- - Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Holocaust survivors seek $20B in insurance policies

MIAMI — Thousands of aging Holocaust survivors in the U.S. want Congress to clear a path for them to sue European insurance companies they contend illegally confiscated Jewish life-insurance policies during the Nazi era and have refused to pay an estimated $20 billion still owed.

A hearing is scheduled Wednesday in the House Foreign Affairs Committee on a bill that would provide the survivors with access to U.S. courts and force companies such as Germany’s Allianz SE and Italy’s Assicurazioni Generali to disclose lists of policies held by Jews before World War II.

David Schaecter, 82, who survived the Auschwitz death camp and is president of the Holocaust Survivors Foundation USA, describes the current U.S. policy barring survivors from suing the companies as unfair. He is expected to testify at the hearing.

The legislation’s sponsor, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican, represents many of the estimated 100,000 Holocaust survivors in the U.S. and chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee. The measure has 51 co-sponsors in the House and a companion bill in the Senate.


Ex-Penn State prexy leaves board of U.S. Steel

PITTSBURGH — Ousted Penn State University President Graham Spanier has resigned from the board at U.S. Steel.

Mr. Spanier had been a member of the steelmaker’s board of directors since 2008.

U.S. Steel Corp. spokeswoman Courtney Boone confirmed Mr. Spanier’s resignation Tuesday, but declined to elaborate on the circumstances. She says the Pittsburgh company won’t be commenting further.

U.S. Steel CEO John Surma is vice chairman of Penn State’s board of trustees, which ousted Mr. Spanier and football coach Joe Paterno last week. The trustees say Mr. Spanier and Mr. Paterno failed to act after assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was accused of sexually abusing a boy in a campus shower in 2002.

Mr. Paterno concedes he should’ve done more. Mr. Spanier says he would’ve reported a crime if he suspected one had been committed. Mr. Sandusky denies the abuse accusations.


Man who killed three sleeping sons is executed

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