World news

Yemen religious murder appeal denied

By Jennifer Lipman, July 27, 2010

A Yemen court has upheld the death sentence of a Muslim man who murdered a Jew for refusing to convert to Islam.

Father-of-nine Masha Yaish Nahari was killed in December 2008 by a man called Abdel Aziz Yahia al-Abdi.

Mr Nahari’s bloodied body was found riddled with bullets after he was shot repeatedly with an AK-47 assault rifle.

Before the murder al-Abdi reportedly said to the 39-year-old teacher: “Jew, accept Islam’s message”.

Al-Abdi, a former pilot in the Yemeni air force, was found guilty and in 2009 was sentenced to death by firing quad.

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Israeli soldiers feared dead in Romania air crash

By Jennifer Lipman, July 27, 2010

Israel has sent a specialist search and rescue team to help find any survivors from a helicopter which crashed into a mountain in central Romania, killing at least four of the seven soldiers on board.

The CH-53 military transport helicopter was carrying six Israelis and one Romanian on an aviation training exercise near the town of Zarnest when it is thought to have encountered bad weather.

Officials have not confirmed that the wreckage has been found, but it is believed all those on board have been killed.

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Stone: 'sorry' for saying Jews control media

By Jennifer Lipman, July 27, 2010

Director Oliver Stone has expressed his “regret” for controversial comments in which he said “the Jewish domination of the media” was the reason the Holocaust continued to be so widely discussed.

Mr Stone had told an interviewer that he wanted Hitler’s atrocities to be viewed in context.

He said: “Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than the Jewish people, 25 or 30m.”

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Gorillaz play in Syria but boycott Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, July 26, 2010

Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn has told of his delight at performing in Syria just weeks after the band boycotted an Israel concert.

The singer said it had been “a wonderful experience” for Gorillaz to be the first high profile British band to play in Damascus.

Mr Albarn, who shot to fame in the 1990s with indie band Blur, told the BBC that he was “surprised” no other big Western band had performed in the Arab capital before.

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Swedish synagogue attacked

By Jennifer Lipman, July 26, 2010

Members of the Swedish Jewish community have expressed sadness after an attack on a synagogue in the city of Malmö.

Security has been stepped up after a bomb threat was left at the synagogue and the following day a firecracker exploded outside, shattering three windows.

It was reportedly the second threat to the synagogue in as many weeks.

In March 2009 there were violent anti-Israel demonstrations in Malmö when an Israeli tennis team arrived to play Sweden in the Davis Cup.

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Conference cancelled because of Israeli guest

By Jennifer Lipman, July 26, 2010

A French literary conference has been cancelled after pro-Palestinian activists refused to share a platform with an Israeli author who is a Holocaust survivor.

Novelist Esther Orner, 73, was set to appear at the March 2011 event hosted by the University of Provence.

But an anonymous group of Egyptian and Palestinian writers refused to take part in dialogue with an Israeli, prompting Ms Orner to speak out in the French media.

The controversy led university president Jean-Paul Caverni to cancel the entire conference.

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Mark Zuckerberg to star in Simpsons

By Jennifer Lipman, July 26, 2010

The creator of Facebook is to be immortalised as a cartoon character.

Mark Zuckerberg, who developed the social networking site as a teenager in his Harvard dorm room, is to be a guest star on The Simpsons.

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Oliver Stone: Jews dominate the media

By Jennifer Lipman, July 26, 2010

The Holocaust continues to be focused on because of “the Jewish domination of the media”, according to filmmaker Oliver Stone.

The director of Platoon, Nixon and Wall Street told an interviewer of his views on America’s “major” Jewish lobby, Hitler’s record and Iran.

He said: “They are hard workers. They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington.

“Israel has f----- up United States foreign policy for years"

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Brittany & husband: same cause of death

By Jennifer Lipman, July 23, 2010

Jewish screenwriter Simon Monjack reportedly died of the same conditions that caused the death of his wife, Hollywood actress Brittany Murphy.

The results of an autopsy have revealed that Mr Monjack, found dead in his California home in May, died from acute pneumonia and severe anemia.

A Los Angeles coroner said his death was “just like Brittany” and ruled out a rumoured drug overdose.

Born in North London, Mr Monjack was best known for writing the screenplay for the 2006 Andy Warhol biopic Factory Girl, which starred Sienna Miller.

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Natalie Portman film to open Venice festival

By Jennifer Lipman, July 23, 2010

A film starring Israeli-born actress Natalie Portman as a top ballerina has been selected to open this year's Venice Film Festival in September.

Ms Portman plays the lead in “Black Swan”, a psychological thriller directed by Jewish filmmaker Darren Aronofsky.

It will be the third consecutive film by Mr Aronofsky premiering at the Venice event, following The Fountain and The Wrestler, which won the festival's Golden Lion prize in 2008.

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