Connect with us

Australia

China warns US it will take Americans hostage if DOJ doesn’t release Chinese scientists, say sources

Published

on

china warns us it will take americans hostage if doj doesnt release chinese scientists say sources

China has warned the US it will take Americans hostage if the Department of Justice doesn’t release Chinese research scientists accused of lying about working for the People’s Liberation Army, according to sources.

People familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal Chinese government officials have warned their American counterparts repeatedly and through multiple channels including through the US Embassy in Beijing that the nation will take drastic action if their demands are not met.  

The move, known as ‘hostage diplomacy’, would be in retaliation for the arrests of several Chinese scientists on US soil this year. 

At least four scientists have been detained and charged with visa fraud for allegedly lying to US immigration to come to work at notable US medical research universities all the while secretly working for the Chinese military. 

China is demanding the DOJ drop the charges against them.   

China has warned the US it will take Americans hostage if the Department of Justice doesn't release Chinese research scientists accused of lying about working for the People's Liberation Army, according to sources. Warnings came through the US Embassy in Beijing (above)

China has warned the US it will take Americans hostage if the Department of Justice doesn't release Chinese research scientists accused of lying about working for the People's Liberation Army, according to sources. Warnings came through the US Embassy in Beijing (above)

China has warned the US it will take Americans hostage if the Department of Justice doesn’t release Chinese research scientists accused of lying about working for the People’s Liberation Army, according to sources. Warnings came through the US Embassy in Beijing (above)

Sources said China started warning America it would take US nationals residing in China hostage over the summer. 

On one occasion in June, China threatened to detain an American if the US didn’t let research scientist Tang Juan return to China.  

Juan was questioned by the FBI in June after a photo emerged online of her in PLA uniform. 

She had claimed on her visa application she was never in the Chinese military.

Juan was working at the University of California on cancer research. 

Prosecutors later said they found Chinese military documents about research ‘related to antidotes for biological agents’ on her electronic devices.  

Juan holed up in China’s San Francisco consulate for a month after being questioned by the FBI over visas fraud and China vowed retaliation if she wasn’t permitted to leave and return to China, sources told the Journal.

The FBI arrested Juan and charged her with visa fraud in July when she left the consulate grounds.

The move, known as 'hostage diplomacy', would be in retaliation for the arrests of several Chinese scientists on US soil this year accused of lying to US immigration to come to work at notable US medical research universities all the while secretly working for the PLA (above)

The move, known as 'hostage diplomacy', would be in retaliation for the arrests of several Chinese scientists on US soil this year accused of lying to US immigration to come to work at notable US medical research universities all the while secretly working for the PLA (above)

The move, known as ‘hostage diplomacy’, would be in retaliation for the arrests of several Chinese scientists on US soil this year accused of lying to US immigration to come to work at notable US medical research universities all the while secretly working for the PLA (above)

US officials are yet to confirm the reports however the US State Department issued a travel advisory in September warning Americans that China carries out 'arbitrary and wrongful detentions' including 'to gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments'

US officials are yet to confirm the reports however the US State Department issued a travel advisory in September warning Americans that China carries out 'arbitrary and wrongful detentions' including 'to gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments'

US officials are yet to confirm the reports however the US State Department issued a travel advisory in September warning Americans that China carries out ‘arbitrary and wrongful detentions’ including ‘to gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments’

Sources said US officials expected China to retaliate by taking an American hostage but it didn’t. 

Juan has since been released on bail and her lawyer, Malcolm Segal denied China had interfered at all in her case. 

‘The Chinese government has played no role whatsoever in the case itself or in her defense, nor do I ever expect them to do so,’ he told the Journal. 

Four other researchers accused of lying about their ties to the Chinese military have also been charged on similar counts.   

In June, Xin Wang, a scientific researcher and high-ranking military officer with China‘s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), was detained at LA International Airport Sunday when he tried to board a flight to Tianjin, China, with stolen university research materials, according to court records. 

Attorney David L. Anderson and FBI Special Agent John F. Bennett said in a criminal complaint that Wang lied on his application to obtain a visitor visa for a work-study exchange program. 

