A judge on NY's highest court – and first Muslim woman on bench – has turned up dead, her body found in the Hudson.
The Associated PressVerified account @AP
The death of the first black woman on New York's highest court leaves both police and admirers mystified.
@RT_America Apr 19
#NYPD shifts from ‘likely suicide’ to ‘suspicious death' of first female #Muslim judge in US history http://on.rt.com/89bv
@AnonymousNewsHQ Apr 16
First Muslim Judge In The U.S. Found Floating In The Hudson River
On learning of her death, many groups lauded Abdus-Salaam as the first female Muslim on the appeals court bench, an error that appears to have begun with a press release issued in 2013 by a member of the state senate's judiciary committee announcing her appointment. But Gary Spencer, a spokesman for the appeals court, said the jurist was not Muslim.
"It is true that she was not a Muslim, although she did not care if people thought she was," Spencer said in an email to USA TODAY.
"This is tragic," tweeted Muslim Advocates, a civil rights organization based in Oakland. "We share our condolences to Judge Abdus-Salaam's family and to the people of NY. Stay strong."
On the court, Judge Abdus-Salaam was among the most reliable and steadfast liberal voices, regularly siding with vulnerable parties — the poor, impoverished immigrants and people with mental illnesses, for instance — against more powerful and established interests. She also tended to lean toward injured parties who brought claims of misconduct, fraud or breach of contract against wealthy corporations.
Charles Murphy, Partner at Paulson's Hedge Fund, Dies at 56
by Sonali Basak
and Andrew Blackman
March 28, 2017, 3:57 AM EDT - Updated March 28, 2017, 9:47 AM EDT
Charles Murphy, who helped pick insurance investments for U.S. hedge-fund manager Paulson & Co. and was an architect of the firm’s activist push at American International Group Inc., has died. He was 56.
“We are extremely saddened by this news,” John Paulson, the company’s billionaire founder, said in a statement Tuesday. “Charles was an extremely gifted and brilliant man, a great partner and a true friend. Our deepest prayers are with his family.”
Murphy plunged to his death from a room in the luxury Sofitel New York Hotel on Monday afternoon, said a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified. A spokesman for the New York Police Department confirmed that a man in his 50s was found dead at the hotel at about 5 p.m. local time on Monday. He said he couldn’t disclose the identity of the man because the family hadn’t yet been informed. The case is still under investigation, he said.
Murphy, who joined Paulson’s firm in 2009, played a key role in developing a stance to break up AIG. Paulson, along with a representative from Carl Icahn’s investment company, last year took seats on the insurer’s board in what analysts had seen as one of the toughest campaigns for the billionaires.
The investors pushed Chief Executive Officer Peter Hancock to shrink the company and boost returns. This month, AIG said Hancock will step down after posting four losses in six quarters. Paulson’s hedge fund has been cutting its stake in AIG, even as the billionaire sat on the board.
Murphy graduated with a B.A. from Columbia University, a law degree from Harvard University and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He’s survived by his wife, Annabella.
Murphy previously worked at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in New York and then for Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank AG and Credit Suisse Group AG in London. He moved to the U.S. in 2007 and bought a $33 million limestone property on East 67th Street, the highest price on record at that time for an Upper East Side townhouse built on a standard 25-foot-wide lot, the New York Times reported in 2009. He tried to sell the house after losing his job at Fairfield Greenwich Group, a hedge-fund manager that invested money with convicted fraudster Bernard Madoff, the paper said.
Before the AIG investment, Murphy worked on profitable bets at Paulson & Co. including the recapitalization of life insurer CNO Financial Group Inc., at which he was a director from 2009 through 2012. “It wasn’t a fast-money play,” CNO CEO Ed Bonach said a year later. “Paulson was an important part of a several-part solution to helping us to navigate through the financial crisis,” with Murphy leading the negotiations.
Murphy also helped Paulson & Co. invest in Radian Group Inc. as the mortgage guarantor recovered from the housing crisis and the Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. After Paulson urged the insurer to break up into separate companies, Hartford instead opted to sell some units, which helped the shares rebound from a slump.
