Two Women Detained on Suspicion of Planning Terror Attack in France By Noemie Bisserbe

Plot abandoned; teen says she was shocked at Bastille Day truck killing

PARIS—Two young women suspected of planning an attack in France were detained by police in the southern French city of Nice, a person familiar with the investigation said Sunday, the latest sign that Islamic State is shifting its focus from the battlefield in Syria to orchestrating terror plots in Europe.

The two young women—17 and 19 years old—had been in contact with Rachid Kassim, a French recruiter for Islamic State, on the Telegram Messenger messaging app, the person said. Mr. Kassim, who is believed to be in Islamic State territory, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Mr. Kassim called on the women to attack specific sites in France to avenge the death of Abu Mohammed al Adnani, a founding member and chief spokesman for Islamic State, who was killed on a battlefield in northern Syria last month, the person added, without providing further details.

Even as Islamic State loses territory in Syria and Iraq, the mushrooming of small-scale terror attacks in Europe has allowed the militant group to keep people here on edge, without having to train and equip teams to pull off highly sophisticated operations.

Over the past year, a spate of terror attacks has left more than 200 people dead in France. CONTINUE AT SITE

Jordanian Writer Shot Dead Ahead of Hearing Over Religious Cartoon Nahed Hattar killed as he arrived at Amman’s Court of Justice after being charged with insulting Islam By Suha Ma’ayeh in Amman, Jordan and Rory Jones in Tel Aviv

A prominent Jordanian Christian writer was shot dead outside an Amman courthouse on Sunday, ahead of a scheduled court hearing for posting on social media a cartoon the government charged had offended Islam.

Nahed Hattar was struck by three bullets in front of the Court of Justice, the official Petra news agency said. He was rushed to the hospital and later pronounced dead. Police had captured the assailant and seized a weapon, it said, without releasing further details as to the shooter’s identity.

Mr. Hattar, who was in his 50s, was detained last month after he shared a cartoon on his Facebook page lampooning Islamic extremists’ view of heaven. He was charged with inciting religious tensions and racism, as well as offending religion under Jordanian laws.

The post sparked controversy across the country, with many Muslims accusing him of blasphemy and defaming religion.

The cartoon posted to Facebook depicted a white-bearded God wearing a crown and asking an Islamist, who is in bed with two women, if he needs anything. The man then asks God to get him wine, and for the angel Gabriel to bring cashews.

The depiction of God in any form is forbidden in Islam. The cartoon’s author hasn’t been identified.

Mr. Hattar’s death echoed recent attacks in Europe and the U.S. against journalists and artists for depicting the Prophet Muhammad in cartoons viewed as offensive to Muslims.

In 2015, two men were killed by police in a Dallas suburb after they opened fire outside a building where an exhibit that featured cartoon drawings of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

It came six months after militants stormed the Paris offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people including some of the publication’s most famous cartoonists. Many Muslims deemed Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad provocative, or even blasphemous. CONTINUE AT SITE

Notable & Quotable: Benjamin Netanyahu at the U.N. ‘How can any of us expect young Palestinians to support peace when their leaders poison their minds against peace?’(Bravo!!!!)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking to the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Thursday:

Now here’s the tragedy, because, see, the Palestinians are not only trapped in the past, their leaders are poisoning the future.

I want you to imagine a day in the life of a 13-year-old Palestinian boy, I’ll call him Ali. Ali wakes up before school, he goes to practice with a soccer team named after Dalal Mughrabi, a Palestinian terrorist responsible for the murder of a busload of 37 Israelis. At school, Ali attends an event sponsored by the Palestinian Ministry of Education honoring Baha Alyan, who last year murdered three Israeli civilians. On his walk home, Ali looks up at a towering statue erected just a few weeks ago by the Palestinian Authority to honor Abu Sukar, who detonated a bomb in the center of Jerusalem, killing 15 Israelis.

