Month: May 2016

Women With Migraine May Face Higher Threat of Heart Disease, Stroke

TUESDAY, May 31, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Women who suffer from migraine headaches may have a slightly increased risk of heart disease or stroke, a new study suggests.

“Migraine should be considered a marker for increased risk of cardiovascular disease, at least in women,” said lead researcher Dr. Tobias Kurth, director of the Institute of Public Health at Charite-Universitatsmedizin in Berlin, Germany.

But, Kurth cautioned that this study can’t prove that migraines cause heart attack or stroke, only that they may make these events more likely.

Also, men may be similarly affected. “We have no reason to believe that this is limited to women,” Kurth said.

Migraines are headaches marked by intense throbbing or pulsing, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. They had previously been linked to an increased risk for stroke, but this new study also ties them to possible heart attack, death and the need for heart surgery, the researchers noted.

“Physicians should be aware of the association between migraine and cardiovascular disease, and women with migraine should be evaluated for their risk,” Kurth said.

For the study, researchers analyzed data on more than 116,000 U.S. women who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study II. At the start of the study, the women were aged 25 to 42, free from heart disease, and were followed from 1989 to 2011.

At the study’s start, 15 percent of the women had migraines. During 20 years of follow-up, more than 1,300 women had a heart attack or stroke and 223 died from one of those conditions, the researchers found.

Compared with women who did not have migraines, women who had migraines had a 50 percent greater risk for heart attack, stroke or surgery to open blocked heart arteries, the study suggested.

Specifically, women with migraines had about a 39 percent higher risk of heart attack, a 62 percent higher risk of stroke and a 73 percent higher risk of heart surgery, Kurth said.

In addition, migraine was linked with a 37 percent higher risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke, the findings suggested.

These associations remained after the researchers accounted for other risk factors, such as smoking, high blood pressure, age and use of oral contraceptives.

The report was published May 31 in the journal BMJ.

Dr. Rebecca Burch is an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, and co-author of an accompanying journal editorial. She said, “We can add migraine to the list of known risk factors for heart disease, which can be challenging because migraine tends to occur earlier in life and cardiovascular disease tends to show up later in life.”

The apparent increase in risk of heart disease and stroke related to migraines is likely to be small, so it may not make a large difference to an individual person, Burch said. “But because migraine is so common, that small increase in risk may be much more meaningful when we consider the population as a whole,” she said.

Since it isn’t known why there’s this apparent risk and what can be done to reduce it, Burch said her advice is “not to make any changes to the treatment of people with migraine based on these findings.

“It is important to make sure we are evaluating cardiovascular risk among women with migraine and doing what we know helps to reduce that risk, like advising regular exercise and managing blood pressure,” she said.


Almost 46 million people trapped in slavery with North Korea, India key offenders: global index

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Almost 46 million people are living as slaves globally with the greatest number in India but the highest prevalence in North Korea, according to the third Global Slavery Index launched on Tuesday with Australian actor Russell Crowe.

The index, by Australia-based human rights group Walk Free Foundation, increased its estimate of people born into servitude, trafficked for sex work, or trapped in debt bondage or forced labor to 45.8 million from 35.8 million in 2014.

Andrew Forrest, founder of Walk Free, said the rise of nearly 30 percent was due to better data collection, although he feared the situation was getting worse with global displacement and migration increasing vulnerability to all forms of slavery.

Forrest, an Australian mining billionaire and philanthropist, urged businesses to check their supply chains for worker exploitation, saying he found thousands of people trapped in slavery making goods for his company Fortescue Metals Group.

“But I’ve had some of some biggest entrepreneurs in the world look me in the eye and say I will not look for slavery in case I find it,” he said at the launch of the index in London.

Crowe, who played Roman general-turned-slave Maximus in the 2000 movie “Gladiator”, described the plight of people “in our communities who are stuck, utterly helpless and trapped in a cycle of despair and degradation with no choice and no hope.”

“As an actor, my role is often to portray raw human emotion, but nothing compares with the people’s lives reflected in the report published today,” he said.

“The shock of reading the Global Slavery Index was one that I wouldn’t step away from.”

