I’ll be honest, sales I hesitated writing this piece simply because I feel that Radio Shalom needs to be saved. I hesitated writing this piece because after 16 years of volunteering and putting in thousands of hours into the station, here I, and my very popular show, were unceremoniously dumped with all of Sunday night programming to “save costs”, a nonsensical reason based on the fact that my show, in fact all of Sunday programming, did not cost Radio Shalom a dime.

I didn’t want to sound bitter, I didn’t want to sound resentful, because I honestly am not, I am hurt, upset and quite disturbed, however, that my show is being used as a cost saving excuse.

I want to set the record straight.

I started the show in 2001 right after the World Trade Center attacks. I was in the middle of a stint working at The Suburban covering home based terrorism and CJAD, where I was working part-time, had just rejected another application to work in the newsroom. I was told that because I couldn’t work on Friday nights and Saturdays for religious reasons, I was useless to them.  Radio Shalom called, they were just setting up and needed some radio experience to join them, to help put them on the map.

I stepped up and started what turned into “The Howie Silbiger Show”. I interviewed community leaders, terrorists, terrorism experts and over time built an audience. When Radio Shalom went on AM in 2006, I was there, hosting the first English show heard on 1650 am and then the daily, Sunday to Thursday “Howie Silbiger Show”.

Allow me to re-iterate, I wasn’t paid for the show, it was two hours a night and I worked a 50-hour week around it. Not only was I hosting the show, I was doing all the research, technical production and call screening. It was a daunting task. Two years into it, when I asked the station for help, I was told there was no budget for anyone. Finding volunteers was virtually impossible, so I cut the show down to three nights a week.

Three nights a week went well, I had a volunteer call screener and the station provided a technician for at least one of the nights and we continued trudging on, volunteering.

Radio Shalom had a problem, though. The management lacked the finesse of dealing with volunteers. When they decided to host a fundraiser at the Olympia, volunteers were not invited (unless they paid for a ticket) and instead of using internal talent, Sonia Benezra was hired to host the event for a fee. The event would have been far more successful had the volunteers been tapped to help out, instead, the stations attitude was, they were doing us a favor by giving us airtime. Our time and contribution was valueless.

Not long after the fundraiser, I decided to drop my show to one night a week, Sundays, Radio Shalom withdrew their technician.  I increased the show to three hours and decided at the time to rebrand the show under my Truetalkradio banner, rather than Radio Shalom.

We ran for two years like that, with me using volunteers I recruited to help with the show. Then I hired Sheldon Fried, a dedicated 25-year veteran of commercial radio. Every week, I would pick up Sheldon, bring him to the station, we would do the show, go out to dinner (which I paid for) and then bring Sheldon home.

I also hosted my own archive site for the show and website (the show did not appear on Radio Shalom’s website).

So if I factor in the yearly out of pocket costs of running The Howie Silbiger Show it would look something like this:

Radio Shalom  (electricity, approximately $3 a week)

Howie  (Approximately $120 a week)

Cancelled after nearly 16 years on air at Radio Shalom, I did not receive a thank you letter or call. I did not get a chance to say goodbye to my listenership nor did I get offered another timeslot during the week.

When I approached Radio Shalom with a proposal to purchase the station, I was told straight out that I was not being taking seriously because they “know I have no money”.  A fallacy, but I digress.

Now my show is being used as a pawn to try to guilt people into donating money or investing into the station and that infuriates me. Cutting my show or all of Sunday programming has not saved Radio Shalom one penny. It costs the exact same thing to run pre-recorded music as it does to run pre-recorded programs and my live show.

All this tactic is accomplishing is banging the final nails into Radio Shalom’s coffin and further alienating the population they are trying to appeal to.

I wish them the best in whatever they are trying to achieve and unlike the Radio Shalom management, I want to thank Radio Shalom for the years of use of their station to hone my skills and develop The Howie Silbiger Show into what it became, the most popular English show on their station.

The Howie Silbiger will be launching independently online in the near future. I will post more information as it finalized.

Terror and celebration

Today is a day that I reaffirm the existence of G-d. It is a day of mixed emotions, a day that should have been a happy celebration that the injustice of Jonathan Pollard’s life sentence had finally been partially resolved. The Jewish world should be rejoicing at Pollard’s early Morning release, instead we sit shocked and shattered by the senseless killing of more Jews in Israel.

