#AceWorldNews – ISRAEL – Nov.28 – Israeli security forces together with the IDF have broken up a Hamas cell plotting a range of attacks in Israel and abroad, Arutz Sheva reported.

The terrorist cell, broken up in September, was reportedly planning attacks on a range of Israeli targets, including Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium.

The Israeli Security Agency (Shabak) said the cell was based in Judea and Samaria and was directed by Hamas’s leadership.

It allegedly involved several members of Hamas’s “military wing,” the Ezzedine Al Qassam Brigade.



#AceWorldNews – GERMANY – Nov.28 – The aim of sanctions against Russia over Ukraine must not be to wear Russia down economically, Reuters quoted German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier as saying on Thursday.

“Should it be our way of thinking and our goal to put down Russia economically?” he asked at a conference organized by the Sueddeutsche Zeitung in Berlin.

The clear answer is “no,” he said, adding that it “should not be the reason for sanctions.”



#AceWorldNews – WASHINGTON – Nov.27 – Barack Obama’s Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell recently told a group of Latino bloggers in an on line chat that the Obama administration wants to make Obamacare available for illegal aliens.

You may recall back in 2009 that Rep. Joe Wilson, a Republican from my home state of South Carolina, yelled out “You lie!” to Barack Obama. He was chided and maligned in the press and even by so-called “conservatives” for calling Obama what he is. But do you recall what he said Obama was lying about?

Let me refresh your memory. 

First, Obama said that the idea of “death panels” was completely false. Now, that claim has been proven to be true.

However, it was his second attempt at deceiving the people (and yes, that’s what it was according to Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber) was to claim, “There are also those who claim that our inform efforts would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false.

The reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally.”

“You lie!” came the response from Wilson.

And just to be clear, Obama also claimed, “Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions.” One must then ask why all the pressure to make employers provide for abortions and abortifacients if no money would be used to fund abortions under Obamacare.




#AceNewsServices – Nov.27 – “It is an epidemic. Or, at least, it’s very common,” New York-based spine surgeon Kenneth Hansraj told The Washington Post last week.

He was referring to something that is being called “text neck,” a purported condition of the spine related to the posture of bending forward to look at a phone.

Hansraj’s comments came in wake of a short article on the matter that he published in an obscure medical journal called Surgical Technology International. Last week my colleague Olga Khazan mentioned the paper in a brief post for our site that included Hansraj’s diagram of how flexing your neck increases stress on your cervical spine.

It was an interesting account of the suggestions of one private-practice neurosurgeon.

But the post and the illustration spread widely around the Internet, and the stakes elevated quickly.

In the past week, the study and the diagram have been published by hundreds of outlets, including The Chicago Tribune, Slate, NPR, Business Insider, The Sydney Morning Herald, NBC News, The Globe and Mail, Today, Time, Yahoo,Shape, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, and many others. New York‘s headline, for example, was “Look at How Texting Is Warping Your Spine.” At several publications, the story was the most popular post on the site. With claims of epidemic and implications of serious spinal damage, the story has elevated to something that maybe warrants a closer look.

Hunching over isn’t ideal, and it’s worth thinking about sitting or standing up straight when possible. But our necks are made to bend forward, and it’s not something that’s new to humans.

Texting invokes the same posture as holding a book:

Lauren Giordano/The Atlantic

Or a baby: 

Lauren Giordano/The Atlantic

Or a rock:

Lauren Giordano/The Atlantic

Physicists and engineers have taken to blogs and comments to argue over the accuracy of Hansraj’s calculations.

But whatever the exact numbers (we used Hansraj’s in our illustrations here), it is true that there’s more force on the base of the cervical spine when the head is bent forward. And the farther forward a person bends his head to look at their phone, the more force that puts onto spine.

That’s all true.

The question is whether that matters, and if so, how much.

One of the people who tweeted in discontent was Ian Dorward, a neurosurgeon at Washington University in Saint Louis. He rebuked The Washington Postthusly:

I talked with Dorward for his counterperspective on last week’s text-neck mania. Being a neurosurgeon, he not only knows a lot about spinal anatomy and biomechanics, but he also spends as much of his day bent forward over people’s exposed spinal cords as even the most angsty of Instagram-mongering tweens do over their text machines.

