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  • Kirk Douglas, a poet at 98, gets personal

    By Tom Tugend

    3 weeks ago

    Kirk Douglas, born Issur Danielovitch, the son of an immigrant Russian-Jewish ragpicker, marked his 98th birthday on Dec. 9 by launching his 11th book.

    The legendary star of 87 movies (who can forget “Spartacus”?) can look back, in happiness and grief, on countless one-night...

  • Where are the bodies, MH17 families ask

    November 11, 2014 | 9:57 am

    Daisy Oehlers and Bryce Fredriksz, a Dutch couple in their early 20s, were sitting near the left wing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on their way to a holiday in Bali, when "high energy objects" – as officials later called them – struck the plane over eastern Ukraine.

    Their...

  • Russia, Iran sign nuclear construction deal

    November 11, 2014 | 9:38 am

    Russia will build two new nuclear power plant units in Iran under an agreement signed in Moscow on Tuesday between subsidiaries of the two countries' state atomic agencies.

    The agreement precedes a Nov. 24 deadline for a deal at talks between Iran and world powers that would curb...

  • Worst east Ukraine shelling for month; cease-fire looks in doubt

    November 10, 2014 | 3:40 pm

    East Ukraine's rebel stronghold Donetsk was pummeled on Sunday by the heaviest shelling in a month, and the OSCE said it spotted an armored column of troops without insignia in rebel territory that Kiev said proved Moscow had sent reinforcements.

    A two-month-old ceasefire to end...

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  • Ancient Russian synagogues rededicated

    November 4, 2014 | 11:16 am

    Two ancient synagogues that Soviet authorities confiscated in rural Russia were rededicated as Jewish houses of worship.

    One rededication occurred this week in Voronezh, in southern Russia, at a 110-year-old synagogue that was nationalized and turned into a textile factory. The...

  • Quarter of Russia’s 200 top billionaires are Jews

    November 3, 2014 | 3:02 pm

    A member of Russia’s Human Rights Council condemned a news website that said that nearly a quarter of Russia’s top billionaires are Jews.

    Nikolai Svanidze of the council – a Kremlin-affiliated body with no executive powers –- made the condemnation last week against Lenta.ru,...

  • U.S., Russia agree to share intelligence on common enemy: Islamic State militants

    October 14, 2014 | 3:30 pm

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov agreed on Tuesday to increase intelligence sharing between Moscow and Washington on Islamic State militants, focusing on a common enemy even as deep divisions remained over the crisis in Ukraine.

    ...
  • 5774: For Europe’s Jews, a year of upheaval and uncertainty

    September 16, 2014 | 3:23 pm

    A laconic man who abhors hysteria, the president of France’s CRIF umbrella of Jewish communities is not naturally inclined to emphasize his community’s fear in public, preferring to underscore French Jewry’s achievements and capacity to prosper despite recent hardships.

    But in a...

  • Reading between the lines of, ‘Thank God it was the Americans’

    By Jared Sichel

    September 12, 2014 | 2:07 pm

    As reported by Bloomberg, five Black Hawk U.S. army helicopters and one Chinook chopper descended on a Polish farm in the town of Gruta on Wednesday in an emergency landing that was precipitated by thick fog. (Great photos available here.)

    Understandably, the residents freaked...

  • U.S. steps up sanctions on Russia over Ukraine

    September 12, 2014 | 9:51 am

    The United States hit Russia's largest bank, a major arms maker and arctic, deepwater and shale exploration by its biggest oil companies with new sanctions on Friday to punish Moscow for intervening in Ukraine.

    The sanctions target companies including Sberbank, the country's...

  • Survivor: Barry Weintraub

    By Jane Ulman

    September 10, 2014 | 11:55 am

    "Get out of the house. Go.” 

    Just 19, Barry Weintraub — then Ben Zion or Benchi — didn’t understand why his parents were sending him away. The family had been living and working in a forest in northwest Russia, having escaped from Poland in 1940. “Don’t ask any questions. Just...

  • Ceasefire in east Ukraine frays, woman killed by shelling

    September 7, 2014 | 10:52 am

    A woman died and at least four people were wounded when fighting flared again in eastern Ukraine overnight into Sunday, jeopardizing a cease-fire struck less than two days earlier between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists.

    The accord, brokered by envoys...

  • Obama says hopeful but sceptical of Ukraine cease-fire

    September 5, 2014 | 9:39 am

    President Barack Obama said he was hopeful but sceptical about a ceasefire agreed in Ukraine on Friday and urged European allies to agree on new sanctions against Russia that could be suspended if the peace plan holds.

    He also said he was leaving a two-day NATO summit in Wales...

  • Crisis deepens as Ukraine says Russian soldiers back rebel thrust

    August 28, 2014 | 10:49 am

    Ukraine's president said on Thursday that Russian troops had entered his country in support of pro-Moscow rebels who captured a key coastal town, sharply escalating a five-month-old separatist war.

    Petro Poroshenko told a meeting of security chiefs that the situation was...

  • Sen. Boxer forcefully defends Israel, refutes divide amongst Democratic voters

    By Jared Sichel

    August 22, 2014 | 3:12 pm

    In a Friday press conference at Los Angeles City Hall, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.), when asked about a July poll by Pew Research that showed low support for Israel amongst Democratic voters in its current war with Hamas, said she has not “seen that poll” and that the “American...

