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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WikiLeaks next target could be Bank of America

Bank of America is thought to be the next target of the WikiLeaks website, according to a new report.

In a Monday interview with Forbes Magazine, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said his organization's next document dump would concern a major American bank.

Assange did not tell Forbes which bank WikiLeaks would target, but he has said in the past that his site accessed critical information from Bank of America.

MORE: WikiLeaks Founder Gives First Interview

In an October 2009 interview with tech news website Computerworld, Assange said the organization obtained large amounts of data from the hard drive of a Bank of America executive, The New York Times noted.

“At the moment, for example, we are sitting on 5GB from Bank of America, one of the executive’s hard drives,” he told Computerworld. “Now how do we present that? It’s a difficult problem. We could just dump it all into one giant Zip file, but we know for a fact that has limited impact. To have impact, it needs to be easy for people to dive in and search it and get something out of it.”

In a statement to The New York Times, Scott Silvestri, a Bank of America spokesman, said: “More than a year ago Wikileaks claimed to have the computer hard drive of a Bank of America executive. Aside from the claims themselves we have no evidence that supports this assertion. We are unaware of any new claims by Wikileaks that pertain specifically to Bank of America.”

Shares of Bank of America were down more than 3 percent Tuesday to $10.97 on the news.

Earlier this week WikiLeaks leaked more than 250,000 US diplomatic cables that revealed, among other things, that Saudi Arabia repeatedly pushed Washington to attack Iran in order to stop its development of nuclear weapons.

School For Disabled Sues Two Chabad Schools In Alleged Kohl's Contest Fraud

Facebook competition has local school suing other schools
Former allies in $500,000 contest now locked in litigation

A Facebook contest has turned into a $500,000 lawsuit pitting a Coral Springs private school for the disabled against two religious schools in Broward County.

In the race to win a grant, officials at Abi's Place, a school for 10 moderately to severely disabled children, say they were betrayed by their counterparts at Hebrew Academy Community School in Margate and the Rohr Bais Chaya Academy in Tamarac.

Abi's Place is accusing the other schools of violating Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act in the heat of the Kohl's Cares Facebook contest for non-profit schools.

The competition—sponsored by Kohl's Department Stores—promised $500,000 grants to each of the 20 schools nationwide that received the most votes through Facebook.

Abi's Place founder Danielle Zimmerman said that in the contest's waning days, the other two schools broke their alliance to gather votes together and left her school out in the cold. Hebrew Academy Community School and Rohr Bais Chaya Academy ended up finishing in the top 20 and each getting $500,000, while Abi's Place finished 21st and got no money.

The Broward Circuit Court lawsuit filed by Abi's Place demands the other two schools pay it the lost grant money.

"I want the community to know that what was done was very shady," Zimmerman said.

An attorney for Hebrew Academy Community School and Rohr Bais Chaya Academy said there was never any contract between the schools and the two Jewish schools were helping Abi's Place as a mitzvah—a good deed.

Throughout the contest, there were constantly shifting alliances with schools across the country, said Dan Kaskel, the attorney for the two academies.

"It's unfortunate because it was a favor extended," Kaskel said.

The Kohl's Cares contest allowed each person on Facebook to vote 20 times for schools to win one of the $500,000 grants. A maximum of five of those 20 votes could go to a single school. That prompted schools to build alliances to gather votes for each other.

Zimmerman said one of her school's co-directors was going around a Coral Springs coffee shop with a laptop last summer trying to get votes when she encountered a rabbi from one of the Jewish academies. He proposed an alliance, Zimmerman said.

She said that for the next two months, Abi's Place staff and parents worked tirelessly to get votes--setting up at malls, sporting events, movie theaters and college campuses.

"It was emotionally, physically, mentally draining and we all worked together," Zimmerman said. "We (the schools) didn't make a move without each other and we called each other every night…We had schedules, plans of actions and (coordinated) how many computers we have."

But less than three days before the contest ended and with Abi's Place at 20th, Zimmerman said the other two schools announced they were through working with her school. Zimmerman's attorney, Scott Topolski, said Abi's Place was left with no options.

"If the other schools did it a month and a half or two months earlier, it would have given my client the ability to form alliances with other schools," Topolski said. "It was way too late at that point."

Kaskel said Hebrew Academy Community School and Rohr Bais Chaya Academy worked with about 10 other schools across the country to get votes. While Abi's Place has 10 students and has only been open for three years, the two Jewish schools have about 400 students combined, he said. Hebrew Academy opened its doors in 1984, and Rohr Bais Chaya was founded in 2003.

"All along my clients were giving (Abi's Place) a hand," he said.

The academies were always honest with Abi's Place, telling Zimmerman and her staff that they needed to step up in getting signatures, Kaskel said. When that didn't happen, Hebrew Academy and Rohr Bais Chaya Academy had no choice but to part ways with Abi's Place, Kaskel said.

Kaskel said the Kohl's grants provided much-needed infusions of money to the Jewish academies as well as "new energy and enthusiasm."

More than 11 million votes were cast in the Kohl's Cares contest with Hebrew Academy finishing 14th and Rohr Bais Chaya coming in 15th.

Kohl's media relations people did not respond to questions regarding the contest.

Bank of America ATMs across N.J. are targeted in scheme

Authorities are seeking thieves who set up a scheme to rig Bank of America ATMs and scam customers out of thousands, according to a report by CBS.

Customers have started reporting large sums of money missing from their accounts, the report said. One South Jersey man is missing $1,500 from his account — withdrawals have been made from Moonachie, Hackensack and New York City, even though he was nowhere near those places, the report said.

Abusive Rabbi Convicted in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM - A self-proclaimed rabbi who counseled his followers to commit horrific acts of child abuse was convicted of abusing several children who lived with him.

Elior Chen was convicted by Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday for abusing the eight children of the woman with whom he lived, a follower whose husband had given her over to the charismatic leader, according to reports. The conviction follows the sentencing of four of his followers to up to 20 years in prison each on similar charges.

Chen fled Israel for Canada and then Brazil in 2008, and was extradited back to Israel several months later, after he counseled his followers to severely beat and burn the children in order to rid them of the devil. Some of the children were forced to drink alcohol and turpentine until they vomited, and eat their own feces. They were often locked in suitcases and other small spaces.

Some of the abuses resulted in serious and life-threatening injuries; one child has been in a persistent vegetative state since suffering abuse at the hands of Chen. The children's mother is serving a five-year jail sentence for her involvement

MIAMI-DADE: Police arrest man for allegedly molesting child in synagogue

NORTHEAST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. - Police have arrested a man accused of committing an unholy on a child inside a South Florida synagogue.
Jacob Jurberg, 29, allegedly assaulted the 7-year-old girl inside the Young Israel of Greater Miami temple in late August. The young victim helped police find the suspect after she pointed him out in a line up.

Police said Jurberg showed up at a party at the house of worship, located at 990 Northeast 171 Street, uninvited and lured the child into a room on the second floor where he sexually molested her.

Jacob Marmon, the president of the synagogue, said Jurberg was a stranger to him, the synagogue and those hosting the party. "When the police showed me the picture, they said they had this picture of the suspect. I said, I've never seen this man in my entire life," Marmon said.

Marmon said Jurberg entered the temple during a party hosted by a group in the community who had rented out the building's party hall. Marmon said Jurberg was never even invited to the party. "I have no idea who this," Marmon added. "He's never set foot inside this synagogue before this luncheon."

HORROR: Father R”L Falls To Death In Front Of Wife & Daughter

Jerusalem – In what can only be described as a horror story, a father was R”L just killed in a tragic accident – in front of his wife and daughter who is scheduled to be married in 4 weeks.

According to initial reports, the 66-year-old father had gone with his wife and daughter to check out an apartment in the French Hill neighborhood of Yerushalayim. The apartment was to be rented for his daughter, who is getting married in approximately 4 weeks. They walked up to the 4th floor, when suddenly the man lost his balance, and slipped through some type of hole in the stairwell. His wife and daughter watched in horror as he plunged 4 stories to the ground.

Hatzolah and MDA Paramedics were rushed to the scene, and found the man in traumatic arrest. He was R”L pronounced dead on the scene by a doctor a few minutes later.

The man and his wife are originally from Mexico, moved to Monsey where they lived for quite some time, and then moved to Eretz Yisroel.

Further details will be posted when they become available to us.

טרגדיה בירושלים:
אב שהגיע לראות דירה עבור בתו היחידה, הנישאת בשבועות הקרובים, נשען על המעקה בקומה הרביעית, איבד את שיווי משקלו - ונהרג, לעיני בני משפחתו

טרגדיה בלתי נתפסת בירושלים: חרדי, בן 66, נפל מגובה ארבע קומות, ברחוב ההגנה בשכונת הגבעה הצרפתית בירושלים.

האיש הגיע עם אשתו ובתו היחידה, בת 22, שאמורה להינשא בעוד שבועות אחדים, כדי להתעניין ברכישת דירה עבורה. כשיצא מהמעלית בקומה הרביעית, איבד את שיווי משקלו ומעד אל תוך פיר המדרגות, לעיני בני משפחתו ההמומים.

צוות מד"א שהוזעק למקום נאלץ לקבוע את מותו באופן מיידי.

