World Briefs

Italian Journalist Killed

A freelance journalist was killed in Ramallah. Israeli officials said they were investigating whether Israeli or Palestinian fire caused the death Wednesday of Italian journalist Raffaele Ciriello and the wounding of a French photographer. The officials added that Ramallah had been declared a closed military area the night before and was off-limits to civilians. While not taking responsibility, Israel’s Foreign Ministry expressed “sorrow for any harm caused to civilians and members of the press.” Ciriello, 42, was on assignment for the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

Israel Suspects Hezbollah Link

Israeli officials suspect Hezbollah links in Tuesday’s terror attack near the Israel-Lebanon border that killed six Israelis. Another seven people were wounded when terrorists fired at passing cars. Israel believes Hezbollah may be attempting to open a new front on the northern border to widen the Arab-Israeli conflict and help the Palestinian cause.

Passover Makes the Comics

A U.S. comic strip is featuring a Passover storyline. In “Edge City,” which runs in 33 U.S. newspapers, the Ardins will be preparing for, and participating in, their family seder. The storyline begins March 18. “The funny pages are full of Christmas and Easter references as well as a growing trend toward ethnically specific strips. We felt that a strip that includes an American family’s Jewish culture could make a valuable contribution to the diversity of the comic pages,” said one of the strip’s co-creators, Patty LaBan.

Britain Wants to Keep Farrakhan Ban

British officials are seeking to maintain a ban preventing Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan from entering the country. The officials claimed before an appeals court Tuesday that a Farrakhan visit could stir up racial tension. Farrakhan was banned in 1986 because Britain said he had expressed views that were racist and anti-Semitic. But last July, the ban was overturned by London’s High Court.

Holocaust Novel Wins Top Prize

A book about a Holocaust survivor searching for his parents’ identity won a prestigious literary prize. “Austerlitz,” by W.G. Sebald, an acclaimed German-born novelist who wrote about the Holocaust and memory, won the National Book Critics Circle fiction prize, awarded Monday in New York. Sebald died last December in a car crash in England at the age of 57.

Muslim Group Sues U.S.

A Muslim charity that is based in Texas filed a lawsuit after the Bush administration froze the group’s financial assets for allegedly funneling money to terrorists.

The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development denies any ties with Hamas.

The lawsuit filed last Friday in Washington contends the Bush administration violated the group’s constitutional rights. The group calls itself the largest Muslim charity in the United States.

McDonald’s Fried on Beef Tallow

Some kosher groups may receive money from McDonald’s in a french fry settlement.

The money would be part of an apology from the American fast food company for using beef tallow in its french fry oil without disclosing that fact.

The main recipients of the reported $10 million settlement will be groups representing vegetarians.

Children’s nutrition groups, as well as those representing Hindus and Sikhs, will also receive some of the money.

Briefs courtesy of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency