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Did You Know?

Israel engineers are behind the development of the largest communications router in the world, launched by Cisco.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Israeli study: Breastfeeding helps prevent cancer


Research conducted at Haifa University concludes that nursing decreases children’s chances of developing cancer by 60%.

Breastfeeding can increase the chances of preventing cancer, a new Israeli study has found.
The research, conducted at Haifa University, compared children who were breastfed with children who were not, and concluded that the nursing decreased the chances of developing cancer by 60%.
The study also compared children who were exclusively breastfed until the age of at least four months, or in addition to recommended nutritional complementary feeding for at least a year, with children who stopped being breastfed before the age of four months. The chance of getting cancer among those who were exclusively breastfed was 40% lower.
The study was funded by the Israel Cancer Associations. The researchers – Dr. Lital Keinan-Boker, deputy director of the Health Ministry’s Center for Disease Control, and Efrat Amitai – interviewed 190 women whose children developed leukemia or lymphoma at the ages of one to 19, as well as 348 mothers of healthy children who were selected from the patients’ immediate surroundings.
“We asked the mothers in the study about breastfeeding, nutrition, exposure to pets, exposure to detergents, etc.,” said Dr. Keinan-Boker.

Japanese e-commerce giant buys Israeli messaging app Viber for $900 million


Rakuten says purchase will add 300 million users to its existing 200 million, sees ‘communication-based transaction’ future for online sales.

Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten Inc said Friday it will buy Israeli-owned instant messaging app provider Viber Media Ltd for $900 million, hoping to tap the company’s rapidly expanding business in emerging markets.
Rakuten said the purchase of Viber Media, run from Cyprus by Israeli entrepreneur Talmon Marco, will add 300 million users to its existing 200 million users.
Bloomberg quoted billionaire Rakuten owner Hiroshi Mikitani as saying that the acquisition is expected to be completed next month. According to Bloomberg, Mikitani believes that e-commerce will become “a more communication-based transaction.”
A statement from Mikitani on Friday praised Viber as “the most consistently high quality and convenient messaging and VoIP experience
“Simply put, Viber understands how people actually want to engage and have built the only service that truly delivers on all fronts,” he said. “This makes Viber the ideal total consumer engagement platform for Rakuten as we seek to bring our deep understanding of the consumer to vast new audiences through our dynamic ecosystem of Internet Services.”
A statement from Viber CEO Talmon Marco also highlighted the potential for instant messaging in the world of internet commerce
“This combination presents an amazing opportunity for Viber to enhance our rapid user growth in both existing and new markets,” Marco said. “Sharing similar aspirations with Rakuten, our vision is to be the world’s No.1 communications platform and our combination with Rakuten is an important step in that direction.”

Gal Gadot named one of world’s most desirable women

Gal Gadot

After conquering the big screen, Israel’s own Wonder Woman ranks 39th on AskMen magazine’s Top 99 Most Desirable Women list, beating other beauties like Sofia Vergara, Miranda Kerr and Katy Perry.

If you thought Gal Gadot would settle for her new international actress title, you got another thing coming. Shortly before she begins shooting her role as Wonder Woman in “Batman vs. Superman,” which will hit the screens in 2016, the Israeli beauty is already playing in the big girls’ league.
AskMen magazine’s Top 99 Most Desirable Women list for 2014 has provided further proof that Gadot is the next big thing.While other hot names were left out, the Israeli star made it to the honorable 39th place.
Gadot came in one place before sex bomb Sofia Vergara, who settled for the 40th place, and beat Miranda Kerr (46), Sandra Bullock (57) and Katy Perry, who only made it to the 90th for some reason.
The first place went to “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke, who is the most desirable woman alive according to the website. The bad girl of the world of pop, Miley Cyrus, ranked 99th.
Other notable women on the list include singer Taylor Swift in the 30th place, Jewish actress Mila Kunis in the 26th place, Barbadian superstar Rihanna in the 19th place, Israel supporter Scarlett Johansson in the 16th place and pop star Beyoncé in the 11th place.
And in case you’re wondering, Bar Refaeli did not make it into the list this year. After ranking 19th in 2011, 51st in 2012 and 62nd in 2013, the Israeli supermodel was completely lefty out this year. Maybe next time.