זוהר לומר, פראמדיק מד"א, שהגיע למקום דקות לאחר האירוע, סיפר ל'בחדרי חרדים': "בני המשפחה הגיעו לבניין על מנת לראות דירה עבור הבת שמתחתנת. יחד עם האב הגיעו אשתו והבת שעומדת להינשא. כשהגיעו לקומה הרביעית, איבד האב את שיווי משקלו, ונפל היישר לתוך פיר המדרגות, ולצוות לא נותר אלא לקבוע את מותו".

מתנדב זק"א, גרשון קלצקין, מספר ל'בחדרי חרדים': "בני המשפחה סיפרו כי המנוח יצא מהמעלית בקומה הרביעית, נשען על המעקה הנמוך, איבד שיווי משקל וצנח אל מותו לעיני אשתו ובתו".

המנוח יוסף מאיר מדרש ז"ל, נולד במקסיקו בז' טבת תש"ד, במקסיקו אף נישא. שנים לאחר מכן עבר להתגורר במונסי שבארה"ב, שם נלדה בתו היחידה. בתשנ"ח עלה יחד עם המשפחתו לישראל.

הלויה תצא בשעה 22.00 מבית ההלוויות שמגר לבית החיים הר המנוחות בירושלים.

Baby boy's bris means day off for defense attorney Bennett Epstein, federal judge Kimba Wood agrees

There's joy in Federal Judge Kimba Wood's courtroom - but it has nothing to do with a verdict.

Defense lawyer Bennett Epstein stood in court on Monday and told Wood: "Judge, I have an announcement to make: Hoo hah!"

It was Epstein's slightly unorthodox way of announcing the birth of his grandson. But there was precedent.

Epstein had cautioned Wood earlier this month that his 33-year-old daughter, Eva, was due to give birth on Dec. 3 - right after the start of his loan-officer client's mortgage fraud trial.

Epstein, a modern Orthodox Jew, asked Wood for a day off from the trial - but only if his daughter had a boy, because he'd need to attend the "hoo hah" of the child's bris - a circumcision ceremony. But he noted that he wouldn't need the day off if it was a girl.

The judge granted his request for the day. But she shot back that she wanted to "balance the scales" in her Manhattan Federal Courtroom should it be a girl.

"If a daughter is born," Wood wrote, "there will be a public celebration in Court, with readings from poetry celebrating girls and women."

The boy, Epstein's third grandchild, entered the world at 2:13 a.m. Monday at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. He weighed 7 lbs. 10 oz. and measuring 20 1/2 inches. The baby's name won't be revealed until the bris.

"I guess the poetry readings I prepared are moot," Epstein said, adding that Wood is "a terrific judge, a wonderful person with a great sense of humor."

Epstein promised to bring photos of the baby to court.

One Dead, One Arrested in Apparent DWI Crash - Flatbush, NY - Drunk Driver Possibly Drag Racing Kills 25-Year-Old Yeshiva Bochur

Midwood, NY - An apparent drunk driver sideswiped a vehicle, killing 25-year-old ‎​​Moshe Berkowitz in the Midwood section of Brooklyn.

The victim’s Mercury Sable, headed north on Ocean Avenue and Avenue N, was struck by a southbound Volkswagen Passat just after 11:30 p.m. Monday night.

He was rushed by Flatbush Hatzolah to Maimonides Medical Center, where he was r"l pronounced dead.

The suspect and a woman in the car with him were taken to the same hospital with minor injuries, police said. The driver’s blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit of .08, sources said, and he is expected to be charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated.

A witness to the aftermath of the crash said the suspect and his passenger reeked of booze.

The witness, who identified himself only as Chad P., said two cars carrying the suspect’s friends pulled up moments after the collision.

“They were talking about racing, but then they started speaking in Russian so I didn’t understand,” Chad P. said. “The people in the other two cars took off after only a minute or two.”



A beloved Brooklyn yeshiva teacher was killed after a night of bowling when a drunken driver plowed into his car - possibly during a drag race, police sources and a witness said.

Moishe Berkowitz, 25, was driving his red Mercury Sable at about 11:35 p.m. Monday when it was struck by an oncoming Volkswagen that crossed the double yellow line, police said.

Skid marks and debris scattered the road, including shattered glass and pieces from both mangled cars. Berkowitz died a short time later at Maimonides Medical Center.

Rabbi Aaron Groner, one of the senior leaders at the yeshiva, called the victim's mother in Israel with the grim news.

"There aren't any words," Groner said. "It's hard to imagine the pain of that loss."

Sara Berkowitz was flying to New York from her home to attend a Wednesday morning funeral, Groner said.

Berkowitz and some friends were out bowling prior to the fatal crash, the rabbi said. Although Berkowitz was alone in his car, his friends were apparently following him and witnessed the head-on accident.

The DWI suspect and a woman in the car with him were taken to Maimonides with minor injuries, police said. The driver's blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit of .08, sources said, and he is expected to be charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated.

A witness to the aftermath of the crash said the suspect and his passenger reeked of booze.

The witness, who identified himself only as Chad P., said two cars carrying the suspect's friends pulled up moments after the collision.

"They were talking about racing, but then they started speaking in Russian so I didn't understand," Chad P. said. "The people in the other two cars took off after only a minute or two."

Groner described Berkowitz as a "tremendous role model and a great friend" who both taught and studied at the yeshiva. His students were stunned by word of the tragedy.

"He was the best teacher I ever had," said Eliyahu Levy, 12. "He made me feel good."

Monday, November 29, 2010

Brooklyn: 10-Year-Old Jewish Boy Mugged at Gunpoint

CROWN HEIGHTS — Earlier today a 10-year-old Jewish boy was mugged at gunpoint while on his way home from school.

The terrifying incident took place at around 4:15pm in front of the Laundromat on Crown street and Troy Avenue, where the boy was suddenly grabbed from behind and was told calmly “don’t scream, I have a gun…” and the mugger pressed a hard object into his back “…can you feel it?” paralyzed with fear the boy nodded, “hand over your phone, and then keep walking away calmly and do not yell, if you do I will shoot you.” And the mugger ran off.

Shocked and stunned the boy ran home where he told his mother what had happened, and she called 911.

Together with police the family tried to find the mugger, who made off with the kids iPhone, but were unsuccessful and he got away. After the mother and her son went down to the police precinct to be interviewed by detectives.

The boy was walking home because Oholei Torah does not provide bus transportation to the 5th grade an up; parents are required to make transportation arrangements on their own.

This incident is the second time a Jewish child was the target of a strong armed robbery in less than a week. In the last incident a 10 year old was beaten and his backpack was stolen,

VIDEO: $5000 Reward To Solve Williamsburg Brutal Attack

Jewish activists in Brooklyn are offering a $5,000 reward to help solve a brutal robbery that left a Hasidic teacher unconscious Thanksgiving night.

The victim, Joel Weinberger, 26, was walking from Be’er Torah Yeshiva in Williamsburg to his nearby home at 7:20 p.m. Thursday when up to three men jumped from behind and punched him repeatedly, community leader Isaac Abraham said Monday.

“They rearranged his face, beating him beyond recognition,” Abraham said. The father of four suffered multiple injuries from the Wallabout St. assault.

He was back home Monday after spending four days in the hospital.

“He can’t talk,” Weinberger’s wife said. “It’s too traumatic.”

Detectives from the Hate Crimes Task Force interviewed the young teacher, but cops have yet to classify the case as a bias attack.

Abraham contended Weinberger offered to give his wallet but was instead pummeled, his religious garb was torn apart and only his cell phone was taken.

Solomon Spielman, an administrator at the small yeshiva, described Weinberger as a well-liked teacher who joined the faculty this year.

“He doesn’t deserve something like this,” Spielman said.

WikiLeaked: John Kerry calls for Israel to cede Golan Heights and East Jerusalem

On a February trip to the Middle East, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry (D-MA) told Qatari leaders that the Golan Heights should be returned to Syria, that a Palestinian capital should be established in East Jerusalem as part of the Arab-Israeli peace process, and that he was "shocked" by what he saw on a visit to Gaza.

Kerry discussed the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in a visit to Qatar during separate meetings with Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani and the Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa, as revealed by the disclosure of diplomatic cables by the website WikiLeaks.

The emir told Kerry to focus on Syria as the path toward resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Kerry agreed with the emir that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is a man who wants change but pointed out that his arming of Hezbollah and interference in Lebanese politics were unhelpful. Kerry said that Assad "needs to make a bolder move and take risks" for peace, and that he should be "more statesman-like." Kerry also agreed with the emir that the Golan Heights should be given back to Syria at some point.

"The Chairman added that Netanyahu also needs to compromise and work the return of the Golan Heights into a formula for peace," the diplomatic cable reported.

As for the peace process, Kerry defended the Obama administration's drive to use indirect proximity talks (which were only being discussed at that time) as a stepping stone to direct talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians. He said the two sides should first agree on the amount of land to be swapped and then work on borders, followed by settlements.

Kerry also said that final agreement would have to include a Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem.

"Any negotiation has its limits, added Senator Kerry, and we know for the Palestinians that control of Al-Aqsa mosque and the establishment of some kind of capital for the Palestinians in East Jerusalem are not negotiable," the cable stated, summarizing the meeting with the emir. "For the Israelis, the Senator continued, Israel's character as a Jewish state is not open for negotiation. The non-militarization of an eventual Palestinian state and its borders can nonetheless be resolved through negotiation."

