World news

LA Kabbalah Centre sues former directors

By Tom Tugend, October 17, 2008

The Kabbalah Centre of Los Angeles has launched a lawsuit against two veteran former employees.

In the case, filed in the US District Court, the centre accuses Shaul Youdkevitch and his wife Osnat of stealing its "trade secrets" and members by establishing the spin-off United Kabbalah Communities (UKC).

Lawyers for the centre are seeking $100,000 (£58,000) from the Youdkevitch couple for unfair business practices and trademark infringement, plus any UKC profits.


Man held over ‘sex attack on daughter'

By Leon Symons, October 17, 2008

A member of New York's Orthodox community has been charged with serious sexual offences against his daughter, a girl who spent several years at school in Manchester.

Federal prosecutors have also moved to keep the man in custody until his trial because they feared he would attempt to interfere with witnesses and flee the country.


Seminar explores Saudi plan

By Simon Rocker, October 17, 2008

A three-day seminar at a Quaker retreat centre in Oxford was this week due to explore whether a Saudi-led Arab peace initiative is the best hope for solving the Arab-Israeli conflict.

It was sponsored by the Oxford Research Group, an independent think-tank active in conflict resolution.


Jesse Jackson: Obama would end decades of “zionist control”

October 17, 2008

Barack Obama's campaign has played down accusations by civil-rights leader the Rev Jesse Jackson that the Democrat candidate would end decades of "Zionist control" if he became president.

The New York Post quoted Rev Jackson, at the World Policy Forum in Evian, France, as saying an Obama presidency would weaken Zionists, who "have controlled American policy for decades".


Mazeltov — we’ve won a Nobel Prize

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 17, 2008

Princeton University professor and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has been awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in economics.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences credited him with "having shown the effects of economies of scale on trade patterns and on the location of economic activity", adding: "His ideas have given rise to an extensive reorientation of the research on these issues."


Pius XII may soon be a saint

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 17, 2008

Pope Benedict is expected to announce the beatification of controversial wartime pope Pius XII within the next year.

Conservative Catholic groups have been pressuring the Vatican to canonise Pius for decades, but major Jewish organisations have tried to oppose such a move since he has been accused of remaining silent over the extermination of the Jews.


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.


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.


‘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.


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.