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  Pell convictions upheld
Posted by: Aractus - 6 hours ago - Forum: World News, Politics and Current Events - Replies (2)

From the Supreme Court of Victoria:

Quote:The Court of Appeal has delivered its judgment in George Pell v The Queen

The Court of Appeal (Chief Justice Anne Ferguson, President of the Court of Appeal Justice Chris Maxwell and Justice Mark Weinberg) delivered its judgment in George Pell v The Queen on Wednesday 21 August 2019.

This follows a hearing on 5 and 6 June 2019 in relation to Cardinal Pell’s appeal against his conviction on 11 December 2018 in the County Court in relation to five charges of sexual offending.

I'm currently reading the 324 page judgment. Significantly, Justice Weinberg held to a dissenting opinion and a considerable amount of the judgment is given to this opinion. Although I skimmed over it, I've yet to read it in full - here is a significant extract:

Quote:(1106)    In Chamberlain (No 2),  Deane J, who dissented (but who, it might be noted, was ultimately, though for other reasons, proved correct) would have allowed the appeal.  His Honour observed that the ‘cause of the continued acceptance of trial by jury’ was not likely to be served by treating a jury’s verdict of guilty as unchallengeable or unexaminable.  To do so could ‘sap and undermine the institution of trial by jury’, and be liable to be seen as ‘a potential instrument of entrenched injustice.’  As his Honour said, if the evidence led against an accused fails to establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt, there is a miscarriage of justice if that person is adjudged as guilty on that evidence.
(1110)    At the same time, his Honour said that the prosecution case against Mrs Chamberlain was neither comprehensive nor, in itself, impregnable.  Much of the evidence led at trial had been that of conflicting experts, and of inferences to be drawn from established facts.  He concluded that, doing the best he could, he had finally come to a firm view that notwithstanding the jury’s verdict of guilty, the evidence did not establish, beyond reasonable doubt, Mrs Chamberlain’s guilt.

(1111)    I find myself in a position quite similar to that which confronted Deane J.  To borrow his Honour’s language, there is, to my mind, a ‘significant possibility’ that the applicant in this case may not have committed these offences.  That means that, in my respectful opinion, these convictions cannot be permitted to stand.  The only order that can properly be made is that the applicant be acquitted on each charge.

(1112)    Mine is, of course, a minority view in relation to Ground 1.  I am troubled by the fact that I find myself constrained to differ from two of my colleagues whose opinions I always respect greatly.  That has caused me to reflect even more carefully upon the proper outcome of this application.  Having done so, however, I cannot, in good conscience, do other than to maintain my dissent.

(1179)    I would grant leave to appeal against conviction on Ground 1.  I would order that the appeal be treated as having been heard instanter, and that it be allowed.  I would set aside each of the convictions sustained below, and the sentences passed thereon.  I would further order that there be entered judgment and verdicts of acquittal on each charge.

I need to read his findings in full, his comparison to the Chamberlain case (!) is clearly of significance.

However to summarise the majority opinion of Chief Justice Ferguson & Justice Maxwell, the witness evidence was compelling, appeared truthful, did not show any signs of fabrication or fantisy that the defence alleged, and therefore there was no doubt in the minds of Ferguson & Maxwell that the victim was a reliable witness of truth. They did not experience a doubt about the truthfulness of the victim's testimony or Pell's guilt.

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  NASA confirms mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa to explore its icy oceans
Posted by: GenesisNemesis - 7 hours ago - Forum: Science, Engineering and Mathematics - Replies (1)


Quote: NASA has confirmed a mission to Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter, will indeed happen. The mission was initially explored starting in 2017, with the space agency looking for reports on how it might proceed, and now NASA has said it will go ahead and move to the key step of finalizing mission design, which will then lead to actually building the spacecraft that will make the trip, and the science payload it’ll carry on board.