Mystery Surrounds Death of First Black Woman NY Court of Appeals Judge
Sheila Abdus-Salaam, 65, the first black woman to be appointed to the New York Court of Appeals, was found dead in the Hudson River in early April. Her death was met with an outpouring of grief and testaments of her success from family and colleagues, including Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo, who appointed her to the state’s highest court in 2013. But weeks after Abdus-Salaam’s body was discovered, questions still surround her death and the subsequent investigation.
According to a report from the Associated Press, the New York City Police Department suggested that because no evidence of foul play was found that Abdus-Salaam might have died from suicide. Her family and friends, however, dispute that suggestion, saying that it’s a misrepresentation of the woman they knew.
Jesus, these high finance people seem to fall like intermittent rain.
km artlu » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:17 pm wrote:Norton wrote:Jesus, these high finance people seem to fall like intermittent rain.
Really. An implausibly large percentage of literal "falls" from high buildings. The number one preferred assassination technique as revealed in a declassified CIA manual.
"The most efficient accident, in simple assassination, is a fall of 75 feet or more onto a hard surface."
Much more instances of falls with these people than the statistical norm of 2.1% of suicide methods. Officially not noticed and accountability does not apply.
Apparent suicides add mystery to Italy military trial
By: Tom Kington, April 28, 2017
ROME - A military trial in Rome over the use of allegedly vulnerable vehicles in Afghanistan has taken a twist with a second apparent suicide connected to the case.
An Italian military colonel, Antonio Muscogiuri, 50, was found hanged in his barracks in northern Italy this month, two days after he was told he would stand trial, alongside five other officers, on charges of renting vehicles in Afghanistan that used below-standard armor plating.
The probe by military investigators kicked off seven years ago with another apparent suicide, when the body of Capt. Marco Callegaro, 37, was discovered in his office in Kabul in July 2010 with a gunshot wound in the head.
Italy has had troops in Afghanistan since 2002, running operations from the western province of Herat. Today, it still has about 1,000 soldiers in the country.
Working with Italian military staff, Callegaro was reportedly involved in plans to rent three armored civilian vehicles for use by senior commanders in the city from a local company. The deal was due to cost
€100,000 (U.S. $108,940) for five month’s rent.
But Callegaro told his parents something was amiss at work. “My son told me by phone and in writing that they were doing something that was not right,” his father said. On July 18, Callegaro wrote a note to himself stating: “I have double-checked various things. Now I realize.”
Investigators later alleged faked documents were produced to allow for the delivery of vehicles featuring a lighter armor than officially stated. The vehicles delivered should have cost €35,000 less to rent than the sum paid, it has been reported.
“I have always had an idea that the suicide was staged by someone who had something to hide,” Callegaro’s father said.
The captain’s death triggered the inquiry, which led to the questioning of dozens of officials and to the decision this month to send six officials to face a military trial.
On April 14, Italian Member of Parliament Paolo Bolognesi named the Afghan company that supplied the vehicles as Ali Mohammad Bafaitz Trading Co. Ltd. In official parliamentary questionubg, he asked if Italy had continued to do business with the firm after the death of Callegaro.
“The death of Capt. Callegaro was hurriedly and incredibly deemed a private and family matter in 2010,” the family’s lawyer, Andrea Speranzoni, said. “Now the death of Col. Muscogiuri brings pain, as well as questions to which I hope we will get answers.
“There are many more mysteries and questions to clear up.”
Death, drugs and diamonds in tale of global conspiracy
Andrew Gumbel reports on a web of intrigue unearthed in Italy
Sunday 2 June 1996
It began, like all the best thrillers, with a mysterious death. Last July a colonel in Italy's military intelligence service, Mario Ferraro, was found hanged from a bath rail by his dressing gown cord. Less than a year later the affair has mushroomed into a global conspiracy fresh from the pages of an improbable blockbuster.
Colonel Ferraro, it turns out, was working to unravel a massive global traffic in arms, drugs, radioactive materials and gems. And where he started, prosecutors from Torre Annunziata, near Naples, have carried on, following a trail of smugglers, dirty money recycled from the war in the Balkans, and murky interests in high places.
Multi-millionaire kills himself months after being accused of burning down his £15m mansion
19 June 2017 • 5:55pm
A multi-millionaire who was arrested on suspicion of starting a fire that destroyed his own stately home has been found dead, it was revealed today.
