News Sparks: Israeli PM Bennett Made First Official Visit to UAE; Languages Other than English and Spanish Spoken at Home in the US Continue to Increase; Plants “Scream”

News Sparks: Israeli PM Bennett Made First Official Visit to UAE; Languages Other than English and Spanish Spoken at Home in the US Continue to Increase; Plants “Scream”

By Yehudit Garmaise

Prime Minister Bennett is Welcomed in Dubai, in First Diplomatic Visit by an Israeli Leader

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, the first Israeli leader ever to do so, met with United Arab Emirates (UAE) Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the UAE’s top diplomat, more than a year after the normalization of relations between the two countries that took place with the Abraham Accords on Sept. 15, 2020.

After the singing of the Accords, which were brokered, in large part, by former President Donald Trump and former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Bibi had had repeatedly tried to schedule a visit to the UAE, but after he was forced to cancel many times, he never made the trip.

“I appreciate your warm hospitality,” said Prime Minister Bennett in Abu Dhabi today about the trip, whose aim was to further expand ties between Israel and the UAE. “This is a wonderful reception.

The UAE foreign minister is the brother of the UAE’s leader, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, whom Bennett will meet Monday morning.

“I am very excited to be here, on the first official visit by an Israeli leader here,” said Bennett, who was greeted at the airport by a ceremonial, formal greeting, in which dozens of local officials stood at attention as he and the foreign minister walked down a blue carpet. “We expect to strengthen the relationship between the countries.

“The ties are excellent and diverse, and we must continue to nurture and strengthen them, and build a warm peace between the two nations,” Prime Minister Bennett said in a video statement from the tarmac at Ben Gurion Airport.

Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco later also joined the Abraham Accords, and other countries were also rumored to be in talks, although none, so far, have come to fruition.

Search and Rescue Efforts Continue in Areas Ravaged by Tornadoes

After what may be the deadliest tornado ever recorded took place on Friday and Shabbos, the number of deaths, which are thought to be 94, remained the same as yesterday, although Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said that he was mindful that "those numbers are going to continue to grow as we go house to house, home to home."

Although the search and rescue efforts continue after the twister, which barreled through the ground for more than 100 miles, no one has been found alive since 3pm yesterday.

Thousands of homes have been decimated, said the Gov. Beshear, who said, with shock, that “parts of the state are just gone.”

"I wish I understood why we've been hit by the pandemic, historic ice storms, flooding, and now the worst tornado in our history," said Beshear, who said that President Biden has granted Kentucky an immediate federal state of emergency.

The US federal government has been delivering food and water and providing shelter, power, and other necessary aid to the 31,000 residents who initially not have power, said Homeland Security chief Alejando Mayorkas. The number of people without power is down to 5,600, but some fear utilities in hard-hit Bowling Gree will take weeks to return.

Six people who hailed from both Illinois and Missouri died while working in Edwardsville, Ill., in an Amazon warehouse, when the roof collapsed and a football-field sized wall caved in.

At least four people were killed in Tennessee, two in Arkansas and two in Missouri.

"We're going to grieve together, we're going to dig out and clean up together and we will rebuild and move forward together," said Beshear, who explained that the state’s biggest challenge now is to organize and distribute the many donated supplies to help the state's residents.

Gov. Beshear has deployed more than 300 National Guardsmen to help with the task, and the governor said the state parks are open for residents to take shelter.

Census Bureau Determines Most Common Languages Spoken in US: After English and Spanish

After English and Spanish, which is the second-most spoken language in the US, Mandarin and Cantonese are the next most common languages spoken nationwide, according to The US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), which regularly conducts survey to determine facts about the lives of the 329.5 million people who live in the US.

With each new wave of American immigrants, the number of languages spoken here increases.

While approximately 78% of Americans who are five and older reported in 2019, speaking only English at home, regardless of their country of birth, the remaining 22%, reported speaking a language other than English at home.

After Spanish, which 61.6% of the non-English speakers in the US reported speaking, the next largest group was comprised of 5.2% of the non-English speakers, who speak Mandarin and Cantonese. Tagalog, a language of the Philippines, comprise 2.6% of the foreign language speakers at home, and 2.3% speak Vietnamese.

Then, the languages for whom fewer than 2% of the non-English speakers use at home were, in descending order: Arabic, French, and Louisiana French, Korean, Russian, Haitian Creole, and German, was the lowest number reported: 1.3%.

The number of Yiddish speakers in America, which was not reported in the census, is likely something like 0.4% of those who do not speak English at home.

President Biden told National Security Team: “Be prepared” if Diplomatic Talks Fail to Stop Iran from Developing Nukes

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that President Joe Biden continues to believe the best way to stop Iran’s nuclear program is through pursuing diplomatic channels, but he has told his National Security Team: “Be Prepared” if those talks do not work.

After months of indirectly negotiating with Iran to stop it nuclear armament, President Biden appears to be worried that all the diplomatic talks will not amount to much.

"Given the ongoing advances in Iran’s nuclear program the president has asked his team to be prepared in the event that diplomacy fails," Psaki told reporters. "We must turn to other options and that requires preparations.

"We have made clear to Iran that the only path out of sanctions is through nuclear compliance," Psaki said, adding that the Biden administration has kept in place all the sanctions that were set into place by former President Donald Trump.

"If diplomacy cannot get on track soon and if Iran’s nuclear program continues to accelerate then we will have no choice but to take additional measures to further restrict Iran’s revenue-producing sectors" the chief White House spokesperson said.

To show Iranian officials that the US is serious in its intent to economically burden Tehran and to ensure that existing sanctions are being enforced, a delegation of treasury officials who are led by the director for the Office of Foreign Assets Control, Andrea Gacki, will head to the United Arab Emirates next week.

Plants Emit Ultrasonic “Screams,” when Stems are Cut, or they are Deprived of Water

Tomato plants and tobacco plants emit a high frequency distress sounds when they undergo environmental stress, such as having their stems cut, or being deprived of water, according to a recent study conducted by a team of scientists at Tel Aviv University.

The researchers conducted a study of the plants by depriving them of water and by cutting their stems and then recording their responses with a microphone that was placed 10 centimeters away.

While plants that are not threatened with any imminent dangers produce less than one ultrasonic sound per hour, when under distress, the tomato and tobacco plants in the study began to emit ultrasonic sounds between 20 and 100 kilohertz, which the scientists believed conveyed their distress to other nearby plants and organisms.

When a tomato plant’s stem was cut, the researchers found it emitted 25 ultrasonic distress sounds over the course of an hour, according to Live Science.

Tobacco plants sent out 15 distress sounds when their stems were cut.

Last year, another study found that some plants, after having their leaves plucked or even touched, registered pain by releasing a foul-tasting chemical across their leaves, believed to ward off insects.

“These findings can alter the way we think about the plant kingdom, which has been considered to be almost silent, until now,” the group wrote in a paper that summarized their findings that they posited could help farmers better identify potential problems, such as in intense wind and rain, with their crops.

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