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Trump Hires Accused Anti-Semite as Chief Strategist

By Reuters & YnetNews

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Washington insider Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff and firebrand conservative Stephen Bannon as chief strategist, showing a willingness to work with Congress and giving a nod to right-wing activists who helped sweep him into office.

Less than a week after his upset win over Democrat Hillary Clinton in Tuesday's presidential election, Trump's choice of Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman and friend of House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, could help him repair his strained relations with members of the Republican Party establishment in Washington. Priebus is a longtime Wisconsin political operative who was credited with marshaling party resources for Trump's White House bid.

However, Trump gave the job of strategist and senior counselor to Bannon, a fierce critic of Ryan who spearheaded Breitbart News website's shift into a forum for the "alternative right," a loose online confederation of neo-Nazis, white supremacists and anti-Semites. The former Goldman Sachs banker over the past year led Breitbart News in a charge against the Republican Party establishment, including Priebus' friend Ryan, alienating many veteran Republicans.

The Breitbart attacks on Ryan continued on Sunday, with an article denouncing Ryan's comment on CNN that "we are not planning on erecting a deportation force. Speaker Ryan is now telling voters that he will not enact a central part of Trump's mandate," a Breitbart article said. Bannon and Priebus would work "as equal partners to transform the federal government," Trump said in a statement.

Democrats were outraged by the choice of Bannon, calling him a promoter of racism and misogyny who is backed by the white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan. Following a 1996 domestic violence charge and subsequent divorce, Bannon's then-wife, Mary Louise Piccard, testified in court that Bannon allegedly did not want their twin daughters to attend a prestigious Los Angeles school because he didn't want them to go to school with Jews.

"It is easy to see why the KKK views Trump as their champion when Trump appoints one of the foremost peddlers of White Supremacist themes and rhetoric as his top aide," Adam, Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, said in a statement.

US Representative Adam Schiff said Bannon's selection for a top White House job was unsurprising but alarming. "His alt-right, anti-Semitic & misogynistic views don't belong in WH," Schiff said in a Twitter post.

In morning television interviews on Monday, Priebus defended Bannon as a wise and well-educated former naval officer and said he had not encountered the sort of extremist or racist views that critics are assailing. "He was a force for good on the campaign," Priebus said on Fox News, adding that they were in agreement on "almost everything" in terms of advising the president-elect.

Trump said both appointees were "highly qualified leaders" who had helped him win the White House race.


WHO Lauds IDF Field Hospital Standards as Best in the World

By Israel Hayom

The World Health Organization has recognized the Israeli Defense Forces' field hospital standards and medical teams as the best in the world, Lt. Col. Ofer Merin, commander of the IDF's Medical Corps' field hospital unit, announced. IDF's field hospitals have been designated as Type 3 facilities, WHO's highest ranking, he said.

Israeli medical aid missions, led by Homefront Command and Medical Corps personnel, are regularly sent overseas to assist countries struck by natural disasters, including after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the 2011 earthquake in Japan, and the 2015 earthquake in Nepal.

The World Health Organization recently evaluated military field hospital standards and teams from more than 50 countries. In a 100-page report, the organization details the standards field hospitals must meet to receive its designations: Type 1 facilities provide outpatient initial emergency care, Type 2 facilities provide inpatient acute care as well as general and obstetric surgery, and Type 3 facilities provide all these, as well as complex inpatient intensive and referral surgical care.

The IDF's field hospitals were also recognized for providing multiple types of "specialized care," effectively setting their designation as "Type 3 plus" -- a status no other medical team has ever reached.

According to Merin, the organization "wanted to show that sending aid missions means meeting certain standards. It may sound trivial, but anyone familiar with disaster areas knows this determination carries tremendous significance. "Over the past few years, the WHO has seen considerable gaps between organized missions that arrive at a [disaster] area, understand its needs, and provide the correct assistance, and missions that fall short and effectively become a liability."

A WHO mission arrived in Israel recently to observe and evaluate field hospital training. "One of them said the world has a lot to learn from Israel when it comes to medical ethics, and that was a very moving moment," Merin said. "The IDF is a leader in this field, and the world can learn from it on how to provide surgical care under disaster conditions. This is a massive national success, and an objective body -- and they're not necessarily our biggest fans -- that has evaluated dozes of field hospitals has declared the IDF's Medical Corps is the best. It's a huge national pride."

IDF Medical Corps personnel will receive official WHO patches noting their new designation. Senior personnel, including Merin, will receive the patches at a formal ceremony scheduled to take place in Hong Kong in late November, the IDF said.

Extremely Rare Baseball Signed by Moe Berg, Catcher and World War II Spy, Sells for $17,000+

By JTA

One of only two baseballs known to be signed by Moe Berg, a former major league catcher who served as a U.S. spy and spoke seven languages, sold for $17,029. The ball sold early Friday in a two-week online auction run by Huggins & Scott of Silver Spring, Maryland. The buyer was not named.

Berg, a Jewish New Yorker, played for five teams between 1923 and 1939. But the Princeton University graduate was known more for his off-field interests — including reading a rumored 10 newspapers a day — than his baseball talent. The former player and manager Casey Stengel, who was well known for his colorful personality, called him the "strangest man ever to play baseball."

Following his baseball career, Berg worked for the Office of Strategic Services, which later became the Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA. He traveled to Yugoslavia and collected information on resistance groups. A film about Berg's life starring Jewish actor Paul Rudd, titled "The Catcher Was a Spy," is slated to be released next year.


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