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JewishJournal.com

October 14, 2013

This week from Israel

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Fighting unemployment

Nowadays, at a time of economic challenges, fighting unemployment is a daily struggle almost all countries face. According to figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel succeeds in winning this battle. From 232,000 unemployed Israelis in July to 226,000 in August, the unemployment rate dropped from 6.2% to 6.1%.

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The 12th Nobel Prize winner

On Wednesday, Israelis Arieh Warshel and Michael Levitt were announced as Nobel Prize winners. They are the 11th and 12th Israelis to win a Nobel Prize, and the 5th and 6th Israelis winners of the chemistry prize in under a decade. Warshel was born in 1940 in Kibbutz Sde Nahum, in the Beit She’an Valley. He is now a distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Levitt is a South Africa-born professor, immigrated to Israel in 1979, married here and taught at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot for most of the 1980s.

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The new Israeli millionaire

21 year old Israeli Daniel Gross became a millionaire last week, after making an exit with a brand new startup. Gross co-founded Cue, a personal assistant app. Together with entrepreneur Robbie Walker, he became a very rich man this week, when Apple decided to buy Cue for 40 million dollars in order to bolster the iPhone’s personal assistant features.

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Israeli passport and its perks

The latest Visa Restrictions Index from Henley & Partners has been released detailing the best and worst passports to have based on how many countries you can visit visa-free. Israel came in 20 on the list of countries, with 144 freely-accessible countries. Not at the top of the list, next to the UK, Finland and Sweden, but also not at the very bottom, next to Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia.

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Wi-fi on a plane

Finally, internet access is arriving to Israel. El-Al airlines has purchased six Boeing 737-900ER‬ planes to its destinations in Europe, which will include an advanced air conditioning system, ergonomic seat cushions and particularly large baggage compartments. But the most important innovation is an in- flight Internet system: all business class seats and each row in economy class will be equipped with electricity outlets for computers and USB ports.

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Fighting cervical cancer

Health Ministry director- general Prof. Ronni Gamzu decided on Wednesday to offer a free human papilloma virus vaccine to eighth-grade girls. The vaccine fights HPV and is believed to prevent cervical cancer. In the past few years, it has been offered to female IDF soldiers at reduced cost.

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1 million dollars to the biggest brain

On October 15th, President Shimon Peres will hand over a check for 1 million dollars to one of the 10 finalists of the first ever International Brain Technology Conference, Braintech 2013. The winner will be the one presenting the most innovative brain technology, from neuroscience to DNA to behavioral sciences to drugs.

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An Eppic visit

Eppic, a popular US rapper with five million views on his YouTube channel, has arrived in Israel this week. Together with The Voice Israel alumni Rudy Beinsin and Daniella Milo, he will record and film a music video as part of a project called I-MIX, created by StandWithUs (an international non-profit organization, is dedicated to informing the population of the world about Israel, and to help fight the hate and anti-Semitism.) On Monday, he tweeted: “Even though I haven't slept for over 24 hours, the first day in Israel has been amazing!!”

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Top 10 Israeli advances in vision

For the World Sight Day, mentioned on October 10th, “Israel 21c” website listed the top 10 Israeli advances for treating medical conditions of the eye and making life easier for people who are blind or visually disabled.

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