World news

'The Way We Were' writer dies at 93

By Jennifer Lipman, May 6, 2011

The writer of the classics West Side Story and The Way We Were has died at the age of 93.

Arthur Laurents, born Arthur Levine to atheist Jewish parents in Brooklyn, died on Thursday in New York.

He began writing military training films for the US army during the Second World War, then went on to enjoy an illustrious career in both theatre and film.

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Arrests over deadly Marrakesh cafe bomb

By Jennifer Lipman, May 6, 2011

Three people have been arrested in Morocco on suspicion of involvement in the deadly café bomb last week.

The Interior Ministry described one of the detained men as the main suspect behind the attack, which killed 16 people including British travel writer Peter Moss.

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Museum sells Schiele work to fund restitution payout

By Jennifer Lipman, May 5, 2011

An Austrian art gallery has announced plans to auction a valuable Egon Schiele work in order to settle its debt from a lengthy legal battle over another of the artist's works which was looted from its Jewish owner by the Nazis.

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Kushner responds to university on Israel views

By Jennifer Lipman, May 5, 2011

Playwright Tony Kushner has criticised New York's City University for delivering a "grotesque caricature" of his views on Israel after the university's board voted against plans to give him an honorary degree.

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Is the Fatah-Hamas deal a disaster?

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 5, 2011

"From my perspective, the Hamas-Fatah deal is fiction," said the IDF officer, looking out from a hilltop over the northern West Bank city of Jenin on Wednesday morning. "None of the Palestinian local representatives or security officers I have spoken to over the past week have said that it changes anything for them."

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German party under fire over Sarrazin

By Toby Axelrod, May 5, 2011

A prominent member of Berlin's Jewish community has withdrawn from Germany's Social Democratic Party after it became clear that the party would not exclude controversial author Thilo Sarrazin over statements he made last year about Muslims and Jews.

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Now the Malmö mayor opposes Jewish studies

By Nathalie Rothschild, May 5, 2011

Swedish school pupils will have the opportunity to take Jewish studies as an optional subject starting from this autumn.

After a lengthy consultation period, the Swedish government has commissioned the National Agency for Education to formulate a study plan for the new course, which will be available to pupils in years seven to nine (ages 13 to 15).

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Sorry about the Jew-burning, says Mallorca

By Simon Rocker, May 5, 2011

On May 6 1691, Rabbi Raphael Valls, leader of the Chuetas, descendants of forced converts to Christianity in Mallorca who practised their Judaism in secret, was burned at the stake.

It was one of a series of auto da fes that year which took the lives of more than 30 Chuetas, the Catalan for "pigs", as the crypto-Jews were locally known.

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Thousands of Holocaust documents go online

By Simon Rocker, May 5, 2011

A new online database will make it easier to find out what happened to the thousands of artworks pillaged by the Nazis after Hitler's rise to power in 1933.

It is one of several initiatives in aid of Holocaust research that were announced this week in the wake of Yom Hashoah on Sunday.

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Nazi-hunter Zuroff cleared as war crimes trial begins

By Adam Lebor, May 5, 2011

For Nazi hunter Ephraim Zuroff, it is the end of a long court battle - but for Sandor Kepiro, Mr Zuroff's accuser in the libel stand-off that ended this week, the beginning of another.

On Tuesday, a Budapest court acquitted Mr Zuroff, director of the Simon Weisenthal Centre in Israel, of libel for describing Sandor Kepiro, a former officer in the Hungarian Gendarmerie, as a war criminal.

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