In a separate meeting the day before with the prime minister, Kerry resisted the Qatari leader's assertion that Hamas was ready to accept the existence of the State of Israel, but he agreed that urgent action was needed to rebuild Gaza.

According to the leaked diplomatic cable, the prime minister told Kerry, "We need to broker a quick reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah and move forward quickly on rebuilding Gaza… Senator Kerry asserted that HBJ [Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani] was preaching to the converted and told the PM he was ‘shocked by what I saw in Gaza.'"

In a telling exchange at the end of his meeting with the emir, the Qatari ruler gave Kerry some advice for dealing with the Iranian government.

"The Amir closed the meeting by offering that based on 30 years of experience with the Iranians, they will give you 100 words. Trust only one of the 100," the cable said.

Rabbi's wronged in write

An angry Brooklyn rabbi says a cop who slapped him with a jaywalking summons as he crossed Kings Highway on Friday had a lot of chutzpah for making him break his strict religious observance.

"This was the first time in my life I broke the Sabbath," Rabbi Sholom Emert, 27, said. "It was disgraceful."

The rabbi claims the "rotten cop" forced him to write his name on a piece of paper --a violation of the Jewish Sabbath -- or face arrest, since he wasn't carrying identification when they stopped him for improperly crossing Kings Highway and E. 15th Street at 5:40 p.m.

"I told him, 'I'm a Sabbath observer. I can't write today,' " the rabbi said.

"He said, 'You have to write it down, and it has to be done very neatly so I can read it. If I can't read it, I'm going to have to take you in,' " Emert recalled.

Emert, who was on his way back to his Midwood home, acquiesced to the cop's demand.

"I was forced to write down my name, and it's a transgression in Jewish law to write on the Sabbath," he explained.

"I had no choice. When someone [threatens to] put you in cuffs, you can be [detained for] 24 hours. I have a wife and four kids at home," the rabbi added.

The NYPD is looking into the matter.

Two 61st Precinct officers stopped Emert as he stood helplessly on double yellow lines between whizzing traffic, where he got caught after the traffic signal changed, the rabbi said.

One officer demanded his ID, but the rabbi explained he did not carry one on the Sabbath.

"I told him I live a half-block away. Come to my house. I'll show you my ID," he said.

That's when he said the cop ordered him to write.

The officer issued him a summons for obstructing traffic and sent him home.

"He was very inconsiderate of my beliefs and very nasty with me," the rabbi fumed. With John Doyle

Dutch embassy employees among four arrested for assaulting NYPD cops after refusing to pay bar tab

Rob Van der hoek (left), who works at the Dutch embassy, and Kristopher Rendon leave Manhattan Criminal Court Monday.

A Dutch foursome - three of them Dutch embassy employees - were busted for assaulting four cops after refusing to pay their tab at a Greenwich Village bar, prosecutors charged Monday.

Kristopher Rendon, 31, and Rob Van Der Hoek, 30, and two women were arrest early Sunday morning as they tried to leave Arthur's Tavern on Grove Street without paying a $300 tab.

"We were willing to pay, you just couldn't pay with a credit card," a bruised-looking Rendon, 31, protested as he left Manhattan Criminal Court Monday after being arraigned on felony assault charges.

Van Der Hoek and the women, Lenneke Veeniage, 26, and Roose Kouwenhoven, are employees of the Washington, D.C., Royal Netherlands Embassy, said a spokesman, but they do not have have diplomatic immunity.

Van Der Hoek, who suffered purple welts, was also charged with felony assault. The men were each released on $1,500 bail.

The women face misdemeanor charges, including resisting arrest.

Prosecutors said three cops were badly injured in the 1:30 a.m. dust-up.

According to court papers, Rendon and Van Der Hoek punched Police Officer Andrew Smith in the face and Veeniage jumped on the cop.

Van Der Hoek also repeatedly punched a second cop, Matthew Tocco, resulting in bruising and pain and a chipped tooth. He also injured another cop, Arthur Truscelli.

A fourth cop, Damien Drisco, broke a finger as Van Der Hoek resisted arrest, officials said.

Who is new Mossad chief Tamir Pardo

Tamir Pardo, left, with Major General (res.) Uzi Dayan

Pardo served in the Mossad for nearly 30 years; his nomination aims to ease criticism from within the organization.

Tamir Pardo was announced Monday as the new chief of Israel's Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations, the Mossad

Pardo, 57, served twice as deputy Mossad chief. He spent his entire career in the organization, serving as an IDF communications officer as well as in the elite commando unit Sayeret Matkal.

During his service in Sayeret Matkal he was under the command of Yoni Netanyahu, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's older brother, who was killed during Operation Entebbe in Uganda in 1976.

After completing his military service, Pardo was recruited to the Mossad, serving in various positions, including head of a department responsible, according to foreign publications, for operations in various destinations, which include wire tapping and photography.

Pardo also performed several management positions in the Mossas, primarily technology-related. Pardo is relatively inexperienced in the field of HUMINT, intelligence gathered by human agents. However, he was exposed to such activity during his position as deputy chief, as he was in charge of Mossad operations.

Pardo served as deputy chief under outgoing chief Meir Dagan from 2002 until 2005, when Pardo went on leave hoping to return to the position of chief.

During his absence from the Mossad, Pardo was a special operations advisor for the IDF. Pardo then returned to the position of deputy chief, after Dagan had caused the dismissal of his former deputy, suspected of leaking material to the press.

Pardo hoped that Dagan would retire and recommend him as his successor, but in 2009 Dagan's term was extended for another 6 months, which caused Pardo to finally retire from the Mossad.

Other potential candidates mulled over by Netanyahu were Shin Bet director Yuval Diskin, retiring Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin and Teva CEO, former Maj. Gen. Shlomo Yanai, who refused the offer.

The only blemish in Pardo's record is his involvement in the Galant case, in which IDF officials tried to sabotage incoming Chief of Staff Yoav Galant's candidacy by forging a PR document attributed to him. Apparently Pardo had known about the document before it reached Channel 2 reporter Amnon Abramovitch. However, Defense Minister Ehud Barak approved the nomination despite Pardo's involvement in the case.

Pardo's appointment is an attempt to diffuse criticism from within the Mossad, which has seen its directors come from outside of the organization. Many senior Mossad officials will undoubtedly approve of Pardo as chief.

In his new position, Pardo will have to deal with the Mossad's major challenge, which continues to be Iran's nuclear program.

Mexican Drug Gang Leader Confesses to Killings

MEXICO CITY — A notorious drug gang leader has been captured and has confessed to ordering most killings in the battle-scarred border city of Ciudad Juárez since August 2009, including the drive-by shootings of a United States consular employee and her husband, Mexico’s federal police said Sunday.

Arturo Gallegos Castrellón, 32, leader of the gang Los Aztecas, was arrested along with two other gang leaders in a Juárez neighborhood on Saturday, said Luis Cárdenas Palomino, chief of the regional security division of the federal police.

Mr. Cárdenas said Mr. Gallegos claimed to have ordered 80 percent of the killings in the last 15 months. “He is in charge of the whole organization of Los Aztecas in Ciudad Juárez,” Mr. Cárdenas told reporters at a news conference in Mexico City. “All the instructions for the murders committed in Ciudad Juárez pass through him.”

The arrest marked a public-relations victory for the Mexican government as it takes aim at the top leaders of Mexico’s brutal drug cartels, but it offered no guarantee to weary Juárez residents that the violence that has claimed more than 2,000 lives in the city this year would diminish.

Los Aztecas are a cross-border gang that carries out enforcement activities for the Juárez drug cartel, which has been fighting the Sinaloa cartel for control over the city, according to Mexican officials.

Mr. Gallegos claimed responsibility for several of the most notorious killings in Ciudad Juárez this year, including the shooting death of Lesley A. Enriquez, a worker at the United States Consulate in Ciudad Juárez who was pregnant, and her husband, Arthur H. Redelfs, an officer at the El Paso County Jail.

The couple was leaving a children’s birthday party in Ciudad Juárez on March 14 to return home to El Paso, when gunmen fired on their white S.U.V. Their seven-month-old daughter, who was in the back seat, was unharmed.

The husband of another consulate worker was also killed the same afternoon, possibly in a case of mistaken identity, as he was driving a similar vehicle returning from the same party.

The police did not say why Mr. Gallegos ordered the consulate killings.

In July, Mexican authorities announced that they had arrested another gang leader, Jesús Ernesto Chávez Castillo, known as the Camel, who they said had told them he had ordered the consulate killings because the consulate had given United States visas to members of a rival gang.

But in a statement Sunday, the federal police said that after Mr. Chávez was arrested, Mr. Gallegos ordered the killing of his wife after she visited him in jail, apparently because he felt Mr. Chávez had given the authorities too much information about Los Aztecas.

Mr. Gallegos also admitted to ordering the massacre last Jan. 31 at a teenager’s party in the neighborhood of Villas del Salvárcar because he thought members of a rival gang were there, the police said. Fifteen people were killed, and the episode shocked the city and forced President Felipe Calderón to acknowledge that innocent people were being caught up in the drug war’s carnage.

Over the past year, the Mexican government has had several notable successes against the drug cartels, arresting or killing top leaders of the Beltrán Leyva drug trafficking organization, and a high-ranking leader of the Sinaloa cartel. Most recently, marines surrounded and killed Antonio Ezequiel Cárdenas Guillén, a top leader of the Gulf cartel in Matamoros on Nov. 5.

