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David Hicks could be exonerated

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 14 September 2014 | 23.08

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks has lodged an appeal against his conviction in the US. Source: News Corp Australia

AUSTRALIAN David Hicks may have his terrorism conviction overturned after a superior court in the United States ruled the charges he pleaded guilty to were not war crimes.

Hicks, originally from Adelaide, served more than five years in the US prison camp Guantanamo Bay after being caught in Afghanistan at the height of the US-led war against the Taliban Islamic extremists after the September 11 terror attacks.



Michael Mori who acted as David Hicks' military lawyer later moved to Melbourne.



After converting to Islam, he travelled to Afghanistan and was arrested among Taliban fighters in late 2001 and taken to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

He was released after pleading guilty in 2006 to charges of providing "material support for terrorism'' and was sentenced by an American military court.

He spent seven months in an Australian jail as part of his plea bargain.

In November last year, he lodged an appeal against his conviction in the US after a civilian court ruled in another case that the same charges were not war crimes.

A decision is likely within two months.

Originally published as David Hicks could be exonerated

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

‘My life flashed before my eyes’

Mercedes driver Lee Holdsworth is lucky to escape this high speed crash without serious injury after slamming his V8 Supercar into a wall at 265 kilometres per hour

Holdsworth car moments after impact. Pic: John Morris. Source: Supplied

THE fastest point of a racetrack is the last place you want to become a passenger in your own racecar.

But that is exactly what faced Lee Holdsworth during Sunday's Sandown 500, a mechanical failure pitching him into a tyre barrier at over 260km/h.

The crash happened on the 131st lap of the 161 lap race. Holdsworth was cresting the rise in Sandown's long back straight, preparing to tap the brakes before turning into the high-speed Esses, where armco barriers lined by tyres sit lurking only metres away.

Lee Holdsworth. Source: News Corp Australia

Suddenly, his Mercedes snapped towards the inside of the track, skipping across the grassy infield and cutting back across the tarmac, before ploughing nose-first into the tyre barrier at almost undiminished speed.


The impact demolished the front and passenger's side of the car, ripping a front wheel out, completing a lazy half-spin before coming to rest, the half-million dollar machine reduced to a steaming pile of junk.

Incredibly, Holdsworth was uninjured. He was immediately on the radio to reassure the team he was okay before hopping out of the mangled Mercedes and walking to the medical car under his own power, to the applause of the crowd.

After passing medical checks, Holdsworth explained his terror at suddenly becoming a passenger top speed.


"I was in a bit of shock there for a while," he told 7 Sport.

"I saw my life flash before my eyes there. I'm absolutely amazed that I walked away from it.

"It caught me by surprise. Something failed in the rear and it snapped sideways."

Erebus Motorsport CEO Ryan Maddison said their only concern was that Holdsworth's condition, and they won't know what caused the crash until they tear down the wrecked car during the week.

"All of a sudden results get put to the side, but our only concern is Lee's safety and wellbeing," he said.

"There's speculation (on the cause) but until we do a post-mortem on the car, look at the data, look at the physics, we won't know for sure."

The mangled remains of the No.4 Mercedes. Source: Supplied

Originally published as 'My life flashed before my eyes'
23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Did video ruin try of the finals?

Melbourne Storm fans are in mourning after a dismall display in the NRL's elimination finals, with the video referee certainly not easing the pain after ruling out this brilliant Storm try

This was the red light no rugby league purist wanted to see. Source: Supplied

THIS could have been the try of the finals. It could have got the Storm back into it. Then the video ref did what everyone hoped he wouldn't.

He let the super slo mo do its work and convinced himself Jesse Bromwich had knocked on into Josh Reynolds.

No matter which way you look at it — and to be fair to the men in the video box, there was evidence to suggest a tad of separation after the ball hit Bromwich's hands and then Reynolds' chest, which would constitute a knock on — it was hard not to feel duped as a fan.

Was the video referee right to deny Sisa Waqa?

With the Storm down 24-4, they attacked uninhibited, chasing a try that might just get them back into it.

The ball went right and was knocked down by a Bulldogs player — six again.

The ball went left and hit Reynolds and Bromwich almost simultaneously, before popping out behind Bromwich — another six again call.

This was called a knock on by the video ref as Josh Reynolds raced up to meet Jesse Bromwich. Source: Supplied

Flying winger Marika Koroibete picked up the ball and ran infield, then accelerated into a right foot step that split the Bulldogs' defensive line.

As he was falling to the deck, the Fijian got a super ball to countryman and opposite winger Sisa Waqa.

Waqa went over for the most exhilarating of tries!

Then it went upstairs and the magic was gone.

Storm players celebrate the try that wasn't. Source: Supplied

Originally published as Did video ruin try of the finals?

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Cyber-bullies now stealing teaching time

Worrying new research shows Australian high schools are dealing with an average of 22 cyber-bullying incidents each year. Picture: Thinkstock Source: Supplied

SCHOOL principals and teachers are so swamped with cyber-bullying complaints they are losing hours of valuable teaching time each week.

