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Israel could use arrests without trial in bid to stem Arab crime – report

The controversial tool — known as administrative detention — has long been used against terror suspects, but not to fight crime

Police at the scene in Nahariya where a car ran over two policemen, killing one of them, September 21, 2021 (Alon Nadav/Flash90)
Police at the scene in Nahariya where a car ran over two policemen, killing one of them, September 21, 2021 (Alon Nadav/Flash90)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Sunday’s updates as they unfolded.

One arrested, as Palestinians clash with police in East Jerusalem

A Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem is arrested in clashes with police, officers say.

According to police, dozens of rioters throw stones at officers and set a dumpster alight.

The officers at the scene disperse the protesters using crowd control munitions.

Blue Origin delays William Shatner’s space flight

William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk from the television program Star Trek. (NBC Television/Wikipedia/public domain)
William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk from the television program Star Trek. (NBC Television/Wikipedia/public domain)

To boldly stay? Blue Origin announces it is delaying an upcoming flight set to carry actor William Shatner to space due to anticipated winds.

Shatner, who played Captain James T. Kirk in the cult classic TV series “Star Trek,” is due to become the first member of the iconic show’s cast to journey to the final frontier as a guest aboard a Blue Origin suborbital rocket.

His history-making flight was scheduled for October 12.

But “due to forecasted winds on Tuesday, October 12, Blue Origin’s mission operations team has made the decision to delay the launch of NS-18 and is now targeting Wednesday, October 13,” a spokeswoman says in a statement.

The new flight is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. (1330 GMT).

Shatner, 90, will be the oldest person ever to go to space.

His trip will take him and the NS-18 rocket crew just beyond the Karman line, 62 miles (100 kilometers) high, where they will experience four minutes of weightlessness and gaze out at the curvature of the planet.

Blue Origin’s decision to invite one of the most recognizable galaxy-faring characters from science fiction for its second crewed flight has helped maintain excitement around the nascent space tourism sector.

For fans, the 10-minute hop from a West Texas base back to Earth will be a fitting coda for a pop culture phenomenon that inspired generations of astronauts.

Israel could use detentions without trial, in bid to stem Arab crime – report

Israel could start holding citizens without trial in its effort to stem raging crime in the Arab Israeli community, the Kan public broadcaster reports.

The controversial tool — known as administrative detention — has long been used against Palestinian terror suspects as well as a smaller number of Jewish extremists in the West Bank.

However, Israel has not employed it to fight crime.

Israeli security officials defend the measure in the context of Palestinian unrest, arguing that in some cases, issuing an indictment could force them to reveal sensitive security information.

Palestinians and international rights groups, however, have criticized it, contending that Israel abuses it.

Kan reports that the new plan is being advanced by government and law enforcement officials, though some cabinet ministers are fiercely opposed.

It says that Supreme Court President Esther Hayut and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit are also participating in the debate.

The report quotes sources as saying that, under the emerging plan, police would arrest murder suspects — even if they do not have enough evidence to charge them — along with people whom they suspect of planning a murder.

The government has already come under fire for proposing to enlist the Shin Bet domestic security service in law enforcement activities.

Israel could make Facebook legally liable for content on its platform – report

The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square, March 29, 2018. (AP Photo/ Richard Drew, File)
The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square, March 29, 2018. (AP Photo/ Richard Drew, File)

A team of government-appointed Israeli experts will examine far-reaching measures to rein in social media companies, and may even decide to hold Facebook legally accountable for posts on its platform, Channel 12 reports.

The team, appointed by Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel, could also force Facebook to reveal its policies on censorship and banning, the report says.

It says the proposed measures — notably liability for incitement or libel posted on social media platforms — would be practically unprecedented worldwide.

