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Can Bird Flu Cured by South Korean Dish?

By has reported that the national Korean dish, Kimchi, is being touted as a treatment for avian flu. South Korean scientists at Seoul National University say that lactoid acids produced in the dish such as leuconostoc citreum appear to be effective in killing the lethal avian strain. South Korean chicken farmers have been feeding the substance to infected chickens and say that 85-percent recover from the virus. Kimchi is a spicy fermented cabbage dish.

Iranian President Says Anti-Israel Stance is Not New

By & VOA News

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says his recent comments that Israel should be "wiped off the map" reflect Iran's long-standing policy and do not mark a change in its position. Speaking Sunday in Tehran, Ahmadinejad said his words were the same ones used by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini nearly 27 years ago. The president's latest comments, reported by Iran's news agency, follow a string of international condemnations of his remarks against Israel.

On Friday, the United Nations Security Council backed a statement from Secretary-General Kofi Annan warning Iran that threats against another country violate the U.N. charter. The United States and the European Union said Ahmadinejad's comments on Israel added to Western fears about what they believe is Iran's quest to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran said it would stands by its U.N. commitments not to use violence against another country, amid international criticism over the Iranian president's call for Israel's destruction. The foreign ministry said Saturday Iran has never resorted to, nor threatened to resort to force against another country.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said Palestinians have recognized Israel's right to exist. He said what the international community should be discussing is adding a Palestinian state to the map, not wiping Israel from it.

The Iranian threat has revived speculation about whether Israel would launch a preemptive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. There is a precedent. The Israeli air force destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981.

Analysis / Iran Won't Destroy Israel, For Now

By Zvi Bar'el, Ha'aretz

The most interesting aspect of Iran's tempering of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's verbal assault on Israel is the source of the statements. While it was Iran's information minister and the spokesman for the Foreign Ministry who spoke with foreign news agencies, they were preceded by Ahmadinejad's main political rival, former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, during his Friday sermon at a Tehran mosque.

"We have no problems with Jews, and highly respect Judaism as a holy religion," Rafsanjani said. "We only have problems with Zionist circles in Israel, which we hold responsible for the suppression of the Palestinian nation," Rafsanjani continued. "Iran has no physical presence in Palestine, and all we do is aid the Palestinians spiritually, ideologically and medically," Rafsanjani said, in a statement that implies the absence of Iranian military aid to the Palestinians.

With regard to the peace process, Rafsanjani said, "Palestine is very important for us and we defend their legitimate rights to return to their homelands, but we are also willing to help end their misery." In other words, even the peace process is not a thorn in Rafsanjani's side. These words, which were intended to soften the sharp edges of the harsh remarks made by Ahmadinejad, are interesting less for their content than for the fact that they delineate the deep disagreement that began about three months ago between Ahmadinejad and several important entities in Iran.

The Iranian president has angered the Majlis by refusing to answer the questions of parliament members regarding his policies. The MPs took their revenge by rejecting his choice of four new cabinet ministers. Ahmadinejad does not follow the advice of economists who seek a new petroleum policy for the country, and he has angered some of his conservative supporters, who have seen plum government positions go to Revolutionary Guards, intelligence agents and friends of the president whose ultraconservative views even they consider anachronistic.

As a result of this rift, Iran's supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has ordered all government activities to be monitored by a powerful committee charged with defending the interests of the state that is the final arbiter on government law and policy. It is headed by Rafsanjani, who is now authorized to determine the agenda of the government.

Kabbalah Center Director Out on House Arrest


Shaul Youdkevitch, the Director of the Kabbalah Center, was released on Sunday to house arrest by the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court. Youdkevitch is charged with fraud after having convinced a cancer patient that she would be cured by donating money to the Center.

He was arrested Sunday on charges of fraud after the death of a cancer patient he talked into donating thousands of dollars in hopes of a cure. Youdkevitch is a key figure in the Kabbalah Center worldwide. He convinced the woman and her husband to donate more than $60,000 in order to obtain a cure for her terminal condition.

When the money ran out, the Center sold "holy water" at NIS 26 (about $5.60) a bottle to the woman and her husband, and recommended the husband leave his job to work at the Center. At that point, the father of two young children called the police and pressed charges after his 50-year-old wife died.

Youdkevitch was behind the American singer Madonna's visit to Israel last year.

