Israeli ‘web prophet’ maps the past to predict the future

Dr. Kira Radinsky, 26, who started studying at the Technion at 15, wins recognition from MIT for pioneering software that finds historical patterns to point the way ahead.

Dr. Kira Radinsky (Photo credit: Courtesy)

Dr. Kira Radinsky (Photo credit: Courtesy)

The Times of Israel (August 24) — Prophecy may still be restricted to those qualified to appear in the Bible, but modern technology has given us the next best thing – the ability to make a very accurate educated guess about what may happen in the future. Work in that area is being led by Dr. Kira Radinsky, an Israeli web technology researcher, and for her accomplishments, Radinsky has been added to a prestigious list of top technology figures under 35 years of age, recently published by an official publication of MIT.

And at 26, Radinsky, who was educated at the Technion and did her research work at Microsoft, is one of the younger people on the list – meaning that she is likely to achieve a lot more before she’s done.

The “35 Under 35” list has been published by the MIT Technology Review Magazine since 1999, and it showcases the people expected to have an important impact on the future based on their work. A panel of judges reviews researchers’ work – hundreds apply for the list each year – and determines which researchers are doing work that will most significantly affect the world in the coming decades. Among previous winners have been Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and chief Apple designer Jonathan Ive.

Radinsky, along with her partner Eric Horvitz, co-director at Microsoft Research in Redmond, Washington, developed software that parses the web, seeking patterns — in news and historical archive sites for hints on patterns that have led to outbreaks of disease, deaths, and riots in the past – and comparing those patterns to current conditions. It’s a very sophisticated form of data mining, enabling deep analysis of disparate events and seeing how they repeat themselves time after time.

A paper published by Radinksy and Horvitz provides a good example: In 2012, Cuba suffered a major outbreak of cholera, its first in 130 years. Authorities there were totally unprepared to deal with the situation; according to news reports, doctors had declared states of emergency in numerous areas (although there was little official comment from the Cuban government).

Click here for full article.

Why the Brotherhood Targets Christians — Remember the Maspero Massacre

By Andrew C. McCarthy for PJMedia, August 21 — A pogrom against Christians — torching Churches and killing believers — is perfectly consistent with the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamic supremacist ideology. But there are many despicable things, consistent with that ideology, that are not on display at the moment. By contrast, the Brothers and their sympathizers are very consciously and very publicly besieging Christians due to a key tactical calculation: In Egypt, framing a dispute as “Islam v. the Enemies of Islam” works.

The pogrom tells us more about Egypt than it does about the Brotherhood. It is convenient to make the Brothers into the all-purpose villain here, and to comfort ourselves in the notion that if they could be defeated our problems would be solved. But doing so misses the main point: the Muslim Brotherhood is a product of Egypt’s Islamic supremacist culture, not the other way around. The Brothers are an effect, not a cause.

Have you seen the other news coming out of Egypt the last few days? For all the blather about how the armed forces were responding to “the will of the people” in ousting Morsi, polling now shows that only 26 percent of Egyptians support the military coup, with a whopping 63 percent against it. This reaffirms what I contend in Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy — Egypt is a substantially Islamic supremacist country, a fact the mainstream media is obscuring by myopically focusing on the quarter of the population that is not. (As Egypt has a population of 84 million, and its decidedly minority secular elements tend to live in the cities, it is an easy thing for the media to make about 20 million people look like a groundswell.) Remember, this is the same Egypt that only eight months ago approved a sharia constitution by a two-to-one landslide. The spread in the polling that shows deep opposition to Morsi’s removal mirrors what we’ve seen in the several elections since Hosni Mubarak’s toppling in early 2011: The Islamic supremacist position is favored, usually by somewhere between a two-to-one and a four-to-one margin.