Worrying new research shows Australian high schools are dealing with an average of 22 cyber-bullying incidents each year.

The Federal Government is set to escalate its response to the growing problem, by tabling legislation to create a Children's e-Safety Commissioner to Parliament before the end of the year.



Parliamentary Secretary for Communications Paul Fletcher has expressed concerns cyber-bullying is creating "a substantial new workload for principals and teachers".

Experts say cyber bullying is a growing problem that goes beyond school boundaries. Picture: Thinkstock

He said the problem was so bad, principals and teachers often spent Mondays intervening in a social media stoush that had erupted between students over the weekend.

"The physical safety of children in school grounds is traditionally the responsibility of schools, but what has happened is children are now communicating very extensively online and on social media, and those engagements within the school boundaries have gone well beyond school boundaries, and schools have been faced with a very big new responsibility," Mr Fletcher said.

"Clearly, there is only a finite amount of time in the day; the time spent responding to cyber-bullying is time principals and teachers are not able to spend on the core business of educating kids."

Matthew Keeley, director of the National Children's and Youth Law Centre, who conducted research for the Federal Government, said about 463,000 Australian children were victims of cyber-bullying last year, and three-quarters of those were aged between 10 and 15. Mr Keeley said the ­majority of Australian schools reported dealing with a cyber- bullying case last year, and on average, high schools grappled with 22 incidents of cyber-bullying last year alone, with one in three of those cases being so serious they were ­referred to police.

"We are hearing that teachers are spending inordinate amounts of time managing these issues," he said.

He said principals and teachers had to inform and
involve parents in the issue, counsel and mediate students, issue warnings about inappropriate online behaviour, facilitate class discussions, discipline students and liaise with police.


Originally published as Cyber-bullies now stealing teaching time
23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Woman ‘raped man in his sleep’

Attack ... Chantae Gilman told police she didn't remember having sex with the man. Picture: Facebook Source: Supplied

AN OBESE woman has been charged with rape after she allegedly pinned a man down during a break-in and forced herself on him as he slept.

The 31-year-old victim told police in Seattle he awoke in the night to find Chantae Gilman on top of him in his apartment in the west of the city, Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

Gilman, who weighs 110kg, had pinned the man's arms down and had put his penis inside her, police said.

The man said he didn't know Gilman but recognised her as a "drug user in the area". The 28-year-old woman reportedly knew one of the victim's neighbours in the apartment complex.

She refused the man's demands for her to get off him and told him to be quiet.

Eventually he was able to squeeze out from under her and force her out of his apartment.

A sexual assault examination was performed on the man later in the day with DNA found on him said to match Gilman.

Gilman told police she didn't remember having sex with the man and described herself as mentally ill.

She has been charged with second-degree rape.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Why The Block’s snubbing Sydney

News.com.au's Alison Stephenson talks to The Block glasshouse contestants Jenna Chris about being on the show

EXORBITANT property prices and a 'not in my backyard' culture are to blame for renovation reality series The Block continuing to avoid Sydney.

The hit Channel Nine show found its start in the Harbour City more than a decade ago, but the last three seasons have been set in Melbourne, and at least two more will be filmed there.

"It's not about Sydney versus Melbourne," The Block executive producer Julian Crest said.

"Sydney is simply not a cheap place to buy property and the opportunities we've been interested in are prohibitively priced."

Sorry Sydney ... renovation reality series The Block won't be back in the Harbour City anytime soon, and high property prices plus a 'not in my backyard' culture are to blame. Picture: Supplied

Makers of the show recently snapped up new properties in the Melbourne suburbs of South Yarra and Albert Park, so it will be years before a return to Sydney.

Brick box ... the next series of The Block will be set in this South Yarra unit block. Picture: News Corp Australia. Source: News Corp Australia

Dark past ... the Saville hotel in South Yarra has also been bought for a series of The Block. Picture: Supplied. Source: Supplied

The last time host Scott Cam and the crew rolled in to Sydney was for the All Stars series in Tamarama in early 2013. Since then, the market has continued to soar.

SOUTH YARRA: The setting for the next season of The Block

Year-on-year dwelling price growth in Sydney is five per cent above that in Melbourne, according to research house RP Data.

"If you're talking case by case and looking at the ones we've done in Melbourne, I think we get better value for money."

Winners are grinners ... Phil and Amity Dry won the All Stars series of The Block in Tamarama, Sydney. Picture: News Corp Australia. Source: News Limited

In addition, Crest has found from experience a bigger culture of NIMBYism — or 'not in my backyard' — in Sydney.

"Last time we were there, the neighbours organised protests and lodged objections with the council the moment they heard we were coming.
DARK PAST: Vampire gigolo attack hotel bought by The Block

"By the end, they were thrilled with the result and loved the TV production experience. We won them over, but it took a long time.

"We don't find that sort of anger in Melbourne. We get a warm welcome from the get-go."

