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Australian grid operator to add 250 kW Tesla Powerpack for “demand response” and blackout preventionBy Guest
Australian transmission operator Transgrid has announced that it will install a 250 kilowatt, 500 kilowatt hour Powerpack installation in New South Wales to better manageme fluctuating energy demand and prevent blackouts.
Transgrid operates the high voltage electricity transmission backbone for NSW and the ACT which connects the generators, distributors and large scale consumers of power. It is looking to energy storage as a means to smooth power spikes caused by renewables like solar which at the grid level, creates a spike in generation at midday that does not always correspond to usage. Unlike fossil fuel fired generation which can be throttled up or down as needed, solar systems generate electricity when the sun is shining and when it is gone, it’s gone.
Tesla commercial battery storage system will provide the local depot with energy savings by storing lower cost power during the day and returning it back to consumers during times of peak demand. Demand Response installations such as this eliminate the need for natural gas fired peaker plants which similarly stand at the ready to respond to increases in demand. Though these plants do not operate continuously, they generate a disproportionately high amount of pollution for the short periods they operate. Storing low cost power when demand is low and metering it out during a spike has the potential to save operators and / or customers the incremental cost of these demand surcharges. Battery installations are also not exposed to commodity risk in the event of a spike in the price of natural gas or coal which makes the cost benefit analysis appear that much more attractive.
Storage at the facility level has similar benefits with a Powerpack installation having the ability to absorb excess solar power generated during the day and metering that power out over the evening and night. Keeping the power generated on site can mean the difference between a solar installation being cost effective or not, depending on the net metering policy of the utility.
Tesla won a contract with Transgrid to provide its Powerpacks to several sites last year of which this is the first. Transgrid is using the installation to explore the potential of grid scale batteries on its network before adding more.
In March, Tesla CEO Elon Musk threw down the gauntlet with an Australian billionaire on Twitter, guaranteeing that Tesla could restore stability to Australia’s regional grids with several hundred megawatts of Powerpacks in just 100 days or Tesla would install the system for free. This pilot installation could be the crack in the floodgates, as Australia’s unstable grid and high electricity prices prove to be fertile ground for grid scale batteries.
Source: AFR (paywall)
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
TIRED OF BEING MANIPULATED BY FAKE NEWS?
VERY SIMPLE SOLUTION ... GET EDUCATED ABOUT WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON AROUND YOU!
Royal Commission Case Study 54: What to expect - by an anonymous reporter who DOES homework !
With Case Study 54 only a few days away, THIS FRIDAY (AUSTRALIAN TIME) MARCH 10, 2017 (You do the math for local time...) a lot of discussion has been circulating as to exactly what we can expect when Watchtower appears once again before the Australian Royal Commission.
I’ve decided to chip in a few observations here to help set expectations and to contribute to the discussions as best I’m able. So without further ado, let’s quickly run through what we know:
What exactly will be discussed? According to the Commission website, the scope of the study is as follows
1. The current policies and procedures of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd in relation to child protection and child-safe standards, including responding to allegations of child sexual abuse.
2. Factors that may have contributed to the occurrence of child sexual abuse at Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd institutions.
3. Factors that may have affected the institutional response of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd to child sexual abuse.
4. The responses of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd to relevant case study report(s) and other Royal Commission reports.
5. Any related matters.
The purpose of this public hearing is not to inquire into individual sets of facts or particular events as has occurred in previous Royal Commission case studies.
Why does the Case Study 54 hearing appear to be only one day long? This may appear at first glance to be a surprise. How can a single day of testimony possibly be enough to cover the vast and complex issue of Watchtower’s child abuse scandal?
Well, remember that Case Study 54 isn’t a fact finding mission. That was Case Study 29. The Commission spent days digging and interviewing, and ultimately issued a detailed report on every aspect of Watchtower’s failure. As far as the Commission is concerned, the facts are in. There is no further debate. Case Study 54 is tasked purely with a quick review of those facts and then with publicly asking Watchtower what is has done to address the damning failures identified in Case Study 29.
Remember what Justice McClellan said to Watchtower’s legal team? That they were going to come back to Watchtower and publicly ask them what had been done to address the issues?
That’s what this is.
