• The U.S. government is poised to withdraw longstanding warnings about cholesterol
    Peter Whoriskey

    Time to put eggs back on the menu? (Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)
    The nation’s top nutrition advisory panel has decided to drop its caution about eating cholesterol-laden food, a move that could undo almost 40 years of government warnings about its consumption.

    The group’s finding that cholesterol in the diet need no longer be considered a “nutrient of concern” stands in contrast to the committee’s findings five years ago, the last time it convened. During those proceedings, as in previous years, the panel deemed the issue of excess cholesterol in the American diet a public health concern.

    The finding follows an evolution of thinking among many nutritionists who now believe that, for healthy adults, eating foods high in cholesterol may not significantly affect the level of cholesterol in the blood or increase the risk of heart disease.

    Story continues below advertisement

    The greater danger in this regard, these experts believe, lies not in products such as eggs, shrimp or lobster, which are high in cholesterol, but in too many servings of foods heavy with saturated fats, such as fatty meats, whole milk, and butter.

    [Scientists have figured out what makes Indian food so delicious]

    The new view on cholesterol in food does not reverse warnings about high levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood, which have been linked to heart disease. Moreover, some experts warned that people with particular health problems, such as diabetes, should continue to avoid cholesterol-rich diets.

    While Americans may be accustomed to conflicting dietary advice, the change on cholesterol comes from the influential Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the group that provides the scientific basis for the “Dietary Guidelines.” That federal publication has broad effects on the American diet, helping to determine the content of school lunches, affecting how food manufacturers advertise their wares, and serving as the foundation for reams of diet advice.

    Story continues below advertisement

    The panel laid out the cholesterol decision in December, at its last meeting before it writes a report that will serve as the basis for the next version of the guidelines. A video of the meeting was later posted online and a person with direct knowledge of the proceedings said the cholesterol finding would make it to the group’s final report, which is due within weeks.

    After Marian Neuhouser, chair of the relevant subcommittee, announced the decision to the panel at the December meeting, one panelist appeared to bridle.

    “So we’re not making a [cholesterol] recommendation?” panel member Miriam Nelson, a Tufts University professor, said at the meeting as if trying to absorb the thought. “Okay ... Bummer.”

    Story continues below advertisement

    Members of the panel, called the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, said they would not comment until the publication of their report, which will be filed with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture.

    [Here’s what the government’s dietary guidelines should really say]

    While those agencies could ignore the committee’s recommendations, major deviations are not common, experts said.

    Five years ago, “I don’t think the Dietary Guidelines diverged from the committee’s report,” said Naomi K. Fukagawa, a University of Vermont professor who served as the committee’s vice chair in 2010. Fukagawa said she supports the change on cholesterol.

    Story continues below advertisement

    Walter Willett, chair of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health, also called the turnaround on cholesterol a “reasonable move.”

    “There’s been a shift of thinking,” he said.

    But the change on dietary cholesterol also shows how the complexity of nutrition science and the lack of definitive research can contribute to confusion for Americans who, while seeking guidance on what to eat, often find themselves afloat in conflicting advice.

    Cholesterol has been a fixture in dietary warnings in the United States at least since 1961, when it appeared in guidelines developed by the American Heart Association. Later adopted by the federal government, such warnings helped shift eating habits -- per capita egg consumption dropped about 30 percent -- and harmed egg farmers.

    Story continues below advertisement

    Yet even today, after more than a century of scientific inquiry, scientists are divided.

    Some nutritionists said lifting the cholesterol warning is long overdue, noting that the United States is out-of-step with other countries, where diet guidelines do not single out cholesterol. Others support maintaining a warning.

    The forthcoming version of the Dietary Guidelines -- the document is revised every five years -- is expected to navigate myriad similar controversies. Among them: salt, red meat, sugar, saturated fats and the latest darling of food-makers, Omega-3s.

    As with cholesterol, the dietary panel’s advice on these issues will be used by the federal bureaucrats to draft the new guidelines, which offer Americans clear instructions -- and sometimes very specific, down-to-the-milligram prescriptions. But such precision can mask sometimes tumultuous debates about nutrition.

    Story continues below advertisement

    “Almost every single nutrient imaginable has peer reviewed publications associating it with almost any outcome,” John P.A. Ioannidis, a professor of medicine and statistics at Stanford and one of the harshest critics of nutritional science, has written. “In this literature of epidemic proportions, how many results are correct?”

    Now comes the shift on cholesterol.

    Even as contrary evidence has emerged over the years, the campaign against dietary cholesterol has continued. In 1994, food-makers were required to report cholesterol values on the nutrition label. In 2010, with the publication of the most recent “Dietary Guidelines,” the experts again focused on the problem of "excess dietary cholesterol."

    Story continues below advertisement

    Yet many have viewed the evidence against cholesterol as weak, at best. As late as 2013, a task force arranged by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association looked at the dietary cholesterol studies. The group found that there was “insufficient evidence” to make a recommendation. Many of the studies that had been done, the task force said, were too broad to single out cholesterol.

    “Looking back at the literature, we just couldn’t see the kind of science that would support dietary restrictions,” said Robert Eckel, the co-chair of the task force and a medical professor at the University of Colorado.

    The current U.S. guidelines call for restricting cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams daily. American adult men on average ingest about 340 milligrams of cholesterol a day, according to federal figures. That recommended figure of 300 milligrams, Eckel said, is " just one of those things that gets carried forward and carried forward even though the evidence is minimal.”

    Story continues below advertisement

    "We just don't know," he said.

    Other major studies have indicated that eating an egg a day does not raise a healthy person’s risk of heart disease, though diabetic patients may be at more risk.

    “The U.S. is the last country in the world to set a specific limit on dietary cholesterol,” said David Klurfeld, a nutrition scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Some of it is scientific inertia.”