Google acquires SlickLogin, Israeli start-up offering ‘military-grade security’


Acquisition apparently comes in the form ‘acquhire’, allowing company founders – all IDF ‘cyber-warriors’ – to stay on at Google.

Another Israeli technology company has announced its move to a global giant: SlickLogin on Sunday posted a notice on its website that it has joined forces with Google, two days after news broke that Israeli-owned app Viber has been purchased by Japan’s Rakuten e-commerce colossus.
SlickLogin provides a revolutionary log-in identification that uses a smartphone to deliver an “ultrasonic frequency” to a nearby computer. The frequency is emitted after the user enters his or her password, thereby completing a two-stage process.
The statement from SlickLogin hails Google as “a company that shares our core beliefs that logging in should be easy instead of frustrating, and authentication should be effective without getting in the way.”
According to reports, the company will be absorbed into Google in an “acquhire”, rather than bought outright, in a deal worth “several million”. The company’s small staff – founders Or Zelig (CEO), Eran Galili (CTO) and Ori Kabeli (VP R&D) – will continue to work on their product as part of Google. All three served in the IDF’s cyber-security unit.
According to SlickLogin’s website, this system involves “unique patent-pending technologies and a fortified protocol model enable military-grade security.”
“Google was the first company to offer 2-step verification to everyone, for free – and they’re working on some great ideas that will make the internet safer for everyone,”said the statement from the Israeli company. “We couldn`t be more excited to join their efforts.”
Google has a history of acquiring Israeli start-ups. Most famously, it purchased the social media-driven GPS app Waze in 2013 for $966 million.

Hundreds flock to ‘weeping’ Mary statue in Israel


An Israeli couple say they found the statue covered with oil recently and that it spoke.

Hundreds of people have flocked to a small town in northern Israel to view a statue of the Virgin Mary that residents say “weeps” oil.
Members of a Christian family from Tarshiha, near the Lebanon border, say they have witnessed a miracle in their living room.
Osama Khoury said Tuesday that his wife Amira found the statue “covered with oil” recently. Amira said the statue “spoke to her” and told her not to be afraid. After a neighbor witnessed the oil, word soon spread.
Parts of the statue appear to be slick with moisture, even after it is wiped off.
The family says it is most striking when a “tear” seems to roll down the statue’s cheek. It says some 2,000 people have come to see the statue over the last week.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Israeli Army: the next great tech incubator?

Army Israel

A crop of successful new entrepreneurs is coming out of Israel and they credit military schooling for their success.

A whole crop of successful new entrepreneurs is coming out of Israel. The latest wave started last summer, with the news that Google paid $1.1 billion for the cutesy mapping-and-traffic app Waze. There’s the Israeli-Canadian team that just won the Global Startup Challenge. There’s the rise of Israeli venture firms, from Tel Aviv to Palo Alto. There’s an incubator just for Israeli entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley. And there’s the 52 percent spike in demand for web developers that Israel — and its $243 billion economy — saw in 2013.
Move aside, MIT, Stanford and Y Combinator — even IT and Tsinghua. It looks like the best entrepreneurial incubator in the world might actually be created via conscription … the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).
What’s behind this budding startup and consumer-facing product industry? One guess, posited in the 2009 book Startup Nation by authors Dan Senor and Saul Singer, is the chutzpah explanation: Maybe there’s just something about the Israeli people and their scrappy survivors’ anything-is-possible mentality that makes the startup boom in their backyard anything but surprising.
Still, it’s got to be more than that.


There’s about “one degree of separation” between people in the country of 8 million, says Yaron Galai, CEO of New York-based media company Outbrain.
“There’s definitely a great entrepreneurial spirit … and one success story means a lot. When people heard I had sold one company, they think, ‘I can do this.’” (Galai sold his previous company to AOL for $363 million.)
Plus, the military is a powerful networking tool. Especially when it’s mandatory.
Compared with the U.S., where less than 1 percent of the population serves in the military, or even India, where only around 3 percent join the military, about 50% of Israel’s population joins up, and they find an organization that prides itself on being tech-driven. The experience delivers all the obvious byproducts: loyalty; a tough-as-nails attitude, instilled at a young age; a strong alumni network; and future partnerships aplenty.
“You see a lot of founding teams coming out of the same army unit,” says Galai. In fact, Galai and his co-founder met during their younger days, in the navy.


