Joe Conley dies aged 85
Joe Conley, an actor best known as the small-town storekeeper on the TV series The Waltons, has died at age 85. The Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday that according to his wife, Louise, Conley, Joe Conley died at a care facility in Southern California on Sunday. She says he had suffered from dementia. A native of Buffalo, New York, Conley had bit parts on 1960s series like Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies before he landed the role on CBS’ The Waltons in 1972 that would last nearly a decade. Conley played Ike Godsey, postmaster and owner of the Jefferson County general store frequented by the Walton family in Depression-era Virginia. He would appear in 172 episodes over nine seasons and in TV movie reunions that lasted into the 1990s.
Dead Magnitsky convicted
News agencies say a court in Moscow has found dead lawyer Sergei Magnitsky guilty of tax evasion, concluding an unusual posthumous trial. The court on Thursday also found Magnitsky’s onetime client, the US-born British investor William Browder, guilty of evading about US$17 million in taxes. Magnitsky died in prison of untreated pancreatitis in 2009, months after alleging that organized criminals colluded with corrupt Interior Ministry officials to claim a US$230 million tax rebate through illegally obtained subsidiaries of Browder’s Hermitage Capital investment company. His death prompted widespread criticism from human rights activists, and the presidential human rights council found in 2011 that he had been beaten and deliberately denied medical treatment. A US law named for Magnitsky calls for sanctions on Russians identified as human rights violators.
Leave Facebook: minister
A government minister on Wednesday urged citizens to shut Facebook accounts to avoid being unwitting informants for the US’ CIA, referring to recent revelations about US surveillance programs. Edward Snowden, a former US National Security Agency contractor who is stuck in a Moscow airport while seeking to avoid capture by the US, last month leaked details about US intelligence agencies obtaining information from popular Web sites including Facebook. “Comrades: Cancel your Facebook accounts, you’ve been working for free as CIA informants. Review the Snowden case!” Prisons Minister Iris Varela wrote on her Twitter account. “Countries and people that have fallen victim to gringo spying should sue the United States to ensure fair compensation. We’re going to bankrupt the US economy!” Varela wrote.
Bull run injures one
One person has been hospitalized after several thousand people tested their speed and bravery by dashing with six fighting bulls through the streets of the northern city of Pamplona. Navarra Hospital head Javier Sesma said the person sustained neck injuries in a fall in the fifth run of the famed San Fermin festival. However, he said no one was gored along the 850m route to Pamplona’s bull ring yesterday. There were moments of tension when a bull became separated from the pack and looked as if he would charge some of the runners. He was eventually guided into the ring without incident. The nationally televised morning runs are the highlight of the nine-day street festival that became world famous after Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises.