U.S. Report

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NEW YORK (JTA) — The American Jewish Congress wrote a friend-of-the-court brief this month in support of a man filing a complaint against a minor league baseball team because it discounted tickets to fans who brought church bulletins to games.

In the case, which is pending before the Maryland Human Rights Commission, Carl Silverman claims that the promotion by the Suns club in Hagerstown, Md., discriminates against him because he does not belong to a church.

First lady postpones visit to Jewish state

WASHINGTON (JTA) — First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton has postponed a trip to Israel scheduled for later this month.

The State Department recommended the delay last week "because Israel is still in the process of forming a government," according to a statement from her office.

Seattle Art Museum to hand over a Matisse

SEATTLE (JTA) — The Seattle Art Museum agreed on Monday to return a painting by Henri Matisse to the heirs of a French art dealer.

The dealer's collection was seized by the Nazis when he and his family fled to New York during World War II.

The heirs of Paul Rosenberg filed a lawsuit last year seeking the return of "Odalisque" after learning it was part of the museum's collection.

Deutsche Bank fined for sticking to boycott

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. Department of Commerce has imposed a $5,000 civil penalty on the New York branch of Deutsche Bank for allegedly complying with a Lebanese boycott of Israel.

The department charged that in a 1998 transaction with Lebanon, Deutsche Bank paid a letter of credit that contained a condition stating that the goods covered contained no Israeli materials.

U.S. anti-boycott provisions prohibit U.S. companies and individuals from complying with unsanctioned boycotts of countries friendly to the United States.

Accused N.Y. man renounces citizenship

NEW YORK (JTA) — A 74-year-old New York man accused of hiding his Nazi-era past left the United States and renounced his U.S. citizenship, the Justice Department said Thursday of last week.

In a lawsuit filed last year but now dropped, U.S. prosecutors charged that Dmytro Sawchuk served at an SS-run training camp in Poland in 1943 and as an armed guard at two Nazi slave labor camps for Jews.

Nazi charges force man to leave U.S.

NEW YORK (JTA) — An alleged Nazi-era war criminal left the United States for his native Lithuania on Sunday to avoid a trial about his wartime activities.

Vincas Valkavickas, 78, is accused of having lied during his 1950 visa application to the United States about his actions during World War II, when he was a member of a Nazi-allied police battalion in Lithuania.

He was accused of having participated in a 1941 killing operation during which 3,700 Jews were executed. Valkavickas, 78, is the third alleged war criminal who has left the United States in the past month.