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Alleged Family Court bomber trial end bid

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Leonard Warwick’s life was destroyed by the “scandalous” behaviour of the NSW police officers who investigated a string of Sydney bombings and murders in the 1980s, his trial has been told.

The police officers had a closed mind from the outset, Warwick’s solicitor Alan Conolly said on Monday, starting with them telling people the former firefighter was a suspect in the first murder, the 1980 shooting of his brother-in-law.

Warwick, 72, has pleaded not guilty to four murders and 20 other offences relating to seven events between February 1980 and July 1985, allegedly stemming from a drawn-out custody battle with his ex-wife.

Mr Conolly argued the case should be thrown out after the prosecutor last week closed the Crown case at the long-running judge-alone NSW Supreme Court trial before Justice Peter Garling.

Mr Conolly is submitting there is no case to answer if the judge accepts the Crown case at its highest.

“When it comes to the evidence in vital matters, there is no evidence,” he said.

“It doesn’t get there.

“The evidence on DNA has all sorts of problems including gross police incompetence, including the work of the government analytical laboratory as being well below appropriate standards.”

There was “not a scintilla of acceptable evidence” that Warwick had committed extreme violence at any point in his life, Mr Conolly said.

The Crown contended there was a link between the crimes and the matters his client had before the Family Court.

Describing the proposition as “absurd”, Mr Conolly said Warwick followed the “processes of the courts” between 1979 and 1986 and “what happened in those courts was very satisfactory”.

“Mr Warwick has lived since 1980 with the scandalous behaviour by the NSW police in relation to each of these seven (events),” he said.

“Times have changed but the effect has been to destroy Mr Warwick’s life.”

The trial continues.

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European Space Agency captures the ‘sound of our planet singing’ as solar storms batter it

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The Earth has inspired many a famous tune — from Michael Jackson’s ‘Earth Song’ to Björk’s ‘Earth Intruders’ — but now the blue planet has a song of its very own.

Astronomers have recorded for the first time the eerie warbling ‘song’ sung by the Earth’s magnetic field when hit by a storm of charged particles sent from the Sun.

The ‘tune’ is a sonic version of the stunning aurora light show that can be seen near the poles when charged particles interact with the Earth’s atmosphere.

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Astronomers have recorded for the first time the eerie warbling 'song' sung by the Earth's magnetic field when hit by a storm of charged particles sent from the Sun, as pictured in this artist's impression. The 'tune' is a sonic version of the stunning aurora light show

Astronomers have recorded for the first time the eerie warbling 'song' sung by the Earth's magnetic field when hit by a storm of charged particles sent from the Sun, as pictured in this artist's impression. The 'tune' is a sonic version of the stunning aurora light show

Astronomers have recorded for the first time the eerie warbling ‘song’ sung by the Earth’s magnetic field when hit by a storm of charged particles sent from the Sun, as pictured in this artist’s impression. The ‘tune’ is a sonic version of the stunning aurora light show

WHAT ARE THE CLUSTER II SPACECRAFT? 

Cluster II is name given to four European Space Agency satellites that fly in formation through the Earth’s magnetosphere.

Launched in 2000, the Cluster probes have been analysing the Earth’s vast magnetic field for almost two decades.

The Cluster II spacecraft were built to replace to original Cluster probes which were destroyed during a failed launch.

The four Cluster II spacecraft, depicted here in an artist's impression

The four Cluster II spacecraft, depicted here in an artist's impression

The four Cluster II spacecraft, depicted here in an artist’s impression

The ‘song’ was made audible by experts from the European Space Agency (ESA), who analysed the magnetic waves produced as these ‘solar winds’ buffet the Earth.

They turned the results into audible frequencies, producing an unusual noise they described as being more like ‘the sound effects of a science fiction movie than a natural phenomenon.’

The psychedelic song was identified after the team sent four spacecraft through the so-called ‘foreshock’ region of the Earth’s magnetic field, which faces the Sun and is the first part to be impacted by incoming solar storms.

Normally, the constant flow of charged particles that makes up the solar wind causes the foreshock to emit simple magnetic waves that — when converted into audio waves — sound something like a single, low musical note.

When a solar storm strikes the Earth, however, the impact of it against the magnetic field’s foreshock causes this ‘music’ to rise in pitch — and become far more complex.

