The Mulvina White Early Childhood Centre on Slipe Road in Kingston has received much-needed assistance from the Key Club at the Wolmer’s Boys’ School, to improve the institution’s infrastructure.The Club, which is part of the Jamaica Key Club District, has been working with the early-childhood institution since 2016. Over the past two years, the Club has donated stationery, such as exercise books and pencils, and contributed community service hours to the institution, where they read to the children.Recently, through a project, several of the young men who are a part of the Club installed ceiling fans and repaired electrical outlets at the institution.Community Relations Manager at the Early Childhood Commission (ECC), Tanisha Miller, said the contributions from the Key Club at Wolmer’s Boys’ School have significantly helped the institution to improve their learning environment.Ms. Miller pointed out that the mandate at the ECC is to provide quality learning environments, and this kind of assistance from the Club members will enhance the Commission’s effort.Meanwhile, President of the Key Club and upper-sixth-form student, David Deslandes, said the upgrading work being undertaken by the Club is helping the institution to meet the 12 Operating Standards of the ECC, in order for the school to become fully certified.“The aim of the current project is to create a better learning environment for approximately 65 children who are enrolled,” he said.Since the partnership began, the Club has hosted a Christmas treat for the children each December as well as fundraising activities.Last year, a fundraiser was held and part of the proceeds was used to procure fans.District Administrator for the Jamaica Key Club District, Christopher Humber, said that after consultation with the parents, the decision was taken that the remaining sum from the fundraiser will be used to open accounts for the children, to encourage saving. The Club, which is part of the Jamaica Key Club District, has been working with the early-childhood institution since 2016. Over the past two years, the Club has donated stationery, such as exercise books and pencils, and contributed community service hours to the institution, where they read to the children. Story Highlights The Mulvina White Early Childhood Centre on Slipe Road in Kingston has received much-needed assistance from the Key Club at the Wolmer’s Boys’ School, to improve the institution’s infrastructure. Recently, through a project, several of the young men who are a part of the Club installed ceiling fans and repaired electrical outlets at the institution.
Jessie J, Ne-Yo, JLS, The Wanted, McFly, The Saturdays and James Arthur are among the first names to be confirmed for this summer’s brand new Fusion Festival, in support of The Prince’s Trust and in association with Capital FM.The event will take place on August 31 and September 1.Joining them are Union J, Wiley, Amelia Lily, Wretch 32, Conor Maynard with many more to be announced. Birmingham’s iconic Cofton Park will play host to the ultimate summer pop party with 60,000 people and some of the biggest acts from both sides of the pond coming together for a huge weekend of pop at its very best.Chart topper Jessie J will headline Saturday night’s poptastic proceedings alongside platinum-selling boy band JLS and It’s All About You crooners McFly. British rapper Wiley, Union J and songstress Amelia Lily will also be taking to the stage as part of an incredible mix of artists to play the festival.Sunday will see American R&B star Ne-Yo bring the noise to Cofton Park, where he’ll be joined by chart heartthrobs The Wanted and uber glam The Saturdays, fresh from gaining their first UK Number One with What About Us. Wretch 32, Conor Maynard and this year’s X Factor winner James Arthur are also on the bill, with many more acts to be announced across the weekend.Expect spectacular live performances, massive chart smash hits plus all the fun of the festival fair with a full fairground and many other interactive events.Fusion Festival is proud to support The Prince’s Trust, with £5 from each ticket sale donated to the charity to help change young lives across the UK.The current line-up for the Fusion Festival was announced on the Capital Breakfast Show with Dan and Katy at 8.15am on Monday 8th April. More acts will be announced in the coming weeks.Programme Controller at Capital FM Paul Gerrard said: “This is going to be the biggest event Birmingham has seen in years. The whole team here at Capital can’t wait to see some of the world’s biggest stars rock up to Brum, it’s going to be an incredible summer and Capital will be right there for every moment.”Festival spokesman, Mike Owen of Go Big said:“We felt the time was right for a brand new music festival for the UK’s 2nd city and we are so excited to be working with such a fantastic organisation as The Prince’s Trust and with Birmingham’s Number One hit music station, Capital FM. We’ve got a brilliant line-up this year and this is only the beginning for Fusion Festival.”Paul Brown, Marketing and Communications Director The Prince’s Trust said: “We’re delighted that this stellar line-up of acts will be helping to support the work of The Prince’s Trust.“Every year we work with thousands of disadvantaged young people to get their lives on track. Thanks to Fusion Festival, we will be able to ensure that more young people look forward to a brighter future.”The Prince’s Trust has helped more than 700,000 young people since 1976 and supports 100 more each day.TicketsTickets are on sale at 9.00am, on Friday 12th April and are priced at: • £35 per day – general admission • £60 weekend – general admission ticket • £50 – per day Golden Circle Ticket • £95 weekend Golden Circle TicketTickets are available online at www.thefusionfestival.co.uk and also from ticket partners Ticketmaster, The Ticket Factory and Seetickets.
