22 August 2014 - 26 Av 5774 - כ"ו אב ה' אלפים תשע"ד
Asian bidder looking to buy Israeli satellite operator E-mail

Hong Kong’s Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat), announced it is one of the bidders to buy Space Com a leading global fixed satellite operator, operating the advanced AMOS satellite fleet.

Space Com’s controlling shareholder Eurocom Group, which holds a 64.5% stake in the company is reportedly interested in selling Space Com for 2 billion shekels (US$700.6 million) double its current market value on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Eurocom is Israel’s largest privately owned communication group; additional shareholders of Space Com include Clal Group, Mer Services Group and General Satellite Services Co. Space Com has hired investment bank J.P. Morgan to advise it regarding any possible deals. However, the company stated in its announcement that a possible sale was still only in the preliminary stages and there was no guarantee that any deal would take place. Its operating profit during the past 12-month period was US$63 million.

Space Com provides satellite communication services through its satellites Amos 2, Amos 3 and Amos 5. Last year the company launched its satellite Amos 4 to provide satellite communication services to East Asia, Russia and the Middle East. The company signed an agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries to purchase a new satellite, the Amos 6, to upgrade the services it provides and replace the Amos 2, which is expected to cease commercial use in 2016.

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India’s Army Chief visits Israel E-mail

General Bikram Singh, Chief of the Army Staff of India, arrived in Israel on an official visit on 21 March for a four day visit.

The IDF Honour Guard formally welcomed General Singh at Camp Rabbin (Kiriya) in Tel Aviv. The military general met with the IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Benjamin “Benny” Gantz and the Commander of IDF Ground Forces, Major General Guy Tzur.

These meetings focused on the close military cooperation between the two states. The military chief also toured Israeli military bases, where he was briefed on the operational procedures of the Ground Forces.

General Singh discussed ongoing defence projects and ways of further strengthening military ties. The issue of delays in the completion of the mediumrange surface-to-air missile systems was expected to come up for discussion during the talks, a spokesperson for India’s Army official commented. Israel is one of the major suppliers of weapon systems to the Indian armed forces including critical equipment such as assault rifles for the Special Forces.

Major General Guy Zur had visited India last year and discussed the security situation in and around the region with the top military and political leadership. Israel has been building strong military-to-military relations with India in recent years and has emerged as the second largest defence supplier to India behind only Russia in the last decade-and-a-half.

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Anne Frank book suspect arrested E-mail

After conducting an investigation Tokyo police have reportedly arrested a city resident in connection with the vandalism of hundreds of copies of Anne Frank related books in the Japanese capital’s libraries.

The suspect, identified as an “unemployed man in his 30s,” in a statement admitted to some involvement in the vandalism of the books in February. Police arrested the man on 7 March for entering a bookstore in the Ikebukuro district to hang a poster without permission. It is not known what the posters said.

Footage from the store’s security cameras reportedly showed the same man wandering back and forth inside the same bookstore through sections dealing with the Holocaust, including the day that some of the damage occurred.

Police spotted the man in security footage from other locations where vandalism occurred. They confiscated his cell phone and computer.

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Nepal to reduce fees to climb Mount Everest E-mail

Nepal will cut climbing fees for Mount Everest to lure more mountaineers to the world’s highest peak, already overcrowded during the peak climbing season.

Every year, around 20,000 Israeli backpackers travel to Nepal, mostly to embark on treks in the Everest and Annapurna mountain ranges. Joining other climbers, each paying thousands of dollars, they flock to the 8,850-metre (29,035 feet) Everest summit during the main climbing season stretching from March to May.

Under existing rules, Nepal charges US$25,000 per climber as a licence fee, or royalty. But a group of seven people can secure a permit for US$70,000, a practice officials say encourages climbers to form big groups.

Tourism Ministry official Tilakram Pandey said each climber will be charged $11,000 starting next year to end the practice.

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Israel’s Embassy in India in security threat Print E-mail

Israel’s Embassy in New Delhi was under a security threat after a 35-yearold man was arrested last month from outside the embassy premises.

The Times of India reported authorities arrested a man after the mission informed police of a suspicious person holding a parcel and trying to enter the premises. According to the report, the man was injured during a chase by police and embassy guards and, as such, has been rendered unable to provide an explanation for what he was doing. The package parcel reportedly found contained an idol of the Hindu deity, Ganesha.

The incident came two years after a car bomb exploded and injured an Israeli embassy worker in the Indian capital.

(Issue April 2014)


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