JERUSALEM – Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was indicted on corruption charges Sunday, becoming the first Israeli premier to go on trial and highlighting a series of cases that have shaken faith in the political system.
The charges likely end the three-decade career of a man who just three years ago seemed poised to lead his nation to a bold withdrawal from the West Bank and an aggressive push for peace with the Palestinians.
Olmert, who was forced to step down because of the case, was accused of illegally accepting funds from an American backer, double-billing for official trips abroad and pocketing the difference, concealing funds from a government watchdog and cronyism. All of the alleged crimes took place before Olmert was elected prime minister in 2006.
Olmert, 63, issued a statement professing his innocence.
Remains returned of Vietnam MIAs
SYDNEY, Australia – The remains of Australia’s last two servicemen missing in action from the war in Vietnam were returned to their homeland today, escorted by family and members of their air squadron.
The remains of Flying Officer Michael Herbert and Pilot Officer Robert Carver were found last month at a remote jungle site where their bomber crashed 39 years ago.
When Australia withdrew its last combat troops from Vietnam in late 1971, the bodies of six Australians remained behind. All have now been found and repatriated.
Amended laws ban sea turtle harvests
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Soups, stews and pies flavored with chunks of sea turtle meat will soon be illegal across the 700 islands of the Bahamas, environmental activists and scientists said Sunday.
Despite opposition from many fishermen, the Bahamas has amended fisheries laws to give full protection to all sea turtles found in the Atlantic archipelago’s waters by banning the harvest, possession, purchase and sale of the endangered reptiles, including their eggs. The new rules take effect Tuesday.
Previously, the Bahamian government permitted harvesting of all species of sea turtles except the hawksbill. Flesh had been used by restaurants and shells for tourist keepsakes despite turtles’ status as endangered species.