In June, China allegedly threatened to detain an American if the US didn't let Tang Juan (above) return to China

In June, China allegedly threatened to detain an American if the US didn't let Tang Juan (above) return to China

In June, China allegedly threatened to detain an American if the US didn’t let Tang Juan (above) return to China

He then used this visa to work with scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he collected information to take back to China under the orders of the PLA military lab. 

He was arrested and charged with visa fraud, according to court records.  

US officials are yet to confirm the reports however the US State Department issued a travel advisory in September warning Americans that China carries out ‘arbitrary and wrongful detentions’ including ‘to gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments’.

‘The PRC government arbitrarily enforces local laws, including by carrying out arbitrary and wrongful detentions and through the use of exit bans on U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries without due process of law,’ the advisory reads.

‘The PRC government uses arbitrary detention and exit bans: to compel individuals to participate in PRC government investigations, to pressure family members to return to the PRC from abroad, to influence PRC authorities to resolve civil disputes in favor of PRC citizens, and to gain bargaining leverage over foreign governments.’ 

John Demers, head of the Justice Department’s national security division, told the Journal the Chinese government has ‘detained American, Canadian and other individuals without legal basis to retaliate against lawful prosecutions and to exert pressure on their governments, with a callous disregard of the individuals involved.’

However the outlet reported that he would neither confirm nor deny the claims of hostage threats and simply said that ‘if China wants to be seen as one of the world’s leading nations, it should respect the rule of law and stop taking hostages.’  

US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump

China President Xi Jinping

China President Xi Jinping

Tensions have been escalating between the US and China and the US ordered China to close its consulate in Houston in July 

China has been known to detain foreign nationals in the country over what other countries have said are baseless allegations, as part of a ‘hostage diplomacy’ tactic. 

Tensions have been escalating between the two nations for some time.

Donald Trump has repeatedly accused Beijing of a cover-up over the coronaviurus pandemic and refers to the virus as the ‘China virus’.

Then in July, the US ordered China to close its consulate in Houston, Texas, by Friday – giving the nation 72 hours to depart. 

Beijing blasted the move a ‘political provocation’ while people were seen hurriedly burning documents in the building’s courtyard. 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the shock decision was taken because China was ‘stealing’ intellectual property and Assistant Secretary of State David Stilwell ordered that all Chinese military researchers also leave the US.

Sources later told the Journal the decision was made after US officials said cutting-edge research was being stolen from top American universities and sent back to Beijing. 

DailyMail.com has reached out to the US State Department for comment.  

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Australia

Thunderstorms to batter Australia’s east coast AGAIN ahead of AFL Grand Final in Brisbane

Published

on

By

thunderstorms to batter australias east coast again ahead of afl grand final in brisbane

Severe thunderstorms, torrential rain and strong winds will batter Australia’s east coast once again on Saturday with fears the AFL Grand Final could be postponed. 

The weather bureau dubbed it the ‘multi-state thunderstorm outbreak’ and will target Queensland, New South Wales, north-east Victoria, parts of South Australia and northern parts of the Northern Territory.  

The AFL Grand Final between the Richmond Tigers and Geelong Cats at the Gabba in Brisbane on Saturday could be rescheduled due to the severe weather.

Severe thunderstorms will spread more than 1,000km across NSW, blanketing land from Broken Hill to Newcastle.

Similar heavy rainfall is likely to affect huge swathes of Queensland as far north as Cooktown, down to Brisbane, Melbourne and Tasmania. 

The 'multi-state thunderstorm outbreak' and will target Queensland, New South Wales, north-east Victoria, parts of South Australia and northern parts of the Northern Territory

The 'multi-state thunderstorm outbreak' and will target Queensland, New South Wales, north-east Victoria, parts of South Australia and northern parts of the Northern Territory

The ‘multi-state thunderstorm outbreak’ and will target Queensland, New South Wales, north-east Victoria, parts of South Australia and northern parts of the Northern Territory

Clouds seen forming above the Gabba in Brisbane ahead of the AFL Grand Final between the Richmond Tigers and the Geelong Cats

Clouds seen forming above the Gabba in Brisbane ahead of the AFL Grand Final between the Richmond Tigers and the Geelong Cats

Clouds seen forming above the Gabba in Brisbane ahead of the AFL Grand Final between the Richmond Tigers and the Geelong Cats

34774064 8874313 image a 10 1603503871076

34774064 8874313 image a 10 1603503871076

A man shelters from the rain during wet weather at Circular Quay in Sydney, with more rain due this week (pictured)

A man shelters from the rain during wet weather at Circular Quay in Sydney, with more rain due this week (pictured)

A man shelters from the rain during wet weather at Circular Quay in Sydney, with more rain due this week (pictured)

Under the AFL’s Extreme Weather Policy, if there are thunderstorms within 10km of the field, then the players must seek cover inside and play should be stopped.

