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The Daily TIP: Former Mossad Official: U.S.-Israel Intelligence Cooperation Remains "Solid"

Posted by Tip Staff - May 17, 2017

Former Mossad Official: U.S.-Israel Intelligence Cooperation Remains "Solid"
Israeli Air Force Created Plane from Two Damaged F-15s Surprising Boeing
Expert: Iran Facing Man-Made Water Crisis
Israeli Researchers Use Cannabis Ingredient to Reverse Aging Process in Mice

Former Mossad Official: U.S.-Israel Intelligence Cooperation Remains "Solid"

The controversy over the possible disclosure of Israeli intelligence by President Donald Trump will affect neither overall U.S.-Israeli relations, nor intelligence cooperation, which remains "solid," a former official of the Mossad, Israel's external security agency, told reporters during a conference call Wednesday.

Brig. Gen. (ret.) Amnon Sofrin, who headed the Mossad's intelligence directorate explained that the unwritten rules governing the disclosure of intelligence information are different for foreign intelligence agencies than they are for foreign leaders. Foreign leaders have "the ability and the mandate to make use of information according to their considerations," Sofrin said. Still, he should "ask his people about the sensitivity of this information."

Reporting on this was confused.

A headline in The Independent asserted that Sofrin had contradicted Trump’s claim that a head of state has the right to decide what intelligence to share.

"The cooperation between the two organizations is so solid that I don't believe that such an event will cause any big damage," Sofrin said, regarding the effect Trump's reported disclosures to the Russians would have on the relations between the intelligence services of the U.S. and Israel. "It may cause a small damage or a local one, but not a disaster."

Sofrin also expressed doubts whether the news story would affect overall relations between Israel and the United States.

"No, I don't believe that this will affect, because the bigger, the larger, or the wider picture I think is more important than such a local event," he said.

Israeli Air Force Created Plane from Two Damaged F-15s Surprising Boeing

When Israeli engineers at the Israeli Air Force's (IAF) Depot 22 asked Boeing, the prime contractor for an F-15B that had been severely damaged, if it could rehabilitate the plane by attaching its undamaged front section with the rear section of another damaged plane, Boeing never returned the call.

According to Lt. Col. Maxim Orgad, the commander of Depot 22's Engineering Division, Boeing didn’t acknowledge the request because "they thought we were joking," Defense News reported Monday in an account of how the depot salvaged a plane that was thought to be a total loss.

Six years prior, the F-15B Arrowhead caught fire after a flock of pelicans was sucked into its engines. The pilot and navigator managed to land the plane, but the entire rear end was burnt. After years of debating what to do with the damaged aircraft, engineers at Depot 22 suggested grafting the front end of the F-15B onto the back end of an obsolete single-seater F-15.

According to Orgad, the total cost of rehabilitating the plane was less than $1 million. In contrast, "today, to buy an aircraft like this would cost more than $40 million,” he observed.

Boeing praised the efforts of Depot 22 and said, “We very much appreciate the professionalism and capabilities of this unit, and, at times, we have also learned from it for mutual benefit."

Expert: Iran Facing Man-Made Water Crisis

Iran is facing "the worst water future of any industrialized nation" due to "bad governance and corruption," a leading expert on water usage wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday in The Washington Post.

Seth Siegel, author of Let There Be Water: Israel's Solution for a Water-Starved World, wrote that the result of Friday's election for president of Iran matters less to the future of the Islamic Republic than its systematic overuse of water that may be leading it to "irreversible path to environmental doom and disruption that owes nothing to sanctions or years of war with its neighbors."

The water crisis in Iran is illustrated by the fate of Lake Urmia in the western part of the country. Lake Urmia, which once covered 2,000 square miles, has shrunken by 90% from 1985 to 2015. The shrinkage of Lake Urmia has contributed to other environmental problems in the region.

This has led to the loss of farmland, prompting farmers and other agricultural workers to leave the countryside for Iran's overcrowded cities.

Instead of addressing the problem, the government continues to authorize "more of the same corruption-based engineering projects," that will further exacerbate Iran's growing water crisis.

The winner of Iran's presidential contest on Friday will be powerless to address this crisis, rather the "supreme leader will have to take on a system created under his less-than-supreme leadership," Siegel concluded.

Israeli Researchers Use Cannabis Ingredient to Reverse Aging Process in Mice

As our brain ages, our cognitive abilities naturally decrease and it becomes more difficult to learn new things or devote attention to several things at the same time. Researchers have long been looking for ways to slow down or even reverse this process. Scientists at the University of Bonn in Germany and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem report in Nature Medicine that they have now achieved this goal in mice by administering a small quantity of THC, the active ingredient in the hemp plant (cannabis).

Mice have a short lifespan and begin displaying pronounced cognitive deficits even at one year old. So the researchers gave doses of THC to lab mice at the ages of 12 and 18 months over a period of four weeks.

A low dose was chosen to avoid any intoxicating effect in the mice.

After the regimen of treatment, the scientists tested learning capacity and memory performance in the animals – including, for instance, orientation skills and their ability to recognize other mice.

Mice that were given only a placebo displayed natural age-dependent learning and memory losses. In contrast, the cognitive functions of the animals treated with cannabis were just as good as the functions of two-month-old mice used as a control group.

“The treatment completely reversed the loss of performance in the old animals,” reported Prof. Andreas Zimmer from the Institute of Molecular Psychiatry at the University of Bonn and a member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation.

(via Israel21c)

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