World news

Haider was drunk before fatal car crash

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 17, 2008

The austrian far-right politician who died in a car crash last Saturday was drunk at the wheel, his spokesman has admitted.

Joerg Haider was killed after driving his car off the road near Klagenfurt in southern Austria.

His spokesman Stefan Petzner confirmed on Wednesday that the alcohol level in Mr Haider's blood was three times the legal limit.

Austrian police also confirmed that the 58-year-old had been driving at twice the speed limit.

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Deech reclaims her family silver

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 10, 2008

Sixteen knives and forks, the only remaining property of a prosperous Jewish family that lived until the Holocaust in a small town in southern Poland, have been returned to Baroness Deech.

A 101-year-old Polish painter, who had received the silver cutlery from Baroness Deech's aunt, contacted her following a report in the JC in June revealing that she plans to sue the Polish government for lost family assets.

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‘Fraud’ case man’s £2.6m barmitzvah

By Leon Symons, October 10, 2008

A businessman wanted on fraud charges in America has been allowed to attend his son's barmitzvah in Israel after rabbis pledged £2m in sureties.

Zev Saltsman, who lives in Hendon, North-West London, was arrested in London a year ago after he was named as one of six men accused by US federal prosecutors in Brooklyn.

He was alleged to have made $55m (£31.5m) in fraudulent profits through private share sales. He has not admitted the allegations in the USA.

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Ukraine body gets new head

October 10, 2008
A billionaire businessman was elected president of an umbrella Jewish group in Ukraine. Igor Kolomoisky will head the United Jewish Community of Ukraine, one of eight representative organisations. The high-profile media owner and philanthropist is a member of the Jewish community of Dnepropetrovsk and still heads the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress.

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Lowy is richest australian

October 10, 2008
Frank Lowy has been named Australia's richest man after the credit crunch stripped billions from his rival. Mr Lowy amassed some £2.5 billion from mall empire the Westfield Group. His finances are being audited by the Australian Tax Office after he was named in a US Senate report on tax evasion, although he claims the disputed funds were donated to charities in Israel.

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Shimon samuels ‘justified’

October 10, 2008
 A charge of defamation brought against the Wiesenthal Centre's Shimon Samuels was dismissed by the Paris Appeal Court. It ruled that Dr Samuels had been justified in calling on the Minister of the Interior to conduct an in-depth inquiry into the Comité de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestiniens (Committee for Welfare and Aid to the Palestinians).

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Masorti gets £79k boost from European Union

By Simon Rocker, October 10, 2008

The Masorti movement has received a grant of €100,000 (£79,000) from the European Union to develop its work in Europe.

The money, from the EU's Lifelong Learning Programme, will be used for projects involving 10 Masorti groups in eight countries: the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Holland and Portugal.

Gill Caplin, the London-based incoming chairman of Masorti Europe, said: "Our communities are all growing and our role is to help them develop in size and knowledge.

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‘Fraud’ case man’s £2.6m barmitzvah

By Leon Symons, October 10, 2008

A businessman wanted on fraud charges in America has been allowed to attend his son's barmitzvah in Israel after rabbis pledged £2m in sureties.

Zev Saltsman, who lives in Hendon, North-West London, was arrested in London a year ago after he was named as one of six men accused by US federal prosecutors in Brooklyn.

He was alleged to have made $55m (£31.5m) in fraudulent profits through private share sales. He has not admitted the allegations in the USA.

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Museums block change in law on looted art

By Patrick Steel, October 10, 2008

The co-chair of the Commission for Looted Art in Europe has condemned a decision by the UK's national museum directors to oppose legislation allowing the return of objects stolen from Jews in the Nazi-era.
Art-restitution expert Anne Webber said: "This represents a complete volte-face by the National Museum Directors Conference (NMDC), whose leading members only a year ago publicly affirmed the need for this legislation. They must not be allowed to prevail."

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Top Israeli officals deny they endorsed Obama

By Yaakov Katz and Nathan Guttman, October 7, 2008

Two former leading Israeli security officials say they were duped into taking part in a video ad supporting United States Senator Barack Obama's campaign for president that has been widely circulated on the internet.

Uzi Dayan, a former deputy chief of staff of the IDF and former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy were among eight Israeli ex-security officials interviewed for the short film released by the Jewish Council for Education and Research.

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