World news

Uruguay responds to Iranian ambassador's Holocaust claims

By Jennifer Lipman, August 2, 2011

Uruguay's government has condemned Iran's ambassador to the South American country following statements in which he denied the facts of the Holocaust.

Hojatollah Soltani said last week that "it is said that during that war the Nazis killed two million, four million, six million...there are different figures on the Jews' news."

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Tucson congresswoman Giffords back for debt-limit vote

By Jennifer Lipman, August 2, 2011

A US congresswoman who was shot in the head seven months ago was cheered as she cast her first vote since the attack.

Gabrielle Giffords, a Jewish Democratic Party representative for Tucson, Arizona, was in Washington to vote on the debt-limit bill, which averted a financial disaster for the US with just hours to go.

Ms Giffords was accompanied by her astronaut husband Mark Kelly.

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Farewell to one of the last Cochin Jews

By Jennifer Lipman, August 1, 2011

The Jewish population of the Indian town of Mattancherry has dropped to single figures.

The funeral of Isaac Judah Ashkenazi, an 83-year-old Jewish resident of the town, was held on Sunday.

Mattancherry, in the Kochi region (formerly known as Cochin), was once home to a small but solid Jewish population of 250. A community was first recorded there in the 15th century.

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Bollywood's Gandhi to Hitler 'worst film of 2011'

By Jennifer Lipman, July 29, 2011

A Bollywood film about Hitler which members of the Indian Jewish community dubbed as "ignorant" when it was announced has been panned by critics.

Gandhi To Hitler, a Bollywood take on the correspondence between the Indian and Nazi leaders and the end of the Third Reich was the subject of controversy when the project was announced last year.

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Mumbai killer appeals death sentence

By Jennifer Lipman, July 29, 2011

The Pakistani gunman convicted of murder for the Mumbai terror attacks has launched an appeal to his death sentence.

Mohammed Ajmal Kasab was charged with murder, conspiracy and waging war on India. He was the only gunman to survive the 2008 terror attacks, which saw more than 160 people killed over a brutal three-day siege.

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Rabbi arrested in Washington for budget protest

By Jennifer Lipman, July 29, 2011

A group of Jewish leaders and their Christian counterparts were arrested in Washington DC on Thursday after staging a protest over budget cuts.

The 11 religious representatives had gathered at the Capitol Rotunda and started a sit-in to make a statement urging President Obama not to "balance the budget on the backs of the poor".

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New York mayor greets Muslims with Jewish greeting

By Jennifer Lipman, July 29, 2011

New York's mayor may have inadvertently taken a step forward in Jewish-Muslim relations this week.

Michael Bloomberg was speaking at an event to mark the beginning of Ramadan, Islam's annual month of fasting, when he made something a slip.

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Peres, Erekat in secret peace talks

By Jennifer Lipman, July 29, 2011

Shimon Peres is said to be conducting secret talks with Palestinian negotiators in a bid to restart the peace process.

According to Ha'aretz the Israeli president has coordinated with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the discussions.

Mr Peres was said to have met Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator, in Ramallah earlier this week and on other occasions.

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Victory in San Francisco circumcision ban fight

By Jennifer Lipman, July 29, 2011

Jewish groups in San Francisco were celebrating on Thursday evening after a judge ordered the proposed ban on circumcision to be removed from a ballot.

Judge Loretta Giorgi ruled that the measure was "expressly preempted" because under Californian state law cities cannot regulate medical practice.

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Facebook: Holocaust denial pages can stay on site

By Jennifer Lipman, July 28, 2011

Facebook has refused to remove pages where internet users espouse Holocaust denial despite a plea from a group of Holocaust survivors.

Earlier this month 21 survivors of Nazi persecution signed a letter which was sent to Facebook, asking that Holocaust denial no longer be allowed as part of facebook's "free speech" policy.

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