Israel urged to increase the number of flights from Russia

The country's authorities are worried about the Jews who are now in Russia, and are ready to accept them on their territory. The Israeli Foreign Ministry is preparing for a new wave of Russian immigrants : 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid is concerned about the fate of Jews in Russia after the announcement of a partial mobilization and therefore called on the head of the El Al airline to ensure the continuation of flights between the two countries, writes The Times of Israel, citing an official source. The Israeli Prime Minister's Office told NEWS.ru.co.il that Lapid had asked the company to increase the number of flights to Russia.

Israel Hayom, citing Israeli Foreign Ministry Director General Alon Ushpiz, reports that Lapid, who also heads the Foreign Ministry, has instructed to receive more immigrants from Russia. This, according to him, will require measures not only to increase flights, but also in the field of visas and the further placement of migrants in the country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 21 announced a partial mobilization. Within its framework, 300 thousand people will be called up, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said. The call will be subject to reservists who have served in the army, have in-demand military specialties and combat experience. Students and conscripts should not be mobilized.

After the announcement of mobilization, tickets for the next direct flights from Moscow to Istanbul, Yerevan, Baku and other countries neighboring Russia that do not require visas for entry were sold out.

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Latvian authorities stated that “for security reasons” will not issue humanitarian visas to Russians who avoid mobilization. Jussi Tanner, head of consular service at the Finnish Foreign Ministry, said that Helsinki would not issue visas to men of military age from Russia if there were “ambiguities in the documents”; or in case they are not going to return to Russia. After that, Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto announced that Finland was preparing a complete ban on entry for Russian citizens, as it “does not want to be a transit country”.

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Why has polio emerged in the US, UK and Israel? A polio eradication expert weighs in.

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>Why has polio emerged in the US, UK and Israel? A polio eradication expert weighs in.

New cases of polio have emerged in the US and Israel, and the disease has been detected in wastewater in the UK. Oliver Rosenbauer, the spokesperson for polio eradication at the World Health Organization, explains how some of them could be linked to the oral vaccine that's long been used to prevent the disease.

The WorldAugust 24, 2022 · 3:00 PM EDT

A worker walks alongside the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant's array of digester eggs in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Officials revealed last month that polio has shown up in New York sewers, suggesting it is spreading, Aug. 12, 2022.

John Minchillo/AP/File photo

The United States saw its first polio case in nearly a decade this summer. The virus has also infected several children in Israel this year and has been found in London's wastewater. Genetic analysis has linked some of these cases to the oral vaccine long used to prevent polio.

To discuss the situation, The World's host Carol Hills spoke with Oliver Rosenbauer, the spokesperson for polio eradication at the World Health Organization, who joined from Geneva. 

Carol Hills: So, how does the oral polio vaccine actually cause polio?Oliver Rosenbauer: Well, they're not exactly caused by the polio vaccine itself. What is happening is the oral polio vaccine that is being used — and that's been used all over the world billions of times, and through which polio has been almost globally eradicated — it contains a live vaccine virus. It's a weakened vaccine virus, but it's live. So, what happens is that you give this vaccine to a child and that child develops immunity, and then the vaccine virus basically multiplies in that child's gut and is actually excreted in the stool, just like a normal polio virus would. And it can actually spread to other children. In 99% of the cases, that's actually a good thing, because you passively immunize other children that way. The problem is, if you allow this vaccine virus to continue to spread in the community and to continue to circulate, and if that happens, it can become, again, genetically changed from a weakened vaccine virus to a strong vaccine virus, able to cause paralysis. And that's what is known as a vaccine-derived polio virus.What's interesting is this oral vaccine has been around for decades. Why are we seeing these cases pop up now?Well, I think we're not just seeing these cases pop up now. We've been seeing them pop up throughout the use of this particular vaccine. It's just that it's popped up in a place like New York, which hasn't had polio in a long, long time. The risk of these things emerging are very, very low. And the reason why we use this particular vaccine is that it has the ability to interrupt person-to-person spread. There's another vaccine that is used. It's called the inactivated polio vaccine — or the Salk vaccine, if you like — and it's injected. It contains an inactivated polio vaccine and it offers excellent personal protection. But the drawback on that is [that] it offers very limited ability to be able to stop person-to-person spread of the virus, and in an eradication effort, that's what we're really after.So, is there any risk of a widespread outbreak in places like the US and the UK of polio now? I mean, should we be worried?I would say the following: I think both the UK and the US did a fantastic job in identifying a public health risk. You know, there's one case in New York, which is a paralytic case — one person paralyzed by the disease, which is tragic — but for the most part, the virus has been only isolated in sewage systems. So, the local authorities have identified this risk and are, right now, doing all the right things in addressing this public health risk. And the name of the game now is to make sure that you do not allow polio to reestablish a foothold in your community. And to do that, you make sure that your population is fully vaccinated.There's been such a push to get people vaccinated against COVID-19, with messaging about how the vaccine is safe and effective, there's no risk of getting COVID-19 from the vaccine. Do you worry about how this news about polio might impact people's decisions to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or other viruses?We're worried about any person who is not vaccinated against polio, because then that individual is not protected. And certainly the vaccine that's being used in the United States, the inactivated polio vaccine, it's one of the safest, if not the safest vaccine that is out there. It is a killed vaccine virus, so there is absolutely no chance of catching polio from it. There is no chance that you would see these vaccine-derived polio cases arise with inactivated polio vaccines. The only thing that it will do, is to protect you from lifelong paralysis. And, most of us have forgotten what polio actually is. It is a devastating, deadly disease. It is an extremely painful disease. And it is so easily preventable, and so, if it's a matter of getting one injection in the arm, which is completely safe, and then be sure and be assured that you're not going to catch this disease, I think it's worth doing, definitely.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

Related: An upcoming vaccine drive in Afghanistan is an ‘unprecedented opportunity’ to eradicate polio, UN official says

Why are new polio cases popping up in the US, UK and Israel? A polio eradication expert weighs in.

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>Why are new polio cases popping up in the US, UK and Israel? A polio eradication expert weighs in.

New cases of polio have emerged in the US, UK and Israel. Oliver Rosenbauer, the spokesperson for polio eradication at the World Health Organization, explains how some of them could be linked to the oral vaccine that's long been used to prevent the disease.

The WorldAugust 24, 2022 · 3:00 PM EDT

A worker walks alongside the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant's array of digester eggs in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Officials revealed last month that polio has shown up in New York sewers, suggesting it is spreading, Aug. 12, 2022.

John Minchillo/AP/File photo

The United States saw its first polio case in nearly a decade this summer. The virus has also infected several children in Israel this year and has been found in London's wastewater. Genetic analysis has linked some of these cases to the oral vaccine long used to prevent polio.

To discuss the situation, The World's host Carol Hills spoke with Oliver Rosenbauer, the spokesperson for polio eradication at the World Health Organization, who joined from Geneva. 

Carol Hills: So, how does the oral polio vaccine actually cause polio?Oliver Rosenbauer: Well, they're not exactly caused by the polio vaccine itself. What is happening is the oral polio vaccine that is being used — and that's been used all over the world billions of times, and through which polio has been almost globally eradicated — it contains a live vaccine virus. It's a weakened vaccine virus, but it's live. So, what happens is that you give this vaccine to a child and that child develops immunity, and then the vaccine virus basically multiplies in that child's gut and is actually excreted in the stool, just like a normal polio virus would. And it can actually spread to other children. In 99% of the cases, that's actually a good thing, because you passively immunize other children that way. The problem is, if you allow this vaccine virus to continue to spread in the community and to continue to circulate, and if that happens, it can become, again, genetically changed from a weakened vaccine virus to a strong vaccine virus, able to cause paralysis. And that's what is known as a vaccine-derived polio virus.What's interesting is this oral vaccine has been around for decades. Why are we seeing these cases pop up now?Well, I think we're not just seeing these cases pop up now. We've been seeing them pop up throughout the use of this particular vaccine. It's just that it's popped up in a place like New York, which hasn't had polio in a long, long time. The risk of these things emerging are very, very low. And the reason why we use this particular vaccine is that it has the ability to interrupt person-to-person spread. There's another vaccine that is used. It's called the inactivated polio vaccine — or the Salk vaccine, if you like — and it's injected. It contains an inactivated polio vaccine and it offers excellent personal protection. But the drawback on that is [that] it offers very limited ability to be able to stop person-to-person spread of the virus, and in an eradication effort, that's what we're really after.So, is there any risk of a widespread outbreak in places like the US and the UK of polio now? I mean, should we be worried?I would say the following: I think both the UK and the US did a fantastic job in identifying a public health risk. You know, there's one case in New York, which is a paralytic case — one person paralyzed by the disease, which is tragic — but for the most part, the virus has been only isolated in sewage systems. So, the local authorities have identified this risk and are, right now, doing all the right things in addressing this public health risk. And the name of the game now is to make sure that you do not allow polio to reestablish a foothold in your community. And to do that, you make sure that your population is fully vaccinated.There's been such a push to get people vaccinated against COVID-19, with messaging about how the vaccine is safe and effective, there's no risk of getting COVID-19 from the vaccine. Do you worry about how this news about polio might impact people's decisions to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or other viruses?We're worried about any person who is not vaccinated against polio, because then that individual is not protected. And certainly the vaccine that's being used in the United States, the inactivated polio vaccine, it's one of the safest, if not the safest vaccine that is out there. It is a killed vaccine virus, so there is absolutely no chance of catching polio from it. There is no chance that you would see these vaccine-derived polio cases arise with inactivated polio vaccines. The only thing that it will do, is to protect you from lifelong paralysis. And, most of us have forgotten what polio actually is. It is a devastating, deadly disease. It is an extremely painful disease. And it is so easily preventable, and so, if it's a matter of getting one injection in the arm, which is completely safe, and then be sure and be assured that you're not going to catch this disease, I think it's worth doing, definitely.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

