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Neo-Nazis Deface Holocaust Memorial in Germany


Neo-Nazis slogans and symbols were spray-painted early Monday morning on a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust in the city of Dessau, in eastern Germany. There have been 308 anti-Semitic incidents in Germany during the months of July through September. Of those, nine were violent attacks. Six people were injured overall. 25 people were arrested as a result of investigations into anti-Semitic crimes.

Israel Says It Won't Cooperate with Palestinian Elections

By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israel said it wouldn't cooperate with Palestinian elections, a move that could put the landmark January vote in jeopardy. The Palestinians are accusing Israel of meddling in their affairs.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Israel wouldn't facilitate Palestinian elections because of the participation of the Islamic militant group Hamas. Speaking to the parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Sharon said Hamas is a terrorist organization and it should have no place in the democratic process. He said Israel would not ease roadblocks in the West Bank and will make it difficult for Hamas to campaign freely.

Committee member Effi Eitam said Hamas participation in elections does not serve the cause of peace. "It's very much like the idea that the Americans will allow al-Qaida to participate in the election in Iraq. It's impossible. And at the end of the day, I'm very much worrying that we shall be witnessing the Hamas as the next leadership of the Palestinian Authority."

Hamas seeks the destruction of Israel and is responsible for dozens of deadly suicide bombings. But the Palestinian Authority hopes that by taking part in elections, the group will abandon violence and become a political party.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told VOA that the participation of Hamas is an internal Palestinian affair. "Palestinian legislative elections on the 25th of January, 2006, must take place without any interference from Israel or anybody else."

On another front, Sharon ruled out renewing peace talks with Syria, which broke down five years ago. Syrian President Bashar Assad has expressed interest in opening talks, but Sharon indicated that Israel has no intention of relinquishing the strategic Golan Heights, captured from Syria during the Six Day War in 1967. Sharon said past negotiations on an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan were a "grave mistake."

JDL Mosque Attack Plotter Murdered in Prison

By The Guardian

A Jewish Defense League activist imprisoned for plotting to blow up a California mosque and the office of a Lebanese-American congressman has been killed in jail. Earl Krugel, 62, was attacked at a federal prison in Phoenix, Arizona, on Friday.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched a murder inquiry. Krugel's wife, Lola, said the FBI told her another inmate had struck her husband on the head from behind with a cement block. "Earl never saw it happening," she told the Associated Press news agency. "He was exercising."

Krugel was sentenced to 20 years in September after admitting the plot charges. He had been at the medium-security jail for only three days.

The FBI arrested Krugel and another leader of the JDL, Irv Rubin, in Los Angeles in 2001. Rubin is said to have killed himself while being held in custody. Danny Gillis, a younger league member who had been supposed to plant the explosives, tipped off police.

Krugel, a former dental assistant, was charged with conspiring to bomb the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, Los Angeles, and a field office of the Republican Congressman Darrell Issa. Bomb-making equipment was found at Krugel's home.

At his sentencing, he expressed regret for his actions and claimed to have become a changed man. The judge did not believe him and accused him of "promoting hatred in the most vile way."

Krugel had angered prosecutors who claimed that for months he withheld the names of four people allegedly linked to the 1985 murder of Alex Odeh, a director of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

Meir Kahane, a New York rabbi who called for the forcible removal of all Arabs from Israel and the occupied territories, established the JDL in 1968. He was assassinated in New York in 1990.

A spokesman for the league, Brett Stone, said he was stunned by Krugel's death. He does not believe that Rubin killed himself. "It's shocking. That's the second member of the Jewish Defense League in three years who has died in federal prison," he told AP.

Gillis wore a concealed tape recorder during a number of his meetings with the plotters. On tape they also discussed bombing the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles, but abandoned the plan, fearing it might damage other offices in the building.

In his plea agreement, Krugel said that Rubin had chosen the targets to be bombed while he had supervised Gillis. He pleaded guilty to conspiring to bomb Issa's office, an offense carrying a mandatory 10-year prison term, and of violating the civil rights of worshippers at the mosque.

Joint Israeli-US team Finds Thyroid Drug Reduces Colon Cancer Risk by 50%


A joint US-Israeli research project has discovered that the drug L-thyroxin, most commonly used for the treatment of an underactive thyroid, can halve the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). Scientists from the two countries announced at the current meeting of the American Association Cancer Research - Prevention Branch in Baltimore.

"The effect was pretty dramatic," Professor Gad Rennert of the Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at the Technion Institute of Science, the head of the team, said at the conference. However, he added, "We have yet to understand the mechanisms. The literature on the subject is very minimal, but the finding is very strong. It is robust."

CRC, which affects large parts of the digestive system, is the second most common cause of cancer death in the US, with over 145,000 new cases reported each year and the cause of about 56,000 deaths expected in the US during 2005.

CRC, especially right-sided colon cancer, is known to be associated with a higher incidence of thyroid cancer. It is also known that an under active thyroid (hypothyroidism) impairs the function of the colon possibly leading to an increased risk of the development of CRC. Laboratory work has identified that there are important links between thyroid hormones and the processes that lead to the formation of cancerous colon cells.

There are many other factors known to be protective against colorectal cancer including sports activities and eating plenty of vegetables. However the US-Israeli research venture adjusted for all these known protective agents and still showed that the long-term use of L-thyroxin alone was associated with a 50% reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer.

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