UK news

Church leader links Israel to apartheid

By Leon Symons, October 7, 2010

The head of the Anglican Church in Wales has received a barrage of criticism after comparing the situation between Israel and the Palestinians to apartheid in South Africa.

Dr Barry Morgan, the Archbishop of Wales, was accused of damaging interfaith relations after an address to the governing body of the Church in Wales last week in which he described the situation in "Israel-Palestine" as appalling.

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Police raid drug dens next to school

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 7, 2010

The largest co-ordinated drug raids ever conducted by Greater Manchester Police have targeted dealers across the Jewish neighbourhoods of Crumpsall, Prestwich, Whitefield and Broughton Park.

The operation, carried out last Tuesday and involving nearly 500 officers in 29 synchronised dawn raids, was designed to crush street dealing in the Cheetham Hill area.

No Jewish people are known to be among the 25 arrested, although part of the operation was designed to protect Manchester King David pupils - among other schoolchildren - from a drug market run a short distance from the school.

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Young mum's shock death

October 7, 2010

A young mother of six who was a leading Lubavitch emissary in Manchester died on Sunday just five weeks after giving birth to a baby boy.

More than 400 people attended the funeral on Tuesday of Esther Aidel Cohen, 33, whose husband heads Broughton Park's Chabad Beis Menachem Synagogue and Lubavitch Boys Primary School.

Mrs Cohen, of Broughton Park, died at North Manchester General Hospital, where she had been in intensive care following the birth of her child, named Avraham Tzvi. Her death was thought to be unconnected to the pregnancy.

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Britain dismisses Israel tourism boycott claim

October 7, 2010

Britain has denied that it is boycotting an international tourism conference in Jerusalem, despite Israeli claims to the contrary.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development will host two events in the city later this month - a two-day seminar on sustainable tourism, followed by a conference on data and privacy protection.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry rejected apparent OECD requests to move the event to Tel Aviv, but highlighted the fact Britain and Spain would not be sending delegates.

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Analysis: Tories mend fences as Labour digs holes

By Martin Bright, October 7, 2010

Change is always unsettling and this season of political conferences has ushered in all the uncertainty that inevitably follows a general election. Fringe meetings at the Conservative Party conference were infused with an atmosphere of near- panic as desperate lobbyists scrambled for the ear of ministers, while trying to second-guess the coalition plans in advance of the comprehensive spending review.

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Food firm Osem fined over waste

By Robyn Rosen, October 7, 2010

Kosher food firm Osem has been told to pay around £27,000 after failing to recycle waste for nearly 10 years.

Osem UK Ltd - whose products include instant soups, dips, cakes and frozen meats - pleaded guilty at Basildon Magistrates' Court on Monday to failing to register with the Environment Agency as a producer of packaging waste and failing to meet its requirements to recover and recycle packaging waste between 1998 and 2007.

The company, based in Essex, was fined £16,000 and ordered to pay £2,819 in costs and £8,372 in compensation to the Environment Agency.

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Tony Blair warns on Islamic extremism

By Marcus Dysch, October 7, 2010

Tony Blair has claimed violent Islamic extremism has "outspent, outmanoeuvred and out-strategised" the West.

He said too many people had accepted extremists' claims that military action was taken against Muslim countries following the 9/11 attacks because the West supported Israel and Jews rather than Palestinians and Muslims.

Speaking in New York, the former Prime Minister warned that extremism could not be defeated "without defeating the narrative that nurtures it". He said moderate Muslims were being undermined by the West's unwillingness to tackle extremists' arguments.

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Benefit cuts could hit Orthodox families

By Marcus Dysch, October 7, 2010

Labour MP Diane Abbott has warned that the government's proposals to cut child benefits could hit Charedi families harder than others.

Ms Abbott, who represents the Hackney constituency which includes Stamford Hill, said plans to remove the benefit from families where one parent earns more than £44,000 a year were likely to have a "devastating impact".

Chancellor George Osborne announced at the Conservative Party annual conference in Birmingham that cuts would apply to higher-rate taxpayers from 2013.

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Food poisoning wedding probe leads to... sprouts

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 7, 2010

A freak nationwide outbreak of salmonella in bean sprouts is being investigated as the possible cause of the death of an 82-year-old Jewish woman who died after a wedding in Manchester.

Rene Kwartz, from Crumpsall, was one of 10 guests at the wedding, held in Prestwich in August, who contracted a rare form of salmonella called S Bareilly. She was the bride's great-aunt and, according to the coroner, died from pneumonia, contributed to by salmonella enteritis.

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Cruise passenger complains, then expelled

By Leon Symons, October 7, 2010

An 82-year-old woman was thrown off a luxury cruise for disruptive behaviour after protesting that she had been the victim of antisemitism.

Broadway producer Gloria Sher Evans was expelled from Cunard's flagship Queen Mary 2 only days into a month-long trip to Britain and the Mediterranean.

Her husband, 91-year-old former Royal Navy medical man Frederick Evans, said: "It was the second night of the cruise. We were in one of the dining rooms at a table with other people. This man was talking and he told Gloria to shut up.

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