House votes to reopen Statue of Liberty
WASHINGTON, DC (Press
Release)—The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation
authored by Rep. Anthony Weiner (Democrat, New York) to reopen the Statue of
Liberty in her entirety for the first time since 9/11. Lady Liberty is the only
national park that remains closed since the attacks.
While the Statue’s base, pedestal, and observation deck were reopened in August
2004, her crown – and the observation deck it houses – remain closed. Lady
Liberty’s crown is the only site overseen by the National Park Service that has
yet to re-open since 9/11. The National Park Service overseas such sites as the
Monument in Washington, D.C. and Mount
Rushmore in South Dakota.
The Interior Department’s failure to reopen Lady Liberty
has had a profound impact on New York
City’s economy. Since her crown was closed to the
public, the Statue has seen a 40.8% drop in visitors. This loss of 2.24 million
tourists has cost New Yorkers millions in lost economic benefits.
House of Representatives has spoken, and the National Park Service should
promptly restore the Statue of Liberty to her full glory,” said Weiner.
preceding story was provided by the office of Congressman Anthony Weiner
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Iran divestment campaigns praised by Olmert
JERUSALEM (Press Release)--Prime Minister Ehud Olmert this morning met with
Texas Governor Rick Perry who is leading a delegation of Texas public officials
and business people on a visit to Israel.
Perry updated Prime Minister Olmert on Texas's intention to enact special
legislation to prevent any investments in Iran. Texas has the 10th largest
economy in the world and such a decision will influence the continuation of
Iran's attempts to arm itself with nuclear weapons.
The Prime Minister thanked the Governor for Texas's brave economic steps and
added that economic sanctions will certainly influence the Iranian economy. The
Prime Minister also expressed the hope that continued and stepped-up sanctions
would lead to a change in the Iranian position: "Sanctions are creating a
momentum inside Iran that can affect the Iranian economy and Iranian policy."
He also emphasized the free world's moral obligation to isolate Iranian
President Ahmadinejad, who is openly calling for the elimination of another
sovereign state."Unfortunately, instead of preventing him from visiting world
capitals, he is being received by heads of state."
Prime Minister Olmert briefed his guests on his meeting yesterday at Sharm
el-Sheikh with Palestinian Authority President Abu Mazen and on the chance for
making progress with PA moderates, despite the harsh and brutal events that have
taken place in the Gaza Strip.The Prime Minister expressed the hope that the
creation of a better atmosphere in Judea and Samaria and the significant
improvement in daily life there would strengthen the moderates and lead to an
effective diplomatic process.
The two men also discussed the development of bilateral commercial cooperation
especially in the biotechnology field given Texas's large biotech sector. It
was also decided to increase cooperation in research and development.
Perry and his wife,
Anita, left Texas on Friday on a seven-day trip to Israel
and Jordan. In Israel, Gov. Perry will receive the “Friend
of Zion Award” from the Global Leadership Council for his
leadership in homeland defense, border security and economic
development. The award, which is given to “leaders who have
played key roles in promoting the close alliance between
America and the Jewish state,” will be presented during a
ceremony in Jerusalem at the historic Western Wall Square.
Past recipients of
this distinguished award include former Secretary of Health
and Human Services Tommy Thompson, Senator Evan Bayh, Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid, former Pennsylvania Governor Tom
Ridge, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Senator John
Kerry, and former Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick.
Besides with Olmert,
Perry had meetings scheduled with former Israeli Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and former Prime Minister and
newly elected President Shimon Peres. In addition, he will
meet with the Israeli Chief Scientist, Dr. Eli Opper, and
several representatives of the aeronautics, defense systems,
homeland security and biotechnology industries.
“America has a special
relationship with Israel, and in the midst of turmoil and
bloodshed, America must remain an unwavering supporter of a
strong Jewish state in the Middle East,” said Gov. Perry.
“Though the task is extremely difficult, our nation must be
a consistent voice for a new era of peace and security
between Israel and its Arab neighbors.”
“I believe Texans
share a special kinship with the Israeli people,” he added.
“We are both independent-minded and self-reliant, and our
history is grounded in strong stands against impossible
The Perrys will visit
several historic sites while in Israel, including Mea
Shearim, Nachlat Shiva and Ein Karem, the home town of John
the Baptist. They will also visit the Red Sea, the Dead Sea
and take a tour of Masada. For less than a day they will
also cross into Jordan and visit the City of Petra.
The expenses of the
trip will be paid by Global Capital Associates, which is
hosting the gala awards ceremony where Perry will be
The preceding story combined information
provided by the offices of Prime Minister Olmert and Governor Perry.
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Ban Ki-moon wants
journalists to be forces for Mideast peace
Release)—Warning that recent violence has set back the Middle East peace
process, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged media professionals and civil
society representatives attending a United Nations-organized seminar in Tokyo to
“explore creative approaches to spreading the message of peace and coexistence
in these troubled times.”
“You meet at a very
critical time,” Mr. Ban said in a message delivered by Under-Secretary-General
for Communications and Public Information Kiyo Akasaka to the International
Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East.
“After years of
occupation, violence and mistrust, Israeli and Palestinian societies stand
further apart than ever before,” the Secretary-General lamented, adding
“alarming rifts have also surfaced in internal Palestinian politics, as armed
clashes between rival factions spread death and destruction across the Gaza
The current outbreak
of violence, while a cause for great dismay, should not lead to despair, Mr. Ban
told some 100 participants attending the two-day event, organized by the UN in
cooperation with Japan’s Foreign Ministry and the Tokyo-based UN University.
Instead, it should serve to focus attention on finding a just and lasting peace
in the Middle East.
“We must take heart
from the numerous opinion polls of recent years that point to consistently
strong grassroots support in both Israel and the occupied Palestinian
territories for peaceful coexistence within the framework of a two-State
In his keynote
address to the meeting, Michael Williams, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle
East Peace Process, urged participants not to despair amid the current state of
affairs. “We must instead look at what can be done to change current dynamics
and channel energies in a more positive direction.”