Michael Treichl, 68, had been suffering from severe depression before he apparently took his own life last Friday.
His wife Emma, 54, and their children said they are devastated by his sudden death, which is not being treated as suspicious by police.
Mr Treichl, a hedge fund manager, was on police bail having been arrested on suspicion of starting the huge blaze at Parnham House in Beaminster, Dorset, on April 15.
Dorset police confirmed the fire was started deliberately and were continuing their investigations at the time of Mr Treichl's death.
The mansion was remodelled by Regency architect John Nash and was home to the Strode family for 200 years.
The investment banker bought Parnham House, a Grade I listed Elizabethan manor house, in 2001.
The couple spent £10m restoring and modernising the 500-year-old property, which included installing indoor and outdoor swimming pools.
A statement issued by a spokesman for the family said: "Michael Treichl sadly passed away on Friday, having suffered from severe depression.
"Michael enjoyed a long and distinguished career in finance.
"Michael was a devoted family man and husband to his wife Emma, their two children, and his two step-children.
"They are all devastated by his death."
Mr Treichl bought Parnham House from revered furniture designer John Makepeace, who still lives in the area.
Mr Makepeace today spoke of his sadness at news of Mr Treichl's death.
He said: "I am aware of the news and it is very sad.
"The fire was a tragedy, the house was irreplaceable. If he was involved then his action was understandable."
Friends also spoke of their shock at Mr Treichl's death.
Chris Turner, the chairman of Beaminster Town Council, added: "I'm shocked and stunned, I really am.
"This horrific news leaves so many question marks but it would be wrong to speculate now. Who really knows what was going through his head?
"I feel for him and his wife, who have obviously been under tremendous pressure as a result of the fire.
"It comes as such a surprise as I thought that Mr Treichl was intend on rebuilding the house. I think he had lots of houses but Parnham House was always his favourite."
Michael Lomax used to work as Mr Treichl's chauffeur and now runs a guesthouse in Beaminster.
He said: "I'm absolutely flabbergasted, I can't believe it.
"His death and the fire must surely be connected, but quite how it's impossible to say.
"I knew him personally through my chauffeur company, which he used to use a lot. I got to know him quite well.
"On first impressions he was a very abrupt man but in the end he was one of the nicest people I ever knew.
"He was a man that had everything - lots of money and a great family. But who knows what's really going on?"
Riddle of the ruins: This mansion burned down and its troubled owner drowned in Lake Geneva - but was it REALLY suicide? And who is the new mystery man caught on CCTV?
By Amy Oliver and Adam Luck For The Mail On Sunday - Published: 17:04 EDT, 24 June 2017
Michael Treichl's body was recovered from Lake Geneva last week. But Treichl’s Austrian relatives do not accept his death was suicide
It is a case of tragedy heaped upon disaster. And on the face of it at least, the evidence appears to point in only one direction.
When it emerged last week that the body of Michael Treichl had been recovered from Lake Geneva, it was easy to conclude that the millionaire fund manager had been so overwhelmed, he had taken his own life.
Treichl, 69, had been arrested and questioned by police two months ago after his Grade I-listed family home, the 500-year-old Parnham House in Dorset, which he spent a rumoured £10 million restoring, burned to the ground in a devastating fire.
Yet nothing is entirely as it seems. News of his arrest was met with bafflement by those who knew him. As he said to The Mail on Sunday at the time, it would be ‘insane’ to set fire to his life’s work. Now we can reveal that Treichl’s Austrian relatives do not accept his death was suicide. And with every day that passes since his death, the questions grow. Some relate to the state of Treichl’s own financial affairs, which some City figures suggest were suffering. Equally curious are sinister claims that Treichl had made some determined enemies through his financial dealings in the notoriously murky global mining industry.
And who is the mysterious figure on CCTV seen buying a rucksack that was later found at the scene of the blaze?
On top of all this, Treichl had no nautical expertise, so what was he doing in a boat on a Swiss lake before he died. And while his family admitted following his death that Treichl suffered from ‘severe depression’, there were plans for shooting parties and a trip to Paris with his wife.