‘It is like the storm is changing the tuning of the foreshock,’ said paper author and space physicist Lucile Turc of the University of Helsinki in Finland. 

Data for the study was collected by the ESA’s Cluster II mission, which placed four identical spacecraft, flying in formation, in the Earth’s so-called magnetosphere.

Launched in 2000, the probes have been analysing Earth’s vast magnetic field now for almost two decades.  

The magnetic field acts like an invisible ‘bubble’, protecting life on Earth from the stream of charged particles — specifically electrons and protons — that are blasted out continuously from the Sun.

The four Cluster II spacecraft constantly orbit the Earth, repeatedly flying through the foreshock.

In the early part of their mission, from 2001 to 2005, the probes flew through six collisions between the foreshock and a solar storm, recording the waves that were generated.

Normally, the constant flow of charged particles that makes up the solar wind causes the foreshock to emit simple magnetic waves that — when converted into audio waves — sound something like a single, low musical note (visualised left). When a solar storm strikes the Earth, however, the impact of it against the magnetic field's foreshock causes this 'music' to rise in pitch — and become far more complex (as seen on the right)

Normally, the constant flow of charged particles that makes up the solar wind causes the foreshock to emit simple magnetic waves that — when converted into audio waves — sound something like a single, low musical note (visualised left). When a solar storm strikes the Earth, however, the impact of it against the magnetic field's foreshock causes this 'music' to rise in pitch — and become far more complex (as seen on the right)

Normally, the constant flow of charged particles that makes up the solar wind causes the foreshock to emit simple magnetic waves that — when converted into audio waves — sound something like a single, low musical note (visualised left). When a solar storm strikes the Earth, however, the impact of it against the magnetic field’s foreshock causes this ‘music’ to rise in pitch — and become far more complex (as seen on the right)

The team used computer simulations to reveal the the intricate wave patterns that emerge during solar storms.

It is a fast process, with the wave generated at the foreshock reaching the ground taking in around 10 minutes.

The researchers are now working to understand exactly how these complex waves are generated.

‘We always expected a change in frequency — but not the level of complexity in the wave,’ Dr Turc said.

Solar storms are a part of space weather. While the solar wind is always blowing, explosive releases of energy close to the Sun’s surface generate turbulence and gusts that eventually give rise to solar storms.

Understanding space weather has become increasingly important to society because of the damaging effects solar storms can have on sensitive electronics and technology both on the ground and in space.

‘This is an excellent example of how Cluster continues to extend our knowledge of the Sun–Earth connection, even years after the original data was obtained,’ added author Philippe Escoubet of the European Space Research and Technology Centre.

‘The results take us deeper into the details of fundamental magnetic interactions that take place across the universe.’

The full findings of the study will be published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

HOW IS THE SOLAR WIND FORMED?

The sun and its atmosphere are made of plasma – a mix of positively and negatively charged particles which have separated at extremely high temperatures, that both carries and travels along magnetic field lines.

Material from the corona streams out into space, filling the solar system with the solar wind. 

But scientists found that as the plasma travels further away from the sun, things change. 

Views of the solar wind from NASA’s STEREO spacecraft (left) and after computer processing (right). Scientists used an algorithm to dim the appearance of bright stars and dust in images of the faint solar wind

The sun begins to lose magnetic control, forming the boundary that defines the outer corona – the very edge of the sun. 

The breakup of the rays is similar to the way water shoots out from a squirt gun.

First, the water is a smooth and unified stream, but it eventually breaks up into droplets, then smaller drops and eventually a fine, misty spray. 

A recent Nasa study captured the plasma at the same stage where a stream of water gradually disintegrates into droplets.

If charged particles from solar winds hit Earth’s magnectic field, this can cause problems for satellite and communication equipment.

 

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Masked raiders steal four French bulldog puppies and threaten occupant with hammer

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Masked raiders threatened a homeowner with a hammer in a terrifying late-night burglary before stealing four French bulldog puppies. 

Police rushed to the property in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, shortly before midnight last night after they received reports of an aggravated burglary at a home close to the marina.

After forcing their way into the property, one of the masked men threatened the homeowner with a hammer, before the pair made off with the puppies, which often sell for more than £1,000.

