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Jewish Coalition: Stop Mormons' Baptism of Holocaust Victims

By Israel Faxx News Services

A coalition of Jews is denouncing the Mormon Church for posthumously baptizing victims of Nazi concentration camps. Jews have sparred with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over the practice for more than a decade.

Ernest Michel, the honorary chairman of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors, said in a statement that 14 years of negotiations with the Mormon Church have failed, AP reported. Posthumous baptism is a rite practiced in Mormon temples to offer church membership to the deceased.

Israel: Gaza Blackouts are Hamas Propaganda


Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak authorized the transfer of a limited amount of fuel to Gaza on Monday – mostly diesel for power stations – after receiving complaints from the Strip on numerous blackouts due to a lack of fuel.

However Barak ordered the goods crossings to remain closed on Tuesday in response to the recent rocket attacks from Gaza.

Israel stopped shipments last week in response to a series of rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel. Gazans have been able to smuggle some fuel for generators through illegal tunnels to Egypt.

Palestinian sources reported earlier that fuel shortages were forcing Gaza's main power station to shut down, causing blackouts throughout the Strip. The shortage resulted from the closing down of the fuel terminals as a response to the rocket attacks that pounded southern Israel in recent days.

About 800,000 of the Gaza Strip's 1.5 million residents lost power when a plant was shut down, an official at the plant said. The Gaza Energy Authority announced that stations dependant on Israeli fuel would continue to shut down intermittently, causing certain areas to lose power for an average of 16 hours a day, until the fuel supply is renewed.

The authority further stated that the shortage was caused by a lack of fuel reserves, as Israel had been transferring fuel to the Strip on a day-by-day allowance.

Residents appeared troubled Monday by fears that the shortage would result in the shutting down of businesses during the evening due to the lack of electricity.

The main fear was that bakeries would have to be shut down as cooking gas dwindled, resulting in a scarcity of bread. The Hamas government stated that the measures taken by Israel would not succeed in subduing the group or forcing it to prolong the ceasefire.

"We warn that we have many options, and we will not stand idly by and watch our people die a slow death," said Taher Nunu, a spokesman for the Hamas government in Gaza.

Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai said Hamas is using Gaza's electricity to attack Israel. "It's a pity that we are falling for this propaganda. I can confirm one thing, if there is only one kilowatt in all of Gaza it will be in one place only - a workshop that manufactures rockets," he told Army Radio. "They are using us. They know us. They know our sensitivity to humanitarian issues and they are playing with it."

Warning of New Bin Laden Attack

By (Australia)

Osama bin Laden is planning an attack against the United States that will "outdo by far" September 11, an Arab newspaper in London has reported. And according to a former senior Yemeni al-Qaeda operative, the terrorist organization has entered a "positive phase," reinforcing specific training camps around the world that will lead the next "wave of action" against the West.

The warning, on the front page of an Arabic newspaper published in London, Al-Quds Al-Arabi - and widely reported in the major Italian papers - quoted a person described as being "very close to al-Qaeda" in Yemen.

The paper is edited by Abdel al-Bari Atwan, who is said to be the last journalist to interview Osama bin Laden in 1996. According to the report, bin Laden is himself closely following preparations for an attack against the US and aims to "change the face of world politics and economics". The operative is quoted as saying that "this will be shown by the fact that we now control a major part of the south of Somalia".

The ex-operative said he remains in contact with current chiefs of the organization in Yemen and that only six months ago bin Laden had sent a message to all jihad cells in the Arab world which asked them not to interact with their governments or local political parties and to deny any request for mediation or formal talks.

The source also said that during the next few days the terrorist organization may send a sign of its violent intentions.

The warning has emerged at the same time as publication of a report leaked to The Telegraph newspaper which reveals that a document drawn up by the intelligence branch of the Ministry of Defense said that thousands of extremists are active in the UK.

The document said the operatives are predominantly UK-born and aged between 18 and 30. Many are believed to have been trained in overseas terrorist camps.

Security officials, The Telegraph reported, are convinced al-Qaeda cells will attempt another "spectacular" inside the UK with major transport centers, such as airports and train stations, the most likely targets. Other targets include the Houses of Parliament, Whitehall and Buckingham and St James' palaces, with the threat level described as "severe."

IAEA Finds Uranium Traces at Syrian Blast Site


United Nations investigators have found traces of uranium contamination at the site of an Israeli air strike in Syria, diplomats told Reuters and German media sources on Monday.

The report is the first sign of a "smoking gun" proving that Syria was in fact building a secret nuclear reactor on the site, as Israel and the United States have insisted.

The diplomats said the traces of uranium were first found in June. What has been found so far is not conclusive evidence of nuclear activity, but "raises questions," they said.

Officials in the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) did not confirm or deny the report. In September, IAEA head Mohammed el-Baradei said the investigation conducted in June had revealed no sign of nuclear activity.

