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  • Steve Bannon Attacks Bush for Anti-Trump Speech news

    Steve Bannon ripped into former President George W. Bush Friday night, calling Bush’s presidency "destructive" and saying he had "embarrassed himself" with an anti-bigotry speech earlier this week.

    Sat, 21 Oct 2017 12:04:17 -0400
  • Rachel Maddow Defends Niger Theory After Experts Call It 'Conspiracymongering' news

    Rachel Maddow on Friday doubled down on her controversial reporting on the deadly Niger ambush on U.S. troops, in which she linked President Donald Trump’s travel ban with the deaths of four soldiers.

    Sat, 21 Oct 2017 20:46:34 -0400
  • These Are The Three Richard Spencer Fans Arrested For Attempted Homicide In Gainesville news

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. ― About five hours before his companion allegedly fired a bullet toward several protesters, and a day before police charged him with attempted homicide, Colton Fears, in an interview with HuffPost, laid out the grievances that had brought him to town.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 22:04:15 -0400
  • Fox Gave Bill O’Reilly Big Contract After $32 Million Settlement news

    O’Reilly paid the staggering sum to longtime Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl, who threatened to sue him for alleged sexual misconduct, according to a New York Times exposé published Saturday.

    Sat, 21 Oct 2017 12:06:07 -0400
  • Costumed pooches prance In annual Halloween Dog Parade in New York City

    More than 500 animals wore costumes to what is known as one of the largest dog Halloween events in the United States. The 27th annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade in New York City continued its reign as October’s cutest event, bringing together New York’s fluffiest pets and their ever-creative owners. This year’s crop of dog models – dressed in costumes that ranged from the President to the Devil to Kellyanne Conway – put on a delightful show for spectators.

    Sun, 22 Oct 2017 11:01:45 -0400
  • Betty Price Wonders If People With HIV Should Be Quarantined news

    WASHINGTON — Georgia state Rep. Betty Price (R) — the wife of Tom Price, who resigned last month as President Donald Trump’s health secretary amid investigations into his frequent use of private planes — wonders if isolating people with HIV would help stop the disease’s spread.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 19:04:42 -0400
  • Poll finds Las Vegas shooting doesn't alter opinions on guns news

    ATLANTA (AP) — The slaying of five dozen people in Las Vegas did little to change Americans' opinions about gun laws, a poll finds.

    Sat, 21 Oct 2017 07:30:02 -0400
  • Catalan leader pressured from all sides news

    The battle between Spain's central government and the separatist leaders of Catalonia escalates day after day, forcing Catalan society to take a stand. Political parties, football clubs, businesses and civic society groups have picked their side -- for or against independence, for or against holding a referendum -- and they are all trying to convince Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont. FC Barcelona, one of the world's most popular football teams whose motto is "more than a club", has long been a symbol of Catalan nationalism.

    Sat, 21 Oct 2017 05:57:39 -0400
  • The Latest: Navajo leader supported death penalty in case news

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on the sentencing of a man charged in the killing of a Navajo Nation girl (all times local):

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 18:09:08 -0400
  • New Tax Proposal Could Affect 401K Plans for Millions of Americans news

    According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the proposal being considered would reduce the amount a worker could contribute tax-free to just $2,400 a year.

    Sat, 21 Oct 2017 12:16:38 -0400
  • Photos of the week: 10/13 - 10/20 news

    Fallout from the October 4th ambush of U.S. service members in Niger made big headlines this week.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 22:01:00 -0400
  • Houston Suburb Conditions Hurricane Relief Money On Residents' Vow Not To Boycott Israel news

    A suburb outside of Houston is requiring residents who were affected by Hurricane Harvey to certify that they do not boycott Israel in order to apply for grant money to rebuild their home or business.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 15:05:14 -0400
  • Man wearing shirt covered in swastikas gets punched in head outside Richard Spencer speech news

    A man wearing a shirt with emblazoned with swastikas was punched and spat at outside of Richard Spencer’s speech in Florida. The smirking man swaggered into the gathered crowd while protesters tried to block his path. Some protesters attempted to come to the man’s aid.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 12:05:00 -0400
  • 'Unacceptably high' number of Afghans flee military training in U.S.: report news

