Israel's Good News Newsletter to 14th Aug 16



In the 14th Aug 16 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         A new Israeli treatment can prevent damage from strokes.
·         Israeli helicopters evacuated 8 wounded Syrians including 2 children.
·         Israel is helping Cameroon to prevent the spread of bird flu.
·         An Israeli startup can identify a sweet watermelon from its photo.
·         One of Israel’s oldest companies is building roads in Colombia.
·         Two Israeli judokas have won Olympic medals.

·         My latest Israel Good News feature.  Click here for “Funny but True”.  Also published on the Jerusalem Post, IsraelSeen, San Diego Jewish World and United With Israel websites.

·         Click here to see the 31st July newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours, IsraPundit, Janglo and United With Israel.  Also (TY Sandra) available in German and (TY Karen) available in Portuguese.  Please promote the terrific work of these volunteers by passing their links onto German and Portuguese readers.

Page Down for details on these and more good news stories from Israel.  Thank You to all who have sent me links to many of these positive news articles.  Due to computer problems in the UK, the newsletter is shorter than usual. I’ll catch up when I return to Israel in September.  Please use IsraelActive to search the archives.


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Countering the effects of strokes.  (TY Eli) Israeli biotech Pambio is developing a treatment that prevents bleeding and subsequent damage from brain hemorrhages.  No existing treatment exists.  Pambio has just received $7 million of funding.  http://www.geektime.com/2016/07/18/nazareth-based-startup-pambio-raises-7-million-to-battle-long-term-effects-of-stroke/

There is no “good” cholesterol.  Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, including Professor Jeremy Kark and Dr Chobufo Dita from Cameroon, have confirmed in tests on 504 Arabs and Jews that small dense protein-rich high-density lipoprotein particles (MS-HDL-P) protects against coronary heart disease and not cholesterol-rich HDL-C.  http://new.huji.ac.il/en/article/32119

Using prawns to fight deadly parasite.  Researchers at Israel’s Ben Gurion University are studying how to use male prawns in Africa to kill the parasitic worm that causes Schistosomiasis (Bilharzia).  The disease affects 200 million people worldwide, coming only second to Malaria in terms of the devastation it causes.

Sleep Apnea device approved for teens.  The US FDA has approved the use of the WatchPAT Sleep Apnea device from Israel’s Itamar Medical being extended to adolescents of twelve years old and above.  Previously, WatchPAT was only approved for use on those aged seventeen and above.

The secrets of antisocial behavior.  Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have discovered in laboratory tests that the molecule Urocortin-3 acts as a “social switch”.  High concentrations the molecule increases social interactivity, but blocking the molecule turns the subject into reclusiveness.

The treatment that will cure MS and ALS and more.  (TY Nevet) Very uplifting article by Paul Alster on the trials at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center of stem cell treatments for Multiple Sclerosis, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s) and potentially other brain diseases and strokes.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Bike paths for the disabled.  (TY SDM) Athletes with physical disabilities who use adaptive bicycles like hand cycles will now be able to utilize dozens of kilometers of bike paths thanks to a new 5.7-million shekel Accessible Cycling Complex at the National Sport Center in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park.

Israel’s Wonder Woman empowers women. (TY SDM) Gal Gadot, the Israeli actress who plays the role of Wonder Woman in the film Batman vs Superman, is the star of a new campaign to highlight the talents and uniqueness of Israeli women.  The video also features an IDF pilot, a business woman, a doctor and a surfer.

Still saving Syrian lives.  (TY SDM) In just one week, eight Syrians who were severely injured in artillery strikes on a hospital were evacuated by Israeli helicopters from Syria to Israel.  They included two children, aged 7 and 11.  Israel has treated 2,500 wounded Syrians over the past 3 years.

Solving Indian health problems.  The India Israel Affordable Healthcare Hackathon 22-24 July brought 600 participants to Tel Aviv, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. They developed innovative ideas and prototyped solutions to address the healthcare challenges of lower-middle income communities in India.  Israeli teams won prizes for addressing malnutrition and hearing impairment.  http://www.med4dev.com/#!tel-aviv/r87q7

Helping fight bird flu in Cameroon.  (TY Dan) Israel has provided urgent assistance to Cameroon to help fight the spread of the bird-flu virus. The Israeli Embassy in Cameroon initiated and organized the arrival of emergency protective equipment.  http://cameroon-concord.com/business/item/6474-the-state-of-israel-has-provided-urgent-assistance-to-cameroon-to-help-fight-the-spread-of-the-bird-flu-virus


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Hi-tech protects the Old City.  The Mabat 2000 observation and intelligence center counters crime and terror attacks in Jerusalem.  36 hi-tech touch screens receive real-time images from 320 CCTV cameras at the nine entrances to the Old City providing fast response data in any incident.  Police and homeland- security delegations from around the world regularly visit the facility.

Protecting hospital data. Israeli cybersecurity Votiro’s unique “zero-day” technology quarantines emails containing malicious software that locks hospital systems and issues ransom demands to unlock it.  Jerusalem’s Alyn Hospital for special needs children has just installed Votiro’s software to protect it against such threats.