    The persistence of the cholesterol fear may arise, in part, from the plausibility of its danger.

    As far back as the 19th century, scientists recognized that the plaque that clogged arteries consisted, in part, of cholesterol, according to historians.

    It would have seemed logical, then, that a diet that is high in cholesterol would wind up clogging arteries.

    In 1913, Niokolai Anitschkov and his colleagues at the Czar’s Military Medicine Institute in St. Petersburg, decided to try it out in rabbits. The group fed cholesterol to rabbits for about four to eight weeks and saw that the cholesterol diet harmed them. They figured they were on to something big.

    “It often happens in the history of science that researchers ... obtain results which require us to view scientific questions in a new light,” he and a colleague wrote in their 1913 paper.

    But it wasn’t until the 1940s, when heart disease was rising in the United States, that the dangers of a cholesterol diet for humans would come more sharply into focus.

    Experiments in biology, as well as other studies that followed the diets of large populations, seemed to link high cholesterol diets to heart disease.

    Public warnings soon followed. In 1961, the American Heart Association recommended that people reduce cholesterol consumption and eventually set a limit of 300 milligrams a day. (For comparison, the yolk of a single egg has about 200 milligrams.)

    Eventually, the idea that cholesterol is harmful so permeated the country's consciousness that marketers advertised their foods on the basis of "no cholesterol."

    What Anitschkov and the other early scientists may not have foreseen is how complicated the science of cholesterol and heart disease could turn out: that the body creates cholesterol in amounts much larger than their diet provides, that the body regulates how much is in the blood and that there is both “good” and “bad” cholesterol.

    Adding to the complexity, the way people process cholesterol differs. Scientists say some people -- about 25 percent -- appear to be more vulnerable to cholesterol-rich diets.

    “It’s turned out to be more complicated than anyone could have known,” said Lawrence Rudel, a professor at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

    As a graduate student at the University of Arkansas in the late 1960s, Rudel came across Anitschkov’s paper and decided to focus on understanding one of its curiosities. In passing, the paper noted that while the cholesterol diet harmed rabbits, it had no effect on white rats. In fact, if Anitschkov had focused on any other animal besides the rabbit, the effects wouldn't have been so clear -- rabbits are unusually vulnerable to the high-cholesterol diet.

    “The reason for the difference -- why does one animal fall apart on the cholesterol diet -- seemed like something that could be figured out,” Rudel said. “That was 40 or so years ago. We still don’t know what explains the difference.”

    In truth, scientists have made some progress. Rudel and his colleagues have been able to breed squirrel monkeys that are more vulnerable to the cholesterol diet. That and other evidence leads to their belief that for some people -- as for the squirrel monkeys -- genetics are to blame.

    Rudel said that Americans should still be warned about cholesterol.

    “Eggs are a nearly perfect food, but cholesterol is a potential bad guy,” he said. “Eating too much a day won’t harm everyone, but it will harm some people.”

    Scientists have estimated that, even without counting the toll from obesity, disease related to poor eating habits kills more than half a million people every year. That toll is often used as an argument for more research in nutrition.

    Currently, the National Institutes of Health spends about $1.5 billion annually on nutrition research, an amount that represents about 5 percent of its total budget.

    The turnaround on cholesterol, some critics say, is just more evidence that nutrition science needs more investment.

    Others, however, say the reversal might be seen as a sign of progress.

    “These reversals in the field do make us wonder and scratch our heads,” said David Allison, a public health professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “But in science, change is normal and expected.”

    When our view of the cosmos shifted from Ptolemy to Copernicus to Newton and Einstein, Allison said, “the reaction was not to say, ‘Oh my gosh, something is wrong with physics!’ We say, ‘Oh my gosh, isn’t this cool?’ ”

    Allison said the problem in nutrition stems from the arrogance that sometimes accompanies dietary advice. A little humility could go a long way.

    “Where nutrition has some trouble,” he said, “is all the confidence and vitriol and moralism that goes along with our recommendations.”

    Did the government’s dietary guidelines help make us fat?

