The U.S. Congress passed a Darfur accountability act. (JTA)

The final version of the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act, which passed its final vote Monday in the U.S. House of Representatives, expands humanitarian assistance in the Sudanese region where government-allied militias have massacred hundreds of thousands of people and toughens sanctions against Sudanese officials believed to be involved in the massacres.

The bill now goes to the White House for signing.

Jewish groups strongly supported the act. Democrats are backing a separate bill that would encourage divestment from Sudan.


Israeli security forces foiled a Palestinian suicide bombing. (JTA)

Troops raided Balata near the West Bank city of Nablus on Wednesday, detaining two would-be suicide bombers and confiscating a 22-pound explosives belt.

At least one Palestinian gunman was killed during clashes with the Israeli unit. According to security sources, the Balata bombers planned to strike inside Israel during the High Holidays.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday that Israeli forces had thwarted 10 attempted suicide bombings this month.


Hundreds of children in Israeli conflict zones received video games donated by Hollywood actor Adam Sandler. (JTA)

Foreign Ministry staff on Wednesday handed out some of the 400 Playstation consoles and games donated by Sandler at northern border towns that came under Hezbollah rocket attack during Israel’s recent Lebanon war.

Children in Sderot, a southern town frequently targeted by Palestinian rocket crews in the Gaza Strip, are also to receive the gifts.

A Foreign Ministry statement said Sandler, a Jewish man who lives in Los Angeles, had been moved to “bring happiness to the hearts” of Israeli children forced to take to shelters during the rocket salvoes.


A concert in Prague commemorated Czech classical composers killed in the Holocaust. (JTA)

Many Czech composers wrote pieces in the Terezin concentration camp before being deported to Auschwitz.

The key works of Monday evening’s concert, titled “Seven Candles,” were written in Terezin. by Gideon Klein and Pavel Haas.

The Czech Republic was one of Europe’s hubs for innovative classical composition before World War II, and many of the works are only now getting the credit they deserve, experts say, because their authors’ lives were cut short and their music received limited play under the Communist regime.



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