Incidences of slavery were found in all 167 countries in the index, with India home to the largest total number with an estimated 18.4 million slaves among its 1.3 billion population.

But Forrest said India deserved credit for starting to address this problem with the government this week unveiling a draft of its first comprehensive anti-human trafficking law to treat survivors as victims rather than criminals.

North Korea ranked as worst in terms of concentration with one in every 20 people – or 4.4 percent of its 25 million population – in slavery and its government doing the least to end this with reports of state-sanctioned forced labor.

“We need to make it clear we’re not going to tolerate slavery and when there is slavery in a regime we should not trade with them,” Forrest told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.


Forrest acknowledged the latest data was likely to attract criticism with some researchers accusing the index of flawed methodology by extrapolating on-the-ground surveys in some countries to estimate numbers for other nations.

The 2016 index was based on interviews with about 42,000 people by pollster Gallup in 53 languages in 25 countries.

But Forrest said a lack of hard data on slavery in the past had held back efforts to tackle this hidden crime and it was important to draw a “sand in the line” measurement to drive action. He challenged critics to produce an alternative.

The United Nation’s International Labour Organization estimates 21 million people globally are victims of forced labor but this does not take into account all forms of slavery.

“Without measurement you don’t have effective management and there’s no way to lead the world away from slavery,” he said.

Forrest said the Global Slavery Index aims to measure the prevalence of slavery in the 167 most populous countries as well as the level of vulnerability of people to enslavement and strength of government efforts to combat this.

The 2016 index again found Asia, which provides low-skilled labor in global supply chains producing clothing, food and technology, accounted for two-thirds of the people in slavery.

About 58 percent of people living in slavery are in five countries – India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan.

However the countries with the highest proportion of their population enslaved were North Korea, Uzbekistan, and Cambodia.

The governments taking the least action to tackle slavery were listed as North Korea, Iran, Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, and Hong Kong.

By contrast the governments taking most action were the Netherlands, the United States, Britain, Sweden and Australia.

Forrest said a reason for launching the index in Britain was to acknowledge the lead set by the UK government which last year brought in the 2015 Modern Slavery Act.

While Europe has the lowest regional prevalence of slavery, Walk Free said it was a source and destination for forced labor and sexual exploitation. The impact of a mass influx of migrants and refugees fleeing conflicts and poverty has yet to be seen.

Crowe said slavery was a problem that was not going away.

“I think all of us should keep focused on it until we get to that point … where it just gets pushed over the edge and it’s finished,” he said.

Trump launches all-out attack on the press

New York (CNN)Donald Trump on Tuesday went on a sustained frontal assault against the media during a contentious news conference.

