Woman arrested after calling police to request a divorce

Phone dialing 911 illustration 
By: Moses Gold

A woman was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct related charges after calling police asking for a divorce from her husband, according to police reports in Pennsylvania.

Police have charged the 42-year-old woman with disorderly conduct after she called police dispatchers requesting a divorce assistance. She also demanded that police come to her home and make her husband leave.

Police said that the woman called just after 1:00 am Saturday asking that officers be sent to her home in Girard township located in northwestern Pennsylvania.

Police told the woman that divorce is a civil matter and that they could not force her husband to leave the residence because he committed no crime.

Instead, police charged the woman with disorderly conduct and misuse of the emergency telephone system of Erie County.

“This is definitely a strange case of misuse of the emergency system I heard in a long time. These days, people call police dispatchers for all sorts of stupid things and non emergencies. Police should send a message that misusing the system is dangerous as it pulls police officers away from their work of protecting the public against crime,” Albert Magee, 55, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania told YourJewishNews.com.

Also, police were called to a domestic dispute between a father and his adult son. The son called police because his father told him to brush his teeth and he did not want to. Police were able to calm the situation by speaking to the 20-year-old about the importance of brushing the teeth. The young man brushed his teeth immediately, and his 63-year-old father was happy again.

Boy, 5, girl, 7, found dead in neighbor's pool in New York

Makeshift memorial for Ralph and Sharon Knowles 
By: John Roberts

(Scroll down for video) A little boy and girl were found dead inside a neighbor’s pool in New York, according to police reports in Long Island, New York.

Now, the homeowner, was charged by the City of New York for inadequate fencing around the pool, police said.

A makeshift memorial is steadily growing outside the home of Ralph Knowles, 5, and Sharon Knowles, 7. The two were found dead on Sunday as they were pulled from the waters of a neighbor’s above ground pool in Central Islip, police said.

Police received an emergency call around 3:30 pm from the mother of the children saying that the two had disappeared from her home, police said.

"Police responded and began a search. A police officer saw what he believed to be a shoe floating in a backyard pool in the house of a neighbor," Suffolk County Police Sgt. Edward Fandrey said.

Officials jumped into the swimming pool and found the bodies of Ralph and Sharon unconscious. The two siblings were taken to Southside Hospital where they were pronounced dead, police said.

The pool is located just behind the Knowles property on Half Mile Road. The detectives on the scene said that the pool was closed, but the fence was not installed properly and it was easy for children to climb over it.

“It is terribly sad when young children die in incidents which could have been easily prevented such as this case. If the pool would have been properly fenced in this would not have happened and these two young wonderful chidren would be alive,” Roger Jenkens, 43, of Long Island, New York told YourJewishNews.com after learning about the deaths.

Neighbor Donnavon Downs said he saw children climbing a tree in the garden early in the day.
Other neighbors are overwhelmed by the young lives that were lost.

"They were very good children and we will miss them," neighbor Christine Campbell said.Mobile video not loading? Click here to view

Classes shut down, New York teenager arrested after bringing toy gun to school

A toy gun 
By: David Ross

(Scroll down for video) Guns are not allowed in schools, no matter if it is real or fake.

A teenager who lives in Saugerties, New York, about 110 miles north of New York City, was arrested Friday for bringing a toy gun to school, police said.

William J. Hung, 18, was arrested and charged with criminal nuisance, which is a misdemeanor, according to Saugerties police. Staff at the Saugerties High School called police after several people had seen someone in the school parking lot with what appeared to be a firearm.

A police investigation quickly led to Hung, who was found in possession of a toy gun. Hung was arrested, processed at police headquarters and released with an appearance ticket, according to police.

“After the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut, schools are not taking any chances. They did the right thing by protecting the students from potential danger. It is better safe than to be sorry,” Tracy Burner, 35, who is a mother to school children in Albany, New York told YourJewishNews.com after learning about the arrest.

Police said that proper safety procedures were carried out at the school. According to local press reports, classes were halted as soon as staff heard about the potential danger of a gunman on school premises. Classes resumed when the situation was determined to be safe. Parents were notified about the incident.