    By Josh Smith KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan soldiers and police brought to the United States for training go "absent without leave" at far higher rates than those of any other country, potentially imperilling efforts to assist Afghan security forces, a U.S. watchdog said on Friday. Of the 320 foreign military trainees who left while on courses in the United States from 2005 to 2017, 152 - or more than 47 percent - were Afghans, said a report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). SIGAR found that the rate of asylum seekers among Afghan military trainees rose in recent years as violence in the Islamist Taliban insurgency spread across Afghanistan and security forces sustained heavy casualties.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 11:41:25 -0400
  • 7 Misleading Things EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Said In His Interview With Time news

    Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s tense look broke into a toothy grin at the end of a 22-minute interview with Time Magazine when the reporter called his response to a question “good, but lawyerly.”

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 19:31:53 -0400
  • Eric Holder: Harvey Weinstein Revelations Must Prompt Culture Shift On Sexual Harassment news

    In the wake of the explosive revelations about alleged sexual harassment and assault perpetrated by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and other powerful men, former United States Attorney General Eric Holder called on men to take responsibility for creating a culture that allowed such abuse to occur ― and act to change.

    Sat, 21 Oct 2017 19:05:19 -0400
  • Pa. Teacher Allegedly Attacked by Brick-Wielding Parent After Confiscating Student’s Phone news

    A Pittsburgh woman was arrested after allegedly attacking her daughter’s teacher by striking her in the face with a brick over a dispute about a confiscated cell phone, PEOPLE confirms

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 20:19:17 -0400
  • Alabama inmate defiant before his execution for killing cop news

    ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — The convicted killer of a police officer used his final moments before being put to death to curse at the state of Alabama, raising his middle fingers in defiance at the start of a lethal injection his lawyers described as inhumanely painful.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 15:56:34 -0400
  • Father Killed On His Way Home From Work When Teens Allegedly Throw Rocks Off Highway Overpass news

    The teens have since been arrested.

    Sat, 21 Oct 2017 16:17:27 -0400
  • Before execution, Alabama inmate defiant with words, actions news

    A convicted cop killer who sued Alabama over its lethal injection method was put to death Thursday night, but not before he cursed at the state and said: "I hate you."

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 11:14:31 -0400
  • Stop Criticizing Donald Trump. Vladimir Putin Says So. news

    If you want to be a good American, listen to Vladimir Putin and stop criticizing Donald Trump.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 20:35:46 -0400
  • Soda tax supporters try to pivot from Chicago setback news

    US public health advocates are hoping to pivot after a major setback in Chicago, where local lawmakers repealed a soda tax after only two months following fierce industry-backed lobbying. On October 11, the Cook County Board of Commissioners, which includes Chicago, nullified the penny-an-ounce levy, which was seen as a means to discourage consumption of sugary drinks that can lead to obesity, diabetes and other ills. "It's a setback," said Jim O'Hara, director of health promotion policy at the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest.

    Sat, 21 Oct 2017 01:46:17 -0400
  • Iraqi forces complete Kirkuk province takeover after clashes with Kurds news

    By Maher Chmaytelli and Raya Jalabi BAGHDAD/ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi forces on Friday took control of the last district in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk still in the hands of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters following a three-hour battle, security sources said. The district of Altun Kupri, or Perde in Kurdish, lies on the road between the city of Kirkuk - which fell to Iraqi forces on Monday - and Erbil, capital of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq that voted in a referendum last month to secede from Iraq against Baghdad's wishes.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 18:21:21 -0400
  • Boy kicked out of Cub Scouts after challenging Republican senator accused of racism news

    Ames Mayfield of Broomsfield, Colorado, decided to do some research on Senator Vicki Marbles before she visited his Cub Scouts den, his mother says. “I didn’t, that was made up by the media,” Ms Marble responded.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:38:00 -0400
  • The Most Common Financial Mistakes To Avoid news

    Whether you’re living paycheck to paycheck or managing a healthy nest egg, there are certain classic money blunders you’ll want to avoid.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 20:46:26 -0400
  • Elon Musk to Start Hyperloop Project in Maryland, Officials Say news

    This is the first step to making the hyperloop a reality.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:36:00 -0400
  • Transcript errors and omissions prolong Jodi Arias appeal news

    PHOENIX (AP) — Jodi Arias' case remains a headache for Arizona's court system long after her murder trial had spectators lining up for seats, attorneys squabbling in court and two different juries deadlocking on whether she deserved the death penalty.