“To say that there’s this epidemic of ‘text neck’ is totally unfounded,” Dorward said. “All he [Hansraj] has is a computer model, and he doesn’t even spell out where these numbers are coming from.”

The reality is that an axial load, one applied from the top down onto the spine, at the weights in question is not dangerous. “People can carry a lot more than 60 pounds on top of their head if it’s actually an axial load,” Dorward said, noting that people have evolved to have their heads flexed in a variety of different angles and postures without issue.

“If you apply external weight to the head and then flex it forward, that would be a real issue,” he continued. “Certainly if you spend an inordinate amount of time leaning forward, it can cause musculoskeletal problems like exacerbating arthritis.” When he’s huddled over a surgical field in the operating room, Dorward wears loupes and a head lamp. The weight of those devices combines with the weight of his cranium to significantly increase torque on his spine. “The stresses that I’m applying to my spine are vastly greater than what someone would be experiencing when they’re texting,” he said. And that is, for someone in his line of work, a legitimate concern.

For most people, though, the point remains that good posture is generally good when possible, but texting is not an imminent threat to spinal health.

In his paper Hansraj goes on to talk about power posing, how posture and assuming certain stances seems to affect a person’s hormonal milieu. Research has shown that assuming “high-power” postures—sitting up straight and throwing your shoulders back and aligning your ears over your shoulders—can lead to very real elevations in testosterone, serotonin, and tolerance for risk taking. That’s cool stuff to consider, but a separate issue from the hypothetical scourge of text neck.

“People are walking around now while texting, falling into water fountains and lakes and walking into traffic—that’s a real danger,” Dorward added.

The more important idea that has been studied with regard to biomechanical forces on the spine is related to the American “epidemic” of obesity. As a person gains weight, their center of gravity moves forward, and that can drastically increase force on a person’s lumbar spine.

“That’s a real problem for spine disease,” Dorward said.

“Looking down at your phone is really not.”



#AceNewsServices – Nov.27 – The newest outpost of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) became operational today, while a new head of its Guinea office was named and the World Health Organization reported that the number of cases had stabilized in Guinea, had stabilized or declined in Liberia but may still be on rise in Sierra Leone.

The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors, meanwhile, approved a $70 million project for Côte d’Ivoire to promote the West African country’s pro-active measures to prevent the spread of Ebola. 

“So far, the Ivorian Ebola response plan has been working efficiently, with no recorded case. However, continuous support to Côte d’Ivoire remains essential to help the country respond effectively in case of necessity” said Ousmane Diagana, World Bank Country Director for Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Burkina Faso, Benin and Guinea. There is over 800 miles of border between Côte d’Ivoire and both Guinea and Liberia, and the epicentre of the epidemic is in the eastern part of these countries – near Cote d’Ivoire’s western border, the World Bank reported.

The World Health organization (WHO), in in its lates update issued today, said there have been 15,935 reported cases of Ebola virus disease with 5,689 reported deaths as of November 23, and that “case incidence is stable in Guinea, stable or declining in Liberia, but may still be increasing in Sierra Leone.”

UN News Centre 



#AceBreakingNews – WASHINGTON – Nov.26 – Under the president’s new amnesty, businesses will have a $3,000-per-employee incentive to hire illegal immigrants over native-born workers because of a quirk of Obamacare Washington Times reported. 

President Obama’s temporary amnesty, which lasts three years, declares up to 5 million illegal immigrants to be lawfully in the country and eligible for work permits, but it still deems them ineligible for public benefits such as buying insurance on Obamacare’s health exchanges.

Under the Affordable Care Act, that means businesses who hire them won’t have to pay a penalty for not providing them health coverage — making them $3,000 more attractive than a similar native-born worker, whom the business by law would have to cover.




#AceBreakingNews – Nov.26 – OPEC – Gulf oil producers have reached a consensus not to cut oil output when OPEC meets on Thursday in Vienna, a Gulf OPEC delegate told Reuters.

Separately, Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi confirmed the Gulf states had reached a unified decision, but did not specify what the consensus was. Naimi said he believed the oil market “will stabilize itself eventually,” increasing speculation that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ largest producer and exporter, would not support an output cut at its Thursday meeting.

“The GCC reached a consensus,” Naimi told reporters, referring to the Gulf Cooperation Council. “We are very confident that OPEC will have a unified position.”

Reuters – CNBC