Judge finds himself in contempt after his cell phone disrupts court proceedings

Judge Raymond Voet 
By: Moses Gold

(Scroll down for video) Here is something we never heard before. A judge held himself in contempt of court for interrupting court proceedings.

Judge Raymond Voet from Ionia, Michigan showed everyone that he practiced what he preached and that he held himself to the same standard that he expects from everyone in the courtroom.

Judge Voet had a policy published in his Ionia County 64A District Courtroom. It states that electronic devices that cause a disturbance during court sessions will result in the owner being cited with contempt.

The judge got a new smartphone, which he is still learning how to use. On Friday, during a jury trial, while the prosecutor was giving his closing argument, Voet's new smartphone began to emit sounds, requesting phone voice commands.
Judge Voet said he might have bumped the phone causing the touchscreen phone to turn on and talk loudly.

The Judge then imposed a $25 fine for contempt of court on himself after his phone made ​​a noise during closing arguments of trial by jury. "If I cannot live by my rules, then I have no business to enforce these rules on others," Voet said.

“Judge Raymond Voet is a respected judge who is known to be fair. Many people are very impressed by his actions,” Kevin Rasmussen, 62, from Ionia, Michigan told YourJewishNews.com.

Boy, 6, drives father’s car to buy himself Chinese food

Chinese food 
By: Debbie Gross

(Scroll down for video) Police officers were called after a 6-year-old boy was seen driving his father’s car.

Police in Lapeer, Michigan, responded to an unusual call at 7:30 Saturday morning. At first, people reported seeing a car driving erratically. When they came closer, people realized that a 6-year-old was driving the car.

"The callers told police that it looked like a 6-year-old was driving the car," Sgt. Andy Engster of the Lapeer County Sheriff's Department said. "They were right," he added. When police officers arrived to the scene two Good Samaritans have already blocked the boy from driving, office Engster said.

One of the drivers pulled the keys from the ignition, and held it until police arrived. The boy had taken the car keys from the counter at his home and told the responding officer that had never driven before and nobody had taught him to drive.

When officers asked the boy why he took the car, he told them he was going to get Chinese food, but on the way he hit a traffic sign and he damaged the car, therefore, he decided to go to the dealership to repair the car before his father would see the damage, according to local press reports.

“Luckily, no one was hurt in this incident. Boys love cars, even at 6- years-old he understood that his father will be upset with the dent in the car, therefore he headed to repair the damage before he got his Chinese food,” Harry Strummer, 44, of Detroit, Michigan told YourJewishNews.com after learning about the incident.

Police called the boy's father who came to pick him up. The father told officers that he was asleep and did not know his son was gone, officer Engster said.

In the video below you can see an 8-year-old girl in Russia driving a car on icy roads, while her parents are encouraging her to drive faster.

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Couple arrested after having sex at pediatrician's office in front of children

James Albert Mapstone and Juliet Ruffner Bender 
By: John Roberts

(Scroll down for video) A couple was arrested after they had sex in public while young children watched.

The Florida couple was jailed after they allegedly had sex in the front lawn of a pediatric office.

James Albert Mapstone, 45, and Juliet Ruffner Bender, 39, of Saint Petersburg, were jailed Saturday after they allegedly had sex on the front lawn of a pediatric office at 4040 49th Street N, in Saint Petersburg, while several children watched in horror.

An employee at the “Evening Pediatrics” office called police around 8:30 pm after several witnesses saw Mapstone and Bender having sex in the front yard of their office, according to Pinellas County police. Investigators said the couple seemed to be drunk and caused a disturbance from the moment they arrived in front of the doctor’s office.

“Some people tend to do horrible things when they are intoxicated. Unfortunately, these people chose to do their deed in front of a pediatrician’s office causing children to see the inappropriate action, which ultimately led to their arrest,” Marilyn Langley, 25, from Saint Petersburg, Florida, told YourJewishNews.com.

This is not the first offense Bender committed. Four months ago, she was charged with selling drugs, property damage and hitting a vehicle, according to court documents. Mapstone and Bender were booked into jail and charged with disorderly intoxication. Both were released after each posted $100 bail.

