World news

Chabon, Waldman writing Hitler versus the magicians drama for HBO

By Jennifer Lipman, March 9, 2011

Two celebrated Jewish writers are developing a television series for HBO about a group of magicians taking on Adolf Hitler.

American author Michael Chabon, who wrote The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, is collaborating with his wife Ayelet Waldman on the show.


Meet the happiest Jew in America

By Jennifer Lipman, March 8, 2011

America’s happiest Jew is not Oscar winner Natalie Portman or the newly elected Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel.

In fact, the happiest Jew in the United States isn’t anybody in the public eye – it’s a Chinese-American Jewish businessman from Hawaii.

Experts have announced that statistically speaking a 65-year-old called Alvin Wong should be happier than anyone else in the country.


Screening a film about the Holocaust in Tehran

By Jennifer Lipman, March 8, 2011

Iranian audiences will have the chance to watch a film about the Holocaust next week thanks to an initiative by a French anti-racism group.

Education about the Nazi atrocities is minimal at best in a country whose president has publicly denied the Holocaust, but from Monday Claude Lanzmann’s 1985 documentary Shoah will be screened on an Iranian satellite channel.


Charlie Sheen fired from TV show for 'moral turpitude'

By Jennifer Lipman, March 8, 2011

Actor Charlie Sheen has officially lost his primetime television role after producers announced that he had been fired from the sitcom, Two and a Half Men, for good.

The decision comes after the series was put on hold in the wake of Mr Sheen’s increasingly bizarre behaviour and alleged drug abuse.


John Galliano, Charlie Sheen discuss their Jewish roots

By Jennifer Lipman, March 7, 2011

Former Two and a half Men actor Charlie Sheen has claimed he has a Jewish mother, while disgraced fashion designer John Galliano is said to be obsessed with his “Jewish” roots.

Mr Sheen, who last week was accused of “borderline antisemitism” by the Anti-Defamation League following comments about his Jewish manager, said he was proud of his Jewish background.


Toledano at Dior Paris fashion show: 'deeply painful week'

By Jennifer Lipman, March 4, 2011

Christian Dior’s Jewish chief executive Sidney Toledano has described designer John Galliano’s departure over alleged antisemitism as “an exceptional tragedy”.

The Dior show at Paris Fashion Week went ahead but John Galliano’s collection was shown without the presence of the designer who supervised it.


American 'spy' Alan Gross to be sentenced in Cuba

By Jennifer Lipman, March 4, 2011

A Jewish American accused of spying on the Cuban government could find out today whether he is to spend the next two decades behind bars.

Alan Gross claimed that he was on the Communist-run island to support the Cuban Jewish community by providing them with internet access, but the authorities there accused him of subversive activity.


Oscar-winning Weinsteins face bribery lawsuit

By Jennifer Lipman, March 3, 2011

Just days after they won the Best Film Oscar for The King’s Speech, studio heads Harvey and Bob Weinstein have been accused of trying to bribe their way out of bad publicity.


Pope insists Gospels are not antisemitic

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

A new book by Pope Benedict XVI will make clear that the Gospels cannot be used to justify antisemitism or the Jews blamed collectively for the death of Jesus.

According to the Catholic Truth Society, which publishes Jesus of Nazareth- Holy Week next week, it will also explain why Catholics should not attempt the conversion of Jews.


People trafficking horror in Sinai

By Nathan Jeffay, March 3, 2011

Just a few miles from Israel's border, a cruel but lucrative business in kidnap and ransom is growing, according to separate reports just released by two Israeli charities.

Since 2005 more than 35,000 illegal African immigrants have reached Israel via Egypt, most with the help of paid Bedouin traffickers who helped those who approached them in return for an agreed fee.