UK news

Stabber detained

May 21, 2009

A man who stabbed a Hatzolah ambulance volunteer has been detained indefinitely on mental health grounds. Mohamed Jama Ahmed, 38, attacked Zvi Hammond in Golders Green last April. Mr Hammond suffered life-threatening injuries, including a collapsed lung, but made a full recovery. A second, unidentified, Jewish man was stabbed by unemployed Ahmed on the same evening, and also recovered.

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Solly’s fined £17k

May 21, 2009

The owner of leading restaurant Solly’s has been fined almost £17,000 after pleading guilty to fire safety breaches. Linda Sade, of St John’s Wood, London, and her firm, Solly’s Restaurant Limited, admitted nine breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order at Hendon Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday. During a blaze at the Golders Green restaurant in September 2007, firefighters found blocked escape routes and a locked emergency exit.

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Wingate award

May 21, 2009

This year's Jewish Quarterly Wingate literary prize for a book of Jewish interest has been awarded to the highly-regarded book The Seventh Well, a Holocaust memoir by Austrian writer Fred Wander, who survived the Auschwitz and Buchenwald camps and who died in 2006. Originally published in Berlin in 1971, the book was translated into English by the poet Michael Hoffman. Publishers Granta collected the £4,000 prize.

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Loss for Tory MP

May 21, 2009

Hilda Howard, mother of the Tory politician Michael Howard, has died at the age of 97.

Mr Howard paid tribute to his mother this week, describing her as “a very remarkable lady”.

She ran a ladies’ fashion shop in Llanelli, South Wales, for many years before moving to Stanmore in Middlesex, where she became a pillar of the local community, attending synagogue every week and working tirelessly for Wizo.

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New think-tank for Institute for Jewish Policy Research

By Simon Rocker, May 21, 2009

The Institute for Jewish Policy Research has announced a change of direction with a key new appointment.

David Graham, who has worked on demographic surveys for the Board of Deputies, will be the new director of social and demographic research. He will be supported by a new advisory board, chaired by Professor Steve Miller, an expert on research into Jewish communities.

The changes mark a return to a more local agenda for the think-tank, which, under its former executive director Tony Lerman, who stepped down last year, had shifted its focus from domestic social research to Europe.

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Council refuses to fund festival for showing Seven Jewish Children

By Leon Symons, May 21, 2009

A new row has broken out in Liverpool over a performance of the play Seven Jewish Children during an annual May literary festival.

Its showing at the Writing On The Wall (WOTW) festival has led Liverpool City Council to refuse the event’s organisers any more funding. The council’s regeneration and culture select committee has given WOTW £9,000 a year for two years.

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Sir Jeremy blasts Edinburgh Film Festival for boycott ‘capitulation’

By Marcus Dysch, May 21, 2009

Anti-Israel campaigners have succeeded in forcing the Edinburgh International Film Festival to return funding from the Israeli Embassy.

Members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign had threatened to picket the event in June unless £300, which was to be used to fly Israeli director Tali Shalom Ezer to Scotland, was rejected.

Festival organisers said the decision was not a result of those threats, but was instead based on comments made by film director Ken Loach, speaking on behalf of the SPSC.

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Can Esther clean up the Commons?

By Leon Symons, May 21, 2009

The voters of Luton South will know definitely next Tuesday whether they will have one of Britain’s best-known personalities on the list of candidates for the next general election.

That is the day Esther Rantzen, former That’s Life presenter, survivor of I’m A Celebrity Get me Out Of Here and champion of children through Childline, will decide whether she will stand as an independent candidate against the current MP, Labour’s Margaret Moran, who claimed £22,500 to repair dry rot in a second home in Southampton.

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'Miracle' survival after M6 crash

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 21, 2009

Two teenagers have described as a “miracle” their escape with only minor injuries after their Ford Mondeo spun off the M6 on Sunday at high speed.

Eli Niasoff, 16, from Salford, was tossed from the hatchback’s rear window, flying 20ft across three motorway lanes before landing in the central reservation. He was airlifted to hospital with suspected head injuries, but went home the same day with just a broken knee. The driver, 18-year-old Yitzchok Davies, from Prestwich, escaped without a scratch.

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Tebbit attacked over call to boycott main parties

By Leon Symons, May 21, 2009

A call by Lord Tebbit for voters to boycott the main political parties in the forthcoming European elections as punishment for the MPs’ expenses scandal has been strongly attacked this week.

Ben Barkow, director of the Wiener Library, Britain’s leading Holocaust archive, said: “There are great dangers in what he said. One can see from other European countries like Austria, where far-right parties have become involved in mainstream politics, which has been bad for the country.”

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