So what has Watchtower done in the 21 months since Case Study 29? As far as I am aware, the only potential effort from Watchtower to address any of the concerns raised in the Royal Commission has been to no longer require an abuse survivor to confront their attacker. However, it was not clear from testimony if this practice had actually been halted before the Commission sat. Watchtower seemed to insist in testimony that it was, but their documentation did not reflect this.
Thus one cannot say with certainty that even this potential change has come as a result of the Commission report.
So Watchtower is going to stand before the Commission, after 21 months, and basically say they’ve done nothing at all? I have no idea.
I mean, that would be the honest thing to do, but remember how slippery and devious Watchtower was in Case Study 29, with senior Watchtower officials like Rodney Spinks, Terrence O’Brain and Governing Body Member Geoffrey Jackson attempted to mislead and outright lie to the Commission on multiple occasions. As far as I can see, Watchtower has three options
Admit they’ve done nothing and that they don’t intend to for religious reasons, and turn the whole thing into an issue of religious freedom. Try to stall and muddy the waters by saying they’ve not had enough time, that they have no authority to make the changes required without Brooklyn agreement, knowing full well that Brooklyn is beyond the reach of the Commission. The idea here would be to stall until the day is over, then slink away and wait, knowing no further testimony is required. Dive full into another round of misleading doublespeak and outright lies to try and pull the wool over the Commission’s eyes. Which one will they pick? Again I have no idea. Judging from Watchtower’s jaw-dropping legal incompetence in Case Study 29 and in the recent Fessler case, it’s very hard to predict their strategy. It seems to have no rhyme or reason, but keep in mind three things.
The men in charge of Watchtower are firstly very deluded. They genuinely think they are defending God’s organization against Satanic and apostate attack, and feel that compromise will be a victory for Satan. The men in charge of Watchtower are very out of touch with real life, spending all their days in a world where you don’t question Watchtower or those who run it, and now they’ve risen to the top. Their word is law. Odds are that no-one has told Anthony Morris III that his ideas are stupid for a very long time. They have no idea how to handle the kind of environment the Royal Commission brings to the table. Geoffrey Jackson’s excruciating performance, where the Commission made mincemeat of his arguments, was proof of that. The men in charge of Watchtower are caught between being honest with a Commission that has all of their dirty little secrets on the one hand, and playing to the growing audience of JW’s who they know WILL find out about March 10th one way or the other. They have to both be as compliant as possible to the Commission whilst also appearing to be steadfast and unmovable to the Witnesses who will end up seeing the testimony on YouTube. So delusion, seclusion, and public relations are all going to crash into once horrible mess as they did in Case Study 29 and as a result I have no idea what Watchtower will do on Friday.
We hope to preserve the live steam video for future reference as the Commission does not archive or make this video available once the live stream is over. However, technical gremlins are always a factor so if you have the ability to record the live stream, it would be a great idea to do so as well. The more people do this, the less chance of this footage being lost forever.
Lastly we will of course be following up with articles on the day, giving you a more detailed analysis of what has transpired.
Get your popcorn (and your coffee if you’re staying up late) and lets all observe the car crash together!
And one last thing: if it is safe for you to do so, please tell as many Jehovah’s Witnesses as you can about the events on March 10th. Their children are at risk and they don’t even know it. They may choose not to look up the Case Study, but simply being aware that it exists is the first step in raising awareness that the Governing Body is not being honest with them about the international scandal of child abuse inside the Watchtower organization.
(edited for political correctness and other stuff ...) JTR
By Bible Speaks
ASSASSINATION OF A COMPLETE WITNESS FAMILY.
A disgruntled Jehovah's Witness whose family was killed in the Margaret River massacre has spoken of his children going to a "new system" after his tragic death.
The bodies of the four autistic children of Aaron Cockman, Taye, 13, Rylan, 12, Arye, 10 and Kadyn Cockman, eight, were found on Friday at the family farm in Osmington, in rural western Australia.
The youngsters, as well as Katrina, a separated couple of Mr Cockman, 35, and his mother Cynda, 58, are believed to have been shot dead by the children's grandfather, Peter Miles, 61.
"My whole family has remained strong, we were all seated last night and it was not tears or tears ... it all smiled, laughed and joked," said Mr. Cockman, according to The West.
