Israel's Good News Newsletter to 30th july 17

(On holiday - next newsletter hopefully on 27th Aug)

In the 30th July 17 edition of Israel’s good news, the highlights include:

·         Israeli scientists have found a molecule to fix a damaged heart.
·         An Israeli nurse breastfed the baby of a critically ill Palestinian Arab.
·         Israel is top in 4 categories of the UN Global Innovation Index.
·         The first European city to “plant” an Israeli solar-powered tree.
·         A record $1.1 billion takeover of an Israeli biotech.
·         Tel Aviv broke the record for the largest yoga art installation.
·         There is now an App to help make the Aliyah process easier.

·         Click here to see the 23rd July newsletter on IsraelSeen, Ruthfully Yours (July 9th), Janglo and United With Israel. Also (TY Sandra) in German and (TY Karen) in Portuguese.

·         Click here, to SEARCH the IsraelActive archives of more than 11,000 previous news articles.
·         Click here, to donate a small amount to help me expand the reach of VeryGoodNewsIsrael.

·         If someone wishes to be added to the free email subscription list, they should send a request to michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

A molecule that restores heart function.  Scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute have uncovered a molecule called Agrin, that appears to control the cardiac repair process. It was discovered in the surrounding supportive tissue of the heart known as the extracellular matrix, or ECM. In lab tests, Agrin healed scar tissue in a month.

Good results in acne dual-treatment trials. Israeli biotech Sol-Gel has announced positive interim results in its Phase II clinical trial for its “Twin” treatment for acne. “Twin” combines two known acne treatments with a unique method of molecular wrapping that makes it easier to penetrate the skin.

Alzheimer’s disease can be seen in the eyes.  Researchers at Israel’s Sheba Medical Center have discovered a connection between mild cognitive impairment and the response of that person’s eye pupil to red and blue light. More tests will check if loss of retina function is an early warning of Alzheimer’s disease.

Eye-Control: life-changing technology.  Latest video about Israel’s Eye-Control, a compact and affordable invention that gives a voice to locked-in patients who were unable to communicate, due to diseases such as ALS.  With Eye-Control individuals use their eyes to spell out words and statements, proving that the eyes really are the window into the soul.  https://www.youtube.com/embed/_VaPBIViS7o?rel=0

£7 million for UK-Israel joint research.  (TY Hazel) The Britain Israel Research Academic Exchange (BIRAX) has funded over £7 million in 15 bilateral research programs including stem cell treatments for multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease and therapies for Type 1 diabetes.

Surgery for Fijian children.  (TY Hazel) More than 50 children will undergo free surgery and health screening in Suva, capital of Fiji, by an Israeli team of three doctors and a nurse. The team is part of Mashav, an arm of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, which assists more than 60 countries to alleviate hunger, disease and poverty.

Nordic walking and pain.  I reported previously (15 Jan) on the unique study led by Israel’s Dr. Donald Silverberg that showed Nordic Pole Walking (NPW) can alleviate chronic low back, hip and/or knee pain.  In this video, Dr. Silverberg describes his study and its eye-opening (and back-straightening) results.

Israeli surgeons save girl on Birthright tour. Kimberly Winkler, from the Dominican Republic, suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm whilst on a Taglit-Birthright tour of Israel.  She was rushed to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem where surgeons performed three delicate operations to save her life.


ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Help for child daycare.  (TY Atid-EDI) As part of the Finance Ministry’s family assistance program, Israel is subsidizing afternoon daycare for all families. The Israeli Parliament also passed a law capping prices for after-school care. http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-cabinet-approves-afternoon-daycare-subsidies-1001189402

New accessible beach for the disabled.  (TY Janglo) Thanks to "Refuah V'simcha," an organization which helps sick and needy people, Israel will have its first separate handicapped-accessible beach in Ashdod.  It will have an access route right up to the water line, allowing the physically handicapped to preserve their dignity.

Integrating Israeli-Ethiopians.  I reported previously (Oct 2016 – TY Sharon) on Israel’s Tech-Career which has helped over 400 young Ethiopian-Israelis launch careers in the Israeli hi-tech industry.  Here is a more recent article about the work of this vital non-profit organization.