To that end, the UN
was working overtime to help address the serious humanitarian concerns emanating
from the closure of the Gaza Strip, Mr. Williams added, in a message read out by
UN University Rector Hans Van Ginkel. Reopening the crossings into Gaza required
cooperation of all parties, and in that effort, the humanitarian imperative must
be paramount, he stressed.
The annual seminar
focuses on ways to re-engage Israelis and Palestinians in the search for a
comprehensive and lasting political settlement. Participating in this year’s
gathering are two members of the Knesset, Ronit Tirosh and Avishai Braverman,
the Mayors of Ashdod and Hadera and a former Mayor of Ashkelon.
participants include a former Minister of Culture, Almutawakel Nazzal, Permanent
Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, and the Mayor of
The preceding story was provided by the United Nations
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European Jewish Congress elects Kantor
Release)—Moshe Kantor was elected president of the European Jewish Congress by
the EJC General Assembly today with 55 votes against 30 votes for Pierre
Besnainou, EJC’s first elected president. Eighty-seven delegates from 40 Jewish
communities from throughout participated in the vote. There were two
Kantor, the Chairman of the European Jewish Fund and president of the Russian
Jewish Congress, told the assembly he was a “true believer in European Jewry”
and evaluated that European Jews were strong enough to address the many
challenges they are facing : anti-Semitism, assimilation and dangers Israel is
facing : the Iranian nuclear threat and terror. “I will never compromise with
the security of Jews in Europe and with the security of Israel.” Declared Moshe
World Jewish Congress (WJC)
newly elected president Ronald S. Lauder attended the general assembly with
Matthew Bronfman, Chairman of the WJC Governing Board, and stressed the
importance of the EJC.
“It is essential that the
Jewish people remain united in a period where anti-Semitism is on the rise, a
period where Israel is under siege by Hamas and Hizbollah, a period where the
Gaza Strip is controlled by Hamas which is encouraged by Iran,” said Lauder.
Lauder stressed the
importance of education and the need to strengthen inter-religious meetings. The
WJC President revealed that he has received a letter from Moroccan King Abdullah
calling for strengthened ties between Muslims and Jews.
The preceding story was provided by the European
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ADL denounces World Council of Churches
Israel as 'moral outrage'
NEW YORK (Press Release) —The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called the
decision by the World Council of Churches (WCC) to launch a global initiative
against Israel, "a biased action and a moral outrage," saying the Church group
"has abandoned the course of objective, credible advocacy." The WCC announced
the decision at its International Peace Conference held in Amman, Jordan on June
In a letter to Rev. Samuel Kobia, WCC
Secretary-General, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, wrote, "It is
particularly shameful that the WCC chose to call on churches to 'launch a
worldwide rally for an end to Israel's "occupation"' at a time when Israeli
civilians are the target of unprovoked rocket attacks from Hamas, which supports
the eradication of the State of Israel, and ongoing threats from Hezbollah, a
terrorist group supported by Iran."
The one-sided initiative is the
latest in a series of anti-Israel WCC activities. Last year, the WCC issued a
shocking statement that
alone for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and
Mr. Foxman pointed out that, "the WCC
initiative ignores the fact that Israel has time and again made every effort to
resolve the conflict and negotiate in good faith with the Palestinians… The
history is tragic not because of Israel's victory in 1967, but because of
Palestinian unwillingness to make critical decisions for peace and compromise."
The ADL leader went on to say, "It is
particularly unfortunate that a religious organization which says it is
committed to a resolution to this conflict has abandoned the course of
objective, credible advocacy for the protection of all parties, which is so
essential to a constructive and lasting path to peace."
preceding story was provided by the Anti-Defamation League
IDF and UNWRA cooperate on Gaza relief effort
NAHAL OZ, Israel (Press Release) —Colonel
Nir Press, the commander of the IDF Coordination and Liaison unit in Gaza, met
Monday, June 24, with Mr. John Ging, head of UNWRA in the Gaza Strip.
"This meeting is very important, as it is
part of the coordination procedures with the international organizations that
bring in goods and basic foodstuffs into the Gaza Strip," said Colonel Press,
during the meeting. "We must come up with solutions, together, for improving
the provision of these goods. At this point in time there is enough foodstuffs
brought into the Gaza Strip, however, we must design plans to ensure there will
not be a lack in the future."
"We came to meet Colonel Press and his
team in order to discuss the access issue for our humanitarian assistance which
of course has been made more difficult due to recent events in Gaza," added Mr.
Ging. "I am very pleased with the discussions that we had here today. We enjoy
an excellent relationship with Colonel Press and his staff and we are finding
solutions to make sure that the humanitarian aid can come into Gaza. Today's
meeting was a constructive meeting and we have found practical solutions to make
sure that the humanitarian assistance that is needed for the civilian population
in Gaza can get through and I am very grateful for that."
preceding story was provided by the Israel Defense Force.
House unit demands efforts to capture
killers of American contractors in Gaza
WASHINGTON, DC (Press Release)—Legislation sponsored by U.S. Rep. Gary
Ackerman (Democrat, New York) that requires the State Department to step
up efforts to apprehend the Palestinian terrorists who killed three
American contractors in Gaza was today passed by the House Foreign
Affairs Committee. The measure is now expected to be approved by the
full House of Representatives next month.
The legislation requires a highly detailed report from the State Department
every six months on the precise nature of Palestinian efforts to bring to
justice, the killers of the three American security contractors. The report
requires specifics on the number of Palestinian man hours devoted to the case,
the number of arrests and interrogations and the extent to which the Palestinian
Authority’s leadership is personally involved in resolving the matter.
“This bill is the least we can do to make sure that these men did not die in
vain and to make clear that American diplomats and embassy personnel are not
marked as fair game for terrorists” said Ackerman, Chairman of the Foreign
Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia. “Secretary of State Rice
has said that Palestinian President Abbas assured her that the killers of our
citizens would be brought to justice. However, this was more than two years ago.
Until this happens, the State Department needs to provide Congress with regular
reports on what the Palestinian Authority is doing to fulfill that pledge.”
The three murdered Americans—John Branchizio, Mark Parson and John Marin Linde–were
killed in October 2003 while they were providing security to U.S. diplomatic
personnel who were visiting Gaza to identify potential Palestinian candidates
for Fulbright Scholarships.