Aaron Cockman, a Jehovah's Witness whose family was killed in the Margaret River massacre, spoke of his children going to a "new system" after their tragic deaths.
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
(New news ....) A MONTANA Judge Orders Jehovah’s Witnesses to Turn Over Internal Documents Related to Childhood Sexual Abuse
April 12, 2018
On April 5, 2018, Judge James Manley of Sanders County, Montana ordered the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization to produce documents and testimony related to internal reports and investigations into the childhood sexual abuse of NPR’s two clients.
In this case, the two Plaintiffs were sexually abused as children by a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Elders in the local Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Thompson Falls, Montana were aware of the abuse and failed to report it to the police, choosing instead to handle the reports and investigations internally pursuant to Jehovah’s Witness guidelines. Their decision not to report the abuse to authorities allowed the perpetrator to remain in the congregation and continue to abuse one of the Plaintiffs.
Throughout this case, and similar childhood sexual abuse cases across the country, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have refused to produce documents related to their internal handling of reports of sexual abuse and related investigations and disciplinary actions claiming that the information is protected by the clergy-penitent privilege and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Through briefing to the court, NPR convinced the Judge that Defendants’ privilege claims were unsupported and improper under the law. The Court agreed that Defendants could not blanket everything related to their investigations in secrecy and that they must turn it over to the Plaintiffs. Often, this is the very evidence that can win or lose a case like this against a religious institution.
The case of Nunez, et al. v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York, et al. is set to go to trial in September of 2018.
The plaintiffs in this case are represented by NPR partner D. Neil Smith and associate Ross E. Leonoudakis.
A Jury of 12 held in public view ... or a tribunal of three held in complete secrecy.
Which would YOU choose, to get Justice?
By Bible Speaks
Our congregation of 40 publishers in Victoria, Australia, listening to our young ones appreciation for Sophia & Caleb during the ‘Forgive Freely’ part. thank you
By Srecko Sostar
Newcastle Herald senior journalist, Joanne McCarthy.
Catholic, Anglican, Uniting and some others with WT-JW in the same pot. This prove how JW are not so different as religion/organization who claim to be only true and only one religion with highest moral standards above all others.
Catholic church and JW looking at child molestation as a sin, moral failure. According to recommendation they need to change that view on issue. GB changed many past "truths" and replaced "firmly bible based teachings" with "new teachings" giving same explanation - this new teachings is also "firmly established on Bible" :))). Will they change "two witness rule" in cases of child molestation? Until now they said "firmly" NO. But future can/might give "new clarification" on this matter :)) And all members will see that new instructions as "proper food in proper time". hehe
"Jehovah's Witnesses accused of failing to adopt abuse inquiry recommendations"
Posted Fri 10 Mar 2017, http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/worldtoday/jehovahs-witnesses-accused-of-failing-to-adopt/8343354
By Guest Nicole
Australia’s parliament has legislated for marriage equality, passing a bill almost unanimously to allow two people, regardless of sex, to marry.
On Thursday the House of Representatives passed a cross-party bill after an unprecedented national postal survey gave unstoppable momentum to legislate the historic social reform.
Australia, which changed the law in 2004 to say that marriage is only between a man and a woman, now becomes the 25th country to recognise same-sex marriage.
Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/dec/07/marriage-equality-law-passes-australias-parliament-in-landslide-vote
By Guest Nicole
"Estamos viviendo un momento histórico".
Esas fueron las palabras que pronunció este viernes Jay Weatherill, el primer ministro de Australia Meridional, estado del sur de Australia, cuando anunció la puesta en marcha de una enorme batería de iones de litio producida por Tesla, la más grande del mundo.
El sistema fue activado cerca de Jamestown, un parque eólico al norte de la ciudad de Adelaida, la capital regional, y contribuirá a evitar los apagones y mejorar el suministro eléctrico de la zona, que sufre problemas de energía desde hace tiempo debido a las constantes olas de calor.
