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How Johnny Depp Won His Defamation Case Against Amber Heard

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Source: telegraph.co.uk

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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Lomé Will, Again, Host WHO’s African Regional Committee Meeting

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Lomé, the Togolese capital, will host the 72nd session of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) African Regional Committee from 22 to 26 August.

This was revealed by the Minister of Health, Public Hygiene, and Universal Access to Health Care, during the Council of Ministers held on August 3, 2022.

“This choice attests to the efforts and progress made by our country, under the leadership of the Head of State, in the field of public health,” the government said. “The Council welcomed this choice and encouraged all ministers to be actively involved for the success of this regional meeting,”it added.

According to the provisional agenda of WHO Africa, the meeting, in hybrid format, will be structured on 5 pillars. It will address issues such as the Regional Strategy for the control of serious non-communicable diseases in primary health care facilities, the framework for strengthening the implementation of the global action plan for mental health, protection against financial risks for universal health coverage in the WHO African Region, a framework for integrated control, elimination and eradication of tropical and vector-borne diseases in the African Region 2022-2030, or the strengthening of the UN agency, for more effective and efficient support to African countries

Togo hosted (via videoconference) the previous session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa.

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South African Minister Accuses West of ‘Bullying’ On Ukraine

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, and South African Minister of International Relations Naledi Pandor appear at a joint press conference after meeting together in Pretoria, South Africa, on Aug. 8, 2022.

South African Minister of International Relations Naledi Pandor accused the West of sometimes taking a patronizing and bullying attitude toward Africa, as she hosted U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the first leg of his Africa visit. Pandor made it clear that South Africa has different views from the U.S. on Ukraine, China, and Israel and the Palestinians.

At a joint press conference in the South African capital, Blinken stressed he was not on his three-country tour of the continent in order to counter Moscow and Beijing’s growing influence in the region, as has been widely speculated, after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited last month.

“Our commitment to a stronger partnership with Africa is not about trying to outdo anyone else,” Blinken said.

Blinken spoke, too, about U.S. support of Ukraine, saying Russia’s invasion was an aggression against the entire international order.
South Africa has remained neutral on the conflict with Russia, its partner in the BRICS group of countries, and abstained from any U.N. votes on the matter, though Pandor said the country “abhorred” war and would like to see an end to the conflict.

However, she said the different approaches by the international community to different conflicts sometimes “leads to cynicism about international bodies.” She referenced the plight of the Palestinians.

“Just as much as the people of Ukraine deserve their territory and freedom, the people of Palestine deserve their territory and freedom,” she said, “and we should be equally concerned at what is happening to the people of Palestine as we are with what is happening to the people of Ukraine. We’ve not seen an even-handed approach.”

Pandor added that while it didn’t come from Blinken, South Africa had experienced pressure from some in the West to align with its policy on Ukraine. She also appeared to criticize the U.S. bill passed in April, “Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act,” which has been seen by some on the continent as a vehicle to punish African countries that have not toed the line on Ukraine.

“From some of our partners in Europe and elsewhere, there has been a sense of patronizing bullying — ‘You choose this or else.’ And the recent legislation passed in the United States of America by the House of Representatives, we found a most unfortunate bill.”

Bob Wekesa, director of the African Center for the Study of the United States, said Pandor’s candid remarks at the press conference showed the closed-door meeting between the U.S. and South African sides “must have been a very difficult one.”

“I think the U.S. is attempting to figure out how to get South Africa on to its side, but South Africa is not coming to the party,” Wekesa said.

Blinken was in Pretoria to launch the new U.S. Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa, which focuses on areas such as climate change, trade, health and food insecurity.

During his remarks Monday, he also criticized Beijing for its strong reaction to House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

Pandor would not comment specifically on Taiwan but did say South Africa did not want to be made party to a conflict between China and the U.S.

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Man Who Killed His 2-Day Old Daughter For Crying Too Much Found Dead In His Prison Cell

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Trigger Warning: This story mentions child abuse and infanticide which may be disturbing to readers.

Newborn babies cry a lot, in fact, that is how they communicate. But, when a two-day-old baby wouldn’t stop crying, an infuriated father punched her in the face, so hard that she died.

Karen Bissett, 21, the child’s mother had left the child with her father, Liam Deane, when she went to get some sleep on July 10, 2017. Since Luna wouldn’t stop crying while Bissett was away, he shook her hard; punching her in the face, and squeezing her body and arms, reports BBC.

Despite suffering grave injuries, the father did nothing. The next day, he informed Luna’s mother that she was struggling to breathe and lied that she fell from the bed while sleeping at night. The two-day-old was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary where she died in intensive care on July 14.

According to a doctor, Luna died as a result of head trauma, which left her with “catastrophic brain injuries.”

When questioned by police, Deane broke down and admitted that he was the one who attacked the infant. During Deane’s trial, prosecutor Michael Smith stated that the infant suffered damage to her brain, body, and face.

Smith said, “He said he was responsible for all of the injuries that she had suffered and he said that Luna had not settled down and he lost control.” The then 22-year-old father was given a life sentence with a minimum of 10 years in prison in October 2017.

But unfortunately, fate had other plans for him. You see, just months after receiving his sentence, Dean was found dead in his prison cell in IMP Leeds on 12 November 2017. Fellow inmate John Westland, who was serving a sentence for rape and grievous bodily harm, was arrested and given a minimum of 19 years in prison, as he was responsible for the murder of the father.

During the trial, judge Rodney Jameson QC told Westland, “You told the jury that you believed Liam Deane was a sex offender, but he was not. He had committed a very serious crime, but had admitted it from the first and was trying to come to terms with what he had done.”

“It is an unfortunate consequence of life in prison than those who are themselves guilty of serious offenses, as you were, will find another inmate to look down on. Given the nature of your own conviction, some might find that to be rank hypocrisy,” said Judge Jameson.

Then, Westland revealed that because of the nature of Deane’s conviction, he was frequently referred to as a “baby killer” around the jail, and he received daily threats and taunts. He also claimed that his cellmate was in debt to other inmates.

During the week-long trial, jurors heard that the convict killed his cellmate with a broken bottle of aftershave and that the victim had shown symptoms of asphyxiation caused by pressure on his head and face.

Even though Deane’s crime of killing his infant daughter was termed as “an appalling crime that tore her family apart” by West Yorkshire Police, they believed that he was entitled to his right of serving his time in prison.

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