Growing up in Montreal, I never took Jewish studies with Rabbi Don at CHAT. But hearing the testimonials of some of his former students, I can’t help but think that the world was robbed of a great man and a super teacher.I didn’t know 18 year old Ezra Schwartz, but from everything I’ve read about him, he was a decent young man with a promising future, killed for the crime of being a Jew in the Jewish State.

And the world remains silent.

Just a week ago, we commemorated Remembrance Day, saluting our fallen war soldiers. During many Canadian ceremonies, the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ was read:

“Take up our quarrel with a foe, to you with failing hand we throw, the torch, let it be yours to hold it high..”

Such a Jewish concept, Tikun Olam, lighting up the world. We are the torch bearers and the jealousy of that has fuelled anti-Jewish sentiments for the better part of 3000 years.

Yet, with all the torture, abuse, murder and genocide, Jews have survived and thrived. Despite the constant danger, Jews like Ezra Scwartz still go out and do chesed work, still visit and live in the land of Israel and still follow the principles of Torah Judaism.

Last week, after a terror attack in Paris, France, the world spent days lamenting, analyzing and mourning the dead. Buildings put up the French flag colours, Facebook offered a French Flag filter for pictures, Obama gave a condolence speech, sporting events stopped for a minute of silence.

Who will remember Rabbi Don or Ezra Schwartz? How will their legacies be preserved? Will the world finally take notice now that an American was killed in Israel?

But at the end, all we hear is silence. Mr Obama, where is your statement? Where are the blue and white lighted buildings? Where are the delayed sporting events playing Hatikvah?

Unfortunately In the world view, Jewish life is cheap.

I believe we should take the light shining from the remarkable lives of Rabbi Don and Ezra Schwartz and pay it forward. Don’t let their deaths be in vain.

Do more mitzvot, be nicer, help more people and for heavens sake, enjoy life. Doing this will not only be a fitting tribute to the two murdered Jews, but will also be a message to the terrorist that they can’t win. You can kick us, kill us and spit on us, you will never break us.

Howie Silbiger is the host of The Howie Silbiger Show which airs live 6-9pm on Sunday nights on 1650 AM in Montreal or online at www.radio-shalom.ca

A battle over Israel’s future is being fought at a factory that once employed Scarlett Johansson to tout its bubbly water.

Facing calls for an international boycott, along with falling revenues andstock prices, the carbonation company called SodaStream is shutting down its operation in the occupied Palestinian territory next month and moving to a larger new facility in Israel’s Negev desert.

Leaders of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement claim the company’s withdrawal from the West Bank just east of Jerusalem is a big win for the Palestinian cause. Although hundreds of Palestinians will soon be out of jobs, BDS leaders say it is worth it.

“This is a clear-cut BDS victory against an odiously complicit Israeli company,” said Omar Bar­ghouti, co-founder of the BDS movement. Israel should not be allowed to exploit its occupation by operating factories in Palestinian lands, he said.

Daniel Birnbaum, the chief executive of SodaStream, said the closure of the West Bank factory had “zero” to do with the boycott campaign against his company and its “brand ambassador,” the actor Johansson, who last year performed in a Super Bowl ad for the machines.

Instead Birnbaum accused BDS critics of robbing ordinary Palestinians of well-paying jobs.

“It’s propaganda. It’s politics. It’s hate. It’s anti-Semitism,” he said.

Birnbaum called the factory “an island of peace in the Middle East,” where Jews, Muslims, Christians and Druze make home-carbonation machines that retail for $79. BDS activists called it apartheid.

The skirmish over who is right and who is hurt by the boycott movement comes as Israeli leaders express growing fear that a campaign of “delegitimization” against the Jewish state is more dangerous than Islamist militants from Hamas and Hezbollah.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government vowed to spend $25 million to combat BDS efforts. At a conference in June hosted by the Las Vegas casino magnate, GOP megadonor and Netanyahu supporter Sheldon Adelson, as much as $50 million more was pledged for anti-BDS campaigns by wealthy American Jews.

Israeli officials insist that BDS has not hurt the economy — yet — although they don’t act like it.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported last month that Israeli military intelligence units have been tasked with tracking BDS groups abroad, as they would terror organizations.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin called academic boycotts against Israel a“strategic threat of the first order” at a conference he hosted at his official residence in May, when Israeli university presidents vented their anxieties about blocked collaborations.

Boycott activists say they seek to win Palestinian rights by applying the same kind of pressure used in the 1980s against apartheid South Africa. Israel’s military has occupied the West Bank for 48 years on land the Palestinians want for a future state. Israel says the lands are disputed.

