Monday, May 16, 2016

That time a handful of Israeli airmen led by a former US Marine took on 10,000 Egyptians – and won

1947 israel partition plan UNIn November 1947, the United Nations voted to partition what was then called “Palestine.”
The plan called for a complete British withdrawal, separate Jewish and Palestinian states, and an international regime to control the ancient, holy city of Jerusalem.
The partition plan was rejected by Arab nations in the region on the grounds that it violated the UN charter’s principles of self-determination.
Before May 1948, the conflict consisted of separate Arab and Jewish fighting for supremacy and fighting to expel the British. On May 15, 1948, the Jewish people of the region declared independence as the state of Israel and the world hasn’t been the same since.
The Partition of Palestine passed in the UN General Assembly in November 1947. Immediately after the partition vote passed, the country descended into a civil war for control of the political and cultural hearts of the region.
May 14th, 1948 was the day the British announced their intent to end their UN mandate. Shortly before midnight that day, Jewish political leader David Ben Gurion declared an independent Israel.
The Jewish people in Palestine didn’t just get independence handed to them. The conflict that started the day after the partition vote now exploded into a full-scale war, the day the British were to leave.
The neighboring Arab states Egypt, Transjordan (now modern Jordan), Iraq, and Syria immediately invaded the territory declared to be Israel. Jewish paramilitary groups that were once considered terrorists under the British Mandate coalesced into the Israel Defence Forces.
Screen Shot 2016 05 16 at 9.35.26 AMPublic DomainBen Gurion (center)with Israeli forces in the Negev during the 1948 war.
These groups were already engaged in conflict with Palestinian Arab units throughout the area, including the Arab Liberation Army and Holy War Army. The British were functionally gone anyway and the major cities of Tiberias, Jaffa, Haifa, and Acre had already fallen to the Israelis.
Syrian forces would invade from the North, linking up with Iraqi and Jordanians forces in Nazareth, then pushing West to take the coastal city of Haifa. The Egyptians were supposed to capture Tel Aviv from the South. The Jordanian King Abdullah I didn’t want to invade any area given to the Jewish state under the UN partition, and the plan was changed.
Israel butterfly haganah negevPublic DomainA “Butterfly” improvised armored car of the Haganah at Kibbutz Dorot in the Negev, Israel 1948. The armored car is based on CMP-15 truck. The car brought supplies to the kibbutz.
The Egyptians, by far the largest of the invading armies, were still to invade from the South and capture Tel Aviv. Two weeks after the Israeli declaration of independence, Egyptians were knocking at the door, ready to move on Tel Aviv. The defense of the city fell to one man, Lou Lenart. Lenart would enter the history books as the man who devised and executed the IDF’s first aerial strike.
Lenart was a seasoned combat airman. He joined the Marine Corps in 1940 with the singular goal of killing Nazis. He would go to flight school later in his career, which saw him serve as air support for Marines on Okinawa and participate in bombing raids over Japan. After the war, he found out he lost 14 family members in the Holocaust. That loss galvanized his feelings on an independent Jewish state. By the time he arrived in Israel, he was an experienced combat pilot.
Lenart and three fellow pilots (Ezer Weizmann, Mudy Alon, and Eddie Cohen) flew four Czech Avia S-99 airplanes, cobbled together with the remains of Nazi Messerschmitt fighters. Armed with a machine gun and four 150-pound bombs, the four flew south to Ashdod where they’d heard the Egyptians were camped.
They had no radar, no radios, and communicated with hand signals. Finding masses of Egyptian troops, trucks, and tanks, the Jewish pilots dropped low, dropped their bombs and shot up anything they could see.
Avia S-99 israelPublic DomainAvia S-99 being fitted for combat in 1948.
“They didn’t even know Israel had an air force,” Lenart would say later. “The Arabs had everything, we had nothing. And we still won. When I’m asked how we did it, I say: ‘We just didn’t have a choice. That was our secret weapon.’”
Louis (Lou) LenartPublic DomainLouis (Lou) Lenart.
They encountered what turned out to be an armored column of 10,000 Egyptian troops and 500 vehicles. 
Cohen was killed in the attack and Alon was shot down (he would be killed later in the war).
The Egyptians were stunned and scattered. By the time they recovered, Egypt had lost the initiative.
This was the beginning ofOperation Pleshet. Israeli forces would then harass the Egyptians and group for a counter attack.
Though that counter was not successful, Egypt’s strategy turned from offensive to defensive and to this day, the bold Israeli airstrike is credited for saving Tel Aviv.
The (first) war for Israel’s existence would drag on until March 1949 but Tel Aviv would never fall to an Arab army.
Lenart died in 2015 at the ripe old age of 94. His efforts in the 1948 war were never forgotten.

