UK news

Longest ‘chained wife’ freed after husband’s death

By Leon Symons, February 15, 2010

The husband of the woman who was believed to be the world's longest-serving agunah – “chained wife” – has died.

Susan Zinkin and Israel Errol Elias divorced in the civil courts in 1962, but he refused to give her a get, or religious divorce.

Ms Zinkin was therefore unable to remarry under Orthodox auspices, or have more children without them being labelled mamser, or illegitimate.

News of the death of Mr Elias, who was 86 and lived in Golders Green, emerged on Monday.

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Jenny Tonge: Pressure from Zionist lobby

By Jessica Elgot, February 15, 2010

Baroness Tonge, who was sacked from her post as Liberal Democrat health spokesperson for the House of Lords, has criticised the Israeli lobby in British politics in a Press TV interview.

She also wrote an email to pro-Palestinian activist Deborah Fink, blaming the JC for spreading the organ-stealing allegations.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg sacked Baroness Tonge after she told the JC she believed there should be an independent inquiry into allegations of organ trafficking by the IDF while they helped the earthquake victims in Haiti.

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Jenny Tonge stripped of Lords role

By Martin Bright, February 12, 2010

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has sacked controversial peer Jenny Tonge as the party’s health spokesperson in the Lords over her demands for an investigation into allegations of body parts harvesting by the Israeli Defence force in Haiti.

Her remarks followed an article making the accusations in the online journal Palestine Telegraph, of which Baroness Tonge is a patron.

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Marion Janner (and Buddy) collect OBE

By Robyn Rosen, February 12, 2010

Campaigner Marion Janner received an OBE from the Queen today for services to mental health.

Ms Janner, the daughter of Lord Janner, founded the national Star Wards mental health project four years ago after she herself was admitted to a secure psychiatric ward when suffering from mental health problems.

Star Wards works with mental health trusts to enhance acute inpatients' daily experiences and treatment outcomes by promoting 75 ideas for service improvement.

She collected the honour with her dog, Buddy, who donned a tiara for their visit to Buckingham Palace.

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Police to investigate Azzam Tamimi SOAS talk

By Robyn Rosen, February 12, 2010

Police are investigating after Palestinian academic Azzam Tamim told students at a lecture at London’s School of African and Oriental Studies that he “longs to be a martyr” and that Israel “must come to an end”.

On Monday, Dr Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London, addressed Cambridge University’s Islamic Society.

He is also due to speak at the Federation of Student Islamic Societies’ Palestine Week at Manchester University this weekend.

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Headteacher admits breaching race guidelines

By Leon Symons, February 12, 2010

The head teacher of a school accused of racial and religious discrimination admitted at an employment tribunal that she had not followed local authority guidelines.

Jill Hankey, former head of Bigland Green Primary School in Tower Hamlets, east London, said she had been aware of guidelines that advised teachers on how to deal with racist incidents involving pupils and teachers and their aftermath.

Supply teacher Nicholas Kafouris had told her of an incident where a nine-year-old Muslim boy whose arm he brushed said to him: “Don’t touch me, you’re a Christian.”

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Clegg: Tonge 'ludicrous but not racist'

By Robyn Rosen, February 12, 2010

Nick Clegg has reacted further to LibDem peer Baroness Tonge's comment this week that Israel should set up an inquiry to disprove allegations that its medical teams in Haiti “harvested” organs of earthquake victims for use in transplants.

The party leader insisted that despite admitting her comments were “ludicrous, ”she was not “antisemitic or racist”.

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Jack Straw: No deal over war crimes law

By Jessica Elgot, February 12, 2010

The Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, has denied that pressure from Muslim leaders is to blame for his lack of action on war crimes legislation.

Mr Straw has faced allegations that legislation needed to prevent magistrates issuing arrest warrants for Israeli politicians travelling to Britain, has been delayed because of pressure from the Muslim Council of Britain and from the sizeable Muslim population of Mr Straw’s Blackburn constituency.

A spokesman for Mr Straw said: "Suggestions have been made in media reports that Jack has been lobbied on this issue by Muslim leaders.

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Michael Wolkind: I defended the BNP

By Simon Rocker, February 11, 2010

This week’s Torah portion is clear: if a thief breaks into your house at night, you are entitled to take his life — though not in daylight.

How much force householders can use against intruders is once again under debate in Britain, following the case of Munir Hussain, the Buckinghamshire businessman jailed, then freed on appeal last month, after clubbing a burglar.

Despite calls for change, Michael Wolkind QC, the barrister who represented him, believes that the law should stand as it is.

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Body armour maker held after FBI sting

By Robyn Rosen, February 11, 2010

A Manchester businessman has been arrested in Las Vegas after an undercover FBI sting operation over the alleged bribery of foreign government officials.

Michael Sacks, 66, was among five Britons, four Israelis and 13 others accused of attempting to bribe foreign defence officials in exchange for business contracts.

Mr Sacks, along with Israel Weisler, 63, also known as Wayne, an Israeli who was also arrested, are owners of an armour production manufacturer based in Kentucky.

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