The preceding story was provided by the office of Congressman Gary
House committee seeks Japan's apology to WWII sex slaves
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release)—Congressman
Tom Lantos (Democrat, California) chairman of the House Committee on
Foreign Affairs, today applauded the overwhelming committee passage of
legislation calling on the government of Japan to "formally acknowledge,
apologize and accept historical responsibility in a clear and
unequivocal manner" for the suffering of “comfort women” during World
Lantos and his colleagues approved the measure,
H. Res. 121, by a vote of 39-2. Its author, Japanese-American Congressman Mike
Honda (Democrat, California), attended the discussion and observed the final
“This resolution seeks admission of a horrible
truth in order that this horror may never be perpetrated again,” Lantos (a
Holocaust survivor) said as
he introduced the resolution. “But most importantly, it speaks out for the
victims of this monstrous act, who were terrorized and brutalized by men at
war. It gives voice to these courageous women whom others have tried to silence
through shame, bigotry, and threats of further violence. It is appropriate that
this House stand up for these women, who ask only that the truth be honored.”
The resolution has more than 140 Congressional
co-sponsors and can now be considered for a vote in the full House of
“Japan has actively promoted historical
amnesia,” Lantos said. “The facts are plain: there can be no denying that the
Japanese Imperial military coerced thousands upon thousands of women, primarily
Chinese and Koreans, into sexual slavery during the war. As such, the continued
efforts by some in Japan to distort history and play a game of blame-the-victim
are highly disturbing.”
Lantos stressed the importance of America’s
relationship with Japan while offering his strong support for the resolution.
“Japan is clearly our greatest friend in Asia
and one of our closest partners in the world,” Lantos said. “The U.S-Japan
relationship is the bedrock of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
Japan’s refusal to make an official government apology to the women who suffered
as so-called ‘comfort women’ is disturbing to all who value this
“The true strength of a nation is tested when it
is forced to confront the darkest chapters in its history, Lantos added. “Will
it have the courage to face up to the truth of its past, or will it hide from
those truths in the desperate and foolish hope they will fade with time?”
Please send your letters to
or to San Diego Jewish World, PO Box 19363, San Diego,
(USA) 92119. Please include the name of the city where you live.
ZOA says Abbas admits that the
Palestinians were not the original settlers in the Holy Land
(Press Release)— Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas, in a
speech denouncing the murder and violence committed by Hamas forces in their
take-over of Gaza, stated that Hamas had looted and set on fire a church
which was older than the Palestinian Arab presence in the Holy Land, thereby
admitting that Palestinian Arabs are not the original inhabitants. In a
speech on Wednesday to the PLO Central Council, Abbas stated that Hamas has
been "murdering, executing people on the street, throwing fighters from tall
buildings, and looting security headquarters, public facilities and
Christian houses of worship. [Indeed,] even the churches were not spared.
One of the oldest churches in Palestine, which stood long before our
arrival [in the region], was looted and set on fire. There are
Christians among us, and they are our brothers, and now we discover that
[according to Hamas] they are enemies and must leave [ Palestine]?!" (
Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), June 22).
connection to the land of Israel goes back to biblical times and two Jewish
commonwealths existed during biblical and post-biblical times. The original
Christians were a breakaway from Judaism and date from Jesus' time. The
Muslim Arabs, in contrast, arrived in the land only centuries later, in the
seventh century, occupying Jerusalem in 638. Despite the wealth of
historical knowledge existing of Jewish and Christian life in Israel, the PA
officially asserts that there is no Jewish connection to Jerusalem, that the
Jewish Temple never stood in Jerusalem, that Jesus was a Palestinian, and
that Palestinian Arabs are descendants of earlier, Phoenician inhabitants of
the land. Yasser Arafat declared once that Palestinian Arabs are descended
from a non-existent Canaanite king named Salem, who supposedly preceded the
Jewish settlement in the land:
"Those of you who lit the
intifada fire must now act as defenders of this young state, whose
capital is Jerusalem. It is Bir Salem [the fountain of Salem]. Salem was
one of the Canaanite Kings, one of our forefathers. This city is the
capital of our children and our children's children. If not for this
belief and conviction of the Palestinian nation, this people would have
been erased from the face of the earth, as were so many other nations"
(Arafat in an address in Jericho, August 18, 1994, cited by historian
Martin Gilbert, New Republic,
November 14, 1994).
At the time of
the 2000 negotiations, then-Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami
recounted that when Israel was offering to
over the Temple Mount to the Palestinian state, the PA was not prepared that
the agreement should mention a historical connection between the Jewish
people and that place ( Haaretz,
July 7, 2004).
Chairman of the Board, Dr. Michael Goldblatt said, "Although Abbas
undoubtedly did not intend to let slip a statement that the Palestinian
Arabs are not the original inhabitants of the land, he did just that in his
speech. This is an important admission because it gives the lie to the
Palestinian Arab claim that Jews are purely new arrivals whereas Palestinian
Arabs are natives from time immemorial. Despite Abbas' admission, it is
clear from recent events, like the destruction of churches and attacks on
Christian institutions in Gaza in recent days that extremism, violence and
chaos lies in store for all non-Muslims residing in a Palestinian Arab
state, should one be created in the near future, a goal supported by so many
governments, including the Bush Administration." |
This commentary was
provided by the Zionist Organization of America
(Return to top)
card company at $9.75 a share was dealt a setback when a judge permitted
Topps' rival Upper Deck to offer $10.75 per share. The
story is in today's San Diego Union-Tribune.
in the News
Like you, we're pleased when members of our community are
praiseworthy, and are disappointed when they are blameworthy.
it's good news or bad news, we'll try to keep track of what's being said in
general media about our fellow Jews.
Our news spotters are Dan Brin in Los Angeles, Donald H. Harrison in San Diego,
and you. Wherever you are, if you see a story of interest, please send a
summary and link to us at email@example.com
and we'll acknowledge your tip at the end of the column.
see a source story click on the link within the respective paragraph.