The video below is an advertisement for the Evening Pediatrics office, where the incident took place.

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School sues woman over false rape accusation that led teenager to be jailed for five years

Wanetta Gibson 
By: Ryan Lee Hall

(Scroll down for video) School officials are outraged after a student who accused another student of rape admitted five years later that she lied.

The Long Beach, California Unified School District, is suing a former student after she falsely accused a former football star of raping her.

The student’s mother sued the school for lack of security after the alleged rape. The school paid the family $1.5 million in a settlement. The school is suing to recover the money plus their legal fees.

Wanetta Gibson was 15-years-old when she accused her classmate and football player, Brian Banks, 16, of sexually assaulting her at their high school. Banks insisted he did not have sex with the girl. “We were making out on the school stairwell and that was consensual,” Banks said.

His lawyer advised him to plead no contest and he was sentenced to five years in prison, and he had to register as a sex offender. When Banks was released from prison, Gibson contacted him through Facebook. The two meet at a private investigator's office. During the first meeting, Gibson apologized to Banks for lying and offered to help clear his name.

Banks asked her to speak to the prosecutors but she refused because she feared she would have to return the settlement money she received from the school district. The second meeting was secretly recorded by the private investigator. Gibson was recording telling Banks: “I'm going to help you, but at the same time all the money we received, I mean, I do not want to have to pay it back.”

This recording was giving to the prosecutor, which led to the exoneration of Banks.

“Ruining someone’s life on false accusations, and then profiting from the lie is outright sickening. The woman must have had a hard time living with herself knowing that she ruined her classmate’s life. I am glad that she came clean and he is cleared of all wrongdoing,” Thomas Nelson, 22, who attended the Long Beach Polytechnic High School, told YourJewishNews.com

Now, the school district is seeking to recover approximately $1.9 million, the money from the settlement and for the legal fees they spent defending itself against Gibson. The school is also seeking another $1 million in punitive damages.

Banks, once a star middle linebacker at Long Beach Polytechnic High School, is moving on with his life. He has recently signed a contract to play with the Atlanta Falcons and has become a spokesperson for the California Innocence Project, which works to exonerate the wrongfully accused.

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Texas judge arrested after being suspected of shooting dead two prosecutors

Former judge Eric Williams 
By: Eva Fett

(Scroll down for video) Authorities have investigated and arrested a judge after two district attorneys were killed within a few months.

Former judge Eric Williams, 46, was remanded to the Kaufman County Jail on Saturday morning after authorities searched his home, according to jail records.

Authorities have not officially charged Williams with the murders, but after searching his home they have arrested him for making "terroristic threats" to the district attorney. Last month, District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, were shot in their home. Both died at the scene from gunshot wounds.

Earlier this year, assistant attorney Mark Hasse, was fatally shot as he left his office in Kaufman, Texas. Hasse, was deeply involved in prosecuting the Aryan Brotherhood, which is a violent white supremacist group, before he was shot and killed. The prosecutor was murdered after being shot five times near the courthouse in a small town in Texas.

Federal and local authorities searched Williams’ home on Friday as part of an investigation into the deaths of the McLelland couple. District attorney McLelland’s office prosecuted former judge Williams. The judge was found guilty and he was sentenced for theft. The judge, was sentenced to two months probation, and he lost his licence to practice law as a result of the conviction.

“People have to remember that every person is innocent until proven guilty,” Robert Anderson, 45, from Balch Springs, Texas, told yourJewishNews.com. “Although the evidence may strongly suggest that the judge would want to retaliate for losing his livelihood, we cannot jump to conclusions before he has had his day in court,” Anderson added.

David Sergi, Williams’ attorney released a statement saying his client "has cooperated with police and vigorously denies any and all allegations." Bail for Williams was set at $3 million.

Leading Swedish politician resigns after demanding to bomb Israel and praising the Holocaust

Omar Mustafa 
By: Shifra Unger

A leading Swedish politician was forced to resign after a series of anti Jewish rhetoric and demanding NATO bomb Israel instead of Libya, according to press reports in Sweden.

