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The Daily TIP: Taylor Force Act, which Penalizes PA for Terror Support, Becomes Law with Bipartisan Backing

Posted by Tip Staff - March 23, 2018

Taylor Force Act, which Penalizes PA for Terror Support, Becomes Law with Bipartisan Backing
Three Hostages Killed by Gunman Who Pledged Allegiance to ISIS in Southern France
DOJ Indicts Nine Iranians for "Massive" Hacking Attack against U.S. Universities
Israeli Startup Works with Indian Nonprofit to Supply Handwashing Systems for Better Hygiene


Taylor Force Act, which Penalizes PA for Terror Support, Becomes Law with Bipartisan Backing

The Taylor Force Act, which would cut funding to the Palestinian Authority as long as it pays rewards to terrorists, passed with bipartisan support as part of a $1.3 trillion spending bill, The Times of Israel reported Friday.

The bill is named after Taylor Force, an American veteran, who was stabbed to death in a terror attack two year ago.

The law would end U.S. funding of the PA until it stops paying terrorists and their families stipends, often referred to as the "pay to slay" program. Exceptions to the law would be made for payments made for water, childhood vaccination programs, and Palestinian hospitals in what is called "East Jerusalem."

"Passage of the Taylor Force Act will serve as a shot across the bow to President Abbas, as he must be held accountable for the Palestinian Authority's record of incitement and subsidizing of terror." Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R - Texas) took credit for co-sponsoring the bill, praising the Taylor Force Act with halting "U.S. taxpayer dollars from going to the Palestinian Authority if it continues its policy of paying monetary rewards to terrorists and their families."

"The bipartisan measure passed today will send a very clear warning to the Palestinian Authority: the double-game is over and terrorism will not be tolerated, not in any form. Those who enable, inspire, or incite, will also pay a price,” The Israel Project President Josh Block said. The Israel Project publishes The Tower.



Three Hostages Killed by Gunman Who Pledged Allegiance to ISIS in Southern France

Three people have been killed in southern France after a terrorist hijacked a car and took hostages in the town of Trèbes. Police shot the gunman dead after a four-hour standoff Friday at the Super U supermarket.

The BBC reported that the attacker was heavily armed. He killed and wounded his victims in three separate incidents which began in Carcassonne, a 15 minutes’ drive from Trèbes.

Redouane Lakdim, the 26-year-old Moroccan, demanded the release of Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving member of the group of ISIS attackers which carried out coordinated attacks in Paris that killed more than 130 people in November 2015.

In the town of Trebes he charged into a Super-U supermarket, shouting, "I am a soldier of Daesh [Arabic for ISIS]!" and took hostages. The gunman was also heard shouting slogans about the war in Syria.

In a statement released online, ISIS described the hostage taker as a “soldier of the Islamic State” and said that the killing was in response to calls by the group’s leadership to target countries fighting ISIS.

A French police officer agreed to give himself over to the gunman in exchange for the release of a hostage. That officer entered the supermarket and then reportedly shot the gunman. The police officer was also shot and seriously wounded in the fire exchange.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who was in Brussels at an EU summit, described the hostage incident as a "terror attack" and said he would return to France immediately.



DOJ Indicts Nine Iranians for "Massive" Hacking Attack against U.S. Universities

The United States Department of Justice announced indictments of nine Iranians for their participation in a "massive and brazen cyber-assault" on over 100 American academic institutions and several government agencies, Politico reported Friday.

The Iranian hackers were affiliated with the Mabna Institute, which, according to DOJ, was established in 2013 "to assist Iranian universities and scientific and research organizations in stealing access to non-Iranian scientific resources." The hackers working for the Mabna Institute are charged with stealing over 31 terabytes of data worth an estimated $3.4 billion from 144 American academic institutions over a four-year period.

In addition to universities, the Mabna hackers attacked the state governments of Hawaii and Indiana, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Department of Labor. The group also attacked the United Nations and the U.N. Children's Fund according to the DOJ statement announcing the indictments.

The hacking ring was described as a "massive and brazen cyber-assault" and "one of the largest state-sponsored hacking campaigns ever prosecuted” by the U.S. according to Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Two years ago, the Justice Department indicted seven Iranians for carrying out cyber-attacks against dozens of American banks as well as a dam located in upstate New York. The hackers were identified as working for private security firms on behalf of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

In December of last year, a report released by FireEye, a cybersecurity firm, characterized Iranian hacking attempts as a “coordinated, probably military, endeavor."



Israeli Startup Works with Indian Nonprofit to Supply Handwashing Systems for Better Hygiene

Max Simonovsky’s two-and-a-half-year-old son was well trained in routine handwashing. But one day when the water in his Rehovot neighborhood was shut off for repairs, the boy reasoned that if water wasn’t available, he therefore had no need to wash his hands after playing outside.

The Israeli dad was fascinated by his toddler’s way of thinking and discussed it with friends. They realized that the same line of logic may apply to millions of children in areas of the world that lack running water or electricity.

Further investigation revealed that two leading causes of death in young children in the developing world are diarrhea and respiratory infections. UNICEF and the World Health Organization say both could be significantly reduced by hygiene practices such as handwashing.

Simonovsky had discovered the basis for a social-impact startup, Soapy, which he founded in 2017.

“Better hygiene habits require water, soap and training, and also positive feedback and community support,” says Simonvsky. “We realized we could provide all of that.”

Soapy’s off-grid, solar-powered, self-sustaining hygiene station uses water pulled from the atmosphere. A smart system starts the washing cycle automatically when someone approaches, producing an accurate dose of soap and water. The unit operates around the clock.

Local stakeholders partnered with the Israeli startup.

The first Soapy Station is setup in Bagepalli, India, with others coming in Delhi and Bangalore through a partnership with Swasti Health Catalyst, a nonprofit that implements social innovations to ensure health and wellbeing of marginalized Indian communities.

(via Israel21c)


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