Beginning of the end for supermarket checkout queues.  (TY Janglo) The barcode self-scanning and checkout payment smartphone app from Israeli startup SuperSmart could be the start of a revolution in Israeli grocery shopping.  The app is currently on trial at an Osher Ad supermarket branch in Tel Aviv.

A perfectly sweet watermelon.  Salah Abd Alhalem, Adam Garah and Ayman Sarha’an from Israel’s Technion Institute have invented a device that correlates a watermelon's internal and external appearance. Using three pictures of the melon at different angles, an algorithm determines its taste rating with 100% accuracy.

Alternative fuels summit.  Tel Aviv will host the fourth annual Fuel Choices Summit on 2-3 Nov. It will explore and exhibit innovation in alternative fuels and smart mobility.  Israel’s Prime Minister will award the 2016 Samson Prize for a major breakthrough in the field of alternative fuels for transportation. 

Two medals at Chemistry Olympiad.  (TY IsraelSeen) Israeli high school students Ron Solan and Rina Svotianovwon a silver and a bronze medal at the annual International Chemistry Olympiad which took place in the Georgian capital Tbilisi.  264 high students competed from 66 different countries.


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Israeli and US minds combine.  "Excel Ventures," an extension of the specialized Birthright Israel Excel program, brought 10 American business students, and 10 Israeli ex-tech soldiers, together for a 10-week "start-up training boot camp" in the heart of Tel Aviv.  The Israelis bring their problem-solving skills and the Americans bring their business acumen.  http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/215762

Tax cut plans for hi-tech companies.  Israel’s Finance Ministry plans to cut corporate tax for multinational hi-tech companies that register their Intellectual Property in Israel.  The move would encourage large companies to move or continue with their Research & Development in Israel.

Israeli games company sold for $4.4 billion.  A Chinese consortium has bought Israel’s Playtika for $4.4 billion - the third largest sale in Israel’s history (TY Dan).  Playtika is based in Herzliya, but is owned currently by Caesar’s Interactive Entertainment.  Playtika’s games are played daily by over 6 million people in 190 countries, in 12 languages, and on at least 10 platforms.

Intel invests in 3 more Israeli startups.  Intel Capital, the global investment arm of the US-based chipmaker Intel Corp, has invested in three additional Israeli startups - Velostata, Panoply.io and Sedona Systems, for a total of $25 million.  Intel Capital has invested over $345 million in Israeli companies since 1997.

Fashion House reborn after 62 years.  (TY Dan)  Fashion house Maskit was founded in 1954 by Ruth Dayan - wife of Moshe Dayan.  Then in 2011, young Israeli designer Sharon Tal, inspired by the dress worn by Kate Middleton at her wedding with Prince William, contacted Ruth (then nearly 100) and Maskit was relaunched.

Building roads in Colombia.  Israel’s Shikun & Binui is to build a 100-mile (154km) toll road near Bogota, the capital of Colombia in South America.  The contract is worth around $640 million.

Enabling financial services for micro-businesses.  (TY SDM) Israeli startup Sling has been bought by Brazilian Avante.  Sling allows independent traders to access essential business financial services direct from their smartphones.  Sling was extremely popular in Israel and plans to service 10,000 merchants in Brazil.


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Santana’s amazing concert.  Carlos Santana performed in front of 25,000 fans in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park.  Israellycool has published dozens of video clips. Santana’s encore included “Exodus” and “Hava Nagila”.

Get to know Tel Aviv.  (TY Nevet) Forbes journalist Breanna Wilson recommends Tel Aviv as the destination of the year.  She particularly liked the hotels, food and Neve Tzedek - one of the oldest and now trendiest districts in town.  http://www.forbes.com/sites/breannawilson/2016/06/08/get-to-know-tel-aviv-3-things-not-to-miss-in-israels-coolest-city

Stoudemire to play basketball in Israel.  Former NBA star Amar’e Stoudemire has signed to play for the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team for two years. “My family and I are excited to start a new journey in Israel, a country I have grown to love,” he said.  Stoudemire, 33, retired from the NBA after a 14-year career.

The first Israeli NASCAR driver.  I reported previously (Feb 2012) that an Israeli team had joined the NASCAR racing league.  On Aug 13, Alon Day became the first Israeli driver to compete in the NASCAR league, taking part in the Xfinity Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Israel wins two Olympic medals. Israeli judokas won two bronze medals at the Rio Olympics – the first medals since 2008.  Yarden Gerbi won bronze in the women’s under 63kg class.  And Ori Sasson won bronze in the men’s over 100kg event. 


THE JEWISH STATE

Against the odds, victim recovers.  Tzvika Cohen returned home from hospital, five and a half months after being brutally attacked by an axe-wielding Arab terrorist.  Doctors had predicted that Tzvika might never wake up (he was comatose for 3 weeks) or be paralyzed for life.  He is now able to walk and shower on his own.

1000 FSU Birthright participants celebrate Israel.  1000 Russian-speaking Birthright Israel participants celebrated Israel as a land of diversity and opportunity at the Wohl Centre in Ramat Gan.  Around 45,000 Russian-speaking young adults have experienced Israel through Taglit-Birthright over the past 16 years.

That’s what I call a welcome.  When the Weisel family from New Jersey arrived on Aliya to their new home in Moreshet, they received a tremendous welcome from the townspeople.