The Muslim politician resigned this week after coming under intense scrutiny for his outspoken anti-Semitic views.

Omar Mustafa, head of the Islamic Association of Sweden, who was elected last week in Stockholm to the board of the Social Democratic Party, announced his resignation amid accusations of anti-Semitism, sexism and homophobia.

Mustafa liked the Facebook page of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian who has called for suicide bombings against Israelis and has justified the Holocaust, which he called Allah's punishment against the Jews for their corruption.

He also demanded Sweden send warplanes to attack Israel instead of focusing on Libya as part of NATO's 2011 campaign to protect civilians. The Islamic Association of Sweden also refuses to recognize equality of women and holds anti gay views.

Mustafa issued a statement over the weekend to announce his resignation, saying: "The party leadership believes that having the majority support within the party along with the support of the Muslim community is not possible.

The opinion of the party leadership is not only unfortunate, it is an alarming sign for Muslims and other social democrats who are people of faith," Mustafa wrote in an open letter. "Therefore, I believe that the party leadership does not trust me and forced me to resign from my duties."

“The views held by Mustafa is unacceptable for a politician of a leading party. The party did the right thing forcing him to resign,” Alan Cowan, 39, of Stockholm, Sweden told YourJewishNews.com after learning about the resignation.

Mustafa claims that he had become the victim of unfounded attacks and conspiracy theories about Islam, Muslims and Muslim organizations.

Justin Bieber causes firestorm after suggesting Anne Frank would be a 'Belieber'

Justin Bieber relaxing after a concert 
By: Shifra Unger

(Scroll down for video) Justin Bieber has caused a firestorm after cracking a joke about the Holocaust while visiting the Anne Frank museum recently, according to press reports in the United Kingdom.

Justin Bieber has caused outrage with his message written in a guest book at the Anne Frank Museum, saying he hoped the victim of the Holocaust would have been a fan.

The pop idol, 19, wrote: "Truly inspiring to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully, she would have been a belieber."
This has provoked strong criticism against the Canadian singer, who is currently in Amsterdam, as part of a tour.
The museum defended the star, but added that his comment was "not very smart."

The Diary of Anne Frank, which was written during the two years that the teenager and her family hid from the Nazis in occupied Amsterdam, made ​​her a symbol of the suffering of the Jews during World War II.

The house has been converted into a museum dedicated to the girl, who died in the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen in 1945 at age 15.

The suggestion that if she had been alive today, the teenager would have been a "Belieber", a term used by devout fans, generated thousands of responses on social networking websites.
"I just saw what Justin Bieber wrote in the Anne Frank Museum guestbook. I am absolutely disgusted," read one tweet.

"Way to turn a moment of inspiration into something for yourself," another tweeter said.
“The fact that he is popular personality with millions of fans around the world, Bieber should have done his homework before visiting the site and should have refrained from cracking jokes at a Holocaust victim,” Carl Minor, 48, of London, England told YourJewishNews.com after learning about the Bieber comment.

Museum spokesperson Maatje Mostart defended the young star, saying: "He's 19-years-old and has a crazy life. He did not say it in a bad way and it's good that he made the effort to come."Mobile video not loading? Click here to view

Gold plummets more than $150 an ounce to 2 year low

Gold bar falls from the sky illustration 
By: Debbie Gross

(Scroll down for video) Gold and silver plummeted today in New York trading by record levels as investors and traders continued to lighten up their positions in the precious metals.

Gold futures fell more than $150 to its lowest level in more than two years on Monday, as the metal fell through key technical support levels on the charts, while other metals sank after disappointing economic data from China sparked concerns about the future of industrial metals.

Gold for June delivery had fallen to a low of $1,349.00 during trading in New York.
Gold stocks, as can be expected, plummeted along with the metal.

Gold is now down more than 20 percent from the record price of $1,888.70 an ounce reached 2 years ago.
A drop of more than 20 percent is widely defined as a bear market.

