UK news

Still no cash for tribunal winner

By Simon Rocker, May 27, 2009

A former employee of an Orthodox charity is owed thousands in compensation, months after winning an unfair dismissal claim against it.

Geraldine Fainer was awarded more than £17,000 by Watford Employment Tribunal in December after losing her job at The Clubhouse, a charity which supports Orthodox youngsters and their families in London.

But a spokesman for the organisation said that it had gone into liquidation last month.

Last Friday, Barnet County Court ordered to be paid to Ms Fainer £6,500 which had been previously frozen in two of the charity’s bank accounts.

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New order for Asbo boy

By Marcus Dysch, May 27, 2009

A boy has been sentenced to community service for breaching an antisocial behaviour order imposed after he verbally abused Jewish schoolchildren.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was given a referral order in January after admitting charges of racially aggravated harassment and common assault.

Magistrates were told that he had approached pupils from JFS as they travelled home on a 183 bus through north west London. The youth threatened to stab them and shouted “Jewish scum” during the incident last November.

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Cambridge mulls rival mikveh plans

By Simon Rocker, May 27, 2009

A public showdown is looming over plans to open Cambridge’s first mikveh.

An open meeting has been called by the Cambridge Community Mikveh Charity (CCMC) for Sunday week, in the presence of a dayan from the London Beth Din, which held a hearing into the mikveh controversy six months ago.

David Gilinsky, a trustee of the CCMC, took his fellow-trustees to the Beth Din, complaining of “procrastination” over the project. He and his wife Ofra have offered land they own in Milton Road as a location for the ritual bath.

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More MPs are caught in expenses firing-line as the scandal deepens

By Marcus Dysch, May 27, 2009

A Jewish MP is to stand down at the next election after becoming embroiled in the expenses row and claiming the public was “jealous” of his country house.

Tory MP Anthony Steen announced his retirement after earlier claiming taxpayers should not be allowed to see MPs’ claims and insisting his behaviour had been “impeccable”.

The 69-year-old former barrister was elected to represent Totnes in 1983. Previously he represented Liverpool Wavertree for nine years.

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Sea mystery as passenger claims ‘we beat pirates’

By James Martin, May 27, 2009

A London woman who was on a cruise ship attacked by Somali pirates said this week that “the heroic efforts of passengers in fending them off has been overlooked”.

Frances Pallas was a week into a three-week cruise, which ran from Durban, South Africa, to Genoa, Italy, when the MSC Melody was attacked by pirates last month.

Mrs Pallas disputes the claim of the ship’s owners, MSC Cruises, that pirates were thwarted by Israeli security guards, who “acted immediately and successfully” in response to an attempted hijack.

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Rabbi blasts HSA as complaints grow

By James Martin, May 27, 2009

A leading member of Stamford Hill’s strictly Orthodox community, Rabbi Avraham Pinter, has accused the medical insurer HSA of “discrimination”.

Last week the JC revealed that hundreds of Jewish families have been left out of pocket due to the insurer’s refusal to reimburse them for treatments.

They are supported by furious dentists, homeopaths, chiropodists, herbal doctors and opticians, who say HSA has failed even to respond to applications they made on behalf of patients.

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They’re even in your pants

By Marcus Dysch, May 27, 2009

Next has withdrawn a range of underpants after a customer complained they featured an image of Hitler.

Benjamin Radomski, whose grandmother escaped Nazi persecution, complained to Next’s Jewish chief executive Simon Wolfson after buying the boxer shorts at Gatwick Airport.

They featured a number of cartoon images. Mr Radomski said he believed one showed Hitler giving a Nazi salute as planes and a Zeppelin fly overhead.

The company’s website describes the garments as “Comic Strip Hipsters”. They are sold in a three-pack for £18.

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Smile Hitler. The Nazis invade trainspotters’ day out

By Simon Rocker, May 27, 2009

Organisers of a Second World War re-enactment event have apologised after some participants breached its dress code and sported swastikas.

Men in German military uniforms were seen displaying the Nazi emblems at the East Lancashire Light Railway’s annual “wartime weekend” in Bury.

But Andy Coward, the railway’s general manager, said that such insignia were off-limits and people would have been asked to remove them if they had been spotted.

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Boycott warning at UCU congress

By Simon Rocker, May 27, 2009

Academics heading for their annual congress this week were warned by their leaders that any call for a boycott of Israel would be declared null and void.

Half a dozen motions of varying degrees of hostility towards Israel were tabled for debate on today (Wednesday afternoon) on the first day of the congress of the University and College Union in Bournemouth.

But the union’s executive warned that two of them could bring legal repercussions by targeting Israeli institutions.

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Boris queries BNP garden party invitation

By Leon Symons, May 22, 2009

London Mayor Boris Johnson has stepped into the row over British National Party leader Nick Griffin attending one of the Queen’s three Buckingham Palace garden parties in July.

The London Assembly’s 25 members are traditionally invited to one of the parties. Richard Barnbrook, the BNP’s London Assembly member, has said he will take Mr Griffin to the party on July 21, the last of the three parties.

Now Mr Johnson has written to LA leader Darren Johnson asking him to persuade Mr Barnbrook to take another or have the invitation taken away.

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