Israeli to swim round Manhattan to fund research.  Israel’s Guy Cohen will take part in the 20 Bridges Swim around Manhattan - one of the hardest swims in the world. He is raising funds for research by Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center into Sudden Cardiac Death, which took his six-year-old daughter Netta 15 years ago.

Israeli nurses baby of injured Arab mother.  Finally - a positive Israel article in the NYT. A Palestinian Arab mother was so badly injured in a car crash that she was unable to nurse her baby, who wouldn’t take a bottle. Whilst family members watched helplessly, Israeli nurse Ola Ostrowski-Zak took the child and breastfed him.
https://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2017/06/12/israeli-nurse-breastfed-the-baby-of-a-critically-injured-palestinian-woman/ But please click, as this positive story doesn’t end here.  (Original article in Today.)

The father of Israeli social work.  Eliezer Jaffe passed away aged 83, a week after receiving the Bonei Zion Prize for significant contribution to Israel. Jaffe founded Israel’s first academic school of social work, the Paul Baerwald School of Social Work at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He also founded the Israel Free Loan Association. http://www.jta.org/2017/05/30/news-opinion/israel-middle-east/eliezer-jaffe-a-father-of-israeli-social-work-dies-at-83

Israel-Asia Center graduates.  11 promising young leaders from eight countries recently graduated from the Israel-Asia Center’s 2016-17 Leaders Fellowship program. Now in its sixth year, alumni are heading up Asia operations of Israeli companies, establishing Asian accelerators in Israel and setting up Israel-Asia ventures.

Child development program graduates.  Haifa University’s International Child Development Master’s Program aims to improve the lives of children at risk worldwide, and is the world’s only fully funded academic child development program. 2017 graduates are from Uganda, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Liberia, Tanzania and Kenya. https://worldisraelnews.com/developing-countries-benefit-israeli-child-development-program/

Georgia – a 2,600-year link.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and visiting Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili highlighted the 2,600-year history of Jewish relations with the Caucasus country. The Georgian leader committed his Government and people to strengthen bilateral ties.

The rising star of Global Innovation.  The Jewish state ranked 17th overall in the United Nations Global Innovation Index report, improving its standing by four places from 2016. It topped the list for percentage of researchers, expenditure on R&D, Venture Capital investment and IT services export.


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Testing fruit for freshness.  Israeli start-up AclarTech has developed the AclaroMeter app that works with a smartphone’s camera and the Israeli SCIO molecular scanner, to monitor the ripeness, freshness and quality of fruit and vegetables. It could revolutionize the global food market by helping prevent wasted products.

More Israeli protection from the Dark Web.  I reported previously (see here) on three Israeli companies that provide services to prevent cyber-attacks from the hidden side of the Internet.  Israeli start-up White Hat is another. Staffed by former members of IDF intelligence units, White Hat deals in “civilian cyber intelligence”.

Israeli cows are still cream of the crop.  (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (Jun 2011) that in 2009 Israeli cows produced more milk than those in any other country – around 10,000 litres a year each. Eight years later, Israel’s cows are still world champions, now producing on average 11,970 litres (3,162 gallons) of milk a year.

French town “grows” Israeli solar tree.  I reported previously (Nov 2014) about the solar-powered artificial tree designed by Israeli start-up Sologic. Now, a Sologic eTree has been placed in the French Loire town of Nevers (population 37,000), allowing passers-by to charge their phones, use free Wi-Fi and have a cool drink.

Nano-ink for printed circuits.  (TY Atid-EDI) I reported previously (see here) on at least three Israeli companies that have developed ink for miniaturized electric circuits.  Here is another – Israel’s PV Nano Cell has just received a Japanese patent for its silver nano particles ink, which should enhance its Japanese business.

The first certified fully-automatic drone. (TY Atid-EDI) The Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI), has granted Israel’s Airobotics the world’s first authorization to fly fully-automated commercial drones without a pilot.  The system uses computer software and artificial intelligence instead of a human drone operator.

