Israeli ex-minister Yaakov Neeman dies aged 77

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Israeli ex-minister Yaakov Neeman dies aged 77

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Yaakov Neeman, an Israeli politician who served as justice minister and finance minister under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, died in his Jerusalem home on Sunday. He was 77.

Born in 1939 in Tel Aviv, Neeman, alongside future President Chaim Herzog, founded law firm Herzog, Fox and Neeman in 1972. He was appointed finance minister in 1979, a position he held until 1981. He was later appointed justice minister by Netanyahu, based on his legal training and loyalty.

Unusually for a senior minister, he had never served in the Knesset. He held the job for two months before resigning; he was being investigated for perjury. Michael Ben-Yair, Attorney General of the day, launched the probe after Neeman testified at a bribery trial. Neeman was cleared.

Neeman regained the Justice Ministry post in 1997, resigning again the next year. He blamed insufficient support from Netanyahu and resumed law. In 2009 Netanyahu was reelected, again appointing Neeman minister of justice. In 2013 this role passed to the Hatnua party’s Tzipi Livni.

Neeman’s last resignation, in 2013, came as he was under investigation by the Israel Tax Authority for evading tax via his law company. The Tel Aviv Magistrates Court ultimately acquitted him.

Outside law and politics Neeman was also an industrialist. He worked with Israel Aircraft Industries, airline El Al, and the Israel Atomic Energy Commission. In 1986 he was credited as key to convincing business partner Herzog, who was then president, with pardoning members of the Israel Security Agency; after a bus was hijacked, security forces shot dead two Palestinians once the hijack had concluded.

Neeman specialised in tax law. A fluent English speaker, he had degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and New York University. His wife and six children survive him.

Current President Reuven Rivlin spoke of a good lawyer and advisor whose wisdom he had sought as recently as last week. “The entire Justice Department bows his head”, said current Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. Herzog’s son Isaac Herzog, leader of the opposition Zionist Union, spoke of “a tender-hearted, broad-minded and generous man” who “was a mentor and close friend for tens of years.”

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said Neeman was “a unique figure in our public life, blessed with talent and pleasantness, who believed in his heritage and his people with his entire body.” Netanyahu called Neeman “one of the senior jurists in the country, of a sharp mind and a warm Jewish heart.”

Wikinews’ overview of the year 2008

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Wikinews’ overview of the year 2008

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Also try the 2008 World News Quiz of the year.

What would you tell your grandchildren about 2008 if they asked you about it in, let’s say, 20 years’ time? If the answer to a quiz question was 2008, what would the question be? The year that markets collapsed, or perhaps the year that Obama became US president? Or the year Heath Ledger died?

Let’s take a look at some of the important stories of 2008. Links to the original Wikinews articles are in all the titles.

Yukos loses Chapter 11 bid

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Yukos loses Chapter 11 bid

Friday, February 25, 2005The Russian oil giant Yukos (????) has lost its bid for Chapter 11 protection by a Texan court. Yukos sought Chapter 11 protection, to prevent the forced sale of the subsidiary Yuganskneftegaz by the Russian authorities.

Judge Letitia Clark said that the oil company didn’t have a strong enough presence in America to warrant Chapter 11.

The sale was made to pay Yukos’ US$27.5 billion tax bill, Yuganskneftegaz was originally sold for US$9.4 billion to a little known company Baikalfinansgroup (????????????????) which was later bought by the Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft (????????).

Yukos was started by the Russian billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who is in prison for fraud, embezzlement and tax evasion charges that he denies, saying his arrest is politically motivated by the Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Hidden treasure worth billions of dollars discovered in Indian temple

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Hidden treasure worth billions of dollars discovered in Indian temple
January 10th, 2019 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Monday, July 4, 2011

Officials announced that a treasure containing sacks of diamonds and gold coins as well as golden idols, jewelry and other riches has been discovered in the secret subterranean vaults of Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, in the southwestern state of Kerala, India. Estimates of its worth have been rising and it is now thought to be worth US$20 billion.

The Hindu temple was built in the 16th century by the kings of the then Kingdom of Travancore to serve as a royal chapel for the rulers of Travancore. The six vaults containing the treasure have been undisturbed for over a century. Assessment of the treasure began on June 27 after a lawyer concerned about the security of the treasure petitioned India’s Supreme Court, which then appointed a seven-member panel of experts to inventory the treasure. The panel does not have the power to determine to whom the treasure will belong. Estimates of the treasure’s worth are rising, provoking a heated debate as to how the treasure will be used in a country that has 450 million poverty-stricken people.