The billionaire had called the news conference to announce an accounting of his at least $5.6 million in fundraising for veterans groups, but spent most of the 40 minutes criticizing and insulting reporters — collectively and at times individually — as “dishonest,” “not good people,” sleazy, and among the worst human beings he has ever met.
And he vowed the White House briefing room would be just as combative as the Trump Tower lobby, where the developer addressed reporters Tuesday, should he ascend to the Oval Office.
“Yeah, it is going to be like this,” Trump said when asked if this is how he would behave with the press as president. “You think I’m gonna change? I’m not gonna change.”
At one point, Trump fumed: “I’m the only one in the world who can raise almost $6 million for the veterans, have uniform applause by the veterans groups, and end up being criticized by press.”
“I think the political press is among the most dishonest people that I have ever met, I have to tell you. I see the stories, and I see the way they’re couched,” he added.
The news conference did not mark a radical departure from Trump’s relationship with the press, which has been strained throughout the brash mogul’s year-long campaign — but Tuesday was a surprise escalation, especially at a time when many supporters want him to start acting more presidential.
Over the last year, Trump has repeatedly called out individual reporters on Twitter and in interviews for everything from what he viewed as insufficient crowd camera shots to biased reporting. And attacking the press is a regular part of the presumptive Republican nominee’s stump speech, during which he typically rips reporters as “scum,” “slime,” “dishonest” and “disgusting” — often prompting jeers from the crowd.
The news conference came four months after Trump claimed to have raised $6 million for veterans groups, but then dodged reporters’ questions about which groups had received the donations.
Trump kicked off his litany of media attacks Tuesday by accusing reporters of cynically turning what should have been a positive story about his charitable work into a negative one.
Reporters had for months repeatedly asked Trump to provide an accounting of the donations, requests that were frequently rebuffed or side-stepped by Trump and his campaign staff.
Trump said Tuesday he didn’t “want the credit” for his fundraising, “but I shouldn’t be lambasted.”
Hillary Clinton later told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead” that Trump did not deserve any credit for following through on his promise, arguing that he had only done so because of increased scrutiny of the donations from the media.
“Look, I’m glad he finally did it, but I don’t know that he should get much credit,” she told Tapper. “It took a reporter to shame him into actually making his contribution.”
The subject of the news conference quickly turned away from the veterans donations as Trump accused reporters of writing stories they “know” to be false, and of spinning the truth.
He lashed out at individual reporters, calling ABC’s Tom Llamas a “sleaze,” referring sarcastically to CNN’s Jim Acosta’s live reports as a “beauty,” and refusing at one point to call on CBS’s Major Garrett.
Trump repeatedly blasted the media for the way it has covered his fundraising for vets.
“All of the money has been paid out,” Trump said. “The press should be ashamed of themselves, and on behalf of the veterans, the press should be ashamed of themselves.”
“There are so many people who are so thankful for what we did,” Trump said, adding that the final figure could top $6 million once all the donations are in.
Trump listed the vets groups — there were more than 40 — that he said had received money and the amounts given to each. He said there were no administrative costs deducted from the donations.
Trump himself gave $1 million last week to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, a charity that helps support the families of fallen Marines and law enforcement officers to which Trump’s foundation has previously donated.
Amid reporters’ questions over the last few months, Trump and his campaign have repeatedly offered conflicting accounts of how much money was raised. The campaign has insisted it was working on disbursing the funds, but said it was waiting on some donors to make good on their pledges and also needed time to properly vet the charities in the running to receive the funds.
Three veterans groups earlier Tuesday confirmed donations from the Trump Foundation. The Bob Woodruff Foundation and the Boston Wounded Vets Run each got $75,000. The Racing For Heroes Foundation also received what the group’s president described as a “large” donation.
Clinton’s campaign on Tuesday morning fired off a statement tweaking Trump over his accounting of the donations amid a multi-pronged push to counter Trump’s news conference.
And Clinton herself clashed with Trump’s description on Tuesday that she had done “nothing” on veterans’ behalf, pointing to money she raised for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund alongside Arizona Sen. John McCain and work done to re-acclimate veterans returning from combat.
She said “of course” she had contributed personally as well. But she didn’t provide further details, such as how much she donated and to whom.

Cincinnati Police Are Investigating Family After Boy Falls Into Gorilla Enclosure

Amid an uproar in Cincinnati after a gorilla was shot dead after dragging around a boy who had slipped into a zoo enclosure, the police said Tuesday that they were investigating the actions of the child’s family in connection with the episode.

The shooting Saturday by zoo workers of the teenage gorilla, Harambe, prompted a chorus of online criticism, vigils for the animal, complaints by animal rights activists and petitions blaming the boy’s mother. The episode was even raised at a news conference held Tuesday by Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

As video showing the boy and the huge gorilla continued to be played on television and online, officials raised the possibility on Tuesday of criminal charges. Julie Wilson, a spokeswoman with the Hamilton County prosecutor’s office, said the matter had been referred to the Cincinnati Police Department for investigation.

“At this point, everybody is just looking into it to see what’s going on,” she said. “I can’t tell you that anyone will be charged with anything.”

A police statement released later Tuesday said the department was investigating “the actions of the parents/family that led up to the incident” but was not focusing on “the operation or safety of the Cincinnati Zoo, which is under the purview of the United States Department of Agriculture.”

An animal rights group said on Tuesday that it had filed a negligence complaint against the zoo with the Department of Agriculture.

Zoo officials at first reported the boy’s age as 4. The police statement said officials had verified that the boy was 3.

