Despite war fears Israel ranks as one of the most happiest countries in the world

Happy Israelis illustration 
By: Shifra Unger

With all the civil wars raging in countries surrounding Israel, one would expect fear to increase in that country, but that is simply not so, according to a new survey recently released.

According to a new report released on Monday, based on research conducted by the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Israel is the 11th happiest country in the world, gaining three spots than in the report released last year. However, other countries in the region have seen a 11.7 percent drop in happiness, since the report was first published in 2005.

"The Israelis have always been perceived as an optimistic people," Effi Gil, medical psychology expert, said. "If you look at the polls published over the holiday weekend, it seems that most of the Israeli people are satisfied with life," he said.

"There is a greater sense of freedom, constant hope of improvement in the economy, and the feeling that compared to the countries around us, we are in a favorable position, therefore, there is a relatively high level of satisfaction by Israelis with their lives," Gil said.

2-year-old Syrian released with his mother from Israel’s Ziv Hospital

Syrian toddler 
By: Anav Silverman

The youngest Syrian to be treated in Israel since the Syrian Civil War began over two years ago was released from Ziv Medical Center in Safed today on Monday, September 9.

A two-and-half-year-old boy who was suffering from shrapnel wounds to his head, along with his injured mother were brought to Ziv Medical Center last week on Wednesday, September 5, for emergency treatment. The two were injured by a missile explosion across from their home in war-torn Syria which left shrapnel pieces and burns on the upper part of their bodies.

The Syrian toddler went through a number of surgeries to remove shrapnel pieces from his head, which miraculously did not penetrate deeply into his skull.

The boy was released in good condition, smiling and in good spirits according to a hospital spokesperson.

Ziv Medical Center director, Dr. Oscar Ambon told Tazpit News Agency that the medical staff at the hospital is dedicated to treating every injured Syrian that arrives to the hospital.

“For the past seven months, we have been treating tens of injured Syrians brought to us by the IDF. Most of the injured arrive in serious condition. Some are suffering from complicated injuries that require immediate professional medical treatment as well as social and emotional support in light of the traumas they’ve experienced during the war,” Dr. Ambon told Tazpit News Agency.

According to Dr. Ambon, Ziv’s medical staff also takes care of the clothing and undergarments that the patients need before they are released as well as games and activities for the injured children.

Last night, two Syrian brothers, ages 12 and 15 were also brought to the hospital in critical condition, with the older brother suffering from internal injuries and the younger from shrapnel wounds.

A spokesperson from Ziv Medical Center stated that there that there are currently 16 Syrians being treated in the hospital and that a total of 90 Syrians have treated in Ziv thus far.

Ziv Medical Center is currently raising funds for medical equipment, wheelchairs, and prosthetic devices for the injured Syrians once they are released after being treated by the hospital.

Coin with Temple menorah uncovered at foot of Temple Mount

The gold coin 
By: Aryeh Savir

(Scroll down for video) More evidence of the Jewish Temple was uncovered in Jerusalem, Israel, according to a report by the Tazpit News Agency.

During excavations at the foot of the Temple Mount which were conducted this summer, Hebrew University of Jerusalem archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar discovered two bundles of treasure containing thirty-six gold coins, gold and silver jewelry, and a gold medallion with the menorah (Temple candelabrum) symbol etched into it. Also etched into the 10-cm medallion are a shofar (ram’s horn) and a Torah scroll.

Mazar, s third-generation archaeologist working at the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology, directs excavations on the City of David’s summit and at the Temple Mount’s southern wall, the Ophel area. Calling the find “a breathtaking, once-in-a-lifetime discovery,” Dr. Mazar said: “We have been making significant finds from the First Temple Period in this area, a much earlier time in Jerusalem’s history, so discovering a golden seven-branched Menorah from the seventh century CE at the foot of the Temple Mount was a complete surprise.”

The discovery was unearthed just five days into Mazar’s latest phase of the Ophel excavations, and can be dated to the late Byzantine period (early seventh century CE). The gold treasure was discovered in a ruined Byzantine public structure, a mere 50 meters from the Temple Mount’s southern wall.

