Monday, February 19, 2007

Nobel laureate accosted at peace conference

In a bizarre attack, a well-known author and Holocaust scholar was dragged out of a San Francisco hotel elevator by an apparent Holocaust denier who reportedly had been trailing him for weeks.

Police escorted Elie Wiesel to San Francisco International Airport on Feb. 1 after a man accosted Wiesel in the elevator at the Argent Hotel, at 50 Third St., after Wiesel participated in a panel discussion at a peace conference and before Wiesel was scheduled to catch a flight back to New York.

Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and author of more than 40 books, including the memoir “Night,” about his experiences at Auschwitz, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. Last fall, the Boston University professor was suggested as a possible replacement for Israeli President Moshe Katsav, who faces sexual assault charges.

Read more of the story here, at the San Francisco Examiner.

Elie Wiesel established the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity and was recently awarded an honorary knighthood in Britain.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Stranger things have happened at sea

Well, I wonder where this one will end up:

Astronaut in 'love kidnap plot'

A US astronaut has been charged with trying to kidnap a woman she thought was a rival for the affection of a space shuttle pilot.

Navy Capt Lisa Nowak, 43, who flew to the international space station last July, was charged with attempted kidnapping, battery and other crimes.

She drove from Texas to Florida to confront Colleen Shipman, disguised in a wig and trench coat.

Police said Capt Nowak, who was denied bail, used pepper spray on Ms Shipman.

The man in the love triangle was said to be Navy Cmdr William Oefelein, who was a pilot on the Discovery's mission to the space station in December.


Police said Capt Nowak drove 1,000 miles (1,600km) from her home in Houston to Orlando International Airport, wearing a nappy to avoid a toilet break.

The arrest affidavit says Capt Nowak then followed Ms Shipman in an airport bus.

Capt Nowak pursued Ms Shipman to her vehicle in the car park.

Ms Shipman locked herself in but rolled down the window when Capt Nowak began to cry, the affidavit says.

Ms Shipman was then attacked with the pepper spray, it says. She drove to a car park booth and police were called.

An officer followed Capt Nowak and she was stopped allegedly carrying the wig, an air rifle, a steel mallet and a knife...

[read more]

Saturday, February 03, 2007

All Italian matches called off

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has suspended all matches indefinitely after a policeman was killed at a Serie A match between Catania and Palermo.

Officer Filippo Raciti died as violence flared during the Sicilian derby.

The FIGC has called off all this weekend's professional and amateur games, and also cancelled Italy's friendly with Romania on Wednesday.

Commissioner Luca Pancalli said: "What we're witnessing has nothing to do with soccer, so Italian soccer is stopping."

According to reports, 38-year-old Raciti was struck in the face by a small explosive while attempting to deal with fighting outside the stadium.

He was taken to hospital but died from his injuries.

Pancalli had warned earlier this week that more violence would bring a halt to league matches after clashes between supporters and police in several cities last Sunday.

"One day is not sufficient," Pancalli added after proceeding with his threat. "Without drastic measures, we cannot play again.

"We will immediately set up a commission to discuss the situation between sport and politics. It's not possible to carry on like this."...

... Another police officer is also believed to be in a critical condition.

Catania club executive Pietro Lo Monaco reacted to news of the officer's death by announcing he would leave football.

"I've heard that a policeman has died," he said. "To speak of football right now seems useless. For me this is the end. I will leave the football world.

"I don't recognise myself in this world anymore. I have loved football intensely but after this right now it seems absurd."

Read more here