‘Under the lightning rule they can delay the match by up to an hour,’ an AFL spokesperson told 7News.

‘It has happened before, but it’s very rare.’

The game can only resume if there is no lightning within 10km of the field for 30 minutes. 

A Bureau of Meteorology spokesperson told the publication they are more likely to play in the rain.

They said that there was only a 20 per cent chance that thunderstorms would occur within 10km of the stadium. 

The huge storm will spread across Australia from the south-east coast, heading north throughout the weekend

The huge storm will spread across Australia from the south-east coast, heading north throughout the weekend

The huge storm will spread across Australia from the south-east coast, heading north throughout the weekend

The Gabba ahead of the AFL Grand Final on Saturday. There are fears the game could be postponed due to severe weather

The Gabba ahead of the AFL Grand Final on Saturday. There are fears the game could be postponed due to severe weather

The Gabba ahead of the AFL Grand Final on Saturday. There are fears the game could be postponed due to severe weather 

A man uses his backpack to shelter himself from heavy rain in Sydney's CBD (pictured), with more heavy falls due all weekend

A man uses his backpack to shelter himself from heavy rain in Sydney's CBD (pictured), with more heavy falls due all weekend

A man uses his backpack to shelter himself from heavy rain in Sydney’s CBD (pictured), with more heavy falls due all weekend

Commuters drive through the wet weather at they head towards the Melbourne city centre, which will also see heavy rain this weekend

Commuters drive through the wet weather at they head towards the Melbourne city centre, which will also see heavy rain this weekend

Commuters drive through the wet weather at they head towards the Melbourne city centre, which will also see heavy rain this weekend

Friday night’s grim weather saw about 50 calls made to the State Emergency Services (SES) due to extensive damages. 

Bureau of Meteorology Meteorologst Helen Reid warned that it’ll be a ‘quite an active day’ compared to Friday.

‘On the whole we’re expecting about 10 to 15 millimetres across the Sydney region and if there are thunderstorms you could get significantly more than that,’ she told Sydney Morning Herald

She said heavy winds could reach up to 60km/h in coastal areas and ask residents to keep away from trees and power lines.

The bureau also warned of large hailstones could hit parts of the  Riverina district as well as flash flooding. 

The most likely affected areas include Wagga Wagga, Tumbarumba, Griffith, Narrandera, Lockhart and Darlington Point. 

Up to 15mm of rain is expected to fall in New South Wales on Saturday, according to the bureau

Up to 15mm of rain is expected to fall in New South Wales on Saturday, according to the bureau

Up to 15mm of rain is expected to fall in New South Wales on Saturday, according to the bureau

A car drives along a flooded road at the Barrier Highway north of Olary in South Australia on October 7 after heavy rainfall

A car drives along a flooded road at the Barrier Highway north of Olary in South Australia on October 7 after heavy rainfall

A car drives along a flooded road at the Barrier Highway north of Olary in South Australia on October 7 after heavy rainfall

BOM Meterologist Jonathan How warned heavy downpours are likely to continue well into the weekend. 

‘It is shaping up to be a stormy and wet weekend for eastern parts of Queensland and New South Wales including Brisbane and Sydney,’ Mr How said.   

‘Rainfall totals this Sunday will broadly be 30-50mm across parts of eastern Australia but, when we do see those more intense thunderstorms, we could see totals of 100 and even up to 150mm for some parts.’ 

When the most severe storms hit rainfall totals could exceed 100-150mm for some parts. 

Western Australia will miss out on entirely on the weather event, with sunny days and temperatures forecast in the late 20s to early 30s heading towards the weekend.  

Just last month, the bureau officially declared the country’s first active La Niña in 10 years.

The weather event occurs when stronger equatorial winds, blowing east to west, cool the Pacific Ocean in the tropical north of Australia. 