Meanwhile, even the “Tamarod movement” — the campaign that the media laughably portrays as the emerging secular, progressive Egyptian majority — wants to cancel the peace treaty with Israel. And the Egyptian press reports (e.g., here) that the new Egyptian constitution being drafted by the transitional government installed by the armed forces will maintain the former constitution’s Article 2, which establishes Islam as the state religion and enshrines sharia as “the main source of legislation.” Any attempt to repeal or alter those provisions in favor of commitments to equality and the protection of minority rights would result in exactly the murderous rioting and attacks on Christians that we are seeing now.

The problem with Egypt is not the Brotherhood, it is the culture. Secular democrats are a distinct minority and there is no prospect that that will change any time soon.

Click here for full article.

Media downplay anti-Christian violence in Egypt

CoptsEgyptAPFor some reason I know all about a rodeo clown, Nixon’s tapes from over 40 years ago, and a typo on a Tea Party candidate’s campaign website, but as Newsbusters points out, “In the media’s wall-to-wall Egypt coverage, one important facet of the ongoing crisis has gotten short shrift: the deadly plight of that nation’s Christians.”

Breitbart (22/08/12) — Newsbusters reports that, in retaliation for backing the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi, Islamists have targeted upwards of 80 Christian schools, churches and convents. Looting, arson, and the targeting of Christians for beatings and murder are now rampant.

The media, however, yawn.

This isn’t surprising. The media only report on what offers them a political upside. And because the media is mostly made up of secular leftists hostile to the Christian faith, they are loath to do any reporting that might put that faith in a sympathetic light. Or, Gaia forbid, portray Christians as victims.

The media are agenda-driven, not information or scoop or money or morality driven. They are happy to help President Obama and Al Sharpton manufacture a feeding frenzy out of a race hoax surrounding the fatal shooting of a black teenager in Florida. But only because there is plenty of political upside in that frenzy. The left thrive on racial division, love any excuse to push gun control, and know they need to distract from the failure of Obama’s economic policies.

The inexcusable murder rate in Chicago, however, gets only rote coverage, even though hundreds of teenage Trayvon Martins are gunned down every year. But to focus on that tragedy has no political upside for the media. On paper, Chicago is a liberal utopia: Democrat and union-run for decades, brutally high taxes, a welfare haven, and some of the strictest gun control laws in the country.

Because of this, the media know that any serious examination of Chicago’s appalling murder rate would require a critical look at left-wing policies. That is something the media will never do. So nothing is done because the media see a few hundred murdered teens as sacrifices to the Bigger Cause.

If Christians were attacking mosques in Egypt, you can bet it would be the biggest media story since a rodeo clown in Missouri dared mock Power.

33 Shocking Facts Which Show How Badly The Economy Has Tanked Under Obama

#1 When Barack Obama entered the White House, 60.6 percent of working age Americans had a job.  Today, only 58.7 percent of working age Americans have a job.

#2 Since Obama has been president, seven out of every eight jobs that have been “created” in the U.S. economy have been part-time jobs.

#3 The number of full-time workers in the United States is still nearly 6 million below the old record that was set back in 2007.

#4 It is hard to believe, but an astounding 53 percent of all American workers now make less than $30,000 a year.

#5 40 percent of all workers in the United States actually make less than what a full-time minimum wage worker made back in 1968.

#6 When the Obama era began, the average duration of unemployment in this country was 19.8 weeks.  Today, it is 36.6 weeks.

#7 During the first four years of Obama, the number of Americans “not in the labor force” soared by an astounding 8,332,000.  That far exceeds any previous four year total.

#8 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the middle class is taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.

#9 When Obama was elected, the homeownership rate in the United States was 67.5 percent.  Today, it is 65.0 percent.  That is the lowest that it has been in 18 years.

#10 When Obama entered the White House, the mortgage delinquency rate was 7.85 percent.  Today, it is 9.72 percent

Click here for full article.

Israel’s latest invention: Free hi-res aerial photos for all

WikiAir will let people around the world see the beautiful side of Israel — and their own countries — in high resolution.