Certainly it is hard to link Treichl to significant money worries or, for that matter, instability.
He came from one of the most well-established banking families in Austria, who once advised the Hapsburg emperors. His grandfather was a banker who married an aristocrat, Baroness von Ferstel. Her Jewish ancestry meant she was forced to undergo a crude skull examination by the Nazi authorities. Fortunately, the Treichls were declared ‘Aryanised’.
Michael Treichl, born in 1948, was educated at Eton and Harvard, and worked for Merrill Lynch in America before being recruited by British bank SG Warburg. At the time of his death, he was a leading light in the London-based hedge fund Audley Capital Advisers LLP.
His family life, too, appeared happy and successful. Married to former Vogue model Emma, there were their two children and two children from Emma’s previous marriage. They enjoyed a seemingly gilded life of tennis parties and polo games.
What, then, or who could drive the wealthy financier to his death? Who burned down Parnham? And what did the police believe until the only suspect in the case was found floating in Lake Geneva?
Here we examine the key questions in a quite extraordinary case…
Why were the horses out of the stable?
The crippling fire that left Parnham House in ruins broke out in the early hours of Easter Saturday. A milkman doing his rounds noticed flames licking up the building and raised the alarm around 4am. But it took until the following Wednesday for the fire brigade to finally put it out.
The house had been equipped with sophisticated fire safety systems which should have alerted the authorities to the blaze at an earlier stage. A laser-movement alarm system and state-of-the-art fire detection and sprinkler system installed in the property was linked directly through to the Dorset Fire Service, a source told this newspaper.
But neither system raised the alarm – and both are thought to have been switched off on the night of the fire.
Staff who would normally have been living in the house – including a full-time butler and chef – were away that night for the Easter weekend and the family were staying elsewhere: Treichl at Claridge’s, his favourite hotel, his wife and children in the south of France.
According to another source there are unanswered questions over why the family’s thoroughbred horses, which were normally stabled overnight, had been put out to grass.
Was a hoard of silver evidence of arson?
Investigations following the fire by forensic fire officers are thought to have identified at least six ignition points, suggesting an arson attack, according to local fire brigade sources. A fireman at the scene told The Mail on Sunday that a hoard of silver antiques and other valuables was found piled outside an entrance of the house after the fire, as if they had been deliberately spared. And a can carrying as much as five gallons of fuel was thought to have been discarded on the manicured lawn.
Who was the mystery man on CCTV?
Michael Treichl – who told police he was staying at Claridge’s on the night of the blaze – was the only person arrested in connection with the case, on suspicion of arson. He was later released under police investigation. Other details concerning the case have been scant.
But last night, local sources told this newspaper that Dorset Police are looking into CCTV images of a man purchasing a rucksack which was later found discarded outside Parnham House following the fire.
It was bought from a branch of Mountain Warehouse in Bridport, a town five miles away from the property. The same person was then caught on camera getting into a car believed to have been registered at the 16th-Century home.
One close family friend told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Nothing adds up. Even if you believe Michael might have been responsible for the fire you have to ask how he could have got from Claridge’s in London down to Dorset and then back up to London in time to take the call informing him of the fire.
‘He was certainly deeply depressed but his wife said that she was 100 per cent behind him and if they have to live in a hotel until the house is repaired then so be it. So there is no family split.’
Who would want to hurt Michael Treichl?
Some close family friends believe the fire could have been a warning to Treichl. For hugely respectable as he was, the world he moved in was not without its risks.
Not only was he routinely handling deals worth millions of pounds, but he had focused on the mining sector – notorious for some rough-hewn characters. Treichl’s business partner, Julian Treger, had an aggressive business reputation, once saying: ‘You have to have had kills. You need to take people down. Barking is not good enough.’
One deal alone was reported to have netted his hedge fund Audley £243 million when they brokered the sale of Canadian firm Western Coal to US mining giant Walter Energy.
At least one high-profile London figure, who did not want to be named, said there was no doubt that Treichl had crossed many people. At one point, for example, Audley was accused of taking part in a ‘pump and dump’ scheme to manipulate the share price of Walter Energy. These claims were subsequently dismissed.
The source, a London businessman, said the controversy was not surprising. He said: ‘Michael Treichl was very bright but he did not apply that intelligence in always the most productive manner.