During the last La Niña between 2010 and 2012, the weather bureau said Australia had one of the ‘wettest two-year periods on record’.

‘Widespread flooding occurred in many parts of Australia associated with the record rainfalls,’ it said.

The Bureau of Meteorology has officially declared the first La Niña event since 2010 to 2012, when floods ravaged Queensland, killing 33 people. 

FIVE DAY WEATHER IN YOUR CITY 

SYDNEY     

SATURDAY: Min 19. Max 29. Shower or two. Possible storm.

SUNDAY: Min 14. Max 19. Showers.

MONDAY: Min 14. Max 19. Showers.

TUESDAY: Min 13. Max 21. Shower or two.

WEDNESDAY: Min 15. Max 21. Shower or two. 

BRISBANE     

SATURDAY: Min 19. Max 29. Partly cloudy

SUNDAY: Min 19. Max 30. Shower or two. Storm likely.

MONDAY: Min 19. Max 29. Shower or two. Possible storm.

TUESDAY: Min 18. Max 27. Shower or two.

WEDNESDAY: Min 17. Max 28. Shower or two. 

ADELAIDE     

SATURDAY: Min 12. Max 18. Shower or two.

SUNDAY: Min 9. Max 17. Cloudy.

MONDAY: Min 9. Max 18. Cloudy.

TUESDAY: Min 9. Max 20. Cloudy.

WEDNESDAY: Min 10. Max 21. Mostly sunny.

CANBERRA   

SATURDAY: Min 15. Max 22. Showers. Possible storm.

SUNDAY: Min 8. Max 14. Showers.

MONDAY: Min 6. Max 11. Showers.

TUESDAY: Min 7. Max 16. Shower or two.

WEDNESDAY: Min 8. Max 17. Shower or two.

 

MELBOURNE     

SATURDAY: Min 12. Max 16. Rain then showers. Windy.

SUNDAY: Min 9. Max 14. Showers.

MONDAY: Min 9. Max 17. Partly cloudy.

TUESDAY: Min 9. Max 18. Cloudy.

WEDNESDAY: Min 10. Max 19. Possible shower. 

PERTH     

SATURDAY: Min 12. Max 29. Mostly sunny.

SUNDAY: Min 17. Max 34. Sunny.

MONDAY: Min 19. Max 29. Partly cloudy.

TUESDAY: Min 13. Max 26. Partly cloudy.

WEDNESDAY: Min 15. Max 24. Partly cloudy. 

HOBART     

SATURDAY: Min 11. Max 16. Shower or two.

SUNDAY: Min 5. Max 13. Possible shower.

MONDAY: Min 6. Max 15. Cloudy.

TUESDAY: Min 7. Max 15. Shower or two.

WEDNESDAY: Min 9. Max 15. Shower or two.

DARWIN     

SATURDAY: Min 26. Max 34. Partly cloudy.

SUNDAY: Min 26. Max 33. Partly cloudy. 

MONDAY: Min 26. Max 33. Shower or two. Possible storm.

TUESDAY: Min 25. Max 32. Shower or two. Possible storm.

WEDNESDAY:  Min 25. Max 32. Shower or two. Possible storm.

Source: Bureau of Meteorology 

<!—->Advertisement

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Australia

Kyle Minogue singing the anthem and Meat Loaf’s MCG disaster: the WORST NRL and AFL entertainment

Published

on

By

kyle minogue singing the anthem and meat loafs mcg disaster the worst nrl and afl entertainment

As the countdown to the weekend’s AFL and NRL grand finals draws ever closer a new chapter in the debate that has raged for decades will be written.

I speak of course of the eternal question: which code has produced the greatest pre-game entertainment disaster?

It’s an argument that will probably never be completely settled. Those with long memories will always have their favourite nightmare and besides, how can you really compare an off-key singer to a ridiculous mode of transport?

Neighbours stars Jason Donovan (left) and Kylie Minogue (right) were synonomous with 1980s Australian popular culture ... less so with footy culture

Neighbours stars Jason Donovan (left) and Kylie Minogue (right) were synonomous with 1980s Australian popular culture ... less so with footy culture

Neighbours stars Jason Donovan (left) and Kylie Minogue (right) were synonomous with 1980s Australian popular culture … less so with footy culture 

Should a seriously bad performance be judged on the same basis as a cunning stunt gone wrong that actually puts lives at risk, and does a technical malfunction count higher than the unfathomable choice of a washed-up international rock-star?

