A teacher and three children have been killed after a gunman opened fire at Ozar Hatorah Jewish school in the French city of Toulouse.
A teenage boy has been also seriously injured.
The attacker fled on a scooter, in similar style to the killer of three soldiers in two separate incidents in the same part of France last week.
Police say the same .45 calibre gun was used in all three attacks. The search for the killer is now under way.
Sources close to the investigation say the number plate of the scooter has now been recovered from CCTV cameras at the entrance to the school.
A special service in memory of the victims is taking place at one of the synagogues in Toulouse. There will also be a silent march in Paris at 08:00 p.m.
President Nicolas Sarkozy, who flew to Toulouse, described the attack as a “national tragedy”. He has called for all schools in France to observe a minute’s silence on Tuesday and vowed to hunt down the killer.
All candidates in the French presidential election have suspended their campaigns.
The grand rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim said he was “horrified” and “stunned” by what had happened. Israel called on the French authorities “to shed full light on this tragedy and bring the perpetrators to justice”.
Monday’s attack happened at around 08:00 a.m., as children and their parents were arriving at the school, in the Jolimont area of the city.
Witnesses said the gunman pulled up on a black scooter and began shooting at an area which serves as the drop-off point for the school’s nursery- and primary-age children.
“This man alighted from his moped and, as he was outside the school, he shot at everybody who was near him, children or adults. Children were chased right into the school,” local prosecutor Michel Valet told journalists.
A teacher and three children have been killed after a gunman opened fire at Ozar Hatorah Jewish school in the French city of Toulouse
The gunman is reported to have initially used a 9 mm gun, but when it jammed, he switched to a .45 calibre weapon.
A teacher at the school, believed to be aged 30, and his two children, aged three and six, are reported to have been killed.
The third child killed was aged between 8 and 10 years old and belonged to another teacher at the school, French media report.
A 17-year-old was seriously injured.
As the search for the killer got under way, wailing sirens and the sounds of helicopters overhead could be heard throughout the morning.
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon has said extra security measures will be put in place at all schools and religious buildings.
Some 60 police officers, including anti-terrorist specialists, had already been drafted in to the Toulouse area earlier in the week to help investigate the attacks on the soldiers.
A paratrooper out of uniform was shot dead in a residential area of Toulouse just over a week ago, while two soldiers were killed and a third wounded as they used a cash machine in the town of Montauban, some 29 miles (46 km) away, on Thursday.
All three – of North African and Caribbean origin – were shot by a man on a scooter. A .45 calibre weapon was also used in the Montauban shootings.
Police have said the .45 calibre weapon fired on Monday was the same as the gun used to kill the three soldiers in Toulouse and Montauban.
Socialist leader Francois Hollande also cancelled his campaigning engagements for next month’s presidential election in order to travel to Toulouse.
“You cannot murder children like this on the territory of the Republic [France] without being held to account,” Francois Hollande said.
President Nicolas Sarkozy echoed the comments of other French officials when he said he was “struck by the similarities” of the recent attacks, but he warned against jumping to conclusions.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it “a loathsome murder of Jews, which included small children” and said an anti-Semitic motive could not be ruled out.
The Vatican also condemned the killings, as did French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who called on the authorities to do everything to prevent another such attack.
Monday’s shooting was the deadliest attack on Jews in France since a shooting in 1982 at a restaurant in Paris, when six people were killed and 22 injured.
A Fox Christmas special poll on whether Jesus Christ was killed by Jews was posted on a promoting Facebook page by a network’s employee last week.
It was reported that the poll, carried out by the Latin America division, asked readers: Who was responsible for the death of Christ? There were three options: A. Pontius Pilate, B. The Jewish People, C. High Priests.
The Simon Weisenthal Center in Buenos Aires calls the action a defamatory reference to Vatican propaganda that “resulted in the persecution and murder of Jews for two millennia”.
The Jewish group says it’s outraged that Fox would perpetuate an idea that the Vatican annulled back in 1965, the Jewish Chronicle reported.
Pope Benedict XVI exonerated the Jewish people for the death of Jesus Christ in his book, “Jesus of Nazareth Part II”, released in March 2011.
In the book, Pope Benedict explains why there is no basis for the argument that the Jewish people were responsible for Jesus’ death.
