Direct foreign investment in Israel is in free fall. According to a report published last month by the UN Conference on Trade and Development, (UNCTAD), foreign direct investment in Israel in 2014 was 46 percent below levels in 2013, dropping from $11.8 billion to $6.4bn. During the same period worldwide direct foreign investment dropped a mere 16%, meaning the drop in investment in Israel was nearly three times the global average.
Some responded to the report by blaming Operation Protective Edge or the boycott Israel movement for the sudden downturn. And there is probably something, although not much, to that view.
Israel tends to bounce back relatively quickly after wars end. Since 2006, the impact of wars on Israel’s economic growth has been marginal.
A video purportedly showing Islamic State militants shooting dead 25 men in the amphitheatre in the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria has been posted online.
The footage apparently shows the murder of soldiers fighting for the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, who were captured in Homs. It was distributed by accounts known to be linked with Islamic State militants. Stills from the video show the killers to be young, possibly in their early teens. They are pictured holding guns and dressed in desert camouflage and brown bandanas.
Close-up shots of the soldiers on their knees with their hands tied behind their backs appear to show that they have been beaten. Hundreds of men in civilian clothes are shown sitting watching the slaughter on the steps in front of a stage with the backdrop of a large Isis flag. A man stands in front of the flag and addresses the gathering before a command is given and the condemned soldiers are killed simultaneously with a shot to the head from the young killers standing directly behind them.
… Then, as our discussion turned to the groups’ overall vision for the San Joaquin Valley, they told me something astonishing:
Their goal was to remove 1.3 million acres of farmland from production. They showed me maps that laid out their whole plan: From Merced all the way down to Bakersfield, and on the entire west side of the Valley as well as part of the east side, productive agriculture would end and the land would return to some ideal state of nature. I was stunned by the vicious audacity of their goal — and I quickly learned how dedicated they were to realizing it.
How To Steal Water And Get Away With It ..
With speculation swirling that Greece might be forced out of the euro and have to print its own money after a weekend referendum, its finance minister on Thursday said the country no longer had the presses to make drachmas.
“We don’t have the capacity,” Yanis Varoufakis told Australian public radio network ABC.
In 2000, the year before Greece joined the eurozone, “one of the things we had to do was get rid of all our printing presses” as part of the bloc’s assertion that “this monetary union is irreversible,” he said.
“We smashed the printing presses — we have no printing presses,” Varoufakis said.
… and I come across this:
Israeli wines win on the world stage
I’ve sent some time in Israel and … this one is hard to believe.
A new Rasmussen Poll indicates that a growing number of Americans want state governments to tell the Supreme Court to get out of the business of rewriting laws and telling American citizens how to live their lives.
In a new poll, Rasmussen reported the percentage of Americans who want states to tell the Supreme Court it does not have the power to rewrite the Affordable Care Act or force sovereign states to authorize gay marriages has increased from 24 percent to 33 percent after last week’s Constitution-defying decisions by the court.
A closer look at the poll results indicates that popular sentiment for state defiance of the federal government extends beyond just the Supreme Court’s latest decisions.
“Only 20% [of likely voters] now consider the federal government a protector of individual liberty,” the Rasmussen Poll finds. “Sixty percent (60 %) see the government as a threat to individual liberty instead,” it adds.
WHAT MONEY? VA Kicks Accounting to the Curb, Will Stay Mum on $1 Billion Loss
A funny thing happened over at the Aurora VA construction site this week, a top Obama administration made the most honest statements we’ve ever heard from a government official.
That $1.1 billion cost overrun? Yeah, we’re NEVER going to know where that money went, confessed Sloan Gibson, the deputy secretary of the VA.
Congress has demanded an accounting of the wasted funds, and so have the veterans who are the victims of this fraud.
Not going to happen, Gibson said.
Richard Trumka has a message for state and local AFL-CIO leaders tempted to endorse Bernie Sanders: Don’t.
In a memo this week to state, central and area divisions of the labor federation, and obtained by POLITICO, the AFL-CIO chief reminded the groups that its bylaws don’t permit them to “endorse a presidential candidate” or “introduce, consider, debate, or pass resolutions or statements that indicate a preference for one candidate over another.” Even “‘personal’ statements” of candidate preference are verboten, Trumka said.
What makes fireflies glow?
As fireflies are delighting children across the country with their nighttime displays, scientists are closing in on a better understanding of how the insects produce their enchanting glow. They report in the Journal of the American Chemical Society new evidence of how the beetles’ chemistry works. Their findings could apply to the bioluminescence of other organisms, too.
On Tuesday, an unknown person broke into an underground vault and sliced three high-capacity internet cables, disrupting service for various businesses and residents around Sacramento, California, USA Today reports.
This attack is part of a series of at least 11 that stretch from the San Francisco Bay Area to Sacramento that the FBI is currently investigating, according to the report. The attacks have generally occurred in concealed locations that are unmonitored by devices like security cameras.
“When it affects multiple companies and cities, it does become disturbing,” FBI Special Agent Greg Wuthrich told USA Today. “We definitely need the public’s assistance.”
Bangladesh police said on Thursday they had arrested 12 suspected militants including the local head of Al-Qaeda’s branch in the region, foiling an attack planned for the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) also seized explosives and other bomb-making materials during raids on Wednesday on the militants’ hideouts in the capital Dhaka, spokesman Major Maksudul Alam said.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday mourned the loss of Nicholas Winton, the man who became known as the “British Schindler” for saving hundreds of Czech children from Nazi persecution in the run-up to World War Two. Winton died at the age of 106 on Wednesday.
“The Jewish people and the State of Israel owe an eternal debt of gratitude to Nicholas Winton, who saved hundreds of Jewish children from the Nazis,” Netanyahu stated.
“In a world plagued by evil and indifference, Winton dedicated himself to saving the innocent and the helpless,” the prime minister added. “His extraordinary moral leadership serves as an example to all of humanity.”