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How Johnny Depp Won His Defamation Case Against Amber Heard




Actor’s ‘Obsession With The Truth’ Convinces Jury

The actor was awarded more than $10 million in damages in his blockbuster US defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard

When Amber Heard arrived for the start of the defamation case brought by Johnny Depp, her lawyers were confident of victory.

It was only 18 months since Mr Depp had lost a blockbuster case at the High Court in London, where he had sued The Sun for calling him a “wife beater”.

Legal analysts said the burden of proof Mr Depp had to reach was high, needing to show that his ex-wife acted with “actual malice” in making allegations of domestic abuse.

That meant proving she either knew what she wrote in a Washington Post op-ed was false, or that she acted with reckless disregard for the truth.

But, over the course of six weeks in court room 5J at Fairfax County Court in Virginia, a jury listened to evidence that swayed them in favour of Mr Depp.

Amid the tales of Mr Depp’s drug-taking with Marilyn Manson, “mega-pints” of wine, and blistering rows, the five men and two women on the jury, unanimously, came to believe the Hollywood star.

Amber Heard leaves Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse

Amber Heard leaves Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse following the verdict CREDIT: Reuters

It was he who gave evidence first, and opened by telling jurors that he was “obsessed with the truth”.

Mr Depp said he had tried to live as a “Southern gentleman” and had lost “nothing short of everything” when Ms Heard’s allegations were made public.

His sister told the court their late mother had been abusive, which meant Mr Depp always sought to avoid confrontation, and would just try to “get away” from it.

Ms Heard appeared to have key damning evidence in the form of text messages Mr Depp sent to his friend, the actor Paul Bettany.

In them Mr Depp suggested “drowning” and “burning” Ms Heard, and carrying out a further obscene act “to make sure she is dead”.

However, Mr Depp told the jury his comments were simply from a Monty Python sketch about witches.

“This is a film we’d all watch when we were 10,” he said. “It’s just irreverent and abstract humour.”

Dr Shannon Curry, a clinical psychologist called by Mr Depp, said Ms Heard suffered from borderline personality disorder.

The psychologist also said Ms Heard had histrionic personality disorder, which could involve “manipulation tactics”.

Amber Heard hugs her lawyer Elaine Bredehoft after the jury said that they believe she defamed ex-husband Johnny Depp

Amber Heard hugs her lawyer Elaine Bredehoft after the jury said that they believe she defamed ex-husband Johnny Depp CREDIT: Reuters

Dr Curry also said Ms Heard had not suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, as she claimed, due to her relationship with Mr Depp.

Ms Heard was forced to deny claims that she had perpetrated a prank in which faecal matter was left in Mr Depp’s bed.

And her case suffered a setback when one of the final witnesses, Kate Moss, the British supermodel and former girlfriend of Mr Depp, gave evidence.

In Ms Heard’s testimony she had mentioned rumours that Mr Depp had once pushed Ms Moss down some stairs.

However, Ms Moss told the court that, in fact, Mr Depp had “tended” to her after she accidentally fell.

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AU official calls out Germany over leopard jibe that left some offended




A Leopard 2 tank is pictured during a demonstration event held for the media by the German Bundeswehr in Munster near Hannover, Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011. - Copyright © africanews Michael Sohn/AP2011

Germany apologized on Thursday (Jan. 26) for using a leopard emoji in a tweet refering to the Russian Foreign Minister’s visit to Africa. The post that was regarded as offensive by some users was called out by the spokeswoman for the African Union chairman Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat.

The German foreign ministry attempted to poke fun at Russia’s top diplomat during his tour of Africa when it tweeted that he wasn’t there looking for leopards, but using the trip to try and justify Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The tweet, and the leopard emoji the foreign ministry used on its official account, apparently sought to play off Germany’s decision to send some of its advanced Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine to back its military fight off Russian forces.

An African Union official questioned the use of emoji, pointing it could be interpreted as the continent being portrayed once again as only about wild animals.

Ebba Kalondo, the spokeswoman for AU Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat, tweeted back to the German government account questioning if Africa, its people and its wildlife was “just a joke to you?”

“Foreign policy is not a joke nor should it be used to score cheap geopolitical points by illustrating an entire Continent with colonial tropes,” Kalondo wrote in a follow-up tweet.

The German foreign ministry apologized and said that the tweet wasn’t meant to offend, but rather “to call out the lies that Russia uses to justify its imperialist war of aggression against Ukraine.”

