A journalist for Turkey's Cumhuriyet daily was found dead in his home in what appears to be a suicide, news reports have said.
Barkın Şık, a seasoned defense correspondent, reportedly hanged himself in his home in Ankara. Before joining Cumhuriyet, Şık had worked as a defense and diplomatic correspondent for the Milliyet daily for several years.
Şık, 39, was married to Elçin Ergün, a journalist for private broadcaster CNN Türk.
Chile reopens Pablo Neruda death investigation to test for poisoning
Nobel-winning poet’s body to be retested for evidence that might support claims his death in 1973 was a Pinochet-ordered murder
Wednesday 21 January 2015 16.25 EST
Chile will reopen an investigation into the death of Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda to determine if the poet was poisoned more than 40 years ago by a military dictatorship, after tests on his exhumed body in 2013 found no evidence to support the claims.
Neruda, famed for his passionate love poems and staunch communist views, is presumed to have died from prostate cancer just days after the US-backed coup on 11 September 1973 that ushered in the brutal dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
“There is initial evidence that he was poisoned and in that sense the signs point to the intervention of specific agents … that could constitute a crime against humanity,” Francisco Ugas, the head of the government’s humans rights department, said on Wednesday.
The poet’s chauffeur has said Pinochet’s agents took advantage of Neruda’s illness to inject poison into his stomach while he was bedridden at the Santa Maria clinic in Santiago.
One theory on why he was poisoned is because he was a communist and loyal to the deposed president, Salvador Allende, and it was feared he would become an opposition leader to the dictatorship.
The new forensic testing will look for inorganic or heavy metals in Neruda’s remains to try to determine a direct or indirect cause of death.
It will focus on detecting if there is any cellular or protein damage caused by chemical agents, whereas the prior testing looked specifically for the remains of poison.
Chile’s best-known poet, Neruda achieved critical acclaim with the publication in 1924 of Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair at the age of 19. He wrote prolifically throughout his life, and also became a political activist, even running for president at one point, before dropping his bid to throw his support behind Allende.
Neruda organised a ship to bring about 2,000 refugees fleeing the Spanish civil war to Chile in 1939 and was ambassador to France during Allende’s presidency.
He won the Nobel prize for literature in 1971 “for a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent’s destiny and dreams”.
February 09, 2015 at 3:51 PM, updated February 10, 2015 at 9:23 AM
CLOSTER -- A JPMorgan Chase & Co. employee and his wife were found dead in their home in an apparent murder-suicide.
It happened in Closter Friday evening, where the bodies of Michael and Iran Pars Tabacchi were discovered. Authorities say Iran was stabbed and strangled, while Michael died of a self-inflicted stab wound.
But it also happened in Jefferson Township in July, when police say Julian Knott shot his wife Alita before taking his own life with the same weapon.
There's no evidence to suggest the two cases are related, but Julian Knott and Michael Tabacchi shared an employer: JPMorgan Chase & Co. Knott and Tabacchi are the latest in a string of suicides by company employees over the past year.
When Li Junjie, a 33-year-old JPMorgan worker, jumped off the roof of the company's Hong Kong office in February 2014, the New York Post noted that it was the third death of a JPMorgan employee in weeks. Junjie was preceded by Gabriel Magee, a vice president with JPMorgan's corporate and investment technology arm in London, who jumped off an office tower, and Ryan Henry Crane, a New Jersey native and executive director with the company, who was found dead in his Stamford, Conn., home.
Alden Cass, a psychologist and author of "Bullish Thinking: The Advisor's Guide to Surviving and Thriving on Wall Street," said the deaths are not necessarily a trend. Suicides can happen in any high-stress profession and JPMorgan Chase & Co. is a large company, with 260,000 employees in 60 countries.
But, he acknowledged, the financial services industry is stressful, especially after the recession of 2008. Workers are still getting used to lower bonuses, less mobility and less job security.
