Wednesday 24 February 1999

Israeli commander, 2 lieutenants killed in south Lebanon

USA TODAY, Feb 24, 1999

Matthew Kalman

The commander of Israel's elite paratroop unit and two of his lieutenants were killed and five soldiers were wounded Tuesday in an ambush by Islamic guerrillas in south Lebanon.

Maj. Eitan Balahsan, 30, commander of the Sayeret Salhanim paratroopers, was one of the most senior Israeli officers killed in the 8-mile-wide buffer zone that Israel has occupied in south Lebanon since 1985.

The ambush occurred near the village of Birkit Jabbur in a no-man's-land separating the eastern sector of Israel's self-declared "security zone" from the southern Bekaa plain, which is a Hezbollah stronghold under Syrian control.


Monday 22 February 1999

Depressed? Blame your parents for divorcing

February 22, 1999

Matthew Kalman

CHILDREN of divorced parents are up to seven times more likely to suffer depression in adult life than people whose parents did not separate, a new study has found.

The loss of a parent through divorce is more likely to cause depression than loss through death, and separation from a mother or both parents is more likely to cause depression than separation only from a father, says a report to be published in Molecular Psychiatry.

Children who were under nine when their parents divorced were found to be seven times …

Wednesday 17 February 1999

Children of divorce inclined to depression

USA TODAY, Feb 17, 1999

Matthew Kalman

Children of divorced parents are seven times more likely to suffer from depression in adult life than people of similar age and background whose parents have not divorced, says a psychiatric study on factors leading to depression.

The Israeli study, to be published in a forthcoming issue of Molecular Psychiatry, indicates that the loss of a parent through divorce is more likely to cause depression than loss through death. And separation from a mother or from both parents, whether through divorce or desertion, was more likely to cause depression than separation only from a father.

Researchers Bernard Lerer and Ofer Agid of the Biological Psychiatric Unit at Hadassah Hospital focused on children whose parents divorced before the child was 9.


Monday 15 February 1999

Court ruling divides Israelis

Ultra-Orthodox, secular Jews demonstrate in power struggle

USA TODAY, Feb 15, 1999

Matthew Kalman

JERUSALEM -- More than a quarter million Israelis paralyzed the major arteries of Jerusalem Sunday in two massive demonstrations over the political power of ultra-Orthodox Jews in the country.

The largest gathering was of more than 200,000 Orthodox Jews, who came to the main entrance of the city to recite Psalms and prayers led by the country's senior Orthodox rabbis. Dressed mainly in black, with men and women separated, the demonstrators spilled over a large area, blocking off the highway into the city.

They were protesting recent decisions of the Supreme Court on matters affecting the role of religion in Israel that allowed a greater role for non-Orthodox Jews on religious councils and in matters of conversion.


Wednesday 10 February 1999

Syrian leader tries to build up Jordan ties

USA TODAY, Feb 10, 1999

Matthew Kalman

JERUSALEM -- Syrian President Hafez Assad's unexpected arrival in Amman for talks with King Abdullah and President Clinton have thrust him once more to the forefront of Arab diplomacy.

Assad's uncharacteristic decision to travel to King Hussein's funeral has prompted speculation that he hopes to divert the foreign policy of the newly named king away from peace with Israel.

Tuesday, Syria's government-controlled Tishrin newspaper hinted at such pressure, denouncing "Israel's repeated bids to fish in troubled waters in order to destroy Arab ties on the basis of divide and rule . . . nothing threatens Jordan but Israel and its greedy expansionism."


Monday 8 February 1999


February 8, 1999

Matthew Kalman

KING HUSSEIN of Jordan was buried today alongside his father and grandfather at the Hashemite burial ground in Amman after a 10-mile procession through the streets of the Jordanian capital.

Heads of state from all over the world flew in to Amman to pay their respects to the king who ruled Jordan for nearly half a century, transforming the desert kingdom of Bedouin tribes and uprooted Palestinians into a unified, stabilising force in the Middle East.

Tony Blair and Prince Charles led the British delegation, while President Clinton was accompanied by three former presidents George Bush, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. Boris Yeltsin, who is being treated in a Moscow sanatorium for …