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Thu, 07 Dec 2023
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Israeli grid maps make life in Gaza 'macabre game of Battleships', say aid workers

Map detail
© Avichay Adraee/X
Map evacuation detail from grid evacuation warnings posted by Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee, IDF
Online system designed to order precise evacuations inaccessible to those without power or network access...

Israel's new grid system for targeted evacuation warnings in southern Gaza risks turning life in the territory into a "macabre game of Battleships", aid workers have warned.

When Israel resumed its offensive in Gaza after a week-long ceasefire deal collapsed, it immediately signalled plans to intensify attacks on the south of the territory, in areas where Palestinian civilians had previously been urged to take shelter.

Bombing began within seconds of the truce ending early on Friday morning, and at least 200 people had been killed by Saturday, Gaza's health authorities said.

Residents who have been squeezed into a shrinking corner of Gaza, most of them already internal refugees displaced and struggling to find enough to eat, described desperation and despair as they weighed up what to do as the fighting drew closer. They are hemmed in by the sea on one side, the closely guarded Israeli border on the other, and at their backs is the border with Egypt.


Paris assailant has links to perpetrators of three recent French terror attacks

© Unknown
Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab
Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab, the Franco-Iranian terrorist who stabbed a tourist to death and injured two other people with a hammer on Saturday, not far from the Eiffel Tower in Paris, had contact with the perpetrators of no less than three recent French terror attacks.

One of these contacts was the assassin of Samuel Paty, the history teacher who was stabbed to death and whose body was then decapitated in 2020 after he showed his students caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in a civics class on freedom of expression.

In 2018, Rajabpour-Miyandoab was already convicted of forming part of a plot to attack the Parisian business district of La Défense. In addition, citing police and judicial sources, both the French daily Le Parisen and the news channel BFM report that Rajabpour-Miyandoab had contact with the following three perpetrators of notorious French terror attacks:
  • Larossi Aballa, who in June 2016 killed the police officer Jean-Baptiste Salvaing and his wife Jennifer Schneider, also a police employee, at their home in Magnanville near Paris. After taking her hostage, Aballa would slit Schneider's throat in front of the couple's three-year-old son who survived the attack.
  • Adel Kermiche, who, just one month later, along with an accomplice, killed Father Jacques Hamel, stabbing him and slitting his throat following a mass at the Saint-Étienne church in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, also not far from Paris.
  • Abdoullakh Anzorov, the killer of Samuel Paty. Paty was killed outside his school in the Parisian suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine.


UMass Boston drops 'litmus test' demand for new professors to back DEI

university of massachusetts boston

The University of Massachusetts at Boston
Want a job at the University of Massachusetts Boston? Well, until recently, you'd have to pledge your commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion first.

The worrying requirement came to light in a job ad, requiring would-be assistant professors in computer science to write a "diversity statement that reflects [their] commitment to diversity equity and inclusion" as part of their job application.

And applicants for a lecturer position in the department of health science were required to demonstrate a commitment "to support[ing] our goal of ensuring an inclusive, equitable, and diverse workplace and educational environment."

That's a political litmus test if I've ever seen one.


Conor McGregor hints at Irish presidency bid

conor mcgregor
© Getty Images / Justin Setterfield/Getty Images
Conor McGregor poses for a photo from ringside prior to during the Heavyweight fight between Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou at Boulevard Hall on October 28, 2023 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The MMA star has said he would consider privately funding a run to replace Michael D. Higgins in 2025.

Controversial Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor has fueled speculation that he may announce his candidacy for his country's presidency ahead of elections in 2025, as he took aim at his potential political opponents on social media weeks after anti-immigration protests hit Dublin.

The 35-year-old former two-weight UFC world champion, who has been vocal about Irish immigration issues in recent weeks, is reportedly being investigated by Irish police for a series of social media posts he made before and during the riots in the capital.

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Report: Hamas rocket hit IDF base thought to house nuclear-capable missiles on Oct 7

palestinian rockets
© AP Photo/ Hatem Moussa
Rockets are launched by Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, in Gaza, October 7, 2023.
Through analyzing satellite imagery, NY Times finds rocket impact on Sdot Micha Airbase caused fire to spread near facilities where sensitive weapons are believed to be stored.

A rocket launched by the Hamas terror group from the Gaza Strip on October 7 hit a sensitive Israeli Air Force base in central Israel, where some of Israel's nuclear-capable missiles are allegedly located, according to a report by The New York Times.

