Judge Varda Alshech
Judge Varda Alshech Photo by Tess Scheflan
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Supreme Court gives bankrupt businesswoman reprieve from jail

Bankrupt businesswoman Rachel Sayag-Sofer will not be going to jail, at least not yet, after the Supreme Court overturned a Tel Aviv District Court decision that gave her 60 days to pay creditors NIS 250,000. The three-justice Supreme Court panel ruled that the district court ruling two weeks ago was invalid because Sayag-Sofer could not attend the session due to health issues. District Court Judge Varda Alshech had rejected medical evidence presented by Sayag-Sofer’s lawyer. Sayag-Sofer had an international seed and plant business but has faced creditor problems for years, particularly after an arbitration ruling that saddled her with compounded interest of 20% a month for years. In 2011, she was declared bankrupt but was ordered to pay the court NIS 15,000 a month, which she failed to do. ‏(Yasmin Gueta‏)

U.S. Senate passes budget resolution

The U.S. Senate narrowly passed a federal budget resolution yesterday, a move that will usher in a relative lull in Washington’s fiscal wars until an anticipated summer showdown over raising the debt ceiling. The budget plan passed 50-49 at about 5 A.M. after a marathon voting session in the Democratic-controlled chamber. Four Democratic senators facing tough re-election campaigns in 2014 joined all the Senate Republicans in opposing the measure, which seeks to raise nearly $1 trillion in new tax revenues by closing some tax breaks for the wealthy. The Senate budget, which reflects Democratic priorities of boosting near-term job growth and preserving social safety net programs, will square off in coming months against a Republican-focused budget passed by the Republican-dominated House of Representatives. Neither of the non-binding blueprints has a chance of passage in the opposing chamber, leaving Congress no closer to resolving deep differences over how to shrink U.S. deficits and grow the economy. But they

give each party a platform from which to tout their respective fiscal visions. ‏(Reuters‏)

Dairy Board reduces price farmers get for raw milk, but it may not lower retail dairy prices

The price that the dairies pay dairy farmers for raw milk will be reduced by 3% − 7 agorot − as of April 1 to NIS 2.29 per liter, the Israel Dairy Board announced Thursday. The price, known as the target price, is adjusted on a quarterly basis based on production costs. When raw milk becomes cheaper, prices of dairy products at supermarkets may also become cheaper, but consumers won’t automatically see the savings even on price-controlled dairy products: Raw milk is just one of many costs that dairies face in producing their products. ‏(Ora Coren‏)