UK news

Computer game to teach Middle East Peace

By Robyn Rosen, May 27, 2010

British schoolchildren are set to learn about the Israel-Palestine conflict thanks to a computer game devised in Denmark.

Global Conflicts: Checkpoints lets players take on the role of journalists reporting from the conflict.

The game is being used in more than 500 schools around the world. It has been designed for students aged 13 and above by award-winning company Serious Games Interactive, based in Copenhagen.

It is the second remake of Global Conflicts: Palestine, an educational game launched in 2007 that has been sold in more than 50 countries worldwide.

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Union breaks pledge over banning Israelis

By Robyn Rosen, May 27, 2010

The trade union Unison has refused the Trade Union Friends of Israel (TUFI) a stall at its annual conference, despite assurances that last year's ban would be lifted.

TUFI, which aims to improve trade union relationships between Israel and Palestine, has run a stall at the conference previously, but last year was refused due to a "security threat" following the Gaza conflict.

After the conference, TUFI was assured it would be considered this year.

Stephen Scott, director of TUFI, said: "We are disappointed that for the second year running we have not been allowed to exhibit.

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Support for Jewish green protesters

May 27, 2010

A campaign has been launched to support Jewish environmentalists accused of staging a protest which forced the closure of Aberdeen Airport.

Dan Glass, 26, Mark Andrews, 26, and Tilly Gifford, 24, all from north London will face trial, along with six others, in Aberdeen High Court on June 9.

They were charged with vandalism and breach of the peace after it was claimed that they took part in an anti-aviation protest organised by climate campaign group Plane Stupid. The protest caused the airport to close for two and a half hours, and 10 flights were disrupted.

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Tesco launches new range of kosher baked beans

By Jessica Elgot, May 27, 2010

Tesco is to launch its own range of kosher baked beans, its first own-brand kosher product.

The beans, which are certified kosher by the London Beth Din, will be available from June 14.

Tesco's kosher food buyer, Lauren Richman, said development of the brand had taken around eight months, and had been Tesco's own initiative.

She said: "It's a very exciting time for Tesco as this will be our first own label product available in the kosher section."

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Cabbie stole £200,000 of aunt's savings

By Alex Hills, May 27, 2010

A 59-year-old man who forged a legal document to obtain thousands of pounds of his elderly relative's savings has been jailed for three years.

The fraudulent document made by Malcolm Laster, of Edgware, gave him control of more than £200,000 belonging to his wife's aunt, 82-year-old Sadie Joseph.

Over a two-year period Laster spent £218,208 on holidays to America and gifts for friends and family, St Albans Crown Court heard.

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Howard Jacobson and Rabbi Blue win religious broadcasting prizes

By Simon Rocker, May 27, 2010

Novelist Howard Jacobson scooped a top religious broadcasting award on Tuesday for his personal exploration of Genesis, shown on Channel 4 earlier this year.

The programme - the first in a seven-part series about the Bible - won the premier prize for TV in the Sandford St Martin Trust awards at Lambeth Palace in London.

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Lib Dem used 'racist' tactics, says Kaufman

By Jenni Frazer, May 27, 2010

A furious Sir Gerald Kaufman has accused the Liberal Democrats of antisemitic attacks on him during his successful bid to be re-elected as MP for Manchester Gorton.

Speaking this week during the Queen's Speech debate, Sir Gerald, Labour MP for the constituency since 1983, rounded on the Lib Dems and told them they would "have to indulge in some internal house cleaning".

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Muslim group objects to Zionism in schools

By Simon Rocker, May 27, 2010

A Muslim campaign group has written to the new Education Secretary Michael Gove to object to state-aided Jewish schools promoting Zionism.

Mohammed Asif, the chief executive of Engage (not to be confused with the antisemitism monitoring group of the same name), said he was "more than a little surprised" to see Zionism included as part of the ethos of several Jewish schools.

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Exclusive: Christian Aid made to apologise for sex abuse claim

By Marcus Dysch, May 27, 2010

Christian Aid has apologised “unreservedly” after it claimed Israeli settlers had sexually abused Palestinian children in Hebron.

The false allegations came after Miranda Pinch, a social worker from Winchester, had travelled to the West Bank town in January to “monitor human rights abuses” as part of an accompaniment programme part-funded by the charity.

The 59-year-old, who converted from Judaism to Christianity, returned from the trip and told Christian Aid that a Palestinian headmistress had made allegations of verbal abuse.

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Toby Cohen and his flying succah

By Jessica Elgot, May 27, 2010

The pictures of photographer Toby Cohen seem to capture impossible moments.

In one, three Chasidim leap off Masada. In another, a flying succah delicately hovers above an Israeli forest and yet another recreates Fiddler on the Roof.

The former paparazzo, used to taking split-second shots, has reinvented himself as a photographic artist, creating extraordinary scenes against grand Israeli landscapes.

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