UK news

How hospital's kosher diet saved 'starving' Catholic

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 21, 2010

A catholic patient at a Leeds hospital who lost weight eating the "cold and unappetising" food they gave her, found a cure she didn't expect - when she went kosher.

Glynis Hallas, of Whitkirk in West Leeds, complained about the food and was advised by a dietician at St James's University Hospital to try something new after convincing her it was of a better standard.

Mrs Hallas, who has just completed a long-term stay in the hospital's Lincoln Wing, was one of a number of patients who complained that they were unable to subsist on standard hospital fare.

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Pro-Israel historian barred from Irish Middle East debate

By Simon Rocker, October 21, 2010

Professor Geoffrey Alderman is to lodge a formal protest against Queen's University, Belfast after the withdrawal of an invitation to be a speaker at a Middle East debate on Monday night.

The staunchly pro-Israel JC columnist and historian, who is a guest professor at Ariel College on Israel's West Bank, had been invited to join the panel at a discussion on "Conflict in the Middle East" as part of the Belfast Festival.

But last Friday festival director Graeme Farrow told Professor Alderman that the invitation had been a "mistake" as he had not consulted the other panellists about it.

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How Labour feared a BNP Barking win

By Martin Bright, October 21, 2010

A new film to be screened next month will reveal the extent of Labour Party fears that the British National Party would seize the seat from the long-serving MP Margaret Hodge at this year's general election.

The Battle for Barking, a feature-length documentary for More4, shows that Labour strategists believed white working-class voters were deeply sympathetic to the BNP's anti-immigration message, and in parts of her constituency 70 per cent of voters were considering voting for the far-right party.

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Shechitah scare over McDonald's meat

By Leon Simon and Jonathan Kalmus, October 21, 2010

Kosher consumers suffered a double blow this week when a major abattoir in Ireland closed its kosher facility and a second in the north of England temporarily suspended operations.

Rory Fanning, managing director of Slaney Foods, in County Wexford, which supplies the London Board for Shechita (LBS), said: "We have made the decision not to have religious slaughter."

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Manchester students block anti-Israel amendment

By Jennifer Lipman, October 20, 2010

Jewish students at Manchester University have successfully prevented the inclusion of an anti-Israel statement in a motion intended to promote “peace through education.”

An amendment put forward by Manchester Jewish Society ensured the removal of an accusation about Israeli apartheid, proposed by Action Palestine Society.

The original text read: “Pro Israeli apartheid organisations and individuals …have made up slanderous accusations and claims that supporting Palestinian educational institutions is support for terrorism.”

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JNF chairman dismisses plea to Miliband

By Jennifer Lipman, October 20, 2010

The chairman of the Jewish National Fund has responded to a personal attack on him by the pro-Palestinian Jewish campaigner Tony Greenstein.

Mr Greenstein, a long-time anti-Zionist, implied in a letter to the Guardian newspaper that JNF UK’s chairman Samuel Hayek had been lying for his country.

On October 7 Mr Greenstein was one of the signatories to a letter calling for Ed Miliband to break the tradition, set by former Labour leaders Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, of being a patron of the JNF.

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Ken Livingstone criticised for supporting Labour opponent

By Jennifer Lipman, October 20, 2010

Ken Livingstone is facing criticism and calls for his expulsion from the Labour Party after he appeared to be campaigning against the party’s candidate in Tower Hamlets.

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Islamic extremism, intimidation at London's City University

By Jennifer Lipman, October 18, 2010

A London university’s Islamic society promoted a “hard-line Islamist ideology” which led to “the intimidation and harassment of staff, students and members of minority”, researchers have revealed.

A report by the counter-extremism think tank Quilliam shows that the behaviour of City University’s Islamic society (ISoc) “during the last academic year “scared” Jewish students and moderate Muslims and “led to increased religious tensions on campus.”

The authors of the report cautioned that “such extremism may increase the risks of students turning to terrorism.”

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Alderman 'disinvited' from Belfast Israel debate

By Simon Rocker, October 18, 2010

The historian Geoffrey Alderman says he has been “disinvited” from a panel debate on the Middle East at the Belfast Festival due to take place tonight.

The festival’s director Graeme Farrow asked him to join Professors Avi Shlaim of St Anthony’s College, Oxford and Beverley Milton Edwards, of Queens University, Belfast, as speakers at the event.

Professor Shlaim is a noted critic of Israeli policy, while Professor Edwards is the author of a recent study of Hamas.

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'Stripped back' Katie Waissel survives another X Factor show

By Katie Taylor, October 18, 2010

Katie Waissel has sailed through to the next round of the X Factor live shows.

Ms. Waissel was the first to be put through on Sunday’s results show after her performance of Etta James’ I Would Rather Go Blind.

X Factor judge, Danni said: “No one can deny that you sang with every bit of effort that you had.”

She added: “I didn’t like your performance last Saturday.

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