All valid points, but by breaking the GF disasters into distinct categories we’ll give it our best shot.

1. Worst musical performance by a former chart topper.

At first glance this would appear to be an easy win to the AFL. Who could possibly go past 2011 and Meatloaf, whose painful rendition of Bat out of Hell was reminiscent of a buck’s party hitting a karaoke bar at 3am – only more out of tune? 

Rock singer Meatloaf belting out one of his hits at the 2011 AFL final (pictured) was panned as "out of tune"

Rock singer Meatloaf belting out one of his hits at the 2011 AFL final (pictured) was panned as "out of tune"

Rock singer Meatloaf belting out one of his hits at the 2011 AFL final (pictured) was panned as ‘out of tune’ 

The NRL haven’t just rolled over though. Bon Jovi lead guitarist Richie Sambora took it right up to The Loaf with his seriously bad appearance at the 2016 Sharks-Storm decider. 

Accompanied by his girlfriend Orianthi, Richie proved that in the wrong hands Living on a Prayer can be a dangerous weapon. 

Winner: AFL in a photo.

Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora (left) and Orianthi (right) performed the bands signature hit Livin' on a Prayer to a less than impressed crowd

Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora (left) and Orianthi (right) performed the bands signature hit Livin' on a Prayer to a less than impressed crowd

Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora (left) and Orianthi (right) performed the bands signature hit Livin’ on a Prayer to a less than impressed crowd 

2. Worst transport.

At what point at an AFL grand final planning meeting does someone come up with: ‘I know, we’ll get Angry Anderson to sit in the back of a bright blue Batmobile as he sings ‘Bound For Glory’ with Rob de Castella clicking his fingers beside him’? 

Probably at the same stage as the bloke at the 2002 NRL think-tank said, ‘Hey remember how great that blue Batmobile was at the AFL grand final in 1991? How about we stick it right up them by getting Billy Idol to come in on the back of a hovercraft?’ 

Australia in the 1980s also had a fascination with Angry Anderson (pictured) though why they wheeled him out in a blue batmobile for an AFL grand final is anyone's guess

Australia in the 1980s also had a fascination with Angry Anderson (pictured) though why they wheeled him out in a blue batmobile for an AFL grand final is anyone's guess

Australia in the 1980s also had a fascination with Angry Anderson (pictured) though why they wheeled him out in a blue batmobile for an AFL grand final is anyone’s guess 

Not to be outdone rocker Billy Idol (pictured) rode into the 2002 Grand Final on the back of a hovercraft ... because why not?

Not to be outdone rocker Billy Idol (pictured) rode into the 2002 Grand Final on the back of a hovercraft ... because why not?

Not to be outdone rocker Billy Idol (pictured) rode into the 2002 Grand Final on the back of a hovercraft … because why not? 

Clear winner of this category is the AFL, if for no other reason than the look of bemused shock on the face of Jeff Fenech as Angry rolled into view – not that Billy is out of awards contention yet.

3. Worst technical disaster.

The NRL brains-trust can take pride in the fact that despite a couple of cursory AFL entries (audio issues with indigenous singer Maroochy Barambah in 1993 and rock band Jet in 2007) they’ve got this category all to themselves. 

It’s a showdown between Billy Idol who had everything going for him in 2002 – except power – and the cast of the musical 42nd Street who in 1989 tap-danced their way into centre-field and stood there forlornly as it became obvious that someone had brought the wrong backing tape. 

In 1989 the cast of musical 42nd Street (pictured with football player Benny Elias) tapdanced in and immediately out of the pre-game show after technical difficulties

In 1989 the cast of musical 42nd Street (pictured with football player Benny Elias) tapdanced in and immediately out of the pre-game show after technical difficulties

In 1989 the cast of musical 42nd Street (pictured with football player Benny Elias) tapdanced in and immediately out of the pre-game show after technical difficulties 

After a few minutes they tap-danced back off. Which is pretty much what happened to Billy Idol when his set was hit by a blackout. Except he didn’t dance. He walked, because his hovercraft had already left without him. 