Bernstein, a San Diego native who now is project director for the Noah's
Ark exhibit at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, tells columnist
Diane Bell in today's San Diego Union-Tribune that the permanent
exhibit is whimsical and "makes people of all ages smile." Here is a
link to Bell's
*A Los Angeles Times editorial is complimentary of Justices
Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer and the other Supreme
Court members who voted in dissent on a 5-4 decision that said taxpayers may
sue the government for violating the First Amendment if the infringement was
by Congress, but not by the executive branch. The
editorial suggested that stood logic on its head.
*Former Disney chief Michael Eisner's effort to acquire the Topps
'Buddy' Elias, 82, a cousin of Anne Frank, has donated 25,000
documents concerning the Holocaust diarist's life to the Anne Frank House in
Amsterdam. The gift marked the 60th anniversary of the publication of
Frank's famous Diary of a Young Girl. The Associated Press
story by Arthur Max is in today's San Diego Union-Tribune.
Rahm Emanuel (Democrat, Illinois), chairman of the House Democratic
Campaign Caucus, has introduced legislation to cut off funding for the
office of Vice President Dick Cheney following the latter's assertion that
his office is not part of the Executive Branch and therefore not liable to
an executive order requiring documents to be deposited with the National
Archives. A spokesperson for Cheney called Emanuel's legislation
"partisan politics." The Cox News Service
story by Julia Malone is in today's San Diego Union-Tribune.
California Appeals Court has upheld Superior Court Judge Larry Paul
Fidler in his ruling that attorney Sara Caplan must testify, or
be jailed for contempt, concerning whether she saw evidence tampering
during the investigation into the death of Lana Clarkson that led to record
producer Phil Spector being tried for murder. Caplan, who
claims attorney-client privilege, plans another appeal to the state Supreme
court. The Copley News Service story by Dan Laidman is in today's
San Diego Union-Tribune.
*In a 5-4
ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision of the Campaign
Reform Act authored by Senators John McCain (Republican, Arizona) and
Russell Feingold (Democrat, Wisconsin) that prohibited groups
from mentioning the name of a federal candidate in broadcast commercials 30
days before a primary or 60 days before a general election. The courts
two Jewish justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer,
were among the dissenters. The Washington Post
story by Robert Barnes is in today's San Diego Union-Tribune.
*San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre says the city has the right
to tear down the top two floors of the Sunroad Enterprises building owned by
Aaron Feldman immediately, if Mayor Jerry Sanders so chooses.
story by Jerf McDonald and David Hasemyer is in today's San Diego
Union-Tribune. An editorial
on the subject by Steve Breen also ran in that newspaper.
*U.S. President George W. Bush was within the law when he appointed
millionaire Sam Fox as ambassador to Belgium during a Senate recess
that came after Fox's nomination was withdrawn in a controversy over his
participation in the anti-John Kerry group, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
Government Accounting Office investigators have concluded. The Associated
story by Sam Hananel is in today's San Diego Union-Tribune.
*San Diego Sheriff Bill Kolender said that in the wake of three
officer-involved fatal shootings in the Vista area, his department will
accept outright 26 of 35 recommendations made by an outside investigating
team from the Los Angeles County Sheriffs office, and will partially
implement seven others. He said only two recommendations will
not be followed. The story by
Tony Manolatos and Angelica Martinez is in today's
San Diego Union-Tribune.
*Los Angeles delicatessen founder Albert J. Langer, whose
pastrami sandwiches sometimes were subject to rhapsodic praise, has died at
age 94. His
obituary is in today's Los Angeles Times.
*Diego Rotman and Lea Mauas hope solid matter can imitate
art. They have made a drawing of the wall separating Israel and the
Palestine Authority on old fax paper that fades over time. They hope the
wall will too. Their art, on display at the Israeli Center for
Digital Art in Holon, Israel, is included in a
feature by Tracy Wilkinson that appears in today's Los Angeles Times.
*Captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit says on a tape that his health
is deteriorating in Hamas captivity. Released on the anniversary of his
abduction, the tape was seen by some as an effort by Hamas to upstage the Sharm
el Sheikh summit on Monday that brought together Israel's Prime Minister Ehud
Olmert, with Palestine Authority's President Mahmoud Abbas, Egypt's
President Hosni Mubarek and Jordan's King Abdullah II. The
story utilizing various wire services was in today's San Diego
*Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman is fighting a recommendation of a 30-year
prison sentence on conviction on a number of bribery and obsruction of justice
charges he says were engineered by White House political advisor Karl Rove and
the Justice Department. Siegelman is himself Catholic, but his wife
Lori Siegelman and children are both Jewish. The
story by Tom Hamburger and David G. Savage is in today's Los Angeles
*Critics who believe he is too pro-development circulated recall petitions
against Los Angeles City Councilman Jack Weiss, according to one
story in the Los Angeles Times. Another
story by Richard Winton suggests Weiss is wooing Hollywood Hills residents
by arranging for the city to post no-parking signs around the home of Paris
Hilton, and to thereby discourage photographers from stalking the neighborhood.
*Newly designated World Bank President Robert Zoellick went on a
two-week tour of Africa, Europe and Latin America to get ready for his new
position. The Associated Press
story by Jeannine Aversa is in today's San Diego Union-Tribune.
Religion of peace?
Watching the media
reporting the news of Jewish interest
Date: June 26, 2007
Time: 12:40 p.m.
Place: White House Press Briefing Center
Press Secretary Tony Snow
Source: White House
President goes to the Islamic Center tomorrow. Does he still believe that Islam
is a religion of peace, and does he regret using the term last year "Islamic
MR. SNOW: He
believes Islam is a religion of peace. He also believes that it has been
hijacked, in some cases, by people who use Islam as a shield for murdering
people, who use it as a way of spreading terrorism rather than tolerance. And he
will be making those points tomorrow.
Q What about
the term "Islamic fascists"?
Again, I think -- look, there are some people out there who want to expose
people in the name of Islam to a totalitarian way of life. And the President
does not think that that is -- what is important to realize is that the
President does not believe that is consistent with Islam.
