World news

Black Swan makers to film dark side of Facebook

By Jennifer Lipman, October 27, 2011

Darren Aronofsky is to become the next Hollywood filmmaker to bring social networking to the big screen.

The film, about the dangers of online romances, will be based on a script by Mark Heyman, who also wrote Mr Aronofsky's Academy award winning hit Black Swan.

According to Variety, the film will be called XOXO.

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Catch 22 author Heller 'enjoyed' army service

By Jennifer Lipman, October 27, 2011

The author of one of the most famous books ever written criticising war was actually excited to serve in the army.

Joseph Heller, whose novel Catch 22 is seen to this day as a vital part of the anti-war literature canon, did not share the attitude of the book's protagonist, Captain Yossarian.

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More joy as Egypt frees 'spy' Grapel

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 27, 2011

American-Israeli Ilan Grapel is to be released this weekend from prison in Cairo, four months after being arrested on charges of "spying" for Israel.

Mr Grapel, a student at Emory University in Atlanta, spent several years in Israel and served in the Paratroopers Brigade. He is to be released in exchange for 25 Egyptians held in Israel on smuggling charges.

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In Tunisia, 'no fear over the Islamists, not yet'

By Rachel Shabi, October 27, 2011

"They naturally have a majority," says Tunisia's Jewish community leader, Roger Bismuth. "But more important is what is going to happen in the next few weeks."

As the Islamist Nahda party secured about 40 per cent of the vote in Tunisia's historic elections this week, the country's tiny Jewish community was wondering what this means for them.

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He can't run for Euro Jewish Parliament — he’s dead

By Toby Axelrod, October 27, 2011

What's the hardest thing about starting a European Jewish parliament? Being taken seriously, if the European Jewish Union's experience is anything to go by.

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Brooklyn's gender-separated bus to change its policy

By Jennifer Lipman, October 26, 2011

A bus service that required male and female passengers to sit separately for religious reasons will no longer operate under that arrangement.

It emerged last week that women who took the B110 bus through a part of Brooklyn that is home to high numbers of Chasidic Jews were being told to sit at the back of the vehicle.

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Lawyer: Murder confession 'false' in Leiby Kletzky case

By Jennifer Lipman, October 25, 2011

The lawyer for a man accused of the shocking and brutal murder of an eight-year-old boy from a Chasidic Jewish community in New York has claimed his client was pushed into confessing to the crime.

Levi Aron, who admitted to killing Leiby Kletzky in July after the boy's dismembered body parts were found in a suitcase and at Aron's home, appeared at a court hearing in Brooklyn on Monday.

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Deal to free US student held as Egyptian 'spy'

By Jennifer Lipman, October 25, 2011

A US student being held as an Israeli spy in Egypt is expected to walk free in the coming days after Israel agreed to a prisoner swap.

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King Abdullah pessimistic about Middle East peace

By Jennifer Lipman, October 24, 2011

The Jordanian ruler has expressed his doubts about finding a solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

In an interview with CNN, King Abdullah said that while he was "one of the most optimistic people" in the Middle East, the current situation did not bode well.

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Condoleezza Rice reveals Olmert peace offer

By Jennifer Lipman, October 24, 2011

The former US Secretary of State has recalled the day when Ehud Olmert made a bold offer to secure peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

According to Condoleezza Rice, in 2008 the then Israeli Prime Minister promised to give the Palestinians up to 94 per cent of the land they wanted.

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