World news

Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords critical as suspect Loughner appears in court

By Jennifer Lipman, January 10, 2011

Doctors for the Jewish congresswoman critically wounded during a shooting rampage at an Arizona supermarket have said there are signs she could recover.

Six people were killed, including her political aide Gabe Zimmerman, and 13 others injured in the attack on Saturday in Tuscon.

The man suspected of being behind the shooting spree, Jared Loughner, will appear in court today on several charges including attempting to assassinate Gabrielle Giffords.

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'Hitler' the insubordinate Nazi saluting dog

By Jennifer Lipman, January 7, 2011

A Nordic dog who answered to the name Hitler and was trained to make a Nazi salute was the subject of a high-level investigation by the German foreign office during the Holocaust.

Newly unearthed files have revealed that the paranoid German government saw the ability of Finnish businessman Tor Borg’s pet Jackie to make the Heil Hitler salute as an insult to the Nazi leader.

In 1941 Mr Borg was summoned to the German embassy in Helsinki to explain, while Finnish diplomats were commanded to compile evidence on the creature’s exploits.

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German rabbi: it's unsafe to look Jewish here

By Jennifer Lipman, January 6, 2011

A German rabbi has cautioned Jewish residents not to wear kippot or other overt Jewish symbols in public out of concerns for their safety.

Rabbi Shaul Nekrich, who was born in the Soviet Unionis the chief rabbi of the east German state, which is home to around 1,300 Jews.

In an interview with the Berliner Zeitung newspaper he said he felt it was dangerous to display himself as Jewish in Brandenburg and the surrounding area. He also said there was a problem with antisemitism in the state.

He said: “I hear the stories from the communities.“

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'Focus on the future' - new German Jewish chief

By Toby Axelrod, January 6, 2011

Jews in Germany should focus more on the future than the past, said the newly elected head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann.

In an interview last week in the Financial Times Deutschland, Mr Graumann said that while it is important to remember the Holocaust, the role of Jews in Germany should not merely be that of a moral compass.

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'Mumbai man in terror plot'

By Nathalie Rothschild, January 6, 2011

Three out of five men arrested last Saturday for plotting a terror attack on the headquarters of Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten are Swedish citizens with roots in the Middle East.

One, the 29-year-old Lebanon-born Munir Awad, had been arrested twice before on suspicion of terror activities. The other two suspects are Iraqi and Tunisian citizens.

Jyllands-Posten reported last week that David Headley, who helped plan the 2008 Mumbai attacks, had been in contact with a businessman in Stockholm over the plot.

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Hate attacks up in New York as shul gets bomb threat

By Ellen Tumposky, January 6, 2011

Jews were the most frequently targeted minority group in hate crimes in New York State in 2009, according to a report issued by state officials.

Anti-Jewish hate crimes rose by 15 per cent over the previous year and represented more than a third of hate crimes committed in 2009 in the state, the report issued last week by the Criminal Justices Services Division revealed.

The report came as a synagogue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan said it had received a letter on December 30 threatening to blow up the shul on New Year's Eve.

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Brigitte Bardot campaigns to ban shechitah in France

By Jennifer Lipman, January 5, 2011

Actress Brigitte Bardot has launched a campaign to ban the religious slaughter of animals in France.

Ms Bardot, along with six other animal rights groups, aims to put up more than 2,000 posters encouraging the government to outlaw both the Jewish practice of shechitah and the Muslim method, halal, of killing animals.

The posters include a graphic image of a cow’s head.

Ms Bardot, 76, wants religious slaughter to be replaced “to prevent animals suffering."

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Republican Eric Cantor poised for majority leader role

By Jennifer Lipman, January 5, 2011

A Republican politician from Virginia will become the most senior Jewish politician in US history later today.

Eric Cantor will be officially sworn in as the House majority leader when the Republican Party takes control of the House of Representatives, following its success at the mid-term elections in November.

The Republicans have already vowed to challenge much of President Obama’s agenda, including a push for a repeal of his healthcare reform with a vote on January 12.

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Jewish Harvard grad aims for Miss America crown

By Jennifer Lipman, January 4, 2011

The granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor is in the running to become the next Miss America.

Harvard graduate Loren Galler Rabinowitz, whose parents are both doctors, won the Miss Massachusetts contest last year, making her the state’s representative for the national pageant.

Ms Rabinowitz, 24, is a former ice-skating champion. She entered her first pageant with the hope of using the prize to fund medical school.

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Jewish security team nab Craigslist car thief

By Jennifer Lipman, January 4, 2011

Members of an Orthodox Jewish security force in New York helped catch an alleged car thief by setting up a sting operation.

Valsyl Lazoryshyn is believed to have stolen a car after its owner advertised the vehicle for sale on the website Craigslist.

After being fooled by Mr Lazoryshyn, who drove the car away during a test drive, the owner decided to contact the Shomrim.

The Brooklyn branch of the Jewish security group helped by arranging a second car sale at which he could pose as a prospective buyer.

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