UK news

JFS: refusal was ‘religion not race’

October 28, 2009

Britain's leading Jewish school has told the Supreme Court that it had discriminated against a boy of 12 on religious rather than racial grounds when it denied him a place.

A crowded court heard Lord Pannick QC, claim that the boy was refused because the chief rabbi deemed his mother's conversion to Judaism invalid.

JFS had double the number of applicants to places, so children whose mothers were recognised as Jewish were given priority. The boy, known as M, was refused entry because he did not fall into this category, said Lord Pannick, who is representing JFS.

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Israel embassy demos: 63 charged

By Leon Symons, October 27, 2009

A total of 63 people will be appearing in court later this week on charges arising out of demonstrations outside the Israeli embassy in west London in January this year.

One person has been charged with actual bodily harm, one with handling stolen goods and almost everyone else with breaking section two of the Public Order Act, which covers violent disorder. The youngest person charged is a 12-year-old boy from Tower Hamlets.

All 63 are due to appear at West London Magistrates’ Court on Thursday and Friday of this week.

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Solicitor jailed for stealing from dead clients

By Marcus Dysch, October 27, 2009

A solicitor has been jailed for stealing £43,450 left by dead clients in their wills.

Alan Benstock, a former deputy coroner, used the money to fund his daughter’s private education, cover family medical bills and pay the mortgage on his home in Chapel Allerton, Leeds.

The 51-year-old admitted nine charges of theft over a four-month period in 2006.

He had set up a charitable trust into which he paid the money from three dead clients’ wills. He did not register the trust with the Charity Commission and kept it secret from colleagues.

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Griffin branded 'bigot' by rabbi's son

By Robyn Rosen, October 23, 2009

The Jewish teenager who grilled Nick Griffin on last night’s Question Time has said the BNP leader came across as a “racist bigot”.

JFS pupil Joel Weiner, 17, confronted Mr Griffin during the programme and demanded answers about his history of Holocaust denial.

Joel’s grandfather escaped from Germany to Palestine the day before war broke out but many of his family were lost — some, he believes, in Auschwitz.

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My evening on Question Time with the BNP

By Jessica Elgot, October 23, 2009

It was such good luck getting the tickets. I’m an avid Question Time watcher, and I applied for tickets over a year ago now. But the tickets I was allocated fell on Yom Kippur, and I couldn’t go. So the woman who organised it said I could come again another time. It really was amazing good luck. I took my girlfriend and a couple of friends.

We didn’t have such a problem getting into the studio, but it was a long wait for it to start. We got in at about 5 o’clock and they don’t start filming until 8. It was very fairly edited by the BBC, they didn’t take anything out at all.

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BNP's Nick Griffin grilled on Question Time

By Jessica Elgot, October 23, 2009

The leader of the BNP Nick Griffin was dealt some hefty blows by the panel and audience in his controversial appearance on the BBC's Question Time.

The BNP leader, who was greeted with boos when he entered the programme, was grilled on his attitude to Israel, his alleged Holocaust denial and his use of Winston Churchill in party literature.

He was joined on the panel by playwright Bonnie Greer, Justice Secretary Jack Straw, Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne and Conservative peer Baroness Sayeeda Warsi.

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Czech vandals are 'on the run in the UK'

By Leon Symons, October 22, 2009

Two men convicted of stealing hundreds of bronze plaques from a Holocaust memorial in the Czech Republic are believed to have fled to Britain — but their extradition is not being sought.

Libor Mirga and Petr Hricko were sentenced in absentia to four and half years and three and a half years in prison respectively at a court in Terezin last week.

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Sex-pest hairdresser spared prison

By Marcus Dysch, October 22, 2009

An Israeli hairdresser who kissed and stroked a 13-year-old girl during a styling appointment has avoided jail.

Shay Kaldron was told he must undergo a three-year community programme during which he will be supervised by the probation service. He must also attend a sexual offenders’ group programme.

The 33-year-old, of Bromley, Kent, and formerly of Golders Green, was convicted last month of pouncing on the teenager while her mother left the house for seven minutes to collect the girl’s brother.

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UK and Israel launch joint science projects

By Simon Rocker, October 22, 2009

The first beneficiaries of a scheme to promote academic ties between Britain and Israel, backed by the governments of the two countries, have been announced by the British Council.

Fifteen partnerships involving British and Israeli universities will share grants worth £365,000 in all, ranging from research into the causes of diseases such as Parkinson’s to the evolutionary history of the universe.

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JFS to plead case at Supreme Court

By Simon Rocker, October 22, 2009

The legal battle over entry to JFS will reach a climax next week when a three-day hearing begins at the new Supreme Court in London on Tuesday.

As many as nine of the 11 judges at the new court — which supersedes the House of Lords — are listed to hear the case, compared with the usual five for most cases.

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