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Two local political groups called Tuesday on San Diego Unified School Board District B Trustee Kevin Beiser to resign, and the county Democratic Party was mulling whether to do the same, in response to allegations that he sexually abused a local political consultant from 2013 to 2018.A lawsuit filed Monday, naming Beiser and his spouse, Dan Mock, as defendants, alleges that the educator and the anonymous alleged victim first met in 2013, when the latter was an intern for Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego.The suit alleges that Beiser, at various times over a five-year period, date-raped the plaintiff, solicited oral sex from him, groped him multiple times and made increasingly aggressive and physically abusive attempts at seduction. Mock failed to help the alleged victim when he was at the couple’s home, according to the complaint.San Diego Democrats for Equality issued a statement calling for Beiser to resign, saying the organization is “deeply disappointed and offended.” The organization also affirmed that it will not accept or tolerate sexual harassment and assault of any kind.The San Diego County Democratic Party also swiftly moved to condemn Beiser’s alleged actions, stating that it will consider a resolution Tuesday evening to formally call for Beiser to resign.“Our party will move quickly to ensure the safety of our members, to secure justice for survivors, and to hold accountable any public official who would seek to use their power to abuse others,” said party Chair Will Rodriguez-Kennedy.RELATED STORY: San Diego Unified Trustee sued for alleged sexual assault, harassmentThe Republican Party of San Diego County suggested that rumors have percolated for years about Beiser’s activities and called on him to resign immediately if any of the lawsuit’s allegations are accurate.“The sheer number of, and graphic details in, the accusations against Kevin Beiser are shocking,” said Tony Krvaric, chairman of the county Republican Party. “We call for a full and immediate investigation and urge anyone with additional information to contact San Diego Police Department.”Beiser has yet to publicly respond to the lawsuit in any form, and district representatives said they had no comment on the allegations.Beiser, who was elected to the school board in 2010, is currently listed as a math teacher at Castle Park Middle School in Chula Vista and has filed to run for San Diego City Council next year in District 7. KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, Posted: March 19, 2019 March 19, 2019 Democratic groups condemn Kevin Beiser’s alleged conduct described in lawsuit Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics FacebookTwitter
From Infinity War to Black Panther to Captain Marvel, Marvel movies keep smashing box office records. As Avengers: Endgame opens to widespread critical acclaim and monster ticket sales, it could become the biggest movie event of all time. Yup, we seriously can’t get enough of Marvel movies.But although superhero adventures now seem like the surest of sure things, it seems strange to remember the very different origins of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The MCU has expanded to 22 films, reinvented serialized movies, and made more than $18.6 billion at the global box office — but when it began a decade ago it was actually quite a gamble.Cast your mind back years before Endgame, before Thanos and the Infinity War snap, before the Avengers assembled… Now playing: Watch this: The best moment from every Marvel Cinematic Universe… 18 Photos 4:23 Now playing: Watch this: Sphero Spider-Man 3 3:13 Inspired by the Marvel model, other studios have tried to create money-spinning cinematic universes of their own. Universal brought their classic monsters back from the grave with dubious success in The Mummy, while Marvel’s comic industry rival, DC, attempted to fast-track its own crossover with Justice League. But none has managed to capture the magic of the MCU.Marvel foreverAfter the success of the better-known names in the Avengers lineup, Marvel could have stuck to churning out Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Hulk sequels. “A lot of studios would love to have four