Paul McCartney: John Lennon responsible for Beatles breakup

Former Beatles singer Sir Paul McCartney, during his concert in Tel Aviv on September 25, 2008. (Nati Shohat/ FLASH90)
Former Beatles singer Sir Paul McCartney, during his concert in Tel Aviv on September 25, 2008. (Nati Shohat/ FLASH90)

Paul McCartney has revisited the breakup of The Beatles, flatly refuting the suggestion that he was responsible for the group’s demise.

Speaking on an episode of BBC Radio 4’s “This Cultural Life’’ that is scheduled to air on October 23, McCartney says it was John Lennon who wanted to disband The Beatles.

“I didn’t instigate the split,” McCartney says. “That was our Johnny.’’

The band’s fans have long debated who was responsible for the breakup, with many blaming McCartney. But McCartney says Lennon’s desire to “break loose” was the main driver behind the split.

Confusion about the breakup was allowed to fester because their manager asked the band members to keep quiet until he concluded a number of business deals, McCartney says.

The interview comes ahead of Peter Jackson’s six-hour documentary chronicling the final months of the band. “The Beatles: Get Back,” set for release in November on Disney+, is certain to revisit the breakup of the legendary band. McCartney’s comments were first reported by The Observer.

When asked by interviewer John Wilson about the decision to strike out on his own, McCartney retorts: “Stop right there. I am not the person who instigated the split. Oh no, no, no. John walked into a room one day and said, ‘I am leaving The Beatles.’ Is that instigating the split, or not?”

McCartney expresses sadness over the breakup, saying the group was still making “pretty good stuff.”

“This was my band, this was my job, this was my life. So I wanted it to continue,” McCartney says.

Women fans not to be allowed into Iran stadium after all

Iranian women fans hoping to attend a soccer match for the first time in two years will have to wait — Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier is to be played behind closed doors.

The match at Tehran’s Azadi stadium against South Korea is to be played “without the presence of spectators,” the Iranian soccer federation announces, in a statement carried by the state news agency IRNA.

No reason is given for the decision, which comes just days after the state television-linked Young Journalists Club had said Iranian women would be allowed into the stadium for the South Korea match.

A year-long ban had previously been in force on all fans entering stadiums in Iran because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The last time women were able to watch a game at the 80,000-seat Azadi stadium was in October 2019, when Iran thrashed Cambodia 14-0.

Women were refused access to stadiums after Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, officially to protect them from inappropriate male behavior.

World soccer governing body FIFA has exerted pressure on Iran to allow women into international matches.

But Iran has only ever permitted limited attendance, capping it at 1,000 female supporters in 2018, although 3,500 women were able to watch the Cambodia game.

Jordan’s king vows to support Lebanon in meeting with PM

Jordan’s King Abdullah II receives Lebanon’s prime minister in Amman, saying his country will stand by the small nation and its people during its worst-ever economic crisis.

The visit to Jordan by Prime Minister Najib Mikati is his first to an Arab country since he formed his cabinet last month. It comes after the premier’s trips to France and Britain, as Mikati seeks their help.

Lebanon’s economic crisis, unfolding since 2019, has been described by the World Bank as one of the worst in the world in 150 years. More than 70 percent of Lebanon’s population lives in poverty and the national currency is in a freefall, driving inflation and unemployment to unprecedented levels.

On Wednesday, Jordan agreed to supply Lebanon with electricity through Syria and work is underway for a timetable. Egypt has also agreed to supply Lebanon with natural gas to its power plants through Jordan and Syria.

Lebanon suffers electricity cuts for up to 22 hours a day and on Saturday the country’s two main power plants were forced to shut down after running out of fuel. That left Lebanon with no government-produced power.

Today, the Lebanese army gave emergency supplies of fuel to the two plants and they resumed work, according to Electricity Minister Walid Fayad.

Jordan’s Royal Court quotes the king as telling Mikati that “Jordan will always stand by the side of Lebanon and its brotherly people.” It gives no further details but says the two officials discussed regional affairs as well.

Jordan’s Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh visited Lebanon late last month, and said there are efforts to provide Lebanon with some electricity from Jordan.