Leer más: http://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-42195321
Hombre de la Costa Central que usó "crueldad gratuita" para torturar a varias mujeres encarceladas por 27 añosBy Guest Nicole
Un hombre de la Costa Central que violó y torturó a una sucesión de mujeres durante más de dos décadas fue condenado a por lo menos 27 años de cárcel. El hombre de 53 años, que no puede ser identificado por razones legales, fue declarado culpable de 55 cargos relacionados con el abuso físico, sexual y psicológico de mujeres con las que vivió entre 1988 y 2014. El hombre, que era miembro de los Testigos de Jehová, fue acusado de violar a las mujeres con objetos domésticos y detenerlas. La naturaleza sádica de las ofensas incluía atacar y violar a las mujeres por no doblar correctamente el lavado, hacer que comieran del piso, encerrarlas en armarios y atarlas y colocarlas boca abajo en una bañera llena de agua. Algunas de las mujeres han sufrido lesiones físicas permanentes derivadas del abuso. Una de las mujeres conocidas como JF fue encerrada en un armario después de llamar a su hermana que contactó a la policía. Cuando la policía visitó la casa, el delincuente dijo que había salido. En la declaración de impacto de su víctima, JF dijo que "es difícil comprender el miedo a menos que haya vivido con él", y que "con frecuencia creía que no estaría viva al día siguiente". Al entregar la sentencia en el Tribunal del Distrito de Downing Center, la jueza Sarah Huggett dijo que el hombre usó "crueldad gratuita ... diseñada para enfatizar la impotencia y la impotencia de la víctima". "Cuando una víctima encontró la fuerza para escapar, encontró un reemplazo", dijo. "No tengo dudas de que había previsión, premeditación y planificación". El juez Huggett dijo que el grado de violencia era una consideración relevante en la sentencia y que el delincuente "asustaba, controlaba y socavaba la sensación de seguridad de cada víctima". El tribunal escuchó mientras estaba bajo custodia, el hombre había sido verbalmente agresivo hacia los visitantes y el personal de enfermería. El hombre será elegible para libertad en 2041.
By Guest Nicole
A Central Coast man who raped and tortured a succession of women over more than two decades has been sentenced to at least 27 years in jail.
The 53-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of 55 charges relating to the physical, sexual and psychological abuse of women he lived with between 1988 and 2014.
The man, who was a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses, was accused of raping the women with household objects and detaining them.
The sadistic nature of the offences included bashing and raping the women for not folding washing correctly, making them eat off the floor, locking them in wardrobes and hog-tying them and placing them face down in a bathtub full of water.
A number of the women have suffered permanent physical injuries stemming from the abuse.
One of the women known as JF was locked in a cupboard after calling her sister who contacted police.
When police visited the home, the offender said she had gone out.
In her victim impact statement JF said "It's hard to understand the fear unless you have lived with it," and that she "frequently believed she wouldn't be alive the following day".
In handing down the sentence in the Downing Centre District Court, Justice Sarah Huggett said the man used "gratuitous cruelty ... designed to emphasise a victim's powerlessness and helplessness".
"When one victim found the strength to escape, he found a replacement," she said.
"I have no doubt there was foresight, premeditation and planning."
Justice Huggett said the degree of violence was a relevant consideration in the sentence and that the offender was "frightening, controlling and undermining each victim's sense of security".
The court heard that while in custody, the man had been verbally aggressive towards visitors and nursing staff.
The man will be eligible for release in 2041.
El celibato o la confesión no favorecen el abuso sexual: hay más casos en iglesias que no los tienenBy Guest Nicole
Los Testigos de Jehová: epidemia de casos
Monica Doumit señala el caso de los Testigos de Jehová: sin clero, sin colegios ni orfanatos ni órdenes religiosas, y con 1.006 casos admitidos de miembros denunciados por abusos sexuales (la tabla RMIT Cahill-Wilkinson hablaba solo de 137 casos). Teniendo en cuenta que los Testigos en Australia son apenas un 0,4% de la población (muy lejos del 25% de australianos que son católicos) asombran esas cifras. De nuevo, la comisión les dedicó apenas una mañana, no tres semanas como a los católicos.
Cahill y Wilkinson atribuyen la mala gestión de los abusos en ambientes de Testigos de Jehová a su lectura literal de Deuteronomio 19,15, que pide dos testigos del acto de abuso, por la que los responsables de las comunidades dejaban impunes a los abusadores y sin tratar las denuncias.
By Guest Nicole
An Iranian illegal immigrant who faked a homosexual relationship and claimed he had torn up the Koran and become a Jehovah’s Witness has had his application for asylum rejected in Federal Court.
