UK news

Richard Desmond begins libel battle

By Jessica Elgot, July 6, 2009

Express Newspapers owner Richard Desmond has begun a seven-day libel battle against Conrad Black's biographer Tom Bower.

The case, heard in the High Court today, will centre on allegations in Bower's biography of former Daily Telegraph owner Black that the Telegraph and Express Newspapers had a shared printing agreement.

The court heard legal arguments today and it is likely the jury will begin to hear evidence tommorrow.

Black is currently serving a prison sentence in Florida for fraud.

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Bernie Ecclestone’s Hitler comments

July 6, 2009

Bernie Ecclestone is reported to have praised Hitler for his ability to “get things done” and said he preferred totalitarian regimes to democracies.

The billionaire Formula One chief was quoted Saturday’s Times as criticising MPs for their lack of strong leadership.

He said he liked “strong leaders”, such as Margaret Thatcher and suggested that Max Mosley, president of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), would make a good Prime Minister.

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JFS: Tell us your story

By Jessica Elgot, July 6, 2009

Did you go to JFS in the seventies - before regulations were changed regarding pupils' Jewish status?

If so, we want to hear from you. Perhaps you were eligible to attend the school but your children today might not be.

Contact us and tell us your story on editorial@thejc.com

The debate has continued on the JC's pages, on the web and in your letters, and here are some of your early reactions.

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Swine flu suspected at Jewish schools

By Jessica Elgot, July 3, 2009

Two London Jewish schools have suspected cases of swine flu.

A boy at JFS whose sister was diagnosed with the virus last week is being tested for the virus but the results of the test have not been disclosed.

Kerem House Nursery in Hampstead Garden Suburb has also had a swine flu scare when a number of staff members were taken ill and the school has been closed since Monday until reopening yesterday.

JFS said the school "is taking and following the regular advice from both the local authority and the area health authority".

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Father who brought JFS case speaks out

July 2, 2009

We are delighted and relieved that this most unpleasant wrong has been corrected by the three Appeal Court judges, and that justice is starting to be done.

It is a great shame that my son and I had to pursue this case through the courts. We would have much preferred to reach a fair settlement with the school to revise its policy for the benefit of the whole Jewish community. Unfortunately, that has not been possible.

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JNF: Projects bloom in desert sand

By Jenni Frazer, July 2, 2009

As far as the eye can see, there is sand. Somewhere over the horizon to the south west, there is Egypt; Gaza is close by, too. But one can see no landmarks, no signposts.

And then you turn on your heel and you see familiar net-covered structures, signifying Israeli agri-tech. And right here, in the middle of this vast Negev nothingness, a group of people are growing food in the sand.

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Hayek bid to replant JNF in our hearts

By Simon Rocker, July 2, 2009

When Samuel Hayek became chairman of JNF UK, British Jewry’s third biggest fundraising charity, nearly 18 months ago, few people knew what to make of the Israeli-born businessman.

Beyond donations of “a few thousand” to charities here and there, he had no track record in the higher echelons of communal philanthropy.

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Euthanasia challenged

July 2, 2009

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks has joined forces with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and the new Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, to try to stop an attempt to introduce euthanasia by the back door.

In a letter to the Daily Telegraph, they criticised a Lords’ amendment to the Coroners and Justice Bill that would protect from prosecution people who wanted to help friends or relatives go abroad to commit suicide.

The three faith leaders said the amendment would put vulnerable people at risk.

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Sugar faces bully charge

July 2, 2009

Sir Alan Sugar is being taken to an employment tribunal for alleged sex discrimination and bullying.

The woman complaining is Hanna Sebright, managing director of Amscreen Healthcare, one of the businessman’s leading companies.

She has made allegations about the conduct of the government’s so-called “enterprise tsar”; his eldest son, Simon; and Lee McQueen, last year’s winner of Sir Alan’s BBC programme The Apprentice.

She is seeking £140,000 in damages in a claim for constructive unfair dismissal.

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I saw Rachel Stevens restaurant gunman

By Leon Symons, July 2, 2009

A Jewish man has spoken of his horror at seeing a gunman about to fire shots into the St John’s Wood restaurant where actress and singer Rachel Stevens was dining last Friday evening.

Two people, a 31-year-old black man — apparently the intended target of the attack — and a 15-year-old white youth, were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds, which were said not to be serious. The man was shot in the leg and the youth in the arm.

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