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The Daily TIP: Syrian Journalist Exposes Torture Under Assad Regime in Holocaust Museum Exhibit

Posted by Tip Staff - August 09, 2017

Syrian Journalist Exposes Torture Under Assad Regime in Holocaust Museum Exhibit
U.S., Israeli Firms Boost Joint Production of Anti-Missile Systems
Two Months after Outlawing It, Iran Arrests Six for Teaching Zumba
Israeli Spacecraft is in "Advanced Stages of Manufacture" for Race to Moon

Syrian Journalist Exposes Torture Under Assad Regime in Holocaust Museum Exhibit

Mansour Omari, a Syrian journalist and free speech activist, is launching an exhibition in collaboration with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., detailing forced disappearance and torture under the Assad regime.

Omari was arrested in his Damascus office in February 2012 for his human rights campaigning and spent a year in a series of prisons, including a notorious facility under the supervision of Bashar al-Assad’s brother Maher, where he began to document the systemic abuse that he witnessed.

Omari and four of his fellow inmates recorded the names of 82 prisoners, details that were sewn, sometimes with their own blood, into the collar and cuff of a shirt and smuggled outside, in the hope to contact and inform the men’s families.

“We did it almost secretly. We didn’t want other people to know because there is a danger that some of them would tell the general,” Omari told The New York Times.

The scraps of material are now being displayed at the Holocaust Museum as a reminder of the killing machine that has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Syria, operated by the Assad regime with the support of Russia, Iran and the Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah.

Steven Rapp, then the top war crimes official for the U.S. government, declared in July 2014 that that the photographs of torture provided by a Syrian police photographer were “solid evidence of the kind of machinery of cruel death that we haven’t seen frankly since the Nazis.”

U.S., Israeli Firms Boost Joint Production of Anti-Missile Systems

Companies in Israel and the United States have ramped up production of the projectiles that are at the center of Israel's multi-layered anti-missile defense systems, Defense News reported Tuesday.

Israel's missile defense systems---including the Arrow-3, David's Sling, and Iron Dome---are all heavily funded by the U.S. In exchange, U.S. companies get a share of the work in developing the systems.

The Arrow-3, which aims to counter missiles in space, is being jointly designed by Boeing and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

“Significant parts of this high-performance missile designed to intercept targets deep into space are being produced in the United States. More than 20 states are involved in the production of Arrow-3,” Boaz Levy, IAI's executive vice president, told Defense News. The Stunner interceptor, part of the David's Sling system, is designed to counter mid-range missile threats and is being jointly developed by Raytheon and the state-owned Israeli company Rafael. Pini Yungman, executive vice president of Rafael, expressed his satisfaction with the job Raytheon is doing in developing the system.

Not only is Raytheon working on production of the Stunner and managing the subcontractors working on the system, it is also marketing the Stunner to approved U.S. allies for their missile defense systems. Poland has requested the interceptor and will negotiate its purchase directly with the U.S.

Raytheon and Rafael are also jointly producing the Tamir interceptor for the Iron Dome system. Raytheon is responsible for 75 percent of the components that make up the Tamir.

Two Months after Outlawing It, Iran Arrests Six for Teaching Zumba

Iran has arrested four men and two women for teaching Zumba, the BBC reported Wednesday.

The arrests follow the outlawing of the popular Brazilian exercise dance by the regime in June. In a letter, the head of the Sports for All Federation, Ali Majd Ara, declared the government would not recognize Zumba as an accepted sport because “rhythmic movements” or “dancing” are illegal.

The six were arrested by the intelligence forces Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a military organization that answers directly to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. They were accused of having "attracted boys and girls, taught them Western dances."

"The members of a network teaching and filming Western dances have been identified and arrested," Iranian media quoted Hamid Damghani, a commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as saying.

"They were arrested by the Guards' intelligence forces while teaching and creating video clips... as they sought to change lifestyles and promote a lack of hijab," he added.

In 2014, a group of young Iranians were arrested and sentenced to jail and lashes for making a video dancing to the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. The sentences were suspended only after Williams and other international observers protested.

Israeli Spacecraft is in "Advanced Stages of Manufacture" for Race to Moon

Israel’s SpaceIL, one of only five teams remaining in the multi-million-dollar Google Lunar XPrize race to the moon, is starting to assemble the craft to be launched in 2018, according to SpaceIL CEO Eran Privman.

“We are thrilled to share with you that the various parts and components of the spacecraft are in advanced stages of manufacture in Israel and abroad,” he announced this week.

The competition began 10 years ago with 33 teams vying to be the first to soft-land a privately funded, unmanned robot on the moon, move it 500 meters across the moon’s surface and transmit high-definition video and photos back to Earth. The top prize is $20 million.

The nonprofit SpaceIL was the last to register, at the end of 2010, but was the first to secure the required launch contract.

The SpaceIL craft will bring a lunar magnetometer from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot to study the magnetic fields on the surface of the moon.

“Additionally, we have acquired a new camera – one of the five cameras that will be assembled on the spacecraft,” Privman said. The only others that have made it this far in the competition are teams from India, Japan and the United States, as well as an international team of individuals from about 15 countries. In a recent article, the National Geographic profiled the teams. The article featured fabulous photos by art photographer Vincent Fournier.

(via Israel21c)

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