27 May 2019 - 22 Iyyar 5779 - כ"ב אייר ה' אלפים תשע"ט

The first light rail vehicle (LRV) made for the city of Tel-Aviv, Israel, has been rolled off the production line in Changchun City, northeastern China.

The new metro car was developed by CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles and marks the first time in which a light train manufactured completely in China is entering a market of a developed country.

To meet security needs, the LRV has been custom built, with integrated explosion-proof designs, including a curved train roof, a non-ferromagnetic bottom, and blast-resistant windows to cope with rocks and explosive devices.

A special ceremony on 16 April was attended by representatives of CRRC and NTA Metropolitan Mass Transit System, which is responsible for the light rail project on behalf of the Israeli government.

The white train body is designed to match the cultural heritage of the White City, the world’s largest collection of Bauhaus-style buildings, which is in Tel-Aviv. And the special traction control system, as well as the air-conditioning system, will enable smooth and pleasant trips in the hot and humid Mediterranean weather.

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British siblings among the victims of Sri Lankan bomb blasts E-mail

Two Jewish teenage siblings from London were among the more than 250 people murdered in terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka during the Easter holiday last month, the British media reported.

Amelie and Daniel Linsey, 15 and 19, who are dual citizens of the US and the UK, were members of Westminster synagogue, and were among eight British nationals killed during the massacre. Their father, Matthew Linsey, was also in Colombo but survived. The children died in a bombing at their hotel.

“When the bomb went off, it’s hard to describe ... It’s like a wave coming through of pressure,” he told a CNN reporter.

“They actually went down to the buffet and got the food for me and filled up my plate. And then I said I wanted a bit more. My daughter said ‘I’ll get it’, and then the bomb went off and they were both running towards me.”

Howard Leigh, president of the Westminster Synagogue and a lawmaker, made an emotional address in the British parliament. “While the intended target of this atrocity were clearly meant to be Christian, the terrorists’ bombs did not discriminate,” he said in the House of Lords.

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Netanyahu wins fifth term as PM in Israel’s election E-mail

In a very tightly fought election, Benjamin Netanyahu is set to serve a fifth term as Israel’s prime minister. The election result was close to call after the polls closed.

Netanyahu’s Likud party and the Blue and White party, led by former army general Benny Gantz, had tied with 35 seats each in the 120-seat house, the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament. However, the rightwing bloc that Netanyahu is part of had 65 in total, a comfortable majority.

“We respect the decision of the people,” Gantz said in a televised statement on 17 April, adding that Blue and White had “founded a true alternative rule to Netanyahu”.

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Malaysia limits visits by Israeli nationals E-mail

Malaysian media outlet Malay Mail Online has reported that the number of Israel citizens entering the country for business and technology-related events has dwindled from 33 visitors in 2016 to only three individuals this year, this according Malaysian Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

This is in line with the Government’s new policy, which no longer allows Israel representatives to enter Malaysia for conferences, meetings and programmes held by international organisations, he added.

Responding to a question posed by Pengkalan Chepa MP Ahmad Marzuk Shaary during a sitting of Parliament in April, Muhyiddin revealed via a written reply that the three Israelis were given permission to enter Malaysia this year for existing business dealings.

“No further permission has been given to Israel citizens (to enter Malaysia for) international conferences, meetings and programmes”, the minister said.

Compared to previous years, Malaysia has seen a drastic drop in the number of Israelis entering the country this year.

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Israeli diet is world’s “least unhealthy” E-mail

Research published in April carried out by Dr Christopher Murray, Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in the US, has found that Israel has the world’s healthiest diet, or to be more precise, the world’s least unhealthy diet.

The results of the study, entitled the “Global Burden of Disease”, were published in the UK medical journal The Lancet. The research tracked trends in consumption of 15 dietary factors from 1990 to 2017 in 195 countries.

Dr Murray wrote: “This study affirms what many have thought for several years: that poor diet is responsible for more deaths than any other risk factor in the world. While sodium, sugar and fat have been the focus of policy debates over the past two decades, our assessment suggests the leading dietary risk factors are high intake of sodium, or low intake of healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds, and vegetables. The paper also highlights the need for comprehensive interventions to promote the production, distribution, and consumption of healthy foods across all nations.”

The study reported: “The countries with the lowest rates of diet-related deaths were Israel (89 deaths per 100,000 people), France, Spain, Japan and Andorra.”

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