Fox Spokeswoman Guadalupe Lucero apologized on behalf of National Geographic, saying the poll was removed immediately and measures have been taken to prevent such incidents in the future.
Thousands of people have rallied this evening in the Israeli town of Beit Shemesh against ultra-Orthodox Jewish extremism.
Today protest follows two days of clashes after an 8-year-old girl said she had been harassed on her way to school.
Some ultra-Orthodox in Beit Shemesh are seeking to segregate men and women.
President Shimon Peres backed the protest saying hours before the rally: “The entire nation must be recruited in order to save the majority from the hands of a small minority.”
Shimon Peres said the demonstration was a defense of the “character” of the state of Israel “against a minority which breaks our national solidarity”.
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni also condemned “the extremist elements that are rearing their heads and are trying to impose their world view on us”.
Protesters, some holding signs reading “Free Israel from religious coercion” and “Stop Israel from becoming Iran”, gathered on Tuesday evening.
Thousands of people have rallied this evening in the Israeli town of Beit Shemesh against ultra-Orthodox Jewish extremism
Anger spilled over after an 8-year-old American girl, Naama Margolese, said she was afraid to walk to school in the town because ultra-Orthodox men shouted at her.
“When I walk to school in the morning, I used to get a tummy ache because I was so scared… that they were going to stand and start yelling and spitting,” Naama Margolese said in a subsequent interview with The Associated Press on Monday.
In his statement, President Shimon Peres said: “No person has the right to threaten a girl, a woman or any person in any way. They are not the lords of this land.”
Other women have reported similar incidents in the town of 100,000, some 18 miles (30km) south-west of Jerusalem.
Sarit Ramon described the situation in the town, where religiously observant immigrants live alongside Israelis embracing a more modern lifestyle, as having been “catastrophic for years”.
“When I told that I was spat at a year and a half ago, people raised an eyebrow, and that was about it,” she told Reuters.
Alisa Coleman told the BBC that she had been called a prostitute when dressed in a short-sleeved T-shirt and a skirt.
Though underlining that this behavior was carried out by only a tiny proportion of the community, she said what was happening in Beit Shemesh was “a microcosm of what’s happening in the whole country”.
On Monday, one police officer was slightly hurt and a number of Orthodox Jews were detained after a group of some 300 ultra-Orthodox residents pelted police with stones and eggs in an incident reportedly triggered after police tried to remove a sign ordering segregation.
A television crew attempting to film in the town were surrounded and harassed – the second alleged attack on journalists in as many days.
On Sunday, a crew from Channel 2 news, which originally aired Naama Margolese’s story, was attacked as they were filming, say reports, with rocks allegedly thrown at their van.
After Monday’s clashes, unnamed ultra-Orthodox activists from Beit Shemesh issued a statement condemning the violence, but also accusing the media of initiating “deliberate provocations in order to make the peaceful, quiet and tolerant residents, who live their lives according to their beliefs, look bad”.
Such clashes have become more frequent in Israel in recent years as the authorities have challenged efforts by ultra-Orthodox Jews to segregate women in public places.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews make up 10% of the population in Israel. The community has a high birth rate and is growing rapidly.
An US nationwide survey released today by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) found that 15% of US adult population – nearly 35 million adults – hold deeply anti-Semitic views, an increase of 3 per cent from a similar poll conducted in 2009.
According to experts, old stereotypes about Jews and money appear to be more widely accepted among Americans as the downturn in the economy persists.
2011 Survey of American Attitudes Toward Jews in America was a national telephone survey on 1,754 adults and was conducted October 13-23 by Marttila Strategies of Washington, DC and Boston.
The survey shows that at a time of high unemployment and economic uncertainty, age-old myths about Jews and money and Jewish power in business endure, with a surprising number of Americans agreed with sharply worded criticisms of Jews.
An US nationwide survey released by the Anti-Defamation League found that 15 per cent of US adult population hold deeply anti-Semitic views
Over the last 10 years, the highest level of anti-Semitic attitudes was reported in 2002, when an ADL poll found 17% of Americans harboured anti-Jewish attitudes.
19% of Americans answered “probably true” to the statement: “Jews have too much control/influence on Wall Street” – an increase from 14% in 2009.