  • Russia to hold war games in show of strength near Ukraine

    August 4, 2014 | 2:38 pm

    Russia announced military exercises near the border with Ukraine on Monday in a show of strength as the Ukrainian army recaptured more territory from pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.

    The Russian air force said more than 100 aircraft, including fighter jets and...

  • Obama says strains over Ukraine not leading to new Cold War with Russia

    July 29, 2014 | 3:40 pm

    President Barack Obama escalated U.S. economic sanctions against Russia on Tuesday for its aggression against Ukraine but dismissed suggestions the growing chill in U.S.-Russian relations marked the start of a new Cold War.

    The United States and the European Union, in a carefully...

  • Why would North Korea help Hamas build tunnels?

    By Jared Sichel

    July 28, 2014 | 1:28 pm

    According to a Saturday piece in the Daily Telegraph, unnamed Western security officials say North Korea is restocking Hamas's fast-depleting supply of rockets and equipment. 

    Even more worrisome, according to the report, the North Koreans have used their own expertise in...

  • Could a Hamas-owned SA-11 Buk destroy Israeli air travel?

    By Jared Sichel

    July 28, 2014 | 1:07 pm

    At 7:30 a.m. on Nov. 28, 2002, two men in Kenya propped Russian-made SA-7 “Strela” missile launchers on their shoulders, took aim for a nearby midair Arkia Israel Airlines passenger jet and fired at its 250 passengers.

    Both shots missed.

    At about the same time, 15 miles away in...

  • Ukraine claims more territory as fight intensifies with rebels

    July 28, 2014 | 10:47 am

    Ukraine said on Monday its troops had wrested more territory from pro-Russian rebels, advancing towards the site where Malaysian flight MH17 was brought down, which international investigators said they could not reach because of the fighting.

    Troops recaptured two rebel-held...

  • U.S. says Russia firing artillery over border at Ukraine military

    July 24, 2014 | 4:36 pm

    The United States said on Thursday that Russia was firing artillery across its border with Ukraine to target Ukrainian military positions in the conflict with pro-Russian separatists.

    State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf also said there was evidence that the Russians intended...

  • Rebels likely downed Malaysian jet ‘by mistake,’ U.S. officials say

    July 22, 2014 | 2:18 pm

    U.S. intelligence officials said on Tuesday they believe pro-Russian separatists likely shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 "by mistake."

    Last week's downing of the airliner, in which all 298 people aboard were killed, has sharply deepened the Ukrainian crisis, in which separatist gunmen in the Russian-speaking east have been fighting government forces since pro-Western protesters in Kiev forced out a pro-Moscow president and Russia annexed Crimea in March.

    Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Jason Szep and Peter Cooney

  • Interpol team begins identifying victims of flight MH17 crash

    July 22, 2014 | 11:01 am

    International police agency Interpol said on Tuesday one of its teams had started identifying victims of the Malaysia Airlines MH 17 flight that crashed over Ukraine last week.

    "The remains of victims recovered so far were labeled and numbered before being transported in...

  • Bodies, black boxes handed over from Ukraine crash site

    July 21, 2014 | 5:45 pm

    The remains of some of the nearly 300 victims of the Malaysia Airlines plane downed over Ukraine were making their way to the Netherlands on Tuesday as a senior Ukrainian separatist leader handed over the plane's black boxes to Malaysian experts.

    Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte...

  • Obama: Russia must press Ukraine rebels to allow plane probe

    July 21, 2014 | 1:56 pm

    U.S. President Barack Obama piled pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday to force pro-Russian separatists to stop blocking an international investigation into the shootdown of a passenger jet last week.

    Obama denounced the Russian role in eastern Ukraine in some...

  • The Roe Ahead: Russian science brings ‘caviar’ to kosher table

    July 21, 2014 | 10:49 am

    PARIS (JTA) — In a penthouse office with a view of the Eiffel Tower, Olivier Kassabi uses a ceramic spoon to extract a small scoop from a jar labeled as Russian caviar.

    Placing a clutch of black globules on the base of his thumb, Kassabi licks it off, savoring every fishy drop of...

  • Iran, six powers agree to four-month extension of nuclear talks

    July 18, 2014 | 3:58 pm

    Iran and six world powers on Friday agreed to a four-month extension of negotiations on a long-term nuclear deal that would gradually end sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program, diplomats close to the talks said.

    Iran, the United States, Britain, France,...

  • Obama condemns Russia over downed plane in Ukraine, gunmen hamper inquiry

    July 18, 2014 | 3:29 pm

    President Barack Obama demanded Russia stop supporting separatists in Ukraine after the downing of a Malaysian airliner by a surface-to-air missile he said was fired from rebel territory raised the prospect of more sanctions on Moscow.

    Calling the deaths of almost 300 people from...

  • U.S. government believes Malaysia jet hit by surface-to-air missile

    July 17, 2014 | 2:09 pm

    A U.S. official said the United States believes a surface-to-air missile brought down the Malaysian airliner that crashed on Thursday in eastern Ukraine, killing all 295 people aboard.

    The U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the origin of the missile was...

  • Air France decides to avoid east Ukrainian air space

    July 17, 2014 | 10:21 am

    Air France on Thursday it had decided to avoid east Ukrainian air space after a Malaysia Airlines flight crashed in a field in Ukraine near the Russian border.

    An adviser to the Ukrainian interior ministry said all the 280 passengers and 15 crew members onboard died. The Boeing...

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