UK news

Man refuses to pay licence in protest of BBC Israel bias

By Leon Symons, February 25, 2010

Jeremy Flashman makes no bones about it: "I hope they send me to prison."

The reason that 45-year-old father of three Mr Flashman is so keen to end up behind bars can be summed up in three letters: BBC.

The telecoms engineer, from Woodford Green in Essex, has become so angered by the BBC and the way it reports Israel that he has refused to pay his television licence.

So when an enforcement officer arrived at his door, Mr Flashman did not hesitate: "I told him I have a television, and I admitted watching it without a licence. He said I would receive a summons within 21 days.

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Million Jews aid Mossad says writer on Radio 4

By Robyn Rosen, February 25, 2010

The BBC has been criticised after the writer Gordon Thomas claimed on Radio 4 that up to a million Jews around the world are on hold to assist Mossad.

Mr Thomas, author of Gideon's Spies, a widely-challenged book about the Mossad, was interviewed by presenter Eddie Mair on BBC Radio 4's PM programme last week about the Dubai assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh last month.

Media reports have claimed that the Israeli intelligence service was behind the hit.

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Academic 'copied my thesis' claims student

By Robyn Rosen, February 25, 2010

A senior academic is under investigation for allegedly plagiarising the dissertation of one of his students.

Dr Remco Polman, a 'practitioner psychologist', is facing a conduct and competence hearing at the Health Professionals Council (HPC) next week, over allegations that he plagiarised a dissertation by Jeannette Cohen. He denies the allegations.

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Is Harry Potter really Willy the Wizard?

By Dan Goldberg, February 25, 2010

The estate of a bankrupt Jewish author who died in London over a decade ago is at the centre of a "billion dollar" copyright case against JK Rowling.

Adrian Jacobs, a lawyer and accountant who made millions on the stock market before going bust, wrote a children's book in 1987 entitled The Adventures of Willy the Wizard No. 1: Livid Land.

Lawyers for his estate last week added the name of the multi-millionaire Harry Potter author to a lawsuit it filed in the High Court last June - 12 years after Mr Jacobs died in Nightingale House, the south London home for elderly Jews.

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JNF sues board member for £700k costs

By Simon Rocker, February 25, 2010

JNF UK could be heading for a new High Court case later this year after suing a former board member for nearly £700,000.

The charity claims that Maurice Sherling (known as Charlie), owes the money to cover the JNF's legal fees in its past dispute with its Israeli associate Keren Kayemet LeIsrael (KKL).

Mr Sherling, managing director of Sherling Steel, Ireland's largest independently owned steel supplier, paid £579,095 towards JNF's legal costs in the UK and Israel, according to papers filed by his lawyers in the High Court.

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Amnesty critic stands for role on charity's board

February 25, 2010

A trenchant critic of Amnesty International's policy on Israel, Eric Lee, is standing for its section board in the UK - effectively the organisation's board of governors, which makes its policy.

Mr Lee, founder of the LabourStart website and a long-time trade union organiser, is one of ten candidates for four seats on the Amnesty International UK Section Board.

Each candidate is allowed a 100-word election manifesto, which will be sent to more than 250,000 Amnesty members in the next two weeks.

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Human rights group takes UK to court over Israel sanctions

By Simon Rocker, February 25, 2010

A Palestinian human rights group is making a fresh attempt through the courts to force the British government to adopt sanctions against Israel.

The West Bank-based Al Haq wants a ruling that Britain is in breach of its human rights obligations by failing to take action.

The group, represented by the Birmingham-based Public Interest Lawyers, lost an application for a judicial review to hear its case in the High Court last year.

But an appeal, which will be contested by the Foreign Office, was due to begin in the Court of Appeal yesterday.

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Faith schools must teach sex and contraception

By Simon Rocker, February 25, 2010

State-aided religious schools will have to teach about contraception and ceremonies for gay couples in future, according to new rules being introduced by the government.

Ed Balls, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, stressed that faith schools would not be able to opt out of new requirements for sex education, due to come into force next year.

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Jewish campaigners attack UK asylum seeker treatment

By Leon Symons, February 25, 2010

Three Jewish human rights leaders and three rabbis have launched an attack in a national newspaper on the way the government treats the children of asylum seekers.

Their action followed a report by the Children's Commissioner, Sir Al Aynsley-Green, which highlighted the arrest and transportation procedures children had to undergo and the living conditions at Yarl's Wood detention centre in Bedfordshire.

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Stanley Fink: Election will split Jews

By Candice Krieger, February 25, 2010

Stanley Fink, co-treasurer of the Conservative Party, says it remains anybody's guess as to which way the Jewish community will vote at the forthcoming general election.

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