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  • That woman who claimed to invent the fidget spinner? The media may have been spun.

    (JTA) — An investigation has thrown doubt on the story of the Florida woman who, looking for a way to distract young Palestinian boys from clashing with Israeli police, claimed to have invented the fidget spinner toy. Bloomberg News confirmed Thursday that Catherine Hettinger was granted a patent for a spinning device in 1997. But Hettinger’s…

  • AP review denies charges news agency helped the Nazis during World War II

    (JTA) — An in-house review by The Associated Press concluded that its staff did not help the Nazis or their cause during World War II. The review, whose results were published Wednesday, was a response to a German historian’s claims that the Nazis supplied American newspapers with censored material in the 1930s through an AP…

  • Trump fires FBI director Comey; aides cite handling of Clinton emails case

    (JTA) — President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on the same day that reports indicated Comey misstated, during testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee,  the involvement of Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her now-estranged husband Anthony Weiner in the email scandal his office investigated. The firing also came as Comey is leading investigations…

  • Detroit-area synagogue cancels Noa concert in face of right-wing protests

    (JTA) — A Detroit-area synagogue canceled a scheduled appearance by the Israeli singer Achinoam Nini, known as Noa, claiming that threats attributed to right-wing Jewish protesters posed a security risk. Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills informed its members of the cancellation of the concert in a May 4 letter obtained by the Detroit Jewish News. “Several credible…

  • Israel seeks to circumvent doctors who won’t force-feed hunger strikers

    (JTA) — Israeli authorities are considering bringing in foreign doctors to force-feed Palestinian hunger strikers if Israeli doctors continue to resist taking part in the practice. The Israel Medical Association has advised its physician members not to participate in any force-feeding, deeming the practice to be inhumane. Israel’s Channel 2 reported Thursday that the government…

  • World basketball body lifts ban on yarmulkes, hijabs

    (JTA) — Basketball’s international governing body will allow players to wear yarmulkes, hijabs and other religious headgear beginning Oct. 1. The new rule, announced Thursday in a statement by the International Basketball Association, or FIBA, will have the largest impact on women from majority Muslim countries who sought to wear the hijab in international competition….

  • Jewish leaders pay tribute to Prince Phillip on his retirement

    (JTA) — Jewish leaders in Great Britain paid tribute to Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, who announced that he will retire from public engagements after August. Buckingham Palace announced Thursday that the 95-year-old Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, had the “full support of the Queen” in stepping back after some 70 years of hosting…

  • Rabbi Benny Elon, former Knesset member and champion of settlement movement, is dead at 62

    (JTA) — Rabbi Benny Elon, who served as the head of a number of religious Zionist yeshivas in Israel and was a Knesset member from 1996 to 2009, has died. Elon died Friday at 62; the cause was cancer, Arutz Sheva reported. A member of the right-wing Moledet and National Union parties, Elon was removed from the Cabinet…

  • Orthodox magazine quotes Gorka saying ‘he’s not being asked to step down’

    (JTA) — White House counterterrorism adviser Sebastian Gorka told a reporter for a haredi Orthodox magazine that he met with President Donald Trump and “got assurances he’s not being asked to step down.” The quote comes from a tweet, since deleted, by the haredi publication Ami, whose reporter Jake Turx spoke Tuesday with Gorka on…

  • Idra Novey wins $100,000 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature

    NEW YORK (JTA) — Idra Novey, author of the novel “Ways to Disappear,” won the 2017 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. Novey takes home $100,000 for winning the prize, which was announced Wednesday by the Jewish Book Council at a ceremony at The Jewish Museum in New York. Her book explores a translator’s search…