Tag Archives: trial

Queensland Nickel to go to trial more than alleged environmental breaches

Posted December 09, 2015 13:11:19

Clive Palmer’s troubled refinery Queensland Nickel is facing further problems with a magistrate today ordering the company to stand trial for alleged breaches of environmental regulations.

The company has been charged with two counts of wilfully contravening its environmental authority.

It is alleged one of its tailings ponds at its nickel refinery near Townsville in north Queensland overflowed last year.

The company indicated it would plead not guilty to the charges when the case returns to court mid next year.

Lawyers for the Department of Environment and Heritage accused the company of poor management and reckless conduct during a committal hearing today in the Townsville Magistrates Court.

Peter Davis QC, acting on behalf of Queensland Nickel, said the company would defend the charges.

He said the event had been the result of extreme rainfall.

Palmer asked for taxpayer assistance

Mr Palmer this week appealed to the Queensland Government for financial help for Queensland Nickel, after a slump in the commodity’s price.

The operation is on the verge of going into administration after the West Australian Supreme Court rejected Mr Palmer’s bid for $ US48 million ($ 66m) from his estranged Chinese business partner CITIC.

The ABC’s AM program has been told that a Queensland Government-commissioned audit by KPMG of the company’s business operations and financial position showed it was able to continue operating and trade out of its financial difficulties.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt said any help would be short-term.

“If there was to be assistance from the Government it would be on a temporary basis, but of course the form of that assistance will depend on a number of factors,” Mr Pitt said.

“We do not have all the information to hand, we are consistently speaking with Queensland Nickel to get that information so that we can have a well-rounded view formed as to what options are available to Government.”

Mr Pitt said Mr Palmer should use his own wealth to help the refinery in the long-term.

“I think that most people would expect that Mr Palmer should pull out all stops to ensure that he is using his broader wealth and his broader business empire to ensure that this plant remains open,” he said.

“At the end of the day it is a private company, and any decision to close the … refinery will be a decision for Mr Palmer.

“Ultimately our Government is very clearly focused on the interests of workers.”

Topics: business-economics-and-finance, mining-industry, mining-environmental-issues, mining-rural, clive-palmer, townsville-4810, qld

Agen Sabung Ayam

Double murder trial jurors in deadlock

Posted December 02, 2015 15:26:45

Jurors in the trial of a man accused of murdering a man and a lady in Launceston three years ago have said they are unable to reach verdicts in the case.

David Ronald Morgan has pleaded not guilty to murdering Angela Hallam and Joshua Newman in August 2012.

The crown has argued that despite the fact that Morgan was not present when the murders occurred, he had formed a joint enterprise with the killer to bash Ms Hallam.

The jury can return majority verdicts for manslaughter or acquittal, but verdicts if guilty of murder must be unanimous.

Justice Stephen Estcourt gave the jurors a directive to continue deliberating for about an hour to see if they could attain agreement.

He said if they remained deadlocked he would give them further instructions and could discharge them.

The jury has been deliberating for about ten hours.

Topics: courts-and-trials, crime, launceston-7250

Agen Sabung Ayam

Xie trial jury given option of returning majority verdict

Posted November 30, 2015 15:38:09

Map: Sydney 2000

The jury in the murder trial of Sydney man Robert Xie has been given the choice of returning a majority verdict of 11 to 1.

Till now, the jury has been told its verdict must be unanimous.

Xie has been on trial for close to 10 months over the murders of five members of the Lin household in 2009.

Topics: courts-and-trials, murder-and-manslaughter, sydney-2000

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‘Patients at risk’ in hospital ER diversion trial, AMA says

Posted November 28, 2015 15:53:29

A unit diverting significantly less urgent patients away from Perth hospital emergency rooms has come below fire from senior physicians and the Australian Medical Association (AMA).

A trial of the “surge” unit run by St John Ambulance at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital is due to end next week, but the AMA fears it may possibly be expanded to other hospitals in a bid to decrease ambulance ramping.

The heads of the emergency departments at Sir Charles Gairdner, Royal Perth and Fiona Stanley Hospitals have warned there will be lethal consequences if that happens.

AMA spokesman Dave Mountain stated patient care was getting compromised.

“Most of these sufferers were coming in already possessing noticed GPs, and having currently observed men and women in the community, so they are going currently to the identical level of care they got in the neighborhood,” he mentioned.

He stated it resulted in delays in patient care.