Since then, fighting between drug gangs along the border west of Matamoros has sent hundreds of people fleeing from their homes.

A flurry of polls released this week show that, for the first time since Mr. Calderón began his crackdown against drug cartels four years ago, a majority of the public no longer has confidence in the government’s strategy.

Williamsburg: Yeshiva Teacher Assaulted – Religion A Possible Factor

A local teacher has been hospitalized after a brutal beating, and his three attackers may have targeted him simply because of his religion.

Joel Weinberger, a 26-year-old father of four, has swollen eyes, a broken leg and his jaw has been wired shut. His difficulty talking about what happened to him was both physical and emotional.

Family spokesman Isaac Abraham filled in the details, saying the attack happened on Thanksgiving at about 7:30 p.m.

Weinberger left his workplace, a Yeshiva on Harrison Avenue, and rounded the corner onto a desolate street one block from his home. There, he was confronted by three men.

“They were offered his wallet, and they were not even interested,” Abraham said. “They were there for one reason only – it’s to hurt him because of his religion.

“All his religious articles – his hat, his jacket, his fringes – were ripped apart. He was basically undressed on the scene,” Abraham said.

The nearest security camera to the attack, belonging to a car rental business, was too far and at an angle which prevented it from catching the crime on tape. However, the video may provide a glimpse of the three suspects before or after the attack.

The suspects took Weinberger’s cell phone, and CBS 2 has learned that detectives are checking cell phone records. In the meantime, they will wait for Weinberger to be alert enough to give them a detailed statement.

“He is a very good person,” Weinberger’s coworker, Joel Weiss, said.

“Life is not safe,” one woman said. “We thought it’s a safe place, but we have to put more eyes, more lighting.”

“It’ll happen again if they are not taken off the streets quick,” Abraham said.

The search for suspects is complicated because Weinberger did not get a good look at his three attackers, telling friends and family it was too dark and he was jumped from behind.

For now, the case is being classified by policy as an assault and a robbery. That could change to a bias attack, after investigators get a chance to speak at length with Weinberger.

Iranian nuclear scientist 'assassinated' in Tehran

The reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant is seen, just outside the southern city of Bushehr, Iran, on Aug. 21, 2010

Killers planted bombs on two victims' cars, killing one and wounding another, local press reports.

An Iranian nuclear scientists was killed and another wounded in separate but identical bomb attacks in Tehran on Monday, according to local press reports.

The Fars television service said bombs were attached to both victims' cars by assassins on motorcycles, accused agents of the United States and Israel of being behind the killings.

State broadcaster ISNA further named the two victims as Majid Shahriari and Fereydoun Abbasi, both professors at Tehran's Shahid Beheshti university.

Shahriari was killed, while Abbasi and his wife were injured and hospitalized, ISNA said.

In January, another Iranian nuclear scientist, Professor Massoud Ali-Mohammadi was also killed.

State media said at the time that Ali-Mohammadi was killed by a remote controlled bomb strapped to a motorcycle.

Then too, Iran accused Israel and the West of the attack on a "committed and revolutionary" scientist.

But an opposition website, Jaras, said Ali Mohhamadi was an opposition supporter who backed moderate candidate Mirhossein Mousavi in a disputed election, which plunged Iran into turmoil in mid-2009.

In February 2009, the Daily Telegraph, a British, newspaper, reported that Israel was assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists as part of a covert war against the Islamic Republic's illicit weapons program.

The Telegraph quoted Western intelligence analysts as saying that Israel's Mossad spy agency was behind the death of Ardeshire Hassanpour, a top nuclear scientist at Iran's Isfahan uranium plant who died mysteriously from"gas poisoning" in 2007.

Israel and the West accuse Iran of developing nuclear weapons, a charge the Iranians deny.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

FBI To Brooklyn: Watch Your Neighbors For Us

The federal law enforcement agency is ramping up its “InfraGard” program, which recruits residents for an elite organization of terrorist watchdogs. Over the last month, Special Agent Jim Capozzi has been visiting Brooklyn community boards to make a pitch for InfraGard, a 14-year-old program that takes the notion of “See something, say something” to the next level.

“We want to educate [residents] and train them [to become members of InfraGard],” said Capozzi. “If they see precursors, perhaps this is the beginning of an attack — or reconnaissance. Then they can call or e-mail me and I would route their information to the proper agents.”

Under the program, vetted members are given access to a secure website where the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security post information regarding the latest threats to “critical infrastructure or a key resources.” They also are able to network with the FBI about national security.

The ideal member, Capozzi said, is someone working in the private sector who has contact with a potential terrorist target such as the banking industry, shipping and postal services, or agriculture.

“The FBI is in charge of protecting these sectors, but doesn’t own or operate them,” said Capozzi. “The private citizens that own or operate them — I recruit them to join the alliance so that the FBI is getting their assistance.”

Still, many New Yorkers may be uncomfortable with the notion of emboldened private citizens whose internal — and color-coded — terror alert is always a glaring red.

But Capozzi scoffed at the notion that the program cultivates suspicion or paranoia.

“It’s just about having a better-informed group of concerned citizens,” said Capozzi. “We need extra eyes and ears that may see things long before we see them.”

And there are plenty of perks to being the FBI’s eyes and ears, aside from the cool, exclusive website.

Members of InfraGard are invited to seminars dealing with national security issues, as well as more interactive events: such as a game of capture the flag with a terrorism twist.

“Have fun at our events and network with others who share your passion for the protection of our critical infrastructures,” reads a flier for the game. “During our capture the flag event many of our members came together to experience what it was like to be a defender and also as an attacker. Our members are exposed to multiple verticals and challenge each other to better understand the threats and the solutions to better guard there (sic) companies, there (sic) country and their families.”

Since taking over the citywide chapter of InfraGard last year, Capozzi has sought to spread the word about the program, which has over 40,000 members nationwide.

“If the local schoolteacher wants to join, she can,” said Capozzi. “If they’re in the position to see something and share something, I want them. They have neighbors, they have friends — people who want to do us harm are imbedded among us!”

C.I.A. Agents, Blowing Their Own Cover

This summer, a former spy who calls himself ­Ishmael Jones got into trouble with his old bosses at the Central Intelligence Agency.

No, the agency didn’t put out a contract on his life or ship him to Guantánamo. Instead, in July, it sued Jones, the author of “The Human Factor: Inside the C.I.A.’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture,” accusing him of breaking his secrecy agreement and failing to get the required approval to publish. If the C.I.A.

intended to make the book disappear, it failed. When the suit was reported last month, the book — a modest seller when first published in 2008 — shot up the Amazon rankings.

In the book, Jones writes that he submitted the manuscript for approval and that the censors returned it with all but a few paragraphs “wiped out,” even though he had revealed no classified information.

He argues that the agency censored his memoir not because he gave away secrets but because it disliked his views. After reading the book, one finds it hard to disagree.

It used to be rare for C.I.A. employees to recount their exploits, or grievances, in print. Now, they’re oversharing as eagerly as the cast of “Jersey Shore.” I’ve written five C.I.A.-related thrillers since 2005. Along the way, I’ve read more than my share of books by insiders, seeking hints of how the agency works — and doesn’t.

The books make for fascinating, disturbing reading. Collectively, they shine a bright light on the agency’s darkest secret of all, its inability to do its job at the most basic level.

The United States will spend $53 billion this year on secret intelligence efforts, with the C.I.A. getting much of that money. Yet if Jones and other former employees are to be believed, the agency remains dismally unable to deal with terrorism or rogue states. It is a bureaucratic, risk-averse behemoth that rarely holds its managers accountable for failure. Its problems were not solved, and may have been made worse, by the reorganization of the intelligence community after Sept. 11, 2001.

Outsiders have lodged similar complaints for years. But the C.I.A. and its defenders typically dismiss such criticism by saying that the agency’s failures are reported, while its successes must remain secret. But these new memoirs cannot be shoved aside so easily. The most intriguing come from the case officers, like Jones, who actually meet foreign agents and collect information for the C.I.A. on a daily basis.

In book after book, operatives describe an agency that hires smart, aggressive and patriotic Americans, and then does its best to make sure they fail. Since 2008, two memoirs, Jones’s “Human Factor” and Charles S. Faddis’s “Beyond Repair: The Decline and Fall of the C.I.A.,” have gone so far as to call for the agency to be abolished and replaced.

While not the best written of the recent books, Jones’s paints the fullest picture of the agency’s troubles. He claims he served under “nonofficial cover” — that is, overseas and without diplomatic protection — for more than a decade. The agency never publicly discloses how many similar operatives are working, but Jones’s account makes clear that the number is tiny, at most a couple of hundred worldwide. A vast majority of employees work either at the C.I.A.’s headquarters in Langley, Va., or under diplomatic cover in American embassies.

Jones regards this breakdown of resources as worse than shameful. Employees under diplomatic cover are generally known to the intelligence services of the countries where they work and can operate only with the tacit approval of their host nations. Only nonofficial operatives can recruit agents in true secrecy. Only nonofficial operatives have a real chance of meeting or infiltrating terrorist groups. But these operatives face much higher risks than those under diplomatic cover, and the C.I.A. fears using them.

