There were 1,309 reported incidents of anti-Semitic crimes in 2016 – up 36 per cent on the previous year.
With as many as 60 per cent of victims staying silent about their ordeals, the true level of hate crime is even greater.
The scale of recorded anti-Semitic hate crime was revealed in a report by the Community Safety Trust.
David Delew, chief executive of the CST, commented: “Whilst Jewish life in this country remains overwhelmingly positive, this heightened level of anti-Semitism is deeply worrying and it appears to be getting worse.”
Amber Rudd has pledged try and eradicate anti-Semitic hate crime
Criminals who target Jews because of their faith were condemned by Home Secretary Amber Rudd.
“It is vital we ensure the safety and security of our Jewish community and this Government will continue to do all we can to stamp out these vile attacks and encourage those who experience them to come forward.”
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid added: “Anti-Semitism must be understood for what it is – an attack on the identity of people who live, contribute and are valued in our society.
British Jews are encouraged to report any hate crime they may have experienced
“Hatred and bigotry must not be allowed to grow without challenge. That’s why it’s so important that we all tackle the attitudes that fuel prejudice and speak out.
“We can never be complacent and must ensure that Britain remains a safe place for Jewish people.”
Labour Party deputy leader Tom Watson said: “The findings of this report are extremely distressing.
“I don’t want to live in a country where any member of the Jewish community feels unsafe, afraid or discriminated against and it is shocking that the number of anti-Semitic incidents is on the rise in the UK.”
The most common type of hate crime recorded by the CST was verbal abuse of visibly Jewish people in public.
One of several incidents highlighted by the CST involved six girls wearing Jewish school uniform on a bus in January.
The new mandatory National Living Wage (NLW) has come into force, requiring employers to pay workers aged 25 and over at least £7.20 an hour.
It is expected to give 1.3 million workers an immediate pay rise. The policy was announced in last summer’s Budget by Chancellor George Osborne, in an effort to create a higher-wage, lower-welfare economy.
Workers aged 21 to 24 will continue to be entitled to the National Minimum Wage of £6.70 an hour.
The intention is for the NLW to rise to more than £9 an hour by 2020.
But there are fears of job losses as companies struggle to pay the new higher wages.
The independent Office for Budget Responsibility has warned that 60,000 jobs could go as a result.
The Living Wage Foundation, which inspired the idea but does not set the level of the NLW, welcomed its introduction, but urged businesses to “aim higher” and pay more than the statutory minimum.
Some employers have already pledged to do this.
The TUC said the government needed to ensure that everyone benefited from the NLW.
“Britain desperately needs a pay rise, and this increase is good news for those aged 25 or older,” said TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady.
“But the government must ensure that younger workers are not left behind; 21 to 24-year-olds will not be seeing an increase.
“This is not fair. Future wage increases must narrow the pay gap between old and young.”
For its part, the Living Wage Foundation pointed out that its own suggested level of pay – £8.25 an hour and £9.40 in London – was higher than the NLW.
“The job is not done when it comes to tackling low pay,” said the foundation’s director, Katherine Chapman.
“Businesses who can afford to pay a rate that reflects the real cost of living should do so and join over 2,300 employers signed up to pay our higher voluntary Living Wage.
“For profitable business or those who see themselves as innovators and leaders, simply not breaking the law on pay is not enough. Many businesses want to aim higher.”
Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, told Radio 5 live: “This is going to have, in the longer run, a huge effect on the British labour market, because it’s going to affect such a large fraction of workers.”
The NLW will also have a bigger impact in regions such as the North, North East and the South West than in London. “It will have a ripple effect up the earnings distribution, because you will be taking the lowest-paid up to a level close to, or in some cases above, the next rung or two up the ladder.”
Adam Sowter, a hotel employee in York, told BBC Breakfast the extra money would help him pursue his ambition of becoming an actor.
However, his colleague Clare Vernon will be about £1,000 worse off over the next 12 months, because she is under 25. “We do the same amount of work,” she said.
“The hours are really unsociable, so me getting 50p an hour less to work until 03:00 can get a bit annoying – I’ve only got another four years to wait.”
Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has signed Senate Bill 1389 into law. It will relax the state’sgun policy and remove permitting requirements for concealed carry. Prior to SB 1389, residents age 18 or older could carry concealed firearms without a permit outside of city limits. Open carry is already legal within city limits.
Despite giving SB 1389 his signature, Otter expressed concern about the bill’s lack of a training or education requirement for those who would carry concealed. In a letter to the president of the Idaho Senate, Otter addressed public safety concerns that law enforcement raised throughout the development of the bill and urged individuals who are considering concealed carry to receive training in firearm safety.