When Ali gets home, he turns on the TV and sees an interview with a senior Palestinian official, Jibril Rajoub, who says that if he had a nuclear bomb, he’d detonate it over Israel that very day. Ali then turns on the radio and he hears President Abbas’s adviser, Sultan Abu al-Einein, urging Palestinians, here’s a quote, “to slit the throats of Israelis wherever you find them.” Ali checks his Facebook and he sees a recent post by President Abbas’s Fatah Party calling the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics a “heroic act.” On YouTube, Ali watches a clip of President Abbas himself saying, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem.” Direct quote.

Over dinner, Ali asks his mother what would happen if he killed a Jew and went to an Israeli prison? Here’s what she tells him. She tells him he’d be paid thousands of dollars each month by the Palestinian Authority. In fact, she tells him, the more Jews he would kill, the more money he’d get. Oh, and when he gets out of prison, Ali would be guaranteed a job with the Palestinian Authority.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All this is real. It happens every day, all the time. Sadly, Ali represents hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children who are indoctrinated with hate every moment, every hour.

This is child abuse.

Imagine your child undergoing this brainwashing. Imagine what it takes for a young boy or girl to break free out of this culture of hate. Some do but far too many don’t. How can any of us expect young Palestinians to support peace when their leaders poison their minds against peace?

‘Designated Survivor’ Review Kiefer Sutherland stars as a lowly cabinet member elevated to the presidency after a terror attack: Dorothy Rabinowitz

It was hard to resist the captivating premise of “Designated Survivor,” in which Kiefer Sutherland plays Tom Kirkman, a cabinet member of relatively modest status who finds himself head of the nation after a bomb attack on the Capitol during the State of the Union that kills the president and virtually every other significant member of the government. Among those still alive, there is powerful resistance to a colorless and inexperienced nobody like Kirkman in the role of president. But it’s clear that this Clark Kent will soon be soaring aloft, defiant in his own mild way—he’s determined to lead the country.

Designated Survivor

Wednesdays, 10 p.m., ABC

The problem comes in the second episode, along with a suddenly increased capacity to resist everything about “Designated Survivor.” Here we come up against the show’s message, or more precisely its gross political tendentiousness: its vision of a vicious American nation, in the aftermath of the attack, hunting down its Muslim citizens; its pictures of police racing around Dearborn, Mich., dragging Muslims out of their homes, beating a teenager to death, all at the behest of the Michigan governor.

Not surprisingly, President Kirkman stands firmly against this brown-shirt brutality, a product of fevered writerly imaginations particularly loathsome to behold given the facts of history—in particular the actual terror attacks of 9/11, after which, through all their fear and rage, Americans comported themselves with the utmost dignity.

It’s now probably irrelevant to note that for all his splendid talents, Mr. Sutherland may not have been the best choice for the role of a virtuous milquetoast concealing a heart of steel—the milquetoast part dominates even when the steel is flashed. Something inside may be alerting him to the nature of this enterprise—possibly the Jack Bauer in him.

‘Clean Power’ Plays and the Last Stand for Federalism What will be left of our constitutional order if the EPA’s plan passes judicial muster? By David B. Rivkin, Jr. and Andrew M. Grossman

After Congress turned down President Obama’s request to enact a law regulating power plants’ greenhouse-gas emissions, the Environmental Protection Agency turned to the states—not with a request, but with instructions to carry out the president’s energy policy. The EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” now faces the scrutiny of the nation’s chief regulatory review court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

If the Constitution’s federalism is to endure, the Clean Power Plan must be struck down.

The Constitution establishes a federal government of limited and enumerated powers while the states retain a plenary “police power,” subject only to the specific limitations of federal law. This is what Justice Anthony Kennedy called the Constitution’s “genius”: It “split the atom of sovereignty” to ensure accountability when meeting both local and national concerns, while fostering rivalry between the two levels to curb excessive political ambition that might threaten liberty.

Only in recent decades did politicians learn how to realize their ambitions through collusion. The federal government now entices states with transfer payments to establish and administer social-welfare programs. And, in schemes that the courts describe as “cooperative federalism,” it offers states the choice to regulate their citizens according to federal dictates, as an alternative to the feds regulating directly and having states get out of the way.