The goal of the mission, which is codenamed “Europa Clipper,” is to find out whether the icy natural satellite orbiting Jupiter could sustain life, and also explore whether it might be colonizable or habitable. Plus, we’ll definitely learn a lot more about Europa with an up-close-and-personal exploration.

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  Trump, QAnon and an impending judgment day
Posted by: Dom - 10 hours ago - Forum: World News, Politics and Current Events - Replies (1)

The Epoch Times has spent more than $1.5 million on pro-Trump Facebook ads in the last six months, more than than any organization outside of the Trump campaign itself.

The publication’s recent ad strategy, coupled with a broader campaign to embrace social media and conservative U.S. politics — Trump in particular — has doubled The Epoch Times’ revenue and pushed it to greater prominence in the broader conservative media world.

The Epoch Times has increasingly become a favorite of the Trump family and a key component of the president’s re-election campaign.

Behind the scenes, the media outlet’s ownership and operation is closely tied to Falun Gong, a Chinese spiritual community with the stated goal of taking down China’s government.

Former practitioners of Falun Gong told NBC News that believers think the world is headed toward a judgment day, where those labeled “communists” will be sent to a kind of hell, and those sympathetic to the spiritual community will be spared. Trump is viewed as a key ally in the anti-communist fight, former Epoch Times employees said.

“It is so rabidly pro-Trump,” Hurley said, referring to The Epoch Times. Devout practitioners of Falun Gong “believe that Trump was sent by heaven to destroy the Communist Party.”

“Edge of Wonder,” a verified YouTube channel that releases new NTD-produced videos twice every week and now has more than 33 million views. In addition to claims that alien abductions are real and the drug epidemic was engineered by the “deep state,” the channel pushes the QAnon conspiracy theory, which falsely posits that the same “Spygate” cabal is a front for a global pedophile ring being taken down by Trump.

It's a long article, but it's really interesting.


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  Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne-Moss are making a fourth Matrix movie
Posted by: GenesisNemesis - 11 hours ago - Forum: Movies and Television - Replies (1)


Quote:Warner Bros. has just announced a fourth film in the Matrix series, with original stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss set to reprise their iconic roles as Neo and Trinity, respectively. Lana Wachowski is set to write and direct the sequel.

The news comes after rumors earlier this year from John Wick: Chapter 3 director Chad Stahelski that the Wachowski sisters were working on a new installment in the franchise. But rumors about a new Matrix film have been swirling practically since the third installment — The Matrix Revolutions — was released in 2003.

That said, it appears that only Lana Wachowski is returning for the upcoming film, with her sister Lilly (who co-directed and co-wrote the original three films) absent from the announcement. Instead, screenwriters Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell are set to help produce the script alongside Lana.

Say what you will about the trilogy, but I have a soft spot for it. Not going to say Reloaded or Revolutions were amazing or terrible, but I enjoyed them though. Also, super looking forward to this.

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  Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne-Moss are making a fourth Matrix movie
Posted by: GenesisNemesis - 11 hours ago - Forum: Movies and Television - No Replies

goddamn double post

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  Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord now has an early access release date
Posted by: GenesisNemesis - Yesterday, 08:48 PM - Forum: Gaming - No Replies


Quote:For as long as anyone can remember, Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord has been a thing of legend. Old men whispered that it still lived, while the young people scoffed at them. It's become the stuff of games writing memes, because every time you do a story about Bannerlord, the only comments are along the lines of, "release date WHEN?"

Well, developer TaleWorlds has finally committed to a launch date of sorts. Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord will enter Steam's early access program in March 2020. Fraser was fairly shocked reporting news of the closed beta earlier this year, and I can only echo those feelings when I type the following words: You will be able to play Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord in less than one Gregorian calendar year.


