weekend wrap 88.
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Composer Benzion Orgad dies at 80
Veteran composer Benzion Orgad passed away Friday night at the age of 80 after battling a long illness. Orgad immigrated to Israel in 1933 and began to study the violin in 1934 with Rudolf Bergman. In 1947, Orgad - a student of Josef Tal - graduated from the Jerusalem Music Academy. He was awarded the Israel Prize for musical scholarship in 1997.
Sweden nixes special laws for Muslims
The Swedish government and moderate Muslims on Friday sharply rejected demands by an Islamic leader to enact special laws for Muslims living in the Scandinavian country. Mahmoud Aldebe, head of Sweden's largest Islamic organization, SMF, said Muslims should be given time off work for Friday prayers and Islamic holidays and that imams should approve all divorces between Muslim couples.
Italy investigates anti-Israel protest
Italian authorities are investigating anti-Israeli protests that marred a march in Milan commemorating the 61st anniversary of Italy's liberation from fascism, a prosecutor said Friday.
Mideast envoy Wolfensohn steps down
International Mideast envoy James Wolfensohn has decided to step down when his term ends at the end of the month, his office said Friday. Wolfensohn, a former president of the World Bank, has been serving as an envoy for the "Quartet" of Mideast mediators since last June.
Israel mum on Iran heading nuke commission
Israel and the US did not oppose appointing Iran to serve as a vice chairman of the UN Disarmament Commission when the committee decided on the nomination two weeks ago. Though American lawmakers have criticized the UN for naming Iran to a leadership position in the international body in charge of nuclear disarmament, the US made no attempt to prevent the appointment.
Olmert orders gaps in Jerusalem fence closed
Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ordered the gaps in the Jerusalem security fence closed Wednesday, but again declined to institute a deadline for completion of the fence, angering those who argue the slow pace of construction is costing lives.