It also found that 14% agreed with the statement “Jews have too much power in the U.S. today” – an increase from 13% in 2009.
15% agreed that Jews are “more willing to use shady practices” – up slightly from 2009.
16% agreed that Jewish “business people are so shrewd, others don’t have a chance” – up from 13% in 2009.
30% believe that Jews are “more loyal to Israel than to America”, “a percentage that has remained virtually unchanged since ADL’s benchmark survey in 1964, despite the changing make-up of the U.S population”, according to ADL.
Nearly half of all respondents agreed with the statement that “Jews stick together more than other Americans”, and 33% said they believe “Jews always like to be at the head of things”.
31% of Americans agreed with the statement “Jews were responsible for the death of Christ”, and 25% of Americans believe that “Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust”.
Abraham H Foxman, Anti Defamation League National Director, said: “It is disturbing that with all of the strides we have made in becoming a more tolerant society, anti-Semitic beliefs continue to hold a vice-grip on a small but not insubstantial segment of the American public.
“The stereotypes about Jews and money endure, and the fact that more Americans are now accepting these statements about Jews as true suggests that the downturn in the economy, along with the changing demographics of our society, may have contributed to the rise in anti-Semitic sentiments.
“Once again the old anti-Semitic standbys about Jewish loyalty, the death of Jesus and Jewish power remain strong.”
According to the ADL poll, the most educated Americans are largely free of prejudicial views and less educated Americans are more likely to hold anti-Semitic views.
The poll also found that 22% of who graduated high school or completed some high school harbour strongly anti-Semitic views, as compared to 13% among those who completed some college, and 9% among those who graduated from college.
The poll also looked at anti-Semitic views among significantly large minority groups. It found that Hispanic Americans born outside of the U.S. are more likely than Hispanics born in the U.S. to hold anti-Semitic views. According to the survey, 42% of foreign-born Hispanics hold anti-Semitic views, as opposed to 20% of U.S. born Hispanics.
In 2011, 29% African-Americans expressed strongly anti-Semitic views. That percentage is consistent with the findings of past surveys.
Jews were found to be held in high regard on many key measurements, however. Even Americans who hold the most anti-Semitic views agreed with many positive statements about Jews.
79% said they believe Jews have a strong faith in God; 64% said they believe Jews have contributed much to cultural life of America; and 83% say they emphasise the importance of family life.
The survey was conducted with a base sample of 1,200 plus an oversample of 243 African-Americans and 227 Hispanics, bringing the oversample for both communities to 400 each.
Anti-Semitic propensities are measured by an 11-question index developed by the Anti-Defamation League more than 40 years ago. The index includes 11 statements used to gauge the anti-Semitic attitudes of the respondents.
Anti-Semitic propensities are measured by an 11-question index developed by the Anti-Defamation League more than 40 years ago
In the new survey a surprising number of Americans agreed with sharply worded criticisms of Jews:
* 14% agreed with the statement that “Jews have too much power in the U.S. today”, an increase from 13% in 2009
* 15% agreed that Jews are “more willing to use shady practices”, up slightly from 2009
* 16% agreed that Jewish “business people are so shrewd, others don’t have a chance”, up from 13% in 2009
* 30% believe that Jews are “more loyal to Israel than to America”, a percentage that has remained virtually unchanged since ADL’s benchmark survey in 1964, despite the changing make-up of the U.S population
* Nearly half of all respondents agreed with the statement that Jews “stick together more than other Americans”, and 33% said they believe Jews “always like to be at the head of things”
Angry at the fate of the euro, Greeks are comparing the German government with the Nazis who occupied their country in the Second World War.
In a Greek newspaper some cartoons have presented modern-day German officials dressed in Nazi uniform.
Meanwhile, a street poster depicts Chancellor Angela Merkel dressed as an officer in Hitler’s regime accompanied with the words: “Public nuisance”.
Angela Merkel wears a swastika armband bearing the EU stars logo on the outside.
The campaign has been provoked by Germany’s role in driving through painful measures to stop Greece’s debt crisis from spiralling out of control.
Angela Merkel wears a swastika armband bearing the EU stars logo on the outside
Greek people are furious at the deal; even though it means the banks will write off 50% of the country’s debt and Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou said his country had “avoided a mortal national danger”.