    A local's guide to Mumbai, India

    5 simple Indian recipes to make at home

    Scientists have figured out what makes Indian food so delicious

    Ghee has been an Indian staple for millennia. Now the rest of the world is catching on.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/02/10/feds-poised-to-withdraw-longstanding-warnings-about-dietary-cholesterol/?utm_term=.1982832f86fa
    The U.S. government is poised to withdraw longstanding warnings about cholesterol Peter Whoriskey Time to put eggs back on the menu? (Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post) The nation’s top nutrition advisory panel has decided to drop its caution about eating cholesterol-laden food, a move that could undo almost 40 years of government warnings about its consumption. The group’s finding that cholesterol in the diet need no longer be considered a “nutrient of concern” stands in contrast to the committee’s findings five years ago, the last time it convened. During those proceedings, as in previous years, the panel deemed the issue of excess cholesterol in the American diet a public health concern. The finding follows an evolution of thinking among many nutritionists who now believe that, for healthy adults, eating foods high in cholesterol may not significantly affect the level of cholesterol in the blood or increase the risk of heart disease. Story continues below advertisement The greater danger in this regard, these experts believe, lies not in products such as eggs, shrimp or lobster, which are high in cholesterol, but in too many servings of foods heavy with saturated fats, such as fatty meats, whole milk, and butter. [Scientists have figured out what makes Indian food so delicious] The new view on cholesterol in food does not reverse warnings about high levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood, which have been linked to heart disease. Moreover, some experts warned that people with particular health problems, such as diabetes, should continue to avoid cholesterol-rich diets. While Americans may be accustomed to conflicting dietary advice, the change on cholesterol comes from the influential Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the group that provides the scientific basis for the “Dietary Guidelines.” That federal publication has broad effects on the American diet, helping to determine the content of school lunches, affecting how food manufacturers advertise their wares, and serving as the foundation for reams of diet advice. Story continues below advertisement The panel laid out the cholesterol decision in December, at its last meeting before it writes a report that will serve as the basis for the next version of the guidelines. A video of the meeting was later posted online and a person with direct knowledge of the proceedings said the cholesterol finding would make it to the group’s final report, which is due within weeks. After Marian Neuhouser, chair of the relevant subcommittee, announced the decision to the panel at the December meeting, one panelist appeared to bridle. “So we’re not making a [cholesterol] recommendation?” panel member Miriam Nelson, a Tufts University professor, said at the meeting as if trying to absorb the thought. “Okay ... Bummer.” Story continues below advertisement Members of the panel, called the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, said they would not comment until the publication of their report, which will be filed with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture. [Here’s what the government’s dietary guidelines should really say] While those agencies could ignore the committee’s recommendations, major deviations are not common, experts said. Five years ago, “I don’t think the Dietary Guidelines diverged from the committee’s report,” said Naomi K. Fukagawa, a University of Vermont professor who served as the committee’s vice chair in 2010. Fukagawa said she supports the change on cholesterol. Story continues below advertisement Walter Willett, chair of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health, also called the turnaround on cholesterol a “reasonable move.” “There’s been a shift of thinking,” he said. But the change on dietary cholesterol also shows how the complexity of nutrition science and the lack of definitive research can contribute to confusion for Americans who, while seeking guidance on what to eat, often find themselves afloat in conflicting advice. Cholesterol has been a fixture in dietary warnings in the United States at least since 1961, when it appeared in guidelines developed by the American Heart Association. Later adopted by the federal government, such warnings helped shift eating habits -- per capita egg consumption dropped about 30 percent -- and harmed egg farmers. Story continues below advertisement Yet even today, after more than a century of scientific inquiry, scientists are divided. Some nutritionists said lifting the cholesterol warning is long overdue, noting that the United States is out-of-step with other countries, where diet guidelines do not single out cholesterol. Others support maintaining a warning. The forthcoming version of the Dietary Guidelines -- the document is revised every five years -- is expected to navigate myriad similar controversies. Among them: salt, red meat, sugar, saturated fats and the latest darling of food-makers, Omega-3s. As with cholesterol, the dietary panel’s advice on these issues will be used by the federal bureaucrats to draft the new guidelines, which offer Americans clear instructions -- and sometimes very specific, down-to-the-milligram prescriptions. But such precision can mask sometimes tumultuous debates about nutrition. Story continues below advertisement “Almost every single nutrient imaginable has peer reviewed publications associating it with almost any outcome,” John P.A. Ioannidis, a professor of medicine and statistics at Stanford and one of the harshest critics of nutritional science, has written. “In this literature of epidemic proportions, how many results are correct?” Now comes the shift on cholesterol. Even as contrary evidence has emerged over the years, the campaign against dietary cholesterol has continued. In 1994, food-makers were required to report cholesterol values on the nutrition label. In 2010, with the publication of the most recent “Dietary Guidelines,” the experts again focused on the problem of "excess dietary cholesterol." Story continues below advertisement Yet many have viewed the evidence against cholesterol as weak, at best. As late as 2013, a task force arranged by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association looked at the dietary cholesterol studies. The group found that there was “insufficient evidence” to make a recommendation. Many of the studies that had been done, the task force said, were too broad to single out cholesterol. “Looking back at the literature, we just couldn’t see the kind of science that would support dietary restrictions,” said Robert Eckel, the co-chair of the task force and a medical professor at the University of Colorado. The current U.S. guidelines call for restricting cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams daily. American adult men on average ingest about 340 milligrams of cholesterol a day, according to federal figures. That recommended figure of 300 milligrams, Eckel said, is " just one of those things that gets carried forward and carried forward even though the evidence is minimal.” Story continues below advertisement "We just don't know," he said. Other major studies have indicated that eating an egg a day does not raise a healthy person’s risk of heart disease, though diabetic patients may be at more risk. “The U.S. is the last country in the world to set a specific limit on dietary cholesterol,” said David Klurfeld, a nutrition scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Some of it is scientific inertia.” The persistence of the cholesterol fear may arise, in part, from the plausibility of its danger. As far back as the 19th century, scientists recognized that the plaque that clogged arteries consisted, in part, of cholesterol, according to historians. It would have seemed logical, then, that a diet that is high in cholesterol would wind up clogging arteries. In 1913, Niokolai Anitschkov and his colleagues at the Czar’s Military Medicine Institute in St. Petersburg, decided to try it out in rabbits. The group fed cholesterol to rabbits for about four to eight weeks and saw that the cholesterol diet harmed them. They figured they were on to something big. “It often happens in the history of science that researchers ... obtain results which require us to view scientific questions in a new light,” he and a colleague wrote in their 1913 paper. But it wasn’t until the 1940s, when heart disease was rising in the United States, that the dangers of a cholesterol diet for humans would come more sharply into focus. Experiments in biology, as well as other studies that followed the diets of large populations, seemed to link high cholesterol diets to heart disease. Public warnings soon followed. In 1961, the American Heart Association recommended that people reduce cholesterol consumption and eventually set a limit of 300 milligrams a day. (For comparison, the yolk of a single egg has about 200 milligrams.) Eventually, the idea that cholesterol is harmful so permeated the country's consciousness that marketers advertised their foods on the basis of "no cholesterol." What Anitschkov and the other early scientists may not have foreseen is how complicated the science of cholesterol and heart disease could turn out: that the body creates cholesterol in amounts much larger than their diet provides, that the body regulates how much is in the blood and that there is both “good” and “bad” cholesterol. Adding to the complexity, the way people process cholesterol differs. Scientists say some people -- about 25 percent -- appear to be more vulnerable to cholesterol-rich diets. “It’s turned out to be more complicated than anyone could have known,” said Lawrence Rudel, a professor at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. As a graduate student at the University of Arkansas in the late 1960s, Rudel came across Anitschkov’s paper and decided to focus on understanding one of its curiosities. In passing, the paper noted that while the cholesterol diet harmed rabbits, it had no effect on white rats. In fact, if Anitschkov had focused on any other animal besides the rabbit, the effects wouldn't have been so clear -- rabbits are unusually vulnerable to the high-cholesterol diet. “The reason for the difference -- why does one animal fall apart on the cholesterol diet -- seemed like something that could be figured out,” Rudel said. “That was 40 or so years ago. We still don’t know what explains the difference.” In truth, scientists have made some progress. Rudel and his colleagues have been able to breed squirrel monkeys that are more vulnerable to the cholesterol diet. That and other evidence leads to their belief that for some people -- as for the squirrel monkeys -- genetics are to blame. Rudel said that Americans should still be warned about cholesterol. “Eggs are a nearly perfect food, but cholesterol is a potential bad guy,” he said. “Eating too much a day won’t harm everyone, but it will harm some people.” Scientists have estimated that, even without counting the toll from obesity, disease related to poor eating habits kills more than half a million people every year. That toll is often used as an argument for more research in nutrition. Currently, the National Institutes of Health spends about $1.5 billion annually on nutrition research, an amount that represents about 5 percent of its total budget. The turnaround on cholesterol, some critics say, is just more evidence that nutrition science needs more investment. Others, however, say the reversal might be seen as a sign of progress. “These reversals in the field do make us wonder and scratch our heads,” said David Allison, a public health professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “But in science, change is normal and expected.” When our view of the cosmos shifted from Ptolemy to Copernicus to Newton and Einstein, Allison said, “the reaction was not to say, ‘Oh my gosh, something is wrong with physics!’ We say, ‘Oh my gosh, isn’t this cool?’ ” Allison said the problem in nutrition stems from the arrogance that sometimes accompanies dietary advice. A little humility could go a long way. “Where nutrition has some trouble,” he said, “is all the confidence and vitriol and moralism that goes along with our recommendations.” Did the government’s dietary guidelines help make us fat? A local's guide to Mumbai, India 5 simple Indian recipes to make at home Scientists have figured out what makes Indian food so delicious Ghee has been an Indian staple for millennia. Now the rest of the world is catching on. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/02/10/feds-poised-to-withdraw-longstanding-warnings-about-dietary-cholesterol/?utm_term=.1982832f86fa
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  • With inflation, debt, and financial instability continuing to make headlines, a new national scorecard exposes Vermont, New Jersey, Maine, and Minnesota as America’s absolute worst states for sound money. Which came out on top?
    With inflation, debt, and financial instability continuing to make headlines, a new national scorecard exposes Vermont, New Jersey, Maine, and Minnesota as America’s absolute worst states for sound money. Which came out on top?
    WWW.ACTIVISTPOST.COM
    2024 Sound Money Index Highlights Problematic States, Positive Reforms - Activist Post
    The 2024 Sound Money Index ranks all 50 states based on their policies in this increasingly important public policy area.
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  • Chance to win $750 cashapp giftcard giveaway.
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  • Casualties
    Leila WarahNovember 29, 2023
    A tearful Palestinian boy hugs his friends and family after being released from Israeli prison in the Israel-Hamas hostage exchange agreement.
    A Palestinian child prisoner is welcomed by friends and family after being released from an Israeli jail, as part of a hostage swap deal between Hamas and Israel. 150 Palestinians women and children were released as part of the exchange, while 60 Israelis were released from Hamas captivity in Gaza. (APA Images)
    15,000+ killed*, including 6,150 children, and 33,000 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    240 Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,200
    *This figure has been confirmed by the government media office in Gaza. However, due to breakdowns in communication networks within the Gaza Strip (particularly in northern Gaza), the Gaza Ministry of Health has not been able to regularly update its tolls. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 20,000.

