World news

Secret files: US gave Nazis safe haven

By Paul Berger, November 18, 2010

The American government provided a safe haven for Nazis after the Second World War, according to a Department of Justice report kept secret for four years.

"America, which prided itself on being a safe haven for the persecuted, became in some small measure a safe haven for persecutors as well," the 600-page report concludes.

The Department of Justice fought the release of the report since it was completed four years ago.

Last month, it released a heavily redacted version. But a full version was published by the New York Times at the weekend.

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Hollywood legend gunned down in car

By Jennifer Lipman, November 17, 2010

A legendary Jewish Hollywood publicist was shot and killed in Beverly Hills on her way home from the premiere of the new Christina Aguilera film.

Ronni Chasen, 64, who represented stars including Natalie Wood and Morgan Freeman, was found dead in her car after being shot several times in the chest.

She was driving down Sunset Boulevard at the time, and police found the car crashed into a lamppost.

Hours earlier she had been mingling with celebrities at the opening night of the Cher film Burlesque.

Born in New York, she founded the Chasen & Company publicity firm.

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Radical cleric Bakri chooses Hizbollah lawyer

By Jennifer Lipman, November 16, 2010

A radical Islamic preacher who was last week sentenced to life behind bars for terrorism charges has selected a Hizbollah leader as his defence lawyer.

Omar Bakri, who was sentenced in absentia but captured by security officials just days later in Libya, has appointed Hizbollah deputy Nawwar Sahili to represent him in a retrial.

No court date has been set yet, but under Lebanese law a retrial is necessary because the Syrian-born cleric failed to attend court.

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Fraudster Bernard Madoff's diamonds, rolex auctioned

By Jennifer Lipman, November 15, 2010

The worldly possessions of disgraced fraudster Bernard Madoff have been auctioned in New York for hundreds of thousand of pounds.

One bidder paid £342,000 for the engagement ring Madoff bought for his wife Ruth, while another buyer bought his vintage Rolex for £42,000.

More than 400 items were up for auction, including his monogrammed boxer shorts, slippers and socks, as well as Ruth Madoff’s diamond earrings and a broken leather foot stall which went for £2,000.

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Israel celebrates release of Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi

By Jennifer Lipman, November 15, 2010

Israel has hailed the release of Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, as a step towards freedom in the Asian country.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said: “Israel warmly welcomes the release from prolonged house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi.

“We hope that her walking free will constitute a first step for the advance of democratisation and national reconciliation in [Burma].”

The Nobel Laureate was released on Saturday after spending almost 15 of the last 21 years under house arrest.

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San Francisco could vote on circumcision ban

By Jennifer Lipman, November 15, 2010

An American activist has launched a bid to ban the circumcision of baby boys in San Francisco.

Lloyd Schofield said that the practice was “genital mutilation”. He is hoping to gain the 7,100 signatures needed for the proposal to go on a San Francisco ballot.

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Omar Bakri arrested after boasting he'd remain free

By Jennifer Lipman, November 15, 2010

An extremist preacher who claimed he "would not spend one day” in prison has been arrested just days after he was sentenced to life behind bars in Lebanon for terrorism charges.

Omar Bakri, a Syrian-born cleric who once called for Sir Paul McCartney to be killed for performing in Israel, and said “all Israelis must be destroyed" was sentenced in his absence on Thursday.

A Lebanese military court handed out the sentence for Bakri’s alleged role in training Al Qaeda militants at a camp in Tripoli.

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Life in prison for extremist preacher Bakri

By Jessica Elgot, November 12, 2010

The Islamic extremist preacher Omar Bakri – who once called for the death of Sir Paul McCartney for playing in Israel – has been sentenced to life in prison in Lebanon.

The Syrian-born cleric was sentenced in his absence at a military court in Lebanon for allegedly helping train members of Al Qaeda at a camp in Tripoli. He is currently in hiding with relatives in Lebanon.

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Jewish doctor refuses to treat Nazi tattoo patient

By Jennifer Lipman, November 12, 2010

A German Jewish doctor has refused to operate on a patient after seeing a Nazi tattoo on his arm.

The patient, in the city of Paderborn in North Rhine-Westphalia, had a graphic on his arm of a swastika and the Bundesadler (Imperial Eagle), the German national symbol adopted by the Nazi party.

According to the newspaper Bild, the doctor said it would go against his conscience to treat the 36-year-old man.

He told the patient’s wife: “I’m Jewish. I will not operate on your husband”.

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Jewish Iraq casualty remembered with Kombatika kippah

By Jennifer Lipman, November 12, 2010

The sister of a Jewish soldier from Florida killed in action three years ago has launched a project to provide special kippot to all Jewish American servicemen.

Danny Agami, who was nicknamed “GI Jew”, died after being struck by a roadside bomb during a tour of duty in Iraq in 2007.

The 25-year-old, from Florida, had named his US-Army issued yarmulke the “Kombatika”.

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