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DEAD SEA SCROLLS—A
story in today's Los Angeles Times, setting the scene for Friday's
opening of the
Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition at the San Diego Natural History Museum notes the
exhibition has drawn fire from University of Chicago professor Norman Golb
for not including in the lecture series representatives of scholars who
believe the scrolls had been produced in Jerusalem then hidden in the desert
near the Dead Sea. Curator Risa Levitt Kohn is quoted as saying she
doesn't believe it does the public any good to have too many theories, lest they
conclude scholars don't know anything.
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HAPPENINGS (Press Release)—At left, Seacrest Village "royal couple", John
and Alice Morawetz at the recent Senior Prom in the independent living
community, Goldberg Residence Court. Fine dining, good friends and great dance
music made the evening fun for everyone! At right, is the The Katzin Residence,
the newest addition to Seacrest Village Retirement Communities, which offers
care for those diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia.
Opening July 24, tours are now being given. To schedule an appointment, please
call the Marketing Department at (760) 632-0081.
(Photos and caption provided by Seacrest Village Retirement Communities)
JFS seeks 'Rides & Smiles' volunteers
SAN DIEGO (Press
Release)—Since March of 2004, Rides & Smiles, an award-winning program of Jewish
Family Service of San Diego (JFS), has provided transportation for older adults,
regardless of religious affiliation, to necessary medical appointments, grocery
shopping, and other life necessities.
Currently, there are over 80 older adults on the waiting list in need of
transportation. Additional volunteers are urgently needed to support the
program’s growth and serve the large amount of older adults waiting to receive
transportation assistance. Volunteer drivers decide their own availability and
choose the rides they wish to provide. JFS provides mileage reimbursement and
secondary auto insurance for all volunteer drivers.
Rides & Smiles is the largest volunteer-based transportation service in San
Diego County—providing nearly 350 rides per month to a over 300 riders by over
100 volunteer drivers. The program was the recipient of the Palomar Pomerado
Health 2005 Unity Award as well as the Rancho Bernardo Sunrise Rotary Club’s
To find out more
about the program and volunteer opportunities, you are invited to visit the
Rides & Smiles office for its Open House on Wednesday, August 29, from
9:00-10:30am with bagels and refreshments served. The Open House is to honor
the program’s new location at the Poway Senior Center at 13094 Civic Center Dr.,
Poway, 92064, which was graciously offered to the Rides & Smiles program by the
Poway Senior Center and the City of Poway.
The move provides the Rides & Smiles program increased visibility in the North
County area and allows opportunities for additional community partnerships. The
program depends heavily on community support for volunteers, funding, and venues
for volunteer appreciation ceremonies and community events.
information about the Open House or volunteer opportunities contact Marilyn
Greenblatt, Rides & Smiles Program Coordinator, at (858) 391-0033 or visit
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abuse a pandemic, playgoers learn
A. Moskowitz, M D
SAN DIEGO—Naomi Ackerman has repeated these
facts, perhaps 900 times, to audiences all over the world. Wife-beating is a
There are many myths such as that wife beaters are more frequent in poor
families are simply wrong. No level of society, wealthy/impoverished; No
ethnicity; No religious group; No educational level – is immune.
Unbelievable statistics reveal that approximately
one out of three women in the United States has been beaten by their spouse.
The reverse: men as victims, is also true. But it is far less common. Eight
hundred and fifty thousand men and as high as four million women, each year,
suffer these indignities.
This maladaptive interaction is insidious in its
appearance: “It was only a slap. He was under stress. He didn’t mean it,”
metastasizes into punishing ridicule, deprecation and injury. Such kinds of
torture not infrequently ends in suicide or death. The toll on the children, if
there are any, is subtle but indelible.
Ackerman, a mother of three daughters, appeared
on stage Monday evening, June 25, at the 14th Annual Lipinsky Family Jewish Arts
Festival at the Lyceum Theater to graphically send a message and also to garner
help for Project SARAH— Stop Abusive Relationships at Home. This program in San
Diego is coordinated by Lauren Gross, LCSW under the aegis of Jewish Family
Aversion to shame (shanda) delays Jewish women from seeking help as long
as five to seven years beyond the customary time frame for non-Jews who are
abused. Despite the alarming incidence of this destructive family pattern,
Gross states that her program provides help to only 100 women and their
families per year.
The play is a one-person dramatization delivered
with feeling and sincerity. Ackerman is an accomplished actor who likes to
remark that she once was a clown and a stilt walker. The title of her play,
Flowers Aren’t Enough, symbolizes the empty apology offered in the play by
the abuser after beating Michal, an Israeli woman who is a synthesis of many
Compounding the husband’s insensitivity is that he hopes to be forgiven by
giving flowers to his wife…who, on her own, started a flower shop (despite his
scoffing reaction). Clearly a man with limited or no insight. Naomi
incorporates the common elements found in abusive relationships: a spouse who
yells or swears at you; puts you down; diminishes your worth; attempts to
control your actions – censors whom you may see or what you may do; is critical
of your clothing, your behavior, your comments; is physically destructive to
you, your belongings, your pets; and then excuses his actions rationalizing that
“you made him do it.”
In her monologue, we observe the gradual deterioration in the woman’s self worth
and self confidence accompanied by a reciprocal increase in self doubt and
insecurity. Judgment is impaired. Believing herself unable to ‘tell’ anyone (To
the external world, her husband may appear charming, successful but this is a
mask for his Jekyll and Hyde behavior). Healthy choices are suppressed by
embarrassment. Family and societal pressure increases her isolation.
Mistakenly, she feels the burden of keeping the peace is her obligation. Should
she not be grateful for the ‘good catch’? Insecurity swells. Alternatives are
invisible. Denial is the dysfunctional mental mechanism which the victim
employs to avoid reality.
In the dramatization, Naomi admits that her
mother (and father) cautioned her about marrying her admittedly promising
husband (a law student). We don’t know what raised their index of suspicion.
Among the several informative pamphlets provided to those who came to see
Flowers Are Not Enough was a description of “What to Look for In a
Desirable characteristics include a person who is open, trusting, encouraging,
is able to admit fallibility, doesn’t need to resort to violence and is a true
partner, sharing decision making, willing to listen and express his/her
feelings, tolerates disagreement without feeling personally insulted.