July 08, 2014 at 1:14 PM, updated July 09, 2014 at 6:50 AM
JEFFERSON — A Lake Hopatcong man shot his wife to death before taking his own life with the same weapon over the weekend, law enforcement authorities said Tuesday.
The Morris County Prosecutor's Office and Jefferson Police said in a joint statement that a preliminary investigation shows both 45-year-old Julian Knott and 47-year-old Alita Knott died of gunshot wounds. The statement comes a bit more than two days after the two were found dead in their Lake Hopatcong home, which they purchased earlier this year.
The statement said no other information about the deaths would be released at this time. It did not describe a motive.
It said the determination the deaths were a case of murder-suicide was the result of an "extensive investigation conducted by the Jefferson Township Police Department, the Morris County Prosecutor's Office and the Morris County Medical Examiner's Office."
The Knotts were affluent world travelers who have two teenage sons and a college-age daughter. A close friend of the family who lives in Dublin, Ohio told The Star-Ledger a detective interviewed him in person about the couple Monday afternoon.
Alita Knott was most recently a sales associate with Coldwell Banker's Chester/Hackettstown office, according to her biography on the company's website. The biography has since been removed.
She was born in the Philippines, and worked in Mindoro as a teacher, according to the biography. She moved to Bahrain and worked as the personal assistant of a sheik's wife, through which she had the opportunity to travel extensively, it says.
She met Julian Knott in London, got married and started her own pre-school nursery business, the biography says. Julian Knott's work "took us to the Mid West, Dublin Ohio, and more recently across to the East Coast, New Jersey," it says.
The family rented a home in Succasunna before purchasing the single-family Lake Hopatcong near the end of a cul-de-sac in April for $600,000.
According to Julian Knott's LinkedIn profile, he worked for JPMorgan Chase for several years, most recently as the executive director of its Global Network Operations Center in Whippany. Prior to that, he held various IT positions with JPMorgan Chase and other companies.
Representatives of both Julian Knott's and Alita Knott's employers have declined comment on their deceased employees.
Mysterious marks found on deceased Reuters’ Bureau Chief neck
ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – The post-mortem of Reuters’ Bureau Chief, the 35-year-old Russian journalist Maria Golovnina who was covering Pak-Afghan region, has been conducted by PIMS (Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences).
According to the spokesperson of PIMS, Doctor Waseem Khawaja, one or two days will be needed in compiling the report though apparently it is a case of death due to natural causes.
Dr Waseem added that forensic reports of some parts of her body had been sent to Forensic lab for further examination.
On one hand the statement released by her employer, Reuters news agency, has not hinted at any foul play nor asked for any investigations into her death. While on the other hand, Dunya newspaper reported on Tuesday that some mysterious blueish marks have been found on Maria’s neck, citing unnamed sources at PIMS.
Earlier, she was found dead under mysterious circumstances at her F-8 Sector office-cum-residence in Islamabad on Monday. Her husband initially did not let the doctors at PIMS carry out an autopsy to find the cause of death. The Russian Embassy in Islamabad had to be get involved for permission from Maria’s parents in Russia.
Ms Golovnina joined Reuters at the age of 24 and as far as her LinkedIn Page suggests, Reuters has been her only employer in the last 10 years.
Bill O'Reilly has repeatedly claimed he personally "heard" a shotgun blast that killed a figure in the investigation into President John F. Kennedy's assassination while reporting for a Dallas television station in 1977. O'Reilly's claim is implausible and contradicted by his former newsroom colleagues who denied the tale in interviews with Media Matters. A police report, contemporaneous reporting, and a congressional investigator who was probing Kennedy's death further undermine O'Reilly's story.
George de Mohrenschildt was a Russian emigre who befriended Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and testified before the Warren Commission investigating the Kennedy assassination. On March 29, 1977, the same day he was contacted by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, he committed suicide at his daughter's home in Florida. At the time, O'Reilly was a reporter for Dallas' WFAA-TV who regularly reported on stories related to the Kennedy assassination.
