Newsletter : 0fax0614.txt
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>JN June 14, 2000, Vol. 8, No. 101
Husband Asks Police to Stop Wife From Opening Windows
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
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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