Pablo Escobar's chief assassin reveals the 2 things that spook drug lords like 'El Chapo' Guzmán

Pablo Escobar's chief assassin reveals the 2 things that spook drug lords like 'El Chapo' GuzmánWhen drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán was spirited from a high-security prison in central Mexico to one just miles from the US border under the cover of darkness on May 7, many saw it as a step toward the fate that terrifies drug traffickers: extradition to the US.

According to Jhon Jairo Velásquez Vásquez — Pablo Escobar's top hitman — extradition to the US is the fate that drug barons like Escobar and Guzmán fear most.

In the jails and prisons of Latin America, kingpins often exercise a great deal of influence.

While detained at Puente Grande Federal Prison from 1993 to 2001, for example, Guzmán was allowed to host his family for a vacation inside the prison grounds, held multiple parties for friends, and had female inmates brought to the all-male jail for his enjoyment, Mexican journalist Anabel Hernandez said in an interview.
Pablo Escobar's chief assassin reveals the 2 things that spook drug lords like 'El Chapo' Guzmán
The US legal and prison systems, however, strip drug barons of their power.

Extradition threatens powerful narcos like Escobar and Guzmán because they would be cut off from their cartel business, their family, and corrupt authorities willing to accept bribes.

In the words of Escobar, "better a grave in Colombia than a cell in the United States."

In an interview with Univision, Velásquez elaborated on another thing that scared traffickers: "wanted" posters.

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.El Chapo Guzman escape
(REUTERS/Henry Romero)
Federal police officers handing out fliers with photos of drug lord Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán offering a reward of 60 million Mexican pesos for information near the Marquesa toll booth outside Mexico City on July 16.
Pablo Escobar's chief assassin reveals the 2 things that spook drug lords like 'El Chapo' Guzmán
As one of the few surviving members of Escobar's Medellín cartel, Vásquez, commonly referred to as "Popeye," claimed that the "king of cocaine" once told him, "Popeye, we're dead," after seeing his face on a "wanted" poster.

"The 'wanted' poster is very dangerous for us as bandits because you go to a store to buy a drink and there's your photo. Someone sees it on TV and knows you are worth 10 million dollars," Popeye said.

For Guzmán, the yearslong "wanted poster" portion of his criminal career, which included two brazen prison escapes, appears to have given way to the extradition portion.

Pablo Escobar's chief assassin reveals the 2 things that spook drug lords like 'El Chapo' Guzmán
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Mexican officials dismissed the possibility of his extradition to the US after Guzmán was captured in 2014, but the government seemed to be changing its mind before his breakout last July.

The extradition of Guzmán to the US was already in the works, according to the Mexican attorney general's office — Mexico received the extradition request on June 25, but Guzmán slipped out of prison through a mile-long tunnel two weeks later.

Now, four months after Guzmán was reapprehended in January, he sits in a jail outside Ciudad Juarez, miles from El Paso, Texas. A Mexican judge recently signed off on the legal proceedings involved in the kingpin's extradition, but diplomatic and political hurdles remain.

It seems unlikely that Guzmán will arrive on US territory anytime soon, but the move does put him within surveillance range of US intelligence assets in Texas, which could help Mexico prevent or respond to an escape attempt.

And, as Nathan P. Jones of Rice University's Baker Institute has noted, the new location puts Guzmán near El Paso, where he faces indictment and where he can be moved quickly if the Mexican government decides to expedite his extradition.

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.popeye escobar
(El Proceso)
Popeye was Escobar's chief assassin during the final years of the drug lord's life, and he was responsible for more than 300 assassinations and for organizing another 3,000 homicides.

He spent 23 years in six different Colombian prisons after he turned himself in to authorities in 1992. He was released in August 2014.

Popeye estimates that Guzmán's 2015 escape could have cost at least $50 million in bribes to authorities and prison workers since "at [Altiplano] they have sensors and cameras to prevent tunnels," according to his interview with Univision, though other sources put that number much lower.

But no amount of money is likely to win Guzmán favor in a US prison, something the Sinaloa cartel kingpin most likely knows all to well.