franchises they can keep doing sequels to,” as Feige puts it. “We specifically didn’t want to do that, because we wanted to keep bringing new characters to the forefront.” Click here to sign-up for our new guide to all things Marvel.And so the Avengers paved the way for even riskier titles. Even among comic fans, who could name a single Guardian of the Galaxy before that movie came out? But by then, the Marvel brand was known as a mark of quality, even if you hadn’t heard of the heroes in question. As each new film dropped, left-field directing choices such as James Gunn, the Russo brothers and Taika Waititi turned out to be pretty smart gambles. When Black Panther exploded into theaters in 2018, it quickly rocketed past a billion dollars and become a genuine cultural phenomenon. Not the most obscure comic hero but not the best-known either, Black Panther was just the latest example of Marvel banking on a character that might have been considered a gamble 10 years ago.In March, Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel became Marvel’s first female lead, and there are plenty more popular comic characters where she came from. Namor, Ms. Marvel, Nova, Moon Knight and many others have yet to appear on the big screen. And after Spider-Man’s entry to the MCU, other well-known characters like the X-Men and Fantastic Four could be brought back into the fold following Disney’s deal with Fox.For now, Endgame brings the curtain down on the first decade of the MCU, causing us to bid fond farewell to some of the franchise’s founder members. Whatever happens next, let’s hope Marvel isn’t done taking risks.This article was first published in May 2018. 10 years ago today, the Marvel Cinematic Universe began. #IronMan pic.twitter.com/yKgEnCiyST— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) May 2, 2018 Preview • Sphero’s new voice-activated Spider-Man toy sure is chatty TV and Movies Watching the MCU movies in the perfect order I am Iron Man2008’s Iron Man, the first MCU film, was far from a guaranteed hit. For starters, the Iron Man character had never appeared in a movie or live-action TV show, putting him behind the likes of Spider-Man and the Hulk in terms of general public awareness. And the big thing at the box office back then was the gritty and grounded Dark Knight series, which self-consciously played down Batman’s more comic book-y elements. Colorful and fantastic movies like Green Lantern and Ang Lee’s Hulk were just as likely to flop as they were to hit big.As if that wasn’t enough, Marvel brought in two guys to head up Iron Man who were definitely unknown quantities. “In the late 1990s Robert Downey Jr. was uninsurable,” says box office analyst Stephen Follows, “making him unemployable to any production which wanted to get a completion bond.” Despite being an Oscar-nominated actor, Downey had never fronted a blockbuster like this — and neither had director Jon Favreau, the guy from Swingers, whose main directing experience was Christmas comedy Elf and a largely overlooked Jumanji semi-sequel.Multiple writers worked on drafts of the screenplay, only for Favreau to encourage Downey and the cast to improvise. The lack of a definite script didn’t initially impress co-star Jeff Bridges, who only relaxed when he decided to view the chaotic production as a “$200 million student film.”Troubled star Robert Downey Jr. and director Jon Favreau teamed up for the first MCU movie, released in 2008. Elisabetta Villa / Getty Images Ah yes, the money. Marvel had spent decades farming its comic characters out to other companies for TV and film adaptations, with mixed results. Even when a character hit big at the movies, Marvel didn’t necessarily see big returns. Spider-Man was off making money for Sony hand-over-webshooter, while the X-Men were raking it in for Fox. So in the 2000s, the folks at Marvel’s movie arm clawed back the film rights to their characters and borrowed a chunk of money from Merrill Lynch to make their own movies.Iron Man was the first of this new series of Marvel-made movies. “I really don’t know how people are gonna react to this thing,” Favreau admitted shortly before the film’s release. “This could be anything from a flop to … something beyond people’s expectations. You never know.” Share