Newsletter : 7fax0425.txt
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>JN April 25, 1997, Vol. 5, Number 74
Leaking package at B'nai B'rith makes people sick
By Frank Sesno (CNN)
At least 17 people were taken to hospitals after a package leaking
an unknown liquid was discovered at the Washington international
headquarters of B'nai B'rith.
The package and its contents were placed in sealed containers and
taken to the Bethesda Naval Research Facility for examination.
Police say labeling on the package indicated it contained anthrax,
a dangerous biological warfare chemical, but they added that
testing has shown that is not the case.
The package was labeled as possibly containing a chemical or
biological agent. It was accompanied by a letter of several pages,
signed by an organization no one recognized, FBI sources told
CNN. That name was not released.
The package was leaking liquid when it was discovered late Thursday
morning by mail clerks. Two people who came in contact with the
liquid reported feeling ill, and complained of headaches. They were
taken to a hospital for treatment and were reported in stable
A spokeswoman at George Washington University Hospital said at
least 15 to 18 other people exposed to the package were going to be
examined and were decontaminated as a precaution.
Invisible Ink Underwear Trial Gets Underway
By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Cairo)
An Israeli Arab and an Egyptian went on trial Thursday in Egypt on
charges of spying for Israel. If found guilty, they face the death
penalty or up to 15 years in prison with hard labor. The
three-judge panel heard the opening arguments and adjourned the
case until mid-May.
A crowded courtroom in Cairo heard the two men plead not guilty.
The defendants, dressed in white prison uniforms, stood inside an
iron cage while riot police guarded the courtroom inside and out.
The Israeli Arab, Azam Azam, and the Egyptian, Emad Abdel Hamid
Ismail, were picked up in September and charged with passing
secrets to Israel by writing with invisible ink on women's
underwear. They both worked at a clothing factory on the outskirts
Two Israeli women are also being tried in absentia. They are
accused of being Israeli secret agents who duped the men into
cooperating with them.
Representatives of the Israeli government and members of Azam's
family were in the courtroom for the hearing.
U.N. General Assembly Opens Emergency Session
By Elaine Johanson (VOA-United Nations)
The Palestine Liberation Organization is seeking concrete measures
from the United Nations against Israel to stop Israeli settlement
plans in east Jerusalem. The General Assembly Thursday opened a
two-day emergency session -- the fourth time the controversial
building project has been debated in New York.
The Palestinians want the General Assembly to approve a resolution
that would condemn Israel and encourage governments to inflict
sanctions against the Jewish state. They also want the UN to send
an observer team to monitor the occupied territories.
This debate is largely symbolic. The General Assembly's resolutions
-- unlike those of the Security Council -- are not binding. And
only the Council can impose mandatory sanctions.
The United States twice vetoed a resolution in the Security Council
critical of Israel. It said negotiations are the appropriate forum
for dealing with the Jerusalem issue. The Palestinian
representative called the US position an arrogance of power that
has ruled out the Security Council as an instrument of peace and
Besides the two Security Council debates on the Jerusalem building
plan, the General Assembly also met last month and overwhelmingly
urged Israel to abandon the project. This new assembly meeting was
called under a special "uniting for peace" formula devised in 1950.
It allows an issue considered a threat to peace to be referred to
the General Assembly if action in the security council has been
Israel considers all of Jerusalem its eternal capital, while the
Palestinians are hoping east Jerusalem will be the capital of a
future Palestinian state. Israel captured the eastern part during
the 1967 Middle East war. Both sides say they want to preserve the
peace process. But talks have ground to a halt under the strain of
Israel's decision to build new Jewish homes in the disputed area.
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