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July 17, 2014
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Israel's national Rabbinical Courts Administration has ordered the local religious court in Ashdod, a city less than 20 miles away from the border with the Gaza Strip, to remove signs designating its secure bomb shelter as being for men only.

The separate area designated for women was among the regular courtrooms, and did not appear to provide extra security or protection.

The national administration said that this example of gender separation was not actually implemented in practice, "nor will it be implemented when [it comes to] entering bomb shelters." The administration also said that the signs were put up by an employee who acted without the knowledge of management, The Times of Israel reports, and that disciplinary action will be taken against those responsible.

The issue was first brought to the administration's attention by a female member of the Israeli Knesset, Stav Shaffir of the Labor Party, after she was told about it by one of her office volunteers who had visited the building. The administration then acted quickly to order the sign to be taken down.

The separation of the sexes in Israel, as pushed for by its ultra-orthodox Jewish sector (commonly known as the Haredim) has become a divisive issue in the country's cultural and political life. Shaffir said of this story: "Discrimination against women is improper in all cases, but when it prevents them from protecting themselves, it is more than just improper, it's also dangerous." Eric Kleefeld

3:54 p.m. ET
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was sentenced to 12 years in prison Tuesday for federal corruption charges. Silver, 72, was found guilty on all counts, including taking millions in bribes from real-estate and medical interests, at trial last November.

Silver was in power in the state for more than two decades. "I failed the people of New York. There is no question about it," the Democrat wrote in an April letter to the judge, as reported by The Associated Press. "What I have done has hurt the Assembly, and New York, and my constituents terribly, and I regret that more than I can possibly express."

More than 30 New York state lawmakers have left office surrounded by criminal or ethical allegations since 2000, with Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara calling the state government a "cauldron of corruption." Assemblyman William Boyland, Jr., was sentenced to 14 years for corruption late last year.

"Because of me, the government has been ridiculed. I let my peers down, I let the people of the state down, and I let down my constituents — the people of lower Manhattan that I live among and fought for. They deserve better," Silver wrote. Jeva Lange

3:33 p.m. ET
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Given the choice between Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, a former top aide to one-time GOP nominee John McCain says he'd choose Clinton any day. "I'm with her," Mark Salter, who served as both chief of staff for the Arizona senator and as senior advisor on his 2008 presidential campaign, tweeted Thursday, referencing Clinton's campaign slogan.

Salter's slam on Trump on the day of the decisive Indiana GOP primary is far from his first anti-Trump screed. He's written numerous op-eds about the damage Trump could cause to the party and, in a Real Clear Politics piece published in February, he warned that Trump is "making us the worst we can be to satisfy his own vainglory." "If you can see him plainly and you love our country," Salter wrote, "you must vote against him. Even if that means electing Hillary Clinton."

If Trump wins Indiana tonight — as the polls are predicting he will — Salter had better ready his ballot for Clinton. Becca Stanek

3:27 p.m. ET
Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona via Getty Images

Scientists may finally have an explanation for how water creates those mysterious streaks marking Mars' surface. A new study published Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience suggests that it's not salty water flowing downhill that's creating the streaks on the Red Planet as scientists initially thought, but rather water that's boiling out of Mars' soil.

With the help of a special chamber that modeled the climate conditions of Mars on a hot summer day, researchers were able to take some of the guess work out of deducing how water in Martian atmospheric conditions might behave. Scientists had previously thought the streaks were evidence of liquid water on Mars, but found this theory hard to prove — especially because Mars' exceptionally thin atmosphere makes it nearly impossible for water to stay in its liquid state for long.

When scientists put ice in the chamber with the same low atmospheric conditions found on Mars, they found it melted, as expected. But when the water started to boil, there was a surprise: When the boiling water emerged to the surface, it evaporated so quickly that it blasted dust and debris off the ground. The displaced dust exposed the darker ground underneath and created what appeared to be little ridges — not all that different from those streaking Mars' surface.

