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Tuesday, Sep 01st

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Top Test Scores From Shanghai Stun Educators

Top Test Scores From Shanghai Stun EducatorsWith China’s debut in international standardized testing, students in Shanghai have surprised experts by outscoring their counterparts in dozens of other countries, in reading as well as in math and science, according to the results of a respected exam. American officials and Europeans involved in administering the test in about 65 countries acknowledged that the scores from Shanghai — an industrial powerhouse with some 20 million residents and scores of modern universities that is a magnet for the best students in the country — are by no means representative of all of China.

About 5,100 15-year-olds in Shanghai were chosen as a representative cross-section of students in that city. In the United States, a similar number of students from across the country were selected as a representative sample for the test.

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Top rabbis move to forbid renting homes to Arabs, say 'Israel belongs to Jews'

Arab neighborhood in IsraelA numbr of leading rabbis who signed on to a religious ruling to forbid renting homes to gentiles – a move particularly aimed against Arabs – defended their decision on Tuesday with the declaration that the land of Israel belongs to the Jews.

Dozens of Israel's municipal chief rabbis signed on to the ruling, which comes just months after the chief rabbi of Safed initiated a call urging Jews to refrain from renting or selling apartments to non-Jews.

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Swiss cut off bank account for WikiLeaks' Assange

Julian AssangeThe Swiss postal system stripped WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of a key fundraising tool Monday, accusing him of lying and immediately shutting down one of his bank accounts. The swift action by Postfinance, the financial arm of Swiss Post, came after it determined the "Australian citizen provided false information regarding his place of residence during the account opening process."

Assange had told Postfinance he lived in Geneva but could offer no proof that he was a Swiss resident, a requirement of opening such an account. Postfinance spokesman Alex Josty told The Associated Press the account was closed Monday afternoon and there would be "no criminal consequences" for misleading authorities.

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Wikileaks: US Hits Back At Israel

Wikileaks's founder, Julian Assange, singled out Netanyahu for praise as a world leader who believes the embarrassing leaks will aid "global diplomacy." In an interview with Time  magazine, Assange said "Netanyahu believes that the result of this publication, which makes the sentiments of many privately held beliefs public, are promising a pretty good . . . . [and] will lead to some kind of increase in the peace process in the Middle East and particularly in relation to Iran." Assange, who is believed to be in the United Kingdom, is the subject of an INTERPOL arrest warrant for alleged "sex crimes" in Sweden.

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Interrogation of Palestinian teens was illegal, court rules

Interrogation of Arab youths illegalPolice illegally questioned two Palestinian minors late at night, even though there was no lawyer or adult family member present, their lawyer told the Kfar Sava Magistrate's Court this week.

The minors, both 16-year-olds from Qalqilyah, are suspected of being accessories to the theft of three bicycles and two helmets that were found three weeks ago in the possession of two adults from Qalqilyah. These men were carrying the identity cards of the teens, which led police and military personnel to raid the minors' homes in Qalqilyah at 2 A.M. Monday.

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Poll: Most Israeli Jews believe Arab citizens should have no say in foreign policy

Poll: Most Israeli Jews believe Arab citizens should have no say in foreign policyIsrael Democratic Institute conducts study on democracy, concludes that more than half Israelis say Arabs should be encouraged to emigrate.

Approximately 86 percent of Israeli Jews believe any final Knesset decision regarding the country's future political arrangement must be approved by a Jewish majority, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Israel Democratic Institute.

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Okinawa Re-elects Opponent of U.S. Base

Okanwans re-elect anti US base candidateVoters on the southern Japanese islands of Okinawa re-elected a governor on Sunday who campaigned for the removal of an American Marine base there, throwing a wrench into a deal between Japan and the United States to relocate the base and posing a challenge for the United States as it grapples with a response to North Korean aggression.

Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima, 71, had once supported the plan to transfer the base to a less populated part of Okinawa, but he reversed himself after strong opposition by residents.

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