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Article source:

Crime Netherlands Top Stories

Neighbors shocked by 3 deaths in Amsterdam family drama

Dutch police officers (Stock Photo: Politie)

Residents of Amsterdam’s Rivierenbuurt are shocked and saddened by events on Eendrachtstraat on Friday that left three members of the same family dead. A 32-year-old man jumped out of a window with his 11-month-old baby in his arms. Both were killed. The baby’s grandmother was later found dead in the apartment.

“I am just very sad”, a local resident said to broadcaster AT5. “I live around the corner. I can see the back of their home from my garden.”

According to the police, the drama started when the baby boy’s mother wanted to pick him up from his grandmother – his father’s mother. The boy’s father was in the home and lost it when his ex came in. He brought out a hand grenade, pulled out the pin and pulled his ex into another room.

The woman managed to escape and call the police. Negotiators and SWAT teams were sent to the site. A short time later, the man jumped from the window with the baby in his arms.

The area was evacuated and an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team was sent in to deal with the hand grenade. According to Het Parool, local residents were only allowed back into their homes at around 9:15 p.m. on Friday.

The police are investigating the cause of the grandmother’s death, but currently believe that she was murdered.


Article source:

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Rejecting calls by anti-doping officials for a complete ban on Russia, Olympic leaders on Sunday gave individual sports federations the task of deciding which athletes should be cleared to compete in next month’s Rio de Janeiro Games.

Citing the need to protect the rights of individual athletes, the International Olympic Committee decided against taking the unprecedented step of excluding Russia’s entire team over allegations of state-sponsored doping. Instead, the IOC left it to 27 international sports federations to make the call on a case-by-case basis.

“Every human being is entitled to individual justice,” IOC President Thomas Bach said after the ruling of his 15-member executive board.

Bach said the IOC had decided instead on a set of “very tough criteria” that could dent Russia’s overall contingent and medal hopes in Rio, where the Olympics will open on Aug. 5.

Under the measures, no Russian athletes who have ever had a doping violation will be allowed into the games, whether or not they have served a sanction, a rule that has not applied to athletes in other countries.

In addition, the international sports federations were ordered to check each Russian athlete’s drug-testing record, with only doping controls conducted outside Russia counting toward eligibility, before authorizing them to compete. Final entry is contingent on approval from an independent sports arbitrator.

The IOC decision was sharply criticized by anti-doping bodies as a sellout that undermines clean athletes and destroys the idea of a level playing field.

World Anti-Doping Agency President Craig Reedie said the organization is “disappointed that the IOC did not heed WADA’s executive committee recommendations” after investigators “exposed, beyond a reasonable doubt, a state-run doping program in Russia that seriously undermines the principles of clean sport.”

Joseph de Pencier, chief executive of the 59-member Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations, said the IOC “failed to confront forcefully the findings of evidence of state-sponsored doping in Russia corrupting the Russian sport system,” describing it as “a sad day for clean sport.”

U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart said the “IOC has refused to take decisive leadership” in a most important moment for the integrity of the Olympic Games and clean athletes.

“The decision regarding Russian participation and the confusing mess left in its wake is a significant blow to the rights of clean athletes,” Tygart said.

Russia’s track and field athletes were already banned by the IAAF, the sport’s governing body, in a decision that was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The IOC accepted that ruling, but would not extend it to other sports.

Russia’s current overall team consists of 387 athletes, a number likely to be significantly reduced by the measure barring Russians who have previously served doping bans.

Calls for a complete ban on Russia intensified after Richard McLaren, a Canadian lawyer commissioned by WADA, issued a report accusing Russia’s sports ministry of overseeing a vast doping program of its Olympic athletes.

McLaren’s investigation, based heavily on evidence from former Moscow doping lab director Grigory Rodchenkov, affirmed allegations of brazen manipulation of Russian urine samples at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, but also found that state-backed doping had involved 28 summer and winter sports from 2011 to 2015.

“An athlete should not suffer and should not be sanctioned for a system in which he was not implicated,” Bach told reporters after Sunday’s meeting, acknowledging the decision “might not please everybody.”