The man, known in court documents as “CVS16”, came to Australia by boat in May 2013. He was granted a bridging visa in March 2014, but the visa was revoked four months later when he was charged, and later convicted, with one count of reckless wounding.
In September 2015, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton invited the man to apply for a protection visa, and in February last year, following an earlier incomplete application and interview with a departmental delegate, he applied.
In a statement attached to his application, he claimed to “fear persecution on the basis of his membership of the particular social group comprising homosexuals, and his conversion in 2013 to Christianity and adherance to the Jehovah’s Witnesses faith”.
The man’s application was rejected by the department in July. Mr Dutton then referred the case to the Immigration Assessment Authority to be reviewed, as mandated under the Migration Act.
The authority comprehensively upheld the department’s decision, finding that although the man had attended some Jehovah’s Witnesses services and participated in some Bible study groups, they did not accept he had converted to Christianity or had a “genuine interest” in the religion.
They also “did not accept to be credible” the man’s claim to be homosexual, nor his claim he “had set up a homosexual relationship and tore up the Koran”.
The authority ultimately rejected the applicant’s claims “to fear serious harm for being a failed asylum-seeker or for having departed Iran unlawfully”, and rejected his visa application.
The man made a final appeal to the Federal Court, arguing the Immigration Assessment Authority had not adequately considered extra documentation supplied. Judge Rolf Driver rejected the appeal on Friday, saying the man had “failed to establish” the authority’s decision had been affected by jurisdictional error.
The man is in Western Australia’s Yongah Hill centre.
By Jack Ryan
A former member of the Jehovah Witness congregation will appear in court next week after he was charged with sexually assaulting four boys.
The charges stem from ongoing investigations linked to the Royal Commission into institutional child sexual offences.
Police allege between 1993 to 2013, the 44-year-old man sexually assaulted four boys aged between 14 and 16 at the time of the offences.
READ MORE: http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/former-wa-jehovah-witness-charged-with-alleged-historic-child-abuse-offences-20170512-gw37yd.html
By Jack Ryan
All Exhibits for Case Study 54, Jehovah's Witnesses and Watchtower, have been released by the ARC.
Joint Statement of O'Brien and Spinks Child Protection Guidelines for Branch Office Service Desk Child Safeguarding Policy of Jehovah's Witnesses in Australia (draft version as presented to ARC) Legal Guidelines on Reporting Obligations (State-by-State) Correspondence between Watchtower and Governing Body Summons to Produce Watchtower body of elders letter Watchtower response to ARC plus more.
From page 3:
Child pornography: Showing pornography to a minor is considered to be child sexual abuse. Although viewing child pornography is not considered to be child sexual abuse, it is still a serious violation of Jehovah’s standards. A person in-volved in viewing child pornography should be strongly counseled. Depending on the frequency and the extent of his viewing, he could be subject to congregation judicial action. In such cases, the Service Department may decide that branch-imposed restrictions are warranted.—See the April 10, 2012, letter to all bodies of elders
I will allude to the April 10th 2012 letter to elders that made a distinction between regular porn and "abhorrent" pornography:
He may continue to serve if his involvement consisted of (1) a few brief viewings, (2) he displays a heartfelt desire to desist from looking at pornography in any form, (3) the elders are convinced that he will refrain from viewing pornography, (4) he continues to retain the respect of others who are aware of what he did, and (5) his conscience allows him to do so.
An entrenched practice of viewing, perhaps over a considerable period of time, abhorrent forms of pornography that is sexually degrading. Such pornography may include homosexuality (sex between those of the same gender), group sex, bestiality, sadistic torture, bondage, gang rape, the brutalizing of women, or child pornography. Brazen conduct would be involved if the offender was promoting such material, such as by inviting others to view it, thus giving evidence of a brazen attitude. — w12 3/15 pp. 30-31; w06 7/15 p. 31.
Thererefore, viewing pornography escalates to gross uncleanness if the type of pornography viewed was abhorrent or sexually degrading in nature, as described in the second example above. An additional factor to be considered would be if it were a practice for "many years." As a general principle, when these elements are present, a judicial committee would need to handle the matter. At Ephesians 4:19 Paul stated: "Having come to be past all moral sense, they gave themselves over to loose conduct to work uncleanness of every sort with greediness." (Gal. 5: 19; w83 3/15 p. 31 par. 3) When an individual has 'given himself over' to this unclean practice as evidenced by his repeatedly viewing abhorrent pornography, the matter has escalated to gross uncleanness and needs to be handled judicially. — w06 711 5 pp. 29-3 1.