Related: An upcoming vaccine drive in Afghanistan is an ‘unprecedented opportunity’ to eradicate polio, UN official says

Axios learned about the “difficult negotiations” between the United States and Israel on concessions to Iran

The US is trying to convince Israel that no additional concessions will be made to Iran on the Iranian nuclear program. The Israeli authorities believe that the US and the EU have crossed the established red lines, and the draft agreement differs from the text of 2015 756610507930087.jpg 673w” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

The governments of the United States and Israel are engaged in difficult and intense negotiations regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program, Washington is convincing Jerusalem that there are no new concessions to Tehran. Axios writes about this, citing unnamed US and Israeli officials.

US officials insist that the outcome of negotiations with Iran is not yet determined, and that an agreement is not inevitable. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart Eyal Hulata will meet in Washington next week to discuss this issue. Israeli officials have said they expect tougher discussions.

“We weren't convinced by [US arguments]. We are very concerned,— underlined one of them Axios.

At the same time, Israel does not intend to bring the situation to a public confrontation with the United States on the issue of Iran's nuclear program, sources assured the publication. One of them recalled that the previous Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2015 “ruined relations” because of this. with the USA. He said the agreement would be “a horror to the planet”; and “a dream for Iran”.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program was agreed in 2015 after years of negotiations between Russia, the US, France, the UK, China and Iran. It provided for the lifting of sanctions against the Islamic Republic in exchange for limiting its nuclear program and guarantees that it would not develop nuclear weapons. In May 2018, the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, decided to withdraw from the JCPOA and restore US sanctions on Iran. In turn, Tehran began to gradually reduce its obligations under the agreement, including those related to uranium enrichment indicators and the number of centrifuges. The Joe Biden administration has indicated interest in returning to the deal.

During the negotiations on the FDP, the European Union proposed lifting sanctions against 17 banks of Iranian banks and 150 economic structures, lifting the ban on the export of Iranian oil (120 days after the signing, Tehran will be able to export 2.5 million barrels of oil daily), and returning $ 7 billion to the Islamic Republic frozen funds. The EU has also proposed easing sanctions against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Politico reported in mid-August, citing sources. Washington then assured that they did not change their rules and standards on the issue of sanctions.

Read on RBC Pro Pro “Mom, why are we so poor?”: How to answer uncomfortable questions from children Instructions Pro Q-commerce: what awaits fast delivery services Articles Pro Why the benefits of veganism are often exaggerated and why it is dangerous Articles Pro Abibas: what an import-substituting brand should be Articles Pro Calorie counting does not help maintain weight. What to do instead Articles Pro How to return money or goods that are stuck in Europe How To Pro Why bonds remained a “safe haven” amid the collapse of the markets Articles Pro How hard the sanctions hit the goods market 18+ Articles Iran dropped its demand for the US to lift sanctions against the IRGC (they were a key obstacle to reaching an agreement). At the same time, Tehran demanded that compensation be included in the agreement in case the United States again withdraws from the agreement. CNN sources suggested that such an initiative “may slow things down, but there seems to be more momentum now than last year.” outside the scope of the 2015 treaty and does not correspond to the red lines, the adherence to which was spoken in the administration of US President Joe Biden. “In the current situation, it is time to leave the table [negotiations]. Everything else is a signal to Iran about its weakness,»,— he called.

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The Foreign Ministry announced the “unconstructive” position of Israel on Ukraine

Tel Aviv has taken an incorrect position in relation to Russia's actions in Ukraine, an official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry believes. According to her, the position in support of the exclusively Kyiv regime “raised questions” in Moscow .jpg” alt=”The Foreign Ministry announced Israel's “unconstructive” position on Ukraine” />

Israel's anti-Russian position on the situation around Ukraine is not constructive and biased, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on the Soloviev channel Live».

“You said our relationship has become more complicated. No, they didn't get more complicated <…> It did not happen on its own, and certainly not with the involvement of our side. Unfortunately, in recent months we have heard absolutely non-constructive and, most importantly, biased rhetoric from Tel Aviv at the level of statements, — she said.

According to Zakharova, the country's leadership allowed itself “anti-Russian assessments” situations. “The position was framed exclusively in the pro-Ukrainian direction, and not in terms of the Ukrainian people, but in the direction of supporting only and exclusively the Kyiv regime, and it was absolutely in tune with this strange and wild voice of the West. It really raised questions, — said the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

After the start of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, Israel condemned Moscow's actions, and then-Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called them “an attack and a serious violation of international order.” On July 1, he took over as head of the Israeli government, after the resignation of Naftali Bennett and the self-dissolution of parliament. At the same time, the country did not join the sanctions against Russia, although Lapid said that Israel refuses to be a “bypass road” to bypass.

Russia's Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar criticized the military operation in March. Shortly after the outbreak of hostilities, he called on all religious figures to use their influence to “stop the madness” that is taking place on the territory of Ukraine.

Moscow calls the goal of the special operation to protect the population of Donbass from the actions of Kyiv. President Vladimir Putin has also said that Russia is seeking to “denazify” and “demilitarization” Ukraine.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky suggested in mid-March that Jerusalem could be a potential venue for talks with Putin. He also offered then-Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to mediate negotiations with Moscow, Israeli radio station REKA reported, citing sources in Israel and Ukraine. Bennett met with Putin in Moscow in early March and also called him and Zelensky.

In early July, the Israel Hayom (Israel Today) newspaper reported, citing a member of the Lapid delegation with which the new prime minister went to Paris, that Israel was no longer involved in resolving the conflict with Ukraine.

On July 21, the Russian Ministry of Justice asked to liquidate the representative office in the country of the Jewish agency Sokhnut, which is engaged in repatriation to Israel and assistance to repatriates. According to a Jerusalem Post source, the authorities suspected the organization of illegally collecting information about Russian citizens. According to the newspaper, «Dry» received a demand to cease activities amid growing tensions in relations between the two countries due to Israel's position in relation to the Russian special operation in Ukraine, its support for Kyiv and President Zelensky. Israeli Prime Minister warned that the closure of “Sohnut” will have a negative impact on the relationship between the two countries.

Later, the Jerusalem Post also reported that the agency secretly began to prepare for relocation to Israel, since the management of the “Sohnut” found it impossible to resolve the legal status in this situation.

The Kremlin said that the claims against “Dry” are in the legal field. “This is due to compliance with Russian law. For reasons, please contact the Ministry of Justice, which made this decision,»,— Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Lapid instructed the Foreign Ministry to develop policy measures in the event of the liquidation of the Jewish agency in Russia, Israel Hayom reported.

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Israel warns of the consequences of closing the Jewish Agency in Russia

Prime Minister Yair Lapid stressed that relations between Russia and Israel are important for the country's leadership. Israel also intends to send a delegation to Russia to negotiate on the issue of “Sohnut” ” alt=”Israel warned about the consequences of closing the Jewish Agency in Russia” />

The closure of the Jewish Agency in Russia (Sokhnut; deals with repatriation to Israel and assistance to repatriates) will affect relations between Russia and Israel, said Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

During the discussion of the situation under his chairmanship, Lapid said that relations with Russia are important to Israel. In addition, he stressed, the Jewish community in Russia is large, and its problems are discussed at all official negotiations with Moscow.

“The Prime Minister instructed the legal delegation to be ready to travel to Moscow as soon as Russian approval of the negotiations is received, and to make every effort to maximize the legal dialogue, while at the same time continuing to promote high-level political dialogue on this issue,” & mdash; The report says.

On July 21, the Ministry of Justice asked for the liquidation of the Russian representative office of the Jewish Agency ANO Sokhnut. It has offices and partners in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Samara, Rostov, Pyatigorsk, Yekaterinburg, Irkutsk, Novosibirsk and Khabarovsk.