Lt. Stephen Saunders, a spokesman for the Police Department, said officials would not immediately release the name of the family.

The boy had slipped through the Gorilla World exhibit’s barrier while visiting the zoo with his mother and had fallen into a shallow moat on Saturday afternoon. Videos of the encounter posted to Twitter showed the silverback gorilla dragging him around like a toy, while a woman could be heard calling to the sobbing child: “Mommy loves you! I’m right here.”

After about 10 minutes, zoo workers shot and killed the animal. The boy, who was hurt but not severely, was taken to a hospital and released on Saturday night, zoo officials said.

Thane Maynard, the zoo’s director, has forcefully rejected criticism of the decision to kill the gorilla instead of using a tranquilizer dart. He said at a news conference on Monday that the dart could have caused the animal, capable of crushing a coconut with his hands, to become even more agitated.

“We are all devastated that this tragic accident resulted in the death of a critically endangered gorilla,” Mr. Maynard said.

A statement from the boy’s family, released through a public relations company, said:

“We are so thankful to the Lord that our child is safe. He is home and doing just fine. We extend our heartfelt thanks for the quick action by the Cincinnati Zoo staff. We know that this was a very difficult decision for them, and that they are grieving the loss of their gorilla. We hope that you will respect our privacy at this time.”

The animal rights group Stop Animal Exploitation Now said the zoo had been cited twice recently for problems with its enclosures and facilities. In the negligence complaint it filed with the Department of Agriculture against the zoo, it called for the maximum federal penalty of $10,000 per infraction per animal, it said in a statement.

“The failure of the Cincinnati Zoo to adequately construct this enclosure to protect both the public and the animal held prisoner there is a clear and fatal violation of the Animal Welfare Act,” the group said in its letter to the agriculture department.

The zoo said in a statement after the killing that the boy had climbed through a public barrier at the exhibit. The two female gorillas in the exhibit were successfully recalled, but Harambe stayed in the yard with the child. The video showed the gorilla sometimes standing over the boy in what appeared to be a protective posture, but then darting through the shallow moat, dragging the child behind him.

Mr. Maynard said the child’s head had banged on concrete.

The episode generated widespread reaction, with some people criticizing the zoo, others supporting the mother and online petitions accusing her of negligence. Animal rights supporters organized a vigil outside the zoo in remembrance of the gorilla.

On Tuesday, the Jane Goodall Institute, based in Virginia, released an emailthat the world-renown primatologist sent to Mr. Maynard on Sunday, expressing sympathy for the “devastating” loss.

“I feel so sorry for you, having to try to defend something which you may well disapprove of,” Dr. Goodall’s email said. “I tried to see exactly what was happening — it looked as though the gorilla was putting an arm around the child — like the female who rescued and returned the child from the Chicago exhibit.

“Anyway, whatever, it is a devastating loss to the zoo, and to the gorillas.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump was asked at a news conference how he felt about the killing of the gorilla. He said: “I think it’s a very tough call. It was amazing because there were moments with the gorilla, the way he held that child, it was almost like a mother holding a baby. Looked so beautiful and calm, and there were moments where it looked pretty dangerous.

“I thought it was so beautiful to watch that powerful, almost 500-pound gorilla, the way he dealt with that little boy, but it just takes one second,” Mr. Trump continued.

“It just takes one little flick of his finger, and I will tell you they probably had no choice.”

Netanyahu: Normalization with Turkey ‘very close’

Israel and Turkey are “very close” to mending their fences, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told visiting American congressmen on Monday.

Jerusalem is waiting to set a date for a decisive meeting at which both sides’ negotiating teams are supposed to iron out the final issues of dispute, Haaretz reported Tuesday. Expectations are that the teams will meet in a European capital next week.

A senior Israeli official was quoted as saying that all the unresolved issues revolved around the draft of a compromise over Israel’s demand that Turkey close the Istanbul offices of the Hamas terror organization.