By Jack Ryan
The Coordinators Committee of the Governing Body, in evidence the Australian Branch submitted to the Australian Royal Commission:
Letter from the Australasia Branch Committee to the Coordinator’s Committee of the Governing Body regarding the release of the letter to All Bodies of Elders dated 1 Aug 2016 to the Royal Commission
The leak mentioned in that document was the August 1, 2016 TO ALL BODIES OF ELDERS Re: Protecting Minors From Abuse
Footage shows severe coral bleaching in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef for the second year in a row...By TheWorldNewsOrg
via TheWorldNewsOrgWorld News
By Guest Nicole
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Source: @CARoyalComm/Twitter
More than one in five members of the Christian Brothers order were alleged child sexual abuse perpetrators and 7% of Australian Catholic priests have allegedly perpetrated abuse since 1950, the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse has been told.
The commission reopened in Sydney today for its 50th case study, looking into the policies and procedures of Catholic church authorities. Six archbishops from across Australia have been called to give evidence in the coming weeks. It’s the 16th time the four-year-long inquiry has looked into the Catholic church and the first time figures have been released on abuse levels.
Senior counsel assisting, Gail Furness SC, outlined shocking levels of child sexual abuse in her opening address, saying 4,444 people were allegedly abused between 1980 and 2015 in around 1000 different institutions.
“Of priests from the 75 Catholic Church authorities with priest members surveyed, who ministered in Australia between 1950 and 2010, 7.9% of diocesan priests were alleged perpetrators and 5.7% of religious priests were alleged perpetrators,” Furness said. “Overall, 7% of priests were alleged perpetrators.”
The average age of the victims was just 10.5 for girls and 11.6 for boys. On average, it took around 33 years from the incident before claims of abuse emerged.
The widespread levels of abuse outlined by Furness over the last four decades include the Marist Brothers, which like the Christian Brothers, runs schools, and 20% of the order were perpetrators. The figure climbed to a staggering 40.4% in the St John of God Brothers order.
Among the abusers, nearly 1,900 have been identified, but another 500 are still unknown. Among the perpetrators, 32% were religious brothers, 30% were priests, and 29% were lay people, with religious sisters at 5%.
Data suggested 21.5% of priests from the Benedictine Community of New Norcia were alleged perpetrators.
There were regional hotspots of abuse, most notably in Sale and Sandhurst in Victoria, with around 15% of priests allegedly responsible, followed by Port Pirie in South Australia, and Lismore and Wollongong in NSW.
Nearly four in every 10 private sessions (37%) held with abuse survivors involved the Catholic church.
Furness said accounts of abuse survivors “were depressingly similar”.
“Children were ignored or worse, punished. Allegations were not investigated. Priests and religious (members) were moved,” she said.
“The parishes or communities to which they were moved knew nothing of their past. Documents were not kept or they were destroyed. Secrecy prevailed as did cover ups.
“Priests and religious (members) were not properly dealt with and outcomes were often not representative of their crimes. Many children suffered and continue as adults to suffer from their experiences in some Catholic institutions.”
The abuse claims were made to 93 Catholic Church authorities and the Holy See blocked attempts by the royal commission to find out what action was taken by the church against priests suspected of abuse.
Furness said Rome refused to release any documents on the issue, telling the commission in 2014 that it was “neither possible nor appropriate to provide the information requested”.
The commission also sought documents on a named Australian priest but “was told that ‘to avoid compromising the integrity of the canonical proceeding’ it was not possible to provide all of the documents requested”.
Today Furness revealed a number of senior Catholic officials who initially accepted invitations to appear before the commission have pulled out in recent weeks. Among them was the US head of child protection in the church, Deacon Bernard Nojadera, who subsequently refused to even provide a signed statement.
The royal commission will spend the next three weeks on this final look at the Catholic church and its responses to abuse allegations before turning its attention to a range of other religious groups later this year, including the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Uniting and Anglican churches and Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi.