The Jerusalem Post later reported, citing sources, that the organization was developing a plan to relocate the office. According to the publication, “the agency has secretly launched a plan to move its operations from Russia to Israel and remotely control the repatriation process.” It clarified that the agency's management cannot yet regulate its legal status, therefore, it is working on the creation of a remote appeal mechanism.

The Kremlin argued that the demand to liquidate the Jewish Agency was related to compliance with Russian law and had nothing to do with a possible brain drain. Prior to this, the Israeli channel «13Reshet» claimed that the requirement of the Ministry of Justice is connected with the departure of businessmen and scientists from Russia to Israel, because of which “the scientific and business potential of Russia is significantly reduced.”

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US and Israel sign joint declaration on Iran’s nuclear program during Biden’s visit

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>US and Israel sign joint declaration on Iran's nuclear program during Biden's visit

During President Joe Biden's trip to the Middle East, he's signed a joint declaration with Israel to counter Iran's nuclear program. The World's host Marco Werman speaks with Sina Azodi, a nonresident fellow with the Atlantic Council in Washington, about what the move means.

The WorldJuly 14, 2022 · 4:15 PM EDT

US President Joe Biden and Israel's Prime Minister Yair Lapid, sign a security pledge at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Jerusalem, July 14, 2022.

Atef Safadi/Pool via AP

US President Joe Biden signed a joint declaration with Israel's leaders on Thursday while visiting Jerusalem. The document was concerned wtih keeping Iran — an adversary of Israel — from acquiring a nuclear weapon. So far in Israel, Tehran and its nuclear program have loomed large in much of the discussions during Biden's trip.

Israel’s caretaker prime minister, Yair Lapid, pushed Biden to go beyond his official stance on Iran, and called on all nations to act if Iranians continue “to develop their nuclear program.”

Adopting different approaches, Israel has conducted covert sabotage and assassination operations to slow Tehran down, while the US has insisted on diplomacy and restoring the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that former US President Donald Trump withdrew from.

During a news conference in Jerusalem, Biden also added that he was “not going to wait forever” for Iran to rejoin those talks.

Sina Azodi, a nonresident fellow with the Atlantic Council in Washington, joined The World's host Marco Werman to discuss the context of the latest situation.

Related: President Biden’s visit to Israel focuses on regional security

Marco Werman: What does it mean for Iran, especially as multiparty talks for a revived nuclear deal are still alive?Sina Azodi: I think that for Iran, it was to be expected. But I think what really distinguishes this statement, or President Biden's remarks, is the fact that President Biden announced that he will not take the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) off of the Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list, even if it comes at the cost of the collapse of the talks, which is quite interesting, because he will be risking a conflict in the region should Israel decide to take action against Iranian nuclear facilities, which by default will drag the United States into the conflict.So, the IRGC, as you pointed out, is designated as a terrorist group by the US, right?Yes, it is. But what really annoys Iran is the FTO designation, which is a State Department list. And it's quite irritating for Iranians.So, why is Iran such a high priority for Biden on this visit?I think the nuclear program is a great deal for the United States. We have seen that Iran has expanded its nuclear program. It has more knowledge, and that knowledge is not reversible. So, you cannot really take that knowledge out of the brains of Iranians. They have more technologies that are closer to a nuclear weapon. They are very close to this threshold of having enough fissile material for one single nuclear weapon. Now, I have to emphasize that this is not the same as having a bomb. It's enough fissile material to produce a bomb, should Iran decide to go for a bomb. So, the US is increasingly concerned with the new technologies that the Iranians have acquired over time, new centrifuges that Iranians have introduced. And for Israel, that's a security threat.So, I want to get back to those Iranian capabilities in a moment. But first, for Biden's trip in the Middle East, what have you seen in Iranian state media or from Iranian officials about his trip? What are they focused on?I mean, if you're sitting in Tehran and you see that a bunch of countries are joining their forces to basically defend against the backbone of your defense strategy, well, it's quite concerning from a Iranian standpoint. I personally think it would increase Iran's insecurities in the region because, as I said, the pact is supposed to counter the threat of the Iranian ballistic missiles program, which Iranians have for years invested in.As you said, Sina, Iran now has the fissile material to get to the next step in bombmaking. How likely is it that Iran will race to get the bomb if these negotiations fail and there is no nuclear deal?The security ramifications will be severe for Iran. One, there is a good chance that the United States would, in support of Saudi Arabia, deploy nuclear weapons to the region, which Iran would see as a threat, and it's a quite valid threat. Saudi Arabia may just go ahead and develop its own nuclear arsenal, which is another concern for Iran. So, I believe that unless there's a major shift in the security environment, I don't think Iran will go ahead and weaponize its nuclear program. However, that being said, I think Iran has always been interested in having the option of having a nuclear weapon.So, when the original Iran nuclear deal, the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action]was struck under Biden's former boss, President [Barack] Obama, it was a long negotiation, but the doors were open with possibility. How different would you say the path of negotiation has been for Biden's White House?I believe it was two months ago that it came out that Biden had refused to commit his own administration to stick to the agreement. This is quite worrisome for Tehran, that it enters negotiations, it opens up its economy again and then, there's a good possibility that the sanctions will come into place. When Obama was in power, he was able to come to this understanding that Iran has its own legitimate rights. And the people who are in Tehran, also believe that we have to negotiate directly with the United States.And you're saying this is the thin ice that Biden's White House has had to operate on with Iran, kind of a lack of faith that signatures really have permanence.The saying goes, "You fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me." I think this is the view in Tehran.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.AP contributed to this report.

President Biden’s visit to Israel focuses on regional security 

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>President Biden’s visit to Israel focuses on regional security 

​​​​​​​The top agenda item for Biden is regional security. Scheduled meetings with Israeli officials focus on strengthening the regional relationships that Israel has forged with some of its Muslim neighbors. 

The WorldJuly 13, 2022 · 5:45 PM EDT

US President Joe Biden greets Holocaust survivors, Rena Quint and Gita Cycowicz, in the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, in Jerusalem, July 13, 2022.

Debbie Hill/UPI Pool photo 

President Joe Biden first traveled to Israel back in 1973 when he was a newly elected member of the US Senate.

On Wednesday, he arrived for his 10th trip there, and his first as president.

The top agenda item for Biden is regional security. Scheduled meetings with Israeli officials focus on strengthening the regional relationships that Israel has forged with some of its Muslim neighbors.

Israel has new diplomatic relationships with some of their Arab regional neighbors Bahrain, the UAE, Morocco and Sudan.

Reporter Yardena Schwartz, who has been following Biden's visit in Jerusalem, said this is a focus for the president: “One of his goals in coming here is to help Israel and its new allies in the region develop a defense system to counter Iran with the help of Israeli technology.”

Israel isn't the only country in the region that's worried about Iran and its proxies, Schwartz said.

Also, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is also high on the president’s agenda.

Biden will visit the occupied Palestinian territories in East Jerusalem and the West Bank during his Middle Eastern trip.

The US hopes to reset the relationship between itself and Palestinians which suffered under former President Donald Trump.

Dalia Hatuqa, a Palestinian journalist, noted that Biden will only spend about four hours talking with Palestinians, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

To listen to her interview on The World, click on the player below: 

“Speaking to lots of Palestinians on the ground, a lot of them say that they're under no illusion that the visit will achieve a political breakthrough,” she said.

Thus far, Biden hasn’t reversed the major changes that Trump implemented by closing down the Palestinian representative office in Washington, DC, shutting down the US consulate to Palestinians in Jerusalem, and also cutting financial support to the PA and funding to the UN refugee agency for Palestinians, she said.

Even so, Palestinians would like to see a number of things happen, she said, including pressure on Israel to stop settlements and to give slain journalist Shireen Abu Akleh’s family justice.

“I think that Palestinians might talk about continued settlement activities in the West Bank and how they dim any prospect for a viable Palestinian state coexisting alongside Israel.”

Satanovsky revealed Biden’s true plan in Israel and Saudi Arabia

He will try to glue Middle East alliances together

In the near future, US President Joe Biden will visit Israel and Saudi Arabia, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in turn, will travel to Iran, where will meet with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Political scientist Yevgeny Satanovsky believes that Biden's travel plans are obvious.

Photo: AP

In a conversation with Tsargrad Satanovsky noted that he himself would have to be asked about the agenda of the Russian president's visit to Iran. However, according to the political scientist, the plan of the Americans is “quite clear.” The expert predicts that Biden will attempt to glue the Middle East alliances so that oil can go to the world market, ousting Russia from it.

Satanovsky believes that the American president will at least seek this from the Saudis. The expert added that Biden would have to pay the Saudis in some way, so the US president would most likely talk about the great role America played in mediating between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

According to the political scientist, Israel, under In this case, it will be able to protect Saudi Arabia from Iran if something happens, since the US itself is leaving the Middle East. Due to the fact that America will not be there, Satanovsky believes that it is useless to hope for it, and this is clear to Israelis, Saudis and anyone else.

