UK news

Former manager sells rare Leonard Cohen reels

By Jennifer Lipman, January 24, 2011

Almost 300 pieces of rock music history are up for grabs after a Jewish lawyer from Hackney decided to sell his valuable collection of Leonard Cohen films.

Steven Machat is offering up 294 reels of footage of the Jewish singer, a former client of his and of his late father, music manager Marty Machat.

The previously unseen clips include scenes of the Hallelujah singer as a child at home and at concerts in cities including Jerusalem and Paris.

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Sacha Baron Cohen to play Saddam Hussein

By Jennifer Lipman, January 21, 2011

Jewish comedian Sacha Baron Cohen is to take on perhaps his most controversial role yet.

Having played the fast-talking Ali G, the Kazakhstani businessman Borat and the fashionista Bruno, he will now play Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Mr Baron Cohen, who was just eight years old when Saddam took control of Iraq, will be the star of a Hollywood love story about an Iraqi leader’s illicit affair with a poor subject trapped in an unhappy marriage.

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MPs pledge to tackle campus extremism and online hate

By Jessica Elgot, January 21, 2011

MPs have pledged to crack down on antisemitic preachers on campus and internet hate sites during a major parliamentary debate on antisemitism.

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Huddersfield hosts Holocaust buttons

By Jonathan Kalmus, January 21, 2011

Kirklees is planning a Holocaust artwork of six million buttons as a permanent outdoor memorial in the West Yorkshire borough.

Entitled "6 Million+" and created by Leeds Jewish artist Antonia Stowe, it was first commissioned in 2006 as a temporary artwork by Kirklees Council. It began as an educational project when school and college students were asked to collect the buttons. After a JC report, more than six million buttons came in from all parts of the UK.

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New Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander's Middle East history

By Jennifer Lipman, January 21, 2011

The chair of Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) has said he is looking forward to working with the new Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander, who was appointed following the resignation of Alan Johnson from the front bench.

Labour leader Ed Miliband appointed Douglas Alexander to replace Yvette Cooper yesterday, moving him from his role as Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary.

Mr Alexander, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, was first elected in 1997 in Tony Blair’s landslide victory.

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Alastair Campbell: what Brits really thought about Netanyahu

By Jennifer Lipman, January 20, 2011

Benjamin Netanyahu is an "armour-plated bull****ter" – or so was the view of Britain’s Foreign Office in 1998.

Alastair Campbell, the former Labour party spin doctor, has revealed that this was what “some of the Foreign Office guys” thought of Mr Netanyahu at the time of Tony Blair’s first official visit to Israel in April 1998.

At the time Mr Netanyahu was serving his first term as prime minister of Israel.

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Family's Holocaust-era letters to be translated

By Robyn Rosen, January 20, 2011

A Southampton historian has received a £9,000 grant to translate and catalogue thousands of newly-discovered letters between an exiled German Jew and his family in Nazi Germany.

The collection of 2,500 letters was found by Daniel Schwab in his parents’ garage in Johannesburg and is now the subject of a research project by Dr Shirli Gilbert of the University of Southampton.

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Tory treasurer becomes Lord Fink

By Jennifer Lipman, January 20, 2011

Stanley Fink has entered the House of Lords

The co-treasurer of the Conservative Party took up his seat as Lord Fink today.

The man described as "the Godfather" of the hedge fund industry, Lord Fink runs hedge fund International Standard Asset Management and was the chief executive of the MAN Group. He has donated more than donated £1.9 million to his party in the last eight years.

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'Nigeria 'bribe' lawyer loses extradition-appeal

By James Brewster, January 20, 2011

A British solicitor has failed in a High Court bid to block his extradition to the United States where he faces charges of aiding and abetting an enormous corruption plot.

Jeffrey Tesler, 62, is accused by the American authorities of involvement in an international conspiracy to channel bribes to senior officials in Nigeria.

Mr Tesler, who works for a legal practice in Tottenham, north London, argued that the alleged conduct complained of did not occur in America, and there were “insufficiently substantial links” between it and the US to legally justify extradition.

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Lithuania to look at its wartime record

By Simon Rocker, January 20, 2011

The Lithuanian Embassy in London is jointly sponsoring a conference next month which will address "sensitive" questions about the country's wartime record.

Daiva Parulskiene, the embassy's cultural attaché, said it was the first time it had been involved with such an event, to be held at University College London on February 6-7.

Ms Parulskiene said: "Its main purpose is to gather academicians and specialists to try to understand the reason behind extreme violence on the part of Lithuanians in 1941 and who was involved in pogroms.

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