Instead of taking real risk, the agency fetishizes the rituals of tradecraft, Jones says. In one sad and hilarious passage, he writes of meeting another case officer, who devises a routine familiar to anyone who has ever watched a spy movie. The case officer would carry a magazine folded under her left arm, and Jones was to ask, “Can you tell me the way to the parking lot?” She was to reply, “Are you looking for the hourly parking?”

Jones objected. Since the meeting would be in “the benign city” of Philadelphia, he had a different suggestion: he would approach her in the lobby and say, “Hi, Mabel.”

Jones describes the C.I.A. as addicted to the process of recruiting foreign agents, while rarely considering the value of their information. Embassy-based station chiefs and headquarters officers demand complex recruiting operations when simple meet-and-greets would do. And the agency’s preferred recruiting method — cash — tends to attract low-level diplomats and retired military officers who peddle dubious tales.

In “Blowing My Cover: My Life as a C.I.A. Spy” (2005), Lindsay Moran, who served in Macedonia, writes of meeting a man who claimed he knew the whereabouts of a Balkan war criminal. Halfway through the meeting, Moran knew the man was lying, but she paid him anyway. “Word had spread that the C.I.A. was doling out big bucks for info, and the man had obviously come to cash in. . . . The C.I.A., I’d been discouraged to discover, paid for faulty information all the time.”

Moran’s amusing book, which portrays her as a combination of Bridget Jones and James Bond, ends with her resigning to marry the photographer of her dreams. Less amusing is the fact that Moran probably should not have been hired at all. By her own account, even during training, she doubted the morality of recruiting foreign agents, the core of being a case officer. Yet when she told her supervisors at the Farm about her fears and requested a transfer to a back-office position, they refused. Moran finished training but lasted barely two years in the field before quitting. (The hero of “An Ordinary Spy,” a novel by Joseph Weisberg, who worked briefly for the agency in the 1990s, doesn’t even make it through his first tour.)

Such cases are common, Charles Faddis, a case officer for 20 years, argues in “Beyond Repair.” Faddis describes the agency as rife with incompetence at every level and compares its leadership training unfavorably with that of the military. “Sixty years after its founding,” he writes, the agency “has never developed any system for the selection, training and cultivation of leaders.” Even the Sept. 11 attacks did not produce meaningful change. Faddis argues that adding a director of national intelligence to oversee the agency simply imposed another layer of bureaucracy. Of the 4,000 new employees in the director’s office, “not a single one of them runs operations. Not a single one of them recruits assets or produces intelligence. What they do produce, however, is process, lots of it.”

Faddis calls for replacing the agency with an elite group of nonofficial operatives, a return to its roots as the World War II-era Office of Strategic Services. But neither he nor any of the other memoirists really expect change. The intelligence community, like Wall Street, has emerged from its deepest failure largely unscathed, thanks to a massive government bailout. As Iran develops a nuclear bomb, Al Qaeda regroups for new attacks, and North Korea threatens war, readers of these books may be forgiven for feeling less than confident about the C.I.A.’s ability to predict, much less prevent, the catastrophes ahead.

Media unveils classified documents via Wikileaks website in explosive release of 250,000 'secrets'

The State Department's biggest secrets - from Arab nations privately pushing for an attack on Iran to U.S. diplomats spying on UN leaders - were laid bare in a stunning new avalanche of classified documents published by WikiLeaks.

The publication of 250,000 private State Department cables drawn from 2005 to the present unveiled long-secret projects and unflattering assessments of top allies, plunging Washington into a major diplomatic crisis.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini called it "the 9/11 of world diplomacy."

Among the many eye-opening revelations:

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has repeatedly urged the United States to launch air strikes on Iran to destroy its nuclear program.

The Saudi ambassador to Washington told General David Petraeus in April 2008 to "cut off the head of the snake." Officials in Jordan, Bahrain, the UAE and Egyot have all also secretly pushed for military action against Tehran.

Saudi sheiks are the chief financiers of Al Qaeda, and the Persian Gulf state of Qatar, fearing reprisals, is the "worst in the region" in counterterrorism efforts.

In July 2009, diplomats assigned to the UN were asked to gather technical details about the communications systems used by top UN officials, including computer passwords, and detailed biometric information on all the top UN officials.

Washington also wanted credit card numbers, email addresses, phone, fax and pager numbers and even frequent-flyer account numbers for UN figures and "biographic and biometric information on UN Security Council permanent representatives."

Washington has been secretly battling Pakistan over nuclear fuel in a Pakistani reactor that the US wants to remove for fear it could fall into the wrong hands.

In May 2009, US Ambassador Anne Patterson reported Pakistan was balking, quoting a Pakistani official who said if the local media learned of the fuel removal "they certainly would portray it as the United States taking Pakistan's nuclear weapons."

China hacked into Google's computer systems as part of a coordinated campaign of computer sabotage.
Unflattering descriptions of foreign leaders by US diplomats: French President Nikola Sarkozy is called "an emperor without clothes;" Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is likened to Hitler; Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is termed "pale, hesitant;" Afghan President Hamid Karzai is a "weak" man "driven by paranoia;" and German Chancellor Angela Merkel "avoids risk and is rarely creative.
American diplomats are increasingly suspicious of the extraordinarily close relationship between Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, including the exchange of "lavish gifts" and lucrative business contracts.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is accompanied everywhere by a "voluptuous blonde" Ukrainian nurse.

In a statement Sunday afternoon, the White House condemned the publication "in the strongest terms."

"Such disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals, and people around the world who come to the United States for assistance...These documents also may include named individuals who in many cases live and work under oppressive regimes and who are trying to create more open and free societies," the White House said.

"By releasing stolen and classified documents, Wikileaks has put at risk not only the cause of human rights but also the lives and work of these individuals."

WikiLeaks won't say how it got the classified information but the US military has held soldier Bradley Manning, 22, in solitary confinement for the last seven months on suspicion of downloading the material while serving on an army base outside Baghdad.

Hours before WikiLeaks' planned 4:30 p.m info dump, the website reported that it was under attack.

"We are currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack," the shadowy WikiLeaks owners tweeted before noon Sunday. It was not clear who was trying to shut down the site.

The information it planned to reveal was already shared with the leading newspapers of Spain, France, Germany and Britain, as well as the New York Times, all of which published stories Sunday.

Washington, London, Rome and Berlin all condemned the info dump, some in the strongest possible terms.

Publication of the 250,000 classified diplomatic cables places "the lives of countless innocent individuals" at risk, Harold Koh, the State Department's top lawyer, wrote to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Queens: Jewish man clings to life after hit-run

A 31-year-old Queens man is fighting for his life after being mowed down last night by a hit-and-run driver and then struck again by a second vehicle, police said.

Dominik Winnick is in very critical condition at New York Hospital Queens after twice being slammed into as he crossed 108th Street at 63rd Road in Corona at about 10:30 p.m., authorities said.

Winnick, 31, was first hit by a 2010 Nissan Rogue going southbound on 108th Street.

The Rogue’s driver, Avraham Mullokandov, 17, fled the scene, police said.

Winnick was then hit by a 1998 Nissan Maxima traveling northbound on 108th Street. That motorist remained on the scene.

Winnick, who lives less than two blocks from where he was hit, was rushed to the hospital.

About 30 minutes after the crash, Mullokandov returned to the scene and was arrested, police said.

He is charged with vehicular assault, leaving the scene of an accident and violating the terms of his restricted license, police added.

Chabad Rabbi Receives Death Threats

Written in what appeared to be a felt-tipped black marker, the letter said in Hebrew, "BEWARE FOR YOUR LIVES! If Yaakov does not step down from the position that he has taken at Chen 19, WE WILL TAKE HIM DOWN. With thanks, The S.O.S. Society." Oddly, the letters “S.O.S.” were carefully printed in English.

An ominous death threat was carefully dropped last week into the family mail box of Arad's Chabad Lubavitch emissary, Rabbi Yaakov Mendelzohn, by an unknown perpetrator.

An ominous death threat was carefully dropped last week into the family mail box of Arad's Chabad Lubavitch emissary, Rabbi Yaakov Mendelzohn, by an unknown perpetrator.

Written in what appeared to be a felt-tipped black marker, the letter said in Hebrew, "BEWARE FOR YOUR LIVES! If Yaakov does not step down from the position that he has taken at Chen 19, WE WILL TAKE HIM DOWN. With thanks, The S.O.S. Society." Oddly, the letters “S.O.S.” were carefully printed in English.

Chen 19 is the address of the city's Ashkenazi Central Synagogue, where Rabbi Mendelzohn serves as spiritual leader following the death of his father-in-law, former Arad Chief Rabbi Ben Tzion Lipsker z'l, a year ago.

For more than a year, dozens of local Gerer Chassidim have been working hard to intimidate worshipers in an effort to force them from the synagogue, thus enabling the Gerer community to take over the building, as it has done with
others in the city.

There has been violence on a number of occasions, and police are regular visitors to the synagogue due to the constant attempts by Gerer Chassidim to disrupt services both during the week and on the Sabbath.

It is not clear whether the perpetrator(s) of the above death threat have any connection to this group, or not. An investigation is under way.

Wikileaks: US referred to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as 'Hitler'

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is referred to as "Hitler" while President Nicolas Sarkozy of France is called a "naked emperor" in US documents released by Wikilieaks on Sunday.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is referred to as “Hitler” while President Nicolas Sarkozy of France is called a “naked emperor” in US documents released by Wikilieaks on Sunday.

