UK news

BMI suspends Tel Aviv flights

By Robyn Rosen, November 25, 2009

Britain's second largest airline bmi has announced it will suspend its route between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv, less than two years after it was launched.

According to a statement released by the airline, the route is one of five, including Amsterdam and Brussels, to be suspended in an attempt “to improve the profitability of bmi”.

The statement also said that the airline, which is owned by German airline Lufthansa, “will focus on routes serving oil, energy and emerging markets with a particular focus on business class customers and those visiting friends and relatives.”

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Rabbi cleared of supplying cocaine

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 25, 2009

Rabbi Baruch Chalomish has been found not guilty by a Manchester Crown Court jury on two counts of intent to supply drugs discovered by police at his home in Salford and a Manchester city centre apartment.

The rabbi pleaded guilty to possession of Class A drugs found at his home and the Shudehill apartment.

His co-defendant, Nasir Abbas, was convicted, in his absence, of intent to supply. A warrant is out for his arrest. The judge described him as "the main player" in the case.

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Avram Grant frontrunner for Portsmouth manager

By Danny Caro, November 25, 2009

Avram Grant is the favourite to become Portsmouth manager after Paul Hart was sacked on Tuesday.

The Israeli recently returned to the club as Director of Football, although he awaits a work permit, which is expected to before the weekend clash against Manchester United.

The match would see a fairytale return for Grant, should he be appointed manager, as it would give him the opportunity to avenge the 2008 Champions League final defeat in Moscow, when United beat Grant’s Chelsea on penalties.

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Jury out on 'cocaine and sex' rabbi

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 24, 2009

The jury remains out at Manchester Crown Court after nearly five hours of deliberating whether Rabbi Baruch Chalomish and his co-defendent, Nasir Abbas, were indeed running commercial cocaine parties.

Summing up the case, Judge Michael Henshell directed the jury of five men and seven women to return only a unanimous verdict on each defendant's guilt over each count of possession of a controlled drug and possession with intent to supply cocaine.

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Cocaine rabbi 'stereotyped as drug dealer'

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 23, 2009

The rabbi accused of financing a professional cocaine supply business, which involved prostitutes and run by a Muslim partner, is the "victim of a racial stereotype of rich Jew financing a poor Muslim".

That was the claim made by Rabbi Baruch Chalomish's defence barrister, Jonathan Goldberg QC, in his final speech to the jury in Manchester Crown Court today.

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Wales' oldest synagogue conversion plans approved

By Jessica Elgot, November 23, 2009

Planning permission has been granted for Wales' oldest synagogue to be converted into apartments.

The Grade II listed building, on Bryntirion Road, Merthyr Tydfil, was built in the 1870s. It is currently empty and has been a target for vandals.

Planning permission and Listed Buildings consent has been approved by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council.

The decision will now be referred to Cadw, the Welsh Heritage arm of the Welsh Assembly government.

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EasyJet apologises for Holocaust fashion shoot

By Jessica Elgot, November 23, 2009

A magazine published by budget airline easyJet has featured a fashion shoot with models posing at the Berlin Holocaust memorial.

The airline has apologised and withdrawn the November issue of its in-flight magazine, which featured the fashion shoot at the Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

The shoot featured photographs of male and female models, wearing designer clothes, and posing in against the Memorial’s concrete blocks.

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Ex- ambassador criticises Jews on Iraq inquiry

By Jessica Elgot, November 23, 2009

The former British ambassador to Libya, Sir Oliver Miles, has criticised the appointment of two leading Jews to the Iraq inquiry.

Sir Oliver drew attention to the appointment of Holocaust historian and Winston Churchill biographer Sir Martin Gilbert, and the war historian and ‘Blair doctrine’ architect Sir Lawrence Freedman, who advocated humanitarian intervention in Kosovo and Afghanistan.

The two men will be made privy counsellors in order to sit on the inquiry committee.

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UK Jewish Film Festival: the finale

By Jessica Elgot, November 20, 2009

The UK Jewish Film Festival drew to a close this week, with the screening of Hello Goodbye and the presentation of The Shoresh Charitable Prize.

Israeli comedy A Matter of Size together with documentary film ‘Praying with Lior’ have won the award, which was voted by the festival audiences.

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Rabbi took kosher food to five-day coke binge

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 20, 2009

Admitting to snorting large quantities of cocaine and having sex with prostitutes, a rabbi accused of running a cocaine supply business told a court that he had taken kosher food with him to eat during a five-day drug binge at the Manchester city centre apartment where he was arrested.

Rabbi Baruch Chalomish has pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing cocaine, but denies two counts of possession of cocaine with intent to supply. He stands co-accused with a convicted drug dealer, Nasir Abbas, who has failed to attend the trial and is being tried in his absence.

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