Even these approaches were not enough for the Obama administration to cajole the states to carry out its energy agenda. So it resolved to obliterate one of the last vestiges of the Constitution’s vertical separation of powers: the bar on federal commandeering of the states and their officials to carry out federal policy.

The Clean Power Plan is enormously complicated, but its overall approach is straightforward. Previous emissions regulations have focused on reducing emissions from particular facilities, but this one relies on shifting electricity generation from disfavored facilities (coal-fired power plants) to those the EPA prefers (natural gas and renewables). The EPA then determined what, in its view, is the maximum amount of such shifting that each of the nation’s regional electric grids could possibly accommodate and calculated the emissions reductions.

Parcel those figures out by state, factor in additional reductions due to estimated efficiency improvements at older plants, and the result is state-specific reduction targets. The states can elect to achieve those targets themselves—or, if they decline, the EPA will do it for them. “Textbook cooperative federalism,” says the EPA.

Not quite. Whether or not the states choose to implement the plan directly, it leaves them no choice but to carry out the EPA’s federal climate policy. That’s because the EPA can destroy but not create. It can regulate emissions of existing facilities, but it lacks the legal authority to facilitate the construction and integration of new power sources, which is ultimately the only way to achieve the plan’s aggressive targets.

That duty falls to the states, which the plan depends upon to carry out what the EPA calls their “responsibility to maintain a reliable electric system.” Doing nothing, as in the cooperative federalism scenario, is not an option. CONTINUE AT SITE

Donald ‘Wrong Way’ Trump Globalization has its challenges. But trying to return the 1950s is silly and impossible. see note please

Mr. Blinder is a professor at Princeton, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and an informal adviser to the Hillary Clinton campaign. rsk

One summer day in 1938, Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan took off from Brooklyn, N.Y., on a flight to Ireland—even though his flight plan called for going to California. Corrigan claimed he flew east rather than west by mistake—hence his nickname. But he was a skilled pilot, and people argue to this day whether he was a fool or a scoundrel whose request to fly to Ireland had been denied.

So it is with Donald Trump. He says so many ridiculous things that it’s hard to know when he’s displaying abysmal ignorance and when he’s deliberately lying. This ambiguity holds across the board, on virtually all issues and even on basic facts, but I’ll restrict myself to economic issues.

His signature policy remains building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, for which our southern neighbors will pay. But has anyone told him that the net migration flow across that long border has been southbound for years now? Yes, more people are crossing into Mexico than into the U.S. Wrong way, Donald.

Mr. Trump insists that the U.S. Treasury designate China a currency manipulator—meaning that Beijing is intervening in foreign-exchange markets to keep the yuan undervalued. That was probably true a few years ago, but it is pretty clear now that the yuan would depreciate if the Chinese let it float—making China an even fiercer competitor. Wrong way again, Donald.

Mr. Trump once stunned the financial world by declaring that “I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal.” A deal? Does that mean a partial default on U.S. debt—a very bad move for the world’s premier asset? And by the way, Mr. Trump’s spending and tax-cut proposals—which keep on coming—would raise the deficit by amounts that can only be called huge. Wrong way, Donald.

Climate change used to be something to which only scientifically minded policy wonks paid attention. Now it’s so palpable that even China has ratified the Paris agreement to limit carbon emissions. Yet Mr. Trump insists that climate change is a hoax. A hoax? Perpetrated by thousands of conspiring scientists in dozens of countries? You’d think that any sentient businessman would scoff at such an idea. Yet Mr. Trump rants on, trying to push the whole world the wrong way. CONTINUE AT SITE

The ‘Clean Power’ Putsch A watershed case about democratic consent and the separation of powers.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals hears arguments Tuesday in a challenge to President Obama’s use of unilateral federal and executive power to impose his climate agenda. The case is a watershed for the Constitution’s separation of powers that will echo well beyond this Administration.

In the name of reducing carbon emissions, the Environmental Protection Agency’s so-called Clean Power Plan, or CPP, requires states to reorganize their energy economies across electric plants, energy-intensive industries and even households. In February the Supreme Court stayed enforcement of the CPP—an extraordinary rebuke—after some 28 states sued, arguing the plan usurps their authority under the Constitution.

