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Ministry deal neuters rent-control bill

The clause on rental housing in the affordable housing bill will be in effect for only three years, under the current draft. This reduces the significance of any such move. As part of a compromise between the Housing and Construction Ministry, the Justice Ministry, the Finance Ministry and the Prime Minister's Bureau, the draft now contains a clause stating that no project containing price-controlled rental apartments will be approved once three years elapse after the bill's approval. The cabinet may extend that period, though, it adds. (Ranit Nahum-Halevy)

Start-up Intucell nabs massive AT&T contract

Start-up Intucell nabbed a big fish: it signed a deal estimated at $55 million to help U.S. telecommunications giant AT&T manage its cellular network traffic. Under the contract, AT&T will be using Intucell's program for four years in order to speed up its customers' Internet traffic and reduce dropped calls. Intucell, founded in 2008, will likely have to hire new manpower in order to handle its new customer. (Inbal Orpaz)

Nurses delay strike, ports threaten strike

The nurses' union agreed to delay by a day a strike planned to start today and will hold intensive negotiations with Finance Ministry representatives. Union head Ilana Cohen said the nurses' goal was not to strike but to save lives. The nurses are demanding financial incentives and a solution to the lack of nursing power at hospitals. Not to be left out, workers at the Haifa and Ashdod ports are also threatening to strike starting today. Their demands include a central pension fund. (Ronny Linder-Ganz and Avi Bar-Eli)