The menorah, a candelabrum with seven branches that was used in the Temple, the national symbol of the State of Israel, reflects the historical presence of Jews in the area. The position of the items as they were discovered indicates that one bundle was carefully hidden underground while the second bundle was apparently abandoned in haste and scattered across the floor.

Given the date of the items and the manner in which they were found, Mazar estimates they were abandoned in the context of the Persian conquest of Jerusalem in 614 CE. After the Persians conquered Jerusalem, many Jews returned to the city and formed the majority of its population, hoping for political and religious freedom. But as Persian power waned, instead of forming an alliance with the Jews, the Persians sought the support of Christians and ultimately allowed them to expel the Jews from Jerusalem.

Hanging from a gold chain, the menorah medallion is most likely an ornament for a Torah scroll. If this is the case, it is the earliest Torah scroll ornament found in archaeological excavations to date. It was buried in a small depression in the floor, along with a smaller gold medallion, two pendants, a gold coil and a silver clasp, all of which are believed to be Torah scroll ornamentations.

“It would appear that the most likely explanation is that the Ophel cache was earmarked as a contribution toward the building of a new synagogue, at a location that is near the Temple Mount,” said Dr. Mazar. “What is certain is that their mission, whatever it was, was unsuccessful. The treasure was abandoned, and its owners could never return to collect it.”

The Ophel cache is the third collection of gold coins to be found in archaeological excavations in Jerusalem, said Lior Sandberg, numismatics specialist at the Institute of Archaeology. “The thirty-six gold coins can be dated to the reigns of different Byzantine emperors, ranging from the middle of the fourth century CE to the early seventh century CE,” said Sandberg.

Found with the coins were a pair of large gold earrings, a gold-plated silver hexagonal prism and a silver ingot. Remnants of fabric indicated that these items were once packaged in a cloth purse similar to the bundle that contained the menorah medallion.

Mazar’s Ophel excavation made headlines earlier this year when she announced the 2012 discovery of an ancient Canaanite inscription (recently identified as Hebrew), the earliest alphabetical written text ever uncovered in Jerusalem.

The 2013 excavation season at the Ophel ran from the middle of April to the end of July, on behalf of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University. The Israel Antiquities Authority is carrying out the preservation works, and is preparing the site for the public.

Company now provides music to the dead in their coffin

A CataCombo coffin 
By: David Ross

(Scroll down for video) If you love music you can now enjoy music in the afterlife, according to a statement released by Pause Ljud & Bild.

The Swedish company, is now offering coffins equipped with speakers and a Spotify account, which will stream songs so the dead can keep on rocking. For just $30,000 music lovers can enjoy their entire afterlife in one of these special coffins, known as CataCombo.

Friends and family of the deceased can even select songs to play with Spotify, according to the website of the company.

Fredrik Hjelmquist, CEO of Pause, has agreed to be buried in one of the coffins and is allowing strangers to add songs to his playlist.

The CataCombo sound system made ​​headlines last year, before the addition of Spotify.

With Spotify, the company hopes that sales will heat up.

Police kill 107-year-old man during violent shoot out

Monroe Isadore 
By: Ryan Lee Hall

(Scroll down for video) A 107-year-old man was left dead after a shoot with police, according to police reports in Arkansas.

Pine Bluff Police said that a 107-year-old man was killed during a confrontation with SWAT officers.

On Saturday night, police officers were called to a house in Pine Bluff, where Monroe Isadore was located.

"When police officers arrived, they were able to determine that an aggravated assault had occurred against two people in the residence," Lieutenant David E. Price, spokesperson for the Pine Bluff Police Department, said in a statement.

The two victims were taken out of the house.
When police officers went to the room where Isadore was hiding, he shot through the door, authorities said.

None of the officers were hit by the gunfire. They went to a safer place and then tried to negotiate with the suspect.
SWAT officers slipped a camera into the room where Isadore was locked and saw that he was armed with a gun, Price said.