“This is not about expectations,” he said. “This is about doing justice to clean athletes all over the world.”

Asked whether the IOC was being soft on Russia, Bach said: “Read the decision. … You can see how high we set the bar. This is not the end of the story but a preliminary decision that concerns Rio 2016.”

Tygart, however, questioned why the IOC “would pass the baton to sports federations who may lack the adequate expertise or collective will to appropriately address the situation within the short window prior to the games.”

The IOC also rejected the application by Russian whistleblower Yulia Stepanova, an 800-meter runner and former doper who helped expose the doping scandal, to compete under a neutral flag at the games. Stepanova, now living in the United States, competed as an individual athlete at last month’s European Championships in Amsterdam.

But the IOC said Stepanova did not meet the criteria for running under the IOC flag and, because she had been previously banned for doping, did not satisfy the “ethical requirements” to compete in the games. The IOC said it planned to invite Stepanova and her husband, Vitaly Stepanov, a former Russian anti-doping official who also turned whistleblower, to attend the games.

Tygart expressed dismay at the decision to bar Stepanova, describing it as “incomprehensible” and saying it “will undoubtedly deter whistleblowers in the future from coming forward.”

That means only one Russian track and field athlete is eligible to compete in Rio: U.S.-based long jumper Darya Klishina was granted exceptional eligibility by the IAAF because she has been tested outside of Russia.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said “the majority” of Russia’s team complies with the IOC criteria, and estimated “80 percent” of the team regularly undergoes international testing of the kind specified by the IOC.

International federations will have only days to process the Russian cases. Many are still waiting for information from McLaren’s report.

The International Tennis Federation has already said Russia’s eight-member team meets the IOC requirements as the players have been through regular international testing.

Sunday’s measures are still a blow to Russia, which finished third in total medals at the 2012 Olympics.

The team could be without some of its star names in Rio because of the IOC measure barring any Russians who have previously served doping bans. However, the impact on the medal tally is likely to be less severe than the damage caused by the earlier ban on its track team, Russia’s most successful contingent in London four years ago.

Among those set to be ruled out are world champion swimmer Yulia Efimova; 2012 Olympic silver medal-winning weightlifter Tatyana Kashirina; and two-time Olympic bronze medal-winning cyclist Olga Zabelinskaya. All three have previously served doping bans.

Russian Olympic Committee president Alexander Zhukov presented his case to the IOC board, promising full cooperation with investigations and guaranteeing “a complete and comprehensive restructuring of the Russian anti-doping system.”

He issued a strong plea against a full ban.

“My question is this: If you treat the cancer by cutting off the patient’s head and killing him, do you consider this as a victory in the fight?” he said in remarks released later. “That does not seem like a victory to me.”

In its decision, the IOC also:

— asked the federations to examine the information and names of athletes and sports implicated in the McLaren report, saying any of those implicated should not be allowed into the games.

— said the federations would have to apply their own rules if they want to ban an entire Russian team from their events in Rio, as the IAAF has already done.

— said Russian entries must be examined and upheld by an expert from the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

— ruled that Russian athletes who are cleared for the games will be subjected to a “rigorous additional out-of-competition testing program.”

The IOC also reiterated its “serious concerns” about the weaknesses in the fight against doping, and called on WADA to “fully review their anti-doping systems.” The IOC said it would propose measures for more transparency and independence.


Wilson reported from London. AP Sports Writers James Ellingworth and Rob Harris contributed to this report.


Article source:

Once again, the people who run the Olympics just can’t say no to Vladimir Putin.

Not when he spends more than $50 billion to host a winter Olympics to show off a resurgent Russia. Not when he talks darkly about returning to the days of Olympic boycotts in 1980 and 1984.

Certainly not when he suggests that doping officials of one powerful country – can you guess which one? – are behind efforts to ban Russia from the Rio Olympics.

When Putin talks, Olympic officials listen. And that’s the biggest reason why Russian athletes – at least some of them – will march in opening ceremonies less than two weeks from now in Brazil.