Sydney snub ... the last time The Block was in Sydney was for the All Stars series. Picture: News Corp Australia. Source: News Limited

Greater developer activity in Sydney in recent years means competition is tougher, Crest said, whereas a slight construction slowdown in Melbourne gives The Block more bargaining power.

"We're looking in Sydney all the time and just recently looked at some office building conversions in the CBD as well as Surry Hills.

"It's just such a harder place for us to get in."

Crest has also scoped out the inner-eastern pocket of Paddington and emerging inner-western suburbs such as Marrickville for terraces.

"I think Redfern is one of those areas that has transformed in the past few years. Alexandria has become a really hot precinct too. An area like that would be perfect."

Current crop ... the contestants are renovating an old office building in Prahran. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

Getting a good deal on the way in is imperative to the success of the series, he said. Pay too much, and the contestants run the risk of making a smaller profit.

And that's simply not interesting television, Crest said.

"If we buy well, we give the contestants the best opportunity to do something special and achieve a good price at auction.

"The last series we did in Sydney (at Tamarama), the losing team shared $25,000. The last season we did in Melbourne, the losing team won $500,000."

Given show makers have been in Melbourne for nearly two years, they keep stumbling across unbeatable deals that they snap up for future series, he said.

"The property we did in Albert Park for Fans vs. Faves, I came across it on my walk home from work one day, so it was a complete fluke.

"In fact, it's usually a happy accident when we do find a property. The ones for season five in South Melbourne, (Olympic swimmer) Giaan Rooney saw those listed for sale and told me."

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Headbutt earns 70-match ban

Austrian amateur footballer Ismail Gunduz earned a 70-match ban for his violent reaction to a referee's yellow card. Source: News Limited

AN AUSTRIAN soccer player has received an extraordinary 70-match ban for headbutting a referee.

Ismail Gunduz, who plays amateur soccer with the SK Rum team, earned the harsh penalty when he reacted angrily to being show a yellow card during a match against SPG Innsbruck West, the BBC reports.

"We distance ourselves from Ismail Gunduz's behaviour," Rum coach Michael Messner said. "He was thrown out of the club with immediate effect."

The punishment was handed down by the Tirol Football Association, along with a 257 euro ($369) fine to the club.

"The barrier of 70 games is certainly a high punishment, but on account of the various witnesses' questionings also defensible," Tirol FA spokesman Horst Scherl told BBC Sport.

In his own defence, Gunduz claimed to have slipped. "This sentence is madness," he said.

"I will do all I can to return to the pitch."

Tirol FA said the player's behaviour could have cost him up to 78 matches.

Originally published as Headbutt earns 70-match ban

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Django star ‘mistaken for hooker’

Shocking ... Django Unchained actor Daniele Watts claims she was handcuffed by officers who thought she was a prostitute. Picture: Facebook/Daniele Watts Source: Supplied

A DJANGO Unchained actress claims she was "handcuffed and detained" by police officers who mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband in public.

Daniele Watts, an African-American actress who played slave CoCo in the award-winning film, posted the news on her Facebook page on September 2.

Watts claims she and husband Brian James Lucas were kissing on a Hollywood street when police were called and they were asked to show their ID cards.

"Today I was handcuffed and detained by 2 police officers from the Studio City Police Department after refusing to agree that I had done something wrong by showing affection, fully clothed, in a public place," the Weeds actress wrote.

Detained ... Daniele Watts said she was kissing her husband Brian James Lucas when police were called. Picture: Facebook/Cheffy BeLive Source: Supplied

She also posted a photo of herself crying as she stood in the street beside a police officer.

Watts, who plays Martin Lawrence's daughter on the new show Partners, continued: "When the officer arrived, I was standing on the sidewalk by a tree. I was talking to my father on my cell phone.

"I knew that I had done nothing wrong, that I wasn't harming anyone, so I walked away. A few minutes later, I was still talking to my dad when 2 different police officers accosted me and forced me into handcuffs.

"As I was sitting in the back of the police car, I remembered the countless times my father came home frustrated or humiliated by the cops when he had done nothing wrong. I allowed myself to be honest about my anger, frustration, and rage as tears flowed from my eyes."

Distressed ... married couple Brian James Lucas and Daniele Watts wrote about their police encounter on their own Facebook pages. Picture: Facebook/Daniele Watts Source: Supplied

She continued: "The tears I cry for a country that calls itself 'the land of the free and the home of the brave' and yet detains people for claiming that very right."

Lucas wrote on his on Facebook that he thought the person who reported them to police had assumed his wife was a prostitute.

"From the questions that he asked me as D was already on her phone with her dad, I could tell that whoever called on us (including the officers), saw a tatted RAWKer white boy and a hot bootee shorted black girl and thought we were a H* (prostitute) & a TRICK (client)," he wrote.

Chicago Tribune reported a Los Angeles Police Department public information officer said there was no record of the incident as Watts was not arrested.

Django Unchained, a 2012 American western film directed and written by Quentin Tarantino, graphically depicts America's slave trade in the 1800s.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More
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