O'Reilly has bizarrely inserted himself into de Mohrenschildt's story, claiming in books and on Fox News that he was outside the house seeking to interview de Mohrenschiltd at the time of his death. O'Reilly is under heavy criticism and scrutiny for his false claims about his 1982 Falklands War reporting.
O'Reilly's implausible tale was first flagged by Jefferson Morley in a 2013 post for his website JFKFacts.org. Morley has worked as an editor for The Washington Post, Salon.com, and Arms Control Today, and is a visiting professor at the University of California, Washington Center.
New interviews with former O'Reilly colleagues who say he wasn't in Florida on the day of de Mohrenschildt's suicide and documents obtained by Media Matters bolster Morley's reporting.
In his 2012 best-selling non-fiction book Killing Kennedy, O'Reilly writes on page 300 that as a "reporter knocked on the door of de Mohrenschildt's daughter's home, he heard the shotgun blast that marked the suicide of the Russian ... that reporter's name is Bill O'Reilly."
O'Reilly repeated the tale for the Killing Kennedy audiobook.
He also wrote in Kennedy's Last Days, the 2013 adaption of Killing Kennedy for younger readers: "As I knocked on the door, I heard a shotgun blast. He had killed himself."
The Fox News host repeated the tale while promoting his book and movie special on Fox News. During an October 2, 2012, appearance on Fox & Friends, O'Reilly claimed he "was about to knock on the door where [de Mohrenschildt] was, his daughter's house, and he blew his brains out with a shotgun." O'Reilly replayed the clip of his 2012 appearance during a November 30, 2014, O'Reilly Factor special before Fox News' airing of the Killing Kennedy film.
A banished member of Kazakhstan royalty has died by apparent suicide
Written by Steve LeVine
February 24, 2015
Kazakh royalty: Aliyev and Nazarbayeva. (Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov)
The estranged former son-in-law of Kazakhstan’s president has been found hanged in a Vienna jail cell, after an eight-year effort by the Central Asian government to bring him home to face murder and racketeering charges.
Rakhat Aliyev, 52, a trained surgeon who was once one of the oil state’s most unassailable forces, was found dead while awaiting trial on charges of murder. An Austrian official called the death a suicide; Aliyev’s lawyer said he doubted that his client would have killed himself.
The death brings a mysterious end to a long trail of allegations of torture, kidnapping, murder and coup attempts—all of which Aliyev vigorously denied. In long interviews I conducted with him from the late 1990s through the early 2000s, in Kazakhstan and Vienna, Aliyev portrayed himself as a democratically minded ally of the West who had ruffled the feathers of entrenched, self-interested opponents.
If so, his greatest enemy was Nursultan Nazarbayev, the leader of Kazakhstan since 1990. Aliyev was married to Nazarbayev’s eldest daughter, Dariga, until she divorced him in 2007.
For years, Nazarbayev had seemed prepared to look the other way regarding allegations of his son-in-law’s excesses, including strongarm tactics to obtain other people’s businesses. But in 2001, and again in 2007, Nazarbayev reacted violently when it appeared that Aliyev was mounting efforts to seize political power.
In both cases, Nazarbayev exiled Aliyev to Austria, naming him ambassador, a traditional face-saving method in the region of sidelining political opponents. But something snapped with Nazarbayev in 2007, when he cut ties with Aliyev and dispatched the country’s legal and security apparatuses to bring him home. Aliyev, clearly fearing for his safety should he end up in Nazarbayev’s clutches, embarked on a high-profile campaign, casting himself as a persecuted political opponent, a posture he maintained until the end.
“He was evil, and not stable. Justice has happened,” said Akezhan Kazhegeldin, a former Kazakhstan prime minister who had been in a long political battle with Aliyev. He told Quartz by Skype: “It is a shabby end to someone who was one of the most promising people in Kazakhstan.”
They called him ‘Sugar’
In Kazakhstan, some peers nicknamed him “Sugar,” for his control over the sugar trade, which was the basis of his original fortune. From there, Aliyev and his wife built a media empire, and bought a bank, an airline and other businesses. The rise in fortune coincided with his appointment to a series of security-related official positions by Nazarbayev, starting with head of the tax police in the then-capital of Almaty, and then deputy head of the KNB, the successor agency to the Soviet-era KGB.
