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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Roeder case stirs global reactions

Judge Warren Wilbert's words in a Wichita courtroom are bouncing from national blogs to the Harvard Law School to other continents.

Every comment by Wilbert in the first-degree murder trial of Scott Roeder this week has been open to second-guessing and living-room litigation. Drawing the most criticism is Wilbert's analysis of the Kansas voluntary manslaughter law that, if allowed, could give the jury an option of convicting Roeder on a charge less than murder in the slaying of abortion provider George Tiller.

IDF sets up field hospital in Haiti

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Medical and Rescue Team has set up a field hospital and begun rescuing and treating earthquake victims in the Haitian capital of Port-Au-Prince.

The IDF team is locating and rescuing survivors trapped in ruined buildings, including many who were injured during the collapse of the UN headquarters.

The field hospital is equipped to receive dozens of ambulances evacuating the injured from the disaster-struck areas. Between Friday night and Saturday, dozens of truckloads of medical and logistical equipment were unloaded and the hospital was set up.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Tel Aviv Cluster

Jews are a famously accomplished group. They make up 0.2 percent of the world population, but 54 percent of the world chess champions, 27 percent of the Nobel physics laureates and 31 percent of the medicine laureates.

Jews make up 2 percent of the U.S. population, but 21 percent of the Ivy League student bodies, 26 percent of the Kennedy Center honorees, 37 percent of the Academy Award-winning directors, 38 percent of those on a recent Business Week list of leading philanthropists, 51 percent of the Pulitzer Prize winners for nonfiction.

In his book, “The Golden Age of Jewish Achievement,” Steven L. Pease lists some of the explanations people have given for this record of achievement. The Jewish faith encourages a belief in progress and personal accountability. It is learning-based, not rite-based.