The chief minister of Kerala, Oommen Chandy, announced on Sunday the treasure would remain with the temple, and security matters would be decided in consultation with the Travancore Royal Family, the temple management, and the temple priest.

The gold was offered to the lord. It is the property of the temple.

“The gold was offered to the lord. It is the property of the temple. The government will protect the wealth at the temple,” Oommen Chandy said. Meanwhile, hundreds of armed police have been deployed around the temple to protect the treasure.

However, the view that the treasure should remain at the temple has been disputed. Among the dissenters is eminent jurist V R Krishna Iyer, who said the treasure should be put in a national trust for the peoples’ benefit. “God’s wealth belongs to the people, not to the king. It’s meaningless to say that it belongs to Hindus or any particular religious community,” said Iyer. “A mechanism should be devised to ensure that the benefits of it reach the poor and the needy and not the rich.”

Five of the six vaults of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple have been inventoried.

God’s wealth belongs to the people, not to the king. It’s meaningless to say that it belongs to Hindus or any particular religious community.

On Saturday, reports leaked to the press revealed that the treasure, including a golden idol of Mahavishnu and a golden ‘anki’, were found in one of the vaults, estimated to weigh 30 kilograms, along with precious stones, silver, two coconut shells of pure gold and another golden idol as well as other jewels and valuable coins. The panel hopes to find more treasure when the sixth and final vault is opened, but the attempt was suspended on Monday because the iron door inside presented “technical problems” requiring further consultation before opening. This vault is thought to contain the bulk of the wealth.

Keralan officials in a preliminary estimate said that the treasure was worth over US$11.2 billion; those estimates have now risen to US$20 billion. Historians say that the temple’s location on a site through which passed lucrative trade routes support the higher evaluations.

“Traders, who used to come from other parts of the country and abroad for buying spices and other commodities, used to make handsome offerings to the deity for not only his blessings but also to please the then rulers,” said P.J. Cherian, the director of Kerala Council for Historic Research

Some suggest that the profit from the sale of the treasure would be enough to wipe out the entire public debt of Kerala and fund future Kerala projects such as seaports, airports and highways.

20-year-old captures abusive police officer on tape

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20-year-old captures abusive police officer on tape
January 9th, 2019 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A 20-year old male turned the tables on an abusive police officer in St. George, Missouri after he was pulled over inside a commuter parking lot by officer Sgt. James Kuehnlein of the St. George police department.

The St. Louis, Missouri man, Brett Darrow, 20, had installed a hidden camera inside his car, much like the way some police officers do, and caught the entire incident on tape. Darrow then posted the video on the internet on places like YouTube.com.

In the beginning of the nearly 13 minute video, the police officer states that Darrow was being pulled over because his vehicle “seemed suspicious.” Officer Kuehnlein claims that high crime rates in the lot caused Darrow to be pulled over.

Kuehnlein then asks Darrow to step out of the car and asks to see his ID. Darrow then asks what he did wrong and Kuehnlein then blows up on the boy saying “do you want to try me? Do you want to try me tonight? You think you had a bad night? I will ruin your fucking night. Try me young boy.”

Kuehnlein then threatens to send Darrow to jail for “some fucking reason I come up with” and we’ll “see who knows the law better. Don’t ever get smart mouth with a cop again or I will show you what a cop does.” Kuehnlein then begins to threaten Darrow with a list of false charges such as resisting arrest. He can also “come up with nine other things” for every one thing Darrow can come up with. Kuehnlein then tells Darrow that he was being ticketed for not using a turn signal to turn into the lot, but the video clearly proves the officer wrong.

During the entire incident, Darrow barely spoke a word as the officer threatened him saying “I just had a bad night.”

Darrow is then allowed to go, but only after Kuehnlein notices the camera, and not before threatening Darrow some more saying “I don’t really care about your cameras, ’cause I’m about ready to tow your car, then we can tear ’em all apart.”

After the video was posted on the internet, people from all over started to call the police department and complain about the officers actions.