    Sat, 21 Oct 2017 11:35:02 -0400
  • Jews and Arabs unite to try to save Jerusalem’s Hill of Evil Counsel from being turned into luxury flats news

    In another city, the fight over the hilltop property plot might be an unremarkable planning battle, pitting profit-driven developers against unhappy local residents. But Jerusalem is no ordinary city and the Hill of Evil Counsel is no ordinary hill.  The hilltop is so called because it is the spot where Caiphas, the Jewish high priest, decided to betray Jesus and hand him over to the Romans for crucifixion. It is a key site in the New Testament and the birthplace of the centuries-old anti-Semitic trope of Jews as “Christ killers”.  Now, Jews, Muslims and Christians are fighting to keep the area from being turned into luxury flats.  The Hill of Evil Counsel, which has sweeping views of Jerusalem’s Old City, had been administered for hundreds of years by the Greek Orthodox church, which owns huge swathes of property in the city, including the land on which Israel’s parliament is built upon.  In recent years the church has gone on a controversial land-selling spree, taking in millions of dollars from property deals. In one of the deals, it agreed to sell a 110-year lease for the hilltop to Michael Steinhardt, an American financier and David Sofer, a London-based Israeli businessman. Theodore Friedgut, a retired Canadian-Israeli professor, has lived on the site for more than 50 years and will lose his home if development goes ahead Credit: Quique Kierszenbaum The developers plan to cement over the open space - once used by British military bands for practices - and build apartment buildings, where the flats and their epic views will likely end up in the hands of wealthy foreigners who visit Jerusalem a few times a year.  The developers’ project, and the church’s decision to sell them the lease, have infuriated local residents.  “The Greek church have no right to lease it and to destroy it. They are supposed to protect it, not sell it off the highest bidder,” said Sarah Sallon, a British-Israeli doctor who has lived in Jerusalem for 30 years. “‘This magnificent view is all of our heritage and we fight for it as a group of Jews, Christians, and Muslims.” Sarah Sallon has been involved in trying to stop the development going ahead Credit:  Quique Kierszenbaum / Telegraph A church official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the current Greek patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos, had inherited a mountain of debt from his predecessor, who was forced from power in 2005 and exiled to a small room in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre compound.   “We did not wake up one morning and say: Hill of Evil Counsel, lets develop that area. We came into power with a big problem and with 40 million shekels (£8.7 million) in debt connected with the area and we had no choice. We had to deal with it,” he said.  The church relies on income from its property portfolio to survive, the official added.  The Abu Tor neighbourhood where the hill is located is divided between Israeli and Palestinian residents and was a frontline during the 1967 war. Israeli troops once used the second floor of a hilltop monastery to look down on Jordanian forces below. Abu Tor literally means “father of the bull”, after one of Salahedin’s generals who according to legend rode a white bull into battle against the Crusaders.  The Greek Orthodox church has administered the site for hundreds of years  Credit: Quique Kierszenbaum / Telegraph Palestinian families from the eastern part of Abu Tor said they joined with their Jewish neighbours in opposing the plans, and were worried an entrance road planned for the development might force some of them out of their homes. “We will join any demonstrations against this,” said Nawal Zakaria Bazalamit, the 74-year-old matriarch of her family.     A law firm representing the developers did not respond to a request for comment.  Opponents of the plans don’t know if they will prevail against the well-heeled developers. Theodore Friedgut, a retired Canadian-Israeli professor of Russian history, has lived on the hill for more than 50 years and remembers surveyors coming immediately after the 1967 war, looking for potential opportunities. “We saw there was interest in develop all the way back then,” he said. But Mr Friedgut points out that misfortunes have befallen those who have previously tried to commercialise the site.  In the 1980s a consortium tried to take over the Hill of Evil Counsel in partnership with the church, but the project collapsed and the two sides fought a bitter legal battle.  Another time, a Greek priest allegedly began to put pressure on the few families who lived in rent-controlled houses on the hill, demanding they pay more. According to locals’ stories, he drowned in the River Jordan soon after, not far from the spot where Jesus is said to have been baptised.