Read also:The political scientist told why a personal meeting between Putin and Erdogan is needed

Источник www.mk.ru

Axios learned about Israel’s ban on deliveries of Spike missiles to Ukraine

These missiles are manufactured in Germany under an Israeli license, and Tel Aviv must give permission for Spike supplies to third countries, in particular, Ukraine. Israel asked the United States about this, but was refused learned about Israel's ban on supplying Ukraine with Spike missiles” />

Tel Aviv, in response to a request from Washington, refused to supply Kyiv with lethal military equipment, including Spike missiles, which are produced using Israeli technology in Germany, the publication reports Axios with reference to US and Israeli officials.

According to Axios, about two weeks ago, Israeli Defense Ministry Director General Amir Eshel held talks with Pentagon officials, in particular with US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl. He asked Eshel about the supply of weapons to Ukraine, including Spike missiles produced in Germany under an Israeli license. According to the license, Israel must give permission for the transfer of these missiles to a third party.

According to the sources of the publication, Eshel refused, and also clarified that Israel would send only non-lethal military equipment to Ukraine. An Israeli Axios official elaborated on the reason for taking this position: if Russian soldiers are killed by Israeli weapons, Russia could harm Israel's security interests in Syria.

The interlocutors of the publication noted that the issue of the supply of missiles was not discussed at the meeting of Israeli and US defense ministers, Benny Gantz and Lloyd Austin, which took place on May 19. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Gantz confirmed during the talks that Israel supports Ukraine, but will help in humanitarian matters, including mediation in negotiations, as well as the supply of non-lethal weapons in order to pursue its security interests in the Middle East, which was also a topic conversation between Gantz and Austin.

Axios notes that on the day of Gantz's visit to the United States, Israel sent 2,000 helmets and 500 protective vests to Ukraine.

Tel Aviv has repeatedly offered to mediate in settlement of disagreements between Moscow and Kyiv. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was the first foreign leader to fly in for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the start of the sting operation. The meeting took place on March 5.

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What’s at stake for Israel and Gulf Arab countries in light of the Abraham Accords?

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>What's at stake for Israel and Gulf Arab countries in light of the Abraham Accords?

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has visited Bahrain as part of a push to boost regional ties with Gulf Arab countries following the signing of the Abraham Accords in 2020. The World's host Marco Werman spoke with Hussein Ibish, a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, about what's a stake for the regional partnerships.

The WorldFebruary 16, 2022 · 3:45 PM EST

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks to a group of Bahraini businesspeople during an official visit to Manama, Bahrain, Feb. 15, 2022.

Ilan Ben Zion/AP

Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was in Bahrain on Tuesday, in the first trip of its kind made by an Israeli prime minister to the Gulf island nation. The meeting follows the signing of the Abraham Accords in 2020 to normalize relations between the two countries. Now, their leaders are strengthening those ties with economic and security pacts.

Related: Palestinians worry about the impact of the Abraham Accords. They say it's time to elect new leaders.

Bennett said that Israel is forging a regional “ring of stability” with its Arab allies. The countries are hoping to send a united message of solidarity to their shared regional archrival Iran.

During his 24-hour visit, Bennett was welcomed by Bahrain’s king and crown prince. He also also visited the US Navy’s 5th Fleet stationed in Bahrain.

Related: Israel hoping to boost regional security with Abraham Accords

To check in on how the accords are going, The World's host Marco Werman spoke with Hussein Ibish, a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.

Marco Werman: Remind us, first of all, Hussein, what the impetus was for the Abraham Accords when they were signed in 2020.Hussein Ibish: The UAE, which initiated the whole thing and announced first, I think had a lot of different ideas in mind. It sees Israel as a natural partner on many fields, in high-tech, in R&D [research and development]. They need the same kind of military technology, signals, intel, anti-missile imaging, electronic warfare, because they're both small countries with small populations, but big footprints. For Bahrain, which joined immediately after, it's a pretty simple list. They want to make common cause with Iran's most robust military enemy in the region, the country that takes the battle to Iranian proxies in Syria and Iraq, and sometimes even Lebanon. So, for them, that makes sense, because they feel an existential threat from Iran. And also they're interested, like the UAE, and getting closer to the US and in promoting the idea of a kind of multicultural, multireligious regional order of tolerance — but not democracy.So, would you say the Abraham Accords are effective in actually bringing Israel closer to its Gulf neighbors?I think without a doubt. I mean, Bennett, who just went to Bahrain, went to UAE in December, and they are seriously working on a number of combined initiatives. The UAE is trying to access Israeli defense systems, but the attacks by Houthi rebels from Yemen, the missile attacks into Abu Dhabi and the UAE have prompted closer cooperation, more technology transfer, etc. In fact, with every new security threat, the countries are moving closer together.I wonder how these Gulf Arab states see the Palestinian question — really, the elephant in the room? Are these states working to improve Israel's relationship with the Palestinians, or has there been a kind of complete separation of these issues?There has been a separation of the issues. I think right now for the UAE especially, we're in a honeymoon phase, right? I think for all three countries, it's a honeymoon and it won't last. These countries have entered into mutual agreements that look good from all sides — except the Palestinian side — but they look good for all the principles, except for this: They have different visions of the future in the long run. Certainly, I think the UAE — and less Bahrain, because Bahrain doesn't get involved in too many regional issues itself — but I think the UAE is still well aware that it's not going to live in a very secure neighborhood until the Palestinian issue is resolved. You know, what they've done is they've put it aside, but they have made it clear to the Israelis that they're still committed to a two-state solution. Palestinians are very angry, and I think it's probably true that their ultimate independence is not going to be furthered by any of this Gulf-Israeli relationship.So, on paper, the Abraham Accords is an agreement between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain and the US, but many see these relationships as a means for Saudi Arabia and Israel to have an unofficial relationship. Do you think that's true and how exactly does this unofficial relationship work? What would be the benefit for each side?Not really. If there's any overlap with Saudi Arabia, it's that Bahrain, which is almost a protectorate of Saudi Arabia since 2011, is sort of a test balloon for the Saudis to see how it goes. I think the UAE-Israel relationship is really independent of the Saudis entirely. But I think that the situation the Saudis are in, is that they find many of the same potential benefits that their smaller neighbors do in developing a potential open relationship with Israel. But they also have concerns that those smaller countries don't have. They have a regional Arab leadership role. They have a global Islamic leadership role that they have to protect, and they have a much larger population, more than 30 million people. It's a very big country and they have really complex politics. So, they'd also have a domestic political situation to be concerned about in a way that the other two countries don't.So, that's Saudi Arabia. Hussein, where do you think these relationships that we know about established by the Abraham Accords are headed into the future?They're still in the honeymoon phase, but over time, they're going to realize that, while they share a lot of common interests, especially Israel and the UAE, I mean, down to things like what kind of technologies they want to develop and what kind of attitude they want to take towards high-tech and even maybe space exploration, things like that, there's still a lot of differences. They don't have the same national interests. They they are all status quo powers and they share some concerns. But I think the difference is they're going to become clearer over time.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.AP contributed to this report.

Israel strikes Syrian air defense systems

Photo: pixabay.com

The Israeli army reported a strike on Syrian air defense systems in response to an anti-aircraft missile launch.

It is specified that earlier in the city of Umm al-Fahm, which is located in the West Bank, an air raid alarm went off. The reason was the launch of an anti-aircraft missile from Syria.

In turn, the Syrian military said that the country's air defense systems repel a missile strike over Damascus.

air”, located in Syria. Anti-aircraft installations and radars were also subjected to shelling. Such actions were a response to the launch of an anti-aircraft missile from the territory of Syria,” the press service of the Israeli army noted.

Источник www.mk.ru

Israel offers Lebanese army aid

Israel offered the Lebanese army the necessary assistance against the backdrop of an acute economic crisis in the country, which only makes Hezbollah stronger.

5,000 troops have recently left the army amid the crisis, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said, according to local media.

Israel may also be concerned about Lebanon's interaction with Hezbollah. In September last year, a truckload of Iranian diesel fuel crossed the border from Syria to Lebanon. The delivery was arranged by Hezbollah to alleviate a severe fuel shortage in crisis-hit Lebanon.

The delivery violated U.S. sanctions imposed on Tehran after former President Donald Trump pulled America out of the nuclear deal between Iran and the world's powers three years ago.

Источник www.mk.ru

Trump sent the former prime minister of Israel

He could not forgive the fact that the politician congratulated Biden on his victory

Former US President Donald Trump was very offended by former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu because he congratulated with the victory of his rival Joe Biden in the US presidential election.

Photo: AP

As reported by Axios, Trump was hurt by the fact that Bibi was among the first to congratulate Biden on his victory.

The former head of the White House accused Netanyahu of ingratitude, stressing that he had done a lot for him in his time. p>

“Bibi could have kept silent. He made a terrible mistake, “the former US President said.

Trump added that he has not communicated with Netanyahu since then. “Fuck it …” – said in the hearts of the politician.