The men are thought to have escaped across neighbouring gardens after the raid.

Four of the puppies were stolen from the property in Essex after two masked raiders broke in

Four of the puppies were stolen from the property in Essex after two masked raiders broke in

Four of the puppies were stolen from the property in Essex after two masked raiders broke in 

Officers are now appealing for information from members of the public.

An Essex Police spokesperson said: ‘We were called shortly before midnight on Monday 18 November with reports that two masked men had forced entry into an address on Freeland Road, Clacton.

‘It was reported that one of the men threatened the occupant with a hammer. The men then stole four 10-week-old French bulldog puppies and left by neighbouring gardens.

The men had forced entry into an address on Freeland Road, Clacton (general street view pictured above)

The men had forced entry into an address on Freeland Road, Clacton (general street view pictured above)

The men had forced entry into an address on Freeland Road, Clacton (general street view pictured above)

‘Detectives would like to speak to anyone who lives or was driving in the area and has ring doorbell or dash cam footage.

TOP TEN MOST STOLEN DOG BREEDS 
Rank Breed 2017 thefts 2018 thefts % change
1 Staffordshire Bull Terrier 172 88 -49%
2 Crossbreed 73 53 -27%
3 Chihuahua 44 52 18%
4 French Bulldog 45 51 13%
5 Jack Russell 34 39 15%
6 Pug 4 24 500%
7 English Bulldog 3 22 633%
8 Cocker Spaniel 20 14 -30%
9 Labrador 35 12 -66%
10 Terrier 4 11 175%
ALL BREEDS 1,879 1,959 +3%

‘We would also like to speak to anyone who was in the area around the time and witnessed any suspicious behaviour or has seen any French bulldog puppies for sale.’

French bulldogs are one of the most stolen dog breeds in the UK and in 2018 51 were taken. 

In 2017, 45 of the animals were taken from owners. 

Cases of ‘dognapping’ increased by 4 per cent last year to 1,959, compared with 1,879 in 2017.

Only 17 per cent of stolen dogs are returned to their owners, according to police figures obtained by Direct Line Insurance. 

It comes after CCTV footage revealed a teenager girl in east Manchester scaling her neighbour’s fence before stealing his young daughter’s pet cocker spaniel.

Shannagh Cookson admitted stealing James Daniel’s puppy Penny on September 30.

She told Manchester magistrates that she had stolen the animal as she felt it was being mistreated. 

 

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Red Bull smash world record for fastest F1 pit-stop after taking just 1.82 SECONDS

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Max Verstappen‘s victory at Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix was already memorable for the way he passed Lewis Hamilton twice on the circuit to land his eighth F1 win.

But there was another cause for celebration among his mechanics after they set a new F1 record for the fastest ever pit-stop during the race at Interlagos.

With a service time of just 1.82 seconds, the team managed to stop the Dutchman’s car, change all four tyres and then set him on his way again.

It was his first pit-stop during the race and was seen as crucial in his battle to emerge on the track in front of Lewis Hamilton who had already pitted and was looking to take the lead in Sao Paulo.

Unfortunately for Verstappen, Red Bull’s hard work in the pit-lane was all for nothing as he was immediately obstructed by the Williams of Robert Kubica that was dangerously released in front of him, forcing him to slow down and take evasive action. 

Kubica was hit with a penalty for getting in the way, which resulted in Verstappen emerging behind Hamilton on the track.

However, less than a lap later Verstappen made the first of his two passes on Hamilton during the race, using his slipstream on the start/finish straight to regain the race lead.

Red Bull’s new record beat the previous record also set by them during this year’s German Grand Prix by just six hundredths of a second. It is the third time they have set a new record during the season.

In addition to the record stop, the team put in the third quickest (2.12 seconds) and fourth fastest (2.17 seconds) of the race during their three-stop strategy.

The ultra quick times are a far cry from the early years of Formula One when drivers even had time to chat to their mechanics as their car was serviced in the pit-lane during a race.

It was not until the early 1990s when the Benetton team started to use the pit-stop as a way of gaining crucial time during the race. Although their pit-stops of around six seconds at the time seem like an age compared to today’s racing, they did also have to refuel the cars. A practice no longer required with refuelling banned from modern F1 racing. 

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