World news

Giora Eiland: ‘Jordan should take charge of Palestine’

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 11, 2010

When Giora Eiland says that a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is currently impossible, he speaks with some authority.


Ahmadinejad: We could produce nuclear bombs

By Jessica Elgot, February 11, 2010

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has announced that his country now has the capacity to enrich uranium to 80 per cent, enough to produce nuclear weapons.

In a speech to hundreds of Iranians in Tehran’s central square, marking the 31st anniversary of the Islamic revolution, Mr Ahmadinejad said: “If we wanted to manufacture a bomb, we would announce it ... our nation has the courage to explicitly say it and build it and not fear you."

Iran has managed to produce uranium enriched to 20 per cent just two days after they announced they were beginning the process.


The Jews lining up to replace Simon Cowell

By Jessica Elgot, February 10, 2010

Madonna’s manager Israeli businessman Guy Oseary is hotly tipped to replace Simon Cowell as an American Idol judge.

Mr Cowell has recently announced that the current season of American Idol will be his last and speculation has been growing about his replacement.

Jerusalem-born Mr Oseary, who has managed Madonna since 2005, has also made numerous TV appearances and guest starred in films including Charlie’s Angels.


EC funds Jewish museums to go digital

By Jessica Elgot, February 9, 2010

Jewish museums and libraries will have their collections ‘digitised’ and will be available online, after a £1.3m grant was awarded from the European Commission for the project.

Jewish collections, including photos of artefacts, books, videos and sound archives from museums like London’s Jewish museum and the British Library, will be searchable online through ‘Europeana’, a search engine for European culture designed by the European Union.


UK 'carrier' blamed for New York mumps outbreak

By Jessica Elgot, February 9, 2010

An 11-year-old boy is at the centre of a potential mumps epidemic among New York’s strictly Orthodox community because he is believed to have been the carrier of the disease after visiting the UK.

More than 300 people, almost all strictly Orthodox, have been diagnosed with mumps in the towns of Monsey and New Square, home to over 7,000 Skverer Chasidim.


Iran: 'We will build 10 more nuclear plants by 2011'

By Jessica Elgot, February 8, 2010

Iran is planning to build 10 more uranium enrichment plants by March 2011, the country’s Head of Atomic Energy has said.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad revealed that the Atomic Energy Organisation has been instructed to produce higher-grade fuel for the Tehran nuclear reactor.

But he also insisted that talks were still ongoing with the West over a possible uranium enrichment outsourcing to France and Russia.

The organisation’s head, Ali Akbar Salehi, said it plans to build 10 new plants over the next Iranian year, which begins on March 21.


El Al launches Eilat flights to improve poor access

By Jan Shure, Travel Editor, February 8, 2010

El Al has announced it is to operate three daily flights in each direction between Ben Gurion and Eilat, commencing in March.

The airline, which ceased direct flights between the UK and Eilat in 2007, is adding the internal flights to improve access to Israel’s Red Sea resort for visitors flying in to Israel from Britain and other, mainly European, destinations.


Coroner: Brittany Murphy 'died of pneumonia'

By Robyn Rosen, February 5, 2010

Actress Brittany Murphy, who was married to British Jewish director, Simon Monjack, died of pneumonia, a Los Angeles coroner has ruled.

Ms Murphy, the star of Clueless and 8 Mile, died on December 20 at the Los Angeles home she shared with Mr Monjack.

Iron-deficiency anaemia and drug intoxication, which were all prescription medicines, were secondary factors in the 32-year-old’s death.

The death was declared accidental.


David de Rothschild's plastic bottle boat

By Jessica Elgot, February 5, 2010

British environmentalist David de Rothschild is planning to sail the Pacific on a boat made of 12,500 drinks bottles.

Mr de Rothschild, 31, the youngest son of renowned financier Sir Evelyn de Rothschild and part of the de Rothschild banking dynasty, will sail his 60-foot catamaran Plastiki from San Francisco to Australia in March.

Mr de Rothschild, a keen explorer and renewable energy campaigner, will use the voyage as a bold publicity stunt to drawn attention to the waste that plastic creates and how little it is recycled.


Man used yeshivah to launder cash

By Paul Berger, February 4, 2010

The star witness in a sting operation that brought down five rabbis and about two dozen public officials has admitted using his father’s yeshivah to launder money and bribe officials.

Government informant Solomon Dwek, 37, told a court that he funnelled cash through the Deal Yeshivah, in New Jersey, between 1999-2006. He also admitted rigging its annual auction to ensure politicians won lavish prizes.