A husband and wife who found a dog sitter for their new puppies, but left their 9-year-old son home to care for his younger autistic brother while they celebrated the new year in Las Vegas, were arrested Wednesday, police said.Calif. Husband, Wife Leave Sons Home Alone
Jacob Calero, 39, and his wife, Michelle De La Vega, 32, left Calero's sons — Joshua and Jason, 5 — at their San Ramon home early Friday while the newlyweds headed out of town for a five-day trip, police said.
The children's mother, Cristina Calero, died of breast cancer in 2003 and Jacob Calero married De La Vega last year.
Joshua, interviewed Wednesday at his maternal grandmother's apartment in Manteca, said his dad and stepmother got each other puppies for Christmas, and went so far as to bring the pug and the poodle-Maltese mix to De La Vega's mother before leaving town.
"I thought they loved them more than us," the boy said.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was rushed to hospital late Wednesday evening after suffering a "significant stroke," doctors at the Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem said.(With thanks to annie for the link)
Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef said Sharon is under general anesthetic and is receiving breathing assistance as his condition is assessed.
As a result of his condition, Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has taken over prime minister powers, cabinet secretary Yisrael Maimon told reporters.
Sharon was taken to hospital after complaining of pain, less than three weeks after suffering a mild stroke and just hours before he was to undergo a heart procedure.
He arrived at hospital and was taken to the trauma unit on a stretcher. He was anesthetized for treatment.
Initial reports quoted Sharon's spokesman as saying that the symptoms were not severe, and reported that he was feeling pressure or pain in his chest.
Channel 10 reported that Sharon was taken to hospital at his request, and that he was fully conscious and talking on the phone as he was taken in an ambulance to hospital.
Both his sons, Gilad and Omri were with the prime minister at the time, and they accompanied him to the hospital. His physicians were accompanying him to the hospital.
77-year-old Sharon was at his home in the Sycamore Ranch in the south of the country, preparing for his planned catheterization procedure on Thursday morning at the Hadassah Hospital.
On Dec. 18, Sharon was taken to Hadassah Hospital from his office after suffering a mild stroke. His physicians said several days later that he was not qualified to make decisions that night.
Doctors said he would not suffer long-term effects from the stroke, but they discovered a birth defect in his heart that apparently contributed to the stroke.
Since the stroke, Sharon has been receiving blood thinners to try to prevent a recurrence of the clotting that caused the stroke.
Just last year, before the American election, Osama bin Laden warned that those places that voted for the re-election of the President would become targets of terrorist retribution.
We could ignore him then. But neither we, nor our children, nor our children's children will ever be able to ignore him again if he gets nuclear weapons from a nuclear Iran.
We will live at his mercy -- of which he has none -- if he can wipe out New York or Chicago if we do not knuckle under to his demands, however outrageous those demands might be.
We will truly have passed the point of no return. What will future generations think of us, that we drifted on past the warning signs, preoccupied with library records and with giving foreign terrorists the same legal rights as American citizens?
The latest rampage began Tuesday, when Palestinian intelligence arrested Al Aqsa militant Alaa al-Hams on suspicion he and his followers kidnapped British human rights activist Kate Burton and her parents for two days last week. The Burtons were among 19 foreigners abducted by Fatah gunmen in Gaza in recent months. All have been freed unharmed. Al-Hams followers then fired at the Palestinian security headquarters in the southern town of Rafah where he was held. Police and gunmen fired in the air, but there were no injuries.
On Wednesday morning, some 40 masked gunmen took over the central election office in Rafah, the local branch of the Palestinian parliament, a court and another government building. Gunmen were seen on rooftops, inside the buildings and posted at the main doors. Most workers fled. A truckload of gunmen then drove to the nearby Rafah border crossing with Egypt, Gaza's main gate to the world.
Firing in the air, they closed the entrance gate to the crossing compound and told waiting passengers to leave. They also set up an impromptu checkpoint at the access road to the crossing, turning away travelers. They left the buildings and the crossing after three hours.
But hours later, with al-Hams still in jail, the militants stole two bulldozers in Rafah and headed for the massive wall several hundred yards from the border. The wall keeps Palestinians out of the Philadelphi corridor next to a smaller wall that marks the official border with Egypt. "We are going to do everything we can to pressure the authority to release our leader," said an Al Aqsa leader who gave his name as Abu Hassan.
The Cuban secret service was behind the assassination of President John F Kennedy, according to evidence presented in a new television documentary.
Rendezvous with Death, to be shown on German television on Friday, offers the most convincing evidence that Fidel Castro's regime was behind the most talked-about murder of the 20th century. A former agent of the Cuban secret service G2 talks for the first time about how Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin, was, he claims, pointed out to the Cubans by the KGB. Oscar Marino, who fell out with the Castro regime, said the Cubans were desperate to eliminate Kennedy, an opponent of the revolution who wanted to kill Castro.
"You ask why we took Oswald?" he said to the German film maker Wilfried Huismann. "Oswald was a dissident: he hated his country. He possessed certain characteristics. "There wasn't anyone else. You take what you can get. . . Oswald volunteered to kill Kennedy."
Oswald was a Communist who spent three years in the Soviet Union and shot Kennedy in Dallas. He was killed by Jack Ruby after his arrest, leaving his motives shrouded in mystery. Huismann spent three years persuading people to break their silence about Oswald's alleged Cuba connections. His film is based on testimony by former US, Cuban and Russian agents, KGB files and Mexican archives. One of the main witnesses is a retired FBI agent, Lawrence Keenan, now in his eighties. Keenan was sent after the assassination to trace Oswald's footsteps in Mexico. The evidence he found - linking the Cubans with the murder - prompted the FBI head, J Edgar Hoover, on the orders of President Lyndon Johnson, to withdraw Keenan after three days.