your voice Stan Lee dies at 95: A look back at his most iconic characters on screen As it turned out, Downey’s insouciant charm carried the movie. Premiering on April 18, 2008 in Australia and May 2 in the US, Iron Man delivered a combination of humor, spectacular visual effects and unapologetic comic book action that made it a sensation with fans and critics.More MarvelStill, Marvel movie boss Kevin Feige had an even bigger gamble in mind. In Iron Man’s final scene, Samuel L Jackson turned up as comic book superspy Nick Fury. Not only did this begin the trend for postcredits scenes, but it also set the stage for Marvel’s other superheroes to follow Iron Man onto the big screen.The Marvel Cinematic Universe was born.But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Just weeks later, in June 2008, the second MCU movie The Incredible Hulk, opened to a lukewarm reception. According to Box Office Mojo, it remains the MCU’s weakest performer — and this was a character that mainstream moviegoers might actually have heard of. Solo outings for Captain America (Chris Evans) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) paved the way for the Avengers to team up. Jay Maidment As Marvel’s disastrous 1986 Howard the Duck movie proved, Marvel’s comics are full of characters who could be just a little too out there for mainstream audiences. Even the most devoted superhero movie fan might have been puzzled to see familiar caped crusaders fighting alongside viking god Thor or mustachioed magician Dr Strange — and that’s before you get to the real weirdos like Ant-Man, Groot and Rocket Raccoon.Hollywood often appears a bit embarrassed about the characters it brings from page to screen — look at all the black body armor replacing capes and tights in the X-Men and Dark Knight films, for example. But Marvel went all in on the colorful capers of its superheroes, from Captain America’s World War II origins to, well, just about everything in Guardians of the Galaxy.Marvel continued to perfect the MCU’s colorful, boisterous tone in 2011’s Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. “God forbid those films had [flopped],” Feige told Entertainment Weekly, because each solo outing primed audiences for the next big gamble: bringing the heroes together.Avengers assembleIn 2012, the various heroes of the MCU met in The Avengers, shepherded by writer and director Joss Whedon. Crossover stories uniting multiple characters are common in comics, but rare in the movies — at least in recent years. “In the last couple of decades, traditional Hollywood studios have increasingly relied on sequels, reboots and remakes in order to provide what they hope will be sure-fire hits,” explains Stephen Follows. “What we’re seeing with Marvel is something else. They’re similar to a model Hollywood loved 80 years ago: the film series’ of the 1930s and 1940s.”The Avengers line-up expanded until Infinity War starred more than 30 major characters. Marvel Of course, the bubble could burst at any moment. Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp all hit screens in 2018, followed by Captain Marvel, Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home in 2019. Plus, theatres are crowded by superhero shenanigans like DC’s Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Shazam!No wonder critics like James Cameron warn of superhero fatigue. Marvel has a way to go to beat the most prolific film series of the past, however: There were 64 films featuring the Durango Kid between 1945 and 1952, an average of more than 9 a year.Even if superheroes do start to lose their luster, the general industry trend of growing global box office spreads the risk of each new super-outing. “The first crop of MCU movies relied heavily on the domestic market,” Follows says. “But as time has progressed, the international market has increased in importance.” While Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2 made half their money in the US and Canada, by the time Spider-Man: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok hit screens two-thirds of their money came from overseas. Tags Comments Black Panther Marvel Thor Captain America Iron Man Filmmakers