With Russian prestige on the line, the executive board of the International Olympic Committee caved in. Instead of banning Russia from Rio for running a state-sanctioned doping operation, the IOC members decided instead Sunday to allow individual sports federations to decide which Russians can compete.

Spineless, yes, but that’s to be expected. No reason to let a little doping scandal get in the way of a cozy relationship that serves both sides so well.

It was just a little more than two years ago that Putin was the face of a winter Olympics that he saw as far more than just a sporting event. He cheered Russian athletes in arenas and in the mountains, and celebrated with them as they added to the host country’s medal haul.

Meanwhile, his agents were working late into the night at the Sochi doping lab, exchanging urine samples taken from the country’s athletes for clean ones in an elaborate scheme to escape detection.

It paid off with 33 medals for Russia, 11 of them gold. The country led the medal standings, and Russian pride surged with every big win.

That much of it was a scam wouldn’t be uncovered until many months later. When it was, it was clear the scope of the cheating effort was so great that it couldn’t have been pulled off without cooperation and approval from the highest levels of the Russian government.

Yet Russian athletes will still compete in Rio. The official explanation for just why came from IOC President Thomas Bach, who said it would be unfair to ban all Russians when it has not been proven that all of them cheat.

“At the end of the day we have to be able to look in the eye of the individual athletes concerned by this decision,” Bach said.

The unofficial explanation was more telling.

“The IOC decision was to be expected. You can’t behave improperly toward a power like Russia,” said Gennady Alyoshin, a Russian Olympic Committee official, in comments to the Tass news agency.

Apparently you can’t, since the IOC – for all its bluster about operating drug-free Olympics – seems more worried about offending Russia than protecting clean athletes. The inexplicable decision to allow Russians to compete in Rio is a slap in the face to both clean athletes and those around the world who work hard to try and ensure the playing field is level.

As an added insult, the IOC did Russia’s bidding by refusing to allow Yulia Stepanova’s entry into the games as a neutral competitor, a decision a top U.S. Anti-Doping Agency official called “incomprehensible.” Stepanova is a runner who left Russia fearing for her safety after blowing the whistle on Russian doping and is considered a traitor by some in her home country.

It’s enough to make even the true believers wonder. Just what are these Olympic ideals we hear so much about anyway?

Surely there are some Russian athletes who don’t cheat and would be banned unfairly from the games. Hard to figure out who they are, though, with doping so widespread that Russian labs covered up more than 600 positive drug tests in 29 Olympic sports from 2011 until last August.

So now you have swimmers who will have to wonder in Rio how they can beat a Russian in the next lane. You have boxers who worry about getting hit in the face by a Russian opponent who just may be on the latest doping cocktail.

And you have incompetent Olympic leaders who talk grandly about cleaning up the games, then bow to Putin when given a chance to make the biggest statement ever about the evils of doping in sports.

Article source:

The 2016 Democratic National Convention starts Monday amid controversy stemming from tens of thousands of leaked DNC emails that seemingly contained a bias toward Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Sunday she would step down after the convention ends. Party leaders said Saturday Shultz will not play a role at the convention and has been scrapped from the line-up of events and speeches, CNN reported.

Read more from PIX 11 News.

Article source:

Column: IOC bows to Putin and Russian dopers

July 24, 2016
Updated: July 24, 2016 7:38pm

Article source:

VENICE – Pieter Kohnstam heard the Gestapo before he saw them.

A motorcycle with a sidecar drove down his street, flanking a truck filled with soldiers carrying machine guns. Their engines roared with life, and their sirens wailed.

Just 6 years old the day Nazi officers showed up in his neighborhood in Amsterdam, he knew whatever family they came to see was in danger.

On an August day in 1942, it was his turn.

Kohnstam’s mother had been about to call Gerda Lester, a fashion salon owner who would later help the Kohnstam family escape to Argentina. When the officers came in, he stood in front of his mother, who slipped a piece of paper into his hand.

It might have contained Lester’s name or her number. Kohnstam never found out. It went from his palm to his mouth.