The EPA asserted such authority under a brief and heretofore inconsequential backwater of the 1970 Clean Air Act known as section 111(d). No one who supported that law voted to, and the statutory text does not, empower the EPA to address climate change. But the CPP requires the states to carry out federal policy instructions even if they refuse to submit their own compliance plans.

In the American system of cooperative federalism, the federal government is supreme and can pre-empt state laws, and it often does. The EPA has the power, for example, to impose efficiency improvements or air-quality standards on existing power plants. But with the CPP it is stretching this power to unprecedented levels and commandeering state resources.

At the heart of cooperative federalism is the right of refusal—states must retain the power to opt out of any federal scheme. If that scheme is grounded in a law passed by Congress, the feds can take over and regulate themselves. In this case the EPA has no authority to do anything of the kind.

Even if the CPP explicitly banned coal-fired power, the EPA cannot mandate that states switch to solar panels and wind turbines. The agency can destroy but it cannot create. Here the EPA is expecting that states will undertake the extensive and costly preparation and regulation to compensate for lost carbon power because they have no other choice to keep the lights on. The EPA is happy to let states take responsibility for problems the EPA is creating.

The Supreme Court has often policed and struck down such commandeering. In 1992’s New York v. United States, the High Court invalidated a command to states related to low-level radioactive waste, while 1997’s Printz v. United States overturned a provision on background checks for gun purchasers. As recently as the ObamaCare cases of 2012, the Court ruled that the law’s Medicaid expansion was an unconstitutionally coercive “gun to the head” and gave states the right to opt out.


Samsung opens Tel Aviv branch to invest in local software tech Known for its hardware, South Korean electronics giant to focus on early-stage development in artificial intelligence, virtual reality by Shoshana Solomon

Samsung Global Innovation Center (GIC), part of Samsung Electronics, opened on Sunday a branch in Tel Aviv to invest in Israeli start-ups and entrepreneurs with a focus on software development.

Called Samsung Next, the Tel Aviv office follows similar ones set up in South Korea, San Francisco and New York by the South Korean conglomerate in an effort to stay ahead of competition by entering into early-stage technologies.

“In Israel you have perhaps the greatest amount of talent per square foot than anywhere in the world,” said Kai Bond, the general manager of Samsung Next New York at the opening of the offices at Tel Aviv’s Sarona complex. “If you want to leapfrog competition you can’t wait to play in an established market.”

Samsung Next Tel Aviv will invest and work with start-ups at every stage of development through incubation, investment from seed to Series B, acquisition and partnership, Eyal Miller, Managing Director and CEO of Samsung GIC Tel Aviv, said at a press conference. The idea is to get projects off the ground, help them grow and get them ready for an acquisition by Samsung or any other exit that best suits the companies, he said.

Samsung Next in Tel Aviv will focus primarily in such areas as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, virtual and augmented reality technologies, the Internet of Things, and big data technologies.
Samsung Next’s Eyal Miller in Tel Aviv (Courtesy: Tomer Flutin)

Samsung Next’s Eyal Miller in Tel Aviv (Courtesy: Tomer Flutin)

“Samsung is known for its hardware,” Miller said, “but we want to build a significant center for investments in software.”

The company believes that its way forward will be by combining its hardware activities with software, he added.

There is no limit to the budget or number of start-ups the company can invest in, said Miller, and investments will be made according to opportunity. Typically, the division will support Israeli companies in the seed and early stages with a range of investment programs providing funding from $250,000 to up to $3 million on a “case-by-case basis,” he said. Samsung will then either acquire the successful companies and incorporate them into its product lines, or help them raise funds to grow further, he noted.

Arab entrepreneurs, IDF vets team up to promote start-ups Hybrid accelerator program looks to nurture minority sector tech firms with graduates of the elite 8200 unit by Shoshana Solomon

A market place for horse breeding and a platform to ease the recruitment of new employees were just some of the projects presented at a demo day of the Hybrid program, an accelerator that aims to promote start-ups in the Arab sector.

