World Report

BEIJING (JTA) — A Jewish cemetery in the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin has been cleaned up and reopened, Chinese state media reported.

The reopening came a week before Chinese President Jiang Zemin begins a trip to the Middle East that will include a visit to Israel.

At the start of the 20th century, Harbin was home to more than 20,000 Jews, who founded the cemetery in 1903.

Report: Neo-Nazism on rise in Germany

BERLIN (JTA) — Neo-Nazism is rising sharply in Germany, according to a soon-to-be published German government report.

A German newspaper reported Saturday that more than 53,000 people belonged to far-right groups in 1999 and that 8,200 said they are ready to commit violent crimes.

Russia aide compares tycoons to bacteria

MOSCOW (JTA) — An aide to Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin described two Jewish-born media tycoons as "bacteria who live in disintegrating bodies but have to die when the body starts to recover."

The comments about Boris Berezovsky and Vladimir Goussinsky came amid rumors about a possible crackdown on the two. Meanwhile, Putin gave his go-ahead to a program aimed at increasing tolerance and combating extremism in Russia.

Jewish man, others freed in Caucasus

MOSCOW (JTA) — Russian police freed a Jewish man and 15 others who had been held captive for seven months in a remote mountain village in Dagestan, a Russian republic that borders Chechnya.

Yakov Ayzen, 60, was released after a special police squad raided the village last week.

Alleged kidnapper arrested in Mexico

MEXICO CITY (JTA) — A kidnapper who over the past 15 months targeted wealthy Mexico City Jews and sometimes sliced off their fingers has been captured.

Marcos Tinoco, 41, is suspected of kidnapping at least 11 people, 10 of whom are Jewish, and holding them for ransoms ranging from $38,000 to $650,000.