Olmert Indicted in Corruption Cases
TEL AVIV -- Israel's state prosecutor indicted former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on multiple counts of fraud and breach of public trust in connection with a trio of corruption scandals spanning his terms as mayor of Jerusalem and as minister of trade and industry from 2002 to 2006.
Mr. Olmert will be the first former Israeli prime minister to be put on trial on criminal charges here. He was forced to resign in September 2008 amid political fallout from the police investigation into alleged corruption.
Representatives for Mr. Olmert weren't reachable to comment. A spokesman for Mr. Olmert told Israel's Channel 1 public-television news that the indictment is filled with inaccuracies and contradictions. "We are sure that when we arrive in court, things will look differently," said the spokesman, Amir Dan.
In the introduction to the 61-page indictment submitted Sunday to a Jerusalem district court, the state accused Mr. Olmert and his office manager, Shula Zaken, of exploiting Mr. Olmert's position to reap "ongoing and systematic financial favors" through "acts of fraud against public institutions and bodies, as well as the state and its employees."
In one instance, Mr. Olmert is accused with overcharging Israeli government ministries and American and Israeli nonprofit groups by $92,164 to fund personal and family travel abroad. He is charged with intentionally double-billing U.S.-based Jewish charities such as the Indianapolis Jewish Federation, the Simon Weisenthal Center, and Israel Bonds.
In a separate instance, Mr. Olmert is charged with failing to report accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars, allegedly in cash-filled envelopes in some instances, from U.S. businessman Morris Talansky.
Mr. Olmert also is charged with ignoring conflicts of interest in policy decisions when he was trade and industry minister under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that affected companies who had hired a former legal partner and political adviser of Mr. Olmert's, to represent them.
The state prosecutor also alleged that Mr. Olmert tried to cover up the scandals by falsifying corporate documents and by fraudulent nondisclosure of income.
The charges relate to Mr. Olmert's dealings from 2002 to 2006.
2. Uranus /Saturn opposition shows again its earmarks after allowing the first (half)black president to occur now in Japan we have a dramatic change as well the DPJ takes over after 50 years.
Rise of a New Era in Japan
A 50-Year Dominance Ends as Voters Oust LDP; Rivals to Spend More, Weigh U.S. Ties
TOKYO -- Japanese voters overwhelmingly rejected the party that has largely ruled their nation for most of the past half a century, choosing instead an untested rival to grapple with an enfeebled economy and an aging society.
The historic change in government could usher in a new era for Japanese politics that replaces the staid consensus that guided Japan in its postwar boom years with a more fractious, competitive environment. The upstart Democratic Party of Japan and the establishment Liberal Democratic Party share similar positions on a number of issues. But the more-liberal DPJ is pushing an ambitious and expensive domestic spending agenda with an eye toward reigniting Japan's economy.
3. We can add one more indicator for a top - Chinese Investors are not the smartest (even are contraindicators) like Japanese investors it seems - they have recently decided to get into Hedge Funds and Private Equity again. They earmarked the top with the very interesting timing of Blackstone's IPO and their big purchase , which was almost exactely at the high.
Also the sentiment factors are getting closer
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