“Even for the ones that haven’t got significant problems, if they need to come back to an emergency department, their care’s been delayed for four to six hours, and then they just rejoin the identical queue that they should’ve joined in the 1st location,” he said.

He said the units further fragmented health care method services, and fully ignored the underlying dilemma of a lack of capacity to deal with the operate coming into hospitals.

But the WA Wellness Department stated clinical outcomes in 4 cases highlighted as a concern were not impacted by presentation at the surge unit.

In a statement, WA Health said the unit had seen more than 450 individuals since beginning operations in early September 2015.

“A GP, registered nurses and SJAA paramedics at ASCU (surge unit) treat low-acuity sufferers in a protected atmosphere while waiting to be transferred to a hospital when suitable,” the statement said.

“This helps with the smooth flow of ambulances to EDs, reduces ambulance ramping and offers patients with proper care.”

The statement mentioned the trial’s outcomes would be assessed.

“ASCU is a single of a variety of ramping reduction methods introduced by WA Health this year,” it stated.

“Any decision to implement an ASCU in the future will be informed by the assessment, and the efficiency of WA Overall health in relation to realise our commitment to stopping ramping.”

Subjects: health, healthcare-facilities, perth-6000

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Man on trial over death of housemate guarded in weeks after offence, court told

Posted November 26, 2015 22:59:08

A psychiatric registrar has told a Canberra court that a man on trial for killing his former housemate had been guarded and uncomfortable in the course of a consultation in the weeks right after the offence.

Christopher Navin, 29, is on trial for killing Nicholas Sofer-Schreiber in his Lyneham house on Boxing Day in 2013.

Navin has pleaded not guilty by way of mental impairment.

Mental health staff who dealt with him in the year before the offence has given proof in court about his therapy and case management.

One particular medical professional told the court when he had seen Navin earlier in the year he was not clearly psychotic, but he admitted the illness did not take a lengthy time to develop.

The court also heard a mental wellness nurse who visited Navin at residence three days ahead of the crime located him to be standard.

The visit had been prompted by concerns from Navin’s former boss, following he had quit his job.

She told the court if a person was unwell, they may possibly yell or swear or say inappropriate issues, but Navin was carrying out none of that and answered concerns appropriately.

In January 2014, right after the crime but prior to he was arrested and charged, Navin had a consultation with the psychiatric registrar, who discovered he had difficulty making eye get in touch with.

“He kept searching to a corner in the area like anything was catching his eye,” the registrar mentioned.

“He was also perplexed.”

But she told the court his speech was not blocked.

“There was anything going on… I wasn’t confident,” she said.

“In the meantime he did not seem to be at danger of something immediately undesirable taking place.”

Earlier in the day, Navin’s lawyer study a statement to the jury outlining his client’s admission to killing Mr Sofer-Schrieber, stabbing him multiple instances with two knives.

When he left the unit he took a tent and chair that had been purchased by Mr Sofer-Schreiber earlier that day.

He then admitted to burning and disposing of the knives in a dam on a family members property in New South Wales, where he went following the killing.

Navin also burned the driver side floor mat from his automobile.

The trial continues.

Topics: murder-and-manslaughter, crime, law-crime-and-justice, canberra-2600, act

Agen Sabung Ayam

North Stradbroke Island traditional owners trial eco-cabins

Posted November 26, 2015 20:58:54

A cabin established by the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation Photo: 1 of two trial eco-cabins established by the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation on Stradbroke Island. (ABC News: Kathy McLeish)

When sand mining on North Stradbroke Island comes to an end the traditional owners say they will be prepared.

The Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) have been trialling two eco-cabins, specially made to showcase cultural values and built to be environmentally sound.

The organisation has plans to roll far more cabins out at locations across the land below lease to Belgian mining giant Sibleco as soon as the sand mining comes to an finish.

QYAC CEO Cameron Costello stated the cabins also incorporated sustainable materials.

“Sustainable design and style, that is what is attractive to the tourism marketplace, it really is a combination of traditional camping elements and supplies with some of the luxurious mod cons that men and women expect,” he stated.

We believe it is time we must be able to let the rest of the community get pleasure from what is down there.

Darren Burns, Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation joint management coordinator

“It is the way of the future. This for us is a international eco-cultural tourism location.”

QYAC’s joint management coordinator Darren Burns mentioned the community just wanted to move on from mining.

“There’s been 60-70 years of mining and it has been a godsend for a lot of the community yes but we just can not go on,” he mentioned.