Note that Trump has not officially admitted defeat in the presidential election. Moreover, he refused to attend Biden's inauguration.

At the same time, the ex-president has repeatedly hinted that he could again compete for the post of head of state in 2024.

In turn, Axios journalists found out that the ex-president is not entirely right, Netanyahu was not the first to congratulate Biden on his victory. He spoke only 12 hours after the American television channels announced the victory of the politician in the elections.

Источник www.mk.ru

Israel and Britain oppose the development of nuclear weapons in Iran

Photo: pixabay.com

The Foreign Ministers of Britain and Israel announced that they will work” round the clock “to prevent Iran become a nuclear power.

Earlier, Liz Truss and Yair Lapid wrote a joint article for the British press, in which they talked about the Iranian nuclear program. The material was published in the Telegraph newspaper.

“In order to prevent the Iranian regime from ever becoming a nuclear power, we are ready to work around the clock. Now the world community needs to work closely together to thwart Tehran's ambitions, “the foreign ministers added.

Recall that on Monday, Israel and Britain will sign an agreement on cybersecurity, technology, defense and trade.

Источник www.mk.ru

Russia and Israel to create a working group to combat COVID-19

The Israeli and Russian sides held talks in Moscow. They discussed coronavirus strains and vaccinations, and also agreed to create a working group on COVID-19 epidemiology

Russian Rospotrebnadzor and the Israeli Ministry of Health will create a special working group to more effectively counter coronavirus, Rospotrebnadzor said in a statement .

“ Given the large amount of accumulated data in Russia and Israel on countering COVID-19, an agreement was reached to create a special working group on the epidemiology of the new coronavirus infection '', & mdash; noted there.

The parties agreed on this during a meeting in Moscow between the head of the service Anna Popova and members of the Israeli delegation, which included the head of the headquarters for combating COVID-19, Professor Salmon Zarka and the director of the Department of Laboratory Diagnostics of the Ministry of Health of Israel, Yishai Ruth.

The meeting participants exchanged up-to-date data on the situation in Russia and Israel, as well as on the strains circulating in their territories.

“ The partners noted the wide coverage of testing for a new coronavirus infection in Russia and the high level of laboratory diagnostics, which makes it possible to obtain the results of a PCR test within 24 hours, as well as to carry out sequencing of strains, which is especially important in connection with the emergence of new variations of coronaviruses, '' & mdash; Rospotrebnadzor said in a statement.

Vaccination and its role in stopping the pandemic were also discussed at the meeting. “ It was thanks to large-scale vaccinations that Israel managed to avoid a lockdown during the fourth wave of the rise in the incidence (almost 70% of the total population is vaccinated in the country), '' & mdash; highlighted in the service.

In October, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visited Russia at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin. Bennett reported after the meeting that they discussed the situation in Syria, as well as the Iranian nuclear program. According to the prime minister, the meeting was “ great. ''

A few days later, it became known that Israel would start allowing tourists vaccinated by Sputnik V into the country. Initially, it was planned that the relief will begin in November, but later it was postponed until December. In this case, those who enter will still need to do a PCR test before the flight, as well as one more & mdash; after. In addition, tourists will need to undergo a serological test for the presence of antibodies.

In addition, the Israeli Minister of Health Nitzan Horowitz invited his Russian colleague, the head of the Ministry of Health, Mikhail Murashko, to form a working group to discuss the issue of mutual recognition of vaccination certificates.

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Pompeo controversially brings the RNC to Jerusalem; China’s lockdown in Xinjiang; Thunberg concludes gap year

Pompeo controversially brings the RNC to Jerusalem; China's lockdown in Xinjiang; Thunberg concludes gap year

By
The World staff

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conclude joint statements to the press, in Jerusalem, Israel, Aug. 24, 2020.

Credit:

Debbie Hill/Pool via AP

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Lebanese confront devastation after massive Beirut explosion

Lebanese confront devastation after massive Beirut explosion

The scene of a massive explosion that hit Beirut, Lebanon, flattening much of the city’s port, damaging buildings across the capital and sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky, Aug. 5, 2020.

Credit:

Bilal Hussein/AP

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The massive explosion at Beirut’s port on Tuesday rippled across the Lebanese capital, killing at least 100 people, wounding more than 4,000 thousand and leaving entire city blocks flooded with glass and rubble.

Smoke was still rising from the port, where a towering building of silos was half destroyed, spilling out mounds of grain. Hangars around it were completely toppled. Much of the downtown area was littered with damaged vehicles and debris that had rained down from the shattered facades of buildings.

An official with the Lebanese Red Cross said at least 100 people were killed and more than 4,000 were wounded. Some officials said the toll could rise further.

It was unclear what caused the blast, which appeared to have been triggered by a fire and struck with the force of an earthquake. It was the most powerful explosion ever seen in the city, which was split in half by the 1975-1990 civil war and has endured conflicts with neighboring Israel and periodic bombings and terror attacks.

Scores of people were missing, with relatives pleading on social media for help locating loved ones. An Instagram page called “Locating Victims Beirut” sprang up with photos of missing people, and radio presenters read the names of missing or wounded people throughout the night. Many residents moved in with friends or relatives after their apartments were damaged and treated their own injuries because hospitals were overwhelmed.

Lebanon was already on the brink of collapse amid a severe economic crisis that has ignited mass protests in recent months. Its health system is confronting a coronavirus surge, and there were concerns the virus could spread further as people flooded into hospitals.

Related: Lebanon protests called out corruption. Now it’s about survival.

There was no evidence the explosion was an attack. Instead, many Lebanese blamed it on decades of corruption and poor governance by the entrenched political class that has ruled the tiny Mediterranean country since the civil war.

Saint George University Hospital, one of the major private hospitals in Beirut which had been receiving COVID-19 patients, was out of commission Wednesday after suffering major damage. A physician who identified himself as Dr. Emile said 16 staff and patients, including four nurses, died in the blast. He declined to give his last name out of privacy concerns.

The blast also wounded a number of UN peacekeepers stationed in the area. Bangladesh said 21 members of its Navy were wounded, one critically. Italy, one of the top contributors to the UNIFIL mission, said one of its soldiers was wounded.

Interior Minister Mohammed Fahmi told a local TV station that it appeared the blast was caused by the detonation of more than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been stored in a warehouse ever since it was confiscated from a cargo ship impounded in 2013.

Explosives experts and video footage suggested the ammonium nitrate may have been ignited by a fire at what appeared to be a nearby warehouse containing fireworks.

Ammonium nitrate is a common ingredient in fertilizer as well as explosives. It was used in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, when a truck bomb containing 4,800 pounds of fertilizer and fuel oil ripped through a federal building, killing 168 people and wounding hundreds more.

Security forces cordoned off the port area on Wednesday as a bulldozer entered to help clear away debris. A young man begged troops to allow him to enter and search for his father, who has been missing since the blast occurred. He was directed to a port official who wrote down his details.

In Beirut’s hard-hit Achrafieh district, civil defense workers and soldiers were working on locating missing people and clearing the rubble. At least one man was still pinned under stones from an old building that had collapsed. Volunteers hooked him up to an oxygen tank to help him breathe while others tried to free his leg.

The blast severely damaged numerous apartment buildings, potentially leaving large numbers of people homeless at a time when many Lebanese have lost their jobs and seen their savings evaporate because of a currency crisis. The explosion also raises concerns about how Lebanon will continue to import nearly all of its vital goods with its main port devastated.

Prime Minister Hassan Diab, in a short televised speech, appealed for international aid, saying: “We are witnessing a real catastrophe.” He reiterated his pledge that those responsible for the disaster will pay the price, without commenting on the cause.

There is also the issue of food security in Lebanon, a tiny country already hosting over 1 million Syrians displaced by that country’s nearly decade-long civil war.

Drone footage shot Wednesday by The Associated Press showed that the blast tore open a cluster of towering grain silos, dumping their contents into the debris and earth thrown up by the blast. Some 80% of Lebanon’s wheat supply is imported, according to the US Agriculture Department.

Estimates suggest some 85% of the country’s grain was stored at the now-destroyed silos.

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency quoted Raoul Nehme, the minister of economy and trade, as saying that all the wheat stored at the facility had been “contaminated” and couldn’t be used. But he insisted Lebanon had enough wheat for its immediate needs and would import more.

Several countries have pledged aid in the aftermath of the blast, with even Israel offering humanitarian assistance. The two countries have been in conflict for decades, and Israel fought a 2006 war with the Hezbollah militant group.

Lebanon’s economic crisis is rooted in decades of systemic corruption by political factions that exploit public institutions for the benefit of their supporters. Decades after the civil war, residents endure frequent power outages and poor public services.

Lebanese have held mass protests calling for sweeping political change since last autumn but few of their demands have been met as the economic situation has steadily worsened.

Beirut’s port and the customs authority are notoriously corrupt. Like nearly all public institutions, they are controlled by Lebanon’s political factions, including Hezbollah.