Shalom Bayit is what all of us are
entitled to. Peace in the house. Naomi Ackerman deftly shows her audience
when this epitome goes awry. The questions post performance indicated that the
audience was stimulated to learn more and become part of the remedy. Domestic
violence is a crime against all of us and needs be a secret no more. There is
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Holy Land archaeology featured at Museum of Man
SAN DIEGO (Press Release)
- The San Diego Museum of Man has opened its
Journey to the Copper Age:
Archaeology in the Holy Land
exhibit, which brings artifacts, many of which have never been seen outside of
Israel, to San Diego. The exhibition will continue through next January.
The exhibit features 6,000-year-old objects from the Israel Museum and
stunning photography by Kenneth Garrett, one of the National Geographic
Society’s most prominent photographers.
The Museum of Man designed the Journey to the Copper Age exhibit to
coincide with the neighboring Natural History Museum’s Dead Sea Scroll
which opens on Friday. The goal is to showcase two things going on in Balboa
Park around similar topics that would enrich the visitor’s experience and inform
about human history.
Journey to the Copper Age
transforms the Museum of Man with 60 of Garrett’s full-color images of Israel,
The exhibit is based on a National Geographic expedition led by Dr. Thomas Levy,
archaeologist with the University of California, San Diego, who assembled a
group of international scientists from Jordan, Israel, Europe and the United
States, to follow an ancient trade route across the deserts to the ore site in
Jordan and the smelting site in Israel.
Visitors to the exhibit will have the opportunity to view artifacts that capture
the first documented human settlement and the beginnings of social complexity of
social organization. Journey to the Copper Age captures the first
dramatic increase in human population in the Holy Land (an area today known as
Jordan and Israel), which occurred during the Chalcolithic period (ca. 4500 –
3600 B.C.E.), where widespread human settlement emerged in the region.
Journey to the Copper Age
also represents an important new direction for the San Diego Museum of Man
exhibitions as the museum’s leadership is collaborating with leading members of
the academic community to make the latest scientific and scholarly research
accessible to the public. |
“Thanks to the vision of Dr. Thomas Levy and the support of the Israel Museum
and National Geographic Society, we are thrilled to bring this exhibition to
life in our museum,” said Mari Lyn Salvador, Ph.D., executive director of the
Museum of Man.
Tickets may be purchased
. Adult admission is $14.. Child admission (ages 6-17) is $8.00. Military (with
valid ID) and Senior (ages 65+) admission is $10.00. Student admission (with
valid ID) is $10.00.
Ticket admission includes Journey to the Copper Age: Archaeology in the Holy
Land exhibition as well as general admission to all temporary and permanent
exhibits at the San Diego Museum of Man. Due to the anticipated demand and
popularity, ticket holders will be assigned a specific entry time upon arrival
at the museum with 10 a.m. tickets holders having entry valid for exhibit entry
between the hours of 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Ticket holders with a 1 p.m. admission
time will have valid entry for the exhibit between the hours of 1p.m. to 4p.m.
Free jazz and
klezmer Wednesday night at Organ Pavilion
SAN DIEGO (Press Release)– The 8thAnnual
San Diego Jewish Music Festival, sponsored by the Private Bank of Bank of
America and presented by the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture continues with
An Evening of Jazz and Klezmer Music at 6:15 pm tomorrow (Wednesday) evening.
The free concert is presented in alliance with KSDS Jazz 88 and “Twilight in the
Park,” a series of free concerts at the Historic Spreckels Organ Pavilion in
The evening features San Diego’s Queen of Boogie
Woogie, Sue Palmer, and her sextet playing blues, swing, and boogie woogie jazz,
followed by Yale Strom and his quintet, Hot Pstromi, playing klezmer music with
Elizabeth Schwartz, vocalist. The sextet and the quintet join forces for a
swinging finale jam session as the highlight of the evening.
For more information call the JCC Box Office at
(858) 362-1348, or visit the web site.
preceding story was provided by the Jewish Community Center.
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Diego Jewish World
may have just the volunteer position for you.
We're looking for columnists and writers on a wide variety of subjects
who can help us interpret the Jewish experience. Please contact
Don Harrison, editor, at (619) 265-0808 or via this
link if you are interested in
joining our creative team
Are Pointe Shoes
SAN DIEGO—Before considering if ballet
pointe (toe) shoes are kosher, let me say one thing they are not – they aren’t
made of wood.
People often insist that a ballet dancer is able
to stand on her toes because there’s a piece of wood inside the shoe. I’ve
looked and looked – for forty years I’ve looked – and never found any wood
inside a pointe shoe. Since my foot fills the entire inside of the shoe where
oh where would that piece of wood be? Wood does not hold the dancer up; it is
the dancer’s own strength with some minimal support from the shoe which holds
Assuming I’ve convinced you there is no wood
inside the shoe, how are they made and how did they come to be and are they
The ideals of the Romantic Era (19th
century) were reflected in the arts: poetry, literature, music and dance. At
first dancing on pointe was done as a trick, but in the ballet La Sylphide
(1832) it became part of the vocabulary of the ballet as an expressive
quality rather than as an attention getting trick. Historians generally agree
it was most probably the ballerina Marie Taglioni who made this transition.
In Romantic Era stories women were put on a
pedestal and then often destroyed. They weren’t human – well, if they were
human beings in the beginning of the story – they weren’t at the end. They were
village girls who became spectral “wilis” as in Giselle or women who had
been turned into swans – Swan Lake. Or a forest creature in La
Sylphide. The stories had sad endings, the lovers died together or died
apart, or one died and the other didn’t. An evil spirit separated them or there
Women were portrayed as ethereal creatures.
Dancing on the tips of the toes fit this concept of the romantic Era perfectly.
The ballerina seemed to float – ready to ascend – away from the gravity and mud
of the earth. Standing on pointe was so sensational that it eclipsed the male
dancer from the stage which he had dominated for centuries. His role became one
of supporting the ballerina on pointe by lending a chivalrous hand – which also
fit the Romantic Era concept of gender appropriate roles. This overshadowing of
the male lasted for about the next one hundred years. Thankfully, today both
genders receive equal recognition on the ballet stage and we have an abundance
of outstanding male dancers at this time.