“We consider it really is time we should be able to let the rest of the community appreciate what’s down there.”

He stated about 40 per cent of the island was under mining lease and a further 20 per cent of the island was inaccessible because of restrictions designed by the mining areas and referred to as on the company to release non-operational leases now.

“We’ve got a 20,000 year old site that was partially mined 30 years ago that we nevertheless can not get community access to,” he mentioned.

‘It’s a tall order to replace mining with something let alone tourism’

National Parks Minister Steven Miles said Stradbroke Island was completely positioned as a cultural tourist site.

“It’s a quite specific spot correct on Brisbane’s doorstop … but locked away from Queenslanders,” he stated.

“It really is the only location in the state exactly where mining leases exist more than the best of national parks. Our national parks are for all Queenslanders to get pleasure from.”

The commitment to end mining in four years was an election promise by the Labor Celebration.

Darren Burns with Cameron Costello Photo: Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation’s (QYAC) joint management coordinator Darren Burns with CEO Cameron Costello. (ABC News: Kathy McLeish)

The Newman Government had extended the timeline for the mining leases to 2035.

In October, Katter’s Australian Party tabled a private members bill with a compromise date of 2024.

But Dr Miles stated today, the transition strategy and a bill to close the mine by 2019 have been expected ahead of the end of this year.

He mentioned they had been determined to meet their election commitment.

“I am confident that the Parliament will pass our bill and will acknowledge that our bill combined with the economic transition technique is a sensible outcome that can set North Stradbroke Island up for a very vibrant future,” he mentioned.

North Stradbroke’s Chamber of Commerce chairman Colin Battersby mentioned it was a “tall order to replace mining with anything let alone tourism”.

But he stated traders and locals have been determined to take a good approach and keen to contribute to the transition strategy.

“So we’ll be searching forward to seeing a plan … get some certainty, move forward and we can all get pleasure from our live once more,” Mr Battersby mentioned.

The sand mine on Stradbroke Island. Photo: The Queensland Government is determined to finish sand mining on Stradbroke Island by 2019.

(ABC News: Giulio Saggin)

Subjects: indigenous-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander, charities-and-neighborhood-organisations, dunwich-4183

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Australia trial for GM fruit fly

MedflyImage copyright Oxitec

Australia will carry out trials of a genetically modified insect to see if it can control a destructive crop pest.

The engineered Mediterranean fruit flies possess a gene that prevents female flies from reaching adulthood.

When released into the environment, they mate with wild members of the same species and pass on the gene to their offspring, which die before they can cause damage to crops.

The flies have been produced by the British-based company Oxitec.

This invasive species causes millions of dollars in damage to Australian crops each year.

The Department of Agriculture and Food in Western Australia (DAFWA) has now announced it will conduct an indoor assessment of the engineered fruit flies.

Eggs were imported from the UK and reared at DAFWA research facilities. Their potential for pest control will now be assessed in glasshouse trials.

In Western Australia, the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata), also known as the Medfly, is a major problem for commercial orchards and householders.

It feeds on more than 250 types of fruit, including citrus, apricots, nectarines, peaches, mangoes, apples and pears.

The female medfly “stings” fruits as she lays her eggs, making them vulnerable to infection and rot.

A decision last year by Australian regulators to phase out the organophosphate insecticide fenthion has prompted a search for alternative methods of controlling the fruit pest.

Oxitec male flies are released to mate with wild female flies. When they do, they pass on a “self-limiting” gene which prevents female offspring from reaching adulthood.

This prevents the females from stinging fruit crops, or reproducing, thus shrinking populations of the fly in the release area.

“We need to evaluate new tools that could become a helpful part of integrated pest management practices,” said Dr Neil Morrison, research lead for agricultural pest control at Oxitec.

The principles used to create the GM medfly have already been trialled against dengue fever-carrying mosquitoes in the Cayman Islands, Panama and Brazil.

A genetically modified diamondback moth – another crop pest – is currently undergoing trials in the US.

Releases of Oxitec insects have been criticised by groups opposed to genetic modification. Nevertheless, the Oxford-based company was bought up by US biotechnology firm Intrexon in a $ 160m deal.


More from Science/Environment News

The use of genetically engineered animals could revolutionise areas of public health and agriculture, according to advocates. But is the world ready for modified mosquitoes and GM salmon?