Jaffa Port and Tel Aviv

Jaffa Port and Tel Aviv

Where do Wikis — the official ones, like Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikibooks, Wikimedia Commons, and all their Wiki brothers and sisters — come from?

They are established and managed by the Wikipedia Foundation, the official world repository of all things Wiki.

Rishon Lezion

Rishon Lezion

Joining their rank this year as the “coolest Wiki project” will be an Israeli invention, WikiAir, a project that will show the world, via free high-resolution aerial photos, the nicer side of Israel. Eventually, as the project is adopted in other countries, WikiAir will bring beautiful bird’s-eye views of all the world’s most interesting sites.

Ashdod Marina

Ashdod Marina

WikiAir is more than just a collection of photos of pretty places; it’s a system of agreements to enable Wiki volunteers to take advantage of air travel in order to easily and cheaply take high-resolution photos of interesting and unique sites from the air.

The Ramon Crater

The Ramon Crater

While somewhat similar to Google StreetView, WikiAir is less about mapping the world than about highlighting important and interesting places, said Amos Meron, director of WikiAir Israel. All of the sites being photographed are under established and legal civilian air routes, so unlike Google StreetView or Google Earth, there is no danger that a secret security installation will inadvertently show up in the photo mix.

Ashdod Port

Ashdod Port

Click here for full article.

Liberman: Turkish PM Erdogan is Nazi propagandist Goebbels’ successor

Yisrael Beytenu MK fires reaction to Erdogan’s charge that Israel was behind downfall of Morsi in Egypt.

Avigdor Lieberman, former Israeli foreign minister

Avigdor Lieberman, former Israeli foreign minister

The Jerusalem Post, August 21 — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s hateful and incitement filled words against Israel is reminiscent of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, Yisrael Beytenu MK Avigdor Liberman said Wednesday.

Liberman, currently the head of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and former foreign minister, spurned the restraint demonstrated by the Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Ministry toward Erdogan’s charge Tuesday that  Israel was behind the downfall of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.

“Everyone who heard Erdogan’s words full of hate and incitement understand without a doubt that we are talking about the successor to Goebbels” the Dreyfus trial, and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, he said.

Liberman, who opposed any type of apology to Turkey over the 2010 Mavi Marmara affair, said that those who “attacked” him and his party for that position should “draw the conclusions and do some soul searching.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu apologized to Erdgoan in March – at US President Barack Obama’s behest – for operational errors that may have led to loss of life on the ship that tried to break the naval blockade of Gaza in 2010.

Liberman’s comments came during a tour in Arad.

Erdogan, speaking at a meeting of his AK Party in Ankara on Tuesday  referred to the developments in Egypt and said, “Who is behind [Morsi’s ouster]? There is Israel. We have [a] document in our hands.”

The document, it emerged, was a video of a discussion held at Tel Aviv
University on the Arab Spring in June 2011 between Tzipi Livni, then the head of the opposition and today the Justice Minister, and French-Jewish intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy.

Click here for full article.

Report: Al-Qaeda targeting European railways

German newspaper cites intel as coming from conference call intercepted by NSA, involving high-ranking al-Qaeda operatives.

euro trainAl-Qaeda is plotting attacks on Europe’s high-speed rail network, German newspaper Bild reported on Monday, citing intelligence sources.

According to Bild, the militant group was possibly targeting trains and tunnels, with the intention to sabotage railway tracks and the electric cabling.

The German newspaper cited the information as coming from a conference call intercepted by the US National Security Agency (NSA), involving high-ranking al-Qaeda operatives.

As a result, authorities deployed undercover police officers at main stations and along major routes, Bild stated.

At the beginning of August, suspected plots by an affiliate of the terror group led the State Department to issue a world-wide travel alert for the entire month, citing an al-Qaeda plot to attack Western diplomatic delegations.

