UK news

University 'failed to probe anti-Israel talk

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 17, 2011

A group which monitors extremists has complained about the way Liverpool University investigated a medical course which it suspended for promoting anti-Israel propaganda.

Student Rights, which campaigns against extremism on campuses, said it had serious concerns after being refused Freedom of Information requests by the university.


Pushing UK science abroad

By Robyn Rosen, June 16, 2011

Martyn Poliakoff, the Nottingham chemist, YouTube hit and elder brother of playwright Stephen, has been appointed Britain's science ambassador.


Raid victim 'bound and left to die'

By Robyn Rosen, June 16, 2011

A pensioner died alone in her bedroom after burglars ransacked her home and left her bound, gagged and unable to call for help.

Eveline Kelmenson, 83, lay undiscovered for five weeks before relatives found her body on New Year's Day 2009.

The men broke in through the basement of her five-bedroom home in Leweston Place, Stamford Hill, north London, an Old Bailey jury heard this week.



Sharia bill may pose a threat to Jewish courts

By Simon Rocker, June 16, 2011

A new move to limit the powers of Islamic sharia courts in the UK has aroused concern over its possible impact on batei din.

A private member's bill introduced by crossbench peer Baroness Cox would make it a criminal offence for religious courts to exceed their legal authority.

According to Simon Calvert, of the Christian Institute, which supports the bill, it would have no adverse impact on


Delamere on the brink of closure

By Jonathan Kalmus, June 16, 2011

The UK's only Jewish residential school for special needs children is to close by the end of term unless it can find £500,000 within two weeks.

The loss of Manchester's Delamere Forest School, which has been running for 90 years, will see no dedicated Jewish secondary school provision for children with special needs outside London, and no residential schooling of its kind anywhere.


I lost 14 stone: here are my trousers

By Simon Rocker, June 16, 2011

A Jewish studies teacher who has shed nearly 14 stone in under two years has been named as one of Slimming World's slimmers of the year.

Michael Drucker of Edgware, who got a kosher bakery to introduce low calorie challah rolls, won the award in the consultant category – for those who run local Slimming World groups.

Once 28 stone with a 60-inch waist, Mr Drucker is close to reaching his h


Oy Vey, it's the kosher version of Taboo

By Jessica Elgot, June 16, 2011

A "kosher" version of word game Taboo – with clues such as "Oy Vey" and "Latke" – will soon be sold in UK toy shops.

Taboo involves teams guessing words from printed clues, described by a teammate who is banned from saying five "taboo" words associated with the clue word.

Boston-based Seth Burstein, 29, who co-created the Jewish version of the game, explained: "You might have to guess th


'Gay' Damascus blogger used site to attack Israel

By Robyn Rosen, June 16, 2011

Community leaders have condemned the "devious and Machiavellian" 40-year-old married man from Edinburgh who used a blog, with the fake identity of a young Syrian lesbian, to attack Israel.

Tom MacMaster, a master's student at Edinburgh University and member of Students for Justice in Palestine, admitted this week he was the man behind the Gay Girl in Damascus blog, which followed the alleged li


Speaker row cancels Catholic conference

By Jennifer Lipman, June 16, 2011

A conference featuring two controversial Catholic speakers, including one who publicly questioned the facts of the Holocaust, has been cancelled at the last minute.

Up to 300 people were expected to attend Saturday's semi-regular Faith of our Fathers event, organised by the orthodox Catholic group Pro Ecclesia at Westminster Central Hall.


Law reprieve for kosher meat labels

By Robyn Rosen, June 16, 2011

An amendment which could lead to controversial plans to label kosher meat has been removed from a proposed new European law.

The European Council and Parliament agreed this week that the new food information regulation will not include a requirement that all
kosher and halal meat would be labelled "meat from slaughter without