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  UN Committee against Torture concluding observations on Poland.
Posted by: Szuchow - Yesterday, 05:13 PM - Forum: World News, Politics and Current Events - Replies (2)

Committee against Torture issued new report and it looks that Poland have quite a few things to fix. Not that I expect current administration to do something other than cry at injustice of it, or merely shrug it of. Here is link to entire report and below are highlights:

Committee urges Poland to:
- recognize tortures as separate and specific crime in it's Penal Codex
- take effective steps to prohibit admissibility of evidence obtained by torture and/or ill treatment
- ensure review of convictions based solely on confessions
- make sure that detained persons have access to legal representatives

- ensure that all allegations of torture and ill-treatment by law enforcement officials, as well as all deaths in custody, are investigated promptly, effectively and impartially by mechanisms that are structurally and operationally independent and with no institutional or hierarchical connection between the investigators and the alleged perpetrators
- ensure adequate material conditions in all police detention units
- amend its legislation to include domestic violence, including marital rape, as specific crimes in the Penal Code that entails ex officio prosecutions; and ensure that all cases of gender-based violence against women and girls, especially those involving actions or omissions by State authorities or other entities which engage the international responsibility of the State party under the Convention, are thoroughly investigated, that the alleged perpetrators are prosecuted and, if convicted, are punished appropriately and that the victims receive redress, including adequate compensation;
- Consider de-criminalizing abortion and issue guidelines on how to proceed with legal abortions being mindful possible severe physical and mental consequences of denial, including after conscience-based refusals by doctors to perform abortions

I guess that report will be used as building block of besieged fortress mentality but it is good to see lies of gov laid bare. If only there would be some (effective) method of enforcing changes recommended by committee.

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  The bible is a bunch of hooey...so is the new testament
Posted by: Dancefortwo - Yesterday, 04:12 PM - Forum: Atheism & Theism - Replies (17)

Just sayin.  Big Grin 

I've been discussing the bible with a friend who is somewhat religious but not too over the edge. She's not really a church goer, she just sort of believes stuff....maybe.  She was very interested  to learn about the origins of Yahweh as a war god, one of the pantheon of gods.  I described El as the god of all gods from which Isra-el gets the last two letters of it's name.  This was news to her.   It was interesting how the dominos fall. When one learns of the origins of the biblical war god the entire house of cards fall.   If the old testament is a bunch of hooey then so is the new testament.

I meant to add this link....https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/.pre...-1.5992072

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  Ever get drunk and buy a house?
Posted by: Revenant77x - Yesterday, 01:46 AM - Forum: Off-topic - Replies (20)

Been a while since I posted but life has been very interesting of late.  EA and I found a cute little house and should be closing on it sometime this week.  Will try and post pictures of it once we are moved in.  Back in May we went in for physicals and due to living in the US it had been a rather long time since I had seen a doctor for a non emergency reason.  Well the day of my BP was really high and they prescribed a Blood Pressure medicine and they did some blood work.  Couple days later I get a call from the Doctor and they wanted to see me ASAP.  Uh oh.  We manage to get in later that day and my blood work showed a lot wrong.  Diabetes, High Cholesterol, the aforementioned High Blood Pressure.  Also for the first time in my life I was over 300lbs.  

Fast forward to now and my levels are all good, blood sugar is still a bit higher than I want but it has been nearly halved from May and I have managed to drop 15 lbs and am feeling a good bit better.  We went on a pretty hardcore lifestyle change.  Cut out sugar and red meat nearly completely switched to using only olive oil.  No butter no milk cut down on the carbs.  I want to keep this momentum up and eventually get under 200 but I am more worried about being healthy.  So things are looking good.

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  Give Him A Rope
Posted by: Minimalist - Yesterday, 12:15 AM - Forum: World News, Politics and Current Events - Replies (3)


Quote:The man charged in the El Paso Walmart mass shooting is on suicide watch, authorities say.

Patrick Crusius, charged with killing 22 and injuring 25 on Aug. 3 was placed under close guard Monday on the recommendation of medical staff at the county jail, according to an El Paso County Sheriff's Office official.

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