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Passion Islam I August 2010


LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS I 9


UK still considering law change on Israeli war criminals


The British government is still seeking a way to change the law on universal jurisdiction to prevent Israeli leaders from being arrested for alleged war crimes, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has confirmed. “We are urgently considering how to proceed and expect to make an announcement shortly,” Clarke said when asked if the government had plans to bring forward proposals to meet the pledge made by the Conservatives before taking office.


“The Government consider it unsatisfactory that an arrest warrant for such offences can be issued on the application of a private prosecutor on the basis of evidence that would be insufficient to sustain a prosecution,” he told MPs. Foreign Secretary William Hague disclosed in May that the new coalition government with the Liberal Democrats had “not yet determined the exact action that we will take on universal jurisdiction.” Before taking office, the Conservatives made an election pledge in the Jewish Chronicle that “universal jurisdiction will be amended at the earliest opportunity to enable Israelis to visit the UK”. The Conservatives’ reported


Sky News confirms Arabic news channel venture


plans are to change the law so that only the Crown Prosecution Service will be able to initiate prosecutions for universal jurisdiction offences. It comes after the previous Labour government also pledged to change the law last December when former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni was forced to cancel a visit to the UK after an arrest warrant for alleged war crimes was issued in London.


But the attempt was thwarted by 145 MPs signing an Early Day Motion to parliament warning that they would vote against any change to the law that allows the public to apply for arrest warrants for suspected war criminals. Among those opposing were 53 of the current 62 Lib Dem MPs, including two who are now cabinet ministers, Business Secretary Vince Cable and Energy Secretary Chris Huhne as well as 11 more who hold ministerial posts. IRNA


Sky News has confirmed it is in talks to launch a new 24/7 Arabic language satellite news channel. BSkyB, which is 39 per cent owned by News Corp, confirmed today that it is in discussions with an Abu Dhabi-based private investor on a 50-50 joint venture to set up the channel.


According to Sky News: “The service would offer a new style of independent and neutral multi-media news coverage for countries in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA). It would be based in Abu Dhabi but have bureaux in most major regional and international news centres and would be available free-to-air across MENA.”


It revealed that the channel could be launched within the next two years if discussions are successful. News Corp is currently seeking to buy out the BSkyB shares that it does not currently own.


Ofcom has fined a TV channel targeting the Asian community £17,500 for airing ads featuring a “spiritual helper” that the watchdog said exploited vulnerable members of the public.


TV channel fined for airing ads for ‘spiritual helper’ Ofcom.


Ofcom said that it had levied a fine against DM Digital Television, which broadcasts mainly in Urdu to the UK Asian community, because of “serious and repeated breaches of advertising rules”.


The Manchester-based station, which was fined £15,000 in 2008 for promoting potentially harmful treatments to cure illnesses including cancer, broadcast an advertisement


for a “spiritual healer” called Professor Mohammed Zain. The Advertising Standards Authority received a complaint from Manchester Trading Standards Service, which had been contacted by the social worker of a viewer who had paid money to Zain after seeing an ad and asking for relationship help. Zain told the woman to pay a total of £1,510 and in return he would find her a “prince”. The ASA ruled that the ads broke the broadcasting code because they were misleading and exploitative and referred the case, which it considered to be very serious, to


Ofcom ruled that that the breach in advertising rules was serious because it resulted in actual financial harm to a viewer. In levying a fine Ofcom said that the breach demonstrated a “repeated failure on behalf of DM Digital to ensure that material it broadcast met the requirements of the TV advertising code”


Passion Islam welcomes Ofcom decision on false advertising and a lesson needs to be learnt by broadcast and print media regarding sending out messages by these fraudsters.


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