By Bassem Mroue and Zeina Karam/AP

Masked and gloved, Italy joins nations creeping out of lockdown

Masked and gloved, Italy joins nations creeping out of lockdown

A rally organized by small business owners stops by the Rialto bridge to commemorate the health care workers who died amid the outbreak, as Italy begins a staged end to a nationwide lockdown due to a spread of the coronavirus, in Venice, Italy, May 4, 2020.

Credit:

Manuel Silvestri/Reuters

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Italy, among the world’s hardest-hit countries, on Monday started to relax the longest lockdown in Europe, allowing about 4.5 million people to return to work after nearly two months at home. Construction work can resume and relatives can reunite.

“I woke up at 5.30 a.m. I was so excited,” said Maria Antonietta Galluzzo, a grandmother taking her three-year-old grandson for a walk in Rome’s Villa Borghese park, the first time they had seen each other in eight weeks.

“He has grown by this much,” she said, holding up three horizontal fingers.

Spain, Nigeria, Azerbaijan, Malaysia, Israel, Tunisia and Lebanon were also among countries easing some coronavirus restrictions, variously reopening factories, construction sites, parks, hairdressers and libraries. In the United States, around half of states partially reopened their economies over the weekend.

Related: Parents refuse to send children to school in Denmark as coronavirus restrictions lift

The easing comes as the daily rate of new COVID-19 cases worldwide has been sitting in a 2%-3% range over the past week, down from a peak of around 13% in mid-March.

Global cases have risen to around 3.52 million, according to a Reuters tally based on government data. However, cases may cause only mild symptoms and not everyone with symptoms is tested, while most countries only record hospital deaths.  

“We still have to be skeptical about the numbers we get,” said Peter Collignon, an infectious diseases physician and microbiologist at Canberra Hospital. “We could easily have a second or a third wave because a lot of places aren’t immune.”

Phased reopening

Countries are only gradually reopening due to such fears and warnings from officials not to lower their guard.

In the United States, even as warm weather led sunseekers to flock to green spaces in Manhattan, an epidemic epicenter, President Donald Trump warned the national death toll — now at almost 68,000 — could rise to 100,000.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said his country, where the novel coronavirus has killed almost 29,000 people and over a thousand new cases are reported daily, was still in the “full throes of the pandemic.”

Friends in the country are still barred from meeting up, most shops must stay shut until May 18, and schools, cinemas and theaters remain closed indefinitely.

“It is good to be back, but the world has totally changed,” said Gianluca Martucci, pulling up the shutters on the small warehouse of a catering business in the backstreets of Rome.

“The government has been very wise so far, but I worry that we might be starting up a little too soon … I don’t know if the country could survive a second wave.”

Israel, after weeks of strict closures, has also started to relax curbs in a phased manner. Schools for children in grades 1-3, aged six to nine, have reopened, following the opening of some stores in late April.    

Masks, gloves, distance

People around the world are adjusting to a new normal.

A continuous hum of cars, buses and motorbikes pointed to an increase in early morning commuting in Rome, but traffic was noticeably lighter than before the virus struck and those out appeared to be following the guidelines on social distancing.

In Beirut, restaurants began to reopen but were removing chairs and tables in compliance with government rules that they do not fill beyond 30% of their capacity.

“This is a great step,” said Ralph Malak, a bar owner. “It’s very good for the staff to start to get motivated again, to come back to work, and for the economy to start moving.”

Hairdressers were allowed to partially reopen, with barbers operating on certain days and women’s salons on others.

Iran, which has reported more than 6,000 deaths, is due to reopen mosques in 132 cities on Monday. Worshippers must maintain social distancing, wear masks and gloves and not stay for more than half an hour, the ISNA news agency reported.

War of words on virus

While stringent measures to curb the outbreak have often been broadly backed by the public, governments are counting the economic price.

Factory activity was ravaged across the world in April, business surveys showed, and the outlook looked bleak as shutdowns froze global production and slashed demand. As a result, the global economy is expected to suffer its steepest contraction on record this year.

“This past week saw the amazing coincidence of the publication of the deepest quarterly economic decline in the Western world in almost 100 years and the conclusion to the strongest monthly equity rally in more than 30 years,” said Erik Nielsen, chief economist at UniCredit.

Escalating tensions between the United States and China over the origin of the pandemic drove down stock markets and oil prices on Monday as investors feared a new trade war.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday there was “a significant amount of evidence” that the virus emerged from a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan. He did not provide evidence or dispute an earlier US intelligence conclusion that the virus was not man-made.

An editorial in China’s Global Times, run by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, said he was “bluffing” and called on Washington to present its evidence.

By Crispian Balmer and Jonathan Allen/Reuters

Leon Bridges – Shine lyrics

[Verse]
Lord, don’t remember my sins
My sins from my youth
Don’t remember my sins
And father, please elude my transgressions
Let them blow in the wind like sand
Cause all of my deeds, you know them

[Chorus]
Use me as your vessel
I want to shine like the candle
Shine like the burning candle in the room

[Verse]
Lord, don’t remember, ooh, don’t remember
And father, please elude my transgressions
Let them blow in the wind like sand
Cause all of my deeds, you know them

[Chorus]
Use me as your vessel
I want to shine (shine) like the candle
Shine like the burning candle in the room
Don’t remember me as a carnal man walking
I don’t wanna be like the Israel children

[Outro]
Lord, don’t remember, ooh, don’t remember
My sins from my youth

Gedalya – Son Of Israel lyrics

The seed of pride I planted
Grew and then i cut it down
A feeling that was in me since i was a kid
Took a hold on solid ground

From my mind to my heart
From my words to my deeds
I’m a son of israel
I’m a son of israel

I was born on the day i went free
I saw the liberty of life
Without a burden then my eyes could see
A holy way to use my might

From my mind to my heart
From my words to my deeds
I’m a son of israel
I’m a son of israel

Took advantage of my birthrite
Remembered a forgotten vow
A heritage from my father
Who broke away from the crowd

From my mind to my heart
From my words to my deeds
I’m a son of israel
I’m a son of israel

Kendrick Lamar – FEAR. lyrics

[Intro]
Poverty’s paradise
I don’t think I could find a way to make it on this earth
I’ve been hungry all my life

[Voicemail: Carl Duckworth]
What’s up, family?
Yeah, it’s your cousin Carl, man, just givin’ you a call, man
I know you been havin’ a lot on yo mind lately
And I know you feel like, you know
People ain’t been prayin’ for you
But you have to understand this, man, that we are a cursed people Deuteronomy 28:28 says, “The Lord shall smite thee with madness And blindness, and astonishment of heart”
See, family, that’s why you feel like you feel
Like you got a chip on your shoulder
Until you finally get the memo, you will always feel like that…

[Bridge: Charles Edward Sydney Isom Jr. & Kendrick Lamar]
Why God, why God do I gotta suffer?
Pain in my heart carry burdens full of struggle
Why God, why God do I gotta bleed?
Every stone thrown at you restin’ at my feet
Why God, why God do I gotta suffer?
Earth is no more, won’t you burn this muh’fucka?
I don’t think I could find a way to make it on this earth
(Reversed)

[Verse 1]
I beat yo ass, keep talkin’ back
I beat yo ass, who bought you that?
You stole it, I beat yo ass if you say that game is broken
I beat yo ass if you jump on my couch
I beat yo ass if you walk in this house
With tears in your eyes, runnin’ from Poo Poo and Prentice
Go back outside, I beat yo ass, lil’ nigga
That homework better be finished, I beat yo ass
Your teachers better not be bitchin’ ’bout you in class
That pizza better not be wasted, you eat it all
That TV better not be loud if you got it on
Them Jordans better not get dirty when I just bought ’em
Better not hear ’bout you humpin’ on Keisha’s daughter
Better not hear you got caught up
I beat yo ass, you better not run to your father
I beat yo ass, you know my patience runnin’ thin
I got buku payments to make
County building’s on my ass, tryna take my food stamps away
I beat yo ass if you tell them social workers he live here
I beat yo ass if I beat yo ass twice and you still here
Seven years old, think you run this house by yourself?
Nigga, you gon’ fear me if you don’t fear no one else

[Chorus]
If I could smoke fear away, I’d roll that mothafucka up
And then I’d take two puffs
I’m high now, I’m high now
I’m high now, I’m high now
Life’s a bitch, pull them panties to the side now
I don’t think I could find a way to make it on this earth