Serious cases down to 448 as virus continues to recede

The number of serious COVID-19 cases in the country is now 448, down from 463 this morning, the Health Ministry says in its evening roundup.

Of those in serious condition, 336 are unvaccinated, the figures show.

The ministry says 1,029 new cases were confirmed Saturday, with a positive test rate of 1.99 percent.

The death toll is 7,912, with eight fatalities confirmed since this morning.

Half a ton of cocaine seized in Dubai drug bust involving Israeli – reports

A suspect in a major drug bust in the United Arab Emirates is photographed alongside the haul by police -- some 500 kilograms of cocaine -- on October 10, 2021 (screenshot: Arab News)
A suspect in a major drug bust in the United Arab Emirates is photographed alongside the haul by police -- some 500 kilograms of cocaine -- on October 10, 2021 (screenshot: Arab News)

An Israeli man who was arrested in Dubai on suspicion of drug trafficking was apparently involved in a scheme involving half a ton of cocaine, the Walla news site reports.

Halil Dasuki, 31, was arrested last week after he was caught with a large amount of narcotics.

The Arab News website confirms that 500 kilos of cocaine were seized in a bust, though it does not confirm Dasuki is the suspect.

The report calls it the the “region’s biggest drug bust.”

Dasuki’s attorneys, Nick Koffman and Uri Ben Nathan, will only be able to make contact with him in the coming days, via a local lawyer, according to Walla.

Emirati police displayed 500 kilograms of cocaine Sunday that was seized as part of the operation. In a video, the police also showed aerial footage of a car chase that culminated in the arrest of the suspect.

The suspect, a resident of Israel in his early 30s, was set to appear Sunday before a local court for a remand hearing.

The Foreign Ministry said it did not yet have any information on the case.

Dubai has strict anti-drug laws, with those convicted of drug trafficking facing a possible death sentence.

IDF to hold military drill near Gaza border

Starting tomorrow morning, until Tuesday afternoon, the Israel Defense Forces will be holding a drill near the border with the Gaza Strip.

During the exercise, explosions will be heard and military vehicles will be moving through the area, the IDF says.

The drill was planned in advance, and is aimed at “maintaining the competency and vigilance of the troops,” the military adds.

Illustrative: Israeli soldiers direct Merkava tanks to firing positions during shelling toward the Gaza Strip, along the border with the Palestinian enclave on May 19, 2021 (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

Only 10 COVID patients hospitalized at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center

Rambam Medical Center in the northern city of Haifa says that the number of patients in the hospital who are positive for the coronavirus has gone down to 10, the lowest figure since July.

The hospital also says in a statement that half of one of its coronavirus wards will go back to being an internal medicine ward.

Latvia grants Holocaust restitution, while insisting it’s not at fault

Latvia’s parliament has voted to pay $46 million to the country’s Jewish community for property that was stolen from it during the Holocaust from individuals with no surviving legal heirs.

The Holocaust restitution law passed last week by the Saeima, Latvia’s parliament, in Riga states that the country is not to blame for the Holocaust or the theft, which the law states was conducted by the Nazis and later by the communists who replaced them as rulers of Latvia. Rather than reparations, the law refers to the payment as a form of “goodwill compensation,” according to the LETA news agency. The compensation voted on last week will be paid in annual increments of $4.6 million from the state budget to the Jewish community until 2032.

Jewish groups have been lobbying for the compensation of communal-owned assets in Latvia since 1992. Claims for restitution of private-owned property have been largely denied in Latvia, according to the World Jewish Restitution Organization, an organization dedicated to the restitution of Jewish property in Europe.

A man stands inside the Riga Ghetto Museum in Riga, Latvia, January 11, 2014. (Fishman/Ullstein via Getty Images)

Of the 70,000 Jews who were living inside modern-day Latvia when the Germans invaded in 1941, only 200 survived, according to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum. Locals, including Latvian police, played a key role in the genocide, according to the museum, forming armed groups to attack local Jews, whom they believed were collaborating with communists.