‘I had a business agreement with him but he then discovered a loophole to get around that agreement. This is something he did many times with lots of different people.
‘That is probably why he had a lot of enemies.’ When asked if Treichl was devious, the businessman said: ‘Yes. He had a reputation for behaving in a certain manner socially. He was liked. But in business it was different. He spent most of the time recently developing his estate rather than focusing on business.’
Serious losses – but was Treichl struggling?
Michael Treichl appeared to be a rich man, but in the world of high finance and hedge funds where hundreds of millions of pounds remain offshore, what you see is rarely what you get.
And with huge living costs, it’s clear Treichl had precious little room for manoeuvre.
He reportedly bought Parnham House for £4 million and had ploughed a reported £10 million more into its restoration, as well as investing in an extraordinary art and antiques collection.
He owned a fleet of luxury cars, took frequent helicopter flights and paid for his wife’s polo empire.
But the last set of accounts for Audley, which came out in May, showed only a modest profit of £273,961. Treichl also owed the company £118,685. The accounts add that the company is in effect being kept afloat by a trust, in which Treichl’s partner Tregel ‘has an interest’. The company posted an £811,528 loss in 2015, which again saw the partners inject £952,333 in order to keep the company afloat. When the firm was set up in 2005 it reportedly had £200 million at its disposal.
Land Registry records show Treichl took out a mortgage on Parnham with Royal bank Coutts & Co in 2014 – having bought the house 13 years earlier.
These are figures that are publicly available. Treichl’s offshore finances are yet to come to light, and rumours originating in Austria suggest he had lost badly by betting on the markets plummeting in the wake of Brexit.
This is hardly a reason to burn down Parnham House, but might help explain his depression.
Why did the dead man mess about with a boat?
Although we know Treichl’s body was found in the vast waters of Lake Geneva, the details surrounding the circumstances of his death remain unclear.
But a spokesman for Geneva Police has told an Austrian magazine that prosecutors have ordered an autopsy to establish the precise cause of death. One former colleague was told he had died with a rope and weights around his body.
In a further twist, an Austrian magazine, Trend, has reported Treichl’s extended family say Treichl had ostensibly travelled from Austria to Geneva for business and not to end his life.
One friend, speaking to The Mail on Sunday, said: ‘What I would ask is this: Michael knew very little about boats so how is he going to go out into the middle of Lake Geneva and tie weights around his neck? It does not add up.’
Depressed or not, Michael Treichl had been planning a grouse shooting party in the autumn. And he is said to have been planning a trip to Paris with wife, Emma who had told friends that the pair were looking forward to restoring the house.
What happens now?
It is understood that police will continue to investigate the fire and what appears to be a major crime. And insurers will certainly keep a keen eye on the outcome. For Treichl’s family, the answers cannot come soon enough.
With additional reporting by Simon Trump
Grégory Villemin case: Former French judge found dead
4 hours ago
A former judge who played a leading part in one of France's biggest murder inquiries has been found dead at home with a plastic bag over his head.
Police are investigating Jean-Michel Lambert's death but no signs of a struggle have been reported.
He was in his first job when given the task of investigating the 1984 murder of four-year-old Grégory Villemin.
Mr Lambert had admitted making mistakes and the case was reopened last month when new evidence came to light.
The judge was 32 when he was given the role of investigating a case that was to be a cause celebre for decades to come.
What happened to Grégory Villemin?
Grégory Villemin's body was found with his hands and feet bound in the Vologne river in the north-east of France on 16 October 1984.
His murder became a tale of family rivalries, poison-pen letters and false leads, and his killer has never been found.
A cousin of the boy's father, Bernard Laroche, was soon arrested when his sister-in-law, Muriel Bolle, testified against him. Laroche was released the next year when she retracted her statement, but he was shot dead by the boy's father weeks later.
The father went to jail for Laroche's murder and within months Judge Lambert had turned the inquiry towards the boy's mother, Christine Villemin. She was accused of carrying out his murder in 1985 but eventually cleared in 1993.
By 1987 Judge Lambert had been replaced by another judge, Maurice Simon, whose devastating criticism of his predecessor's work emerged on Wednesday.
