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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                     March 27, 1995, V3, #55
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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CD-ROM System for Deaf-mutes

An Israeli company developing multi-media learning systems has devised computerized system for teaching sign language used by deaf-mutes through a computer. It is based on the American sign-language system and marketed on CD-ROM discs through an American publisher, Harper-Collins, for $60. The disk includes video, color animation, graphics and video-clips.

King Hussein Optimistic About Mideast Peace

By Alan Silverman (Los Angeles)

Speaking in California this weekend, Jordan's King Hussein repeated warnings about terrorism and pledged continued commitment to a peaceful, stable Middle East. Preparing for talks in Washington, the 59-year-old monarch also urged economic as well as political support for the peace process. The king addressed the Los Angeles World Affairs Council:

Shouts of "Long live King Hussein" brought the 1,000 business and civic leaders to their feet as the Jordanian leader heralded a new "era of peace building." "We have closed the chapter on the years of strife. We have the joy that we did not experience throughout our lives of seeing hope in the eyes of our children and confidence in the future."

It is a future that requires economic support. With President Clinton's request to forgive Jordan's $480 million debt facing tough opposition from congressional Republicans, King Hussein urged Americans to count on "the dividends of peace." "As the United States stood by us in the process of peacemaking, we are confident that it will stand by us in the era of peace building. The rewards and benefits of peace for all have never been greater."

Calling the accord with Israel "a model for conflict resolution," King Hussein defended Jordan's decision not to wait for agreements on Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinians: "I believe that what he have achieved -- Israel and Jordan -- boosted the hopes of those across the divide that does not exist anymore: the new divide between those who are firmly committed to peace and those who are opposed to it."

The king warned against terrorism -- "the forces of darkness and rejectionism," as he put it -- and a question about Islamic fundamentalists drew an emotional response: "Nothing is more difficult for me to come to terms with than to see the distortion of my religion and my faith: to see acts committed in the name of religion and faith that have nothing to do with religion and faith. As a Moslem, a Hashemite, a Jordanian and an Arab, I will do whatever I can to stand against anyone who tries to use my religion and faith to achieve whatever his objectives may be."

On Iraq, King Hussein said Jordan always opposed the 1990 occupation of Kuwait and he expressed hope that the Baghdad government will recognize, as he put it, "the terrible toll" on the region and its own people. "We are against the use force by any against any in our region and will always be. But in regard to Iraq, you see the tragic results of the acts of politicians and people in positions of responsibility. I can only summarize by saying that we are worried and deeply concerned at the suffering of the people of Iraq."

King Hussein's US visit includes a medical check-up at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and talks with President Clinton in Washington.

Palestinian Produce Will Receive Favored Status From U.S.

By Patricia Golan (Jerusalem)

US Vice President Al Gore brought badly needed aid to Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat during his visit Friday to the Palestinian autonomous enclave of Jericho. Gore is the highest ranking American official to visit the Palestinian autonomous areas, which were established last May. It was a gesture the Palestinians welcomed. But the visit was more than just symbolic.

In a ceremony to hand over part of a $500 million aid package to be paid out over four years, Gore said one of the most important dividends of the peace process is economic development in the West Bank and Gaza. "We also agreed that sustained economic development will only be possible through a combination of donor assistance and private sector investment."

Gore said $73 million of the funds will be used immediately on various employment and development schemes. And Palestinians will be granted preferred trade status to enable them to export mainly agriculture produce to the United States without paying tariffs. The agreement is part of a program offering incentives to developing countries to attract investment and increased trade.

Gore praised Arafat for his pledge to wage a new campaign against terrorism. Israel has demanded that Arafat rein in terrorists as the price for expanding Palestinian autonomy on the West Bank.

During the ceremony, Arafat referred, through a translator, to the new military courts he has ordered set up to deal with suspected terrorists. "Among these measures, my decision to establish a State Security Court and those who will try to jeopardize and harm peace and security will be prosecuted through this court...All of us will cooperate with our Arab brothers, we will cooperate with the Israelis and we will cooperate with our friends around the world in order to protect peace."

The establishment of the special courts has been criticized by Palestinian human rights activists as draconian.

This was only the second time that Arafat has visited Jericho since his arrival last summer. Speaking to crowds in Jericho's central square before his meeting with Gore, Arafat promised that he would soon take control of the entire West Bank, despite Israel's reluctance to withdraw its troops. He accused Israel of reneging on parts of its accord with the PLO, including the promise to create a free land passage connecting Gaza with Jericho through Israel.

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