[Verse 2]
I’ll prolly die anonymous, I’ll prolly die with promises
I’ll prolly die walkin’ back home from the candy house
I’ll prolly die because these colors are standin’ out
I’ll prolly die because I ain’t know Demarcus was snitchin’
I’ll prolly die at these house parties, fuckin’ with bitches
I’ll prolly die from witnesses leavin’ me falsed accused
I’ll prolly die from thinkin’ that me and your hood was cool
Or maybe die from pressin’ the line, actin’ too extra
Or maybe die because these smokers are more than desperate
I’ll prolly die from one of these bats and blue badges
Body-slammed on black and white paint, my bones snappin’
Or maybe die from panic or die from bein’ too lax
Or die from waitin’ on it, die ’cause I’m movin’ too fast
I’ll prolly die tryna buy weed at the apartments
I’ll prolly die tryna defuse two homies arguin’
I’ll prolly die ’cause that’s what you do when you’re 17
All worries in a hurry, I wish I controlled things

[Chorus]
If I could smoke fear away, I’d roll that mothafucka up
And then I’d take two puffs
I’ve been hungry all my life
I’m high now, I’m high now
I’m high now, I’m high now
Life’s a bitch, pull them panties to the side now
Now…

[Verse 3]
When I was 27, I grew accustomed to more fear
Accumulated 10 times over throughout the years
My newfound life made all of me magnified
How many accolades do I need to block denial?
The shock value of my success put bolts in me
All this money, is God playin’ a joke on me?
Is it for the moment, and will he see me as Job?
Take it from me and leave me worse than I was before?
At 27, my biggest fear was losin’ it all
Scared to spend money, had me sleepin’ from hall to hall
Scared to go back to Section 8 with my mama stressin’
30 shows a month and I still won’t buy me no Lexus
What is an advisor? Somebody that’s holdin’ my checks
Just to fuck me over and put my finances in debt?
I read a case about Rihanna’s accountant and wondered
How did the Bad Girl feel when she looked at them numbers?
The type of shit’ll make me flip out and just kill somethin’
Drill somethin’, get ill and fill ratchets with a lil’ somethin’
I practiced runnin’ from fear, guess I had some good luck
At 27 years old, my biggest fear was bein’ judged
How they look at me reflect on myself, my family, my city
What they say ’bout me reveal if my reputation would miss me
What they see from me would trickle down generations in time
What they hear from me would make ’em highlight my simplest lines

[Verse 4]
I’m talkin’ fear, fear of losin’ creativity
I’m talkin’ fear, fear of missin’ out on you and me
I’m talkin’ fear, fear of losin’ loyalty from pride
‘Cause my DNA won’t let me involve in the light of God
I’m talkin’ fear, fear that my humbleness is gone
I’m talkin’ fear, fear that love ain’t livin’ here no more
I’m talkin’ fear, fear that it’s wickedness or weakness
Fear, whatever it is, both is distinctive
Fear, what happens on Earth stays on Earth
And I can’t take these feelings with me, so hopefully they disperse
Within fourteen tracks, carried out over wax
Searchin’ for resolutions until somebody get back
Fear, what happens on Earth stays on Earth
And I can’t take these feelings with me, so hopefully they disperse
Within fourteen tracks, carried out over wax
Wonderin’ if I’m livin’ through fear or livin’ through rap
Damn

[Bridge: Bēkon]
God damn you, God damn me
God damn us, God damn we
God damn us all

[Outro: Carl Duckworth]
Verse 2 says, “You only have I known of all the families
Of the Earth, therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities”
So until we come back to these commandments
Until you come back to these commandments
We’re gonna feel this way, we’re gonna be under this curse Because He said He’s gonna punish us
The so-called Blacks, Hispanics, and Native American Indians
Are the true children of Israel
We are the Israelites, according to the Bible
The children of Israel, He’s gonna punish us for our iniquities
For our disobedience, because we chose to follow other gods
That man chasten his son, so the Lord, thy God, chasten thee
So, just like you chasten your own son
He’s gonna chastise you because He loves you
So that’s why we get chastised
That’s why we’re in the position that we’re in
Until we come back to these laws, statutes, and commandments And do what the Lord says, these curses is gonna be upon us We’re gonna be at a lower state in this life that we live
Here in today, in the United States of America
I love you, family, and I pray for you
God bless you, Shalom

Siouxsie and the Banshees – Israel (Album Version)

Little orphans in the snow
With nowhere to call a home
Start their singing
Waiting through the summertime
To thaw your hearts in wintertime
That’s why they’re singing

Waiting for a sign to turn blood into wine
The sweet taste in your mouth — turned bitter in its glass
Israel… in Israel
Israel… in Israel

Shattered fragments of the past
Meet in veins on the stained glass
Like the lifeline in your palm
Red and green reflects the scene
Of a long forgotten dream
There were princes and there were kings

Now hidden in disguise — cheap wrappings of lies
Keep your heart alive with a song from inside

Even though we’re all alone
We are never on our own when we’re singing

There’s a man who’s looking in
And he smiles a toothless grin
Because he’s singing
See some people shine with glee
But their song is jealousy
Their hate is clanging — maddening
In Israel… will they sing Happy Noel
Israel… in Israel
Israel… in Israel
In Israel will they sing Happy Noel

Tedashii – Emmanuel

[Intro]
O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear

[Chorus 1: Tedashii]
Yeah, yeah yeah
It’s right there on the money that in God we trust
Momma said "forget that money cause if God wit us"
I could go beat the block
Like I don’t need the block
I could go bleed the block
Boy, I could lead the block

[Verse 1: Tedashii]
Every winter, bring the heat ’cause it was cold
I didn’t wanna do it, we was all alone
Every Christmas, Santa missed us, we was broke
Now I get this, gotta get this on my own
Every holiday was not a holiday
Every holiday nobody got a break
Momma workin’ just to fight to find her faith
Every hurt I felt it fell down on my face

[Interlude]
Until the son of God appear

[Verse 2: Tedashii]
Every Christmas, pray that God will work the reaper
I gotta kill it for my people, I know
Livin’ like we all just hit the lotto
And is it [?] like me
Yeah, you made it through
God is with us, that’s the truth, I’m the proof
He made me new, yeah
I be out watchin’
When while I’m shoppin’
Wish I could cop it
Regardless, he got me
God is still with us, I promise, there’s no other option

[Chorus 2: Tedashii]
It’s right there on the money that in God we trust
Momma said "forget that money cause if God wit us"
I could go beat the block
Like I don’t need the block
I could go bleed the block
Boy, I could lead the block
It’s right there on the money that in God we trust
Momma said "forget that money cause if God wit us"
I could go beat the block
Like I don’t need the block
I could go bleed the block
Boy, I could lead the block

[Outro]
O come, O come, Emmanuel…

Musicals – Jesus Christ Superstar: Superstar lyrics

[Verse 1]
Judas:
Mm, everytime I look at you
I don’t understand
Why you let the things you did
Get so out of hand
You’d have managed better
If you’d had it planned
Now why’d you choose such a backwards time
And such and strange land

[Verse 2]
If you’d come today
You could have reached a whole nation
Israel in 4 BC
Had no mass communication

[Pre-Chorus]
(Don’t you get me wrong) Don’t you get me wrong
(Don’t you get me wrong, now) Don’t you get me wrong
(Don’t you get me wrong) Don’t you get me wrong
(Don’t you get me wrong, now) Don’t you get me wrong

(Only want to know) Only want to know
(Only want to know, now) Only want to know
(Only want to know) Only want to know
(Only want to know, now) I only want to know

[Chorus]
Choir:
Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ
Who are you, what have you sacrificed
Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ
Who are you, what have you sacrificed
Jesus Christ, Superstar
Do you think you’re what they say you are?
Jesus Christ, Superstar
Do you think you’re what they say you are?

[Verse 3]
Judas:
Tell me what you think about your friends at the top
Now who’d you think, besides yourself
Was the pick of the crop?
Buddha was he where it’s at?
Is he where you are?
Could Mohammed move a mountain or was that just PR?
Did you mean to die like that
Was that a mistake or
Did you know your messy death would be a record breaker?

[Pre-Chorus]
(Don’t you get me wrong) Don’t you get me wrong
(Don’t you get me wrong, now) Don’t you get me wrong
(Don’t you get me wrong) Don’t you get me wrong
(Don’t you get me wrong, now) Don’t you get me wrong

(Only want to know) Only want to know
(Only want to know, now) Only want to know
(Only want to know) Only want to know
(Only want to know, now) I only want to know

[Chorus]
Choir:
Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ
Who are you, what have you sacrificed
Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ
Who are you, what have you sacrificed
Jesus Christ, Superstar
Do you think you’re what they say you are?
Jesus Christ, Superstar
Do you think you’re what they say you are?

