UK news

Foreign Office man is bailed

March 26, 2009

Rowan Laxton, a Foreign Office official arrested after allegedly making antisemitic comments in a sports club during Israel’s incursion into Gaza, was given police bail this week. He has been suspended by the Foreign Office.

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Fitness trainer charged

March 26, 2009

An Israeli fitness instructor has been charged with making indecent images of children. Amir Gilboa, 36, was due to appear before magistrates yesterday [Thursday] and faces 14 charges of making pornographic images.

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Faith week is launched

March 26, 2009

England’s first “Inter Faith Week” will begin on November 15, Communities Secretary Hazel Blears has announced. The initiative will aim to increase awareness of different faith communities and their contribution.

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Artist wins top design gong

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

British artist Benjamin Shine has won a highly prestigious Red Dot design award for a children’s activity toy he has created.

Cordz, which is already on sale in the UK and the US, allows children to create pictures and doodles by sticking coloured lengths of cord on to a reusable board.

The Red Dot competition is the world’s largest and most distinguished design contest. There were 3,231 entries from 49 countries in the category in which Cordz was judged.

London-born Mr Shine, 31, said he was “blown away” by the award.

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British Library loses Ramban document

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

A 454-year-old edition of a book written by the 12th-century scholar, philosopher and rabbi, Moses ben Maimon — better known as Maimonides or the Rambam — is among 9,000 items missing from the British Library.

A library spokesman said the book, Letter on Astrology, is unlikely to have been stolen. Instead, it is thought to be missing somewhere in the 650km of storage shelves within the central London library. The library, which was formerly housed in the British Museum, moved to its new St Pancras base in 1998. The manuscript’s loss is believed to predate the move.

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Squatters locked me out, then stole my art

By Leon Symons, March 26, 2009

The life of an Israeli artist has been wrecked by a group of Polish squatters who broke into and occupied his home twice, stripping it of his work and possessions.

Ya’akov Boussidan was initially left with bills of hundreds of pounds for telephone calls and utilities, as well as repairs for the damage they caused at his house — once the home of the actress Marie Lloyd — in Lewisham, south London.

While he was trying to regain possession of his home, he fell ill and spent three weeks in hospital.

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Ronson family agony over ill baby

By Jessica Elgot, March 26, 2009

Two years ago, Nicole Allalouf was given almost unbearable news. Her then 10-month-old daughter, Lucy, who had been suffering from up to 300 unexplained seizures every day, had an extremely rare brain tumour. It required dangerously invasive brain surgery.

Ever since then, Nicole (daughter of Dame Gail Ronson and businessman Gerald Ronson) and her husband, Israeli businessman Yoyo Allalouf, have been doing what any parent would do: everything in their power to give Lucy a chance of survival.

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Sir Paul McCartney joins peace charity

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

Sir Paul McCartney has followed the success of his first Israeli concert last year by joining the conflict-resolution organisation, OneVoice.

The former Beatle has been added to the honorary board of advisers for the charity, which works with Israelis and Palestinians to promote a two-state solution to the conflict.

During his concert at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park last September, Sir Paul and his band wore OneVoice pin-badges.

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Anger over offensive magazine

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

Students have written and distributed a magazine littered with antisemitic jokes as part of a charity fundraising initiative.

Rag to the Future was produced by Barts and the London Students’ Association, part of the University of London, for rag week, which began last Friday.

Jokes about circumcision, pork and Jewish wives were among the most offensive material.

Juliet Lewin of Hatch End, north London, complained to the students’ association after reading a copy of the magazine given to her husband by students in central London.

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Raid turns up guns, drugs ... and tusks

By Marcus Dysch, March 26, 2009

Evidence of paedophilia, firearms possession, drug trafficking and prostitution have been uncovered by police conducting an investigation into the criminal use of safety deposit boxes.

Police are now conducting over 1,000 spin-off investigations and believe they have inflicted a substantial blow to global crime networks.

Among the items discovered in the 3,554 seized boxes were millions of pounds, euros and US dollars in cash; illegal elephant tusks; drugs including ketamine and pure cocaine; forged passports and numerous firearms.

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