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Chris Dawson's lawyer claims 'Lyn is still alive'; & more in News in 5.

-With AAP.

1. ‘There’s evidence Lyn Dawson is still alive,’ says Chris Dawson’s lawyer.


The lawyer for Chris Dawson, the former footballer accused of killing his wife four decades ago, will argue his alleged victim was alive long after her disappearance.

Dawson faced Sydney’s Central Local Court via video link on Thursday, charged with murdering his wife on the city’s northern beaches in early 1982.

His lawyer Greg Walsh says his client asserts his innocence and bank card transactions weeks after Lynette Dawson’s disappearance will form part of the not guilty plea.

News.com.au reported that outside court yesterday Walsh told reporters he was aware of at least one other case when a mother went missing and was living a new life in New Zealand.

Bizarrely, the case he was referring to was the former mother-in-law of his brother Peter Dawson who walked out on her three children 60 years ago.

Everything you need to know about Chris Dawson’s arrest, unpacked on Mamamia Out Loud.

Walsh said Lyn was seen by a number of people are her disappearance – though two of those people have since died.

He also told reporters there was evidence of “two very important bank card transactions two or three weeks after her disappearance” that were not investigated by the police.

“While it seems most unusual that a lady, with the greatest respect of Lyn Dawson, would disappear and not have any contact with her children … it has happened,” he said.

Dawson has long said he believes Lynette walked out on him and their children but he did not report her missing until six weeks later.

The cold case was thrust into the public spotlight again earlier this year when it became the subject of popular podcast series The Teacher’s Pet.

The former Newtown Jets rugby league player will remain behind bars for at least a week with his bail application scheduled for December 14.

2. Labor’s Husar ready for defamation lawsuit.

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Labor MP Emma Husar is gearing up for a defamation lawsuit against the media outlet that revealed bullying and sexual harrassment allegations against her.

The Western Sydney MP is also considering taking her own party to court, as she fights to hold onto her seat.

Ms Husar told parliament on Thursday she had launched legal action against BuzzFeed and journalist Alice Workman over an August 2 story.

BuzzFeed published the allegations made against Ms Husar in a confidential Labor internal investigation, which included evidence from more than 20 people.

The piece included allegations she flashed another federal MP in his office, which she and the other MP denied.

The investigation found she had mistreated her electorate staff, but it did not find evidence to support the flashing claims or allegations of sexual harassment.

“They went ahead and published their slut-shaming story knowing with full intent that it would go viral,” Ms Husar told parliament.

“I am not a bully. I am not Sharon Stone. I am not a thief. And I did not deliberately misuse my work expenses.”

BuzzFeed said it is aware the proceedings had been issued.

“We’re considering our position with our lawyers and will respond in due course,” BuzzFeed said in a statement to AAP.

Ms Husar announced in August she would not contest the next election, as she faced the internal investigation.

But the member for the NSW seat of Lindsay has since changed her mind and rejected suggestions she is no longer the Labor candidate for next year’s federal poll.

NSW Labor officials will meet on Friday to settle on a preselection process to replace Ms Husar.

But she has told The Australian she will fight the process through the courts if necessary.

3. Former archbishop Philip Wilson acquitted.

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Former Adelaide archbishop Philip Wilson is a free man after a judge quashed his conviction for covering up child sexual abuse at the hands of a NSW Hunter region priest.

But an appeal could be in the works after the NSW Attorney-General asked the Director of Public Prosecutions to consider further action.

Newcastle District Court judge Roy Ellis on Thursday upheld Wilson’s appeal against his conviction citing reasonable doubt.

Suspicion was not a substitute for proof beyond reasonable doubt, Judge Ellis said.

The prosecution case was that Wilson was told by two altar boys in 1976 that they’d been abused by pedophile priest James Fletcher and that the clergyman did nothing about it.

It was alleged he subsequently failed to go to the police after Fletcher was arrested in 2004 for abusing another boy.

Abuse survivor Peter Gogarty, a victim of Fletcher, said he couldn’t believe the judge’s decision.

“I didn’t sleep much last night,” he told Nine Network on Friday.

“I think the real concern out of this is that after spending billions of dollars on a royal commission … and all of the horrendous stories that we heard out of that, we’re back at a point where nobody in any of these institutions – and particularly in the Catholic Church – has been brought to account for their behaviour.”

Judge Ellis also threw out an appeal by the DPP against the leniency of the original sentence of a year’s home detention.

Wilson, 68, has served almost four months at his sister’s home.

He watched the judge hand down his decision via video link from a remote location so he didn’t have to face the media.

Fletcher was convicted in 2004 of sexually abusing another boy and died of a stroke in jail in early 2006.