The boot is on the other foot.  I reported recently (25 Jun) about Israel’s Invertex which scans your feet to help you choose the right size of shoe on the Internet.  Now another Israeli startup WizeSize does something very similar. Let me know if you can tell the difference. https://www.youtube.com/embed/v1HftsBWWJ8?rel=0


ECONOMY & BUSINESS

$3.1 billion exports to US in 3 months.  Israel Export Institute reported that Israeli exports to the U.S. amounted to $3.1 billion in the first quarter of 2017 - an increase of 5% over the same period in 2016. Medical equipment exports rose 23% to $650 million.

UK-Israel trade increases.  (TY Hazel) The British Embassy in Tel Aviv has reported that since the Brexit vote, from June 2016 to May 2017, 32 new Israeli companies have entered the UK market, investing £152 million and creating 888 new jobs.  http://www.bicom.org.uk/news/uk-israel-trade-increased-brexit-vote/

Top Israeli entrepreneurs give advice. Israeli organization AlmaLinks promotes Birthright-like ties between the Jewish business community in the US and Israel. It brought 200 Diaspora business executives to hear from Israelis who have led their companies to become “Unicorns” - i.e. having valuations of a billion dollars or more.

Lower water rates.  (TY Atid-EDI) The Israel Water Authority Council has reduced the rate for the first 3.5 cubic meters of water per person for household consumers by 14.5%.  The cost to farmers has been cut by 20%.

Help for small and medium businesses. (TY Janglo) Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry has set up Maof - The Agency for Small and Mid-Sized Enterprises. Maof has 40 branches, providing subsidized consulting, help to raise funds, organizing conferences, courses, training and special projects.

The largest exit of an Israeli healthcare company.  I reported previously (four times) on Israel’s Neuroderm and its innovative treatments for Parkinson’s sufferers.  Neuroderm has just been bought by Japan’s Mitsubishi Tanabe for $1.1 billion – a record for an Israeli life-science company. It should bring products to market faster.

A $2.6 billion company.  Israel’s Tower Semiconductors, which specializes in analog chips, has seen its share price double over the past year.  It is now valued at NIS 9.5 billion ($2.6 billion). First quarter profit rose nearly 60% to $45.5 million.  The demand for analog chips has soared, even in the digital world.

Elbit’s cyber unit opens in Singapore. Cyberbit, a subsidiary of Israel’s Elbit Systems, is opening new offices in Singapore which it sees as an important center for cybersecurity technologies in the Asia Pacific region.  Elbit acquired Cyberbit from Israel’s Nice Sysems in 2015 and it already has offices in the US and Europe.

Acquisition to help educate coders.  I reported previously (three times) on Israeli cyber-security startup Checkmarx which is preparing a NASDAQ listing.  Checkmarx has just taken over the UK’s Codebashing, whose software trains programmers to write secure code, by use of Codebashing’s interactive game-like app.

Jaguar goes into Israeli car-tech.  (TY Zvi) Through its InMotion Ventures, Tata Motors (owner of Jaguar Land Rover) has invested in the $40 million VC fund of Israel’s Maniv Mobility. This invests in autonomous driving, connected cars and vehicle data and already has investments in Israeli startups Otonomo and Cognata.

Cheaper shoes.  (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Finance Ministry has canceled the 12% customs duty imposed on shoes. Its aim is to reduce the gap in prices between Israel and abroad without hurting domestic industries.

Tel Aviv to Rome by Ryanair. Ryanair, Europe's largest low-cost carrier, is to launch a daily Tel Aviv-Rome route from October 29 with fares starting from €17 in each direction. Ryanair CEO David O’Brien praised Israel’s transport and tourism ministers for opening the skies and for promoting Israel as a tourist destination.

New Intel factory.  (TY JNI Media) Intel Israel has announced that it will open a new microprocessor manufacturing plant in Kiryat Gat that will employ 1,500 workers. Production at the new plant is expected to begin by 2018.  http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/intel-to-open-new-chip-plant-in-israel-and-create-1500-jobs/2017/07/22/


CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Israeli actress is the most popular. Gal Gadot, the Israeli star of the film “Wonder Woman,” rose to No. 1 on The Hollywood Reporter’s Top Actors list, which is a ranking of the most popular actors on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Google Plus.

