World news

Banned hate preacher to speak in Canada

By Leon Symons, June 22, 2010

The Muslim preacher who has been banned from coming to Britain by Home Secretary Theresa May is to headline a religious conference in Canada.

Zakir Naik has been asked to speak at the Journey of Faith Conference in Toronto next month, July 2-4, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

The invitation follows the decision by Mrs May to exclude Dr Naik from the UK.

She said: “Numerous comments made by Dr Naik are evidence to me of his unacceptable behaviour.

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Kosher meat plant owner set for 27 year sentence

By Jessica Elgot, June 21, 2010

The former CEO of America's largest kosher slaughterhouse Sholom Rubashkin is expected to be sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Mr Rubashkin, 51, the former CEO of the Agriprocessors slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa, was convicted of 86 counts of bank fraud in November. He is expected to appeal against his conviction.

Agriprocessors was raided by federal agents in May 2008. Almost 400 illegal immigrants, mainly from Guatemala, were rounded up and deported.

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Explosion at Russian synagogue

By Jennifer Lipman, June 21, 2010

A bomb has caused damage to a synagogue outside Moscow.

There were no injuries after the explosion of a home-made device in Tyer, a town northwest of the Russian capital.

But the incident left a hole in the door to the building and damaged the fence around it, as well as smashing the windows of a neighbouring property.

Repairs to the synagogue are expected to cost more than £3000.

Officials said the explosion was “malicious hooliganism” but anti-terrorism experts are investigating and a city administrator said it could be linked to vandalism of Tyer’s Jewish cemetery.

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Concern over new Anne Frank book

By Jessica Elgot, June 21, 2010

The executive director of the Anne Frank Trust has slammed a new teen novel which suggests Anne and a teenager hidden with her in wartime Amsterdam, Peter van Pels, had a sexual relationship.

Gillian Walnes said that the book "Annexed", which is a fictionalised diary by Peter, was “cashing in” on the diarist.

The book, published by Andersen Press, is a new novel from British author Sharon Dogar, who has written two other "coming-of-age" books for teenagers.

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Rahm Emanuel tipped to leave White House

By Jennifer Lipman, June 21, 2010

President Barack Obama’s controversial and high-profile chief of staff, who is Jewish, could be leaving his job within a year to run for office in Chicago.

Rahm Emanuel, who was also a senior aide to Bill Clinton, has been tipped by Washington sources to leave the White House after November's mid-term elections.

Friends of the 50-year-old have said personality differences with President Obama and a desire to spend more time with his family are behind his probable exit.

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Franco made secret list of Jews for Nazis

By Jennifer Lipman, June 21, 2010

Spain’s record of protecting its Jewish citizens during the Holocaust has come under scrutiny.

New records, published in Spanish newspaper El País, show the fascist General Franco had plans to send 6,000 Jews into the hands of Hitler.

The wartime Spanish leader, long claimed to have been sympathetic to Jews during the Holocaust, in fact helped compile a list of Spanish Jews for the Nazi regime.

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Israel welcomes Kyrgyzstani refugees

By Jennifer Lipman, June 21, 2010

Israel has offered humanitarian support to a group of refugees from Kyrgyzstan.

Twelve people from the conflict zone in the south of the country are to be granted immediate Israeli citizenship in a welcoming ceremony.

There is currently large scale ethnic violence tearing the central Asian nation apart, with more than 2,000 people thought to have been killed and many more injured in fighting between the Uzbeks and Kyrgyz.

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Bibi to meet Barack Obama at White House

By Jennifer Lipman, June 21, 2010

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has arranged to meet President Barack Obama in Washington next month.

Following Israel’s announcement that it will ease the blockade of Gaza, the two leaders are to meet at the White House on July 6 to explore “additional steps” for the region.

A meeting had been scheduled for June 1 but was postponed in the wake of the clashes on the Gaza-bound flotilla.

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Gay parade bans anti-Israel banners

June 17, 2010

Toronto's annual Gay Pride parade, considered a major event on Canada's cultural calendar, is threatening to devolve into confrontation - and not between gay and straight people.

Event organisers, responding to complaints from Jewish organisations, among others, have forbidden the activist group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QAIA) from marching in the parade under that name.

More accurately, Pride Toronto is "disallowing" use of the phrase "Israeli Apartheid" in the 2010 parade.

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Jews share a 'genetic signature'

By Paul Berger, June 17, 2010

Jewishness is not just in your heart or in your soul, it's also in your genes.

A new study carried out by geneticists in New York and Tel Aviv suggests that Jews have a particular genetic signature.

Geneticist Harry Ostrer, of New York University, said that within specific communities, such as Ashkenazim or Sephardim, Jews are as closely related as fourth or fifth cousins.

Furthermore, Dr Ostrer, lead author of the study titled Abraham's Children in the Genome Era, said all Jews have a common Middle Eastern ancestry.

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