El-Baradei is currently preparing a report on Syria's nuclear activity — a step that some diplomats say indicates the IAEA has found enough evidence to lead investigators to suspect nuclear development. In addition, the UN is expected to discuss Syria's alleged nuclear activities later in the month.

Syria denies any involvement in nuclear activity, and Syrian officials say the site bombed by Israel in 2007 was an abandoned army base. U.S. Diplomats say Syria was in the final stages of building a reactor with help from North Korean scientists.

The IAEA first began examining the blast site in May of 2008, and IAEA officials have warned that the delay in investigating will make it difficult to determine whether or not the area was in fact the site of a reactor.

Black Hebrews See Obama as 'Brother'


Israel's 2,500-member Black Hebrew communities in Dimona and Arad have expressed strong affinity for President-elect Barack Obama, whom several call their "brother."

The Black Hebrews claim to be descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes. They remained illegal residents of Israel for years before the government backed down and awarded them legal status despite their not being Jewish according to Jewish law.

One member of the community said that Obama has "godliness." Most of the community, which in the past has been identified with polygamy and drug use, continue to speak English and are often easily distinguishable by their Afro-American culture.

German Prosecutor want to Extradite, Try Demjanjuk


Germany's top Nazi hunter asked Munich prosecutors on Monday to seek the extradition of John Demjanjuk to stand trial for his role in the deaths of 29,000 Jews at Poland's Sobibor concentration camp during his stint as a guard there in 1943.

It was Demjanjuk's identification as a guard at Sobibor that overturned the death penalty handed down by Israel, when Demjanjuk was accused of being a notorious guard at the Treblinka concentration camp.

Federal prosecutor Kurt Schrimm said on Sunday that the application could be filed in Munich because Demjanjuk once lived there. Demjanjuk immigrated to the United States in 1952. The retired autoworker lives in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, where he is awaiting deportation for not bringing up his Nazi past.

2,000-Year-Old Earring Found in Jerusalem of Gold


A stunningly beautiful 2,000-year-old gold earring inlaid with pearls and precious gems is the latest discovery in Jerusalem's archaeological treasure trove, the City of David.

The ancient jewelry was discovered during an excavation by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the Giva'ti car park, specifically in the "Walls Around Jerusalem National Park" area.

The excavations, which are being carried out jointly with the Nature and Parks Authority, are underwritten by the Ir David [City of David] Foundation, which has been responsible for numerous priceless discoveries in the area.

The stylish earring itself meets top fashion standards, ancient or otherwise. The main part of the earring is made of a coiled gold hoop encircling a large inlaid pearl nestled in its center. Dangling from the bottom of the hoop are two identical gold pendants, each of which is adorned with a small chain whose links are comprised of one emerald and pearl, held in place by golden fastenings.

It is true that the emeralds' sparkle is dulled by having been buried in centuries of rubble, but their fine color shines through nonetheless. And nothing has managed to diminish the breathtaking glow of the pearls, which truly are fit for the collection of any princess.

"The earring was astonishingly well preserved, so much so that it seems it was manufactured only yesterday," commented the directors of the excavation on behalf of IAA, Dr. Doron Ben-Ami and Yana Tchekhanovets. The two experts added that the piece, which was discovered in the ruins of a building which dates to the Byzantine period (4-5 CE on the Gregorian calendar), may have been produced earlier.

The lovely earring was "apparently originally produced during the course of the Roman period (between the first century BCE and the beginning of 4 CE). Gold jewelry inlaid with precious stones and pearls were used throughout the Roman Empire – from the Roman provinces in the east to Britain in the West," they explained.

In Egyptian tombs dating to the same period, they added, they found many portraits of women wearing expensive jewelry that included gold earrings and necklaces that were often inlaid with pearls and emeralds. "These earrings are surprisingly reminiscent of the earring from the City of David," said Ben-Ami, "and it seems that they were fashioned in a similar technique."

Camel Bites Boy in Negev


A two-year old boy from the Bedouin community of Kesaifa in the Negev was seriously injured Monday when a female camel bit him in the face. The boy's parents evacuated him to the village medical center, where he received treatment before being taken to the hospital.

A Magen David Adom ambulance was dispatched to the scene after being alerted to the incident. Paramedic Ilan Dayan, who arrived on the scene, said the toddler was barely conscious, and suffered from serious contusions around his eye. "But he was stable, and during the evacuation to Soroka Hospital in Beersheva he was kept under surveillance," Dayan said. The boy's doctors defined his injuries as serious but not life-threatening.

The toddler's father told the paramedics that his son had been playing with the cow (female camel) without incident, but when he attempted to play with her calf she attacked him.

"We have seen traffic accidents involving camels," Dayan said, "but this is the first time I have come across this type of camel-related injury. The mother must have been attempting to protect its calf; because once you get close to any animal's young it may become a bit aggressive."

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