Aliyev was a showy and, his critics said, menacing presence. He hired and trained an outsized security force—men who all seemed well over 6 feet tall, donned black and conducted televised raids of local businesses, led sometimes by Aliyev himself.
The look that terrified Kazakh businessmen. (Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov)
But it was a series of deaths that cast Aliyev in his darkest light. In 2007, two senior executives of the Aliyev-owned Nurbank vanished in what prosecutors later said was a dispute with Aliyev. Four years later, the bodies of Abilmazhen Gilimov and Zholdas Timraliyev were found in metal drums in a garbage dump outside Almaty. It was for their deaths that Aliyev was to go on trial in Vienna.
Before that, a woman alleged to have been Aliyev’s mistress died in a 2004 fall from a Beirut apartment building, and was quietly buried in Kazakhstan. Three years later, Anastasiya Novikova’s body was exhumed by Kazakhstan authorities. Since then, a group of supporters, along with the woman’s family, have alleged that she was thrown from the apartment balcony after being beaten and held against her will.
A political gaffe may be his lasting legacy
In the late 1990s, Nazarbayev faced a political threat by Kazhegeldein, then his prime minister, who announced he would run in the 1998 presidential election. Nazarbayev’s machine crushed him politically, and Kazhegeldin fled to self-exile in Europe. Aliyev pursued him in his position as head of the Almaty Tax Police, but in the process inadvertently enveloped his father-in-law in an enormous and complex international political scandal.
What Aliyev did was to petition Belgian authorities to freeze properties in the European country, alleging that Kazhegeldin had bought them using stolen funds. As a matter of course, the Belgians extended the search for Kazhegeldin’s alleged wealth—they sent a standard money-laundering query about Kazakhstan funds to Swiss banks. The query got a hit, but not to the funds Aliyev was targeting—instead, it dug up a bank account in Nazarbayev’s name.
The discovery turned into a scandal that local papers called Kazakhgate, and for years tarnished Nazarbayev as an allegedly corrupt autocrat.
For the past few years, the still self-exiled Kazhegeldin has been in pursuit of Aliyev’s fortune. Kazhegeldin said forensic investigators on his team have turned up hundreds of millions of dollars in a trail leading from Kazakhstan, to Lebanon, to Europe, and finally to the US.
Aliyev’s money was behind numerous real-estate transactions in the US, Kazhegeldin asserted, and the pursuit will continue with the idea of compensating those who can show they were victims of Aliyev’s actions. “I don’t believe this business is finished,” he said.
Missouri Republican dead after apparent suicide
By By Eric Bradner CNN
WASHINGTON (CNN) -
A leading Republican candidate for Missouri's governor's office died in an apparent suicide on Thursday morning.
Thomas Schweich, the 54-year-old state auditor who'd just won a second term while running unopposed in 2014, was pronounced deceased from a single gunshot wound, possibly self-infliction, according to a Clayton Police Department press release.
Detectives are conducting an investigation and an autopsy is pending, authorities said.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said Schweich's wife, who was in another room, heard him making phone calls -- and then a gunshot. It happened just hours after Schweich had requested interviews with the Post-Dispatch and The Associated Press at his home.
Missouri Republican Party Chairman John Hancock asked for prayers for Schweich's family.
"I am in utter shock at the news of Tom Schweich's tragic passing. Tom will be remembered as a tenacious, energetic, effective elected official who worked tirelessly on behalf of the citizens of this state and this nation," he said. "I ask all Missourians to join me in praying for Tom's family."
In October, Schweich launched an audit of municipal courts in Ferguson and six other cities, an initiative that had bipartisan support, according to St. Louis Public Radio.
"More and more officials have become concerned about the abuse of the traffic court system for revenue generation purposes rather than for safety, justice and efficiency purposes," Schweich told reporters at the time.