The projects were the first ones to originate from the first cycle of the accelerator program, which aims to promote start-ups with one or more Arab, Druze or Bedouin founders. They work in cooperation with the 8200 Alumni Association, an organization that represents graduates of the top technology unit in the Israeli Army.

“In the Arab sector we have talented entrepreneurs but we have a lack of knowledge on how to take ideas and scale them up,” said Fidi Swidan, the director of the Maof Nazareth Business Incubation Center, part of Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry which is a backer of Hybrid. The aim of the program is to provide the necessary support to allow for these initiatives to grow, he said.

Eitan Sella, the director of Hybrid, said the idea is to expand the benefits of start-up nation from Tel Aviv to the rest of the country, to all of Israel’s citizens.
Fadi Swidan and Eitan Sella (left) at Hybrid’s demo day in Tel Aviv (Courtesy)

Fadi Swidan, right, with Eitan Sella at Hybrid’s demo day in Tel Aviv (Courtesy)

One start-up that took part in the program is Horse Mate. The company looks to create a horse breeding market place using data, breeding simulation, artificial intelligence and machine learning to enable horse breeders find the best match for their horses. Horse Mate is already in touch with five Arabian horse associations worldwide to compile an accessible pedigree database.

Skillinn, another start-up, wants to make use of crowd wisdom to match the right professional to the right job, using artificial intelligence. The company has tested its system with dozens of HR departments and is currently running its first paid pilot with one of the biggest IT companies in Israel, the entrepreneurs said.

Also to present at the Hybrid demo day was CleverPark, a company that has developed a screw-looking prototype that can be inserted into roads and combines hardware and software to enable cities and malls to get real-time data about parking lots to optimize parking resources. Each product can be built for under $10, about 80 percent cheaper than competing alternatives, the team said.

John Schindler:The FBI Investigation of EmailGate Was a Sham NSA Analyst: We now have incontrovertible proof the Bureau never had any intention of prosecuting Hillary Clinton

John Schindler is a security expert and former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer. A specialist in espionage and terrorism, he’s also been a Navy officer and a War College professor. He’s published four books.

From the moment the EmailGate scandal went public more than a year ago, it was obvious that the Federal Bureau of Investigation never had much enthusiasm for prosecuting Hillary Clinton or her friends. Under President Obama, the FBI grew so politicized that it became impossible for the Bureau to do its job – at least where high-ranking Democrats are concerned.

As I observed in early July, when Director James Comey announced that the FBI would not be seeking prosecution of anyone on Team Clinton over EmailGate, the Bureau had turned its back on its own traditions of floating above partisan politics in the pursuit of justice. “Malfeasance by the FBI, its bending to political winds, is a matter that should concern all Americans, regardless of their politics,” I stated, noting that it’s never a healthy turn of events in a democracy when your secret police force gets tarnished by politics.

As I observed in early July, when Director James Comey announced that the FBI would not be seeking prosecution of anyone on Team Clinton over EmailGate, the Bureau had turned its back on its own traditions of floating above partisan politics in the pursuit of justice. “Malfeasance by the FBI, its bending to political winds, is a matter that should concern all Americans, regardless of their politics,” I stated, noting that it’s never a healthy turn of events in a democracy when your secret police force gets tarnished by politics.

Just how much Comey and his Bureau punted on EmailGate has become painfully obvious since then. Redacted FBI documents from that investigation, dumped on the Friday afternoon before the long Labor Day weekend, revealed that Hillary Clinton either willfully lied to the Bureau, repeatedly, about her email habits as secretary of state, or she is far too dumb to be our commander-in-chief.

Worse, the FBI completely ignored the appearance of highly classified signals intelligence in Hillary’s email, including information lifted verbatim from above-Top Secret NSA reports back in 2011. This crime, representing the worst compromise of classified information in EmailGate – that the public knows of, at least – was somehow deemed so uninteresting that nobody at the FBI bothered to ask anybody on Team Clinton about it.

This stunning omission appears highly curious to anybody versed in counterintelligence matters, not least since during Obama’s presidency, the FBI has prosecuted Americans for compromising information far less classified than what Clinton and her staff exposed on Hillary “unclassified” email server of bathroom infamy.