    Sat, 21 Oct 2017 04:00:00 -0400
  • Spain Takes Control of Catalonia, Pushing a Crisis Into Higher Gear news

    Spain has acted upon Article 155

    Sat, 21 Oct 2017 10:03:20 -0400
  • Report: White House Rushed Condolences To Gold Star Families news

    Multiple families of military service members killed in the line duty are now getting rush-delivered letters from President Donald Trump, days after Trump claimed he had called the immediate families of all service members who had been killed since he took office in January.

    Sat, 21 Oct 2017 23:36:12 -0400
  • The U.S. Army Has a Deadly New Sniper Rifle news

    Heckler & Koch showed off its M110A1 7.62mm semi-automatic sniper rifle this week. Despite a brief period of ambiguity wrought by budget-jousting among lawmakers in Congress, the Army’s new and improved sniper rifle is alive and well. Heckler & Koch showed off its M110A1 7.62mm semi-automatic sniper rifle, selected for the Army’s Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS) program on the floor of the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference and exposition in Washington this week, a first up-close-and-personal look at the lightweight rifle.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 21:37:00 -0400
  • 25 Last-Minute Thanksgiving Decorating Ideas

    No description related. Click here to go to original article.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 16:59:06 -0400
  • Abe eyes big win as Japan votes under N. Korea threats news

    Millions of Japanese braved typhoon conditions Sunday for a snap election likely to hand Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a fresh mandate to revive the world's third-largest economy and press his hardline stance on North Korea. If pre-vote surveys prove correct, Abe's conservative coalition will cruise to a crushing majority to win a fresh term at the helm of the key US regional ally and Asian economic powerhouse. Despite the bad weather, voter turnout excluding early voting rose to 12.24 percent by 11:00am from 11.08 percent in the previous election three years ago, while a record 15.64 million had cast early votes by Friday, the government said.

    Sun, 22 Oct 2017 04:33:04 -0400
  • Solar industry fears for thousands of jobs should U.S. impose import restrictions news

    By Florence Tan SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore-headquartered solar panel maker REC hopes to be exempt from potential U.S. restrictions on imports following a recent trade finding that said no significant injury to the United States had been caused by makers including those from Australia, Canada and Singapore. U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to announce by early next year measures which his administration will take to limit imports after the U.S. International Trade Commission found in September that U.S. panel makers had been harmed by cheap imports. Many companies have warned that a solar trade dispute involving potential import tariffs between the United States and other countries could cost thousands of jobs and slow down the development of the clean energy technology.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 12:19:48 -0400
  • Kit Harington Read The Final 'Game Of Thrones' Scripts And Couldn't Help Crying news

    Kit Harington knows everything about the final season of “Game of Thrones.”

    Sat, 21 Oct 2017 06:43:55 -0400
  • Somalia's death toll now at 358 as 'state of war' planned news

    MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Thousands of anguished Somalis gathered to pray Friday at the site of the country's deadliest attack, while the toll rose to 358 and dozens remained missing. Somalia's president will announce a "state of war" against the al-Shabab extremist group blamed for the bombing, the prime minister said.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 16:10:46 -0400
  • DNA Helps Solve 1995 Cold Case Killing of 17-Year-Old Girl news

    Investigators had long hoped to find justice for Suzanne Nauman.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:40:52 -0400
  • Sadness down under as final Holden marks end of Australian car industry news

