World news

'Mini-Madoffs' facing fraud charges in LA

By Tom Tugend, March 19, 2009

Two Jewish business executives in Los Angeles are facing federal fraud charges, further unsettling a Jewish community affected by the fallout from Bernard Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme.

Both were prominent donors to Jewish and other charities.

Bruce Karatz, until recently one of the highest paid executives in the country, was indicted by a federal grand jury on 20 counts of mail, wire and securities fraud, and making false statements.

More..

Madoff admits fraud charges

By Marcus Dysch, March 12, 2009

Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff has pleaded guilty to all 11 charges in connection with a multi-billion dollar investment fraud.

He arrived at a New York courthouse this morning wearing a bullef-proof vest and is expected to be sentenced to a 150-year jail term on June 16.

Madoff, 70, was charged with four counts of fraud, three counts of money laundering, making false statements, perjury, making a false filing to the US financial watchdog, and theft from an employee benefit plan.

More..

$41m to be paid by Lithuania

March 12, 2009

The Lithuanian government is to pay the Jewish community $41 million (£29.6m) over 10 years in compensation for seized property. The payments are due to start in January 2011, following years of stalled negotiations over the restitution of properties.

More..

Murdoch: Europe has been poisoned by antisemitism

By Daniella Peled - Foreign Editor, March 12, 2009

Rupert Murdoch has warned that Israel’s legitimacy and security are under attack from opponents of “freedom, tolerance and democracy” around the world.

Speaking after receiving the National Human Relations Award from the American Jewish Committee last week, the News Corporation chairman said that European public debate had been “poisoned by an antisemitism we thought had been dispatched to history’s dustbin”.

More..

Israel: Iranian bomb just months away

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 12, 2009

Israel warned the Obama administration this week that the window of opportunity for dealing diplomatically with the Iranian nuclear threat has closed.

At the Israeli cabinet meeting on Sunday, Major General Amos Yadlin, commander of the IDF’s Intelligence Branch, said: “Iran has crossed the technological threshold. It is one strategic decision away from becoming a nuclear-enabled military power.” He indicated that Iran can now build a bomb in a matter of months.

More..

Man fights Nazi crime indictment

March 12, 2009

A man who is alleged to have killed a Jewish teenager during the Second World War is fighting extradition to Hungary in an Australian federal court. Charles Zentai, 87, is accused of torturing and murdering Peter Balazs in Budapest in 1944.

More..

Germans charge Demjanjuk

March 12, 2009

German prosecutors have charged retired car factory worker John Demjanjuk, 88, with 29,000 counts of being an accessory to murder during his time as a guard at the Sobibor concentration camp. They will seek his extradition from the USA.

More..

Italy pulls out of Durban II

March 12, 2009

Italy has pulled out of the United Nations conference on racism to be held in Geneva from April 20 to 24. Canada, Israel and the USA have already pulled out of the event, which is set to become a forum for anti-Israel rhetoric and antisemitism.

More..

Megillah read in Oswiecim

March 12, 2009

The Megillah has been read in the only surviving synagogue in Ozwiecim, the Polish town next to Auschwitz concentration camp, for the first time in at least 70 years.

Jewish historian Jerry Gotel read the story of Esther in the Chevra Lomdei Mishnayot synagogue, which had been destroyed by the Nazis and turned into a warehouse during the Soviet era, but which has now been recovered and restored as close as possible to the original.

More..

Name of bombed centre carved into man’s back

March 12, 2009

A lawyer who was a former investigator into the 1994 bombing of Buenos Aires’ Jewish community centre was kidnapped on Friday and tortured by men seeking information on the investigation.

More..