News in Brief

Woman dies during Cesarean delivery

A 34-year-old Ashkelon woman died on Tuesday at Barzilai Medical Center during the Cesarean birth of her fourth child. Hospital officials said they believed that the woman, whose other three children were also delivered by C-section, died of an amniotic fluid embolism - amniotic fluid entered her bloodstream. They have not ruled out other causes, and an autopsy has been scheduled. The baby is in good condition. During the surgery, the doctors realized that the woman's vital signs were declining, but they could not save her life. (Dan Even )

Saxophonist Kenny Garrett among jazz festival lineup

Saxophonist Kenny Garrett, jazz pianist Geri Allen and bass guitarists Christian McBride and Richard Bona are among the many stars on the program of Eilat's Red Sea Jazz Festival this year, to be held from July 30 to August 2. Ten Israeli artists and ensembles will also appear. They include Ruth Dolores Weiss, Dudu Tassa, Keren Malka, Harel Shachal and the Anistar ensemble. The festival has seen its public funding pared down by a third to NIS 1 million. Its artistic directors, Dubi Lenz and Eli Degibri, threatened to resign over the cut but have remained on board so far. (Ben Shalev )

Three Israeli films reach semifinals of YouTube contest

Three Israeli short films have reached the semifinals of YouTube's Your Film Festival competition. The Israeli contenders are among 50 film shorts that are still in contention. A total of 15,000 entries were submitted for the contest. Although there is a panel of judges, the public is currently being invited to vote for their top 10 choices, all of which will be shown at the Venice Film Festival. The three Israeli films are Harel Yana and Moti Malka's "Photo for Baba," Anat Costi's animated short "On My Doorstep," and David Gidali and Itay Gross' "Secular Quarter #3" - a two-minute film clip about Jerusalem in the year 2111. (Oded Yaron )

Classical music to meet Israeli pop at Kfar Blum festival

The 28th annual Kol Hamusica Festival at Kibbutz Kfar Blum in the north will open on July 23 for six days, featuring concerts throughout the day including rehearsals open to the public. In addition to European classical music, the festival schedule also includes performances by popular Israeli musicians. The offerings include 17th-century English composer Henry Purcell's opera "The Fairy Queen" and Gustav Holst's chamber opera "Savitri." The opening day will feature works dealing with the concept of time, including American composer John Cage's "4'33"," when for four and a half minutes a pianist sits in front of a piano but doesn't play. (Haggai Hitron )

Irish soldiers who deserted to fight Hitler get pardon

The Irish government on Tuesday pardoned thousands of servicemen who deserted to fight for the Allied forces during World War II after the Irish state decided to remain neutral in the war against Adolf Hitler's Germany. The Irish government summarily dismissed all of those who deserted and disqualified them from state employment for seven years. Relatives say the deserters were stigmatized for decades. Justice and Defense Minister Alan Shatter on Tuesday apologized for their treatment in an address to parliament. (Reuters )