John Lennon’s killer denied parole for seventh time

John Lennon’s killer was denied release from prison in his seventh appearance before a parole board, New York corrections officials said.

Mark David Chapman, 57, was denied parole by a three-member board after a hearing Wednesday, the state Department of Corrections said Thursday. .

Chapman shot Lennon in December 1980 outside the Manhattan apartment building where the former Beatle lived. He was sentenced in 1981 to 20 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder. The musician, singer and songwriter was 40.

“Despite your positive efforts while incarcerated, your release at this time would greatly undermine respect for the law and tend to trivialize the tragic loss of life which you caused as a result of this heinous, unprovoked, violent, cold and calculated crime,” board member Sally Thompson wrote. Board members Joseph Crangle and Marc Coppola agreed.

Chapman can try again for parole in two years.


With help, woman lands big marlin but no prize money

A Hawaii tournament angler fought a 12-foot, half-ton marlin in the Pacific Ocean for more than four hours before she and her teammates got the monster fish out of the water – but she missed out on the glory and thousands of dollars in prize money.

Molly Palmer, 28, would have needed to reel in the fish by herself in order for it to qualify as a valid catch for the tournament, according to rules set by the International Game Fishing Association.

But her team helped her pull the massive marlin aboard – so all the Kailua-Kona angler got was a fish story.

Palmer told The Associated Press that her team wasn’t overly concerned about getting disqualified hauling the fish on deck, because they just wanted to land the big catch.

“I didn’t come here to set world records,” Palmer said. “I didn’t even really come here to win money. I came here to catch fish and that’s just what we were there to do.”

Palmer’s fish weighed in at 1,022.5 pounds, well over the record of 950 pounds for a woman using a 130-pound line, tournament organizer Jody Bright said.


Navy SEAL who wrote book on bin Laden killing revealed

The Navy SEAL who wrote an account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden under a pseudonym was identified Thursday as Matt Bissonnette, who retired from the Navy last summer.

Bissonnette was first identified by Fox News. One current and one former U.S. military official confirmed the name, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss military personnel matters.

The book, “No Easy Day,” is scheduled to be released Sept. 11, with the author listed under the pseudonym of Mark Owen. Penguin Group (USA)’s Dutton imprint, the publisher, asked news organizations Thursday to withhold his identity.

“Sharing the true story of his personal experience in ‘No Easy Day’ is a courageous act in the face of obvious risks to his personal security,” said a statement by Christine Ball, Penguin Group spokeswoman.


Jewish groups urge Germany to protect ritual circumcision

Israel’s president is urging Germany to protect the custom of ritual circumcision, joining a chorus of Israeli officials and Jewish groups concerned about a German regional court which ruled that the practice amounts to physical abuse.

In a letter Thursday to German President Joachim Gauck, Israeli President Shimon Peres said circumcision is a crucial Jewish custom which has been practiced for thousands of years.

The Israeli president praised Germany for vowing to pass legislation to protect the practice. Germany’s Justice Ministry says it will submit a draft law by the autumn.


More than 900 police hold raids in neo-Nazi crackdown

More than 900 police officers raided homes and clubhouses of suspected neo-Nazis in a crackdown in a western German state on Thursday, seizing far-right propaganda material, computer hard drives and a wide variety of weapons, the region’s top security official said.

The raids to collect evidence came after North Rhine-Westphalia state interior minister Ralf Jaeger banned three local neo-Nazi groups.

“These groups are anti-foreigner, they are racist and they are anti-Semitic,” Jaeger said at a news conference.

The crackdown in North Rhine-Westphalia comes amid a greater focus nationally on the far right in Germany.

That was sparked by the revelation last year that a small group of neo-Nazis apparently managed to kill nine minorities and a police officer over a seven-year period while remaining off the radar of the country’s intelligence services.


Parking space insult costs driver a fine of $75,312

A 68-year-old real estate broker in Germany is paying dearly for insulting another man in a dispute over a parking space.

Die Welt newspaper says a Hamburg court fined the defendant $75,312 Thursday for using an offensive word.

The paper said the defendant had jumped the line for a parking space before the argument erupted.

It said the fine was based on the man’s estimated monthly income.

Die Welt quoted the judge as saying it was probably the biggest fine ever handed down in Hamburg for an insult.

The man’s lawyer denied he had used the insult, but said that if he had “it would have been so quiet that nobody would have heard.”

The defendant plans to appeal the verdict.

— From news service reports