German police raided two homes yesterday in a crackdown on the spread of extreme right-wing music. One of the homes belongs to a member of the national executive of the far-right NPD, who owns a mail-order music business. Around 100 police officers took part in the raids in the states of Thuringia and Lower Saxony. Prosecutors said the NPD man is suspected of being "the source and distributor of music with a punishable right-wing content." The music enjoys cult status among neo-Nazis because it contains popular German melodies mixed with right-wing texts. (DPA)

The prosecution in the case of double murder suspect Adam Ittel, 22, will attempt to use a state witness, Ittel's attorney told the Be'er Sheba Magistrate's yesterday, after the court extended his client's remand by another 10 days. Ittel, who has not yet been indicted, was rearrested Monday for the double murder of Eitan Izmailov and Ruslan Koviev in Be'er Sheva's Old City, which occurred in February. Another man was severely wounded in the shooting which killed the two men. Ittel had already been arrested in connection to the murder last spring, but was released for lack of evidence. Police said his arrest earlier this week owed to "new evidence." However, police did not disclose the nature of the evidence. (Mijal Girnberg)

The Belarusian President's recent statement that Jews have turned one of the country's cities into a pig sty was a mistake that was said jokingly, and does not represent his positions regarding the Jewish people, Alexander Lukashenko's special envoy to Israel told senior Foreign ministry officials yesterday. Pabel Jakubowitch, who is Jewish and editor-in-chief of one of Belarus' prominent newspapers, told Pini Avivi, the ministry's deputy director general for Central Europe and Eurasia, that Lukashenko was "anything but anti-Semitic," and that the president was "insulted by the mere accusation." Avivi said Israel views the affair as a resolved matter. (Barak Ravid)

Half of young Israelis do not know who Lord Arthur Balfour was, a new poll reveals. Some 57 percent of Israelis aged 18-29 don't know when the British Foreign Secretary made his famous 1917 declaration supporting Zionist plans for a national home for the Jewish people within Palestine. The poll, which was performed by the Smith Institute and included 500 participants, was commissioned by the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs for the 90th anniversary of the declaration which was given on November 2. (Barak Ravid)

Nachum Manbar, who is serving a 16-year prison sentence for treason, yesterday appealed the state's denial of parole in September. Manbar was convicted in 1988 of selling military equipment to Iran and of other security offenses. Arguing in Tel Aviv District Court, Manbar's attorneys said their client's sentence should be shortened by one-third because he expressed remorse for his crimes in four separate pleas for amnesty sent to the president. They also claimed that the parole board did not pay attention to a social workers' report stating Manbar had taken responsibility for his actions. To the state's claim that an early release of Manbar would hurt the state's diplomatic war against Iran, Manbar's lawyer, Amnon Zichroni, replied: "The only thing the respondent forget to note was global warming." (Ofra Edelman)