Israel’s Scailex reports problems with Samsung Galaxy S4 batteries

Scailex Corp, which imports Samsung products in Israel, said on Monday it had been experiencing problems with batteries of the popular Galaxy S4 cellular phone.

Scailex said it was making the announcement after local media reported about malfunctioning batteries, and upon request of the Israel Securities Authority.

Israel's top-selling Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported that thousands of the batteries in Israel had a problem with swelling, and that at least 20 batteries had burst into flames.

“Starting in the third quarter of 2013, we began to receive indications of problems,” Scailex said in a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. “The company was in constant and intensive contact with Samsung on the issue of these problems, and in February 2014 started an independent examination.”

The examination, it said, was ongoing. Samsung said in response that it maintained strict quality controls.

“The swollen batteries have never been determined as the cause of burning cases,” the company said in a statement to Reuters.

“However, to ensure a seamless experience for our customers, Samsung has been providing replacements for the swollen batteries free of charge, regardless of the warranty period since October 2013.”

Scailex did not list specific problems it had encountered, but said it passed on to Samsung the details it had collected and in return requested clarifications.

Scailex said it was not aware of similar problems in Galaxy S4 devices produced after January 2014.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Mark Potter and David Evans

Teacher arrested after Holocaust lesson goes awry

A South Carolina teacher was arrested on charges of assault and battery after trying to make a point during a lesson on the Holocaust.

Patricia Mulholland, a veteran seventh-grade social studies teacher at Bluffton Middle School, is accused of dragging a student from his seat by his collar and pushing him under a table while shouting “this is what the Nazis do to Jews.” The incident occurred last week.

The teacher said she was attempting to supplement a previous lesson on the Holocaust, The Associated Press reported Tuesday. Police reportedly have copies of videos made by some students on their cell phones of the teacher acting strangely before the incident, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Mulholland, who has been teaching in the district for 23 years, was placed on administrative leave with pay on April 26. The school district has launched an internal review.

It has not been reported whether or not the student is Jewish.

Technion gets $5 million to develop a better battery

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has given the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology a $5 million grant to further develop a light, long-lasting and environmentally friendly battery for energy storage.

The grant, which will be paid out over three years, will be used to create The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust Energy Storage Complex, the Haifa-based school’s American fundraising arm announced last Friday. Its ultimate goal is to help end the world’s dependence on fossil fuels.

“The Helmsley Trust is proud to be associated with the Technion in this very important project,” Sandor Frankel, a trustee of the Helmsley Trust, said in a release from the American Technion Society.

Two U.S. patents are pending for the Technion Si-air battery, a new type of silicon-air battery that was developed by Technion scientists.

The Energy Storage Complex will consist of three separate laboratories for conducting battery research.

The Helmsley Charitable Trust, established in 1999, has announced more than $410 million in grants to charitable organizations.