4. Strangest choice of TV talent.

Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re all saying. It’s a no-brainer: the AFL (or VFL as it was then) signing up that renowned vocalist Daryl Somers to belt out an unforgettable Waltzing Matilda-Advance Australia Fair combo in 1987. 

Thankfully his three-piece white suit and open neck purple shirt averted attention away from his singing. 

Hey Hey It's Saturday host Daryl Sommers (pictured) belting out Waltzing Matilda at the 1987 AFL, then VFL, Grand Final

Hey Hey It's Saturday host Daryl Sommers (pictured) belting out Waltzing Matilda at the 1987 AFL, then VFL, Grand Final

Hey Hey It’s Saturday host Daryl Sommers (pictured) belting out Waltzing Matilda at the 1987 AFL, then VFL, Grand Final 

To which the NRL could rightly say, we’ll take your Daryl Somers and raise you a cast of Neighbours. Yes, that’s right, in 1986 it was Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan – better known at the time as Charlene and Scott – who led their pals from Ramsay St in a stirring rendition of the national anthem. 

But not even that is enough to earn the points. 

The AFL gets a Highly Commended for getting Angry’s blue Batmobile out of mothballs and sending Kath and Kim on a lap of dishonour in 2004 but for sheer absurdity we simply can’t go past another member of the NRL’s star-studded 1989 line-up – Marika, the wife of Con the Fruiterer from The Comedy Company, who took to centre field and did … well, whatever it was that Marika did.

In an overload of Australiana, Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan (pictured) sing the national anthem at the NRL Grand Final in 1986

In an overload of Australiana, Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan (pictured) sing the national anthem at the NRL Grand Final in 1986

In an overload of Australiana, Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan (pictured) sing the national anthem at the NRL Grand Final in 1986 

Kath and Kim make an appearance at the 2004 AFL final

Kath and Kim make an appearance at the 2004 AFL final

Kath and Kim make an appearance at the 2004 AFL final

Kath and Kim make an appearance at the 2004 AFL final

Kath and Kim (pictured) make an appearance at the 2004 AFL final and show off their footy skills 

5. Putting their bodies on the line.

Another rails run for the NRL in this category with no-one actually placed in mortal danger during any AFL pre-match entertainment. 

Unless of course you count the kid with the balloons who got in front of TV commentator Peter Landy as he was doing a live-to-camera cross in 1978 and copped a swift kick for his troubles. 

Commentator Peter Landys wouldn't let a kid or his baloons block his shot

Commentator Peter Landys wouldn't let a kid or his baloons block his shot

Commentator Peter Landys wouldn't let a kid or his baloons block his shot

Commentator Peter Landys wouldn't let a kid or his baloons block his shot

Commentator Peter Landys (pictured) wouldn’t let a kid with baloons block his shot 

But that was nothing compared to two rugby league classics. 

In 1997 someone at ARL HQ thought it would be a good idea to promote their major sponsor by suspending a gigantic Optus television set from a crane above the grand final crowd. 

It might have just worked too if one of the cables holding said TV set hadn’t snapped, sending it madly swinging like an enormous pendulum metres from the heads of terrified spectators. 

Yet even that can only come a close second behind the unforgettable sight of parachutist Steve Whalan, wearing ‘Paracam’ and talking to TV commentator Graeme Hughes as he fell to earth and attempted to land in the middle of the Sydney Football Stadium in 1991. 

Steve Whalan missing his mark in the 1991 Grand Final

Steve Whalan missing his mark in the 1991 Grand Final

Stave Whalan missing his mark in the 1991 Grand Final

Stave Whalan missing his mark in the 1991 Grand Final

Steve Whalan (pictured) missing his mark in the 1991 Grand final and landing on the stadium roof 

With Hughes happily impervious to Whalan’s increasingly agitated answers to his inane questions, the audience could only watch on in horror as it became patently obvious that things weren’t going to plan.

Not only did Whalan not land in the centre of the field, he missed the ground entirely, crash-landing onto the roof of the stadium.

With so many memorable moments from previous year's pre-game entertainment we eagerly wait for what's in store for the 2020 finals ... and the games too, they should be good (pictured; Meatloaf taking a bow)

With so many memorable moments from previous year's pre-game entertainment we eagerly wait for what's in store for the 2020 finals ... and the games too, they should be good (pictured; Meatloaf taking a bow)

With so many memorable moments from previous year’s pre-game entertainment we eagerly wait for what’s in store for the 2020 finals … and the games too, they should be good (pictured; Meatloaf taking a bow) 

As grand final entertainment disasters go, they don’t come much more spectacular than that but as all footy fans know, the game never ceases to amaze.