Here's what happened when a White House intern hung up on Hillary Clinton

Hillary ClintonBelow we are republishing an anecdote from Ellen Vrana, one of Quora's top writers and a former White House intern, about an experience she had with Hillary Clinton while Clinton was the first lady.
I was in college, 1999. I had a summer internship at the Clinton White House. I loved government and wanted to get into it.
I worked in a building within walking distance to the White House. You didn't need a badge to get into my building. Or an ID. In fact, all you needed were hands to open the door.
My job was to listen to speeches and type them up. The technical word is "transcribe." I transcribed the heck out of quite a few speeches. I also did "copying," "collating," and occasional "binder clipping." I could see the White House from our building.
Funny enough, my boss's name was also Ellen. This is important.
One day I was covering for Boss Ellen's assistant who was out with the flu, playing hooky, or just dead — I cannot remember. I got a break from the copier (and it got a break from me). Promoted! I was scared.
clinton phoneMark Wilson/Getty Images
It was going fine, relatively fine, when Boss Ellen got a phone call on her line. I answered it for her outside her office.
Me: "Hello, Ellen's Office."
On the phone: "Hey Ellen, it's Hillary. What do you think about … "
The first lady was calling me! She knows my name! She wants to know what I think!
Me: "HOLY SH--; IT'S YOU!!!"
I just swore at the first lady of the United States!
[Panics. Slams phone.]
I just hung up on the first lady of the United States.
It is as bad as it sounds.
Overwhelmed by the awesomeness of talking to the first lady, thinking she meant me directly when she said "Ellen," I got verbal diarrhea and swore at her. Then, in shock, I slammed down the phone, thinking that would undo everything. Realizing that I had done that, I then yelled out an even worse obscenity to the entire office.
The rest happened pretty quickly:
My boss called out, "What is going on out there!?"
The first lady's aide called back immediately, and I apologized. She ignored me and said, "Put us through, please."
I put the call through.
My boss never mentioned it to me. I was too embarrassed to look at her again. I went back to the copier. My old friend. I never did meet Hillary Clinton in person.
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Read the original article on Quora. Ask a question, get a great answer. Learn from experts and get insider knowledge. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Copyright 2016. Follow Quora on Twitter.

Sadiq Khan joke backfires on Italy's Beppe Grillo

The leader of Italy's largest opposition party has made an unsavoury joke about London's first Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, saying that he would "blow himself up in front of Westminster".
Beppe Grillo, who is also a comedian, made the remark while he was performing in Padua, Northern Italy.
The leader of the populist Five Star Movement started his comedic act on Saturday by praising Khan's political achievements and said the new mayor's success served as "a prime example that one must never stop dreaming", according to British and Italian media.
But, Grillo then added: "Now I want to see when he blows himself up in front of Westminster".During the show, Grillo also wrongly referred to Khan, who is of Pakistani origin, as "Bangladeshi".

The comments prompted a backlash on social media, with hundreds of people accusing him of Islamophobia and racism.

People also made comparisons between Grillo and the US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who previously called for halting Muslims entering the US.

The anti-establishment Five Stars Movement was founded by Grillo in 2009, and is now the single largest party in the Lower House and second in the Senate.

Both the voters and the elected representatives of the populist and Eurosceptic group are in the younger age brackets.

In fact, although Grillo himself is 67, his group found most of its voters among the under-30 group.

Bangladesh politician arrested for 'Israel handshake'

Bangladesh police have arrested a senior official from the main opposition party and accused him of plotting against the state following his meeting with an Israeli political adviser in India.
Aslam Chowdhury, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) joint secretary general, was arrested on Sunday after local media reported that he had met an Israeli government adviser in India in March.
"We have arrested Chowdhury for allegedly plotting conspiracies against the government by personally meeting an Israeli politician abroad," Abdul Baten, detective police commissioner, said.
Maruf Hossain Sorder, the Dhaka police spokesman, said officers were preparing to file a criminal case against him.
Sheikh Hasina's government has been increasingly cracking down on political opponents, amid a wave of killings of secular bloggers and activists.
Chowdhury, a businessman from the southern city of Chittagong, has denied plotting against the government, saying that he met the Israeli political adviser during a "personal business trip" to India.
Bangladesh has no diplomatic ties with Israel and Bangladeshis are banned from travelling to the country.
The arrest is the latest against the BNP. Khaleda Zia, the party leader and former prime minister, was last week charged with masterminding arson attacks during anti-government protests last year, the latest in a string of charges that she says are politically motivated.
Bangladesh has been hit by a political crisis since the BNP and other opposition parties boycotted the general election in 2014.