Anushka Shetty.PR HandoutThe fourth season of Weekend with Ramesh was kicked started last weekend and Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari, Dr Veerendra Heggade was the first guest of the show. Now, the audience are curiously looking forward to see who will be the next celebrity to appear on Ramesh Aravind-hosted show.The channel had already announced that they would try to bring in the likes of Rajinikanth, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, SS Rajamouli, Rahul Dravid among many others, this season. But one star who the fans of the Kannada show would like to see on the show is none other than Baahubali actress Anushka Shetty.Like the aforementioned other celebrities, Anushka Shetty has her roots in Karnataka as she was born and brought in the state. After entering Telugu and Tamil films by chance, she went on to become a successful actress. Today, she is one of the most sought after actresses in South India. Hence, people want to know about her successful journey on Weekend with Ramesh 4. The 37-year old has not acted in Sandalwood film yet and appearing on a Kannada show will only double their joy.Rumours are rife that the channel has approached the actress, but it is still unclear whether she will be part of the show this season. Weekend with Ramesh is a show that tells the story of successful people from Karnataka. Sudeep, Darshan, Upendra, Shivaraj Kumar, Upendra, Ambareesh, SP Balasubramanyam, Ananth Nag, Bharathi Vishnuvardhan, Kashinath and many other people from Sandalwood have occupied the hotseat on the show.Not just people from film industry, but former Supreme Court judge N Santosh Hegde, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah among many others from different spheres who have been part of the show.It has to be noted that even commoners, who have made notable achievements in their fields, have occupied the hotseat on Weekend with Ramesh. Weekend with Ramesh 4.PR Handout
Glaxosmithkline Pharmaceuticals (Glaxo), Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) and Aurobindo Pharma are expected to post a growth of 13 percent to 20 percent in their December quarter revenues, brokerage firm Angel Broking said in a note on Tuesday.Shares of the three companies were trading in the red at around 1:05 pm, while the S&P BSE Sensex was down 320 points, or 1.33 percent, at 23,967.86.GlaxoThe Indian arm of British drug company GlaxoSmithKline Plc is expected to post sales of Rs 730 crore for the December quarter, an increase of about 13 percent from Rs 646.2 crore in the corresponding quarter last fiscal, led by price hike and volume growth, said Angel Broking. Operating margin is likely to be around 18 percent while adjusted net profit is pegged at Rs 102.70 crore, up 55 percent from Rs 66.1 crore in the year-ago period.The company will be declaring its December quarter results on 10 February.DRLDr Reddy’s Labs is likely to report a topline of Rs 4,420 crore for the third quarter ended December 2015, as against Rs 3,843 crore in the corresponding period last year, a growth of 15 percent, driven by both domestic and US sales. Operating margin is expected to be around 27 percent, up from 23 percent, year-over-year. The adjusted net profit is expected at Rs 746 crore, up 30 percent from Rs 574 crore, year-over-year.The Hyderabad-based company will be declaring its December quarter results on 9 February.Aurobindo PharmaThe company’s third quarter revenues are estimated at around Rs 3,800 crore, an increase of 20.9 percent over the year-ago period revenues. The operating margin is expected to come at 53.1 percent, up from 51 percent in the third quarter of FY2015, the Angel Broking report highlighted. Aurobindo Pharma’s adjusted net profit is likely to come at Rs 613.4 crore, as against Rs 399 crore in the third quarter of FY2015, an increase of 53.7 percent. The company will be declaring its third quarter results on 10 February.Glaxo was trading at Rs 3,260, down 0.94 percent, DRL at Rs 3,010, down 1.96 percent and Aurobindo Pharma at Rs 729.35, with a loss of 2.30 percent.On 5 February, Lupin Pharma reported its quarterly net profit at Rs 530 crore, down 11.82 percent from Rs 601 crore in the year-ago period, while net sales inched 6 percent higher to Rs 3,358 crore, from Rs 3, 145 crore in the third quarter of last fiscal.