    Key developments

    8-year-old Adam Samer Al-Ghoul and 15-year-old Basil Suleiman Abu Al-Wafa were shot dead by Israeli forces during a large-scale raid in Jenin, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the West Bank.
    Israel is looking into another extension on the truce, which was expected to end on Wednesday, reported the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation.
    A source close to Hamas said the group is willing to extend the truce by an additional four days, reported AFP news agency.
    OCHA: The amount of aid entering Gaza is still “insufficient to meet the extensive needs.”
    Israel’s former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak is calling for the removal of Netanyahu, calling him “unfit to lead” as he “can’t manage” the complexity of the current situation in the country, and he “must go before the consequences of his flaws become irreversible.”
    Israel is still denying Palestinians from returning to their homes in the north of Gaza or from visiting the sea in certain parts of the Strip.
    Following the release of 12 captives, including 10 Israelis from Gaza, thirty Palestinian prisoners were freed and returned to their homes in occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank on Tuesday as part of the fifth prisoner swap.
    On Tuesday, the US said they airlifted 54,000 pounds of humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza.
    Following Elon Musk’s visit to Israel on Monday, Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan invited him to Gaza so he could “see the scale of the massacres.”
    Every day in Gaza, where 55% of the besieged enclave’s exports are agricultural products, they lose $1.6m in farm production as a result of Israeli bombardment, says the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
    Jordan cancels Christmas festivities in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, says the Jordan Council of Church Leaders. The Palestinian city of Bethlehem and the birthplace of Jesus Christ has also announced its plans to cancel Christmas celebrations in the city.
    Israel mulls over potential extension of truce

    While many of the people in Gaza are spending Wednesday, the last day of the temporary truce, trying to collect basic necessities like food and cooking oil in preparation for the Israeli bombardment to resume, political leaders are discussing yet another extension.

