New US Law: Israelis May Be Able to Travel to US Without Visas

31 07 2007

is pass cover.jpgWashington, DC – The Jerusalem Post is reporting that a new law has been passed by the US Congress, which would add Israel to the Visa Waiver Program. The final approval of the law, however, is pending the ratification of President Bush, and the earliest date in which it could come into effect – provided that it is ratified – is in two years. (The Visa Waiver Program is a list of countries whose citizens do not require visas to the US for a stay of less than three months.) [TheYeshivaworld.com]





Iranian Intelligence Recruiting Hebrew Speakers.

31 07 2007

Iran – The “intelligence war” between Iran and Israel is gaining momentum, as both countries’ intelligence services are increasing efforts to recruit Hebrew and Farsi speakers to their ranks.

The Iranian regime needs Hebrew speakers to work as translators, intelligence agents and as part of its propaganda machine against Israel. The main source of Hebrew speakers is Palestinian students studying abroad or Palestinian terrorists sent for military training in Iran and Lebanon.

One of the most prominent centers for Hebrew studies is located at Iran’s embassy in Beirut, where Hizbullah members learn Hebrew at the Islamic Culture and Education Center [ynet]





Passaic gets $2.1M in housing funds

31 07 2007

PASSAIC, NJ – The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Tuesday that the city will receive more than $2.1 million in funding.The award includes $1.2 million from HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and another $929,929 from Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) funding.This funding helps breathe new life into neighborhoods,” said HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson in a press release . “By helping communities to improve their infrastructure or assisting families to purchase their first home, HUD is helping to improve neighborhoods from the ground up.”The CDBG and HOME programs financially assist governments and community groups in urban areas with significant low-to moderate-income populations.HUD estimates that federally-funded CDBG grants have awarded more than $100 billion to state and local governments for community development priorities.Since 1992, HUD says more than 600 communities have completed more than $780,000 in affordable housing units, including over $329,000 for new homebuyers purchasing their first home. [Meredith Mandell, Herald News]





Truck Smashes Hole in Passaic Apartment Building

31 07 2007

PASSAIC, NJ — A delivery truck crashed into a first-floor apartment late Monday afternoon, leaving a gaping hole that exposed the inside of a bedroom.

People who witnessed the accident said it would have been worse if someone was in the room when the midsize truck slammed through the brick wall of the apartment at 35 Aspen Place.

No one was injured, police said.

One eyewitness, Jessy Rivera, who lives next door to the damaged apartment, explained what happened as she held a broken side-view mirror from her automobile that was struck by the truck before it hit the outside brick wall of the apartment.

“We heard a big boom just like a crash,” said Rivera, 24, describing the accident that occurred about 4:49 p.m. “I ran outside and I was in shock” at the damage.

Even with the significant damage to her apartment, Trisha Lyons, 28, said she would have the hole boarded up and remain there with her husband and two young daughters.

“I’ve got two kids, where am I supposed to go?” she said.

Bill Snyder, executive director of the Passaic Housing Authority, said Monday night that the family would be moved into a temporary apartment at Speer Village today until structural damage could be assessed and repair work completed.

PHA workers were at the Lyons’ apartment placing plywood over the approximately 4-foot-wide hole in the brick wall.

The truck was speeding and struck several parked cars before plunging into the Lyons’ apartment, eyewitnesses said.

“If my grandkids were in that bedroom they would have been killed,” said David Horne, 63, who did not live at Speer Village and is the father-in-law of Trisha Lyons.

Police would not identify the truck driver, who was not injured in the crash. (NorthJersey.com)





Police to Set up Anti-Terrorist Checkpoint.

30 07 2007

New York, NY – They call it “Operation Highway Sniffer” — a military-style title for a series of anti-terrorist checkpoints set up by the Suffolk County police.

And it’s happening Monday on a Long Island Expressway rest stop.

The police will set up specialized equipment to detect radiation, explosives and other terror-related substances at a rest stop on the LIE, the location of which authorities asked not be disclosed, beginning at 3:30 p.m., police said.

Monday’s is the latest in a series of similar efforts Suffolk police have undertaken. This time, however, the New York Police Department work with the Suffolk Highway Patrol Bureau motor carrier section. The NYPD will bring its mobile radiation detection truck and other specialized equipment.

Authorities will randomly look for illegal substances including those that could be used by terrorists, such as explosives or radiation, police said. [newsday]





New Device Aims To Stop Deaths of Children Left in Hot Cars

30 07 2007

Your car has a sensor that tells you when you’ve left the headlights on or the keys in the ignition. It probably has another reminding you and your passengers to buckle your seat belts, and still another that sounds when the door is ajar. Some cars even to tell you when the tires need inflating.But so far, there’s no standard equipment to tell you that you’ve left a child in the back seat of a hot car. [AP]

A company called BabyAlert aims to change this with their new product called “The Child Minder® system.” This system alerts the driver when he or she walks 10 feet away from the car with a baby still strapped in the car seat.

According to popular news blog The Yeshiva World, this product is now available at a special price of $49 for the Frum Olam, with additional discounts possibly available for Bnei Yeshiva. Please call 732-905-0654 for additional details. [PCJN Staff]





US Life Insurance Companies Deny Coverage For Those Who Visit Israel.

30 07 2007

Washington – Life-insurance companies are systematically denying coverage to customers solely because they have visited Israel or plan to go in the future – outraging travelers who say Israel’s historic sites are as safe as any American city, officials say.

The practice has become so widespread that nine states, including New York, have tried to stop it.

But insurance companies continue to block coverage, and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation last week prohibiting insurers from blocking coverage and requiring them to rely on accurate information.

“It is just unfair for people to be denied life insurance because they might travel to Israel,” said Schumer.

John Hancock, and AIG are part of the insurance companies denying coverage. [nypost]