Israel says the BDS movement doesn’t just want Israel to withdraw; it wants to destroy it. The Israeli government says the BDS call for a “right of return” for millions of Palestinian refugees and descendants who were forced from or fled Israel in 1948 would overwhelm the Jewish state.

“We are in the midst of a great struggle being waged against the state of Israel, an international campaign to blacken its name,” Netanyahu warnedearlier this summer.

BDS activists say they are on a roll. The boycott movement convinced hip-hop artist Lauryn Hill not to perform in Israel — although Mariah Carey played in Tel Aviv and toured the SodaStream plant to “support Palestinian and Jewish coexistence.”

Activists claimed that the French company Transdev, half-owned by the infrastructure giant Veolia, pulled out of Jerusalem’s light-rail system because of the BDS movement.

The tramway — frequently pelted by Palestinian rock-throwers — connects Israel’s West Jerusalem with occupied East Jerusalem. The French said the decision was all business and not about BDS.

At the new SodaStream factory in Israel, Palestinian workers said they like their jobs, although they weren’t happy about the new location and their four-hour round-trip commute on buses and through military checkpoints.

Ahmed Abdel Wahid, 31, is one of only 36 Palestinians who worked at the SodaStream plant in the West Bank to find a job at the new facility in Israel.

“I like it here. It’s a good work. It’s good money,” Wahid said. “We are treated as equals here.”

Wahid said he would rather work closer to home in the West Bank. “But there are no jobs and even if there are jobs, the pay is rotten,” he said. He makes about $1,400 a month, he said.

At its peak, 600 Palestinians worked for SodaStream in the West Bank, but the Israeli government gave the company only 130 permits for Palestinians to work at the facility inside Israel. Most of those jobs have not been filled because Israel will not allow young, male, unmarried Palestinians to work in Israel, and many Palestinian women don’t feel comfortable with such a long commute.

BDS co-founder Barghouti said the Palestinian workers backed the boycotts. “They all know that resisting Israel’s regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid comes at a price, sometimes steep, but freedom, justice and equality are well worth it to them,” he said.

Bassem Eid, a Palestinian political analyst who opposes the boycott in the West Bank, said, “We pay the boycott lip service, but there are no jobs in the West Bank, so BDS asks of the Palestinians, please, suffer just a little bit more. For what? For who? For how many more years?”

The BDS movement burst into the mainstream last year when activists targeted SodaStream and Johansson. At the time, Johansson served a similar, although unpaid, role for Oxfam. The charity and Johansson parted ways after she refused to sever her ties with SodaStream.

Oxfam said businesses that operate in Jewish settlements in the West Bank “further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support.” Jewish settlements in the West Bank are considered illegal by the international community, although Israel disputes that.

During a tour of the new plant, SodaStream’s Birnbaum said world leaders should come to his factory.

“We respect each other. It’s family for me,” said Hanadi Ghoruf, 38, one of the few Palestinian women to make the transition from the West Bank to Israel. She pointed at fellow workers on the assembly line, who smiled and waved.

Barghouti said the argument that boycotts will hurt poor Palestinian workers “is not only disingenuous and intended to divert attention from the illegality of all Israeli colonies . . . but plagiarizes from South African apartheid companies that used this exact argument.”

Ohad Cohen, head of the foreign trade administration at the Israeli Ministry of Economy, said now that SodaStream has left the West Bank, there aren’t that many big Israeli brands left for BDS to go after. “We are talking about maybe only 100 companies; their exports are only between 1 and 2 percent of Israel’s total exports,” he said.

By The Washington Post

Jewish Voice for Peace is neither Jewish nor for peace. It’s the uglier cousin of J Street, which has invited JVP to its conferences. JVP’s board includes notable figures like actors Ed Asner and Wallace Shawn, alongside Judith Butler, who claimed that Hamas and Hezbollah are progressive organizations, Eve Ensler, the rotting Communist corpse of Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky and Spielberg pal Tony Kushner, and son of Communist traitors the Rosenbergs, Robert Meeropol.

Think of that jury of the damned in the Devil and Daniel Webster and it would still be a step up from this gruesome bunch.

Here’s a sample chat about Hamas with some JVP people. It’s everything you expect.

“I don’t have a strong opinion [on Hamas],” said Lana Povitz, a rally leader who did confirm that Hamas is “not her favorite,” when asked her opinion on the Palestinian Islamist organization.

Hamas isn’t her fave. For JVP that’s a step up. But there’s always ISIS.

Povitz went on to say that condemning Hamas is not her “first fight,” a quarrel she is waging against the United States government, who she says “is much worse” than Hamas.

