World Report

FRANKFURT (JTA) — Extremist incidents in the German army increased in 1998, according to Germany's defense minister.

Rudolf Scharping told a news conference in Bonn early this month that the number of incidents rose sharply last summer, shortly after the army inducted a new batch of recruits.

Scharping added that 301 members of the army, most of them new recruits, were involved in incidents of right-wing extremism last year.

The incidents were largely propaganda offenses, ranging from graffiti on army buildings to soldiers wearing tattoos with the Nazi insignia.

An army spokesman said the rise resulted in part from an increased readiness to report such incidents.

Australia, Israel at odds on athletes' protection

SYDNEY (JTA) — Australia is unlikely to accede to Israeli requests that its armed agents be allowed to protect its athletes at the 2000 Olympic Games, said an Australian Olympic official.

The dispute is part of a larger problem about how to guarantee protection for Israeli participants at the games, which will be held in Sydney.

In an attempt to resolve the issue, the police commissioner for the region of New South Wales, Peter Ryan, is scheduled to travel to Israel in the first half of this year to discuss security requirements and special arrangements for Israeli athletes.

Hidden records aid Hungarian survivors

BUDAPEST (JTA) — The president of Hungary's Jewish community said thousands of Hungarian Holocaust survivors are eligible for German compensation following the discovery of long-lost records.

The records, recently discovered in the basement of a Budapest municipal building, provide proof that about 6,000 people who had applied for German life annuities were survivors of Nazi concentration camps.

Wallenberg statue getting a facelift

BUDAPEST (JTA) — Budapest city officials are replacing a statue commemorating the wartime heroism of Raoul Wallenberg. Officials removed the worn and battered original statue from a Budapest park so that a bronze copy could be cast and erected in April.

Wallenberg is credited with saving thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary, where he led a rescue mission by issuing them Swedish passports.