At Tuesday’s Lincoln Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Steve Joel conceded that the handouts were not “appropriate, purposeful” or “clear,” and that he “directed them to be removed” from the district’s schools, according to an article in the Lincoln Journal Star.

The announcement came after 16 people commented that they felt their concerns about the matter were not heard when they initially raised them at the October 14 board meeting.

Online:  District Finally Agrees To Stop Using ‘Purple Penguin’ Handouts

Houston Mayor Withdraws Pastors’ Subpoenas

HoustonSealHouston Mayor Annise Parker announced that the city of Houston will withdraw subpoenas of five pastors in the lawsuit over the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance ( dubbed  the “bathroom bill”).
Update to this story.

Convinced by clergymen from across the country that she had entered a raging national debate on religious freedom she wanted no part of, Mayor Annise Parker on Wednesday agreed to withdraw controversial subpoenas the city issued to five local pastors in connection with a lawsuit over Houston’s equal rights ordinance.

The mayor’s announcement came amid an unabated firestorm over the subpoenas, particularly among Christian conservatives and Republican politicians, who blasted Parker for trying to “silence the church.”

Parker’s decision represented the only viable political option, said University of Virginia law professor Douglas Laycock, a specialist in religious liberty law. Seeking so much material was inflammatory, he said, adding that much of what the city seeks can be obtained by other means.

“There was so little that seemed relevant and legitimate,” he said, “they were better to just completely withdraw them.”

Online:  Mayor’s decision to drop subpoenas fails to quell criticism

Israeli PM Netanyahu Responds To Derogatory “Chickensh*t” Name Calling Attack

Jeffrey Goldberg quoted an anonymous Obama Administration official, “The other day I was talking to a senior Obama administration official about the foreign leader who seems to frustrate the White House and the State Department the most. “The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit,” this official said, referring to the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, by his nickname.”

Israel PM Netanyahu Response:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

As Prime Minister, I stand firm with regard to Israel’s security. I care about the lives of each and every citizen and each and every soldier. I have been on battlefields many times. I risked my life for this country, and I am not prepared to make concessions that will endanger it….

I am being attacked only because I am protecting the State of Israel. If I did not protect the State of Israel, if I did not stand up decisively for our national and security interests, they would not attack me. And despite the attacks I face, I will continue to protect our country; I will continue to protect the citizens of Israel.

Washington Post Analysis:

“The underlying dynamic here reflects not just the general antipathy the Obama and Netanyahu administrations have for each other, but the continuing fallout from the Obama Administration’s initial gross misreading of the Israeli political scene. Very succinctly, the Obama Administration came in to office thinking it could either force Netanyahu to make concessions, or force his government to fall.”  Read More

Twitter Response:  College age photos of Netenyahu and Obama

netenyahuobamacollege

 

Dershowitz: Quarantine Decisions Are Political Duty

Who should have the last word in quarantine decisions elected officials or medical experts?  “Elected officials, not medical experts, should determine the parameters for quarantining people in the United States.  It can not be the medical experts. Nobody has elected them to make the cost benefit analysis of what is the risk of Ebola… that is essentially a political decision,” says Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.


Alan Dershowitz: Quarantine Decisions Are a Political Duty “The Congress has the power, as does the president, to protect the public health by banning travel by noncitizens to the United States,” says Havard law professor Alan Dershowitz.

Online: Dershowitz: Ebola Travel Ban ‘Clearly Constitutional’

Nurse Kaci Hickox Refuses To Follow Quarantine Protocol

hickokNorth Carolina Missionaries (SIM USA and Samaritan’s Purse)  are under a 21-day quarantine when they return from Ebola-affected countries.

For precautionary measures, state and local public health officials are requiring a period of voluntary quarantine for the staff and other people who were exposed to Ebola and are returning to North Carolina within 21 days since their last exposure,” said a statement from SIM USA.

The U.S. Army will quarantine returning soldiers from Ebola-affected countries. miliatryebolaquarantine

 

Dr. Craig Spencer crisscrossed New York for days before coming down with Ebola.  It has emerged that Dr. Spencer “lied to officials, insisting he had stayed inside his home since arriving back in America. Detectives only discovered the truth when they checked his credit card statement.”

Nurse Hickok works for the CDC and lives in Maine.  When she returned from Africa, landing in New Jersey, with a temperature, she was placed in a mandatory quarantine in a hospital as she does not have a residents in New Jersey.  Hickok was driven from New Jersey to her home in Maine and placed under a 21-day in-home quarantine.

Nurse Hickok told Matt Lauer on the Today Show, ‘I don’t plan on sticking to the guidelines. I am not going to sit around and be bullied by politicians and forced to stay in my home when I am not a risk to the American public.’

On Wednesday, the Governor of Maine placed  state troopers outside the house where Hickok’s is staying for  ‘for both her protection and the health of the community.’ Continue reading “Nurse Kaci Hickox Refuses To Follow Quarantine Protocol”

Worldwide Increase In ‘Great’ Earthquakes Seen In Past 10 Years

earthquake photoOver the last 10 years the number of “great” earthquakes has nearly tripled.  The frequency and intensity of earthquakes have increased. Earthquakes are the deadliest natural hazard of the past ten years.   The Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) report stated,  “In the past decade, nearly 60 per cent of the people killed by disasters died because of earthquakes.”

Between 2004 and 2014, 18 earthquakes with magnitudes of 8.0 or more rattled subduction zones around the globe. That’s an increase of 265 percent over the average rate of the previous century, which saw 71 great quakes, according to a report to the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America this week in Vancouver, British Columbia.

It’s clear that recent “great” earthquakes “triggered” related major quakes, says study author Thorne Lay, distinguished professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Online:  Worldwide Surge in ‘Great’ Earthquakes Seen In Past 10 Years 

Photo by Fox News Insider