As in other Eastern European countries, Latvia’s government has protested claims that its predecessors and population were partially responsible for the Holocaust. Many Latvians view their country, despite strong support for the Nazis during the war years, as a victim of Adolf Hitler’s occupation.

Hundreds of Latvians served in special battalions of the Nazis’ SS elite military force. The veterans of that unit hold annual marches in Riga, which are the only SS veteran marches in the world.

Calls rise in Italy to ban pro-fascism groups after rampage

Left-leaning Italian lawmakers and politicians call for measures to outlaw pro-fascism groups, a day after anti-vaccine protesters, incited by leaders of the extreme right, stormed a union office in Rome in an assault that evoked comparisons to the January 2021 storming of the US Capitol in Washington.

Twelve protesters were either detained or arrested, authorities say, including Giuliano Castellino, leader of the extreme-right political party Forza Nuova. Some 10,000 demonstrators had turned out Saturday afternoon to express outrage at a government-imposed requirement that workers must certify they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, recovered from the illness in recent months or recently tested negative in order to access workplaces. The requirement takes effect on October 15.

Cries of “Giuliano, Giuliano!” rose from the crowd Saturday. Castellino, who, due to past violence, has been banned from demonstrations in Rome, was allegedly one of the Forza Nuova proponents who exhorted supporters to storm the national headquarters of the CGIL labor confederation.

Scores of demonstrators used sticks, metal bars and rolled-up Italian flags to force their way inside. Rooms were trashed, with furniture overturned.

Later, hundreds of demonstrators clashed with police as they tried to reach the square outside Chigi Palace, home to the premier’s office and practically adjacent to the Italian parliament.

“The assault on CGIL headquarters and the attempt to repeat that at Chigi Palace leaves one shocked and recalls the devastating break-in at the Capitol” in Washington, writes l’eco del sud.it, a southern Italian news website.

Czechs in post-vote limbo as president rushed to hospital

The Czech Republic is plunged into uncertainty as President Milos Zeman is rushed to hospital a day after his ally, populist billionaire Prime Minister Andrej Babis, narrowly lost an election.

The president, who plays a critical role in nominating any future prime minister, is taken to the hospital by ambulance shortly after meeting Babis and appears to be unconscious upon arrival, with someone seen holding up his head.

His doctor says he is in intensive care.

The Czech Republic’s President Milos Zeman is admitted to the military hospital in Prague, Czech Republic, October 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Babis is hoping to hold on to power despite being defeated on Saturday by the center-right Together alliance, which has said it is ready to form a majority government with another grouping.

But after the first informal talks between Babis and Zeman at the latter’s residence outside Prague, the president, who has been grappling with liver problems according to local media and politicians, ends up in intensive care.

“At the moment, the patient is hospitalized at an intensive care unit of Prague’s Military University Hospital,” Zeman’s doctor and head of the hospital, Miroslav Zavoral, tells reporters.

He adds that Zeman has not allowed him to disclose his diagnosis.

The president had cast his ballot in his official residence because of health problems, less than a month after he spent eight nights at the military hospital.

Zeman’s office has been secretive about his illness, giving no details for weeks.

Zeman is a heavy smoker who has suffered from diabetes and neuropathy linked to it. He has trouble walking and has been using a wheelchair.

Merkel lays a wreath at Yad Vashem, calls museum a ‘reminder’ and a ‘warning’

Merkel lays a wreath at Yad Vashem and delivers a speech, in which she says that every visit at the Holocaust memorial “touches me at the core.”

“The crimes against the Jewish people that are documented here are a perpetual reminder of the responsibility we Germans bear and a warning,” she says, according to a translation provided by the memorial, adding that it was Germany’s responsibility to stand up against antisemitism.