And yet Lana Povitz lives in America rather than Gaza. Odd isn’t it?

While sure of his outrage at “Israeli war-crimes” and the carnage caused by the summer offensive, Gaza’s militant rulers, who were filmed firing rockets only meters away from civilians, were demoted to a footnote rather than recognized as a major actor.

“It’s a difficult situation to speak on,” said the demonstrator before admitting that he was “not educated enough to say” if Hamas is or is not a terrorist organization.

It’s such a complicated and ambiguous question. Running around demanding a boycott against the Jews requires no education. But condemning a genocidal Islamist terror group requires a PhD.

By Daniel Greenfield – FrontPage Magazine

Microsoft is set to buy Israeli cloud cybersecurity start-up Adallom in “one of the largest” of the group’s recent acquisitions, a source close to the situation has told CNBC.

The deal is likely to close and be announced this week with the price tag set to be “quite a few hundred million dollars”, the person said, choosing to remain anonymous because the information isn’t public. The source did not reveal the exact price but said it would be bigger than any recent deals.

Adallom is poised to be the latest company to be snapped up by Microsoft which has been on a buying spree over the past year as the company pushes its fast-growing businesses such as the cloud unit.

The company’s commercial cloud revenue grew 88 percent year-on-year for Microsoft in the fourth quarter. This includes its Office 365, Microsoft’s suite of business productivity applications such as email, and Azure, its cloud platform.

Security is one of the top concerns for businesses following some high-profile hacking attacks on the likes of Sony Pictures last year and adultery website Ashley Madison last month.

And the likely Adallom acquisition comes as Microsoft continues to diversify its business away from just its Windows operating system and struggling smartphone unit. Having Adallom’s solutions would expand Microsoft’s range of cybersecurity solutions to businesses as it continues to focus on pushing its products and services to enterprises.

Adallom did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment at the time of publication.

Last year, Microsoft bought another Israeli cybersecurity start-up called Aorato which made a product spefically aimed at Microsoft users. The product was aimed at protecting the so-called Active Directory — a database that authorizes users to access a company’s systems.

But unlike Aorato, Adallom’s services are not only designed to work with Microsoft’s cloud products. Adallom can also secure cloud platforms such as GoogleApps and Salesforce which is highly used by businesses.

Adallom offers services such as the ability to understand how and by who a company’s cloud is being used, notify a firm about suspicious activity in its cloud and block cyber threats.

The firm was founded in 2012 by alumni of the Israeli Intelligence Corps. Adallom is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, but has an office in Israel. The employees will not be relocated to Redmond, Washington, a person familiar with the matter said.


French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that while Paris backs EU plans to label products from Israeli settlements, it opposes any boycott of Israel.

“The French and European diplomatic position is clear and has not changed and will not change,” he told reporters at the start of a two-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The labelling plan has been blasted by Israel which says it is the target of an international delegitimisation campaign.

But Macron was adamant that France opposes campaigns such as that of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which aims to put political and economic pressure on Israel over its occupation of the Palestinian territories.

“We are against any practice such as that of the BDS,” he said.

In April, France and 15 other European Union countries urged the bloc to clearly label products sold in member counties which originated in Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, all occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Sunday that Israeli diplomats in European capitals were working to halt or at least slow down the labelling plan, which it said was nearing completion.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in Florence last month and is to hold talks with Britain’s David Cameron later this week.

The EU has consistently condemned Israeli settlement building as a threat to the Middle East peace process through eroding the basis for a future Palestinian state.

By Yahoo News

Uber is used to getting what it wants, find wherever it wants. In 60 countries the ride-hailing colossus has pursued an SUV-size take on Sun Tzu: slip into a market by surprise, quickly suffocate any competitors and — if this infuriates entrenched taxi lobbies and government officials — never, ever back down. Uber has overcome violent taxi protests, and dozens of places that once dubbed it “illegal” now have laws codifying its business model — even the mayor of New York caved under an Uber-led outcry in July.

But Uber is now facing opposition that’s not as easily rolled as a bunch of feckless, anticompetition governments. In the parts of the world, mostly Asia, where Uber is just getting going, the company and its pugilistic CEO, Travis Kalanick, are facing entrenched private competition on a scale it has never seen.