Think what you will about the IDF, but from a skills standpoint, it’s hard to find a better training ground than a war room. Forget hackathons: If you can code and decrypt with the fate of a nation dripping from your sweaty pores, you’ll barely have to wipe your brow in a job interview.
The IDF hopped on the data train well before the rest of us: and those same skills they use to gather the data to track down al-Qaida are being used by savvy new Israeli entrepreneurs to tell you what to read online, what clothes to buy, what your tastes should be.
One Israeli success story is New York-based Adam Singolda, CEO of content-distribution company Taboola (one of those data-driven companies). He’s soon to become an American citizen, but only after having spent six years in an intelligence unit of the IDF.
“The Israeli Army is unique because it actually has an ‘HR function,’” Singolda said. “The whole concept of recruiting is very advanced.”
Which might sound counterintuitive in a country where so much of its population winds up in the military anyway — but there’s enormous competition leading up to the moment when teenagers are assigned to their specific unit. So from the very beginning, future CEOs are groomed and grown through a process that could make the Harvard admissions department shudder. Proving yourself early means proving yourself often is not such a big deal — it’s a habit that’s tough to break.
Getting accepted into the high-pressure units like intelligence also means being among the most impressive scientific or mathematical minds in the country.
Perhaps the bar is a little easier to reach in a nation where state-funded schools (with strong math programs) are the norm, and where you can “major” in engineering (much like Asian schools) as a teenager. Picture then, if you will, a bigger, more driven pool of STEM-savvy talent coming through the Israeli system earlier than their peer countries — and emerging army-strong to put their finely honed skills to use.


To hear Singolda describe what he values in a new hire is to hear the new mantra of tech culture — and perhaps the next wave of mainstream corporate hiring culture.
“For me, experience is a much more important part of thinking about hiring than education.”
Sure, that’s not exactly new thinking. But contrast it to the last wave of engineers to power the tech boom: IT-trained Indian immigrants and Stanford stop-outs. Previously, universities offered smart, hungry students a kind of cushy (often Ivy-clad) home to try things out. And sure, the University of Tel Aviv is well and good, but Singolda, Galai and others swear their military time — rather than classroom time — mattered much more: the army was a better incubator and a better network driver. It’s how they grew up.
“It’s our college,” Galai said.
Certainly, the new emphasis on experience over education isn’t arising just thanks to Israelis or even Asian immigrants; indeed, it’s been a big factor for years in tech circles. But it’s one way the rise of Israeli business minds could be pushing their industry in new directions.
What’s ahead could be less obvious. Immigrants have a habit of influencing corporate culture in subtle ways. Once they’re so ubiquitous as to not be oddities anymore, their previously peculiar penchants become mainstream. Take the Polish and Irish influence on manufacturing to, more recently, the Indian impact on the tech boom (you can find tandoori chicken in any big tech company’s cafeteria, after all).
So what might be the fruits of this latest incarnation of globalization? Not just challah in the boardroom, we’re guessing. is a USA TODAY content partner providing general news, commentary and coverage from around the Web. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY

A winter day in Tel aviv by Nadav zofi

Tel Aviv WInter

Twitter Trends Expands to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa


Social media company Twitter announced on Friday that it has expanded its Twitter Trends feature to include the Israeli cities of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa.

In a blog post, Twitter said, “Twitter Trends capture the pulse of the planet. We want to make it easy for anyone in any part of the world to find out what is happening around them, and Trends make that possible.”
The decision to include the three Israeli cities came as Twitter added another 50 urban locations to the Trends feature, accessible by entering #Jerusalem, #TelAviv or #Haifa in Twitter’s search bar or re-setting your location to reflect your favorite of the three Israeli cities.
In its online help section Twitter explains the Trends feature: “Trends are determined by an algorithm and, by default, are tailored for you based on who you follow and your location. This algorithm identifies topics that are immediately popular, rather than topics that have been popular for a while or on a daily basis, to help you discover the hottest emerging topics of discussion on Twitter that matter most to you.”
“You can choose to see Trends that are not tailored for you by selecting a specific Trends location on,” it says. “Location Trends identify popular topics among users in a specific geographic location.”
To use Twitter Trends in posts, the social media company says, “Just post a Tweet including the exact word or phrase as it appears in the Trends list (with the hashtag, if you see one). Due to the large number of users tweeting about these specific Trends, you may not always be able to find your particular Tweet in search, but your followers will always see your Tweets.”

