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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                     Nov. 2, 1995, V3, #199
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Rabbi Attacked in Drive-By Shooting

Two Palestinian youths held a U.N. employee at gunpoint Wednesday and then stole his car to carry out a drive-by shooting, Rabbi Uzi Nevo was severely wounded when the gunmen fired on his car outside the settlement of Kochav Ya'acov near Ramallah. Nevo continued driving until reaching the Ramallah-Jerusalem road where he met an acquaintance who brought him to a hospital. The rabbi is in serious but stable condition.

Lebanese Hizbullah Transforms into a National Resistance Movement

By Edward Yeranian (VOA-Beirut)

Lebanese Hizbullah terrorists attacked and briefly seized two Israeli militia outposts along Israel's self-declared security zone in southern Lebanon early Wednesday. Two militia men were killed and three others wounded, according to Lebanese police sources. Four Israeli soldiers were also reported wounded in a separate Hizbullah attack. Israeli planes responded by bombing Hizbullah positions.

Fighters belonging to the Iranian-backed Hizbullah militia attacked and briefly occupied two fortified mountaintop positions guarding Israel's self-declared security zone in southern Lebanon, early Wednesday.

Bitter fighting also broke out between Hizbullah and members of an Israeli patrol, following the explosion of a roadside bomb.

Israeli helicopters came to the aid of the stricken patrol, strafing the area with machine gun fire before the wounded could be evacuated. Israeli planes also bombed parts of southern Lebanon in retaliation.

Tension in southern Lebanon has been mounting during the past month. Nine Israeli soldiers have been reported killed and at least 10 others wounded in just over three weeks. Reports in the Beirut press say the current flare up is a result of a breakdown of peace talks between Israel and Syria.

Hizbullah, which has repeatedly vowed to drive Israeli troops out of southern Lebanon, has been launching increasingly bold attacks against Israeli positions in recent months.

A spokesman for the United Nations troops posted in southern Lebanon said Israeli forces and the Lebanese militia fighting alongside them were nervous and morale low following the recent attacks. One western military attache in Beirut said Hizbullah troops are more and more well trained -- and the equipment they use, including Russian-made Saggar missiles, are increasingly more sophisticated.

Hizbullah, which now calls itself the Lebanese National Resistance, has been seeking to win popular support for its campaign to oust Israel from the security zone.

Ashkenazi Women Prone to Breast and Ovarian Cancers

By David McAlary (VOA-Washington)

US researchers have discovered the risk of breast and ovarian cancer might be much higher in Jews of Eastern and Central European ancestry than in the general population. Scientists have found a relatively common genetic defect in this group may predispose many Jewish women to the diseases, and possibly Jewish men to prostate and colon cancer.

The Ashkenazim of Central and Eastern European origin -- who make up most American Jews and half of those in Israel -- are prey to a unique set of genetic ailments. Now, cancer of the breast and ovaries might be added to the list.

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health say this population is prone to a defect -- or misspelling, as they call it -- in a breast cancer gene discovered last year. Francis Collins heads the National Center for Genomic Research, one of two NIH branches involved in the finding.

"What is being reported here today is that in a particular population -- in this case, the Ashkenazi Jewish population -- there is a specific misspelling that turns up over and over again at a surprisingly high frequency of about one in 100."

This single chemical defect is five to eight times more frequent in Ashkenazi Jews than all other known defects in this gene are in the overall population. The researchers suspect it might account for 16 per cent of breast cancers and 39 per cent of ovarian cancers in Jewish women under 50. This is roughly four times the rate of the other mutations in women at large.

Another difference is also significant: while mutations in this gene are usually found in families with an inherited susceptibility to breast cancer, the newly-discovered defect was found in unrelated people.

Because it is a single defect in a specific location in a single population, National Cancer Institute Director Richard Klausner says a genetic screening test should be easy to develop.

But Klausner warns that testing people now would be premature because researchers need more time to learn whether the incidence of the defect is the same in larger groups of Ashkenazim and, if so, what its association with cancer is.

Evidence from cancer-prone families shows that men who have defects in the breast cancer gene may have an increased risk of prostate and colon cancer. The questions about the genetic mutation could take years to answer. The results are not cause for Ashkenazi Jewish women to seek private breast cancer genetic testing. Further research is planned with a study of this defect in a group of 5,000 Ashkenazim living in a Washington suburb. The NIH also plans research in Poland to see if it is present in non-Jewish people who are historically related to Ashkenazim by region.

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