World Report

ROME (JTA) — Anti-war demonstrators vandalized the building housing the offices of the Israeli trade and tourism bureaus in Milan.

Staff members at the bureaus said the vandalism was carried out Saturday by a small group of people who broke away from a mass anti-war demonstration involving thousands of people in downtown Milan.

The staffer said the vandals smashed the glass of the street door, tore off the plaque with the name of the Israeli offices and tried to set fire to the entry buzzers.

Auschwitz installs plaque for Ladinos

BERLIN (JTA) — A memorial to some 150,000 Ladino speakers who perished during the Shoah was unveiled at Auschwitz.

The stone in Ladino, the language spoken by many Sephardi Jews, joins 20 others at the camp.

Monday's placement of the plaque follows a three-year campaign by the JEAA, an international organization representing the Ladino community.

The ceremony took place in the presence of victims' families and foreign diplomats. Simone Veil, former president of the European Parliament and currently president of the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah, gave opening remarks.

Israel hoops match moved to Greece

ATHENS (JTA) — An international basketball game involving an Israeli team was moved to Greece.

Thursday's game between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Italy's Virtus Bologna was moved after officials with the Israeli team were unable to convince European basketball officials to play the game in Tel Aviv.

A decision on a European tournament, slated to be played next weekend in Tel Aviv, is expected to be made later in the week.

Maccabi Tel Aviv has not played a home game on foreign soil since the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

Russian tycoon arrested for fraud

MOSCOW (JTA) — A Russian tycoon with Jewish roots was arrested in Britain.

British police said Tuesday they arrested Boris Berezovsky at the request of Russian authorities, who want to extradite him for alleged fraud in 1994 and 1995, when he headed the LogoVaz company in Russia.

Berezovsky was one of the financial oligarchs who held immense power during the early days of post-Soviet Russia. He converted to Orthodox Christianity, but most Russians still view him as Jewish.

Arsonists target Sydney temple

SYDNEY (JTA) — A Sydney synagogue was attacked by arsonists.

Vandals last week smeared oil on an outside wall and a lawn, then tried to light it, said David Samuel, president of the South Sydney Synagogue.

However, the fire did not catch, and damage was limited to blackened walls. The arson attempt took place at night, when the building was unattended.

Swiss apologize for pro-PLO letter

GENEVA (JTA) — Switzerland's Foreign Ministry apologized for a letter a senior official wrote to a pro-Palestinian group that appeared to condone terror attacks on Israel.

The head of the ministry's Middle East department, Ambassador Thomas Kupfer, had written to the Swiss-based group "Pro-PLO," describing Palestinian suicide bombers as resistance fighters.

"We apologize that this happened," ministry spokesman Simon Hubacher said. "The content of the letter does not reflect Switzerland's view."

Some legislators have called for Kupfer's dismissal.