In India incumbents Ola Cabs and TaxiForSure welcomed Uber’s recent entry there by merging in March, giving themselves an 80% market share and then raising another $400 million from powerful backers like SoftBank and Tiger Global. In Southeast Asia Uber (which declined to make executives available for interviews) will have to contend with three-year-old GrabTaxi, which launched in Malaysia, shares two investors with Ola and now also operates across five nearby countries — Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia. In Latin America Easy Taxi says it is bigger than Uber.
In China, already the world’s biggest market for ride-hailing apps, the two top incumbents also merged, in February, forming Didi Kuaidi, a combination of Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache. The firm has a two-year head start, just raised $2 billion to the $1 billion Uber has earmarked for China and averages 6 million rides a day, six times Uber’s self-reported volume. Didi controls 99% of the taxi-hailing market and 78% of the private-car market by ride volume, according to a report from Analysys International. If it needs more capital, it can tap its investors Alibaba and Tencent, China’s two biggest Internet firms, plus SoftBank. “The competition from Uber is just a tiny wave in our progress,” says Didi CEO Cheng Wei.

Investors who have bid up Uber’s private market cap to an astonishing $50 billion are counting on overseas growth to make that valuation pencil out. They also like Uber’s technology advantage after hundreds of millions of rides. “These systems rely on algorithms — for routing, availability and matching, for fraud detection. We’ve been at this a lot longer than either of our competitors in [China and India]. That gives us advantages they don’t have,” says early Uber investor Bill Gurley of Benchmark.

But the rivals are veterans, too, and they’re forming a supergroup. Last month Didi and its backers at Tiger Global and SoftBank led a $350 million investment in GrabTaxi. Chinese people traveling to, say, Vietnam or Malaysia will soon be able to pull up their Didi app and call a GrabTaxi car, and GrabTaxi customers will do the same in China, akin to a mobile phone roaming-service partnership. “Our customers read Chinese, not English or Spanish, so they want to use a Chinese app to get access to other travel markets,” says Didi President Jean Liu, a former Goldman Sachs banker and daughter of Lenovo'schairman.

“Everyone is solving the same problem,” says Dennis Wang, CEO of Easy Taxi, which operates in parts of Latin America, Africa and Asia. “Being able to do it locally and faster, for us that balances out the cash Uber has.”

Uber’s adventures in China are a microcosm of how its global expansion might unfold. Its growth, like China’s overall, has been meteoric. After only 18 months on the ground there, Uber counts five Chinese cities among its top ten worldwide by ride volume and says the country will likely produce more rides than the U.S. by year-end. Its legal status remains murky in most metro areas. Authorities in April and in May raided Uber’s offices in Guangzhou and Chengdu. The harassment comes despite an infusion of at least $200 million from the politically connected Chinese search engine Baidu and despite Uber’s decision to operate as a separate business entity called Uber China, run by Chinese managers.

Uber’s top priority in China, as in any new country, is wooing drivers. Both Uber and Didi have turned driver subsidies into blood sport, often paying them two or three times the fare. Drivers have figured out how to scam the system. In one scheme they buy phones that are hacked to have multiple phone numbers, which allows a driver to “ping” himself from a passenger account, hop in a car and collect the bonus. Uber has said its fake-ride rate is around 3%, but local media estimate the fraud rate at 30% to 40%. Didi says it has “almost no” fake orders. A Guangzhou driver named Liang said that Didi is stricter about banning drivers it suspects of fraud. Uber, he said, started cracking down in the last month.

Didi is focused now on tearing pages from Uber’s playbook. It started out in taxis, but now its private-car service makes up around half of its trips after debuting less than a year ago. Didi is testing a carpooling service called Hitch, a bus line and on-demand designated drivers. CEO Cheng is confident his company can keep Uber at bay. “China’s Internet competition is the most intense in the world,” he says, “and Didi Kuaidi is the winner that survived.”

After China and the U.S., India is the market Uber lusts after most. The cab wars there are in their early days — some 97% of Indians don’t even own cars. But to see what Uber is up against, just stand on a busy corner in the sultry coastal city of Chennai and count the number of OlaCabs that pass by. With a three-year head start, Ola has outrun Uber from the get-go. It says it has 80% of the market, is growing 30% to 40% month over month and provides some 750,000 rides per day in 250,000 vehicles, including private sedans, hatchbacks and three-wheeled tuktuks. Uber claims it gets 200,000 rides a day but says it is also growing 40% and has 35% market share. Ola got a lot bigger in March, paying $200 million for rival TaxiForSure. Ola raised $400 million in April at a rumored $2.5 billion valuation.