Image copyright Oxitec

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Five on trial over Vatican leaks

Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi NuzziImage copyright AP
Image caption Journalists Emiliano Fittipaldi (L) and Gianluigi Nuzzi wrote about allegations of the misuse of charitable and other funds

5 folks are set to go on trial in the Vatican accused of leaking and publishing secret documents revealing mismanagement in the Holy See.

Two journalists who cited the documents in two books will face the tribunal, along with two members of a papal commission and an assistant.

If convicted, they could be jailed for up to eight years.

Media groups have condemned the trial. One of the journalists charged called it “an attack on press freedom”.

The journalists, Emiliano Fittipaldi and Gianluigi Nuzzi, carried allegations of the misuse of charitable and other funds in their books Merchants in the Temple and Avarice.

The allegations incorporated the lavish refurbishment of apartments for cardinals and other folks.

The three accused of leaking the documents are a Spanish priest and an Italian public relations professional who sat on a commission which advised the Pope on financial reform, along with the priest’s secretary.

Vatican leaks lift the lid on Pope’s economic battle

Vatican reforms may be starting to bite

‘Kafka-esque’

Media groups have urged the Vatican to drop the charges.

Nina Ognianova, of the Committee to Protect Journalists, stated: “Journalists should be allowed to carry out their part as watchdog and investigate alleged wrongdoing without fear of repercussions.”

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Two of these charged had been members of a commission set up by Pope Francis

The journalists involved known as the trial “Kafka-esque”, saying neither they or their lawyers had seen details of the charges.

Mr Fittipaldi mentioned: “This is a trial against freedom of the press. In no other portion of the globe, at least in the part of the world that considers itself democratic, is there a crime of a scoop, a crime of publishing news.”

BBC religious affairs correspondent Caroline Wyatt says the rapidity with which the Vatican has moved to charge the 5 stands in sharp contrast to the length of time it has taken to support bring many priests accused of youngster sex abuse to trial.

She adds that if lengthy sentences are passed on the journalists, the Vatican would have no facilities for holding the inmates and would have to ask Italy – where freedom of the press is protected – to extradite and then lock them up on a charge that is not a crime there.

The three accused of leaking the documents are Msgr Angelo Lucio Vallejo Balda and his assistant Nicola Maio, along with PR specialist Francesca Chaouqui.

The particular reform commission they were serving was set up by Pope Francis to tackle the Vatican’s financial holdings and propose reforms to increase money flow to the poor.

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With a week to go before Rightscorp trial, Cox loses key DMCA motion

(credit: Aurich Lawson / Thinkstock)

Nearly a year after two music publishers and on-line copyright cop Rightscorp initiated a high-stakes lawsuit against Cox Communications, a judge has made a ruling that is potentially devastating to Cox’s case.

US District Judge Liam O’Grady has ruled that Cox isn’t protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s “safe harbor” provisions. That is the part of the DMCA that protects “online service providers” from copyright lawsuits if they comply with various components of the DMCA, which includes the obligation to terminate “repeat infringers.” Now one of the music publishers, BMG Rights Management, will move toward a trial slated to start December two.

BMG is making use of information from Rightscorp to make its case that Cox blew off its legal obligations to support copyright owners. In the original lawsuit (PDF), plaintiffs BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music argued that the Rightscorp data makes it possible for them to determine “repeat infringers” that use BitTorrent to download huge quantities of music. Rightscorp insists that ISPs like Cox should respond when it identifies these customers and forward its notices demanding $ 20 per song or else face a copyright lawsuit. Following a handful of years of such information collection, two of Rightscorp’s most significant clientele finally acted on that threat, filing suit against Cox in 2014.

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Uber can’t appeal class action yet, set to face a jury trial next year

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The Uber driver app on the windshield of UberX driver. (credit: The Washington Post / Getty Pictures)

Ride-hailing app Uber has lost an added round in its battle with some drivers who filed a class-action lawsuit against it.

In August, US District Judge Edward Chen ruled that drivers should be permitted to form a class. Uber appealed that ruling straight to the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, but in a selection handed down yesterday, the appeals court declined to take up the case. The ruling does not imply that Uber can not challenge Chen’s class certification at a later time, but the organization will initial have to completely litigate its case.

That signifies that Uber could well have to make its case to a jury in Chen’s courtroom. He has scheduled a trial for June 2016, according to a report in Reuters. “We seem forward to presenting the details about how drivers use Uber with total flexibility and handle much more than their operate to a jury,” Uber lawyer Theodore Boutrous told the news service.

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