Road accident LogoAgitated people vandalised six buses and blocked the Daulatdia-Khulna Highway for hours after two schoolgirls were killed in a road crash in Kenalghat area of Dauladia, reports UNB.The deceased are Chandni Aktar, 15, daughter of Salam Pramanik of Jodu Fakirpara area in Dauladia union and Jakia Aktar Keya, 15, daughter of Jamal Bepari of Mollapara of same union, students of Dauladia Model High School.The accident took place when a Jashore-bound bus of ‘Eagle Paribahan’ hit them while they were crossing the highway, leaving Chandni dead on the spot and injuring Keya severely, according to witnesses.Later, Keya died at a local hospital.After the accident agitated mob blocked the highway and vandalised six buses and torched a bus of ‘Golden Line’ injuring a number of its passengers.Later, members from local Fire Service and Civil Defence station rushed there and doused the flame.
An eight-year-old girl was allegedly raped in the city’s Sabujbagh on Friday, reports UNB.Police arrested a 50-year-old man, Alam alias Forma Alam, over the incident, said Mafizul Alam, inspector (Investigation) of Mugda police station.Victim’s mother claimed that their neighbour Rob, 50, seduced her daughter for going to his rented house at Dakkhingaon in the area around 9:00am where he raped her with the help of Alam.The victim narrated the brutality to her mother when she asked her as she was bleeding profusely.The girl was first taken to Mugda Hospital and later shifted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Mafizul said, adding that they were trying to arrest the rapist, Rob.
Kim Jong Nam arrives at Beijing airport in Beijing, China, in this photo taken by Kyodo on 11 February 2007. Photo: ReutersKim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un who was killed in Malaysia in 2017, had been an informant for the US Central Intelligence Agency, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.The Journal cited an unnamed “person knowledgeable about the matter” for the report, and said many details of Kim Jong Nam’s relationship with the CIA remained unclear.Reuters could not independently confirm the story. The CIA declined to comment.The Journal quoted the person as saying “There was a nexus” between the CIA and Kim Jong Nam.”Several former US officials said the half brother, who had lived outside of North Korea for many years and had no known power base in Pyongyang, was unlikely to be able to provide details of the secretive country’s inner workings,” the Journal said.The former officials also said Kim Jong Nam had been almost certainly in contact with security services of other countries, particularly China’s, the Journal said.Kim Jong Nam’s role as a CIA informant is mentioned in a new book about Kim Jong Un, “The Great Successor,” by Washington Post reporter Anna Fifield that is due to be published on Tuesday. Fifield says Kim Jong Nam usually met his handlers in Singapore and Malaysia, citing a source with knowledge of the intelligence.The book says that security camera footage from Kim Jong Nam’s last trip to Malaysia showed him in a hotel elevator with an Asian-looking man who was reported to be a US intelligence agent. It said Ki’s backpack contained $120,000 in cash, which could have been payment for intelligence-related activities, or earnings from his casino businesses.South Korean and US officials have said the North Korean authorities had ordered the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, who had been critical of his family’s dynastic rule. Pyongyang has denied the allegation.Two women were charged with poisoning Kim Jong Nam by smearing his face with liquid VX, a banned chemical weapon, at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017. Malaysia released Doan Thi Huong, who is Vietnamese, in May, and Indonesian Siti Aisyah in March.According to the Journal, the person said Kim Jong Nam had traveled to Malaysia in February 2017 to meet his CIA contact, although that may not have been the sole purpose of the trip.US president Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un have met twice, in Hanoi in February and Singapore last June, seeming to build personal goodwill but failing to agree on a deal to lift US sanctions in exchange for North Korea abandoning its nuclear and missile programs.