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Israeli athletes killed by terrorists at 1972 Olympics remembered in Sochi


Russian Jewish community, Israeli delegation to Winter Games honour Israelis killed by Palestinian gunmen in Munich.

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2 Israeli hotels make Travel + Leisure magazine’s 2014 It List

The Ritz-Carlton in Herzliya and Alma Hotel & Lounge in Tel Aviv make list of 70 most promising hotels of 2014.

According to the magazine, the $180 million Ritz-Carlton opening, five years in the making, has “upped the ante on luxury in Israel’s Silicon Valley, delivering a level of white-glove service that’s seldom found in the Holy Land…
Alma Hotel
Alma Hotel was described as Tel Aviv’s coolest new boutique hotel, “an elegantly renovated townhouse of 15 stylized rooms, each designed with quirky objects such as leather-drum coffee tables and deer head wall sculptures made out of seashells.

Israeli Wonder Woman Gal Gadot to star in new thriller with Kate Winslet

Gal Gadot

The ‘Batman vs. Superman’ star will join Winslet in police corruption thriller, ‘Triple Nine.’

Israeli model and actress Gal Gadot, who recently landed the role of Wonder Woman in the upcoming “Batman vs. Superman” movie, is set to play alongside Kate Winslet in a new thriller.
“Triple Nine,”by John Hillcoat, tells the story of corrupt cops who are planning a robbery, and is set for a 2015 release. The Australian director’s past films include “The Proposition,” “The Road” and “Lawless.”
Winslet’s past films include blockbuster “Titanic” and, more recently, “The Reader.” Also in the cast are Aaron Paul, who won an Emmy for his role as the troubled Jesse in TV drama “Breaking Bad,” Chiwetel Ejiofor, nominated for an Oscar for his role in “12 Years a Slave,” and Casey Afleck.
Gadot’s previous Hollywood roles include three movies in the “Fast and Furious” franchise with Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker, as well as “Knight And Day” and “Date Night.”

January sees new record in tourism in Israel


Some 200,000 tourists visited the country last month for more than one night, a 19% increase from January 2013 and an all-time record for the month

Some 229,000 visitors entered Israel in January 2014, a 6% increase from January 2013, but lower than the months of January 2011 and 2012, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. Of these visitor entries, 200,000 were tourists (staying more than one night), a 19% increase from January 2013, and 6% and 5% more than January 2012 and 2011 – an all-time record for the month.
January was still registering a decrease in day visitors across the Egypt-Israel border, and there was also a significant decrease in the numbers of cruise visitors.
Some 167,000 entries were by air, a 16% increase from January 2013, of which 6,000 arrived on direct flights to Eilat (66% more than January 2013). About 33,000 came through the border crossings, 39% more than January 2013; 22,000 came through the border with Jordan (a 27% increase) and about 10,800 through Taba to Eilat (a 69% increase from last January).
About 29,000 entries were recorded by day visitors, 40% less than January 2013. Of these, 6,700 arrived on cruise ships (a 69% decrease from last January). Some 21,000 day visitors arrived via the land crossings (an 18% decrease from last year) and about 2,000 by air (23% less than last year).
“This is an excellent beginning for 2014, following the record year for incoming tourism to Israel in 2013,” said Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau, noting that the 2014 International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM) opens in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.
“IMTM brings together people in the tourism industry from Israel and overseas. The Tourism Ministry will have its own booth, and is hosting dozens of travel agents and tour operators from overseas at the exhibition in order to expose them to Israel’s unique and attractive tourism product. We are aiming for another record year for tourism in 2014,” Landau added.

Defenders of the Negev: Ultra-Orthodox Jews in the IDF

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Soldiers in a new IDF company, called "Defenders of the Negev", maintain an observant Jewish lifestyle as they work to protect the State of Israel. Their service reflects an important goal of the IDF: to help Ultra-Orthodox Jews integrate into the army.


Israel to Host FIBA’s 3-on-3 Basketball Under 18 World Championships in 2015


Israel will host the 2015 FIBA 3-on-3 under-18 World Championship basketball tournament, the federation for the sport said on Monday. The tournament will take place in May or June, with the exact date and city to be announced at a later date.