    Under the four-day truce deal, which began on Friday and has already been extended by two more days, Hamas has released 60 of about 240 captives from the Gaza Strip, and Israel has released 180 Palestinian political prisoners, all women and children.

    Another round of hostage exchanges is expected to take place on Wednesday evening.

    Ghazi Hamad, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, says the group has been working “very hard” with the mediating countries to “reach a compromise” and “extend the ceasefire.”

    Hamas’s leadership was ready to enter deep negotiations about “a comprehensive deal” that would see the release of all the Palestinian prisoners for all the captives in Gaza, Hamad told Al Jazeera.

    On Wednesday, US lawmaker Rashida Tlaib similarly called for the release of all Palestinian political prisoners and captives held inside Gaza.

    “Every innocent civilian should be released and reunited with their family, no matter their faith or ethnicity,” she said, “Failure to do so demonstrates their refusal to view Palestinians as equal human beings who deserve the same rights, freedom and human dignity.”

    Within Israel, families of Israeli hostages have been for weeks protesting for their government to do more to secure the release of their relatives in Gaza, including a permanent ceasefire and an “all for all exchange”, which would see the release of all Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, who now number over 8,000, in exchange for the release of all Israeli captives, both soldiers and civilians.

    However, far-right Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to allow Israeli forces to resume fighting in Gaza to “crush Hamas” in a post on x.

    ‘Everywhere you look, there is a child in need’

    The humanitarian crisis in Gaza continues to worsen as people die from a lack of medical care, risks of infection skyrocket, and nearly 80% of the population has been left homeless.

    Despite the increase of supplies entering Gaza since the ‘humanitarian pause’ began, the volume of incoming commodities is insufficient to meet the extensive needs, says the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

    Aid groups are calling for the immediate re-opening of more crossing points, including for the entry of commercial goods.

    “Everywhere you turn is a child incredibly in need,” UNICEF spokesperson James Elder told Al Jazeera while standing outside the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis in southern Gaza.

    “Multiple children with amputations, little boys and little girls who six, seven weeks ago were playing football with their friends.”

    Elder praised the “incredible, brave, tireless health workers who are working around the clock” to tend “to every child they can.”

    However, “doctors are having to make decisions they shouldn’t have to make,” he said.

    “It will only be enough if these nail-biting pauses are extended into a ceasefire, into a lasting peace. We cannot possibly think that the destruction of Gaza and the killing of children is going to create peace in the region. That’s utterly nonsensical,” Elder concluded.

    In a video shared by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), plastic and reconstructive surgeon Hafez Abukhussa, based in Khan Younis, says he has been working “non-stop” since October 7.

    “Can you imagine receiving 100 to 200 patients a day, sometimes 500 patients a day?” he asked, adding that most of his patients are women and children.

    Despite the pressure and shortage of supplies at the hospital in Khan Yunis, Abukhussa said: “We know we are in danger at any time, but we will keep doing the same.”

    “We are calling for the increase of fuel supplies to the strip,” EU Commissioner Janez Lenarcic told journalists in Brussels. “The humanitarian access should be based on the needs and not on some restrictions.”

    “The ceasefire must be extended indefinitely,” Lenarcic said.

    Calls for ceasefire swell

    In light of the deteriorating circumstances in Gaza and continued disapproval from the American public about the role the US is playing in Israel’s war on Gaza, the US government narrative is ever so slightly shifting.

    Many social media users speculated that US President Joe Biden had indirectly called for an end to the war in a carefully crafted social media post on X on Wednesday.

    “Hamas unleashed a terrorist attack because they fear nothing more than Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace. To continue down the path of terror, violence, killing, and war is to give Hamas what they seek,” said Biden.

    “We can’t do that,” continued Biden, who has previously refused to call for a lasting ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

    On Tuesday, US Senator Peter Welch was the second senator to call for a ceasefire and an end to the war, adding to the mounting pressure on Biden to call for a permanent ceasefire.

    “I fully support Israel’s right to pursue those who ordered and carried out the attacks of October 7. But Israel must not do so in a way that leads to massive civilian casualties and the large-scale destruction of civilian infrastructure in Gaza. This will only incite more enemies against Israel and the US,” Welch said in a statement calling for indefinite ceasefire.

    Similarly, Sheikha Alya Ahmed Saif Al Thani, the Qatari ambassador said she hopes “that this humanitarian truce will lead to a sustained and durable ceasefire that will put a stop to the war machine and the bloodshed,” while addressing the UN General Assembly.

    ‘For the Israeli government, the priority is not security’

    Political analyst Mohammed Cherkaoui told Al Jazeera the Netanyahu government has not been able to achieve any of its military objectives but is still looking for a “zero-sum victory” against Hamas.

    “This is the debate in Israel now. After two months, nothing has materialized except massive Palestinian deaths. But there is zero gain in terms of a victory for Israel,” Cherkaoui, a professor of conflict resolution and diplomacy at George Mason University, continued.

    Similarly, Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan stated that Israel has “failed miserably” both militarily and politically in Gaza and that none of the state’s objectives have been reached, reported Al Jazeera.

    He also claimed that the number of Israeli soldiers killed and wounded during the ground invasion was higher than the Israeli military claims. When the fighting resumes, “enemy’s losses” will increase in the coming days, warned Hamdan.

    Addressing the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Palestinian ambassador Riyad Mansour called on the UN to reaffirm its “permanent responsibility towards the question of Palestine” and for the end of the “grave and historic injustice [Palestinians] have borne for over 75 years, since the start of the Nakba”.

    “For the Israeli government, the priority is not security; it is the destruction of the Palestinian nation,” Mansour added.

