World news

Succot and the City

By Paul Berger, September 17, 2010

They come in myriad shapes and sizes from bulbous, futuristic pods to sweeping, organic forms.

Twelve finalists in an architectural competition to re-imagine the succah will land in Manhattan's Union Square Park, New York, on Sunday.

After two days, and following a popular vote, the winner of the Succah City competition will remain in the bustling square for the duration of Succot.

The contest's co-organisers, Roger Bennett and Joshua Foer, intend to work and sleep in the winning succah during the week-long festival.

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Holocaust-denier Irving to hold Nazi death camp tour

By Robyn Rosen, September 17, 2010

Anti-racism campaigners have slammed the "gutless" Polish government for not taking further action against Holocaust-denier David Irving's planned tour of a Nazi death camp.

Irving, who served a prison sentence for Holocaust denial in Austria in 2006, will hold a guided week-long tour from Tuesday in Warsaw and will include visits to Hitler's Wolf Lair headquarters in Poland.

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US adviser: Israeli-Palestinian talks are a charade

By Marcus Dysch, September 17, 2010

A senior military strategist and former US government adviser has launched a blistering attack on the current Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, deriding the process as a "charade".

Edward Luttwak, a senior associate at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, in Washington DC, said the "interference of frivolous people" would not bring about peace in the Middle East.

The process was, he said, "a perverse, deeply perverted mechanism that masquerades in humanitarian clothes".

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Sacha Baron Cohen to play Freddie Mercury

By Jennifer Lipman, September 17, 2010

Sacha Baron Cohen is to take on the role of the legendary Queen singer Freddie Mercury.

The Ali G comedian will star in a film scripted by The Queen writer Peter Morgan.

Queen guitarist Brian May said Mr Baron Cohen had been interested in the role for some time

The film’s producer Graham King said: “With Sacha in the starring role, coupled with Peter's screenplay and the support of Queen, we have the perfect combination to tell the real story behind their success”.

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Fears over Greek 'bigot' trial

By Jennifer Lipman, September 16, 2010

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) has called for an independent EU observer to attend a court case involving an extremist Greek writer who has described Jews as "subhuman" and questioned the Holocaust.

Konstantinos Plevris was found guilty of inciting racial hatred in 2007 and sentenced to 14 months in jail, but was later acquitted in an appeal.

He is now taking legal action against a series of his critics, including three Greek human rights activists.

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Glee for Lea Michele's fashion picks

By Jennifer Lipman, September 16, 2010

Glee’s Jewish star has been named one of the world’s most fashionable women.

Lea Michele was voted fourth in People magazine’s annual "Best Dressed List".

According to the magazine, the actress is “hitting all the right notes with her red carpet choices, including glamorous gowns from Zac Posen and Malandrino.”

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Spielberg's rabbi in adultery storm

By Paul Berger, September 16, 2010

Last year, Tobi Rubinstein-Schneier bought her husband Rabbi Marc Schneier an endangered Asian lion as a 50th birthday present.

This year, it is the high-flying, 51-year-old rabbi's career that is endangered as his wife files for divorce in a bitter lawsuit.

Rabbi Schneier is being accused of an affair with a woman in her thirties, which resulted in her pregnancy. As a result of the allegations, the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), the world's largest Orthodox rabbinical group, is now considering expelling him from their organisation.

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Anti-Israel flotilla thriller for Turkey

By Sami Kohen, September 16, 2010

An anti-Israeli movie featuring a Turkish agent avenging the killing of the nine Turks aboard the Gaza-bound flotilla in May will be shown in Turkish cinemas next month.

The Valley of the Wolves - Palestine is a follow-up to the movie The Valley of the Wolves - Iraq, which three years ago showed a Turkish agent fighting the US occupation forces in Iraq. At the time, the film caused considerable tension between the US and Turkey and was seen as one reason for the growing anti-Americanism in Turkey.

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Israel fights to stop science brain drain

By Nathan Jeffay, September 16, 2010

Israel has begun to implement a £250 million plan to win its best and brightest scientists back from abroad and slow its "brain drain".

A decade after the state slashed funding for university research, new posts for young academics are few and far between. The result is that most are going abroad to find a "post doctoral" research position - and increasingly they are staying abroad.

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'Lost Catholic Jews' of Poland come home

By Nathan Jeffay, September 16, 2010

In an unusual kind of pre-High Holy Days study seminar, 22 young Polish Catholics spent three weeks in Israel learning about their Jewish roots.

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