Survey: 84% of adults still read newspapers

While much is being written about the death of newspapers, 84 percent of Israelis over 20 years old still read them, according to a survey released yesterday by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Israelis' leisure habits. Two-thirds of women read books in their spare time, compared to 57 percent of the men, who are 3.4 times more likely than women to watch sporting events. The CBS also found a link between leisure activities and income. Fifty-eight percent of the high-income earners had visited museums, art exhibitions, the theater or other performances this year. By comparison, only 16 percent of low-income earners had visited a museum, while 22.5 percent had been to a theater or other performance. Some 24 percent of the population takes courses or lessons that are not related to professional training. (Talila Nesher )

Hanan Goldblatt granted parole despite prosecution's objections

The Israel Prison Service parole board agreed yesterday to a request by actor Hanan Goldblatt, who is serving a six-year sentence for sexual offenses, to take a third off his sentence and release him now after only four years. The state prosecution, which objects to the move, has a week to appeal. Goldblatt, 71, was convicted of rape, sodomy and indecent assault against young women, some of them minors, who studied acting with him. The prosecution claims he never expressed true remorse. Several of his victims have also filed objections to the early release. But during a parole board hearing, Goldblatt stressed that he did regret his actions. "Part of the difficulty was the shame. I was very ashamed," he said. "I understood I had to undergo treatment to clarify to myself what had happened to me, primarily so it wouldn't repeat itself." (Ilan Lior )