Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and TreatmentImage via WikipediaKiwi blogger may appeal his conviction for breaching suppression orders...

Kiwi blogger Cameron Slater is likely to appeal his conviction and fines and costs of nearly $8000 for breaching suppression orders.

Slater was convicted of nine of the 10 charges he faced -- eight of breaching non-publication orders for several high-profile offenders and one of naming a victim in a sexual abuse case. The tenth case was thrown out.

Judge David Harvey fined Slater $750 and ordered him top pay court costs of $130 on each of the nine cases after rejecting submissions from his lawyer, Gregory Thwaite, that there was no case to answer.

He told Slater the internet allowed everyone to become a publisher but with that came an obligation to be accountable and responsible.

"The silent majority is no longer silent."

He said Slater had been using the internet to mount a political campaign to change the law regarding suppression orders and had deliberately published names knowing the suppression orders existed.

"You stepped over the line when you chose to publish names that were the subject of non-publication orders."

He said Slater set himself up on his blog site as judge and jury and knowing the non-publication order had been issued, he was willing to flout the law.

"There was no remorse, it was carefully planned and he knew exactly what he was doing."

During the hearing earlier today Judge Harvey and Mr Thwaite had a long legal debate over the validity of suppression orders.

Mr Thwaite said there was no case to answer because the suppression orders were invalid for a number of reasons. These included that Slater had not used the exact names of the accused as they appeared on court documents.

He also submitted Judge Harvey had the right to overturn another judge's suppression orders although the judge rejected that.

"I can't revisit what another judge has done.

"I can't say the order should not have been made -- not guilty".

He said if he did that he would be "bringing the entire system of justice into disrepute."

In his finding Judge Harvey said it was about whether a person breached the law using the internet.

"It is not a case about whether or not the law should allow non-publication orders. That debate must take place in another forum," he said.

Outside court Slater said he had "copped a flogging as best they can with a wet bus ticket."

He said he was not remorseful and had no regrets, but when asked if he would continue to flout the law, replied: "We'll see."

He said he had a few people who would underwrite his fines.

He said he did not qualify for legal aid because he had been charged under the Summary Proceedings Act.

His lawyer had advised him to appeal and he would discuss that with him."
This not a case of a blogger breaching the law for ethical reasons. Slater has his own agenda, whatever it may be.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hell Creek Formation near Ft. Peck Reservoir, ...Image via Wikipedia

Solving the puzzle of the extinction of dinosaurs in China...

In many of my posts at "The Green Planet" I have written of endangered species and climate change as well. Lets look at both subjects from another perspective - the past, in fact the distant past, about 65 million years ago. Right back to the age of the dinosaurs. But that story is being told right now in China, previously it was concentrated in America.

We have a good idea about the causes of the demise of the dinosaurs, this is to be confirmed very shortly if reports from China are accurate. Chinese scientist, Wang Haijun is reportedly certain the answer lies beneath a 300 metre ravine out in the countryside, 670 km southeast of Beijing, the capital city of China. This could be the final resting place where hundreds of dinosaurs lay huddled together in the final moments before their extinction millions of years ago.

There are fossils in that area: 15,000 odd bones from 65 million years ago in the late Cretaceous period shortly before dinosaurs became extinct on this planet. They support those well held theories of some "catastrophe" - explosions, global fires and sudden climate change.

Palaeontologist James Clark said the find is very important in understanding the reasons for the actual end of the dinosaur age.

The excavation is believed to be the largest dinosaur fossil site in the world. It is also evidence of a ground-breaking project in a country whose past governments rejected science as being part of the elite in their society. As the construction boom has swept China in recent years relics are being found that are causing history to be rewritten in China.

For decades most of the important research on dinosaurs centred around the USA - particularly in Utah and Montana. But attention has now moved to China with the most important discoveries in Zhuchang and other major sites.

During th 1966-76 cultural revolution scientists and other intellectuals were banished to the countryside, research institutions were closed and relics destroyed. But now modern China is pouring billions of dollars into archaeological projects - historical, ecological and palaetology - China has really become interestd in its very deep past.

Last March, 2009, a new fossil was discovered which indicated many dinosaurs actually had a featherlike fuzz, indicating a closer relationship between dinosaurs and birds. In inner Mongolia a whole herd of ostrich-like dinosaurs were excavated - giving researchers further insight into how the creatures grew up. There is undoubtably a treasure-trove of relics waiting to be found in China.

Researchers believe dinosaurs were killed and made extinct after a volcanic eruption, or perhaps more likely from a meteor impact, followed by flashfloods, landslides or a tsunami, that swept them all away. It is difficult to understand though why there are so many relics in one particular place. So very reminiscent of elephant graves in Africa where aging and dying elephants move together in their final days.

The Green Planet Blog: http://worldofcae.blogspot.com