After fruitless negotiations, the officers shot gas into the room through a window, and Isadore fired bullets at them.
Authorities said the officers then broke down the door of the room, and Isadore shot at them again.

Officers returned fire, killing him.
An investigation was launched into the incident.

Man calls police to falsely report break-in because he broke up with his girlfriend

Shane Everett Earp 
By: Eva Fett

A man was arrested and charged with misusing the police emergency phone system after he broke up with his girlfriend, according to police reports in Florida.

Shane Everett Earp allegedly called 911 to report that his house had been burglarized, according to a press release from the Office of the Monroe County Sheriff.

The 40-year-old man told dispatchers that an anonymous caller had contacted him about the theft, and that he was not home at the time, the statement said.

Police officers, who responded to the scene, reported that they found the front door open and a woman inside, who turned out to be the girlfriend of Earp.

Then, Earp was also showed up.

Earp told police officers that he had called in the robbery because he had broken up with his girlfriend the night before and did not want her to damage anything inside the house.

Earp and his girlfriend had both been living in the house, and she had every legal right to be there, if he was there or not, police officers said.

Earp was accused of misusing the 911 system. Earp has been arrested eight times since August 2002, jail records show.

Naked thief runs into woman’s house to hide from police

Patrick James and Zane Thompson-Henry 
By: Moses Gold

A burglar was busted after he ran into a woman’s house naked in order to hide from police, according to police reports in Florida.

North Lauderdale Police said that a man was caught with his pants down after he ran naked into a nearby house following a robbery attempt.

Police were called to the 1100 block of Hamptons Boulevard in North Lauderdale, after a witness saw two men coming out of a house with a 50-inch TV, according to an arrest report.

The authorities were able to catch one of the men, 21-year-old Zane Thompson-Henry, but the other man, 21-year-old Patrick James, fled, according to the police report.

As James fled, an officer grabbed him by his clothes in order to try to stop him, causing James’ pants to fall, authorities said. In order to escape, James took off his shirt and pants, and fled the area without clothes.

He then ran to a nearby house where the door happened to be open, police said. He waved his hand to silence the two women talking inside and hid behind the kitchen.

Deputies arrested him at the house of the woman. He was charged with grand theft, burglary of an occupied residence, resisting arrest without violence and violation of his community control. He was held without bail in the Broward County Jail.

Thompson-Henry was charged with grand theft, theft and resisting arrest without violence. He was being held in $4,600 bond at the Broward County Jail.

Man with longest tongue hits new record as it keeps growing

Stephen Taylor 
By: Debbie Gross

(Scroll down for video) A man, who officially has the longest tongue in the world, received some cheerful news recently.

The man with the world's longest tongue, measuring at 3.8 inches long, is happy that he gets to keep the record.

The tongue of Stephen Taylor, who lives in the United Kingdom, has grown 0.2 inches from the last time it was measured for the record books in 2009. It is also expected to continue growing.

His extra long tongue has made him famous worldwide, and he once shared a 10-second kiss with actress Brigitte Nielsen in front of a live television audience in Italy.

Nielsen admitted that she was left speechless by the size of Stephen’s tongue.
“Nielsen decided to give me a kiss and she was quite amazed at the size of it,” Taylor said.

Taylor said that his partner, Rachel, 45 was a little afraid at first .
Guinness officials measured from the center of the tongue to the tip of the tongue.

The average length of a tongue measure is 0.78 inches long.
Scientists have been unable to explain why his tongue is so long.

Man looking for love on Craigslist exposes 300 men to HIV without disclosing his condition

David Lee Mangum 
By: John Roberts

(Scroll down for video) A man is facing life in prison after he had sex with random partners some of which he met through Craigslist without disclosing that he has HIV.

David Lee Mangum, 36, of Dexter, Missouri, admitted that he had sex with at least 300 men without disclosing that he is HIV positive.
To the contrary, when asked if he was clean, Mangum lied and said that he has no disease, leading men to have unprotected sex with him.

Mangum was arrested after he admitted to exposing more than 300 sexual partners to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
The situation came to light after his former partner had learned that he was HIV positive.