Rod McGuirk Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email News By: Rod McGuirk Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The most senior Catholic cleric ever charged with child sex abuse has been convicted of molesting two choirboys moments after celebrating Mass, dealing a new blow to the Catholic hierarchy’s credibility after a year of global revelations of abuse and cover-up.Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis’ top financial adviser and the Vatican’s economy minister, bowed his head but then regained his composure as the 12-member jury delivered unanimous verdicts in the Victoria state County Court on Dec. 11 after more than two days of deliberation.The court had until Tuesday (Feb. 26) forbidden publication of any details about the trial.Pell faces a potential maximum 50-year prison term after a sentencing hearing that begins on Wednesday. He has foreshadowed an appeal.The revelations came in the same month that the Vatican announced Francis approved the expulsion from the priesthood for a former high-ranking American cardinal, Theodore McCarrick, for sexual abuse of minors and adults.The convictions were also confirmed days after Francis concluded his extraordinary summit of Catholic leaders summoned to Rome for a tutorial on preventing clergy sexual abuse and protecting children from predator priests.The jury convicted Pell of abusing two 13-year-old boys whom he had caught swigging sacramental wine in a rear room of Melbourne’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral in late 1996, as hundreds of worshippers were streaming out of Sunday services.Pell, now 77 but 55 at the time, had just been named the most senior Catholic in Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne.The jury also found Pell guilty of indecently assaulting one of the boys in a corridor more than a month later.Pell had maintained his innocence throughout, describing the accusations as “vile and disgusting conduct” that went against everything he believed in.His lawyer had told the jury that only a “mad man” would take the risk of abusing boys in such a public place. He said it was “laughable” that Pell would have been able to expose his penis and force the victim to take it in his mouth, given the cumbersome robes he was wearing.Both he and Chief Judge Peter Kidd urged the jury of eight men and four women not to punish Pell for all the failings of the Catholic Church, which in Australia have been staggering.“You must not scapegoat Cardinal Pell,” Kidd told the jury.Along with Ireland and the U.S., Australia has been devastated by the impact of the clerical abuse scandal, with a Royal Commission inquiry finding that 4,444 people reported they had been abused at more than 1,000 Catholic institutions across Australia between 1980 and 2015.Pell’s own hometown of Ballarat had such a high incidence of abuse — and, survivors say, a correlated higher-than-average incidence of suicide — that the city warranted its own case study in the Royal Commission report.As a result, Pell’s trial amounted to something of a reckoning for survivors, with the brash and towering cardinal becoming the poster child for all that went wrong with the way the Catholic Church handled the scandal.The conviction capped a year that had been so dominated by revelations of high-ranking sex abuse and cover-up that analysts openly speak of a crisis unparalleled since the Reformation. In addition to Pell, the allegations against McCarrick of groping a minor in the 1970s and of sleeping with adult seminarians became public.As a result of the scandal, Francis’ approval ratings have tanked in the United States, and his standing with conservative Catholics around the world — already on shaky ground over his outreach to divorcees — has plunged.Up until the verdict, Pell’s lawyers had appeared confident that they had established a reasonable doubt and had expected quick verdicts of not guilty.When the jury chairman delivered the first guilty verdict, Pell’s hands slipped from thearm rests of the chair where he sat in the dock at the back of the courtroom. His head bowed after the second verdict, but he restored his composure for the final verdicts.Pell, who walked to and from court throughout his monthlong trial with a crutch under his right arm, was released on bail to undergo surgical knee replacements in Sydney on Dec. 14. Prosecutor Mark Gibson did not oppose bail, saying the surgery would be more easily managed outside the prison system.The first four offenses occurred at the first or second Solemn Mass that Archbishop Pell celebrated as leader of the magnificent blue-stone century-old cathedral in the center of Melbourne. Pell was wearing his full robes — though not his staff or pointed bishops’ hat — at the time.The now 34-year-old survivor told the court that Pell orally raped him, then crouched and fondled the complainant’s genitals while masturbating.