Pages from the German newspaper Der Spiegel were leaked early, before a mass publication of thousands of secret cables by the whiste-blowing website. The documents also say that North Korean leader Kim Jong -il suffers from epilepsy.

The German Chancellor is referred to as Angela “Teflon” Merkel and Afghan President Hamid Karzai is “driven by paranoia”, the documents claim.

US officials referred to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as an “Alpha Male,” while President Dmitry Medvedev is “afraid, hesitant.”

Der Spiegel also quoteed the State Department as saying that President Barack Obama “prefers to look East rather than West,” and “has no feelings for Europe”.

The leak came minutes after Wikileaks claimed that it was under cyber attack on Sunday ahead of the expected release of thousands of secret documents.

On its Twitter feed Wikileaks said: “We are currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack.”

Wikileaks added that several newspapers would go ahead and publish secret United States documents even if the website crashed.

The latest leak is expected to publish US embassy reports on other countries and the website said it would be bigger than recent leaks on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The US state department has claimed that the release would put lives at risk but Mr Assange said America was afraid of being held to account.

Spain’s El Pais, France’s Le Monde, Germany’s Der Speigel, The Guardian. and the New York Times are set to publish the material.

Details of the documents were first released on Twitter after a member of the public in Germany purchases a copy of Der Spiegel which had been put on the news-stand too early.

The Foreign Office condemned the leak of the State Department cables but insisted that it would not damage British-US relations.

“We condemn any unauthorised release of this classified information, just as we condemn leaks of classified material in the UK,” a spokesman said.

“They can damage national security, are not in the national interest and, as the US have said, may put lives at risk.

“We have a very strong relationship with the US Government. That will continue.”

British officials fear that the confidential cables will reveal details of a secret operation to disrupt Iranian smuggling of nuclear materials through the Gulf and Turkey.

Officials involved in overseeing British policy in the region say that diplomatic materials compiled between 2008 and 2010 on Iran contained sensational information that could jeopardise efforts to disrupt the nuclear programme if unveiled on WikiLeaks.

The Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s “close relationship” with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, is also said to be among WikiLeaks documents due to be released.

Mr Berlusconi has been friends with former KGB agent Mr Putin, for more than five years and the two have held numerous bilateral meetings as well as entertained each other on holiday.

Of concern to Washington was said to be the deal between Italian energy firm ENI and Russian gas giant Gazprom, over the South Stream pipeline as well as the “very cordial relationship between Mr Putin and Mr Berlusconi”.

הצעירה שנחטפה וסוממה: "שמחה שאני בחיים"

עם הגשת כתב האישום החמור נגד הוריה, הביעה הצעירה שסוממה בכפייה וניצלה מחטיפה בדקה ה-90 שביעות רצון מהעמדתם של אביה ואמה מאחורי דוכן הנאשמים. לקרוביה אמרה כי היא "מקווה שזה יוביל לסוף הפרשה"

כשבוע אחרי שניסיונם לחטוף את בתם לרומניה סוכל ברגע האחרון, הוגש היום (א') כתב אישום נגד זוג ההורים, תושבי בריטניה, שהתעללו בבתם בת ה-21 וסיממו אותה כדי להעבירה עמם, בניגוד לרצונה, אל מחוץ לגבולות ישראל.

עם קבלת הידיעה על העמדתם לדין של הוריה, הביעה הצעירה שביעות רצון. "אני שמחה ומקווה שזה יוביל לסוף הפרשה הזאת", היא אמרה לקרוביה. "אני רוצה להישאר בארץ ולא לחזור לאנגליה. סבלתי מספיק, ואני מאושרת שאני בחיים

במרחב דן במשטרה ממשיכים לחקור את הפרשה, בפיקודו של רב-פקד רונן שימרי. כעת מתמקדים המאמצים באיתור חשודים נוספים, ולשם כך הוקם צוות חקירה מיוחד שאנשיו ממשיכים לגבות עדויות נוספות.

למרות טענות ההורים כאילו סובלת בתם מלקות בשכלה, טענו במשטרה כי בדיקה שנערה בארץ קבעה כי היא נורמטיבית. עוד התברר, כי לאירוע קדם ניסיון חטיפה נוסף ואלים של ההורים שהתרחש באמצע אוקטובר האחרון, שנמנע בזכות התערבות קרוביה של הצעירה.

לאחר אותה תקרית, פנתה הבת לבית המשפט לענייני משפחה שנעתר לבקשתה והוציא נגד הוריה צו הרחקה זמני ממנה. בסוף השבוע האחרון שהתה הצעירה בבית קרוביה, שם המשיכה להתאושש מהטראומה שעברה כשהיא עדיין סובלת מכאבים ומצמרמורות בגופה.

"היא לא חולת נפש כפי שניסו לצייר אותה", סיפר ל-ynet אחד מקורביה של הצעירה. "היא בחורה נורמלית, פיקחית, בעל חוש הומור ושוקקת חיים. כל הנושא הזה מורכב מאוד, אבל הניסיון להטיל בה דופי בגלל טענות כאילו היא לוקה בשכלה הוא שקר גס וחמור". בני המשפחה המארחים את הצעירה סירבו להגיב על הכתבה.

NYPD Takes Immediate Action After Officer Demands Jewish Pedestrian Write On Shabbos

A troubling incident occurred on Friday night between an NYPD Officer, and a member of Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish Community, has learned exclusively.

On Friday night, and individual was walking to his home (in the southern part of Brooklyn) and had just crossed a street, when he was stopped by two officers in a marked patrol car. The asked him for his identification. He asked why they wanted it, and the officers responded that they wanted to issue him a summons for J-Walking. He responded that it was Shabbos, and he does not carry any identification with him. The officers responded that if he does not give them an ID, they will be placing him under arrest. He told the officers that he lived a half a block away, and they can meet him at his home and take his ID and write the summons there. They refused, and instead forced the individual to write his name and address on a paper. They told him, if he refuses, they will arrest him. Fearing spending Shabbos in jail, with his family not knowing where he was, the individual followed their orders.

Minutes after Shabbos, the individual reached out to leading Jewish community NYPD Liaisons, who in turn reached out to the top NYPD brass covering the area. As was expected they took the story very seriously, and immediately got to work.

Brooklyn South Chief Joseph Fox,along with the Commanding Officer of the precinct must be publicly commended for their personal involvement, and for taking appropriate action, for many hours on Saturday night. Additionally, members of the NYPD’s Community Affairs Unit were heavily involved, and were busy with this until well past midnight. We have been told that the officers have been questioned, and an investigation into the exact details of the incident is underway.

Although this story is troubling, since it is against Jewish law to write on Shabbos, it also raises eyebrows as to what prompted an officer to write a summons for J-Walking, something which is practically never done.

Despite this incident, it should be noted that the NYPD has an excellent relationship with the Orthodox Community, and an incident like this has never before happened.

Taxicab confessions - Drivers' 'school' for $cams

In a shocking taxicab confession, a hack accused of overcharging nearly 4,000 passengers testified before a city judge that crooked cabbies conduct informal crime summits in cab garages to exchange new and devious ways to rip off customers.

"I met a series of drivers who decided to rob the public," Joseph Kastner, 49, told the Taxi and Limousine Commission during a Sept. 30 administrative court hearing. "They were actually having meetings at my old garage."

At the cabby conferences, veteran drivers would lecture others how to steal thousands from unsuspecting city customers by using Rate 5 -- a flat-fee plan only supposed to be used for areas outside the city, Kastner said.

"Some of them were making $500 a day," Kastner testified during the hearing.

Some would even brag about charging tourists for heat, a source familiar with his case added.

Kastner was arrested Sept. 23 with 58 other drivers in the infamous taxi-overcharge scandal. Kastner allegedly cheated 3,925 unwitting passengers out of $7,756 -- sixth-most among the cabby cads.

At the hourlong hearing on his hack license, Kastner tried to turn whistleblower -- offering information that would "look very derogatory for the TLC." He said the scams were far more widespread than the city has reported.

But Kastner said his offer fell on deaf ears.

"I tried to tell them over and over again at the hearing," he said outside his Jersey City home last week. "They didn't listen to a word I said. They just don't want to hear it."

The scheming was constant, said Kastner, who has floated among several garages.

TLC officials dismissed Kastner's desperate dealing and said they couldn't pin down Kastner's main garage.

"There are 49,000 licensed cab drivers in New York City, and while there may be a few who try to beat the system, the overwhelming vast majority are honest, hardworking individuals," TLC Chairman David Yassky said.

Other cabbies and industry insiders, however, told The Post they don't doubt Kastner's claims, and described the following widespread cabby and livery-driver crimes:

* Hacks who tack on bridge and tunnel tolls by pressing the meter's "extra" button.

* Scheming cabbies who hack into their meters to increase the time period when the $1 peak-period surcharge is added.

* Airport scams where livery car drivers will steer travelers in the terminals into their cars and then charge way more than the flat fare of $45 from the airports to Manhattan. Sources said one shark charged a family of four $45 -- each.

How drivers have taken passengers for a ride:

* Charging for turning on the heat.

* Posing as a livery driver at airports and charging more than double the flat fee of $45 to Manhattan, or taking circuitous routes to destinations.