    Shortly after midday today, a red Commodore marked the end of 69 years of Holden manufacture in Australia – and to countless enthusiasts, it was an occasion as sad as it was once virtually unthinkable. There is a select group of cars that transformed their respective nations' concept of mass motoring and the original 48-215 ‘FX’ certainly ranks alongside the Mini, 2CV or Fiat 600 in this regard. This was mass-market transport made in Australia, for Australia. Holden’s first involvement with the motor industry was as a coachbuilder and in 1924, it became the exclusive supplier of car bodies to General Motors. Seven years later it became a part of the GM empire and as early as 1936 the division’s MD Laurence Hartnett was planning a ‘wholly Australian car’ in place of the locally-built Chevrolets, Pontiacs and Vauxhalls. Towards the end of the Second World War, the government was keen to promote a locally-designed car and General Motors already had the basis of a suitable model in the form of a Chevrolet project that had been rejected as too compact for US motorists. A small group of prototypes were extensively tested and on the 29th November 1948 Ben Chifley, the then Prime Minister, unveiled the new 48-215.  It was not a vehicle that represented a major technological advance and its list of standard fittings was low even by the standards of the day; no sidelights, carpet, door armrest, heater or even direction indicators of any form, one sun visor and a solitary tail lamp. Nor was the new Holden especially cheap as a price of £A675 represented nearly two years wages for the average worker but this did not deter 18,000 people from paying a deposit without having seen a 48-215 in the metal. Such was the demand that the company was soon obliged to issue a booklet entitled Holden Owners Give Reasons Why Holden is Worth Waiting For. Motoring picture of the day And perhaps the major reason for the impact of the FX on the post-war motorist was that it offered the ideal combination of advantages in a car that was launched at precisely the right moment. The brochures promised an engine designed for local conditions the 2.1-litre six-cylinder unit was capable of "80 miles per hour and 30 miles per gallon" with a smoothness not found in such rivals as the four-cylinder Austin A70 Hampshire. It was also flexible enough to propel the Holden from a crawl to cruising speed with the steering column-mounted lever in third gear. Holden intended that the FX would appeal to rural motorists and urban drivers alike, with suspension that could cope with the country’s many unsurfaced roads, and for the Sydney or Melbourne suburbanite, the ‘Aerobilt’ body was smart and offered room for a quintet of adult passengers: ‘you don’t climb in or scrabble out – you step in with ease and dignity. A great boon for elderly people and women."  There was also a sense of robustness that was lacking in some of its competitors. Clive James once observed of the Standard Vanguard that it was a toss-up whether the ‘chromium trim would rust through before the exhaust pipe fell onto the road’.  Above all, this was ‘Australia’s Own Car’, which automatically set it apart from any other car that bore an American or British marque and ten years later, the Lion and Stone badge adorned 40 percent of new models. The name of Holden had now entered the lexicon of a nation’s popular culture and the idea that in 2013 the company’s chief would state that ‘building cars in this country is just not sustainable’ would have been inconceivable. The moment when that last Commodore leaves the production line is not only the closing of a chapter in GM’s history – in many respects it is the end of a country’s automotive dream, one that began nearly 70 years ago.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 11:19:39 -0400
  • Democrat who comforted soldier's widow accuses Trump's chief of staff of using racist term against her news

    The congresswoman who accused Donald Trump of offending the widow of a green beret killed in action says that the administration’s response to her claims included a “lie” and a “racist” insult. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told reporters on Thursday that he was “stunned” when he saw Rep. Frederica Wilson discussing the call between Mr Trump and Myeshia Johnson. Ms Wilson says she was in the car when the call took place, and that Mr Trump told Ms Johnson that her husband “knew what he was getting into”.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 11:29:00 -0400
  • Former CIA director Gen. David Petraeus on North Korea threat news

    Former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus discusses the North Korea threat and more on "This Week."

    Sun, 22 Oct 2017 09:10:32 -0400
  • Why Building 'Baby' Aircraft Carriers Would Be a Bad Idea for the U.S. Navy news

    The Navy can buy smaller, cheaper carriers rather than the $13 billion Ford-class behemoths it is currently constructing, according to a new study by RAND Corporation. The RAND study is a public version of a classified study conducted in 2016 at the behest of the U.S. Navy, which was ordered by Congress to examine cheaper options than the Ford-class carriers.

    Sat, 21 Oct 2017 08:31:00 -0400
  • Indonesia demands answers after military chief denied U.S. entry news

    By Agustinus Beo Da Costa JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia intends to send a diplomatic note to the U.S. secretary of state and summon Washington's deputy ambassador in Jakarta to explain why the head of its military was denied entry to the United States, Indonesian officials said on Sunday. Armed Forces Commander General Gatot Nurmantyo was about to board a flight on Saturday when the airline informed him that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection had denied him entry, military spokesman Wuryanto told a news conference in Jakarta.

