Saving Israel’s Ancient Vultures

June 12 2020

While the King James Bible translates the Hebrew word nesher as eagle, modern experts believe that it in fact refers to the griffon vulture, a bird that can still be found in the Land of Israel. Reuters reports:

[F]or a network of Israeli conservationists, the bird still has pride of place in the land whose ancient prophets saw in its soaring flight a metaphor for religious exaltation.

Hit by accidental poisoning and urbanization, Israel’s griffon vulture population has fallen to around 180 in the wild, says Yigal Miller, manager of programs for endangered raptors at the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. So as part of [a] project run by his organization and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, the next generation is being reared in captivity before being let loose in the desert with tracking tags.

According to Israel’s Biblical Museum of Natural History, “in the Middle East, it is the griffon vulture that is the king of birds.”

Pictures can be found at the link below.

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Read more at Ynet

More about: Animals, Hebrew Bible, Land of Israel, Translation

How China Equips the Islamic Republic to Repress Its People

In its dedication to bringing totalitarianism into the 21st century, the Chinese Communist party has developed high-tech forms of surveillance using facial-recognition software, a vast system of “social credit,” and careful control over its subjects’ cellular phones. Even stricter and more invasive measures are applied to the Uyghurs of the northwestern part of the country. Beijing is also happy to export its innovations in tyranny to allies like Iran and Russia. Playing a key role in these advances is a nominally private company called Tiandy Technologies. Craig Singleton describes its activities:

Both Tiandy testimonials and Chinese-government press releases advertise the use of the company’s products by Chinese officials to track and interrogate Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in China’s Xinjiang province. According to human-rights groups, Chinese authorities also employ Tiandy products, such as “tiger chairs,” to torture Uyghurs and other minorities.

Iran has long relied on China to augment its digital surveillance capabilities, and Tehran was an early adopter of Beijing’s “social-credit” system, which it wields to assess citizens’ behavior and trustworthiness. . . . Iranian government representatives have publicized plans to leverage smart technologies, including AI-powered face recognition, to maintain regime stability and neutralize dissent. Enhanced cooperation with China is central to those efforts.

At present, Tiandy is not subject to U.S. sanctions or export controls. In light of Tiandy’s operations in both Xinjiang and Iran, policymakers should consider removing the company, its owner, and stakeholders from the international financial system and global supply chains.

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Read more at FDD

More about: China, Human Rights, Iran, Totalitarianism, U.S. Foreign policy