    Two children killed in large-scale military raid in Jenin

    As the temporary truce between Hamas and Israel in Gaza continues, Israeli forces have continued their violent attacks on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

    Overnight on Tuesday and well into Wednesday, Israeli forces conducted a “massive arrest campaign” on Jenin Refugee camp, forcing citizens in the Damj neighborhood from their homes amid violent confrontations, reported Wafa news agency.

    So far, at least two children have been killed during the violent military incursion, 8-year-old Adam Samer Al-Ghoul and 15-year-old Basil Suleiman Abu Al-Wafa. CCTV footage released of the moment 8-year-old Adam was killed show the young boy turning and running away along with some other boys, when he is shot down with his back turned, before being dragged out of the street by another boy. Adam was reportedly shot in the head.

    Israeli forces also prevented an ambulance from evacuating an injured man in Jenin who was shot by Israeli forces for over 40 minutes before arresting him.

    Christos Christou, the international president of Doctors Without Borders, was at Khalil Suleiman Hospital in Jenin when Israeli forces launched a large-scale raid on the city.

    “It has already been two-and-a-half hours that we are trapped in our hospital here in Jenin,” Christou said in a video posted on x.

    “There is no way for any of the injured patients to reach the hospital and there is no way for us to reach these people,” he added that Israeli military vehicles blocked the entrances to the hospital and have prevented ambulances from leaving.

    “Two Palestinians died of wounds while ambulances could not reach them,” he said; it is unclear if he was referring to the two young boys reported killed by the Ministry of Health.

    The Palestinian Red Crescent (PRCS) emergency services said that the Israeli army arrested an injured Palestinian from inside a PRCS ambulance at the entrance of Jenin Governmental Hospital.

    A message from Hisham Awartani

    Hisham Awartani, one of the three Palestinian university students who were shot and injured in Vermont in an apparent hate crime, released a statement saying that the “hideous crime” did not happen in a vacuum, calling attention to the worsening situation in the West Bank.

    “I am but one casualty in a much wider conflict,” he said in his statement, which was read at a vigil at Brown University, where he studies.

    “Had I been shot in the West Bank, where I grew up, the medical services which saved my life here would have likely been withheld by the Israeli army. The soldier who would have shot me would go home and never be convicted,” said Awartani, who is still in hospital,

    “Any attempt like this is horrific, be it here or in Palestine.”

    Before you go – we need your support

    At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever.

    Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses.

