A guy dials his home phone from work. A strange woman answers.
The guy says, “Who is this?”
“This is the maid.”, answered the woman.
“We don’t have a maid!”
“I was just hired this morning by the lady of the house.”
“Well, this is her husband. Is she there?”
“Ummm …. she’s upstairs in the bedroom with someone who I just figured was her husband.”
The guy is fuming. He says to the maid, “Listen, would you like to make $50,000?”
“What do I have to do?”
“I want you to get my gun from my desk in the den and shoot that witch and the jerk she is with.”
The maid puts down the phone. The guy hears footsteps, followed by two gunshots.
The maid comes back to the phone. “What should I do with the bodies?”
“Throw them in the swimming pool!”
“What?! There’s no pool here?”
*Long pause* “Uh …. Is this 832-4821?”
After an 18 month study, the Israeli government decided to demand $250 billion from seven Arab countries and Iran as compensation for property and assets left behind by the estimated 850,000 Jews who were forced to flee those countries following the establishment of the State of Israel 70 years ago. Included in the demand will be $35 billion dollars from Tunisia and $15 billion dollars from Libya. Also included will be Morocco, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Yemen and Iran.
“The time has come to correct the historic injustice of the pogroms (against Jews) in seven Arab countries and Iran, and to restore, to hundreds of thousands of Jews who lost their property, what is rightfully theirs,” Israel’s Minister for Social Equality, Gila Gamliel, said Saturday. “One cannot talk about the Middle East without taking into consideration the rights of the Jews who were forced to leave their thriving communities amid violence. All the crimes that were carried out against those Jewish communities must be recognized.”
The study is related to President Trump’s soon-to-be-revealed Middle-East Peace Plan since a 2010 Israeli law provides that any peace deal must provide for compensation for assets of Jewish communities and individual Jews forced out of Arab countries and Iran.
Andrea Leadsom is the Leader of the House of Commons, that is, she is responsible for arranging government business. She has also proposed a solution to the problem of the “backstop” which is based on the same principle as our own earlier suggestion, namely, to limit the application of the “backstop” to one year renewable by mutual consent.
If there is anyone fresh to the Brexit drama, let us recall that the deal to leave the European Union negotiated by UK PM Theresa May consists of two documents, the Withdrawal Agreement (WA, 585 pages) and the Framework for the Future Relationship (FFR, 26 pages). The WA both winds up the current UK-EU relationship and defines the nature of the “transition period” from March 29 next, the day that the UK officially leaves the EU, to the end of 2020. During that transition period, the FFR is due to be turned into a full-fledged treaty defining the future trading and other relations of the two parties.
The WA has a main section (185 articles) and three Protocols on Ireland/Northern Ireland, Cyprus and Gibraltar (21, 13 and 6 articles), plus various Annexes of technical details. The first Protocol – the so-called “backstop” – is designed to cover a conceivable emergency: if the two sides are still negotiating when the transition period ends, then they will establish a temporary customs union to avoid the creation of a “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. This arrangement will continue until the negotiations come to an end and the future relationship begins. From the moment that the WA was made public on November 14, however, it was clear from the text of the “backstop” that the UK could be trapped in this “temporary” arrangement for years on end.
Austrian police have changed a young woman with inflicting bodily harm for defending herself against a sexual molester, local newspapers report. The incident took place during the New Year’s Eve celebrations in Vienna’s landmark City Hall square, where a 21-year-old Swiss woman pushed back an Afghan migrant who tried to assault her.
The woman also filed charges of sexual harassment against the man. Several eye witnesses corroborated the women’s testimony. The Afghan apparently harassed other women at the venue as well, media reports say.
Three years ago, the western German city of Cologne witnessed mass sexual assaults on the New Year’s Eve as thousands of migrant men raped, assaulted, and robbed more than 1200 women. So far, only a handful of these perpetrators have been brought to justice.
The Swiss woman could face fines under the country’s law, Vienna-based tabloid Blick reported citing an Austrian legal expert.
In an additional item – a news bulletin aired on the BBC News Channel on the same day – viewers heard the following: [emphasis in bold added, emphasis in italics in the original]
Ben Brown: “A Palestinian teenager has been freed from an Israeli prison after serving an eight month sentence for slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier. Ahed Tamimi was 16 at the time of the incident and the footage of it happening went viral around the world. Her sentence was widely condemned, as children are protected…
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Turkey’s “persistent policy of violating international law and breaching international rules and regulations” was called out in a November 14 letter to UN Secretary General António Guterres by Polly Ioannou, the deputy permanent representative of Cyprus to the UN.
Reproving Ankara for its repeated violations of Cypriot airspace and territorial waters, Ioannou wrote of Turkey’s policy:
“[it] is a constant threat to international peace and security, has a negative impact on regional stability, jeopardises the safety of international civil aviation, creates difficulties for air traffic over Cyprus and prevents the creation of an enabling environment in which to conduct the Cyprus peace process.”
The letter followed reports in August about Turkish violations of Greek airspace over the northeastern, central and southeastern parts of the Aegean Sea, and four instances of Turkey violating aviation norms by infringing on the Athens Flight Information Region (AFIR). Similar reports emerged in June of Turkey violating Greek AFIR by conducting unauthorized flights over the southern Aegean islets of Mavra, Levitha, Kinaros and Agathonisi.