* Setting meters at Rate Code 5 (supposed to be used only for trips to Suffolk County, north of Westchester, and New Jersey) and charging whatever they want.

* Setting meters at Rate Code 4 (supposed to be used only for trips to Westchester and Nassau counties) and charging double the normal fare.

* Adding a bridge or tunnel toll charge for non-toll trips by pushing the “extra” button on the meter.

* Hacking into the meter to stretch the hours when the normal 4-to-8 p.m. $1 peak surcharge is in effect.

Ronni Chasen's murder baffles and fascinates Hollywood

No motive, no weapon, no witnesses, no suspects. The murder of veteran film publicist Ronni Chasen, shot to death 12 days ago while driving home from a movie premiere through Beverly Hills, is the ultimate Hollywood case, studded with the kind of random details that make it both kitschy and creepy.

Chasen, 64, had just left the after-party for "Burlesque," the camp film of the year. The cops secured surveillance video from the Buddy Hackett estate on North Whittier Drive showing her car traveling south after the shooting and then crashing into a lamppost. In 1946, Howard Hughes crashed his plane on the same street. Gangster Bugsy Siegel was gunned down near here, too.

Chasen had spent more than 30 years working as a publicist, had built up an impressive client list and crafted a sterling reputation, available to stars, directors and producers day or night. She spent nearly every evening on the town, at dinners, premieres, events. She was friendly with everyone from Michael Douglas to Elliott Gould to Bono. She was hardly ever alone.

But early Tuesday morning, she was, and by a little after midnight she was dying, slumped over her steering wheel, blood pouring from her chest and out of her nose. The violent shooting death of one of Hollywood's most respected publicists -- on a well-lit street where homes start at $5 million -- has alarmed and vexed the industry, and wild theories abound.

There are reports that a man was seen lurking on a traffic island near the crime scene a couple of hours before Chasen was shot. Rumors that a close relative owed hundreds of thousands in gambling debts.

Also, speculation that maybe it was Russian investors exacting revenge over a film deal gone sour. It was an art deal gone bad. It was some other Hollywood competitor angry or jealous over Chasen's nascent Oscar campaigns for Michael Douglas in "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" or Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland." The wound pattern was too tight for an amateur to have done this. She was on the phone and cut someone off with her Mercedes, making them angry.

The coroner's office, slowed down by the Thanksgiving holiday, has yet to issue its report. That has not stopped other outlets from claiming to have gotten an advance finding from the office, which reportedly states that "there were three apparent gunshot wounds to the right shoulder [and] an apparent gunshot wound to the right upper back and left upper back." One bullet, according to this report, "was recovered from her back" and is "possibly a 9mm hollow-point."

THE victim, it turns out, is just as puzzling as the case.

Chasen was born Veronica Cohen on Oct. 17, 1946, in Kingston, NY. Her father, Irving, was a frustrated artist who later moved the family -- wife Carolyn and son Larry, 13 years older than Ronni -- to Inwood. He owned six apartment buildings in Harlem, but his real passion was photography.

"He had the belief that you cannot make a living doing anything you enjoy," Larry Cohen, a legendary B-movie filmmaker, told The New Yorker in 2004. Their mother, by contrast, had a lust for life and was obsessed with the movies.

It was Larry Cohen who helped his little sister, a failed soap actress, break into publicity. In 1973, he hired Ronni to promote "Hell Up in Harlem," the follow-up to his blaxploitation epic "Black Caesar."

After working for her brother, Chasen was hired by well-known publicist Warren Cowan, who became a mentor. One night, early in their working relationship, Cowan took Cohen to dinner at the legendary LA restaurant Chasen's.

"He told her, 'You don't have a great last name,' " longtime friend and New York-based publicist Kathie Berlin said. "So she changed it . . . I don't know if she ever 'fessed up to it."

In 1985, she was named executive vice president of Cowan's firm; she'd worked on '80s blockbusters "On Golden Pond" and "Cocoon."

In September 1989, Chasen left to form her own company, Ronni Chasen Associates. In 1992, she was hired by MGM, a stint that did not work out. A year later, she reopened her eponymous firm and kept a loyal yet not-so-hip client list: Irwin Winkler, Hans Zimmer, Richard Zanuck.

"She focused on 'below the line' " personnel, said a friend, using industry slang for people who aren't movie stars. "Then she hit on composers and ran with that."

Chasen did manage, however, to attach herself to A-list projects, getting hired as an ancillary arm to work on Oscar campaigns for such films as "The Hurt Locker," "Slumdog Millionaire" and "No Country for Old Men" -- the Best Picture winners of the last three years. She was something of a Hollywood Zelig, at every party and photographed hugging nearly every establishment star that mattered: Jeff Bridges, Morgan Freeman, director Danny Boyle.

Chasen lived alone in a no- frills condomin ium on Wilshire Boulevard. She had no view, as the more expen sive units do. Hers faced the back, which was quieter, and friends describe the décor as not very modern -- one said the large sofa was reminiscent of "classy country."

There was a large black-and-white photo, taken by her fa ther, in the living room, as well as a Pi casso. She'd occasion ally talk about wanting to adopt a dog or a cat but never went through with it.

Her personal life, said friends, was a mystery, and some thought she liked it that way.

"There were a lot of male companions, but not a lot of boy friends," Berlin said. "She'd always say, 'Do you have anybody for me?' But that meant not going to a restaurant alone. I never felt marriage was that important to her."

"She told me she had a boyfriend in New York, but it was just for fun," added Nadia Bronson, another friend. "I said, 'You seem to have a boyfriend in every port -- that's only for the young chicks!' She said, 'No, it's for us, too.' But she kept that part of her life private."

Last week, the talk among some of Chasen's friends swung to Jonathan Novak, an LA-based art dealer who was a pallbearer at her funeral last Sunday. Many believed that Novak had been Chasen's boyfriend.

"They were friends," said Heidi Schaeffer, another close Chasen pal. "It wasn't romantic."

Schaeffer told The Post that Chasen had spoken of a brief first marriage, decades ago. "She said they were sweethearts for a number of years and had an 'unconventional wedding.' " Chasen never mentioned the man's name, or why they got divorced after a year.

Chasen considered her friends and co-workers her family. When her mentor, Cowan, lay dying in the hospital, she spent days in the room with him, holding the phone to his ear so he could hear the voices of old friends and know he wasn't alone. She was with him the day he died. She'd also visit old secretaries who ended up in nursing homes.

HER favorite phrase, said Berlin, was "Keep moving." Chasen had undergone hip-replacement surgery this year, and a handicapped-parking permit was affixed to her new black Mercedes, bought shortly before the shooting. She still needed to get her other hip replaced, but she refused to slow down, having attended the "Burlesque" premiere to support her friend, songwriter Diane Warren.

"She really cared," Warren said after Chasen's death. "Her clients were like family to her."

At 12:22 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 16, as she was driving home from the premiere party for "Burlesque," Chasen finished making another "to-do" call to her office. Minutes later -- either as she was making a left at Sunset Boulevard and North Whittier Drive or as she was traveling south on Whittier -- she was shot several times through the passenger-side window.

Less than an hour later, she was pronounced dead.

There's one theory about Chasen's murder that's getting little to no attention: It was random and senseless, committed by a total stranger.

As security expert Gavin de Becker, a Chasen acquaintance, pointed out in a recent article, Chasen's case is reminiscent of the murder of Bill Cosby's 28-year-old son, Ennis, who was shot to death off the 405 Freeway in LA while changing a tire. The murderer confessed in 2001; it was a random crime, a robbery gone wrong.

There is a $100,000 reward, put up by the Palm Springs Film Festival, for information leading to the arrest of Chasen's killer. Cosby's case was solved the same way -- an informant stepped forward, prompted by a reward.

De Becker, who worked on the Cosby case, understands the need to create a motive and a theory where none yet exists.

"If it turns out the shooting was unrelated to Ronni personally," he wrote, "then it could happen to anyone -- and that concept is not palatable to most people."

Ronni Chasen’s last actions before her murder

1 Attends premiere of “Burlesque” at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard with Cher and Christina Aguilera.

2 Goes to after-party at the W Hotel in Hollywood.

3 Leaves party at 12:30 a.m. in her black E350 Mercedes coupe headed for home, west down Sunset Boulevard.

4 At the intersection of Sunset and North Whittier Drive, police believe a vehicle pulls up alongside Chasen and about four rounds are fired into her car.

5 Chasen manages to make a left onto North Whittier Drive and travels approximately 200 yards until she crashes into a lamppost. She’s pronounced dead at 1:12 a.m.

Weaponry found in luggage bearing rabbi's name in J'lem

Weaponry found in luggage bearing rabbi's name in haredi J'lem neighborhood

A piece of luggage containing an M-16 assault riffle and pistols was discovered in the parking lot of a residential building in Ganei Geula, a haredi neighborhood in Jerusalem, according to reports in the online haredi media.

According to the reports, the luggage bore on it the name of a prominent local rabbi, who was summoned for questioning.

Police declined comment on the affair.

דרמה בקריית בעלזא בירושלים: על פי הדיווחים בשכונה, הבוקר התגלה מצבור נשק בתוך מזוודה בחניית אחד הבניינים. במצבור התגלו כלי נשק רבים וביניהם נשק מסוג M16 ומספר אקדחים.