This year both codes have taken a conservative approach. The AFL, playing the jewel in their crown outside Melbourne for the first time, has gone with a Queensland-centric feel at the Gabba, including local acts Sheppard, Sub Sport and Andrew Stockdale. Even the Queensland Symphony Orchestra gets a guernsey.

The NRL too has played it safe, choosing up and coming pop artist Amy Shark as headline act.

As grand final entertainment organisers from both codes have been saying for over a century, what could possibly go wrong? 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Australia

NXIVM founder insists he is innocent and apologizes for his ‘participation in pain and suffering’

Published

on

By

nxivm founder insists he is innocent and apologizes for his participation in pain and suffering

NXIVM founder Keith Raniere has apologized for his ‘participation in pain and suffering’ though he says he is innocent as he blasted the legal system for a ‘horrible injustice’ while acknowledging that people think he’s ‘the devil.’

The 60-year-old cult leader due to be sentenced to federal prison next week for keeping women as sex slaves broke his silence on Friday for the first time since his arrest two years ago.

‘I apologize for my participation in all of this pain and suffering,’ he told NBC News on Friday.

‘I’ve clearly participated. I’ve been the leader of the community.’

Raniere was convicted last year on multiple counts of sex-trafficking, forced labor conspiracy, and racketeering after he was accused of turning his female devotees into his sex slaves. He faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Keith Raniere, 60, the leader of the NVIXM cult, spoke out for the first time on Friday, telling NBC News that he is 'innocent' though he did apologize for the 'participation in pain and suffering' of his victims

Keith Raniere, 60, the leader of the NVIXM cult, spoke out for the first time on Friday, telling NBC News that he is 'innocent' though he did apologize for the 'participation in pain and suffering' of his victims

Keith Raniere, 60, the leader of the NVIXM cult, spoke out for the first time on Friday, telling NBC News that he is ‘innocent’ though he did apologize for the ‘participation in pain and suffering’ of his victims 

Keith Raniere, 60, is due to be sentenced on Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court after he was convicted on sex trafficking and racketeering charges. He is pictured above in a court sketch from last year

Keith Raniere, 60, is due to be sentenced on Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court after he was convicted on sex trafficking and racketeering charges. He is pictured above in a court sketch from last year

Keith Raniere, 60, is due to be sentenced on Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court after he was convicted on sex trafficking and racketeering charges. He is pictured above in a court sketch from last year

One of Raniere's former adherents, Frank Parlato, worked as a spokesperson for NXIVM. But when Parlato grew disillusioned with some of the organization¿s darker aspects, he wrote about it in his blog, The Frank Report, helping bring down NVIXM. In a dramatic telephone conversation, Raniere spoke to Parlato. The chat was filmed by NBC News.

One of Raniere's former adherents, Frank Parlato, worked as a spokesperson for NXIVM. But when Parlato grew disillusioned with some of the organization¿s darker aspects, he wrote about it in his blog, The Frank Report, helping bring down NVIXM. In a dramatic telephone conversation, Raniere spoke to Parlato. The chat was filmed by NBC News.

One of Raniere’s former adherents, Frank Parlato, worked as a spokesperson for NXIVM. But when Parlato grew disillusioned with some of the organization’s darker aspects, he wrote about it in his blog, The Frank Report, helping bring down NVIXM. In a dramatic telephone conversation, Raniere spoke to Parlato. The chat was filmed by NBC News.

On Friday, he proclaimed his innocence, claiming that he was railroaded by the criminal justice system.

‘You know, one of the things that’s most important in our country is the justice system,’ Raniere told NBC News.

‘And although, you know, people can hate me and, do, and think I’m an odious type of a character, you know, awful actually.

‘Both the devil and a saint should be able to get the exact same treatment under our justice system.’

One of Raniere’s former adherents, Frank Parlato, worked as a spokesperson for NXIVM.

But when Parlato grew disillusioned with some of the organization’s darker aspects, he wrote about it in his blog, The Frank Report.

Parlato, who was featured prominently in the HBO documentary The Vow, is credited with helping bring down NVIXM.

