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Djerba, Tunisia, August 22, 2016: Behind the Great Synagogue that anchors this tiny Tunisian Jewish community, cracked tombstones litter the perimeter of the cemetery but it was not vandals who broke them.
Hundreds of Jews who moved away over the past five decades have taken their relatives’ remains with them, leaving only these slabs of Hebrew-inscribed marble behind.
“There are bones that are 80, 90 years old. When you lift them up, they can break,” said Yossif Sabbagh. The 42-year-old local help exhume about a dozen bodies each year for transport to Israel, where the majority of Tunisian-born Jews have moved, and where they want their ancestors to move, too.
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The flight of the dead seems to portend a bleak future for the Jews of Djerba, who trace arrival on this island to more than two millennia ago, after the sacking of the First Temple in Jerusalem in 586 B.C. More Jews arrived after the Spanish Inquisition and from Morocco, Algeria, and Libya.
They were once the traditional, observant branch of a vibrant Jewish community that numbered 100,000 across Tunisia. But the 1,100 Jews in Djerba are nearly all that are left after most others fled persecution between the 1940s and ’60s.
Those who remained have been rewarded with new growth thanks in part to an emphasis on large families and patriarchal values. But the community now faces another challenge: Jewish women chafe at their restrictions and men suffer from the battered Tunisian economy. Moving to Israel, whereas Jews they are entitled to automatic citizenship, could resolve both issues but could also bring an end to one of the last Jewish societies in the Arab world.
Point Of Pride
In late May, crowds filled the ornate white-and-blue tiled Ghriba synagogue in Hara Sghira, the smaller of two Jewish enclaves in Djerba, as part of the annual pilgrimage that has long attracted outsiders to the island.
Pilgrims lit candles in the sanctuary and placed eggs covered with handwritten wishes in a cave dug into the synagogue’s floor. Across a cobbled street, revellers sang songs, ate couscous with fish, and drank fig brandy and beer in a sunny courtyard strung with red Tunisian flags.
The event marking the Lag BaOmer feast, which honours the second-century Jewish mystic Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, was clearly a point of Tunisian pride.
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The event had been cancelled in 2011 amid the tumult of the Tunisian revolution that ousted dictator Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, a protector of the country’s Jewish population.
It was restored under the country’s current government, which prizes the community as a symbol of stability. But three major terrorist attacks since the beginning of 2015, along with an infiltration by the extremist group Islamic State just an hour’s drive south of Djerba, raised security concerns and harmed tourism.
Participants and observers at this year’s event appeared unfazed, however.
On the first day of the pilgrimage, Abdelfattah Mourou, deputy speaker of parliament and vice president of the moderate Islamic Ennahda party, embraced Tunisia’s chief rabbi and Djerba resident, Haim Bittan, outside the Ghriba synagogue.
“Tunisia protects its Jews,” Mourou said. “What leads to radicalism is having only one culture. Having many cultures allows us to accept one another.” (BBG DIRECT)
By - Link Seller
Before popping to dissecting the topic, we need to ask ourselves what is the essence of contract management in the supply chain? The answer is contract management is vital to improving supply chain performance, and it is a requirement for procurement firms. If handled correctly, the contract management process provides opportunities to increase your firm's value and minimize pitfalls.
Procurement professional neglect to manage contracts properly, instead they focus on other business operations. However, they forget that contracts are the heart component in supply chain organizations.
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If you are searching for a way to increase the benefits of your procurement agreements, look no further than contract management software. The sooner you implement the right contract management software such as ContraSafe the sooner you can ensure your supply will always be there for your clients on time. Besides, if you want to enjoy free demo, ensure that you follow this link https://www.contractsafe.com/ to book your personal demo!
Below are some of the tips to put in action to increase supply chain:
Establish Contract Templates
Contract templates can save your team big time. A contract template is an empty standard form filled in with information and used as a contract. Template library makes it easier to stick to lawful protocols and make most of the deal to ensure that you do not miss any serious information. Templates also reduce the costs and time used in the contracting process.
A contract management software that stores standard contract templates is an ultimate necessity in the modern business world. Additionally, you can pull up a previous template you used in a similar one and change the data to equate to the contract, saving you the time for reworking a new contract.