Watch the researchers' simulation of what's happening up on Mars, below. Becca Stanek

3:15 p.m. ET
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

You know Megyn Kelly as the fiery Fox News anchor who has made headlines this election cycle for daring to go toe-to-toe with Donald Trump. But that's far from the first time Kelly has been bold and confident in her interactions with a man — take a look below at how her husband, the entrepreneur Douglas Brunt, summed up his first date with Kelly, courtesy of Humans of New York. Kimberly Alters

1:39 p.m. ET
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Indiana lives and dies by basketball, so it should come as no shock that its politics does, too. "Basketball might not be the single deciding factor in any state race, but in Indiana, it puts points on the scoreboard. It wouldn't be a surprise at the end of the day to see victories from candidates who have made the strongest efforts at capitalizing on the statewide love for the sport," The Atlantic recently wrote.

Here at The Week, we've put that to the test. Below is our official Indiana Primary Scorecard, as determined by the show of b-ball love. Jeva Lange

  • Donald Trump
    Trump holds a wide margin in Hoosier State polls, and he's got the basketball chops to have earned it. Trump is the only candidate to have the official endorsements of three of the state's legendary coaches: former Purdue University coach Gene Keady, former Indiana Hoosiers coach Bobby Knight, and former Notre Dame coach Digger Phelps. While Trump should have won this category in a landslide, he gets docked one point for misspelling Knight's name in a tweet.
    Scorecard: Coach endorsements (3 points) - misspelling (-1 point) + making fun of Ted Cruz for saying "basketball ring" ( 1 point) = 3 points
  • Ted Cruz
    Cruz really put in an effort here, but failed to stick the landing. In an elaborately staged campaign speech that referenced the film Hoosiers, Cruz infamously misspoke and called the basketball hoop a "ring." Cruz makes up points for apologizing for the error and pushing that he was actually a b-baller himself in high school.
    Scorecard: Hoosier reference (1 point) - "ring" gaffe (-2 points) + former basketballer (1 point) = 0 points
  • John Kasich
    In an effort to stop Trump, Kasich vowed he wouldn't campaign in Indiana. That being said, Kasich might be the only candidate running to have actually shot around with an NBA team.
    Scorecard: Benched
  • Bernie Sanders
    Sanders is this election's resident Brooklynite and therefore basketball is in his blood. To the surprise of no one, he put his moves on display for basketball-obsessed Hoosiers at Purdue.
    Scorecard: Getting his game on (1 point) = 1 point
  • Hillary Clinton
    In 2010, Clinton wrote an email to an aide asking, "Are you still in basketball-crazed Indianoplace?" Clinton has since apologized for the dismissive attitude, saying "even people in Indiana make that joke." But Indiana hasn't forgotten, Hillary. Indiana never forgets.
    Scorecard: "Indianoplace" (-2 points) = -2 points
12:27 p.m. ET
iStock

The Rio Tinto Argyle mine in Western Australia is responsible for turning up most of the world's rare pink diamonds — and now it's revealed something even rarer. Rio Tinto Diamonds announced Tuesday that its annual showcase this year will feature a massive violet diamond discovered in the mine. The stone was more than twice the size of the next-largest violet diamond found in the mine; in its original state, the diamond was more than nine carats, and after being cut and polished it stands at 2.83 carats.

While Rio Tinto has not put a fine point on the diamond's worth, its incredible rarity ensures the price tag will be high. Pink and red diamonds, which are much less rare than violet diamonds, are worth "about 50 times more than white diamonds," Discovery News reports. (Argyle pink diamonds, for instance, sell for about $1-2 million per carat.) According to Rio Tinto, only 12 carats of polished violet diamonds have been produced for its annual tender in the last 32 years.

The rare violet diamond will go on display beginning with private trade viewings in June. It will then travel to Copenhagen, Hong Kong, and New York with Rio Tinto's annual pink diamonds showcase. Becca Stanek

12:26 p.m. ET
GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images

With a decisive primary looming in Indiana, Ted Cruz didn't mince words when going after Donald Trump on Tuesday, slamming the Republican frontrunner for being a "serial philanderer."

"[He] describes his battles with venereal disease as his own personal Vietnam," Cruz said. "That's a quote, by the way, on The Howard Stern Show."

While Cruz's attack might be too little, too late, it's still hilarious (or depressing?) that we've reached this point in the race. Watch the whole uncomfortable rant, below. Jeva Lange

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