UK news

Rachel Stevens pregnant with first child

By Jessica Elgot, May 21, 2010

Pop star Rachel Stevens and her husband, the JC MSFL striker Alex Bourne, are expecting their first child.

The former S Club 7 singer, who married Mr Bourne last year, is due to give birth in November.

A spokesman for the couple said: "We are delighted to announce that Rachel Stevens and her husband Alex are expecting their first baby later this year. The happy news comes just a few months before the couple celebrate their first wedding anniversary."

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Late rabbi's Bible is 'wonderful, dramatic'

May 21, 2010

The first translation of the New Testament by a rabbi has been published - though sadly its translator did not live to celebrate his achievement.

Rabbi Sidney Brichto, who died in January 2009, completed the work just four days before he was taken ill.

Over the course of ten years, he also produced several volumes of the Hebrew Bible, including the books of the Torah in a modern English version.

The former vice-president of the Union of Liberal and Progressive Synagogues was keen to find a new readership for what he often referred to as "the best-seller least read".

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Amnesty steps up its campaign on Israel

By Simon Rocker, May 21, 2010

Amnesty International's UK branch is continuing to highlight Israel's treatment of the Palestinians with an exhibition in London next month directed against its security barrier.

The event follows a meeting last week hosted by Amnesty International UK entitled "Capital Murder: Inside the Israeli authorities' regime of discrimination and control in Occupied East Jerusalem".

Journalist Ben White, author of Israeli Apartheid: A Beginners Guide, described what was happening as "a microcosm of Israeli apartheid".

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Optimism over Conservative faith school plan

May 21, 2010

The head of the Jewish Leadership Council's schools task force is hopeful that planned education reforms could help to relieve the pressure on places at Jewish schools.

One of the key pledges in the Conservative election manifesto was to make it easier for parents to open new schools with state funding.

This cannot come a moment too soon for parents in parts of Hertfordshire and north-west London, where there appears to be a growing shortage of Jewish primary school places.

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Jewish 12th century bones reburied

May 21, 2010

The ancient remains of three 12th century Jews have been reburied during a special ceremony.

The two men and one woman, discovered during routine road works in Northampton in 1992, were interred at the town's Jewish cemetery on
Sunday.

Archaeologists had at first believed that the remains were from the 16th or 17th century, but radio carbon dating tests showed they dated back to 400 years earlier.

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Jail for Nazi disc jockey

May 21, 2010

A father and son described as "Nazi zealots" have been jailed for a total of 12 years at Newcastle Crown Court.

Ian Davison, a 41-year-old disc jockey, became the first man in England and Wales to be convicted of a terrorism-related offence, involving the lethal poison, ricin. He was given 10 years in prison.

Davison, from County Durham, had already pleaded guilty to six offences including production of ricin.

His son Nicky Davison, a 19-year-old former milkman, was found guilty of possessing terror documents. He received a two-year jail sentence.

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Oxford Uni plans study of Jewish refugee artists

May 21, 2010

Oxford University is planning a study of the life of a Jewish refugee who fled Nazi Germany and became a world expert in Celtic art.

Researchers at the university have invited local residents to take part in a social history project, piecing together the lives of refugees in Oxford during the Second World War.

The focus will be on Paul Jacobsthal, an archaeologist who fled Germany for Oxford, where he became a senior academic until his death in 1957.

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Lawyers face £34m fraud investigation

By Marcus Dysch, May 21, 2010

Three prominent Jewish lawyer brothers are embroiled in an alleged multi-million pound fraud case in Gibraltar.

London-based Isaac Marrache and his brothers, Benjamin and Solomon, who own and run the Marrache & Co firm, have all been declared bankrupt and face a range of charges.

Benjamin and Solomon, who run the firm's Gibraltar office, were declared bankrupt in early May by Gibraltar's Supreme Court, which claims that the pair have stashed money in Israel and Panama.

The company is now in administration and specialists are investigating claims against it totalling £34 million.

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Jewish MPs take up top positions in new government

By Robyn Rosen, May 21, 2010

A former B'nai B'rith Youth Organisation leader and a director of a Middle East peace foundation are among the Jewish politicians appointed as part of the new coalition government.

Grant Shapps, a one-time BBYO youth leader, who is now Conservative MP for Welwyn Hatfield, has been appointed Housing Minister and will work under Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

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Jewish charities criticise coalition elderly plans

By Robyn Rosen, May 21, 2010

Charity chiefs have spoken out against the omission of elderly care reform from the new government's coalition agreement.

The three main parties pledged major changes in the system during the lead up to the election.

Last week, dozens of charities and local authority chief executives signed an open letter asking why the topic was ignored in last week's coalition agreement between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

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