על המזוודה היה רשום שמו של אחד מרבני השכונה. המשטרה עיכבה אותו לחקירה, להסרת חשד כי כלי הנשק שייכים לו.

ועוד מקריית-בעלזא: הבוקר נשדד נהג משאית של חברת ´תנובה´ שהגיע למקום לחלוקת סחורה של מוצרי חלב. במשטרה פתחו בחקירת שני המקרים, בין היתר נבדק האם יש קשר ביניהם.

בשבת אירעה פריצה לבית בבנייני ´גני גאולה´ הסמוכים. עשרת אלפים שקלים נגנבו במזומן, וצ´קים בסכום המוערך בכשני מיליון שקלים. בדירה מתגורר בעל עסק בשכונת גאולה והצ´קים הם של לקוחותיו

Bnei Brak man suspected of raping three teenage daughters

Man s uspected of raping three of his daughters

Police uncovered alleged crime after raid on drug house led them to one of the victims.

Prosecutors have filed an affidavit against a Bnei Brak resident accused of raping three of his teenage daughters over a five-year-period, law enforcement officials revealed on Sunday.

The 47-year-old father of 10 was arrested two weeks ago after a police drug raid spiraled into an investigation of the alleged rape.

During that October raid, police officers found one of the girls, age 14, residing in a Bnei Brak apartment with another minor. They soon discovered that the girl did not live in the apartment, but had been on the run for three month.

The girl claimed that she had fled from her father, who used to rape her, and from two of her brothers, ages 15 and 19, who beat her and her sisters.

The investigation revealed that over the course of the past five years the father repeatedly rape, beat and abused the three girls. On several occasions, the man had rented a hotel room in south Tel Aviv, to which he would bring his daughters.

Police issued a warrant for the arrest of the man and his two sons, and transferred the girl to a temporary youth shelter in Bnei Brak.

The father and his sons have allegedly tried to track the girl down the girl in order to prevent her from testifying and are suspected of planning to beat her so severely that she would not be able to cooperate with police investigators.

At a certain point, the man and his sons arrived at the apartment where the girl had been hiding and attacked the boy that had hid her. He did not give any details and the two were arrested two weeks later.

The three relatives are currently being held in police custody. The defense lawyer said Sunday that her client denied completely all the allegations against him.

"He has many children, most of whom did not complain… the girl has ulterior motives, which will be exposed in due time," the lawyer said.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Drug tunnel found extending from San Diego to Mexico, more than 20 tons of marijuana seized

Tons of marijuana was sezied earlier this week after feds found the drug tunnel

More than 20 tons of marijuana have been seized after the feds discovered a sophisticated, drug-smuggling tunnel measuring more than seven football fields in length between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico.

Authorities said the tunnel, found Thursday, was similar to one discovered earlier this month. Both were equipped with lighting,
ventilation and a railcar-system to carry the drugs.

The most recently found tunnel extended from a kitchen in Mexico to two warehouses in the Otay Mesa industrial complex in San Diego.

Three men were arrested in the U.S. and five were taken into custody in Mexico in connection with the bust.

Authorities said the tunnel was discovered after investigators became suspicious about a tractor trailer parked near a warehouse in the industrial complex. They then followed the trailer, stopped it and found more than 12 tons of pot inside.

"That (trailer) was literally filled top to bottom, front to back," Mike Unzueta, head of investigations at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego said. "There wasn't any room for anything else in that tractor-trailer but air.”

Three tons of marijuana were found in a "subterranean room" in the tunnel on the U.S. side and four tons were seized at a ranch in northern Mexico.

Feds seized an additional 30 tons of marijuana on Nov. 4 after finding another tunnel that ended in the same industrial area in San Diego.

The tunnels are suspected to be the work of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel, which is headed by the country's most-wanted rug lord, "El Chapo" Guzman.

"We think ultimately they are controlled by the same overall cartel but that the tunnels were being managed and run independently by different cells operating within the same organization," Unzueta said.

Australia - The Jewish Hero Who Fought The Law, and The Law Won

Victory, Australia - There’s the strange case of the policeman accused of long-term bullying who has been on fully paid leave for two years. It seems he’s lucky enough to have a doctor willing to declare his ‘‘patient’’ unfit to face questions about the alleged offences. We hope the (alleged) bully’s victims are being looked after nearly as well.

Then there is the case of the fortunate Leading Senior Constable Terrence Moore. He used to be a plain senior constable, but has been promoted since - or despite - being revealed as the driver of a minibus full of louts who assaulted a man for objecting to their racist abuse. Promoted, in fact, despite being the subject of an internal inquiry by the force’s ethical standards unit. He, too, seems lucky.

Either the police force is an extraordinarily forgiving employer - or the police union is too tough to mess with. Like the 250-kilogram pet gorilla in the old joke, it sits anywhere it bloody well wants to and gets called ‘‘Sir’‘: the sort of ‘‘pet’’ that makes senior police and their political masters nervous, especially before elections.
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But Menachem Vorchheimer is neither a politician nor a senior policeman and he’s not nervous - of the police union, the chief commissioner’s office or the government, it seems.

Vorchheimer hit the news in the spring of 2006, when the then off-duty Constable Moore was driving a minibus full of country footballers home from Caulfield races through East St Kilda towards the road to Geelong. The constable was not subsequently breathalysed - so he gets the benefit of any doubt about that - but being more sober than his passengers didn’t help him to stop them from racially abusing Jewish people walking home from weekly worship.

Our heroes, from Ocean Grove footy club, were mostly young and mostly drunk, which explains some of their tasteless and offensive behaviour but does not excuse it - especially when it turned violent.

One genius yelled an obscene sexual suggestion to a Jewish mother of five. Another wit mimed machinegun fire as his mates jeered ‘‘Go the Nazis’’ and ‘‘F… the Jews’‘.


But, being almost as full as the bus was, the footballers made a couple of tactical mistakes. One was to yell insults just before the bus stopped at a red light. The other was to pick on someone who would fight back - the aforesaid Menachem Vorchheimer, who was walking his two small children home from the nearby synagogue.

Incensed by the abuse, Vorchheimer ran to the bus driver’s door and demanded to know who was in charge.

The driver (he says) was surly and refused to identify himself, the group, or anyone in it. It might have ended there but a passenger snatched Vorchheimer’s hat and yarmulke (religious skull cap) through an open window.

A passing motorist who saw this blocked the bus by parking his car in front of it. The bus driver wasn’t happy. In fact, he allegedly tried to reverse and drive off. What might be called ‘‘doing a runner’‘. One of the footballers tossed Vorchheimer’s felt hat on to the ground but they still had his skull cap. When he demanded it back, someone in the bus punched him in the face, giving him a black eye. It was a mistake. Vorchheimer promptly sat in front of the bus.

Meanwhile, passers-by gathered around. Despite the driver’s demands not to call the police, someone did.

Three cars came from St Kilda police station. The officers soon learnt an inconvenient truth: the driver was an off-duty ‘‘member’‘. Not that anyone was shouting it from the rooftops. In fact, if a reporter hadn’t dug it up days later, maybe no one outside ‘‘the job’’ would ever have known.

The policewoman taking notes recorded an interesting fact about her off-duty colleague’s actions, later recorded in a carefully worded statement. When Vorchheimer said that whoever punched him was wearing a pink tie, Moore got on to the bus and spoke to his passengers and within seconds all of them removed their ties. It was then impossible for Vorchheimer to clearly identify his attacker.

The bus was blocking traffic, no one was volunteering information and, in any case, statements from intoxicated people do not fly in court, so the police allowed the culprits to leave. One policeman gave Vorchheimer his telephone number and assured him ‘‘justice would be done’‘.

Since then, Vorchheimer and his legal advisers have tried to make sure that happened. Three footballers were subsequently fined for offensive language but none was found for the assault. Worse, he says, he didn’t get a sincere apology - except from AFL boss Andrew Demetriou, who made one on behalf of the football community in a way that made the Ocean Grove club look flatfooted and ungracious, at best.

As Vorchheimer sees it, he didn’t get much joy from the police hierarchy, either. After a barrister advised him to study relevant law and police regulations, he concluded that Senior Constable Terry Moore had failed his sworn duty to uphold the law.

Not only had Moore failed to prevent his passengers from committing the original offences but he was suspected of tipping off an assault suspect to remove his tie to confuse detection. And he had tried to drive off after asking witnesses not to call the police.

But when Vorchheimer pressed these points with Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe, the meeting ended abruptly with Walshe insisting that Moore would not be suspended.

The top cop was as good as his word.

Early this year, a truck sideswiped a car on the Western Ring Road, spinning into a barrier and back on to the freeway, where oncoming traffic narrowly avoided it. The driver, a 25-year-old woman, was lucky to survive the ordeal. As her battered car spun to a halt, she saw the truck slow down, then speed off. She didn’t get its registration number.

Police appealed for witnesses but none came forward. One policeman from the Brimbank Traffic Management Unit was so concerned he even spoke to a local newspaper about it.

“It is an offence to not stop at an accident or render assistance if someone was injured,” the policeman said. “In a lot of instances trucks don’t know they have hit a car, but he would have known. It is disappointing he didn’t stop.’‘

The speaker? None other than Terry Moore, basking in his promotion to leading senior constable. A policeman’s lot can be a happy one, after all.

Or, to quote another lyric, ‘‘You don’t get me, I’m part of the union.’’