Shorts: U.S.

NPR offers ‘regrets’ for Gaza report

washington (jta) | National Public Radio apologized for a report that said the presence of Jewish settlers in Gaza sparked the killing of a pregnant woman and her four daughters.

The apology on NPR’s Web site came after reporter Julie McCarthy filed a story a day after the woman and her daughters were gunned down by Palestinian terrorists, saying that “there was ample evidence yesterday to show that “the settlers'” presence in Gaza is provoking bloodshed.” NPR said the report “in no way meant to suggest that the killings were justified” and “regrets … such an implication.” The network’s Middle East coverage has come under heavy criticism for years from pro-Israel media watchdogs such as CAMERA.

Senate approves anti-Semitism checks

washington (jta) | The U.S. Senate passed legislation requiring the State Department to report on acts of anti-Semitism around the world. The Global Anti-Semitism Review Act passed the Senate on Friday, May 7. The act mandates that the government report annually on harassment and acts of physical violence against of Jews in each country and the governmental responses, as part of its annual reports on international religious freedom and human rights. The bill awaits action in the U.S. House of Representatives.

California bar exam moved for Tisha B’Av

los angeles (jta) | The State Bar of California, yielding to an eight-month lobbying effort, will excuse observant Jews from taking the bar examination on Tisha B’Av.

Reversing an earlier denial, the Committee of Bar Examiners rearranged the schedule so that observers of the fast day of Tisha B’Av can take the first portion of the three-day test on July 28, instead of July 27.

“It shows that the state bar has a heart, though it’s sometimes hard to find,” said professor Laurie Levenson, of the Loyola University law school.

Bush slaps more sanctions on Syria

washington (jta) | President Bush has imposed sanctions on Syria, heeding the call of lawmakers and American Jews who wanted the Bush administration to get tougher on Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The president imposed several sanctions Tuesday, May 11, banning U.S. exports to Syria except for food and medicine, and banning all flights to and from Syria.