Israel was formed in the wake of the Holocaust in 1948 and the two countries only established diplomatic ties in 1965. But over the decades, those ties have warmed.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel lays a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem, October 10, 2021 (screenshot: Ynet)

— With AP

Lebanon electricity back online after army supplies fuel

Lebanon’s electricity grid is back online after the army supplied fuel to two key power stations that had run out, a minister says, ending almost a day of total blackout.

The Deir Ammar and Zahrani plants ground to a halt Saturday, causing the state electricity network to collapse completely for the second time this month.

The Mediterranean country is battling economic turmoil, and the cash-strapped state has in recent months struggled to import enough fuel oil for electricity production.

Most Lebanese saw no major change to their daily lives on Saturday, as the state has been barely providing one to two hours of power a day for months.

Energy Minister Walid Fayad says that the grid is back up and running.

“The network is back to normal, as it was before the gasoil ran out at Deir Ammar and Zahrani,” he says in a statement, implying production will revert to the previous few hours a day.

He thanks the army for handing over 6,000 kiloliters of gas oil, half of which he says went to each power station.

Ex-Likud MK claims Mossad agents detained wrong man in Ron Arad op

A former Likud MK claims that, during a recent operation to unearth information on the fate of the captured Israeli airman Ron Arad, Mossad agents accidentally detained the wrong person.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett revealed the operation during a Knesset speech last week, though he did not go into any details.

After defense officials criticized him for divulging the existence of the operation and said the operation itself was unsuccessful, Bennett insisted its objectives had been met.

But Ayoob Kara, in a tweet, says the Mossad agents participating in the operation “made a mistake and arrested a small fry who had no connection and no information about Arad,” who has long been presumed dead.

Kara compares the operation to the notorious 1973 Lillehammer Affair, which was sparked when Mossad agents killed a young man in a case of mistaken identity in Norway. Several agents were arrested by local authorities and imprisoned in the wake of the incident.

Kara continues, “The military establishment was indeed correct in saying there was no justification for releasing” news of the operation.

He accuses Bennett of exploiting the incident for political gain, “in light of his dismal public situation.”

According to one Arab report, during the operation the Israeli agents kidnapped an Iranian general from Syria, took him to another country, and tried to extract information from him that could help determine the whereabouts of Arad’s remains and the circumstances of his death.

Merkel at Yad Vashem with Bennett

Merkel arrives at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem along with Bennett.

Earlier in the day, Merkel said alongside Bennett that she considered it “a stroke of good fortune given to us by history that after the crimes against humanity of the Shoah, it has been possible to reset and to reestablish relations between Germany and Israel to the extent that we have done.”

 

Five dead in Yemen blast targeting Aden governor – security sources

Five people have been killed in a car-bomb attack targeting the governor of Aden, the seat of Yemen’s internationally recognized government, security sources say.

Aden, in southern Yemen, is home to a separatist movement that last year precariously integrated into the central government, and both have long been aligned against Huthi rebels in a grinding civil war.

Aden governor Ahmed Lamlas and Salem al-Socotri, a government minister, both survived the blast which went off as their convoy passed, the sources say.

“A car bomb… on Al-Mualla Street exploded while the convoy of officials… was passing,” a Yemeni security source tells AFP, adding that the victims were in the convoy.

Five members of the entourage were killed and 11 others were wounded in the attack.

Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalek Saeed has called for an investigation into Sunday’s “terrorist and cowardly” attack, the official Saba news agency reports.

Merkel meets Herzog, pauses for photo op with female cabinet ministers

President Isaac Herzog hosts visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel at his official Jerusalem residence.

“We are very excited to host you here at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem,” Herzog says. “You are a true friend of Israel, and we shall always remember this. You are a friend of the whole Jewish People. You are one of the most important leaders of the modern age. We have much to learn from you, and we have had an excellent discussion about ways to work together in the fight against antisemitism and to educate the future generation about our shared values.”

Herzog, according to a readout from his office, told Merkel that an honorary fellowship for outstanding female scientists at the Weizmann Institute had been established in her honor.