Congress said that US intelligence agencies picked up on an al-Qaeda plot  through surveillance technologies. The US then closed 21 embassies and consulates on Sunday, located in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia “out of an abundance of caution.”

Click here for original source.

Terrorists ‘aim to hit Israeli, Jewish targets worldwide’ in coming weeks

Counter-Terror Bureau issues strident warning, citing ‘concrete, very high’ threats in numerous countries.

Suspected Hezbollah weapons cache uncovered May 2013 in Kano, Nigeria.

Suspected Hezbollah weapons cache uncovered May 2013 in Kano, Nigeria.

Times of Israel, August 19 — Israeli and Jewish targets all over the world are likely to be sought out by terrorist organizations in the coming weeks, the Israeli government’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau warned in strikingly strident tones on Monday, listing dozens of countries where it said it had “concrete” indications of a terrorist threat.

It cited concerns about terrorist acts timed to coincide with the forthcoming Rosh Hashana (New Year), Yom Kippur and Succot festivals, and also said that the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US was likely to be “a favored period” for al-Qaeda and other global jihadist groups to attempt to carry out acts of terrorism.

Iran and Hezbollah, it warned, were continuing their “global terror campaign” against Israeli and Jewish targets. It noted that Iran remained bent on avenging alleged Israeli responsibility for the killing of Hezbollah terror chief Imad Mughniyeh in a Damascus car-bombing in 2008, and the deaths of three Iranian nuclear scientists.

It said its information indicated that Israeli businessmen and ex-government officials were prime potential targets for assassination and/or kidnapping.

With all that in mind, the bureau reconfirmed that Israelis are barred altogether from travel to Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, where the “concrete” terror threat was “very high.”

In addition, it ordered Israelis not to travel to Sudan, Somalia, Algeria, Djibouti, Mauritania, Libya and Tunisia, and to leave these countries immediately if they were there, because of a similarly “very high” terror threat. Where Tunisia was concerned, it underlined what it said were the “threats to carry out attacks on Israeli and Jewish targets.”

The unusually shrill and widespread alert included an order to Israelis not to travel to the Sinai Peninsula, because of the chaotic situation in Egypt.

Click here for full article.

Merkel: Anti-Semitism a threat to democracy in Europe

German chancellor speaks out three days before she is set to visit Dachau concentration camp.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel said anti-Semitism and racism remain a threat to democracy in Europe almost 70 years after the end of World War II.

Merkel cited the ongoing trial of five alleged neo-Nazis over the killing of 10 people between 2000 and 2007, and the fact that Jewish schools and synagogues still require police protection, as evidence of the problem in Germany.

She said Germany and the rest of Europe need to be vigilant against far-right extremists who seek to spread a distorted account of history.

Merkel’s comments came Saturday in a weekly online address three days before a planned visit to the remains of the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau in southern Germany.

Almost six million European Jews were murdered in the Holocaust orchestrated by Germany’s Nazi party.

Dachau 1933

Dachau 1933

Merkel’s scheduled visit to Dachau Tuesday will make her Berlin’s first leader to travel to the former Nazi concentration camp.

Merkel will lay a wreath at the site’s memorial, make a short speech, and will tour the camp.

Merkel will be joined on her visit by Holocaust survivor Max Mannheimer, director of the site, and by Bavaria’s education minister.

Click here for full article.

2,700-year-old Hebrew inscription found in Jerusalem

2,700-year-old pottery fragment discovered in the City of David site in Jerusalem

2,700-year-old pottery fragment discovered in the City of David site in Jerusalem

Archaeologists working in Jerusalem have discovered what they say is a 2,700 year-old pottery fragment with an ancient Hebrew inscription possibly containing the name of a Biblical figure.

The fragment, discovered just outside the capital’s Old City at the City of David site, in what is now the Arab village of Silwan, was likely part of a large ceramic bowl dating from between the 8th and 7th centuries BCE, the Israeli Antiquities Authority said Sunday.