“There has definitely been a sharp shift in sentiment over the past few weeks with regard to the gold and silver market. I expect, that the price of gold will continue to fall in the near future, probably by an additional 10 to 20 percent before any decent recovery attempt will take hold,” Ryan Law, 50, a gold trader in Chicago, Illinois told YourJewishNews.com.

Copper prices fell to $3.25 per pound after China, the second largest economy in the world, reported industrial production figures that missed expectations.
Silver for May delivery fell to $23.78 an ounce.

July platinum futures fell to $1445.10 an ounce.
Palladium for June delivery fell to $678.95 an ounce. Mobile video not loading? Click here to view

Scottish brewmaster shows off his Israeli operation producing great beer

Gush Etzion Israel beer collection 
By: David Ross

An Israeli settler, formerly from Scotland, showed off his operation in the Gush Etzion region which produces great beer, according to press reports in Israel.

By Anav Silverman

Tazpit News Agency For

The Israeli beer industry includes a wide range of brewmasters from native Israelis to North American immigrants whose microbreweries can be found across the country from the Golan, Western Galilee and Jezreel Valley, to Ein Hod, Emek Hefer and the Negev.

In the hills of Judea, Gush Etzion also has its very own brewery known as the Lone Tree Brewery. Established four years ago by David Shire, originally from Glasgow, Scotland and his wife, Myriam from Tunisia, along with an American couple, Yochanan and Susan Levin, the brewery offers a wide array of flavors to the Israeli market.

Most likely the only Scottish brewmaster in Israel and maybe even in the Middle East, Shire has been living in Israel for the past 30 years. A biologist, who was studying for a PhD when he first made aliyah while working at Hadassah, Shire made a career switch to landscape gardening and eventually discovered the brewery business as well.

“Back in the UK, you feel as though you must have a certain professional status, but once in Israel, I found that this was largely not the case - it’s acceptable to work in all sorts of jobs. I would rather work in gardening and making beer than in a lab with mice,” Shire told Tazpit News Agency.

Growing up in Scotland, Shire was very familiar with beer and believed that there was a void to fill in the Israeli market. Along with his American counterparts, the Levins, who are also his neighbors in the Neve Daniel community, Shire and his wife discussed one night the possibility of opening a boutique brewery. “We didn’t necessarily drink a lot of beer growing up, but we knew what good beer is supposed to taste like,” said Shire whose mother still lives in Glasgow.

“With that in mind, we wanted to make the best beer possible,” Shire explained, pointing to a periodic table of beer styles tacked on the brewery wall.

The initiative didn’t begin with sweeping expectations. “We started out small, making our own styles of beer based on traditional recipes. The next step was to see if the beer would sell.”

In addition to creating seven unique flavors of beer which include London Pale Ale, Belgian Piraat Ale, California Steam Ale, and Extra Oatmeal Stout, an Irish flavor, Shire and his partners also had to come up with a unique label for their beer. “We wanted a name that would reflect that the beer was crafted in the hills of Judea, and therefore we chose Lone Tree, a symbol of this region.”

The lone tree is a 700 year-old oak tree that stands in Gush Etzion near the Alon Shvut community. The tree became a symbolic landmark to Jewish residents forced to leave behind their communities when Gush Etzion fell to the Jordanian Legion in May 1948. Among the heavy losses, the Jordanians destroyed Kibbutz Kfar Etzion, established in 1935 while also killing its 127 Jewish defenders the day before Israel’s Declaration of Independence.

During the 19 years that Gush Etzion was under Jordanian control until Israel’s victory in the 1967 war, the children of Gush Etzion would go to certain observation points in Jerusalem to glimpse the oak tree from afar, dreaming of their return home.

Today, the Lone Tree Brewery, which is located a few minutes away from the famous oak tree, sells its brews across Gush Etzion and Jerusalem, producing a few hundred bottles each month with plans to expand. The brewery also makes specialty beers for Jewish holidays including a popular date and pomegranate beer for Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.

“There is something magical about making beer here in Israel,” adds Shire, pouring a glass of Extra Oatmeal Stout. “When tourists come to visit us, they get to experience phenomenal views of the Judean hills and the coast, soak in the area’s history, all while drinking a quality hand-crafted beer. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

The Lone Tree Brewery is located in the Gush Etzion forest in the Abu-Cleb Recreational Park, a 15-minute drive from Jerusalem.

