Saturday, May 14, 2011
The associated pressFirst published 21 minutes ago
Updated 21 minutes ago
New York • The leader of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a possible candidate for president of France was pulled from an airplane moments before he was to fly to Paris and was being questioned Saturday by police in connection with the sexual assault of a hotel maid, police said.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn was taken off the Air France flight at John F. Kennedy International Airport by officers from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and turned over to police Saturday afternoon, said Paul J. Browne, New York Police Department spokesman. No charges have yet been filed.
The 32-year-old woman told authorities that she entered Strauss-Kahn’s room at the Sofitel near Manhattan’s Times Square at about 1 p.m. Saturday and he emerged from the bedroom naked, threw her down and tried to sexually assault her, Browne said. She broke free and escaped the room and told hotel staff what had happened, authorities said. They called police.
When New York City police detectives arrived moments later, Strauss-Kahn had already left the hotel, leaving behind his cellphone and other personal items, Browne said. “It looked like he got out of there in a hurry,” Browne said.
The NYPD discovered he was at the airport and contacted the Port Authority, who plucked Kahn from the Air France flight.
The maid was taken by police to an area hospital. John Sheehan, a spokesman for the hotel, said its staff was cooperating with the authorities in the investigation.
William Murray, a spokesman for the IMF in Washington, said the IMF had no immediate comment on the reports of Strauss-Kahn’s arrest.
Strauss-Kahn, 62, took over as head of the IMF in November 2007. The 187-nation lending agency is headquartered in Washington and provides help in the form of emergency loans for countries facing severe financial problems.
Last updated at 12:50 AM on 14th May 2011
International renown: Mystery still surrounds the death of weapons expert Dr David Kelly in 2003
A helicopter mysteriously landed at the scene of Dr David Kelly’s death shortly after the body was found.
The aircraft only remained on the ground for five minutes before leaving, suggesting it either deposited or collected somebody or something.
Details from its flight log, released under the Freedom of Information Act, show that the helicopter – hired by Thames Valley police – landed at Harrowdown Hill in Oxfordshire at 10.55am on July 18, 2003, 90 minutes after the body was discovered by volunteer search teams.
Significantly, the flight log has been heavily redacted, making it impossible to know who was on board or what its exact purpose was.
The flight was not mentioned in oral evidence at the Hutton Inquiry, set up by Tony Blair to investigate Dr Kelly’s death.
Dr Andrew Watt, who has previously raised questions about the suicide finding reached by Lord Hutton, has written to Attorney General Dominic Grieve drawing his attention to the flight.
Dr Watt, a clinical pharmacologist, said: ‘If the purpose of the helicopter flight was innocent, one has to ask why it was kept secret.’
Bizarre: A helicopter briefly landed at the scene of Dr Kelly's death - after the body was found - at Harrowdown Hill in Oxfordshire. Details of the aircraft, hired by police, have been withheld (file picture)
The riddle joins the growing list of unanswered questions about the circumstances of the government weapons inspector’s final moments.
It emerges in the same week that Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell were accused of lying to the Chilcot Inquiry into the lead-up to the Iraq war.
The Mail reported yesterday how declassified documents from the inquiry revealed a spy chief disputed Campbell’s claim that the dossier was ‘not the case for war’.
A senior diplomat also accused the former prime minister of distorting expert reports about the post-war chaos.
Dr Kelly is said to have killed himself in woods near his home after being named as the prime source of a BBC report accusing the Labour government of lying to take Britain into war in Iraq.
Uniquely for a suspicious death, no coroner’s inquest has been held. Instead, the Hutton Inquiry found he committed suicide by swallowing painkillers and cutting his wrist with a blunt knife.
Dr Kelly left no suicide note and had arranged to meet his daughter on July 17, 2003, the day he was last seen alive.
He had also made plans to see friends the following week and, on the morning of his death, booked a return ticket to Iraq in connection with his work.
The latest disclosure comes as Attorney General Mr Grieve prepares to announce whether there will be an inquest into Dr Kelly’s death. He has waited almost a year to reach a decision.
In opposition, Mr Grieve told at least two fellow MPs privately that he had misgivings about the Kelly affair.
Last June, after the Coalition was formed, he asked anyone with new information about Dr Kelly’s death to send it to him and over the last nine months has been informed of several pieces of material evidence which were never raised at the Hutton Inquiry.
Crucially, a non-statutory public inquiry such as Hutton has none of the powers of a coroner’s inquest.
Witnesses, including Mr Blair and Mr Campbell, did not swear an oath before giving evidence.
A group of doctors has begun a legal action to try to secure an inquest.
Papers submitted through their lawyers Leigh Day & Co say the suicide finding is medically implausible and should be investigated fully by an experienced coroner, not a judge.
The doctors have set up a fund to raise £25,000 for a judicial review in case Mr Grieve decides there is no case for an inquest.
Dr Michael Powers QC, representing the doctors, said: ‘Dominic Grieve has been sitting on a substantial amount of new evidence for a very long time.
‘In law, the case for a coroner’s inquest is unanswerable.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1386967/Mystery-helicopter-landed-scene-Dr-Kellys-death-body-found.html#ixzz1MIWBQBk0
By Christine Hauser
New York Times
Consumers continued to feel the pinch at grocery stores and gasoline stations in April as higher prices pushed up a widely used index of inflation to the fastest 12-month pace since the later part of 2008, according to government figures released Friday.
The Labor Department said in its monthly report that the Consumer Price Index, the most widely used measure of inflation, was up 0.4 percent in April from March, and up 3.2 percent from a year earlier. The 12-month figure represents the biggest jump in the index in any 12-month period since October 2008.
Analysts had forecast the same monthly rise but a slightly smaller increase for the year, at 3.1 percent.
Food and gasoline price rises accounted for most of the increases, with gasoline accounting for almost half of the month-to-month rise.
Food prices were up 0.4 percent in April, smaller than the 0.8 percent rise in March as prices for fresh vegetables slowed their advance. Energy prices rose 2.2 percent in April, the 10th consecutive monthly increase, although the rise was smaller than the jumps of 3.5 percent in March and 3.4 percent in February, the report said.
Gasoline prices were up 3.3 percent in April. According to the report, energy prices have risen 19 percent over the past 12 months, with gasoline prices up 33.1 percent.
Consumers are "painfully aware" that if high energy and food costs continue, "the cost of living is going to go up," said Stuart Hoffman,
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: May 13, 2011
An effort to declassify American intelligence files on Argentina’s dictatorship failed in Congress on Friday in Washington, disappointing rights activists in Argentina who believe the secret documents could help them identify young people stolen as babies by the military junta. The amendment by Representative Maurice D. Hinchey, Democrat of New York, left, was rejected by a vote of 214 to 194. It would have compelled American intelligence agencies to declassify their files on the 1976-1983 dictatorship, which was closely monitored by United States intelligence agencies. A similar amendment in 1999 resulted in the Chile declassification project under President Bill Clinton, which led to the publication of more than 24,000 documents that helped prosecute crimes against humanity committed during the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Most of the files on Argentina remain secret.