Record-breaking yoga event.  On International Yoga Day, Tel Aviv organized the world’s largest yoga mat art installation.  Israel’s Amit Trainin, of the Bezalel art institute, designed the 1,400-square-meter yoga mat painting, which was assembled using 1500 yoga mats in Rabin Square, for use by hundreds of Israelis.

Save on summer attractions. (TY Janglo) If you're looking for a fun day out in Israel this summer, you can save BIG with discount vouchers and savings, thanks to Janglo, Kosherfrugal.com and Groupon deals. Indoor, outdoor activities and kosher restaurant / take-away deals.

Jerusalem Beer Festival.  (TY Janglo) The Jerusalem Beer Festival is the largest and most unique festival of its kind in Israel. At Independence Park from 6pm to midnight on Aug 23 & 24, you will find 120 different beer types, from well-established brands to local boutique breweries. It also features DJs & musicians. 

The magic of The Pixies.  Having just experienced Britney, Guns N’ Roses and Radiohead, Israelis were excited to see post-Punk legend The Pixies return to Israel for two concerts in Caesarea on July 25 & 26. In the first, the Boston quartet performed for 2 hours and included 30 songs.

Israel’s National Trail.  The Israel National Trail is one of the most beautiful trails in the world. It’s also a way to see places that regular tourists don’t sees.  One day you’re by the water; next day, the woods and next day, the desert.

Feeding half-a-billion migrating birds.  (TY WIN) Watch this 360-degree video of a tractor driver in Israel’s Hula Valley, spreading food to birds migrating between Europe and Africa to keep them from destroying local agriculture. https://www.youtube.com/embed/RVy5IyOxAuI?rel=0

Soccer chances.  I don’t want you to get too excited, but there are currently still three Israeli soccer teams competing in the finals of European Cup qualifying rounds. Bnei Yehuda have a difficult tie, but Maccabi Tel Aviv and Beersheba both have good chances of reaching the group stages.

Silver in the hoops.  Israel’s Under-20 basketball team reached the European final in Greece.  Although underdogs, they beat France 74-52 in the semi-final, losing to their Greek hosts 65-56 in the final.


THE JEWISH STATE

After 70 years, Exodus passengers meet Israeli President.  At his Jerusalem residence, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin met 12 of the 4,554 Holocaust refugees who traveled on the Exodus, seven decades after the ship’s iconic voyage to the Land of Israel. All were deported in 1947 but many returned to the new State.

From the swamp to oasis.  I recently visited the kibbutz (Sde Eliyahu) featured in this excellent video which charts the history of Israeli agriculture from its malaria-infested beginnings to its current model for alleviating world hunger. The kibbutz develops ecologically-friendly methods to eradicate pests for global benefit.

Soon – no need to convert your driving license. (TY Janglo) Israel’s Transportation Ministry has announced that Olim and returning residents with valid driving licenses for five years will now be able to get Israeli licenses immediately. Currently, all drivers must have lessons and do a practical test to get an Israeli license.

The prayer for Israeli security forces. (TY Janglo) The words “Israel Police officers” have been added to the traditional prayer for the Israel’s Defense Forces, which is recited in synagogues around the world.

Make Aliyah easier – download the app.  (TY Janglo) Aliyah is a series of steps that leads to complete integration: papers, diploma, language, work, going to Ikea, etc. Now MyAliyah - a new iOS app - helps you follow the stages of relocation and absorption and receive your benefits, to ensure a successful Aliyah.

More Aliyah from Venezuela.  Jews are fleeing the rapidly deteriorating conditions in Venezuela.  26 (from seven families) recently opted to use their eligibility for citizenship in Israel. The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews organized and paid for their flights and subsidized each family member.

1st Temple artifacts found in Jerusalem.  Israeli archaeologists excavating the Jerusalem’s City of David recently exposed evidence of the destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Babylonians. The excavations on the eastern slope of the City of David, revealed charred wood, grape seeds, pottery and rare artifacts.