Lavrov has visited South Africa, Eswatini, Angola and Eritrea this week, where he has repeated his claims that the United States and its Western allies are using Ukraine as a tool in a “hybrid war” against Russia.

Many African nations hold historical ties with Moscow. South Africa was one of several to abstain from a U.N. vote last year condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Eritrea voted against the resolution alongside Russia, Belarus, North Korea and Syria.

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Bomb injures at least a dozen people near a market in north-eastern DR Congo




Congolese Defense Forces soldiers inspect the scene of an attack near the town of Oicha, 30 kms (20 miles) from Beni, Democratic Republic of Congo, Friday July 23, 2021.

A bomb exploded at a market in eastern Congo on Wednesday (Jan. 25), injuring at least a dozen people, authorities said.

An unknown person detonated a bomb inside a bag in North Kivu’s Beni town, said Tharcisse Katembo, a local official.

“Damage was documented (and) at least 12 people were injured. They were injured in the lower limbs, others in their upper limbs and others were hit in the head,” he told reporters in Beni.

The victims were taken to the hospital and an investigation was underway, Katembo said.

No one claimed responsibility for the bomb. However, attacks by the Allied Democratic Forces, which is believed to be linked with the Islamic State extremist movement, have been increasing in North Kivu, according to the United Nations.

Deadly violence

Earlier this month, at least 14 people were killed and dozens injured in an attack on a church in Kasindi town, which was claimed by Islamic State. It said in its Aamaq news outlet that it planted an explosive device inside the church and detonated it while people were praying.

Since April, attacks by the Allied Democratic Forces have killed at least 370 civilians, and the group has abducted several hundred more, including a significant number of children, the U.N. says.

The explosion Wednesday (Jan. 25) occurred in a local market next to a cassava mill, witnesses said.

Danny Syaghuswa, 16, said he was sitting on his motorcycle when a man in a striped shirt put a small bag behind a door, saying he would come back for it, according to an interview with local reporters heard by The Associated Press. “Less than five minutes after he left the bomb exploded,” Syaghuswa said.

Images of the attack circulating on chat groups show people lying on the floor. One woman in blood-stained clothes was carrying a small child.

Violence has wracked eastern Congo for decades as more than 120 armed groups and self-defense militias fight for land and power. Nearly 6 million people are internally displaced, and hundreds of thousands are facing extreme food insecurity, according to the United Nations.

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Somalia: Al-Shabaab terrorists storm mayor’s office, killing six




Al-Shabaab terrorists set off a bomb and stormed a government building in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu.  The Al-Qaeda-backed terror group has stepped up bombings in the country.

At least six people were killed on Sunday in an attack by Al Shabaab militants at the mayor’s office in central Mogadishu, police said.

A suicide bomber set off a huge blast that tore through building near the office complex with gunfire erupting afterwards, Somali police spokesman Sadik Dudishe said at the end of the four-hour siege.

“All the six attackers died. Five of them during the fire exchange with the security forces and one of them detonated himself,” Dudishe told reporters.

“Six civilians also died during the attack and the situation is back to normal.” All the staffers at the mayor’s office were rescued, the police added.

Al 0Shabaab, a militant group allied with Al Qaeda claimed, responsibility for the attack via its communication channels, saying its fighters “made their way inside the targeted building after killing the security guards.” Witnesses said the initial explosion damaged nearby buildings and gunfire could be heard in the vicinity of the mayor’s office.

The area was quickly cordoned off by security officers, a witness who runs a business near the offices said.

Another witness, Omar Nur, said he was inside a nearby mall when the explosion went off and “was lucky to have escaped safely.” The Al Shabaab militants have been waging a bloody insurgency against the frail internationally backed central government for 15 years, carrying out attacks both in Somalia and neighbouring countries.

The latest attack comes days after seven soldiers were killed on Friday at a military camp in Galcad, a town in central Somalia about 375 kilometres north of the capital Mogadishu. The US military said the attack — in the Somali town retaken by the army this week — involved more than 100 Al Shabaab jihadists.

“The combined actions by partner forces on the ground and the collective self-defence strike is estimated to have resulted in three destroyed vehicles and approximately thirty Al Shabaab terrorists killed” the US military command for Africa (AFRICOM) said in a statement.

Source: Dawn

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