MONDAY DEC 7
The family of Roald Dahl, the late author of children’s classics such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, has apologised for anti-Semitic remarks he made, saying the comments were “incomprehensible to us”.
The British author, who died in 1990 aged 74, remains popular with young readers around the world and several of his books such as The BFG, Matilda, Fantastic Mr Fox and most recently The Witches, have been turned into movies and stage shows.
However, controversy has occasionally flared up over anti-Semitic comments, particularly those made in a 1983 interview with Britain’s New Statesman magazine.
“There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity, maybe it’s a kind of lack of generosity towards non-Jews,” he said, adding that “even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for no reason”.
In a statement on the official website of the organisations that manage his legacy, copyrights and trademarks and a museum dedicated to him, the Dahl family apologised for what they said was the lasting and understandable hurt his remarks had caused.
“Those prejudiced remarks are incomprehensible to us and stand in marked contrast to the man we knew and to the values at the heart of Roald Dahl’s stories, which have positively impacted young people for generations,” they said.
“We hope that, just as he did at his best, at his absolute worst, Roald Dahl can help remind us of the lasting impact of words.”
A statement from Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said the apology was a long time coming.
“This apology should have happened long ago — and it is of concern that it has happened so quietly now,” the statement said.
“Roald Dahl’s abhorrent anti-Semitic prejudices were no secret and have tarnished his legacy.
“The apology should be restated on the questionable Roald Dahl Day on 13 September.
“As well as recognising his undeniable impact on children’s literature, teaching of Dahl’s books should also be used as an opportunity for young people to learn about his intolerant views.”
Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani has thanked well-wishers for their support after he tested positive for COVID-19 following days of travel around the US, during which he urged authorities to intervene in the President’s election loss.
The former New York mayor posted on Twitter on Sunday night local time, saying he was “recovering well”.
“Thank you to all my friends and followers for all the prayers and kind wishes,” his post read.
“I’m getting great care and feeling good.”
The Trump campaign released a statement from the President’s legal team on Sunday evening saying Mr Giuliani had tested negative just before he travelled to Arizona, Michigan and Georgia earlier this week.
“The Mayor did not experience any symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 until more than 48 hours after his return,” the statement read.
Robert Bruce Montgomery, 76, who was once a prominent psychologist, has been sentenced to four years in prison over child sex offences committed in the 1960s.
Montgomery was a Scout Leader in Edgecliff in Sydney’s eastern suburbs when he abused three boys over a number of years.
In 1965 he was made to resign from the organisation after it was made aware of his offending but no formal legal action was taken.
In 1966 as a teacher at a Marrickville High School he sexually assaulted a fourth boy.
He later had a prominent career as a psychologist and was president of the Australian Psychological Society from 2009 to 2011.
In 2018 Montgomery was extradited from Queensland and charged after his victims reported the abuse.
He will be eligible for parole in 12 months.
His victims, who are now adults, cried and hugged one another in court after the sentencing.
Montgomery was supported in court by his wife.
He handed her his wedding ring prior to the sentencing in anticipation of his incarceration.
The court heard Montgomery had a distinguished career which included working with reality television show Big Brother and preparing reports for Family Court matters.
His role for the Family Court included assessing the credibility of child sex abuse allegations in custody disputes.
In sentencing, Judge Paul Conlon said through Montgomery’s study of psychology he would have developed a strong understanding of the suffering of his victims.
Judge Conlon said in regard to the length of the sentence consideration had been given to the fact Montgomery had several health issues including moderate to severe dementia.
An expert medical opinion given to the court estimated he would live another 3.75 years.
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