“I was very displeased when I saw the actions on the video. My officers are not trained and taught to act like that,” said Scott Uhrig, chief of the St. George police who added “someone either violated the law or they didn’t. You don’t say, I’ll lock you up and then come up with why afterward.”

Darrow states that he did not take the video to the police chief because he thought the whole thing would be forgotten and “swept under the rug. I wanted everybody to see that this kind of stuff does happen.”

Pending an investigation of the incident, Kuehnlein was suspended without pay.

Glasgow cannabis enthusiasts celebrate ‘green’ on city green

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Glasgow cannabis enthusiasts celebrate ‘green’ on city green
January 9th, 2019 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Coinciding with Easter Sunday, Glasgow Cannabis Social Club’s annual 420 event was held on Glasgow Green, under sunny blue skies, and overlooking the river Clyde. Despite the city’s council attempting to revoke permission for the gathering at the last minute, police were happy for it to go-ahead with approximately a dozen officers attending in high-visibility vests.

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The Daily Record reported five arrests were made for minor offences, likely smoking and possession of small quantities of cannabis. Taking a less-sensational — and more accurate — line of reporting, the Monday edition of Glasgow’s Evening News stated five were referred to the Procurator Fiscal who is responsible for deciding if charges should be brought.

Official figures provided by the police were that 150 attended. With people coming and going, Wikinews reporters estimated upwards of 200 attended, compared to nearly 700 who had signed up for the event on Facebook. Hemp goods were advertised and on sale at the event, and some attendees were seen drinking cannabis-themed energy drinks.

“I was searched and charged under the Misuse of Drugs Act (which is a lot of bollocks)” one attendee noted online, adding “not fair to happen on a brilliant day like it was, other than that I had a great day!” A second said they were openly smoking and ignored by police, who “were only really focusing on people who looked particularly young”.

Cannabis seeds were openly and legally sold at the event and a hydroponics supplier brought a motortrike towing an advertising trailer. Actually growing cannabis is, however, illegal in the UK.

With the event openly advocating the legalisation of cannabis, speakers put their arguments for this to a receptive crowd. Retired police officer James Duffy, of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, spoke of the failed United States alcohol prohibition policy; stressing such policies needlessly bring people into contact with criminal elements. Highlighting other countries where legalisation has been implemented, he pointed out such led to lower crime, and lower drug use overall.

One speaker, who produced a bottle of cannabis oil he had received through the post, asserted this cured his prostate cancer. Others highlighted the current use of Sativex by the National Health Service, with a cost in-excess of £150 for a single bottle of GW Pharmaceuticals patented spray — as-compared to the oil shown to the crowd, with a manufacturing cost of approximately £10.

Similar ‘420’ pro-cannabis events were held globally.

Teenage gunman kills 15 in south-west Germany

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Teenage gunman kills 15 in south-west Germany
January 8th, 2019 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A 17 year old gunman has killed 15 in the towns of Winnenden and Wendlingen, near Stuttgart in southwest Germany, before being killed himself in a shootout with police.

Dressed in what has been described as black combat gear, the gunman entered Albertville school at 9.30am on March 11 2009 and, beginning with a particular classroom, started shooting at pupils and staff wandering through various 9th and 10th grade classrooms, reloading his handgun a number of times as he did so in a two minute shooting spree.

Reportedly aiming at the heads of his victims the gunman, identified as former pupil Tim Kretschmer, initially killed nine pupils, all except one being female, and three female teachers, one of whom was still a trainee who started only 4 weeks earlier. A further seven female students were injured. There are conflicting reports if a tenth student died from injuries later. Other students were injured as they attempted to escape by jumping out of windows.

Police received a call within three minutes at 9:33 a.m. the police entered the school at 9:40 a.m. to discover the bodies of the slain victims. A pupil managed to call for help using a mobile phone, and the headmaster apparently gave an early warning via the intercom so that some of the teachers were able to lock the doors to their classrooms from the inside, probably preventing more killings. From the first floor of the school, Kretschmer fired at the first police who arrived on the scene.

Kretschmer fled the school as further police arrived, and killed a gardener in a nearby clinic as he did so.

As the police evacuated the 1,000 pupil secondary school, Kretschmer, hijacked a Volkswagen Sharan and forced the driver to drive him south. Slowed by a traffic jam Kretschmer forced the driver to drive towards Wendlingen.

