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  • U.S. Congress heightens role in Holocaust restitution issue

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 16 (JTA) — As the search for assets of Holocaust victims broadens to include pillaged artworks and confiscated insurance policies, the U.S. Congress is exerting pressure for restitution. The two issues were the subject of a day-long congressional hearing last week at which 22 witnesses testified about the legal status of art objects…

  • U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear case involving AIPAC

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (JTA) — The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is putting on a confident face as the Supreme Court prepares to consider a case that observers say could have important implications for the pro-Israel lobby. The justices are scheduled to hear arguments on Wednesday in FEC vs. Akins, culminating a 9-year-old battle involving…

  • Ten Commandments intact after Alabama court’s ruling

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (JTA) — The Ten Commandments still stand. In the latest round of a closely watched church-state dispute, the Alabama Supreme Court has decided to allow a circuit judge to continue displaying the Ten Commandments in his courtroom and to conduct prayers before court. The court rejected on technical grounds a religious-freedom lawsuit…

  • Lightning victim has strong ties to Reform

    WASHINGTON, June 15 (JTA) — A former legislative assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism was struck by lightning Saturday during an outdoor concert here. Lysa Selfon remained in intensive care Monday, but in considerably improved condition, after being slammed to the ground by a lightning bolt — the victim of a fast-moving…

  • Rabbi recounts woes amid new religious freedom effort

    WASHINGTON, March 2 (JTA) — Rabbi Chaim Rubin worries about what he is going to tell his congregants. Several years ago, when his parents and other aging members of his Orthodox community began finding it difficult to make the long walk to synagogue on Shabbat, Rubin relocated his congregation to a more easily accessible location…

  • U.S. court orders Iran to pay $247.5 million to N.J. family

    WASHINGTON, March 15 (JTA) — As he stood in a federal courtroom here, listening to a judge issue a landmark ruling, Stephen Flatow’s thoughts turned to his daughter’s smiling face. “Alisa had this very big smile on her face all the time, and she’s smiling today,” Flatow said last week, moments after U.S. District Court…

  • NEWS ANALYSIS Swiss bank bid to settle claims leaves thorny issues unresolved

    WASHINGTON, March 29 (JTA) — An agreement by Switzerland’s three biggest banks to negotiate a global settlement of Holocaust-era claims marks a partial breakthrough, but it leaves many thorny issues unresolved. The settlement, to be worked out in coming months, would involve a compensation fund for Holocaust survivors to cover all victims’ assets that ended…

  • U.S. Supreme Court takes case involving El Al Airlines

    WASHINGTON, May 21 (JTA) — The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case involving El Al Israel Airlines that could affect the way the airline conducts security measures. The court will decide whether an international treaty bars a New York woman from suing for emotional trauma that she claims stemmed from a stringent…

  • Ban on assault weapons terminates Israeli exports

    WASHINGTON, April 6 (JTA) — President Clinton’s executive order banning imports of 58 types of assault weapons slams the door on Israel’s attempts to sell thousands of military-style rifles in the United States. The move closes a loophole in a 1994 assault weapons ban through which thousands of foreign-made assault rifles have found their way…

  • Negotiators mum on talks to resolve claims against Swiss

    WASHINGTON, April 28 (JTA) — Talks to resolve claims stemming from Swiss actions during World War II have opened — but no quick settlement is in sight. The first round of talks, held in Washington under U.S. State Department auspices, comes on the heels of a pledge last month by Switzerland’s three largest banks to…