    Sun, 22 Oct 2017 08:50:22 -0400
  • US existing home sales edge up in September news

    Sales of existing US homes rose in September compared with August, but remained relatively tepid due to limited housing supply and high prices, the National Association of Realtors said Friday. Last month sales rose 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million houses, a surprise since analysts expected a drop to 5.29 million. "Home sales in recent months remain at their lowest level of the year and are unable to break through, despite considerable buyer interest in most parts of the country," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:22:01 -0400
  • National Anthem Singer Takes A Knee Before Brooklyn Nets Home Opener news

    Singer Justine Skye took a knee as she sang the national anthem before the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener against the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

    Sat, 21 Oct 2017 04:40:12 -0400
  • 20 Sweet Pumpkins That Are Actually Cakes

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    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:33:04 -0400
  • The Latest: King: Catalonia is "an essential part" of Spain news

    BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The Latest on the Spain-Catalonia political crisis (all times local):

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 14:40:23 -0400
  • Police Close Case of Teen Who Died in Freezer, Release Timeline of Events news

    Police previously said the teen died of hypothermia.

    Sat, 21 Oct 2017 11:20:08 -0400
  • Donald Trump Says Public Spats With Lawmakers Can Help His Agenda news

    President Donald Trump may be using his public spats with Congress as a whip to get his agenda moving.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 23:40:27 -0400
  • Woman heartbroken after discovering her dog wasn’t euthanised for five months after she bid 'final' farewell news

    A woman who thought she had paid for her dog to be euthanized has been surprised to find out that her dog was kept alive for five months after the procedure. New Jersey woman Keri Levy says that she made the difficult decision to put down the miniature pinscher she had owned for 15 years, but was astonished to receive an anonymous tip five months later that her pup was still alive. “It broke my heart in a way like my heart has never been broken,” Ms Levy told ABC News.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:12:00 -0400
  • Lord Balfour: I had to look up in an encyclopaedia how my forebear changed British history 100 years ago news

