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>JN June 14, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 101

Husband Asks Police to Stop Wife From Opening Windows

By IsraelWire

One of the strangest complaints in years was made to the Afula police: a resident begged the police officers to prevent his wife from opening the windows in their home. The police believed the man was joking until he explained that they live near a construction site, and because of the dust that enters the house, he must clean for hours a day.


Syrian President Buried

By Scott Bobb (VOA-Damascus)

Syria's late president, Hafez al-Assad, was buried Tuesday in his home village of Qardaha, in northwestern Syria. Earlier, scores of delegations from around the world paid their respects to the veteran Arab leader as his body lay in state in the Syrian capital.

Assad was buried in the village where he was born, following prayers and an emotional farewell from residents of his close-knit mountain community. Earlier in the day, his son and designated heir, Bashar, received condolences from world leaders, as the president's body lay in state after an emotional funeral procession through the streets of Damascus.

Tens of thousands of mourners thronged a main square where they chanted praises to their late leader and pledged loyalty to his son. Arab leaders and most Syrians have publicly embraced 34-year-old Bashar al-Assad, although his uncle Rifaat -- now in exile -- has indicated he might contest the succession.


Argentina Apologizes for Being a Nazi Haven

By Penny Dixon (VOA-Washington)

Argentinean President Fernando de la Rua is apologizing for Argentina's tolerance of Nazi immigrants after World War 2 and for its slowness in helping bring them to justice.

Mr. de la Rua says he wants the world to know that Argentina stands firmly on the side of the victims of the holocaust, and supports all those who suffer from racial or religious hatred. He says he has a deep feeling of pain when he thinks about the close ties between Argentina and the Nazis.

Mr. de la Rua also apologized for the behavior of some Argentinean consular officials who refused to help Jewish refugees seeking a safe haven after the war. The Argentinean leader says the opening of a Holocaust museum in Buenos Aires will help people remember the past wrongs and strive to avoid their repetition.

"It is not good that in this time we can see that appear again other forms of persecution, xenophobia or racism. Because of that, this is a part of our fight in favor of the peace, in favor of respect for the dignity of the human being."

President de la Rua says investigators are continuing to look into the unsolved bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires in 1992 and the attack on a Jewish community center two years later. He calls the attacks open wounds in the hearts of all Argentineans.


German Industry Happy Over Nazi Slave Labor Compromise

By Jonathan Braude (VOA-Berlin)

German and United States negotiators have reached agreement on legal protection for German industry against further claims for compensation from victims of Nazi slave-labor programs during World War Two. The VOA reports from Berlin that should provide the incentive German industry needs to pays its part of a $5 billion compensation fund agreed to at the end of last year.

It was six months ago that Germany agreed in principle to creation of a $5 billion pay-out for Jewish and other victims of Adolf Hitler's forced-labor programs during the Second World War. But the difficulty was always in the details.

In March, the fund was divided up between victims from Jewish backgrounds and the many East Europeans forced to work in German factories and for the German state. But the biggest question hung over 55 class-action lawsuits still pending against German industry in U.S. courts.

Now after many months of negotiation, chief American negotiator Stuart Eizenstat has said Washington will oppose further legal action, by means of a so-called "statement of interest," which tells the courts that the cases would not advance U.S. foreign policy goals. His German counterpart, Otto Lambsdorff, said he was pleased with the agreement, even though it does not provide a 100-percent guarantee that all cases will be dismissed.

If the victims' lawyers can agree and the courts show willingness, the many German companies which still have not signed up to the deal might now agree to contribute their share, and the first victims may at last receive some compensation.


Possible Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Beach Bus Route

By IsraelWire

Jerusalemites wishing to go on the Sabbath to the Tel Aviv beaches may be able to do so Saturday on a bus hired by a Jerusalem high school student. The idea of the private bus line to the beach was thought up by Neta Hasidim, a 10th-grade student, who, several months ago, established the Jerusalem Youth Forum to further the interests of Jerusalem's youth.

Hasidim stated that she believes there will be a demand for the bus, since many students would like to have a way to get to the beach on Saturdays. Jerusalem deputy mayor Haim Miller said that he opposes Sabbath violation of any kind, and that the Sabbath bus will not operate for long.


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