Ola’s driver base is loyal. Before Kalanick even learned how to spell Chhattisgarh, Ola struck deals with auto manufacturers and India’s largest bank to arrange installment loan programs so that drivers could buy cars and work off the loans by driving for Ola. “We devised the world’s first driver-repayment system,” says Ola senior director of marketing Anand Subramanian. Ola started selling motorized rickshaw rides in November 2014. Uber followed. Ola created a digital wallet to pay for rides in September 2014. Uber followed. Uber has tried to undercut Ola on price by giving bonuses to drivers, just as it does in China. Ola has never considered that as an option. You get higher-quality drivers, says Subramanian, by giving incentives based on earning five-star-rated rides or giving a certain number of rides per day. “This makes customers want to come back.”

More nascent markets were staked out early by Brazil’s Easy Taxi, which was founded in Rio de Janeiro in June 2011, months before Uber began its international expansion. Easy Taxi is now up to 6 million rides a month, with 400,000 drivers in 30 countries. In Southeast Asia, where fare-haggling is a tradition, Easy Taxi pioneered the ability for passengers to up their bid in the app to attract drivers during rush hour, a mirror-image of Uber’s surge pricing.

Wang, Easy Taxi’s 32-year-old co-CEO, wishes Uber luck at waging price war in Latin America. “Taxis here are supercheap, and there are a ton of them, so service is fast,” he says. He’s investing in places such as Saudi Arabia, Kenya and Nigeria, where Uber has dipped its toes but the market is still for the taking. “We know how Uber operates and how to position our brand to fight.”

Uber made winning America look easy. The road out has more bumps.

By Forbes Magazine

Hitler’s Nazi engineers made technological developments which were innovative and far ahead of their time, manufacturing weapons such as sonic cannons, x-ray guns and land cruisers.

The magazine Weapons of WWII has exhibited some of Hitler’s secret Nazi weapons in its Autumn 2015 issue.

The Fritz X, one of Hitler’s most secret bombs, is widely considered to be the grandfather of today’s smart bomb.

The glide bomb was radio guided and carried over 700lbs of explosives. It was capable of hitting strongly protected targets such as battleships and heavy cruisers.

It could penetrate 28in of armour and could be deployed from 20,000ft, meaning it could be out of reach for antiaircraft equipment at the time.

The “flying wing” bomber was designed to carry 2,000lbs of armaments while flying at 49,000ft above ground level and travelling at speeds north of 600mph.

First flown in 1944, the Horten Ho 229 was the world’s premiere stealth aircraft, equipped with twin turbojet engines, two cannons, and R4M rockets.

The Nazis allocated half a million Reich Marks to manufacturing the plane which has inspired modern stealth aircrafts such as the Northrop Gruman B-2 bomber.

The Goliath tracked mine, known as “Doodlebugs” or beetle tanks to the Allies, was controlled with a joystick and powered by electric motors or gas burners.

The miniature tanks could carry between 133 and 220lbs of high explosives and were used to navigate minefields and attack heavy vehicles and fortifications. This Nazi innovation paved the way for today’s radio-controlled weapons.

The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet, a rocket-powered jet with speeds of up to 700mph, was the fastest jet in the War by a difference of over 250mph.

The plane’s immense speed was so far ahead of its competitors, in fact, that it was fast enough to avoid Allied gunners but it was too fast to hit Allied aircraft.

By The Independant

Police in Repentigny, Que., are looking into a possible hoax after stickers promoting Islamic extremism were found stuck to a number of cars over the weekend.

Some car owners in Repentigny, which is just northeast of Montreal, were surprised to find stickers proclaiming, in French: “Quebec is Allah’s land, convert or else…”

The sticker features the logo of the Muslim Brotherhood, Arabic script and a photo of an armed man carrying what appears to be an Islamic State flag.

Local police were first made aware of the stickers on Saturday morning, and subsequently informed Quebec provincial police.

Haroun Bouazzi of The Association of Muslims and Arabs For a Secular Quebec said he doubts the threat is real.

Bouazzi said he’s never heard of any extremist groups in the area doing that kind of vandalism. He believes the vandals are simply trying to incite fear of Muslims.

“We have been seeing these fake Facebook accounts and things like that [that] show a lot of hatred,” he said.

​”It looks like a very, very bad joke. Having said that, obviously we hope police will find these people no matter who they are,” Bouazzi said.

No one has been arrested in the matter, and police are still trying to figure out whether it’s a hoax.

A spokesperson with Repentigny police said it’s the first time he’s seen such a thing.

Patrols have been stepped up in the area in an effort to prevent it from happening again.

