Israeli researchers to take part in groundbreaking NASA project

Israeli researchers to take part in groundbreaking NASA project

Researchers from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology have been selected to participate in a prestigious NASA Explorer’s Program concept study, NASA announced last week.

The Explorer’s Program has selected six astrophysics concept studies out of hundreds of proposals submitted by researchers around the world.

The Israeli research project, sponsored by the Israel Space Agency (ISA), seeks to develop an instrument called the Transient Astrophysics Observer, which will measure blasts of electromagnetic energy from outer space on the International Space Station. The instrument will detect gravitational waves resulting from neutron stars merging with black holes and other neutron stars, as well as supernova shocks, neutron star bursts and high redshift gamma-ray bursts .

The Technion researchers, headed by professors Ehud Behar and Shlomit Tarem from the Physics Faculty and the Asher Space Research Institute, developed a detector of gamma rays, the highest frequency electromagnetic waves, as well as the most radioactive. The rays will be detected through a wide-field, lobster eye X-ray telescope to be built by NASA specifically for the mission.

The American-Israeli mission, lead by Dr. Gordon Camp of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, is to undergo a feasibility check before being launched to the international space station in 2022. The proposal is among the six that will receive up to hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to study the galaxy.

The proposals were selected based on their scientific potential and feasibility. The ISA, which also provided assistance in submitting the proposal to NASA, will invest millions of shekels into the development of the instrument and sending it to space.

Read More: Israel Hayom

Nikki Haley: Iran can’t use nuclear deal to hold world hostage

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UNITED NATIONS — US Ambassador Nikki Haley says Iran should not be allowed “to use the nuclear deal to hold the world hostage.”

Haley commented Tuesday after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned that the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement with the US and five other world powers could fall apart. Rouhani said Tehran could quickly ramp up and advance its nuclear program if the US continues “threats and sanctions” against Iran.

Haley warned that “the nuclear deal must not become ‘too big to fail.’” She added that “Iran, under no circumstances, can ever be allowed to have nuclear weapons.”

Haley said Iran must be held responsible for launching missiles, supporting terrorism, disregarding human rights and violating UN Security Council resolutions.

She plans to visit the UN nuclear agency in Vienna next week.

Earlier Tuesday, Rouhani said Iran could abandon its the nuclear deal with world powers if the United States keeps on imposing new sanctions.

In a speech to parliament, he also hit out at US counterpart Donald Trump saying that he had shown the world that Washington was “not a good partner.”

Rouhani’s comments came with the nuclear deal under mounting pressure after Tehran carried out missile tests and strikes, and Washington imposed new sanctions — with each accusing the other of violating the spirit of the agreement.

Read More: Times of Israel

PLO Denounces US Congress Over Taylor Force Legislation, Affirms That Ending Terror Salaries Would Be ‘Unacceptable Act’

PLO Denounces US Congress Over Taylor Force Legislation, Affirms That Ending Terror Salaries Would Be ‘Unacceptable Act’

The PLO’s Executive Committee thumbed its nose at the US Congress on Monday, accusing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee of having bestowed its “blessings” upon “the herds of [Israeli] settlers” when it passed the anti-terrorist Taylor Force Act earlier this month.

The legislation, likely to be voted on during the forthcoming session of Congress, conditions aid to the Palestinian Authority on a complete and verifiable end to its so-called “martyr payments” policy – monthly salaries to convicted Palestinian terrorists and their families at an annual cost of over $300 million in foreign aid money.

The Executive Committee – led by PA President Mahmoud Abbas – asserted that “the American Senate Committee on Foreign Relations’ approval of stopping American aid to the PA – if it does not stop the aid to the families of the Martyrs and prisoners” is an “unacceptable act that will negatively affect everything that is connected to the Palestinians’ rights, and particularly their right to life and protection from the occupation army’s violations, and [from] the summary executions that it carries out in the streets and military checkpoints of the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.”

The Committee “emphasized that the PLO will continue its national, moral, and humanitarian responsibility towards the occupation’s victims, the victims of the organized state terror, and the victims of the herds of settlers and their terror organizations, which the government of Israel supports and provides with protection and patronage, with the blessings of the legislators of the American Congress,” its statement, translated by Israeli research institute Palestinian Media Watch, said.

Read More: Algemeiner

Israel to send aid to Sierra Leone after devastating landslide

Israel to send aid to Sierra Leone after devastating landslide

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday instructed the Foreign Ministry to send aid to Sierra Leone, where hundreds of people were killed in a massive landslide in the capital.

At least 312 people were killed and more than 2,000 left homeless when heavy flooding hit Freetown, leaving excavators to pull bodies from rubble and overwhelming the city’s morgues.

“The prime minister has ordered the Foreign Ministry to extend aid to Sierra Leone in any way and as soon as possible,” his office said.

As there is no embassy in Sierra Leone, Netanyahu said Israel will send medicines, clean water, blankets and other needed items via the embassy in Senegal.

Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma visited Israel in January, and at that time Netanyahu discussed with him the possibility of sending a delegation to help the country’s development.

Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world, according to UN indicators.

Sierra Leone’s military, police and Red Cross volunteers were deployed in an all-out effort to locate and rescue citizens trapped in their homes or under rubble.

The Sierra Leone meteorological department did not issue any warning ahead of the torrential rains to hasten evacuation from the disaster zones, AFP’s correspondent based in Freetown said.

Deputy Information Minister Cornelius Deveaux confirmed Koroma had called a national emergency, and said his own boss, Information Minister Mohamed Bangura, was in the hospital after being injured in the flooding.

The scale of the human cost of the floods was only becoming clear on Monday afternoon, as images of battered corpses piled on top of each other circulated and residents spoke of their struggles to cope with the destruction and find their loved ones.

Read More: Times Of Israel