By Guest Nicole
“Breakfast congee” with maple granola, blueberries,and poached strawberries. Photo: Melissa Hom
Australians have contributed many things to the New York coffee shop, flat whites and avocado toast among them. And as of next week, the Good Sort brings something new to the category: sweet and savory congees, the rice porridge commonly consumed in China for breakfast. This makes sense, since the shop is co-owned by Australian expat Eddy Buckingham and his Chinese-born partner Jeff Lam, and is adjacent to their restaurant, Chinese Tuxedo. There’s a turmeric-and-coconut congee with Champagne-poached cranberries; a mushroom congee with braised shiitake and jicama, served with the Chinese cruller called youtiao; and even “Aunt Kate’s pear crumble congee.” There are also Chinese teas, espresso drinks, and come spring, fresh juices, all categorized by color. Another innovation: Everything is vegan, including the pastries and the “milks” (oat, coconut, almond) in the lattes.
Clockwise from top left: Aunt Kate’s pear crumble congee with poached pears. Turmeric-and-coconut congee with Champagne-poached cranberries. “Breakfast congee.” Not a congee: pandan tapioca with kaffir-and-palm-sugar caramel, lychee, pineapple, and puffed rice. Photo: Melissa Hom
Color-coded vegan lattes, made with non-dairy “milks” and no coffee: Red (beet), Black (sesame and activated charcoal), and Gold (turmeric). Photo: Melissa Hom
Algae-enhanced Blue latte. Photo: Melissa Hom
The Green Latte, with matcha. Photo: Melissa Hom
Prior to becoming a Sino-Australian vegan coffee shop, the space was a Chinatown liquor store. The espresso machine is Italian; the Vittoria coffee beans come from Australia. Photo: Melissa Hom
The shop is next to Chinese Tuxedo on Chinatown’s most atmospheric block. Photo: Melissa Hom
The name refers to Aussie slang for “a person you like and would like to spend more time around,” according to co-owner Eddy Buckingham. Photo: Melissa Hom
By Guest Nicole
A masseur who raped an 80-year-old woman during a massage in her Victorian home has been jailed for three years and nine months for a crime a judge described as "incomprehensible".
Malcolm Lee, 56, was hired by the woman's daughter to provide a massage therapy session for the older woman, and on April 1 attended her home and had her lie on her back, without a towel over her naked body.
Lee rubbed her legs, the County Court heard, and then digitally raped the woman, touched her breast and kissed her on the lips.
He later told police he thought the woman was consenting to what he was doing, but judge Gerard Mullaly on Friday rejected that explanation as fanciful.
Judge Mullaly said Lee's conduct was "an abhorrent violation of a vulnerable woman", and bewildering.
"Any right-minded member of the community would immediately be taken aback and ask how you could do such a thing to a vulnerable 80-year-old woman in her own home, all within an hour or so of meeting her for the first time, and all while you were there for the purpose of providing a professional massage," the judge said.
"It would have been plain to you that the massage organised by a daughter for her 80-year-old mother would be an orthodox massage.
"That is a massage performed in accordance with well-understood standards of a proper massage therapy.
"It simply would go without saying that this was not to be a massage where it would be conceivable, let alone be permitted, for you to touch the victim in any sexual way whatsoever.
"Unfortunately for the victim, and for you, inappropriately touching her was exactly what you did."
Judge Mullaly said Lee's violation left the woman stunned and frozen in fear, but that she summoned great dignity when she told him: "Thank you for what was quite a massage. Much more intimate than I expected and somewhere along the way some boundaries were crossed."
Lee later told police he believed the woman consented to what he was doing, although he also told the woman's daughter he had crossed boundaries and was sorry.
Judge Mullaly described as preposterous Lee's claim of consent.
"Rather, you touched her in the ways that you wanted because you wanted to. Simple as that," he said.
Lee, a masseur for 14 years who was registered with the national body, pleaded guilty to rape and sexual assault.
His lawyer this week called for him to be spared jail because of his mistaken belief about consent, his subsequent remorse and previous good character. He had since split from his wife and was ostracised by his family and friends in the Jehovah's Witnesses church.
But Judge Mullaly said jail was the only appropriate penalty for the "brazen" breach of trust, which had had a significant impact on the woman and her daughter.