    Support our journalists with a donation today.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2023/11/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-54-two-children-killed-by-israeli-forces-in-jenin-amid-discussions-of-truce-extension/
    Casualties Leila WarahNovember 29, 2023 A tearful Palestinian boy hugs his friends and family after being released from Israeli prison in the Israel-Hamas hostage exchange agreement. A Palestinian child prisoner is welcomed by friends and family after being released from an Israeli jail, as part of a hostage swap deal between Hamas and Israel. 150 Palestinians women and children were released as part of the exchange, while 60 Israelis were released from Hamas captivity in Gaza. (APA Images) 15,000+ killed*, including 6,150 children, and 33,000 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 240 Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,200 *This figure has been confirmed by the government media office in Gaza. However, due to breakdowns in communication networks within the Gaza Strip (particularly in northern Gaza), the Gaza Ministry of Health has not been able to regularly update its tolls. Some rights groups put the death toll number closer to 20,000. Key developments 8-year-old Adam Samer Al-Ghoul and 15-year-old Basil Suleiman Abu Al-Wafa were shot dead by Israeli forces during a large-scale raid in Jenin, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the West Bank. Israel is looking into another extension on the truce, which was expected to end on Wednesday, reported the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation. A source close to Hamas said the group is willing to extend the truce by an additional four days, reported AFP news agency. OCHA: The amount of aid entering Gaza is still “insufficient to meet the extensive needs.” Israel’s former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak is calling for the removal of Netanyahu, calling him “unfit to lead” as he “can’t manage” the complexity of the current situation in the country, and he “must go before the consequences of his flaws become irreversible.” Israel is still denying Palestinians from returning to their homes in the north of Gaza or from visiting the sea in certain parts of the Strip. Following the release of 12 captives, including 10 Israelis from Gaza, thirty Palestinian prisoners were freed and returned to their homes in occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank on Tuesday as part of the fifth prisoner swap. On Tuesday, the US said they airlifted 54,000 pounds of humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza. Following Elon Musk’s visit to Israel on Monday, Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan invited him to Gaza so he could “see the scale of the massacres.” Every day in Gaza, where 55% of the besieged enclave’s exports are agricultural products, they lose $1.6m in farm production as a result of Israeli bombardment, says the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. Jordan cancels Christmas festivities in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, says the Jordan Council of Church Leaders. The Palestinian city of Bethlehem and the birthplace of Jesus Christ has also announced its plans to cancel Christmas celebrations in the city. Israel mulls over potential extension of truce While many of the people in Gaza are spending Wednesday, the last day of the temporary truce, trying to collect basic necessities like food and cooking oil in preparation for the Israeli bombardment to resume, political leaders are discussing yet another extension. Under the four-day truce deal, which began on Friday and has already been extended by two more days, Hamas has released 60 of about 240 captives from the Gaza Strip, and Israel has released 180 Palestinian political prisoners, all women and children. Another round of hostage exchanges is expected to take place on Wednesday evening. Ghazi Hamad, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, says the group has been working “very hard” with the mediating countries to “reach a compromise” and “extend the ceasefire.” Hamas’s leadership was ready to enter deep negotiations about “a comprehensive deal” that would see the release of all the Palestinian prisoners for all the captives in Gaza, Hamad told Al Jazeera. On Wednesday, US lawmaker Rashida Tlaib similarly called for the release of all Palestinian political prisoners and captives held inside Gaza. “Every innocent civilian should be released and reunited with their family, no matter their faith or ethnicity,” she said, “Failure to do so demonstrates their refusal to view Palestinians as equal human beings who deserve the same rights, freedom and human dignity.” Within Israel, families of Israeli hostages have been for weeks protesting for their government to do more to secure the release of their relatives in Gaza, including a permanent ceasefire and an “all for all exchange”, which would see the release of all Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, who now number over 8,000, in exchange for the release of all Israeli captives, both soldiers and civilians. However, far-right Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to allow Israeli forces to resume fighting in Gaza to “crush Hamas” in a post on x. ‘Everywhere you look, there is a child in need’ The humanitarian crisis in Gaza continues to worsen as people die from a lack of medical care, risks of infection skyrocket, and nearly 80% of the population has been left homeless. Despite the increase of supplies entering Gaza since the ‘humanitarian pause’ began, the volume of incoming commodities is insufficient to meet the extensive needs, says the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Aid groups are calling for the immediate re-opening of more crossing points, including for the entry of commercial goods. “Everywhere you turn is a child incredibly in need,” UNICEF spokesperson James Elder told Al Jazeera while standing outside the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis in southern Gaza. “Multiple children with amputations, little boys and little girls who six, seven weeks ago were playing football with their friends.” Elder praised the “incredible, brave, tireless health workers who are working around the clock” to tend “to every child they can.” However, “doctors are having to make decisions they shouldn’t have to make,” he said. “It will only be enough if these nail-biting pauses are extended into a ceasefire, into a lasting peace. We cannot possibly think that the destruction of Gaza and the killing of children is going to create peace in the region. That’s utterly nonsensical,” Elder concluded. In a video shared by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), plastic and reconstructive surgeon Hafez Abukhussa, based in Khan Younis, says he has been working “non-stop” since October 7. “Can you imagine receiving 100 to 200 patients a day, sometimes 500 patients a day?” he asked, adding that most of his patients are women and children. Despite the pressure and shortage of supplies at the hospital in Khan Yunis, Abukhussa said: “We know we are in danger at any time, but we will keep doing the same.” “We are calling for the increase of fuel supplies to the strip,” EU Commissioner Janez Lenarcic told journalists in Brussels. “The humanitarian access should be based on the needs and not on some restrictions.” “The ceasefire must be extended indefinitely,” Lenarcic said. Calls for ceasefire swell In light of the deteriorating circumstances in Gaza and continued disapproval from the American public about the role the US is playing in Israel’s war on Gaza, the US government narrative is ever so slightly shifting. Many social media users speculated that US President Joe Biden had indirectly called for an end to the war in a carefully crafted social media post on X on Wednesday. “Hamas unleashed a terrorist attack because they fear nothing more than Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace. To continue down the path of terror, violence, killing, and war is to give Hamas what they seek,” said Biden. “We can’t do that,” continued Biden, who has previously refused to call for a lasting ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. On Tuesday, US Senator Peter Welch was the second senator to call for a ceasefire and an end to the war, adding to the mounting pressure on Biden to call for a permanent ceasefire. “I fully support Israel’s right to pursue those who ordered and carried out the attacks of October 7. But Israel must not do so in a way that leads to massive civilian casualties and the large-scale destruction of civilian infrastructure in Gaza. This will only incite more enemies against Israel and the US,” Welch said in a statement calling for indefinite ceasefire. Similarly, Sheikha Alya Ahmed Saif Al Thani, the Qatari ambassador said she hopes “that this humanitarian truce will lead to a sustained and durable ceasefire that will put a stop to the war machine and the bloodshed,” while addressing the UN General Assembly. ‘For the Israeli government, the priority is not security’ Political analyst Mohammed Cherkaoui told Al Jazeera the Netanyahu government has not been able to achieve any of its military objectives but is still looking for a “zero-sum victory” against Hamas. “This is the debate in Israel now. After two months, nothing has materialized except massive Palestinian deaths. But there is zero gain in terms of a victory for Israel,” Cherkaoui, a professor of conflict resolution and diplomacy at George Mason University, continued. Similarly, Hamas spokesperson Osama Hamdan stated that Israel has “failed miserably” both militarily and politically in Gaza and that none of the state’s objectives have been reached, reported Al Jazeera. He also claimed that the number of Israeli soldiers killed and wounded during the ground invasion was higher than the Israeli military claims. When the fighting resumes, “enemy’s losses” will increase in the coming days, warned Hamdan. Addressing the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Palestinian ambassador Riyad Mansour called on the UN to reaffirm its “permanent responsibility towards the question of Palestine” and for the end of the “grave and historic injustice [Palestinians] have borne for over 75 years, since the start of the Nakba”. “For the Israeli government, the priority is not security; it is the destruction of the Palestinian nation,” Mansour added. Two children killed in large-scale military raid in Jenin As the temporary truce between Hamas and Israel in Gaza continues, Israeli forces have continued their violent attacks on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. Overnight on Tuesday and well into Wednesday, Israeli forces conducted a “massive arrest campaign” on Jenin Refugee camp, forcing citizens in the Damj neighborhood from their homes amid violent confrontations, reported Wafa news agency. So far, at least two children have been killed during the violent military incursion, 8-year-old Adam Samer Al-Ghoul and 15-year-old Basil Suleiman Abu Al-Wafa. CCTV footage released of the moment 8-year-old Adam was killed show the young boy turning and running away along with some other boys, when he is shot down with his back turned, before being dragged out of the street by another boy. Adam was reportedly shot in the head. Israeli forces also prevented an ambulance from evacuating an injured man in Jenin who was shot by Israeli forces for over 40 minutes before arresting him. Christos Christou, the international president of Doctors Without Borders, was at Khalil Suleiman Hospital in Jenin when Israeli forces launched a large-scale raid on the city. “It has already been two-and-a-half hours that we are trapped in our hospital here in Jenin,” Christou said in a video posted on x. “There is no way for any of the injured patients to reach the hospital and there is no way for us to reach these people,” he added that Israeli military vehicles blocked the entrances to the hospital and have prevented ambulances from leaving. “Two Palestinians died of wounds while ambulances could not reach them,” he said; it is unclear if he was referring to the two young boys reported killed by the Ministry of Health. The Palestinian Red Crescent (PRCS) emergency services said that the Israeli army arrested an injured Palestinian from inside a PRCS ambulance at the entrance of Jenin Governmental Hospital. A message from Hisham Awartani Hisham Awartani, one of the three Palestinian university students who were shot and injured in Vermont in an apparent hate crime, released a statement saying that the “hideous crime” did not happen in a vacuum, calling attention to the worsening situation in the West Bank. “I am but one casualty in a much wider conflict,” he said in his statement, which was read at a vigil at Brown University, where he studies. “Had I been shot in the West Bank, where I grew up, the medical services which saved my life here would have likely been withheld by the Israeli army. The soldier who would have shot me would go home and never be convicted,” said Awartani, who is still in hospital, “Any attempt like this is horrific, be it here or in Palestine.” Before you go – we need your support At Mondoweiss, we understand the power of telling Palestinian stories. For 17 years, we have pushed back when the mainstream media published lies or echoed politicians’ hateful rhetoric. Now, Palestinian voices are more important than ever. Our traffic has increased ten times since October 7, and we need your help to cover our increased expenses. Support our journalists with a donation today. https://mondoweiss.net/2023/11/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-54-two-children-killed-by-israeli-forces-in-jenin-amid-discussions-of-truce-extension/
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  • SPRAYS FROM THE HEART'S FOUNTAINS

