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Hajj Begins
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday June 27, 2023
I've Been Thinking:

About 2 million Muslim pilgrims officially began the annual Hajj pilgrimage. After circling Islam's holiest site, the Kaaba, they converged on a vast tent camp in the nearby desert for a day and night of prayer.

The Hajj pilgrimage, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, has returned to full capacity this year for the first time since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic three years ago. The pilgrimage is one of the five pillars of Islam.

If they are physically and financially able, all Muslims are required to make the five-day Hajj at least once in their lives. Some Muslims spend years saving up money and waiting for a permit to embark on the journey.

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Russia Bombs Syria
By Micah Halpern

Monday June 26, 2023
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According to eyewitnesses and rescue personnel, Russian jets bombed villages and towns near the northwestern Syrian city of Idlib, killing at least nine civilians and wounding dozens.

This was a major flare-up of violence in Syria's last opposition stronghold.

According to the Western-backed White Helmets emergence response group, warplanes flying at high altitude, which tracking centers identified as Russian Sukhoi jets, dropped bombs on a vegetable market in Jisr al-Shughour while it was crowded with shoppers ahead of the Muslim feast of Eid al Adha, leaving at least nine dead and 30 injured. No immediate comment was available from Russia or its allies in the Syrian army.

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Sparks at Israel Cabinet Mtg
By Micah Halpern

Sunday June 25, 2023
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Sparks were flying at Israelís weekly cabinet meeting.

As the meeting began, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to the advice of National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who had encouraged people to go to West Bank outposts, by saying that, and Iím quoting: "such statements undermine law and orderĖ they must stop immediately."

Netanyahu added that, and Iím quoting again: "we will not condone such actions and our government will act firmly against them. They harm the settlement enterprise and the vital interests of the State of Israel." unquote.

Pay close attention to these internal conflicts and stressful issues - this is how a ruling government unravels and ultimately falls.

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Mossad STops Attack in Cyprus
By Micah Halpern

Saturday June 24, 2023
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Israelís clandestine intelligence agency, The Mossad, confirmed reports that a plot to attack Israelis in Cyprus, ordered by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, was foiled.

Cypriot media had reported that their security forces had arrested members of a terror cell targeting Israelis in the city of Limassol.

A statement that the spy agency released through the office of Israelís prime minister reads: "Israel employs numerous means in various places in order to protect Jews and Israelis and prevent Iranian terror".

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Jordan Fighting Iranian Drugs
By Micah Halpern

Friday June 23, 2023
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The media has quoted the Jordanian army as saying that it had downed a drone carrying drugs from Syria into its northern frontier region.

According to those reports, Jordan has made clear that it would not allow their border area to become a front line in an Iran-linked drug war. The Hashemite Kingdom has blamed pro-Iranian militias - militias the Jordanians claim are protected by units within the Syrian army, for smuggling drugs across its borders towards lucrative Gulf markets.

Damascus says it is doing its best to curb smuggling and continues to bust smuggler rings in the south and Syrian leadership denies complicity by Iranian-backed militias linked to its army and security forces.

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Uber Eats Leaves Israel
By Micah Halpern

Thursday June 22, 2023
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After failing to build a sufficient client base and market share, Uber Eats has announced that it will be leaving Israel. And Israel is not alone.

Uber Eats has also announced that it will end food deliveries in Italy. According to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber will invest only in markets in which their company can be the largest or second largest player in the market.

All this makes sense when you study the Uber business model. Uber only engages when it can really win.

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Suicide Drones
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday June 21, 2023
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According to a US official, Iran tested a suicide drone against a practice vessel in the Gulf. They also fired either another missile or a drone without warning ships in the area.

The one-way aka suicide drone was launched from the Jask area of Iran 8-9 miles out to sea Ė which is within Iran's territorial waters.

According to the official, who was citing US intelligence data, the drone was launched against a practice barge. Suicide drones are very difficult to defend against.

They are slower than a rocket or a missile, they are smaller than a rocket or a missile, they are hand-controlled and they can fly under radar.

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