    The 5th Earl of Balfour first realised the significance of the Balfour Declaration when he was a 14-year-old schoolboy at Eton, hailing a taxi while on holiday in London. A copy of the Declaration – made a century ago by Arthur Balfour, the former prime minister who later became foreign secretary, backing the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine – hung on the wall of his loo at home, where the young Balfour read it without really appreciating its importance. The iconic document was never discussed at home or school.  So it was a crucial moment in Lord Balfour’s life when a Jewish London cabbie spotted his school trunk with his surname painted on it. “Is this yours, mate? Are you anything to do with the prime minister?” (His ancestor, the 1st Earl of Balfour, served as Conservative Prime Minister from 1902 to 1905.) “Yes,” he said, explaining he was his great-great nephew.  “I don’t believe this!” said the taxi driver. “Wait till I get home and tell my family. What he did for us! Tonight, it’s Passover and you’re my last fare before I knock off to go off to the East End for Passover dinner.” The driver then pulled off the road and started singing Jewish songs to the teenage boy.  Arthur James Balfour who served as Prime Minister of the Conservative government of 1902-1905 Credit: Print Collector/Hulton Archive “I was so bowled over by this that I was late, and I dashed out of the cab, leaving a family picture in the back of the cab,” says Lord Balfour, 68, a banker. “I thought it was now in the East End. Instead, he went to the lost property office, all the way up in north London, deposited it, stuck a label saying Balfour on it. I was able to find it the next day. “That was my first time I realised the importance of the declaration to Jewish people.” Today, a fine Philip de László portrait of Arthur Balfour presides over Lord Balfour’s drawing room in his handsome Sussex house, where he lives with his wife, Lady Tessa, a daughter of the Duke of Norfolk. They have four daughters, all interested in their ancestor’s 100-year-old Declaration.  The Declaration was sent by Arthur Balfour to Lord Rothschild, the de facto secular head of British Jewry, on November 2, 1917. It was then passed on to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. The short, single-page document declared: “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” Lord Balfour standing beside a portrait of his ancestor  Credit:  Christopher Pledger for The Telegraph The Declaration was absolutely vital in the long build-up to the eventual creation of the state of Israel in 1948 – which also happens to be the year the current Lord Balfour was born. Despite that teenage meeting with the taxi driver, the Balfour Declaration played little part in young Roderick Balfour’s life. “It was never mentioned by anybody at school, or very much as I grew up,” he says. “At school, everyone said: ‘Are you related to that loser Balfour?’, because he lost the 1906 election. They didn’t know about the Declaration. “But you go to Canada, Argentina, France or anywhere in the [Jewish] diaspora, and they all know about it. This country has less knowledge than anywhere else.” Lord Balfour listens to an address during his 1925 visit to Palestine. Credit: Hulton Deutsch/Corbis Historical In fact, Lord and Lady Balfour have just returned from a seminar – “From Balfour to Brexit” – in Jerusalem. Whenever he goes to Israel, he is reminded of the affection in which his great-great uncle is held. “People come running up to you and just say: ‘Thank you,’” he says. “I started going to Israel on bank business in the 90s and saw Balfour Streets in every town. The Prime Minister lives today on Balfour Street.” However, Lord Balfour sees imperfections in the modern state of Israel. “I have major reservations,” he says. “There is this sentence in the declaration, ‘Nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.’ That’s pretty clear. Well, that’s not being adhered to. That has somehow got to be rectified. Talking to the more liberal elements of Jewry, they would acknowledge there has to be a greater economic role for the Palestinians.” It was only in the 1990s that Lord Balfour really began to appreciate the magnitude of his ancestor’s Declaration. In 1990, he started working at NM Rothschild, the merchant bank run by Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, a cousin of the Lord Rothschild to whom Arthur Balfour addressed his Declaration. Lord Arthur Balfour points out a feature of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to Governor Sir Ronald Storrs during a visit to Jerusalem, 9th April 1925 Credit:  Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive When Lord Balfour joined the bank, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild asked him: “What sort of a Balfour are you? Are you Balfour Beatty [the construction company]?” (“I said I’m one of the poor, government Balfours,” Lord Balfour replied.) And then, in 1992, on the 75th anniversary of the Declaration, Lord Balfour saw in the papers the list of attendees at the anniversary dinner; there wasn’t a Balfour among them. He got in touch with the Anglo-Israel Association and asked if he could get involved with future events. This year, he and Jacob Rothschild – the current Lord Rothschild, whose forebear Walter Rothschild received the Declaration – will host a dinner on the anniversary in a government venue in London. “There are a huge number of events going on on the same day,” says Lord Balfour. “Jacob Rothschild is very kindly organising a dinner, which he and I are nominally joint hosts of, although it’s very much his initiative.” Royal Albert Hall where the celebrations will take place Credit:  Mo Peerbacus / Alamy Stock Photo Lord Rothschild’s team have located descendants of those involved in the Declaration from around the world. Among them will be a Lloyd George, in honour of David Lloyd George, prime minister at the time of the Declaration; and a member of the Sykes family: Sir Mark Sykes, Bt, devised the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, which laid out national boundaries in the Middle East.  Next month, there will also be an event at the Royal Albert Hall to commemorate the Declaration, which Lord Balfour will attend with his family. The event will include a 500-voice massed Christian choir, a Klezmer band, the Israeli Dance Institute and the Israeli singer Tally Koren. Lord Balfour never met his famous ancestor – he died in 1930, aged 81. But he speaks of him with great affection. “We all knew about Arthur James because he had been prime minister, and the family were immensely proud of him,” he said. “We all knew him as Nunkie, although I never met him. My father was nine when he died, so he knew him well. He was very much loved.” "We all knew about Arthur James because he had been prime minister, and the family were immensely proud of him.” Credit:  Christopher Pledger for The Telegraph Arthur Balfour was an intellectual – “primarily a Bible-reading philosopher”, says Lord Balfour – but a well-connected one, too. He was a leading member of the Souls, an elite salon of Victorian upper-class intellectuals. Balfour’s uncle, the Marquess of Salisbury, who was known to the family as Bob, had been prime minister before him: “That’s where the expression ‘Bob’s your uncle’ comes from. In other words, it’s quite easy to get on if ‘Bob’s your uncle’.” But rather than a popular turn of phrase, it is for his Declaration that his family would like him to be remembered.  “It was a great humanitarian gesture,” says Lord Balfour. “Humanity should be extremely grateful.” • Harry Mount is editor of The Oldie Magazine

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