    O, THIS is a world of glorious things ;
    And I'm sure I know not why,
    But there's never a gleam the sunlight flings,
    Or a flash in the open sky,
    But giveth my spirit an angel's wings,
    And biddeth it soar on high.

    The flowers come out to the laughing light.
    And their fragrance widely fling —
    The shrubs with their morning gems are bright,
    And the notes of the wild birds ring
    As if thay had caught from the skies last night.
    The songs that the angels sing.

    The proud ship skims o'er the sleeping lake, With her banners streaming fair ;
    And the music that children's voices make, Is abroad on the ringing air,
    That seems as its burdened chords must break, With the gladness everywhere.

    And O, methinks that around me stray Bright spirits from worlds unknown,
    Who over the earth, with the breaking day, Have their garlands of beauty thrown,
    And the peerless gems from their own array, On the gleaming branches strown.

    Tis a blest, bright world, and I know not why
    They have called it a vale of woes.
    For scarce can the weariest sleeper's eye
    To its beauties half unclose. Ere his soul is tuned to an anthem high
    And his heart with joy o'erflows.

    'Tis a world of light and life and love.
    Wherever the foot may stray, In the thronged school-yard, or the distant grove,
    Where the chainless waters play.
    A halo that claimeth its birth above,
    Is over our blissful way.

    By the wings of the angels, hour by hour,
    Must the vaulted skies be riven.
    For the gifts they bear are a ceaseless shower;
    And though we have no vision given Of the world unseen, there can scarce be more
    Than a step 'twixt us and heaven.

    by American author and teacher Harriett Ellen Grannis Arey who was born on April 14, 1819 in
    Cavendish, Vermont
    Source: Household Songs and other poems, published in 1855

    Source says not in copyright
    https://archive.org/details/householdsongsot01arey/page/48/mode/1up?view=theater
    Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
    SPRAYS FROM THE HEART'S FOUNTAINS O, THIS is a world of glorious things ; And I'm sure I know not why, But there's never a gleam the sunlight flings, Or a flash in the open sky, But giveth my spirit an angel's wings, And biddeth it soar on high. The flowers come out to the laughing light. And their fragrance widely fling — The shrubs with their morning gems are bright, And the notes of the wild birds ring As if thay had caught from the skies last night. The songs that the angels sing. The proud ship skims o'er the sleeping lake, With her banners streaming fair ; And the music that children's voices make, Is abroad on the ringing air, That seems as its burdened chords must break, With the gladness everywhere. And O, methinks that around me stray Bright spirits from worlds unknown, Who over the earth, with the breaking day, Have their garlands of beauty thrown, And the peerless gems from their own array, On the gleaming branches strown. Tis a blest, bright world, and I know not why They have called it a vale of woes. For scarce can the weariest sleeper's eye To its beauties half unclose. Ere his soul is tuned to an anthem high And his heart with joy o'erflows. 'Tis a world of light and life and love. Wherever the foot may stray, In the thronged school-yard, or the distant grove, Where the chainless waters play. A halo that claimeth its birth above, Is over our blissful way. By the wings of the angels, hour by hour, Must the vaulted skies be riven. For the gifts they bear are a ceaseless shower; And though we have no vision given Of the world unseen, there can scarce be more Than a step 'twixt us and heaven. by American author and teacher Harriett Ellen Grannis Arey who was born on April 14, 1819 in Cavendish, Vermont Source: Household Songs and other poems, published in 1855 Source says not in copyright https://archive.org/details/householdsongsot01arey/page/48/mode/1up?view=theater Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
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    4
    0 Commentarios 0 Acciones 3802 Views
  • Ahi nachos for lunch again, and all organic homemade salsa on top with extra sharp Vermont cheddar mmm ????
    I really enjoy doing work for people who tread my belly with such great respet!
    Ahi nachos for lunch again, and all organic homemade salsa on top with extra sharp Vermont cheddar mmm ???? I really enjoy doing work for people who tread my belly with such great respet!
    0 Commentarios 0 Acciones 533 Views