UK news

MP backs looted-art campaign

July 25, 2008
The law should be changed to ensure that artwork looted by the Nazis and now held by national museums and galleries is returned to its rightful owners, an MP has said.

Restrictions covering national museums prevent works being returned to the heirs of the original owners. Instead, once ownership is proved, compensation is offered. But Andrew Dismore, Labour MP for Hendon, hopes clauses in the Heritage Bill, due to come before Parliament later this year, can be used to close the loophole.

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Police in cannabis farm raid

By Marcus Dysch, July 25, 2008

A cannabis farm has been discovered by workmen at a house in the heart of a Jewish neighbourhood.

Police were called to the property in Prestwich, Manchester, last Friday afternoon after the men, who had been contracted to work at the house, saw plants growing inside.

The workers were chased away by a man at the Park Road house, but when officers arrived, they discovered around 400 cannabis plants.

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Facebook faker found guilty

July 24, 2008
A businessman whose personal details were "laid bare" in fake libellous entries on the Facebook social networking website was awarded £22,000 damages today against a former friend who created the profile.

Mathew Firsht, managing director of Applause Store Productions Ltd, sued an old schoolfriend, freelance cameraman Grant Raphael, for libel and misuse of private information.

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MP criticises select committee

By Dana Gloger, July 24, 2008

In a highly  unusual move, an MP on a government select committee has spoken out against its report on development in the Palestinian territories.

Stephen Crabb, Conservative MP for Pembrokeshire is one of 11 members of the International Development Committee who published its report The Humanitarian and Development Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories on Thursday.

This week he said the report had "a narrative that Israel is the aggressor" and was "over the top".

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JCC abandons plans for Finchley Road building

July 18, 2008

The Jewish Community Centre for London, the most ambitious cultural project in Anglo-Jewry for a generation, has abandoned its plans for a new building on the site it bought in the capital's Finchley Road.

Instead, the JCC's board has scaled down a project its chief executive, Nick Viner, said would have cost "tens of millions" and has asked its architect to look at much more modest options for a refurbishment of the present building on the site, a disused Mercedes car showroom.

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Bloggers refuse to apologise over ‘evil Jew’ libel threat

By Simon Rocker, July 18, 2008

A popular political website is refusing to back down in the face of a threat of libel action from an Islamist activist who denies having referred to an “evil Jew”.

Harry’s Place, the left-of-centre blog, has engaged top lawyers Mishcon de Reya to defend it against a claim from Mohammed Sawalha, the president of the British Muslim Initiative.

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Brothels family faces jail

By Marcus Dysch, July 18, 2008

Three members of a Jewish family face jail after being convicted of running a chain of brothels.

Spencer Rolfe and his sister Adele Lubin operated the £1 million-a-year vice ring in North London with Lubin’s son, David Howard.

All three were found guilty of conspiracy to control prostitution at Southwark Crown Court.

Officers began an undercover investigation in December 2006. When the trio were arrested the following April, police found 17 prostitutes working at four brothels.

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Rabbi gets a police escort to synagogue

By Marcus Dysch, July 18, 2008

A rabbi has been forced to have a police escort for Shabbat services because he fears for his safety.

For the past two years, officers have followed Rabbi Yossi Schwei as he walks the one-mile route from his Luton home on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings.

They began accompanying him as a precaution after youths began hurling verbal abuse at him and his family.

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The Sderot tour our PM avoided

By Shelly Paz and Jessica Elgot, July 18, 2008

Although Gordon Brown is visiting Israel next week, the Prime Minister has decided to avoid scheduling a trip to the Kassam-ravaged town of Sderot. The Jewish Chronicle — which has long campaigned for more UK awareness of what we have called “Israel’s unreported war” — believes this to be a lost opportunity for Mr Brown to learn first-hand how Hamas rockets have been tormenting the Negev town’s residents.

So today the JC offers Mr Brown this whistlestop guide to the Sderot that he should be seeing for himself.

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