News: What Indonesian judge says about Corby

Schapelle Corby


The Indonesian Supreme Court is considering a clemency application from Schapelle Corby – on humanitarian grounds – but is apparently at odds with the Justice and Human Rights Ministry about how much time to cut from her 20-year sentence. The latter recommended 10-years while the Supreme Court judge recommended five years before noting that Corby had never admitted to her crimes, usually a key requirement of clemency bids.

The Supreme Court judge responsible for the opinion also referred to Corby’s refusal to admit guilt, pointing out that “the convict kept denying the evidence was hers”, but that “there has been no evidence to support this”.

Corby is being treated for mental illness while in custody.
Companies are snubbing the norms for hiring job candidates and putting their abilities in the backseat, saying employees who fit the ‘culture’ of the organisation can be just as effective and valuable.
The trend is being seen across a wide range of industries and even in highly-skilled roles like project management, Hays recruitment firm director Nick Deligiannis said. 

“For most roles soft skills and cultural alignment is just as important – if not more important – than technical ability,” Mr Deligiannis said. “There’s been a considerable push by employers to hire for a cultural fit.”

In his recent book, Hiring for Attitude, CEO of LeadershipIQ Mark Murphy says that a lack of proper attitude, not skills, is the primary contributor to weak performance and employee turnover. 

According to his research of 20,000 new hires, 46 per cent of them failed within 18 months. More importantly when new hires failed, 89 per cent of the time it was for attitudinal reasons and only 11 per cent of the time due to lack of skill.



What is it with powerful men and hunting exotic, sometimes endangerd, animals?

The King of Spain, Juan Carlos, snuck away on a trip his own confidants knew nothing about so he could hunt elephants, despite the country being deep in recession and despite his position as honourary president of the Wildlife Fund for Nature.

Spain is struggling with 23 per cent unemployment and is tipped as the next European Union country to need an economic bailout.

It’s been an all-out gaffe for the King. Let’s hope the elephant hunt was worth it.


Prime Minister Julia Gillard is today expected to announce the withdrawal of most, if not all, of Australia’s combat and support troops in Afghanistan. Ms Gillard expressed the sentiment: ‘the peoples of the world’s democracies are weary of this war’. Most of the troops will be home before the election in 2013 but a small contingent will stay to help with training or to conduct counter-insurgency operations.

The war in Afghanistan has been costly in financial terms but also in lives taken, not only for the thousands of civilians who died there, but also for Australian troops. Thirty-two soldiers have been killed and 219 personnel wounded. The war has been waged since 2001. Ms Gillard will announce today Australia is willing to pay its fair share of the estimated $4.1 billion a year needed for Afghanistan’s military, police and security forces to operate once the Coalition withdraws completely.

Brian Scott Ostrom looks over his military service records and weeps after being told his apartment application had been turned down, part of Denver Post photographer Craig F Walker's photo story that won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography Photograph: Handout/Reuters


And some of the winners have produced breathtaking work. 2012 has been a benchmark year for digital publishing houses with the Huffington Post winning its first Pulitzer for a series of stories graphically detailing the physical and emotional challenges of American soldiers severely injured in war.

The Associated Press won best investigative reporting for its series of stories which uncovered the domestic spying program of the New York Police which monitored Muslim communities.

Eli Sanders from the Stranger won best Feature Writing for his story of a woman who survived a brutal attack which killed her partner, drawing from courtroom testimony and details of the crime to piece together the narrative.

Massoud Houssaini won the prize for Breaking News Photography for this photo of a woman screaming among the fallen after a suicide bombing attack. WARNING: the image after the link contains disturbing scenes.

Craig F. Walker of the Denver Post won for best Feature Photography with his series of portraits of a returned Iraq War veteran struggling to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. His picture is shown here.

The Guardian Blog has done a full round-up of the winners here.


Yes, it’s really a thing. A monitoring system built into baby clothes, sold in the US for $140, detects moisture on the skin and sends a text message to parents letting the know the nappy might need changing. Oh, and it also monitors heart rate, temperature and your child’s mood using electrical signals from the skin.

Anders Breivik


Anders Breivik detonated a bomb before making his way to a political youth camp and gunning down participants. The twin attacks in July last year killed 77 people. Now his trial is underway in Norway, and part of it will ask: is he sane? Breivik raised his fist in a far-right conservative salute before informing the court he was a writer and that he did not recognise its authority.

‘‘I acknowledge the acts, but not criminal guilt and I claim self-defence,’’ he told the court on the first day of his 10-week trial.

The judge then entered the plea as ‘‘not guilty.’’

According to Fairfax:

Breivik, 33, has described his actions as ‘‘cruel but necessary’’ and claims he acted alone and in self-defence against those he considered to be ‘‘state traitors’’ for opening Norway up to multiculturalism and allowing the ‘‘Muslim invasion’’ of Europe.


And the cosmetic companies have agreed. Toxicologist Kristie Sullivan wrote for Fairfax:

:Estee Lauder, Avon and Mary Kay have resumed animal testing on cosmetics to sell in China – even as the companies continue to claim in the United States that their products are cruelty-free.

We do not want animals to suffer and die to bring lipstick and eye shadow to store shelves – especially when non-animal methods make this testing unnecessary. There is no excuse for any cosmetics company to test products on animals for any reason.

Estee Lauder, Avon and Mary Kay, which have not tested on animals in more than two decades, should not have given in to the Chinese government’s demands for animal testing when they know it is cruel, inefficient and ineffective. Most consumers want to purchase products that have not been tested on animals.”


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