The Basketball Association of Israel (IBBA) is one of the most active national federations in the development of 3-on-3 basketball, and the 2015 competition will be the fourth annual tournament, FIBA said.
The games were previously held in Rimini, Italy (2011), Alcobendas, Spain (2012) and Jakarta, Indonesia (2013). In 2014, instead of the usual tournament, the games will take place as part of this summer’s Youth Olympic Games, in Nanjing, China, from August 16 to 28.
The World Championships will feature 48 teams, split between men and women, from more than 35 countries in the four-day event in Israel.
IBBA President Dani Haloutz said, “We take great pride in hosting an international event like the FIBA 3×3 U18 World Championships and being associated with a rising discipline like 3×3. No other international event mixes youth, sport, music and urban culture like this one. We support FIBA’s initiative to steer 3×3 and bring it to the Olympics.”
“This discipline already has a strong fan base here, with players and spectators attending in numbers tournaments all over the country,” Haloutz said. “We expect this event to have a positive impact on the development of 3×3 and basketball in general in Israel and take it as a great opportunity to welcome young athletes from all over the world and show them a little bit about our beautiful country.”
Patrick Baumann, FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member, said, “We are delighted to organize the 2015 FIBA 3×3 U18 World Championships in Israel, giving the country its first major FIBA event.”
“Israel’s success in traditional basketball is well-documented but what is less known is Israel was at the vanguard in 3×3, participating in the discipline’s first-ever international competition at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, finishing sixth in the men’s category,” Baumann said. “After a resounding success the last three years in Italy, Spain and Indonesia, we know our top 3×3 youth competition will be in safe hands in Israel in 2015.”

Sunshine Across Israel


Israelis lip-dub Matisyahu’s hit “Sunshine” on the background of some of Israel’s most beautiful sites.

Israeli duo qualifies for Sochi figure skating finals


Evgeni Krasnopolski and Andrea Davidovich set their sights on Israel’s first ever medal at the Winter Olympics.

Israeli athletes Evgeni Krasnopolski and Andrea Davidovich qualified on Tuesday for the figure skating finals at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The two scored 56.90 points on their total segment score at the Pairs Short Program.
The Chinese team scored the most points (70.59), followed by the U.S. (67.44) and France (65.36).
The finals will take place on Wednesday at 7:45 P.M. local time.
On Monday, Israeli short track speed skater Vladislav Bykanov failed to qualify for the 1,500-meter semifinals by less than a second.
Israeli brother and sister figure skating duo Roman and Alexandra Zaretsk placed 10th in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Toronto’s Porter signs agreement with El AL for flights to Israel


Porter Airlines and EL AL Israel Airlines have signed an interline agreement that will give passengers more options for travel between Canada and Israel.

The airlines will use their operations at Newark International Airport in New Jersey as the connecting point between Tel Aviv and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, from which passengers will be able to reach additional destinations in Canada.
Under the agreement, travellers will be able to check baggage through to their final destination.
Porter offers up to 13 daily round trip flights between Ontario and the U.S. city.
Porter’s chief commercial officer, Michael Deluce, said the agreement gives travellers between the two countries another option.
“We plan to provide even more interline options for customers in the coming months to extend Porter’s reach around the world through our partners,” he said in a news release.
In addition to operating several weekly flights out of Newark, El AL offers service in North America to Toronto and Los Angeles.
Established in 1948, the Israeli carrier flies to 33 destinations and serves hundreds of other destinations around the world through partnerships such as the one with Porter.
Source: Globe and Mail

Friday, February 7, 2014

#Israeli delegation at the Opening Ceremony of #Sochi 2014 Winter Games.

Vladislav Bykanov of Israel carries his country flag as the team arrives during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. Photo by AP

Natalie Portman Aids Israeli Groups that Help Syrian Refugees

Portman – Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman is donating money and clothes to help Syrian refugees through an initiative called Operation Human Warmth, which is working to “aid noncombatant women and children in Syria.”