“While S1389 is consistent with the U.S. Constitution, Idaho values and our commitment to upholding our constitutional protections from government overreach, I am concerned about its lack of any provision for education and training of individuals who choose to exercise the right to concealed carry,” the Republican lawmaker wrote.
“Such a safeguard would seem to be part of the Second Amendment’s ‘well-regulated’ standard. What’s more, the addition of a simple training requirement in this bill could have addressed the concerns of our valued law enforcement leaders and others who cherish both the shooting culture and the safety of shooters and non-shooters alike.”
Otter added that in the absence of an educational provision, “I also encourage the Legislature to monitor the exercise of this new law and respond appropriately when and if the lack of statutory education and training requirement undermines public safety.”
Other states that already allow concealed carrying of guns without a permit include Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, Maine, Vermont, Wyoming and West Virginia.
The retired revolutionary, who has reacted tepidly to Cuba’s rapprochement with the United States, scoffed at what he described as Obama’s call to forgive and forget more than half a century of Cold War enmity.
“Listening to the words of the US president could give anyone a heart attack,” Castro wrote in his first public reaction to the visit.
“My modest suggestion is that he think and not try to theorize about Cuban politics,” said the 89-year-old leader of the 1959 Cuban Revolution, who handed power to his younger brother Raul in 2006.
He made the comments in a tortuous opinion piece headlined “Brother Obama” and published in Granma, the official newspaper of Cuba’s communist party.
Obama, who met Raul but not Fidel Castro during his three-day visit last week, defied the regime’s warnings not to wade into Cuba’s internal affairs, meeting with anti-Castro dissidents and calling for democracy and greater freedoms.
“Voters should be able to choose their governments in free and democratic elections,” he said in an unprecedented speech carried live on Cuba’s tightly controlled state television.
Castro lashed out at that speech, the symbolically charged centerpiece of the first visit by a US president in 88 years.
“Obama gave a speech in which he used the most syrupy words,” he wrote, recounting the long history of acrimonious relations between Havana and Washington as he defended the accomplishments of his 47-year rule.
“Nobody has any illusion that the people of this noble and selfless country will surrender glory and rights and the spiritual wealth that has come through the development of education, science and culture,” Castro wrote.
“I would also warn that we are capable of producing the food and material wealth we need with the labor and the intelligence of our people. We don’t need any gifts from the empire.”
– PR problem –
Obama’s visit posed an awkward public relations problem for the Castro regime, juxtaposing a charismatic, 54-year-old leader known for the political brand of “change” with the octogenarian brothers who have ruled the island since 1959.
The fact that Obama is black and the Castros are white was not lost on Cubans, many of whom also have African roots, and Castro appeared to take particular umbrage both at the US president’s relative youth and his description of both countries as New World nations “built in part by slaves.”
“He doesn’t mention that racial discrimination was erased by the Revolution, that retirement benefits and salaries for all Cubans were decreed before Mr Barack Obama was 10 years old,” he wrote.
Castro remained out of sight during Obama’s visit, which aimed to cement the thaw announced in December 2014 by the US president and Raul Castro, who has proven more reform-minded than his older brother.
Fidel Castro waited a month and a half to publicly give his blessing to the US-Cuban rapprochement, and then gave it only a lukewarm embrace.
Since announcing their landmark rapprochement, the United States and Cuba have reopened embassies in each other’s capitals and are slowly normalizing ties.
But several thorny issues remain unsettled, including the fate of the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, which Cuba wants back, and Washington’s more than five-decade-old embargo on the island, which Obama again called on Congress to lift.
Since stepping down, Fidel Castro has spent part of his time writing reflections that occasionally appear in the communist party press.
Good Morning Britain has been taken off the air after a fire broke out in the post room at ITV studios.
London fire brigade tweeted photos of smoke pouring from a first-floor window at the broadcaster’s headquarters in Waterloo, central London, and reported that about 50 people were evacuated.
Four fire engines and 21 firefighters responded to a call just before 7am. The blaze was extinguished by about 8.30am. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Good Morning Britain’s live broadcast was replaced by a rerun of the cooking game show Dinner Date. A video posted on Twitter by presenter Ben Shephard just after 8am showed the presenting team in a cafe by the Thames, close to the studio site.
Asked about the chances of returning to broadcast on Friday morning, co-presenter Ranvir Singh said in the video: “Zero. Not going to happen now.”