In a dramatic telephone conversation, Raniere spoke to Parlato. The chat was filmed by NBC News.

When Parlato asked Raniere if he plans on making a statement to Brooklyn federal court at his sentencing on Tuesday, Raniere said: ‘Yes, I am innocent. 

‘And although it is, this is a horrible tragedy with many, many people being hurt, I think the main thrust of this has been the oppression but really a different issue, which is hard for me to express.

‘There is a horrible injustice here. And whether you think I’m the devil or not, the justice process has to be examined.’

At his sentencing on Tuesday, the judge is expected to take into consideration impact statements from more than 100 victims. 

Catherine Oxenberg, the actress and mother of India Riven Oxenberg, is one of Raniere's victims. Both she and her daughter were NVIXM members

Catherine Oxenberg, the actress and mother of India Riven Oxenberg, is one of Raniere's victims. Both she and her daughter were NVIXM members

Catherine Oxenberg, the actress and mother of India Riven Oxenberg, is one of Raniere’s victims. Both she and her daughter were NVIXM members

India Oxenberg said Allison Mack recruited her to become her slave when he was 'vulnerable' then controlled her life, including what she ate, when they were in NXIVM. Mack is shown, right, at court. She is in jail now sex trafficking charges

India Oxenberg said Allison Mack recruited her to become her slave when he was 'vulnerable' then controlled her life, including what she ate, when they were in NXIVM. Mack is shown, right, at court. She is in jail now sex trafficking charges

India Oxenberg said Allison Mack recruited her to become her slave when he was 'vulnerable' then controlled her life, including what she ate, when they were in NXIVM. Mack is shown, right, at court. She is in jail now sex trafficking charges

India Oxenberg said Allison Mack recruited her to become her slave when he was 'vulnerable' then controlled her life, including what she ate, when they were in NXIVM. Mack is shown, right, at court. She is in jail now sex trafficking charges

India Oxenberg said Allison Mack recruited her to become her slave when he was ‘vulnerable’ then controlled her life, including what she ate, when they were in NXIVM. Mack is shown, right, at court. She is in jail now sex trafficking charges

Catherine Oxenberg, the actress and mother of India Riven Oxenberg, said her daughter was one of Raniere’s victims. 

Both she and her daughter were NVIXM members.

‘Really these young women, without being aware, were on this runaway rollercoaster to hell,’ Catherine Oxenberg told NBC News. 

‘And they were completely unaware. And that’s where Keith Raniere was taking them, like, to hell.’ 

Last week, India Oxenberg revealed that fellow actress Allison Mack was her ‘master’ in NXIVM and controlled when and how much she ate. 

Oxenberg, 29, told Good Morning America last Wednesday that Mack would limit her calorie intake. 

She also told how she cooperated with prosecutors for nine months to put Keith Raniere, the cult leader, behind bars, and gave them a flashdrive that contained incriminating evidence against him. 

‘It was an abusive dynamic just by the sheer fact that she had control over me. She did it strategically. She knew that I was in a vulnerable place in my life and I was desperate for something and she targeted me for that,’ India said.

Raniere started NXIVM in the 1990s in upstate New York as a self-improvement group that expanded across the country.

Keith Raniere is in jail awaiting sentencing on a range of charges including child sex trafficking and child porn.

Keith Raniere is in jail awaiting sentencing on a range of charges including child sex trafficking and child porn.

The branding of his initials that members received

The branding of his initials that members received

Keith Raniere is in jail awaiting sentencing on a range of charges including child sex trafficking and child porn. The branding of his initials that members received is shown, right

Prosecutors allege that Raniere started a secret branch, known as the DOS, in about 2015 that was just for women.

Prosecutors say the secret society was comprised of brainwashed female ‘slaves’ who were branded with his initials and forced to have sex with him.

His adherents included Smallville actress Allison Mack and Seagram’s liquor fortune heiress Clare Bronfman.

Both women have pleaded guilty to assisting the conspiracy and are awaiting sentencing. 

Last month, five members of the alleged sex cult said they believe their former self-improvement leader was wrongly convicted and deny that NVIXM was cult-like. 

In an interview with CBS News, they refused to say whether they were branded with Raniere’s initials or whether they had had sex with the former leader. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 DiazHub.