In the same time, Greek opposition blasted the landmark agreement, with conservatives warning it condemned the country to “nine more years of collapse and poverty”.
The Greek government officials, who agreed to the belt-tightening moves, have been also portrayed in cartoons giving the Nazi “Sieg Heil” salute.
Germany’s interference has revived historical enmities and evoked comparisons to the massive destruction of Greece at the hands of Hitler’s Germany more than 65 years ago.
Cartoons have sprung up depicting the European Union’s “troika” as ferocious soldiers in Second World War uniforms.
The liberal newspaper Eleftherotypia is regularly targeting Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos, who is often shown in cartoons making a Nazi salute.
One of the cartoons shows a German soldier watching over Minister Evangelos Venizelos as he barks at a Greek citizen to pay more taxes.
Another cartoon presents a young Greek answering a German soldier asking why there were no names on a list of Greece’s newly formed labour reserve, saying: “They are empty as you exterminated the Communists, the Jews, the homosexuals, the gypsies and the crazies last time.”
Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher spent Yom Kippur day on a Kabbalah camping retreat at Cachuma Lake in an attempt to rebuild their marriage.
RadarOnline reported that Ashton Kutcher apologized for his behavior to Demi Moore on Yom Kippur, the holy day of atonement for Jews.
Ashton Kutcher, 33, allegedly asked for the chance to make amends for cheating on his 48-year-old wife Demi Moore with younger Sara Leal on the morning of their sixth anniversary at the end of September.
It was the first time actors have been seen together in the last months, and since news broke of Ashton Kutcher had an alcohol-fuelled hot tub party awash with women, including 23-year-old Sara Leal.
Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher spent Yom Kippur day on a Kabbalah camping retreat at Cachuma Lake in an attempt to rebuild their marriage
Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher had wanted their meeting at Cachuma Lake in Santa Barbara, California on Sunday to remain a secret, but a fellow camper captured a photograph of them sitting around a campfire with two other companions.
Demi Moore was wearing a Kabbalah red string bracelet on her left wrist, which is meant to bring good fortune and protect against an “evil eye”.
Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher are being counselled by members of the Kabbalah faith, which is a controversial offshoot of Judaism.
Madonna and other celebrities like Roseanne Barr, Britney Spears, Rosie O’Donnell, Lindsay Lohan and Naomi Campbell have also been associated with Kabbalah religion.
Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher turned to the Kabbalah religion seven weeks ago and signed up to its counselling service in order to save their marriage.
Kabbalah religion teaches its superstar believers:
“What seems to be a problem is actually a gift: a chance to remove an internal obstacle that stands between ourselves and the unlimited happiness that is our real destiny.”
The first “hands-free” pedestrian crossing will be launched in UK, so that devout Jews do not have to break a religious law that prohibits them from using electricity or operating machinery on the Sabbath.
As the crossing is near a busy synagogue, pressing a button to operate it is considered a breach of the strict rules that apply to Orthodox Jews.
Traffic will be held every 90 seconds from Friday evening until nightfall on Saturday, covering the Jewish Sabbath period.
The first automatic crossing will be placed on one of London’s busiest roads, the North Circular at the Henlys Corner junction.
But planners insist it will not cause traffic chaos.
The first “hands-free” pedestrian crossing will be launched in UK, so that devout Jews do not have to break a religious law that prohibits them from using electricity or operating machinery on the Sabbath
The new “hands-free” system will come into operation in December when the junction fully reopens after a massive ten-month upgrade costing $12 million (£8 million).
The decision to include automatic crossings was taken after leaders at Finchley United Synagogue explained their predicament to staff at Transport for London, which is responsible for maintaining main roads in the capital.
Transport for London (TfL) says the “hands-free” green man has not added to the cost of improvements.
A TfL spokesman said: “We always consult with the community over major road projects. This idea was suggested by the synagogue, whose members asked if it could be done. We thought about it and came to the conclusion that it could.”
No one at the synagogue was available for comment because of the Jewish New Year. But someone from the congregation said: “This is a sensible idea that will make a real difference.”
The move follows the controversial formation of an eruv – a boundary recognized by Jewish law within which certain activities are permitted – in the same part of North London.
Although observant Jews are allowed to carry household objects such as door keys, and to push prams and wheelchairs within the six-square-mile area, they are still banned from using electricity.