Citing satellite imagery, the report said that one rocket hit in the vicinity of the Sdot Micha Airbase near Beit Shemesh on the morning of October 7, as Hamas fired thousands of rockets at Israel during its onslaught on the south.

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Star of David

9/11 redux: Shady stock trades on Israeli companies recorded just before Oct 7 attack

stock exchange reading ticker israel flag
Some stock traders knew about the Hamas attack on Israel in advance and made millions on the inside.

Some stock traders knew in advance the exact date of the Hamas attack on Israel, which occurred on October 7, and made millions of dollars from the fall in shares of Israeli companies traded locally and on Wall Street five days before the Palestinian militants invaded. This assumption was made by journalist Ido Baum in an article published in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

The conclusion that a number of stock traders in the US and Israel have insider information was made by experts from one of the world's largest open electronic repositories of scientific articles and preprints Social Science Research Network (SSRN) Robert Jackson Jr., Joshua Mitts and colleagues in an article entitled "Trading terror? Financial analysts noted that short selling of Israeli stocks surged in the days leading up to Oct. 7, far exceeding short selling during numerous other periods of crisis in the Middle East.

Our findings show that traders informed of the upcoming attacks benefited from these tragic events - experts say, suggesting that stock market players received information about the date of the attack on Israel directly from Hamas.

Comment: Big assumption. The information could just as easily come from highly-placed Israeli officials. The model:

War Whore

Israel orders Gazans to flee, bombs where it sends them

gazan woman mourns child
© AP Photo/Fatima Shbair
A woman mourns her child and her husband child killed in an Israeli army bombardment of the Gaza Strip, in the hospital in Khan Younis, Tuesday Dec. 5, 2023.
Desperate residents of Khan Younis flee on foot, carrying what they can of their belongings.

On Monday (December 4) Israel ordered people out of swathes of main southern city in the Gaza Strip.

As they left, bombs fell on areas still described as safe.

Comment: War crimes, anyone?

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Arrow Up

China is 'hoarding' world's gold

China Gold
© AP/Kin Cheung
Despite China being the largest producer of gold in the world, its central bank has been at the forefront of a surge in purchases of the precious metal on the international market as it seeks to reduce its reliance on the dollar.

The east Asian nation produced 375 tonnes of gold in 2022, according to figures by the World Gold Council, an industry body, but in the first nine months of 2023, its state bank was responsible for acquiring 181 tonnes out of a total 800 tonnes purchased by central banks worldwide.

Its gold reserves are estimated to be 2,113 tonnes as of July — the fifth largest behind the Federal Reserve's 8,133 — and now comprise 4 percent of its total declared assets.

Comment: There are questions over how much the Fed actually holds.

The Chinese Central Bank has been recorded adding to its stockpile of gold for 11 consecutive months.

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'This is our Munich': Shin bet chief vows to hunt down Hamas abroad

Khaled Meshaal Ismail Haniyeh
Former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal (L) with his successor Ismail Haniyeh.
'We will do this everywhere, in Gaza, in the West Bank, in Lebanon, in Turkey, in Qatar. It will take a few years but we will be there to do it'

Israel will hunt down Hamas in Lebanon, Turkey and Qatar even if it takes years, the head of Israel's domestic security agency Shin Bet said in a recording aired by Israel's public broadcaster Kan on Sunday.

It was unclear when Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar made the remarks or to whom.

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USS Carney responds to multiple attacks on commercial ships in Red Sea

Navy destroyer Carney
© Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aaron Lau/Navy
The Navy destroyer Carney fires missiles to counter drone and missile fire by Houthi rebels in Yemen on Oct. 19, 2023, in the Red Sea. The ship fended off several attacks on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, officials said.
Commercial ships came under attack Sunday by drones and missiles in the Red Sea and the Navy destroyer Carney shot down multiple air drones during an hours-long assault claimed by Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels, officials said.

The attacks potentially mark a major escalation in a series of maritime attacks in the Mideast linked to the Israel-Hamas war as multiple vessels found themselves in the crosshairs of a single Houthi assault for the first time in the conflict.

"We also have every reason to believe that these attacks, while launched by the Houthis in Yemen, are fully enabled by Iran," U.S. Central Command said in a statement late Sunday afternoon U.S. time. "The United States will consider all appropriate responses in full coordination with its international allies and partners."

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