“I was young and I didn’t really know what had happened to me. I didn’t really know whatit was, if it was normal,” the complainant told the court.The other victim died of a heroin overdose in 2014 without ever complaining of the abuse, and even denying to his suspicious mother that he had been molested while he was part of the choir.Neither boy can now be identified.Pell was initially charged with orally raping the second boy. But that charge was downgraded to indecent assault when the complainant testified that from his vantage point he couldn’t see Pell’s penis enter the second boy’s mouth.More than a month later, the complainant testified that Pell pushed him against a cathedral corridor wall after a Mass and squeezed the boy’s genitals painfully before walking away in silence.“Pell was in robes and I was in robes. He squeezed and kept walking,” the complainant told the jurors. “I didn’t tell anyone at the time because I didn’t want to jeopardize anything. I didn’t want to rock the boat with my family, my schooling, my life.”The complainant testified that he feared that making such accusations against a powerful churchman would cost him his place in the choir and with it his scholarship to prestigious St. Kevin’s College.Pell pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual penetration of a child under 16 and four counts of willfully committing an indecent act with or in the presence of a child under 16 in late 1996 and early 1997.He did not testify at his trial. But the jury saw a video recording of an interview he gave Australian detectives in Rome in 2016 in which he stridently denied the allegations.Pell grimaced, appearing incredulous and distressed, waved his arms over his head and muttered to himself as the detectives detailed the accusations that his victim had leveled against him a year earlier.“The allegations involve vile and disgusting conduct contrary to everything I hold dear and contrary to the explicit teachings of the church which I have spent my life representing,” Pell told police.Richter, Pell’s lawyer, told the jury that the prosecution case compounded a series of improbabilities and impossibilities.He told the jury that Pell could not have “parted” his robes as the complainant had described.The jury was handed the actual cumbersome robes Pell wore as archbishop. Over his regular clothes, Pell would wear a full-length white robe called an alb that was tied around his waist with a rope-like cincture. Over that, he would drape a 3-meter (10-foot) band of cloth called a stole around his neck. The outermost garment was the long poncho-like chasuble.More than 20 witnesses, including clerics, choristers and altar servers, testified during the trial. None recalled ever seeing the complainant and the other victim break from a procession of choristers, altar servers and clerics to go to the back room.The complainant testified that he and his friend had run from the procession and back into the cathedral through a side door to, as Gibson, the prosecutor, said, “have some fun.”Monsignor Charles Portelli, who was the cathedral’s master of ceremonies in the 1990s, testified that he was always with Pell after Mass to help him disrobe in the sacristy.The defense argued that Pell’s usual practice was to linger at the cathedral front steps talking to members of the congregation after Mass. But Gibson said there was evidence that Pell didn’t always chat outside and had the opportunity to commit the crimes.The lifting of the gag order comes after Francis charted a new course for the Catholic Church to confront clergy sexual abuse and cover-up, a scandal that has consumed his papacy and threatens the credibility of the Catholic hierarchy at large.Opening a first-ever Vatican summit on preventing abuse, Francis warned 190 bishops and religious superiors last week that their flocks were demanding concrete action, not just words, to punish predator priests and keep children safe. He offered them 21 proposals to consider going forward, some of them obvious and easy to adopt, others requiring new laws.But Francis went into the meeting even more weakened and discredited after one of his top advisers was convicted of the very crime he has now decided is worth fighting on a universal scale.Pell’s downfall will invariably tarnish the pope, since Francis appointed Pell economy minister in 2014 even though some of the allegations against him were known at the time.In October, Francis finally cut Pell loose, removing him as a member of his informal Cabinet. Pell technically remains prefect of the Vatican’s economy ministry, but his five-year term expires this year and is not expected to be renewed.(Associated Press writer Nicole Winfield in Rome contributed to this report.) Share This! Share This! News • Photos of the Week Share This! Catholicism Share This! Rod McGuirk,Load Comments,Jews and Muslims say Belgian animal cruelty law trammels religious freedom Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 By: Rod McGuirk TagsAustralia clergy sexual abuse George Pell homepage featured Roman Catholic Church and Mormons,You may also like Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Share This! United Methodist committee rejects One Church Plan, which would allow LGBT clergy Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts By: Rod McGuirk