Another essential tip is establishing one central position for storing contracts and ensure they are digitally accessible. It's essential that your documents are well organized, which will be hectic and messy when the files are arranged manually on a filing desk. Therefore, a contract management platform for procurement will make it easy to access files anytime and anywhere. This saves on the time and effort required to find, review and monitor contracts.
A homogenous procedure in the supply chain ensures that all necessary departments are working with a standard version of a contract, making the workflow standardized. There is a need for the people working on the supply to have a common goal and understanding.
Working at understanding the dynamics involved in contract supply Image credit: istockphoto
Companies which rely on manual management are prone to missing out on critical dates and dragging behind schedule. Therefore, there is a need to implement contract management software that has the capability to set automatic notifications for deadlines and critical dates. It's important for all employees and suppliers to adhere to timelines so as to meet the supply chain goals.
Risks are unavoidable in that you will have to work with another company which you ought to find out about their operations. However, being well prepared for those risks can save a company big time. To be able to prevent any disagreements, always point out all the possible risks in a supply chain contract. Then have an agreement on how they can be dealt with. Mitigating these risks should be your number one priority.
Research and Screen Vendors
Checking and being aware of a supplier's past whereabouts and performance is very important. It's so easy to search hard before getting into terms with a supplier as it will ensure a smooth supply chain. Before making any contact with any party, you should check online information about the one you are about to make deals with.
Also read: A Guide To Vehicle Service Contracts
A thorough screening process will prove fatal in avoiding disturbance down the supply line. Also, you will get to predict future performance and risks you are about to encounter getting deals with a new supplier.
Having agreements or contracts with boosted performance heights increases your organization's profits and boosts your productivity levels. By implementing contract management software, you can automate the process of performance, allowing you to point out the weak areas.
Importance of contract management in supply chain
Cuts the cost
Contracts offer better visibility and aids firms in controlling their financial transactions. This helps organizations save on their expenditures for a lifetime plan. Contracts aids in minimizing business expenses and maximizing business profits. Additionally, contract management helps to reduce legal fees and cut off unplanned renewals of unwanted services.
Evaluation of suppliers
Suppliers are monitored so as to see their performance which can have a positive or a negative impact in evaluating the supplier risk. The contract management will ensure the suppliers abides by the contract protocols.
Contract management improves business functionality by identifying risks and making sure business goals and objectives are met. Also, it makes it easier to examine data, produce accurate reports. When business functions are smooth, your organization's productivity shoots up, giving you an advantage over your competitors.
(Disclaimer: This article is sponsored and contains some commercial links)
Keywords: Contract, Supply, Transactions, Tips and Tricks
SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook critics pounced Wednesday on a report that the social network plans to rename itself, arguing it may be seeking to distract from recent scandals and controversy.
The report from tech news website The Verge, which Facebook refused to confirm, said the embattled company was aiming to show its ambition to be more than a social media site.
But an activist group calling itself The Real Facebook Oversight Board warned that major industries like oil and tobacco had rebranded to "deflect attention" from their problems.
"Facebook thinks that a rebrand can help them change the subject," said the group's statement, adding the real issue was the need for oversight and regulation.
Facebook spokesman Andy Stone told AFP: "We don't have any comment and aren't confirming The Verge's report."
The Verge cited an unnamed source noting the name would reflect Facebook's efforts to build the "metaverse," a virtual reality version of the internet that the tech giant sees as the future.
Facebook on Monday announced plans to hire 10,000 people in the European Union to build the metaverse, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg emerging as a leading promoter of the concept.
The announcement comes as Facebook grapples with the fallout of a damaging scandal, major outages of its services and rising calls for regulation to curb its vast influence.
The company has faced a storm of criticism over the past month after former employee Frances Haugen leaked internal studies showing Facebook knew its sites could be harmful to young people's mental health.
The Washington Post last month suggested that Facebook's interest in the metaverse is "part of a broader push to rehabilitate the company's reputation with policymakers and reposition Facebook to shape the regulation of next-wave internet technologies."
Silicon Valley analyst Benedict Evans argued a rebranding would ignore fundamental problems with the platform.
