Newsletter : 4fax1117.txt
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Israeli Navy Isn't Certain That Submarine was Friendly
Senior sources in the navy told IDF Radio, Tuesday, that it was not certain the
submarine that infiltrated Israeli territorial waters, last week, was registered to a
Western, friendly country. "The assessment that what we are talking about is a submarine
belonging to a friendly, Western country is not necessarily correct," the sources were
quoted as saying.
Powell to Meet with Israeli, Palestinian Leaders
By Laurie Kassman (VOA-State Department)
Secretary of State Colin Powell will meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders next
week to discuss prospects for reviving the Middle East peace process. He will travel to
Israel and Palestinian-controlled territories ahead of a scheduled conference in
On Monday, Powell talked of new opportunities for peace in the Middle East following
the death of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat. The Bush administration had considered
Arafat an obstacle to progress. "Hopefully over the next few weeks I'll be able to see how
much potential there is in this new opportunity in the Middle East with the passing of
Chairman Arafat," he said.
On Tuesday, spokesman Richard Boucher announced that Powell would travel this coming
weekend to Israel and the Palestinian territories to talk about prospects for peace and to
offer support for the Palestinian elections for a new leadership. "The secretary will meet
with Israeli officials and the new Palestinian leadership to discuss how during this
period of transition we can move forward toward peace and realize shared goals of the
president's vision of two states living side by side in peace and security," he said.
France to Give Arafat's Medical Records to Family
By VOA News
France said it will give Yasir Arafat's medical file to his immediate family, but would
not disclose the cause of his death to Palestinian officials who had asked for details.
Speaking Tuesday in Paris, French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said French law dictates
that only family members are entitled to such information.
Arafat died Thursday in a French hospital near Paris, after slipping into a coma and
suffering what doctors said was a brain hemorrhage. Physicians have not said what caused
his death. Monday, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia asked for a full medical
report. The request is seen as an effort to end widespread Arab speculation that Arafat
may have been poisoned by Israel. Senior Palestinian officials said there is no evidence
GSS Agent Firmly Planted in Yeshiva
A GSS (Shabak/General Security Service) agent who was planted as a "sleeper" agent in a
hareidi yeshiva apparently fell into a deeper-than-expected slumber - and is now an
Yehoshua Meiri, host of a weekly show (in Hebrew) on Arutz-7 internet radio, told his
listeners this week of a young man, loosely affiliated with the Shas Party, who signed up
with the GSS in 1991. After a training period, his GSS handlers sent him to a yeshiva,
with "instructions to be detailed later." He was told that some time in the future, he
would be asked to act within right-wing circles in Jerusalem yeshivot such as Mir and
Hevron, as well as Breslover institutions.
In the meantime, however, the "agent" became heavily involved in the spiritual life of
the yeshiva, and married and built a family. A year and a half ago, when his handlers
attempted to "wake him up" and utilize his services, he informed them in no uncertain
terms that he was no longer the same person, that he was now fully religious and that he
had no intention of cooperating with them. "Let me live my life," he told them.
Several months ago, they returned, though with a slightly more modest request. They
asked that he gather around him right-wing/hareidi students from the above yeshivot - but
again he rebuffed them. He has not heard from them since. Meiri, a veteran journalist with
ties in the security establishment, stated that he knows of at least one other case
similar to this one.
Imported Israeli Flags Cause Outcry
The Histadrut national labor union has called attention to the IDF practice of
outsourcing the production of the flags used by the various branches of the military.
"The government of Israel is dirtying the flag," said David Yifrach, chairman of the
Histadrut's social welfare department. Yifrach added that while it may be more
cost-efficient to produce the flags overseas, the money saved is then paid out as
unemployment compensation to those workers fired as a result of the outsourced labor.
Yifrach called upon the public to refuse to wave flags made outside of the Jewish
State, and to apply pressure on the IDF Chief of Staff, the Finance Minister and the
Industry and Trade Minister to halt orders for Israeli military-unit flags from China.
Knesset member Shaul Yahalom (NRP), who serves as the chairman of the Knesset Labor and
Social Affairs Committee, also condemned the practice. Yahalom suggested that in certain
cases, tenders should be limited to Israeli companies. "We have to ensure that Israeli
products receive proper market placement, especially when we are talking about symbols of
the state," he told Voice of Israel Radio.
Israeli Technology Puts the Chill in Motorcycle Riders
If you're a motorcycle rider, there's not too many times of the year when you can feel
comfortable riding in the elements. In the summer, all that protective clothing and helmet
have you sweating buckets. And in the winter, despite all that protective gear, you're
just as likely to freeze your tootsies off.
But an Israeli physicist-turned-inventor has developed the air-conditioned motorcycle -
a novel solution that cools all those easy riders in the summer and warms them in the
winter. And most importantly, as motorcycling fatalities in the U.S. rose for the sixth
consecutive year during 2003 to 3,592, an increase of 11%, it will make motorcycle riding
Glen Guttman and his company Entrosys have developed the prototype for the electronic
unit powered by a standard motorcycle battery which funnels cold or warm air into a
thermal undershirt worn under a motorcyclist's heavy outer jacket. "We've built the
prototype for a personal climate control system. It's a compact unit weighing about eight
pounds, and it's mounted on the back of the cycle and connects to the battery. It drives
cool or warm air via a hose connected to a vest the rider wears under his protective gear.
A small keychain remote control unit enables the rider to control the unit."
Guttman, who's not a motorcycle enthusiast himself, said he came up with the idea after
talking to friends who are bikers. "Around the time I was doing my Ph.D. in the mid-'90s,
a friend of mine who is a motorcyclist visited me; he was all hot and sweaty from the
humid Tel Aviv air. I looked at him and realized I could solve his problem," Guttman said.
"I began to develop the idea in 1997, but we didn't formally establish the company until
four years ago when we started raising funds.
"According to our plan, we hope to begin production during the second half of next
year. People have come to us and said they love the idea. We had a visitor from Canada and
he was thrilled at the heating aspect," said Guttman. "In cooling, we have no competition,
but in heating there are heating blankets and active heating with lots of electrical
wiring over the body. However, there's a psychological aversion to that, which our system
Guttman explained that the temperature-controlled comfort that Entrosys is providing to
bikers is just a means to an end. The ultimate benefit is making motorcycles safer on the
road. "We're offering not only comfort but safety. When cyclists are hit with heat or
cold fatigue because they're exposed to the elements, they lose concentration making them
more susceptible to accidents. We give them a micro-climate, a nice comfort zone that will
keep them alert," he said.
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