Good news from the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world's population.


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Israeli firm to construct desalination facility in India. Israel Desalination Engineering (IDE) technologies have announced winning a 11.5 million Dollar international contract to construct a desalination facility for one of the largest oil refineries in Gujarat. IDE will build a thermal desalination plant capable of treating 15,000 cubic metres of water per day. Since its inception in 1965, the company has installed more than 320 desalination and water treatment plants in nearly 40 countries."

Europeans Saying 'I Love You' With Israeli Flowers. The past ten days have seen 50 million flowers exported to Europe for sale on February 14 – Valentine’s Day. Twenty airplanes filled with1,800 tons of flowers were flown to Europe in recent days.

Israeli experts train Greek Olympic police. Greek police have been training with Israeli experts to deal with possible suicide bombings during the Olympics.

Israeli Technology Improving Quality of Life for the Disabled. An Israeli company has developed a wheelchair which could offer millions of people with severe physical disabilities new levels of freedom and independent movement. The new wheelchair, created by Galileo Mobility Instruments, will allow for quadriplegics and others with severe disabilities to go for walks in the country, have picnics on the beach, enter and exit the car alone, reach high shelves, climb and descend stairs unassisted, and even to lower themselves to the floor to play with their children. The track and tire which make up the wheel can transform from a wheel to a track to a stair climber as the need arises.

Israeli vaccine on trial that might foil the flu . If clinical trials on an Israeli-developed nose drop vaccine for influenza prove as successful as those that are nearing completion on mice, people of all ages will be protected for five years against all present and future strains of the flu. The patented vaccine, due to be tested on humans in 2006, is based on 20 years of research by Weizmann Institute of Science Prof. Ruth Arnon, who was a senior member of the team that developed Copaxone for multiple sclerosis.

UN praises Israeli breast cancer exhibit. A Tel Aviv Museum of Art exhibit aimed at raising breast cancer awareness received an honorable mention for its use of public relations to address issues of priority to the United Nations.

Israel turns out computer commandos. Nestled in a nondescript concrete building on this sprawling military base near Tel Aviv, soldiers have been working on a top-secret project the past few years: a cell phone. The Mountain Rose system is a bit more than that, of course: developed with Motorola, it uses upgraded commercial technology to provide highly secure communications among combat forces, commanders and headquarters. More secure. More reliable. Those are the key words at Lotem, one of a handful of shadowy units that have turned Israel's military into an electronics-warfare powerhouse. Israeli start-ups, meanwhile, are a leading destination for global venture investors. Some Israeli companies have grown into market leaders, such as firewall giant Check Point Software Technologies Ltd and voice-mail company Comverse Technology Inc. According to the government almost half the country's exports are in technology.

Israeli coprocesor for phones ups crypto, cuts gates. Discretix Technologies Ltd. (Netanya, Israel), a provider of embedded security solutions, is sampling the fourth-generation version of its CryptoCell coprocessor, targeted at mobile-handset and semiconductor manufacturers. The CryptoCell device incorporates a coprocessor core, security infrastructure software and device drivers. It allows handset suppliers quickly to integrate the security demanded by network operators for the latest mobile applications.

Israeli film to open Berlin film fest. Eytan Fox's new film, Walk on Water, has been chosen to open the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival - an unprecedented honor for an Israeli movie.

Research tries to plant new heart cells with Israeli missile research. Cardiologists in Boston are using stem cells in an attempt to sprout new blood vessels deep inside patients' hearts, placing the researchers at the vanguard of scientists around the world who are harnessing patients' own bodies to fix their ailing hearts. To enhance prospects that they seed the cells where the need is greatest and success most probable, they use a three-dimensional imaging system originally invented to guide military missiles and later adapted for medical purposes by Israeli researchers.

One out of three Israeli homes has high-speed internet. Some 220,000 homes were connected in 2002, and this number has almost tripled, reaching 650,000 at the end of 2003. Israel is now in third place internationally, according to several indicators, in broadband growth.

Another Israeli Tennis Star is Born. Israeli athlete Shachar Pe'er has taken the junior girls' singles title in the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis championship. Pe'er also competed in the doubles competition and, with her partner Jarmila Gajdosova of Slovakia, reached the semifinals. Pe'er, 16, is from the Maccabim neighborhood of Modi'in.

Facts about the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world's population.

  • Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.
  • Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.
  • In 1984 and 1991, Israel airlifted a total of 22,000 Ethiopian Jews at risk in Ethiopia to safety in Israel.
  • When Golda Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969, she became the world's second elected female leader in modern times.
  • When the U. S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya was bombed in 1998, Israeli rescue teams were on the scene within a day - and saved three victims from the rubble.
  • Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship - and the highest rate among women and among people over 55 - in the world.
  • Relative to its population, Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation on earth. Immigrants come in search of democracy, religious freedom, and economic opportunity.
  • Israel was the first nation in the world to adopt the Kimberly process, an international standard that certifies diamonds as "conflict free."
  • Israel has the world's second highest per capita of new books.
  • Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in its number of trees, made more remarkable because this was achieved in an area considered mainly desert.
  • Israel has more museums per capita than any other country.
  • Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce, with 145 per 10,000, as opposed to 85 in the U.S., over 70 in Japan, and less than 60 in Germany. With over 25% of its work force employed in technical professions. Israel places first in this category as well.
  • Israel has the highest per capita ratio of scientific publications in the world by a large margin, as well as one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.
  • In proportion to its population, Israel has the largest number of startup companies in the world. In absolute terms, Israel has the largest number of startup companies than any other country in the world, except the US (3,500 companies mostly in hi-tech).
  • Israel is ranked #2 in the world for VC funds right behind the US.
  • Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita.
  • Outside the United States and Canada, Israel has the largest number of NASDAQ listed companies
  • Israel has the highest average living standards in the Middle East. The per capita income in 2000 is over $17,500, exceeding that of the UK.
  • With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and start-ups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world (apart from the Silicon Valley).
  • With an aerial arsenal of over 250 F-16s, Israel has the largest fleet of the aircraft outside of the US.
  • Israel's $100 billion economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbors combined.
  • The cell phone was developed in Israel by Motorola-Israel. Motorola built its largest development center worldwide in Israel.
  • Windows NT software was developed by Microsoft-Israel.
  • The Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel.
  • Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.
  • AOL's instant message program was designed by an Israeli software company.
  • Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R&D facilities outside the US in Israel
  • The city of Beer Sheva in Israel has the highest percentage in the world of Chess Grand Masters per capita – one for every 22,875 residents.
  • On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech start-ups
  • Israel has the largest raptor migration in the world, with hundreds of thousands of African birds of prey crossing as they fan out into Asia.
  • Twenty-four percent of Israel's workforce holds university degrees -- ranking third in the industrialized world, after the United States and Holland -- and 12 percent hold advanced degrees.