"If you give a broken product a new name, people will quite quickly work out that this new brand has the same problems," he tweeted.
"A better 'rebrand' approach is generally to fix the problem first and then create a new brand reflecting the new experience," he added.
Google rebranded itself as Alphabet in a corporate reconfiguration in 2015, but the online search and ad powerhouse remains its defining unit despite other operations such as Waymo self-driving cars and Verily life sciences. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Facebook, Renaming, Fallout, Verge
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Scientists temporarily attached a pig's kidney to a human body and watched it begin to work, a small step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for lifesaving transplants.
Pigs have been the most recent research focus to address the organ shortage, but among the hurdles: A sugar in pig cells, foreign to the human body, causes immediate organ rejection. The kidney for this experiment came from a gene-edited animal, engineered to eliminate that sugar and avoid an immune system attack.
Surgeons attached the pig kidney to a pair of large blood vessels outside the body of a deceased recipient so they could observe it for two days. The kidney did what it was supposed to do — filter waste and produce urine — and didn't trigger rejection.
"It had absolutely normal function," said Dr. Robert Montgomery, who led the surgical team last month at NYU Langone Health in New York. "It didn't have this immediate rejection that we have worried about."
This research is "a significant step," said Dr. Andrew Adams of the University of Minnesota Medical School, who was not part of the work. It will reassure patients, researchers and regulators "that we're moving in the right direction."
The dream of animal-to-human transplants, or xenotransplantation, dates to the 17th century with stumbling attempts to use animal blood for transfusions. By the 20th century, surgeons were attempting transplants of organs from baboons into humans, notably Baby Fae, a dying infant, who lived 21 days with a baboon heart.
With no lasting success and much public uproar, scientists turned from primates to pigs, tinkering with their genes to bridge the species gap.
Pigs have advantages over monkeys and apes. They are produced for food, so using them for organs raises fewer ethical concerns. Pigs have large litters, short gestation periods and organs comparable to those of humans.
Pig heart valves also have been used successfully for decades in humans. The blood thinner heparin is derived from pig intestines. Pig skin grafts are used on burns, and Chinese surgeons have used pig corneas to restore sight.
Kidney ready for transplantation from a live donor Image credit: wikimedia commons
In the NYU case, researchers kept a deceased woman's body on a ventilator after her family agreed to the experiment. The woman had wished to donate her organs, but they weren't suitable for traditional donation.
'Good could come from this'
The family felt "there was a possibility that some good could come from this gift," Montgomery said.
Montgomery himself received a transplant three years ago, a human heart from a donor with hepatitis C because he was willing to take any organ.
"I was one of those people lying in an ICU waiting and not knowing whether an organ was going to come in time," he said.
Several biotech companies are in the running to develop suitable pig organs for transplant to help ease the human organ shortage. More than 90,000 people in the U.S. are in line for kidney transplants. Every day, 12 die while waiting.
The advance is a win for Revivicor, a subsidiary of United Therapeutics, the company that engineered the pig and its cousins, a herd of 100 raised in tightly controlled conditions at a facility in Iowa.
The pigs lack a gene that produces alpha-gal, the sugar that provokes an immediate attack from the human immune system.
In December, the Food and Drug Administration approved the gene alteration in the Revivicor pigs as safe for human food consumption and medicine.
But the FDA said developers would need to submit more paperwork before pig organs could be transplanted into living humans.
"This is an important step forward in realizing the promise of xenotransplantation, which will save thousands of lives each year in the not-too-distant future," said United Therapeutics CEO Martine Rothblatt in a statement.
Experts say tests on nonhuman primates and last month's experiment with a human body pave the way for the first experimental pig kidney or heart transplants in living people in the next several years.
Raising pigs to be organ donors feels wrong to some people, but it may grow more acceptable if concerns about animal welfare can be addressed, said Karen Maschke, a research scholar at the Hastings Center, who will help develop ethics and policy recommendations for the first clinical trials under a grant from the National Institutes of Health.
"The other issue is going to be: Should we be doing this just because we can?" Maschke said. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Transplant, Pig, Human, Kidney, FDA
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