World news

'Power Rangers' mogul in talks to buy Al Jazeera

By Jessica Elgot, October 8, 2009

Israeli media mogul Haim Saban is in talks to buy 50 per cent of the Arab television network, Al Jazeera.

Mr Saban, who is originally from Egypt, is worth over $3billion. He made his fortune selling the Power Rangers franchise in the Middle East, and developing the Fox Family television network with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. He also owns a controlling stake in Israeli telecommunications company Bezeq.

He was rumoured to be interested in a stake in the Qatar-based Al Jazeera as far back as 2004, when he visited Doha with former US president Bill Clinton.

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MFA ex-aide: Israel must respond to UN report

By Bernard Josephs, October 8, 2009

Israel must face up to the fallout from a UN report accusing it of war crimes in Gaza, a top international lawyer and former Israeli diplomat told the JC this week.

Alan Baker, former legal adviser to Israel’s Foreign Ministry and ex-ambassador to Canada, dismissed hopes in Jerusalem that the document, presented last month to the UN by South African judge Richard Goldstone, would be shelved.

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Accused Nazi criminal loses extradition fight

By Jessica Elgot, October 8, 2009

An alleged Nazi criminal has lost his appeal against extradition to Hungary from Australia to face trial for the murder of a Jewish man when he served as a soldier.

Charles Zentai, 88, served as a soldier in the Nazi-allied Royal Hungarian Army during the war and is accused of beating teenager Peter Balzas to death in 1944.

Mr Balazs was allegedly beaten to death because he was not wearing the yellow star which marked him out as Jewish.

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EU 'failed to protect citizens' from Gaza rockets

By Jessica Elgot, October 7, 2009

Fifteen European citizens living in Israel are taking legal action against the European Union for failing to protect them from Palestinian rocket fire while they are living in Israel.

The citizens, of Britain, France, Italy and Hungary, who are all currently living in Israel, have filed a claim with the European Commission demanding that the EU intervenes in the funding of terrorism in Gaza, and takes action to protect them from terrorists while they live in Israel.

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Vanessa Redgrave slams Israeli film boycott

By Jessica Elgot, October 7, 2009

British actress Vanessa Redgrave has denounced the artists who urged organisers of the Toronto Film Festival to drop a celebration of Tel Aviv.

Ms Redgrave, 72, is an unlikely defender of Israel, she is known as a fierce critic of the country and is a supporter of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation.

The Oscar-winning actress has spoken out in support of the Palestinian cause in the past and said in 2007 that unless Israel totally withdrew from the Palestinian territories “the world will be in terrible, terrible trouble.”

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Roman Polanski denied bail in Switzerland

By Jessica Elgot, October 6, 2009

Roman Polanski has been denied bail after his arrest in Switzerland while the US authorities attempt to secure his extradition for the rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1978.

Folco Galli, spokesman for the Swiss Justice Ministry said the film director’s request had been denied because it was feared he would flee the country.

It is now likely that Mr Polanski will remain in prison until any extradition process has been completed. The US has 60 days to file the request, and Mr Polanski is expected to appeal against any request made.

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Tributes for leader of Warsaw ghetto uprising

By Jessica Elgot, October 5, 2009

World leaders have paid tribute to the last surviving leader of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, who has died aged 90.

Marek Edelman was the last leader of the resistance group which organised the uprising in 1943, the most successful armed urban resistance to the Nazis during the second world war.

Edelman was one of half a million Jews forced into Europe’s largest ghetto, in Warsaw.

When the Nazis began deporting people from the ghetto in 1942, Edelman formed the ZOB (Jewish Combat Organisation- in Polish) with Mordechai Anielewicz.

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Asteroid named after Anne Frank rescuer

By Jessica Elgot, October 5, 2009

An asteroid has been named after the Dutch woman who hid Anne Frank’s family in Amsterdam and preserved her diary during the war.

The International Astronomical Union has named the asteroid Miep Gies, who is the last surviving member of the group who helped the Frank family and their friends hide in a secret apartment for two years.

Mrs Gies retrieved Anne Frank’s diary before the apartment was looted by the Nazis and saved it in her desk drawer for Anne's return.

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Ahmadinejad: More Jewish roots surface

By Jessica Elgot, October 5, 2009

Claims have resurfaced about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s possible Jewish heritage.

A close-up of Mr Ahmadinejad holding up his identity card has been released, showing that the Iranian President’s previous name was Saburjian.

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Iran nuclear deal agreed in Geneva

By Jessica Elgot, October 2, 2009

Iran will open its controversial enrichment plant to UN inspectors within two weeks and has agreed to export much of the uranium it has already enriched, the country’s chief nuclear negotiator told six countries meeting in Geneva.

The plans, tentatively agreed by Iran's Saeed Jalili, signify a temporary let up in a possible Iranian nuclear crisis, but representatives of the countries involved in the talks, including Britain and the US, warned that details were yet to be finalised.

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