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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                       July 15, 1996 V4, #127
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Arafat Meets With Mubarak

By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)

Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat met Sunday with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak -- before the Egyptian leader meets this week with Israel's new prime minister. The two Arab leaders discussed the peace process and rising tensions in the Palestinian self-rule areas.

Saturday, a Palestinian official in Gaza warned the new Israeli government that its hardline approach will spark, what he called, a new explosion. During his visit to Washington, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated his opposition to the principle of land for peace, a future Palestinian state, or a divided Jerusalem.

Arafat has also complained Israel is not implementing agreements already signed, including the re-deployment of troops from Hebron on the West Bank.

Mubarak meets with the Israeli leader later this week and is expected to press Netanyahu to honor the agreements and push forward with the peace process. Egypt was the first Arab state to sign a peace treaty with Israel 17-years ago, and has played an active role as mediator in the current peace process.

Bibi Speaks With American Jews

By Barbara Schoetzau (VOA-New York)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met last week in New York with a group of influential American Jewish leaders, telling them he wants to pursue his own vision of peace with the Palestinians.

In his first visit to New York since becoming prime minister a little over one month ago, Netanyahu told a prominent group of Jewish Americans his government's two highest objectives are peace and security and reforming Israel's economy.

Netanyahu said he wants to find a way for Palestinian Arabs to conduct their lives with maximum freedom while Israeli Jews conduct their lives with maximum security.

"What I would like to see happen and where I am going to pursue this process is to say to the Palestinians: you have your own affairs. You have your own institutions. You have your own elected representatives. You can run every aspect of your life. We are not interested in governing you. We are not interested in running your lives or dominating you. But there are three central powers of sovereignty that are important for us. One is security, not only against terrorism but against the imposition of foreign armies right next to Jerusalem or Tel Aviv...So what I am looking for is a solution that would enable them to run their affairs but would enable us to stay alive and for both of us to prosper. In any case, I want to tell you that my mandate is to handle the national aspiration of the Jews and not of the Palestinians."

Peace and security issues have traditionally topped the agenda of Israeli governments. Netanyahu's emphasis on moving the Israeli economy away from state-control toward free market conditions sets him apart from his predecessors. He says Israel has the potential to be one of the richest nations in the world.

"It has the ability to produce conceptual products. Software is a conceptual product. Computer networking is a conceptual product. Home shopping through these computer labyrinths, through these communication lines, that is a conceptual product. Now Israel is doing very well with these conceptual products and the countries that are going to be rich are those countries that are going to be high-brain countries in their industries and production. We have the capacity because we have a highly trained and scientifically oriented workforce, primarily because we have a large defense establishment."

Netanyahu says Israel's economy is ready to take off and he wants to liberate the economy from bureaucratic bonds. He says improvements in the economy and educational opportunities will also benefit the Palestinians.

Moses: Circumcision Offers AIDS Protection

By David McAlary (VOA-Vancouver, Canada)

An ancient hygiene and religious ritual for males may offer some protection against the AIDS virus, HIV. Studies presented at the International AIDS Conference in Vancouver show that circumcision seems to lower the risk for acquiring the disease during sexual activity.

The findings were summarized by Stephen Moses of the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and the University of Manitoba in Canada. Moses pointed out that 27 out of 39 studies conducted in Africa and the United States found that uncircumcised men have about twice the risk of becoming infected with AIDS than their circumcised counterparts.

The biological explanation for this finding is that the moist, warm inside of the male foreskin is a perfect environment for microorganisms like the AIDS virus. During sexual activity, the tender tissue is subject to tiny tears and abrasions which provide a gateway for the virus into the blood.

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