22 January 2018 - 6 Shevat 5778 - ו' שבט ה' אלפים תשע"ח
Israeli woman dies in Mumbai E-mail

A 23-year-old Israeli woman died in Colaba in southern Mumbai on 15 March after suddenly taking ill, police said.

The woman, Sarit Pafta, and her boyfriend had arrived in India on tourist visas on 10 March and were staying at a hotel. Pafta, of the central Israeli city of Petah Tikva, was traveling in India with her boyfriend on a post-army trip – the country is a popular destination for young Israelis after finishing their IDF service.

According to Pafta’s boyfriend, she had felt unwell and told him she felt suffocated. With the help of hotel staff, he took her to a private hospital, but she died before she could be admitted, police said, adding that a case of accidental death was registered as the exact cause of death was not yet known.

Police did not suspect foul play, but a further probe was underway. Israel’s Foreign Ministry said the cause of death was not immediately clear and that it was awaiting the results of an autopsy.

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Philippine President to visit Israel E-mail

Israeli news outlet Haaretz has quoted an official from Israel’s Foreign Ministry saying that representatives from the Philippine and Israeli governments are currently discussing the date of President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Israel in May.

Although Duterte has made some uncomfortable and somewhat controversial comments since he became President last year, the two countries have strong business and diplomatic relations.

Israeli firms are active participants in the ongoing Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program. In November last year, Philippine defence and military officials visited Israel for a live-fire demonstration of Israeli missile and howitzer system, conducted jointly by Israel Military Industries and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)-ELTA.

President Duterte had previously likened himself to Hitler when referring to his war to eradicate drugs from his country, however he later apologised for his comments, saying that he deeply regretted offending the Jewish community. He even visited the synagogue in Manila and met with the Philippine Jewish community.

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“HIPPY” education programme set for Asia launch E-mail

An Israeli initiative that empowers parents to take the reins in educating their preschoolers is about to expand to China and South Korea.

The Home Instruction for Parents and Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) programme is owned by the Israeli tech transfer firm Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and aims to equip parents to become their child’s first teacher.

The Chinese and South Korean programmes are the result of an agreement signed in March by Yissum with Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network (ASDAN) China and South Korea’s Lolo Education Services Co. (LES).

HIPPY’s early-learning initiative helps parents around the globe to prepare children for success in elementary school, a statement from Yissum said. Paraprofessional home visitors work directly with parents, who then conduct the educational activities they have learned with their three-, fourand five-yearolds.

The typical HIPPY curriculum consists of storybooks and activity books. The activities introduce skills in a progressive manner, focusing on language development, perceptual and sensory discrimination, logical thinking and problem-solving.

Prior to the deal with the Chinese and Korean organisations, HIPPY was operating 440 programme sites reaching 20,000 families in 10 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Israel, Liberia, New Zealand and the US. HIPPY-inspired programmes are also running in Denmark, Finland, Holland, Sweden and Turkey.

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Thailand ranked world’s happiest nation by Bloomberg E-mail

Thailand has been ranked “the least miserable country” in the world on Bloomberg’s latest annual Misery Index, published in March.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office, Lt Gen Sansern Keawkamnerd, said the country’s Prime Minister, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, was pleased with the news and thanked the relevant government agencies for their hard work to make Thailand “the happiest country in the world”. Their contributions have enabled Thailand’s unemployment and inflation rates to remain relatively stable over the past three years.

The spokesperson added that the Thai government will continue to improve the overall economic well-being of the nation by attracting more investments, improving the management of migrant labour, promoting Thai exports and boosting domestic tourism.

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Scholarship programmes to be offered to Indian nationals E-mail

Celebrating 25 years of its multi-faceted relationship with India, Israeli Government is offering partial scholarships and training to Indian nationals in its academic programmes, according to a media release published in March by the Embassy of Israel in India.

“Through academic and governmental programmes, Indian students and professionals are offered unique scholarships and training programmes in Israel, ranging from Cyber Technology to Agriculture, Education, Women Empowerment and Startups,” said the release.

Elaborating on the programmes, Israel’s Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon said: “Higher education is one of the up-and-coming fields of cooperation between India and Israel. Education is the foundation for every other field India and Israel have identified as of mutual interest and benefit.”

“Programmes such as these bring together the brilliant minds of India and Israel, create more bridges between our peoples and provide a golden opportunity to create joint solutions to the challenges shared by India, Israel and the entire world,” he added.

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