According to the partner, the two met through an advertisement on Craigslist. Mangum assured him that he does not have the disease after which the two began dating.
One day, the partner received a phone call from a former roommate of Mangum saying that Mangum had tested positive for HIV back in 2003.

Under Missouri law, deliberately exposing another person to HIV is a felony. If the victim happens to be infected with the virus, the defendant faces a possible life sentence.
When police interviewed Mangum, he admitted to having sex with more than 300 men since he had tested positive for HIV, but did not tell any of them about his disease and he never used condoms.

When asked why he did not tell his partners that he was HIV positive, Mangum said he did it out of "fear of being rejected."
Police asked for a list of names of the people he slept with, so they can notify the men to be tested for HIV, and possibly locate more victims of Mangum.

Mangum told police that he only knows the men by their first names, which further complicates efforts to notify potential victims.
Judge Stephen Mitchell has set a cash bond of $250,000. Mangum remains locked up in the Stoddard County Jail while awaiting trial.

New York man snatches gold necklace from girl, 3, at McDonald’s

Thief who stole gold chain 
By: John Roberts

(Scroll down for video) Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man, who was seen on video stealing a necklace from a 3-year-old girl.

A mother and daughter's lunch at a Queens, New York, McDonald’s restaurant, was destroyed by the creepy man, who grabbed the girl’s gold necklace before running out the door.

The middle-aged man grabbed the gold chain from the 3-year-old girl’s neck while the child’s mother watched in horror.
Police described the man as a white man in his 40s and bald. He was wearing a buttoned down gray shirt and blue jeans.

The man entered the McDonald’s restaurant on 82nd St. in Jackson Heights around 1:45 pm. He followed the mother and the child, and he waited for them to sit down at the table.That is when he walked up to the girl and pulled her chain and charm from her neck. Then, he made a run for the door before anyone could stop him.

The girl and her mother were shaken by the incident. Thankfully, neither the girl nor her mother were injured, police said.
Now, police have released the video (see below) of the thief, hoping that someone will recognize him.

Anyone with information about the identity of the robber is urged to call the police or CrimeStoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls are confidential.

Cat that is the mayor of Talkeetna Alaska injured after being attacked by dog

Mayor Stubbs 
By: John Roberts

(Scroll down for video) A cat suffered serious injuries after being attacked by a dog despite the fact that the cat is the longtime mayor of an Alaskan town.

Mayor Stubbs, the cat that has served as mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska for the past 16 years, is jogging around the city on Saturday night, after it was maimed by an unknown local dog.

The political cat survived the fight, but suffered a 5-inch cut along its side, a punctured lung and a fractured sternum.

Stubbs is reportedly now breathing on its own after relying on a tube in the chest after the attack.

The cat has been receiving medical care at the Big Lake-Susitna Veterinary Hospital.

The honorable feline came to power shortly after its birth in 1997, when it was discovered among a box of kittens outside a store in the small town, 110 miles north of Anchorage, Alaska.

Around the same time, residents were disappointed with the candidates for the local mayoral election and voted Stubbs into the office as a write-in candidate.

Its medical bills could exceed $2,000 officials said.

Police detain coconut on suspicion of rigging presidential election

Coconut on the beach illustration 
By: Sarah Weiss

(Scroll down for video) Who knew that a coconut will one day be accused of rigging an election.

In the Maldives, a coconut has been detained by police on suspicion of being used for black magic spells to rig the presidential election over the weekend.

The coconut was found near a polling station, and police described the coconut as "young."

However, after careful inspection and consultation with an expert magician, police have determined that the coconut had no magical powers and thus it is not a cause for concern.

The coconut was then released from police custody.

The police brought a ruqyah practitioner to examine the coconut, who confirmed that it was a fake, a police official said.

Belief in magic is still widespread in many rural areas of the Maldives, so police just wanted to make sure.

Mother beats up her child’s teacher after he comes home with scratch

Truman Elementary School 
By: Shifra Unger

(Scroll down for video) A mother was slapped with charges after she beat up her child’s teacher, according to police reports in Missouri.