“I want to thank you, President Herzog, for this warm and friendly gift and for the important discussion we had today about the past and the future,” Merkel says in response. “For me, it is a pleasure to leave office knowing that relations between our countries are as good as they are. It fills me with optimism to know that our governments will continue with important education for Holocaust remembrance. Thank you to you and the President of the Weizmann Institute for this wonderful gift. It is very important to continue promoting women in science and technology.”

Merkel later pauses for a photo op with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and all the of women cabinet ministers of the 36th Government of Israel, the Prime Minister’s Office says. They are Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Social Equality Minister Meirav Cohen, Economy Minister Orna Barbivai, Energy Minister Karine Elharrar, Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, Science Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen, Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton, Immigrant Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata and Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg.

Israel’s current cabinet has the largest number of female ministers in the country’s history.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (center) pose with all of the women members of his government’s cabinet (from left to right): Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Social Equality Minister Meirav Cohen, Economy Minister Orna Barbivai, Energy Minister Karine Elharrar, Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, Science Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen, Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton, Immigrant Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata and Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg. (GPO)

Actor dies in accident at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater

MOSCOW, Russia — Russian news reports say an actor has died in an accident during a scene change at Moscow’s Bolshoi theater.

The reports cite witnesses as saying that the actor appeared to have exited the stage on the wrong side during a Saturday evening performance of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera “Sadko” and was struck by scenery being lowered.

After the accident, the stage’s curtain was lowered and the audience eventually was told the performance was canceled and their money would be refunded, the reports say.

Court names male nurse suspected of murdering teen girl

The court releases for publication the name a 49-year-old man suspected of killing a teen girl.

The court name Edward Kachura, a nurse at a psychiatric facility in the north, as the suspect in the murder of Lital Melnik, whom he met when she was hospitalized at the facility and then engaged in an illicit sexual relationship with her.

Lital Yael Melnik. (Facebook)

IDF soldier discharged two weeks after being seriously wounded in gun battle

An Israel Defense Forces soldier seriously wounded in a gun battle two weeks ago while trying to capture terror group members in the northern West Bank is released from hospital.

Sergeant first-class “Yod,” of the Duvdevan counter-terrorism unit, is released from Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center, and will continue rehabilitation at Sheba Tel Hashomer Hospital in Ramat Gan, Rambam says in a statement.

Five Palestinian suspects were killed in a series of raids on September 26 that targeted alleged members of a Hamas cell in the West Bank, preventing a major terror attack, according to officials.

Another Duvdevan officer, Captain “Dalet,” who was also seriously wounded in the exchange of fire in Burqin near Jenin, remains hospitalized at Rambam.

The military found that the two were likely hit in a friendly fire incident.

Former IDF manpower chief says he ‘shredded’ many sexual harassment complaints

Intelligence Minister Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid) says that during his military service as head of the IDF’s Manpower Directorate, he ignored anonymous complaints about sexual misconduct.

“People who have something to say about others should speak openly. We mustn’t be complicit in a culture of anonymous complaints,” Stern tells radio 103FM, responding to an anonymous complaint lodged recently against incoming head of the Shin Bet, who can only be identified by the Hebrew initial Resh.

“During my time as head of the Manpower Directorate, I shredded many  anonymous sexual harassments complaints,” he adds.

After comments draw sharp condemnations from women’s groups, Stern issues a clarification statement asserting that as an officer in the IDF, he “encouraged every soldier, male or female, who was harassed, sexually or otherwise, to complain, and at the same time took unequivocal action against anyone found guilty. All complaints… were investigated in depth.”

The next designated head of the Shin Bet security service was approved by a key panel on Friday, despite an anonymous letter claiming unspecified misconduct by the candidate.

The Goldberg Committee said in a statement that it did not find any “defect in the purity of the qualities of the candidate” as well as not finding any issue with the process that resulted in him being appointed.

Two separate claims were made in an anonymous letter presented to the panel, the specifics of which could not be detailed publicly due to security constraints.

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