UK news

Analysis: On Goldstone, UN plays semantics

By Martin Bright, November 5, 2009

So in the end it all hinged on semantics. As the 192-nation UN General Assembly met on Wednesday to debate the Goldstone Report on the Gaza war, the central issue for the UK government was whether the resolution under discussion was to be “welcomed”, “endorsed” or “noted”.

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BNP praises Israel minister on foreigners

By Martin Bright and Anshel Pfeffer, November 5, 2009

The British National Party has leapt on comments by Israel’s Interior Minister, Eli Yishai, to suggest that the extreme-right party shares a common immigration policy with Israel.

Mr Yishai claimed that foreign workers brought diseases into Israel and that their presence threatened the Jewish and Zionist identity of the state.

He also attacked cabinet colleagues who were in favour of allowing the children of illegal foreign workers to remain in Israel.

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'Hardcore' Islamist gets top anti-terror post at Home Office

By Martin Bright, November 5, 2009

A “hardcore” Islamist has been given a key Home Office job to tackle terrorism and divert fellow Muslims from the path of violence.

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BBC says: we must give voice to Hamas

By Leon Symons, November 5, 2009

The BBC Trust has said that the terror organisation Hamas “should be treated fairly and a right of reply conferred where appropriate”.

The response was revealed after the Trust rejected a complaint from solicitor Andrew White, who runs a pro-Israeli website, beyondimages.info.

He had complained originally that a website article about a BBC Panorama programme on Gaza gave a “very skewed” view of Hamas, airbrushing out much of its violent actions against Israel and Palestinians in Gaza.

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Jewish community attacks government on Goldstone

By Jessica Elgot, November 5, 2009

The UK Jewish community has explicitly criticised Britain’s position on the Goldstone Report, in an unprecedented move.

In a joint statement issued by the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies, British Jews expressed their dismay over the lack of action by the British government regarding the report, which is being debated at the UN General Assembly today.

Their statement demanded nothing less than a ‘No’ vote by Britain at the UN, calling the report “a sustained political attack upon Israel”.

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Peep Show's David Mitchell in Anne Frank row

By Jessica Elgot, November 4, 2009

Peep Show star David Mitchell has drawn complaints to the BBC after a joke he made about Anne Frank.

Mr Mitchell told a joke on his new Radio 4 show, The Unbelievable Truth, where he said: “There is absolutely no truth in the rumour that the last line in Anne Frank’s diary reads: ‘Today is my birthday and my dad bought me a drum kit.’”

Almost 50 complaints were received by the BBC about the “insensitive” nature of the joke.

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Alan Sugar: Small business are 'moaners'

By Jessica Elgot, November 4, 2009

Alan Sugar has faced calls for his resignation as government enterprise 'tsar' over derogatory comments he made at a conference about small businesses, callling them "moaners".

Lord Sugar, who is the star of the BBC's The Apprentice, came under fire from the Federation of Small Businesses Liberal Democrats after the comments, made at a conference in Manchester for small to medium businesses.

He allegedly told the delegates: "I can honestly say a lot of problems you hear from people who are moaning [about the recession] are from companies I wouldn't lend a penny to.

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Lord Steinberg dies at Ritz Hotel, London

By Jessica Elgot, November 4, 2009

The tycoon Lord Steinberg has died at the Ritz Hotel, London, where he was staying before attending the House of Lords.

The former Leonard Steinberg, 73, a Conservative life peer and president of the Northern Ireland Friends of Israel, died suddenly in his room in London's Picadilly.

His body was escorted back to his home in Hale by the Manchester Chevra Kadisha and the funeral was at Dunham Lawn cemetery in Altrincham today.

Lord Steinberg, who was born in Belfast, made his fortune in the gambling industry, as the founder and non-executive chairman of Stanley Leisure.

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Goldstone: Franco-British initiative

By Martin Bright, Political Editor, November 3, 2009

Britain and France have today delivered a new proposal to the United Nations calling on Israel and the Palestinians to launch an immediate inquiry into allegations of war crimes during the war in Gaza.

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Novelist Lionel Davidson dies

November 3, 2009

Tributes have been paid to Lionel Davidson, the thriller writers' thriller writer, who has died aged 87. Davidson, born in Hull in 1922, was praised by Graham Greene as the first contemporary storyteller to have recaptured the high adventure of Rider Haggard.

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