By CBC News

When news of a Montreal businessman rescuing girls in Iraq first made headlines around the world, order Steve Maman basked in the limelight, doctor proud that he had managed to do something — something big — to fight the horror of the so-called Islamic State.

“The Jewish Schindler” the press dubbed him repeatedly, try in articles from Haaretz to Paris Match.

Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who is credited with saving 1,200 Jews during the Nazi Holocaust, is indeed one of Maman’s heroes, in whose footsteps he wanted to follow when he founded The Liberation of Christian and Yazidi Children of Iraq (CYCI) in June.

With the help of donations from the Jewish community and then the greater public, Maman says he and his team of volunteers on the ground in Iraq have rescued 130 girls and women, many of whom had been kidnapped and sold as sex slaves by the Islamic State.

Donations, on GoFundMe and then through PayPal on his website, steadily increased with the exposure, to more than $600,000 by Wednesday.

But then came more ink — this time from the Yazidi community itself — disputing the number of rescued girls and women and casting doubt on the whole operation.

In an open letter first published by Vice News last week, the top spiritual leader of the Yazidi community in Iraq, Babasheikh Kherto Ismael, as well as 19 other Yazidi leaders and activists, questioned how Maman, reportedly with only $80,000 at the time, had managed to liberate so many women and girls, when Iraqi families had to pay upward of $8,000 to rescue each of their loved ones.

They also wondered about the ethics of paying ransoms at all, when the money would surely line the pockets of ISIL fighters and motivate them to continue with their lucrative sideline.

As for Christians, the signatories to the letter, including Vian Dakhil, the only female Yazidi member of the Iraqi Parliament, said as far as they knew, no Christians had been enslaved in the area — so none could have been liberated.

“It is unclear what Christian women Steve Maman claims to be saving,” they wrote, in calling for an inquiry into CYCI’s operations and a suspension of donations.

To be sure, verifying what’s going on in ISIL-held territory is a huge challenge. Few reporters, even among the battle-hardened, dare to see for themselves.

Into that information void, Maman has offered up one journalist to confirm CYCI’s work — Sean Moore, whose credentials show him as a radio broadcaster affiliated with a station in Chatham-Kent, Ontario — and Canon Andrew White, an Anglican priest and the Vicar of Baghdad, who has started his own Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.

(At one point White paid a ransom for his own lay priest in Iraq — $40,000 — and has said he has employed up to 35 armed guards to protect himself.)

White could not be reached for comment, but in a Facebook post on Aug. 18 to his 25,000-plus followers, he praised Maman for his good work and defended the practice of paying ransoms for the girls, saying it was the only way to get them back.

“There are no more … established Christians or Yazidees that can be taken. They have already taken everybody available,” he wrote.

According to a United Nations report, in August, 2014, ISIL kidnapped an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 Yazidi women and children, 2,700 of whom are still in captivity.

The Yazidis are an ethnic and religious minority of Iraq, Syria and Kurdistan believed to number about 700,000, who have been targeted by the Islamic State in their quest to “purify” the region of non-Islamic influences.

Maman also has the backing of Pamela Geller of the American Freedom Defense Initiative — best known for organizing the Draw the Prophet contest in Texas — and has recruited Gill Rosenberg to help with at least one rescue operation. Rosenberg is a Canadian-Israeli woman who became the first female foreign fighter to join the Kurds in their fight against ISIS.

Rosenberg also spent four years in a U.S. prison, for scamming senior citizens out of millions of dollars.

“The question you have to ask yourselves is who should you believe?” Maman asked on Facebook. “Activists and humanitarians dedicating their lives to these peoples’ fates or certain government officials and affiliates that work from offices and airplanes? CYCI will not answer to a group of people that decided or not to put their names on a piece of paper.”

Maman has threatened legal action against his detractors, and questions the credibility of those who wrote the letter, referring broadly to power politics and corruption in Iraq.

He has also offered to address any “official question” from an authority, he added, in Iraq or Canada. He will be holding a press conference in Montreal next week, he said.

In the meantime, the Montreal Gazette met with him Wednesday in his office in Ville St. Pierre, where he sells used Harley Davidsons, to ask him a few questions of our own.

Maman shared pictures of children, videos and interviews with people on the ground in Iraq and Kurdistan who vouch for his work, including Dr. Noori Abdulrahman, listed online as the Minister for the Department of Coordination and Follow-up in the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Maman also shared his thoughts on the mission to rescue girls from sexual slavery and the latest allegations against him.

Q: We’ve all been watching with horror what’s been going on inside the so-called Islamic State. But you are among very few in the West who have taken action. Was there a specific incident or report that forced you to get involved?