So how are the shoes made? At first dancers
stitched the toes of satin ballet slippers – stitching and over stitching –
until the ends of the shoes were a bit sturdier which allowed them to stand
briefly on their toes. However, in order to stay on pointe longer meant the
shoe had to be strengthened in the “box” – where the toes are as well as the
shank – which is the strip that runs under the foot from the toe to the heel.
There was (and still is) a lot of experimentation.
Under the satin exterior are layers of burlap,
canvas, glues and pastes, some leather or even fiber glass for the shank, and an
inner lining of cotton cloth (the sock). The shoes are constructed inside out
and then turned and finally baked in an oven to dry the glues and pastes. Each
cobbler has his own mark and a professional dancer often has her shoes made by a
favored cobbler on a “last” (model) of her foot. Even so, it is not unusual for
a dancer to reject one half of the shoes made for her.
After accepting the shoes the ballerina then
works on them herself; sewing on ribbons (and or elastics) – she’s very
particular where and how the ribbons are attached and usually trusts no one but
her own hands to do this. She “breaks” in the shanks to exactly the
strength/flexibility she wants. She then works on the box and might hammer it,
pour alcohol on it (not the kind you drink), and put into a door jamb and slam
the door shut, etc., until it is exactly the consistency she needs. Other items
might include cutting down the sides, putting rosin on the cloth which comes
over her heel (to keep it from slipping off), sewing across the wings (sides) of
the shoe if she has an extremely high arch.
Some dancers prepare the outside of the platform
(the flat part of the toe the dancer stands upon) by embroidering, or flaming
with a match, or patching, for traction and/or to keep fraying to a minimum.
The methods and preferences are endless. Entire books have been written
describing how famous dancers prepare their shoes. This is a consuming task for
a ballet dancer.
The ideal is to have shoes strong enough to give
support, while flexible enough to allow freedom of movement; to be “broken in”
but look new and pristine; to be silent yet hard enough to give support and
still soft enough so she can feel the floor for balance. Dancers and dance
companies spend enormous amounts of money on shoes – they cost about $80 per
pair and the dance company supplies each dancer with a stipulated number per
year. A single ballerina may use a couple hundred pairs a year for class,
rehearsal and performance.
(So, where’s the kosher part? - It’s coming
After all that time spent on a pair of shoes
they are only expected to last for one ballet. In a full length ballet like
Swan Lake, they might only last for one act. Shoes are prepared differently
for individual ballets – or a single act within a ballet. Act II of Swan
Lake requires a lot of balance, so the ballerina may prefer a softer pointe
shoe while in Act III, she does a lot of turning (such as the famous thirty-two
fouettés – whipping turns) and so she needs a harder shoe. Some dancers wear a
softer shoe on one foot and a harder shoe on the other foot depending on the
choreography. After she is through with the shoes, she strips everything out
and wears them as ballet slippers.
Every pair of pointe shoes is made by hand and
no two pairs are exactly alike even when made by the same cobbler. Pointe shoes
and slippers have no rights and lefts. And no heels. Many dancers switch them
from foot to foot to keep the shape neutral for better balance and wear.
Beginners have difficulty walking in the shoes let alone dancing! It’s an
entirely new way to move – balance, walk and dance.
Do pointe shoes hurt? If the dancer is
physically and technically proficient, has a good teacher, the shoes correctly
fitted and the feet are suitably constructed for this type of work, pain is kept
to a minimum. A variety of protection is used: paper, lamb’s wool, foam, gel
packs, Band-Aids, and cloth wrappings. With time and experimentation every
dancer comes up with her own recipe.
No one should be allowed to undertake pointe
study until at least twelve years old. As illustrated by x-ray the bones and
connections of the feet have not ossified sufficiently. The results of
undertaking pointe study too early might not show up for years but the effects
can be disastrous: stress fractures, bunions, hammer toes, arthritis,
Do men dance on pointe? Some character roles
exist for men on pointe such as the donkey “Bottom” in The Dream or the
step-sisters in some versions of Cinderella. However, men sometimes
study pointe to strengthen their feet and some prefer to undertake it if they
want to teach or choreograph for pointe. They usually order their shoes in
Finally – the kosher part……
In a conversation with a (Jewish) branch manager
of a library located close to an Orthodox synagogue, I asked why we rarely saw
any of the Orthodox Jews in the library. She told me that she had learned that
they were wary of the books in the library because pastes and glues used in the
bindings might have come from non-kosher sources.
So one wonders if the pastes and glues in the
construction of a pointe shoe would present the same problem? There have been
many renowned Jewish ballerinas – prima ballerinas – and even a couple of prima
ballerina assolutas – but I don’t think any of them were Orthodox.
I suppose should an Orthodox Jewish woman aspire
to become a classical ballet dancer she would have to find a kosher pointe shoe;
definitely niche market. Bu then there’s the problem of a short tutu...
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of the Books
memoir of creative, eventful, bittersweet life
Hilda by Hilda Pierce; iUniverse Inc.; 239 pages; $18.95.
SAN DIEGO—A story of a bittersweet, very eventful
and very creative life, told forthrightly and succinctly - that's a capsule
description of Hilda, a memoir that captures not only the essence of a woman's
long life, but also its relationship to the turbulent, often tragic, times
during which she has lived.
Hilda Harmel was born in Vienna in 1921 and, for the first 16 years of her life,
had a generally normal childhood. That all changed in March 1938, when Hitler's
legions marched into Austria - and, for Jews like Hilda, life would never be the
same. Among other indignities, Hilda found herself scrubbing swastika symbols
off sidewalks with a toothbrush. That horrible time, however, is when she first
demonstrated her ingenuity, her chutzpah if you will, by using American phone
books to contact unrelated namesakes in an effort to immigrate to the United
Her subsequent odyssey was an arduous one, including a stopover in England,
where she encountered both caring, warmhearted people and vicious anti-semites.
