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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                      Aug. 8, 1995, V3, #143
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Peres-Arafat Hold Face-to-Face Taba Talks

By Laurie Kassman (Cairo)

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators remain deadlocked in their talks in the Israeli resort town of Eilat. PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres are meeting across the border in the neighboring Egyptian resort of Taba to try to break the deadlock, while Jewish settlers continue their protests against expanding Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank.

The accord will cover the redeployment of Israeli troops and rules for Palestinian elections. The elections were supposed to be held a year ago. But key issues like water-sharing and West Bank security are still blocking a final agreement.

So once again Arafat and Peres are meeting face-to-face to try to find a way out of the impasse.

Settlers Threaten 'Civil Revolt' Today Throughout Israel

By Al Pessin (Jerusalem)

Israeli Settlers symbolically took over two hilltops in the West Bank Monday, resuming their campaign of protests against the government's plans to expand Palestinian autonomy.

Monday's hilltop protests were smaller than the ones last week, but the pattern was the same -- settlers occupied the areas late at night and police removed them the following afternoon. Some settlers refused to move and were carried away.

One settler group announced that today will be what it calls a day of "civil revolt." The group said its members will block roads in several parts of israel and the West Bank and will create as many as 30 new settlements.

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said he is ready for a dialogue with the settlers. But he said he will not change the government's basic policy of expanding Palestinian autonomy. The settlers say such an expansion would endanger their security by putting Palestinian police in charge of controlling militant groups in Palestinian cities and towns, near the Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Police Temporarily Close Temple Mount to Prevent Rioting

The threat of clashes between Jews and Muslims on the Temple Mount prompted Police Commissioner Lt. Gen. Asaf Chefetz and Jerusalem District Commander Maj. Gen. Ariyeh Amit on Sunday to decide to prohibit all visitors to the site.

Hundreds of Jewish visitors arrived at the Temple Mount Sunday hoping the police would carry out a ruling by the High Court of Justice permitting Jews to visit during the Tisha B'Av day of observance. Several hundred activists gathered Sunday outside a gate leading to the Temple Mount. In an attempt to forcibly enter the site, several people were involved in physical confrontations with police.

"The High Court of Justice did not permit Jews to pray on the Temple Mount. It allowed both Jews and tourists to visit the site, not to worship," said Amit.

"Since 1967 there has been a governmental decision that Jews may not pray at the Temple Mount. They may go up and visit -- and this is the current situation," said Amit.

Rosenbergs Identified by Codebreakers

By John Pitman (Washington)

In 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed in the United States after being found guilty of spying for the Soviet Union. The government said the Rosenbergs conspired to sell secrets about the US atomic program to Moscow. John Pitman recently spoke to two of the analysts who broke the codes that once protected the Rosenbergs'identity, and has this report on the painstakingly slow spy hunt that led to their arrest.

In early 1943, the US and the USSR were still allies in the war against Nazi Germany. But at the same time, the US was also making progress in its atomic program -- the Manhattan Project -- and was suspicious that Soviet agents might be trying to steal some of its secrets. In February of 1943, the army set up a small, and very secret, project to decipher coded radio messages intercepted from Soviet diplomatic posts in the US. The project came to be known as "Venona."

At first, the work was extremely difficult. The Soviets used a system that encoded messages twice, first assigning each word a number, then assigning each number another number. The instructions to decode the messages were recorded in only two places. The sender had a copy and so did the recipient. What made breaking this kind of code so hard was that each series was only used once, so lessons learned with one document might not necessarily apply to another.

One linguist was Meredith Gardner. He was the first analyst to make sense of the decoded patterns. In 1946, he began translating cables that had been intercepted two years earlier from the Soviet Consulate in New York City. On Dec. 20, 1946, Gardner deciphered a message that contained a list of scientists working on the Manhattan Project, which the Soviets had code-named, "Enormoz."

Gardner and the Venona team began to assemble a more complete picture of the Soviet spy ring that had infiltrated the Manhattan Project.

Gardner says he remembers two code names that appeared frequently in the messages: "Antenna" and "Liberal." While the messages never referred to Julius Rosenberg directly, it was later discovered that these two cover names did, in fact, belong to him.

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