UK news

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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Beth Din rejects rabbis' call for end to conversion

By Simon Rocker, February 11, 2010

The London Beth Din has rejected a call from a senior rabbi for a worldwide halt to conversions.

Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet of Mill Hill Synagogue, chairman of the US Rabbinical Council, proposed the suspension in a JC article last week because of continuing controversy over converts in Israel.

But the Beth Din said it took “exception” to his comments which did not reflect its “principles, policies or intended plans”.

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David Bellamy pulls out of Zionist Federation talk

February 11, 2010

TV Botanist David Bellamy pulled out of an appearance at the Zionist Federation’s annual environment seminar, days after an anti-Israel group said he should be “outraged” by the event.

Prof Bellamy was scheduled to be guest speaker at the Israel Blue White and Green events on Tuesday, but withdrew offering no explanation for his absence.

At the event, almost 1,000 sixth form pupils and university students were briefed by leading Israeli scientists.

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Man who refused wife a get loses action against JC

By Leon Symons, February 11, 2010

A man who complained about the JC’s coverage of his refusal to give his wife a get has lost his action against the paper.

Edward Saleh’s wife Miriam divorced him three years ago. But he left her an agunah — a chained woman — unless she agreed to submit to the jurisdiction of a Beth Din that would seek to re-open the issues settled in her civil action.

Ms Saleh refused and, even now, is still unable to remarry according to Jewish law.

This week the newspaper watchdog, the Press Complaints Commission, rejected Mr Saleh’s claim that the JC’s report was inaccurate.

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