According to French news channel BFMTV, Judge Simon wrote at the time in his personal notebooks of Mr Lambert's "intellectual disorder".
"I am in the midst of a miscarriage of justice in all its horror," he wrote of the accusations made against Grégory Villemin's mother.
Mr Lambert had himself admitted he was unprepared for the enormous interest in the case at the time, and had complained of the poor judicial support he had been given.
"I didn't devote the full attention I should have given to the case from the outset," he conceded.
Why has the case been reopened?
Since the collapse of the case, police have been able to take advantage of advances in DNA technology to shed further light on the murder.
Last month, three members of the murdered boy's father's family were held by police on suspicion of being accomplices. The boy's great-uncle Marcel Jacob and his wife Jacqueline were placed under formal investigation for kidnapping resulting in death. They were later released from custody.
Then came the arrest of Muriel Bolle amid similar allegations. Fifteen at the time of the murder, it was her testimony that led to the arrest of her brother-in-law Bernard Laroche in 1984. She retracted the evidence but prosecutors believe she was forced to do so by relatives.
Declaring her innocence she went on hunger strike and ended it on Tuesday, the same day the former judge was found dead.
Joseph Rago, Wall Street Journal Editorial Writer, Dies at 34
Pulitzer Prize winner was known for his well-reported pieces and policy influence
Updated July 22, 2017 2:53 p.m. ET
Joseph Rago, a Pulitzer Prize winning editorial writer at The Wall Street Journal who was known for his richly reported pieces and influence on policy makers, was found dead Thursday evening at his home in Manhattan. He was 34 years old.
The New York Police Department found Mr. Rago dead in his apartment at 7:40 p.m., according to a police official. The authorities went to check on Mr. Rago after he didn’t show up for work on Thursday. Paul Gigot, the editor of the Journal’s editorial page, had alerted the paper’s security officials, who then contacted the police.
Mr. Rago was found with no obvious signs of trauma and emergency responders declared him dead at the scene, the police said. The cause of death was being determined by the medical examiner on Friday.
“It is with a heavy heart that we confirm the death of Joseph Rago, a splendid journalist and beloved friend,” Mr. Gigot said in a statement. “Joe and his family are in our thoughts and prayers, and we will be celebrating his work in Saturday’s paper.”
Mr. Rago made his biggest mark writing about health care. In 2011, he captured the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing for what the Pulitzer organization called his “well crafted, against-the-grain editorials challenging the health care reform advocated by President Obama.”
“No matter where you fall in the debate of health care reform, the arguments advanced by Joseph Rago in his series of editorials in The Wall Street Journal were impossible to ignore,” the judges wrote. “Not paying attention to these editorials was not an option for policymakers.”
Mr. Rago gained credibility with the policy community and with politicians because he did his homework, becoming one of the most well-sourced people around on health care, with sources throughout Washington and among academics on the left and right, Mr. Gigot said in an interview on Friday.
“Through his editorials, he had enormous impact on events in Washington,” he said.
The last editorial Mr. Rago wrote, on Wednesday, was titled “The ObamaCare Republicans,” Mr. Gigot said.
After coming to the Journal as a summer intern in 2005, Mr. Rago stood out for his thoughtful reporting and flair for prose. “I immediately hired him,” Mr. Gigot said. “He was just too good not to hire.”
Mr. Rago rose from an assistant editor on the op-ed page to editorial writer to a member of the editorial board. Friends and colleagues say he was modest and serious, but with a sardonic sense of humor that made him a pleasure to be around.
“He was the kind of person you liked to have a beer with—I know that’s a cliché, but it’s actually true,” Mr. Gigot said.
Along with health care, Mr. Rago’s topics ranged from energy regulation to antitrust issues to the debate between privacy and national security. He was the Journal’s main editorial writer during the 2016 presidential campaign and did interviews with many of the candidates as well as filed colorful opinion pieces from the campaign trail.
A native of Falmouth, Mass., Mr. Rago graduated with a degree in history from Dartmouth College in 2005. While there, he was a member of the Phi Delta Alpha fraternity and wrote for the Dartmouth Review, an independent conservative student newspaper. He served on the paper’s board of directors at the time of his death.
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