The victim endured nightmares initially and her shock and anger had subsided into sadness and depression that had "diminished the quality of her life". The daughter felt guilt at arranging the massage, but Judge Mullaly said she was blameless and that Lee alone was responsible.
Lee must serve 2½ years before he is eligible for parole.
By Guest Nicole
A FORMER Jehovah's Witness elder who apologised to his alleged victim on Facebook has been charged with two counts of indecent assault. Richard Hill will appear in the Heidelberg Magistrate's Court on March 1 over allegations that he sexually assaulted a six-year-old girl in 1981.
The victim, now 38, told Fairfax Media that Mr Hill did everything except penetrate her - ''he tried, but couldn't manage''.
She said she ''did not realise the gravity'' of what had happened until she was about 14.
At that point she told her mother, who could not act because of a Jehovah's Witness rule that allegations of sexual abuse would only be acted on if two elders witnessed it, she said.
Much later, the victim confronted Mr Hill on Facebook. ''He turned around and apologised,'' she said. ''He became an elder within the church and rose quite high up. Since he was charged, he has stepped down.''
The Victorian inquiry into how churches handled complaints of child sex abuse heard from two former Jehovah's Witnesses on Monday, who say they have been ostracised by the church.
Fairfax Media reported on Monday that the child was one of four who clubbed together their pocket money to raise the $69.70 needed to launch a prosecution against the church over its alleged refusal to get working-with-children checks.
By Guest Nicole
Los Testigos de Jehová no protegen "adecuadamente" a los menores del riesgo de ser víctimas de abusos sexuales en el seno de esta congregación cristiana en Australia, revela un informe oficial divulgado hoy.
El informe de una comisión gubernamental australiana, que investiga la respuesta institucional a la pederastia, también señaló que esta organización de culto no "responde adecuadamente a las denuncias de abusos sexuales a menores".
El informe realizado por la comisión es el resultado de las audiencias realizadas en julio y agosto de 2015 en Sídney sobre los casos de dos víctimas de abusos sexuales cuando eran menores, así como los testimonios de testigos y expertos.
En el "Estudio del Caso 29: La Respuesta de los Testigos de Jehová", también se analizaron los sistemas, políticas y procedimientos de esta organización para prevenir, responder y denunciar los abusos sexuales a menores, así como las denuncias, informes o quejas de más de mil sus miembros.
"De las evidencias presentadas, la comisión considera que la organización de los Testigos de Jehová se apoya en políticas y prácticas obsoletas para responder a las acusaciones de abusos sexuales que no están sujetas a una revisión constante y continua", se indica en un comunicado.
La comisión también considera que los Testigos de Jehová adolecen de "una falta grave de entendimiento sobre la naturaleza del abuso sexual de un menor".
La investigación determinó que los procedimientos para lidiar con las quejas no se han revisado desde la creación de esta comunidad a finales del siglo XIX y se apoyan en normas de hace casi 2.000 años.
En el seno de los Testigos de Jehová, los casos de abusos sexuales son investigados por dos ancianos, que deben establecer la verdad de acuerdo a los estándares bíblicos, que incluyen la confesión del supuesto agresor.
"Si el acusado no confiesa, hay un requerimiento inflexible de que debe haber dos testigos oculares de un incidente de abuso sexual a un menor" para que la congregación considere probada la agresión sexual, se indica en el documento.
Además, hasta 1998 la denuncia debía formularse en presencia de éstos y del presunto agresor.
La comisión autora del informe investiga desde 2012 la respuesta de las instituciones a los abusos sexuales a menores que estaban bajo el cuidado de organizaciones públicas, sociales o religiosas y que ha llevado a comparecer como testigo al mismo cardenal George Pell, máximo representante de la Iglesia australiana y ministro de Finanzas del Vaticano.
A principios de mes, el Gobierno australiano anunció que indemnizará a las víctimas de estos abusos con hasta 150.000 dólares locales (115.200 dólares o 103.759 euros) como parte de un plan que el Gobierno federal implementará a partir de 2018.
By Guest Nicole
Young people participating in a drama about Moses
By Guest Nicole
Algunos de los jóvenes de la Costa de Oro, Australia, en un drama sobre Moisés.
By Guest Nicole
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