4. Kidman, Strahovski score Golden Globe nods.

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Nicole Kidman and Yvonne Strahovski have been nominated for Golden Globes, but the news was not so good for fellow Australians Hugh Jackman, Margot Robbie, Toni Collette and Joel Edgerton.

Kidman received a best actress in a drama nod for Destroyer, a role where she is barely recognisable as a traumatised detective who suffered a nervous breakdown.

The most dominant film at the Globes nomination ceremony in Beverly Hills on Thursday was Vice, a biopic starring Christian Bale as former US vice president Dick Cheney.

Vice had six nominations with Green Book, A Star Is Born and BlacKkKlansman just behind with five.

Disney’s Marvel blockbuster Black Panther also performed well with three nominations, including best drama.

Kidman’s nomination for Destroyer bolsters the Australian’s campaign to grab the fifth Oscar nomination of her career, with the Globes often a critical stop on the way to each year’s Academy Awards.

Kidman does face tough competition to win the Globe with her main rival Lady Gaga, nominated for her performance in A Star is Born.

The other Globe nominees in the best actress drama category are Glenn Close (The Wife), Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me) and Rosamund Pike (A Private War).

Kidman was considered a solid chance of scoring two Globe nominations, but fell short in the supporting actress category for her performance in Boy Erased.

Strahovski was nominated for a supporting actress Globe for her role in the TV drama series The Handmaid’s Tale.

Her rivals in the category are Thandie Newton (Westworld), Penelope Cruz (The Assassination of Gianni Versace), Patricia Clarkson (Sharp Objects) and Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs Maisel).

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While Kidman’s Oscar chances received a major boost, Jackman, playing sex scandal-plagued 1988 US presidential candidate Gary Hart in The Front Runner, suffered a potential death blow to his Oscar nomination chances.

Globes voters bypassed Jackman in the best actor in a film drama category, instead handing nominations to Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born), William Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate), Lucas Hedges (Boy Erased), Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) and John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman).

Collette was an outside chance for a best actress in a film drama nomination for the chilling horror movie Hereditary, but missed out.

Robbie, for Mary Queen of Scots, and Elizabeth Debicki, for Widows, were also snubbed in the supporting actress category.

Edgerton, who directed Boy Erased and had a supporting actor role in the film, was also bypassed.

The Globes were also a setback for the Oscar best picture aspirations of Australian producers Gary Hamilton and Victoria Hill and their film First Reformed.

The movie failed to receive a single nomination.

Joining Black Panther in the best picture/drama Globe category nominations are A Star Is Born, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody and If Beale Street Could Talk.

The Globes split their categories into drama and musical/comedy.

Vice, in the musical/comedy categories, picked up nominations for best picture, Bale for best actor, Amy Adams (supporting actress), Sam Rockwell (supporting actor) and Sam McKay (director and screenplay).

The 76th Golden Globes ceremony will be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 6.

The next big test for the Oscar aspirants will be next Wednesday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards nomination ceremony.

The Oscar nominations will be announced on January 22 and the winners on February 24.

5. Ecuador: Julian Assange can leave embassy.

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Ecuador’s president has ramped up pressure on Julian Assange to leave his country’s embassy in London, saying Britain has provided sufficient guarantees that the WikiLeaks founder won’t be extradited to face the death penalty abroad.

Lenin Moreno’s comments suggest that months of quiet diplomacy between the UK and Ecuador to resolve Assange’s situation is bearing fruit at a time when questions are swirling about the former Australian hacker’s legal fate in the US.

“The road is clear for Mr Assange to take the decision to leave,” Moreno said in a radio interview on Thursday, referring to written assurances he said he had received from Britain.

Moreno didn’t say he would force Assange out, but said the activist’s legal team is considering its next steps.

Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012, when he was granted asylum while facing allegations of sex crimes in Sweden that he said were a guise to extradite him to the US.

But his relations with his hosts have soured to the point that Moreno earlier this year cut off his access to the internet, purportedly for violating the terms of his asylum by speaking out on political matters.

Assange in turn sued, saying his rights as an Ecuadorian – he was granted citizenship last year as part of an apparent attempt to name him a diplomat and ferry him to Russia – were being violated.

The mounting tensions have drawn Moreno closer to the position of Britain, which for years has said it is barred by law from extraditing suspects to any jurisdiction where they would face capital punishment.

But nothing is preventing it from extraditing him to the US if prosecutors there were to pledge not to seek the death penalty.

Assange has long maintained that he faces charges under seal in the US for revealing highly sensitive government information on his website.

Those fears were heightened when US prosecutors last month mistakenly referenced criminal charges against him in an unrelated case.

The Associated Press and other outlets have reported that Assange is indeed facing unspecified charges under seal, but prosecutors have so far provided no official confirmation.

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