"This was perhaps the worst investigation the FBI was ever involved in," said Keenan. "I realised that I was used. I felt ashamed. We missed a moment in history." Mexico City was considered a "Pandora's Box" by the Johnson administration, which feared a war with Cuba were the truth to be revealed to the American people. "They were afraid of what will happen. They didn't want to. . . know the truth for fear it would mean we go to war. Johnson sincerely feared for his own life." It was convenient therefore for the administration to paint Oswald as a loner.
Alexander Haig, a military adviser to Kennedy and Johnson who became secretary of state in 1981, said in the film that Johnson was terrified his people would learn the truth. "He [Johnson] said 'we simply must not allow the American people to believe that Fidel Castro could have killed our president'. "And the reason was that there would be a Right-wing uprising in America, which would keep the Democratic party out of power for two generations." Mr Haig added: "He [Johnson] was convinced Castro killed Kennedy, and he took it to his grave."
Huismann's interviews and documents he found show the extent of the secret war, involving murder and sabotage plots, between Castro and the Kennedy brothers. Without the knowledge of Congress or the American public, John and Robert Kennedy allegedly planned eight assassination attempts on Castro, all of which failed. Huismann's explanation for the failures is a Cuban who fought alongside Castro but who later fell out with him. The film-maker claims that this man was "contracted" by Robert Kennedy to murder the "Maximo Lider", and was provided by the CIA with pistols disguised as fountain pens and powerful poison to carry out the task. But Castro always found out about the plots in advance, leading to suspicions of a double agent.
The film claims that in November 1963 the Cuban took his last order from Robert Kennedy to murder Castro. The act, involving poison and the fountain pen, was to be carried out on Nov 22, the very day Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. "Unfortunately, Castro was better than us," said a CIA agent in the film who is not identified. Marino said Oswald was recruited to the secret service organisation by the same agent who had been recruited to kill Castro, a year before the Kennedy assassination.
"In other words the very man Robert Kennedy recruited to kill Fidel Castro hired his brother's murderer," Huismann said. KGB files released in Moscow document a meeting between Oswald and the Cuban, who is now a retired surgeon living in Madrid. Interviewed for the film, however, he denied any connection to Oswald, calling it an "outrageous lie". Marino did not want to answer the question as to whether Castro had direct knowledge of the Oswald assassination plan.
The schoolhouse is now a factory producing uniforms. Almost all the workers are North Korean, and the women initially looked delighted to see visitors. It gets lonely working out here, thousands of miles from home. They crowded around to chat.
"I'm not so happy here. There is nobody who speaks my language. I'm so far from home," volunteered a tentative young woman in a T-shirt and sweatpants who said she was from Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.
But as she spoke, an older woman with stern posture and an expressionless face — a North Korean security official — passed by in the corridor. The young women scattered wordlessly and disappeared into another room, closing and bolting the door behind them.
Hundreds of young North Korean women are working in garment and leather factories like this one, easing a labor shortage in small Czech towns. Their presence in this recent member of the European Union is something of a throwback to before the Velvet Revolution of 1989, when Prague, like Pyongyang, was a partner in the Communist bloc.
The North Korean government keeps most of the earnings, apparently one of the few legal sources of hard currency for an isolated and impoverished government believed to be living off counterfeiting, drug trafficking and weapons sales. Experts estimate that there are 10,000 to 15,000 North Koreans working abroad in behalf of their government in jobs ranging from nursing to construction work. In addition to the Czech Republic, North Korea has sent workers to Russia, Libya, Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia and Angola, defectors say.
Almost the entire monthly salary of each of the women here, about $260, the Czech minimum wage, is deposited directly into an account controlled by the North Korean government, which gives the workers only a fraction of the money.
To the extent that they are allowed outside, they go only in groups. Often they are accompanied by a guard from the North Korean Embassy who is referred to as their "interpreter." They live under strict surveillance in dormitories with photographs of North Korea's late founder Kim Il Sung and current leader Kim Jong Il gracing the walls. Their only entertainment is propaganda films and newspapers sent from North Korea, and occasional exercise in the yard outside.
"This is 21st century slave labor," said Kim Tae San, a former official of the North Korean Embassy in Prague. He helped set up the factories in 1998 and served as president of one of the shoe factories until he defected to South Korea in 2002.
It also was Kim's job to collect the salaries and distribute the money to workers. He said 55% was taken off the top as a "voluntary" contribution to the cause of the socialist revolution. The women had to buy and cook their own food. Additional sums were deducted for accommodation, transportation and such extras as flowers for the birthdays of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.
The women even had to pay for the propaganda films they were forced to watch. By the time all the deductions were made, each received between $20 and $30 a month. They spent less than $10 of it on food, buying only the cheapest local macaroni.
"They try to save money by not eating," said Kim, the former embassy official. He says that his wife, who accompanied him on visits to the factory, was concerned that women's menstruation stopped, their breasts shriveled and many experienced acute constipation. "We were always trying to get them to spend more on food, but they were desperate to bring money home to their families."
Kim said that Czechs often mistook the North Korean women for convict laborers because of the harsh conditions. "They would ask the girls, 'What terrible thing did you do to be sent here to work like this?' "