Among overtures by Turkey in recent weeks, Ankara withdrew its opposition to closer ties between Israel and NATO, the official said. Furthermore, for the first time in five years, the Turks sent Foreign Ministry officials to an annual reception at Israel’s embassy in Ankara.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the 37th World Zionist Congress conference at the Jerusalem Convention Center on October 20, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The meeting was originally scheduled for two weeks ago but was postponed because of the resignation and replacement of Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Netanyahu reportedly repeated his optimistic assertion three times, saying renewed ties would help the two countries advance shared regional interests, even though there would be no return to the relationship’s heyday of some 10 years ago.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told reporters after a cabinet meeting in Ankara that Israel had agreed to fulfill two of Turkey’s three conditions for normalization. Israel would apologize for the deaths of Turkish nationals in an IDF raid on a Gaza-bound ship in 2010 and had agreed to pay $20 million in compensation to the injured and the families of those killed, he said.

Israel’s lifting of an embargo on the Gaza Strip, the third condition, was important, Kurtulmus stressed, and both countries have agreed to allow Turkish involvement in the creation of infrastructure projects and the rehabilitation of the enclave.

Ankara had offered to moor a ship in Ashdod port to supply electricity to energy-strapped Gaza, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last month. But Israel countered with a proposed German project to build a power plant within the Strip instead.

“We said that could be possible,” said Erdogan. “We still haven’t given up on the ship. Israel is also positive toward our proposal to address Gaza’s water problem through water desalination plants or wells. There is also a need for schools and hospitals. We are seeking donors. Some have promised to contribute.”

Iran announces new ‘Zionist caliphate’ cartoon contest

An Iranian museum on Tuesday kicked off a “Zionist caliphate” cartoon contest, with “Zionism, terrorism and racism” and “ISIL terrorism and genocide in the name of religion and to the benefit of the Zionists” the designated themes.

The contest by Iranian Cultural-Art Masaf Institute will offer one $5,000 award for best cartoon, $1,000 for best caricature and four $500 awards to the other top entries, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.

In its portrait session, participants are asked to focus on Theodor Herzl and Queen Elizabeth. The competition is dedicated to the “Nakba,” or displacement of Palestinians in 1948 with the establishment of the State of Israel, according to the report.

The “Zionist caliphate” contest was announced a day after Iran’s annual Holocaust cartoon contest — which has been condemned by Israel, Germany, the US, and UNESCO — concluded.

Cartoonists from various countries, including France, had competed in the contest, which is organized by non-governmental bodies with strong support from Iran’s regime. Some $50,000 in prize money went to 16 finalists, with the top winner receiving $12,000.

“We have witnessed the eye-catching participation of the western and European cartoonists in this edition of the exhibition, with the French artists showing the largest presence,” the secretary for the Holocaust contest said, according to Fars.

A drawing submitted to a Holocaust denial cartoon contest sponsored by Iran in 2015.

Some 150 works from 50 countries were on display from May 14-30. Most of the works criticize Israel for allegedly using the Holocaust to distract the international community from its treatment of the Palestinians.

Jewish groups welcome FB, Twitter pledge to crack down on hate speech

Jewish groups welcomed a pledge by four internet giants to crack down on online hate speech, though some questioned the firms’ commitment to act.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft on Tuesday signed a code of conduct with the European Commission that requires them to delete the majority of reported illegal hate speech within 24 hours, The Telegraph reported.

The European Jewish Congress offered an “enthusiastic welcome” to the code of conduct in a statement Tuesday, but the World Jewish Congress reacted more coolly in a statement the same day, voicing “skepticism about the commitment of these firms to effectively police their respective platforms.”

YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and others “already have clear guidelines in place aimed at preventing the spread of offensive content, yet they have so far utterly failed to properly implement their own rules,” the CEO of the World Jewish Congress, Robert Singer, said in the statement.

“Tens of thousands of despicable video clips continue to be made available although their existence has been reported to YouTube and despite the fact that they are in clear violation of the platform’s own guidelines prohibiting racist hate speech. … Nonetheless, YouTube gives the impression that it has been cracking down on such content. Alas, the reality is that so far it hasn’t.”

Last week, France’s Union of Jewish Students, or UEJF, and the anti-racist organization SOS Racisme sued Twitter, YouTube and Facebook for failing to remove anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic content, Le Parisien reported.

