UK news

Rothschild help for Jacob and sons paintings

By Simon Rocker, March 31, 2011

Paintings of Jacob and his Twelve Sons, linked to Jewish emancipation, are to remain in their historic home after a campaign to stop their sale.

The portraits by 17th century Spanish artist Francisco de Zurbaran were brought to Durham by the philosemitic Bishop Richard George in 1756. They have hung in Auckland Castle, the bishop's official residence, ever since.

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Arrest warrant bill passes first hurdle

By Martin Bright, March 31, 2011

A further milestone towards the reform of the law on universal jurisdiction was passed on Wednesday with the government seeing off two Labour amendments to its new Police Bill.

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Britain's former spy chief: MI6 kept secrets from Israel, Hamas Iran's puppet

By Martin Bright, March 31, 2011

One of Britain's top spies has described the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood as "at heart a terrorist organisation" and labelled Hamas and Hizbollah as surrogates of the Iranian state.

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Gerald Kaufman's 'disturbing' Jewish jibe at Labour MP

By Martin Bright, March 31, 2011

Veteran Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman is under attack for incendiary comments about a fellow Jewish MP during Wednesday's debate on universal jurisdiction.

Sir Gerald turned to a neighbour on the Commons green benches, as pro-Israel MP Louise Ellman rose to speak, and muttered: "Here we are, the Jews again".

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Jewish writers up for Orwell prize

By Jennifer Lipman, March 31, 2011

A prestigious journalism prize has become the scene of a battle between some of Britain's most successful Jewish writers.

Among the 15 nominees for the 2011 Orwell Prize, which honours exceptional political reporting, are Financial Times columnist Gideon Rachman, Israeli-born Guardian writer Rachel Shabi and David Cohen of the Evening Standard.

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Universal jurisdiction reform goes to Lords

By Martin Bright, March 30, 2011

A further milestone towards the reform of the law on universal jurisdiction passed on Wednesday with the government seeing off two Labour amendments to its new Police Bill.

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Hague pays tribute to Britain-Israel 'common interests'

By Jennifer Lipman, March 30, 2011

Britain was "grateful" for Israel's friendship and strategic partnership, the Foreign Secretary told a London conference today.

Addressing an audience at thinktank Chatham House, to mark 60 years of British-Israeli diplomatic relations, William Hague said the anniversary was a "milestone in our shared history".

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End of Arts Council funding for London Review of Books

By Jennifer Lipman, March 30, 2011

A literary magazine described by historian Benny Morris as sometimes being "no more than pro-Arab propaganda" will no longer receive any government funding.

The London Review of Books (LRB), published once a fortnight, had received £767,000 of public money to pay contributors since it was founded 31 years ago. However it did not apply for Arts Council support this year.

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Former MI6 boss: Muslim Brotherhood 'terrorists at heart'

By Jennifer Lipman, March 30, 2011

The former head of the MI6 has described the Muslim Brotherhood as being "at heart, a terrorist organisation".

Speaking at a conference on British-Israeli diplomatic relations at Chatham House, Sir Richard Dearlove also said that Hamas and Hizbollah were "Iranian surrogates".

He warned that it was necessary to "do everything you can to prevent Iran from becoming nuclear".

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Eleventh hour change to war criminal arrest bill

By Martin Bright, March 30, 2011

A last-minute amendment to the Police Bill, tabled by the Labour front bench, proposed the establishment of specialist units with the Crown Prosecution Service and the Metropolitan Police to speed up decisions about the arrest of war criminals.

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