A police checkpoint was not able to apprehend Kretschmer. The car went off the road, and the gunman fled into an industrial area in Wendlingen about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the school.

Tracked by specialist armed police and police spotters in helicopters Kretschmer was finally cornered in the carpark of a car dealership in Wendlingen. Kretschmer, the son of a well known local farmer and businessman, made a last stand and killed a salesman and a customer before being shot by police marksmen being injured in the leg. At first it was unclear if the shooting killed him or if he was wounded and then shot himself. Police now believe that the evidence points to suicide.

During the manhunt, police stormed the youth’s home in Leutenbach to conduct a search. Kretschmer’s father, a hobbyist hunter, legally owned 15 firearms and one was missing from the collection. The majority of the firearms were kept securely locked as German law mandates, however a handgun was kept in the parent’s bedroom and it is this weapon that is presumed to have been used. Also, all the ammunition was not locked away, and Kretschmer reportedly carried a “3-digit figure” of ammunition with him.

The police are still uncertain about the motive, as Kretschmer was known as a calm, inconspicuous person to the people who knew him personally. He didn’t have a criminal record and has apparently not made any announcements of his killing spree, neither online nor to any of his friends.

Kretschmer had been a graduate of Albertville school the previous year.

Two police officers remain in serious condition.

SEPTA buys rail cars from NJ Transit to deal with crowding

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SEPTA buys rail cars from NJ Transit to deal with crowding
January 7th, 2019 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

As gas prices have risen in the United States, the regional transport authority for southeastern Pennsylvania, SEPTA, has seen a sharp increase in ridership, which has caused overcrowding on the trains.

“As fuel prices have continued to rise, SEPTA ridership has steadily increased and is the highest in 18 years,” said SEPTA General Manager Joseph Casey. Monthly ridership was 22 percent higher last month than a year ago.

“They have crushed loads on their rail lines, already where people are standing, and there’s not enough seats,” said Rich Bickel, the director of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.

“At peak times some railcars are standing room only and commuter parking lots are nearly full. All Regional Rail lines are running near full capacity and the train station parking lots are at about 90 percent capacity or more,” SEPTA spokesperson Felipe Suarez said.

While SEPTA awaits new Silverliner V trains from Hyundai Rotem, which begin arriving in 2009, it had hoped to lease eight rail cars from New Jersey Transit, at an agreed-upon rate of US$10,000 per month. However, due to problems with insurance and liability indemnification, the deal fell through, according to Casey.

SEPTA has entered a new agreement to purchase the eight rail cars from NJ Transit. The transit authority will pay US$670,000 for the cars and assorted supplies plus one additional inoperative car which will be used for spare parts. The rail cars will be operated using a SEPTA provided locomotive as they are not self-propelled.

The cars are being disposed of by NJ Transit because it has switched from single-floor cars to double-decker cars.

SEPTA is expecting to raise US$3.1 million by selling rail that has been out of service since 1981 at auction.

News briefs:January 04, 2008

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News briefs:January 04, 2008
January 7th, 2019 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Contents

  • 1 Wikinews News Brief January 04, 2008 23:35 UTC
    • 1.1 Introduction
    • 1.2 Israeli troops kill 9 in Gaza
    • 1.3 Georgian President faces election challenge
    • 1.4 US unemployment hits two-year high
    • 1.5 Israel plans crackdown on West Bank settlement outposts
    • 1.6 Transaven Airlines plane carrying 14 people crashes off Venezuelan coast
    • 1.7 Sportswriter Milt Dunnell dies at 102
    • 1.8 2007 was particularly good year for aviation safety
    • 1.9 U.S. Senator Dodd bows out of presidential race
    • 1.10 Intel ends partnership with One Laptop Per Child program
    • 1.11 British Investigators arrive in Pakistan to join Bhutto investigation
    • 1.12 Disgorge bassist Ben Marlin dies from cancer
    • 1.13 Egypt lets 2000 pilgrims through Rafah
    • 1.14 Launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis once again delayed
    • 1.15 Study suggests hospitals are not the best place for cardiac arrest treatment
    • 1.16 US dollar no longer accepted at Taj Mahal and other Indian historical sites
    • 1.17 Footer

[edit]

News briefs:August 23, 2005

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News briefs:August 23, 2005
January 7th, 2019 in Uncategorized | No Comments

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