The two groups, together with SOS Homophobie, said that on March 31 and May 10, they found 586 examples of such content. Only 4 percent of the content was deleted by Twitter, 7 percent by YouTube and 34 percent by Facebook, the groups said.

In 2013, the Paris Court of Appeals issued a landmark ruling forcing Twitter to block the hashtag #UnBonJuif — French for “a good Jew” — and to remove the thousands of associated anti-Semitic tweets that violated France’s law against hate speech.

The ruling was a turning point in the fight against online hate speech in France and beyond because it caused Twitter to abandon its policy of applying as little censorship as is permissible in the United States, where Twitter’s head office is based and where there are fewer limitations on free speech than in many countries in Europe.

YouTube has since permanently banned videos posted by Dieudonne, a French comedian with 10 convictions for inciting racial hatred against Jews.

In 2014, Facebook removed the page of the Holocaust denier Soral for “repeatedly posting things that don’t comply with the Facebook terms,” according to the company. Soral’s page had drawn many complaints in previous years.

Despite complaints of partial compliance on hate speech removal by the internet giants, European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor celebrated the accord Tuesday as “a historic agreement that could not arrive at a better time.” It is “very important” that governments and online companies “work in tandem to make the internet a safer space for all,” he said.

The president of the Conference of European Rabbis, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, was also optimistic, saying in a statement that “internet hate leads to a culture of fear. We hope that today’s announcement will be the first step in combating that culture.”

Liberal Jews plan a summer of opposing Donald Trump

JTA — Boycott Trump? Mock Trump? Trump, the musical?

Jewish liberals are ready to sow a summer of Donald Trump discontent in ways that aim both to bludgeon and entertain.

Bend the Arc, an advocacy group, is convening its first national conferencehere next week aimed in part at finding a strategy to keep the billionaire real estate magnate, who has secured the Republican nomination, from becoming president.

“We have been actively working and campaigning to make sure that Trump is defeated since early fall,” said Stosh Cotler, the CEO of the group, which was formed from the 2011 merger of the New York-based Jewish Funds for Justice and the West Coast-based Progressive Jewish Alliance. “That work will be continued at the conference.

“We’re hoping that this platform of 500 Jews will be an opportunity to get more folks involved in defeating Trump and the movement his candidacy has catalyzed.”

Mik Moore, the social media agitator behind the 2008 pro-Obama effort known as “The Great Schlep,” is planning a narrative series that would lampoon Trump.

Cotler said she would announce plans for a mass action that would involve Jews across the country. She did not provide more details, but pointed to the campaign to have major corporations boycott the Republican convention as a template.

That campaign, joining Bend the Arc with Color of Change, a black advocacy group, and Credo Action, a network of progressive activists, claims responsibility for Coca-Cola’s decision to markedly reduce its participation at this year’s convention, and has targeted others, including Google, Facebook and Apple. (Coca-Cola neither confirms nor denies activists’ pressure led the company to reduce its contributions to the convention, saying only that it is nonpartisan.)

Also speaking at the conference are representatives of Latino, African-American and Muslim advocacy groups, as well as politicians including Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the US House of Representatives minority leader.

Other Bend the Arc actions targeting Trump include launching an online petition last November disguised as a mock “registry” of Jews — a pointed parody of his call for a registry of American Muslims — and a web adthat quoted Trump’s description of incoming Mexicans as “rapists and murderers” set against images of Nazi-era Jews who sought refuge in the United States.

“The ugly anti-immigrant rhetoric of today sounds painfully familiar to American Jews,” the ad said.

Moore’s Jewish Council for Education and Research was behind “The Great Schlep,” which drew on the talents of comedian Sarah Silverman to get young Jewish voters to persuade their grandparents in Florida to vote for Barack Obama. Silverman and actor Samuel Jackson were featured in videos in the 2012 campaign that had a similar message, albeit delivered in more profane terms.

This time around, Moore said the breadth of Trump’s challenge to liberal values demands not just a single video but a narrative series along the lines of “Halal in the Family,” a 2015 web series he helped develop featuring comedian Aasif Mandvi that promoted tolerance for Muslims.