Kansas City Police said that a mother was arrested for assault after she allegedly hit her son’s kindergarten teacher on Thursday night, at Truman Elementary School in the Hickman Mills School District.

According to police reports, the 24-year-old mother, Simone A. Baker, grabbed the 49-year-old teacher from her chair by her hair, punched her repeatedly in the face and hit her head against a cabinet.

The mother was upset because her 6-year-old son had come home on Thursday with a scratch on his neck that he said came from the teacher, who had disciplined him that day.

But on Friday, the boy's father took his son to school, and the boy told police that the teacher was not the one who scratched him.

After seeing the scratch, the mother called the school, which has an after school program, and angrily told the principal that she was on her way. The principal told her not to come, but the mother said she was outside and planned to enter the school.

The principal told the mother at the door that they would organize a meeting to discuss the incident involving her son.
The mother bolted down the hall at full speed towards the classroom of her child.

The teacher was on the phone talking to another parent when the mother came in and said: "You better not touch my child again."
She ran behind the table where the teacher was sitting and hit her five to ten times in the face.

She grabbed the teacher by the hair, pulled her out of the chair and hit her head against a cabinet twice before running out of the classroom and out of the building.

The teacher suffered redness and bruising to his face. Police officers went to the home of the mother, but could not find her. The mother was later charged with assault.

Woman takes care of son’s dead body for 18 years so grandchild can know his father

Joni Bakaradze with his mother 
By: Debbi Gross

(Scroll down for video) A mother decided not to bury her son, but rather preserve the body in her home so her grandson can see his father.

Joni Bakaradze died 18 years ago when he was just 22-years-old. He was already married and had a son, who was almost 2-years-old.

Instead of burying him the traditional way, the family decided to build a “grave” in their house where they keep their son in a casket, which can be easily opened at any time.

His mother, Tsiuri Kvaratskhelia of Zugdidi Municipality, in Georgia,
has taken her motherly love to the extreme as she lovingly takes care of her mummified son’s body for the past 18 years.

Everyday for the past 18 years, the mother has been lovingly caring for her son’s body in an attempt to preserve it.
The family celebrates his birthdays. For many years, on the day of his birthday, Kvaratskhelia changes her son’s clothes.

At first, his mother used traditional embalming techniques, but after awhile she began to use her own methods.
The mother is treating Bakaradze’s body with rubbing alcohol. She uses wet sheets soaked in alcohol to preserve the body.

"I cannot leave the body without sheets during the night or the skin turns black,” the mother said.
"He was a good man and a good husband," the mother said of her son.

In explaining why she has not buried Bakaradze’s body, the mother said that she wanted her grandson to be able to love his father.
Bakaradze’s son is now almost 20-years-old. According to Kvaratskhelia, he is not afraid to see his father’s body, and he is happy with his grandparents’ decision to preserve the body.

Boy, 8, uses karate moves to fight off father’s former girlfriend who tried to smother him

Jacob Soliz-Amaya and Helen Marie Newsome 
By: John Roberts

(Scroll down for video) A boy is lucky to be alive after defending himself against his father’s former girlfriend, who tried to kill him.

The 8-year-old of Maryland, used karate moves he learned earlier this year, to escape the vicious murder attempt by his father’s former lover.

The woman is said to have been looking for revenge against the boy’s father after he broke up with her a few days earlier.
Jacob Soliz-Amaya was in bed at 8:00 am on Saturday, when his father’s former girlfriend, Helen Marie Newsome, 26, attacked him.

First, she smothered the boy by covering his head with a pillow, and then she hit him over the head with a dumbbell, leaving the boy with a gash on his head.
"I woke up and I was choking," Soliz-Amaya said.

Authorities said that Newsome hid in the home in Landover, Maryland, for more than 13 hours waiting for the father, Andy Amaya, to go to work before she went after the child.

The boy, who weighs about 60 pounds, fought back. “I headbutted her, and then I beat her up,” Soliz-Amaya said.
The woman escaped by jumping out the window, but police caught up with her later that day. She was charged with attempted first-degree murder.

