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Israel Tries to Bolster Image Via Oscars 'Swag Bag'

Top Academy Award nominees will have a politically-charged gift in their swag bag this year - a luxury trip to Israel paid for in part by a government that hopes such celebrity junkets will offset news coverage of the country's troubles. Israel's tourism ministry said the trips, valued at $15,000-$18,000, not including first-class airfare which would be funded by another party whom it did not identify, are on offer to actors and directors vying for Oscars in the Feb. 28...

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