Mideast Report

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — A solution for potential Y2K problems in databases, developed by the Hebrew University, will be marketed worldwide, university officials said Tuesday.

The solution, which officials described as more efficient than other methods, compresses four digits for the 21st century into two symbols, without interfering with any years from the 20th century. It accomplishes this by using special algorithms for expanding two symbols into four digits and compressing four digits into two symbols.

Commissioner puts conditions on Israel's nuclear disarmament

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel will consider nuclear disarmament only if it has confidence in the regional peace process, according to a letter published Tuesday by the Israeli daily Ha'aretz.

Although Israel has never acknowledged having nuclear weapons, the veil of secrecy has been lifted somewhat in recent years. The head of Israel's Atomic Energy Commission, in a letter addressed to the International Atomic Energy Agency, wrote "progress in the area of arms control" will only come about through "reconciliation" in the region.

State Dept. document cites Israel for discrimination against Arabs

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel was among the countries cited for discrimination in a U.S. State Department report of religious persecution released last week.

The first annual report, which covered 194 countries, cited Israel for denying its Arab population the same quality of social services that the nation's Jews receive.

Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Serbia and Burma were subject to the harshest criticism in the report, which said "Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and other believers continue to suffer for their faith."

Israel releases population data: Four out of every five are Jews

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel's population on the eve of Rosh Hashanah totaled 6.15 million people, 79 percent of whom are Jewish, according to data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Of that total, 4.85 million are Jews and 922,000, or 15 percent, are Muslims, with an additional 376,000 Druze, Christians and people with no religious affiliation. For the second straight year, Israel's population increased by 2.4 percent, with immigration accounting for 35 percent of that growth.