The text fragment on the shard, roughly transliterated without vowels into English characters as “ryhu bn bnh,” is similar to the name of Zechariah son of Benaiah, the father of the prophet Jahaziel, whose name appears in 2 Chronicles 20:14 when Jahaziel spoke prophecy to King Jehoshaphat before the king went off to war.

“While not complete, the inscription presents us with the name of a seventh century BCE figure, which resembles other names known to us from both the Biblical and archaeological record… and provides us with a connection to the people living in Jerusalem at the end of the First Temple period,” the statement said.

The City of David, while today located outside the southern walls of the Old City, is understood by archaeologists to be the site of the ancient city of Jerusalem mentioned in the Bible.

Click here for full article.

Robert Spencer and Michael Coren on the crisis and church burnings in Egypt

Spencer’s regular weekly appearance on Coren’s Sun TV show on August 15:

YouTube Preview Image

They discuss the media’s silence on Christian persecution in Egypt, which they claim is bordering to genocide. Where are all the celebrities? Human rights activists? Spencer suggests there is a “blind spot” when Muslims commit these atrocities.

Over 45 churches & Christian institutions reportedly attacked in Egypt – Where’s the media?

As the Egyptian government attempts to disband supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, a wave of devastating violence has swept through the country. The AP has reported that 638 people have been confirmed killed and nearly 4,000 are injured. It’s now being uncovered that much of this violence is being committed against Christians and their institutions.

This morning on radio, Glenn gave his listeners a rundown of the institutions that have been attacked and what is happening to the Christian Egyptians as their nation unwinds into chaos — something the mainstream media has been deafeningly silent on.

Click here for full list of attacked institutions with photos and sources.

Much like Kristallnacht was blamed on the communists, the Christians are being blamed in Egypt. And Glenn believe’s that Israel will soon be blamed as well.

“This is, by the way, the Muslim Brotherhood,” Glenn continued. “The Muslim Brotherhood is the one doing this. Because they needed somebody to blame. They couldn’t blame it on their fellow Muslims who threw the — Morsi out. So they had to blame it on somebody. So they are blaming it on the Christians. The next target will be the Jews, but this is what’s happening to the Christians. And we’re sending $2 billion a year to them, and our government is playing footsie with the Muslim Brotherhood, and this is what they’ve — this is what they’re doing right now. Right now.”

Glenn went on to state that it is time to cut off support and aide to Egypt.

‘Something is happening’: Why the viral Ashton Kutcher speech gives Glenn Beck so much hope

“Something’s happening. Something is happening. And it is good. Have faith.”

Actor Ashton Kutcher speaks onstage at the Teen Choice Awards 2013

Actor Ashton Kutcher speaks onstage at the Teen Choice Awards 2013

That’s how Glenn Beck responded to Ashton Kutcher’s heartfelt speech on hard work and generosity at the Teen Choice Awards on Sunday that has absolutely taken the Internet by storm.  After playing the speech on radio, Beck explained why it gave him so much hope.

“What he is saying here is the American position…” Beck said firmly. “How do we not agree?  How is it that the people in the camp of Ashton Kutcher think that I’m the anti-Christ, and so many of us think he’s the anti-Christ?”

“Because they don’t listen,” Beck’s co-host Pat Gray said.

John Oliver Skewers Chris Matthews’ 2016 Fever: You Do This For A Living?

John Oliver kicked off his final week of guest-hosting The Daily Show taking on MSNBC’s Chris Matthews for his bold prediction that Rand Paul will be the Republicans’ presidential candidate in 2016… three years out from the race. What really set Oliver off was Matthews’ insistence that “I do this for a living,” quickly reminding viewers exactly how wrong Matthews has gotten his past predictions.

Who did Matthews think would win the GOP primary in 2008? Rudy Giuliani. 2012? Michele Bachmann. Oliver deadpanned, “It’s what he does for a living. He’s paid to do that,” and mockingly referred to him as a time-traveling witch.