Portman, her husband Benjamin Millipied, and their son Aleph are currently in Israel while she is filming “A Tale of Love and Darkness.”
“When I heard about Operation Human Warmth I felt deeply moved and compelled to get involved,” Portman said in a statement, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The effort is led by Israeli organizations including the youth group Hanoar Haoved Vehalomed, educational group Dror Israel, and humanitarian group Israeli Flying Aid.
Gilad Perry, Dror Israel’s director of international partnerships and collaborations, said the project has donated more than 20,000 items to Syrian refugees thus far.
“When we see the situation in Syria right now, we feel compelled to act. We feel that this operation is an expression of the Israeli public’s willingness to help those who need it most,” he said.
In addition to Operation Human Warmth, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is continuing its efforts to aid Syrian refugees as a leading member of the Jewish Coalition for Syrian Refugees in Jordan, a sub-coalition of 16 groups within the Jewish Coalition for Disaster Relief.
Dr. Georgette Bennett, a global philanthropist and leading supporter of the Jewish Coalition for Syrian Refugees in Jordan, and the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding have convened the MultiFaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees in Jordan, a 31-member body raising funds for Syrian refugees whose participants include Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Sikh groups.
“As the Syrian refugee crisis continues to grow, JDC remains dedicated to ensuring a Jewish response to their harrowing plight. Driven by our shared ideal of arevut—responsibility to all those who suffer—we are a proud member of the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees in Jordan under Dr. Georgette Bennett’s leadership, whose cross-cutting inter-religious call to action on this issue is more resonant now than ever before,” Alan H. Gill, CEO of JDC, told

Shimon Peres becomes Guinness world record holder


President achieves the record for teaching the world’s largest online civics class, held in Cisco offices in Netanya and streamed via Facebook.

Shimon Peres, Israel’s 90-year-old president, is a former prime minister, defense minister, finance minister and foreign minister, and has a Nobel Peace Prize. Now, he has added another title to his extensive repertoire: holder of a Guinness world record.
Guinness official Marco Frigatti says Peres achieved the record Thursday morning when he taught the largest online civics class in the world.
Frigatti says Guinness liked the idea “because it combines civics, technology and a teacher who has seen the country from its origins to today.”
Peres reached out to 9,000 students nationwide. He gave the class from the office of Cisco Systems Inc. in the northern coastal city of Netanya. The lecture was streamed live via the president’s Facebook page.
Despite his age, Peres has a busy daily schedule. He has kept on top of the latest technology, embracing social media and backing high-tech industries.
In 2013, Peres hosted a star-studded 90th birthday party at the National Convention Center in Jerusalem. Guests included Barbra Stresiand, Robert de Niro and Sharon Stone, as well as Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. The presidfent also received video greetings from Angela Merkel, Bono, Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama.

Two female anteaters move to Ramat Gan, Israel


Lone male anteater at Israeli safari park is joined by a female from Denmark and her young daughter.

Jewish mothers may be notoriously eager to set up their sons on a date, but they don’t generally go as far as bringing in an eligible bachelorette from Denmark.
That’s just what Israeli zookeepers are doing, though.
A female anteater and her young daughter have recently joined the South American section of the Ramat Gan safari park, Israeli media reported this week. Now Termite, the zoo’s lone male anteater, will still be the only male, but he won’t be quite so lonely.
The mother and daughter came to the Zoological Center Tel Aviv-Ramat Ganfrom a zoo in Copenhagen. The shidduch is part of a project to help threatened species like the anteater reproduce, Ynet said.
Termite, who hails from Poland, is 9, and his intended mate just 3. But then the sharp-clawed mammals, who use their long tongues to lap up 35,000 ants and termites a day in the wild, live an average of 14 years in nature. That life span extends to around 25 years in captivity.
“For several years we looked for a female who would make [Termite] happy and would bring descendants into the world with him,” zoo spokeswoman Sagit Horowitz told Walla News. This week, Termite met his two new companions, sniffing them from a separate enclosure while they get used to each other.
“Fortunately, we found a 3-year-old female at a zoo in Denmark, but she gave birth eight months ago and we didn’t want to separate her from her daughter. And so, without having planned it beforehand, two females came to the safari instead of one,” said Horowitz.
Female anteaters typically have a single offspring once a year.
The newcomers have been in the zoo for several months, but were kept completely separate from Termite until this week, while they became acquainted with life in Ramat Gan, where they are fed a protein-rich shake including chopped meat, eggs, apples, pears, papaya and peat.
If Termite and his new single mom friend hit it off, it won’t be a first family for either of them.
A female anteater from Singapore named Bonia shared a living space, and a child, with Termite at the Ramat Gan zoo. But their daughter, Bella, was transferred to a zoo in England two years ago and Bonia has since died, leaving Termite alone – and shy.
“Over the years, Termite has hidden inside the house, and when he would go outside he would hide between the bushes,” Horowitz told Walla. “We already see that the two female anteaters are a lot less shy than him. Even though they’re still a bit insecure in their new home, they are already starting to dig in their outdoor enclosure and walk around freely.”