And the ship taking her across the Atlantic had to dodge nazi submarines.
Still a teenager, she proposed marriage to her first husband as a way of getting
her parents into the U.S. And, even when her life seemed to be running smoothly,
she suffered the unexpected loss of two husbands and of her daughter, who died
long before her time.
But what stands out in her life story is her creativity, her artistic talent,
which includes both painting and teaching. She has done all the artwork -
painting, murals lithographs - on several cruise ships, and her painting of the
UCSD Geisel Library's founding librarian hangs in the library's lobby,
Her mural, "The Four Seasons," in memory of her daughter, is in the John and
Rebecca Moores Cancer Center in La Jolla. After spending most of her life in the
Chicago area, she now lives in San Diego with her fourth husband, Herman.
Hilda recounts the bad as well as the good, troubles large and small, from the
time she had an "accident" in kindergarten to her unhappy third marriage to Tom
Friedman. But she seems always have been unfazed, able to figuratively rise from
the floor and continue her lifelong quest for fulfillment, both in her personal
and her artistic life.
Her writing is straightforward and easily readable, with few digressions, and a
number of lively, humorous anecdotes enliven the text. Some stem from her
travels, such as her description of the
donkey ride she and her second husband, Norm
Pierce, took up the mountain on their honeymoon on the Greek island of Santorini.
There is one minor quibble: A couple of examples
of her artwork could have been included among the family photos that are
sprinkled through the book. But overall
her life story is very well worth reading.
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Unless otherwise indicated,
source for these stories is The San Diego Union-Tribune, to which we gratefully
provide the links below
BASEBALL — On Monday, June 25,
Shawn Green's 11th inning homer not only won the game 2-1 for the New
York Mets, it also served notice to the St. Louis Cardinals that they can't take
Shea Stadium for granted. It was there last season where the Cards won the
National League championship...Jason
Marquis pitched 5 1/3 innings en route to his Chicago Cubs wild 10-9
victory over the Colorado Rockies. He gave up three of those Rockies runs
before being lifted...The Texas Rangers recalled pitcher
Scott Feldman from their Triple-A
farm team in Oklahoma...
Kevin Youkilis doubled in his 27th and 38th RBIs, but his Boston Red Sox
were defeated 9-4 by the Seattle Mariners. His .331 average keeps him in
the 8th position among the best
American League batters. ...
Ian Kinsler singled and walked twice, scoring two runs in his Texas
Rangers victory over the Detroit Tigers...
TENNIS—Israeli tennis star
Shahar Peer, the No. 16 seed, advanced in yesterday's first round at
defeated Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand, 7-5 and
6-2.... On the other hand, teammate
Tzipi Opziler lost one set 6-2 to Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands,
and was winning the second set 7-6 when the match was called because of
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(Continued from above)
A reporter asked whether there was anything new on the
deliberations of the Quartet, which had been meeting in Jerusalem.
Tom Casey, deputy spokesman for U.S. Secretary of State Condolleeza Rice,
responded, "Don't have a lot more to ad for you, Matt, at least not on the
subject I think you're most interested in. Obviously, the Quartet did meet
today. Assistant Secretary (C. David) Welch represented the U.S. there.
They did have a good discussion of the situation in the Palestinian territories.
They did, as I mentioned earlier this morning, discuss as well the desirability
of having an envoy for the Quartet who could work with the Palestinians on
things like building the rule of law, expanding economic development,
coordinating assistance, otherwise helping to build up Palestinian institutions
and try and assist the new government under Prime Minister Fayyad to accomplish
its main goal, which is taking care of the Palestinian people."
However, Casey said, "in terms of any kind of Quartet statement or
announcements, including things potentially related to the envoy, I think we'll
just have to wait for the Quartet to make its pronouncements on that. And,
again, as I told you this morning, I thing we're--you would be wise to look for
that, come tomorrow."
Another questioner asked: "Does the U.S. believe Tony Blair would be a good
"Well the U.S. certainly believes that Prime Minister Blair is
distinguished individual with a world record and history of support for bringing
about a peaceful resolution of the Middle East," Casey responded. "He's a
dedicated individual. He's someone who, as President Bush said in their latest
Rose Garden meeting, is someone who is respected and listened to throughout the
world. And certainly, it would--he would be an individual that, no matter what
he applied his skills to, would certainly be a welcome presence. And we look
forward to seeing what new roles and tasks he'll take on for himself once he
finishes his term in office."
Another reporter took another stab at getting confirmation: "Is it a mere
coincidence on the calendar that Tony Blair finishes his political career in
Britain tomorrow and the announcement is coming out tomorrow?"
"We'll just leave it at that," responded
Casey. "The Prime Minister concludes his term tomorrow. And then we'll look to
see what he has to say. We'll also look to see what the Quartet has to
say. And I think at that point, you'll know what's coincidence and what
Meanwhile, at the United Nations briefing in New York, Michèle Montas,
spokesperson for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was facing similar questions.
understand that in the next 48 hours the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, will be
appointed Special Envoy to the Quartet on Middle East Peace," ventured one
reporter. "Does the Secretary-General think that he has the credibility and the
ability to make decisive contributions to lasting peace in the Middle East?
Montas responded: "I
cannot comment on that yet, because, as you know, the name is not official yet.
The Quartet principals are discussing it. As soon as all Quartet principals
have signed, of course you will have comments.
The media persisted:
"He approves of the idea? He likes Mr. Blair as a representative for ..?"
Said Montas: I
cannot comment at this point.
Subsequently, the office of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert got into the
international guessing game, releasing the following statement: "Prime Minister
Ehud Olmert spoke with British Prime Minister, one day before the latter is due
to leave office, and congratulated him on the occasion. Prime Minister
Olmert told his British counterpart that he is a true friend of the State of
Israel and added that if he accepts the position of the Quartet envoy to the
region, Israel would cooperate with him to the fullest."
One normally wouldn't have put out a releaselike that out if Blair have said he
wasn't going to take the job, but still that was far from confirmation.
Tomorrow, when the announcement is made, it will be fresh news. But don't
expect anyone to whistle in surprise.
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