Florida residents build Noah's Ark replica to house abandoned animals

Noah's Ark being built in Florida 
By: David Ross

(Scroll down for video) Noah’s Ark is making its way from the Biblical era to the modern era after a group in Florida decided to build a sanctuary for abandoned pets, according to press reports in Florida.

After Hurricane Katrina struck the United States, survivors and rescuers faced death and devastation, while animals fought, too. They ate leftover food and went on to search for a home.

These images touched something deep within Rodolfo Almira. He dreamed of creating a shelter for animals facing catastrophe, when it just struck him.

"Would it not be good to do what Noah did?
Why not build an ark here in the rugged western border of Miami-Dade?”

It could be an attraction for tourists, a refuge for God's creatures, a testimony of their faith and a place for reflection and learning.

So Almira and three other men began building an ark, west of the city, using the Bible as their blueprint.
“Next time I’m in South Florida I will definitely check out this ark. It sounds pretty cool and I love the idea that abandoned animals will now have a place to stay,” Jack Smart, 44, of Manhattan, New York told YourJewishNews.com after learning about the new Noah’s Ark.

The ark stands on a plot of two acres surrounded by lakes.
Six months into the work, the lower deck of the wood ark of three stories is almost complete.

The structure will measure 500 feet long. The vessel, also known as "Hidden Ark" is located at 16891 NW 122 Avenue.
The estimated cost to build the ship stands at $1.5 million.Mobile video not loading? Click here to view

Palestinian farmers in Gaza burn tons of their own produce

Palestinian farmer burning their own produce 
By: David Ross

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip began burning their own produce after they said that they have no way to export the produce to the European market, according to press reports in Israel.

Palestinian farmers in Gaza began destroying 3 tons of herbs on Saturday, saying a prolonged shutdown of the Kerem Shalom border crossing to Israel meant that plants were no longer suitable for export.

Late last year, Israel lifted a five-year blockade on the export of herbs and spices from the Gaza Strip, that was imposed after the Islamist group Hamas took control of the territory, and farmers had hoped to take advantage of the open border to sell high priced mint and basil.

However, Israel closed the only commercial crossing in response to a barrage of rockets fired from Gaza. The border is only open to allow emergency goods into Gaza.

Farmers said the closure came just as they were about to export 2 tons of mint and 1 ton of basil. The herbs were already past their prime for the European market.

"It is too late and we regret that we had to destroy the farmers’ harvest,” Jamal Abu Naja, the director of the association of communal agriculture of Gaza, said. "The closures are threatening farming projects,” he added.

“The local farmers should pressure Hamas to stop the rocket fire into Israel in order to ensure an orderly and stable border. If no rockets are fired, then the border could remain open for business year round, which will result in an improved economy in the Gaza Strip,” Gary Trent, 66, a Middle East observer in Ames, Iowa told YourJewishNews.com.

Importers in Europe paid $26 per kilo mint compared to a local market price of just 27 cents.

Large group of shoppers suddenly begin vomiting inside baby store

Buy Buy Baby store location 
By: Ryan Lee Hall

(Scroll down for video) A large group of shoppers suddenly began vomiting while shopping for baby items inside a large baby store, according to hospital officials in Texas.

Authorities do not know what has caused 15 people to suffer from headaches and vomiting inside the store that sells baby items.

Nine employees of Buy Buy Baby and six customers fell ill on Saturday afternoon. The department of Fort Worth Fire Department said that when the first call came, two people were reporting symptoms.

The scene was cleared and the business continued as usual. Then, about an hour later, the number of shoppers who had fallen ill had risen. The store was cleared and fans were brought in to clear the air within the facility.

“This is definitely a scary situation, since the reason behind the illness is still unknown. I don’t know what to do,” Melinda Gunn, 45, of Austin, Texas told YourJewishNews.com after learning about the vomiting.

A fire department spokesperson said that carbon monoxide had been ruled out as a cause of the illness.
Some of those who fell ill were taken to hospitals for further examination.