UN Set to Vote on Global Day to Mark Holocaust

By Ha'aretz

The United Nations General Assembly will vote Monday on the establishment of an international Holocaust remembrance day. The proposal, which was submitted by Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, enjoys a solid majority, with at least 100 out of a total of 190 UN members promising to approve it.

The motion - which marks the first time Israel has submitted a resolution to the GA - calls for January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, to be recognized as an international day of Holocaust remembrance.

In recent years, a few European states have set an annual date on their calendar to commemorate the Holocaust. The proposal was submitted in cooperation with the United States, Russia, Australia and New Zealand, as well as members of the European Union.

As part of the proposal, all member states will be called upon to develop an educational curriculum meant to instill the memory of the Holocaust in future generations to prevent genocide from occurring again. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has expressed his support for the measure.

The draft resolution reads, in part: "The Holocaust constituted a systematic and barbarous attempt to annihilate an entire people, in a manner and magnitude that have no parallel in human history. Six million Jews, a full third of the Jewish people, together with countless other minorities, were murdered. And yet, while the Holocaust was a unique tragedy for the Jewish people, its lessons are universal.

"The United Nations, an organization founded on the ashes of the Holocaust and committed to `save succeeding generations from the scourge of war' and to uphold and protect the `dignity and worth of human beings,' bears a special responsibility to ensure that the Holocaust and its lessons are never forgotten and that this tragedy will forever serve as a warning to all people of the dangers of hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice."

Shalom was scheduled to attend the session but will instead attend the opening of the Knesset's winter session Monday. A number of foreign ministers, including those of Security Council members Britain, Russia and the U.S., are expected to attend the session.

Report: Nazi 'Doctor Death' has been hiding in Spain since 1985

By Reuters

An Austrian doctor accused of killing hundreds of inmates at a Nazi concentration camp during World War 2 has been hiding in Spain for the last 20 years, a Spanish newspaper reported on Sunday. German authorities have said they are hunting for Aribert Heim, 91, known as "Doctor Death".

Heim worked in Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria and killed hundreds of inmates by lethal injection and torture, according to the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center, which has also said Heim may be hiding out in Spain.

Spain's El Mundo newspaper, which has previously reported that Heim may once have lived on the Costa Brava, in northeastern Spain, said on Sunday that Heim had moved to Spain in 1985.

It said he had been sheltered by Odessa, a secret group believed to have helped Nazi war criminals hide and find them new identities. "Odessa, which has had one of its main operating bases in Spain during the 60 years of its history, has kept Doctor Aribert Heim...hidden in our country for the last 20 years," it said.

The report quoted investigators as saying that Heim's most lasting hideout was near the town of Roses, on the Costa Brava. "The police suspect that, knowing that he had been located, Heim left the Roses area in a yacht to go to the Marbella area (on the southern Spanish coast)," it said.

Some of Heim's victims were Spaniards. Many Republicans who fled to France after their defeat in the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War were sent to Mauthausen after being handed over to the Nazis by the Vichy government. Some 5,000 Spaniards died there.

According to El Mundo, Heim spent only seven weeks at Mauthausen, from October 8 to November 29, 1941, but said this was enough to leave an indelible mark. It said he was involved in injecting prisoners with benzene, a poison used as a solvent and insecticide, to see how long they lived, and in carrying out unnecessary operations.

El Mundo said he removed the appendices of two young Dutch Jews and let them die after a long agony. "Afterwards, he personally decapitated them, boiled their heads and cleaned their skulls," it said.

It quoted a former Mauthausen prisoner, Marcelino Bilbao, 85, who said he was given benzene injections by Heim over a six-week period but survived. "My body was paralyzed, my urine was red and blood was coming from my face," Bilbao said. He said Heim never spoke but he retained a clear memory of him.

Heim was captured by the Allies after the war but was only accused of belonging to the Waffen-SS and was freed from an internment camp in 1948, the report said. When his history began to come to light, he fled in 1962.

El Mundo said he lived in Egypt until 1967, when he traveled to several other countries before setting up a clinic in Uruguay between 1979 and 1983. Two years after that, he moved to Spain, it said.

An Interior Ministry spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment on Sunday. Newspaper reports have said that police are searching for Heim in Spain but Spanish officials have made no public comment on the case.

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