UK news

MP Andrew Dismore fights back over expenses

By Martin Bright, November 26, 2009

Labour’s Andrew Dismore, MP for Hendon in north-west London, has fought back against claims that he abused the parliamentary allowance system.

Speaking exclusively to the JC, Mr Dismore said he was the victim of a smear campaign targeting members of the Commons Standards and Privileges committee, on which he serves.

The Daily Telegraph claimed the Hendon MP claimed for 5,360 miles of car journeys (the equivalent of three return journeys a day). It is also alleged that Mr Dismore split £65,000 of second home allowances between two properties in London.

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Maccabi referee was 'unlawfully killed;'

By Marcus Dysch, November 26, 2009

A pensioner who was hit by a van as he crossed a road after enjoying a night out with his wife and friends was unlawfully killed, a coroner has ruled.

Jack Reuben died 48 hours after the collision in north London in July 2007.

The 78-year-old was vice-president of London Maccabi Vale cricket club for almost 50 years, and had served as a football referee in the Maccabi Southern Football League.

Mr Reuben and his wife Anita, who were members of Edgware Synagogue, were hit while crossing Whetstone High Road after leaving a restaurant.

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Conservatives urge ban of Islamic extremist group

November 26, 2009

The government has denied any involvement in funding two Islamic schools with links to the extremist Muslim organisation Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HT), following heated exchanges at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Gordon Brown agreed to investigate “very, very carefully” concerns raised by Conservative leader David Cameron about government funding of schools run by the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation in Slough and the London borough of Haringey.

He said that the Foundation has received £113,000 in government grants.

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Plymouth synagogue sells silver for £175,000

By Robyn Rosen, November 26, 2009

A historic collection of silver Judaica which had been auctioned to raise funds for a struggling synagogue has made £175,000, almost double the estimated amount.

Plymouth Hebrew Congregation, the oldest Ashkenazi synagogue in the English-speaking world, auctioned the collection — considered by experts to be the earliest and rarest set of silver prayer instruments — at Bonhams in London on Wednesday.

The last item in the sale, a rare pair of George III silver and parcel-gilt rimonim and matching yad, was the top sale of the whole auction and made £62,400.

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Peerage for Muslim Council of Britain head?

By Martin Bright, November 25, 2009

The government is preparing to give a peerage to the head of the Muslim Council of Britain, even though government links with the organisation are officially suspended.

Ministers are keen to find a prominent Muslim to enter the House of Lords as a way of balancing the peerage given to Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks earlier this year.

It is understood that the name of Muhammad Abdul Bari, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, was proposed at a meeting in Downing Street earlier this week to discuss relations with the Muslim community.

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Rabbi cleared of supplying cocaine faces rehab

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 25, 2009

The rabbi standing trial for supplying cocaine at a lavish party for rich doctors, businessmen and prostitutes has been cleared by a jury at Manchester Crown Court.

Baruch Chalomish, 54, escaped a lengthy prison sentence and was given unconditional bail. It was indicated by the judge that he would face an order to attend narcotic rehabilitation organised by the strictly Orthodox Jewish community when he reappears for sentencing on December 17.

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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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