“We’ve been thinking about how to use humor to take on Trump and to explain what his politics means,” Moore said.

“We’ve developing a bigger project, bigger than the ‘Schlep’ or ‘Wake the F— Up’,” he said, referring to Jackson’s 2012 video. “We want to do some storytelling this cycle and create characters people better connect to — better than a single one-off video.”

Moore said it was too early to reveal what shape the Trump series would take.

Jewish groups are grappling with how to confront Trump. His “America First” rhetoric has resonated with white supremacist groups, whose support Trump has been reluctant to forcefully disavow, and some of his proposals, including mass deportation of undocumented immigrants, monitoring mosques and registering Muslims, run afoul of the mainstream groups’ civil rights agenda. But directly targeting a nominee risks casting a tax-exempt group as partisan.

A number of groups, notably the Anti-Defamation League, have not hesitated to name Trump. The ADL told the Forward last week that its criticism of Trump is consistent with its longstanding practice of calling out by name politicians who cross red lines.

Other groups, including the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the umbrella public policy group, have chosen to decry the rhetoric while not naming the candidate.

Bend the Arc has an affiliated political action committee through which it channels much – but not all – of its anti-Trump activism. Cotler said the PAC hopes to raise $500,000 this season, which will be used, Bend the Arc spokesman Elliot Levy told JTA, “to promote the election of leaders who champion Bend the Arc’s issues and can move our country in the right direction.”

Cotler said Trump’s candidacy is enough of an affront to Jewish values of tolerance and inclusion that it should supersede anxieties about appearing partisan. Bend the Arc is able to carry out its anti-Trump advocacy through its 501(c)(4) group, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, which under IRS rules may devote a portion of its activities to politics.

“The Jewish community that Bend the Arc believes in is one that values democracy, inclusion and equity that understands that when any other community is singled out and banned, this goes so deeply against our core values,” she said. “This is a values-based election; this is not a partisan issue.”

Moroccan BDS calls on Muslims to boycott Israeli dates during Ramadan

The upcoming Islamic fasting month of Ramadan is stirring up a vibrant debate in the Arab world regarding the Israeli date, which is popularly consumed by Muslims during the holy month.

The Moroccan BDS movement has recently launched a new campaign that calls on Moroccans not to consume the Israeli-produced Medjool dates, which flood Middle Eastern markets.

In a statement the anti-Israel movement issued to mark the launch of the campaign, the local activists appeared to try to reassure their countrymen of the origin of the date species. The statement claimed that the Medjool dates were in fact grown on Moroccan trees that had been stolen by Israel. They alleged that Israel has changed the genetics of these trees and planted them in “stolen lands…just like the Argan tree which was also uprooted by Israel and replanted in the Negev.”

According to the movement, these dates “penetrate the world markets and the Moroccan markets all year long and especially during Ramadan in exchange for cheap prices that compete with local products.”

“These dates, like every other product the occupiers of Palestine exports, finance their military machine,” the Moroccan activists charged.

UK Labor politician who called Israel a ‘terrorist state’ tapped as local equality chief

British Labour politician who has called Israel a “terrorist state” and derided another politician for being a “Zionist” has been appointed to oversee equality in the city of Birmingham, the UK’s Daily Mailreported on Tuesday.

Waseem Zaffar a Labour politician from Birmingham, who was appointed as the city council’s new cabinet member for Transparency, Openness and Equality, is regarded by British law as a polygamist.  According to British media, Zaffar divorced his first wife in Islamic court, which isn’t recognized by British law, and then remarried his second wife in 2014.

According to the Daily Mail report, Zaffar called Israel a “terrorist state” at a pro-Palestinian rally in 2014 and called on protesters to stand against “something that can only be described as state supported terrorism by this Zionist Israeli government.”

The latest development came amid a storm of recent allegations that the Labour Party has anti-Semitic leanings under its leader Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn has vehemently denied the charges, although related controversies continue to emerge.

Last month, Israeli Labour leader Isaac Herzog sent Corbyn a letter inviting him to Israel, to which Corbyn did not respond.