Elbit wins $315m in Israeli defense contracts

Elbit Systems has won various contracts from Israel's Ministry of Defense in a number of fields worth a total of $315 million, the Israeli defense electronics firm announced yesterday. It will supply battle management systems and avionics for helicopters, virtual training for the Israeli Air Force's fighter aircraft and operation and maintenance services for the IAF's Flight Academy, worth $75 million, covering deliveries over six years. It will also provide Hermes 900 unmanned aircraft systems within three years as well as maintenance services over a period of eight years, for a total value of $90 million. Over four years, Elbit will supply electronic warfare systems for F-15 and F-16 fighter aircraft and for the navy's missile vessels, for a total of $90 million. It will also provide electro-optic systems worth $25 million and land systems worth $35 million. (Yoram Gabison and Reuters )

Industry Ministry weighs easing restrictions on youth work hours

Some limitations on the hours young people may work could change if the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry succeeds in passing new legislation. For now, youths under 16 cannot be employed past 8 P.M., and those aged 16 to 18 may work only until 10 P.M., unless their employer receives special permission extending this to 11 P.M. They also cannot be employed on their weekly day of rest - Saturday for Jews, Friday for Muslims. Since the new law on increasing enforcement of labor law violations took effect in June, ministry inspectors have fined a large number of businesses violating the youth labor laws. Many youths are employed in such jobs as waiting on tables or by caterers, which require late hours. The proposed change would lengthen the hours until midnight, provided the employer provides the youths with transportation home. The legislation is expected to be presented to the new Knesset soon after it convenes. (Hila Weissberg )

Danny Pfeffermann to head statistics bureau

Prof. Danny Pfeffermann, president of the Israel Statistical Association, will be appointed the next government statistician at Sunday's cabinet meeting. The government statistician is also the head of the Central Bureau of Statistics. Pfeffermann, 70, a professor of statistics at Hebrew University and the University of Southampton in England, will replace Prof. Shlomo Yitzhaki, whose contract was not renewed yesterday in a surprise move by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Yitzhaki took office in 2001, and when he reached the official retirement age of 67 a year and half ago, he was asked by the Prime Minister's Office, which oversees the CBS, to stay on until a replacement was found. His contract was subsequently renewed every three months, until yesterday. (Moti Bassok )