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The Daily TIP: Social Media Campaign Launched to Locate Woman Feared Arrested by Iran for Protesting Hijab

Posted by Tip Staff - January 24, 2018

Social Media Campaign Launched to Locate Woman Feared Arrested by Iran for Protesting Hijab
Beyond the Money: A Modest Proposal to Remake UNRWA
Sanctions Experts: U.S. Should Target Khamenei’s Multi-Billion Dollar Empire
Hotels Looking at Israeli System to Control Heating, Cooling Costs

Social Media Campaign Launched to Locate Woman Feared Arrested by Iran for Protesting Hijab

A social media campaign has taken off to identify and locate an Iranian woman who was filmed waving a hijab from a pillar box in Tehran---a punishable offense in the Islamic Republic---who has gone missing, The BBC reported on Tuesday.

The news outlet said that renowned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh confirmed to them on Monday earlier reports of her arrest on December 27. According to her, the woman is 31 years old and mother of a 20-month-old child.

A video of the woman, whose identity remains unknown, was widely shared on social media during anti-government protests in recent weeks. She protested against Iran's strict modesty dress code, in place since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, which dictates that women need to cover their hair in public.

The woman is thought to have staged the protest on 27 December, a day before violent demonstrations broke out across the country, but has not been seen since, sparking fears that she may have been arrested.

"Our investigations confirm that the young woman, whose name we still do not know, was arrested on that very same day," Sotoudeh wrote on Facebook on Sunday. She added: "She was released shortly afterwards but was arrested once again."

People have shared the image of the missing women along with the hashtag '#Where_is_She?' and demanded that Iranian officials release information about her whereabouts. The hashtag has been used more than 28,000 times on Twitter and across other social media platforms.

Beyond the Money: A Modest Proposal to Remake UNRWA

Rather than helping to resolve the Palestinian refugee issue peacefully, the UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) actually works to prolong it and promote violence. On January 16, President Trump announced that the US would donate only $60 million out of an expected $125 million to UNRWA, and has been threatening to end support for it. While reducing funding to UNRWA, these cutbacks do not go far enough in reforming the organization that has done so much to prolong the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

First a little background. Approximately 700,000 Arabs fled from their homes in what became the state of Israel during its war of independence. In 1949, the UN established UNRWA to provide assistance to Palestinian refugees. It currently has over 30,000 employees, most of whom are Palestinian.

Strangely, over time the number of Palestinian refugees has increased rather than decreased. As of 2017, UNRWA recognized over 5.3 million Palestinian refugees, a sevenfold increase since 1949.

The reason is that Palestinian refugees are defined differently from all other refugees on the planet. Adopting the definition of the 1951 Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, UNHCR defines refugees as “people fleeing conflict or persecution.” But UNRWA’s also serves “descendants of Palestine refugee males, including adopted children.” So over time, even as the number of Palestinians who actually fled from the Palestine Mandate has decreased, the number of people labeled as Palestinian refugees has ballooned.

To read the complete essay, please click here.

Sanctions Experts: U.S. Should Target Khamenei’s Multi-Billion Dollar Empire

In the wake of the anti-government protests in Iran, the United States government could show its support for the protesters by targeting the vast financial empire controlled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, sanctions experts Mark Dubowitz and Saeed Ghasseminejad argued in an op-ed published Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal.

Dubowitz and Ghasseminejad wrote that President Donald Trump could target Khamenei and the foundations he controls under provisions of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which allows the president to target individuals involved in corruption and human rights abuses.

Khamenei controls an empire that is worth an estimated $200 billion and has “an interest in nearly every Iranian industry.” The three main organizations in the Supreme Leader’s empire are Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order, or EIKO ; the Mostazafan Foundation; and the Astan Quds Razavi. All three have increased their value through the “systematic confiscation of private property.”

While the reporting of these companies isn’t transparent, enough is known about them for the U.S. government to target them. Researchers have identified 146 companies controlled by Khamenei and 144 top-ranking officials in these companies. The Trump administration knows enough of the players to “isolate the Khamenei business empire, freeze its assets, and penalize international companies that enrich the Iranian regime.”

“With President Trump and the Iranian protesters on the same side against the supreme leader and his criminal regime,” Dubowitz and Ghasseminejad concluded, “now is the time to strike.”

Hotels Looking at Israeli System to Control Heating, Cooling Costs

Hotel stays can take a big chunk out of your wallet, in large part because of high operating expenses. But if a hotel could save up to 20 percent by better managing its heating and cooling systems, maybe that savings would be passed on to the consumer.

Israeli startup Vortex Energy has developed the software to reduce not only operational costs but also climate-changing CO2 emissions – and that might heat up the usually staid hotel space.

For its pilot project, Vortex Energy retrofitted the boiler room in Ramat Gan’s ritzy Leonardo City Tower with special sensors and monitors that collect data on temperature fluctuations.

“For a typical machine room for air conditioning and heating, we’ll have 400 to 500 inputs,” Vortex cofounder and vice president of sales and marketing Avi Mizrachi tells ISRAEL21c.

Those inputs measure both the temperature of the air being generated by the boiler system and the outside temperature. “We take it all into our computer, do the math and decide what to do,” Mizrachi says.

The outside temperature is key to the equation. If it’s 30 degrees Celsius at midday and you want the temperature inside the building to be 23 degrees, for example, you have to chill the water in the air-conditioning system to about 7.5 degrees, Mizrachi says. But when the temperature outside drops to 27 degrees, the water has to be chilled to only 9 degrees.

For each degree, a hotel can save 5% on its energy costs.

(via Israel21c)

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