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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                      Sept. 19, 1995, V3, #172
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Technicolor Sabra Fruit

Israeli agronomists have succeeded in producing the cactus fruit, sabra, in a variety of colors, including purple, red, orange and yellow, at the Orly Farm in the Negev. The plant now produces fruit not just during August but for eight months each year. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, very sweet, and almost free of prickles.

Taba Progress; But it May Not be Enough

By David Gollust (VOA-Cairo)

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are holding more talks in Egypt on expanding Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank. The two sides report some progress, but apparently not enough to make a Thursday signing ceremony in Washington. The talks at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Taba resumed after a break of several hours with sources in both delegations speaking of progress, but reluctant to predict when the long delayed agreement might be ready.

Israel Foreign Minister Shimon Peres returned to Taba after meeting Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in Jerusalem, while PLO leader Yasir Arafat briefed his key advisers in Gaza during the pause in negotiations.

The talks are blocked over security arrangements for Hebron, the only major Arab town in the West Bank with a Jewish settler population. Israel is resisting Palestinian demands for a firm timetable for removing its forces from Hebron -- and reportedly has tabled a plan that would leave it in control of areas around the settlements near Hebron's business center.

Officials in both delegations say they do not feel pressured by any deadline, though US officials had hoped an agreement could be initialed at Taba in time to arrange a White House signing ceremony Thursday. Neither side believes that goal can be met.

Rabin Meets with Japanese Prime Minister

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin met Sunday with Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama. Murayama, whose visit marks the first time a Japanese prime minister has come to Israel, told Rabin that Syrian President Hafez al-Assad is willing to renew peace negotiations. Having met with Assad on Saturday, Murayama said the Syrian president understands that peace will give Syria economic and political advantages.

The Japanese prime minister promised that his country will open an office of JETRO, Japan's export institution, in Israel. He said Japan plans to invest in economic projects in the Middle East in order to advance peace.

In response to Rabin's request to raise the issue of IDF missing soldiers, Murayama said he would do so during his upcoming visit to Iran. Rabin told his guest that Israel places high importance on economic development in the Middle East as a stabilizing factor in the peace process. He also expressed his appreciation of Japan's involvement in the multilateral negotiations. He suggested that Japan could participate in the construction of new bridges spanning the Jordan river. The two prime ministers also agreed on the establishment of a joint committee on science and technology.

"This is Our Land" Attempts to Disturb Electricity Flow

The right-wing movement "This is Our Land" will attempt this evening to disturb the flow of electricity has asked activists to turn off all lights at a coordinated time and then to turn lights back on 10 minutes later.

Electrical engineers said the action could damage sensitive home electric devices such as computers and televisions. They advised people not to use these devices during the "This is Our Land" operation.

An Israel Electric Corporation spokesman said the action could cause damage as a result of sudden electricity surges to customers' houses. "This is Our Land" activists said if the Electric Corporation believes that damage could result from the operation, it is the company's responsibility to inform customers of preventive measures.

Kindergarten Studies to Include Math, Art and Science

The Ministry of Education is planning a new curriculum for the country's kindergartens to include some knowledge of basic mathematics, art, literature, social and natural sciences and technology. It will be nicknamed the "2000 Program" for the next decade and will expand on some elements in these subjects already being presented in state and state-religious kindergartens as well as those in minority sectors.

The director of pre-elementary education at the ministry, Dr. Rina Michaelovitch, says there is a basic conviction that children have the ability to learn and understand the world when exposed to challenges to learn. In nature studies, for instance, children between two and six years old, will learn about plants and life cycles; physical education and health training will also be included. They will be taught about the Earth, climate, and similar themes. In social sciences, the lessons will include family and environmental aspects, as well as communications and current events. Bible studies will be taught in the non-religious kindergartens as well.

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