Kohnstam knew to swallow it without being told. In a time when Jews were killed and beaten in the street, he was conditioned to protect himself and those he loved.

“I didn’t know what was on the paper, but I assumed if my mother put it in my hand, it was better off not seen,” he said.

Kohnstam, now 80, educates others about the Holocaust. He wrote his family’s story in the book “A Chance to Live,” which was published in 2006.

He’s currently in Germany with his family celebrating its translation to German.

“I hope that I will do in my little, tiny, weeny, humble part, something to pay back and to express the importance of what people can do and did to others for no reason than to have a different religion or a different color of the skin or a different belief,” he said at his home in Venice.

A friend in Frank

Despite the tumultuous times in which he grew up, Kohnstam found a friend in Anne Frank.

Frank later became famous for the diary she kept after she and her family went into hiding from the Nazis in 1942 until 1944. After her death in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, her father Otto led the effort to publish her account as “The Diary of a Young Girl.”

But before the Frank family went into hiding, they lived in an apartment building on Merwedeplein in Amsterdam, two floors above the Kohnstams. Frank found a playmate and little brother figure in Kohnstam.

She was seven years older than him, almost to the day.

Being on the ground floor, Kohnstam’s apartment had a garden that was hidden from the street. He used to go outside, fill up the wash basin and start splashing around in it.

Frank would see this from her apartment and come running downstairs to play.

“She was a very sprightly girl; she was very alive,” Kohnstam said.

As she got older, Frank would help Kohnstam’s grandma watch him while his parents went out. She used to write while sitting with him and tell Kohnstam about what she wrote.

“I used to make comments that would throw a wrench in her stomach,” he said. “It was a big laugh.”

But over the years, as Frank walked Kohnstam home from school, talk about school and friends shifted to the day’s events.

In 1940, beatings in Amsterdam’s streets became increasingly common. Come 1942, when Kohnstam started school, he went with a yellow Star of David sewn to his clothes. During that year, everything changed.

The Franks and the Kohnstams received an order telling them to report to the SS Nazi paramilitary office. After going there, Kohnstam’s parents were told they and the Franks were to report to a secondary railroad station at midnight.

Both families knew showing up likely meant being sent to a concentration camp.

As his family let the wave of shock set over them, that night, Kohnstam sat on the floor while his family had a meeting.

Otto Frank had invited them to go into hiding with his family, but Kohnstam’s grandma told them staying wasn’t an option.

“If you don’t leave, I will close the apartment, turn on the gas and blow it up. But if you do leave, at least you’ll have a chance to live,” Pieter Kohnstam remembers her saying.

Her words would later inspire the title of his book.

Saying goodbye

On July 6, 1942, Frank said goodbye.

Their apartment was her last stop before going into hiding. With her, she took a red-and-white checkered diary. It was a 13th birthday gift that Kohnstam’s mom had suggested to Frank’s mother, Edith, after she complained of Frank’s papers being all over the apartment.

From his living room, Kohnstam watched her go, his head and nose pressed up against the window pane.

While walking to the annex where she’d spend the next two years, Frank turned her head and waved at least once.

“And that I felt. That affected me. I knew that was serious,”  Kohnstam said.

Days after the Franks left for hiding and Nazi officers showed up to claim possession of the Kohnstams’ apartment and their items, the family began their journey leaving the Netherlands.

Gerda Lester helped the Kohnstams escape to Maastricht, a Dutch city near the Belgium border. While on the train there, Kohnstam’s mother posed as a model, his father a fashion designer and Kohnstam as Lester’s son.

After saying goodbye to Lester, they made their way to Argentina via Belgium, Paris and Spain. From Spain, Kohnstam and his family boarded the ship “Cabo De Buena Esperanza” to Buenos Aires in 1943.

Kohnstam went about three years without knowing what happened to his grandma, Clara.

When his family fled in 1942, she stayed in Amsterdam to get affairs in order and keep a sense of normalcy about the apartment. Kohnstam’s mom worked out a deal with the milkman, where he would take her into hiding if she placed a teapot upside-down in the windowsill. During those three years, she was relocated to seven different hiding places.