The boy was taken to a hospital for treatment. He received 9 staples to close the gash on his head, and has been released from the hospital. The boy said: "She tried to hurt me because she knows that my father loves me more than anything else."

Iowa grants gun permits to blind people

Sheriff Warren Wethington teaching his blind
daughter Bethany Wethington to shoot gun 
By: Debbi Gross

(Scroll down for video) Every citizen of the United States has the right to bear arms, according to the constitution.

Now, Iowa is making sure that the disabled and blind people, are treated just like any other citizen.

Although some states have tried to take that right away from its citizens, other states understand the value and importance of sticking to the constitution.

Des Moines, Iowa, is officially granting permits to purchase and carry guns in public, to people who are legally or totally blind.

No one doubts the legality of giving people gun permits, but many people are worried about public safety when handing a gun to someone who is blind.

Advocates for the disabled in Iowa and law enforcement, disagree about whether it is a good idea for people with visual impairment to carry guns.

Cedar County Sheriff Warren Wethington has a daughter, Bethany Wethington, 19, who is legally blind. She plans to obtain a permit to carry a firearm when she turns 21. He is already teaching her how to use a gun.

In an effort to get the law passed, Wethington showed the Des Moines Register how to train blind people, who want to carry a gun.

Jane Hudson, executive director of Disability Rights Iowa, said that taking away the right from visually impaired people to obtain a weapon’s permit violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. Federal law generally prohibits different treatment based on disability.

Patrick Clancy, superintendent of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, who is an advocate for the blind said: "Although people who are blind can participate fully in nearly all life's experiences, there are some things, like the operation of a weapon, that may very well be an exception."

Louisiana man arrested after reporting prostitute who stole his wallet

Temekia Robinson and Benjamin Melendez  
By: Ryan Lee Hall

A man called police to report that his wallet was stolen.

However, he ended up being arrested after he admitted to police that the woman who stole the wallet, was a prostitute who he brought into his house.

Benjamin Melendez, 23, was arrested by the Kenner Police Department in Louisiana, for soliciting a prostitute.

He was not the only one arrested for the incident. Temekia Robinson, 36, was also arrested and charged with theft between $500 to $1,500 as well as for prostitution.

According to reports, Robinson approached Melendez, who was standing in front of his house and asked if he wanted to do some "business".

The two went inside his house where they agreed on a price of $10 for sex. Melendez told police he gave Robinson $20 and then threw his wallet into a laundry basket along with his clothes.

Melendez claimed that after being paid, Robinson asked Melendez for more money, and she demanded to be paid again.
They got into an argument as Melendez refused to pay twice, while Robinson claimed that she had not been paid. She then grabbed his wallet from the hamper and fled from the home.

Melendez then called the police to report the theft. Both were booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center.
Melendez was released a short time later on his own recognizance due to overcrowding at the jail.

Police sergeant sentenced to 15 years in prison for taking female prisoner to his home for sex

Kristopher David Travitz 
By: Eva Fett

(Scroll down for video) A police sergeant was jailed after he took advantage of female inmates, who were under his care.

The sergeant was accused of showing porn to women and having sex with at least one inmate.

Kristopher David Travitz, 37, of Douglasville, Georgia, was a 14 year veteran of the Cobb County Sheriff Department. He pleaded guilty to charges of sexually assaulting a female inmate.

Cobb Superior Court Judge Reuben Green sentenced Travitz to 15 years in prison. However, Travitz will only serve five years. The remaining 10 years will be served on probation, according to court documents.

Travitz was accused of taking a female inmate to his home in order to have sex. At first, Travitz denied the allegation and told investigators that he never took any prisoners to his home, but one prisoner’s GPS monitoring bracelet contradicted his story.
The woman’s GPS records showed that the prisoner was at his house for 45 minutes.

Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren said that before they hire an officer, they are subjected to rigorous background checks and a psychological evaluation, but it is no guarantee that misconduct will not occur. “Every complaint from an inmate is thoroughly investigated,” he said.