Missouri politicians took to Twitter on Thursday afternoon to say they were shocked by the news.
"Tom Schweich was very smart, very capable, outstanding at his job, and a good friend," Republican Sen. Roy Blunt said.
"I am very sad and hurt so much for Tom Schweich's family. Good man. Dedicated public servant. Hug those you love," Blunt's Democratic counterpart, Sen. Claire McCaskill, tweeted.
What We Know About the Mysterious Suicide of Missouri Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Schweich
On Thursday morning, Thomas Schweich, Missouri's auditor and a Republican candidate for governor, died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. His death—coming moments after he had invited two reporters to his home later that day—shocked Missouri political observers, who point out that in addition to his beloved family and distinguished career in public service, Schweich, 54, had just won re-election to a second term as state auditor and was leading in early polls of the 2016 governor's race. Why he would have taken his own life is a mystery to those who knew him. Just as strange is the predominant theory of what may have provoked his apparent suicide: rumors that he was Jewish.
In the days before his death, Schweich had been worried that the head of the Missouri Republican Party was conducting a "whisper campaign" against him by telling people that he was Jewish. Schweich was, in fact, an Episcopalian, but his grandfather was Jewish.
The police were called to Schweich's home in Clayton, Missouri at 9:48 a.m. on Thursday. Just seven minutes earlier, Schweich had left a voicemail for Tony Messenger, an editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, inviting him to send a reporter to his home that afternoon. That morning, Schweich had also invited an AP reporter to attend this interview.
According to Messenger, Schweich had hoped to counter rumors that he was Jewish, which he believed were being spread by Missouri GOP chairman John Hancock in a bid to damage his candidacy. He feared misconceptions about his faith might hurt him with evangelical voters, according to a report by the New York Times. Schweich had been "agitated" discussing rumors about his faith earlier in the week, according to the AP reporter who had spoken to him minutes before his death.
Hancock responded on Friday to allegations that he was spreading misinformation about Schweich's faith: "It's plausible that I would have told somebody that Tom was Jewish because I thought he was, but I wouldn't have said it in a derogatory or demeaning fashion."
But would rumors about Schweich's religion really have hurt him politically? A Jewish background doesn't appear to be impeding another prospective GOP gubernatorial candidate. Eric Greitens, a Jewish former Navy Seal, launched an exploratory committee for a statewide campaign in Missouri this week. The Washington Free Beacon described him as "the great Jewish hope" in a recent profile about his entry into politics. Reports note that he might enter into the gubernatorial race, though he yet to announce which office he has his eye on.
On Friday, Messenger, who had a close source relationship with Schweich, revealed that in the days leading up to Schweich's apparent suicide, the Republican candidate had discussed a desire to go public with accusations against Hancock. He had told Messenger that "his grandfather taught him to never allow any anti-Semitism go unpunished, no matter how slight." Messenger noted that anti-Semitisim is a factor in Missouri, the state that "gave us Frazier Glenn Miller, the raging racist who killed three people at a Jewish community center in Kansas City." And he wrote, "Division over race and creed is real in Missouri Republican politics, particularly in some rural areas. Schweich knew it. It's why all week long his anger burned."
Kevin Murphy, the Clayton police chief, told reporters that there is no evidence that Schweich was under political attack, suffering from mental illness, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Murphy also said it did not appear that Schweich's death was accidental. He noted that the ongoing investigation would include interviews with Schweich's friends and family, which has yet make a statement to the media about Schweich's death.
The Missouri legislature gathered in St. Louis on Friday to mourn Schweich, who, before becoming Missouri state auditor in 2010, had served as chief of staff to three different US Ambassadors to the United Nations, as well as working on anti-drug trafficking initiatives in Afghanistan under during the George W. Bush administration.
There remain more questions than answers about Schweizer's apparent suicide. "I have no idea why Schweich killed himself," Messenger wrote in the Post-Dispatch on Friday. The only thing that seems clear is that there's much more to the story behind his death.
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