Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

Olmert brings a bit of Beverly Hills to rocketed town

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If anything projects a sense of “what me, worry?” in the Ehud Olmert “travelgate” corruption case, it’s this photo, distributed by the Government Press Office, of the Israeli prime minister paying a visit on Thursday to Sderot, a  town hit repeatedly by Hamas rockets before and during the Gaza war he helped to orchestrate.

“The Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows” reads the logo on his jacket. 

In a case revolving around Olmert’s foreign travels and stays in luxury hotels before he became prime minister, Israel’s attorney-general plans to summon the veteran politician and his attorneys next month to give him a chance to explain why he should not be indicted.

The Justice Ministry suspects that Olmert, during trips abroad as mayor of Jerusalem and as a cabinet minister from 2002 to 2006, double-billed for plane tickets and used the extra money for family vacations and upgrades. In a separate case, a U.S. businessman said he handed Olmert envelopes stuffed with cash and told a court about his penchant for top-class hotels and fine cigars.

Two weeks under fire in Gaza

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By Nidal al-Mughrabi

Voices get loud and excited over the radio Reuters news crews use in Gaza to call in the latest information. Some people complain there are no “Western reporters” inside. But we all work for Reuters, a global agency that sets the international standard.

After two full weeks of bombardment we are all worried about our families but we work and work the story. We hope it will stop.

A Braveheart Christmas in the Holy Land

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In the big battle scene in the movie Braveheart, terrified whispers ran up and down the ragged ranks of sword-waving Scots that the English were ranged before them with “500 heavy horse” – armoured cavalry of devastating power in those days.

But the wild-haired hero-general William Wallace (actor-director Mel Gibson) rode his pony up and down the front ranks shouting: “We don’t have to beat them. We just have to fight them!”

A victim of Palestinian torture speaks out

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I met a young man the other day in Hebron, a bustling Palestinian city on many hills, half an hour’s drive south of Jerusalem. He was pleasant, a little shy, a bit embarrassed at the fuss of inviting a foreign journalist into the modest apartment he shares with his wife and son.

We drank tea. He talked about how Hamas once tried to recruit him as a suicide bomber and how Israelis put him in jail for more than two years. Then he began to frown more, blinking through his glasses, and rubbing his aching joints.

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