Weekly News Roundup

May 24, 2019

Amber heard And Johnny Depp defamation case
Image: The Telegraph

FRIDAY MAY 24

Actor Johnny Depp has reportedly filed new court documents as part of his $US50 million ($73 million ) defamation case against his ex-wife, Amber Heard. Depp has denied he physically abused her during the relationship.

He has now claimed that she physically abused him while they were together, accusing her of painting on fake bruises on her face during a 2016 court appearance.

Depp launched the defamation cases against Heard after she wrote an article in the Washington Post in December, saying she had seen “in real time, how institutions protect men accused of abuse”.

Previously, Heard had asked a judge in Virginia to dismiss the defamation case, according to the BBC, prompting this new declaration from Depp.

‘I have denied Ms Heard’s allegations vehemently.’

People magazine have now obtained court documents written by Depp, in which he provided a first-person account of his relationship with his 33-year-old former wife.

“I have denied Ms Heard’s allegations vehemently since she first made them in May 2016 when she walked into court to obtain a temporary restraining order with painted-on bruises that witnesses and surveillance footage show she did not possess each day of the preceding week,” Depp said in the statement.

“I will continue to deny them for the rest of my life.”

“She was the perpetrator, and I was the victim.”

Depp claims that “while mixing prescription amphetamines and non-prescription drugs with alcohol, Ms Heard committed innumerable acts of domestic violence against me, often in the presence of a third-party witness, which in some instances causes me serious bodily harm.”

Depp also reportedly claimed that Heard “hit, punched, and kicked me.”

“She also repeatedly and frequently threw objects into my body and head, including heavy bottles, soda cans, burning candles, television remote controls, and paint thinner cans, which severely injured me.’

Depp reportedly sought a divorce from Heard in 2016 after he found human faeces in his bed.

“After I removed myself from Ms Heard’s presence…on April 21, 2016, the following morning Ms Heard or one of her friends defecated in my bed as some sort of sick prank before they left for Coachella together,” he wrote in the documents.

Heard’s lawyer, Eric George has denied the allegations the actor made against his client, in response to Depp’s statement.

Mr George told People magazine: “The evidence in this case is clear: Johnny Depp repeatedly beat Amber Heard.”

“In light of the important work done by the #TimesUp movement highlighting the tactics abusers use to continue to traumatise survivors, neither the creative community nor the public will be gaslit by Mr Depp’s baseless blame-the-victim conspiracy theories.”

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Researchers at the University of Adelaide are developing a new single vaccine that could combat two of the world’s most deadly respiratory diseases at once.

Led by Dr Mohammed Alsharifi and Professor James Paton, the new vaccine is being developed to combat influenza and pneumococcalinfections.

The study, which was conducted in mice, found that the influenza A vaccine being developed could enhance “cross-protective immunity” to different flu strains when given at the same time as the new class of pneumococcal vaccine.

Influenza and pnemococcal infections combined together in the early 1900s to create the Spanish Flu, which was believed to have killed around 100 million people.

Professor James Paton, from the University of Adelaide’s Research Centre for Infectious Diseases, stated the two pathogens were “age-old partners in crime.”

Paton said that of the 100 million deaths in the early 1900s, half were probably caused by bacteria, particularly pneumococcus.

“What we’ve been working on for a few years now are alternative vaccinations for both flu and pneumococcus,” he said.

“The strength of these [vaccines] is that each of them is capable of protecting against all of the strains of the virus and bacteria respectively.”

Professor Paton has said the new single vaccine would potentially produce a better strategy to combat deadly illnesses going forward.

“Even though each vaccine on their own will give good protection against all of the strains of either bacteria or virus, when we combine them together we get better protection against both virus and bacteria,” he said.

“The only real protection from the flu is effective prevention and this will give us a vaccination strategy, which is far more robust than which is available currently.”

SA Health has confirmed 10 more deaths from flu-related illnesses in South Australia this year.

A total of 27 flu-related deaths in the state have occurred this year.

There have been more than 14,000 reported influenza notifications to date this year, compared to just over 1,300 at the same time last year.

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Abortion-rights campaigners have protested outside the US Supreme Court in Washington against new restrictions on abortion passed by Republican-dominated legislatures in eight states.

The new laws amount to the tightest restrictions on abortion in the US in decades.

Protesters across the country say they will fight to protect the 1973 Roe vs Wade decision that established a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy.

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Cory Booker urged the crowd in Washington to “wake up more men to join this fight”.

The rally is one of scores that were scheduled on Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and other abortion rights groups.

Many of these laws are intended to draw legal challenges which religious conservatives hope will lead the nation’s top court to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe vs Wade ruling that established a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy.

Alabama passed an outright ban last week, including for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, unless the woman’s life was in danger.

Other states, including Ohio and Georgia, have banned abortions absent a medical emergency after six weeks of pregnancy or after the foetus’s heartbeat can be detected, which can occur before a woman even realises she is pregnant.

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