Man wins $12.5 million lawsuit after purchasing bad tasting wine

Koch holding bottle of wine 
By: Debbie Gross

(Scroll down for video) If you are looking for a way to become a millionaire, here is a great opportunity, just for you. Purchase a bad tasting wine and sue the manufacturer of the wine into oblivion.

A jury in New York this week awarded an oil industry billionaire, William Koch, nearly $12.5 million in damages. The jury ordered Internet mogul Eric Greenberg, to pay the damages after selling some bad tasting wine.

The jury said that Koch deserves $12 million in punitive damages on top of the $380,000 in compensatory damages he was already awarded a day earlier.

Koch went to court after two dozen bottles of Bordeaux he bought for $300,000 proved to be forged and undrinkable.
Koch, was outside the courthouse while showing off a bottle of wine, a magnum 1921 Chateau Petrus, he paid $29,500.
Koch said he would use his prize money to "create a fund to pursue fraud and fraud in wine auctions."

"There has been a great code of silence in this industry," he said. "My point is to shine a bright light on it. Suspects should consider themselves warned and know that there will be serious consequences," he added.

“Greenberg probably thought he could pull a fast one against the billionaire and earn some serious money, but it didn’t work out that way. He was caught and he was correctly punished for pulling off such a fraud,” Karen Arroyo, 33, of Rockland County, New York told YourJewishNews.com after learning about the verdict.

Greenberg spent $5 million to defend himself against Koch’s lawsuit. Greenberg said that he offered Koch a full refund, but that Koch had rejected his offer and found the jury's decision disappointing.
"I am really sorry that I sold wines that were fraudulent," Greenberg said. "I thought they were real," he added.
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Germany decides to buy more advanced Israeli drones over U.S. drones

German soldier learns to fly Israeli drone 
By: Moses Gold

German military officials recently decided to buy Israeli drones over U.S. drones, according to press reports in Germany.

Germany is in the negotiations phase with Israel to purchase military drones for its armed forces. The decision came after German military officials said that Israeli drones are more technologically advanced than those of the U.S.

The German Defence Ministry had already held two meetings with Israeli military officials late last year and one earlier this year, on the proposed purchase.

The head of the German Air Force, Lieutenant General Karl Muellner, is said to have recently gone to Israel to attend a presentation of the Heron TP drones from Israel.

Berlin is believed to favor the Heron drone over the Predator drone manufactured in the United States because it was seen as more cutting edge.

The German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere called for combat drones to be incorporated into the Air Force, saying that their absence created a disadvantage.

At that time, he made no mention of what drones Germany would be interested in.
Germany has also expressed its interest in the joint development of drone technology with France, to avoid dependence on U.S. or Israeli drones, but ultimately decided on purchasing Israeli drones.

“This announcement comes as a vote of confidence for the advanced weapons that Israel currently has in operation. The Israeli people can be proud as Germany, a country that has a history of possessing the world’s most advanced weapons, is seeking Israeli drones over U.S. drones,” Austin Archer, 50, a weapons expert in Berlin, Germany told YourJewishNews.com after learning about the negotiations.

The issue of drones has generated ethical debate in Germany, which does not use drones to fight battles, but only for surveillance and reconnaissance missions in places like Afghanistan.

Professor Chava Turniansky, 2013 Israel Prize Winner talks about importance of Yiddish

Professor Chava Turniansky 
By: Moses Gold

An elderly professor at Hebrew University spoke about the important role Yiddish has played in forming the Israeli culture of today, according to an interview in an Israeli newspaper.

The interview was held with Professor Chava Turniansky, who is the recipient of the 2013 Israel Prize Winner.
Yiddish, id the link between the past and present in the Jewish state, she said.

By Anav Silverman

Tazpit News Agency For

It is often overlooked that Yiddish, the language spoken by millions of Ashkenazi Jews for nearly 1,000 years across Europe, played an important role in the formation of Israeli culture.

For Professor Chava Turniansky from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, that point is very clear. The 75-year-old professor will be awarded the prestigious 2013 Israel Prize tomorrow, on Israel’s Independence Day for her lifelong research on the history of Yiddish and literature among Ashkenazi Jewish communities in the Diaspora.