After meeting a British soldier while playing bridge in 1945, she had him mail a letter to her cousin in London, letting him know she was alive. The cousin wrote to Kohnstam’s stepfather in Buenos Aires relaying the news.

When Clara arrived a few months later, she had nothing but the clothes on her back and a set of Meissen dishes. They had been a wedding gift to Kohnstam’s parents, stored by Lester during the war.

“I remember being at the airport and seeing her come down the plane,” Kohnstam said.

Finding a treasure

When Frank’s diary was found and published, Kohnstam was 11 and living in Argentina.

Someone, possibly Lester, wrote to his grandmother letting her know.

Over the years, Kohnstam has read parts of Frank’s diary. When he tells others of the Holocaust, he often quotes it. He sees Frank’s resilience in the quotes, her optimism that never left. His favorite is from an entry written less than a month before the Frank family was discovered.

“It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death,” Frank wrote on July 15, 1944.

“One thing they couldn’t take from us was hope,” Kohnstam said.

But Kohnstam has never read his old friend’s diary cover to cover.

He lived enough of it himself.

Kohnstam never wanted to talk about his experiences.

His family knew about his experiences, his wife Susan said. They tried to get him to write a book and tell others. He refused. He didn’t think it was important to share.

This changed in 1980.

Spurring action

While living in New Jersey, he woke up to find swastikas on his driveway and car. And it wasn’t just his house that was targeted — but the local rabbi’s house, too.

When the community’s rabbi didn’t stand up, Susan and Pieter Kohnstam led the charge. The town came together to condemn the vandalism.

“That got me out of the closet,” Kohnstam said.

While it turned out to be local kids who drew the defamatory symbols, Kohnstam finally wrote the book his family had been begging him to write after moving to Venice in 2003. It was published in 2006.

When teaching others about the Holocaust, where six million Jews and five million non-Jews were killed, survivor stories are the most impactful part of education, said Sandy Mermelstein, the senior educator at the Florida Holocaust Museum.

As the number of survivors starts to dwindle, stories of those who fled the Holocaust but never went to a camp are an essential part of Holocaust education. They humanize the Holocaust, sharing their fear, loss and uncertainty felt, Mermelstein said.

While the concept of 11 million killed is nearly impossible to grasp, survivors and refugees who speak give the students the stories behind the number.

“It wasn’t this giant statistic. It was one, plus one, plus one, plus one,” Mermelstein said.

Erin Blankenship met Kohnstam about 15 years ago at a reception for the first exhibit she set up at the museum.

The exhibit, “Fragments: Portraits of Survivors,” featured 115 photographs of those who survived, along with a brief written statement about their story. Among these was Kohnstam, the curator of exhibitions and collections said.

He wrote about seeing people killed in the street and rounded up, and the fear he felt seeing this as a child.  

“I have this with me constantly. It doesn’t go away, and it doesn’t disappear. That’s what I’m living with. That’s what is burned into us,” he wrote on April 29, 2001.

When “A Chance to Live” was published years later, Blankenship went out to lunch with Kohnstam. She said she’s thrilled to see it being translated to German because memoirs teach students about the Holocaust around the world.

“We teach the Holocaust one story at a time, one individual at a time,” Blankenship said.

The book has already been translated into Dutch. For its German translation, the city of Fürth, Germany, invited the Kohnstams to visit July 15 to 27, all expenses paid.

For Kohnstam, this will be his second time in the region of Middle Franconia, where Fürth is. It’s the region where his father moved back to after the war, where he traces his family history generations back.

After the trip, Kohnstam will continue speaking to schools and universities. 

“I’m just a little fish in a big pond, but I’m doing something, and I’m a messenger.”