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PayPal taps into Tel Aviv tech with second BattleHack


For over 24 hours, some 200 developers work in groups to develop new apps using PayPal’s application programming interface.

Online payment company PayPal launched its second BattleHack Thursday in Tel Aviv, hoping to tap into the city’s vibrant tech community, and help developers tap into its resources.
For over 24 hours, some 200 developers work in groups to develop new apps using PayPal’s application programming interface (API), enjoying massages, pizza, and beer along the way. This year’s crowd included not just a mix of hackers, but two dogs and a toddler as well.
The winners of each hackathon in ten cities around the world go on to compete against each other for a $100,000 prize in Silicon Valley.
Last year’s Tel Aviv winners, who developed an app that would fine constantly tardy friends for being late, ultimately came in second place, losing to a Russian team. Perhaps unsurprisingly, both Tel Aviv and Moscow stood out for their hard work ethic, Global Director of Developer Network John Lunn told The Jerusalem Post.
“The quality of the developers that we found here when we came last year was huge,” he said. Only in Moscow and Tel Aviv were the programmers “hard core” enough to stay up all night last year.
That’s one reason that Tel Aviv was chosen to kick off this year’s tournament.
While the competition is certainly a boon to the developers, who receive guidance and mentorship during the event, it is also one way that PayPal keeps it pulse on the market.
“By observing how they interact with our API’s we can go back and make them better,” Lunn said.
Keeping ahead of the curve among developers is particularly important as new technologies continue to change the face of the online payment market. Last year’s winner, for example, used low-powered bluetooth to allow people to donate to whatever cause they like directly from their phone.
With the rise of mobile wallets, that’s precisely the kind of innovation PayPal is trying to tap into and test. PayPal is making no bones about trying to stay ahead of the game; it is already advertising its solutions for making payment in outer space.
“It’s not so far-fetched. You should check out Mars-one,” said Lunn, referring to the not-for-profit foundation trying to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars.
But PayPal is not the only game in town. Hackathons have exploded on the scene in recent years.
Microsoft’s Israel accelerator on Thursday also launched “Challenge Cup” alongside 1776, a Washington, D.C.-based incubator platform. That competition, spanning 16 cities, tasks developers in the fields of Health, Energy, Education and Smart Cities (urban improvement), and will send its winners to compete for a prize in Washington, D.C. in May.
”We are thrilled to officially open the competition and start fielding applications in our last four cities,” said Donna Harris, co-founder of 1776. “Challenge Cup will shed light on startups addressing the most pressing, global challenges and help to forge new connections and close gaps within the global startup ecosystem. Let the competition begin!”

The world’s first lightweight breast implant

Breast Implant

Two Israeli brothers, a plastic surgeon and a biomedical engineer, believe they’ve invented the most lightweight silicone implant ever.

An Israeli plastic surgeon and his brother, a biomedical engineer, have invented what they claim is the world’s first lightweight breast implant – B-Lite. It is heading to the European market and Israel is to follow soon.
Breast augmentation and reconstruction are the most common procedures in plastic surgery, with more than 1.5 million implant operations performed worldwide every year.
Dr. Jacky Govrin was addressing a problem that hadn’t been solved since implants were first introduced in 1962: their sheer weight.
Breast implants consist of a silicone shell filled with silicone gel or saline (saltwater). The filling makes each implant weigh about the same as a can of Coke. Since breasts naturally sag over time, adding the weight of a full can of soft drink only hastens the process.
It’s not just a cosmetic issue. Larger implants, especially those used for reconstruction after breast cancer surgery, weigh as much as 500 grams (about one pound) and can cause discomfort, skin stretching and back pain as they pull downward.
So about eight years ago, the surgeon challenged his brother, Dael Govrin-Segal, to design a lighter implant without compromising safety and quality.
“I said, ‘Sure, no problem,’ but didn’t realize it was not easy or trivial at all,” Govrin-Segal tells ISRAEL21c. “There were a bunch of limitations to overcome.”

Dr. Jacky Govrin is interviewed on Channel 10 television about the B-Lite lightweight breast implants and the first breast augmentations performed a day earlier.