UK news

Plastic gun robber stays in jail

June 3, 2010

A dangerous robber jailed for a minimum of six years after wielding a plastic gun at his victims during two separate attacks has failed to win a cut in his sentence on appeal.

Last August at St Albans Crown Court, Paul John Wakenshaw, 38, of Watford, admitted two counts of robbery and two of having an imitation firearm with intent to commit
robbery.

He struck at Sophia Jewellers, on The Broadway in Stanmore, in December 2008, pressing a gun against a shop assistant's chest while demanding that she opened the safe.

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Christian Aid in false sex abuse claims

June 3, 2010

Christian Aid was expected to be reported to the Charity Commission this week after it claimed Israeli settlers had sexually abused Palestinian children in Hebron.

The charity issued an unreserved apology following the false claims, made after social worker Miranda Pinch travelled to the West Bank.

She had worked to "monitor human rights abuses" as part of an accompaniment programme part-funded by the charity.

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'Yellow River' singer's World Cup bid

By Simon Rocker, June 3, 2010

A top songwriter hopes to spur on England's footballers by adapting a version of his classic 70s hit as a World Cup anthem.

Jeff Christie's Yellow River topped the charts in 26 countries, including three weeks in the UK.

Now it is being re-released under the title Hat Trick of Lions on Monday, refreshed with a ska beat, a rap and a new chorus: "Come on England".

There may be no official English theme song, but Christie hopes the team will remain in the tournament long enough for the song to catch on.

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Progressives up battle against JFS law reversal

By Simon Rocker, June 3, 2010

Non-Orthodox leaders this week upped the pressure on the Board of Deputies to justify a campaign to reverse last year's Supreme Court ruling on JFS.

In a joint statement reacting sharply to recent comments by Board president Vivian Wineman, the Reform, Liberal and Masorti movements warned it was "premature" to talk of legal change.

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'Banned Nazis' spotted at WW2 rally

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 3, 2010

Angry complaints have been made about men in Nazi uniforms with swastikas seen drinking at bars in Bury.

People taking part in East Lancashire Railway's re-enactment of wartime scenes on Sunday were photographed with Nazi insignia, despite the event's organisers banning the practice.

Whitefield Councillor Michelle Wiseman complained to fellow Bury councillors after receiving a text message from an angry man, who wrote: "At East Lancs Railway in Bury. Full of men dressed as Nazis, disgraceful."

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Antisemitic hate emails sent to MPs

June 3, 2010

The Labour MP, John Mann, has called for a police investigation after an antisemitic email was sent to every MP in Parliament on Wednesday.

Mr Mann, chair of the All-Party Group Against Antisemitism, condemned as "outrageous and disgusting" an email entitled "the Jews=blood sucker.

The email asked for condemnation of Israel's "piracy," and then appended an antisemitic article attributed to a "Jayne Gardener."

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Call for UCU chief to quit over boycott

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 3, 2010

The Stop the Boycott campaign has called for the general secretary of the University and College Union, Sally Hunt, to resign from her TUC position after the UCU passed a string of anti-Israel resolutions at its Manchester conference last weekend.

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EDL step up their Jewish recruitment

By Marcus Dysch, June 3, 2010

The English Defence League, the extreme right-wing anti-Islamic-fundamentalism group, has launched a "Jewish division", encouraging members of the community to "lead the counter-Jihad fight in England".

It has signed up hundreds of followers on Facebook since the launch last week. Supporters include an ex-Community Security Trust volunteer who claims "a lot of Jewish guys want to get stuck in".

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Flotilla girl tells of flying bullets

By Marcus Dysch, June 3, 2010

One of the first Gaza flotilla activists to return to Britain has said she “can’t remember what happened first” when Israeli commandos boarded her boat, but described “hearing bullets flying”.

Sarah Colborne, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s director of campaigns, described the scenes as Israeli commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara ship which was leading the flotilla.

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Israel advocates get media training amid international criticism

By Marcus Dysch, June 3, 2010

Hopeful Israel advocates took part in a media training course with a renowned communications expert — as the Gaza flotilla deaths brought an avalanche of criticism against the Jewish state.

Linda Lovitch, who counts leading Israel spokesman Mark Regev among her former students, led the two-day exercise in London on behalf of the Zionist Federation.

After learning on Sunday the importance of being polite, knowing your audience and having facts at your fingertips, the 14 participants, including students and businessmen, were faced just 24 hours later with a real-time case study.

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