U.S. report

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DENVER (JTA) — The Anti-Defamation League is asking the Colorado Supreme Court to investigate reports that a Denver attorney urged a family affected by the Columbine High School shootings not to hire a Jewish lawyer.

In a letter sent Tuesday, the ADL requested that the probe focus on possible violations of Colorado's rules of professional conduct for attorneys. The request came after lawyer Anthony Sturniolo sent a letter dated Oct. 14 to the family after they decided to hire Michigan lawyer Geoffrey Fieger and local co-counsel Howard Zucker.

"I know that you are committed Christians, and I do not want you to be led astray to a position that might be a poor witness to our Lord," the letter stated.

Sturniolo later told the Denver Post he did not intend the letter to be anti-Semitic.

Hold off on merger, Quackenbush says

NEW YORK (JTA) — California's top insurance official asserts that a German insurer should not be allowed to take over a California-based investment fund until it pays off Holocaust-era claims.

"No deal should move forward" on the takeover of Pimco Advisors until Allianz "resolves all of its Holocaust insurance restitution issues," a spokesman for Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush said this week. Both Quackenbush and Allianz are part of an international panel attempting to resolve the claims.

Prayer gets a boost in the sporting arena

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. House of Representatives passed a nonbinding resolution Tuesday backing prayer at school sporting events.

The resolution also urges the Supreme Court to rule in favor of prayers and invocations at such events.

Some Jewish groups, including the American Jewish Congress and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, oppose the resolution, saying it violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

Virtual Jerusalem hitting NASDAQ

NEW YORK (JTA) — A New York-based Internet company that operates a major Jewish Web site is going public.

Virtual Communities Inc. operates the Virtual Jerusalem site — www.virtualjerusalem.com — which includes 24-hour news and an online English news radio station.

The company, which also runs sites designed for other ethnic groups, is merging with Heuristic Development Group Inc. and will be traded on the NASDAQ Small Cap Market under the symbol VCIX. Virtual Jerusalem operates Jewish Telegraphic Agency's Web site.

Officers off the hook in Brooklyn shooting

NEW YORK (JTA) — The mother of an Orthodox man killed by police in a Brooklyn neighborhood in August is disappointed by a grand jury decision not to indict the officers involved in the case.

Doris Busch-Boskey made her comments Monday after prosecutors announced no charges would be brought against the officers who fired 12 shots at Gideon Busch. According to witnesses, Busch had broken free of police and was swinging a claw hammer. The New York Police Department is conducting its own internal investigation into the incident.