UK news

MI5 looked into Bond writer Wolf Mankowitz

August 26, 2010

Wolf Mankowitz, the celebrated writer and playwright who wrote screenplays lauding James Bond, was under lengthy investigation for his Communist sympathies.

In reports that would make Bond's boss "M" blanch, the documents show that Mankowitz, a Jewish Eastender, was under surveillance, had his mail intercepted and was the target of wiretapping by the intelligence services as hysteria about Communist infiltration gripped Britain.

Even the BBC was put under pressure not to use him on Radio Three and on a television film.

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Carl Marx: Nazi or just JC reporter?

By Bernard Josephs, August 26, 2010

There was nowhere quite like the Vox Cafe in Tangier. It resembled a scene from Casablanca.

At the bar, sweaty, white-suited intelligence officials from half a dozen nations drank - and as they did, they spilled both booze and secrets.

The Vox was just the right place to be. With Tangier held by Spain in 1940, and out of the war, it was where British, German and Italian spooks could rub shoulders in an attempt to winkle out each other's war plans.

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Plane Stupid protesters sentenced

By Robyn Rosen, August 25, 2010

Three Jewish protestors have been sentenced after being found guilty of breach of the peace when they staged a protest that forced the closure of Aberdeen airport.

Dan Glass, 26, Mark Andrews, 26, and Tilly Gifford, 24, all from north London and six others from climate action group, Plane Stupid, stood trial in Aberdeen High Court in June.

The group were originally charged with vandalism, which was later dropped, after they took part in an anti-aviation protest last March which caused the airport to shut for two and a half hours delaying 10 flights.

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Joke's over for Jewish comic

By Jennifer Lipman, August 23, 2010

Comedian Dan Antopolski has gone from most to least humorous in just 12 months.

In 2009 the Petah Tikvah-born stand-up won the Dave trophy for the funniest joke of the Edinburgh Fringe.

But this year he was awarded the honour of having the “worst joke” of the festival.

His gag went: "How many Spaniards does it take to change a lightbulb? Juan."

It was not deemed as humorous as his previous effort, which went: "Hedgehogs - why can't they just share the hedge?"

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Joey Barton: 'just pointing to moustache'

By Jennifer Lipman, August 23, 2010

Footballer Joey Barton has denied making a Nazi salute after he scored a goal for Newcastle in its match against Aston Villa.

After his goal gave the club its first victory of the new season, Mr Barton raised his left arm up to the sky and his right arm to his lip.

At the time he was also sporting a small dark moustache.

However, he has insisted that the celebration has been misunderstood and has since got rid of his facial hair.

He said: “I was merely pointing out that the moustache was going to go after the game”.

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X Factor singer Katie's musical past

By Jennifer Lipman, August 23, 2010

X Factor hopeful Katie Waissel has run into controversy just days after appearing in the first programme in the series.

The Jewish singer from north London, who claimed to be a part-time receptionist with no musical experience to speak of, has in fact recorded music under the name Lola Fontaine and earlier this year released a jazz-inspired song collection.

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Stanley Fink to replace Rowland as treasurer

By Jennifer Lipman, August 20, 2010

Stanley Fink is to take over as the Conservative party’s treasurer following the resignation of businessman David Rowland.

Mr Fink, 52, currently serves as co-treasurer alongside Michael Spencer but will take on the top job following the Conservative party conference in October.

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Germany frees Mossad agent

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 20, 2010

The Israeli agent arrested two months ago in connection with the alleged assassination of senior Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in January, was released over the weekend and returned to Israel.

The man known as Uri Brodsky was arrested two months ago in Poland, on a German EU-wide arrest warrant.

Brodsky was arrested on charges that a year earlier he had helped another man receive a German passport in the name of Michael Bodenheimer. The passport was used by the team who, according to Dubai police, carried out Al-Mabhouh's assassination.

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BBC: flotilla ‘a political ploy’

By Marcus Dysch, August 20, 2010

The Gaza flotilla in which nine died was aimed more at turning international opinion against Israel than providing aid for Palestininans.

That was the considered opinion of the BBC's Panorama programme screened on Monday.

Presenter Jane Corbin interviewed IDF soldiers involved. One, identified only as Captain R, told how he was stabbed by those on board.

"They came at me with knives and tried to stab me. I kept getting hit on my head and my whole body," he said.

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A lot of hot Eire as Irish do boycott gig

By Marcus Dysch, August 20, 2010

Irish creative and performing artists have launched a cultural boycott of Israel, saying they will not perform or exhibit in the Jewish state "until it respects international law".

The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign launched the boycott with a concert in Dublin, declaring that performers "should not be used as propaganda tools by the Israeli apartheid state".

In response, the Israeli Embassy in Dublin said the move was "regrettable and ill-informed".

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