“Yiddish and all that the language entails – literature, theater, song, and culture – it’s all part of our identity. We must learn about our past in order to understand our present,” explains Turniansky in an interview with Tazpit News Agency. “Only then can we can properly address our future,” she believes.

“Hebrew has always had an influence on Yiddish and today Yiddish lives on with modern Hebrew. All the great writers, Y.L. Peretz, Mendele Mocher Sfarim, Bialik, and even Agnon in his early years produced both Hebrew and Yiddish literature.”

“Many Yiddish words have integrated into Hebrew – for example, lefargen (to treat favorably), tachles (purpose, aim), nu (to hurry up) not to mention chutzpah, which is universally known,” adds the professor, who has been affiliated with Hebrew University’s Department of Yiddish for the past 50 years.

Turniansky herself was born and raised in Mexico in a household that spoke only Yiddish. “My parents refused to answer me if I spoke in Spanish,” she said. “For many Jewish families who immigrated from Eastern Europe to Mexico, speaking Yiddish was their way of maintaining European Jewish culture and identity.”

As she sits in her Jerusalem apartment, which is full of congratulatory flower bouquets, Chava says that winning the Israel Prize, the state’s highest award of honor presented each year to no more than 15 individuals, is unbelievable. “It’s like a dream that I never dared dream and now it’s happened.”

In 1957, Turniansky made aliyah to Israel but couldn’t find work as an elementary school teacher. She subsequently went back to university and found herself in Yiddish studies. “I’d always loved the language but I never imagined that someday I would research it,” she says, having worked her way to a PhD in Yiddish literature. “So I went back to university and haven’t moved on since,” she says with a smile.

But the road to Yiddish studies wasn’t an easy one.

When Turniansky came to Israel, she found herself in the middle of a battle – a battle against the Yiddish language and any other language that wasn’t Hebrew. It was only in 1962 that Hebrew University finally opened its Department of Yiddish, following earlier unsuccessful attempts to do so.

“There were protests against Hebrew University’s decision to open the Yiddish department,” says Turniansky. “Yiddish was considered the language of galut [Diaspora], and Hebrew was the pure form of verbal expression – there were posters throughout the university saying it was shameful to open such a department and that Yiddish was only jargon.”

In addition, in its early years, it was illegal to perform theatrical plays in Yiddish in Israel, with Israeli actors and actresses allowed to perform exclusively in Hebrew. The state discouraged immigrants from speaking their native languages and called only for spoken Hebrew, according to Turiansky.

“People were shocked when I told them I was studying Yiddish in university. They asked, why would you do that?”
“Today, the situation is very different. Yiddish is a language that is warmly embraced by scholars and students alike.”

While Yiddish lives on within the Haredi communities as the primary language spoken in ultra-Orthodox populations in New York and parts of Israel, Turiansky says that among some secular families, Yiddish has made a comeback as well.

“I’ve taught thousands of students, many of whom chose to study Yiddish in order to understand their roots. Some of these students – maybe 20 or more – have decided to speak only Yiddish with their children,” she says. “Those former students themselves speak Yiddish as if they were born in a Jewish shtetl in Eastern Europe.”

There are many other Jewish languages in addition to Yiddish, which are still spoken albeit by fewer people, says the professor. She cites, Mughrabi, the language spoken by Jews from North Africa, Ladino by Jews of Spanish descent, different dialects of Jewish Arabic from Syria to Yemen as well as Judeo Iranian.

“But one of the greatest miracles of the Zionist movement is the living Hebrew language,” emphasizes Turiansky. “It didn’t mean however that we needed to forget our past.”
“Today Yiddish has the respect that it always deserved. It is a language rich in humor, depth and expression,” she continues.

“The word mensch is a good indicator of what kind of language Yiddish is. A mensch is not just a word for man, it means a good man who contributes to society and loves his people. A mensch is someone that you are proud to be in his presence. As Jews that is what we must aspire to be no matter what period in history we are living in,” concludes the professor.