Australian Court to Decide Whether Cardinal Pell Faces Trial

Australian Court to Decide Whether Cardinal Pell Faces Trial Photo Cardinal George Pell, who has been accused of “historical sexual offenses,” outside the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court last week. Credit Luis Ascui/EPA, via Shutterstock MELBOURNE, Australia — The contentious committal hearing of Cardinal George Pell, the Catholic Church’s third highest-ranking priest, adjourned on Thursday, as a magistrate prepared to decide whether the case will go to trial.
The cardinal, the Vatican’s de facto finance chief, has been charged with committing “historical sexual offenses.” He is the most senior member of the Catholic Church ever to face such allegations, and the outcome of the hearing will mark a significant moment for the Vatican as it grapples with the problem of clerical sex abuse.
The magistrate, Belinda Wallington, is expected to announce in mid-April whether the cardinal will be tried.
While Cardinal Pell has been accused of decades-old sexual offenses, further details of the charge..

Woman Becomes First South African Imprisoned for Racist Speech

Woman Becomes First South African Imprisoned for Racist Speech

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The Racist Tirade That Sent Her to Prison

A white South African woman, Vicki Momberg, lashed out at black police officers with the country’s most charged racial epithet. Her tirade was recorded on video.

By THE NEW YORK TIMES on Publish Date October 27, 2016.

Photo by Joao Silva/The New York Times.

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LONDON — If Vicki Momberg had only unleashed a high-volume tirade at the South African police officers, video of it would have been of mere passing interest. But her repeated use of a racial slur — unfamiliar to most Americans, but explosive in South Africa — made her notorious, and led to demands to make her an example.
On Wednesday, Ms. Momberg, a white woman, became the first person in South Africa to be sent to prison for using racist language against someone, according to prosecutors and legal experts. Specifically, she hurled the term “kaffir,” considered the most offensive ..

India Spurns the Dalai Lama’s Celebration, Worried About China

India Spurns the Dalai Lama’s Celebration, Worried About China Photo The Dalai Lama at a Tibetan Buddhist temple in McLeod Ganj, India, in August. India has sheltered the Dalai Lama and his followers since a Chinese crackdown on Tibetans 60 years ago. Credit Harish Tyagi/EPA, via Shutterstock McLEOD GANJ, India — An original song of thanks to India had been rehearsed, and a stadium in New Delhi had been reserved for a celebratory rally — all a gesture of gratitude from the Dalai Lama and his followers for India’s role in sheltering them after a Chinese crackdown on rebellious Tibetans 60 years ago.
Instead, the planned “Thank You India” celebrations, set for this coming weekend, set off apprehension in New Delhi and embarrassment among Tibetans.
A directive from India’s foreign secretary urged officials to discard their invitations, and it was blunt in saying the timing of the events coincided with a “sensitive time” for New Delhi’s relations with Beijing. A series of high-level meetin..

Quebec City Mosque Gunman Pleads Guilty to Murder

Quebec City Mosque Gunman Pleads Guilty to Murder Photo Alexandre Bissonnette, a former university student who killed six men at a mosque in Quebec last year, attended a court session in Quebec City last week. Credit Mathieu Belanger/Reuters MONTREAL — A former university student who killed six men at a mosque in Quebec City early last year pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on Wednesday, hastening the conclusion of a case that shocked Canadians and underscored the presence of Islamophobia in multicultural Canada.
“I’ve thought about this a long time. In my heart, this is the decision I’ve made,” the gunman, Alexandre Bissonnette, 28, told a Quebec City courtroom, after previously pleading not guilty.
Several of the victims’ family members sobbed openly in court after the judge read out the names of the six men killed in the attack, in which five others were seriously wounded, according to Mohamed Labidi, the president of the mosque, the Islamic Cultural Center of Quebec, who attend..