Article source:

FILE – In this Feb. 18, 2014 file photo, a Russian skating fan holds the country’s national flag over the Olympic rings before the start of the men’s 10,000-meter speedskating race at Adler Arena Skating Center during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The IOC’s ruling 15-member executive board will meet Sunday, July 24, 2016 via teleconference to weigh the unprecedented step of excluding Russia as a whole from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games because of systematic, state-sponsored cheating. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, file)

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Kate Samuelson For Mailonline



The life of a world-class supermodel is certainly a busy one.

And just days after showcasing her gym-honed body in lace lingerie for Autograph at MS, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is the face of yet another high-profile campaign.

The Devon-born beauty, 29, stuns in a collection of classy images for Bulgari’s latest Fall Winter 2016 Accessories Collection.

Scroll down for video 

The Devon-born beauty, 29, stuns in a collection of classy images for Bulgari's latest Fall Winter 2016 Accessories Collection

The Devon-born beauty, 29, stuns in a collection of classy images for Bulgari’s latest Fall Winter 2016 Accessories Collection

In a series of stylish pictures taken by New York-based photographer Michael Avedon, the model and lingerie designer shows off her smooth, tanned skin and luscious golden locks.

Rosie, who is engaged to actor Jason Statham, poses with striking new pieces from the SERPENTI and BVLGARI BVLGARI collections, while wearing sophisticated sunglasses.

In one of the shots she is adorned with a pink Bulgari fur as she leans on a pile of boxes. In another, she smiles enigmatically as she poses on an orange chair.

In a recent interview with FEMAIL, the toned star shared the secrets behind her incredible figure – and her tips for staying on the clean-eating bandwagon.

In a series of stylish pictures taken by New York-based photographer Michael Avedon, the model and lingerie designer shows off her smooth, tanned skin and luscious golden locks

In a series of stylish pictures taken by New York-based photographer Michael Avedon, the model and lingerie designer shows off her smooth, tanned skin and luscious golden locks

Rosie poses with striking new pieces from the SERPENTI and BVLGARI BVLGARI collections, while wearing sophisticated sunglasses

Rosie poses with striking new pieces from the SERPENTI and BVLGARI BVLGARI collections, while wearing sophisticated sunglasses

Upgrade your arm candy with a red handbag like Rosie’s

Bvlgari Serpenti Forever Bag

Get it at Selfridges in a range of colours!

Visit site

Supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has a series of campaigns under her belt, and for her latest venture she turns her hand to arm candy as the face of Bulgari’s Fall 2016 handbag collection.

We’re dying to get our hands on each and every one of these luxury handbags, but if we had to pick one piece it would be the classic ‘Serpenti Forever’ one in a rich crimson hue featuring “Serpenti” embellished head closure and an acrossbody chain strap.

A great way to inject some colour into your wardrobe, this handbag is also just the right sizes to fit all your daily essentials in whilst leaving your hands free!

Follow the link on the right to get it now at Selfridges, or for more choice check out our edit of similar styles in the carousel below, including picks from Liquorish, Michael Kors, Aspinals and Asos.




She said: ‘To keep motivated I find that alternating work outs and mixing interval, low and high intensity training really helps. I love to mix in Pilates and fun dance classes too.

‘If you’re short on time try skipping – I love it as it gets the heart rate up immediately and works out so many parts of your body. It’s a great cardio alternative that also helps tone at the same time.’ 

The model and actress added: ‘Never miss meals for the sake of saving calories. Breakfast is really important for me and sets me up for the day.

The 29-year-old opts for a protein-based breakfast of eggs with spinach and, after workouts, she drinks a healthy green smoothie and always tries to drink two litres of water before lunch.

‘Try and maintain a good balanced diet,’ she added. ‘I’m a real foodie but when I’m at home I try and cook very nutritious, organic and basic foods and when I’m out I’ll enjoy myself, but try and make healthy choices.

‘I try to avoid carbs if I have a lingerie shoot or red carpet event and try to drink as much water as I can to keep hydrated.’ 

As well as her ever-successful modelling career, the beauty has designed a line of lingerie and cosmetics for MS in the UK.

Rosie also boasts a successful movie career with roles in 2011′s Transformers: Dark Of The Moon and Mad Max: Fury Road.

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