World Report

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SYDNEY (JTA) — An analysis of water from the site of this summer's Maccabiah Games bridge collapse in Israel has revealed that Australian team members "fell into a deadly cocktail of chemicals and pollutants," according to tests conducted by an Australian newspaper.

Barry Lyons, a director for WSL Consultants, which conducted the tests for the Sunday Herald-Sun, said the results of a sample from the Yarkon River indicated that the water was "quite contaminated," resembling "diluted sewage."

The report also produced evidence that the water contained a toxic oil that can be used to repel mosquitoes and that the substance created "oily gunk" on the lungs of the victims which prevented oxygen from being absorbed by the body.

According to Dr. Elihu Richter of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, "the substance in the Australian tests — and what we have found with our own experience — would produce the kind of pneumonia which developed in the athletes hours and days after they fell into the water."

Four Australian athletes died as a result of the July 14 collapse before the opening ceremonies at the Ramat Gan Stadium. Others became seriously ill.

An Israeli commission that investigated the incident found that a combination of factors, including shoddy materials and faulty construction, led to the accident.

Former Nazi suspect dies in Australia at 81

SYDNEY (JTA) — The only Australian to face trial for participating in Nazi crimes has died at the age of 81.

In 1990, Ivan Polyukhovich was arrested and charged with murdering Jews and of being involved in the deaths of up to 850 others in Nazi-occupied Ukraine in 1942 and 1943.

The day before his hearing was due to commence in 1990, he attempted suicide. The injuries he suffered as a result of the suicide attempt, the court challenges by the defense and his ill health resulted in a long delay before his case came to trial.

Nine members of the Ukrainian community in the Rovno region, where the atrocities of which he was accused took place, testified in his 1993 trial.

After the judge instructed the jury that a guilty verdict would require an absence of reasonable doubt and that after five decades it would be extraordinary if no doubt existed, Polyukhovich was acquitted after less than 90 minutes of deliberation.