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Pope Apologizes to Jews

By Staff

Pope John Paul has issued an apology to the world's Jews, after centuries of religious persecution. The apology included making all Jews honorary Christians, and transferring an undisclosed portion of the Vatican's enormous wealth to Israel. "After all," the Pope said, "Jesus Christ was actually a Jew." Religious officials in Israel were unavailable for comment as they fought over who would be in charge of the Vatican's reparations.

Suicide Bombers Target Israelis in Sunday Attacks

By Ross Dunn (VOA-Jerusalem) & sources

Israelis in northern Israel and in the West Bank have been hit by two successive Palestinian suicide bombings. The second of the two occurred in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, wounding at least four people.

The first took place in the port city of Haifa killing at least 15 people and wounding 40 more. That blast occurred in a restaurant, next to a gas station, toward the end of lunch hour. Ambulances rushed to the scene, and first-aid workers evacuated the injured to nearby hospitals.

Some of the injured from the explosion were helped out of the wreckage with their clothes still on fire. The blast was so powerful that it ripped through the roof of the eatery and scattered debris across a nearby parking lot.

Amram Mitzna, the mayor of Haifa, a mixed city of Arabs and Jews, said it seemed that the explosion had hit every customer and worker in the restaurant. He says "Arabs and Jews frequented the eatery," adding that the two groups had not only had been a model of co-existence but now also suffered together through the same tragedies. The attacker came from the Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank town of Jenin, which Israeli authorities say is a recruitment center for suicide bombers.

Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, claimed responsibility for the attack. A spokesman for Hamas, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, said the bombings would continue until Israel ends its military operation in the West Bank city of Ramallah, including the occupation of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat's headquarters.

Witness Shimon Sabag described a horrific scene of "watching people on fire" and being unable to help them all. "I couldn't deal with the critical injuries, so I turned to the moderate," Sabag told Israel Radio. "I tried to put out the fire. Even the moderately injured were on fire." It was the fifth suicide bombing during the Passover holiday which began on Wednesday. The Islamic terror group Hamas claimed responsibility.

A few hours later another suicide bomber attacked the community of Efrat in Judea, near Bethlehem. At least two people were wounded. The bomber had come to a clinic on the edge of the settlement and blew himself up near a group of volunteer medics.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon vowed to smash Palestinian militants, saying Israel would not compromise with those ready to die to kill innocent civilians. Sharon said Israel was at war with terrorism and that Arafat is an "enemy of the free world." In a nationally televised address, Sharon accused. Arafat of coordinating and directing the recent spate of deadly terrorist attacks against Israel. Sharon repeated his vow to uproot the entire infrastructure of terrorism.

Apple Releases Jewish System Software
National Press Release

Apple Computer announced the future release of the first localizable religion module for their system software. According to an Apple spokesman, no previous operating system was able to add support for religion and culture.

The module will modify Apple's system software to interact with the user's ethnicity as closely as possible, maximizing enjoyment of the religion, to minimize potential embarrassing conflicts and to increase its overall intuitiveness and functionality. Several developers provided inside information on the beta versions of the software, developed under the codename "Tsures."

The Dates and Times control panel and the Calendar desk accessory have been extended to include all major religious holidays. Notifications can be arranged for these and for the commencement times of the Sabbath to allow the user to finish in time for prayer. The clock menu in the menubar will be set to Jewish mean-time, which is approximately 0.5 hours later than the default system time.

Extensions to the Speech Manager include addition of the voices "Brooklyn" and "Queens" to the dialects in which the computer can talk, while support for extra nasality and running-together of words has been added to the speech recognition software. A new output voice termed "Drescher" was to have been added but problems with the physical damage it caused some sound output hardware could not be overcome in time and it will be released in a later update to the system.

Other changes include a 'Nag' addition to the On-Line Help Menu in which the "OK" button in system dialog boxes is changed to "Nu?"; The "Welcome to Mac" icon and the dialog alert icons get a yarmulke. The "Welcome to Mac" message on startup becomes: "So? Why has it taken so long to see me again?"

Software vendors reportedly are modifying applications to take advantage of the new features. Symantec and other anti-virus vendors will update their hard disk scan utilities to include the ability to scan your system and peripherals in El-Al mode, which picks up guns, bombs and knives, while unerase utilities now display useful information such as "See? I told you a million times... if you don't back up..."

Other complaints concerned the packaged internet browser called "Moses." Some users claimed that it seemed to take forever to access any address inside Israel, usually crashing just after displaying images on the screen. And some users reported that their computer seized control from them, started making strange incantations and caused their memory chips to burst into smoky flames, displaying cryptic error messages about giving burnt RAM offerings to the Lord.

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