News in Brief

Israel sends defense minister to China for first time in a decade

Defense Minister Ehud Barak will travel to China for the first time in a decade, his office said yesterday. Barak will meet Chinese National Defense Minister Liang Guanglie and other senior officials to discuss "regional issues, the Iranian threat, advancement of the (Israel-Palestinian ) peace process and terrorism," a statement from his office said. Barak, who served as prime minister of Israel during the Phalcon dispute in which Israel suspended the sale of four aircraft to Beijing, was scheduled to travel to China late last night. (Reuters )

Three buildings in Migron slated for demolition

Defense Minister Ehud Barak has ordered the demolition of three buildings that are under construction at the outpost of Migron, according to the state's response issued Friday to a High Court of Justice petition. The response to the petition, by the human rights group Yesh Din, said the buildings would be demolished within 45 days. In 2003, the High Court attempted to reach a compromise with the Yesha Council of settlements and the residents of Migron, which was built on legally registered Palestinian land. However, residents rejected the offer to build them a neighborhood elsewhere. (Chaim Levinson )

Blogger fired for disturbing funeral of tycoon Sammy Ofer

The Internet site Walla! has fired the journalist Alon Uziel, a freelance blogger for the site. Uziel's dismissal came a few days after he posted a video clip on his blog that showed him causing a disturbance during the funeral of shipping magnate Sammy Ofer. Uziel is seen playing loud music, dancing and apparently celebrating with his girlfriend on the balcony of his home, which is near the cemetery where Ofer was buried. The blogosphere and social networks were filled with mostly negative responses to the video. Walla! and Uziel declined to comment on the dismissal. (Gili Izikovich )

Designer Patrick Gallagher to revamp Beit Hatfutsot

American designer Patrick Gallagher, of Gallagher & Associates, has been chosen to design the new permanent exhibition of Beit Hatfutsot, the Museum of the Jewish People, at Tel Aviv University. Gallagher's best-known projects include the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles, and the visitors center at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. Gallagher and members of his team will work from the museum itself, in cooperation with other teams, including curators, historians, sociologists and culture advisers. The planning stage is scheduled to take three years. (Noam Dvir )

TA rainbow warriors

Despite the heat, tens of thousands of people took to Tel Aviv's streets on Friday in the city's largest gay pride parade ever. More than 5,000 of the participants arrived from abroad, the organizers said. MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz ), head of the LGBT caucus in the Knesset, harshly criticized MKs who opposed the parade. (Ilan Lior )