A: There was a report that showed children who were put in a cage, all dressed in orange, and outside of the cage stood an ISIS combatant holding a lit-up torch, threatening to burn them. This picture mimicked what ISIS had done to the Jordanian pilot. By looking at the photo, one could imagine the pain and loss, the terror these children were under.

I had already a few months prior taken Assyrian Christians out of harm’s way and sent them to Ankara. I thought I had done my share of good with that, but the picture of the children dressed in orange jumpsuits really was the pivotal moment I decided I would act.

Q: What kind of experience did you have as a Montreal businessman that allowed you to put together a team in another country and rescue women and girls who had been kidnapped?

A: I travelled the world looking for vintage cars for sale abandoned in palaces and garages. I made lots of contacts in high places. This work brought my dealership to Morocco and then to Iraq.

I also befriended a Christian Assyrian on the ground, and realized through him I could make a difference. He had contacts with the Iraq and Kurdistan governments. I used his credentials and my business sense to get funding.

Q: Your critics don’t seem to believe that you’ve actually rescued as many people as you claim. Why not provide names or other proof?

A: We have provided names, pictures and videos. They are on our website, on our Facebook page. People wish to view faces and we cannot divulge this personal information.

Imagine, you get taken and raped 250 times a year, 15 times a day. Steve Maman comes and takes you out. You don’t even have the strength to say thank you. Would you let me take your picture and show the world? I don’t want to add to their suffering.

It’s like in the Roman Coliseum. It was always sold out because people wanted to see the blood and the humiliation … Today the world sees the Jewish Schindler and thousands will be proud, but one girl whose face I didn’t blur will not be happy. But am I looking for fame or to protect these girls?

Q: Several Yazidi leaders, including the spiritual leader of the Yazidi community, have written a letter questioning the facts and the ethics of your rescue work in Iraq. What do you think is behind the skepticism?

A: Politics. It’s corruption and politics. … It’s (a group) who is trying to gain notoriety for being the saviour of the Yazidis where a Jewish man from Canada comes up and does so much more work than (they) do on the ground, where this Jewish man actually gives to the people without asking them to pay back. On the other side we have (this group of signatories) that are actually charging $8,000 per person that they bring back to the families. They used to get a kickback from the government per person and at same time are charging the family. They are getting paid twice. So Steve Maman screamed out loud to the government that they have to stop this practice that they are putting in debt people who have no shoes. So all of a sudden I have an aspiring political party that I’m humiliating for fraud and corruption on the ground.

They’re a mafia trying to get into politics by taking advantage of the plight of the Yazidi people who have lost everything.

We were specifically told by the KRG office of the president not to answer to this letter. They called it a political stunt, and said the letter is invalid.

Q: So how do you explain how you managed to save so many girls and women with so little money (about $80,000)?

A: It’s very simple — at the time when we pulled the first 100 people out of the caliphate, we only had to pay $50 to $250 each. Obviously after these children had been sold by ISIS throughout the caliphate, everybody knew the price escalated to $2,000-3,000. Prices have gone up tremendously. CYCI was incorporated in June. But this work started eight months ago.

Q: How do you respond to those who say you are funding the Islamic State by paying to rescue these girls?

A: I don’t talk to ISIS, I don’t fund ISIS, I don’t deal with ISIS. We have our CYCI team on the ground in Kurdistan, which is comprised of elite personnel. When I say elite, I mean a U.S. government-trained hostage negotiator and U.S. trained terrorism prevention personnel.

As far as motivating them to kidnap more, the caliphate is closed. You tell me how they’re going to kidnap another girl from behind the American soldiers at the border of Kurdistan. You tell me how they’re going to get girls inside Iran if they want to expand to the east. What about to the south? There’s the Iraqi army and the U.S. army that are amassed around the border of the caliphate. You really think a 30,000-strong army with four or five different armies surrounding them are able to do anything more? They’re not able to conquer anymore. It’s the end of the expansion. So don’t tell me I’m creating a market that’s emerging.

Q: Your fundraising campaign on GoFundMe has been suspended out of concerns over its legitimacy. How will your work be affected if GoFundMe no longer provides a platform for it?

A: We closed the GoFundMe campaign. We started it to get noticed, but our funds went up so quickly and we were paying a seven-per-cent commission. So when they froze the campaign to investigate (after a complaint by RINJ — Rape Is No Joke) we moved it to our website and PayPal. Now we pay 1.5 per cent. Since the letter came out, we’re raising more money than ever.

By The Montreal Gazette