Musicals – Jesus Christ Superstar: Judas’ Death lyrics

Judas:
My God, I saw him
He looked three-quarters dead
And he was so bad
I had to turn my head
You beat him so hard
That he was bent and lame
And I know who everybody’s
Going to blame
I don’t believe he knows
I acted for our good
I’d save him all the suffering
If I could
Don’t believe our good
Save him if I could

Annas:
Cut the confessions
Forget the excuses
I don’t understand why
You’re filled with remorse
All that you’ve said
Has come true with a vengeance
The mob has turned against him
You’ve backed the right horse

Caiaphas:
What you have done
Will be the saving of Israel
You’ll be remembered forever for this
And not only that
You’ve been paid for your efforts
Pretty good wages
For one little kiss

Judas:
Christ!
I know you can’t hear me
But I only did what you wanted me to
Christ!
I’d sell out the nation
For I have been saddled
With the murder of you
I have been spattered
With innocent blood
I should be dragged
Through the slime and the mud
I have been spattered
With innocent blood
I should be dragged
Through the slime and the slime and the slime and the mud

I don’t know how to love him
I don’t know why he moves me
He’s a man
He’s just a man
He’s not a King
He’s just the same
As anyone I know
He scares me so
When he’s cold and dead
Will he let me be?
Does he love?
Does he love me too?
Does he care for me?
Oh, God

My mind is in darkness now
Oh my God I am sick
I’ve been used
And you knew
All the time
God I’ll never know
Why you chose me for your crime
Your foul bloody crime
You, you have murdered me
You have murdered me
Murdered me
Murdered me
Murdered me

Crowd/choir:
So long, Judas poor old Judas
So long, Judas poor old Judas
So long, Judas poor old Judas

Andrew Lloyd Webber – Superstar lyrics

Everytime I look at you don’t understand
Why you let the things you did get so out of hand?
Youd have managed better if you’d had it planned
Whyd you choose such a backward time and such a strange land?
If you’d come today you could have reached a whole nation
Israel in 4 bc had no mass communication
Don’t you get me wrong – I only want to know
Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ
Who are you? What have you sacrificed?
Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ
Who are you? What have you sacrificed?
Jesus Christ Superstar
Do you think you’re what they say you are?
Jesus Christ Superstar
Do you think you’re what they say you are?
Tell me what you think about your friends at the top
Whod you think besides yourselfs the pick of the crop?
Buddha was he where it’s at? Is he where you are?
Could Mahomet move a mountain or was that just pr?
Did you mean to die like that?
Was that a mistake or
Did you know you messy death would be a record breaker?
Don’t you get me wrong – I only want to know
Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ
Who are you? What have you sacrificed?
Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ
Who are you? What have you sacrificed?
Jesus Christ Superstar
Do you think you’re what they say you are?
Jesus Christ Superstar
Do you think you’re what they say you are

Tyler Joseph – O Come, O Come Emmanuel Lyrics

[Intro: David McCreary]
Coming to the stage now
Is our new singer, first time on television, though you’ve probably heard of him
He is the president of the [?] day fan club
Actually I hear that Sinatra has a restraining order against him
Please, help me welcome him to the stage, Tyler Joseph

[Tyler Joseph]
Oh no, no

[Verse 1]
O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appears
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

No, no
Oh no

[Verse 2]
O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

Oh no, no, no
Oh no, no, no, no, no

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

[Outro: David McCreary & Tyler Joseph]
Tyler Jefferson everybody, round of applause
Wow, that was dark
That was dark
You do realise that it’s Christmas
The carols great
Carol is greats, but so is Betty but she doesn’t make me want to cry
I hear you’re going on tour
Yeah, my band and I
Oh your band, let me stop you right there
Elvis never needed a band
I’m not Elvis
You didn’t need to tell me twice
Tyler Rae-Jepsen everybody
Thank you, so Merry Christmas Tyler
Get off the stage
Ma, I’m tryna
Bring back Tyler, he’s got something, am I right

B.o.B – Mercy Me (Elements Album)

[Verse 1: B.o.B]
Yo, I don’t care who listening
I find it kind of sickening
We send billions to Israel
But shit on Flint, Michigan
A country founded off of immigrants
Now we want to build a wall to keep out all the immigrants
What you witnessing
Military exercises demonstrated on citizens
Anti-war petitioning
Drone strike incoming
Homeless vets decorate the street, can’t get no income in
How do you save a world that can’t be saved?
How do you raise a child that won’t behave? (Preach)
Waking up from the lies, I feel betrayed
I’m guessing the rabbit hole we dug was actually just a grave
Skeletons in the closet, they fossilized
Niggas want the truth sugar coated and carmelized
Life is like a science fiction book where the author dies
Well I ain’t dead yet cuz the hit hadn’t been authorized

[Chorus]
I hear freedom ringing but I won’t answer the phone
Because the people on the other end will not leave us alone
Mr. Officer I come in peace, just know I brought my piece
And if we can’t settle this peacefully, the violence will increase, yeah
I don’t condone racial divide, I won’t be cloned
I will survive, I walk alone
Look in my eye
So give me justice, give me peace
Or give my freedom back at least
So we can meet up in the street, you decide

[Verse 2: B.o.B]
Who you bow to?
Elected councils, full of scoundrels
Who now rule, the world around you
While wearing houseshoes
They clown you
You wear your house, or your whole house full
Regimes don’t die; they change they name and the accounts move
Life goes on with or without you
Words fall on deaf ears, I think they soundproof
The sound of justice makes us cringe
But how can we stand the sound?
You can’t even stand your ground
A noose around your neck, the sharpest minds will cut them down
Caught inside the web, the internet is tightly wound
Every day a hundred k feel more like a couple thou’
What’s a dollar to a pound?
What’s a pound to the crown?
Look, ay
I’m sick of waiting, man this flag i’m sick of waving
No more participating
Time to form our own nation
You call it integration, I call that discrimination
They say it’s risk i’m taking
I call it decision making

[Chorus]
I hear freedom ringing but I won’t answer the phone
Because the people on the other end will not leave us alone
Mr. Officer I come in peace, just know I brought my piece
And if we can’t settle this peacefully, the violence will increase, yeah
I don’t condone racial divide, I won’t be cloned
I will survive, I walk alone
Look in my eye
So give me justice, give me peace
Or give my freedom back at least
So we can meet up in the street, you decide

[Verse 3: B.o.B]
You not an activist, you’re more like a re-activist
False flags, crisis actors trying to re-enact some shit
Stories don’t match, I never believe half the shit
While they’re sneaking pass a law we’re easily distracted, ay
Trying to get through to these dense fucks
You’re too stupid to insult
I say the shit anybody can prove
I don’t know, guess if it rhymes it’s got to be true
Look, cheap tricks and fabricated speeches
Blonde hair, blue eyes – they even fabricated Jesus
Just look at the salary paid to teachers
It’s obvious they don’t want us to graduate into leaders
Clearly, in court videos don’t prove much
Why is news cameras in the courtroom, huh?
Even if it’s just a game, I hear the signal louder
I think I got the message, they don’t really care about us

[Chorus]
I hear freedom ringing but I won’t answer the phone
Because the people on the other end will not leave us alone
Mr. Officer I come in peace, just know I brought my piece
And if we can’t settle this peacefully, the violence will increase, yeah
I don’t condone racial divide, I won’t be cloned
I will survive, I walk alone
Look in my eye
So give me justice, give me peace
Or give my freedom back at least
So we can meet up in the street, you decide

[fade to interlude]
Oohh, oohh, ooh[x4]

Jesus Christ Superstar – Superstar lyrics

[Verse 1]
Judas:
Mm, everytime I look at you
I don’t understand
Why you let the things you did
Get so out of hand
You’d have managed better
If you’d had it planned
Now why’d you choose such a backwards time
And such and strange land

[Verse 2]
If you’d come today
You could have reached a whole nation
Israel in 4 BC
Had no mass communication

[Pre-Chorus]
(Don’t you get me wrong) Don’t you get me wrong
(Don’t you get me wrong, now) Don’t you get me wrong
(Don’t you get me wrong) Don’t you get me wrong
(Don’t you get me wrong, now) Don’t you get me wrong

(Only want to know) Only want to know
(Only want to know, now) Only want to know
(Only want to know) Only want to know
(Only want to know, now) I only want to know

[Chorus]
Choir:
Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ
Who are you, what have you sacrificed
Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ
Who are you, what have you sacrificed
Jesus Christ, Superstar
Do you think you’re what they say you are?
Jesus Christ, Superstar
Do you think you’re what they say you are?

[Verse 3]
Judas:
Tell me what you think about your friends at the top
Now who’d you think, besides yourself
Was the pick of the crop?
Buddha was he where it’s at?
Is he where you are?
Could Mohammed move a mountain or was that just PR?
Did you mean to die like that
Was that a mistake or
Did you know your messy death would be a record breaker?

[Pre-Chorus]
(Don’t you get me wrong) Don’t you get me wrong
(Don’t you get me wrong, now) Don’t you get me wrong
(Don’t you get me wrong) Don’t you get me wrong
(Don’t you get me wrong, now) Don’t you get me wrong

(Only want to know) Only want to know
(Only want to know, now) Only want to know
(Only want to know) Only want to know
(Only want to know, now) I only want to know

[Chorus]
Choir:
Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ
Who are you, what have you sacrificed
Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ
Who are you, what have you sacrificed
Jesus Christ, Superstar
Do you think you’re what they say you are?
Jesus Christ, Superstar
Do you think you’re what they say you are? 